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In A World where young witches and wizards train at the Tristain Academy of Magic. One of these students is Louise, who's so terrible at magic she's earned the nickname Zero. When the time comes for students to summon their familiars, she ends up summoning Saito Hiraga, a normal teenager from modern Japan. Even though he's being treated like a dog and forced to do menial labor, Saito stays to protect his mistress. This means dealing with incoming advances from other women around him and getting involved in a war between Tristain's neighboring countries....

Originally a series of Light Novels written by Noboru Yamaguchi, it has since received three seasons of anime adaptations, namely Zero no Tsukaima, Knight of the Twin Moons and The Princess' Rondo. The anime has been released in English as The Familiar of Zero. A fourth and final season, titled Zero no Tsukaima F, aired in the beginning of 2012.

The light novels currently stand at 20 volumes plus 3 side story volumes. You can find up to Volume 14 (and more being translated at varying speeds) here.

Season 4, Familiar of Zero F, can be viewed here legally on Crunchyroll.

This series contains examples ofEdit

  • Above The Influence - Saito persistently brushes off the advances of a Love Potion afflicted Louise in the first season. Being Louise it does not stop her being furious with him when she recovers.
    • He often acts this way towards the other women as well, despite the fact that they all insist they're okay with it. While he has intentionally kissed some of them, he often ends up regretting it.
  • Abuse Is Okay When Its Female On Male
  • A Cup Angst - Louise is very insecure about her bust size, and believes this is why Saito keeps looking at other women.
    • When Saito tries calming her by claiming to love flat chests Tabitha simply points out that hers are smaller. Louise just can't win.
    • Seems to be affecting Tabitha a bit too in Season 4.
  • Aerith And Bob - There are names like Henrietta, Guiche, Tabitha, Agnes... all appropriate for the setting. Then there are names like Hiraga Saito and Siesta. People do notice Saito's fairly strange name, but it's justified. Seems to be played straight in Siesta's case - there's no expy nation of Spain, her only named relatives have British-sounding names, and she's of Japanese descent.
  • Alien Sky - The world the show takes place in has two moons, thus everyone assumes Saito's lying when he says his world has one.
  • Ambiguously Brown - Kirche.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me - Wardes tries to do this to Louise in Season 1.
    • Non-villainous example with Tabitha in Season 4. She tells Louise that if she ever gets in a bad argument with Saito again, the former will take Saito away and marry him.
  • Asleep For Days - Saito sleeps for three days after his first duel with Guiche.
  • Armor Piercing Slap - Louise gives one to Henrietta after the former confronts the latter about constantly hitting on Saito in episode 6 of Season 4. Henrietta tries to counter, but Louise blocks it, then it turns into a naked wrestling match in the hot springs.
  • The Atoner - Mr. Colbert.
    • Also, King Joseph can be seen as a twisted example. It's hinted at that he truly regrets not feeling remorse over killing his brother and that all his actions up to this point have been an attempt to try and make himself feel remorseful.
  • Author Existence Failure - Ultimately and thankfully averted, but the fandom received a huge scare in July of 2011 when the author, Noboru Yamaguchi, announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer and was to be operated on. The surgery passed by on August 4 without incident, but the cancer scare still led to the last two volumes being delayed a bit.
  • Awesome Moment Of Crowning - Saito and Louise get them, though Louise's is significantly less awesome in the anime.
  • Ax Crazy - King Joseph of Gallia. The previous king awarded the throne to him instead of his brother. His brother expresses happiness over Joseph having been made king instead of the seething jealousy Joseph had been hoping to see. This causes him to snap and murder his brother in a fit of rage during a hunting trip some time after.
  • Badass Bookworm - Tabitha.
  • Baka - Louise constantly refers to Saito as baka-inu (literally stupid dog), usually when she's about to beat him senseless.
  • Bare-Handed Riding Crop Block
  • Battle Couple - Saito and Louise.
    • Justified with any Void user. As their partner fights and protects them as their incredibly powerful spell takes some time to chant.
  • Beach Episode - The recent OVA: octopus ensues.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension - Probably one of the best examples since the Takahashi originals.
  • Beta Couple - Montmorency and Guiche. More dysfunctional than most examples, but nothing compared to the leads.
  • Betty And Veronica - Siesta as Betty and Louise as Veronica. Thanks to the Anime's Flanderization the roles were arguably switched.
  • Big Bad Wannabe - Definitely Cromwell.
  • Big Eater - In the manga, at least, Tabitha can put it away with the best of them.
  • Bishie Sparkle - Guiche, as well as his familiar.
  • Black Comedy Rape - Louise's mistreatment of Saito occasionally leans dangerously towards S&M...
  • Blow You Away - Wind mages.
  • Blush Sticker - On Irukukwu/Sylphid
  • Body Double - Wales, although it turns out to be a lie, his body has been reanimated instead.
  • Bodyguard Crush - Familiars are summoned to protect their masters. Saito is a familiar and Louise is his master. Do the math.
  • Bolivian Army Ending ・Both Volume 2 and 7 end with a variation of this, though the ones at the receiving end are not the main characters. In Volume 2, the Albionian Royalists・glorious last stand got most of the wind knocked out of it after Prince Wales・assassination, so they ended up getting ignobly massacred. Volume 7 closes with Cromwell, up to then the main antagonist, cheerfully greeting the 途einforcements・from the Gallian airship armada・ only to be bombarded and killed along the rest of the Reconquista army.
  • Bottle Fairy - Kirche.
  • Broken Bird - Tabitha; more on Rags To Royalty.
  • Broken Pedestal - Viscount Wardes is this towards Louise.
