Mahou Tsukai No Yome

July 21, 2018

If Beauty and the Beast had a Japanese version but filled with lots of supernatural stuffs and magic, it would be Mahou Tsukai No Yome. On second thought, maybe not. Because on the surface it looks like some hideous bone creature thingy has taken in a young human bride. Hmm… Even death covets the flesh of our young mortal girls. Not even close. The story tells of a young girl who is auctioned away and a mage bought her at the highest bid since she is some rare type. As the human life has abandoned her, now she lives a new life learning magic and the supernatural surroundings around her.

OVA 1
Angelica Varley talks to Hugo as she prepares to send documents to Elias Ainsworth. At Elias’ home, Silky makes breakfast for everyone. Angelica’s raven familiar arrives and drops the loads of books at the doorstep. They take the books and place them in the library. Speaking of which, it is time to do some spring cleaning too. Chise Hatori notices one of the books sent by Angelica, The Lonely Little Star. As Chise has some sort of connection to this book, Elias is interested to know more. He might be his magic teacher but she is his human teacher. Putting her on his lap, she begins her story about this book, a book she used to read when she was still alone. Chise’s mom was mentally unstable and unfortunately killed herself. She is taken in by the Hatori family but the sons often tease and bully her. Foster mom tries to treat her equal (although from the looks of it she is doing it because she had to) but Chise is always keeping her distance and looking very scared. It doesn’t help that Chise could see scary monsters everywhere when normal humans couldn’t. Eventually this household starts breaking down with the wife accusing her husband of taking Chise in. One day, Chise got lost in the woods after bumping into someone in the park. A rat monster tries to get her as she runs for her life. She runs and takes refuge in a strange house in the middle of the woods. It seems the monster’s attack stops. Chise then meets Riichi Miura, the librarian of this place. Although there are creepy critters here, Miura assures they won’t attack her because they are busy reading. He also assures the evil creatures outside cannot come inside here as he is the magician of the forest. He welcomes her to the library of the forest.

OVA 2
Miura tries to help Chise feel at home but she still feels uneasy and wants to leave. So he gives her a library card. This allows her to come back here. Chise returns home. The family continues fighting. The sons blame and continue to hate her. Eventually the mother and sons pack up and go live somewhere. With nowhere to go, Chise finds her solace at the library. Since she has a book report to write, she uses this excuse to come over and read. Miura lays down 2 important rules. As long as she has this library card, she is a member and can borrow any books. Also, never leave the front door open. Follow them and she can come here anytime. Chise spends many wonderful moments reading books and sometimes Miura would read stories for her. Although Chise is unable to choose which book to write as her report, she notes how she loves reading the last page of a book more than anything else. This sends Miura panicking and has Chise leave for today. The next time she comes, Miura hands her a book he wants her to have, The Lonely Little Star. He then turns the library into some magnificent starry show and reads some lines from the book until Chise falls asleep. He notes she will never come back here again. When Chise wakes up, she is back home. Next day when Chise visits the library, she doesn’t see Miura around but manages to enter. Miura wakes up from his slumber only to be surprised to see Chise inside. Unfortunately, Chise forgot to close the front door. The monster rat rushes in and starts devouring all the books. Miura saves Chise from being devoured. When Chise comes to, she notices all the books in the library gone and Miura is partly devoured.

OVA 3
There is a favour Miura wants Chise to do and that is to deliver this book to somebody. She cannot stay here or she will be stuck here forever. Touching the book, Chise sees the memories of regret of Miura. Mayumi Niikura lent him a book and he was supposed to return it that night. The loving the last page of a book is a fondly remembered quote from her. However he failed. He got injured as he was running through the forest and then he stumbled into this library. Before he realized it, he became a captive of this library and began reading. He isn’t sure how long he has been here. So when Chise said those words, he knew it had to be her to return the book. Chise takes the book and run as the library crumbles. Miura is confident nobody will wander into here again. Chise manages to find the house of Mayumi. However the lady who answered her is her granddaughter! She is told Mayumi is at the hospital. She makes her way there and sheepishly hands over to granny Mayumi. She confirms it is her book and notes despite Miura never came to her, he fulfilled his promise. Mayumi hugs and thanks Chise. Chise returns to the spot in the woods just to ‘inform’ Miura she had completed her task. She sees The Lonely Little Star on the ground. When Chise was transferred away, the Hatori family moved back in. Like as though they got rid of a curse. Chise left that book behind in her room. Now, Chise can’t believe this book is here after she let it go. Elias finds something strange in her story. Based from old legends, stumbling into a house in the middle of the woods is called Mayoiga. It shows itself to those who get lost. Those who wander in are allowed to bring home just 1 thing and probably a condition for their returning to their own world. If Chise wasn’t given anything, she could have been stuck there forever. That is what it means to wander into the other side. Miura must have known this fact since he gave her this book. If it wasn’t for that book he had given her, Chise wouldn’t have left him there. They realize they have been talking for so long that it is already evening! Tea time has passed and Silky is mad nobody came to eat the tea she made. Oh well, eat it over dinner then. Chise wants to give this book another proper read through because she feels she can read it differently this time.

Episode 1
Chise signs a contract that has her become a slave to be auctioned off. The highest bidder to buy her is Elias. Everyone is shocked that he made his public appearance. As he takes her back, he knows she could see supernatural things. He calls her fortunate to have that sight but she vehemently disagrees. It brought nothing but misfortune. In that case, he will have to make her feel fortunate of that one day. He can’t have her be helpless as he paid good money for her. He takes her back to his home at the outskirts of London. Here, she will become his mage apprentice. First, he makes her take a bath. Strange fairies visit her but they rather be called neighbours (though, I think they look more like harpies). They offer to help her if she plans on becoming a mage. After Chise gets out, she has a few questions for Elias. Those fairies are called ariels and are attracted to anything new. As for why Chise is categorized as Sleigh Beggy, it is a term for someone capable of attracting and binding all manner of things. As Chise is able to see the supernatural, but that’s not common among her kind. However it brings fortune and misfortune. Their kindness may not necessarily benefit humans but to be loved by them, she will never be without assistance and she needs their magic to do magic. Chise is unsure if she wants to become a mage but Elias welcomes her as his family and gives her an adder stone as a charm. When Chise retires to her room, an ariel visits her and suggests they go for a night walk. However it is a trap to lure her away from Elias and make her stay forever in their kingdom. Chise will not go as they play psychology that she has nowhere to return to. But Chise fights. Elias considered her as family even though he might throw her away someday like a toy. Elias finds her and shoos the ariels away. The stone acts as a tracking device. He will forgive them this time but warns the next time they’ll be salamander food. The ariels give up for now but will welcome Chise with open arms if she changes her mind. Elias carries Chise home. She gets shocked when he says that even though he bought her as an apprentice, he hopes to make her his bride someday.

