Despite being completely hopeless at endeavors like farming and cooking, Liselotte, a young lady of noble birth, picks up and moves to a remote land with her twin attendants Alto and Anna. At the easternmost reaches of her new home lies a forest where it's said witches roam. When Lise one day finds herself at the receiving end of an attack by one such witch, she's saved by the sudden appearance of a young man named Engetsu. Though they're strangers, Engetsu is remarkably similar to someone she already knows...?
*Disclaimer: Before I get on with my review, it should be noted that this series is listed as 'finished' with 5 volumes and 31 chapters here on myanimelist.net, but unless you've taken the time to read the entire synopsis listed here, or have had the foresight to do research, you may not be aware that the series has been put on an indefinite hiatus due to Natsuki Takaya's health (mangaka), and has no immediate plans to continue the story. So, technically the series is 'finished', but not completed, meaning that there's a very good chance that the story will never have a satisfying ending or
conclusion, which may be frustrating for a lot of readers. Take that into consideration when you read my review, and especially before you start reading the actual story. It deserves that. That being said, the TLDR is at the bottom.*
Liselotte & the Witch's Forest is a fantasy shojo about an exiled princess who is doing her best to live her life to the fullest despite living in a strange and dangerous place where witches are rumoured to dwell. Sounds like a basic fairy tale, right? Well, that's only the summary. What really makes this story compelling, is its darker elements that come into play one by one, pulling the plot forward. Liselotte to Majo no Mori deals with death, dismemberment, assassination, murder, sacrifice, love, possession, isolation, and many other mature themes.
One of its focal themes is the concept of what makes a person human, and how far a person will go to be with the one they love. Truly, Natsuki Takaya continues to blend fantasy, romance, tragedy, and drama seamlessly together into a genre that can only be described as a balancing act of light and dark. Despite its lighthearted overtones and appearance, Liselotte & the Witch's Forest is more than just your average shojo fairy tale; care not to be fooled by its beautiful artwork and carefree protagonist. You are in for a much deeper story than what lies on the surface. Take a dive and see for yourself.