Bingo 7: Bodies, Bodies
In The Ancient Magus’ Bride (volume 17), there are quite a few bodies, many of them unusual, unique, and/or not original for their inhabitants. Given that many of the bodies belong to teenagers (roughly high school age), it’s sort of fitting there’s going to be a lot of change and confusion.
First, Chise (MC’s) classmates: Philomela has been infected by a nasty powerful ancient magic book and transformed into some kind of briar demon thing, but Chise still sees her classmate in there. It’s a touch unclear at this point how much say Philomela might have had in this transformation or plot (the magic book contains info on how to raise the dead apparently). The race is on to try and save Philomela since once the contamination takes over, she loses her humanity and her body falls apart.
There’s also Zoe, who feels the need to hide a particular part of their body which defines what they actually are. Several classmates know what Zoe is but this time Zoe actually decides not to hide and use their natural ability to help. On a sort of similar level, there’s a werewolf whose role has thus far been briefly suggested but now maybe there might be some answers coming? Zoe’s help unintentionally helps the wolf, so we’ll have to wait and see what her role (the werewolf’s) might be.
Chise herself is the one whose body has been changed pretty substantially since the series started; she no longer has her original left hand/arm, and same for one of her eyes. This comes up in the part of the story here because Chise actually fully transforms her body into something neither human nor totally physical in an effort to get to Philomela before it’s too late. She transforms back to herself once she’s back with her classmates.But if they’re in time to help Philomela remains to be seen.
Elias, the ancient magus of the title, also does some body weirdness, as her ‘stores’ the classmates inside part of his body for safety for a chunk of the story where he’s carrying them along to find Philomela. This is kind of the same physical/spiritual fuzziness Chise goes through as she searches for Philomela. Elias is some kind of Fey but either lesser or somehow more of an outsider, and his appearance most of the time is reminiscent of Mari Lwyd (which is sort of a patchwork body to begin with; what that means about Elias is uncertain). Elias is not the only supernatural either; an old god makes a brief appearance in physical form, while an artificial body revealed to have been a safe-keeper of a soul who might be turning a bit self-aware seems to be facing up to their life-purpose. The cliffhanger is actually kind of interesting, so we’ll have to wait and see who comes out whole, changed, or otherwise.