Episode 2
Chise is introduced to Silky who is a fairy living nearby and does the housework. Despite acting like a servant, she is more of the landlady. Elias then wants to prepare for their honeymoon. But first, he takes her to London to see Angelica to get the stuffs Chise needs. Angelica is suspicious if Elias has done anything weird to her. If stripping her for bath and then proposing is considered weird, then yes. Angelica punches him and kicks him out. Angelica introduces herself as a mage who crafts items to be run by magic. She explains the difference between sorcerers and mages. The former uses sorcery, a form of science they use in their own power to rewrite and change things to their own ends. The latter uses magic and their miracles depend on fairies and spirits bending reality. To give Chise a taste of magic, she gives her a crystal and has her imagine a flower she likes. Chise imagines a flower field with her mom. Elias quickly snaps her out of her and warns Angelica not to put strange ideas in her head. It seems the floor of the room turned into an ice flower field. Angelica learns Chise as a Sleigh Beggy and blames Elias for not telling her first. On their way home, Elias asks if her parents are dead. No matter the past she had, she is here now. She felt it was blunt but comforting and kind. She isn’t sure about her dad but her mom died before her eyes. Waiting outside their home is the local priest, Simon Cullum. Nobody really likes him. It seems he has a few requests in which the church can’t deal with but should be easy for Elias. It’s his penalty for his free actions as he has been inactive for decades and all of a sudden he has a disciple. Simon has no option but to report it to his brass. Of course the church and mages would prefer to stay away from each other. So Elias and Chise head for their first errand that is also their honeymoon. In Iceland they’re supposed to investigate the last bastion of dragons. Speaking of which, Chise is suddenly snatched away by one.

Episode 3
At the lands of the last dragons, Elias has tagged along in Chise’s shadow. Elias introduces her to Lindel who is a mage like them and his job is to take care of the dragons from human sight. While they get down to business, Chise plays with the young dragon saplings. She encounters a very old and dying dragon, Nevin. Unlike humans, dragons do not fear death and look forward to it when their time comes. Nevin knows he will become a tree when he dies as all other dragons before him. Chise looks sad but she claims she isn’t. Nevin peeked through her memories and saw her tormented life as well there was a time she tried to take her own life. He tells her not to be envious of the dead. He believes she needs to experience the joy of flight and will take her on one. He is too weak to physically do so but will let her fly through his mind and memories. The flight awes her. Lindel notes Chise is sharing Nevin’s last dream and her power is flowing into him. He advises Elias not to lose her as there are many others who would kill to have a Sleigh Beggy. He didn’t obtain her easily and for sure he won’t let her go so easily too. Nevin’s last advice to Chise is to live. When the dream is over, a tree quickly sprouts all over Nevin’s body. Lindel has previously planted seeds over his body and is told a beautiful tree will grow. He hopes when Chise is a worthy mage, she will make her wand from his branch. Chise still looks sad so Lindel tells her not to as this is part of nature. Chise feels dizzy. Is it because of the flight? As she collapses, she couldn’t help feel envious that Nevin passed on peacefully.

Episode 4
The next honeymoon brings them to the kingdom of cats, Ulthar. So don’t be surprise to see talking cats like Jasper and Barney. They bring them to see their king, Molly. She knows they are sent by the church and of course there is trouble. As Elias goes to investigate, Molly brings Chise around as she tells the story how this land there was once a man who killed cats. His reign of terror ended when the first king rallied all the survivors to kill him. The little islet in the middle of the pond has some sort of breaming corruption. No prizes to guess what happens if it spreads. Suddenly Chise is usurped. That’s the second time as many honeymoon trips they’ve made. Oh, she’s been dunked into the water too. That’s the second time too. When the corruption engulfs her, she sees a vision. A married couple, Matthew took care of his sick wife, Mina. She wished she had 9 lives like a cat. She feels her punishment was resting on his love. Therefore even though Matthew is the corruption, she is the core and cause of it. Chise is saved by Elias. He knows someone is trying to get in their way but now they must not contain this corruption and cleanse it. As shadow is his essence, he is not compatible with this purification and hence Chise must step up to the task although she has no formal training yet. He believes she can do it. He will have an ariel guide her as he gives her words of encouragement like this world might not be kind to her but it is still not her enemy. As Chise proceeds, she worries if Elias will cast her away if she fails. Also, Mina telling her to kill them makes her more worried. How could she say that in a calm voice? Before she could begin, the perpetrators stop her. They have use for the corruption. Elias remembers him as Mikhail Renfred the sorcerer. Chise’s worries goes up a notch when Renfred mentions she is Elias’ test subject. He dares him to tell her the death fate that awaits a Sleigh Beggy.

Episode 5
Alice (Renfred’s assistant) explains Sleigh Beggies are treasures that create an unending supply of magic. Being alive, they relentlessly absorb and generate magic. Eventually this process will kill them as their body will be strained. However Chise rejects their generous offer to free her. She doesn’t care if they are the truths or lies because Elias is the first to call her family and to value her. Until he lets go of her hand, she belongs to him. Elias goes to handle them so Chise can continue her cleansing. Inside the memories of the corruption, Chise witnesses Matthew meeting a wandering sorcerer. He told him Mina will not live long. Matthew becomes desperate and will do anything. Anything, huh? With Matthew missing for a few days, Mina gets well enough to stroll around. She stumbles upon a shed in the woods. You know what they say about curiosity kills the cat. Literally. Inside the shed there are so many dead and tortured cats! Cat lovers would die of a heart attack. Even more shocking, Matthew killing them. According to the sorcerer, he is using the cats’ blood to make her a potion. Mina wants him to stop but he won’t listen. With the help of the sorcerer, they force the potion down Mina’s throat. After squirming in pain, she explodes! The sorcerer notes the failure of this experiment and will have to find another way to condense souls. Matthew is now broken. He thinks the cause of it is not enough cats. Before he could go on another killing spree, the other cats killed him. Chise is sad but Mina only wants her to erase them. Because of this curse that turned them into corruption, they forget how to return to the cycle of life and then and hence want Chise to erase them from existence. Molly is willing to guide them since she is on her final lap of her life. However Chise will not accept it and comes up with this solution. She wants the ariel to use her wind power to carry the seeds far away. The logic has something to do with pollination (I think) but anyway it works. Mina is reunited with Matthew as they manage to find peace. Now Chise is worried when her turn is to die.

Episode 6
With the corruption gone, Renfred has no more business here and leaves. Chise asks Elias about him. A sorcerer who hates mages and often picked a fight with him. Though, the last time he saw him he still had his left arm. Chise hasn’t forgotten about her death. He explains she will die in 3 years if nothing is done. But don’t worry, he has a way to fight that. That is his experiment and he never told her because his plan doesn’t involve her dying. Also, there was no need and he wanted to wait for the right time. As for his reason picking her, since he isn’t human, fairy or spirit, he has observed humans but never quite understood them. He thought he could learn something if he raised one as his own. Chise passes out from exhaustion. It has been 2 weeks she is lying in a comatose state in the forest but this is the fastest way to replenish her magic. The fairy queen, Titania and her husband the fairy king, Oberon pay a visit. Oberon might be a little mischievous but he uses his magic to fully heal and wake Chise up. First thing she did was to get freaked out seeing this weirdo and run to Elias. With Oberon teasing them being married, I guess it is time for Titania to put a leash on him and leave. She hopes they will come visit her land and will welcome them with a feast. However Spriggan their servant is not amused and warns them not to come even if the queen invites them. He hates humans for their past atrocities on fairies. Elias and Chise walk home. She wished he bought her 10 years earlier. He looks forward on a positive note that they will spend more than 10 years together in the future. She hopes his experiment will succeed.

