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EP. REVIEW: The Ancient Magus' Bride


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:02 am Reply with quote
Definitely my favorite show of this Fall so far.

The characters, style, world setting, and even humor has my interest. Given its 2 cour run, I expect that will adapt plenty from the manga. I also really like the character chemistry between Elias and Chise so far.
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:35 am Reply with quote
Is B++++ the new A? Surprised

This show has been a bit of slow burn for me, but I do trust the series in delivering the magical world setting and Chise's and Elias' relationship growth. But yeah, I, too, felt bummed out that the OP and ED sequences were rather underwhelming and kind of boring to watch which is a huge shame considering I really liked the songs. Too bad they couldn't get some superstar animator and add some pizazz to the sequences.
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Animechic420



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:39 am Reply with quote
I really hope people will not look at Elias in a negative light. He's not some creepy old man. He's intentions are not what people think they are. Neutral
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Morry



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:04 pm Reply with quote
Based on the OP and the theatrical screening, I got the impression this cour will head at this pacing:

Episode 1: Chapter 1
Episode 2: Chapter 2
Episode 3: Chapter 3
Episode 4: Chapters 4-5
Episode 5: Chapters 6-7
Episode 6: Chapter 8
Episode 7: Chapters 9-10
Episode 8: Chapters 11-12
Episode 9: Chapters 13-14
Episode 10: Chapters 15-16
Episode 11: Chapters 17-18
Episode 12: Chapter 19

Now to just watch the series prove me wrong.


Last edited by Morry on Sat Oct 21, 2017 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mangaka-chan



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:16 pm Reply with quote
Animechic420 wrote:
I really hope people will not look at Elias in a negative light. He's not some creepy old man. He's intentions are not what people think they are. Neutral


You know, thinking about it for a bit, I think that might've actually been the emotion the author wanted to elicit from the reader at the beginning.

spoiler[A big part of Elias' character is his closeness to humans despite neither looking human nor comprehending human emotions. In the manga, the reason he gives for this is that the Fae never accepted him, but humans, while they are afraid of him, are the ones who always accepted him. I think this is true for the readers as well.

When I first started reading AMB I did wonder whether this weird, demonic looking character was planning something nefarious with regards to Chise by choosing her as his bride, but as I got to know him by reading more of the story I realized he's truly fond of her and in his own way, genuinely cares for her well-being. This mirrors the interaction Elias has had with humans, going from initial wariness to acceptance and friendliness once the humans get to know him. So while human attitudes are strongly shaped by prejudices (conscious or otherwise) and first impressions when interacting with someone new in the beginning, we are also capable of changing how we think and feel about others as we get to know them. This is a bit of a conjecture on my part, but in contrast Fae might be more ridged and inflexible in their thinking, which is why no Fae, except for Titania and Oberon, have a friendly relationship with Elias even after several centuries of coexistence.]
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:18 pm Reply with quote
Ugh, I was very disappointed to see Ann Lauenroth peddle the same nonsense about the use of super deformed character images for comedic effect that Nick Creamer does in past reviews of March Comes in Like a Lion episodes. To wit:

Quote:
Apart from the comparatively unimpressive OP and ED, not all of the show's attempts at comedy hit home. When Elias turns into his super deformed mode following Chise's rejection of the faeries, it's almost as if someone, afraid of getting too emotional too early in the show, felt the need to break the immersion to allow us to catch our breath. It's a weird choice given that everything feels so emotionally honest otherwise, a good example of how not everything translates equally from one medium to another.


Anybody who has watched anime for longer than, oh, say five minutes, knows that the use of chibi or super-deformed figures is AN INCREDIBLY COMMON COMEDIC DEVICE IN ANIME. It's true that the device is used more often in straight up comedy shows, but it is far from unheard of to be used in other types of shows.