  • Buxom Is Better - Several of the women, particularly Henrietta and Siesta, utilize this trope in an attempt to seduce Saito. Louise is not too happy about that.
  • Cannot Stand Them Cannot Live Without Them - Pretty much the premise of the series.
    • Taken to literal extremes in Volume 8 of the novel. A depressed Louise is upset that even in a dream, she's unable to tell Saito she loves him. Deciding she can't leave him until she's said it at least once, she attempts suicide just to meet him again. Only to be stopped by Siesta. Only to fall either way. Don't worry, they get out safe and sound... at Guiche's expense...
  • Casanova - Guiche, and possibly Julio, though he tends to have girls running after him instead.
  • Censor Steam - In the anime and light novels.
  • Chains Of Love - The second season ending theme, in lyrics and imagery.
  • Character Development - Less apparent in the anime, but virtually every recurring character becomes more rounded as the series progresses, mostly as a result of growing maturity as well as the stark realisation of the looming threats of war.
  • Character Exaggeration: Every single named character gets this, with varying levels, in the anime; their quirks and personality traits are amplified for the sake of constant slapstick. Louise is more violent and mistrusts Saito more easily, resulting in more punishment and explosions for him; Saito himself is more of a willing pervert, the accidental part is less pronounced, resulting in him actually deserving some of the punishing; Siesta appears in situations she wasn't originally in, heavily exaggeriting her clingy quirks and snark comments on her bigger bossom over Louise's.
  • Chekhovs Boomerang - The Water Ruby, a ring which Henrietta passed to Louise as a good luck charm before assigning her to a mission in Albion. It became vital when it was used to convince Prince Wales of Albion that Louise is really Tristain's ambassador. It is however more than just a Tristainian royal keepsake as it was later revealed to be essential in unlocking the secrets of Void magic.
  • The Chess Master - Joseph, Tabitha's uncle, had Tabitha go on suicide missions after nearly poisoning her, started the Tristian-Germania war with Albion through a group he was manipulating, made small nuclear rocks, and caused another war to break out between his nation and Tristania.
  • Collector Of The Strange - Rukhsana, an elven researcher introduced in Volume 18 of the light novels, likes to collect human artifacts from Halkeginia. However, she tends to mistake the functions of those artifacts, leading her use them in strange ways, such as hanging a bucket on a hat-stand, or using an upturned umbrella as a container.
  • Cool Loser - Kirche, Tabitha, Louise and Saito were all shunned by their peers at one point. Not so much any more.
  • Cool Ship - The Ostland. In a world where flying sailing ships and flying chariots are the norm, a ship that is powered by both magic and technology[1] and packed with technologically-inspired magic weapons is simply awesome.
  • Cool Teacher - Mr. Colbert. Also a Badass Teacher.
  • Cry Cute - Louise, who's absolutely adorable when she actually allows herself to be honest with her feelings.
    • Pushed to the point of near-woobification in Volume 13 of the novels, when a barely-composed Louise tells Saito that without him she'll never smile again, right before she drugs him and offers herself to Romalia's cause in order to have him sent back to Japan.
  • Dance Of Romance - When Louise is a guest of honour at the academy's ball, several nobles ask her to dance, but she turns them all down and asks Saito to dance with her. Saito later admits that this is the moment he fell for Louise.
  • Dark Skinned Redhead - Kirche.
  • Death Faked For You - Kirche lied about Mr. Colbert's death when he is just severely injured to prevent Agnes from exacting revenge on him.
    • In the anime, it was Tabitha who did the faking, but in both cases, Mr. Colbert ended up recuperating in Kirche's family estate.
  • Defeat Means Friendship - Episode ten of season two, an enemy dragon-rider Saito shoots down helps him and Louise escape enemy territory.
  • Denied Food As Punishment - Louise did that to Saito from time to time early in the series.
  • Determinator - Saito. Even dying fails to slow him down for long.
  • Dirty Old Man - Headmaster Osmond.
  • Dishing Out Dirt - Earth mages.
  • Dude Shes Like In A Coma - In the second novel, Saito tried to undress Louise in her sleep.
  • Dude Wheres My Respect - To list some of Saito's accomplishments:
    • Fought and stalled an army of seventy thousand.
    • Saved Tabitha, a princess of the neighboring country.
    • Showed nobles that, yes, even commoners can kick their asses.
    • Gained the admiration of several nobles in the academy.
    • Can use modern weapons--that is, a M72 LAW rocket launcher that has fallen into the country somehow.
    • Fought an elf and survived. This is one of his biggest ones, really, as elves in the novel are practically demigods.
    • Refused a chance to abandon Halkegenia and return to his homeland Japan (although he was lined up to be murdered by the Pope's Windalfr, or fatally injured if he stepped into the portal), got a tank, and defeated an entire platoon of magitek weapons designed specifically to ward magic. By himself, with ammunition support from Tabitha and steering from Colbert. His victory was then claimed by Vittoro's Crusaders faction to be entirely their job and their success. Twice. This time all of the Undine Knights were upset by that.
    • ...And yet Louise still shows him no respect, even calling him a dog and continuing to whip him. She also refuses to accept his being a noble meaning similar or equal grounds to her. When this was mentioned to her in the Light Novel, she flew into a torrent about how . She then called him a dog some more for good measure.
  • Elemental Hair: On the Played Straight side, we've got Fiery Redhead Kirche (fire affinity), Rei Ayanami Expy Tabitha (wind), Mme. Chevreuse (brown / Earth), and Miss Longueville (green / Earth). On the other hand, Shana Clone Louise, Ill Girl Cattleya, and their mother Karin all have pink hair, but all have a different affinity (Void, Earth, and Wind, respectively). It's notable that the main characters who are not magic users of some kind (Seito, Siesta, Marteau, Scarron, and Jessica) all have very dark brown or black hair.
