Mahoutsukai no Yome Ep. 1 and more

I’m still trying to feel things out, gauging whether or not any of these shows could keep my interest for the next three months. I have a handful of shows that I’ll definitely follow all the way to the end of the season, but I’ll keep doing these multi-anime posts until I’m all caught up.

Mahoutsukai no Yome Ep. 1

I’m pretty sketched out, dudes. Once again, we have a tiny, waifish girl paired with a ginormous man who sounds like he’s well into this 40s. He’s also very… “assertive.” That’s putting it nicely. Elias tells Chise to stand tall, but one of the first things he does is tug her by her chain-link leash. Right off the bat, I’m cringing. He then refers to her as a puppy, which is just a fitting pet name, don’t you think? It even comes with a torrent of patronizing head pats. I would do a shot of whiskey every time she gets a head pat until the end of the series, but I fear for my liver. After buying another human being, Elias whisks his purchase away to an idyllic and rustic home on the outskirts of London, where he forcefully bathes her against her wishes. Isn’t that what we do with dogs, though? Sure. At the same time, however, I also wouldn’t marry my puppy. Yes, by the end of the episode, the mage reveals to the former slave girl that she is to become his bride. Yeah…

So what’s going on here? Why would anyone in Chise’s position accept this treatment? Well, the line of consent is super murky here. Chise is technically okay with all of this, but that’s a bit misleading. It’s like having to choose between being shot in the leg or being shot in the head. Yes, I’d much rather like to live, thank you very much. But could you please not shoot me at all? But that’s the predicament that Chise finds herself in. After all, the poor girl willingly sold herself to slavery. Her previous life sucked so much, everything else must necessarily be roses by comparison. So the girl doesn’t mind the fact that she may very well be nothing more than a toy to her newfound benefactor. And even though being stripped naked might be traumatizing to any other person — male or female — Chise suffers nothing more than a bratty whimper of defeat here. She’s loyal to Elias simply because he calls her family and gives her a home. The sense of belonging is what makes the line of consent so murky.

Let me go on a bit of a tangent. Third world countries are suddenly facing accelerating obesity rates thanks to the proliferation of both fast food and junk food. In Brazil, Nestle seems to have dug its claws into the community. Likewise, lots of Ghanaians find themselves eating at KFC more than three times a week. Some of them even go every single day. When an older lady died due to health issues related to her high blood pressure, what did they serve at her funeral? Fried chicken. Now, fried chicken’s not fucking good for you. You know it. I know it. Deep down, these people know it too. But you know what’s worse than fried chicken everyday? Not having food. So I get it. Again, when faced with being shot in the leg or in the head, nobody would opt for the latter. But there’s a problem when Yum! Brands, KFC’s parent company, shamelessly claim that fried chicken can be part of a healthy diet:

When asked if it is unhealthy for people to eat fried chicken often, Kimberly Morgan, a KFC spokeswoman in Plano, Texas, said, “At KFC, we’re proud of our world famous, freshly in-store prepared fried chicken and believe it can be enjoyed as a part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.”

I don’t know much about Chise’s backstory yet. I just get the sense that it sucks. So to be clear, the poor girl clinging to any sort of happiness that she can find isn’t what’s sketching me out. Rather, I find it off-putting that anyone can frame Elias’s behavior in a positive light. It certainly feels as though that’s the direction that we’re headed, though. Chise’s new situation is not good. It’s unequivocally not. It’s comparatively better than what she had previously, but again, I’d rather not get shot in the head, y’know. Don’t get it twisted.

As a quick aside, I think the OP and ED are decent.

