The Ancient Magus’ Bride Episode 7: The Black Dog and The Rage of Thorns

Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 7, “Talk of the devil, and he is sure to appear,” Elias Ainsworth takes Chise Hatori to work on the third and last errand from the Church: investigate a huge shaggy dog. They arrive to find police on the scene. Someone’s been killed by a creature with teeth and fangs. Can Hatori withstand the horror of such a death? What about the creature she meets in the cemetery? Finally, can any of then survive Elias’ rage?

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

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
Related Posts

3 Favorite Moments

We get to see Hatori learn some magic! She’s so polite about it, too! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.
  1. Hatori gets to learn magic (3:04)! And she’s doing so in such a Hatori-like way. She’s so polite to the little forest creature that provides some of the magical ingredients. I get the sense that not all mages — and even fewer sorcerers — say “Please” to their helpers. Of course, since she’s still learning, she overdoes the relaxation potion, and one of her little creature friends falls asleep after sniffing it. Best of all, this humorous incident turns out to be important later on. This show is so well crafted that it’s hard to turn off the part of my brain that looks for story construction errors — but in this case, it finds examples of superior craft!
  2. I need more Angelica Varley in my life. Elias had commissioned a ring from her that would help Hatori control her powers.
    Elias commissioned a ring from Angelica Varley to help contain her powers. Of course, Angelica had to include some motherly advice in the card! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

    Angelica included a note that said Hatori was to place it on her right index finger — and that (7:28) “you’re not ready for your left ring finger!” Seems Angelica’s still worried for Hatori. Even this show’s secondary characters are enjoyable!

  3. I have to admire Alice’s devotion to Mikhail Renfred. Not only does her affection for him seem to be genuine, but there are a lot of parallels between the two sorcerers and Hatori and Elias. So when Alice asked Elias to help her stop the malignant sorcerer Cartaphilus (19:27), I hoped he would agree to help. She carefully constructed her argument, going so far as to pointing out that if Elias got caught up in the black dog’s plight, he and Hatori would incur Cartaphilus’ anger, too. There was a tense moment while Alice worried if she hadn’t been convincing before Elias says sure (20:03). Her relief and shock were adorable. She’s had a rough way to go; it’s nice to see her get a break for a change.

Thoughts

Alice has had a rough way to go. It was nice to see her pleasantly surprised for once. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I haven’t been able to think about a chimera in the context of anime without a deep feeling of sadness and dread since The Full Metal Alchemist. If you saw the episodes with Nina, then you know what I mean. I like how The Ancient Magus’ Bride is also treating chimera as abominations.

This show’s been exploring how Elias feels about Hatori. She’s the Sleigh Beggy, of course, so he’s interested in her magical capabilities. Sometimes, he treats her like a puppy, like when he gave her a bath in the first episode, so there’s some kind of affection there. Other times, he treats her as a student, as we saw in this episode where he began her magical instructions. At yet other times, he speaks as if they’re engaged and even talked about their honeymoon. But particularly in the case of the last example, I got a strong sense that Elias didn’t really know what he was talking about. He’d observed human behavior over the years and had gathered some ideas, but even he admitted to Renfred and Alice that he really didn’t know how it felt to be human. He couldn’t weave together the matrix of meaning between gestures of varying kinds of affection.

Elias’ reaction was not one of someone protecting property. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I detest Cartaphilus, but I have to admit that his actions clarified how Elias feels about Hatori. Look at how he reacted to Hatori’s injury (starting around 20:42 and culminating in his posture over her fallen body around 22:12). That’s not the reaction of an owner protecting their property. That’s not the reaction of someone trying to keep something safe — or even someone protecting their experiment. Elias’s was the reaction of a someone seeing their loved one attacked.

It was the instinctive and emotional reaction of someone protecting their mate.

Seems like we can check that question off the list. Of course, a ton of other questions remain, like “How is Hatori going to survive this?” and “Will Elias ever learn not to send Hatori off in dangerous situations on her own?”

I swear, he’s not doing a great job of protecting her! Helping her build confidence is one thing; watching her get snatched by a dragon, pinned with a knife at her throat by Alice, and now skewered by what looked like a giant preying mantis’ raptorial foreleg (yikes!) is quite another. And right in front of him all three times! Come on, Elias. Up your game!

What did you like about this episode? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow