The Ancient Magus' Bride

Alt title: Mahou Tsukai no Yome

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CaseyJewels's avatar
Apr 28, 2020

I was in the mood to watch a shorter anime, and I had heard this one mentioned a few times, so I decided to watch it without so much as a refresher on the synopsis.

I loved the mystery of the beginning, of not knowing why Chise was being sold and not knowing who the stranger was who bought her. Chise seemed so broken, and I was eager to get to know both her and Elias. I loved watching Chise grow throughout this short series, and that's probably my favorite thing about the show. While I kind of wish I had seen a little more of the quiet Chise presented in the beginning, I think her speed of growth was handled well.

As for Elias... I'm torn about his background. It does make sense with how he acts at times, of not seeming to fully understand Chise, and it does make the romance aspect a little less creepy, but it also made him a less interesting character overall. I'll talk about that more in the spoiler section. Still, I love his design, and his mannerisms.

Now for the world. I love how integrated and natural most of the fantasy is, while it also being believable why humans don't notice it more. This is also where we begin to have issues, though. It's not super clear why humans can see some of this fantasy, but not others--and which humans see what. Normal humans can see Elias, as well as a few other fantasy beings, if I recall correctly, but not much time is spent with normal humans, so... who knows.

This brings us into why Chise is considered valuable--she can see all fae creatures, regardless of if they want her to or not. When I first heard this explanation, it made sense. It also made sense why Elias could see them all, he being a fantasy creature himself. However, as the show introduced more and more characters, I started to question more and more why Chise was supposedly so valuable/special when it seemed like quite a few humanoid beings could see everything she could. It was also implied Chise had strong magic, but I don't recall her doing anything extraordinary with it. Granted, my memory is a little fuzzy because I waited too long to write this review...

But by the end of the show, I was seriously questioning why Chise was so special, as the show seemed to undo what they had set up with her in the beginning.

Also, just a side note, why does Chise see so many disgusting/scary things as a kid, but then sees mostly nice-looking creatures as a teen? I get the show wants us to know how traumatic her childhood was and why she couldn't pretend to be normal, but it seemed a little odd.

A lot of complaints, but it's really just one big issue in that it's really unclear what powers Chise has that no other living human does, plus me being unsure about Elias' backstory. Overall, though, I enjoyed the show. I was always excited to watch another episode, to see what happened next. The biggest thing I enjoyed was just watching Chise and Elias interact, and watching them grow together. The ending could have been stronger in that aspect, but I don't hate it either. Overall, while it's not one I would ever purchase, I wouldn't be opposed to re-visiting it down the road.

Oh, and a warning that there is some near nudity. Everything is censored, but there's one creature in particular that hardly wears anything at all (she only is focused on in one episode, if I remember right, and you don't see her much beyond that).

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SPOILERS BELOW!!!

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Elias. He seemed like such an interesting character until you learn of his backstory. In part the mystery is gone, but in part his backstory wasn't as cool as I was hoping for, which meant that Elias grew a little less cool in response. I don't necessarily mind the fact that he's basically just a large child--especially as it makes the romance aspect less creepy, since both of them are emotionally/mentally figuring it out. However, Elias had been such an imposing, powerful, and mysterious figure. It turns out most of those moments were just him being too child-like to understand, rather than him not understanding because he was an ancient being who didn't think the same as Man. If that makes sense.

So, the way the show went with him wasn't necessarily a bad thing, but I liked my idea of him better than what he actually was.

One other thing. It's odd this show is all about his bride, but there actually wasn't much romance in it. I love slow burn romances, so that's not an issue, but it did seem odd that Elias didn't really understand what a bride was. With that being such an important part of the show to not only be in the beginning/end of it, but also the show's actual title, it seemed odd for Elias to have such a little understanding of it. It also seemed odd things didn't end in a wedding.

I don't know. I love many aspects/characters of the show, but I do wish they had done some of it differently.

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
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charberry2's avatar
Mar 20, 2020

This was such a cute and addcitive story to watch, highy recommended! its sad though that season 2 may not be released until 2023+. But a must watch to anyone who is interested <3

7/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.7/10 overall
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TheFachi07's avatar
Feb 6, 2020

It'd be a higher score if they didn't just up and end it but hey. This anime had wonderful characters, amazing visuals and an even better soundtrack. Overall I really liked it but I wish they did more episodes.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
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Archert's avatar
Feb 1, 2020

Complicada de volorar...

Empecemos dejando claro que es una muy buena serie, realmente bonita y con un mundo realmente profundo e interesante, acompañado de una banda sonora espectacular. Lo difícil de valorar viene siendo el transcurso de la serie, tiene personajes buenos pero todos tienen sus trabas...La protagonista es incontable el numero de veces que llega a estar a punto de morir, tantos que resulta frustrante; el mago lo pintan como alguien poderoso pero parece que nunca esta cuando se le necesita e incluso en mas de una ocasión terminaba siendo un lastre para la chica (y es su maestro...). La historia no tiene un objetivo definido sino se basa en eventos que van ocurriendo, los cuales son lo suficiente entretenidos como para captar tu atención.

Es una muy buena obra, y probablemente esté en el Top de esta temporada pero en mi opinión creo que le falto "chispa" algo que hiciera que cada capitulo que viera me produzca ansiedad para ver el siguiente.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
7.5/10 characters
8.3/10 overall
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Sheex's avatar
Jan 14, 2020

Story:

Every so often, one stumbles upon a story that just nails the aesthetic of a “hook” at a single glance. Tolkien has his hobbits, Star Wars its lightsabers, and Mahou Tsukai no Yome its cow-skull-headed magician. One pass over the title and the characteristic image of Elias, and the average fantasy/romance consumer is going to grab this title in a heartbeat.

Indeed, the hook of Mahou Tsukai no Yome is spectacular, not only in static presentation but also in that of its first episode. The series opens with a dead-eyed, red-headed girl being paraded in front of auction framing her as a sort of exotic slave. As bidding is about to close, an impeccably-dressed magician steps to the front, glowing red eyes set inside a hollow skull, purchasing the girl for twice the asking price amidst an awe-struck crowd. Almost immediately, as the mysterious interloper pulls his prize into the back room, the viewer is whisked away, through a torrential whirlwind of thorns and shadows, into a verdant field with a quaint cottage in the London countryside.  Little is explained, but the stark juxtaposition of scenery, backdropped by our enigmatic and esoteric skull mage, creates a stunning and captivating setting. “Be my apprentice,” the mage named Elias says to his slave girl Chise, and the credits roll.

This trend of powerful imagery will continue for several episodes, carried strongly by a macabre undertone that implies everything around Chise is far more sinister than it may first seem. Indeed, without so much as an inflection, Elias’ blank, silent stares possess a whirlwind of emotion – curiosity, contempt, hatred, contentment – and each the viewer sees his face the deeper question surfaces: just why would this demonic-looking mage buy a slave girl to make her his apprentice? As the series continues its exposition, unfortunately the answers are far from satisfying. Chise wears an armor of plot device that rivals the infamous Mary Sue herself, and no scene truly manages to hold suspense when the a favorable outcome for Chise is already known.

That said, the story remains quite good at weaving in twists and turns regardless of the fact that it refuses to let itself become genuinely dramatic and serious. True, the intrigue and depth of the story is curiously placed alongside a sort of weird child-like narrative, with oddities like winged rhino-dragon-things, random fanservice, and an array of comedic-relief characters with poorly-expounded backstories saturating the bulk of the twenty-four episode run. But behind this shoddy presentation lies a very interesting cast of characters, Cartaphilus particularly, who manages to keep an overall narrative going which reaches its conclusion very nicely in the last quarter of the series. When all is said and done, both the climax and conclusion to Mahou Tsukai no Yome are satisfying despite their fundamental lack of suspense.    

Animation:

Outside bizarre watermelon boobs and eight-eyed flying rhinos, Mahou Tsukai no Yome is visually stunning. Well, for a while. Many scenes seem written more as an excuse to draw a particular setting rather than to advance the story, which is definitely odd but harkens to the sort of aesthetic that Violet Evergarden was very successful in conveying. The magic scenes are all spectacular, especially those with Elias whose waves of thorn and bone starkly capture his self-statement as the shadow-aspected magus.

Around the halfway point, however, the budget clearly took a hit. Framerates during Chise’s songs look painfully out of place, and more and more chibi-style scenes are used to cut costs and push the blithe comedic injections. Still, there are some nice moments and the introductory arcs are quite well done, so not too much worth docking in this category.

Sound:

While I enjoyed much of the music as the series progressed, with its high orchestral charms as Chise and Elias throw out sparkling spellcraft, it started to lose much of its flair as the dramatic edge of the show dulled itself on sequential blunders. The whole premise of magic being fueled by a sort of creatural vampirism warrants the soundtrack for a time, but the show is no Mushishi in either its ghost designs or its musical aptitude. While the tracks themselves were fine, they felt at odds with the presented themes and felt simply out-of-place in the narrative that was presented.

Characters:

Of the ever-bloating cast of characters, most of whom end up being out-of-place comic relief fillers, Chise, Elias, and Cartaphilus are the only three worth mention. Having listed them in order of worst to best, perhaps the most telling aspect of Chise is not that she is a bad character per se, it is that her role in the story is poorly defined. Much of the narrative’s confuddled twists and turns comes from Chise being given too many roles to fill – tragic-scarred heroine, buddying optimist, prodigy magician, and planet relationship counselor...all at the ripe old age of 15. Despite being surrounded by a legion of sinister entities all wishing to use and exploit her hidden powers, the Power of Friendship ™ turns out to be her true hidden virtue, and no real genuine tragedy befalls her despite the constant emphasis of her being a harbinger of said misfortunes.

Elias’ role, initially that of manipulative and mysterious magician, ends up being completely questionable in the pattern of events that unfold. Hints of his backstory are dangled in front of the audience at times, but are never explored beyond some vague shoutouts in the dialogue amongst the fairy elites. Indeed, Elias is the hook that grabs the viewer and keeps them there the entirety of the show, and yet his crowning scene all but crumbles with a fundamental lack of follow-up in the ensuing episodes.

