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Warning: this article is full of magic and not so magical spoilers. Read at your own risk or please, choose another article instead.
We have to start this article remembering one sad fact. Noboru Yamaguchi, the creator of Zero no Tsukaima (Familiar of Zero), is not in this world anymore. He passed away in the year 2013. That was not the end of Louise´s and Saito´s adventures, as others have taken the lead to expand the original light novels. Thus, we have the anime, OAVs, manga and videogames.
So, welcome to the world of Ronald Weasley (if he was created in Japan and was a Tsundere girl, of course) :p The anime Familiar of Zero takes us to kingdoms inspired by Europe, particularly the Netherlands and nearby countries. We have a renowned magic school called Tristain Academy of Magic. We have an interesting teaching staff, books, classes… We have nobility. Rivalry. Adventure. Drama. Comedy. Of course, we have a good dose of romance at the hands of the magic student Louise and her human slave--we mean, familiar Saito.
Wanna grab your wizard hats, cloaks and swords to visit our dearest comical tsundere heroes: Saito and Louise? Let´s go!
Why Saito and Louise are our dearest comical tsundere heroes.
1. Because Louise was an incompetent mage.
Let´s bow respectfully to Louise Françoise de la Baume le Blanc de la Vallière. Yeah, even writing that name makes us tired. Here in Tristain Academy, noble families rule, so we have to be polite, unless we want Louise to go all tsundere on us. Believe us, unless you are into S&M, you don’t want that. Just ask Saito u.uU Louise is all about honor, being a benevolent and superior person towards regular people. She considers it her responsibility to make sure the royal family is safe. In short, Louise can pass as a snobbish person, but there is a reason behind all of it.
Yes, this is the story of a competitive childhood. Louise is the youngest of three sisters, all born to the Duke and Duchess de la Vallière. Duchess Karin used to be the strongest Wing Mage of her time, and even went to battle disguised as a guy. Both her eldest daughter Éléonore and Louise inherited her violent characteristics, plus, Éléonore is very strict towards her youngest sister, always reminding her about her lack of skills.
Louise isn´t safe in school either, as her incompetency with magic has won her the nickname “Zero Louise”. She is also bullied, so, our heroine is rather lonely. Does that stop her? Nope, she remains focused on improving herself. Actually, it is this will to improve herself that makes her summon Saito by accident in episode 1. This is the basis for the entire comedy in Zero no Tsukaima!
2. Because Saito was a helpless familiar.
Imagine that, as the hyper otaku you are, you were on your way to Akihabara to repair your laptop. Suddenly, you are in another world just in front of a gorgeous looking pink colored hair lady! This is what happened to Hiraga Saito, who used to be an average on everything before meeting Louise.
This couple has some dynamite going on there, as their relationship is… quite violent. Louise is very disappointed with Saito as her familiar (protector) at first, as she thinks her summoning spell was a failure. She yearns for perfection, and our hero does not look as particularly strong or skillful, amid his cluelessness on this new world he just arrived in. So, poor Saito becomes a slave for Louise, who treats him as a dog, or as a Cinderella guy. Yes, that includes doing house chores for his master.
Louise is also ashamed of Saito’s “commoner manners”, as she is from the royalty. Plus, Saito has a curious tendency of being the “lady’s man”, which means he is a magnet for women. Saito’s young blood is boiling with teenage hormones, so, he has been caught on several occasions watching female attributes (if you know what we mean), which prompts Louise to whip him. Thus, Saito is also called lovely names such as dog and water flea. It is not surprising that with the super treatment Saito receives, he is more interested in returning to Japan in season 1. Louise just does it because she likes him; that’s why she’s the tsundere queen!
