Musaigen No Phantom World

October 23, 2016

What would you do if you can see ghosts and spirits? No, don’t call Ghostbusters. They only exist in the movies. Well, I don’t know if we and more importantly myself would be living in constant fear and freaking out 24/7. You see dead people everywhere as well as ghostly figures popping out before your eyes. Thank goodness there is no sort of viruses that will trigger some sort of area in the brain that would allow humans to see such phantoms. Because that is the setting of Musaigen No Phantom World. Now that humans can see such beings, it is only fair that some of them too have developed powers to fight and seal mischievous and harmful ones. And so this is the story about a group of high school students with such special powers as they deal with such issues while trying to go about with their daily lives. I assure you that your lives will definitely never be the same if you can see and interact with ghosts and spirits.

Episode 1
Haruhiko Ichijou rushes to Hosea Academy so that he could help his fellow classmate, Mai Kawakami as she is fighting a demon Phantom. Once Haruhiko finishes sketching the Phantom, it becomes sealed inside it. Back in the Neural Error Corrections Room, their teacher, Arisu Himeno tells them today’s effort earned them zero bucks because they partly destroyed the school. Reparation costs, I suppose. Don’t worry. They just need to find more similar jobs. Because of this inconvenience, Mai wonders if they should recruit more members into their team. Haruhiko narrates his favourite hobby of reading. He has read every book in his school’s library. His school covers from elementary to high school and there are some transfer students with powers like them entering midway. Haruhiko and his little friendly Phantom genie, Ruru are on their way home but his usual taken path becomes unfamiliar. Was there a graveyard before? Noticing there are Phantoms nearby, Haruhiko is sees a girl nearby in trouble. But before he could do anything, Reina Izumi sucks all the Phantoms into her mouth like a giant vacuum. Haruhiko is very impressed and would like her to join their club as she is wearing the same school uniform. Perhaps she got a little scared enthusiasm. Maybe she needs a little time. As she tries to leave, she trips. As he tries to save her, from his angle, it could turn into some dating simulation cliché, Haruhiko’s hands is in danger of grabbing her boobs. Luckily he twists and turns but the momentum has his face planted in her butt. She gives him a judo throw.

Haruhiko still won’t give up on asking her to join his club since her Phantom Eater ability is useful. He tries to appease her by treating her lunch but look at how big an eater she is! She has that black hole stomach that every girl would want! Haruhiko begins by explaining what Phantoms are. Due to an accident by a company called Alayashiki 10 years ago, a virus that affects the brain got out. It has something to do with affecting brain functions and this made people allow to perceive Phantoms. You know, ghosts, spirits, etc. Most are harmless (like Ruru) but others can cause harm and thus clubs like these are formed to expunge them. Although their services don’t get paid in cash, it is in goods. Haruhiko invites Reina to watch how they do it. Just in time since Mai received a request from Himeno. Electric pole Phantoms doing limbo rock? As explained, these Phantoms are born from the anger of tools built and abandoned by humans. Haruhiko’s wide knowledge may be appealing but it is trivial and nothing to do to help the situation. It is suggested to do limbo rock with them to honour them. Remember, you can’t touch anything or you’ll be zapped. Clearing the first one seems easy. Then the pole gets lower. Only Mai is left. Although the electric pole breaks from all the bending, the one thing that preventing Mai from clearing this is her boobs! And using the logic that boobs bounce, Mai uses her great timing to bounce them when they are at its low point to limbo over. The Phantoms are satisfied and wants to be sealed. Haruhiko forgot his sketchbook but luckily they have Reina to eat them up. The poles return to normal. Though they feel pity, they wonder if they would serve humans again if they are reborn as trees.

Episode 2
Haruhiko narrates about his sketching abilities that allow to seal or summon Phantoms. With Reina around, his sealing isn’t needed anymore so he decides to concentrate on his summoning. Haruhiko and Reina try to approach Koito Minase as requested by Himeno. She is a very talented power user and a candidate for the Phantom Control Agency (PCA). However she likes working alone and when Himeno tried to invite her to join the club, she of course turned it down. There is a request that an old security robot has turned into a Phantom and causing trouble at the abandoned Alayashiki factory. Koito is going there alone but Himeno would like her to see the value of cooperation. Of course Koito is not too happy Haruhiko, Mai and Reina re assisting her. The robots keep multiplying so they think they have to destroy its real body. Then there is some theory about noises and inverse phase signal to cancel it out. All of them cooperate to put an end to the menace. But Koito isn’t appreciative of their efforts despite they try to make friends with her. Ruru has taken back some weird controller from the factory. It looks like it has some error code on its screen but when Haruhiko messes with it, the screen goes blank. Spoiled? Run out of batteries?

As Haruhiko practises his summoning sketch, he explains about Parole. They are like chants that make their special powers easier to use. That is why when you see our heroes needing to unleash their power but start saying some hefty mumbo-jumbo before that, this is the reason. They get a request from the girl’s dorm that a strange UFO watches them while they are changing by the window and starts changing pictures. Reina reconfirms about the goods reward. Since it doesn’t necessarily certain goods or items, she would like to have an all-you-can-eat buffet. Nothing much happens as they wait so they think it will only happen when they change. Time to throw Haruhiko out of the room. True enough, here comes the UFO. In the pandemonium to try and catch it, Haruhiko has been thrown out many times. He then decides to put his summoning to use. Think Marchosias is a ferocious demon dog? My, what a cute little puppy! After a few more moments of havoc, Marchosias catches it and Reina completes the sealing. As Haruhiko’s finger was cut from all that, Reina felt she was responsible for this little injury. She sucks on it and his cut entirely disappears. She doesn’t know if this is another ability of hers. Completing how odd everything turns out is Koito coming all the way here just to thank them and not that they are also impressive. Eh? What?

Episode 3
Haruhiko and his team are on their way for another mission. He narrates their team is ranked the lowest and thus is often not taken seriously. They are at a bridge whereby people have complained about Phantoms bugging them. There, a pair of Phantom sisters start attacking Mai as they seem to have unfinished business with her. Mai lost so Haruhiko summons Marchosias to distract the Phantoms while they take Mai away for a tactical retreat. The Phantom sisters tell Mai to return when she is better trained as they will be waiting. It is suggested that Mai needs another fighting partner as strong as her. Haruhiko and Reina try training with her but I don’t think the results will show that fast. Haruhiko explains the different types of memories and wonders if he can copy Mai’s memories to save time. Theoretically it sounds possible (something like cloud computing) but practically it says otherwise. Himeno overheard them and finds it interesting to test it out. Her plan is to have Mai and Haruhiko at an amusement park where Mai had lots of good memories. The theory is that in order to share memories, it is good to visit memorable places. Yeah, but it looks like they are on a date and Reina is not too happy about it. Mai seems to be having a lot of fun (and bringing back a lot of fond childhood memories) but not Haruhiko.

They wander to that bridge again as Mai starts remembering more although not very clearly. She was here before and played with a couple of kids. But the Phantom sisters pop up to attack. The hand to hand combat begins. During the slip up, Mai and Haruhiko’s head crash into each other. And that is how their memories transferred. But Haruhiko is able to peek more into Mai’s memories. He realizes Mai has met these sisters before. The Phantom sisters are not pleased that Mai has forgotten about them. They explain that this is where they met when Mai was on a school trip. They were training but Mai often bullied them and they became victims of her relentless violence. Therefore they have been training ever since to avenge that. Mai doesn’t remember it happened this way so Haruhiko explains about people altering memories to suit themselves. The fight continues and Haruhiko is able to do martial arts moves on par with Mai. Cool! Too bad he lacks the stamina and tires out. Then they both combine their attacks like the move they just saw in the movie to defeat the sisters. They will carry on training more and shall return to challenge her again. With Haruhiko stuck with some of Mai’s memories, the temptation to beat him up to get amnesia is strong. Don’t worry, he will lose them in a few days. Just don’t say embarrassing things… If only Ruru didn’t ask… Reina feels sad seeing how close Mai and Haruhiko are like a happy family and wonders if she can be as close as them.

Episode 4
Reina gets her buffet reward and eats all she can! Oh my. How many plates has she ordered?! I think the chef is scared of her. On her way back as she waits for the bus home, she steps into a strange bus and wanders through a strange place before coming home. She has this warm and fuzzy feeling while wandering. When she tells her friends the next day, Koito knows she has become possessed by Phantoms as she was there to witness it. Of course Haruhiko and Mai agree to help her and as they wait for the Phantom bus, it appears but Reina is hypnotized and gets onboard. Only Haruhiko was quick enough to get on before it disappears. Haruhiko sees Reina returning to her happy rabbit family! When he tries to snap her out, everyone is happy their ‘big brother’ is back! Before Haruhiko knows it, he becomes hypnotized and gets along with this family. When the hypnosis is over, they find themselves back in reality in front of Reina’s house. Her strict father isn’t happy she is back this late and a guy accompanying her. Reina will explain later and tells Haruhiko to leave. Next day, Reina tells her friends as she deduces such things have happened maybe because she hasn’t told her parents about the club yet. Although they know about her powers, they do not like Phantoms and want her to stay away from it. She is afraid telling them of this club as they will not approve it. This leads the Reina explaining she had an older sister. Mai reminds her a lot about her. Her parents’ behaviour is the reason why she left home. So perhaps the Phantoms are taking advantage of her feelings and making her experience these things.

The friends try to ride the bus again. Reina and Haruhiko are hypnotized as expected. Mai gets onboard and sees the happy family. Trying to snap them out, the family believe their ‘elder sister’ his returned and start giving her a big hug. And before you know it, Mai too becomes part of the happy family. When Haruhiko takes a dump, he is freed from the spell. Realizing that many folklores have toilets as secret portals to another world, he brings Reina here but she is still hypnotized. To break her out, he hugs her and receives a judo throw. Head in toilet bowl? Reina explains the sight of a warm family could be what she years for. She was hoping her sister would patch up with her parents. But this realization means her bunny parents have no choice but to leave. They offer her a choice to come with them and they can be a real family or she could return to her original world. Reina wants to go with them but Haruhiko’s persuasion that her real sister might come home and everyone else waiting for her has Reina crying in bitter frustration as she decides to stay back. The bunny parents thank her for being their family even if it is for a short time. Next day, Reina apologizes to her friends for the trouble. She talked to her parents and they approved of her joining the club. It gives her encouragement to talk to them more often. Reina narrates despite she is glad returning to her real home, she believes her other home exists somewhere beyond the sunset and wishes she could sometimes see her Phantom parents again.

Episode 5
Koito does her missions alone and does not mix with others, keeping her distance and all to herself. So Haruhiko’s friend, Shousuke Morohashi is badmouthing about her but don’t look behind now because there she is! She doesn’t give a f*cks and makes her way. Himeno has a job for Koito. At the rabbit pen, she meets this loli, Kurumi Kumamakura who is on duty tending to it. The Cerberus Phantom pops up to attack. Haruhiko comes to help but only proves to be a nuisance. When Koito saves him, she breaths in its poison gas. Kurumi unleashes her teddy bear Albrecht to fight in its giant size and Mai delivering her usual kick but the Phantom got away. Koito is bent on capturing the Phantom alone despite her voice which her ability is based on is severely affected. They suggest she rests first but she remains stubborn. Himeno suggests a competition. Whoever gets the Phantom first gets the reward. Haruhiko feels guilty and decides to help out Koito, much to her dismay. Mai on the other hand decides to recruit Kurumi as a reserve. Koito’s other ability is to sense Phantoms but as she goes around looking, she couldn’t find any. Next day, both teams coincidentally bump into each other. A potential b*tch showdown between Mai and Koito but it didn’t happen. Koito and Haruhiko find the Phantom and go into action but it escapes once again. Koito will not rest and continue to hunt it down.

So Haruhiko talks to Himeno why Koito is so obsessed with this Phantom. Koito’s ability was discovered when she was quite young. She was tending to an animal pen at school when a Phantom appeared. It was also then her ability was discovered. It was so powerful that her teachers and friends became afraid and her parents were even terrified. So much so she had to be taken away by PCA and that is where she started to shut herself off. It is believed she blamed that Phantom for wrecking her family and friends. Ruru has tailed Koito to the zoo where the Phantom once again appears. Koito engages it and despite her abilities have come back, it is still not strong enough. She takes a beating and could have been done for if not for the rest coming to her aid. They cooperate to take it down before Haruhiko seals it in his sketchbook. Koito looks like she is in pain so Reina uses her healing ability to cure her. Before Koito can go into her usual moody mood, Himeno takes a closer look at the sealed Phantom and realizes this is slightly different than the one that awakened Koito’s abilities. Same kind but not the same creature. Himeno apologizes for the mix-up and this relieves some tension among them. Next morning, Haruhiko is surprised to see Koito outside his home. Even more shocking, she apologizes and thanks him. Never see the day that she would do these, eh? He wants to be friends with her but she is not fond of him pushing his luck.

Episode 6
Kurumi is worried she will be a burden to the team and is unsure if she can do a good job. When she sees Haruhiko, she trips. He grabs her but some portal to another world opens and they fall in. They end up in some fairytale land and Albrecht is missing. Several bears (Care Bears? Gummi Bears?) try to take Kurumi away as she is the last survivor of the Kuma McLaren clan and wants her to marry Prince Salmon from the Higuman clan. Luckily she is saved by Albrecht. She is happy her teddy bear could talk. Albrecht brings her back home as he explains her family has ruled this forest for generations. But the Higuman clan one day invaded and unable to thwart their invasion, the king and queen perished. The other Kuma McLaren bears vow to protect and save her. Albrecht is closest to her since he has been with her since she was born. Before Albrecht goes on his patrol, he gives her a golden rake, a keepsake of her royal family. Haruhiko deduces they are inside Kurumi’s mind. They are here because of some pressure she is facing. Thus she ‘escaped’ here from reality. Haruhiko asks her a few questions about her likes to determine why they are here and all of them have something in related to bears. Albrecht returns with bad news that Salmon and his men are coming to capture her. As they escape, Albrecht gets slightly injured. While hiding in a cave, Salmon returns with a giant mecha. This time Kurumi vows to protect Albrecht. This is her world so she has to fight. First she rejects Salmon’s proposal and then uses the rake to transform into a magical girl princess and beats the hell out of the mecha. Safe to say, Salmon admits defeat and runs away. After Kurumi and Albrecht have a beary hug, they return back to their original world. Returning to their friends, it seems they have another Phantom mission. This time Kurumi is motivated to join them and do her best.

Episode 7
One day, Haruhiko finds his classmates suddenly asleep in class. Even the teacher! Even the entire school! What’s more, everybody seems to be having fish for lunch. Mai talks about the abandoned cat mansion. The previous owner loved cats but when he died, stray cats came to live there even after it was abandoned. Soon, students sneak in to play with the cats but when some got injured, the place was sealed off and the cats culled. Kurumi has her club members help out her friend to look for her missing cat, Rudolph. It’s a cat, not a reindeer. But as they go look for it, it seems cats’ favourite things start to trigger their behaviour to act like cats. It gets worse the next day because some grow cat ears and tail (it’s not cosplay) and some like Kurumi are beginning to lose their ability to speak normally. Koito believes the cat mansion has something to do with it because she sensed a Phantom there when these coincidences happened. They head into the mansion to look for Rudolph but to no avail. Then the scenes just get weirder. It feels like they’re experiencing LSD. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s just totally weird scenarios. Then they realize this mansion is the Phantom itself and they cannot seal it from the inside. Eventually they are confronted with the manifestation of this Phantom, a cat with a mansion on its back. They believe it is trying to protect its memories of those good ol’ days by recreating livelier memories of the past. This is might what have lured Rudolph here. They understand its lonely feelings because there used to be more cats around but it isn’t the only lonely one. Please release Rudolph. I guess Kurumi’s cat language got through to it. With that, all the cat effects wear out and everyone returns to normal. Before they leave, they clean up the mansion to make it look good as new. You mean only these handful of kids cleaned up the entire mansion? Wow super good job.

Episode 8
Suddenly it is getting hot around the school. That is because there is a hotspring in the middle being occupied by little monkeys and their big monkey boss. Since they are the phenomenon, students must find a way to get rid of it because if classes get postponed, they’ll have to replace them during summer vacation. That’s not alright, right? As we see them try their luck, they all miserably fail. From one who summons a ferocious eagle only to be turned into fried chicken and mermaid girls getting violated and licked by monkeys! It is Mai’s turn but she slips on a cliché banana and got licked too. Kurumi thought she could use Albrecht but he absorbs too much water and is bloated. Can Koito’s voice do the trick? The hotspring is a natural barrier. Mai thought she could beat up monkey boss if she got close enough. So with Haruhiko, they really disguise themselves as a Trojan horse? Didn’t take long before they were exposed. And another lucky lick for Mai. Poor girl. Violated twice in the same day. They need to lure it out so Haruhiko can sketch his entire body and seal it. Reina tries her sex appeal but apparently she doesn’t. Kurumi? She got scared by the monkey’s roar. Does Koito have sex appeal? She looks more like a gangster wanting to pick a fight! After discussing that monkeys are attracted to females with bright red butts, Mai is the only person for the job but she is reluctant. You can’t blame her after what happened. Haruhiko promises to seal it before she gets violated. Of all people, why Haruhiko has to paint her butt? But he finds this ‘canvas’ soft and nice to paint! The bait works but the little monkeys spill paint on his sketchbook. Haruhiko then uses his new ability to summon without sketching but his voice. He calls Cthulu. Erm… An octopus? It is effective enough to save Mai from the dirty monkey’s paws. After they seal it and discuss how to dispose of it, Ruru translates from one of the monkeys that their boss’ wife ran away and he was soaking in the hotspring to heal his heart. So you mean to stop this entire phenomenon, somebody has to marry it? Which one of you girls is willing to sacrifice? Himeno heard it and will help out. You think she would be willing to be the monkey’s bride? Heck, she dresses up Haruhiko as a female monkey and marries him off!!! This guy is screwed all the way to heaven!

Episode 9
Ayumi Kitajima pleads for Mai and friends to help out with her drama club. Due to lack of member, she hopes they can help out and do their best for the regional qualifiers. I don’t know, do you think they should? How does free food sound? They’re in! It is a period play with a little twist of supernatural. The gang are casted and Ayumi herself will play the youkai. During practice, Ayumi becomes a Spartan since they are noobs in acting. No rest till they get it right! And they thought she said everything is going to be fine. With more practice and even visiting the actual site, the day of the play is here. It seemingly goes well till a real Phantom possesses Ayumi. The audience is confused if this is part of the play or special effects but Haruhiko and co decide to continue on. When Ayumi tires out, she reveals her true identity. She is actually a real Phantom and has manipulated their memories as their classmates. She thought if she told them the truth, they wouldn’t help her. She wants to fulfil this final wish of entering the competition which was her regret before passing on. The gang agree to help her achieve that and the confused crowd are so touched thinking this is the real deal and applause. Even the judges too! Some kind of new meta-play? They sure fooled everyone with their ‘acting’. The play resumes and when Ayumi kidnaps Mai (as part of the script), Ayumi’s Phantom powers has the setting turn real. This means the audience is now part of the play as they live out this period drama. The only way to return to normal is to end the play and defeat Ayumi. They do so and the crowd gives a rousing applause to a wonderful play. And it’s over, right? Well apparently now they have to continue helping Ayumi as she is bent on carrying on the momentum and win the Nationals! Yeah, they actually won an award for this play. So no slacking! Keep up with the training! Worse, there’ll be no summer break for them!

Episode 10
Ruru laments if she was only bigger, she could finish a bottle of ramune. You’re in luck because this Phantom Witch can grant you any wish with no strings attached. Promise. Ruru wants to be human size but is cautioned she cannot fly and if somebody she knows recognizes her, she’ll revert to her original self. But don’t worry, to hide that, she gives her a pendant. Ruru relishes her new form and becomes a transfer student in Haruhiko’s class as Ramune Natsuno. Shousuke wonders if Natsuno looks like Ruru but Haruhiko brushes it off because Natsuno is cuter than Ruru! Are you supposed to be relieved or mad? Because Ruru is absent minded that she cannot fly, she ends up having accidents and tripping. Haruhiko introduces Natsuno to his club members. Natsuno cooks up a tragic and harsh back story that has everyone fooled! Even Koito! So touching! All lies! That evening, she joins them for the fireworks festival. When she and Haruhiko got separated, she asks about Ruru. Though he has good things to say about her, it is always followed up with something less pleasant. He doesn’t get why Natsuno kicks him. A firework possessed with a Phantom goes berserk. It wants to go out with the biggest bang. Seeing a familiar pendant attached to it, Natsuno confronts Phantom Witch. Apparently she tried to help out but didn’t think it would go berserk. The other girls cannot do much and Haruhiko is taken away by the Phantom. It is going to blow up soon. The only way is to take away its pendant but it is so high up where nobody can reach. Natsuno decides to reveal her identity and become Ruru to save the day. It’s not time to nitpick on her fake back story… Ruru is too weak to pull out the pendant so she convinces the Phantom to blow up at a higher altitude after dropping Haruhiko. He fears the worst as he doesn’t want Ruru to go yet. Then a big explosion. Everyone is so sad. And then Ruru pops up behind Haruhiko. Didn’t think she would go kill herself, right? As relieved as he is that Ruru is still alive, he gets abusive for making them all worried. Then they have a nice time watching the actual fireworks.

Episode 11
Haruhiko finds an old essay he wrote in elementary. Next morning, he turns into a kid! Furthermore, he has no recollection of his current friends. It is like his kid self came to the future. The rest at first are confused if he is Haruhiko but are certain he must be since his belongings are. Haruhiko becomes the star of his own class and a babe magnet since the girls find him oh so cute. Jealous, Shousuke? While the rest investigate his place for a potential Phantom that did this but to no avail, Mai takes care of little Haruhiko. As a kid, he is very honest and of course to adults his words are quite blunt and thus Mai feels irritated. Whether it is her shopping taste or her messy home, at least the kid is being honest. But babysitting Haruhiko is tiring and it is affecting her studies and missions. I’m sure the others don’t have time and effort to take care of him either but they can try help look for a way to bring him back to normal. Ruru thought of stimulating him to turn him back to normal with a Playboy magazine but he gets embarrassed instead. So Mai continues to let him leave him live at her place. Mai comforts him as he is a bit scared of the thunder. They talk about their families and Mai promises to take him to the park tomorrow. There are lots of happy kids playing with their happy families so this makes Haruhiko gloomy. A sand Phantom goes berserk but Mai is too weak to fight it and becomes trapped. Haruhiko is weak too but his desire to save Mai is so great that he turns back into his teen self to summon Cthulu and seal the Phantom. Mai’s shock in seeing him not because he is back but because he is only in a tight underwear. Too bad Haruhiko doesn’t remember his time as a kid. But I’m sure she and everybody is glad to have him back. You know how a pain it is to take care of a kid, right? Mai happen to see Haruhiko’s old essay and reads it. It narrates how he played with his parents at the park. Despite thinking this essay is fake, Mai gets emotional reading this as she believes he became a kid because he wanted his fake essay to be real. His abilities reacted to his mind just like how it did for Kurumi.

Episode 12
Haruhiko’s team continues to seal Phantoms and they’ve become top Phantom hunters before they know it. Just how popular? Koito has her set of fan girls! When a mysterious Phantom attacks power users, Himeno warns her students that this Phantom known as Enigma has the ability to steal one’s power. Once she does, the power user forever loses his/her power. Haruhiko’s team manage to catch Enigma fighting another team. They see how she steals power via kissing. Haruhiko thought he sealed her in his sketchbook but her picture soon disappears. Is this part of the sealing process? Ever since, Enigma has never showed up and then on one hot summer day, Haruhiko gets a call from his estranged mom. He is not happy to meet her since he abandoned him when he was young. But the temptation of his missing childhood was too great to ignore as he welcomes her back in his life. So for a weak Haruhiko relishes bonding with his mom. Ruru is suspicious because could it be a Phantom impersonating as his mom? Haruhiko doesn’t think so since she knows all about his childhood is physically human. Haruhiko spending time with his mom means the girls are not happy they have to work his portion. So wondering how his mom is like, they go visit her. Koito feels strange about her. She can’t pinpoint her feelings. She isn’t a Phantom but has this weird aura coming out from her. Just like any anime mom, she is delighted her son has so many girlfriends and would like to know the girls more since one of them will become her daughter-in-law. Why are they sheepishly telling about his good points? But this is mom’s verdict: She welcomes them all to marry Haruhiko! Harem route! You don’t know how embarrassed Haruhiko is. Mai gets a call from Himeno that Haruhiko’s mom went missing around a week ago. She has also discovered Enigma’s other ability which is to take over the human’s mind. True enough, mom reveals her true colours as Enigma as she beats up the girls. Enigma is intrigued with Haruhiko’s abilities to summon and dive into people’s mind but he sucks at using them. She will take them and use it effectively. After kissing Haruhiko and stealing his abilities, Enigma disconnects from his mom’s body and escapes. They’re not the only ones out. Ruru is also unconscious.

Episode 13
Although Haruhiko is okay, he only lost his power but his mom is still in coma. Enigma continues to wreak havoc on humans and stealing their power. Haruhiko is then met by his mom’s current husband. He is told mom always wanted to see him but the guilt made her feel she had no right. Back home, it is shocking when Ruru becomes polite and nice. Is this really her? Koito has been part of the team to track down Enigma but to no avail. She feels like the higher ups have been hiding something. She remembers the controller Haruhiko has and realizes it is actually a communication device to access Alayashiki servers. She needs information there. If Haruhiko can’t fix it, who can? Albrecht! He lost to a teddy bear?! It is revealed Enigma is an enhanced Phantom. Apparently Alayashiki has been collecting data from the students and using it to create artificial Phantoms to be used as test subjects, low cost labours or military. After all, Phantoms are not governed by laws. However Enigma became too powerful to handle and soon developed its own conscious. She then looks down on humans and starting to rebel. Isn’t this like Age of Ultron? Alayashiki plans to ignore this. There is also a special report regarding Haruhiko and Ruru. They get message that Enigma is attacking the facility where Haruhiko’s mom is. He plans to do this alone but his girls won’t allow him to be the hero. Himeno picks them up there as she reveals Enigma’s goal to control all Phantoms and dominate humans. I knew it. It sounded like Age of Ultron.

The girls take on Enigma together but they are no match. Not even close. So Haruhiko tries to go in with a fistfight? He failed by the way. Enigma transforms into his mom’s shape and will defeat him in this form. In a pinch, Himeno discloses a big secret that Haruhiko can get back his power again. Ruru is actually born from him and she has observed she is a manifestation of his freewheeling personality therefore she would have the same inherent abilities. To get the power back, they must kiss. Just that? No time to think about it. Quickly! Just in time before Enigma sends a nasty slash their way. Haruhiko uses his summoning so Enigma also matches that. However Haruhiko tells her that humans have the ability to grow. This time Marchosias and Cthulu are now big ferocious monsters! Pokemon evolved?! This is how they should be! They easily destroy Enigma’s Phantoms. With Enigma weakened, everyone cooperates to bring her down and Haruhiko seals her for good. Everything returns to normal. Those who lost their power got them back. Haruhiko’s mom wakes up and they have an emotional reunion. Ruru is also back to her old silly ways and Alayashiki underwent scrutiny after this incident. Haruhiko and his girls continue to hunt Phantoms.

The school is heading for a summer training camp. Haruhiko hates the heat and all till he realizes the motivation that has always been for summer: Girls in swimsuits. Yeah… When they arrive, they are first taken to speak with the inn’s hostess. It seems there is a Phantom terrorizing the place every same time of the year, the reason why the place lacks visitors. It always did something so dreadful that the hostess cannot say. Thus this training camp is actually for them to help exorcise the Phantom. In exchange, they have lodging, food and everything free! Free all you can you eat buffet. Heard that, Reina? Free sweets. Heard that, Koito? Free hotspring. Heard that, Mai? Free bears. Heard that, Kuru-, wait, what?! As they go around finding the Phantom, since nothing happens, they decide to go have the usual fun. That night as they watch the stars, Haruhiko listens to Mai as she talks how appreciative she is to have friends around. Next day is the day of reckoning. Because everyone in swimsuits! The moment we have all been waiting for. Apparently it is also the moment the horny Phantom has been waiting for. Uhm, doesn’t this Phantom look like a dick? So the most dreadful thing it does is shooting some sort of mist and weird polka dot censors form over certain parts of their body? Although everyone still has their swimsuits on, the illusion of this censor makes it look like they’re naked. And thus this ‘paralyzes’ the girls. Haruhiko uses his familiars to get the job done. But the Phantom only gets mad and shoots more mist. This time it ‘upgrades’ into white censors! Yeah, it looks even worse although they still have their swimsuits on. Some of the guys want to give in to this surrender of living the rest of their lives with ‘white belts’ but Shousuke lectures them about the beauty of swimsuits. It is the same twisted logic why strippers are not naked at first. But I guess this doesn’t help since the guys get owned. Haruhiko gets an idea of using teamwork (isn’t this how most exorcism was done?) so he has Koito surround it with fire and Mai splash it with water to reduce its size. Then Kurumi uses Albrecht to throw it to land before Reina swallows it. I don’t even what Haruhiko did to help or why he had to go into the sea to sketch since eventually Reina took care for everything. I suppose it is for this last bit because his swimming trunks fell off and without the censors, his girls see his Full Monty and freak out. Summer ruined.

What You See Is What You Get
I am not saying that this is entirely a bad series but this one is entirely my fault because since it deals with sci-fi and mostly supernatural stuffs, sometimes I feel that you have to be quite well read and have a decent amount of knowledge to grasp some of the certain terms. You know dumb people like me. If I don’t really understand what is going on, chances are I won’t understand the bigger picture and it inhibits my enjoyment of the overall show. Therefore despite I find that some of the sci-fi and supernatural terms touched upon (although very lightly) to be quite interesting, my inability to comprehend it overall makes it confusing at times for me and I just gave up thinking and just go with the flow.

Because the most interesting segment of this series is the one at the very start of almost each episode whereby Haruhiko and Ruru briefly tell and explain to us about a certain sci-fi or supernatural term or circumstances that will be used as a theme (subtly or not) for that episode. Whether they are optical illusions, cultural systems, the theory and basis of Schrodinger cat and even the positive attributes of using a hotspring (as though he is promoting the use of one), it is an interesting ‘short lesson’ to hear them inform us about it before the opening credits role. But then again, as interesting as they may seem, it all depends on how well you understand them and like I have said previously, I’m not that smart of a person so there are some which left me scratching my head.

Having a series’ story format that is episodic in nature has its good and bad points. A good point is that there is no convoluted plot to follow and thus avoiding messy and unnecessary plots of plots and the supposedly twist of the story that could sometimes be ever confusing. Unless of course each episode holds some sort of subtle clue that would come together as a big puzzle piece in the end but that’s another story. Each episode can stand alone by itself and once it is done, you don’t have to remember and bring forward clues in the previous episodes to the next. You can just watch the next episode fresh like as though it is a new story. But of course this good format itself is also its bad point since there is the lack of continuity. Sometimes it just feels disconnected and that you are just watching one big random story. Fans who want juicier and deeper stories like if there is something more sinister underlying the appearances of these Phantoms, how people develop those special powers or the true history of Alayashiki might be disappointed that for many of the episodes, the story is just like that and ends like that as far as the series is concerned.

This means that the character development of this series isn’t too deep either. Each of our main characters get at least one episode that is dedicated to them (yes, I even consider that mind boggling Haruhiko turning into a kid as an episode for him). But if you want to find out more about Haruhiko’s past like his childhood time with Mai or Reina’s life under strict parents or Koito and her anti-social behaviour, what you watch here is all that you will ever know. We do have a glimpse of their past but it is not like it will stretch out for episodes like how some long running series show bits of it now and then bits of it in the future and then more bits in future arcs. Even the reason how Ruru became a Phantom friend of Haruhiko is largely unexplained except for that final episode revelation that she is born out of him which feels a bit ridiculous. Because how come Haruhiko doesn’t realize it? Yeah, she just popped out of nowhere and he accepted her just like that. Why did she have a change in character when he lost his power only to return when he got it back? Some sort of disconnection there? In that case shouldn’t she stop existing even? So depending on your stance of loving to see characters develop and grow into, this one does it averagely. Because you don’t feel deep enough to root or support them emotionally and just do so mainly because they are the main characters. And if you are like me who is already having a tough time understanding the plot and terms of the episode, it might be a little harder.

So we have Haruhiko as your typical but not so typical either main character because you know, the only guy surrounded by his other teammates who are all practically girls. If you want to compare all their powers, he is the most useless, right? In other words, he sometimes play the comical joker only second to Ruru because you know, genie girl is too small to have that overall comical effect and thus Haruhiko fills that role in addition to be Ruru’s comedy partner. They try to make him like a little nerd by having his character being a knowledgeable one and sometimes you might find his random bits of trivia interesting, I doubt that it would be beneficial to us and for the girls. But thanks to Shousuke as a typical loser and ‘the other guy’ role, Haruhiko’s main character outlook doesn’t seem all that bad.

And then you have stereotype archetypes in his harem like the brute and busty Mai (for your fanservice excuse), the cute and pretty Reina, the expressionless Koito, the shy loli Kurumi and comic relief-cum-mascot character Ruru. Since Reina admires Mai like her older sister, I cannot help find it funny each time she addresses her as Mai onee-sama. Because I had to listen closely twice just to make sure I was hearing it correctly. You know, I thought I heard “Mayonnaise-sama”! Oh sh*t! At first I thought it was Mai’s nickname or something! Ever since then, each time Reina calls her so, I automatically cannot contain my snigger… Koito started out as anti-social but I didn’t help but notice when did she start joining Haruhiko’s team and doing more missions with them? I also can’t help notice something about Himeno because it is like she has a habit of eavesdropping our characters when they are discussing the strategy or the pinch they are in. Then she makes her entrance while proclaiming to leave it to her before proceeding to suggest something.

I know I said Ruru is the series’ mascot since she is small and cute. But if she is too humanoid for you to be consider cute, then perhaps Albrecht could be the series’ mascot? Unfortunately other than often seen in the cuddly arms of Kurumi, he often fails when Kurumi tosses him into action. If bears aren’t your type of cute mascots, could a certain winged dog and octopus be it? They don’t make often appearances unless during battles so I’m not too sure. Now that they have evolved and power up into their ferocious beings, will they stay this way or will they revert to their cute versions after that? Seeing the episodic nature of this series, the Phantoms sometimes feel like monster-of-the-week.

Remember that weird controller Ruru took back from the factory? Throughout the duration of the entire series I kept remembering that it would have some sort of serious implications that would turn around the story. I thought it would be a foreshadowing of something sinister later and even with a few short clips of Haruhiko trying to fix it but to no avail, I thought it was just to troll us all and then maybe they will just forget about it. Who’d knew that it would be a convenient plot for the final episode just to defeat the final boss of the season. I know it is better than coming up with something out of thin air but it made me go, “That was it?”. So the first key to understanding the enemy is hacking into main server? And with all those covered up top secret files, it is no wonder Alayashiki is feigning ignorance. Uh huh. They are the bigger crooks and worse than Phantoms! Yeah, the more dangerous ghosts are humans.

The concept of how we are able to perceive these Phantoms and how they appear to us based on our cultural beliefs and folklores is interesting. But unfortunately that just remains as the setting of the series and it does little to expand on that. Furthermore, it is just strange that now with Phantoms suddenly now part of our lives, it is like everyone is unfazed and continue to live life normally. Sure, it has been 10 years but a ghost is still a ghost. You still freak out each time you see them unless you’re a ghost lover. So sometimes it is just odd to see that when a Phantom battle is going on, some are just brushing it over their shoulders like it is a normal everyday event. Maybe it is. Even stranger is how a virus that could make us see Phantoms that were not even tangible previously and suddenly these same Phantoms are able to do physical damage in the world. So they aren’t just illusions? Did our brains also unlock some sort of sensations as well? Me no understand.

The action and battle scenes are flashy as well as being exaggerative with lots of magical effects if not to certain points, comical. But it does provide some entertainment value. The last episode ramps it up with explosive action courtesy of Enigma making things go boom with her touch. I just don’t understand Mai’s power because in addition to her great martial arts skill, it is like she has some other elemental power in which she uses to help defeat the Phantom which it is based on. I read online that she channels certain elements from certain parts of her body like fire from her heart and water from her kidneys. So imagine to my surprise when I read wood comes from her armpit. WTF???!!! Well, I never noticed and I am sure I am not going to rewatch all the episodes again just to confirm this. But after a while, the battle sequences may look the same since it is usually Mai being the most active facing the Phantom head on with her fists, Koito using her voice to stun the Phantom, Kurumi as and when possible throwing Albrecht into battle as it blows up in size for an Ultraman-like fight and if Haruhiko isn’t summoning his familiars or sealing Phantoms in his sketchbook, then it is all down to Reina swallowing them up as a whole.

The artwork and drawing are very good and pleasing to the eye since the characters and backgrounds are quite livid and bright. There are nice special effects during battle and magic sequences for some oohs and aahs. But if the art style especially the characters do look familiar, it is because Kyoto Animation made this series. So do not be too surprise to see shades of certain characters from other animes under their belt such as Hyouka, Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai, Amagi Brilliant Park, Tamako Market, Hibike! Euphonium and K-ON! This means if you think Haruhiko looks like a certain main character from Hyouka, Koito resembling a certain individual in Hibike! Euphonium, Reina looking a bit like that cutie Youmu from Kyoukai No Kanata and Mai having that uncanny look to a certain girl in Amagi Brilliant Park, this could be the big reason. In fact it is. As for the Phantom designs, they come in all sorts of forms so sometimes they may look as close as humanoids or just plain weird. Another trivial thing I want to point out is when Reina uses her absorbing ability, she becomes cartoonish. Like as though she came out from a Peanuts comic strip. Serious. I thought she became a Charlie Brown character.

Voice acting is decent with Hiro Shimono playing his usual stereotypical main character roles. As Haruhiko, it feels like shades of some of his other anime characters like Akihisa from Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu and Alba from Senyuu. Other recognizable seiyuus for me are Saori Hayami as Reina, Mai Nakahara as Enigma, Ami Koshimizu as Ayumi and surprisingly Kikuko Inoue as Himeno. Well, after the umpteenth time, there would be at least one time I would recognize her since her voice and speech tone never changed drastically for all the characters that she has played in series that I recently watched. And then I would forget her all over again. Rinse and repeat. The other casts are Sumire Uesaka as Mai (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Maaya Uchida as Koito (Hiyori in Noragami), Misaki Kuno as Kurumi (Hawk in Nanatsu No Taizai), Azusa Tadokoro as Ruru (Fino in Yuushibu) and Daisuke Sakaguchi as Shousuke (Shinpachi in Gintama). The opening theme is Naked Dive by Screen Mode, a rock based with some hip in it. The ending theme is Junshin Always by Azusa Tadokoro, a lively rock outfit that makes you want to get up and dance a little since the girls in the ending credits animation are doing a weird but cute hip shaking dance.

Overall, this is not a bad anime per se but with undeveloped potentials and how they cover up with all the flashy effects and fanservice (including a few lewd jokes or two), it is ether you hate it or love it. Especially those who are wary of Kyoto Animation’s poor track record in recent years that fail to live up to their sky high expectations. For me, it was just mainly the terms that prevented me from giving this series a higher score because I would just mindlessly enjoy cute and pretty girls beating down and sealing Phantoms. So the next time you see such Phantoms materializing, maybe it would be easier just to call Ghostbusters. Or hide under the blankets while repeatedly wishing it will all go away. Like living a real life horror story, eh? Food for thought: Will taking LSD drugs make you see more illusions or make them go away?

Musaigen No Phantom World

Seisen Cerberus

October 22, 2016

Fantasy world, check. Magic, check. Dragon, check. Young boy with a date with revenge and destiny, check. His travelling members are a bunch of weirdoes, uhm, okay I suppose I can consider it so. So check. Evil antagonist who craves for more power and chaos, check. Hot chick, check. Hot chick with a secret, check. If all that suits you, then you should have no problems in making Seisen Cerberus: Ryouukoku No Fatalités as your next anime to watch. I don’t know. That was how I decided to pick my next fantasy flick to watch. And so sorry if you thought I was going to say Game of Thrones…

Episode 1
A ritual is held to eternally seal the evil dragon, Dagan Zot at Balbagoa. Unfortunately Lord Bairo was struck and this led to the failure of the ritual. When his son, Hiiro is almost devoured by the dragon, he casts some spell that well, uhm, destroyed the entire land in the process? 10 years later, Hiiro is now a wandering swordsman as he wanders into town. Nambuuko is scattering his money to the joy of the people. A group of boy thieves let by Tomitte plans to steal something more valuable but one of them, Peshate got greedy and secretly snuck onboard Nambuuko’s carriage. Some guy is showing off this ancient crest, Dalhalbart only to be stolen by Tomitte. He is caught and Hiiro saves him by purchasing it for a genuine gold coin. Tomitte blames him for ruining their big steal and steals Dalhalbart. Hiiro tracks them back to their base and steals it back. Nambuuko sees the town lord and is trying to coerce him into selling him some magic stones. This will only lead to inflation and the people will revolt. Nambuuko suggests using fear to control people and will lend him Grand Trowa. An excuse is needed for that and it couldn’t be any perfect timing because Peshate gets caught red handed trying to steal Grand Trowa. Tomitte and co’s cat and mouse game over Hiiro comes to a halt when they receive news that Peshate will be executed at dawn for stealing. He will be made as an example to the people and instil fear for failing to respect the authority. The boys are helpless to go save him but Hiiro being a hero goes in. He skilfully fights the guards but it all ends in the farce when he realizes his sword is just a paring knife. The guards surround him but his loyal subjects, Giruu and Palupa come to his aid. During the commotion, the boys free Peshate and escape. When Sharisharu is going to use Grand Trowa on them, Hiiro recognizes it as his father’s stolen treasure and wants it back. She activates its power but it gets deflected and destroys the mountain behind! Then from out of the shadows appear Dagan Zot. Can’t believe it is still alive? Then some inner trauma of Hiiro starts activating.

Episode 2
As the guards fire their arrows at Dagan Zot, some are in danger of hitting Hiiro. Shockingly Dagan Zot protects him. Then it causes a little havoc before disappearing back into the shadows. This incident gives Nambuuko and evil idea. He will use Dagan Zot to instil fear in the people. Giruu takes Hiiro back to Tomitte’s place. He explains about Dagan Zot’s sealing 10 years ago by Bairo and his wife, Kissmettete along with 100 elite mages. But they all perished and were covered in soul devouring flames. When Hiiro wakes up, all he can think about is defeating Dagan Zot. Tomitte has his reservations and doesn’t believe his current skill level can do it. Hiiro believes he can as he has been training all this while. I think he needs a lot more of it. Hiiro knows that Grand Trowa can grant any wishes and it is his plan to use it to defeat Dagan Zot. But first he needs to know where Nambuuko is. Unfortunately he has left for the Land Where Wishes Die. Tomitte further explains about Nambuuko as a ruthless arms merchant responsible for making countries fight each other while he gets rich. Sharisharu is not pleased Nambuuko left her behind in this town. He orders her to look for Hiiro. Palupa blows his top when he learns Hiiro was duped into buying Dalhalbart. It is fake. Because of that they have no money to eat and even if they have, stall operators won’t welcome them believing they are this morning’s troublemakers. But this cat girl, Erin ushers them to a place where she could it. She hints she knows Hiiro as Bairo’s son. They realized they have been tricked because they are forced to pay for her meal. With no place to stay and Palupa won’t spend any more money, Hiiro forces himself to crash at Tomitte’s place. At least they have a great feast in return courtesy of Giruu’s cooking. Because Hiiro is still weak, Giruu takes him to train more. Heck, he can’t even best the easiest slimes and is complaining more than anything. Feeling the need to defeat something stronger and earn money, how about that sand dragon right behind? Hiiro fails in even scratching it. But a cute girl, Saraato pops out from its mouth. Just using it as a ride? She puts her head on his chest to hear his heartbeat. She likes it and wants him to come with her.

Episode 3
At least we know they’re not going to a love hotel. Haha! But her destination is to where he is? She talks funny. And I mean in a weird sense. And when she starts talking to pebbles, the gang quietly slip away. Don’t want to get involved with this crazy girl. Meanwhile Nambuuko is making his arms trading negotiations with many people. Among them is Dr Baffaloppa whom he wants to create a new weapon for all the countries’ king that they will die to have. It is hinted that Saraato is related to Baffaloppa. As Tomitte teases Hiiro for being in love, here comes Saraato. Did her magical wand help her find this place? Maybe Hiiro is in love with her. Because he allows her to stay here without consenting the rest. Probably this guy wants to show off his training but only gets owned by the slimes. He still didn’t pass this level? So how can he fight that menacing wolf? He doesn’t. He gets owned too. Luckily the wolf is interested in Saraato. Hiiro tries to be a hero but again gets owned. Pathetic! It is only by luck he accidentally kills it. It is all a god damn fluke! Saraato heals his wound with her wand. After selling it for a paltry sum, he sees the town guards arresting men to force them to work for the town lord’s mines. Can’t stand seeing children being pried away from their fathers, he takes action. Guess what? He gets knocked out and taken in too! Super pathetic! In prison, at first everyone is revved up that Hiiro will get them out. When he shows Dalhalbart, everyone loses hope. Because seriously, this guy is digging his way out with it! WTF?! Long way to go… Tomitte sneaks into the town lord’s mansion and steals his secret journal, one that contains shady transactions. He threatens to show this to the palace but in exchange for it to be returned, free Hiiro and the other men. Too bad Tomitte gets captured by the guards. If not for Giruu crashing in and swinging his mighty sword, things might have taken a toll for the worse. And I can’t believe Hiiro is saying he is so close to getting out when he didn’t even make a dent on the brick! Ah, the happy faces of people when the fathers reunited with their children. Although Hiiro doesn’t have the luxury of such family, it became his motivation to take out Dagan Zot.

Episode 4
Giruu will personally see Hiiro’s training today. This means Saraato can’t follow. She bumps into Erin who takes her to the hotspring. Sharisharu is also there so Erin has a hard time trying to keep Hiiro’s whereabouts a secret seeing Saraato is the type who answers truthfully if you ask. Hiiro is sick of fighting slimes. He is so mad that he attacks Giruu. Seriously, you think he can best his master? Of course not. But Giruu cuts him down! Is he insane?! Giruu’s plan is to take him to some healing springs since he anticipates the training will get rough. Want to bet it is that hotspring? Also, he saw a reward poster of a monster in this area. It will be like killing 2 birds with a stone. Sharisharu has a hard time identifying Hiiro thanks to the mist and that he is unconscious. But when Hiiro wakes up and starts bragging, Sharisharu signals to his guards to wake up that monster to cause havoc and capture them. Unfortunately she never read about tentacle monsters and their fetishes. Uh huh. Which tentacle monster would grab a guy? Yeah, Saraato and Sharisharu are going to get tentacle raped! We know the monster’s tastes since it throws away Sharisharu. Smart Erin has already fled the scene. Giruu saves the day by cutting it apart. And all Hiiro is concerned is only for Saraato? Don’t worry. She’s safe. Although they fail to get the reward, they managed to sell it to nobles who bought it at a high price for its unusual taste. Now that they have enough money, they can start their journey although they have no clue where Nambuuko is. I guess it is goodbye to the boys. They’ll miss the great cooking. Surprisingly Tomitte will journey with them. His goal is to get Grand Trowa to change this sick world. Yeah, who doesn’t? He doesn’t want the boys to stop him but stops them from coming along? As they set off, they chances upon Erin. Palupa asks to pay her portion for that meal so she thought of joining their journey. Why? She has a map that will take them to where Nambuuko is. Hiiro immediately agrees and their party increases by another one.

Episode 5
You know how pathetic Hiiro is when he can’t even defeat and eagle and falling into some sand trap. Yeah, he needs help. Nambuuko is selling the same weapons to all the countries and playing the double, no triple agent for all of them. Yeah, he is so ruthless that nobody even notices it because they’re busy trying to kill each other. He summons Sharisharu back and she knows she is going to get an earful. True enough, he berates her for her failure. But he is going to give her one more chance to capture Hiiro. Fail again and it will be the last time she’ll never be allowed in his sight again. Ever. So here Sharisharu is with her guards and giant earth golems trying to capture Hiiro and his team. That dumb hero rushes in to fight Sharisharu thinking he can beat the crap out of her and take him to Nambuuko. As expected, he gets owned. Heck, his sword even broke! With Giruu having his hands full fighting the golems, Palupa summons Mumu not for weapons but for everyone else to teleport escape via this magic chest. Giruu falls into a trap and Sharisharu intends to kill him. She means it. Hiiro cannot do anything as he is pinned down and being tormented by Sharisharu who relishes every moment of it to avenge her humiliation. But when Hiiro reaches his limit, suddenly something inside him activates. You’re damn right if this looks like something bad. Hiiro turns into a fast ferocious wild beast as he strikes down all the guards in a flash. Scared Sharisharu teleports and escapes in time but that wouldn’t have been necessary since Hiiro returned to normal right before he reached her. In his weakened state, he crawls through the desert, wondering what the heck that power was.

Episode 6
Oh great. Nambuuko just passed before Hiiro and he is too weak to do anything. When Palupa and co return, they find Giruu unconscious. Saraato heals him and he has no recollections of what happened. They are puzzled that there are lots of dead guards nearby and wonder if Hiiro did this. Meanwhile Nambuuko is demonstrating to a duchess his new weapon that combines an orc and humans. It is one big blended mess. The monster attacks but the guards easily took it out. Baffaloppa is not pleased with the results since the monster should be tougher than this. Hiiro sees everything and pops out to fight Nambuuko. Your guess is as good as mine. He is easily defeated and captured. Yeah, he saved the villain a whole lot of trouble looking for him. Back at his camp, Sharisharu expects to be scolded as she explains how scary Hiiro was. Surprisingly he didn’t get mad and instead rewards her. Nambuuko goes to torture Hiiro to let him spill some information about Dagan Zot. He wants its revival so that there can be chaos. This means more fighting, more weapons and more money! I believe this weakling would have succumbed to his fate if not for the duchess coming to complain about some pretty boys service. Nambuuko goes to pacify her seeing he has time to spare with him. Hiiro tries to free himself and for once Dalhalbart serves its purpose in cutting the ropes. Baffaloppa senses Saraato’s sense and traces it to Hiiro. He is stumped he has Saraato’s scent but is relieved when he learns she is fine. After Hiiro tells how they met, he cannot believe she said something about his heartbeat. He hears it himself and then believes he is her fate. He wants her to take care of her and lets him drink a potion that will allow him to escape and be where Saraato is. Just think of her. His last words are for him to meet Master Theo. Giruu and co are planning their ambush on Nambuuko’s camp. Hiiro falls out of the sky near them. Yeah, it saved them the trouble. When Nambuuko returns, he sees Baffaloppa in the seat. Trying to cover for Hiiro? Fail! Nambuuko is not pleased he set Hiiro free. Even more so that Saraato still lives and that Hiiro lives for her sake. Baffaloppa dares him to kill him but he won’t since he has lots of work for him and will make him pay the price one day. Nambuuko throws a question at him about Hiiro’s thoughts about Saraato once he learns who she truly is. Didn’t think about that, did he?

Episode 7
After Hiiro explains all he knows, Giruu finds it disturbing of Baffaloppa’s words that his heart does not belong to him. Then he theorizes that the reason why Dagon Zot protected him then was not because of Hiiro but its heart. Yup. Hiiro and Dagan Zot’s hearts are switched and it must have been Bairo’s last attempt to save his son. Further prove is when Hiiro became a beast as he had the powers of Dagan Zot within him and they both have the same birthmark on their chests. Hiiro becomes upset that this means seeking revenge for his parents, he must prepare to die. He falls into depression and it’s time to cheer him up with flashbacks? Palupa tells him how Giruu who trains Hiiro by day, has been learning magic at night for 10 years all for his sake. Hiiro then gets motivated to use Grand Trowa to switch their hearts. Well, he is back to his idiotic self. They arrive at a decimated village to camp for the night. This is Giruu’s old home since we can tell he is spacing out and seeing visions of his younger self. And what a dark past it is. His parents were persecuted by the villagers. You see, Giruu’s dad is an ogre and his mom a human. The ogres blamed their union that caused the humans to attack. Giruu watched in horror as they hang them. Giruu escaped and wandered around till Bairo found him. That fused monster is lurking around. Giruu fights him but I guess he is still reeling from his past. Tomitte suggests Hiiro to transform but at such crucial time you know he just can’t. Yeah, he is about to be owned again and luckily Giruu was fast enough to cut it down. Meanwhile Erin praises Nambuuko so that Sharisharu would allow her to seek an audience with him. Easy as pie. She tells him about Hiiro’s heart being swapped with Dagan Zot. Of course this information is not for free so he rewards her with this toy, Alshina. Nambuuko knows that if Hiiro is Bairo’s son, he will definitely come here to get Grand Trowa. All he needs to do is wait. Then he orders Sharisharu to kill Hiiro. Ah, those magic words she loves to hear. That glitter in her eyes… She’s really looking forward to it.

Episode 8
In the next town, Giruu buys Hiiro a new sword. Later they discuss about Theo whom Giruu and Palupa know as Bairo’s doctor. Saraato claims he is her friend. For the first time in a long time, they get to sleep on warm decent beds. But deep into the night, a shadow monster appears to wreak havoc. They think it is Dagan Zot but its shadow is also devouring the villagers. After Giruu saves Hiiro from another blooper, he too gets caught in the shadow and clinging on for dear life. Sharisharu pops up to kill Hiiro. She reveals this monster is Dah Kuu, a creation of Baffaloppa given by Nambuuko to her to test it out. As Sharisharu electrocutes Hiiro, this is all part of Nambuuko’s plan to bring out Dagan Zot since this attack is endangering its heart. But then Hiiro turns into his dragon beast form. He destroys Dah Kuu as Dagan Zot emerges. Sharisharu becomes scared and escapes. After Erin shoots her special monster killing arrow at Dah Kuu to free Giruu, he runs to save Hiiro but he is in the midst of going berserk and slashes Giruu! Once the havoc dissipates and Hiiro regains his normal self, he becomes distraught seeing Giruu lying in his own pool of blood. The only happy person is Nambuuko because after watching what happened, he is certain Hiiro is needed to get the dragon.

Episode 9
Giruu is alive and recovering although at a slow rate. Unfortunately Saraato can’t heal it. Hiiro feels bad for striking him even if the rest doesn’t blame him. But Giruu is more concerned about Hiiro transforming because he fears if he transforms frequently, he will not be able to transform back. After weakened Giruu collapses, it is a race to get some serafuria herb. But Mumu is selling it at a freaking high price. Erin tells Hiiro a place where he can get it but it will take half a day to get there. Instantly he makes his journey with Saraato. While the duo are gone, the rest discuss about Saraato because Tomitte has observed her that she doesn’t eat or smile. Then it is like Sharisharu always knows their location. Could she be the turncoat? Speaking of Sharisharu, I guess Nambuuko has had it with her and locks her up. More discussions about Nambuuko and Dagan Zot. Erin tells the rest about Nambuuko’s intention to kill Hiiro. She knows because of Alshina which is a communication tool. As the nations are gearing up for war, many are making weapon orders from Nambuuko. This allows the arms merchant to jack up the prices while he also manipulates information. Once war begins, Hiiro will need to go through the battlefields to get to Nambuuko. Thus it is best they get there fast. After all the struggles and perseverance, Hiiro finally manages to grab serafuria. Saraato who has been doing nothing all the while catches his fall. She smiles for the first time. Giruu instantly heals after eating the herb. It is time for Tomitte’s drama because he heard from Peshate that their hometown has gotten worse. Everyone has been forced to work in the mines. Better hurry getting your hands on Grand Trowa. Tomitte stops suspecting Saraato since he saw her shed a tear. That easy? The party makes their way to Theo’s dwelling. It is important to get Grand Trowa but it is more important to treat Hiiro’s body first. As the gang meet Theo, he starts hugging Saraato like nobody’s business. You jealous, Hiiro? Even more shocking for him is how Saraato mentions Theo is her friend. Friend zone?

Episode 10
After Theo is told of Hiiro’s condition, he demonstrates an imitation of the soul devouring flame. Hiiro wonders why if he is the continent’s most powerful mage, why didn’t he do anything to save his parents. Even the greatest mage cannot stop the mother nature force of a storm. Theo begins giving his ‘training’ to Hiiro. He is made to do weird stuffs like picking up and throwing pebbles and crumpling a picture of a badly drawn Saraato’s face. Theo demonstrates using his Kokuu Blade. It’s like an air sword and using the wind to slash. Hiiro tries it out and finds it stupid because in his eyes nothing happens. Later that night as Giruu asks Theo about Hiiro’s progress, he mentions how the son is very similar to Bairo. In short, Hiiro has no talent for swordsmanship and knows Giruu has also noticed this for a long time. I mean, after 10 years of training and he is this weak, something must be seriously wrong, right? Giruu has known his potential ever since he took up studying magic and his thoughts is that if Hiiro is all by himself, maybe he could use magic instead of sword. Thus it can be concluded that Hiiro has a rare talent in magic than swordsmanship. However Theo cautious his magic power is very high and rare. Otherwise, a human would have been unable to bear the magic of a dragon’s heart. During the Kokuu Blade training, Hiiro’s magic did hit Theo. He finds Theo to be a very dangerous person and Giruu teaching him swordsmanship was the right move. His last advice is that Hiiro and Saraato are a pair and must be together. Meanwhile Sharisharu continues to be in depression but when Nambuuko surprisingly calls her, she is motivated after hearing her voice. Looks like he needs her for a mission. Anything, my lord. Next morning, Hiiro has had it with this dumb training and quits. But Theo tells him to cut him down with Kokuu Blade where he stands and if he does so, he will graduate. Hiiro plays along and Theo puts on the lamest and fakest damage receive act ever. Yeah, he graduates. After they leave, Theo notes he was indeed hit by Hiiro’s power and that was just a fraction of his true power. Perhaps switching hearts was the best move as it kept both their powers in check. The gang are now a desert away from Nambuuko’s base. Suddenly an eagle attacks them but Giruu is able to cut it down. Wondering how they are found out, suddenly they hear from Erin’s Alshina, Nambuuko is trying to reach her. Busted.

Episode 11
Erin admits she traded information. It is her specialty after all. The rest won’t kill her seeing it won’t undo the damage done. They continue the journey without her. They’d rather get lost than have her with them. Meanwhile Sharisharu agrees to be fused with her monster pet dog. Palupa falls into a hole and going to be eaten alive by some giant sand bug. Surprisingly it is Erin who throws a rope for his rescue. Seriously, is this little dude that heavy since all are struggling to pull him out. I suppose they have to continue their journey with her since she is the only one who knows where they’re going. Screw that traitor thing for now. A sandstorm separates them. It is then Sharisharu in her fused form comes to kidnap Hiiro back to base. Since Baffaloppa has refined the machine, the fusion is much better now because Sharisharu looks sexy and badass in her new form. Hiiro instantly draws his sword when he sees Nambuuko. Of course you know he easily loses. Nambuuko tells him a secret. They met before 10 years ago at Balbagoa. Yup, your guess is as good as mine. Nambuuko is the one who killed Bairo. He thought Bairo was foolish trying to seal a dragon because Nambuuko would have used the chaos to earn more money. He survived thanks to some crystal protecting him from the flames. During that, he saw those beautiful flames and that evil beauty is what he is looking for. Human lives pale in comparison to its destruction. Nambuuko assures he won’t kill Hiiro for his fear of death is what is needed to summon Dagan Zot. All Hiiro has left now is humiliation and with Dagan Zot’s heart in his hand, the dragon’s life is his to command. Meanwhile Erin uses Alshina to trace Hiiro but instead they find Saraato smashing her magic wand against some rock till it breaks. Seems she is summoning a dragon as its noise will attract it. Oh, here comes one now.

Episode 12
Using the dragon, they fly to Nambuuko’s castle. It is rumoured it was ruled by a demon king named Gyrokias who was defeated by the hero, Dalhalbart. So sad the dragon is shot down as our heroes go into hiding. Baffaloppa is happy Saraato is here and takes them back to his lab. He reveals she is a magic doll made under Nambuuko’s orders. So now you know why she doesn’t eat, right? Not because she is helping to save money! Baffaloppa was ordered to make a warrior that could fight in lands destroyed by the soul devouring flames. However Baffaloppa was more interested in her beauty and kindness. Unfortunately that is not what Nambuuko wanted and ordered him to dispose of her. Of course he pretended to do so and let her escape. Learning that she is attracted to Hiiro’s heart because it is the heart of Dagan Zot, he concludes she was drawn to it because she herself lacks one. Baffaloppa knows Nambuuko is going to use Saraato in his plan and wants her to escape. However he doesn’t care about Hiiro so Saraato disobeys him for the first time and runs away to find him. There he is in Nambuuko’s and Sharisharu’s clutches. The evil lord wants Saraato to come to his side or else Hiiro gets it. Oddly, if Nambuuko needs them both and can’t kill them, so why so afraid of his threats? When she does so, Sharisharu teleports them to Balbagoa while she fights and stalls Giruu. There she explains how Nambuuko will use his machine to fuse Dagan Zot with all the soldiers from the warring countries who have gathered there into the ultimate disaster!

But I suppose Sharisharu didn’t see this coming because Nambuuko finishes his explanation that everyone in his castle are now trapped and their souls will be used as magic for this reactor. Naturally his subjects start panicking as they don’t want to die. But their screams and tears only fuel the process further. And what was Sharisharu saying about Nambuuko won’t let her die? And what the heck is this irony that she once said she would gladly give her life to him? Now is the moment and she is starting to feel betrayed? Since magic is blocked inside, nobody can get out. Can Baffaloppa get them out? His real body is already at Balbagoa and this one is just a puppet. Damn old man. We see him threatening Nambuuko to stop the machine if he doesn’t release Saraato. However Nambuuko silences him. I guess he isn’t needed anymore as the machine can run on its own. After hypnotizing Saraato under his command, Nambuuko orders her to kill Hiiro to awaken Dagan Zot. Palupa contacts Mumu to have her shoot a hole through the barrier, enough for their magic to teleport them out. You know how high her price would be and she doesn’t take credit. So they pool all their money together. Giruu only has kitchen utensils? I guess Erin’s gems would do. One hole in the wall coming up. They make a deal with Sharisharu to teleport them to Balbagoa in exchange she gets to deal with Nambuuko. Lost that lovin’ feeling? Hiiro has already partially transformed into his dragon form but it is still incomplete. Once it is, the evil dragon will fully revive.

Episode 13
When Giruu and co arrive, Sharisharu turns her back and attacks Giruu. Despite Nambuuko’s betrayal, she is still loyal to him. She herself admitted is stupid. We couldn’t agree more. Once Saraato is on the verge of killing Hiiro, that is when Dagan Zot appears. Nambuuko has been waiting for this moment and has got where he wants it. Using the Grand Trowa and the reactors, he fuses with Dagan Zot. Behold the new Nambuuko! Uhm, doesn’t he look a bit like Giruu but darker? Hiiro has never done many things right so you think he can defeat him? So to stop this atrocity, Baffaloppa, Erin and Tomitte have to simultaneously stop the reactors and take out Grand Trowa. They did it but nothing happened. You’d think Nambuuko would be so stupid to leave everything defenceless, right? I suppose he doesn’t need all that crap since he has already obtained the soul devouring flames. To seal possession of this eternal power, he kills of Saraato. Bad move. Because Hiiro is so mad that his sword somehow now can cut his arm and through his armour! Is it the power of love or anger that made it possible?

With Nambuuko’s demise, Dagan Zot is now free (to make sure Nambuuko is dead, big dragon squashes him). Hiiro has thoughts about sacrificing himself by piercing his own heart (which is Dagan Zot’s). But he chickens out and gets another idea. Using Grand Trowa, he pulls out some magical sword and uses Kokuu Blade to cut open its chest. And then they switch hearts! OMFG! Is it that easy?! But Hiiro didn’t put his own heart back in his body. Instead he gives it to Saraato who then springs back to life. And this is Dagan Zot’s demise?! WTF?! Now, the rest are fighting over Grand Trowa for their own nefarious agenda. But then it breaks! Giruu says that is not the real Grand Trowa as it wouldn’t shatter. So where is the real one? Shattered when Bairo first used it to seal Dagan Zot? But then it shattered too, right? Then how can this fake do so many miraculous things? I don’t get it! For the first time Saraato cries when she learns Baffaloppa died when he tried to protect her. All the warring nations pulled back because Erin has a secret connection with the kings and a simple call was all it took for them to back down?! Sharisharu cries over Nambuuko’s death but the remaining guards easily change her mind to look forward to a new freer future with her sexier body. WTF?! And suddenly she is a free woman. Nambuuko is the past. WTF indeed. After burying Baffaloppa, Hiiro says his heart is now Saraato’s. An excuse to always be with her and protect her? He gives Dalhalbart to Tomitte. With peace reigning over the land, what will Hiiro do now? Train with his sword! He won’t admit he is a magic user and still believes himself as a wandering swordsman. I guess we’re in no hurry for him to become a legendary swordsman then.

A Hero That Never Was… And Never Should Be!
I knew the entire adventure was ridiculous seeing how the main hero is so I accepted everything as part of the entertainment. I didn’t know the finale episode would be this ridiculous because it just felt so rush that they are running out of time and that this is the last episode so anything goes. Uh huh. Not like it freaking mattered. It is still unsure if Dagan Zot is truly defeated since Hiiro is still having its heart. But we don’t see him whining about revenge anymore so does it mean it is gone for good? If it is so, it makes it a truly mind boggling thing because such a powerful dragon that nobody could defeat and barely sealed is defeated in the most ridiculous manner ever. That’s not the only ridiculous thing there. From Sharisharu’s fast-get-over-your-boyfriend to the warring nations just retreating like that, I don’t want to open another can of worms.

The plot doesn’t feel original and sometimes it just feels predictable or lost. It is about a boy seeking revenge on a dragon whom he blamed for causing the death of his beloved parents. I can see why he is so angry and impatient for most of the times. So for the entire series it sometimes feels like little fillers because you see the group trying to head where Nambuuko is but get a little distracted with ambushes in the desert or wasteland and even a detour to visit a certain quirky doctor. A little flashback for the main character and his strongman to stretch the plot further and voila, you have got yourself a season worth of entertainment. And you thought Hiiro and Dagan Zot’s swapped hearts are supposed to be the twist of the story. And what is this about Saraato being attracted to the dragon’s heart and thus it isn’t Hiiro she is attracted to? Sorry to pour water on your romance ideals, pal. You’re already so weak and underpowered so why would a girl like her want you? Because the plot says the hero always gets the girl in the end and thus the predictable direction whereby Saraato chose to be with Hiiro on her own free will. Now that she has Hiiro’s heart, can you say she is one with him forever? Literally.

Of all the characters in Hiiro’s group, the only useful and reliable character is Giruu! You have got to agree with me on this. Everybody else is just useless in some ways. I mean look at this muscle guy. He saves Hiiro’s life from numerous dangerous occasions, he is the most rational of the group, he is sharp in his observations, he has the best swordsmanship around (at least in the group – and the only one who can decently put up a fight), he is loyal to his bocchama and most important of all, he can cook! Not only cook decent meals but the best there is ever! If this guy wasn’t in the group in the first place, everybody would have died especially Hiiro who wouldn’t even make it past the first episode. The only thing weird I find about him is his sword design. At first what I saw was and started thinking, “Is that a giant screwdriver or an odd shaped penis?”. Holy sh*t!

And the rest of the groupies are just a bunch of weirdoes and losers especially with Hiiro being the most pathetic one. But one thing ‘refreshing’ about having a main character that is just a wuss is that he is unlike many other cliché, generic and typical main characters in similar genres. You know, the kind with a dark brooding personality or one that has some sort of latent power that is so powerful that it would change the balance and the world or the kind of hero that has his own annoyingly generic ideals of justice. Therefore with Hiiro being weak and whiny, it does give a different feel to the already ubiquitous archetype of heroes. Hence despite the irony of his name that sounds like a champion or victor, Hiiro is just a spoilt brat with lots of angst trying to avenge his parents with powers he doesn’t even have. Not even part of it. Sure, you can argue he is studying the wrong skill for 10 years but even an idiot should have realized long ago that something is totally wrong. To say he has the heart of Dagan Zot and that he transforms into a terrible half human half dragon killer isn’t also entirely accurate because for most parts he is consumed and controlled by this rage. He is now a mindless killing machine. And the worst part of all his pathetic-ness is how when he learnt about his switched hearts, he isn’t even willing to sacrifice his own life for his vengeance! If he was that determined to avenge his parents, he would just stabbed his own heart and let it all end there. Even preventing Nambuuko from pursuing his unholy goal. But nooooo. He is too chicken to even take his own life and thus it gives an excuse why the anime should continue. Yeah, if he killed himself, the anime would have ended right there and all of us would be taken by surprise then.

Continuing the rest of the useless characters in Hiiro’s group, Saraato feels more like a retard than anything useful. She feels like a cliché girl whom the hero picks up and holds some sort of secret (look no further than Comet Lucifer). And so when the ‘shocking’ revelation that she is some magic doll, it just made us yawn. And I thought she would be the sleeping vessel of Dagan Zot. That would be something. And this Palupa shorty, he is like the comic relief of the series seeing that the most memorable thing about him is his penny pinching ways as he is always concerned with the limited funds the party has. So is he Hiiro’s financial advisor or something? Tomitte might be a thief but since he joins the journey, he didn’t do anything related to his skill and thus he feels more like an excess baggage. You know, like as though they just need an extra member in the party to make it look more like a bigger party and do some minor ‘errands’ when the hero is having his hands full with something else.

Finally there is Erin. Ah, when you have cat ears and big bosoms, there is always that sexy lady in the group to provide fanservice. Not as useless as the rest but not as useful as Giruu or half of it, Erin’s ‘trademark’ seems to vanish at times when she is needed most or during times when the party is in crisis. It’s like she is the greatest disappearing act ever. This makes her some sort of ‘useless’ to the party, right? And when she turns out to be a turncoat or rather it is her specialty in trading information regardless of who she sells it to, we can’t have sexy babes be the true bad guys, can we? And everybody quickly forgave her because it won’t change a thing. I don’t think that Mumu can be considered as a proper member of the party since she is only called out on certain dire occasions. In the event if she is considered so, she is another useless character as she charges freaking high prices for weapons or other stuffs. She is like the Scrooge McDuck of the series, worse than Palupa. So if you’re poor, forget her help. Faster and better for you to die than to haggle with her over the price.

Nambuuko as an antagonist feels typical like any other baddie. Although his aim is to create chaos, have nations go to war so they will continue to buy arms from him and ultimately become the master dragon himself, that is pretty much the same as world dominance because you are controlling everybody under your thumb and manipulating them like puppets on a string. Thanks to weak Hiiro, it only serves to enhance his power and evilness throughout the series. A food for thought: If everybody goes to war and kill each and there is nobody left, where will Nambuuko get his money then? Maybe he should just print his own money then. Sharisharu at first passes off as a typical but lovable evil sidekick. The kind you can’t bring yourself to hate totally since she is awfully cute despite how evil she can get. The biggest irony about her is the fact that she felt betrayed by Nambuuko when she told us in the face that her life belongs to Nambuuko. After all the screw ups that would have made stricter evil lords kill you off for being incompetent, Nambuuko is more ‘merciful’ giving her second chances and even a body upgrade. And then when it is time for her to sacrifice her life like all those other dumb minions, she gets scared. WTF?! Isn’t her sole existence is to live for him? She should have realized that all the failures she brought she has no right to be next to him and should pay for her life. At least in a villain’s organization. So it was just mind boggling that she felt deceived when Nambuuko abandons her and was fretting over it. Life has no meaning without him… And then when he is truly gone, time to get over and move on. Wow. So much about loyalty. She should have killed herself too if she really wanted to follow him wherever he goes. Just like how they killed of Baffaloppa, so why can’t they do the same with her? Just because she is sexier now doesn’t mean the producers need to let her live.

Action scenes are rather decent too. Because the one who is doing most of the fighting is usually Giruu. Hiiro sometimes feels like a damsel in distress seeing he has to be saved countless times even when they are not in battle! Yeah, this kid can’t even do anything right on his own. We all know he sucks in his sword skill (heck, he has his sword broken not once but twice!), so we thought with that revelation he is some super hidden magic talent would at least get him somewhere but unfortunately if he himself doesn’t realize it, what is the use? It just felt like trolling. Grand Trowa supposed to grant any wish? More like Grand Troller. Don’t get me started if the Grand Trowa we see the entire time is fake or not. I’m too confused to even talk about it. And Dagan Zot whom I believe is supposed to be the true hidden star of the series is just relegated to pathetic cameo appearances but when he does emerge from the shadows, be very afraid with his awesome powers because it literally blows you away. Take that you weaklings!

For a fantasy setting, I guess the art and drawing are pretty standard too. Hmm… How should I put it? Everything looks colourful but in a dark way. I mean, well, everything isn’t your bright colours but they are shaded darker to associate with the grim theme of a looming war and all. It might be just me since I find that Hiiro looks quite effeminate. Must be those eyelashes… Sometimes I thought it enhances his pathetic character. Oh, did I mention that with his angst looks, it makes him look like a bad guy sometimes. Even Nambuuko isn’t looking as much as a baddie compared to Hiiro (although he still is). I find some characters resemble like characters from other anime like Erin resembling close to Xiao Mei from Shining Hearts: Shiawase No Pan and Saraato has an uncanny look to Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko’s Erio. At the end of each episode, there is an illustration eye-catch which I think it is pretty good quality. This anime series is produced by Bridge who did Nobunagun, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation, Mitsudomoe and the second season of Fairy Tail (co-produced with A-1 Pictures).

Voice acting is rather okay with only Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as the only recognizable to me in his role as Hiiro. Palupa is voiced by Youji Ueda (Kisaragi in Basilisk) and I am not sure if his dragon character is speaking in some sort of accent because to me I thought he sounded very gay. Really! You know, sometimes I thought Koji Yusa was the one who voiced him. The rest of the casts are Mao as Saraato (Renge in Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda), Taiten Kusunoki as Giruu (Rock Bison in Tiger & Bunny), Maaya Uchida as Erin (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Arisa Ogasawara as Tomitte (Panty in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Shunsuke Sakuya as Nambuuko (Okuninushi in Noragami Aragoto), Mariya Ise as Sharisharu (Levi in Fairy Tail), Masayuki Omoro as Baffaloppa (Sam in Bakuretsu Tenshi) and Manami Numakura as Mumu (Paula in Nisekoi S2). The opening theme is Resonant Heart by Maaya Uchida while the ending theme is Xenotopia by Suzuko Mimori. Pretty okay by today’s anime pop standards and nothing to shout about.

On a trivial note, I find that the name of each episode doesn’t really correspond to what the episode is all about. For example, episode 2’s “The Dark Crystal” is just mostly about Hiiro taking refuge at Tomitte’s secret base and his pathetic slime training. So where the heck is the dark crystal? If they mean the Grand Trowa, it doesn’t even make a decent appearance except being mentioned a couple of times. Then in the next episode, “The Hidden Fortress”, what freaking fortress are they referring too? Is it Tomitte’s base or the town lord? Because either way I don’t see it as hidden or a fortress. Then for episode 4’s “An Unexpected Journey”, the entire episode was almost a hotspring fanservice and the journey only began right at the end. If you’re talking about episode 11’s “Fury Road”, nowadays the recent Mad Max Hollywood film comes to mind but we don’t see any post-apocalyptic cars whatsoever or a wild chase. The only thing I can associate it with is that the characters are trekking through the desert. And there is nothing fury about it. Usually I don’t give a damn about episode titles but somehow this series has got me thinking at the end how the heck it turned out this way when everything was so different.

Overall, this isn’t anywhere close to a masterpiece fantasy story but at least it still provides decent entertainment especially with the main character being weak and his bunch of weird and ‘useless’ companions. With the less than stellar plot, either you love it (as in for laughs) or hate it. But it is bad enough to make you want to root for Dagan Zot just to devour everyone so that peace will forever rule the land plagued with silly wars. It would have been much so better and funnier if the plot was about Hiiro switching hearts with a chicken so he travels around the continent chasing it down to prevent it being turned into chicken soup from unsuspecting hungry people. Yeah… Chicken-koku No Fatalités! Double Fatality!

Seisen Cerberus

Show By Rock!! Short!!

October 21, 2016

The only reason I can think of that Show By Rock!! Short!! is shown as a TV short of 3 minutes per episode instead of being released as extra DVD specials is because of the second season that is to premier the following season. And thus what a way to refresh our memories of our cute band of furries in short and cute episodes that probably has nothing to do with any storyline in the series. You know, you do lots of heavy advertising with outrageous gimmicks and publicity before the main event, right?

Episode 1
Egg head Tokiko Shirosugawa (Maple in drag?) is interviewing Plasmagica. The quartet introduce themselves as well as their instruments. Tokiko then has everyone stand up and show us their butt. Actually just to show us their different cute animal tails. Cute, right?

