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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24: Favorites

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24 – Quick Summary

In The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 episode 24, “The show must go on. I,” Philomela, Chise, and friends might have the magic book that has caused so much trouble. But can they keep it? It appears that Lizbeth “May She Rot in Hell” Sargant isn’t quite dead. Nor is she quite out of tricks. Does Philomela have the will within her to resist? Even if she does, does she have the strength? And what’s Fabio Zaccheroni up to?

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

Favorite Quote from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24: Philomela was done taking her grandmother's abuse

Philomela is done with taking evil grandma’s abuse. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

When Lizbeth “May She Rot in Hell” Sargent pulled Philomela into the magic pocket world, I had to wonder if Philomela had the strength to prevail. She had her friends around her, but evil granny’s attack separated her from her friends.

Or so I thought.

Philomela brought the memories she’d made with Isaac, Lucy, Rían, and Chise. Each of her friends contributed a little bit, with Chise contributing most of all. You could say that Chise gave her the foundation and the mechanism. Because in Philomela’s hands glowed the amulet Chise had given her.

Evil granny tried everything to break Philomela. Enveloping her granddaughter with the book’s tendrils, she tried blaming Philomela for the beatings; she tried guilt. Philomela, though, wasn’t having any of it. The amulet gave her the power to burst free of the book’s ropes. 

Philomela declared clearly that she knew what her evil grandmother had done and why: to make Philomela unable to think for herself. But Philomela had met friends who had helped her grow and heal.

“You cursed me,” Philomela said (03:54). “But I was taught… I’m allowed to ignore you. To get angry. To shout. I can chose for myself and make my own wishes. So that’s what I hope to do.”

It was a beautiful declaration of freedom. It was also absolutely earned. I felt proud of Philomela in that moment. I only wish Chise could have seen it!

Favorite Moment from The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24: Philomela has a radiant smile and lyrical laugh

Philomela has come a long way this season. It’s awesome to see her smile. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Setup: The Sargants Are a Servant Family

What the hell, Veronica? Is her family, the Rickenbackers, really behind all this? I guess it makes sense that evil granny wouldn’t be calling the shots, since the Sargants are a servant family. But, dang! I had finally convinced myself that Veronica was a sympathetic character. If she was behind this, then she knew all along the pain she was inflicting on Philomela.

Maybe granny will have to pass on the middle name I gave her.

Man, was it hard watching Chise talk to Cartaphilus or what? Just thinking about what he tried to do to her makes me shudder. Yet, after making the decisions she had to make this season, she decided he was the only one to whom she could open up. That made sense, in a tragic way. It’s like the burden of command, or decisions individuals soldiers make. They see and do things that others can’t imagine. And they, too, need a sounding board, from time to time.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24: Cartaphilus wasn't happy with Chise's familiarity -- at first

Cartaphilus wasn’t happy about Chise opening up to him – at first. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

There’s a chance Chise could turn him, I think. Maybe heal his heart. I’m not sure what form that would take, and I might be giving my overly optimistic side (which still peeks out from time to time) too much voice. Still, redemption arcs are powerful. If their power ramps up the more dreadful the subject, then such an arc for Cartaphilus would be powerful indeed.

While Chise was out, Philomela had prepared to do something very important: make potpourri with Chise. Kneeling beside the table, Philomela stared at the stack of cloth as she tried to decide which one to pick. This was obviously an important choice to her; she wanted to get it right. To Lucy, who was watching the tableau, she said (22:15), “I don’t know what my preferences are.”

Delivery: Philomela’s Musical Laugh

How tragic is that? But it’s not as bad as it sounds. Because not only was Lucy there, but Zoe, Rían, and Isaac were there, too. Not to mention Silky

Much to Philomela’s surprise, Lucy emptied an entire bag of cloth squares on the table. “You don’t need to choose just one,” she said (22:26). “There’s plenty. Plenty of time, too.”

