I found this comic through twitter and omg.
Why did I start reading it? Like I said I found it on twitter. The page that was posted as a part of a transformation sequence with two diverse characters and I'm all in for cute magical girl things so with the art looking good I was in.
What is it? Sleepless Domain is a webcomic depicting a world where, at night, monsters prowl the streets and magical girls fight them to keep their town safe! The comic starts following a Magical Girl team of 5 called Alchemical which includes Alchemical Water, Fire, Air and Earth as well as their leader Alchemical Aether. There's a tragedy and Alchemical Water is left reeling from it. She sets out to find the cause of the tragedy.
What are the characters like? Wonderful! With five characters right off the bat, I thought I would struggle to get a feel for these characters. That maybe some might fade into the background a bit but no one ever did. Between the art and the writing pretty much every character who enters the panels has so much life and personality to them.
Anyone particularly cool? How...How am I supposed to pick out of these babies?! I mean when it comes down to it the two leads are the best. Heartful Punch is amazing. She comes across so confident, like she's everyone's big sister, like she's just there to kick butt, take names and listen to your troubles every so often. She breaks this every so often as her character shows some really relatable teenage insecurities at times that take her from being that really cool big sister type to a more grounded and deep character. And Undine AKA Alchemical Water needs a hug. I want to adopt her, I want to keep her safe. She is small and cute and is struggling to so much through the comic. She's a really interesting character to follow, developing more and more every chapter. She's awesome.
< Best Girls
What's the bad news? Bad news...It's hard to think of anything bad but I suppose my only nitpick is I found the narrator sections a bit jarring. It took me a few moments to realise what the sections with the grey-haired magical girl were doing but it's useful once I realised it she was the tutorial character to explain the surprising depth of this magical girl system.
And the good news? This comic is sooo goooood! The art is spot on and consistent. The writing is awesome. There's this cool air of mystery in this world that I've been drawn in hook line and sinker. The origins of the magical girls, the nature of the monsters and two creatures who seemed to be at the centre of it. I'm dying for answers. The magical girl system is pretty cool too. There's a big idea of fate, teams with matching outfits aren't just magical girls who decided to be together it's girls who happened to get powers and outfits that match, they don't choose which is just interesting. There's also a great diversity of characters. There are characters with every skin tones and it's really nice to see a world where what would be a minority to us isn't really a minority. It also has a character who is trans which is nice and it's handled very well, subtly pointed out in dialogue that feels really natural.
Would you recommend? Hell yes! I flew through reading Sleepless Domain when I started and am now waiting for the updates twice a week.
You can find Sleepless Domain free on their website.
If you want your magical girls in novel form rather than comic you can check out some of my other reviews. You can take a look at Magical Girl Raising Project for some magical girl killing games or The Magical Girl is a Boy! For a fun adventure with a magical girly boy.