Code Realize – Sousei no Himegimi Ep. 1

Oh look, another show set in and around London. It’s also yet another show about a girl with little to no self-esteem. On the one hand, Cardia’s early relationship with Arsene Lupin (he’s also here to steal hearts) doesn’t bug me as much as the one between Chise and Elias. On the other hand, Cardia seems kinda dumb, and that’s putting it lightly. She has two gimmicks. First, her touch can cause almost anything to rot or dissolve. Luckily, her clothes is made out of Special Stuff™, so the poor girl never has to walk around naked. Likewise, her hair is impervious to her matter-destroying inclinations. We wouldn’t her to be bald, would we? I mean, low self-esteem is A-OK, but bald? Um hello, we have beauty standards to conform to! Last but not least, the stuff that’s floating around in the air doesn’t react with her skin whatsoever… I guess that’s stuff is fine, too. After all, it’s anime. If you don’t see it, clearly it doesn’t exist! Cardia also assures us that she can safely sleep in any regular bed as long as she lies on her back. What if she tosses and turns in her bed? Never. She sleeps like a log.

Why am I going on and on about Cardia’s melty powers? ‘Cause it’s really the only thing worth talking about. Her second gimmick are the family jewels on her breasts. Literally on her breasts. They’re also known as the Holo-whatsit… I can’t be assed to learn its proper name, because I don’t care, and you don’t either. All we need to know is that baddies are after them. This is why Arsene Lupin and his crew of equally hot boys have gone to such lengths in order to wrest Cardia away from the shadowy powers lurking behind the British government. But nothing here remotely interests me nor do I really care all that much about Cardia herself. Again, beyond her gimmick, she has little to offer, and the rest of the anime seems to follow suit. As much as it might sketch me out, I’ll likely blog Mahoutsukai no Yome all the way to the end of the season, because at least it seems interesting. Nothing is worse than being completely dull and unremarkable.

Dies Irae Ep. 0

Yeah, uh, I kinda drifted off halfway through. The cold opening kinda caught my attention with the over-the-top floating palace-thingy made out of skeletons. But it was all downhill from there. Too many faces talking about God knows what. Some individuals started fighting midway through the episode, but by then, I had already given up on the idea of pretending I gave a shit. Yeah, I’m not going to follow this week in and week out. Other industrious bloggers can take up this responsibility instead. More importantly, I need to stop taking anime recommendations from Twitter.

Kekkai Sensen & Beyond Ep. 1

Like the first season, the second run of Kekkai Sensen appears to have a great soundtrack. I usually just tune out the background music in other shows. Well, most of it anyway. The little that I do hear is quickly forgotten as soon as the episode is over. It may as well not be there… which is completely not true at all. If a show literally lacks background music, the absence would be all too conspicuous. The viewing experience feels empty even if the missing music would’ve just been forgotten anyway. Oh well. Enough about that. My point is that Kekkai Sensen has music I actually don’t mind listening to. It actually has music that I can kinda recall even after I’ve stopped bothering with anime for the rest of the day.

I just wish I could say the same about the story. Kekkai Sensen is not a bad anime. It’s a fun treat. The show’s full of energy, and I’m never bored. None of the characters are really obnoxious, and visually, it’s a huge step up from the average series. Nothing mind-blowing, but Bones has actually put effort into the framing and composition of every single scene. But despite all of that, nothing plotwise ever lingers when a Kekkai Sensen episode is all said and done. It’s not an anime that makes you look back and ruminate, which is a shame. I’ll enjoy watching the second season as much as the first one, but I doubt I’ll have much to say about it.

Kino’s Journey (2017) Ep. 1

Yeah, I wasn’t excited about this series going into the fall season, and the first episode doesn’t change my mind. First, the animation is competent, but uninspiring. There’s not much to look at. Scenes are composed rather straightforwardly, and I found the whole thing visually dull. With that out of the way, I bet I’ll catch some flak for my next point of criticism.

The story is arguing semantics. Kino visits a country where killing is not prohibited, but as we come to find out, it’s also not permitted. Um, okay. So instead of The Law stopping bad guys in their tracks, the people will take matters into their own hands and fulfill this civic need. But the problem is that I don’t trust the general public to mete out punishment, especially when death is a probable outcome. Oh, we’re not just talking about any plain ol’ death, mind you. We’re talking about an old man publicly executing a man in broad daylight. Even putting aside the fact that this is heinously barbaric — I mean, what do the parents tell the kids? “Hey guys, we’re gonna gut a motherfucker, so keep yourselves indoor until we’re done” — why should I trust this society not to collapse under the weight of its own mob mentality?

