Louise Françoise Le Blanc de La Vallière is a self-absorbed mage in a world of wands, cloaks, and royalty. Although she studies at Tristain Academy, a prestigious school for magicians, she has a major problem: Louise is unable to cast magic properly, earning her the nickname of “Louise the Zero” from her classmates. When the first year students are required to perform a summoning ritual, Louise’s summoning results in a catastrophic explosion! Everyone deems this to be yet another failure, but when the smoke clears, a boy named Saito Hiraga appears. Now Louise’s familiar, Saito is treated as a slave, forced to clean her clothes and eat off the ground. But when an unfamiliar brand is found etched on Saito’s hand from the summoning ritual, it is believed to be the mark of a powerful familiar named Gandalfr. Wild, adventurous, and explosive, Zero no Tsukaima follows Saito as he comes to terms with his new life and as Louise proves that there is more to her than her nickname suggests. – My Anime List
Based on 16 review scores:
When you need a chuckle, this is one to sit back with snacks & watch. You won’t be able to NOT laugh, I dare you.
When judging it as a romance anime, The Familiar of Zero nails it in almost every direction. It delivers two incredible characters and beautiful romantic scenes. Some of the story’s flaws may result in it not being one that everyone will love, but I think it’s safe to say most will find enjoyment in it. For people who love romance, on the other hand, there is no doubt that this is a must see. It is not often enough that a romantic story is able to ambitiously immerse its audience into its world. Though some of its ambitions result in a few flaws, there is no doubt that The Familiar of Zero stands as being one of my favorite romance animes.
Zero no Tsukaima is the first of 3 successful seasons of an anime story taken from a light novel series. It’s a perfectly balanced and enjoyable mix of romantic comedy, magical fights and political themes.
A surprise for me. A genuinely good show that I honestly had little to no faith in prior to watching. Glad to be wrong.
The important thing to remember is that despite its weaknesses, Zero no Tsukaima avoids pretentious complexities and is capable of providing solid entertainment. It does not make for a particularly intellectual viewing, but in many ways that’s what is so refreshing about it. With all the similarities the show shares with Toradora!, it gave me something Toradora! did not: Some good old fun.
The Otaku Judge
Anime fans who like romances featuring a tsundere will get a kick out of it, whilst other viewers can still enjoy the show thanks to the setting, which offers plenty of Slayers like fantasy themed comedy with some light action. Anyone investing into the DVDs should however be aware that the series dips in quality after this promising start. From what I recall the show has a satisfactory finale, but to get to it you will have to wade through a lot of frustrating fan service and harem hijinks. Is this a trend with J.C Staff produced cartoons? I remember the same thing happening with Shakugan no Shana, whose excellent first season was soiled by disappointing follow-ups.
Anime News Network
With its strong male lead, adorably sadistic romantic interest and definite romantic progression, it’s little wonder that The Familiar of Zero spawned two sequels. Other than Kyoto Animation’s coolly stylish romances and the occasional harem tripe, fans of the male side of romance have had little to dig their teeth into of late, so Zero comes at an opportune time. It may lack the complexity and emotional depth of the best romances, but even if it isn’t as meaty as one would like, it’s tasty enough—and towards the end, surprisingly filling.
My Anime List
I have met people (including one of my best friends) that thought this series was a comedic masterpiece. I REALLY don’t agree with that assessment, but the series at least does some things right. The art is decent, the music is decent, the voice acting is fine. However, I felt that overall this was a very mediocre series that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone…unless once again you are in fact a male masochist.
In all it is really worth watching this series and re-watching it to see all small details they carefully inserted into the series.
Yet another high-seller trilogy for no reason at all. I guess the fandom just loves mediocrities and never gets bored eating the same soup every day for the past 50 years. This mentality would perform miracles in a communistic society. But being the capitalistic pig I am, I say this is a dreadful franchise and I would never recommend it to anyone, other than to waste his life when there are better shows out there.
The Nihon Review
I’ve seen my fair share of anime series, but to this day, the ones I get my most enjoyment from are the ones that surprise me. After being presented with what initially looked like a Shakugan no Shana clone with elements stolen from Escaflowne and Harry Potter, my expectations were pretty low. Needless to say, they were blown away. This is a lesson to series like Karin and Gokujou Seitokai on how to do a completely facetious anime right.
With a great sense of humor with plenty of slapstick comedy and actual romantic development The Familiar of Zero Season 1 is an enjoyable release and considering the anime has since spawned three sequels, it is easy to see why. With likable characters, an interesting setting that viewers get a small taste of in this first season, the great couple that Louise and Saito make, and how hilarious the show can be when they trade barbs with one another. Unfortunately despite this Blu-ray release giving viewers a nice jump in quality by making everything in the show look a bit better, the remaining sub-par English dub begs for the release to be watched in Japanese only, but I have a feeling that won’t be much of a problem for many viewers.
There isn’t much substance to it and Louise can get on my nerves, but even ignoring that it’s still pretty entertaining. Add a star if you especially enjoy harem shows, remove one if you’ve had too large a helping of tsunderes for one lifetime, and don’t expect to see much that’ll make female viewers happy.
An interesting fantasy world filled with an intriguing plot, but brought down a few notches by it’s action, comedy harem clichés and initially unlikeable leads.