Well, a bear’s sense of smell is actually pretty strong.
The seventeenth episode of Mahou Tsukai No Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) has aired and I will bring you the recap and review of this episode.
The episode opens with Stella, the girl that Chise ran into last episode, looking frantically for her brother, Ethan. You know, the kid who stumbled into Ashen Eyes at the end of the last episode. When she brings this up to her parents, they don’t know who Ethan is. In other words, their memories of him were stolen.
We then cut back to Chise and Elias. The bear he gave Chise ended up sprouting flowers while she was sleeping because it absorbs her excess magic to form crystal flowers made of her magic that the Fae find delicious apparently. Then we get to see the rest of the gifts Chise got, with the important one being a bracelet that Angelica made to replace her ring and restrict her ability to use magic.
They then head out to go thank Simon for Chise’s gift when they stumble into Stella, who asks if they’ve seen her brother. This leads to them getting the full scope of information from Stella, who explains they came to visit their grandmother for Christmas break and she took her brother to the yard. They got into a fight and she said something she regretted, and now she’s the only one who remembers about him.
Elias then possesses Chise in a creepy manner to state that if she wants their help, she had to pay for it. Stella offers up sweets since she comes by once a month and a deal is struck. Elias then pops out to reveal that what’s happened to her brother must be something magic-related.
So they go to where he disappeared and Elias pulls out that magic charm he used under Lindel’s tutelage while Chise gives Stella a crystal flower for Ruth to track if they get separated. However, Elias’ charm gets burned up because someone is interfering, so they have to rely on the Fae to guide them. They make their way forward guided by different ones, using her crystal flowers (and blood in one case) to find out that Ashen Eyes.
He basically took the kid because he heard Stella state she didn’t need such a selfish brother, so he decided to grant that wish and took the memories of the boy away from her family. He then rubs salt in the wound by revealing she can’t hear or remember Ethan’s name since their bond was broken and soon she wouldn’t remember anything. And after that, Ashen Eyes decides to play a game by kidnapping Elias as well, telling the two of girls that if they can find the two then he’d free them. If not, he’s taking them both.
Chise calls him out in it being unfair since he doesn’t lose anything of value, but he just vanishes after telling her to search frantically with her “beastly nose”. The girls are distraught until Ruth pops up and gives them some words of encouragement. Chise then figures out what he meant by a beastly nose and sets off to retrieve her pelt, the gift she received from Ashen Eyes. Ruth is worried that she’ll lose herself using it, but she assures him that the place she belongs has been decided.
Back with Elias, he finds himself trapped underwater with Ethan (they can breathe though) and hates that the old creatures of the world are powerful enough to do this kind of thing to him. Ethan then wakes up and freaks out a little before clamoring over to Elias and calling his skull-head cool, which… Elias honestly doesn’t know how to react over. Of course, he then brings up Ethan can’t remember his sister’s name which shows the magic at work because he also said he didn’t need a nagging sister.
Ethan didn’t mean it, obviously, but Ashen Eyes didn’t seem to care. The two then get into a discussion about family and the ties of blood. Elias seems to take something away from it when he notices thundering footsteps.
It’s Chise, who has turned into a full-on bear to track Elias down. She turns back to normal when she finds him and then he manages to get out of the water since they fulfilled the contract. Stella, likewise, gets her brother back after they have a little talk about how they missed one another despite not remembering one another’s name.
Then Ashen Eyes pops up and states he likes to watch people try hard, before reminding Stella to watch what she says next time and then taking the flower Chise gave her as compensation. Chise promptly points out he was screwing with them before they return back to Stella’s parents and Stella introduces Chise to her parents as her friend. The thought of making a new friend nearly bring Chise to tears while Elias remains in her shadow as the episode ends.
This was a really good episode on all fronts. We see that Elias get turned into the damsel for once, Chise taking the lead, and Ashen Eyes casually being terrifying with erasing bonds and memories. We also see that the things from before have played into the future.
Elias has basically taken to watching Chise a lot more than usual after her trip to London, with justifiable reasoning given that Ashen Eyes was still hanging around to do things like this. The fact that he didn’t know how to react to the kid fawning over him shows that he still really isn’t good with kids as of yet. However, Ethan’s words do seem to strike a cord with him and further help define what a family is. It’s not just blood-ties, but someone you find irreplaceable.
Chise has taken her own steps as well and how she can relate to Stella, partly because she can no longer see her little brother. Remember, her father took him somewhere before her mother killed herself. So she wants Stella to find her brother so she doesn’t end up miserable like she had been.
As for Stella and Ethan… they’re kids. Kids fight. But the lesson that Ashen Eyes decided to impart on her, much like he’d done with Chise, was that you have to watch what you say. Words carry power and what was said can’t be unsaid, even in jest.
Looks like Joseph is set to reappear next episode, meaning we’re getting to a new arc. Looking forward to it.