  • Elemental Powers - Magic is divided into the classical elements of earth, fire, wind, water and the not-so-lost element of strike:heart void Louise can use it, but that is the only of the 5 elemental magic types she can use, that means, she can only destroy... Blow thing or people (mostly her familiar) up..
  • Element Number Five - Void.
  • Emotionless Girl - Tabitha. However, she has a VERY good reason to be like that (Her mother saved her from an worse-than-assassiantion-plot involving a drink laced with an insanity-inducing agent... By drinking it. Did someone give her an idiocy-inducing agent before that?).
  • Enemy Mine: Whenever the love triangle expands, Louise and Siesta keep teaming up to try and take down the other girls to eliminate the competition.
  • Even The Girls Want Her - Louise has been kissed more than once by ladies, and is often victim to Marshmallow Hell as well.
    • Tiffania as well, at least in the anime. If they are a character, they have stared at her breasts at least once.
  • Even The Guys Want Him - Saito. Both Marteau and Julio act rather suspiciously around him. Oh and Scarron, the Macho Camp inn manager, said that Saito's just his type as well.
  • Excalibur In The Rust - Saito's sword Derflinger.
  • Expy - Louise and Saito strongly resemble Shana and Yuuji and have the same voice actors to boot.
  • Eye Catch - Usually of a female character(s) in the show with a tiny animation of Saito and Louise on the bottom part of the screen.
  • Fake Out Make Out - Times two.
  • Familiar
  • Fan Girl - Saito and his male friends get a few after the Albion wars, hell even a girl support group formed from the schoolgirls in first and second year to help them.
    • After his exploits in Romalia and Gallia, Saito comes back to Tristain and finds that a play his been written about him. It plays him up as a hero of the plebeians. His fan base has been extended to all the commoner woman who now want a piece of him (at least in the anime).
  • Fanservice - It's trowelled on in very thick amounts, especially in the later seasons, to the point where it can be distracting to the actual plot.
  • Fantastic Racism - Tiffania hides her ears because of this toward elves. This may have something to do with religion, as evidenced by the inquisition Tiffania has to endure.
    • References in the light novels indicate the elves hold the Holy Land, and are resented for this as well as being feared for having unusually powerful magic. Montmorency said at one point that even a Square Mage is at a disadvantage against an elf.
    • This also applies to nobles, who treat commoners like crap because they can use magic and commoners can't.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture - Most of the countries and several of the character names are actual historical names, such as Prince Wales Tudor of Albion, Henriette Anne of England (Louis XIV's mistress, 'cuz her husband, Prince Philipe was busy with Armand de Gramont, Comte de Guiche) and her maidservant Louise de La Valierre (also Louis' mistress; the real Guiche was, prior to this, trying to get into her pants too, but Louis was ... persuasive). At times, Real Life is far more depraved and interesting than fiction, namely Julio Cesar (just translate a little in your head). Maricorn isn't exactly historical, but has a rather ... interesting ... Spanish meaning.
    • First season also features a regicide named Cromwell. And the chancellor of Tristain is Cardinal Mazarin.
    • Julio arrogantly named himself after the Fantasy Counterpart of Caesar, who apparently lived centuries ago in the history of the setting. So he's not actually a fantasy counterpart of a historical figure, just a fanboy of the fantasy counterpart of a historical figure.
    • To sum up, all five major states in Halkeginia are actually fantasy counterparts of actual historical European states. Albion appears to be based on Stuart England, Tristain on Belgium, Gallia on Bourbon France (or the Ancien Régime in general), Germania on Holy Roman Imperial Germany and Romalia on the Papal States.
    • There are some scarce hints in the tenth novel that the Elves are Arab counterparts. For one thing, they're stated to control the Rub' al Khali (Arabia's Empty Quarter), and there's also a reference to them holding the Sahara.
    • The fourteenth novel introduces a Gallian warrior named Batz Castlemorre. Charles de Batz-Castelmore was more commonly known as d'Artagnan (yes, he really existed).
  • Fat Best Friend - Malicorne
  • First Girl Wins - Mostly played straight, but mildly toyed with as well. Louise was the first girl we're introduced to, she wasn't the first girl to whom Saito showed an overt attraction, but she was the first girl he shared an intimate moment with, and she's the one he's ultimately fallen in love with.
  • Fish Out Of Water - Saito.
  • Floating Continent - Albion's called the White Country because of the clouds that gather around its underside.
  • Forgotten Phlebotinum - Saito's ability to see through Louise's eye. Used once earlier on, and then never again, though it may have been mentioned once or twice.
    • It's used once in Volume 2 and again in Volume 11. The purpose of the ability is to notify Gandalfr whenever his master is in danger he wouldn't otherwise know about. The first time it was used was when Wardes turned traitor and tried to kill Louise. The second time was when the golem Jörmungand ambushed Louise and his fellow Knights of Ondine on their way out of Albion. Both times it notified Saito of his master's peril so he could come to the rescue. Unfortunately there are a whole bunch of other times where it would have come in handy but is just never mentioned, so this trope is usually in effect.
  • For The Evulz - After Joseph steals Louise's void magic ability in episode 3 of Season 4, he uses it to set off some magical bombs. His reasoning for all the evil deeds he's doing is because he wants to feel some kind of emotion, such as Louise does when she begins to shed tears after he starts blowing up his fleet along with Romalia's fleet. He doesn't seem to care that his actions are hurting or killing lots of people.
    • King Joseph's stated goal is to destroy the world, causing atrocity after atrocity until he is finally capable of showing remorse over the acts he has committed.
  • Gag Boobs - Tiffania.
  • Gainaxing - Tons and tons.
