- Series: The Ancient Magus' Bride (Book 5)
- Paperback: 180 pages
- Publisher: Seven Seas (July 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781626922846
- ISBN-13: 978-1626922846
- ASIN: 1626922845
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,635 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Ancient Magus' Bride Vol. 5 Paperback – July 5, 2016
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"Bride has what you might call a humdinger of a premise..." ―Glenn Kenny, New York Times
"...the execution is so strong that I'm ready to follow wherever it leads. The Ancient Magus' Bride is a generous work, full of magic and mystery." ―Anime News Network
About the Author
Kore Yamazaki is best known as the author and artist of The Ancient Magus' Bride.
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However, not all the individual chapters or story arcs in past volumes have held my interest. That's why I'm happy to say that this volume has been, for me, the best of the series so far. What makes this volume stand out is that each chapters revealed something new. In this volume, Chise faces a magical challenge that is both emotionally bittersweet and technically difficult for her to do. The consequences of her actions are troubling, but the aftermath takes us to new ground in the story. Even the chapter that is essentially a side story revealed something interesting to me about a minor character.
As always, the full-color pages at the front of the book are GORGEOUS. The artist's ability to create a rich, vibrant world for Chise and Elias is one of the reasons why I've kept reading even during the volumes that didn't seem as strong as this one.
For all of the above reasons, I'm giving the volume 5 stars. However: if Amazon let me take off half a star, I would give it 4.5 stars because of the unfolding romantic relationship. I was initially drawn to this manga in part because of what seemed like an intriguing romance. I don't mind immortal/mortal romances, and I am usually not bothered by a large age gap between characters. But there's no getting around the fact that Elias and Chise just do not work for me as a couple. I am not entirely sure why. If you look at past reviews of previous volumes, you'll see some readers talking about the fact that Chise doesn't seem to have very good reason for loving Elias. That may be part of the problem.
But I think the main problem I have with the romance is the way that Elias seems to move back and forth between being parental and being romantic in his relation to Chise. Throughout the book, characters refer to Chise as Elias' "Fledgling," and talk about him taking her in as a child. And he does treat her as a ward much of the time, as if he were her parental guardian. And yet . . . she is also his prospective bride. If the story had chosen to focus just on his role as her future husband, I would accept their relationship as being an arranged marriage, and I might enjoy the romance despite the age gap. But I'm not comfortable with the way Elias acts like a parent to Chise most of the time with occasional loverlike moments. (Spoiler) The scene with the mistletoe is a good example. The kiss the two exchange is sweet and innocent . . . except for Elias' reaction.
If you've already read volumes 1-4 of The Ancient Magus' Bride and are just wondering whether to buy the fifth volume, go ahead and buy it. It's a strong volume. If, however, you are on the fence about trying the series and are trying to get a sense of whether you'd like it, consider that this is both a supernatural romance and a teacher/student romance. Not everyone is comfortable with the latter kind of relationship.
the style is drawing fits the storyline and the characters, while mystical, have depth beyond what I expected. I look forward to this story going forward and applaud the author for an interesting and entertaining read.