Zero no Tsukaima F is back as the fourth and final [the F stands for Final, in case you missed that] season. Its back again… To disappoint us again. After the fiasco of the third season, I wasn’t sure I even wanted to bother looking at this one. However I shook myself off and sat down to some more love-hate, story-mush, mahou tsundere lack-of-action anime. Just a quick recap for those who watched the last season but since its been over 3 years, have probably forgotten: Firstly, there was the story. Oh wait… There wasn’t one. There were some new characters (who didn’t do much), we met an elf and Sheffield kept making moves on Joseph. Nauseatingly enough, we also had Tabitha added to Saito’s harem. The only updside to the season was we got rid of the annoying Kirchie as she tagged out for Tabitha to pursue older men – in the form of the newly returned Colbert sensei. But no one cared he returned and there was hardly any action – he just casually came back from a season long departure. Saito and Louise were boring – they argued, told each other to go away then immediately regretted it. What was the point?! Even worse, Siesta then replaced Kirchie as the well endowed, flirtatious one who constantly lusted after Saito. We had all hoped Henrietta would at least bring some interesting side drama but nope, her and Louise just became best friends. The void power loss was negligible despite worrying about it for 2 seasons, no one cared about the runes and half of the cast didn’t do anything – Joseph is the king of pointless characters. Why does Saito even have this massive harem? He is an awful character, consistently looking at other girls, consistently bullies Louise and his personality really isn’t anything great. Why does anyone stay with Zero no Tsukaima? It is funny. Or, it was funny in the first season and somewhat amusing. But after 3 seasons, the jokes were boring and repetitive and the show had generally degraded. Despite this, it still garnered a large viewer base and admittedly, I was part of that. I have no idea what it is about Zero no Tsukaima that makes you despair about watching it, whilst consistently going back for more. Its like a drug. So, in my addiction, here are my thoughts on the new season, covered in two main points:
SAITO & LOUISE
Immediately the first thing that jumps out at me about ZnT is the humour. Its been updated by some measure. Most of the comedy seems to revolve around Saito and Louise and I did laugh out loud a few times – I enjoyed the back and forth they had going a few times. Now that the annoying, bi-polar tsundere trait Louise had in previous seasons, is less exaggerated, they can act a lot more natural. Even though they didn’t get married or anything and they aren’t officially together, they are very couple like. I don’t know what they will do about the romance now seeing as its all quite in the open – their feelings, that is. Despite this though, they still found a way to act petty and have goes at each other as if they didn’t already know they liked each other. I just found the show to be contradicting itself. Its trying to maintain that first season tsundere, romance awkwardness, at the same time as the open confession at the end of the third season. What we get then is a disparity between what they obviously know and how they act. The show just seems to have gone too far for its own good – what made it popular in the first place seems to have been diluted down the seasons and instead of embracing the new direction, they are trying to re enact the old seasons. So for me, whilst Louise and Saito have good humour, the consistency of their relationship seems to be breaking down.
PLOT & CHARACTERS
There is also a new foray of new characters however, no one seems even mildly interesting. Louise meets the pope who casually announces he is also a void user. Just like that. The pacing here is awful! They spent all of season two swooning over the amazing, master void magic and how special Louise was blah blah. Then, all of season three was spent murning the void magic loss and weeping over the tsukaima bond breaking. Then in season four, void powers are suddenly common place. Louise is one, the pope is one, Joseph is one and also Tifania is one. Yea… I just found this to be absurd. All that hype the previous seasons was for nothing – Louise still isn’t special. Its such a lazy plot device, I’m astounded they thought fans would gladly accept this. I just feel like they’re beating a dead horse. Stop with the random tsundere attitude, stop with the drab characters and stop with the repeated plot devices.
To summarise then. Just from looking at the images above you can see what I mean about the disparity between reality and how the couple act. They seem perfectly willing to act like a couple yet consistently seem to be denying they are. But at the same time, you can also see how the dynamic between the two makes for some pretty good laughs. Despite all the bashing I gave this episode, I again seem to have fallen for that ZnT drug and admittedly, I did actually find myself enjoying it – in a reminiscent kind of way. Is Zero no Tsukaima worth a watch? I’d say so. Would you be sorry if you never watched it? No, you probably wouldn’t. But, if you have the time to finish off the series with this season (or watch the first season if you’re new to the franchise) then I’d say go for it. It won’t be at the top of your list, but it you don’t have anything immediately in mind – pick it up. You’ll love to hate it and hate to love it – as cliché as that sounds, its the most accurate way to describe how I feel about it. So, the premiere return of Zero no Tsukaima’s fourth season, gets a familiar (familiar in that its consistently average) 6.5/10 from this blogger.
|Likelihood I’ll be watching: Decent||Likelihood I’ll be blogging: Uncertain|