Continuing my quest for comfy isekai, we come to this gem of a title. It was just recently published back in April with the second volume coming out next month. The main reason I picked it up was again we see a female led isekai focusing on something other than action and adventure. I love comfy slice-of-life or creative isekai and fantasy, and I think this manga fits the bill. It also reminds me a bit of different isekai series that focus on creating and transforming modern-day technology for a fantasy world using magic or pure know-how. Magical Artisan Dahlia focuses on how modern technology commonly found in the main character’s original country of Japan can be recreated using magic, her current technology, and pure creativity. It’s a story of a woman working hard to make a place for herself in what is predominantly a man’s world.
Magical Artisan Dahlia Wilts No More follows the life of Dahlia, who has been reincarnated into this world after dying from overwork in Japan. Her father happens to be a leading magical artisan, a profession that uses magical and magical items to create new technology, and she quickly takes after him, learning everything she can. Aided by her memories of her past life, she sets out to create new things the people of her world have yet to imagine. However, she finds herself limited by her status as a woman when her father arranges a marriage between her and his senior apprentice, setting off a series of events that leads her to a quest to better her life and create new ideas for herself again.
Megumi Sumikawa, the artist for this manga, has a really dynamic way of drawing and setting up the pages to lead the reader through the story. I found myself really enjoying her art and how everything was laid out. Even in the beginning, we are shocked into the story of Dahlia’s reincarnation through the combination of the author, Hisaya Amagishi’s, writing and Sumikawa’s art, leading us into the rest of the story. I think they both work well together with Sumikawa bringing out the drama within the story’s plot and emotional themes through the pages.
The pages aren’t too full of exposition, all things considered, and at times they feel light with emotion displayed through the artistic effects and focus on the character’s facial expressions. And at times it switches to a dynamic and exciting moment of magic that is captured well with Sumikawa’s skills in expression, movement, and contrast. I was really impressed by some of the pages, and I can’t wait to see how future volumes look as we move away from the set-up to the real plot into the meat of the story.
The one complaint I have about this volume is that the plot felt a little rushed. However, it tends to happen a lot with first volumes as they set up the world and story, trying to bring readers up to speed before getting into the meat of the story that the author actually wants to tell. We see this here as we quickly transition from her childhood learning under her father in one chapter, to meeting her father’s apprentice, to her first big invention, to her engagement to the apprentice, to their breakup, and then finally the construction of her business and the meeting of what I believe to be the next love interest. It’s a very fast-paced first volume, but all the background is there to suck me in and make me itch to read the next one.
I can really see the potential in this series. We have a reincarnation isekai similar to Ascendance of a Bookworm where she uses her past knowledge of Japan to bring to life new creations. With her father’s legacy at her back and her own skill, she quickly earns the respect of those around her. Her first big invention, that of water-resistant fabric, earns her instant fame and notoriety, but she quickly faces the challenges many women face when it comes to her new Fiance, his own quest for fame and fortune, and their failing relationship. What we see develop is a story of rediscovering one’s true self after a controlling relationship and the quest to make a life and a name for oneself in a challenging world. I think I’m really going to like to see how the conflict with her ex-fiance plays out and what kinds of things she comes up with next.
We get a touch of romance in this series. We see the dark side of it with her relationship with her father’s apprentice and his growing controlling tendencies and jealousy of her intelligence. He forces her slowly into hiding more and more of herself, and eventually tries to take the credit for her inventions. Then breaks off the engagement when someone new and prettier comes along. It’s a sad story that makes you feel for and root for her to succeed. Then we see hints that a new love interest may be coming into the picture with a dashing knight she saves, so I’m really looking forward to seeing how they reconnect and if it might become something like The Alchemist Who Survived, in that he becomes a companion and protector for her.
The next volume comes out in two weeks or so, and I am really looking forward to it. I’d highly suggest checking this manga out if you enjoy slice-of-life isekai as much as I do. Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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