Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1 Review – A Fantastic and Magical Slice-of-Life

    Title: Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1
    Author: Tama Mitsuboshi
    Release Date: March 21, 2023
    Publisher: Yen Press

A cute story by Tama Mitsuboshi, Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1, centers on a girl named Mira who has a strange power that she thinks is a disease where the area around her turns into darkness whenever she starts to panic or becomes anxious about something. To control what she has, her parents send her off to a magical physician named Rei, who tries to teach Mira to open her shell.

However, as Rei tries to help Mira learn to control her powers, the two’s peaceful time in the small cottage they live in becomes interrupted by Cartos, a person from Rei’s past who soon becomes interested in Mira’s power for a mysterious reason.

At its core, Call the Name doesn’t have a looming threat; it is more so a slice-of-life story with magic. As this volume contains simple and feel-good stories of Mira trying to be more open and her life with Rei, whether it’s to wake up early and meet Rei before he leaves for work or helping him bake some food, but it also has a bit of a moving plot that is shown from time to time, such as Mira’s life before her night powers became a problem for her.

Mitsuboshi’s art style feels like a fairytale and a children’s book, which helps fit the whimsical setting of the story, as Rei’s cottage that Mira lives in feels like the kind of cottage that is found in old fairytales and despite this volume taken place in Rei’s cottage most of the time, it also shows a lot of fantastic detail from the outside of it to the in of the physician’s home and the cute small creatures that live around it.

Rei, Mira, and their friendship are the strong points of Call the Name, and the story does well, making you care for these characters and enjoy their growing friendship. Mira tries her best to make Rei proud of her, even when he already knows he’s proud of Mira with every step she takes in controlling her powers and encourages her to open up by helping around the house.

But he’s also caring. He never slips up if Mira makes a mistake and encourages her to take things at her own pace, so her night powers don’t go out of control. He’s also on the funny side most of the time and is the source of the story’s humor.

Whenever Mira becomes frightened or feels as though she has disappointed those around her, the area around her turns dark, with the setting and creatures changing in the process to accommodate the nightly theme of Mira’s power, which feels as though it symbolizes anxiety as well. The powers become active whenever Mira begins to think about what others feel about her and how it sometimes scares Mira to do things around the cottage.

And finally, Cartos, who appears in the second half of the volume and is the only other character besides Rei, Mira, and the animals around the cottage, plays a part in the story. He’s the closest the story gets to an antagonist, and he seems to be interested in Mira’s night powers in a sinister way. However, he is just as comedic as Rei while also threatening at the same time, making him an entertaining villain who’s bound to continue making an impact in future volumes.

Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1 showcases a cute little tale about controlling a mysterious power as Mira slowly improves the confidence she has within herself and gradually learns to control the powers of the night. You are bound to root for the girl to gain self-esteem for herself and one day is reunited with her parents with the help of her humorous physician.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Mira and Rei’s friendship continues from here and how they will deal with threats such as Cartos in the future. While a serious plot involving him is looming, Call the Name of the Night Vol. 1 doesn’t take itself too seriously and has a sweet dreams-esque appearance.


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