Zero no Tsukaima ~Princesses no Rondo~ – 04
Although she didn’t return to Tristain Academy with Saito and Louise, Tiffania shows up one day after all. She still doesn’t want everyone to know about her being a half-elf though, and the secret is hard to keep because all the guys are attracted to her. It gets even tougher when she starts being bullied by a group of girls led by a Beatrice Kuldenholff of the Grand Duchy of Kuldenholff. They want Tiffania to take off her hat, but Saito protects her, and Guiche is barely able to keep Saito out of trouble. Guiche explains to Saito afterwards that Beatrice is bad news because she’s rich and commands a powerful group of dragon knights. Louise meanwhile wants to spend more time with Saito and is waiting for him with dinner when he gets back to their room that night. The two, however, get into an argument after Louise sees how concerned Saito is about Tiffania being bullied. The following day, Tiffania decides that she doesn’t want to cause Saito and the others any more trouble, so she reveals to her class that she’s a half-elf. Beatrice uses this revelation to confront Tiffania about what god she believes in, and she ends up calling in her knights so that they can hold an inquisition. She can do this because she claims to have the title of Bishop, and she wants Tiffania to prove her faith by getting into a cauldron of boiling water.
Knowing that Tiffania won’t do it, Beatrice gives her the second option of returning to the countryside, but to Beatrice’s surprise, Tiffania refuses because she’s determined to see the outside world. Tiffania further angers Beatrice by calling her pitiable and observing that she’s still just a child, but before Beatrice can make her men throw Tiffania into the cauldron, Saito steps in. Saito first tries to take responsibility for Tiffania and beg for forgiveness, and when this doesn’t work, he decides to try to use force. With Guiche and the rest of the Ondine Knights backing Saito up, a skirmish breaks out between them and the dragon knights. The commotion of this battle is so loud that it wakes Louise from the pleasant dream she was having, and she’s so pissed off that she storms out and blows everyone up. When Beatrice accuses her of obstructing an inquisition, Louise counters by questioning Beatrice’s qualifications. Louise goes on to call Beatrice out on her lie because Louise knows that a special exequatur from Romalia is needed to hold an inquisition. Having been now been outed, Beatrice is initially afraid when Tiffania approaches her, but Tiffania still wants to be friends, and Beatrice breaks down in tears. In the aftermath, Julio tells Louise about how Saito had initially prostrated himself because he knew that stopping an inquisition would have bad consequences for the person most important to him. With this in mind, Louise visits Saito in the infirmary, but she finds him touching Tiffania’s breasts and ends up whipping him.
So this episode was actually kind of funny because of all of Louise’s fantasies (the comedic style of the animation reflects that), but I have a hard time seeing how any of the other stuff – Beatrice bullying/persecuting Tiffania – has any impact on the overall story since everything gets neatly resolved here. This is important because I’d rather not see this series waste time like the second series did. It doesn’t help either that the plot followed what felt like a very typical bratty-kid-is-redeemed storyline (as you may know, bratty kids are one of my pet peeves) which ended with Tiffania and Beatrice becoming friends and Beatrice bawling her eyes out. Having this episode might make sense if Beatrice plays a significant part later on, but she’s not even important enough to be shown on the official website’s character chart, so I have my doubts. Unfortunately, next week may not be much better if the focus is on the girls and their bath like the title implies.