There will be spoilers for the manhua series Modern Wizard Hunting Project | The Modern Story of Majo.
Trigger Warning: There may be references to child abuse, child neglect, death, cheating, blood, violence, bullying, manipulation, prejudice, religion, drink spiking, sacrifice, occult, and murder, as it appears in the manhua.
Ye Zhu is a wizard, though not by choice. Wizards and witches were created when certain individuals grew to hate their own kind, separated themselves from society, and made contracts with magical beasts. As a result, wizards and witches naturally exude bad luck on humans around them. Unfortunately, Ye Zhu really likes humans, and unlike his fellow witches and wizards, he tries to stay around humans and work a job alongside them.
Ye Zhu even went so far as to adopt and raise a human child he called QiQi. Unfortunately, QiQi eventually leaves him, and Ye Zhu spends the rest of his time alone… until a QiQi lookalike appears at his job. However, this lookalike is an adult man named Ye Shengqi. He's the new manager at work and seems to know Ye Zhu, but Ye Zhu has no clue who this man is. What's worse, this new manager has no sense of personal space, and Ye Zhu has to put in extra effort to make sure he doesn't catch any of the bad luck Ye Zhu lets out.
Can Ye Zhu save Ye Shengqi from himself? And who is this strange man who can't keep his hands off Ye Zhu?
Let me just go ahead and get this out of the way: I 100% read this because of Xiyuer. I have been reading two other works by this artist that are currently ongoing, and they, hands-down, have the best manhua art out there. Regardless of the story or genre, I will buy every manhua Xiyuer puts out. It's unique, and you can pick it from a lineup without a problem. More than that, though, it is super clean and consistent with character designs to die for. Admittedly, this might be the sketchiest out of the three I am currently reading. Even so, I have yet to see a character design I didn't like from Xiyuer, and this is no exception.
Unfortunately, while the art is fun, the story is less than stellar. The first half is the strongest portion, with Ye Zhu unintentionally spreading back luck because he's a wizard, avoiding getting too close to humans at his own expense, and meeting Ye Shengqi. The foundational portions are great, but once the dragon is introduced and implies a love triangle that never actually manifests, everything just goes downhill. I really enjoyed the dragon's design, and I was hoping for either a love triangle or more screen time on his part, but once he is introduced and there are some minor jealousy setups, he just fades into the background. I actually think he could have been completely removed, and it wouldn't have altered the story all that much, which is unfortunate. It feels like a wasted opportunity or a red herring.
However, where the story really falls apart is with MaiMai. Her intents and purposes are nearly impossible to follow. She puts Ye Zhu through this gauntlet, with multiple opportunities for him to die or unlock his full potential as a wizard, but they all end with her “saving” him. I say “saving” because, as it turns out, there was never any chance that Ye Zhu would die. She had an out for him at every turn, which happened more than once. I'm talking 4 or 5 times. By the third time, I no longer felt any tension. Who needs plot armor when you have MaiMai? She is plot armor incarnate. She also talks about this gathering of witches that we never see, and it's still unclear what the purpose was for that.
It is nice and fluffy, though. Some of the kisses are, unfortunately, censored due to this being a manhua. However, it's still nice that they affirm their love with outright affection. Ye Shengqi, from the beginning, was super affectionate and loving. He's very touchy-feely, which I love in a love interest. I wish the story had been better because I really love the whole “opposites attract” and “star-crossed lover” tropes, which Ye Zhu and Ye Shengqi embody perfectly. They were nice to look at, regardless.
As I anticipated, I loved the art. There is no question that it is some of the greatest manhua art out there. However, the story leaves much to be desired. Everything is very convenient for Ye Zhu, thanks to MaiMai. Many elements and characters are brought in and either abandoned or never resolved. This has a lot of potential but just never capitalizes on it. I don't think I can recommend it based on the story. However, this should not dissuade you from reading Xiyuer‘s other work. Their art is worth seeing as many times as you possibly can.
Have you read Modern Wizard Hunting Project | The Modern Story of Majo? If so, what do you think? Do you agree with my assessment? Do you not? Let me know, and comment below!