Episode 7
Renfred is threatened by a sorcerer over his failure. He better buck up next time or else he will turn his disciple into ingredient. Chise asks Elias why he does things for the church. A long time ago, he made a mistake and they had their eyes on him. So in exchange to be left alone, he has to do their requests. A commotion is seen outside the church. A corpse with bites and scratches. Elias goes to talk to the head as Chise scours around. She stumbles into a bad spirit and could have been devoured had not a man, Ulysse destroyed it. Chise can tell he is not human. Seeing Chise reminds him of Isabelle as he turns into a giant black dog. However Ulysse is also wounded and collapses. Alice pops up and demands the dog to be handed over. Chise refuses and splashes sleeping potion over her. Ulysse wakes up. Chise has treated most of his wounds. He talks about Isabelle who is his younger sister. She’s dead. Wondering if he is her pet, he clarifies that he is human and watched over her since she was little. Alice wakes up and once they assure they will not harm her, she explains about her predicament. Alice was supposed to take Ulysse as ingredient to make a chimera. It wasn’t her either. A sorcerer kid showed up and demanded them to. Renfred didn’t want to get involved but was forced into it. He was the one who took his arm. Alice comments about herself as nothing good, pointing out her circumstances similar to Chise once. She just had a bit of magic talent but Renfred picked her up. Alice admits she loves Renfred and will do anything for him. Elias shows himself after he heard her story. He sees the wounds on the corpse and Ulysse as those from a chimera. Alice pleads to help dispose of that sorcerer and is surprised when Elias agrees. If he is left running around, the church will be complaining to him eventually. As she tries her best to describe that kid, Chise pushes Alice out of harm’s way. She bears the brunt of that thorny stab. That kid appears. He was supposed to kill off Alice for blabbing too much. He adds Elias shouldn’t be sad because it’s not like he cared about his guinea pig or become attached to a human. Well, Elias is so enraged he turns into a scary monster.

Episode 8
As Elias attacks the monster, Chise sees Ulysse’s past. The happy dog and her master until her untimely death in an accident. However he thinks she is merely sleeping and waited at her grave hoping she would wake up someday. Chise returns to reality assuring Ulysse. When Elias calls the sorcerer Cartaphilus, he gets mad for using that name. Before he could transform into a monster, Renfred shoots him in the head. However he soon regenerates and explains his goal to use a fairy to create a chimera. He summons a monster using Isabelle’s corpse. This breaks Ulysse’s heart but makes Chise mad. She breaks some rules of magic by materializing insects to attack him. Elias tries to stop her but she ignores him and each time he touches her, he gets devoured. They are saved and whisked to another location by a passing blue fairy (will o wisp) who then lectures Ulysse to remember his role as a black dog: To chase grave robbers to the gates of hell. Ulysse wants to make a new pact with Chise. They will share knowledge and feelings together. There is also a risk. If she dies, he dies. At this point, Cartaphilus has found them. So they quickly get on with it. The contract is complete when Chise gives him a new name: Ruth. With his new master, Ruth immediately attacks and kills off monster Isabelle. Cartaphilus is told to give up and surprisingly he agrees. When one has lived so long, one will learn to give up. He reveals his purpose of it all. As an immortal who is sick and tired of rotting away till an end that he doesn’t even know, he wants to live a painless life even if it means at the pain and expense of hurting others. Since he hates that Cartaphilus name, he goes by the name of Joseph. All our related parties make their way home. Elias will explain to Chise in the morning as well as give her a scolding.

Episode 9
For 2 weeks, Elias has been locking himself in his room. Never coming out once. Silky sends Chise and Ruth out for errands so they go out with Angelica. I think there’s some sort of confusion made by Angelica here. One point she is telling Chise to not do everything herself and rely on others, then later she is asking if she is too reliant on others hence not so spend her life living on hand-outs. This cause Chise to go into some breakdown and apologizing for her cursed life. When she returns home, she gets curious and enters Elias’ room. He almost attacks her. Although it is dark, she can still see he is in his true monster form. He can’t control his body yet and will explain things in the morning. But next day, Elias is not around. Chise and Ruth go look for him and stumble into an old man, Joel Garland and his rose garden. They see hanging around him a Leannan Sidhe, a vampire who grants men talent in exchange for their blood. Ruth suggests she rest while he goes to find Elias. Joel dozes off while telling his story over tea. So Chise as the vampire girl about sticking around Joel since she is granting him any talent nor taking his blood. She hints about love at first sight despite complaining this guy isn’t her type. When Chise wonders if she is in love, she kisses to shut her up! She adds that isn’t the answer she is looking for and that they love by consuming and giving. Ruth reports he has found Elias at the forest’s north. Chise rushes there to see him languishing in the pond. It’s his way of trying to adjust and balance things out. She is mad at him for not telling her things. It is not like she is disinterested in him that she doesn’t want to anything. As he tries to explain, she thinks half of it are lies. But he hopes she could give him some time to gather his thoughts. Is Chise angry despite not acting so? They are interrupted by a fairy familiar of Lindel. He has business with Chise and wants her to come to the land of dragons again. Looks like a dragon ride is already here.

Episode 10
As Lindel learnt Chise had troubled using her magic, he wants to hasten to make a wand for her. However he wants her to come alone and not with Elias. Don’t worry, Ruth can go with her. There, Lindel has her cut a branch from Nevin’s tree since it would be her wand. Night fall, Chise is curious if mages live long so Lindel feels disappointed Elias has not told her anything yet. He believes he is trying to tame her but Chise doesn’t mind. Her original family left her. Only Elias kept her by her side so she doesn’t mind not asking what he doesn’t say. She wants to be complacent but it does not look like it to Lindel. This has him tell her his story of how he first met Elias. Long ago before mages knew they were different from ordinary men, some questioned about their longevity but perished during their quest. Lindel got sick of it and wandered by himself. One night he was watching for wolves to protect his reindeers but they never came. Instead it was that thing (Elias). But Elias collapsed due to hunger. Lindel saved him and brings him to his master, Rahab. She is stumped of his kind because he is close to a fairy or spirit essence but there’s hint of human in him. The best possible explanation is that he was human but dabbled in black magic. Elias cannot remember anything. The first he knew was he started walking in the forest. He continued to walk and walk. Oh, and there was something red too. Rahab assigns Lindel to take care of him since he found him but he doesn’t like it. Elias can continue walking if he is not needed around but Lindel being a tsundere will provide him with shelter and prefers to see him as his acquaintance. Rahab then gives Elias his name and her pendant. Even if no one notices him and he is sad, suffering and lonely, the gods and fairies will always watch over him. So take comfort and save himself.

Episode 11
Lindel and Elias travel around for a few years. One night when food was running low, Lindel entered a village and knocked on doors to heal anyone sick or injured in exchange for food. As he heals a sick boy, he didn’t realize there was a young girl watching them. Because this girl thinks his shadow (Elias) and screams. This alerts the people and they believe Lindel is a demon trying to take their children. He flees as they throw stones. When Lindel is injured, Elias enrages and attacks them with his thorny vines. He could have killed them had not Lindel stopped him and used his magic to transport them away. As they talked, Elias says he thinks he has eaten humans before. Chise feels uneasy hearing that because at one time she thought Elias too was going to eat her. However despite being able to see things since young, she is never afraid of him. Lindel stops her and wants her to tell the rest to Elias himself. Next morning, Lindel cuts some of Chise’s hair as it will be used as the core of her wand. He then lets her choose from a few wood and then she starts carving on it. Night fall, she is almost done as Lindel talks to her with mages having different names. She knows his going by the name of Echos, the song of 100 flowers. He adds mages are named so as they are described by their features and true nature. His magic are songs as he demonstrates by singing. Chise beholds this beautiful night of fantasia, dance and song of the supernatural. She is surprised to see Elias’ reflection in the water. It seems Lindel’s singing activated her water mirror ability. They talk with Elias feeling a bit lonely without her at home and Chise telling him the many things she heard about him and wants to tell him what she has been unable to tell. Once her wand is done, she’ll come home.

