Disclosure: Store links are not affiliate links and books featured are purchased by myself for personal use. 
Graphic Novels, more specifically manga, are near and dear to my heart. They've opened a new world of reading for me. Back in middle school, I saw a shelf full of Sailor Moon manga at my local library and I remember thinking, "My favorite show has a comic book?!" 

Afterwards, I went home and practically devoured the entire series. I knew then I was hooked.

So, why the personal anecdote? Well, when I started this blog I knew I wanted to incorporate graphic novels, but not in the typical review format. So I took inspiration from the youtube makeup community and came up with Graphic Novel Spotlight. Instead of an in-depth review of each novel, I'll be discussing the series as a whole. I'll try to keep it short, sweet, and of course spoiler free, but if I have to address any spoilers they will be labeled as such.

Okay! Now let's finally talk about The Ancient Magus Bride, aka my absolute favorite ongoing manga series of all time.


About the Book:

The Ancient Magus Bride by Kore Yamazaki
Genre: Graphic Novel, Manga, Fantasy, Supernatural, Fiction 

"Chise Hatori has lived a life full of neglect and abuse, devoid of anything resembling love. Far from the warmth of family, she has had her share of troubles and pitfalls. Just when all hope seems lost, a fateful encounter awaits her. When a man with the head of a beast, wielding strange powers, obtains her through a slave auction, Chise's life will never be the same again. The man is a "magus," a sorcerer of great power, who decides to free Chise from the bonds of captivity. The magus then makes a bold statement. Chise will become his apprentice - and his bride!"





Story:

The story follows Chise's adventures in modern-age London as a magus-in-training along with her teacher, Elias Einsworth. While there is the main, overarching plot of Chise becoming a great powerful magus, the series reads more like a collection of short stories. Each arc features a variety of supernatural entities from different areas of the world in need of assistance and Chise and Elias work together to help them. Yamazaki does slightly change the mythos of these creatures to better fit the overall story, but I love how well integrated they are.

Seeing Chise grow from a broken shell of a person to a brave, powerful, and compassionate human being is what I love most about the series. Her bond with Elias is crucial to that growth and Yamazaki does a phenomenal job of building their relationship. It never feels forced or out of character.

So there are currently eight volumes published in Japan and six volumes translated into English and there's also an anime currently airing in Japan right now. Needless to say, I can't get enough of the story and I'm glad the series continues on with no signs of slowing down.

Art:

What initially drew me into this series was the gorgeous art style. From the crisp linework to the detailed backgrounds, you can almost feel the magic in each page.

Just see for yourself:


This panel is one of many that left me breathless. The hazy look in Chise's eyes, the way the linework in the water frames her feet, and the smoke coming out from her lantern, they all create a surreal atmosphere without having to use dialogue. Yamazaki excels at creating these scenes and there are plenty to be found in series.

Who Should Read This:

If you love fresh storytelling, beautiful art, and magical realism, you must check this series out. Both graphic novel fans and newcomers will find something to enjoy in Ancient Magus Bride.


So have any of you read The Ancient Magus Bride? Are you excited about the anime? Any other graphic novels you're currently reading/want to read? Let's talk!

Until next time!

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