Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Zero no Tsukaima

We've finished watching Zero no Tsukaima. My first episode review is here.

Louise is a student at a prestigious magical academy. She (and her classmates) are all nobles: they can use magic, and the commoners can't. However, there is one tiny issue: Louise has never been able to get a spell right -- hence her nickname 'Zero Louise'.
In their second year at the academy, the students have to perform the spell to summon a familiar. Louise is dead last, and while her classmates summoned things like Salamanders or even Dragons, Louise summons... Hiraga Saito.

Yes, Louise summons a current-era Japanese boy as her familiar. (Much to the amusement of her classmates -- who ever heard of a commoner as a familiar!) And so begins Saito's life as Louise's servant/familiar...

It turns out that Saito can be quite the swordsman if he puts his mind/runes to it (he does defeat one of the other students in a magical(!) duel), but most of the time Louise treats him as some sort of unpaid labor. Running gag is that Saito has to wash all of Louise's panties...

During the episodes, various artefacts from Saito's home world pop up! Old 70's porn mags, a bazooka and even a plane! This means that there is a precedent of things and people getting pulled into this world -- and of course Saito is more than interested, because it may mean he can find a way back!
Meanwhile, the queen/princess, a childhood friend of Louise, has trouble getting some grip on the nobles, and she sends Louise and Saito off to various missions.
Some of those troubles are caused by a band of powerful magicians who wish to amass magical artifacts so they can take over the world... Guess who is going to stop them!?

Most of the comedy is based on Saito's interest in some of the female cast and Louise not wanting to admit to herself (and others) that she secretly likes Saito. Which is to say, it's not ha-ha funny.
However, there is some time in between all that and the plot to do some real character development, which is quite a feat considering that the writers only had thirteen episodes to cram all that into.

The supporting cast is the best thing about the series. Saito and Louise have a tendency to follow the same patterns in their exchanges, while their interactions with the supporting cast are really fresh and interesting.
Visually, the series is quite appealing. The animation is fluid, and the character designs are appealing.
Music is fine but nothing special. The voice acting is sometimes a bit over-the-top, but is well characterised.

Good points:
- Interesting premise;
- Nice visuals;
- Once the plot heats up, it's quite interesting;
- Quite unlike Harry Potter (Dumbledore wouldn't try to sneak a peek at his secretary's underwear, would he?)
Bad points:
- The 'comedy' seems quite forced at times.

All in all, a 7: enjoyable, but not a must-see.
Tags: anime, full review

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