I hope that everyone is having a good weekend, regardless of
how it is being spent.
Things have been going fairly, though things ended up being
more packed than I had expected, and I can still do what I enjoy doing.
Back in October, there was a series there I was interested
in seeing and I decided to cover it as in aired, and now the series has finally
entered its second quarter.
Today, I will be reviewing another episode from 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 has finally started getting official lessons from
Ainsworth and has been good about getting her work done, but the time for rest
has ended and the duo head towards their next destination, to deal with the
third request, which is an investigation on a black dog roaming a church graveyard.
However, what seems like a simple investigation into the
threat level of a mysterious beast turns into something more, as they discover
a corpse upon their arrival and a new threat appeared seeking that same dog
they are after.
With how well the first quarter of the series was going, I
had high hopes that this anime would continue going down the right path,
especially after I gotten a bit more than I expected from the previous
episode, but I have to remind myself that the first quarter is not a good
indicator of what a series will be like, beyond what kind of show it is, and
that the final three quarters could very much ruin things.
Thankfully, I can say that I quite liked this episode.
From the moment that I started watching this episode, I did
not want to stop watching for any reason, though I do have to satisfy the same
needs as everyone else.
If I had to say why it was able to hook me in so quickly, it
would have to be because the way the episode started to slowly drag me into the
world of the series and made me think that this was just another day in the
lives of Chise and Ainsworth.
While some people probably would have wanted things to pick
up from where the last episode ended, where a character, who was once called
Ulysse in a memory we see in this episode, appears on Ainsworth's doorstep
asking for help, as something did seem to happen recently, the fact that
episode brought events of the cat kingdom to a close and ended like there was
nothing more does not make such a decision the best way to handle things, as it
would come off as rather cliché or generic, instead of fun and interesting.
One of the best things about The Ancient Magus Bride,
at least that I have noticed while reading the manga, is that the series gives
off a very strong feeling that it is unique and its own story, even though I
cannot really say that it is actually unique, since almost everything has been
done in every medium one could use to tell a story, and the staff at Wit Studio
working on this adaptation has been able to do a great job of presenting that so
far, by not taking the route that would make things feel generic.
Just like readers, anime fans want to be swept away into
another world via the shows and movies they watch, and while there are many
methods of doing this, such as making the audience wonder what is going on,
which is how both Pandora Hearts and this series start
off in the first volume, though in different ways, the thing big thing that
will prevent that immersion is they get the feeling that what they are watching
is just the same as everything else, and the staff at Wit Studio working on
this series seems to understand this quite well.
If they had not started things off like they had in this
episode, I would have been disappointed enough that I would have decided to
focus solely on the manga, as this anime adaptation would not have been able to
show people why this series is so well liked, and it would have started leading
this series into a direction that it would end up looking just as bad Attack on Titan, which is something
that fans like me would not like to see.
Fortunately, they remembered that how something begins is
just as important as how its ends, and that makes me feel like giving them a
good round of applause.
I also liked how Chise was not completely helpless in this
One of the things that I have heard people complaining about
is that Chise was pretty much the clichéd damsel in distress, seeing as
Ainsworth had to keep on saving her over and over, and even though this does
kind of make sense, Chise was in a world she did not know too much about and
was a broken person who had nothing to give her that feeling that she needs to
keep on living, which is why she hardly made an effort to save herself, unlike
Kagome Higurashi, who continually calls out to the titular character in
Inuyasha, even though she had everything Chise did not prior to meeting
Not only was Chise a broken person in an unfamiliar world,
but she also did not have any proper lessons from Ainsworth, even though he
calls her his apprentice, so Chise being unable to do too much on her own does
Besides, I doubt there would be anyway for there to be any
development if Chise somehow got a grasp on things, not to mention that it
would not feel very believable.
However, when this episode starts up, we find out that
Ainsworth has started giving her proper lessons and we see her practicing the
art of making potions and doing a lot of reading, making me wonder just how
much she improved.
Later on, in the episode, Chise is at the graveyard where
she meets the church grim that she and Ainsworth were sent to investigate, and
she encounters a creature that asks her questions and she starts running,
knowing that if she said anything that the creature would do something.
While I was kind of expecting her to attack using magic,
even though I have read all of the seven volumes that Seven Seas Entertainment
released, I really liked how things played out here because it fits more in
line with what we see Chise doing at the beginning of the episode and that she
knows what to do when facing certain enemies does a much better job of
illustrating that she is learning than a random attack of magic.
