I really don’t like this current season of anime, and as a way to increase my output of talking about ongoing shows I’ve decided to explain my perspective of the current popular shows (except for one) to show why I hate the discussion currently going on. This time let’s talk about The Ancient Magus’ Bride, and why I don’t like it.
When people watch anime they tend to prioritise every category of Story, art, sound, characters and enjoyment equally which is something I never do. I think enjoyment is really the only rating that matters and the others factors elevate that. So it’s not that the show doesn’t have aspects I appreciate, more that it’s not enjoyable to watch in my opinion.
Drama, emotional moments and flashbacks only have relevance to me if I care about them. And do I care about bland characters who exhibit very little emotion despite being surrounded by extreme magic? No, not really. This show is a slice of life show, a genre I dislike anyway, so without any story or characters to root for in this scenario I question why I’m even watching.
Being a slice of life show isn’t what makes me enjoy it so little since I’ve enjoyed many before yet a common theme in all the ones I did like was that they had likable characters and a decent sense of pacing. Whilst in many slice of life shows nothing happens, in the ones I like a lot of nothing happens. All the characters are drifting from one thing to another slow enough for you to appreciate yet quick enough to prevent boredom to create an entertaining story. In TAMB the pacing feels incredibly slow, to the extent that it’s just wasting your time with an abundance of shots which set the mood and atmosphere yet communicate very little.
The best thing about this show is the sound and visuals and is most likely the reason most people have become completely immersed into this world whilst I’ve been left out. The show has great visuals conceptually and a soothing OST to back it. Now I don’t really value visuals at all (I just watched a show in 240p because I liked it) because I don’t think a show needs great visuals to be a masterpiece however I won’t deny that they can really improve the story as it’s the way we view it from and our opinion can change drastically. One of my favourite art styles is from Kaiji where the characters have harsh outlines and huge contrasts which accentuates the world of gambling and how horrible it can be and a lot of that is communicated through art style.
So when I see the visuals of TAMB I see the generic anime, what every anime tries to look like and it really takes away from my experience considering how similar to everything else looks. The world looks perfect and picturesque but there’s nothing to really focus on and it just melds into my mind. The fact that it keeps this similar art style whilst delivering emotional scenes reduces their impact greatly and just prevents me from caring.
Something I hate about anime of this art style is how soft the edges and characters look as they don’t often tend to stand out. TAMB often has these sharp lines which I like but it never got to the quality seen in the first few episodes of made in abyss which had an art style I could appreciate a whole lot better.
These aspects that make the show worse combine to make an experience I really don’t enjoy and can’t bother to sit through, contributing to my opinion that that this season really sucks. I obviously don’t want it to be this way yet when everyone’s praising the season and this anime in particular I think someone needs to be there to represent the counter-arguments and other side of the story so that others who dislike these shows as well don’t feel as if the whole world is against them. Next time I will probably be talking about black clover.