Episode 12
When morning comes, Chise realizes her wand is completed. Lindel adds a couple of magic stones to the touches and blesses it with his song. When she touches it for the first time, she is transported to the border world where she sees Nevin. They talk about things but Chise is still having insecurities that Elias might abandon her. Nevin questions if Elias is ever is such person. In fact, he shocks Chise when he is grateful for her parents. For she soared the skies with him for the last time. Plus, she has saved others whom she encountered. When her mom killed herself and regretted giving birth to her, why didn’t she take Chise’s life too and let her live? Because of that, Chise is able to become herself and offer her hand to others. She is free. But if she wants to be depressed about it, it is her choice. Thus he wants her to think not for others but what she wants for herself. Chise returns to reality and she wants to return home quickly to tell Elias all about it. As Nevin said the wand connects to him and everywhere, Chise has the help of the ariels to turn her into some phoenix woman and fly home! Right into the arms of Elias! But in an awkward fashion! Of course she exhausts herself after expanding a lot of magic. Thankfully she wakes up 2 days later. But lots of flying sheep? Shearing season. This time Chise is happier and grateful to have a place call home. A warm to boot too.

Episode 13
As Chise helps to shear the fly sheep, a different one approaches her. However it attacks her and she starts feeling cold. Heck, it even lays an egg and continues attacking with its newly born offspring! Not even Ruth’s fire could stop it. But thank heavens for Elias coming to her rescue and shooing it away. He explains that this is an icy one and steals warmth as it is breeding season compared to the woolly one. As Elias helps her regain her warmth, she talks to him during her trip to the land of dragons. Because she was awake that night and saw him trying to eat her, Elias tries to erase her memories. Chise stops him by hugging him. She doesn’t want to lose memories of someone important. She then talks about her family who left her. Thus she is not afraid of how Elias looks but rather the fear of him leaving her. In turn he asks her about loneliness and is grateful to learn something from her as a human. He takes a look at her new wand but still refrains from telling her more about himself. Chise continues to learn magic (I guess the OVA scenes of Chise telling Elias her back story goes here). That night, a strange figure visits them. Ashen Eye heard about a newly born mage and is here to celebrate. He takes a close look at her. He then gives her a fox hide as present for capturing and binding his people. Chise saw too late through her stone of his evil figure and Elias was also too late to stop him. Now Chise has turned into a fox.

Episode 14
Chise runs off into the wild as Ashen Eye believes this is her way of finding her home. Besides, Chise in this form will be easier for Elias to keep by his side. Chise is revelling in her new animal freedom and wants to go to the other side but Elias tells her he needs her. She reverts to human form and agrees to come home. She can’t stand the cold. Elias shows Chise the fox hide Ashen Eye left as a gift. It turns the wearer into a werebeast. Pretty sure he isn’t going to use it ever. Late that night, Leannan Sidhe pleads to Chise for help as Joel has not woken up all day. Immediately she rushes to him. We can tell he is dying as Elias bluntly points out so and no matter how far Leannan Sidhe leaves him, his fate is already sealed so she could eat him. Chise hints Elias to stop while she talks to her outside. Leannan Sidhe claims she isn’t in love with him because if so they should have followed through. Joel wakes up and thinks Elias is a grim reaper. He has no regrets in his life and is happy to go but only wishes to see that beautiful lady with red eyes once more. Chise gets an idea to make a fairy ointment so Joel could see her one last time. Normally this is forbidden but Elias allows it but she has to do it on her own. She barely makes it and gives it to Leannan Sidhe. Applying it on his eyelids, he finally sees her. She blames him she couldn’t leave him when their eyes first met as he said he was afraid of being alone after his wife died young. Now she’s mad for him for apologizing? You just can’t please her. But Joel is happy to have met her for giving him a reason to live. Thus she can take his life. This makes it harder for her to leave him. Joel is unsure of where he will go next but believes will come to her side eventually. As long someone is waiting for him, he is not afraid. Joel then vanishes. Oh, now she’s blaming him she didn’t get to reply? Oh, you can start crying now. Yeah, even Chise can’t hold back her tears. Leannan Sidhe thanks Chise and will continue to stay at this house in case Joel comes back. Oberon knows Chise made the fairy ointment and wants the remainder back. When she hands it over, she starts coughing blood.

Episode 15
Oberon suggests taking her to the land of fairies for healing. Chise wakes up by the side of Doctor Shannon. Although she is a fairy, thanks to the swapping, she was raised by human parents. Her swapped counterpart, Shanahan looks more like a Centaur because a human who spent a long time here will become something not human. When Shannon brings Chise to a pond, she tells her how much she is attracted to a Sleigh Beggy and also hates it. Immediately she tries to drown her! It seems Chise succumbed to death but comes back alive and turns the tables on Shannon. It looks like this is part of Shannon’s shock treatment as a human who is on the verge of death will suddenly have the fighting will to come back alive. This also helps heal her wounds. Meanwhile Elias is taken to see Titania. She wants Elias to let Chise live here as she is closer to this side. She might have to abandon her humanity but her happiness will be eternal. However Elias rejects her. He still wants to learn about humans. He knows their kind always mocks and pity him. Humans might fear him but they are also the ones who accept him. He wants Chise to remain human. Silky cleans up the house and eager awaits their return. This allows her to see her back story. As a banshee, she become lost and lonely after the family she possessed has passed on. This means she has lost her voice as that family is no longer around to hear her. She wanders until she stumbled into Spriggan. Because she whispers she wants to spend more time with them, he leads her to a house with life. As long as there is a soul living there, she will find light. Silky transforms from her desolated look to one that looks like a silver flower. Hence her being named, Silky by him. Elias brings Chise home. As time flows differently, by the time they return home, it is already winter. The moment Chise steps in, Silky rushes to give a big hug.

Episode 16
Chise meets a couple of Yule twins. Elias explains that since Christmas is coming, they are preparing for the Yule festival. Elias and Chise also do the same and the former wants to try that kissing under the mistletoe legend. Weird. Girl kissing skull head. And then one for Ruth too. On Christmas Day, Chise hangs out with Alice in town. They stumble into former mates of Alice. They once pushed drugs together. Alice doesn’t like their company and beats them up before taking Chise to run. Cue for Alice to tell her back story. She considers herself as good for nothing until one day Renfred picked her up and let her stayed at his place. She was sceptical at first since from where she came, it was hard to trust others. One day while cleaning his library, she accidentally opens a book that contains a demon. She would have been done for had not Renfred shielded her. Though, he did sustained grave injuries. She felt very sorry for that and vowed to become his bodyguard. Chise returns home and Elias isn’t pleased she went out alone and exposed herself to danger. She knew he would say no even if she told him. Precisely. Anyway she got him a present which is a pendant. He too has a present for her. This big teddy bear was what once Angelica wanted so he has been making them for her family since. Also, there are other gifts for Chise from other people. This present distraction wasn’t enough to switch the topic because Elias will still scold her about going alone to town. He too had wanted to do some errands. However she wouldn’t want him to come along since she had a secret talk with another girl about girl stuff.

