Guardian of the Witch is a new Shonen Jump series from Asashi Sakano, who was previously an assistant on Black Clover and published a few other short manga stories. This series features a new fantasy setting from Sakano.
Guardian of the Witch is set in a world where evil creatures surround walled city-states, each protected by a witch. Guardians protect the witch and keep the peace in each city-state (Or so we are told).
When Guardian Fafner asks to be taken off the service of protecting Manasfa, he is told of the true nature of his role. Fafner is required to kill the witch when the leaders decide her power has become too strong.
Witches are created when teen girls are selected and evil powers are forced into their bodies against their wills. The girls who survive (about 10-20%) are forced to become witches to protect the individual cities. The story follows Fafner after he refuses to murder Manasfa and instead asks her to join him to help create a world where young women are no longer forced to be witches.
The series introduces us to a fascinating setting, a horrifically brutal world where young women are mere tools. When one young man decides to help one of these women, it upsets the status quo. There are many ways this story can go and a lot of different opportunities for honest, social commentary.
While it begins with a “Young boy saves young girl” feel, there are undercurrents that indicate the two of them will be co-equal partners in this endeavor. I hope it follows that route—Fafner as the muscle, Manasfa as the brains.
For my first impressions, I’m intrigued and will definitely check into the next chapter.
You can read Guardian of the Witch at Shonen Jump. The most current chapters are always free.