  • Genki Girl - Sylphid in human form.
  • Give Me A Sword
  • The Glomp - In the last episode of the second season, where Saito returns from the dead to Louise, who flies through the air into his arms.
  • Grail In The Garbage - Saito's talking sword.
  • Gratuitous English - Rather oddly considering they're supposed to be French-speaking, Queen Henrietta at least once clearly addresses Colbert as Mister Colbert. Sheffield also uses the term Miss at one point to address Louise, although Sheffield is an English name, so she's got an excuse.
  • Green Eyed Monster - Literally. Triggering Louise's insecurities over Saito is the quickest way to recharge her willpower--willpower that allows Louise to unleash the apocalypse and manipulate the logic of reality.
  • Gunship Rescue - End of season 1.
    • Happens again at the end of Season 4, this time with a Mitsubishi F-2A fighter jet.
  • Hadaka Apron - Under the influence of her uncle and cousin, Siesta serves this to Saito along with the dinner in season 3 episode 6.
  • Hair Color Dissonance - In the novels, Louise's hair is described as strawberry-blonde, but already drawn as pink on the covers.
  • Hair Colors - Pink, blue, purple, white, you name it! There are several black-haired characters, but it turns out they're all descendants of an earlier visitor from our world.
  • Hair Color Spoiler - On multiple counts: anyone with Louise's hair color is in her immediate family, black-haired folk are visitors from our world or descendants thereof, and the villain from season three is Tabitha's uncle.
  • Happily Married - Louise and Saito in the series finale of the Anime. The show ends with Louise using World Door to visit Earth with Saito to announce their marriage to his parents.
  • Happiness In Slavery - Even after all the whipping and explosions Saito has suffered under Louise, he still loves her and steadfastly remains loyal and protective. Quite possibly best exemplified in the last episode of season one, where instead of going home to his world, Saito throws away his only chance to save/stay with Louise, and the first episode of season three, when the runes disappear from Saito's hand, meaning he is no longer Louise's familiar. Despite this, he promises to never leave, suggesting they can now live as a regular couple. Of course, Louise, being the tsundere she is, promptly blows him up.
  • Harem Hero - Saito. How many girls are fighting on his side?
  • Harem Series - While Louise is the obvious winner, most of the women in the show have expressed interest in Saito at one time or another, including newcomer The Quiet One Tabitha, who seals his lips with a kiss.
  • Hegemonic Empire: Romalia also utilizes a different sort of hegemony over Halkagenia, a continent that consists of five independent nations (Albion, Gallia, Germania, Romalia, and Tristain). Romalia is relatively weak militarily, and it often remains neutral (such as when Albion declared war on Tristain), but the Romalian Emperor, by exerting control over the church, can nonetheless override the other rulers' decisions.
  • Heroic Resolve - In the last episode of season two, even as Saito's worn out and nearing his limit, he thinks of Louise and regains the will to fight an army of 70,000 die hard soldiers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice - Last episode of season two.
  • Hopeless Suitor - Pretty much any of the women who are interested in Saito. Louise will make sure to either confront them about it, or else beat up Saito out of jealousy.
  • Hot Springs Episode - Comes up every once in a while.
  • Hot Chick With A Sword - Agnes.
  • I Kiss Your Hand - Subverted. Princess Henrietta offers Saito her hand to kiss in recognition of his achievements, but Saito ・being from modern Japan (though this really shouldn't be an excuse) ・misunderstands what is meant by kiss and instead sweeps the princess off her feet in a deep embrace and kiss that leaves her stunned.
  • Instant Expert - Saito temporarily gains mastery of any weapon he holds, though there's actually a reason for this.
    • Julio and Sheffield/Myoznitnirn have similar commands of magical creatures and items, respectively. There's a reason for that too.
  • Ironic Name: Kirche means Church in German, and she doesn't act anywhere near holy.
  • It Gets Easier - Lampshaded by Colbert, who desperately wish his students to not turn out that way.
  • It Works Better With Bullets - The Staff of Destruction works better with a rocket inside.
    • The Zero Fighter also falls victim to this in the anime.
  • Jerkass - So far it's shown nobles of Louise's world are pretty much this, including our pink haired main character, although there are exceptions of course but too few.
  • Joshikousei - In one of the light novels, Saito has a seifuku made and persuades Siesta to wear it. Guiche and Malicorn loudly express outrage at how indecent it looks (compared to the Academy uniforms?), but they're clearly fascinated - and then Guiche asks where he can get one, implying he's going to try and talk Montmorency into wearing it ... in private.
    • In the anime, Saito sees the seifuku at a shop (how the shop obtained it is anybody's guess) and buys it for Siesta. Later in the episode when the main cast is trapped in a cave, Siesta comes running to them (complete with very audiable Gainaxing) wearing the seifuku, much to the party's amusement.
  • Kick The Dog - Louise regularly calls Saito a dog. She treats him much, much worse.
  • Kill It With Fire - How the religious dissenters of D'Angleterre were dealt with. Agnes, the only survivor of the massacre, made uncovering the people responsible for the massacre her lifelong quest.
  • Kissing Cousins - In the Manga it is revealed that Wales and Henrietta are cousins. Must have been too 'Squick' for the Anime.
    • It's mentioned once, in passing.
  • Last Stand - Saito does one during the end of Season 2, combined with One Man Army. As to be expected of such lopsided odds, it doesn't go well for him, although he does buy the Tristan army the time they needed to evacuate. It's also subverted because although he technically dies, he's brought back to life almost right away shortly afterwards.
  • Law Of Inverse Recoil - Surprisingly done correctly: Saito fires off a rocket launcher with no recoil.
