Book Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 6

June 26, 2017

The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 6 cover

I hope that you all had a good weekend, and are getting
ready to deal with the usual monotony, or still enjoying your break.

Things are still going fairly well here, and I am glad that
I can still do something that I enjoy.

A while back, I had ordered some titles from Barnes &
Noble that I was not expecting to come for a while, and I was kind of surprised
to learn that one of the titles was shipped to me quicker than expected.

Today, I will be reviewing that title, which is called The
Ancient Magus Bride Volume 6
by Kore Yamazaki.

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

Christmas season has come, and an old face has contacted
Chise for help with her own problems, even though Ainsworth might not have
approved.

However, the peace of Christmas time is interrupted when a
girl who is looking for her kid brother seeks bumps into Chise and asks for
their help, which may test the relationship between the two even more.

I must say, I really enjoyed this book.

From the moment that I opened up this book and started
reading, I did not want to put it down for any reason, though I have to satisfy
the same needs that every other human must deal with.

While this does kind of go back and forth, like it does with
Kei Sanbe and Boku
Dake ga Inai Machi
, which I have decided to revisit because Yen Press
decided to release the manga where I live, where one volume is absolutely great
and the next one is only impressive reading it quickly after the predecessor,
Yamazaki has been able to deliver something much closer to what I expect to see
from Jun Mochizuki.

If I had to say why, it is pretty much because Yamazaki
tends to make her characters feel believable and realistic and seems to write in
a way that really pulls me in, which the translators that Seven Seas has
working on this series is capturing pretty well.

Comics may not need to create the same kind of imagery that
prose fiction needs to, but the fact that it can deliver the rest of the things
needed for a good story is something that readers want to see in general.

After all, if the things needed to create a good story were
not present, would you want to continue reading that series or book? I sure
would not, and many avid readers are probably going to agree with me on that
point.

This is how I wish every book ever written were, as that
would make reading much more enjoyable, and Yamazaki is able to deliver this
quite well.

If she could not do this much, I would have had to drop her
work, while expressing feelings similar to Kuwabara's outburst at Yusuke
Urameshi's wake, but because she actually met my expectations, I actually feel
like giving her a good round of applause. Nice job, Yamazaki, it is no wonder
you have caught my eye as a good writer.

I also liked how Chise and Ainsworth both seem to be
becoming a bit more human, or at least feel like more than just card board cut
outs.

Now, Chise and Ainsworth never really seemed to come across
as bland throughout the run of this series, but they both were introduced in a
way that it was difficult for either one of them to express emotion, or even
understand what they are feeling, with Ainsworth being hardly able to
understand emotions.

In the case of this volume, Yamazaki remembers what kind of
story she is trying to write and has both of them going through some
development that will deepen the bond that the two of them have and it ends up
making me wonder if the two of them will finally get married.

Then again, if they got married right now, things would be
left unanswered and the marriage would have also felt like it was too quick,
especially because they hardly got to know each other up to this point and she
would be ignoring the advice she was given about doubting Ainsworth.

Fortunately, Yamazaki seems to understand the importance of
building a relationship between two people before something as serious as
marriage starts, which makes me want to continue giving her some more applause.

Another nice thing that I liked was how there were a few
things to laugh about.

While the humorous moments found in this volume are not that
different from what could be found in the other volumes, it was still nice to
see how things were executed well enough that I could still get a good laugh.

As nice as it might be to focus completely on a story and
get things done, readers do not necessarily want to be on the edge of their
seats all of the time, because it ends up making the characters feel rather
uninteresting, regardless of whether they are likable or not, which is one of
the reason why John Grisham's The Whistler
failed to impress me.

For the story, and likewise the series, to feel interesting,
the everyday moments and the things important to the plot must remain
interesting, and a few well-executed comedic moments really helps in that
aspect.

Unfortunately, many writers, whether they create manga or
prose works, seem to forget the importance of this fact, and things begin to
grow a little stale after a while, much like how Detective Conan is not
quite as funny as it used to be, which ends up really hurting the quality of
the series.

Here, however, Yamazaki seems to still do a pretty good job
at keeping the humorous moments alive, even after only six volumes, and
remembers how much more enjoyable things are when there is something that can
produce a chuckle, and that makes me want to give her a nice round of applause.

There were two things that I liked the most though.

First, I really liked how the volume talks about how
powerful words can be.

Yes, we are all kind of aware of that fact, because our
elders keep stressing the often-repeated words “if you can't say anything nice,
don't say anything at all,” but we still end up hurting each other with our
words and actions because we, as humans, will never truly learn from our
mistakes, continuing the cycle of greed and apathy forever and ever.

