Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 3: Something about clothes

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Okay, I think I’ve been approaching this series incorrectly. In the first episode, I didn’t want to say that I got the feeling that this series was a lot like Spice and Wolf because I wasn’t sure yet, but I think the combination of the first three episodes has convinced me enough. It’s a similar concept where there’s a clear goal in mind for the two main characters and they travel together to reach it, but each episode doesn’t really give you much of a sense that they’re making progress. Instead, the series focuses more on what’s going on in the places they visit, except in this case it’s more socially-focused rather than economically-focused. I don’t think it’s necessarily bad, but it’s different than what I expected. In fact, it’s arguably a good sign if I’m getting the same sense.

Uh huh, sure. So is this episode Mercenary-focused or are these introductions just random?

An entire introduction about the beastfallen and no mention that there are types. Or is this guy asking about the species of animal? If so, he’s too blind to be doing his job.

I’m actually going to side with Zero on this one. Claiming that the witches are Mercenary’s slaves saves them on the admission cost, so it’s a practical idea. It’s kinda messed up that Mercernary hits her for it later.

Aww…Mercenary’s such a good guy. In case you haven’t already figured it out. I’m not sure this was needed.

Goal!

I was completely expecting there to be some hidden value in the old outfit or something. This guy’s thirst was a bit too suspicious…but it turns out he was just being horny. Go figure.

Surprisingly, Zero answers “yes” to this. I’m assuming it’s meant to highlight her intense naivety because the alternative is that this is put here just to tell the audience about this beastfallen attribute. And they wouldn’t do that, right? Of course, this conversation is immediately followed by a scene showing a beastfallen that looked a lot like he was going to eat a human, so who knows?

Sorry, I have to nitpick here. While this is a funny gag and all, it’s clearly here just to be a gag. It’s barely dark in the scene before this and the next scene is the group going down to eat dinner. If they had forced Albus to eat while tied up, then it might have had some continuity, but as it stands, it makes no sense to tie him up at this time.

This is new.

While I don’t doubt that someone who hates witches as much as Mercenary does would know how to identify a witch, I’m curious how that works. What are the identifiers of a witch? I kinda doubt we’ll get any explanation, but I’m still curious.

I honestly expected more from this fight given how much they hyped it up. When you break it down, Mercenary mostly stood still while the other guy was quipping.

Okay, I’m guessing that this face just means that Zero will sleep on Mercenary again, but holy crap that face looks really dangerous.

Bit of an overreaction, don’t you think?

Re:Creators Episode 3: Creation is tricky

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Overall, this was a pretty interesting episode. I think the series has a lot more to offer when it talks more about the mechanics of everything. I still think some of the dialogue is a bit out-of-place, but I enjoyed watching the investigation process of what the creator can actually do. Also, I like how the series weaves in the references to the complexity of the real world as compared to a “created” world, like the coffee scene this week, but I would like to see more non-food references.

The big question from here is what is Souta doing? It feels strange that a character with so little contribution and presence in the series is being left alone, with Selesia and Meteora moving out. I guess they’re going to find some new and crazy way to drag him back next week?

Oh look, another new character. The sound effect that horse makes when she pulls the reins sounds a lot like an engine revving up.

Wait, I feel like we skipped a step. When did they figure out that their character descriptions determined what power they had? Did the new guy tell them?

This may be translation error, but I’m not sure I understand this particular part of the conversation. So because he didn’t create the cage of his world, he sees no reason to try and change it? Creator knows best?

Yeah, why not do this? They bring this up in conversation, talk around it for a while, and then go straight into experimentation. You’d expect them to try something at the moment…like trying to have the creator describe a change or something.

Does it really?

I’m guessing this was mostly just a gag, but given that the writer probably doesn’t care and the illustrator clearly has no idea about the stitching, what causes that detail to exist? I’m sure it’s some “the world has a mind of its own” situation, but it feels weird that the illustrator would be surprised by this.

There’s a “the LN is better than the anime” joke in here somewhere…I’m struggling to find it. It’s funny that this is how it works, though.

