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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 8: Favorites

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 8 – Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 8, “Slow and sure. II,” Chise tried to learn basic survival skills with her classmates, including Lucy. Elias had wanted to tag along until Chise quite reasonably pointed out that the whole point was to learn self-reliance. Having a powerful mage like Elias present would defeat the purpose. So, Elias agreed to only send enough of himself to observe – and be otherwise useless. Chise began to regret that decision, though, when she realized Lucy had left their tent during the night – and now Chise felt a terrible presence nearby. Where did Lucy go? What happened to her? And what did Chise sense?

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

Favorite Quote from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 8

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 8: Chise was looking out for Lucy

I think it might have helped if Chise had given Lucy a little more context. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Chise is a thoughtful sort. She looks out for her friends. Now that she had more friends to look out for, it keeps her busy. She seems happy about it.

In this episode, my favorite quote is another example of Chise being thoughtful. She had just witnessed a terrifyingly beautiful horse-like creature standing on the river. Not standing in the river. Standing on the river. This is The Ancient Magus’ Bride, after all!

Mini-Elias told her he thought it was an each-uisge. That’s a creature that offers to give free horseback rides, which sounds pleasant enough. Except that those rides end in the each-uisge throwing the rider into the river, then eating them.

Yeah, this is The Ancient Magus’ Bride.

Elias concluded his description of the creature with (05:17), “So don’t get on its back.”

Chise wanted to share that sage advice. When she returned to the camp, without preamble or explanation, she said to Lucy (05:41), “Lucy, if you see a horse out there, don’t get on, okay?”

It’s nice to see Chise looking out for her friends.

Favorite Moment from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 8

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 8: Chise didn't know how to process what she'd done

Killing doesn’t come easily to Chise. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: Doing What Must Be Done

Have you read any of Elizabeth Moon’s work? Her novel, Speed of Dark, shattered me with its convincing portrayal not only of an autistic main character, but with its depiction of how the people around that character reacted to him. But that’s not what my favorite moment in this episode reminded me of.

Elizabeth Moon served in the US Marine Corps, and she used that experience to build compelling authenticity in her Familias Regnant novels and others. One character in particular caught my attention. She commanded a spaceship, and she worried herself: she could kill in the line of duty, with just cause, and feel zero remorse. She through shew as broken.

How soldiers and military personnel react to their job varies. Guilt can debilitate some people, while others feel very little. I’m not talking about people suffering from psychosis here – this character was otherwise well-adjusted. Though the act of eliminating an enemy from the universe did not affect her, her lack of reaction did.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 8: Rian seemed to understand what Chise was going through

Chise didn’t know what to think. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Her struggle against herself stuck with me. It’s more than how relatable I found her. It’s that the struggle felt real. It made the character realistic. Also, it perfectly fit with the book’s plot and themes. 

Just like Chise in this episode.

She was in a bad situation. The each-uisge had gotten her to the fresh water. It had even kicked the nuckelavee into the lake. But even as the fresh water poisoned it, it grabbed Chise to drag her down with it. It might be about to die; but it intended to kill Chise, too.

Chise’s arm – remember her dragon arm? – came alive. In a horrifyingly cool bit of animation (19:00), it spoke, saying, “Horror. It must be destroyed. Horrors must be destroyed.”

Delivery: Chise’s Not Alone on Her Journey

That’s exactly what it did. It ripped the massively powerful nuckelavee into ribbons. Though cool, that’s not my favorite moment.

My favorite moment was when she came on shore. Rian, who impressed me by going with Chise to support her, noticed her expression. He asked if she was okay. She tried to reassure him, but he said (21:44), “I’ve seen that face before. In the mirror.”

The episode gave us a quick shot of Rian trying to wash blood off his hands. In that shot, he was barely holding himself together. In that flashback, he had done the necessary thing. Now, he saw that in Chise. He empathized with her and tried to reach out to her.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 8: Chise's arm has a mind of its own

Chise’s arm wasn’t ready to die just yet. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Remember, Chise is a kind, thoughtful soul. She doesn’t want to hurt any of the neighbors. She certainly doesn’t want to kill them. I’d say it’s debatable if she’s even culpable in this case, given that her arm actually had a mind of its own. 

She stopped. In a quiet voice, she said (22:13), “I didn’t know what to do.”

He didn’t judge her. He didn’t try to give her a pep talk. Instead, he acknowledged her feelings by simply saying, “Yeah.”

They shared a genuine connection, based on a shared experience. I don’t know exactly what Rian had done; I don’t know if he was justified or not. But that experience allowed him to let Chise knew that she wasn’t alone at a time she needed to know she wasn’t alone. Moment like that are what endear this series to me. 

What did you think of Chise feeding some of her hair to the each-uisge? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 8: Favorites

  1. That arms transformation threw me for a loop. I have to go back and rewatch the episode where she got the dragon curse arm. That is an immensely powerful thing to have.

    I can come up with different logical formulations as to why it is acceptable or even a positive good for her to defend herself against an attacker. In this case, the baddie was going to die anyhow, and there did not appear to be a nonlethal alternative. For someone who was attuned to the lives of fantastic creatures, it was probably still an emotionally jarring event.

    Her arm seemed to be considerably more hard nosed than she is. That’s probably a good thing. I still don’t think that she truly values her own life like she should. The dragon arm has a powerful will to live. The next objective might be mastering her arm so she controls it rather than it controlling her. I expect a lot of soul searching and maybe some wisdom from Elias who is more willing to kill if the need arises.

    From what the beast (with what I consider an unpronounceable name) said, someone is out to get her and this won’t be the last. I hope she shares the information with Elias, at a minimum. I hate the trope where people don’t share vital information leaving others with a need-to-know in the dark.

    1. Yeah, I hope she shares with Elias, too. I like to get misunderstandings out of the way, then get onto more interesting developments.

      I think you’re right — I don’t think she values herself enough yet. That dragon arm was something. I think she got it in one of the OVAs, didn’t she? I haven’t seen that yet, and I need to. Heck, I should have reviewed it when it came out. I must be slacking!

Please let me know what you think!

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