The staff at Wit Studio is prepared for another stunning series!
Those who managed to make it to a screening of the first three episodes of The Ancient Magus’ Bride will already know what to expect from this title. A story of magic, tragedy and finding a new family, The Ancient Magus’ Bride is one of the most high profile additions to the Fall 2017 season. For those that missed it, The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting A Star is still available to watch on Crunchyroll and can serve as a primer of what to expect in the upcoming series since it features the same staff and cast as the TV series.
It wouldn’t be at all misleading to describe The Ancient Magus’ Bride as a passion project. Although it still had to go through the many stages of debate regarding how audiences would react and whether it would be able to find an audience, the man who pushed to have these questions asked was George Wada, President of Wit Studio. As a huge fan of the manga after reading the latest Mag Garden releases (Mag Garden is affiliated with Wit Studio), he sent the President of Production IG a handwritten letter. Although Wit Studio is larger than it was when the team initially created the world famous Attack on Titan, the studio is still a subsidiary of Production IG after all. The letter described Wada’s request that he could lead a greenlit adaptation of The Ancient Magus’ Bride.
As current events infer, the request was accepted, although not without trepidation. In order to gain an understanding of how popular the series would be, an audio drama was released in 2015 with the same voice cast as the eventual TV anime and OVA. After the audio drama was released, it sparked many fan requests for an anime adaptation, which luckily was already in the works.
George Wada is a huge fan of the original author, Kore Yamazaki and it’s common at Wit Studio to have the original author visit the studio regularly. Wada travelled all the way to Hokkaido to meet with the author Kore Yamazaki to ask for her assistance in adapting the story as faithfully as possible. Kore Yamazaki’s approval was of paramount importance to Wada. He even requested that the key visual be adapted from his favourite page of the manga, the page that persuaded him to adapt the series to begin with.
The series itself is directed by Norihiro Naganuma, who served as an episode director on Kimi ni Todoke, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Kings, and Real Drive, all shows produced by George Wada before he’d considered starting up Wit Studio. Like many new studios, Wit Studio productions are staffed by many of those that worked alongside Wada when he was a producer at Production IG. Connections are important, not just for individual shows, but in many cases, to the success of a whole studio.
Which is presumably also why Yuka Shibata was brought on to create the character designs for the series, having been the character designer on Wada’s Kimi ni Todoke 8 years ago. In a way, you could describe The Ancient Magus’ Bride as being a Kimi ni Todoke reunion in itself, with veteran background director Yusuke Takeda having worked together ever since Real Drive and Kimi ni Todoke. Those who have gotten the chance to see The Ancient Magus’ Bride already know the effect of having Yusuke Takeda and his background studio, Studio Bamboo attached.
Credited for some of the most beautiful series within the past 10 years, Bamboo is one of the most prestigious background studios in the anime industry. Whenever they’re attached to a project today, more often than not, that also means Yusuke Takeda will be involved as the background director. Directing the backgrounds for Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, The Eccentric Family, Sword Art Online, and Berserk: The Golden Age Arc to name just a few, it’s more likely than not that Yusuke Takeda has designed a bright and beautiful world that you’ve fallen in love with thanks to his attention to detail.
However, with a staff full of veteran anime creators, you may be surprised to learn that the music composer, Junichi Matsumoto has never worked on an anime before. The anime industry is constantly looking for new musical talents to participate in the medium and visionary directors may envision something that composers already in the industry may be unable to deliver. This can often result in new composers who haven’t touched the anime industry before, even including those outside of Japan. Music is a global language after all, and Matsumoto’s language is one that has led to him being invited to perform across Europe and win awards from all over the world.
It’s not a uniform rule that the voice cast of the audio drama should also be the cast of the anime series, although in the case of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, this was the plan all along. Playing the role of Chise, the shy orphan who turns out to be a potentially powerful magician is Atsumi Tanezaki. Just by looking at her past work, you can see that she often plays the role of shy or nervous characters such as Mizore Yoroizuka from Sound! Euphonium, Lisa Mishima from Terror in Resonance and Sayuri Hanayori from Seraph of the End (there are of course exceptions).
Remember Shiro? The creepy hooded guy from Assassination Classroom with the deep voice? His voice actor plays Elias Ainsworth, the equally creepy bone-headed magus who takes Chise as both his apprentice and bride (hence the title). His name is Ryota Takeuchi and not only does he play a magician, he looks like one too. Also known as the Japanese voice of Reaper from Overwatch, his most iconic roles feature him with a deep imposing voice, perfect for a villain. Or in this case, an unlikely hero.
The Ancient Magus' Bride debuts on the 7th of October on Crunchyroll!