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Zero no Tsukaima F – 12 (END) »« Zero no Tsukaima F – 10

Zero no Tsukaima F – 11

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Zero no Tsukaima F   11   34 Zero no Tsukaima F   11   35 Zero no Tsukaima F   11   36

「ルイズの選択」 (Ruizu no Sentaku)
“Louise’s Choice”

I sometimes get the feeling that this anime isn’t doing the source material justice. That’s pure conjecture since I haven’t read the light novels, but there are occasional flashes of high-quality fiction that hint at deeper stories not told. This episode was one of those flashes. The lead up to Louise’s titular choice was done quite well, with the foreshadowing obvious enough to make it hard to miss, while still being subtle enough to avoid insulting the viewer. When it was coming, I knew it was coming, and that made me dread it, which heightened the impact when Louise closed the portal. Compared to the often heavy-handed treatment we get from the fanservice wing of this series, this was much better storytelling. I also teared up a bit. Oh Louise, whyyy~!

Of course, in a way Louise’s decision was very, very silly. Where you come from doesn’t really matter, it’s where you choose to be that matter, and the people you choose to be with. Ask anyone who has ever left their country of birth for a chance at a better life elsewhere, and they’ll set you straight on that. However, her decision was also very understandable. Louise wants to protect the man she loves from death, whether it’s quickly in battle or slowly from using his Lifdrasil powers, and she thinks that sending him away is the best way to save him. Stupid? Yes. But it’s a very understandable, human stupidity, as Tabitha and Henrietta vouchsafed for.

The whole episode wasn’t dramatic partings though. Though the fighter jet that Saito found back in episode 7 didn’t come in handy in the way many of us thought it would, I was glad that it still had an effect on the plot, and watching everyone getting together to make a plan to save the world gave me the warm fuzzies. More than that though, it was seeing everyone gathered together at the academy to fight the Ancient Dragon that gave me chills. I’m super susceptible to those sorts things, I have to admit. A bunch of close friends sticking together even through the worst of dangers always gets my romantic’s heart pounding. And then the Elemental Siblings showed up, and I laughed. It was a good laugh! Mercenaries often get a bad rap in fiction, so I forgot they can work for the good guys too. Nice to see them, and I can’t wait to see what damage Damian nii-sama and the others do in the coming battle.

Even so, there’s nothing even close to smooth sailing ahead, since apparently a void mage snack results in a serious power up for the Ancient Dragon. Yeah, I totally called that one, and I knew the Pope was going to get someone killed eventually. But now, the stakes have been successfully raised! The good guys are down one more void mage + the power of somewhere between one and three familiars (Gandalfr, Lifdrasil, and Windalfr, if Julio has been de-powered by the Pope’s death), whereas the Ancient Dragon gained the ability to fly. Next episode, we have the showdown. Everything is set up for Saito’s triumphant return, the protagonist’s glorious victory, and the wedding that the last few eyecatches have been alluding towards, but I have no idea how Saito will get back without someone summoning him. What I do know is that I cannot wait to find out.

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Louise’s choice has put the world in danger, but I can’t blame her for making it. Next ep is the last one. I just might cry. #ZeroNoTsukaima

Random thoughts:

  • The animation suddenly got really good in this episode. I don’t have another comment about that, I just thought I’d mention it in case you missed it. Zero no Tsukaima can look pretty too, when it tries!
  • I’m glad that Saito dismissed the fighter jet he found because it was busted. Thank the gods! If they had claimed they cleaned up all those sensitive electronics that had been stewing in a lake for who knows how long, I would have thrown my hands up in the air and yelled “bullshit!” I’m glad it still had an effect on the plot, though, and not the expected one. Well played, well played.
  • Speaking of, how was Saito planning to steal a fighter jet again? And fly it through that tiny portal? Of course, by then I knew that Louise wasn’t planning on stealing a plane at all, but come on Saito. the JSDF can’t have that bad of security.
  • One more episode. When it’s all over, I just might possibly cry. Or go pick up the light novels and lose days worth of productivity, Orz.