Now, my point is that you don't have to like the technique, but if you are are a reviewer you should have at least enough anime knowledge to realize that it is a wellknown technique. The fact you don't like it is probably an indication that you are a Western viewer who has been brought up on animation that does not use this technique. So, as a Westerner (of which I am one), it may feel odd to suddenly see a super deformed or chibi version of a character in the midst of a "realistic" scene, but for a Japanese viewer this is unlikely to raise any eyebrows. So positing that the makers of the show tossed it in to mitigate a sense that things may be "too emotional" is ridiculous. No, it's there because that is how manga/anime often conveys comedic ideas or moments. Oi vey.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:22 pm Reply with quote
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Looking at next week's preview, I'm confident we'll get to the full-blown magic eventually[...]I'm sure there's going to be something magical waiting for us in dragon country.


Having seen the first three episodes in theaters, I can say your instincts are correct. Magical is apt even beyond it involving magic.

As much as I enjoyed rewatching these episodes, I'm eager to see the episodes that I haven't seen yet.
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Knoepfchen



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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:32 pm Reply with quote
darkchibi07 wrote:
Is B++++ the new A? Surprised


Episode one was an easy A- for me. The second episode didn't quite get there, but one mere + wouldn't do these two weeks justice for everything they did right. It feels like we're building up to a straight A, anyway. Just leaving some room to (hopefully) reflect that.

Blood- wrote:
Ugh, I was very disappointed to see Ann Lauenroth peddle the same nonsense about the use of super deformed character images for comedic effect that Nick Creamer does in past reviews of March Comes in Like a Lion episodes. [...] Now, my point is that you don't have to like the technique, but if you are are a reviewer you should have at least enough anime knowledge to realize that it is a wellknown technique. The fact you don't like it is probably an indication that you are a Western viewer who has been brought up on animation that does not use this technique. So, as a Westerner (of which I am one), it may feel odd to suddenly see a super deformed or chibi version of a character in the midst of a "realistic" scene, but for a Japanese viewer this is unlikely to raise any eyebrows. So positing that the makers of the show tossed it in to mitigate a sense that things may be "too emotional" is ridiculous. No, it's there because that is how manga/anime often conveys comedic ideas or moments.


You seem to assume a general unfamiliarity with or bias against super deformed characters on my end when I was unconvinced by its use in a specific scene out of several ones that featured Elias in his chibi version, which he generally transforms into for a purpose. Not all are for comedic effect, but none are random, either, and most of them worked just fine. In this scene, the purpose is to take away the fear that Chise might be punished for causing trouble and lighten the mood, which had become quite intense. Cute, chibi Elias is a lot less imposing than regular giant-sized Thorn Mage. In the manga, it's one cute little panel, read and over in less than a second. Animated and acted, it takes away some of their moment's sincerity by getting between Chise putting her future in his hands and Elias promising to protect her in return for too long to truly stay with them. Elias' awkward non-proposal would break the intensity in a more organic, in-character way less than a minute later.
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Merida
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:43 pm Reply with quote
I'm usually a sucker for this type of fantasy anime but i gotta admit that i wasn't too keen on the "bride" part. I still ain't, but it bothers me far less than expected which has a lot to do with the fact that Elias's not being familiar with human interactions isn't treated as an excuse for turning him into a total creep. Instead he comes across as fairly blunt but caring, so i'm curious how his relationship with Chise will develop.

The side characters seem interesting as well and i'm looking forward to learn more about this world and its magic (and from the looks of it, the next ep. won't let me down).
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Joshua Zarate
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:48 pm Reply with quote
@ Blood- - Just wanted to get this off my chest, but when I started watching anime, it took me longer than 5 minutes of watching it to realize that chibi or super-deformed figures was a common device for anime. That assumption that you made didn’t sit right with me, so that is why I’m saying something. I see your point, but by the tone of your comment here, I want to say that not everyone is going to feel the same way towards different forms of comedy. For The Ancient Magus’ Bride, it’s definitely not the series’ selling point, and even though I did laugh at the comedic moments, I can understand that some people (In this case, reviewer) may not be too big on it. I think it’s also part of the reviewer’s job to explain to their readers what made them click and what didn’t no matter what they are reviewing.

