With LIP☆S now five members strong, owl-turned-hottie Mineo says it’s time for the girls to improve their magical skills.
So what better way to do that than to go to the beach! And not use magic!
Yeah, the girls don’t get it, but hey, Miku and company can’t help but work in a little summer fun while doing so.
Stellar Witch LIP☆S volume 3 is a training arc…and it isn’t. Same with a beach/vacation story. The girls are tasked with finding a pebble packed with magic, and since they have to do so without transforming, it’s worse than searching for a needle in a haystack. Saya, who has been a Witch longer than Miku, is the most confused and anxious out of the bunch by this seemingly impossible mission.
Meanwhile, Ryusei is frustrated by the fact he is powerless, and the four guys who are Grim’s underlings are just as irritated by their repeated failures to take down LIP☆S.
The manga continues to follow the magical girl playbook, but new developments are few now that we are done adding to the group. Have you ever watched an anime and then suddenly felt a slowdown, and you know it’s because they’re now going to make the show two seasons instead of one? That’s this volume. Mineo explains about true magic, but the volume feels rather light since there’s no EGG attack until just before the final chapter. Instead, it’s a lot of Saya worrying and Miku trying to hide her feelings (and secret) from Ryusei.
While there are hints Stellar Witch LIP☆S may be trying to take some roads-less-traveled, the manga hasn’t led readers down these paths enough yet. Case in point: Ryusei. In the opening chapter, he asks Scarlet to teach him magic. She gently turns him down, but later, we see that Mineo approached Ryusei and asked if he’d like to be a mage. It’s common for a fantasy protagonist’s love interest to express a desire to become stronger, and here we have the mascot-and-mentor actually offering a chance to do so. While only Saya manages to power up here, if Mineo’s training for LIP☆S was rather hands-off, he doesn’t seem to show Ryusei anything. He “happens” to be there at the hotel party the girls attend, but otherwise, that’s all we see of that storyline here. It’s hinted Mineo has been teaching him something, but like, does it involve a wand? A different outfit? What is the difference between a mage and a witch anyway?
Also, Ryusei should feel bad because he still hasn’t figured out Scarlet = Miku (and even dismisses the idea), but a little girl figures it out. A detective with a 190 IQ was outsmarted by a kid. No wonder he was told to stay in school.
Stellar Witch LIP☆S continues to be visually impressive, and volume 3 includes some bonus illustrations. But while I could stare at the art all day, the story doesn’t have a lot of high-stakes moments or explores its more creative plot points.