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Published November 17, 2019

Spell of Desire is a five-volume Josei series that is full of paranormal romance fun. It follows Kaoruko Mochizuki (called Koko for short), a woman working at a peaceful herbal tea shop in Hokkaido, Japan. She discovers that her estranged mother is a witch, and has to deal with her own growing powers, as well as her new guardian from a witch coven, Kaname, who seals her rampaging magic with a kiss!

If this premise doesn’t sound a bit silly, you’d be lying. This is a series where all the frothy fun moments and serious talk of magic lore you just have to take in stride. At five volumes it’s not a huge investment, but even with its shorter length, it still packs enough punch to deserve to be on anyone’s bookshelf; the concepts explored are given just enough time to be well developed and satisfying throughout its run. The series is published by Shojo Beat (as you can guess from the label) and whilst they mainly publish shoujo manga, recently they’ve also been slipping sneakily plenty of Josei titles on the same imprint. This makes me particularly happy, as a diversifying of audience is a great.

From the authors notes at the end of Volume 5, I get the feeling that the series was cut off short, which is a shame as I feel it would’ve been an even better work had it been allowed to continue on longer. That being said, the final volume does show Koko as finally coming into her own powers and individual strength, which I greatly enjoyed seeing.

The author, Tomu Ohmi uses a clean style of writing and art. Her use of colour on the covers is particularly impressive, as seen below in Volume 4. This soft style perfectly gets across the theme of sensuality that’s embedded in Spell of Desire.

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Koko and Kaname on the front cover of Volume 4

This comic is intended for adults, and there are of sex scenes. Nothing absurdly graphic, – however – it can get fairly racy in parts.

Koko, our witch-in-training- is drawn voluptuously. Her clothes have a very down to earth feeling perfectly suited to her profession as an herbalist. But Ohmi also likes to deck her out in flowing robes and jewels, as seen above with the black vine embroidery on the light grey bodice; and the pearls strewn across Koko’s neck and arms, along with the lace gloves and blue rings. Koko’s magic powers are shown is by having tendrils of vine sprawling across the panels is a lovely artistic touch.

Kaname, our male lead, fits the bill of tall, dark and handsome. He has that emotionally-tortured hero vibe, while also being depicted as human enough to not become too silly. He brings two familiars with him (magical animal who serve their masters) called Unicorn and Dragon, a cat and small puppy, respectively. They’re super fluffy, and Ohmi obviously had a lot of fun drawing them!

A fun, short series Josei series that deserves to be added to your bookshelf.

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