It brings up an unasked question too. This girl here is the light novel’s illustrator, right? If Selesia comes from the anime, how much power does she have to update Selesia’s character description?

I was going to say that I feel like it’s too early in the series for Selesia to have a line like this, but she’s technically the character from a completed anime, so it makes sense that she recently heard that line.

Wait, what? Since when? Maybe this line should have been “you’re the god of your own world”. That would have made more sense given the conversation.

Okay, that was pretty funny. Man, I never expected a Sawano song to get cut off like that.

There’s a message about readers and writers working together to create a good story in here somewhere. Seems a little heavy-handed.

Hmm, so she was recognizing Souta in particular. It would be too easy if he was her creator, right? It has to be more than that. Also, is she talking to a ghost?

Little Witch Academia Episode 15: Quest received

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As I’ve said before, I find this series more interesting when there’s a story behind the episode. The fight in this episode was also pretty cool even if it did look a little strange (might have just been me). Anyway, it seems like we finally know what we’re trying to accomplish…Grand Triskelion is intended to initiate a resurgence for magic. However, I’m hoping there’s something deeper going on there…that it isn’t as simple as breaking the seal.

So magic is like the internet now? I guess they did have witch Skype and witch Wikipedia in previous episodes. That being said, the leyline routers only allow access to magic more freely without the Sorcerer’s Stone, so it wouldn’t change the fact that Akko can’t ride a broom.

Please tell me Diana figures it out. Someone has to figure it out…

Okay, buddy. If you’re gonna spout lines like this, I’m gonna need you to explain how magic and science are different as they are now. If magic’s main difference is that it can break the rules of the physical world, then that hasn’t changed.

These parallels between Shiny Chariot/Croix and Akko/Diana are legitimately painful to watch. I get it already…

Even though I know where this is going, I’m actually fine with it. We might actually get to learn something interesting…

Yup, I’m with you so far.

Oh hey, an actual magic fight for once. This is actually pretty cool.

Oh right, the world reconstruction magic. I vaguely remember Diana reading about that earlier. Is it really just going to be a plot device? I thought they’d actually use it to stop the decline of magic, but this makes it seem like it’s just the thing Croix wants.

Ah, fansubs. Never change.

Uhh…

So, it sounds like Grand Triskelion is meant to be used to revive the Great Kharlan Tree…err Yggdrasil. Seems straightforward enough, but it begs the question of why the magic was sealed up in the first place. I’m hoping it’s because of something more interesting than “no one should be able to control that magic simply”. I mean…I’m okay if that’s the reason, but there should be more reasoning behind it than “because we say so”.

Recap!

Aww…why not just tell her, Ursula?

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho Episode 2: Old memes

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I’m still not totally sold on this show. I’m trying to figure out what it is, but something about this show isn’t working for me. That being said, I thought that the fact that this episode presented humans and witches as equally irrational in their decisions was a plus for the episode. Since it seems to be pushing the idea of having humans and witches live in harmony, it’s nice to see these parallels being drawn when showing the humans negatively reacting to Sorena’s magic and the witches reacting similarly to Sorena’s death.

Can someone explain to me why there are so many sword clangs in the background of this image showing showing a battle between knights and staff-wielding mages?

We found the book! Series over!

Zero seems to know who Albus is talking about here, which makes me pretty certain that he’s talking about Thirteen. Is the pronoun game here supposed to indicate how much Albus worships Thirteen? Because it doesn’t come across very well.

The delivery of this joke is so random. Albus goes from finding a magic ring to getting shown up by Zero when he can’t sense its magical energy to deciding he’s not strong enough and needs Mercenary’s head. Seems like a long walk to make that joke.

Hey, why does this guy get to make references when I can’t? This is totally unfair…

These guys went from “there have been multiple thefts recently” straight to “these newcomers are totally suspicious”. Why would a group of thieves be just now arriving at the village if they’ve been stealing from it for days?

They’ve actually got a good point here. It actually reminds me of a recent political issue.

I feel like this conversation is almost trying to call into attention that it’s supposed to be thought-provoking. I’m not sure if I’m just being crazy.