Episode 17
Chise and Elias go out for a walk when they stumble into Stella Barklem. She is frantic because her brother, Ethan is missing. Chise knows she has to get involved when they see Stella’s parents going after her. They are stumped about her looking for her brother when they think she is her only child. Chise talks to her as she is the only one who remembers Ethan. Elias possesses Chise to ask for compensation. She is willing to make sweets for them and since she visits her grandma here once a month, she’ll make as much as she wants. They begin to trace Ethan but it seems Chise has to ask the help of the forest spirits to show the way. Each time, giving her magical flower as reward. When she runs out of that, she has to give her own blood. This shocks Stella because it’s like she’s hurting herself. Chise says she has a brother too but cannot see him anymore. Stella still can and wants hers to be reunited with him. Finally it leads them to Ashen Eye and he has Ethan in his possession. He warns about humans saying words so nonchalantly. Flashback shows Ethan rushed out of the house against her advice. She told him off she didn’t need a selfish brother. Ashen Eye took this chance to claim him now that their bond is broken. Proof is that Stella cannot remember his name now. He wants to play a game and forces Elias to play. He hides Ethan and Elias and gives the girls until sundown to find them. Failure means he owns both of them. This is unfair since Ashen Eye stand to lose nothing. But Chise knows what to do when he hints about looking for them with her beastly nose. Elias and Ethan are trapped underwater. Ethan is freaked out at first but is soon captivated by his weird features. Elias transforms himself into Chise’s clone? Elias is unsure of family bonds thingy as Ethan talks about being family and he really wants to apologize to Stella. Chise has found them. She used the fox hide to transform into a bear and sniff them out. Stella and Ethan stubbornly quarrel like siblings always do before making up. Ashen Eye admits his loss but it was fun. He warns Stella about being careless with words again. That’s why there are spirits like him lingering close to snatch them when the opportunity arises. Instead, he takes the magical flower Stella has that Chise gave her prior. Returning to their parents who remember and were worried sick about them, Stella introduces Chise as her new friend.

Episode 18
Stella visits to give sweets as promised. She and Chise chat until Chise realizes Elias going out. Knowing something is wrong, she goes after him. As she cannot keep up with his beast form, she uses the fox hide to turn herself into a wolf. Once she catches up, she gets engulfed in his shadow. Elias explains he did so because she wanted Stella to leave and he felt strangely satisfied when Chise ran after him. This has her thinking Elias might have been feeling the same way she always did (the fear of being abandoned). Confused over this feelings, the tentacles grow tighter. She knows she will be consumed at this rate so she uses her wand to send an SOS signal to Ruth. However with the darkness, Ruth cannot pinpoint the location. A passing fairy helps light up the place for Ruth to find them. Chise explains about this jealous feeling Elias has. But since he isn’t listening, Chise threatens to kill herself. Immediately she is spit out. For once, Chise is like the mature grownup as she calms him down and takes him back. Next day, Chise visits Angelica but since she is busy, her husband, David accompanies her as he talks about his blessed family despite him being an ordinary human. When Angelica is ready, she hears Chise’s problem. Apparently she sang Elias a lullaby and he cannot get up now. It could be that Chise has her magic compounded in the song. Angelica goes to fix a medication as Chise starts feeling weary and coughing blood. David talks about Angelica never changed until their daughter was born. He realized why she always turned him down. As they have to continue sending people off with no end in sight, it is painful to think how many days left they can laugh together. He hopes they can live as long without stressing or forcing it. Back home, Chise makes the medicine, forces open Elias’ mouth and slams it in! Not sure which one woke him up. Now it is Chise’s turn to sleep. Meanwhile poachers are trying to capture dragons in dragon land. Luckily Lindel is here to stop them but Cartaphilus shows up with his own motives.

Episode 19
Chise dreams of spotting Cartaphilus in London. However he has no memories of himself. Then he goes berserk and pleading to Chise to help save them. She wakes up after 2 days of sleep. She sees Alice here and apparently there is something going on. When she joins Elias, it seems Renfred along with his college buddies, Adolf Stroud and Tory Innis are also present. They mention poachers have captured 2 dragons and left behind a teleportation device that Renfred created. It is believe Cartaphilus is behind this. They hope Elias could help them look for the dragons. However he refuses seeing he is in no obligation to do so and will not put Chise in danger. But after hearing Chise care about those dragons, he relents. They have no clue where Cartaphilus is but Chise believes he is in London. After finding out that dragons fetch a high price, she has a hunch where it is. She sees Seth Noel who works at an auctioneer at the black market auction. He offers his help to inject more funds if the bid goes over the amount the college cannot cover. The bid begins and the price is getting higher and higher. Chise hears the voice of a woman who would like to offer her help. By the time Seth bids 2.9 million, the dragon breaks from its bind and cage. From all the trauma and fear, it goes berserk burning the entire hall down. Chise starts crying and could feel the trauma and fear it is feeling. Elias hugs her and assures those are not her feelings and do not need to let them take her.

Episode 20
Chise needs Elias’ help to help return the rampaging dragon home. As the rest try to distract it, Elias takes Chise up to the base of its neck to touch and absorb its magic. However the dragon rampages further and breaks through the building. It is now soaring in the sky with Chise holding on tight. Don’t worry about normal people seeing this because they can’t. Chise manages to touch its neck and sends it crashing into the river. Chise wakes up at home with Shannon by her side. The dragon is outside sleeping soundly but it looks like Chise’s left arm is now monstrous. As explained by Lindel, she is cursed by the dragon’s power. It will slowly fester in her body and tear it apart. Chise isn’t startled. She already has the Sleigh Beggy’s curse so what is one more curse, right? There is another option for her to live longer and that is to live on the other side but at the cost of her humanity. Chise will think about it. We see Chise and Elias taking a walk and talk things out. He thinks she is okay with self-sacrifice as it is some sort of proof she existed. Of course she denies that and is even unsure of her own actions. She just felt like she wanted to do it. They are visited by Marielle the witch. She is supposed to take the dragon’s blood in exchange for money at the auction but circumstances makes it impossible. She takes a look at her cursed arm. Fascinated by it, Marielle asks if she is interested in becoming a witch. If she joins them, they might help her. Elias does not like this but Chise is open to the idea of joining her. For starters, join their gathering as a guest as soon as possible. Later Stella comes by to give Chise an invitation to her birthday party. Guess what? Today is Chise birthday! Stella is not amused the rest didn’t do a party for her. They don’t even know party means… Chise starts feeling sick and excuses herself as she vomits in the bathroom. She feels pathetic for trying to do what it takes to live. Elias hugs her and is okay with this. Her health is more important. Then it might not be too late to think about her next year’s birthday party? Meanwhile Joseph learns of Chise’s curse. He thinks of the irony that he is cursed to live that keeps him from dying while Chise is cursed closer to death. Looks like he’s got something up his sleeve.

