Mahoutsukai no Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) Anime Review

Name: Mahoutsukai no Yome
Media: Anime
MAL Score: 8.21
Episode Count: 24
Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen

May contain story related spoilers for the Mahoutsukai no Yome anime ahead.

Summary

As the Fall 2017 anime season came around, a certain show caught my interest as I had recently read the ongoing manga it was adapted. This show was Mahoutsukai no Yome, being adapted from the manga of Kore Yamazaki into an anime by Wit Studio.

The story follows the 15 year old japanese girl Chise Hatori, who due to the events of her past has given up her own freedom by offering herself up for auction. When a mysterious figure named Elias makes the winning bid, her life is about to change in a way she may have never thought of before.

Story

Set in modern day England, the story follows the character Chise Hatori and her life living with her teacher Elias Ainsworth, a centuries old magus, who at the very start of the series bought Chise at an auction house of magi and sorcerers. This act might initially get the viewer to think dark topics involving slaves might be a part of the series. However, these thoughts are quickly removed as the events goes on and the plot of the show unfolds further.

The story and world building this series brings with it is nothing short of fantastic. It manages to flesh out the world and events that its characters run into while preventing the air from going stale throughout it. Through these characters we get introduced to the way fae and magi interact, assist, and live with each other through their day to day business, built on respect between both parts involved.

A thing that the show manages to do perfectly as the story and plot goes on during the first 3/4ths of the show, is never allowing for the scales and balancing of events to sway too much in either direction, answering periods of bright moments with equally dark moments, both progressing the story and opening up the world to the viewer in both its past and current time, while building up to the eventual culmination of the show in the final part and end of the series.

The characters

What I feel the show does better than the source material it was raised from is the fleshing out of its characters as their story evolves through it. That feels easier to notice with the impact the voice actors has on them. With a highly diverse cast of characters each serving their own position in the story, the show manages to keep them all relevant without causing an overlap in what each character does to progress the story.

As the story evolves with each episode, the biggest character developments can found be with our two main characters. On the one hand, Elias learns to understand the meaning of emotions previously unknown to him that he begins to experience as time goes on. On the other hand, Chise evolving into the character she is meant to be, earning her the sense of belonging she has needed and longed for since her early life.

Art & Soundtrack

Throughout the show the hard labor brought into the adaptation of the source manga for TV shines through clear as day in the artistic efforts provided by the staff working on it, giving the show amazing visuals of the bright idyllic landscapes of the english countryside, the busy everyday life in the streets of London, and the magical world of the shows fairy-like beings. Again and again as every episode goes by, the dedication put into the making of the show by Wit Studio never falters.

Through the characters designs, the world’s environmental designs, and the amazing efforts on everything from even the smallest to the largest of details, The Ancient Magus’ Bride earns its place as one of the few masterpieces of the season. A notable example of the dedication given to this series by the arts team behind it can be seen in the sequence for the phoenix transformation of episode 12, and in moments throughout the show where magic is being performed by the magi and fairies.

As a match to fit with the artistic efforts brought on by the staff at Wit Studio, the sound design and voice acting lies at a level equal to that of the art design itself, bringing life to the world created by Kore Yamazaki with OST soundtracks that even on their own are quite enjoyable and fits in perfectly with the setting, the time in which the story takes place, and during the events of the show as they happen.

Conclusion

Originally having read the manga that this show was adapted from, going into the anime I already had a feeling of what I was going to see come out of it and already had some reservations about what my opinion on it would be, while hoping Wit Studio would not just adapt the manga but also give color, life, and sound to what was already a fantastic story. These reservations were soon blown away by how fantastic the adapting had been done, pulling me deeper into the show and story within than the manga initially managed to do.

With the story, character progression, amazing animations and soundtracks being on point throughout the show and managing to successfully bring the life and magic to the show that I was hoping for, my final score for the show overall is going to be a 9,5 out of 10, and will be giving my recommendations for others to check this show out for themselves.

Written by Steenberg.
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