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Manga / Witch Hat Atelier

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"It never gets old. Magic is amazing!"

"Is an athlete always an athlete, even from birth? What about astronauts? Or pop stars? You can't know what you're going to be when you grow up, right? So... what about witches? Is it the same for them?"

Witch Hat Atelier (Tongari Booshi no Atorie in Japanese, Atelier of Witch Hat in German and Spanish publications) is a fantasy manga by Kamome Shirahama, which began serialization in the seinen magazine Monthly Morning Two in 2016.

Ever since the day a mysterious witch sold her a picture book detailing the wonders of magic, a seamstress's daughter Coco has loved magic and wished to become a witch. Unfortunately for Coco, everyone knows witches are born, not taught. Coco is resigned to a magic-less life until the fateful day when the witch Qifrey visits her mother's shop. Secretly observing as Qifrey magically repairs a flying chariot, Coco watches in awe as he casts his spells by drawing glyphs. Trying to replicate the effect, Coco turns to the magical picture book. When she copies down the glyphs in the book, Coco finds that even she is able to perform magic — until her attempts backfire disastrously, nearly destroying her home and turning her mother to stone. Rescued from her uncontrollable spell at the last minute by Qifrey, Coco is given a choice: she can let Qifrey erase her memories of magic, or join him as his apprentice and learn how to reverse the spell that trapped her mother.

Coco is swept up into a world of magic she could only have dreamed of before, but her troubles are far from over and the danger is far from past. Can Coco learn to harness the power of magic and prove herself a capable witch? Does Qifrey have an alternate motive for allowing Coco to join his atelier as an apprentice? And who is the mysterious witch who sold Coco a book of dangerous magic?

Kodansha Comics began publication of their English translation in 2019.

A spin-off called Kitchen of Witch Hat started publication in 2019 and will also be released in English by Kodansha Comics. The spin-off focuses on Coco's teachers, Qifrey and Olruggio, in a Slice of Life format that showcases them cooking for each other and their students.

On April 5 2022, Shirahama herself announced that an anime adaptation is now in the works.

Witch Hat Atelier provides examples of:

  • Abandon the Disabled:
    • Witch society as a whole — magic casting is an art that utilizes precisely drawn glyphs, and Qifrey notes that the magical community does very little to accommodate those with vision problems. Even the children of witch families (who are raised with magic as part of their every-day lives) find their ability to become proper magic apprentices is limited if they have vision problems.
    • Tartah, who is the grandson of a magic stationer, has an advanced form of colorblindness. While he has been allowed to live among witchfolk and serve as an assistant to his grandfather, he's well aware of how limited his options for pursuing magic are and feels out of place in witch society.
    • Qifrey is progressively losing vision in his one remaining eye. He feels it necessary to hide the fact from even his closest friends with custom, invisible spellwork on his glasses that amplifies his failing eyesight. He fears losing his sight entirely will result in the magic world turning its back on him, in much the same way the Magic Security Council was willing to erase his memory and abandon him as a child.
  • All-Accessible Magic: Everyone believes that witches are born and not made, that you have to be born special to be one, and that certain lineages have more magic users in them that can cast spells. The first chapter of the manga reveals this actually a lie that's been maintained for eons, as everybody and anybody who can draw the right symbols is able to cast magic. However, as this makes it far too easy for evil people to dominate others, this is a closely guarded secret.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The buried city of Romonneau had a huge magic "mirror" designed to amplify the effects of glyphs, with Qifrey describing the artifact as "ancient war magic." The effects of a warmth stone designed only to warm skin are amplified to the point where it throws off enough heat to melt gold, killing the gilded citizens of Romonneau who were forced to live in the caverns for hundreds of years.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: With a set of seals, Agott manages to create a "Parroting Pouch" in Chapter 34, meant to repeat words and act as a guide for others to follow. At the end of the chapter someone has managed to take control of it to guide Coco into a secret meeting.
