Please login or register.
Login with username, password and session length

The Nihon Review Forum

July 20, 2017, 05:41:13 AM
News: Check us out on Twitter and Facebook!
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: The Ancient Magus' Bride  (Read 3382 times)

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

The Ancient Magus' Bride
« on: April 12, 2016, 07:09:29 PM »
So this little beauty came in the mail today hot off of just being released (I've been picking up all of the volumes on release date), and on a whim I figured I'd do a roll call here to see if anyone was keeping up with this manga as well:



Quote from: Seven Seas Entertainment
Synopsis:

Hatori Chise has lived a life full of neglect and abuse, devoid of anything resembling love. Far from the warmth of family, she has had her share of troubles and pitfalls. Just when all hope seems lost, a fateful encounter awaits her. When a man with the head of a beast, wielding strange powers, obtains her through a slave auction, Chise's life will never be the same again.

The man is a "magus,"a sorcerer of great power, who decides to free Chise from the bonds of captivity. The magus then makes a bold statement: Chise will become his apprentice--and his bride!

White whale-sized tease General PV for the series here.

Originally this was going to go in the Current Manga thread, but in the event that I wanted to babble about it on a chapter-by-chapter basis, I figured I'd make it into its own thread. My sort of quick and dirty take on it: for me, it's one of if not my favorite currently serialized manga for a multitude of different factors, ranging from fantastic instilling of folklore and mythology to a strong sense of both interpersonal and intrapersonal characterization. Lots of Western allusions that give it a vibe akin to an European fantasy, but with what I've always felt was a very Eastern-influenced personal touch on its character interactions - putting together a final product that's certainly one of the more eclectic manga I've ever read.

Offline gedata

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
    • gedata's Profile - MyAnimeList.net
    • @https://twitter.com/G3data

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2016, 07:21:30 PM »
I've been reading thus as well, though, I haven't gotten the latest volume yet.

Kind of annoyed that the anime announcement was just for some OVAs with a terrible release schedule. The PV is gorgeous, but I'm confused. I hear these OVAs are meant to be prequels but they very much appear to adapt the manga from the look of things.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 08:53:27 PM by gedata »

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2016, 07:27:41 PM »
From my understanding, it's also meant to double as a general promotion for the manga, so the PV's only meant to give an idea of how it would look animated - though against rational thought, I've already started thinking of it as the P.T. of anime...

Offline Marid King

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2183
    • komosha's Profile - MyAnimeList.net

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2016, 11:20:07 PM »
Holy cannoli, that PV looks beautiful. It's magic like I haven't seen since Howl's Moving Castle or Harry Potter.
The only denizen of the Other Place posting on the Nihon Review.

Offline Sidenote

  • Troll
  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 136

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2016, 11:38:44 AM »
Hope I don't sound like an ass, but I dropped it 'cuz she seemed too young to be considered 'bride' material. My pedo-alarms went off and I jumped ship before sailing to deep.
Hunter X Hunter really isn't that good, guys....

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2016, 03:57:04 PM »
Well, there's not a lot that can be done if it encroaches on your sensibilities like that. I find that the dynamic between Chise and Elias is a lot more complicated and nuanced to a point where focusing on the bride aspect of it is deceptively oversimplifying their relationship, but it's not my place to forcibly sway your opinion on the matter.

Offline Marid King

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2183
    • komosha's Profile - MyAnimeList.net

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 06:06:42 PM »
That sucks to hear, I didn't take the bride thing very seriously.
The only denizen of the Other Place posting on the Nihon Review.

Offline gedata

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
    • gedata's Profile - MyAnimeList.net
    • @https://twitter.com/G3data

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2016, 06:25:58 PM »
Well, there's not a lot that can be done if it encroaches on your sensibilities like that. I find that the dynamic between Chise and Elias is a lot more complicated and nuanced to a point where focusing on the bride aspect of it is deceptively oversimplifying their relationship, but it's not my place to forcibly sway your opinion on the matter.

