Today we’re reading volume 3 of The Ancient Magus bride. I’ve been really enjoying this series so far, and I hope that those of you who have been reading along with me agree. What better way to start this volume than with another instance of Silky’s diaries. She likes pranks, refuses gifts and is mostly unseen. These are good things to know in life, honestly they should be taught in schools.
Moving on. Let’s get a quick recap out of the way, because this volume jumps right back into the action. Last time Chise and Elias went to a church to check out a strange beast. Very quickly it turned out that there was more going on, and the previous volume ended on Chise getting hurt and Elias getting… quite angry. The first two chapters of this volume continue this arc, with the boy that’s tormenting them revealed to be Cartaphilus, or Josef. The latter being a lot easier to remember, so that’s probably the one I’ll be using to refer to him.
He and his creation get into a fight with a very angry Elias while Chise sees the past of Ulyses and Isabelle, which is a sad story. I get a feeling we’re in for a lot of sad stories throughout this manga. Isabelle unfortunately died young and Ulysses has not been able to let go, staying by her grave waiting for her to wake up. Chise rushes in to stop Elias from going even more berserk and Renfred executes Josef. Well, that’s what it looks like, but we very quickly learn that Josef can regenerate that amount of damage no problem. Renfred has no chill though.
They jump away from the crazed Josef with the help of an adorable and diligent Will o’ the wisp. Josef follows, but after Chise makes a pact with Ulysses, renaming him to Ruth, Josef loses interest and leaves. They then head home.
What a rollercoaster of emotions in this arc, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.
Luckily things slow down a little bit as Elias is holed up in his room for a while returning to a more stable form, and Silky kicks Chise out for a spot of shopping. She quickly finds Angelica and they have a quick chat about her magic and how it works, as well as her unhealthy dependence on Elias. Angelica has a point and Chise knows this, which is why she gets so upset about it. She’s still a 15 year old girl, and although this is a fictional story, most of the kids that age I’ve taught are more interested in Apex Legends and Fifa than anything remotely responsible. Then again, their upbringing, although not always amazing, was most likely not nearly as dark as Chise’s. She then goes to check in on Elias who is still not quite in his humanoid form, and she spends the night in his room to support him. Definitely a scary visage, but Chise does not seem bothered by it. She wakes up the next morning in her bed. So far I’m enjoying this volume. We got a very satisfying conclusion to the arc at the church and with a clear villain in the picture now, who clearly has some issues of their own, it seems to be heading towards another confrontation. Chise has seen Josef in visions twice now, so perhaps they have some sort of strange bond because of it? That or Josef was just everywhere and he’s super popular. Go Josef.
Now it’s been a little while since I’ve seen the anime, so I had completely forgotten about this sweet little story that came next. Chise and Ruth are trying to find Elias, who has left to, let’s say, reassemble his form. On their way they come across Joel, an old man who has a leanán sídhe with him. She is, according to Ruth, a parasite who gives people inspiration in return for their life force. It’s strange that she’s with an old man like Joel though, since there isn’t much to gain for her. We quickly learn that she simply fell for him, although is not quite willing to admit it. Chise then reads the old man’s story, which makes him very happy. I get it Joel, it’s fun writing a story, but it’s so much better when other people read it.
We quickly move on and just after Chise and Ruth find Elias, Lindell calls for her visit and a dragon swoops in to escort her. Chise is so busy that I get tired just thinking about it.
The last little arc of the volume consists of some foreshadowing about Chise’s future, as well as her trip to Lindell. She’s supposed to go there to get her own wand from Nevin’s tree. Lindell quickly learns that Chise knows less about mages than he even expected and he starts telling her a story. I can’t wait to see where this is going.
The manga seems to regularly touch upon themes of humans (ab)using the earth for its resources. Like how people grew so common that the dragons had to hide, or how the earth was once not cracked for oil. I think it’s a good theme to have for stories, and one that’s being used more often than not.
An example I particularly like is the different morals that certain characters have in Dr. Stone, in respect to if people should be brought back from extinction, and if so, who makes the choice who lives and dies, and how. But I digress.
Volume 3’s cover shows the will o’ the wisp on the back of the volume, as well as Chise, Elias and Ruth near the water. The rain from the last volume seems to have gone, showing that this volume starts heading to a little less dark material. But what do I know, maybe the author just made pretty drawings without more meaning and called it a day. I failed my literature classes in uni several times before passing them.
I hope you enjoyed this volume as much as I did.
Next week there will be a break as I’m very busy sorting out my health issues at the moment. There will be less content than normal. The week after that I will be back with a new chapter of The Necromancer’s Daughter on Monday (26th) and a new volume discussion of The Ancient Magus Bride on Friday (30th). Thanks for your understanding and have a nice weekend!