Posted by Lenlo on 7 March 2018 with categories: Mahoutsukai no Yome

Hello and welcome to Mahoutsukai’s newest attempt for the title of “Greatest quality disparity in a single episode”. This week we have the start, and end, of the Witches sub plot, a silent scene with to much dialogue and my favorite Elias scenes yet. Lets jump in!

To start off, I have to write once again about Mahoutsukai’s new tendency towards disappointing first halves. The first 10-12 or so minutes of this episode was either pointless, in the Witches case, or just plain bad. Why even bother with the Witches when they don’t affect the plot at all and are resolved in 5 minutes? They don’t need to be in the plot, all they do is take away from everything else. They steal time that could have been better used elsewhere in the series, for no payoff. It’s not just the Witches Mahoutsukai does this with either. The two scientists, Adolf and Torrey, have no place in this story and with only 3 episodes left I don’t see them doing much to earn their place. I only harp on this so much because its such a waste and I truly think Mahoutsukai would be better without these side-plots/characters.

Aside from pointless side characters, there are a number of actual directoral issues I have with this episode. Normally I would find a scene without dialogue welcome. Last episode for instance did one right, letting actions, faces and scenes speak for themselves. The issue with this weeks however was just how boring it was. There was little visually interesting about it, aside from one artistic shot of Elias. It also relied far to heavily on spoken dialogue, which in a silent scene is just terrible. I understand that Mahoutsukai didn’t want to spoil Elias’s plan, ruin its tension. However it felt like we were watching a scene with audio cut/left out, not a scene built to be silent. Together, this silent scene and the lackluster side characters/plots, served to make the first half tedious to watch. Id almost prefer Mahoutsukai cut it entirely than have it.

Griping aside, Mahoutsukai did have some genuinely good moments this episode. The Elias focus, his opening monologue, and seeing how he does things without Chise was interesting. Up until now his image as this “old and powerful mage” was basically non-existent. But we finally get a another glimpse at it, the Fae side of our other lead. This side alien side with values different from our own. Elias was quite intimidating this episode and I enjoyed that Stella continues to get roped into things. The fact that jealousy also seemed to be a prime motivator here really took me back to some of his earlier temper tantrums. Its character focused plots like these that Mahoutsukai needs more of. Cut out the Witches and monsters of the week. Give us more Fae!Elias, more naive Chise, more enigmatic Renfred, and more mysterious Cartaphilus. At least those stories were good.

Speaking of Cartaphilus, im going to claim a “I called it” on this one. Like I said in my last post, a good “deal with the devil” scenario could be exactly what Mahoutsukai needs to end the season strong-ish. With Elias and Cartaphilus both on… questionable ends of the moral spectrum, this is no doubt going to be a difficult choice for Chise. If done right it could be the culmination of Chise’s entire character arc over the last 22+ episodes. The one aspect of this I don’t like about all of this is how Cartaphilus got Chise into this. Namely that he is threatening Stella. He doesn’t need that to convince Chise, and regardless of if she goes with him or not, Stella will still be a hostage. It just felt odd how he brought it up when it really served no purpose except “look at me, i’m a violent psychopath”.

 

All in all, standard practice for Mahoutsukai recently. Ups and downs, pros and cons. Things are, luckily, ramping up so it appears that Mahoutsukai will somehow shove another “arc” before it wraps up. What these last few episodes need to do to succeed is drop all the superfluous fluff. Give us Elias, Chise, Cartaphilus and a small story of morals and love. Make Chise choose, or at least confront Elias, and let Elias show off his status as an “old and powerful” mage or a “dangerous” Fae. In short, give the characters room to breathe.

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