One of the cardinal sins of any kind of story for me is to be misleading in terms of the general tone and approach it takes. For example, there’s this one anime series I watched years ago (I don’t even remember the title now) that was mostly a lighthearted cute series about the relationship between a boy and this mysterious robot girl he finds. Then suddenly, two episodes from the end it turned completely dystopic, dark, and tragic and pointless. I hated that and it ruined the entire series. I was a little worried that Hooky was going to go that way, but it doesn’t, not really. I’ve only gotten through the first two volumes of the trilogy, and I’m starting to get a hang of what kind of story this really is.
It starts off with twin witches Dorian and Dani missing the bus to magic school, but unlike with other storis that almost start this way, they have no help or other way to get to school, and they’re worried about going home to face Mom and Dad, so there are various hijinks, and eventually they end up with a magic teacher and various members of that community. The world is such that magic is known but considered highly dangerous and scary but most mundane folks, so there is political tension and distrust, and in book 2 we really get to see some of that backstory. There’s also this sort of Dark Chosen One prophecy, and it’s looking like said chosen one might be a member of Dani and Dorian’s family, btu who might it actually be?
Dani and Dorian, along with their gang which includes Princess Monica who want to rescue her Prince William from whatever danger he might be in (no one seems to know exactly what, just that he’s missing and in trouble), and Nico, Dani and Dorian’s master’s other apprentice (sort of). Dani and Dorian really want to escape the darkness of the social tragedies that have kept witches and mundane people at odds, but their parents and other grown ups just can’t seem to allow that, and the younger generation does witness some of the tragedies directly that come from this kind of conflict, and you can see some of the characters starting to lose hope.
This whole things starts off as kind of a goofy magic kids coming of age (especially since Dani has trouble getting spells to work and Dorian has trouble flying a broomstick), and still it sort of is, but it’s actually more of a look at generational social trauma, and the struggle of the younger generation to try and find a way to overcome that and create a better world for both sides, while the older generation just can’t let that happen. Maybe it’s just that the current world is a little too much like this right now, but the once I managed to get past the initial misconception of the story type, I’m actually seeing a lot more depth in the situations and characters. I’m definitely going to see this one through, and I really hope it manages to not go the way of the cute turned totally ugly without meaning, purpose, or redemption. It’s got a good balance going. Hopefully it continues.