I have to admit that I felt a little worried before watching Episode 9 of Grimoire of Zero. After the last episode brought the plot up to speed, gave purpose to some of the most minor characters, and didn’t rely on the chemistry of the protagonists to save the day, I was anxious that his episode might go back to what the series used to be: a lukewarm fantasy. Thank the Anime God, it didn’t.
Japanese Title: 再会
This episode shifted down a couple of gears, but without sacrificing any of the plot flow it started last week. One of the foremost problems of the first couple of weeks was that Grimoire of Zero had a perfectly sound story, but only in theory, and only in lengthy info dumbs. I have a hunch that its purpose was just that: to have a couple of interesting yet kind of boring weeks where the characters establish themselves and we get to know how the world works. That doesn’t justify the substitute role that Albus and Holdem played, but now that both have an established background and a renewed sense of purpose (and now that all the info dumps are gone’, the show is fun. It’s far from perfect, and it certainly lacks the depth of other shows this season, but when it comes to entertainment, it delivers and then some.
At last, we have a plan, and from none other than Sorena’s granddaughter. The only way to prevent a magic war is to deny the country of magic. Brilliant, and very convenient, indeed. By creating a magic circle that will embody the whole country, Albus can have Zero turn it into a giant null-magic zone. This is the first time that our group is not only united, but has a clear purpose. Finding the Grimoire was not as exciting as bringing peace to the realm. It also gives Mercenary a good excuse for reuniting with Zero. I wonder how he will bring it about when he meets her.
Perv: Comedy is not Grimoire of Zero’s strong point. The return to the pervert shopkeeper does give the show a sense of continuity and world-realism, but it could have been appreciated more in a series marathon, and not after so many weeks of episodic plot. I found his fixation to Zero’s cloak somewhat over the top, but yet, you just have to take a privy look to some of the fandoms out there to find examples of over-the-top behaviors such as this.
Boobs: There are quite a bit of boob referencing by Mercenary in the series. I’m not sure if it’s in his character description or not. I am curious, though. Also, Albus totally looks like a boy. Even after the revelation, she still looks and talks and behaves like a boy. And not like a tomboy. Like a boy.
Sorena’s granddaughter would be beautiful and have huge boobs, right?
Airborne Albus: This was probably the first scene of Grimoire of Zero in which I laughed out loud. The swift warning by Tiger, the streak of lightning in his eyes and the look of despair in Albus’s face. This throw was funny.
Themes & Trivia
TV Anime: The fact that Grimoire of Zero had to enter its final month to deliver on the action brings to the surface a deeper problem about episodic anime: it’s difficult to keep the pace of a unified story in chunks, and it is even more difficult to judge those chunks without relating to the whole. Just imagine Grimoire of Zero as a 3-hour movie. Or binge-watched a lazy day. That’s why series like Dragon Ball, which might drag a scene for months, or like Doraemon and the rest of its kind where you could lose weeks and still know what’s going on in the series, work so much better in the TV format. Even Cowboy Bebop (which is getting its own TV series in the American TV) one of the masterpieces of the medium, had a semi-episodic approach that worked better than this linear narrative.
I want to see how the story of Grimoire of Zero will end, but I think that a second viewing of the always-better Blu-ray will justify the series better.
A few sections before I told that Grimoire of Zero shifted down on speed a bit, but there was a single section that went to warp really fast. In just a few scenes, Albus went from explaining his plan to nullify magic from the land to making the second of the five seals he had to carve. And in a scene that felt like it was all boobs and no purpose, the Sorcerers of Zero went from Albus’s friends to his captors. The easiness with which the faux leaders of the group told him that he went from nakama to traitor was too unenthusiastic for my tastes. On the other hand, I was impressed by the cool-headed Holdem.
Did Albus really had to be captured? Again? Another rescue operation?
Calm down, shopkeeper
Tiger will keep playing Spiderman to get to his Mary Jane and Wolf will probably try and take Albus and escape the Sorcerers of Zero. I am very thrilled with both our master-beast couples and I am really curious to see who HE is. Every show needs a small twist of its own, and I am feeling this is it for Grimoire of Zero.