Opinions are divided in terms of Chise Hatori and Elias Ainsworth’s relationship. There will always be fans who completely show their support and those who do not. However, when analyze closely there are notable things that indeed make their relationship quite disturbing in the eyes of others.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride series by Kore Yamazaki is a dark fantasy supernatural anime. Although these are the series’ main genres. It is not a surprise that it also falls as a romance anime because of featuring a classic love story between its main characters. Therefore, fans cannot help but ship the two leading characters, Elias and Chise. Furthermore, the Japanese animated series has received warm praise from fans due to a number of reasons.
First, the immaculate animation contributes greatly to the beauty of the whole series and how the story is conveyed. This is probably one of the main reasons that would convince non-ancient-magus fans to watch the series. Wit Studio is one of the most popular animating studios of today because of remarkably producing the first season of Vinland Saga, three seasons of Attack on Titan, and never forgetting the iconic Spy x Family.
In addition, not only the main characters are good but also the side characters. The side characters in The Ancient Magus’ Bride massively help in developing the story for Chise Hatori and Elias Ainsworth. Also, the healing from your trauma theme of the series is to look forward to. But even with these things and more reasons to watch it, the underlying truth behind their relationship has been pushing fans to ignore the good side of what Elias and Chise have.
The Grooming Premise of The Ancient Magus’ Bride
Elias Ainsworth has even gained the named Skulldaddy among fans because of his unpredictable relationship with the little girl she bought. Ainsworth’S intention in buying Chise as a slave in the first place was never to torment nor manipulate her. However, fans can’t help but to questions how their relationship is being written. This is because of some scenes that raise a few eyebrows.
As much as it is so heroically destined to think about how these two characters crossed paths. Elias, a knight in shining armor saves the damsel in distress by getting her out of her misery by buying her off as a slave but is treating her nicely. This definitely showed the start of something new and beautiful. When Chise and Elias began to deepen their bond with one another. Feelings were unintentionally building that made fans love them, at the same time, worry for them.
While it is true that everyone deserves to love and to be loved. Some fans believe that there should be a limit to it, especially with Elias and Chise. According to some fans, the love story between the sleigh beggy and the ancient magus has shown scenes that are creepy, unpleasant, and uncomfortable.
Chise is a young girl who basically didn’t have anyone; hence, she decided to sell herself as a slave. When Elias Ainsworth bought her and decided to make her his apprentice no one expected how far Elias is willing to go for Chise since she was bought merely for an experiment. However, everything was just not how it seems for some fans.
So, here are reasons why Elias Ainsworth is accused of grooming by some fans.
Elias Ainsworth’s Possesively Childish Tantrum
Aside from all the scenes in the series, this is probably the one that truly made fans furious. Episode eighteen of season one showed that Elias would go so far when dealing with his emotions and might even end up hurting Chise. Elias Ainsworth is an unknown magical creature and is still ignorant of a lot of things specifically human emotions. But, some fans do not believe that this is a valid excuse for what he has done to Chise in this episode.
When Stella, the human friend of Chise, visited their household, Elias was seen acting very strange. As Stella promised her, she went to Chise for them to have some quality bonding. Both of them bonded like typical young girls gossiping inside their room which truly made the sleigh beggy happy. Chise and Stella both shared snacks, stories, and laughter together. Everything started so well but was cut off when Elias went out and Chise decided to follow him.
By using her skinwalking ability, Chise found Elias in a completely different form. He pulled Chise in and wrapped his tails around her body. Elias admitted that she wanted Stella to leave and he felt better when Chise went after him. This was a sign that Elias was confused about the emotions he was feeling and that he was super jealous.
It also seemed like Chise felt a sense of danger towards Elias at this point because she let out a signal to guide Ruth as to where she is. When Chise realized that Elias wasn’t letting her go any second, she threatened her life with a knife; hence, he instantly released her and apologizes. A little jealousy is good, but not so much when someone is about to get hurt, don’t you agree?
A Whole Other Level of Overprotectiveness
As mentioned over and over, Chise Hatori is in debt greatly and is grateful to Elias for introducing her to the life she always wished for. Because of him, she gained a lot of companions and even met enemies that turned into her friends, one of them being Alice Swayne.
