Nevin’s Final Dream

My Mom loves The Ancient Magus’ Bride / Mahoutsukai no Yome. I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I gave it a chance, and I’m so glad I did. It has elements of magic, mystery, and the supernatural. I’m only on episode three, but it was my favorite episode (so far!).

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

https://myanimelist.net/anime/35062/Mahoutsukai_no_Yome

Chise, through life circumstances, finds herself with Elias. He makes her his apprentice, and she learns about magic, and more about herself. What felt like a curse, is becoming a strength, as she’s now with people who support and nurture her abilities. Before living with Elias, the Magus, Chise felt isolated, depressed, and unloved. As I’m only episode three, we haven’t learned much about her, but most of what we’ve seen has been painful. While working on Mage matters with Elias, Chise meets a dragon named Nevin. We only know him a brief time, but the anime does a wonderful job of connecting us to him. As a being who has lived hundreds of years, Nevin gives us guidance to reflect upon. Chise’s vulnerability, and the inadvertent sharing of her pain, make Nevin’s words even more poignant. Because we don’t get the hundreds of years Nevin does, it makes our human lives that much more precious. His final dream, which he shares with Chise and us, is beautiful, and a reminder of how wonderful the world can be.

What makes life worthwhile? How does one build resilience and perseverance for the challenging times? Or the ability to overcome pain? I have regret, and pain I’ve inflicted upon others I wish I could take back. Hopefully those sides of ourselves can find peace and healing, as well as those we may’ve hurt (intentional or not). Why do the important parts of life get buried in the day to day affairs? How do we stay present, so we don’t miss the good stuff, the stuff that truly matters? If the ultimate goal of a happy life is to give love abundantly, and to be open to receiving it in return, why does it seem like a challenge in some ways and easy in others? And why is it sometimes difficult to show that love to ourselves? Not the materialistic status symbols many people chase after, but the authentic, and healthy, uplifting connection to oneself (and others).

I’m watching The Ancient Magus’ Bride on VRV / Crunchyroll. If you decide to watch this episode, it may be a good idea to have some tissues on hand.

Suicide is mentioned in this episode. If you, or your loved one need help, assistance is available. https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Kono Oto Tomare

I finished watching Prince of Stride on Hulu tonight. After the last episode, Hulu started auto-playing Kono Oto Tomare. Before I knew it, I had already watched eight episodes!!! It’s such a great show. I like the camaraderie of the students in the koto club. It was a delight to see multifaceted characters having growth and development, as they learn more about each other and themselves. All while improving their koto playing skills!

***SPOILERS AHEAD***

The relationships between the club members provide a wonderful opportunity for them to question the false beliefs they’ve held, to be honest about the challenges they’re overcoming, and to grow together as a group. I also like that Satowa Houzuki and Chika Kudou are authentic. Houzuki had a short lived front, but that facade quickly crumbled once she realized she could be herself. Houzuki and Kudou butted heads in the beginning, but they are becoming closer friends.

What really touched me, were the scenes of Kudou’s interactions with his grandfather. It’s apparent how much his grandfather loved him, and wanted him to be happy, to smile, laugh, and enjoy life. While Kudou was stubborn at the time, in hindsight he realizes the lessons his grandfather tried to teach him. In doing so, he was able to convey his emotions during his performance with the koto club. Surely his grandfather, while no longer physically present, was able to receive his message.

After bawling at that scene, I thought I’d get a relief from the water works. But no, watching the episode immediately after, I had another opportunity to cry. The owner of Nishina Instruments, who Chika Kudou affectionately calls “Granny” wants to meet with him. While not related by blood, she was a friend of his grandfather and she cares about Kudou. After seeing Kudou’s hard work, perseverance, and efforts she has a gift for him.

The Koto is said to be made in the image of a dragon, if you watch Kono Oto Tomare they explain more about this. Having wings, the feelings being played can reach the audience, through the instrument. Granny says that Kudou’s performance reached Gen, his grandfather. I’m sure he is very proud of him.