When Angelica sends Chise a pile of books to help with her magical studies, Chise is surprised to discover a children's picture book among them that she once owned years ago as a child. She tells Ellias the history of how she first came to own the book; of her neglected childhood and a magical library hidden in the forest that once gave her relief from her unhappiness.
I will start by saying that this is a prequel to the manga the ancient magus bride which any is welcome to read!!! So I first the OVA information on this series and thought that the art and story line where out of this world. As the series isn't finished yet and the first OVA episode was released on the internet today I can't say for sure what the actual story line is. Obviously it's about a magically special girl and the humanoid creature that takes her in and their future relationship because the title literally is The Ancient Magus Bride. The relationship between the girl Chise and the skull headed Ellias is strangely pleasing to read/watch and I personally can't wait for the rest of the series to progress.
I need to explain that I've yet to read the manga. Though this episode has sold the series to me better than anything else I've seen. This OVA prequel to The Ancient Magus' Bride is nearly a perfect mixture of everything I love. The first scenes of a magical shop set in what looks like Victorian London alone covered nearly half of them. Magic that blends seamlessly into the characters' lives and doesn't really need explanation, an older or probably historical setting, and an enigmatic character that might not scare you but doesn't quite make sense either are a just a few of them. The animation is gorgeous. This is some of the most detailed, well drawn, and colorful animation I've seen in quite some time. While the story in this episode is short, it is very well contained and does not leave you with questions or lost if you don't know the source material. The voices and music are equally as good; the voice for Ellias is particularly good and helps to bring him to life since his mouth doesn't move. While we see Chise Hatori, a fifteen year old girl who's become an apprentice to the Thorn Sorcerer, in her new situation, the focus of this episode is the life she lead before she came there. All in all, a great OVA and one that will leave you wishing for a full season anime. Off to find the books!
Review for The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting A Star: Episode 1 Within the very first scene I was drawn in with the animation perfectly capturing the London atmosphere on a rainy night. These scenes were pretty even on own their setting a great overall tone so that even thought it was dark, it was held just enough light to them for warmth in the first setting. The next scene bringing us into a woman’s study was beautifully done. It was masterful story telling in establishing the prescence of magic with her books, her tools like stones, a bird that is mechanical that becomes alive was especially unique. The main thing that got me excited was some of the newer concepts that are around but typically aren’t used. The faeries got me excited and all the little creatures that live in places. Especially the style of these faeries, these creatures from what I’ve seen embody their enviroment and possibly the Magician’s style of magic. Angelica for example seems to use water magic shown in how she wraps up materials for Chise as we learn later. Hugo also seems to be some type of water faery and the creatures up in Angelica’s study also have that theme. I’m excited by the unique creatures popping up in this episode. Now on to when Chise gets these materials for magic, we see her waking up in this country side house. The talking dog I immedietly assume must be Ruth’s familiar, as that seems to have some pattern in this. I also didn’t expect to see the dog into a human so it was fascinating. The breakfast scene is enticing, setting the mood of the characters relaxed daily life. What makes this anime even more interesting is the magician that Chise seems to be the mentee of is a skeleton thing of some sort. Yet the scene is so normal that we get that despite how he may look, he’s very human like. Chise seems to know him well being able to read that he’s bothered by something. It’s not until the study room that I get brought into the world of faeries and magic again by going into the study. It seems to be a pattern that faeries and these cool magical creatures seem to thrive in library settings. In warm lighting among large books. And that, to me, is amazing! Creative Writing Major here so this is awesome to me. Among literature is where I live too. Then there’s the introduction of the book and Elias, Chise’s teacher, seems determined understand it’s meaning. So it goes into a flashback. If you’re me, you groan at flash backs because it gives you a vague sob story and I typically feel no sympathy other than ‘well that sucks’ and feel like just skipping past it. However this was a good flash back. It seems like it’s going in a cliche direction, parents die, selfish people don’t want to take in kid, random guy shows up and ‘“hey you got magic, I’ll take you in.” But it’s not how it goes, all we see first is her and her mothers says “I never should’ve had you” and okay I think. But then the adults start talking, I’ll admit a bit of a cliche moment but real in the sense that people don’t want to randomly take in a child. They say she’s odd so I get the sense that Chise seeing things like she does could have possibly led to her mother’s paranoia or something like it that led to her death possibly by suicide. There could also be a possibility that Chise’s Mother saw things all her life and couldn’t deal anymore. It’s clear by the next scene Chise’s in a bad place, she frightened by these dark creatures that pop up and the fear is channelled to mean fear of a woman that took her in. Chise’s fear is causing misunderstandings around shown by the little girl and a mother overworked by two boys as well as a new little girl to take care of. So of course Chise decides to leave trying to find a safe place but finding otherwise. The last scene was captivating when she’s chased into the forest by No Face (sorry Miyazaki reference, couldn’t help it. She backs into a building which out to be a library. This scene meeting this magician is a beautiful scene with the sparkling library, Chise’s eyes light up. It’s one of those “you’re a wizard, Harry” moments (sorry again, actually did you notice that magician actually looks like Harry Potter?) It seems very compelling so far and I’m looking forward to how this anime plays out. It’s very much a new world being introduced in the best of ways.
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