It's also kind of hard to see skeeviness here considering how unclear Elias' real motives for having her around are to begin with and just the very nature of his being.

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2016, 10:56:45 AM »
It's also kind of hard to see skeeviness here considering how unclear Elias' real motives for having her around are to begin with and just the very nature of his being.

Oh, for sure. The ambiguity of Elias and his muddled relationship with Chise by extension is a pretty big contributor to why I like how the character writing in the series so much.

The nutshell version is that from virtually every third-person perspective out there, the relationship between Elias and Chise is inorganic and perceived as potentially toxic for not-so-subtle reasons, and the series appropriately scrutinizes it for how unusual and seemingly imbalanced it is. Eliasí outward actions and mannerisms donít do a lot to deny that, and there are plenty of moments where he lives up to the imposing figure that heís puffed up to be. But in practice we see that their relationship is often more like that of a close student and teacher. Not only that, but we also see that Elias is equal parts intimidating and inquiring; Chise herself observes that sometimes Elias appears feared and sagacious (often in reference to his handling of magic), and sometimes he has this childlike wonder to him (almost certainly in reference to his attempts at understanding humanity).

I saw an interview with Kore Yamazaki sometime back in which she was pleasantly surprised to hear that a lot of fans state that their biggest tell for what Elias is like at any given moment is his eyes. Yamazaki should have taken a little more credit than she did for recognizing one of what I consider to be the more valuable tells of precise characterization: the knowledge that dialogue never communicates everything in real life and awareness to apply that in writing. Amusingly, though, it was a little ironic to me since part of my fascination with Elias as a character is in his latent desire to understand human connotations beyond what could merely be a textbook understanding. Heís just so well presented as a metaphorical gray area, simultaneously an ominous figure and a blank slate when it comes to human nuances Ė I feel like I could ramble on about the duality of him and Magus Bride as a whole.

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2016, 07:40:24 PM »
Ch. 28:

Let it be known that when all other negotiating tactics fail, there is always the fallback option of bribing a powerful towering magus with Christmas cookies. So poetically fitting in its own way, yet innocently hilarious at the same time.

One thing Iíll probably never tire of in Eastern takes on legends Ė be in myths, books, anime, whatever form of media Ė is the penchant for making the supernatural feel like the natural, and Magusí Bride is well on its way to being a flagship title for that belief of mine. The treatment of magic in this series is absolutely beautiful in just how it coexists with the rest of the world. Itís not something for man to bend to its will for its own gains, nor is it a totally malevolent force painted as the antagonist in a man vs. nature story. It just feels like an extension of the natural world both olden and modern, with its share of unwritten rules and the respect that it commands. Sometimes intimidating, but never invulnerable.

This chapter, which marks the start of whatís presumably the next entry in this mangaís line of Neil-Gaiman-meets-Natsume-Yuujinchou-types of stories, reinforces all of that to a tee. Magic is still bound by the natural laws of the world, as Elias makes very clear to Stella in this chapterÖsomething the readerís been made aware of since almost the very start of the series. Being the manipulation of something elseís power, magic naturally demands something in return, and Chise pays up without question. There's a very strong sense of restraint with which the series handles magic where it really says something when Chise and Elias - two figures who we can safely assume to be very naturally potent in magical ability - still tread very carefully and make sure not to get too ambitious any of the unwritten laws of the magical world. There's very little this series doesn't handle with respect and intelligence, which shows in even the more setup-oriented chapters like this one.

Itís one thing to merely inject magic into fiction for entertainment purposes, but a whole other beast when you really go the distance to really build a world around it. 28 chapters in and the series is no less dedicated and respectful of the rules of the world itís built than it was in Chapter 1. Kore Yamazakiís far from the first author to take inspiration from old legends and show this kind of respect towards the concept of magic, but she hasnít made the very old-school brand of storytelling she draws from feel any less worn.

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2016, 10:22:59 PM »
Ch. 29:

Of course this chapter had to come in the middle of me travelling.