  • The Apprentice: In the world of witches, all magic users must start out as an apprentice in an established witch's atelier:
    • Coco joins Qifrey's atelier and becomes one of his apprentices, joining his other pupils Agott, Tetia, and Richeh.
    • Other apprentices in the series include Euini (apprenticed first to Kukrow, then to Alaira), Ririfin (apprenticed to Sage Beldarut), and Jujy (apprenticed to Hieheart).
  • 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.
  • Art Nouveau: From the natural and organic designs of the Great Hall and the rustic atmosphere of the Atelier, to the feminine and modest styles of the clothing, and the dynamism and free-flowing form of the panelling. Witch Hat Atelier is one of the few manga to utilise Art Nouveau as a stylistic choice, making it incredibly unique.
  • 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: Anyone can use magic, as long as they can draw glyphs and have access to a magic ink. Unfettered and unregulated access to magic caused the world to go into mayhem, so the most responsible and powerful magic users created a set of rules for users and erased the memory of the rest of the population. The majority of the population believes 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). Orugio further explained that it's believed that what exactly led to the ban were dangerous and perverse human experimentation made by witch doctors.
  • Blood Magic: The Brimhat witch uses his blood as ink, in contravention of witches' understanding that magic can only be performed with a particular magical ink. Chapter 63 reveals this to be the fundamental reason for the ban on medical and war magic: when magic ink mixes with human blood, the results are wild, unpredictable, and incredibly dangerous.
  • Body Horror:
    • Eunie being the victim of Brimhat forbidden magic — he has a glyph carved into his skin that causes him to undergo a Painful Transformation into a scaled wolf.
    • In the city of Romonneau, the prideful citizens used magic to turn people who they thought were worthless into solid gold while crucified. The gilded citizens are still alive in that state, and they end up melting in Chapter 24 when a warmth stone gets placed in a magical amplification mirror, killing them.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The central conflict of the manga so far has boiled down to whether the harshly enforced restrictions on who can use magic (and what types of magic are allowed to be practiced) wind up making the world a better place or not:
    • On one hand, letting everyone have unfettered access to magic caused massive issues in the past (especially when magic was deployed in warfare or to enforce strict social hierarchies, like in Romonneau). With restrictions in place the world as a whole is demonstrably more peaceful, even with the occasional disturbance caused by groups like the Brimhats (a small group of outlaws who use banned magic to pursue their agenda) and the ever-present black market demand for less-than-lethal illegal goods (like the see-through specs the Council cracked down on at the Festival). Witches produce magic items that even the Unknowing can use to make life easier (like Tetia's sand tents or the illuminated paving stones Coco remembered from her childhood) that must pass rigorous peer review before they can be distributed — Orugio describes how heatless fires that would make safer torches would be dangerous for children, as it could give them the idea that fire is a harmless substance. Despite the insular nature of Witch society necessitated by the secrecy they're sworn to, witches work to be a force for good in the world by improving infrastructure and aiding in disaster response. They refuse to take sides in conflicts or swear loyalty to any Unknowing ruler to prevent magic from ever being used in warfare again.
    • On the other hand, some of the forbidden magic would be greatly helpful for everyone involved. Medicinal Witches could heal even some of the most awful ills to befall humans, and it's implied that medical magic could cure Coustas's legs had it not been forbidden. Even magic that was associated with Medical Witches was banned (like twin-bottle magic), and Witches themselves are largely forbidden to study medicine lest they start experimenting with medical magic anew. The way magic is sequestered away from the general public means that many people don't have access to magic that could save or greatly improve their lives because they were born Unknowing. While magical items that can be used even by the Unknowing are helpful (like Orugio's rings or the flying carriage Coco saw in the first chapter), items like magical wheelchairs are implied to be rather costly which greatly limits the general access to them. The heavy-handed manner in which the secrets of magic are protected is another issue, with the Council making liberal use of their memory-erasing magic for both Unknowing who learn too much and Witches who break the law. Their practice even extends to victims of forbidden magic and children, with no trial or exceptions granted.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Though Coco had always wished to be a witch, her entry into the world of magic ends up being rather cruel and ironic—a book of Black Magic given to her by a rogue witch causes her to accidentally turn her mother to stone, and Qifrey decides to take her as an apprentice so she won't get mind-wiped by the magical authorities.
