Enjoyable, but Disappointed
When the mid-season finale for The Ancient Magus’ Bride hit I was so excited! The show was breathtaking with both its visuals and attention to detail. I wanted to keep learning more and more about this fantastic world and he characters that inhabited it. However, as the show moved into its second half I became to feel differently about the show. What I had originally thought that Magus’ Bride would end among my favorites but by time the dust settled the show was just ok at best. Join me as I explore where The Ancient Magus’ Bride went wrong for me and why I was ultimately left feeling disappointed.
Since I already did a review of the first half of the series, I’m not going to cover any of that in here. I might reference to part of it but that’s about it. You may want to read my mid-series impressions article before continuing with this one. I mention that I think the first half is great, and I whole heartedly stand by that. I also think the OVA’s are definitely worth your time. As for the rest…
The second half of Magus’ Bride actually starts off just fine. I’d even say that it is fairly consistent up until about episode 18. Then the show becomes pretty inconsistent. Suddenly there are so many characters all at once, the plot became difficult to follow at times, and the emotional connection I had with the events on screen were basically non-existent. For a series that relies heavily on this, that may as well mean death for the series.
Aside from episode 22, “As you sow, so shall you reap” the end is a mess. The biggest sin it commits is being so rushed. I liked the Cartaphilius/Joseph story as a concept but the execution was sorely lacking. Not to mention the random “twist” where Ashen Eye was the bad guy all along! I’d say spoilers but a literal child could see what was going on there.
I was legitimately bored several times throughout the second half. Even as early as episode 15 where signs of trouble most strongly began for me. For a show with as much beauty and potential in its world it quickly slipped into a cliché story where not a lot happens with too much going on all at once aside from a few rare moments.
For a lot of people this did not remotely live up to the hype that the OVA’s, or even the first half, managed to build for the series. The anime has surpassed the manga, which I hear that the anime was faithful to, but I can’t help but feel that something got lost in translation along the way. The final stretch was so bizarrely done, taking what should have been a favorite for me and instead left me feeling a bit of a bad taste in my mouth afterwards instead.
As I’ve mentioned, I did enjoy the series overall. It is alright, but I would have happily stopped at the mid-season finale had I known how far downhill things would get. While I think there are some standout episodes in the second half, such as episodes 13 and 22, but that just isn’t enough.
Did you finish The Ancient Magus’ Bride? What were your thoughts on the series, especially the second half? Let me know in the comments below. If you enjoyed this article and the work I’m doing here please consider checking out my Ko-fi page and supporting me. As always, thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!