Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Magika Swordsman and Summoner Vol. 2 Manga Review

Magika Swordsman and Summoner Vol. 2Magika Swordsman and Summoner Vol. 2 by Mitsuki Mihara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Magika Swordsman and Summoner volume 2 starts immediately where volume 1 left off. We find Kazuki and Mio standing within the student council president's office with an anxious Otonashi Kaguya trying to calm the two down with little success.

In the previous volume, Mio insulted the Hayashizaki school of swordsmanship, which Kazuki didn't take well to. He challenged her to duel, she accepted, and neither one of them is willing to back down. Things only get more hectic when Kanae comes into the room and declares that she approves of the duel.

The duel takes place on a track field. Well, I think it's a track field. It certainly looks like one. In any case, the duel begins and we're immediately given a taste of Mio's power when she fires off a spiral blast, which is like a flame projectile.

Now, can I just pause here for a moment to state that, once again, MonRin has managed to create some visually appealing female characters. While Kazuki looks boring with his bland features and plain face, Mio and the other girls remain as stunning in this volume as they did the first. I believe it has to do with the softness of their figures, which is emphasized by the shading and highlights.

Back to the main story, Mio's attack proves ineffective as Kazuki shows off his speed. He dodges her attacks with ease. We learn from Kanae that the Hayashizaki school of swordsmanship teaches its students how to read the flow of magic, which I guess it what allows him to dodge her attacks. I'm assuming that by reading her magic, he can predict where her attack will strike, or something to that effect.

Desperate, Mio launches one of her more powerful attacks—a massive wall of flame that supposedly consumes Kazuki. I say supposedly because it didn't actually consume him. Kazuki is not only fine, but after her last attack, he goes on to defeat her handily.

Thinking on it, Kazuki seems to be one of those overpowered, Gary Stu protagonists. While I'm not really a fan of the bland and OP type main characters, I do understand that this combination makes it easy for people to insert themselves into the role of main protagonist. That's sort of the point to these character archetypes.

Mio, having lost the match, is asked to take back her insults. However, an in tears Mio refuses to take back her words and instead asks Kazuki why he doesn't remember her.

So, it turns out that before she was adopted into the Amasaki family, Mio had lived in the same orphanage as Kazuki. In fact, she and Kazuki were like brother and sister back then.

I'm kinda surprised Kazuki doesn't remember, but at the same time, not really. I mean, this sort of story is pretty typical of the harem genre. In all honesty, I'm just glad they didn't drag the “you forgot me” trope out any longer.

Later that night, Mio locks herself in her room and Kazuki comes to deliver her food. She refuses to eat, and this causes Kazuki to open the door. Naturally, Mio is naked, and thus Kazuki is given a free peep show. Sadly, I can't show that to you because of Youtube's policies on nudity.

In either event, after they talk some, Kazuki agrees to become Mio's slave. I'm not really sure I get the whole slave thing, but it seems to work, as Mio not only calms down, but the affection ring that Kazuki was given increases to the point where Kazuki can use some of Mio's spells.

Things improve even more the next morning. Mio and Kazuki are acting like a newly wed couple as they cook together, and the other girls of the manor are spying on the pair. This pleasant situation soon has oil and a lit match thrown onto it when Kanae comes marching in.

She tells everyone that the school has decided that Kazuki would be better off in the kengika division and demands that he follow her to his new residence. Kazuki refuses, which prompts Kanae to issue a challenge: If he can defeat her protege using only magic, she'll forget about forcing him into the kengika division.

I guess tournaments are a big thing in this school, since they seem to be happening quite frequently.

Since Kazuki can use Mio's magic, it does mean that he's no longer helpless. However, since he can only use her weakest spells, it's not gonna be enough to help him fight off someone trained by his sister.

In order to increase his affection level with Mio, and thereby increase his power, Kazuki and Mio go on a date.

To be honest, I felt like the date was slightly forced thanks to how Kazuki gains power. That said, I still thought the date between him and Mio was pretty darn cute. I feel like it's because of how they act. Mio's attitude, while not a complete 180 because we saw in volume 1 that she can be pretty adorable when she wants to be, has pretty much gone from merely cute to “oh, my god. I want to take her home and snuggle with her” cute.

Trust me. There's a huge difference.

As the date is winding to a close, Mio asks Kazuki to wait for her and goes off somewhere. During this time, a strange girl appears before him. We learn that this girl is another orphan from the Nanohana orphanage.

Her name is Kana, and even though we're not told why she's suddenly to decided to appear, or reappear, I guess, we're given a small hint with some basic foreshadowing at the very end of this volume.

Now, being a general fan of the harem genre, I can say that I did enjoy the series. I wouldn't give it a full 5-stars because it's not that original, but it does manage to tell us an interesting story while remaining within the confines of it's genre.

The artwork is still fantastic, and the story is still filled with the kind of fanservice that harem fans enjoy. While I'd never recommend this to someone who's not a fan of harems, if you are, I'd highly recommend giving this manga a read.

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