“A broken girl, searching for belonging finds a new reason to live in a world of magic”
In a fit of desperation, Chise Hatori decides to sell herself as a slave at auction after being abandoned by her family. In complete despair, she cares not for who buys her, only to have a place she can go back to. She catches the attention of a mysterious bonehead man, a Magus, or magician called Elias Ainsworth when it is revealed that Chise is actually a “Sleigh Beggy”, a type of fairy that can absorb and use magic.
A magical being and the famous magus.
Elias decides to take Chise as his own apprentice. In the picturesque rolling hills of the English countryside, Elias introduces Chies to a fantastical world of fairies, dragons and magic with the intention of eventually making her, his bride! Intrigued by this new magical world, Chise begins her life anew, slowly opening up to the world around her, and herself. But Chise’ limited powers as a “Sleigh Beggy” come at a terrible cost, a very short lifespan. With only 3 years left to live, Elias and Chise stop at nothing to find a solution thereby prolonging the unexpected happiness they both discover in each other.
The Ancient Magus Bride was definitely a surprise hit for me. Intrigued by the story and beautiful art, I couldn’t resist picking up the first volume! Reading this fantastical tale of magic, I was reminded of the world of Harry Potter so it came as no surprise to discover that Yamazaki Kore was a self-confessed “Potterhead” and was heavily inspired by the tales of the boy wizard.
Both stories revolve around protagonists from broken homes who find “family” amidst the the trials and tribulations of magic. Chise begins her journey as a traumatized teen on the brink of despair, yet still holding out for the faintest glimmer of hope. In Elias’ case, his origin is a mystery to all, including himself so his interest on humans and Chise, keeps him longing for a sense of humanity.
I found myself amazed by the relationships depicted in this manga, especially the two principle characters who both share a sense of yearning for acceptance. A perfect example of a fixed theme, The Ancient Magus Bride weaves a melancholic, yet beautiful tale, told through the perspective of it’s deep characters. All lack pieces of themselves, like an intricate puzzle but with each shared experience, the pieces begin to slot into place.
With the story unfurling at a gentle pace, Yamazaki-sensei effortlessly characterises past trauma and sadness, yet offers a promise of beauty and magic ion the other side of every hurdle. Devoid of fast paced action scenes, power battles and exaggeration, The Ancient Magus Bride perfectly embodies what makes manga so powerful, it’s characters.
“I thought it was all about magic and fighting the bad wizards!
So it was all about them finding people that accepts them,
so they can finally have a family ! “
Did you enjoy this week Manga nutcracker? Do you think I missed something?
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