Anime Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 2

October 14, 2017

Chise waking up

I hope that everyone is having a nice and relaxing weekend,
no matter how it is being spent.

Things have been going fairly well here, as I can still do
something that I enjoy.

Recently, I found out that a series that I have been a fan
of was going to start airing this month, and I decided to cover it while it was
airing.

Today, I will be reviewing another episode of that series,
which is called The Ancient Magus Bride.

As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier
post
, I will not go over it again.

Chise & Ainsworth talk while walking

After being taken in by Ainsworth and realizing that she is
indeed welcome in his place, Chise seems to be adjusting fine to her new life.

However, even though her new life with Ainsworth may seem to
be peaceful, a trip to take care of some errands seems to create some complications,
as Chise finally takes her first steps into the world magic, and Chise is about
to experience an adventure.

Angelica Barley

While the pilot
episode
did not really grab me that much, though it contained mostly events
from the first chapter of the manga and seemed more satisfying than Crunchyroll's
screening, the series is not bound to be terrible.

And after watching this episode, I must say that I really
enjoyed it.

From the moment that I started watching this episode, I did not
want to stop watching for any reason, though I have to satisfy the same needs
as everyone else.

Unlike the first episode, where I was trying to find out
where things were going, in spite of being quite familiar with the series, this
feeling seemed to be a bit more genuine in this episode.

If I had to say why, it would have to be because WIT executed
things better, but having things start off a bit slow, yet made in interesting.

Due to the pattern of pilot episodes of many series out
there, regardless of whether they are anime or not, being terrible, those that
prefer to be entertained might be willing to give a series more of a chance,
but viewers still seek to be drawn into a show and given reason to watch, which
means that they must find it enjoyable and there must be plenty to like in the
beginning.

Of course, even though the way to catch a person's attention
is not necessarily the same for each of every medium, the thing that remains
the same is that the audience perceives it to be interesting, instead of dull,
and WIT had utterly failed to do that with the pilot episode of, by taking away
some mysteries and executing the episode in a very poor manner.

Here, however, the staff at WIT gave me enough time in this
episode that I felt like I was getting to know the characters and even started
to explore the world a bit more, as well as make me feel like I was in another
world.

This is what I wanted to see from the very first episode of
this, because it was the only way that things could have been even remotely
interesting, yet WIT did not seem to deliver anything like this until now.

If WIT had delivered all of this back in the very first
episode, I would have been way more satisfied with their adaptation, and it
would have also come across as one of the best pilot episodes I ever saw.

Unfortunately, because they failed terribly with that
episode, they had to make up for things with this episode, and there are some
people that would not have been as a patient as I am.

Still, that does not change the fact that the staff that WIT
has working on this series did improve things before it was too late, and I
feel like giving them a bit applause for alleviating my fears that this might
be yet another Attack on Titan.

Hopefully, things will keep on improving from here, as I,
and many other fans of the series, would actually be glad if more people could
learn why this series could be so great, as opposed to something that gets bashed
as much as DBZ or Sword Art Online.

I also liked how there seemed to be a lot more to laugh
about in this episode.

Even though it was quite understandable that there was not
too much to laugh about in the previous episode, since this series is not
necessarily a comedy series, and the humor here is not necessarily unique to
the series, or even anime and manga in general, WIT studio seemed to execute
things well enough that it seemed to still be pretty funny, and much more so
than they were in anime.

Regardless or whether one is reading a book or watching a
movie or television series, the audience wants to connect with the characters
and actually feel like those characters are human beings, which means that the
characters themselves need time to be fleshed out.

In the world of anime and manga, this is done through moments
of comedy and slice of life, and if WIT had taken out the moments of comedy in
the series, the characters themselves would just feel like they are missing
something, thus leading the series further towards a path that would make it
look just as bad as Attack on Titan was.

Fortunately, WIT had kept in the comedic moments, and it
truly feels like I am now in the world that Kore Yamazaki that I grew to enjoy
just as much as many of Jun Mochizuki's work.

WIT Studio may not have impressed me too much with how this
series started, or even the other series that they adapted into anime, but
seeing how they were able to deliver quite well in the comedy department for
two straight episodes, I feel like giving them a big round of applause.

If they can keep this up in the future episodes, WIT Studio
may be able to change my impression of them from being a studio that may be
worse than what A-1 Pictures is perceived to be into one that appears to know
what they are doing, much like I was not that impressed with Isuna Hasekura
until I actually read the Spice & Wolf series.

Then again, seeing as how they did a horrible job in the
areas that matter in Attack on Titan, my fears could ultimately prove
right and this series will end up just as bad, so I must be as prepared to
berate the staff for doing a horrible job as I am when I see Gosho Aoyama
deliver a terrible case in Detective Conan.

