Book Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 12

The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 12 cover

I hope everyone is doing well, even if life has been dragged
down by the monotony of the daily grind.

Things have been going fairly well here, as I can still do
as I like.

A while back, I was looking through Amazon, to check on the
status of the series I follow, and I placed a preorder for at least one of
them, which has recently arrived.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The Ancient Magus’ Bride Volume 12
by Kore Yamazaki.

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

After discovering somebody eavesdropping on, while her group
were starting to break the ice, Chise and her group of friends decide to do
something, to make sure secrets do not get out, to maintain their lives of
peace.

However, when it is discovered that Chisé and her schoolmates
are to go on a camping trip in the Scottish highlands, an old acquaintance
predicts that things will not be as peaceful as the students think it will be,
even if the secrets they each fear of letting out stayed secret.

While this series has been able to remain decent enough,
with only slight hiccups from either Kore Yamazaki or Seven Seas, I am aware
that things will not always be as good as they used to be, so I try to stay
alert.

And after reading this, I must say that I really enjoyed this
book.

From the moment I opened up this book and started reading the
first few pages, I found myself engrossed enough that I did not want to stop
reading for any reason.

As I have said countless times before, one of the most
important things in a work of fiction is how things begin, as the beginning is
supposed to draw people into another world, thereby giving them the temporary
escape from reality that they desire.

While this hook can be created in various ways, depending on
the genre and the medium used to present, this series, like many other manga,
is published in a serial publication, which means that things have to pic up in
a way that makes sense, based upon how the last installment ended.

In the previous volume, Chise and the others confronted the
person revealed to be a gorgon and eventually started talking about measures,
to make sure their secrets were kept, only to be interrupted when Chise thought
she noticed something, ultimately ending with the reveal of somebody
eavesdropping on the conversation that was acquaintance.

In this volume, after a brief moment, seeing signs that
Alice that may be avoiding Renfred for some reason, things pick up where the
last volume left off, with the discovery that the eavesdropper was another
schoolmate, and Chise and the gang start questioning her, to find out why she
was listening in.

By starting off here, my attention was quickly captured and
brought back into the world of the series, giving me some hope that questions
would be answered, while continuing with the current portion of Chise’s
adventures.

If things had not started off this way, I would have been just
as disappointed as I was with the beginning of the 9th
volume
, which left me confused enough that it affected my ability to feel
as invested as I would have liked, because that would have possibly killed
anything that might have been building up over the course of this arc.

Fortunately, the volume started off in the best possible
place, helping to jog my memory a bit, in addition to doing the job it was
supposed to, which makes me feel like giving Kore Yamazaki some applause for a
job well done.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to start off just as
well as this one did, but considering how there has already been a volume with
an atrocious beginning, I would not be surprised if I see another horrible
beginning.

I also liked how interesting things became, beyond the
ordinary days of Chise everyone else.

One of the things that I really liked about this arc were
how I was given so many questions, regarding various things that may crop up,
like how Josef took a more active role after Chise was cursed by a dragon, when
he only made appearances earlier in the series, making me think that Chise and
Ainsworth would be getting new enemies, now that Josef is out of the picture
and Ashen Eye has been mostly relegated to the background, even though his last
exchange with Josef suggested that he would be the next one that Chise would
have to deal with on a larger scale.

So many pieces were seemingly beginning to move that I could
not really see what was ultimately going to come about, especially in part
because this was my first time reading through these chapters, unlike Detective
Conan
and a few other series, where I know what is going to happen because
I was actually ahead of the official releases.

In this volume, the day or so after a pact was made to make
sure Chise and the others keep secrets, we see Rian, the boy who said he
intended to leave his family behind, goes to talk with another student who
belongs to a family that are that part of the seven shield, telling them not to
talk about the tragedy that struck Lucy’s family without reason, in case those
behind the tragedy have a presence in the college.

Whether or not such people will come about to take the place
of Josef and Ashen Eye remains to be seen, but the way it come across and the
fact that Kore Yamazaki had chosen to include it what ended up being the third
chapter of the volume, instead of writing it off, makes me think that they will
eventually be introduced, getting me excited to see what will happen next.

If things like this did not happen, I would have been a
little disappoint, now that Chise has gained the resolve to live and the story
itself is not shining the light on Chise and Ainsworth as much, though still
enough to remind the reader that this is their story, because the thing that
was so fascinating, beyond seeing Chise and Ainsworth grow individually, as
well as their bond, were the things they experienced in their adventures, as
that was how they grew, rather than just seeing them spend time together doing
everything typical of a stereotypical date.

Thankfully, Kore Yamazaki remembered that the relationship
between Chise and Ainsworth was not the only thing that kept people coming back
to the series, which makes me want to give her another round of applause.

Hopefully, things will continue to keep getting interesting
as the series goes on, though I do not quite see this becoming a series like Pandora
Hearts
was, because that will help in retaining readers, which is something
that is very important for series, unlike standalone works, but considering how
a lot of things have lost their luster over time, I would not be surprised if
this series were to start becoming dull.

Another thing that I liked was how there were things that
made me chuckle.

Aside from the adventures of Chise and Ainsworth, and how
they grew, one of the things I really liked about this series was how things
were genuinely funny.