Full-size images: 02, 18.

 

Preview

Zero no Tsukaima F   11   Preview 01 Zero no Tsukaima F   11   Preview 02 Zero no Tsukaima F   11   Preview 03
March 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm
36 comments »
  • March 18, 2012 at 5:09 pmShoe

    I thougt saito would beat the shizzle out of the three gangstahs

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:15 pmReally2D

    I can’t believe one of the animes i started watching LONG ago is finally coming to an end. Same goes for Shana….Taking every muscle i have to hold back my tears!

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:20 pmThe Moondoggie

    …the JSDF can’t have that bad of security…

    I expect you haven’t heard about the story where a JSDF armory had been raided by a thieves, taking away thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Don’t mind the speculation that a certain magical time-traveling lich has anything to do with it…

    http://extrovertedotaku.blogspot.com/2011/04/akemi-homuras-weapon-gallery.html

    • March 19, 2012 at 1:52 amewok40k

      time stop was called a game-breaking spell for a reason!

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:23 pmKTNO

    Charlotte with a wedding dress? WIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:30 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    “Speaking of, how was Saito planning to steal a fighter jet again? And fly it through that tiny portal? Of course, by then I knew that Louise wasn’t planning on stealing a plane at all, but come on Saito. the JSDF can’t have that bad of security.”

    Oh, you know how anime tends to be when it comes to security, especially if it involves something “top secret” or powerful/state-of-the-art/etc; they ALWAYS conveniently have the absolute WORST security (guards and systems) imaginable.

    Remember all those Gundamjacks? lol

    So we all know that Saito would’ve been able to miraculously slip past all the security and systems they have and they would have absolutely NO clue about it until Saito is already, somehow without any flight training or experience, in the cockpit and starting to taxi a fighter jet out the hangar and down the runway, in which case, mechanics who are happening to be taking a break nearby notice this and the manager yells at a younger mechanic to alert the base, and just when the security teams start arriving to stop Saito, he’s already going to be taking off from the runway and they start firing their machine guns and such in futility as he flies off into the distance to save the day in the nick of time.

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:31 pmKarmafan

    There are so many huge things going on right now I can’t believe they will address them all well in just 24 minutes…

    Defeat The Dragon.

    Saito get back to their world with a weapon to defeat said dragon.

    Saito deal with a love quadrangle (Louise, Tifa, Charlotte, and the maid) and marry one (or is he gonna be a playa’ and take all 4 girls)?

    He didn’t say much about his sword partner being destroyed. Will the sword somehow be remade?

    • March 18, 2012 at 8:11 pmacolyte

      Sounds like they’ll try to cram stuff as much as possible. There’s been quite a lot of fillers too, which I like, but leaves too little time for the rest to be covered.

    • March 19, 2012 at 1:50 amewok40k

      There is one simple solution – stay back in the world of ZnT and become harem king – all hail Saito the Unifier, King of Gallia, Tristaine and champion of Elves and Commoners…
      Though Louise will be probably “first” wife!

    • March 19, 2012 at 12:53 pmpokpokza

      Don’t forget our Queen Harietta ! If I am Saito , I would mad as hell why did you do this to meeee?! I wonder if Saito even have family?

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:31 pmIDINGOI

    the LN will have its own ending and its own “final boss”, since a TON of elements were left out in the anime.
    Show Spoiler ▼

    the author of the LN had surgery done; therefore, the LN was put on hold around vol.20

    • March 18, 2012 at 6:37 pmU Doh

      For ZnT what matters most in the end is harem or no harem imo, and although the last boss thing is apparently a lot different than the LN, I don’t think what comes in the very end will be much different.

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:44 pmSuppa Tenko

    And I was think “Saito how the bloody hell do you expect to procure a fighter jet from the homeworld when you’re just a normal 16 year old?”

    Couple things forgotten: Romalia has an entire stock of weapons ranging from AK-47s to grenades to a Panzer TANK. Saito could easily have used that tank or his Zero fighter against the dragon. Also, wasn’t Louise suppose to nuke the dragon with Explosion instead of the pope using First Aid on the dragon?

