Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – 08

Holdem had such a glorious past…

So, the first time I watched this episode, I wasn’t all that pleased with the second half. But upon the next viewing, most of my problems seemed to have disappeared. But I can’t shake the feeling White Fox might have set up my expectations a touch.

Sorena’s Granddaughter or Okami

This was basically all Holdem was good for…I’d love to see this SoL series…

So the first half is, largely, just fine as the two pieces between Albus and Thirteen and Youhei and Holdem interweave to do an admirable job filling us in with some much needed backstory; with little, if any, of that “as you know” business. Holdem, unlike Youhei who was born a cuddle muffin, purposefully asked to be created as a beastfallen. It turns out that he is the the third son of a noble family, and like the show points out, olden times didn’t have may uses for them beyond them marrying right, staying out of trouble and making more family; first sons inherited and fought wars and made glory, second sons went into high clergy positions and therefore influence, leaving third sons to do not much else but hope an elder brother(s) dies or is found to be illegitimate.

…touch fluffy tail…

So with little else to call his own and one too many debaucheries, and after a lucky meeting with Sorena, Holdem becomes a new man as a wolf. In that respect he fills out the role that Youhei does for Zero, only that he had the added responsibilities of taking care of Sorena’s granddaughter. For her part, Sorena’s is pleased, perhaps, to not have to live alone and o have help raising a small child that was orphaned by unpleasant circumstance. It was a good relationship, and in the end she appreciates Holdem’s duties, and that has a lasting effect on the man in the wolf (still no word on why he was practically a slaver in an earlier episode, still trying to mentally square that one) I hope there is more to her story, Yoshiko Sakakibara did excellent voice work with her. And it seems like she’s connected to much more than we tough, with this new magical movement and Thirteen’s plans. But between witches and their charges, it also turns out that beastfallen head-collecting is only so much hokum as noble women uses them as macabre collections pieces for naught any other reason. We also learn that the Troubles are a recent phenomena, and that it’s not always been as bad as it is now. The news about this weird head-business shakes Youhei a bit more out of the funk he was in, realizing that Zero has never had any ill intent toward him.

…no, she’s…(also, is this a bad time to point out that all along her pants look like tracksuit pants?)

For all that, backstory is nothing without a reveal or two. I think most of us had pretty much figured out, and since last week practically knew, that Albus is the missing granddaughter. But honestly, the biggest secret was the reason behind Sorena’s death. Since we could always suspect Albus’s true gender, this was a good touch, as adding an extra layer is good for the story.  In that respect, there is a deep connection to Thirteen and “Him”, and I think they are one and the same – only something not yet revealed and maybe even horrifying? He’s been in the business of replacing old ways with new ones, of playing into everyone’s fears of witches and magic to set himself up as the ruler of it all. As far as Thirteen was concerned, Albus’ death was, from the start, a forgone conclusion, and he probably wanted her to stew the night over and get desperate enough to use her all to brief time at the stake to call for a revolt. Thirteen want’s all his eggs in one basket…he figures to make the big omelet. Sorena’s peaceful legacy would finally be over and done. Good too see we had some Big Damn Heroes!

Holdem has seen far to many movies….

So with a thoughtful first half, we have the action packed second half. This is where the studio just up and tricked me. I guess I’ve become accustomed to White Fox‘s penchant from on-screen death, torture, and bloody executions. Between both RE: Zero and Akame ga Kill, can you really blame me? I was expecting Albus to burn, and was quite prepared for the story to take that turn. I, like Thirteen, would have loved to have seen a big magical battle, and they certainly had the space for it in the town square…Holy Cats that town square was a huge space. It was almost laughable how much ground, and how many CGI filler people, the two beastfallen could cover in such a short time; I mean I’ve complained about abusing the Talking is a Free Action trope, but Movement is Also a Free Action? Which basically means the backend of this episode did feel a bit on the rushed side. Some of the staging was OK, and I like Youhei’s bombs and their effective uses; it just felt was too far reaching and wide open, which lead to some overly long running bits and a general feeling of disconnection.

There is no one to carry you Zero…

…at least not yet…(one MNSFW image after the cut)

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But despite my minor complaints the action was quite nice for all intents, and it even displayed a rather swashbucklery flare. That took me as kinda silly the first time, but on the second viewing I quite enjoyed the the pace if not the overall direction. Sometimes you just have to let the serious stuff go…So with Albus rescued where does that leave Thirteen’s plans now? Is he desperate, or does he have more ladles in more soups? I’ll catch you folks next time…

..hopefully this means that Zero will be back in style, eh?


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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24 Responses to “Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho – 08”

  1. zztop says:

    The anime’s currently covering part of Chp 5 of LN Vol 1.

    I think the anime will only cover Vol 1, similar to Rokka no Yuusha. The current plotline is resolved by the end of this volume.

    • skylion says:

      Thank you for the update. It’s good to have resolution without the dangling plotlines, isn’t it?

      • zztop says:

        True. So many animes just end like that with the “now go read the manga/novel to see how it continues” hook.

        • BlackBriar says:

          Probably because they don’t yet have enough material to make another cour. If I recall correctly, that was the reason Attack on Titan was stalling for its second season, because the author needed more time due to an insufficient amount of material.

