Follow TV Tropes

Following

Manga / The Ancient Magus' Bride

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fcd25c135faf173a4d8a67a82b3400b71507240910_full.jpg

"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 Ancient Magus' Bride (Mahou Tsukai no Yome) is an ongoing shonen manga by Kore Yamazaki that tells the story of fifteen-year old Japanese orphan Chise Hatori, a sleigh beggy who is bought as a slave by the enigmatic, inhuman British mage Elias Ainsworth. He announces that he will tutor her in the ways of magic... and then abruptly announces he's going to marry her. The problem is that Elias has a Dark and Troubled Past, and Chise herself is practically a magnet for terrible luck, so supernatural horrors quickly start bearing down upon the two of them. Between doing odd jobs for the local church as penance for Elias's former deeds, fighting off curious demons, and trying to find a way to keep Chise's power from overflowing and killing her, the two of them end up getting into far more trouble than they manage to get out of.

It is published online in Japanese by Blade Comics here, and Seven Seas Entertainment (A Certain Scientific Railgun, Gunslinger Girl) began releasing the official English translation in May 2015.

There's a 3-part anime-prequel written by Kore Yamazaki herself and animated by WIT Studio, released over 2016-2017 as extras for the 6th, 7th and 8th manga volumes.

A anime adaptation began airing in October of 2017. Funimation's Simuldub of the anime series premiered on October 30th, 2017. Watch it here.

Its Japanese name is not to be confused with Mahou Tsukai No Yoru.


Tropes appearing in The Ancient Magus' Bride include:

  • Adjective Animal Alehouse: Chise and Angelica visit one called The Horse and Hound.
  • Affably Evil: Even though they're only the intermediaries for it, the auctioneers are still involved in really sordid business like the sale of human slaves and sapient magical creatures. They still behave in a very friendly manner with Chise. When she decides to sell herself into slavery, they ask her whether she really wants to do this as opposed to gleefully jumping on the occasion. Later on, once they get the occasion to, they even give Chise the money she earned by selling herself.
  • Affectionate Nickname: The Fae tend to refer to Chise as "Robin", while Elias refers to her as "Puppy".
  • Afterlife Antechamber: Nevin, the dragon whose branch is used to make Chise's staff, connects with Chise and explains that the boundary exists to allow for meetings between the living and the dead.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: Alchemist is another terms for Wizards, who approach magic as a science.
  • Animorphism: Mariel can turn into a Bull for brief moments of time. This allows Chise to catch up to Cartaphilus during the final confrontation.
  • Arc Welding: The three-episode Those Awaiting A Star OVA—or rather, the framing around its events—is shown to occur during a timeskip montage in episode 13.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Averted. Chise is Japanese and has only been learning English for a few months at most (she is specifically said to be conversant but not yet fluent, and carries a Japanese-to-English dictionary with her in case of difficulty), but her English is never implied to be anything less than grammatically and phonetically correct (though most likely with a strong accent).
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: The Ariels, Fire Sprites and Vodyanois fit this trope.
  • Barrier Maiden: Sleigh Beggy are people through whom both types of magic (demonic and scientific) flow naturally. As a result, they are much more powerful, and also tend to die much more quickly.
  • Beast and Beauty: Chise and Elias, especially when Elias is in his true form.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: In the middle of an argument, Stella said that she didn't need a brother who didn't listen and Ethan didn't wish for a sister like her. Ashen Eyes heard them and proceeded to do just that. Once they are reunited, it warns them that they should always be careful because you never know who is listening.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Elias is polite and kind (if a little odd), but when Chise is in danger, his attitude changes fast.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Ruth becomes Chise's familiar, he becomes very protective of her and loyally stays by her side whenever she goes out, whether it's for errands or on a trip to the world of fae.
  • Bishōnen:
    • You probably wouldn't realize that Oberon was male until you heard him referred to as Titania's husband. This is actually quite common among fae creatures. Cartphilus looks like a girl as well.
    • Weirdly enough, Elias when the gang visits the auction house to find a dragon. Since he can't use his glamour in the auction house, he opts to change himself from the ground up into a pretty boy with long blonde hair and everything.
  • Bishonen Line: Elias' human glamour looks a lot like Simon, and an author's note says this is because Elias based it on Simon's appearance.
  • Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome: One of the larger themes of the series is that a supernatural ability can be seen as both a blessing and a curse depending on your perspective.
    • Most magi and wizards are jealous of the raw magical power Sleigh Beggys can command and their ability to attract fae. Chise, being a Sleigh Beggy herself, considers it a curse since being able to see fae tormented her as child, not to mention that Sleigh Beggys always die young, either through being unable to handle the magical power that builds up in their bodies or through ruthless experimentation and exploitation.
