With a story full of plot, "Spell of Desire" breaks out of the ordinary

Jesus Figueroa

Written by Jade Inglada

From vampires, to spirits and werewolves, Tomu Ohmi returns to enchant readers with another romantic supernatural series.

“Spell of Desire” centers around Kaoruko “Koko” Mochizuki, a young herbalist that runs a shop using the skills she learned from her late grandmother.

One day, a mysterious man named Kaname Hibiki enters her shop with surprising news for Kaoruko: she’s a witch. He also reveals that Kaoruko’s mother, a strong black witch, is still alive and has entrusted Kaoruko with her powers while she is missing.

It’s now Kaname’s job to protect Kaoruko from the dangers her mother’s power will attract, though it seems the pair are becoming drawn to each other for reasons beyond magic.

When it comes to art, Ohmi’s attention to detail gives life to the characters and settings.

Primary settings, such as the herb shop, are given plenty of focus and appear realistic compared to other parts of the town.

Kaoruko stands out from other female characters she encounters, with a tall, delicate frame and large doe eyes. When her mother’s power isn’t drawing her unwanted attention from strange men, hence the title, Kaoruko comes off as plain and dresses in layered, concealing clothes. She isn’t bold or anything close to a femme fatale, but while she is reluctant to accept the sudden changes in her life, Kaoruko is able to adjust well.

The most interesting thing about Kaname’s appearance is that it’s something readers would usually find in a bad guy character of other manga; he’s mostly seen wearing black and with a cool expression. On the rare occasion he isn’t dressed up, Kaname’s look is less intense and shifts to that of a common romantic male lead. It’s then that Kaname’s role of a “knight” becomes more fitting.

“Spell of Desire” jumps into the plot right away and spends the rest of the volume introducing readers to new situations and Kaoruko dealing with the power. The storyline could be better if there had been some build up to the big reveal, since the pacing dips down soon after and drags a bit through parts of the chapters.

Some readers should be wary of the use of non consensual behavior used in the story. Although Kaoruko’s feelings for Kaname grow throughout this issue, she doesn’t enjoy him kissing her without her consent.

There are also some instances where Kaoruko has to deal with unwanted advances from men that are caught under her mother’s power. It’s uncertain if this theme will carry out through the rest of the series, but it’s something that may make some readers feel uncomfortable.

The not-so-typical main characters make the overall storyline a more interesting read, especially with Ohmi’s refreshing interpretation of witches and their use of magic. “Spell of Desire” is rated M for its mature content and the second volume is scheduled for release on Nov. 4.

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