Anime Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 6

November 11, 2017

Cartaphilus sitting in a tree

I hope that everyone is having a good weekend, regardless of
how it is being spent.

Things have been a little weird, but good, as I can still do
the things that I like.

A while back, I decided to cover a show that I had been
expecting to air for some time, and that means that I need to keep myself busy,
so that I do not fall too far behind.

Today, I will be review another episode from that show,
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.

Ainsworth meets Titania in forest

With the matter of the cat kingdom settled, Renfred and his
partner leave, as if nothing had happened, and Ainsworth's curiosity is
heightened when he notices something about Renfred.

However, before they can do anything, Chise collapses from
exhaustion and she enters a deep sleep that many believe will only take time to
deal with, but the fairies have once again shown interest in her and the king
and queen come to visit her place of rest.

Oberon, king of the fairies

Even though the series has been looking good right now,
after the hiccup that occurred with the first three episodes, there is always a
chance that things could very well turn south, especially when the first
quarter is about to conclude.

Fortunately, that has yet to occur, as I can safely say that
I kind of liked this episode.

From the moment that this I got into the first few minutes
of the episode, I found myself so engrossed in it that I did not want to stop
watching for any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same needs as every
other human on the planet.

If I had to say why it was able to do this so well, it would
have to be because it kind of picked up right where the previous
episode
had left off.

While the previous episode did not end on a cliffhanger per
se, as the events of the cat kingdom were pretty much wrapped up, it still
ended in a way in that there was more content to cover because Chise and
Ainsworth was still in the cat kingdom and Renfred was still around at the time
the corruption was cleansed, which did make wonder what was going to happen
next, though I did not get the strong urge that I needed to see this episode
any time soon.

In this episode, things back up a bit before Chise cleansed
the corruption, though she was still inside it, and we are shown a conversation
between Renfred and Ainsworth that goes from why Ainsworth is not taking better
care of Chise and why she is important to him, to Ainsworth asking about
Renfred's arm and who took it, only to be interrupt by seeing the aftermath of
Chise cleansing the corruption.

Even though this series of events was covered in volume
2
of the manga, it seemed to work better here than it did in Kore
Yamazaki's work.

In the second volume of the manga, after Chise had been
taken in by the corruption, the conversation between Ainsworth and Renfred
takes place, mostly word for word when comparing Crunchyroll's subs and Seven
Sea's translation, and when Ainsworth asks about Renfred's arm, Kore Yamazaki
inserted the figure of a person we do not know and then immediately goes into
the vision that Chise saw during the events of the last episode.

By doing this, Kore Yamazaki made me think that this
flashback was going to have some significance to Renfred and how he lost his
arm, as well as how this newly seen character comes into play, but he is never
seen during Chise's vision and it ended up taking away some of the possible
feels of Chise deciding to cleanse the corruption instead of erasing it, though
I would not say that it was totally devoid of any feeling.

Here, however, since Renfred and Ainsworth's little
conversation was saved for this moment, my attention was grabbed quickly,
making me wonder what was really going on and if this was not the end of Chise
and Ainsworth's troubles, instead of making me think that the vision of the
past was important to fleshing on Renfred.

When incorporating visions of the past or flashbacks, the
time that they occur can be very important, as they can feel unnecessary or
pointless if they are shown at the wrong, or, in the case of Railgun's Sisters
arc, which occurs in volumes 4-7
of the Railgun manga and episodes 2-16
of the Railgun S anime, can make what is currently happening be mystifying, and
even though J.C. Staff did not really make the best decision of when to show
Accelerator's flashback, the staff at Wit studio working on the anime
adaptation of The Ancient Magus Bride made the smart choice of cutting
this moment out of the events of the last episode and putting them in here.

If they had done what Kore Yamazaki did in the manga, I
would have been a little disappointed, as I would have neither the satisfying
end of the last episode or great start that this episode had.

Fortunately, that did not happen, and it makes me feel like
giving the staff at Wit Studio a good round of applause.

