…Stuff of nightmares, folks.
The nineteenth 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 a horrible scene of one of the dragon whelps being cut into by Joseph’s tendrils, taking out portions of its flesh and splattering its blood while Cartaphilus walks past the corpses of the poachers he’d controlled. The other dragon whelp can only watch, eyes wide in fear, begging for him to stop and wanting to go home as she watches her friend’s corpse being desecrated.
We then cut to Renfred with an associate named Adolf as they look into a database and find out that Chise is registered as being dead in Japan. Another associate named Tory pops up as they knock down a drink from Alice’s Christmas gift while discussing Joseph’s immortality and we learn Renfred is a sad drunk. The comedy is scene dies out when Lindel’s familiar, Merituuli, pops up in Adolf’s lab tank and has a message for them from Lindel.
Chise, meanwhile, is having another dream-walking sequence where she wanders through a time-frozen London until she stumbles across Cartaphilus . He doesn’t seem to recognize her but wonders if she’s a ghost since he can see through her and tells her she should go where she belongs. They sit down on a bench before he basically flips out, rolling on the ground in pain, apologizing to himself and asking what they need to do to be saved.
Then Chise wakes up and asks Ruth how long she’d been asleep. It was only for two days this time which is good. At least until she finds Lindel’s Selkie is in the room sleeping with her and Alice arrives to tell her that they’ve got a bad situation here.
Once Alice dresses Chise and she arrives to see everyone from the College, they get to business at Elias behest. Since two of the Dragon kids were taken by a teleportation device Renfred developed, they reason that Cartaphilus was behind it and likely stole his knowledge from when he took his arm. They want Elias in on this, but he refuses since its dangerous.
Chise basically straightens her spine and then tells him they’re going to do this and she doesn’t want them to suffer. So he agrees to cooperate and they need to figure out where Cartaphilus is. Since Chise had that dream and dragons can go for a lot of money, she decides to phone up the guy who sold her into slavery, Seth Noel, as the dragon whelp is being dragged out in straps.
One cut scene later and Chise’s group arrive in the auction. Elias reconfigured his body entirely since he doesn’t want to be recognized, rather than using magic or sorcery, and Chise offers up her magic flowers for the auction to enter. Seth then gives Chise half of the money that she was sold for since she sold herself as an exhibitor to use to buy the dragon since he can’t give them it for free.
Renfred then confronts Elias on the fact that Chise didn’t know about the College and asks what he did with the messenger, establishing that Elias did get rid of it. He cites his concern that Chise won’t be able to grow if she’s in his grasp, but Elias shoots back how the College isn’t that different and even guesses that Renfred never wanted to be a sorcerer. That hits some buttons and it looks like Renfred is about to get physical until they break off.
Then we get to the dragon auction we see the whelp bound and terrified, which nets Chise looking pissed as the auction gets to a million and they can only go up to 1.5 million. One mysterious woman speaks to Chise and offers to add to their balance if she’s willing to make a deal. Of course, then the dragon whelp breaks free as he recalls everything that happened and then grows to be a full-on dragon.
Chise is left in tears as she watches the dragon, knowing it wants to go home and is scared. Since she can hear its voice, Elias holds her and tries to calm her down since its emotions are flooding her. Then the dragon goes into full fire-breathing mode as the episode ends.
This episode covers chapters 33-34 and part of 35 in the manga. Needless to say, it was straight-up messed up from how it opens with one of the hatchlings being taken apart while the other can only watch helplessly. We got to know these little adorable dragons, so it hurts seeing that in the first few minutes and knowing that at least one of them could not be saved anymore.
In fact, it made the comedy scenes that followed a bit jarring, despite the fact that it allowed us to better understand the College characters. We learned that Adolf was apparently Lindel’s former student after Elias, that Renfred was apparently forced into being a Sorcerer, and Tory is an excitable nerd who loves to drink.
On the topic of Joseph and Cartaphilus. While it seems there are two names given to the one individual, note that he does seem to have two personalities. One side you see the mad scientist who is trying to stop feeling pain no matter what. On the other, you see the one who is seemingly kind to ghosts and suffering, begging for forgiveness and asking what they (plural) need to do to be saved.
On the subject of slavery and the auction… yeah, you see while Seth doesn’t carry the attitude of a bad person, you have to note this is some shady stuff. Chise willingly sold herself into slavery and Elias bought her with the intention of basically giving her free rein while building up to a love story, but you have to understand this is a legit black market trade going on. They even faked her death so that they could sell her, which tells you all you need to know about any other people being sold here, let alone the supernatural creatures.