Episode 2
Shingan Crimsonz is resting after a bath. When Crow realizes there is a ping pong table, the rest get revved up and highly motivated for a challenge. Playing doubles, Crow is left to fend for himself since Aion isn’t interested. Crow thinks he is going to lose at this rate but Rom’s manly advice gives him hope again. The intense game with ridiculous smash moves continues. I don’t know how it becomes a football parody as Rom and Yaiba combine their moves for the greatest smash. The ping pong table broke but the ball bounced back to their side. Karma?

Episode 3
Criticrista is Tokiko’s host this time. Rosia’s extreme moe cute act is making Tokiko cringe like hell. After a short introduction of each one of them, Tokiko has them demonstrate their other special non-musical talent. Like Tsukino having pitch perfect and Jacklyn an athlete. You might have guessed Rosia as she tries her extreme moe cutesy act again. The cringe is strong. But for you guys who love such girls, KAWAIIIIIIII!!!!!!! Lastly, Holmy is supposed to demonstrate her ‘hellish’ training but since they ran out of time, Rosia even ends the show on Tokiko’s behalf. The cringe is still strong…

Episode 4
A period drama now. Aa is training fine and her swordsmanship exceptionally. But her egg master tells her soul has no fun. She wanders around town to look for an answer and stumbles upon Un who is playing her shamisen. Aa gets embarrassed and leaves. She trains harder that night. Next day, she sees an egg ruffian harassing Un. Aa challenges him but the egg dude cowers and runs away. To show her gratitude, Un wants Aa to follow her.

Episode 5
Who will be appearing on Tokiko’s show this time? Trichronika! These guys are so cool that they might even steal Tokiko’s heart! Oh wait. Shuuzou’s charm might just be doing that. While Tokiko recovers from their awesomeness, they cut to commercial. Once she regains her composure, she has Trichronika reveal their plan. They are touring the galaxy with their concert. Although they will be away from Midi City, Shuuzou assures all their concerts will be broadcasted live. Shuuzou’s charm continues making the killing as he also ends the show. Kyuun~!

Episode 6
The period drama continues with Un letting Aa try playing the shamisen. Aa becomes interested and finds it fun so Un will gladly teach her in return that Aa teaches her courage. The ruffian returns bringing his buddies to exact revenge. A small cat daruma doll rolls by requesting for water. After Un gives it, it bloats up into a huge doll, crushing the baddies. The grateful duo want to know her name. Darudayu. And that was how Tsurezurenaru Ayatsuri Mugenan (TAM) was formed. Really?

Episode 7
Shingan Crimsonz is the next guest. They make their entrance via some singing. They get a little restless with Tokiko using the wrong choice of words to describe them. But irking Rom even more was how Trichronika’s ad was played during it all! So we see the guys having problems introducing themselves. Rom has to restrain his violent side while putting up a nice front, Aion is nervous as hell, Yaiba is taking too long and when Crow is too wild and loud, Rom blows his top and beats the hell out of him. I guess it is true that’s why they are the rowdy boys of BRR.

Episode 8
Criticrista is roped in to do a commercial for Spa Resort Midicians. We see them in a storyboard meeting and Rosia suggesting her direct cutesy act to appeal to the masses. Then there is the costume fitting moment whereby Jackyln’s idea of putting flowers around made them look cuter. On the day of the filming, Tsukino knocks herself out with all the ice creams, cakes and desserts (I WANT TO EAT THEM TOO!!!). Finally we get a peek at them being filmed as well as the final ad released.

Episode 9
Trichronika is at the backstage practising their dance moves before they head out to the stage for their performance, which is to teach everyone how to dance the basic box step. Everybody is so sparkly. Everybody is so cheery. Everybody is so happy. Wowee! I guess to girly for Rom to even stand watching as he furiously switches off the TV.

Episode 10
Tokiko is now introducing TAM. Because Darudayu is in her cat daruma, Tokiko is trying hard to hide her laughter. Even after the short commercial break featuring TAM promoting some health food, she still can’t stop sniggering. Her laughing sounds like a pig. That is when Darudayu reveals her true body and in such magnificence has Tokiko bow down before the goddess! Once she returns back to her doll, Tokiko doesn’t remember why she was bowing down in the first place. Too awesome to retain your memories?

Episode 11
Criticrista is being given a special lesson on coyness. Because Rosia is such an expert on this topic, she gets up and demonstrates with full confidence her specialty. She is so good that not only she takes over the teacher and teaches more about it to her band mates, the teacher is also learning a lot from her!

Episode 12
A high school setting. Rom is the new transfer student and is called out by Crow for a fight. They are about to get going when here comes the seemingly powerful Shuuzou. Immediately Rom is interested in fighting him thinking he would become the best if he defeats him. What about Crow? Easily defeated with a knockout punch. Rom and Shuuzou prepare to showdown but it is abruptly cut. To be continued? You got to be kidding me. Thankfully Plasmagica quickly corrects this and to look forward to their next season. So sorry, this fight isn’t continuing.

Pre-show Promotion
You don’t expect much from such shorts, right? After all, it is just serving as appetizers before the main course. You’ll laugh at the silly antics with the familiar characters. You’ll have fun with them for a short while. But nothing really more than that. Therefore fans of the series or at least viewers who have watched the first season would know how to appreciate the shorts better compared to some newbie who just jumped in although each short is independent of each other.

The only weird thing I find about the shorts is that Plasmagica who is supposed the main star of the series do not appear except in the first and last episodes! It is quite the irony, right? Unless this is some hint that they won’t be the main group in the next season or if the shorts are to give the other bands more screen time since Plasmagica will be hogging the second season. So it feels a bit odd that the main group is almost missing from the entire season. It’s like that Suicide Squad movie but the fan favourite character, Joker gets only minimal screen time. Well, assuming he was supposed to be the star of the show but you get the point. So I suppose Plasmagica is then relegated to doing the ending theme, Do Re Mi Fa Party, a super cute and lively rock piece that you would expect them to play.

Overall, this short is just as its name suggests. Also, a promotion to get you all hyped up before the next season starts simply because lesser shows like these need a little introduction instead of jumping out with a full second season that would make viewers jump up and say, “WTF. I didn’t know this anime is back”. That kind of reaction. At least for me. Even though music was saved in the previous season from an unscrupulous megalomaniac, music business is still like show business. The show must still go on for better or worse.

Anne Happy

October 16, 2016

It is always funny when misfortune happens to others. It is always close to never when it happens to you. Therefore by using this logic, I suppose that is how the concept of cute girls doing cute things but with the theme that each of them has some sort of misfortune came about. I mean, when you make it into a comedy series, nobody is going to feel bad, right? Instead we’ll all be laughing at you! Oops! I mean laughing with you. And thus this is how I think Anne Happy (a clever play on the word ‘unhappy’) came about. A group of girls with their own streak of bad luck throughout their lives meet at a school that has a special class that will ‘blow away the misfortune’. Wait. What? They have a school like that? If it is so effective, why didn’t they apply it for the entire nation and the world? Oh who cares? We’re supposed to laugh at all the silly nonsense and fawn over those cute girls, right?

Episode 1
Ruri “Hibari” Hibarigaoka is on her way to Tennomifune Academy when she spots Anne “Hanako” Hanakoizumi hanging on the edge of the bridge with a dog. And she is smiling? By the time Hibari tries to catch her, Hanako throws the dog to her as she falls into the river. Although she isn’t hurt, the dog bites her. So much about appreciation. And she is still smiling. Hibari notes she has terrible luck but Hanako claims she is the luckiest girl in the world. All about perception, eh? They made it in time for the opening ceremony and the duo find themselves in the same class. As they chat, Botan Kumegawa finds them amusing and also joins in. When Hanako shakes hands with her, did she grasp too hard that her bones break or does she have weak bones? Fortunately she is able to treat herself fast. Their homeroom teacher is Kodaira as she explains classes 1 to 3 are trained academically while 4 to 6 are trained physically in sports. Say, what about this class 7 then? They will be trained to achieve happiness because all of them are born with misfortune. Say what? Hibari disagrees she is this unfortunate but Kodaira claims top secret investigations have been carried out. Hibari fears her ordinary high school life is turned upside down with equally misfortune weirdoes. Kodaira then shuts everybody up as she shows her dark side. Scary. For seating arrangements, she puts random number in their desks that will determine the seating. It is said the higher to number, the more unfortunate. Out of 40 students, Hibari is number 28. How about Hanako? Number 40! Before they leave, each is given a raw egg to take home as their homework. They must not break it.

After school, Hibari goes off herself to spy at somebody at the construction site while Hanako and Botan walk home together when they see a cat. As expected, bad luck ensues. While chasing the kitty, Botan broke her egg after collapsing and Hanako got her feet stuck in the paddy field mud. When Hibari walks home, she hears ghostly voice calling her name. It’s those two. After she helps them out, Hanako continues to claim how lucky she is despite Hibari having a different opinion. To Hanako, they were saved in the end and she is lucky to have her in the same class. The girls do a group hug but Hibari realizes this might crush her egg. As she opens her bag to check it, a picture drops out. She fears her secret is exposed. Apparently Hibari has been going to the construction site to spy at this guy. Her old school friends laughed and teased her when they find out about it. But is there anything wrong about a romance with an older guy? Thing is, the ‘person’ she is in love with is the safety construction mascot! Of course Hanako and Botan will not tell others. They’re friends, right? Next day, Kodaira has anticipated everyone has broken their eggs. But surprisingly only Hanako’s is still intact. A cute little chick then hatches from it. Hibari notes she might be the unluckiest of the lot.

Episode 2
The girls are having individual interviews with Kodaira. She assesses each of their misfortune like Hibari’s tragic love and Botan’s poor health. However she cannot assess Hanako. Because of her strange results from being the only one with the unbroken egg and her the only having the class logo of a four leaf clover upside down, is hers just bad luck? While on their way to take a physical examination, Hibari explains how she started falling in love with the construction guy. Through the seasons, he stood there unwavering and quietly bowing with a smile. They are met with a mechanical bunny butler, Timothy who brings them to the examination room since they are late. While Botan is clearly the least flexible, at least she has the biggest bust. This must be the reason why she complains of gaining weight every year. Why is Hanako so conscious of her boobs now? Later Timothy becomes their guide to show them around the clubs they want to join. We all know Botan just isn’t cut out to be in any sports club, right? As they head to the pet club, little animals start to chase them. They thought Timothy is going to unleash some special power but he did nothing and got owned. Eventually they get away and Hibari knows Timothy has been sent by Kodaira to observe and measure their misfortune from the start. Hanako and Botan don’t think they are fit to join any club. Even if they do, they won’t be going home together. Hibari shares the same feelings. If she joined a club, she would have less time to see them. So the trio form their own going home club where they get to talk and take detours with each other after school.

Episode 3
On her way to school, Hibari sees Hibiki Hagyu bumping into everything and eventually gets lost. The class will be playing a life size board game deep in some underground training facility to improve their luck via dice game. This or Russian roulette… Yeah… Results of the game will be reflected in their report cards and the last team to reach the finish line will get a penalty. Hibiki is cocky and won’t make friends with Hanako and co but her best friend Ren Ekoda quickly does the opposite, much to her dismay. Hibiki and Ren get the special honour of being asked a personal question of who they like. Hibiki is embarrassed and lies on one. Of course nobody can lie before Kodaira. They are penalized and sent through a trapdoor. So Hanako and co slowly make their progress, playing weird games on each square like animal cosplay and skipping ropes 500 times. Hanako and Hibiki’s team get the misfortune of being stuck in a never-ending loop of the board. Since everyone has finished and they are the only ones left, not to mention time is running out, a final competition is held to determine last place. Hibiki has this strange thinking that becoming second to last is a lacklustre ranking and will vow to finish last! But whether it is the bread race or the chocolate stick eating game, Hanako and Botan are far worse when it comes to it as Hibiki finishes ahead of them. In the final round quiz where winner takes all (why did they have multiple games in the first place?), Kodaira poses a question for Hibari: Name the person she loves. Hibari panics. She knows she cannot lie and that Kodaira knows who she loves. But what about the other students watching? That is when Hanako answers on her behalf that she likes cats. And since the question was a person you love and not some animal, they lose. Hibiki rues finishing second last… Now for our losers’ penalty homework…

Episode 4
The trio are given their ‘homework’, lucky items they need to find and take a picture of it. Like Hanako must find some happiness flower at the gate of dawn, Hibari a smile and Botan making friends. They agree to meet up this weekend and help each other. Of course, Hibiki won’t let this last place issue rest as she believes if they do find their lucky items, they’ll be the most unfortunate students in class! Therefore the coming weekend, the duo tail our unlucky trio. But Hanako fell into manholes and rivers so she has to go home and change multiple times. She calls Hibari and Botan to start without her first. When Hanako is ready, she bumps into the spying duo. However cats love to gather around Ren, Hibiki trying to fend off those pesky cats and Hanako who wants to hug them so much gets owned by them. Eventually the group meet up with Hibari and Botan who are having a hard time asking a granny where to find this flower of happiness. She won’t reveal the place thinking the young ones want to vandalize it. But when she sees Ren, it is like an angel is standing before her and she will gladly tell them where it is. At the botanical garden, they start searching and need to find it quick since it will be closing in a few more hours. They believe it is in the flower maze. Hibiki gets separated from Ren and ends up walking with Hanako. Ren sees them happily together and quietly tails them. Eventually they all meet up. At the end of the maze, only a beautiful bed of flowers but no such happiness flower. What is that flower anyway? The park closes and our girls fail to get the desired flower. Hibiki then reveals her ulterior motive to disrupt them if they ever find it but is glad they didn’t. She didn’t even have to do anything. Really? Hibiki then offers to take a picture of the trio as commemoration of their stupid faces. Next day when they report to Kodaira that they are unable to get the lucky items but snapped a group photo of them at the gate of dawn, the picture actually has that flower in it. It is actually the light passing through the floral pattern of the gate that makes it look like a flower. Usually it is easy to find it at dawn but they were lucky to find it at sunset. Because the photo also has Hibari’s best smile and Botan making memories with her friends, she’ll consider this photo as their assignments fulfilled.

Episode 5
Hibiki dreams when Ren first moved into the neighbourhood. Hibiki was a bit scared of her. Hibiki had to go to school alone since Ren is sleeping in. As expected she gets lost and stumbles upon Hibari ‘stalking’ the construction guy. Hibari tries to hide her crush but Hibiki doesn’t see anybody in particular. Hibiki explains she needs 3 hours if she is going to school without Ren. I know it is bad sense of direction but hey, at least she doesn’t get lost forever. Hibari thanks Hibiki for helping with their homework because she knew what the happiness flower was. However Hibiki tells her to thank Ren as it was her that got them to the botanical garden. It is explained that Ren has this peculiar ability of attracting females of humans and animals since young. So is Hibiki part of the effect? Hibiki refuses to go to school with Hibari and will find her own way. She spots Hanako getting owned by cats for the thousandth time! Still positive that they are recognizing her? Hibiki realizes she is back to that construction guy spot and blames Hibari. She notices Hibari has dropped her photo of that construction guy and picks it up. As she ponders if this picture could be what she think it is, she ends up before the kindergarten she used to go with Ren. Flashbacks show how the duo got close together. One day, while their mothers were busy chatting, they got lost on their way to kindergarten. When they finally arrived, Hibiki’s hair got caught in some broken pole. She refused to trim the tip because she is afraid of looking different than everyone who had long hair. That is when Ren took the scissors and cut hers short above her shoulders. Hibiki is snapped out when Ren stumbles into her. She tells Ren about picking up Hibari’s important picture. However she won’t use it to blackmail her to get even because if someone did the same to her, she wouldn’t like it either. They reach school in time and Hibiki returns to picture to Hibari and claims she just only picked it up and didn’t see anything.

Episode 6
The class will be having a field trip to the mountains to improve their good luck. Don’t ask. Timothy tanned himself in gold for good luck too but he looks so cheap! Hanako’s team gets the dubious honour of proceeding last but even so, how did Hibiki and Ren end up behind them? Let me guess. Lost? So we see misfortunes befall on them like Botan already tiring out, Hanako being attacked by animals and even almost falling through a bridge. Even worse, naughty monkeys trying to cut the bridge’s rope! After lunch break, Hanako went to wash the utensils but never returned. Her friends go look for her but could only find her hairpin. They report to Kodaira who looks damn serious as she calls for backup to look for her. Along the way, Hibari spots her ‘boyfriend’. What is a sign doing out in the forest anyway? However behind it is unconscious Hanako. It seems while she was washing the utensils, she noticed her hairpin missing, went to search for it but fell into the river, had rocks fall on her, fish attacking her before crawling out. Wow. I’m amazed she survived all that. The devil’s luck? Now, you’d think everything is over, right? Wrong! There is a bear coming to eat them! I don’t know what the f*ck is Timothy doing trying to show off his swimming skills but he got owned big time by the bear. The girls throw all they got at the approaching bear. But it is Kodaira who saves the day as she shows her kickass sniping skills to tranquilize the bear. She is glad the girls are alright as she was worried when she heard from the radio a bear escaped from the zoo. The girls are in for a shock as Kodaira carries the bear back singlehandedly! The quintet walk back holding hands with the reason to avoid getting lost. Kodaira notes that this orienteering has improved the girls’ luck.

Episode 7
It has been raining nonstop so when Hanako turns up late for class, it isn’t surprising the amount of watery bad luck she got on her way. She gets more of that in school and certainly she catches a flu and will have to stay home to recuperate. Hibari and Botan decide to visit her but her house seems more sinister and like an evil mansion? Must be the atmosphere. They are met with Hanako’s mother, Sakura. They mistake her to be Hanako’s sister since she looks this freaking young. And like any mother praised for looking young, she loves to hear that and gives them first class treatment. Seems Sakura also attended Tennomifune and her bad luck is her clumsiness. So misfortune runs in the family? Blame the genes! The girls have a nice chat and experiment with different hairstyles before leaving. The next day it is still pouring and Hanako is still recuperating. Thus the friends decide to make a teruterubouzu and wish for Hanako to get well. Hibari’s seems like a low quality although typical teruterubouzu. If you think Hibiki’s Bali mythical creature or Botan’s mummy version take the cake, Ren steals the limelight because she uses Timothy! OMG! So he must hang there on the window all night? Well, he is a robot… Like a miracle, the rain must eventually stop and it is a beautiful day the next morning. Even better, Hanako is well and shows up in class. Kodaira wonders they have finished their given happiness assignment for the Tanabata festival but apparently they forgot. However Kodaira hints they already did most of the part. Hence all of them hang their teruterubouzu on the bamboo.

Episode 8
The class will be taking a surprise luck test. In the underground facility, they put on special visors. I suppose schools cannot build casinos but a virtual one will do? Yeah, loophole… They will play 10 games of chance and lose points over every loss. Their final score will be their final grade. Hanako loses lots of points right from the start so Timothy offers a place where she can gain extra points. Sounds shady… Inside a room, they will play competitive duels in which the winner can steal points from the loser. First up is Hibari and she becomes a knight to face Ren’s wizard. Hibari gets owned by Ren’s powerful spells and loses to her. Next is Botan as a priest against Hibiki the archer. Despite Botan being clumsy causing ‘own goals’ it is her mental attack in the form of an apology that knocks out Hibiki for the win. Hanako the dancer goes last but she has no opponent since everyone else has finished. Don’t worry, Kodaira will be her opponent. Oh my, Kodaira turns into a ferocious dark knight!!! Did she just come from Dark Souls? Kodaira shows no mercy in beating down Hanako. If Hanako loses, she will lose all her points and that means extra classes for summer vacation. Suddenly Botan comes to her defence. She can’t stand a summer without Hanako to hang out with. Such touching friendship has the other friends also helping to fight Kodaira who is now turned into a mad evil rampaging monster to punish them! They lose but Timothy won’t have them give up yet and transforms them into… Magical girls! They combine their combo attack, Lucky Happy Miracle Love Attack to chalk up a big upset. Timothy gets squished by Kodaira’s high heels as punishment. Unfortunately as per the rules, everyone who intervened will have their points stripped to zero. As Hanako’s balance is 10 points, Kodaira distributes it evenly to everyone. Because luck isn’t the only factor to grade them, other issues like surroundings and people also determine that. Their actions weren’t wrong and so they are spared extra classes for the summer. Hooray! Everyone can have fun together for summer. Timothy continues his punishment of being hanged upside down on a tree…

Episode 9
I don’t even know how Hanako got stuck up a pole with a cat. Luckily this cool chick, Saginomiya is here to ‘help’. After throwing the cat to her, she kicks the pole only for Hanako to fall into the river. Don’t worry, she won’t drown or get hypothermia. Saginomiya is also a teacher at Tennomifune and will be assisting Kodaira in their cooking class. She observes their misfortune like Hanako somehow destroying the stove when the flames got out of hand. She also grades their food. It is bad enough that Hibiki already got a minus score. Hanako’s group made a delicious meal only for Hibari’s clumsiness to spill juice and ruin it all. Saginomiya doesn’t even want to grade it. Not worth it. Her harsh words that they lack the bare minimum of attentiveness broke their hearts (and ours). She can’t understand why this school even has a happiness class. Though, Kodaira has kinder words, this affects Hibari. To help cheer her up, the trio have a sleepover at Hibari’s place. Saginomiya talks to Kodaira about this prestigious school having a class with a bunch of no talent students with no redeeming qualities. She won’t give them any special treatment and Kodaira gives the green light for her to grade the lower if they don’t perform. Next day for pool lessons, Saginomiya continues to watch the hapless class. It’s just painful watching them. Suddenly storm clouds start to build. After everyone has taken shelter, Hanako got herself stuck on the lane line. Her friends jump in to help her out despite putting themselves in danger. Saginomiya also jumps in to hasten the process. However there is no time as the lightning is about to discharge so Botan tells everyone to dive underwater. The lightning strikes over the pool and soon the storm is over. Botan used her knowledge from the internet to save their lives as the lightning current dissipates over the water. Saginomiya gives credit to the girls’ fast thinking and actions. She decides to wait a while and see how this happiness class perform. But now Hanako turns into Super Saiyan?! Is this what happens when she accumulated some charges? Kodaira knows that despite the lightning striking the pool surface, they would not have gotten off entirely free of injury. Thanks to Timothy taking the most brunt of the lightning.

Episode 10
The hot summer vacation has begun. Ren got a free ticket to a karaoke session. Hibiki performs flawlessly and shy Hibari stuns everyone with her beautiful voice. When it is Hanako’s turn, the moment she picks up the microphone, it starts screeching like hell. Apparently this always happens to her. Timothy is also here to say his goodbye seeing he will be undergoing maintenance for the entire summer vacation. So he starts singing this DJ rap remix, so catchy that Hibari cannot get it out of her head and it is annoying her. Despite Hanako singing other songs, it just replaces the rap and eventually she is still stuck with this song. On the way home, they bump into a petite blonde twintail girl. She didn’t say anything and just runs away. Next, the girls spend their time at the beach. The only highlight is that Hibiki almost drowned after a race with Hibari and she laments she couldn’t experience live Ren’s CPR. Next, the girls meet up for the festival. They are supposed to meet back at the school gates if they ever get separated. But they get separated further thinking they see Timothy sneaking around in the school grounds. So it is a horror and scream fest for some girls as they trudge through the dark hallways and encounter scary anatomy models and ex-principal statues. They thought they hear voices but then it dawned to them it sounds like Timothy’s rap. Following it reunites them and when they enter the room where the song originates, they see Timothy taken apart. The scariest part however is when his legs start chasing them! Run for your lives! When they reach the rooftop, just in time for the beautiful fireworks show. It is greatly hinted that the twintail girl is the one behind Timothy.

Episode 11
Our unfortunate girls head to the mountains for another happiness training. This time they will be staying at a lodge in the remote mountains. As Timothy’s maintenance was not finished in time, in place of him are many different coloured versions of Mini Timothys! At the lodge, the girls are made to carve something out of a wood. You can see their ‘creativity’ like Hibiki carving something scary and Ren is just a log. Everything seems fine and nice on the first day. Good food and nice bath. Because it feels like a harbinger of something to come when Kodaira notes they’re going to need all that. Nothing eventful happening during sleep time. Except for Hibiki trying to get close next to Ren but their faces were too close that it scared the sh*t out of Hibiki. Once Timothy’s maintenance is complete, the plan is all set to go. Next morning, the girls are given a rude military awakening as Kodaira orders them to be up and gather on the double or they will receive a Muay Thai kick! When everyone gathers (still very much in a daze), Kodaira announces a mini game of tag that they will be playing as part of their training. The catch is that Kodaira is ‘it’ and Timothy is riding a hi-tech craft trying to capture them! RUN!!! During the course of the game, Timothy unleashes his mini versions to efficiently scout and capture the girls. The separated girls slowly learn the rules of this tag. Each girl has been given a bag containing their group’s symbol. These are survival items like food and binoculars. If all teammates are caught, it is game over. Ranking of teams is based on how many teammates are captured before the time limit. The top team will be rewarded with a suite and fine dinner while the last team will have to sleep outside in the wilderness and find their own food! To add to the ‘excitement’, the woods they carved are randomly hidden throughout the field. If all members find them and gather, they will get extra points. This gives our girls extra motivation to push forward.

Episode 12
Hibiki had the bad luck of stumbling into Kodaira. No matter how far she runs, Kodaira is always coolly on her tail. It all ends for her when she trips on a carving and Kodaira captures her. Ren manages to escape from the pursue of Mini Timothys. She rests in a cave and finds a carving. With all the animals gathering around her, she decides to take a nap and the animals too join in. As she wakes up, she is more concerned about food and water and this allowed the Mini Timothys to capture her. As for Botan, she is crawling her way to safety. Till she bumps her head into a tree and a carving falls down. The captured students are placed in a cage guarded by Mini Timothys in S&M police garb? A large group of animals then rush down there eager to protect Ren. The ultimate big battle. Robot rabbits versus female forest animals. Fight! During the chaos, an animal passes a key to unlock the cage. Only Ren and Hibiki escape because the other girls are so dumb in awe watching the epic fight. Hanako and Hibari spot a carving on a tree branch. When Hanako climbs to get it, the ground gives way. A chasm opens and what it looks like they might fall into the magma. Before they can fall to their death, Botan grabs them. Good thing her hand didn’t break but her legs are cramping up. Sliding down… Ren and Hibiki arrive in time to pull them up but it is not enough. Timothy’s mecha makes it worse as it malfunctions and crashes into them. A special whistle drops out from their bag. Hanako blows it and it sends Kodaira rushing to the scene saving their ass in epic fashion at the expense of Timothy. Man, she is like a superhero with cheat codes on. Unbelievable. The good news is that all of them are saved. But the bad news means they are all captured by Kodaira. Unfortunately this means they end up in last place and will have to spend the night outdoors. As each have each other’s carvings, Kodaira notes they would have been in first place had they not been caught. To reward them for this, they get to have an outdoor hotspring. It wasn’t magma but rather steam from a hotspring. So our friends get along in the bath as Hibiki doesn’t want to feel left out as the only one being called by her surname. Our epic battle ends with a draw and truce. The girls decently find food and make their own fire and shelter. It was mostly fun. They’re back to school although nothing pretty much changes but they know it’s going to be a good day. Yeah, all is happy that ends happy!

In Pursuit Of Happiness
Hey. It wasn’t so bad after all, right? If you can sit through watching this series without any sort of bad luck happening to you, I guess everything is alright. It would be a real life horror story and a big irony if some sort of catastrophe were to happen. Even if everything seems silly right till the end, I guess it is for the comedy effect of seeing cute girls doing cute things. Uh huh. They make it look like having bad luck is such a cute thing. Gosh. What am I saying?

The plot itself is so silly that you can’t help scratch your head why on Earth is there a need for such a happiness class and how the heck are they going to bust away their misfortune. Well, at least we know here at least in this series the bad luck do not spread like disease although it can run in the family. So seeing the happiness class engage in all sorts of silly games and activities is of course for comedy purposes thanks to all the silly exaggerated effects and despite our main girls usually getting the worst luck of all, it isn’t as bad as you think. Because you know, the place didn’t blow up or anything. After all, you don’t want to watch episode after episode seeing cute girls being hit with pitiful misfortune, do you? And so such ‘activities’ give us a reason to follow or unfortunate girls. And with so called hi-tech equipment and facilities to help ‘cure’ their misfortune, I mean wow, it’s like they spent quite a bit on everything. Look at how hi-tech Timothy is even if he is a useless moe blob. I wonder if taxpayers’ money were used… Hmm… They can detect accurately those with bad luck with all the detailed information but they still can’t find a way to beat it? Suspicious…

But you know, for the girls ending up in this class it isn’t entirely so bad. Because as they bust their misfortune, they don’t have the pressure of doing well academically or in sports and live up to society’s expectations. There is no such pressure for them to conform. In fact, don’t you see that the activities they do and the games they play as part of the programme, they feel like fun, don’t they? It is like having the best time of their lives in their school years. While others have to slog over studies and exams, they are mostly just having fun. All in the name of curing their bad luck. Wow. Where can I sign up? Not too sure if I am not bad luck enough to enrol in such school or my bad luck is so bad that I couldn’t get into it.

Despite the characters being as generic and typical as they are, they are still likeable in an overall aspect although they stay the same as they were from the start right till the very end. Despite the same and numerous running jokes on them, it strangely doesn’t feel tiring at all. Is it because we never tire to see and laugh at the misfortune of others? Maybe. Because after the umpteenth time Hanako drops into a manhole or the river, we are still able to smile is it because Hanako herself comes out undefeated as she puts a big smile across her face? What about Hibari and her ‘tragic love story’? There is this little hope inside of us that wished the safety mascot guy would just become animated for a second and reply her love. As silly as it may seem and implausible, we still hope for that. What about Botan whose feeble bones are one of the main pillars of this series’ running joke? It is like every time she moves or the mere contact with her body, her bones will break far worse than a sportsman gets into a head on collision. I’m just freaking surprised that her neck didn’t snap by the weight of her own head or body.

And in every group, there is always the mischievous type and Hibiki fulfils that role in otherwise what would have been a very dull group. In such groups, you always need that ‘special’ someone to spice things up and although Hibiki isn’t so bad as the naughty troublemaker type but I guess it provides some other lively variety in addition to Hanako’s airhead liveliness. Otherwise you’d have to deal with the serious face Hibari, the weak Botan and the emotionless Ren. Seeing how ‘happy’ everybody is in this series, Saginomiya’s displeasure for such class makes her like the antagonist. It feels like as though she has some sort of history or experience with such and thus her overall discontentment. Although she is a bit relaxed with them in the end but I believe it isn’t totally stemmed out. As for Kodaira? Don’t let the sweet eternal smile fool you. You better do what she says or else…

Lastly Timothy. What else would be better than cute girls? A cute rabbit mascot! That is all I can see what this bunny’s role is for here. Otherwise pretty much annoying and useless to begin with. Speaking of Timothy, the only character that boggled me was the shy twintail girl behind the controls of Timothy. I thought she would be the foreshadowing of something or at least make a decent appearance but right up till the end she remains the biggest mystery ever and possibly a red herring. I mean, if they never revealed there was somebody behind Timothy, the series would still proceed as normal. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway as far as this season is concerned.

But you know what they say about being unlucky and sad is only a state of mind. It all depends on you to choose whether you want to be miserable or look life with optimism. That is especially the case for Hanako who refuses to be bogged down by her misfortunes. She may look silly brushing off wave after wave of bad luck but you should see how strong this girl is in this case. You can say she is in denial after being hit with another bad luck but she chose to look at it in a positive light and that itself is a very good thing. In fact, despite their overwhelming misfortune on the outlook, the girls in the happiness class are actually miracles. Another good case in point is Botan herself. You know how she always breaks bones like a running joke, right? With all the ‘x-ray visions’ of seeing her bones shatter to pieces, normal humans would have just died. Seeing how Botan continues to live and she isn’t screaming in furious pain after each fracture (it is as though she has just weakened significantly) shows that this is one heck of a living miracle, right?

What about the rest? Even if Ren attracts other females, it does not have an effect on our main characters (except Hibiki) or even her other classmates and especially Kodaira. So that is not bad, right? And at least she only has the attractive pheromones for females. Even if she often sleeps in and leaves her window open and in turn animals creep in and heap a pile on her, it’s not like she suffocated to death, right? Hibiki always gets lost, you say? Well, she eventually will reach her destination, say 3 hours later? Yup. She just takes (a lot) longer than usual. Hibari? It is good to know that her crush will never reject her and thus she will never have to face the prospects of being heart-broken! Yes, this is indeed a miracle. So you see, these girls might seem to have experience bad lucks throughout their lives but I believe that another hidden great miracle force behind it is keeping them safe and sound, cancelling out the extremities of their bad luck. I mean, they are living an overall peaceful and happy life, right? They are not in some war torn zone or having hunger issues, am I right? Therefore everything about the misfortune as portrayed in here can be summarized as something to be in one’s state of mind. In other words, don’t let it get to you.

When I first watched a few episodes of this series, it occurred to me how similar this series, I started noticing how familiar the characters are to other characters in the similar cute girls doing cute things genre. I mean, if you have seen YuruYuri, Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka, Kiniro Mosaic and even Non Non Biyori, you can see how similar many of the girls’ personality are in these animes as well. For example how Hibiki look strangely uncanny to YuruYuri’s Sakurako but her character is also almost close to her as the mischievous type. Doesn’t Hanako feel like Akari’s character in that series as well? Ren like Yui? And while it is not so prominently exact in the rest, but noticed how that in all of them you have the lively airhead, the mischievous troublemaker, the expressionless and emotionless girl and the, uhm, seemingly normal girl? I guess when you have a group of characters, it is hard to stray away from at least one of those stereotypes.

I thought it had a little element borrowed from Hidamari Sketch series as well since each of the episodes titles have a date in it. Perhaps this could be one of those series in a long while that doesn’t follow a chronological order. But all that was just trolling because the entire series from start to finish does follow a chronological order and based on the dates of each episode, there are none that go back or go forward in between the episodes. Also another element reminding me of that said anime is the eye-catches. It isn’t just for the mid-intermission like many other animes but could be anywhere and anytime throughout the episode.

Art and drawing is of course moe and cute. Otherwise how would you stomach and laugh at the ridiculous misfortune that is made all the funnier? You wouldn’t want to see ugly people getting caught up in an ugly mess, would you? So with everything made cute, it softens the approach and takes our mind off the accidents the girls faced. Taking moe and kawaii to the extreme are the animals as they look so cute that you might want to squeeze them to death. Unless you are like Hanako in which she will never ever be able to hug or even approach one. CGI is also employed but that is limited to Timothy, his mini versions and that mecha craft he rode.

You know, just when I thought I might have finally recognized Kikuko Inoue’s voice as Kodaira, then came the bad news. It wasn’t her. Shucks. Turned out to be Yumi Hara instead (Marielle in Log Horizon). Thus the only voice I could recognize is Ami Koshimizu as Saginomiya. Not so bad, huh? Too bad I didn’t recognize the rest as they are mostly new ones. They are Yumiri Hanamori as Hanako (Chiaya in The Rolling Girls), Haruka Shiraishi as Hibari (Kirie in Himouto! Umaru-chan), Kiyono Yasuno as Botan (Koneko in Hamatora), Hibiku Yamamura as Hibiki (Rukia in Shinmai Maou No Testament Burst), Mayu Yoshioka as Ren (Mayu in Wake Up, Girls!) and Chitose Morinaga as Timothy (Karen in Shomin Sample).

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Happy Clover (they are basically the main quintet of the series in which I initially got confused their name with another pop idol group, Momoiro Clover Z). The opener is Punch Mind Happiness is as wacky as it sounds while the ending piece, Ashita De Ii Kara might be a bit slower but it sounds rather okay as a typical anime idol pop song. At least I like its opener which has a little hip in it. Can’t help notice my head is moving to the beat of the song. An element that had me wonder why this show made me remember Gochuumon Usagi Wa Desu Ka is the background music. That cute fluffy BGM certainly does ring a bell. Not to say that they are using the same BGM but the tune and tempo it is played instantly brings up that series.

Overall, an entertaining series if you are into moe comedy. It might get a little boring sometimes because there is no decent plot to go around and the funny parts in general are somewhat the same thing masked in a different form. I mean seriously, do you watch a cute girls doing cute things genre for the story? Do you watch porn for it story?! Not too sure if you want to see more of them and hence another season, does this mean you are a sadist and want to see the girls suffer more bad luck? Does getting another season mean that the girls are still in the midst of their bad luck streak or is it because their fortunes turn for the better as viewers love them so much to buy the DVDs allowing for another season to be made. Yeah… It’s so confusing. One person’s bad luck is another person’s fortune. Let’s just hope that the bad luck will not turn into curses.

Anne Happy

Sansha Sanyou

October 15, 2016

Wow. This cute girls doing cute things trope is really getting out of hand. Every season we have at least one that falls into this category and this season of spring 2016, it would be Sansha Sanyou. It is their turn to spam and add to the ever growing number of series that falls under this category. Again from the very vague synopsis, it generally tells the daily lives and activities of 3 high school girls whose personalities are as different as night and day. This is how they survive from day to day with their clashing personality. In this funny story. Ah, the keyword is funny. You got my attention there. So there you have it. Your cute girls doing cute things without a decent and proper plot for the season. And we (especially yours truly) keep falling for the same thing in hopes there would always be something different. Sometimes we are surprised of something unique but most of the time it would be disappointing or plain boring. That is why the only way to determine if this is just another run of the mill genre or otherwise is to always watch it yourself.

Episode 1
Yoko Nishikawa is eating her bread crusts alone when Futaba Odagiri and Hayama stumble in and join her. The duo just like everyone in school knows about Yoko. Because she is a rich girl. Apparently Yoko eats alone because she has no friends. Before recess is over, the duo tell her to deep fry the crusts and sprinkle sugar on them to taste better. She tries making this never-made-before recipe. She wants to try it out with them tomorrow but they are not at her usual spot. She feels disappointed but then they stumble in again. As they chat, they hear some weird sounds coming out from the bushes. Who the f*ck is this guy screaming?! He is Mitsugu Yamaji and Yoko’s ex-butler. He is glad to see Yoko making friends especially since her father’s company just went bankrupt, he is happy that she is getting along fine despite her pampered rich upbringing. Yoko claims he is exaggerating. Next day, the trio meet again at the same spot. Futaba this time eats an entire loaf while Yoko puts mayonnaise on her crusts. I don’t think this is as healthy as she thinks. Again, Yamaji pops out from the bush, crying in his happiness that Yoko is making normal progress with commoners. Is this going to be a recurring thing? But Yamaji can’t be reported as a stalker trespassing as he is working part time to refill vending machines. To show his happiness, he gives Yoko the entire pudding stock. That made her day… As they talk about their favourite foods, Yoko feels the need to give an answer that won’t sound strange. But pudding with rice does sound gross. Since the mayonnaise answer didn’t quite cut it, she fears they might start hating her. Thus she goes home to make onigiri. However they are just rice without any fillings or salt. Futaba laments she has failed but the duo pick up and eat them. Not bad, right? The trio then go to the public bath. Yoko can’t waste Hayama’s kindness and tries to stay as long as she could but only dizzies herself out.

Episode 2
As the trio eat together, a cat pops out from the bushes. Hayama can’t restrain herself and cuddles it. Hayama loves animals and it is her dream to open a park filled with them. In fact she has a pet cat named Bel. That’s short for Beelzebub, the demon lord of flies?! It seems Serina Nishiyama considers Hayama her rival. But Hayama always outranks her in everything. Even when she tries psychological insults, Hayama will not snoop low to her level and instead Nishiyama herself reels from her own backlash. But what riles Hayama up is when there are abandoned kittens on the roadside! She will not stop to find them proper shelter. She manages to do so for all but one. Nishiyama’s friend, Asako Kondo suggests to give Nishiyama since she had a cat before it died. A life saviour! While our trio try to call each other nicknames, Yamaji pops out of the blue just to tell them to call Yoko as it is. Yes, Yoko-sama. This has Futaba wondering Hayama’s first name. Each time she asks, she changes the subject. Till this girl, Kou starts calling her as Teru. After a few teasing, who is this Kou girl? She is Hayama’s older sister! No way! She gives them sweets to try but as soon as Futaba pops it in her mouth, she collapses! Holy sh*t! Is she the kind of girl who is bad in cooking?! Kou and Hayama go out to buy ingredients. They bump into Futaba along the way as she joins them. They see Yoko tussling with other elderly women for a cheap sale on mayonnaise. Pathetic… They enter the raffle. While Futaba is bad luck, Kou has the best of luck because she won all top 3 prizes! That was how she won the free public bath ticket too. Flashback shows Hayama often gets hurt and sick a lot and Kou was always there to nurse her. That is why she is always trying to make sure she gets her nutrients regularly. It made Hayama realize she has always been worried about her health. However the next day, Kou joins the friends during lunch and her onigiri looks like it is made out of poison! What nutrients is she talking about?! This doesn’t look healthy at all! But Futaba feels bad Kou went out her way to make food and can’t waste her kindness. She starts stuffing down the food! Don’t kill yourself! Note: The way she is breathing and chomping it down sounds horny ambiguous…

Episode 3
Futaba brought her own lunch because she ran out of lunch allowance for this month. She thinks about taking up a part time job and this also has Yoko thinking the same. But they can only imagine her as an arrogant waitress. They are in luck when a flyer flies into Futaba’s face indicating a newly opened bakery. But when they visit, they see blood on the floor! Oh sh*t! They follow the trail and the corpse of a maid falls out from the room! Horror! Then she comes back to life! Double horror! But Yoko is not freaked out and knows who she is. Shino Sonobe was her former maid. Apparently she was making jam but fell asleep while eating. Sleeping with her eyes open? Since making sweets is all that she is good for, thus the reason she opened a bakery after her retrenchment. Sonobe enters a strong emotionless reaction learning Yoko has made friends. She is more than happy for her to work here. However Yamaji opposes and won’t let Yoko work. The former butler and maid enter an epic battle and it ends when Yoko orders them to stop. Since this isn’t Futaba’s cup of tea, she kills 2 birds with a stone by entering an eating competition and wins its cash reward. This way, she won’t go hungry and still have extra money. I hope that person won’t go out of business quick… Futaba and Hayama visit Yoko when she is working at the bakery. With its small selection and mostly female customers, she is able to get by. Next day in school, Futaba and Hayama are shocked to see Sonobe here. She even made a perfect uniform and fits in with the crowd. You can’t even tell if she is an outsider. She is here to share some food with Yoko. It seems Sonobe may have intended to come here all along as she has made Yoko’s favourite mayonnaise food. She hopes the friends would take care of Yoko and continue to be friends. Then she goes off because Yamaji is here to pick a fight with her. Next morning, Sonobe is handing out flyers to students about her bakery. This incurs the wrath of Yoko but she ignores her and continues handing them out.

Episode 4
The trio reminisces their childhood days. Yoko being the ultimate oujo-sama life, Futaba the energetic glutton and Hayama… Something about getting depressed because of the wrong present she got from Santa and therefore the need to work hard even if it is just all a show. Wow. So deep… Nishiyama is mad the pictures of her cat she submitted are not featured in the magazine. Even more unfortunate, Hayama’s is and the duo begin a cat fight. Literally. However they find their cats too cute to quarrel to begin with. Yoko would love to have a pet but I think she already has one. Because when she throws a stick and says fetch, Yamaji quickly jumps out to catch it! Nishiyama won’t lose and desperately tries to take cute pictures of her cat. But you know cats, they literally make your life hell so in her case it won’t sit still. In the end she couldn’t get a decent cat photo. Futaba mentions her hobby is cooking but the rest don’t believe her. When they ask about Yoko’s parents, she says her mom died when she was little and her dad is trying to start anew again. Although living away, he still sends her money for living allowance. On the way home, they bump into this kid, Yuu Takazono. He is Yoko’s fiancé. You know, that kind of promise you make as a kid to marry in the future? Yeah. He is that kid. But Yoko doesn’t seem too keen on that past promise now. When Yuu passes Yamaji, he believes he is superior than this ex-butler and calls him a stalker. Futaba needs her friends help as she goes to pick up her cousin, Sakura Usuda who would be staying here for a week. Does a little girl need so many luggages? What an irrelevant question. She is a woman no matter the age! Haha! Thankfully that is what Yamaji is good for. Yuu happens to come by to give Yoko some high premium Wagyu beef. Sakura suddenly hugs him. He is her potential husband candidate although Yuu is not happy about it. Since when did this anime get complicated in the romance department?! Yoko is deep lost in her Wagyu fantasies… Unfortunately when she tried to cook them, it is burnt to a crisp. Don’t worry. Remember Futaba can cook. The most awesome Wagyu meal ever! Respect. This has Yoko reminisce her mother’s cooking and she feels good as it has been a long time since she ate with others. She vows to learn cooking and invite them over.

Episode 5
While hanging out at a diner, Yoko accidentally dozes off and bangs her head on the table. This rude awakening has her screaming who did this prank before realizing in embarrassment. Now that she has a bump on her head, it will be difficult for her to work facing the customers. Yamaji is seriously affected that his oujo-sama is hurt. After Sonobe tells her to rest, she falls into panic mode wondering how her store would cope. As Futaba teases Hayama to work here, Sonobe ropes in both of them. Hayama is not pleased she is wearing a maid outfit while Futaba wears a different one but similar to Yoko’s. Well, let’s just say Futaba’s size is different from hers… While Futaba is natural in mixing with the customers since she is an oddball herself, Hayama isn’t. By the time she sums up her courage to welcome customers, it is Kou at the door. Apparently Futaba called her here. She wants to give sweets as reward but you know how bad they are. Even a sweet lover like Sonobe clearly stays away! Then Yuu barges in, disagreeing Yoko should be working in such a creepy place. Kou nicely tells him off to be careful with his words or he’ll hurt others. He has a change of heart. Wait a minute. Does he like her now? Or does he like older women? Kou wants to give her cooking to Yoko. Better stop her before she never recovers! However the next day, Yoko is back to normal and filled with energy. I don’t know what Kou put in that food because she couldn’t sleep for the entire night! Nishiyama and Kondo patron the place. Sonobe can sense a great rivalry between them and asks if she would like to work here. But Sonobe is interrupted by Yamaji as they get into an ‘epic’ fight about hiring another weirdo. After they leave, Hayama gives Nishiyama treats for her cat. Next morning, Nishiyama goes to the bakery to get more of those treats. Sonobe misinterprets she wants to work for her and before you know it, she already dons the maid outfit. However Sonobe notes her smile is either unnatural or creepy (but she still snaps a shot anyway). To get that beautiful smile, she compliments her for a job well done. That perfect smile is first seen by Hayama and co. Busted… Since the store is getting busy, the others help out. At the end of the day, Nishiyama has enough money to buy a new camera to take more pictures of her cat. Then she spots Sonobe too. What is she printing? Multiple copies of Nishiyama’s smile! Is she using this as blackmail to work for her?

Episode 6
The beach, the sun and the sea! Too bad our girls are here to work at Sonobe’s beach house. Since Yoko doesn’t know what a beach house is, this leaves the rest appalled over her sheltered life. Yoko orders Sonobe to explain it to her in some ritual dance. WTF?! I don’t even know what she is doing in the sand… While the girls are handing out flyers, Yuu is seen speeding in with his speedboat. He wants to help Yoko with the sales and orders everything from the menu. They only sell desserts so he has to eat all of them. I wonder how long his brain freeze will last. And Yamaji revels in seeing this kid suffer as her serves more. And there is meat BBQ after that too. You up for it? Then Kou comes by and will help out with the cooking. I guess this isn’t funny anymore. Time to call the ambulance just in case. On the final day at the beach, the girls have the day off but they can’t swim and the beach is deserted since there is a warning that sharks have been spotted. Bummer. But thanks to Yuu, they can play in a hotel pool. Yuu thought he could have fun with Yoko but it seems Sakura is here too on a family vacation. The moment she seems him, she jumps to hug him as they both fall into the pool. An ambulance picks Yuu up and Sakura accompanies him. Death has never been this painful… Guess who is here too? Nishiyama and Kondo too. Their cover is blown when Nishiyama goes to retort Futaba fishing cockles out of the pool. How in the world? Is that legal? Kou forces her sister to learn swimming by pushing her into the pool. She barely came out alive and she thought of staying positive that she has lasted this long without knowing how to swim, only to be dragged away for lessons at the kiddie pool. Luckily Sonobe and Yamaji are here to deliver their lunch. At the end of the day, they take a train back. They see Nishiyama and Kondo leaning on each other sleeping. Futaba does the same on Yoko. Since she is sleep talking about food, Yoko gets the wrong idea she could have a feast if she falls asleep.

Episode 7
While walking home, suddenly a boy confronts Futaba. Looks like he is mad at her but soon runs away. They ponder who this kid is since Futaba doesn’t recognize him. After she aces another eating challenge, since each of her win is commemorated with a photo, could it be that is how he knew her name? Then in school, this time a girl who looks bloody similar like that boy, confronts Futaba. She too runs away. Deja vu? This girl turns out to be Sasame Tsuji and Yoko’s classmate. Tsuji is told to meet Yoko at the rooftop later but she didn’t count on meeting Futaba too. Tsuji clarifies that boy, Hajime is her older brother and not her twin. She wants Futaba to stop hogging the wins at the eating challenge. Futaba assures she will beat him so bad that he will never overdo it himself again. Erm… I don’t think she put it right. Because Tsuji feels even worse and ends up crying. Futaba tries to be considerate in her next eating challenge by not taking it up. But since Hajime is here, the challenge is on. Despite he finishes first, Futaba is enjoying her meal. This makes him feel that he has lost and won’t forgive her the next time. Tsuji is in a dilemma to help put a stop to Futaba because she fears Yoko won’t be her friend anymore. So with a lame trap that everyone can spot miles away, she is exposed of her intentions. Time to run away crying again? In school, Tsuji bumps into Yoko. She panics and causes a series of bloopers that ended up spilling her money. More ‘trauma’ for her when Hayama comes by. However she isn’t as bad as she thinks as she lends her money. It made Tsuji feel a little nice inside. She wants to go to return the money and learns Yoko works part time at the bakery. As she spies outside, she is spotted by the trio and ushered in. Though she panics how she ended up in their company, she starts enjoying it. Yamaji and Sonobe are proud of Yoko because Tsuji is the first classmate she talks with. It shows she can make friends without using money and that it is a good thing she became poor. I understand their intentions but they might have chosen the wrong words… Their fate intertwines again when they are paired together for PE class.

Episode 8
Nishiyama and Hayama happen to be at the cat cafe. Seeing each other just ruined their mood and experience. Because of that, Futaba gives a ticket to Hayama to visit a petting zoo. Because there are only 2 tickets, Hayama wants to discuss how to split it. Unfortunately Yoko has to work and Futaba doesn’t like animals (what?!). How about Kou? She’ll be too tiring to deal with. Thus Futaba gives it to Nishiyama. They both turn up and you know sh*t is going to explode any time soon. Futaba and Kondo spy from afar and have this feeling throughout the entire day. However Nishiyama is bragging about her knowledge on everything and Hayama is just holding it in. You know how animals react when they sense earthquake? Yup. Hayama’s limit of tolerating Nishiyama’s arrogance is about to explode. No more Ms Nice Girl… Well, let’s say at least there are no casualties. When Futaba suggests forming a rock band, suddenly out of the blue Kou starts singing a song for the dead! OMG! Yoko becomes so ‘captivated’ that she sees her life flashing before her eyes and almost crosses the River Styx! Then when Kondo eggs Nishiyama to sing, she blows her top instead. Because of that, Yoko notices Kondo has been by herself since. Did the duo really have a fight? Because now Kondo seems to join the trio for lunch. Kondo is such a blunt girl that her honest words really cut your heart. Yeah, she lacks tact. You don’t know if she is praising, belittling or just insensitive. When Tsuji confronts Futaba about beating Hajime again, she spots Yoko with Kondo. Kondo mentions she is special and in turn Tsuji gets the wrong idea and runs away crying. Kondo accompanies the trio to the bakery to get something to make Nishiyama feel better. Sonobe would gladly give the maid uniform instead of a cake. Yoko is embarrassed when the rest clarify her misunderstanding that Kondo and Nishiyama were fighting. Nishiyama is actually out sick. As she is recuperating in bed, she hums a song about her cat. The rest are outside her room. I guess they have to wait till she finishes?

Episode 9
As the cultural festival is coming up, Hayama’s class is taking suggestions on what to do. Futaba suggests a curry cafe and with Sonobe barging in to give her support, everyone is convinced to choose this. To learn more about curry, Futaba takes the eating challenge but for the first time she couldn’t finish it as it was too spicy. Apparently someone beat her to it yesterday: Sonobe. The owner thought it was too easy and increased the spiciness. Hajime thought he could defeat her but he too cannot finish. As Yoko’s class is doing a haunted house and she is commissioned to play a zombie and doesn’t know how, Kondo suggests visiting the toilet legend Hanako. Futaba who hates ghosts is against this but Yoko seems very enthusiastic about it. Before Futaba knows it, she is alone. She gets a jump scare when Nishiyama pops up. Kondo and Yoko soon return. They find that visiting every toilet would be troublesome and scrapped the idea. The festival is underway. When Hayama and Futaba are promoting their curry cafe, a group of scared people are seen running away. What is that hideous thing creeping out from the corner? It’s zombie Yoko! OMG! Her face makeup is so scary like real!!! All thanks to Sonobe’s makeup skill. Yamaji who was once against Yoko being a zombie because it isn’t her character, now supports her all the way because he believes these commoners should be fearful of Yoko! Futaba and Hayama visit the haunted house. Tsuji thought she could scare Futaba and avenge her brother. Since both sides are fumbling in the dark, when Futaba switches on the torchlight, it is that scary face of Yoko! Even Tsuji is freaked out! Thanks to their genuine scream, it attracts more people to the haunted house. Great advertising. Sonobe is unfortunate to be roped into Kou’s juice stand. Then she is made to carry full glasses of juices to her pals. Hope she doesn’t spill… The other highlight of the festival is Sakura’s horrible karaoke. The most unfortunate is Yuu as he is standing next to her as she sings. Can’t get away. Tight hand grip… When Yoko eats at the curry cafe, all the patrons freak out and run away. Even after the festival ends, you wonder when she is going to take off her makeup.

Episode 10
Yoko and Futaba are planning their Christmas party when Kou lets them in on a big secret: It is also Hayama’s birthday. Because of this knowledge, the duo become very conscious before Hayama and it makes everything seem awkward. They plan a surprise birthday bash when Sonobe wants Yoko to help out distribute cake flyers. Cake shops will always be busy on Christmas day, you know. What’s more, if sales are good, Yoko might get a raise. Hayama almost heard their plan but thanks to Sonobe distracting her, the rest are safe to proceed. When Nishiyama learns Hayama’s birthday is on Christmas, she falls into depression! Her favourite day of the year has to be the same day as her rival’s birthday! Hayama is really surprised by Yoko and Futaba surprise. She never thought about it because since celebrating her birthday has naturally become secondary in celebrating Christmas. Yoko eats Kou’s dish and I’m not sure if she is feeling energetic or dead. Next day, Hayama brags to Nishiyama how the world celebrates her birthday but an upset Nishiyama wants her to apologize for being born on that day and taint the meaning of Christmas! The snow is getting heavy and Hayama doesn’t want to go out. To motivate her to do so, Kou built a snow hut. Looks nice. But then it collapses on her. It’s always safe and warm inside… As the girls plan for New Year, Sonobe suggests having a pyjamas party. Yoko will gladly be the host. But as it turns out this pyjamas party… The trio just sit around in an empty room covered with blankets. So cold, so boring… It gets more awkward when they fall on top of each other. And Sonobe is trying to record this pathetic event with her camcorder. It isn’t all that bad since the next morning Futaba has made mochi. But she has made many flavours of it and large servings for everyone. You can have my share…

Episode 11
As Yoko tells her friends how she saw a cat stuck up a tree and Yamaji helped brought it down, they believe this will lead to Yoko being repaid by the cat in the future. So when that happens, Hayama wants Yamaji to capture that moment and gives him a film. Hayama also dreams of her cat repaying her but in real life it gives her a bug? Hayama and Nishiyama get into another argument whose cat is cuter. It is decided they take pictures and their friends will judge. Hmm… Hard to call… I guess they’ll settle for both of them being cute. When Hajime again challenges Futaba, however this restaurant has banned her and kicks her out. Tsuji claims victory by default in which Yoko congratulates him. When he goes to tell his sister about this, she is not very happy. Because they are not close friends yet, this may make Yoko feel awkward. Tsuji throws pillows at him to show her displeasure. After learning Sakura wants to make Valentine chocolates for Yuu, Yoko tells her intention to Yamaji. He is making excuses not to hear it. Sonobe also gets the wrong idea believing she will overwork herself, causing her to fall sick and Sonobe will be busier than ever! Thus she pleads Nishiyama for help and she is not too pleased. But with Futaba and Hayama offering, I guess she can’t refuse. To Hayama’s horror, she is made to dress in a different outfit. Sonobe thought she didn’t want to wear this one and pulled 2 nights straight to make a new one for her! The girls work hard as the bakery is swarmed with customers. But a successful day nevertheless. When Yoko learns Sonobe was sleeping throughout the entire time to make up for her all-nighter, she blows her top. Kondo praises Nishiyama’s outfit during her stint but when Hayama does the same, she becomes embarrassed and like a tsundere. Not used to her compliments? Yoko has finished her chocolates and gives them to her friends. They don’t melt but they’re still edible… Huh? When Tsuji receives those chocolates, she goes into extreme unbelievable crazy reaction. How can she repay all this?! It’s like the end of the world for her. Same thing for Yamaji. Never expect he will get some, eh? Sonobe is eagerly waiting her turn but never gets hers. Did Yoko miss out somebody? On purpose?

Episode 12
Yoko finds the characters of her friends totally changed. Like Hayama is polite and Nishiyama very timid. Kou is a delinquent who wants to smash up everything with a smile?! What’s this? Yamaji is a noble teacher?! Yoko thinks he is fooling around and slaps him! How dare she slap a teacher?! She even dares him! You know something is wrong when Sonobe is a sexy busty lady. Yup, turns out to be Sonobe’s dream. I knew it. But this is definitely real when Sakura wants the trio to hear out her ‘idol voice’. I think Simon Cowell would have died hearing that. They let her practice by putting a bucket over her head. You know how bad she is when her voice echoes within the bucket and makes her stop singing. When Yoko is working at a bakery, an old school friend drops in. Surprisingly Yoko puts up a professional display and the friend leaves her contacts at the end. Everyone praises her professionalism but after that Yoko starts collapsing and panicking, a great relief that ordeal was over. After being chided by Sakura that she lacks feminine appeal (ignoring her singing while eating like a glutton), Futaba tries to change her appearance to be more feminine. Will a ribbon do? Her feminine action is so creepy it gives Hayama the hives. Futaba even turns down an eating challenge from Hajime and he lectures her how rude she is to not give a chance to those who lost to her. With her friends preferring to see Futaba in her usual way, she casts away all her feminine side and beats Hajime in the competition. Here comes Kou thinking Futaba needs to be more feminine and has concocted this poison juice for it. I think she’ll just shrivel and die. Yuu has great news their dads will be working together. To cement their relationship, he thought he could ask her to sign the marriage registration form. Too bad Sakura caught it. And he has to live with her awful singing… Tsuji returns a few boxes of chocolates to Yoko as return for Valentine but I suppose she is a week too early for White Day. The trio talk about and refer to the characters in this series as some sort of animal. Whether it is endangered species, protected species or dangerous animals. Yoko announces she is graduating from bread crusts and will now eat instant noodles. Her friends are sarcastic when they tease how she ruined it by putting in the sauce first. Embarrassed Yoko gives up on it and returns to bread crusts.

Three’s A Company ~ A Friendship You Can Be-Leaf In
That was it? What kind of ending was that? Wait a minute. Try to remember what the plot of this anime was in the first place again. None? Ah well, I guess that kind of life goes on for our friends should be a decent ‘ending’ for this kind of genre. Although this series in a nutshell isn’t all that bad, it lacks something that needs to make it stand out. That is why in a why I am glad that it only has a dozen episodes instead of dragging it out to 2 cours with cute silly nonsense that might seem repetitive and boring after a few episodes in.

We have already been clearly warned on what kind of anime this is therefore it somewhat helps in reducing our expectations of this show. Take a look at the plot. What plot?! Exactly. This series is even more generic than other similar cute girls doing cute things animes. For instance like Anne Happy we have misfortune as somewhat the theme. Kiniro Mosaic has blondes directly from England while Gochuumon Usagi Wa Desu Ka at least has coffee shops and tea shops to go with. Even YuruYuri has that wacky Amusement Club and student council group. But what about Sansha Sanyou? I can’t seem to place precisely what it is supposed to be. So it could have been anything and anybody for all we know. But fortunately even if it does seem general, this show isn’t that all too bad as I have said.

The characters themselves are a hit and miss. While they are not as lovable, you won’t loathe or hate them either. Yes, yet another bunch of generic characters and groups that have seemingly the cliché character tropes. From glutton girl with a black hole stomach to a fallen rich oujo-sama trying to live her life as a commoner to a dual personality animal lover. Well, Hayama’s case may be questionable because I don’t see her really being a nasty demon. She might not be the nicest person but she isn’t seen all that mean either. But then again, she may be showing us her angelic side for most of the time and that might be a good thing because you don’t really want to be traumatized if you ever see her true colours.

As for Kou, I can’t remember anything about this sweet girl besides her deadly poison cooking that could have rivalled Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn’s Bianchi. But hey, at least some of her cooking ‘revitalizes’ you. Okay, maybe it is like being high on drugs… So if Hayama has a devil personality and Kou’s cooking is more like a demon’s dish, and both sisters have this pleasant outlook, wouldn’t that make them just dangerous? Thank goodness nobody dies… It would be interesting to see how Yoko came to her predicament from a rich girl to a commoner (and if there are other ex-servants she will bump into because you can’t be a rich girl and just have a couple of servants, right?) but I suppose you have to take things here light heartedly as opposed to taking things too seriously. Basically the entire series is about them interacting with each other and other supporting characters. How well it plays out depends on how well you love them. For me, well, they’re rather okay. Hah. Middle ground stance again…

Aside the main trio, I feel the other characters are lacking. Like Yamaji who is just a stalker and Sonobe the emotionless maid who always needs to solicit help and business for her bakery. But these two aren’t so bad and at least provide some interaction and laughs. Because Sakura and Yuu just feel wasted as their roles and potential. So what if Yuu is Yoko’s childhood self-promised fiancé? So what if Sakura is Yuu’s self-proclaimed fiancée? It feels it could have been at least decently developed but unfortunately it turned out to be some sort of minor running joke and distraction. Something that isn’t necessary in the first place but needed because you need more ‘interesting’ characters besides the main trio.

Also feeling a little wasted is Nishiyama as Hayama’s rival. Showing more of her pride and rivalry might have enhanced Hayama’s angelic-looks-but-mean-personality reputation as we see the bespectacled girl owning the resident loser all the time. But in some cases Nishiyama ends up helping Hayama out although at the end of the day she doesn’t top her at all. Then there is Nishiyama’s friend Kondo who is as blunt in her conversations and lacking tact. Could have been another interesting character too if not for her limited screen time. And the Tsuji siblings feel also the same with Hajime reduced to a running joke as Futaba’s eternal food challenger and Tsuji being anxious about every inch of her friendship with Yoko. It is odd that the duo finds friendship among themselves as they cannot find friends with others in the same class. It feels like making a right with 2 wrongs. As the saying goes, best friends are like a four leaf clover. Hard to find and lucky to have. I’m sure the duo fit in nicely here. In a nutshell, sure, these characters add variety to your main ‘3 leaves’ but they hardly add any spice to it all. Looks different but tastes the same.

I have a feeling that food is also a subtle theme in this anime because in every episode you can see the characters munching on something (thanks to Futaba) or some other food on display. While it is not obvious as it is to advertise the food, it could run from Yoko’s running joke of only eating bread crusts (Futaba just devours the entire loaf), the food challenges between Yoko and Hajime, Sonobe’s bakery and the Valentine chocolates (although the process of seeing Yoko make the chocolates is entirely skipped). But seeing all the yummy food, it didn’t make me feel hungry. Is that a good or bad thing?

Art and drawing are also in line with the cuteness of everything. So are we complaining? Done by Doga Kobo who also produced similar genres like YuruYuri, GJ-Bu, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi, Love Lab, Hidan No Aria AA, Koihime+Musou and Mikakunin De Shinkoukei. It is that time again for me to reiterate how some characters look like they are from other anime thanks to their uncanny looks and because I have seen so many animes that I think I’ve seen them somewhere before. Like the most obvious ones such as Nishiyama whom I think is Hinagiku of Hayate No Gotoku fame trying her luck in this series after there is no word if that said series would have future seasons. And doesn’t Yoko look like that Miyuki girl from Angel Beats? Kirie from Girls Bravo comes to mind whenever I see Futaba. Just minus the boobs. And Tsuji doesn’t she look like that sneaky Shiranui of Medaka Box? At certain angles, Sakura looks like a young Rin of the Fate series. I’m sure that I have seen the rest from somewhere but at this point I’m too lazy to think about it. Yeah… If you are a cat person, it is probably a bonus to see cute cats here.

I have this misconception that Satomi Arai was behind Sonobe’s voice. Maybe my ears are failing me. Turns out to be Rika Momokawa instead whose only other role so far is Shizuku from Fushigi Na Somera-chan. Many of the casts are newbies too such as Yuu Wakui as Yoko (Sumire Hikami in Aikatsu), Mai Kanazawa as Futaba (her only other role is an minor extra in Monster Musume), Ayaka Imamura as Hayama (Miyabi in Absolute Duo), Machico as Nishiyama (Sophie in Seiken Tsukai No World Break), Aina Suzuki as Kondo (Shiori in Joukamachi No Dandelion), Haruka Watanabe as Yuu (Kai in Chaos Dragon) and Kotone Kuwayama as Hajime (Ameiro Cocoa is her only other anime so far). Chiemi Tanaka as Tsuji and Nao Natsuno as Sakura are making their debut in this anime. Of course there are some veterans like Kenji Akabane as Yamaji (Arashi in Triage X) and Asuka Nishi as Kou (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic) and a few others as minor extra characters.

Both the opening themes are sung by Triple Feeling. Clover Kakumation as the opener is as hectic and chaotic as it can get as lively as it already is. Stepping up that frenzy pace is how the singers sing some of the lines very fast like as though they are rapping. It makes you wonder if there is any full stop in the sentences and if the singers ever stop to breathe. If you think about it, I think it is quite amazing in that sense having to sing for long periods without stopping and still managing to make the song sound cute and all. The ending theme, Guuchoki Parade might not be as crazy as its opening counterpart but it is still lively and upbeat as ever.

Overall, nothing ground breaking and all that unique but if you really love the genre of cute girls doing cute things, you will find this your acceptable fix for the season. Otherwise, just another anime with some hits and misses in its potential and would most likely be forgotten by the time the next season arrives. Like many animes, they shine brightly and leafy green for the current season only to fade away into oblivion into the next. It seems the standards of anime need to once again evolve and provide something different and refreshing if they are going to keep using this cute girls doing cute things genre. Better to have your leaves in different kinds of colours no matter how weird they look because it beats having a dry wilted leaf.

Sansha Sanyou


October 14, 2016

Wow. I guess Teekyuu has been so crazy and successful that not only spawning so many seasons that ran for a year and even a spinoff of one of their characters weren’t enough that they had to do another spinoff of their rival school tennis club, Usakame. I suppose this is a chance to see their equally crazy counterparts and what goes on over their side of the story. Oh heck. There isn’t really going to be some sort of crazy plot to follow, right? Just mindless fun within 3 minutes that we can all laugh for today before the disappointments of tomorrow come, right?

Episode 1
Kinako Tanaka is waiting for the train. In order not to fall asleep she slaps her own cheeks. But they become swollen after slapping too hard. On the train is also her friend, Ayako Suzuki. When the train brakes, Kinako’s face falls onto Ayako’s boobs like a cushion. When they enter class, Kurumi Satou pops out from the cleaning cabinet to introduce herself. She didn’t even know how she ended up there. The girls go practice tennis. Kurumi wants to learn a technique that will kill her opponents so Kinako suggests taking away all the racquet strings and strangling someone using the racquet. Noticing Kurumi’s extreme motivation today, she explains that she and Ayako are retiring after the next tournament. That’s why she wants to enter the next doubles tournament with her. Kinako is so touched that they hug each other and ignore Ayako cleaning the tennis court alone.

Episode 2
Nishi Nishiaraidaishi arrives at school via scooter. When Ayako mentions her intention to ride one, Nishi becomes a human scooter for her to ride. For some stupid unknown reason, Kinako slides down the stairs railing and this scares Nishi. Then they do something random in which Nishi won. The quartet eat lunch together and Kinako seems to be trying to promote her gourd. It tastes horrible. Kurumi wants to trade boiled beans for omelette but Ayako gets embarrassed as she didn’t think she meant feeding each other. But Nishi has no qualms being fed.

Episode 3
Ayako tries to touch a cat but it bites her. Kurumi and Kinako laugh at this blooper. Ayako gets jealous since they can touch it with ease. The quartet walk home together and stop by a temple. Kinako and Kurumi wrongfully name the temple parts as some sort of foreign landmark. After they make their prayers, they noticed a beckoning cat shrine nearby. The cats are staring at them and they think it isn’t polite. On the way home, Kinako treats everyone with hot potato. Nishi shows her gratitude by giving her a rock. They stumble into that cat again. Once more, everyone can touch it except Ayako. They teach her to let the cat know she is her friend. Time for the acid test. It still bites her.

Episode 4
Sora Shibakusa, the advisor for the tennis club is already having a hard time with her hangover. Now she has to put up with the girls making a human pyramid for who knows God what reason. I don’t know how she ended up joining their human chain. Then she goes to watch the girls practice tennis but falls into their pit trap they dug. The school didn’t pay her enough to put up with this sh*t. Shibakusa then pairs up Ayako with Nishi, dashing Kurumi’s dream. She pleads to work hard to be partnered with Ayako but Nishi insists she too wants Ayako as her partner. So what about Kinako? Nobody cares about her. As she has them practice, they practise doing a human pyramid.

Episode 5
The girls play Old Maid but Ayako always keeps losing. Shibakusa then has them in a practice match with their counterparts from Teekyuu. They spend more time trying to decide who plays who than actual practising. Hoheto Irohani then enters the scene. She is Shibakusa’s ex-student and the girls’ senior. She tries to give all the girls a hug but Nishi beats her down. The practice begins with all the weird moves you’ll never see in tennis. We won’t know who win. Does it matter? It gives Usakame girls motivation to head for the Nationals. Setting their sights too high?

Episode 6
After another of practice, everyone argues for Ayako to carry them. Kurumi invites everyone to her house which is in the middle of the shopping district so it is no surprise everyone is friendly with her. Kurumi’s dad is weird because he’s complaining about a peanut stuck in his ear and thinks Ayako is a robot. Kurumi serves her friends zunda (some sort of beans) instead of coffee as she explains who she met Ayako and joined the tennis club together. But Ayako doesn’t remember all those good memories together… Kurumi has everyone join her dinner. What’s on the menu? More zunda…

Episode 7
Nishi is not motivated for PE but when she thought Ayako was looking at her from the classroom, suddenly she is able to do her best. Maybe Ayako wasn’t looking… Kurumi passes funny notes to Ayako during class. The teacher catches her but she is able to answer his question correctly. Kinako thought all that was just a dream so she pinches the cheek of her friend, Miyako Baba and gets slapped. Together with Tasuku Kodaira, the trio do a weird greeting together. Kinako then introduces them to Ayako and Kurumi but takes the liberty to shorten their names. Later Kinako wakes up and again thinks everything is a dream. Then she could feel it… The sleepiness, that is. Then she does a weird greeting with Tasuku that turns out to be just goodbye.

Episode 8
The girls go shopping for new swimsuits. But because this season isn’t the right one to go out to the beach and thus they cannot show off their swimsuits, they head to the indoor pool instead. Don’t have to worry about freezing inside here. So we see them having lots of fun like hugging Ayako like a lifesaver. At the end, they reflect how this is their last year they can play in the tournament together. But Kinako cuts the sad talk because it’s not like they are going to stop being together. Even after Kinako and Kurumi graduates, they can still play tennis and hang out together. Then she reminds them how they are doing with their entrance exam studies. Looks like Kurumi isn’t so fond to hear that…

Episode 9
Ayako and Kurumi patron Kinako’s store. Kinako is trying to sell them stuffs she doesn’t want to them. They don’t need it either. Marimo then visits and brought along Nasuno. To show how rich she is, she buys the entire shelf. However Marimo warns her about getting diabetes so she drops it. After Kinako throws a mini prank bomb at Marimo, Nasuno also wants to try. She’s doing the exact same thing like throwing it at her and wiping off Marimo’s arms. When Nishi enters the store, Kinako offers her to play the lottery in which a video game console is the first prize. She wins but Nishi doesn’t want it and trades it for ice cream instead.

Episode 10
This episode focuses more of the relationship between Kurumi and Nishi. In the clubroom, they compare their lunches and Kurumi feeds her at lightning speed. Ayako has a committee meeting so she can’t come for practice. Kinako? World meeting. WTF. So Kurumi and Nishi practice together. Then it starts to rain. Nishi has no umbrella and intends to dodge all the raindrops. Well, we won’t get to see her do that as Kurumi shares her umbrella. Kurumi asks her why she likes Ayako. She replies she saw Ayako playing tennis before and the reason she joined the club. Even more so when Nishi came from a distinguished school just to come to a normal school to play with her. Thus this is her first and only chance to play doubles with Ayako. Since this is also Kurumi’s last chance, she isn’t giving up too. Then she asks if Nishi likes her. More or less. Okay, acceptable.

Episode 11
Shibakusa is bored so Kinako is here to eat her snack. She then thinks about the singles and doubles team she needs to put. She thought of putting Kinako as the captain but her delusions has her thinking about some corporate-like stuffs. She warns the tennis club will have to shut down if they don’t find any more new members. So Kinako brings back an old man and a cat. Not going to cut it! Shibakusa then has the girls practice as pairs to prepare for the tournament. They will play for the right to pair with Ayako. Nishi and Kurumi face off with each other with Ayako as the referee. Shibakusa and Ayako have genuine comments on their play but Kinako’s comments are about turtle soup… In the end, Nishi wins and Shibakusa makes her announcement who will pair with Ayako.

Episode 12
Flashback shows Ayako and Kurumi are the only one left in the tennis club after their seniors graduate. Kurumi vow they will always be together and hope to recruit more members. Shibakusa is upset because she has been thinking for 10 days and can’t seem to find who should pair with Ayako! Kurumi is then seen skipping ropes for 10 minutes. Something about she missed her own chance to get out of the skipping loop. Shibakusa’s answer? Run away! Kinako devices a plan to break out Kurumi. Throwing a cat certainly didn’t work. Nishi then jumps along with her. The great synchronicity has her snapping out of it. Time for an emotional group up. Ayako notices Kurumi depressed since this is the last time they’ll be together. Ayako reminds her that she was the one who said it first that they’ll always be together. But just this once the 4 of them will only play together. They all toast over ice cream that they’ll do their best at the next tournament.

Uso Kamo?
I don’t want to believe it but I had to. So sad to say… It is just boring. Perhaps this is a reason why this series never got renewed for another season. Because by the time this series ended, Teekyuu already got renewed for another season! OMG. It just shows how hard it is to live up to the craziness of Teekyuu and at this rate, Usakame will always be in its shadows. Forever. Uh huh. The series even ended without even us getting to watch them play in the tournament. It never mattered anyway.

Firstly, I can understand how this series isn’t trying to become like Teekyuu and that it might be trying to differentiate itself although keeping a bit of something familiar. While it is good so that we viewers don’t condemn it as a poor clone of Teekyuu because otherwise we would have just watched that show instead, there is nothing really likeable in this series. After you watched the first few episodes, you kinda wonder where the heck this series is going and what it is supposed to be. I know that there isn’t supposed to be any kind of plot (like Teekyuu) but it isn’t as crazy as Teekyuu. Maybe that is where it fails.

Teekyuu prides itself for being so wacky it parodies almost everything at a fast paced rate that it doesn’t give you a chance to breathe and digest what is going on. This isn’t the case for Usakame as the pacing of each episode is moderate. Comparing both series, it is like Teekyuu is put on fast forward or in more extreme terms, high on drugs. Usakame is so toned down that despite not having a proper plot, it makes you question where it is all going. You see the girls doing random stuffs and their brand of antics but at this point it is hard to separate and not compare them with their Teekyuu counterparts. I can’t. Every time I want to say something good about the girls here, I can’t help but fall back to Teekyuu as reference.