Anyway, can I just say that Anne Lauenroth did a splendid job in this review? Her words performed a good job of recapping the episodes and explaining the things that the series did well that I resonated with. If this is what the reviews will be like for the rest of the series, it will be a nice little treat to read following every episode. As for the bride part, I don’t mind it all that much right now and I also think it won’t become something that can hinder this show in the long run, especially when many manga readers say that things will develop on that front in a pleasant manner. This anime is currently my favorite of the season and I’m excited to see what happens next.


Last edited by Joshua Zarate on Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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#844391



Joined: 09 Sep 2015
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:54 pm Reply with quote
I really enjoy the manga and the animation levels of the OVA's they showed several months back were great, I definitely have high hopes for this series. Just don't expect it to have a super focused plot, it's more her discovering the new world she is in and him learning how to better cope with humans.
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Key
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:20 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
The fact you don't like it is probably an indication that you are a Western viewer who has been brought up on animation that does not use this technique.

There are rough equivalents to this in American animation going back as far as the earliest shorts from the '30s and '40s. But those are exclusively used in comedies or in parts of a movie/show that are meant to be comedic. They're never used as comical asides in otherwise-serious content.

In anime and manga, I've not commonly found that practice to be done for any good reason, and titles which do it well are few and far between. AMB is not one of them; in fact, I'd put it at the lower end of the anime/manga scale in terms of its timing and appropriateness on using them. To use another well-known example, it's one of the main reasons why I prefer the Hellsing TV series to the Hellsing Ultimate OVAs for the span where they show equivalent content.
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Grendel8
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:19 pm Reply with quote
I understand the views on the deformed character sequences. For me personally, I am not fond of it in this show, although it is more appropriate in other series. I feel that it is simply distracting for the overall tone of the scenes in which it is used for in this particular anime. Overall, I think this will be one of the top series this season. I do find the rating of B+++ to be a little different. It seems that three +++ should equal a single -, so the rating should technically be rounded up to A-. Thanks for the review and comments.

Last edited by Grendel8 on Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:54 pm; edited 3 times in total
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nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:31 pm Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
Anybody who has watched anime for longer than, oh, say five minutes, knows that the use of chibi or super-deformed figures is AN INCREDIBLY COMMON COMEDIC DEVICE IN ANIME. It's true that the device is used more often in straight up comedy shows, but it is far from unheard of to be used in other types of shows.


It's not actually that common, though. It still turns up, but it hasn't been "common" for years; last recent show I can think of that did it is, whatsit, Ghost in the Excel Saga.
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Blood-
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:34 pm Reply with quote
A few posters have responded to my comment above so I'll explain a little more of my thinking in the hope it clarifies my point. What I hope to avoid is a situation where people think what I'm saying is that the use of super-deformed or chibi characters, because it is a relatively common comedic expressionist techique, is something that you should automatically like or something that is beyond criticizing. That's not my point.

My point as it applies to Ann's review and Nick's comments in previous March Comes in Like a Lion reviews is that the technique is treated as something that is OBJECTIVELY wrong. Ann's speculation as to why it is used in TAMB implies that she doesn't actually understand that it's a technique. Nick's ridiculous contention that there are some expressionistic techniques that might work on the static page of a manga but don't work in an animated work belies the same conviction: that certain types of expressionistic techniques in anime, such as the use of super deformed or chibi characters, are OBJECTIVELY wrong to employ.

This belief is simple cultural arrogance. Don't get me wrong, there may be Japanese viewers who don't like it either, but at least Japanese viewers have been "trained" to understand what's being intended. There is much more emphasis on tonal unity in Western entertainment than there is in anime. In the West, you don't tend to mix serious drama in with goofy expressionistic techniques for comedic effect. The Western bias insists doing so is wrong (because it violates tonal unity ... you are not supposed to undercut serious moments, with humour). I hate Western commentary on cultural products created in A DIFFERENT CULTURE that stipulates a technique that is not a Western tradition is wrong. It's ethnocentric and arrogant to look down on different story-telling techniques just because they are not native to your culture.
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