At the end of the day, the only character left really worth his salt is Cartaphilus, and his story is quite interesting from start to finish. Were the ending of the show willing to be a bit more risqué he could have been done exceptionally well, but he still functions appropriately given the backdrop the story places him in. While many a psychopathic serial killer has been done in the anime realm over the years, his twisted fate aligns and foils with Chise quite well, and his envy toward her is surprisingly believable. Reigned in quite handily by an ever-present upbeat vibe that the show must maintain, however, he never really becomes the cursed sadistic anti-hero that, say, Caster does in Fate-Zero.

Overall:

At the end of the day, Mahou Tsukai no Yome tries to be a dark drama and a romantic comedy simultaneously, which inevitably squanders too much potential for it to salvage into a solid storyline. The level of detail and thought put into the premise, the characters, and the setting is truly admirable, but their composition is executed poorly enough that disappointment is the only strong memorable emotion I find myself left with. What could have been a truly unique series can instead be summarized, quite blandly, with a simple “So what?”

Spectacular hook or not, all that is left at the end of the day is a mediocre slice of life, a pedestrian romance, and a simpering suspense-thriller all mixed together to form a forgettable-but-watchable twenty-four episode run. A watch worth the time for fans of the genres, I suppose, but an otherwise passable title in desperate need of an editor and a solid set of cajones.

5.5/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
6.5/10 characters
6.6/10 overall
StephanietheBi's avatar
Oct 26, 2019

This is by far one of my absolute favorite anime of all time. The Ancient Magus' Bride shows magic and fantasy creatures while staying true to most of reality. The characters are lovable, and the entire plot is extremely interesting, especially towards the season finale, where shit gets real. It's full of such beautiful settings and themes, having the occasional emotional moment. Elias is somewhat problematic, but with Chise's help, he's learning the ways of humans. Just like her mentor, Chise is learning about mage magic from the bonehead Elias. But just because he's her teacher, doesn't mean she always listens to him. Somehow, she always takes matters into her own hands, perhaps wanting to prove that she isn't as weak as everyone thinks? Or maybe she just had enough of staying quiet all her life? Either way, she's a badass and one of my favorite anime characters of all time.

What can I say? Here is literally the best OP I have ever listened to. It's so beautiful, and the animation given with the song makes it even more memorable. JUANNA's vocals along with the instrumental music are absolutely breathtaking. There's a fantasy vibe to it as well, making it an unforgettable experiance as you soar into this heartwarming anime. 

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Alycat98's avatar
Sep 17, 2019

This show put me through a whirlwind. I love how the character development has been going so far with this series and I'm hopeful for another season to really develop what people don't understand yet. I want more to be found out about Elias and the magical world around them. In my opinion, there were quite a few life lessons portrayed throughout the episodes so far that were absolutely amazing. My psychology professor would've loved this show.

Anyone who watches this show should also watch the OVA The Ancient Magus' Bride: Those Awaiting A Star, because it gives more detail into Chise's past and why her mom killed herself and why her dad left with her brother. So many people don't like this show because of plot holes and not having all the info. People need be patient, this show isn't over yet. Or at least it shouldn't be since the manga continues.

I liked how Chise, the main character, learns to love herself and really love those around her instead of just barely clinging to life wanting someone, anyone, to want her around. Although some of these important lessons that Chise learned were gone through a tad quickly, making it difficult to really grasp the depth of it all, I think it also says something about her as well. The things that she became more aware of happened quickly. Everything that was happening to her was healing her soul and making her world a lot bigger than it was before.

I feel that Elias is a character I would really like to know more about. Throughout the episodes I see some development of his character. He is very smart and knowledgeable, but his emotions are basically like a child. This is most likely due to lack stimulation emotionally that a child would normally receive from their mother and father. Yes, he had his master, who was like a father to him, but it seems as though he didn't really learn about love. Moving forward, Chise tries to help him understand, but I feel that even Chise isn't completely aware of it all because of her childhood. So it's like they are developing together in a way.

I've read some other reviews, so I thought I would give my opinion to see if it helps anyone else.

I believe a lot of the bad creatures that would harm Chise began to not come around as often because she had Elias to protect her. I noticed that a lot of the bad ones would only really appear when she went off without Elias. And I think even some of the good ones may have even backed off if they were afraid of Elias. Just a thought, I don't actually know if that's why.

Basically, the mages and such are dying out because there was an old war that wiped out a lot of them and then it was difficult for the remaining ones to find apprentices.

To me, Cartaphilus was probably a physical representation of immortality and the pain of living forever. Life in this series shows how life goes in a cycle and has a beginning to an end. Living forever and not ever being able to rest seems, to me, a painful way to live.

Chise sinking in the water seemed to me as her not caring for her life, which in the beginning, she really didn't so much. Sinking in the water, she was at peace and almost ready to give up, but each time she decided on her own to swim up, showing that she actually didn't want to die.

I feel that Renfred and his apprentice aren't actually that bad of people. They were just being controlled by Cartaphilus/Joseph to do some bad stuff in the beginning and then it just became apparent that they were just trying to live their own lives.

A Sleigh Beggy is a person who can naturally absorb and produce magic. They're special because mages normally absorb magic from their surroundings and alchemists produce magic from themselves, but a sleigh beggy can do both. The issue is that it strains the person because they can't control it all very well. It's like trying get a some water through a dam and the pressure of the water is too strong, so the dam just bursts every time.

Elias admits that he didn't buy her for her magic. He bought her because of her cirumstances, i guess. he said he knew that because she didn't have any attachments to anyone that it would be easier to get her to want to stay with him.

I feel that Chise's dad left with her brother because he knew that the monsters were after her mom and her. He tried to protect them, but he probably felt overwhelmed with the responsibility of protecting them all the time and working tirelessly. I think he thought his son and him would be better off without having to worry so much about monsters. it's messed up, but he probably felt that he didn't want to live the rest of his life like that.

I have so much more to say about this series, but I'd end up writing a whole manuscript talking about the different meanings of everything throughout this show and why everything that happened the way it did was important. It would just take too long.

Again, these are just my opinions.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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animelovermex17's avatar
Aug 6, 2019

this anime is a huuuuge let down :(

6/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
6/10 characters
6/10 overall
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lacerain's avatar
Jul 26, 2019

I loved everything about this anime except ... there was barely any romance. Some may argue that it’s because she is 16. I still think they could have developed the romance to more than just a crush. I chose to watch the anime because it had the romance tag, and to say I was disappointed on the romantic development is an understatement. I’m a sucker for a good fantasy romance. Other than that, I reaaalllyy loved this show. It was awesome !!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
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Tffnysyt's avatar
Jun 18, 2019

I really liked the story, although I wouldn't be recommend it to someone who loves constant action or adventure. I find the characters very refreshing since there aren't a lot of animes with marriage and romantic feelings if the other isn't human (no form of a human). The anime brought a lot of touching feelings up, I don't know how to describe it, but it just made me want to watch the anime till the end. 

So for people, who love romantic, yet magical and adventure anime, like howl's howling castle, I would totally recommend this one! ( Although howl's howling castle is better than this one) 

7/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
HippieLynx's avatar
Jun 11, 2019

I’ve been a fan of anime for about 2 years now. The first anime that I saw being Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid back in May 2017. Since then, I was hooked, and I’ve seen over 100 anime series at the time of writing this.

It is now June 2019, and I’ve just finished watching The Ancient Magus Bride. I’ve seen my fair share of anime, but this series has to be one of my favourites.

The series is revolved around Chise, a red haired girl who is quite often referred to as a “sleigh beggy”. At 15 years of age, she decides to sell herself at an auction just so she could find somewhere to call home. In the midst of the auction, a tall, robed, and mysterious mage purchases Chise for 5 million, and after taking her back to his home in rural England, wishes to make her his bride. After settling in and getting used to her magical surroundings, Chise makes new friends along the way and learns the true meaning of love, both platonically and romantically.

If I could describe this series is one word, it would be “beautiful”. It’s majestically beautiful, it’s written beautifully, (most of) the characters have beautiful personalities, and there are some beautifully dark moments placed within the series.

I love everything about this series. The stories are fascinating, beautiful, intense, and have you on the edge of your seat. The art is other worldly and the background art looks like something you’d see in The Louvre. Most of the characters are extremely loveable and I really did end up caring for each of them, and the music was enjoyable and relaxing to listen to, as it gave me very fantasy-filled vibes.

If there was anything I had a problem with, it would be that I hope the show gets a second series, as I’d love to see the continuing adventures of Chise, Alias and their friends.

Overall, I would give The Ancient Magus Bride a 10/10. It’s one of my all time favourite anime series, and I’ll certainly rewatch it again some time in the future.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
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Eiraza's avatar
Apr 27, 2019

Magnus bride is about a girl who doesn't care about her future at all and agrees to being auctioned off instead of commiting suicide. Thats when our other main character Elias comes in and buys her and you just have to watch the rest to find out. 

The animation in this anime is stunning, it mythical and beautiful and an overall change of pace from your japan high school themed animes of love and what not. I had moments were I laughed and moments when I was tearing up cause of the touching moments placed in the anime. 

That being said, this anime was just okay for me. I enjoyed it and it was definitely a refreshing watch but it doesn't stand out to me like some other animes do. I think I've formulated this opinion because the plot was just so-so to me. the animation really sold it and the characters were all fun to watch but I feel like the story could've been more expansive and that we missed out on all the things that could've been created in this universe. 

It wasn't a let down by any means, it just wasn't so amazing that I'd rewatch it again

8/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
8/10 overall
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Mxiong's avatar
Apr 13, 2019

Soo...I was really excited for this. And I hope I'm not alone with my review. I was pretty upset with it overall. It was so hyped and praised. But the story was so slow and there was little character development besides for Chise, which was obvious from the start. Slow story, boring concept. That's really it. 

5/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
6/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
haloe21's avatar
Apr 1, 2019

I honestly and completely LOVED this show! Wether it being from the cute little animations and spats between Chise and Elias or the serious plot. The main reason I love this so much is the Art Design. I couldn't get enough! It was so beautiful and the characters themselves are amazing! I love Elias' design. I honestly loved everything about it! The ending was really nice and wholesome to. The only thing I don't like is the "climax" of this story line kinda came out of no where. It was almost like there was a plot? But no set in stone "goal" you may call it. The climax kind of poppped out of no where and yes some characters that resulted in the ending were introduced later on. But still, it just felt a little off. Maybe if it was more eased into the plot or had more of a structurale plot at the begginning. But that's just my taste. But overall through this entire anime I couldn't help feeling what the character's were feeling (I sobbed so much the last two episodes) themeselves wanting to watch more know more just so that Chise and Eliase could be happy together. It was honestly the best anime's I have watched in a while. 9/10 WOULD recommend. 