If the staff at Wit Studio had her deal with the situation
using magic, instead of keeping in line with what Kore Yamazaki did in chapter
9 of the manga, I would have been really disappointed in them, because things
would no longer as realistic or believable as I had thought this series was
becoming, as it would have taken the all too commonly seen moments in anime and
manga where characters can perform new magic just because they trained or got
However, because the staff at Wit Studio did not do that, it
helps to make the series feel more unique and shows that staff working on this
adaptation remembered that Chise just barely started getting lessons, which
makes me want to give them even more of a big round of applause.
Hopefully, things keep going like this, so that we can see how
Chise become proficient in magic, and that the series can continue having that
feeling that is unique in a world where it is nearly impossible to find anything
original, as that is something that the fans of the series want to see,
otherwise it will just disappear into the sands of time as yet another series that
people thought would be the best anime of the year, instead of a good
candidate, which is what I currently see it to be.
The thing that I liked the most though was how this episode
As much as I hate Wit Studio for putting out one of the
worst anime I ever seen, the one thing that the staff there that are working on
have been doing right so far is ending their episodes in a fairly decent way.
Yes, there have been a few slip ups, such as the pilot
episode, where a zoom out diminished interest in the series, and the third
episode, which ended with what felt like an unnecessary cliffhanger, but
they have been able to get me excited to see the next episode on consistent
basis during the last half of the first quarter by knowing when to utilize
cliffhangers and when not to do so, or even make things feel like cliffhangers.
In this episode, which starts off the second quarter, that
has not changed, because it ends on yet another good cliffhanger.
After getting in contact with the church grim and realizing
that it poses no threat, at least right now, Alice, Renfred's companion from
the previous two episodes, comes for Ulysse and Chise knocks her out, only to
start asking why she wants Ulysse when she wakes up, and she tells her that
somebody is having them collect things needed to create a chimera, before the
conversation changes to why Chise and Ainsworth were in the area.
Moments later, after Alice asks Ainsworth for help dealing
with this particular individual, whom she says took Renfred's arm, that very
individual attacks, hitting Chise, who pushed Alice out of the way, and then
shows themselves, calling Chise a guinea pig and talking to Ainsworth, as if
they know him, and the episode finally ends by showing Ainsworth in a monstrous
form and Chise seemingly dead.
While these events did remind me of why I like the Seven
Seas Entertainment's translation more than Crunchyroll's subs and did not
officially start off the events of volume
3 of the manga, like how the cliffhanger in episode
4 kicked off the events of the second
volume, as it ended even closer to the end of the second volume than
episode 4 did with the first volume, I was wondering who this new character was
and what they were planning to do, as well as how Ainsworth would get out of
this current predicament.
This is how a proper cliffhanger should be done and the
staff at Wit Studio were able to deliver.
If they did not have things end like this, I would have been
very disappointed, as there would have been nothing to challenge Chise and
Ainsworth and Alice's appearance here would have seemed pretty pointless,
especially considering how she would not reveal where Renfred was, thus giving
me no reason to continue on to through the halfway point of this series.
Thankfully, that did not happen, and instead, I have a
strong desire to see the next episode right now, though I have to wait for it
like everyone else, which makes me feel like giving them another good round of
If the staff at Wit Studio can keep ending episodes just as
well as this one, I have no doubt that it would truly deserve to be called
anime of the year, even if it has an incomplete ending like Legend of the Legendary Heroes did.
Then again, the people bringing us this anime adaptation are
human, just like the rest of us, so I would not be surprised if they fail to
deliver, especially in the second half of the series, which should air next
Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that could either stand out as much as and/or
could not be added into what I already talked about.
Because the episode was able to capture my attention quickly
and hold it up until the end, by remembering that we are on the next part of the
story, Chise is showing signs that she is better able to handle herself in her
new life, as she is now getting proper lessons, and the cliffhanger was able to
get me excited enough that I cannot wait for the next episode, this was one of
the best episodes from the series that I have seen so far.
Although I liked the episode, there are some issues.
However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as why I think the Crunchyroll subs are not as good as the Seven Seas
translation of the manga, nothing really bothered me too much.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth
Considering that there was quite a bit to like and nothing
to really hate, without being too nitpicky, 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,
seeing as the events of the previous episodes are not absolutely necessary, but
it still might be best to watch them before seeing this, otherwise you will
have questions that the fans of anime and the manga know the answers to.
If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on Patreon
or, if you just cannot wait to find out what happens next, buy a copy of the
third volume from Book
Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the world, so
that I can continue following a series that many of us enjoy and possibly find
more worthwhile anime to watch.
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