I don’t know why but these little chibi scenes amuse me.
The third episode of Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 has aired. Chise finishes up her introduction to the College and then heads back home for a reprieve. Things naturally get a bit interesting at the end, but what does it all mean?
Let’s cover it with a Recap and Review.
The episode opens with a scene of a professor waking up, realizing he overslept, only to come across Rian asking to be taught magic by Chise. It’s Tory, who recognizes her from the first season, and explains his situation is similar to hers and Elias as a teacher and student. Rian guides them while explaining he heard rumors about Alice’s familiar and that she has the foundation to use magic.
Alice has no intention of being a Mage, really being satisfied with being Renfred’s Guardian. Adding to that Blue Flame and Ruth cut-in there and outright explain that she isn’t suited to be a Mage. They have to operate within certain rules (though it would be more accurate to say are bound by fate), and she isn’t the type to do so.
As for Rian, the fact that he smells of rust comes up once again. Even though he wants to learn magic to make Tory happy, it’s just something that he can’t do. Before they go further, we hear Renfred ciding Elias for lack of safety, and the mentors reunite with their apprentices.
Elias and Chise then get taken to the cafeteria as Renfred and Alice decide to head home for a meal. But there’s some talk between teachers on how there are a variety of oddballs attending this year and they need to watch the balance of power. One of those oddballs is Zoey Ivy, who gets introduced when Elias and Chise learn the names of the students who will be major supporting characters of the season. He freaks out and leaves, stating they aren’t human once out of earshot.
Once night rolls around, we see Adolf calling Lindel using a magic mirror. He informs him of Elias becoming an instructor and asks him if he’s been willing to harm others. Lindel responds by asking him if he knows why Elias received his moniker right before we cut to another mysterious mage waking after a long nap.
Then we get another time skip where Chise is back in the countryside, stating how a lot had happened that week since she hadn’t been in school for a year and a half. She’s especially had trouble getting Lucy to open up and Zoey to stop avoiding her. Elias then gets the vaunted lap pillow from Chise, allowing him to rest until the Silver Lady arrives and puts them to work harvesting vegetables.
We then get to learn about the Samhain festival, which has become a dying tradition. The gods still exist, but at this point, they’ve been reduced to a facet of the seasons. Elias doesn’t know why they vanished but suggests that maybe science’s progression caused the people to fear the world less and so they no longer held reverence for them.
They split up, with Chise cleaning the pumpkins only to end up crushing one due to her enhanced strength. She gets a flash of Joseph’s memories since she still has his eye, though he explains that even if she took it out it’s too late. He then leaves after reminding her he still hasn’t gotten the answer to a question he asked her before.
Stella comes to visit Chise as well, explaining she texted her. The adorable little girl still gets side-eye from Elias, who sends her and Chise off to the house. He feels something has changed about their situation but doesn’t know why. Then fog rolls in and Chise is dragged off to a mysterious place as the episode ends.
Okay, so this episode effectively wraps up the first part of the reintroductions to old characters and some of the new ones.
With the new characters, I’m going to trim down to focus on the important ones because there’s no feasible way with only 12 episodes they’ll be able to cover anything but the important ones. So we’ll focus on them.
Rian is our resident guide for Chise, showing her the place. He wants to learn magic, but as he smells of rust and so he can’t partner with a neighbor since they can’t stand it. The reason he gives is that Tory has a fascination with it, which isn’t too bad, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen unfortunately.
It’s obvious that Rian deeply cares for Tory, a relationship similar to how Alice chooses to remain Renfred’s bodyguard and Chise remains by Elias’ side. The fact that he’s also his guardian speaks of circumstances we don’t understand yet. As well as why he smells of rust.
Lucy always sits alone, choosing to do so instead of making friends. In her mind, they’re all going to be enemies so there’s no point in being friendly. It’ll just hurt more when the inevitable happens. She isn’t hostile to Chise, as seen when she got bonked on the head and largely shrugged it off, but she’s clearly not opening up.