8/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
Crua9's avatar
Mar 3, 2019

This is one of my most favorite shows out there. This is actually the show that got me back into anime. I will admit, it is slow at times and it could do some thing better. But this is a good slice of life anime.

I honestly hope they make more down the road.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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Toothygrin's avatar
Jan 25, 2019

I think this is one of those shows that you really love it or, you really hate it. If you're looking for action packed conflict and high adreniline plot this is definately not the show for you. But I started it and it's right up my ally. For one, the show has a more western feel to it. It's creatures are most definately. There are a lot of shows that do stuff with Japanese mythology and monsters. but there are not a lot that have much to do with Faeries and druids. It's a very interesting switch and as a fan of early european folklore I was more then happy to see it. It does have plenty of japanese influence to be sure but there is definately some love for western fantasy in here. 

I think for at least the first season the title is a little misleading. While Chizu does eventually fall in love with her master it's not a romance story so much as it's her coming to terms with herself. They could have easily gotten away with naming it the Magus' apprentice but that name is so overused it hurts. 

The animation is beautiful
The music is as well, if you're a fan of bands like Faun, Celtic women or even Corvus corax you're going to be right at home
with a odd japanese take on european folk music with a little bit of a modern hint. 
I find the characters average and what you would expect to be honest. It's nothing I haven't seen before
I'll just say this was a show at least for me that I couldn't stop watching. While writing this I've seen the first 12 episodes.
and I binge watched them and will most likely stay up until 2:00 watching the rest. 

Final thoughts, Ignore the reviews for this one. Make up your own mind give it a go you may love it. 


8.5/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
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MsNova's avatar
Dec 20, 2018

This was nicely done. It took place in a setting where European myths were real. The characters were well done. We learned more and more about them as the story unfolded.  I would like to see another season with a new story arc.  :)

9/10 story
8/10 animation
?/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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belindajones's avatar
Nov 12, 2018

I really enjoyed this series.  The characters were great and so was the story line.  I wish that we were given more information on Elias and why he acted the way he acted.  It would be great if they gave us another season and focaused on Chise and Elias' relationship and feelings.  It has so much potential and I felt letdown a bit but I did really enjoy it.  I do recommend the anime.

8/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
8/10 characters
8/10 overall
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ClubFoot's avatar
Aug 29, 2018

The world is filled with various things which cannot be understood by logic and things like that will always be there. Unfortunately, there is a distance that separates us to know that thing such as the nature of the world with other dimensions. Every story, especially a historical story on each culture, has an impression of whether it's a myth or there are various things that have occurred but we cannot feel it. The rest of Mahoutsukai no Yome is a fantasy anime introduces a magical world filled with magic about its characters and stories. This is not a Walt Disney classic movie like Beauty & the Beast. Even though it reminds me a bit of The Shape of Water, this anime doesn't focus too much on romance but it's more than that. Since the 3-episode OVA prequel made me amazed to the gorgeous fantasy world because the environment seems to start to the world apart from out of context which focuses on the narrative about Chise's flashback, Mahoutsukai no Yome is indeed one that I always anticipate for because it fit with my expectations.

The OVA seems to introduce additional flashback stories in the middle of the story that will later relate to the TV series. It's not a problem because you don't get what the context is unless you read the manga first. Yet I 'm still amazed at the premiered of the first episode and has an emotional narrative even though I don't know who is it or who is that character. So, the TV anime came in the fall of 2017, until it's finished airing in last March this year. The story follows Chise Hatori, a teenage girl who is different from all other children. After the death of her mother, she was exiled and hated by many people because of her strange attitude and could see other things which ordinary people couldn't see. After she sold herself to the auction of slaves, Elias Ainsworth, a mysterious creature supernatural bought Chise in Elias's hands. A complex yet deep relationship between the slave and the master is grown or you could just say, the teacher and student. It's not one type of show where it shows between a slave and master who are so taboo or otherwise but it's about knowing more about the unlimited world sphere of fantasy, knowing more about who Elias is in which just a children or Chise who is trying to understand why she could survive until now regardless of her mother who hoped her child would never be born.

Wit Studio is known for one anime that always overhyped at the first premiered and especially if it wasn't Shingeki no Kyojin. In addition to the anime, Wit Studio also worked on other popular anime such as Owari no Seraph and Koutetsujou no Kabaneri. Last season, they also worked on one of the romance anime, Koi wa Ameagari no You ni. One aspect that is so fascinating is the beauty of this anime from all aspects, especially for the art. It's not the type of fantasy show like isekai or some shit like that. Or a show which the main character stuck in the video game and the main character doesn't know what to do. At least, Little Witch Academia is also one which quite interesting with together with Houseki no Kuni with an ambiguity world of 3D. The visual is so beautiful that consist of a world inspired by the fiche stories that are so cliche. You can find the world of dragons, the world of elves, the world of fairies, witches, and of course, the dark world of fantasy itself. In this aspect which I most expect, the art is such an incredibly gorgeous. You can look whatever you want, whatever your viewpoint is focused where because the details feel like you can make it as a desktop wallpaper either where you pause it. The design of characters are quite interesting and at least in the form of an art sometimes chibi when it comes to the humor. Even though it's not a comedy anime, the humor at least can overcome the tone just a little so it doesn't need to be too serious in depth.

The soundtrack seemed to make me interested especially when entering into the world itself. The artistic element that combines the sound so that it fit with the visual itself is so well-crafted so, it stays in the style itself. The first opening theme song "Here" by JUNNA reminds me of Sawano Hiroyuki featuring other artists and it's such a potential point from the song itself. The ending theme songs are suitable for the fantasy world even though a few spoiler mentions without any context are not needed especially the second ending song that will bring together with the setting in the last episode. The second opening theme song is also the same as JUNNA. Both are memorable with fantasy themes that combine rock and the theme itself. The voice actors are also showing their manner little by little. Elias with his emotionless voice, Chise with her flat voice but sometimes out of character, and some various characters.

One thing I like about this anime is the used of settings in the modern world and the fantasy world. The same as Little Witch Academia but Mahoutsukai no Yome uses it in the countryside of London, England. Some of the locations also describe the cultures there with the streets, buildings, and hallways at night. This anime doesn't really show who is the good or bad guy. All the characters in this show have their own way, whether it's Cartaphilus, Elias, or other sub-plot characters. The most focused here is indeed the relationship developt between Chise and Elias. Elias was just a child who still didn't really understand the feelings of other creatures but he could at least still understand the strange feelings he could feel but didn't know what are those feelings. Chise who tried to learn magic to become one like Elias grew little by little and became an inspiration for others. Therefore, Elias who seemed to be his magic teacher and Chise seemed as if his human teacher helped, believed, and understood each other. My minor problem with both of them is Chise. Maybe without Elias too, she couldn't do anything because I always saw how he often relied on Elias without being able to do anything. However, I understood in the end how she would be able to understand and think further about the decision she would choose without hanging to him.

While they both share with each other, there is much variation of characters. One of them, which at first I thought she was just emblazoned in there, was Silky. She doesn't talk too much, doesn't give too much emotion, and doesn't participate too much in the story. It's like she just represented in there as if it just a painting. However, I also go further and understand it with her own impression through her flashback, but it's just giving her character in just a few minutes in one episode. It's not one of the most uncertain but there is some impression of her character. There is Ruth who became the first familiar for Chise. Ruth is just one side character who focuses on the beginning but participates in creating the stories with Chise. There isn't much I'm talking about but it's one that must be noticed. In addition to these characters, there are characters with each sub-plot where Chise becomes the chemistry and aspiring of these characters. There is Redcurrant as the vampire who tries to be the one of the person she has been watching, the dragon who understands the deepest feelings of Chise, a young woman who feels guilty about her husband who always pays attention to her circumstance, and her mother who feels guilty at the end which is quite a bit spoiler in it. The other characters who mostly have an important role in this anime are Cartaphilus which brings out a huge influence on Chise's character. Since he also has one of the darkest and depressing flashbacks from the others, Chise understands more after seeing further about him, why he became like that, and the reason he did it. This reminds me of the Undertale Pacifist route which is quite emotional yet the same as. That is one embarrassing comparison that I never thought but it was like that. So, please don't attack me. Although some just become a marker for the main character to increases the potential, other characters are forgettable but provide a broad view of the characters themselves.

Mahoutsukai no Yome has another meaning from the story itself. A fantasy world which is widely inspired by folklore from various worlds such as dragons, fairies, the tree of life, witches, and things related to them. The story is just a little to explain what important points are in the anime. The characters so much become aspiring to the main character and don't always focus on the relationship. There is so much that can be taken from this anime which is the representation of life and death, becomes an inspiration to many people, to understand the meaning of the characters, and others. However, the world created in here is one that is so much expected for fans whether they reading the manga, watching the OVA from the beginning, fantasy fans, or the casual but it might be a bit difficult for them. This fantasy folklore-inspired tale is so different from other fantasy anime or manga. It's not isekai crap, the character is drawn to another world, or the mainstream things which are in the circle but Mahoutsukai no Yome is more than that.

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
CrustySoap201's avatar
Jul 6, 2018

This is honestly one of the best anime I've ever watched. The art is breath taking, the characters, aside from the main one, are very unique, the story doesn't drag on and gets to the point, the sound design is flawless, and overall it's an amazing anime.

The main character, Chise, goes through many internal trials as she tries to adapt to her new magical (litterally) life with the main male character Elias.

After years of abuse, abandonment, and other fucked up trauma, Chise finally ends up in a place where she isn't shunned or mistreated. Albiet, she got there buy being sold, so she's techniacally a slave, but that beside's the point.

Did I mention magic? Well if that's what you're into than this anime might be worth watching.

Or if you're weird and are looking for an anime where the main character is 15 and is being looked after by a shadow mage, that's cool too.

The anime covers many dark topics such as suicide, abandonment, abuse, and other stuff, just letting you know.

Overall its an awesome anime and I couldn't recommend it more.

9/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
9/10 characters
10/10 overall
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NatsumeJinko's avatar
Jun 25, 2018

I finished this anime with disappointment and relief that it was finally over. 