  • Lighter And Softer - If you read the novels after having watched the anime, you'll be outright startled at how much the violence was toned down. For example, when Saito beat Wardes for the first time, rather than just swinging his sword at Wardes and making him collapse, Saito hacked his arm off. And during their final confrontation, rather than Wardes vanishing in the explosion of light created by Louise's void magic, he is ventilated by high-caliber machine gun rounds.
  • Limp And Livid - Guaranteed with Louise every time her and Saito's relationship gets rocky.
  • Loads And Loads Of Characters - There's all the students, a couple of teachers, the familiars, the Big Bad, the Queen...
  • Lost In Imitation - Tabitha owes a lot to Rei (from Evangelion). So at first glance her mother's story looks like a tie in to Rei's Red Oni counterpart. Actually the reason for her mother's madness is directly taken from Princess Kushana's story in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (which is also where Eva adapted it from).
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch - Kirche.
  • Love Makes You Crazy - Louise's obsession with Saito will cause her to beat him if he so much as looks at another woman. And when he (occasionally) gets angry and leaves she ends up hardly able to leave her bed.
    • This actually is a reoccurring theme in the franchise as a whole. To the point where it's actually easier to count the number of relationships where the partners aren't completely out of their minds then it is to count the number of relationships where people are.
  • Love Martyr - Sometimes Saito borders on this. Louise can be an utter bitch at times.
  • Love Potion - Not that it doesn't work as intended. In fact, it works TOO well.
    • Love Potions return again in the third season. Siesta plans to use one on Saito, but by Finagles Law, it ends up spreading to a good amount of the women at the academy.
    • Also, in the first case, at least, it seems to have the effect of severely altering the drinker's personality. Louise goes from regularly beating Saito to being ridiculously submissive. This is probably because if all it did was make her fall in love with Saito, the effect probably would have been unnoticeable, as her (denied) love for him was what led her to drink the potion in the first place.
      • Incidentally it ONLY alters their personality, nothing else. Saito found this out the hard way when Louise reverted back to normal, complete with all her memories of everything that had happened. In Detail. She was not happy
  • Luminescent Blush - Louise. and it comes with the whole tsundere package.
  • Macguffin Delivery Service - Louise and Prince Wales play this part in episode eleven alowing Waldo to get ahold of Henrietta's letter to Wales and thus stopping Henrietta's marriage to the prince of Germania and leaving Tristain without allies before Albion's invasion
  • Macho Camp - Inn manager Scarron.
  • Magic A Is Magic A - Void magic can decimate entire armies! How? It's void magic, baby!
  • Magical Girlfriend - Inverted. A normal, human male (Saito) is transported to a magical world where he is enslaved falls in love with Louise. It's complicated.
  • A Magic Contract Comes With A Kiss - Saito becomes Louise's familiar through a kiss.
    • Saito becomes Tiffania's familiar this way too.
    • Louise seems to be the only wizard-wannabe to do that during the ceremony. I hardly imagine Montmorency kissing a frog without making a fuss. Another is the neigh-impossible thought that Louise could kiss a dragon or a manticore if she did manage to summon one. If it were me, good grief, I'd rather pick a human over anything.
      • Joseph & Sheffield have stated that they underwent this ritual in Season 4. In the anime, at least.
  • Magic Contract Romance - The romance between Louise and her familiar Saito.
  • Magic Wand - Most of the mages use these, while some, like Tabitha and the headmaster, use staves instead.
  • Magical Incantation - All elemental spells require incantations, which are composed of a random chain of actual names of runes from the various runic alphabets, especially the Elder Futhark.
  • The Magocracy
  • Making A Splash - Water mages.
  • Marshmallow Hell - Kirche is fond of using this to seduce Saito.
  • A Match Made In Stockholm - Saito and Louise.
  • Meaningful Echo - As the True Companions makes their way toward rescuing Tabitha, she's reading a story about a girl being rescued from a dragon. Saito admits to Louise (in the light novel, at least) that he's trembling with fear of the elf they have to fight; the story Tabitha's reading mentions that the hero who rescues the girl trembles with fear of the dragon. And the overcoming of the elf's shields parallels the dragon's defeat as, both times, the sword suddenly glows (in Derflinger's case, with Louise's Void Dispel) before striking the final blow.
  • Meaningful Name - A mage's runic name is chosen to reflect his or her elemental affinity and abilities. For example, Tabitha's runic name is Blizzard, implying she's skilled with wind and water spells, while Guiche's is Bronze because he prefers to summon bronze golems that fight for him.
    • If you think about it, Louise's unwanted nickname zero actually fits her very well, since it turns out she can cast void magic to nullify magic effects.
  • Meido - Siesta.
    • And most of episode 7, which involves an inn with waitresses in revealing meido outfits and a Macho Camp manager.
  • Mind Rape / More Than Mind Control - Louise spends most of volumes 10 and 11 angsting over the possibility that Saito's then-newfound courage and determination could be the result of the Familiar contract brainwashing him into servility, and wondering if his feelings for her could be a fabrication as well. This gets solved in two parts:
    • In volume 10, Louise confronts Saito on his (perceived) fearlessness, prompting him to explain somewhat angrily that he's actually scared out of his wits yet trying his best to retain composure. Fittingly, a normal person persevering in the face of danger and his own fear is precisely the theme of The Hero of Ivaldi, the book Tabitha spends most of the volume reading.

