Mark my words, it's a failure, a DOA. I can't understand how the hell you find that aesthetically pleasing, but I guess things like taste aren't totally debatable...
OK, I've marked your words. I can't understand how the hell you would declare a series DOA simply by its aesthetics, but I guess our priorities in what we want out of our weaboo entertainment are not aligned. *Shrug*
Violet Evergarden (probably the highest quality animation of the season, good if not totally new story lines, lots of feels)
Seconded. It's been a while since I enjoyed an anime this much.
Magus Bride (fantasy romance with some nice art and animation)
This anime confuses me. I like it, for the themes it brings forward; I completely despise it for the reactions I see among its audience.
For those who have no idea what it is about: it involves an Eldrich Abomination / Fairy buying an underage Japanese girl from an underworld slave auction and grooming her to be its apprentice in witchcraft and eventually its bride. Yes, it is eventually shown that she is a fey herself and that the Magus' interest in her was largely because of that (early on, the Magus seems to lack any actual understanding of sexuality, thinking of her more as a 'pet'), but the squick factor remains.
The girl is completely and utterly damaged, from her previous experiences with the supernatural and from the abusive family she was living with before. She was outright suicidal before selling herself off. And I appreciate the themes of belonging, and bewilderment, and discovery that the anime discusses. And I very
much appreciate the fact that the relationship between her and the Magus is not
presented as something outright healthy and shojo-sparkly, but as something complicated, confusing, abusive (to some extent) and multi-faceted, with the not-quite-human factor of the beings involved giving an interesting spin to the whole affair. There is a distinct dark undertone of Stockholm Syndrome throughout, as the characters grow closer and become interdependent, and I think these topics are handled in a respectful fashion, never exactly being presented as 'OK' or 'healthy'.
What utterly triggers
me are the comments in e.g. Crunchyroll along the lines of 'eeeeeee, aren't they cute' or 'isn't this romantic' or 'OMG I ship them so hard' or 'oh, isn't the scene where he tears her clothes off and washes her against her will
It isn't. The fact that the scene is rendered in chibi style does not
make it funny, nor does it mean that it's supposed to be read as such.Think of what you just saw, people. Still an underage girl, bought and sold.