When I first started out I was hooked into the characters, the world, and the story of Chise. However after some point it felt like the story forgot itself and became lost. I found myself wondering why I was still watching but pushed through in hopes things would change. It didn't. 

In the first episodes Chise was sold and bought by Elias, which is great that he saved her from being bought by any potential weirdos, or so I thought. Then he drops the bomb that he wants her as his bride and wants to go on a honeymoon with her. They barely know each other and they have little to no time to develop any kind of relationship and yet he's trying to get down with this child?

He also talks like she's his experiment or his pet and even refers to her as such throughout the anime. He has lived for centuries hence "ancient magus" and yet has no experience with humans? I find this logic very flawed that he lived that long but learned nothing. There's just several aspects to how he interacts with Chise that makes me feel uncomfortable. Especially the scene where he forces her to strip and bathes her without her consent where she is clearly scared and uncomfortable. Though one of the characters repremended Elias for it, it felt more like a slap on the wrist or a "you dense pervert" than a "this is wrong you fucking pedo". 

Then there was the numerous times the anime would be all calm and homey like only to suddenly switch to dark and edgy with animal or human torture and the change would be so drastic it would leave you emotionally exhausted and wondering what the hell was going on. I love dark anime I watched Made in Abyss and ADORED it but the way it was handled here just leaves me wondering why I should care.

There is several plot holes in the story like why did her brother and father just up and leave after seeing the cat? Why did they never return? Why did her mother say those things and try to kill her so randomly? Why does Elias even want Chise other than to learn about humans which seems bullshit because he seems to know quite a bit in the first few episodes and the final one???? Why does Chises familiar agree so easily to kill the little girl with Elias? Why was her mental health not expanded upon? Why do her relationships with everyone feel so EMPTY? There's just so many little things wrong with the characters and story that make this whole thing a disappointment. You can decorate a picture with all the sparkles and flares but people will FEEL the emptiness poured in just by looking at it. Overall I see wasted potential here. I want to love this story and its characters, but because of carelessness I can't. 

4/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
5/10 characters
5/10 overall
Kingmoonbee's avatar
May 8, 2018

There's a lot to uncover in this one!

There wasn't a whole lot going on for the story in Ancient Magnus Bride. I feel that there are reoccurring themes of Chise does something reckless and gets hurt and then Elias does something else reckless in turn to try to protect Chise. It's just a cycle of Chise getting hurt on her own accord and Elias bringing her back to life every time. There was just a lot more I wanted this series to go into that they touched on like Chise's dad and brother, where are they?? Let them reunite again!! Kind of all over the place at time as well. Throughout the whole time of watching this series, I was like, where is this going? How does this arc contribute to the overarching show? 5/10.

The animation was fairly good most of the time and the characters were beautiful deserving an 8/10.

Sound overall was also fairly good, but nothing astounding. 7/10.

Now the characters are probably the most appealing thing about this anime. I really like that Chise doesn't have "main character syndrom". She's been through a lot of hardship and the way she interacts with people and how insecure she always is very much shows that. She wants to save other people, but not simiarly to the way other mains with "MC syndrom" does. She wants to save others because she understands what pain and suffering is and doesn't want anyone else to go through it. She doesn't progress through the series being like "If we try our best and believe in the power of friendship, everything will work out!!" And I really liked that realistic portrayal of her. 

Elias is also another very interesting character as he is half demon and half human making his appearance that of a monster, but he is still capable of feeling human emotions and that is very prevelant throughout the series as it continues. He ends up taking more and more risks if it meant saving Chise or protecting her. There was even a time where he was willing to sacrifice a completely innocent person for the sake of Chise and part of his reasoning for choosing this person is because he's jealous of the relationship they have with Chise. Extremely childish!! He's someone who has lived for thousands of years and yet he has the emotions of a 5 year old because he had never been exposed to emotions like this before. There are times where his infatuation with Chise is very toxic (like the example above) and vice versa, but I think what makes this work/excusable is that they both don't understand emotions like they should. Elias felt jealousy towards that other character which is a natural feeling every person feels, but many of us are emotionally mature enough to know that we can't just kill someone because we're jealous of them whereas Elias on the other hand literally doesn't understand that. He's a literal 5 year old with too much power in his hands. 8/10.

There are many other amazing characters that I could deulve into as well, but this is getting quiet lengthy, so I'll cut it off soon. Overall, I give this series a 6.5/10 desite my subscores average out to be 7/10 because even though there are components of this anime that I really liked, there was just too much that needed to be worked on. If they had a more cohesive story, it would have definitely bumped up the score for me. This anime just left feeling a big 'meh' so I docked it 0.5 points in it's overall score.

TL;DR: If you like interesting, flawed /, and realistic characters and don't mind minimal plot progression, give this a watch! 

5/10 story
8/10 animation
7/10 sound
8/10 characters
6.5/10 overall
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Alacara's avatar
May 7, 2018

This anime is quite beautiful. The story takes you on a journey that leaves you wishing to know more about what will happen next. If you watch the dubbed version, the audio is a bit off at points where it is rather noticeable. Other than that I would point to my only disappointment is when they changed the opening theme later in the anime. 

Following Chise through this journey with Ellias will pull on your heart in the best ways. It's an anime that I feel many of us can connect with and love in one way or another. 

9/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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TheSocialite's avatar
Apr 30, 2018

Twilight – The Anime

When I refer to this as Twilight: The Anime, I don’t mean it literally. While this is a supernatural story, there is thankfully no love triangle between the heroine and a vampire and werewolf. There is, however, a shody plot that incorporates every supernatural story cliché and fan fiction trope imaginal. It’s as if all the delusions that Rikka Takanashi in Chuunibyou or Zaimokuza in MTRC SNAFU spout, you know, the parts that are meant to be the comic relief, were made into the plot to a serious anime. And much like Twilight, it is unjustifiably popular.

Chise is a Mary Sue (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue) version of Natsume Takashi, which is too bad because there is initially a lot of possibility with the Chise character. Ellias is the far too seriously written Nyanko-sensei. I’d like to give you examples to support my position, but they would be spoilers and I don't believe in putting spoilers in reviews. And this show, while ultimately a waste of time, does have some merits.

The animation is very well done. While the characters might be two dimensional (both literally and figuratively) the character designs themself are good. The sound is good even if the music is a little maudlin for my taste. And there are several funny unintentional comedy moments, mostly stemming from the lack of understanding of Western names and customs by the Japanese creators. I don’t understand setting a story in England unless you were very familiar with English names, places, and cultural norms. But it is good for the occasional laugh.

2/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
0.1/10 characters
4/10 overall
Katfishing's avatar
Apr 24, 2018

Mahoutsukai no Yome was quite highly anticipated and well recieved at its start, but a poorl usage of episodic structure and disjointed plotline sees the series through in a disappointing and often times frustrating way-despite the fantastic score and animation direction. In a similar position to Guilty Crown, the series starts strong with an interesting concept, compellling world bulilding, stunning visuals, and a brilliant soundtrack, only to squander them on a plotline and characters that can only be described as idiotic.

As stated before, the series's strong point is inarguably in its soundtrack and animation, the former being the stronger of the two. Although there didn't appear to be a large number of tracks-you can almost always hear the same few songs being played each and every episode-those tracks fantastic, and you only get tired of them when the plot is exhausting you. The animation quality was overall quite good, but nothing too incredibly fancy.

The setting and overall world buliding of the series is also a strong point, one that is accentuated by a lack of this brand of fantasy in current anime trends.

As for the bad things, I gave this series a 4/10 because unfortunately, a good concept, pretty visuals, and a great score cannot carry a series. The plot of Mahoutsukai no Yome is not inherently bad, it is simply executed poorly. It's episodic structure has its main character, Chise, encounter different people and entities, and we watch as she gets involved and tries to solve their problems. While many of these characters reoccur throughout the series, the "arcs" are disjointed and often confusing, not only regarding their overall pacing within the greater plot, but also in purpose. I often found myself asking "so what?" to many of the arcs, as they felt like filler, and often relied on empty sympathy for any kind of impact. The point seemed to be expanding and developing Chise's development, however it was poorly executed-which eventually led to the climax feeling frustratingly stupid. I can't emphasize the feeling of "Seriously? Why did she do that??" in this series, in fact, it should be the summary.

Which leads into the characters. I felt the most strongly about the cast in the first season, but after dozens of stupid descions made by the main characters (because, what else can drive a plot right?) and empty feeling side characters, no doubt this category is the series's weakest point. Even the alleged grand "development" the characters were building up to felt like they had barely gotten any to begin with.

Overall Mahoutsukai no Yome can be described as wasted potential, and I cannot in good faith actually recommend the series to anyone.

3/10 story
8/10 animation
10/10 sound
3/10 characters
3/10 overall
haize78's avatar
Apr 17, 2018

I am absolutely not impressed by this. I actually think it was a waste of my time. The plot is full of holes and is naive at best, the characters just..meh... 

Production values, animations, backgrounds, colours, music, opening and ending songs are really good. But apart from that, I wouldn't recommend it.

Chise is just about the only character that is portrayed in a half-decent way, as in we know where she's coming from so you can kind of empathise with her. As for the rest, I just couldn't feel anything for any of them. Elias is a big whole of nothing. Cartaphilus, the bad guy, leaves me just as indifferent as Elias. They're all pretty much one-dimensional and bland. There is no depth to any of them.

The world-building is lacking. We've been told that Chise is a Sleigh Beggy, but all considered it doesn't really make much sense. We don't know what Elias is. We don't know why Chise's father left with her little brother. They just outline the bigger picture as in there's a fairy realm governed by Oberon and Titania and some special people like Chise who can see the fairies and have magical powers.

The plot rambles on with dull filler up until 3/4 of the anime, after which it's possibly even worse. The intention, I guess, was to explore and develop Chise and Elias's relationship, giving it a dark twist...but boy did they miss the target. The last episode was painful to watch to the end and had me cringing countless times. The romantic aspect which was hinted at in all of the anime becomes outright embarrassing. 

A let down. There are better things to watch.

