Meeting Date: 11/25/2017

Disclaimer: The Herald Anime Club discusses shows as they’re airing. Naturally, there will be spoilers for a given episode. You have been warned!

Mike Ferreira: Good evening everyone, and welcome to the Herald Anime Club. I’m Mike Ferreira, and it’s a full house tonight. Matt Brown, Lydia Rivers, L.B. Bryant, and Anthony Simpson are on the panel tonight
L.B. Bryant: Hello
Lydia Rivers: Hiiii everyone!
Anthony Simpson: Hello
Matt Brown: ‘sup
Lydia Rivers: Puppers, that’s whassup.
Matt Brown: Wuzzaaaaaaaaap
Mike Ferreira: Darn straight.
Mike Ferreira: Tonight, we’re talking up two episodes of The Ancient Magus’ Bride – Episode 7 & 8, which I’ve started calling “The Doggo Saga”
L.B. Bryant: Gotta admit, the whole doggy mini arc we got hit me super hard in the feels.

Matt Brown: I have a better name: “The Thorn in my Bride”
Lydia Rivers: We saw more of the Axolotl puppy, and then we saw man puppy, and then we saw puppy puppy.
Lydia Rivers: SO. MUCH. PUPPY.
Mike Ferreira: It was a lot of puppies these past two weeks.
Anthony Simpson: The Dog saga. Or as I call it the “Don’t piss off Bone Daddy he will break you” Insert Rocky IV reference.
L.B. Bryant: I love dogs so these last two episodes were such a treat for me after having to deal with kitty village. hehe
Matt Brown: Is “Bone Daddy” redundant?
Anthony Simpson: No, it is not redundant.
Mike Ferreira: lol – hopefully this is the last of the “dead animal period” – Christ, they literally Jurassic Barked poor Ulysse/Ruth
Anthony Simpson: Being a dog lover myself these episodes were a treat for me as well.

Matt Brown: That sounds more interesting. Dead animals in heat.
Mike Ferreira: “Mess with the dead crabbo, get the stabbo“?
Lydia Rivers: Oh my god.
Anthony Simpson: lol
Anthony Simpson: So we learned how the scar dude lost his arm in episode 7.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. These past two episodes were pretty big on revelations all round.
Lydia Rivers: We also had lovely flashbacks to the chimera arc from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
L.B. Bryant: Indeed. This is one evil immortal being.
Mike Ferreira: He is detestable.
Lydia Rivers: IDK about you guys, but it was way more traumatic for me because of FMAB.
L.B. Bryant: I haven’t hated a villain this much so quickly since SAO.
Matt Brown: OTOH it’s the “kids are cruel” trope, Japan edition, heh.
Anthony Simpson: I can’t wait for the white haired dude to get defeated.
Anthony Simpson: He is pretty detestable.

Mike Ferreira: I dunno if “kids are cruel” works here
Lydia Rivers: In before they give us backstory to make us sympathize with him first.
Matt Brown: And yet it’s obviously a conscious choice that the villain has a kid voice
Mike Ferreira: “you see, he wasn’t ALWAYS a cat-killing, body-stitching monster~”
Mike Ferreira: Matt: Of course. However, this goes beyond “cruel” into straight-up “Omen” shit
L.B. Bryant: If I understood correctly, he was cursed by Jesus which is already pretty hard to make him sympathetic. If the son of God thinks that you need to be cursed, it’s kinda hard to come back from that.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed.
Mike Ferreira: And so far, he’s lived up to that.
Matt Brown: it’s so Japan. The Western Jesus wouldn’t curse anybody. The term makes no sense in Christianity :3
Mike Ferreira: Cartiphilus is basically the embodiment of the “Wandering Jew” found in the New Testament.
Mike Ferreira: Matthew 16:28 – “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Anthony Simpson: I was getting ready to say that.
L.B. Bryant: Interesting. I learned something today.
Lydia Rivers: Yup, and all he has to do with his time is develop dissociative identities and play with nature when he gets bored.
Matt Brown: I mean, is that definitive?
Mike Ferreira: Some research shows that, in the manga, the priest calls him “the Wandering Jew” so it’s there
L.B. Bryant: I’d love if we could talk a bit more about Elias’ pissed off face. I always suspected that he had one but damn, it caught me off guard when he transformed and started tearing that mantis to shreds.
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. That was freaking cool.
Mike Ferreira: Also, Chise got absolutely badass in Episode 8.
L.B. Bryant: Actually, how about we talk about all the pissed off faces we saw in these two episodes? Seeing Elias get pissed? Unsettling. Chise though? Scary as hell.

Anthony Simpson: Don’t piss off Bone Daddy or Chise.
Anthony Simpson: Chise, I fear what she can do when she is pissed.
Mike Ferreira: She can apparently rewrite the rules of nature.
L.B. Bryant: That was her with minimal training as well.
Lydia Rivers: She deliberately was deciding what to do to that guy.
Lydia Rivers: “I’ll turn the universe inside out. Yeah.”
Mike Ferreira: Indeed. I think this is the first time we’ve seen her legitimately angry about anything.
Lydia Rivers: Elias was just going chompy chomp rage face.

