The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 21 Review

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 21 Review

Eyes of the Gorgon

The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 21 wasn’t a great episode. The majority of the episode took place in Philomela’s memories. And, that’s not very interesting considering we pretty much know her whole story by this point.

But, even if I didn’t think the episode was very good, there are still things to discuss. The first of those things is Zoe Ivy, who used his Gorgon Eyes against the female werewolf. Was this the first time we’ve seen him “petrify” someone with them? I know we’ve seen them before.

Anyway, the real reason I wanted to bring Zoe up is because something weird happened to him. At first, he’s using his eyes to stun the werewolf, not to petrify her. But then, something changes in his brain and his eyes go full Gorgon mode — you know, the petrifying kind of eyes.

Zoe Ivy's Gorgon Eyes from the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 21
Zoe Ivy’s Gorgon Eyes

Now, Zoe doesn’t petrify the werewolf. Instead, he petrified the bolts in her head that were being used to control her. But, when he does this, his entire personality changes. He’s not the Zoe we know at that point. And, that’s a little concerning.

Something to remember is that Zoe is only half-Gorgon. So, is his usual personality the human half? Was this shifted personality his Gorgon half coming out? Is that what pure Gorgons are always like? Or, is there something special about Zoe?

My guess is that Zoe is special in some way. His change in personality reminded me of when the dragon’s curse takes over Chise’s body. Zoe wasn’t in control and doesn’t seem to know what happened.

Hopefully, we’ll get more information about this in the future. Even if Zoe doesn’t know what happened to him, maybe Zaccheroni does. That could be why he didn’t get involved.

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Picking Up Philomela’s Pieces

I’ll admit that the part of the episode with Chise helping Philomela pick up the pieces of herself was done well. It presented Philomela’s past in an engaging way and the direction was good. But, it still wasn’t very interesting to watch.

As I said at the start of this review, we already knew most of Philomela’s background before this episode. A lot of it had previously been confirmed. And, even the stuff that wasn’t confirmed was so implied that it was basically fact. So, let’s go over some of this stuff.

First, there was Philomela’s memories of playing with Rian. We already saw this content earlier in the season. Then, there were her memories of being mistreated by her grandmother. Again, we already saw this and knew it was the case. And, there were memories of others in the mansion treating Philomela like a failure.

Philomela traveling through her memories from the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 21
Philomela traveling through her memories

Now, I recognize that we, the viewers, have more information than any of the characters do. Sure, we knew all of this information about Philomela already. But, that doesn’t mean Chise did. Though, I’m pretty sure she knew about Philomela and Rian playing together as kids.

With that in mind, it’s not as if this part of the episode was a waste of runtime. It served a purpose for the overall story, even if it wasn’t interesting in the moment. And, that’s the same way I felt about Lucy finding out about Philomela’s role in the Webster Tragedy.

We knew Philomela was there. We’ve known that ever since Chise dove into Lucy’s memories and saw her there. And, there wasn’t ever any doubt that the Sargeants played a role. But, it was still important to see Lucy get definitive proof of this being the case.

Philomela’s Role

Alright, so what’s the actual, new information we got from Episode 21? Well, the first thing is that we now know why Philomela was present at the Webster Tragedy. The fact that she was there was pretty odd considering her age at the time.

Philomela was a young child when she was present at the Tragedy. And, she was hiding in a corner and crying when it happened. She obviously wasn’t an active participant. So, why was she there? Lizbeth sent her along with the assassins so she could learn from them.

That was the piece of context we were previously missing. Now that we have it, everything makes sense. And, it’s clear that Philomela really had no involvement in what happened to Lucy’s family. The only “crime” she committed was not telling Lucy about it later on. But, as she points out, how could she have?

Philomela being controlled by Carnamagos from the anime series The Ancient Magus' Bride Season 2 Episode 21
Philomela being controlled by Carnamagos

The second piece of new information from this episode is a little confusing to me. It appears that Lizbeth was the one who gave the Testament of Carnamagos to Philomela. And, after doing so, she directed Philomela to enter the college in search of victims.

That changes the narrative quite a bit. Before this point, the assumption was that the theft of the Testament was recent. Which came first? Did the college notice the Testament was missing or did the Testament harm its first victim? I guess I was working under the assumption it was the former.

Now, the latter seems to be the case. Or, at least, the Testament had been missing long before someone noticed it. Philomela didn’t steal the Testament from the college. She brought it (back) into the college. At least, that’s what the scene of Lizbeth handing her a magic book implied.

Final Thoughts

What do you think of The Ancient Magus’ Bride Season 2 Episode 21? Do you think there’s something strange going on with Zoe? Did you like the part of the episode in which Chise helped Philomela “pick up her pieces?” And, how do you think Lizbeth originally got her hands on the Testament of Carnamagos?

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 at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about supporting this blog, check out

The review of Episode 22 is available now.

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