“The Ancient Magus’ Bride” is one of the most anticipated anime of the Fall 2017 season. Based on the manga written and illustrated by Yamazaki Kore, “Magus” follows the story of Hatori Chise — an adolescent girl who sees faeries and becomes a sorcerer’s apprentice. She discovers her ‘gift’ is a side effect; she’s a Sleigh Beggy — a being with immense magical power, that Yamazaki describes as “a human, but not really … a mutant.”
Also known by it’s Japanese title “Mahou Tsukai no Yome” — which roughly translates to “the magic user’s bride” — the series favors a realistic approach to magic. The faeries are not of the Disney variety; most of them appear grotesque and will taunt or attack humans that can see them. Chise’s mother also possessed the skill but committed suicide in front of her daughter, seemingly out of hatred for the Sight. As a result, Chise moves from relative to distant relative before she sells herself into slavery where she’s put up for auction.
Enter Elias Ainsworth, a sorcerer who is neither faerie nor human. He’s odd, quite curt and honest, which is a combination Chise hasn’t encountered. He purchases her and asks if she’d like to be his apprentice. Sorcery is a dying art, and with her Sight and Sleigh Beggy status she would surely excel. Just happy to genuinely feel welcome, Chise agrees.
Upon first glance, the show may rub some the wrong way as the title sets watchers up for a romance. Chise and Elias’ first meeting is far from romantic — the purchase of a significant other is not ideal. They must help each other heal and grow, addressing the flaws in themselves and each other before audiences can even think of them riding into the sunset together. Instead, the show focuses heavily on the lore of the world, as well as delving deeper into both Chise and Elias’ backstories.
You can keep up with the series on Crunchy Roll.