    • Many wizards would love nothing more than to unlock the secrets of immortality or at the very least extend their lifespans. Mages, however, are a bit more ambivalent on the matter since their long lives usually result in them becoming increasingly alienated from humans. Cartphilus meanwhile is looking for ways to remove his immortality, or at the very least remove the ability to feel pain due to how his impossibly long life has tormented him.
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Aside from The Fair Folk's ways, numerous characters in the setting fall under this, but most especially Elias. Notably, despite being reckless and occasionally almost suicidal in her attempts to help others and how overall accepting she is of others' problems on a dime, Chise isn't this, which confounds Elias to no small degree in his attempts to understand humans.
  • Body Horror:
    • Minor. Angelica has crystal fragments embedded in both forearms because early in her career she miscalculated while crafting an item and it exploded. She uses this example to show Chise what might happen if magic fails/is done wrong/is done above the practitioner's capacity.
    • Centuries in the past, Mina melted when given a medicine made from the extract of cat lives.
    • Chise's arm lengthens and swells when she tries to Mana Drain the Dragon Whelp. Even with help, it still looks misshapen.
    • Phyllis is bound to a tree due to a curse she tried to cure it of. The roots are attached to her legs.
    • Joseph's entire existence is constant Body Horror. His bodyparts are constantly rotting and he says that he can feel the insects crawling inside his own dead flesh. When they rot away completely, they turn into a nasty-looking purple sludge.
  • Body of Bodies: The Chimera that Cartphilus made.
  • Born Lucky: Elias believes Chise was lucky to be born with such gifts, but she feels that she was Born Unlucky.
  • Breath Weapon:
    • Ruth is capable of breathing out fire.
    • A Dragon Whelp devolves into a Wyrm and regains this ability.
  • Canine Companion: Ruth, to Chise.
  • Cast From Life Span: Sleigh beggy have tremendous magical potential, at the cost of shortened lifespans.
  • Casting a Shadow: Shadow is how a lot of Elias' magic works.
  • Cats Are Magic: All of them learn how to talk the more lives they go through.
  • Cats Are Mean: Only if you're a Wizard/Alchemist in Ulthar. They see them as deceptive power-mongers. This makes a lot more sense after what happened to Matthew and Mina.
  • Charm Person: Mariel has an aura about her that makes her be seen in a motherly light, likely playing into this.
  • Children Are Special: Elias explains that his dislike of interacting with young children stems from the fact that their innocence and brutal honestly tends to allow them to see through his glamours, meaning he can't disguise himself as a human around them.
  • Cold Iron: Fae are vulnerable to iron (which is part of their mythology). Threading a glove with it is enough to restrain an Ariel easily.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Renfred, who only accosts Chise once she's separated from Elias, and then waits until Cartphilus is distracted before shooting him in the head.
  • Cooldown Hug: Chise gave one to Elias in chapter 11.
  • Cool Big Bro: Ruth acts like this to Chise.
  • The Corruption: Impurity, stagnation from a soul that cannot be purified, will attempt to devour life without care for species.
  • Costume Porn:
    • The Chapter 2 title page shows Chise in an extravagant witch outfit.
    • Silky always wears an elaborately trimmed Victorian dress complete with bonnet.
  • Cry into Chest: In chapter 41, Chise started to cry against Joseph's chest after he finished the eye swap. He allowed this and even tried to comfort her.
  • Cultural Translation:
    • In the English adaptation, Chise is referred to as a "sleigh beggy" instead of a "surei bega". This in itself is a slight Cultural Translation, as it's the English spelling of the Manx Gaelic term "sleih beggey", a type of fairy.
    • "Sorcerers" are instead called "Mages", and "Wizards" are called "Alchemists" to further illustrate the difference in their approaches to magic(since in the western world, "sorcerer", "mage", and "wizard" are synonyms for magic users, while "alchemists" are something entirely different, as "sorcerers" and "wizards" are here).
  • Curse:
    • Chise falls under a Dragon's Curse by drawing in its power in an attempt to save it. The cost of doing so is that the power flowed into her and since a body can't handle it, she only has a short time to live.
    • Witches deal in curses, both countering and creating them.
  • Dark and Troubled Past:
    • Chise. Her father left with her little brother, her mother committed suicide, no relatives would take her in, she contemplated killing herself, and then allowed herself to be sold into slavery just so she wouldn't have to worry about anything. Yeesh.
    • Elias did something so terrible that, according to Spriggan, countless humans and spirits were lost. The process also turned him from being a Spriggan (presumably) to something neither human nor fae. This may or may not have involved him eating quite a number of people.
    • Alice's father got her hooked to drugs to turn her into a dealer and user, leaving her a homeless junkie until Renfred took her in.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Elias' powers are based on shadow manipulation and he's incapable of wielding light-based powers(like Chise's); he's also very capable of being threatening and intimidating people. Despite his powers' nature, he is a fairly decent guy.
