Blu-Ray Review: The Ancient Magus Bride – Part 2

The story of Chise and Elias comes to its conclusion with The Ancient Magus Bride – Part 2 but what did we think of the events found within, and more importantly this Blu-Ray release? Let’s take a look.

Synopsis:

Chise’s bond with Elias grows stronger by the day, while all around her, things take a turn for the worse. Not only are the fae and beings of lore meddling in her life, but her recovery time is increasing after each use of her power.

All caution is thrown to the wind; however, when one of Lindel’s dragons is captured, and the rescue attempt puts Chise’s life in grave danger. Now, the only thing more horrifying than Joseph’s plan to use Chise, is Elias’ plan to save her.

Our View:

The story of Elias and Chise comes to its fruitful conclusion in the second half of this anime adaptation of Kore Yamazaki’s manga, The Ancient Magus Bride; and while the conclusion of this anime series is rather satisfying it is difficult to reflect on the events that led us here. As with the first half The Anicent Magus Bride it is just as disheartening and dull as the main character, Chise, but stick with its mediocre stories and slow-pacing and you’ll find a rather heart warming tale of survival and love.

Taking place shortly after the events of the first part, which saw Chise forge her own staff and become a willing student to the mage Elias, we find that Chise is now firmly content with her new guardian, tutor and groom and the lifestyle he leads. As with the previous set each episode features its own individual story with small details from each being carried over to the next. Whether it be the difficulties of magical sheep, learning of one’s origins, overcoming a curse or making new friends, the stories portrayed in these episodes are varied but at the same time oddly lacking in entertainment value.

Unsurprisingly I found the episodes within The Ancient Magus bride to be unmemorable but within this second half we see Chise become friends with a young girl, known as Stella, after she and Elias help locate her missing brother. This friendship sees Chise come out of her shell and be more friendly with those around her while Elias begins to show jealously and uncertainty. Unbeknownst to us this introduction acts as a prelude to a dark storyline with Elias willing to do everything he can to save the one her cares for. In this case Joseph (Cartaphilius) experiment’s on a dragon stolen from the dragon sanctuary and while trying to save it Chise is cursed resulting in her arm being mutated and her life-span shortened even more.

With both medicine and magic unable to ward the curse away Elias turns to using Stella’s body as a host for the curse; but upon discovering this fact Chise leaves Elias and forms a new partnership with Joseph (Cartaphilius) in hopes of saving Stella from an early death. These chain-of-events sets up the finale and as such Chise learns the truth about her parents and what it truly means to be cursed. Revelations aside the emotional trauma that Chise has suffered all of these years finally becomes transparent and learns what must to be done to survive. Magical explanations aside Chise takes it upon herself to fix both herself and Joseph; to which a final battle ensues (if you can call it that) with causalities on both sides. This presents a satisfying end; to what is a rather dull and mediocre series.

Extras:

Despite being a FUNimation related disc master the selection of supplementary contents on this Blu-Ray disc are surprisingly bare with only English Cast Commentary (for Episode 21) on the first disc and an Interview with George Wada and Norihiro Nagnuma on the second disc.

Naturally the interview with George Wada and Norihiro Nagnuma, of which was recorded at Anime Expo, is the highlight of the bonus features as it provides a questions and answer sessions with Japanese team members that worked on the show. Unfortunately it is not a long feature, and interestingly even features a ‘Crunchyroll’ logo on the interview portions of the video, but it is well worth checking out if you are interested in the series. The English Cast Commentary meanwhile provides the simplistic comments we have come to expect from English produced commentary tracks.

It is extremely surprising that textless opening and closing segments are not included on this Blu-Ray release, as the opening at least is different to the previous part; but alas they are not included.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:51.36 (Disc 1), 1:17:12 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English) & Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

The Ancient Magus Bride – Part 2 brings the story of Chise and Elias to its conclusion with episodic events unfolding at a slow pace until the ending begins to show. As mentioned previously The Ancient Magus Bride, and especially in this second part, is a disheartening experience that provides no real emotion or entertainment and feels completely lifeless until the final moments of the show. Whether this is by design or accidental I will not know; but regardless I found it to be a tedious viewing experience that only became tolerable when watched in Japanese with English subtitles.

The events within this second part of The Ancient Magus Bride see old friend mourned, new friends made and a curse wanting to be broken. A fair amount of other stuff happens in between; but for the life of me I can’t remember what. The key story being told however is survival, love and understanding ones emotions. Chise begins to develop a backbone and take action, when relevant, and Elias also changes by showing that he has an emotional side. These changes in personalities clash together and it causes the two to drift apart and go their separate ways; to which a common enemy brings them unexpectedly back together for a final showdown that is both rushed and violent.

Episode events aside the presentation and quality of this Blu-Ray disc remains consistent with other anime releases of this calibur; which is not surprising given that it is a FUNimation master replicated (re-authored) for use by Manga Entertainment. As a result of this all of the usual FUNimation traits are included with the exception of trailers on the disc menu. Audio quality is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound (for English) and Japanese 2.0 (for Japanese) with English subtitles linked to the Japanese audio track and the subtitles are clearly readable throughout with the odd exception being when multiple people are talking at once. Supplementary content meanwhile is relatively bare but we do receive an Interview with Japanese production members. Personally I found this interview more entertaining than the show itself.

This Blu-Ray release of The Ancient Magus Bride – Part 2 provides everything you would come to expect from a Blu-Ray release via Manga Entertainment and the episodic contents found within would only appeal to those who are a fan of The Ancient Magus Bride or those looking to finish the story. The concept of the story is interesting; but its execution and pacing could have been handled better.

Score: review-stars-2

The Ancient Magus Bride – Part 2 will be available on Blu-Ray and DVD from the 3rd June 2019 via Manga Entertainment UK within the UK.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: