Zero no Tsukaima

Genre: Harem, Action, Fantasy
Score: OK
Rating: PG for fanservice

At a certain stage in every young magician’s life, they must conjour up a familiar, a creature that will be with them through life. Some manage to conjure up strange and terrifying creatures. But Louise, the student with zero talent, screws up again: she conjours a human instead. He’s Saito, a Japanese boy, who’s a little upset to find himself not only in a world where magic exists, but also told (when the language barrier is magically lifted) that he’s now required to be Louise’s servant for the rest of his life.

This is a fairly ordinary harem, with some nicely creative elements thrown in. The class barrier between aristocracy (including Louise and her classmates) and servants (Saito and most other people) is a nice touch. But even if it’s fun, I had a hard time accepting Louise as a love interest – Tsundere is one thing, but when a girl chains you up, beats you, takes away meals as a punishment for answering back and expects you to wash her underwear, it goes beyond playing hard to get. That he swallows it all without hitting her back is at times both impressive and really annoying. The other two love interests (it’s not a harem until you have three) are a servant girl who’s actually quite nice, and another magician who just seems to treat him like a nice toy she’s like.

Oh yeah, I think it has some plot eventually. Not very important though. And when, towards the end, they find an aircraft from our world and it turns out to be a Mitsubishi A6M Zero (the sort that attacked Pearl Harbour), it’s all a little too convenient.

Update: the following two seasons make it a little more serious, and add a little depth to the story, while still being very silly and fanserviceful.