Wizard's Soul isn't a great manga, but it definitely felt unique and has a nice premise going for it in the beginning. The cute art and card game shenanigans kept me going for the rest of the series, and the premise alone makes the manga very memorable. Its first couple of chapters were definitely strong, and I could give them a 7 or so on their own. However, it never really takes that next step into something more, and instead kind of reiterates itself over its single tournament arc, ending quickly over a period of little progress.
The protagonist Manaka is the star of the show.
She twists the card game MC archetype by primarily playing "permission," a style of deck that relies on counter-spells to prevent opponents from doing anything. Naturally, she gets a lot of hate for this, and she knows it and hates herself for it. This is the primary and -- for the most part -- only conflict that drives the manga. She's forced in a situation where she must play card games, despite only knowing to play in this distasteful style and having conscious aversion to the game. Seeing Manaka win with her impressive skills in spite all of this gave me most of my enjoyment from reading. It helped that the card game itself felt like a real MTG clone that looked decently fun to play.
The problem starts when the tournament begins and steals all of the panel space that could have been used for development. Manaka develops really slowly across every match, so much of the interest in these matches instead come from her opponents and the card game antics. From a chapter-to-chapter perspective, they can be entertaining, but afterward there just isn't enough. While her opponents can be amusing, most of them are kind of flat and become relegated to commentators for the rest of Manaka's matches. Manaka doesn't really interact with them or anyone besides her obvious love interest a couple of times. There isn't much to set up future opponents to look forward to besides a few pages before the match's chapter. When the tournament really starts, the tournament venue becomes the manga's only relevant setting. None of the characters DO anything outside of the tournament matches. There are a few (mostly flashback) chapters that do attempt to flesh out the characters a bit, but while they do a decent job giving the reader a sense of what the characters are about, they fail to make me actually care about them. I would have loved to see some of these characters go out and have fun, discuss things about the overall card game scene, or play short little practice games to foreshadow upcoming developments. While the side characters do talk among themselves, they all feel so disconnected from each other, never doing much except talk about Manaka and the current match. It's not enough for me to be told about these characters' personalities; I need to be able to see it through their actions, but the manga doesn't give me much to work with. The card games are cool, but after a while, it was just too many matches and not enough personality.
It doesn't surprise me that this manga ended so quickly. It felt like that after Manaka's history was revealed and played with a little, the manga didn't build enough other interest for it to live past that. This has the side effect of making the ending, while short and possibly abrupt, feel oddly fitting for a series that ran out of good ideas in its first volume or two. If there is anything good to say about the ending, then it would be that it wasn't disappointing.
That doesn't take away from the strength of those first couple of chapters. If you ever had the slightest interest in card games and want a slightly more grounded and cynical take on it, I definitely recommend reading up until a few matches into the tournament. I would only really recommend the rest of the manga for fans of the cute characters and card game strategy.
TL;DR: I'd call it a hidden gem in card game manga. It's made for people who enjoy card games already. It's short enough that it's worth a shot even if you don't play card games. I really recommend it.
Wizard's Soul is a card game manga for card game players. A lot of the terminology and play is probably going to fly above the head of most people who don't play card games. Having experience in card games takes this manga from okay to very good almost immediately. It's hard to talk deck types without going into spoiler territory but the kind of deck the
main character uses is a deck that's really fun to win with.
The card game, being one that doesn't have a real-life card game (like a lot of other card game manga), is based off of a minor mix of some other card games. It's mostly based on Magic: the Gathering, but has some elements of Yu-Gi-Oh thrown in there. The numbers may be misleading at first but it's just MTG values x500.
No manga is without its faults and one of my complaints would be that the beginning kinda waffles around a bit in terms of whether it wants to focus on the drama between the characters or whether it wants to focus on the mind games between characters and the matches themselves. Another would be the plotline around the external antagonists is very not fleshed out, but the focus is really on the card game and the love of the game in the face of bad experiences. That isn't to say that there isn't drama between the characters, though. It's just that it isn't as important as people may like.
The art is fine, it's nothing to write home about but it doesn't need to be. There's nothing I would call bad in the way of art. It does what it needs to do to get the manga going and the card art is about what you would expect.
Overall, Wizard's Soul is a very good manga that was written by a card game player, for card game players. The art is passable, the plot is a little light but not the focus, and the characters are interesting but not quite fleshed out enough for my liking. Honestly though, for as short as this manga is, a slight tweak like maybe fleshing out every opponent more than they did would have made the entire manga about them, instead of our main character.
As of now, i've only read half of the story for only half is translated and available . If you need a finished story then you can leave, because you'll feel frustrated.
[In a few words]
For now, a good read, especially if you used to play card games, a story about a girl, her past, her love life, her ability to survive in a wordl where everything that matters is your ability to play cards.
== Objective part ==
It faces the struggle of a quite unique girl in a world ruled by a card game. I'd say it is light drama, and the sroty revolves around the
character development of Manaka.
The main character Manaka is given depth continously making the a good character development along the storyline.
I like it, there's not much to say about it, it's not breathtaking but it's way better than some other mangas.
== Subjective Part ==
Ever played Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokemon or Magic ? Well if you did (like me) you'll find yourself remembering some of the struggles when you did, getting rare cards. People buying cards for thousands of dollars. Or playing against cancer deck.
This is considered as drama, but it's a drama where emotions flow and explode like mangaka like to do, it's a more suble and mature drama where emotions are more hidden.
I think this story is also the story of the main character becoming an adult in a difficult world where everything is ruled by cards, may be it's a parallel with a world ruled by money. But it's interesting.