Say the name!
|We pick up exactly where we left off last week and things are starting to look a lot more grim this episode and perhaps a whole lot darker than earlier ones had us believe ::rubs hands::…I loves me a good turn….|
The Sorcerers of Zero, or It Takes a Village
..just to make it or just to watch it, they will start the fire
It doesn’t take them long to assess the damage done to Latette (the head hmm, that’s symbolic…) and discover that this was the work of fell magics. And while bandits swooped in to pick the bones of the dead (and the jewels from their chokers – the identity mark for the sorcerers) they prove to be even more scared of the risks, and far stupider cause Youhei just kicks them without much effort. It was part of that horrible turn that Zero is able to spell out exactly how destructive this form of magic can be; last episode contrasts this with magic used for both healing and food gathering. We’ve seen dozens of show, read as many stories, that just unleash the power, but it’s really rare to to stick around and see the damage in all it’s horror. These victims burned from the inside, the indoors was no escape from a murderous wind, stone turned to sand and back again, trapping and suffocating people slowly but surely. This was no random attack, this was a message.
The head, it seems, has a hidden body
In the middle of it all is Albus, and the mysterious Thirteen. First there’s quite a bit going on with Albus, and no matter what anyone says, I still think there is an interesting character underneath all the callowness. One, and I hate to do this but I’m calling gender into question three episodes in a row, there is the clue that Albus in the granddaughter of the oft mentioned, very admired, but dearly departed Sorena; or at least there is a granddaughter and the mere mention makes Albus balk. Two, the old man in the cellar, seeing power even beyond magic that pretty much terrifies him to death, has high hopes on him/her to take up the tattered banner of the Sorcerers of Zero and make it whole again. Three, the sense of betrayal of Sorena runs deep. I’m beginning to suspect that she risked quite a bit to save a huge chunk of the world, witches from normals and normals from witches…and didn’t succeed; this may be why she sacrificed herself, feeling she deserved to die for the failure? But that is a big question, and we’ll see if it get’s answered later. But man, the chaos surrounding her death…that’s a lot of drama.
Old acquaintances, old scores
For now, no matter if this new system of magic starts at Zero, for right now a great deal of it – and the power it can inspire and command – is in the hands of Thirteen. There looks to be a classic teacher-student falling out going on. Whereas Zero developed her skills for knowledge and appreciation of the world, Thirteen has a much more ambitious heart. Which brings us to the Grimoire of Zero itself. Thirteen, Zero, and Albus are all in pursuit of it, it contains even more powerful spells than we’ve seen so far, but a (another?) faction seems to have spirited it away or has kept it hidden. Who has the most ambition to find it? Thirteen is willing to become a servant to the crown – dumb king, you’re the pawn now – because that gives him more eyes and hands to find the book. He looks like he has sent a message to everyone at Latette. He’s willing to play the witches’ civil war against all the sides to secure it – if he didn’t outright start it when he left Zero behind in the caves ten years previous. And thanks to the next episode bumper, he’s sitting down with our gang to at least discuss it at length. I’m willing to bet the very life, at least on a thematic level, of Youhei will come into question. Zero was verrrrrrrrrrrrry protective of him this episode. Very protective – Albus may want the beastfallen’s head, but Zero wants more than that it seem? There is so much more going on in that than just the friendship they have. Thirteen to the left, witches to the right, here he is, stuck in the middle with Zero. Civil wars often have people stuck in the middle. But we’ll see how they carry this out…
So this time, Zero carries (in a way)
A few extras…
There is an awful lot bubbling underneath the surface of this world, and it’s just waiting to boil over and dislodge the lid. In typical White Fox fashion, there’s been a turn. Now, in most of their shows, you can see it coming, and it this one it was always going to rear it’s head and breathe fire. But it was the comfy relationship between Youhei and Zero that did it. It gave us that feeling of longing, wishing the show could be about the two of them at each other’s side, discovering new levels of friendship and trust as they right wrongs and do what they can. But you can’t hold off the dark forever, and as far as things go now, we’re probably going to settle in to those dusky skies for while. Above all this was a lesson in the brutality that sheer unchecked power is capable of bringing, and of how that power can divide and fractionalize the opposition. So let’s see that else they can bring to the table next time…
…let’s see if Thirteen can bring a nice spread