  • 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 it's her fault the world will be destroyed.
  • Cold Flames: Olruggio abandons a magical device that creates fire without heat, after much trouble perfecting it, because he realized the hazard of children ever forgetting that fire can be dangerous. He innovates a workaround for presentation by placing the fire inside clear crystals. A false precaution that leaves the presumption that fire is still dangerous.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The world of Witch Hat Atelier is an absolutely breathtaking setting as illustrated by Shirahama; filled with fantastic creatures, whimsical characters and awesome magic that can be practically applied. But all of it is but a facade. Dig a little deeper and you will realise the corruption, hypocrisy and dictatorial rule of the Pointed-Hats. Whilst on the other side, you will dabble in magical terrorism and levels of body horror that would not be out of place in Berserk from the Brimmed-Hats.
  • Cute Witch: All the girls are young witches-in-training and are usually very pleasant.
  • Cutting the Knot: While being chased by the Brimhat in Chapter 22, Agott decides to just freeze the entire road rather than deal with it while they're being chased.
  • The Dark Arts: Widespread abuse of magic once led to the world being embroiled in constant chaos and war. When the witches of the Conspiracy took power, one of the means they used to bring peace was wiping out all knowledge of magic that directly affected the human body, such as transformation, teleportation, and even healing, and condemning it all as "forbidden magic". This includes magical techniques that are only indirectly related: twin bottle magic, used to remotely share the contents of one container with another, was destroyed because of its association with medical witches accused of human experimentation. It's taken seriously enough that people interested in medicine are expressly forbidden from learning magic, and even the hospital of the Seabed Sanctum, the center of magical governance, is staffed solely by non-witches despite the ban on them learning about magic making it inconvenient. Memory erasure is the sole exception to the body taboo, as it's used to enforce the laws of magic.
  • 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.
    • Richeh, 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.
    • Agott 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.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: A section for the Halloween chapter features artwork of the main characters dressed as fairy tale characters. Such as Coco as Alice, Tetia as Puss in Boots, Orluggio as Sleeping Beauty etc.
  • Floating Landmass: The Dadah "Mountain Range" is a watery landscape dotted with round, airborne hummocks. They float or sink at various altitudes depending on the time of year and their moisture content. According to Qifrey, long ago there was a king who used magic to make the mountains float because there was a flower that grew at their peaks that resembled his crown. By making the mountains float, he "raised his crown above all others."
  • Forced Sleep: Magic that can do this is expressly forbidden, as it falls into the category of "magic that manipulates human bodies".
  • Functional Magic: The crux of the series: magic can be performed by anyone if they use special ink and draw a Seal with three elements: a Sigil, a Sign, and the Ring. The sigil dictates the kind of magic, the sign dictates how the magic is expressed, and the ring contains the mana and invokes the magic. Apprentices join an established witch's atelier and spend years studying how to combine sigils & signs into Seals that produce effects like small flames and gusts of wind, and how utilize Seals to enchant items like shoes that enable the wearer to fly and cloaks that can disguise the person underneath. Knowledge of how to perform magic used to be common, until a point in the past when magic was deemed too dangerous for the world at large to use. A group of witches took it upon themselves to "erase the memory" of magic, and restricted all future magical education to the atelier system so that it could be monitored and managed.
