What a misleading title! At first I really thought Zero Kara Hajimeru Mahou No Sho was going to be the sequel or at most the prequel to the Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. Therefore when I was doing my research before the series aired, I was really confused to not find a single thing related to it. The synopsis was also different but it had witches and magic so I really thought this was some sort of prequel that tells of that Satella witch. Nope. Nothing. Could I be Googling it wrong? Even more confusing when I see the main character who has a head of a white tiger. Is this Guin Saga or something?! Man, I was really confused. After watching a couple of episodes into the series, then I realize that both series had nothing to do with each other. Nothing at all. Curse you for giving me a headache and lots of dead brain cells from overthinking! I guess now I understand why some magic spells are so close to each other. Some are just fake to trap you if you’re not careful…

Episode 1
As narrated, 500 years ago the Church waged war against the witches and burnt a Mooncaller witch named Sorena who was beloved by the people. Thus this made all the witches to rise up and fight back and in turn the Kingdom of Wenias hired mercenaries to subjugate them. Although the world knows about sorcery, they are unaware about magic. Apparently they are both different terms. A tiger dude is being hunted by bandits because he is a beastfallen, humans who are born with animal features believed to be instruments of witches’ sorcery. He is also being hunted by witches and is running away from one right now. Till he bumps and spills the soup of a witch girl. She is making a big deal out of it. Till the attack continues. However she easily despatches the witch. Tiger guy runs away faster upon realizing she is a witch. But she knows how to find him perhaps he is making soup? Revenge for spilling hers? He isn’t interested in talking to her until she mentions she can see his human face beneath that beast façade. She briefly explains how beastfallens were created by witches as armies. She could have answered more had not her stomach growl. If she could have some soup… She is looking for her comrade named Thirteen. He left on a journey to look for a book that was stolen. A book which could lead to the destruction of the world. It is the only book and has no copy. He left for so long and had not heard from him so she thought she better look for him too. She wants him to be his guard but he quickly denies because he hates witches. In fact he hates humans too because of his looks, every day has been hell for him.

She offers to turn him into human and to prove her sincerity, she will do up a contract. She will not kill him and will turn him into human once his service ends. She is not afraid and describes his pleasant traits (something his mom used to tell him). He rips the contract and does a blood oath like how mercenaries do. She introduces herself as Zero. However she doesn’t want to know his name and only call her manservants by name. She will call him Youhei (Mercenary). If her real name is found out, she will really make him her manservant. Youhei wakes up to more old dreams of his bloody life. He doesn’t like Zero using him as a body pillow. So warm and fuzzy… They begin their journey to the royal capital, Plasta where she believes Thirteen is looking for the book. She then demonstrates the difference between sorcery and magic. For the former, she draws circles and spews invocations to summon a little demon. For the latter, she uses sacrifices and power of words to draw forth demonic energy. She then busts a witch out of his hiding who was on Youhei’s tail last night. Albus is bent on killing Youhei to get stronger. However Zero is stronger as her magic easily cancels out his. She asks where he learnt magic. From a group of sorcerers of Zero whose holy book was The Grimoire of Zero. Guess what? She is the one who wrote that book! Yeah, I could guess from the name…

Episode 2
As narrated, the Sorcerers of Zero were formed to pursue peace for witches. As their influence grew, so does magic. They have withstood all resistance and witch hunts and even plunge the kingdom into civil war. Albus assumes Zero is on their side and has always thought a man wrote that book. He says the book is in their hideout, the Latette Village on the road to Formicum which he will gladly bring them there. Zero can’t tell him the book is stolen as she won’t know how badly he will react to it. As they take a break, Albus boasts how Sorena’s granddaughter joined the Sorcerers of Zero. Albus finds a ring in the spring and wears it but nothing happens. Maybe his magic is weak? They reach a village and want to stay for the night. The villagers assume they are mercenaries hunting witches. When a grandma is looking panic after losing her ring, before Albus could explain, they think he is a thief. They will not hear any reason and start rounding them up. Because they badmouth Sorena, this makes Albus mad and rebuts their thoughts that Sorena was the one who spread the plague and instead saved the people. As Albus has already given away their identity, the villagers are going to get violent so Youhei takes them and runs away. But the villagers won’t stop. They are going on a witch hunt.

