The Ancient Magus’ Bride – Manga Review

Manga - the ancient magus' bride vol 1 cover

Manga bestseller The Ancient Magus’ Bride is about a girl who feels unwanted and numb. That is, until she steps into a magical world of wonder…

Fifteen-year-old Chise Hatori no longer cares if she lives or dies. She’s tired of being passed around by distant relations who want nothing to do with a strange girl who talks to herself. When a strange offer comes her way, Chise accepts – and sells herself into slavery. She doesn’t care anymore. She is ready to deal with the worst the world can throw at her.

Instead, for the first time in her life, Chise Hatori finds herself desperately wanted.

Chise is a sleigh-beggy, capable of wielding extraordinary magical power. Her powers make her immensely valuable in a strange new world hidden from modern eyes. This is a world where magic is slowly fading, dragons are becoming extinct, and the number of people who can see fairies dwindles every year. Chise is purchased by Elias, a mysterious skull-faced man who takes her into his home as his apprentice—and his future wife. Enigmatic Elias proves to be an interesting teacher as he and Chise perform a variety of favours for a handsome priest. In their journeys together, they embark in adventures that will take them all over England and Europe. In this first volume they get to visit dragons and complete a dangerous task for the King of cats…

Manga - the ancient magus' bride interior

The Ancient Magus’ Bride is hugely enjoyable, and one of the most unique manga to hit the shelves in the last year. The richly detailed world imbues the English countryside with secret history as European fairytales are given a manga spin, resulting in a fresh and exciting take on the classic beauty-and-the-beast theme.

The artwork in The Ancient Magus’ Bride is beautiful and expressive. Yamazaki’s handling of Elias, whose face is literally a fleshless skull, is full of emotion, providing a contrast to the numbed and withdrawn Chise. The use of white space represents hope in a story that focuses considerably on the world’s darkness. That sense of hope throughout creates a compelling reason to keep reading! As a heroine, Chise’s troubled past makes her sympathetic enough, but there is something particularly relatable in Chise’s thoughtfulness and her hesitance in accepting that, sometimes, the most impossible things to believe in are not magic, fairies, or dragons, but the idea of kindness in the face of a world which cares nothing for you.

Fans of fantasy manga and anime like Howl’s Moving Castle, The Earl and the Fairy, and Black Butler will enjoy this new ongoing series. Originally published by Tohan Corporation, English language editions of The Ancient Magus’ Bride are being released by Seven Seas Entertainment. Volumes 1-3 are available through your local comic booksellers and Amazon, while volumes 4-6 are scheduled for release later this year.

Buy the paperback on Amazon UK