Mahou Tsukai No Yome (The Ancient Magus’ Bride) Episode 18 Review

…I can hear the doujinshi artists in Japan already drawing away.

The eighteenth episode of  Mahou Tsukai No Yome  (The Ancient Magus’ Bride)  has aired and I will bring you the recap and review of this episode.

Recap

The episode opens with Stella coming to visit Chise the next morning, who is surprised at the arrival. Stella presents the sweets she promised to keep up her contract. Since she doesn’t have any magic ability, she can’t see the creatures clinging to her as Chise invites her up to her room and they talk with Chise admitting its been a long time since she made a friend so she’s a little awkward. Stella ends giving her some life advice, which is weird since she’s ten and Chise is sixteen, but they have a really good conversation until Chise spots Elias leaving the house in his beast form.

Chise sends Ruth to take Stella home while she follows Elias by transforming into a wolf, until he takes her into a sealed off place while in his tentacle form. Elias reveals that he wanted Stella to go away after listening to how happy her company made Chise, but he felt happy she was chasing after him. Chise basically realizes he probably felt like she was leaving him behind, sort of how she felt, and then asks he release them so they can go home for tea.

We then cut to Stella and her family as they’re getting ready to head back to their home. Things are all well and good until she feels something prick her on the neck. We then see Joseph, the one who basically screwed over the Mina, Matthew, Ruth, Alice, and Renfred, walking past her with a smile on his face. And joining him was Ashen Eyes, so you know things are going to end badly.

Ruth then arrives home after nightfall to find that neither Elias nor Chise are back, so he takes a look around but can’t feel their familiar connection since Elias is interrupting it. He’s basically trapped her inside and she’s afriad he’s going to eat her, so she reaches out and suddenly a hand grabs hers before turning into her staff/wand. She uses it to send a magical fire-bird to call forth Ruth.

Ruth follows it but can’t find the right shadow until a little girl appears. It turns out to be the Goddess we spotted on the back of the deer centaur two episode ago, having given birth to herself… don’t think too hard about it.  Anyway, since they offered her that sprig of Yew or Mistletoe she decides to repay the favor by offering light that showcases Elias’ shadow to find Chise.

Chise tries to calm Elias down since he’s experiencing Jealousy and when he still doesn’t want to let her go she threatens her own life with a knife.  The moment the knife touches her flesh and blood comes out, Elias lets her go and tells her that he was really scared while apologizing. She then tells him to come home so they can talk things out before falling asleep together. Ruth watches this thinking that they were like father and daughter yesterday and now they’re like mother and son.

Then when morning comes Chise leaves  out to visit Angelica and meets her husband, a towering man named David. He basically talks to her and reveals that he’s a normal human before his wife comes out. We then learn that some time has passed then, several days in fact, and the reason for her visit is that Elias won’t wake up.

Chise sang a really cute lullaby to him the night they slept together and ended up accidentally putting him under a spell she can’t break. Angelica believes it means Chise has a talent with sleeping magic (note the last time she tried to make a sleeping aid she turned it into a sleeping potion) and goes to get something that could help. Then, when she’s gone, Chise nearly passes out and starts coughing blood because she was practicing magic again before then.

We then get to learn from David that Angie (his nickname for his wife) talks about Chise like she’s her daughter, which is why his own daughter was a bit rude to her. We also learn that David had been asking Angelica to marry him since he was a boy and that he knows both she and his daughter will outlive him. They’ll basically have to see him off in the end and they’ll have to keep doing to others they love so since there’s no end in sight for them, due to being so long-lived. In that respect, Chise can potentially live with Elias forever if she doesn’t push herself.

Chise then heads home and brews up a potion that she rams down Elias throat, waking him up. She then passes out from exhaustion (the manga explains she spent a full night trying to make it after messing up multiple times) and Ruth explains to Elias.

The episode then ends with two dragon whelps being kidnapped by poachers only for Lindel to sneak up behind one and gank him in the back. The others then start sprouting tentacles while Joseph speaks through him before they vanish with the baby dragons.

Review

This episode covers chapters 31-32 in the manga and the aftermath of what happened with Ashen Eyes and Stella. Overall, it was a solid episode in that it showed both the awkwardness of the roles between Chise and Elias.

Chise, you have to understand, didn’t have friends growing up. She could see the supernatural when only her mother and father could, meaning that she was isolated. Once her mother was gone, it got a lot worse, so the fact that a ten year old is willing to accept and befriend her is still enough to throw her for a loop.

Elias, meanwhile, has only learned of anger so next to follow was jealousy. He wanted Chise for himself, so having her fun without him and giving someone else that kind of attention that wasn’t bound to her in some way bugged him. Hence why he ran and then took her some place isolated within the shadows… with tentacles….

Anyway, Chise threatening to take her own life to get away from him was pretty dark when you think about since she had no clue when Elias was going to release her. He probably wouldn’t have kept her long enough to starve, but it shows that his emotions getting the better of him can result in some pretty nasty things. For example, if he decided to make Stella disappear because he didn’t like her too much and Ashen Eyes popping up with Joseph afterwards and then the whole thing with the poachers…

In the second half, we get to meet Angelica’s husband and are once more reminded that mages and fae live an exceedingly long time while normal humans don’t. Angelica turned David down since he was a teenager asking to marry her, only to accept after a decade of pestering (that and they have good compatibility as explained in the manga), but she knew that he would eventually die and they’d have to live with that pain forever. Remember how that turned out Joel and the Leanne Sidhe, the latter of whom decided to basically starve herself to death to see the former after he passes. Love hurts for the immortal more than anything.

Now the ending has set up the next episode, but before we get into that there’s some differences between the manga and anime to note here.

The first is that that Ashen Eyes explains why he’s helping Joseph. He likes seeing people shaken to their core because that’s what makes his heart jump for joy. Working with a wizard like Joseph is purely pragmatism.

The second is an explanation of how the Were-Pelt  worked. There’s a flashback to where Elias explains  there are two kinds of lycanthropes: those born with the ability and those cursed. That pelt is the latter and has a will of its own. It was made during a time when humans were afriad of wolves and so shamans and the like tried to help them get over it by turning into that which they feared, meaning that they could confront it head-on. It listens to the wishes of the one who wears it and turns them into the animal that suits it best it.

Third was the sleeping spell. It’s explained that spells are basically signals that mages send to neighbors for help, like recipes for magic or sheet music. Since a lullaby is basically a song to help someone sleep, imbued with magic it’d do just that and knocked Elias asleep for four days . She also explains that Chise is the one who’d have the easiest time removing the spell since she cast it, the law of lock and key in that if you don’t insert the right key into the lock then the key would break. So rather than trying to break the spell through pure magic, she decided to have Chise make an elixir that could help and gave her the recipe.

Last was that Joseph spoke more to Lindel in the manga about why he was taking the dragons. He only wanted one dragon for its flesh, but he’d take the spare as well.  Lindel also explained he didn’t want the dragons to get a taste of human flesh, so that was why he didn’t have them just swarm the guys and got his hands dirty.

The episode that follows will pick up on the capture and from there… well, we’ll see..

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