-**Saito: 的 actually don稚 have any such courage. I am ashamed to say it, but to be frank, I致e been trembling fearfully for a while now. Trembling with excitement? Quit joking. I am shivering in fear.・

    • Still unconvinced, in volume 11, Louise has Tiffania use her Oblivion spell to erase any possible thought-alteration that the contract could have caused, with somewhat unexpected results. For a while, Saito had noticed that he壇 get severe bouts of homesickness whenever he was far from Louise, and it's then revealed that the Familiar contract acts as a suppressant for those emotions whenever the Master is close. While Louise's other fears turn out to be unfounded, Saito is hit with a year's worth of homesickness all at once and suffers a temporary Heroic BSOD. In the end, he gets over it and returns to Louise all the same, but not before voicing his annoyance at her continuing to distrust his feelings.

-**Saito: 鏑isten you! How long can I keep telling 選 love you・to a girl who does not return my feelings?! I should be getting a medal for this!・* Mismatched Eyes - Julio, in the second season.

  • Mistress And Servant Boy
  • The Mole - strike: Ms. Longueville strike: Foquet Matilda
    • Not Belldandy, then?
  • Moment Killer - This anime just LOVES this trope. In almost EVERY possible situation where a Moment could happen, any other character just conveniently walks into the situation and everything is ruined. Cue Explosion. If they don't walk in, it is at the very least witnessed by someone else and consequences will be had later. Basically, nobody in this show has a sense of privacy and everyone has impeccable timing.
    • And if no one else can kill the Moment Saito will strike: accidently find a way to say something stupid, usually about events involving another girl or Louise's breast size, out loud in front of Louise.
  • Mood Whiplash - Again, the last episode of season two where Saito comes back alive, embracing a tearful Louise, but ruining the moment by telling he was saved by an elf. He makes this worse by talking about her breasts and staring at Siesta's. My god, Saito, just shut your mouth for once.
  • Mons - All familiars besides Saito.
  • My Friends And Zoidberg - Happens to Saito after he was knighted.
  • My Hero Zero - Louise's nickname. And it's in the freaking title too.
  • New Transfer Student - Julio in the second season, Tiffania in the third.
  • Not So Different - While the elves and humans both display Fantastic Racism, in episode 9 of Season 4, after Lukshana goes off on her own to explore Tabitha's castle, Guiche and Ari both go looking for her. Montmorency later sees Guiche talking to a maid and immediately assumes that he's cheating on her (again). She refuses to listen to an explanation and storms off, after which Ari mentions that when it comes to women, they both have the same issues. Both of them are later seen eating together and angrily agreeing with each other with supposedly how badly their women treat them.
  • Not What It Looks Like - Often followed by magical explosions, whips or a combination of both.
    • And whips were involved in at least one Not What It Looks Like.
    • One morning, Agnes bursts into Louise's room to deliver some news. Louise is straddling Saito on the floor. Her shirt's undone, her stocking is torn, and she's out of breath. Saito's only wearing his shorts. Not what it looks like, or exactly what it looks like? (Never mind the question of if she had started whipping the poor boy that morning, or perhaps had simply not stopped beating him since the night before.)
  • Not Worth Killing - Tabitha finally has the chance to kill her uncle, Joseph in episode 3 of Season 4, and nearly goes through with it, but then stops herself. Luckily for her, his familiar does the job for her by setting off the last magical bomb.
  • Nuke Em - The holy land revealed that this is a possible event, with the discovery of a Soviet submarine with nuclear missiles in them. And Saito's Gandalfr runes are meant to work with them.
  • One Man Army - Saito in the climax of the second season. And it is awesome.
  • Ordinary High School Student - Saito.
  • Our Elves Are Better - Tiffania Westwood in the third season has all the traits of a Wood Elf (while technically a Half-Elf), along with another set of traits.
    • She's the nicest elf I've ever seen in more ways than one.
  • Overly Long Name - Montmorency's full name is Montmorency Margarita la Fère de Montmorency.
    • Long names, given the medieval setting, is common:
      • Louise's full name is Louise Françoise le Blanc de la Vallière, named after a real-life French courtesan.
      • Kirche's full name is Kirche Augusta Frederica von Anhalt Zerbst.
      • By the end Saito's is Saito Chevalier de Hiraga des Ornières.
  • Pettanko - Louise.
    • Tabitha takes the cake as far as (small) size is concerned, but it doesn't seem to bother her.
  • Person Of Mass Destruction - Louise, when her willpower's not exhausted, is a pretty good candidate for this trope's poster girl.
  • Pet The Dog - Kirche comforting Tabitha was a very tender moment for her.
  • Playing With Fire - Fire mages.
  • Poor Communication Kills - Louise and Saito have both made lots of progress in their relationship. Their problem is complete obliviousness on both ends. Saito probably wouldn't be blasted to hell and back so often if those two knew how to talk to (or simply cold read) each other. As it is, the fact Louise hasn't killed him yet is astonishing.
  • POV Boy Poster Girl - Crossed with Summon Everyman Hero.
  • Power Of Love - The light novels make it very clear that Saito's powers as a Gandalfr increase when feeling strong emotions. Anger, sadness, happiness, any will do, but Saito most frequently fuels his powers via his love for Louise.
    • In a reciprocal twist, the quickest way to recharge Louise's willpower is apparently to trigger any of her myriad feelings for Saito.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The arcs and deeper details surrounding them are compressed in the anime, or some are outright ignored; case in point being Tiffania's introduction and eventually joining Saito's party, in the novels she took some time to gather courage to leave the forest, that and she was taking care of lost children, the anime glosses this over and make her join right in.
  • Princess Curls - Montmorency.
  • Punch Clock Villain - Elemental Brotherhood. They oppose the heroes early in Season 4, but later are hired by Tabitha to help.
  • Pyro Maniac - Menvil... He just loves to burn humans to death. He said it himself.
  • Quadratic Wizards Linear Warriors - In-story example. The lack of any sort of Charles Atlas Superpower means that warriors and primitive muskets aren稚 much of a match against people who can conjure giant fireballs and massive tornadoes, thus Halkeginia's class gap between Muggle commonners and noble mages.
