Monday, July 27, 2015

Manga Review: The Ancient Magus' Bride by Kore Yamazaki *spoiler free*

Rating: 5/5

Categorization: Shoujo manga, but with mass appeal

Length: 180 pages

Plans to continue: Pre-ordered the 2nd volume




What this manga has to offer you:

Magic vs. Alchemy
England
Dragons
Cat colony
Faeries & other supernatural beings
15 year old female apprentice
An ancient and powerful Mage with a skull head
Uncertainty surrounding characters intentions

This manga series is ongoing and currently coming out in English volumes.  I really enjoyed this first volume and am extremely intrigued by where it will potentially go.  Unless this story takes a sudden, unexpected, turn for the worse, I plan to keep up with each volume as they out, which i rarely do.

Reading this manga is reminiscent of watching a BBC television series where there is extra attention paid to small details around the house and to the landscape.  The main character is a 15 year old girl named Chise who has the ability to see the supernatural.  You get the impression that her parents and other family members did not want her, which eventually results in her being enslaved to be sold in an auction for non-humans.  As her past has not been kind to her, Chise is strongly impacted by the small acts of kindness she receives from the new people, and beings, she meets throughout the novel.

There is an air of mystery, and uncertainty, surrounding the other characters.  The mage who purchases her at the auction tops the list.  It is unclear whether he seems to withhold information because he previously lived alone and forgets to communicate with her, or because he is devious.

Parts of this manga were very poignant and impact full.  The scene with the Earth Dragon was so heartwarming, whimsical, and bitter sweet.  So good in fact, that it probably would have saved the rest of the volume for me--had the rest of it been terrible.  (Which it was not)

While this first volume was very preoccupied with world building and setting the time and place, it was also very engaging.  The ultimate plot that will occupy the rest of the volumes has not yet shown itself.  And at this point, I really cannot even guess which direction it will go.  I am not yet sure whether the stakes will be high or low.  I am not certain if the bulk of the plot points will be lessons and challenges which Chise must undergo, or if the main conflict will become an evil force which must be stopped.  I am not even sure if Chise is in a powerful position, or if she is a pawn.  There are some moodier, sinister, tones to this manga, that seem to give the impression that anything is possible.

Read the synopsis on Goodreads:
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23310828-the-ancient-magus-bride-vol-1?from_search=true&search_version=service

Final thoughts?  I am excited to find out what will happen next.

Thanks for reading,
An excited Manda