Hopefully, they can continue making good decisions of when
to move things around or cut things out entirely, because that will make sure
that this series is one worth following and even create a possibility of this
adaptation becoming another Yu Yu Hakusho, where the anime adaptation
ends up being better than the original source.

Then again, I need to continue reminding myself that the
staff at Wit Studio are only human and they could easily turn this into another
Attack
on Titan
, so I must be ready to berate them when needed.

I also liked how Ainsworth started opening up to Chise, once
she found out that Ainsworth had yet to tell her that she would die in a short
amount of time.

One of the things that I liked so much about this series,
before Wit Studio decided to turn it into anime, was how both Chise and
Ainsworth grew over the course of series and were learning from one another,
which gave focus to how they bonded.

When this adaptation aired, I wondered if that aspect of the
series would be presented in this adaptation, as studios get a lot of leeway
over how a series is adapted to the television format, according to what
Yoshihiro Togashi mentioned back in Yu
Yu Hakusho Volume 10
, and I was kind of wondering if this would fail just
as badly as Attack on Titan did in making me interested in the series,
and was worsened by how Ainsworth was not as mysterious in the anime as he was
in the manga.

However, just when it seemed liked the staff at Wit Studio
forgot about the romance portion of this series, Ainsworth seems to have a
touching moment with Chise, who asked about her death, by talking about himself
and saying:

I'm a half-baked—neither human, fairy, nor spirit.

I've lived for a long, long time and seen many humans, but I
still don't quite understand them, including you. I can comprehend your
thoughts, but I can't empathize. I can understand the reasons behind your
tears, anger, and laughter, but I can't make them my own.

I bought you because it was advantageous for me. That's all.
Because you had nothing, and you could not part from the non-human that is me.

I let you hear the words that I suspected you would want to
hear, and gave you shelter, food, knowledge, and attention. I thought I might
learn something if I raised one of you myself.

In many works that are found in the romance genre where
females are the protagonist, male characters seem like these almost perfect
people, which allows me to see how women could fall for them, but they still
come across as too perfect for me to be able to see these male characters as
actual people.

However, because this series is aimed at a male audience,
and a younger one than the target audience for either Boku
Dake ga Inai Machi
or Girls' Last Tour, as well as those that value
character development, Ainsworth cannot be like all of those other male
characters, and these words help to solidify that Ainsworth is much more human
than many other males in fiction and has his own weaknesses.

If this moment was cut was the adaptation, I would have been
mad, because the Ainsworth that I and many other fans of the manga have come to
like is a very flawed individual, in spite of his vast knowledge of magic, and
Ainsworth would have come off as way too perfect, almost to the point of being
the stereotypical star detective of a detective novel, and even alienate the
male fans of this series.

Fortunately, the staff at Wit Studio remembered that this
series was originally targeted toward males and made sure to make it clear that
Ainsworth was not a perfect hunk, which makes me feel like giving them another
good round of applause.

Hopefully, things stay consistent in this area, as it would
allow the people getting introduced to this series via the anime to see what
fans of the manga see in this series, and it would definitely qualify as being
one of the best anime yet, but, just like how A-1 Pictures dropped the ball
towards the end of the anime adaptation of Boku Dake ga Inai Machi, the staff
at Wit Studio that are working on this series could make a grevious mistake
somewhere, so I will hold off on calling this series the best anime of the
year, let alone season.

Another nice thing about this episode how there was quite a
bit to laugh about.

While the humor in this episode was not that unique, when
compared to either the rest of the series or anime in general, they were
executed well enough that they were roughly on par with the same scenes from
the manga.

The funniest of those scenes occurs towards in the end of
the episode.

After Chise and Ainsworth leave the cat kingdom and return
to England, Ainsworth goes to visit Chise in a forest, wondering when she will
awake, and then the fairy king and queen come onto the scene and the king,
called Oberon, uses magical energy to awaken Chise.

However, when Chise awakens and sees Oberon, whom she does
not know, holding her hand, and seemingly flirting with her, she runs to
Ainsworth after he says good morning.

