This episode of The Ancient Magus’ Bride is a lot more relaxed than the dead cats from last episode but you can still see the gears in this story turning.
It’s particularly alarming that the sorcerer Matthew worked with has popped up again, and in cahoots with Renfred and Alice as well. I had a feeling he’d be a major character given how polished his character design is but it’s still an ominous revelation. I’m particularly surprised that he still looks the same after however many decades since Mina and Matthew’s deaths. Maybe his life-extending experiment really did reach a breakthrough afterwards but if that’s the case, I’d hate to know how he succeeded.
Meanwhile, Elias decides to confess to Chise that he’s half-human and thus can’t quite emote as much as a normal human can. He has a full understanding of what causes emotions but he’s not fully able to feel or express them. That certainly explains why he’s been able to appeal to Chise so well and why he can come across as disconnected from what’s happening around him from time to time. It does however put the nature of his relationship with Chise in question. I certainly buy Elias’s claim that he bought Chise so that he has a Sleigh Beggy to experiment on. And going through such lengths to care for the girl would certainly make harder for her to consider ditching him. At the same time though, I wonder if there’s a double meaning to when Elias said he’s hoping to learn something by sheltering and mentoring Chise. Maybe he hopes that Chise can make him more human and right now, there’s nothing compelling me to disregard that possibility.
Afterwards, we find out that Chise has fallen asleep again from using so much magic (two weeks this time). Fortunately, she and Elias get visited by the King and Queen of Fairies themselves, Oberon and Titania. Already, I really like the contrast between these two. Titania looks and acts as regal and compassionate as a queen ought to be (though her character design does spell “fanservice” an awful lot). Oberon, meanwhile, looks more like your everyday satyr than a king. He’s even voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi who excels at playing eccentric characters like him. Still, the personality he projects sometimes feels like a facade and there’s no doubt that he shares his wife’s interest in Elias and Chise.
Thanks to Oberon’s magic, Chise regains consciousness and something about her demeanor upon waking up seems different from how she acted before. It seems that the encouragement she got from both Nevin and Mina is having an effect on her now. When asked by Oberon if she and Elias has kids, Chise doesn’t outright reject the idea and even ponders if it’s something to consider in the future. It’s an amusing moment but one that really shows that Chise’s outlook on life is changing. Even more obvious is the fact that she hopes Elias’s experiment will succeed. Before, Chise didn’t really mind the idea of dying. Now, it seems like living weighs more heavily in her mind now.
It also appears that Chise is becoming quite fond of Elias. She knows that the man has been deliberately appealing to her emotions and yet she can’t help but feel happy about it. She’s dealt with a lot of abandonment in life and now, she finally has someone who’s willing to care for her. There’s a lot to ponder about this relationship but it’s definitely heartwarming to see Chise enjoying things one step at a time.
Thanks for reading!
The Ancient Magus’ Bride is officially available on Crunchyroll.
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