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The Familiar of Zero's Final Novel Volume Cover, Art Book Previewed

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Last volume slated for February 24; illustrator Eiji Usatsuka prints 320-page book on following month

The official Twitter account for the MF Bunko J imprint's editorial department previewed the 22nd and final volume of Noboru Yamaguchi's alternate-world fantasy light novel series Zero no Tsukaima (The Familiar of Zero) on Friday. The volume will ship on February 24.

In addition, the novel series' illustrator Eiji Usatsuka will publish an illustration collection book titled Finale Zero no Tsukaima Complete Illustration Collection Usatsuka Eiji Artworks,. This collection will be a 320-page book with over 500 illustrations that Usatsuka drew for the series. The book will ship on March 25.

The novels' original author Noboru Yamaguchi passed away on April 4, 2013 after a two-year battle with cancer. He had planned to end the series in its 22nd volume.

Sou Yurugi, editor-in-chief of Kadokawa's (Media Factory) MF Bunko J imprint announced in June 2015 that the light novel series will continue. Yamaguchi had planned to finish the series before he passed away in 2013. According to MF Bunko J, he dictated the remaining plot of the series, including its ending, from his sickbed and entrusted it to the editors.

The editors acknowledged that the publisher has received a steady stream of requests to continue the series from fans, and added that the late novelist's family also expressed their desire that the series be completed.

Media Factory published the 21st volume (seen right), the first volume since the 20th volume's release in 2011, and the first written after Yamaguchi's death, last February. While illustrator Eiji Usatsuka continued to illustrate the novels, Media Factory declined to reveal the new volume's ghost writer, saying that revealing the identity would make readers "bring preconceptions into the new novel."

Zero no Tsukaima F, the fourth and final television anime series adaptation of the novels, premiered in 2012. North American publisher Seven Seas Entertainment had licensed the light novel series but eventually published its manga spinoffs instead. Seven Seas describes the beginning of the story:

In a world where sorcery reigns supreme, bumbling witch-in-training Louise Francoise le blanc is known by her classmates at the Tristain Academy of Magic as "Louise the Zero." During an important coming-of-age ritual, when each student must summon a lifelong familiar, Louise proves herself inept when she mistakenly conjures a teenage boy from earth. Now, whether she likes it or not, Louise "the Zero" and Saito, the ever-whining earth boy from Japan, are bound by the laws of magic as master and servant forever!

[Via Otakomu]

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