The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 24: Goodnight Sleepy Head and I’m Home

Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 24, “Live and let live,” Chise Hatori faces Cartaphilus, and this time she’s not alone: Elias Ainsworth and Ruth stand with her. Can they confront a being who’s immortal — and who gets unexpected help from Ashen Eye? And even if they can, how will Elias and Ruth withstand Hatori’s wrath after what they tried to do to Stella Barklem?

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

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
Related Posts

Interested in the OP?
"The Ancient Magus' Bride" Original Soundtrack 1 / Animation Soundtrack (Music by Junichi Matsumoto)

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3 Favorite Moments

Ariel doesn’t like Elias. At all. But she was willing to put that aside to protect Hatori. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  1. Love can overcome many a prejudice. For example, Ariel loves Hatori so much that she proposed an alliance with Elias (5:17). She didn’t announce it with much affection (“Let’s do this, you failure”), but Ariel proposed it and Elias agreed. I even loved his response, which was “We’re aligned in our opinions” (5:28). Ariel’s resolve shook even the powerful Ashen Eye, who elected to withdraw with Cartaphilus. Rather, they tried to. There was no way the combined might of Ariel, a native Fae, and Elias was going to let that happen. Together, there were powerful enough not only to stop the pair’s retreat, they dispersed Ashen Eye, at least for a time. We know Elias by himself is no slouch, but to so easily swap aside Ashen Eye? Ariel must be insanely powerful!

    I get a strong “if Silky’s okay, the world’s okay” vibe from this hug! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  2. Hatori waking up in Elias’ arms — literally — was beautiful all by itself (12:39). Also beautiful? How they are now so confident in the strength of their relationship that they immediately begin bickering, Hatori demanding to know why Elias tried to sacrifice Stella without consulting her and Elias throwing the argument about lack of consultation right back in her face (12:59). But my absolute favorite part of the scene? Silky interrupting their argument by hurling herself into a huge hug with Hatori (13:08). She was so happy that she almost sounded like she was crying! Elias and Ruth were no less worried about Hatori, but they were out in the field fighting by her side. They knew what had taken place and they were active in her defense. All Silky could do is stay at home with only her worry for company. It was so great to see her happy and at ease with Hatori!

    The young lady knows what she wants, and what she wants is to be by Elias’ side. Even their awkwardness was adorable! I’m going to miss this series… Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  3. Guess what my third favorite moment was! I know. I’m an old guy and shouldn’t be moved by such things. But after the masterful buildup from the previous 23 episodes and OVAs, and after the moving characterization, and after all of the growth that both Hatori and Elias have gone through, the wedding in the woods the epitome of hope and light. From Elias seeing Hatori in her wedding dress and veil and wondering aloud, “Is this what ‘beautiful’ is” (19:01) to Hatori’s vow asking “May I walk alongside you going forward?” (21:56), the scene was the fulfillment of everything that had come before, at least in terms of Hatori and Elias’ relationship. It was an appropriate emotionally triumphant culmination to this series. At least until we get more, and I hope we do!

Thoughts

The OP’s music was the same, but the animation was all different. I almost felt like the show was saying, “See all of this wonderful stuff? Guess what? You don’t get to see it any more!”

I almost felt like they were taunting us… Okay, the show has too much heart to do that. I’m only bitter because this was the last episode.

The images that were most fulfilling to me were at the end, and I’ve tried to capture their beauty in my third favorite moment (though I have a sense my vocabulary just isn’t up to the task). But Hatori’s “treatment” of Cartaphilus deserves some consideration, too. It’s an important moment of self-empowerment on her part, where she not only put herself at risk, she marshaled the support of Ruth and Elias, too.

Hatori has learned the importance of teamwork. I’m not sure I know what her upper limit of achievement is now! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The conflict between the philosophies of the sorcerers and mages fascinated me. The sorcerers were much more attuned to the common use of the word “power,” which is to project force. Want to experiment with immortality? Experiment on people, even to the point of destroying their lives! Want to influence another sorcerer? Take his arm and threaten his apprentice! Want to influence another nation? Bomb them back to the stone age!

Mages take a different route, working with nature and harmony to achieve ends. Hatori, having learned forgiveness and compassion from her mother and her own recent experiences, understands this different way to express power. Her plan is to partly merge with Cartaphilus, partly put Joseph to sleep to ease his suffering — while at the same time balancing the dragon curse’s destructive power within her. She worked to harmonize all of the elements before her, including her enemy, and by doing so, she came out ahead. In fact, it’s hard to think of anyone not benefiting from this, except Ashen Eye, and I don’t want him to benefit right now.

She must be in agony from what for us would be a mortal wound. Yet she still sympathizes with Cartaphilus! Hatori’s strength was a wonder. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

She even used empathy as part of her attack. I have to admit, I got choked up when she asked (8:29), “It hurts, doesn’t it?”  She even patted him on the back (8:45)! That’s how to project force. That’s how to conquer your enemy. That’s how you establish lasting peace, with all parties benefiting from your solution.

Our world measures power by the ability to project force and destruction. A scene like this, where we witness true power, is so alien and beautiful that it borders on emotionally devastating. Remembering Hatori singing Joseph/Cartaphilus to sleep (9:36)? Did you sit through this scene with dry eyes? As much as her marriage to Elias was an emotional culmination to the series, this scene was the apotheosis of her powers.

I’m not sure I can ask much more from a series!

What did you think of the final episode? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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