My husband and I either watch anime or play games when he is home. As we are all caught up with the ones that are currently being continued, he found one while on the road that captivated me and had us both watching the entire first season non-stop. This hidden gem is beautiful in its art and masterful in its writing.
The manga, which I will be seeking out, was serialized in 2013. It has eight volumes that can be found in Monthly Comic Garden since September 2017. The manga is currently up to 40 chapters. Kore Yamazaki is the creator of the story. The anime itself has a debut date of October 7, 2017. It has two writers and a bevy of directors.
The two screen caps above don’t even begin to highlight the artistic talent present in the anime. Every vista, to me, is frame-worthy. You can tell they took their time to make every backdrop and countryside scene come alive. The color palettes used are breath-taking, and the aesthetic reminds me of Studio Ghibli.
The Character Models
From Ainsworth (left) to Chise (below) and beyond, each character model is distinct and fits the personality of the characters.
Whether they are mysterious, whimsical, or priestly, you can get a feel of the character by their color palette and wardrobe before they begin to speak.
Titania is regal when she first appears, and they capture Oberon’s goofy nature in his model.
The story is solid and revolves around the two characters in this post. There is only one season that has been released, and Elias Ainsworth is still a mystery to many of us who have not read the manga, but he goes to Japan to find an apprentice and a wife.
He finds Chise (right) who has had a rough start in life and has decided her life has no value. She has willingly put herself up for auction as a slave and is ready to live a life of servitude.
Ainsworth purchases her and takes her home, and this is where the story ramps up. One would think it is solely a romance between the two main characters, but there is so much more to it.
Chise is known in the story as a Sleigh Beggy, a human that constantly manufactures and uses magic, often without their knowledge. These types of humans are rare and often tend to die due to the abuse that constantly using magic has on their system. They are also born with weak bodies. Ainsworth has taken Chise in to teach her how to use her ability properly in hopes she will live a long and fruitful life.
The main conflict between the two is that Chise is a self-defeatist with low self-esteem due to the life she has led to this point, and Ainsworth, who’s origin is steeped in mystery, cannot process emotions like humans, think Data from Star Trek or someone who has a problem with social cues and expressing themselves.
The first season has them trying to get to the bottom of strange occurrences and ridding areas of corruption.
The anime is wonderfully steeped in Pagan lore with them celebrating Yule and even having to travel to the land of the fairies. The magic used is a combination of wizardry, Wicca, and Druidry. There are even bardic songs that don’t detract from the scenes.
The animation is smooth and fluid. There are no quick and jerky movements. The transitions at times can be a bit disorienting, but that feeling doesn’t last long. There times where you are wondering what is happening, but it doesn’t take anything away from the story.
A Second Season?
A Yamazaki releases two volumes two times a year and they seem to be trying to avoid filler, a second season has yet to be announced. It is refreshing to see an anime that doesn’t use filler. If the second season is going to be as good as the first, it will be worth the wait.
This is a wonderful story of adventure, magic, fantasy, and self discovery. There are romantic vibes in it, but it’s not overwhelming. All the elements combine to make a very entertaining cohesive anime.
I give season one four espresso shots out of five.
Until Next Time,
Anissa “Maddy” Walker