Our world is just full of wonders, don’t you agree? May it be from the differences in culture to the variety of people you get to meet, it’s all just so exciting to explore! However, what if you experience things far more weird than the average person does? Scary events, a lot of hardships, supernatural encounters, and all in a span of a few years. Will the world, and life in general, still keep on being wonderful to you? The Ancient Magus’ Bride deals with just those kinds of questions, all while immersing you in a journey full of magic!
Hatori Chise can see beings no one else can, which made life so painful for her to the point where she wanted to end it all by taking her own life. However, a suggestion to sell herself at an auction due to being a rare ‘Sleigh Beggy’ changed her fate, as it was where a mysterious mage named Elias bought her for a really huge sum to be his apprentice and future bride. And so Chise gets even more involved with magical adventures and troubles, learning for herself what living and dying really means.
Oh boy, where do I even start? I’d first love to commend the incredibly beautiful writing of this story as a whole (both the anime and manga)! Tackling deep themes such as life and death, finding a place to belong to, and adapting to painful experiences is totally difficult to pull off! And yet, Yamazaki Kore did it so effortlessly! Add to that the immense number of literary references she put into her world, whether mythology or folklore, or even her own spins that made them seem legit! I really, really admire how she put it all together into this one, beautiful story!
When it comes to the anime’s writing though, I admit it’s not entirely perfect. I found the first few episodes a bit dull and slow, with some montages seeming to drag on. But man! As soon as things started getting interesting, I was quickly sucked in! And I never got out since, even until the ending that made me love the anime even more! The series closed wonderfully in my opinion, which is great in itself, given that it already surpassed the manga by the last episode. Yes, it’s true that stories too deep and filled with drama might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I assure you that once you give it a few episodes, the plot will start to pique your interest, the beauty of the world around Chise will captivate you, and the characters will capture your hearts.
Speaking of which, a deep story as this needs characters that aren’t superficial. Each of them, both major and minor alike have their own good and bad traits, conflicts, selfishness, you name it! Just with our protagonist Chise, her development was able to be so beautiful because she had a lot going on inside herself, which in turn affected how she dealt with things around her. At times it was also vice versa. Even the antagonist – well since I don’t want to spoil those who haven’t watched yet, let’s just say he’s also not entirely black and white. I personally became attached to him at some point, and I’m not one to like generic villains!