In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 19, “Any port in a storm,” Mikhail Renfred’s drunken confession is interrupted when Merituuli, the Selkie we met in previous episodes, visits the water cooler. Chise Hatori has a terrifying vision involving Cartaphilus, and what he asks of her shocks her awake. Mikhail and his sorcerer friends convince Elias Ainsworth — with a lot of help from Hatori — to work with them to track down the missing dragons from the last episode. Hatori’s vision sends them to an auction house that’s all too familiar to Hatori. There, she virtually meets a woman who offers to help her — but at what cost and why? And when the baby dragon goes up for auction and breaks free of its bonds, can Hatori and her friends stop it?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
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3 Favorite Moments
The show’s done such a fantastic job developing Hatori and Elias that I almost feel spoiled that it’s also giving us such multi-dimensional secondary characters. Early in this episode, Mikhail visits his friend Adolf Stroud at “the college” to tell him about Hatori. But he seems to have an ulterior motive: he wants to share fish and chips (which looked delicious, by the way) and whiskey (or bourbon; I couldn’t read the label) with his friend. Another friend, Tory Innis, a man with no concept of personal space, joins them. At first, I wondered why Adolf seemed so reluctant to drink with Mikhail. I mean, he even brought food! Then the answer came streaming out — literally! Mikhail’s a tearful drunk (3:44) who’s been barely holding back his self mortification over letting Cartaphilus threaten him. As he sits there weeping, Tori’s trying to hold back his laughter and Adolf’s just resigned to another “four hours” of this. I remember character moments like this forever — and this show’s just packed with them!
Seriously, picking just three favorite moments per episode is hard with this show! For my second favorite moment, I chose where Alice prevented a murder in House of Silky. When Hatori comes into the living room to meet Mikhail and his friends, Tory is so excited to meet a Sleigh Beggie that he rushes up and just grabs both sides of her face (8:15). Remember how I mentioned that he has no concept of personal space? She’s so shocked she doesn’t know what to do. Elias is about to get up out of his chair to presumably eliminate Tory as a threat when Mikhail simply says “Alice!” Her zero hesitation punch puts the man on the ground. Not only did she prevent a murder, she saved Silky a lot of cleaning!
Was the dragon’s transformation a result of Cartaphilus’ manipulation? Some primitive response within the dragon itself to its terror and imprisonment? Or something else? Whatever the reason, when it broke free of its cage, everyone except Hatori reacted in fear — a reasonable reaction if you ask me! But Hatori could only stand there, tears cascading down her face (21:23), as the dragons emotions flooded into her. She could feel its homesickness, its fear, and its misery, and the feelings were so powerful that Elias (in human form) had to embrace her and encourage her to maintain her sense of self. Her own panicked breath sold the scene for me (kudos to the voice actor Atsumi Tanezaki). She really sounded like she was about to lose all control. I think the last time a moment drew me in so deeply that I forgot my surrounds was in Made in Abyss episode 10, when Regu had to make such terrible decisions. For Hatori’s sake, I’m glad the moment was brief; but I was just a little disappointed that it didn’t linger, since it’s the kind of thing I’m searching for in fiction — a moment that suspends time and envelops me in the presence of another.
This episode was packed, even more so than usual. I hope you don’t mind if I treat you to a series of loosely related Thoughts!
One thing I am going to ignore is the treatment of the baby dragons — especially my conjecture on why only one was for sale. I wish this kind of brutality was confined to fiction…
On a much more positive note, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that Alice looked fetching in a suit (17:18)! Had to love her positive attitude about her future, too!
Adolf was formerly Lindel‘s student? That interesting…
Mikhail’s friends are a lively bunch with their own personalities. Adolf seems to be the most well-grounded of the trio, whereas Tory is a Human Resources manager’s nightmare! I can’t imagine him loose in a modern corporation. Even if he means well, he’d eventually trigger a harassment lawsuit!
Did you notice how much more expression Elias’ face was when he assumed a human form? While he might be emotionally immature, there are some feelings he’s more than capable of showing. Like possessiveness, for example. Remember when the college sent a bird asking about Hatori attending? And remember when the bird ended up as fertilizer in the greenhouse? When considered in light of Elias’ jealousy of Hatori’s attention to Stella Barklem in the previous episode, it seems this might be Elias’ dominant emotion. I worry about what that means for his future with Hatori. For now, she seems comfortable with it because she’s still learning to value her own worth. Plus, she is strongly empathetic to Elias, and I don’t see that changing. Mikhail seemed genuinely concerned about her, though, and if he decides to act without Hatori’s consent, it could trigger stress behaviors in Elias.
And his stress behaviors can be dangerous to those around him.
The more I think about this episode, the more things occur to me, so I’m going to stop here and turn it over to you. What did you think about this episode? What were your favorite things? Let me know in the comments!
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 18: Forgive and forget
- 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