Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – 03

Yo! Hey?!

It’s funny, but this episode almost qualifies as a slice of life, if it weren’t for the fight. But it’s all part of that comfy relationship that both Zero and Youhei are settling into…

Duel or Zero is Hella Drunk and Frisky

Does a bad past mean a bad end?

Well, thank you, opening narration, as if we didn’t already realize the damned if they do, damned if they don’t experience that both the beatfallen and witches operate under – if you’re cursed well then that’s it for you. Point bloody well taken! But it does underscore the fate that ties both of these camps together, and that sets the stage for the highs and lows of that forced relationship. So with that in mind, these are the adventures the gang undertakes under that pale light in the city of Formicum (collection or administration of ants?!) and like all sorts of medieval towns, it’s the center of activity as far and wide as it can be in Wenias (or Venias, and I think that generally means put together but these parentheticals are just that!).

Remember, Albus means white, so cast that brain bleach spell!

So our first part was about how the clothes make the person (and let’s never mind what it made the skeezy tailor, shall we?) and in this case the episode is about that, outward appearances. Before they ventured into this town Zero was used to living it rough: and that “sex slave” bit was more than a “witty remark”, it was a serious plot point, for the Villain. She literally took as much advantage as she could in what she saw around her; find food – eat it, find a stream – drink from it, then bath in it. But that meant that the many miles under her bare and dirty feet, left just as much wear and tear on her single hooded cassock, and Youhei could no longer be stout in contending with the smell and ragged appearance. As it turns out our itinerant witch is something of a money bags; or at least she likes to hoard gems that she has been ignorant of value? Still, that’s quite the stash, and I do wonder if it says something about how little she values money or commodities among all the tings to value, or if she truly is the helpless ingenue that Youhei fears her to be, and that she says she is.

Homo homini inu

Now, I’ll cover the clothes shopping in more detail in a bit. It’s soon after that they are able to find pretty darn nice digs to sleep in and have a great looking meal in. I know the rest of the places were supposed to be more more “top notch”, but if where they landed is more toward the bottom, that would be tops with me – looks comfy. Besides, it will cater to the beastfallen, despite the fact that we are just now learning that they sometimes go all atavistic and eat people? That detail is behind Youhei’s Big Damn Hero Moment, when he rescues a young girl from a hungry kuma-san, “dude, don’t eat people”. Heck, no wonder everyone else has it out for them, and no wonder some beastfallen look to take advantage wherever and whenever they can. That brings us to our villain of the piece, Holdem – that dog! I like how he’s able to smell out Zero’s true identity as a witch, which means that the beastfallen sense of smell can discover quite a bit – which might mean that Youhei wasn’t so much teasing Albus earlier on with that mini-skirt, but signalling that he could smell “her” out, something which Zero may already know? But Albus is not going to give much regardless of gender – the prize is still Youhei’s magic cranium.

If you have sharp teeth, use them…

But getting back to Holdem. He’s a slippery sort of character, and he seems to love to equivocate to get what he wants. “Oh, the village just gave the girls to me, I didn’t even have to threaten them…much” He also plays benefit of the doubt when it comes whether or not the girls he’s kidnapped are in fact witches. “Who knows?”, he seems to say. “If they are and that’s useful to me, then they are. If not, then I’ll find a use”. Seeing as how witch hunts can burn the non-witch just as much as the true witch that’s just deplorable. He also hates that Zero is Youhei’s employer, but she shoves that right back in his dog face after the fight. She’s the money bags, she’s the boss, after all – also she can’t help but use her magic to get that last dig on Holdem, using it to shave him and expose his belly. All in all, he was a good fighter, but didn’t seem to have much endurance, picking on the weaker, as Youhei points out, seems to have been his undoing. All is well that ends well, and the girls have their freedom thanks to the good guys.

A Well Earned Rest for the Best Couple

Don’t Forget to Carry the Zero (MNSFW)

So if he does this next episode, I have a regular title for this section!

