Ancient Magus Bride: Everything has a cost

Like a lot of people, I have been taken into the realm of this great anime like the rest of us. I am not sure if I see and appreciate it like everybody else I know is enjoying it, but there is something special that makes me watch every week. To me, Ancient Magus Bride builds some many things from the bones of a shoujo anime. Why do I mean by bones? For starters, the show is centered around a young, but cute female character by the name of Chise Hattori. A female character that has all mighty power and has a lot of attractive male characters, and some magical creatures, after her for special reasons. There is also a little bit of a Beauty and the Beast thing here too. Still, there is a lot of things that make it more than a mere shoujo anime. (Not that being a shoujo anime is a bad thing at all) It’s incredibly grounded, because everything has a cost. Just like in Fullmetal Alchemist, there is a rule of equivalent exchange being put into play here. If you haven’t seen the series before, there will be spoilers from this point. I recommend that you stop now if you are one of those people.

Let’s look at our protagonist. Chise has had a hard life ever sense she was young. Her mother left her at a young age and Chise’s father didn’t want her either. Because of this, she was adopted by a family that didn’t like her. Because of this trauma, she thought of herself as someone nobody wanted and sold herself to slavery in hopes of finding someone that would want her. Luckily, she did and her owner is the best and maybe even the worst, at times, thing that has happened to her. Still, that is only one part of her backstory. At that same time, she has been followed around and tormented by shadowy magical figures beyond mere human explanation. Since nobody else she was around ever saw them, many people thought that Chise was crazy. Of course, seeing these figures was tied to her magic. Magic that, despite being all powerful, will eventually kill her. Her new owner/master told Chise that she was called a Sleigh Beggy. Some one that generates the most magic ever. The main weakness here is that Chise will eventually die if she doesn’t learn how to control it. Thus, we have our plot. People and different species that want Hattori for her special properties.

Elias, the beast to Chise’s Beauty, is interesting too. For starters, Elias is not exactly human. Before understanding his backstory, I always thought he was a human wearing a dog mask with horns. Turns out that is not the case. He is a creature beyond our normal human understanding. Something that is made out of shadow and can take any size that he wants. Still, he is very childlike. Even if Elias is much older the Chise, he doesn’t fully understand what it means to be human yet. Feelings are still something foreign to Elias that are beyond his comprehension. That was until he bought Chise that is. Thus we engage into a much friendly form of equivalent exchange. Elias teaches Chise magic and the reverse will be possible for hattori teaching Elias what it means to be human. A very good set up for a touching love story. There is one aspect that I want to cover though, his form. When Elias got angry when Chise was hurt, he transformed into a monster form that took him out of balance with himself. It took him a long time to be able to become the form that he was, which is what I find interesting. Over use of magic and forms has a cost here and I like that very much. It made me think that there really is something special about this show that needed to be shared, which is why I am writing this post.

Then there is the magic system. I know that there are different types of magic users that handle magic in different ways. Magi, Sorcerers, Artificers, and I’m sure there is much more. Still, I’m not equipped enough to fully handle all the specifics about that. Especially when there is a great post by Irina that explains the magic of The Ancient Magus Bride better then I could ever do it. (Please read this one) Still, I can’t help but find the magic interesting. Especially when using it either comes from creatures who can help the users channel their magic or the casters themselves. The different options are something unexpected for me. Still, exhausting oneself through magic is entirely possible. Especially if you are a sleigh baggy and have so much power running through you that it can kill you. Limitations add so much to a series guys. It’s an easy way to add extra tension.  Oh, and fight scenes. I like how the characters are grounded (actually on the ground) when fighting each other. It really adds so much to the visceral nature of The Ancient Magus Bride and guarantees that we can feel the weight of the characters as they move around. So, you can say that AMB is grounded physically and metaphorically.

Lastly, there is the world. Oh man, I cannot describe to you how much I am in love the world of this series. I mean seriously, I don’t think I can do any of that justice in text form at all. The world of The Ancient Magus bride is beyond magical. I would call it something like Harry Potter’s world, but with a hint of even something more that makes it extra. (Probably because most of Harry Potter is usually stuck around a magical castle while Chise is allowed to explore their world with Elias.) We see so many things on Chise’s journey like the land of the dragons, a land that is secretly controlled by cats, interesting grave yards with strange monsters, and even just the forest outside of Elias’ house. Fairies in that forest , you know, which makes sense. People with magical abilities probably want to be around areas that have magic around them. That makes sense to me. Anyway, the amount of magical creatures and locations is so cool and makes this world believable. I know I want too live in it.

