It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an anime so bad that I almost rage quit on it the whole way through.
Some anime are good anime with their occasional hiccups from time to time, but manage to win you back with their great characters, amazing storytelling…and great plots…Familiar of Zero has neither of the three above.
In fact, I’m amazed this little stinker of a show managed to get as many fans as it did, being so awful and all. It’s below average for a harem-I’ve seen great harem series with good subplots who made up for the harem plot-“Tenchi Muyo”, “Higurashi,” “Ouran”.
Honestly, on the surface, Familiar of Zero sounds amazing: the idea of a boy being trapped in another world sounds amazing, gripping, and the idea of a new world’s mythos being introduced is something I love-I’m an ardent Harry Potter fan and love how Rowling manages to balance out the Muggle and Magical world wonderfully and believably.
Mrs. Rowling never tried to sugarcoat the way her world worked.
I never knew watching this that I’d be watching one of the worst anime abominations I’d ever seen. I watched all 4 seasons, in case you’re thinking I chickened out halfway. No, I’m committed to sit through hell on Earth because it’s part of my job as a reviewer-to be fair and objective, you have to see an entire tv series or anime.
And I did.
The technical aspects of Familiar of Zero are spectacular.
The acting is decent, the music is generic but passable and nice, the openings and endings are really great and a few side characters and the mythos show signs of being thought about before being written off to the side.
Unfortunately, that’s all the good that I can really accredit this piece of shit show with. The rest, it fucked up horribly on.
Season 1 was watchable, Season 2 was more interesting, Season 3 really fucked itself over with unnecessary harem garbage and butchering every character I liked and turning them into unnecessary love interests and season 4 had the most forced, implausible conclusion I’ve ever seen.
The series centers around a young boy named Saito who is summoned by a failure of a magician, Louise Francoise De La Blanc De La Valiere, to be her familiar. He is forced to serve her and become her servant and be treated like shit for all eternity. And he’s 100% fine with this after a while and falls in love with her, because Stockholm Syndrome is now a good thing.
This series has many problematic elements, however the worst is the misogyny. I’ve never seen a show with worse misogyny in anime-the girls are introduced from the boobs up, their boobs are constantly in people’s faces, the girls are nothing more than objects for the guys to spy on and fawn over-and the girls are eventually all reduced to catfighting over a single guy-cheating on each other, being bitches and just being evil to each other.
It’s so disgusting that I shudder to mention it. First of all, the heroine is taunted about her lack of boob size…why is this a thing? Second, numerous girls fight over the same guy, and there’s invariably a scene where he’s obsessed with their breasts.
Also, what’s hilarious is the show’s failure to live up to its own morals. Three times, it says marrying someone older than you is bad (if brainwashed), that war and genocide are bad, and that it’s bad for an older man to abuse the crap out of a young servant.
Yet it hilariously subverts that as time goes on.
All the females become puppets for the male character to ogle over.
Also, there’s a fair bit of misandry here, classifying all men as raging perverts and ignoring said male’s abuse by the female lead is twisted, fucked up and plain disgusting. Also, there are several near rape scenes by the females forcing themselves on the males (and one instance of a female ATTEMPTING to date-rape her boyfriend because he won’t look at her. She never apologizes and is never sorry for doing it. When Louise gets drugged she only reluctantly helps her.)
Also, what else is bad?
This show fucking romanticizes pedophilia. It rolls around in it happily. From a teenage girl having a creepy-ass relationship with her TEACHER to a creepy arranged marriage with an older man-Familiar of Zero delights in sexualizing young girls as sex objects early on. What’s worse is it pretends to be disgusted by it, only to continually do the same shit again and again, by having Louise wear horrible cat outfits…but the worst part is the creepy as fuck Fairy Inn, where a known pedophile, er Siesta’s uncle works in sexualizing young girls and letting them get hit on by perverts because “this is the best thing for them”-gross and morally repulsive is not enough to describe how sickening this fucker is.
