Saito pilots his Zero through a solar eclipse and to get back to Tokyo, but once there, he realizes that Louise isn’t with him. Feeling that there’s no point in coming back to modern Japan if Louise isn’t there, Saito accidentally breaks the control stick and is about to crash the plane when he wakes up from his dream. He finds himself still in Louise’s room and hugs her out of joy, but once she realizes what he’s doing, she pushes him away. Louise is grateful that he chose to be her familiar instead of going home, however she also wants him to look only at her from now on. Meanwhile, Henrietta is preparing for her coronation ceremony, but she personally feels that she doesn’t need the crown. Her adviser, the Cardinal, however, reminds her that they’re at war and that the people want her to become queen and crush the enemy. At this time, in the dungeon below the castle, a shadowy woman approaches Oliver Cromwell’s prison cell and outlines his failures. Seeing that this woman has gotten back the Ring of Andvari, Cromwell begs for another chance since his earlier defeat was because of void magic. However, the woman then uses the ring on him.
On this day, Louise is giving Saito a present in the form of some special glasses she got from her sister. Unfortunately, Saito can’t take them off after he puts them on, so he goes outside like this. The first person he and Louise run across is Siesta, and he asks her to come see Henrietta’s parade with him, but Siesta turns down his offer because she knows now that he gave up going home for Louise’s sake. In the middle of this conversation, Saito’s gaze drops down to Siesta’s chest, and these feelings of his cause the glasses to start blinking. A furious Louise then explains that these glasses are magical in that they light up when he looks at a girl other than her in a leering way. After she figures out that he was looking at Siesta’s chest, Louise blasts him with magic, creating an explosion that can be heard from across the school. The rest of the morning proceeds similarly to this as the glasses activate when Saito sees Montmorency, Kirche, Tabitha, and seemingly every other girl on campus. The effect of these glasses strikes again during the parade when Saito catches sight of Henrietta and her chest, causing Louise to get extra mad. The ensuing explosion alerts all of Henrietta’s guards, and they quickly surround and arrest Saito.
Having been taken to the castle and separated from Saito, Louise tries to explain to the guards who she is and demands to talk to Henrietta. When Louise tries to threaten them with her magic, one of the female knights who arrested Saito earlier now points a gun at her. This knight, who introduces herself as Agnès Chevalier de Milan, captain of the Musketeer Corps, explains that Henrietta is currently in a meeting with Osmond. Upon learning who Agnès is, Louise then demands to have Saito returned to her and admits that it was her who caused the explosion. Meanwhile, in a prison cell below, Saito is finally able to take off the glasses because they’re now broken and is thinking that it would have been better to go back to Japan. Just as he is recalling how he had once kissed Henrietta, the queen sudden appears because she had come to see him. She has a request for him, but Saito misinterprets this as her wanting a kiss. Before he can do anything though, he gets punched by Agnès who threatens to shoot him. Once Henrietta convinces Agnès to leave, she tells Saito that she wants his and Louise’s help in avoiding the war. Henrietta feels that she doesn’t have many allies who understand how she really feels, and she’s happy when Saito agrees.
For the time being, however, Henrietta wants Saito and Louise to stay at school. She wants to keep them a secret from spies in the country and reveals that, a few hours ago, they had discovered that Cromwell had been assassinated. For helping her, she offers to give him anything he wants, and Saito’s gaze drops down to Henrietta’s chest again. She then has Agnès let Louise into the prison cell, and Louise is unexpectedly in tears after having been separated from Saito. Agnès ends up driving Louise and Saito home, and along the way, Louise shows Saito the Founder’s Prayer Book that Henrietta gave her which supposedly has Void spells written in it, but there appears to be nothing actually written on the book. Saito interprets it as something serious like he reads in manga, and on the topic of something like manga that Louise has never read, Louise wonders if Saito thinks that he should have gone back to Japan. Saito admits that he had thought about this a little, but he also feels that he can’t leave her in such a dangerous place. Once they arrive at school, Agnès assigns them the code name “Zero,” and she also warns Saito against reprehensible behavior in the future. Hearing this, Louise realizes that Saito had tried to do something to Henrietta, so she spends the night beating him. When Agnès comes back the next morning, she finds Louise sitting on a bruised Saito wearing only his boxers. Agnès at first excuses herself from the room out of embarrassment, but she quickly returns to tell them that someone kidnapped Henrietta.
ED: 「スキ? キライ!? スキ!!!」 (Suki? Kirai!? Suki!!!) by 釘宮理恵 (Kugimiya Rie)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2
I didn’t think I’d like the OP from the little bit I heard from the promo, but it turned out to be pretty good. The new opening sequence would also suggest that the old characters (Kirche, Guiche, Henrietta, etc) aren’t going to play nearly as big a role this season as the new characters. The ED meanwhile is fun, but I don’t really like any of Kugimiya Rie’s songs, and this was no exception.
Ah, nothing says Zero no Tsukaima like a little S&M. ZnT is back and pretty much exactly as I remember it in terms of Louise acting tsundere and Saito being his lecherous self. Actually, he seems more lecherous than usual, but that may be being exaggerated by the glasses going off all the time. In any case, it’s been a while since I’ve heard Hino Satoshi and Kugimiya Rie together in a show, and this reinforced to me that they make a great pair with the chemistry their characters always seem to have.
This second season, which is unfortunately only going to be 12 episodes long, doesn’t appear to be wasting any time picking up where we left off in the story. We have a new villain and several new good guys (at least I assume Agnès is since she’s shown some very likeable qualities), and by the end of this first episode, Henrietta’s already been kidnapped. The preview would suggest that her kidnapper is the Prince of Wales, but I thought he had died in episode 11 of last season. So either he isn’t really dead or that’s someone else in disguise. Since he shows up fairly prominently in the OP, I would lean towards him not being really dead, but I guess we’ll find out next week. Regardless, I’m really happy to be able to see this again, and it makes me look forward to Shana II in the fall even more.