While I did kind of laugh at these events, which are found
in the antepenultimate chapter of the second volume of the manga, I felt like
laughing a bit more here because these events were animated, instead of still
images in panels, so I did not need to generate those movements in my own mind.

Other than the fact that both Chise and Ainsworth are
characters that grow over the course of the series, fans of the series really
enjoy the humor, as it helps the world and the characters feel a bit more
realistic, and gives the audience a bit of a break from the monotony of this
series.

If the humor that Kore Yamazaki had put into her work had
been omitted from this series entirely, I would have been really disappointed,
as I would have felt like something was missing and this would not be the same
series that I grew to enjoy before its anime premiered.

Thankfully, the staff at Wit Studio are not butchering the
series beyond repair and are able to make something on par with Kore Yamazaki's
work, which makes me want to give them even more applause.

Nice job, guys. This is how you deliver a good anime
adaptation and the staff at Wit Studio are finally delivering.

The thing that I liked the most though was how this episode
ended.

Even though the ending was not a cliffhanger that was as big
as either the one found back in episode
4
or the cliffhanger ending of Erased
Volume 5
, as the main event was finally over, it made me wonder what was
going to happen next.

As this episode ends the first quarter of the anime
adaptation, I was kind of expecting an ending that would be satisfying enough
that I could just set this aside, and wait for the next episode to arrive, but,
instead, I got questions about what was going to happen that I wanted to have
answered right away.

If I had to say why there was a huge difference, it would
have to be because the way things ended was truly different from the manga, and
in more than just adding in things from the next chapter or volume, like what
occurred back in episode 4.

In the manga, after Chise was woken by Oberon and Chise and
Ainsworth talked to Simon, the chapter ended with Chise trying some pudding and
saying that it was delicious, which resulted in a nice closure for the events
that had happened so far and gave a good place for the reader to take a break,
before starting on the final two chapters of the second volume.

However, in this episode, after Chise tried the pudding, the
scene changes to a graveyard in the sunset and then ultimately ends by showing
a guy thinking about somebody, as if something had just happened.

While this ending was not exactly as good as the one Kore
Yamazaki put in the manga, this ending makes me wonder if this is Chise and
Ainsworth's next destination and what is exactly going on to make this
character seem to be so sad.

Just like readers, anime fans want to be given a reason to
tune into the next episode, whether it is by cliffhangers or through other
means, and if there is no incentive, they might stop watching the series
together, and the staff that Wit Studio has working on this anime seem to
understand that quite well, by giving a hint as to what is to come, though it
should not be too much of a mystery for fans of the manga.

If the episode had not ended like this, I would have been
okay, as the way the manga ended would have been good enough to close out the
first quarter of the series, and this would have still been a decent episode.

However, because Wit Studio ended it like this, I feel like
giving them a major round of applause, as I want to watch the next episode
right now and see how they will adapt the end of the second volume, as well as
see if they finally name the character that has appeared in two episodes so far.

Unfortunately for me, I have got to wait for the next
episode to arrive, just like everyone else, so I will just have to be patient,
as I know that events in this adaptation are not exactly frame for frame
recreations of the same events in the manga.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything that I
particularly liked, at least that could not be added in to what I talked about
already.

Because my attention was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, by making it seem like there was something else going on and
holding off certain events until later, Ainsworth opened up to Chise a bit and
revealed that he was the perfect guy that any woman would want, there were
things to laugh about, and the ending has me excited to see more of Chise and
Ainsworth's adventures, this was a fairly decent episode.

Ainsworth carrying Chise in his arms.

Although I liked the episode, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
nothing really seemed to bother 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, and nothing
that caused any major annoyances, this was definitely worth watching.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Ancient Magus
Bride
, as they will be able to enjoy this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try,
especially now that it is revealed that Ainsworth is not exactly perfect, but
it might be best to watch the other episodes first, as things can be quite
confusing without the knowledge of what has happened already.

If you liked the review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or, if you are anxious to find out what happens next, buy a copy of the second
volume
of the manga from Book Depository, who offers free shipping to many
countries around the world, so that I can continue following a series that many
of enjoy and possibly find more worthwhile anime to watch.

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