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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15: Favorites

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15 – Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 episode 15, “Needs must when the devil drives. I,” Chise and the other students had studied all they could. They needed a break! So they broke out a magical puzzle game. You can probably guess who won! But then Philomela showed up, and Rian challenged her to a game. The scene was tense – why? Why did Rian seem to intent on challenging her? Why did Philomela seem even more exhausted than usual? And why is Chise’s hair suddenly black?

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

Favorite Quote from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15: Elias and Chise finally had a moment to catch up

Chise and Elias had a moment to catch up. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

When Elias stopped by just to see Chise during her study group, it occurred to me: they haven’t had time together since Chise came to college. The lockdown hasn’t seemed to help matters. In the meantime, Elias has had some opportunities for growth. For example, he realized that Chise never complained and that ate pretty much anything she was offered. It bothered him that he didn’t know her preferences.

After she had tried to talk to Philomela, Chise sat on a bench and watched the rain. She seemed to be in relatively good spirits, despite her worry for her friend. When Elias happened by, they just started chatting. 

It felt so natural! They talked about the rain and they talked about their crops at home. Chise asked what kind of dishes they should make. Elias shared some of his ideas. It felt warm, it felt comfortable, and it felt right. Their relaxed tones really sold the moment.

Even as I thought the same thing, Elias thought (20:03), “Chise and I…” as Chise thought, “Elias and I…” They both finished with, “…Haven’t sat down to talk for a while.”

I’m so invested in these characters that a simple conversation like that made an impression. Damn, I wish I could write characters this well!

Favorite Moment from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15: Chise did what she could to help Philomela

Chise, caught between her dark memories and Philomela’s pain, did what she could. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: That’s One Evil Grandma

I’ve not disliked a villain as much as I dislike grandma for a long time. Can’t say it’s a feeling I enjoy! But in the context of this story, it makes Philomela even more compelling. It also gives Chise a mirror to her past self. How she responded says a lot about Chise’s character. Even though we knew it – even though we knew she’s compassionate and innately reaches out to others, despite all the advice Elias and others give her – it’s still endearing.

It set the stage for my favorite moment. Grandma is obviously powerful. Those who know her either cower or stay out of her way. I’m not aware of anyone who has successfully challenged her. Even the school’s chancellor and her helpers back in episode 12 seemed hard-pressed to simply keep grandma out of the college. It’s like she’s a force of nature.

And there’s Chise.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15: Philomela's grandma is wicked

I have a sudden desire to buy a case of that ant and roach killer from Raid. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Philomela is an emotional wreck. The game with Rian blew up in her face. He confronted her angrily, much to Isaac’s consternation, for not sticking up for herself. His words cut her deeply. She reacted the only way she knew how – she ran. Chise went after her. I thought it was interesting that Lucy followed Chise.

Chise caught up to Philomela and grabbed the fleeing woman’s arm. The face that turned to Chise looked stricken; the look in Philomela’s eyes reminded Chise of someone. “That’s right,” Chise thought (15:52). “These eyes don’t cry. I’ve seen it before.”

Chise remembered when she was a child, when the other children beat her up because she was different. In Philomela, Chise saw the anguish she’d left behind. I think Chise expected Philomela to keep running. But she didn’t. Philomela tried to explain herself. She tried to explain how she and Rian used to play, and how Rian would sometimes say nice things about her.

Delivery: Chise, the Carrier Battle Group of Love

Something else in Philomela had changed. She let Chise place hands on her shoulders. For Philomela, it was like the words that had echoed in her mind, unspoken in the night, suddenly burst out as she said (16:24), “But now, I’m not allowed to win… Yet I’m not allowed to lose, either… I’m an embarrassment. I’m worthless.”

The courage it took for Philomela to say those things to Chise, especially in front of Lucy, struck me. 

I think everyone knows who did this to her. I think Rian and the others know it’s related to her grandmother. But even Isaac, when he led Philomela away from the confrontation with her grandmother back in episode 12, didn’t speak to the old woman. I suspect they were afraid. 

Not Chise. Not the Sleigh Beggy. She said (16:42), “Is that because that’s what your grandmother told you?” She had absolutely no concern about what grandma would try to do to her. She didn’t look angry, or vengeful. It wasn’t that she seemed ready to challenge grandma. It seemed more like grandma just wasn’t important to her. Chise wanted to help Philomela, and that was all.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 15: Philomela really wanted to believe in Chise

Philomela really wants to believe Chise. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

And did you see? Philomela started to reach out to Chise. She pulled her hand back, but that’s a huge step forward! Then she said, “There’s nothing I’m allowed to do.” Her nerve broke, and she withdrew. But she didn’t run.

This show reminds me a lot of Jobless Reincarnation in how much respect it gives the characters’ emotional lives. Philomela’s spirit is in tatters. Evil grandma is still inflicting damage, even from afar. Healing her is going to take time, patience, and love. And guess who has all three? Well, at least as long as she can keep all her curses balanced!

What did you think of Elias’ tentative steps forward with his friendships? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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