I hope everyone is doing well and having a good weekend.
As I mentioned in the last review, I finally received the last half of my Barnes & Noble order that I placed a few months back.
So far, all but one of the books from that order have been covered.
Today, I will be reviewing the last title from that order, which is called The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 4 by Kore Yamazaki.
As I have given a series synopsis in an earlier post, I will not go over it again.
Chise and Ainsworth are both busy with their own business during their peaceful lives.
However, news of Ainsworth taking on an apprentice has spread and when Chise obtains her wand, people who have taken an interest in her coming knocking on her door and she must decide where she belongs.
I really enjoyed this book.
Even though it has been a few months since I read the previous volume, I did not feel lost or bored throughout my time reading this.
Now, some of you guys may be saying that it is because I have been following this series right from the first volume, but things do not remain interesting if left by the wayside for a long time.
For example, when I finally got around to reading the 58th volume of Detective Conan, my interest level had waned a bit, despite knowing that a Black Org case was in progress, because I had gotten the volume much later than I was expecting, though I have no control over when I get new books, other than walking to the local book store and getting there, which is not feasible because they carry the least amount of manga, compared to other locations.
Of course, the pattern of releases of subsequent volumes and number of series I follow does come into play too.
Here, however, I remember enough about the last volume that getting into this one was not too hard.
Seven Seas has definitely chosen a pretty good pretty of time between releases, though this review does seem to be cutting it close to when the next volume gets released, seeing as that will be released in a few days or so, according to Amazon.
I really wish Viz would release Detective Conan as quickly as Seven Seas does for this series, but Detective Conan has close to 90 volumes now and this series currently has only 5 volumes, according to Baka-Updates Manga, so Seven Seas has a much easier time keeping up with the Japanese releases than Viz would with Detective Conan.
I also liked how things picked right where things left off in the previous volume.
Yes, this is a normal occurrence with manga, but, sometimes things are not really answered immediately or until much later.
Back in the previous volume, Ainsworth's past started to be explored a bit with Lindel beginning to tell Chise a story about, which made me interested in wanting to find out how Ainsworth came to decide to learn magic from Lindel and how they met.
As expected, Kore delivered upon the story of how Ainsworth met Lindel and began to learn magic from him.
The surprising thing though was that Ainsworth did not choose to learn magic completely on his own, though he did pretty much have to agree to learn it.
While it is kind of disappointing, as I was expecting something like Lindel saving Ainsworth from attack, instead of them just meeting by coincidence like they did, I am happy that Kore did not do that, because Ainsworth would then turn into another Kenshin.
After all, even though it is hard to come up with completely unique concepts, it is more admirable for a writer to add something new to table, otherwise it would be written off as a cheap imitation, though with the way Kore handles things in this work, I have no doubt that she can accomplish this task, though that can change if the quality of her works goes downhill too soon.
I also liked how Chise has become a little greedier over the course of the series so far.
While greed is not necessarily seen as a good thing by both religious people and those who hate capitalism in America, without taking care of yourself, you become nothing more than a robot going through the motions and do not mind being discarded, even the very fabric of society would be broken in the name of being selfless and turn into complete apathy.
In the case of this work, Chise seems to be becoming much more human than she was in the beginning and I really want to see where she will head while under the tutelage of Ainsworth.
Kore is going a good job developing her character and I would really like to give her a hug, though she and I probably never meet, and even if we did, I might not jump on that opportunity because I would probably keep my distance, thinking that there would be no point in engaging in conversation with her.
Works of fiction would be so much better if characters developed liked the characters here do, but it is difficult to make story not feel like they drag on while having the characters grown, since there are only a few writers I know that are able to do this.
The thing that I liked the most though was that questions regarding sleigh beggy, which is what Chise has been called for much of the series, started to crop up.
When a mysterious being shows up and turn Chise into a fox, Ainsworth tries to run after her and is stopped by the mysterious being, who says that sleigh beggy were once called their kindly neighbors, much like the fairies, are more inhuman than human.
This makes want to find out more about what the sleigh beggy are and if there is something special about them, other than being able to generate enough magical energy to threaten their lives.
While I do not expect this to be answered immediately in the next volume, I hope that Kore delves into this more as the series progresses, much like how Jun Mochizuki provided a clear explanation as to why Oz was able to utilize the powers of the B-Rabbit in Pandora Hearts.
Still Kore seems to be doing a good job of giving me an incentive to continue on with the series, and for that, she deserves a ton of praise.
Outside of those things, I cannot really think of anything else that I particularly liked.
Because the book was able to hold my interest, in spite of reading this later than I would have liked, and that the story of Ainsworth's past was explored as promised, as well as the fact that new mysteries arise, this book was fairly enjoyable.
Although I liked the book, there are some issues.
However, aside from things too minor to talk about, such as typos, nothing really bugged me too much.
As a result, I will have to say that there is nothing worth mentioning.
Considering that there was a lot more to like than hate, this was definitely worth reading.
I recommend this mainly to people who want a story with good character growth and The Ancient Magus Bride.
As for everyone else, this is worth giving a try, but you will only get the full enjoyment out of this by reading the previous volumes.
What are your thoughts on The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 4? Did you like it or hate it? Was there something that you liked or hated that went unmentioned feel free to comment.
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