Good Witch of the West Vol. #02 (

By:Erin Jones
Review Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Release Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Noriko Ogiwara / Haruhiko Momokawa
Translated by:Adrienne Beck
Adapted by:Barbara Randall Kesel

What They Say
When strange cloaked men come barging into the castle to capture Firiel and Rune, Firiel's mysterious background is slowly revealed to her. For Rune's sake, Firiel escapes and befriends The Count. Unbeknownst to her, The Count imprisoned and sent her parents to exile in the past. Does Firiel know what she is getting herself into?

The Review
What They Say: Narrowly escaping the destruction of her home, Firiel rushes to the Count's castle, where she begs Adale and Eusis to help her find Rune. When they track him down at the Star Queen's estate, Firiel and Adale hatch a plan to save Firiel's friend themselves, and the two go in fully disguised. But when they stumble upon the black-cloaked men who destroyed Firiel's home, the rescue turns into a fight for survival!

Content: Having escaped from the men that took Rune captive, Firiel turns to her newly-discovered cousin Adale and her adopted brother Eusis to help rescue Rune. Although Adale is eager to offer assistance, it takes tearful pleading from Firiel to convince Eusis. But when gathering intelligence and planning the attack results in a delay, Firiel becomes physically ill with worry. When her former caretaker Tabitha arrives at the castle, Firiel convinces both the older woman and Adale to join her in rescuing Rune. They are intercepted by Eusis and the Roland family's army, which manages to successfully save Rune from the noble's castle in which he is being held.

But, of course, the story does not end there. Rune requires time to recover from the injuries inflicted upon him by his captors, so he and Firiel remain under the Rolands' protection at the manor. But whereas Firiel easily becomes close friends with Adale, Rune determined not to accept their hospitality easily.

When reading the five chapters offered here, I found myself pleasantly surprised at how the youth of the main characters is reinforced. Certainly, their relative ages were made clear in the first volume, but the situations they are forced into in this installment make it even more apparent. Adale's position as a Queen-in-waiting should be enough to encourage her to be rational, but she instead is more than happy to agree to Firiel's risky schemes. Eusis is the most confident and reasonable of the bunch, which makes sense considering that he is the eldest of the four main characters. However, it is the older Captain Garland, not Eusis, who ensures that Rune is rescued. Firiel's simple upbringing makes her the worst of the bunch. Her impassioned, tear-filled request that Rune be saved is touching, but her inability to wait for Eusis to act proves just how out of her depth she really is amongst the agenda-driven nobility.

Despite the action in the first half of the volume, this installment consists primarily of foreshadowing for the rest of the series. Tantalizing details are offered about the political web Firiel is being drawn into, such as Adale's mention of another queen-in-waiting, Leandra. The big plot hook, though, comes from the hints that there is something bigger at work which concerns the entire world, not just the nobles concerned with politics. Wondering exactly how this larger story will play out and how Rune and Firiel will be involved is what makes me interested in picking up the next volume. However, the huge potential for growth that each character holds is what makes me excited about it.

Mania Grade: B
Art Rating: C+
Packaging Rating: B-
Text/Translatin Rating: B
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 192
ISBN: 978-1-59816-621-7
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Good Witch of the West