Mahou Tsukai No Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) Episode 14 Review

A tragic love doomed to fail.

The fourteenth episode of  Mahou Tsukai No Yome  (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)  has aired and I will bring you the recap and review of this tragic episode. Also, I’m going to be highlighting points where they’re foreshadowing something just to show how good the author outlined things. Nothing big and nothing that isn’t revealed in the episode or the next episode preview.

Recap

The episode opens with Chise turned into a fox once more, now running freely as her instincts dictate and where she stops will be what she considers her true home. Elias wants to go after her, but Ashen Eyes stops him and states that if she felt that she belonged there then she would return. He also considers her being in a non-human form to be better than her human form since they’re so fragile. But considering she’s a Fox I beg to differ.

Elias shoots back that the Fae avoid him, but he hates being cold (lonely) before he gives chase after Chise. The latter continues to run, wondering how far she could go, before Ruth manages to remind her that she still has someone waiting for her and Elias approaches her in a new form to ask for her to stay. That allows her to change back and return to the house, where Elias explains that the pelt was cursed to turn whoever wears it into a werebeast.

We then cut to another scene of Fairy Ointment in a book within Chise’s room before she lays down, wondering what would have happened if she went to the other side. Ruth assures her that he’d stop her if she tried and she thanks him before bidding him goodnight. Then that Leanne Sidhe from a few episode go appears in her room and begs her to save Joel.

She runs out in her pajamas to go see the man and Ruth gives her a ride, only to find the door locked. She uses a spell to open it up and see that he’s unconscious and won’t wake up, but Elias appears and reveals that he’s almost dead. He then reveals that the very fact that the Leanne Sidhe haunted him by constantly hanging around was killing him, even if she didn’t feed off of him, and it’s too late to change that fact.

The Leanne Sidhe breaks down outside since it forces her to confront the fact that she loved him, while Joel wakes up to find Elias in his human form. Elias tells him he doesn’t have much time and a hospital won’t help him, so Joel asks him how much time he has and if he’ll suffer. He’s got a week at most, but he won’t suffer, so that’s pretty good by his account since he’s lived a good life.

We then learn about Joel’s past. He was married to a woman due to their parents but she died young, which devastated him and left him with his property. The roses in the garden saved him by giving him purpose, but then he spotted the Leanne Sidhe and found himself lamenting that he couldn’t see her one more time before he passed away.

Chise overhears this and remembers Fairy Ointment from her book, so she asks Elias if she can make some so Joel can see her. He tells her that it wasn’t made for humans and if the other Fae found out they would be pissed, but he’s not going to stop her since its something she wants. However, (this is explained better in the manga) neither Elias nor Ruth can help her since Fae hate being seen on an instinctive level and can’t bring themselves to muster the energy to help her even if they want to.

So Chise is basically on her own and has to use magic over the course of five days while Joel is being watched over by both Elias and the Leanne Sidhe. There’s only a 50-50 chance the Fairy Ointment will work even during the best of times and we see Chise becoming physically becoming exhausted. The Leanne Sidhe even asks her why she’s doing it for her, to which Chise reveals she wants the people who smiled at her to keep smiling.

The Fae themselves smell the Fairy Ointment being brewed as Chise finally passes out and fears she’s failed. Fortunately, she barely managed to finish before she passed out. Chise then hands the drops over to the Leanne Sidhe to do with as she pleased.

Our lovely vampire takes Joel out to the garden and applies the drops to his eyelids, allowing him to see her. He thanks for her loving him and then willingly offers the remainder of his life to her, which frustrates her since she feels that she hasn’t done anything but take from him without giving anything in return. However, he states that since his wife died he’d been living blankly until he spotted her.

The inevitable happens after that. Joel dies, his body disintergrating, though he’s not afraid since he’s sure that as long as someone was waiting for him on the other side there was no reason to be afraid. That leaves the Leanne Sidhe grief-stricken since she didn’t even get a chance to reply and she decides to stay at his home until the end of the world.

Chise can only cry in the end as they head home, a fact that leaves Elias feeling uneasy. Then they’re approached by Oberon, who smelled the Fairy Ointment previously being made. He asks for her to hand it over since humans aren’t supposed to make it, but the moment she does her ring breaks since she exhausted herself and her magic in making it and she start coughing up blood again as the episode ends.

Review

Needless to say, this has been a depressingly sad episode. Joel only appeared in one previous episode, but his relationship with the Leanne Sidhe was an example of a romance that you wanted to have a happy ending. It didn’t work out that way though.

By her very nature, the Leanne Sidhe drains the life of those she loves. That was why she tried so hard to deny that she loved Joel, to deny what her heart wanted. Then there’s the fact that she wanted to give him something in return for that love, which is again part of her nature as a Fae.

She feeds off artists in exchange for inspiration, but couldn’t since Joel didn’t care enough towards something she could give him inspiration for, she couldn’t give him anything. However, the fact that she haunted him at all still took away from his life in small bits.  He managed to live for decades with her around him only because she didn’t take his blood, but she still drained his life by presence alone.

Joel was rather calm about his impending death, all things considered. Death is inevitable for humans, but he’d accepted that since he’d lived a good life and hoped his wife was waiting on the other side. That’s admirable for a human, and he managed to pass on without regrets, unlike Mina and Matthew until Chise came around.

But the Leanne Sidhe is crushed. In the manga its made clear that she’s decided after his death to never take on another lover, so when she states that she’s going to stay there until the end of the world to wait for Joel, this is how she intends to pay him back for everything she took. She’s basically stating that she’s going to starve herself to death by waiting at his home.

I know the Fae are long-lived, but remember she’s referred to as a vampire because she needs to feed off others to live. Now, it might take a couple of decades or centuries, but she’s going to die eventually if she doesn’t feed off anything. So there’s no happy ending here to be had, showing that love is as perilous as anything else.

Onto Elias. His nature of being unfamilair with human emotions shows once more in how he bluntly told the vampire she was killing Joel and the old man was running out of time. Joel took it well, but the fact that Chise had to stop him from agitating the Leanne Sidhe shows that he’s even less human than she is.

That being said, even after Ashen Eyes referred to Elias as a failure born in the forest reminds us that he is something between them, he states that while all the Fae avoid him because of it he hates being cold. Which is that he hates being lonely. And guess who we’ve seen around him the most?

Chise, his apprentice, Simon, who he’s modeled his appearance after, and the mage who taught him everything. All of which are humans. Silky too, but she’s more like a brownie that inhabits the home and keeps it in order.

Then there’s Chise. This is the first time that she’s put this much pressure on herself trying to do magic, to the extent that she’s drastically harmed herself.  Five days of using magic, with no help from Ruth because he physically couldn’t bring himself to do it, meant that she was going to end up nearly killing herself. The preview of the next episode makes it clear that she’s not coming out of this easily, but the fact that she did this to help someone who was kind to her shows her growth once more.

Anyway, can’t wait to see the next episode since it means we’ll be going into the land of the fae, which is the other side she mentioned earlier in the episode. Love that foreshadowing.

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