Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – 07

Youhei…bringing ice to fools

This episode’s cold open was just a repeat of the last episode’s final scene. But right after the OP we see Youhei trying to make peace with his recent sense of betrayal…

Plasta, The Royal Capital, or It is what it is

Youhei makes it plain to Bob 1 and Bob 2 that he is done serving witches

So thanks to the handy exposition dump, we now know that the royal capital of Plasta (lump, bulge, useless, or unwanted in Spanish? I liked ant congress better and the head better…) is heavily understaffed in terms of soldiering and protection. Two of the town’s guards are discussing whether or not the Knights of the Church will send aid; and it was interesting that both faith and cash were mentioned in nearly the same breath, as the king won’t pay up for their faith and services. This King, who has already authorized and aides and comforts Thirteen’s crusade, and his kingdom just got a few interesting wrinkles. Whatever Thirteen is doing, the result is straining the place on many levels, and he might just be looking to become the throne itself, instead of just the power behind it. Finally one guard wonders aloud whether or not this crusade versus the witches is actually doing normal folk any good, and if the growing legion of mercenaries is beneficial, or not, in the long run. That’s a fairly good set up for the tone of this episode.

I kinda wish he could have stayed there under better circumstances

It’s the mercenary attitude that comes into focus. I can image the beastfallen are making the absolute most of their present status, as many of them must enjoy a great hearty drink from the cup of schadenfreude. The country is caught between old fears and an enforced sense of gratitude; but let’s keep in mind that this is a cruel circle that both humans and beastfallen never fail to perpetuate. In that regard, Youhei’s ideal of running a tavern stands as a stark contrast, and not just in terms of it’s naive or rather dreamy quality. He wants fair work for fair trade. He wants to provide a welcome service. He wants to belong as himself no matter what, and more he wants a quiet place to rest. He’s decided to stop the hunt, he’s seen enough blood. This also stands in a sharp contrast to the drifting life both he and his fellows are part of, the perpetual violence they steep themselves in. He’s able to pour this out when one girl addresses him, not with fear, having seen his kind and just side, but with a need for help. What follows is like something from a storybook. But things take a turn after all the wistful romance. All that violence is something our tavern girl cannot forget either, and for some very horrific reasons. In a bitter storytelling turn she upends her own kindness, bringing tragedy back to the mix, dumping the food he made, spelling out that she wants him to be a more beastfallen mercenary than anything else. It is what it is….

She got a whole lot more than she bargained for….twice…

The second half of the episode goes by much quicker, but it doesn’t skimp on characterization or details. Youhei looked like he really wanted to get out on his own and collect himself, but he doesn’t get the chance when an old enemy comes after. Holdem seems to be a mercenary through and through, willing to sell out his own and work with the Sorcerers of State to eliminate Youhei. But the big cat is just to darn strong, or the Sorcerers are just to raw to be of use in the field. They made it so you couldn’t see who took the shot against Youhei, but I’m guessing it was lucky, as Maggie’s Drawers as the rest of them were. But I loved the scene for two details. One it calls back to the Human in a Bottle. Youhei revealed earlier that it would be to much trouble to be human now, as he knows he’s still in some danger and hig big cat body is still more than useful to suit. He regards the bottle after the big fight with a knowing grin. But what’s more important is how much he realizes that he is already human. That callback to his bit of fanservice earlier in the series brought back his thoughts of Zero’s faith in what his humanity very much already is. She saved his life with that “curse” now it’s time for him to pay her back by being the person she always knew he was.

