Zero no Tsukaima – 13 (END)
Right after Louise learns about the impending war, Saito tells her that the solar eclipse will be in three days. If all goes well, then that’s when he is going to be returning to his own world. However, to his surprise and anger, Louise acts happy for him despite how she really feels. Meanwhile, there is talk of surrender in an emergency meeting between the leaders of Tristein. Henrietta doesn’t want to surrender and instead offers to command the troops herself. Back at the academy, Saito is staring at the moons, thinking about the three days when Derfflinger asks him if his feelings had been moved. Assuming that Derfflinger is referring to how he feels about Louise, Saito denies it, but Derfflinger was actually talking about this world. In any case, he’s alone at the moment because Louise and the other students are in a meeting with Osmond and the teachers about the war. Louise is surprised to learn that Henrietta is personally taking control of the troops, and she decides to go join her friend. But first, she returns to her room and finds Saito sleeping. After touching his face, she says her goodbye and leaves.
The next morning, Saito wakes up and finds only a note from Louise. Remembering how Louise had left the meeting, Kirche thinks that she joined Henrietta in the war. Since he’s not an inhabitant of this world, Saito feels that the war has nothing to do with him, yet his mind is filled with his moments together with Louise. The day after, Siesta is at her home at Tarbes thinking about the solar eclipse tomorrow and how Saito will be gone by the time she returns to school. Her thoughts get interrupted when she sees a giant battleship approaching in the skies above the village. By that night, word reaches Henrietta, Louise, and Guiche and so they set out. Then, on the morning of the third day – the day of the solar eclipse – Saito prepares to take off in the Zero. Kirche asks if it’s really ok for him to do this since he’ll probably be separated from Louise forever. Before Saito can reply, Colbert comes by with the four barrels of gasoline that he spent all night making. Colbert happens to mention the enemy battleship at Tarbes, which alerts Saito because that’s Siesta’s village, and that Henrietta’s forces are on the move.
With the intent of going to help, Saito gets into the Zero. Kirche tries to advise him against it because of the chance of the airplane getting damaged and him being unable to return home. But Saito thinks he’ll figure out those problems when the time comes, and so he has Colbert use his magic to get the propeller turning. It’s only after the Zero starts moving that Saito realizes that he doesn’t have enough room inside the school grounds to take off. Fortunately, Tabitha uses her wind magic to lift the airplane up before it can crash in to the walls. What’s more, Tabitha decides to go with Saito and calls Sylph, so Kirche tags along too. Meanwhile, Henrietta’s forces meet up against the battleship over Tarbes, but her griffins get easily shot down and her ground troops take a shelling from the battleship above. Just as Henrietta seems to be losing hope and thinking about Wales, the solar eclipse begins. The troops hear a buzzing noise getting louder and louder, and Louise spots the Zero in the sky. Hiding in the forest with her family, Siesta realizes that Saito is here. He gets to work immediately and starts shooting down all of the enemy dragons. Seeing the Gandalfr at the helm of the mysterious new dragon, Waldo and Fouquet realize that it’s necessary for them to enter the battle. Just as Saito downs the last enemy dragon, Waldo appears on his own flying mount. To counter Waldo’s magic, Saito leans out of the Zero’s cockpit with Derfflinger so that he can absorb it. But when Saito manages to fly behind Waldo, he realizes that he’s out of ammo.
Below them, Fouquet is laying waste to the ground troops with her golem. Guiche runs away, but gets stopped when Sylph lands in front of him. He sees that Kirche and Tabitha are here, but so does Fouquet. Tabitha keeps Guiche from running away and quietly suggests alchemy. Guiche brings out a wave of flower petals which Tabitha proceeds to spread all over the golem. Through alchemy, Guiche turns his petals into oil, which Kirche then lights on fire. The golem collapses after being engulfed in flames, and Fouquet runs away. Louise, who has been trailing Saito from the ground, arrives at the trio and gets Tabitha to help her. Back in the air, Waldo has landed a hit on the Zero’s left wing, causing a gasoline leak. Waldo readies a larger magic attack, but before he can fire, his dragon gets shot with the combined powers of Kirche and Tabitha. From on top of Sylph, Louise jumps down towards the Zero, and with a little magical help from Tabitha, she’s able to grab onto Saito’s outstretched hand and get pulled into the cockpit with him. With the two moons now fully covering the sun, Louise admits that she couldn’t leave Saito alone in this danger.