    Qifrey: Long ago, magic was just another ordinary part of life. All it took was knowledge of prescribed designs... and special ink. Anyone from anywhere could cast... and magic was familiar to all. However, because of that... the world was constantly embroiled in war. For when man has the power to do anything, then anything he will do. Many foul spells were conceived... prompting the few good souls left in the world to renounce war and band together as the keepers of magic. They erased the memories of magic from the populace... and passed on knowledge of the art only to apprentices who could be trusted to guard the secret. Since the day of the pact, we have spread the belief... that magic can only be wielded by those with innate power. If the truth were to proliferate once more... our world would be thrust into chaos anew."
  • Geometric Magic: Magic is cast and controlled by drawing Seals made up of precise geometric elements:
    • A Sigil at the center of the Seal that indicates what element or type of magic is being invoked — like light, water, wind, and so forth. Sigils for magic involving "fire" and "warmth" look similar.
    • Signs surrounding the Sigil that dictate the form the magic will take. Signs can form the magic into columns, cause it to disperse/ coalesce, direct a spell to repeat itself until the magic wears out, etc...
      • Drawing Signs neatly and symmetrically is key to a balanced spell, as shown with one of Coco's first attempts at water magic: by unintentionally drawing a longer "column" Sign on one side of her Seal, she caused the resulting stream of water to shoot off at an angle instead of straight into the air.
      • Apprentice Eunie mentioned during the Second Test that his hands shake when he tries to draw out his Seals, weakening their power. When Richeh reviews his work, she notices that although his Signs are drawn unsteadily, he's made up for the deficiency by increasing the number Signs in his Seals to stabilize the magic.
    • A Ring that encompasses the Sigil & Signs to invoke the magic. Seals aren't activated until the Ring is completed, so a witch can drawn out a Seal with an incomplete Ring ahead of time and activate it at a later date by completing the Ring. A neatly drawn Ring will cause the magic to last longer than a poorly drawn Ring.
    • The size of a Seal also affects its power. Larger Seals produce more powerful magic than smaller ones, but linking together many small Seals can create powerful spells as well.
  • Golem:
    • Another forbidden form of magic that involves animating structure. The Brimhat uses one to take out Qifrey in Chapter 22.
    • He later does the same for the people who had been turned to gold by the ancient witches to finish Qifrey off.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: Though the Brimmed Caps have largely destructive aims and no obvious redeeming qualities, the people in charge of polite witch society aren't much better, being extremely closed-minded and authoritarian; the Knights Moralis enforcers are perfectly willing to mind-wipe and banish a child (acting as Judge, Jury, and Executioner) for appearing to perform a forbidden spell she clearly isn't capable of drawing. The kids and Qifrey generally fill out the Good part of the trifecta (though Qifrey isn't above erasing his friend's memory for the sake of a secret personal goal).
  • Hard Truth Aesop:
    • What is taught to the younger generation, and what is chosen not to be taught to them, can be a form of control and censorship imposed on society by the ruling government. Question why people don't want you to learn something and whether it would actually be in your best interests to learn.
    Remember this, witch lady. The people that restrict your learning, only seek to control you.
    • In the following arcs of the second exam, Riche's backstory is revealed in which she's shown that she dislikes adults due their rigidness on the Geometric Magic of the setting, which she wants to do her way to make people happy instead of being servile. It's shown that there's nothing inherently bad doing things your way and achieve the same result, based in Euini's notes and spells and Qifrey's teachings. However, this can be interpreted as struggling with learning disabilities and also teachers not adapting their knowledge to their students, something VITAL for their full development. To make long story short, Riche ends up learning that despite wanting to do things in her way, i.e. "It's just my style!", and while learning, she has considerable problems to adapt to real life when such simple spells could've worked, something she bitterly realices. You need to learn the rules before you break them, otherwise it's gonna cause problems down the line.
  • 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.
  • Holding Hands: A super-cute example occurs between Coco and Tartah in chapter 41. Tartah, who works with his grandfather in a stationary shop, offers to make a custom pen for Coco. After studying her drawing technique, he asks Coco to hold his index finger as if she were holding a pen. Ostensibly he's measuring how she grips her writing implements and the amount of pressure she uses when she draws her glyphs... but after making those observations Tartah suddenly realizes how close they're sitting. Later, as Tartah is taking notes, he sits with the hand Coco held cradling his chin and the finger she had gripped pressing against his lip.
