The first part of The Ancient Magus’ Bride set up a world full of mythical creatures and characters with a lot of depth behind them. With the release of the second half of the series, all the show has to do is deliver a proper ending. Does it succeed or is the spell cast over it broken?
Chise’s bond with Elias grows stronger by the day, while all around her, things take a turn for the worse. Not only are the fae and beings of lore meddling in her life, but her recovery time is increasing after each use of her power. All caution is thrown to the wind; however, when one of Lindel’s dragons is captured, and the rescue attempt puts Chise’s life in grave danger. Now, the only thing more horrifying than Joseph’s plan to use Chise, is Elias’ plan to save her.
This release keeps the energy from the first half of the series flowing into the remainder of the show. The last half of the series starts to explore a different aspect of the relationship between Elias and Chise. It starts to dive into how immature Elias is when it comes to human concepts such as loneliness and jealousy. This exploration results in a shift in the power dynamic in the pair’s relationship as Chise was previously looking to Elias as he was knowledgeable one when it came to the magical world. Instead, Chise must take the time to educate Elias on how human interactions work and realize just inexperienced the magus in this area.
The series takes a very divisive direction with the plot in later episodes. It is the kind of move which results in the audience becoming split on how to feel about a character. Though it doesn’t ruin the series entirely, it does leave many with mixed feelings when all is and done. Still, when shows leave the viewer with deep and ponderous thoughts, they have a chance of being talked about more often and rising to the position of being an essential viewing.
There is not a bit of a decline in the animation quality in these episodes. Wit Studios (who also did Attack on Titan) makes sure to provide some gorgeous and eye-catching visuals in the latter half of the series. Scenes of violence, magic, and spells are presented with incredible detail and color. It is the type of quality animation in a series which only comes only once a year.
While not as filled with as much content as the first part of the release, there still are some extras worth mentioning. There is a commentary track for episode 21, a very pivotal episode which is ideal for feedback and another viewpoint. There also is an interview with the director of the series, Norihiro Naganuma which helps to look into the creative process of helping to animate the manga series.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Part Two is a splendid ending to a fantastic series. Though there are some dubious ways where the plot goes, it is the kind of storytelling which stays with an audience after the series is over. If you enjoy the type of story which is accentuated because it is told as an anime, then take the time to experience The Ancient Magus’ Bride.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Part Two is available from Funimation.