Review: Zero no Tsukaima FPosted: April 3, 2012
Anime: Zero no Tsukaima F
Animation Studio: J.C. Staff
Number of Episodes: 12
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes
Unless I’m mistaken, this is the final review for winter. Huzzah! Though before I start getting excited, spring is starting up now, so I’ll have previews to start dealing with. They’re shorter than reviews, so it isn’t that big of a deal, not to mention it can take up to three episodes before I have an opinion to write down, but still.
I wonder if I can get through this review without mentioning Shana at all…
I have mixed feelings in regards to Zero no Tsukaima. I did enjoy the first season, and I’m pretty much the only person in the universe who liked the second season even more than the first one, but the third one was absolute shit. I don’t even remember the third season. Did anything actually happen? I don’t think so.
On the contrary, this season had everything happen.
There was a complete lack of direction in this season. It started off with the Joseph plot the third season introduced at the very end, but that ended after about three episodes. Then there was some random faffing about crap with Saito getting a fiefdom, which took a few episodes for the mercenaries that were previously introduced to show up, along with some elves who were there for Tifa, though I’m not sure why it took so long for them to finally go after her. Then after some screwing around with the elves, I thought the mercenaries were going to be the final antagonists for the show (the OP even set them up to look that way), but then some fucking random Ancient Dragon plot gets pulled out of its ass for the last three episodes.
Everything just happened so quickly and out of nowhere that it was almost dizzying to try and keep up with it. I get that it’s the final season and they want to put in a lot of exciting stuff, but it just didn’t work. Unlike… that other show, which was about the same plot throughout the season and still managed to have exciting moments, Zero felt like the only thing that was exciting were the plots themselves, so it threw in as many as it could.
It also doesn’t help that I’ve become irritated with Saito and Louise’s relationship at this point. I’ve said in previous posts that despite seeming like a basic character structure, the tsundere is actually pretty easy to screw up. She’s beating him up over the most mundane things at this point. I get that it’s supposed to be funny, but the joke has grown old, and they’re just throwing it in willy-nilly without any real thought now. She had some decently reasonable reasons to do it in previous seasons, but in this one, he so much as looks at another girl and his ass is toast.
Speaking of which, I’ve always wondered why… some other female protagonist is classified as beating up… a different male protagonist. If I recall, she only did that once at the very beginning. Did I miss the violent scenes or something? I skimmed through… that show’s second season a bit to do a previous editorial, and I didn’t see any of that. Either it was all in the first season, or people are seeing something that doesn’t exist.
Speaking of the scenes trying to be funny, though, that is one thing I can praise the show about. When it wants to be, it can actually be pretty damn funny. It’s just a shame these are mixed in with the extremely unfunny ones. It almost makes it seem like the show is throwing darts around when it comes to humor, like it doesn’t actually know how to be funny and just guesses. Doesn’t really change the fact that it had funny parts, though.
I actually really liked the ending, however, it also loses a lot of points due to some big flaws. One of those being that it was basically copying the first season’s finale with some scenes. Yeah, I get it, it was going for that seeing as it used the first season’s OP and everything, but it seemed to be more of a cop-out than actually being clever. As opposed to… a different show’s ending, where it brought back and tied up plot points from the very beginning of the show, as opposed to just regurgitating them. One approach being far more effective than the other.
The biggest flaw with the ending, was the logic. Saito jacked a fucking fighter jet.
Does Japan just like to leave fighter jets completely undefended? It’s not like they keep them in the middle of army bases or… oh wait, they do. So then where the hell were all the guards? Can just any teenager waltz right up and get one?
Kid: “Hey, I need a fighter jet to fly into the moon so I can go back to a magic world of wizards and dragons!”
Guard: “Ohoho, kids these days! Here’s the ignition key. Have fun!”
The one thing I did really like about the ending was that Louise went with Saito to his world. Everyone gave them confused looks and such, but they did not give any shits because they were happy. That’s the kind of happy atmosphere I like to see. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see Saito’s parents, but that probably would have been a comedic encounter and would have ruined that happy-go-lucky mood that the show was currently in. Nothing like showing up to your house after going missing for who knows how long and telling them you have a wife who’s dressed up like a magician.
Though that does make me wonder, why weren’t there missing posters of Saito all over the place? He’s been gone for ages, so either his parents don’t care about him, or they are lenient as hell. And I don’t want to hear the “different time elapsed” theory, because his eclipse matched up with one in the magic world. Not to mention we got to see time pass on both sides, and they looked pretty equal to me.
In the end, I’m glad to be done with this series. It had a decent enough ending, but the complete lack of direction and dried up jokes made it not very enjoyable. If you’ve watched the last three seasons, like I have, then you may as well finish it and get it over with; otherwise, this season is definitely not going to motivate anyone to go through the previous seasons in order to see it.
RATING: 7 out of 10.