Another failure for this series is the characters although each have their own distinctive personality. Again, I can’t help but compare them to their Teekyuu counterparts. Combined, they might not even come close to one tenth as wacky as the Teekyuu girls. Even the wildest and craziest girl with no logic whatsoever goes to Kinako. I believe her role as the idiotic joker is to keep the series funny but she alone couldn’t save it. She is perhaps the reason why she makes a few crossover cameo in Teekyuu but that is a different story. Ayako is supposed to be like Yuri since she is the most rational of the lot and also the target of their idiocracy. But other than that, she is boring. I don’t even know where to begin with Kurumi and Nishi because sometimes they confuse me. Nishi might come off as the mysterious type since she doesn’t show emotions and Kurumi is just lively. They’re both idiots still. In the end, I fail to see the bond connecting them. If I may call it that. Shibakusa? Boring too despite making only very limited cameo. Irohani? You still remember who the f*ck she is? She’s not even relevant at this time. Same case for Miyako and Tasuku too. Not even the Teekyuu’s cameo for that episode could save the series.

On a trivial note, it made me go WTF learning the kind of episode titles that this anime has. Not that I really care what my titles of each episode for every anime. But again, I have to compare it with Teekyuu. While Teekyuu’s titles are parodied after famous Hollywood movies, Usakame’s titles are like lines and words taken out from some philosophical novel or poem or wherever they come from. Not that I can understand or see its connection to the episode. Maybe it is just to screw with our minds. Because of that, I can’t help feel annoyed that with everything already so lacklustre, the title now is as WTF as ever. Yeah, it aggravated me first world problems ;p.

Trying to differentiate a little from Teekyuu is the art and drawing department. While everything is still as colourful but it is not as bright and flashy. Mainly because you’ll notice that they look like they were drawn using colour pencils. If you watched Senjou No Valkyria, you can see the same art style. However Usakame’s art is poorer. It’s like sometimes they purposely do a rush job and thus the colours feel like they lack that colourfulness and thus looking somewhat dull. So personally, even if the character designs look less cartoonish than their Teekyuu counterparts, this kind of style makes them look like they have poor quality drawn all over them.

Voice acting is pretty decent and nothing to shout about but at least they are all talking in normal pace. All of the main quartet are newbies and this is their debut role. Izumi Araida as Ayako, Hikaru Koide as Kurumi, Maria Tanijiri as Nishi and Yuki Nakashima as Kinako. In fact, they are part of the all-girl idol group, Earth Star Dream. The other members of this idol group helm lesser roles such as Eri Sogabe as Miyako, Kanon Takao as Tasuku and Arisa Aihara as Irohani. Of course this means they sing the opening and ending themes too, Hashire! Usakame Koukou Tennis-bu and Promise You respectively. Typical idol pop song. Nothing that attracts me. Yeah, you can see a real live action performance of them for the first episode’s ending credits animation and a blatant promotion of their group right at the end of the second episode. The only non-Earth Star Dream member part of this cast is Sora Tokui as Shibakusa (Nero in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes).

Overall, Usakame disappointed some but there are others who find it as funny as their Teekyuu counterparts. So it all boils down to preference and perspective on how crazy and wacky you want your tennis club girls to be. At least this show proves Einstein’s theory of relativity because it really makes the 3 minutes drag out to feel like the longest 10 minutes and you’re glad when it is over, it is over. And for Teekyuu it is like the fastest 10 seconds in a 3 minute episode and you’re shocked it is over and begging for more. Teekyuu already advanced and won Wimbledon without having to pick up a racquet and they only did nothing but fooling around. Usakame on the other hand no matter how hard they practice they can never get past the first round. Just sad…

Hey, wait a minute. I knew Hibike! Euphonium was going to get a sequel but I didn’t expect they came out with it so soon. Or is it… So okay, it isn’t anything about that series but are they trying to make another ‘competitor’ for a high school symphony theme? However that is just what we assume when we read the setting of Haruchika ~Haruta To Chika Wa Seishun Suru~. Once you start watching this series, you will find how strikingly different it is. This show isn’t even a musical setting. Yes, it does involve a group of students of a high school band but that is where the similarity ends. This is more like a detective show. Say what? So put away your musical scores and instruments and instead put on your thinking caps because it is time to solve baffling mysteries of the high school from a bunch of kids who have too much time playing detective instead of practising their music. Hmm… Maybe they have got not enough members to play a proper symphony. Or they might be just too damn good either that they have time to poke their noses in other people’s businesses. What’s music got to do with it? They should have joined a detective club instead…

Episode 1
It is Chika Homura’s first day at Shimizu Minami High School and she wants to get a new start when the volleyball team bugs her to join them! She was once on a team but doing menial chores. It was tiring and she didn’t want to waste her youth like that. She thought of joining the wind instrument club to obtain a cuter persona and even had grandma bought her a flute. She meets the club’s teacher, Shinjirou Kusakabe and is surprised that her childhood friend, Haruta Kamijou is also part of this club. Apparently Chika was a big bully towards Haruta but she would have him not remember all that. The club currently only consists of 5 members. The others being Keisuke Katagiri the president and twins Kae and Sae Asahina. Thank God I’m not seeing double. But there is already an incident in the music room. Music notes written on the blackboard with red paint. There is also an ambiguous note left for Kusakabe. With the kind of white flowers next to it, they think it is a dying or revenge message. Since Chika is so blur on everything (like yours truly), Haruta explains that the music notes could be some sort of music cryptogram. Like that Art of the Fugue in which Bach hid his name inside the musical score. As they can’t figure it out, it is back to practising more music. You know Chika sucks at playing the flute when they comment she should be practising alone first. Chika doesn’t mind since she would get some private lessons from Kusakabe. I see…

Back to the music case, Haruta continues to decipher if this is some sort of substitution cipher code but it wasn’t. Time is up so they have to clean up the board. Chika decides to take a picture of this and send it to her mom. That is when Haruta notices something. He realizes everything and has solved it. It uses a simple code that combines notes and numbers to identify a letter based on a keyboard. The message is a personal love message to Kusakabe from a graduated student pouring her feelings into this message that she was unable to tell him so. Kusakabe had already deduced it a long time but as for who that student is, I guess it is best we respect that privacy. Chika never thought unrequited love could be so painful. Haruta thought he could figure something out on Kusakabe’s secret. He was a successful conductor who went overseas but when he returned to Japan, he gave that all up. He only came to this school last year to become a music teacher. Chika thought she could be early to the music room for once but Haruta is already there. Haruta believes Chika likes Kusakabe and the only reason why she joined this club. And then this disturbing thing we all find out because Haruta also hints he is in love with Kusakabe! OMFG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable! This is the weirdest love triangle ever!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 2
The wind instrument club is handing out flyers to get new recruits. When Chika is pushy towards Miyoko Narushima, the latter is not amused and slaps her hand. Haruta knows Narushima is an accomplished oboist and wants her in the club (in their bid to have more members and compete in the Nationals at Fumon Hall). But something went wrong and she stopped. As they try to hear her out, they become her gophers to do errands. However she is still not opening up. Talking to her friend, Mayu Nishikawa, they find out the reason Narushima quit playing the oboe: The day she was at the Nationals last year, it was the same day her little brother Satoshi died. He was hospitalized for a long time and when his condition took a turn for the worse, Narushima may have felt guilty she wasn’t there in his time of need. They pay a visit to her house and she is not really keen on welcoming them. Inside her room is a cabinet filled with puzzles that her brother loved. Haruta wonders if she had solved them all. He doesn’t think so. Not in her current state because she is carrying a burden that can never be lightened and she is doing it alone. They can help her overcome it but she kicks them out. Before that, she gives them a Rubik’s Cube. This is one which she could never solve. Because all its blocks are white! She gives them a time limit to solve it but of course she is sure they can never solve it.

The days pass and go and they seem nowhere near in solving this mystery. On the penultimate day, Kusakabe hints something and soon Haruta knows what it is. This puzzle is not punishment and was made out of love. They call Narushima to solve it with them. She narrates how Satoshi loved puzzles and she used to spend time solving them with him until she joined a band. She believes this unsolvable puzzle is his punishment for her for abandoning him. Haruta explains that this scrambled message no matter how they unscramble will always return back to square one. He never told her a solution because he wanted her to step forward from this scrambled state. With the girls holding Narushima down, Haruta then starts painting different colours over the cube to make it look like a real Rubik’s Cube. This cube is a message left by Satoshi for her to keep moving forward and to paint her own pure white world in her own colours. Shortly when the paint dries, a layer starts to peel off. A hidden message is revealed after they unscramble it. Satoshi congratulates her for solving it. Narushima becomes emotional. Soon she picks up her oboe and as promised, joins the club, much to Chika’s delight.

Episode 3
Chika is probably sucking at her flute again and thinks another personal lesson by Kusakabe would suffice. But Haruta sees through her plan and suggests calling a specialist flute instructor to start from scratch! Boo hoo! Later Chika spots Haruta and Narushima helping the drama club since the club’s president, Shunya Nagoe is Haruta’s classmate. Also on this club is someone Narushima knows, Maren Sei. He is Chinese-American and wants to leave the drama club. She is baffled why she ended up in this club since he was a good saxophonist. Narushima is really concerned that something went wrong since his dream was to become a famous saxophonist like his father. Nagoe thinks she must like him. She didn’t deny… They agree to find a way to help him and have all parties happy. Haruta shows Chika an album Maren’s musician family have produced. If they don’t look alike it is because Maren is adopted. Maren looks through his suitcase supposedly left behind by his real parents. Something about a little brother and being abandoned. When Haruta has finished writing his story for Nagoe, the latter rips it apart! This has them start insulting the other’s club and thus it is decided an acting battle on stage to see whose club is better. Haruta will have Chika and Narushima on his side while Nagoya will have his star actress, Yaeko Fujima AKA Maya and Maren as well as handicap. The competition will be an unscripted play called Exit Game. Basically in the situational act they will have to try to convince a member of the other them to leave the stage (Narushima and Maren in particular) and the opposing team trying to prevent it.

The act starts out with the 6 of them as counterfeiters hiding in a base until the time limit of the statute limitations expire. So we’ve got pretty weird improvisations from both sides in trying to make or keep the other side from getting off. Like Haruta bringing in a little doggy and Nagoe accusing one of them to be an undercover cop. Then there is the time difference on their watches but Haruta mentions both times are correct. Because one time is Japan’s and the other is Suzhou, China. As the statute expiration doesn’t apply outside Japan, they’ll be stuck forever this way. But one of them is unrelated and can go free. Because of the earlier situational drama, the dog turns out to be a guy in disguise and this makes Maren the unrelated party. He can go home to his family. Maren disagrees his family is not in Suzhou. Flashback remembers he one day got a letter from his real little brother. Everything he was trying not to think about became reality. Haruta and Nagoe further reveal the combination code on his suitcase has a double meaning when said in Chinese. It is a message left by his real parents that he was not unwanted and that they always loved him. There is nothing wrong having 2 families and 2 homes. This entire drama and game was just a big elaborated setup to tell Maren this. Once again Chika got taken for a ride. Maren accepts this and leaves the stage. The wind instrument club won. End revelations reveal about China’s one child policy and despite Maren was their first born, he had a leg disability. Thus he was given up for adoption in hopes the new family would find a cure for his leg.

Episode 4
Maren joins the wind instrument club and now it has more members too. But they’re playing on the rooftop since the choir club is using the music room. A person pops up that makes Haruta shiver. Who is she? Minami is his sister. This architect is furious how disgraceful her brother is. Apparently he has been evicted from his apartment as it is being demolished and now he lives next to the school’s chicken shed. The chickens are his pets?! No wonder Chika is blowing her top too. Minami wants to take him to scout for apartments to rent and when Kusakabe offers to let him stay with him, you can hear Chika screaming at the top of her voice. No way is that going to happen! Chika agrees to help Minami find a room for Haruta and drags Narushima to help her. They learn a reason why Minami is scary: Her driving! Thank goodness they make it out in one piece. They go through a list of apartments for rent and find one which is quite suitable but the realtor mentions it has a problem: It is haunted. Narushima getting the goosebumps… Yeah, it makes Minami’s driving seem so harmless now, eh? They check out the place and meet the owner of this building, Amano. Apparently his uncle was the original owner but the nephew now inherits it after he died and put his name on his will that was written on the blueprint. But Amano says he intends to sell the place because of the inheritance tax and the only way he could pay it is by selling the building. Of course it is tough when it is rumoured to be haunted. Amano further explains his uncle loves to play pranks and it irks everybody because his pranks were really elaborate. Amano used to laugh with him with all the pranks but as he grew older, the responsibilities of society got to him. Burdened with debt of failed ventures, Amano eventually lashed out at his uncle when he played a prank on him. Their relationship was strained then. He thinks it is punishment for him to inherit this building since his uncle had a son and daughter. Other than this building, Amano also inherited a giant key to a sixth room. There are only 5 rooms in this apartment.

After they leave, Minami explains about vernacular modernism. In architecture, it means designs on house based on traditional beliefs. Therefore the haunted rumour which is believed to be the ghostly sound of a monk’s staff could be just vernacular modernism because what makes you think it is such a sound in the first place other than you beliefs. Haruta didn’t find any luck renting a house and he thought he could stay at Kusakabe’s. Fortunately or not, Maren called and offers a place to stay and even join his family for Christmas dinner. It is then Haruta hit an inspiration as he researches on the year 1982. Then he calls everyone from his club to witness this architectural miracle. He has Minami find a small slot hole and drop a coin inside it. Sounds familiar? Then they go look around for a keyhole. Yeah, there is one that fits this big key. As Amano turns it, a secret compartment opens and 500 Yen coins come flooding out!!! Haruta explains the will is a treasure map and this entire building is a huge piggy bank. The sixth room is a gap between the walls where the coins are. This is what made that ghostly sound. 1982 is the year these coins were introduced. With this much money, Amano can pay off the tax. So why did his uncle do it this way? Probably to surprise him. Later Haruta’s friends help him move his stuff into this apartment.

Episode 5
Akari Gotou sneaks into Shimizu to find Haruta. Seems Haruta has got a reputation for being a detective famed for solving mysteries. There is a mystery she needs him to solve regarding Elephant’s Breath. It is supposedly to be a colour but there are no samples of it. After displaying her exceptional trombone skills, Gotou starts explaining. Apparently her grandpa who was thought to be dead is now found alive albeit dying of a disease in a hospital. In the past, grandpa and grandma were to get married but he wanted to go to America to study arts. He saved up and went there in 1966 and despite the promise to come back, he never did. At that time she was already pregnant with his child. Visiting him in his hospital room, there are lots of paintings. From the way he acts with Gotou, Haruta can tell he has amnesia especially no memory of his time in America. Standing out from these paintings are 3 identical paintings of an elephant sleeping in a jungle. The only difference is the sky colour: Yellow, orange and black. Grandpa claimed to have seen Elephant’s Breath but each time Gotou interrogates about it, he dodges her question and turns into a senile old man. Gotou considers him a selfish fraud and wants to get that old guy to apologize to grandma for all the suffering. She thinks he is taking advantage of grandma’s kindness. On the topic of Elephant’s Breath, the famed novelist, Rudyard Kipling popped up. There is a story about an elephant escaped human captivity and had a chain around its leg. Other herds refused to accept him. One day he met a lost baby elephant and took him in like his own child. Many years when the baby grows up, he asks about the chain in which he replied it represents his sorrow, a curse he is burdened with. The baby then broke it to free him. When they show the paintings to Kusakabe, he immediately tells them to stop investigating this. Of course they can’t, right?

I’m sure visiting the elephant at the zoo won’t reveal the colour of the Elephant’s Breath, right? The answer isn’t going to be so obvious. When Maren notes that during that period when America was facing riots from the African Americans, Japanese students were also caught in it and perhaps grandpa was seeking a safe place to sleep and since Lincoln Park is free, he might have done so and thus the paintings. Then it hit Haruta. When they go question grandpa again, the same answer and act. Gotou gets emotional now so Haruta tells grandpa to stop his acting. He knows he hasn’t been having peaceful sleeps for a long time. He has post traumatic stress disorder and being tormented by nightmares and flashbacks for 40 years. Grandpa did get caught up in the riots, lost his money and when he tried to get back on his feet again, he got swept up in another one. Grandpa reveals Elephant’s Breath isn’t a colour but the breath of a sleeping elephant. Because a peaceful resting place isn’t something you find yourself but something that’s offered to you. Gotou reconciles with him. Much later, Haruta apologizes to Kusakabe for carrying on. Kusakabe can see he has realized what has happened because Haruta too is bearing the burden of depression. Explain? As elephants in zoo sleep inside shelters, for grandpa to get this close to paint one means the elephant is in the real jungle. That jungle is a safe place in a hell zone on Earth. Grandpa was sent to fight in the Vietnam War. It seemed Japanese students were conscripted to fight. One might be familiar with the defoliants America used in the war. Agent Blue, Agent Orange and Agent White. Despite the name, their solutions were actually yellow, orange and black respectively. Depending on when they are sprayed, that was how the morning sky would have looked. Now that Gotou has heard the entire truth, rather than worry if he is the only survivor or killed many, Chika tells her she still has a job to destroy the elephant’s cursed chain by playing her trombone.

Episode 6
Aside Chika trying to recruit more boys into the club and convincing Haruta to date a girl other than her (?!), she shows him a picture that there is a shadow of somebody sneaking into their clubroom. Each time Chika thought she was earlier, somebody was there earlier. Coincidentally they never meet. A spring mirage? When some wind instrument club members scattered all over the school start playing an ensemble, Chika notices one unfamiliar sound coming from the classroom. Could this girl be the mysterious person? Realizing the club had a broken clarinet they go to check it only to find it missing. Taken for repairs? Apparently everybody else except Chika knows who that girl is: Naoko Serizawa. She is pretty famous. Her grandpa is a Diet member, her father owns a construction company and she is on her way of becoming a pro musician. However she hates concert bands. The talk about Serizawa taking makeup exams recently when she used to be tops. From her sudden fall in grades, her troubles following up on conversations, avoiding classmates and counselling sessions with Kusakabe, Chika is still bent on going to talk to her (despite being warned many times about their difference in level which might leave Chika more than getting burnt). Oh, here she is. Instantly Chika hugs her and tells her to join the club! Serizawa knows all about the club and especially Chika. Because her car almost rammed into her outside the school gates one day but thankfully they missed. Chika easily forgot about the situation because the butler gave her a bun as compensation. Anyway Serizawa declines to join. That is when Haruta tells everyone to be careful where they step. He believes she might have dropped something and snuck in at several times to look for it. She took and repaired the clarinet as thanks in case they ever find it. It is one of those rare times Chika realizes what is going on. She knows Serizawa’s issue after connecting all her recent problems: She lost her hearing.

Chika chases her down to talk to her. Serizawa reveals she is deaf in her right ear (from a volleyball accident) and lost her hearing aid in the clubroom. Thus it is hard for her to pick up conversations unless it is a quiet place. Chika’s ingenuity has her create paper cups so they can communicate easier. Back at the clubroom, Haruta hopes Serizawa would forgive them. Although her hearing aid is found, somebody stepped on it. Crushed. Yeah, Serizawa fainted! In the infirmary, Chika creates multiple paper cups for everyone. Serizawa reveals she picked up the clarinet just to get out of her broken home. Any instrument would do in fact. She also knows the club’s aim to play at Fumon but she breaks the bad news to them they can’t because they lack the minimum 30 members. Of course they can play symphonies for smaller bands might do the trick and Kusakabe has the ability to do that. Even so, they’ll be at a disadvantage compared to those with maximum 55 members. She wants them to go for category B instead and use this as experience. She questions Kusakabe’s decision of quitting conducting but yet still teaches music. Because music is all that he knows. Same for Serizawa. It is the path she has chosen and she believes the same for this club. That is why she apologizes she cannot join them yet. Haruta asks about losing her hearing aid in the music room. She was checking out the drums and timpani to see if they are working since her childhood friend used to play them and wanted to use it as motivation for him to go back to school. So when Chika came in, she panicked and bolted out. After Serizawa leaves, Chika is still gleaming because there is still hope to recruit Serizawa in the future.

Episode 7
A girl tunes into a midnight radio to seek advice because she wants to die. But those old farts start talking about drinking sake and getting drunk. With the new term and Gotou joining the club, they watch a real band rehearse and were blown away by their gap difference. This motivates them to practice more but Kusakabe puts the brakes on it because he warns them if they don’t do well in their tests, he will have to cut their practice times. I guess this means Chika has to work hard, eh? She starts out great but soon loses motivation… She tunes into the radio to help study better. She enjoys this life advice programme until she realizes one of the callers is Haruta and is indirectly saying something about Chika! It is no wonder she kicks him the next day! He too listens to that radio. He explains the radio programme is a mystery since nobody knows where it is broadcasted from and has been on the air for around 2 years. With 7 elderly people giving life advices, it feels like this radio is coming from a hidden village straight out of a Japanese folklore. Chika saw a girl, Misato Asou running away from the student council president and refuses to get involved. But soon the student council president tells the club about their slashed budget (because their club achieved nothing). If they agree to help catch Asou who is from the geology club, he can help negotiate to increase their budget which is allocated to the geology club but they refused to accept it. And yes, everybody wants Chika to be their representative and she too drags Haruta into this.

As explained, Asou is the president of the geology club that currently has 8 members. They mine precious stones in Japan. Although precious stones are not common, they can still be found but this means trespassing private property. Because they sell their stones to a local university, that is where they get their funding via reward. They won’t accept the school’s funds because they hate school. Many of the club members are truants who won’t go to school except for the club. Asou managed to get them to join by barging into their homes. All but one, Hiyama, agreed to join her club. This year they found and even more valuable precious stone believed to be a blue topaz. But a strange message from Asou said she has found it but pretended she didn’t. So as the club members find Asou, Chika and Haruta enter the geology club but Asou already ran. They notice she too listened to the same radio programme. Haruta has done more research prior to it. That Hiyama guy is Kaiyuu Hiyama, a host of the radio programme. Haruta believes Asou’s message is she might have discovered the hidden village. Her pursue of the topaz must have led her to that place, an unregistered retirement home. Asou turns herself in when Kusakabe gets involved. Haruta guesses that as she tried to protect a colony of her own at school, there was also a boy the same age trying to protect his own colony. Asou brings them to see Kaiyuu at his home. He admits to running the radio and the old sages are old people living who have a fall out with their families or nobody to talk to. They just let them stay in their annex nearby. They started a radio show as Kaiyuu’s dad helped someone in the past ran a radio service. Asou returns the topaz to Kaiyuu as apology for trespassing (that is how she found out about their identity) and thanks for the sages’ advice for a silly girl who decided not to take her life thanks to their stupid advice and lost the will to die. When they tune in to the next programme, the old sages want Kaiyuu to return to schooling. They remember he played the drums and timpani. Sound familiar? Serizawa’s friend? Chika gets a bounty message from Asou that if they take him in, their club will get all their budget. See how money motivates to nab him?

Episode 8
I think I’m seeing a pattern… Kaiyuu now joins the wind instrument club. Chika is surprised when Serizawa would gladly give her personal flute lessons all day. The catch? She needs her help in stopping her aunt Kyouko who is coming to this school to be interviewed by a shady guy named First Love Sommelier. And Chika has to drag Haruta into this… Serizawa explains her aunt lives in Australia and will come to live with her in Japan after she graduates. Kyouko visited her a month ago and hired a local detective to trace her first love. Although she knew where he lived, his current whereabouts are unknown. The detective agency then sent her a provocative postcard questioning if her first love was real. They suggested Sommelier who researches about first love. This research lab is also a club at Shimizu run by Tooru Asagiri. Another weirdo? You bet. Serizawa is not too happy Kyouko is going to get her first love appraised by Asagiri. She disagrees with Asagiri’s theory about first love and memories, the reason why when people confront their first love many years later, they are shocked by the gap between reality and their memories. This club researches that by removing false and exaggerated elements from the memories by trying to reproduce exactly the circumstances of that time. In short, using fragrance to evoke those memories. Kyouko then explains her story. Her first love had something to do with onigiri. She was 19 years old and was lost in the forest and stumbled upon the Forest Brotherhood. Animal people? Please not she is talking in metaphor. She met and befriended this bear guy, Venganto and they make and deliver onigiri for the other Forest Brotherhood as well as the birds. One day Kyouko tried to taste an onigiri but Venganto became mad and attacked her. She was exiled from the group and they were never heard of since. Asagiri has completed an exact duplicate of the onigiri. Kyouko tastes it. Although she finds it different, she thanks Asagiri and rushes out. This makes Haruta wonder if this appraisal had another objective besides recalling her memories since it is confirmed the onigiri is perfectly accurate.

Late that night, Chika is surprised that Serizawa wants to crash at her place. She has forced Haruta and Asagiri to come along too. They will be heading to Hanamaki early in the morning because that is where Kyouko told her she will be going. So is that where Venganto is? The kids arrive at Hanamaki first and wait for Kyouko. She arrives and is surprised to see them here. Serizawa pleads to Kyouko to go back as nothing good will come in seeing Venganto. From the way Kyouko talks, Haruta could guess that Venganto is no longer in this world. As they drive to his grave, Kyouko explains that Venganto and the rest of the Forest Brotherhood all died of the same illness. At first she was looking to find her first love’s whereabouts and when she learnt he died, she got greedy and dug deeper only to find out things she shouldn’t know. Kyouko became scared when she realized the odds of succumbing to the same illness and that is when she got a postcard from Asagiri for this idea. Had the onigiri had the same taste, it would mean the Forest Brotherhood would be eating them and their cause of death buried in darkness. Thus the onigiri Venganto served her and the birds were normal while he served poisoned ones to his brethren. Hence on that day Venganto was trying to stop Kyouko from eating a poisoned onigiri and protected her by throwing her out, without telling her anything. As for why Venganto killed his comrades remains a mystery but it could have something to do with vengeance, the meaning of his nickname. And there might be some guilt he couldn’t live with that he had to kill himself too. Kyouko asks Asagiri for her first love appraisal. It was the real deal. Kyouko apologizes to her niece for worrying her. She was afraid of dying because she wanted to live with her. Serizawa gives her a hug.

Episode 9
Kusakabe collapses as he coaches the wind instrument club! OMG! Though it is not life threatening and just from overwork, you bet our students (especially Haruta) are calling for heads to roll when they find out he is also overseeing Fujigasaki Academy’s concert band. Iwasaki and Matsuda apologise but they claim their usual teacher, Sakai is suspended. When Kusakabe heard about this, he offered to fill in. Apparently Sakai is a righteous man so there must be something wrong if his suspension is still not lifted and even more perplexing is that he refuses to say anything. Haruta, Chika and Kaiyuu visit Fujigasaki and the room he used to teach. They claim Sakai’s behaviour before his suspension was weird because he changed the students’ sitting 3 times. They also meet the student teacher, Yuka Oogawara. Fujigasaki is her alma mater and Sakai was her homeroom teacher. Back then, she was a delinquent and didn’t exactly graduate from Fujigasaki. She broke some school rules and dropped out instead of getting an expulsion on her records. Sakai was the only one who stood by her side but at that time she found his zeal annoying. She said horrible things and stormed out and hasn’t talked ever since. They move on discussing the seat arrangements. Nobody knew why except the class rep and she too didn’t tell anyone why. The noticed the class rep being moved about throughout the arrangement and the final one like as though she is being protected by other girls from a stalker? Matsuda remembers Sakai had her lend him her handphone as he only uses the viewfinder looking around the class. No photos were taken. It is deduced there was a peeping tom. The culprit was nicknamed Asmodeus.

That student since last year has been uploading images of school girls online. Although the faces cannot be seen, you can identify the girl by her uniform. Class rep was first to noticed and more pictures were uploaded when summer came. Kaiyuu gets more information that the camera used was infrared. It has 2 specialties compared to an ordinary camera. It can take pictures in the dark or see through light clothing. Seeing how thin the summer uniform is, could it be pictures of what is underneath is being taken? Thus the seating changes could be Sakai’s challenge to Asmodeus and class rep was the decoy. Normally everything would have ended if the culprit is identified and reported. But the baffling thing is that Sakai covered up for Asmodeus and he is still suspended. It is believed Asmodeus is female. They go talk to the class rep who mentions she wanted Sakai to get an apology and a promise from Asmodeus never to do this again but Sakai refused her and never told her why. That is when she reported to the principal and he voluntarily took his suspension. Asmodeus is hinted as the girl who recently didn’t come to school and this might be Sakai’s way of making her reflect and repent her actions. The gang return to discuss what is it so risqué that Sakai would go so far to protect. Then it hit Haruta. Oogawara has always been wearing a suit even though it is summer. She does take it off when it gets hot like when the air-cond was broken last week. Then she too realized. Apparently Oogawara had a yakuza tattoo on her back and Asmodeus used this as her trump card. All Sakai wanted was to protect her and give her a chance as she is his former student and only regret. Oogawara now knows what to do in not let Sakai keep protecting her anymore. She is going to give her final lesson to those 2 students. Subsequently Sakai’s suspension is lifted, Oogawara thanks and apologizes to him. He promises to keep a student teacher spot open for her.

Episode 10
Chika saved a boy falling from his apartment so she is a little injured. What scares her the most is that she won’t be able to play in the district qualifiers today. But after Serizawa takes a look and treats her minor injuries, it is nothing to worry about. Kusakabe has something to do will be running late. Luckily Shimizu’s turn will be in the afternoon near the end. They are here early because many of them are making their debut and it is good for them to have some exposure. Sakai offers them to use their practice room since Fujigasaki will be performing early. Because Haruta is not around, Chika goes to look for him and bumps into a freelance journalist, Takuya Watanabe. Despite Watanabe is confident Shimizu will easily progress to the next round, ironically Chika is not confident of their own chances. Watanabe’s true goal is to interview Kusakabe because as one of the most talented conductors, he suddenly quit his job and vanished. If he could directly talk to him, he wouldn’t have the need to go through his students. Chika doesn’t like the way he disrespects Kusakabe but before Watanabe can stop her, Haruta trips him. It seems he has found a lost giant Tibetan mastiff dog. A man pops up to claim he is the rightful owner. And so does a little girl. Watanabe is amused in seeing a modern day Solomon judgment and will watch how this unfolds. As part of the bet, if they manage to identify the correct owner, he will write a story about the dog.

Unfortunately Haruta too wants to claim this dog! He claims he is living alone and wants it as companion. So unless they can show proof it belongs to them, he won’t have it over. While the man seems to have convincing proof and alibi, the girl is feeble and shy. She doesn’t know a lot of things. They check the dog’s collar to find a lock and a name on its collar: Pie Simata. The man shows proof his friend’s name as Shimata as the previous owner but the girl also mentions Shimata is her mom’s maiden name. Unfortunately she doesn’t know mom’s telephone number. The man shows further proof that he unlocks the lock with the password. But Haruta easily does too because everyone knows the value of the pi is 3.14. Haruta is suspicious of the man because Haruta had found it for quite a while so this might give enough time for the man to create proofs. He warns him what he is doing is amount to a crime. But the man also knows Haruta and Chika are in some regional qualifiers. Why did he not hand the dog over to the police or animal control? He can report them to their school and organisers too. Just when time is up because practice session is about to start, here comes Kusakabe telling them not to give up. He talks to the girl who reveals her parents are divorced and since dad got custody of her, she gave her the dog. It is also revealed mom named it from a character from Lewis Carroll’s back. It sounded hard to pronounce for her. Jabberwock. Haruta then connects the dots. He borrows Chika’s mirror and Pie Simata reflects to be Atami2 314. It could be a dog licence ID number. Looking it up at the register might reveal the address of her mom. So the dog is actually a direction left behind by her mom. The girl gets custody of the dog and the man is nowhere to be seen. Watanabe is impressed and decides to leave them off the hook today. He also gives the girl contact information of the animal control. The rest talk about the cruel effects of parents breaking up but Serizawa is here to pick them back to the hall for practice.

Episode 11
Under Kusakabe’s guidance, Shimizu’s wind instrument club progresses to the next stage. Serizawa and Katagiri argue about tuning an out of tune piano with Kusakabe’s help when this lady, Makoto Yamanobe challenges Serizawa to a bet. Serizawa starts playing the piano without using the out of tune keys. Makoto then takes out her melodian and beautifully plays a piece. Noticing her unusual melodian, she introduces this custom made clavietta from Italy. Kusakabe has business with Makoto but he cannot talk in front of his students. Haruta is jealous that the duo are close together and wants to expose this vixen since Makoto’s late grandpa was Kusakabe’s teacher. So with Chika and Serizawa they go to eavesdrop what they are to talk about. Seems her father dabbled in real estate and lost money. He is trying to auction off grandpa’s imperial Bosendorfer piano for millions but there is a problem: Its key is missing and without it, the piano will lose its value. Grandpa left in his will that the key was with her. Of course she has no idea and all she got was the clavietta. Makoto has disassembled the clavietta many times but never found any key. She is still very bitter of all the things she had to do after grandpa’s death like kowtowing to others on his behalf many times. But the worst of the lot was Kusakabe’s sudden disappearance from the symphony.

Later Makoto catches the trio eavesdropping. She explains about the custom made clavietta so she could adapt her sweaty fingers to play the piano. However it seems that Makoto never went pro despite all the chances. She questions Serizawa’s reasons to go pro and knows about her hearing problem. She believes Serizawa wanted to go pro because she might want to reach a place where she can focus on music alone, her own musical Eden. Next day, Makoto disassembles her clavietta again to show the kids. They examine the ivory keyboard but she claims it is made of some other material that makes maintenance hard work. She adds this clavietta was grandpa’s sympathy for her. She once lashed out at him for only allowing Kusakabe to touch Bosendorfer and in exchange he swapped the clavietta’s original keyboard with an ivory replica. Because Kusakabe has grown kinder these days, she believes whatever words left by grandpa on the clavietta, she won’t read it. Then it hit Haruta. Makoto cannot see very well. He has noticed her name card had a cut corner so she knows which the front side is. Also, she couldn’t recognize them when they were caught eavesdropping. Makoto explains her disease that weakened her eyesight. Gradually she couldn’t read and even music notes anymore. That is why she sympathizes with Serizawa. Haruta knows where grandpa’s last words are for her. If she notices a bumpy side of the clavietta, it is actually Braille. She reads it as it says… “I lost the key”. She laughs out loud and realizes grandpa is so himself till the end. In the aftermath, the lock on Bosendorfer was dismantled and its keys were all taken out and replaced with ceramic. The ivory keys were put on her clavietta.

Episode 12
When Haruta sees Kusakabe just finished talking with the guys from the Hamamatsu Symphony, he pretends to talk to them to get more details but they cannot say anything until it is official. From their reaction, Haruta can tell Kusakabe is being scouted to join their symphony. If that happens, this means he might ‘abandon’ them and not be able to perform with them at Fumon. Chika wants Serizawa’s honest opinion about the band. This is her brutally honest reply. If you ever wonder why a band that is so bad that makes everyone listen uncomfortable, proceeds this far in the qualifiers, it is because of how awesome it is to Kusakabe bringing them together as well as some of the very good ones like Haruta, Maren, Narushima and Kaiyuu. When Kusakabe is about to begin his usual practice, his baton breaks. This startles Chika as she thinks this is a bad omen. But what startles everyone is how Chika reacts to it because normally she wouldn’t give a damn. Haruta advises Chika to play it cool or else everyone will find out. The class then chips in to buy a new baton for Kusakabe. Can you imagine Haruta and Chika arguing which baton to buy and if that is not bad enough, who should be the one to give it! When they spot Kusakabe, the duo tail him and believe he is on his way to Hamamatsu. Haruta plans to tell Kusakabe not to go despite that offer is a good one. He also wants to tell him his feelings because if not, he will have regrets if he leaves. When Kusakabe leaves on a stop before reaching Hamamatsu, Haruta starts connecting the dots on why he was late on that qualifier day and the day he abruptly disappear from his symphony.

They tail him to a graveyard and Chika’s clumsiness gave them away. As Chika explains their thoughts, Haruta notices the date on the gravestone is similar to those incidents. Could it be somebody’s death anniversary? He then tells Kusakabe to accept the offer since he told his students they have their own lives to fulfil. It should be the same for him. Just when you think Chika is going to dramatically confess her feelings, it is actually a confession that they don’t have enough money to get home! Oh Chika! Later Haruta tells Chika why he didn’t stop Kusakabe. Although there is no way they could tell what happened, Kusakabe is at the crossroads right now of whether to move forward or not. This qualifier might be the last time he performs with them. And here we are folks, Shimizu’s band performing with Kusakabe and we get to hear for the first time the entire symphony. In the end, they end up getting bronze. Oh shucks. Indeed it is the last time they’ll perform together. Everyone is so sad and depressing, blaming their own shortcomings. But leave it to Chika to cheer them up that it is not bad since they have come this far. More motivation with encouraging words from Kusakabe. After all that is said and done, Chika goes off alone to cry. At least she has Haruta to cry with her. But all that is blown away with a good news. If you’re wondering why Serizawa wants to come home with them, it is her way of saying she is joining the band. Finally. Katagiri announces the retirement of the seniors and will appoint a new president to spearhead the club. Everyone thinks Chika would be the next president and so Chika jumps the gun, excited to give her speech. Then Katagiri announces Maren as the next president. How embarrassing…

Nothing Says Springtime Like High School Detective Work
Basically in a nutshell this is the sum of my feelings watching this series. I expected it to be like Hibike! Euphonium but instead I got Hyouka material instead! Music and mystery solving. What an odd combination. Yeah, it never goes hand in hand here anyway. I assume that this is the series’ ‘cliff-hanger’ at the end because we still don’t know if Kusakabe is going to stay or move forward. We know it just wouldn’t be the same anymore since if we ever get another season, there’ll be new faces, old ones ‘retire’ and a whole new brand of dynamism that could be for better or worse. Who knows? That is a mystery we will leave for another time. As far as this season is concerned, if you want a refreshing break from the ubiquitous and typical setting of high school themes like super power action, slapstick comedy, harem comedy, fanservice comedy and/or pure drama romance (believe me, the romance here is just a paltry distraction. A little more on this later), maybe a little detective mystery might give the grey matter a little variety.

Shows like this once more give me mixed feelings on whether to classify either good or bad. In my case it is always somewhat in between because of a few factors. For instance, let us look at some of the mysteries and detective work. Now, each of the mysteries (if you could call them that) are interesting in their own right and the pacing was reasonably well enough that got me interested in listening and paying attention to every word they say as they work towards a way to figure out the mystery. Unfortunately for a person like me who is not well read, it takes out the enjoyment in figuring out some of the terms that cropped up. No doubt that they do explain what that term is but unless you are well read and well knowledgeable like Haruta and Kusakabe, most of us would be like Chika, lost and feeling what-the-heck-say-that-again-please. Therefore if you intend to fully enjoy this series without feeling stupid, you need to have a certain amount of knowledge and this isn’t just restricted to the music world. As seen, it covers a wide range of topics.

Since this series is mostly drama and that there will be a lot of talking and yes, I mean lots of them because many of what is said in speeches would be the clues that Haruta will eventually piece together and figure the whole thing out. So like I said, if you are like me who isn’t well read or knowledgeable, I find myself straining my ears and giving my utmost attention just to listen and make sense of what they are talking. I was trying to understand and perhaps piece together the puzzle. Unfortunately that never happened. Haruta always figures it out for me. I’m not saying my level of understanding is bad but it had me concentrating so much and yet I didn’t understand or get close to a solution (heck, I never came up with any solution), it just feels a bit frustrating. Even more so that many of the answers to the mysteries are just, well, simple. Not that all complicated. In a way, it sometimes feel a bit disappointing that after all that build-up and clues to the mystery, the answer behind it all turns out to be just average. Sorry, no solutions to mysteries that would unlock the secrets to the universe.

And very sorry too, if you are expecting some sort of musical setting or at least learn something or two about the music be it the instruments or musical history, you would certainly be mostly disappointed. At least Hibike! Euphonium and K-ON! had something to do with music. This one here feels like just a diversion. It does have a few musical points too (as part and in relation to the mystery) but not that in a way that one would think, “Hey! That is a great musical tip!”. I mean, it could have been any other club. It could have been a sports club solving mysteries, it could have been an art club solving mysteries, it could have been a science club solving mysteries using the power of science, it could have been a maths club using the calculations of numbers and mathematical science to solve and debunk any sort of problems. But I had a feeling they chose a music club because I am assuming nobody would see this coming. Nobody expects music lovers to be great detectives, right? Sure, there. There is your surprise factor.

Thus it just feels that the setting of having the wind instrument club trying to head for the Nationals feels more like a distraction and a side story to the mystery main dish. Because every episode feels episodic. Like a standalone. While it is great that in each episode there is a new mystery to be solved and breathes new interest for each episode, it lacks the continuity that might have made it even more epic. What I mean is that I was hoping that all or most of the mysteries would actually be connected and be part of a bigger puzzle. You know, maybe like Sakurako-san No Ashimoto Ni Wa Shitai Ga Umatteiru (ugh… This anime…). But then again, maybe that sort of big picture mystery won’t suit the setting of this series anyway. So who cares if Chika plays the flute or Haruta plays the horn because f*ck, you can’t even remember or care what the other members play. And even if you do remember who plays what, I’m sure we wouldn’t care how good they are because we know everyone else is good except for Chika who should be better off being in the volleyball club in the first place ;p.

Therefore when you have a show shown in that way, the characters suffer from potential development. It is expected that Haruta and Chika will hog the limelight because, heck, they got their names engraved on the series. But as for the rest of the other characters especially the other members in the wind instrument club, they feel forgettable. It is like they do not matter at all. Like Katagiri or even the twins. Aside from making up the numbers for a symphony, I don’t see how they contribute to the proper flow of the series. And I find it quite funny that after every mystery is solved, a new member joins the club. At least in the initial episodes. Like as though the reward for solving the mystery is for the central character involved in that series to join the club once their case is over. Come to think of it, so does this mean that solving the mysteries is actually part of a bigger conspiracy to recruit members into the band? And I am pretty sure that there are more members joining the club from time to time because I noticed there are extra minor background characters who don’t even matter, never had any dialogue. That’s what you get when you have a big band although Shimizu’s isn’t exactly a fully symphony either. No screen time privilege for those who are unimportant. Yeah, reminds me of Hibike! Euphonium in a way.

So aside from the side characters like Serizawa, Narushima and Maren who all have their own set of problems but quickly solved and relegated to become assistant detectives in certain episodes, the main characters in focus are Haruta, Chika and sometimes Kusakabe. Even so, their characters are not deeply fleshed out and you’ll be more focused on the mystery at hand while each passing episode throws you a little bit and pieces of information about their past but not enough to form anything conclusive. Especially Kusakabe who is the series’ biggest mystery because we are reminded of how he suddenly gave up his prestigious job to do something mediocre like teaching (at least from his profession’s point of view) and that biggest mystery still bugs us right till the very end even though we are certain as ‘exposed’ in the end that somebody important to him passed away on that day. A person so important that could make a man with a secured future and one of the most coveted job in the world to just walk out. We’ll never know exactly the reason why and Kusakabe isn’t the kind who just talks freely. Sometimes it gets on your nerves that you want to know more but there is all there is to it. So wait for next season to find out more? If they had one.

It is not the first time that a young boy is being gay and secretly loves his teacher and I am sure you’ll find such relationship setting more common in yaoi genres but as for this one, it might be the first. It was shocking at first and even if there were gay relationships, usually they are of the same age. Because if the older one targets the younger one, won’t that be like paedophile and a shotacon? So with Haruta having more than just admire feelings for Kusakabe, I can only imagine the worst if his dreams actually come true. Making the love triangle even odder is Chika having some hots for that teacher too. This minor love triangle feels silly and a little distraction but if that feels like the most character development you’ll get out of them. Even so, that isn’t much. So hopes of seeing Haruta x Chika since that is what this show is called and they even have their names in the title shortened to HaruChika? I mean, sometimes doesn’t it feel that Chika is like a tsundere? Being cold and rude to Haruta at times? I guess her dream and road to become more feminine is still a long way off. Or did she forget about that already?

Haruta is your typical brains of the team and Chika like the total opposite being the ‘dumb’ one just for comical effects. Like I’ve said, Haruta is so well read and knowledgeable, he is like the modern Sherlock Holmes as he could guess the answer after thinking for a while and putting all the puzzle pieces quickly. Like as though he is reading from a script. On the other hand, you have Chika with a bubbly personality acting like a joker like mispronouncing certain terminologies because of her lack of knowledge in whatever that mystery is associated with. But it is hard to hate her because of her enthusiasm and drive, it makes her even more likeable and funny. Really. Sometimes she gets lucky but at most times she is just being Chika. Never change, Chika.

While the art and drawing feels fine and sometimes looking quite good and sharp (nice scenic sceneries and especially cute looking girls, am I to complain?), I noticed that the eye colours of the characters attract my attention. All characters have this effect although it is more prominent in some like Chika. Let me see if I can describe it well. In Chika’s case, it feels like there are dual colour shades for her iris and pupil. It feels like her eyes are like, uhm, gemstones? There is this mysterious attraction each time I stare into her eyes. Like seeing the universe?! Seeing this series is done by P.A. Works, it is no surprise that they have animated lots of beautiful looking series like Angel Beats, Hanasaku Iroha, Charlotte, Shirobako, Glasslip, Another and True Tears. So perhaps sometimes if you find their character designs and artwork to be familiar to these series, this is one reason.

The list of seiyuus is a long one. It is expected since you have different characters for every episode for each mystery. But for the main characters, I only recognized Chiaki Omigawa as the twins. I thought she voiced both the twins but it seems she only voiced Kae. It seems Sae is voiced by a newbie, Emi Miyajima (Mayumi in Haifuri). And I thought they sound the same or is it because I didn’t care as I assumed it was the same person. The rest of the casts from the wind instrument club are Souma Saitou as Haruta (Aoto in Divine Gate), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Chika (Yuki in Shinmai Maou No Testament), Natsuki Hanae as Kusakabe (Kousei in Shigatsu Wa Kimi No Uso), Asami Seto as Serizawa (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Haruka Chisuga as Narushima (Kuroda in Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Maren (Shido in Date A Live), Nobuhiko Okamoto as Kaiyuu (Karma in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Yuki Yamada as Gotou (Shiena in Akuma No Riddle) and Seiichirou Yamashita as Katagiri (Takahiro in Walkure Romanze). Guest voices include Hitomi Nabatame as Minami, Junichi Suwabe as Watanabe, Misato Fukuen as Yaeko, Ayahi Takagaki as Makoto and Rina Satou as Chika’s mother.

The opening theme is Niji Wo Ametara by Fhana. It is quite a lively and energetic piece befitting the series quite well. If you are very well familiar with Fhana’s brand of liveliness in their anime songs such as the openers of Comet Lucifer, Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya 2wei Herz, Bokura Wa Minna Kawaisou and the ending theme in Sora No Method, then you’ll feel right at home hearing this piece. But personally, I feel this one is the best of all the anime songs Fhana sings since I could feel some sort of energetic motivation while hearing the song. The ending theme on the other hand, Kuusou Triangle by Choucho isn’t that bad either but after hearing the great opening, seems to fall a bit short. Don’t worry, it still sounds fine.

Overall, not a bad series but it needs a lot of thinking and patience. Some say it isn’t a great detective mystery material but hey, they are just high school kids and for their level they showed great potential. Hmm… Maybe this is a reason they put a high school setting so that you won’t expect and compare it on par with Sherlock Holmes? Heck, better than being Milky Holmes, right? Haha! Those are in a different league of their own. Even with P.A. Works now developing a reputation for producing visually breathtaking and beautiful anime series but falling short in terms of its story and character development, many remain sceptical and add this series to its ever increasing list. In short, still not its best work since, uhm, Angel Beats? I suppose. Is it so hard to write a good anime these days? Not even Haruta can solve this mystery.


October 8, 2016

Oh gosh. I didn’t know it would be this quick. Just when I thought I had rebuked such typical show of borrowing so many elements from other series in the same genre, here comes another one. Yeah well, perhaps in this sense it isn’t as bad as Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut, but Hundred still feels like it has borrowed from harem, mecha and sci-fi elements from other similar animes. I’m too lazy at this point to list them down now. Heck, making it worse is how the name of this series sounds lazy as well. And I thought it wouldn’t be so bad (of course it is) had it been about a cheap sleazy fanservice filled anime about a hundred girls chasing after a single boy and hence the name of the series. Alas it didn’t turn out that way as it got its name from something less inspiring. At least from my point of view. Oh well, what to do? Since I love this genre so much and keep coming back, might as well sit back and relax the cringe worthy crappiness. You know, new boy with high hidden talent arrives at new school. Has dark secret and past. Meets a handful of girls who would become his b*tches, including the b*tch that hated and challenged him at the start, fights monsters with their mecha suits, more girls, crisis that threatens to harm innocent lives, saves the day, more harem hijinks. Oh yeah. I’m getting pretty good at this now.

Episode 1
Why is it always the main character must have some sort of traumatic past. His old city ravaged by a monster and he tried saving a girl. Something among those lines. It is no wonder Hayato Kisaragi once more wakes up from such dreams as he approaches the academy ship of Little Garden. Apparently Hayato has some super reputation as a pair of girls wait in line to welcome him. Not the kind to revel in the spotlight, Hayato gives them the slip only to be spotted by Reitia Saint-Emilion. Before he knows it, the crowd gathers around him like a rockstar. His specialty must be giving the slip because he easily does that. Emile Crossfode, his childhood friend hugs him, glad to see him here. Please bear in mind this is a boy!!!! No sh*t. Or is it… Later Reitia apologizes to Hayato for calling him out like that and making him attract attention. Students attend the opening ceremony at the hall hosted by student council vice president, Erica Candle and Liddy Steinberg. The president and queen of them all is Claire Harvey. Noa Sheldon and Liu Xuemei arrive late as they were the ones waiting for Hayato. However Claire will not take this sh*t and tells them to pack up and leave. Woah! Such heavy drama stuffs on the first day? I’m sure Hayato wants to protest but he is too meek. Surprisingly it is Emile who stands up to that b*tch. He risks expulsion too as Claire explains the failure to follow orders will lead to death of the entire squad because as Slayers, they will be fighting monsters called Savages. Emile brings up Hayato’s Hundred compatibility score so Claire asks Hayato’s opinion. He too opposes their expulsion. And thus Claire challenges him to a duel in which their expulsion will be cancelled if he wins. Why is it that such genres has the main character end up fighting the powerful b*tch on the first day?

Later Emile introduces Hayato to his best friend, a technologist on Little Garden, Charlotte “Char” Dimandius and her cat maid assistant, Meimei. There is also this autonomous computer that controls Little Garden, LiZA. Basically a powerful AI. Char proceeds to explain about the mecha suits known as Hundred (a term derived from Century Armament) that is only effective against Savages. They have many forms but ultimately their goal is to protect humanity. Since Hayato is willing to shoulder that responsibility, Char gives him his Hundred. Hayato than has a mock practice with Emile. And he gets owned. At the end of the day, he remembers he forgot to visit his little sister, Karen at hospital. Now, how to you please a pouting woman? A peck on the forehead like she wanted? Ah, now she is all nice and sweet again. And why do animes that feature nurse, they must have super big boobs?! Is this hentai? You can’t blame Hayato for looking at Miharu Kashiwagi’s boobs, right? When he returns to his room, he is shocked to see Emile changing. Don’t jump to conclusions yet… Emile throws stuffs at him. So after calming down, why is Emile in his room? Because they’re roommates, silly! As Emile sews his uniform, he accidentally poked his finger. The little blood is enough to send Hayato’s trauma activating. He quickly sucks his finger to stop the bleeding. Hardly anything romantic. He explains himself that he was involved in a Savage attack years ago so this is somewhat his reflex. And now time for Hayato and Claire’s battle to start.

Episode 2
Claire is so confident that she is willing to give Hayato a few handicaps like support from Emile and she herself won’t use full body armament. When it starts, Hayato couldn’t control his acceleration and rams into Claire. More cliché stuffs. Hand on boob. Oh dear. Mad girl. How will she get married now? She fights back and Hayato is losing. Before she is about to finish him, something inside him activates. His movement changes, he is faster and his attacks sharper. Is this Hayato? She is forced to use her full body armament to stop him. Although it might seem she broke the rules and officially won, she claims she lost to herself. Therefore this match is a tie. Later she visits him in hospital. He has no recollection when he transformed. She is curious to know who he is because for a student to just wield Hundred for a couple of days and pull off all those super manoeuvres and corner her, it shouldn’t be normally possible. Next day, Hayato agrees to go out to Central town with Emile. Because Emile wants to date him. Bear in mind he is a guy… Or is it… Hayato attracts lots of stares because of the duel with Claire. Even Karen calls him as the hospital staffs are talking about it. So worried this sister that she gets permission to leave the hospital to join Hayato. She meets Emile for the first time and her suspicions are good as ours. Is he really a boy? Even more disturbingly, Karen hopes there isn’t any gay time between them. They noticed an advertisement of a popular idol, Sakura Kirishima who is going to have a concert on a nearby island, Zwei Island. Karen joins them in the outing and well, not sure if this is bad luck because they bump into Claire and her student council members, including Claire’s assistant, Chris Steinbelt. Claire needs his help for the student council. More accurately, she wants him to join Selection, a special unit under the student council. He will remain as a student and get to fight real battles with Savages. Seems they don’t have enough Slayers due to a previous mission. Of course all this is voluntary. If Hayato is joining, Emile wants in too but they claim he doesn’t qualify. This is when Emile dares them to a challenge right now. Liddy isn’t happy Emile is being rude so he challenges her instead. Wait a minute. They are going to fight right here and right now?! Thankfully the alarm goes off before it gets serious. Looks like Savages have appeared on Zwei Island. They will settle this later but Char suggests Hayato and co to be taken along too.

Episode 3
Despite his looks, Chris is actually a smart analyst. There 3 Savages on Zwei Island and to be Trenta type. Claire changes her mind of not deploying Hayato and Emile because they lack experience. Claire’s plan is to hold off the Savages till the support from Warslarn HQ arrives. Char didn’t think she would rely on her older brother, Judar who is also the CEO. But Hayato reminds her of what she just said about noblese oblige, using your powers for the sake of those who don’t. If they wait for support, the city will be destroyed. Char adds that her recommendation was from LiZA and the newbies are their best bet in reducing damage. Claire agrees but the duo will remain on standby. Our student council veterans easily take the first one out. Emile pushes Hayato into the action and they too easily take out the second one. Why is it always the last one that is the toughest? Erica and Liddy almost died and yet Claire still believes she can settle this herself and not need their help? Guess what? She runs out of energy! Could have died too had not Hayato carried her away. They are in the Savage’s firing path but if they move, the airport will get hit and many will die. Hayato uses his barrier to deflect the beam. Nicely done. When Emile defends unconscious Liddy, his clothes gets ripped apart. Well, what do you know? Boobs! I knew it all along! Hayato remembers Emile as the girl from his trauma, Emilia Hermit. He goes to protect her but gets crushed by the Savage’s might. And then this is where Hayato transforms again into his full body armament. He is going wild. Going on a rampage. Man, he is savage! The only way to stop him? Emilia kisses him! Calms him down. Instantly. Together they destroy the Savage. With all that done, time for Claire to be shock in seeing Emile as a girl. It is unfortunate Sakura’s concert was cancelled but nobody got injured thanks to them. And as compensation for making Karen worried? A kiss on the forehead. Nobody’s kiss must outdo her.

Emilia strikes a deal with Claire to continue pretending to be a guy or else the entire academy will be in uproar. Time for Emile to reveal what he knows. He was infected by a deadly Savage virus then. Hayato helped by sucking out the virus and this made him infected too. People with such virus are called Variants and there are less than 10 in the world. A characteristic of the virus is that you lose yourself when you are about to die as the virus activates itself. Emile managed to control it via training. So why did he pretend to be a guy? So he can live in the same room as Hayato? I don’t know if I should call that gay… I’m confused… I didn’t know the virus is a little pervy too because it makes Hayato fall over Emile and squeezing those boobs. How to calm him down? A kiss! This is the reason: To suppress an activated virus, an inactivate virus must be administered. What better way than kissing, right? So we’re going to see lots of kissing from now on? And before the duo could romantically kiss this time (no virus in the way this time), Claire barges in to remind Emile about moving out only to see this scandal. They panic as Hayato fumbles onto Claire. A hand on her boob plus their lips met! OMG! Hayato, why do you always steal Claire’s first times?! The boob groping, the carrying and now the kiss. What next? Her virginity?! Claire and Emile quarrel but the former is made to shut up when Emile mentions about kissing Hayato. I don’t know how this turned out because now Emile bugs Hayato for a kiss. Trying to be the character with the most number of kisses with the main character?

Episode 4
Hayato and Emile are in a mock battle with Reitia and Fritz Granz. Hayato almost lost it but manages to control his inner demons and wins the fight. He is then called by Claire for a mission. As Sakura’s concert is postponed, she has personally requested Hayato to be her bodyguard. It seems the dangers of Savages still lurks. There were 7 in total detected. While in the previous episode 3 were defeated and the balance 4 were shot down upon re-entry to Earth, only 1 body was found. Yup, do the math. They are pretty much out there still. So poor Emile can’t go on a morning date with Hayato since he has to leave early. Hey, did they sleep next to each other on the same bed?! This is a girl pretending to be a boy, you know? So here Hayato is being Sakura’s bodyguard. Inside her room once they are alone, she becomes aggressive in asking him to marry her! She saw from the video how Hayato slain the Savage and instantly liked him. She goes on ranting about announcing it over the media and even planning out their wedding, family, kids, house, pet and oh, a rainbow in the sky. Wow… The only way to stop her is to play her game so Hayato agrees to do all that and wants to seal it with a kiss! Then she backs out and goes take a bath. Hah! So she was just teasing and trolling after all. Or is she… Then there is that accident in the bath in which she calls him to get her recorder. He tries to pick up her clothes strewn all over the floor and she misinterprets it. A little clumsy moment has her slip on the soap. If not for those damn convenient steam, Hayato could have seen everything and really have to marry her. After the usual press conference, Sakura takes him to the site where she is to hold her concert. It seems she is also a Hundred as she transforms into her sexy fairy suit to fly around. There is some explanation about her energy sense to create illusions from Char. Why is she here? Char and Sakura’s manager, Souffle Clearrail used to be colleagues and Char once saved Sakura’s life before. After done with his bodyguard job, Hayato returns and thinks he is the only one to use the public bath. Heck, there Emile is. Emile gets jealous after learning Hayato gets to call Sakura by her first name and wants him to do the same. At least Emile didn’t ask him to repeatedly spam it. Emile shows his scar across the body that is almost healed. And this is another typical women’s logic because Emile has been flirting all the while and when Hayato accidentally gropes her boobs, she screams and calls him a pervert. WTF?!

Episode 5
Claire wanted to give Hayato some poolside fanservice when she realized too late she wasn’t wearing her top. Free show! Immediately Liddy wants to kill him (even if it’s not his fault) but slips and has her crotch on his face! In rage, she squeezes his crotch! Super ouch! On to serious business, Claire tells him about some variable stone that was stolen during last month’s Savage chaos. Thieves might strike again so he has to be more careful guarding Sakura. On to private business, she wants to challenge him to some swimming duel. I think he made a good choice to pass up wearing those Speedos. Instead he went out on a date with Emilia. What are the chances of others seeing them? Emilia believes it is nil since not many students are on this island. You know say because here comes Fritz and Reitia! Better hide in the changing room. As Emilia goes to get drinks, Claire calls him that Sakura is missing. Not kidnapped but by her own will since she left a note. So everyone is searching for her and she wants Hayato to join in too. Why does Claire sound mad? Because she saw on the surveillance cameras of his date with Emilia. Stalker! To make up for it, he must go shopping with her next time. Speaking of Sakura, here she is right before him! She wants to meet him? Not wanting to risk Sakura seeing Emile, he agrees to go with her. Hayato informs Claire and again she doesn’t sound too happy. Yeah, another girl beat her to him.

At the Grand Canyon, she gives her thanks for saving him. When she hums a familiar song, Sakura mentions that this is a song her mother wrote and not many people hear it. Upon learning his sister is Karen, she quickly put together events that ascertain that they once met before. They met at a shelter after another Savage attack that left her mother dead. The siblings listened to her humming and Hayato noted how it made him feel much better. She can’t believe meeting again the guy who changed her life. Thanks to him, she gained confidence and continued singing. Subsequently, Sakura’s father whom she has never met suddenly claimed her and took her back to his homeland. Shortly she fell ill of a virus. She lost her ability to sing then and Souffle was put in charge as her genetic engineer. However her dad sold her off to Warslarn research facility where the lab’s director, Vitaly Tynayanov and his scientists injected fluids from Savage virus into experimented kids. Many children died. Sakura survived and gained her ability to sing again. However, Vitaly’s goal wasn’t to cure the illness but to turn normal people into Slayers. Regardless of the side effects, the vaccines kept being injected. Sakura’s singing managed to calm them down for a while although it did nothing to completely cure them. In the end, she survived by mere luck. Sakura is happy that Hayato is also a Variant like her. Fate? Coincidence? Taking a bus on the way back, a Savage attacks.

Episode 6
Hayato fights the Savage while waiting for reinforcement to arrive. Sakura supports him and she doesn’t care if people start thinking they are a couple. Emile, Fritz and Reitia are here to back him up. In between fighting the Savage, Emile has time to pry Hayato and Sakura apart. Too close? Surprisingly, Sakura’s voice could make the Savage stop dead in its tracks. Before Hayato can deal the final blow, he is attacked by a group of strange people. They kill the Savage and fight off the rest of our Slayers. Once they get the Savage’s core, they retreat. Seems they work for Vitaly. Back at the academy, Claire explains that these people are Hunters. Illegal Slayers, so to speak. They are going around taking Savage’s core because it is equivalent to the variable stone. At least in monetary value. This information is top secret and they are not to share it with the rest of the world. Later Hayato goes to talk to Sakura. She believes her songs affect people because she is not an ordinary singer. It is because she is a Variant that she can. She is sad her songs don’t actually reach anyone and is just deceiving people. Of course Hayato disagrees with all that. He was touched by her song when they first met. She didn’t have the virus then, right? Such sweet words give Sakura hope once more. She even iterates that she is going to fall deeper in love with him. Sakura performs her concert filled with songs, special effects and flying around. I can’t believe when she sings that familiar song, Karen instantly recognizes her from back then. She has been a hardcore fan and never even realized this once?! Next day when the gang sees off Sakura, she cheekily pulls Hayato’s hand in pretence of shaking them but quickly kisses his cheek! Gasp! Shock! Let the cat fight begin! She promises to see him soon. Probably he didn’t count on this soon because he wakes up to find Sakura on top of him!!! OMFG! And then Claire and Emile barge in to see this atrocity. Sakura clings on to him, the rest try to pull her away. Since when did Hayato become their tug of war? Forget Savages, these girls are savage!

Episode 7
Beach episode! I guess we need one so we could give Miharu an excuse to show off her hentai boobs. It is times like these that Emile hates being a guy… Because Sakura is hogging all of Hayato’s time. Not only Hayato is the hotly wanted property but Claire too because Erica and Liddy duke it out to put suntan on her. More fanservice hijinks as Hayato ends up planting his face in Claire’s boobs. Too bad we cut short this fanservice moment as Judar arrive in his helicopter to bring Claire back. Something important must have cropped up. Later Claire tells her Selections that they have a mission to do a joint clean-up mission with UN’s peacekeeping army. Judar then talks to Hayato and asks him what powers Little Garden. If you think it is some nuclear reactor, then you’re wrong. He takes him down to a secret chamber where a girl is seen in a capsule. She is LiZA. She is the one powering the entire Little Garden. Oh, did he mention she is Judar and Claire’s sister, Liza Harvey? The first Slayer and Variant. Claire is not pleased Judar told Hayato such sensitive information. Judar believes Hayato will be a top Slayer that could change the world’s power balance. Thus he needs to know these things to protect them at all costs. Also, Hayato has divine blood in which he can wake up Liza. All he needs to do is touch the capsule… And… Nothing happens. Looks like he hasn’t got enough power yet. Judar’s reason to rush is because he fears Vitaly might come get her. Judar has a past with Vitaly and needs to talk to her soon. Hence this clean-up mission is just a cover-up so he can capture her Hunters and get some information.

The gang are dropped off at Tian Quan City. Instantly this bratty girl rushes to hug Emile and almost revealing his identity. What’s this about Emilia being a hidden princess? Emilia apologizes she lied to Hayato about her name. It isn’t Emilia Hermit but Emilia Gudenburg. Third in line to the Gudenburg royalty. When you have a girl so obsessed about her princess, you can tell she hates the main character. Claudia Loetty from Britannia’s Slayer army begs Emilia to come home but Emilia has vowed never to go back. But can Emilia do it for the sake of Claudia? Not a chance because she loves Hayato more! Another women’s logic: For Emilia to turn out like that… Whose fault is it? Damn you Hayato! Claudia challenges him to a duel over Emilia. Claudia gets pumped up in fighting Hayato. Too bad Emilia is cheering at how cool Hayato is. Eventually lesbian girl loses and being the sore loser she is, she wants another match. Not a chance. And since Emilia won’t give her face to go back with her, I guess that’s that. Shock! Heartbroken! Claudia runs away in tears, though she is not giving up yet. And she still blames Hayato for it all.

Episode 8
It could have been a normal debriefing had not been Claudia is part Emile’s group. Yeah, she is going to show and prove how superior she is to win back Emilia’s heart. When is she going to learn she is not coming back to you? A little dressing down from Claire at least has Claudia shut up a bit. I’m sure we’re not interested in the fight against Savages or seeing Claudia the b*tch showing off how good she is. Because we’re more interested to see who sleeps with who for the night. Worst possible combination for the shift for Emile is that he got Erica while Claudia goes with Claire and Hayato. After changing shifts, Claudia tries to hook Claire and Hayato and send them on a patrol-cum-date. So she thinks she can get Emilia back? She should try harder… Indeed Claire and Hayato spot a Savage. I don’t know how Claire can even trip but thankfully there is Hayato to finish the job. Meanwhile Claudia tries to tell Emilia that Claire and Hayato are dating by the lake. Although feeling shock, Emilia still won’t give up on Hayato. Yeah, it is not enough a reason to run back to he own country if the person she loves is dating someone else. See, what did I tell you?

So while Claire cleans herself at the lake, they talk about Hayato’s power and his experience as a Variant. He mentions when he enters into such mode, he feels his senses numb. She believes Liza must have experienced the same thing. Liza is a designer baby as Savage fluids were injected into a fertilized egg. However this is not the doing of Vitaly as she was a mere assistant. It was Linis, their mother. How could a mother do that to her own child? It was the only way she believed could beat the gods in war. Liza exhibited extremely rare and abnormal talent as a Slayer from a young age. But one day she unleashed some forbidden power to save Claire from a Savage. Ever since she has been in slumber mode and giving off enough energy to power Little Garden. Liza is Judar’s trump card and the reason Claire is the captain is to watch his actions closely. Liza isn’t a tool for ambitions but her precious little sister. She wonders if she has failed being a captain for prioritizing her personal reasons but Hayato understands those feelings. If Karen did not need treatment, he wouldn’t have become a Slayer in the first place. An emergency call startles them. Again, how the heck did Claire slip her naked body onto Hayato?! A reason to blame him and have him take responsibility. Anyway the emergency call is from another squad. They are being wiped out by those Hunters. Fritz’s group just got done in as Claire confronts them in her full body armament. She is stronger than them and warns them to cooperate and give answers. Then it starts raining, giving the Hunters the advantage.

Episode 9
The rain powers up the Hunters as they defeat Claire. Before Krovanh could finish her, Hayato and co arrive. The fierce fighting continues although Krovanh’s sisters, Nesat and Nakri are taken out. Krovanh claims this world there is only despair. That is why they are going to change the world. Man, Krovanh is hitting so hard that Hayato could even glimpse his memories! Let’s see. Child slavery. Mistreated and abuse. They escape. Along the way, Nesat lost an eye. Saved by Vitaly, she could restore it but also give them new powers that would set them free. Hayato too has his own reason to fight: To make this world a better place and protect everyone he cares. This serves to make Krovanh mad as he doesn’t care what the virus will do to him as he ramps up its power. Fortunately a Savage rises from the lake to attack. Krovanh suggests a ceasefire and will help out in taking it down in exchange they take its core. But no matter how hard and heavy (and mad) he hits, its barrier is not breaking. He is blasted away only to be saved by Hayato. Why oh why? Because he wants to make a world where no one gets hurt. So does this mean a harem ending is possible? Anyway, after the Hunters disable their communication jamming device, Claire is able to connect to Char on Little Garden. Based on LiZA’s analysis, the barrier can be shattered if all Slayers concentrate their firepower at the same time. Okay, let’s do it. Nothing happens. Not enough firepower, you say? Well, considering that many of them just got owned.

There is another way… Hayato and Claire must kiss! Ah… We can hear those concerned parties voicing out their disagreement. In doing so, Hayato will transfer his Variant virus to her. It is not known about the long term effects but for now, they have to take care of this Savage. So what are you waiting for? Yay! They kiss! “There is something warm entering my body…”. Oh, you make it sound so dirty. Claire powers up significantly and destroys its barrier, allowing Hayato to finish the job. He collapses into the lake and Emilia jumps in to save him. Guess what? She kisses him. Does it count since he is out? Yeah, nobody must have more kisses than her. In the aftermath, our Little Garden Slayers return as they have suffered damage so they leave it to other groups and countries to continue the mission. The Hunters are taken in and Claire has a feeling Judar is behind it. Emile tries to kiss Hayato recuperating in hospital but Karen and Sakura walk in just in time. Too bad Emile can’t add another kiss to the tally but at least Karen believes that didn’t happen because it would be totally weird for guys to kiss, right? Right?! So she’s never seen yaoi… Everyone is happy when Hayato wakes up. Vitaly realizes those hunters aren’t coming back but no matter because there will be no more hindrances to her plan.

Episode 10
The Hunters although are in custody, their lips remain tightly sealed. Vitaly’s secret lab has also been found but she has already fled and all important data deleted. Thus she is still at large. There is an upcoming festival that celebrates the launching of Little Garden, Garden’s Festa. Additional security is needed so they will join forces with Slayers from other nations. And this means a bad feeling for Emile because… That pesky Claudia is here!!! F*ck!!! Thank goodness they won’t be paired together this time. Hayato learns that Karen will also be singing at Sakura’s performance as a special guest. He wonders if it is possible as she has a weak body. Don’t worry. Char has tweaked her Hundred to enable her to prance around. As the Festa takes place, Hayato and Emile are walking around and stumble upon Reitia and Erica helping out a maid cafe. Erica is very embarrassed in this outfit but Emile teases her by taking photos and wanting to send them to Claire. But Erica gets her best revenge when the duo are ushered in. She makes Emile dress up as a maid! The other maids are impressed Emile looks so much like a cute girl! You don’t say… Erica starts fondling Emilia’s boobs and the rest of the maids egg Hayato to do the same. Bear in mind that everyone else believes Emilia is a guy and they are excited all about it because of the Hayato x Emile yaoi doujin. Yeah… When Hayato is pushed, he falls on top of Emilia and grabs her boobs. He thought it was just towels to bust it up but they’re the real deal! The maids cannot stop taking photos! They encourage them to kiss in which Emilia doesn’t mind and wants to! Hayato pleads for Erica to help out but her shift is over and she has gone back to work. You’re on your own. Just before the concert, Hayato sees Karen. He thinks her outfit is a bit revealing? Isn’t this how all Slayers dress in battle? For making her nervous, a peck on the forehead is all that she wants to calm her down. And for good luck charm. Hey, even Judar personally comes to see them to give his blessings. No kissing charm, though. As Sakura’s concert begins, Vitaly slips into the Festa after hypnotizing a Slayer. So much about security. It is Karen’s turn to sing and a little embarrassing blooper since she is nervous. But after Sakura calms her down, she starts singing beautifully.

Episode 11
Vitaly begins her own show. There are suspicious bee drones hovering all over. Attempts to catch them only has them self destruct. Then heck, they just start blowing up power lines and everything. There are automatic cleaning robots that turn into those bees and some even hijacking the entire system to have unpiloted planes crash into Little Garden! Woah. Well, that is Little Garden’s ex-super technician and designer for you. Claire gives commands for all available Slayers to take them out. It gets harder when there are Savages coming in. But these are not your ordinary Savages. They are artificially made by Vitaly as they have no core. And there are bigger ones outside Little Garden pounding on the shield barrier and in no time they will break in. Char believes this is Vitaly’s war declaration on Warlsarn. Claire wants to go out and fight but Chris is against it and she must stay here at the command centre to command and calm all Slayers. This is where Hayato and Emile come in to cover for her. Because LiZA said so too. What the f*ck are they doing in the command centre in the first place instead of helping other Slayers?! Claire gives them a condition to come back alive and protect everyone. Well, duh! The Hunters are glad Vitaly is here to rescue them. As she is launching an attack on Little Garden, she needs their help. But Krovanh remains sceptical. He believed their deal was not to hurt ordinary people and their fight was just against Slayers. Besides, he believes the people here are not that bad. Vitaly then uses some sound wave to mind control them under control. Meimei tries to save them but was taken out.

Episode 12
Vitaly is forcing the Hunters to obey her every command. Here comes Meimei again to save them. Vitaly abandons them and runs into LiZA’s chamber. Judar is waiting for her. Vitaly reveals her goal. This is about revenge. Revenge on him for pretending to love her, then used her and then threw her away. So this entire thing is basically a woman’s revenge on her ex-lover? No sh*t. She is going to make him suffer but destroying LiZA before his eyes. First, her Savages give out some sort of sound wave with viruses that weaken the Slayers. When Vitaly fires at the chamber, nothing happens. Surely it can’t be easily destroyed by a few bullet shots, right? Even more shocking is that LiZA has awakened. This is all part of Judar’s plan. By using Sakura’s songs, he gambled LiZA would awaken faster. In other words, he used her again. Vitaly fires more bullets into him but LiZA protects him. And then Judar shoots her. He thanks her for helping him a lot in his plans. What a tragic love story. LiZA then tells Sakura and Karen to sing for everyone. Their singing cancels out the virus and the Slayers are able to fight again. Hayato transforms to his full body armament to take down the big mother Savage but it is not enough. Krovanh unleashes his frustration on it but there is only so much anger can do. Now it is Nesat’s turn to get mad. In her bid to protect her brother, she uses her power to absorb the Savage. Now she is fused with it. This is dangerous as Char recognizes it as the same situation that happened to Liza. She will eventually go out of control and cause a huge explosion.

Meanwhile unconscious Hayato is visited by LiZA and is told he can save her. So what is his motivation? LiZA kisses him!!! OMG! He even gets a kiss from the super computer girl! You lucky bastard! Claire has decided between taking one life and sacrificing thousands. But wait. Hayato can save them all! She is going to give him one chance and if he fails, she will take Nesat out herself. So the method Hayato is going to save her is using his voice to reach her? Talking about freedom, eh? Well, I guess this is what diplomacy is supposed to be. But what happens if that doesn’t work? Well, they clash once and in this whatever alternate dimension, he talks to her once more. This time about trust and friends. Yeah. You can trust me. Thankfully he isn’t a politician ;p. And just like that, Nesat returns to normal. At night as the fireworks display on Little Garden, suddenly Emilia usurps us by kissing Hayato. Ah, she must always outdo the others, right? After saying their wish to be with each other, you mean Hayato is agreeing to kiss her a second time?! OMG! He did! And then everybody sees this and misinterprets this gay moment. Claudia is most mad as she corners Hayato and warns him about kissing the princess. Unfortunately she spilled all the details so Emilia has to come clean. She confesses she is a girl and a princess. Shocker, no? I take back Claudia is the maddest because that goes to Claire who is going to blast them with her beam! F*ck this sh*t!!!

From Hundred To Zero
Well, well. Are you mind blown yet? I couldn’t be happier it ended. And I’m even gladder that it ended on a cheesy cat fight but at the same time they should just extend it and see how Claire hunts down Hayato and Emilia’s ass for whatever jealousy reasons. I think that would have been a better plot than fighting Savages or that cheesy ex-girlfriend-revenge-plot-by-killing-thousands-of-innocents scheme. Seriously, there has got to be a better way than seeking revenge on you ex-boyfriend. And too bad for her it didn’t pay off and got used for one last time again by the sneaky bastard. Just as planned… Sheesh. Is Vitaly really dead or will Judar encased her in a capsule for his next phase of his plan? Don’t care. Don’t want to know.

Forgive me if I am saying how cliché, generic and typical the characters are for I have seen so many of such similar genres that they look so same that if I were to say it again, I would be repeating myself for the hundredth time. Maybe I should just post a link and refer them to my previous blogs but then again that will take a lot of work and I am feeling so lazy so just screw that. So you have the cliché and generic main character (check his tragic past, check his hidden powers, check his destiny to change the future or power balance, check his ideals that he will stick to, check his babe magnet, check everything else), his harem girls that include the flirty idol, the possessive cross-dresser, the little sister trope, the b*tches, the lesbian b*tches, the scheming big brother commander, the other guy, a rocket scientist, her furry android maid servant, an AI, a busty nurse, a typical antagonist who was once a member of the team gone astray and her bunch of misguided followers. Yeah, very diverse indeed.

