Hibiki no Mahou

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Hibiki no Mahou (or Hibiki's Magic) is a fantasy manga series that centers around a young girl named Hibiki. This manga is a collaboration between writer Jun Maeda, mostly known for his contributions to many Key Visual Arts visual novels, and Rei Izumi, artist for .hack//Legend of the Twilight Bracelet.

In Hibiki no Mahou, Hibiki is the apprentice to a skilled wizard by the name of Shirotsuki. Hibiki has absolutely no talent for magic, however, and her only real skill is making tea. Despite this, she serves and studies with her teacher everyday in his humble research facility in the woods until one day, one of his magical experiments goes horribly wrong. The facility burns to the ground, Shirotsuki's soul becomes trapped within the body of a gusk (a squirrel-like animal) and Hibiki is essentially forced to fend for herself. With nowhere left to live, she goes to the big city, and finds herself taken in by the famous Kamisaid Magic Academy, where Hibiki is (forcibly) granted the position of professor.

And thus begins her journey into the world of magic.....

Hibiki no Mahou, while considered cute and Moe, surprisingly breaks free of this appearance by delving into the darker side of magic and its consequences on magicians and normal people alike. Major themes throughout the work focus on love and deep bonds between people, and arguably inspiration and hope.

Tropes used in Hibiki no Mahou include:
  • Artificial Human: Shi-chan.
  • Amnesiac Lover: Shirotsuki and Yui. Especially heartbreaking because he forgets her multiple times.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: Using magic always comes with a price of some kind. It can be physical pain, such as healing someone at the cost of your own eyesight, or mental, such as losing your memories. Ahito fits the former, Shirotsuki, the latter.
    • Actually, Ahito's sacrifice seems to be simply his 'life'. The loss of eyesight is probably because of the experiments that were performed to give him magic in the first place.
  • Blood From the Mouth: When Ahito was experimented on as a child, the pain he suffered through often involved him coughing up blood.
  • Cast From Lifespan: Ahito, Asuma, and Shi-chan most notably suffer from this.
  • Child Mage: Hibiki, although she isn't very good at magic.
  • Cool Shades: Ahito has a pair of these, although they do seem to serve the purpose of blocking his healing eye power when he's not using it.
  • Curse: Ikko specializes in these.
    • Ahito finds a cursed harmonica later on.
  • Deconstruction: Of the 'magic academy' genre, and using magic as a whole.
  • Eye Scream: Ahito's surgeries involve a needle to the eye.
  • Equivalent Exchange
  • Fridge Horror: All magic requires a sacrifice. What's Hibiki sacrificing?
    • Although in the beginning it's highly probable that her repeated failures in using magic in the beginning is because that she didn't sacrifice anything yet.
  • Geometric Magic: Shirotsuki specializes in magic circles.
  • Good Bad Translation: In the Tokyopop release of the manga, Ikko (イッコ) and Yukko's (ユッコ ) names were translated as "Itsuko" and "Yutsuko." However, this is incorrect, since both names contain a sokuon, a symbol that doubles the consonant that comes after it. The sukuon in their names is shown as a small "tsu" (ッ). The translators interpreted the sukuon as a full-sized tsu, instead of doubling the "コ" that came after.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Yui, Shirotsuki's lover.
  • Heroic Willpower
  • I Know What You Fear: Shirotsuki hits Ahito with a spell that has this effect to stop him from attacking Hibiki.
  • Immortality: Shirotsuki's research was based on finding a way to live forever through swapping souls between bodies.
  • Magical Incantation
  • Make a Wish: The demon girl that appears at the intersection once used to grant wishes to passersby, until she stopped when people started becoming greedy.
  • Magicians Are Wizards: Asuma is as capable of sleight of hand tricks as he is powerful and very real magic.
  • Manly Tears: Poor Shirotsuki...
    • Ahito too, regarding Mizuki's fate.
  • Megane: Shirotsuki and Ahito
  • Mood Whiplash: Awww, look at the cute characters! ...Why are these stories so sad!?
  • Non-Human Sidekick: The squirrel-like gusk that currently holds the soul of Shirotsuki, Hibiki's teacher.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Once more, Shi-chan.
  • The Power of Friendship/The Power of Love
  • Series Hiatus: Hibiki hasn't appeared in Kadokawa Shoten's Comp Ace since 2008, due to artist Rei Izumi's health. In January of 2010, however, writer Jun Maeda says he'll still continue the story after Izumi's condition improves.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: The homunculus Lord Shiraasan (a.k.a. Shi-chan), who often wields a rocket launcher.
  • Sugar Apocalypse: The cute character designs contrast with the serious tone and subject matter.
  • Swiss Army Tears: Yutsuko's daughter's magic tears are used in a potion to save Shi-chan.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Inverted, as using magic too much can shorten your life span or potentially kill you on the spot.
  • Wizarding School: Kamisaid Magic Academy.
  • Woobie of the Week
  • Younger Than They Look: Asuma's sacrifice for his magic is that he ages much more quickly than normal.
    • Shiraasan qualifies, despite looking like a five year old. This is because she's probably closer to a few weeks old instead.