There were two moments in this chapter that I would say succinctly display Magus Bride's greatest strengths. The first was Ruth's line to Chise: "You come from the far east and he from the west, and somehow you crossed paths." Media involving Eastern legends seems to have a fixation on the seemingly self-contradictory nature of humanity, and it ends up being the very crux of how the conflict between Stella and Ethan came to lead to something much worse. Mixing both Western and Eastern attitudes along with their legends has allowed for the series to explore the best of both worlds; we get to see the more direct ominousness of Western stories (in this story, we have the imposing antagonism of Ashen Eye) mixed with the subtleties of Eastern ones (nuances of human interactions and the inability of more spiritual beings to parse them), and seeing how they mesh has been a real moneymaker of the series.

The second was the last page of this chapter, which was the series's uncanny ability to evoke a variety of emotional interpretations in a nutshell. What did Chise's reaction say there? Was it sadness at not having the family setting Stella has? Was it guilt for being held to a promise she most likely would not be able to keep? Was it a feeling of distance looking at a world she would never be a part of as a magus? There's still a very decent chance that we'll get a definitive answer next chapter, but there are a number of very valid possibilities that could fit the bill. I really like that Yamazaki trusts the viewer enough to leave things open for pondering, although I shouldn't really be surprised this far into the series.

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 10:51:37 AM »
More Magus Bride footage. I might have to relearn how to breathe.

Ch. 30:

I may or may not have audibly screamed at the idea of Ashen Eye and a certain Wandering Jew bastard conspiring at the end there...

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2016, 10:29:22 PM »
Ch. 31:

Holy crap. I want nothing less than for Cartaphilus to be slowly burned into absolute oblivion.

Elias straddles a really fine line between curious and terrifying when he's experiencing negative emotions, and perhaps unsurprisingly it's both intriguing and disturbing at the same time to see how he reacts accordingly. Jealousy is often not a straightforward emotion, and definitely not the most ideal emotion to be coupled with Elias's rather unstable nature. All I can really say is that Chise made that look a lot less precarious than it actually was and downplayed the danger of the situation quite convincingly given the circumstances, because otherwise that could have gotten really...ugly, to say the least. But this far into the series, it's just more of Magus Bride's M.O. at work: the duality and interplay between the supernatural and the human, as well as what it means to be part of both worlds.

Offline Delphinox

  • The Only Hero That Ever Dies
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 500

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2016, 07:18:53 PM »
Ch. 32:

So Chise accidentally sang Elias into a magically-induced coma, one thing led to another, and the chapter ended up being a casual rumination on the value of immortality. Magus Bride's storytelling, ladies and gentlemen.

But immortality is an interesting (if often slanted) topic of discussion in fiction, and I think Yamazaki got a healthy sample of how it's both proposed and opposed in stories in this chapter. The immediate value in immortality is being able to preserve the past, or "preventing our setbacks" as Renfred puts it in terms of wizardry as a whole, and an inherent desire to cling onto what's close to us as David hints at. On the other hand, the way it's argued to also mean "the end of our advances" - people have limited time, and that limit is what drives people to make the most of it, whether it's make advances in fields or just valuing time with others. If time is limitless, is it really that valuable? It kind of reminds me a little bit of Tuck Everlasting, in how immortality is just described as stopping you where you are, as if rather than lifting a limit it's instead imposing one. Obviously there are a lot more examples of talking points about immortality in fiction than what was touched on in this chapter, but it goes to demonstrate yet again how adept the series is at just being contemplative and thoughtful of any subject matter it chooses to dabble in.

Offline HuuskerDu

  • Cat-a-tonic
  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 657

Re: The Ancient Magus' Bride
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2017, 05:04:21 PM »
A flyer included with the 7th volume has announced that the manga will receive an anime adaptation starting Fall 2017 (ANN).
HuuskerDu at FanFiction.net.
Pages: [1]   Go Up