An unconventional manga that’s part teen comedy, part quirky supernatural adventure, Sheepily Horned Witch Romi is a manga you won’t want to miss! Created by Yoichi Abe, this eccentric manga is weird, goofy and poignant all at once – a unique combination that makes for a hell of a read!
Uryuu wakes up at his school to discover that the world has been bizarrely altered while he was snoozing. All the other students are lying unconscious throughout the campus and there are odd-looking sheep everywhere. The only other person who’s currently awake is Sawada, his quirky kohai who hangs around his manga club room despite not being a member and naps all the time. Strangely, Sawada has sprouted a pair of sheep horns and seems to have acquired magic powers. She’s actually the one who broke the spell that was keeping him asleep and she even has control of the sheep monsters who’re milling about the school.
Now that Uryuu is awake, they can hang out and goof off in the school – just the two of them!
Uryuu and Sawada have a surprisingly good time – considering that they’re cut off from the rest of humanity – just doing whatever they please and enjoying each other’s company; but all is not well with the rest of the world. There are monsters roaming the area around the school that are only kept at bay by Sawada’s magic. How long can these aimless teens keep their cozy little sanctuary intact with these frightening forces trying to encroach upon it?
Sheepily Horned Witch Romi is a surreal experience; our teen protagonists inhabit a dream-like space that’s reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, with slumbering students everywhere and magical creatures dancing attendance on their horned mistress. Despite this, Uryuu and Sawada are pretty accepting of their circumstances. The pair waste no time worrying about what this could mean for the rest of the world and instead get up to a bunch of silly shenanigans as they relish having the school all to themselves.
Sawada and Uryuu’s get along quite well and their antics are cute and humorous. Sawada insists that she views Uryuu as toy and that she only woke him up because she was bored, but it’s clear that she really cares for him (and is probably crushing on him).
Uryuu is happy to go with the flow and accepts all of the weirdness of the situation with surprising ease. The manga’s mood is kept light, despite the mysterious circumstances Sawada and Uryuu find themselves in, and I enjoyed it’s silly humor. Even the occasional ecchi element didn’t bother me, as it was kept pretty light and was mostly funny (For example, Uryuu notices that one of the unconscious students isn’t wearing underwear and Sawada confesses that she stole all the girls’ underwear so that she would have extra pairs to change into – only to then reveal that wearing other people’s underwear felt too weird, so she ended up burning all the unneeded underwear she’d collected!).
But this peaceful status quo can’t be maintained forever. Uryuu becomes curious about the monsters wandering around outside the school, and Sawada cares about him too much to keep him confined. So, the two venture out into the wider world, encountering unsettling and silly monsters along the way that seem to be warping the once familiar world into a spirit world fit for them to inhabit. This part of the manga starts to take on some horror elements in the visuals – though, as a self-described horror wimp, I will attest that, while things get a bit bizarre, they never venture into what I’d consider disturbing territory.
It’s a bit unclear what exactly caused the monsters to appear, or if anything our protagonists are experiencing is even real. Initially it seemed like Sawada was the cause of everything that was happening, but later developments reveal that someone else is the more likely culprit. The mystery surrounding the monsters and Sawada’s new powers grows more intriguing with each revelation and, given the dream-like nature of the setting, it’s hard to predict what will happen next. The cozy atmosphere of the early chapters starts to disappear, as more of what led to these peculiar circumstances is revealed and we learn more about our heroes personal struggles. What started out as an odd, but cute, little fantastical comedy morphs into a very personal drama about navigating how to function in a monstrous-seeming world. I was really impressed with the seamless shift from a story that’s weird and lighthearted into something that tugged at my heart strings.
Sheepily Horned Witch Romi is a deceptively cute manga that slowly delves into the psyches of two teens who have become despondent with life and disgusted with other people. Becoming isolated in a world of their own seemed like a dream come true, but it wasn’t a dream that could last. Will the monstrous forces lurking outside the school tear these dreamers apart? Or will they find a way to come together and to face the slings and arrows of the world? I’m eager to discover the answers and am greatly anticipating the release of volume 2.
Final Score: 8 out of 10
For more information on this manga, visit Seven Seas Entertainment’s website.
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