ANIME & MANGA - Review
13:48 - 22nd August 2014, by David West

The Familiar Of Zero

Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière is a student at Tristein Academy, where the sons and daughters of nobility study the magical arts. Unfortunately, Louise is so hopeless at spells that her classmates have nicknamed her Louise The Zero. When the day comes for the pupils to summon familiars to be their enchanted assistants, Louise accidentally plucks ordinary Japanese teenager Saito Hiraga from across dimensions and brings him to her world. Now they’re stuck together… for better or worse.

The Familiar Of Zero is part-magical adventure, part-harem comedy. Louise is the bad-tempered tsundere who calls Saito a dog and beats him when he steps out of line, but Saito finds a warmer welcome in pretty maid Siesta and busty vamp Kirche. There is common ground in terms of tone and style with Hayate The Combat Butler, which shares director Yoshiaki Iwasaki. Production values are modest, with basic animation and design work that lacks much flair. The limits of the budget become most apparent in the closing storyline in which war breaks out between two kingdoms – but the big invasion scenes consist of a single warship in battle. The pacing is dependable, everything moves along at a good tempo, but much of the series feels by-the-numbers. Louise poses a challenge as she is not very likeable – the scenes of her flogging Saito with a horsewhip are played for laughs, but they hardly make her endearing.

Not the most enchanting magical show ever, but Louise and Saito conjure up some lightweight laughs.
SCORE: 2.5/5
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