I dedicate this blog to comics in all forms, manga, autobio, superhero, art books, etc. And of course, since I need a challenge, I've decided that I'll read and write (short) reviews for 365 comics during 2015.
There have been a few blogs that took a look at the prevalence of the so and so's wife title. I had been quite interested in the dynamics of relationship titles in the past, so it was kind of funny when I picked up this manga.
The Ancient Magus' Bride. What a title.
The plot follows Chise as she's sold at a bizarre auction. What should be a terrifying and dehumanizing experience barely registers on her apathetic face. I was a little bit unsure how to interpret this beginning. It just doesn't seem right to be so cavalier about human trafficing, but I suppose compared to the way women are represented in many comics (from any country) isn't much better and sometimes worse.
Chise is a "Sleigh Beggy" a person with a great amount of magical energy who attracts magical creatures like a beacon. Why "Sleigh Beggy?" I have no clue. She's extremely valuable and for that reason she was taken in by Ainsworth, as his new apprentice. Later he also reveals that he plans to marry her and even takes her on a honeymoon. However, there is actually very little romance going on, I mean the dude has a skull for a head, so. The Honeymoon turns into another adventure, so I'm not really sure if more feelings will develop between the pair or what.
The story takes place in England. It's often a bit of a stretch for me when Manga are set outside Japan (or fantasy realms), since the architecture/furniture often remains very Japanese, but I think Yamazaki actually did a pretty good job representing the English countryside here.
Chise is still a pretty apathetic character. She reminds me a lot of Hitomi from the movie version of Escaflowne. She's obviously suicidal and just like Hitomi, doesn't really care what happens to her. As the stories wind on she's brought a bit out of her funk by various creatures as well as the kindness shown to her by Ainsworth. She seems to be a kindhearted person who never had anyone to lurve.
The most interesting part of the story by far was when the two met up with a cat who brings them to Ulthar to meet the King of Cats and solve a problem the cats have been dealing with for a long time.
I almost did a double take when they went to Ulthar, I was like, wait a minute, is that a Lovecraft reference!? Who knew that'd turn up!?
Anyway, it's kinda sweet and syrupy, but with plenty of supernatural elements. Maybe something for the shoujo fans who are interested in a plot beyond the typical he loves she loves stuff.