Based on the light novels by Noboru Yamaguchi and left unfished due to his death, Familiar of Zero was originally serialised in anime form as far back as 2006. Since then there’ve been four series and one OVA episode. But having seen the first series makes little difference to watching the second, with more than enough exposition to bridge the gap.
Nicknamed ‘Zero Louise’, a young noble girl is teased for her shoddy use of magic at Tristain Academy. During a class ceremony to summon their familiars, Louise summons Saito Hiraga, a boob-obsessed high school student. Saito, motivated by tit size, finds himself the centre of plenty of attention and echhi enabling plot devices. Big boobs and panties might be the be all and end all for Saito, and the lynchpin for all the comedy, but it doesn’t approach it a playful or inventive way like this year’s Punch Line.
The series functions in much the same way as the high-schooler-trapped-in-video game or sent back in time tropes. While it’s a fictional kingdom, it’s largely based on a warring Europe and the settings are lavishly rendered and cunningly brought to life. The cutesy character models aren’t without merit and the fight sequences are enjoyable. Though none of it leaves a particularly deep impression.
With the rule of three episodes (where you reserve judgement until viewing the first three episodes) it passes . . . barely. It’s not without style and some impressive visuals, mostly of the glowing twin moons themselves, and not without genuinely tender moments. There’s redemption in endings, and the series closer, The Farewell Wedding Ceremony, makes finishing the series worth it.
Special Features: Trailers / Opening and closing animation
INFO: THE FAMILIAR OF ZERO – SEASON 2 / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: YU KO / SCREENPLAY: YUJI KAWAHARA / STARRING: RIE KUGIMIYA, SATOSHI HINO, MICHIKO NEYA / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 8TH