Grimoire of Zero Episode 8

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Review:

I don’t know about you, but I found the mercenary’s newfound friendship with the wolf guy very hard to take seriously. I mean, from the opening it was kind of expected, but the wolf’s introduction was pretty dreadful and I can’t imagine why they think we’re going to start liking him now because you give him a shallow backstory  and some half-hearted motivation.

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Anyway, Thirteen is clearly going to be our main antagonist and he’s being all creepy big bad evil. He’s imprisoned Zero, after threatening Albus he’s then attempted to burn him at the stake, he drove off the mercenary but now doesn’t really need to seem to know what he wants to do with the mercenary given hurting him hurts Zero. What we don’t have is any reason to care about Thirteen or any understanding of what he actually thinks all of this dribble is actually going to achieve. Is there a master plan here or are we going to find out his puppy got squished by a witch when he was a boy and then he grew up vowing to get revenge by becoming a witch (sorry, sorcerer) and then manipulating all the humans into burning witches?

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Despite my issues with a lack of caring about what little character motivation there is and the basically contrived nature of the plot so far, this isn’t a bad show to watch. Just don’t think too hard about it or the pretty and shiny comes off.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


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Grimoire of Zero Episode 5

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Review:

So everyone was dead in the village, kind of as expected. Except, you know, that one guy who wasn’t. He stayed alive just long enough to tell them some fairly vague information that wasn’t really helpful. On the bright side I finally remembered the blond kid’s name so that’s a help.

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Turns out the Grimoire is not where they expected it to be, so that is probably going to extend this magic scavenger hunt a little further and it also looks like multiple groups are after it. How long has this book been missing for anyway and why does everyone seem to know about it?

My positive from this episode was we finally got another magic fight.

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For a show about travelling with a sorcerer, other than episode 1 the magic has been fairly unspectacular so this was a nice treat.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


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Grimoire of Zero Episode 4

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Review:

A lot of this episode is just the pleasant lull or the calm before the storm. We make jokes about the mercenary bathing and then have a pleasant montage of the three travelling, with occasional interruptions for actual dialogue, and it is all very sweet. I just kept waiting for something to break through this.

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As they got closer to their destination and the boy started talking about his dreams for the future and the town I suddenly got a very bad feeling about where this was going. Sure enough, tragedy revealed right at the end of the episode. From that point of view, this episode works quite well in building up to this moment and giving it perhaps the most impact of any event so far in this otherwise fairly emotionally flat series. That said, not much actually happens in this episode because it is all build up for the final few moments.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


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Grimoire of Zero Episode 3

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Review:

Grimoire of Zero remains pretty bland. I didn’t mind the episode this week and the problem of the week that the main duo dealt with, but the overall story and world still feels pretty much like it hasn’t gone anywhere after the info-dumping first episode.

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While we get a glimpse of some of the reasons why normal humans might not like the beastfallen so much, the two characters in particular that we meet are both so ridiculously over the top in their poor behaviour and it hardly seems like it would be the typical behaviour given the beast fallen are clearly not totally hated in the town. It is all kind of inconsistent (as is the comment that the mercenary knows the girls aren’t witches but later on they clearly say that only a witch could tell). Still, this is watchable even if I’m not terribly into it.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


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Grimoire of Zero Episode 2

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Review:

Grimoire of Zero on paper probably looks like a really great anime. All of the ingredients are there. You’ve got witches, humans and beastfallen all with their own agendas, prejudices, and ignorances in various states of conflict, you have a paired up witch and beastfallen on what amounts to a magical fetch quest, and you have sufficient obstacles to create some interesting action sequences on their travels. So why and I finding it so dull to watch?

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Part of the issue comes from not particularly caring about any of the characters yet and episode 2 did little to make me care any more about them. Other than the mercenary stating he hates witches, repeatedly, and then at the end apologising half-heartedly for it, we learn nothing about him in this episode. Zero can’t decide if she wants to be mysterious, wise, passive or smug and just kind of pulls on whichever personality suits the moment. New witch boy, who I cannot remember the name (sorry, alias) of is an angry ignorant witch but deep down he’s a good person.

Other than not caring about this group, last week they set up a quest to find the grimoire and this week yellow haired boy tells them, oh yeah, that’s in our hideout. Okay, that was easy. I assume getting it back won’t be easy but really, way to shortcut a quest.

And did we seriously need an arrow to the knee joke here?

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


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Grimoire of Zero Episode 1

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Overview:

A mercenary who is half-beast meets a witch who calls herself Zero. The two strike a deal where the mercenary must protect the witch while she searches for a book that might destroy the world and once that’s done she’ll turn him back into a human.

