Good fantasy stories follow rules. Which is to say, the stories take place within worlds that bend reality’s rules yet remain internally consistent. In some cases, these stories even go so far as to make their world’s rules central to their narrative – which is the case in Kamome Shirahama’s Witch Hat Atelier.
However, the best fantasy stories are not content to spell out and stick to their rules. Instead, the best fantasies break their rules in surprising, dramatic, and often foreshadowed ways. Which again, is what Witch Hat Atelier does. More than anything else, it is Witch Hat Atelier‘s constant, clever focus on breaking and bending its own rules that makes it worth reading.