    • Witches, in stark contrast to their popular portrayal, are in fact very benevolent, with many of them outlawing the creation and use of curses and instead focusing on finding ways to cure and remove them.
  • Daughter of a Whore: Mariel has the blood of temple prostitutes and is quite knowledgeable about tantric arts.
  • Deep Sleep: Chise usually falls in one of these after using too much magic, and then wakes up elsewhere.
  • Death Glare: Angelica gives Elias one when he says he bought Chise.
  • Disappeared Dad: Chise's father left with her little brother, leading to her mother's suicide. She was sold into slavery shortly thereafter.
  • Dream Walker: Chise does this in Chapter 33, ending up in Joseph's dream.
  • Driven to Suicide: Chise contemplated doing this via jumping off a roof.
    • Chise's mother actually committed suicide after something got to her and tried to make her kill Chise.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Shanahan, husband of Shannon. They even have the same hairstyle. Oberon also fits in his first appearance.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Stella and Ethan briefly bump into Chise at Paddington Station in Episode 16 before they become the central focus of the next episode.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Chise encounters quite a few of these, such as the various visitors to Elias' home, Ashen Eyes, and Elias himself. Ashen Eyes also hints that there are darker, more powerful, and more terrifying entities than regular fae lurking about.
  • End of an Age: This is noted in Chapter 3, with the death of the last Old Dragon. Elias muses that Chise will be the last of the Witches in her age and other magical things are vanishing.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Ulysse/Ruth.
  • Evil Genius: No matter which alias he's using and what he outwardly claims his goals are, the Wandering Jew/Joseph/Cartphilus is a scheming bastard ultimately only looking out for himself, with a seemingly endless line of victims of his experiments over the centuries.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Matthew was surprised when he found that Joseph, the wandering alchemist, was (or at least looked like) a small child.
    Joseph: Fufu... are you surprised that I'm a pipsqueak?
  • Eye Scream: When Joseph pops out his and Chise's in order to swap them.
  • The Fair Folk: Early on, one of them tries to steal Chise of to the Land of Faerie.
  • Fairy Companion: A lot of magic users take fairies as Familiars.
  • Fairy Sexy: Titania, Leanan Sídhe, and Chise.
  • Faking the Dead: Chapter 32 reveals that the Super Human Trafficking market faked Chise's death in order to avoid any investigations into her whereabouts, though considering her family, it was probably unnecessary.
  • Familiar: Magi seem capable of housing different fae as familiars, such Angelica's water-fairy named Hugo and Chise's Grim Ulysse (who she renames Ruth). A familiar uses their master's magical power to move around, and shares senses, emotions, powers, and time as well, so when the master dies, so does the familiar.
  • Fantastic Nature Reserve: There's a dragon preserve in Iceland that's enchanted so that normal people don't notice it.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: The setting introduces Mermaids, Aerials, Wolfmen, Fae and Elves in the first chapter alone.
  • Feel No Pain: Cartphilus' ultimate goal. To that end, he makes everyone else suffer.
  • Forced Sleep:
    • Chise ended up doing this by accident with a lullaby on Elias.
    • Elias does this to Chise when he attempts to transfer Chise's curse and pain to Stella.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • During the very first sequence, Chise hears herself referred to as a "sleigh beggy," which is why she fetched a high price at the auction. However, she doesn't find out what this means for a while.
      • Right before that, the check Elias writes out is in English and has pounds as the currency used. This tips the reader or viewer off that he's from the UK before Chise learns where they've been teleported to.
    • Whenever she uses too much power, she feels dizzy and/or falls asleep for days. It foreshadows that Chise's abilities take a toll on her body, and it will cause her death soon.
    • The fact Chise has red hair and green eyes despite apparently being Japanese indicates that she might have mixed blood.
    • The fountain shown prominently in the second ending sequence is where Chise confronts Joseph/Cartaphilus for the last time.
  • For Science!: Tory and the other wizards express that if the College had gotten their hands on Chise, they'd probably of tried to see what makes her tick; the fact that it's noted she would be a rare example of a living sleigh beggy doesn't help. Heck, this still doesn't stop Tory from pestering her like crazy. Renfred explicitly wants to avoid this by having her be a student rather than a research project, not that Elias is in any mood to listen.
    • Eventually, after she becomes largely immortal, Chise does take up the offer to be a student since they hope that the information they can gleam off her will allow them to save the sleigh beggy born from dying quickly, allowing them to live longer and preserve magic.
  • Friend in the Black Market: The guy who sold Chise on the Black Market is rather friendly to her, to the extent that she calls him when she needs help in finding dragon whelps that have been kidnapped for it.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Chise's powers mean that magical beings are attracted to her (and some instinctively like her), and since a mage's abilities come from tapping these being's power, Elias notes that this means she'll most likely never have trouble doing so. Chise herself is also highly sympathetic to any being that's in trouble, whether they be human or not.
