「砂漠のエルフ」 (Sabaku no Erufu)
“The Desert Elf”
The plot’s back! As promised, the Elemental Siblings are back and they’ve brought the plot with them. Well, sort of. They were in the vicinity, at least. The thing that surprised me was that the Elemental Siblings didn’t actually have that much to do with the plot here. The fight at the beginning was enjoyable, but it was more like an exhibition match than anything else. I strongly suspect that the only reason they showed up at all was to reveal that Jacques was back in action, and to show how much of a badass Damian nii-sama (Tamura Mutsumi) is. Ohandbytheway, the answer to that is “very”. Damian nii-sama is suuuuper overpowered. So his Magnetic Alchemy can apparently change a substance’s structure at a subatomic level. Ignoring the obvious Jesus parallels (change water into wine? No problem!) – and how characters in a medieval setting know what subatomic means – the possibilities inherent in this kind of magic are practically endless. Oh, and I only say “practically” because I’m assuming he can’t use it on sentient beings, because that kind of high octane nightmare fuel doesn’t feel like Zero no Tsukaima’s style. If he could… *shudder* I now have more respect for the late (?) King Joseph. With someone like Damian nii-sama on his payroll, he couldn’t have been that incompetent. Just, like, 80%.
Anyway, so while the cast was having a dust up with the siblings and Damian nii-sama was strutting his stuff like the only rooster in a football stadium full of hens, the plot snuck into De Ornielle in the form of three elves. We have Lukshana (Kanemoto Hisako), the spunky human researcher, and the two male elves I don’t really care about. No, but seriously, even Lukshana wasn’t all that interesting to me. Her curiosity about humans, casual outlook on kidnapping and generous fanservice were all appreciated, but…okay, I take it back, she was actually fairly interesting. She was just overshadowed in my mind by the return of my second favorite elf in this series, Vitartial. While King Joseph was a monster and Damian nii-sama and his crew are greedy, Vitarial is an enigmatic, potentially tragic antagonist, and that makes me want to know where he’s coming from more than almost anything else. I can’t wait to find out what would possess a man to help out a monster like King Joseph but still show concern for Tabitha’s mom, not to mention actually being the one who cured her. Then I remembered that Vitarial actually tried to stop Saito and co from saving Tabitha back at the end of season 3, and I really want to know what his deal is. For those that know, remember to use spoiler tags in the comments, please!
Overall, this episode felt good, but when you step back and approach it as a standalone episode, it wasn’t all that entertaining. That’s not because it wasn’t done well, mind you. It’s just that it was a setup episode. From getting Tiffania and Saito to the elves’ land to the revelation with the sunken jet, the enjoyment from this episode didn’t come from the episode itself, but from the anticipation of developments yet to come. I mean, we didn’t even get much movement on the whole Tiffania’s familiar thing! No biggie though. With Louise, Tabitha, Siesta (for some reason) and the whole crew of the Ostland on the way to save Saito and Tiffa, I have a feeling that next week will yield some of the answers we’re looking for. Like maybe on that whole Tiffania’s familiar thing. Seriously J.C. Staff, we’ve been waiting for that since episode 1. Get on with it! At this rate, Tiffania is only going to be 100% in Saito’s harem for the last three episodes or so. That’s barely enough time for her to team up with Siesta, Henrietta, and, I don’t know, Kirche (just for the lulz) and put Saito through a little marshmallow hell. Because I think we can all agree, aggressive Tiffania would be the best thing since sliced bread. Or skimpy lingerie. Or gratuitous yuri scenes. Yum!
- My first favorite elf in this series? Tiffania. I mean, just look at that! She makes a persuasive argument.
- If they get that jet working again – and I assume they will – that’s going to seriously stretch my suspension of disbelief. It’s beat up, been sunk in the water long enough to grow moss and it looks like the nose might be crumpled. The electronics in that thing have to be shot. Yes, I’m fine with Damian nii-sama bitch-slapping the laws of physics on several levels, but I draw the line at soggy fuel gauges. I’m weird like that.
- It looks like the rest of the eyecatches are going to be in a bridal mottiff. Could not be happier. We all know Louise is going to win in the end, but now we can all print out the finished eyecatch, cut out the girls we don’t like and stubbornly ignore canon. Or, you know, pretend we got the Harem End. That’s the one I’m going for!