Zoey Ivy was introduced as being nervous, having a freak-out without being prompted, and then shying away from Chise to the point even she could tell. You would think that comment about them not being human should be obvious. Especially looking at Elias.
But, you have to remember, people like Alexandria exist. Elias can easily pass off as one who augmented their body and still be considered human. So for Zoey to make that assumption, something else has to be up with him.
Among the old characters, we see Joseph, Stella, and Lindel. Considering they were three major players at the end of the last season, tying them all together at the end of this episode makes sense as they were the ones who led them to this point. Let me explain.
Joseph was the main antagonist of the last season. He basically wanted out of being immortal and did some heinous stuff, but Chise talked him into chilling out for a couple of decades or at least a century. He lives in their well as a guest, still missing an arm and an eye, and occasionally talks with Chise since he wants to hear her answer to the question he posed to her last season.
Stella, meanwhile, is an ordinary girl who can’t help but keep getting dragged into things because of her friendship with Chise. She clearly doesn’t remember everything after what Joseph and Elias did to her (Renfred did some memory tampering), but she’s basically as close to a normal friend as Chise has. Everyone else remains within the magical side of things, but she’s the one who stays on the normal side of things.
And Lindel is the person who was probably closest to Elias in terms of friendship. They found one another centuries ago and so he’s the perfect person to ask if Elias has ever harmed someone. It’s a question that probably should have been broached before he started working there, but it should give more insight into his past.
The climax of the last season and Chise’s present condition is due to these three. Lindel was the one who asked the College to retrieve the Dragon Whelps from Joseph and they got Chise involved. Chise received the Dragon’s Curse and Joseph wanted to exchange it for his immortality curse, so he used Stella as a proxy. It just so happens that Elias also intended to pass the curse onto Stella to save Chise, which is how that mess at the end of last season happened.
You can tell that Elias is still coming to terms with his own feelings. Let me be clear, he still doesn’t really think what he was doing was wrong. He just stopped because it upset Chise. However, he’s thinking to himself that the situation feels a bit different now as he even gave Chise a matching necktie which caught Stella’s eye (this is due to the anime’s crunch compared to the manga scenes).
As for the rapport with Chise and Joseph, it might seem a bit weird. But the two came to a sort of understanding at the end of the last season, partially due to Chise being herself and due to having access to his memories. And he brought up how her hurting herself affected the people around her, but Chise felt that since she only had her body that was what she could use. It spurred her into going to the College since she wanted to learn more to help others.
Aside from the introductions, I loved how Elias didn’t get shunned or shied away from. It was mentioned last season by Elias that the reason he chooses to keep closer to Humans than the Fae was that they accepted him time and time again. Beatrice and the twins showcased that, as one wanted him as a model and the others questioned if he would remain in that form. He’s even starting to feel emotions, even if he can’t put them into words, meaning it’s good for him to attend as well.
Now, the fog rolling in at the very end along with the mysterious mage is actually a good stopping point for the episode since that’ll lead to some interesting things. Unfortunately, judging by the post-credit scenes, it looks like they might be skipping the development with Simon due to the time crunch. But maybe they’ll squeeze it all into Episode 5.
Anyway, looking forward to the next one.
Changes from Manga
Again, I covered a lot of the changes in the first two episodes caused by the mix-up. So this one has remaining information from Chapter 49 and a bit of Chapter 50: “Birds of a Feather Flock Together III & The Cowl Does Not Make the Monk”. Please note that they skipped some things that might come up later (everything with Simon) so I will probably abstain from mentioning it unless we get no proof of it coming up after the next episode. Then I’ll just spoil everything because they skipped the chapters.
- Lian/Rian doesn’t want Tory to know he was trying to learn magic because he’d be worried about him.
- He also mentions that the reason the rumors spread was that faeries becoming someone’s familiar only happened every so often back a few centuries ago. Wizards don’t look for partners when they get familiars, but a servant. Fae don’t like such shackles, and in the past they were bound by force or contract to wizards, resulting in the wizards getting killed when they broke the contract by accident. This is also why Wizards use dead animals or creatures they create themselves as familiars, like the bird from last season Elias buried.
