zero no tsukaima 1

From the creative team behind Elfen Lied, the art team from Mahoraba, and the cast from Shakugan no Shana, we’re treated to yet another seinen novel anthology turned anime. How can I resist?

(Since I’m busier these days, I’m debating if I should blog any new summer series. However, if you want me to blog about something, I’d probably break down and do it… like what happened with Haruhi. Please, just not Powerpuff Girls Z.)

Part Harry Potter, part Negima, part Fate/Stay Night, and part JC Staff, Zero no Tsukaima (Zero’s Familiar) is an anime that seems to be about an incompetent mage from another world who summons a normal boy from modern Japan to become her familiar. She then binds him with a kiss… mmm… where have I seen these people before?

Louise::Shana (Shana) HD

The “urasai” around the 7:35 mark gave it away. It’s Shana’s seiyuu, Rie Kugimiya, in the lead female role of Louise, and I’m dumbfounded. Rie is going to get typecasted like this. Louis seems to have Haruhi’s ability to change with men around, have Shana’s tsundereness, yet she’s not as memorable as either. Louis is almost a toned down Shana.

Saito::Yuji (Shana)

Yep, Yuji’s seiyuu, Satoshi Hino, in the role of the normal boy who sure doesn’t want to be involved with the semi-psychotic female lead. While Louise was trying to summon her familiar, she stumbled on summoning a normal boy, Reiji Maigo Hiraga Saito. (He’s actually pretty reluctant… so while MAR‘s Ginta would probably be a better parallel, I’m content with Yuji since, uh, when Saito and Louise bitch at each other, I get nostalgic memories of Shana and Yuji. Can I even have nostalgic memories from an anime that ended less than four months ago?)

Guiche::The King (Ouran)

A poor, poor, poor, poor, poor, poor man’s Tamaki. Though I can’t wait now for the first ever ecchi-fanservice-school romance-drama-action-comedy-harem-giant mecha anime about a fancy host club occupying the literature club’s room in some Harry Potter-like magic school.

Kirche::Maharu (Girl’s Bravo)

The slutty one, yet top class witch. Oddly enough, maneaters are a rare category in anime… last seen in force in probably Great Teacher Onizuka or any of the random villiannesses from Law and Order: Loli Demon Revenge Unit. Kirche looks to be a shoutacon… keep Honey-sempai away from her.

Tabitha::Yuki (Haruhi)

Doesn’t say a word. Nose buried in book. Wise beyond her years. Yep, yet another thought integration alien entity.

The animation quality for Zero no Tsukaima seems to be fairly fluid, and it’s in typical JC Staff style, which scores points with me. I can see a lot of leftover styling cues from Mahoraba like how the eyes are drawn, but with the similar art staffs, I’m not surprised. And props to JC Staff for sneaking in such a, uh, delicately animated changing sequence for Louise for the first 30 seconds of the anime (thigh meat!). I can tell that they can’t wait to sneak some magical girl changing sequencing into this series.

Thigh, the other white meat… HD

The OP, First Kiss by ICHIKO, is fairly standard peppy harem anime fare. Let’s just say that no one is going to make Gundam dances out of this one. The ED, The real feeling, is sung by Rie Kugimiya herself, and I kinda like it. Her singing is not great but passable, and I especially like the “animation” of Louise whipping Saito for some strange reason.

The premise is okay, and both the animation and the sound are above average, yet I can’t shake that familiar feeling that I’ve seen this, done that. Everything between Saito and Louise reeks of Yuji and Shana. It’s just been too little time since Shana, and I have a hard time disassociating the two couples. I fully expect melonpan to be in Louise’s mouth everytime she turns around. Furthermore, this familiar/master dynamic evokes F/SN… especially when Saito wakes up in Louise’s room for the first time… it was like Emiya meeting Saber. He even has the servent’s mark on his hand… does Louise only get three uses?

Are you my master?

Even if the characters are cliched and nothing seems fresh about Zero no Tsukaima, I’m going to keep an eye on the series for the same reason I kept an eye on Inukami and Shakugan no Shana… meido in OP! Siesta! We need you! Don’t wait like 13 episodes like Wilhelmina — especially since this is only a 13 episode series.