    • March 19, 2012 at 4:02 pmKarmafan

      He still has his “tattoos” so its possible his powers will still work in the real world and he can fly a jet (if he can get his meathooks on one). Maybe an older model at a show or something?

  • March 18, 2012 at 5:54 pmRoLol

    even when i found this episode great for a dramatic development, I still found it quite silly. Apart from the jet fighter things (wich it was going to be imposible anyway), Saito never even took the time to at least say hello to his family and friends from his world. You could expect some dramatic reunion since he have been in Louise´s world for god knows how long.

  • March 18, 2012 at 6:14 pmMissingnomer

    It seems like the long journy with the Saito crew is coming to a close in the next episode. Let’s all hope for a great ending, one thing Stilts, is there anything planned for OVAs?

    • March 20, 2012 at 8:09 amStilts

      I haven’t heard of anything. Mind you, drawing on the Kugumiya Rie –> Toradora connection, I never heard about that show’s OVA either until it was already released and subbed, so I’m probably not the best person to ask, heh.

  • March 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm0927123

    Tabitha hngggg…..

    I’m still hoping for a Tabitha end but a harem end is fine too.

  • March 18, 2012 at 7:25 pmn0216332

    ” Mercenaries often get a bad rap in fiction” should be “rep” i believe.

    that aside.. i was a bit like O_o … when they just decide to stroll back to Saito’s world and rob the government of a fighter jet like it was an easy feat. even though they never did, but everyone except louise was expecting the plan to carry out, saito of all people would know how difficult that can be.

    • March 19, 2012 at 10:47 amAnon

      Bad rap is actually correct. It’s slang for “RAPport”, not “REPutation”.

  • March 18, 2012 at 8:14 pmacolyte

    I was so-so with Tabitha but her queen outfit made me notice her more as much as Henrietta~
    I was smiling when Henrietta and Tabitha acknowledged Louise’s action, because they themselves also have feelings for Saito.
    Despite many dislikes of the filler episodes, this is another good season of ZnT. I could go for more action, but I got Shana and Symphogear for that.

  • March 18, 2012 at 8:32 pmrandomfellow

    And ZnT, despite it’s great beginning with F for once, still manages to end in a complete and utter disaster.

    After the joke of the next episode, they’re still going to actually try and push the harem element after everything is said and done. It’s like something that you would joke about. “They’re not really going to do that, something that stupid, right?” But they aren’t joking. This is real. This is really happening?

    This whole series has been a waste of potential and one bad idea after the next. Why bother having a wholesome ending? We can’t dare make fans of pairing Unlikely-X unhappy, so let’s not have a conclusion at all!
    Barf.

  • March 18, 2012 at 9:36 pmJif

    Does losing the master have no effect on the familiar? I wasn’t paying very close attention while watching this episode due to multitasking, so just checking.

    • March 18, 2012 at 10:05 pmAex

      It should make the familiar lose his/her special ability. So Julio shouldn’t be able to influence animals so well anymore.

  • March 18, 2012 at 9:43 pmKagura

    its heartbreaking when saito screams louise’s name at the alley! now i believe that you truly loves her.

  • March 18, 2012 at 10:04 pmAex

    Okay, I tried to hold back, but I can’t, gotta rant. Feel free to downvote.

    Louise’s choice was stupid. It basically shows that she hasn’t learned anything when it comes to relationships. She didn’t save Saito, she abandoned him. If they never saw each other again he’d probably be emotionally scarred for the rest of his life, and it’d be a damn long time before he could be really happy again, especially with the constant worrying of what happened to Louise and all his friends, and having absolutely no way of knowing. What pisses me off even more though is that her “justification” was completely one-sided. She had a thought and she forced it on him, regardless of what anyone else thought, even him. Of course, she knew he’d choose to fight for the world, but she still tricked him, saying it wasn’t his fight and all that BS. It a way what she did was actually cowardly. Who says it isn’t his fight? What right does she have to make such an enormous and irreversible decision for him? It’s Saito’s choice whether or not he considers that his world and if it’s worth dying for. Of course, now twice as many people are going to die before someone fixes Louise’s mistake.

