The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 16 Review

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 16 Review

Rickenbackers and Sargeants

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 16 focused more on Veronica than I expected it to. Up until this point, Veronica Rickenbacker has kind of been a background character. She’s Philomela’s master. But, Philomela is the more important of the two for the story.

Episode 16 featured a lot of Veronica content because she was paired up with Chise for the test of courage. And, during this extracurricular activity, Chise asked Veronica about Philomela’s family. Philomela’s not going to tell Chise anything. So, Chise might as well see if Veronica will.

What Veronica tells Chise doesn’t exactly paint her in a very good light. However, we should also keep in mind that we (and Chise) are outsiders. The dynamic between the Rickenbacker and Sargeant families exists for a reason. And, although Veronica is part of that dynamic, it doesn’t seem to entirely be by choice.

Veronica Rickenbacker as a child from the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 16
Veronica Rickenbacker as a child

The purpose of the Sargeant family is to protect the Rickenbacker family. Philomela isn’t there to be Veronica’s maid. She’s there to make sure nobody assassinates Veronica. Even if it means Philomela’s own death, her job is to protect her master.

Now, how good Philomela is at this role is up for debate. Philomela doesn’t have much resistance to poisons. So, she’s not great at being a taste tester for Veronica’s food. And we also know that Philomela doesn’t like killing things. So, is she that useful? I don’t know. But, Veronica chose her over the other options.

I can’t blame Veronica for being a Rickenbacker. As she tells Chise, sorcerers are bound to their families. So, it doesn’t seem like she has much choice. And she genuinely seems to care for Philomela as her friend. But, at the same time, she’s a narcissist obsessed with her self-importance.

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Veronica the Villain

As I said, Veronica’s story of the past didn’t make her seem like a great person. But, on top of that, the rest of her conversation with Chise made her seem like a villain.

I don’t think Veronica’s involved with the stolen Testament of Carnamagos. However, the series appeared to be trying to make us suspect that she is. She was talking down to Chise in a somewhat threatening manner. And the way she speaks to everyone makes everything she says sound sinister.

There’s something about how she always sounds cheerful that’s off-putting.

My guess is that Veronica acts this way because of the family she was raised in. She comes from one of the most powerful sorcerer families and is a bit of a big deal. But, she’s also very aware of how twisted the world of sorcerers is.

Veronica Rickenbacker talking to Chise from the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 16
Veronica Rickenbacker talking to Chise

Sure, Veronica told Chise that as an outsider, she shouldn’t get involved in family matters. And yes, as I mentioned, it sounded threatening. I’ll even say that I believe she meant for it to sound threatening. But, she said all that because she’s looking out for Chise.

She doesn’t want Chise to get involved because it’s dangerous. And in Veronica’s mind, one of the best ways to get people to stay away is to threaten them. As I’m sure she’ll find out, however, nothing she does or says will keep Chise away. Chise’s already decided that Philomela is her friend.

In my review of Episode 14, I predicted that Philomela would go missing. And I predicted that Alcyone would ask Chise to help find her. But now, I wonder if Veronica will try to push back against Chise helping if that happens. Will she again try to tell Chise not to get involved?

Kimodameshi

What is a Kimodameshi (肝試し / きもだめし)? It’s a test of courage. And since this test of courage takes place at a school, of course, it has to include “seven mysteries.” But, what are the seven mysteries?

There’s the old tree of hangings, the garden of the eternally lost, the window into the netherworld, the hall of the head seeker, the impostor’s mirror, the room of lingering voices, and the twisted observatory.

We get to see four of these mysteries in Episode 16. They’re the tree of hangings, window into the netherworld, impostor’s mirror, and observatory. But, I think we’ve already seen the garden of the eternally lost, as well.

Isn’t that where Zoe hid after his secret was revealed?

Anyway, since this is a magic college, it turns out these mysteries are actually real. At least, some of them are.

Rian seeing Philomela in a magic mirror from the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 16
Rian seeing Philomela in a magic mirror

What evidence for these mysteries being real do we have, though? Well, the first one is the old tree of hangings. It’s said that a student hung themself from the tree about 30 years ago. And at the end of the episode, there’s a ghost of a student from about 30 years ago.

That’s not all. We can also be pretty sure that the impostor’s mirror is real. According to Violet, it will take on the appearance of whoever answers its call. And, we saw Rian being called to the mirror by an image of a younger Philomela.

If some of these mysteries are real, they all might be. And the one I’m most interested in is the window into the netherworld. We saw Philomela and Isaac investigating this one, and they didn’t see anything. But, rumor has it that it shows you your final moments. Will it ever come up again?

Final Thoughts

What do you think of The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 16? How did you feel when Veronica was happy about the attempt on her life? Do you think she’s a villain, or just misunderstood? And, which of the seven mysteries do you want to know more about? Let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to share it with everyone you know. Also, follow me on your social media of choice so you don’t miss out on any future articles — links are in the footer.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and JasonHK for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of Episode 17 is available now.

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