Episode 21
Elias and Chise head for the witches’ gathering and meet with Phyllis the high priestess of the coven. She turns them down and says they have no knowledge of freeing Chise’s curse except to kill the dragon. This upsets Marielle but as Phyllis explains, Marielle intended to use Chise’s curse to free Phyllis from the tree curse. Even so, they can’t repay them. Phyllis believes Chise should walk her own path and someday somebody might cure her curse. The duo return to normal life as Elias tries to research ways to save Chise. Because now he has a goal, Simon thinks he looks better. Stella comes to see Elias and this brings him relief as he doesn’t have to find her. Oh no. The ariel scolds Chise that she wouldn’t have ended up like this had she followed her. Chise believes she only sticks around because she is a Sleigh Beggy. Chise can tell Elias is planning something without telling her. She needs someone who will obey her no matter happens to her. That’s why she picked the ariel since she likes Sleigh Beggies so much otherwise she wouldn’t have sided with Elias. Chise then sees Elias and is shocked to see unconscious Stella in his hands. He knocks her out and she could tell Ruth is also in cohorts with him. Chise is now in the other world with Nevin. She thinks he is always guiding her but he disagrees as she is the one guiding herself. She must decide what to do. Chise knows. She needs to find out what Elias is up to. She injures herself to break out of the spell. Elias begins the ritual to use Stella’s life and transfer Chise’s curse to her. But it seems Joseph has possessed her body and mocks him for doing such a thing. Who is the real monster? When Chise barges in, Joseph acts like Stella and tells what Elias was going to do. This makes her mad for even trying this as she wanted them to think together. Elias didn’t bat an eyelid that he purposely chose Stella for this. Because Chise’s treatment to her is different to him. He doesn’t like that. Mad Chise punches him and then goes after Stella. When she catches up, she realizes it is Joseph in her body. He proposes a deal and in exchange will ward off her curse and free Stella. She agrees and takes off her stone, seeing she can’t be with Elias as he is right now.

Episode 22
Chise is now with Joseph. He wants her arm so that he could die and in exchange she will have a body that can never die. Chise doesn’t trust him but is there any other choice? He wants to test for their body’s compatibility so he gorges out his own eye and exchanges it with hers. So far so good. Body not rejecting. He will do the transplant while she is asleep. Since he still hates her, he makes her dream of her past. Chise sees her old memories, a time she was living with her original family. Despite her mom was fragile, they are indeed a happy family. Halfway through the happy story, Joseph pops up. Or at least a fragment of him. Since he chopped and embedded so many parts, they don’t even know which is the real him. He believes Joseph is making her relive this is to hurt her but at the same time protect her. It looks like Chise’s dad could see the supernatural and one night left with her baby brother and never returned. This was when things took a turn for the worse for her mom. She tried multiple jobs to support them. As she could now see the supernatural, it spooks her out. She tries to remain strong but is always pushed to her limits when the supernatural even attacked Chise. Then one day she gave into the weakness of her inner voice. All this wouldn’t have happened had Chise not been born. She tried to strangle her but ultimately realized her doing. Shortly, she killed herself. With the spirit of Chise’s mom continuing to haunt her, Chise rebukes she is her real mom and is only a version she created inside of her. She will not forgive her but is also grateful to her because without being born, she wouldn’t have met all those wonderful people. She also loved her but has a hard time remembering all that ever since. She met a person who cared for her more than herself. She thanks her for letting her go that day. She won’t forget her but will leave her and move on. Chise meets that Joseph part again and is told as long as she wishes to live, he will be her blessing. In reality, Chise wakes up from her operation (has it started yet?) and tries to strangle Joseph. She is going to find out why he is doing this.

Episode 23
Elias in his beast form tries to find Chise. Because of his unruliness, Spriggan holds him down. Titania and Oberon are willing to help find her but want them all to live here happily forever. Elias rejects them and realizes the need to rethink his ways so Chise can accept him again. Nevertheless, Titania will still help him as she extends her branches all over to find her. We peek into Joseph’s tragic past. He was a gravedigger and the people scorn him thinking he is a witch who talks to the dead. One day he heard a voice asking for help. He brought this strange mummy, Cartaphilus home and decided to heal it until it is better. Once that happens, he hopes to leave this town and the duo can live happily ever after. However Cartaphilus never got better and with Joseph continued to be bullied, he breaks down in frustration. Then he gets this weird idea that they should become one since Cartaphilus cannot die. Now that they are one, Joseph feels pain everywhere. As they wander, all good Samaritans who helped him end up being killed and he took their body parts to replace his hurting ones. But the pain is still there. Even the shaman he visited only knows it is a very old curse. Joseph continues to wander and seek help. Now that Chise has seen his past, Joseph becomes mad. He attacks her and tries to rip off her arm but that’s when Titania comes to her rescue. With Elias going on the offensive, frustrated Joseph unleash his zombie army of mashed up creatures. While Renfred and Alice handle the grieving souls of the dead, Joseph escapes and Chise goes after him. Luckily she bumps into Marielle who gives her a bull to ride. Chise tells Elias that she is still mad at him and wants him to make up for it. For that he needs his help and to keep a promise.

Episode 24
Chise finds Joseph who complains about the nagging pain he has never stopped feeling and being treated like a monster. Her reply: You want others to know or just to believe he is the only one suffering. Angry Joseph counters that by saying she has a coveted body and has no trouble getting food and shelter. She is the one who acts like as though she is suffering the most. She admits she once hated and envied everything in life. They are the same. That’s why she is going to beat the crap out of him. Seriously? She can’t even hit him. Looks like Ashen Eye is with Joseph as he tries to rid of Chise. Luckily Elias and Ruth are here. Ashen Eye takes Joseph to escape but Elias combines with the ariel to cut down Ashen Eye. More Chise pep talk about he might have suffered but that doesn’t mean he has to make others suffer too. Joseph stabs her but this is part of her plan and promise by Elias to bind them together. As he struggles, Ruth gorges out Chise’s eye from Joseph. With Elias’ magic, Chise feels Joseph’s pain and then sings a lullaby till he sleeps. Yup, she definitely doesn’t want to feel this pain forever. Chise collapses from exhaustion. In her dream, she sees that part of Joseph who tells her his blessing will keep her alive but the dragon’s arm will try to kill her. Both will cancel out each other and keep each other in check so nothing is going to happen to her for a while. Chise wakes up back home in Elias’ arms. Everything seems normal. Until Chise starts lecturing him. He too lectures her back. I don’t think Silky’s hug is going to stop their bickering.

In the aftermath, Elias reports to Simon about Stella being back to normal, the witches have stopped trying to recruit them and the dragons have gone home with Lindel. As for Joseph or Cartaphilus, who knows what happened to him but he won’t be back in a few decades. In fact he is sleeping soundly in a secret place where Chise comes to keeps check from time to time. Ashen Eye is not pleased that Joseph has found a place to rest and is bored with it all. Chise pays a visit to Angelica before coming to Stella’s birthday party. But she is surprised Stella also throws her a birthday party. Yes, it’s Stella’s birthday but since Chise didn’t have one, she will host one for her now. When Elias goes to pick Chise up, he sees her in a wedding dress. Is he supposed to understand that this is beautiful in human standards? But I wonder why Chise is wearing it. Sure, she got them as presents from Angelica and Stella but why put it on? Right now. At this time. Then it’s time for Chise to remind us what her role and this anime title is as she puts rings on their ring finger. Yeah… Then Chise’s speech to thank him and the likes. How she has changed over the year but still hates this body. Elias on the other hand doesn’t intend to hurt her but there will be times he might turn into that monster again. Is that okay? You saying that at this point? Chise says that even if they argue or don’t understand each other, they can always talk till they do. Sure, words are easy… He picks her up and carries her home like a princess. She is his bride after all. So will she stop being his disciple then? Nope, she’ll continue. For the first time she calls him her teacher.