33 Responses to “zero no tsukaima 1”

  1. Looks pretty interesting! (Remminds me of Magical Pokahn)
    I’ll be looking out for this one as well!

  2. Haryy potter, uh yeah, but more fanservice.

  3. Wait, I knew Louise was Shana, but The guy is Yuuji!? Insanity!

    And yeah, I’m totally waiting for Louise to say “Urusai!” three times in a row.

  4. I’d give it time…Probably get better as the episodes roll on. The second episode was pretty good from what I read on other blogs. I wasn’t sure about this one either but at least we can hear Shana one more her reincarnated, pink haired glory..xD

  5. You need an upcoming series to watch Jason? How about Coyote Ragtime Show?

    It has 12 meido: one for each month of the year. They’re called Marciano’s 12 Sisters. Good ‘ole assassin meido!

  6. Yes! Blog Coyote please. Its fun to watch as far as I know from the first Ep might be the action show for the season hopefully.

  7. I keep reading conflicting opinions on whether the twelve sisters are ‘Meidos’ or ‘Goth Lolis’. Whatever the case is however, Coyote Ragtime Show is currently the only series I am watching from the Summer 2006 lineup thus far. I waited for MONTHS for it, and the first episode has given me hope that the rest of the series will live up to my personal expectations.

    I intend to marathon H&C:2 after its’ season end. H&C:1 was nice to watch( I also marathoned it), but I imagine I would die of boredom if I watched it weekly.

    Not very impressed with most of what this season has so far. Still waiting for gems to pop up.


  8. >>”Part Harry Potter, part Negima, part Fate/Stay Night, and part JC Staff…

    Right on the money, Jason. The kiss reeks too much of Negi and Asuna’s Pactio. ^_^

  9. Is it time for a thin slice yet? I’m really depressed with this season. No Haruhi leaves a humongous void in my anime watching life and I doubt any anime will be able to fill it :( Even then, there doesn’t seem to be very many interesting series.

    I’ll give Zero no Tsukaima a chance but it has the feel of a backup show. You know, the stuff you watch to tide you over until the big gun shows (Haruhi, Shana, SEED, Mai Hime, etc) are released.

  10. I’ll give this show, Coyote and Tsuyokiss 4 episodes each then decide which one to keep. Chokotto Sister is a definite keeper based on the manga alone.

    Currently maintaining 6-8 other series before burning to DVD, i’m running out of HDD space (upgrading the PC is not an option this year)

    Back on topic, im getting seriously bad HP/SnS/etc. deja vu vibes. Ad infinitum cliches, crappy 17th century outfits, hope thay can pull a unique twist or two ala Magikano or im bailing out.

  11. >> Is it time for a thin slice yet?

    Not all the new shows have started, like Chokotto Sister, which was probably the only show I was looking forward to.

    I also don’t understand the hype for CRS… it gets my award for Most Puzzling Hype Given to a Mediocre Series. At least NANA had a huge following beforehand, and F/SN had a threesome blazing the trail, but CRS? I don’t get it. The show was actually doing okay with me until the 12 random loli goth assassins randomly parachuted in. Straight out of Mai Otome’s playbook… only CRS is taking itself seriously. (Also, it should be obvious by now that MR is Angelica’s father.)

  12. There was hype for CRS? Most of the usual haunts I go to were screeching about Tsuyokiss, NHK, and H&C:2( and to a lesser extent, Le Chaveiler(sp?)). CRS was sometimes mentioned, but often relegated to the ‘Might Watch’ status.


  13. CRS is a UFOTable show, and that’s where 99% of the hype is coming from. That said, I didn’t find the first ep all that impressive. Good animation and music, and then 15 minutes of extraneous talking.

  14. “It’s ufotable so it might be pretty decent” was about the extent of the hype before CRS aired. And the first episode received only lukewarm response from most people, so no, it’s not a hyped show at all.

  15. Modern Japanese kid somehow involved romantically with a sub-par magic/fantasy/feudal user hundreds of years in the past?