So I’m not going to jump in and repeat again all the typical characters because I don’t want to bore myself again. I’m just going to note a few like Emile/Emilia is mind boggling and as annoying. Although the same person, sometimes I get so confused if I should refer to this cross-dresser as a guy or girl that I just gave up and just refer to him/her whatever my mind comes to. The weirdest thing about him/her is that he/she wants to be close to Hayato. And I mean close enough to hold his hand and arm like how lovers do. Because here I thought he/she was trying to keep his/her gender identity a secret but at the same time has no qualms in getting into situations in public that would cause people to misinterpret about their relationship. I’m not sure if he/she is trying to indirectly garner some sort of support for Hayato x Emile yaoi doujin. Because that would only make it worse because you know, every other girl would be squealing over them and isn’t that what Emilia doesn’t want? Other girls to get closer to Hayato? Either way, he/she is annoying as hell. And you thought revealing her as a real girl was the biggest surprise of the series, huh? Big joke… Even her secret princess identity wasn’t that much of a big deal. Okay, so it does to others. Especially Sakura. Because now a royalty ranks higher than an idol and guess where she stands now in the pecking order for Hayato’s love? Yeah…

The only other character that is amusing and interesting is Claudia because of her b*tch and lesbian admiration for Emilia. She never gives up. Anything wrong, always blames Hayato. I figure every such harem anime (or at least most of them) should have one girl who hates our female attracting main character because it would be more fun that way. Despite being annoying, at least she is funny in that sense unlike Emile/Emilia who is just plain annoying. Man, she should have appeared earlier because I never seem to tire of her baseless accusations. And the other amusing ‘character’ that I find is LiZA who seems to be the so called most intelligent thing on Little Garden. Because every damn advice it gives out must be so good that nobody questions it and just follows. Even though she only prints one English word on screen. How the f*ck did she not detect Vitaly sneaking onboard. Even the smartest AI has her limits. Especially when you encased a comatose girl in a capsule. And now that she is free, will she be moving around in her spirit form? That will be scary and making Little Garden looking a bit haunted, isn’t it?

The fanservice and factor is also generic and cliché. At least it is better for me to talk about this since I love this kind of stuffs seasons in, seasons out. Even though they are pretty much very similar. So by throwing in a lot of kisses, do they think they can make this generic series stand out? Well, this isn’t the only series in the genre to have a main character getting multiple kisses throughout the season. But you know, kisses are like declaration of war in harem genres and with almost every potential candidate having kissed Hayato in some way. I am sure Emile/Emilia is leading the kiss count. Then there are cheesy obligatory fanservice which include females with big boobs, females who end up in the nude (but short of any frontal nudity and hentai) and because what good will it do if you omit the cliché ‘main character must fall over and have his face and/or hands on her boobs’ scene. And don’t forget the bath scenes too. I know it is all generic and probably why we watch this anime and yet why do I sound like I’m complaining? Do I really sound like I’m complaining about this?

Same can be said for the harem side. To balance out everything, you have girls who love him and girls who hate him. I wish they had materialize more cat fights over Hayato (cat fight round 1 between Claire and Emilia when?) because personally I think it is better to see them fight against Savages that you will know they will triumph over in the end. But what bugged me was Reitia’s position. We have Emilia, Claire, Sakura and to a certain extent Karen who love Hayato. Then we also have Liddy and Erica having hots for Claire and Claudia for Emilia. So where does that leave Reitia? She is the first character he bumps into and it gave an impression that she would most likely end up being one of the potential candidates. Then what happened to her? Is she more like Noa and Xuemei level? Not really because it feels she is more than them. Perhaps like Char level? So in addition to girls who love and hate Hayato, we got girls who aren’t even on his radar. That is why I felt that she and her partner Fritz are like redundant characters. Characters who are there just to show that not everything revolves around Hayato or related to him. The other Slayer team with no ‘important’ connection to him. At least better than other background characters whose names we will never even know.

One of the most important aspects that were not really addressed is the origins of the Savages. I mean as much as I prefer the silly cat fights and I-will-have-more-kisses-to-Hayato-than-any-other-of-you-b*tches, sometimes I want to know what these are. What are they in the first place and why are they attacking the world. Because of the cheesy focus on the characters, these alien monsters get side-lined and being reduced to just baddies for our heroes to take them out. It feels like they are just existing for that reason. Not to say that I am not rooting for the Slayer heroes but it feels like hating something because you don’t understand the full extent of it. Like hating Mario’s Bowser just because he always kidnaps the princess and thus his reputation will always forever be known as the great villain. Have you ever thought he may be the one saving her from the delusional clutches of a psychopath Italian plumber? Or if everything was just a freaking act? Woah… Don’t want to go into that kind of conspiracy theory. Therefore having these Savages here just feels empty and I don’t really see them live up to their barbaric nickname. Even though the aliens have this Savage as their nickname to give them some sort of identity, it just isn’t enough. Heck, they could have just given them any name and it still won’t matter.

Action scenes also feel average and sometimes a side dish to whatever this anime is all about. Because of the need for the Slayers to show off their single set of skills and hence the need for a fight between humans and giant bugs. There is hardly any variety or even any unique moves that I would even remember as it is either they fire some laser beam or strike it with a sword. Other than that, I wonder how many bullets Vitaly’s gun can hold because she seems to be shooting it like nobody’s business without reloading. And then when it runs out, it is a sign for her to bite the dust and get shot by Judar who used only a single bullet and he made that bullet count. Oh boy…

Art and drawing feels rather okay, nothing to shout about. If the art feels similar, it is because Production IMS have also animated similar series in the harem and sci-fi genre like Shinmai Maou No Testament, Date A Live, Masou Gakuen HxH, Active Raid and Ore Twintail Ni Narimasu. Character designs feel pretty generic and I’m sure I have seen those body suit designs somewhere before but as usual, I’m too lazy to go think and do some back study. As for the designs of the Savages, I’m not sure if putting glowing stripes over them makes them look any menacing. I don’t know. It just seems weird.

Of all the decent voice acting, I only recognized Yui Horie as Char and Rina Satou as Souffle. The rest of the casts include Yoshiaki Hasegawa as Hayato (Yura Mikage in Mayoiga), Rumi Ookubo as Emile/Emilia (Nona in Death Parade), Mao as Claire (Kazumi in Gokukoku No Brynhildr), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Judar (Haruhiro in Hai To Gensou No Grimgar), Mayu Oshioka as Sakura (Mayu in Wake, Up Girls), Kaya Okuno as Karen (Kaya in Wake Up, Girls!), Yui Makino as Erica (Sakura in Tsubasa Chronicle), Rika Kinugawa making her debut as Liddy (Takako Chino in Orange), Yuka Ootsubo as Reitia (Kyouko in YuruYuri), Wataru Hoshino as Fritz (Gajeel in Fairy Tail), Chinatsu Akasaki as Claudia (Yasuna in Kill Me Baby), Romi Paku as Vitaly (Hitsugaya in Bleach), Yuuhei Takagai as Krovanh (Gowther in Nanatsu No Taizai), Saori Oonishi as Nesat (Emi in Jinsei) and Machico as Nakri (Nishiyama in Sansha Sanyou).

I have a hunch that they decided to break the monotony and add some spice in what was turning out to be a mediocre series. That is why for a short series with only a dozen episodes, there are multiple ending themes, each lasting only 3 episodes. Fortunately there is one which is quite attractive to listen to and it is the second ending theme, Tabooless by the student council top dogs (b*tches doesn’t sound appropriate, right?) trio of Claire, Erica and Liddy. It is a sultry and sexy dance beat (although the animation shows the trio in high class sexy slutty lingerie). This is far best my favourite song of the series. Others are rather okay like the hard rock third ending theme, Hardy Buddy by Fritz and Reitia, the anime rock first ending theme, Eyes On Me by Emilia and Sakura and the fourth ending theme which is a slow ballad by Sakura and Karen. Sakura also sings a couple of insert songs throughout the series like Itsuka Anata Wo and Sand Mirage but none of them captured my attention. Oddly, if Fritz’s seiyuu had a singing part, I don’t see why Hayato’s didn’t have one. Can’t sing? Too main character for his own song? As for the opening theme, your typical anime rock, Bloodred by D-selections. Nothing special, though.

Overall, another disappointing anime to add to my list with average and cheesiness in every department. Uh huh, calling Infinite Stratos as a better comparison is saying something… Because the girls there are cuter :p. But I can only blame myself for taking the bait as I am condemned forever to love such shows. That is why even when producers make the same similar shows in the future with just few tweaks and variations, people like me will still fall for it for the hundredth and even thousandth time. It never gets old. It’s like our seasonal fix for our addiction. Same time, same place next season? Yeah, if you have seen a hundred harem sci-fi series, you’ve seen them all. And that’s pretty savage!

Hantsu x Trash OVA 2

October 7, 2016

Hey wait a minute. There’s more of that sexy and stupid water polo comedy? I guess it wasn’t enough so they had to do another OVA for Hantsu x Trash just to satisfy our horny desires in the water polo field. Yeah right. If you can’t remember what the previous OVA was or have never watch it, don’t bother. We’re all here for the fanservice :-).

Boobs Water Polo
Something must be going on. The water polo guys are dead serious. They are staking their lives for their upcoming match. With the girls cheering on them, the guys miraculously win their match! First victory! Then the whole truth comes out. The reason and main motivation why the guys worked so hard and won is because their teacher Miyoshi promised them to let them fondle her boobs if they win! No wonder! Now that they have won, the guys can’t wait to fondle her boobs. So impatience that they come running to her down the hallways with in their birthday suits!!! OMFG!!! So hard up for it?! Since the guys kept their part of the bargain, she must keep hers. So in a private room, she strips down to her bra but the horny guys want more. Take the bra off! Oh yeah! Real huge tits!

Meanwhile Hamaji is stationed outside as he guards the entrance. Hayami comes to congratulate him and his team when she hears the boys in the room screaming about breasts. Hamaji tries to prevent her from peeking and thus accidentally falls onto her. And thus creating a lame excuse for him to fantasize about him molesting Hayami’s boobs while he helps her stretch out before swimming. Back to the boobs party, Miyoshi lays down the rules to fondle her boobs. They get only 3 seconds each. Yeah. Whatever. So we see the guys fondling and even sucking her tits that send her into ecstasy. Admit it. She’s a whore. She loves it. And yet to hide this slutty behaviour of hers she punches them out once their time limit is over. They don’t care. They’re in heaven already. It was f*cking worth it.

Back to Hamaji, Hagiwara and Shinozaki are telling him they want to hold a celebration party for the guys for their first win. While Hagiwara is excited about it, Shinozaki isn’t. For some weird (horny) reason, Shinozaki starts fondling Hagiwara’s boobs. Hence another lame excuse for Hamaji to fantasize the duo making out in a love hotel. And because lesbianism isn’t enough, he joins in to make it a threesome citing he won’t lose out to that! Nakajima is the last guy left to fondle Miyoshi’s boobs. This guy is good that Miyoshi starts feeling orgasmic that he went over the 3 second limit. Luckily Miyoshi returns to her senses and knocks him out. Now this slut b*tch is already so aroused that she needs more of it. Yeah. You know what I’m thinking? Who is the only boy left? Save the best for last, huh?

Miyoshi takes Hamaji in and is willing to get down and dirty with him. He is the only guy she claims can satisfy her and even takes off her bottom! F*cking bastard gets the best privilege ever! Luckily for Hamaji (and unluckily for Miyoshi), Hamaji remembers Hagiwara and the promise she would be the first one he will give his virginity. So he runs away screaming Hagiwara’s name while Miyoshi can only lament another missed opportunity. But she’s not giving up yet because if Hagiwara continues to dilly-dally, she’ll take him away from her. Hamaji bumps into Hagiwara. The girls have already left for the celebration and since the guys are nowhere to be seen (Hamaji claims they are ‘tired’) Hagiwara suggests doing the celebrations next time. But for today, Hagiwara will treat him as her reward for working hard in today’s match.

Boobs x Nipples x Fondling
What did I just watch again? Just like the first OVA, there is nothing pretty much happening in the second one as the only ‘highlight’ is just as always the boobs fanservice no matter how absurd and silly they are. I guess the guys worked so hard and finally they are now so hard on down there that they get their wish. Well, at least in this second OVA, there isn’t any of that gay Nakajima dream that Hamaji always ends up getting when his dreaming is getting to the good part. Really. That was hilarious and at the same time cringing. Also, Hamaji doesn’t really feel like the main character here since half of the time the focus is on Miyoshi getting fondled. This is the true ‘plot’ for this second OVA. But who cares about all that because we are here for the fanservice, right? I fear that if she continues to give this reward for the guys’ water polo team to win every time, she is going to end up getting raped because fondling tits are like drugs. You need more of it to reach the same level of satisfaction.

Having said all that, this means just like in the previous OVA, the character development is still as pathetic as ever. In the sense that you wonder what the heck those other characters especially the other girls are here for. Of course if you have watched the first OVA it might help a little but still it doesn’t tell you much. Our veteran ecchi guts will tell us that these girls are of course to serve as Hamaji’s harem and love interest but we don’t get to see any of that. Oh right. We don’t care as long as we get to see some tits, do we? This means the atrocious drawing and animation did not improve from the last OVA and the characters still look weird from certain angles. In a nutshell, the second OVA isn’t any better than the first other than the fact to give us our short term fix in ecchi fanservice. That’s about it. You watch those boobs, you enjoy them, then you cringe at its guilty pleasure and then you go back to your ordinary life or find better porn to fap to if this has got you even aroused. If water polo doesn’t quite cut it anymore, beach volleyball, anyone?

Kuma Miko

October 2, 2016

They say the grass is always greener on the other side. The opportunities from across always look more bountiful than the ones before you. That is why many from the countryside and rural areas always try their luck by heading out to the urban city in hopes in improving their fortunes and life. Take for instance our main character in Kuma Miko. A young girl always stuck in the deep remote and mountainous village because of her job as a miko for a local legend. It is only natural for her to yearn the city life. Imagine all the things girls her age would be doing had she been living in the city instead of being cut off from the rest of society and civilization. Sure, we can always imagine things. But the big question is, is she ready to handle all that and have what it takes to live in the city? You know how the city isn’t as rosy as it paints itself to be, right? Thus this series is about our protagonist going through her daily life as she prepares for the day she will be ready to take on the city. The other question is, can she really do it in time?

Episode 1
A girl treks through a mountainous area of Kumade Village filled with bears. One creeps up on her. Will it be her doom? Instead he welcomes her home. Machi Amayadori is a miko and Natsu is a big brown bear. She wants to go to a school in the city but he shows his ferocious fangs that are not acceptable. He gives excuses of the dog-eat-dog world the city is especially Machi who has grown up for so long in the mountains, she has a country complex. However Machi claims this village is so boring and she can’t take all that crap anymore. Now it’s Natsu’s turn to cry (crocodile tears?) as he reminisces the little girl he always has to console. What will he do if she is gone? Like Machi cares… Therefore he is going to give her a quiz to see if she has got what it takes to live in the city. Don’t worry, they’re easy ones. But how come they feel like trick questions? Like what you used to get into train stations. Watermelon? Apple? Bananas? Sure, Machi got lucky picking the green one but the next question, how the heck would she know that OIOI is pronounced as Marui?! In short, Machi doesn’t know. So the only viable thins is for a girl to get mad at the bear.

The police are on a patrol and see a bunch of kids. They warn them about the bears in the area when Yoshio (Machi’s cousin) claims he is the village’s health department officer and is supposed to give those kids a tour of the place. The police relent since the villagers never take the bear warnings seriously like as though bears and humans here have co-existed in peace for a long time. Back at the shrine, Yoshio begins his lame picture story telling. But when the boys claim it is too boring, he takes out the original traditional book. Suddenly Kaori jumps up and screams words like “Sexual harassment!” and “Don’t touch me!”. OMG! Triggered?! Future feminist?! Yeah, this book tells about the virgin maiden sacrificed to the bear. In other words, bestiality rape scene. But later parts of the story reveals the bear fell in love with the maiden, mended his ways and worked for her. Thus the beginning of the co-existence of humans and bears at Kumade. The real surprise here is that bears can talk. The kids are in for a shock when Natsu serves them drinks. They fear him more since he is not in the mood of being touched. Since Machi didn’t want to play along to this, Natsu is forced to drag her out. Seems Machi is too shy to face them after that erotic rape story. The kids are impressed as Natsu continues talking. They want to brag to others but Yoshio warns them this secret cannot be leaked to outsiders or else you’ll be punished. The conversation goes on normally till one of the kids asks Machi this curious question… Was she raped by the bear???!!! Of course she vehemently denies it. Making it even more embarrassing is that Yoshio thinks Natsu did rape her! Not sure if he is trolling her. All that fervour calm down when Natsu says he is neutered. But this still has left Machi with a very red face.

Episode 2
Machi often cried when Natsu had to leave for his hibernation. That is why he stopped hibernating. Well, Machi doesn’t remember all that… But she is still bent on going to the city. As proof, she takes out an MD. However Natsu knows where this is going. He tells her MDs are no longer in production. Somebody needs to be updated. When all else fails, attack the bear! Use violence till he relents! Natsu okays her to go to the city but first she must learn about society and stuff. So he writes he first task: Go buy a HEATTECH from Uniqlo. She has 2 days from tomorrow. Machi gets right on thinking what to do. However she is stuck in thinking what kind of clothes to wear. A mission impossible? What the heck is a HEATTECH too? She starts thinking Uniqlo is a hardware store and HEATTECH is some sort of heater. Yeah, she almost asked Natsu a stupid question if it explodes. As she sets out, she meets her first obstacle: The wooden bridge is broken. It can only be fixed tomorrow. Natsu breathing down her neck with a reminder: Only 1 day left… Fortunately he isn’t so bad as he cuts down a tree to let her cross over. Since her bicycle is missing, she sees aunt Etsuko (Yoshio’s mom) who lends her Yoshio’s bike. No wonder nobody wants to use this bike. Such embarrassing chair… As she rides down the mountains. Suddenly everything breaks apart! I mean everything! She jumps off before the bike hits the tree and dismantles itself! OMFG! That was scary! Yeah, the only thing that isn’t destroyed is the chair…

Feeling hopeless, Machi cries for Natsu’s help. But she knows she has to depend on herself at times like these and got to push on. She braves up and treks through the mountains in hopes she will reach something. Well, she did. Yoshio and his friend Kameji “Matsu” Komatsu fishing. They agree to give her a ride there. I guess she has to bear with their incessant teasing and other quirky habits. Like her misconception of HEATTECH and Uniqlo. Yeah, they’re even making jokes and taking pictures of Machi making her purchase like as though she is some sort of celebrity. Once she is done with the task, she can no longer hold in her frustration and beats them up outside! Holy sh*t! There is only so much a limit a girl can take. Back home, Machi spots a gloomy look. She felt hopeless during her journey. Yeah, she sure is, Natsu agrees to it. Machi is shocked when Natsu mentions he expected her to go to Uniqlo via Yoshio’s car. When she proudly shows her bruises, Natsu gets serious. He nags her about the dangers of the mountains and her inability to come back after the bike broke. Like a child not wanting to hear her nagging mother, she mentions she bought HEATTECH so what’s the big deal? She passed, right? Yeah, she passed. Though, Natsu doesn’t seem too pleased. Asking her to show HEATTECH, she strips open her shirt! She is wearing this heater t-shirt underneath her miko garment in which Natsu doesn’t like her doing so. Yoshio comes home and wonders where his bike is. For all he knows, a lone chair sitting deep within the mountains…

Episode 3
Natsu wants to teach Machi more stuff about the city but apparently she is too lazy. Where has all that enthusiasm go? So she says she is tired? Yeah, putting with those blokes’ harassment was really an ordeal. To Natsu’s surprise, she wants to perform the kagura dance, something that she never liked to do. After setting up and starting the music, WTF is this exercise song! Natsu is mad! Stop! Stop! See, it is cloudy now. The gods must be mad. Taking a break, Machi mentions she is just an ordinary girl with no powers doing what grandma told her to do. On the contrary, Natsu mentions she does have powers when she was young. I don’t know about that trance but it looks funny although it was scary to Natsu because she pulled out his eyelashes! There are other trance moments too and naturally she can’t remember them is because she was in a trance. When Natsu mentions about the similarities of the trance and those DJ nightclubs, it gives Machi motivation to get up and dance again! Woah! Such energetic dance! She almost knocked herself out by banging into a tree. At least Machi is now motivated to do a proper dance ritual. At the end of it, Yoshio has brought them cake and drinks. Well, I don’t know if bears can eat cake but apparently it tastes horrible to Natsu. Machi falls asleep, tired from the dance so Natsu follows suit. He wakes up when he starts to rain. It seems Machi is dancing via that exercise track! OMFG! The lightning just struck the tree! It’s on fire! Machi is still dancing! Stop it! STOP IT NOW!!!

Machi is going to give Natsu a haircut. He has a bad feeling about this. Feeling like being decapitated? He runs away when he feels the scissors poking his flesh. But here comes Yoshi with a few miko dresses for Machi to try out. It seems there was a contest to design summer clothing for her and with the few entries, Machi is to put them on so the judges can pick a winner. Machi is quite interested in the Ainu tradition but these blokes have no further information about it and it feels disappointing. But she is encouraged thinking the dresses might have Ainu design. However the first one is an idol outfit! What the heck is this?! Machi punches Yoshio when he peeks to see the commotion. However he fights back about the ‘discrimination’. So why Natsu can see her in her undies and not him?! Why the discrimination between humans and bears! Yeah, it looked like a rape scene, Yoshio pinning down Machi… Anyway, Machi puts on all 4 outfits as the judges Natsu, Yoshio and Etsuko decide. All have conflicting views especially Natsu and Yoshio in some sort of disagreement over everything. But the most disappointed is Machi because none have any Ainu designs! She returns to her usual dress and refuses to become their dress-up doll.

Episode 4
Eventually Machi wears one of the designs as she participates with the villagers in a ritual. They too know all about it since they were spying during the judging and Yoshio showed the pics from his handphone. Everyone then starts to discuss and have their own opinions about each of the design. Not only Machi isn’t pleased but perhaps the gods too since it is starting to rain heavily… Later as Yoshio delivers sushi to them, they talk about the dance being made public. Machi disagrees to it and definitely won’t do it if Natsu isn’t with her. Even more so she won’t accept somebody substituting as Natsu’s part. It makes Yoshio wonder if Machi is dependent on Natsu. So Machi thinks about it and it dawned to her that she might not survive without Natsu. To prove it, she can turn on the TV! And play some video games! Okay, maybe a little bit of challenge there. Then she wonders if Natsu can survive without her and goes to spy on him. He is doing fine. He is even high-tech using sensor keys to lock doors! Machi feels bad for having such thoughts. As she goes to apologize, Natsu praises the technology Yoshio introduced to him. Machi just goes with the flow and agrees to it.

OMG. Machi is standing next to this delinquent, Hibiki Sakata and feeling very afraid! She should be because Hibiki beats her up! Machi tries to be calm and escape but Hibiki catches up and more abuse! WTF?! Till Machi cannot hold it in anymore and starts crying. Natsu comes by and our poor miko girl seeks solace in his arms. Hibiki is Yoshio’s childhood friend and claims she just wants to talk with her. Apparently Hibiki is often misunderstood because of her actions. Besides, they know each other for a long time. Hibiki wants to take Machi to shopping. I guess Machi has no choice but to agree. And Natsu thought it was just cute, girls having a girly time together. Hold on tight. Hell is coming. Biker girl Hibiki, the ride of your life! Literally. Machi feels comfortable at the Shimomura department store but is head butt out of her daydreaming. Again, Machi is forced to pick clothes and be Hibiki’s dress-up doll. But when Hibiki is having trouble choosing hers, suddenly Machi falls into a trance and it is like she knows everything about Shimomura. Their sales, their area size, their cost cutting measures and efficiency that lead to cheap affordable items! Wow. It’s like she is an employee or some industrial spy! More explanations about their exclusive rights that even make Hibiki change her view on them! When a dress she wants doesn’t have her desired size, Hibiki is about to give up but Machi tells her there is another Shimomura store in the next town. Quickly they ride there and thankfully there is stock. There are also other items in this store not available in the previous. This makes Hibiki to believe that Machi might become a Shimomura expert.

Episode 5
OMG! Who are those trendy girls making villagers’ heads turn as they walk past?! Cool background music too! It’s like an ad for Shimomura. Natsu is happy for the girls but Machi has to go change since a job has come up. Natsu hopes Hibiki could hang out with Machi more often but she denies it and if Machi wants to play with her next time, she’ll teach her adult stuffs. Let’s hope no drugs. Machi seems to be reeling from her experience with Hibiki so Natsu tells her to express her feelings to Hibiki if she enjoys it. A father caught his son, Shouta stealing and is taken to Machi as punishment. He is locked up in a cage in a cave with Natsu. Oh dear. See how Natsu is violently tearing apart the wood? Shouta has reflected his actions but it seems he needs to stay with Natsu for a night! Oh sh*t! As long as you don’t bother Natsu, he is pretty much preoccupied with the toy offerings from the village. The boy gets the fright of his life and passes out when Natsu approaches close to him. Actually Natsu just wanted to ask Machi for an instruction manual for an appliance. Oops. They overdid it. So as they take the boy back with Yoshio, Yoshio learns that Machi has already gone shopping with Hibiki. But how does he know they went to Shimomura? Because he told Hibiki to bring her there. Before any more juicy stuffs could flow out, conveniently here comes Hibiki to shut everyone up and deny everything. So you mean Hibiki didn’t do all that for Yoshio? Really?

Back home, Machi and Yoshio are so dense as they discuss Hibiki’s actions. Of course Natsu knows that Hibiki likes Yoshio and the mere mention of it has delinquent abusing big bear and warning him never to say those crazy stuffs. Hibiki still doesn’t get the hint and Yoshio has just stopped thinking. Wouldn’t it be easier for Hibiki just to say her feelings? DON’T YOU DARE SAY IT! Because Machi gets the wrong idea that Yoshio is troubling her and offers to work together to defeat him, Natsu takes Machi outside for a much needed lesson. He wants her to learn this supernatural power called reading between the lines. Sensing the atmosphere and feeling of others without ruining the mood. So he acts out as a tsundere. Machi doesn’t get it. Even roleplaying as Yoshio and Hibiki, Natsu’s actions of hugging and saying “I hate you” only confuses Machi. Is Hibiki trying to kill Yoshio? In his last attempt, he hints there is someone Hibiki likes and shows the dire situation Yoshio and Hibiki are in now. What should Hibiki do? The correct answer is to send Hibiki home quietly. But guess what Machi does? She goes to strangle Yoshio as she misinterprets he is the obstacle to the person Hibiki likes! Frustrated Natsu spells out word for word that Hibiki likes Yoshio. Yoshio didn’t hear that properly and Hibiki knocks him out with an elbow to the gut! Then she abuses Machi and warns her not to tell anybody about this or else… Her fear of delinquents just got worse. Later Natsu and Machi talk in the bath. She still can’t believe there is someone who likes Yoshio. Yeah, you better believe it. She wonders if she will like a man herself. But Natsu can only think of Machi being abused and her body used and thrown away by sleazy scumbags. He wants her to stay in the village forever. Get real.

Episode 6
The villagers are discussing ways to attract visitors but they don’t understand what the young ones want and ask Hibiki for advice. It seems there is this cool place called Village Vanguard where youngsters can check out cool things. And since the villagers know nothing about this, Natsu decides to send Machi to go to that store with her mission to get him a DVD. Think of it as training for her city life. But does Machi even understand what vanguard means? We see how much of a country bumpkin Machi is. She doesn’t know how to ride an escalator and she keeps thinking store clerks do not want her business because she is not trendy! Once outside Village Vanguard, because of the weird items on display, Machi starts becoming scared. Is this a witchcraft shop? Yoshio tries to push her in but she resists and causes a tantrum. Embarrassing if you consider the onlookers wondering what the heck is going on. It reaches unbearable point as Machi punches Yoshio in the guts and runs for it! She almost stumbles into the path of a handsome guy but he carries her like a little girl. It got too much for her to handle as she faints.

Natsu is not happy over this failed mission but Machi is clearly traumatized. He is going to lecture her about this embarrassing incident that would only decrease her chances of living in the city but Yoshio deflects the blame back to him. Wasn’t it Natsu’s fault for sending her out to do something like this that is too much for her to handle at this point in time? Seeing how scared she is still, maybe he is right. It is no joke that Machi is still crying and scared so Natsu now becomes guilt-ridden and scared. He apologizes, he kneels but Machi is still the same. Oh sh*t. It is going to become double troublesome if you have a panicking bear in the house. He waits outside her room as Machi cries herself to sleep. Natsu remembers the past whereby he was sick and Machi took care of him. He tries to cook porridge for her but you know about bears’ paws and knives. The clumsy commotion has awakened Machi. He takes this chance to sincerely apologize to her for saying all those mean things. But Machi this time blames herself and it is not Natsu’s fault. I know she wants to release some steam and learn from her mistakes but is she trying to flip the table?! Oh, please don’t! I guess this means Natsu has to bear the brunt as Machi takes out her abuse on him. Yes, this is his atonement. This is his punishment. He will bear this sin. All bear puns not intended… Next day, Machi is looking refreshed and rejuvenated! Wow. And Natsu… He is like so dead and lifeless… What a wild night it was… Yeah, I hope all that beating was worth it. It better be.

Episode 7
Machi chops firewood so Natsu reminds her that with technology like electricity, they should take advantage of it. However Machi still prefers to continue the traditional way. This makes Natsu remember she has been doing this since young without a single complaint. If she isn’t doing this for hobby or vent her frustration, what is it for? Because if she could, she wouldn’t want to do this hard labour too. She claims she isn’t good with appliances but wouldn’t mind trying if there was one. Thanks to Yoshio’s connections, they got a rice cooker. Being the noob she is, it is freaking odd to see a bear teaching a human how to use an electric rice cooker! Because Machi carries the pot with chopsticks (fearing there would be electricity all over), of course she fumbles. Before they know it, the place is on fire! Machi is rife with guilt that she can’t do it so Natsu tells her to not give up. In the end, they manage to have their perfectly cooked rice. It was boiled over fire by the way. When Yoshio comes by to tell Natsu and Machi that there will be a job ritual soon, the duo are in shock because nobody told them there would be one. Furthermore, granny is away at the hotspring and they have to prepare for one now in which nobody knows which ritual it is. As Yoshio goes to gather more information, the duo start preparing the hall. In the end, the ritual job is kikase. Natsu is supposed to give a speech to show that he is powered by the gods and channelling their thoughts. Natsu isn’t thrilled since Machi won’t have a part in this and is taking it easy. And what is he going to talk about? Improvise. So here is Natsu talking to the old people and trying to sound more ferocious and threatening as suggested but you know what? Screw all that. He talks about the good of technology and internet! You old folks should make good use of it! Sadly, Machi wasn’t paying a single attention and you wonder if the old people understood what he said. When Yoshio returns to his office, his chief shows a flyer about a contest for ideas to revitalize the village. Yoshio becomes passionate with some ideas that he believes this village lacks confidence, pride and presentation. The chief gives him handle this although he doesn’t have to be serious. Just enough to show the higher ups they are doing something and make them look good.

Episode 8
Machi makes cold water rice and she thinks she is the best there is till Natsu makes an Italian version of it using herbs she never even knew! Don’t be jealous. They let Yoshio taste to see who is better and although he claims both are good, Machi senses something suspicious when he points out hers is better. Could he have an ulterior motive? True enough, he is asking her to use her cooking skills for this village. He explains there is a part time job of cooking food samples that she could help out in promoting the village’s specialties. If learning experience and money didn’t interest her, then perhaps a trip to Sendai or Tokyo might. See the glitter in her eyes now. But since there is a weird outfit she needs to wear, she disagrees but Yoshio restrains her and tries to force her to sign an agreement! WTF?! Rape scene?! Natsu hints for Machi to take this job as she could go to the city. Though not impressed, she reluctantly agrees when the guys mention miko outfits are the trend now in Tokyo. But Machi soon realizes she has been deceived by Yoshio. It isn’t a supermarket in Tokyo or Sendai but a nearby neighbourhood. What’s more, he left her alone in search for other places. Even worse, a supermarket employee is breathing down her neck, staring at her to do her job! Trauma mode on! She feels like running home to her furry forest animals but remembers that there would be consequences worse than death. She tries to use her meek voice but it is so soft that nobody heard.

She is about to give up but Hibiki is here. She didn’t want to help out but seeing those tears that read please-help-me in her eyes, Hibiki tries to be the decoy to lead people to her stall. Unfortunately with Machi being so quiet, Hibiki further abuses her and the other customers think the delinquent is bullying her. After Hibiki leaves, Machi is on her own. She tries to summon her voice again but this time she sounds like she is in some sort of execution! Horror! A few people sample and buy her product but it is back to the usual. Going to give up again, Yoshio is back. Learning the trouble she went through, he puts on his smooth operator skills and before you know it, everyone floods the stall curious to try the food. Wow. In the end, Natsu is impressed she stood her ground and did her job that wasn’t suitable for her in the first place. He thought she would ditch it and come back home. But Machi is motivated by a few comments of customers and would try again. But Yoshio mentions there is no need to continue the job anymore since the part timer for it is back. As he praises her first job with a hitch, Machi can’t help sense he has an ulterior motive he is up to something else.

Episode 9
Hibiki didn’t want to join the villagers in a meeting to discuss the village’s revitalization. But why did she? Because Yoshio is there. But it isn’t much of a discussion since Yoshio decides to do a commercial and the villagers agree to it. He has hired Usui as the director. Isn’t he the local farmer who got hospitalized? Isn’t he still on IV drops? So they take ideas on what products to promote the village and cheeky Hibiki suggests Machi as the mascot girl. Oh dear. You’re going to hear complaints how she doesn’t want to do it. But with Usui giving the thumbs up, I guess that is settled. Machi argues Natsu should do it but he can’t because he is the cameraman and the secret the village cannot reveal. But with Yoshio begging this commercial success will heal Usui, well, little girl has no choice but to do it once. Then there is another problem: Sponsor funds. No money how to make commercial? Hibiki thinks the old lady Tokuyama who sells clocks and glasses may have a hidden stash. Yoshio goes to negotiate with her and she agrees on one condition. Our villagers are at the hotspring site for the shooting. Again, Machi complains she doesn’t want to wear this swimsuit. Can’t back out now, right? Then there is this horrible storyboard sketch from Usui on how the ad should go. Looks more like a horror comic… Yoshio tells Natsu to focus on the watch and glasses that Machi is wearing. Yoshio takes auditions from the villagers but eventually settles for Hibiki despite she didn’t even audition at all. The others include Etsuko and Shouta. Nepotism? Filming starts and even for a girl like Machi can tell, isn’t the stupid dance make her look silly? Not in Usui’s eyes! After many takes, the shoot is done but Usui feels it lacks some sort dynamic excitement. Etsuko suggests singing and has written a song for the village. That’s it! Silly but fun song. As time is running out, they have to practice fast and manage to get it done in a single take. Yoshio works hard into the night to edit the video to be submitted to the station tomorrow. It is a big deal for the villagers to gather and watch their 30 second commercial. As it plays, suddenly certain scenes are cut out and replaced with Tokuyama’s store. In the end, Hibiki is furious that this entire ad is just a commercial for that granny’s store. Well, Yoshio’s hands are tied as that was the condition. But the villagers are celebrating in happiness they get to be on TV. I guess all is not lost. However… Usui suddenly gets up and proclaims… This is not his work!!! Then he collapses. Call the ambulance! No signal…

Episode 10
Machi is standing in the rain listening to her music. Natsu thinks something wrong must have happened in school because she does this when it is so. Apparently everyone in school has that item: Handphone. She didn’t bother too much about it at first but it soon got to her. Yeah, she is the only one without such hip gadget. Please note there is still no reception here. Thus Machi bugs Natsu for a handphone and even explains the careful thoughts she has given for wanting to live in the city. As long as she is sheltered here, she will be naive. Natsu then picks out an old handphone model from the offerings. Wow! Also there is a tablet as it instantly connects to a video conferencing with Yoshio at his office. Please note the difference between signal reception and internet connection. Learning Machi wants a handphone, Yoshio quizzes her. You bet Machi is going to think he has some ulterior motive and wondering if this question is a trick question. Yeah, he wants her to appear as an idol in exchange. Machi claims this old model handphone can be hers but she doesn’t know anything about a SIM card so it is pretty much useless. Luckily Machi gets the answer right and the new handphone is all hers. Wow. Look at the dazzling light of technology! Hey, I thought she is bad with appliances with buttons? I guess this doesn’t count? Next day, Machi shows off her new handphone like a pro. Shouta and the rest are in awe. Yup, the star for the day.

There is always a reason why Machi refuses Yoshio’s request. It is sensible that this time Yoshio wants her to be an idol. You know what? This guy is so desperate for her to change into this idol outfit that he forcibly strips her! OMG! Rape scene?! Of course we understand he has pure intentions but he has got to stop treating Machi like his pet! Hibiki is sleeping there and wakes up. The first thing she sees this ‘rape scene’ is to beat the hell out of this guy. Yoshio suggests Hibiki to be her manager and Natsu agrees thinking she needs more interaction with girls. Machi only agrees because she uses her ‘ability’ to read between the lines this might get Hibiki closer to Yoshio. And so here Machi is on stage as an idol. Man, 3 extreme idol fans? Scary. She is so nervous and singing off key but you know the extreme fervour of such fans. Go Machi, go! While taking a break, several guys from the next village badmouth Kumade. Worse, Tamura the old hag warns of some beastly curse. It descends into some name calling, name shaming and insults flying. At the end of the day when they leave, the Kumade villagers aren’t sure if they have the motivation to revitalize the village. And the busy idol fans have to move on to the next event… Abandoned? But then a spark of inspiration hits Machi. She starts questioning her motive to become an idol.

Episode 11
Machi is doing her rituals properly and Natsu thinks that idol stint must have scared her. Personally he would prefer it this way. When Yoshio receives word that Machi has been selected for the idol finals in Sendai, you can bet the entire village is getting hyped up that Kumade is going to be famous. It would be if not for this little problem: Machi doesn’t want to become an idol! How determined is she? She tied herself to the pillar! Then she runs away and sits at the cliff to do some soul searching. Natsu of course plays the pivotal role in convincing Machi to think about this opportunity. He has her remember all those city missions that she cleared (those embarrassing failed stints, if you look at it another way) and if she clears this last mission, she will be acknowledged as a city girl. Yoshio is definitely dense but even so he too realizes (finally) that Machi doesn’t really want to do this sh*t. So when she returns, he apologizes like hell and would accept any punishment. But Machi has changed her mind and will participate. This is music to Yoshio’s ears as suddenly all that guilt flew out the window and he is back to his annoying self. After Hibiki beats him up, Machi’s idol training begins. Since when did she sign up for Hibiki’s Spartan training? Okay, the usual jogging for stamina training and speech practising on stage. But tongue twisters too? Come that day, the villagers see them off with high hopes. You can tell all those reactions of Machi as she sits a real train for the first time. Meanwhile Natsu prays at the shrine for the peace of this village and their success. But he soon realizes he is a selfish prick and wants Machi to stay in the village forever and hopes everything will break down and have her return here.

At Sendai, it is an eye opener for Machi. She is at the idol backstage and meets many idols. Although they are very nice and polite but in Machi’s eyes she sees them as evil competitors mocking her country bumpkin status! During the rehearsal, the other idols do well. Naturally to Machi this means the bar is set very high and pessimism starts to sink in. She can’t do it. She is so nervous that when it is her turn, she bloopers by banging into the microphone, mispronounce some words, trips and falls hard when she tries to go away and worse of all, that silly vision of evil idols berating her as a useless countryside girl. It’s all in your mind… Machi then runs off stage with Yoshio and Hibiki chasing close behind. Yoshio tries to coax her to return but perhaps he did the unthinkable as he touches her shoulder. Her trauma instantly lit up as she punches him in the gut! This must be a very painful one. As Hibiki tries to restrain her, the policeman mistakes Hibiki as a delinquent trying to harass Machi and arrests her. A classic case of judging a book by its cover? This allows Machi to run away as she keeps calling Natsu’s name for help.

Episode 12
Natsu feels bad for making such wish and wants to go rescind it. But he gets a call from Yoshio that Machi is missing! OMG! Did the bear nearly died of a heart attack? Natsu then races down the mountains faster than a horse to Matsu’s place. He wants him to drive him to Sendai now! Yoshio and Hibiki continue to look for Machi but to no avail. Natsu uses his GPS to trace Machi and it seems her last location is at some departmental store. The duo search there but still cannot find her. That is when Hibiki chides Yoshio for being too persistent in trying to revitalize the village at Machi’s expense. Is revitalizing the village that important? Yes it is. Etsuko made that miko outfit, Natsu helped with her performance, Matsu made that banner and Hibiki helped train her. Everyone in Kumade has high hopes and is rooting for her. Hibiki agrees to look for her but with a condition that it is Machi who decides on whether she wants to continue with it or not. After they leave, it seems Matsu was hiding nearby and conveniently heard everything. Machi gets a little confidence boost when a little girl thinking she is an idol gives her some encouragement. A big traffic jam into Sendai. No time to waste. Natsu gets out and starts running. Won’t anyone notice? Yeah, the bear is so fast that they didn’t even notice. Or is everyone on their handphones? Damn technology… By the time Natsu is already in town, he realizes he is not in any disguise. He fears everyone will panic. Fortunately today’s generation thinks he is such a realistic mascot that they want to take pictures with him! Yeah, so I guess he is not much of a threat.

It is Machi’s turn on stage but she is nowhere to be seen. Before the host can change the programme line-up, here comes Machi. She is nervous at first and as usual, her delusion has her see the people as evil assholes throwing stones at her! That is when Natsu gives out a loud scream. Machi hears it and the scenery changes back to her hometown. It boosts her confidence because she can continue her dance ritual like she always have. All in her mind? At the end of the beautiful dance, Machi continues to see the crowd as evil people throwing stones at her! Yup, I think it is all in the mind. Back home when Yoshio and Natsu pretend to ask how Sendai was, Machi cowers in fear and explains as it is as seen in her delusions! She has decided. She is not going to a high school in the city! Say what?! Is Natsu happy or sad? Wait. Is that a recording app? I guess this means Natsu is freaking happy about her decision that he hugs her. Bear hug? Both of them hug each other in relief like nobody’s business while blurting out how much they love each other. Eww… Weird scene. Felt like a little bestiality… The villagers celebrate this successful event and although Machi didn’t come close to winning, at least she got a special award trophy. Yoshio continues to work hard to promote Kumade. Lastly, Natsu and Machi are living in the comfort of their shrine and anything they want from the city, they can just order it via internet shopping. All hail the internet!

Taking place during Natsu and Machi’s younger days especially that hibernation incident. When the snow falls for the first time this year, it is time for Natsu’s hibernation. As it came 2 weeks earlier, the elders still have no choice but to do a traditional farewell ceremony for Natsu’s hibernation considering last year’s fiasco whereby Machi refused to be parted from him. Yoshio is also drafted to help out for the first time. He in turn drags Hibiki into it since she is here (to return his manga). Machi and Natsu talk about the dreaded separation again. They don’t want to be apart. Machi suggests hibernating with him but that’s not possible because it is cold around. She’ll freeze to death. To make him stay away, Machi puts clothespin all over his body, glues his eyes open and forces him to drink coffee! Torture?! Natsu can’t stand this and breaks out. Naturally they get into an argument and it ends with Machi running away. Then Yoshio comes in to tell him that they are holding the ceremony tomorrow night after Machi falls asleep so she won’t feel so sad. That night, Machi apologizes for today and sleeps with Natsu. Next morning she wakes up early to cook something before spending the entire day with Natsu. Night falls and after Machi falls asleep, Natsu goes with the villagers for the ceremony. But then Machi wakes up and upon realizing Natsu is gone, she rushes out while taking her bento. Hibiki tries to stop her but Machi bit her finger! The cold slows down Machi till she eventually collapses. Natsu thought he heard Machi’s cry and rushes back. He finds Machi fallen on the snow. She gives him the bento she made so he won’t get hungry when he hibernates. Natsu is touched but carries her all the way back seeing her body is getting colder. Ever since that incident, Natsu ditches hibernation and the ceremony scrapped. It sure brings back memories for Natsu remembering this. After all, bears in zoos don’t hibernate. The biggest slap in the face is that Machi doesn’t remember a single shred of it.

This takes place after Machi’s idol contest in the city. A staff thinks Natsu is a real mascot and brings him to a nearby backstage because this is where the local mascot contest is. Natsu doesn’t think this is a good idea since he isn’t a real mascot to begin with but Yoshio believes this is a good chance to increase the village’s reputation. Naturally the organizer don’t see his name on the list. But she thinks they omitted it and puts his name as the last entry. Don’t you dare pin that number on his skin… It’s his real skin! During the rehearsal, Natsu is nervous, bumps his snout on the microphone and trips when it is over! Déjà vu? Wow. He really mirrors Machi. At the backstage, Natsu has doubts about continuing this but Yoshio has a way to make him stand out and coaches him on it. So when Natsu goes out on stage, he does his cute dance to a lame tune sung by Yoshio in the background. The crowd loves how cute he is! It is no wonder he won first place. So back at the village everyone celebrates the double achievement. They think Natsu is God and thus that’s why he won first place. The TV replays the contest with Natsu giving his final words: “Mokyuu”. WTF?! I don’t know. It was Yoshio’s idea. But Machi is shocked to hear that Natsu’s victory allows him to advance to the national level of the mascot contest to be held in Tokyo. Tokyo?! This bear is going to Tokyo?! Wait a second there… Natsu tries to change the subject and goes to bring some drinks. When he returns, he sees Machi already prepared her bags and stuffs. She’s going to Tokyo too.

For Bear-tter Or Worse, Just Bear With It
Aww… And they lived happily together. Big bear and little girl. Hugging and cuddling each other till the ends of days. The end. I guess that beats living the stressful life in the city, huh? Well, not too sure if Machi is giving up her high school in the city dream forever because you know, it could be just the spur of the moment that she decided not to go back to that scary place. It could all change again in the future. But we leave that for another time. If they make another sequel, that is. This entire series is just about a country bumpkin girl testing waters before making her permanent move to the city and in the end finds that it isn’t really one that suits her. It is a good thing she went through all that because had she instantly hoped on board, it will be the point of no return and the start of a tragic tale, a bad end. Thank goodness that never happened as long as Natsu is looking over her.

If you look at the series’ comical points, they aren’t really that over the top and during moments without any funny stuffs, it can get a little boring and slow. So if you are looking for really insane slapstick comedy like Teekyuu or those that parody the hell out of everything such as Gintama, you’d find that this series is just a pale comparison. But sometimes you do not need to have all those exaggerated jokes just to make things funny. This series has its jokes in its own pace and with the slow and sleepy stride of this village, it is only befitting that the funny scenes are paced so.

Although the characters in this series are small, you will still find something to love about them even though some are just annoying. You can’t hate them at all. Because of the focus on a handful of these main characters it is one reason why the series works as you can see the dynamism and interaction between them. Especially the tag team duo of Machi and Natsu. It already looks like an odd pairing from the start but with Machi’s antics, lack of confidence, anxiety and Natsu somehow has to deal with it all and even play the role of a motivator sometimes, it never gets tired seeing how the two interact. Therefore in place of the simple and sometimes silly general plot, the characters do a reasonable job in distracting you from the story about a girl who wants to go to the city but has to undergo trials to prepare for it but fails miserably as it only serves to induce her trauma. Yeah…

Machi is an interesting and lovable girl. She is shy, naïve and insecure in many ways that makes you think that she isn’t cut out for the city life at all. True. The peaceful and sheltered life in the remote mountains may have seemingly given her a wrong idea that she can take on the city. You know, girls and kids in general her age always think they know and can do everything, right? If she were to go to a high school in a city right now, she would quickly end up being a bully victim. As seen throughout the series, many of the attempts can be considered as big fails and even end up as an internet memes. This is where the fun and funny moments come about as Machi is forced to quickly reconcile the vast difference of reality and her expectations. Usually she ends up getting overwhelmed and scared and tries to run away from it all. She wants to go home. Nothing safe and sound like home where everything is familiar, eh? Despite all the ‘hardships’, tears and embarrassing moments she has faced, well, isn’t it a good thing that she barely pulls through all of them? Try harder again next time? Though, it felt like she did mature a bit in the end, but eventually she returned to being the timid Machi that we all knew from the beginning. I guess some things never change.

Natsu as Machi’s guardian and companion is a much cooler and mature character albeit he too is not perfect and has his shortcomings. The big irony is that he is more knowledgeable about the outside world and even technology compared to Machi and perhaps the other villagers. A bear whose intelligence and high-tech skills far exceed human capabilities? Well, he isn’t a god for nothing. Because when you have a bear that talks, it is already a sign of intelligent advanced lifeform. At least for this anime. It is safe to say that Natsu has been Machi’s saviour many times because who would Machi find solace whenever she faces her toughest ordeals yet? Not too sure about the past where Machi seems more reliable and cooler when Natsu was a cub. Or was it just a time of innocence and then as she grows up, life gets to her despite living in the mountains and thus her current behaviour. All I can say is that Natsu has been there for Machi, her ups and downs so I can’t imagine the duo being separated for long periods of time. That is why you can’t blame Natsu for being against Machi to live in the city. He knows she cannot defend herself and thus yet another irony of a bear protecting a girl from the dark side of human nature. Wow. This series sure has such subtle themes. Even better for him when Machi has abandoned her dream so he can be rest assured that Machi will stay put. Uh huh. It’s like this saying, never seen a ghost, not afraid of the dark. Yup, that sums up Machi’s ambitions in the end.

Yoshio could be the weirdest and most dense character in the series. He is hard to hate even though his annoyance makes you feel like you want to punch him in the gut. His intentions are always good and for the wellbeing of Kumade. However his approaches are the ones that are questionable. It is like he is in a world of his own. This guy is so dense that he couldn’t take a hint when others especially Machi vehemently disagrees to do something. You know, he thinks that she is just nervous and needs a little push and convincing to get something done. I suppose he can’t tell when a girl is scared and when she says she doesn’t want to do it, she really doesn’t want to do it.

Topping the list of him making things worse is his seemingly sexual harassment. Some may not be fond of such scenes that make it look like pedo and child sexualisation. You have noticed a few times that this guy would boldly undress Machi like as though she is his plaything (can you call Machi in her undies as fanservice?). Despite not having that perverted look, that dense poker face look is annoying enough. Furthermore, when Yoshio wants to make a point or calm one down, he tries to touch you! No wonder our little girl in the first episode was screaming sexual harassment and not to touch her! It is more evident that an office colleague of his is also afraid of his ‘sexual harassments’. If this guy was to live in the city, you can bet that he will be arrested and thrown into the slammer in no time and even have his name recorded as a registered molester. Therefore with poor Machi being weak and unable to fight back or get away in time like those other ladies, she is often more violated and thus adding to her list of never ending traumas and miseries. That is why from time to time this guy needs to have a good punch in the gut. Uh huh. Nice punching bag.

Last but not least of the main characters, Hibiki isn’t a bad person per se and like how Yoshio would be misunderstood as some sort of pervert in the city, the same misconception can be said for Hibiki as one would easily classify her as a typical delinquent. The mind boggling thing here is how she got her delinquent attitude. Unless she was born this way. But I am assuming that she doesn’t live in the big city assuming it takes hours to travel and it won’t be feasible for her to travel to Kumade every day unless you’re telling me the power of love makes her do so. And since there are no other delinquents in Kumade that I could see of, the only logical explanation why she is acting like a tough aggressive chick is to hide her feelings for Yoshio. Yeah, love is weird. But considering how dense Yoshio is, even if she acts all feminine and drop hints before his eyes, he still won’t catch it all. So sad to know that his first love will always be Kumade. Maybe it is because of this stress that Yoshio doesn’t realize her feelings that she sometimes take out her frustrations on poor Machi. Thus that eternal bad mood look.

The other villagers are rather okay too like the dreamy Etsuko and the casual laidback and always laughing Matsu. I think Kumade has only 3 children who are younger than Machi (among them are Kaori and Shouta). It makes me wonder if they are the only kids in school because you never see other children around. Could their school also be single class despite it looks like it has multi storeys and classrooms. Besides, I don’t see any other students there. Besides, I only see Yoshio and Hibiki as young adults as the rest are elderly men or senior citizens who usually plough the paddy fields.

An interesting and amusing segment is one before the next episode preview called the Totally Cosy Yonkoma Theatre Kumamiko-chan. In a yonkoma style animation, I mostly notice that it is either about eating or food. For some reasons, Machi is reduced into some character who is just munching away or bugging Natsu for some food because she is hungry. So she can’t even feed herself? Well, the most important thing is to enjoy their meal.

Art and drawing are pretty decent. They may look simple but only it is because the setting is in the remote mountainous village. Hence sometimes the background sceneries of the forests and greeneries may look a bit like water colour painting. But it won’t stand out and be jarring since the characters are vividly animated although their designs are mostly simple. I suppose Machi is the only one having the most ‘complicated’ design because of her miko priestess outfit that has a few Ainu motifs. This series is a joint production of 2 studios. The relatively new EMT2 whose only works so far consists of Ame-iro Cocoa and Fudanshi Koukou Seikatsu and the relatively experienced Kinema Citrus who brought us Barakamon, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Black Bullet, Yuyushiki and Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka S2.

At first I was in a dilemma wondering if the voice behind Machi was Kana Asumi but it isn’t. Or could it be Yukari Tamura? Not really either. At some points she does sound close to either. Turns out to be Natsumi Hioka (Kotetsu Katsura of Witch Craft Works) behind Machi’s voice. She did a good job in making sound cute and insecure all at the same time. Even if Machi is such a flawful girl, that cute and perfect voice of hers makes you want to pity and root for her even more. If you are familiar with Bleach’s Sado, not to say that he totally sounds like that character here, but you can identify Hiroki Yasumoto as Natsu thanks to his low voice. He is quite cool playing this bear character. Eri Kitamura is identifiable as Hibiki since she sounds like one of those delinquent or high and mighty roles she sometimes play like Ganessa in Freezing, Ami in Toradora and Odagiri of Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches. Kazuyuki Okitsu voices Yoshio who did Nagare in K and Andre in Prison School.

One of the most wonderful things of this series is the very enjoyable, addictive and highly catchy ending theme. Kumamiko Dancing by the duet of Natsumi Hioka and Hiroki Yasumoto is the song that takes the cake. It could be the catchiest anime song that I have heard in recent seasons. I can’t think of what genre this song falls into at this point but what makes it so good and hip are the perfect combination of Hiroki Yasumoto’s low (sexy) voice, Natsumi Hioka’s high pitch (cute) voice, the appealing drum beats as well as the background vocals that altogether blend in seamlessly with the great tune of the happy song. I’m not sure if I can consider this song similar to those black gospel choirs. With cute funny lyrics (“No reception, no signal but we have Wifi”, “The convenience store is not that convenient”) and the very cute isometric gameplay-like visuals, I believe it is one of those songs that I will never tire to hear for many years to come. This is really good. Not to say that the opening theme Datte Gyutte Shite by Maki Hanatani is bad. It is also cute and lively in its own rights but after hearing the awesome ending piece, it pales in comparison.

Overall, a nice and enjoyable light hearted comedy series if you have had too many comedy settings based in high schools, clubs and the slums and want something different for a change. If you can get past those seemingly pedo jokes and ‘child abuse’ moments, it is a nice slice of life series for everyone. It goes to show that in the countryside there are as many funny and amusing matters to go around and not necessarily making living in the outskirts as boring nature and backwater stuff. Just like Non Non Biyori but even cooler because you have got a talking bear! Remember, laughter is the best medicine. Natsu may not be as cute as his other more popular bear counterparts like Care Bears and Paddington Bear or even Winnie the Pooh and Yogi Bear. But Natsu shows that he can look and act (mostly) like a bear and still have a human heart and soul. Doesn’t that want to make you move out of the city and live with him in the mountains?

If you can’t get enough of your low cost idols, whoops, I mean local idols, you will be glad to know that there are a couple more episodes to satiate your appetite, Futsuu No Joshikousei Ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita OVA. Yeah, because super large and famous groups like AKB48 (and all their other moniker spin-offs) and those super sexy K-pop girl groups are just so far out of reach and overwhelming for insignificant fans for us to keep up. So what a better way to continue giving our appreciation to small local units with the same big love we always have for them in the same way other fanatics and hardcores and diehards would for their gigantic untouchable angels.

Episode 14
Nagarekawa Girls are holing a Christmas fair at a local shopping centre. The crowd just loves teasing Nanako… At the backstage, Nanako is surprised that everyone holds a birthday surprise for Yukari. Isn’t her birthday on the day after tomorrow on Christmas? Yes but the staffs can only meet her after Christmas. So on Christmas Eve Nanako tries to go buy a present for Yukari but couldn’t decide on any. She sees Yukari shopping there with her friend and can’t help but spy on them. Afterwards Nanako meets up with her friends for their own Christmas Eve party. They exchange presents and recount stories how they first met in school and became friends. Meanwhile Yukari is having a high class Christmas Eve party with her family and other clients while Mirai joins Yui at her home. Before midnight, Nanako plans to surprise Yukari by dropping by in a Santarina outfit. But bad luck ensues. Yukari didn’t answer her door, Nanako realizes she left her handphone at her friend’s place and not to mention she brought the wrong present! Oh, she finally realizes that Santarina outfit is too thin and since it is snowing, it’s just freaking chilly. Hey, at least she wasn’t stopped by any policeman on patrol thinking she might be some sort of hentai weirdo. Slipping and landing on her butt ends her misery because Yukari is seen coming back. She ushers her into her apartment and after Nanako tells her happy birthday, she breaks down in happiness. They have their own little party and since it is late, Nanako stays for the night. Sorry people, no tantalizing yuri scenes. Next morning, Nanako’s friends along with Mirai and Yui arrive at Yukari’s place to celebrate her birthday. Another round of partying. I hope they won’t get fat at this rate. They watch the beautiful snow covering the town during sunset and renew their motivation to do better and more events and shoots for the coming year. Nanako then realizes she forgot to call her mom that she would be staying here. Don’t worry. Yukari already did that last night. Nanako is left to ponder why Yukari is on good terms with her mom. And she won’t tell.

Episode 15
Nanako is impressed the PV Awa Awa Girls made on TV. But she doesn’t believe Nagarekawa Girls will ever get to do one. You know how irony works, right? Because suddenly she gets a message from her uncle that they’re going to do a PV. Damn. The rest of the girls also get the message and since they have no idea how to do a PV, they decide to call Awa Awa Girls and get some hints. Basically, lots of hard work and difficult stuffs but the rewards at the end are satisfying. Well, don’t freak out so much, Nanako. No job is worth doing if you don’t put in the effort. So when they get their briefing from Saori, they realize all they have to do is wear their uniform and go around shooting video clips of the town. That doesn’t sound so PV. Then uncle explains they are shooting more of a PR video that will shoot gourmet spots that will sell the town. So apparently typed wrongly PR for PV? Are we supposed to be disappointed or relief? So as they go about their usual shooting, uncle gets this feeling that they are stiff and something is missing although the girls have been doing their usual. Guess what? He lets them think on their own and come up with ideas! WTF?! How irresponsible can he get?! Don’t blame them if it comes out something crappy. Like Yukari’s idea of focusing on Nanako’s cuteness. Nothing about Nagarekawa. Or like Nanako’s idea of being saved from drowning, eating cake and remembering a certain place in Nagarekawa. That would only make people remember about the girls and not the town. Tough, right? A bunch of kids see Nagarekawa Girls filming and interact with them about their shooting. Then they realize Nagarekawa Girls interacting with its citizens is the charm. So they go around shooting at various local tourist spots before editing the final cut. On the day their video is supposed to be released, turns out it will be simulcast worldwide. It turns out to be a big music video. Well, everyone we see is singing the theme song. So part MTV, part documentary, part trailer and part advertising. Yeah, it feels like a mix of all that. And this cheesy tagline at the end: Good town, good people, Nagarekawa! Ugh… Yukari and Nanako wonder the impact of their worldwide broadcast. You know it is successful when a couple of foreigners come to town and instantly recognize them. Welcome to Nagarekawa! Wow. Absolutely flawless English.

They Really Tried To Keep Up The Hype
Well, if you are really a fan of the series and Nagarekawa Girls, only you can appreciate this couple of episodes. Otherwise if you are like me, there is nothing really special except to see Nagarekawa Girls going about their usual routine but in a different theme. A Christmas and PV setting this time. It offers nothing new so if you are really expecting something different, prepare to be disappointed. It’s basically almost the same formula. You get your nearly intimate Yukari x Nanako scene in the first OVA and with the second one it is to remind us this is what they’ve been doing in the TV series. And Nanako still keeps mispronouncing her own name on stage due to her nervousness and everyone is like laughing about it because it has become a staple running joke. Overall the OVAs feel like an extension to the TV series just that these episodes are set almost a year apart from each other. Yeah, they’re really trying to keep the interest alive, huh?

Sure, I can consider this series to be one of those calming and soothing animes without all that violence and sex or other controversial stuffs that a majority of them are these days. However there was nothing really that special to tug my heart that would make me consider so. Heck, it even took me a while after finishing watching the OVAs to make me realize if I should consider this as the same level like Non Non Biyori, Tamayura and more recently Flying Witch. You see, the latter duo might be as boring as f*ck too when you look on a general level. But at least there was something underneath all that boringness that appealed to me. Non Non Biyori had the countryside simplicity and a certain eccentric loli. Tamayura had splendid sceneries. Flying Witch, uhm, light hearted magic? But as far as Locodol is concerned, nothing of that sort tugs my heart. I’m sorry to say this but they still haven’t converted me into a fan of theirs as I find them unexciting and bland. Yeah, I’m just watching for nostalgia’s sake.

So what is only new is the opening theme, Rainbow Baton by Nagarekawa Girls (but of course) as well as the first ending theme, Seinau Yoru Ni and the second ending theme, Seishun Say Cheese. Both are sung by the main quartet girls. They’re pretty decent as an anime pop but nothing that attracts me. So while these OVAs aren’t that bad and they are one of the few safest animes to watch, it all boils down to if you want to see a bunch of cute girls promoting their town with an equally cute (or is it creepy) humanoid fish character. Well, there is one way they could evoke my interests again and by 100%. Just dress up as maids! And you can bet they’ll have all my attention in the world. They don’t really need to try that hard then.

Warning. This anime contains lewdness and dirty jokes bad enough to make you horny. If you can’t stomach all that or fear you will fall into a life of depravity, walk away now while you still can. Otherwise if you are a pervert just like everyone else, stay tuned and be charmed of all the fun and exciting obscenity we will get from Shimoneta To Iu Gainen Ga Sonzai Shinai Taikutsu Na Sekai! What? That name too long for you to pronounce like as though it is a dirty word? Yeah… Ah yes. How can you make a dirty anime without resorting to over the top cliché fanservice and bordering hentai? This series is your answer. Imagine a nation so clean and pure that no obscene things or acts are allowed. I know. Horror! It is like a horror version to a pervy. Where would all the fun and excitement be when we have society that doesn’t or rather in this case not allowed to spew dirty words, see a bit of Playboy or read your BL manga, what more play an eroge. Freaking boring world, right? Can you imagine the internet free of porn?! What?! No porn on the internet ever?! IT IS INSANE! UNTHINKABLE!!! That is why we have naughty terrorists to break this strict uptight mindset from seemingly pure and upright authorities to open the people’s eyes to the exhilaration of sex and dirty jokes! Oh, come free our restricted minds… And libido!

Episode 1
A group of guys are illegal looking at smut. They are careless to say the forbidden words as the alarm goes off and a group of SWAT people as well as the PMC squad quickly barge in to apprehend them and burn all the porn! As narrated, it has been 10 years since Japan eradicated porn and has become the most pristine public morals in the world. Under the Public Morals and Education Act, people are made to lead wholesome lives as people are made to wear the Peace Maker (PM) terminals around their neck that prevents them from saying indecent words. Tanukichi Okuma is on his way to school when he catches a glimpse of a woman accusing this gorilla guy of molesting her. Tanukichi takes the lady off the train and he finds out she was trying to make a fast buck with the accusation. Not pleased, she then reports Tanukichi of trying to harass her. He is surrounded by the PMC squad when this ‘terrorist’, Blue Tundra starts spouting indecent words and scatters sexy female pictures. Either they run from hearing the indecency or they pick up and admire the picture. She gives the PMC squad the runabout to let Tanukichi escape. He is able to make it to Tokioka Academy, supposedly the most virtuous school in Japan because of his admiration for Anna Nishikinomiya who is the school’s student council president. While admiring a video of her speech, Hyouka Fuwa pops up to ask him about how babies are made! She thinks he knows the answer because he came from a school with the most awful moral ranking. I’m sure he could give her a textbook answer but she believes the truth is something deeper. No pun intended.

He is taken away by Ayame Kajou, the student council vice president to see Anna (that gorilla guy turns out to be the secretary-treasurer, Raiki Gouriki). She offers him to join the student council body to protect the school’s morality. Of course he jumps in but why him? As he is not so morally uptight, it makes him the perfect candidate. As we all know, Blue Tundra is currently running amok with her perverted terrorism. Thing is, they believe she is a student in their academy! The reason they are slow in responding is because they lack any knowledge about perversion. After Tanukichi pledges his loyalty to follow her path, Ayame takes him away to her cafe. She lets loose her hair and glasses and reveals a very much different character. Tanukichi instantly recognizes her when she puts panties on her face. She is Blue Tundra! He wants to report her but she won’t let him. She knows he is the son of that naughty terrorist, Zenjuurou but Tanukichi decides to leave that dirty life after he met Anna. Ayame kidnaps him and wants him to join her organization, SOX. She is able to say indecent words without raising any alarm because of this handphone device that allows her to do so for 3 minutes daily. It was created by her father, Masashi Endou, a politician who was framed for sexually harassing a high school girl. But she knows it was all a lie to frame him as he was one of those who opposed the act. Why? Because daddy is into MILFs!!! If Tanukichi won’t join her, she can make a report that will arrest him for indecency. He can’t take her down with him because she is best friends with Anna and you know what will happen to her reputation if her cover is blown, right?

Next day, Tanukichi gets kidnapped by Fuwa in her lab. She shows him her specimen of flies making out and asking him questions about it. He manages to escape. Though, he hears how misinformed the school is when it comes to the reproduction system. Yeah, it is so silly that it makes you wonder if Japan is that dumb. Ayame tells him this is the morality the school is proud of. She laments no matter the indecent pictures she circulates, they continue to stay misinformed. Tanukichi asks about seeking Fuwa’s help but refuses to seek cooperation from that crazy woman. When Tanukichi mentions about that fly sex, she gets an idea. During the general assembly, Blue Tundra strikes. Students pick up sex female pictures. They are confused. Tanukichi acts as Blue Tundra as diversion to draw the student council out. That is when Ayame shows footage of flies having sex while making erotic sex sounds over the microphone! The students give in to their natural instinct and feel the hot sensation burning inside. Did they all faint from the passion? Tanukichi can’t believe he is doing something to deceive the girl he admires but can’t help it feels good too.

Episode 2
Ayame is happy with the results of the flies ‘combining’ movie although Tanukichi is not too pleased especially Ayame is spewing lots of indecent words. It is a different for Anna and Gouriki. They lament their failure and all Tanukichi can do is keep quiet and feel guilty about it. Gouriki is not pleased with Tanukichi as the son of that terrorist. Anna reveals Gouriki wanted to gather more info on him and reveal his true colours but instead get caught up in that train situation. Tanukichi admits he is Zenjuurou’s son and naturally that guy being a guy is dirty minded. He is one of those against the act. After he was arrested, Tanukichi garnered an infamous reputation as his son and was ostracized. He began to hate everything and his father. But it was at a day-care where he met Anna. Only she accepted him for who he was and that is why he vowed to become a person with a heart as pure as hers. Despite the touching story, SOX operations will still continue. Ayame has Tanukichi head to a secret location in the mountains to collect hidden porn magazines. A narration tells us how Japan burnt all print media on porn as well as the government took successful measure to even block porn on all digital media. Wow. This is much worse than the Great Firewall of China. Ayame’s plan is to place such raunchy pictures from the magazines at strategic places but it made no impact. Further explanation reveals that the PM can track your hand motions. So it means if you are drawing porn and even fapping, the alert will sound! OMG! So freaking hi-tech?! Indeed obscenity is worse than murder. To Tanukichi’s dismay, he spots a raunchy picture in Anna’s office! She thought it was just a harmless picture of a girl licking a mushroom between her boobs! This is how misguided the school is. Once Tanukichi tells what it really is, the picture is immediately burnt. Anna notices Ayame and Tanukichi quite close and teases Ayame. Ayame didn’t like it and wants to tie her up but Gouriki restrains her. Anna thanks Tanukichi that ever since he joined the body, the student council has become a lot cheerful.

Anna’s words give Tanukichi great motivation to stop his foolishness. But Ayame warns him about the passing of another law called H Prohibition Act by Anna’s mom, Sophia. This law mandates that every PM wearer is under full surveillance and recorded. As this will also stop the spread of information on how reproduction works, Ayame fears the next generation will be full of airheads not knowing what real reproduction is about. Well, I think it’s already here. So Ayame plans her next SOX operation of disseminating sex education via health examination. First, Ayame writes a fake note from Blue Tundra to Anna and Gouriki that she will be striking and stealing urine samples. After taking the bait, Tanukichi disguised as Blue Tundra and in that fake falsetto is tasked in teaching a group of students about sexual reproduction via putting up a fake eye examination. He has boys and girls take turns to spell out the answers to the sexual reproductive organs by reading the words he points out on a board. A clever move seeing in this way the PM cannot pick up indecent words of the individual. But that is short-lived since Anna and Gouriki found out about this diversion and returned. Tanukichi makes a run and now knows what Ayame meant when Anna won’t give up when she is serious. She is right hot on his heels. Trapped and hiding at the rooftop, Ayame saves Tanukichi as she turns up as the real Blue Tundra on the opposite building and has seemingly stolen the loot. After they go off to chase her, Tanukichi heaves a sigh of relief and takes off his disguise. Unknowingly somebody saw this…

Episode 3
Anna discuses about the fake urine samples and Blue Tundra’s motive has got something to do with the eye examination chart. Even more baffling when the students were questioned, they said this word “Vagin” (Tanukichi couldn’t finish his lesson when he was forced to flee). During the assembly to award Otome Saotome for a winning entry painting, she tears up the certificate in front of everyone! As Fuwa bugs Tanukichi about those urine samples as reproduction potentials, he is put on a leash and taken away by Saotome. She is going to make him her pet and he will do everything she says or she will blow his cover as Blue Tundra. She saw it… Ayame accidentally enters the room and sees this dominatrix play and runs away screaming. Saotome claims Ayame is her rival in love and needs his help to woo the affections of her beloved. Before she could finish, she is taken away by Gouriki. Later Ayame talks to Tanukichi that she has her eye on Saotome for a while. Her great artistic skills means she is a good porn illustrator and wants Tanukichi to teach her about smut and then get her join SOX. In exchange, Ayame promises to work some magic for him and Anna. He assures his intentions with Anna are pure but Ayame just keep inserting dirty jokes. Ayame then reveals something has been bugging Anna lately. She is being stalked. Her locker is full of creepy letters and pictures. But Ayame wants him to concentrate of Saotome while she handles Anna’s case. Tanukichi thought Ayame was just pretending to be Anna’s best friend and now believes so. Ayame recounts how Anna was there when Ayame was seething she couldn’t talk dirty anymore. It is thanks to Anna that Ayame is able to barely fit into society today. Unfortunately she didn’t learn a thing good from her since her mind is still in the perverted gutter.

Tanukichi talks to Saotome about trying to help her get closer to her love. Saotome suggests saying their love interests at the same time. Tanukichi is distracted by a message so Saotome thought she cheated on him because she said aloud Anna is her love! So she is the stalker?! She threatens to report him so Tanukichi has to reply fast. He can’t say Anna’s name or it will make things more complicated. Instead, he says Ayame’s name. Saotome is happy and will also help him in his love. Everyone will be happy in the end. Considering she knows his identity, why is she helping an enemy of Anna? She notices each time Anna is chasing down Blue Tundra, her face looks happy. It is like they’re playing a game. Anna is jumpy and Gouriki wants to blame Tanukichi as the culprit although Anna believes he would not do such a thing. Later Ayame tells Tanukichi that Gouriki likes Anna, the reason he is protective of her. Ayame tells her plan to catch the stalker. She will cross-dressed as a boy and pretend to date Anna to lure the stalker out. Gouriki would like to volunteer but his size would only scare away the stalker. Tanukichi tells Saotome about this and she too has a plan. Because she will make him dress up as a girl and be the stalker! Sh*t just hit the fan, right? At the park as the duo hide behind the bushes to spy on Anna and Ayame, suddenly Saotome becomes hot in passion. She cannot stop drawing Anna. Looks good. Nothing wrong with it. But why is she not happy? She reveals she has never used anybody as her art model. Everything comes from her imagination. When she first saw Anna, she wanted to capture her on her canvas but always felt something was missing. She thought if she became romantically involved, she would find the answer. She knows her pathetic attempt is a nuisance but she is nothing without her art. Gouriki spots them and can’t believe Tanukichi as a girl. Then the real stalker pops up to attack Ayame. Easily taken care of. But there are more jealous chubby stalkers waiting to unleash their fury! Tanukichi goes into action and in all that helter-skelter, he takes a blow to the head. He falls on top of Anna and their lips met. Tanukichi is embarrassed but collapses from the head wound. Meanwhile Anna is in a daze. This feeling burning inside her… She likes it!

Episode 4
Tanukichi recuperates in hospital as Fuwa sneaks in to bug him from what I understand is about gay sex! Because Gouriki is now closer to Tanukichi to show his appreciation for that stalker incident. Tanukichi laments that Anna has not visited him and believes she is mad over that accidental kiss. Fuwa then explains how Anna has increased her operations in eradicating obscenities at Tokioka like sudden spot checks without warning. Maybe she is mad. Ayame updates Tanukichi that she is teaching Saotome porn and is proceeding well. Although she is hooked, it is not enough for her and she wants someone to act it out for her! When Tanukichi talks to Saotome, she is partly responsible for keeping Anna away because she became her model. However she noticed that Anna had this never-seen-before expression. Yup, she’s definitely mad. Even when Tanukichi returns, Anna avoids him and ironically it is Gouriki who pays attention. Later Tanukichi meets up with Ayame and Saotome for another erotic operation. She believes there is a very huge hidden stash of hardcore porn not found by the PMC squad. Yatsugamori Forest is a private property owned by the late erotica author, Danroku Onigashira. His grandson, Keisuke is now following his footsteps since it is lately discovered grandpa left a will containing this porn stash to him. However info was leaked and the PMC squad wanted to raid his place. He managed to give an excuse to buy time but in 3 weeks, the raid will begin. Until then, surveillance around Yatsugamori is tight. Because SOX lacks the manpower and definitely will be caught if tried to sneak in, what if a group of virgins unknowingly wander into the place and found the porn stash? That’s right. Ayame plans to let the innocent students of Tokioka find the stash for them.

