Anime Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 9

Angelica and Chise talk before parting.

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

Things are going well here, as I can still do the things that I like to do.

A while back, a show that I wanted to see started airing and I decided to cover it during its run.

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

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

Chise and Ruth about to leave home.

By forming a pact with Ruth, the three tasks that were handed to Chise and Ainsworth are finally complete, and the duo can get back to their normal lives, but Ainsworth is not doing well and Chise and Ruth are forced to go look around England, in order to give him some time.

However, the day after the excursion, Ainsworth runs out and Ruth and Chise try to track him down

Chise and Joel Garland talking in the garden.

Even though the series has been pretty good recently, that does mean that it everything will be just as enjoyable as it was before.

And after watching this episode, I can only say that I found it to be okay.

From the moment that this episode started, it was able to grab my attention enough that I want to find out what was going on, though I did not get the feeling that I just had to watch it.

While many, including myself, would have liked to see more of Cartaphilus, now that he has made his presence known and there was a suggestion that he will do whatever he feels is necessary to complete his objective, the big thing that this series focuses on more than the adventures that Chise and Ainsworth have is their relationship with each other and how they will develop, because this is considered a romance series.

Fiction may be able to take us on journeys that we either cannot or will not undertake ourselves and those elements might make things like worldbuilding very important, but the way things develop heavily depends on what kind of work the story is.

In work in the field of detective or crime fiction, the case being investigated or the crime that is about to be pulled off, as well as details that are important to know, is much more important than the world itself, which only needs enough fleshing out for the audience to draw images, since the laws found in the world of the story are similar to our own.

In works of romance, however, the interaction and the bonds between the characters are what is important, so the daily lives of the characters and what they do have a bit more relevance than. These little things are what helps the audience see how the two will connect and give us reason to root for them to get together.

Back during the events of the previous episode, when we find out that Chise did not die after all, Ainsworth seems to be worried about Chise being scared of him, and if this episode started off by pulling the duo into more quests, I would have been a little disappointed because it would have taken away one of the best things about this series, which is how both of them would grow to become more human and how their bond would strengthen through the many adversities, because it would only devolve into yet another adventure with characters that have little to no personality.

Fortunately, the staff at Wit Studio remembered that the romance aspect played a bigger part in this series than the adventuring, and started this episode off like it was another day in the lives of Chise and Ainsworth and pulled by me by showing that Ainsworth was not acting like his usual self, I was wondering how Chise would get through to him, as well as find out what was going on, which created the great hook that it was.

However, as much as I would want to give the staff at Wit Studio some credit for creating an interesting start, things devolved a bit into just another day in the life of Chise because there were more things going on at the same time.

Yes, many things happen concurrently in real life and we cannot focus on one thing all the time, but seeing things like this happen here, from the stuff that happening around Ainsworth and Chise to the things that Chise got to see while out and about made it hard to really get into the episode, so I can only give them a passing grade on being able to draw me in.

Hopefully, things can improve in the later episodes, because this is kind of hard to follow, and the audience does not want to have difficulties figuring things out.

I also liked how Chise was chastised a bit.

After Chise and Ruth were forced to temporarily leave Ainsworth's house, Angelica shows up and takes the two to the city for a shopping spree and they sit down to talk, while Angelica takes a look at the ring she made for Chise, which goes from her trying to do too much on her own on, in terms of performing magic, to Chise talking about how happy she is with Ainsworth and the others, in spite of all the lessons and studying she has to do.

When Angelica hears all of this she says, “Chise are you sure you aren't being over dependently? You're young. You have a long time ahead of you. Don't spend your time relying on the handouts from others. You were bought by Ainsworth. I know you had a hard time elsewhere, but you don't have to be fixed to him,” which gets to Chise enough to slap her, before Chise apologizes and says that she is right.

Even though Chise has been healing very slowly from the troubles she has had in the past, like how nobody really wanted her and, as we find out during this episode, her mother told her that she wished she never had her, the biggest problem with Chise at this point in the series, regardless of whether you read the manga or watch the anime, is that she never seemed to be her own person because she is too obedient, loyal, and trusting towards Ainsworth and that makes it really hard for me to want to follow her, as I keep thinking that she might become the new Kagome Higurashi, instead of somebody who can stand on their own two feet.

The moment Angelica said those words to her, I was reminded of the fact that Chise is not as great as she could become later on in the series, and I was wondering if Chise would start to show more growth after this.

While I think that this particular moment and the scenes from before play out much better in the manga, which I will talk about later, I still kind of liked it because Chise did need a talking to, in order to ensure that she does grow and see some development, as opposed to being the puppet that she seems to be right now.

If the staff at Wit Studio had cut this out entirely from this episode, I would have been mad, because Chise's growth would have been stunted really badly and ultimately lead into her becoming the new Kagome, and I would have dropped this series almost immediately, thereby focusing only on the manga.

Thankfully, they remembered that one of the biggest draws about this series was how Chise and Ainsworth grow and develop, and allowed Chise to be questioned a bit about the way she is acting.

Hopefully, we will see those words sinking in soon, so that this series will continue to be able to give some good impression of the series, but seeing as how this episode was already not quite as good as I would have liked, at least without getting into issues that do not just downgrade things, this may very well be the point where this adapation takes a turn for the worst.

The thing that I liked the most though was how Chise also chastised Ainsworth for walking out on her and avoiding her when certain subjects came up.

One of the biggest problems with works in the field of romance that I have noticed is how things are mostly happy or one side is at fault, while the other seems to be pretty blameless, thanks to the fact that men are either portrayed as womanizers or perfect hunks that any woman would want, because he understands her and gets her whatever she needs.

