OP Sequence

OP: 「I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU」 by ICHIKO
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「聖国のルイズ」 (Seikoku no Ruizu)
“Louise of the Holy Kingdom”

Louise, Saito and the whole crew are back for one last season, and if this first episode is any indication, it just might be the best one of them all. Now, I’ll admit that I say this despite rather fuzzy memories of the first three seasons. I mean, ~Princess no Rondo~ aired back in 2008, when banks were imploding left and right and everyone was afraid we’d soon been living in a post-apocalyptic hellscape, fighting off slavering mutants and subsisting entirely on baked beans. But I do remember the plot was sometimes shoved aside while the ecchi took over.

Well, not this time! After a quick reintroduction to the characters, we go straight into the plot. Queen Henrietta wants Louise and the crew to head off to Romalia, the local Italy/Rome expy, and meet up with their leader, Pope Vittorio Serevare. We find out that Tiffania is a void user, and so is the Pope, and that the blond bishie who was first introduced back in ~Futatsuki no Kishi~, Julio, is the Pope’s familiar. We’re also treated to a great fight scene of Saito and Louise versus some mirror thieves that ends with Saito blundering into Tiffania’s familiar summoning ritual.

Phew! Fortunately, none of this felt rushed at all. Events flowed naturally from one to the next, making for a really easy to digest episode. Plus, it managed to avoid two pet peeves of mine in regards to fiction. First, none of the characters were idiots. In many shows – and Zero no Tsukaima has been guilty of this before – the author makes characters do stupid things in a transparent attempt to further the plot. Here, while Saito and Louise do get into a rather silly argument, that’s well within character for those two. What’s more, the ploy Saito and Louise used to beat the tattoed thief was actually quite clever. I’m not going to lie, I cheered when I saw that : ) Secondly, I feel like the plot was not only set up, but it started to move forward. Jacques’ capture was especially surprising to me, though there was also the deal with Tiffania’s summoning ritual that has her going all doki doki when she sees Saito.

If I had one complaint about this episode, it would be that last part. From the look of things, Saito probably just became Tiffania’s familiar as well. I mean, Louise yelling “why don’t you just become her [Tiffa’s] familiar!” is a dead give away. And while I’m all for Saito expanding his harem – unlike some loser harem leads, I think he actually deserves at least some of the attention he gets – I was disappointed at the missed chance to add another interesting protagonist to the show. I would have liked to see three familiars going up against King Joseph’s busty protector, Sheffield.

Still, that’s a minor complaint in the face of an all around excellent first episode. For me, Zero no Tsukaima is one of the shows that really accelerated my love for anime, so I was going to watch this season through to the end no matter what. I’m just glad that it’s looking like this will be a treat rather than a chore.

 

Preview

88 Comments

    1. Same here. Last season fucused too much on ecchi stuff and not enough on plot. This 1st episode was a good example of why I liked this series in the 1st place. Good likeable anime characters, a decent plot that flows easily, and a wee bit of fan service thrown in.

      Karmafan
    1. The last light novels should be released soon. They were supposed to be finished last year, but the author got cancer, and had to put things on hiatus to receive treatment. I believe (though don’t quote me on this) that Yamaguchi-sensei has been working with JC Staff on this season, so it should be pretty similar to how the light novels end.

      Stilts
      1. Ah, That sucks. It’s always a shame when authors get sick and or die, I was really upset when the author of Kaza no Stigma died. That was a great story that will never be finished. but this episode felt very J.C. staff’ish to me. Kind of what happened with Yuki Marry.

        Seven
      2. According too ANN Yamaguchi worked with JC Staff for this season. But if it’s 13 episodes, which seems to be the case, I just hope they get it spot on.

        The first episode was fantastic anyway, and the new soundtracks are awesome.

        FacilisFX
      3. Credits this episode list Yamaguchi Noboru as the screenwriter, so hopefully this final season will stay truer to the novels than past seasons. With the author himself in charge of the script, this should ensure some quality is maintained in the plot.

        Yamaguchi probably wants his brainchild to go off with a bang rather with a seeming whimper, as seems to be the case when season 3 ended without any prospect for a 4th, until now.

        Kinny Riddle
  1. This being a harem anime(more or less) I was surprised that they had Saito and Louise kissing at the end of the opening. Things like that a generally avoided in this genre though I suppose with this show most people believe Louise is going to win anyway but still that’s quite bold.

    I liked this episode so far and I’m hoping for some closure regarding the harem, it was aganizing as Saito sort of floated around between some of the girls while still remaining more or less Loyal to Louise. It was like he couldn’t make up his mind and that Irked me though I understand that’s normal with this kind of show. Looking forward to the rest of this show.

    Roguespirit
    1. It’s not quite bold, as Saito and Louise are basically in a relationship ever since the end of season 1. The main problem and the reason why people call this show “harem” is because all the other girls appear to be too stupid to understand that fact.

      virox
      1. Who? Siesta or Henrietta? Both girls affirmed that Saito loves Louise. But that doesn’t mean they’re already throwing in the towel… Nope. Even after Henrietta got slapped or Siesta got stripped they’re not about to give the most competent harem hero up.

