I didn’t think the plot to The Ancient Magus’ Bride could get any more shocking, but this week really turned it up to eleven! Need to catch up? Check out my review of previous episodes here.
Chise and Elias meet with Marielle’s coven and are disappointed to learn that the coven cannot help them. Phyllis – the coven leader – explains that they know no spell that can undo the curse. She further explains that Marielle was hoping Chise’s curse could be of use to cure Phyllis and in return the coven could cure Chise, but that is not the case. As Chise and Elias prepare to leave, Marielle slips a piece of paper in Elias’s lapel and tells him that only a life can cure Chise’s own.
Back home, Elias asks Ruth if he would do anything to save Chise. When Ruth agrees, Elias sets to work. Through a montage, we see Elias head to the College with Ariel, read a book, and tear up a piece of paper. Once back home he runs into Simon, who comments that the air around Elias seems clear. He runs into Stella next and ominously comments that now he doesn’t have to look for her. Next he visits Chise and apologizes before knocking her out with her own wand.
In her unconscious state, Chise once again runs into Nevin. While asking Nevin for assistance she asks him how he always knows to appear for her. Nevin then drops a truth bomb on Chise: he isn’t actually there, he is a representation of her own conscience. With this new information, Chise decides she needs to wake up and save Stella.
Meanwhile, Elias is prepping Stella for the ritual, only to find Cartaphilus is possessing the girl. Cartaphilus gleefully comments that he is glad Elias finally revealed himself to be a monster. When Chise bursts into the room, Cartaphilus as Stella runs over to her, begging Chise to save her. When Chise asks Elias what is going on, he admits that he was planning on sacrificing Stella to save her because he didn’t like how close they were. Overcome with disgust, Chise punches Elias in the face, then uses Ariel to keep Elias imprisoned in the room, before escaping with Stella.
As Chise and Stella increase their distance from the house, the pair stop running, which results in Cartaphilus slipping in his hold on Stella. Realizing that Chise saw him, Cartaphilus offers Chise a deal. If Chise leaves with Cartaphilus and allows him to perform experiments on her, he promises to prevent her death and release Stella. As Chise is weighing her options, Elias and Ruth catch up and beg her to stay. Chise tells Elias that she can’t be with him as he is now, and takes off the necklace he gave her before leaving with Cartaphilus.
This episode just introduced a metric ton of conflict with not a lot of time left to resolve it. Will Chise forgive Elias? Will Elias redeem himself? What’s going to happen with the dragon,or the others? Is Cartaphilus going to win? There are simply too many questions right now that I’m not sure will be resolved in the remaining episodes. I hope they are though, and I hope it’s without the use of stupid montages.
On top of that, we were treated to a whole new Elias that we don’t have a lot of time left to mull over and dissect. I wasn’t as shocked that he was willing to kill for Chise in order to save her. That much was established in his flashbacks to people he met and him thinking about how none it mattered until he met her. The most shocking thing was the grudge he held against Stella. He has no problem with Chise running off with Alice or Angelica, but he hates Stella – a child – so much that he would kill her out of jealousy? That isn’t just outrageous, it’s abusive. I don’t see how Chise can forgive him for that.
Next week’s episode looks just as promising, with Chise finally coming to terms with the things her mom did. You can catch it and all new episodes of The Ancient Magus’ Bride on Saturdays on Crunchyroll and VRV platforms.