I just finished watching El Cazador de la Bruja, so I thought I’d give me comments on the relationship between Nadie/Ellis. There are SPOILERS so proceed with caution.
Romance between Nadie and Ellis:
Ellis warms up to Nadie and falls in love with her as the series goes deeper into the storyline. It is a pure kind of love, you could even say it is a “childish” kind of love as well. They do make it a point that Ellis is still a child in one of the episodes when Nadie happened to hurt Ellis’s feelings by accident (such as causing Ellis’s skullhead keychain to be crushed by a car by accident and saying her flute skills suck). In that episode, Ricardo scolds Nadie and reminds her that children are pure beings, they are incapable of complex thinking. They only see black & white–like and hate. Therefore, Nadie apologizes to Ellis at the end of the episode. It should also be said that it is clear throughout these episodes that Ellis likes Nadie. Though at first, I didn’t see it in a romantic light–until she got jealous when Nadie and Ricardo got along too well. Then she even asks Nadie, “Do we look like a married couple?” And also, when L.A. tells Ellis about Nadie’s “true colors,” Ellis doesn’t get mad at Nadie. She hugs Nadie and says, “Nadie is Nadie,” signifying that she loves Nadie for who she is. And in the end, she says that she loves Nadie when her eyes are shining. Ellis’s feelings for Nadie are undeniedably canon.
So what about Nadie?
Here’s my analysis of it. I think, up until episode 23, Nadie wasn’t sure of her feelings for Ellis. When Episode 23 happened, I can argue that Nadie is in love with Ellis. The whole cast and song changes through episode 23 around Ellis and Nadie. First scene to note is when Nadie made a great speech and in the end, she says, “I’ve always wanted… someone who would support me” (watashi ga hoshikatta… sasaiete kureru hito ga zutto ne). Song changes dramatically to fit this scene too. It was a realization/acceptance-of-her-feelings kind of scene. And this “someone” she is referring to is clearly Ellis. Next, the support cast’s conversation shows that they acknowledge and support Nadie and Ellis’s newly strengthened mutual relationship. Ricardo commented, “We must not separate the two of them.” Then, near the end of this episode, Nadie grabs Ellis and hugs her, in a romantic way. Song changes in this part too. Strong indication that Nadie is in love with Ellis. She confesses to Ellis that she would stay by her side no matter what happens, witch powers or not. In my eyes, it was also a confession to say “I would love you no matter what you are, and would always stay by your side to support you.” Then episode 25, climax. Nadie kills Ellis on her wish. Ellis confesses her love to Nadie. After the shot, Nadie stumbles to where Ellis was. She apologizes for not being able to keep her safe, but then says that it’ll be okay, because Ellis wouldn’t be alone, she’ll be joining her shortly, and dies by her side. Side-by-side, they are holding hands in death. I cried at this part. Absolutely beautiful.
Before these last episodes, it should be noted that Nadie did know Ellis is in love with her, romantically. Ellis’s affection is clearly shown throughout the series, and Nadie accepts it unconditionally. As people have said on the Shoujo-Ai forum, Nadie is capable of complex thinking, like an adult. She surely knew Ellis is in love with her. And she is NOT denying the fact or Ellis, which I think, on an instinctive level, Nadie knew her feelings for Ellis before episode 23. When Nadie finds out that Ellis was artificially created, she came to accept it and burned the evidence. She even had that nightmare where she told Ellis about the “truth” and then a blue fire appeared to cut them off; Ellis said, “Goodbye, Nadie,” and walked away. Nadie clearly didn’t want to lose Ellis.
As for reciprocating Ellis’s feelings, even if she IS in love with Ellis, I think Nadie doesn’t know how to or that she doesn’t like to explicitly do so. After she has been scarred by Miguel in the past, she doesn’t really know where and how to start loving again. The only thing she knows is she has always wanted someone who could support her. And since she has found that someone, she is willing to give up anything and everything for that person (Ellis), which I think, is her own form of love. The other part of it might be that Nadie doesn’t know how to show/express her feelings, or doesn’t like to openly express her feelings. For example, during the episode I mentioned with Nadie hurting Ellis, she knew she did something bad, but she has trouble approaching Ellis to apologize. Then when L.A. tells Ellis about Nadie’s “true colors,” Nadie doesn’t try to clear up the misunderstanding immediately. She waits and Ellis forgave her instantly anyway, before Nadie could even say anything about the truth. I feel like throughout the series, Nadie’s feelings/emotions are intentionally not explicitly shown because she isn’t the type to show her feelings/emotions (until the very last episode). Which leads me to say that…even if Nadie is in love with Ellis, it wouldn’t be explicitly shown. She is the type to be subtle about it. At the end of episode 26, I can confirm once again that they are in love with each other. Nadie cries for the first time (explicitly showing her feelings for the first time). I think the reason for crying is because she is touched by the old couple’s offerings/givings. But at the same time, I felt a sense of sadness, because it felt like she was giving up something. And I got a hint of feeling that she didn’t mind this kind of living if it was for Ellis’s sake. She didn’t want to put Ellis on a journey and endanger her once again. She also quit bounty hunting because of Ellis. And somehow, knowing this, Ellis denies the old couple’s offer. She once again, confesses her love for Nadie by saying “I love Nadie…when her eyes are shining.” She knew that Nadie desires to go on a journey again, but she was probably the reason why she is held back. And accepting Ellis’s feelings once again, Nadie agrees to the journey with a gentle loving smile.
Sure, we don’t get to see them lovey-dovey together, but I think Bee Train intentionally left that stuff out of the show. The ending is open, free for the audience to interpret based on the clues given within the show. I don’t think you need yuri goggles for this series.