Tanukichi is supposed to hide information about Yatsugamori all over Tokioka but he couldn’t. Apparently he has his own stalker leaving stash of letters and get this, drool! Yikes! Sophia is at Tokioka to advocate the H Prohibition Act. Its highlight includes a new PM device which is definitely a chastity belt. To hasten the passing of the bill, she wants all students to sign and support it this Sunday at 10am. This is bad news to Ayame since that time is when the grace period for Yatsugamori expires. Ayame needs to quickly increase the students’ curiosity towards porn or else this mission would fail so she has Saotome live in Tanukichi’s closet to observe his dirty habits and awaken her inner porn illustrator. Will he? Deep in the night, Tanukichi hears someone coming in. Suddenly he is tied up! That voice… ANNA?! So she is the stalker? Using her panties as his blindfold, she proceeds to strip naked as she plays out her kinky sex fetish over his body! YEOW!!! She gets even more passionate upon knowing about his manhood. Ayame walks in to see this shocking development. Anna didn’t freak out. She is feeling both blissful and shameful as she makes her cool exit. Saotome saw it all and is inspired to draw porn. If she can’t use her hands, she’ll use her mouth! Ironically, Ayame who always make dirty jokes is shocked at the sight of Tanukichi’s manhood. First time seeing the real deal? Anna walks home blissfully, leaving behind a trail of drool… Scary… When she reaches home, she is confronted by Fuwa who wants answers about her extreme cleansing because it seems her lab is cleansed out too. Anna believes strengthening her enforcement will make her love grow stronger. The idea of being the best in everything will have someone notice her and thus somebody will love her. So Fuwa’s flies were sacrificed for her selfish desires? How is that appropriate conduct as she mentioned? Repressing obscenities is appropriate by default. And as they say true love prevails, all actions born from love are fair and just. Therefore the more she preaches this, the more he will love her. I thought she was just an awakened pervert but she’s really crazy…

Episode 5
Tanukichi is in denial and refuses to acknowledge about Anna last night. But Saotome has proof. Here’s her panties she left behind! Living nightmare! He thinks Anna acting normal towards him means she too thinks it is a dream. But when he realizes the cookies she made for him include her nectar of love (the ‘drool’ that comes out from her vagina!!!!!!!!!), that is where it goes downhill. Anna even becomes a yandere, holding a pair of scissors to Ayame’s neck, thinking she is quite close to Tanukichi and why was she there at his place last night? Asking for her advice? Yeah, we’ll go with that. Wow. This girl is scary! For the next few days, Anna becomes Tanukichi’s stalker. She chases him everywhere just to let him taste her love nectar! And when he gives her the slip by going through her legs, another strange sensation as she wants to taste his nectar of love!!! The ‘love’ chase continues… At this rate, the Yatsugamori plan is doomed to fail. Even more so when Sophia and the PMC squad have discovered all the hidden maps and erotic pictures in school. Ayame won’t lose so she and Tanukichi head there themselves. She is going to fight alone but then to their surprise, the entire Tokioka students are here. How? They are being led by Fuwa who has distributed those pictures to them. This means there is nobody at school to sign the petition. When being stopped by the PMC squad at Yatsugamori, Fuwa signals the girls for their next plan. They pleas to the PMC squad that they are on their side to capture the pervy boys. The boys feel betrayed as the PMC squad try to chase and arrest them. But their sacrifice won’t be in vain because it is just a distraction so the girls could go look for the hidden stash. This motivates Ayame to do her part as she dresses up as Blue Tundra. However Anna is here and she is hell bent in capturing Blue Tundra so that Tanukichi will love her more. Ayame suggests the split up since Anna is after her. Also, she feels bad that she forced him into SOX.

Tanukichi is pushed off a cliff as he rolls into a cave. This is where all the hidden hardcore porn is stashed. Hearing Blue Tundra’s scream, Tanukichi is in a dilemma to save her because he can be free from all this if he lets her be. Then he spots a briefcase containing something risqué. Before Anna can unmask Blue Tundra here comes Tanukichi dressed in a weird dominatrix outfit. He claims to be Blue Tundra’s accomplice named, uhm, TBA? Anna will capture both of them but when she gets close to TBA, she becomes confused. Her heart beats faster and could feel the hot passion within burning inside. She thought such feelings are reserved only for Tanukichi. She weakens as she cannot believe that everything about TBA is exactly like Tanukichi (right down to his bulge!). She can’t believe her body reacts to make her spill her love nectar. She escapes by jumping off a cliff! Don’t worry. She’ll survive. With the porn stash found and Fuwa getting lots of ‘combining’ flies, they leave before the PMC squad returns. Tanukichi gets the unlikeliest praise he never want to hear from a person like Ayame: He is the craziest person she has ever met! Despite the operation success, this didn’t dampen Sophia’s plan as Tokioka is one of the many places to sign the petition. She holds a conference to show boxes of signatures from petitions from all over the nation. However everyone is shocked when all the papers turn out to be obscene illustrations! It’s broadcasting live over TV!!! As narrated, SOX switched some of the petition boxes with the drawings and burned the former. Because Sophia showed obscene illustrations on air, she got into trouble and was forced to shelve the H Prohibition Act for now.

Episode 6
Although the guys are turned on by erotic pictures, they still don’t know what to do. That is why Ayame’s next plan is to make sex toys! Well, there aren’t any sex toy stores around, right? Ayame and Saotome will make the toys and yes, Tanukichi will test them! I find it ironic that Ayame mainly wants to make sex toys that will pleasure boys but for girls she is satisfied for them to look at Saotome’s drawings. What about boys and girls doing it for real? She calls it sexual harassment?! With lots of censored dirty words, lots of rebuking from Tanukichi (because the dangerous sex toys might just ruin his ‘little brother’), they finished creating a vibrator. Leaving it as a free ‘health and beauty’ product for others to take, Tanukichi is tasked to seek Fuwa’s help to make a controller for it. She is interested in how the device works but as payment in accepting his job, she wants him to show his ‘hose’ in ‘battle pose’! That is when Anna comes in and sees them together. Her yandere feature kicks in thinking he is cheating on her. He lies his way that he was seeking Fuwa’s advice on a good gift for her. She takes the pill-shaped vibrator and believes this is his present. Thinking it is some kind of charm stone, she’ll treasure it and make it into a pendant. Meanwhile the other vibrator they created broke because of Ayame’s incessant testing. Using it on a radish?

When Anna calls Tanukichi and Ayame for some student council work, Tanukichi accidentally switches on the remote. Anna goes into ecstasy. Oh, the remote is spoiled and can’t be turned off. Ayame gets the wrong idea this is all part of his perverted plan and runs away. With Anna burning with passion, Tanukichi quickly runs away. He hopes Fuwa could help fix it. She can’t do anything as the vibrator is not with her. Oh, the strength dial is functioning properly. Anna is getting more intense… He runs away and bumps into Saotome. He seeks her help but she clearly is giving away his position. Why? Because she wants to see Tanukichi and Anna ‘combine’ for real! With Anna hunting him down furiously, Tanukichi tries to leave school but is caught by Gouriki. He was ordered to bring him back to the office. Darn. Didn’t Gouriki notice something strange about Anna? Like her boobs vibrating like mad?! Nope. Nothing wrong. Sex amateur! Not that Anna is alone with him, she is going to get all steamy and horny. His predicament gets worse as she touches his crotch and her vibrating boobs are now on them too! Any second now… So intense the vibrating that it rips her shirt and bra! Then the vibrator overheats and malfunctions. Safe… Anna feels bad for not taking care of it. The next day she pleads for him to give another one and promises to take care of it. Tanukichi seeks Ayame’s help but she clearly ignores him. He can’t ask for Fuwa’s help since he is already in her debt. Anna gets jealous Tanukichi is paying more attention to Ayame. And when Saotome pops up to just tell them off to ‘combine’, Anna blows her top thinking he has more girls and strangles him! Somebody just kill him…

Episode 7
A SOX copycat strikes, leaving a large montage made out of panties. Kosuri is causing her mischief to the PMC squad by throwing yogurt filled balloons. She even has a group of cross-dressing middle aged men to help with her mischief! This part of Kosuri’s plan in hopes she will meet SOX. Ayame has met with the big 4 naughty terrorism organizations: A Snack On Buttocks, Absolute Territory, Mammalians and Bacon Lettuce Mothers’ Society to share and exchange porn stash. Hey, you should expect weird names from naughty terrorists, right? Thanks to the wide spread of their efforts of porn and Saotome’s increased quality, the understanding of sex has deepened. Ayame gets the wrong idea that Gouriki and Tanukichi are gay because they spend more time together! It doesn’t help when Gouriki is being unknowingly ambiguous with his words. But Tanukichi prefers to spend more time with him because it keeps Anna away. Then there are underwear stealing incidents all over the city. Not only females but males’ underwear too. Also, the messages left at the scene state they were inspired by SOX. So Anna orders higher surveillance around the changing rooms. While Tanukichi watches outside one, here comes Anna to sexually harass him! Pinning him down and biting off his zipper, she wants to feel his manhood! She even spills her love nectar all over his face! Thankfully Tanukichi didn’t get raped as Gouriki returns to report. And Saotome saw all that and made a perfect erotic sketch. Tanukichi goes to see Ayame cornering Fuwa. She believes she is the panty thief but Tanukichi uncovers the thing she is hiding: A BL magazine! Furthermore, it is Tanukichi x Gouriki!!! WTF?! Definitely Ayame and Saotome had a hand in this. They noticed how more girls noted their hearts went tight seeing Tanukichi and Gouriki together and tried their hands at this new fantasy. It was a hit that there are already 10 volumes!!! When a group of panty thieves consisting of boys and girls are caught, a large broadcast is made by this creepy guy. A high level pervert, if you ask me. He is White Climax and leader of the SOX inspired, Moist Throng. Their goal is to oppose the government’s actions by liberating underwear.

Apparently Ayame is not too please having Moist Throng considering themselves as SOX’s allies. Although it makes them bad guys, this doesn’t bother her except for the fact that Moist Throng resorts to petty crimes like stealing underwear whereas SOX just wants to educate the people on sex and talk dirty. Not to say that is noble either. Tanukichi didn’t think deep enough since they are terrorists and it is right they are labelled as bad. But what he fails to understand if that if the people lose their trust in SOX, it will hinder their efforts to spread sex education. Later that night, Tanukichi saves Kosuri who is being chased by the PMC squad. Hiding in an alley, Fuwa happened to be here and thinks he is a lolicon. She is here as she heard this is where she could get that secret BL copy he confiscated! He is forced to let the BL issue slide if she helps them escape. Safely away, when Kosuri knocks out an ally looking for her (and disappointed to find out her true goal), she is going to do the same to Tanukichi. She reveals her purpose of coming here is to join SOX. At first she doesn’t believe him but after showing the erotic drawings in his hand, she does. He brings her to Ayame who is not too impressed for a suspicious girl like her to join. They find out Kosuri is Keisuke’s only daughter. Although he sides with the terrorists, she claims her dad is a wuss as all he does is sucks up to the PMC squad. Ayame is still not convinced so she takes out lots of weapons that she thinks will come in handy to drive away PMC squads. This makes Ayame believe why their ideals are different. Kosuri will do anything but that is what makes her even less trustworthy. Because Ayame seems to hint she has been faking everything since the start. Kosuri explains the weapons are from her dad for self protection as she has a habit of barking up the wrong tree and getting into trouble. Thus she hoped to come here to find SOX and a place to belong. Ayame reluctantly accepts her since Kosuri’s arrest would hamper Keisuke’s support of all naughty terrorists and their existence. All Tanukichi knows is that he has another sick weirdo to deal with.

Episode 8
Tanukichi wakes up to find Kosuri sleeping next to him. That is the least of his problems because Anna has been standing there all night watching them! OH SH*T! YANDERE MODE! He is forced to lie Kosuri is his hidden sister, an illegitimate child of his father. He manages to get Kosuri to act the part. Anna backs down when Kosuri mentions Anna as the girl who is close to onii-chan. Yeah, no need to vanish from Anna’s life… But if Kosuri thinks she can continue hugging onii-chan, Anna’s body moves by herself as you see her carve out the floor around Kosuri’s body and let her fall under! Scary! Then there is this worry that Gouriki might have turned gay since he is here to personally pick up Tanukichi for a student council job. Because they haven’t been spending lots of time together… It only further fuels Saotome’s creativity… Anna introduces her student council members to Oboro Tsukimigusa. She will be here as the disciplinary officer. She is an expert on obscene subjects, the rest observe her in confiscating ordinary objects because they have the potential to become obscene. From tug of war ropes to netball net to even ping pong balls! OMG! Isn’t everything lewd then? When Fuwa bugs Tsukimigusa about the gay manga, she confiscates it. But she returns it when Fuwa describes it is not by changing her words. When Tanukichi confirms it is indeed obscenity, she confiscates it. Fuwa then disagrees and describes how it is not. Again she declassifies it as porn. Man, she is like a robot! No wonder Tanukichi didn’t see her as a threat. Ayame discusses with Tanukichi and Kosuri about their next plan to infiltrate another high moral school, Zoushigaoka Academy to spread their knowledge. But Kosuri goes in alone herself to recon the school so that they will have a better idea of the place.

Fidgety Anna has Tsukimigusa bring boxes of things the latter considered as obscene. She is seeking Tanukichi’s second opinion. Toilet roles? WTF. Not obscene. Anna is relieved because now she can go to toilet in peace and has been holding it ever since. A group of disciplinary members is chasing down a Moist Throng guy. Anna successfully gives him a roundhouse kick and only furthers to increase her discomfort. She quickly introduces the disciplinary squad committee (clones?) she has assembled before running off to answer the call of the nature. Kosuri returns after 3 days and managed to get a detailed blueprint of Zoushigaoka. She has also hid the footage of the flies ‘combining’ in the broadcast system that can be played anytime. Later Tanukichi is shocked that Kosuri starts treating him like a slave. She claims her blueprint has made her useful in SOX and reveals the tactic she used. Zoushigaoka’s student council consists of 3 males and 2 females. She used her little sister charm to seduce the 2 males who are in love with their respective female counterparts. Then she got close to those girls and became best friends and made them realize they are in love with those guys. When they confessed, they never stood a chance because the guys were deeply in love with Kosuri. This made them feel guilty for rejecting their original love. With the awkwardness between them, Kosuri homed in on the 3rd guy and got what she wanted as he is now her puppet. Tanukichi believes she has crossed the line. Ayame will never stoop to cruel methods to hurt others. But Kosuri knows Tanukichi can’t report this to Ayame because he is a wuss. She also thinks he loves Ayame, which makes it hard for him to talk. As added penalty, Kosuri wants him to lick her foot. Ayame is worried with the increased patrol of the disciplinary committee. They are aggressively taking away all materials that are obscene and if this method proves to be effective, other school might adopt it. This is dangerous because if you teach them to identify what is obscene, they will turn into enforcers (currently only PMC squad and teachers do the surveillance). Ayame declares war on the disciplinary committee and also has to deal with Moist Throng before they do something dangerous. She has a plan but it is risky.

Episode 9
Part of SOX’s sex crusade is to use Tanukichi’s underwear as bait?! Apparently something about the musty smell that would attract Moist Throng members. The team is split into 2 with Kosuri and Saotome hiding dirty pictures over the school grounds, Blue Tundra scattering porn magazines throughout school as distraction for the disciplinary committee so that Tanukichi could wait and catch Moist Throng members. Kosuri doesn’t like this plan well as she is not paired with Ayame as she hoped for. The plan goes well and Tanukichi thought he caught a Moist Throng member. But it turns out to be Anna! She got attracted by his underwear’s smell and believes he put it up as her reward for all her hard work. Before Anna could release her love nectar all over his face, he tells her the true goal of displaying his underwear. Disappointed? She refuses to give it back and continues smelling them! Tsukimigusa has only been standing there watching because she was given orders by Anna’s father, Matsukage to prioritize Anna’s orders. Even with all provision explanation, in short, as long Anna does obscenities, her actions will be overlooked but if Tanukichi does any obscenity on her, he will be apprehended. A couple of Moist Thong members steal Tanukichi’s underwear. Anna becomes mad and makes it top priority to chase them down to the end of the Earth! Kosuri is not pleased that Tanukichi has his underwear stolen but Ayame approves of it because it is part of the plan. Because now they can use this to keep Anna preoccupied. Saotome gets an unexpected tickling punishment because she was drawing her lewd pictures during the operation instead of helping Kosuri. How does Ayame know? Kosuri ratted her out. Ayame discusses the next plan to capture Moist Throng members by hiding Saotome’s panties while Blue Tundra causes her usual distraction.

While TBA catches many Moist Throng members in the act, Kosuri approaches Fuwa for help. The latter can tell from her actions that she is trying to use her charm her target. When the lights go out because of the fire alarm, TBA catches another Moist Throng member and proceeds to do his dick stepping move. When the lights come back on, he is shocked to see it is Tsukimigusa and he is a boy!!!!!!!! Apparently Matsukage ordered him to cross-dress as a girl because it makes it easier to investigate male and female areas. Also, if he was a boy and by Anna’s side, he might develop indecent feelings for her. Tanukichi believes he is stripped of his identity and although Tsukimigusa dismisses that he has one, it sounds like a sad take that makes him sound like a robot, accepting whatever role that he will gladly be when asked to. Anna comes in to check and sees the ‘fake Tanukichi’. A showdown is on the cards but TBA throws his underwear for his escape. As good as the original, right? Kosuri brags she was useful to SOX and sought Fuwa’s help to send Moist Throng members. Though, she had intended to have her obstruct the disciplinary committee but since she wouldn’t, Kosuri personally released the sprinklers. So all that was her doing? Kosuri is shocked that Ayame disapproves of her methods. She thought she had worked hard to get her approval. Ayame explains that by contacting Fuwa, she has established a link between SOX and regular students. Whatever actions they do will work against them. She reminds about SOX’s mission is not to destroy the PMC squad, hurt he disciplinary committee nor stop Anna from becoming a mess. Kosuri feels disappointed. Because it looks like SOX is just like her wuss father sucking up to the enemy. But SOX gets an underwear message to meet at the park. They can’t believe they are seeing White Climax in the flesh.

Episode 10
White Climax wants to negotiate but since they have differing views on panty smells and Blue Tundra is not impressed with him using Moist Throng as a front to steal panties for his fetish, the negotiation is off. White Climax vows to destroy this world and drown it in a sea of panties and will endanger himself to punish society. Tanukichi takes a bus to school and meets Gouriki too. It seems the train system is taken out and it is believed to be the work of Moist Throng. Looks like they have become serious. Tanukichi gets a warning call too late from Ayame not to take the bus because Moist Throng members have hijacked 42 of them and he is on one of them. Their goal is to collect all the passengers’ lingerie. White Climax makes his broadcast that they support SOX’s perversion and seek a world where unique panties can be acquired by everyone. Thus bus Fuwa is on, she is not afraid of the hijacker since she can tell the gun is fake from her movements. She is bombarding the hijacker with questions regarding links with panties and pregnancies but the crowd tackles the hijacker. Unwillingly Fuwa becomes a hero although all she wanted was just to ask questions. On the bus Anna is on, she is fidgety because she has been smelling Tanukichi’s underwear for some time. She starts thinking if Tanukichi is avoiding her because she still lacks righteousness. When the hijacker approaches her, she mercilessly beats him up and believes this is what she must do to win his heart just like before. On Tanukichi’s bus, the hijacker collects a bag of Tanukichi’s underwear! He bundled them together like this to stop Anna from stealing and lies about his fetish of smelling them. The last thing he needs to hear is how the hijacker comments him as crazy. But Gouriki accepts Tanukichi’s for who he is. Why? Because he himself is wearing female’s lingerie! OMG! So hideous (and funny) that the hijacker and passengers vomit!!!! OMFG!!! Well, that saved the day.

As Tanukichi and Ayame meet up, they discuss the information that they have on White Climax and they know his identity is Takuma Ichinose. Their plan is to capture him themselves and can’t rely on the PMC to do it because they won’t recklessly risk the lives of the passengers as it is rumoured one of the guns is real. Since 39 buses are still being hijacked, Fuwa is being taken around to identify if the hijacker’s gun is real. So once the real gun is found, the PMC squad will act and that is why SOX must get to White Climax first. How do they find the bus White Climax is on? With Kosuri’s help of finding unique smelling panties, White Climax’s bus follows the bait. When he alights, TBA enters and tries to quickly close the door but White Climax has finished his business and came back on. He knows this was a trap but still had to go for it since they gathered so many panties for him. TBA is not cowed if his gun is real as he knows he can’t shoot because the panties on his head are covered with the smell of another girl. But he can still beat him up. TBA is not amused when White Climax badmouths Blue Tundra. Cue for her to bust in. He claims the panties on her head are clean till she reveals she soaked them in her own smell from last night. She just took them off and wore them. Caught off guard, this allows TBA to pin him down and reveal his gun to be fake. Blue Tundra then discloses the flaw of his delusion that he considers panties worthy if they smell of someone else’s. That is his downfall. Blue Tundra then makes an announcement they have captured White Climax and wants to go somewhere to negotiate with the authorities. Suddenly somebody pushes her out of the bus and she is forced to run. TBA is shocked that Kosuri did this. Looks like she has betrayed SOX and wants to join Moist Throng. She views their organization goal to wage war on this stupid world suits her better.

Episode 11
Kosuri forces TBA off the bus too. With White Climax, their next destination is Zoushigaoka. Tanukichi is hiding from authorities when he bumps into Fuwa who shows him the news. Moist Throng has taken Zoushigaoka hostage and are demanding new clean panties to be delivered to them or they will post pictures of the hostages wearing underwear on their heads. It seems their plan is to have them wear the underwear to imbue their scent and then take them off and farm new ones. Tanukichi contacts Ayame about the developments. But she paints a bleak picture they can’t do anything since Moist Throng has weapons. Furthermore, the lack manpower. This has Tanukichi ponder the truth about his dad’s words that they are powerless especially smart fools who proudly proclaims their righteousness. But Fuwa dismisses it because they get drunk on their own righteousness and will fall into insanity. She gives Anna as an example. She will do anything that is deemed righteous and even kill for justice. Sooner or later she is doomed to fail. This gives Tanukichi an idea for a plan although it is cowardly and risky. Kosuri tells White Climax her plan about escaping Japan and bring back foreigners to help with their cause but he seems to be more interested in frolicking in the used panties. He scoffs off her revolution as wasted labours as nothing would change. Kosuri feels she has been tricked and tries to taser him but gets shocked herself because he is covered with the sweat of the panties and is absorbent. Too wet to be hurt? Huh? I thought water and electricity don’t mix? The authorities want to move in since they have confirmed all guns are fake. But Matsukage wants to wait a little longer and let those terrorists play the devil a little longer. The more they use perversion as a weapon, the more evil they look and this will make their push for H Prohibition Act easier. Saotome contacts Tanukichi and Ayame. Thanks to her surreal drawing, the guards are fooled by the optical illusion of the hostages when they are safely away on another floor. She too has another plan.

While tied up Kosuri regrets her actions, Blue Tundra and TBA crash into Zoushigaoka. White Climax is confident their numbers can defeat them. But here comes Anna with her kung fu fighting. She has brought along her disciplinary committee to fight too. Apparently TBA went to seek Anna’s help to cooperate with SOX with the pretence of getting back Tanukichi’s stolen underwear. So is this why TBA is seen scrubbing his crotch and armpits to hide his smell? You better scrub it clean! As the hostages escape, some Moist Throng members stop them but Saotome throws panties at them. They are just drawings but they can’t help love it since it has got the unique smell. Proof that 2D trumps 3D? White Climax is left and he unleashes his taser dick as his ultimate weapon?! Tsukimigusa and Kosuri (fresh from freeing herself) bump into his dick and make it swollen! TBA hints to hit his other weakness: Nipples! With that, Blue Tundra and Anna flying kick him out the window and into the authorities’ arrest. Anna then goes off to find Tanukichi’s underwear… Blue Tundra then makes her announcement of defeating Moist Throng. She continues by saying she wants to become a dirty joke and explains the concept of considering it as evil is just wrong as well as the excitement and thrill of lewd stuffs. Authorities cannot cut this broadcast since it is being transmitted via Keisuke’s station. Blue Tundra and TBA fly away in their hot air balloon. She thanks him for being the way he is and confesses she likes him. As much as a dirty joke. Is that sarcasm? Tanukichi gets serious in asking who his real self is but she tells him he shouldn’t get the answer for others and find it himself. Now Ayame has a pesky bug on her side. Repented Kosuri has devoted herself to be her slave forever and is sucking up hard to her.

Episode 12
SOX is shocked to receive an invitation from Sophia to Nukumi which was previously a hotspring district. They are not sure if she has discovered their identity. Tanukichi remembers his dad telling him that if he were to go there one day, take this steering wheel. And the girls are hoping it would have something very lewd to do with it. There, SOX is shock to see Gouriki who couldn’t be happier to see Tanukichi. Tanukichi shouldn’t be too happy because Anna is here too! Between the devil and the deep blue sea…Apparently they have got an invitation from Sophia too. They wait for her but she didn’t show up so they decided to take a bath. You know Tanukichi’s chastity is in danger when Anna sends Gouriki on another wild goose chase so she can sneak into the men’s section to exchange love nectar! 69 position?! Thankfully before that could happen, they hear Sophia’s scream and find her body passed out nearby. They find out she has an invitation from Anna but she clearly did not send this. A trap? The perpetrator shows himself. A black version of White Climax? He is Black Base and has a fetish for black lingerie. He is glad all the players have gathered and escapes. Worse, they realize their clothes have been stolen and replaced by only black lingerie. When they finally confront him, he is in possession of the wheel. He claims this is the key to open a treasure trove. Treasure of lewd stuffs? He suggests a duel in the form of strip rock-scissors-paper. The loser will strip a piece until there is no more. Hardly fair since this guy is wearing many pieces of black lingerie. The first to face him is the shy and newly recruit of the disciplinary committee, Binkan. She wins and when he takes off a slab from his chest, she couldn’t take it anymore and runs away. Oh, she quits the committee too. Next is Gouriki. Tanukichi has an idea when he loses and wants Ayame to close her eyes. When he loses and strips, Black Base sees his lingerie beneath and vomits!!! Tanukichi takes this chance to steal back the wheel. Tanukichi and Ayame make a run for it while everyone else hold back Black Base.

As they look around, they stumble upon Fuwa looking for unique insects. She thinks they are looking for a cable car because there is one dilapidated right over there. She helps switch on the power to let the duo ride up the hill. Inside the ruins, they realize the destruction was left behind by the PMC squad. Then they notice a very clean mannequin like as though somebody maintained it ever since. Noticing a screw, it fits the wheel. They turn but have no strength. Saotome and Kosuri arrive in time to help turn it. No, it is not the wind blowing up the Marilyn Monroe look-a-like mannequin’s skirt but a secret chamber that contains lots of other well maintained erotic mannequins. They realize Black Base was behind all this and wanted to show them. He was Zenjuurou’s comrade during the early days and when he saw SOX’s heroism on the news, he remembered his glory days. For now, Ayame suggests they do not do anything to the mannequins since the world isn’t ready for it yet. They will preserve it for future generations. Saotome draws a mural to indicate SOX has left their mark. They report back to Anna that there is nothing lewd and since Tsukimigusa destroyed a decoy believed to be lewd, the treasure’s existence is safe. Tanukichi wonders how long they have to hide it. Ayame believes a world without dirty jokes will not last forever. It will end someday but for now, they must keep fighting.

Viva Dirty Jokes! Viva Sex! Viva Porn!
Good news. I didn’t turn into a pervert when I was watching thing. Because I was already one! HAHAHA!!! Oops. Anyway, I was wondering why the ending was a little weak since the penultimate episode was quite climatic in its own right (no sexual puns intended). But I suppose it is only right because if you end it on a very high climax (again, no sexual puns intended), there might be lots of angry people who are going to wish that that wasn’t the last episode and will be horny hungry for more. So let’s just be grateful that the lukewarm final episode is just to cool things down and to wind things up for this season. Though, I am not sure why Black Base invited other people than SOX in the first place. Why even bother calling Sophia as she was passed out for the entire episode and did nothing and saw nothing.

If you enjoyed this anime, you’ll be laughing so hard that the pervy jokes are secondary by nature. If you dislike it, you’ll be cringing so hard that it would be a miracle if you even finish sitting through the first episode. So Remember meme rule #34. If it exists, there is definitely porn of it. No exceptions. I am not too sure if after watching this anime should make you horny because of the lack of stimulating visuals that you would normally find in an ecchi anime. But if it does make you horny, then I could say that SOX and this anime in particular have done a great job. Heh, in that case they should make a hentai version of this series as a parody. Oh wait. Is there already one?

There are a few concepts which have raised a few boggling questions. Considering the success of the acts that prevent people from doing indecent stuffs, this raises the question of how children especially those from Tokioka will be able to procreate children. We have seen how misguided and misinformed they are regarding breeding. They have become retards in that sense. And if they know nothing about ‘combining’, how will they be able to f*ck and make children seeing that they don’t even know what or how the reproduction system works. Wouldn’t this lead to a very steep decline and if not the extinction of the Japanese population in the next generation? All because Japanese people don’t know how to f*ck!!! Haven’t the authorities thought about this? Besides, have there been any new babies born in the last few years seeing that the law has been enacted for a decade. Because I am assuming the laws are so strict that the PM will just go off even if the couple were to have sex. Unless you tell me you need some sort of consent from the government to f*ck. Besides, isn’t that how that word came about? From medieval times, Fornification Under Consent of the King! If not, should the government be worried about the declining population instead of becoming a moral police?

Then there is the question about the PM devices. No doubt it is still imperfect and has its flaws but just come to think about it for example you can’t even draw a dick without alerting the authorities, what happens if someone were to draw objects in phallic shapes? I am a mushroom seller and I need to draw pictures of mushrooms to sell my products. So can or not? And do you know how many objects in our daily lives resemble closely to the shape of a vagina? Of course you can circumvent this as seen by Saotome using her mouth. I have an easier suggestion to go around this rule: You draw half of the penis first (an incomplete picture), then you doodle something else on another piece of paper before returning and finishing the remaining sketches of the dick. Simple, right? That way, the PM device cannot trace a full penis shape. And as for the new chastity belts, have the government ever thought how everybody is going to answer the call of nature? Don’t tell me that they have to listen to ever request for everyone who wants to take a bathroom break. Imagine the kind of surveillance needed for each and every one! It is insane?! What next? Bathroom squads?

And the biggest mind boggling flaw in the series despite we know it is just a setting for the story? YOU CANNOT EVER CENSOR PORN FROM THE INTERNET!!!!!!!!!!!!! EVER!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, I would love to see which government of any country playing moral police try to block out porn from the internet like 100%. So I don’t know how amazing Japan did it in this series but they did it. Because they are Japan. So it was a big joke that I laughed so hard and also an insult that this series has its setting that Japan, one of the biggest and most creative producers in the global porn industry to have all its indecent artistic materials banned in any and every way. So I don’t understand why the government really wants to ban indecency so badly and although I believe it is for a good cause, you can see for yourself here how far it has deviated to the point they have become authoritarian dictators.

Despite SOX being labelled and outlawed as a naughty terrorist, the one thing that makes them stand apart from a normal terrorist is the use of violence. Of course this is greatly misused as seen in Moist Throng’s case. But as far as Ayame is concerned, she has her principles to stick to and that is just to educate people about the pleasures of indecent materials. Nothing wrong of using such stuffs for your own pleasure, right? Of course nothing to be said and definitely wrong if it is raping and sexually assaulting others to cause grievance. Everyone including myself has their own personal fetish. But when you start imposing your ideals on others, you are no better than the authorities that are clamping down on these immoral activities. Hence SOX is just being a big mischievous organization who wants to educate people on their basic rights of sex. Sex is a basic right, right? Many of their operations only include hiding and scattering porn works for others to discover and let their inner fetish awake. All they need to do is guide. The rest is up to you.

Depending on your stance and tolerance for dirty jokes and even ecchi themes, the so called dirty talk may sound too much if you are the kind who isn’t fond of such indecent jokes and for those who do, they just sound mild. I am not sure about the BDs, but I can assure you the TV version that I watched, all those words are purposely censored out. But you can guess them from the first or last syllable that they left uncensored. With dirty talk being one of the central themes of the series, this brings about another topic to discuss: Are girls as perverted as boys? Normally as humans, we are all perverted by nature and it doesn’t matter if you are male or female. Because of Ayame’s penchant to talk dirty and almost every damn sentence of hers contains a dirty word, Saotome being a super lewd artist and Anna being a kinky sex crazed lover, it may prompt many how this series is one of those created to target fan boys because you know, horny girls. You don’t really see many of those in real life, right? Is it because these characters are girls that the show seems funny? Now, imagine if all of them are changed into boys. What would be the effect? Not so funny anymore, right? It would be downright creepy and everyone would view them even more so as perverts.

When you talk about the characters, it is hard to say they are likeable or not due to the nature and genre of this series. If I had to describe them, each character is just crazy in their own ways. Because like Ayame, is she the protagonist and hero of the series just because the government are seemingly the antagonist? What about her love to say dirty stuffs which probably is half the comedy for the entire series? But there is one thing that I find odd about her at first. Despite her love to insert dirty words and concepts in her sentences, I somewhat noticed that she isn’t that thrilled when suggested to do the real thing. She is like the epitome of a woman’s logic. You know, they’ll gladly show you their body when wearing a swimsuit but cower in embarrassment and calling you a pervert if you see them in their undies. But think about this. If Ayame is actually sex crazy, she wouldn’t be running around distributing indecent materials and the likes. Wouldn’t she have used all those free time of hers to pleasure herself and at extreme cases, try to flirt or have sex with Tanukichi? Seeing that she doesn’t and there were a few hints that suggested she isn’t too fond of engaging physically, could it be just the case of her love in enjoying talking dirty? It is her version of chilling as are to those puffing cigarettes.

Then there is Tanukichi, your seemingly normal and average main character being dragged into this entire vulgar mess? He finds it reluctant to engage in dirty acts of terrorism but deep down inside he enjoys it. So is Ayame and SOX slowly bringing out the pervert in him? Well, for most of the time that I observed, he is to play the rebuking role to Ayame’s dirty talk. He is the other half of the manzai comedy to censure Ayame’s crazy-screw-loose-in-the-head thoughts. It would really be screwed up if he really ends up being gay with Gouriki! Holy sh*t! Then I think every girl would see this as a happy ending because this gay pairing is so trending right now. Perhaps in an extreme case Tanukichi would be better off so because the girl he once admires now turns out to be a totally different monster.

Speaking of Anna, she is a classic example of still waters run deep and what authoritarian dictators are about. Giving her the benefit of the doubt like the other honour students that she does not know what is lewd and what isn’t, this is what happens when you don’t know what lust is at all. But the ironic thing about her is that as the student council president who has been on Blue Tundra’s tail for a long time, you’d think that she would at least know a thing or two about what is indecent. So when she goes into that kinky addiction to take out her extreme passion on Tanukichi, doesn’t it make her a hypocrite? Like I said, she is blind and oblivious when it comes to love since she has her own version of justice when it comes to love. This is an indication and very similar to what wrong people in higher authorities are like. Everything they do is in their own interest and they justify that as right. Thus when misguided people like Anna is in power, she is no different than the crooked petty thief on the street in this context. And to think that she wants to give him her love nectar is a mild case of omorashi, right?

I expected Anna to have some sort of a different personality and predicted that she would turn out to be a strange pervert in her own ways. At first I thought how lucky if I (and others alike) would have such a kinky real life girlfriend that would love to take out all her indecent fantasies on you. But the more we see Anna getting crazier and dangerous to the point of being yandere, the more I start to rethink that maybe I don’t really want her as my girlfriend or waifu after all. I can only think because Anna is crazily strong and this is what makes her dominantly dangerous unlike us otaku wuss who think we are dominating our submissive 2D girlfriend(s) and getting our way we want with them. Thus seeing the hazardous and threatening side of Anna made us reflect hard if this is what we want. Definitely nope. You don’t own Anna. Anna owns you!

Other characters are as crazy too and in that aspect is what makes them funny and likeable. Like Saotome who can’t stop drawing due to her never ending flow of indecent inspiration. She has levelled up so much that she could draw life-like stuffs that I think the next step for her to master is to start using her feet to draw too! And maybe master the art of shoving up a pencil in a certain hole too!!! Haha! That way, she can draw more illicit stuffs! Then there is Fuwa who seems to be more interested in how breeding works rather than what stimulates others although her ambiguous talk might indicate so. Making it even vaguer is that she has bags under her eyes like as though she stayed up all night pleasuring herself and she always sound tired. No, I don’t think it is her eye shadow makeup. Is it me or do her fly specimens seem to always make out all the time. What kind of flies mate 24/7? I don’t know. Every time we see her cage, the censor is always there. So this must mean that they’re f*cking, right?

Kosuri is perhaps the only female in the series not to have a certain liking for Tanukichi. Well, at least all the main characters ‘like’ Tanukichi in their own ways because he is a nice guy to be ‘used’. Whether it is Ayame as her accomplice, Saotome as her model for gay porn and real life ‘combining’ purposes, Fuwa bugging him for sex related questions (why does she loves popping up from under your legs?), Anna and her misguided deviant love and even Gouriki indicating his gay intentions, Kosuri could have been the little sister trope if not for admiration swinging towards Ayame. Not forgetting Tsukimigusa, perhaps the most boring character ever thanks to his robotic nature. If he is told to like Tanukichi to be part of his ‘harem’, I think he would. But his character is a big indication of what society will be if the authorities brainwash people into mindless droids and unable to think for themselves. A life made much worse without porn. No life at all. Scary.

Art and drawing are pretty much standard. But if you are expecting a lot of fanservice, I think you’d be disappointed. Many of the lewdness are in the form of Ayame’s dirty talk so if you want visual candy, there isn’t many except maybe during White Climax’s panty raiding arc. And the most panty shots you’ll ever see are the panties used covering over SOX’s face. Thus the fanservice in this sense is considered very mild and pales in comparison to what a real ecchi themed anime is like. This means no bare naked tits. Sorry. Of course there are also some censors like White Climax who has his big dick dangling out as his indecent fashion so it is only right for his ‘big bro’ to have a censor covering it. Nobody wants to see it, right? Other censors include the indecent hand gestures Ayame makes and some of the manga illustrations from Saotome that are too risqué to be shown on air. I wonder if they would take this away in the BDs. For extra fanservice, the end card shows very ‘delicious’ and ‘tempting’ illustrations…

I also want to mention that some characters look like other anime characters especially Anna looking a whole lot similar to Dagashi Kashi’s Hotaru. Even their bizarre personality is spookily alike. One is a love crazy deviant and the other is for her sweets. More strange coincidence as Fuwa and To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Kiyama both have bags under their eyes and researchers employed by the school. Aren’t Ayame and Seitokai Yakuindomo’s Shino not only strikingly look similar but they are both dirty minded student council presidents too? Too much coincidence! That’s not the end yet because when I first saw Tsukimigusa, I thought Nobume from Gintama got a new casting here. Perhaps the white uniform increases the similarity. And so does their robotic personality. Doesn’t Sophia look like a white haired version of Umineko No Naku Koro Ni’s Beatrice? Even same seiyuu… Doesn’t Saotome look like Matsuri from Mahou Shoujo Taisen and Himi from Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku? Lastly, I thought White Climax took after Rurouni Kenshin’s Shishio because of how the bandages wrapped around their entire body make them look like an evil mummy. Only, White Climax is wrapped with his favourite white panties… Needless to say, Tanukichi looks so generic like your typical main character guy from harem animes that I can’t even think of one right now whom he resembles.

When I first heard the late Miyu Matsuki as Anna, my first thoughts are how unsuitable her voice fits her character Anna. With all due respect, she did not do a bad job voicing her character. Because I am accustomed in hearing her oddball characters like Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu’s Yukari, Kuuko of the Nyaruko series and more famously the lovable Yoshinoya-sensei from Hidamari Sketch series, I find it hard to ‘accept’ that a ‘proper’ character like Anna had her voice. I was expecting someone with more refined voice. But when Anna started to show her crazy and dangerous side, it becomes more evident why Miyu Matsuki was the right person to voice her. Thus in this sense, she is virtually perfect for the role. So kudos and RIP Miyu Matsuki for making Anna such a convincing and dangerously, uhm, dangerous character. This voice acting issue I feel is also the same for Satomi Arai as Saotome. Knowing her repertoire of voicing cranky characters like To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Shirai and Naoko from Yuri Seijin Naoko-san, at first I was acting somebody with a loli voice to handle petit Saotome. Thus hearing her voice for this small girl doesn’t feel like it fits the character. Only when Saotome starts going into her erotic craze, it is when I started feeling that perhaps she is the right voice for this erotic illustrator after all.

The only other seiyuus I recognized are Yui Horie as Kosuri, Yui Ogura as Binkan, Sho Hayami as Black Base and yes, Sayaka Ohara in yet another villainess role, Sophia. Well, technically from this series’ point of view, Sophia is an antagonist, right? The rest of the other casts include Shizuka Ishigami as Ayame (Mito in Shokugeki No Souma), Yuusuke Kobayashi as Tanukichi (Sougo in Comet Lucifer), Saori Goto as Fuwa (Bara Suishou in Rozen Maiden Traumend), Kenta Miyake as Gouriki (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Sumire Uesaka as Tsukimigusa (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Ken Narita as White Climax (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha) and Hajime Iijima as Matsukage (Gakushuu in Ikkitousen series).

To get into the grove of what this series is entirely about, the opening theme, B Chiku Sentai SOX by the members of SOX themselves. If you can’t stand the song with lyrics containing libido and climaxing, I don’t know how much you will squirm when you watch the episode proper. Because their Sexcalibur will definitely slay you down! Other than that, this hero-like theme definitely befits the struggles and crusades of SOX. More lewdness in the ending theme as well. Don’t let the disco theme of Inner Urge by Sumire Uesaka fool you. Besides the naughty lyrics, the colourfully indecent animation and images (including Anna’s sexual harassment over Tanukichi) and the characters doing some sort of weird dance like as though they are praying their tribute to some sex god, if you think you have stomached the entire episode, the ending will make your stomach inside out again. And make you horny?

Overall, this series is actually fun to watch if you can put aside all that lewdness. After all, you know the risks of what you are getting yourself into when you read the synopsis, right? Until then, let us be thankful that porn still exists in many forms and we are free to pleasure ourselves in ways we want. Until we get caught, that is. We’ll still continue to get our sex education from porn all over the internet. I believe that it is our human nature to know about sex and procreating. Therefore you cannot stem it out entirely or else doom will be the human race. There is nothing shameful about talking dirty since it is natural. Of course in today’s world, we have to be extra careful since everything can be offended and in this case sexist. And some go too far like sex shaming, cyber stalking and harassment, sexual assault/abuse, paedophile and rape cases. A faint reminder that the world might just come to this? Nah! Just remember that indecency is not evil. It is art! Long live dirty jokes, sex and porn! Now excuse me while I go relief myself :-). My own battle just begun… :-).

Koukaku No Pandora

September 24, 2016

Initially I was sceptical of whether I should watch Koukaku No Pandora. First of all, it is sci-fi genre and to me that isn’t my cup of tea and one of the early signs to indicate that I should stay away. Of course not all sci-fi series I have seen throughout the years are bad so that’s why I thought of giving it a chance. Then it had me wondering if there is a bit of horror too because I saw the manga illustration cover of a girl breaking out from its rusted mechanical shell. Yikes. It might seem normal to others but I thought it was a little creepy. Even the name of the title sounds ominous. You know, Pandora Box? Then I also read that it had a little ecchi theme in it and suddenly my doubts were blown away and put it on my list to watch. Yeah, I’m the worst… If only world peace can be achieved that easily…

Episode 1
On a cruise ship to Cenancle Island, Uzal Delilah spots an android and since she didn’t respond to her call, she thinks she is from the black market. But Nene Nanakorobi quickly dismisses she is one and is human. Though, she is more of a full body cyborg. What? I’m confused… Nene is ecstatic and loves Uzal’s maid pet, Clarion. To Clarion’s dismay, Uzal gives permission to Nene to mess with her. They introduce themselves and it seems Nene is here to live with her aunt, Takumi Korobase. Uzal changes the question if she had all the money in the world, what would she buy? World peace. You can buy that? Uzal is fascinated with her answer. Once they reach land, they part ways. Halfway through the city, a big explosion occurs. Nene fears for Uzal and Clarion and goes to find them. She sees them fine but is puzzled that they are running towards the source of the explosions. From what I understand, there are disgruntled cosplay subordinates of Uzal doing some sort of rebellion but Uzal laughs it off and accuses them of betraying her in the first place. They want her to hand over the real activation key but Uzal gives Clarion permission to unleash her Pandora Device to smash up some of the attacking robots. Nene is in danger’s way so Uzal orders Clarion to prioritize her safety. She loses an arm but they manage to get away. Hiding in an underground lab, Uzal hopes Nene could help her. She is going to give her temporary authority to use Pandora Device. So stick your hand inside Clarion’s vagina!!! WTF?! Well, at least it seems like it. And you bet Nene is going to feel some sort of fuzzy sensation during this transformation. She is given a gun in which she is surprised she can use it effectively and efficiently after a short installation of the application. After accurately dispatching all the bots, Uzal can tell she is an Adepter.

Uzal narrates the full body cyborg technology still in development in which cyborgs undergo rigorous rehabilitation but since people have trouble adapting to the prosthetics, it will take some time before this technology becomes commonplace. However there are cases where some use or learn their prosthetics better than a real body. These Adepters compensate for the limits of prosthetic technology. Nene is worried she forgot to call her aunt but Uzal assures her not to worry because they are close friends. Nene is then knocked out and when she wakes up, they have finished doing some programming on her. Now the rebels are trying to cut open the thick steel door so Uzal has Nene use Pandora Device again. This time we get to see a magical girl transformation. I don’t know about this outfit but it feels like she is an idol. And what was again about it being a camouflage? When the steel door is completely cut open, the shocking scene of those subordinates crying and begging to Sahar (Uzal) to help them contain rampaging BUER because at this rate it is going to drill straight through the base of the island. Uzal then asks Nene’s wish to buy world peace again. Would she like to buy this island’s peace as a start?

Episode 2
Uzal explains BUER is a drilling machine from her company that is going on a rampage thanks to these incompetent morons. That’s why the city is on the verge of collapse. She is going to send Clarion and Nene to help fix this mess. The way Clarion is sexily fixed back (her arm, that is), Nene is more than enthusiastic to help her out. There is a cooling period after BUER fires each time. That is when they will take advantage of it to shut it down by putting the key on a statue on top of it. The real key is Uzal’s glasses. It is Clarion’s job to get onto BUER but because its defence mechanism is activated, this is where Nene plays her part in using this special weapon that normal humans cannot handle and fire back to protect Clarion. She reaches the top and finds the statue to be some sort of Venus bust of Uzal. I guess it isn’t surprising that while she is hesitating at this atrocious statue, a slab falls on Clarion. Nene is disheartened as she rushes to the scene to pick up those dropped glasses. Before she is zapped, she is taken away in the nick of time by, uhm, egg robots? Gertsecomma (Gert for short) are Clarion’s robot pets. As proof she is alive, she is controlling them. Though, Clarion is being sandwiched and almost crushed inside BUER. When Nene goes back to try and rescue Clarion, she dodges all the defence mechanism attacks. Uzal is stunned she has a capability that could anticipate BUER’s shots and could be more than just an Adepter.

Nene gets her motivation when Clarion personally tells her she is resting all her hopes in Nene for world peace. At the top, the statue is damaged but don’t fear. Because there are more atrocious statues like these! Just pick one and put the glasses on. BUER shuts down but they can’t be celebrating yet since Uzal detects the authorities are coming in fast. She tells Nene to detach BUER’s Central Nervous Unit and retrieve Clarion. So this central unit of BUER is a 5 legged lion?! And pervy?! Did they take inspiration of his design from Bleach’s Kon? Nene now becomes overprotective of Clarion. More accurately like a leech because she just won’t let her go even though she is fine. With water seeping into the lab, the useless subordinates can only whine. Have no fear as Uzal is the only competent one. She made an emergency lift in times like these. As Uzal is last to board, the sound goes off for overweight. WTF?! Even more WTF is how her subordinates laugh at her for being heavy. Then they realize it isn’t funny anymore when Uzal stays behind to sacrifice herself. Uzal then ‘sells’ Clarion to Nene since she can’t offer any world peace to her. Nene is more than happy to take ownership of her. As they ride up the lift, a gloomy mood descends them. Even if they make ironic statements that she cannot die even if you kill her. Worrying about her is the least of their concerns because upon reaching the surface, they are surrounded by SWAT teams.

Episode 3
Nene and Clarion are called out by the officer. Then the rest are arrested! Nene and Clarion head to Takumi’s house and her aunty is a loli???!!! And she is the kind who hates being called an aunt too. Takumi receives a cheeky message left behind by Uzal about how she treats her ‘toys’, the reason she sent Clarion to be her ‘babysitter’. Takumi goes into rage talking about how she had it hard sneaking out Nene from the facility and thus she belongs to her and only her. Although this is also now Nene’s home, Takumi is not happy she has another thing to take care and thinks Uzal just pushed this responsibility to her. As Nene lost her luggage during the terrorist attack, Takumi takes her out shopping. Clarion senses somebody targeting Nene and attacks the perpetrator… A dog? Takumi becomes obsessed in trying to touch Clarion’s ears and even more so when she doesn’t let her. Her ‘bullying’ over Clarion crosses the line so Nene activates her Pandora Device and starts deleting all the hard work data Nene has done. Seems the entire space is just an illusion. Nene then goes down to the central room where Takumi is and slap her for being a bully. Seems Nene knew the entire thing was a simulation from the start. Although this makes Nene more interesting to her, Takumi can’t help cower in fear at how ‘awesome’ she is.

It is reported that the internationally wanted terrorist, Sahar Schehera is confirmed dead during the attacks. His accomplices have been arrested and Uzal is believed to be dead and a state wide funeral is held in her remembrance. As the criminals are being transported to a correctional facility, a bomb explodes at its entrance. Nene and Clarion head out to town for real. Takumi spies on them via her surveillance. She notices a shady character tailing them and corners her with Gerts. At the same time, Takumi detects somebody hacking into her system. Nene?! Another warning that spying on others is wrong. So this shady character turns out to be one of Uzal’s useless subordinates, Bunny. She desperately wants the glasses that activated BUER. Clarion had them all along. There is a cheeky message left by Uzal that she knew this was coming and made Bunny do all the useless stuffs before just handing it over. She then returns to her big boss, Colonel Ian Kurtz who is not pleased with her and the group’s performance. He saved them from the police to keep information from leaking out but their failures have caused him to waste precious time. But since she completed this within the stipulated time, he will not execute her comrades as promised. But it seems the real key could be that lion guy. He claims his giant body is currently resting and will be starting up in normal fashion soon. Takumi believes Uzal actually did complete something and that the terrorist attack and her puppet showing up are all connected.

Episode 4
Takumi wants to dissect BUER but luckily Nene and Clarion put a stop to it. Takumi starts thinking the need to distract Nene because her hacking skills can be quite a pain in the ass. So she creates her favourite RPG game to play but Takumi was soon busted. So Takumi is now under constant surveillance and this gives her the creeps. Actually Nene just enrolled in a school and her homework is to research about the feelings while getting a job being done. Takumi then introduces a few of her businesses in which she can observe. Of course now that the cat is away, the mouse comes out to play. Yup, nobody can stop Takumi from experimenting on BUER now. The duo head to one of Takumi’s industrial companies and once the receptionist realizes she is a VVVIP, all the staffs come to greet her and show her all their technological advances in each of their department. Perhaps everything is too overwhelming for Nene to handle… She thinks this is not perhaps what she wanted. She then notices a nearby charity event and becomes interested in helping out. She observes everyone having a good time when suddenly punks come by to wreck the place. The crowd becomes terrified and Clarion steps in. Of course they try to beat her up but she is stronger than your metal bat. That is when the crowd starts to turn on the punks and beings throwing stuffs at them. These punks are the underlings of Bunny. She wonders why they are taking so long to clear the crowd out and when she sees Nene and Clarion, she makes the wise choice of retreating. So as not to ruin the rest of the day, Nene uses Pandora Device and with Clarion’s help, they cook for the crowd. Meanwhile Kurtz is not fazed with the failure since the inevitable fate of this island will still happen when the time comes. Lastly, Takumi has cornered BUER and will dissect him to her heart’s content. Luckily the duo return in time to give her another good reminder. Despite shaking in fear, Takumi still threatens them. Till Nene hacks and destroys her Gert. Now you be a good girl and keep your hands off BUER and Clarion, okay? Okay.

Episode 5
Takumi shows her Gert production facility although Clarion points out the fundamental layout and design were done by Uzal. Learning their lesson from last time, the duo take BUER with them when they go out. Each time he tries to make a stupid joke, expect a chop from Clarion. They practice juggling at the park and the crowd is enthralled. However Nene doesn’t feel satisfied or doing it right because it is like using Clarion’s power. It feels like cheating. Because everything from Nene was given by someone else. An old lady, Anna was watching their performance and praises how they could do it so well with prosthetics. She has a prosthetic hand but can hardly control it. She gives them a sweet as reward. The city suddenly experiences network outage. This means all services stop running and everything electrical too because Anna’s pacemaker just stopped. The duo then are met with Robert Altman who thinks they are androids but swiftly stands corrected. As he agrees to escort them home, they get to know each other and take a detour helping others in need because it is Robert’s nature to help others. This includes disabling and apprehending a pair of kidnappers. We see Robert having some sort of super speed to take them down. After they part, Nene and Clarion see Anna squirming on the ground. Nene uses Pandora Device to become a paramedic and then chauffeur her to the hospital whereby the power conveniently resumes. Anna learns Nene is a full body cyborg but still thanks her nevertheless. It leaves Nene a little fuzzy since this is the first time somebody praised her. Meanwhile Robert reports to Kurtz who is not impressed he is 42 seconds late! Well, you can’t argue how time is essence in life. He wants to requisite 4 more underwater robots although he already got 6 last week but were lost. Robert agrees to comply without question. Kurtz then reminds him to carry out the order regarding Vulcan Harbour Park. This is all for the sake for world peace.

Episode 6
Nene sees Dr Toto for her check-up. He is impressed with Takumi’s great maintenance, she is in good shape. Despite the city is experiencing another network outage, the hospital has many backups thanks to Takumi. A little girl, Amy Gilliam is also here for her check-up but her stray kitten, Lean followed and wandered into the hospital. As she goes around looking for it, she stumbles upon BUER being locked inside a cabinet (it’s the only way for Clarion to make sure he stays put). He agrees to help Amy find Lean but this little dude can only talk big fancy words. Talk about being useless, right? I might be just coincidence that Lean appears before them before running away again. The duo are reunited with Nene and Clarion. BUER thought he could get Nene’s hug but she is infatuated in hugging cute little Amy. Instead, BUER got his ‘hug’ from Clarion. Thankfully Lean is safe in Anna’s hands. They agree to help look after Lean as Amy goes to her check-up. Unfortunately she trips and rips her dress. She starts crying that she wanted to show Dr Toto the dress and any other dress won’t do. Nene has an idea as she uses Pandora Device (away from Amy’s eyes of course because lesbianism is NSFW) and becomes a tailor to turn the rip in the dress into a frilly fashion statement. Amy the world’s happiest girl. After her check-up, she receives a new and improved right prosthetic leg. Nene and Clarion accompany Amy back to her camp. She lives with her grandma at the park where that charity event was held. To her dismay, everyone is gone. Crying again? But after contacting grandma, it seems the CDF (police) ushered everyone away to another spot. As Nene takes Amy there, she crosses path with Kurtz from the opposite direction. When they pass each other, Kurtz’s invisible bodyguard is about to punch Nene from the back but Clarion blocks it. The bodyguard ignores and resumes following Kurtz while Clarion continues to stare with suspicion.

Episode 7
Takumi is not thrilled that Nene gets light injuries each time she helps out. Thanks to Uzal’s safety design, she hasn’t been seriously injured yet. A mysterious unknown module inside Nene only ticks Takumi off as she is going to solve this mystery once and for all. But she hears Nene and Clarion talking about the former’s transformation scene which is actually just an optical camouflage for her clothes. Say what again? Nene and Clarion go to visit Amy and her grandma’s new settlement home. They also meet Robert there helping out. A group of robbers, Chicken Bros (seriously?) led by Mr Chicken (seriously?) target to kidnap the duo. They believe they must fetch a high price in the black market seeing Clarion’s high efficiency in defending all their attacks. But Nene gets kidnapped and Clarion netted by Mr Chicken’s brother, Fried (wait a minute. Chicken and Fried? As in Fried Chicken?). They have to leave now since the temporary network outage will be gone. This leaves Clarion mad as she chases them down. Takumi is even madder and uses her hacking skills to track their hideout. The gang is already waiting for Clarion and ready to take her down. They fight but she is pinned down by Fried’s cybernetic arms. Because he touched her ‘forbidden zone’ (ears), she goes berserk and cuts his arm off. They start to think she is an illegal AI since it attacked a human without being ordered. Meanwhile Nene wakes up in a storeroom and sees all the inactivated robots. She goes to call Clarion who then abandons the fight just to be by her side. She shows her the robots and wants to help them. Using Pandora Device and her puppeteer ability allows Nene to control all of them to overwhelm the thieves. This has got to be the weirdest orgy party ever, eh? The robbers are left confused and perhaps realized they have messed with something more than they can handle after Nene warns them not to pick on Clarion. CDF later arrests them and thanks to Takumi cleaning up the mess, the news reports the group being busted due to in-fighting.

Episode 8
Janus North, the governor of Cenancle makes his speech for Herme’s department store by offering free goods as apology for the frequent power outages. A reporter tries to usurp the event and interview him about his luxury limo controversy but gets taser by his assistant. Nene and Clarion are also here to shop for equipment and they end up in the same elevator as North and his assistant. North thinks they are high quality androids and perhaps the reason the media always writes on them for the economy’s recession (something about robots stealing your jobs) but corrects himself after Nene introduces themselves as humans. Then another outage occurs. The lift stops working. Worst of all, North needs to go to the toilet! Time to panic? Nene uses Pandora Device to help relief his anxiety by showing him heaven? Is this what you see when you’re high on drugs? Why didn’t Clarion just force open the door in the first place? But that is just the beginning of another problem: The entire building is on fire! Luckily everyone else has evacuated. I don’t know what this Pandora Device they use to escape the flames. How should I put it? Riding inside a big sack on a cart and using ultrasound to guide their way around. Looks funny… All the while, North can only think how amazing technology has become for androids to function as closely as humans. And cute too! As they descend the emergency stairs, Nene sees a lost kid. She wants to save him but Clarion says he is not their responsibility. You know she won’t abandon him, right? And of course Clarion can’t abandon Nene since protecting her life is her top priority. North and his assistant get out safely and they lament Nene and Clarion aren’t with them. While Nene gives her oxygen mask to the boy, Clarion uses her giant sack as parachute as she jumps off the collapsing structure. Don’t worry, a ‘soft landing’ on somebody’s luxury limo… Quickly they hand over the boy to that reporter and she unwittingly becomes a hero. Didn’t even know what happened… Clarion and Nene run away. Robert spots them but Clarion puts her finger on her lips and Robert instantly knows what she meant. He assures North that those girls are safe. When Clarion cannot move on, Takumi’s Gerts come pick them up.

Episode 9
Many hours ago, Kurtz and his team have successfully infiltrated the first defence barrier of BUER’s spherical body. But he senses something amiss so he orders the classified storage units moved out immediately even if it means losing some hard earned data. They managed to do that in time before BUER releases a high energy beam, the one that resulted in that network outage and caused the building to be on fire. Nene and Clarion see Dr Toto to get some patch-up but nothing serious. Clarion has been thinking and she would like to help Nene achieve her world peace. What seems like a normal day with Nene being her happy self. That night, Clarion is seen riding a giant badass mecha infiltrating into a facility. You think the human guards can take on this? Not a chance. Flashback reveals that Clarion went to seek Takumi’s cooperation. Insistent at first, a video of Uzal then pops up to explain the dire situation that is about to happen. This video is playing itself because BUER’s systems has been detected to go on a rampage and will continue to do so until it self-destructs. She hopes Takumi can help contribute to world peace. Takumi knew the American Imperial Army (AIA) has been swarming Uzal’s lab but never paid attention since she didn’t think they could succeed in interfering. With evidence from the building’s destruction that some particle cannon was fired, Takumi agrees to help Clarion. But Clarion’s intention is not to fight the army but to stabilize BUER and in turn protect Nene. However Takumi has one condition and that she cannot kill or deeply injure anybody. Just one is enough for her to lose her right to be with Nene. So we see Clarion carefully ‘dismantling’ the guards. In the next room, guess who is waiting for her? Bunny! Forgotten and ignored… I believe Bunny is still an idiot because she thought her threats were enough to make Clarion back down. Even more so, her robots don’t listen to her and fire all they’ve got. You know how tough Clarion’s mecha is, right? And to end this farce, a rain of missiles at Bunny shuts this b*tch up for good. Suddenly the Gerts are sliced in half. Courtesy from the invisible bodyguard. Kurtz is impressed with Clarion’s abilities and will spare 5 minutes for amusement. Time is precious, you know. Nene wakes up and only finds a note from Clarion telling her not to get involved.

Episode 10
Nene looks for Takumi and is explained Clarion left for an errand that involves company secrets. So don’t worry. However Nene thinks Clarion is mad because of that note. Just when she thought she gets a call from Clarion, it is from Amy inviting her to her newly completed temporary shelter to play. Too bad Nene is spacing out and unable to concentrate, even mistaking Amy for Clarion. She couldn’t even concentrate while saving Lean stuck up a tree. Thankfully she is caught by Robert. It feels like Robert has become her psychologist to analyze what is bugging her and those feelings she has for Clarion. Ultimately it is natural for Nene to worry about her and go help her even if told not to. This gives Robert some sort of personal motivation too. After discussing with North, he returns to address his CDF team about raiding AIA’s base. However this is not an order and just voluntary. I guess everybody vouches for the peace of this island so they all agree to go with him. Meanwhile Clarion still manages to hold her ground over the relentless attacks. She even manages to dismantle his cloaking armour and it turns out he is an android that can even transform. Clarion can still fight on par and could have continued had not for stupid Bunny who thinks she can waltz in and help out during the fast paced action. So fast that you can’t even see what the f*ck is happening. Because Clarion remembers her promise not to have anyone killed, she saves her from being chopped up by android dude but in the process ends up on the receiving end. Nene cleans her room while fantasizing the princely return of Clarion. Then remembers she has forgotten all about BUER and after lets him out. From the way he talks, Nene knew Clarion is out for more than just an errand. She is going to find Clarion and leaves a decoy hologram to fool Takumi (since she is busy trying to monitor Clarion) and heads out.

Episode 11
Nene sneaks into AIA’s base and where did she end up? In a room where macho naked men are changing!!! Screaming like little girls???!!! I hope no one will complain about not being able to get married anymore. She hides in a room filled with inactivated robots. Kurtz is also there too and to think Nene could fool him with her, uhm, robotic act? Well, he orders her to be disposed off. Unknown to him, BUER tags on his back. Now Nene finds herself in the incinerator dump and with her is Bunny. I guess it is time they figure out how useless this trash is, huh? As the floor is opening to burn all unwanted trash, Bunny has Nene dive into the system to stop this process. So this data world is a bit like Pac-man? Just when Bunny resigns to her fate that she is going to die first before her comrades, Nene successfully stops the system. Phew. Just another foot and they’ll be goners. Then Bunny realizes the cables connecting to Nene weren’t connected at all… Oh sh*t… You mean she did that all by herself?! Bunny gives Nene a weapon left behind by Clarion. Before she could say she died, Nene had already wandered off. I’m not sure about this next scene because it involves a battle between Kurtz’s scientists as well as Takumi trying to hack into BUER but the lion guy is fighting back (hijacking one of the scientists) by strengthening all the barriers with Trojans and everything else. Before BUER can fire another particle, they manage to stop it and it is believed BUER is now under their control.

Kurtz then spots Nene wandering around looking for Clarion. He communicates with her and calls her as Sahar’s successor. He explains about BUER’s worth in its charged particle cannon. Whoever controls it, controls the world. Yeah, we all know how rotten and corrupted this world is, right? So what gives Kurtz’s the right to control it via BUER? It doesn’t make sense they can fire a cannon without risking any treaty violation compared to nukes. He wants Nene to join him and using her technology they will create their ideal world. But Nene dismisses all that and says world peace can be achieved with money! Yeah, you can buy world peace! This only pisses off Kurtz. Viewing her as the same as the rest and a waste of time, he is going to let her meet the same fate as he friend. Here is a piece of her arm, the only part left after being disintegrated. Before Nene can be destroyed by the bodyguard, Clarion saves her. Wait. What? I thought she is dead? Apparently not. You trying to troll us? Guess what? The girls ignore Kurtz’s ranting of his ideologies and don’t give a f*ck about what he is saying since they go into their yuri reconciliation mode. You know, how Nene came to love everyone she meets on Cenancle and how much she loves Clarion. As well as she understands why Clarion did all this for her sake and not to get involved. As somebody special to her, she too wants to help her out in anyway. So you done with your touchy reunion? Time to stop talking and get into your Pandora Device gear. Because Kurtz is going to introduce his bodyguard. Behold and fear… Fear! How apt his name. And he is going to show them what it means…

Episode 12
Don’t be fooled yet if Fear is defeated so fast because Kurtz gives Fear the order to go all out and kill them. Meanwhile Kurtz himself goes to The BUER sphere to activate and take control of it. So by the time Nene and Clarion defeat Fear for good, Kurtz against BUER’s advice not to do this goes unheeded, suddenly images of girls’ thighs are broadcasted throughout the world?! WTF???!!! What the f*ck did we just see?! BUER’s little porn collection?! WTF?! BUER becomes saddened that people tried to gang up on him, hack into his system to expose his little happiness. But you don’t know how mad Kurtz is. The effort he put in, the time he has spent. All wasted over this silly porn?! What’s more, BUER said they just scratched the surface and nowhere near his core!!! In BUER’s despair, he is going to decimate the island with his beam. Now pops up Uzal of all times. At least in holographic form to tell them the key to stop BUER. Clarion is the other real key to stop BUER from inside but the catch is that she has to sacrifice herself. Nene instantly puts her foot down this will not do despite Clarion has accepted her fate that this is what she must do. Oh, guess what? Apparently there is another way too but risky. Nene immediately agrees to it but when Clarion objects to it and even disobeys Uzal, Nene says it is okay. WTF. So Clarion can’t do anything dangerous but Nene can? What kind of double standard is this?! So while they race to the centre of the BUER sphere, Kurtz tries to stop them in his mecha but got stuck somewhere. Nene reaches BUER’s core to calm the little lion down. Yeah, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Ironically everyone should! Then a big hug before BUER realizes a big but minimal beam of discharge into the sky.

Robert and his team arrive to arrest Kurtz. Seems he has formed a new organization which is not military and has enough evidence to convict Kurtz behind the terrorist acts. He is also stripped of his military position and is now just a criminal. Clarion is worried Nene didn’t answer her but BUER can grant her final wish and all Clarion want is Nene. Really? I thought she was alive all along. Now everyone has to get out before the place crumbles as the BUER sphere is sinking itself deep into the ocean. Uzal notes all part of the first phase of her secret experiment. Don’t ask… But Uzal thanks Takumi for taking care of Nene and Clarion who are both the true keys to BUER. Kurtz escapes during the collapse. He thinks he sees the real Uzal and I am not sure if the collapsing debris got him. Clarion has somewhat retrieved BUER the lion as they safely reach outside along with Bunny and her comrades. One second late and they would actually have been goners. In the aftermath, peace seemingly returns to Cenancle. Bunny and her comrades are taken in by Takumi but are made to wok their ass off. Robert still helps others in need. Nene and Clarion go out together and Nene hopes Clarion would find what she is looking for. However Clarion says she has already found it and will only tell her if Nene achieves world peace. I think I know what it is…

(Cyborg) Girl Meets (Android) Girl
Okay… I laughed, I cringed and I had my confused moments. But ultimately in the end, this series isn’t one that you should take seriously and one that wouldn’t be in the mainstream or the radars of many anime enthusiasts especially those who are really into the sci-fi genre. You could have spotted the signs like BUER’s design, Takumi’s childish nature despite being an aunty and even how Nene activates Pandora Device via Clarion should give you a clue that you can’t expect this series to be up there with the same level as To Aru Majutsu No Index or even To Aru Kagaku No Railgun.

Although there are a few sci-fi terms throughout the series, the spontaneous (and random) funny moments made this series bearable to watch. At least for yours truly. You know how much I detest in having to learn a lot of sci-fi terms, trying to figure them out and piecing them together and only to find in the end that I have not understood a single thing thus inhibiting my experience to enjoy the most out of a series. So thankfully with the minimal ‘serious’ sci-fi elements, the series is mostly just about the daily friendship and bonding between Nene and Clarion. Sometimes the episodes feel like standalones like the building on fire or visit to the doctor although in actual fact they are not. Because the only threat and antagonist throughout the series seems to be taking his time for his world domination goal. It is like they are teasing us on and off in the initial episodes, showing short clips of his team in trying to unlock and control the giant solid eyeball.

Thus no matter how silly the comical moments may look, at least it softens the impact of not letting my brains go into meltdown by thinking all the confusing terms and plots that could be far worse than seeing Takumi doing all her superb hacking and programming skills in which she makes it look like child’s play. You’ll tend to notice how many of the funny moments feel like the series’ running joke. The most obvious one being everyone in this series tends to call Clarion as Clarin thanks to Nene ‘corrupting’ them by introducing her as so. Each time Clarion clarifies her name herself, nobody listens and continues to call her by her shortened name. I suppose Clarion has had enough in rebuking Nene about her real name and just let her be. So much so right in the end when things seem bleak, Clarion even wants her to call her by that name. Yeah, just for dramatic effect I suppose.

Another obvious one is that unlucky reporter who has become a staple of each episode. She always gets into some sort of dangerous predicament that could kill her (for the first few episodes, I thought it was a joke that she ‘died’ and miraculously came back to life from all those ‘deaths’). She gets passionate about being the best journalist ever and the ultimatum signalling an end to her screen time is that before she could finish saying her name (was it Vlind or something?), she is disrupted by some sort of accident. Well, what doesn’t kill her makes her stronger. I think. Don’t worry. You can count on her to always come back in the next episode even funnier.

I think I also noticed this somewhat reduces the seriousness effect of this series. Clarion for half the time if she is not drawn or animated as her cat-eared maid outfit character, she is mostly seen animated simply as just her outline figure. You know that cat character known as Chiyo’s dad in Azumanga Daioh? Yup. Looks something like that except you don’t even colour it and leave it all white instead. Sometimes it feels the producers are lazy in just drawing her full detailed body and dress but then again, she kinda looks funny in this shape. Oh yeah, I thought she sometimes looked like a ghost.

Last but not least, there is BUER to add and complete to the list of running jokes of the series. This little lion dude as I can see doesn’t really contribute much for a big portion of the series and his only role is to be an idiotic character since he spouts grandeur ‘philosophical’ lines. And when he steps out of line trying to become a pervert, you bet Clarion will be there to crush him to put him in his place. So if you want to shut this dude up, just throw him in a dark box on enclosure and you can bet he will quickly fall into his trauma complaining about the darkness and cramped spaces. Making him even odder is his fifth leg which makes it look ambiguously like a certain erected male anatomy and the one he moves it around is like trying to confirm you have a dirty mind.

Speaking of fanservice, I don’t think I could get used to it. Aside from BUER swinging his fifth leg and making ambiguous poses with it, seeing the only obvious one is the use of Pandora Device in which is a cue for not only a transformation scene but for Clarion to lift up her skirt and allow Nene to have her hand-in-vagina moment. Knowing that Clarion is an android and you can see limb joint lines all over her body, it feels that even if you get to see Clarion fully in the flesh, it is more like looking at a naked mannequin. Also, red pantsu that Clarion always wears is not my thing and doesn’t turn me on… There might be some yuri moments but I can consider them as mild and even less. Heh. Not that I am a yuri expert or lover but I have seen ‘enough’ to believe there are mildly bolder ones.

The action parts are fairly entertaining but if you expected something that is over the top and even flashier in an exaggerated way, you would be better off looking elsewhere. Because Clarion remains the best kickass character of the series considering she is an android programmed with some fighting and offensive skills. Even if Nene transforms via Pandora Device, she doesn’t do much fighting with it later on in the series as she uses it more for cooking, paramedic and even tailoring.

Talking about the character development, unfortunately all the characters do not feel as much even with the big flashing sign that this show is about the yuri relationship between Nene and Clarion. Because mainly I feel that all the characters (and this includes the baddie himself) are either jokers or have child-like personalities. You can already tell from Nene’s airhead character that she is nonchalant and the happy-go-lucky kind. Because for her to even think about using money to buy world peace, you can call her naïve but hey, money solves everything, right? RIGHT?! Despite not being a rich girl herself and for her to come up with this kind of conclusion, it shows the power of money, doesn’t it? Cyborgs too value money! Even Clarion who doesn’t show much emotions, as I said her animated form for half the series makes her feel a lot more comical in those situations and even more so when she plays the rebuking role to BUER who himself is a big little joker.

But if you want a dumb joker, that role goes to Bunny whose every darn appearance will only have you think something funnily bad is going to happen to her. It is amazing this useless subordinate is still alive after so long and her comrades too but in prison. They are like unlucky luckies. Get what I mean? Don’t get me started on Vlind too because you know who she is and what she is for. Then you have Takumi who acts like a child throwing tantrum if she thinks she is superior than you but when she realizes Nene is far more superior, she cowers behind her Gert like a child afraid of her parent. Amy might be one of the few least joker characters but I feel she is there because for the moe loli factor. Why else would she be in this series for? Even minor characters like North and even Mr Chicken feel more comical than anything serious, don’t you agree?

And as I have said that even with Kurtz being the villain looking all that serious and a typical baddie look, he also feels like a joke, spouting his time-is-precious crap and world dominating goal. Yeah, it took him almost an entire season trying to get control of BUER, right? You can’t blame him for being mad that after all this time of wanting to shape the world to his ideals, all he got was somebody’s porn! Truly disappointing! Truly hilarious! Well, at least we know he isn’t into girls’ thighs ;p… I thought he might even go as far as killing himself for all those wasted time. And Robert’s role seems so minimal, that you wonder that everything from his cameo is just to lead up to the final scene of him arresting Kurtz in which he somewhat fails. So how is Robert a joker? His penchant to help everybody in need with a smile. That itself is a joke in a real world because you can’t find such a Good Samaritan anymore. Yeah, blame the world for making me cynical.

I am not sure if Uzal is dead since after stabilizing BUER for the first time, she only appears in videos that are timed to appear when certain circumstances and conditions are met. Even in the final episode it is hinted she is very much alive, it made me wonder if that was all just part of her advanced programming. Yeah, I know she is a super genius but it feels like she is like God in this sense of knowing what will happen. Uh huh. It is like she made provision and predicted almost everything that would likely happen. Perhaps she has more cheeky experiments to carry out and thus the reason she is moving about in the shadows. I am a little confused of her background. Not too sure if she has a double identity because the world projected her as a terrorist that looks like a Che Guevara revolutionist under her Sahar moniker. As there was a movie adapted from the series before the TV series and as usual I have not watched it, I am not sure if this movie is a condensed summary of the entire TV series or a prequel to the story. So I won’t be finding out more about Uzal any time soon or ever since this genius scientist is an ever greater mystery than BUER.

Art and drawing for a sci-fi genre feels acceptable. But somehow I find that some of the young looking female characters to resemble a lot from the mahjong series Saki. As I found out, both series are animated by Studio Gokumi (although they only animate the Achiga-hen and Zenkoku-hen of the Saki series) who also did animate anime with lots of moe like A Channel Kono Naka Ni Hitori Imouto Ga Iru, Kiniro Mosaic and Yuuki Yuuna Wa Yuusha De Aru. Therefore it is without any doubt that I see strange similarities in some of the characters like Clarion whom I thought is a flat chest version of Nodoka! Nene looks like a cross between Saki and Shizuno while Takumi feels more like a livelier version than Arata. And that Vlind girl? A bit like Yuuki, doesn’t she? The only young female character that doesn’t look like a Saki character is Amy. Because when I first looked at her, I thought she was a younger version of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s Mami!

The only seiyuu I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Kurtz. The rest are Sanae Fuku as Nene (Risa Shirakaba in Aikatsu series), Manami Numakura as Clarion (Paula in Nisekoi), Marie Miyake as Takumi (Ringo in Mawaru Penguindrum), Atsuko Tanaka as Uzal (Caster in Fate/Stay Night series), Junpei Morita as BUER (Jason Li in Classroom Crisis), Tetsu Inada as Robert (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill), Maria Nakagawa as Amy (Theia in Rokujouma No Shinryakusha) and Rie Murakawa as Bunny (Hotaru in Non Non Biyori). The thing that attracted my attention and perhaps the only thing that makes the opening theme, Hopeness by ZAQ stand out is the fast and creative finger drilling piano play. Otherwise it would have just been another generic sci-fi song to me so thanks to this seemingly hectic and crazy pace of the piano, it really got my attention there.

As for the ending theme, Lose Control by the duet of Sanae Fuku and Manami Numakura, uhm, how should I put it? The song feels robotic… Uhm, robotic-like sound effects? Sure, it also feels like a theme for the yuri pair but the way it is played out makes it feel quite android-like and weird. It’s like trying to be Miss Monochrome but couldn’t. Also during the ending credits sequence, there will be a short radio show hosted by the duo called Pandoradio in which of course Nene is being the idiot and Clarion the rebuking role. While I don’t particularly note the background music, there was one that stood out like a sore thumb. During the final episode’s climatic sequence, there is this opera lady singing in the background. It just felt so weird…

Overall, a fairly entertaining series but don’t count on it being mainstream. Because the prospect of seeing mild yuri with robot girls might be too much to handle for some even though these girls look and act so human-like. Not the best in story, character development, action and fanservice or even in the sci-fi genre if you have certain hopes and expectations for it. But if you can open your mind just a little and accept the random hilarious (and robot yuri), there is some worth in watching this little entertainment and make you ponder about the possibility of the future of high technology. Yeah, it has got me worrying about the frequent network outages… I’m so scared… Not even all the money in the world could solve this. So buying world peace with money may seem like mission impossible and a pipe dream but at least it is more probable to buy all the ecchi anime, manga and eroge. Oh yeah. Those are world peace material! Or Pandora’s Box to world destruction? I know. That feeling of how much you want the world to just explode when the world sees your porn collection. That is why always remember to hide it well. Deep and dark corners of your folders…

P/S: You know it is world destruction when there are only yuri robots left to make out ;p.

