Episode 11 of Grimoire of Zero had its moments. It went from action-packed to humorous in a flash, and brought another twist that wasn’t really a twist but it was better than not twist at all.
And, frankly… Who is the antagonist now?
Japanese Title: 魔女と魔術師
Was I expecting an all-out magic battle between Thirteen and Zero? Not really. I had no delusions that the production was going to invest in one, especially considering the quality of the fights during the series. That doesn’t mean that the battle wasn’t satisfying, not because of the fight itself, but for the things we learned because of it. Zero, who I’m still not sure why she was such a prodigy and who her master was, deliberately wrote the Grimoire with the wrong enchantments so she could always be the strongest of them all. She also took advantage of a naked and furry Mercenary to put on him the curse that transferred all his wounds to her.
And then, we had those flashbacks that brought the twist everyone expected but no one wanted to believe: Thirteen is a good guy. He may have killed dozens and have plotted to conquer the realm, but it was all for Zero’s sake. He thought that was what the little witch wanted. Of course, he could have asked her, but you can’t expect of sloppy writing to answer to logic. If you are going to turn the villain into a friend, do it well, like Chrono Trigger. Or the Green Ranger. Or Xena. Or Caprica Six from Battlestar Galactica. Or the fraking Terminator. This ‘ok, I was wrong. Now let’s do this right’ approach to Thirteen was not my cup of tea, and it seemed that the only sane person in this was Holdem and the rage of this fists.
Cut the Music: Grimoire of Zero tried many takes on proper humor, but this was probably the favorite moment. Zero lying there, and probably dying by the sound of the mellow piano melody when the sound cuts off and Zero rises from the dead.
Opening Sequence: Have you noticed that on the last frame of the opening sequence, the one with the cliff and stuff, our heroes were joined by Holdem as soon as he became a part of the team? I wonder if they are going to add Thirteen for the last episode.
Where are the Sorcerers of Zero? Before Thirteen went all ‘you can kill me because I deserve it’ on Albus, there was a battle. Do you remember the battle? Zero nullified the area and Thirteen called his Bulbasaur powers and they saved the day. Where did they vanish to afterwards? Probably they were just standing there in the background watching the scene like good viewers. Unless they killed them. That would have been a better plot twist than Thirteen leaving the dark side of the force.
Too Slow: Another good moment. Zero and Mercenary once again proved their undeniably chemistry (and allowed a cute flashback that almost made me like Thirteen) when she threw her arms up in the air and boarded her own tiger-express.
Themes & Trivia
Villain Turned Hero: I don’t want to repeat all the great examples (there are more) I wrote in the Plot section, but I want to stress that this is a great narrative trope that usually works in favor of the story when there is either another bigger badass villain or the story ends with the villain turning good. Think Scrooge or Grinch. If everything turns out for the best in the last episode, then we can talk about a series that explored difference and diversity and advocated the goodness that exists in all of us. Even in the previously main villain.
I have a feeling that the character art was a bit on the down side, but to be honest, we have seen a lot worse. My mind now is set on the plot, and whether this whole Thirteen deal is going to have a proper closure. He was probably the only antagonist of the series, and now we have none. Thirteen was not evil. Yes, he tried to play evil, but either you have it or not. All Thirteen had was a really menacing voice. Maybe that was the point. That there is no villain and there can be a solution that will bring peace to the land. It will be an interesting ending, albeit a bit boring. But boring and safe is always better than exciting and dangerous, right?
The Ceiling is Blue!
Since the anime is based on a light novel, I am curious to see how much of the original story the anime covered, but I don’t think that we are going to see an amazing episode next week. Will it be a ‘there is more story to this – buy the novel’ kind of episode or a ‘this is the closest to a closure we can give you’ kind of finale? We just have to wait and see.
Did you like Episode 11 of Grimoire of Zero? Let us know in the comments below by using either the forum or the Facebook tab! Join us in our new forum and let’s talk about our favorite series! Also, don’t forget to check the rest of our episodic anime reviews for Spring 2017.