In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 18, “Forgive and forget,” Stella Barklem keeps her promise and visits Chise Hatori, Elias Ainsworth, and Ruth to bring them sweets. Hatori’s a little worried when Elias abruptly excuses himself; she’s even more worried when he leaves the house. What triggered such behavior? Later, as she’s walking with her family in London, Stella feels a prick on her neck and doesn’t see Cartaphilus walk away from her. What’s that sorcerer up to? And why does he end up in dragon territory?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
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3 Favorite Moments
The scene where Stella visits Hatori’s room was wonderfully awkward. Hatori didn’t really have any idea what to do, but Stella was more than happy to give her pointers. They were beginning to really click when Hatori asked how old Stella was (4:22). Shocked at the answer, Hatori had to ask her to repeat it: Stella answered that she is ten years old. Then it’s Stella’s turn to be shocked when Hatori confesses that’s she almost sixteen. On one hand, I had to feel sorry for Hatori for feeling so inadequate. On the other hand, I was thrilled that she finally had a friend she could share these moments with — and a friend who would give her pointers to help her learn to better express herself.
Elias trying to explain why he had to leave the house, and how Hatori chasing him made him feel better, felt innocent and touching. Elias, still a little child in terms of emotion, had felt something powerful and painful. He did his best to explain it to Hatori, but even as his intellect struggled to describe how he felt, I could see his control slipping until he no longer responded to Hatori’s questions and she felt that he was about to consume her. Her response was one of my favorite moments: Desperate and knowing that Elias had lost control, she did the only thing she could think of: She threatened herself with a knife (13:40). That got Elias’ attention! He immediately ejected her back into the real world and started to come to his senses. This scene also gets a Caw Out Award for Most Understated Understatement of the season: As she realizes that Elias is going to consume her, she thinks “That’s not good.” Indeed, Hatori. That’s not good at all!
Hatori needs to be careful! She’s so powerfully magical that just singing a lullaby (which was so beautiful that I felt the dark parts of my soul healing as I listened!) put Elias into a magically induced slumber. In a state of near panic, Hatori visited Angelica Varley to ask for help. After a bitter-sweet talk with Angelica’s husband about his life expectancy (typical human) versus his wife and daughter’s (no known upper limit), and having obtained the necessary portion recipe, Hatori returns home with Ruth, brews the potion, pries open Elias’ jaws, and slams the potion against the back of his throat (20:58). Did you ever see the 1975 version of the movie Roller Ball? Players had to jam a large metal ball into the center of a target. Hatori’s bed-side manner reminded me a lot of that movie! On the plus side, it worked: Elias immediately awoke! Though I think he had a sore throat…
When Elias changed his shape to leave the house, did you see his tail? Didn’t it remind you of Elma’s tail from Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid? I was worried for a second they were going to have some kind of cross-over. Not sure how well that would work; they’re pretty different shows!
And the cliffhanger at the end? Baby dragons in danger? Dang it, writers! Stop toying with us (I say in an affectionate sort of way).
What did you think of Elias’ tantrum and recovery this week? I’m impressed with how true the show’s staying to its core ideas, one of them being that there are implications to Elias having such poorly formed emotions. Obviously, he has feelings, but he has no idea how to deal with them. He’s been isolated from humans for so long that he’s had little opportunity to explore them.
Now, he’s getting those opportunities in abundance. So much so that they seem to be overwhelming him. Stella’s visit started off warmly enough, until Elias heard her talking with Hatori — in effect, keeping Hatori from him. I wonder why he assumed that time not with him meant movement away from him? He’s seen Hatori talking with Ruth, and her relationship with her familiar goes beyond mere friendship. Yet, Elias never showed jealousy toward Ruth.
Was it a combination of things? Ruth’s part of Elias’ magical world. Elias had a role he could plan in that relationship. He could advice Hatori on the finer points of having a familiar. He could share in a conversation about concerns within the context of the magical world. He was a de facto part of that world, so he could easily see his place and understand that he had a role to place — that he belonged.
But with Stella? She was a complete outsider, a normal human with a normal upbringing. She showed typical emotions for a kid her age. The emotions that she so easily felt and expressed may have been a reminder of his own failings, which he’s described to Hatori on several occasions. Maybe he felt scared that Stella’s natural grasp of human emotions would so attract Hatori that she’d leave him for a “better” teacher.
I have to share Ruth’s exasperation at Hatori’s dishonesty (5:41). I think her being up front with her feelings could have prevented some of this! But then I remember that she’s not in much better emotional condition than Elias, and I realize just how good they are for each other.
What were your favorite moments from the episode? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
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 8: Let sleeping dogs lie
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 9: None so deaf as those who will not hear
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 10: We live and learn
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 11: Lovers ever run before the clock
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 12: Better to ask the way than go astray
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 13: East, west, home’s best
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 14: Looks breed love
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 15: There’s no place like home
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 16: God’s mill grinds slow but sure
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 17: Look before you leap
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 19: Any port in a storm
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 20: You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 21: Necessity Has No Law
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 22: As you sow, so shall you reap
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 23: Nothing seek, nothing find
- The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 24: Live and let live