The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 12: A New Perspective and the Journey Home

Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 12, “Better to ask the way than go astray,” Elias Ainsworth finds that the longer Chise Hatori is away, the less he wants to do anything. And he still doesn’t understand why! Lindel puts the finishing touches on the wand Hatori had carved. As soon as she touches it, it transports her to the plane where Nevin’s soul resides. He gives her a new, healing perspective on her life. After the talk, Hatori’s anxious to get home to Elias, and she uses her wand to transform into a phoenix — with the help of some of the flame sprites — to fly home in style. What will she say when she sees Elias again?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
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3 Favorite Moments

Hatori’s shocked when Nevin thanks Hatori’s parents. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I’m glad we got to see more of Nevin in this episode. The dragon’s character was both wise and calm with the peace that comes from being selflessly powerful. Alone with him at that intersection of worlds, he shared many ideas that I think Hatori found very healing. My favorite is when he tells her that “I’m thankful to Chise’s mother and father” (9:42). That turned her perception of her mother’s role on its head. He went on to point out that instead of killing herself, Hatori’s mother could just as easily have killed Hatori — why didn’t she? Thinking about that question alleviated a lot of Hatori’s anxieties about her past. This is another step in Hatori’s healing! Nevin’s a great example of the genuine warmth in this show. I hope we get to see him again soon.

Talk about a grand entrance! Hatori’s first (intentional!) spell with her new want was to transform herself into a phoenix so she could fly back to Elias (14:12). With a little help from several fire sprites, she clothed herself in flame and soared into the sky. First, the little sprites seemed so excited to be part of her inaugural flight! Second, the transformation gave us a glimpse into the extent of her still fledgling power — and it’s considerable! Even Lindel seemed astonished. As an extended version of the OP played, Hatori experimented with her power until she found home. I feel like I’m repeating myself, but it’s great to see Hatori continuing to heal from the damage of her youth.

Hatori’s transformation from dispirited young woman to soaring phoenix was something to behold. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That brings us directly to my third favorite moment, which was her reunion with Elias (17:19). I believe that was the last shot from the opening sequence that we haven’t seen yet (I hope that doesn’t signal a change in OP for the second cour, as often happens with anime series — I really like that song!). She was ecstatic to see him again! And true to their relationship, what would in other shows have been a romantic hug and perhaps a twirl, turned into an awkward embrace-ish kind of pose. She tried to tell him too many thing at once, and then exhaustion overtook her before she could tell him what was really important. Maybe the most amazing thing of all? Silky came out of the house! It was to throw a blanket on the sleeping Hatori, and it seems the need to perform an act of kindness for Hatori is one of the things that’ll motivate her to step outside!


After flying as a phoenix from the Land of Dragons, Hatori reunites with Elias. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This episode felt like an ending. On one hand, it resolved the major arc of Hatori’s longing to belong in a beautiful way. She not only has a place she can call home, she is surrounded by people who love her. Even more, she’s developed her magic to the point where she can transform into graceful, flaming phoenix and fly pretty much anywhere she wants.

From a heart-broken, dispirited girl for sale to a young woman adored across multiple species for her power and open heart. Now, that’s character development!

On the other hand, if I interpret what happened at the end correctly, this felt like and ending because having resolved the initial conflict, the show introduced what appears to be a huge element in the next arc: Hatori’s mom could see the spirit creatures, too! Was she also a sleigh beggy? What about her dad? In Hatori’s memory/dream, he said he’d protect her from the creatures that scared her. That, in spite of his wife chiding him for his own initial fear. What happened to make him capable of seeing those creatures? Where is he now?

How did Hatori’s life go from this idyllic moment to her putting herself up for sale? Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

And what’s this about a younger sister? None of Hatori’s memories we’ve seen so far involved a younger sister. I think it’s significant that Hatori’s always been alone (at least in her memories) when her mom threw herself off the balcony. Does the little sister (unborn at the time of Hatori’s dream in this episode) have something to do with mom’s apparent mental disintegration? Then why does mom wish Hatori hadn’t been born?

Curse this show! Now I want to see the next episodes even more!

What were your favorite moments in this episode? Let me know in the comments!

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