3.5/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall
JakCooperThePlumber's avatar
Apr 9, 2018

The Ancient Magu’s Bride is a masterpiece, one of the greatest anime I’ve seen in a long time. It’s one of the best anime of 2017, and so far one of the best anime of 2018, too. I wish it aired earlier in the year so I would’ve completed it sooner. In this post I plan on going in depth analyzing the story, characters, and themes. Aspects of the show such as animation, art, music, and voice acting will not be discussed, although they are also amazing. Also, while it should go without saying, this is going to be an in depth analysis, so there will be spoilers, you have been warned. The Ancient Magus’ Bride is based on a manga Kore Yamazaki and the anime adaptation was produced by Wit Studio. I consider this story to be split into two parts.

There’s the first few episodes which makes it seem like a sweet romance, slice of life, comedy anime. Granted it does begin with the heroine, Chise Hatori, being sold into the slave trade and bought by the main guy, Elias, but this doesn’t become important until later on. The show cleverly segues into it’s deeper, more tragic themes as it progresses, until it has you fully invested midway through, and begins to harshly tug on your heartstrings towards the end. Let me be clear, this anime does have a happy ending, but you have to EARN that happy ending, it doesn’t coddle you. This anime has several different themes permeating throughout it. The primary themes are love, regret, hope, moving forward, friendship, and family. And it’s the incredible characters that makes those themes work.

Chise is one of the best female anime characters I’ve seen in a long time. She starts out being sold into the sex trade, after which she’s bought by Elias. While terrified at first, having gave up on hope a long time ago, she learns that Elias doesn’t have any malice intent. While he does intend to make her his wife, he does seem to be really kind and gentle, which goes directly against her initial expectations, although it still takes her awhile to warm up towards him. Not only does Chise have Elias, but she also has Ruth and Silky, all three of which comprises the “family” that I mentioned before. Aside from them, she also has Alice, Rahab, Angelica Barley, Jade Ariel, Stella Barklem, which comprises her “friends.” it’s these eight characters who, at varying degrees, helps transform Chise into an insecure, scared, self-loathing girl who had didn’t trust anyone and was resigned to just accepting all of the terrible things that was happening to her, to a strong, self-confident, self-loving woman who actually cares if he lives or dies.

It’s one of the most heartwarming and engaging character arcs I’ve seen in years. Elias is another fantastic character. While Chise had a more emotional character arc, at least for me, I felt that Elias was more interesting. In a way Elias is similar to Violet from the anime series Violet Evergarden of this year. They’re both non human beings, in Elias’ case an ancient Magus and in Violet’s case an artificial intelligence, who don’t understand human emotions and their character arcs throughout their respective series are to learn them. This is a type of character personality which always fascinates me.
He originally bought Chise with the intention of making her his wife, but we go to learn later on that he doesn’t have a firm grip on empathy. While he is surprisingly kind and warm to her initially, and even seems like he’s helping Chise overcome her trauma, with the aid of Ruth and Silky of course, it’s eventually hinted that he may not be the best influence on her for a couple reasons. One, he’s unable to tell that she has an unhealthy reliance on him in order to survive, which is a problem that ends up extending to him too, and two, he tries to sacrifice the first true friend she made in episode 21 so that Chise herself could live, and he truly believed that Chise would be fine with living if it meant her close friend had to die. His character arc revolves around him learning empathy and becoming someone who would truly be able to aid and support Chise as her husband, which definitely wasn’t the case at the beginning of the series.

I also loved the ever changing relationship between Chise and Elias. Their relationship goes through three different phases throughout the story. While Elias claims that he intends to make her his wife, their relationship starts as more father-daughter esque, with Elias being a grown adult and Chise being a young, abused, emotionally fragile girl. As the series progresses, after Elias, Silky, and Ruth helps Chise open up and become less insecure, it changes to more of a mother-son relationship, with Chise helping Elias learn more about humans. Honestly, while Elias can seem like an imposing, powerful mage in some scenes, when it comes to humanity he’s as ignorant as a small child, which is where Chise comes in. Finally, by the end of the series both of their character arcs have come to an end and we get reaffirmed that they’re meant to become husband and wife.

At this point stand on equal footing after they’ve helped each other change and grow, just like every good couple is able to do. These two are the driving force of the show. As good as the side character are, almost everything they do is in direct relation to Elias and Chise, so you literally couldn’t have the story without them. The side characters are also interesting and endearing. The ones we see most often are Silky and Ruth, two people who live with Chise and Elias. They serve as the sister and brother of Chise respectively, and, along with Elias, makes up Chise’s new family. Silky’s one of the few characters that I wasn’t able to connect with very much. While we do get a brief scene towards the middle of the show presenting her past, it was tragic of course, but it was incredibly vague and I wasn’t able to tell exactly what they were trying to say.

It also doesn’t help that she never speaks a single line in the series. That doesn’t mean we don’t have a grasp on her personality, because that’s simply untrue. She serves as the cook of the house, and we see that she does truly love Chise like a sister, especially at the end of the series when she gives Chise a huge hug after she returns home, but I just think that more could’ve been done with her. I think Ruth was handled much better. He was Chise’s familiar who has the ability to transform into a dog. He’s the one who spends the most time with her, primarily because he’s able to hide inside of Chise’s shadow, so we get a lot of time developing their relationship.

Like I said before, they have a brother sister relationship, but it goes beyond that to the point that Ruth, as her familiar, is willing to do whatever it takes to protect her. It’s because of this that he ends up joining with Elias when the latter decides to attempt to sacrifice Chise’s new friend to save Chise’s life. One of my few complaints about the show, or perhaps the correct term would be nitpick, is that Chise seems to let Ruth of easy for trying to kill her friend. She gets really angry with Elias, but all we get with Ruth is her briefly mentioning it at the end, which seems kind of screwed up to me. Other side characters worth mentioning includes Alice, another mage apprentice who acts as an older sister to Chise, whereas Silky is more of a younger sister, Angelica Barley, who seems like a motherly figure, and Stella Barklem, who was Chise’s first actual friend.

Stella I enjoyed in particular because she had a couple episodes dedicated to just her and her brother when she was introduced, which this series doesn’t get a whole lot. She’s brought in early on, which gives the show an ample amount of time to make her likable and develop her friendship with Chise. It makes it truly heartbreaking and tense when Elias attempts to sacrifice her, but thankfully she survives in the end. She’s probably my favorite of the side characters. One character who I’m kind of split on is the main villain of the show, Joseph. He isn’t bad. He’s very intimidating during his introduction and proves to be a huge threat against our protagonists. In addition to that the final few episodes gives him a tragic backstory and makes him more sympathetic, which is also good.

However, I just felt that his story was kind of rushed. All I could gather is that he’s a sorcerer that fused together with a being known as Cartaphilus which caused Joseph to be cursed with immortality. Not being able to ever die, for over 2,000 years, caused him to eventually go mad. That all sounds nice, but I do have two questions. One, why did he fuse with Cartaphilus. I seem to recall that he was close to death at the time, but I don’t know why that was the case. And second,w ho the fuck is Cartaphilus. This character had the most disservice done to him in the entire show because he was literally just grazed over. It would’ve been nice if they went more in depth with who or what he is. Still, despite my complaints, Joseph was a fine villain, and he was part of the reason that the finale of this show was so damn spectacular.

The Ancient Magus’ Bride covered several themes, and I was surprised, shocked even with how they dealt with them. There’s two particular moments that I want to discuss. The first was Chise’s mother. At the beginning of the series Chise is being sold into slavery, and we believe throughout the majority of the show that it’s because Chise’s mother didn’t want her, regretting having given birth to her after her father left them. However, towards the end we learn that while Chise’s flashbacks of her mother attempting to choke her were real, she immediately regretted it, and soon after committed suicide. When this happened, what I predicted was Chise’s mother being completely redeemed and Chise forgiving her. This would have presented a huge problem.


Parents, even mothers, shouldn’t be given eternal respect just because they bring a child into the world, they have to earn that respect based on their performance. And I’m sorry, if you attempt to kill your own child, your own flesh and blood, even IF you regret it afterwards, then you don’t deserve that respect. While it is true that before her father left the three of them were a happy family, that becomes irrelevant when you try to kill your kid. However, the series doesn’t redeem her mother. Not only that, but Chise chooses to not forgive her mother, at least for the time being. It’s one of the few stories, not just in anime, that understands that you can move on from trauma in the past without forgiving the ones who directly caused said trauma.

The second moment happened after the previous, and it’s regarding the main villain, Joseph. Like I said before he was a sorcerer who, while on the brink of death, fused together with a being known as Cartaphilus to save his own life, with the price that he would become immortal. This eventually caused him to go mad. In addition, since he was a child when he became immortal, his personality and morality remained that of a child for the past 2,000 years. Joseph’s and Chise’s confrontation at the end of the series was monumental, as well as debatable for my favorite moment in the series. It starts with Chise and Joseph having a brief battle with each other, after which Joseph confessing why he’s really doing this. His reasoning is that he’s been suffering as an immortal for over 2,000 years, and what made it worse was that everyone else was aloud to be happy.

Then Chise makes the argument that he isn’t the only one whose suffering, and that even if his suffering is greater than everyone else’s, that still doesn’t give him the right to cause pain to others. It’s after this that the series impressed me, because Joseph brings up that Chise is a hypocrite because she is the same way. Which is true. While Chise did get a massive amount of character development, earlier on in the show she was very selfish and was only thinking about her own situation. While she never went as far as Joseph, as in intentionally causing harm to other people, you still can’t deny that her and Joseph weren’t much different with their selfishness. And then the series continued to shock me by having Chise AGREE with Joseph, that she had been very selfish.

After that she looks like that she’s going to kill him, but instead she hugs him. This is important for both of them. While Chise did have a good young life at first, that ended after her father left; all the warmth her mother had once given her disappeared. And Joseph, as far as we can tell, had never been given any warmth in his life. She realized that what they both needed what not to fight, but to feel loved, even if for a moment. This simple act ended the battle immediately. The ending of the show is also spectacular. Like I said before, The Ancient Magus’ Bride does have a happy ending, but you have to earn it, you have to sit through all of the intense, well-written drama and sad moments before you get to the heartwarming conclusion.

I do want to mention that there’s one thing that I didn’t quite understand about the ending of this anime, and it has to do with Joseph. After his and Chise’s fight ends, he somehow fuses with her soul, I think…yeah, that confusing enough. However, I liked the outcome of that. We learned earlier on in the series that Chise is going to die soon, but Joseph, grateful for what she did for him, is able to subdue this imminent death for awhile. That’s nice. However, towards the end of the final episode his body is shown in Chise’s basement, I think. She goes down there real quick to cover him up, and then leaves. I didn’t understand that part, because I thought that he was supposed to exist inside of her now, but regardless this is one of the most pleasing endings in all of anime to me personally, it was an absolutely stunning way to conclude the series.