 

With Great Powers Come Great Respectability
I am wondering if Chise’s arm is healed. Although logically the dragon curse is still with her, the lack of that monster arm in the aftermath sure does pose some questions. She might have covered it but that doesn’t mean its size could shrink to that of a normal arm, right? Unless there is some magic to make that look so. Nevertheless, the ending feels pretty okay. All the while Chise has been going through lots of changes and dangers that we forgot she was Elias’ future bride along the way. So when is the right time to marry? Before she kicks the buckets! Haha! Oops. Well, considering she is a Sleigh Beggy, her lifespan is shorter so better make those wedding plans quick. Unless Elias finds a way to cure that. But still, time is ticking for Chise.

Sometimes I feel that the plot isn’t the strongest point of the series because in many instances it generally feels the same. Chise gets into some sort of trouble and then with her friends, they overcome the trouble. Chise learns something new. Cue drama effect. Rinse and repeat. I suppose it is for character development but I’ll touch on that later. Therefore the stories and the mini arcs themselves aren’t anything extraordinary. They just involve the supernatural and some hint of magic. That’s all. But I guess it is better than my initial expectations that a creature of death is keeping a human girl as his sex slave, thus turning the entire series into a hellish nightmare. Yeah, how did I ever end up thinking like that?

I feel that there are lots of wasted potential and it would be easy to blame that the anime has just 2 dozen episodes (plus 3 initial OVA episodes). For example when they introduced about mages and sorcerers. In many other works, they are interchangeable but not here. So I was thinking there would be some sort of showdown between both sides. Maybe I was just overthinking. Maybe not yet. After all, Chise as a Sleigh Beggy is quite coveted and they say many would do what it takes to get her body, it seems her life is pretty safe and sound besides the few misadventures. You don’t hear from anywhere that there are shady people and organization trying to kidnap her because of this status. Unless she is so sheltered and protected by Elias that the perpetrators would think twice and would rather not mess with him because the risk is not worth it. Which should also make sense since Elias paid a lot for her so he should have taken great measures to foresee and at least prevent this. It would be a pain if every arc is about Chise getting kidnapped for this.

I am not a guy who is fond of supernatural elements. That is mainly because I usually associate supernatural with horror and I’m don’t stomach the latter very well. So shows that mainly deal with spirits and the unknown aren’t usually my cup of tea. But of course I tend to break my own rules sometimes as there are a few handful of supernatural themed animes I have watched over the years. So even as I watched the supernatural in this series, I have to admit that I wasn’t really spooked by the spirits and spectres here. Of course supernatural doesn’t naturally mean horror and even if some of the creatures do look spooky enough, they aren’t frightening nor eerie enough that I would have nightmares. Maybe some of the dark evil ones will spook you but surprisingly I wasn’t scared out of my daylights. Is this proof that I am maturing and ready for horror? Oh, my guts still tell me so. Better be safe than sorry.

Hence being afraid of the supernatural aspects of this series all boils down to the simple answer of how well you know the unearthly things. We fear the spirits because we lack understanding of their nature and quickly give in to our stereotypes and biasness of what we think those creatures would do to us. Sometimes I’d like to think that using supernatural themes in shows is one way to hide the ‘creativity’ because we are either awed or not with the unexplained. There are good spirits and there are bad ones. Like Chise has spent quite a while involved with the supernatural so she could naturally tell. But if I had a choice, I’d rather be a human who would never be able to see those things and live an ignorant but blissful life. Even if the plus side of seeing such things is to have magic, no thanks, I’ll pass.

The main draw of this drama is probably the character development especially between our main characters. Generally speaking, the pacing between Chise and Elias is slow and those who aren’t used to dramas and infused with supernatural elements might not see anything special. As the manga is still ongoing, the anime of course does not do very much justice when you look closely. There are still more questions to answers and the relationship between Chise and Elias are still on a rocky situation. They have a very long way to go if they are to understand each other fully. A long way to go before they become a married couple. There are times when they do feel close especially Chise opening up more than usual but those could be just the lull before the storm. A false sense of security since the situation isn’t all that bad and it is much better compared to her previous life. Until they start knowing each other deeper that the true test of whether their union will survive or not.

So Chise’s character isn’t anything particularly amazing or extraordinary. Sometimes it feels like she is caught between a rock and a hard place. Out of the pan and into the fire. Thanks to her Sleigh Beggy status, her life doesn’t seem to be better. Of course it still beats the hellish abuse she endured when she had no help at all. It is slightly better than before but still no better generally. Unless some sort of miracle happens, she will still die of the Sleigh Beggy’s curse. Comparatively being a mage and dying this way isn’t so bad for Chise as she is able to have met a few people along her journey. So even if the curse kills her, at least she could say she lived this magus life to the fullest unlike when she was young, she was literally powerless to do anything. Not sure if it is the guilt of her curse life that Chise is trying to help others and neglect herself. Very noble but if this was reality, humans being selfish creatures themselves would go for self-preservation. But I suppose this is anime and you need some sort of drama and a great heroine whom the viewers can root for.

All she wants is acceptance and a place to call home. Somebody that she could call family. Elias gave her that chance and despite some disputes now and then, he is pretty much she would call her closest family than anybody else. Even if Titania and Oberon sound so tempting and keep bugging her to come stay in their world, sometimes it is best to go with the basics. Everything might be happy and fun for a long time in the fairy world but remember, Chise is for the most part a human. She will lose that humanity of hers if she stays too long. Elias might not be human but the home he provides is the closest to what is best for her and the safest as a family. Also, I wished we had known what happened to Chise’s real father and baby brother. Maybe they will reappear much later in the plot but for now it just feels unsatisfying to leave it hanging as a mystery like that but at least it gives us an insight and a starting point to Chise’s troubles.

There are lots of things we do not know about Elias either. Sure, that past with Lindel does light up some things about his background but anything more than that the anime did not answer. Oddly he wants to learn more about humans but having his disciple who is his future bride as his teacher about humans doesn’t real feel right. He can still learn about humans but only from her point of view. Because if he wants to know all about humans and how varied their personalities are, I don’t think taking up a course and majoring in sociology, psychology or even behavioural science isn’t going to make you an expert. Sure, Elias has the advantage of living long enough so he might be able to understand humans better. After all, humans generally through the eons do not change, right? Yeah, I’m sure he would instead of just wandering and being confined to his lovely English home doing who knows what. If he wants to know more about humans, he should get out there and interact more with them. Of course there is the danger of scaring them and many would fear him but that’s the risk he has to take if he truly wants to learn more on humans. Honestly, I don’t see how Elias and Chise are teaching each other either. Maybe learning isn’t just listening to lectures and doing your homework.

