This episode was able to give a new side to this magical series, it gave us the not as magical world and some time for Chise to be more like a girl her age. Anyway, let’s get right into it.
Starting off on a slightly grim note, Chise is wondering if she will be able to see the fall next year. While she questions this, a creature known as Yule shows up. This is the herald for the winter solstice. There is this horned god and dark lady showing up to. So Chise and Elias go prepare. Ultimately, they do see the horned god and dark lady, but unlike the manga there was no explanation onto who they were and why Elias and Chise hid in that scene.
Anyway, that night Elias mentions the tradition of milestone. So, Chise gives him a little kiss.
The following day, after Chise received a note, she sneaks out to go to London to meet Alice. Now, Alice is Renfred’s apprentice, and they were last seen when Ruth appeared some time ago. Anyway, Alice wanted to talk with Chise, mostly how she has no idea what to get Renfred for Christmas.
The two talk, while they search for gifts, since Chise decides to look for one for Elias too since she now has no choice but to help Alice. Well, Alice says that Chise and her are very similar, both come from being unwanted and their masters brought them in. They are both lonely, and don’t have many friends. There are more similarities, but it is nice to see how the apprentices get along, while their masters don’t. Also, some magical creatures can allow themselves to be seen, since sorcerers cannot naturally see them.
Thanks to the mailman centaur, they gain the idea to look for a gift that will be something of us to their masters. Chise has an idea, but won’t say so Alice won’t steal it. It was nice to see this interaction, as the two are starting to seem like friends. But as they continue searching Alice’s past comes back. Her old drug dealer, who they quickly beat up, without using magic, before running away.
Anyway, as much as Alice doesn’t want to talk about her past, Chise is still curious, so Alice explains. Her parents were drug dealers, she got into them, then she was abandon, then her master found her, she didn’t like him, and so on. Then one day when putting books away, well, she opened one up and a creature appeared. Renford took a slash to the face to protect Alice. Well, she felt so guilty she promised to be his bodyguard. Thus, flashback over.
The two promises to exchange letters more, but for now, they both found what they were looking for and both hopeful about their presents.
Well, Chise was busted right when she walked in. There was no hiding how she snuck out. Also, Elias sent something to spy on her. Well, they point out that he is coming off as angry, thus Elias realizes he has a new emotion.
So, although it is a day earlier, Chise and Elias exchange gifts. Chise got Elias a new, necklace thing. While Elias apparently makes bears, so he made one for Chise. Angelica apparently asked for one a long time ago, like when she was five, apparently Elias has not thought of a new gift idea since he still makes them for her. Chise also got other gifts too, but those were to wait until Christmas.
Elias still plans to scold Chise, mostly since he could have gotten stuff in London too. Chise simply responds how it was just time for girls.
The episode ends, with Chise being surprised how she was excited for the next day to come. Happy Chise is on the rise.
As I said at the start, this episode gave a nice change of pace. It was nice to see the other possible side for this show, and a break from all the drama that can sometimes come from the magic. While magic is still an important part of the show, it was nice to have some of the elements still there with the real life issues.
It did catch me off guard with Alice’s back story. Clearly, I forgot about her abandonment relating to drugs. I knew she was abandon, taken in by Renford, and has similarities to Chise, but again, it is nice to see something different in this show. Granted, yes, drugs are bad, but this show is not afraid to touch on those things that few anime have touched on before when it comes to abandonment. It still reminds us, that even though the episode is trying to be joyful, there is still dark things that loom, be it with Chise asking herself if she will live another year or Alice’s past.
I do like the interaction between Chise and Alice. Even more so with the fact that Alice only asked Chise because she is the only person she knows. Chise may know a few more people, but Alice is the only person around her age, granted by three years, but still. It was nice to see the two able to put aside the differences of their masters and unite to do something for their masters. Although from what I read in the manga, Alice has yet to really appear again. I do hope there is more interactions between the two of them. After all, Renford did try to contact Elias a few episodes back so there is a minimal communication between them. So, even if their masters do not always get along, there is nothing to say they won’t try to change their tone slightly, for their apprentices.
Now, with the main part of the episode away, time to peck at the little things. The start of the episode, while the description of the horned god and dark lady were known in the manga, it was not touched on in the anime. I did find it odd, since if I remember correctly, one, the dark lady does appear again to help Chise. There is also the fact of what they represent. I also forget the reason why they hide, I knew it had some importance. But, I guess if they were to go into a lot of detail on who they were it would take away the time Chise and Alice could spend together for the remainder of the episode.
As for Elias moments this episode, between him trying to tell Ruth he is not worthless and if he needs someone to talk to then he should talk to Elias, which honestly the thought is rather silly. But, then there was the ending. The bear, how Elias makes them, and not only that but he has been making them for Angelica for a very long time because he has no idea what he could get her. I could only imagine what Angelica would think, and I do think there was a small illustration in the manga for it too, I am not certain. Either way, it was nice to see Elias have at least the concept of sharing a gift with someone else. Also, him realizing what anger was. This is not going to be the last time we see him learn a new emotion, in fact very soon he will learn another.
This episode was rather enjoyable, and a nice break from the norm. As much as I hope there would be another episode like this in the future, well, it probably would not fit in any time soon before the final episode. Either way, still enjoyable.
Overall Enjoyment: 95/100
Overall Score: B+
The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll, while the manga is licensed by Seven Seas in North America.
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