I wouldn’t call The Ancient Magus Bride perfect. Especially on an emotional level. It’s really powerful and all, but I think the fact that it airs on the same day as March Comes in like a Lion doesn’t help it. Especially since March is a little stronger when it comes to emotional strengths. Still, Magus Bride being second to March is far from being a bad thing. Besides, Magus Bride has a lot of things that March Doesn’t. Magic, a great and multi-dimensional love story, and an interesting world that sells all of them. The Ancient Magus Bride has a lot of attention paid to it and all that good stuff, but it deserves so much more then it’s given right now.

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Auri says:

    This was a great series honest.
    While I haven’t watched the anime yet, the manga was satisfying to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. biblionyan says:

      I haven’t read the manga yet, but I really want to. I wonder how it differs (if it does) from the anime.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Scott says:

      I’ve heard from manga readers that the anime is just a straight up adaption with no surprises or flair. Maybe you don’t have to watch it?

      Thank you for reading, glad you liked it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Auri says:

        Ah, really?
        Then I’ll probably give the anime a skip….

        🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t watched the anime yet but I am reading the manga right now which is kind of good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I’ve heard from manga readers that the anime is just a straight up adaption with no extra flair to it

      Like

  3. Irina says:

    Thank you so ,uch for the shout out and this was a fantastic post. I stil have the second half of the series to watch and now I can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Just need two wait for the season to end!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Scott says:

      You’re welcome and thank you for reading! Still have a few months before it’s over.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A Library Archivist says:

    If you like this style of story, I encourage you to watch Snow White With The Red Hair. That character is less of a victim and more of a person, and is a sort of botanical alchemist interested in starting the first medical school and pharmacy in her kingdom. Its an interesting take on influence and charity. There’s also Natsume Yujincho, about a boy who meets and frees a number of restless shinto spirits and ghosts, similar to the ones met by Chise, from their torment, all of whom had been captured by his mother, now dead. He basically makes peace with the spirits, and there’s several seasons, which get a bit repetitive so seeing a few episodes is probably enough.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scott says:

      Yup, I’ve seen that one.

      Like

  5. There is really something magical about the series, something that push me to watch it week after week.
    The only thing that I don’t get is why the series (Anime and manga) is labeled as shounen instead of shoujo. Not matter where you look it’s listed as a shounen 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      That is rather weird. Hmm

      Like

      1. I know cause it really look like a shojo even when you look for the top list, it talk about manga for male oh well

        Liked by 1 person

  6. biblionyan says:

    This was very well-written! I like how described the good stuff and stuff that isn’t too strong. I haven’t started March Comes in Like a Lion yet. When it began, I wasn’t in a place where I could handle something so emotional. But I really wanna check it out soon. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Thank you and you should definitely watch March at some point!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Karandi says:

    It’s kind of hard for anything that comes out the same day as March Comes in Like a Lion. I pretty much have to save March for the last watch of the morning when they come out because anything I watch after it just doesn’t fare well because I feel it ends up lacking. That and this season of March has left me a teary mess most episodes so continuing to watch something isn’t really an option for a time.
    Yeah, I think Ancient Magus Bride would have had more impact on me if it wasn’t airing during the same seasons as March. It is a shame because in future seasons there might not be anything half as good as either show and yet right now the two are competing with each other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      I do admit that anything playing against March Comes in LIke a Lion is unfair for anything, including Magus Bride. Still. the emotional beats are still about the same.

      And yeah, I am feeling the days that those two shows stop airing will be a little weaker. I’m feeling that on fridays, because that used to be the best day for anime for me and now it’s nowhere near as good as it could be…. *sigh* At least My Hero Academia will be returning soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Karandi says:

        I am very much looking forward to more of that, though it isn’t quite the same kind of enjoyment as these two shows. My Hero Academia is more of a fun watch.

        Like

  8. While I’ve not been as up to date with this show as I’d like to be, I’ve had a lot of spoilers for this, so I was able to read it.

    It definitely seems very interesting, particular on an emotional level and the magic system sounds really awesome.

    Definitely gonna need to get on this one, especially if it’s second right next to March.

    Great post!

    Like

  9. magicconan14 says:

    Haven’t seen March Comes in Like a Lion yet, but considering the rave reviews and the fact it’s continued into the winter season, there must be something magical about it. (It’s already on my PTW, in case these comments didn’t indicate that.)

    I apologise for beeing a bit nitpicky, but there’s one bit where you call Chise “Chitori”…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Scott says:

      Ok, I found that missed edit thing. Thank you.

      Oh, and you definitely should watch March at some point!

      Like

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