The relationship at the core of this series gets bit deeper with this volume as we find out about Elias’ history. It’s related to Chise by the mage Lindel who talks about the fearsome entity he encountered one evening that collapsed out of hunger in front of him. Elias’ exact origins are mostly shrouded in mystery here, save for some sinister hints… that are expertly defused with humor by Lindel. It’s clear that mangaka Kore Yamazaki wants to keep some things secret from us, but the information we get here paints a clearer picture of the ancient magus. For all of his fearsome power, he’s still a child when it comes to his emotional knowledge. That gives the scenes where he confesses that he doesn’t like the “cold” that occurs when Chise is away genuine resonance. In short, Elias’ efforts to learn what makes humans tick makes him a more human and interesting character.
Much the same can be said of Chise here as she continues to work through her own emotional baggage and acclimate herself to the fact that she has once again become part of a family. This is interesting to note because we also learn for the first time that she wasn’t just alone with her mother, but that she had a father and younger brother as well. While I’m ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN this will never be mentioned again, Chise’s growth is accompanied by a sense of awe and wonder as she learns more about the world of magic. Aside from the tale Lindel spins for her, Chise starts crafting her own wand which leads to a reunion with an old friend, summons a firebird for entirely personal reasons, shaves the woolybugs and has a close encounter with their snow variants, and gets a were-experience in the volume’s final story. All of these instances tell us a little bit more about the world of “The Ancient Magus’ Bride” and show that Yamazaki has an impressive imagination when it comes to worldbuilding. This series continues to be an utterly enchanting and immersive read and is again recommended to all fans of good fantasy. At this point, I’d even say people who don’t normally like the genre should give it a shot as well.