Haridama Magic Cram School

Hello dear readers,

Once upon a time I read a manga called Haridama Magic Cram School, a one-shot manga of 5 chapters written by Atsushi Suzumi. I stumbled upon the 198 page book several years ago in a book store, and have read it many times since. It was one of the author’s first books, and I must say it is quite impressive.

As you may have guessed, the plot is about a student in a magical cram school. In the world of this story, magic is casted when one combines yin and yang (called “Yin-Yang pressure) which than travels through the being and allows both spells to be casted and take effect. Our young hero, an orphan named Kokuyo, is known as an “Obsidian”, someone who only has Yin or Yang, but not both, meaning they can’t cast magic alone. The obsidian he carries with him completes the yin-yang, but even with it he is unable to cast strong magic, and his sword attacks still do little damage.

At the start of the story we find him at the school with his sensei Sekiei when his childhood friend Harika arrives after a long absence. Harika is also an obsidian, her and Kokuyo are the only student’s at the school, and are often discriminated against. Often called weak and told to give up on their dreams of becoming sorcerers. The story tells of the twos struggle to overcome their weakness and learning to work together.

First page preview, now buy the book

The art in the manga is absolutely beautiful, each character is distinct and their actions are clear. Each panel flows nicely and it’s easy to identify what’s going on based on each picture. There are no generic character faces, and the backgrounds are quite lovely. I feel like each design was carefully planned and made to be read easily. I really do admire the art style, it works well for the genre it’s in and looks gorges. When I first bought the book, it was actually just to use as an art reference, than I read it…

The story was action pack and well done. Each chapter introduced a new component, and it all came together in the end. Each character had clear motivation and purpose; there was not one moment when I couldn’t understand why a character was doing something. This did take away from some of the story, leaving characters feeling quite 2-D several times when they announced their intentions for all to hear. I believe this to be due to the shortness of the story, Suzumi put so much story in so little space it would be hard to give many characters extra layers. The shortness hinders other things; some scenes feel rushed, not quite fitting in as well as other, better planned scenes. But an amazing thing Suzumi does is make the main characters grow so much in 5 chapters. I watched as 2 self-centered brats who no thought could do anything became two friends who had amazing potential.

This page is in Japanese, so you still have to buy the book. (unless you speak Japanese)

Overall, Haridama Magic Cram School it’s a good read, well worth the purchase. With strong leading characters, beautiful artwork, and a plot centered on teamwork and perseverance, it’s hard not to enjoy it. It brings together a magical world and intertwines it with real-life lessons. The ending was rather good too, Suzumi paints a lovely picture and allows you to take from it what you will, and even add your own touches. I’m not sure I could give Haridama Magic Cram School a rating other than ‘beautiful.’

You should really consider reading it,



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