Director: Norihiro Naganuma
Studio: Wit Studio
Number of discs: 2/4
Classification: 15 (BBFC)
Run Time: 309 minutes (5hrs 9mins)
Episode Count: 1-12 & 3 OVAs’
Release Date: Out Now
Licensed By: Manga Entertainment
Chise Hatori is lost in the World, not wanted by the remaining family she has left, she is talked out of taking her own life in order to make it useful for someone else. Chise is known as a Sleigh Beggy, a rare being that can see spirits and interact with them. Having signed her life away, she is swiftly bought at auction by one of the last Magus in the World – Elias Ainsworth, a seven-foot-tall humanoid with an animal skull for a head. Having bought Chise, they return to the English countryside where he sets about training Chise as his apprentice and future bride.
What began as a story set in Japan, where a young girl named Chise has been passed around by various family members for years after the tragic death of her mother, the young woman contemplates ending her miserable life. Although she feels worthless in her human World, she is in fact gifted with Ancient Powers that allow her to communicate with faeries & spirits. She is a rarity in Magic Circles and attracts the attention of an Ancient Magus. From the moment he whisks her away to England, her life in magic begins. Taking her from meeting fellow Magus to the last remaining Dragons, from cleansing dark spirits to making her own wand. This series is full of surprises along the way.
Chise has had a very troubled childhood, although she was once part of a loving family with her parents, she has since seen her mother’s demise and her father disappear. Chise has been excluded by her those her age, family and society for the simple fact that she is always scared and running away from something they can not see. Chise is terrorized by evil spirits that either want to eat her or cause her pain. Once she meets Elias Ainsworth, her life really does improve for the better as she learns the kind of power she holds. Ainsworth is a very old creature, more similar to a demon than a magus in looks, but holds a power which he draws from the shadows. The opposite to Chise’s, however Ainsworths’ past is still shrouded in darkness as he can not recall his true origins. Plenty of interesting characters in the series, and I quite enjoyed seeing the Faerie King & Queen of Tír Na nÓg. Which was unfortunately wrongly pronounced in the Englsih Dubbed version I watched.
There are Faeries, Mages, Demons and Alchemists thus far in the series, with the latter being the most untrustworthy thus far when it comes to the damage they cause. It’s not long before Ainsworth entrusts Chise to start using her magic whilst they are out on missions from the Church. She draws her powers from the faeries around her, who seem to love their little bird. There is sure to be plenty more action in Part 2, as Chise comes into her powers more.
The Ancient Magus Bride began as a manga series in 2013 by Kore Yamazaki, with 11 volumes available now and still ongoing. It is currently being published in English by Seven Seas Entertainment. It was adapted into an anime in 2017, with the 3 OVA episodes released in 2016. The anime has a total of 24 episodes, with the final 12 being released in Part Two by Manga Entertainment. The anime was directed Norihiro Naganuma, who has also worked on Death Note, Attack On Titan, My Little Monster and Welcome To The NHK. Wit Studio is behind the animation of The Ancient Magus Bride, a studio that is famed for bringing us Attack On Titan which shook our screens back in 2013 when it debuted.
Bonus Features Include:
The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting A Star Parts 1-3 (Japanese audio with English sub)
Twitter Q&A with English Voice Cast
Textless opening and closing songs
The Ancient Magus Bride is certainly a series well worth picking up. Not only is the animation flawless to watch, but the various character designs certainly keeps it interesting. The storyline is moderately paced, with a good mix of action scenes, back story and a budding romance it seems. The only issue I had was the placement of the OVA’s on the BluRay discs. As they were placed in the Extras of Disc 1, thus I watched these without finishing the entirety of Part 1, which resulted in me seeing some characters that I had not been introduced to yet and some slight spoilers. So word of warning, leave the OVA’s until after you have finished watching all 12 episodes on Part 1.
You can buy Part One of The Ancient Magus Bride right now on either BluRay or DVD from Manga Entertainment, either online or if you’re lucky enough to see it in store.