Today I’m back with the latest Ancient Magus’ Bride. This one’s a bit of a mixed bag – the fantastical adventures are as strong as ever, but Alice’s story felt like it was held down by the author’s awkwardly vague impression of what her life might actually be like. Still, I can’t blame the author too much for trying to write beyond her comfort zone. And the second half is still pretty great!
Welp, this volume was basically perfect. The Ancient Magus’ Bride was at its best this time, mixing evocative fantasy with rousing character drama in some of the manga’s most beautifully and affecting stories yet. Even the paneling demanded to be noticed in this volume, as Chise and Elias’ distinct fears were contrasted across a stunning finale sequence. This manga is super extremely good.
Welp, fell a bit behind in my Magus reviews, so here we are. The manga is maintaining a strong balance of fantastical digressions and sturdy character-focused material, and continuing to have a solid grip on the compelling weirdness of Chise and Elias’ relationship. I’m pretty happy with my review of this one, so head on over and check it out!
The Ancient Magus’ Bride’s first prequel episode came out last week, so of course I had to dig in for Why It Works. This adaptation is definitely doing a strong job of capturing the offhand style of magic that makes the manga so charming, even if its story isn’t really focused on the relationship that keeps it strong. My only real complaint is the somewhat impersonal CG layouts – I briefly mention them in this article, but they were certainly at the back of my mind pretty consistently through my viewing. But aside from that, this was a beautiful and very atmospheric premiere!
And we’re back to ye olde fairy tales. This volume of Ancient Magus’ Bride was actually fairly light on the magical vignettes, because it was instead focusing on what has always been the most difficult element of the story – the uneven relationship between Chise and Elias. I’ve pretty much been continuously worrying about how the story would eventually handle this, and this volume went a great distance to assuage my fears. It’s clear in how Chise is framed and how those around her talk to her that the story understands this is a messed-up situation born of an unhealthy psychology on Chise’s part. She’s a broken person, and that’s a big part of the story. I’m happy the manga was willing to directly engage with this, and impressed with how well it used Chise’s story to reflect Elias’ own narrative in contrast. Ancient Magus’ Bride continues to be a very engaging story all around.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my chapter notes below!
I’m back on the manga train with more Ancient Magus’ Bride, as I review a second volume just as magical as the first. This is one of those manga where it’s hard to think of bad things to say about it – Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer is kind of scrappy, and even Bride’s Story can sometimes dither, but Ancient Magus’ Bride is just a beautiful production through and through. Hopefully that comes across in my review – I was going for a pretty specific tone in this one, and I think I hit it.
You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my notes below!
Manga trawl continues, with another very solid series! This one may go in any manner of weird directions, since its premise is so incredibly loaded, but the story so far is just totally enchanting. It’s basically holding to one of my favorite styles of magic, the one that builds off of old stories and treats magic as beautiful and dangerous and tends to feel vaguely European. It’s a style I strongly associate with Diana Wynne Jones, since her Chrestomanci stories were very formative for me, and it’s used well here. Definitely worth a look.
Here’s my full review over at ANN. Notes below!