  • Hope Spot: Coco and the other apprentices pool their collective magical knowledge to try and remove the spell cast upon Eunie in Chapter 28. They invent a new methodology that might actually do the trick by counteracting the magic, only for it to not work because once a 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 their solution couldn't turn Eunie's body back on its own, they do manage to restore his mind. The Brim Hat is actually impressed.
  • Keeper of Forbidden Knowledge: Witch society as a whole, and especially the Great Hall & the Magic Security Council. Magic is the forbidden knowledge, and anyone who casts magic in front of an Unknowing or exposes the secrets of magic is punished severely.
  • Logical Weakness: Water. While plenty of water magic exists, due to the nature of spellcasting being mainly a drawn art using a particular type of ink, exposing most spell seals to water will cause the ink to run and the spell will be ruined. Likewise, spells cannot be drawn and cast underwater either. Exceptions exist mostly only in magical items specifically designed to work with water or last for a long time, such as transportation portals.
  • Lost Common Knowledge: Anyone can use magic, but the knowledge of how to do so was deliberately hidden to put an end to uncontrollable magical experimentation and rampant magical warfare. Most of the world's population now believes that magic is something only a born and bred witch can wield.
  • Mage Tower: The Tower of Books, where copies of magical spells are instantly reproduced and recorded. One of Coco and Agott'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.
  • Magical Society: The Great Hall, which is the Underwater City where most of the world's population of witches lives. It's also the center of magical law enforcement.
  • Masquerade: A variation—although the existence of witches and magic is common knowledge, the means of performing magic is a closely-guarded secret. "Outsiders" are led to believe that it's a mysterious ability inherent to witches, rather than a rules-based system of magic circles, to prevent untrained people from attempting it. Any non-witch who learns anything about how magic functions has those memories erased.
  • Match Cut:
    • Ininia's use of time magic to "rewind" Dagda's injuries in the forest is paired with illustrations of a broken ink bottle in Quifrey's atelier enchanted with time magic to "rewind" the spilled ink and shattered glass back to an unbroken state, plus Quifrey's explanation to Coco of how the time-reversal magic works.
    • When the time reversal glyph that keeps him in a Time Loop Trap of the day of his death runs out of power, he again suffers the mortal wounds he received in the forest as Coco and Tartah look on in horror. This scene is again paired with illustrations of the broken ink bottle in Qifrey's atelier, but with added context: Qifrey explains to Coco that time-reversal gylphs only revert and object to its prior state for a day at most before the magic runs out and the object "catches up" with the moment it broke. Tartah asks Coco what's happening, and she repeats Qifrey's explanation:
      Qifrey: It's just for a short while... Around one day, at most. The target's time remains in the past. But what happened to that object is something you can't go back in time and change. The fact that the bottle fell and broke won't change. When its time returns to that when it broke, the bottle becomes like this once again.
  • Moral Myopia: The Brimhat Ininia goes to erase the memory of Garuga using their own spellpad, even when they plead that the particular glyph being use erases all memory of magic, which for witches means the majority of their life. Ininia replies that this has been done to many witches by enforcers of The Masquerade before, so if they have qualms about this outcome they should reflect on their own use of it first.
  • Muggles: Called "Outsiders" by witch society, these are the people who are led to believe that magic can only be performed by someone who is born with magical powers. Technically there is no such thing as a "muggle," because everyone can use magic if they have the right tools and training.
  • Mundane Utility: Among witches, magic is used for everything (cooking, cleaning, waste disposal, transportation, etc), and it's mentioned that they actually sell these magical items to muggles.