- Blue Flame explains that Alice isn’t suitable for being a Mage because they tend to be bound by their fate and she isn’t. A Mage is someone who is a prisoner to their own fate, but when pressed they refuse to elaborate. They then state that because Rian carries the stench of rust in his blood he’s basically no good to any Fae. He also calls him a poor thing because of it.
- Elias’ Magic class is being moved to after normal hours, and only for those who are interested. Rian asks if he could attend, even though he doesn’t have the talent for it since someone said it was beautiful compared to wizardry (Tory said this last season). Elias complies with his requests since there’s no harm in visiting.
- Elias also notes that when he sees Rian and Chise close to one another, he doesn’t feel the way he did when she was with Stella. This is what originally prompted the question he had when Stella came in the episode, just shifted around, and he thinks the place has a lot to teach him as well.
- The Atwood siblings, with one of them nearly being killed by the Salamander, actually skipped a grade.
- Elias originally kept to his human appearance in the Cafeteria, but because the students are used to seeing Muryans they don’t mind. Alexandra, the caterpillar lady, for example. They also note she looks squishy. Because Elias was in his human form when Zoey started freaking out, it indicated he could somehow peer through the glamour.
- Adolf’s contact with Lindel has more context. They have records of Elias’ words and actions from the Church but they don’t know if they reflect his true self, with Lindel confirming that the Church’s records are outdated at this point and his current observer (Father Simon) is slacking.
- The Church’s records of Elias date back to the 1700s, when he was found in a French Port, and he gained his epithet from the “exchanges” that occurred around then.
- The mysterious mage waking up questions what era they are in now, such as if it’s in Anno Domini, indicating they slept for a long time.
- Chise notes it’s strange that school starts in September for them (starts in April in Japan), but Elias explains that it’s because children used to be a valuable source of labor and so the school starts in the fall months after the harvest would be finished.
- Elias’ jealous side briefly shows when he states Chise is hanging out with Alice too much, getting a “look” from her that scares him.
- Elias also explains he doesn’t like transforming himself to remove his horns since he gets hazy and a phantom itch like his body knows something is missing.
- Ruth brings up that they spent last Winter underground, back when she was recovering from the thing with Joel and Redcurrant.
- Chise brings Joseph some food, even when he tells her he doesn’t need to eat. It just shows she’s reaching out to him.
- Elias’ lecture on Samhain explains that Halloween (or All Hallows’ Eve) is an amalgam of Samhain and Christian beliefs and means winter is coming. It is the night people welcome the season of death, as the gods of winter and the spirits of the dead cross over from the next world. You light the lamps so that your ancestors can find their way to you.
- The reason Elias doesn’t know much about the old gods is that he was born when many were long gone. They’ve basically had their presence melted into the seasons and people of the world, being reduced to shades. But sometimes they appear, like the pregnant goddess of winter who gives birth to herself, and are still dangerous. He notes that its best for everyone if they stay dormant, as not many are known for being friends with men.
- Around the time that Stella appeared, a nun from Father Simon’s church (Gabriella) also appeared to tell Elias to come over to his place as some things were going down with Simon that threatened the peace he had (again, Simon is a lot laxer than the previous overseer). That was originally why he separated from Chise and Stella, to go see what that was about, leaving Ruth to go with the girls.
- Ruth sees a vision of his old friend, the girl who he couldn’t save and Joseph reanimated her corpse, as he watches the two of them walk. A reminder of what he lost and why he made his pact with Chise to die with her.
- When the fog rolls in and you see that shadow by Stella, it’s actually revealed to be a scarf. A very familiar one. We’ll leave it at that for now.
So, their shifting the chapters around has caused a bit of information to be bent out of place. They’ve done a good job of trying to recontextualize it, but some things still get lost. I’ll cover them as I can.
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