I think I’ve learned about myself over the years that I really do love the whole “monster boyfriend” genre. It’s a wellspring for marginalized creators to explore relationship communication issues over what is essentially unknowable. But it’s not without trying, as our plucky leads show.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride series is a cut above the rest. While the initial premise might elicit some side-eye—our young heroine is initially bought at some magical slave auction by the intimidating mage—it quickly does away with that threat and gives the lead Chise the freedom to explore this opened up new magical world on her own terms. And we quickly learn that Chise isn’t completely isolated, she soon meets a whole bevy of powerful side characters who are there to support and guide her, even against some of the Magus’ teachings.
Anyone else read the book The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley? While reading Magus’ Bride I’m very much reminded of the section of that book where princess Aerin finds herself shacking up in some timeless lakeside magical realm with a grumpy young mage who begrudgingly becomes her teacher, then lover….
So if you like that scenario but with a lot more actual Welsh lore references and Full Metal Alchemist fight brutality then I say read this beautiful manga!
Also I love when they boop.
Also author Kore Yamazake’s little postscript comics are adorable.