An enjoyable episode. Not fantastic, but I really like how everything that happens in the story is relevant and helps us understand it. Nothing is random – if it doesn’t add anything to the story, then it’s skipped. That being said, I don’t swallow the whole Sorena burned at the stake scene. The only way this would make perfect sense to me is if the one who was burned turned out to be a mere copy of Sorena, but I don’t think they’ll pull off something like that. It seems to be an aspect that was overlooked on purpose in order to create a major pillar for the story. It kind of sucks that they never raised the question “how did she ever get in a situation she couldn’t escape even with magic?”, so I hope that’ll be answered at one point.
The connection between Zero and Mercenary seems to be progressing a bit fast. They are already seem very comfortable around each other, to the point Albus seems excluded. I hope the group dynamic does not devolve into Zero and Mercenary “parenting” Albus. Moreover, it’s scary how illiterate people used to jump into conclusions and acted with “kill first ask questions later” method. Every now and then we, too, get tricked or we act upon emotions, but back then, whole villages got themselves armed with whatever tool they could find to “get rid” of the problem. Usually the blame fell on the outsiders or that one eccentric guy/family. Thank god for the modern civilization…
As for episode 3, I was on the fence with this series after the first two episodes, but man, this episode was just fantastic. The pacing was snappier, the animation was solid, and I loved the chemistry between Zero and Mercenary. Also, it struck a nice balance between slice-of-life shenanigans and serious action, with some really effective world-building as well. This show is exactly what I always secretly hope for when starting a fantasy world anime. In a world where the vast majority of them are over-dramatic grande action stories, Grimoire of Zero stands out as the true fantasy world anime for me. Instead of focusing on stretched action scenes and big villains it takes a laid-back attitude to explore its world and the culture surrounding it in a fantastic way. Zero and Merc both feel charming and unique and the series avoids a lot of overused tropes that others of the genre fall into. It’s a really nice compromise between classic fantasy stories and a Spice and Wolf-like atmosphere, that makes for a great watch even for people not into action of fantasy.
To sum up, it was a fun episode and it seems that exposition time is done and it’s time for the plot to get rolling. Mercenary has a knack for getting himself into strange situations and I’m not sure if he understands completely what’s he gotten himself into yet (to be honest, neither do we, the watchers). I’m looking forward where this show will be going in the episodes to come.