But…why is this a problem? Do these knight detect excessive usage of magic? I would think that they’re constantly searching for witches, so using magic like this wouldn’t change things. And if Zero’s as important as she says she is, they’re probably especially searching for her.

I get the feeling that this is going to be important later. I should remember this line.

To be fair, the villagers don’t consider that business with Sorena to be a mistake.

Re:Creators Episode 2: Friendship punch fail

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This episode seemed to drag on a bit in the beginning, but I thought the second half of the episode was pretty cool. A lot of the episode seems to be focused on the differences between the fictional world and the real world, making the first half of the episode a lot of explanations that didn’t really have many answers. There were also a couple of moments when the information presented didn’t seem to have anything to do with the topic being discussed. But eh…the show still seems interesting so far. I’m also wondering what the heck Souta’s role in the series is supposed to be.

I’m starting to wonder if this series is trying to make me feel bad for not liking the random happy endings some series tend to have. The way these fictional characters go on about the creators and the troubled worlds they create makes it seem like they would be better served with developments like that. But I stand by my opinion!

I suppose she needed to be introduced as well.

I’m not sure what she’s trying to say here. Was she able to understand the world because that’s what the magic book allows her to do? It’s not really clear here if that’s the case, but I’m going with that. I mean, I get that she’s a librarian, but “magic book” implies something more than that.

I’ve been wondering that too, Meteora. Why does your magic work the same in a different world governed by presumably different rules? Also, I was honestly expecting a gag where the room gets cleared out by the Restoration Magic. There’s still time to do it, but it really doesn’t fit the tone of this show.

I’m assuming this is a nod to the detail that exists in the real world that’s lost in a story. I would say this is really subtle, but Meteora continues to go on about the exact same thing for a few more lines.

This seems important.

I don’t quite understand this transition. They go from looking for their creators to talking about Sota’s old drawings without much of a link between the conversations. Is this supposed to be a hint or something? How is it related?

Urgh…this entire scene was painful to watch.

Oh boy, a magical girl?

Hold on. It seemed like Mamika and Selesia weren’t really too much in disagreement. Is that what magical girl shows are like these days? You disagree slightly with me, so let’s fight?

I know this is supposed to be a tense situation and everything, but this line made me laugh a little bit too much.

Can’t tell if this is a poke at a certain magical girl series, but I’ll take it. I’m with Selesia here…Mamika totally provoked this fight.

Persona!

Little Witch Academia Episode 14: Workers unite!

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Sorry to say, but once again, this episode strikes me as a strange choice of priorities. The class struggle between the faeries and the witches was an interesting conversation, but it was ultimately a backdrop for introducing a “villain” to the series. Also, the scenario in this episode seems like it would have been perfect for Lotte because of its focus on faeries, and yet she only gets a couple of minor translation moments. I agree that Akko makes more sense to join the strike, but Lotte could have done so much more to mediate the two sides.

And I’m ultimately annoyed with Croix. Her message seems like the correct way to move forward, bringing magic into the modern age, but it seems like she’s going to be demonized overall. I mean, I’m all for proper research and safety evaluation for new technologies, but the Luna Nova professors cling so hard to their traditions and this episode makes them look so justified…

Weekly reminder that Akko is reviving the legendary words. The song in the background isn’t bad, though.

Given that the new opening animation heavily displays a purple-haired student who seems to be a rival character for Ursula/Shiny Chariot, I sure wonder who this new professor could be…

Uhh…that’s new.

Okay, two things. First off, is “per diem” a common phrase? It seems overly fancy. And more importantly, I see available energy on the right, so this professor’s argument is completely invalid.

Uhh…this is a Roomba. And with the gadgets she used to save Akko, I was completely expecting to see Constanze instead. Just how are they different?

Haha I should have expected this.

Is that ten percent of the total energy output or ten percent of their current energy allotment? Honestly, either seems reasonable, but you might want to tighten up your language if you’re in a union.

I understand that this is supposed to sound like a commercial, but holy crap…

So now the sneaky guy is framing the witches? Isn’t this adding a bit too much to this episode? You’re effectively creating an artificial bad guy in a legitimate argument to make it easier for the situation to be resolved without addressing the issue.