Worst of all, this is treated as comedy by the protagonists. It’s so funny to watch young girls be essentially tricked into being prostitutes for bored older men and considering all the recent scandals, the author should’ve known better than to sexualize girls like this.
IT gets worse, Colbert orders Siesta to strip to distract older men and she agrees.
There’s creepy incest when Louise dresses up like her older sister and thinksshe looks more attractive that way. Also, Siesta’s uncle the pedo is horribly homophobic and transphobic with his fake breasts, effeminate way of talking and acting. Great, we need minorities getting shat on, too.
Also, a racist character is instantly forgiven for trying to torture and kill an innocent elf who was just minding her own business. That’s right, racism is okay if someone apologizes for being genocidal. Wait, why were they mad at that guy for torching villages again? Oh yeah, Colbert gets away with being a murderous fucker and fakes his death, completely rendering his apology and redemption arc very, very invalid and disgustingly disingenuous toward the readers.
Don’t ever play this game of “this character is dead oh no they weren’t” with readers. It’s shitty af.
Characters die but no one cares (at least I didn’t, the plot and story is that fucking bad.)
It’s at its best when it’s tackling fantasy instead of resorting to tired old stupid harem comedy.
Next that’s problematic is that this series openly endorses slavery and master slave dynamics. This series shows Saito on a leash, called a fucking dog by Louise and whipped by him all the time-to the point where it’s fucking comedy. That’s right, slavery is now hilarious, thanks to Familiar of Zero.
I felt sick to my stomach every time I watched the series and him getting treated like a slave.
Shouldn’t you be depicting such behavior as wrong?
Apparently, not in Familiar of Zero’s world.
Also, this series is okay with domestic abuse and openly endorses Louise and Saito’s abusive relationship as being true love, despite Louise whipping, beating, starving, neglecting, verbally abusing and yelling at Saito for anything and everything. The rest of the cast sees this as being fucking funny, thank you very much. But I saw it as being morally disturbing and only made me wish even harder that Louise would fucking be roasted on a spit and die.
With so much problematic shit, it’s amazing this show got 4 seasons, it should’ve been cancelled right away. Oh and I nearly forgot about the time the middle-aged cook tried to assault Saito and he backed away in time. Pedophilia is wrong.
Saito deserves better than this hellhole of a life.
Also the characters…Siesta became a bitch as soon as she fell in love with Saito, Henrietta cheated on her best friend with her bf, Tabitha became wildly ooc falling in love with Saito and butchered her character…and Tiffania exists as sex material for her boobs. That’s it. That’s all they exist for.
Even Kirke engages in a creepy-ass pedophilic relationship with her teacher.
Saito is sympathetic but perverted and loses his appeal as the series continues.
But Louise is a disgusting slimeball the likes of which I’ve never seen before. Imagine if Grimer and Muk combined with filthy, stinky garbage and rotten vomit and combine that with a narcissist’s genes and thus you’ve got the worst anime character in the history of mankind, ever. I’ll take table fucker Nina Einstein over this bitch any day.
Louise is horrible, truly a pink spore, she is disgustingly abusive, repulsive, self-centered, laothsome, stuck up, priggish, a bitch, and evrrything else in the dictionary for ugly, loathsome and disgusting. I’ve never hated a character more than this revolting character.
Her bullying and strict parents do not excuse her being an abusive bitch.
I know the author is dead but he could’ve written this story much better, without endorsing such harmful content.
Plot: 3.4/10 (second season), 2.3/10 (1st season), -550 out of 1000 (3rd season), 1.4/10 (4th season…)
Characters: 3/10 for side characters, and for main characters, -4000 out of 10,000 for Louise, and -1000 out of 1000 for Saito.
Relationship developments: One of the worst, most disgusting forced relationships in the history of anime. Kirisuna was better and that’s not saying a lot but at least SAO had enjoyable moments to it in its blandness. I’ll take a bland series over a badly written one any day. The light novels are much better than the shitty ass anime.
Overall: 0 out of 10.
Truly the worst I’ve ever seen.
I endured suffering enough by this anime.