The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm Review

The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm Review

The Wild Hunt

The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm is a 3-episode OVA. It takes place after Season 1 and leads into the college arc of Season 2. But, as an OVA, it’s by no means a mandatory watch.

If the content of this OVA was important for Season 2, that would have been pretty annoying. Why? Because these three episodes aired over the course of an entire year. The first one released in September 2021 and the last in September 2022. That’s not exactly the best release schedule if viewers need to watch.

Anyway, this OVA features the Wild Hunt. These are spirit horsemen who travel the lands followed by death and destruction. They’re a natural force that usually doesn’t cause problems — they clear the brush for new life to spring up. But, this time, disaster (lightning) strikes.

The Wild Hunt from the anime OVA The Ancient Magus' Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm
The Wild Hunt

During a summer storm, lightning struck the stone within which the Wild Hunt reside. This caused pieces to break off, which left the Wild Hunt separated from their leader. Without their leader, overstayed their welcome and trampled the forest. So, naturally, it’s up to Elias and Chise to save the day.

The thing is, Elias and Chise aren’t exactly the main characters of this OVA. It would be better if they played a bigger role. But, the real main character is some random kid from London named Gabriel. I’ll discuss Gabriel more a bit later in this review.

Chise’s main role in the OVA is to be the canary in the coal mine. I guess because she’s a sleigh beggy, she’s more susceptible to the Wild Hunt’s negative energy. So, throughout these three episodes, we can keep track of the Wild Hunt situation by how Chise feels.

Reuniting a Boy and His Horse

For most of the OVA, the Wild Hunt isn’t around. They’re scattered throughout the forest and don’t appear as a unit until the last episode. The only members of the wild hunt who are around are “Evan” (the leader) and his horse. Though, even those two are separated.

Reuniting “Evan” and his horse is the main plot of the OVA. “Evan” is with Gabriel. And “Evan’s” horse is with Chise and Elias. Before going further, I should explain why I’m putting “Evan’s” name in quotes for those who haven’t seen the OVA.

“Evan” doesn’t have an actual name. He’s simply the leader of the Wild Hunt. And, by leader, I don’t mean that he’s in charge. There’s a king of the Wild Hunt who stands above him. By leader, I mean he literally leads the pack as they travel. That’s why they need him.

"Evan" and his horse from the anime OVA The Ancient Magus' Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm
“Evan” and his horse

The name “Evan” comes from Gabriel. It was inconvenient for the boy not to have a name. So, Gabriel names him after the knight in one of his favorite stories. At the time, however, he doesn’t know that “Evan” actually is a knight.

Now, reuniting “Evan” and his horse is something that needs to be done. If it’s not, England is going to become a wasteland. For Chise and Elias, it’s also more personal. Chise’s condition will only worsen if the Wild Hunt doesn’t move on. But, Gabriel doesn’t view it the same way. He doesn’t want “Evan” to leave.

Gabriel suffers from some pretty severe asthma. That’s why his parents moved from London out into the country where the air quality is better. But, this isn’t something Gabriel wanted. He doesn’t have friends out here. That is until he met “Evan,” a friend he can play with despite his condition.

Gabriel and “Evan”

Despite the fact that I think this OVA is boring, Gabriel is a very well-written character. He’s a kid going through a rebellious phase because his parents are overbearing. At least, that’s how he views the situation. In reality, his parents are concerned for his health.

What makes Gabriel such a compelling character, though, is how he responds to this. His parents tell him not to run because of his asthma. So, what does he do? He runs, of course. His parents also forced him to move far away from his friends. So, he withdraws into his hobbies and fantasies.

He does the things we’d expect from a boy of his age. That’s why he’s a good character. And, he likes knights and magic and stuff like that. So, it’s no surprise that he finds this whole Wild Hunt thing to be exciting.

"Evan" smiling at Gabriel from the anime OVA The Ancient Magus' Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm
“Evan” smiling at Gabriel

Of course, because Gabriel is a kid, he doesn’t always make smart choices. For example, he doesn’t appreciate the danger that “Evan” and the Wild Hunt pose to him. Simply coming into physical contact with them is detrimental to his health. But, Gabriel cares more about playing with his new friend.

In the third episode, Gabriel even “decides” that he’d rather go with the Wild Hunt than return home. Though, it’s unknown how coerced this decision was. Gabriel was clearly being influenced by the Wild Hunt’s magic. But, it still may have only influenced him because it’s what he wanted.

Either way, at the very end, Gabriel snaps out of the spell and realizes his poor decision. He realizes that his family cares about him and that he doesn’t want to be away from them. And with that, “Evan” releases him from spending eternity with the Wild Hunt. Yeah, that’s the end.

Final Thoughts

In the end, I had to give The Ancient Magus’ Bride: The Boy from the West and the Knight of the Blue Storm a 4/10. It’s bad. It doesn’t further our understanding of magic. And there’s barely anything to the plot. If you have an hour to spare, I wouldn’t waste it on this OVA.

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Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out DoubleSama.com/support.

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