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Zero no Tsukaima F – 04 »« Zero no Tsukaima F – 02

Zero no Tsukaima F – 03

Zero no Tsukaima F   03   01 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   02 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   03
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Zero no Tsukaima F   03   28 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   29 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   30
Zero no Tsukaima F   03   31 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   32 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   33
Zero no Tsukaima F   03   34 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   35 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   36

「無能王の乱心」 (Munou Ou no Ranshin)
“Madness of the Incompetent King”

I’m going to make an unfair comparison – King Joseph reminded me of Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight. I say this is unfair because comparing what is (in my not-so-humble opinion) the best blockbuster superhero movie produced in my lifetime to a pretty good ecchi/fantasy anime is like comparing apples to another apple that is made of diamonds and solid gold. They’re both enjoyable, but one is pretty obviously better than the other, and putting them next to one another just insures that everyone’s feelings are going to be hurt. And probably a lot of people will die.

Still, I’m doing it anyway because King Joseph struck me as a poor man’s Joker this episode. With his speech about committing mass atrocities just to see if he could feel anymore, I couldn’t help but recall Michael Caine’s Alfred talking about the Joker – “Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.” And you know what? Anything that makes Michael Caine’s voice pop into my head is fantastic in my book, and this episode was no exception.

First of all, Saito. I have so much respect for Saito this episode. There were three times he really impressed me. First, his “mind’s eye” bluff. I was sputtering about how stupid he was when he was standing there with his eyes closed, and I was just waiting for him to somehow manage to hit Joseph by force of Plot – and then he grabs Joseph’s knife hand and goes for the kill. Sure, it didn’t work, but kudos for the plan. The second time was when he let Tabitha make her own decision on whether to kill Joseph or not. Once again I was cringing, waiting for him to be all goody-goody like Louise was, but he did the right thing and let her decide. Okay, so it’s not the stereotypical “right” thing, but Tabitha will now be stronger for having made that decision herself. Another point for Saito. Finally, the third time Saito impressed me was when he called Julio and the Pope out on their scheming bullshit. Actually, I’m a little more fond of those two as well, since they had the decency to come clean when they were figured out, but Saito still comes out ahead for seeing through them. Saito really earned his harem this episode, and a new title of “Hero” to boot. Nice.

Mind you, not all was cherries and blowj–pops. I did spend an unhealthy amount of the episode yelling at my screen “Shoot her! Shoot him! Nuke him! JUST KILL THEM ALREADY!!“, which is totally not crazy at all, right? Of course, I was doing that when Saito first approached Joseph, but his shundo–I mean, Acceleration spell meant it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Still, if I were Saito, I would have capped Sheffield in the chest and shot Joseph the second he was down…which is probably why he gets the girls and I’m an anime blogger, ORZ.

In addition, this arc felt like it was over awfully quickly. There was a lack of build up, of tension. The resolution just came so fast that I never had time to truly appreciate how much of a crazy mass-murderer Joseph really was. It feels like this arc should have been a four episode affair, so that we could have had one episode of gargoyles snatching crying babies, ships crashing into civilians and the other Tristain mages getting in on the action. That would have really built up Joseph as a complete monster, and made his death all the more satisfying.

Still, these are minor quibbles overall. I realize that J.C. Staff has a lot of material to go through and only so many episodes to do it in, so they can’t necessarily spend the time needed to build the first bad guy of the season into a real monster. So, was this episode enjoyable? Well, Saito was a badass, Louise kind of was too, both Siesta and Tiffania were useful in battle and there were plenty of explosions to go around. Yes, this was an excellent episode! It’s looking like next week is going to be a break for some ecchi fanservice, but hopefully this intermission won’t take too long. While the thought of Montmorency pinning down Kirche is fantastic for so many reasons, I’ve really been enjoying all the action so far this season, and look forward to its swift return.

Full-size images: 15, 30.

 

Preview

Zero no Tsukaima F   03   Preview 01 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   Preview 02 Zero no Tsukaima F   03   Preview 03
January 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm
43 comments »
  • January 22, 2012 at 1:24 pmNikku

    Wow. Just the screencaps make me want to finish season 1 and catch up!