Wait, machine? There’s no way that’s a coincidence, right?

They revealed this much more quickly than I was expecting. I was going to preface this post by saying “this episode only gets saved if Croix turns out to be the one behind the incident”. It’s kind of a shame, though. Her approach to magic seems interesting, but it’s going to be overshadowed by this. I’m assuming that her technology has some huge drawbacks (like maybe permanently reducing the output of the leylines) that she was hiding.

So did the other professors just not tell Ursula who the new professor was? It seems like something they would discuss as a group. I get what they’re trying to do here…Ursula’s probably the only one who knows about the dark side of Croix and this is supposed to be dramatic, but it doesn’t make sense.

Zero kara Hajimeru Mahou no Sho First Impressions (1): Nice and cuddly?

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So I’m not too sure about this series yet. This first episode was interesting for many reasons, like a system of magic that may actually be following some rules and a fun main character combination (those scenes in the ending theme were pretty funny). But nothing in particular has really grabbed my attention yet in this premiere. Still, the series looks like it could be fun, so I’m willing to keep watching to see where it goes.

It’s really weird to start the series with a big prologue about how witches are persecuted in this world and then immediately cut to discrimination against beastfolk (or I guess beastfallen). I get that the heroine is probably a witch, but it still feels like they’re trying to force some kind of “it could be worse” message.

I don’t think this is how blood works, but I’ve never actually tested it for real, so…sure? I should get on that…

Yup, this is how we set up that this guy doesn’t like witches right before he runs into the female lead, who is probably also a witch. Never mind the fact that he’s probably been mostly mistreated by mundane humans his entire life.

Alright fine. I’m a sucker for comedy like this.

Well, she accepted his beast form, so I guess they’re friends now? Strange that this is the first such encounter given that it sounds like most witches can see his “human face”. And more importantly, how exactly did witches create the beastfallen? It sounded like they have the beast appearance from birth. Cursed in the womb? Side effect of residual magic that created the original beastfallen?

You’re not making much sense here. It’s sounding a lot like this guy hates witches because he hates witches.

They’re such good friends now…

Also, does the beast guy really have any reason to believe this?

This is a common trope with witches…I can give points for having an actual reason not to give the main characters names. Plus, Zero is a pretty cool-sounding name.

These are some nice expressions.

So magic doesn’t require the summoning circle and produces more effective results? What’s the point of sorcery in that case? It sounds like the only drawback to magic is this “sacrifice” thing. I thought that meant sacrificing the demon, but it doesn’t seem to be the case…

Haha well that’s one way to counter a spell. Also, Albus has something in his hand when he’s casting…maybe magic requires material components? Zero seems fine without it, though.

So I guess they’re all friends now?

Re:Creators First Impressions (1): It’s alive!

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Hmm…this was an interesting setup. I’m not sure I’m on board with the narration style of storytelling, but I guess it makes sense given the story that’s being told here. Anyway, the concept of being story characters into the real world is intriguing enough that I want keep watching…it might lead to some fun questions about what we consider to be real and such. Also, I tend to make a really hard distinction between reality and fiction, so this feels like the kind of series that would let me examine that.

I’m really curious about what the mystery mage said about bringing Selesia to the world of the “gods of pleasure”. Is the series going to focus around Selesia watching how normal humans treat fictional characters? A sort of “all characters matter” thing? Alternatively, the story could just follow Souta as he collects enough fictional characters to face off against the mystery mage.

I hate to start with this in the first 30 seconds, but I’m pretty sure you mean “Surprise”, not “Sunrise”.

That escalated quickly. Not that I’m complaining…even with the random flashes of websites and videos, the opening scenes were building towards this to the point where I would have complained if she hadn’t fallen in front of that train. But still…it escalated pretty quickly. And it has my attention.

Resist…Crunchyroll joke. I’m better than this!!

Using a line like this that fits the anime scene as well as the “real world” scene is a nice touch.

I don’t think that’s how you use those. So are we getting trapped in anime world here?

Not sure what effect you’re going for with the glasses, but hey! That girl’s still here.

Nothing suspicious going on here.