The fact is, murder is not strictly prohibited in any country. We just don’t trust any Joe Schmoe to carry it out (this may or may not be the case depending on where you’re from). But don’t kid yourself. If someone poses a serious enough threat, certain individuals are more than permitted to take a life. This is the truth in practically every sovereign nation on this planet. The problem, however, is that we can’t even trust our law enforcement officials to perform these duties correctly. So I’m supposed to turn around and believe that the general public — our very own friends and neighbors — can do the same job but better? C’mon, would you trust me with a man’s life? Nevertheless, Kino rides off after his brief 3-day stay. He bumps into a man who wishes to settle down somewhere safe to which our hero cheerfully remarks that he knows just the place. I guess they do assemble a mean stack of crepes.

Alright, that’s enough for tonight. More impressions tomorrow until I’ve seen anything worth watching at least once. Let me know what I’ve missed that you really, really think I should really cover. Note: I will not watch anything with idols.

13 thoughts on “Mahoutsukai no Yome Ep. 1 and more

  1. kawaiipaperpandas

    Mahoutsukai no Yome has 3 OVA episodes that came out before the actual series. You get to see Chise and her backstory. You might want to check them out. Also Chise was the one who decided to sell herself into slavery, there is a lot more to it than Elias just buying her.

      1. kawaiipaperpandas

        I was just reiterating the fact that it was simply her choice and it wasn’t like she was forced into it lol sorry that sentence kind of came off weird

    1. alpaga

      I don’t buy the ‘sold herself into slavery thing’. Or rather, I consider it edgier than teenage girls joining ISIS and travelling to Syria. It produces such a dissonance, which I cannot take seriously. I watched the OVA and liked it, but I’m not going to give the TV show a chance precisely for this reason. Imagine making Natsume from Natsume’s Book of Friends into a child bride (groom?) and a slave, while the story keeps the same tone as before. It’s tryhard and ridiculous, plain and simple. I don’t know, maybe the mangaka aimed at shock value?

  2. Advaris

    A new update! Time to give my own take on those anime. My rant on Kino no Tabi deserves its own post, so I’ll do it later. That anime is disappointing. Those Kino no Tabi fans lied to me!!!

    -> Mahoutsukai no Yome: As I’ve wrote before, I don’t watch the anime. I read the manga. It’s pretty much the same, though, so my opinion still stands. Not to mention, I doubt the anime will stray from the manga.

    It’s pretty much like what I’ve told you before, right? The setting is more interesting than Chise and Elias. I never get the defense of “Chise was the one who decided to sell herself into slavery.” Do they think that is the same thing as a girl who wore sexy outfits and let others ogle her because she like the attention or something? It isn’t even the same thing. In that hypothetical girl case, she still has her agency. Chise doesn’t. It’s like a story thinks it can avoid “the women are a prize to be won” criticism by having the girl volunteer herself as a prize. It isn’t that simple or easy.

    As for anyone can frame Elias’s behavior in a positive light, it is easy apparently for both the story and its fans. Elias turns out to be not as educated and mature as he seems. He has limited knowledge of the human world and human relationships. He basically thinks bride and wife just mean a woman who lives with me. So, his actions are caused by ignorance and innocence just like a child. Yup, he is a child. In other words, he is f*cking boring. I’m not implying that a child is uncomplicated and uninteresting here. I just can’t help that this revelation makes him simple and one-dimensional. I’m not joking when I think the two of them are boring.

    -> Code Realize: Yup, dull and boring. I do have a praise for this one, though. Other otome game adaptation tend to shove all of its characters to me in one episode, but this one takes its time and the tact to introduce just a handful of them in its first episode, so its flow is better than others of its kind. It’s still dull and boring, though. You would think a genre for girl would have a good female protag, but then I remember about harem genre’s male protag.

