Anime Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 8

Ruth & Isabel

I hope that everyone had a good weekend, and are preparing for the daily grind to resume.

Things have been going fairly well here, even if I ended have a busier week than I thought I would, and I can still do the things that I like.

A few months ago, a show that I really wanted to see started up, and I decided to cover it throughout the duration of its run.

Today, I will be reviewing another episode of 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.

Chise gets angry.

With Chise seemingly dead, Ainsworth has lost it and aims to go up against the person called Cartaphilus, who not only stands in Ainsworth's way now but was also responsible for the corruption in the cat kingdom, and he has trouble dealing with this entity, even with help from old acquaintances.

However, things are not always as them seem, when a person once thought to have been killed regains consciousness and the church grim that Ainsworth was sent to investigate decides to make a pact with her.

Chise smiling, while telling Ruth she understands.

Even though I came into this series thinking that it would make a series I liked seemed to be terrible, no thanks to the fact that the first episodes were not that impressive, things have been improving steadily, though I still well aware that things can go downhill very quickly.

And after watching this episode, I can say that things are still looking quite good.

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 is because it picked up right where the previous episode left off.

Back in the last episode, Alice, who was accompanying Renfred the last time she was seen, which was back in during the events of the cat kingdom in episodes 4-5 and a little of 6, tells the duo about somebody, who learn in this episode goes by the names Cartaphilus and Joseph, both of which are names found either in the Bible or myths that take place during biblical events, which I found out back when I reviewed volume 3 of the manga, was having them get ingredients for a chimera, and that person attacks, dealing what appeared to be a fatal blow to Chise and Ainsworth transformed due to the lost.

After seeing these events play out, I was just as anxious to watch this episode as soon as possible as I was anxious to see episode 5 back when the fourth episode was the latest available streaming, and this episode continued on from that point in which we were made to believe Chise was killed, though fan of the manga, like me, knew the results already, which pulled me back into what was happening.

Wit studio may have failed to impress me in my much loathed series Attacked on Titan, as well as most of the initial three episodes of this adaptation, but the staff working on this seems to know exactly what they are doing, as they have been able to consistently capture my attention quickly and hold it by starting things off right where they need to.

This is one of the most important parts about creating a good work fiction, regardless of the medium and if is either a standalone work or part of a series, and if the staff at Wit Studio working on this series failed to deliver, I would have been mad, as it would have shown that these guys were not competent enough to create anything great and given a terrible impression of a series that many actually like.

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

Hopefully, they can continue to do things well enough that each of the 16 remaining episodes have the same ability to hook viewers that Kore Yamazaki provides in the manga, though she is not the only reason that the manga does a great job of pulling me in, because that would show that this series does deserve to be a contender for best anime of the year, and current fans of the series can be confident that this adaptation is being a good representation of what the series is like.

Then again, the staff at Wit Studio are only human, so I would not be surprised if they start messing things up badly before the point where even the littlest mistakes can hurt the series for the worst, which would not be until either the third or final quarters of the series.

I also liked how Chise's ultimate fate was revealed in this episode.

Even though I have read all seven of the volumes that Seven Seas Entertainment released, as well as preordered volume 8, and probably know just as much about what is to come as Detective Conan, due more to how close the Seven Seas translation is to the Japanese releases than paying attention to what is available online, the one thing that I am really liking about this adaptation that the staff at Wit Studio has created is that the way they put these episodes together is giving me the same feelings that I got from reading the confrontation between Akai and Kir in volumes 58 and 59 of Detective Conan, in that I am continually left wondering what will happen next or what happened, in spite of my knowledge of future events.

As I stated back in my review of the 58th volume of Detective Conan, the biggest problem with rereading content or going through the original source of a series or movie is that the suspense is killed because the person already knows what is going on, or, if the work makes use of dramatic irony, they will know how the characters will uncover what the audience already knows, which is why many people try to avoid spoilers.

Like the events that transpired in volume 58 of Detective Conan, the events that have been happening recently in this series feels fresh, as if I am seeing things happening for the very first time around, because I really believed that Chise had been killed, instead of what actually happened in this episode, which had me wondering how the series was going to progress.

