I did not know ahead of time that this was not set in the world of Zero-One! Sorry! But, hey, I spent time watching it, so let’s at least try and get a night’s post out of it.

It’s very charming. I’m a huge sucker for these sort of The Actors Film Some Bonus Content On Lunch Breaks extras, like the Fourze Net-Movies and such. It’s everyone in costume, but they’re clearly just goofing around because it’s for a Blu-ray bonus feature or a Toei Fan Club upload. The framework of this one is Izu giving Aruto a lecture so he can be a better president, but the reality is Izu’s actor trying to help Aruto’s actor through a quiz that he is utterly hopeless at. It’s not really Zero-One content, despite the trappings.

And yet, it’s 1000% Zero-One content? Watching these two kids team up to succeed – or, more accurately, watching the girl who plays Izu bend over backwards to help the idiot boy who plays Aruto – is as hilariously heartwarming as any Aruto/Izu story. They seem to have, sadly for maybe both of them, a very similar dynamic in real life as they do on the show. This Aruto kid seems to be about zero percent faking in his inability to read the context clues of a quote to determine the missing words, and Izu has to try and construct a hint that’s simple enough for him to finally win without being full-on cheating. If they piped in some Digital Noises over her movements and poses, I honestly would think I was watching a weirdly low-budget episode of Zero-One.

This maybe wasn’t technically a Zero-One episode (again: sorry, didn’t know), but it hit most of the buttons I want Zero-One to hit. The Aruto/Izu relationship is so central to the series that it makes me both incredibly happy and slightly concerned that it seems to have rubbed off on the actors. This was a lot of fun!