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arashileonhart

  • Moses Lake, WA
  • Joined Mar 3, 2011
  • 28 / M

It both got better and got worse.  Somewhere, there’s a physics law that was just broken.  Right here, there is an anime fan that was broken.

Futatsuki no Kishi—translated as Knight of the Twin Moons—is the follow-up to the first season of Zero no Tsukaima.  Like its source material, it picks up soon after Saito has refused a chance to return to his world to save his tsundere master Louise from certain death and partially revolves around the what now? aspect such a choice leaves him in.  Considering the nature of the first arc, the story really could have ended there, and so the fact that we are shown characters dealing with the consequences of their actions, the story of Futatsuki no Kishi could have been a masterstroke in exploration and adventure.  Unfortunately, Saito is too happy to leer at boobs to follow through.

Whereas the first season of the show is fairly standard plot fare—special powers, love-or-hate relationships, agonized heroic decision—the second season had a great opportunity to take the story in new directions.  Instead, everything it does do right is overshadowed by the emphasis on fanservice and perversion.  While at no point in the first season does Saito seem overtly distracted by the female of his species—no more than any teenage boy would be, at least—here he seems to try too hard to go out of his way to comment, leer, drool, and make a fool out of himself over women while constantly evoking Louise’s ire.  If you watch Futatsuki no Kishi right after finishing the first season, this drastic change in characterization is even more noticeable.

The only saving grace is that the characterization is not the only noticeable change in the series.  Animation to an already well-done show only improved.  As per its origin materials, characters who only had brief background appearances now come to the forefront and steal the show.  Pacifist teacher Colbert and witch-princess Henrietta completely upstage the central cast of the first season, while newcomer Agnes gets in her digs as well.  Two out of these three fare decently in the show, though unfortunately what was deep and meaningful character development in the novels is reduced to a focus on, well, the royal tracts of land, if you take my meaning.  You’ll know the scene the moment it crops up.

Ultimately, the problem is simply in the direction the show went.  The source material itself, while it has these issues, is overshadowed by the actual depth and exciting adventures the characters undertake.  The anime tried too hard to overcome its lukewarm response to the first season by overemphasizing the ecchi moments in the show to appeal to its primary audience.  Had it stayed true to its origins, it might have done so naturally, organically.  Instead, it tries too hard and falls all the more for it.

7/10 story
8/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall

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Calahan says...

"If you watch Futatsuki no Kishi right after finishing the first season, this drastic change in characterization is even more noticeable"

Absolutely true. I originally watched this series some time after watching the first one, and as such ended up overlooking Saito's significant change in character. But having just re-watched this series straight on the back of re-watching the first one, the changes stick out a mile.

So thank you for a fine review, and one that is accurate and thankfully devoid of the rose-tintedness that's all too present in all the other reviews for this series on AP.

May 3, 2013
Lithiumpowered says...

I just dropped this show after throughly enjoying the first season, like you said, watching the 2nd season right after the first only makes the sour aftertaste all the more potent.

:/

Jan 29, 2013
Squatso says...

I'm apprehensive about watching this...I loved the first season, but much of that was due to Saito actually being a awesome dude and not a typical male lead: wuss, sad-sack, pervert, etc. Sadly, all I've been reading is that he's become the latter. Hopefully, since I'm expecting the worst, the re-characterization will be underwhelming, and I can get through this season happily in order to get to the next two (which I have heard restore him closer to his original self). Either way, probably gonna enjoy this...my standards aren't too high.

More importantly, great review! Very level-headed and informative.

Mar 4, 2012
sobeit says...

Stole the words from my mouth, the amount of fan service is disgusting, it isn't even really fan service. They're just recycling content and pretending like previous episodes never happened.

There is no development in the relationship between the main protagonists that I've seen so far, and I'm more than half way through the season. It's getting rediculous. It almost feels like I can't continue from here due to how retarded it is getting with itself.

I will finish this series in it's entirety, but this whole season sucks so far. Any ounce of merit they had earned with compelling plot are quickly erased and you begin to actually hate the main characters for their repetition.

This season can only have a low score.

Dec 7, 2011
eaceG says...

I completely concur with your review. The elements which I enjoyed in the first season was overshadowed by the excessive amount of fanservice til the point of indifference. This was particularly the case for Siesta (and Henrietta to a lesser extent), who progressively became so bad that it felt completely out of character. Like you said, it was the development of minor characters which saved the series from eating itself up. Although it's obvious that the second season was made with the intention of continuing with a third season, I feel that Futatsuki no Kishi could have been much more refined and better executed.

Nov 23, 2011