Here comes the bride. The Ancient Magus’ Bride.
The twenty-fourth and final episode of Mahou Tsukai No Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) has aired and I will bring you the recap and review of this episode, along with a series review.
The episode opens with Chise confronting Joseph in front of the fountain, where he accuses her of not understanding the pain of living while rotting. She counters by asking if he wants others to understand or if he believes he’s the only one suffering. After some back and forth, Chise then tries to attack Joseph only for Ashen Eyes to appear and reveal he’s the one who pointed Stella out to Joseph.
Chise’s arm bursts from its binds in anger becomes a dragon’s claw to attack him, but Ashen Eyes just state that he finds both Chise and Joseph beautiful because of their emotions driving their actions. Joseph then releases centipedes to attack her while she’s pinned down and it looks bad when a tidal wave of them come crashing down on her. But Ruth and Elias are there too, along with Aerial, to protect her.
Joseph wants to leave at this point, but Elias and Aerial put a stop to that by turning into some kind of giant monstrous plant that cuts Ashen Eyes down. That leaves Chise to deal with Joseph, where she has Ruth pin him down before she tries to cast a sleeping spell on him. Unfortunately, he shatters the spell due to having her eye and runs his monstrous hand through her torso in what looks to be a fatal blow.
Chise uses the fact that he has an arm inside of her to trap him long enough for Ruth to remove the eye he took from her and then have Elias cast a spell to bind them together. She then sings to him to sleep with the same lullaby that she sung to Elias, which becomes an even more potent sleeping spell that does the trick. Chise then passes out as Renfred, Blue Flame, and Alice arrive carrying Stella.
Some time later, Chise enters her mindscape where Carta’s Curse mentions that he and the Dragon’s Curse came to an understanding. The former will keep her alive, but some day the latter will kill her, so they’ll both be keeping one another in check so that whole short lifespan issue has been resolved, The Curse even turns her eye back green before sending her off to Elias.
Once she wakes up, she asks Elias for his excuse about doing that to Stella and he argues with her. But Silky is ecstatic she’s awake and gives a beautiful smile. And really, that’s all that matters in the end.
A little while later, Chise and Elias have talked their problems out when Simon is there. Elias sums up everything that’s happened. Stella’s fine, the witches haven’t tried to recruit Chise, both the dragons have been returned to Lindel, and Joseph is down for at least a few decades in a best. Or at least they believe so given that Joseph is awake enough to tell Ashen Eyes he’s not going to cause problems for a bit, which bores him.
Chise and Ruth then catch a train to London to visit Angelica and Hugo, who give her a promised gift. From the context and how red Chise’s face turns, we can see it means a lot. But then Angelica and Hugo give her a little something extra to go with it before they set off again.
Heading to Stella’s place, she then finds that the innocent girl’s party is being hosted for Chise as well since she never had one before. Chise gives her a bouquet full of crystal flowers while Stella gives her a gift as well. Once night falls, Aerial has Silky give Elias his formal garbs and meet Chise out in the forest.
She’s dressed up in a wedding gown and veil, courtesy of Stella and Angelica, and her beauty is so great that Elias feels his cold heart beating rapidly. Chise then places a ring on his left hand and one on hers, so they would know if anything happened to one another. Chise then confesses that in the year she’s been with him things have gone really well for her, and Elias promises to keep his monstrous side in check but he may cause problems again and asks if she’s alright with that.
She states that they’ll talk it out if it comes to that and asks to walk along with him forever, with Elias agreeing since she’s his bride in the end. It’s still a little weird since she’s his apprentice, but its a happy ending overall.
This episode wraps things up in the series pretty well with a relatively happy ending. Carta has decided to keep his head down for a little while. Stella is back with her family safe and sound. And Chise has a decent lifespan and has gotten married to Elias.
However, the ending does have some minor flaws. That final battle with Ashen Eyes was resolved via Elias and Aerial turning into a huge monster and cutting him down faster than one could see, but I didn’t really see the need for them to turn into that. Especially since it didn’t even take for a longer period of time when I know Elias can kill spirits and that’s the reason he’s loathed.
I do like Chise putting Carta to sleep since she wasn’t going to be killing the guy who had a curse placed on him by the Christian God anytime soon. But she still gets out of her short-lifespan and immortality by her Curses deciding that they’ll bend against their very natures for a little bit. Now, it could be argued that Carta’s Curse is doing so to reward her for fulfilling the wishes of Carta and Joseph, but it still feels a little convenient.
That being said, this is partly a romance anime and the rule of romance is that there needs to be a HEA (Happily Ever After) unless its a tragedy. That and the anime had to bring it to a close with an original ending seeing as it stopped just where the manga currently is, and that’s apparently getting an new arc after the confrontation with Joseph.
It’s good for what it is and that’s what really counts.
I have been a staunch reader of this series even before the anime was announced, so it goes without saying that I’m clearly biased in my opinion of this series when I say its one of the best ever.
Now don’t get me wrong. There was a chance that the adaptation could’ve be royally screwed despite having decent source materials (Sword Oratoria). So I was hesitant at first.
Then I saw the first episode and immediately thought that this would be my anime of the year… Well, Top Two given Made In Abyss came out as well. 2017 was a good year for Fantasy outside of the Isekai genre.
I’m pleased that the studio did such a wonderful job on the anime. They brought Fantasy back to the forefront and did so with amazing visuals and music that are largely unforgettable. Yes, they did skimp on some of the finer details, but they managed to encapsulate the manga up to the very final episode without skipping over the major events, or doing anything that would discredit the series in the eyes of a fan such as myself.
If you’ve been following my reviews this long you know that I have nothing but praise for this series. It ended on a good note despite the source materials still continuing on. And it makes for a good entry point for new readers as well.
This anime is easily one of the best that I have seen and is as close to perfection as it can get, so I highly recommend that you watch it, whoever you are.