In an abandoned hut, Zero believes that the probability of Sorena spreading plagues was extremely low. As a Mooncaller witch, they trade their sorcery for food and clothing. It would be suicidal for such witches to destroy such symbiotic relationship. As she was using sorcery during the height of the plague, perhaps that is where the misconception arise. Her actions led to anger like Albus. If taking out an entire village just for revenge of a woman is justified, so is witch hunting. Oh, here comes the party now. Instead of risking a fight, they run. Youhei doesn’t want Zero to use the slightest of her magic because it would be even more troublesome if the Church and Knights get on their tail. The villagers know the woods well so the trio are basically trapped. Surprisingly grandma guides them a way out. How did she find them? Using Youhei’s fur. Zero knows that grandma is a witch and has been hiding her powers. After Albus returns her ring, she mentions this was from Sorena. As her own daughter went against her wishes and married a human, Sorena gave the ring to her to do the same. She will have to live as a human and protect her husband and if her friends are witch hunted, she must pretend not to know them. It is sad that Sorena was burnt then and even Youhei admits that Sorena was a good witch. Grandma notes they were about to make the same mistake they did with Sorena and believes a day will come where humans and witches can live together in peace.

Episode 3
As narrated, beastfallens are usually born from human. The Church believes this happened because of a bad deed done in the past life. Despite being hated in society, their superior physical abilities make them highly valuable on the battlefield. At the same time their blood and heads fetch a high price among sorcerers. The trio are now outside the walls of Formicum. Youhei can get pass since he is a mercenary undertaking a mission to hunt witches. But what about those kids? Zero says they’re his sex slaves! And with that, they got into Formicum. Say, doesn’t this city’s name sound kinda dirty too… Before they go anywhere, Youhei wants Zero to get new clothes. She never thought of getting any since she isn’t aware of human etiquette. When Zero takes out a bunch of gems, Youhei tells her to hide it. She views him as a good man since he could have just taken it all. At the clothes shop, Zero strips naked to try on outfits until Youhei had to throw her into the changing room for decency. The shopkeeper is so happy to see loli tits? So happy that he wants her old clothes and smells it like a pervert… Now that they are looking for a place to stay, it is either full or only serves humans. You can’t blame humans for fearing beastfallens because sometimes they have this sudden impulse to eat humans. Like one happening right now. Youhei punches the bear dude away. The latter claims he doesn’t have that impulse and was just trying to scare a slave wandering in here. A wolf guy then comes to claim his slave. He lets them know of a pricey place that accepts beastfallens before leaving.

Late into the night, Youhei sneaks out but Zero knows about it and tails him. She gets angry and then even more when she gets drunk, blaming him that he was going to enjoy the night life without her. Wolf guy is also here. He smells Zero and wants to make a trade with Youhei. This witch for 3 of his witches. He claims he is hiding them from the Church. Youhei doesn’t accept since Zero is his employer. Wolf guy will be waiting if he changes his mind. Of course the duo can tell his slave girls aren’t witches and just normal humans. Later Youhei sneaks into his home to set them free but is caught red handed. After all that talking, it is decided that they duel and the winner gets all the women. Since Zero agrees as she believes Youhei will never lose, there you have it. Eventually Youhei wins and sets the slaves free. Youhei wonders if normal humans are treated like witches like those slaves. Zero says many humans have been burnt at the stakes during witch hunts. Only witches can tell witches apart. Next morning, Albus’ uproar wakes the duo up since he sees Zero sleeping on Youhei’s warm fur. Youhei isn’t surprised anymore since this always happens. And besides, Youhei belongs to Zero. At least to her.

Episode 4
Zero helps Youhei wash his back outside. A few kids peep in and Youhei roars to scare them off. It’s his way to teach them not to get close to beastfallen as lots of them were treated like monsters as kids and become those monsters when they grow up. So it’s like humans created monsters. Zero can see the soul inside him is still exceedingly human. In town, they see a couple kissing a public. Zero doesn’t know what a kiss is so Youhei blushingly explains it is a form of showing your love. Sorry, it’s not about putting your lips on a demon’s dick! Can’t blame Zero for not knowing since she was born and raised in a cave. As they leave Formicum, they see one those kids injured. Zero has Youhei treat her before they continue their journey to Latette. Youhei ignores Zero when she wants to try out kissing. When they fish, Albus’ magic is weak so Zero guides him by having him imagine the good food. His haul is now much better. Camping for the night, Albus asks about Youhei’s hard life. In return, he reveals his parents died a long time ago and was raised by his grandma. Mom was targeted by a witch hunt and killed while dad died trying to protect her. Albus doesn’t hate witches, just the idea that all witches are evil. As for Zero, she is unsure if she has ever seen or spoken to her own parents. All she knows that she has been spending her life in this cave studying and experimenting with magic. The only unfortunate thing is the food sucks. Zero offers to teach Youhei the basics of magic. That way she has a reason to stay with him. You mean like forever? Yeah. Because being with him is a lot fun. Aww, don’t make tiger boy blush. But he insists he won’t learn magic. He has his brute force and muscles. As they reach Latette, Youhei could smell something wrong. It isn’t burnt bread. Looks like everyone in town is dead and some corpses are burnt to a crisp.