  • Functional Magic: The story utilizes this to a fair degree, combining different systems, Elemental Powers, Wild Magic, and Background Magic Field.
    • Air Magic: Wind magic is good for annihilation and purifying.
    • Water Magic: Water magic is good for flowing, but also detaining and sealing.
  • Gecko Ending: The anime ends with one. Justified, as the anime had caught up with the manga, and while the manga has continued on to a new arc, no new information about a second season has been given.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Chise names her male dog familiar Ruth. She even lampshades it is a name usually given to girls, but Ruth appears to be fine with the name. Elias also brings up that the original meaning of "Ruth" in Hebrew is "companion".
  • Gentleman Wizard: Elias is a user of magic with a lot of discretionary income and dignified bearing (sometimes).
  • Good Parents: Chise's parents were this. Her father would protect them from spirits and work while her mother kept house and took care of them. Even after her father left, her mother still tried to take care of her until something literally pushed her into trying to kill Chise.
  • Going Native:
    • Shannon's backstory. She is a changeling who lived as a human for about fifty years, only starting to suspect something was off when she didn't age. Then she met her future husband (who was the human baby that she'd been swapped out for), and she learned her true nature. She chose to live among Fae afterward, although continuing her profession as a doctor, for fae instead of human now.
    • Shanahan, the human that was swapped with Shannon in infancy and Shannon's husband, has lived so long in the faerie realm that he's physically transformed into a sort of wolf-centaur...thing.
    • Titania also suggest this to Elias to prolong Chise's life as sleigh beggy tend to have short lifespan.
  • Griping About Gremlins: They looked like horned rabbits with goggles and an aviator jacket.
  • Groin Attack: When one of Alice's old dealers tries to get her back on drugs, she gives him one of these.Every guy there winced.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted. Alchemists have to work much harder than Mages to obtain the same effect. However, that is not to say Mages have it easy. Their magic depends on the whims of fickle entities and mistakes can be catastrophic.
  • Hates Being Alone:
    • Upon learning what loneliness is, describing it as a never ending cold that the summer heat and fire can't get rid of, Elias comes to despise it.
    • Silky as well, after the death of her clan.
  • Healing Hands: Lindel has this power literally in his hands.
  • Hell Is That Noise: In the anime, whenever you hear the distorted horns and ''Psycho'' Strings combo, you’re likely facing something that’s pure Nightmare Fuel
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The King of Cats offers to accompany a restless ghost into the afterlife rather than destroy it. Averted when Chise manages to Take a Third Option and open the gateway herself.
    • Chise does this basically all the time, such as when she jumps in the way of an attack aimed at Alice, or when she intentionally took the clearly dangerous magic of a dragon into herself in order to save it. Also, every single time she uses her magic to help others, at the cost of her own health safety.
  • Horror Hunger:
    • Played with, Elias admits he find Chise Supernaturally Delicious and Nutritious and that he probably likely ate humans in the past, but states he doesn't have problems not acting on such urges.
    • Although there is a scene where he is visibly slobbering over the half-asleep head of Chise, and another where he quite literally licks a bloody wound on her neck.
  • House Fey: The silky that looks after Elias' house. Eventually, it's revealed she was a former banshee who was given a new lease on life as a silky.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl:
    • Chise barely reaches Elias's ribcage. In fact, most people are dwarfed in comparison to Elias. The fact that Chise is a small Japanese teenager who at least one person thinks is 10 also helps this.
  • Hulking Out:
    • Spriggan does this when holding down Elias to avoid him going after Chise carelessly.
    • Elias does that when he believes Chise has been killed, as well as when Lindel is attacked.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Elias' true form.
  • I Am What I Am: Titiana and Oberon openly admit that being what others would consider monsters is what's in their nature.
  • I Am Who?: Ulysse believes that he is human when Chise and Elias first meet, having only recently awakened as a Church Grim.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The manga chapter titles are all English proverbs that fit with the events of the chapter in question.
  • I Have Many Names: Elias Ainsworth (which was the name given to him by Lindel's master Rahab) has a couple; Ariel the Fairy calls him "Thorn" on several occasions, he's referred to as the "Thorn mage" a few times, and Titania calls him "Pilum Muralis"(or "wall spear").
  • Ill Girl: Because of her status as a Sleigh Beggy, Chise frequently finds herself dealing with fatigue and getting bedridden. Then there's the fact that her days are numbered. After getting inflicted with the dragon's curse, her lifespan is even shorter now.
  • Implausible Hair Color:
    • Chise is Japanese, but has red hair and green eyes.
    • Episode 4 of the anime states the same about Chise's mother, though the manga doesn't confirm this.
