Archives for : Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season (anime review)

Hayate-Combat-Butler-2review provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season

Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Kenjiro Hata

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: October 20, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 25 Episodes / 625 Minutes

Genre: Comedy, Romance, Harem, School Life, Parody

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Hayate the Combat Butler Season 1 and Hayate the Combat Butler Season 3: Can’t Take My Eyes Off You


Ever since he first met Nagi Sanzenin, Hayate Ayasaki’s life has become increasingly more crazed and chaotic. Which is a bit of a problem, since, as the eccentric heiress’ butler/personal bodyguard, he’s theoretically supposed to be a stabilizing and protective influence. Unfortunately, Nagi and her friends attract trouble the way dropped lollipops attract dirt, and if Hayate has to take a couple of nasty licks along the way, that’s just part of the job.

The real sucker punch, though, is that Nagi’s increasing attraction to Hayate himself is getting precariously close to transforming their professional relationship into something far less professional and much more like a relationship. Is Hayate up for the emotional perils of a round of “upstairs, downstairs”? Or will the purely physical dangers of life on Her Majesty’s Domestic Service do him in first?


Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season begins with Hayate still working as the Sanzenin Butler, and Season 2 features a lot more Hinagiku, as scenarios that include herself and Hayate allude to potentially mutual feelings between them. Nagi is also interested in escalating her relationship with Hayate, since Nagi’s perception of her relationship with Hayate remains based on the miscommunication that occurred on their first meeting. That is basically Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season in a nutshell. Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season completely ignores the filler material from the first season and picks up from about episode 25 and continues from there. With most of the filler material gone and forgotten from season one, the parody moments have dropped significantly.

Thankfully, with Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season we receive the character development that was missing in season one. However, Hinagiku takes up most of the screen time and some of the other characters lose out on their screen time and the other members of the Sanzenin household, Klaus, Tama, and to an extent Maria, take the back seat for a big chunk of the series. However, I feel that the “Hayate owes 150 million yen” arc was basically forgotten. It was brought up once or twice but it was basically abandoned and replaced with the Harem arc.

The art was bright and beautiful but different than the first season. The characters were well drawn and the background animation was pretty. The music was fresh and upbeat and the voice actors brought the characters to life before your eyes. The “Narrator” was drastically downplayed in this season. All in all, Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season was an enjoyable series to watch and I would recommend it for anyone who enjoys this type of series.

Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season includes clean opening and closing animations and Sentai Filmworks trailers as special features. This series was released with Japanese with English subtitles as the only language option.

Overall Grade: B-

I feel that Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season is much more enjoyable than the first season because of the amazing interaction between characters. Hayate the Combat Butler: The Complete Second Season has high quality humor and fantastic and likeable characters but most importantly it is just fun to watch.

The Familiar of Zero F (anime review)

The-Familiar-of-Zero-F-Season-4review by Katie and Andrew

Title: The Familiar of Zero F (Season 4)

Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Noboru Hamaguchi

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U.S. Release Date: May 12, 2015 and July 14, 2015

Format and Length: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Harem, Action, Romance

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: B

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: The Familiar of Zero and The Familiar of Zero: Knight of the Twin Moons
The Familiar of Zero F concludes the story. Are Saito and Louise ready to take their relationship to the next level? Sadly, that answer will have to wait yet again as they must save Halkeginia once again. However, this time the mission requires them to use Louise’s Void Magic along with the other Void Mages they have found. Betrayals, reversals, and the inevitable side trip to the hot springs lie ahead as the evil forces plot away and dysfunctional relationships get even more dysfunctional. You could say they put the “fun” in dysfunctional. Plus many things go Boom for only vaguely justifiable reasons!


I absolutely loved that there was a conclusion to this series. It does not leave anything open to questions and gives you the conclusion that you want if you love rom-coms. Louise finally matures enough to see that Saito loves her above all the other girls and she finally stops being so insecure. We also get the token Hot Springs episode. Lots of fan-service to be had and Louise does things that made me cry but then you see why she did them. But some things did not make sense, such as how Saito can be the familiar of two mages or how he can steal a fighter jet in 2 seconds flat and get back to Halkeginia. All the characters come back for the final season to save Halkeginia from destruction and we even meet the “Pope.” Henrietta finally began acting like a queen near the end of the series and she also matured. The battle scenes were well done and the music went with the scenes perfectly. The opening and closing songs were okay but I really liked the ones from the first season the best. The voice actors did an amazing job and made the series enjoyable.