Now, some of you guys may be wondering how this could be possible, since the staff at Wit Studio have been quite faithful to Kore Yamazaki's original work, with some changes that worked out for the better, but all I can say is that it was in how it was handled, making it much more obvious that this is the work of the staff at Wit Studio than taking all the chapters of the manga available and copy it panel for panel in each key frame.

If the staff at Wit Studio had copied the manga panel for panel or not handled things as well as they did, this anime would start to look bad enough that I would not even know why I am watching this, instead of focusing only on the manga, because the staff would come off as lazy and I would not be as surprised by what had occurred here.

Thankfully, they did not do that, and were able to maintain the ability to keep making me guess what would happen, which makes me want to give them even more applause for doing something right.

The thing that I liked the most though was what happened towards the end of the episode.

After finding out that Chise was not dead and seeing Ulysse's memories, Ulysse is chastised for depending on the dead, instead of doing his job as a church grim, and he realizes that he was doing just that and the person he was waiting for would not come back then asks Chise to accept him as her familiar by saying, “Chise, will you take me with you? I'll give you my all.”

When Chise tries to confirm that is what he wants, after finding out what it means to make a pact, he tells Chise, while the others are trying to deal with Carataphilus, that he does not want to be taken by Cartaphilus and that he would rather be by her side.

While these events happened in a similar manner in the manga, seeing these events playing out here with the background music that Wit Studio put in and the subs Crunchyroll provided, which were better than the translation Seven Seas presented for once, I got a strong emotional feeling that seemed like Ulysse, who now goes by Ruth, now that he made a pact with Chise, truly did move on from what had happened in the past and brought about a happy and satisfying end to this part of the series, whereas there really was not much emotion to be found in the manga because Ruth's words were not as powerful when he pleaded with Chise to make a pact and the ending of the felt like a bit closer to average, though I would not say there was a complete lack any emotional feels or the ending to the 12th chapter of the manga was completely unsatisfying.

One of the best things that I like about this adaptation more than Kore Yamazaki's original work, though I still kind of prefer the manga because I am still a little bothered by the decisions the translators that work on the subs for Crunchyroll made, is that the staff at Wit Studio has been able to bring out what I would consider to be the maximum potential of each moment where the audience really needed to feel what characters are feeling, or even the feeling of people growing closer, seeing as this is a romance series.

Now, Kore Yamazaki is not particularly bad at doing this, as I was able to at least get those feelings while reading through her work, unlike Yoshihiro Togashi when he wrote Yu Yu Hakusho, as Studo Pierrot was able to put emotional feels in their adaptation of the series that Yoshihiro neglected, but I do not feel like can remember those feelings without going back and reading through the events years afterwards, and that really opens up a possibility for this adaptation of The Ancient Magus Bride to surpass the original.

If this was the episode where the feels in Kore Yamazaki's original work surpassed what I was getting from what I was seeing on screen, I probably would have been disappointed, because I thought that I was finally watching something good from them, as I originally considered them to be worse than A-1 Pictures, the studio everyone loves to hate, and I was hoping that I would see another Yu Yu Hakusho, with how impressive the last few episodes have been.

Thankfully, they did not drop the ball yet, and that makes me want to give them a major round of applause.

Hopefully, the staff can stay consistent in bringing out these strong feelings emotion as the series goes on, because many anime fans would want to see another series that can stand the test of time like Yu Yu Hakusho has, as that would truly show how great this series is.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at least that could stand out as much as what I already talked about or spoiling things anymore than I already have.

Because the episode pulled me in quickly, by picking up where the last one left off, Chise's ultimate fate was quite surprising here, in spite of my knowledge of what is to come, and that the ending was much more satisfying than what Kore Yamazaki did, especially considering that Crunchyroll's subs did a better job of bringing out the feels than Seven Seas Entertainment's translation, this was another great episode is a good anime.

Chise answers Ainsworth.

Although I really liked the episode, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about, such as the thing that still annoys me about the Crunchyroll subs, 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, such as how the staff at Wit Studio are still able to bring out stronger emotional feels than Kore Yamazaki, and nothing bad to write home about, this was definitely worth watching.

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

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but seeing as it does pick up off where the last episode left off, it might best to watch the previous episode first, so that you can get the most out of it.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or, if you want 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 we all enjoy and possibly find more worthwhile anime for you guys to watch.

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Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.