    • In Chapter 8, Qifrey explains that cooking is a good way to practice magic, and instructs Coco to draw a fire spell to bake a potato. He also shows Coco a cooking pot he's enchanted to keep food fresh (for up to years after he's made it) as an example of the practical applications of magic. In general, he encourages the use of magic in ones daily life to help ingrain the knowledge.
    • Olruggio's line of work is producing magic-infused items, many of them for Outsiders — like a pair of rings that produce a blast of warm, dry air when placed together, much like a hair dryer. As it turns out, he's the witch who created the light-up flagstones a that inspired a very young Coco to fall in love with magic.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Thristas Woods, introduced in a flashback in Chapter 36; aka the Forest of Night, aka the Forest of Despair, aka the Corpse Forest, aka the Forest of Death and Shadows.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: The Brimmed Caps, 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 Agott's mean and Richeh's in-between.
  • Nobody Poops: Averted, the witches have access to a void toilet that discards everything in it into the abyss, so they have a magical sanitary system in their bathrooms.
  • Not Quite Flight: Sylph 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 shoes together. They seem to be part of standard witch apparel, as all apprentices and witches have them.
  • The Nudifier: A perverted witch gets caught with an illegal magical item that allows him to see through clothing. He desperately modifies it from seeing through fabric to disintegrate it so he can destroy the enforcers' binding ribbons. Disintegrating their clothing is a pleasant side effect for him.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: Each volume's cover features one cast member. Only the witches from Qifrey's Atelier appear in more than one cover, like the protagonist Coco being on volumes 1 and 7.
  • Pride: Qifrey tells the story of the ancient city of Romonon, 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 could no longer be useful to the city and after that, they turned on each other, turning the ones deemed useless into gold statues.
  • Power Tattoo: This type of magic is considered The Dark Arts, expressly forbidden by the Witches Auditorium.
    • Brimhats turn glyphs into tattoos to enhance their bodies.
    • Played for Drama with Apprentice Euini is forcibly tattooed by the Brimhats with a glyph on his neck that transforms him into a scaled wolf. Even though the glyph was applied against his will, he would still be considered culpable by the Witches Auditorium and subject to harsh punishment if they ever found out about his condition.
    • Played With for Dagda, who is healed from the brink of death with a time-reversal glyph tattooed into his chest. The tattoo is the only thing keeping him alive, stuck in a crude Time Loop Trap of reliving the day leading up to receiving his mortal wounds — until the glyph runs out of power and his body catches up to the moment the glyph was first applied, forcing his apprentice Custas frantically reapply the magic.
  • Puppy Love: An extremely adorable example between Tartah and Coco. Tartah has an obvious crush to Coco, although Coco is more focused in her capabilities in magic. They do rely upon one another and their interactions are both cute and complementary.
    • Another example is between Riche and Eunie, as Riche deeply, deeply cares for the well being for Eunie as they both find each other remarkably similar. The shot of Riche rushing in to hug Eunie in wolf form before being forced to depart, is one of the most beautiful shots of literal puppy love.
  • Riddle Me This: The golden people of the ancient city of Romonneau offer to let Tetia, Qifrey, and Coco pass if the students can 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:
    • Witches wear pointed hats to show that they are magic users. The design varies from witch to witch. When an apprentice is accepted into an Atelier, they receive their pointed cap.
    • The Brim-hat witches are recognizable by their witch hats that have additional wide brims or masks incorporated that hide the face.
      • Special note to Ininia's ribbon hat whose ribbons come alive when needed; creating a spectacularly cool effect in the process.
  • She Is the King: Inverted. Male and female magicians are both called "witches," and the word "wizard" never appears.
  • She Knows Too Much:
    • When a muggle learns the secrets of casting magic, the Magic Security Council sanctions the use of otherwise-forbidden memory altering magic to make sure those secrets don't get out. It appears the can also use memory erasure to punish criminals.
    • Qifrey originally intended to erase Coco's memory when she learned the truth about witches, but changed his mind when he decided that she could be an asset in hunting down the Brimhat witches and took her on as an apprentice instead.
