Go watch The Ancient Magus Bride. Trust me.

With the winter season nearing its finale, and my weekly anime count dropping drastically before peaking again in about a week from now, let us take a look ahead.

To be a little bit more specific, there’s a sequel coming out in the spring season that I’m hoping to draw some attention to. That’s right, after five long years we’re finally getting a sequel to one of my personal favorite stories: The Ancient Magus’ Bride (Mahoutsukai no Yome).

Our main characters, the thorned one and Hatori Chise.

As I’m preparing this blogpost, I’m seeing a lot of negative reviews for the show. It seems quite a few people had strong thoughts on it. Nonetheless, it has a 4.2 star rating on anime-planet, which means that a few critics aside, the first season was received rather well. For those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that this is far from the first time I’ve talked about this series. As a matter of fact, I’ve covered most of the manga volumes in depth on my blog. I’ll leave a link to those here for those interested. Now for those of you who haven’t seen the first season and want to consider if it’s worth their time, and those of you who have seen the first season but would like a little bit of a refresher before diving into the sequel, let me catch you up to speed. As is to be expected, this post will consider spoilers for the first season of The Ancient Magus’ Bride. With that clear, let’s get to it.

Chise is a young girl who has been able to see and interact with creepy spirits for as long as she’s been aware. This has caused serious problems for her family and left her abandoned and alone. At wits end and with no real plans out, she decides to sell herself to the highest bidder. You see, someone with her powers is extremely valuable in the world of fae and magic. At her auction, an old sorcerer with the appearance of a horned skeleton outbids everyone by a long shot and brings her home. This would be Elias, who has chosen Chise to be his bride and his apprentice. Hence the name, The Ancient Magus’ Bride. Elias takes Chise with him from Japan to the British countryside where they start their life together.

Chise is what we call a Sleigh Beggy. A Sleigh Beggy is a special kind of creature that has almost endless potential with magic but also destroys themselves easily in the process, making her a ticking time bomb. Elias is socially awkward on steroids. Being the strange creature that he is, having normal human interactions is beyond him and a lot of the story focusses on their awkward relationship. Elias is a monster and almost childlike at times, but he’s also caring, even if he doesn’t quite understand those feelings.
Chise on the other hand cares more about others than herself and once she gets out of the depression she starts this series in, and slowly comes into her own, she will regularly risk her own safety for the sake of others. This becomes a theme throughout the show. Chise gets a lot better mentally, but I wouldn’t say she’s ever in a mentally healthy state. I think a lot of the bad reviews – not to sound arrogant – are from people who didn’t really understand how complicated these two characters are. And I will say the manga is probably a better medium to communicate this in.

It’s Harry Potter and the prisoners of Azkaban!

Now to quickly explain the main story of the first season so you’re ready for the sequel. If you’ve read enough and don’t want to be spoiled because you’ll watch the first season after this, I suggest you skip this paragraph. If that’s you, I appreciate ya, and enjoy the show.
With that out of the way, Chise and Elias’ relationship and them teaching each other is the main focus of a lot of the first season. They meet different characters which include other sorcerers, a priest, a witch and several fae creatures including some very important ones. Chise gets herself cursed by an evil undead sorcerer called Cartaphilus. He’s been cursed a long time ago and is trying to adjust his own body. They manage to deal with the problem and put him to sleep for the time being, but it leaves Chise with much damage to herself. The problem does seem to be solved for the time being. As the promotional material for the second season already shows us, the cast is about to grow in size. I’ve read most of the upcoming arc already and let me tell you, I’m excited. It’s been five years, so I’m worried a lot of people will leave this series be, due to the long break, but as someone who’s been keeping up with the manga recently I really urge you all to give it a watch. Thanks for reading!

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