The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 2: Crystal Flowers and a Trip to Iceland

Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 2, “One Today is Worth Two Tomorrows,” Elias Ainsworth takes his apprentice Chise Hatori into London to meet one of his suppliers, Angie Varley. Astonished that Elias had taken an apprentice, Angie decides to test Hatori’s powers — with astounding results. Later, the local village priest, Simon Kalm/Collum, asks Elias and Hatori to run an errand for him in Iceland, where disaster awaits.

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

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
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3 Favorite Moments

The level of detail in this series continues to be amazing. Even something a minor as an inkwell gets expert treatment. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  1. The level of detail in this episode continues to be fantastic. Things like Silky turning the knob on the stove until the gas ignites, then turning it slightly back (3:00) or the intricacies of Elias’ inkwell (3:19) give the impression of a world where you could start investigating any piece of it and end up somewhere important or beautiful. It reminds me a lot of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series in that regard. It’s not only the subject of magic that unites those two works. It’s the depth and viability of the worlds.
  2. More cool world details! Angie described the difference between sorcery and magic (9:07). Apparently sorcery demands that the sorcerer understand reality on a scientific level before they can “rewrite it” using their powers. On the other hand, mages practice magic to create miracles with “the help of fairies and spirits.” Even more interesting, Angie went on to describe that magic is actually the harder of the two, since magic relies on other creatures. If you try to do more than you’re capable of, it can backfire — sometimes dangerously. I like that limiter on magic’s capabilities. We can’t have mages running around with too much power!

    Angie tries to find out if Hatori can practice magic. I think we got our answer! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  3. Angie asks Hatori to see if she’s capable of magic (11:06) and asks her to try to transform a crystal into her favorite flower. The show already prepared us for this scene when it introduced Angie’s daughter Althea/Alucia Varley. The daughter was younger than Hatori, but she was better versed in magic, and she had managed to create a little crystal flower of her own. Based on how proud she seemed to be, that was apparently a huge accomplishment, and that set my expectation of what Hatori, a complete novice, would be able to do. Angie told her to try to make the stone change. But our Sleigh Beggy’s memories were so painful and her ability was so great that by the time Elias stopped her, she’d recreated not just one flower, but a large portion of the whole field of flowers — based on one of her only fond memories of her mother. The crystal flowers were as beautiful as Hatori was abashed for creating such a mess. She tried to apologize to Angie, but the woman waved it off. I was glad to see Angie try to put Hatori at ease (13:59).

Thoughts

“Honeymoon”… Elias, I do not think that word means what you think it means. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I really don’t think Elias knows what “honeymoon” is. I could be wrong (I’ve not read the manga), but little things betray his lack of understanding. For example, he mentions that he and Hatori could go on their honeymoon while they run errands. That makes no sense! Or even intending to go on a honeymoon before they’re even married. I’m glad that Hatori’s not completely freaking out about this. It can’t be easy on her, what with her being introduced to magic and almost kidnapped by her neighbors in the last episode. Not to mention she’s trying to adjust to living with Elias and Silky. More evidence: Angie comes out and says that Elias has no common sense (7:25) after Hatori said he’d proposed to her.

This episode continued a trend that began last episode: in contrast to her life up until now, Hatori’s encountering people who not only tolerate her for her abilities, but who treasure her. She expected Angie’s wrath after accidentally creating a field of flowers in the workroom; but Angie was kind to her and blamed Elias for not properly preparing her to use magic. She immediately assumed it was her fault that the Church had taken an interest again in Elias, but Simon told her she wasn’t to blame. She assumed she was a burden to the household, but Silky brought her a sandwich because she wanted to (and frankly, I can’t imagine Silky doing anything against her will). Then, Silky promptly put her arms around Hatori to protect her from the priest. Finally, we can’t forget Hugo, Angie’s familiar, who more or less betrayed Angie by not telling her Hatori was a Sleigh Beggy. Why? Out of reverence for Hatori, his “robin.”

Silky made no attempt to hide her disdain for the priest — or her intent to protect Hatori if necessary. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Hatori still hasn’t figured out how to respond to any of this. I think she’s still caught in a state of disbelief at just how much her situation has changed — for the better! But I can see little signs that she’s starting to feel hope again. She wondered if she should take Elias seriously when he talks about her being his wife. She’s honest with him when he asks if his human-like face looks better than his normal visage. I’m pretty sure that if she were afraid of him, she wouldn’t have answered so honestly! She’s also beginning to comfortably cuddle with many of the affectionate creatures who seem to constantly be crawling up on her, and she’s not just tolerating them — she’s also responding with hesitant warmth. In other words, she’s starting to emotionally open up!

That’s one reason this week’s cliffhanger — and I won’t give it away here! — is so wrenching.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!

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