It was promised to be an action/fantasy anime, what I saw was a show with poor fights and magic, and little effort toprovide something meaningful in that regard. Then, when the plot kicked in, it went downhills. At some point they just force a dumb plot on it filled with stupid cliches and unexplained stuff that we just have to take for granted. It started in a road trip kind of way like Spice and Wolf but then turned more into a more plot heavy action/adventure type of story but none of it was really well done enough. It would have been better to just focus on one aspect. So many stuffs left unresolved in a bad way, and many stuffs just don’t make sense at all.
The plot was tied together very haphazardly and unrealistically if you thought about it. Like Albus being accepted as the new leader could possibly work, but it would need to be explained, which they didn’t do. In what world (besides, apparently, Zero kara’s) do the witches you’re fighting suddenly lose their magic and you go “oh, cool, let’s have a party because PEACE!” It’d never happen. They’d at best jail all the witches for decades, and more likely just kill them while they had no magic. And the witches following Albus? Really? “We were super pissed and attacked you when you tried to take away our magic before, but hey, now that you’ve succeeded, that’s cool. Let’s go back to following you!”. The kingdom becoming peaceful and accepting of witches and magic could happen, but it would need a lot more justification. It felt like they didn’t have the time to adequately explain everything so they had the characters just say what was going to happen and we could infer it.
For adaptations mostly cramming things too much never works out well… On that note, what exactly happens on the actual novel? Was this last episode loyal to the first volume? Especially the conclusion: Everything turning out “magically” well after witches lost their magic? The last episode was not at all faithful to the LN. Nor particularly was the rest of the show. For example, from what I gather, the anime makes it seem like the witches that tried to stop them from blocking magic in Wenias just instantly forgave Albus after the fact and followed her again.
The LN introduces a system where only those with Albus’ permission can use magic, and so she holds their loyalty through that fact, since they all want to be able to use magic again. They could have explained everything, including this, but instead just made the episode way longer by having the cast go around placing seals to set up for their big ritual. The scene in episode 2 where Zero explained how magic and sorcery worked was longer and more thorough too, but got cut short in the anime and left a lot of people confused. Same for the fight between Zero and Thirteenth, there was a lot of information missing that led people to think Thirteenth was the most inconsistent character ever they’d ever seen. Overall the anime added a ton of filler scenes that sometimes worked, but mostly sucked.