Overall Grade: B
Overall, I have enjoyed watching the entire The Familiar of Zero series. However, I felt the fan-service was overdone. I also thought the disciplining of Saito was over-the-top but I also know that is how Louise is. I still recommend this series for anyone looking for a good Fantasy series with some rom-com added in.

The Familiar of Zero: Season One Complete Collection (anime review)

The Familiar of Zeroreview provided by Katie and Andrew

Title: The Familiar of Zero: Season One Complete Collection

Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki

Studio: J.C. Staff

Author: Noboru Yamaguchi

U.S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks / Section 23

U.S. Release Date: April 8, 2014

Format and Length: DVD / 13 Episodes / 325 Minutes

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Romance, School, Harem

Industry Age Rating: 14 and up

Overall Personal Rating: A-

Similar Series or Titles to Check Out: Shakugan no Shana and Toradora!


Louise Francoise Le Blanc de La Valliere’s name is so long and her spell-casting skills are so poor that everyone at the Tristain Academy of Magic just calls her “Louise the Zero”. Louise’s humiliation only increases during an important second-year test, where the other students summon up mythological creatures as their familiars, and she inexplicably summons a human named Saito, a totally normal teenage boy from Tokyo. Now she’s stuck with him and Saito’s stuck with the lousy life of being a familiar. Except, maybe there’s more going on than meets the eye, because Saito’s not prepared to accept the social inequities that Louise and other aristocrats consider the status quo, and he may not be quite as normal as everyone thinks. And the reason Louise is so bad at magic might just be that she has yet to figure out what she is good at. In fact, they might even have the makings of a great team… if they can learn to stand each other first, that is!


When first picking up The Familiar of Zero, at first glance it doesn’t look to be much more than a standard cliché love comedy, harem anime. It has all the usual suspects, and has kind of the same set up. The standard leads are the under-developed tsundere, the well endowed easy girl, the quiet bookworm that you know could kick butt if she has to, and the unsuspecting innocent girl. All these are old cliché character archetypes, all used over and over again, over many series. In all truth, these clichés hold pretty firm throughout the series. But it was not the cliché characters that made this series fun to watch, it was how well they were utilized. The first thing you will notice different from the status quo is the male lead. In most harem love comedies, the male lead is beta, shy, and socially inept, and we always wonder what the girls see in him. Saito does not properly fit that mold. He is hardly the mamma’s boy we expect. He’s a bit of a playboy, seems to have guts, and never backs down if he feels spited. Oh and he had no issues flirting with the ladies, a typical teenage boy, for once. Outside of that, the character development is a bit lacking. The story is based in a cliché setting, a school named Tristain Academy of Magic, seeming quite similar to a very popular children’s book about a boy wizard. You know the one. Of course this looks to be a standard middle ages european style setting. And the magic is based on basic elementals, nothing new here. But all the cliché stuff hardly detracts from the series. Its strengths are the character interactions and the comedy anyway. At first you will probably watch The Familiar of Zero with a bit of reluctance, but that will all vanish quickly as the story picks up.

Louise, a member of a high ranking noble family with a history of producing powerful mages, seems to be the odd ball of the family, having little to no magical ability. As a second year student, she must, as all the others must, summon a familiar, to be a lifetime companion. She is extremely worried, because she is so inept she couldn’t summon a hungry cat, standing in front of her with a piece of meat. As the others summon their familiars, she prays and cowers in fear, praying she will be able to summon anything. As she does, everyone watches in astonishment as she manages to summon a boy. A peasant boy. In a world where peasants basically are slaves to the nobility, can anything be more embarrassing than summoning a peasant boy? Anyway what is done is done, and she has to keep him. The rules forbid she do anything else. Saito, confused after being ripped from his world to this one, is quickly surprised when Louise seals the deal with a kiss. Saito is quite reluctant in his new role, as a familiar. He has no regard for the hierarchy that is in place, separating nobility from peasantry, and practically enslaving them. It does not help that Louise treats him like nothing more than a dog. Of course Saito seems to be completely useless, being a human and not a creature, he seems to have little to offer Louise as a familiar, until he insults a peer of Louise’s names Guiche, and does not back down from a challenge to duel him. The comedy quickly picks up and becomes the main stable of the show. The story line does have its good points, but at times you may find it predictable. But even so, you will laugh.


The Familiar of Zero includes extended episode previews, Japanese promos, clean opening and closing animations and Sentai trailers as special features.

Overall Grade: A-

Even with all its clichés and predictability, The Familiar of Zero, is a well done comedy. Also a quick note to Sentai Filmworks, please release the seasons that follow this one unlike the last company that released this title. We beg you.