In my Summer 2006 anime preview, I thought Zero no Tsukaima looked like an anime version of Harry Potter. I got a chance to look at the raw, and so far, the anime looks good. Here’s my first peek at Zero no Tsukaima:
Louise is a second year magic student at Tristein Magical Academy. Her nickname is “Zero” because she produces zero results. Man, schoolkids can be so harsh! We’re introduced to her (in)abilities when she tries to turn normal rocks into brass during her alchemy class. She ends up making an explosion. She probably does well in her destruction magic classes…
The next day, all the students are getting ready to summon their familiars. I think in the anime they’re what is referred to as “tsukaima.” The hot guy, Guiche, summons a mole who says “mogu mogu” a lot. Kirche gets a salamander. Louise gets a ningen…WTF? That’s right, Louise summons a human boy, Hiraga Saito. She kisses him to seal the deal between magician and tsukaima.
Apparently, no one really cares that Louise is breaking slavery laws and she keeps Saito in her room. She doesn’t really treat him as another person either, changing right in front of him! I guess it’s not all bad… He also
has gets to wash her pantsu!
I’m assuming that later on in the anime, Saito will somehow help Louise with her magical training. He also seems to be quite the playboy… Louise looks ready to dish out the tsundere punishment, though.
Zero no Tsukaima seems to be one of those anime with a billion side characters. All of ’em are pretty well designed, too! In addition to Louise and Saito, there’s Guiche – the pretty boy, Tabitha – the Nagato Yuki of the anime, Siesta – meido/schoolgirl?, and Ms. Longueville – the principal’s hawt meganekko secretary. I think this anime’s character designs are definitely the strong point.
I guess one of the big points is that the seiyuu for Louise is the same as Shakugan no Shana‘s Shana. Not only that, but Louise even looks like Shana! I was totally waiting for Louise to say “Urusai!” and when she did, it sounded exactly like Shana. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though.
The animation looks really good in hi-res. Exactly what you’d expect from good ‘ol J.C. Staff (who, incidentally, also did Shana). There’s a lot of good contrast going on with the colors, which makes watching this anime easy on the eyes.
The anime uses just enough deformation to keep things interesting. There hasn’t been that much action yet (besides Louise blowing stuff up), but I have a feeling that’ll change.
The OP is among the better that I’ve heard this season, but nothing too special. The ED is sung by the seiyuu for Shana… I mean, Louise! It’s a little too cute for my tastes. It gets points for using “tsuntsun” in the lyrics, though. The background music for this anime has a variety of stuff, including strings, piano, and even jazz!
So far, Zero no Tsukaima is showing some promise. There’s not really any plot to speak of, but that’s sure to change. Sure, Louise is exactly like Shana, but I liked Shana! I wonder if they’ll do an anime spinoff: Zero-tan no Tsukaima… Uruchai uruchai uruchai!
The character designs have sucked me in, so I’ll probably watch this anime no matter what. Hopefully the plot gets more interesting in the next episode.