As for the rest. It was good to see Chise has changed for the better, I really look forward to the next episode, and I hope everyone else is too. However, there’s some differences between the manga and anime to note here. Be warned that I’m not going into clear spoiler territory, but if you’re reading this then you’re going to be able to take some educated guesses.
So bow out now or read and be potentially spoiled.
Differences in Materials
The first is that Joseph’s arm falling apart into goop was because Renfred’s anti-regeneration bullet was taking effect. So that’s part of the reason this is happening, along with the fact that teleportation between to fixed coordination was a theory he came up with for non-magi to use it.
The second is Joseph in the dream, mentioning that he can’t remember anything from the pain he’s in. The manga goes into greater details in that he can’t even remember having a replacement arm from Renfred, but also that he’s extremely knowledgeable about ghosts and the dead and that in the past he dug up what looked to be a one-eyed corpse that we see in a brief flash in the episode around 6:15 – 6:20 before he flipped out.
The third is when Chise wakes up and Ruth explains that dreams are like passageways into the other dreams, other worlds, and other memories. Since she saw into Ruth’s memories when they first met and she saw Mina’s memories, he believes that she’s talented in that field and along with reading the emotions of others, as seen with the Dragon at the end. Chise also notes that when she saw Carta, it was like someone else was in his place.
The fourth is that the College gets an explanation. They’re basically those who take in magical knowledge and teach the future generation, so that if they die in the midst of research the knowledge doesn’t die with them. They also take in those with talent and are unfortunate, like Chise and Alice.
The fifth is why dragons are valued and more on their history. Aside from Adolf being a former student of Lindel, the latter sends them parts of dragons who have died in exchange for the College keeping poachers out since the dragon parts have immense magical potency and they don’t want to hunt the dragons to extinction since those who are left have willingly made themselves lesser to avoid conflict.
The sixth is how Chise figured out he was going to use the auction. She remembered Carta talking about how expensive it was to make a chimera from when they first met and figured he would need money. Since dragon parts and a whole were valuable, and she knew he was in London, she called up the slave auctioneer for that reason to learn if one would be sold soon.
Seth tells her that the dragon is female, around twelve years of age, and is harmed but not in danger of dying. He can’t give her the name of the one putting it up for sell since it is anonymous, nor can he take the dragon off since once its listed as being for sell it doesn’t matter how it got there. He can, however, send her an invitation that allows them to bypass the background check process and they can either bid or pay the buyout fee like Elias did for her. It’s also revealed that Seth has True Sight, just like Chise, though he’s not a Sleigh Beggy. He just finds he can put them to use making a profit.
The seventh is Tory and how his field of study is magi in general. Chise being a Sleigh Beggy at the age of 16 is a rarity, so he naturally wants to study her. He also brings up that normally at her age she would have been used as a magical battery in the past which would have killed her sooner, and explains more on how Alchemist use processes to access the energy within the bodies of magical things despite not being able to naturally (they do have some power but can’t access it). In other words, they uses corpses of magi, fae, and the like, which meant the bird messenger was already dead and Elias simply returned it to the earth when he had Silky bury it.
The eighth is the bidding in itself. Seth inflated the prices when Chise was sold, so here there aren’t as many people bidding on the dragon since most wizards who do dirty things don’t have the money for it. Hence why Carta was selling the dragon. The woman talking to Chise wanted a liter of the dragon’s blood in exchange for offering 900,000 to their funds to help with the bidding. So Chise has 2.5 million from when Elias bought her, the College adds 1.5 million, the flowers that were sold earlier added 300,000, meaning they pretty much had the bidding locked in.
The ninth part is when the dragon transformed. Since it looks like they only covered half of chapter 35, I’ll only give this information. The dragon whelp sucked the magic out of everyone nearby in order to accelerate its growth because it remembered what happened to its friend and feared the same would happen to it. It also devolved to bring back up vestigial organs through its genetic blueprints in order to gain the ability to breathe fire.
Adolf lost the ability to produce magic a long time ago, apparently, so he isn’t as affected by the drain as Alice and Renfred and Tory, while Chise and other Magi aren’t as affected because they can control ambient mana as well/have so much in them. Chise being able to hear the voice of a dragon is another thing exclusive to Magi and her since Wizards/Alchemists are just humans who know how to use magic as a science and don’t cross borders.
And that’s about everything.