  • Instant Sedation: Chise accidentally turns a cure for insomnia into a Sleeping Potion by using too much magic power. Comes in handy when she needs to knock out someone holding her up.
  • Interspecies Romance:
    • Chise is human,note  while Elias is some kind of exiled Fae in a magically created body. He has purple skin and an antelope's skull for a head.note  They're engaged.
    • There is the Redcurrent and Joel, a vampire and regular human who both genuinely fall in love with each other despite knowing what the consequences are.
    • Shannon, a changeling, is married to Shanahan, a human raised as a fae. Admittedly, Shanahan has turned into some sort of centaur creature himself, this is mentioned to happen to any human who spends long enough in the world of fae.
  • Invisible to Normals: Fairies can't be seen by people who don't have the Sight.
  • Land of Faerie: Tir Na Nog.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia:
    • Elias can destroy certain memories and offers to do so numerous times for Chise.
    • Ashen Eyes managed to eliminate the memories that a boy existed with the exception of his sister.
  • LEGO Body Parts: Joseph and Chise swapped their eyes in Chapter 41.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Chise and Ruth's relationship is like this.
  • Living Battery:
    • Chise is this, and her lifelong unconscious absorption of ambient magic is responsible for her visions and ability to see magical creatures. This also allows Elias to tap into her power and teleport them from Japan to England in one jump, and makes it harder for her to learn beginning magic, since she has more power than the magic requires and hasn't learned to restrain herself.
    • It's also not uncommon for wizards to use sleigh beggys like Chise as literal batteries.
  • Living Shadow: Some creatures that have white masks assault Chise in the Church Graveyard in Chapter 9.
  • Lovecraft Lite: The first major arc is loosely based upon one of Lovecraft's least Lovecraftian stories, "The Cats of Ulthar".
  • Love Hurts: While it is normal for a Leanne Sidhe to drain the life force of a man they have fallen in love with in return for artistic talent and inspiration, a Leanne Sidhe tried to refuse her love for a old man who tended to a garden of roses in order to prevent this only to realize how wrong she was.
  • Love Makes You Crazy:
    • Matthew was told sacrificing cats would help his wife, Mina, get better. He proceeded to do so and take a flying leap off the sanity train. Then she melted right in his arms and broke him entirely. This means that it overlaps with Love Makes You Evil.
    • Happens to Elias whenever Chise is in danger, or even if he just gets jealous. He takes it to the maximum when Chise is cursed by a dragon and he decides the best way to save her life is by ritualistically sacrificing 10-year-old Stella, one of Chise's good friends.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Ulysse to Isabel. He stayed by her grave even after she died, so that she wouldn't be lonely when she woke up, eventually dying himself and becoming a Church Grim. Afterwards he became Chise's familiar under the name Ruth.
  • Made a Slave: Chise sold herself into slavery to not have to concern herself with anything anymore. It's lucky that Elias is the one who bought her.
  • Mage Marksman: Rather, Alchemist Marksman. Renfred and Alice shot Cartphilus with enchanted bullets in the head and in the left arm, respectively.
  • Magic A Is Magic A: The rules for both mages and alchemists are made fairly clear early on in the story.
  • Magical Eye: Joseph's eye has magic within it that allows Chise to see her own past. Which in turn allows Chise to see into Joseph's past when she turns the tables on him.
  • Magic Music:
    • Lindel uses this the most.
    • Angelica later explains that songs are signals that magus send to ask or help, like sheet music. A Lullaby might just be a song, but if the purpose to strengthened through magic it works well.
  • Magic Is a Monster Magnet: In Chise's case, this nearly got her killed as a child.
  • Magitek: The product of Magus Craft, which uses magical power as a power-source rather than electricity.
  • Magnetic Medium: A side effect of being a sleigh beggy is that supernatural creatures will follow you everywhere. Oftentimes they just want to help, but The Fair Folk's idea of 'helpful' is, well, not.
    Elias: Fae notions of gifts and favors aren't always in a human's best interest.
  • Mama Bear: Chika, Chise's mother, in the past. One night she woke up to find some creature trying to eat Chise and promptly grabbed a knife to cut it in half.
  • Mana Drain: A Dragon Whelp does this to the crowd in the Slave Auction to age itself up. Chise does the same to calm it down.
  • Manchild: Elias is in fact this, despite being centuries old. Many of the older magi consider Elias a child by their standards, and Chise observes that despite Elias' claims that he cannot feel emotion, the truth is that Elias simply has no emotional maturity. As a result, he can't comprehend what emotions he's feeling at the time and therefore acts out when he gets agitated.
  • Mayfly–December Romance:
    • Chise is fifteen at the start of the story, whereas it's implied that Elias is really, really old. On top of that, Chise's powers as a sleigh beggy drastically shorten her lifespan.
    • Angelica and her husband have this sort of relationship. He's a plain human while she hasn't aged since the day they met over a decade ago, but states they should enjoy the relationship for as long as they can.
