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"Magic is amazing!"

"Are athletes athletes from the moment they're born? What about astronauts or idols? These things aren't decided at birth. So then... what about witches?"
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Tongari Booshi no Atorie (Witch Hat Atelier or Atelier of Witch Hat in English) is a fantasy manga by Shirahama Kamome.

Coco is the young daughter of a seamstress and loves magic. One day, they are visited by a group of wealthy women and the witch Qifrey. She watches secretly as he fixes a broken chariot and realizes that magic is actually done by drawing glyphs. She uses a strange book she got from a witch when she was young to try casting magic by herself and accidentally causes her mother to be turned into stone and her house to be set on fire. She is then rescued by Qifrey, and, in order to save her mother, Coco joins him as an apprentice witch.

Kodansha Comics will release it in English in 2019.

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Tropes that apply to Witch Hat Atelier

  • Amplifier Artifact: The ancient city had a magic mirror designed to amplify the effects of glyphs, with Qifrey describing it as ancient war magic. A warmth stone meant only to warm skin ends up turning hot enough to melt gold, killing the people who were turned into it.
  • Arc Symbol: During the Second Test Arc, scales. The arc opens to a shot of scaled wolves shedding their scales for mating, the path of the second test is shaped like a serpent, with the ground tiles looking like scales and all the ones being tested wear a special cape with scales.
  • Bag of Sharing: Twin Bottle magic. It's been lost to time along with the medical witches, who used it to share medicine.
  • Ban on Magic: The true of the witches. Anyone can use magic, as long as they can draw glyphs and have access to a magic ink, the free access to magic caused the world to go into mayhem, so the most responsible magic users have created a set of rules for users and erased the memory of the rest of the population, making them believe that the witches are almost a separated species altogether and most people can't use magic. One of the rules is that no magic can be used in human bodies, not even healing, with the exception of memory manipulation, and only in order to keep the truth about witches a secret.
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  • Blood Magic: The Brimhat wizard uses his blood as ink.
  • Body Horror: In the city of Romonneau, they used magic to turn people who they thought were worthless into solid gold while crucified. Then they end up melting in Chapter 24 when a warmth stone gets placed in a magical amplification mirror, killing them.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Coco has one in Chapter 14 where she envisions her mother blaming her for being turned to stone and the Brimhat telling her its her fault the world will be destroyed.
  • Cutting the Knot: While being chased by the Brimhat in Chapter 22, Agate decides to just freeze the entire road rather than deal with it while they're being chased.
  • Escort Mission: The Second Test for becoming a Witch involves escorting a group of migrating birds to their mating grounds. However, its through a twisted landscape shaped by magic from the last war.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Tetia, one of Coco's sister apprentices, is introduced happily telling her not to fear magic and helping her use the waterdrop buoy, a magical item that draws moisture from the air. She also thanks Coco for thanking her because she likes being thanked.
    • Riche, another sister apprentice, is introduced by telling Coco not humor Tetia or else she won't shut up. She states that by staying quiet, Tetia will eventually give up.
    • Agete is first shown flowing into her room by the window using magical tools and asking Coco to move away so she can land. She doesn't even look in her direction when presenting herself and although she feels sorry for what happened to Coco's mother, she is quick to say that her mother will never be human again and that it's Coco's fault.
  • Forced Sleep: Magic that can do this is expressly forbidden.
  • Functional Magic: The magic done in the series is done through the use of ink made from a silver tree and magic circles with three elements: a Rune, a Key Stone, and the Glyph. The rune dictates the kind of magic, the keystone dictates how the magic is expressed, and the glyph contains the mana and invokes the magic.
  • Golem: Another forbidden form of magic that involves animating structure. The Brimhat uses one to take out Quifrey in Chapter 22.
    • He later does the same for the people who had been turned to gold by the ancient wizards to finish Quifrey off.
  • The Hero's Journey: Coco's story sets off following a traditional footsteps of the beginning within the first chapter. She lives a normal life and gets visited by Qifrey the witch, with her mother mentioning she believed that Coco wanted to leave with Qifrey. She learns that people can use magic by drawing and starts making several glyphs, which accidentally cause her home to be destroyed and her mother to be turned into stone. Following this, she begs Qifrey, who needs her memory intact to track down the witch who sold her the magic book, to keep her memory, so she can heal her mother, but this causes her to become now his newest apprentice on her way to become a full fledged witch.
  • Hope Spot: Coco and the others pool their collective magical knowledge to try and remove the spell cast upon Eunie in Chapter 28, coming up with a new methodology that might actually do the trick by counteracting it, only for it to not work because once your body is transformed by magic normal magic can't fix it. That's when a Brim hat shows up and offers to show her how to fix it with Forbidden Magic.
