This sequel is a continuation of the previous season, not long after the war. Louise and Saito seemingly getting along now since she knows that he had given up his only chance to return to Tokyo for her. The story continues as Louise begins to use Void Magic from a mysterious secret book she had recieved from her majesty Henrietta, while a new villain has appeared in town causing trouble.
Well, I suppose it's inevitable that Futatsuki no Kishi, being a second season of Zero no Tsukaima, will be compared to the first in one way or another, especially since it's pointless to watch one without another, but I'll try to appraise its own merits as well.
First of all, as implied by the ending of the first season, FnK is a direct continuation of the story. Several new characters are introduced almost immediately, and, while I don't have anything against them, I'd like to point out that they (Agnes, particularly) take up quite an amount of screen time with their own subplots, leaving less for the overall story. However, that isn't dragged out for too long, keeping overall length of a show in mind. What comes as a good refreshment is some noticeable advance in Saito and Louise's relationship, during which several important questions are raised and decisions made. I won't elaborate to avoid spoiling.
Animation is done on a fairly high level, although it's not anything outstanding: characters are still undetailed and talk out one side of their face when shown in side view; many scenes lack smoothness — just like previously, all in all. Some scenes, particularly those of burning villages, are pretty nicely done. HD in this case is barely worth it, but on the other hand, lack of detail helps keeping the file size low (useless info for keepers).
Sound work doesn't differ from the first season at all, most themes are the same. They are fine, but still nothing really outstanding, memorable, or really touching. New opening and ending are somewhat enjoyable, definitely more so than those of the first season, IMO.
Characters… First of all, the previously known Academy residents (Kirche, Tabitha, Guiche, etc.) have much less screen time. Not sure if it's good or not; I'd certainly like to see them some more. New characters are more-or-less fine, although I can't help but think that some of them are of untraditional sexual orientation or otherwise odd. Siesta is still there, being apparently dumber than previously. Yes, everything for the sake of fan service. *sigh*
On the matter of fan service: what is particularly annoying about FnK is that the it has increased in quantity, but definitely not in quality. Saito's obsession over boobs might be funny, but it seems as if the screenplay writers put him in ecchi situations purposefully, without much concern for whether it makes sense in the story or not. You might even not notice it until the last episode, but there it will come screaming in your face regardless. Then again, the ending is rather ridiculous, anyway; seems like we'll have another bunch of weirdo newcomers in season 3. :D
All in all, with the 2nd season ZnT keeps being a good addition to your collection as long as you like harem and/or fantasy comedies, with a questionable amount of hit-and-miss fan service. Some will laugh, some might even cry, overall I think the 2nd season is almost as enjoyable as the first, barring the certain cheesiness. However, it might leave something to be desired when it comes to the story progression, so I sincerely hope they won't drag it out for too long. Any further decrease in pace coupled with further increase in fan service can easily ruin the show.read more
As a whole, Zero no Tsukaima’s first season seems better than the second season. If I didn’t like the first season, then that would mean that I probably wouldn’t like the second season, right? Then how come I like the second season more than the first? Read on and I’ll tell you why.
The story obviously needed work. I think the problem was that they tried to fit in many different storylines at a time. There was Saito and Louise’s relationship, the ongoing war with Albion and there was Anies’ story too. Each story would have been potentially better as stand alones, especially Anies’ story, but a combination of the three isn’t such a good idea. All three at once can be too much, maybe one or two at a time would’ve been better.
Furthermore, I’m really getting tired of the Louise and Saito’s love hate comedy act. It became so predictable – Saito does something that displeases Louise (usually looking at other girls), Louise brings out her whip, screams “You damned dog!” and beats Saito up. It’s been like that since the first season. The only improvement is that both are more aware of their status, that Louise is a noble while Saito is a plain commoner, which is why they’re still not official as a couple.
I’m a little disappointed that there was less screen time for the characters from the first season. I’m sure a lot of Zero no Tsukaima fans were disappointed to see less of Kirche, Tabitha and Guiche. A good side effect from that was more exposure for Henrietta - She was barely seen in the first season so I didn’t like her back then, but the second season showed a different side of her which made me like her more. I also like the new characters, Anies and Julio. Anies has such a cool personality and background, while Julio is such a hottie. He is so much better than Guiche.
Visually, it looks the same as the first season - same colors, same backgrounds. However, I do think the character design looks different. I think the character designs look more crisp, but at the same time, the drawing became more inconsistent. I’m especially glad that there was less fanservice, or rather, more tolerable fanservice in the second season.
