I bought this and the second volume from Book Outlet because it kept popping up there. I always clicked on it because I like the cover. I didn’t even bother looking up what it’s about. I just went ahead and bought it for the cover 🤣.
How to Treat Magical Beasts: Mine and Master’s Medical Journal, Vol. 1 by Kaziya (illus.), transl. by Angela Liu
Manga — fantasy
How to Treat Magical Beasts: Mine and Master’s Medical Journal
In an age of science and forgotten magic, mythic beasts are beginning to disappear from the world. A young girl named Ziska, born into a line of mages, becomes the apprentice to a veterinarian of regular animals–but Ziska’s interests lie with beasts of a more magical nature. Can she help these creatures of legend survive in a world that is leaving them behind?! (Goodreads)
This is a fantasy story set in a world where magic seems to be dying out (or vanishing) as people rely more on science. The story focuses on a girl named Ziska, who’s an apprentice to a veterinarian. However, being a descendant of mages, she wants to use her magical abilities and what she’s learning to care for magical beasts. At first she attempts to do so on her own since her master doesn’t seem to have an interest in magical beasts, but he later comes around to her way of thinking and she realizes that her master knows a lot more about magical beasts than he initially let on.
It’s a sweet story, charming. It’s also a bit slow and quite quiet — not a lot of action, more Ziska and her master observing animals, helping them, and discussing what they observed. I was a little bored by it. The magical animals they found and aided were interesting, but they weren’t enough to allay the creeping boredom that increased as I read. I just didn’t care for Ziska and her master. I kept wanting instead to know Ziska’s backstory — how did she start apprenticing with the master dude and where’s her family and how old is she because I keep thinking she’s 12 or younger. I also didn’t care for the master guy and his aloof attitude.
So… yeah, this one wasn’t my speed.
This makes the third manga I’ve tried: Fullmetal Alchemist (I count all the volumes I read as one for this), Skull-face Bookseller Honda-san, and now How to Treat Magical Beasts: Mine and Master’s Medical Journal. All three have different styles, but How to Treat Magical Beasts was closer to the style I’m used to from the Fullmetal Alchemist books.
I prefer this style. It’s not as busy as Skull-Face Bookseller, and the illustrations are smoother and crisper. Also, because it’s not busy, the illustrations and text have an easier, smoother flow from panel to panel. I also like such illustration styles in my comics too. I don’t know how else to describe it other than smooth and crisp and maybe well balanced because it’s not too busy.
Overall: ★★☆☆☆ ½
I like the illustrations, but the story was a touch boring. However, I plan to read the second volume since I already own it.
Buy | Borrow | Bypass
I wish I did.
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Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill (illus.)
Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill (illus.)
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling (illus.)