Not only does such a saying not help us realize the truth
power of words, but it also does not help us improve because we cannot tell
what we got right and what we got wrong, and trying to follow that saying to a T
would mean that reviews would not exist.

Here, however, there is an even better example why words can
be so powerful, in that an entity named Ashen Eye rebukes the girl who
desperately wants to find her brother saying:

It's far too late for that now. Words are sound given soul,
and written letters embody fragments of spirit. Once another being has heard
and felt them, they cannot be taken back. In particular, foolish words uttered
thoughtlessly are so light that they may easily be twisted into a curse. There's
no telling what may hear those words…and take them to heart.
Reflect on how fortunate it is…that you did wish for his death.

This was quite powerful, even though it is talking about
creatures that only exist in the universe of this series, because it reminds us
that people will react over what we say, whether they might be mad about their
precious work of art or writing being up to snuff or feel hurt over words we
said because we are concerned about the individual, and is a big reason why I
hate it when I have to rip any writer or a new one, without letting them know
what they got right.

Of course, in the context of the book itself, it has an even
more powerful feel, because the girl wrote it off as just another argument
between siblings, and her little brother went missing because of those words,
which she needed to be reminded of before she could even get her brother back.

Sometimes, I wish people would recognize the truth of these
words mentioned in these moments, because that would lead us all to being
better people.

However, as Tanya Degurechaff brought up in Saga
of Tanya the Evil
, people are not really rational to begin with because we
will all act more on our emotions in certain situations, instead of taking the
time to look things over, and that will only help to continue to keep humans
from being able to reach the utopia that they dream to establish, unless a
miracle happens and we suddenly do not make the same mistakes over and over,
even in different manners than how it occurred in the past.

Still, the fact that Kore Yamazaki included a moment that
showed how powerful words can be is quite impressive, and makes me want to give
her good round of applause.

The other thing that really caught my eye was how this
volume ended.

While the volume seemed to come across as yet another look
into the daily life of Chise and Ainsworth, which is something that is
important in a romance story, it did not end in that way because the children
who the two helped ended up becoming targets of what may be either a new foe or
a foe that will be reintroduced, and it has me really excited to read the next
volume right now.

Unfortunately for me, I still have to wait for my copy of
the next volume to arrive, because the product
page
on Amazon says it will not be released until July, so I guess I have
to wait a few more days before I can read it, though it is at least better than
having to wait for months until all titles I ordered arrive.

Still, that does not change the fact that Mag Garden had chosen
some good people to put this volume together because they seem to know how to
end a book in a series the right way.

To get the reader interested in coming back for more, the
cliffhangers must be at the right moment, and while that moment cannot be
determined easily for this series, seeing as Japan has 7 volumes, according to
the series page
on Baka-Updates Manga, and Seven
Seas will be releasing the 7th volume soon, things seem to be much
more impressive here than what was seen in Secret
Volume 1
, which did not end well because of a horrible cliffhanger.

If the people Mag Garden had put together this volume did
not end it at the moment that they did, I do not think that I would have liked
it as much as I do, and I would have written this series off, even though Kore
Yamazaki seems to be just as good at writing stories as Jun Mochizuki. After
all, not all problems found in books are because of the writer themselves, and
both publishers and writers want to please their fans.

Fortunately, they seem to have quite a capable staff over
there in Japan, and it makes me want to give them some applause for a job well
done.

If they can keep this up, and Seven Seas can keep up their
consistently in how good their releases are, I have no doubt that this would
become one of the highest quality series out there, even if the series itself
does not end well, which I cannot tell because the scanlations are not too far
ahead of Seven Seas Entertainment's releases and probably not worth following,
and will make glad that I support both companies.

Outside of those things, I cannot think of anything else
that I particularly liked, at least that could stand on its own.

Because the my attention was captured and held throughout
the duration of the book, even though it has been quite a while since I read
the previous
volume
, as the series still has a lot of what is needed to create a good
story, Chise and Ainsworth are continuing to develop, as expected from the kind
of story this is, and that the series ended well and illustrated why we need to
be careful of what we say, this book was one of the best that I have read so
far.

Although I liked the book, there are some issues.

However, aside from things that are too minor to talk about,
such as typos, 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, and not too
much to hate, this was definitely worth reading.

I recommend this to fans of Kore Yamazaki, The Ancient
Magus Bride
, and romance, because they will be able to enjoy this the most.

As for everyone else, this might be worth giving a try, but
it might be best 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 Patreon
or buying the reviewed title and the other volumes in the series from Amazon,
so that I can continue following this series and find more worthwhile reads for
you guys, and doing whatever you do when you find something that impresses you.

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