Episode 5
The town isn’t burnt although some bodies are. Zero mentions a fire spell that only burns its target. From the way the victim dies, she can tell what spell is used and if they are amateur or pro witches. As there are some dead witches among them, Albus knows that this is the doing of rogue witches. They used to be allies under the Sorcerers of Zero but once they learnt magic, they turned evil. They are attacked by looters. Albus is mad and wants to kill them although he can’t bring himself to it. Youhei interrogates one of them and learns there was one tall guy who came walked in and killed other witches. He went towards the church. Inside, Albus shows the secret path to their hideout. The grimoire is gone. It could be stolen or taken away to the forbidden room. Searching there, Albus sees an old man barely alive. Before his last breath, he tells of a tall man passing by and disintegrating those who fought him. He believes that isn’t magic. He hopes Albus can gather the scattered brethren, reform the Sorcerers of Zero and lead them. When they leave, Zero senses something strange. It’s like the dead witches have their magic taken away from them. Albus knows only one man can do this. It is that tall guy, Thirteen. The moment he says that, a forced summoning has them falling through an abyss. Youhei is seemingly falling endlessly as he hears Zero’s voice. His body is already on the ground but he needs to snap out from his mind. Zero guides him to return to his consciousness. She mentions only 2 people she knows can use this forced summoning: Her master and Thirteen. The latter is before them. He mentions this spell is casted for anyone who mentions his name in the church. Albus calls him the traitor to all witches although he believes he only restored chaos. Flashback shows the king and his men visited a massacred villages. The Sorcerers of Zero popped up before them and want him to end the witch hunt or risk more victims and the rogue witches will keep pillaging. The king has no choice but to fight fire with fire and sends Thirteen to the fight. In exchange, the king will help him look for the grimoire. Instantly, Thirteen’s magic killed all the witches. Albus accuses Thirteen to be the king’s underling as he is helping in the witch hunt. Enough talking because Thirteen and Zero now face off with their magic to see who is stronger. Looks like they’re both pretty equal. Youhei and Albus need to do something instead of being useless they want to end up getting burnt in the crossfire.

Episode 6
Suddenly they both stop when the bell chimes. It’s time. For dinner. Can’t fight on an empty stomach. Seriously? Why does this remind me of that Road Runner and Coyote show? After having dinner inside the royal castle of Plasta, they get to the topic at hand. Zero left the cave since he was taking too long to find the grimoire. He became the Sorcerer of State as the most effective means. Though it hadn’t yielded any effective results. Unfortunately the person who stole it has started spreading its teachings and plunged the kingdom into chaos. When Albus argues about the Sorcerers of Zero being right because they protect others, Thirteen counters that with another question: Who are they protecting? They kill others too. Innocent ones sometimes. If they think they are the face of justice, this is the reason why there is war. The Sorcerers of Zero are hypocrites since those evil ones are merely banished and left to their own devices. As explained, there are currently 3 factions of sorcerers: The Sorcerers of Zero who wants to protect witches and coexist with humans; Rogue witches who want to do evil things; Sorcerers of the State who hunt down both groups. Thirteen is in this group. Thirteen sees Albus as having dangerous but potential power. He wants him to join him and is promised knowledge and power. Otherwise he will be burnt at the stake. Albus then learns the truth that the grimoire was stolen some time ago. Zero admits that she was robbed. By Albus’ master. He killed all the students in the cave. Only Zero and Thirteen were the survivors. When Albus remembers his assumption that Zero was his ally, the only thing left he could do is cry. Youhei asks why she wrote something so dangerous in the first place. Convenience. Ever wanted to light a fire without a flint or catch fish without net? She thought everyone would be happy with such magic. Long ago she wanted to go outside but was told it was a terrible world for witches. So she started writing new powers that could be wielded by anyone and the world would want and accept witches. She regrets doing so and should have heeded Thirteen’s warning to burn it right away. Zero will not return to the cave as instructed. Since this is her grimoire, it is her sin and responsibility to bear.

