200 Word Anime: The Ancient Magus’ Bride – Episode 9

Chise and Ruth get to explore a bit while Elias locks himself away in his room to hide his terrible state. Read on to see what Karandi and I thought of this week’s episode, and catch up on any of our review you might have missed here.


Weekend Otaku:

Although the scenes involving Elias had an ominous aura about them, the overall tone of this week’s episode brought back the light, airy feeling that earlier ones invoked. After the recent traumatic events, this slower-paced episode was a welcome respite. It focused on building up the narrative and adding depth to the characters as their personalities begin to change. Life as part of a family can’t be a one sided affair, and that is what this episode tries to communicate through Chise and Elias.

Though Chise and her new familiar, Ruth, are showing emotional growth, Elias is still struggling to embrace humanity. Temporarily trapped in a monstrous form, Elias secludes himself from all others. His internal conflict over how to embrace Chise in this form is indicative of how his side of the relationship has always been. He has the good sense to speak to her calmly through the door and leave her notes, but isn’t sure how to actually offer reassuring comfort. This is new to him as well though, because Chise can no longer be satisfied with him protecting her while she can do nothing to help him.

Image of a monstrous Elias leaning over Chise

 

While a closed door symbolizes imprisonment, crossing through an open door represents a personal transition or growth. Chise’s stoic reaction to Elias’ demonic form conveys the comfort and security she feels in their relationship. This emotion is described best when Chise explains how she used to dislike returning home while the lights were on. But now illuminated windows mean that Elias is waiting up for her. As Chise’s sense of family broadens, she has also allowed herself to become vulnerable. Through accepting comfort and stability, she must also invite worry and fear into her life for those she has come to cherish most.


Karandi:

While I found this a nice transition episode, giving us some sense of closure after last week’s darker turn and showing progress for Chise and Ruth, as an episode I kind of felt this had very little happening. In a binge watch of the series, this wouldn’t be an issue, but week to week viewing means that this week felt a little bit like marking time in this series for me as we wait for those explanations Elias keeps promising and for all of this growth to lead somewhere.

That isn’t to say there weren’t some great moments this week. The interactions between Chise and Ruth and later Chise and Angelica were lovely and really built on both of those relationships. Even the seemingly throw away interaction with Simon was a nice reminder of the connections Chise is forming and seeing Ruth’s response to Simon and his protection of Chise was really great. Lastly, Chise’s encounter with the fairy in the garden that Ruth described as a vampire, was interesting as it did make me wonder what other people are actually seeing given we as the audience have become used to seeing the fairy creatures surrounding Chise and Elias.

Image of Ruth staring and making Simon uncomfortable

Yet for all of that, it still kind of felt like very little happened in this episode as it really is a transitioning point. It was beautiful in its own way and raised questions, confirmed relationships, and established where characters are now in their journey. I’ve been thinking I’m going to have to do a binge watch of this at the mid-season mark because I really feel with the show’s pacing it would be better as a binge watch but I’ll have to see if I have the time for it as I’ve already got a lot planned.


That’s all we had for this week. Did the change in pace from last week throw you off? How do you feel about Chise confronting her situation more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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