Review: The Familiar of Zero Season 2 Complete Collection

Release Date
8/6/2015
Format
Blu-ray / DVD
Publisher
MVM Entertainment
Certificate
15
Language / Subtitles
Japanese / English
Discs
2
Run Time
300 Minutes

The Familiar of Zero: Knight of the Twin Moons is the second season of the Familiar of Zero series. J.C Staff bring us a more fan service-oriented effort this time around, focusing more on the bountiful sweater puppies of the female cast rather than their character development. Storylines play a more prominent role throughout the series compared to the previous season, but is the same emotion still in place? And does the story hold up with less focus on the characters themselves?

The series opens with Hiraga Saito, having made it back to Japan in the “Zero Fighter”, overcome with joy but quickly noting the lack of Louise’s presence. Realising he doesn’t want to go back home without Louise, the plane goes out of control and crashes, where he then wakes from his dream to find himself back in Tristain with Louise sleeping next to him. Presented with a pair of rather groovy looking-glasses from Louise, Saito is now at the mercy of his new-found lewdness. These glasses that Louise passed off as a family heirloom are, in fact, magical in nature and will blink wildly whenever Saito so much as looks at another woman. While watching the parade of the newly crowned Queen Henrietta, Louise overacts when Saito’s glasses start blinking like mad, leading to Louise’s usual punishment of Saito, which unfortunately sees him imprisoned under suspicion of being an assassin. Enter – Agnes and her Musketeer’s, a band of female soldiers, and the beginnings of a very war focused season.

There are two major story arcs in this season, the first of which centres around Agnes’s past and corruption within government officials. The second picks up from the previous season with the war between Tristain and Albion. Apart from Agnes, and Henrietta to an extent, character development takes a back sit in favour of increasing current plotlines. It’s fair to say that the first season has a very bare-bones plot and focused more on developing its characters, making for a rather emotional ending. Whereas this season may have more going on in terms of story but the characters have clearly suffered, with some having been forced out entirely in favour of newer less interesting ones.

Saito seems to have learnt the fusion technique from Dragon Ball Z in the gap between seasons, as his personality has taken on a role similar to Guiche in season one. This new found perverted practitioner takes every opportunity to ogle his female companion’s chesticles and is severely reprimanded by Louise every single time, a quickly tiring spectacle. Siesta, in a similar vein to Saito, becomes a hotbed of easily exploitable fan service, after embracing her feelings for Saito; she is clearly letting it all hang out!

Animation quality seems to have improved from the previous season, with more definition in characters’ facial features. Agnes stands out immediately, as great care has clearly been taken in her characters design; the same can be said of Julio, a male character obviously inserted to give Saito a new rival in love. The ending animation is clearly a fun play on Saito and Louise’s relationship, with Saito dressed as a dog being chased down by Louise, with wand in hand, as Saito checks out the sweater puppies of various female companions.

Extras are included on disc two and comes with the standard fare; cleaning opening and ending animation, as well as a handful of trailers for Hakkenden, Humanity Has Declined and Little Busters! Refrain.

Verdict
Fan service can become a thing of dread when always accompanied by a routine, of a certain two characters, which grew tiresome almost instantly. While Saito and Louise have some great moments together during this season, they are constantly playing out the same tired old routine which makes watching painful at times. The true gem of the series is the first story arc revolving around Agnes’s characters and Henrietta’s involvement. Aside from the aforementioned, character development was almost non-existent, placing focus on plot left the characters involved rather empty whereby impacting the story and the overall enjoyment of the series.
6
ENJOYABLE