Witch Watch Chapter 3: The Problem With First Impressions

Screenshot from Witch Watch Chapter 3

The beginning of a new week can only mean one thing: time for new Weekly Shonen Jump! This is where Jacob investigates the latest and greatest in the magazine, telling you what’s worth your time and what’s not. You can find coverage of other series under the tag Jump Time. Here’s Witch Watch chapter 3.

Here’s the thing about first impressions: they’re often entirely wrong. I knew this when I gave my first thoughts on Witch Watch chapter 1 two weeks ago, which is why I ended my review with ‘I’ve been wrong before when it comes to debut chapters, and I’ll continue to be wrong again.’ Nevertheless, I didn’t expect to be proven so wrong so quickly.

Witch Watch chapter 3 is really, really good. It’s funny, heartwarming, and fits in almost too well with the theme of this article: Moi and Niko are making their high school debut and want to make the best first impression possible. Of course, for Niko this means not admitting that she’s a witch and getting up to any magical shenanigans, but Moi has his own set of problems to deal with, too.

By now, the structure of Witch Watch is becoming clear: each chapter is probably going to focus on one of Niko’s magic spells and explore the chaos it can cause in a specific situation. Last week, the ‘lighten’ spell was used to hilarious consequences not only to reduce Moi’s weight, but also change his personality. This week’s chapter 3, meanwhile, is all about ‘embiggen’ and how Niko’s misuse of it makes for a very awkward first homeroom.

All of this comes about because Moi is too prideful to ask for Niko’s eraser, despite making a mistake while writing some notes. She tries to use embiggen to make the meager eraser on the end of his pencil a little more effective, but gets too cocky and makes his hair grow instead. In attempting to fix it, she ends up just making it worse, eventually making herself into a giant and accidentally revealing her identity as a witch, all counter to Moi’s protective wishes.

The way that the magical comedy escalates in Witch Watch chapter 3 is impeccable and really shows how much experience Kenta Shinohara has writing manga: a newbie author wouldn’t be able to pull off something like this. What’s more, Witch Watch chapter 3 even endears me to Moi somewhat as Niko’s observation of him during the eraser incident points out his tiny behaviors: it makes him kind of cute, in a way. The way that he tries to hide his enlarged arm by feigning chuunibyou is, to be honest, also gut-bustingly funny stuff.

Screenshot from Witch Watch Chapter 3

One of the few things I don’t like about Witch Watch chapter 3 is the homeroom teacher, who is apparently a ‘total otaku for manga.’ This feels quite out of place and like a cheap attempt to endear the otaku reader to her character and also set up for a Hunter x Hunter reference later on. Now, I love HxH just as much as the next Jump fan, but these things have to come about organically.

Still, it remains to be seen if the teacher will be properly developed, or whether she’ll be relegated to the background after next week. On the whole, Witch Watch chapter 3 is another excellent installment of a series that is making me eat my words every single step of the way. I’m loving it.

You can read Witch Watch chapter 3 for free via VIZ Media.

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