ALL MY TEARS. SALUTES
The Ancient Dragon approaches Magic Academy, and the Elemental Siblings set up a barrier to stop the dragon advancing any further, aided by the Halkeginia Alliance Fleet, comprising of all the nations plus a fleet sent by the elves. When the dragon manages to break the barrier, it immediately goes straight for Louise and Tiffa, who manage to escape for the moment on Tabitha’s dragon. The Ancient Dragon manages to corner Louise just as all her magic is used up, but she is saved at the last minute by Saito, who flew back into Halkeginia through a solar eclipse that brought so many Japanese there in the past. Saito and the fleet wear down the dragon with missiles, with Louise finally finishing it off using her Explosion, charged up by the last of Saito’s Lifdrasil powers.
There’s that feeling you get when you see everyone banding together to fight a common enemy – it’s hard to believe that at one point, various parts of the alliance were all against each other. The Magic Academy people, troops from Gallia, Albion, even the elves decided to pitch in. Though it seems like they didn’t do much compared to Louise and Saito’s work, if the Elemental Siblings or the elves weren’t there when they were, a lot of people would have died a horrible fiery death. Which is unfitting for this series really.
Speaking of Saito, Y U SO COOL? It clicked to me right as he pondered on how to get back – the solar eclipse that brought so many other people over to Halkeginia in the past. This was my only problem with the episode, how a solar eclipse just happened to occur on the day Saito was brought back, and how Saito managed to steal a jet fighter from a guarded military base and fly directly into a solar eclipse. Well, I can’t think of any other way he could have done it, but it was inventive at least. And Derf, you’re alive! I knew it wouldn’t end tragically xD
Louise’s Explosions was definitely a highlight. It’s quite fitting actually – for Louise to end it all with a trademark explosion, as First Kiss played in the background, calling back all the good times back from the original season. Saito holding Louise in his arms, as she points her wand towards the Ancient Dragon and blows it up to save the world – it’s so cheesy, but I’m cheering them on, because that’s what Zero no Tsukaima has always been about – a girl and her familiar, overcoming challenges to be together.
I was afraid a final plot twist would have Saito die from Lifdrasil’s power, but while it’s such a deus ex machina, it’s a good thing Saito’s Gandalfr life hasn’t ended yet, which means he can live on with Louise – and properly marry her this time, unlike that impromptu one before he went off to fight as a single-man army in Futatsuki no Kishi. This also means that there’s no harem ending, but it’s well deserved, seeing as how Saito worked so hard just to get back to where Louise is, so they can be together again.
It would have ended with a funeral or a wedding, and the latter is definitely less depressing. Louise was stunning in her wedding dress (a lot more mature too) and when you look at the whole character cast all sitting there, you realize how far the series has actually come since it first began, as a romcom with a tsundere and an unwilling male lead. Saito going back to Tokyo for Louise to meet his parents was unexpected, but I feel a bit cheated not seeing the outcome of that, so an OVA on it (rather than a beach/festival episode) would be nice to see.
So that’s it, then. Six years since the first Zero no Tsukaima series aired, and now it’s all over. You know, Season 1 was one of the first anime series I ever watched, so I don’t react to it like some critics do, who label it “generic fantasy romcom #14832”. It’s always been a part of my “anime childhood” you could say, and it always will be – I’m so glad I’ve been able to follow it to the very end.