After the war between witches and the church, magic has now come into widespread use. Albus, a participant in the war, is the headmaster at the Kingdom of Wenias’ College of Magic, whose students include Saybil, a young man with no memory of events before he started school and who is at the bottom of his class, thanks to his low grades and inability to use magic without losing control. Even so, Albus selects him to become the mage of a new witch village, sending him on his way with several others, including the cheerful and talented Hort, the honest-to-a-fault beastfallen, Kudo, and, against Albus’ wishes, the troublesome witch, Loux Krystas. However, the group divides before even setting out, which could pose a problem, as danger lurks along the way.
Despite never having watched or read The Grimoire of Zero, a series featuring Albus and acting as the original series to this spin-off, I’ve been anticipating The Dawn of the Witch since reading the opening volume of the manga. And I would say that episode one captures that volume’s elements very well. There’s depth to the world-building here, mostly revealed early on through the discussion of events from Grimoire, but also more plainly demonstrated by an early emphasis on the divisions between the various types and species of peoples. Kudo, my favorite from the opening manga volume, receives less time than the other main characters here, but his good qualities and tsundere nature are already shining through, while hints of Hort’s depth of character (she’s very Yui Yuigahama-esque) are already being dropped.
The most charm, though, oozes from the Dawn Witch herself, Loux Krystas. Voiced by Rimuru’s (That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime) seiyuu, Miho Okazaki, she steals every scene she appears in, voicing insufferable lines with such cuteness that I was left chuckling rather than infuriated. Loux is a major part of the charm of the story, which otherwise might fall into typical fantasy anime / isekai terrority, though the same could be said for the entire main cast (Loux’s staff—as in, “You would not part an old man from his walking stick?” staff—included). I can’t wait for them to come all together and start advancing this tale, revealing the humor, charm, darkness, and creativity that is yet to come, but which is already at hand in small doses here in episode one, and in the OP.
The Dawn of the Witch can be streamed through Crunchyroll.