I don’t remember how The Ancient Magus’ Bride ended up on my to-watch list. I might’ve seen it in an article about anime with female leads or it could have popped up on my anime tracking sites as something I could enjoy. Either way, it ended up on my list and I recently got around to watching it.
What I didn’t know going in is that The Ancient Magus’ Bride isn’t finished. At the moment of writing, Part 1 and Part 2 are on Crunchyroll. Part 3, the final part, will be aired in September 2017 and I’ll probably revisit this show for the blog then.
I also wasn’t aware that this is a prequel (I should’ve read the synopsis). The prequel’s title is officially The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star, but that’s not the title Crunchyroll uses. Crunchyroll may be planning to keep all the episodes together as there will be a 24 episode show airing in the October 2017.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride follows the story of Chise Hatori. After being sent magic supplies from a London witch, she comes across a book about a star. Elias, her sorcerer master, sits her on his lap and everyone (and everything) gathers around to listen to this story. Chise tells of her childhood and how she first came across this books. It’s a heart wrenching story that is told from her perspective. She is able to see monsters around the human world that no one else can apparently see. After being chased through the forest, one day, she stumbles across a library. It becomes a place of refuge for her.
I found the monster scenes quite spooked me, similar to how Princess Mononoke does with it’s darker elements. It was made to want to see how Chise ended up from where she was, an orphan, to where she is at the start of the show. How does she end up being surrounded by magic and seemingly no longer quite as afraid of magic. I get the sense she is still afraid, hence her hesitation to learn, but it’s not in the same way any more.
We’ve one episode of this prequel to go before the actual series. I’m hoping to see the introduction between Chise and Elias in the next episode. It would be nice if the actual series started pretty much where this one did. If she’s starting to learn that could be very interesting. I’m also looking forward to seeing the dynamic between Chise and Elias. I get the sense there’s an element of Stockholm Syndrome from the synopsis but that’s not manifested in these two episodes.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Synopsis
Chise Hatori, 15 years old. Lost, without hope, and without family, she is bought for money – not by another person, but by a non-human sorcerer named Elias. Though she hesitates, she begins life anew as his apprentice and future wife. She moves on with her new and peaceful life, slowly but surely, until one day, when she finds a Japanese picture book among the many sent to her from London by Angelica. It is a fateful book that discovered her in her younger years, when she was still troubled and lonely. This piece is a prequel to Chise’s encounter with the Thorn Sorcerer.