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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 5: Favorites

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 5 – Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 5, “First impressions are the most lasting.”, Chise’s tense relationship with her roommate, Lucy Webster, took a turn for the worse when Lucy lost her patience with Chise’s polite way of speaking. But that wasn’t all – Lucy also provoked an accidental confrontation with Zoe Ivy, with unexpected – and dangerous – side effects. Can Chise rein things in? What will Ruth think of the commotion? And just what does Zoe have against Chise?

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

Favorite Quote from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 5

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 5: Zoe had a cute baby picture

The little bow was adorable. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

You gotta feel bad for Zoe. The guy’s had a rough way to go. It’s an age-old story: child born from two cultures, belonging to neither, accepted nowhere. We see it so often because it’s so much a part of our culture, even in real life. And yet, the mistreatment of such children continues. Consider the bụi đời from the era of the Viet Nam war.

That gives a sense of inherent tragedy to Zoe’s character. But this show is smart – it knows that a diet of pure tragedy becomes unpalatable. So they mixed in a little humor. First, we learned that Zoe’s dad wanted Zoe to go to school, in part, so he’d make friends – for selfish reasons. Zoe’s dad wanted to focus again on his field work!

And then there was the way in which Zoe told the story of his birth. On screen, we saw an enormous egg.

“They laid an egg,” he said, referring to his mother the gorgon and his human father (14:16). “That was me.”

He even acted offended when Chise and the others seemed taken aback. It seemed so out of left field that I had to laugh.

Favorite Moment from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 5

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 5: Philomela wasn't used to anyone taking her feelings into account

Philomela was not used to people not ordering her around. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Lucy Takes the Runner-Up Position

Now I remember another reason I liked the first season so much: each episode made it hard to pick a single favorite moment! This episode had at least two outstanding candidates. Lucy, after having been so brusque with everyone, showed a surprisingly tender side. Zoe’s snake hair darted out towards her, and Zoe expected her to freak out.

That wasn’t what happened at all. She seemed to think they were adorable.

“They’re such a nice spring green,” she said, smiling at them (16:34). “I’d love a dye in this color. It’s beautiful.”

That emotional softness endeared the character to me. Taken together with how she she showed real concern after returning Zoe’s ear muffs, I got a whole different understanding of her character in this episode.

Setup: But Philomela Wins!

But that moment came in second. My favorite moment happened shortly after Lucy’s warm encounter with Zoe’s head snakes (maybe I better come up with a better phrase…). Zoe, Lucy, Chise, Isaac, and Rian had come to an understanding when they heard someone being tackled nearby.

Ruth had caught Philomela eavesdropping. I’m sure Ruth would not have hurt her, but he seemed very menacing. Certainly, he had no trouble subduing the girl. Rian led the questioning to find out what she had been up to. Apparently, she’s his second cousin, and he tries to look out for her. He finally got her to admit that she was practicing. Her family specializes in intelligence gathering.

Chise and Zoe had both talked about private matters. Neither wanted their secrets to get out. It sounded heartbreaking when Zoe even asked (18:24), “Are you going to sell me to someone?” Not knowing the details makes his story feel all the more tragic.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 5: Zoe was afraid he would be sold

It was heart-breaking to see Zoe immediately assume the worst. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

The really sad part came when Philomela said she wouldn’t tell anyone. Lucy knew that wasn’t a full answer, so for the benefit of everyone, she asked what Philomela would do if others asked her – remembering that her family specialized in gathering intelligence.

“I don’t know,” she said in a wretched voice (18:33). “I don’t have the right to refuse.”

That’s a lot of sad to pack in a few words. Philomela doesn’t want to hurt those she’d like to think of as potential friends. But her position, and maybe her family’s position, makes that commitment impossible. Combined with her miserable disposition, it’s clear the young woman is struggling.

Delivery: Chise’s Weaponized Kindness

Chise is kind by nature. It’s like she can’t help it. She went up to Philomela and explained that she wanted to keep her secret if she could. But she said it was a lot more important to keep Zoe’s situation quiet.

“If that’s an order, I’d prefer you make it clear,” Philomela said, seeming to withdraw further into herself. What kind of life must she live to interpret the world like that? At this point, my imagination is already crafting fan-fic where my character could call down an orbital strike to take care of the people who have treated her like that.

My characters can be a bit violent if provoked.

Remember, Philomela is talking to Chise. Chise doesn’t have a domineering bone in her body (well, not intentionally, anyway).

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 5: Chise had no desire to order anyone around

I think it’s safe to say the option to order Philomela to do anything never occurred to Chise. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“It’s not an order,” she said, surprised (19:04). “Um… It’s a request, I guess.”

I think Chise took Philomela’s breath away. Her eyes went wide. The camera showed a closeup of Philomela bringing her hands together. It was a very simple shot, but it got the point across. Chise had just treated Philomela in a way that she wasn’t used to. And she thought she liked it.

Seeing Chise right with kindness and decency eases my heart. That sounds over-the-top, doesn’t it? But I’d be lying if I said otherwise. That’s another reason this show speaks to me on such a fundamental level. I like seeing a protagonist like Chise grow and thrive as she takes the people close to her along for the ride. It’s a healing show, and right now, I kinda need one of those.

What did you think of Lucy suddenly standing up for Chise? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share in the comments!

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