With the Spring 2023 anime season ready for primetime, The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 (Mahoutsukai no Yome Season 2) stands out as an anomaly. Given all the familiar titles and promising hits coming your way, a follow-up to the 2017 series might seem out of the ordinary. On the other hand, this mystical slice-of-life offers a different kind of magic that might be up your alley.
The latest entry in the adaptation of an ongoing, popular manga by Kore Yamazaki continues the adventures of a Japanese high school student named Chise Hatori (Atsumi Tanezaki). Orphaned at a young age and ostracized by human society, she decided to sell herself off in an auction in a desperate bid to find a new home. After being sold for five million pounds to a strange Englishman named Elias Ainsworth (Ryōta Takeuchi), a seven-foot-tall behemoth with an animal skull for a head, she finds herself whisked away to the United Kingdom.
Rather than slavery, however, Chise not only learns that her new host is a magus, but she’ll also be his top apprentice and future betrothed bride. Then, just as she’s getting used to something like regular life, she finds that just lurking beneath the British Library is an extraordinary organization of mages called the College. Perhaps here, she and maybe Elias could open new doors for themselves.
Despite the heavy, if not ominous, setup, The Ancient Magus’ Bride is anything but. Rather than high-stakes drama or Fate-style insanity, the anime (like the manga) focuses much more on the daily lives of its main protagonists and their relationships. For one, rather than just being a Beauty and the Beast knockoff, Elias comes across as an unimaginably powerful being with a similarly unreadable moral compass, yet remains humble and relatable enough in his desire to understand humanity.
Meanwhile, there’s more to Chise than being an audience surrogate or a magic-using Belle expy, given her wish to overcome that dark past while rediscovering her own humanity. Despite such sometimes radical differences, seeing the two complement each other can be as enticing as the friends and nods to European folklore they meet along the way.
Interestingly, the 12-episode second season isn’t being handled by Studio Wit, with newly founded Studio Kafka taking the reins, comprised of ex-MAPPA, ex-Wit, and Twin Engine Inc. staff, including some who had worked on the 2017 show and Vinland Saga (2019). Co-founders Kouichi Naruse, director Kazuaki Terasawa, and Takahiko Abiru revealed in a Crunchyroll interview that they did this because they wanted to create an anime house dedicated to bringing Kore Yamazaki’s work to vivid life.
From the attention to detail seen just in the previews to the constant references of keeping as much of its predecessor’s quality intact, you could tell they’re no rank amateurs. With tight writing and the original voice cast returning, including the dynamic Atsumi “Emporio Alniño” Tanezaki and Ryota Takeuchi, who’s come a long way from Heroman (2010), it’s more than reassuring.
The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2
Scheduled for April 6!
— AnimeTV チェーン (@animetv_jp) January 12, 2023
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 is set to come out on April 6, with an international broadcast set for the same day through Crunchyroll and other streaming services. So if you’re looking for a different kind of magical slice-of-life, this might be for you! Still, what are your thoughts on the upcoming anime? Feel free to leave your comments below or online on Facebook, Twitter, or Discord!
And speaking of magic, J-List has you covered, including a Sayaka Miki figure available now!