Reviews: Ancient Magus' Bride Vol 13 & Drifting Dragons Vol 4
Updated: Nov 21, 2020
Ancient Magus's Bride Vol 13
I fell in love with this series pretty quickly and as such I blitzed through the first twelve volumes. Now comes the waiting in between chapters, which is a bit trickier for my memory as they've added a lot of characters for what is currently the College Arc. Which is great because yay new characters that are interesting, but also boo because the longer the wait between chapters the worse a time my goldfish memory has with remembering all these new people.
If you haven't checked out Ancient Magus' Bride, the short summary is that it follows orphaned Chise Hatori who in her despair decided to sell herself at an underground auction. She is purchased by an ancient magus who informs her that she is a Sleigh Beggy, someone who can absorb magical power at a great rate. Such a greater rate that Sleigh Beggy's usually have very short lifespans, something that the mage Elias hopes to prevent. The push of the series is about Chise learning to value and love herself as well as her relationships with people around her, while Elias learns about human emotion from Chise. It's an odd mixture of slice-of-life, supernatural horror, comedy, and romance, and I absolutely love it.
One of my favorite aspects of this series though is its focus on folklore and mythology, and this volume pulled out a nuckelavee from Orcadian myth so I got to learn something new. Plus we have the usual balance of character development and drama throughout the volume, so just a solid chapter overall.
Btw, the anime is 100% worth checking out if you get the chance.
Drifting Dragons Vol 4
Oh how I wish I didn't hate the animation style of the Netflix animated series.
DD takes place in a world where dragons occupy the skies and there are Drakers, ships and crews that hunt the dragons for food and oils. We follow an interesting cast of characters, the most prominent among them being the risk-taker Mika who's obsessed with eating dragons. As such, the series is also an oddball cooking comic as well as each chapter tends to have a particular focus on what kind of dishes you can make out of dragons.
This volume has an interesting diversion as the ship the Quin Zaza is damaged in a collision with a luxury airliner. Crewmate Vanabelle tracks down the airliner for aid and meets an aristocrat obsessed with tracking a cataloguing dragons for the sake of posterity. There are a few interesting potential developments for the crew of the Quin Zaza as well as plenty of great action and some truly beautiful artwork in this volume.
I wish I could recommend the anime, but I have a hard time going from beautifully detailed and textured art like this:
To this fugly crap with stiff and soulless character renderings:
In my mind it's supposed to be a dirty and lived in world and this stiff superclean CG style just misses the target completely.
Read the book.