        The Moondoggie
  2. For the people who don’t know why Louise sleeps with Saito: This actually happened quite early in the story. Louise and Saito sharing a bed was the first signal of Louise’s feelings for Saito.

    Kinni
      1. …..

        I guessed you haven’t been cockblocked by reading the LN. Here’s how they work: they start arguing then Saito sweet talks Louise. After that, Louise gives in and they start making out. Optional that Saito would start massaging Louise chest. Then, just out of freaking nowhere, something bad happens, putting an abrupt stop on the act….

        FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

        So frustrating…

        The Moondoggie
      2. I feel your pain, doggie. It’s my indisputable believe that Siesta’s ONLY reason to still be in that show is to cockblock the main couple because the author fears he will lose readers if he busts the harem too soon.
        Too bad it stopped being funny ages ago.

        virox
      3. But those are how ALL stories like that go. The main heroine is a brat, the 2nd heroine is the much more appealing choice to the reader, but not to main character or the author, so they prolong the story by making it seem like the protagonist is actually weighing his choices when really he’s going to end up with the main heroine anyway.

        I’ve been around these stories before.

        Da5id
      4. Personally, in Shakugan no Shana’s case, I don’t like her OR Shana. Kazumi got involved in the story ONLY because she had an obsessive crush on Yuuji, and I just don’t like Shana’s personality.

        Then again, I don’t much care for Yuuji’s personality either, so I guess it makes sense that they’re a couple.

        Da5id
      5. I fail to see how Siesta is more appealing. I don’t really like Louise but at least she has many romantic moments with Saito. Siesta’s only defining characteristic is that she wants Saito’s sword and not the one that talks.

        fragb85
    1. Come on why doesnt the author just have a real harem ending like the ones from the Tenchi Universe. I mean they live in a freakin medevil type world and im sure with the amount of power and stand Saito has or will gain is enough to legally marry more than one girl. Or at least have alot of mistresses.

      Zero
  3. Boy is Rie Kugimiya busy this season isn’t it? By the way i much prefer Rie voicing Shana than Louise or Aria since both characters more annoying than Shana is. Louise has not grown mature enough at all thoughout three seasons even thought she kissed many times before, but her attitude towards Saito is just so lame. I mean, come on after three seasons, Louise hasn’t matured enough to anyone. She just a bitch who always gets what she wants unlike Shana who matured in the final season. All I am asking that Lousie should stop her bitching and become nicer already because it is getting on my nerves watching Saito get whipped or other means just because of her jealousy on other women.

    firecow
  4. Is it recommended to watch the last few eps. of the previous season? If yes, where should I start?
    And I’d have prefered if they had waited with the Zero sequel until Shana Final ended. Summe would have been the perfect time for it.

    boingman
    1. Not really… I would maybe watch first 2 episodes and last 2 episodes of season 3. Season 3 was horrible in terms of story. Nonetheless, its entertaining if you like the style of this show (harem/tsundere).

      Benzene
    2. I’m not sure how much you have watched of the ZnT series, but at minimum you should watch the last two episodes (11 & 12) of Futatsuki no Kishi. You absolutely HAVE to watch episode 12, I cannot stress this enough, as it’s an amazing episode and probably the best episode across all seasons.

      That is just my opinion, but I’m sure some others share it as well. I would be interested in Stilts take on that as it seems he has seen his fair share of ZnT.

      7godeohs
      1. Like I mentioned above, my memory is fuzzy on the first three seasons. That said, I do remember the jist of all of the finales, and I even re-watched most of the ~Princess no Rondo~ one before watching this episode. My thoughts:

        * Season 1 was an overall great series, and with Saito deciding not to go back to Earth and Louise awakening as a void user, there was a lot of action happening in the finale. Probably the best of the three we’ve seen so far
        * Season 2 ran afoul of another one of my pet peeves: when someone makes a suicidal last stand, I expect them to die. Sure, I didn’t want Saito to die, but it’s just so cheap for him to go into a fight against so many (what was it, 70,000 enemy soldiers? GAH!) and then get deus ex machina’d out. Ugh. The fight was gripping at the time, but that just soured it for me
        * Season 3’s was good, but it felt forced. I’m not sure what the reason was that Louise lost her ability to use magic (once again, fuzzy memory!), but it struck me as a contrived device to force extra tension. So, another of my pet peeves 😛

        Sorry, that’s probably not what you wanted to hear, but there it is : ) Sometime I’ll have to go back and watch the first three seasons though, to make sure I’m just not remembering those wrong

        Stilts
    3. Thanks for the help, folks.
      I watched all 3 seasons, but as in the case of Shana it obviously has been a while, so I asked the same question as in the comments of the Shana Final ep. 1 blog post.
      I’ll try to watch the season 2 and 3 eps. you recommended.

      boingman
    1. I took that to mean that he teleported back to Earth, and then was summoned right back as Tiffania’s familiar. It’s possible that, had he not been selected as Tiffania’s familiar, he would have disappeared forever…or at least until Louise summoned him again (though I have no idea if it works like that). I think an alternate Saito is pretty unlikely though, since it didn’t look like his memory was effected or anything like that.

