Book Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 16

The Ancient Magus Bride Volume 16 cover.

I hope everyone is doing well, even if things are monotonous.

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

A while back, I
tried securing more installments of the series I follow, and I was
finally able to place some orders for things that I was expecting to
come earlier in the year, with one arriving this week.

Today, I will be
reviewing that title, which is called The
Ancient Magus’ Bride Volume 16
by Kore Yamazaki.

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

Students are falling
victim to recent events left and right, with students growing more
anxious to the point of infighting.

However, when Chisé
has an encounter with a student that has been afflicted, things
strange to become much more strange.

While the previous
volume
was quite enjoyable, especially with how things ended,
that does not mean that things will be just as good here, which is
why I must stay vigilant.

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

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

As I have said many
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 the
audience into another world, thereby giving them the temporary escape
that they desire.

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

In the previous
volume, Chisé and the other engage in a test of courage, to try to
pass the time and lighten the mood, and the final panels showing
Veronica and Chisé talking about Philomela, with Veronica telling
Chisé about the past.

In this volume,
after being shown a scene where we all the victims of the recent
incident are suffering the same effects, Veronica starts to tell
Chise about the past involving her and Philomela.

Even though I am not
too sure how it will play into the story at this point, seeing as I
was more interested the grimoire that went missing, this was the only
way that this volume really started off, as we, the audience were
promised a back story and these back stories do allow the characters
to be fleshed out, as well as helps to jog the memory a bit.

If things had not
started here, I would have been alright, as I stated that my main
interest was surrounding the grimoire, but things would have felt
very confusing if they had not started off where it did and made fans
of the series upset.

Thankfully, Kore
Yamazaki started off the first chapter of the volume off on the right
foot, though Mag Garden, or whoever they had put this volume
together, does deserve some credit too.

I also liked how
this volume handled the tensions of the students, even though they
got to relieve some stress.

One of the things
that I really hate about the criticism I see in regards to anime and
young adult fiction is how people do not relate with the characters
because of their age and the setting, and while age and setting can
be problematic at times, it still gets under my skin because such
people are too lazy to understand things, let alone other people.

In this volume,
because the Chisé and the others have been in lock down, so that
Ainsworth and the others could protect them, for a month or so now,
they get fed up with things to the point where they decide to looking
for the party responsible, to which Lucy berates the person for
bringing up a stupid idea, setting off an argument and leading to
emotional outbursts.

Seeing as how many
of us have suffered from being made to remain indoors, due to the
recent pandemic that result in lock downs, the way these kids are
acting is actually fairly believable, especially considering that
there were that did not bat an eye about the lockdowns and, in the
case of the story, something other than nature was causing their
predicament.

If all these
students always acted rationally, I would have started to wonder what
was going on because Kore Yamazaki tends to have her characters act
in a believable manner, as well as in an understandable way, which
would have taken some of the charm away from this series.

Fortunately, the
characters acted in a belivable manner, as I expected them to, and it
helped to keep me immersed while reading the volume.

Hopefully, this
remains par for the course as the series continues on, but
considering that there have been hiccups before, I would not be
surprised if there are instances in which the series falls flat.

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

Aside from how
things begin, another important aspect in a work of fiction is how
things end, as the ending is supposed to either leave the reader
satisfied, if it is either a standalone work or the final installment
in a series, or give them an incentive to continue on with the
series.

Now, this series has
done a fairly good job in terms of how each volume has ended, but I
do not recall ever being this excited and anxious to get my hands on
the next volume right now, though it will not be released until
March, according to the product
page
on Amazon.

Throughout much of
the volume, when more than just the teachers discuss the things that
are happening, we see many different scenes that end up creating
questions in my mind, like what is Lizbeth Sargant up to, what
happened to her son to make him turn away, and various others things,
but the real thing on my mind was the stuff involving Philomela,
seeing as she shut herself away for quite a while, saying things like
she was always terrified of Veronica and hated Rian, while holding
the long sought grimoire.

A little later on,
on the final page, Philomela says she wants to be let out of the
college to retrieve her parents from hell.

While Veronica did
say that her family was greatly feared by others for what they have
done, I am wondering if the grimoire was having her do these things,
much like a cursed sword in other fictional works, or if she did this
of her own volition, or even for the same reason Lucy’s family was
attacked, and I really want to have some answers right now.

If the volume had
not ended like this, I would have likely been alright, as the things
that have been occurring could go on a little longer, without feeling
like it is being dragged on, but I do not think that things would
have really been all that exciting, seeing as there has only been one
volume released over here this year, in comparison to the usual two
volumes a year.

Thankfully, Mag
Garden, or whoever they had put this volume together, chose a good
place to end this year’s only release from Seven Seas, which will
definitely have been coming back for more.

Hopefully, future
volumes will end just as well as this one did, even if Seven Seas
goes back to the original release cycle of two a year, but
considering how I remember a terrible start for a volume in this
series, I would not be surprised if there is a volume that ends
badly.

Outside of those
things, I cannot think of anything else that I particularly liked, at
least that either could be shoe horned in to what I talked about or
stood out as much as what I did talk about.

Because things
started off well, the characters had experienced some believable
tension, and the ending created more questions that I want answered,
in addition to other events that took place in the volume, 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 something
that continues to plague the digital releases to the point where I
feel like chastising Seven Seas again, like I did with volume
14
, nothing really bothered me too much.

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

Considering that
there is more to like than hate, though I do feel like going on a
tirade right now, this was definitely worth reading.

I mainly recommend
this to fans of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, as they will like
this the most, but I would strongly encourage you to get the print
releases because of a flaw that Seven Seas refuses to fix and I am
already exhausted about brining up.

As for everyone
else, this is definitely worth giving a try, but considering that
this arc might be nearing the end soon, I think it would be better to
check out the earlier volumes first.

If you liked this
review and would like to see more, please consider supporting me on
either Patreon
or SubscribeStar,
or, if you want to read the reviewed title fir yourself, buy
a copy of The Ancient Magus’ Bride Volume 17
from Book
Depository, who offers free shipping to many countries around the
world, so that I can continue following this series and possibly find
more worthwhile reads for you guys to check out.

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