「女王陛下の恩賞」 (Jououheika no Onshou)
“Her Majesty’s Reward”
While the harem hijinks were on full display this episode, there were actually some important developments going on with Tabitha back in Gallia. There was a hilarious A-plot bolstered by a more serious B-plot, which began to intertwine as the episode went on. I’ll take each in turn.
First of all, the A-plot. While you can tell from my previous posts that I was thoroughly enjoying the action this season has shown us so far, this return to the series’ romantic / harem comedy roots was not unwelcome in the least. Between Guiche being a playboy (successfully, for once), Maricorn trolling Saito, Siesta being super aggressive and the ridiculous play that has all the local girls fawning all over Saito, I found myself laughing more than I have all season…well, save for parts of Ano Natsu de Matteru and the first episode of Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou. There’s not a lot to say here, though. If you enjoyed the hijinks in the first three seasons – at least during the times when J.C. Staff kept the fanservice under control – then you’ll probably enjoy this. If not, then you’d better just hope the action returns soon.
Then there was a the B-plot, where things were actually happening. The scene between Tabitha and her mother was touching, and the revelation that she will become the Queen of Gallia could have some major implications. I can’t help but think that Gallia is still going to be a major source of trouble, especially since the Elemental Siblings haven’t earned their prominent place in the OP yet.
If I had a gripe about this episode – and as something like a critic, I feel compelled to try to find one – it would be the partial reset of the whole Tabitha-going-to-be-Queen thing. I assume that is still going to happen, but having her show up at Saito and Louise’s new haunted house–I mean, mansion means that she isn’t actually going to assume the throne for a few episodes at least. Perhaps it’s just me, but if there’s going to be plot in a show then I would prefer it actually progress instead of sliding back into the old status quo. Still, at least we haven’t seen a villain get resurrected yet, so that mistake hasn’t been made. I can’t stand it when that happens.
…yes, I’m totally waiting for Joseph and Sheffield to turn up alive. You can look forward to me sputtering in anger when they reappear and reveal that faking their deaths was their plan all along. ORZ. Come on Zero no Tsukaima F, you’ve bucked my expectations (in a good way) several times already, don’t fail me now…