So I am thinking that he is just trying to understand Chise herself. Remember, he is trying to do an experiment on her as a Sleigh Beggy and he might sound suspicious and not even trusting when he doesn’t even tell her all about it by himself. Only when the situation corners him, he let the cat out of the bag. After all, Elias and Chise are both different beings and understanding each other doesn’t happen in a day or weeks or months. Heck, some men never understood women their entire lives! Haha! Oops… So it is basically down to that old values of trust and believe if Elias and Chise want to make their relationship work out. Of course we understand Chise’s anger in the final arc because she has never known much about Elias to begin with. Don’t expect a reclusive creature to open up after thousands of years but I’m guessing with Chise around, he will change. After all, didn’t Chise’s ‘defection’ to Joseph stemmed from Elias’ jealousy?

Other characters don’t feel substantial. There are quite a few characters in this series since Chise would meet them as she learns, expands and controls her magic. Those who are relevant for that certain arc are mostly forgettable once the arc ends like those cats and that sexy vampire. But for those who are mainly supporting, they don’t do much justice. Even you would wonder what Angelica’s role is for besides being another mage Chise could talk to. After all, this series as said is putting its limelight on Chise and Elias. For example, Ruth. After we see how he becomes Chise’s familiar, he doesn’t play a significant supporting role after that. Sure, there are times when he comes to her aid but it just feels like as though they needed to show us that Chise isn’t strong yet and there are those she knows who would come to save her. I know Chise is trying to be strong but overall I still see her as weak. In her powers, that is. Can’t blame her since she is still trying hard to control them. So back to Ruth, he is like mostly keeping an eye on her. And I thought Silky would have some sort of hidden power or something. Even after exposing her past I thought she would be some sort of trump card. Nothing of that sort. Do you guys even remember Simon? It feels like his character is supposed to be a joke for Elias to dislike. Why the heck they introduced Marielle the witch in the end that didn’t bring anything important forth? Or that college duo. What happened to them anyway after that dragon berserk incident? So yeah, so many characters but they don’t really feel all that important to the storyline for now.

Renfred and Alice seemed like they are the antagonist but once we learn Joseph/Cartaphilus as the main baddie, their roles have been reduced significantly. So they make sparring appearances so that we don’t forget them. Joseph’s back story is interesting and tragic to explain why he resorts to heinous activities but not enough to pity him. So the solution to all the pain is just to sleep? Man, if real life problems were that easily solved. Not sure if Ashen Eye is an antagonist or not because no doubt he hates humans but he doesn’t outright kills them. Like as though he would love to carry out his plan through someone or something. Maybe he lacks the certain power? Renfred supposedly had a long hostile history with Elias and now with Chise around, they’re like not exactly friends or even allies but more like friends of convenience. I suspect that Titania and Oberon might be the true villains despite their friendly and playful demeanour. Villains doesn’t necessarily mean evil people who want to hurt others and rule over the world. Or become filthy rich. What I mean is they always keep pestering Chise to come live in their fairy world forever. Though they are not forceful, the constant bugging may get annoying. Of all people, why Chise? Is it because she is a Sleigh Beggy? Are there no Sleigh Beggy creatures in their domain? Once Chise accepts to live in their world, they may show their true colours. After all, how much does Chise know about them and the fairy world again? I might just be overthinking but when dealing with such, you can never be too careful…

I have mixed feelings for the art and animation. Although some of the background and sceneries are gorgeous, sometimes I noticed the animations of the characters leave more to be desired. Important scenes with important characters will retain their quality but for other scenes, the quality takes an obvious drop. This coming from Wit Studio, the anime production house that gave us Shingeki No Kyoujin, Koutetsujou No Kabaneri and Owari No Seraph. As for the character designs, initially looking at Elias’ skull, I thought it reminded me of those dead cattle rotted to the bones you see in American deserts. As for Chise, at first I was wondering why Shirayuki from Akagami No Shirayuki-hime was doing here after she has been living happily ever after in the kingdom of Clarines. Like as though this is the cursed version of her in an alternate universe. As mentioned, the supernatural creatures are not that scary but this is part of the ‘creativity’ in showing various forms of other worldly beings.

This isn’t an ecchi series but how come high level female spirits have very huge boobs! Like Titania and Leannan Sidhe. Boobs that could only appear in super ecchi or hentai shows. I suppose it’s a sign of attractiveness but what does a low level human like me know? Sometimes they try to diffuse the tension and drama by adding in some light-hearted moments. While I am fine with that, sometimes the art and animation turn the characters into chibi mode. Not really sure it fits with the flow of the series. It is somewhat distracting. Not to say that it is that bad but when you have the theme of the series to be grim and then all of a sudden this chibi style pops up. Like a little jolt to the system.

There are many seiyuus lending their voice to this series. Recognizable ones include Sayaka Ohara as Titania, Kappei Yamaguchi as Oberon, Hiroki Yasumoto as Spriggan, Jouji Nakata as Ashen Eye, Junichi Suwabe as Seth, Yuko Kaida as Angelica, Akira Ishida as will o wisp and Takahiro Sakurai as Miura. I thought Chise having looked like Shirayuki would be voiced by Saori Hayami. It would have been weird. But she is voiced by Atsumi Tanezaki (Miu in Blend S). Saori Hayami does play a role here as Leannan Sidhe. I thought Silky would be a character with no dialogue but with very soft and rare murmurs, I guess they need one played by Aya Endo (Tchaikovsky in ClassicaLoid). The other casts include Ryota Takeuchi as Elias (Albion in High School DxD), Kouki Uchiyama as Ruth (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Daisuke Namikawa as Lindel (Rock in Black Lagoon), Ayumu Murase as Joseph/Cartaphilus (Kazuo in Hatsukoi Monster), Satoshi Hino as Renfred (Kamui in Gintama), Mutsumi Tamura as Alice (Sonya in Kill Me Baby), Maaya Sakamoto as Marielle (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Simon (Munakata in Danganronpa 3), Ryuuzaburou Ootomo as Nevin (King/Orb in MAR) and Sumire Morohoshi as Stella (Nina in Shingeki No Bahamut: Virgin Soul).

I feel that the first opening theme, Here by Junna fits the overall theme of the series. It has this enigmatic and energetic feel to it. I think it also has a bit of tango in the piece. Because the second opening, You by May’N feels inferior in my opinion. It loses all that enigmatic feel for that generic pop feel that is so May’N’s style. But it’s not that bad, just that the first opener sounds better. Because of that, I also feel that the first ending theme, the slow ballad of Wa -Cycle- by Hana Itoki is beautiful as enigmatic as it sounds thanks to the choir voices of the vocals. Although the second ending theme, Tsuki No Mou Hanbun by Aiki & Akino From Bless4 is also a slow ballad but again it loses that enigmatic feel that fits the series well. Again, not that bad but I still prefer the former. Also to note that some of the soundtracks are nice and beautiful especially the slow ones.

Overall, this series is one long drama between an unhuman mage and a young human girl with magic and supernatural elements scattered in between. The overall visuals and soundtrack stand out more than the plot or characters. Despite the magic elements, this is no fairytale so don’t expect all that happy-happy and bright themes but deals with grim topics like loneliness and depression. Of course it also tries to impart hope and living life to the fullest but then again, those kind of topics sound more like fantasy and fairytale than real life lessons. I don’t know which is worse. Having to see spirits and the supernatural or having to see dead people. Worse, having to choose to marry an undead creature or your pedo uncle. Not even magic can cure creatures known as humans.

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