Here Comes the “Bride”

April 8th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

I could have seen this at AX 17, but they mooked with the scheduling so it passed me by. I had to wait for it to come online to grab it. This is a caliber of lead-in to the series, as it is a three-part OVA. The series itself was released in 2018. This short-run talks about things after the dust has settled and everyone is more or less comfortable with one another. If the series is going to be like this offering, it is going to be both intriguing and restrained. This is “The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star”.

Now, this came first and, although it does give a good introduction into the series, it might be misplaced, as you have to play a ton of catch-up and guess-me, but it is billed as a prequel. And since the series hadn’t even started when this was released, this is what you get.

Hatori Chise (ginger in the center) is a lonely teenager when we begin. She has always had this gift of seeing those things that cannot be seen by mere mortals. She is referred to as a ‘Sleigh Beggy’, and is of some considerable worth. She is a type of mage who unconsciously attracts the love of magical creatures who will help her when she is in need. Needing an apprentice, the ancient mage Elias Ainsworth (him at the left) takes her in, with the understanding that, one day, she will be his bride.

Don’t let his looks scare you; there is a deep and caring heart behind that grim visage. They are both overseen by Silver, the landlady of the house (and a banshee, but that is revealed later). You don’t want to mess with her, OK?

The OVA contends itself with an incident in Chise’s past and a book that she was fond of that later went astray. You also learn the details of her tragic past and why she is the emotional wreck that is presented to us.

This is one good-looking show. A great deal of effort was invested in the backgrounds and the character designs, so it all looks and feels natural…despite having winged creatures fluttering about (as seen above between Silver and Chise). Elias does not open his mouth to speak, so this takes a bit of getting used to. It is all done by telepathy and I think it would have looked odd to see Elias open his jaws to speak than this simpler approach.

My concern is whether to see this at the beginning of the series, the end of the series or in the middle. As I said, it was a bit of a jolt to be plunked into this with nary an understanding of the characters. In watching the series, things become much clearer, so overall motivations are explained and a fuller sense of Chise’s tragedies are given the showcase they deserve.

The reason for the lowered review is that I felt we were really blind-sided, flung into the midst of things and the back story still didn’t answer a ton of questions. But I recommend you see it. My anger is directed at how the viewer was treated in all this by the parent company and not with the show as a whole, but that’s how I call ‘em.

It’s an OVA; of course you chain it and it explains things nicely.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           9 (Lush and rich)
Plot                  8 (Typical but with some good twists)
Pacing              8 (Solid, but can seem languid)
Effectiveness   7 (More the nature of how we were introduced to it)
Conclusion      5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service     0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingeability  10 (Take the whole thing in at once)

Overall            7 (Good story, hurt by drop-in approach)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You will be my bride.

Such is “Life”

January 14th, 2021 in Anime, General Reviews by

This was heavily promoted at AX 17, but I could never find any episodes scheduled for viewing while I was there, so I had to wait for the Fall Release to grab it. It is, at its heart, a school rom-com, but the situation and circumstances puts the spin on it. Welcome to Sentōru no Nayami” (“A Centaur’s Life”, also known as “A Centaur’s Worries”). (more…)

The “Principal” Cause

December 4th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This first came up as an offering at AX 17, but since there was zero description in the handbook about it, my initial thought that it was going to be a stupid rom-com, about a princess who, for whatever reason, has to be the principal of a high school for a year and learns about ‘commoners’ and their problems. I could not have been more wrong, as it is an Alternate Universe Steampunk Spy Drama. Thus we arrive at “Princess Principal” (“Purinsesu Purinshiparu”). (more…)

Welcome to My “World”

October 22nd, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

As much as I like “Food Wars!”, it can get too much for its own good, with those foodgasms and the overweening prats that infest the school. So when another dining series cropped up, I wanted to check it out. This is the bailiwick of Isekai Shokudō” (“Restaurant to Another World”). (more…)

Mortal “Sin”

October 15th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Since I have really committed to anime, I notice trend after trend. This one is the “Envelope Push”. How far can we take ecchi and not have it fall into hentai? This particular offering, “Seven Mortal Sins”, or “Sin: The 7 Deadly Sins” (or “Shin: Nanatsu no Taizai”) put a real challenge to ‘Ikki Tousen’ for over-the-top, out-in-the-open perversity and right from the get-go. (more…)

“Sword” Play

October 8th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This was a second season approach that I did not see coming, but it was fully welcomed, as it is something that is rarely put out there and that is what I call ‘The Other Story’. If you remember the first season of the capaciously-titled “Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?” (“Danjon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka”), the second season is subtitled “Sword Oratoria” and it looks at the simultaneous events revolving around Aiz Wallenstein (that missy in the center with that sword a-pointing at your giblets) and the adventures she goes on with Familia Loki. (more…)

Help Me, “Obi” Wan

September 3rd, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Japan has a rich tradition of ghosts and hauntings and possession. It is almost part and parcel of their culture, right up to the present days. It’s that I am seeing a lot of shows recently regarding yokai and demonic possessions and haunted (or cursed? I’m not certain) objects that intrude on a ‘normal’ society that acknowledges that they existed, but don’t exist in this current age of sobriety and science. Thus, this convoluted introduction to “Tsugumomo”, where the past meets the modern. (more…)

I Was “Maid” to Love Her

August 7th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

I guess I will never understand the Japanese fascination with maids. Yes, my favorite anime, “Mahoromatic”, is about one, but never anything like this kind of situation. She was merely an android; this one is, well…. Greetings are extended from “Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid” (“Kobayashi-san Chi no Meidoragon”). How can you get a dragon maid? Well, it’s nice that you asked. I’ll bring out some green tea and cookies and explain it to you. (more…)

“Love” Shack

July 30th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

Hooray, (or, perhaps, hooboy) another stupid rom-com, and this one is more inane than its predecessors, but it is executed in a rather charming way. Although the title is “Love Tyrant “ (“Ren’ai Bōkun”, also known as “The Very Lovely Tyrant of Love”), it could also be called “Kiss Note” and there are a ton of references made in that direction. Dang, her notebook looks like that of its cousin. Oh, down to the story….. (more…)

The Smart Part is Us “Creators”

July 16th, 2020 in Anime, General Reviews by

This is a show with a fairly standard concept, but brought forth in disturbing and dangerous realities. The idea is very simple: what if your artwork came to life and invaded YOUR world? A caliber of reverse isekai? Thus, the approach to “Re:Creators” (“Re:Kurieitāzu”, stylized as “Re:CREATORS”). (more…)