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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 7: Favorites

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 7 – Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 7, “Slow and Sure,” Alice Swayne was still trying to come to terms with Mikhail Renfred’s attempt to adjust their relationship. How far was she willing to go to get her way? Meanwhile, Philomela Sargant received a summons to return home for a night. Why? Why did Veronica Rickenbacker remark that Philomela will need comforting when she gets back? And what was up with that smoking crow?

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

Favorite Quote from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 7

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 7: Alice is a terrible liar

Whoopi saw through her lie as easily as I did – and he didn’t have the advantage of being in the audience! Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

This show is filled with characters that I want to see succeed. One of those characters is Alice. I like how she’s trying to find her way; I like how she’s such a good friend to Chise. And I admire her dedication to her craft, whatever she perceives it to be.

In this episode, she was in the shooting range. She practiced shooting and reloading a revolver. I noticed three things about her effort. First, she handled the weapon with safety in mind. She kept it pointed down range at all times. Second, she was using hollow points, which is consistent with her hopes to be Mikhail’s bodyguard. And third, she kept both eyes open while shooting. Overall, it looked like she knew what she was doing. 

Unfortunately, she ran out of bullets before she ran out of angst. The physical education teacher, Whoopi, said he had never seen her more focused, so he asked her what had changed. She looked away and said nothing had changed.

“At least tell a convincing lie,” he said (14:24).

Part of me feels comforted that Alice is a bad liar. She’s so good at being honest, if indirect!

Favorite Moment from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 7

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 7: Elias didn't know how to interpret his feelings

A mostly invisible Elias struggled to interpret his own feelings. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Elias’ Journey to Self Understanding

I can tell I like a character when I have a strong urge to climb through the screen to smack the heck out of whoever’s hurting them. In this case, that’s remarkable because I have never wanted to smack a grandma before. Of course, I would never really smack a grandma. But when Philomela’s grandmother hit her – in the face! – with a cane, well, I felt some protective instincts fire.

I like Philomela and don’t like seeing her hurt. What can I say?

What I’d like to say is that my favorite moment dealt with her striking some kind of blow for her own independence. But it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen any time soon. So, I’ll look elsewhere. The moment I found instead is a lost opportunity – or maybe an opportunity presented? It involved Elias and Adolf Stroud.

When he didn’t have classes, Elias had taken to turning himself invisible and watching Chise. She seems to have adjusted to it. I have to say, it feels good to see her interacting with her peers in such a comfortable, natural way. Elias doesn’t seem to share my appreciation.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 7: Adolf could see the invisible Elias

Elias seemed mildly surprised that Adolf could see him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Adolf came into the gym where the students were practicing rock climbing. I half expected to see the cast of Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls in the background! But I didn’t see them, just like most of the students didn’t see Elias. Adolf, however, could see him, and greeted him warmly.

Apparently, the matter of Chise enjoying herself had been bothering Elias, because almost immediately, he said (04:36), “She makes faces here that she doesn’t show me.” When Adolf asked if that upset him, Elias answered (04:39), “I suppose it does. But I can’t look away, either.”

Delivery: Ricochets within My Imagination

This is my favorite moment because of what happened in my brain as soon as he said that. I strongly emphasize with Elias’ attempts to understand himself. That attempt is a universal thing, of course. As I’ve always felt like a partially detached observer within myself, I find many of Elias’ challenges familiar. I like seeing him work through them. I like seeing supportive people around him offering assistance. 

As soon as he uttered those words, my imagination fired up a mini-fanfic rendering of the scene. In the real scene, Adolf expressed understanding. I saw that as a missed opportunity. In my mini-fanfic, Adolf pointed out that of course, Chise showed different expressions to mere friends and acquaintances. She shows them her public face. But she shows Elias expressions she would never show her friends – expressions based on their mutual trust and affection. Expressions based on a very different level of intimacy.

The canonical scene played out with a discussion of the value of memories. Looking back at the scene, I wonder if the writer intentionally didn’t take the direction I wanted. I saw it as a lost opportunity. Maybe the writer, through Adolf, presented Elias not with a canned answer, but with the heuristics to come up with the answer himself – through the interpretation of his own memories.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 7: Chise didn't seem to mind Elias' presence

Chise didn’t seem to mind Elias being there – even if her friends could not see him. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Whichever position is true, I’ll say this: I admire a show that gets me to care about the characters so much that I brainstorm for ways to help them. I almost feel like I’m less a passive observer and more a quiet participant in their world. And you know what? For me, at least, that’s the sign of solid fiction. It draws me out of my world and into another. That’s something this series does as a matter of course.

What did you think about Whoopi’s description of how he ended up as mostly liquid? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to share in the comments!

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