Wandering Witch: A Fateful Encounter With Elaina Changes a Young Witch’s Life

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Episode 2 of Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina, "The Land of Mages," now streaming on Funimation and Hulu.

Elaina is now carrying out the journey that she dreamed of in Wandering Witch: The Journey Of Elaina premiere. For the majority of the second episode, Elaina spends time in a place called the Land of Mages. This place caters specifically to those who have magic potential, housing a large population of witches and those who are training to become one -- making this place an ideal first pit stop for wherever her journey takes her. While Elaina stays here, she has a fateful encounter with someone who reminds her of her past self. And by the end, we discover how much of a difference Elaina made to this girl's life.

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While Elaina searches for a place to stay, she ends up literally bumping into another girl named Saya in the sky who doesn't appear to have lots of flying experience. The two of them crash onto a roof from the impact but thanks to Elaina's magic, she undoes the damage done to the building as well as heal the other girl before bidding each other farewell.

Eventually, their paths cross again when Elaina finds a run-down hotel where the girl happens to work. She introduces herself as Saya, and thanks to their earlier run-in there aren't any problems with booking a room. Once she settles in, Elaina realizes she lost her brooch from the collision earlier, meaning that she now has to search for it. Saya, meanwhile, requests for Elaina to teach her some magic. Since Elaina still has to look for the brooch, she agrees to teach Saya while conducting the search. But Saya isn't quite what she seems.

One of the things that Elaina advises Saya on is aiming her magic with precision, such as using wind gusts to knock other witches off of their brooms. But while undergoing this training, certain suspicious elements emerge, such as Saya's odd ability to fly so well despite being the one to crash into Elaina at the beginning of the episode. Elaina eventually finds the truth of the situation -- while it wasn't done maliciously, she was being deceived by Saya.

Everything that happened between Elaina and Saya was planned from the start. Saya intentionally hid between buildings until an unsuspecting witch flew above her, giving her the perfect opportunity to cause the accident. It was from this incident that Saya acquired Elaina's brooch, and instead of returning it, the girl kept it to herself.

The reason that Saya did all of this stems from a lack of confidence in herself. While Saya is in the Land of Mages on her own she used to have a sister who also was trying the apprenticeship test as she is doing now. The sister completed the test before Saya could and eventually left Saya with the hotel. Saya is scared about doing things on her own, a void that was filled as Elaina taught her methods to improve her magic skills.

Elaina relates to the way this loneliness and uncertainty clung to Saya. Seeing Saya in this vulnerable state is similar to how she experienced failure under the Stardust Witch. Despite the trickery that first kept Elaina rooted to the hotel, she continues to give Saya some tips to perform well on the exam before she continues her journey. And it's through their time together that Elaina imparts some final wisdom to Saya. Throughout life, there are bound to be things that you have to do on your own. However, people can still be supportive of your endeavors from the sidelines. As a token to remember her by, Elaina lets Saya keep her spare hat.

The ending of the episode provides a satisfying conclusion to Saya's story. Six months after the events of this episode, Elaina reads a newspaper that includes an article about Saya's accomplishments. The confidence Saya gained from Elaina helped her complete the test to become an apprentice witch. She adds that her goal will be to one day find the traveling witch Elaina. Keeping Elaina's spare hat as a memento of their time together, Saya now has the potential to start her own journey.

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