Not since Yuri on Ice have I become this invested in a new anime title, but Ancient Magus Bride vaguely reminds me of the original Full Metal Alchemist—my first subbed anime and what got me hooked on Friday night anime club meetings. Maybe it’s the colours, maybe it’s the character designs, maybe it’s that alchemy is present within that story universe—whatever the reason, this show keeps pulling me back in.
Story wise, though, there’s a subtle Beauty and the Beast reference in Chise and Elias’ characters: Chise is a young girl and Elias is the very definition of a beast (c’mon, check out the demonic skull on him), even if at first he comes off as well-mannered (and one hell of a snappy dresser). He crosses social and personal boundaries on a regular basis and overall hints at a character who does not, but at least wants to understand humanity. Chise on the other hand, while she has every opportunity to be the blunt and assertive heroine we’re all used to seeing from romantic comedy anime, is stuck in a place where she doesn’t really believe in herself and doesn’t have a lot to live for, but still believes in Elias—even though she admits that this may not be the best course of action given his faults. The poor kid basically comes in having already given up on life and perhaps is a bit reckless because of it. She outwardly implies that she doesn’t care if she died.
Neither Chise nor Elias seem to emote all that much, and it’s uncommon to get an outburst from either of them. The loudest emotions actually come from the surrounding cast in direct reaction to the doings of the pair, which is always entertaining and serves as our logical response to their…questionable…choices.
I haven’t finished watching this show yet, not have I sought out any manga, but I predict that these two characters will become closer together as Chise becomes a powerful mage in her own right, and maybe she’ll stir something in Elias. It would be interesting to see if he is somehow able to grasp real love, either romantically or platonically—because that’s also a thing, that’s valid, and I wish there were more tender friendship moments in modern media! T_T
Unless the narrative is already complete and then it’s just a case of me catching up, in which case no spoilers or I’ll end you!