Very well framed shot

Oh, I didn’t want him to carry the Zero

“See you in the morning, Albus…”

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This was an incredibly captivating episode. This late in the season it’s good to have a show that encapsulates or ties in all that events that have come before it, and to do it with an enriching narrative approach is more than welcome. In that we see a number of ideas that come to a great place. Zero’s need for and trust in something other than herself and her magic, Thirteen’s probable turn to a despotic manaocracy, the bound and horrible fate of humans, beastfallen, and witches in one contained vignette, and finally that finely veiled clue droppage from Holdem. Will we finally find out if Albus really is a granddaughter or not? Will we find out if Thirteen is this mysterious Him, as I suspect? Will Youhei open that bottle? This and many more surprises await us in…

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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7 Responses to “Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – 07”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    One of things grimoire of zero does a good job at doing is accentuating genuine emotions reflecting that of the human condition. Zero was the one who decided it would be best to call off her contract with mercenary. And even though she mumbles about regretting hiring the mercenary, she walks up to thirteen filled with rage and ready to kick his ass. For me, that confrontation exemplified the irrational nature of the human condition. In a perfect world, she could have understood merc’s fear of her, squashed the beef and had her and merc go up to thirteen to kick his ass; all’s well that ends well; problem solved; misunderstanding cleared; friendship renewed. However, in an act of genuine human behavior, she’s more upset about the fact that merc doubted her even with the knowledge that thirteen was clearly manipulating him. By zero confronting thirteen right after breaking her contract with the merc (well it’s more like a day after), this scene articulates the duality of zero’s emotions and executes it quite believably. One where she is emotionally hurt due to merc’s behavior and one where she is clearly cognizant of where her anger should truly be directed at projecting how hurt she still is. It’s this duality that usually isnt balanced properly in your average anime and it’s nice to see it be handled well here.

    • skylion says:

      Sorry your comment was trapped so long to the spam-monster, I wasn’t paying any attention at all! But once spotted, he’s an easy beast to placate.

      I’ve always thought that Zero has something much higher in mind. She was able to form a contract with Youhei by word alone, and not with coercion that blood magic can be. But she’s new to trust, or that type of trust. So yeah, her reaction is very human, which is a strong point the show is making.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    Seems the capital’s campaign on witches will ultimately be its undoing should it draw out. It will certainly catch hell if it ever collapses from the strain and the remaining witches use the opportunity to exact retribution. Since this all began over a stupid misunderstanding, implicating an unjustly accused witch, I and probably a few others would be saying “They started this fire, they can burn in it”.

    I wish circumstances went differently with the tavern girl, she was nice. Especially with their conversation. The mercenary maybe would’ve carried out her intentions and stayed the night had she worded them differently and known he was listening in.

    Thirteen’s plans remain unknown and continuing his antagonistic act is adding to his detriment.

    That “How dare you take my Mercenary from me!” line from Zero is one to be made wary of. Get a “How dare you take my (insert word/name) from me!” line from any supernatural being and you know you’re in trouble.

    • skylion says:

      Well, are there even enough witches out there to oppose him? Seems like his own ranks have ever single reason to rebel, and the SoZ would be happy to take advantage of that. If they go that route, the SoZ aught be careful about becoming the monster they fight. Seems like the kind of storyline this show would follow…

      I think that the situation would have caught up with the tavern and the mercenary soon if not quite to late. The tension was always there, it was only a matter of time

      Well, I’m hoping that Thirteen’s plan isn’t Watching the World Burn…

      Oh goodness, the one word piece of advice for anyone that ever wants to threaten a powerful LOLi is: Don’t…

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        I know id never try to get on a powerful loli’s bad side. If anime has taught me anything, it’s that they are OP as fuck in terms of power

  3. zztop says:

    Someone translated the afterwords of Vol 1 of Zero’s LN.

    The author says he’s a fan of nonhuman characters. After seeing most of these character types being minor supporting roles, he decided to be a maverick and make a beastman the lead. He says it was a huge gamble to make, and Mercenary was almost revised to be human.

    He used the usual “swords and magic” setting because he “love(s) such tried and true stories. Add in just a dash of romance as a cherry on top, and I couldn’t be any happier.”

    I would be overjoyed if I was able to share even a bit of the happiness that I felt writing this book with you, the reader.

    • skylion says:

      Oh, thank you for providing the link! I love the TL note at the end. That is something I miss with fansubs these day, the value added of the TL notes. Bothersome? Somewhat. Informative? Well, not always. But I still loved them. But, I loved this tidbit even more…

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      I’m hoping they pull that out next week…

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