Chise Hatori, a 15-year-old Japanese girl, was sold for five million pounds at an auction to a tall masked gentleman. Abandoned at a young age and ridiculed by her peers for her unconventional behavior, she was ready to give herself to any buyer if it meant having a place to go home to. In chains and on her way to an unknown fate, she hears whispers from robed men along her path, gossiping and complaining that such a buyer got his hands on a rare "Sleigh Beggy."
Ignoring the murmurs, the mysterious man leads the girl to a study, where he reveals himself to be Elias Ainsworth—a magus. After a brief confrontation and a bit of teleportation magic, the two open their eyes to Elias' picturesque cottage in rural England. Greeted by fairies and surrounded by weird and wonderful beings upon her arrival, these events mark the beginning of Chise's story as the apprentice and supposed bride of the ancient magus.
There’s so much to love about Ancient Magus' Bride but their entire relationship is predicated on:
1) an older non-human man buying a 15-year-old girl at an auction (in other words, human trafficking),
2) calling her dehumanizing things like “puppy” right after she was sold and acknowledges she’s a “child”,
3) invading her privacy and trying to touch and bathe her without her permission (and no, he understood what he was doing to a child was morally reprehensible as indicated by Angelica),
4) telling her she has no choice in matters but is “free to reconsider”,
5) calling him his bride, and
6) her being FIFTEEN goddammit (pedophilia).
Chise and Elias
are terrific characters in their own right but their relationship is marred by their creepy creators’ bad writing. So many things Elias says reeks of things predators would say to their victims and romanticizing it is gross. He even admits outright that he's grooming Chise and "raising" her to be perfect for him. If a creator is incapable of making a character ANY other way other than a predatory man who says predatory things and a child, that's bad writing. They also didn't need to write human trafficking and continue to portray it in a way where he "saved" Chise; that's not how human trafficking works and glorifying it is despicable.
It's such a shame because the animation and world they created is really beautiful, the music and sound department did a superb job, and I personally have a weakness for jersey devil skull monster boys. Minor characters are also intriguing and complex, often times more than the main characters. My score for this anime was saved by all of this. Had it focused solely on Elias and Chise, the score would have easily been a 2 or 1 because the story itself begins to drag and get boring around the 6th episode. If you jump into this without watching the "Those Awaiting a Star" OVA, Chise is even more watered down and underdeveloped as a character.
Ancient Magus' Bride is more like a collection of fantasy scenarios that the creator put into a jar, shook up, and sequenced in the order that came out of the jar. The anime keeps introducing characters only to abandon them within the next couple of episodes and the beautiful environments that came with those characters. I'll finish this series, come back to delete this review, and deliver my final verdict but editors need to do something about their creators with some kinda creepy lolicon. Get creators who aren’t afraid to create protagonists older than 20 instead of underage ones whose lack of world experience is taken advantage of by predatory adults.
Mahoutsukai no Yome, also known as the ancient Magus Bride, is a masterpiece. The world of this show is full of mystery and goes into depth more than just one or two times. However, if you are a new anime watcher, I don't recommend this as a show to start with. My reasoning for that is the story can be confusing and sometimes overwhelming - some people may also find certain situations unnecessary or "wrong" when if looked upon from my standpoint, is not true. Every detail in this show means something and I am excited to see more.
The plot for
"The Ancient Magus Bride" is both simple, and not at the same time. Chise Hatori has been able to see mysterious beings every since her young childhood. After losing her mother, she is tossed between different relatives, unable to find a home due to the fact everyone believe something is wrong with her. Now that she has grown up, she has lost any sense of attachment to this world. After meeting a strange man, she signs a contract and is held at an auction. All Chise cared about was having a place she could return to and call "home." There. Elias appears, a tall man covered in black clothing, his head replaced with an animal shaped skull. He is revealed to be a Mage, and had bought Chise to be his apprentice, as well as his future bride.
