Full Name: Mahoutsukai no Yome: Hoshi Matsu Hito (The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star)
Language: English subbed Japanese series
Hoshi Matsu Hito Online: Wikipedia, MyAnimeList, Crunchyroll
Genre: Magic + Fantasy + Psychological
Sorry about the lack of an anime review this past week. Some stuff came up and I wasn’t able to finish the show in time for my deadline. I will try to have the review ready in the next few days. In any case, I did manage to watch the first instalment of Hoshi Matsu Hito. It is produced by Flying DOG, the same company that produced shows such as Pandora Hearts and Samurai Champloo; and made by Wit Studio, the same studio that came out with Attack on Titan.
WARNING: Spoilers… sort of…
So, to begin with, the representation of the natural and magical world is presented in a compelling way. We see in the first scene, a slightly older female wizardess creating a care package of magic learning supplies for the apprentice of one of her associates, all using magic. It introduces us to the world in a spectacular fashion. After that, we are introduced to Chitose, the story’s heroine and the latter recipient of the care package. She has a canine companion that periodically shapeshifts into a boy named Ruth. We met the maid of the house where she resides and a man with an antlered skull that is both her magic teacher and master of the house-slash-cottage. These characters all seemed unique, but the focus is inevitably on our heroine. The last few scenes deal with some of Chitose’s background via flashbacks, beginning with her single mother throwing herself off of a balcony in front of the girl, leaving the girl an orphan. This leads to her meeting a wizard for the first time. End credits.
To begin with, this three-part series is based off a popular manga series. The original work has a sizable following online, resulting in lots of hype ahead of the first part of the series. The end result is a visually striking and emotionally compelling first part that reminds me of a slightly darker version of a Ghibli Studios production such as Spirited Away. It is a little under half an hour in length.
I liked what I saw of this mini-series so far. The setting is beautiful and characters interesting. However, viewers should not expect any immediate gratification. The focus of atmosphere rather than heavy dialogue works for me, as I didn’t feel like I needed an excess amount of dialogue to get to know about the cast. It is, in my opinion, a good example of “show, don’t tell” as it makes good use of visual queues such as body language to convey meaning.
Much in all as I really enjoyed this first instalment of the series, I am a little annoyed with it. Why? Because the folks making the show will be releasing the remaining two parts with months in between. Based on what I have gleaned online, the final instalment will be released in September of next year. I hate long waits! *shakes fist at ceiling*
In conclusion, I love this show so far and will no doubt wait until the next two parts are released. I recommend it to people with an appreciation for the “slow burn” for their character-driven stories… and are willing to wait several months for the next instalment. As always, I welcome you to post what you thought of the episode in the comments section.