  • Mind Hive: Cartphilus has taken in so many pieces of other things in the past that its basically left a mesh of them within him, referring to themselves as it.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Chimera. And Cartphilus to an extent.
  • Monster of the Week: Any time Simon shows up, expect the duo to have to deal with one of these on behalf of the church.
  • Muggle Best Friend: After helping save her brother, Chise becomes close friends with Stella despite their distance and a six year age gap. She can only see Elias because of a contract they made, and Ruth because of his Grim form not being hidden from humans; Chise briefly considers but ultimately holds back from telling her about the fae that the girl's oblivious to.
  • Multistage Teleport: Elias said he would have had to do this to get from Japan back to England if he wasn't using Chise to get there in one jump.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Chika, Chise's Mother, after being manipulated into nearly killing her. She kills herself afterwards out of guilt, asking for forgiveness.
  • A Mythology Is True:
    • Most of the magical creatures are based in Celtic and Anglo-Saxon folklore; the fairies from Tir Na nOg, the guardian form of the Black Dog from basically every British Isles mythology (called a "Grim" in the English translation, which is a black dog, or other animal, that guards a churchyard from the Devil in Old English/Scandinavian folklore), banshees, brownies, selkies, Talking Animals.... Even Elias himself bears a striking resemblance to depictions of Arawn — Welsh leader of The Wild Hunt and Grim Reaper rolled in one. note 
    • The Pagan Goddess shows up in a chapter about Yule, and her child appears and is thankful for the Yule offerings not long after.
    • In addition, Titania makes an offhand remark that Simon, a priest, is a follower of "that foreign god" and legend has it that Cartaphilus was cursed with immortality by "the son of God", heavily implying that the Abrahamic religions also exist. Cartaphilus himself is apparently the original Wandering Jew.
    • Angelica's familiar Hugo has been identified as a "vodyanoi" - a water spirit of Ancient Slavic folklore.
  • Non-Human Head: Elias usually takes the form of a very tall humanoid, with an animalistic skull with prominent horns for a head.
  • Not So Different:
    • Alice claims this with Chise. Both had crappy lives but were taken in because they had talent to an extent, only Alice feels she's more incompetent.
    • Elias points this out to Renfred, with both of them taking apprentices who were in such dire circumstances they really had no other choice but to accept their offers.
    • At several points Joseph mentions that Elias is as much of a monster as himself. Doesn't have much meaning until Elias attempts to sacrifice Stella's life to give to Chise.
  • Not Using the "Z" Word: Fairies prefer to be called "Neighbours".
  • Offscreen Teleportation: When Chise is momentarily distracted by talking to a little girl, Elias vanishes into a pool of shadows to hide. He explains this is because children can more easily see his true nature, and he doesn't particularly care for them either, probably because it was a child who outed him when he was hiding in Lindel's shadow.
  • Oh, Crap!: That dragon whelp on auction that was supposed to be magically binded? It gets so scared and angry that it morphs into an full-sized, Impurity-corrupted, fire-breathing dragon. No one saw that coming.
  • Older Than They Look: Many magicians and fae folks are this i.e. Lindel who is several centuries old and his master, a woman who could pass as mid-to-late 20s.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: The silky used to be one of these.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The dragons, or at least the Wu-Li, turn into trees and grass as they age and die. And they live without regrets, use Telepathy, and can share their memories, even with other creatures.
  • Transhuman: Several members of the college have transformed their bodies to be more than human, with there being about 5 levels of transformation. They're called Muryans.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: Titania and Oberon are apparently the same species as Ariel and the "neighbors". Elias seems to have originated from Tír na nÓg and was exiled from it for some as-yet unrevealed reason, though Titania and Oberon appear to have a friendly relationship with him. All of them will deceive you if given the chance (though Elias appears to prefer lying by omission than deliberately telling an untruth).
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: There are two types of werewolves (or werebeasts in general): Those that are born into it and those who are given a Curse that turns them into a mindless animal. A pelt from the latter can inflict it upon another person.
  • The Phoenix: After constructing her wand (and getting some not-so-subtle nudges from various people to have a talk with Elias), Chise tries to return home by performing the spell he used when teleporting them from Japan to England in the first issue. However, since she's in a volcanic region populated by fire sprites, they 'help' her by instead forming a phoenix effect around her and letting her fly back to England that way.
  • Placeholder Titles: The broadcast version of the anime's second opening is basically a clipshow of the first half. The actual animation sequence wasn't ready until the final episode.
  • Primal Fear: Chise is afraid of thunderstorms.
  • Pointy Ears: Some of the Fae have this.
  • Power Incontinence: The first few times Chise uses her powers, it knocks her out for a few days at a time.
