A Cat from Our World and the Forgotten Witch, Vol. 1

Seven Seas. (A Cat from Our World and the Forgotten Witch). Jan. 2024. 168p. tr. from ­Japanese by Kathryn Henzler . pap. $13.99. ISBN 9798888432594.
Gr 7 Up–One world was saved, and in another, a cat died. Now, an elderly witch named Jeanne from the surviving universe summons the late cat as a guardian beast, only to get something she didn’t quite expect: In true feline fashion, the cat Mew isn’t exactly compliant. There is, however, one shared trait that grounds their developing bond—they are both lonely after loss. Madam Jeanne, once savior to the world, now lives as the isolated witch in the Forest of No Return. She watches as people hero-worship her youth while simultaneously ostracizing her current, unrecognizable self as a “creepy old woman.” Between this and timely, interwoven flashbacks, readers come to understand her personality immediately. Mew also has their motivations solidly established. While it looks like current events will force the characters to confront their pasts, Kashiwaba also sets up a story of finding comfort in others once again. Her art sincerely portrays each moment’s emotional beat through character expression, framing, and pacing. This includes the childlike actions of the tabby to the gruff woman’s desperate summoning. Overall, this first volume has a good balance of warmth, regrets, and humor.
VERDICT For those who enjoyed the series “Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End” and are looking for something less bittersweet, this healing isekai manga of unlikely friendship is one to recommend.

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