When she travels in snow-covered forest, Mika and her lantern, Lumiere, find a girl named Karen. They travel together and then find a small church in a middle of the forest. A sister welcomes them, and offers them a place to stay. In there, Karen tells them about rumours of "Heartless Boundary Witch".
That night, Mika wakes from her bed, to find out....
That the nun is a criminal aiming to rob them, and has already killed Karen. Then she stabs Mika....
After burying Karen's body, Mika continues her journey....
And that's for the first chapter.
Majo no Shinzou (Witch's Heart in English) is a Gaslamp Fantasy about a witch who's tirelessly seeking her heart, and her impact upon people she meets. Created by Matoba, it's published on Gangan Online. Has a beautiful artwork, and quite a captivating story.
This manga provides examples of:
- Bittersweet Ending: Nina ceases to exist, and Mika is sent to the future, 14 years later and holds the ceremony of the Holy Spirit. The earthquake occurs and Lumiere saves Mika from falling debris. After Lumiere changes into his human form, Mika thanks him while smiling happily, proving that the Mika that he and Ritsuka loved no longer exists. However, Mika is alive and well, and Lumiere believes that the number of things that he treasures has increased. With the "witch's heart" beating within him as well, Lumiere and Mika walk back home together, leaving footprints in the snow.
- Blood Magic: Mika can use her blood to create anything.
- Can't Hold Her Liquor: Mika goes "puff" only after a sip of enriched juice (sweetened with brandy).
- Cute Bruiser / Little Miss Badass: Despite being a witch, Mika is well versed in variety of weapons, and strong enough to knock a wall with oversized bludgeon.
- Cute Witch: Mika. Her sister also (may) count.
- Death Seeker: Mika's reason for wanting her heart back is so that she can gain her mortality.
- Double Entendre: When Mika and Lumiere first met,he said that once a month he likes to spend the whole night with a cute girl. Mika, as well as the audience, thinks that Lumiere does something inappropriate with the girl. However, Lumiere meant that he cuts loose by dancing.
- Gaslamp Fantasy: With a bit of Medieval European Fantasy thrown left and right.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: It's a Gaslamp Fantasy, after all.
- Mad Love: One of the main reason Mika's sister stole her heart.
- A Magic Contract Comes with a Kiss: Lumiere believes wholeheartedly in this, this is the reason how his transformation trigger is a kiss. Mika, who planned the trigger to be a fingersnap, is rather upset, especially since it's her first kiss.
- Meaningful Rename: The dragon renamed by Mika as Lumiere before they contracted.
- More Than Meets the Eye / Hidden Depths / Bait-and-Switch: One of the main theme of the manga is that there are always a layer hiding something from our perception, and one should not judge from first impression. Shown the best by Mika, who's very possibly had literally Seen It All.
- Our Dragons Are Different: They can shapeshift into human.
- Our Genies Are Different: In one story, Mika meets a handsome man and his genie, who takes shape of a beautiful girl. There are stories about Genie in a Lamp who can be "summoned with languange of flower". Actually, it refers to the Bishōnen guy, who is actually the real genie. The girl is the one who summoned him out of desperation, and because of her circumstances, cannot ask for wishes. He still followed and helped her out of concern and duty.
- Older Than They Look: Besides Mika, Lumiere and Ritsuka - a magician's apprentice - count as well.
- Poisonous Person: In a story, a young girl tell Mika a (supposedly) secret story about a fisherman who met a princess from a conquered kingdom, who becomes this after her mother (the queen) was forced to drink a poisonous concoction while pregnant with her. The princess ended up poisoning people who involved at her birth. To supposedly prevented another victim, the princess is locked up in a dungeon on a small island. The fisherman ends up met her after she accidentally got lost in the sea, and guided by the light from the island. Over time, they grew close, until one day a nasty storm causing the island to got flooded, in which the caretaker of the island simply left her for dead. The fisherman runs at her side, willing to free her and stay together with the princess, knowing full well of the consequences. It is heavily implied that the young girl is the daughter of the fisherman and the (ex) princess, who manges to Earn Their Happy Ending. Lumiere thinks that the poison in the princess body is simply eroded with salt contained within the sea wind over time, just like the poisonous flower who became inert near the sea. Mika note simply chalks it up to Humans Are Bastards.
- Pygmalion Plot: Chapter 30 is the manga's take on the play [[Coppelia]], about a man falling in love with a lifelike doll named Olympia.
- The Stoic: Justified Trope, since she's The Ageless, so she had to or getting too broken to function after a couple hundred of years.
- Taking the Bullet: Julia, Mika's teacher and the one who took her in, protected Mika by throwing herself in front of her and took a knife to the chest by a villager. This was due to the fear that Mika was taking the lives of others in order to survive.
- Really 500 Years Old: ...And still can't hold her liquor.
- Rich Bitch: The noblewoman who refuses to open waterworks for her farmer subjects since metalworking is more profitable. She develops this attitude as coping mechanism with everyone around her, after her parents passed away, only cares about her wealth.
- We Are as Mayflies: How Mika feels about her relationship with people she meets. Also, Lumiere source of Angst before he meets Mika.
- When She Smiles: When Mika genuinely smiles, you'll be guaranteed to go d'awwwwwww.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: See Death Seeker.
- Younger Than They Look: Ritsuka, despite looking like he's in his 20s like Lumiere, is actually a minor.