    I hope Saito makes it back on his own, or someone besides Louise helps him. I’ll just love seeing Louise realize how stupid she was before we get back to the warm-and-fuzzies.

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:23 pmL002

    I can’t believe that that Saito even though about using a missile. Forget that, find a nuclear bomb. Something like that, which took out Japan in a flash during WWII, would be more than enough on a dragon like that.

    I can’t tell which surprise me more, Louise’s choice or how weak Saito is without his powers; those three punks were just average amateur people, even someone like Julio could possibly take them on without a sword; that just shows in physical Saito is really no different from the average NEET.

    On the interesting side is whether or not Saito would visit his mom. In the light novel, his mom sent am email saying to show his face. I wonder if he will.

    anyway, If I were Saito, I would go to Okanawa and sneak into an American Military base to get every weapon I can get- assault rifles, Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun, a Bazooka, a jet fighter with a top notch American made weapon. Right now, Saito is going to need something like those if he wants to come back

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:23 pmrandom viewer

    Only 2 full-size images?
    Saito isn’t thinking through his plans after his loss of Derf. So how he rationalized in getting a fighter jet is beyond me. (It’s a really desperate plan). Now I don’t know how he will hold up without Louise beside him. He needs a miracle at this point.
    Cross my fingers that the ending will be epic.

  • March 18, 2012 at 11:37 pmWhee

    ah sh*t it’s gonna end soon… noooooooooooooo
    yeah, this show is finally really shining for once, after like 2.5 seasons and 10 episodes.

    and yeah, stealing the plane plan was way too lulzy. saito’s brain must be too used to the magic world now.
    Speaking of lulzy….
    It’ll be quite hilarious if saito never finds his way back and everyone plus the world on the otherside just gets decimated…

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:10 amthenewhorde

    strangely, I find Saito taking over a jet quite easy unlike what everyone said since they were originally going with the party

    all he needs is:

    1. go on a computer and search for army air force location on any Akiba computer store

    2. when they’re there, Louise blast whatever fence or wall guarding with “explosion”.

    3. soldiers come with guns, Tiffania wipe out all soldiers’ memories. With the way soldiers make a warning shot before doing anything, an unarmed girl with a wand (regular wooden stick to soldiers) wave for 1 sec and everyone forget what they’re doing.

    4. Two elves to put everyone else into sleep in case Tiffania has trouble with anything. Elvish magic to move things from a distance as shown with daggers (now on plane) and who knows what elves can do.

    5. Saito gets in, Gandalf power activates and he gains instant knowledge of planes.

    Here’s the difficult part with how Louise can open the portal up that big. But with some kind of deus ex machina where she suddenly powers up or everyone giving her power to her, opening it wide enough for a few seconds that the plane can go in could be possible.

    If not just open the gate at the location of the plan and the split in time and space will split the plane and it’ll be transported piece by piece where Saito and co. will assemble afterwards.

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:44 amBananaFurikake

    Prediction for next episode:

    Dragon- HAPPY END

    Dragon puts on white dress and marries Saito.

  • March 19, 2012 at 1:54 amewok40k

    LN are usually waaaay more complicated and detailed than anime simply by virtue of the media – you just are heavily pushed to translate information without dreaded infodump… What can be read in one minute, takes 15 minutes to explain on screen!

  • March 19, 2012 at 9:39 amCroos

    Now I don’t know where this is going. :|
    Next episode pls

    • March 19, 2012 at 10:51 amAnon

      Quite predictably, it’s going towards an anime-original ending. :)

  • March 19, 2012 at 12:31 pmDorian

    Calling it right now:

    Halkeginia Empire with Saito as Emperor. That’s your original ending. And an Emperor must have his wives, so we give him one from every country to be his. Well, all except Romalia, but we don’t really care about them.

    • March 20, 2012 at 4:22 pmZrasus

      Why not just take a third option and marry Julio too?