Manga Unmasked: Witch Hat Atelier

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Welcome back to Manga Unmasked! In this series, we take a deep dive into the various manga series available in our collection. So, whether you're already a fan of manga or just a curious reader, we hope you might learn a little about your next potential reading obsession. In this edition, we're learning the mysteries of magic in Witch Hat Atelier!

Check out more manga explored with the Manga Unmasked series—My Hero Academia, Spy x Family, Sailor Moon, Wolf Children: Ame & Yuki, One-Punch Man, One Piece, Delicious in Dungeon, and Apothecary Diaries.   
 

Background

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Witch Hat Atelier Scenery

Witch Hat Atelier is a seinen* fantasy series written and illustrated by Kamome Shirahama. It was first serialized in July 2016 in Kodansha's seinen manga magazine Morning Two—eventually moving to digital release. As of this writing, 76 chapters have been published, most collected into 14 volumes. 

*Seinen manga is generally marketed to young adult men but can be enjoyed by anyone. 

In addition to Witch Hat Atelier, Shirahama has written Watashi no Kuro-chan, Eniale & Dewiela, and The Elder. She has also created variant covers and illustrations for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Star Wars comics. 

An anime adaptation was announced in April 2022

Witch Hat Atelier has won multiple awards—Best Seinen at the Barcelona Manga Fair in 2018, the Daruma prize at Japan Expo Awards in 2019, Best Seinen Manga at the L'ange Bleu in 2019, the Next Manga Award of the Ridibooks Comic Awards in 2019, Best Manga in the 2020 Babelio Awards, Best U.S. Edition of International Material-Asia Award at the 2020 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, and Best Manga at the Harvey Awards
 

What is Known About Magic

In a world of magic shrouded in secrecy, there are those called witches who can cast magic and the rest of the populace who cannot. Everyone knows that witches are born with their magical abilities, not made... or are they? When a young girl named Coco stumbles across the secret of how magic is cast, she is thrust from her quiet life with her mother into the study of magic at the atelier of the traveling witch Qifrey.   
 

The Atelier

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Coco
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Qifrey

Coco loves magic and has always dreamed of being a witch, despite being told at a young age that witches are born and magic is something only witches can perform. Her ordinary life is turned upside down when she witnesses a traveling witch performing and attempts to perform a spell from a strange picture book with catastrophic results. 

Qifrey is a traveling witch specializing in water magic and magic teacher who takes Coco in as an apprentice after her first mishap with magic. He is an upbeat, though occasionally mysterious, man who genuinely cares for his young students and their safety as they grow through their magical journey. 

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Agott
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Tetia

Agott is one of Qifrey's students living and studying in the atelier. Agott is very serious about her study of magic and has little to no patience for Coco's inexerience from their first meeting. She has a tendency to overwork herself and is too critical of her own progress—a trait that concerns her mentor, Qifrey.  

Tetia is a second student living and studying in the atelier. Tetia is a bubbly and upbeat young girl who wants to use her magic to make people happy. She loves being helpful—especially when she is thanked for her help. 
 

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Richeh
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Olruggio

Richeh is the third of Qifrey's students living and studying in the atelier. She is a quiet girl who specializes in casting small spells. She dislikes taking tests, which is a possible problem given passing tests are required to move up in their magical education. 

Olruggio is a witch specializing in fire magic who acts as the Watchful Eye for Qifrey's atelier. A Watchful Eye is a second adult in an atelier who is not the teacher but looks after the safety and care of the young students. Olruggio is a gruff man, but does care for the children under his supervision. He has also created a number of magical items.  

Witch Hat Atelier Volumes 

**This list includes a brief summary of the events in each book. Here there be spoilers, so read the later summaries at your own risk. 
 

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V1

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 1 by Kamome Shirahama 

A Touch of Magic

In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with a gift for magic. Resigned to her un-magical life, Coco is about to give up on her dream to become a witch… until the day she meets Qifrey, a mysterious, traveling magician. After secretly seeing Qifrey perform magic in a way she’s never seen before, Coco soon learns what everybody “knows” might not be the truth, and discovers that her magical dream may not be as far away as it may seem…
 

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V2

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 2 by Kamome Shirahama  

Trial by Fire

Join Coco as she continues her spellbinding journey of magic and discovery!

After traveling to the mystical township of Kalhn with her new master to buy a casting wand, a strange, masked witch transports Coco and her three sister apprentices to an eerily quiet city. But they soon find out that they're not alone, and they encounter a ferocious dragon! Do these fledgling witches have what it takes to defeat the fire-breathing beast, or will their plans and lives go up in flames?!
 

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V3

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 3 by Kamome Shirahama  

An Inky Investigation

Cast yourself into the world of witches as Qifrey chases after the dark mysteries of the Brimmed Caps!

