The Familiar of Zero is written by Noboru Yamaguchi and illustrated by Eiji Usatsuka. It was first published in 2004. The series is still going strong with 20 volumes and counting. There have been four anime series based of the novels, each 12 episodes long. There are two light novel spin offs. Three manga based on it and an OVA. Also, there have been four games based on the series as well.
The first volumes sets every thing up very quickly and well. There series has that going for it. It is written quite well. The writing style is much better then other novels out there.
The thing I did like about how it was written was there were two separate stories in the first book. I would understand do this if they had nothing to do with each other. Such as it took place at a completely different time or place or involved different characters. But, that was not the case. The two stories went quite well together and even carried things over from the first story to the second. It felt like an episode brake. Which is fine, but it wasn’t needed.
An other thing I didn’t like was that after every thing got set up, all the characters were introduced and the rules of the world were laid out. The story then suffered. It became a little to cliche and predictable. The prime example of this is, at the end of the series Saito and Louise go after Fouquet the Sculptor. Fouquet the Sculptor turns out to be Longueville. I could see that coming a mile away. It wasn’t a big shock that Yamaguchi wanted it to be. I’m willing to over look that since the story is still interesting and I like the concept.
Even though I like this story and would like to see what happens, it’s so long. It’s not even over yet either. Why oh why dose there need to be over 20 volumes of any thing. Comic and manga get a pass on that, because they don’t take as long to read. But, if it’s a series, that is about 200 pages long each. It should not be 20 volumes long. I honestly just don’t have time for that. Ugh, I still want to know what happens. Why do you do this to me light novel writers why?
Just as a note, Yamaguchi died due to cancer in 2013. Which he had been fighting since 2011. He left this series unfinished, wanting to make 22 volumes. The series will continue, it is being written by his editors. His fans and family both back and encouraged his editors to do this. His family knew that he would have wanted to see the series get finished. Even though I’m not a huge fan of long series like this. I do want to finish it more because this man put his life in to it.
I do suggest this series. I can be a bit predictable but it is worth it. The world that Saito gets pulled into is interesting and I do really want to know what happens.
Do you have a light novel series you want me to read? Let me know in the comments down below.
Photo Credit: The Familiar of Zero, Noboru Yamaguchi, Eiji Usatsuka, Media Factory