  • January 22, 2012 at 1:28 pmYaramza

    Saito throwing his gun away reminded me of this scene:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch1TS2Sz7D0

    • January 22, 2012 at 1:31 pmStilts

      That was, admittedly, not Saito’s best idea, but his overall competence made up for it.

      Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to marathon some Boondocks…

      • January 22, 2012 at 1:48 pmYaramza

        This is why Saito is one of the few harem-based characters i like. He really shows many aspects of chivalry.

  • January 22, 2012 at 1:42 pmShinji103

    Personally, I think the second screenshot of the episode 4 preview is extremely noteworthy. If this were the first time such a scene had been shown in the preview I would just dismiss it as “it’s not gonna happen,” BUT they already did a “first time” showing such a scene in the preview.
    For the episode 2 preview we had such a “compromising” scene shown in the preview, but I’m sure nobody thought anything would really happen given how nothing usually does in those scenes in this series. But I must ask, would the staff really recycle that kind of “OH SHI-” fake-out preview scene only two episodes later? Something might actually happen in that bed this time…… O.o

  • January 22, 2012 at 2:12 pmZerodivide

    “Shoot her! Shoot him! Nuke him! JUST KILL THEM ALREADY!!“

    You are not alone there. Maybe it’s just how the book was written. Or maybe it’s a sign of my advancing age and cynicism. I’d rather Saito unloaded the entire clip before dropping the gun. I’d rather he gave Joseph a double-tap the first chance he had. The odd “dramatic” moments really kill me. Get real dude, the guy just blew up flying ships over a populated city with the equivalent of a fuel-air bomb. You’re entitled to give him a handicap before trying to subjugate him!

  • January 22, 2012 at 2:31 pmArcad

    I would like some confirmation in this series if Saito became Tiff’s Familiar or not.

    • January 22, 2012 at 3:47 pmStilts

      I’m sure we’ll get confirmation eventually. They haven’t closed the door on that question completely yet, so it’ll definitely be revisited.

  • January 22, 2012 at 2:58 pmKarmafan

    Do we know for sure they are really dead? Could they have somehow teleported away just before the explosion or something? It just seems weird the 2 villians got taken out so quickly.

    I’m so glad they toned down the fan service and put alot more effort into the story. Hopefully this new season will continue to impress right to the end.

    • January 22, 2012 at 10:14 pmhaseo0408

      In the novels I think he´s definetely dead or so it seems. There is still the issue of the big crisis mention for the Pope of Romalia so I think that´s going to be the final challenge for the crazy couple.

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:13 pmJif

    I was yelling at the screen too (in my head). A combination of Louise’s absurdly repetitive internal dialogue, blue things flapping around in a blue background, and, well, some things that I don’t even remember too clearly now… just made me really annoyed. But when I finished, this turned out to be a pretty good episode. I didn’t even find it hard to “empathize” with Joseph, for the lack of a better term. While his plan to raze as much as possible was pretty nefarious, he also didn’t downplay the fact whatsoever that he was extremely jaded (in the prior season).

    Saito pulling out a revolver was pretty cool. It doing nothing to Joseph was even cooler though; never want things to be too easy, eh?

    • January 22, 2012 at 4:36 pmSuppa Tenko

      Its a semi-auto pistol. Revolvers use circular chambers.

      • January 22, 2012 at 4:37 pmSuppa Tenko

        BTW, if it was a revolver, the bullet would probably have broken Sheffield’s leg.

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:23 pmBenzene

    That was a quick ending to Gallia. I wonder how the rest of season will now proceed. Fanservice galore?

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:34 pmSuppa Tenko

    I can’t believe the Gallia arc ended this way. Based on the next episode preview, the arc is over. What happened to Joseph living and becoming the main antagonist? What happened to the war and Saito shooting golems with an AK-47? What happened to him dominating giant golems with a Panzer tank? Also, the pope’s world door and Louise’s “last” date with Saito? I see they are going for an anime original ending, but still. It better be awesome to make up for all the awesome material they skipped.

    • January 22, 2012 at 8:25 pmZero

      Woah saito was shooting golems with an AK-47? Is that in the novels?