That blew Philomela’s mind. That’s when Zoe, Rían, and Isaac, who had been horsing around playing a card game, bumbled onto the scene. They knocked Philomela on her back and sent the squares of colorful fabric flying. They fluttered down onto Philomela’s face.

The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24: Philomela has friends she can trust -- and who trust her

As her friends pulled the cloth off her face, Philomela could see her friends looking at her in concern. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

Sheepishly, they apologized. Lucy made a disgusted comment. As they cleared the fabric from Philomela’s face, she could see her friends – her very own friends – crowded around her in concern. Chise had even made it back. Overcome by emotion, a brilliant smile lit her face. And she laughed. She has such a pretty laugh, too!

Philomela started the season as a trembling wreck of a human. She ended in a warm place, surrounded by friends who truly cared for her, after having cast off her evil grandmother’s curse and abuse. This is the kind of story I hope to see, and it’s a kind of story that the world of the Ancient Magus’ Bride is so good at telling.

What did you think of Veronica’s revelation? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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8 thoughts on “The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Part 2 Episode 24: Favorites

  1. Let’s just say I’m glad Veronica wasn’t invited to Christmas … we just can’t be sure about her priorities.

    Philomela’s beautiful smile and laugh was one of my favorite moments of the entire Fall 2023 season. They were a full *twenty-four* episodes in the making, after all!

    1. Wow — Veronica at the party? Talk about awkward!

      A story like Philomela’s could easily have become overly sentimentalized. But in this case, they took the time to build her situation and our sympathy, so I agree with you. That smile was one of my favorite moments from this season, too. Probably top five for the year!

  2. I actually only started susprecting Veronica during the flashback scenes, but I could never shake the unease after that. One thing I don’t quite get yet is her motivation. She’s the daughter of a powerful family and may be on a perilous tightrope. It’s entirely possible that Philomela’d have been worse off had someone else from the same family been charge. It’s also entirely possible that she was just taking care of a valuable tool all this time. The latter is not the impression I had; though even if she values Philomela on some level there’s still the question of priorities. She’s never been an easy read, and that makes sense in an environment where people scramble for power; you’d end up cultivating a poker face.

    I’m fairly happy with how they handled Philomela; it’s a bit daunting to make your own choices if you’re not used to it, and the big ones are actually easier, because you usually have a clear set of alternatives, but the small ones can stump you and it’s important to not stumble into “having to make choices” as that runs the danger of alienation from your own choices; something you make because it’s expected from you. I just love the way Lucy balanced out Chise’s kindness, which on its own might have been too heavy.

    I really like all the new characters this season has brought on. It was a very well written show, character-wise. I’ve said it before on Derek’s blog, but I think this season was more consistent in quality than the first one, however the first had higher highs. (And I tend to enjoy the set-up part the most in any story, so there’s that personal bias to take in account, too.)

    Also, the Morrigan is one frightening deity. The show really gets the fair folk across the way I’d have imagined them; which is rare in anime.

    1. As always, I appreciated your insights into a character — in this case, Veronica. I think you’re right in that she’s playing the best game she can, poker face and all.

      In terms of Philomela learning to make choices: her quick choice to take point in their counterattack against the book seemed easy. As you said, the stakes were high. At the end, she agonized over which patch of cloth to use. She didn’t even understand, until Lucy pointed it out, that she could pick more than one, and that her choice wasn’t irrevocable.

      Interesting how you described Chise’s kindness as heavy. I’ve often wondered about the weight too much kindness can impose. Guess that’s why we hear about being smothered by kindness!

      I’m right there with you in how this show presents the fair folk. The supernatural isn’t supposed to be as comfortable as some shows present it! This show, along with (strangely enough) Mieruko-chan, have a really solid handle on the subject.

    1. At first, I suspected Veronica. Then I thought she was a red herring.

      The reveal caught me completely by surprised — in a good way! The two things you pointed out were clear foreshadowing, if I hadn’t let myself get distracted by trying to be too clever!

Please let me know what you think!

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