Still, they do deserve to be praised for what they did
right, just like everyone else, as that is what helps motivate a person to
continue to improve, and I hope that I would not have to put them down so badly.

Another nice thing about this episode was how magic was
getting explored.

Now, some of you guys might be wondering why magic would be
so intriguing, as there is hardly any work of fiction out there that does not
have magic present, but, just like many other things found in fiction, there
are ways to do things in which they are unique.

The audience, regardless of medium, want to have some
feeling that what they are watching or reading is unique, even if the way
things play out is just more of the same, and knowing that magic was going to
have some kind of role in this series, I found myself wondering just how the magic
in this world works, and the fact that it was finally getting explored at last
made me feel like I was watching something that was not yet another Harry
Potter or some other series that uses magic.

In many of the series out, we, as the audience, are expected
to immediately know how it works, or just accept the explanation that it is
just magic and we do not need to know how it works, much like how members of my
church believe that God has called the people leading them into their position,
even though there are things out there, such as information contained in a post
published by Alan Rock Waterman on Pure
Mormonism
, that suggests that it was not God that made things the way they
are today.

However, Chise, the protagonist of this series, is
completely new to magic and, like many of us, believe it to be nothing more
than sleight of hand or something does not exist, though Chise knew that she
was not a normal individual.

Yes, she is not quite as skeptical of things as many of us
in real life, beyond the fact that she lost her faith in people and does not
value her life, at this point in the series, but that does not change the fact
that she needs to learn magic, and that feeling that she is actually learning
to use it in this episode gives it its unique vibe, when compared to other
works of fiction that feature magic.

If the staff at WIT that put this episode together had
forgotten about this aspect of the series, I would have been disappointed
because part of what makes this series feel so different from the rest would
not be found in this work, which have given me more reason to just forget about
this anime and focus only on the manga.

Fortunately, they did not do that and I feel like I am being
drawn to the series more, which makes me feel like giving the staff at WIT
studio another good round applause.

This is what both fans and newcomers want to see from a
series, and WIT Studio is finally able to deliver something that makes me proud
that I had invested my time into it.

Nice job, WIT, you guys should be proud that you have
finally delivered something that does not feel empty, and if this keeps up,
there might be some potential to match or surpass Kore Yamazaki's original work.

The thing that I liked the most about this episode though
was how this episode ended on a cliffhanger.

One of the reasons that I was not impressed by the first
episodes was because there seemed to be a lack of a cliffhanger, because,
instead of ending the episode right at Chise's reaction to what Ainsworth said
after taking her into his arms, the episode ended by zooming out and showed
some scenery.

By doing that, it felt like the series had already concluded
and I had little to no reason to continue on into this particular episode, as I
was not wondering what was going to happen next, like I did in the first
chapter of the manga, ultimately leading to my great disappointment.

Here, however, the episode ends with questions that need to
be present at the end of practically any episode or chapter in a series like
this.

This is the correct way to make a reader or, in this case,
viewer feel engaged with a work, because it gives them reason to continue on,
and by having an actual cliffhanger like this, I want to watch the next episode
right now, even though I technically have already, thanks to the fact that
Crunchyroll screened the first three episodes in theaters where I live.

If the staff at WIT Studio had ended this episode like the
last one, I would have dropped this immediately, as they would have continued
to make this series look worse than it is, and I would put them in the same
trash bin that I threw John Grisham into.

However, because they did not do that, I feel like singing the
word hallelujah over and over, with a light shining down, as I possibly thank
the heavens that the staff working on this anime might be competent enough to
deliver a good anime.

I would have been much happier if I could give this kind of
praise for something that truly does seem to be worthy of being called a
masterpiece, but I guess I will just have to settle for just being happy that
they can something right and hope that they do not mess things up even more,
which I still expect them to do.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that would not spoil things too much or
could not stand on its own.

Because I feel like I was truly engaged in this episode from
beginning to end, even more so than wanting to find out what is going on,
things were still pretty funny, and that the episode ended in way that actually
made me want to watch more episodes, as it had a real cliffhanger, this was one
of the best anime episodes I have seen.

Chise with a curious look

Although I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, there are some
issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
as it is still early in the series, nothing really bothered me too much.

As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
mentioning.

Considering that there was quite a bit to like, enough so that
it felt like the staff at WIT Studio upped their game, and nothing majorly
wrong, this was definitely worth watching.

I recommend this to practically everyone, whether they want
to see something new or are already fans of The Ancient Magus Bride, as it
delivers things that most people would be able to enjoy, but if you already
made up your mind that all anime is trash, then it probably would not change
your mind.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or buy a copy of the first volume of the manga from the Book
Depository
, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so
that I can continue following a series that we all enjoy and possibly find
other worthwhile anime for you guys to watch, and do whatever you do when you
find something that impresses you.

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