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Glimmer From Afar

Witch Life in a Micro Room, volume 1

By Akitaka 

20 Mar, 2024



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Akitaka’s Witch Life in a Micro Room, Vol. 1 (Rokujou Hitoma no Majo Life in the original Japanese) is the first tankōbon for Akitaka’s slice-of-life modern fantasy manga. The 2024 English translation is by Abby Lehrke.

Technology has pushed old magic aside… for the most part. A few lucky witches have found ways to parlay their magical knowledge into fame and fortune. Roommates Madge and Lilika are determined to be among that number.

Lamentably for the ambitious pair, Madge and Lilika are c‑grade witches living hand-to-mouth in an absurdly tiny, run-down apartment.

Madge is a country girl, her head filled with traditional magic of the sort that is profoundly unfashionable in the chic modern world. Her fashion sense is old-fashioned at best. Worse, she is largely uncredentialled. What employer would take a chance on a plain country mouse like her?

Lilika is prettier, in touch with the modern world and her magical talents are backed up with diplomas from recognized organizations. Alas for Lilika, her older sister’s success has smothered any ambition Lilika had. Unmotivated Lilika, seeing no way to match her sister, is profoundly lazy.

Result: each day is an adventure in which the pair struggles to find sufficient employment to earn that day’s meals. For the most part, they must settle for hunting the magically-enhanced nutria with which this Japan is apparently overrun. The pay is barely sufficient to meet their needs.

Can Madge inspire Lilika to work harder? Can Lilika teach Madge the rudiments of modern fashion? Will the pair ever parlay their skills into wealth and fame, or will they live out their days in a one-hundred square foot apartment?


Junior witches do get some social support: (woefully inadequate) subsidized housing. One wonders if the pair would be allowed to starve to death if the nutria supply failed them. I suspect that their elders would intervene.

Re the characters: Madge does not see a problem with her traditional garb, even if it is a bit old-fashioned. The needle probably won’t move on that front. Motivating Lilika, on the other hand, seems doable. If not via pride, then from Lilika’s desire to eat regularly.

Re the setting: some1 magic seems to be quite useful. One vignette centers on malfunctioning cauldrons that, when working properly, produce delicious meals. Since this is a slice-of-life about two friends, the focus isn’t on world-building2, but one must wonder just how magic got sidelined to the degree it has been. Maybe it’s just that magic is by its nature artisanal, while mundane conveniences can be mass-produced.

It could be that it’s fashionable to look down on magic. It’s clear that many of the technological choices this society makes are fashion driven3.

This manga looks to me like an amusing slice-of-life comedy about mismatched roomies, who just happen to be witches. The stakes are low (aside from looming starvation and carnivorous magically-enhanced pigs). Such personal flaws as are on display are plot-facilitating rather than reader alienating. The manga isn’t deep or life-altering in any respect, but it wasn’t trying to be.

Witch Life in a Micro Room is available here (Amazon US), here (Amazon Canada), here (Amazon UK), here (Apple Books), here (Barnes & Noble), here (Chapters-Indigo), here (Words Worth Books).

1: Lilika has a magic bat, which is cool but also not especially useful outside of tasks requiring percussive blows. Note that she doesn’t use it to reduce those nutria to mush.

2: Speaking of world-building: animals exposed to magic become outsized. The nutria are annoying, but the giant magic pigs encountered partway through the manga are life-threatening. Is this how this world’s kaiju are created?

3: Even within the world of magic, fashion rules. There are many ways to achieve personal flight, of which flying brooms are both the most uncomfortable and the one that witches must use to meet customer expectations.