      • January 23, 2012 at 3:22 amvirox

        If I learned one thing from playing Counter Strike then it is that this is not an AK-47

    • January 22, 2012 at 10:18 pmhaseo0408

      According to Yamaguchi-sensei the anime is going to have the same ending as the light novel but production had to cut a lot of material due to the lack of time, this is a 12 episodes adaptation after all. It´s a shame but they are doing an awsome job so far so no complaints for me in that regard.

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:43 pmThe Moondoggie

    *Throws the novel on the bed*

    OK, anime original huh? There goes my favorite of all the LouiseXSaito moments…

    • January 22, 2012 at 10:08 pmleo

      and WORLD DOOR is the best arch in the novel for me FUCK YOU ORIGINAL ANIME END!!!!

      • January 22, 2012 at 10:11 pmleo

        but agian it would be impossible because to world door happen they would need the LAPTOP what they did with the LAPTOP they made sait DROP THE GOD DAMN LAPTOP when he crossed the portal NO LAPTOP=NO WORLD DOOR

  • January 22, 2012 at 4:56 pmRika

    My thoughts:
    -I won’t go that far to say that Saito was impressive; it’s expected of the “Hero” in the story.
    -Don’t ever throw away a loaded gun, because it’s only going to be used against you.
    -Why didn’t the villains just throw away the bomb? They’re on a flying ship for crying out loud. (BTW a bomb that you can’t deactivate is a bad idea.)
    -I don’t remember Louise being the only person able to use EXPLOSION. Plus, where did she get her wand for that spell later on?
    Putting those thoughts aside…I knew this would have happened along the episodes:
    http://randomc.net/image/Zero%20no%20Tsukaima/Zero%20no%20Tsukaima%20F%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2035.jpg
    I agree this was a good arc too.

  • January 22, 2012 at 6:16 pmKinny Riddle

    Can’t really quite remember, so why was Joseph called “Incompetent” again?

    Saito letting Tabitha choose herself whether to kill her uncle was a surprising departure from the usual Star Wars video game “Light Side/Dark Side” decision, where the character about to do the killing is usually urged NOT to do the deed.

    So with Joseph out of the way, does that mean Tabitha get to succeed the throne as Queen of Gallia? And thus increasing Saito’s harem count to two queens (Henrietta being the other)

    Also, first the anti-aircraft artillery in the last episode of season 3, and now a semi-automatic pistol. It does make you wonder if the Pope has an entire stockpile of Earth weapons under his disposal. Yeah, I still don’t trust him.

    • January 22, 2012 at 8:03 pmStilts

      I guess someone has been playing a bit too much TOR lately… heh : )

      • January 23, 2012 at 6:03 amKinny Riddle

        Surely you must mean KOTOR.

        IIRC The TOR MMORPG still has no release date in sight.

        And for the record, I was referring more to The Force Unleashed. :)

    • January 23, 2012 at 7:33 amAniota

      As for the “incompetent” stuff, I guess it’s very similar to “zero” for Louise.

  • January 22, 2012 at 6:18 pmGaze of Providence

    I demand assault rifles.

  • January 22, 2012 at 6:39 pmZhinvu

    Saito vs Sheffield was pretty cool. Seeing Saito pull that gun out loosely reminded me of Devil May Cry. If you can’t get close…shoot ‘em. Dante would’ve done it.

  • January 22, 2012 at 7:12 pmRedlotusx

    Is it me or Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 22, 2012 at 7:14 pmRedlotusx

    darn how do i edit it was my first time posting and i didn’t know how to put the spoiler properly

  • January 22, 2012 at 7:33 pmMissingnomer

    Wow! This is the end of the arc? I thought this Joseph guy was gonna be the big bad guy of the series! I haven’t read the light novels so I have no idea what is going to happen. But what is lined up for us next? Oh yea, Stilts I have no problems with some fanservice after an epic arc, but now we all know your secret….you love “The Dark Knight!” AHAHA, there is nothing wrong with that, actually, I love that movie too, and I also love Michael Caine, so cheers to us, my friend.

