This week we see the aftermath of Elias’ transformation and what he’s capable of when his bride is hurt. Read on to see what Karandi and I thought of the episode, and catch any reviews you might have missed at this link.
For not being an action series, Ancient Magus Bride gave us some incredible scenes this week. All around the episode was darker than we’re used to seeing, both in color pallette as well as content. Vivid scenes such as Elias cutting loose, bloody dismemberment, and some really twisted antics from the evil sorcerer remind us of the gravity of the situation.
At the same time, everything still felt appropriately handled. These grittier elements created an ominous atmosphere, with Elias’ fight and Cartaphilus’ macabre creations complemented the murkier setting. The overcast pallette didn’t skimp on the magical effects though, as the Blue Flame fairy’s magic and especially Ruth’s binding were nice reminders of this show’s visual prowess and generous service to fans who enjoy the show for its flashier moments. I might have had some issues with the tone of episode six, but everything seemed to fit right into place in this one.
On the topic of Ruth’s binding, we see some of the first genuine signs of Chise’s growth as a character. By taking him as her familiar, she chose him the same way that Elias chose her – not for her protection but to actively ward off the loneliness that defined her life. On top of that, we see a desire for her to hold onto life for both Ruth’s and Elias’ sake, and we’ll no doubt see her “family” becoming a bigger part of a life she increasingly wants to experience.
I enjoyed this more grim interlude for what it offered, but I’m looking forward to revisiting Chise’s exploration of magic and the fantastic encounters it results in.
Episode 8 was fantastic to watch and I really found myself swept away by the darker atmosphere and then the touching moments of characterisation that came between Chise and Elias and Chise and Ruth. As Weekend Otaku already mentioned, despite the overall darker colour scheme this week, the magic shone through and reminded us just how beautiful this show can be when it puts its mind to it. There’s overall a lot to really like in episode 8 provided you aren’t put off by a little bit of blood.
However, after the episode I started thinking and then that part of my brain that I sometimes don’t like very much, started poking holes in a few things. The main issue it kept coming back to was Chise’s seemingly magical recovery from being run through by a giant praying mantis. I kind of get there was a whole connection between her and Ruth and she woke up, but they didn’t really explain whether that physically healed an injury that really should have left her dead (or at least bedridden for a substantial period). I get the whole anything is possible with magic, but this just seemed kind of skipped over even at the end of the episode where Chise is physically tired and being carried by Elias, but doesn’t seem anywhere near injured enough considering what they’ve just been through (and no, I’m not just trying to throw the heroine under a bus for the fun of it – I actually really like Chise).
Other smaller issues that started my brain whirring around included Chise’s significant growth as a mage. I know we had a time skip where she was practicing and training and she’s clearly a quick study, but she still seems far more adept than what seems plausible in the situation. Then there was the will-o-wisp’s claim that they couldn’t be followed before Cartaphilius simply tells his wondrous creation to follow them (something about hair) and yet none of the ‘good guys’ consider the possibility that they might be followed or do anything to prepare for it. Plus, when they are followed there’s a mage, a sorcerer and his apprentice all just standing around while the injured Chise and her now familiar Ruth are left to deal with the situation. It is a great learning experience and all, and fantastic to watch, but surely someone else could have been useful in this situation.
Okay, I’m not actually trying to tear the episode apart. I loved watching it and I love how far Chise has come and that she isn’t just hiding behind Elias but is taking an active role in the story. On that note, I’m going to stop picking the story apart at the seams, accept that clearly she was magically healed when Ruth woke her up, and as for the rest, I’m just going to go with it for now.
That’s all we had for this week. Did you find Chise’s abilities exciting or were the leaps in logic a little too much for you? Let us know what you think in the comments and be sure to head back to 100 Word Anime for our Black Clover reviews.