I’m really enjoying all of these isekai manga series staring women that we’ve been getting lately! Accomplishments of the Duke’s Daughter is an interesting political drama, My Next Life as a Villainess is a hilarious and self-parodying harem series and now, Fiancée of the Wizard gives us a sweetly romantic tale of an ordinary person reborn in a world of magic and wizards. Based on a light novel series by Syuri Nakamura, Masaki Kazuka’s manga adaptation of Fiancée of the Wizard is a light-hearted fantasy story with a lot of charm.
When she is three years old, Filimena Via Adina, the eldest daughter of a noble family, suffers from a severe, life-threatening fever. While she manages to pull through, her brush with death awakened memories of her previous life as a Japanese salary-woman in our modern world. Now possessing the life-experience of a thirty-something year old woman, Filimena’s grows to be a kind and responsible child. When her father’s closest friend adopts a young boy, named Egiedeyrus (Edy), who was being abused because of his great magical power, Filimena’s warmth and compassion allow her to bond with him in a way that he hadn’t with anyone else his own age. The two spend the next few years pouring over books of magic together and become great friends, until a terrible accident involving his magic necessitates that Edy be sent to an academy for wizards to train. Before he leaves, Edy asks Filimena if she’ll wait for him, to which she agrees, not realizing that this means the two of them are now engaged! Thus begins Filimena’s long engagement to the most powerful wizard in the kingdom.
Since she was a full-fledged adult in her previous life, Filimena is mature and patient beyond her years, traits that certainly come in handy during her protracted engagement to Edy. Since she’s a child with the mental-age of an adult during the early parts of the book, some of her internal thoughts wind up being very funny, especially when she questions the wisdom of her father and his friend for pushing her and this traumatized boy together, when, as far as they knew, she’s just a normal kid who shouldn’t know how to handle such a complex situation. Luckily, little Edy and Filimena wind up getting along wonderfully and they have a very cute dynamic. If anyone has concerns regarding the gap in their mental-ages, rest assured that Filimena is only interested in being friends with Edy during their childhood and basically stumbles into the whole engagement thing by accident. As they both grow older and stay in correspondence through letters, her feelings do start to turn romantic, though their eventual reunion doesn’t end up going quite the way she expected.
The dynamic between the two prospective lovers changes dramatically once they’re adults, thanks to their long time apart and the emotional defenses that Edy built up in order to get through his difficult time at school. Despite his acerbic tongue, I still enjoyed seeing Edy and Filimena together. The perspective in Fiancée of the Wizard frequently shifts between Filimena and Edy and the sections from Edy’s point of view really helped to give insight into his feelings and way of thinking. I also found Filimena’s easy-going attitude and good-natured acceptance of others to be delightful and she quickly learns how to handle the sarcastic, grown-up Edy. Her greater maturity allows her to deal with all the unexpected turns their relationship takes pretty gracefully and, while Filimena has her worries, I found the lack of any overblown angst on her part to be refreshing.
I’m a little concerned that Filimena might be a bit too understanding and mature, though. I like her a lot as a character, but she didn’t wind up doing very much in this volume besides wait around for Edy and I feel like a lot of things could’ve been easily sorted out if she just complained once in a while or, better yet, took some initiative. The manga also opened with a line about how, unlike other stories where people find themselves reincarnated in a magical world, she doesn’t wind up becoming a hero. This doesn’t inspire me with much confidence that Filimena will end up getting more to do in future volumes, and, if that’s the case, her placid acceptance of everything might become boring after a while. I hope she at least finds a way to put her knowledge from her previous life to good use at some point, because, as it stands, the whole isekai element feels a bit superfluous.
One character who I absolutely loved was Princess Clementine, a peerless beauty who is considered to be blessed by the gods and who expresses an interest in marrying Edy at one point. I expected her to be a standard rival character who can’t take a hint, but she immediately backs off when Edy makes it clear that he’s devoted to Filimena. She isn’t offended that Edy doesn’t show any interest in her and, instead of being spiteful, she actually gives him some pretty good advice regarding his relationship with Filimena. Now, if only he understood it! Unfortunately, interpersonal relationships are one of the few things Edy doesn’t get, poor boy.
Fiancée of the Wizard is off to a solid start. While I’m a little worried that Filimena will wind up being a mostly passive player in the narrative, I did enjoy her and Edy’s relationship and I’m excited to see more of the dazzling Princess Clementine in future volumes. If you’re in the mood for a sweet fantasy romance, I’d say this is worth checking out.
Final Score: 7 out of 10
For more information on this series, visit Yen Press’ website.
What did you think of this manga? Does anyone else feel like this didn’t really need to be an isekai? Let me know in the comments.
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