Anthony Simpson: Yea. I hate to think what would happen if she crossed the point of no return with her anger.
L.B. Bryant: I love that she is already developing emotions and is learning to express them. I was really worried that they were going to draw that out as long as possible.
Matt Brown: I got a Mushi-Shi vibe from this as well as the earlier parts of the show. The characters here have more agency, but it’s a similar feel of “this world is so much bigger than I’ll ever understand.” It’s not completely clear Elias understands it all, either.
Mike Ferreira: Chise, on the other hand – She fucking ATE A PART OF ELIAS for power
Mike Ferreira: Indeed.
Lydia Rivers: Hahah! I truly enjoyed that exertion of equivalent exchange. So despite her infinite power, she does have to follow SOME laws of nature.
Anthony Simpson: I’m really liking that Chise is starting to show more emotions. The pacing of the show getting to that point has been perfect.
Mike Ferreira: Agreed.
Lydia Rivers: I mean, along with the law that says she’ll burn out fast.
Matt Brown: I also can’t decide if he’s a Gandalf character, or just another player in a nuanced drama
Mike Ferreira: The correct answer is “yes” here.
Lydia Rivers: He’s more flawed than Gandalf, so it’s OK.

Matt Brown: It’s a bit of a fantasy trope that the bigger players have more names
L.B. Bryant: Anthony: lol I just said that almost exact same thing a moment ago.
Lydia Rivers: I think it’s more of a travel/longevity trope. You’ll collect different names in different times and places
Mike Ferreira: Makes sense.
Matt Brown: Mithrandir the Thorn in my Bride~
Anthony Simpson: L.B.: I guess I wasn’t paying attention enough
Lydia Rivers: Light the wisps of Gondor ~
Matt Brown: For me the last 2 episodes are very Deus Ex Machina, but executed so well that I have trouble faulting it. I just hope for more organic exchanges later.
Mike Ferreira: I liked the moment-to-moment in this one.
Mike Ferreira: The part where Elias was literally horrified that Chise beheld his monstrous form was fantastic, as was Ruth starting his new life by brutally ending his last one.
Lydia Rivers: Same. It’s a little tropey right, it’s nothing we havent’ seen before in relationship dynamics. But it was executed so well for the story that I liked it.

Matt Brown: And yet, Chise getting stabbed and miraculously recovering didn’t appear to have any point or poignancy
Lydia Rivers: Cuz magic, duh
Matt Brown: Exactly my point :3
Mike Ferreira: Also convenient TV cliffhangers.
L.B. Bryant: Yeah, I was going to eventually bring that up. Did they ever actually explain how she survived that? :)
L.B. Bryant: If they did, i missed it.
Matt Brown: If there are no stakes, there is no steak.
Anthony Simpson: Magic must make one hell of a pain killer.
Mike Ferreira: Magic.
L.B. Bryant: Got it.

Lydia Rivers: You know who I want to see berserk? Silver.
Lydia Rivers: I bet that house elf gets TERRIFYING when she’s mad.
Mike Ferreira: Don’t piss off Silky
L.B. Bryant: Never piss off the person who cooks your food.
Matt Brown: I fear that we’re going to read her obit before long.
Anthony Simpson: That is usually a good rule of thumb.
Mike Ferreira: She gives sandwiches and hugs to people she likes – she’s going to find ways to ruin the folks she hates… like she literally throws the priest out in episode 1
Lydia Rivers: Dark Silky, go
L.B. Bryant: I’m sure this series is going to kill someone eventually, but I don’t think it’s going to be her.
Matt Brown: I mean, Titania also throws out the priest, but with more flair. :)
Mike Ferreira: Welll yeah… but Titania’s awesome – magical science-defying breasts aside
Matt Brown: Science defying? really? I dispute that.
Lydia Rivers: I agree with LB. They won’t have to sacrifice a character close to home to feed Chise’s rage when she gets upset over stray puppers
Matt Brown: I have to believe those jugs exist in real life.
Lydia Rivers: Matt’s religions aside —!

Anthony Simpson: I’m guess magic made it happen. Or to have a cop out answer a wizard did it.
Mike Ferreira: I could see Angie getting maimed, sadly
Lydia Rivers: Of course, because she’s my favorite.
Lydia Rivers: Aside from the axolotl puppy. And maybe now Ruth puppy.
Matt Brown: I could see it just because it raises the stakes.
Lydia Rivers: Oh my god you guys!
Lydia Rivers: My favorite moment in the entire series so far was in episode 8 though.
Matt Brown: But I still don’t know what kind of story this is. Is it slice of life, or does it slice up the lives? :3
Mike Ferreira: What moment was that, out of curiosity?
Lydia Rivers: When Chise glommed onto Elias, and then Ruth glommed onto Chise.
Lydia Rivers: It was a glom chain
Lydia Rivers: I wanted to be there
Mike Ferreira: That was amazing.
Anthony Simpson: it was amazing.

