The grandmother is embarrassed to hear about her grandson from his wife and dog.
The fourth episode of Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 has aired. Chise takes a walk with Stella after a break from school, only to get swept away into a sudden fog. What mysteries await her at the end of it?
Let’s cover it with a Recap and Review.
The episode opens with Stella and Chise walking toward her home when Stella brings up the necktie that she has belonging to Elias. The fog then rolls in and they find themselves on an island out at sea where a Mage called Rahab lives. She had originally given Elias the necktie, which allows Chise to recognize her as Lindel’s master, the one who established the Dragon Sanctuary.
Back with Elias, we see that Angelica has arrived to bring something to celebrate his starting a new life. Then she notes that Elias has a necktie from Chise rather than his old one. She recalls when she was a child begging him to let her have his necktie, but wouldn’t and asks why he gave it up to Chise instead.
Then we jump back over to Rahab where she learns that Chise is Elias’ apprentice, but is also teaching him about being human and his bride. She questions if she might have given Elias that idea before bringing her inside. Chise feels that even though it’s the first time they met there’s some familiarity, which she likens to how both Elias and Lindel act similar to her.
She mentions that both of them came to her when they were children, and Elias lived with her for a while. Since the location is connected to everywhere and everywhen and every place, time is nebulous. The second time she ran into him was after he split with Lindel and he asked to be taught how to imitate humans by following her lead. He stayed with her for a few decades and imitated her, but there were some things she just couldn’t teach like emotions before he left.
Rahab also taught him that a family was a collection of people who help each other. That’s how he got the idea of a bride as someone who will always be by your side as a partner. So that’s what Elias meant about Chise being his bride, which is different from an ordinary understanding.
Cutting back to Angelica with Elias, the latter explains he gave her his necktie because he figured if she had something like that she’d consider her actions. He was okay as long as she lived no matter what, but now he gets worried over every little cut and scrape. Since Ruth said that nothing is important to Chise, giving her something of importance was his way of hoping that she would reconsider doing things that would endanger her.
Chise mentions that she isn’t acting like a bride, so she isn’t too disappointed. She’s just happy that she can be at his side. Even if Rahab believes that she couldn’t teach Elias to smile, he’s doing it without realizing it and experiencing other emotions. He isn’t interested in his home or food, but he still takes care of the things because he learned from Rahab and that was what ultimately led to Chise being saved.
Rahab then allows Chise to leave but asks that she keeps the fact that they met a secret. Chise then meets back up with Stella outside of the house, but Chise notes a smell on her before running into the others. We then go back to the college where Philomela is testing the tea to see if it’s laced with something, but it’s just magical power. She then pockets the potpourri.
Sometime later, Elias and Chise are eating at home when she brings up that they should be in a little more of a hurry to get to the College. The centaur messenger from before acts as their guide to the back passages, gateways that allow them to cross vast distances if there are no humans. The one they are taking now is inhabited by dangerous creatures, but by making a contract with the hound dogs that inhabit them they can do so as long as they stay within that region.
Chise briefly has a moment when her eye transforms and she hears them speak. Then they have to swallow a spine to get the scent inside of them, which allows them to go in peace. Just like that they emerge at the College with barely any time passing, with Chise contemplating what being married to Elias truly means.
But before we get an answer to that, we go back to the best girl Alexandra as she asks how Zoey is doing. He feels safe as long as he has his headphones and goggles, but then we see that as Philomela is snooping around he asks about Chise. We then cut to yet another scene of a spider overlooking some people working and a young Lucy watching them before she wakes up in the present day thinking how awful it was.
So this episode served to set up some future plotlines (completely skipping out on one though) as well as question what being a bride to Elias entails. It’s been more than a year since she was brought into his care, and we’ve seen that while he understands things factually, he doesn’t really know much about humans. So here we learn where he got the notion from entirely.
Rahab is effectively a super-cool grandmother looking in on her grandkids, having taught both Elias and Lindel. Elias spent a prolonged period around her and learned to imitate her from mannerisms to habits, but he couldn’t quite grasp the emotional aspect. At least she didn’t think so.
But Chise notes that Elias does experience certain feelings, or at least he’s gradually starting to understand. We saw that he was starting to feel certain things earlier on in the season, though he has trouble putting them into words. And even now with Angelica, he admits that he has grown to care about her and gave her the necktie in the hopes she’d consider her actions before she put herself at risk.