9/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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sw00ty's avatar
Apr 3, 2018

So... I'm not alone here, right? The Ancient Magus' Bride, winner of Crunchyroll's Best Drama 2017 award (despite not having finished airing... jumping the gun much?), darling to critics and anime viewers everywhere... it's not actually THAT good? Right?

Guys?

Now it would be very poor form to just leave it at a pithy declaration of cynicism, so I'll elaborate; TAMB has a number of interesting elements and I can certainly see why people were drawn to it initially, based on an interesting premise and world and a dearth of excellent dramatic anime franchises in 2017, but beyond that? It's actually a very fairly confused and incohesive series, and I can't help but be perplexed at its sterling reputation. It stars Chise Hattori, a young girl with the ability to see fairies and spirits, which has led to her being a social outcast (not to mention her tragic family life). After selling herself at an auction as a symbol of her own minimal self-worth, she winds up living with the Thorn Mage, Elias, a being whose origins are unknown even to himself, but who doesn't seem to be either fairy or human. Disarmingly, Elias refers to 15-year old Chise as his 'bride' (hence the title) and seems to regard her as a mixture of interesting test subject (she's actually an entity called a Sleigh Beggy who has endless magical potential) and whimsical puppy. The series then follows Chise and Elias as they begin to understand each other a little better and grow accustomed to the irrevocable change that each effects upon the other.

Sadly, despite being the main draw, Elias and Chise's relationship was one of the most underwhelming aspects of the show for me. Their development comes in dribs and drabs, and while I appreciated that the later season problematises the dynamic and makes it clear that this won't be a straightforward "grown man/demon and 15 year-old fall in love" romance (*phew*), I still feel like representing the pairing as more paternal (Chise finally having a stable guardianship after so long) rather than the bastardised mix of paternity, pedagogy and blushing crushes that the show actually decides on, would have been simpler and easier to execute. As it stands, I felt like Elias should have been more of a supporting character aiding Chise's development throughout (given that she's by far the more interesting and the show is mostly her meeting new people and making new relationships via Elias) especially since his own character arcs mostly follow a generic "do bad thing that Chise doesn't like then apologise" formula. This is especially salient as a point of criticism, given that Chise's mental health (which you would expect to be a real focal point in any drama) usually only comes up as a few short lines of suicide ideation once every other episode before another mythological creature comes sauntering in, and it would have been nice to explore Chise's past and mindset a bit more than we already did; if your show has a strength, why not play to it?

Otherwise, TAMB produces what I would call a healthy sized cast, but one that it continually mis-manages; characters and, it must be said, whole sub-plots are often dropped in with startling abruptness towards the midpoints or even last five minutes of certain episodes, and a number of them fade into the background just as suddenly, only to pop up again later. The series can go from 1 to 11 in no time at all, with some rather visceral and disturbing scenes cutting in jarringly towards the end, and its this haphazard mix of fantastical slice-of-life, action sequences and hard-hitting character drama that makes TAMB so baffling as an apparent critical 'gem'. One minute we're being introduced to the Fairy King and Queen, then they're gone for much of the plot and we've got a cat murder-related sub-plot to unfurl, then some backstory for a supporting character which doesn't fit in with the rest of its episode and then, oops, Elias hasn't done anything for a while so let's get him back in... for a show which coasts on magic and whimsy and British folkloric adaptations mixed with mild character drama, it can be awfully exhausting to watch.

Visually, the show has a distinct artstyle which, though it fits the story content and themes, didn't impress me all that much having watched the likes of Made in Abyss and Land of the Lustrous, two shows which in addition to being straight-up more interesting had really cool animation and art direction. It's kind of like being served high-end supermarket pizza the day after you've been to an authentic Italian restaurant; still pretty to look at, but it's not the kind of show where you can let your mind wander and just appreciate the art design (though characters like Elias himself are admittedly visually interesting). The extended voice cast does a fine job and are all well-cast, particularly Chise, but being someone who mostly comes to anime for outside-the-box concepts well-executed, this wasn't enough to remove the nagging sense that I was watching just to finish the series rather than because I was enjoying it.

TL;DR

Eh... I know many of the people who will (hopefully, hypothetically) read this will disagree, but there's just nothing in The Ancient Magus' Bride that made me all that invested, and the pacing and plot twists were just too wonky and poorly-reasoned for the story itself to be anything all that engrossing either. Whether you came to this one for the romance, the action, the atmosphere, whatever, I can't help but feel like there will be people (like myself) who will just end up disappointed. I don't like using the 'O' word... but yeah, overrated. IMO. Obviously. 

4/10 story
7.5/10 animation
8/10 sound
5.5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall
CodeBlazeFate's avatar
Mar 27, 2018

Life is a wonderful, horrible, fascinating, disturbing, and complicated concept to experience.

The idea of existing is fascinating, as you get to have experiences that leave memories that you take with you and leave behind as you live your days in your world. No matter what twisted and painful situations occur in someone’s life, the idea of happiness, and memories worth cherishing, is nigh-universal. Everyone wants to have happy memories before they die. Death is a sad, chilling reality we must face, so we must cherish the life we have as much as we can, with people who will make us feel happy about living and having them in our lives.

Mahoutsukai no Yome serves as a brilliant reminder of this, with death looming as an intense shadow over everyone, characters whose lives were so devoid of meaning or love until they found someone who showed them any semblance of warmth that made them depend on said person and find meaning in their own life, and a world and atmosphere that is otherwise fascinating and majestic. It truly shows off a sense of life not many shows nowadays can, and in many ways, acts like a puzzle, slowly piecing itself together. Despite minor logical errors such as walking on water with nothing supernatural to back that up given the fantasy world (among other things that require explanation), Mahoutsukai as a fantasy, is leaps and bounds above its modern contemporaries, ignoring the occasionally photorealistic-esque CGI flowers and grass, and how the visuals for both openings largely consist of footage from the show itself.

Bit by bit, with each passing episode, we learn more and more about Mahoutsukai’s world, its creatures, magic, rules, and civilizations. The creatures we learn about have lovely, inviting designs that make you want to leap into the screen and explore nature to interact with them. We constantly learn about these fictional cultures and how they “interact” with each other and human societies. Not revelation about magic and this world feels believable, but most of them do. To have such large discoveries consistently make sense and feel even remotely like a powerful revelation, is a testament to the fantastic world-building this series showcases, as it is easily the show’s crowning aspect, partially thanks to WIT Studio, and partially thanks to the original mangaka's writing.

Revelations about Elias, other major recurring characters such as the show’s first antagonist, and about characters with their own stories to tell in miniature arcs, and even Chise herself, are all methodical and placed in such a way where they feel like a major highlight of any given episode. Given that you get one in every episode, sometimes upwards to three, it can be a nigh-overwhelming experience at times, if the emotional climaxes to many of these miniscule arcs fail to bring you to your knees as is. At least, that’s the idea, for you see, the series can feel quite droll at times, and the occasionally jarring and unwarranted comedy does not help with that. The color pallete getting dreary to the point of mandating a monumental shift in brightness settings only adds to the occasional mundanity of this series, to the point where some revelations and episode-defining moments fail to be as earth-shattering as others. Thankfully, the humor can still land fairly well when inserted properly, the atmosphere is often wonderful, and the emotional and chilling moments shine intensely at conveying their mood.

A majority of the characters are perfectly fine as they are, with their own emotional arcs that Chise wanders through and helps resolve, with some humorous banter and sweet moments to boot, even if they aren’t necessarily too entertaining. However, Chise, an emotionally detached person desperately looking for some real meaning and warmth in her life, is one of the more compelling protagonists of the year. On top of that, Elias is interesting to see get pieced together as distrust looms stronger in the air by the episode. It is nice seeing their relationship develop, and especially how Chise develops as a person. Additionally, Silky is the most precious thing and Ruth, while arguably the weakest of the main tetrad, is still an entertaining character to have around. The main antagonist, Cartaphilus, can be rather unnerving, with how childishly detached he is, how nonchalant he is about using and killing people, how he constantly questions himself abruptly, and how his body is merely a husk that can be destroyed and replaced casually. On top of what we learn about him, he’s utterly disconcerting to watch, intentionally so; he is easily one of the best villains of these past years. Other characters such as Lindel are fine too, though sometimes no one is truly enough to sustain a truly compelling viewing experience, notably in the second quarter of the show. Additionally, the best episodes of the early are the ones that really bring out the most of life and death, and/or reach for those delicate heartstrings, such as episodes 3 and 5, while after somewhat of a slump in the second quarter, the show truly picks up back to the best of what it was before.

Some of the music has been largely carried over from the OVA, namely some of the more melodic, instrumental pieces. Thankfully, there are a variety of new, often emotional tracks added to the mix. There are some nice vocal tracks as well that play in the midst of emotional moments (such as Kimi no Yuke), even if they never get played again. Both Openings, "Here" by JUNNA (OP 1), and "You" by May'n (OP 2), are rather memorable for different reasons, for better or worse. The former is a nice song that truly captures the feel of the song, with instruments like the spanish guitar being used to excellent effect and the vocals by JUNNA being wonderful. The latter feels like it stumbled into this show by mistake and the animators tried to dress it up as much as possible. On top of being the weakest May’n song I’ve heard, it just doesn’t fit; they should have used the former song for all 24 episodes. ED 1, "Wa -cycle- (環-cycle-)" by Hana Itoki (糸奇はな), is irritating to listen to thanks to the way the wind instruments are used, particularly in the beginning; even afterwards, the song isn’t memorable. ED 2, "Tsuki no mou Hanbun (月のもう半分)" by AIKI & AKINO from bless4, is a vast improvement, being a slow buildup to a wonderfully emotional and fitting climax that pays off brilliantly. It is one of the few good ending themes of the season.

Ultimately, while not as magical as anticipated, Mahoutsukai no Yome is a charming, calming, and occasionally sweet and somber series, showing some of the wonders in life, with the shadow of death ever so ubiquitous. It is certainly one of the better anime out there nowadays, especially for the anime fantasy genre. It can certainly be understood why so many have been enchanted to such a spell-binding series, even if it feels a bit withered in places. With all that said, as always, I bid you adieu.