With some quick thinking and ingenuity, Coco and her fellow classmates use their growing magic skills to save some locals from a grim fate. But this triumph nearly turns to tragedy as the Knights Moralis threaten the young witches with severe punishment for disturbing the natural order of magic. Qifrey convinces the Knights to overlook this issue, but a peculiar happening related to this incident puts him onto the trail of the same forbidden magic that brought Coco into his atelier. This may be Qifrey's only chance to come into contact with the Brimmed Caps, but is he in over his head to engage in this treacherous pursuit on his own?
 

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Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 4 by Kamome Shirahama  

Twisted Paths 

Can Coco and her friends pass their most harrowing test yet? Or will the nefarious Brimmed Caps end their journey towards witch-hood?!

Now that Coco has been fully accepted into Qifrey's Atelier, it's time for her and her colleagues to move onto the next test: The Sincerity of the Shield. Passing the test involves escorting some feathery friends to their nesting grounds, which sounds simple enough, except that the path before the young witches is a winding road filled with ancient magical traps! The test must also be completed in a group, and there's one witch-in-training from outside of Qifrey's atelier who doesn't seem to have the confidence to make the cut. To top it all off, a Brimmed Cap lurks in the shadows, waiting to attack...
 

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Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 5 by Kamome Shirahama  

Belly of the Beast

In the depths of the Serpentback Cave, a brimmed cap casts its murky shadow upon Qifrey and his apprentices. The brimmed cap's dark magic has transformed Euini into a wild beast, and Coco, Tetia, and a critically injured Qifrey find themselves surrounded by the venomous stares of the cursed Romonons.

In the face of doom, these witches must once again find a path to safety using their wits and their unique qualities, but will that be enough as they battle against a powerful new enemy who doesn't play by the rules?
 

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V6

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 6 by Kamome Shirahama  

Follow the Smoke

Coco and her peers follow Olruggio and Luluci as they deftly ferry a wounded Qifrey to the underwater Great Hall where witches gather. To their surprise, Beldaruit of the Three Wise Ones awaits the young apprentices at the bottom of the ocean... And he's willing to offer another trial after Agott's and Richeh's was cut short. But the spells and tests of Beldaruit are as much a mystery to unfold as his past, and Coco may be the only one who can put the pieces together and close in on the startling truth...
 

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V7

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 7 by Kamome Shirahama  

The Price of Knowledge

As the new trial comes to an end, one of Coco's rewards from Beldaruit the Wise is the story of Qifrey's past and how he came to desire the mysteries of magic. Feeling a connection with her own desire to save her mother, Coco departs for the source of all answers: the Tower of Tomes. But it is a perilous journey to make on her own, and the secrets held within could sway even the most virtuous of witches...
 

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V8

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 8 by Kamome Shirahama  

Chains of Fate

After finding success together in their second trials, Coco and her friends return to the warmth of the atelier. Before long, they are approached by Tartah from Kalhn, and he needs their help setting up shop at the thrilling witches' festival, Silver Eve! But to design a contraption to sell there, the young students must consider the power of magic—at once delightful, beneficial, and potentially harmful. As Coco makes preparations alongside Tartah, she's reunited with Custas, a boy who was saved by Coco once before, but is convinced that luck will never shine on him again...
 

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V9

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 9 by Kamome Shirahama  

At the Borderline

With their magic contraptions in hand, Coco and her friends head to Ezrest for the annual festival, Silver Eve! The cobblestone streets of the crown city are lined with vibrant tents, and visitors from across the land partake in reunions and greetings anew. Here, witches, royals, the Knights Moralis, and even the Three Wise converge—each party carrying with them their private motivations and powerful histories. However, the bright lights and merriment lure in the uninvited as well…
 

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Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 10 by Kamome Shirahama  

For Those in Need

During their heated reunion, Custas introduces his old friends to Ininia, a girl who is loyal to one of the Brimmed Caps. Suddenly, the young witch binds Coco and Tartah to a promise: The two must partake in the Silver Eve Procession. But to do so, they must conjure up a new spell, and quickly. As the weight of many secrets bears down on her, Coco cannot turn to Qifrey or her friends. When she happens upon Dagda, she sees his chest is marked with a forbidden magic...
 

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Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 11 by Kamome Shirahama  

The Brightest Minds

Silver Eve, a time for witches and normal folk to come together, nears its final day. At the procession, witches from all walks will have an opportunity to secure an audience with the king—if they display an exceptional spell. In an attempt to help Dagda and Custas, Coco desperately trieds to concoct something but becomes frozen with fear. The only one who sees her in crisis is Agott, whose aid might bring them closer to the king... but farther from everything they once knew.
 

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V12

Witch Hat Atelier Vol. 12 by Kamome Shirahama  

On Order


Anime Announcement 

Descriptions adapted from the publisher.
By Charissa on May 20, 2024