          • zztop says:

            You’re right about lack of material.
            But sometimes it’s the publishers who own the source books that don’t want to commission a new season, either because the anime didn’t sell or they just don’t feel the source needs a sales/awareness boost via an anime.

            Take for example Hataraku Maou-sama. There’s 17 volumes (and 2 prequel volumes) currently available, yet the anime only covered the 1st 2 books. Plus no signal of wanting to make a new season anytime soon.

            • BlackBriar says:

              Take for example Hataraku Maou-sama. There’s 17 volumes (and 2 prequel volumes) currently available, yet the anime only covered the 1st 2 books. Plus no signal of wanting to make a new season anytime soon.

              And this season makes exactly four years since Hataraku Maou-sama’s anime adaptation first aired. But after Ao no Exorcist took nearly six years to get a sequel, D.Gray-man took nearly eight and Mushishi took nearly nine, it might be too early to give up on Hataraku Maou-sama altogether.

          • skylion says:

            There are nine volumes currently available.

  2. sonicsenryaku says:

    As for the whole thing with Holden; it is implied that the reason why he was collecting “witches” was because he was trying to procure information out of those who had Albus’ scent on them. It is implied that this was the real reason why he wanted zero in episode 3 (besides the fact that she’s a hottie). It is also implied that the reason why Holden couldnt smell Albus on Youhei was because his beastfallen scent overpowered Albus’ as opposed to zero or other people who dont smell as “beastfallen-ish.” It’s cool that the show doesnt outright tell you these things, but instead make them feel more like “A-ha” moments

    As for why he was treating the women so poorly; i chock that up to two things: 1. with Sorena gone, he had no excuses to not revert back to his dickish ways of philandering with women and taking advantage of his power/position. Keeping those women probably gave him some sort of societal leverage. Sorena made him a changed man but the anger and loneliness from losing her made him tack 11 steps back. 2. those women may not have been so innocent after all or perhaps he was trying to prevent them from saying anything about what his true goals in fear that it may cost him the ability to find albus. The two things i mentioned just now are theories on my part.

    • zztop says:

      The novels never mention why Dogface was treating the girls poorly, IIRC.

      • skylion says:

        I feel just a tad foolish for not piecing those points together. I think I had forgotten that the girls he trafficked with had some sort of witchy suspicion to them. It also never occurred to me that he would take steps back in his behavior, or even get worse. But it’s not like he’s had much screen time to develop a character.

        • sonicsenryaku says:

          hahaha it happens to the best of us. To be honest, i didnt piece it together till after watching the episode and mulling it over a bit

  3. zztop says:

    Holdem had such a glorious past…

    Or as I like to call it “Not being able to keep his sausage to himself”.
    Frankly I think every time was sausage time for him.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    LOL the reveal of that boy being a girl was kinda interesting! Watching the flashback I was like wait blond hair? OMG THEY GOT ME GOOOOOD!

    That said I’ve become kinda bored with this series! Yeah it’s good enough to pass the time but at the same time I don’t really care about any of the characters besides Zero? Then again shes currently the princess trapped in the castle waiting for her “Mario/Link” to save her.

    3/10 so far needs more energy.

    • skylion says:

      I was always engaged by the character/SoL stuff, so I have no complaints about it’s energy. I do have complaints about the Castle Waiting bit, very contrived…

      As for Albus, they played around with the question so much it became a going concern about gender regardless…at least the reveal was about something…

      • BlackBriar says:

        As for Albus, they played around with the question so much it became a going concern about gender regardless…at least the reveal was about something…

        A too convincing reverse trap. She has Mayo Chiki’s Subaru Konoe beat to a pulp.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      The energy in this series comes from the characters themselves. If anything, grimoire of zero is a nice example of writing characters who feel like people due to their range of personalities and quirks. They react to each other organically and show shades of their character through genuine interaction rather than exposition. This is a good example of effective character writing and definitely not a 3/10 series; at least for me anyway.

    • Foshizzel says:

      @Sky: I figured you would love the fantasy side more, but there are “fun” character moments whenever the three main characters are doing non story parts that are great, but throw them into the actual story and it gets a bit dull at least for me.

      @Sonic: I think my energy comment is more about the pace? Whenever the “story” is happening it slows down to a crawl for me and we’re only at episode 8 out of 12? Kinda silly that we’re just getting to the important stuff now? Kinda feels similar to the current season of AoT.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    The contrast of Holdem’s image upon his introduction and of him in the flashback is giving me a whiplash. I’m more lenient with the latter because it’s such a kind gesture that he went out of his way to be a kid’s caretaker and that said kid enjoyed his company, altough at his expense if you count the tail-grabbing part.

    It became easy to determine who Sorena’s granddaughter was in present time looking at her face when she was baby. But doesn’t decrease the baffling feel when you’re so convinced her present appearance is that of a boy. I mean, Zero’s more developed than her in the chest area and both are more or less the same height.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      well zero is actually an adult so there’s that

      • skylion says:

        Yeah, Zero is a short woman, so there’s hardly any comparison to a girl that’s just probably hitting her teens.

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