Manga Shelf

Manga First Look: The Ancient Magus’ Bride Volume 1

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Ancient Magus’ Bride is one of the most unique stories you’ll experience this year. It is a sweet story that  also takes on a very darker and super serious tone than many readers will initially assume it would given its description. This blend of sweet and dark is quite the potent combo.

Magus Bride’s story takes place in England where a rather strange creature, known as the “Thorn Mage (Elias),” buys a little girl from a slave auction.

Yes this is quite the weird and controversial beginning, but it’s one of those moments when you know that, as a manga fan, that’s where these things go. Anyway, he frees her while making her his apprentice.

Chise, the girl he freed, has had a harsh life as you’d expect from a slave child. She’s rather suicidal because of this. It is revealed that she’s willingly became a slave in order to be auctioned off just so she feels she has a sense of purpose.

Chise then begins to slowly take on this new life as she realizes that life isn’t all that bad. However, things aren’t all that flowery as she realizes that she’s got powers and also oh yeah, the dude Elias has declared her as his betrothal.

The story bounces between weird, sweet, and dark in equal measures which makes it quite the full experience. It’s hard to get bored because things are always fluctuating between these tones.

The relationship between Elias and Chise is definitely weird, but there is a sense of heart and redemption in it. It’s especially nice that the darker tones of the manga don’t ever drag on too long, as you’ll find yourself coming up for air, so to speak, before it gets too much.

The first volume is nice and weird and will leave wanting to continue the series.