In a lot of works of fictional, particularly where I live,
there does not really seem to be anything there outside of the plot, and maybe
deep messages, if one really exists, to the point where the audience has no
reason to feel invested, beyond what is going on, as things are way too
serious, when life itself is not always serious, which makes things feel a
little less real.

However, one thing that I about anime and manga is that they
tend to feel a little more lively because there is a mix between serious
moments and funny moments, making it feel like I am actually get to know people
and becoming part of their world, at least when the comedic moments are
executed and timed well enough.

In this volume, there were a couple moments that made me
chuckle, but only one stood out.

When Alice decides to stay with Chise and Ainsworth, Chise
goes up to the roof, where Ainsworth is sitting, unknown to her, they start
discussing the complications behind human relationships to the point where
Ainsworth said he decided to call Chise his bride, thinking they would stay
together for all time, to which Chise tells him that marriage is not forever.

A few moments later, after Chise tries to explain what
happiness is to Ainsworth, Ainsworth says he would feel lonely if he let her go
to bed, making her regret teaching Ainsworth about loneliness.

This was funny because it showed that Ainsworth, like many
people in real life are afraid of loneliness, thinking that it must be filled by
someone, and, for probably one of the first times, Chise was weirded out.

Now, some people would probably be annoyed with this kind of
development, just like how people are annoyed with the fact that Chise and
Ainsworth have the kind of bond that people do not believe would realistically
occur, but seeing as Ainsworth never really understood people to begin with,
with how irrational we can be, this makes sense to me and just adds to hilarity
that Ainsworth lacks not only knowledge of human nature but also of life
itself, since loneliness is something guaranteed to be experienced around other
people, though now is not a good time to delve into it, especially seeing as
the series never truly had anything meaningful to say about it.

If things there was not anything to laugh about, I would be
very disappointed, as there would be not be anything to keep things interesting
in the dull moments, like a calm before the storm, which would make it hard for
me to really be able to enjoy myself, as well as anybody else.

Fortunately, Kore Yamazaki remembered that the comedic
moments are just as important as everything else, which makes me want to give
another good round of applause.

Hopefully, there will be more things to laugh about before
this series concludes, but seeing as other series I like or have liked grew
stale in the comedy department after a while, I would not be surprised if the
comedy here grows stale as well.

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

Aside from how things begin, another important thing in a
work of fiction is how things ended, as that is supposed to either leave the
reader feeling satisfied or wanting more, depending on whether it is a series
or a standalone work.

While I cannot say that the way this volume ended in the way
I wanted, with all the hints of something more possibly going on behind the
scenes that has captured my attention more than anything else, it still did the
job it was supposed to do, in making me want to read the next volume right now.

After Chise and the gang arrived at the camp site, which was
not long after Ashen Eye tells Stella that he expects something to happen in
Scotland, we see everyone mostly at peace, though there is some animosity that
is expected to occur with the bunch.

Later on in the day, when everyone has their tents setup and
Chise and Lucy decide to turn in on the last night, Lucy goes to use the
bathroom but does not return, after seeing book paes moving, and Chise goes off
to look for her, only finding her on the brink of death, with the last few
panels having Chise and Ainsworth note that it is no longer and ordinary
camping trip, with the very last panel showing Chise passing a mysterious
creature.

Even though this sounds like just an ordinary cliffhanger,
and it likely is just an ordinary cliffhanger, I found myself on the edge of my
seat, wanting to know what happened, as well as what some of the last few
panels were showing, while actually reading through it that I wish that Seven
Seas would let me preorder the next volume right now, since the next volume
will not come until October, according to the product listing on Amazon.

Unfortunately, for me, who likes digital releases, thanks to
the little problem I had when I still got the volumes in print, I will have to
wait a little longer before I can get the next volume.

If things did not end like they did, I probably would have
been able to live with it, seeing as there were other things I wanted to find
out, but I doubt I would have wanted to get the next volume so badly because of
things that may or may not come to pass.

Thankfully, both Kore Yamazaki and Mag Garden, or whoever
they had put this volume together, chose to end things at a good spot, which
makes me feel like giving both parties a good round of applause.

Hopefully, future volumes will be able to end just as well
as this one did, because it would help keep readers coming back for more, but
considering the fact that Kore Yamazaki and everyone helping her to bring this
series to the masses are only human, I would not be surprised if this series
suffers from bad to terrible endings.

Because my interest was captured quickly and held right up
to the end, there were more hints of something possibly going on behind the
scenes, making me think that Chise will have to contend with somebody other
than Josef and Ashen Eye, there were things that made me chuckle, and the last
few panels having me wanting to see what will happen next, this was a pretty
decent read.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, and things that would likely only affect me, due to reading
environment, nothing really seemed to bother me too much.

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

Considering that there was quite a bit to like and nothing
to hate, unless one wants to be real nitpicky, this was definitely worth
reading.

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 may be worth giving a try, but it
would be better to read the previous volumes first, to be able to really enjoy
this.

If you liked this review and would like to see more, please
consider supporting me on either Patron or SubscribeStar, or if you would
like a copy of the reviewed title, buy
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Volume 12
from Book Depository, who offers
free shipping to many countries around the world, so that I can find more
worthwhile reads for you guys to check out, and possibly get more active here
sooner than anticipated.

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