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REVIEW: Wandering Witch - The Journey of Elaina Novels 1-3




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ab2143



Joined: 09 Jan 2021
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 4:48 pm Reply with quote
I agree the third light novel is weakest volume so far. I especially disliked ‘The Serial Slasher’ (chapter 13) story. The culprit was quite lame.

Wished the anime adapted more stories from the second volume of the light novel. I would have preferred it if they adapted ‘Before the Snow Melts’ over ‘Retroactive Grief.’

I bought fourth volume but haven’t started it yet. From what Shiraishi said in the afterword of volume 3, Elaina will still be present but there will also be two protagonists who stay in different countries and solve problems in the countries they’re in. Hmm...

I hope we see less of Saya in the fourth volume. I also find her unbearable.
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dm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:49 pm Reply with quote
Rebecca, have you read (the only) Kino's Journey collection of stories that's been translated into English? The description of Elaina's journeys sounds similar to Kino's.

At any rate, thanks for this review, I will have to pick up these books.
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Princess_Irene
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 7:56 pm Reply with quote
dm wrote:
Rebecca, have you read (the only) Kino's Journey collection of stories that's been translated into English?


I have! I've always been sad that no more came out - the vibe really is similar and I think Kino is in some ways a more interesting protagonist than Elaina. I mentioned it in the review as well, but I also am very strongly reminded of Italo Calvino's novel-in-short-stories Invisible Cities. That one doesn't have a protagonist per se, or at least not one like Elaina or Kino, but the descriptions are phenomenal and it has a wonderful dreamlike quality. (Like all of my favorite Calvino novels, now that I think about it...)

#919730 wrote:
I especially disliked ‘The Serial Slasher’ (chapter 13) story. The culprit was quite lame.


Agreed - and what happened after the "resolution," spoiler[with Elaina just regrowing her hair,] just made it even more irritating.
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dm
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Gosh, I thought I'd read your review carefully, but I missed the Kino and Calvino mentions, I apologize. I seem to have skipped over that entire paragraph.
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Yune Amagiri



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PostPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2021 5:53 am Reply with quote
Not adapting "Before the Snow Melts" was kind of a let down for me, i've just finished reading the 4th vol and so far no other short story managed to call forth as much emotions in me as this one, if a second season were to be announced i hope some skipped stories from previous volumes would get picked too, of course only if it doesn't make inconsistent with the plot which would be the case with most of them.
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Agent355



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:54 am Reply with quote
Hmm...I loved the art and animation of the anime, but the focus on Elaina’s vanity, the amoral nature of the stories, and the tonal shifts to often poorly executed comedy (the comedy was especially poor when it was also centered on Elaina’s vanity or Saya’s obsession) really turned me off. The worst story was the tale of the serial killer—spoiler[it fundamentally misrepresented the effects of childhood trauma and equated self-defense with cold blooded murder in an effort to appear more shocking and edgy than any attempt at realism could possibly be. It was outright offensive to me]. Are the stories as presented in the books better at avoiding moral pitfalls and Elaina praising her own looks and talent constantly?
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Yune Amagiri



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2021 3:55 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
Are the stories as presented in the books better at avoiding moral pitfalls and Elaina praising her own looks and talent constantly?


Elaina's narcissism is an everlasting part of the serie,spoiler[ In vol.4, a guard who read her diary asked her " Is the Ashen witch in love with herself ?" to which she replied " I suppose she is, yes"].

For the matter of the moral pitfalls, it depend of where everyone's own threshold lie. It was never an issue for me but i can understand why certain short stories might feel uncomfortable for some.
If it can help you to consider reading it, only few short stories might make you feel that way, also as Rebecca said, while not bad, the anime fall short in comparison to the original work, some subtle changes were made without much meaning other than plot consistency. Maybe you might find yourself enjoying the short stories you didn't like in the anime.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 5:15 pm Reply with quote
While this review is for the LN's and not the manga, it did intrigue me enough to order volume 1 of the manga. I tend to prefer manga over LN's personally. I already read enough books as is heh.

Have you checked out the manga Rebecca? Anyone else? Do the LN's and manga follow each other relatively closely?
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Yune Amagiri



Joined: 28 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 6:10 pm Reply with quote
Psycho 101 wrote:
Do the LN's and manga follow each other relatively closely?


Not really, chronologically the manga has been faithful except for 1 chapter, however, like the anime did, the manga skipped multiple chapters.
So far, a little more than half of the 1st vol has been adapted, not even 20% of the 2nd vol and only 1 chapter of the 3rd, it's still ongoing but the only chapter from the 3rd volumes is the 9th out of 14 so most of the 3rd volumes has already been skipped.

I consider the manga to be a good complement to the LN as the subtle changes compared to the original work are much more meaningful and clever than the ones from the anime but you're gonna miss a good chunk if you focus only on the manga. Also, knowing that manga adaptations of LN tend to be axed really soon, i wouldn't be surprised if the current volume which should end at the end of 3rd one from the LN, would be the last one.
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Princess_Irene
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:04 am Reply with quote
I second what Yune Amagiri said. Smile I like the LNs best, but I'll take the manga over the anime - the anime, I felt, really played up aspects of Elaina that aren't important, or at least interpreted them in a way that made them off-putting, such as her supposed arrogance. I didn't get that feeling from her at all in the novels and not much in the manga, or at least not frequently.
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Psycho 101
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:34 pm Reply with quote
So basically if I want the true full story grab the LN's. I know more often than not manga tend to diverge some from them, but I know some are better than others at adapting the majority of the LN story. Well, if the first volume of the manga grabs me I might invest in the LN's as well. The only other 2 series I've double dipped with LN and manga are Spice & Wolf, and Strike the Blood.
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