Ooyasan Wa Shishunki

September 23, 2016

All that hassle in owning and renting a house. I’m sure for those who rent, many are faced with the unwanted problematic landlords that come in all forms of quirky personalities. From mean ones to those who just create weird rules, but you know, that is just half of the stories. Yeah, tenants from hell. So imagine having a landlord who is just a little girl! Wait. What? You read that right. At least for Ooyasan Wa Shishunki. A girl who is young enough to be your daughter is actually your landlord. The one who rules over whether you have a place to stay tonight. Don’t worry. This isn’t some sort of dark series but rather a light hearted comedy that lasts only 2 minutes about the daily lives of this landlady and her occupants.

Episode 1
Maeda just moved into his new apartment but who is this cute little girl, Chie Satonaka? Could she be his long lost sister that dad has secretly kept from him? A fiancée from his past life? Dream on! She is the landlord of this building. Dang. But I guess it isn’t all that bad. I mean, how lucky can a tenant get to have a cute middle school girl as their landlord? Or maybe Maeda is just being a typical male pervert. Making Maeda’s life ‘better’ is that his neighbour, Reiko Shirai is a hot woman. Reiko hands Chie a welcoming gift. Chie thinks it is some premium cooking oil she always wanted but never had because it was too expensive. To her dismay, they turn out to be bottles of bath liquids. What’s so bad about that? This apartment doesn’t have any baths. Oh…

Episode 2
If you’re wondering why Chie is always wearing her school uniform all the time, it is because it gives her a peace of mind. Heck, her wardrobe only has these clothes. So basically those are the only clothes that she can wear! Reiko has brought a cute apron for her but she prefers the traditional type that covers her entire body since in that way her uniform won’t get dirty. The girls help Maeda to cook because you know, guys like him are a noob in the kitchen. He must be enjoying his life with 2 girls flanking him as he cook. As he tastes the broth, he starts thinking about the indirect kiss with Chie. Reiko won’t allow that and quickly washes the little plate! Thankfully the food turns out to be good and Maeda is glad he is at the pinnacle of his life.

Episode 3
It seems Chie is being stalked by somebody! Reiko can’t stay with her since she has to work. However she doesn’t want Maeda to stay with Chie. Guess what? Chie interprets that this means she will stay in Maeda’s room! A win-win situation for Maeda?! So how does it feel to sleep next to a middle school girl? A sound startles Chie as she hugs Maeda in her reflex. Can you consider this out of his control? Time to turn in to bed although it is still early. Chie wants to hold his hand while sleeping. But after a minute, she falls deep into sleep and slaps his hand off. Next morning, Chie feels safe and assured so she thanks him. Then they discover the stalker outside the door poorly pretending to be a cat, Kengo Sasaki. This guy from her class has a crush on Chie. He questions Maeda’s relationship to her. Chie’s answer? He is like a father figure. Oh, the heartbreak. This has Kengo ask her to be his girlfriend. She declines because she doesn’t want to go out with a guy who follows her all the way home! Rejected! Oh, the heartbreak. Chie then leaves for school as she leaves behind 2 shocked men with broken hearts in her wake… Oh, oh…

Episode 4
Maeda returns home to find Chie cooking for him. In fact, she is acting like his wife. Serving him and even cleaning up. Now he has some explaining to do to Reiko. Chie ambiguously put it that Maeda told her she could drop by anytime to eat with him. I mean, food tastes great with company, right? As for how she got in, she has a spare key. Also, she thought it would be quicker to cook in Maeda’s place instead of carrying the ingredients back to her room. Reiko is devastated the duo are like close roommates. I’m sure she is against this relationship but when they invite her to join them, she quickly reschedules her plans.

Episode 5
When Maeda and Reiko learn Chie doesn’t join any clubs and heads straight home after school, they try to appeal to her about sports and music clubs but are ignored. When the teacher notices Chie is always alone, she gets the wrong idea alone means being bullied. She tries to have lunch with her classmates. They let her join but Chie finds their radiance is so shiny and sparkly. Unlike their decent bento, Chie’s bento is just poor. It makes her depressed. So Chie seeks Reiko’s help to make cute bento although all she knows how to make is onigiri.

Episode 6
Reiko makes character bento for Chie but it looks like a horror character! She shows it to her friends and they are scared at first but come to terms at how amusing it looks. Chie becomes the centre of attention when more friends come to join her for lunch. Chie thanks Reiko for making such a great bento that everyone snacked only on the dried squid. Is that a compliment? With everyone having fun talking about making character bento, Maeda suggests to form a club with her friends. After getting all the necessary approvals, the cooking club is ready to go. But did she have to use that horror character as the advertising poster?

Episode 7
Chie and her cooking club begin cooking their pork soup to commemorate their first day of the club. The friends are impressed seeing how Chie is so adept in using the peeler to cut and the knife to quickly shave or cut. While they may be feeling tired or their hands numb, Chie is still like a work horse! She is not stopping! In the end, the pork soup was worth all the preparations. But since they left the window open, the great aroma attracted other people as they have a great taste of their pork soup. So they’re like a cafeteria now? Chie returns home to tell Maeda and Reiko how they made 220 servings! Yup, definitely not going to make food for the entire school again.

Episode 8
Maeda and co head to the public bath. He wonders why there are suddenly so many old men. Is it because they are here for Reiko and Chie?! As Maeda soaks with those old farts, he wonders why everyone is so silent. Is it because so they can hear the girls eavesdrop?! They blush whenever the girls mention their name. But the old guys soon become jealous when the girls seem to mention and talk about Maeda’s name a lot. At the end of the bath, Chie gives Reiko a good massage. Her sexy moaning gives Maeda a wrong idea. As they leave, while the girls enjoyed theirs, Maeda feels he doesn’t want to go to such baths again.

Episode 9
Chie’s friends see her reading a grocery flyer. But they are wondering if they should tell her she is reading yesterday’s edition. When they do so, it seems Chie knows and the reason being if she looks at today’s flyer, she can’t concentrate in class. They heard rumours of her shopping with a grown man. They paint a handsome picture of him As they ask her, Chie thinks they are talking about Maeda and mentions he is just a tenant (Tanako) but the girls misinterpret that as his name. Because of that, they get the wrong idea of her relationship when Chie explains they live in the same block and eat dinner together sometimes. As they squeal in delight, it makes Chie wonder if having such good rapport between landlord and tenant is unheard of.

Episode 10
Chie’s friends, Mayu Ueno and Yuki Miyamura are at her place to study. Instantly Reiko and Yuki click. Why? Because they have big boobs and they understand how hard it is to have them! Even more shocking, Yuki for her age, her busts are already big and she mentions they are still growing?! So they head to the lingerie store to buy bras. When Yuki tries hers, she realizes she has grown 2 sizes! Luckily Chie and Mayu are glad they are flat chests since they won’t have such problems. At home, Chie tries to put on a hook bra for the first time. Need more practice…

Episode 11
Chie realizes her entire wardrobe is filled with the same school uniform (refer to episode 2 to refresh your memories). Now you know why she wears the same outfit everywhere she goes, right? Feeling out of place, Reiko and Maeda take her shopping for clothes. Well, if the zeroes on the price tag don’t kill her… Since casual clothes aren’t her thing, they look for some kimonos. Yeah, more zeroes… Maeda and Reiko manage to buy her an affordable one. Chie declines to accept at first but seeing how bad they felt, she accepts. She is quite happy with the gift and ends up staring at it all night. Didn’t get to sleep a wink…

Episode 12
Maeda doesn’t think Chie needs a chaperon for the fireworks festival as Reiko wanted. She insists he be her bodyguard. When Chie is seen clumsily running in her yukata, all that cuteness is enough to make him take the job. Chie meets her friends to head there and Maeda is definitely in heaven seeing all the girls in their cute yukata. Because it is crowded, Chie gets bumped into and Maeda saves her. She finds him cool. But I’m not sure if this makes him cooler because he starts directing the crowd traffic while the girls have fun! Talk about overdoing his job and even more. When it is time for the fireworks, Chie meets up with him to thank him for what he has done. He really looked cool. Ever since he moved in, she has nothing but fun. She hopes to come here with him again next year. The best ending a guy could ever have. But not so good ending for Reiko because she is desperately trying to find Chie and take a cute picture of her while her colleague restrains her since they’re supposed to be on duty. All dressed up and no Chie in sight.

Tenancy Due For Review
Well… Even though it wasn’t anything special, at least it wasn’t that disappointing. The very short duration of the series may have influenced my overall sentiments because despite being short in length, series like this are supposed to be fun and in bite-size. But recently there were a handful of short length anime series that were even able to disappoint me (looking at you Pan De Peace and Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara). Therefore this series wasn’t as bad as those aforementioned ones and still had the decency of keeping me entertained.

The plot isn’t anything special and it feels as generic as a simple series can be. Like as mentioned in my opening paragraph, it just deals with the daily antics of the occupants of a certain apartment. With many of the funny moments come bursting in as spontaneous, maybe that is why the entirety of everything this series had wasn’t so bad. The pacing felt a little fast (think Teekyuu but on a slightly slower note) but that is what you get when you have to cram everything in 2 minutes. And that isn’t counting the opening theme which already takes up half a minute there. So yeah, the story isn’t much but at least it was a little funny in an entertaining way.

As for the characters, nothing really too deep. From the synopsis, it gave me the impression that Maeda would be the main character. Because it explains ‘a lot’ about him. Typical adolescent male. Constantly fantasizing about attractive girls. I know it isn’t much but that tells you a lot that he is a pretty normal and ordinary dude. But as far as I see him in this series, he felt just like a secondary character. Despite he is just normal, he is funny, he is nice and mainly friend zone with the only 2 girls around him. Hey, at least he gets to live with 2 attractive ladies. That is not bad, right?

Thus Chie is the main character since well, it is very much hinted in the anime title itself. Duh. Chie’s character could have been anything. It felt like they needed a reason why a loli would be living with a grown man (and a grown woman). I don’t remember if there was any reason why Chie inherited the apartment but isn’t it just odd to let a girl who hasn’t even finished her middle school education? I am not sure if she is the youngest landlady I have ever seen in anime but I have seen a handful of young high school girls having such position (think Mahoraba, Rokujouma No Shinryakusha and Chokotto Sister). I mean, Chie should be living her life as a normal middle school girl (in which she seems to be doing just fine in this anime) instead of having to shoulder such responsibilities regarding property. What the heck is Japan’s welfare system doing?! Thankfully Chie is a cheerful as well as honest-to-goodness girl although at times she can be naïve but that is okay, right? Although she is only a young girl, she already has exceptional skills in cooking and cleaning. It’s her passion, I guess. Sometimes it makes her look like a middle aged woman when she’s applying her skills…

Completing the trio is Reiko and being the prettier face (at least for this apartment) I believe her character doesn’t do much accept to prevent in making Maeda and Chie’s relationship look like some unholy union of an adult and a child. I am unsure if Reiko has a crush on Maeda because despite me trying to pick hints it is very vague and it could be me just thinking too much. Not sure if her jealousy of him being close to Chie is because she has a crush on him or if he doesn’t like Maeda looking like a pedo. Because I believe Reiko has some sort of obsession with Chie. In the sense that if you see a cute kitten and you can’t resist squeezing it to death. Yeah. That. Speaking of romance, what happened to Kengo anyway? Bitten once, twice shy? At least we know with that heart breaking revelation, he stopped stalking outside Chie’s apartment for the rest of the episodes. The other minor characters like Chie’s classmates feel even more like extras. It feels like they are there just to show us that Chie isn’t just a lonely soul back home but she too has friends too in school. At least we get to see her make some.

Making this whole landlord-tenant thingy seem weird is that the trio are the only ones occupying this small apartment. Are there any other occupants around? I don’t know. Personally it makes these people feel, uhm, so lonely? Isn’t it the reason why they prefer each other’s company during meal times and eat with each other? Yeah, they look more like a family unit than anything else. But too bad for Maeda. You can’t consider Chie to be anything more than your landlord or you’ll be treated as a lolicon-cum-pedo and arrested. Oh well, if the trio are so happy together, I suppose they don’t need to add more tenants to ruin it. You know, maybe it isn’t the case of more the merrier but too many cooks spoil the broth. So the trio might be just right for the time being.

Drawing and art feel pretty normal and simple. It is nothing to shout about. Really. Chie is cute and Reiko is a bijin. Can’t complain, can I? At first I thought with the cameo appearances of the characters from Komori-san Wa Kotowarenai in a certain episode, both series were made from the same studio. Nope. This series was done by Seven Arcs (Dog Days, Sekirei, Trinity Seven, Asura Cryin’ and Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha series) while the latter was by Artland (Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn, Senran Kagura, Mushishi and Kenkou Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho). I tried finding out if they were written by the same author. Nope. The only similarity I found was that they were published in the same manga magazine. I’m not too sure if the authors are best friends since this series’ characters also made a cameo in that said series. Exchange programme?

The opening theme is a generic and typical anime pop song, Shining Sky by Every♥ing. The small cast members are Yurika Kubo as Chie (Hanayo in Love Live), Takashi Kondo as Maeda (Hayato in Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru), Hitomi Nabatame as Reiko (Yukiji in Hayate No Gotoku), Erii Yamazaki as Yuki (Yuu in Pan De Peace) and Ibuki Ueno as Mayu (Hibiki in Re-Kan!).

Overall, this anime is easy to watch and enjoyable. No need for confusing plots to follow, that’s for sure. The characters are amusing in their own right as well as, uhm, heart warming? Well, at least I could agree with that heart warming word (and comedic plot) in the sentence they said about the characters in the synopsis. Even if it isn’t much. Heh. It is like the synopsis itself is already a review for the series. How we’d wish to have a landlady as cute and nice as Chie because we wouldn’t be renting if we had our own places to live in the first place. If property prices didn’t skyrocketed in the first place. But screw life’s logic. Chie is so cute that we’d rather sell our homes and move in and rent a place just to be with her. But then reality also screwed with us because we’d ended up having Yurumates instead…

The Melody Of Oblivion

September 18, 2016

Despite reading a bunch of reviews before trying my hands at The Melody Of Oblivion, despite knowing how all of them painted this series as something less than stellar, disappointing and bad, I was still insistent in watching this. Even my guts told me that the reviewers were right and I shouldn’t disappoint myself to watching this. But I still wanted to watch it. Why? It is one of those moments whereby I crave to hear Mamiko Noto’s voice! And from a retro show. OMFG. What kind of f*cking reason is that?! I don’t know, coming across this series at first and learning that she is the voice of the titular character, wouldn’t that be just awesome? I mean back in those days when she had roles that were main characters compared to these days as she often plays supporting or cameo roles. So without even knowing what the heck is going on (I don’t think the synopsis was even that clear. At least I didn’t really understand it), I jumped into this series with my delusions of hearing the most beautiful voice in the anime world… And then… I realized all that was just an illusion and my enthusiasm came crashing down like a rock… It was too late…

Episode 1
It is narrated there was a huge war between humans and monsters. The monsters won. Time has passed and humans seemed to have forgotten about that melody. Bocca Serenade isn’t exactly a smart kid with high grades. He is going to school to retake an exam as he meets fellow classmate, Eru Sonoda. Along the way, they see old guy Tsunagi fixing his bike. Bocca works part time for him but Eru warns about the school’s notice about working at his dangerous shop. Doing so might turn him into a vagabond. Bocca is doing some archery practice. He strikes the bull’s eye. Not sure why the teacher is not happy so he tells him to shoot through the wall. The arrow broke. The teacher then rants about being one with the bow and don’t be too over-ambitious and all that crap. I think it is just to scorn him and make others laugh at him. I’m not sure what is going on later because Bocca and Eru had a tryst later. They kissed and she’ll give him more after he retakes the exam. Not too sure if he is showing his displeasure by sitting dangerously on the edge as he mentions about his dream to be a warrior and the bow is to destroy monsters. He wonders if he remembers that incident about Kei that nobody talks about now. It was 5 years ago when they were supposed to go for a field trip but he alighted the bus because he forgot something. He never came back. It was reported he had a sudden fever but he was never seen again. Tsunagi said he was sacrificed to monsters. They spot Bocca’s parents coming to school and go spy on them. They are bribing the teacher so he could pass his retake and be promoted. Of course this has to be a secret…

This cool guy, Hol sees the mayor and wants to inspect the ‘package’. There is this young boy in some barrier and Hol wants to spend a little more time with him. Then he strips him. I hope I didn’t sign up for little boys hentai. Bocca is met with this slut annoying girl, Sayoko Tsukinomori who can tell his future. Then she makes him treat him. He shows a picture of that vagabond who is actually a warrior. She wants to know his whereabouts. But she has to run when the police have located her. Bocca realizes his wallet is gone. When Bocca goes to see Tsunagi in his workshop, he is introduced to that vagabond, Kurofune Ballard, a true Melos Warrior who has fought the monsters. He is in his workshop because all warriors need to ride bikes to fight monsters. WTF? Bocca asks why he became a warrior. Kurofune is sad that the people continue to live in oblivion because they have forgotten about the melody. There is this girl whom nobody knows her real name but they call her The Melody Of Oblivion (TMOO). Only warriors can see the vision of the goddess. He could still remember her face clearly. When the sky is suddenly pitch dark, Kurofune senses Hol coming to attack. On his bull bus? Kurofune thought he was lost in some labyrinth and isn’t too happy when he realizes he has devoured another kid. So we see them in some weird bus-bike battle while Bocca felt something resonating within him. This girl appears before him and he could tell she is TMOO.

Episode 2
Bocca and his parents are at the police station. They are paying the officer to let him off the hook. Bocca asks about his Aiba Machine (a futuristic bike) but is told the police have confiscated it. Flashback tells us that Bocca returned to Tsunagi’s workshop and asked about the mark on his arm which is the same as Kurofune. That is when he shows him an Aiba Machine he made for him. He lets Bocca ride and even name it (Elan Vital). Just then, the police surrounded the workshop. Tsunagi needs to escape and leaves Bocca to his own devices. WTF? Before he busts this joint, he tells Bocca to look for TMOO since he could see her (isn’t she behind there now?!). Doing so means humanity still hasn’t lost yet. Bocca will soon go on a very long and faraway journey. Bocca wonders what happened to Kurofune. Yeah, the battle is still raging on! Hol escapes and is now back in the mayor’s office and is requesting for something to eat. The mayor panics since he thought that should be once in 4 years. However Hol points out this kid will do. The mayor is distraught because Eru is his only daughter. Eru is called by the teacher for ‘extra curriculum’ activities. He is going to sacrifice her to Hol. He seems to be bugging Hol for his reward as he explains himself the mayor tasked him to let Eru get away. Instead he did not because he sides with the monsters and wants to join Monster Union. Hol finds him annoying and knocks him out so he could start his party with naked Eru. But before he could do that, he is attacked by Kurofune. I guess the mayor sought his help in time.

Bocca is irked about bumping into Sayoko again. She still has his wallet. But she returns it so that he could treat her again. He knows she is a thief instead of a fortune teller because he saw a wanted poster of her at the police station. Besides, if she can tell the future, why not track this Kurofune guy herself? Well, she says her chains do not always work. Whatever. However they start acting up and guess where it leads them? Yeah, right in the middle of Kurofune and Hol’s battle. Seeing how Eru is in pain, Bocca summons Elan Vital the same way Kurofune does with his. What do you know? It really responded to him. Outnumbered, Hol escapes. Kurofune chides Sayoko for not listening to him and stay put. For he is going to fight monsters. As for Bocca, he must choose what to do now. And when the time to choose comes, he must be resolute. They’ll meet again if he survives. Then he blasts off into the sky. The teacher is still trying to rape Eru? He even admits humans must obey monsters. Bocca is mad at his actions that he powers up his arrow with his mark and demonstrates by destroying the wall! Enough to scare the sh*t out of that coward! That’s it?! Bocca then invites Sayoko to hop on his bike and go after Kurofune because there are lots of questions he wants to ask him. What about Eru? Goodbye cow tits. You have been dumped.

Episode 3
Bocca camps by the roadside. Sayoko doesn’t like this idea and goes off to find herself work so she could stay in a hotel. Bocca asks around for a woman oracle he is looking for. Even if he has found out where she lives, he can’t just get an audience with her without any appointment and turned away. Who the heck he thinks he is? Meanwhile Sayoko is trying to do what she does best: Pickpocket. She targets this rich girl, Kew wandering around and when she is about to go in for the steal, a huge robot chicken wing monster drops down to kill them. Run! But cornered, who is going to save them? Ah yes. Bocca. Just in time. After the monster gets hit by his Melos charged arrow, it quickly escapes, blasting off into the sky like a space rocket. Kew takes them back to the hotel her sister, Keiko runs. She prepares a room for them as gratitude. Kew is also happily reunited with Wakadan, the heir of this hotel and supposedly Kew’s lover? Keiko shows Bocca a place where he could park his bike and tells him that these machines will not defeat the monsters. With the strange events happening, Bocca decides to go visit the oracle again. Meanwhile a group of villagers confront this Medusa girl but they got all turned into stone. Don’t they know better? Strangely, Bocca is now let in to see the oracle. He asks about TMOO and where to find her. It is believed during the war, there was a place all monsters feared: The Melody Theatre. It is said TMOO is confined there. However she doesn’t know where that place is. The oracle warns him to quit being a Melos Warrior because in this town nobody will appreciate him being one. Bocca leaves and thinks about this. He asks other people about children being sacrificed here. They don’t answer and turn him away. And there is this weird cult group of clones chanting viva Monster Union! WTF.

Episode 4
Keiko shows Bocca around town since the monsters don’t target tourists and only children. WTF? So what if I am a tourist kid? He notices a few quirks around town and when he sees stoned people, he really feels something dark is going on behind the background. Sayoko doesn’t want to get involve with this town anymore but Bocca still wants to help since Kew is obviously being target by the monsters. Sayoko corrects him that the robot that attacked Kew isn’t a monster but a machine controlled by Monster Union. Speaking of them, their local agent is no other than Keiko who has received orders from the big boss, Monster-sama to eliminate the Melos Warrior. She gets a courtesy call from fellow comrade, Uribou about her failure to finish the Melos Warrior off and if she needs any help, she’ll be glad to assist. Keiko then remembers her past whereby her father lamented she wasn’t a boy. She was outstanding in every field but because she wasn’t a boy, he could only b*tch about it. She thought she found someone similar in Wakadan but he had his eyes on Kew. When her father’s business was exposed as a fraud, he believes his family is done for and told her ‘useless daughter’ to marry off someone. Bocca meets that Medusa girl. He thinks she might be a monster after realizing a guy down the road turned into stone. There is some talk between Sayoko and Keiko about the latter should live the way she wants but she can’t because she doesn’t know how.

Then there is more flashback on Keiko whereby she can’t take it anymore and at the edge of the cape she wished for the sun never to shine here again. Because of that, the tourists will visit this place and everyone will work under her. Oh, she sacrificed all the children for this wish. Then there is this seemingly rape scene whereby she gets synchronized with the chicken wing monster. Sayoko talks to Bocca that she is worried about Kurofune. Her chains will sometimes react and point in his direction but lately it hasn’t and she fears he is dead. Bocca assures he is still alive and wants to see him. This flimsy excuse is the assurance that made Sayoko stay with him a little longer. Suddenly we see Bocca engage in a fight with the chicken monster. He damages the hull enough to expose Keiko and is shocked to see her. She tells him to go away and not meddle in their affairs because he is an outsider. Don’t use your shallow sense of justice to judge others. Ironically, it is Keiko who flies away? This has Bocca thinking if he is going to cause trouble for the things he is going to do that no one cares. You worried about that now? He sees Kew putting flowers at a torn doll near the beach. It is a grave for all the children who were sacrificed. She has resigned she is next.

Episode 5
Bocca sees the oracle again to ask about Medusa girl’s whereabouts. It’s that ship at the port, right? On his way, he sees Wakadan tied up. He claims the monster is targeting him next and pleads to be saved. As Bocca goes into action, the other people pin him down. It is just a ploy to trap him and throw him in prison. Meanwhile Sayoko bumps into Kew who doesn’t seem all that innocent anymore. She knows her sister is the monster and is no longer targeted. She explains her jealousy on Keiko as the eldest daughter, all the attention was on her and thus as the younger daughter she was treated like a stranger. If Keiko wants to kill her out of jealousy, go ahead. Kill her and she will suffer forever. She knew Keiko loved Wakadan and Kew purposely stole her love away from her. Keiko sees Medusa girl that they have captured Bocca and will personally administer his death. With that, Medusa girl leaves the place. Sayoko uses her lock picking skills to get Bocca out. Because she is bragging and talking so loud, Wakadan locks them back in. When Sayoko mentions Kew knows everything, Wakadan goes crazy. So this guy doesn’t know she knows? Bocca should have thought about this because he summons Elan Vital to bust him out so he could go fight the monster. Keiko is about to kill Kew but here comes Bocca to intervene. As they fight, Bocca finds it hard to ride and shoot at the same time. To show their strong man-machine bond, with Bocca putting all his trust in his bike and Elan Vital giving him a second chance. Bocca nails a direct head shot. Weird things happen. The lighthouse collapses. The sun now rises. The townspeople are doomed as their lifestyle is destroyed. They show their displeasure by throwing stones at Bocca. Keiko begs for forgiveness from Kew but she rips apart the doll. Huh? HUH?! HUUUHH???!!! WTF, I don’t understand it all! Bocca reflects how the oracle was right. He wonders if this is going to be the same in every town. Despite it is hard and unrewarding being a Melos Warrior, he does not regret the path he has taken. He and Sayoko ride to the next town.

Episode 6
The duo are lost at a dam thanks to Sayoko’s chains. As they climb the dam, they see a cute boy but his hand is stuck in the dam to prevent it from leaking. Forever. Then they meet Eichi Hikoyama who is painting a huge mural over the dam. They ask about this Dutch boy so he says everyone in the village knows about this problem and if he lets go of his hand, the dam will flood and destroy the town. However nobody will come to help him because he is most hated. A mechanical mouse startles them so Eichi destroys it with his arrow. Realizing he is a Melos Warrior, Eichi offers to let them stay at his place. But first he will let them meet his employer, Miri Kanaya. They pass through a room filled with people doing calculations of those mechanical mice. They are calculating the sorrow it brings from all over the world as they collect tears from the children of the world and transport them to this dam. Eichi notes these people are more like robots and it makes the Dutch boy more like a human when compared. Eichi sees Miri and she showers him with kisses for his outstanding work on the mural. She is interested in Bocca and values him at a million dollars. He asks about Dutch boy but she says he is a demon as he was born with a horn on his head. After they leave, her butler notes about Eichi being the ‘tax’ but Miri won’t have him sacrificed but make him stay here forever. The butler thinks she decided to dump Eichi for a new lover. A mark of Monster Union is seen on Miri’s body. Eichi loves how close Bocca and Sayoko are despite arguing. He was hoping he and his lover would be the same. He shows them an abandoned house across his place. His fiancée used to live here. Although he loved her, she loved another man and moved out of this valley. As Eichi has employed them to be his assistant, Bocca goes to help him paint but such menial labour isn’t for Sayoko so she tries to leave. As she is about to board a bus, another chick alights. She sees her beautiful sapphire gem and plans on stealing it. Bocca is still bothered about Dutch boy. Despite being told he was a demon, he couldn’t sense he is a monster. A giant mechanical mouse attacks. Bocca fights back. He destroys an arm which scatters into thousands of little mice. He tries to go after it but is surrounded by those mice. Of course he is no match for them but suddenly they retreat. It is that chick as she claims the sound of her bow, Meigen drives the smaller monsters away. Sayoko is busted when Bocca discovers her robbing intention. They wonder if this chick is a Melos Warrior and from around here. But when she sees Bocca’s Melos mark, she draws her bow at him.

Episode 7
Bocca will destroy this valley’s Monster Union agent and knows this is Eichi’s goal too. That chick spared him because she doesn’t see any worth in doing so. Eichi says that chick is Toune. His ex-fiancée. He didn’t expect her to come back and maybe she could be the one to finish this mural. Miri goes to see Bocca and tries to flirt with him. She also tries to buy him for $5 million and wants him to stay here as he can get his desires fulfilled. However the flirting is cut short when she hears a familiar song being played next door. She rushes over and curses the return of that girl. If you thought she dumped Eichi and shouldn’t be bothered about Toune, well, she won’t let Eichi have her. Then there is some talk about her being jealous about them (something about a garden she didn’t have). Back then, the villagers were hunting down that demon kid too. Miri and Toune worked together to try and capture it for a reward before the rest. But in the forest, a red mist shrouded them. Appearing before them is that Medusa girl who wants them to join her. Despite Toune’s advice not to go to her, Miri panicked and went over. That Medusa girl is actually Monster-sama and it is said you either turn into a stone in her gaze or go over to her side. Miri has become her agent and thus this valley is now under her control.

Miri talks with the parrot messenger about getting rid of the Melos Warrior with her charms. But when the parrot mentions about her previous house which is now under the dam, Miri goes crazy screaming like a b*tch. Then she goes to put on her lame dominatrix battle outfit as she reminisces the painful process of becoming a Monster Union agent (especially burning that mark on her). She summons all the mechanical mice to cover her as she becomes the giant robot mouse. Eichi has finished his job and says his goodbye to Dutch boy. However he is unaware that Toune is back. Bocca goes to talk to Toune to find out why she hates Melos Warriors. She says he doesn’t know the art of Meigen. She wants to duel with him. They are to take turns shooting the mechanical mice and the first one to miss loses. At the same time, she explains about Monster Union’s pyramid scheme (same case for Sayoko from Eichi). As many adults want to become an agent for Monster Union, they work hard to bring sorrow to children, thus the mice. The amount of tears collected from hurt children will help decide if you become an agent or not. So when these children of tragedy grow up, they create even greater tragedies. The cruel cycle repeats itself for eternity. Sayoko asks further about Dutch boy. He is Eichi’s rival and stole Toune’s heart from him with his clear blue eyes. When the duel is a draw, Toune suggests facing each other. But that won’t happen since the giant mouse monster is here. Eichi knows he is being targeted. Bocca goes into action and looks like he is the only one surprised to learn Miri is behind this monster and an agent. Miri tries to make Bocca one last offer to become hers: $5.2 million! You really think so?

Episode 8
After Bocca attacks her, she screams and runs away! That was fast. Eichi soon leaves the valley. He wonders if Toune wants to come along. Of course not. She wonders if people who love his painting exist. Of course. Because she came back here. What? I don’t understand. Toune then talks about Meigen by giving a form of your heart. Despite having that technique, she hates Melos Warriors. What? I don’t understand. Then there is this flashback of her after being ditched by Miri in the forest. Wandering around brought her to that demon kid. She continued stalking for days and worried the villagers will find him, hid him in her dad’s wine cellar. Eichi also found out about this. Ever since, Monster Union gain control of this valley and the dam was completed. Toune wanted to destroy it but Dutch boy stopped her as he doesn’t want the people living down the valley to perish. He stuck his hand in the hole. Toune can’t understand why he would protect the people who persecute him. In fact, her mom is dead so she couldn’t care less about them. But when he wonders if he can order him to do so, she couldn’t and ran away. Shortly she left the valley. The parrot is mocking Miri’s failure but gives her direct orders from Monster-sama to kill Bocca. And so we have another rematch. But no matter how much Bocca deals damage to her giant mouse, the little mice will be there to repair. More flashback from Toune as Dutch boy realizes it is harder for him to be kept hidden, he gave Toune his horn. I’m not sure what the f*ck just happened because despite she said she won’t, she ripped it out and ran away!!! WTF?! Now she is back with him at the dam. She sounds like a lover wanting to get back. She gives him back the horn (which is the gem) and after he attests her, she names him Sky Blue and orders him to take out his hand. The dam will be damned soon. Bocca wonders if he needs Meigen to defeat Miri. That is when TMOO whispers into his ear (cheating!) so he calls out to his Meigen, Serenade’s Heart that immobilizes and rusts the robot mouse. A shot is enough to defeat Miri subsequently. Toune then arrives in her Aiba Machine and fires into the mural to destroy the dam. Her Melos mark is on her thigh. That orgasmic face when she powers up her arrow… The water washes away the mural to reveal a hidden painting of Eichi wishing the Melos Warriors good luck. The town is submerged by the dam water and it opens a new path for our heroes to travel. Toune leaves with Bocca and Sayoko. They wonder where she got her Aiba Machine. You got have guessed from that horn. Yup. It’s Sky Blue.

Episode 9
Bocca must be annoyed with Toune’s words about his weak arrow skills so he starts practising. He is about to leave the house of his caretaker but the old dude warns him he still has a chance to turn away from his Melos Warrior life. You think he do that? Bocca heads over to the industrial plant to meet up with Sayoko who just met a girl, Coco reading some poem about death and loneliness. They are then picked up to see the factory manager, Masaru Hashimoto as he explains his factory is the largest and provides all the power in this bay. Recently there are thieves attacking and sabotaging his delivery. So why not call the police? The attacks are done with bare hands. Could it be monsters? Masaru wants to hire Bocca for life to be his security force. But Bocca tells him he has the wrong idea of a Melos Warrior. They don’t care what others think and only fight the good fight in the battles. Masaru tries to convince him about the pay and such. Bocca agrees to guard the next delivery only because he wants to know the thieves’ identity. Word of Bocca becoming the factory’s guard soon spreads to the thieving group that Coco is a part of, Centauro. Hey, isn’t that Tsunagi with them? Masaru takes a liking for Sayoko and treats her well. But he gets scared when her chains start moving. He thought it was a ghost? Bocca faces off with Centauro. He is convinced they are monsters after seeing Kron rip apart the truck with his bare hands. They claim they want to destroy what is inside. Bocca fights the boomerang wielding Hikari but his bow is broken. Don’t worry. Elan Vital’s handle can be used as one! But Nick stops the fight and brings Bocca back to their hideout. Bocca wonders how he knows their name. It is because Saburo Musashino told them all about him. Bocca is surprised that guy is Tsunagi. Centauro wonders why Bocca is working for Monster Union. If you haven’t guessed it now, Masaru is an agent and those trucks are delivering mechanical monster parts. With that, Bocca is worried for Sayoko. Masaru is seen entering some chamber to fix his machine as he tells his locked up first and second wife he has found a third one. Sayoko taking a bath finds the door locked…

Episode 10
Tsunagi explains how he was travelling around and when he came here, he decided to team up with Centauro to take down this factory. The engine of that plant is actually a spaceship, Mithranome. It was supposed to be the ultimate weapon to wipe out monsters but it failed. 31 of the 33 engines have already merged in the satellite orbit in space. Masaru is operating one of them and the other has fallen into the sea in which he intends to salvage. After all the engines merge, they will be able to access the space fortress from Earth. That is why they must stop this from happening as Tsunagi also had a hand in creating an engine. The plan is to sneak in tonight and sink the entire factory. However Bocca is against it because Sayoko is still there (speaking of which, she is chained up and being told the same thing by Masaru who is trying to kiss her only to be interrupted by the parrot. To his shock, he is told Monster-sama is here). But if Bocca goes on a rescue mission, this will jeopardize their surprise attack. Bocca refuses to become a demon this way so they warn him to do as he wish but not stand in their way. Coco suggests splitting up the team and she will go with Bocca. She seems to take a liking for him and teases him by calling him cute. Masaru dreads seeing Monster-sama. Not sure if bowling is giving him a certain trauma… Coco mentions her intention to travel with Bocca to find Melody Theatre after this. She hopes Hikari can come along with her. They face off with Masaru in his ape mecha. Bocca is hesitant to attack because Sayoko is his hostage. Coco then borrows an arrow and powers up with her Melos mark on her cheek (again that orgasmic face when she kisses the arrow…) to fire and free Sayoko. As she falls, Bocca realizes he cannot reach her in time. Hikari transforms into an Aiba Machine to save her. Bocca sees a horn over Hikari’s forehead. Nick and Kron arrive in their Aiba Machine form with Tsunagi. The Aiba Machines go after Masaru and leave the engine destruction to Tsunagi and the rest. Bocca asks about those guys as Aiba Machines so he explains they are from the Unicorn series. Inside the engines contained prohibited development of Aiba Machines with a soul. It was supposed to be suspended as their presence is more dangerous than monsters. However somebody completed the prototypes and Coco found and awakened them inside the sealed engine. As Tsunagi is keying in the self destruct code, Sayoko mentions there are still people in this plant. Those ape men people wearing masks…

Episode 11
Masaru escapes and he fears asking Monster-sama for help. However she has already left but a fellow agent, Global Yamaneko reminds him he is behind schedule and must test the space fortress tonight. Tsunagi remembers the war during the monsters was just a step short of completion. The engine Tsunagi’s team created never activated because Chief V suspended it and this became mankind’s ultimate fall. The person whom Tsunagi revered and respected the most has been labelled as mankind’s traitor and vanished shortly after. They enter a room and see ape men doing harsh labour powering the engine. Masaru explains they are not humans as they cannot possibly survive such working conditions. Therefore they are ape men. Bocca fires a shot at Masaru while Tsunagi hacks the system to free the ape men. After the Aiba Machines destroy the outside plant, they head inside to join Coco. Masaru sets his comical monkey robots to fight them as he escapes. Tsunagi now needs to key in the self destruct code in the control room so Bocca takes him there. The engine must take off and be in the air at a certain altitude for this self destruction to take effect. But setting it at 247 seconds? Gee, why the odd number? Tsunagi thought he is done but he sees a communications log and plays a video of Chief V’s last moments in the lab. Brings back nostalgic memories? I am not too sure in this video about her incomplete explanation why she cannot activate the engine because she knew something about the ape men. Not too sure if Tsunagi is crying because he believed in her or couldn’t believe she is really a traitor. Bocca had to bring him out to escape but Tsunagi can’t stand to lose his love and runs back into the flames. Bocca is forced to escape with the rest and after a safe distance, the engine explodes (Masaru probably fell to his death but it is the sea below, right?). Bocca is sad that he couldn’t save Tsunagi. Coco’s only words of consolation were perhaps it is Tsunagi’s way of living. Sayoko perhaps provided the best consolation to cheer up gloomy Bocca. A peck on his cheek as thanks for saving her. Time to get over it and move on.

Episode 12
Bocca and Sayoko are brought by a boatman, Animoto to a volcanic island where it is believed Kurofune is. After looking around, they find his wrecked Aiba Machine. Asking it about Kurofune, its headlights points towards a spot. It is a hidden tunnel hidden by the tides. There are creepy Egyptian paintings on the cave walls. Then they see Animoto being heckled by Yamaneko about the sacrifices for Monster-sama. It is then Bocca realizes the transport Animoto was bringing is a coffin for sacrifice. He gets out of his hiding and Yamaneko isn’t too pleased that Animoto broke the law by bringing other people here. He gets into his tiger mecha to fight Bocca. He thought his sound wave could paralyze his Aiba Machine. Too bad he was wrong. After Bocca defeats him, he turns his arrow on Animoto about the child sacrifice in the coffin. Animoto claims he had no choice but to do it to survive. Besides, he has resigned to his fate that mankind has lost. When he mentions the labyrinth behind this door and a previous Melos Warrior walked through it and never came out, I guess we can say that guy is Kurofune. I’m not sure what Sayoko’s problem is because now she points her arrow at Bocca. Something about leaving her behind and going into the labyrinth by himself. Yes, Bocca is not Kurofune and is different. So what the f*ck is your problem?! Bocca leaves Elan Vital to protect Sayoko while he enters the labyrinth alone. She gives him her chains as guide. She has even the cheek to ask about his feelings when he is parting with her. Like the dense guy he is, he thinks she is most relieved because spending cramp nights in his tent is like hell. Huh? Bocca no baka! See her sad face? Bocca hears somebody humming and since there is reply, it is confirmed this kid, Solo is that child sacrifice. Bocca slides down the gap to go save him. But when he lands, he finds himself on a bus during a field trip from his school days.

Episode 13
Knowing something is amiss, Bocca breaks out and finds himself back inside the labyrinth. He frees Solo from his coffin and tries to get out of this place. Then they see Kurofune. Bocca is happy to see him but not Kurofune. He is suspicious of Solo because if he is a human offered as sacrifice, why is he spared from the monster effects of this labyrinth? As explained, people will turn to stone or puppets when they see a monster’s true form. But even with this foolproof method, why did they stop it and tried to blend in with humans? Because for every thousands of humans turned to stone, a Melos Warrior is born and that single warrior is enough to wipe out all monsters. Bocca thinks Solo is a Melos Warrior. He finds a mark on his arm but Solo denies it as he has not seen TMOO and cannot use a Melos arrow. Bocca figures his power is not awakened yet. They then see a past of Kurofune being a matador in a fight against Hol. Kurofune defeated him but he escaped into the labyrinth. Because of its space-time distortion, Hol escaped death but he cannot leave this place. But somehow he managed to. That is why Kurofune is here to seal him in. One way is to engage in an eternal fight. A Melos Warrior can live forever here thanks to the distortion. Apparently they see more of Kurofune’s past. He notes all of them are his real selves. Time-space distortion crap again? Then there is a past he saved Sayoko from being a monster’s sacrifice. What made it sadder was the fact her parents chose her as the sacrifice. Because her brother is a Monster Union agent. Kurofune tells Bocca to find a way out with Solo while he finds and fight his mortal enemy Hol. However Bocca wants to switch places because Sayoko is outside waiting for him. Apparently he doesn’t care about her. He only saved her. That’s about it. Goodbye. Solo thinks Bocca has been used by him to fight the monster. Shortly, Hol’s voice is heard, mocking Bocca for being tricked by Kurofune. I don’t know why Bocca is so focused on finding Hol that he didn’t realize Solo has been kidnapped by him! Bocca tries to find a way out but you know why they don’t call this the labyrinth. He enters a room and sees Eru. Or at least something that looks like her. She starts undressing herself and invites him to have sex. However Bocca is gay and turns her down. Really! Eru asks why he would return to danger. His excuse: If he wanted to choose her, he would have stayed back and not go on this adventure. Damn right. Goodbye again, cow tits. Bocca returns to the labyrinth and fumbles his way in the darkness.

Episode 14
Bocca is talking to Kei in a bus before something painful happens to the latter. It is believed this labyrinth is Hol’s stomach and Kei is reliving this nightmare over and over again. Bocca returns to reality and sees only bones on the ground. Hol appears before him. Bocca is not amused that the children have to relive death over and over again. Hol says this is the price to pay for immortality. Bocca is determined to fight him if it means getting trapped here forever. Bocca finds himself in a matador arena against Hol. He finds it strange that Hol is using the same move on Kurofune. Because of that, Bocca defeats him. Hol summons dolls as distraction to escape as Bocca easily dismantles them with his Meigen. It could have been a mine cart chase but Bocca stumbles into Kurofune. They’re still arguing for the other to leave this place and it is their fight to battle Hol. Is this a time to fight each other? Oddly, they shoot arrows at each other and catch it with their bare hand. When they start using their Melos power, Kurofune wins. So he gets to use the cart? Kurofune finds Hol and another fight starts. Again. He wonders how Hol can get out since he shot him with his arrow. Simple. If inside here is a labyrinth, then outside is the true labyrinth! WTF?! Bocca continues to get lost. He then finds himself at the entrance but this might be a mirage since he is seeing events when he left Sayoko to venture in the labyrinth. Then the place gets flooded. He floats up and sees Kurofune’s Aiba Machine sinking down. When he surfaces, Sayoko pulls him up onto Animoto’s boat. He apologizes he failed to get Kurofune out as he is still fighting Hol. But Sayoko cries in his arms that she was worried she was going to lose him too. The island is now missing and it is rumoured to have sunk a long time ago. It is also rumoured that such island could pop up anywhere ever since the monsters came into rule. As Bocca wonders who is Monster King, we shift to a Greek-like island where every darn Greek monster exists like the Minotaur, Talos and Medusa (Monster-sama’s actual name). Monster King turns out to be Solo! He has TMOO in his captive.

Episode 15
Bocca and Sayoko are at a canal investigating a series of children vanished on a ship. When they spot a kid washed up by the side, they realize he is Sky Blue. I know he is a machine but using a tuning fork to test his pulse? But don’t laugh when Bocca uses cables to jump start him back to life! Sky Blue reveals Toune is captured inside the floodgate tower. There is a Monster Union agent, Lucky Thoroughbred who gathers children in his artificial lake behind the tower and makes them race. The losers will be sacrificed to the monster. Toune and Sky Blue cornered him but he had bombs everywhere and not afraid to detonate and kill everybody. Also, he had a machine that incapacitated Aiba Machines and Sky Blue took a direct hit. Sky Blue needs to go rescue Toune but he is still weak. Suddenly they are attacked by… Uhm, Silver Surfer? Female bunny version! She is dropping lots of bombs. In the end she escapes and Bocca gets a little injured. Sayoko questions why Elan Vital couldn’t fly. Bocca has never flown with it and feels it is too dangerous to try during battles. How about now? It won’t work when they’re not fighting. Useless piece of contraption, right? Flying Bunny goes to see Thoroughbred. She believes she knows about his defiance of Monster Union and the scapegoats he used. He isn’t cowed and thinks she is here to report him to get promoted. He demonstrates the ability to blow up anything anywhere anytime because he has placed bombs around the canal and considers this place under his control. So if she is not careful, she’ll get more than just her injured butt. WTF?! He goes to see Toune in his possession and there is no way he will hand him to anybody. He believes if he defeats a Melos Warrior, Child Dragon will recognize his strength and it would be his dreams to place bombs all over the world to control it. Man, that’s scary. Meanwhile, Sayoko is hinting some romance to Bocca. She even wants a kiss! WTF?! Thanks to his density and uninterested looks (I hope he isn’t gay), she gets mad thinking it is because TMOO is watching. Oh you don’t know. She’s just right behind them… Sayoko runs away. I don’t get her. She is the reason why men can never understand women! Sky Blue starts his journey but Hikari stands in his way. I don’t know why they hate each other so much and proceed fighting. Poor Sayoko wanders around and here comes Thoroughbred before her. Guess what? He is her brother.

Episode 16
While looking for Sayoko, Bocca bumps into Coco. Then they bump into the fighting Aiba Machines and stop them. They discuss how many children were kidnapped here perhaps to attract Melos Warriors. Coco wants Sky Blue to stay here with Hikari since there is a machine to incapacitate Aiba Machines. She will signal for help when the time calls for it. Sayoko returns with her brother. He blames her for not playing her part of being sacrificed and put a damper on his promotion. Now that things are proceeding smoothly, he will let all those who belittle him know that he is the luckiest person in the world. Is that a pun? Bocca and Cocoa sneak into a ship. Being the cheeky girl she is, Coco flirts with him inside the crate. Being the shy guy he is, Coco kisses him. She actually did! Oh, TMOO is watching… They bring up the topic of family. Coco doesn’t remember hers since she was kidnapped at a toy store while she was young. Bocca can’t say much about his own since his is pretty normal. But he is sad about Sayoko’s family who tried to sacrifice her. Flashback reveals Shuuma (Thoroughbred) has always been favoured by his parents as he is the chosen one while Sayoko is mistreated and blamed. Even worse, Shuuma asserted his dominance over her. One day Kurofune came to their house since Shuuma made contact with Monster Union but the parents shoo him away. Shortly, the parents treat Sayoko well but her happiness was short-lived as it was a rouse to sacrifice her so that Shuuma can become a Monster Union agent and rule the world. That is when Kurofune rescued her and had Sayoko live with some old female acquaintance. Bunny is looking for something to eat and stumbles upon Bocca and Coco inside the crate. Shhh… She is about to leave them alone but they barge out and attack. Bocca faces Thoroughbred to free his comrades but the latter threatens about the bombs. It is decided they will race. Aiba Machine versus… Trojan horse? Bocca wins at the end. But Thoroughbred holds Sayoko hostage. Coco has also found Toune but Bunny is holding her hostage too. Erm… A carrot to her throat?

Episode 17
Before Coco could attack, Bunny flees. Bocca fires his arrow to free Sayoko. But she is looking at him with those loving eyes like as though her boyfriend saved her. Of course she gets kidnapped again! Thoroughbred receives a personal call from Dragon about his progress. He mentions about his successful plan to ring in the Melos Warriors. If he is successful, he wants to join Operation Silent. Dragon will think about it but asks him about the cannon that incapacitate Aiba Machines. He wants it back but Thoroughbred lies he has not seen it. But if he finds it, he will deliver it back. Dragon of course knows he is lying since he got a report from Bunny. Bocca bumps into Toune and Coco but the Melos Warriors have to give up since Thoroughbred threatens to kill Sayoko. Suddenly that girl sucks up to her brother that she now realizes how wrong she was and believes he is the one. She hopes he would let the Melos Warriors go in that case. But he doesn’t believe a single and proceeds to beat Bocca up and has Sayoko imprisoned. That’s the thing when you let one stupid guard accompany her to her prison. Thoroughbred thought he is that lucky, huh? She easily gets away and when he corners her, Bunny’s carrot takes him out. Truly WTF. Thoroughbred is bragging about his luckiness and the bombs all over the place. Then it hit the Melos Warriors about Sayoko’s hint. They break free from those weak stupid guards and run away. It seems Sayoko stole the remote and will be blowing the place up. Oh heck, just press any button will do. The Melos Warriors summon their Aiba Machines and ride out. The tower explodes but Thoroughbred and his Trojan horse army are on the chase. He goes crazy trying to seek revenge, unleashing waves after waves of missiles. Bocca realizes he is at a disadvantage on the ground. I don’t know how or why and for some reason, Elan Vital then flies for the first time. With this, Bocca is able to destroy that unlucky guy for good. While Toune and Coco are destroying the rest of the Trojan horses, we have Bocca and Sayoko romantically staring into each other before kissing. WTF?!

Episode 18
As Bocca waits at the Tokyo train station, when a captured smuggler passes by him, he whispers to go find Mahoroba. Bocca returns to his tent and it seems Sayoko is in one of her moods. Let me guess. Bocca isn’t romantic enough to her? This woman is so crazy that she even kept count of how many times they kissed! 73 times! 73 TIMES?! Did she blow up that number? When Bocca is going to make 74, she gets mad because she is conscious of the place they are doing. WTF?! That is why men can never understand women! Luckily they didn’t because a private investigator comes looking for Sayoko. She shows him paintings from Eichi. I’m not sure what the talk is about. She is glad to have found Sayoko and gives her cash because she is going to retire from her job soon as she has a family. She wants Sayoko to go home. Bocca continues to wait at the station. A creepy kid pops up telling him about electric sheep. He himself isn’t a Melos Warrior although he wanted to be one but chose to remain a student. He adds he is dead in reality and this station is just some imagination. Recently there have been many Melos Warriors coming by here and all of them got lost on some train that loops around the same place forever. He hopes Bocca won’t share that same fate. Too bad Toune is on it… Sayoko bugs Bocca to stay in a hotel for once. Don’t expect anything hot. Just watching the news… Then as Bocca takes a hot shower pondering if his Melos quest is fruitful, Sayoko barges in full of rage. She is pissed that Bocca might not feel anything if she leaves. She questions what were those 74 times for. Erm, you mean 73 times? If he loves her, he should allow her to travel with him and continue their adventure like normal. Wow. Everybody is talking and nobody listening. We interrupt your argument because Kron comes in to tell them about Mahoroba. Adding to Sayoko’s woes, since their room is a convenient hideout, they’ll stay here. There goes tonight’s special… Kron explains that the second engine was stolen by Monster Union. The first engine wasn’t completely destroyed either. It was secretly transported away underwater. Monster Union plans to destroy Mithranome because it controls all Aiba Machines. Mahoroba is part of Mithranome. It was separated from it and landed somewhere in Tokyo station. It is probably recovered and the odds of it being hidden are high. This is Operation Silent. As they plan to ride up to space, they need to control Mahoroba and they have taken into custody of someone who knows its secret: The Prime Minister?!

Episode 19
They try to interrogate the PM for details of Operation Silent but he calls them fools for being young and not knowing how to keep the peace in this country now. Despite knowing children are still being sacrificed, the PM and his government sided with the monsters as their only way to pave negotiations to maintain society’s existence. Centauro goes to find Mahoroba and leaves Bocca and Sayoko to look after the PM. To the PM, the world is dead ever since his daughter died. It may seem silly to let the world fall into this state for personal reasons but for those who lived through the war, it became the reason of living to them. He recalls his youth when his entire town and family were turned into stones. It was the day he saw terror with his own eyes and noted humans can never win against the monsters. We also see Solo being a Melos Warrior and managed the hunt down Monster King the Second. When he confronted her about people being turned into stones, she says they were originally stone. Plus, the monsters were here originally. So when humans created their own society, they were just separated from the monsters. After he kills her off, TMOO blames him for starting it all. Because without a leader, the monsters will go on a rampage. The previous world will end and a war will start. Casualties will only rise. All because he killed the Monster King. So what will he do to fix this situation? I guess that is how he became Monster King III. But even with the war ended, Solo notes TMOO is still gone. While Coco is trying to flirt with Sky Blue, that creepy kid pops up to try and flirt with her. He got slapped. He returns to his base and it is no surprise he is a Monster Union agent, Electric Sheep. Dragon calls him about Operation Silent. Mahoroba is in their hands but Dragon notices that the PM hasn’t arrived at the scheduled place yet. Coco meets up with the Aiba Machines. When they think they have found Mahoroba, it is actually a trap filled with electric shooting balls. Although the Aiba Machines are okay, Coco gets zapped. The PM tells how her daughter died. More accurately, she was kidnapped at a toy store. Doesn’t this sound familiar? By the time they located the kidnapper’s hideout, it was burnt down but his daughter’s remains were never found. Bocca goes to help when he sees the Aiba Machines in trouble. That is when the PM’s agents come to rescue him. The PM lets Sayoko go and warns her if they continue to fight like Bocca, it is no guarantee a missile wouldn’t be fired from the next country. It is that kind of era now. As the PM makes his escape, Solo hypnotizes one of his agents. He shoots the PM.

Episode 20
The PM is dying and Bocca wants Coco to say where she was first abducted? Well, no big shock from the PM. He reveals Mahoroba is underground but some sheep is sealing it by feeding on its energy. Then there is this problem when Mahoroba starts launching into space. Because it has no capacity to return to Earth again. I guess Coco is volunteering to go so she has Hikari stock up all the junk food for the trip. Eichi talks to Toune on the train. I don’t know how or why but Toune was able to get off and reunites with Sky Blue. The biggest problem is of course Sayoko because she is still moping ever since. Because Bocca seems to have decided into going to space to stop Operation Silent. Because he is a Melos Warrior. But he promises if he ever comes back, he will marry her! Yeah, big words for a guy when the probability of coming back is close to zero! I suppose I understand why Sayoko is still mad and tells him off to just blast off right now and don’t come back. Is she in her period? Dragon is not pleased the PM has died. Since Mahoroba’s system might have been hacked, he wants Sheep to kill all Melos Warriors here. While the Melos Warriors fight a giant sheep monster (they need to defeat it to activate Mahoroba), Sayoko left a letter for Bocca. I’m sure it is about her feelings for him. Yeah, she loves him. Her regrets. She also talks about Tokiko, the woman who looked after her when she ran away from home. She was treated kindly like her own daughter. Later Sayoko found out she is Kurofune’s wife. Somehow Kurofune doesn’t age and thus their vast difference in looks. That’s why she thought she had a chance with Kurofune and left Tokiko. Then she met Bocca and the rest is history. She was happy when he said he will marry her. She hopes they can hold a mock wedding ceremony before he leaves. Well, I wouldn’t wait if I were you because Bocca had time to even reply back! In his letter as expected, he wants to be with her but has to leave this place. Poor Sayoko heartbroken. The Melos Warriors defeat the monster and before they leave the station, Bocca is surprised Sayoko had run all the way just the catch a glimpse of him for one last time. Why the heck do the Melos Warriors salute her when they depart? Then they blast off into space on Mahoroba. Oh Sayoko, you’re the one who is left all alone.

Episode 21
WTF is this Star Wars BGM parody?! Anyway, Dragon along with Uribou and Bunny make plans to infiltrate and destroy Mithranome. It is the same for the Melos Warriors and their Aiba Machines as they plan to protect it. It sounds confusing how they are going to do it so I’m just going to skip it. With Sayoko not around, Coco gets cheeky flirting with Bocca and even gives a cheeky kiss. When Mahoroba is in range, Dragon unleashes wave after wave of missiles to bring it down. Although Mahoroba has no weapons to defend itself, its shield is tough. Though, the constant pounding is draining the barrier fast. While Kron tries to recover the shield rate, Coco suggests the Melos Warriors head out to fight in their Aiba Machines. In space? How? She has this gel, Bio-Concerto that would allow them to fight in space for a limited time when they apply it on their skin. You know what? F*ck logic! I’m just going to accept all this crap. At such a crucial time, Bocca and Toune are conscious about their nakedness? Coco goes out to fight first. Apparently you get a free sexy spacesuit once you reach space. Bocca comes out next after he is doing being embarrassed with his nakedness. Since Uribou is restless about her debut, Dragon sends her out to fight. Coco leaves Bocca to deal with the incoming missiles as she heads back to take a dump?! Since Toune is still scared, Coco goes to convince her but ultimately it is Sky Blue who gave her the motivation to overcome her fear and set out. I don’t know. The way Toune is supposed to whip Sky Blue so that they synchronise feels like some ambiguous sex scene. Once Toune is out in space, it seems Uribou has a score to settle with her. Of course Toune is superior. Dragon then orders Uribou to come back since they will be docking at Mithranome soon. Uribou is not happy since she really wanted to finish off Toune first. The Melos Warriors also return to Mahoroba as they too will be docking soon.

Episode 22
More Star Wars BGM parody… Our heroes must also dock and enter Mithranome because if they attack it from outside, some auto defence system, Vinterlize will treat them as intruders. They’ll be dead meat. Inside as they make their way to the centre, they see a damaged chamber. Damage indicates that the fighting is recent. Sky Blue is attacked by another fellow Unicorn series Aiba Machine before disappearing shortly. Analysis shows he is Monokeros #4 and has been sleeping inside the core until today. He is the one fighting the internal security robots for space since he is unaware of the developments on Earth. Uribou is happily destroying the security robots. When the Melos Warriors finally catch up, both sides begin their clash. Toune fights Uribou, Coco takes on Monokeros and Bocca faces off with Dragon. After Dragon flexes his might, I can’t believe Bocca easily defeats him. But don’t count him out yet. Bocca then joins Nick in the central command room to hack something although it might take some time to activate. There seems to be some bad blood that happened in the past between Toune and Uribou. Uribou is shocked to see Sky Blue here. So she is one of his ex-lovers? Sky Blue, you playboy! She is disgusted to see him as an Aiba Machine and goes crazy. Dragon is ecstatic when he manages to get his hands on this treasure, Pulsator Module, the real goal he is here. With this in hand, he believes he has won. Coco loses sight of Monokeros as he hijacks Vinterlize and detaches it from Mithranome. Now Mithranome can be destroyed from the outside.

Episode 23
The Star Wars BGM parody continues… There is this strange repetition like a broken tape recorder from the characters talking about Vinterlize being hijacked and is going to destroy Mithranome. Monster Union wants that to happen to disable all Aiba Machines but the Melos Warriors won’t let it happen. Time for another space battle. It seems Vinterlize isn’t just aiming to destroy Mithranome but to gun down Mahoroba too. Although the Melos Warriors manage to take out Vinterlize, it won’t be long before it repairs itself. Dragon is adjusting his robot and using the Pulsator Module as his ultimate weapon against the Melos Warriors. It is time for Bunny to make her debut as she sets out in her giant bunny mecha. You thought our heroes had an easy victory over her. But could they have missed and part of their attacks destroyed a cow farm down on Earth?! In between real scenes and karaoke room scenes, our Melos Warriors are in shock as Dragon gloats about his victory and tells them the true goal of Operation Silent: To eliminate the trio. To celebrate Monster Union’s victory, Dragon sings a horrible rendition of the ending theme! So horrible that it is funny! The Monster Union agents continue to attack the Melos Warriors and with Dragon firing his Global Noise Cannon, it renders all the Aiba Machines useless. Dragon even continues with his next song. But this moo ballad has cow girls singing moo? Bocca is screaming and slamming his Elan Vital to move as the attacks get more ferocious. Then with some inner reconciliation with Sayoko or whatsoever, Bocca manages to get things going and fires his arrow. Nick and Kron seem to have managed to restore Mithranome’s system and guarantee it will now run forever. Because everyone except Bocca is on Mahoroba, they tell him he is the only one who can get back to Earth on Elan Vital. Goodbye? Bocca wants to save them but Elan Vital takes him back down as they enter Earth’s atmosphere.

Episode 24
Bocca crashes into the desert. He is picked up by Solo who tells him to quit being a Melos Warrior and TMOO is just an illusion created by Monster King. He brings Bocca to the cow farm whereby they see this beautiful lady, Pee gladly becoming the sacrifice (they termed it as ‘graduate’). Of course Bocca won’t allow that and goes to help her. But inside the barn which contains a bowling alley, all fun and games suddenly become horror when the Monster Union agent throws her into the gutter’s end. Bocca arrives too late but finds himself dodging her bowling balls. Suddenly a weird kid in a horse suit throws Bocca his bow to finish off the agent. From their talk, this pipsqueak is Elan Vital?! No way! Together they descend down the hole. In a place filled with clocks, Bocca finds a coffin in the centre and in it is the real body of TMOO. Solo says she has been dead for a long time. Bocca now understands why Solo didn’t turn into stone in that maze because he is the maze! Solo admits himself as Monster King Solomon III and he sings his songs solo, hence the name. From what I understand, Solo believes Bocca has become stronger than a Melos Warrior and since the other Melos Warriors have been destroyed, Bocca will soon turn into another Monster King and Sayoko his own Melody of Oblivion. A hologram of Sayoko pops up although the real body is nearby laying unconscious. Bocca frees her but Solo warns the real body will not last long. Solo wants Bocca to join and become another Monster King as being one is lonely. They’ll split their rule over the planet. Bocca doesn’t give a damn and takes Sayoko and leave. Solo tries to stop him but is surprisingly stopped by TMOO. As Bocca rides out, Solo then chases him in his own Aiba Machine. When the break through, they both fire at each other but their women take the shot. Sayoko is glad to see Bocca. But because TMOO is just an illusion, the arrow hits Solo. Life seemingly returns to normal for the people like it has always been. Another cycle seems to be repeating itself. A young boy named Kao is berated by the teacher for being a lousy arrow shooter. In place of Hol, a new monster in the form of a flutist kid tries to devour a girl. She runs to Kao for help. His arrow didn’t do much damage but Bocca is here to show him how it is done. Sayoko somehow still lives and travels with Bocca to chase down monsters.

Into Oblivion…
Oh, wait. What? It ended? Phew. I couldn’t be happier. Because it was just getting downright confusing at the closing stages. And even that seemingly rushed last episode revelations and ending feels like it made it all amount to ‘what the heck was it all about’? I don’t get it. Yeah, so the war with monsters go on and Bocca pretty much remains being a Melos Warrior, travelling with his b*tch around so that there won’t be any more lonely nights. Yup, you need a woman around to soften a man after every hard fought battle with monsters. So Solo is just lonely and wants a companion? Is he gay? Yeah, Bocca is left so what choice does he have? Can he just be friends with normal humans? I don’t know if he is really dead or not because otherwise somebody would need to become Monster King IV and the whole damn process of this cruel fate of Melos Warriors versus monsters will repeat itself again. Thank goodness the series ended and I’m out of here. Whatever potential it had or supposed to have, I’m not really that interested anymore.

I have already been warned from the reviews I have read at how just freaking confusing the story is even from the first episode. True. I thought it was just because it is the first or second episode and that more will be revealed to connect the dots once the series goes by. Too bad it didn’t. The more it goes on, the more confused I become. Generally, this entire series is about Melos Warriors trying to fight against the ruling Monster Union and its agents. That is the best I can summarise about this series. Because to see how some of the arcs end, it just confuses the hell out of me. I don’t even want to think about it. Most of them are interconnected and not 100% independent of each other. Even so, with the confusing plot and storyline, it doesn’t really help.

Making it even more confusing are some of the visuals. I believe that even back in 2004 when this series was aired, the producers were perhaps trying to be bold and make something different. Unfortunately instead of scenes in the episodes to be intriguing, it just makes them more confusing than ever. For example that tourist bath house arc. I don’t know the implications about oversized baby clones wearing metal basins alighting a bus and into a bath house. I know they are supposed to imply the infinite tourists to bring in business but I just find it creepy and make no sense. Then there is that Tokyo train arc and I don’t even understand its implication of ever showing the train since Bocca never stepped on it. How the hell Toune got on and off felt just like a waste of time because I don’t understand how it really has to do with that arc itself. And lastly that space and Mithranome arc has got to be the weirdest because of that karaoke scene in one of the episodes and female cow girls out in the field pasteurizing… Huh? I just don’t know what it is supposed to mean. So while such scenes are amusing in their own way but it hardly did any justice to make viewers understand or connect what is supposed to mean.

That is the least of why this series is such a disappointment. Because the characters themselves are as confusing and not as deep as the plot. Because Bocca is just some shallow one dimensional hero. He doesn’t even fully understand about his Melos fate and duty and just feels he needs to go around the world ridding of Monster Union agents just because of what he sees in them destroying the world. That is all you ever need to know about him. Because so, he is the only main Melos Warrior whose Aiba Machine didn’t transform into some handsome hunk. Until the final episode for some reason his Elan Vital decided to just show up in his human form. Even so, he looks so gay. WTF?! He is supposed to find the Melody Theatre but I believe you’ll forget about it seeing we are trying to understand what is happening and that nothing he does makes him closer to TMOO. So was that space deep underground of the Earth’s core the Melody Theatre? Clock dumpsite maybe. Speaking of TMOO, I can’t help feel the irony that when I remember he is supposed to find her, I want to shout out to him that she is just right behind him in ghost form. There she is! There she is! Just turn around, damn it! Even TMOO is feeling so sad about this mediocre series as she can only watch helplessly and make that sad face. Yeah… And then it turns out all to be an illusion! WTF?! Biggest troll ever!!! No wonder nobody has said they have seen or heard her.

Then there is this annoying case of Sayoko. Obviously starting out as an annoying b*tch because you can see through her fake accusations, trying to accuse Bocca of being a pervert while she herself is creating and inviting situations that would lead so. Thank goodness Bocca is dense. And you could also see through her lies that she is in love with Kurofune. All of a sudden, this status quo suddenly disappears and we don’t know when it hit us when Sayoko starts showing interest in Bocca. It is like as though they forgot all that has happened and decide to throw in this cheesy romance to distract us. And before you could take another breath, they become a couple, they kiss. And then he leaves her. Choosing fate over a girl? No wonder Bocca sucks. And just to show that Bocca isn’t the only ‘survivor’ of this wretched fate, Sayoko somehow comes back into this life. I don’t even know how she got captured unless during the space odyssey, Solo was busy capturing her.

I thought Kurofune and Tsunagi like Toune and Coco would become part of Bocca’s group later on but this is me assuming that since they met in the first episode and introduced him to this Melos world, heck, they’ve got to be part of his party, right? After all, they’re all together in a group pic in the opening credits, right? Wrong! They killed of the old geezer in some complicated old flame thingy that I don’t even know what the heck is going on. And just when I thought Kurofune was getting more screen time earlier than expected, he decided to stay back and get lost forever in that labyrinth to chase Hol. It’s like he is in love with that bull monster than his aging wife, right? Yeah, it gave us a reason for Sayoko to stop chasing after this ageless bastard and go after Bocca instead. So he is still forever chasing that bull in the maze, right? Don’t know. Don’t care.

Toune and Coco are hardly any different. To show that Bocca sometimes need help from other Melos Warriors, thus the reason why we have them and their Aiba Machines joining the fight. Their history and past are shallow in addition to being complicated. I’m not sure if complicated is the right word since I really didn’t understand what was going on when explained either. So what Coco was the daughter of Japan’s Prime Minister and kidnapped at a toy store. So what about Toune being somebody’s ex-fiancée and what the heck was her deal in hating Melos Warriors? She seems to be playing one well. She could have been a much better looking person if she smiled more instead of putting on that despair looks. Even their Aiba Machines are as shallow. Sky Blue looks more like a playboy because girls seem to can’t get enough of him and has many girlfriends and Coco has so many Aiba Machines but she just chose to use Hikari and relegate Kron and Nick to whatever brain/analysis/hacking work. Whatever. Because of Coco’s playful nature, she has to be the one who boldly flirts with Bocca but you won’t feel any sort of cat fight tension rising.

Then they decided to ‘kill off’ these Melos Warrior babes and their Aiba Machines by having them stuck on Mithranome. So what will happen to them? Don’t know. Don’t care. I believe they’re stuck with Dragon, Uribou and Bunny too. Bye-bye. They can play catch and tag forever on that space engine. Hey, wait. If Elan Vital got the capacity to go deep down to the Earth’s core, why the f*ck couldn’t he go back up to space to rescue them? They have that Bio-Concerto, right?! Oh, not enough space to fit them all on his sidecar? Then go back down one by one! Oh, there is not enough gel? Where the f*ck did Coco get them and can we just buy more of it? Oh heck, they should just kill off everybody in this series or just let the monsters live.

You think the Melos Warriors are pathetic? Well, equally pathetic are the Monster Union agents. They feel like monsters-for-the-arc and seeing that they are given some sort of animal theme, it is hard not to laugh at them because many of them feel like clowns. After all, many of these agents are just humans siding the monsters so I can see why they fail. Like Uribou who seems to have this penchant of spamming about her debut as well as spamming “Viva!”, Thoroughbred keep claiming how is the luckiest man in the world (till he runs out of it, that is) and Bunny herself is already funnily funny (carrot as weapon?) that you wonder if she is really threatening at all. Eventually all of them will be defeat but some were defeated so fast like Yamaneko, it just felt disappointing. Really. I wonder what happened to Medusa. She felt like she had potential but eventually was she forgotten? And that monster island too. What was that all about? Ah damn it. This series has trolled me for too long.

Another funny thing about these agents is that when they combine with their monster mecha, they yell out, “Just fit ribs!”. At first I thought I misheard Justin Bieber!!! OMG! Even funnier how claws grab the agents by the ribs (thus fitting the ribs nicely) as it makes them look like a human sausage of a hotdog. Really. Even funnier if the agent is female because you’ll see her boobs sticking out. Fanservice? Food for thought: If children are constantly used as sacrifices for monsters, then wouldn’t there be no more children left in the world? Even when adults join the dark side but if humans don’t reproduce themselves, won’t they die out? And this in turn would mean monsters will also go extinct because you know, no children to feed on?

Action wise isn’t really anything to shout about because they recycled the same animation and scenes whenever the Melos Warriors fire their arrow. And they use the same freaking move every time. Like Bocca with his Flash, Toune and her Flush and Coco using her Four Card. I actually don’t see the difference. The Monster Union agents too have their own bizarre attacks but that is also their one and only and the most just another one. That’s it. So expect the same kind of fight each time and its finishing. Melos Warrior powers up his/her arrow on their mark and fires to destroy the menace. I wonder how many arrows they bring and where do they get them? Because it looks like they have infinite supply of them. Can they use anything else other than arrows? Because I thought powering up via their Melos mark is what makes it powerful and effective so it doesn’t necessary have to be an arrow. Unless the rules say so that a powered arrow can only defeat the monster.

I know I have said the Mamiko Noto is the titular character and thus my main reason to watch this mediocre series. But you know what makes it even more disappointing than that? SHE HARDLY HAS ANY VOICE ROLES THROUGHOUT THE SERIES!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS UNBELIEVALBE!!! THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE!!! How the f*ck when you have an important character that is even the name of this series title to not even have a decent voice acting role?! I just don’t understand?! Yeah, I know it is just me but all I ever hear from her throughout the series is the same damn opening narration at the beginning of every arc about humans losing to monsters, blah, blah, blah, and then the melody has been forgotten. Not that I am complaining about hearing her voice but really, this is all that I can expect to hear from her? It seems her ghost stalker appearance makes even more cameo than this voice acting role. It is only somewhere towards one of the later arcs that she actually has different and more lines (that part with Solo becoming Monster King). But that is all about it. So how can I not be so upset?! Oh well, time to get over it and move on. And you’re telling me TMOO is just an illusion that is why she cannot speak? Stop giving BS and trolling me!!!

The only other seiyuu that I recognize is Yukari Tamura as Coco. That cute trademark voice of hers is still there but I’m pretty sure that isn’t the reason why I wanted to watch this series. Oh yeah. I already said that. Sure, there are other veteran seiyuus too but I didn’t really recognize them but just let me list them out here out of protocol. They are Houko Kuwashima as Bocca, Masumi Asano as Sayoko, Sanae Kobayashi as Toune, Souichiro Hoshi as Sky Blue, Issei Miyazaki as Hikari Daisuke Namikawa as Kron, Mitsuru Miyamoto as Kurofune, Showtaro Morikubo as Hol, Ken Yamaguchi as Dragon and Tomo Saeki as Solo. The list of seiyuus is also a long one considering the few arcs and each with different characters. Thus there are a handful of famous seiyuus then lending their voice like Mai Nakahara as Eru, Kana Ueda as Kew and Aya Hisakawa as Miri.

If there is anything redeeming about this series, it would be the opening and ending themes. At least they are pleasant to listen to. Will by Lisa as the opening theme does fit the pace and direction of this series but I believe it is most likely the oldies nostalgia of the series that had me liking it. You know, it seems that I am more inclined to like a song that comes from animes from the 90’s or early 2000’s. But the ending theme is better. Tenohira No Hikari by Minawo is a lovely ballad and has that calming feature to calm my heart and soul down after the atrocities of this series. Okay, so not really but like I said, it is a redeeming and the more likeable aspect for the series. I also tried singing along with it but after Dragon had his horrible stint, I stopped because I can’t help think each time when I try to even hum along, that hilarious scene keeps popping up in my head. The BGM music are also nice to hear. I have sampled a handful of them and the ones with violin pieces aren’t that all bad although the other variations like organ and flute aren’t too shabby either.

Overall, truly disappointing but I don’t regret it since I can check off my list that I have watched another older anime voiced by my favourite seiyuu. Yeah, that makes it even more disappointing, she having not enough lines. Could have been better but it did not and that is why this series has been lost in the labyrinth and oblivion ever since. Is it no wonder why the humans lost over to the humans and never recovered? Not only have they have forgotten and lost the melody, but they forgot the essence and lost it all. The plot, the story, the characters and everything that was. It is a melody that I too don’t want to remember then. Yes and sadly, I’m siding with the monsters. Viva Monster Union!

Have I seen this somewhere before? A group of high school students trying to make a Japanese simulation game together. Not too long ago, we had an otaku wanting to make his dreams of creating the world’s best dating simulation game and recruited the best group of people in their respective field to achieve their dreams. However, Shoujo-tachi Wa Kouya Wo Mezasu isn’t exactly Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata in many ways. Despite sharing the uncanny premise of a group of high school students trying to make a game together, that is where the similarity ends. Obviously the big difference is that this isn’t going to be a harem romance. Yeah. No pervy jokes, no b*tch cat fights. Since when making a bishoujo game is like survival in the wastelands?

Episode 1
Buntarou “Bunta” Hojou looks like the kind of guy who helps out in anything. From his school clubs to a ramen store, he must be leading one busy life. His friends, Yuuka Kobayakawa and Atomu Kai hang out at his place, talk about things. Not that I’m interested anyway. Next day in class, there seems to be an argument between the class president and Teruha Andou AKA Akkina. Something about documents not being properly sorted. Bunta ever the helpful guy goes to diffuse the tension and even volunteers to help out the sorting. Heck, he even invites other volunteers to make the work lighter. After it is done, Bunta is confronted by fellow classmate, Sayuki Kuroda in the toilet. The male’s toilet! She is asking if he is free this weekend. A date? She needs to talk to him. But why not in school. What the f*ck is this proper route she is talking about?! He agrees to meet her at Hyakkejima Sea Paradise. Bunta confides in his friends about this ‘date’ and of course they have their opinions where this may lead to. Bunta and Kuroda meet up with Yuuka and Atomu spying from afar. But nothing eventful happens and it just seems like a pretty normal outing so they leave. At the end of the day, Kuroda has observed his communications skills and passes him that she is good for the job. What job? A job to help Kuroda achieve her lifelong dream? That dream is to create the best bishoujo game. She brings him to a store in Akihabara to show him different priced games determine its quality. That cheap bargain bin contains failed bishoujo games whereas the expensive ones are the more popular games. Kuroda wants Bunta to work with her to create a bishoujo game because she heard he helped wrote a script for a drama club. Although the script was based off another original work, it was only interesting because of his talents as a writer. Kuroda continues to explain the many different paths opening up for a successful bishoujo game. Bunta asks why she wants to make a bishoujo game so badly. Because the world is a wasteland where the innocent will be devoured. Where one cannot survive if they only do it for enjoyment. Only those with burning ambition will be able to contend for their dreams in the harsh wasteland. Erm, so how does that got to do with making a bishoujo game? How is that even a setting for any bishoujo game?

