Secrets Of The Silent Witch Volume 2 has some pacing issues thanks to extended details. Still, the further you get into the volume, the more engaging the tale becomes. With the Silent Witch guarding the second prince, Felix, while seeing to her duties as a student council member, she has her work cut out for her. Dealing with school, petty jealousy, and her deeply-ingrained shyness force Monica to change. There is a gradual growth in Monica as she navigates new social situations. Thanks to that and some characters with a huge question mark, Matsumi Isora’s Secrets Of The Silent Witch Volume 2 tells a compelling tale with characters that make an impression and hint at looming mysteries despite a lackluster start.
Secrets Of The Silent Witch Volume 2 Has Monica Learning To Connect
With illustrations by Nanna Fujimi and translation by Alice Prowse, the Yen Press light novel starts a bit dull, with tight-lipped, head-downcast Monica planning a trip to town for a comb. The Silent Witch’s shyness is acute. Here you get the gist of her character. She is physically weak and terrified being around people. When dealing with people Monica is usually silent or mumbling in discomfort.
Monica has an arc, albeit slow, as she learns to converse and understand human interactions. Most of this volume is about that, so there is little action. Still, Monica’s inability to know when people are angry, embarrassed, caring, and other emotions gets old fast. Especially since she always apologizes even when she does nothing wrong. At first, I felt annoyed. I dislike people or characters who apologize or act like everything is their fault. At some point, that complex leans away from the pitiable and lands in self-absorption. So Monica irritated me at the beginning. But by the end, I was laughing at how she misread situations.
Reading the light novel brought to mind anime like Ouran High School Host Club and Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War because of the student council element as well as the possibility of a reverse harem. Though that kind of relationship does not matter to Monica at the moment. She loves and prefers numbers; the more complex, the better because they do not betray her. Her character grows on you because she tries to change.
There Is A Variety Of Conflict
Conflict arises, particularly among Monica’s classmates, who don’t know her real identity. Since most of the school consists of noble students from wealthy families and Monica’s cover is a commoner, plenty of resentment builds up. The bullying escalates to dangerous levels thanks to Caroline, aka Karen. Though she targets Monica, somehow, everything Caroline does is Monica’s fault. She is the opposite of Monica. Monica thinks everything is her fault, while Caroline feels nothing is her fault. There is also a conflict at the end, and though not traditional combat, the story does a terrific job of raising the stakes.
The rest of the student council, aside from Felix, are not happy about her position either. While they do not bully her, there is apparent dissension in the ranks as no one wants her there. The tension rarely leads to laughs, moreso chuckles instead. But the hilarious moments that do stand out catch you off guard. As confused as Monica is, others are just as lost regarding her responses.
Need Less Drag, More On The Protagonist
Descriptions are essential. But some of them, along with the explanations, feel bloated or for the readers’ benefit, like when Felix and Wil discuss magical formulae. It goes on too long to feel authentic to the characters. Instead, the story should focus on aspects that are fascinating to the characters, such as Felix’s obsession with The Silent Witch. Some descriptions drag on too long as well regarding the complexities of magecraft.
Monica, on her own, does not stand out yet, so moments when she is alone or with Nero drag too. Nero has zero entertainment so far in this issue. Their conversations are boring, and if those were attempts at laughs, future volumes need to step it up. Monica is shy and caring, but there needs to be more because she is a dull character unless she is next to others. Then their reactions to her make the volume entertaining. Thankfully, there is enough of that.
Despite Monica’s less-than-engrossing personality, Secrets Of The Silent Witch Volume 2 does enough with her interactions with others, hints at secrets, and more drama to come to make this series worthwhile. I hope to see Monica come out of her shell and be less apologetic for existing. School is the best place for her to learn to socialize. The danger from the political conflict combined with the conflicts in school makes it an absorbing read once you get in far enough. But there needs to be more to the characters, especially Monica.