  • Power Limiter: Elias has Angelica make a ring that limits the amount of magic that Chise produces naturally to extend her life. After it breaks, they move up to a bracelet.
  • Psychopomp: Will O' The Wisp has to take people to the afterlife when he's not leading people into swamps.
  • The Quiet One: Ainsworth's house silky is one.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Magician folks have long lifespan. Elias, few centuries old mage, is regarded as young by magician's standard. A witch who has been around since Queen Marie lost her head is considered even younger.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Surprisingly enough, the Church. They turn a blind eye to Elias' existence in return for Elias occasionally providing assistance to cases the Church can't handle on its own.
  • The Red Mage: Sleigh Beggys can do both types of magic and are more powerful than most other mages for the cost of this being Cast from Lifespan.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: A lot of the fairy creatures and elemental spirits that are drawn to Chise are weirdly cute. The "cotton flies" that practically swarm around her are adorable, looking like a weird cross between a moth and a sheep. (They even go "baa" and can be sheared.)
  • Scars Are Forever:
    • Played with. While Renfred can easily have his facial scars and missing arm healed and replaced through magic, he decides to keep them as reminders of his mistakes.
    • A magical version with Chise. Namely the marks of Dragon's Curse on her arm remain even after taking in Cartaphilus' curse, leaving her left arm permanently blackened even after the deformities die down.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • The fae love doing this to Chise. Shannon nearly drowns her in order to get her to fight back so she can heal herself.
    • Ashen Eyes seems rather fond of this as well, such as by turning Chise into a fox to see if she's truly attached to Elias, and kidnapping Elias and Ethan and then challenging Chise and Stella to use their familial bonds to find them. However, Ashen Eyes' main motivation for these tests is less about teaching his victims a valuable lesson and more because he thinks it's fun.
  • See-Thru Specs: The stone that Elias gave Chise can be used like this when peered through, granting her an even stronger form of True Sight than she already has.
  • Selkies and Wereseals: Lindel's familiar Merituuli is a selkie, having the appearance of a small child wearing an oversized sealskin coat.
  • Shapeshifting: Ruth can shift between human and Chruch Grim, while Elias can shift as he sees fit. For an involuntary example, the Ashen Eyes uses a fox pelt to change Chise into a fox as a Secret Test of Character in Chapter 20.
  • She Is the King: The King of Cats is female.
  • Shipper on Deck: EVERYONE in the manga is supporting Elias and Chise's romance. Even when one of them denies it, other characters play it off with, "if you say so," or, "call it what you like." Special mention goes to Queen Titania and King Oberon, who take it up a notch by wagering not on when/if Elias and Chise will marry, but on how many children they will have. Oberon even asks the couple outright.
  • Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Chise. At least half green-eyed after the events of chapter 41.
  • Skull for a Head: Elias has some kind of canine skull.
  • Slave Collar: Chise is shown in the first scene shackled and collared at the slave auction. Shortly after purchasing her, Elias says there is no need for them and dissolves the chains and collar with magic.
  • Smug Snake: Renfred is certainly arrogant enough to qualify. It later becomes apparent that it's a facade.
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Chise met three dragon hatchlings and a few weeks later one of the dragons is big enough so Chise can ride it/his/her back. Elias explains that dragons and other fae folks can grow as fast as they want and stagnate as long as they want.
  • Spirit World: Elias explains that there are some different layers to the world only accessible to those who know how to reach it. One of them is this world.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Elias compares mages to computer programmers and alchemists to hackers. Chise thinks this is sort of a weird comparison to make.
  • Super-Deformed: The manga and anime go into this art style sometimes during humorous moments, such as Elias's fairy housekeeper staring menacingly at them both to finish breakfast. It's fairly amusing when you see Elias's scary skull-face boiled down to little more than a cutesy rectangle with an eye and squiggly mouth.
  • Super Human Trafficking: The story starts with Elias buying Chise from an auction that deals in magical creatures.
  • Surreal Symbolic Heads: Elias has the skull of an antelope for a head. He can temporarily cover it with a glamour, to appear human.
  • Taking the Bullet:
    • Chise pushes Alice out of the way when the magician attacks her in Chapter 10, taking on a heavy wound in the process.
    • Later on, Elias pushes Chise out of the way of a dragon's fireball, although Chise ends up being worse for wear.
  • This Is My Human:
    • The King of Cats is owned by a normal little girl who does not know the cat's true nature. The King sees the girl as a daughter and feels responsible for her safety.
    • A previous King of Cats saw Matthew and Mina as his as well. However, when Matthew snapped the King had no choice but to put him down and Curse his soul into Impurity.
  • Title Montage: The first opening ends with a montage of scenes from the actual episodes. The second opening takes this to a greater extent, with almost the entire opening sequence consisting of scenes from the first half of the show.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Oberon is a masochist.