Oh, so she’s probably from the real world too. So when she reacted to the main character earlier, was she reacting to seeing someone she knew or just to seeing someone from the real world?

If Selesia grabs him from the side and Souta is on the other side of the car, what is this guy staring at?

Haha okay, you got me there. Cutting out the other sound effects and music really makes this scene.

And here I thought the military was making a timely reaction to a hostile flying object in their airspace.

You’re telling me.

New roommates!

Nice joke!

Little Witch Academia Episode 13: Performance

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Watching this show in a timely manner for once. I’m running out of stuff in the new season (I would have done Boku no Hero Academia, but half that episode was flashback). Anyway, this week’s episode was another one that I quite liked. All of my concerns from the previous episode were handled nicely. And Akko’s performance was a nice nod into how she’s trying to follow Shiny Chariot, but not copy her. Instead of performing at the same level, she takes advantage of her mistakes and turns the routine into a comedy routine.

This feels like a repeat of stuff from last week’s episode. Even this exact Sucy reaction.

So, I like the way Akko is thinking here, trying to challenge a tradition that most students would just follow unquestioningly. It fits her role as the “non-mage” entering the magic world and shaking up the foundation. However, her plan is a bit frustrating. I get that metamorphosis is all she’s been practicing, but I’m getting annoyed of her just copying Chariot.

This certainly is a random way to trigger some self-evaluation in Lotte, but I’ll take it?

The team is together!

School talent shows, right? Always like this…

Really pushing this “magic is art” thing, huh? Well, it seems to be the point of the festival, so I won’t push too much on it.

Urgh…I really want to analyze this. Given that Akko didn’t finish the incantation, she must have finished it while her head was engulfed. So, that would mean that she can either control where her center of mass is when the transformation happens (which seems advanced) or it always concentrates at her feet. The second option makes sense, I guess…it would mean that any transformation to a smaller creature doesn’t suspend you in the air.

I’m guessing this performance is pointed towards comedy in general, particularly at the same that “comedy is the lowest form of entertainment”. It explains why the professors call it vulgar in comparison to the other performances.

This feels like it could have been explained better, but I think the idea is that constantly inducing sorrow involves remembering the death of her friends? It really does seem like two unrelated things, though.

Haha why is Sucy tied up too?

We did it?

I’m good with this. It also makes Diana question herself if she ends up winning.

Wait, this was going into the background behind Ursula, right? Mysterious challenger?

Youjo Senki Final Episode (12): Yup, still evil

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At this point, I don’t think I expected much else from the ending of this series. Looks like we’re just preparing for a second season…which is totally coming, right? But other than that, the struggle continues. I really need to study more history before watching shows like this…

One final note for this series. While I was complaining a bit before, I’ve come around to being okay with the general lack of Being X. It makes a lot more sense that Being X…works in mysterious ways? Plus, doesn’t Being X have better things to do? I’m sure I said that earlier in this series.

Time to get serious…but everyone’s on vacation.

Just comes out and says it, huh? No celebrating! Always keep planning for the next step! Also, I’m not sure about this one. Do you “win” a victory? Or do you obtain or achieve it?

That sounds about right.

Is she saying that Strategic HQ is being too rational and assuming that the Republic will act rationally? That’s a new one. I would have expected the opposite.

While Tanya’s monologue is interesting and all, it kinda shows how little she’s changed. Though that’s probably the point since she’s rebelling against Being X?

This guy has the most insane timing.

The last part of the recruitment poster was the only part that was positive, wasn’t it? I feel like these guys should be more upset about not getting the glory yet since that was probably the main reason they join.

I’m assuming this is a history reference that I’m missing. But more importantly, is he realizing that they should continue the war without Tanya’s intervention? I guess Tanya’s desperation wasn’t needed at all.

Epilogue narration?

Oh, I totally thought this was done. But as someone pointed out to me before, her name is Mary Sioux (Sue), after all.

Yellow eyes? What could it mean? Here’s hoping she’s not just another throwaway enemy that was thrown in the series.

Uhh…Tanya? You okay over there?

Haha this ending…

Overall Score: 7/10