Youhei rests in his room when a mouse familiar wants him to follow him to someone. It is to Thirteen’s room. Thirteen wants to thank him for taking care of Zero and gives him a magic potion from an application of Zero’s method. It nullifies magic and this means if he pours it on himself, he will become human again. By doing this, Youhei doesn’t need a reason to protect Zero anymore. Is he sure about this? This is Thirteen’s way of telling him to run because he doesn’t know how scary Zero is. Despite Zero not interested in his head, has he ever thought how Zero offered sacrifices for her summoning? All sorcerers considers others besides themselves as tools to be used. Youhei is like a rare special animal, that’s why she treats him differently. So once he outlives his usefulness, he’s gone. It is evident that he is under her control because during their magic bout, Youhei protected her instead of following his beast instincts to flee. Youhei denies all this but Thirteen thanks him for bringing her this far and cannot help him anymore. He tells him to choose a right time and place to use the potion since they are at war. He will once he is home. As Youhei packs his stuffs to leave, Zero is outside his door, inviting him to some celebration but he gets suspicious of her and draws his sword. Zero immediately knew Thirteen had done something to him. Her scream has Youhei back to his senses. She is disappointed that he had doubts of her, the reason he was easily manipulated by Thirteen. She laments he didn’t trust her when they made that blood oath. That’s it. Get out of here. The contract is over. They have nothing to do with each other. Zero moans she shouldn’t have hired him.

Episode 7
Youhei wanders around town beating up beastfallens who misbehave. A tavern girl enlists his help in exchange for him to stay at her place. Youhei cooks well as he explains he plans to open a tavern once he turns back into a human. She believes in that dreams and hopes he could need a beautiful tavern girl like her. I guess his taste in beauty differs. Later that night as several drunk beastfallens patron and cause a ruckus at the tavern, her father is distraught although she believes Youhei can deal with them. Father didn’t like how she allowed Youhei to use their utensils but she reminds him about leaving a starving beast alone with her. Remember how mom was devoured by a beastfallen? Youhei heard it all and goes out to beat the crap out of them, pays for their portion and then leaves. Meanwhile Zero confronts Thirteen and she is mad that he influenced Youhei to leave her side. She is going to teach him a lesson and then leave this place. Not on his watch. Youhei is resting in the woods when that wolf guy comes looking for revenge. But he is not going to fight him and has employed witches to go after his head. Unfortunately the witches betray wolf guy and attack him. Youhei supposedly took a direct hit from an attack. However nothing happened to him. In fact Zero somehow experiences that blow and collapses before her due fight with Thirteen begins. He takes her to bed and comments she should never have left the cave. Youhei notices a fearful witch fleeing. He tries to interrogate her but when she calls him a monster, he starts to feel that beast urge to eat her. But Zero’s words that his soul is human made him come to his senses. Wolf guy pleads to save him but Youhei doesn’t give a damn. However wolf guy says he can’t die here because Sorena asked him to protect her granddaughter. Youhei wants to know if she has the Grimoire of Zero. Maybe. Not sure. But he is sure the guy she is with has it. Now we’re talking.

Episode 8
As Youhei patches up Holdem (wolf guy’s name), the latter explains he was born of human and a noble. He was caught sleeping with somebody’s wife so he fled for his life. In the forest, he met Sorena. Because she fed him, he wanted to serve her. She didn’t want a manservant so he suggests turning him into a beast. She wanted to leave him be but her granddaughter took a liking for him. Shortly, Sorena turned him into a beast. His reasoning was that all those who were after him would stop looking for him. What about witches? If you noticed, all those targeting beastfallens are low rate. The only people buying their heads are wives of nobles obsessed with demonic rituals. Which means Zero was never interested in Youhei’s head in the first place. Holdem came to live an easy life taking care of Sorena’s granddaughter. But after the plague hit, they wanted to bay for the witch’s blood. Holdem is ready to die and kill them to protect her but she doesn’t want him to sully her name. Instead, take her granddaughter and run as she will be willingly caught by them. Sorena’s daughter swore revenge and went her own way. Holdem was fooling around and recently was gathering information about Sorena’s granddaughter and that she might have joined the Sorcerers of Zero. Holdem believes that guy betrayed Sorena and burnt her at the stake. He has no proof but believes he was the one behind the plague to purposely make a misunderstanding with the villagers.

