Does the fact that I just don’t care about any of this make me a bad person? Because I don’t, not really. None of this Lucy or Philomela stuff has any emotional traction with me – it’s just static. You can’t just drop new characters out of the sky and expect me to get all weepy that the world crapped on them. It takes buildup, hard work – and Mahoutsukai no Yome hasn’t done any of that to speak of. It’s just a presumption of buy-in that for me at least just isn’t there. And the result is effectively a lost season.
After a long hiatus the manga is starting a new arc apparently (after moving to a new publication). But it’s going to be a long time before we see anything in anime form, and after several years and coming off this indifferent sequel, I really have no idea what the response will be from non-manga readers. The anime still looks great (Kafka was effectively created specifically to produce it), and I still enjoy Chise and Elias as characters. But all the brief glimpses of what the series is capable of do is make me that much more dismayed at how few of them there are.
This time around we have Zoe facing off with Mama Lycanthrope, and something possessing him and restoring her lost memories (which is enough to send her scuttling off with a resounding flip of the bird to Grandmother). The other wee bairns head off inside the mansion with Elias, where Philomela’s body is starting to disintegrate and not even Alcyone restoring her soul (who knew) can stop the decay. She allows the kids upstairs to see her charge but not Elias who, she reasons correctly, is not there primarily with saving Philomela in mind.
The tragical history tour (look it up) Chi(bi)se takes Philomela – and eventually Isaac and Lucy – on is well-done, as most of this bland material has been. That’s about all I can say about it, because it really only means anything if you’re emotionally vested in what’s being depicted. It’s pretty clear this season is a lost cause so there’s no point in saying “I hope this arc ends soon”. If anything, I guess I’m hoping we get a postscript episode at the end, which at least for one week returns the series to the roots which made it so successful.