It’s been six years since Ancient Magus Bride Season 1 aired in Japan, so to say that fans have waited a long time feels like an understatement. Now, with Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 beginning with Episode 1, “Live and let live. II,” we’re back to one of my favorite explorations of learning that you deserve to feel loved. Based on the manga of the same name by Kore Yamazaki and animated WIT Studio, fans should be ready to return to one of anime’s most beloved fantasy stories and shonen romances.
If you need a refresher, given the time away, Ancient Magus Bride follows Chise, a teen who, after living a life full of neglect and abuse, devoid of anything resembling love, decides to sell herself at a slave auction. But when she meets Elias, a man with the head of a beast, wielding strange powers, Chise’s life changes in ways she could never have thought. Instead of keeping her enslaved, Elias frees Chise and asks her to become his apprentice and bride.
In Ancient Magus Bride Season 2, audiences meet a changed Chise. She accepts Elias and herself, even if her circumstances are less than ideal. But After Cartaphilus fell back into a slumber that would not last forever, Chise has a choice: return to her normal life or join the English Mage College. Of course, she chooses the latter. Fearful of what the mages will do when she enrolls, Elias joins her.
Episode 1 of Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 is about setting the stage for what’s to come while also ensuring the audience remembers how much Chise has gone through to get to this point in her story. There is a part where the nurse in the college lists some of the horrible things that happened to Chise. While it’s made to be slightly humorous, it puts into context how hard Chise’s journey has been. This context makes entering the English College feel ominous. Even though there are moments of comedy and even cuteness (I mean, a dorm run by cats is great), a sense of foreboding overcomes much of the episode, keeping it interesting.
While Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 Episode 1 does the work to lay the foundations for this new season as you learn about the English College, this is a series that would have benefitted from a more explicit catch-up segment given the length of time since the last season. While this episode is hard to get into if you don’t remember anything from Season 1, it does set up the future to make it accessible nonetheless. Granted, I’m sure rewatching Season 1 before entering Magus’ Bride Season 2 would make this episode better than it stands.
There truly isn’t much to say about this start to Ancient Magus Bride Season 2. It’s a simple start that doesn’t push any large narrative themes other than to get the audience back on board with the series after time away. That said, studio WIT’s animation is as great as ever, primarily when emotion is concerned and, of course, animating eyes and faces close up. Additionally, the opening theme, “Dear” by JUNNA and animated by Studio KAFKA, is a certified earworm. Not only is it animated, but the thematic approach fits perfectly with the song.
Overall, Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 Episode 1 isn’t groundbreaking, but it is a nice resettling for fans of the series who have waited for its return. It clearly points to why this is one of anime’s leading fantasy stories with animation and why Chise is a heroine with depth.
Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 Episode 1 is streaming now on Crunchyroll, with new episodes every Friday.
Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 Episode 1
Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 Episode 1 isn’t anything groundbreaking, but it is a nice resettling for fans of the series who have waited for its return. It clearly points to why this is one of anime’s leading fantasy stories with animation and why Chise is a heroine with depth.
Kate Sánchez is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of But Why Tho? A Geek Community. There, she coordinates film, television, anime, and manga coverage. Kate is also a freelance journalist writing features on video games, anime, and film. Her focus as a critic is championing animation and international films and television series for inclusion in awards cycles.