「ドオルニエルの乙女たち」 (Doorunieru no Otome Tachi)
“De Ornielle’s Maidens”
Ahhh Zero no Tsukaima F, you were doing so well. I know you’ve got a lot of source material to churn through in not enough time, but was this episode really necessary? It reeked of filler. Filler that was in the light novels perhaps, but filler nonetheless. I just didn’t feel the drama. I guessed from the get-go that this was going to be a minor conflict that would be resolved by the end of the episode, so it didn’t have any bite. If there were signs that the mistrust would linger, then that would have been important. If Henrietta showed signs of going full tyrant and taking Saito for herself (with the army, if need be), then that would have been important (and awesome). But this? Half-hearted. Zero no Tsukaima F, I am disappoint.
A few more gripes. The whole Tabitha-becoming-Queen thing was reset even more. She’s down from “going to become the Queen” to “going to become the Queen eventually”, and now all the way down to “I’m still deciding.” I see no point in this. I was fine with her delaying her ascension to pursue Saito some more, but she won’t be selfish and turn down the throne, so why pretend?
Also, Louise. I’m getting pretty tired of her massive inferiority complex when it comes to royalty, and Henrietta in particular. I’ll admit that this is a pet peeve on my part, as I’m not too fond of royalty in general…except the kings of Bhutan, who willingly moved their country to a constitutional monarchy and promote the measurement of happiness with their Gross National Happiness index, which I think is a great idea. Random world history, in an anime blog? Gasp!
*coughs* Anywho, where was I? Right, not fond of royalty. So yes, this is a pet peeve, but Louise is a rare and powerful void mage who has helped save multiple countries in the past few years. She also manages to deal with Siesta and Tabitha going after her man just fine, but the second Henrietta makes a play she is ready to give up? Grow a spine, girl. It doesn’t matter if she’s a queen, not to mention significantly more well endowed than you. Trust Saito enough to listen to him and then confront Henrietta for trying to steal him away! Love is not for the meek of heart, even if it’s really cute when you do it.
So, what was good about this episode? Other than the return of Saito’s weird suggestions, him going into super creepy rapist mode and Siesta’s epic cockblock (nyan~), I found the tragedy of Henrietta and Tabitha’s situations interesting. I know a lot of people will probably dislike Henrietta after this episode, but I’m reminded of the pressure the Kingship was on Fate/Zero’s version of Saber. I can understand Henrietta not wanting to bear a whole country’s weight alone, of the shackles of royalty wearing her down as she tries to be the perfect Queen that everyone wants and needs. That doesn’t make what she did right, of course, but I give her kudos for going after what she wanted without needing Tabitha and Kirche to talk her into it. I still think Henrietta needs to sit down with Iskander for a while and learn how to be a proper king, but at least she’s on her way.
So, was this an enjoyable episode? Meh. There were enjoyable parts, but overall it felt like a misfire after the solid action of the first three episodes and the hilarity of the fourth. The drama was mediocre, the comedy was sparse and there was no action to cover for these deficiencies. This was the weakest episode of this season by far. Still, it looks like next time will be the obligitory onsen episode, so I imagine there will be plenty of hilarity to enjoy. And maybe we’ll get back to the plot, eventually. Maybe. Hopefully.