Episode two of The Ancient Magus Bride plunges us into a world of magic and sorcery, setting some of the ground rules in this universe and providing some context for the story. I was reminded very much of Harry Potter; though the magic system works differently, the wide-eyed wonder in learning about it is just as present (not to mention that the show takes place in Britain and magic shops exist in this series, too). Chise begins to learn how to use magic and learns more of her potential power in being a sleigh beggy; she also discovers that becoming an apprentice can be dangerous.
Elias first takes Chise to visit the mage and artificer, Angelica. While there, Angelica teaches her a bit about how to use magic and entreats Chise to try, but before doing so, the mage reveals that her forearm is indented with gems, a result of a mistake in training. The further danger of magic is shown when Chise begins to manipulate a gem and loses control; Elias arrives to stop it before much harm is done.
Elias has shown Chise bits of his strength during her short stay with him, just enough for the girl to understand his considerable power. But she’s more receptive, I think, to his personality. She describes him as being frank, but in that honesty she finds comfort and security. I mentioned in my piece on episode one that Elias evokes the image of Christ in multiple ways, and he does here again. Christ is powerful, miraculous, and authoritative; but even in his truth and majesty, he shows gentleness in how he treats those he loves, especially the lesser, the suffering, the naive – those whose smallness in a seemingly uncaring universe is embodied in Chise.
But she does matter – besides the strength she has within, her value in found in being the apprentice to Elias. The dragon rider at the end of the episode again proves this to be true by identifying her as such when he captures her. He also demonstrates the danger in becoming an apprentice. As in the parable of the sower, when Christ describes how many will follow him and then scatter for various reasons, including because of Satan himself, being identified as belonging to Elias puts one in danger because she now has a value so much higher than she did before.
But I have a feeling that in this danger, Elias will show another connection to Christ – that he, too, will go to the ends of the earth, even into the dragon’s den, to rescue his beloved, to rescue his bride.