In the dark skies, Waldo flies his dragon straight for the Zero, proclaiming that he will bury the Gandalfr and the legend. In response, Saito declares that he doesn’t care about the legend, the nobles, or the commoners and that he only values protecting Louise because he’s the Zero no Tsukaima (Zero’s familiar). Louise is on the verge of crying upon hearing these words, but she’s barely able to shed a tear before Saito’s rune starts glowing and symbols start flying out of it. Derfflinger calls for her to awaken, saying that since she’s the master of the Gandalfr, she’s also a user of Void magic. As if in a trance, Louise stands up in the cockpit and points her wand outward. Unfortunately, Derfflinger says that Saito has to buy her some time to use her magic, so Saito flies around taking hits from Waldo until Louise is ready. When the time comes, a whiteness emanates from Louise and envelopes the sky, vaporizing Waldo and setting fire to the enemy battleship. Afterwards, the Zero makes a crash landing onto a grassy field. As it comes to a stop, Saito notices that the solar eclipse has ended, but instead of worrying, he turns to Louise and smiles.
With the battle over, Tabitha and Kirche survey the burnt hull of the Reconquista battleship. They notice an injured man stumble towards them – Cromwell. He uses his Ring of Andvari on them, forcing the two girls down to their knees, but before he can do anything else, Cromwell gets knocked out with a stick. The person who saved the pair is actually Guiche. Saito has meanwhile brought Louise out of the Zero and sits with her in his lap in the middle of a field. She wakes up and sees the Zero wreckage, but Saito doesn’t mind very much. Louise ends up calling him an idiot and a stupid dog, but she surprises Saito by also kissing him. Louise claims that this is proof of their re-contracting. In the aftermath, Kirche, Guiche, Tabitha, and Louise all get commendation medals from the royal court. When Louise rushes back to show Saito, he’s nowhere to be found. Wandering around, Louise sees Kirche with a group of boys around her, Tabitha inspecting the Ring of Andvari, and Montmorency yelling at Guiche. She finally finds Saito talking happily with Siesta, and proceeds to pull out her whip in anger, calling him a dog once again. Nearby, on the grassy school grounds, lies the broken Zero.
They certainly had a lot of material to cover for this final episode, but they got through most of it. Saito did indeed join the battle with the Zero, giving up his chance to go home, and Louise did indeed get to show off the Void magic that we’ve been hearing about. The enemies are defeated, and everyone is happy again, all in the course of less than 30 minutes. It was fairly predictable, but there really weren’t many surprises that they could have pull with so much to get through and only one episode to do it in. Heck, one of the biggest oddities of the episode was the use of the loud sound effects in the opening song.
But given the short nature of this series, there’s a lot more that they could have covered. I personally would have liked to see more story for Henrietta, Tabitha, and Siesta, all of whom have so much potential as characters, but didn’t really get enough development in the animated version. That’s what the novels are for I guess. Actually, volume 9 of the novels came out this month and had some nice images including this one of Henrietta (maybe not quite as good as her Xena, Warrior Princess outfit from this episode) and the cover with Louise (I’ll avoid the obvious joke about the
Final Thoughts: When I started this series, what drew me in initially were the similarities with Shakugan no Shana, including how Hino Satoshi and Kugimiya Rie voiced the two main characters. But after a few episodes, that wore off and this show became really good in its own right. Unfortunately, what will likely plague this show as a whole is its relatively short length – had it been given a 26 episode run instead of the 13 it got, I might have called this a great show instead of just really good. Well, there’s always hope for another season. Or maybe I’ll just settle for another Hino Satoshi/Kugimiya Rie series. :)