Hot springs episode!
|Sorry for the late post. Unfortunately, IRL stuff sometimes has to take precedence over anime. Hey, I have a new roommate next month, though!|
With the secret portal boarded up, Henrietta is getting curious why Saito hasn’t been coming through. Meanwhile at the Saito estate, another sort of portal is discovered, this time to a warm underground reservoir, that is, a hot spring. And that can mean only one thing!
Saito invites all his friends from the academy, which means we get to see Tifania again at last. Though that will have to wait until tomorrow, because his
slaves peasants are going to have to take at least a day to actually build a bath over the spring. This gives Louise a chance to thank Tabitha for giving her the push needed to make up with Saito, and Tabitha seems completely oblivious to this supposed motive of hers. She just tells her flatly that next time, she’s going after Saito.
Saito, the master at digging the hole deeper: “I confused you two because you’re both so flat!”
And that evening, she does, waiting for him in bed. Naturally Saito doesn’t check before starting his groping, and, unfortunately for him, that’s not a reliable way to distinguish Tabitha and Louise. Louise is actually surprisingly accomodating, even trying out sharing the bed with Tabitha and Siesta, but she decides that isn’t going to work and the girls end up sleeping together Saito-less (somehow I don’t think they thought this through fully).
God bless her, at least Louise tried. This is the least possessive I’ve seen her.
Next day is the party, bringing a few blond guys, Montmorency, and Kirche to the estate. But mixed among the friends is a hooded stranger… OK, we can clearly see who it is, but let’s just accept that as our privileged 3rd person situation letting us see what the characters can’t. Anyway, the Queen seems to have gotten sick of waiting for Saito and has decided to crash the party.
Boy does she want to get into Saito’s pants! Much like the other royalty on the scene, Henrietta is very aggressive to Louise about taking Saito. Even moreso than Tabitha, as she and Louise turn what was supposed to be a relaxing bath together – before all their friends got a chance – into a naked wrestling match and a chance to air their grievances. Very careful camera work in this scene. They decide to end on a tie.
A wonderful coordination of efforts by the director, cameraman, and actors to compose this scene.
In the evening before sunset, there’s the requisite bath scene with all the girls, and the requisite failed attempt by the guys to sneak in. The guests make their leave just as the royal guard seems to be coming to retrieve their lost queen. At night, Louise is in the bath yet again, this time with Saito. I don’t know if this is the same song and dance they’ve been through in previous seasons, but Saito tells her he loves her, and Louise affirms that she returns those feelings, even adding that he could cheat on her (that’s not just deredere, that’s a doormat!), though she takes that back quickly.
Almost there, Saito! You can do it!
I guess they didn’t want to, um, dirty the hot spring, because they get fully dressed and go back inside to… well, we don’t know how far they would’ve gone, because Saito accidentally grabs Tifania’s breast very early into their makeout session. There she is! Don’t ask me how they didn’t notice her sleeping in their bed the whole time, but that gives our tsundere an excuse to use Explosion and end the episode (how many of the 40-ish episodes of this series ended that way? Closer to 5 or to 40?)
We finally get the full picture of the eyecatch.
I don’t know who’s telling the truth with their record, but it seems there’s one battle that Louise will never win against the queen.
Tifania, Tabitha, and of course Siesta is the one to get the pan-up treatment.
More careful camera coordination by the director and actors.
Well, that was a… generic episode of Zero no Tsukaima. Lots of fanservice, girls – who should have no trouble finding better, single men – butting heads with Louise about Saito, a little bit of Louise being deredere, and even ending with the classic Explosion. It’s cliche to say, but it’s as if JC Staff had an automatic Zero no Tsukaima script generator. At least it didn’t have the overwrought drama of the previous episode, but it also didn’t have the hilarity of the one before that.
I have to wonder how wise it is to spend another episode in this final series doing pretty much nothing. Remember how Saito stopped a war just 3 episodes in? In the 3 episodes since, he’s… moved. And thrown a housewarming party with a hot spring. So thrilling! I guess the main takeaway of this episode was reaffirming that all girls – particularly the royal ones – are crazy for Saito, maybe important for the series ending arc, but didn’t we kind of know that already? And considering the title of the show, don’t we already know who’s going to end up with him?
I admit I continue to be surprised at just how much of a bitch Tabitha is being to Louise. I figured that her speech last episode had been the truth, not a manipulation as Kirche had said, but she’s so darn matter-of-fact about her selfishness that it catches me off guard. Henrietta, too, though we always knew there was some fire in her. But still, she and Louise are childhood friends. Don’t girls in this world know of the bros-before-hos rule? Then again, royalty make their own rules.
Even the fanservice seemed phoned in, though that might be a function of my watching Nisemonogatari this season. The fight scene between Louise and Henrietta was the highlight I guess, but the cinematography kept it relatively tame. This is not the level of trashiness I expect or desire from Zero no Tsukaima!
Looks like Elemental Siblings are returning next episode (hooray!). Maybe finally more serious trouble for our heroes to get into?