2017’s head-turner

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By 2018-01-21

By Shanuka Kadupitiyage
Ceylon Today Features

While the year 2017 brought forth many popular anime releases that captured much attention, one title remained to be the year's most anticipated release which came during the end of the year. The Ancient Magus' Bride is an adaptation of the on-going monthly comic and soon became the title that ended the year with a bang.

The premise of the story is simple, yet unorthodox. A sixteen year old schoolgirl is sold into slavery and sold in an auction to a mysterious masked man, who later reveals himself to be a sorcerer who isn't even completely human. He then takes her as an apprentice to teach her how to control her latent ability for magic.

What this resulted in is one of the best fantasy romance stories available in the genre with a dash of comedy, making a cocktail that feels eerily similar to Snow White and the Red Hair; another fantasy romance that took viewers by storm in 2016.
The Ancient Magus' Bride differentiates itself from its peers in two main ways. One is the fact that the romance between the two lead roles takes second place to the overall development of each character as they learn to accept themselves. The two characters are also quite the contrasting duality.

Former slave, Chise is unable to care for herself and literally sells herself to slavery on her own volition, while the hardly human Ainsworth is unable to care for others in his own nature. Both develop a substantial amount by the end of the twelve episode run-time. However, there is much story yet to be revealed, with the original comic bringing many more shocking revelations that can be displayed at the highly anticipated second season; which were teased during the final episode.
The second differentiator would be the level of attention given to world building. While a modern fantasy premise with magical beings is no head-turner in this era of post Harry Potter, it is a welcome notion that The Ancient Magus' Bride isn't a romance flick with fantasy elements but instead, is a fantasy story with romance to spice the flavour.

Even so, all is not good. Even though the production is well done with great music, voice acting and stellar animation and visuals, viewers must mentally prepare for the subtle taste of cheese prevalent throughout this story.
It would be advisable to sample the three episode special that was released prior to the twelve episode series that gives focus on the protagonist's past before deciding to sit through the whole meal.

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