Episode 2
A love letter in Bunta’s locker and a package containing many bishoujo games? They’re from Kuroda alright. It is her intention to let him learn what a bishoujo game is. Since Kuroda is using lots of gaming terms, she reveals it is only natural for her as her brother was a game creator. Her first task for him is to help find other staffs for her project. He brings back typical nerds… And they don’t even do what they claim they can do. When Bunta friends come to visit the clubroom, Yuuka mentions her aspiration to become a seiyuu so Kuroda accepts her for the role. Atomu doesn’t want to be left out so he wants to join to although he doesn’t have any special skills in particular. As Kuroda warns about the length it takes to make a bishoujo game, this makes Atomu go into a rage of fury just thinking about his past failed relationships! Love can go die! Kuroda is most impressed and welcomes him aboard as the assistant director. The coming weekend, Kuroda has them accompany to a doujin game shop to have a feel of what it is like. At the end of the day, Bunta is interested to patron a maid café and to his surprise finds Akkina working there. She hopes he can keep this a secret since the school disallows students to work part time. Bunta pulls an all-nighter in playing some of the recommended games and found some to be quite interesting. His next task is to find a graphic designer for their team because art is very essential in a bishoujo game. Browsing through a bookstore, he notices an artist’s striking drawing. He spent all night looking up the identity of this artist and he found out she is a student in their school! Uguisu Yuuki is ecstatic when she finds a seemingly love letter in her locker. But when she goes to meet the potential admirer, it is actually Kuroda and co. They surround her and look so intimidating asking her questions that Yuuki is reduced to a cowering self! Naturally she becomes scared of them and avoids all sorts of contacts. When Akkina learns about this especially that Yuuki is that famous artist, she goes talk to her and she agrees to check out the club. Akkina has some programming knowledge and offers her part too. But be warned, she is a BL maniac! With the team completed, Kuroda shows them her game proposal.

Episode 3
To further discuss the game in-depth, the gang (minus Akkina) will be having a training camp at some shrine. But they seem to be doing more cleaning than discussing the game. Then there is this boring lecture from Kuroda that has everybody dozing off. They take a break for curry and that is when tardy Akkina arrives. She acts like normal (unrepentant of her lateness) and earns Kuroda’s wrath. This causes a huge tension between them. Fireworks can erupt anytime. That is not all, Bunta notices Yuuka and Atomu depressed since. Bunta then asks about their opinions to get inspiration for his scenario writing. More Kuroda and Akkina arguments because the latter believes it is impossible to have all this workload to be rushed out by November by a bunch of amateurs. Kuroda explains the misconception that they are not doing a full priced game but a low priced one. They are going to base 60% of their success on the art and the remainder by teaming up with a popular game production company to fund and release their game. Sharing the profits will be part of the condition and she has calculated that after deducting all the costs, their net income will be 10 million yen if the sell 8000 copies. They can use this profit to work on their next full priced game. Akkina is still not impressed because from the meeting notes yesterday, they didn’t talk on anything about the project. Kuroda has everyone bring up their opinions. Done? All rejected! Kuroda explains they are not doing this for fun because by doing so, it only means more risks. Akkina disagrees because people should have fun in making games. As they cannot see eye to eye, Akkina leaves. Bunta goes out his way to plead for her to come back and give this project a second chance. So she goes over the script of the bishoujo game about 2 heroines hating each other and trying to kill each other. And then it hit her. It sounds very much like a BL scenario! Although the protagonists are all girls, she can pretend they are all men in her head. She’s in. Later, Kuroda talks to Bunta that she already had Yuuki in mind as their artist. She let Bunta find his own path and is glad he had the ability to find her on his own. She adds she is doing this for her brother. It was a difficult job and he didn’t want the joy of making games to be taken away. That is why she thought fun should always come in second. Yuuka spots them talking and feels even depressed. On the way home, they decide to come up with a name of their team: Rokuhara.

Episode 4
Bunta is having a writer’s block. When Kuroda realizes she forgot to other materials for the backgrounds and music, she needs to base it on Bunta’s scenarios. Guess what? He only wrote 5 lines… She advises him instead of writing a grand story, write a short and contained one. Thanks to that, Bunta is letting his creativity flow! He can’t stop writing! When everyone reads his proud work, they find it normally good. Bunta seems disappointed. Yeah, he expected a lot more. So Kuroda takes him to see another fellow plot writer, Blooter to get some tips. Besides his super lively character, I don’t think you can call any of those as tips. But only one seems to hold true: Even if you are stuck, keep writing. So Bunta puts his head into it and rewrites the plot. This time his team finds it to be really good. That’s more like it. But right after that, another problem crops up. After Yuuki sketches several great arts, it is her turn to be in a slump. She is stubborn and determined to draw more until she collapses. She has been drawing nonstop and forsaking her health. Thus it is decided that the amount of graphics will be reduced and Bunta too will reduce his script to make it simpler and more interesting. Although Yuuki was against it at first, realizing how everyone appreciates her art makes her happy. She recovers and returns to the clubroom. A headshot of a character sketch she drew on the whiteboard now becomes Rokuhara’s symbol. When everyone goes out to get stuffs to celebrate Yuuki’s recovery, they return only to find Kuroda humming a nice tune. Yuuka recorded it and they want to know that cool melody and should use it as their game’s theme song.

Episode 5
Kuroda shows her team the theme song and some beautifully illustrated backgrounds. As the works is progressing, Akkina has completed the first batch and has everyone test play. But Bunta finds something odd. Somebody changed his script. It is no surprise that Akkina did that so Kuroda warns her to stick to her own work because some grammar mistakes or whatever might have been left there intentionally by the scriptwriter. But that is not all Akkina did. If Yuuki had not voiced out to Bunta, nobody would have known that Akkina too had tampered with her artwork. Again Kuroda chides her for this and reminds her if her own work is on schedule. What about their webpage she is supposed to do? Didn’t even start. 0% completed! This sets the duo on a warpath again and before it could blow up, Akkina leaves the club. Again. Of course Bunta can’t let this slide as he still wants Akkina on the team to finish the game. Akkina gets a call from her mom to help out her fisherman family. Initially she refuses but after hearing how her friends are coming to her house, she accepts the job. The friends did come but Akkina is already out to sea. They have to talk to her fast instead of leaving her alone or they will be behind schedule. Bunta looks through Akkina’s family’s webpage and finds a job opening. Yup, he takes up the job to go fishing with them. He has a scary firsthand experience seeing how fishing in the rough sea is done. That stormy weather, the darkness and that wall of waves! FREAKING SCARY! Eventually they get their haul. At the end of it, Bunta talks to Akkina about how everybody wants her back and to finish the game with her. She doesn’t think she can get along with Kuroda but Bunta mentions this is a wasteland so some fighting is alright. Bunta is so tired he falls asleep on her shoulders. She takes a selfie. Next day, Akkina is back and her first task is to fix up the really hideous webpage that Yuuka tried to do. Yeah, she better stick to voice acting.

Episode 6
Beach episode! Fanservice episode! Even the title says it. So we have Bunta making perhaps a wise decision of not saying whose the sexiest swimsuit is. A volleyball game that Kuroda got owned in the face. Kuroda chases Yuuki in hopes of emulating a scene you see in such bishoujo games but nothing comes out of it. She even has the girls splash water but after that violent splashing she is covered with seaweed. Kuroda panics for really when she thinks Yuuka swallowed a watermelon seed because doing so will grow one in your stomach! Yeah, she really believes it. Back in the room as Bunta begins his work, Kuroda comes in to thank him for bringing Akkina back. Also a chance for her to ask his opinion which swimsuit was the best. Is she for real wanting him to put all his lewd fantasy ideas into the game? More fanservice because it is the obligated bath scene. Kuroda’s question asking about big or small boobs backfire since Akkina and Yuuka team up to violate her. While playing fireworks, Akkina apologizes to Kuroda for all the trouble she has caused. But as long as the game gets results, all sins can be forgiven. The guys find themselves sleeping among the girls! How did this happen? Yuuka’s powerful pillow fight did pack a punch. Luckily they slip out without waking up anybody. Next morning, Yuuka and Bunta talk about stuff. But when Kuroda comes over to talk about his script progress, Yuuka becomes jealous. She hits him and runs away. Wait. What? You know it is all back to normal and reality when Kuroda and Akkina start their intense bickering on just about anything. There goes all the fun. Are they going to do this for the entire train trip home?

Episode 7
Just great. Bunta having another writer’s block? And at the crucial scene where the confession takes place? Kuroda is not amused because this would delay the pacing again. I’m sure everybody would be glad to pitch in some ideas but too bad they have got no dating experience before. And no, he is not going to ask Atomu because that guy will only be in rage. So Bunta starts asking others, his old friends and even his teacher (who is actually gay!) and even Blooter himself. Nothing amazing. So if he has no experience, will acting out help? You don’t know if you don’t try. So we see the club members doing outrageous scenes like water gun fights just to end up having a confession scene. Bunta notices Yuuka has been mad recently so as change of pace he suggests to go out on a date. To help with the game, that is. Well, at least it makes her happy. Inside her heart, that is. So we see them on an outing. Nothing too special. Yuuka is having a blast. At the end of the day, she confesses she likes him. As a human. But of course. She adds that he is a boring guy but… Oh, don’t leave us hanging, tell us more. But she promises to tell more once he finishes writing. Bummer… Bunta may be feeling good and motivated but it will be all for nought if there are no results to show for. And I guess he is already too late because Kuroda has already had it. She calls him and is going to initiate a lockdown for him. She’s serious. You’re screwed.

Episode 8
Bunta tries to escape but Kuroda is already at his door! It’s the beginning of the end! Don’t worry. She has also brought the other club members to come stay with him. They’ll be keeping a close supervision on him. Bunta’s mind is of course not on his work. He tries to escape via window but his pals quickly bolt it shut. He tries to call Blooter for help but it seems his friends already anticipated the people he will be calling and make up fake scenarios so they can’t help him. Bunta’s mind is still stuck. Perhaps a little nap will help. A short nap turns into a long nap! OMG! Wasted time! Guess what? All his supervisors fell asleep too! Even Yuuka had fallen asleep under his desk waiting to jump scare them. Yeah, wasted escape chance. They thought they could help revive him by dressing up as maids. Even Atomu! Oh, I’m definitely invigorated! But Kuroda’s ‘words of love’ are only to remind him about the deadline… The more time passes, the more desperate Bunta becomes. No toilet break escape. Because the window is also bolted down. Bunta’s suffering is more apparent. This is when Yuuka stands up to chide everyone about their ‘bullying’. Kuroda dismisses it although she points out that there is no point in doing all this if they don’t produce results. Battling deadlines is what pros do. Bunta revels when he gets his much needed bath break. A few words with Yuuka get him motivated although the bath knocked him out. They fear they may need to change their tactic but Bunta assures he will get it done this time. He works hard on his script till he finishes it. Kuroda takes a peek when he falls asleep on his laptop. Satisfied with his work, she gives him a kiss. Next day as everyone celebrates his completion, Kuroda then drops another bomb. She needs him to write scripts for drama and short novels. And 5 different kinds. To pay for the maid outfits? Oh sh*t… The beginning of the end is far from over… You’re screwed. Again.

Episode 9
With steady progress made, it is time for Yuuka to debut in voice acting. They are at the recording studio and meet all the professionals, including a pro seiyuu, Sayaka Tabe. Everyone is nervous, everyone is impressed, especially Tabe making good her lines. When it is Yuuka’s turn, it is understandable this is her first time and it takes a little longer. However there are many lines she read which are passable but she wants to redo them from the top. Many times. Thus Kuroda has to talk to her to remind that the studio has other appointments and if they overstay, extra sessions will cost more money. Despite Yuuka’s work is good, she thinks it is not good enough and wonders if Kuroda doesn’t care about quality. Kuroda just tells her to finish it in the allotted time. Thankfully she finishes in time. But a few days later, Yuuka has been absent and Kuroda receives a call from the studio that some of the lines are bad. In worst case scenario, they might have to replace Yuuka. Obviously she is undergoing depression. She runs away when Bunta tries to talk to her. So when he finally catches up with that sad girl (almost killed herself trying to cross the tracks when the train is coming!), Yuuka explains why she wanted to do her very best as good enough won’t cut it. Because Bunta and Atomu only believed in her when she wanted to become an actress when her parents didn’t. Yuuka sound even more depress thinking other seiyuus can do a better job to replace her but Bunta asserts he can only see her in that role. They head back to the clubroom and hear Kuroda negotiating with the producers to delay their launch a little. Yuuka feels bad as the cause of the delay. Since Kuroda accepts Yuuka as the only one who can do that character, Yuuka gets motivated to redo her part again. Her recording goes well and before you know it, they will be releasing their demo next week. Bunta is thanking Kai for managing the schedule of the team well. They spot the other girls hiding and spying on them. Yeah, they were hoping for the boys to kiss!!! So sorry to disappoint!

Episode 10
Our Rokuhara members are smiling from ear to ear since they receive positive comments over the internet from their demo release. They notice another game released at the same time from the company, Typhoon. They download and play it only to be blown away at how awesome everything is. But Kuroda believes Rokuhara has done a good job in their own right because Typhoon creates games for fussy and hardcore fans so their target audience is different. Bunta gets a surprised message from the script writer of Typhoon to meet. Mitsuteru Ougi seems like a nice guy. They talk about things and even invite Blooter to come. That guy doesn’t stop talking! Thank God we fast forward till he leaves. At the end of the day, both guys agree to setup and let members from both sides meet. Rokuhara meets Mitsuteru as well as the CEO of typhoon, Taiko Ooiso. Seems like a nice lady but they notice she is trying to recruit some of them into her team. Scouting is uncommon in this ‘wasteland’ but Taiko seems pushy about it. Although Rokuhara don’t really want to join her, she tries to persuade them that she will pay them or even have them join as a sub-brand. She goes too far and annoying that Kuroda is about to splash water onto her. But Bunta beat her to it. This is where she bares her fangs. After all those threats, Taiko suggests a competition between both sides. Kuroda doesn’t want to participate in both sides but Taiko threatens to spread lies and crush them for good. So the winner will be decided on the number of units sold on the first day. If Typhoon wins, Taiko will take Bunta and make him work to the bone as her slave. Later, though Bunta apologizes for getting everyone involved, this only bonds them closer and motivates them to work harder and beat that b*tch. One day, Kuroda is away and surprisingly calls Bunta to ask what kind of souvenirs he wants. The club members get a surprise visit by Iwao, Kuroda’s brother. They chat and he is a pretty nice guy. Everything seems to be looking fine till at the end he bows his head and thanks them all for taking care of his sister. And also he thanks them for going out their way to make a game to clear his debt. Oh dear. The shock of silence is so deafening…

Episode 11
Iwao further explains his company is not producing anything right now because of lack of funds. Distributors and banks refused to lend money. That is why when Kuroda told him they agreed to help out, he was very happy. When Kuroda returns, sh*t just hit the fan. The first to fire the salvo is Akkina. What are they? Slaves to clear her brother’s debt? She is leaving for real this time and not coming back. She can keep all her programming work and not pay her if she doesn’t want to. Slowly the rest too leave because they aren’t very happy with Kuroda keeping this a secret. Even Bunta. Money is not the problem here. If this guy even leaves her, you know Kuroda is really in big sh*t. So we have all our shocked Rokuhara members feeling depressed and deceived. It couldn’t be worse timing when Mitsuteru calls Bunta to tell him Typhoon has completed their game and he is excited to see what they’ve come up in 2 weeks. Bunta, Atomu and Yuuka talk and discuss about things. Then Bunta goes to see Kuroda in the clubroom and she is trying to complete everything herself. In short, Bunta is coming back to help her not because he wants to beat Typhoon or it is fun making a game. He wants to see how far their games can go. And shortly all the other members come back to help and give her a second chance. So you mean Akkina once again lied to us because she came back too? So how does she even things out? She slaps Kuroda! Now they’re even. Everybody gets motivated and work their ass off to meet the deadline. Everything is so tense that the slightest blooper can cause them to have a little heart attack. When they finally finish in time and burn the disc, Yuuki realizes only low resolution quality is included. So they have to fix it and burn it all over again. But not enough time! Kuroda will personally head to the factory. They suggest Kuroda head and wait at the train station first since she has been up all night and won’t have enough energy to make a sprint. So once the discs are burnt, Bunta rushes all the way and makes it right in the nick of time before the train door closes!!! What a close call. They hand over the finished product to the factory. What a hectic day. The tired duo return home and see their friends waiting outside the train station. Everything is going to be alright.

Episode 12
Everyone is nervous as they head into the clubroom. Then they hear Kuroda just off the phone. Their game instantly sold out at 3000 copies and there is repeat order to reprint double that amount! That’s good, right? Wait till you learn that Typhoon sold 4000 copies out too and had repeat orders as well. However their repeat order is only 2000! Do your maths and declare Rokuhara the winner! It is natural that they celebrate at a yakiniku restaurant and to their surprise, Iwao is working there part time as he is their waiter. He apologizes and thanks them that the sales proceeds are enough not only for Rokuhara to start their next game but give Iwao a chance to start moving again. As thanks, he gives them vegetables. Hey, can’t expect much from a part timer’s salary, right? We want meat! Poor Bunta has to eat it all. Later Kuroda discusses about their win and had the period being dragged out longer, they would have lost. Their game was easier to understand unlike Typhoon’s which needed time to digest but it will surely leave a long lasting impression. She drops the bombshell that she wants to dissolve Rokuhara. Her reason is that she wants to put this ‘tragic’ episode behind her and start anew again with them by making a game purely for themselves and not worry about how many units to sell. Bunta and the rest disagree and prefer to do it the current way. Bunta gets a call from Mitsuteru because Taiko is throwing a tantrum and complaining about bowing down to kids as part of the bet. Sore loser. He hopes it could be just him to bow down or another representative so Kuroda negotiates that they owe them a favour instead. Next day, they search on the internet there is a new game, weirdly named and equally with a weird plot taking the top spot. It is done by Blooter and soon that guy becomes a worldwide hit. From anime adaptations to idol groups based on him! Wow! Blooter Fever?! One night, lots of editors keep calling Bunta in search of Blooter. Seems that guy took on too many projects and couldn’t keep up. And thus as fast as it came, the fever quickly dissipated. But for Rokuhara, they continue to do what they do at their own pace.

Consisting of a few skits, we start off with the much needed fanservice! The girls are in their undies taking measurements for their cosplay costumes for an upcoming promotion event. Eventually they force Kuroda to get one too. Then the guys who have done separating spoiled samples accidentally walk in to see this rare moment. Lucky pervert. We see Yuuki being recorded and interviewed as part of the promotion. She talks about her specialty in drawing cute girls over the years. When she returns to the store where she works, the owner finds unknown drawings and wants to post them on the internet. Yuuki freaks out and snatches them to burn them. Those pictures of boys and men are her drawings from her earlier years. We see the girls molesting each other’s skin, posing in sexy sitting positions and then posing clad in only an oversized shirt as Akkina narrates her delusional fantasies. When the gay teacher walks in and sees this atrocity, he blames Bunta and Atomu for this perversion and will have them see him at the counselling room. They were just minding their own business analyzing some music and they get blamed? Worse, the girls now blame them for turning around and looking at them. Time to focus a little more on Yuuka. 2 years ago, she leads a very active and eventful life. From quitting her sports club to running around town and doing her solo acting at the playground, life is never dull for her and she wished she had 200 years to go with. She returns to Bunta’s place to hang out with him. Time to end with more fanservice as the girls take a well deserved reward as they relax in the public bath. No bare tits here. They discuss the success of their event like Kuroda’s negotiations in having free cosplay outfits in exchange for giving their selling rights to the store and minimizing their royalties. But she attributes everyone’s hard work for this success. Kuroda has got her hands on some doujin of Akkina’s taste and the latter is now ‘in love’ with her. They meet up with the guys waiting outside. Kuroda’s stomach growls but she won’t admit it. But nevertheless she has booked a spot at the grill house. The celebration continues. Lesson for the day? Nutrition is important for those who go through the wasteland. WTF?!

Wasted In The Wastelands…
Uh… Well… Okay… I guess… I thought I could sample and see a bit of their game at least in its final form but apparently I forgot this isn’t what this anime is about. The wastelands aren’t so kind just to show off their finished product as free samples unless you pay a premium for it or buy the entire game. Hey, that is like DLC and gaming these days, right? I’m so glad at least I’m not seeing this kind of sh*t in this anime that is happening and becoming a trend all over the world. But let’s not get too far off tracked from this anime. So how should I put this anime? Not impressed. Basically a group of high school students getting it together to make a game and then as underdogs beating a bigger and more famous company at it (because the CEO is a b*tch and she deserved to lose). In short, hardly anything memorable for me to remember by the time the next season comes around.

It is hard for me not to draw comparisons of this series with Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata. Even so, I cannot determine if either series is better than the other. Because this series lacks any romance and the fanservice, therefore there are no such cheesy romance-harem elements that would distract you from what the entire plot is. However even so, this is where this show also fails to live up to expectations. The story is nothing unique and if you look at it in its entirety, it could be one big bore fest as it is just about the little obstacles the little game programming club of a high school face. A big majority of the series (or you could say almost the entire series) is about each of the characters having their own problems pertaining to making the game and how the club members help to deal and overcome it while completing their game. Whether it is Yuuki working nonstop and affecting her health, Bunta having writer’s block and Yuuka having the jitters as her first time in a real voice acting job, each of these issues aren’t really that serious enough that would make you want to care or vouch for the characters because you will know at the end, things will always work out. Like how Akkina always comes back despite leaving, right?

Personally, the only thing that came to a surprise to me wasn’t the showdown with Typhoon but rather the dark secret revelation of why Kuroda roped in members to create a game instead. I knew there was a catch as to why Kuroda engaged her fellow high school students that have no real experience in the game industry to create something so good. With all the issues that were happening, it slowly made me forget this little conspiracy of mine. Or maybe I was bored that I didn’t even care at that point. I mean, if you think about it, why would Kuroda hire a bunch of students in her school for a game? I don’t remember what kind of excuse she gave but certainly the members never questioned it because they had always been thinking it might just be a club activity and the benefits of what if their games were to sell successfully.

Bunta was just being a guy who loves to help so he doesn’t ask deeper since Kuroda just told him it was her dream. And when recruited others too, they in turn never ask further and I suppose they too had too many free time on their hands to help her out. So when the truth came out of the bag, I know they have the right to feel angry for being deceived. But wasn’t it their fault in the first place to not find out more instead of jumping into something because it looks good on the outside? Welcome to real life and society. Yup. This is how I think we can connect this wasteland thingy here.

The characters too feel generic and don’t amount to anything memorable. If they had something that is quality to be remembered, it was perhaps the dynamism of how they interacted and worked together as a group. Because as individuals I don’t think they really make an impact. So is this what synergy means? Cooperation of the combined efforts of individuals to produce and end product that is much greater compared to when produced individually? We don’t know how many times Kuroda and Akkina bicker, quarrel, disagree, dispute, argue, squabble and have fall outs so often that it has become the staple of the group. But they still manage to put all that aside and work for the greater good and complete the game.

As said, individually the characters do not make much impact and sometimes I feel they are stereotypes but that can’t be helped because every game has some sort of stereotype character, right? So you have Bunta as your hardworking and friendly guy. One of the few typical main character traits. Kuroda oddly as the other main character is the least favourite in Rokuhara because of her monotonous poker face looks. She feels like a robot lacking any emotions. Because if you compare the rest of Rokuhara members, they have a ‘livelier’ personality like Akkina being the liveliest thanks to her BL fetish, Yuuka being the tomboyish retard and Yuuki the shy girl trope who will make your heart go ~kyun even if you aren’t into this type of girls. And yes, even Atomu in a way is more interesting than Kuroda because of his tendencies to fly into his passionate rage thinking about his failed relationships, even if this happens infrequently. Because he is the secondary guy of the show, it could have been more interesting if we see him express his love for 2D girls after jumping ship from 3D. Kuroda would have been a bit better had she smiled a little more often instead of waiting till the final episode where it feels like the entire pressure is off her shoulders and thus putting aside that gloomy face. Oh well. Who am I to say since I am not in her shoes especially when you’re trying desperately to pull a loved one out from his debts while not telling your friends. Yeah, a poker face needed indeed.

While this series did try at first to give some little insights on the bishoujo game industry, that was just in the initial episodes. Subsequently the rest of the episodes don’t really tell us what it is like to make a game or the process of making it although we can see how hellish it is in keeping up with the deadline but we don’t really feel the tension and adrenaline rush. It felt like it was just luring us in to stay and watch. At first it seemed like Kuroda is like a pro when she explains this wasteland thingy, everything she could possibly know about the dog-eat-dog world in this industry. I felt like she would be interesting in this sense to occasionally give us insights and knowledge about this industry but sadly with the other members having issues cropping up, Kuroda just felt like the ‘autocratic boss of a mini company’ except she doesn’t yell at the top of her voice and fire you.

If you are expecting any sort of romance, please don’t. It just feels like a minor distraction and it fails. Many like myself would love to guess that Bunta as the main character would be the centre of attention but you can hardly call this club a harem either. Because Kuroda is so like a robot and doesn’t show any signs of falling in love with him (that first episode fake date was just so fake it didn’t feel like one), I guess we can strike her name off the list of Bunta’s potential love interest. A kiss for him while he is asleep doesn’t count! Besides, that feels like a gratitude kiss rather than a romantic kiss. Yuuki is so shy that you’d feel bad for approaching her because I’m afraid it might scare her. Like how her first love letter experience traumatized her… Poor girl… Akkina is more interested in BL and with her crude personality, I don’t think this kind of girls would have a high chance. The closest would be Yuuka because of the cliché childhood friend trope too but eventually that fizzles out and you wonder if everything would be better if she just kept it one-sided. Yeah, maybe it was for the better. And what about Atomu? He exists so that he could the possibility of a real BL! Although, Atomu is no gay but you can feel the tendency this series gives off when the guys are together. Yeah, everything is so crazy that it might just happen.

If the show has anything redeeming, well, I would say it would be the artwork. Although it looks like your conventional standard Japanese anime, at least it still looks good enough to put this as a visual novel game. Oh wait. Isn’t the anime series developed from the visual novel game of the same name? Oh well, at least they have nice looking bishoujo girls and guys so it is not all that in the visuals department even if the story stinks. Right? Produced by the studio Project No. 9, a relatively new animation production company who also produced Ro-Kyu-Bu, Momo Kyun Sword, Gunslinger Stratos and Netoge No Yome Wa Onnanoko Ja Nai To Omotta.

Hearing Kana Hanazawa as Yuuka reminded me that I once used to pigeonhole her as a retard character. Yup, that sums up the initial episodes of Yuuka’s character. Yeah, she still has that knack… The other voice I instantly recognized is Satomi Satou as Yuuki. This time her dreamy voice is quite suitable for her character because there is this fragility and feebleness that gave her Yuuki character that persona. For the rest of those that I recognized, they are Akira Ishida as Iwao, Rina Satou as Taiko (b*tch mode?) and Takehito Koyasu as Blooter. The rest of the casts are Haruka Chisuga as Kuroda (Tsugumi in Soul Eater Not!), Seiichirou Yamashita as Bunta (Takahiro in Walkure Romanze), Satomi Akesaka as Akkina (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Toshiyuki Toyonaga as Atomu (Shun in Kimi To Boku) and Souma Saitou as Mitsuteru (Tatsumi in Akame Ga Kill). The opening theme is Wastelanders by Sayaka Sasaki. Perhaps of the genre of this series, it makes me feel that this dramatic and synthesizer effects heavy opener feels like a song for a simulation video game. The ending theme, Sekai Wa Kyou Mo Atarashii by the female quartet of Rokuhara sounds like a generic anime song but nothing really that spectacular.

Overall, this series isn’t exactly a masterpiece although it doesn’t suck that bad. I can consider myself more forgiving because I read a few comments over the internet how this show was a big waste of time. A waste of time in the wasteland? There were missed opportunities that made the series boring. Therefore sometimes I feel the irony that when a game has a bad aspect, be it the story, the controls, the game play, the graphics, the characters or any other department, it affects everything else and when bad reviews go around, it is the end of it. Hence I have this feeling that this series will not likely see the day of another sequel. I know we should all give others a second chance but in this wasteland (which reminds me, Fallout game, anybody?) where only the strong survives and continues to make sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots, the chances of this one are pretty slim. Because this series is already buried under tons of garbage known as animes and devoured by the hideous creatures that roam the wastelands known as hate inciting trolls and narrow minded fan boys as well as the unforgiving environmental hazards in the form of overwhelming moe, fanservice, shonen, shoujo, seinen, slapstick comedy and other types of exposure. Yeah, a pure drama show can’t survive the wasteland by itself throwing away all those tropes.

Do you know what is more absurd than sending hardcore drillers up into space to destroy an asteroid before it hits Earth? Why, send a group of girls to play a crane game and have their beam from every successful game to push away the asteroid! No joke! Serious! I mean, this is actually the premise for Bishoujo Yuugi Unit Crane Game Girls! I’m not kidding! For some obscure reasons, a group of idols wannabe have been scouted to drive away impending asteroids on collision course with Earth just by playing crane games!!! Absurd, am I right? Hell, at least it is a hundred times better than training drillers to go into space and detonate the asteroid. You know how much money that will cost? Thank goodness the producers didn’t see that Hollywood disaster movie… I think.

Episode 1
Agent Fox is called by her superior that an asteroid will crash into Earth and destroy life. Their only hope lies with these 3 high school girls. Sure they can save the world? F*ck logic! Just get them! And so, Asuka, Kyouko and Mirai thought they are being scouted by an idol agency. But something sounds fishy when their recruiter has a gorilla avatar. They are then made to wear a funny outfit and their next location is the video arcade. Is this a joke? Keeping their hopes high that they will become top idol, they start practising their (weird) dance. Fox isn’t amused and takes them into a secret room. This crane game is a training simulation that will turn them into top idols.

Episode 2
Fox disguises herself under the name as Saya. She is as sceptical for the girls to save the world as the girls are if she is really a talent agency president. Saya lies that all top idols have one thing in common: They were good in crane games! Enough motivation for the girls to get a move on. Their first training is to grab a gorilla plushie. Failed. Saya shows it how it’s done. They thought she too failed but she manages to get it by slowly sliding it out of the hole. After the girls reflect and ponder her technique, they realize what needs to be done. Trying again, they now know they must not grab the centre but its side so as to move it slightly until it drops. With this task done, some power beam beams away a couple of asteroids! WTF???!!! You mean this is how they’ll save the world???!!!

Episode 3
Now the girls will have to pick up a gorilla plushie in a box. But they are suspicious what the crane game has got to do with being a top idol. Well, if they can’t even handle this well, do you think they will have what it takes to be top idol? That doesn’t make sense but that will do as motivation. Saya guides them to place the hook precisely over the box holes to get a better grip. When they’re done, there is no effect. It seems Mirai ditched her game to call her dad just to buy her a gorilla figure! You can’t be a top idol if you don’t put in the effort! So after the girls successfully clear the game, a couple more asteroids are deflected.

Episode 4
The girls get their pay. Mirai being the rich girl finds it not enough to feed her (ugly) cat. But for Kyouko who is so poor, she finds the amount huge! Kyouko explains her mom died and now she plays that role to take care of her many siblings. Such a touching moment for the girls to rally and become top idols. And also a touching moment as they molest Kyouko?! Saya then shows them how to knock off many prizes in one go. The girls brainstorm and then apply what they have discovered. They shove the hook into the middle of the pile near the hole and knock them off. Saya is impressed and will send those prizes to Kyouko’s family since she can’t get a pay rise. And the day is saved with a couple more asteroids are repelled.

Episode 5
Asuka brings a fish that her fisherman dad brought to her as present to be a top idol. Today’s crane game is to pick up prizes with tags on them. Sounds easy? Nope. During the break. Asuka tells how her dad has always been supportive of her on just about anything. It might sound embarrassing but it proves he is a great dad. He was even happy when she was scouted but Asuka felt otherwise as she didn’t believe she could live up to expectations. After all, when she was young, her dream was to become a fisherman and her dad taught her various fishing techniques. Then it hit her. Different fish use different tactics. So when they apply this in the crane game, they win it using a bit of physics and common sense to fish this one out. Just before they can celebrate, the news flash that there is a huge group of asteroids heading towards Earth.

Episode 6
The girls learn when Mirai was playing a crane game, she was being hit by a guy. However she brushed him off because she won’t date cheap looking guys! Saya heard this and lays down the rules of no dating and love for idols (since it’s their job to save the world). Did something inside her triggered? Because she is taking out her frustrations on the machine when she can’t get a prize with a string. By this time the girls are tired of playing crane games. They want to do real idol stuffs like singing and dancing. Well, they’ll do it one day. Suspicious… When is that? She promises to tell the truth if they win this one. So they manage to do so and as promised, Saya reveals the asteroid danger and how the trio are the only ones who can save the world. Surprise!

Episode 7
The girls can’t believe what they’re hearing. It’s time for Saya to explain a load of BS (which is supposedly the truth in this anime). She is an agent from WSA (World Space Agency) tasked to find people with the ability to save the world. Due to the girl’s wavelength, their desire to become idols, their heart’s purity, each time the girls successfully learn a new skill, WSA confirms several asteroids changing direction. Only they can do this. Thus this training is the thing that brings out their power the most. Mirai is sad she can’t be an idol but if there is no Earth, you can’t be anything! Naturally the girls are dejected and losing motivation. Mirai then walks out on everything. She isn’t doing this sh*t. All she wanted was to become an idol. Kyouko also follows suit. If the world is getting destroyed, she’d rather spend her last moments with her family. What about Asuka? Thinking how they’ve been put into such awkward position by the agency, she’ll try to talk to the girls to come back.

Episode 8
Asuka finds Kyouko playing a crane game. Prizes for her siblings? They realize they love the game. Now the hard part is Mirai. She is going to fly away in her gold helicopter! She calls Saya a liar and her friends traitors for siding with her now. She doesn’t care about Earth. She just wants to be an idol. Well, Mirai isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Her friends first blame Saya for not thinking about their feelings. Then they make her promise she will get trainers for acting, dancing and singing to become top idols. So stop thinking too hard on this and let’s just aim to become idols. And so the trio are a whole again. Now they put their skills to the test of needing to get a prize that is hanging on the ledge without knocking it over. Not sure about this tactic but they knock off the part hanging on the ledge and push it down. Isn’t that the same as knocking it? Anyway their success means more asteroids change its course. Saya apologizes for being insensitive and will arrange to keep her part of the bargain.

Episode 9
Beach episode! After all their hard work I guess the girls deserve some rest and relaxation. Just to make sure the girls know… Saya is funding this trip with her own money! So please Mirai, shut up about your experience of hotspring in Dubai. Also here is Tokiko (the newscaster) who is Saya’s junior in college. She admires her a lot and can’t believe Saya is now working behind the scenes in a talent agency. This gives Saya motivation to make sure the girls become top idols. Then she ushers the girl for their next training at the beach. So are they going to watch the fireworks? Nope. She even brought the crane machines here! You were expecting something else? With the sexy gorilla figure as its prize, they get it out using some gap technique. I’m not interested since sexy gorilla isn’t my thing. With more asteroids averted, Tokiko sees this familiar beam. Saya has an idea to use her.

Episode 10
Tokiko reports this scoop to the world. With the buzz it is creating, the girls are now world famous! How does it feel to bask in the limelight? Saya shows them a crane puzzle but does not show them how it is done. She believes they have enough experience to think on their own. Asuka and Mirai fool around as being famous now is getting into their heads. When Kyouko chides them to take it more serious, they tease her for being serious like a school teacher and even mock her accent. This makes her mad enough to flip the table! But this gave them an idea for their problem. A large crowd and news reporters await the girls outside the video arcade. Hey, why don’t they have their own escort and security into the building?! What if there are crazy stalkers trying to kidnap them?! I don’t know how but they managed to get into the building after the press pester them for comments. Although Saya isn’t around, the girls use their flipping method to show the world that they are the real deal in saving Earth from asteroids. Take that! Everyone, start believing!

Episode 11
The world is cheering for the crane game girls’ success. Meanwhile Saya visits Dark Gorilla, the perpetrator who has been hurling asteroids on Earth. It seems Dark Gorilla’s mission is to protect his species that has been under constant abused on our planet. Despite the crane game girls’ success, he still will not back off. He won’t even grant Saya’s wish to make those girls’ dream of becoming idols come true. He uses his ultimate trump card. The biggest mother asteroid ever! Meanwhile the girls are celebrating a victory when they get a call whom they think is from Saya. However it is Saya’s boss, Earth Gorilla. He tells them Saya has been missing and she probably went to see Dark Gorilla. He shows them the biggest asteroid coming their way. No problem, right? However Earth Gorilla thinks it is impossible as a massive amount of energy is needed. It may cost them their life. This doesn’t dampen the girls since they will continue to do what they have always been doing. They’ll save Earth and bring Saya back. So after using some tactic to pick up heavy prizes, it seems the asteroid’s course isn’t changing…

Episode 12
Finally the crane game girls get their singing stint. Dark Gorilla hijacks the broadcast to announce his intention to take over Earth. Earth Gorilla had to interrupt our girls’ celebration to tell them their power had no effect on the asteroid. Of course there is another way. To push away such huge asteroid, they have to accumulate their powers. This can be done so by applying all the crane game techniques they have learnt together. However it is risky and puts player’s life in danger. The survival rate is only 20%. Hey, at least it’s not 0%. Thankfully the girls are looking forward to the future. They’ll save the Earth and become idols. The more techniques they apply, the more they could feel the strain over their body. Can’t give up now. They muster up all their strength for the final technique and put in all their emotions. Tokiko barges into the building to find Saya but sees the crane girls in action.

Episode 13
Their beam is so powerful that it rips their clothes!!! Don’t worry, we won’t see anything thanks to the beam’s blinding light. Dang. So powerful enough that it breaks up and scatters the asteroid. Earth is saved! But Earth Gorilla sheds a tear over their ‘sacrifice’. Dark Gorilla is still unsatisfied with his loss. He will come up with a new plan and find the secret behind the crane game girls’ power. Saya pleads to send her back but he will not comply. Once he learns the idol thingy that the crane girls are, he becomes more interested and wants idols for his planet. He wants Saya’s help and if she agrees, he will agree to leave Earth alone for now. No choice, she agrees. Apparently our crane game girls are still alive. Yeah, you can’t kill off Earth’s saviour and top idols, right? Tokiko visits them in hospital and she is worried they are being discharged quickly. No rest for an idol? Tokiko says they shouldn’t be in any hurry to become idols since they have already become one from saving the world. The girls are sad that Saya is still missing. But they believe that she will come back. For now they have to go out there and show her they have become top idols.

And I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing
Hey. WTF is this ending. It doesn’t feel like an end at all. Like as though there is going to be another season… It is kinda odd that Saya and the girls do not reunite at the end and thus end the mother of all separations but instead we have her whisked away to an alien planet to train gorilla idols. Serious. I mean, can you imagine seeing gorillas singing? F*ck, it would be Planet of the Apes parody by then. But as far as this season is concerned, we can all breathe easily and sleep comfortably at night knowing that the hard work of our crane game girls-cum-idols have saved the day once more. Good job girls. Really.

Now, I can’t help poke at how silly everything just is. Yes, it is just freaking silly. Just trying to think about how the mechanics work (just for the fun and sake of it) can only result in my laughing and going WTF. You see, firstly I don’t even fathom how by playing a crane game can shoot out beams. I mean, is the crane game connected to some laser beam? In that case, why not just rigged the damn machine? Just think about it. If the beam only appears once they drop the prize into the hole, what kind of mechanism and trigger does it take to fire the beam? And who sets up the prizes in such a way that allows the girls to practice and hone their skills? If you say those crane machines come from outer space, man they must have dropped thousands to let our girls practice and give Earth a chance to survive. How kind of them. It’s just so freaking illogical.

And why does it have to be a crane game?! I suppose it has got to be the hardest ‘family fun’ games at the carnival. Much harder than the pinball or the traditional shooting or goldfish scooping event. Because we all know how sneaky crane game machines are especially how they could be tampered to ‘cheat’. Extra hard and near to impossible rigid controls plus the short time limit makes the player have to constantly feed their quarters to continue trying or else risk being labelled as uncool and pathetic by their watching girlfriends who need this plushie oh so badly because why the f*ck didn’t they just go buy it at a store. Cheaper? The smell of victory? Well, if you’re good in crane games.

Therefore I have a feeling that this series also tries to teach us the several techniques in playing crane games. Well, it looks simple as shown but you know how tough it is in real life. This should only appeal to hardcore crane game enthusiasts and especially those who are just at beginner level trying to master and perfect their game. Otherwise such techniques aren’t really applicable in anywhere else. No, please don’t say it is the same as handling a construction crane.

So while we ponder at the absurdity of crane games being the sole tool to save the Earth, it is never in question about the crane game girls anyway. Sure, we have a little bit info of their family life like Mirai the rich girl, Kyouko the poor girl and Asuka from the middle income group if you consider her fisherman life isn’t a tough one. Anything deeper than that, feel free to cook up your own fan fiction theory. Good times, bad times but more importantly they stick together with their passion to become top idols. Ah, the power of friendship.

So what is the next step for these girls? They have already achieved their dream as top idols and at the same time become experts in crane games. In no time they might be scouted by other arcade game modes just to save the world. Don’t laugh. It happened before. Remember that arcade obsessed girl, Yamamoto Yoko? Yeah… So good she was in her arcade shooters that she was drafted into the future to fight space terrorists! And don’t forget that Fubuki girl from Arcade Gamer Fubuki. Remember how she used her arcade gamer skills to save the world from an evil organization? And all she got was her Passion Panty! No kidding! So don’t laugh the next time you see different alien invaders invading our planet and our crane girls are called in to stop their advancement by playing arcade games. Oh wait. They did something like that in Pixels, didn’t they?

I don’t know why they pick a gorilla as the antagonist or even the head of WSA but to have some sort of monkey related creature heading the world’s top space agency which is supposed to be under the domain of humans to be completely ridiculous. Yeah, everything doesn’t make sense but you’ll laugh and cringe at how silly everything is. So what is Saya’s connection with the gorillas? Did she sleep with them or something? And Tokiko, she came in late into the series but I figure she is Saya’s substitute now that she is temporarily not around to look after the girls and teach them more crane game techniques. Maybe Saya have taught them all she knows. There is no more she could further teach… Say, how the hell did Saya got kidnapped by Dark Gorilla anyway? Assuming she was taken away in the first place. But if she went to see him on her own will, don’t you think it is kinda dumb that she managed to go there but cannot get back down? It’s like a cat stuck on a tree, know what I’m saying?

The art and drawing is definitely Flash based. Produced by Kyotama, their other work was JK Meshi as you can see characters from the latter series making their cameos albeit just confined to the opening credits animation (though I believe there is one episode whereby there was a very short homage to JK Meshi). So it is a blink or you’ll miss type. One thing I want to point out is that their quality for this series seems to be a lot better and improved compared to JK Meshi which was just horrendous. At least the girls here look decently kawaii and the animation smoother.

One thing nice is the opening theme, Dream Climber by Rico Sasaki. This is quite a catchy rock piece if I must say. The relatively small casts are Sora Tokui Asuka (Niko in Love Live), Rico Sasaki as Kyouko (Michiru Kimura in Omoi No Kakera), Natsuko Hara as Mirai (Reina in JK Meshi), Sarara Yashima as Saya (Kurami in Hacka Doll) and Aina Suzuki as Tokiko (Shiori in Joukamachi No Dandelion).

In conclusion, you are not supposed to be stressed up watching and thinking at all the silly and illogical things that happened throughout the series. You’re supposed to laugh at them. Thank goodness each episode only lasts 4 minutes otherwise any longer and we might go crazy by all the ludicrous cringe worthy elements. Because idols, crane games, asteroids and gorillas, weird combination indeed. Despite all that, it still beats the logic of sending miners up into space anyway. Our girls stay safe and feet grounded on Earth. Literally. Okay, sing along with me now. Take it from the top. I could stay awake just to hear you breathing…

Want to experience a real RPG gaming experience? I mean a real one where you are really inside that world. Your surroundings, the people you interact with are all real. And no, I am not talking about putting on some head gear and diving into a fantasy game. This means this isn’t your Sword Art Online, Log Horizon or Overlord world game style. Not even Hai To Gensou No Grimgar level. Yes people. You come to this world as an adventurer, live as an adventurer for real. Folks, welcome to Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo. Wow. If it sounds so great, how do you sign up for it? Well, there is just one catch: You have to die first to get to this world. Well, at least you can say that there is life after death. But be warned. Despite saying about the adventure and RPG life you get to live in this world, please do not expect it to be like what you expect in those games you play once you start living your new life. Another catch? Well, let’s just say the people around you could be a big factor in determining the direction and quality of your life and destiny…

Episode 1
Kazuma Satou is an otaku on his way home after buying a game. However he sees a girl in danger of being run over by a truck and naturally his instincts have him dive to push her out of harm’s way. Unfortunately he died and is in the afterlife. How does he know? Because this cute goddess chick, Aqua tells him so. Kazuma wants to know if the girl is alright. She is. Relieved that his death was not in vain, wait till he hears how the girl was injured because of his pushing. You see, it wasn’t a truck but a tractor and it was already stopping. So how did Kazuma died? Of shock! OMG! Aqua couldn’t contain her laughter and starts laughing mad at all the absurdity, revealing how everyone from his family and nurses laughed at his embarrassing way of death! OMFG! She gives him a choice to either reincarnate as a baby or go to heaven, which isn’t a good place like he thinks. Because no porn! No sex! I can see why it’s so boring. Rather, she gives him another option to become an adventurer in a world that is being threatened by the Devil King’s army. Not only he’ll get to retain his memories of his world, he gets to bring any one thing of his choice to the new world. Anything. He is concerned about the language and despite there is a guidebook on it, he notices a very big disclaimer… So as he starts thinking what kind of skill he wants to bring over, Aqua pressures him into deciding this quick in addition to mocking his being. So what does he want to bring over? You, Aqua! Then this hot chick angel approves of this and sends them away to the new world. Now the joke is on Aqua. She is panicking so hard that Kazuma is having the last laugh. Not so funny now, huh? Suck it up, b*tch. You’re in for the ride. So in this peaceful town of Axel, Kazuma might regret bringing her because she is so whiny that she just doesn’t shut up! Useless. But as a pro gamer, the first thing to do is to join a guild. Everything seems fine and smooth till they realize there is a registration fee to pay. Broke.

Instead of blaming each other for being useless, Aqua decides to use her goddess status to get funds by… Begging! Unfortunately this old guy doesn’t worship her but a lower ranked goddess named Eris. He gives donates some money anyway but what insults Aqua is that a devotee of an inferior goddess showed pity on her. Yup, he doesn’t believe she is a goddess. As they register, their stats will determine what occupation to be. Kazuma is low on everything except luck. His only choice is a merchant but he is hell bent on being an adventurer. Aqua on the other hand scores high in everything except intelligence and luck. She could be anything except a wizard. She decides to be an arch priest healer. Everyone cheers for her incredible stats and job choice like as though she is a mega star. And I thought she hated coming to this world. So what is their first adventure? Doing hard construction labour?! Oh well. Work hard. Sleep hard. Bathe hard. Eat hard. Drink hard. Rinse and repeat. It sure took a while for Kazuma to realize this isn’t what adventuring is all about. Aqua needs to defeat the Devil King or else she can’t go back. Even more depressing is how this town lacks monsters as they have been exterminated a long time ago, thus no fetch quests. Aqua suggests getting away from here and do a kill quest despite their level is only at one and no proper equipment. Don’t worry. She’s a goddess, remember? This is precisely why Kazuma is worried.

Episode 2
Kazuma must have realized the different working standards and conditions of this world and Japan. Even more annoying is Aqua being lazy. What happened to her kill quest suggestion? Weren’t they supposed to go kill the Devil King? Logically this town is the furthest so the big bad guy isn’t just going to come all the way to slay 2 beginners, right? Their first kill quest is to kill giant frogs. Kazuma is left running for his life while Aqua is just laughing her ass off. She brags about saving him with conditions attached but gets eaten. Kazuma to the rescue. See how she turns into a cry-baby after that. Then she turns into an angry goddess as she is going to take out her frustration by destroying a frog with her God Blow. Here it comes! Nothing happens. Eaten again. Kazuma to the rescue again. To avoid such embarrassing moments, it is suggested they hire more people to their party. So why isn’t anybody joining after the recruitment notice is up? Other than Aqua false advertising herself, who else would be able to join if they only request for advanced adventurers? But there is an arch wizard girl approaching them. From her long grand speech of just about everything, you can tell that Megumin has chuunibyou. Yup, definitely is. You know she is as kooky as Aqua and even gets floored by her empty stomach. Haven’t eaten in 3 days, huh? But they see her high stats and decide to take her on a trial quest.

With Aqua getting eaten by a frog again, it is up to Megumin to strut her stuff. Awesome chant lines. Awesome magic effects. Awesome firepower! Awesome explosion! Then she collapses. Because she exceeded her magic limit and can only use 1 spell per day. Got eaten. This sucks. Now Kazuma has to save both of them. In return they finish their kill quest of defeating 5 giant frogs. On the way back, we discover that despite Megumin’s high stats, she can only use explosion magic because she loves the spell so much and will not learn others! WTF?! While Aqua is taken in by her ‘romantic’ passion, Kazuma is starting to see her as a liability. Even more useless than useless. Better offload her before she gives more trouble. However Megumin won’t let go and pleads to keep her around but he is not going to fall for that. He deduces she must have been kicked out of another party and thus the desperation. Bystanders misinterpret the commotion that Kazuma has done something perverted to the girls (all covered with frog slime…) and is going to abandon them. Megumin uses this to her advantage that she will do any erotic play so as not to be tossed away. To shut her up, he accepts her. Yahoo! Kazuma cashes in on the kill quest and notices he has levelled up. Despite getting 110,000 Eris (the currency), it indicates it was not worth risking their lives for such lowly pay. Taking a look at other job requests are just freaking impossible. Then, a beautiful knight babe approaches him wondering if the recruitment is open. Naturally Kazuma is stunned with her beauty and could she be what the party needs all along? But when Darkness starts to open her mouth and stammer her lines like some desperate nervous chick… Oh… My… God…

Episode 3
Hard breathing… Crazy eyes… This woman is dangerous. He tries to discourage her from joining by listing how useless his party members are but she gets even more encouraged to join. She even goes on to say she is clumsy and her strikes never hit! Kazuma tries to learn a skill. Megumin seems eager to help until she loses interest when he calls her a little girl. Then here comes Darkness. You thought he rejected her, right? He rejects her again. See that orgasmic face? Yup. Masochist. Explains everything. However her friend, Chris who is a thief could be the first decent person Kazuma has met since coming to this world. She agrees to teach him her skill, Steal in which he can, well, steal his enemy’s inventory. After learning the tricks of the skill, time to put it into use. Guess what he stole? Her panties!!! While this sends Chris into crying frenzy, Kazuma is laughing like a maniac like as though he had won. And Darkness hoped it was her… Back at the guild, imagine to Kazuma’s horror when Darkness and Chris worded that panty stealing act so ambiguously and smoothly that it sounded like Kazuma raped her! Then Kazuma shows off what he has learnt. Whose panties he stole this time? Megumin… Since when did he upgrade from an adventurer to a pervert? With Darkness at her limit and insisting she joins his team, the rest take a look at her card and find her high level crusader to be quite useful. Kazuma tries to discourage the newbies to leave by explaining how dangerous the mission is but Darkness being the masochist and Megumin being proud of her whatever magic that could obliterate anything, well, looks like they are here to stay.

Suddenly an emergency quest is broadcasted. All adventures must gather at the gate as something ominous is approaching. The town is going to be attacked by… Flying cabbages?! WTF???!!! It’s harvest time, yeehaw!!! And guess what? 10,000 Erins per cabbage!!! Darkness tries to appeal to Kazuma by fighting them. True to her uselessness, she misses all of them! However she acts as a shield best as she protects the other adventurers while withstanding the cabbages’ barrage. Of course Kazuma knows she is enjoying all this. Even more so when she thinks the men are looking at her with their lustful eyes, the pounding of the cabbages on her erotic body. Well, hard to believe that they are actually admiring her determination to protect them. Make sure you don’t learn the wrong example (that is, don’t be a masochist!). It all ends when Megumin unleashes her diabolical explosion. Boom! In the aftermath, we have a cabbage feast. Who knew such vegetables could be tasty, right? The girls praise each other but Kazuma isn’t impressed. But they also praise his lurking skill by stealing the cabbages’ wings. Darkness gladly introduces herself again and hopes to be more useful in the party as a shield. Being a sacrificial pawn isn’t so bad either. You know why lah. The girls might think highly of their little group with such few high job classes but Kazuma could only see hardships awaiting them in the future… What’s with the pessimism?

Episode 4
While Kazuma learns a water creation skill, Aqua is in one of her foul moods. Remember the reward on those cabbages? Turns out she caught lettuces instead! There is a big difference! Oh dear, look she is coming to Kazuma now. What is she whining now? When she learns Kazuma earned a million Erins, look at how she tries to become good in his books. When all else fails, become a desperate spoilt brat! She wants to borrow some money to repay her tabs. He wouldn’t have given in had she not spewed out something about his erotic habits in the stable… Thinking of going for another kill quest, anything but killing giant frogs! Poor Darkness. You missed all that action… They check out the job requests but there are hardly any. It is said that one of the Devil King’s top leaders has moved in nearby thus all the weaker monsters have gone into hiding. In this period of peace, Kazuma accompanies Megumin to the outskirts of town to practice her explosion magic on an abandoned castle. Somebody needs to carry her after she collapses, right? And she got scolded by the townspeople to practise her explosion somewhere else. Kazuma does this daily routine that he knows her explosions inside out. Kazuma then tells Aqua that they have no chance of defeating the Devil King. I mean, he has low skills and there are no high level adventurers in sight. They’re doomed. And no, he is not falling for her crocodile tears and wants her to teach him her healing technique. She won’t because it is her only reason for existence!

Suddenly another emergency quest for all the adventurers to gather at the gate. Before them is a headless horseman knight! He is one of the top leaders of the Devil King! You’re screwed. He is mad and blowing his top (despite not having a head) over an idiot who keeps blowing up the abandoned castle he is living in every day after moving in! HOLY SH*T!!! He can’t take anymore of this harassment! So who the f*ck keeps blowing his castle up?! Before the crowd suspects the wrong innocent lady, Megumin at least have the conscience to go up front to confront Verdia the Dullahan. Despite sounding grand, unfortunately she makes it worse that she needs to unleash an explosion a day or else she will die! Lies! And Verdia was going to let her off with just a warning. Making matters worse is how she ropes in Aqua and she is more than happy to play along. Verdia then throws a curse at Megumin but Darkness blocks and absorbs it. In a week, she will suffer and die. This is part of Verdia’s plan to play on Megumin’s conscious that it is her fault her friend will die and if she wants the curse lifted, come to his castle. If she can make it that far. But we all know how masochistic Darkness is, right? She thinks this is Verdia’s cruel intention to turn her into some sex slave and do perverted acts on her in his castle. Yeah, she is more than willing to follow him back! Even Verdia is looking scared! Of course Kazuma restrains her. Verdia leaves after giving Megumin the ultimatum. So while Kazuma and Megumin motivate each other they can get through this, suddenly Aqua uses her healing power to remove the curse. Easy as pie. Then everybody else cheers on Aqua like a true hero. So disappointing…

Episode 5
It is already bad enough this fantasy world isn’t to what Kazuma has in mind. That’s the least of his problems because Aqua is once again whiny about being in debt and sick of her shopping district part time job. So why don’t you go get a decent quest that pays? Hmm… There seems to be an easy one, purify a lake with monsters that earns 300,000 Eris. But why does she want Kazuma to come along? Because it takes her half a day to purify and she needs protection during that period of vulnerability. Kazuma has an idea and puts her in an iron cage. Nothing much happening as she sits in the lake… But when monster crocodiles start attacking her cage, she her go into maximum panic mode. Kazuma and co not helping… She looks fine, right? Yeah, now she works twice as hard to purify the lake faster. 7 hours later, the lake is crystal clear and Aqua is saddled in trauma. Uh huh. She doesn’t want to come out of the cage. It is much safer here. Well, at least she gets to keep all the reward to herself. Before you people forget what an ideal fantasy RPG is like, herald Kyouya Mitsurugi who was once a normal high school kid, brought into this world and bestowed upon a cursed sword, Gram by a goddess. He coolly slays a dragon and hopes to defeat the Devil King with it and save the world. Heck, he even has his girls fighting over him! In town, he hears a morbid humming and to his shock sees Aqua being towed back inside a cage. He breaks open the cage and calls for her but apparently her trauma is greater. But when Kazuma reminds her that somebody else recognizes her as a goddess, she reverts back to normal. That was easy. Kyouya remembers she is the goddess who reincarnated him in this world and gave him Gram. But does Aqua remember him? Yeah, she sent so many people back that she might have forgotten some.

When Kyouya learns how Aqua got into this world and even her living conditions, he is being mad and Kazuma. But Kazuma knows better than to be lectured by a guy who is blessed with a better sword. He knows his girls are just sh*tty characters. Kyouya suggests they join his party but Aqua thinks he is a creep, Darkness as a masochist feels like punching him and Megumin wants to explode him. Rejected, right? Not satisfied, Kyouya challenges Kazuma to a duel over Aqua. Instantly Kazuma starts attacking and uses Steal to take his Gram and knock him out. Hey, it’s all fair, right? Not to Kyouya’s harem girls as they call Kazuma a coward. Kazuma then threatens to use his Steal on them and with those erotic finger movements, they are sent running away in tears. It should be a happy ending back at the guild but why is Aqua so mad about? Apparently her reward has been deducted for the cage’s damage. And she didn’t even damage it. Yeah, she is going to give one to Kyouya when she sees him. Speaking of which, here he is looking to challenge Kazuma again because he heard rumours from Chris about his panty stealing skills and covering girls with slime! However he is punched in the face by mad Aqua! Give her money! Did she up the price for the damage compensation? Then she goes on a spending spree… Unbelievable… Kyouya is here to request Gram to be given back to him. Unfortunately Kazuma sold it. This guy’s luck just keeps getting worse, eh? Then an emergency quest to gather especially Kazuma’s party. What is with Verdia now? He is mad that nobody came to his castle! Oh… That.

Episode 6
Apparently someone is still bombing his castle every day! Damn you Megumin! But if every blast leaves her vulnerable, then who is the culprit who helped bring her back? Damn you Aqua!!! Verdia blows his top thinking these people didn’t care about their dead friend. What dead comrade? Oh look. Darkness is alive and well. Aqua zaps him a few times. Although she thinks it is a weak spell but you can definitely tell from Verdia’s screams. Verdia has had it and summons his undead knights to kill everybody. Unfortunately they chase after Aqua. Seeking salvation from a goddess? Aqua runs after Kazuma… He has an idea as he runs near Verdia. He then gives the signal to Megumin to initiate her blast. Boom! Verdia is still standing as he initiates a comeback. Some of the other guys think he is weakened and charge in to slay him. But it would be their undoing because Verdia unleashes a powerful spell like as though he entered bullet time to slaughter them all! Verdia goes after Kazuma but Darkness becomes his shield. As expected, she starts saying ambiguous perverted stuffs, thinking Verdia is chipping her armour away slowly for the ultimate embarrassment. Even worse when she misses a clear strike when he is stationary. How could she miss?! Kazuma tries to buy Darkness some time by splashing water but it just made her all wet and thinking the wrong thing. Kazuma then freezes him and tries to steal his sword but to no avail.

When Verdia goes in for the kill on Darkness, Kazuma starts thinking hard about a Dullahan’s weakness. Then it hit him. His weakness is water. He has all the mages conjure and splash water spells at him as Verdia tries to avoid them all. Instead of bragging, can Aqua at least summon some water to close this case? Sure. She is going to summon some flood class magic. Verdia knows he is in trouble and tries to run but Darkness is holding onto his feet. Then here comes the flood to wipe out everyone, everything… Don’t worry, everybody is still alive. Kazuma then steals his head and has everyone play football with it. In the mean time, Aqua seals Verdia for good. Case closed. Darkness prays to those fallen men but find that they are still alive. Aqua resurrected them. She feels so embarrassed that she wants to die. So this is a different kind of abuse and not to her liking? As expected, everyone parties with the defeat of Verdia. Kazuma is chanted a hero and even better, he gets 300 million Eris as reward! See how money changes people… And all those leeches… Especially Aqua… But then here is the bad news. There is always a catch. Because Aqua’s flood magic destroyed a great portion of the town’s walls, the reparation costs is 340 million Eris! I guess they have to take up more quests to cover the costs. And it is then Kazuma vows he will slay the Devil King in order to escape this good for nothing world. The faster you kill, the faster you get out, right?

Episode 7
Kazuma has every right to complain he needs money. But does Aqua? Because he puts her right in her place after mentioning he needs money to cover the debts she racked up. Or else she can just repay them herself. Now the apologetic goddess she is now, eh? Looking at the board to take on a quest, I guess Kazuma has a say whether to accept it or not because he is definitely rejecting dangerous ones and not willing to get killed. Then he notices this one. Killing snow sprites will net 100,000 Eris each. Of course Kazuma’s guts are telling him something is wrong especially if that masochist eagerly wants to fight such weak and easy creatures. Here they are at the snowy mountains killing cute harmless little balls. They’re snow sprites by the way. Ironically Aqua is doing much better in catching them. After giving Megumin permission to bomb the entire place, now Kazuma will find out the answer as to why adventurers do not take up such easy quest. Because here comes the winter shogun!!! The monster that Darkness has been waiting for! You’re screwed. To appease him, Aqua releases some of the snow sprites and prostrate perfectly. She’s good at this. Kazuma tries to do the same for Darkness but I figure she just loves how she is being held against her will on the ground. Since Kazuma forgot he is still holding his dagger, the winter shogun decapitates him! OMG! Did he really die?!

Apparently yes. Now he is in the afterlife and before him is the goddess Eris. Kazuma is very impressed with her since he is polite unlike certain weirdoes. She is giving him a chance to be reincarnated in Japan and he is happier to get that as he complains about all the misadventures with his party fools. But what’s this? Why is Kazuma crying? Those aren’t tears that he is going back to his home. So he is telling us he missed those idiots and wants to go adventuring with them a little longer?! What’s wrong with you Kazuma?! That is when Aqua’s voice is heard. She has casted a resurrection spell on him and wants him to get his ass back. However Eris mentions about the law that he cannot be revived again since he has reborn once. Aqua then badmouths Eris and you can see the latter close to tears with all those insults. Aqua even gives Kazuma permission to sexually harass her if she persists so Eris is forced to make this an exception and send him back to Aqua’s side. Kazuma is definitely not pleased with the high and might attitude of Aqua. If he could only change goddesses… It is a good thing he feels okay now. Because he wouldn’t want to see how he was decapitated by the winter shogun… Back at the guild, Aqua managed to capture a snow sprite. Kazuma wants to kill it for the reward but Aqua becomes protective of it, laying out her plans and life with this little cute thing. She’s even got a name for it? Kazuma then thinks about Eris. Her kind smile when he was revived and the way she mourned his death. Ah, she could be the heroine he has long waited for to appear. But it is back to reality when his girls order lots of food. The debt just keeps piling up… So why are you regretting not choosing to reincarnate in Japan now? You should have known better…

Episode 8
Winter is very cold. Aqua almost burnt Kazuma’s jersey to the fire. And while they are arguing, the fire goes out. The duo go over to see Wiz who may look human but is actually a lich (ruler of the undead who sends wandering spirits at the graveyard to heaven). Despite her status, she is a kind girl and I don’t know why Aqua has a bone to pick with her. Kazuma narrates how they first met and due to some circumstances (Aqua’s fault I suppose), they took up her job in her stead and ended up letting her go. Maybe that is why Aqua doesn’t like her. When they hear she was one of the leaders of Devil King, Aqua doesn’t hesitate to take the slightest chance to eliminate her. Of course Kazuma hears her out and it seems the Devil King made a deal with her that she would maintain the barrier that protects his castle in exchange for living a quiet life among human territory. But that is all she did and she did not harm others. So as long as her barrier is up, humans can’t invade Devil King’s castle? See how eager Aqua wants to get rid of her? Kazuma doesn’t want to rush in considering their level is not enough to face the big boss. Don’t want to get beheaded again, right? With Kazuma wanting to learn a skill from her, she teaches Drain Touch, a skill that absorbs an opponent’s health and magic and can also be distributed to others. After obtaining that skill, Aqua still wants to slowly kill her… Stop it already… Kazuma and his girls get to live in a mansion that Wiz is a landlord of. But it’s haunted! Of course, ignore Aqua trying to use her magic and see the past haunting (is she really going to mention every one?) and her usual tantrum when her sake bottle is suddenly empty. Because of the latter, she goes on an exorcising spree.

Deep in the middle of the night as Kazuma wants to go to toilet, he spots a creepy doll across his room! OMFG! SCARY!!! He tries to pretend to sleep but feels something creeping up his body. MORE DOLLS!!! RUN!!! He hides in Aqua’s room but is surprised to see Megumin there. I guess she is also scared of the dolls. And she wanted a partner to go to toilet? Yeah, Aqua must be away exorcising them. Kazuma wants to take a leak at the balcony but Megumin won’t let him. And thus a crazy argument being toilet comrades begins. Then they have to start running when the dolls are seen all over outside the window. Megumin is now in the toilet and bugs Kazuma to sing to assure her he is there. That would be the least of their problems because the dolls are coming! Kazuma breaks open the door to take her and hide in another room. It is amazing Kazuma can hold it in after so long. When things get desperate, Kazuma thinks of using Drain Touch but when he bumps open the door, it knocks out Aqua. They get a special reward after the dolls are exorcised. Kazuma learns why the mansion is haunted with so many ghosts. As there is a graveyard nearby (where they first met Wiz), apparently someone erected a massive barrier as a prank so the spirits had nowhere to go and took refuge in the mansion. Kazuma senses something amiss. You bet it is somewhat Aqua’s fault. Explain! After taking Wiz’s exorcising job, Aqua felt it was a pain to travel to the graveyard all the time so she thought if she took their home away, they would eventually leave. What is Kazuma going to do? They can’t accept the special reward then. Kazuma pays his respects to the nearby grave and his glad to have his own mansion to live in. No more the stable life. Till he hears the girls trying to burn his jersey as firewood…

Episode 9
Aqua thinks she can boss around thinking she has the highest level stats among them. When Kazuma realizes her stats never moved because they are already at their max, he starts having that regret and pitiful look. I suppose he now understands why her intelligence never increased. Kazuma later meets up with a couple of adventurers he got to know, Keith and Dust. They take him to an inn where it is run by succubi. Oh yeah… Kazuma is served by a sexy busty succubus that is so much like hentai material. She guides him in writing down his desires. Oh yeah… After double confirming that there are no laws, regulations, rules whatsoever because it is just a dream, Kazuma is motivated to pen down all his desires for a great dream! The only caution the succubus throws at him is not to drink too much because if he sleeps soundly, they can’t show him any dreams. When he returns home, his girls are throwing a crab and sake feast. Oh dear. It is tempting but Kazuma tries to restrain himself from the revelry. To avoid falling into the trap, he decides to turn in early. But since he can’t sleep, he goes to take a bath. That is when naked Darkness enters. So the dream has started? Bring it on! Of course we know something is wrong when Darkness starts acting very embarrassed and against whatever he is asking her. But he thinks this is part of the request he wrote in for albeit not exactly what he wanted, she’ll just do. With Kazuma acting as the cool boss ordering Darkness to wash his back, the more Darkness flusters. I guess this humiliation doesn’t fall under the masochism category. But if it wasn’t, why didn’t she just walk out? Ah, in some deep recess of her heart, she must be enjoying it, right?

Just when she is going to scrub his back using her boobs, Aqua’s loud voice that she caught an intruder spoils everything. Kazuma just rushes out in a towel to confront the ruckus. It seems Aqua and Megumin have a caught a succubus trying to enter their barrier. That is when Kazuma realizes and connects the dots. Kazuma goes over to protect the succubus. He tells her to run while he fends off the crazy women who each have their own reason to beat up Kazuma at this point. Kazuma acts like a true man, protecting what a man has to protect sometimes. So if it is a fight the girls want, then bring it on! Unfortunately he got beaten up but the succubus escapes. Next morning, Darkness feels awkward with Kazuma though she believes he was being controlled by the succubus and has no memories of what happened. Kazuma has been in this world long enough to know how to play the rules. So he agrees to go with that easy explanation. Darkness mentions about how scary he was last night but it wasn’t a bad experience overall. That is when Kazuma tells her to brush up her common sense because he already placed a sign outside the bath that it was occupied and she still came in. And since she went along, everything that happened subsequently wasn’t his fault in any way. Darkness realizes he clearly remembered everything. Suddenly an emergency broadcast that a mobile fortress, Destroyer is approaching the town.

Episode 10
Like its name implies, anywhere it goes or touches, destruction follows. Kazuma is not so ready to abandon the town yet because he just got his mansion and hell no he is going to look for another one or sleep out in the cold. He can’t anyway. Nobody can. Because all adventurers are tasked to take it down. As they discuss, everybody seems to get this idea Kazuma can take it down. He is the hero, right? And then they can finish it off with a hard hitting magic. You know, like an explosion? Looking at you, Megumin. Everybody’s motivation sky rockets when Wiz arrives to help because they believe she is the most powerful wizard in town. As everyone takes their positions, Kazuma talks to Darkness to not be a hero and stand directly in its path. That is when she reveals her real name: Dustiness Ford Lalatina. The daughter of a rich family. As she considers herself a knight, it is her duty to protect her countrymen. How noble. But we still think she’s a masochistic pervert… Destroyer is in sight and everybody starts getting scared. See how huge that thing is. Aqua makes her first move by unleashing her powerful magic enough to disable its barrier. Now it is Megumin’s turn to hit all she’s got but she is paralyzed with fear. Kazuma insults her love for explosions so this is where she got real and does some real blowing up. Works like a charm. Destroyer collapses right before Darkness’ feet. Don’t need to do anything, right? True to Kazuma’s fear, everyone shouldn’t start celebrating yet because it is sure to trigger some flag. Yup, Destroyer is going to self destruct! Its destructive range is able to obliterate a city. With their new mission to stop its self destruct, Darkness charges straight into it. We all know it is because of her masochistic tendencies in wanting to get caught up in the explosion. But every other guy sees this as encouragement to defend their town. If it’s gone, where would they go? And also something to do with sexy succubus services…

As they search inside Destroyer, they come across a main chamber where a corpse sits. They read his diary that details how he was forced to create this against his will. Then when he was brought the legendary coronatite, Destroyer started moving and destroyed everything in its path. Not that this dude was unhappy about. So he decided to live the rest of his life on it seeing there is no way he could stop it or get off. End of pathetic story. It is believed if they teleport this coronatite away, the self destruction will stop. Wiz is able to do this after sucking some of Kazuma’s power. What? He was thinking she was going to suck something else? However she is unconfident because despite she can teleport it away, it will only be a random place and might destroy a densely populated place. Kazuma assures her he is lucky. After doing so, it is still too early to celebrate. Because the internally stored heat is escaping and is going to explode! So coronatite didn’t have anything to do with it? While Aqua is thinking how obliterating the city would mean being free of her debts, Kazuma suggests Wiz absorbs her power so she can use her explosion magic. Unfortunately if she absorbs from Aqua, she will be purified. Don’t discount Megumin yet. So via Kazuma as the medium, Aqua transfers some of her essence into Megumin, enough for her to use her explosion again. And my, what a big explosion this is! Bigger than the atomic bomb?! An explosive finale? Kazuma narrates his seemingly ordinary daily life after that. Believing his true adventure will finally begin when the knights of the imperial capital summoned him, unfortunately it is not to deliver his compensation. They claim the coronatite that was teleported under his instructed exploded over Overlord Aldarp’s mansion. So he is now a criminal and under arrest? Oh Kazuma, you’re so screwed. I’m sure praying to God now for a world that treats him better isn’t going to help. Maybe next time when he dies?

The gang visits Wiz’s shop. They see Yunyun hiding at a corner and Megumin is not too fond of her. The self-proclaimed rival gets panicky when Megumin ignores her. Yunyun wants to settle their rivalry right now. But what follows next is Megumin abusing her (slapping her boobs?) as she is fed up of her nonsense. They’re not the only ones throwing a ruckus. Darkness as usual wants something to torture as pleasure, Aqua being a whinny customer forcing Wiz to put up good service. What can a guy do to get some peace and quiet around here? Kazuma picks up a choker which is labelled as a popular item but seldom sold. Look at the price tag. Maybe that is why. Reading further that this is wish granting choker, he puts it on. You know it won’t come off now, right? To Wiz’s horror as she explains, it only comes off when the wish is granted. Otherwise the choker gets tighter and he will die in 4 days! It was a popular item with woman as it served as some sort of weight loss device. Feels more like a cursed item, no? Everyone gets worried and blames themselves for getting Kazuma in this situation. Except for Aqua. This makes Kazuma really want to die and not resurrect back to life. How is this bad for Aqua? Remember all the debts she has? Better be nice and do all she can to help him out! And when the girls say they’ll do anything to grant his wish, time to take advantage of the fanservice. That sneaky look… So on the first day, Kazuma uses Wiz as a lap pillow. He has Darkness strip her armour and do exercises so he could watch her boobs bounce. He has the wizards do strip rock-scissors-paper in which Yunyun is always at the losing end. Aqua fears she will also be sexually exploited but was made to do errands like buying bread and alcohol. When Megumin and Yunyun collude to draw their games, Kazuma threatens the next few draws both will strip, Megumin betrays Yunyun and sends the latter into panic mode as she tries to strip the explosion nerd. Day two is more or less the same thing but the girls are in sexy cosplay now.

The fanservice ramps up in the third day as the girls are now washing his body as he watches Darkness wash herself. More errands for Aqua to find a hotspring. Megumin curses his dick to fall off so Kazuma gets cheeky forcing her to scratch the itch there! Aqua finally finds the hotspring source but the water shoots right up into Kazuma’s ass! HOT!!!! By night fall, everyone is worried the choker isn’t coming off. Even more so, Kazuma has no more desires. He did everything he wanted with them! Megumin is most worried as she mentions his death will be problematic to her. She considers him as a special friend since nobody wanted her in their team. The next day, Kazuma is prepared to die! He has lost his will! Serious! He entertained himself in lust and in the end it was all meaningless. The girls are distraught as they hug him! Wow. He must be feeling like a saint now. He apologizes by revealing the truth of all the things he did with them are for boobs. Like how he carried Megumin back from her explosion training just to feel her boobs. Whenever he talked to Wiz or Yunyun, his eyes are always on their boobs. Darkness = boobs. Aqua… Could she be the worst? He can’t see her as a heroine. Oh, he smelled her hair too. Is this an insult? She strangles him to try harder and that is when the choker comes off. Kazuma realizes his real wish was to ask for peace. And now all the girls are going to get their payback. Could you kindly please put the choker back on? All the fanservice better be worth this. Kazuma did die because now he is face to face with Eris. To remind about his shameful act, she advises him not to die in such a ridiculous manner. Remorseful Kazuma even agrees. You can’t argue with that, can you?

God Bless This Cursed Silly World!
OMG! It’s so funny how this anime series has the same number of episodes as my fingers! Why make something so good and end it there! But aha! Don’t fret yet. Because Kazuma and his girls will be given another chance. That’s right. ANOTHER SEASON HAS BEEN GIVEN THE GREENLIGHT!!! I’m so happy! I can’t really wait when the next adventure time comes around. Because you know of the so many developments that bring forth interesting potentials. Like, uhm… Erm… Well, we don’t know who the Devil King is yet and have not seen him. And surely his leaders that adventurers must face first before fighting the final boss, right? So yeah, such interesting potentials make me look forward to the next season. Well, if Kazuma can change his criminal status first. So yes, this series is surprisingly wonderful. It is the funniest RPG themed anime I have seen in recent years. The last was Ixion Saga DT but that was a few years ago. And it felt a long time ago. Many of the jokes are in the form of comebacks and although they are spontaneous, it doesn’t feel boring or get old because of how wacky the situation is.