    • Qifrey later resorts to wiping the memory of Mr. Nolnoa in order to conceal the fact that the Brimhat witches managed to get an ultra-powerful ink into Coco's possession — Mr. Nolnoa had wanted to share the fact with the Magic Security Council, which would have ruined Qifrey's strongest lead yet. He also erases part of Oruggio's memory for similar reasons.
  • Slave to PR: Oruggio admits that witches in general can often be tasked to help any human community if asked to. This is to ensure that the people have trust in their abilities no matter how big or small the task may be.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • 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, straight lines, and other geometrical forms, with even the smallest disparity in sizes making a difference when they are used. Newbie Coco ends up making bad spells due to her imprecise drawings. 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 basic knowledge of spellcraft.
      • Furthermore, Coco actually has some skill at drawing (her background in tailoring means she’s especially good at drawing straight lines), 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 marking tool she used in her mother's atelier.
    • In chapter 2, Qifrey opens the Gate Window in his atelier to a breezy hillside landscape full of floating petals, in order to show Coco that magic can bring happiness to people. When the gate Window is shut down, a massive drift of petals has built up on Qifrey and Coco's side. They end up having to sweep up the mess they've made before they can finish the tour of Qifrey's atelier.
    • Richeh choosing only focus 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.
    • The irresponsible witch Kukrow is shown to be a horrid mentor who constantly belittles his pupil Euini and doesn't even stay to oversee his second exam. After Euini disappears with Alaira, his superiors hold him responsible for his negligence and threaten to deliver extreme punishment if he cannot find his assigned student.
  • Take a Third Option: After a disastrous attempt to visit the Tower of Books by herself, Coco is given two options by Qifrey: she can either go left to visit the Tower like she intended or she can go right where she'll return with her friends and mentor. Coco decides to go in a straight path t rescue Qifrey who was trying to protect her from the Tower's monster guardians.
  • Take That!: In Chapter 49, Shirahama essentially drafted a meta-commentary condemning the way society treats victims of sexual assault both in real-life and in Japanese media such as anime and manga, especially the trope in manga of portraying men peeping on women naked without their knowledge as harmless boyish fun.
  • 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 to magical ink that befriends Coco during her test at the Dadah Mountains.
  • Thinking Up Portals: Window-ways are a type of magic device that allows witches to travel vast distances instantaneously, without using forbidden "teleportation" magic. Windows with the same design etched around the edges are essentially portals from one place to another.
  • Underwater City: The Great Hall is a huge area in the bottom of the ocean made of a number of buildings where a lot of the management of the witches' community happens.
  • 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.
    • On the flipside, the young children who are born and raised in the magical Great Hall and have yet to become apprentices end up completely enthralled when they see a rainbow, despite being surrounded daily by magic. This is because since the Great Hall exists underwater, a rainbow is something they don't get a chance to experience seeing until they step into the outside world.
  • Vague Age: So far, none of the characters ages have been given, so the audience can only guess at best. The girls studying under Qifrey appear to still be adolescents, but it's mentioned they're all around the same age, and Agott says she passed into apprenticeship at the age of 10, implying they're all a bit older than that.
  • 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 they consider to be The Chosen One, which so far has included trapping Qifrey's apprentices with a dragon, destroying a civilian bridge, and using forbidden magic on Euini, an apprentice from another atelier who the girls befriended.
  • Wham Line: "They want to swap your pointed hat for a brim."
  • White Mage: Medical witches. They vocally opposed the decision to stop using magic directly on the body, since they used it to heal others. In the present there's actually a ban on people with medical ambitions becoming witches to avoid future medical witches. This is because previous medical witches allegedly used their magic to toy with things ranging from immortality and resurrecting the dead, to full blown human experimentation, and these acts were one of the key factors that caused the previous war.

Alternative Title(s): Tongari Booshi No Atorie