The story does not reveal itself right away, and that's because we are learning along with the main character, Chise, This can frustrate people at times, as they are confused, however the author does this on purpose. There are certain things that are to be revealed at a later time, so it is important to be patient with this series and to pay close attention to it. From my experience, I am captivated by how there is so much to this world, that it is practically impossible to just explain flat out. So instead, lay back and enjoy as the story unfolds.
The art has a unique style to it. The characters have there own traits that make them distinguishable from each other. Most anime's have "same face syndrome," where take away the hair and eye color and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. The Ancient Magus Bride instead has many different styles, but also many different expressions that are able to shine a light on the characters and their demeanor.
This probably takes the cake out of all the categories. The opening first comes with a different style and amazing vocals by Junna. To calm us from the experience afterwards, we have the soothing voice of Hana Itoki. However the OSTs during the show blow me a way. They went all out, with personalized tracks for side stories or characters. In only the 7 episodes I've watched, I have fell in love with each and every song.
The voice actors are also able to convey their emotions, and I'm really fond of both Elias's and Chise's voice actors. Chise can be a hard character to pull off, she's both numb from the pain of her past and yet is loyal as she does her best to please Elias. Elias is unable to show expressions as he has no proper face - this means all the emotions are in the tone and delivery of a line. His voice makes me able to see expressions that aren't there, which only helps make me emphasize more with Elias.
Sort of as a continuation of before, the main characters are unique and compliment each other perfectly. Neither are perfect, and both are unsure of the other, and yet they both compliment each other like to other. Elias, while he may have ulterior motives, still tries to give Chise what he believe she wants. And Chise, just glad to have a home and someone to call family, is willing to stay by his side and give him the companionship he needs. In only 7 episodes, I've seen both grow as people and open up more overtime. The supporting cast always holds a presence, whether its the neighbors, angelica, silky, etc. They all serve a role and show that frequently. Even characters that may be there for only one or two episodes became unforgettable to me. However as for antagonists, I am not completely sure yet as we haven't gotten much information on them. Therefore I have to leave this a little in the open.
Personally, I've watched the released episodes multiple times. I am completely trapped in this world and am trying to head off to the manga. My life is consumed into the show and I am finding myself watching the episode countdown.
This show can be a challenging watch, but its worth it. Put aside everything for about 25 minutes for one episode and you'll find yourself hooked. Give it a chance and make sure to give it the attention it deserves, otherwise you may get confused and drop a wonderful show. I hope this was helpful and I hope you enjoy the show just as much as I do.
This is a good anime so far, this is why I'm still watching it. I like the whole world that was created, but the story doesn't seem to convince me. The characters, specially Chise, are very shallow. And her, as the main character, should be a little more explored. EDIT (ep 10): she is finally getting herself more prominent in the narrative - finally! And I also watched the OVA for this series that explores her past much more and explains her future actions.
Another thing that bothers me is that many things are left with no further explanation, I think this is cool to do
with a thing or two but every episode you are left with a big question mark about something that happened.
Despite these things that I didn't like, I loved both the opening and ending themes, they're just lovely. The animation, and the world that was created are amazing as well.
I hope it gets better in the next episodes, so I'll come here again and rewrite this review, because I really want to enjoy it.
I've had a hard time trying to grasp what I don't like about this show/manga. After 8 episodes and 33 chapters of reading I think I've got a good idea of what's putting me off.
THE SHOW MOVES WAY TOO FAST.
I wish the show would move slower, everything that happens either happens way too fast or is way too big. It's hard to get a feel for it all and be attached or invested in what's going on because of this. To give an example or metaphor: It's as if we're introduced to a character who we're suppose to be invested in at some point but
before even a minute has passed they push them over the edge of a cliff. The stakes are way too high and this all happens so fast that I can't get invested at all. The only exception is the relationship between Chise and Elias, apart from these two everything else is just so lackluster that it's cringe inducing.