7/10 story
8/10 animation
7.2/10 sound
7.8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
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RagingRoy's avatar
Mar 25, 2018

The Ancient Magus' Bride. An anime that set up one of the best drawn universes I've ever seen with nearly flawless animation & sound.. Just to fall flat on their face following up and ending it. Every grimy detail (where the devil lies) that the series set out to always show and explain to you is ALWAYS extremely brief and vague which becomes more obscene later when they try to sloppily fill these details in which gives me the impression that all the writing for this anime has been an on-the-fly job... Which is absurd, considering it's following a manga. To understand what I'm talking about, this review is gonna have to make some points that go into some mild spoiler territory.

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1. In the very first episode, one of the protagonists Elias Ainsworth exclaim his excitement, pleasure and luck for aquiring Chise in the auction. He gives her nicknames like "Puppy" and "Kitten" while going out of his way to force her to take a bath with the sh*ttyexcuse that "I doubt you know how to work the tub" and how he plans to marry her & go onto honeymoons fervently. This is a crystal clear example on how you establish a character and their traits/preferences/behavior/characteristics, etc. What do they do for the other odd 20-23 episodes? Turn the character in his entirety into a textbook psychopath that, despite having been around for hundreds of years, have the intelligence, logical thinking capacity and maturity with that of a toddler while disregarding everything that happened in the beginning (untillthefinalepisodewheretheytieoffthebridethingsortabutnotreally) to the point where he was 'literally' going to sacrifice and kill Chise's child friend in the same house she sleeps in out of some absurdly shallow and surface-level jealously. 

Why can't I forgive this? Because of this little line in the second episode.. (ontop of numerous other statements made through-out the season):

It's proof that he has substantial understanding of emotions and/or the human psyche. If you picked up on this like I did, watching this entire anime's plot and characters (where this kind of shit actually happens even more) makes it an agonizing experience. Especially since:

2. The anime completely and utterly fails explaining even a slither out of all the rules with magic and it's associations. Here's a TINY list of it i made in a few minutess along with a bunch of the illogical/tarded plot holes/scrummy details:

 

  • Why do the magic "invisible" creatures sometimes fade in out of nowhere when Chise can inherently and naturally see them all the time (not even being able to turn said ability off, something that's elaborated to have caused her a lot of childhood grief)?
  • Why specifically are mages/people who use sorcery and the like a dying breed? "Because of science and people neglecting us n' stuff.." is the only reason ever given which doesn't make sense. More humans should mean more people with aptitudes for magic and if there's such incredibly specific roles such as an "Artificer" for example, there should be entire big magic societies or cities dedicated to the arts but there apparently aren't any and nor is any sorcery/magic known to the public whatsoever (despite a glimpse into some sorcery university that just raises even more questions), despite the series consistently pulling huge (sometime destructive) stunts in populated cities and there being (apparently) published books about a wide variety of it's subjects?
  • What the f*cking f*ck is Cartaphilius and all the hot-potato curse swapping near the end?
  • Why does Chise immediately sink like an anchor in water and seemingly have no human instincts to say, hold oxygen in her lungs to have buoyancy or try to do something resembling dog paddling (something commonly taught to 4 year olds) as a 16 year old?
  • Why are the entirety of Elias's backstory & details & anatomy all COMPLETELY unknown through-out the anime's whopping 24 episodes when he's the main protagonist?
  • Why (ignoring all the other absurdities) is the cat "king", a female, called a "king"?
  • Why did the series intertwine themselves so closely to the book of genesis just to add their own, extremely confusing twist on things like calling the forbidden fruit the "fruit of paradise" and making Cartaphilus be based around a wandering jew legend instead of building on (from the very same book of genesis) with Cain & Abel as it's the same "cursed to be alive" shtick?
  • Why is Mikhail Renfred initially portrayed as some super villian / really huge asshole by trying to squeeze a paralyzed fairy that he has no prior association with into ketchu- HOW CAN HE SEE THEM.. AND WHY IS HE TRYING TO CONVINCE ANYONE OF THEIR 'FREEDOM' WITH A KNIFE TO THEIR THROAT?
  • Why does Elias sometimes go into an uncontrollable "Oh i gotta fucking DEVOUR that hot b*tch Chise" at night but otherwise be in a state of 1500% control by casually licking her neck clean of blood in episode 8 with NO issue whatsoever?
  • How does that ridiculous artificial teleport-in-a-pill crap actually work, and why is it so overused in the plot with a literal unlimited universe of actual magic and creativity to tap into?
  • Why did Elias buy Chise for 5 MILLION POUNDS? He is asked this very question in the anime and the dodgy answer is, and I quote: "I wanna 'feel' emotions, yo." Why does he need a Sleigh Beggy for this, as he admits not even needing her excess magic instead of say, just going to your run-of-the-mill slave trader for 2% the cost or even just your local brothel?

 

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I could keep going but hopefully you see what i do by now.

1/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
1/10 characters
4/10 overall
Scientiiaa's avatar
Mar 25, 2018

Created by Kore Yamazaki, The Ancient Magus’ Bride manga began serializing in 2013. Published in Monthly Comic Garden, as of September of 2017, the shounen series is currently up to 8 volumes. An anime television series adaptation was announced on March 10, 2017, and premiered on October 7, 2017 on MBS, Tokyo MX, BS11 and other Japanese channels. The anime has been nominated for multiple categories in the Crunchyroll Anime Awards 2017, including Best Drama. The English dub of The Ancient Magus’ Bride anime is being handled by Funimation.

Chise Hatori is 15. She, for some reason, sees otherworldly creatures and acts as a magnet for them. Because of that, her life is ruined and even her closest relatives, as the only thing she can rely on, are disappearing one after another. Chise, being absolutely alone, even thinks about ending her life. However, instead of resorting to suicide, she meets a person that suggests her selling her life to someone who would take her in. And Chise does find a person that wants to buy her--Elias. After some time, the two are teleported to Elias’ home. Warm, quite and extremely cozy--that home is everything Chise has ever dreamed of. Now Chise becomes Elias’ apprentice, who is a very respected mage.

As a mage, Chise will now have to find out more about the world she is afraid of, about the world that ruined her life and took everything, which was important to her. If you have not seen the OVA first, which you should do before watching the TV series, it might seem that The Ancient Magus’ Bride is somewhat light hearted and has no dark themes whatsoever. And that would be a big mistake. The story-line does a great job explaining the viewer about the world of this series and there is hardly anything you will not understand. The best thing about it, which is worth mentioning, is the fact that it is never boring. When it becomes boring, it immediately shows you something disturbing, or something you would never imagine.

The anime preview did not lie, the artwork, as it should be in any series that focuses on magic, is absolutely stunning. The colors are vibrant, glowing, and clean. What is more, the anime takes place in many different places, as well as countries: you will see the beauty of Iceland, which is the most beautiful place on our planet, and then you will be shown some quite disturbing pictures like Joseph’s laboratory. The series does not focus only on the beautiful, it also shows you some very dark elements, which is something you might find enjoyable and it will probably help you enjoy the series even more.

Music wise, it is extremely charming and exciting. Every piece of music fits this series and helps you dive in the world of magic and many secrets that surround the world of The Ancient Magus’ Bride. Surprisingly, both the English and Japanese dubbed versions are equally good, which is quite a rare thing to see. Feel free to watch it in whatever language you want.

The titular characters Chise and Elias are an incredibly strange duo. Right from the very beginning we find out that Elias wants make Chise not only his disciple, but also his bride. And it makes it pretty much obvious that romance will also play a very important part in this series. However, The Ancient Magus’ Bride approach to this genre is somewhat different from what you have seen in other anime. It is quite a challenge to describe their relations: I guess both of them are somewhat afraid of each other, they are afraid of making a mistake that might ruin their relations. And because of that there is actually no romance in this anime. Anyways, both Chise and Elias receive equal character developments and they both are very interesting to follow.

Enjoyments wise, The Ancient Magus’ Bride is quite a surprise. It does have a slow start and there is nothing unique about it. However, with every episode the series becomes more and more interesting: more characters are being introduced and you understand more about the series. And I must say this show is very enjoyable to watch.

Overall, it is worth watching – give it a shot! This anime feels like you are watching a fairy tale, which is sometimes very dark. The Ancient Magus’ Bride is touching, beautiful, and dark. It is definitely a show many anime fans will highly appreciate.

Grade:

Overall (sub): 10

Overall (dub): 10

Story: 9

Animation: 9

Art: 9

Music: 10

Voice acting: 10

Enjoyment: 10

?/10 story
?/10 animation
?/10 sound
?/10 characters
10/10 overall
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RascaI's avatar
Mar 24, 2018

*spoiler-free reivew*

For those awaiting a good WIT anime.

I'll say it. Wit has finally indeed made a decenty anime. They've been making garbage for a while now but they seem to have finally put the right amount of love into something with the Ancient Magus Bride. It has its problems, but it's definitely something special. This isn't your typical run-of-the-mill fantasy, it isn't Isekai, it's straight up wonder and beauty just like you'd expect to see it in one of its purest forms.

The world is extremely well-crafted. There were so many times where behind wit's dull filter of mediocrity I could really feel a sense of pure wonder lurking just beneath the surface of everything. Usually in magical anime, things are explained out the ass and the explosition is reserved for talking about every little detail of the magic it has to explain. Here however, it feels like magic in a distilled form, it has its mystery, and it stays like that for the most part.

They also have their own creatures, and it all just feels very alive. My favorite episodes are always the ones where they land themselves in a totally different part of the world where one kind of creature thrives, like the dragon one in episode 3. The animation is very good sometimes, and sometimes it's lackluster and unfitting for the rest of the scene, as per WIT. They also try their hand at chibi conversions for comedic effect. Something that never, ever goes well for them.

It's stupid and i hate it.

However that's not enough to distract from how alive they make this world feel sometimes.

Chise starts as a very, very weak character, a typical emotionless girl before she sublty grows throughout the series, learning about elias, the world, and herself. Elias goes through a lot of growth too, enough to cristen him the titular character for good reason, and not just a background force like I expected him to be. The numerous side characters add to the world and the cast quite a bit, and some don't even have to stick around for that long to really matter. My personal favorite is Ruth, Chise's familiar. For some reason I just love the idea of a dog guardian spirit that's just a total bro but is linked to you through a pact.

