Such a fun title, don’t you agree? It rolls off the tongue. Greetings everyone! Welcome back to my Friday corner where I talk about BL. Today’s pick is from a recent purchase I did, and I got some interesting titles that made me want to talk about them. You’ll probably see my fresh-out-of-the-oven takes on your reader in the following days. I can already hear enthusiastic cheering in the distance!
Title: The Wise Wise Beasts of the Wizarding Wisdoms
Author & Artist: Nagabe
Status: Complete, 1 volume.
Where to read: You can find available retailers on Seven Seas’ page.
But today, it’s the beasts’ time to shine. I came across Nagabe’s work when I was cover-hunting to post on Tuesdays and later on found out that Totsukuni no Shoujo was his work too! Not only that, but I was also overjoyed when I saw one of his BLs was licensed in English. My wallet wasn’t as happy about the turn of events, but nothing could be done at that point. So, what is this Harry-Potter-but-make-it-furry-and-BL manga about?
Once upon a time, the great wizard Wisdom has granted the intellect and anatomy of humans to beasts. In turn, they built an academy where they can study wizardry and named it after Wisdom. We follow different species of students as they go about their daily lives in the academy. Every chapter is dedicated to a different couple, and while plot-wise they can be considered stand-alone, all of the students, one way or another, make cameos in different stories. This way, the volume feels connected and can avoid what some of the one-shot anthologies I’ve read suffer from.
Still, it’s a bit hard to talk about it wholly since there isn’t an arching storyline and it’s a slice-of-life manga through and through. For example, we see Alan and Eddington, a cat and a hare, in the first chapter. Eddington, feeling like he can’t have the competent and studious Alan’s attention on him, mixes a love potion that will have Alan do one thing that Eddington asks for no matter what it is and won’t remember what happened afterward. Similar to this, every chapter focuses on a different pairing, be it the students, teachers, or staff. Needless to say, the individual stories aren’t very intricate and are made up of brief instances where we meet the characters and witness a short period of their time together.
I occasionally argue that the length of a story has a lot to do with how invested we are. It’s not a definite success, of course, there have been many times I’ve dropped a series because it felt dragging; like the series kept on going just for the sake of going and have already exhausted the material at hand. However, length can give you space to flesh out the characters or the setting at hand and the detail alone has the power to engage the reader. And while Wise Wise Beasts can come out as lacking in that regard at first, each story was sweet and unique enough to keep me interested. Both the characteristics and physiological aspects of each animal were incorporated either subtly or as a plot point and that’s what truly made these otherwise ordinary plot structures stand out to me.
Overall, The Wise Wise Beasts of the Wizarding Wisdoms is a sweet and tender volume full of cute stories with interesting designs and animal facts that can be found at the end of every chapter! It can also be a good recommendation for those who are wanting to get into BL but don’t know where to start. My favorites among the stories were the ones with mischievous bats, plus the professor and the school nurse. I also had a good laugh at Nagabe’s afterword page. Spoken like a true fanboy!
What do you think? Would you be interested in reading a copy full of beasts falling in love and doing magic and just going about their lives? I recommend it if you’re looking for a calm and charming volume to read. No drama, no huge plot twists, just tender moments of friendship, and then something more. Maybe it’ll make you think “Yeah, non-humans are great,” like Nagabe hopes.
Have a nice weekend, and see you next week!
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