Zero no Tsukaima ~Futatsuki no Kishi~ – 12 (END)
In midst of the chaos, Louise almost gets killed by one of the mind controlled soldiers, but Saito saves her. The two then escape with the rest of the Tristain forces back to their base at Rosyth as the Albion army captures South Gotha. Henrietta also gets away safely and meets with Cardinal Mazarini while Agnès explains what happened, including how the enemy has 70,000 troops on the way. Nevertheless, Henrietta insists on holding off on leaving until the last boat back to Tristain so that she can make sure everyone else is safe. Mazarini then goes privately to Louise to ask for her help as a rear guard to protect them while everyone else gets away. Louise takes the job even though it’s not an order, but Saito is completely against it and points out that she’ll be sacrificing herself. Although she doesn’t want to die, Louise feels that dying while protecting her allies is honorable for her as a noble. Saito is conflicted because of his own desire to protect Louise, but she tells him to escape.
Saito decides to stop resisting and suggests that they have a drink to celebrate before they separate for good, so Louise goes as far as to say that she wants to get married. She picks out a pair of Éclair d’amour flowers before heading to the church, but when she’s praying there, she doesn’t notice Saito putting some of the sleeping potion into her glass. As for the actual ceremony, Louise isn’t quite sure what to do, but she knees Saito in the crotch for wanting to kiss her. Instead, she feels that they should hold hands and say their vows, so Saito tells her that he loves her and that he’s glad to have been able to meet her. Louise in turn admits that she had at first been wary of him as her familiar, but she’s now glad that it was him. She also says that she loves him, but right as those words come out of her mouth, Louise faints because of the potion. Julio is waiting outside the church, and Saito hands Louise off to him. Saito intends to face the enemy by himself, but he’s not doing it for honor. He’s doing it because he told Louise that he loves her, and he feels that he has to go for that to stay true.
Louise wakes back up on a boat leaving Albion, and upon learning from Julio what Saito did, she has to be restrained because of how much she wants to go to him. By now, Saito has fought his way to the front lines of the enemy force and jumps right into the middle. Although he battles valiantly, Saito is vastly outnumbered and soon gets mortally wounded. As the enemy prepares to finish him off, Saito thinks about Louise and how he doesn’t want to die after all. Back on the ship, the glowing Éclair d’amour flower that represented Saito dims and withers. In the aftermath, everyone else makes it back safely to the academy, but there’s a heavy air all about because of the loss. Louise’s sisters try to get over it, but Saito was too important to her, and Louise just wants to be alone. While she’s crying over the dead Éclair d’amour though, it suddenly starts glowing again. This can only mean one thing, so Louise runs out to the front of the school and sees Saito standing in the distance.
The two run to each other and are happily reunited, but Louise’s attitude soon changes when she learns that he was saved by an elf. It seems that the same girl that Guiche was talking about had recognized Saito as God’s left hand Gandalfr, though Saito remembers her mainly because of her large chest. Louise gets angry because she thinks Saito likes big breasts, and it doesn’t help that Saito starts staring at Siesta’s chest when he sees her again. This anger leads to more explosive bursts of magic from her, and for now, things look back to normal.
So there were a couple of minutes toward the end of the episode where I started wondering if the writers actually had the balls to kill off Saito. Turns out that they didn’t, and so we got what I call the deus ex machina ending where Saito was saved by the elf (Tifania, voiced by Noto Mamiko). I wouldn’t have minded so much if it didn’t come in the last few minutes of the episode, making it seem like it happened just so that Saito and Louise could be reunited. This is where not having enough time to flesh out the story hurts because I think things would have been a lot better off if Saito had been “killed” at the end of last episode, and the reunion was this episode.
That’s not to say that this was a horrible ending (Saito’s battle scene and death were pretty good), but it wasn’t great either. Was it too much to ask for them to actually end on Louise X Saito instead of having her be mad at him like usual? I realize that that’s how their relationship works, but for crying out loud, she was just reunited with someone she thought was dead and had been crying over all this time. Along those lines, I also wish they hadn’t used the normal ED and had instead shown an aftermath montage of the characters like they did at the end of the first season.
Final Thoughts: This entire season didn’t seem like it was very well thought out – they focused on Agnès too much in the middle and let the more important stuff at the end get rushed through. I probably wouldn’t think so poorly of this if the series was 26 continuous episodes long since that allows more room for other stuff, but I suspect that they would have followed the novels a lot closer if they had that many episodes to work with from the very beginning. The 13 episode single season format is just too short to waste time on anything that’s not moving along the main plot. Since the war’s not even over yet and since Sheffield is still out there, I get the feeling that they came in with every intention of there being a third season. Right now though, I’m not too keen on watching more of this series. Maybe I’ll feel better about it by the time they announce another sequel (if they do).