「Nothing Seek, Nothing Find. 」
As for Mahoutsukai no Yome, we’re coming right up on the end of the line here – next week is the final episode in fact. While there’s a seemingly insurmountable wall of unfinished business to tie up in a single episode, the fact that the anime has now (effectively) caught up the manga exactly complicates things even further. In different circumstances one might speculate that the timing isn’t coincidental and we’re going to get a coordinated, concurrent ending – but the manga isn’t ending imminently as far as I know. So really, who knows what Wit intends to do at this point?
One thing is abundantly clear, and that’s the ending’s focus on Cartaphilus. Much of what we saw last week is brought into context in this episode – and the reason why Joseph seemed to have multiple semi-autonomous selves inside him makes perfect sense once we know his backstory. Before that, though, there’s the matter of Elias’ meltdown in the aftermath of Chise’s rejection. And a meltdown (predictable at that) is an accurate description of what the Thorn Mage is going through. I think it not coincidental that what we see from Elias in situations is very tantrum-like, because he’s still very much a child in most ways that matter.
If one were of a suspicious mind, they might wonder why Titania and Oberon (and so many other powerful faerie creatures) seem so very anxious to have Elias (and Chise) live on the other side with them. The Fairy Queen and Kind certainly take the rift between Chise and Elias as an opportunity to try and make that happen – certainly under the banner of “helping” Elias, but perhaps in truth for far more selfish reasons. These are complicated creatures, and it’s certainly possible for motives we would label as contradictory and even mutually exclusive in humans to be peacefully coexisting in them
The headline sequence of the episode is certainly the B-part though, for that’s where we (through Chise’s eyes) finally get a glimpse into Cartaphilus’ past. Joseph, as it turns out, was once a totally separate entity – a gravedigger shunned by his village who took Cartaphilus in and tried to heal him after digging up out of a shallow grave. What we don’t see much of here is what kind of being the original Cartaphilus was, only that he was in constant and terrible pain – and that his merger with Joseph was not one he forced on the boy, but one Joseph asked for.
We know, of course. that Cartaphilus was cursed two thousand years ago – and roughly why. Even if he (and Joseph) cant remember the reason, it’s clear that this is someone who’s taken the idea of making enemies in high places to its theoretical extreme. What can Chise possibly do to break through that, one wonders, and what could possibly bring her to accept Elias back into her life so quickly as to see it happen in the finale? I suspect we may leave this adaptation with as many questions as answers, but we only have to wait one week to find out.