After fighting over Saito one night, Siesta goads Louise into a competition over which of them Saito will choose. The deal is that if Saito can find Louise during the Sleipnir Ball, then Siesta will give up on him. Otherwise, she can basically do what she wants. Saito doesn’t learn until the next day that the Sleipnir Ball is of the masquerade variety with the attendees disguised by using a magic mirror. Louise orders him to find her, but she also promises to let him continue what they started previously. That night, Louise stands in front of the magic mirror that can transform her into her ideal appearance, and for her, that turns out to be her sister Cattleya. Saito meanwhile is late for the party and is delayed even further when he sees something large fly over the school. Based on the rumors he’s heard, he thinks that it might be after Louise, so he rushes into the party to tell her. Everyone is in disguise, but Saito thinks he finds Louise on the balcony. Not realizing who it really is, Saito gets tempted by Louise’s lips, and the two kiss after she gets scared by a spider. While the two are kissing, Sheffield crashes the party and breaks the magic mirror. This results in everyone transforming back to their normal appearances, and the person Saito thinks is Louise is actually none other than Henrietta.
Saito apologizes when he realizes that he kissed Henrietta, but she doesn’t mind since she was disguised as her ideal person. That person was Louise because Henrietta thinks that Louise possesses a pure heart and a lot of courage. When Saito tries to cheer her up, Henrietta clings to him and wants to kiss him again. Before the two can though, they are discovered by Louise, and she runs out crying at the sight of them. Saito chases Louise to try to explain, but she disappears into the woods, and he’s prevented from going after her by Tabitha. What shocks Saito is that Tabitha actually attacks him, and while he’s busy dodging Tabitha’s spells, Sheffield captures Louise. Sheffield returns to the school gates in time to see Tabitha launch a massive ice attack on Saito, but he’s able to make it out alive and leaps at her, knocking her down. Saito doesn’t kill Tabitha though because he can’t think of hurting her, and his kindness convinces her to stop obeying Sheffield. That leaves Saito to try to get Louise back, and although his cries to her pull her out of the spell Sheffield has on her, she remains pissed off at him and refuses to return. In struggling with Sheffield though, Louise falls off Sheffield’s ride, and Saito has to catch her. Even in his arms, Louise continues to resist until Saito finally just decides to kiss her. This – along with him telling her that she’s the most important person to him in the world – convinces Louise to believe him again.
Not willing to give up so easily, Sheffield summons an army of demons in order to take Louise by force. These demons, however, get blown up just as quickly as they appeared, and the two people responsible are aboard a giant aircraft now hovering above the school. They force Sheffield to retreat, and to Saito and Louise’s surprise, the two turn out to be Kirche and Colbert.
Holy crap that was probably one of the best episodes of Zero no Tsukaima I’ve ever seen – that says as much about this episode as it does the episodes prior. I was really happy with the first twenty or so minutes of it because there was some hilarious comedy thanks to transformation gender-bending (Saito with boobs for example) along with plenty of drama stemming from love and betrayal with Tabitha and Louise. I was disappointed, however, when it looked like towards the end that everything would be wrapped up nicely all in one episode. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a fan of serial storytelling rather than episodic, and I’ve been hoping for something here that stretched for more than one episode. But then came the big surprise at the very end that made me forget all that and just go wtf: Colbert’s back. I have no idea how he survived unless Kirche somehow brought him back to Germania and revived him there. The problem – which I’ll probably touch on again next week – is that having him alive cheapens his death from last season, especially when he just reappears out of the blue to save Saito and Louise like he did here.