1. audie says:

    I think your summation of the anime series is fair. It had potential, and also had its moments, but overall my opinion was that it was lacking.

    The way it started was simply too contrived, or even worse. There had to be better ways of getting Chise to jolly old England.

    The way it tried to take both the Christianity and the pagan fae seriously while also showing that they are opposed to each other simply confused the overall message.

    But it also had some of the best individual scenes I’ve watched in a while, such as the last flight of the old dragon Navid, and Chise’s phoenix transformation at the end of the first season.

    So, I agree that the show ends up being confused, and the “happily ever after-ish” ending didn’t really seem right.

  2. notleia says:

    Nerd nitpick: The Faerie Queen’s name is Titania rather than Tatiana, but I’m assuming autocorrect borked it for you.

    But yeah, concur that the whole is not better than the sum of its parts, tho it does have good parts.

  3. Steve in Toronto says:

    When I read review like this I wonder what the author is doing watching anime aimed at adults in the first place. AMB is obviously the product of a none christian culture and it is not surprising that the messages of this and many other similar shows do not dove tail neatly with North American Evangelical Culture. That’s fine it’s not a show for everyone but to call it a ” beautiful, but confused mess” is not just harsh but betrays a reviewer who is painfully unaware of how narrow their own cultural perspective actually is.

    • notleia says:

      If she meant it was a narrative mess, I could back that up. Not simple enough to be episodic, but too choppy to flow well. Also it does that annoying shounen thing where it purposely ends right on a cliffhanger-like point to spike the drama, but then it turns out to be a nothing-burger in the next episode.

  4. Haven’t seen this show yet, so I can’t say much about it specifically. But sometimes it can be good and useful to watch shows where the characters are confused in some way or another. People are often a mess at some point in their lives, and tend not to have it all together even when they think they do. Seeing stories where people are dealing with that sort of confusion can be extremely useful for learning how to understand and deal with those sort of messes. For that reason, maybe we need some stories that show that confusion, and the characters simply being as they are, rather than expecting them to fix all their problems by the end of the story.

    • audie says:

      I think that some of the “spiritual confusion” may have to do with the story having some contradictory elements in it. It’s a story that takes Christianity to some degree seriously and even sympathetically, but it also has the more pagan world of the fae mixed in with it, and as shown the one time Titania met the priest, the two worlds are hostile to each other, a hostility the story cannot resolve.

      And, in my opinion, the ending didn’t really help things. After the major issues between Chise and Elias that the last story arc brought up, the last few minutes of the last episode simply left those mostly unresolved to give a kind of happily-ever-after ending that felt contrived, that neither character was really ready for. That’s why I hope the manga will carry one past the conflict with Cartaphilus, and ignore the anime ending.

      • notleia says:

        More than likely the anime is outrunning the manga. I’ve read some of the manga, but at Volume 5-6-ish, we only got so far as Chise making her wand from Nevin’s branch.

What do you think?