In The Ancient Magus’ Bride episode 9, “None so deaf as those who will not hear,” it’s Chise Hatori’s turn to be worried about Elias Ainsworth as he hasn’t come out of his room for two weeks. When she finally confronts him, she sees him in a form he’d prefer to keep hidden. She also encounters a vampire who has an unusual attachment to a human — and a fondness for rose gardens. Finally, Hatori receives an invitation to visit the dragons, but this time it doesn’t involve kidnapping!
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
- The household’s gloomy because Elias won’t come out of his room, and Hatori doesn’t know why. She’s sitting in the kitchen, staring dejectedly at Elias’ chair, when Silky takes decisive action (3:53). She hands Hatori a wallet, pushes her to the kitchen door, tosses a jacket into her arms, and pushes her outside. Of course, Silky cheerfully waves goodbye. I love how she’s this quiet, enigmatic character who runs the household; she even seems independent of Elias! It’s also obvious that she cares for Hatori and isn’t in the least bit afraid of showing it. I’d love to know more about her.
- Leave it to a dog to have the most honest and clear understanding of love among this entire cast. Ruth and Hatori are looking everywhere for Elias, since he snuck during the night leaving only a brief note behind. Hatori’s really worried, and seeing this, Ruth just blurts out, “You must really love him” (13:31). She’s shocked, because how she’s feeling in that moment doesn’t match what she learned about love while during her childhood. She thinks she’s only worried about Elias — just worry, and nothing more. Ruth says that’s exactly what he means: she’s worried because she loves him. For Ruth, who now has the nature of a dog, whole-hearted love is easy. Yet what’s natural to him is alien to Hatori. To her, a “loving relationship” involved neglect and guilt. I’m glad she has Ruth beside her now. I think he’ll be a good influence on her.
- Living alone, longing for someone to have tea with, writing a nostalgic love story about a chance meeting in a rose garden: in the space of just a few moments, this episode setup Joel Garland as a sympathetic and likeable character who’s deeply in love with someone he typically can’t see. The shot of him napping on the chair, the Leannán Sídhe (a Celtic vampire who grants talent in exchange for sucking the man’s blood) nestled against him, was the perfect image of domestic bliss (16:39). So much so that Hatori couldn’t help but ask why the the Leannán Sídhe was haunting Joel, since she clearly wasn’t feeding off of him. She tells Hatori that it’s because the man doesn’t have a cause he’s devoting his life to, so she can’t make the exchange. Hatori’s not satisfied with this answer, so before she leaves, she point-blank asks if she’s in love with Joel. The Leannán Sídhe cuts off the question, saying that’s not the answer she wants. “We love by consuming and giving,” she says. “So I don’t love him” (18:41). I have a strong sense there’s more to it than that…
Who do you think the title refers to? Who’s just not paying attention? I We saw at least three people who weren’t quite being honest to themselves about their feelings in this episode.
Is it Hatori? It wouldn’t be surprising, given the emotional damage she endured while she was growing up. Since she hasn’t experienced an outpouring of love, it makes perfect sense that its effects would be confusing to her. Remember when she got angry at Angelica Varley’s well-meaning but blunt suggestion that she did not be “fixed to him” (7:29), meaning Elias? Even though she says she knows Angelica’s right, deep down, she’s angry at a perceived threat to her relationship with Elias, though she’s not sure just what that relationship is. After all, she’s scared that he might not really have feelings for her: “I’m depending on someone who doesn’t think anything of me” (8:24), she said.
I don’t think it’s Hatori, though. She’s trying to hear. In fact, she’s straining to listen. She’s soaking in as much as she can as fast as she can, and she’s making remarkable progress. She might not be able to articulate all of her feelings, but she’s not completely in the dark about them. Plus, she has Ruth advising her. Dogs are experts at love!
Is it the Leannán Sídhe? She hovers near Joel, though he can’t see her (most of the time!). He wrote a love story based on the one moment he could see her, and he’s pining for her even now. She’s aware of these things. She snuggles against him when he drowses, and she hasn’t tried to feed on him even once. As Hatori’s leaving, Joel locks eyes with the Leannán Sídhe for the second time, as far as we know, and she seemed ecstatic about the experience! But then she protests that it’s not love she feels, because that’s not how her kind loves. So isn’t she turning a deaf ear to her feelings?
I don’t think it’s her, either. She seems to know who she is and what she’s doing. She might be in a little bit of denial, as we saw based on her reaction to Hatori catching her asleep beside Joel. And she’s aware her feelings are atypical for her kind, and that might be embarrassing for her. But she’s not actually denying that she has these feelings, even if she disputes what to call them.
I think the title’s talking about Elias. Look, I understand that he’s not human, and I understand that he said in an earlier episode that he wants to learn more about humanity. But if all that’s true, when is he going to start paying attention to what’s right in front of him?
In this episode, Hatori walks into his room as he’s trying to get control over his form. He practically jumps on her, and she doesn’t run away. She instead gently touches his chest (I think it’s his chest; it might have been his throat; he was all vine-y and bendy) and asks him to explain himself to her tomorrow. That was a clear show of support and patient affection! In episode 6, despite being on the verge of exhaustion, she tries to comfort him. Another show of affection! Maybe these things were too subtle for him to understand, but in this episode, Hatori went out in search of him — going so far as to enter the forest at night, which she knows is dangerous. Shouldn’t that have given him a clue?
Apparently not, because his reaction was to protest that he had “left you a note saying I’d be home by night” (20:06) and, “I left you a note and everything” (20:55). He seemed to think that should have been enough to put her at ease. It didn’t even occur to him that her actions might be driven by affection. But it should have! She’s still healing from her own emotional wounds, but she’s still reaching out to him at every opportunity. He just needs to listen to what she says!
Speaking of which, the Award for Most Round About Confession of Love (So Far) goes to Hatori for saying, “…it’s not like I’m so disinterested in you that I can bear not knowing about you” (20:38). To be fair, if Elias doesn’t understand this as a confession, I’d understand.
There’s still hope, though. She’s patient, and she seems determined not to let anything get between them. I trust his intentions to find a way to lengthen her life, too, so that should give them a lot of time together. It’s a good thing. I think he’ll need it!
What do you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
Other Anime Sites
- Bryce’s Blog: Anime Review: The Ancient Magus Bride Episode 9
- Lost in Anime: Mahoutsukai no Yome – 09
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 10: We live and learn