If you are the type of person who finds slice-of-life feel-good stories boring, then worry not about The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II”. For at last, the dark fantasy horror the anime promises has finally arrived. Complete with a good amount of magical action for those action junkies to boot.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II”: Details
The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” is the latest episode (you can read reviews for Ep. 1, Ep. 2, Ep. 3, Ep. 4, Ep. 5, Ep. 6, and Ep. 7 here) of season 2 of this dark urban fantasy supernatural mystery horror anime series. Said anime is the anime adaptation of the manga of the same name by Kore Yamazaki (Frau Faust). Studio Kafka is still the animation studio behind season 2.
Kazuaki Terasawa remains the director behind The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2 in general, with Naokado Fujiyama, Takeharu Sengoku, and Kyouhei Shinfuku producing. Terasawa is also the writer, with Junichi Matsumoto returning from season 1 to compose the music once more.
Speaking of music: JUNNA returns to sing “Dear” as the opening theme music for The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2. Meanwhile, “Mubansou” by edda is the ending theme music for the same.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” features the voices of Atsumi Tanezaki (Dani Chambers in English dub) as Chise Hatori, Ryōta Takeuchi (Brian Mathis in English dub) as Elias Ainsworth, and Koki Uchiyama (Austin Tindle in English dub) as Ruth. Other notable voices for this episode include Minami Tsuda (Sarah Roach in English dub) as Lucy Webster, Seiichiro Yamashita (Ricco Fajardo in English dub) as Rian Scrimgeour, Maki Kawase as Philomela Sergeant, and Daiki Kobayashi as Zoe Ivy.
Where to Watch
The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” premiered on May 25, 2023. You can watch this episode and all previous episodes of season 2 (as well as season 1) only on Crunchyroll for now.
Warning: spoilers for The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” below. If you want to watch the start of the dark fantasy horror action goodness for yourself, then stop here and come back once you’ve successfully escaped the giant poison-spewing demon centaur. Trust me, it makes sense in context.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II”: Plot Summary
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” doesn’t quite pick up where we last left off in the previous episode. Instead, there’s a brief aside from the past when Chise was having a chat with Elias. The conversation was about Elias really wanting to go with Chise on her camping, er, outdoor survival trip, but Chise wanted to be self-sufficient and not have to rely on Elias. Elias thinks that the problem here is his power. Thus, he proposes a solution where he splits himself (literally, he pulls his own skull apart in half). Half of him stays behind in their house, while the half that’s traveling with Chise is…basically a small, eldritch doggo with no power to kill anything bigger than small mundane fish. This leads up to the present day, where doggo Elias is proudly presenting Chise with said fish.
Fortunately, there doesn’t seem to be anything too dangerous around. There’s an each-uisge standing on the river, but it’s only a threat if you get on it, whereupon it will then try to drown you and then eat you. Chise isn’t dumb enough for that and has Elias to tell her what it is anyways, so she’s in no danger here. Chise thus gets to spend time with her classmates in peace. She discovers to her delight that Philomela is still carrying that calming tea mix she gave her all the way back in Ep. 2, and she even has a fun sleepover-style bonding with Lucy. Things seem to be going a-okay…until it’s not.
The Dark Magic is Always with You, Chise!
One night though, Chise gets an ominous feeling when she sees that Lucy hasn’t returned to her sleeping bag after heading out to answer nature’s call. A search with Ruth and Elias quickly finds Lucy collapsed on the ground, with Elias reporting that her unconsciousness is due to her natural magic energy being drained. Chise barely has time to pick Lucy up before the apparent perpetrator shows up in the form of a nuckelavee: a Scottish horse-like demon that poisons crops and livestock alike with his breath. The Nuckelavee really wants Chise for some reason, and it’s only due to Chise’s classmates and a stream of fresh water that stops it from getting her. They still have to get rid of it, though before it endangers anyone else, and that’s when Chise and Rian come up with a very stupid plan.
Chise and Rian get onto the each-uisge from before and lure the nuckelavee into the nearby lake. The nuckelavee isn’t quite dumb enough to fall for it, but the each-uisge gives it a helping hoof into the lake, where the freshwater starts to paralyze the fae. Emphasis on “starts to”, because it still has the strength to try and drag Chise into the depth to drown her. Luckily, her cursed dragon arm isn’t having any of that and happily possesses her to rip the nuckelavee apart. Chise and Rian then return to the others safe and sound. However, Elias notes that magic draining isn’t a nuckelavee’s MO. So who or what attacked Lucy? Hopefully, we’ll find that out in the next episode of The Ancient Magus’ Bride season 2.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II”: The Good
I’ve admitted before: but I’m fond of the slice-of-life genre. It’s one of the best ways to effectively build a world and explore your characters, in my opinion. The slice-of-life parts of The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” are no exception. There’s just something wonderfully yet creepily adorable about little Elias post-bisection, and Chise’s teasing of Lucy when they were having their nighttime chat was just pure sugary cuteness. Especially coming from the normally standoffish and acerbic Lucy.
That said, I also love it when this anime goes into the dark urban fantasy and horror genre, which The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and Sure. II” definitely goes into. Not just the nuckelavee either. The each-uisge was plenty creepy even though it’s technically on Chise’s side for the moment, especially when it explicitly wanted to eat Chise after she drowned. That’s what you get for enlisting the help of a dark fae creature, after all.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II”: The Bad
I happily admit I’m heavily biased towards this anime due to being a fan of the manga by Kore Yamazaki, and of the previous season as well. However, The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Ep. 8 “Slow and sure. II” really hits it out of the ballpark for this season. If you don’t like either slice of life or dark fantasy action, then I’m not sure what you would like, honestly.