And you thought the Nuckaleeve would be the most terrifying thing this episode.
The eighth episode of Ancient Magus Bride Season 2 has aired. Chise has gone on a camping trip and, knowing this show, that can only end poorly. As for how badly that will go… well, you see the picture.
Let’s get into the Recap and Review to find out.
The episode opens with Chise chopping small branches for gathering firewood when Elias, or rather half of him, pops out of her shadow. We then cut to the past where it’s revealed that he parted himself to follow her there on the promise that he would stay out of the way and as a compromise since Chise felt that if she could rely on him then it would defeat the purpose of the trip. In this state, he can’t share his senses and so he won’t be aware of what the duplicate does until they recombine, and the rest of him will stay at home.
They end up spotting a lot of neighbors around them, with Elias musing they had a good relationship with the people in the past. She feels anxious for some reason as Lucy comes to get her and they head back to camp where she struggles to get a fire going. She then goes to get water and runs across an Each-Uisge, which gets people to ride on their backs and then pulls them into the water to drown and eat them. She doesn’t get on, but it tells her that it’ll be at the river if she changes her mind.
Night settles in and Lucy notes that Chise’s eyes don’t seem like those of a human, leaving her to wonder if all mages are like that. But as Chise struggles to sleep she keeps hearing voices from the neighbors until Elias and Ruth assure her that they will be there to keep her safe. At the same time, something emerges from the sea shrouded in darkness and sporting a singular eye.
Then morning comes and a heavy fog settles in as Chise greets Philomela washing her face at the river. Chise smells the potpurri she has and Lucy questions why she cares about Philomela, to which Chise gives a vague answer that she feels she can talk more. In contrast, Lucy just hates sorcerers in general but doesn’t answer why she attends the College when asked.
The students then go about spending the day doing camping things until night comes again. They note they’ll have to go back home tomorrow and Lucy mentions there are a lot of things she needs to accomplish. Chise brings up that she’s the same and they bid each other good night, but when Lucy heads out to go to the bathroom the pages of a book appear and Chise wakes feeling something has happened. Elias felt it as well and Ruth notes that Lucy had been gone for a while.
Chise goes out to find that Lucy is passed out on the ground, with Elias noting her magic power had been sucked dry. Since magic power is important to sorcerers as life is to normal people, she’s in danger unless Chise shares her own by keeping her close. Chise sends Ruth to get word to their teacher when suddenly she senses that some giant creature is nearby.
A flashback reveals that since she got her draconic arm her senses had sharpened and she could see and hear things differently than before. And because of that she let her guard down, so she ran into a Nuckelavee that tries to kill them both. Elias tells her to run to the river since it can’t touch freshwater.
As they run, they come across Ruth along with Zoey, Isaac, and Lian. They end up as part of the chase with Zoe’s snakes paralyzing it due to his nature as a Gorgon, but the effort wears him out and the monster starts spitting out poison. They get across the river but it’s only a temporary measure, so she decides to have Elias get help from the Each-Uisge.
Elias calls it to her and she agrees to a ride if it can drag the monster towards the lake. Lian goes with her and Isaac tosses him a key, leaving the two of them to bait it after them while the professor arrives to help Zoey and the others. Chise’s plan is risky since the creature she’s riding eats humans who fall into the water, but she intends to dunk the bigger one in the lake which it does by kicking it inside where it starts breaking down because the water is poisonous to it.
However, before she can escape the Nuckelavee grabs her and tries to drown her due to her being able to see what lies behind the shadows (Sight). That’s when a voice from inside of her kicks in and she tears it apart in a haze before snapping out it. But the other one still intends to eat Chise since she’s still in the water so Lian turns that key into a bearded axe and gets ready to kill it.
The metal in the axe threatens it as Rian states he isn’t good at using sorcery on others but on himself, he’s good enough. But Chise stops Lian as Elias dries her off while she wonders what just happened to her. She then offers the horse her hair as payment as it laments that there are none who walk the night any more and so it can’t eat them.
Lian cites he recognizes the look on her face as they head back to camp. It was his own after wiping off blood one time and staring in the mirror. She muses that she didn’t know what to do, which he mentions relating to as the episode ends..
Well, there’s your warning about things that go bump into the night. A constant theme about the unknown dangers in the dark has been in the series. Sure, the modernity of the sorcerers might lead you to believe they moved away from it, but the moment you drop your guard is the moment you pay for it.
Chise had admitted that she dropped her guard because her senses were sharp enough that she thought she could see danger coming easier now. But the world was more than happy to remind her that not every neighbor liked to be perceived and not every one of them was nice. This thing was a monster from lore that would wither crops and bring about ruin, not like the tricksters or other creatures we’ve seen that have largely left people alone.
Chise was clever enlisting help in dealing with it by having the horse creature give her a lift to the lake, but that carried its own risk. It would have eaten her if she hadn’t gotten out of the water. Not out of malice, but simply because that is what it is in the end. It’s a creature that feeds on those who fall into the water, drunkards of old and night travelers, and now there are none whom it can do so.
And then there’s the matter of her arm. It was clear by the imagery that a part of her called forth that transformation and tore it apart. The fact that Chise herself didn’t recognize what she was doing until it was too late indicates that it was likely an unintended side-effect of everything that’s happened to her, likely from the Draconic Curse.
But the episode in itself was pretty straightforward at kicking off what the next few episodes will no doubt cover. Lucy was attacked and her magical power drained dry to the point of leaving her passed out. The teacher recognized that the flow of magic power in the area was abnormal but there was no indication that the Nuckaleeve was responsible and Elias said as much that it wasn’t responsible for Lucy. Factoring that in with the grimoire imagery and you can guess that something has gone amiss, which will be the central plot going forward.
Changes from Manga
Not that much was omitted from Chapters 60 to 61: “Slow and Sure (II) – “Slow and Sure (III)” :
- Elias split form means that he’s spread so thin that he can’t pay attention to his surroundings like normal. But since he learned what loneliness was he didn’t want to be separated from her.
- Part of the reason Chise didn’t want Elias to initially come with her was that she felt that something like what happened with Stella would happen again since she treats her classmates differently than she does him and he’d pick up on that. She blames herself for not being more trustworthy and that she couldn’t stop him anyway.
- The reason the students couldn’t find the professor was that he used a spell to conceal his presence to deal with the investigation. So when Zoey and the others woke up because Zoey sensed something, they couldn’t find him.
- Elias speculates that the Nuckaleeve made its way up from the sea because it sensed them and knew they could see it. If you don’t believe or can’t see the neighbors, it’s hard for them to notice or see you too. They pretend to care nothing for people, but they care a great deal whereas normal humans don’t care about them at all.
- Issac notes that Gorgons have mystic eyes that freeze you in place, only for that stone part only to be part of a myth. But as you recall, Zoey can’t control his eye power well due to his half-blood nature. Hence why he passed out.
- The River Horse tossed them in the water after running far enough ahead to hide them from the Nuckaleeve and then kicked them in.
- That key basically transforms into whatever weapon Lian wants as part of Issac’s armory. His family makes magical tools and weapons.
- Elias admits he didn’t expect Chise to kill the Nuckaleeve, but states it was probably the right choice since it would have probably brought a plague to the lands in anger.
Until next time.