The Ancient Magus Bride: The Balance Distinguishes Not Between Gold and Lead

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SPOILERS ABOUND

So this episode picks up directly after the previous one where Chise is suddenly kidnapped by a dragon. If there was any sense of urgency or distress, it’s all gone now as we realize that the guy who kidnaps her (Lindel) is actually Elias’ mentor. Part of me wonders why he even had to be so dramatic about this if Elias and Chise were already investigating the whole dragon shebang

Also, can I just say that this episode was especially breathtaking in its visuals? I’ve only had one moment in the series where I felt the animation/art wasn’t up to par and that was at the end of episode 2 where Elias is reaching out to Chise. We actually have that scene again in episode 3 and it just looked much better to me. But everything else (I felt) paled in comparison to some of the visuals we had in this episode, especially during that flight vision

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In this episode Chise and Elias are in Ireland to investigate some trouble with the dragons and while on their trek there, Chise gets taken by a guy in white robes riding a dragon. After some mishaps, the guy is introduced as Lindel, an even older mage than Elias and his mentor. We learn that the food has been scarce and both Elias and Lindel go away to talk, leaving us with Chise who ends up playing with dragons and talking to an old (and on the verge of dying) uil dragon

Aside from all the nice animation, this episode really felt darker than all the others to me. Since the series started we learn that, on a certain level, Chise longs for death. When she signs away her freedom and is about to be auctioned, it’s mentioned that she doesn’t care if she lives or dies. In this episode when she’s thrown into the water, she doesn’t try to resurface until Elias calls out to her (was it actually him or the part of her that wants to keep living). We also see that she’s considered committing suicide before by jumping off the school roof but decided not to. She mentions that she can’t handle pain well and I think this is the reason she is still alive now

And then seeing that the old uil dragon is dying, we can feel that she’s jealous of this moment, not just because the dragon has died, but because of how peaceful it was

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But this episode doesn’t just touch on her wanting to die but on the huge possibility that she will die soon if she isn’t careful with her magic. In a sense we already have a time limit, 3 years, that she has to live if she doesn’t hone her magic. This is apparently one of Elias’ jobs as her mentor and already there have been two people to comment on the fact that Elias hasn’t been teacher her much yet. Part of me doesn’t worry about the three year limit because even now we can see that Elias cares about Chise and while it hasn’t been hinted at, Chise is warming up to Elias as well

Overall there was a lot of mentions of death in this episode. We get glimpses of it from Chise’s past (suicide), the uil dragon dying (but really it’s more like a rebirth), Chise’s longing for death but fear of pain, the food being scarce for dragons, and the possibility of mages going extinct

I’m really curious where the rest of the series is going. In the manga I felt like it immediately jumped to training Chise but the anime is taking a slower route, focusing more on Chise and her destructive behaviour and possible healing. I know I mentioned in the previous post that I liked how healthier Chise looked but here her appearance ends up regressing. Her eyes just look tired and while she does play with the dragons, her motions feel sluggish in a way. Plus, her just remembering the sad parts in her past give her a she’s not ok vibe.

And at the end when she passes out. I feel like it could be so many things! She could just be worn out from the day or the use of magic, or it could be relating to death.

p.s. By the end of this episode I was wiping at my eyes. The soundtrack was perfect and the atmosphere that it created was really beautiful but heartbreaking. Have you guys watched episode 3 yet? What did you think?

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5 thoughts on “The Ancient Magus Bride: The Balance Distinguishes Not Between Gold and Lead

  1. I have enjoyed episode 3 so much. I just commented over on another post for this episode that I felt that I was being transported away to a magical realm, never to leave again. It is truly a breathtaking series, with awe-inspiring animation, beautiful music, and a great story. Even though it’s progress is rather slow, I don’t mind it for a single bit. It was definitely a darker episode (I think if it were left up to Chise she would have died drwoning then and there). But overall though this series is Magic. I can’t wait for next week 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here! Part of me can’t wait to see what other magical creatures and places we’ll be introduced to and another part of me just wants to savor this series atmosphere and visuals 💕💕💕 i esp felt the music in this part was spot on 😀😀😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The morbid hints are really starting to pile up, as you pointed out. I’ve put off reading what few volumes of the manga I have because I’m just so taken with the anime that I want to experience the story for the first time in that format, but if you’re saying that the anime is taking a bit of a slower approach, they seem to be focused on building Chise’s state of mind before getting into anything Elias will teach her. I’m really enjoying the result, if that’s what the strategy is.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: October in Review: What Crimson did, what she’s up to, and Sharing is Caring (So check these Bloggers/YTers out) – Crimson is Blogging

  4. Pingback: October in Review: What Crimson did, what she’s up to, and Sharing is Caring (So check these Bloggers/YTers out) | Crimson Blogs

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