  • Rags To Royalty - Depending on how you look at it, Tabitha might qualify as either a Snow White or Goose Girl style version as she's actually Charlotte Helene Orléans, the rightful heir to the Gallian throne but was denied her position after her father got murdered during a duel with his own brother and her mother became mad after drinking a potent poison actually meant for Tabitha. She was then sent to Tristain to keep her out of the way and adopted the alias Tabitha, the name of a doll given to her by her mother. The conspirators then arranged for her to become a knight so they could use her magical talent as an excuse to send her on dangerous missions.
  • Ramming Always Works - Saito crashes his F-2A jet into the dragon at the end of Season 4. It exposes the dragon's weakness long enough for Louise to hit it with a supercharged Explosion spell using Saito's Lifdrasil ability.
  • Rant Inducing Slight - In episode 11 of the second season, Saito finally cracks near the end of the episode after a heated discussion with Louise about how much she (and others) care about their reputation more than their lives.
    • Another occurs in novel Volume 11 (heh...). After having his memories fixed, Saito rants about Louise's negatives (even Tabitha is amused), and later decides that finally giving Louise a piece of his mind is more important than dealing with the uber-golem below, and does so without hesitation.

-**Saito: What's so good about you? No one would take notice of you - you are haughty like hell, you kick around when you sleep, you do not wear panties, one only can say 'I love you' to you out of pity for the bust-handicapped girl, really. There's nothing else to praise you for. When I ignore you, you try to provoke me calling it a familiar's 'reward', but when I misunderstand and drool about it, you put me down with insults. Your head is as much of a zero as your chest is, idiot. Realize the reality, peach-haired fool.

  • Ready For Lovemaking
  • Reasonable Authority Figure - Most of them, in fact. Mr. Colbert could even be said to go to unreasonable lengths in his reasonableness, agreeing to be complicit in treason in order to help one of his students.
  • Red Oni Blue Oni - Kirche and Tabitha.
  • Relationship Voice Actor - Satoshi Hino and Rie Kugimiya. Saito and Louise. This speaks for itself.
    • In the English dub, at least, Tabitha and Kirche, the quiet young mage with serious parental problems and her busty, energetic redhead best friend, are also Fate Testarossa and Arf... a quiet young mage with serious parental problems and her busty, energetic, redhead familiar.
  • Reset Button Ending - At least, the second season.
    • Considering that Volumes 7 and 8 had already been published, and gave a proper (and very good) development and resolution to the story arc of Saito's death, this is probably more a case of Executive Meddling or Producer Cop Out.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something - Queen Henrietta.
  • Schizo Tech - Magic is the norm, but occasionally technology from our world crosses the border by fluke.
  • Screw You Elves - In Louise's world, elves are feared due to their magical talents, such as unbreakable barriers. ... Unless you cast Dispel on the barrier and let Saito beat on them.
  • Secret Government Warehouse - Romalia has one located in the catacombs underneath its capital and is filled with assorted weaponry from Earth that are secretly collected by its agents around the Holy Land. The weapons range from AK-47 rifles to a Tiger II tank.
  • Separated At Birth - Tabitha and her twin sister. Said twin sister was left at a monastery by their mother, who was supposed to kill her to avoid a Succession Crisis between the two girls. The twin sister takes the throne after revealing she became Gallia's void user after Joseph's death.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely - Derflinger makes a remark to this effect when Louise dresses up for a ball.
    • Derflinger as well, as when they first got him he was just some rusted junk but now his a clean and polished blade.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend - More on the opposite end of the spectrum, as Saito's quite fine with expressing his love for Louise, while she gets into a blushing fit in the same situation. Even after they get married in the last episode of the second season, she's still embarrassed to even think of such things.
    • In the light novels, at least, she tried to commit suicide after Saito's heroic death, in distress not just because he was dead, but because even in a dream she couldn't say aloud that she loved him.
  • Shout Out - Hard to say if it's this or Theme Naming, but Guiche's giant mole-critter familiar is named Verthandi, the original (Norse) spelling of Belldandy's name from Ah My Goddess.
    • And some of the translations actually render the familiar's name as Belldandy -- which may just mean the translator didn't realize that's not the Norn's original name.
    • One episode features the cast investigating a secret chamber in the school, the entrance of which happens to be in a girl's bathroom. Yes.
    • Take a look at Belldandy (the mole). It has a blue triangle on its forehead. Belldandy from Ah My Goddess has a blue gem in her forehead.
    • Also, the series features a character named Louise Valliere, a Cardinal Mazarin, a teacher named Chevreuse, a quest to retrieve an embarrassing item from a royal's lover, a port named La Rochelle, and references to the Siege of Amiens. And that's just for starters.
  • Something Else Also Rises - The bathing scene with Saito and Siesta in episode eight of the anime has a subtle instance. After Seista joins in, the flames heating the bath cause the one of the pieces of firewood to jolt upward from one end.
  • Squishy Wizard - Most nobles turn out can't really fight well without their magic, subverted later on as military nobles know how to use weapons alongside their magic.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Dear gosh Saito, he is pretty much kidnapped from his world and treated so badly that PETA would be up in arms if it was happening to a dog. But in time he falls in love with the woman who practically enslaved him.
  • Status Quo Is God - No matter what happens to Louise and Saito you can rest assured that she'll be right back to blowing him up by the end of the episode.
  • Stealth Hi Bye - Tabitha and Tiffania does this a couple of times in Season 4, usually by being in Saito's bed. Cue a Not What It Looks Like moment before Louise blows him up.