    -> Dies Irae: This is pure, unadulterated shit. Seriously, animu fans rarely do anything worthwhile in Kickstarter. First, they fund that translation project for Kodomo no Jikan and now this shit.

    Animu fans are dumb. There are some who defend this shit by saying that this shit is just like Downfall. Yeah, sure. You compare a movie about making the Nazis feel human and not just some monsters that one can dismiss as nothing like oneself with a healthy dose of war is hell to an anime series about Reinhard Heydrich as your standard blue-eyed, blond-haired animu bishounen acting like a naruto antagonist (i.e. I’m bored with everything.)

    Some also said that because this shit is created by the Japanese, so it’s automatically fine. I mean unlike the baka gaijin, Japan is a peaceful and safe country that isn’t affected by the rise of fascism and nationalism. Yeah, sure… Oh, well. This is the same crowd that glorify Nasu and even say that Grisaia is good without a slightest hint of irony, after all.

    -> Kekkai Sensen & Beyond: Watching Kekkai Sensen is just like watching Michael Bay’s Transformers or, because this is anime, Redline. It’s awesome to look at, but nothing stick to me as I watch it. I don’t remember any of the character’s name or background, but I remember their faces and powers. Their personalities are easy to guess from their appearance and it isn’t exactly deep, so it doesn’t count.

    1. alpaga

      I think Dies Irae had a chance to be a dumb show you watch ironically (like Hellsing), but the people in charge apparently don’t give a damn, hence episode 0 looks like the way it does.

    2. E Minor Post author

      Yup, he is a child.

      It’s also a cop-out. It’s essentially saying that his behavior can be forgiven because he doesn’t know better. What a load of shit. Reminds me of this (skip to 2:00):

      1. Advaris

        “It’s also a cop-out.”

        There is also that as well. I forgot to include it in my previous post. The creator of Mahoutsukai no Yome is just like the creator of Kino no Tabi in the way of wanting to have a cake and eat it too. I guess I’m just more frustrated at the fact that I want the story to focus more on and explore more of its setting and side characters, but as long as the main characters are Chise and Elias, the story keeps on returning to that f*cking house in f*cking nowhere. And when that happens, I have to read about their “relationship.” You have an interesting setting! Please explore it for f*ck’s sake!

        BTW, if anyone told you the defense of “The story realize and point out that the relationship between Chise and Elias is wrong and unhealthy.” You can tell that person to f*ck off because the story just pay lip service to that idea. Sure, the story does point that out, but it doesn’t do anything meaningful with that idea.

  3. Advaris

    -> Kino no Tabi: This anime is disappointing. So, maybe the novel that this is adapted from is good or the previous Kino anime is good. I don’t know. I don’t read the novel or watch the previous anime. All I know is that this Kino is disappointing straight out from its first episode. I’ll divide my rant about this one in three points.

    1) This one is more about Kino himself and his fans than this episode, so you can skip it. I think LGBT crowd in animu fandom is too easy to please and too desperate to find anything that cater to them that I can’t help think that they come off as pathetic to me. I find some folks who is fussy about Kino and the pronoun that should be used to call him or shit. The thing is that I don’t think Kino himself is meant to be some positive or awesome portrait of strong and masculine trans or whatever. Kino is made to be a girl who dresses and acts like a boy to dehumanize him I think. The story is insistent to portray him as different from other human beings as some sort of neutral observer that casts no judgment to the point that he can’t be classified as a boy or a girl. He is just that unique super special awesome, people!

    2) This one is about Kino’s supposed status as a neutral observer. The story and its fans are keen on banging my head with the claim that Kino is just an observer, a traveler who casts no judgment on the places he visits. He is no hero. He is just this ghost or neutral party who isn’t actually out to save the world selfishly based on his own values to encourage the viewer to make up their own minds about the issue that Kino faces. His story is a reflection and not an interaction.

