By Matsuri Isora and Nanna Fujimi. Released in Japan as “Silent Witch” by Kadokawa Books. Released in North America by Yen On. Translated by Alice Prowse.
What is supposed to happen after Monica fulfills her mission and whatever happens with Felix happens? I think, in Monica’s mind, that what will happen is that Monica Norton will suddenly vanish, having to “withdraw from school”, and Monica Everett will go back to her little cabin in the woods and live a quiet, cloistered life as she always had. There’s just one slight problem with that, which is that Monica is growing and gaining more emotional depth the longer she’s at the school. The combination of her father’s death and the abuse she suffered afterwards had left her with the ability to only see people as a series of numbers. But as she’s made real friends and learned how to actually socially interact, Monica sees them as people with actual feelings now. Of course, this is not all good – she loses a battle here because, even though her opponent is obviously bluffing, she can’t simply see her friend who is being threatened as “numbers” anymore. Monica will find withdrawing back to her cabin very hard.
This may be a fantasy world, but it’s still taking place in a school, which means it’s school festival time. No, we’re not doing maid cafes or haunted houses – the festival runs more towards presentations of magical theory. But the student council still has to move around and make sure everything runs smoothly. Of course, things do not run smoothly. Another of the Seven Sages arrives, and he’s a pain to deal with but basically harmless. He’s searching for a cursed artifact, which unfortunately ends up in the hands of The Littlest Petty Noble, whose feelings of one-sided love for Felix subsequently take a turn for the worse. And then there’s someone else who’s infiltrated the school, and they’re in a clever disguise. Can Monica sort all this out? And can she do so without revealing who she really is to the wrong people?
Claudia remains an absolute delight, and will probably continue to remind me of Hanajima from Fruits Basket. Speaking of characters from other manga and anime showing up in the book, it’s really hard to see Ray Albright in this book and not think of Tamaki from My Hero Academia, who also seems to have “socially inept” at his main feature. Oddly, his appearance here shows off how far Monica has come since the first book, as she’s now the outgoing one by comparison. The “boy of the book” in this not-quite-reverse harem is Cyril, whose subtle romantic overture to Monica is completely misinterpreted by her, but that might actually be for the best. By now I’m actually hoping that this does not end with a standard romantic ending – if ever there was a series that needed the “friendship ending” like a reverse otome game, Silent Witch is the one. Give this poor baby some good friends.
Assuming she can somehow solve the impending crises, that is. Crises which will have to wait, as the next book is apparently a short story volume. In the meantime, this series remains an absolute delight.