With some help from Lindel, Chise finishes her wand and returns home in spectacular fashion. Read on to see what Karandi and I thought of the episode, and catch up on any posts you might have missed here.
As nuanced as this show can be sometimes, this episode felt a lot more straightforward to me than most. This was most likely because it was trying to wrap up Chise’s wand making excursion and get the story to a point where it can start its second cour. In the process, some more of Chise’s backstory was finally revealed after learning so much about Elias recently. Still, in its typical fashion, the story leaves some lingering questions to keep the audience wanting more.
Nevin’s reappearance helps facilitate some of the “talking to herself” that Chise was supposed to do while carving the wand, but it was neat to see that it took someone as wise and empathic as the dragon for her to make the realizations that she did. Chise’s admission that she only now has started to fear Elias abandoning her spells out the fact that it was her crippling lack of self worth that allowed her to take everything so easily up until now. This plays off the unease she has been feeling for some time now as a result of her cherishing the new life she’s been given.
Having Nevin remind her of the things she’s accomplished and those she has helped was a great way for her to understand she has a purpose to life and gives some weight to the show’s storywork beyond the amazing visuals. Her literal transformation into a phoenix when she returned to Elias shows that Chise is an entirely new person than she was before she met him – just in time for the many challenges that certainly await them.
At the same time, it doesn’t lead into the rest of the story without some baggage. The harm that Elias is capable of is set aside in this more optimistic episode and the important thing that Chise has to tell him conveniently slipped her mind after she passed out from magic use. Seeing that she had loving relationship with her parents at one point is also intriguing as we’re left to wonder what could have happened to make her mother fall so deep into despair.
This was such a great mid-season episode. As Weekend Otaku has noted it is a lot more straightforward and seems to want to bring the events of the previous episodes to a close. It even draws on Nevin as a way to reflect on the journey Chise has been on and how far she’s actually come since meeting Elias. Still, as Weekend also remarked, it does kind of shove a lot of the darker themes and ideas under the proverbial rug for now as it tries to bring a more triumphant feel to the story.
Despite the obvious issues with the way Chise first uses her wand (and the fact that Lindel is clearly just as terrible a teacher as Elias given he did nothing to stop Chise from attempting it), this was a truly exceptional way to show-off Chise as she is now. She isn’t that trembling child with her head hung low and if she could find a way to harness that sense of purpose and self-assurance she had in that one moment she’d actually be a pretty formidable person (magical or otherwise). Not to mention, the entire sequence was pretty beautiful to look at and there’s a moment where Chise is bathed in flames that was stunning.
While I know this one is continuing on, as a mid-way point I have to say this was pretty well executed. Then of course the after credit previews certainly promise some interesting times ahead in the second half of this series and I am very much looking forward to it.
That’s all we had for this week. What did you think of the episode, and are you excited about seeing the second half next season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.