The old Chise didn’t value herself or rather that she believes her pain is her own. The one we see today has taken steps to move past that, from attending College and so on. So he’s not only growing but so is she.
But moving on we need to focus on the other three plot points they showcased here.
The first is Philomela. She was testing the tea that Chise gave her, which is honestly a smart move because, in a society of magic, you don’t know what you’re being given. It’s pretty clear that she’s not used to being given gifts and while she didn’t drink the tea she does keep the potpourri. Then there’s her sneaking around as the black veil, so it’s clear she was also spying around on Chise.
Second is Zoey. The fact that they are visiting Alexandra means that they have some kind of medical condition. The fact that Zoey only feels safe with the headphones and goggles likely ties into this, but as to how we don’t know.
Third is Lucy. That dream seemed ordinary for the most part as she watched people in her childhood go about working. But the way she woke with a startle and called it awful implies that those memories have a darker side to them, which probably ties into how she acted at Lunch.
Some of that will likely be revealed next episode, judging by the after-credit scenes. Unfortunately, they also skipped a lot of stuff, and cut the “Cowl doesn’t make the monk” arc down to a single chapter, so I gotta cover all of that. So look forward to the next episode and only read on further if you don’t mind spoilers.
Changes from Manga
Changes made are pretty much due to the compression of the source materials, so I will be spoiling everything they missed from Chapters 50 to 53: “The Cowl Does Not Make the Monk (I) – First Impressions Are The Most Lasting (I)”:
- As mentioned before, Gabriella, the nun of Father Simon’s church, happens to be with him at his home when the arc starts while he’s baking sweets. She snacks on them even though he tells her not to, but when questioned why he continues to make them, it’s because he needs to in order to remain himself.
- That’s when the doorbell rings and he tells her to stay hidden since it’s not proper for a woman to be found in a priest’s home at this time of the day. His visitor is a Japanese boy with glasses who we learn is an auditor from the Church, who brings up Simon’s reports mostly covering things like a diary involving the harvest and he claims to only have a passing familiarity with Elias, whereas the previous observer called him extremely aggressive.
- The reason that the kid is there is because all the previous observers had been chased away by Elias and they know that Elias was at the Dragon Auction, which he intentionally did not report. He was covering for Elias, which meant he was neglecting his duties.
- Gabriella grabs the kid by the collar and pulls him away for bullying Simon, who she calls weak, and offers him a cookie that Simon made. He yells at her not to, when Elias appears, and the kid tries to take him in for being unfit for his duties when Elias shows up.
- He pulls out a Bamboo pipe that has a fox spirit in it (Kuda-kitsune) and tries to use what amounts to Mystic Eyes of Binding on Gabriella, who it turns out is a vampire (though she states that she’s human enough to where his eyes don’t work on her unlike regular ones) and she puts him under with her own Hypnotic Eyes so that Elias can destroy his memories.
- We then get to understand the structure of the Church, namely, it’s more of a Conclave of different religions rather than one. It acts as an organization that observes, preserves, and exterminates the supernatural. If the neighbors and others don’t harm humans, then they’ll try to reach a compromise to benefit both parties and if they can’t then they’ll remove them.
- It’s divided into Shepherds, who have the greatest influence and act as factions leaders. Pidgeons and Roosters are charged with observation. Crows and Ants work to preserve relations between non-humans and humans. Wolves and Locusts remove threats to protect people. Each faction answers to different Shepherds, so they’re more like a loose collection of private armies.
- Elias notes that in the ten years that he’s been watched, Simon never once hated him like the others. Simon reveals that’s because he can’t hate someone more than he hates himself.
- We then get his backstory where he was raised by his grandparents since his mother had gotten arrested for drug use and his father ditched him to go back to Italy. He baked sweets for the first time and gave her some since she planned to turn a new leaf when she got out in a few years. She died two days later his grandmother got hit by a drunk driver and two more days after that his mother fell downstairs while eating his sweets.
- He was taken in by his Aunt, Uncle, and cousin. They were good people and died tragically, his cousin drowned near his sixteenth birthday from eating ice cream he made and the other two from a home invasion while he was away on his eighteenth birthday after he baked cookies for them four days earlier.
