2016’s The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star is an OVA worth watching, but where exactly does it sit in the series’ timeline?
The Ancient Magus’ Bride has been ongoing since 2013, but the franchise really hit its stride with the 2017 release of the television anime. Unbeknownst to some, however, there was actually an animated adaptation before that series came out: 2016’s The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star, from Wit Studio, who would later handle the show as well as OVA.
It’s in continuity with the later anime series, though this, along with its designation as a “prequel” makes its chronological placement a bit confusing. Here’s when exactly the OVA takes place in the series’ story and when viewers should watch it if they want to watch things in order.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting A Star’s Origin & Plot
The story of the three-part OVA has Chise already somewhat settled into her life with the magical, skull-headed Elias. She finds a book titled The Lonely Little Star, which reminds her of her troubled life before meeting him. From there, she finds a magical library in the forest and becomes entangled in the machinations of the magician that maintains it.
The series was bundled with the sixth, seventh and eighth manga volumes, with the third part releasing a month before the full-length animated series began. This confuses many fans as to when, if at all, the events of the OVA play a part in the show’s continuity. The fact that it has a semi-fully formed Chise while also involving her past only makes things worse. Luckily, people who want to watch the productions in their correct order will find that the story of one is essentially halfway in between the other.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Watch Order – When The OVA Takes Place
Though The Ancient Magus’ Bride: Those Awaiting a Star is billed as a prequel to the show, a more accurate term would be “interquel.” Its events roughly fall in place with the middle of the series, approximately around episodes 12-13. These episodes reflect on Chise’s past, her parents and her growing relationship with Elias. The OVA thematically matches these elements, and are far too related to them to be a true prequel.
Viewers would thus be best off watching the OVA in the middle of The Ancient Magus’ Bride’s first 24-episode season. They could also watch the three-part OVA after watching all of the first season of the show without necessarily missing anything. In fact, the extra backstory might be more impactful after watching the whole story. One could arguably watch Those Awaiting a Star before watching any of the main series, though this would be a bit like starting a book halfway through. Both the anime and the preceding OVA are currently available on Crunchyroll, so fans can now stream them and enjoy them in any order.