Chise has a delightful lark as a fox and helps an unlikely couple find some measure of closure. See what Karandi and I thought of this week’s episode of The Ancient Magus’ Bride, and be sure to catch up on any reviews you missed here.
As expected, the cliffhanger situation at the end of last week comes to a quick and fairly innocuous end. Chise affirms once again that her desired place is with Elias, even when her most base instincts urge her to find freedom as soon as she’s given the power to do so. It’s a sweet sentiment, and we get some exposition on what that fox pelt is actually about, but that’s really all we get before moving onto the main subject of the episode.
While doing this doesn’t make for the most riveting week to week drama, the show’s tendency toward disjointed narrative flow works in interesting ways over the course of several episodes. Recall that Joel and the vampire were introduced a few episodes back, when Chise and Ruth were searching for a missing Elias. They added little more to that episode than a comparison to Chise and Elias’ relationship and a bit of context. Chise could have helped and met them all in one episode, but splitting up the interactions does more to show her growth because she assists them after Nevin inspires and urges her to value her part in others’ lives.
This plays into how the episode ends, with another unsurprising cliffhanger, as we see the inevitable result of Chise using her magic too liberally. The important thing to note is that Chise aided the vampire while knowing the risks, showing more value in herself and her ability to support those in need. This cliffhanger might have more substance in the coming episodes since Chise’s early demise was one of the major plot points of the series. Ashen Eye will probably be important later, at which time his introduction at this point should make more sense. As I often say, this show has yet to let me down so I have no problem being patient.
Okay, the endless ending in a cliffhanger moments and then resolving the tension in less than five minutes thing this show does is starting to annoy a little bit. It wouldn’t bother me in a binge watch of the series but week to week it just feels like a cheap grab for discussion and the like and it means episodes never end on a satisfying note. What makes it a little worse is that the resolutions to these cliffhangers are never as exciting as what people have speculated so each reveal feels kind of like a let down. We’ve had a whole week to think about all the amazing ways this development could go and then this is what we get.
Chise transforming into a fox was cool. And then she runs a little bit, we get some beautiful forest scenery, a two second conversation with Ruth, mostly to remind us he is in the story, and then Elias tells Chise he’s cold and she agrees that she also hates being cold and everything is fine. That is literally all that her transformation amounts to, a reiteration of a point we got when Chise returned from making her wand.
However, the rest of the episode I kind of loved. The return of the vampire and Joel into the story was really nice as it gave that previous encounter a bit more weight and the story here was nicely dramatic and emotional. I was really enjoying it and they even resolved that storyline within the episode so I was actually having a great time watching.
And then they give us another cliffhanger ending with Chise. As Weekend has said, maybe this one has a bit more substance given it connects to the ongoing issue of what Chise is and all the hints we got earlier about her life being short and if this was the first time the show had pulled a dramatic cliffhanger it would have been an incredibly tense moment to end an episode. However, this show has made us immune to the emotional impact of delaying the resolution to a crisis by playing the same card over and over again. While I’m interested in what will happen to Chise or what Elias will do about the current situation, I’m not going to expect anything more than the usual quick resolve until we get to next week.
That’s all we had, now tell us what you think. Are the cliffhangers doing anything for you anymore? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to check out 100 Word Anime for more from Karandi.
Reblogged this on 100WordAnime and commented:
Weekend Otaku and I share our thoughts on the most recent episode of The Ancient Magus Bride. Be sure to check it out on Weekend’s blog.
I get so deeply drawn into the emotional arcs of each episode, and I mean I’m regularly reduced to a sobbing wreck, that the cliffhangers for the sake of a hook are even more of a shame. Like, gosh darn it show, you don’t have to *try* to get me involved in the next episode, I’m already there!
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Oh, I completely agree. Even when it’s a single episode’s worth of buildup, this show does a great job with its emotional hooks and has had some fantastic moments. That’s probably why these cliffhangers annoy me, because this show can and does do better.
Hope everything is going well, Elisabeth. It’s great to hear from you again.