As the duo leave, they see commotion of people trying to head into Plasta. It seems there is going to be a witch burning ceremony today. They rush back and Youhei couldn’t believe that Thirteen is going to burn Albus at the stake (after numerous times, Albus rejected him). However Holdem recognizes Albus as Sorena’s granddaughter! So my suspicions were right that Albus wasn’t a boy… Youhei knows Thirteen is a manipulative guy since he is giving a sermon to the crowd how evil witches are. After he is done, Albus makes her speech for all the witches to strike Thirteen die after her death. The burning begins. Holdem can’t wait no longer and rushes to save her. At the same time Youhei distracts the crowd with his random bombings. With the chaos, Holden rescues Albus from the stake while Thirteen tries to reign Youhei in. However Thirteen tries to stop the guards from attacking Youhei because any attack directly on him will be diverted to Zero. This gives enough time for Youhei to escape via carriage with Holdem. A short chase from the guards but ultimately the horses won’t listen as they plunge down the ravine. Don’t worry. It will take more than that to kill a beastfallen. Thirteen feels the need to capture them quick but alive. He wants the assassins sent.

Episode 9
While camping, Albus says she does not have the grimoire with her and one of the Sorcerers of Zero must have taken it. The reason she was against joining Thirteen is because of his cruel methods of killing all rogue witches and Sorcerers of Zero. Youhei agrees with Thirteen’s ways because normal people can’t tell the difference anyway. Albus is sure she can convince the Sorcerers of Zero to take out the rogue witches and that guy who stole the grimoire. When Holdem says Albus cannot take that guy out, they explain all Sorcerers of Zero made a blood contract before joining. This means they cannot kill him and if they do, they die. When Youhei blames Zero for coming up with magic and without it this whole mess wouldn’t be there in the first place, Albus hits an idea. Since Zero can nullify magic, what if they make a huge circle covering the entire kingdom and if Zero denies that circle, magic should disappear. Then they could start again of spreading magic correctly. It is a great idea but they need Zero whom Albus has no idea where she is being held. They need some sort of her belonging if they are to trace her. Hmm… Aha! Her old clothes at Formicum! But first they have to escape those pesky assassins in which they successfully give them the slip. Youhei manages to get past the gates since he fakes his appetite for humans at this hour. They see the creepy shopkeeper worshipping Zero’s old clothes! Sorry to interrupt but we have business with it. Poor shopkeeper. He doesn’t want the money and is begging if they’re going to burn it, burn him with it! Somebody please shut him up… Albus uses her magic to locate Zero. In the top tower of Plasta’s royal palace. So while Youhei hurries his way there to rescue her, Albus and Holdem also make haste to draw magic circles around the kingdom. After drawing a couple of them, they are approached by members of Sorcerers of Zero. It seems that guy guided them here and they are looking forward to Albus’ leadership for a rebellion. But when Albus mentions her goal to seal magic, they consider her a traitor and will bring her to trial. Holdem tells her to surrender because they can draw the circles anytime but it won’t do any good if she’s dead. Albus and Holdem become their prisoners.

Episode 10
Once Youhei breaks into the top tower, Zero doesn’t want to be saved. He left her, remember? Plus, does he not realize this is one of Thirteen’s traps? Zero starts crying as she tells him about her feelings when he left her. The feelings she felt when Thirteen took him away from her. She knew he hated witches and so she let him go. Why did he come back? What does he want? She will give anything. Just don’t leave her again. When Youhei tries to tell Albus’ plan, they are forced summoned. Meanwhile Albus tries to tell his story but nobody believes her. At this point the Sorcerers of Zero have received instructions from that guy to strike down Thirteen. Holdem is taken to be killed but the old man frees him. Despite they have different approaches to end the war, their end goal is the same. They should do what is right. Youhei wakes up in the dungeons. Zero is imprisoned before his eyes and Thirteen standing before him. Youhei tries to tell of their plans to nullify magic in the kingdom. With Thirteen rejecting it, Zero reveals the truth that Thirteen’s plans aren’t to get the grimoire or end the war. Those are just stepping stones for his ultimate goal. Youhei is shocked to see Thirteen in possession of the Grimoire of Zero. Yup. It was never stolen in the first place. To erase the fear of witches from the people’s hearts, Thirteen must create evil witches, put them on display and then eradicate them. While spreading the grimoire, he became Sorcerer of the State to oppose witches. Therefore Thirteen and that guy are the same person!

