In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 8, “Let sleeping dogs lie,” Elias Ainsworth attacks Cartaphilus’s preying mantis familiar in retaliation for it striking down Chise Hatori. Can Elias best the chimera? Can the man who’s also a church grim retrieve Hatori from the edge of death? With Hatori so injured, who will call Elias back to his previous form? And just what is Cartaphilus trying to accomplish, anyway?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
- After Hatori convinced Elias to break off his attack (did Ruth’s shared memory have some kind of magical healing effect on her?), she reaches out to him, and he backs away, twice (6:20). He thinks she should be terrified of his monstrous form, but nothing seemed farther from her mind. She was so glad she’d survived and that he stopped putting himself in danger with Cartaphilus that she just wanted to hug him. She made a joke of it, saying that he probably wouldn’t fit through their cottage’s door in his current state. Did you get the impression that she was trying to put him at ease? I did! It seemed to work, too, because he picked up on the joke and added that Silky would be really angry with him if he broke the door.
Poor Alice! She was so desperately worried about her master, Mikhail Renfred, that she’d gone in search of Ruth. Her goal had been to present the dog to Cartaphilus so he would stay away from Renfred. She was relieved and a little scared to see him in the forest. Turns out she was right to be scared: he bopped her on the head and yelled at her for going off on her own (7:22). I felt guilty at how much I laughed at her chibi-form, crestfallen expression! Of course, he followed up the verbal lashing by telling her she was his bodyguard, so it was her job to stay by his side. Just like Hatori and Elias, neither wanted to come out and say how they felt, yet each were enormously comforted by the others’ words.
How someone confronts an unpleasant truth says a lot about that person’s courage. Ruth’s first act after becoming Hatori’s familiar was to attack and destroy the chimera that Cartaphilus had created — using part of Isabelle’s re-animated corpse (17:32). Through Hatori’s eyes, Ruth could see that the abomination in front of him was not his sister. By destroying the chimera, Ruth not only protected Hatori and the others from a dangerous monster. He also freed himself from the false hope that his sister would return. He confronted the unpleasant truth that he’d been living with a false hope. The show gets bonus points for not giving Isabelle some saccharine-sweet parting words. Her inarticulate murmurings were way more effective.
Seeing Hatori’s character develop is so satisfying! I think we all remember how she was in the first episode: she had despaired of life and had given herself over to slavery. Even then, you could see that she still had a spark of independence, but it was deeply buried. Back in episode 4, she took on the task of confronting the corruption, even though she had little training or experience. She just wanted to do something good on her own. In the last episode, we got to see her training. She looked completely at peace surrounded by the English countryside and adorable little creatures.
In this episode, though, she took two huge steps forward — and one of those steps might have been fatal! She was about to unleash some seriously vicious attacks on Cartaphilus and his chimera. Apparently, she’d chosen to create tarantula hawks, which are wasps that grow up to 5cm naturally and lay their eggs in spiders. That makes sense, given that the chimera was based on a spider. The down side is that apparently creating animate creatures out of nothing carries some penalty or backlash in the mage world, and it Elias had to try several times before he can stop her from unleashing her rage. What’s important isn’t that he had to stop her. It’s that she decided, on her own, to protect Elias and Ruth. She was completely the opposite of the passive, inward-facing young woman from the first episode and the OVAs (which are available on Crunchyroll — well worth watching!).
The other step forward was her pact with Ruth. Ruth suggested it (much to the Will-o-the-Wisp’s indignation!), and Hatori, being Hatori, initially held back. She didn’t want to put Ruth in any more danger. As she came to understand with both Elias’ and Ruth’s help, the two could help keep each other safe, she warmed to the idea. Plus, as Hatori herself said (16:01), “I don’t want to be alone anymore, either.” Together, it looks like the two of them will make a formidable mage and familiar!
One final thought on Ruth as her familiar: Elias said that a mage shares everything with a familiar: “Your senses, your emotions, even your time” (14:40). How, then, would her “marriage” to Elias fit into that equation? Wouldn’t a familiar take a lot of time and effort that she should devote to her “husband?”
For that matter, does Elias have a familiar?
What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Bryce’s Blog: Anime Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 8
- Lost in Anime: Mahoutsukai no Yome – 08
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 1: April Showers Bring May Flowers
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 2: One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 3: The Balance Distinguishes Not between Gold and Lead
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 4: Everything Must Have a Beginning
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 5: Love Conquers All
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 6: The Faerie Queene
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 7: Talk of the devil, and he is sure to appear
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 9: None so deaf as those who will not hea
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 10: We live and learn