So, after 4 weeks of essentially non stop crying over my University Dissertation thing, I decided to spend 2 hours crying over a romantic fantasy anime. I’ve been slowly trecking through this anime for the past few months and now finally, my time with The Ancient Magus Bride is near.
So this anime actually finished a few months ago, but in corralationto my abscence, I haven’t had the time to finish it, however I’ve finally crossed this one off the list.
For those unaware The Ancient Magus Bride is an anime about Chise Hatori, a young girl who is sold to the mysterious, not entirely human Elias Ainsworth. Elias, whilst seaming monsterous and terrifying, is acutally a gifted mage. He aims to help Chise realise her true potential as a Sleigh Beggy (a special type of mage) and become a mage as his apprentice.. and also his wife.
What I love about this serious, is how honest and realistic it feels. From the european style of magic all the way to the relationship between Elias and Chise, starting off as intially simplistic but ending up quite complex.
First the animation in this show is fantastic, the european folk lore style of magic is well presented and always manages to caputre and steal a scene. But even the movement animations to the deformed animation used for comedic moements in the style of a show like Fullmetal Alchemsit Brotherhood always managed to keep me engaged and enjoying the show.
The music and sound production also deserves credit, the show kept a contiously good range of mystical music at it’s constant desposal and the sound design for magic and other various parts of the story. The voice acting and work there was also fantastic, I ended up watching the english dub but I did catch a little of the sub to compare and both managed to hit the mark in character portrayal.
In terms of storm this show also has a lot to offer, TAMB offers a complex show with multiple dark themes from life and death to the complexities of a relationship. Something I will praise this show for is that husbando Elias isn’t a perfect being, just like his self loathing aprentice/bride Chise, he has room to grow and improve. The show makes a point of the importance of learning from your partner and strengthening each other as people. But the show also explores other themes with various characters including that of ones purpose in the world, all the way to the horrors of living forever. I don’t want to spoil too much as this is a drop in the water review, but I think that the shows value as a story should be considered!
If I had any gripes about the show it’s that for one whilst it’s wide range of cast can be interesting, the show does suffer from the carousel effect of moving between characters quickly across different story arcs, pacing them out a little too quickly at times, a character has their arc and then qucikly fades into the background until an important story line comes up. It’d be nice to see more interacton and engagement with these characters I think. I’d also say that whilst the story has some interesting subtext, certain plot lines and events do often get repeated (Chise sure loves to go off and do her own thing and regret it 5 mintues later) but none the less I still found myself enjoying every arc of this show.
Overall I think The Ancient Magus Bride deserves a 7/10 for it’s fantastic art and music, interesting if ocasionally carouselled characters and well written contextual plot on relationships and the human condition against things such as magic.
I hope you enjoyed my review and I implore you to watch The Aincent Magus Bride! If you’re a UK dweller such as myself then you can find it on Crunchyroll subbed or Funimation for the dub! Remember to tweet us your thoughts!