A story about a young woman selling herself into slavery only to be bought by an inhuman-looking man doesn’t seem like an anime that would have popular appeal, but after watching the first three episodes of The Ancient Magus Bride I instantly saw how wrong this assumption was.
The series is quick to get going with Episode One throwing us right into the action and establishing the plot within the first half. Any exposition about the life of main girl Chise is given through short flashbacks, and the magical elements are so effortlessly presented that they blend naturally into the show’s world-building. Elias, (the ancient mage himself) stands out as the most interesting character. He’s an imposing figure, and everything from his first introduction to the small displays of his powers keeps him mysterious even as we learn more about him.
With the plot, world and characters so well established in the first episode it only goes on explore these further in the next two. We’re introduced to other mages and various new magical discoveries and dangers. There are a lot of sweet moments between characters mixed in with darker surprises, making us feel as shocked and fascinated as Chise discovering the magic and mages hiding in our modern world.
The Ancient Magus Bride defied my initial expectations and passed my Three-Episode-Test with flying colours. I was drawn in by the fascinating world-building and exciting premise from the get-go. If you’re looking for a show that’s heart-warming, magical and unexpected then this will be a good one to pick up. I’ll most likely continue to watch the rest of this series as it goes on too, as I just know it will get better from here.
Theo Tin Tuc Anime