200 Word Anime: The Ancient Magus’ Bride – Episode 18

Elias’ struggle with his feelings manifests more dangerously then before, but it’s nothing Chise can’t fix with a nice lullaby. Read on to see what Karandi and I thought of this episode.

Also, just for fun we’re flipping the reviews this week. Enjoy!


Karandi:

After a couple of weeks of stories that kind of didn’t feel like they were advancing the plot, we get an episode that is incredibly dense with events and information and processing episode 18 is definitely going to take some time.

Firstly, we get some follow up on the family from last week and a suggestion that they aren’t out of the story yet but that particular plot point is fairly quickly forgotten as Elias has a bout of human jealousy over Chise making a friend. This leads to an interesting scene in the woods that also brings in another character very briefly to help guide Ruth to Chise and Elias. While this part of the story is brief due to the necessity of so much happening, there’s quite a bit to consider about Elias and Chise and their relationship that comes out of this sequence. It is also the first time we’ve really seen Chise use her wand since she had that dramatic flight at the mid-way point.

The story then transitions into Elias not being able to wake up and the suggestion that maybe Chise did something to him when she sang a lullaby. In order to fix the situation, Chise visits Angelica and we have a brief encounter between Chise and Angelica’s husband which expands on the issues between mages and normal people as well as sheds some light on Chise’s current condition (which is apparently not good).

Image of Chise lying in bed with Elias and singing him a lullaby

There is a lot that happens in twenty minutes and as I said, a lot to process. Mostly because none of these points are complete on their own but require us to think about what has come before and what might come after to give them context. For a show that usually takes its time and moves slowly to each point and lingers, this episode really just felt packed. Yet, it never felt particularly rushed.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I like it as an individual episode and I’m not sure if it is a good sign of the pace picking up or whether this is a sign that we’re nearing the end of the season and they’ve realised they need to pack more content in to get where they want to be. Still, this episode felt kind of rewarding in a way because so much of what has come before was once again used to further the story and the relationships that we’ve been seeing built over the season feel meaningful.

All and all, I still need to process this one.


Weekend Otaku:

Like Karandi observed, I also felt like they were trying to put a lot into this episode that has me feeling similarly mixed on how I feel about it all. While I can normally focus my thoughts around a unifying theme with most of them, the various feelings explored and new elements introduced present something that might be better considered in a comprehensive sense.

A couple strong themes that do stand out are jealousy and selfishness. The first is strongly represented in Elias’ dramatic reaction to Chise having a friend, but the latter is tied to it. Chise, like many people raised in Japan, always wants to avoid appearing selfish. She has feared coming off this way several times in the series because of how much she depends on Elias. This makes it hard for her to understand Elias’ behavior because he has so little understanding of his own feelings that his envy-fueled tantrum is easily mistaken for hostility. Realizing that he’s causing Chise pain is what eventually snaps him out of it, and he sees how his being selfish can cause harm.

Image of Chise captured in Elias' tentacles

It’s a moment of growth, but makes Elias appear even more childlike, and we see the role reversal as pointed out by Ruth. Angelica and several others have voiced a negative opinion about Elias a few times thus far, but few probably have the patience or practice in sustaining hardship that Chise does. Their bond is thus transforming from that of master and servant to more of the family dynamic that the people around them have.

In terms of plot progression, Cartaphilus’ return is probably heralding a season/series ending arc (maybe with another chimera for Chise to fight) but we may have a ways to go considering there is half a season left. There is a lot to follow up on though, so the next episode can’t come soon enough for me.


That’s all we had for this week, now let us know what you think. Does it feel like the show is on its way toward wrapping up or do you feel there is a lot left to explore? Share your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to visit 100WordAnime for more from Karandi.

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