As part of the 200 Word Anime feature, Karandi and I are sharing our thoughts on The Ancient Magus’ Bride. Remember to check out her blog where we are covering Black Clover this season as well.
Fall 2017 is slated to bring us several highly anticipated shows, but The Ancient Magus’ Bride is perhaps the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. The gorgeous art and fantastic character designs complement a unique story about a girl navigating mysterious wonder at every turn. Everything seems to come together in this opening to make for a compelling watch that feels like it has a touch of magic itself.
The opening episode, like the OVA, is fairly self contained. Taking place several years after the events of the three part prequel, it explains Chise’s current situation and cements her resolve to embrace it without dragging the thread longer than necessary. In one short lesson, we learn that Chise is choosing Elias just as he chose her. Still, there is a lot to build upon. Why did Chise sell herself? What was Elias’ sudden proposal about? What exactly is a Sleigh Beggy and why are they important?
There is much left to explain, but rather than dump information on the viewer as some ambitious fantasy stories do, Magus Bride gives just what’s needed for the scene. This keeps the focus more on the experience rather than heavy world building and is an organic, elegant way to tell this story. What the overarching goal of the series is may not be crystal clear at this point, but it seems like it will be an enjoyable ride.
I’m going to echo Weekend’s thoughts that this first episode was very much focused on the experience and conveying emotions to the audience rather than world building and plot. While this made for a very enjoyable introduction, this first episode is pretty sparse on details. We do get some flash-backs to consolidate what the OVA has already told us about Chise’s fairly undesirable upbringing but these are brief and don’t feel like they intrude upon the pacing or overshadow the current events.
Of all the first episodes I’ve watched over the last week, this one is probably the most beautiful visually so far – particularly the few glimpses of magic we get in this first episode. Unlike many shows it doesn’t feel too ostentatious or like an add on but looks and feels like an integral part of the world we are being introduced to. I’m really looking forward to more of this in future episodes. Likewise, I’m quite curious about getting to know more about Elias.
While I’d like a little more from the plot in the next couple of episodes (or at least more understanding of the world they are crafting), everything else in this first episode was fantastic and I had a great time watching it. I’d give this a firm recommendation to watch this season and I’m hoping it becomes a must watch for me in the next few episodes. Also hoping Weekend’s questions above get answered because I’d like to know the answer to all of those as well.