Thirteen corrects them. He admits he did set the stage but all those wrongdoings were the witches decision and actions alone. He did not incite the Sorcerers of Zero to act. He just spread the framework but they decided to use it for evil to exact revenge for Sorena. Because of that he had to play the righteous Sorcerer of State as the people wished. He wished Zero had never left that cave while he was creating a new kingdom for her where magic is a noble art. When he told her magic would destroy the world but she insisted to create that dream, that’s why he took it upon himself to create that dream for her. So when the Sorcerers of Zero strike him down, they’ll be killing themselves too since he is that guy. Zero is not pleased he plans to kill all witches in her name. As for the plague, Thirteen didn’t start it. It was Sorena’s experiment to save people gone wrong. As for killing his comrades in the caves, he sees them as mindless except for Zero. He was the one who suggested to take Zero out but they were afraid of her and were intent on leaving her alone forever. Youhei is upset he never gave her a choice. He made her lonely. He thinks he knows Zero better compared to Youhei who only spent a few days with her. But there is no way he could ever understand her since he is greedy, arrogant and selfish. Thirteen tries to petrify Youhei as he throws the potion at him. He dodges and it explodes upon contact with Zero’s cell. Now that she is free, she challenges Thirteen to a magic duel. She is going to remind him the difference in their numerical naming.

Episode 11
Albus once again tries to have the Sorcerers of Zero listen to her. However she is asked about her whereabouts during Latette’s attack. No reply. Zero and Thirteen begin their epic chanting. It seems Zero is stronger and her magic is about to kill Thirteen. Youhei tries to stop her but since she isn’t listening, he protects Thirteen. Unaware that he still has that protective magic on him, Zero takes full brunt of her own magic. Thirteen explains to him about it as he reminisces the old days from the cave where he was entrusted to take care of Zero who was very curious about the outside sky. Suddenly Zero wakes up! She explains that she didn’t go all out in her magic and thus only damaged lightly her skin. The trick was not to see who was the strongest but who created the craft in the first place. You see, Zero had purposely written errors in the Grimoire of Zero as a way to defend herself. Lots of them. Therefore nobody can beat her in terms of using its magic. Zero will continue her mission to seal magic from Wenias. What will Thirteen do? His initial goal was to take over the kingdom for her. But that’s not what she wanted. In that case he no longer has any interests in it and will follow Zero. Holdem fakes the Knights are coming when he is the only one sneaking into the camp to rescue Albus. They make a run for it but some of the Sorcerers of Zero are hot on their tail. Thirteen shows a special necklace he gave everyone who joined Sorcerers of Zero so he can watch their movements. Looks like Albus is going to be dead meat if they don’t do anything. Zero puts her mission now to rescue and reunite with Sorena’s granddaughter. Just in time to save Albus from being zapped by those sorcerers. Albus and Holdem are confused with Thirteen on their side so they explain. However Holdem is still mad and punches him. In any case, Thirteen is not responsible for that plague since it was an amateur’s witch experiment gone wrong. Still, he is indirectly responsible for Sorena’s death. All he could say is sorry and sometimes he has regrets whether he could have saved her. Not enough for you, Albus? Remember, you can’t kill him because of the contract binding to him. But Thirteen did a service and voids that contract. Now she can kill him and he will not refuse death. However he wants a chance to make things right.

Episode 12
Thirteen further explains that Sorena’s sorcery would have saved the villagers but that would make them distrust her. However as a wise witch, she knew her death would trigger a war so why did she willingly get burnt at the stake? Did she really want a war? There must be a greater plan. Hate to break this up but let’s finish drawing the magic circles around the kingdom. So they split up and complete their task. Everyone meets back at the centre. All but Albus. She’s running late… At the same time, the witches are attacking all over the kingdom in search for Thirteen. How can Wenias hand over somebody they don’t have? I guess it’s time for the kingdom to wipe out the witches too. Get ready for a bloody fight. Some Sorcerers of Zero have encircled our heroes. They’re unleashing beasts to fight them as Youhei and Holdem try to fend them off while Zero and Thirteen prepare their spell. And now the entire giant wild boar party is here. Oh boy. Luckily like in a true late entrance fashion, Albus returns. Her magic is needed to help complete the spell but it still requires a sacrifice. Zero wants Youhei to be it but assures it won’t kill him. Since asking nicely won’t do, she orders him. That’s more like it? Youhei becomes possessed by a summoned demon as magic all over the kingdom is nullified. In the aftermath, Albus declares she will become the leader of witches and turn Wenias into a kingdom where humans and witches can live in harmony. Thirteen realizes Sorena’s death was for this outcome.