There are some weaker characters too of course who are unfortunately prominent. I was always annoyed with the ever-present faries, while they add to the atmosphere they're also just irritating sometimes and don't always need to be there. There's also Titania, who has the worst possible character design you could have for a female character. Luckily the ill-used and ill-designed characters are pretty far and few between.

The story is nothing over-the-top most of the time and is mostly explored through a single broken-up arc. Despite the premise being Chise and her life as an apprentice/future wife to this ancient creature, the important character is Cartaphilus, the villain. He's actually a well thought-out character with a lot of humanity despite his inhuman evil tendencies. The story is slow paced and goes off road in a few places but his development is pretty solid.

The other thing that's solid is chise's developing relationship to the world around her and her own powers, as well as to elias. Their relationship is handled well, but not as well as the growth of chise herself, which is always explored beautifully for my taste. There's this one scene that i won't spoil, but she's getting a certain magical item while lindel is singing and faries come in to do a ritual, and the way they do it is masterfully done, my favorite part of the whole series. It feels so magical, I get goosebumps. That's one reason I stopped hating chise early on, she's the pivot for a lot of really cool scenes and her tempate-ness kinda adds to that.

But there are plenty of problems with this anime still. I'd honestly buy the soundtrack to this anime, it's that good, but the music isn't always used to its fullest. Then there are the more Natsume Yuujinchou-feeling episodes that are more episodic in nature, popping up like filler throughout the main story, that I never seem to like. They're just not that impactful to me.

Overall it's a good, solid fantasy anime with a satisfying enough conclusion, but it's left open for a second season. We'll see how that goes. I wouldn't be opposed to it.

6/10 story
7/10 animation
9/10 sound
6/10 characters
7/10 overall
StonedSenpai's avatar
Feb 7, 2018

loved it just loved it and the singing was so wonderful!!!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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captivus's avatar
Feb 6, 2018

The Ancient Magus' Bride is not your typical romantic comedy. More Rom than Com most of the time even though there are one or two comedic moments. There are one or two seriously dark moments though. Whats more: for a story about a mage and his apprentice I found fascinating how grounded, realistic and mature themes of the series turned out.

First of all, this is a slow-moving, character-driven story. There is little to no action. If that's not your thing you might not like it. I actually love this kind of stories so I didn't mind. It's also very sweet, honest and moving and feels quite fresh compared to other romantic/romcom anime.

The story is driven by a relationship between Chise HATORI and Ellias AINSWORTH - all other characters have a minor impact on the story and act more as a background between those two. Don't get me wrong - they're quite good characters - every one of them has more than one side to him/her and serve their purpose in the story well. No point going into detail though since I don't want to spoil them for you.

Chise HATORI is quite a dark character for a lead in a romantic anime. First of all shes suicidal and has a very disturbing family history much (not all) of which is described in the first season. Most of her woes can be described as accidental - she sees magical creatures that most people don't. That has some serious ramifications though since at the beginning she (and most people in her life up to this point) thinks she's insane.

Much of the story is devoted to the fact that she does not feel she has anything to live for and is willing to sacrifice herself very easily. This ties to one of the more prevailing themes of this sweet romcom which is ... death. Which is weird to write in a romantic anime review. Themes of death are handled quite seriously and are quite moving though. They also add to the growing relationship between Chie and Ellias since she finds a reason to live in him and people she gets to know through him.

Ellias is a different story. For all my love of this anime, he does feel a little underwritten. We learn a little about his past and his motivations though. The part when he entered the world and met his own master (when he was for all intents and purposes a child) was pretty moving. The main theme of this character is learning human emotions, which is by very definition hard to do in an interesting way (since he feels very little at the beginning of the story and becomes a fully developed character just by the end of it)

Development of the relationship between the characters moves very slowly. This is logical because:

1) Chise is suicidal, shy and sad about her life when we start the series so she is not in a very 'romcom' place at the beginning of the story

2) Ellias just learns how to have emotions at all

3) if they would go too fast with the relationship they'd spoil their own show.

The animation is beautiful and fits the story very well. A lot of attention has been put into magical creatures and it shows. They *feel* mystical and alien.

Good animation mentioned above comes hand in hand with great music that elevates the story. Most of the time it's very soft (which is a good thing in a subtle story) and doesn't grab enough of your attention to take you away from the story.

All in all - if you're looking for a little more mature and slow-moving romcom anime this is a must see. It is fresh the characters are deep and it'll get you hooked in no time

9/10 story
8/10 animation
8/10 sound
10/10 characters
9/10 overall
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TearDrop408's avatar
Feb 4, 2018

I'm in love with this anime has it all! Great story, great characters, and amazing animation! I will definitely be reading the manga😍

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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AF1123's avatar
Jan 18, 2018

One of the best anime I have ever watched and it keeps getting better.  The charcters and backstories are wonderful and  the animation and soundtrack are breathtaking.  Chise starts off full of angst and with no will to live but as the series progresses she steps out of the dark.  This anime is heartwarming and breathtakingly beautiful and you will grow extremley attatched to Chise and want to protect her at all costs.

Also if you were worried about the whole "Bride" thing in the title, don't, it's not creepy or weird so far at least.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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Seluias's avatar
Dec 26, 2017

I accidentally stumbled upon this series, on the forum, so I had no expectations or prejudgements at all when I started it. But man, did it impress me!

- The animation is top-notch: it's colorful and there is a lot of eye for detail (especially when it comes to the different creatures and characters, but also the sceneries are absolutely stunning), which I think is very important for this type of fantasy genre, since it really gives depth to the story.

- The sound is really good as well (often sensible and touching), including the introsong and the voice acting.

- The story may seem simple, but it is quite layered and beautifully build up episode by episode. It has a calmness comparable to Mushishi or Natsume Yuujinchou. What is great, is that it has a clearly developing storyline and active plot next to its smooth pace. Furthermore, it's over all very well balanced: there is conversation and reflection where you need it, but there is also enough action, moving moments and even a little bit of chibi humor at times. Plus, quite a few flashbacks, which give you a lot more insight bit by bit.

- The characters are wonderful. Not only do I think that the main characters are quite unique: literally almost all characters, including the side ones and fairies and other creatures, feel very well thought of. It makes the atmosphere of the series so imaginative and believable. I also love how quite ordinary Chise appears, and how odd and intimidating Elias is. It makes them fit together, weirdly enough.

Lastly, I didn't read the manga (as I mentioned before I didn't know anything about this series) so I cannot judge from that perspective.

8.5/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
8.5/10 characters
9/10 overall
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RagingFury's avatar
Dec 9, 2017

Alright lets get started . I want to say a few words about this anime. First I can see why it is one of the most popular anime of the year. Originaly I expected this to be something completly different, something full of fan service..But to my pleasant suprise it is not. This will most likely become one of the timeless animes on par with FML: Brootherhood and Ghibli movies. It is absolutely superb, the music, the animation, the voice acting, the story, the character developement, the pacing..Absolutely Amazing! Art! The feels will be present with every episode. This anime feels like a mix of Mushishi, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, FML: Brootherhood and a slice of Magi and The Seven Deadly Sins. It is a bit episodic and calm like Mushishi but at the same time it has running main theme and plot slowly and masterfully revelead over every episode. This is a must watch for anyone who enjoys high quality anime and entartainment in general. 

  From casting to music to pacing to visual design to the actual story itself, everything is absolutely magnificent. I love how the feelings of mystery and suspense are never forced; the watcher isn't actively being told to feel this way, but they naturally do so just from watching. Even the cliffhangers never feel forced, which is quite a feat to pull off. In the same way, this Anime's ability to create a looming sense of apprehension and lack of knowledge really helps immerse the watcher into the world. It helps the watcher understand how Chise feels: in every moment, no matter how happy or heartwarming, there's always something tugging at the back of your mind that you don't want to focus on but can't help but pay attention to. Just like Chise, the watcher gets the feeling that they shouldn't ever feel too comfortable or get too complacent. And let's not forget about the world-building. It's amazing how this Anime creates such a fantastical and captivating world without needing a ton of exposition. As watchers, we are never forced to learn about the world. However, at the end of every episode, we come away wanting to learn more. A major aspect of this Anime is magic, and I really like how "natural" it is. Instead of something arbitrary or completely against reality, like it is usually portrayed, magic in this Anime is very spiritual and rooted to nature and the natural order of the world. I also like how magic is treated in this Anime: as a powerful yet potent force which demands respect and must not be abused. Lots of other Anime kind of touch on this idea, but none ever follow through with it. For example, the MC always pulls out some "forbidden spell" as a deus ex machina in the end and the whole rhetoric of respecting magic goes out the window. 

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
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Challj's avatar
Dec 1, 2017

alright so this anime is the best one ive watched so far, it is agood feeling show.it is a romance anime children can watch, though there is some language.it depends how mature you are . i hope they release new episodes on anime planet and not on ############## . the ancient magus'bride better be having some more episodes out soon , its one of many anime i like and watch.

thats all!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall
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Jam3zter's avatar
Oct 8, 2017

I've been waiting a year for this anime!! I've read that the Manga is amazing. I plan to read that as well. This is trully a beatiful anime and the story is beatiful. I love it!

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
mmeagan's avatar
Aug 23, 2017

I had the opportunity to view an advanced screening of the first three episodes in theatres. Having this anime on the big screen highlighted everything that makes it such a pleasure to watch: stunning visuals, sweeping music, and loveable characters.

Story: In a word, these three episodes were heart-warming. They serve as a set up for a what is looking to be a charming fairy tale by introducing us to the characters and beginning to world build.  The third episode features a touching encounter that brought many tears to the audience in the theatre.

Animation: Beautiful and colourful, it brings life to the story. I really appreciated the bags under Chise's eyes, they say a lot about who she is and what she's been through. 

Sound: Everything you want a romance/fantasy/magic themed show to have. It's playful, soothing, or intense when it needs to be. Very enjoyable.

Characters: They are interesting and fun and have really great interactions. The first episodes do not give too much away, so there is plenty left to learn about each of the characters and their pasts.

Overall, I recommend this series to anyone that is a fan of this genre. I'll be looking forward to the rest of the episodes being released!

8/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
9/10 characters
9/10 overall