Another aspect that didn’t change is the voice acting. I’m glad it didn’t change at all since a lot of my favorite and famous voice actors can be found in the cast list. Rie Kugimiya (Al in Fullmetal Alchemist, Shana in Shakugan no Shana) and Satoshi Hino (Yuuji in Shakugan no Shana, Kouichi in Kimikiss) are still Louise and Saito. There’s also Ayako Kawasumi (Ruriko in Gate Keepers, Ohno in Genshiken) as Henrietta, Yui Horie (Eri in School Rumble, Hanyuu in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai) as Siesta and Takahiro Sakurai (Shun in Gatekeepers, Cloud in Final Fantasy: Advent Children) as Guiche.
I also like the music. In fact, I think the music is better this time around. In the first season, the songs were too cutesy, but in the second season, the songs were more striking and had better quality. I really like “I say yes” by Ichiko, which is the OP. It’s so different from all the other Ichiko songs I’ve heard. I think it has more power and emotion to it, which makes it so special.
Despite of its many shortcomings, I still like it better than the first season. I thought it was more funny and entertaining, I like the new characters, and I’m especially glad that there was less fanservice this time around. However, the main reason why I like the second season more than the first is potential. I thought the second season had more potential than the first, and I want to see that potential in a third season.read more
[b]ZnT: Futatsuki no Kishi[/b]
This season was almost just the same like the first one, except that in this one Saito and Louise gets closer.
The problem with the story of this seasons is that they wanted to put too much content at the same time, and for me it was messy, we had Saito and Louise realation, the war with albion and Agnes story that keeps going later; What i hated is that f**king act from Louise and Saito hating each other (and that's mostly Louise fault) and then loving eachother like if they (the writer) can't bring comedy with another thing and i never laughed at those situations i found them frustrating, i wanted to stop it and put it on hold, but i always finish what i start, but the story was good and at one scene i shed a tear.
[b][u]Art & Sound[/u][/b]
Nothing much to say, just that is the same like the 1st season, both are good.
The characters of the 1st season didn't have much time on screen, why don't you take the chance on developing them on this season, but no, they were just focusing on Louise and Saito love-hating each other but advancing their relationship a little (till the end) and i found Agnes interesting, overall was jus fine.
I couldn't enjoyed it the way i wanted to, because of that love-hate act Louise and Saito had going on, it was annoying but just because i cried out of nowhere in one episode it was good.read more
[Note: This review encompasses all four seasons of Familiar of Zero. This is also a rewrite of a previous review in an attempt to simplify or cut back excessive material.]
Familiar of Zero was J.C. Staff’s fantasy action show produced and released in small, little seasons throughout the years between 2006 and 2012. Combined, the entire show is 49 episodes long. Now this would be fine if they had interesting, entertaining content to fill up this 20 hour timeslot.
We open in a magic school in a generic fantasy setting, where a magician named Louise is not very good at magic. Since she can only produce small explosions from spells, she earns the nickname Zero from her peers. One day when all the students are summoning magical little pets called familiars, Louise accidentally brings a boy from the real world dimension into the fantasy world. The boy named Saito now has to be Louise’s personal servant since he is technically now her familiar. They go on adventures, meet new people, save the day, yaddah yaddah yaddah, fanservice.
The story of the show is rather simple, and basically explores Saito’s experiences in the fantasy realm, including the magical education, the warfare, the different places and people, as well as some smaller parts of his world that seem to have made it into this realm as well. The unfortunate part about such simple a premise is that it’s all been done better elsewhere. If you want a vast and detailed exploration of magic, both Fate/Zero and Garden Of Sinners blows away any competition with how they explore their supernatural powers. Fantasy warfare has much more interesting executions in things like Berserk or Visions Of Escaflowne, and if you’re looking for fascinating regions and their inhabitants, look at none other than Fullmetal Alchemist itself. The one unique aspect was the bits and bobs of Saito’s normal world that wound up in the fantasy setting, but unfortunately they didn’t really explore it all that well.
So the world-building and setting don’t deliver, there’s got to be more to the story than just that? It irritates me to say that the actual meat of the series is dedicated to an insultingly shallow harem ecchi consisting of one of the most unlikable casts I’ve seen in anime. Even in a big cast of horrible characters, there’s usually some special one who isn’t part of that group, and might actually be a good person in a sea of assholes. However, in the vast slew of fantasy world characters, I could fine nobody who I could honest-to-God say “They were okay”. Of all the sets of characters in shows and films, there’s no contest which cast digs under my skin the most. I despise this cast with a passion.