    • Partly subverted in that while it couldn't turn his body back on its own, they do manage to restore his mind. The Brim Hat is actually impressed.
  • Logical Weakness: Water. Unless the magical item is specifically designed to work with it, it'll pretty much wash away the ink being drawn and thus ruin the magic.
  • Mage Tower: The Tower of Books, where copies of magical spells are instantly reproduced and recorded. One of Coco and Agete's goals are to access it, albeit for different reasons.
  • Magical Accessory: Eunie gains one made by the Brimhat that acts as a Power Limiter that suppresses the magic that transformed him, allowing him to become human while wearing it.
  • Mundane Utility: Among witches, magic is used for everything (cooking, cleaning, transportation, etc), and it's mentioned that they actually sell these magical items to muggles. In Chapter 8, Qifrey instructs Coco to use magic to bake a potato, which he mentions is a good way to practice.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The Brimhats, a terrorist-like group that intends to bring magic back to common knowledge. Only one of their representatives show up frequently in the manga, and is always spouting cryptic lines that make no sense to the reader.
  • Nice Girl: Coco and Tetia are friendly and lively girls who like to help others.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Coco's sister apprentices fit this, Tetia is the nice, to Agete's mean and Riche's in-between.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, the witches have access to a void toilet that discard everything in it into the abyss, so they have this magical sanitary system in their bathrooms.
  • Not Quite Flight: Soar-shoes. A pair of shoes with a float glyph on the soles that allow the user to fly when the glyph is completed by pressing the shows together. They seem to be part of the standard witch clothes as all apprentices and witches have them.
  • Pride: Qifrey tells the story of the city of Romonneau, a city full of riches that, at one point, started growing so prideful and arrogant it caused their own ruin. They created a labyrinth as the only path to their city and that would get rid of anyone who couldn't be useful to the city and after that, they turned on each other, turning the ones deemed useless into gold statues.
  • Portal Door: Gate Windows, they can connect one window to another that has the same design.
  • Power Tattoo: Brimhats turn glyphs into tattoos to enhance their bodies.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Drawing, even if it's magic, is an acquired skill that takes time and work to develop. The Glyphs that the witches draw are very precise technical drawings that require near perfect circles and straight lines as well as other geometrical form, with even the smallest disparity in sizes making a difference when they are used, so the newbie Coco ends up making bad spells due to her incapacity of drawing. She still struggles with it when she gets taken as an apprentice by Qifrey, and he also has trouble teaching her, because he never had to work with someone without previous knowledge.
      • Furthermore, Coco actually has some skill at drawing, but not with the tools or the technical needs of magic, so she has to relearn things to a certain degree. She is capable of making better glyphs during her test by getting a stone and making an improvised version of the tool she used in her mother's atelier.
    • At one point Qifrey opens the gate Windows to a hill full of floating petals, in order to show Coco that magic can bring happiness to people. Afterwards however, the wind blowing and the petal falling cause the room to be filled with them and they have to clean it up.
    • Riche only focusing on her own magic, based on her own desires means that she doesn't have the wider knowledge needed to adapt to other circumstances. That means she can't turn Eunie back to normal when he's forcibly transformed.
  • Riddle Me This: The golden people of the ancient city of Romonneau offer to let Tetia, Qifrey, and Coco pass if the students could answer a riddle. The answer is "Peace". Magic took away the peace they had, leaving them with bodies that were always cold and uncomfortable.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: The hats are a symbol of the Witch's status and the long robes are to hide when they are drawing magic.
  • She Knows Too Much: Qifrey intended to originally erase Coco's memory, because she learned the truth about witches. It's a common technique and accepted by the witch community to erase the memory of anyone who finds out about the witch secret, though they try not to abuse it since memories form the foundation of life.
    • He later does wipe the memory of a colleague of the Brim Hats giving Coco ink to not ruin a lead.
  • Taken for Granite: The fate of Coco's mother. She was accidentally caught in the crossfire when Coco experimented with a dangerous glyph.
  • Team Pet: Brushbug, a small creature attracted by magic that befriends Coco during her test at the Dada Mountains.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Coco is often amazed at all the magic items she finds and how her sister apprentices and master are capable of using magic, to them, however, this is absolutely mundane.
  • Villains Act, Heroes React: Almost all events in the manga are started by a member of the Brimhats, inflicting one challenge or another at Coco, who he considers to be The Chosen One, which so far has included destroy a bridge and trapping Qifrey's apprentices with a dragon.
  • Wham Line: "They want to swap your pointed hat for a brim."
  • White Mage: Medical mages. They opposed the decision to stop using magic directly on the body since they used it to heal others, but were eventually lost to time.


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