English Dub Review: The Ancient Magus’ Bride “Talk of the devil, and he is sure to appear.”

There are evils out there in the world.

Overview:

Elias and Chise go to a church to investigate a grim, and the grisly murders that have been taking place. However, Chise encounters two problems: the grim itself, and the sorcerer’s apprentice.

Our Take:

Chise may not fully comprehend herself and her abilities, but she is undeniably kind. The grim protected her, so she, in turn, protects it. She doesn’t jump to conclusions and characterize it as evil, and so she’s able to communicate with it. Although she’s attacked by Alice, she chooses to put Alice to sleep and tie her up instead of directly harming her. Chise has suffered a lot in her life, but her pain doesn’t make her violent. At the core, she is still kind, and people do respond to that.

Open communication is a key point in this episode. What gets Chise answers from the grim and Alice isn’t her power or even a display of pure force, but Chise’s patience and understanding nature. She listens to them and doesn’t dismiss them. Even if she doesn’t understand their motives or where they come from, she still takes the time to try to understand their actions. The grim isn’t the enemy, so Chise doesn’t want to see him hurt. He’s incredibly lonely, following Isabel’s death, and while Chise can’t comfort him, she can still lend him an ear. Alice and Chise are enemies, but Alice is doing all she can for Renfred because he gave her a place to belong. While Chise disagrees with Alice’s actions, she understands the feeling of wanting to support someone who reaches a handout. Empathy in anime tends to not be explicit, but this series does an excellent job of showing its importance.

Elias said he didn’t understand emotions, but we see that he definitely has them. When Chise is injured pushing Alice out of the way from the sorcerer’s attack, he becomes enraged enough to lose his form. Whatever Elias is, it’s definitely not even close to human. He’s more of a monster than anything, and he’s furious at seeing Chise injured. If it wasn’t clear before that despite what Elias says, he does truly care for Chise, this is a pretty good example.

Score
8.5/10

Noelle Ogawa

A writer, editor, and 4th generation New Yorker. An avid fan of comics and manga, particularly psychological thrillers, or featuring sports. Can't stay away from the horror genre. Long-time kaiju enthusiast.

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