Here it is, my very first light novel review! You may have guessed as much from the trademark surprisingly long light novel title, Hello, I am a Witch and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion! (どうも、好きな人に惚れ薬を依頼された魔女です。). The English translation was released by Cross Infinite World earlier this year, and when I saw it was a heartwarming fantasy romance featuring a witch, I had a feeling it would be exactly the kind of cozy read I’ve been looking for this year.
Hello, I am a Witch and My Crush Wants Me to Make a Love Potion! is by Eiko Mutsuhana with illustrations by Vient and an English translation by Charis Messier. The story opens with a feisty yet hermit-like Good Witch of the Lake named Rose, who has harbored a four-year one-sided crush on a Royal Knight named Harij, at her wits end when Harij appears at her cottage asking her to make him a love potion.
In an effort to extend their time together, she sends him on difficult tasks to gather ingredients for the potion, knowing that once the potion has been made their limited time together will end. However, Harij catches wind of her poor diet (she subsists only on lettuce?!) and starts showing up with delicious foods from town, but Rose can’t figure out why he’d go to such kind lengths for her.
You can probably guess where this is going, but in an effort not to spoil the story beyond the basic premise, I’ll leave it there (but your guess is probably correct). It’s been a while since I read a purely romance-focused narrative, and I have to say it was a really pleasant experience! The illustrations interspersed throughout the book were always a pleasure to see, and the English translation was very solid without significant errors or oddities that took me out of the experience, aside from some of Rose’s angry outbursts which I assume were similar in the Japanese version.
In terms of the story, Rose’s four-year crush on Harij seemed quite unbelievable to someone like me who grew up not being able to go a couple of weeks without telling my crush that I liked them, but aside from that, I enjoyed seeing Rose and Harij’s relationship develop over the course of the book. If you’re looking for a fantasy narrative with major conflicts, you won’t find any here – just a nice cozy story of two characters bumbling their way through their feelings for one another, complete with silly misunderstandings due to miscommunications, and maybe a little bit of magic.
Aside from some rather predictable storytelling and a bit of annoying dialogue/internal dialogue from Rose, I quite enjoyed my time with this cute and cozy light novel. The world that surrounds the two main characters is developed enough to be interesting, particularly how witches fit into the fantasy society, but there’s no bloated lore or worldbuilding that can sometimes bog down fantasy stories.
While I felt that their story didn’t necessarily need to be continued beyond where things left off at the end of this volume, there is a second volume coming out in English in December, and I’ll be more than happy to read more of Rose’s sweet witchy days with Harij.