Show ▼

Goodness, the team of Koyama Tsuyoshi and Hanamori Yumiri are a wonder as Youhei and Zero. This episode has so much life, and lift, and substance thanks to their performance. I liken these two characters to an old married couple. They just have this feel for each other that experience should have taught them, but that instinct – and situation – got to first. Despite the abuses that both of thier respective sides have given each other, these two have found a common ground. But it’s trepidacious for now. Zero has to constantly tell him that he is a good person, and he’s very gruff about it. He’s hiding some hurt, and I’m sure she has her secrets too. I’m not sure Albus. He doesn’t seem to helpful, however he makes as good a third wheel as he can. But so much of this episode played with the back and forth of identity, both occulted and shown, that’s where it really shown, with these two as the brightest facet.

As it turns out, this episode really didn’t move the plot along much, if at all. But I don’t mind that in the least bit, as it did a fine job setting up the emotional parts. In that respect the fine job was performed by establishing both Zero and Youhei as something of a battle couple, but more important, it brought them into hero status – showing us that they see the abuse of the people around them in the same light, and that they’ll take risk to put an end to it. And as far as progression goes, the show looks to be setting up this portion of the cour as something of an On the Road story, as it were. So in that respect it’s the journey that matters the most, the destinations along the way provided the exclamations. They will carry on, and travel…

See you next time…


All around nerd that enjoys just about any anime genre. I love history, politics, public policy, the sciences, literature, arts...pretty much anything can make me geeky...except sports. Follow me @theskylion
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10 Responses to “Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – 03”

  1. HannoX says:

    This episode didn’t need to advance the plot since it told us more about the characters and further developed the relationship and between Zero and Mercenary. It also told us more about their world and the consequences of witch hunts–the innocent getting burned, too. And that was quite enough.

    • skylion says:

      I had read in a few other places (including the low end of the end of the internet) about how it was, “plotless fail”. So I wanted to really emphasis how wrong that critique is, thank you for underscoring that. I like my commenters…

    • BlackBriar says:

      Another demonstration to how dangerous humans can be. In their irrationality, they can’t properly identify what is from what isn’t and the result always bring in unneeded casualties. And it’s even worse when they believe they’re right in what they’re doing.

      • skylion says:

        People, fur bearing or not, love to game any system to their advantage. At least this villain was a good loser.

  2. zztop says:

    Our first part was about how the clothes make the person (and let’s never mind what it made the skeezy tailor, shall we?)

    In the comedy spinoff version, the tailor’s gay for Mercenary.
    1 castle for rare seifuku = daylight robbery.

    If you have sharp teeth, use them…

    The duel with Holdem, the tavern and drunk Zero are anime-original (In the novel, Zero helped to bathe Mercenary).
    IIRC Holdem wasn’t named when they met him in the novel, they just called him Dogface.
    The anime’s roughly covered the 1st 3 chapters of Book 1. 4 more to go till the end!

    • skylion says:

      One castle? I don’t know that means, is it a reference to something else? Other than that a chibi-bishie Youhei is tops!

      I don’t think they named the adversary in the episode either? I took it from Anidb.

      So I guess some random fights and drinking equals a bath scene! I demand my money back! Bathing Yousei, stat! LOL. Dogface.

      Four more what to go to what end? Four more chapters in a volume or four more volumes to the end?

      • zztop says:

        I think it means the tailor wants an actual castle building in exchange for seifuku.

        4 more chapters in the volume 1 until the end.Sorry for not clarifying.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Little to no plot development but it’s good to not see the trio chased down by a mob again.

    Zero totally deserved that crack to the head. Of all the things she could’ve said to identify what she and Albus was, she picked sex slaves? I face palmed hard with that one.

    The wolf guy was sleazy but at least he had decency and sportsmanship to acknowledge when he’s beaten. The way he carried himself with those captive girls only serves to dig a deeper grave for him and other Beastfallen. Looking at the OP visuals, it’s unlikely we’ve seen the last of him.

    • skylion says:

      I think Zero’s crack actually kinda smart. Given that beastfallen are second class citizens for the most part, but are still trained and paid soldiers, it feels like the ones that could afford slaves are probably respected by those such as lowly gate guards. The sex bit was Zero being Zero, and yes, that’s a paddlin’….

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