    • January 22, 2012 at 8:13 pmStilts

      One of the many, many ultra nerdy things I love, I assure you :) But seriously, with a cast consisting of Michael Caine, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman and probably some other people (though they’re not really important), how could it have been anything but god-tier amazing? That’s like having a harem consisting of Azu-nyan, Senjougahara, Tessa, Hinagiku, Char, Ikaros and Rin’s zettai ryouiki. Just completely overpowered, a sure-fire recipe for success.

      • January 22, 2012 at 8:40 pm7godeohs

        That would be a hella harem there – I think you have all your bases covered there. Touché for adding Tessa into the mix.

        Also, Dark Knight was awesome.

      • January 22, 2012 at 10:34 pmThe Moondoggie

        Rin’s ZR… Not Rin herself? D:

      • January 22, 2012 at 11:37 pmStilts

        I didn’t want to be too greedy…

  • January 22, 2012 at 8:20 pmZero

    Gun pawns magic anyday

  • January 22, 2012 at 9:11 pmRoLoL

    You know I really like the idea of two world colliding whenever they find some rare artifact that is in fact a weapon from our world. I can’t wait untill Saito finds an AK-47 :)

    • January 22, 2012 at 10:22 pmhaseo0408

      At this point of the story in the light novels he has possesion of a AK-47 rifle, a handgun, a katana, a german panzer tank, in addition of the Zero fighter he´ve always had since early in the novels.

  • January 22, 2012 at 10:27 pmhaseo0408

    This episode was awsomw a lot of good action combine with the touching moments I love from Saito and Luoise. I think Saito is one of the protagonist I´ve seen, he never lets anger have the better of him and doesn´t kill his oponents just because it´s convinient, he´s truly worty of the title of chevalier. If next is going according to the light novels this will ne great to watch.

  • January 23, 2012 at 1:23 amL002

    I am impressed in how that gun managed to get into that world. Though I am also getting another understanding how Saito’s weapon power’s limit is. If Saito had gained 110% of the weapon skill usage, he should have been able make the bullet ricochet and hit Joseph. Though Saito let his guard down, since that gun must have had a “safety” (the switch that is on the gun so it won’t be carelessly triggered), then Saito could have put the safety on to let Joseph have his guard down.

    I am interested if when another void user is born. If that is the case, then will the next one be just as mad or will it be a more nicer person.

    Saito though did seem to luck out with that “mind eye” bluff. If Joseph really wanted to kill Saito, he would have gone slicing the neck, stab the heart, or take out an eye. That stab didn’t even hit a vital organ.

    • January 23, 2012 at 4:39 amewok40k

      Well we had a LAW-72 RPG before – and even pretty functioning Zero fighter plane… so no wonder semi-auto pistol showed up amongst OOPA!

      The episode itself was very epic, and even Guiche managed to act cool and logically.
      One thing that makes me wonder is shouldn’t be Tabitha now be heiress to the throne of Gallia?
      That is assuming Joseph doesn’t have any direct descendants. Speaking of Joseph, he was certainly an interesting villain – and one that ended in a cool way. Sheffield was even extra cool for staying with him until the end, and amking final goodbye with a kiss.

  • January 23, 2012 at 11:33 amRoguespirit

    I knew it was a gun but I expected it to be like an old muzzle loader or something but it was a modern semi auto pistol, very nice. I too was screaming the same things as you because so many times in anime’s like this they have a golden oportunity to kill the bad guy and the miss it, so imagine my surprise when the actualy suceeded in taking him down only three episodes in.

    I also give kudos to Saito for calling the pope on their scheme. I knew there was something fishy going on ever since the end of episode 1 though I didn’t know to which extent.

    Then there’s the prieveiew with Saito and Louise in bed!!!! and of course I thought “Are they actually-nah they’ll just get interrupted again or Louise will stop it cause of something stupid that Saito said.” Then I thought, “But what if they don’t, what if they actually ‘do it’?” Then I remembered something Louise said near the end of the episode: “Another Void mage will be born.” Perhaps it sounds too fanciful and farfetched for an anime like this but notion was there, it seeemd plausible to me. What think?

  • January 27, 2012 at 9:36 pmmasuma

    i cant wait till the next episode!! is there a yuri scene? im enjoying this!!