Mahou Tsukai No Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) Episode 8 Review

Anger doesn’t suit her at all.

The eighth episode of  Mahou Tsukai No Yome  (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)  has aired and I will bring you the recap and review of the episode as we see  Elias’ rage being unleashed, shedding his human guise. Will he be able to return to it? Will Chise be able to face him again?

Only one way to find out.

Recap

The episode starts where the last one left off, with Chise injured and Elias going monster-mode. He immediately goes to attack Joseph and the chimera while Chise ends up sinking into Ulysses’ memory again as he holds her. Isebelle, who he considered his sister, died from being hit by a carriage as other children chased after her and he waited by her grave under the assumption that she was just sleeping until he seemingly passed away as well.

After witnessing that, Chise wakes up to find him crying and Elias going at it with chimera by ripping its head off.  He then , in an ominous voice, refers to Joseph as Cartaphilus, which triggers him into his own dark mode. It seems like they’re about to go round two until Chise tackles Elias to calm him down while Renfred gats the little bastard in the back of the head with an enchanted bullet.

He then turns back to normal and we get some comedy as Alice gets lectured by her master over running off on her own. But then he tells her not to leave his side, to which she agrees. So it all seems to be well and good.

Except that Joseph managed to survive that bullet to the head and reveal he made another chimera from Isabelle’s corpse. That, in turn, pisses off both Ulysses and Chise, the latter of whom taps into her magic to conjure up some Tarantula Hawks to deal with him. Elias has to stop her from doing something she ought not to do before they pulled away by Fairy Spell.

The one who did so was a Will-o-Wisp that Elias  refers to as Blue Flame. It quickly makes Ulysses realize that he died as a dog and became a Church Grim, which in turn spurs Ulysses into making a pact with Chise to become her familiar. Doing so would make the normally immortal (or long-lived) fairy share everything with her, including their time, so when she died he would.

Before Chise can accept or reject it, Joseph shows back up and the group gangs up on him. Elias blocks one of his attacks, Alice shoots his arm off for what he did to Renfred, and Chise enters into the pact so that he can’t take him. The forge the contract and Ruth does his duty of putting down the chimera sadly.

Since he can’t be bothered to try and undo the pact, Joseph then decides to just leave after revealing that his goal is to end his suffering and pain. That being said, Renfred points out that he does so despite it causing other people pain. Elias adds that makes him nothing but a monster in human form.

Once he’s gone, Alice and Chise exchange numbers before the sorcerers leave. Blue Flame does his job of sending off the dead souls, revealing that chimera has an artificial soul as well. Chise, Ruth, and Elias then head off as well to their home, bringing the episode to an end.

 

Review

So this episode follows the battle over the black dog, which results in many things happening at once. We have Elias revealing his monster form, Chise using magic with the intent to harm another being, Ulysses’ becoming Chise’s familiar, and Joseph establishing himself as a reoccurring threat.

First off, with Elias. His turning into a monster was probably the first time we’ve seen him truly angry, which showcases one side of the emotional spectrum. Him then backing off from Chise while in his monster form and then asking if she was scared was a surprisingly human moment as well. That’s a lot of emoting for one who doesn’t have much experience with them, so it was probably based off previous experiences.

Chise apparently doesn’t mind it, which means that either she’s seen worse or she really does have strange tastes like Renfred suggested. Could be both, but I won’t judge her for it. But this is also the first time we’ve seen her showcasing anger to the extent that she did.

She was so fixated on taking down Joseph she ignored Elias’ words and absorbed a part of him on accident before the Will-o-Wisp intervened. She apologetic afterwards, of course, but to see her lose herself in her anger was an experience not soon to be forgotten.

Ulysses finally regained his lost memories in this episode, fully grasping everything that transpired. He was Isabelle’s dog who loved her but was unable to save her or let her go when she died. Dying by her grave but refusing to move on, eventually turned him into a fairy as well, a Church Grim.

He has not gotten over it, not really. That’s part of why he decides to immediately chain himself to Chise through a pact that will kill him when she dies too. But Chise understood his loneliness and understood his pain, opting to do what she can to both protect him and ease his pain.

Then there’s the Will-o-Wisp. He basically got everyone to get their crap together, helping Chise to heal and then forcing Ulysses to wake up fully as  Church Grim so he can deal with the grave robbing asshole who turned Isabelle into that chimera. He has some pride as a fairy, so he was a little offended when Ulysses asked to enter a pact, but does his job dutifully whether leading the living into a swamp or the dead to the gates of the other side.

As for Joseph or Cartaphilus, he’s a monster. He basically uses other people so that he never has to deal with the consequences of his actions, such as fairy curses or what happened to Mina and Matthew. Worse, he’s immortal  going by the story he’s based off of from his monkier as the Wandering Jew, cursed to walk the earth until the Rapture because he laughed during Jesus’ crucifixion.

That being said, he seems to suffer from some cognitive dysfunction given his sudden shift in personality. No doubt due to whatever curse is on him. The fact is that the magical world considers him basically a walking disaster and there’s really nothing you can do to end him.

Animation-wise, some points out the episode were a little dark. Not just in tone but the actual shading. But it quickly corrected itself when it came to that scene of Chise making a pact with Ulysses and naming him Ruth, done to beautiful music.

Renfred and Alice also turned out to be a lot more likable. Alice was just doing what she could to protect her master, while he was doing what he could to keep her safe. With that, they’ve become much more humanized.

Anyway, it looks like we’re getting a breather episode next week and to be honest we kind of need it with how intense the last few episodes were.

On a side note, this episode covers the first quarter of Volume 3 of the manga. If it’s spurred your interest in the series and you want to read ahead, support your local or online retailer by buying a copy.

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