      Stilts
    2. I actually think it’s very simple: remember, when Louise summoned Saito for the 2nd time (after he lost his familiar status) the summoning portal simply appeared next to him and he walked through it. The portal here probably did the same thing in appearing close to him, only in this case he was already falling into it, and it teleported him a total of 2 inches. Last time it teleported him between 20 and 50 yards, and the first time across a dimensional barrier. Apparently distance doesn’t really matter for the spell.

      Delwack
  5. Saito may or may not be Tiffa’s familiar as well. Remember to seal the contract, they have to to kiss. With Tiffa’s heart fluttering about, she may inadvertently make Saito her familiar by kissing him.

    Also, Louise and Saito basically married each other at the end of the first season. I don’t like how Louise is all embarassed by Saito and doubts him.

    Benzene
    1. Sorry to destroy your idealism. Marriage [does not follow] trust, and marriage [does not follow] faithfulness in reality.
      (Egh I’m not married yet. Knock wood. And the [does not follow] is meant to be a logic symbol XD)

      acolyte
  6. Just like Stilts, my memory’s a bit fuzzy over the previous seasons, though this first episode more or less rejigged my memory a bit.

    (Though the more plot-focused seasons 1 and 2 left more impression on me than the fan-service-focused season 3, which pretty much says something about which direction this final season ought to be adopting)

    BTW, one thing that’s been bugging me this whole series. Of all the characters, only the main character Saito doesn’t have much of a backstory, save that he hails from our world.

    Or perhaps like Kyon, he’s far too laid back (and lecherous) to even be burdened by any angsty backstory. lol

    Kinny Riddle
    1. I think that’s deliberate. He was just some unimportant guy before getting sucked through the portal, which is supposed to make it easier for the audience to imagine ourselves in his shoes. Mind you, I do think how little he appears concerned for leaving his family and friends back on Earth is pretty odd (now that you mention it), but perhaps there was more of that in the light novels? A lot of angst would have been pretty annoying though, so leaving it out was probably for the best.

      Stilts
  7. “Legends, nobles, peasants, they all mean nothing to me! The only thing going for me is to protect her… I have nothing else! I am the Familiar of Zero!” – Saito, Season 1 Ep 13

    Dusk
  8. Alright, here go! Time to start the last season of this interesting anime. I watched all the last seasons following up to this one! Let’s hope everything gets tied up in a nice package at the end. Thanks Stilts! I will make sure to tune in on your posts as I will be following this also! Let’s hope for the best!

  9. JC Staff already skipped quite handful of scenes.

    Henrietta’s fans would probably be sad since a lot of stuff skipped concerned the Queen. But again. JC staff will skip and cut the novels like crazy since they will try to animate 13 volumes in 12 episodes…

    Darknemo2000
      1. True story right there bro.

        Example:

        There should have been a scene in the ship where Saito and Louise started making out then they suddenly notice Tabitha was in the room and the Order of Undine was eavesdropping.

        “Amazing, they didn’t even notice Tabitha was there…” Cue teasing from the order and Louise bombing the room.

        The Moondoggie
      2. Holy ****, 13 volumes into 12 episodes?? I guess I must lower my expectation for this show.
        Why can’t they just give it a run for another 2-3 season considering there are still 13 volumes to adapt?

        briex
  10. I honestly haven’t watched zero in 4 years. I’m pleasantly surprised has Louise gone from 110% tsuntsun to 110% deredere this season. I love when a series has character development. 😀

    Byakusei
  11. This is ease the best episode of the whole adaptations so far. It retains all what makes the original work so good and adictive. I´m great fan of Luise and Saito so this is deam come true, specialy when Yamagochi-sensei is running the show to make sure his work ends up the way is supposed to be. I have to say after seeing the last Shana adaptation and this first episode my hope in J.C. Staff has been resurrected.

    haseo0408
  12. Almost didn’t bother with this series, because of last season’s sub-par ending and the fact that they stated things out with Louise wrecking house. With in the first five minutes of the episode. Thankfully Tabitha came in and saved Saito’s sorry butt. Or else the whole thing would have been a disaster. Hopefully it’s not the last time, since Louise’s temper tantrums tend to get old rather quickly.

    Other then that, it was an ok start to the final season. Hopefully the director has lessened his boob fetish and actually lets the series tell a story and not a show case to his fetish, with a rushed ending. Though given how things have started off it may just be that.

    Snicket
  13. Kirche was an unpopular character so the LN author booted her out of Saito’s harem and then for some ODD REASON made her fall in love with some old man. Kinda lame IMO as well.

    drzero7

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