  • To Serve Man : Elias might have eaten humans in the past (he's not sure himself) before his interaction with Lindel.
  • Training the Gift of Magic: Elias buys Chise in the first place to teach her magic. He says it's a common last resort since magically talent children are rare in the modern era.
  • Troll: "Afterwards, Elias told her a ton of ghost stories."
  • True Sight: Mages can see the fae by trade, but there are also aids like Fairy Salve. However, because fae hate being seen this can't be made with their help (as in they literally can't muster up the strength to help).
  • Unequal Rites:
    • Alchemists, who treat magic as a science that can be learned by anyone, with enough practice, use a form of Hermetic Magic; Mages are born with their powers, which stem from communication with the world of Wild Magic and are therefore both much more potent and much more dangerous to learn. It is also said that Alchemists cannot step on the territory of Mages.
    • In addition, Mages use magic by absorbing ambient magical energy, while Alchemists use their own internal energy. A sleigh beggy like Chise uses both, but there is no support for the organs and thus their bodies fail on them quickly.
    • Elias later reveals that its possible for an Alchemist to become a Mage via having an affinity with the neighbors, though its mostly theoretical and they must succeed in negotiations with them.
  • Unholy Ground: On a small island in the middle of a lake, a man who routinely killed cats was turned on and killed by an army of cats. Now that island is cursed. At least until Chise escorts them to the afterlife.
  • Vagina Dentata: The spider/corpse creature that Cartphilus resurrects has a vertical, fanged mouth between her legs.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: Cartphilus takes an interest in Chise in Chapter 37 due to her cursed arm.
  • Walk on Water: Chise does this to reach a cursed island in the middle of a lake that needs to be purified.
  • Wandering Jew: Cartphilus turns out to be this.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 36, where the results of Chise's attempts to quell the dragon whelp's curse are shown in their Body Horror; a grossly misshapen and clawed arm, and the likelihood of not living to see the next year.
    • Chapter 39, where Elias resolves to sacrifice Stella by transferring Chise's declining health and curse onto her, with Ruth agreeing to it as well as they both refuse to tell her about it. Things only go From Bad to Worse from there in the following chapter, as Cartphilus has Demonic Possession over Stella, ruins Elias' plan, and Chise ultimately warps with him to find an alternate deal - else Stella would die.
    • Chapter 42, where Chise's memories start to return of her past and reveals that her mother was coaxed into trying to kill her by some kind of spirit, driving her to suicide when she snapped out of it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Nevin the dragon gives Chise one when she relives her memories of her Dark and Troubled Past, stating that the living should never envy the dead and that he is glad she hesitated when she was Driven to Suicide because she would never have met Elias and had a chance to improve her life.
    • Chise gives one to Elias and Ruth after finding out their plan to sacrifice Stella to save Chise from the Dragon's Curse stating that if he's going to do something like that and use Exact Words to go back on his promise then she will not follow him any longer. Considering her vow to stay with Elias until he no longer wanted her this comes as especially brutal.
  • Wife Husbandry: It is common for a magician master to marry his/her disciple. So this is another reason Elias takes Chise under his wings as his master Lindel told him it was custom for Masters to marry their apprentices.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: Blue Wildfire faeries, which loiter around graveyards and woods and bewilder humans. They also act as guides for the dead to escort them to the afterlife. This allows them to deal with the wraiths that Cartaphilus calls up.
  • Witch Species: The sleigh beggy. It's noted that there are more of them born than natural mages, but they die so quickly that usually their numbers can't keep up.
    • It's also heavily implied that, while almost anyone can become an alchemist, only people born into magic can become mages. However, due to persecution after the last war, they are a dying race.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Lindel implies that mages live a lot longer than normal humans. It's later confirmed by Angelica's husband, who mentions she looks the same as the day he met her over a decade ago. Ironically, actual wizards just live regular human lifespans.
  • Wizarding School: In theory, the College is supposed to be one. However, Renfred cynically points out the College is just a front for older wizards to exploit the young with magical talent and that they've forgotten their original mission in educating the next generation of wizards and mages. It's no surprise why Elias doesn't want Chise anywhere near the place.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: Chise goes to the land of the Fae (the anthill in specific) in order to be healed from using her magic too much to make the Faerie Salve. She spends a few days there at best, but comes out to find that she's lost two seasons.
  • Yin-Yang Clash: Downplayed. Cartaphilus/Joseph is cursed to be unable to die, no matter how decayed or broken his body becomes. Chise gets cursed to die within a year (on top of her already short life-span as a Sleigh Beggy) by absorbing the magic of a rampaging dragon. Joseph offers to exchange each other's curses with organ transplant, because they're equally potent, but diametrically opposite, so they might be able negate each other. For Chise at least, it works.
  • You Monster!:

Alternative Title(s): Mahou Tsukai No Yome, The Ancient Magus Bride

Top