I. Love. This. Show. I heard about it for the first time back in July during OWLS tour on “Mirrors,” or self-image. Arria discussed The Ancient Magus’ Bride manga, and how the two main characters see themselves and each other. From the minute I read the post, I was excited to learn that there would be an anime about it!
You should check her post out too, here!
I watched the first dubbed episode as soon as it came out. (I pay for Funimation but not Crunchyroll, so most new anime I have to watch dubbed) Since then, Mondays have become something I don’t despise as much.
Even though I can’t really figure out where the story is going, it proves to be enjoyable to watch in every episode. There are pieces I find a bit annoying, but it doesn’t take away from the experience as a whole.
If you aren’t aware of the plot, I’ll give a brief summary so the rest of the post makes sense.
Chise Hatori is a girl who has never had any hope for herself. At only sixteen, she decided that she couldn’t make a life of her own, after being abandoned as a child and going through school without a sense of who she was. She gives herself up for auction, where she won’t know what life will lie ahead of her, but she’s sure it’ll be something more than what she can make for herself. Chise is bought by Elias, who claims to intend on making her his apprentice. Through this, Chise learns she possesses a power she never knew much about before, and Elias teaches her about how to be a mage.
The number one thing about this show that struck me was just how visually appealing it is. The characters, the backgrounds, the creatures, the magic, everything. And I love how in the beginning, Chise has these prominent bags under her eyes, that gradually fade away as the show progresses. It’s subtle, but it’s very important when looking at her character development. She was someone without hope, with a past she hung on to unhealthily. She still isn’t entirely recovered in the point I’m at, but I can see how much better she’s doing, and the way she expresses herself is a huge indication of her recovery.
This is just one of the many details I love about the art and animation of this anime.
There is one piece I don’t like, but it is the only thing I don’t like about the show. There are a few episodes that show a long, repetitively animated scene with music playing over it. The episodes I can remember doing this are episode 3, where Chise is talking with a dying dragon, and there’s a scene of her and the dragon flying for an overextended time, and episode 12, when Chise is returning home and she unlocks a new piece of her magic. I like the scenes for about 30 seconds, but after that, I kind of want to get back to the show. I think it’s purely to show just how atmospheric they can make it, and show off pretty backgrounds, but I get that throughout the rest of the anime anyway.
But that’s my only complaint in the entire anime.
I love both Chise and Elias a lot, and majority of the companion characters are likable as well. Ruth, Lindel, Simon, and Alice are my favorite minor characters so far. It’s rare for me to watch a show and genuinely like the minor characters. I tend to ignore them on accident, but I found myself paying attention to most of the characters in this anime.
I want to talk about Elias the most though. He shocked me, to be entirely honest. Upon learning of the premise, I imagined Elias would initially be cruel or unfair to Chise, since he had purchased her, but I could not have been further from the truth. Even in the beginning, Elias treats Chise as a person, and an important person at that. He gives her everything she needs, and ensures she’s as comfortable as possible. He finds people to help her improve her powers so she can understand herself and defend herself if others try hurting her. He may be a bit distant and hard to understand, but he always has meant well.
All of the music in this show is beautiful as well. The opening always brings a smile to my face, and the background music fits the whimsical nature of the story. And I learned when being disappointed by the music when watching No.6, that it’s super important to making a show great. Without fitting and well done music, the whole thing falls flat, and it gets distracting. Along with everything else this show does right, the music is astonishing.
The English Dub
I’m so looking forward to the rest of the show. It’s the thing I look forward to the most every week. And the dub is really good too! I was so happy to hear newer voices as both of the main characters. I am very aware of a whole heck of a lot of English dub actors. I’ve never heard either of these actors before, but I’m very pleased with both of their performances. I love listening to Elias, his voice is so soothing and I hope to hear more of his actor in other shows I’ll watch. (I looked up Elias’ VA, and I didn’t see any roles I recognized, so he’s new to me at least)And I know that the dub succeeded because after a cliff hanger, I watched the next episode on VRV, through Crunchyroll, and it took almost no time to adjust to new voices. I think that’s the true determination of whether a dub is good.
And a lot of actors I really love play minor characters. Colleen Clinkenbeard as the Faerie Queen, Austin Tindle as Ruth, Todd Haberkorn as Lindel. It’s nice to see the mix of experience and new voices.
This anime is easily making it’s way to my top ten. I went through what would be my top ten as of now, and this one definitely makes the list. I don’t express my love for this anime enough, but now I have, and I plan to do much more with this show in the future. I’ll probably have a part two of this, and I REALLY want to do character analyses on Chise and Elias. There’s so much there!
I apologize for this being so late, I was at a con on Saturday and I didn’t have any time this weekend to finish this up and post it.
Hope you enjoyed this! Next up is a two part massive character analyses. Which I need to start on. Might be rough with a con this weekend, but I will push through! I have been excited about it for a while, and I’m hoping I am satisfied with my result.
Spoiler: it’s not from an anime!