However, in real life, both men and women are deeply flawed creatures and for a relationship to flourish, both parties need to be open with each and help each other understand what the person is going through without harsh judgment.

This is one of the things that the series has done right here, because Chise reveals her worry and that she suspects that he will not tell her anything about what she wants to know, and Ainsworth says that she understands things quickly and accepted whatever he said without question.

After hearing what he said, Chise says, “That doesn't mean…No matter how selfish I am, it's not like I am so disinterested in you that I can bear not knowing about you,*#8221; after which she continued revealing how upset she was, it showed that Ainsworth was not as perfect as he was portrayed to be in the early in episodes and showed that he is very much more human than he looks.

Not only was Chise showing doubt for the first time, outside of the usual kind of doubt that would be expected from somebody with Chise's past, but it showed that Ainsworth was not being considerate of her and her feelings, which makes sense, considering what he said back in episode 6.

If Ainsworth had not been rebuked in this episode, I would have been angry, because there would have been no attempt at having Chise and Ainsworth grow closer outside of whatever events that two got caught up in and it would have shown that the staff at Wit Studio had even less of an understanding about the difficulties of a relationship than I do, since I understand enough to know things breakdown, thus leading the romance found in this series towards a point where it just is not believable.

Thankfully, the staff at Wit Studio remembered that Ainsworh is just as flawed as Chise, as well as the fact that their relationship is a big part of the series, so things could come to a satisfying and emotional close.

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 talked about already.

Because the start was decent enough to initially grab my attention, Chise got chewed out for relying on Ainsworth, which has me thinking that she might start growing more, and that Chise also chewed out Ainsworth for not being considerate, showing that he was not drawing close to her, this episode was fairly decent.

Chise and Ruth talk while looking at scenery.

Although there were things that I liked, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about and one thing that I talked about already, which downgrade a good thing down to okay, only one thing really bothered me.

The events with Angelica were relatively dull and her words to Chise seemed to lack any weight.

While I know and understand that the characters are not always going to be the most amazing thing out there, especially because works with a romance element need to incorporate the normal lives of the characters, those ordinary and mundane moments, like a character doing something on their own, still needs to be interesting and fun, and when those moments are not really that interesting, the readers will stop reading and the viewers will stop watching.

Even though Wit Studio has done a good job of this before, when the world of the series needed to be established a bit, they completely and utterly failed to deliver on this, whereas Kore Yamazaki succeeded.

In this episode, things were going right for the most part, but after she Chise that she needs to rely on others, she goes right into saying that Chise is hot blooded, yet frail, trying to console her.

This may have been enough to get the point across to Chise, but it did feel like there was anything more special or interesting about this little exchange.

However, in chapter 13 of the manga, after Angelica tells Chise that she should rely on others, she expounds on what she is talking about, like she is actually trying to teach Chise something, and Chise asks her what magic is exactly.

By having these additions to the content, even though they were not really necessary, things just seemed to be more interesting, and felt more like an actual conversation than just chastisement or Angelica spouting things off.

Of course, what really made this an issue for me was when Angelica chastised Chise for being too dependent on Ainsworth.

Even though this was something that needed to happen, in order for Chise to have a chance at becoming an interesting character, there was nothing there that made me feel like they were such powerful words.

If I had to say why, it would most likely be because of the way the translators working on the Crunchyroll subs decided to word thing.

The way in which is worded, which I quoted earlier, shows that there is some concern, but it was more fit for the discussion they had while they took a breather, and only after something had been observed, because there did not seem to be the kind of weight in the words that would cause Chise to hit her, instead of just lashing out verbally or running.

However, in the Seven Seas translation of the manga, after Chise says that she is happy with the way things are for her now and that it is enough, as long as Ainsworth is okay with it, Angelica says:

Chise. That strikes me as over-dependence, plain and simple. Your young yet. You've many years ahead of you. Don't spend them relying on handouts from others.

True, Ainsworth bought you, so you're technically his property. And I know you didn't have the happiest of upbringings. None of that means you need to be tethered to him all your life—

Yes, it does not seem to be that different from what was said in this episode, but there seemed to be more weight and even I had felt like I would want to slap or hit the person who said that to me, rather than the more peaceful and caring words.

If this were how things were worded, even if it may not be an accurate translation, I would have felt like this truly was an important moment in the series, because Chise still needs to find happiness and a reason to live.

Unfortunately, the translators for Crunchyroll did not go this route, and it made me feel like I watching a teenager lash out over nothing in a stereotypical fashion than something that I could sympathize with.

Thankfully, that was the only thing that bothered, at least that I could elaborate on, so I do note have continue ranting about why this episode is not as good.

While there was only one issue worth complaining about, that issue was bad enough to keep this episode from being great.

Despite the fact that there was a bit more to like than hate, the fact that the good could not register beyond okay and a somewhat important event made me feel like a spectator, due to how it was translated, this was only good enough to kill time.

I mainly recommend this to fans of The Ancient Magus Bride anime, as they might like this this the most, though there was not much to write home about.

As for everyone else, I would recommend reading the manga instead, as the events this episode seemed to be a whole lot more enjoyable.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on Patreon or, if you want to see if the original version of the things seen in this episode were indeed better, 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 other worthwhile anime for you guys to watch.

Use an app on your phone (e.g. Scan for Android) to capture the image above. If successful, you should be taken to the web version of this article.

Copyright © 2015 Bryce Campbell. All Rights Reserved.