- He fell into depression and started doing drugs, and fighting, all to escape the thought that it was because of him they died. Then he met a nice girl who was reaching out to him and started thinking about marriage, she convinced him that there was no way his sweets could be killing people who ate them and it was just a coincidence.
- She wore him down until he finally made something for her, and then she had a stroke at work a week later. He pretty much decided to slit his throat at her grave when he was approached by members of the Church, who allows him to see the neighbors they were with with a slight prod due to him having some inherent talent.
- The woman was Alonza, a Shepherd who had been keeping an eye on his through her pigeons. They learned that due to a circumstance of his birth, he can place Jinxes upon others, where if a condition is fulfilled it will bring about a certain outcome. In this case, any human who eats a sweet he makes will die after a set amount of time.
- She does assure him that it’s not so much his fault as the circumstances he didn’t have any control over, but trying to kill himself wouldn’t even begin to atone for all the lives lost. So he needs to live on and if he feels he can’t then to become her obedient little lamb in return.
- Then she enrolled him in a seminary school, and got him his priesthood, before sending him out to look over Elias since others would go picking a fight. If he died… well, that’s what he wanted.
- Elias asked why he keeps making sweets if he knows it’ll kill every other human but him, but he states that he makes them to remember the people he lost. Because they meant the world to him.
- The two then bring up Elias’ emotions and Simon wants to help him understand what he doesn’t, which ties to their mutual friendship and secrets. The peaceful life Elias has with Chise now is only because Simon basically covers for him.
- Back to the fog, we see that when Chise left her behind Ashen Eyes showed up to comment on how Stella keeps getting involved even when she doesn’t have the Sight and states it’s because she keeps hanging around Chise.
- Stella at first accuses Ashen Eyes of being responsible for the fog, but it states otherwise though does admit when she brings up that Ashen Eyes might not have brought the fog in but is taking advantage of it to pester Joseph to accept an invitation to cause trouble and was refused yet again.
- Stella, possessing what amounts to basically the bravest and most foolish heart for a ten-year-old, threatens Ashen Eyes that despite being powerless she’d find someway to make it regret messing with Chise. Ashen Eyes calls her out by saying in the thousands of years they’ve wandered around, vows being kept are few and none from children. Stella states she’d be the first, otherwise, how could she face Chise again after everything she’d done for her?
- Ashen Eyes basically falls in love with her determination, seeing it as foolish and beautiful because Chise is the reason she’s become so entwined in their affairs yet she still stands by her side. So Ashen Eyes even goes so far as to call her by her true name rather than a child of man, before unveiling its true form and entering into a contract with her.
- The reason Elias approached Rahab to learn about Humans was that Lindel hates them, which is why he moved to the Land of Dragons.
- When Chise smelled Stella, she picked up the scent of something drier than the mist (sand) but before she could recall it was Ashen Eyes, Stella pushed her into the house while Ashen Eyes questioned how long Stella could protect Chise.
- The auditor kid gets put into a trance by Gabriella and then she takes him to be “re-educated” by Alonza, the Shepherd who taught Simon, since even if they sent him back the cycle would repeat.
- Chise and the others make it between the College and their home in 5 minutes due to how the back passages work. In payment for teaching them about it, the Centaur asks for medicine since he doesn’t want to go back to the herd for every little ache and sniffle.
- Elias takes his human disguise as they enter the College, where they run into Angelica making deliveries to the College rather than her visiting Elias at his home.
- Angelica mentions how she would throw a tantrum when he wouldn’t let her wear the necktie because she knew it was precious since no matter what form he took he always kept it close. Elias states that it was because it was the first thing anyone ever gifted to him.
- When Chise was asleep, she was actually dream-diving again somewhere so deep in her soul that not even Ruth could reach her despite being bound to one another. Ruth accepts that if she wants to die then he’ll die with her, but what he fears is that he’ll be too wounded to help her when she wants to live and thus that is the only part of their binding that he regrets.
Basically, the whole purpose of the arc was to set up some future plot points like the division in the Church, Stella entering into a contract with Ashen Eyes, and so on for future events. However, because those technically won’t factor in much for the College Arc, they cut them due to time constraints. I hate it because it defines so much of Simon’s character and Stella’s resolve, but I understand.
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