The backside of this volume has the characters collect chickens. That’s fine, but at the top it says “lockdown” in large letters. That’s not what you want to read these times. Our country has been in a sort of lockdown for a few weeks now, with everything that’s not considered essential being closed. Many stores do pick-up orders though, so there’s still bustle in town. The lockdown in Ancient Magus Bride is a lot more severe as well as for different reasons.
This volume focuses a lot on the interpersonal relationships of the characters and some of their backstories as well. Philomela remains at the center of all of this as both Chise and the reader are still trying to figure out what her story is. We’re getting more hints about this volume for sure. She grew up with Rian for a while before going to Veronica to be her guard. She seems to be pushing down her emotions as much as she can and even reminds Chise of her old self.
Meanwhile the students are training in combat in case something is going to happen, which makes me believe that something will happen that involves the students. Why else would you introduce this story element. Rian and Chise show to be the most capable by far when it comes to this. On top of that the head of the academy is still trying to figure out where the grimoire is. Spoiler alert, the witches find out it’s inside the academy. And I doubt it’s a coincidence that random students start feeling a bit unwell throughout this volume. Luckily Elias’ one and only friend is feeling better.
And we end the volume with a heart to heart between Chise and Veronica. As something to do while stuck in lockdown, they decide to go ghost hunting as a group and after being split up into duos, Veronica and Chise end up together. Personally I’m more curious about the interpersonal relationships of the students than the bigger mystery at hand. It feels like that’s less important. I want to know more about Philomela and Isaac and Rian and Veronica. And it looks like we’re getting that in volume 16.
But that won’t be for a while, since I don’t believe the Volume 16 pre-order has even been released yet. For next month we’ll be looking at Spice & Wolf (the novels, not the manga adaptation). I love Spice & Wolf and will most certainly be listening to the anime soundtrack while reading through them. I invite you to read along each month (not week). Thanks for reading!