Chise and Alice went to London during the Christmas season to buy gifts. Alice decided to send out a courier bird for Chise to let her know about the invitation. Chise was willing to accompany her friend but had to do it secretly. Since Elias kept a close watch on Chise, she decided to sneak behind his back. Chise and Alice almost spend the whole day together looking for the perfect gift for Elias and Mikhail. They also bonded together by sharing stories from their past.
When the two decided to part ways, Chise immediately went home with the gift she bought for Elias. Little did she know that Elias is fully aware of her getting out without his permission. Due to his limited knowledge of human emotions, Elias was unaware that the way he speaks to Chise about what she did already indicates that he is angry. He also emphasizes during his tantrum in episode eighteen that he is too afraid of Chise leaving him for her friends, namely people like Alice and Stella.
Selfishly Making Chise’s Friend a Sacrificial Lamb
When Chise tried to save a young dragon she ended up with a cursed arm. The Dragon’s Curse shortened the life of Chise more which made her and Elias desperate in finding a cure that would stop it from festering her body. Realizing that it is not that easy to find a cure but won’t give up, Chise and Elias had their heart-to-heart talk.
The two main characters agreed that they will both find the cure together and discuss all the things together. Marielle, a witch, decided to invite Elias and Chise to the witch’s coven hopefully to find an answer regarding Chise’s cursed arm. However, they didn’t take long because even the witches couldn’t provide them help, but before they return Marielle whispered something to Elias.
Read More: Will Chise Die in The Ancient Magus’ Bride?
Through the help of Marielle, Elias found a way to remove the dragon’s curse. He proceeded in conducting this plan with the help of Ruth even if it was against Chise’s beliefs. He kidnaps Stella to make her the sacrificial lamb in order to save Chise. For him, transferring the dragon’s curse to Stella is the only way to save his dying sleigh beggy. What is more disturbing is the reason why he chose Stella among all possible options. In his own words, Stella was the right choice because of Chise’s treatment of her.
I’d decided that if it had to be done, it would be Stella. You look at Stella with a different expression than you do me. I can’t stand that.Elias Ainsworth to Chise Hatori (Season 1: Episode 21)
This made Chise very angry at him to the point of abandoning him. Elias was portrayed as a very selfish being particularly when it involves Chise. He wanted her for himself and easily gets jealous when someone else has her attention.
Because of these reasons, many believed that The Ancient Magus’ Bride is featuring grooming on Elias’ part. Since Elias is basically a grown man who has lived for centuries and Chise was just a fifteen years old girl when he bought her. Some fans saw their relationship differently.
Elias and Chise’s Imperfect but Healthy Relationship, Not Grooming
From their master and slave to father and daughter relationship, the idea of grooming was far more evident to some and the reasons are the ones stated above. But, some fans fail to understand that what Elias Hatori and Elias Ainsworth have is indeed a very complex relationship that requires a wide understanding of both of their situations to not misinterpret it.
Grooming is a grave sin and I’m pretty sure that Elias isn’t guilty of it. Due to Elias’ unknown history, it is quite difficult to conclude things about him. However, what is true is that he is a kid-at-heart and someone who greatly treasures Chise because of what she makes him feel. Also, from all of the bonds they have formed as they spend more time together. Never did Elias abuse nor manipulated Chise. Instead, he gave her the freedom to live her life in her own way the moment he bought her.
It is not only Elias Ainsworth from The Ancient Magus’ Bride who has been accused of grooming. Naofumi Iwatani from The Rising of the Shield Hero has also received side eyes and negative comments on his relationship with his former slave, Raphtalia. Like Elias, Naofumi has also been accused by some fans of grooming Raphtalia who eventually developed feelings for him.
But, these Japanese animated series are more than these accusations when you look closely. These opinions are heavily dependent on how one views the story that these series’ conveys. It is either you look at it on the brighter or darker side. Your choice.
When understood deeper Elias Ainsworth is like most humans out there. Like us, he is still grasping the world and is still learning about how to deal with the emotions that are new to him. While Chise Hatori is just starting to find the purpose of living that she once lost a long time ago. They are both figuring things out and healing their past traumas together which is a lovely thing for the both. Hopefully, season two will clear more things up to fans when it gets here.