Review:

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This show has ideas and this episode sets up a fairly basic premise of fetch the book and turn the beast back into a human and it all looks like it could be quite good. Unfortunately, at no point during episode 1 did I feel like I needed to care about any of these characters or the events.

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Possibly it was the info-dump opening that just kind of tuned me out, or maybe the overly cutesy design for the titular witch, but while I watched the events play out and it all makes perfect sense so far and it feels like it should be interesting, it really wasn’t.

Actually, I had two points that didn’t make sense. First, the guy was born half-beast so why do they keep saying ‘turn back’ into human? Wouldn’t it simply be to transform him into fully human? The other one is the witch states twice that her magic allows her to cast without invocation or circle but she sure is spending a lot of time chanting for someone who doesn’t need an invocation. I’m hoping that’s a translation error because otherwise it makes no sense.

I’m going to watch a couple more episodes of this because I do enjoy fantasy, but episode 1 has done little to really appeal.

Grimoire of Zero is available on AnimeLab.


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Izetta: The Last Witch Episode 12

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Izetta Episode 12 Review:

I’ll give Izetta this, it at least resolves. It may be rushed, the final villain nonsensical, and the final battle may be completely boring to watch but I can’t argue that the story did not finish. I’m annoyed that they seemed unable to commit to Izetta actually sacrificing herself. I’m also annoyed that essentially they allowed the war to end exactly the way the real world war ended rather than allowing the magical sacrifice play a significant role (what is the point of alternative history that isn’t). However, I kind of liked Sieg’s fate as I felt it made that earlier death slightly more meaningful.

Come on, Sophie was throwing trains and they broke the Eiffel Tower for no reason other that because the could. That fight was over-extended rubbish full of action set pieces with no tension just stretching out the conclusion that actually could have been the opening move. Frustrating.

Izetta is available on Crunchyroll.


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Izetta: The Last Witch Episode 5

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Review:

It always goes so much better when the established villains have someone with a brain on their side. It makes for intrigue and actual suspense as you wonder when everything is going to get turned on its head. After the disaster of an episode that was episode 4 (okay, comparatively to other shows it wasn’t that bad but compared to the other episodes in this series it was pretty terrible), episode 5 kicks things into high gear as we establish the witch as a fighting force to be reckoned with. And of course, we knew that the ‘my power only works in certain places’ was going to be exploited as a point of tension (though I didn’t expect it to be exploited in the very next episode). There were some great developments during this episode and the energy from the first couple of episodes was back.

Jonas (glasses wearing soldier who apparently is bullet proof) is also back and he is definitely going to need some plot armour in the next episode or he may very well be the tragic victim of the series.

Izetta is available on Crunchyroll.

Izetta: The Last Witch Episode 4

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Izetta The Last Witch Episode 4 Review:

I asked for an explanation of how magic worked in this show and we more or less got it and that takes away any worries about inconsistency in Izetta’s powers during the tank fight. We also see Fine respond to her father’s death, the enemy dealing with the fall out of losing the battle, and Izetta gets her own PR agent (not really but it feels like it).

As an episode, this is kind of nothing. It’s all just set up and tying up loose ends from the first three episodes. If I were marathoning this show, it wouldn’t be a problem because all of this is needed information and will hopefully flow naturally into the next episode. As a stand alone watch though, this was kind of dull even as it gave us what we needed. The show is still pretty this week, though I’d have to ask where they even found that outfit they shoved Izetta into after the totally necessary bath scene. It’s not like any other female in the place is wearing something like that and they didn’t exactly have time to make it.

After a great start, Izetta definitely slowed things down a lot this week but I’m hopeful that now that they’ve laid some groundwork we can pick things up again next week.

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Izetta: The Last Witch is available on Crunchyroll.


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Izetta: The Last Witch Episode 3

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Izetta episode 3 Review:

Izetta continues to be adorable even as it is set amongst a fictional version of a fairly dark moment in modern history. While at the moment it is all magic beating the military and smiles and celebrations it kind of feels like this is going to get a bit darker because sooner or later no one is going to be surprised when the witch swoops in.

If I had a complaint about this episode it is that there was almost zero character focus other than the Princess wringing her hands at her own uselessness and then making speeches which wasn’t particularly impressive. This episode was all very much battle focussed and while that was kind of cool, hopefully next week we can get back to a bit of character development with some of the action because otherwise our characters just won’t progress beyond their initial introductions.

Izetta continues to be beautiful to watch and this episode is probably worth it for the creative use of a medieval armoury.

Izetta: The Last Witch is available on Crunchyroll.


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