Youhei wakes up 3 days later from his slumber. With Zero getting back her grimoire, is it time for Youhei to turn back into a human? Not quite. During the summoning process, his human soul fused with the beast. And with her magic power quite depleted, it will take some time. Hey, they didn’t set a time limit, right? So you mean he has got to continue be his mercenary? Is she travelling again? Yes. As magic has spread outside the kingdom, it is her responsibility to eradicate them all. Shortly, Albus leads a festival to celebrate peace between humans and witches. She burns Thirteen at the stake as the last death. Though, it was just for symbolic purpose and Thirteen didn’t actually die. Yeah, it was all for show. As magic will continue to grow, Albus wants Thirteen to be around when that happens. Thirteen will return to the forest so he warns Youhei one last time that if Zero comes to hate this world, he will not hesitate to destroy it. Wenias subsequently developed a magic education programme to deal with any magic related problems, hence the first state sorcerer programme was born. Youhei and Zero bid farewell to the rest before they set off on their journey. Youhei shakes Albus’ hand but she pecks him on the cheek! Holdem is going to kill him! Zero also wants a kiss but Youhei denies her. He thought she is in love with Thirteen. Then she drops another bombshell: Thirteen is her brother! Oh well… Zero wants Youhei to become her manservant and to reveal his name. He won’t. Being her mercenary is enough. She notes it is a good thing he is a beastfallen because if he was human, he would have fallen for her beauty. And if she was a human, she would have been dead by now or feared him. At least it gives Youhei a reason not to be sad as a beastfallen.

Beast Saga: Zero No Tsukaima
Just a thought. Could Zero and Youhei be in love with each other since they continue to be in each other’s service and travel in each other’s company? I know the thought that they are employer and mercenary covers it up but perhaps I’m thinking too much too. Uh huh. Besides, it would look like a very odd beastiality and lolicon romance if the duo really end up as a couple. At least with them continuing the journey gives them a reason to exist. No more wasting time and languishing around in some cave and no more running away from crazy witches who are out for animal heads. They can now have proper stories to tell from their future adventures that awaits.

The plot might overall be ordinary as it is a simple quest gone wrong with its twists and turns. Personally I still find it interesting but can’t help be confused while I was in the midst of watching it. What I mean is that for example, when that guy, the head of the Sorcerers of Zero was first mentioned, I had this thinking that he was Thirteen. There was no proof whatsoever but my guts tell me they are the same person. Then they played it out as though they were different persons. Okay. Time to reconcile the differences. I accept they are both different people. And then finally it actually turns out they are both the same person!

The small cast of characters help make the series interesting too although there is nothing really that great about them, there is nothing about them that you would make you want to hate them. I know some anime series have characters that are purposely created to be hated but I’m not here to talk about that. With the rising tensions and developments in the story, you can’t help wonder and anticipate what they will do next and root for them. Is it because they have a big furry and fuzzy creature on their side? Now you wonder the importance of animal mascots in a show.

So for Youhei, he is just an ordinary mercenary. Okay, not so ordinary if he wasn’t a beastfallen. He has his own set of principles and codes he lives by (no killing even if it is a baddie) and has a few flaws (this mercenary job and on the run from witches his whole life makes it hard for him to place his trust in others). In this sense he is like any imperfect main character. Nothing so much to like about him but at the same time you can’t really hate him. Like I said in my previous paragraph, could Youhei be likeable just because he has a physical appearance of an animal? Feline lovers rejoice? Would he be less likeable had he been human? Maybe this is one reason why I support Youhei. Well, you don’t often have a white tiger as your main character.

I also believe that Youhei doesn’t really want to be turned back into human. At least not for the time being. He might seem he made a deal with Zero to be changed back or even accepted a fake potion from Thirteen, but it isn’t that end goal he really wants to achieve it. Would life be better as human? Would things change? I mean his childhood was already ruined when he was born this way, half his younger days are gone and spent running away from those hunting him. After he transforms back into human, what next? I know he said something about opening a bar but seriously? That wasn’t just whimsical talking? Maybe. Therefore I believe Youhei accepting Zero’s proposal to be her bodyguard is more of to give his life a meaning. A meaning to his existence.

