Title: After-School Bitchcraft Vol. 3
Author: Yu Shimizu
Release Date: November 23, 2021
Publisher: Yen Press
After-School Bitchcraft Vol. 2 didn’t leave me with a good impression of this series. Sadly, After-School Bitchcraft Vol. 3 doesn’t do much for the series in terms of setting it apart or making it a “must-read.” However, what it does do is give readers a better idea of what to expect from the series in the future. It’s nothing groundbreaking in the least, but there are some excellent illustrations to keep us engaged.
After-School Bitchcraft Vol. 3 tells a full arc story of a strange new transfer student named Elina. Evidently, Elina is set on taking everything that means anything to Riri away from her. There’s a reason behind this that makes up the most significant story beats of the narrative, but getting there is drawn out across the chapters.
The problem is that this could have probably been wrapped up in a couple of chapters, but instead, you’ll have to wait till the end for the conclusion of these two confronting each other. Elements of the story become messy because the author doesn’t commit to transitions, and we have no idea how the characters get from one area to the next. While reading, I had no idea where these characters were fighting or how they got there.
However, the saving grace for this entire manga is the illustrations by Kazuma Ichihara. Sure, the battle scenes are quick and as hard to follow as the events, but they are really cool. Each scene is incredibly detailed as the artist expects you to slowly move your eyes across the panels to take in all of the action. Everything happens quickly, but we get further insight into Riri’s past and power.
I think the fanservice has been toned down exceptionally for this release. That was a little disappointing, considering the cover is the most revealing yet. I wish there were something to supplement the lack of progression for a volume that provided no significant story beats. I think it’s better than volume 2 because at least it’s focused, but each obstacle is resolved in the most convenient ways, which creates some haphazard moments.
After-School Bitchcraft Vol. 3 is a mess in terms of pacing and lack of any real story progression. However, if you’re sticking with this series, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect in future volumes. Regardless, there is a lack of fun moments in this volume, and it’s paced in a way that will have you wishing the entire volume didn’t revolve around this confrontation between two Riri and Elina.
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