With the second half of The Ancient Magus’ Bride rolling up tomorrow, I decided to catch up and do a review picking up from where Kenny left off in his review. I’ve got to throw out there that I genuinely love this show and found it to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever watched both visually and audio-wise. The plot and art both seem like something of cinematic quality out of a Miyazaki film. This show, like Garo, is continuing on from the Fall 2017 into the Winter 2018 season and I’m glad to see the direction has gone. Even though it hits some serious moments and topics, it manages to balance these epic scenes with light hearted and happy times as well.
We find in the mid season that Chise’s fate as a Sleigh Beggy is one of a raging inferno. She’s a powerful blast of bright and vibrant magic but also one that will burn out very quickly, hence the prognosis of a short life and a swift death. We have a scene jump from raging asshole psycho sorcerers plotting nefarious things to our adorable mage making a sleeping potion. When the sorcerer Renfeld’s apprentice Alice comes to abscond the black dog that saved Chise’s life, Alice gets knocked the fuck out with the overly powerful sleeping potion Chise meant and when we find out Renfeld and Alice aren’t that bad but the other sorcerer is actually a genuine psycho Chise jumps in the way of a chimera’s preying mantis blade to save Alice. Elias was not amused.
Comically the little trap sorcerer that decided shanking Chise was a good idea is subsequently shot in the back of the head gangland execution style by Renfeld, who explains he was just rolling with it to save his life and that of his apprentice. More impressive is the fact that Chise survives the impalement, heals herself, then goes full blown super saiyan upon realizing the little bastard had stolen the corpse the aforementioned black dog was in love with and goes over to wreck Cartaphilis (the aforementioned trap). A bit of intervention by a fairy to stop this from becoming a shonen battle anime and a bond is formed, with Chise naming her familiar Ruth (random I know) and dissuading Cartaphilis from further shenanigans.
The next few episodes are really more subtle than achieving an overarching plot to be perfectly honest. We have Chise searching for Elias and stumbling upon a “vampire” that seems more fit to the label “succubus” but that’s neither here nor there. What she finds is an example of a monster that typically feeds off humans that has actually found love even though her object of affection cannot even see her. The tragic love where they had met and locked eyes once years ago and then again thanks to Chise’s magic aura results in Chise finding her definition of love as well as getting a bit of girl on succubus action. We then have Chise summoned back to the land of dragons for some mentoring and wand creation. Lindel then provides a bit of backstory and insight into Elias, marking him as a mystery that likely had eaten humans in the past. Upon the creation of her wand, the dragon Nevin shows up in a vision quest kind of way and basically wakes her the hell up and makes her realize that she should live on her own terms for herself. This results in one of the most beautiful scenes in an already amazing and beautiful show.
Now you may notice I’ve put not one but two YouTube video clips in this article and that’s because I cannot stress enough the amazing combination that is the music, VA work, and animation in this show. I have chills watching this show because of how well it jives together. There are scenes where the show is blatantly BRAGGING about how amazing its art is at times. Unlike most series that have characters wearing the same damn clothing for convenience, The Ancient Magus’ Bride will have Chise wearing different clothing constantly to match the area and season even with her CHANGING MID SCENE as if to say “Our art is better than yours and we know it.” Even small details are amazing with Chise explaining her training and showing things like digitalis (which I can still identify XD) in such sufficient quality that I am just awestruck. Even with a time crunch on completing this article I never skipped the ED and definitely NEVER skipped the OP. All in all I can’t wait to continue watching this beautiful show this season and between this and Violet Evergarden, other anime will be hard pressed to hit that top art/animation slot. So what do you think of this beautiful show? Hate the random directions or chibi? Or do you love the sweet story of two lonely souls finding one another? Let me know in a comment and please leave a like and subscribe if you enjoy my articles.