I feel like they stretched the episode with anime-original scenes a little too much. In the book, they didn’t have all those adventures in that town, but quickly got to the church and triggered the trap. There was no encounter with looters, no exploring the hidden base of witches (IIRC), nor an old man dying after
forcing entrusting a heavy duty to Albus. This, and the 2nd episode, make me think they’re trying to pad the season so they can end it at a certain point. Don’t dismiss 13 so easily though. He just hasn’t had enough time to shine yet.
So it seems pretty likely that Albus is the granddaughter of Sorena, right? There were a few hints pointed out in the past episodes that he might be a girl pretending to be a boy, and there was the slightly startled reaction to Merc and Zero talking about the “Granddaughter of Sorena” this episode, along with dying beardman telling him to lead the remaining Sorcerers of Zero. I also found myself a little disappointed with the animation of the old man’s death. Cliche in almost every way imaginable. This random old man somehow survived juuust long enough by himself to meet the protagonists, only to die anyway despite being healed by magic. And the dog leaving. Both were a little too dramatic and animated poorly. It felt like the dog skipped a few frames when he turned his head back.
I’d like to see an actual magic battle where people throw spells back and forth, instead of playing at who shouts the loudest when there is no context about what the full extent of their relation with each other is supposed to be – also feels like there’s no stakes in the fight. It might not have the production value of some other anime, but the free rein and classical style of magic in this show means that it could be pretty to see. Negatives aside, I am looking forward to the next episode. Lots of questions will be answered, and probably a lot of people here will be left very angry with what happens. Unless they stretch it out as well.