Part of why I love The Ancient Magus Bride so much I think because it hits so many of my buttons regarding ancient beings with their morality, and how the show treats Elias.
Elias isn’t human. Sure, this is obvious from the moment you first see him, but more importantly, he also doesn’t act human. He is ancient and never been human in his life, ever. He had lived around humans, he can act reasonably human-ish, but he doesn’t get humans.
He doesn’t see morality, emotions, feelings like we do. This is what he is, in a story full of faeries, and old, old creatures, Elias is just one of them. Honestly, him genuinely caring for Chise from day one would have been the weird thing.
I don’t think he means harm, but the faeries didn’t mean harm either when they almost snatched Chise away on her first day. Well, probably. Who knows with them. Elias is old, curious, and looks at this as almost a trade. Give Chise good things. Satisfy my own curiousity. Would a marriage be what she wants? Surely, right? Human women like marriage, right? Love and marriage, that’s what they want, and even though Chise is dubiously human as well, she grew up as one, so it counts.
Elias makes Chise comfortable - in turn, Chise becomes dependant on him, so he can satisfy his own curiousity.
Of course if this were two humans, this would honestly be creepy and stuff, but…
But Elias isn’t human, and I love that the show doesn’t shy away from it.
Elias’ morality is very different from a human’s, and I love, love the story of a human falling in love with an ancient being, who sees the world so, so differently than we do. And the story of the ancient being falling in love with the human too, maybe for the first time, and trying to figure out how to do this whole love thing. Actually growing to be caring for Chise, and not just in a possessive way.
Elias isn’t human. Never was, never will be. Of course their love story would be weird through the eyes of a human.