  • Subordinate Excuse - Used ineffectually by Louise and Saito.
  • Suck My Rose - Guiche uses a rose as his wand and has the right personality to wield it.
  • Summon Everyman Hero
  • Superpowerful Genetics - The ability to use void magic is a trait limited to those with Royal Blood of the founders of Tristan, Romalia, Albion and Gallia. Not only that, there can be only one void user at a time for each bloodline, and each void user can only call a specific human familiar depending on the bloodline.
  • Super Speed - Saito's secondary power besides being a weaponsmaster.
  • Supporting Harem - Louise is a title character, and the story starts with their magical contract sealed by a First Kiss, but this doesn't stop other girls from trying.
  • Stripperiffic - Last quarter of season 3.
  • Sword And Gun - Agnes' armaments of choice are a pair of pistols and a longsword.
    • Saito eventually acquires an AK rifle. Never mind how it got there or where the ammo comes from, combine an AK with the Gandalfr powers, and that guy just got scary.
  • Sword And Sorcerer - Saito and Louise.
  • Take That - Surprisingly, the light novels of the series end up becoming a Take that and A Deconstruction of having a relationship with a Tsundere, more specifically, the Unfortunate Implications of Domestic Abuse caused by it. Especially after the 11th volume of the series.
  • Talking Weapon - Derflinger.
  • Tank Goodness - Later in the novel, Saito acquires a King Tiger II from WWII.
  • Thanks For The Mammaries - Saito's done this a couple of times, although usually while he's asleep or very shortly after waking up. He's also tried doing it to Louise, who's often not happy with it.
  • Theme Naming - In this case, it involves swords: Saito's talking sword is Derflinger while the display sword was said to have been made by a Count Spee. Derflinger was a WWI German Battlecruiser (named for a 30 Years War General), while Graf (Count) Spee would be a WWI German Admiral or the WWII pocket battleship named for him..
  • This Is My Boomstick - The M72 Light Anti-Tank Weapon is probably a play on this.
  • Too Dumb To Live - Tabitha's mother. After realizing that a drink someone just handed her daughter is probably poisoned; she snatches it from her hands to keep her from drinking it, and then proceeds to down the whole thing herself for reasons I can't begin to fathom.
    • To clarify, she and Tabitha were at a formal event (a ball?) and Tabitha was offered a drink. Being a noble, protocol meant that refusing the drink was an act of rudeness, and the assasin was taking advantage of it. Tabitha's mother managed to get wind of it and took the drink herself, so it's actually a case of Heroic Sacrifice. Perhaps she could have averted it by say knocking the drink over and spilling it, making it look like an accident, but possibly tarnishing their image in the process.
  • Took A Level In Badass - Saito from ordinary person to powerful familar. Also Louise, as her magical ability is explained.
  • Trademark Favorite Food - Tabitha is fond of hashibami leaf salad which according to other characters has a bitter and awful taste.
  • Translator Microbes - The Halkeginian language is magically translated into Japanese and vice-versa for the benefit of Saito and his interlocuters. The limitations of this form of translation became apparent in later volumes when Saito tried to learn the Halkeginian script and realised that he was reading the words as if they were translated idiomatically, which is not a problem if he just want to understand the overall meaning of the text but becomes a problem if he wanted to understand it literally.
  • Trapped In Another World - Not entirely true: even though Saito is trapped in Louise's world, he can still leave by flying into a solar eclipse. He chooses to stay and help Louise, though.
    • Played straight in the novels, one of his main motivations is getting back to his own world.
      • He still managed to find a possible way back to Earth, via a Void-based portal spell. By then however, he became too attached to Halkeginia and decided not to leave. At least for now.
  • Tsundere - Louise, with heavy emphasis on tsun.
    • She actually suffers Flanderization of this. She begins the series by getting mad when his Pet does something wrong (like broken panties that randomly fall off from Louise). In the second season, she gets pissed when Saito looks at other women (justificable, but still...). At third season, however, she gets berserk against Saito by the smallest of details, details she actually is the one to blame.
    • Her sister Eleonore may also be this, considering her rather...uh...Squee-full dreams.
  • Twelve Episode Anime - With 4 seasons now.
  • Unrequited Love - Pretty much all the women not named Louise towards Saito. It doesn't seem to stop them from trying however.
  • Un Sorcerer - Louise, of course.
  • Unusual Ears - Tiffania's very nervous about her ears, and wears something to cover them most of the time.
  • Upper Class Twit - Pretty much every student and many of the adult nobles seen throughout the series, including the good guys. However, those whose position requires more diplomacy like the faculty or the princess tend to have a more balanced outlook.
  • War Is Hell - Invoked by a number of characters, including the protagonists, and is contrasted with the general sentiments of the populace, especially the nobility, that War Is Glorious.
  • What Measure Is A Non Human - Louise reasons that since Saito was summoned through her familiar-summoning ritual, he's a familiar, despite being blatantly obviously a walking, talking, thinking, feeling human being. She subsequently decides this means she doesn't have to treat him like a human and proceeds to treat him in a way that would have her arrested for animal cruelty in our world if it wasn't being played for laughs.
  • Whip It Good - Louise and her sister Eleonore. Dealing pain must run in the family.
    • Their mom doesn't use a whip for her punishments, oh no she casts a Tornado Spell with Razor Wind as punishment.
    • Groin Attack - And when Louise doesn't have a whip, this is her alternative method.
  • Wizarding School - Which gets less and less emphasized as the series goes on.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko - Louise's other sister Cattleya.
  • Zettai Ryouiki - Most of the girls in the Tristain Academy of Magic, though the Musketeer Corps uniform seems to sport the tall boots version of this.

NotesEdit

  1. steam technology, but still....

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