The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Zero no Tsukaima F

Title: Zero no Tsukaima F
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: J.C. Staff
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 7 Jan 2012 – 24 Mar 2012

Synopsis: Saito and Louise have finally come to love each other deeply enough that they consider tying the knot.  However, before they can exchange their nuptial vows, Louise  is sent to the pope so that she and Tiffania can be promoted to holy maidens.  However, things quickly go awry as a group of mysterious foes crash the event and kidnap Louise.

The Highlights
Length: It’s only 12 episodes long.
It’s the final season: Thank God.

Six years ago when just about every other new anime was yet another harem show, Zero no Tsukaima took everyone by surprise by giving a refreshing take on the harem formula and breathing life into beaten-to-death tropes.  Then over a course of four seasons, the show took everything that made it special and wrung it for every ounce of magic that it had.  Zero no Tsukaima F is the fourth and final installment of this franchise, and every single episode I thought “Thank God this horse is finally going to die.”

Zero no Tsukaima does not need this fourth season.   It doesn’t even need the third or second iterations.  The original show is good because it doesn’t trigger a cynical reaction from the audience by not overplaying its shallow and completely unoriginal jokes.  With four seasons of pretty much the exact same thing, my reaction has gone far beyond cynicism to just muted disgust.  Yes, Louise has the breasts of a ten year old boy, and yes, there’s a bevy of girls with knockers the size of bowling balls literally smashing their assets onto the protagonist, but these gags have become so overused that they’ve entered into passé.

Speaking of jokes, the character development deserves a mention for once again erasing everything that happened in the last three seasons so that Saito can re-re-relearn that he’s truly in love with Louise and that the other girls are just friends (though if Siesta had her way… friends with benefits).  Though they do not serve much purpose, a few new faces are thrown in, and a whole civilization of elves are introduced with the banner “We are totally not from Tolkien‘s novels.”  All these events would have been interesting if they actually contributed to the growth of the main characters, but they were mostly sight gags that provided a temporary conflict before everything reverted to the old status quo.

As for the music in the show: Do you recall the music from the first season?  No?  Then the fourth season will rerun the same boring but contextually effective tunes so you can forget them all over again.  The animation quality of Zero no Tsukaima F is generic late night harem anime fare, which means that the girls look cute in a limited number of poses, but the moment the show tries to pull off fight sequences things start to look really cheap.

Zero no Tsukaima F should have provided a sense of closure, but it only provides a sigh of relief now that no more iterations can be produced again.   For those of you who have stuck with the series over the years, it’s not worth your time and you should travel back in time to unwatch seasons 2 and 3.  Personally, I have sworn to wipe seasons 2 to 4 from my mind.  The first Zero no Tsukamia is the only show in the franchise; the sequels do not exist.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: Shadowmage

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