Zero has noble intentions and only wants the best for the world. However being secluded for a long time, she is socially inept and this is partly a reason why there is a small barrier and trust issues with Youhei. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that she has this poker face and the way she talks has this monotonous feel to it. Furthermore, you have to remember that she is a witch and she must be careful what she has to say and can or cannot reveal. So depending from which side you are looking at, Zero could be a liar or just someone who picks the wrong words for example when she says the Grimoire of Zero is stolen. Technically it is. And isn’t. Also, she could have also said Thirteen had the grimoire all along and save the confusion but I know this is for the plot twist. But she sounded like she made that statement sound like they are both separate matters when they are in fact the same and related. After all, we humans love to assume and jump to conclusions and quickly judge others so it is not entirely her fault. And the final revelation that Thirteen is her brother? Wow. It’s like this witch has lots of secrets… Keep ‘em coming…

Not really sure about witches and poker faces because Thirteen too has this dead looks on his face. Heh. At least Zero can smile sometimes. Because of that, it is hard to tell what Thirteen is thinking. Is he friend or foe? Of course for plot purposes he sounds like the big bad crazy villain out to kill all witches by deceiving everyone for the sake of the kingdom which is ultimately for the sake of Zero. With the turn of the events he defects to her side and could it be in the bigger picture he was just playing the villain? Or is he just greatly misunderstood because of his poker face feature as well?

Albus brings a bit of life between the monotonous interaction between Zero and Youhei. Though sometimes I feel that Albus is a bit of a useless character. In her bid to become strong and live up to her grandma’s legacy and name, it caused a lot of problems for the group. Not to mention she got imprisoned, almost got burnt at the stake and then getting captured again by her own people. She does have her roles but it is often overshadowed by Zero and Youhei. Luckily she owns it up in the end by living up to her grandma’s legacy to lead a new peace between both sides in the kingdom. With Holdem joining the group, I suppose he is supposed to be the comic relief. Not in an idiotic sense but his carefree attitude in a way makes him a bit ‘cooler’ than serious Youhei who has to act tough simply because it would be just plain weird to see a huge tiger acting all emo and sensitive. Really.

The action bits are just average and it isn’t something that you should pin your hopes on for. Because like for Youhei, he just uses his brute force and his big size to get things done. Either he is that strong or many of the witches he fought are just low level ones because their magic feels so weak. I mean if you compare it to the likes of Thirteen, it pales in comparison. He too can’t compare to Zero although she mostly nullifies the magic.

Art and animation are okay, nothing too fancy. Even if it is a fantasy setting, the designs of the buildings and architectural structures take after European medieval times. But the series spends half its time in the forest or outside town thus the background sceneries would be just the standard trees and forests. Yeah, what was I expecting? Magical enchanting forests with fairies and pixies? Animated by White Fox, another reason why I was confused about this series at first was because the same studio also animated Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. And so I thought it was a sequel or prequel. Definitely misleading.

Something about the opening theme that feels like it isn’t really befitting this series. Misha Na Watashi by Tapimiru isn’t actually all that bad. However this rock piece has this lively and sparkling feel to it. Considering that this fantasy adventure series is a bit dark and grim of a nature, hearing this piece somewhat makes it feel out of place. If you’re talking about action animes like One Piece or Naruto, this song would definitely fit better with those titles. The same goes for the ending theme, Hajimari No Shirushi by Chima. Again this isn’t a bad song as per se but this slow ballad doesn’t feel like it fits with the genre of this show. It is one of those kind of songs you want to lie down outside on the grass on a sunshiny day and let the breeze blow through as you close your eyes and dream about all the nice things in life. Really. This song is that calming. So if you’re Zero, this song makes it a perfect lullaby to sleep on Youhei’s warm fur. Purr-fect!

Voice acting is also okay, nothing special. I only recognized Takehito Koyasu as Thirteen. As for the rest of the cast, they are Tsuyoshi Koyama as Youhei (Kurou in Utawarerumono), Yumiri Hanamori as Zero (Hanako in Anne Happy, Koyori in Shakunetsu No Takkyuu Musume), You Taichi as Albus (Anzu in Prison School, Kenya in Boke Dake Ga Inai Machi), Masayuki Katou as Holdem (Demiurge in Overlord, Kiyomasa in Deadman Wonderland) and Yoshiko Sakakibara as Sorena (Haman Karn in Mobile Suit Gundam series).

Overall, this is an interesting and enjoyable adventure fantasy series. Just too bad that it might be confusing to fans of the Re: Zero one and to a certain point, Guin Saga (though, I haven’t watch this one at this point yet). So it clearly goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover or in this case, an anime by its title. That is why I suppose they told us in the anime that there is a distinct difference between sorcery and magic although we have used the terms interchangeably like forever. So the difference is just whether you draw circles? Oh… I can’t even draw a perfect circle… Oh well. Back to square one. Pun intended…