    What a new, innovative, and creative idea.

    Honestly, it seemed okay to kill time, but it’s not something I’ll be looking forward to every week. I mean it’s not like there’s a hot sexy God in the company of alien, time traveller, and esper or anything.

  16. Haruhi! Haruhi! Haruhi!

    Oh god! Just listen to us! (Yes, I included myself) We sound like a guy whose girlfriend just moved to another country!

    Anyway, I am lost right now. I just don’t know what to download. I’ll bindly follow any advice Jason’s gives thru his Blog.

  17. Also Jason, Siesta (who gets bonus points for being voiced by Horie Yui) is already hanging around and chumming it up with Saito by the second episode. Not like she does much, but she’s present at least.

  18. The show smells like a 13-episode affair… but I need something to tide me over until another big budget title’s released, so… *shrug*

  19. Everything is average in this show: production value, characters, plot, voice acting… Maybe it ll pick up like Shana did (after all the first ep of Shana wasn’t really good either), but there better be some serious world developpement coming soon (since it s quite obvious the characters won’t move from their well-known clichés personality).

  20. That dark-skinned fiery girl gives you the melonpans you need.

    Louise have Shana’s eyes and eyebrows, that disturbed me. I’ll wait for three or four more episodes to see if it really worth to follow it. Hell, it took me three episodes pof Air Gear to think “Fuck that, there are Haruhi and this is appealing to me way more.”

  21. Tamaki has really become a category- killer for future animes with the blond, vain bishies.
    Guiche was making me cringe every time he was on- at least Kirche was really, um, something.

  22. >>=======

    Haruhi! Haruhi! Haruhi!

    Oh god! Just listen to us! (Yes, I included myself) We sound like a guy whose girlfriend just moved to another country!

    Anyway, I am lost right now. I just don’t know what to download. I’ll bindly follow any advice Jason’s gives thru his Blog.

    I must say, I sadly agree. I’ll pretty much be watching whatever you blog Jason. So pick something good damnit.

  23. >> There was hype for CRS?

    Well, at least on my usual haunt, irc.

    >> Also Jason, Siesta (who gets bonus points for being voiced by Horie Yui) is already hanging around and chumming it up with Saito by the second episode.

    Awesome. Horie Yui meido!

    >> Tamaki has really become a category- killer for future animes with the blond, vain bishies.

    Just like Mikuru for any moe character… ?

    >> So pick something good damnit.

    Keroro Gunso!

  24. Despite having the premise of ‘been there, done that’, I’m more than willing to give this one a shot. If anything, I need some stuff to help me while away the time. (And hopefully they might do something new for once, like.. oh I don’t know.. have a solid storyline?)

  25. If you guys are looking for something to watch, Welcome to the NHK (NHK ni Youkoso) looks really good. The first episode just came out a couple days ago and i got hooked right away.

  26. What about blogging the second part of Ergo Proxy? it seems to be the last thought-provoking anime around this days.

  27. Something to look forward to in 2007, from the maker of Beyond the Clouds (Makoto Shinkai) comes Byousoku 5 Centimeter. Download the HD trailer here:

    Simply GORGEOUS visuals, but might be a sliceoflife tearjerker so keep the tissues handy.

  28. Bleh. Not so much reaction from this show. As far as I can see, Welcom to the NHK is the most interesting show.

  29. fun show, will be great for remembering good moments in sns

  30. Merry merry-go-round! Funky funny playground!
    ‘Please, just not Powerpuff Girls Z.’

  31. Part Harry Potter, part Negima…

    Took the words right out of my mouth.

    Checked the first episode with and without subtitles, and frankly, it is quite above average. It really reeks of that Shakugan no Shana premise.

    Might have to watch more of this one to get more info.

  32. For haruhi (same name, not personality) fixes, you can also check out Ouran high school host club. I like it – it’s 1/3 shoujo, 1/4 yaoi (clean, of course) and 100% silliness.

  33. Maybe I’m insane, but I also hear and see more than a hint of Rebecca Miyamoto in Louise..except for her pink hair, it coul be Becky in one of her outfits. Maho!

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