Hey all, I intended to write this with Zero no Tsukaima, but I think the post will be excessively long since both shows are long and I need to write a lot so I decided to separate the post, then write a comparison post after.
Light novel origin, 26 volumes in 10 years, 2002-2012. Anime spanned for 3 seasons of 24mins each, a 5 ep OVA and a movie. I will write every season separately.
Season 1 starts off pretty slow. The first arc was a bit long, the introduction lasted for quite a few eps, escalation finally comes after 1/3 of the show’s overall length, but ended pretty anti-climatic too. The second arc kicks off straight after, but it was a short, condensed, pack and anti-climatic one. Third arc felt more worthwhile because the escalation are pretty high and character developments are also there. And the seasons wraps up pretty inconclusively back then when S2 wasn’t announced yet. But when S2 was announced, the ending was fine. Pacing for this season is pretty unstable, first arc and intro was very slow, but the second arc became fast and condensed.
The movie is just a remake and a slight extension to the first arc, it did get expanded for quite a bit. It’s worth watching.
Season 2 picks up wherever S1 left off. The escalation already started since ep1. Pacing is still pretty slow so the escalation became pretty unstable. The first arc ended pretty decently, and the second arcs kicks off, pacing became fast again and things start to get messy. Character development isn’t much in this season, but it was still a decent season. The arc’s condensation isn’t very strong this season, which is better.
The OVA comes in here and it just adapts random short stories at random timelines, so it’s a hit and miss.
The final season finally comes, and they timeskipped a lot, which made me a bit lost, its like The World God Only Knows all over again. But this season concentrates of the novel’s final arc so the show already started on a pretty high note, but this move can lead to people who never read the light novel to be lost. Pacing is stable this season. The show’s climax was pretty good, escalation has never been this high ever before. The ending was great and pretty touching, it feels really bad to see the series go, even though the ending was pretty predictable, but it feels really heartwarming to see a happy ending.
Animations all done by J.C.Staff. Character designs were awesome for the first 2 seasons and the OVAs. Animations were pretty bland though, S1 felt kind of bland, S2 came and they did not bother to update the quality, same was the OVA. S3 came and they finally redesigned the character designs and animations, but now I don’t like it. Shana’s hair looked bad compared to the previous 2 seasons now. Its like they spent all the money to make Shana’s hair looked pretty and abandoned the rest. But the animation upgrades were welcomed.
Music is great. All the OPs and EDs were made by I’ve Sound, with mainly Kawada Mami and Kotoko in charge of the vocals. They were all incredible. Shana’s soundtracks are great.
The cast list is a pretty long, but excellent list. Hino Satoshi, Kugimiya Rie, Ebara Masashi, Hayami Sho, Kawasumi Ayako, Nojima Kenji, Kondo Takayuki, Nojima Hirofumi, Kobayashi Yumiko, Asano Masami, Sakurai Tomo, Fujiwara Kenji, Sugo Takayuki, Saiga Mitsuki, Nabatame Hitomi, Ito Shizuka, Minagawa Junko, Katsuki Masako, Hanada Kenji, Kuwashima Houko, Kayano Ai, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Nomura Kenji, Sanpei Yuko, Nojima Akio, Iwata Mitsuo, Watanabe Akeno, Houki Tatsuhisa, Takamori Natsumi, Hayama Ikumi, Inoue Marina, Kiyokawa Motomu, Suwabe Junichi, Koyama Kimiko, Shiraishi Ryoko, Tamura Yukari, Konishi Katsuyuki, Kobayashi Sanae, Noto Mamiko, Miyake Kenta, Ohara Sayaka, Suzuki Tatsuhisa. I love them all, even though the cast list is long, but everyone managed to leave an impression for me to remember them.
Score: S1 | Movie | S2 | OVA | S3
Story: 8/10 | 8/10 | 8.5/10 | 7/10 | 9/10
Art: 8/10 | 7.5/10 (S3)
Music: 8/10 | 8/10 | 8/10
VAs: 8/10 | 8/10 | 8.5/10 | 8/10 | 9/10
Highly recommended for all to watch, and to finish all the seasons too. I love it to bits even though the story can be rather inconsistent sometimes. The ending is pretty much perfect, probably one of the most touching and happiest ending I have ever seen so far.