In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 23, “Nothing seek, nothing find,” Elias Ainsworth is in the wild, unable to hold his bipedal form because he laments Chise Hatori’s leaving him. Can the Spriggan calm him down? Or will Oberon have to take more drastic measures? Hatori learns more about Cartaphilus’ past than she was ready to accept. How will she react? Will Cartaphilus give her the chance?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
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3 Favorite Moments
Last week, Hatori demonstrated just how much she’s grown. This week, it’s Elias’ turn. He’s been prowling the wilderness in a state of near despair at Hatori’s departure. He causes such damage to a sacred knoll that the Spriggan shows up — with friends! — and tries to subdue him (2:09). Then a travel-sized version of Titania (she describes herself as a branch of the original) with Oberon, and they offer to help Elias find Hatori and take her back to their realm — and keep her there, with the implication that force would not be out of the question. Though he seemed tempted, Elias knew that Hatori would not have wanted it. Nor would he. It would be only the illusion of safety and happiness. He turned them down (4:47). “She thinks the way I do,” he said. “It can’t be this way.” It might have been painful, but Hatori’s leaving seems to have prompted Elias to do some deep reflection. It’s cool to see his character grow, too!
I’ve often wondered how someone cursed with immortality but not endless health would fare in the world. I’ve heard of Tithonus, who Zeus granted immortality at the request of Eos. Trouble is, Eos forgot to ask for youth, and Tithonus aged and withered and withered. And withered. So, I wondered how it was for Cartaphilus. Turns out, it was something similar, though it seems he doesn’t completely wither. When Joseph found him (10:12), he was mostly underground, with only part of an arm and part of his face showing. I wonder if he’d been buried, and a recent rain washed away some of the top soil? He seemed to be too lightly buried otherwise… But I still thought i was an interesting through very, very creepy scene!
As Hatori rode the bull that Mariel had turned herself into and pursued Cartaphilus, Ruth ran beside them and Elias lurked in her shadow. Hatori made it clear that she was still angry with both Elias and Ruth (21:40). But at least she was talking to them! Elias even offered a brief apology, though I’m not convinced he knew exactly what he was apologizing for. I really liked this scene for two reasons. First, Hatori was taking the initiative. She was building on the growth she showed us in the previous episode. Second, it showed how healthy their relationship is. She was still furious with them, but she wasn’t walking away. The three of them still have a relationship. That really comforting to me, and I can only imagine how relieved Elias must feel!
Isn’t it amazing how much Hatori has grown? I still choke up when I think of her telling her mom, “Thanks for letting go” in the last episode. In this episode, in a less dramatic but no less important sign, she takes the lead in re-establishing dialogue with Ruth and Elias. She’s active; she’s taking the lead. It’s really a lot of fun to watch!
I think another sign of her growth is her determination to help Cartaphilus/Joseph. We’ve seen her insist on helping Mina and Matthew back in episode 4 and episode 5. We’ve seen her help Joel Garland and Redcurrant when the former was on death’s door. In both those cases, the people who Hatori were helping were arguably sympathetic. Though Matthew was seething and dangerous, we could understand his despair, and it would be difficult not to sympathize with Mina. Joel was a gentle man who just wanted to write and tend his garden in the wake of his wife’s death. Redcurrant was utterly in love with him, but was hesitant to express it because of what love meant to her people. How can you not want to help them?
But now we’re faced with Cartaphilus. His original curse (which seems kinda excessive in retrospect) puts him at odds with several of the world’s major religions. His practice, after joining with the social outcast Joseph, was to kill and dismember people for their body parts. From almost every perspective, they are villains, and it’s likely most “heroes” would feel justified in putting them down.
But Hatori takes another course. She’s determined to help Cartaphilus/Joseph. She knows what he is. She knows his history. He has kidnapped her, tortured her, nearly killed her, and possessed her first human friend. Yet, she is willing to put that all aside because she wants to help. She’s always shown this tendency, but extending it to an enemy? That’s real character. That’s real dedication to staying true to your own morals.
Is she influenced by the idea that helping him might help her beat the curse? Maybe. But I honestly don’t think it’s the driving force behind her decision. This is Hatori we’re talking about. She’s always made decisions to help others at her expense — sometimes driving herself to death’s door. While her own safety might be in the back of her mind, she just wants to help another being.
That’s Hatori being Hatori, and the stronger she gets, the more determined she is.
Isn’t that a beautiful thing?
Do you agree? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments below!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit Discussion: Mahoutsukai no Yome Episode 23
- Lost in Anime: Mahoutsukai no Yome – 23
- The Weekend Otaku: 200 Word Anime: The Ancient Magus’ Bride – Episode 23
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 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 24: Live and let live