Just as Chise is beginning her magical training under Elias in earnest, a disturbance at a nearby church brings them in contact with a new character. Read on to see what Karandi and I thought of this week’s episode and catch up on our other reviews here.
Those who watched the OAV may recognize Ruth as the black dog (see relevant English folklore) who comes to live with Chise and Elias. While his debut episode left viewers with a vague sense of what precisely Ruth is, this series has been great with revealing information as it’s needed. The methodical way personas and concepts are unveiled has become as intriguing as the plot itself, so there is little need for concern if not everything is clear just yet.
The way these relationships are developing, and in some cases paralleling, one another is equally compelling. Take for example Alice who, despite her zealous approach, is much like Chise in the sense that she is the naive apprentice who would do anything for her master. Similarly, Renfred mirrors Elias’ role as a master, proving he is willing to go to great lengths to protect Alice. I’m eager to see how these parallels develop further in the coming episodes.
The topic of Elias’ humanity, or the lack thereof, has seen a lot of attention in the last few episodes. His transformation (which was just incredible, cinematically) was the physical manifestation of the monstrous undertones the series has alluded to in Elias’ personality. This change signifies the depth between beast and being, and the difficult task ahead for Elias’ to gain humanity; if that is his goal. The last episode highlighted Chise’s part in helping him in that regard in at least a figurative sense. Given what we have seen him capable of becoming, It will be interesting to see what her role will be in humanizing him in a more literal sense as well.
The anticipation over the next episode is still ever present – not because I’m concerned for Chise (we know she’ll be fine) but because it’s so fascinating to think what kind of challenges lay ahead. Elias’ struggle for humanity and Chise’s role in ‘taming the beast’ will be intriguing to see unfold.
Weekend Otaku kind of said it all. This episode was fabulous in terms of how it built on the pre-existing relationships and began introducing Ruth into the story (I’d been wondering where he came from given he had been in the OVA but hadn’t made an appearance). And Elias’ transformation was everything you could want from such a sequence.
There were a few other things I enjoyed this week. Chise applying herself to her magic lessons was a joy to watch. And this sequence also highlights the cohesive nature of the story where even when she has failed at something that failure is used for a purpose later in the episode. I also enjoyed the return to the feeling from the OVA’s where Chise is walking in the graveyard and begins seeing many things before being attacked by a spirit. While she has certainly faced danger at Elias’ side it is easy to forget that she is fairly vulnerable when left alone even if she has learned some magic.
Mostly though this show does need to be praised for knowing what to tell the audience and when. So far we’ve been spared massive exposition dumps as the show has favoured taking its time and revealing information in easy to digest pieces with each piece leading to more questions which over time are answered in a mostly satisfied way. It means I don’t feel stressed that I don’t know something in this show because I assume that eventually all will be revealed and in an appropriate fashion.
The one thing I am concerned about is that Elias’ transformation might end up being a visual spectacle with all bark and no bite if the situation becomes a non-event next episode. With his form revealed it would be fantastic to get a bit of a taste of what he can do.
That’s our review for this week, now tell us what you think. Does it look like the series is starting to get more serious with its plot, or will we see a return to the idyllic magical experiences we’ve had thus far? Let us know in the comments.