3. Because they help other people.
We have already mentioned that Louise takes it seriously to be better than the average person, and that means that, if there is someone in danger, she can not remain silent and watch. At first, Louise considers this her duty as an aristocrat, although with time, she becomes less centered on that. This is thanks to Saito, as shown in Episode 6 of season 1. Louise had a battle against a giant golem and Saito shouted repeatedly to her to retreat, as she was no match for her adversary. Louise didn’t back up, screaming she was from noble birth and that nobles didn’t retreat. The golem almost crushed Louise, but once Saito saved her, he slaps her and tells her to focus on living. So here we can see that Saito is not always a doormat for Louise, he also has his moments.
Louise and Saito eventually learn to team up. For example, in Episode 9 of Season 3, Saito gives up his title as Royal Knight to be able to rescue their friend Tabitha and Louise casts her title aside to join the mission as well. So, although at first Louise is in danger often, her familiar Saito is loyal, always being there to fight on her place when it is needed. Saito posses some runes called the Seal of Gandalfr, which give him the useful power of touching any weapon and making him learn how it functions in an instant. This and Louise`s knowledge on her world made of them a funny but ultimately effective battle couple.
4. Because they save each other.
It is later discovered that Saito’s power is compatible with Louise’s faculties as a Void mage, whose magic is mostly devastating and destructive, and takes a long time to cast. Thus, it is even more important that Saito protects Louise. As we know, they bond throughout their adventures and relationship as master and familiar, so naturally, they start taking care of each other. By season 2, a rebellion which puts Louise’s life in jeopardy is confronted by Saito, who apparently dies in episode 25. This scene is very moving, with him taking on hundreds of soldiers at the time, thousands of arrows in the air, and Saito falling to the ground, calling Louise’s name. But! Our hero didn’t die, and we can see a happy reunion scene in the end of the episode… ruined by Saito’s explanation that a big breasted fairy saved him, which prompted tsundere Louise to punish him XD
Louise also worries for Saito’s safety, as in Episode 11 of Season 4. Saito lost his weapon Derflinger, but still is willing to fight in order to protect Louise. So, Louise manages to open a portal to his world and send him back, openly stating for the first time that she loves him. Yet, will that stop Saito from protecting her? Nope, somehow he is able to come back with a fighter plane and joins the battle against the Ancient Dragon. So, we can see here that this funny couple does their best to save each other.
5. Because they ultimately fell in love.
Our couple kisses often in Zero no Tsukaima. Like, from the very beginning, because of the required magical rituals that bond Louise and Saito (how convenient :p). Yet, we can see that something else is going on despite their usual fights and disagreements.
The first obvious sign is that Louise expresses jealousy whenever Saito is in a perverted moment with another girl (Siesta, anyone?). Also, in Episode 8 of Season 4, things get more complicated for our couple when Saito becomes a familiar for Tiffania too. Sometimes Louise also thinks that her violent behavior and hot temper might end up driving Saito away. But Saito is a masochist (maybe :p), because he stays by Louise and is shown as being upset when other men (Julio for example) make a move towards Louise.
Maybe what is truly going on here is that Saito tries to see others for who they are regardless of titles or their abilities. So, he ends up confessing his feelings to Louise when they are visiting her family. Louise is overwhelmed by the pressure she faces as a “helpless” mage and her sister Éléonore’s abusive demeanor. She takes refuge on a boat and Saito goes to confront her there, ending the conversation with his confession and a long, sweet kiss. The best part is when the boat lands on the lake side and the couple open their eyes to find the shocked la Valliere family staring at them. Nice way to win over the parents in law, right? ? So of course that Saito and Louise have to end up fleeing together.
Anyway, after having more adventures securing the kingdom’s peace, Saito becomes a noble himself and marries Louise. So, our tsundere couple had their happy ending ?
Although Saito and Louise hardly qualify as a model couple in their everyday life, they are a capable combo when it comes to battle. Thanks to their bond, they were capable of discovering they had abilities they weren’t aware of, using them for the sake of other people. Yes, they both have a dark side and a comical side, but this only comes to show that we humans are not perfect. Plus, we can always improve, as Saito and Louise did. In the end, they became true tsundere heroes.
Which are your favorite Louise and Saito moments? Which other couples would you like us to revise on this section? We are open to all your comments and suggestions.