Mike Ferreira: Speaking of, what are your thoughts on the whole “thing” moving on Elias’s back at the end of the episode?
Lydia Rivers: I missed it, actually
Anthony Simpson: I’m not sure what to make of it.
Matt Brown: Was it a monkey? I bet it was a monkey
Lydia Rivers: I think I was still blissed out about glom chains.
Mike Ferreira: Heh.
Mike Ferreira: It was a sweet moment with the glom chain
Lydia Rivers: I glommed my dog afterward >///<
Lydia Rivers: It’s so contagious!
Lydia Rivers: I just embarrassingly revealed how closely I related with that scene. Ahem
Mike Ferreira: Hehe.. no worries. It was a great scene.
Matt Brown: I kind of despise that there’s a biblical aspect to this even though it’s Japan. I’m pretty sure the Wandering Jew didn’t make chimeras for fun, and I’m pretty sure Ruth wasn’t a dog.

Lydia Rivers: Huh?
Lydia Rivers: They made it in England
Lydia Rivers: I mean, even though they got some things right with the fae and stuff, it is still very Japanese in perspective…is that what you mean?
Matt Brown: I’m referring to earlier, about what’s-his-name
Mike Ferreira: Cartiphilius
Matt Brown: Yeah, sorry, that was bugging me
Lydia Rivers: Oh. Yeah, but I was expecting it. You can’t tell a story of British fantasy without telling about the clash between the church and the local spirituality. And you can’t be Japanese and tell a story involving Catholics without exposing the dark underbelly of the church.
Lydia Rivers: At least…I’ve never, ever seen a Japanese story that didn’t follow that formula concerning the church
Matt Brown: I just meant that they take liberties with little to no understanding of the actual history :3
Matt Brown: It’s prescient that today’s TED radio hour was about big data, and one of the stories is about lending too much credence to facts without context :3

Lydia Rivers: I think taking a tiny thing from history and then building into a fantasy universe is a lot different than other forms of media
Lydia Rivers: I’m far more forgiving.
Matt Brown: But I also didn’t mean to derail things. I like the show a lot, but my point is it cheapens the art if they’re incorporating biblical things willy nilly, is all
Lydia Rivers: Er, in that context.
Mike Ferreira: They’ve generally kept a pretty light touch overall, though.
Lydia Rivers: Is there a reason you can’t suspend your disbelief for the alternative magic stuff, but not alternative religious stuff?
Matt Brown: Only because it isn’t alternative religion — it’s misappropriated religion.
Lydia Rivers: The entire show is misappropriated from Anglo legends then.
Lydia Rivers: I’m just trying to understand why you’re taking one facet of the show seriously and none of the others
Matt Brown: Perhaps simply because I was led to by the earlier conversation. We can drop it.
Lydia Rivers: Hehe. Basically in these cases I choose to be curious about how a part of my culture looks through the eyes of a foreigner. They turned the Wander Jew into an Ayakashi
Lydia Rivers: I found it interesting

Matt Brown: Ok, tl;dr: either this is fantasy, or it’s based on old religions. Can’t have both
Lydia Rivers: But…anglo fantasy was old religions lol
Matt Brown: The English modified religion to their purposes, I would say
Matt Brown: Which is politics. :3
Lydia Rivers: The fairy king, the stag king?
Lydia Rivers: Old religion.
Mike Ferreira: OK, I think this is one of those cases where we’ll need to agree to disagree or we’ll be here all night
Anthony Simpson: Agreed
Matt Brown: I’ll drop it. Sorry for the derail. I took this direction when religious examples were brought up :3
L.B. Bryant: Indeed.
Mike Ferreira: Heh. No worries.
Lydia Rivers: Hehe. #nerd

Mike Ferreira: Any final comments on tonight’s episode, everyone?
Lydia Rivers: More glom chains!
L.B. Bryant: My wife has jumped on board with this series and is now watching it weekly with me which is something she rarely does.
Matt Brown: I can’t decide if saving Chise from immediate danger is related to figuring out the solution to her issue.
Mike Ferreira: It could be.
Matt Brown: Also if Elias has an agenda, it’s approaching the too-late point to reveal it
Mike Ferreira: Agreed.
Mike Ferreira: Aniwho, that’s all the time we have tonight. Thanks, as always for joining. ‘Til next time, have a great night!
Lydia Rivers: I thought he was just using that as an excuse to keep her around cuz he’s shy
L.B. Bryant: Night everyone!
Lydia Rivers: Stay shiny everyone!
Anthony Simpson: Goodnight.
Matt Brown: Until next moon-based interval