Let’s begin with Saito, the crowning achievement of observer protagonist archetype. At least with other bland observer characters in anime, there’s some little things about the character to at least distinguish from the completely normal everyman. Saito has nothing. When compared to every other anime character designed for otaku projection, he’s the one who exceeds expectations of boredom. They go above and beyond to make sure that he is devoid of any personality, that he has minimal drive so he can be pulled around the world by a bunch of cute girls.
Speaking of, Saito has about a dozen gorgeous anime ladies in the cast to choose from to satisfy his dick needs. Of course he never does, but they like to remind him constantly that he can whenever he wants. To put it simply, everything that has a vagina in this show is written with a mad desire for the Saito D. When all is said and done, this is their only character trait: varying amounts of how desperately they want to get into the guy’s pants, along with a full range of breast sizes. And…that’s extremely insulting. I’m not going to steer around this with some bullshit womanly sex drive claim, this is a writer generating a bunch of sex objects and giving them the blind desire to screw the boy that the viewer is imagining himself as. It’s cheap, it’s an awful way to fill up twenty hours of runningtime, and it’s just another worst case scenario of anime female degradation. These girls aren’t tangible characters with personalities or challenges, they’re lazy tropes that come in cup ranges A to F for those who want to choose their favorite to get off to.
Surprisingly, the most depressing part is when you have to consider the fact that some of these girls actually did feel like people before being reduced to more mindless wanking content. There was a Rei Ayanami trope shrouded in mystery at the begining, and she even had a backstory similar to a mix of Rei and Asuka’s (we’re below the bottom of the barrel at this point, even ripoffs of good shit are welcome by now). But at least it was something that gave her conflict instead of the other girls. But by the latter half she’s throwing herself infront of Saito completely naked, reduced to another thin archetype whose conflict didn’t matter in the big picture. Any regard for her character was stripped away along with her outfit. We also had a princess who had little to no interest in Saito,, and proved to be a good friend and companion to a lot of people in the cast. She also got stuff done by helping to make decisions regarding the military and economy, resulting in a very likable, respectable character. At first I really did like her, but once again not only does she become uninvolved with running the land, but she goes behind all of her freinds’ backs so she can try and get with Saito, just like every other girl in the show. By the last few seasons we witness this boring man’s harem build to its fullest potential, and unless you’re putting yourself in his place enjoying the escapism bliss, you can’t do anything but cringe.
So after Japan displays it’s wonderful progressions in feminism, all that’s left to talk about in regards to characters is the background cast, which is just another case of forgettable and generic. There’s very little focus on anyone else aside from Saito and company because the harem aspect is what carries the show for the intended audience. As a result, very little male characters get screentime, more of the female cast gets the fanservice treatment, and overall development aside from the bland fantasy war story is nil.
Now that I’ve eased into the side of me that despises this show for what it is, I can quickly go over the means of production before I close out. The animation is unfathomably boring, sporting minimal movement and expression, displaying the dullest designs, styles, backgrounds, and effects. Nothing was interesting, nothing stood out, it just seemed like the most generic visual work to me, which certainly doesn’t help when I have to stare at it for 20 hours. The music wasn’t much better, consisting of an array of instantly forgettable tracks, alongside many openings and endings that were either mediocre, annoying, or both. So an opportunity to make a painfully recycled ecchi formula a little less awful ends up lowering the entire show even more.
So to recap, an absolutely boring setting with an undeveloped war plotline to structure the boy’s ever-growing harem, a despicable cast due to the obvious intentions from the writers, and no shred of effort in execution whatsoever. This is it, this is my pick for my most disliked show, if only because it just goes on and on with the horrible erotic fantasy to fill up way too many episodes. It’s beneath the bottom of the anime barrel, one of the absolute worst. Can’t say much else aside from the obvious time I’d love to have back from watching it. I wouldn’t tell anybody to check this thing out, it’s an appalling waste of time made to cater to thoroughly noxious mindsets.
I give this anime a score of 2.2/10 (1 star) and a Highly Unrecommended rating.read more
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans reminds us that child soldiers and slavery are two of the most horrendous things that can be depicted in anime. However, what about anime that use these as a premise without setting off red-flags? How do they get away with it? Read on and find out!