Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Award-winning student news since 1978

The Brookhaven Courier

Binge Read This – Magical Realism

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Ivy Nguyen

"Anne of Green Gables" cover

“Anne of Green Gables” – Mariah Marsden

The day finally arrives. Anne Shirley is getting adopted. After years of being passed from family to family, she is finding her forever home. To the surprise of her adopters, siblings Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, Anne is a young girl, not the boy they were expecting to help on their farm. 

To Marilla’s dismay, Anne finds her place in the Cuthbert’s home as Matthew and Anne grow closer. What follows is a beautiful retelling of the classic story Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. This adaptation holds true to the original illustrated in luscious greens, blues and pinks. 

This is a story of found family, grief and girlhood, told through the observant, emotional and curious eyes of 11-year-old Anne as she overcomes her insecurities, learns about life in a stable home and what friendship really means. – AM

Trigger warnings: abandonment, alcohol, bullying, death and grief


"Witch Hat Atelier" cover

“Witch Hat Atelier” – Kamome Shirahama

In a world brimming with magical contraptions and ceaseless mystical wonders, the actual casting of spells is a closely guarded secret only taught to those fortunate enough to be born into witchdom. Coco is a young girl who is enamored with the illusive art of magic. She yearns to learn the secrets of spellcasting and to become a witch. 

When a real witch named Qifrey shows up in Coco’s mother’s shop one day and performs a spell, Coco sneaks a glance and learns magic is cast through drawing complex runes in special ink. Later in her amateur attempt to perform magic she is saved by Qifrey and inadvertently turns her mother to stone. Qifrey offers to help teach her magic at his atelier so Coco may one day learn enough magic to reverse the effects of the spell and save her mother. 

“Witch Hat Atelier” is a stunning manga series with an art style that resembles an intricate amalgamation of illuminated manuscripts and 1700s woodblock prints. It tells a rich story that explores the ripple effects of history and its consequent social structures and profound dedication to a craft and the beauty of found family. When the beauty of magic becomes something that brings her terror, Coco must face her fears and carve her own path toward witchdom. – IV

Trigger warnings: matricide, sexual assault, child endangerment/abuse and gore


"Chainsaw Man" cover

“Chainsaw Man” – Tatsuki Fujimoto

Despite seeming like your normal shounen action manga, “Chainsaw Man” is deceptively complex. Tatsuki Fujimoto’s hit manga series follows Denji, a young man who merges with a chainsaw demon named Pochita, to pay off his deceased father’s debts. Employed by a devil-hunting organization, Denji battles terrifying creatures to survive, all while navigating complex relationships and discovering his own humanity amid the chaos. The series explores themes of identity, morality and the struggle for purpose in a gritty and often surreal world.

“Chainsaw Man” deals with heavy interpretations of abuse, trauma and grief in Fujimoto’s own unconventionally profound way. His signature style consists of messy lines and meticulous backgrounds that bring the story of “Chainsaw Man” to gory life. This, paired with Fujimoto’s usage of humor as a sort of outlet, makes the horrifying moments hit much more deeply. But perhaps the most praised aspect of “Chainsaw Man” is that its characters are deeply intricate, especially its protagonist, Denji. Though often misunderstood, Denji’s character is simultaneously layered and anomalous yet also completely relatable. While “Chainsaw Man” is definitely neither an easy nor straightforward read, many will find its bloody surrealism bizarrely captivating. – AP

Trigger warnings: gore, violence, abuse, sexual assault and death


"Ouran Host High School Club" cover

“Ouran High school host club” – Bisco Hatori

“Ouran High School Host Club,” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Bisco Hatori. It follows Haruhi Fujioka, a scholarship student at the prestigious Ouran Academy, who suddenly finds herself indebted to the school’s dynamic Host Club – a group of frivolous rich boys.

Due to her androgynous appearance, the club mistakenly thinks she is a guy and takes her in as a new addition to work for the Host Club to repay her debt after she clumsily breaks a valuable vase in their clubroom. As she works off her debt by serving as the club’s errand boy, Haruhi, though at first, she was reluctant and dreading the mess she had gotten herself into, she finds herself as time goes on gradually becoming more involved in the club’s activities and each of the boy’s lives.

This easygoing and playful story highlights the beauty and importance of diversity and self-discovery in one’s life as readers follow Haruhi along in trying to handle the complexities of high school life. This manga’s plot serves as a palette cleanser in the world with its bright, witty and light-hearted dialogue. – JS

Trigger warnings: Bullying, incest and misgendering

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