    And I call bullshit on all those shit. He casts no judgment, my ass. He literally told people that libertarian NRA gun-vana is peaceful. There is no subtlety here. He flat out tell people that it’s peaceful and people think that he is some sort of wise, impartial observer. How unsubtle must one be to make people realize that this is bullshit? Yeah, I know that he told it to a man that admits he has committed many murders and wants to live somewhere where he won’t have to anymore. No matter what the context is, I still call bullshit on that, though. If he is truly this neutral observer, Kino should just tell the man to go there and judge that place himself. It might be a little d*ckish, but I think it’s appropriate for a neutral observer. Not to mention, it also as a wink to the viewers to think about this episode themselves without the show guiding them. Disappointing.

    3) This is a bit personal, but I also think that libertarian NRA gun-vana is a horrible place just like you. Yup, a lot of people don’t trust the police or the government, but they somehow trust your average Joe and Jane to hold a gun and protect law and order. I never understand those people. Not to mention, how is that country going to advance and progress? Or is it even sustainable? I think this country is shit.

    BTW, my main problem here isn’t with the country, but with how the story frame it as a good thing. I don’t feel that this is a neutral reflection so that I can judge this country with my own mind. The story frame it as a good, working system. I mean not only the protag is protected by this system, there also seem to only have nice, peaceful people there. (Sure, a system where everyone should be on edge monitoring everyone else for misconducts until the next mob lynch or witch hunt starts where everyone is their own big brother is peaceful.) They even got mountains of crepes in case you haven’t been convinced.

    I hate intellectually dishonest story like this. I also can’t help but feel the author is trying to have a cake and eat it too. He supports and likes this kind of horrible stuff, but he also doesn’t want to receive the consequences of his opinions, so he hides behind the thin veneer of “neutral observer.” What a disappointment. Kino no Tabi just ends up as another joke with a delusion of grandeur. I don’t give a shit that this is just the first episode. I’m out.

    1. E Minor Post author

      It’s just an incredibly childish and short-sighted view. That’s it. A society like that would easily devolve into chaos. Or even better, in order to secure their own livelihood, people would join gangs. Y’know, organizations that would have their own set of rules and custom, i.e. de facto law.

      1. Anon

        Kino isn’t the most realistic, and believe me Kino will visit weird “what if” places. I disagree though, libertarian land is peaceful even though Kino said herself she doesn’t want to live there. I think her closing words were just her typical laconic way of stating the results without passing judgement.

        I think this Kino remake would have been better if they had started with chapter 1 just like in the original series, and then done episode 4 to give the backstory. If you are not already familiar with Kino it would make even less sense and you would give up on it.

        In the original series Kino was usually one of those aggravating post-modernists, who was polite and soft spoken and didn’t appear to believe in an objective truth or that any culture is better than another. In other words Kino is one of those people who you can’t have a good debate with. That tendencies has been preserved in this iteration, although she does occassionally change the communities she enters (usually she doesn’t do it unless she was personally threatened with violence by the local culture though.)

  4. Something

    Sadly agree with Kino. I really enjoyed the first series, but that was years ago. I can hardly remember much, so I can’t say for sure if it was this silly and heavy handed but it was a disappointing premiere.

  5. Ana Beatriz (@anabchamploni)

    When I watched The Ancient Magus’ Bride OVA’s Elias behaviour was considerably less creepy. But now watching the main series I faced with reality of the facts: some old ancient dude bought a teenage girl who until the end of the series will be in love with him and he will reveal himself to be some hot youthful dude so in the end everything will be okay. You know, like In Beauty and The Beast. And so like in this story, unless Chise is portrayed like a really cold-hearted person, she will agree to end with the apparently ugly creepy guy because she is too grateful to everything he has done to her. Sigh. But the opening is cool!


Please refrain from posting spoilers or using derogatory language. Basically, don't be an asshole.

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.