Making this comedy series even greater are the colourful characters themselves. Everybody is an oddball. Yes, even Kazuma himself. Because he is a diehard otaku gamer. The only reason why he looks normal is because everybody else is an even more lunatic and crazier character than he is. And because Kazuma is more reliable than the rest, thus making his otaku-ness feeling a whole lot less in contributing to how maniacal his character is. And most important of all, with the idiots in his party, Kazuma’s main role seems to be playing the tsukkomi or rebuking role especially to a certain goddess. Ironically otaku guys are deemed useless in society. But because his part has a useless leeching goddess, an explosion maniac and a masochist maniac, Kazuma has to be steadfast in his actions. Otherwise a million 1up lives won’t save him from dying a million times. Yeah. Dying until the resurrection spells don’t work anymore. There is a saying that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family. But as in for Kazuma’s case, he can’t even choose his own party members… Sad… Making matters worse, things hardly go his way.

As said, the girls in Kazuma’s reluctant party are the ones that make this entire (mis)adventure a big comical journey. They are the driving force that makes Kazuma both on his feet and close to insanity. They are both the reason why he moves forward and is breaking apart. Like a double edged sword. I was hoping for a few other characters to join his harem but seeing how 3 idiots are already more than he can handle, maybe this isn’t the kind of harem he (and us) would be wishing for. Is it too late to switch party members? But then again, his second death experience tells us he would like to be with them a little longer. So this tells us that he himself is an oddball. You know what they say about birds with the same feathers. It won’t be so bad to see past characters joining Kazuma’s party. After all, everybody here is just unofficial, right? It would be great to have Chris the thief (the one who could boldly flirt with Kazuma), Kyouya the fallen adventurer (the other guy who is supposed to take the fall), Eris (the other goddess and voice of reasoning for the team), Wiz (bully victim), Yunyun (the more wizards the merrier) and even Verdia (so awesome that even dead baddies come back to life to join Kazuma’s group – although he is pretty much dead in the first place) to join Kazuma’s party and it would be one great group going on a great adventure to defeat the Devil King. But then again, with this bunch of characters, we can only see chaos and anarchy wherever they go, whatever they do. Then hilarity ensues… Oh yeah. You got to love this bunch if they ever get together.

Sometimes I feel the incompetent girls in Kazuma’s party are a subtle reflection in multiplayer games. You know, you are a very good player yourself but your teammates just suck! You know what I mean if you play online multiplayer games, right? Not that I have played them myself but I can see that one of the biggest complains and downsides that players hate are incompetent teammates who would only bring you down and do useless things that piss you off. Of course there is the case of you yourself being a dick but that is another story. So in Kazuma’s case, it is clearly a mirror of why missions and quests do not go as well planned because of inept and bungling teammates. And the worst kind are like Aqua, not only a troublemaker but selfish and thinks every move she makes she thinks are the best. The kind whom you will love to hate. With her quick shifting allegiance like shifting sand, it only serves to remind us of such players that are only on your side when the times are good. Then there are those types like Megumin who can only do one set of skill and the rest of the journey is pretty much useless. You know, those kind of players who can only spam one kind of move… And there are those like Darkness, not to say they are masochists, but in the sense would rush into battle head on without thinking whether it is for personal glory or to prove something. Not forgetting too, that player who always misses the crucial or basic shot. Yeah… And yes, there is always one like the Kazuma guy, the only useful and reliable guy who has to do everything himself. See the freaking similarities in real life? Scary, huh?

Just like the characters, everything else also compliments, complements and supplements the comedy. So we have got your magical fights albeit not much but more importantly at least we have explosions! Oh yeah, who doesn’t love explosions in their shows. Thanks Megumin, for all the explosive booms to satisfy our Baysplotions. And not forgetting very few fanservice scenes too. Panty stealing moves, busty succubus for a horny dream and surprisingly a sexy bath scene with Darkness of all people. However Aqua is the only female whom Kazuma won’t do fanservice with. I guess this shows the level of annoyance of this goddess that our pervy Kazuma won’t even resort to. It’s better to get back at her at some other way ;p. But the one thing that I couldn’t bring myself to laugh or find funny is the creepy doll scenes. Yikes! Even if it was supposed to be funny (Kazuma running like mad like as though he has seen a ghost – but of course!), the eerie feel of those dolls was just enough to send shiver down my scaredy cat spines. Those dolls look like a spooky version of the Rozen Maiden dolls. Only I won’t be dreaming about those but having nightmares! Thank goodness it was only for less than half an episode. It makes Verdia’s case looking like a baby. Because Verdia too is an idiot himself or at least got caught up in the idiocy of our main idiots.

Art and drawing are pretty decent. It is nothing to shout about but since you’ll be paying to the nonsensical antics and comical parts, you’ll let the artwork slip by. Despite taking place in a fantasy realm, there aren’t many exaggerated fantasy scenes since the town that our characters are stuck in feels like a backwater medieval town. At least the characters are also colourful in the visual sense and it doesn’t give a gloomy atmosphere (despite the fact that this is supposed to be a comedy series) like say, Hai To Gensou No Grimgar. The magic effects are nicely created for this grandeur and ultimately comical consequences. This series is animated by long time anime veteran, Studio Deen who are famous for the Fate series, Hetalia series, the Higurashi series and a whole load of other animes that could be listed way even before you were born. Well, if you aren’t that old, that is.

Making this series one of the most funniest and pleasant to watch is the voice acting. The best one goes to Sora Amamiya as Aqua (Elizabeth in Nanatsu No Taizai). I just love the way this depraved goddess sounds when she is panicking, desperate, begging, apologetic and acting arrogant. Despite her high octane panicking, it really makes her character funny to watch. There aren’t any dull moments with her whenever you hear her speak in such ways. Okay, not all of the time. But each time she does that, it will always be memorable. A very good job and hats off to Sora Amamiya for making Aqua one of the most beloved and yet ‘despised’ (in a good way) character of the series. It’s like she is having fun and running loose with her character. Coming close to her achievement is Ai Kayano as Darkness (Inori in Guilty Crown). With her character as a masochistic crusader, it is all the more convincing when she goes into such delusions and heavy breathing. Another person who sounds like she is having fun with her character. Kudos to a job well done.

I was first surprised when I at first discovered and find it strange that Jun Fukuyama was voicing Kazuma. It felt strange because no matter how much I think about it, he doesn’t sound like his ‘great’ trademark voice like Lelouch from Code Geass or Koro from Ansatsu Kyoushitsu. Was he trying to voice act with some sort of accent? Even so, I kept thinking that was impossible and that Kazuma was voiced by Hiro Himono, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka or even Daisuke Sakaguchi voice type. I thought they listed the cast wrongly and that is when I decided to take a look again to see if I made any mistakes. And sure enough, I did. It was Jun Fukushima who played Kazuma. FUKUSHIMA. Look properly next time. So who is this guy? An unknown for me. His most prolific role was as Soukichi Naruko in Yowamushi Pedal series. It was almost the same for Yui Horie as Wiz. I think something might be wrong with my ears while watching the series. Maybe with all the amusing conversations I hear from Aqua and Darkness, it somehow ‘blunts’ my hearing and voice recognition ability. Yeah… Anyway it wasn’t as bad as Jun Fukushima’s case. Although I didn’t recognize her at first, but slowly and subsequently I started to do so. After all, it might be just me that Yui Horie sounded a little different at first… Too much Miss Monochrome recently has got me off balance. Aki Toyosaki is recognizable as Yunyun since she sounds very close like Yui from K-ON!

For the rest of the amazing casts, they are Rie Takahashi as Megumin (Futaba in Sore Ga Seiyuu), Hiroki Yasumoto as Verdia (Sado in Bleach), Takuya Eguchi as Kyouya (Kon in Ixion Saga DT) and Ayaka Suwa doubling as Chris and Eris (Tokaku in Akuma No Riddle). While the opening theme, Fantastic Dreamer by Machico isn’t that bad, the one that steals the limelight is the ending theme. Chiisana Boukensha by the trio of Sora Amamiya, Rie Takahashi and Ai Kayano is a calming but yet catchy homecoming country-like song. Hearing this piece makes you want to close your eyes and dream of the simple farm life in the countryside. No wars, no monsters to fight, no spirits to seal or purify, no evil bosses to defeat, no taxes to fill (yeah…). Just sit back and relax as the pleasant day goes by… Ah yes, the very simple life indeed.

On a trivial note, the next episode preview at the end feels unique but a bit odd as well. It is because it is in the form of a narrated letter by the characters. Though, I can hardly see how this has anything to do with the next episode but rather their experiences in this world so far. For instance, some previews has Kazuma narrating a written letter back to his family that he is doing fine although life is tough but still bearable, Aqua writing a report with lies because as we know she blames a certain someone while crediting herself as the awesome reason this certain someone has improved, Megumin writing in a poetic way that glorifies her magic and Darkness ironically describing all the noble qualities a knight should have (albeit another irony is that she seems to be emphasizing on staying away from sexual satisfaction…). The other odd part is how this segment is suddenly cut off while the characters are reading those lines halfway. I am not sure if the video is intended to be this way or did I not download them complete for that last bit. For all of the episodes? Hmm…

Overall, this series is a very fun and enjoyable watch. If you like your RPG adventures with lots of comical moments, this one is definitely for you. Certainly this is on the total opposite end of the pole for those who love serious drama and development in their RPG themed series. Say, Hai To Gensou No Grimgar. I’ve been referring this anime quite a few times here now, have I? Not to say that this anime is bad. That series is good as well but it is so different yet under the same genre that it makes both series look like they are totally different altogether. Like 2 sides of the same coin. A gold coin, that is :-). It is a good thing that this series didn’t bomb and even if it did, it is from a whole different context, am I right? :-). I’m glad that the producers have decided to extend this series’ life bar and giving it another life for a second season. A chance for all of us to level up while laughing. More wacky kill quests. More high level fanservice. And yes, more explosions too!

Oshiete! Galko-chan

September 10, 2016

I am sure that each one of us when hit with puberty and going through that ‘awful’ phase, our curiosities about our own bodies and especially of the opposite gender would make us ponder over such issues. Many of us would be too shy and embarrassed to ask such questions. Who do we look for to get our answers? Don’t worry, people. Look no further for Oshiete! Galko-chan is here to answer your curious needs about the female body. Ah yes, which guy wouldn’t be interested to know more about the female body and anatomy. Unless you’re gay… But that is besides the point. This series addresses some (but not all) of those pressing and embarrassing issues that you were too afraid to ask before in fear of being ridiculed, shamed and labelled as a pervert. Myth or fact, this show covers it (but don’t expect it to be comprehensive) in an entertaining way that doesn’t make it look like you are watching some sort of serious documentary. Edutainment? Despite the series mainly discusses about the female body, it isn’t only intended for guys as girls can safely watch this too. If only there were such series back in those days to find out more about the birds and bees…

Episode 1
Galko doesn’t think the size of the boobs can affect one’s areolas. So Otako has her draw 2 circles on the tip of the balloon. When she blows it up, see how the circles enlarge? Galko often comes in late for class. Everyone thinks she is out with a date last night but actually she spent watching the entire 26 episodes of an anime all in one night. Galko thinks boys are dumb when they ask her about her big boobs are so because a guy kept massaging them. But when Otako questions how she even knows that is true, she cannot answer back. Galko reads passionately a paragraph from the literature text. While everyone impressed with her voice acting and the way she reads it makes it very interesting, Otako can only note that the topic has students only memorizing kanji and infer answers from a set of questions so reading passionately doesn’t help at all. Galko suddenly stops reading halfway through. It seems she knows there is a kissing scene coming up. After class she reads the entire story and can’t help feel emotional about it. Does the thickness of eyebrows have an association with pubic hair? With Otako discussing the possible link, Galko excuses herself to the toilet to cut her eyebrows. Since she accidentally cut them all, she decides never to come out till they grow back! Noticing the boys doing kanchou, it reminds Galko she was also a victim of one but rather the bully’s fingers broke and was hospitalized! Isn’t that not the way how kanchou supposed to work? Despite knowing how much her butt will hurt, Galko continues to enjoy her spicy food. It’s because she thinks she is having constipation now and will be fine. True enough next morning, her ass hurts like hell. Otako offers her a cushion and then explains how the membranes in your ass and tongue are the same. Only difference, butts don’t have tasting sensory so it can’t taste sweetness even if you put sugar. And Galko actually tried it out? For the question if girls have hair on their butts, we see them talking about multiple ply toilet paper as well as cheap places having cheap quality products. That is why you can’t recycle using a single ply toilet paper because it gets tangled in your butt hair! Galko is late again as usual for morning class. As the day goes by, Otako notices Galko gets more active. Could it be that she is just not a morning person?

Episode 2
Do virgins only use pads while non-virgins use tampons? The question is whether you want to insert it ‘there’. As Galko is still sleepy in class, Otako suggests doing a headstand after she gets up. Of course that is supposed to be a joke but Galko really did it and she started experiencing nose bleeds. After giving her an energy drink, Galko finds it tasty and drinks more. However this means she has to go to the toilet since the stimulant stimulates her bladder. Otako then explains why women have weaker bladders than men because of their different body structure. Most essentially women have smaller bladders because of the uterus. The next time Galko goes to the toilet, Otako and Ojou time how long she takes to return and then bet whether it was a big or small issue. Now it is the guys’ turn to discuss about girls. What about them? Their coloured panties! Because pure girls like Ojou, they can only imagine she always wears white. Girls like Otako would wear some animal prints and naughtier girls like Galko would wear coloured or flashy panties. They believe why girls wear coloured ones is so that it wouldn’t look easily stained when they show it to guys. Then each of them imagine their interaction with Galko and definitely think she likes them. Galko makes some curry bread. The reason is that if she bought them, she would have to use her own allowance but if she makes them, her father would give her money. Because she used the term ‘papa’, everyone had the wrong idea the kind of father she was having. Otako wonders the need to cook these days as food is so easily available everywhere. Ojou claims she loves cooking but her overprotective parents disallow her to hold a ‘blade’. You mean a chopping knife? As Galko talks how tough it is to make bread, Otako asks about the softness of its dough. She compares them to her boobs and the boys get the wrong idea so embarrassed Galko dismissed it that she was just talking about it in general. Otao sees how Galko’s boobs are pressed against the table. Later he goes to the supermarket to buy dough and knead them so that he could have a feel how boobs are.

Episode 3
Galko just had her tan. Wondering if her nipples are tanned too, Otaku yells out that they are tanned so Galko dismisses them and explains about the pasties she got so they are still pink. Anyhow the guys overheard it… When Ojou walks past the guys, they smell this sweet scent and wonder if she used an expensive soap. Otako might smell like a new textbook but the guys don’t find it too bad. As for Galko, they smell something attractive from her. Could it be the scent of love? When Otao talks about this mecha anime he just watched, the other guys think he is lame. But Galko heard about it and suddenly becomes interested. She also likes that anime and spends time talking to Otao about it. The other guys note how they must watch this anime… Otako decides to play a trick on Galko. She talks about girls with big boobs have inverted nipples. Galko didn’t make that surprised reaction as Otako expects. Was the topic too complicated for her to understand? Then Otako continues to exaggerate about the bad points of having inverted nipples since a mother can’t feed her newborn. Suddenly this makes Galko cry as she gets up and runs away. She is upset that Otako is implying she can’t be a mother. For the next few days, Galko is absent from class. Otako feels bad but maintains her pride. Till Ojou talks to her about hiding her feelings. Just go and apologize to her. Otako is outside Galko’s house and she has armed herself with knowledge about inverted nipples. Yeah, she read the entire encyclopaedia about it so she is an expert on the topic! When Galko doesn’t answer the doorbell or her call, Otako fears the worse. She panics and states the truth about mothers with inverted nipples can still be moms. More importantly she discloses how happy she is to be friends with a pretty and popular girl. She is very sorry for that prank. Turns out Galko was just sick and recuperating. Otako wonders if she can still be her friend. Does she have to ask a question when the answer is so obvious? Galko invites her in for tea then.

Episode 4
Otako praises Ojou’s slim hands. This has Ojou unintentionally praise Galko’s big hands. Galko flusters and proves she does not by putting it against the palm of a guy, Supoo. I wonder if he is going to ever wash that hand of his. When Otako spots a pubic hair on Galko’s shirt, this time she is more careful and thinks if she should tell her as she does not want to make her cry like last time. Unfortunately Galko dug her own grave when she herself says aloud she spotted a pubic hair on her shirt. Of course this catches the class’ attention so she corrects herself that it is armpit hair. Ojou gives Galko a shoulder massage. She is told to mind her loud moaning but when she tries to muffle her moaning, it sounded quite erotic. Ojou also gives Otako a shoulder massage and it makes her make a weird sound. She hits the spot? Then they talk about having bigger boobs means more prone to having shoulder problems. Otao then tests it out by dangling a couple of bottles over his shoulders just for feels. Galko gives sweets as cough drops to her classmates. Otako wonders why she has so many of them. Apparently she got them in exchange for helping her friends with minor stuffs. Galko tells Otako if she ever needs anything, she can ask her. So does she have a pad? Or even a condom?! Yeah, she’s just messing with Galko as usual. Ojou overheard them but got the wrong idea of the ‘rubber’ they are talking about. This means Ojou nonchalantly explains the ‘rubber’ (hair bands) she always carries around just in case as she uses them often. They come in different colours too! Imagine her embarrassment when Otako tells her what they were actually talking about. Otako and Ojou later tease Galko about girls with big boobs have big areolas. Because Ojou has a cousin whose boobs are as big as Galko’s and so are her areolas. Otako exaggerates it to be as big as a tyre making Galko to fluster like mad.

Episode 5
The eternal question if boob size is inversely proportionate to intelligence. Iinchou (class rep) seems to think so and believes Galko must never have thought about it or give any thoughts to anything else. She is surprised when she sees her entering an essay competition on how to eliminate war on Earth! When Galko praises Iinchou’s essay to be something deep and thoughtful, Iinchou thinks Galko have written something even deeper. Charao gives Otao and Supoo a shopping mall quiz that turns out to be a psychological test. They are surprised since it evaluates accurately their personality. Charao then decides to use this test on Galko. But he finds it hard to concentrate when he can’t help look at her delicious parts while she gives her answer. Galko then tells this to her test but eventually she doesn’t have an answer because Charao never told her. When Otako is amazed Galko can pack lunch since she is not a morning person, Galko reveals it is her sister who does it. Flashback reveals Galko promised she would wake up in the morning so that she can watch a late night show. Too bad she is a sleepyhead in the morning and her sister as expected takes care of everything. Otako then asks if sisters borrow stuffs from each other. Galko confirms it since they are similar in size and even borrow her school uniform. Otako flusters and wonders if her sister really borrows her school uniform for that. It took a while for Galko to realize what she is implying. Back home, Galko confronts her sister about this so big sis explains how she uses it in foreplay and takes it off before sex! Well, her boyfriend takes it off. Galko regrets hearing all that.

Episode 6
Otako spots Galko with a new lipstick. Time to mess with her head. Do you know the colour and shape of one’s lips represents a person’s genitals? Galko took the bait and is now more conscious than ever. For the rest of the day she tries to hide her lips while she analyzes the lips of others. So conscious that she is making funny faces now and then. When Otako tells this to Ojou, she commends them for being brave to know what they look like because she herself is too scared to check it out. This only makes Otako fluster. Galko wears a vest despite being hot so that her bra won’t show through her shirt. She gets tricked to inform that she is wearing a bright red bra today since Otako tells it to Ojou. Galko was at the lingerie store but couldn’t find lingerie the store sells now that is her size. It has to be custom made. She bought 3 period panties for a special price. Despite not cute, might as well get something cheap since they might get stained anyway. Ojou then talks how she gets her lingerie measurements via personal designer. Galko wants her to come along the next time she shops for lingerie. The trio meet up. Otako dresses casual, Galko like a slut (at least that is the first thing that comes to our dirty minds) and Ojou in her formal kimono. After shopping for clothes, they go watch a foreign movie. The scene turns into an intimate love making scene. Otako is very conscious about this and wonders how her pals are holding up. Surprisingly they have a serious expression. Could it be that Otako is the only perverted thoughts? Later when they talk about that scene, Galko nonchalantly mentions she too would like to one day passionately make love with someone like that. Otako’s face now turns red like a traffic light.

Episode 7
If you wonder if big boobs float on water, you can thank Galko for confirming that. The friends are at the pool in which Ojou won as a prize from a raffle. Galko wonders if tampons will absorb water and expand inside. Otako assures they are waterproof. Galko tries to tease her as the tampon master but it has no effect. Galko shows her off her shaved armpit. Silky smooth. She realizes she forgot to shave down there since her pants are hard to come off. Ojou notices Galko’s bikini is showing too much skin so Otako reminds her that because of her big boobs, she can only adjust the size with the straps. A young boy named Kuseta gets lost and bumps into Galko. Since he misplaced his wallet, she treats him. Kuseta was actually here with his mom. Because his fellow female classmates tease him as mama’s boy, he got embarrassed and ran off. Speaking of them, here they are to tease him again. Galko wraps herself around Kuseta, making him like a million dollar winner. The bullies got ‘scared’ and back off. Galko hopes Kuseta will reconcile with his mom. He still thinks she is an embarrassment so Galko scolds him he should never feel so about his own mother. In class, Otako is baffled that Ojou is as tanned as Galko since the latter did apply sunscreen. Galko realized too late she took the wrong spray and it was some kind of pheromone spray. This somewhat explains why younger boys tried to hit on Otaku at the pool. I mean, a kid young enough to be her brother is asking her to be his wife?! The tan is also a pain for Galko because now she has sun burn and getting into the bath is a painful affair. Kuseta is dreamy and thinking only about Galko. His bullies feel jealous and order extra milk to make their boobs bigger.

Episode 8
You’re not a guy if you don’t rank the girls in your class who has the biggest boobs. Doesn’t Galko win hands down? Not quite. Because there is Nikuko who is a very fat girl and has monstrous boobs too. Thus the cup size is determined by the difference between over-bust and under-bust instead of overall size. Surprisingly Galko suggests Okako to them too. She is a tall girl and because she is always slouching, the boobs of this occult fanatic don’t really show. With the guys staring at her, she feels she is being watched… By a ghost?! Ojou and Otako notice Galko looking at her nails. She does keep them well maintained but it seems she has also written her shopping list on her wrist?! Galko can cook thanks to some transparent glove. However her sister ‘ruined’ it by telling her something extra about it. You know, some girls prefer to masturbate this way instead of using devices… When Iinchou notices she has a cracked fingernail, Galko will not let this slip by and quickly gives her a manicure treatment. With the guys playing a dumb game of pinpointing the nipple, Otako teases Galko one can find her exact nipple spot if you just hold your earlobes and go straight down… You tried that, didn’t you?! Galko makes a fuss when she realizes her bangs are messy. Bomuo doesn’t understand why she would be so concern with something petty, criticizing if the economy would plunge just because of her hair. But he still notes her big boobs. Next day, he comes to school with his hair quite messy. His mom didn’t say a thing and just smiled. Bomuo feels so embarrassed but that is when Galko comes to the rescue. She fixes up his hair nicely with her accessories and even makes Charao lend his expensive hair gel (or else she’ll reveal an embarrassing secret!). Despite Bomuo noting he doesn’t care about the hairstyle, after school he goes to the shop to buy that hair gel. It’s really expensive. When he comes home expecting his mom to say something, all she ever does is just smile and stare the entire way…

Episode 9
Because Galko is communicating via sign language and this annoys Otako, she purposely misinterprets and says aloud how she dislocated her jaw by training to put a man’s thing in her mouth! There, she finally spoke. Turns out she watched an American show last night and a character had crooked teeth. She was horrified when she see her fixed it via braces. Now Galko is quite concerned and tries to hide them. But next day, she can’t help show them off as she has seen a vampire show last night. When Galko talks to Otako about African Americans in movies, Ojou wants to join in and make some sort of joke. Uh huh. She started talking about colours of tits and vagina. Huh?! Then when they talk about hymen breaking due to horse riding, Ojou flusters and couldn’t come up with anything. I’m not sure about Galko scaring and then apologizing to people. Why is she mad? She found out she gained 200g! Otako is in disbelief because that is considered nothing. In fact you lose that much by peeing. And if she wants to lose weight, start off with those boobs first. But Nikuko interjects that it doesn’t work. She lost weight before but nothing changed and her boobs remained the same ever since. The guys start wondering if her boobs were that big before. Skinny girl with big boobs? There is a manga with a character having a pierced tongue. Galko wants to read it but is scared each time she has to see this character. This has Otako asking if she was scared when she decided to pierce her ears. Galko remembers her sister freaking her out with lies about drills when she first said she wanted to pierce them. When Otako tries to tease Galko of another old wives’ tale about earlobes, it seems Galko already knows it and turns the tables on Otako that she believes in such rumours. Otako then proceeds to tell a horror story how a woman wearing big earring hoops had it caught by a passing van and tore off her… You get the idea… Because of that, Galko becomes scared and tries to protect her ears. Her friends revise their plan and show a picture of Buddha who once pierced them as a prince. Those holes bring wisdom and happiness. The simple minded girl is back to her happy self again.

Episode 10
The boys are complaining when the teacher makes them do laps. But when they see the girls running and how much Galko’s boobs bounce, they start praising running is the best. Is that so? The teacher tells them to run another 10 laps! They continue to observe Galko’s violent jiggling boobs but they are surprised to see Nikuko. In fact, she is faster and because of her good running posture, they stay stable and don’t bounce about. Galko sees Otako and Charao talking and wants in but is shooed away. They discuss about this habit of Galko always wanting to butt into something but can’t handle it subsequently. Otako and Charao continue their talk on hair loss for men that are mostly genetics. Otako mentions about girls liking guys with close cropped hair. Something like Supoo’s. Charao thinks it is grade 3 hairstyle but Supoo dismisses it to be grade 4. Supoo remembers a baseball game he was in. The opposing team’s school was cheering very loudly. But he remembers Galko cheering his name at the top of the voice. It made him happy. Charao notices Galko staring at him. When she takes him away, it is actually to clean his curry stains on his jersey. So that was bugging her so much? Oh, also his zipper is open! Charao notices Galko is wearing a men’s shirt. He starts fantasizing that she must have woken up after having a steamy affair with a man last night. Say, her shirt was spilled with wine? Thus she borrowed his shirt. Thus he keeps wondering who her boyfriend is. Despite going out with his junior girlfriend, his entire thoughts throughout the karaoke session are filled with the mysterious guy Galko was with. At the end of the day, Charao wonders if she still has time because he got some rubber. She flusters and slaps him. When Ojou notices the men’s shirt Galko is wearing, Otako explains about her broader shoulders and big boobs which make them fit better. Charao’s girlfriend couldn’t believe he is such a pervert but Charao sends an apology text and mentions how important she is to him and so she is back to loving him once more.

Episode 11
Otao leaves the infirmary once he feels well. On his way back to class, because the hallway looks so deserted, he finds it unusual. The he spots the girls coming back from swimming class and goes into hiding. Maybe he needs to go back to the infirmary as his anaemia is coming back… A girl watches Galko order her coffee like a pro unlike herself who is flustering. Then she watches her burn her tongue. She continues to observe Galko reading a manga that is written by her favourite author. She watches Galko flusters because it becomes hardcore BL in the middle! Otako didn’t understand when Galko texted her something about the fancy toilet paper in some cafe. Next day, the teacher is talking about different types of toilet papers used by different civilizations throughout the ages so Otako teases Galko how cultured her text was yesterday. The class votes on which movie to watch. Galko suggests a lesser known direct-to-video movie. But because she cannot explain it well (thinking it would be spoilers), her movie garnered the least votes. Ojou cheers her up that they can watch it at her place. Galko is grateful and also suggests having a slumber party. Otako packs her stuffs and some animes to bring over. There is one that is ecchi as she keeps thinking if only she herself would fluster. She brought it anyway. Another dilemma is if she should bring pads. She has this weird thought that Ojou might have a chamber full of different pad collections. She’ll bring hers just in case. The girls had a very fun slumber party. Only shocking part is that while watching the ecchi anime, only Galko started flustering. During the screening of the movie in class, the trio fall asleep. Too much slumber partying?

Episode 12
We go back in time a little when our new students are just a week into their first year. Otako observes how students quickly form into their respective groups. She considers herself an outsider and doesn’t belong into any one of those cliché groups. She prefers being alone. Till Galko tries to talk to her because she is always reading alone. Galko sounded a little bit rude pointing out she is like an otaku. Otako just got up and leave and left a stinging rebuke for her. When the class is at the library, Otako observes Galko mixing in with the rest and believes this is supposed to be the way. Suddenly she feels her biggest period ever is coming. So big that she can’t move as she sits on the floor. Galko happen to walk by and she immediately understood what is going on and takes her to the toilet. She even gives her medicine for her cramps. Otako is grateful but wonders why she didn’t call for the teacher’s help. The teacher is a guy. He is the kind to panic when confronted with such womanly things. They started talking about things and surprisingly enjoy each other’s company. Most important of all, they realize that they shouldn’t behave or live in a way based on how they look or do. So can a gyaru be friends with an otaku? Why not? Otako then teases her as a virgin and this makes Galko fluster. Ojou overheard their conversation and finds it interesting. She wants to join in. Sure. Why not? And that is how the trio become friends. Throughout the term, Galko continues to barely arrive in class before it starts. Otako notes this habit of hers and her reply is that if she comes to class early, it means she can talk more often to her friends, right? A touching moment, something that would fluster Otako but it is ruined because Galko falls back to sleep on her desk. Well, I guess it is the thought that counts.

Tell Me More About Sex, Please?
So now can we move on to proper sex education? I am sure most of us would be very much to learn more on this topic. Hehehe… But this series isn’t exactly porn or close to it but it still makes you wonder if this and other early sex education and awareness would be effective in countering porn is yet to be seen. Anyhow, this is actually a smart and intelligent series in its own right. You’d be surprised to learn a thing a thing or two.

It is tempting trying to label the topics in this series as some sort of cheap fanservice. After all, in today’s world where everyone can be offended by everything, talking about tit colours and pubic hairs sound like another one of those subjects that would raise the ire of politically incorrect people. It is as though such aural fanservice (in place of visual fanservice) is to attract viewers to watch the series. In many ways, this series has tried its best in providing something educational but yet in an entertaining way. Instead of getting really technical and spouting terms that young teens would not understand, the depiction of the normal lives of high school students in their daily affairs seem to be much more realistic and something that all of us can relate to. After all, we adults have gone through that phase before. Unless of course you have been brought up strictly, cut off from the outside world and society, but that is a different story altogether.

Therefore seeing Galko’s busty chest might automatically have many saying that her huge racks are only for fanservice purpose. This is partly true since what other better way to talk about the myths and facts of boobs if they do not stand out in particular (no pun intended). Not to say that flat chests are excluded but there is a higher chance that something visually more obvious and appealing would be ‘easier’ to talk about. At least for guys. Unless you are a petanko fanatic, you don’t often hear guys talk, discuss and compare girls with smaller boobs, right? It is the same argument for the few panty shot and lingerie scenes scattered throughout the series. Because again, what kind of guys aren’t interested in what colour of a girl’s panties, am I right? Unless you’re gay…

I feel tempted to make a handful tit and nipple jokes but I don’t see the POINT of it! Haha! I thought of RACKING up a few boob jokes but I guess such jokes wouldn’t get any SUPPORT! Haha! How do you guys keep ABREAST of things if you don’t talk about these things? Haha! Okay, okay. Enough of it already. Sorry, I just wanted to get it OFF MY CHEST. Hahaha! Alright, better stop. Don’t want you people to make dick jokes in retaliation, TIT for tat. Hahaha! Okay, seriously. No more boob jokes. I promise.

Even if there are many other issues that aren’t addressed (I suppose teen pregnancy falls in a totally different category) or the ones that do so aren’t exactly comprehensive or accurate, at least it creates some sort of awareness that one might have or not knew in the first place. And whether or not you will apply such knowledge somewhere in your life is again another different story. At least you know, right? So mainly it is either people might fluster or feel awkward when they hear such topics (either because they are too pure/innocent or they didn’t see it coming) or you can be like me, no reaction and putting on such a serious monotonous face throughout the series. Yeah, this means I am mature, right? :-).

Besides some of those embarrassing body questions posed here, another great lesson that we can learn is that despite many of the characters here look like some sort of stereotype, they are still human beings. Despite everyone has a different body size and build, some basic bodily functions still work the same. And of course, to never judge a book by its cover. Considering the characters here to look and act like your stereotypes, it is for illustration purpose and supposedly the setting of this series. It is true that we tend to immediately pigeonhole at first sight but once you get to know each other, race, skin colour, religion and even your political beliefs take a back seat. Strength in diversity, no? But I still can never get close into the circle of those hot beautiful chicks in my class… :’(.

Although the characters themselves aren’t much, they are likeable even though all of them can be considered as stereotypes because typically at least you have known one of them to be so in your life, right? It makes them relatable. Despite the fact the characters are also aptly named after their stereotype traits or personalities, it gives you a rough idea and you can pretty much tell what kind of character that individual is. I mean, which high school doesn’t have the character who is the jock? What about the most popular guy in school? There is always that very fat person too, right? And yes, the nerd. Every class has to have one. The only stereotype missing here is the gangster-cum-delinquent type. Hmm… I don’t this was necessary in this kind of anime in the first place. Despite each character having their apt names, it is hinted that they do actually have a real one (as seen in the final episode). But I guess when you’re friends, you tend to call each other by your nicknames.

As for our main trio, ironically you get to more about them during the opening animation credits because in each episode there will be a different narration of what their likes, ambition and their characteristics in addition to the generic narration of their main personality. It will be grinded into your head that Galko is a sharp tongued but good natured popular girl, Otako who often sits at the corner of the class but is ironically somehow friends with Galko and likes to tease her a lot, and finally Ojou an airhead who somehow hangs out with the duo and tries to get closer to them. So don’t miss out on the opening or you will miss such ‘great details’. Come to think of it, it does seem odd that very different people are good friends. Not that there is anything bad about it but how often do you have a trendy popular girl, a frumpy nerd and a rich, strict noble upbringing girl together as best friends?

The art and drawing of the series feel okay. The character designs look generic but this is mainly to cater to their character stereotype. But I somehow feel that the colours are quite vivid and rich. Hmm… How should I explain it? Somehow I feel that they put lots of quality into the colouring and hues of the animation that is why the characters mainly look bright (visually) and lush. Perhaps this is the most richly coloured series I have watched in recent years and the most under the Feel studio’s portfolio of other animes like Locodol, the Da Capo series, Jinsei, Fortune Arterial, Outbreak Company, KissxSis and Dagashi Kashi.

It is one of those times when I squealed in delight because the first voice that opened the series in the first episode (and also for many other episodes) is no other than Mamiko Noto!!! She might not play a physical character in this series but rather the narrator. I guess it would be a waste if she were to just be the voice of the narrator and thus any onomatopoeia sound effects are also made by her. For a long time I almost forgot that she can still sound this cute and lovely rather than being casted as the older and motherly female characters or characters that need that kind of husky voice these days. Worst of all, characters that could be killed off! Oh yeah. How do you kill off a narrator anyway? All hail Mamiko Noto forever!!!! <3.

Surprisingly for a short anime, there is quite a reasonably long cast list considering the many characters there are in the series despite many of them just making a handful of cameos. While there are identifiable ones like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Otao, Takahiro Sakurai as Charao , Daisuke Ono as Supoo and Youko Hikasa as Galko’s older sister, some that aren’t so recognizable (at least in my books) are Azumi Waki as Galko (Sanae in The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls), Miyu Tomita as Otako (Yume in Aikatsu Stars), Miyu Takahashi as Ojou (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma), Ayaka Suwa as Iinchou (Tokaku in Akuma No Riddle), Juri Kimura as Nikuko (Aoi in Shirobako), Yuko Iida as Okako (Mei in Witch Craft Works) and Makoto Furukawa as Bomuo (Saitama in One Punch Man). The opening theme is YPMA Girls by the voices behind Galko, Otako and Ojou. It is one of those generic lively girl group anime pop but it isn’t entirely that bad. At least for this genre.

Overall, this is quite a reasonably good anime and addresses some of those bugging questions that have been burning for your entirely teen life that were never answered. Were you red faced and feeling some sort of inner discomfort after watching the series or did it activated your horny drive instead? This is one of those few animes that take the ecchi and fanservice genre to a different level and don’t make the entire series looking like a generic sleazy, cheap, cheesy fanservice title. It goes to show that you can still make a proper anime under such category and still be as entertaining and perhaps even more so than sitting through an entire boring lecture about the human reproduction system. No, it isn’t dirty. Only your shallow mind is. Knowing such things doesn’t make you a pervert in general.

Otherwise would there be any other way we can get proper education about the birds and the bees? Oh yeah. We can always get our sex education from porn all over the internet, right? Let’s face it. Porn is everywhere! If there is one thing lacking realistically in this series, it is about Galko and her friends finding out about porn on the internet. It would be amusing to see their reactions when they are exposed to free internet porn. Oh yes, porn. The biggest misguided sex education in the world. Then we need more of Galko-chan to tell us and debunk our flawed insights on sex. I hope I didn’t rub this the wrong way :-). Whoops, sorry. Hey, at least it isn’t a boob joke. Almost fell into a booby trap there. Oh, damn it!

Aria The Avvenire

September 9, 2016

Wait a minute. I thought it was over? Too good to let it go? Well, I suppose it was good enough that Aria The Avvenire was produced to celebrate the 10th anniversary since Aria The Animation first broadcasted over the airwaves. Wow. Come to think about it, it has been a long time. Feel so old… Feeling so nostalgic. Ah, I guess that is why this is another reason to bring back up this series for one last time (assuming this would be the last one). Those who have watched the series and loved it would have fond memories of all the miracles, meetings and character bonding the series had to offer. Now we get to relieve it again with its 3 episode specials.

Episode 1
I’m not sure of President Aria’s plan in making friends with seagulls with an equally ugly seagull doll. No wonder he gets pecked! As Ai has been promoted to a Single, she sets out for another practice with Akari. So this sets another flashback as Akari tells to Ai. When Alicia was still active as an Undine, Akari noticed her busy schedule. At this rate she won’t get a moment’s rest. Then she spots Akira outside spying. Seems she is here to give Alicia a present for her faux birthday. Unlike on Man Home (Earth), Aqua (Mars) operates on a year with 24 months. This means everyone has a second ‘fake’ birthday. She doesn’t mind waiting but it seems there is change in the schedule that increases Alicia’s workload. Thus Akari hopes Akira can help her practice during this time. At the end of the day, Akira mentions how pathetic and nostalgic she feels about this. The trio used to be together all the time when they were Singles. When they became Prima, they hardly had time for each other. Times they spent together were precious. She doesn’t want to go back to those days, it is just that she really wants them to get together for today. Then a miracle happens. Alicia is seen rowing in front of them. Making it better is Athena is also in the picture singing. Akira then tosses her present like throwing a baseball. Nice catch. The best present would be their radiant smiles. Ai is encouraged by Akari’s story. She wonders if she could find her own friends like she did and those before her. Of course she can. Because Aqua is the planet of miracles. Even their meeting is a miracle itself.

Episode 2
Ai wants to show Akari a miracle. Flashback to what happened. While Ai and President Aria were rowing their gondola, they spot a mysterious cat shadow in the alley. They think it is Cait Sith and went to go after it. As hard as they follow, it led them to some unknown part of town where they stumble into Azusa B. McLaren of Himeya and Anya Dostoyevskaya of Orange Planet who are looking for the same thing too. They know all about Ai since they researched her since they are curious about the new girl at Aria Company. The trio agree to look for Cait Sith together but to no avail. So as they take a break at plaza, Ai notices the duo are training together so she requests if she could join them. But of course. And that is the miracle that Ai is telling Akari. The miracle of Cait Sith granted her this miraculous meeting. Akari still believes Cait Sith is watching over them. Time for her to tell her experience in meeting Cait Sith for the last time.

When Akari told Aika she couldn’t see Cait Sith anymore, she thinks it is because they are becoming adults so the first step is to stop seeing things they see as children. Then Alice brings them to one of the 7 mysterious of the town. There is an unfortunate stone where everyone avoids stepping. It is believed to bring bad luck. Alice immediately jumps on it and nothing happens. She explains she has been doing this since young. Perhaps it doesn’t work on her. Perhaps this is an experiment to see if it anything would happen to her friends? After Aika and Alice leave for their work, Akari gets curious and steps on it. You know what they say about curiosity and the cat. At first nothing happened but suddenly she drops down into the stone! Then she finds herself free falling from the sky above the town! Also falling with her is Cait Sith. She is happy to see him again and wants to do so in the future. However Cait Sith hints this is the last time they’ll ever see each other. Akari is sad but he points out he will always be in her heart. As long as you remember, right? Akari hopes she will always stay with her in her heart. Cait Sith hugs her as they plunge into the river! I think smashing into the river at this speed is like hitting a brick wall… But when Akari opens her eyes, she is on a gondola with President Aria. In her hand is a pendant from Cait Sith proving she did meet him for one last time. Now Akari shows the pendant to Ai and they believe the lights inside it must be miracles. Akari feels that despite saying goodbye to Cait Sith on that day, she was able to see him again thanks to Ai. Could it be the feelings of love awakened this miracle?

Episode 3
We go back in time to see Alicia putting up a recruitment poster outside. Shortly after, she receives her first applicant. We all know who that is, right? On the phone, Akari was a bundle of nerves. The first time Alicia laid eyes on Akari, she was attracted to her and knew she would be the one. In the present, Ai continues to hang out with Azusa and Anya. They vow to work hard to become a Prima. With the rainy season, they realize the Aqua Alta phenomenon is around the corner. Next morning, Ai is ecstatic to experience her first Aqua Alta as the ankle deep waters flood the area. Akari would love to spend the day with her but it seems Ai has her own plans. Looks like lunch and dinner will be on her own… Ai then meets up with her friends. By noon, Akari receives mail from Ai to meet. It seems the young ones have planned a celebration feast for their seniors. Not only them but the Water Fairies as well. Except Athena couldn’t come. As the celebration goes along, they notice Alicia has fallen asleep. She has been tired from working with the Gondola Association and trying to change things for the better. We see her dream how the association guys visit her numerous times to convince her to join them. At first she declines but their persistence has her curious and interested. Though, she vowed to train someone enough to take over her company. And she wanted to take her time to slowly nurture her. So we have more flashbacks of their time together, the happiness and the sadness of their meeting. When Akari was ready and promoted to a Prima, it was time for Alicia to move on as she can’t stay in the same place forever. Her time that had stopped had begun to move again. Alicia wakes up and tells the rest of her wonderful nostalgic dream. Their discussion turn to Athena whom they lament would have loved to attend this party. Then a miracle happened. They hear her trademark singing. There she is. I guess she could make it after all. What a happy end to the day. Now everyone can look forward to more miracles in the future.

Embarrassing Nostalgia Is Not Allowed!
Sniff, sniff. Yup. It wasn’t anything much except that it played very well on my nostalgia. So well that at times I could feel tears welling up and that squeeze in my heart thinking back about the old scenes (although I have mostly forgotten many of them). This special stays true to its Aria-style of storytelling and doesn’t break the mould. Like I said, it is mostly to play on old fans and viewers’ nostalgia. For newer audiences, they might be bored to death and not understand a thing or what the heck this is all about. But then again, this special was intentionally made with such old audiences in mind.

And yes, it goes without saying that they played again all those cool and easy going BGM soundtracks. From Aqua to Tenki Ame, they are very familiar tracks that would instantly evoke nostalgia for those who heard and love their brand of music (like yours truly). It is nice to hear them once more. Even the opening themes are the familiar Undine, Euphoria and Spirale. Ah yes. More nostalgia at your service. So if you think that the music for all the specials are just rehash of old music, there is a new music for it and that is the ending theme, Piacere by Shiena Nishizawa. Another calm and soothing (read: Beautiful) slow piece that is in line with the Aria songs that you have heard so far. And do I need to mention the awesome backgrounds and scenery? Still breathtaking after all these years.

As for the characters, everyone is the same and kind soul like they are on this planet. Nobody are vicious criminals because if there were, they’d be in the wrong anime! So anyway, this special now gives Ai the focus and introduces a couple of new characters who would no doubt as expected become her friends. I guess there is this trend that Undines have to follow throughout the generations. Uh huh. One budding Undine from each company becomes close friends with each other. We can’t have more than that since Aria Company always and will only have a single apprentice at any given time. For the rest of the Undine veterans, some may feel they lack much screen time but with only 3 episodes to spare and they want to bring the focus to a new generation, I guess I can pretty much forgive that.

Despite the nostalgia hype in this special, there is also a small amount of sadness it brought out. For fans, you would know it is very subtle in Athena’s case. Her seiyuu has passed away many years ago and thus you would notice that her character doesn’t have much appearance and if she does, she does not have lines. Besides, her singing voice (even in the TV series) was done by another singer and the lines you hear in this special are actually taken from the TV series. No new recordings for her. RIP Tomoko Kawakami.

Overall, this series only holds a special place in the hearts of fans who have watched the entire series in the mid-2000’s. Newer generations might not hear of this gem and would just go, “WTF is this piece of boring sh*t” but that is understandable seeing there are too many animes these days and so many just fail to live up to decent expectations. Although there is not much of a story in this special, that is where the miracle of nostalgia starts to weave its magic and work on our senses. That is why even though if the plot offers nothing new and no new direction (despite the constant ‘reminders’ and ‘spamming’ about the wonderful future the characters will have and miracles to meet), the wonderfulness of the TV series of the bygone era was there, still in its effect. It may be so too if they ever make more of such specials in the future. Yes, this is one truly miraculous series that has stand tested throughout time.

Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut

September 4, 2016

Hmm… Too many generic harem animes these days, huh? Okay, why not let us add something to it and make it less generic. How about we add dragons in it? What? What do you mean they already did it in Seikoku No Dragonar?! Okay then. How about we have the characters use exo-skeleton machines as their mechas. Wait. They already did that in Infinite Stratos? Well then. How about the only boy in an academy filled with girls then? Infinite Stratos also covered that? This is going to be tough… In that case, let’s have the protagonist bearing an inferior label or tag that is known to the public. They did this already in Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry? And Kuusen Madoushi Kohousei No Kyoukan? Alright… How about the main character has a different kind of past life? They did something similar in Seiken Tsukai No World Break?! Man, I’m running out of ideas. How about something more general like an academy that teaches its students to fight monsters then? Kuusen Madoushi Kouhosei No Kyoukan already included this, you say?

Ah, I know. A setting whereby the characters are sword users and there are elite knights and noble rulers too. What did you say? Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance already got this sh*t?! And Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry too? Alright then, what about the main character stumbling into one of his future harem girls while changing and seeing her in her undies or naked right in the first episode? THEY ALREADY DONE THIS IN GAKUSEN TOSHI ASTERISK TOO???!!! And in Juuou Mujin No Fafnir?! Seirei Tsukai No Blade Dance too?! And Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry as well???!!! Oh well. What the f*ck! Uh huh. F*ck all that! Why not we just take all of that and mash it up into Saijaku Muhai No Bahamut. I’m sure nobody can tell the difference, right? And while we’re at it, might as well steal borrow the school uniform design from Absolute Duo too. And now for the plot, you’re asking? Hahaha! After going through listing all that harem animes, you tell me you want to know the plot?! Hahaha! HAHAHAHAAHAHA!!!! Oh man, that was sure a good laugh.

Episode 1
5 years ago, a lone Drag Knight overthrow the kingdom of Arcadia after hundreds of years of tyrannical rule. His identity is not known and the people only knew him as Black Hero. Lux Arcadia had the unfortunate fate of dropping down a ceiling while chasing a cat stealing a purse into a woman’s bath. Even more unfortunate that he is over Lisesharte Atismata AKA Lisha and thinking he could calm the situation down by complimenting her, I think he sent the wrong idea about how great her boobs are. Wrong choice of words. That seals it. He is a pervert. He is imprisoned and Krulcifer Einfolk is interested in his Sword Device but Shalice Baltshift and Tillfur Lilmit take him to see the academy’s headmaster, Relie Aingram. She seems to brush off this perverted thingy since she called him here for a job. As explained, Lux is the former prince of the former Arcadia kingdom. Now this academy of the new current empire of Atismata is a school meant to train girls with potentials as Drag Knights. The reason Lux is called here because of the lack of boys since only a few males were left after the coup d’etat. Lisha will not accept him not after what he has done. Relie reminds her he is known as the weakest undefeated. Is that an oxymoron? But Lisha challenges him to a Drag Ride duel and if he loses, he will be sent back to prison. Oh, did she mention that she is the princess of the first queen of Atismasta? Former prince versus current princess. Interesting… Lux gets a reminder by his sister, Airi that they have to be careful in what they do since as former members of the Arcadia kingdom, they are treated as criminals. If he gets into such trouble again, her entire life will not be enough to work and clear his debt. His perverted notoriety even spread to her roommate, Noct Leaflet. Or is she just being sarcastic? Better safe than sorry.

The Drag Ride duel is here. Lisha looks down on his generic Wyvern because her super divine Tiamat is just well, divine. Easy win? Since Lux won’t use his Sword Device, Lisha begins his beat down and unleashes her Tiamat’s special Raiment, gravity. While her Drag Ride temporarily loses control from the power, the arena is suddenly attacked by an Abyss. Cue for mass evacuation and Lux to play the hero to fight it. Or is he just fooling about being the bait so that he could signal Lisha to take it down after creating an opening. Yup, that is it. In the aftermath, Lisha ponders about Lux’s actions. It is the first time a guy tried to protect her. That look on her face… Starting to have feelings? She goes to see how he is doing (just fine) and suddenly before you know it, they have a light chatter and laughing. She now believes in him. Like best friends now? She reveals the duel was because she didn’t want to let him get after not after what he had seen. I suppose it is a sign that he shouldn’t say more but he did. Because he apologizes that he saw everything and it was charming! WTF?! Actually Lisha is not worried about that. She shows the crest of the former empire near her pubic area and thought he had seen this. He is surprised and since she can’t tell him the reason yet (like how Lux can’t tell why he won’t use his Sword Device), he agrees to help keep it a secret. Even more surprise for Lux when she tells him tomorrow he is officially a student of this academy as requested by Relie. Oh yeah, they’re going to be classmates too.

Episode 2
Also in his class is his childhood friend, Philuffy. Ah, I see Lisha is starting to get awfully jealous… The only reason the girls are swarming around Lux is because he is tasked as a handyman who will handle their requests. But Lisha usurps them all because she requests him to be her exclusive caretaker and assistant! Before we get any showdown between Lisha and Philuffy, Krulcifer brings him away on pretence Relie wants to see him. Of course she has a request for him and that is to find the Black Hero whom she has business with. Lux dreams about his brother, Fugil telling him the empire’s cruel experiments will soon reach his childhood friend and the only way left is to kill them all. Lux was reluctant as he wanted to minimize casualties. More hijinks for Lux because he wakes up sleeping with Philuffy! This is her room? Get out before somebody sees you. Too late… And so another earful from Airi about racking up such reputation. But it turns out Philuffy is his roommate as approved by Relie. How? They’re sisters and she wants him to take care of her. Lux sees Lisha fixing his Wyvern. On pretence to get to know each other better, they head out to town. Like a date? When Lux praises Lisha to be a worthy queen, this is when things get melodrama. The mark on her belly was a result of her dad who participated in the coup d’etat. It failed and she was taken hostage. The mark is evidence that she was Arcadia’s prisoner. She wanted so much for him to come save her but he never did. She couldn’t commit suicide and decided to become part of Atismata’s royal family. As the only heir after his father’s death, she became the new kingdom’s princess while hiding this mark. More dreams from Lux when he was saddened that everybody was massacred and Fugil was delighted because had they not die, he would have. Fugil called him naive and thus the weakest and not fit to be king.

The Knight Squadron that Lisha is part of sorties because an Abyss is detected by the ruins. Unfortunately the Abyss hatches more hatchlings and the perpetrator behind it is no other Ragreed Forus, the Knight Squadron chief of Arcadia and his men. His flute enables him to control the Abyss. When Noct returns with her report, Lux feels the need to go help Lisha. Airi is worried he cannot win in his current state. Of course he can. He is the main character! Haha! Ragreed relentlessly attacks Lisha and downs her. Then he rips her lower garb to reveal the mark and humiliate her. He knows because he was the one who stamped it. Before he could finish her off, Lux arrives in time to save her. Just like all heroes do, huh? His words of motivation of wanting to see her as a worthy queen give her hope. He unleashes his Sword Device to summon Bahamut. One look and you can tell this is a super divine Drag Ride. He kicks all the traitors’ ass with super speed and power. So is it safe to say that Lux is the Black Hero? Hardly surprising. Ragreed gets mad over him for being a traitor instead of a hero. Who cares what he thinks because Lux finishes him off. As narrated by Airi, Lux isn’t a hero because he destroyed the kingdom.

Episode 3
A welcome party for Lux? I didn’t know he is that famous and beloved. This is what to expect in a harem genre, right? To make things more interesting, Relie suggests a game. She gives Lux a special form and whoever steals it from him within an hour will have Lux for herself for an entire week! I didn’t know there are so many girls trying to get him to be their slave. I know it is a dream for guys to have girls chase after him but in Lux’s case, he better start hiding. He got tricked by Lisha to hand over it but he tricks her back thanks to her naivety. Lux sure has a penchant to run into such places because he is hiding in the changing room for the Knight Squadron! Not a sound… Krulcifer spots him but doesn’t blow the whistle. Only after her teammates left, she signals him out. Since time is already over, she has him hand over the form. To his dismay, she tricked him because the clock was just slow so Krulcifer wins the game and gets him all for herself. So what will it be? Be her boyfriend! They go to see Relie who shows them the flute she retrieved from Ragreed. She wants them to confirm if it is a key to something before he Knight Squadron starts their investigation. Airi cautions Lux about Krulcifer not because she is a buracon, she feels she is hiding something. Krulcifer explains why she wants him to be her boyfriend. As she is the daughter of the Count of Ymir country, it is only logical that nobles engage and marry each other. A butler from her family will come to check over her status and she would like him to act as her boyfriend till then. Everyone is shock when Krulcifer puts her face close to his and it looks like they are kissing. Actually she is just warning him not to back out of this or she will expose his peeping incident. Got him there by the balls…

I believe Lisha is jealous so she confronts Krulcifer just to brag how close she is to Lux as they have hold hands. Big deal? Wait till she hears about Lux and Philuffy kissed a long time ago… Speaking on the topic of kissing, there Lisha goes flustering… Lux and Krulcifer are out to town on their date with Lisha and Philuffy secretly spying on them. Krulcifer dresses up to purposely stand out from the crowd so as to make everyone believe they are a real item. At the end of the day, they are surrounded by several bandits. You know they are just low level grunts when Lux is able to fend them off and give Krulcifer enough time to summon her Drag Ride, Fafnir whose Raiment is predicting the future so you can bet she owns all of them in no time. When one tries to escape, he is taken down by Altelise Mayclaire. She is Krulcifer’s family butler. At a restaurant (somehow Lisha and Philuffy coming out of their hiding to join them too), Krulcifer tries to introduce Lux as her boyfriend when this arrogant dude, Lord Barzeride Kreutzer interrupts. He claims he is here to see his future wife and guy cannot wait until tomorrow to be introduced. Barzeride tries to play down Lux and that they are both of different class but as far as Krulcifer is concerned, he is still a total stranger to her. So please stop calling her your future wife. Not pleased, Barzeride decides to challenge Lux to a Drag Ride duel. A team battle. Of course if he wins, Krulcifer cannot refuse him even if she is forced into engagement.

Episode 4
Barzeride seems to be making a deal with a shady person who suspiciously looks like Fugil. Can you see Lisha’s relief that Lux isn’t Krulcifer’s real boyfriend and totally understands she is using him just to escape an arranged marriage? Since Lux doesn’t have to go on a fake date with Krulcifer today, instead of having a good rest, that guy is being served by Tillfur, Lisha and Philuffy dressed up as maids. Wow! I don’t mind such service! Switch places with me now! Meanwhile in the royal council of Atismata, they are discussing about a powerful Abyss concealed in the ruins. They want to awaken its powers but isn’t sure if the new empire is strong enough for that. That is when Barzeride’s father suggests tasking his son to investigate the ruins. Relie and her Knight Squadron are in a meeting. She officially hands over the flute to Lux in his care. Lux is baffled Krulcifer is at the meeting as she is a transfer student and doesn’t need to attend. That’s because she will also be joining the squad to investigate the ruins. A little fanservice time when Lux soaks in the bath and to his surprise finds Philuffy there. He notices the absence of a deep scar on her back but of course that dreamy girl is not sure. On the day the Knight Squadron is supposed to go investigate the ruins, they are surprised when Barzeride volunteers to help investigate it. Although none of the ladies are impressed, he assures he will pull no punches and will do his best to defend them. Of course he also makes known that one of them here is his future wife so if she is in danger, naturally he will be there to protect her.

Everyone approaches the ruins. Krulcifer seems to be in a hurry and rushes in. With the Abyss attacking, Barzeride shows off the power of his divine Drag Ride and challenges Lux to see who can take down as many Abyss. Don’t be tempted into this silly challenge, Lux. The Abyss goes berserk and it emits some kind of wave that paralyzes the Drag Rides. Then they see the ruins shining. Lux has a dream whereby Fugil reprimanded him for doing something reckless. Its effect was devastating and that is only Lux using it at normal power. Lux wakes up inside the abyss and only Krulcifer is with him. They head to the altar in the centre as Lux asks why finding the Black Hero is important to her. There is a limit to what Drag Rides can do no matter how reckless the operators can be. However this doesn’t apply to the Black Hero and searching for him she hopes that would be true. At the altar as Lux wonders if he should use the key, it suddenly activates. He hasn’t even done anything yet. That is when Krulcifer reveals she is not a human of this world and a survivor of the ruins.

Episode 5
Inside a chamber, there are lots of capsules. Krulcifer reveals she was born in one of these a long time ago. Yes, she is adopted into the Einfolk family. Her ‘father’ was examining the ruins and found her. He kept her in hopes they would discover a clue to the lost past. Other family members ostracized her. She studied etiquette and Drag Knight in hopes of being accepted but the hate grew when she was given Fafnir. She always hoped whatever she heard was a lie but was convinced she is a survivor of the ruins when it reacted to her. She still has no clue about her past or if she has any allies. Leave it to Lux to calm her down and say soothing words. Then she says it was all just a lie because she wanted to test his reaction since he is so soft hearted. Really? All a lie? Now it is Lux’s turn to tell about his grim past. Don’t worry, they’re not lies. How he was thrown out by his own grandfather. At first he hated everyone who never helped him but soon realized he didn’t want to hate anybody. Those who are important to him and those who would become important, he wants to create a kingdom where his loved ones could live without hate. He has Philuffy to thank for saving him. Their conversation is cut short when Lisha drills them out. Airi reprimands Lux not for failing to find if the flute is the key but he messed up Wyvern again. She gives him drink herbal tea that Krulcifer made. Of course it is to make him sleep so he will not participate in tonight’s duel.

Krulcifer meets Barzeride for the duel. Altelise is sincere in helping Barzeride as per agreed but he puts her to sleep too. The fight begins with Barzeride dominating over Krulcifer. She knows everything from those attackers was set up by him. Even if she knows, Barzeride is confident she can’t change a thing because she is just a tool, a key whom he shall obtain. And yes, he will become her master. Before Krulcifer can fall into despair, here comes Lux to the rescue. I guess he didn’t drink it, huh? After a short bout, Lux can tell Barzeride’s Drag Ride’s Raiment is stealing the power of other Drag Rides that it touches. Barzeride attacks Krulcifer. This is just a decoy so when Lux protects her, he touches him to absorb his power. Needless to say he is faster and more powerful. And because Barzeride is getting cockier and Krulcifer sinking into hopeless regretting mode, this gives Lux the power of the main power to confirm that he is her lover and powers up intensely with his main character determination to defeat Barzeride once and for all. You should see the flabbergasted face on Barzeride moments before his defeat. It was like so unbelievable. Next day, Lux is left to rue what comes next. Because he has saved Krulcifer, he has already proven himself to be her fiancé and thus Altelise and the family head have approved him of so. Lux must have a short memory because he doesn’t remember about saying being her lover last night. Even if he did, it was just at the spur of the moment. Oh, how are you going to take responsibility now? Krulcifer makes a surprise move by kissing him! Thank goodness only Tillfur and Lisha are there to witness this shocking development. Maybe not. Here is another shock: Krulcifer gives Lux another kiss! They can continue with more if he marries her… Time for Lisha to bust in and play moral police.

Episode 6
Lux is cross-dressed as a girl and walking around the academy as Luno! So cute that nobody can guess he is a guy in drag? It all began when Shalice talked to him about Barzeride’s defeat. Because other than him, there is another person who can fare against the greatest Abyss, Ragnarok. That person is Celestia “Celis” Ralgris, one of the 4 great nobles and returning to the capital soon. Oh, did we mention she hates men? You’ve been warned. As there is also a pervert recently spotted on the academy grounds, thus Lux is made to dress up as bait. During his patrol, Luno spots Celis talking to a cat in the bushes! But Luno is attacked by a perpetrator and Celis comes to the rescue. Although the perpetrator gets away, Luno get injured when the culprit throws a knife meant for Celis while escaping. Celis treats Luno and thankfully ‘she’ didn’t have to strip to have her arm bandaged. Meanwhile Barzeride is in prison and thinks this hooded guy has come to rescue him. However he is killed off as he blows his flute to summon Abyss. Next day, there is a big ruckus and Lux is called to Relie’s office. It seems Celis has learnt of the only guy in the academy and for the sake of the academy’s existence, she wants him thrown out. She does not acknowledge him. So what do you do when you can’t settle the argument? You have a duel, right? So if Celis loses to him, Relie hopes she will then see his true strength and acknowledges him.

The Squadron Knights head to an island for training camp. For some reason, Lux also brought his cross-dressing clothes with him. He thinks of giving them back to Shalice but she lets him keep it. Good thing because Celis’ underling, Saniya Lemiste calls Lux as Celis wants to see him. When he enters her chambers, he is shocked to see her naked although Celis is facing away and thought this person is the massager. Good thing he has the clothes. So he slips into it and gives Celis a good massage. To show her gratefulness, Celis wants to take ‘her’ out to town tomorrow. Before Luno could leave, Celis sees the Sword Device and examines it a little although nothing much of it. As Luno exits, Saniya is suspicious of this ‘girl’ and is going to attack her. Thankfully Krulcifer is here to prevent any bloodshed. That ‘girl’ is with her. Krulcifer knows Luno is Lux as she cautions about Saniya as she is trying to create scandals in which Lux will be thrown out of the academy. So before Luno’s big day with Celis tomorrow, we have a little Lux-Philuffy time. If he loses, she will fight Celis for him. Celis and Luno head out to town. I wonder how Luno will deal with the swimsuit shop… Anyway Celis is very happy although she still has her worries about being the leader of the knights. Making Celis happier is Luno’s kind comforting words. As they picnic, Celis reveals something and hopes Luno can keep a secret. Actually… She’s not a man hater!

Episode 7
It seems Ragnarok has hatched from its egg and making its way to a certain island. Celis tells Saniya what she said to Luno about not hating men. She had great teachers who were men but her problem is dealing with younger men and considering her position, she cannot solely rely on them. We take a little detour for a beach fanservice episode. Lux gets branded a perverted for just about anything. When Celis wonders where Luno is, Shalice has already prepared a swimsuit for Lux to wear. Obviously that guy won’t take the bait so while he runs away, accidentally bumps into Celis. Instead of making a fuss, she walks away although you can see her displeasure. Lux remembers additional things Celis told Luno. She needs to apologize to Lux as she learnt her skills from Wade Roadbelt who is no other than Lux’s grandfather, she feels responsible for Wade’s death and wants to make sure his grandson is not exposed to any danger. That is why she can’t afford to lose the duel to him. As Celis and Lux’s battle begin, Shalice and Tillfur confront the perpetrator who is a spy of Heiburg Republic. It is no surprise the person behind that mask is no other than Saniya. And since they’ve exposed her, she is ‘obliged’ to expose more about her goals. It is to destroy the new empire and kill everyone here. She summons her Drag Ride and with the hooded character playing the flute, tentacles start emerging from the ground. So this is Ragnarok? I can see why it is fearsome.

Celis is shocked that Saniya is a traitor. To her dismay, Saniya reveals to Lux that Celis killed Wade. Time to come clean, I guess. Celis explains why she couldn’t tell him about Wade. When she heard about the former empire’s corruption and spoke to Wade, he advised the former empire but they threw him in prison where he died. It resulted in his family being thrown out. Wade’s last words to her were if she was right, that is why she must correct everything in his place. Celis regrets for not telling him. But they are even when Lux takes out his Sword Device and reveals he is Luno. He tells Celis he doesn’t hate her and will respect her in his grandpa’s place. With Bahamut, Lux cuts through Ragnarok till some pearl comes lose. That is when the hooded character grabs it, waiting for this moment. Even revealing herself, she is not Fugil although she looks closely like him, but Hayes. She escapes while hinting about reviving a nightmare that happened here 5 years ago. Lux and Celis reconcile. She accepts him but he makes it more awkward for her telling her to just talk normally to others like how she does to him. Because he is sure other men will find her cute. What are the chances this is the first guy who said this to her? Lux tries to remember hard the evens 5 years ago. He can’t but those unclear snippets looked like something hideous. A giant fish monster pops out from the sea. Relie gathers everyone and will tell them the real purpose of this training camp.

Episode 8
9 years ago when Lux was young, he and other young lads did something wrong. One of them decided to pin the blame on Philuffy. Lux couldn’t let that innocent retard bear their sin so he admitted the guilt instead. In present time, Lux sees Philuffy who is recovering because during Ragnarok’s attack, she collapsed. This giant fish is supposedly a ruin and emerged after they defeated Ragnarok as its gatekeeper. Their job is to investigate it. They split up into teams to investigate different floors. Only Celis is alone because well, she’s the strongest, right? But why doesn’t she look happy? See how she brightens up when Lux offers to team up when they meet halfway. Airi must be a sharp girl to notice all the girls flocking to her brother and even warns him not to do anything funny to her roommate. But Noct is even more sarcastic. She believes Lux won’t because he doesn’t even look at her as a woman! Why doesn’t Lux try to keep his mouth shut because as he tries to dismiss that, he describes some of her body parts that make her beautiful. That line from her collarbone to her chest? WTF?! A more reason for Airi to look at him suspiciously. They find an unconscious body within the ruins. When Krulcifer touches it, it starts up like a computer. Then she goes back to sleep! WTF?! I thought Philuffy was worst. However she doesn’t want to be abandoned and needs her programming fixed. She introduces herself as La Kurushe, the supervisor of these ruins. She is an automaton. She is supposed to have records of the old era. But guess what? Because she slept too much, she forgot about them! Do robots make jokes?! But seriously, due to some accident, her data is temporarily out of service. She will follow their orders in exchange to not be abandoned. She tells them to check to main body and if it is safe, when it connects to the central system, her memories might come back.

Meanwhile the royal council is discussing about the possibility of the escaped prisoner who will bring his own rebels to attack the kingdom. Because their Drag Rides won’t be enough, it is suggested to use the academy students but of course some like Celis’ dad isn’t fond of the idea seeing her daughter getting injured before his eyes. As the investigation continues, they enter a chamber filled with capsules believe to be breeding Abyss. Philuffy starts acting strange. It is a cue something bad will happen. Hayes plays the flute and all hell breaks loose. An Abyss attacks Lux’s group. According to Kurushe, the ruins release 3 Abyss when it is in state of alert. Lux wants Relie to suspend the investigation but she will not seeing that they have already gone in this deep. Philuffy then runs off herself. Lux gives chase. When they enter the central chamber, they are teleported outside. The Abyss continues to attack Lux and when he slams back on land, his memories of the place becomes clearer. Even more so when a hidden room underneath a structure is revealed. It is a place where the former empire did lots of human experiments. Mmm… Bloody… Lux remembers he was here 5 years ago but Philuffy shouldn’t be. He finds Philuffy cowering in a corner but as he goes get her, she starts strangling him. My, what evil eyes you have…

Episode 9
Time for another flashback. When Lux promised to create a country where Philuffy and her family can live freely, she kissed him as a charm. Had not Philuffy collapsed, Lux would have died. But before him now is Hayes and Lux cannot kill her or else Philuffy will also die. Hayes has planted his seed of Ragnarok inside her and her commands are to kill Lux. Because she has been fighting it, the reason why she is suffering and experiencing pains from time to time. Hayes proposes a deal. Philuffy will be spared as long as Lux can open the gate inside the ruins. And if he doesn’t do anything, Philuffy will die in a few days. In a dilemma on what to do, he sees Relie about the memories of this place. She confirms she was experimented here 5 years ago. However Philuffy died! She is alive because she became an Abyss from the experiment. The reason she wanted to enter the ruins is so that she could find its power and save Philuffy. But they’re running out of time. For the first time in years, Fugil contacts Lux. He hints a way to save Philuffy is to break the flute. Philuffy is acting up again. Lux tries to calm her down. She knows about her own status as an Abyss. Lux gets emotional blaming himself as weak and if not for her help that day, he wouldn’t be here to fight. He is sure to save her this time. Everyone gathers before the central system. Thanks to Krulcifer as the key, the gate easily opens. That is when Kurushe recovers most of her memory. And she remembers her mission is to kill them! Hayes is delighted that the fools especially Lux did what was told. With Philuffy by Hayes’ side, she orders monster girl to kill them all. There are even unmanned Drag Rides to take care of them.

Hayes senses something wrong so he tries to blow his flute again but gets destroyed when he takes it out. Seems Airi used her flute to cancel out and overwrite the commands. No matter. Because Hayes brought a spare! This one summons Ragnarok. Version 2.0. Because branches now replace tentacles. Though, still as deadly as tentacles. Plus, it gets stronger the more it gets injured. Everybody gets owned and with Lux not wanting to lose here, he gets Lisha’s ‘permission’ to use Over Limit. Let’s say it is a taxing move that drains his energy. He still gets owned and with Fugil’s words that he is useless ringing in his head, here comes Philuffy to save the day again. With words. She knows better than anyone that Lux is trying to change things even though he is in pain. Therefore she wants Lux to do it for his own sake and wishes and not others. Bahamut transforms into its ultimate version and kicks Ragnarok’s ass. Hayes is left in shock of this impossibility but Fugil tells her it is time for a tactical retreat. Because of this contradicting statement that despite Lux being the weakest, they cannot beat him with all the power ups. Huh? Basically, Bahamut on Over Limit mode = undefeatable. With the ruins crashing back into the sea, can you believe Kurushe is still being a joker because she notes of going back to sleep. Hopefully forever. Philuffy nurses Lux. She has developed some resistance to the flute. So no more falling into that trick anymore. Some nice touching moment together. Let’s not ruin it for them.

Episode 10
Everyone celebrates Lux’s recovery back at the academy. Although Relie was scolded for that incident, they let it slide after she paid a hefty fine. But now the most important event is the Founders Festival. You know what this means, right? Ah, which of the girls will be bold enough to ask Lux out for a date? Don’t take too long, Lisha… Relie ups the ante to have Lux name 3 girls to date to reward them for their efforts. Tough decision… At first it seemed like he picked the safest choice: Airi. Actually she along with Noct, Shalice and Tillfur are just his date guides. Huh? And here I was waiting to call him a siscon… Airi warns him about Assassin’s Blade, the strongest Drag Knight serving the former empire has escaped her prison and is likely targeting him. So please be careful. Lux’s first date is with Celis. The only memorable thing is how he accidentally ended up having his hands on her boobs. The date guides are watching… Next is Krulcifer. Lux gets duped in pretending to kiss her because she kisses him for real. Third kiss? Last is Philuffy. He gets a lap pillow. This time Relie joins the date guides and supporting in the shadows in hopes they’ll get a kiss. Maybe next time, huh? At the end of the day, you think it is over but I wanted to say save the last for best but it isn’t actually. Because Lux meets up with Lisha and she is bitter that she wasn’t named. But to show her maturity, she doesn’t get mad and blames herself for being egoistical. What? She did that? She has a personal request: Be her knight. After she graduates, she’ll be quite busy and needs an attendant. Besides, he is the only one who knows her secret. Don’t worry. He doesn’t need to give an answer now. But she hopes to get an answer by then.

As Lux and Airi discuss about the All Dragon Battle in which she advises Lux to limit his time on the battlefield, Yoruka Kirihime pops up before them. She is Assassin’s Blade. Don’t worry. She is not here to kill him but to serve under him. She will do anything he says. And I mean anything. All he needs to do is just give the command. Airi must have started to notice her brother is being seduced by this woman so he gives his first order to talk about this later and wait till he has time for this. Unsurprisingly she listens. He let his guard down in the bath because here is Yoruka washing his back. His scream alerted the other girls and this only compounds his misery. Guess who gets blamed? Later Lux talks to Yoruka why she is so willing to serve him. He did his research and found she signed a contract with his father and enrolled in the Imperial army. But his father is dead so the contract should be annulled. She explains the body that gave everything to the empire intends to fight until the very last of the empire is destroyed. She asks back how long he intends to deceive those girls because with his power he can easily re-establish his kingdom. She wants him to promise he will destroy this country and take back Arcadia. Of course he won’t. Lux’s harem arrives to fight Yoruka, deeming her dangerous. But of course. Any additional girl into the harem would be dangerous and tip the balance! Despite outnumbering her, Yoruka’s Drag Ride, God’s Night Sword can manipulate theirs. Yoruka doesn’t see the point in continuing this so she tells Lux if he comes along, she will tell him a secret concerning this country’s fate. Yoruka’s escape is thanks to Hayes as part of his plan to destroy this kingdom. Also with Hayes are Ragreed and Saniya.

Episode 11
Lisha reminding Lux about the knight thingy but at the same time she also doesn’t want his answer yet. WTF?! Meanwhile Hayes has successfully activated a ruin and will set her plan in motion. Lux and Airi are called before the royal council. They know a secret group of people containing survivors of the former empire are trying to overthrow their country led by Ragreed will be attacking the capital with 100 Abyss. Therefore they want Lux to be a decoy by destroying the flute that conceals the Abyss’ power before the rebel army comes to attack. Oh, he must also win the All Dragon Battle. Succeed and they will overlook the charges on that island. Much to Airi’s dismay, he accepts it. She is upset not just because he is too considerate but he didn’t tell them about the time limit he can use Bahamut. Well, somebody has got to do the job, right? When Lux sees Yoruka again and asks about her upholding a contract even though the former empire is gone, she tells him it is to keep her promise to her little brother. They are like day and night. While she could kill without hesitation, her brother was kind. He protected his country and even her. Lux resembles a lot like her brother, though he died a very long time ago. It is her loyalty to her brother to carry out the contract. A contract she made with his father that she needs to fulfil by overthrowing the new empire. Since Lux cannot agree to her, she warns him about tomorrow’s tournament. Don’t die before she kills him. So much about loyalty.

The All Dragon Battle begins. I guess it is nothing special that the matches are even summarized. And I’m just going to skip it. Although still in contention, Lux leaves for his decoy mission after his matches. But during that time something terrible happened to Lisha. Her Drag Ride went berserk and almost killed the spectators. We all know it wasn’t her fault but it is her word against the committee. She is thrown in prison until their investigations are concluded. Lux fights off hordes of Abyss as well as Saniya. His success means the Imperial army gets to take down the rebels as expected. Airi tells the other girls what happened to Lux and because of the conditions imposed on him, it makes them harder to aid Lux. They suspect Yoruka having a hand in messing with Lisha’s Drag Ride. Their plan for now is to find Yoruka first and then rescue Lisha. As Lux is resting, he thinks something is amiss from the mission. Before he knows it, the rebel army has demolished the outpost in a surprise ambush. They’re heading for the capital next. No prizes to guess that the All Dragon Battle is suspended. Lux faces off with Ragreed and he knows his rebel army does not consist of former empire survivors but enemy countries targeting Atismata. He is just being used. Ragreed doesn’t believe all that but instead brags about the tyrannical king he will become once he becomes the new emperor. Not on Lux’s watch. Compounding the problem even further is the appearance of a giant ruin called, uhm, Giant. This is the ruin that Hayes is piloting.

Episode 12
Ragreed fights Lux and thought he dismantled his Bahamut. But he senses something is wrong. That isn’t Bahamut. What is it? It is Wyvern dressed up as Bahamut. Gotcha! And with that, the tables are turned on this loser. Lux contacts Airi and finds out what happened to Lisha. Speaking of which, Saniya is going to humiliate her by having he guards strip her to expose that belly mark. Before the pervy guards can do so, Lux crashes in to the rescue. At least the baddies are wise enough to run away instead of fighting him. Lux gives Lisha a great push to help fight alongside him. Philuffy and Krulcifer are holding down Giant while Celis has her fight with Saniya (no prizes to guess who wins here). After bringing down Giant, Hayes is still not out for the count because she has her own divine Drag Ride to deal with them. As she fights, she notices she has only been taking on Lisha. Where the heck is Lux? He is trying to find an entrance into Giant but standing in his way is Yoruka. This time he has a reason to fight her: He wants to save her. I suppose she doesn’t believe it as she still believes in the contract in place of her dead brother. When he asks how her brother died, she reveals it wasn’t at the hands of the empire. When Yoruka was taken away as a subordinate of the empire on condition that his life would be spared, senior officials who abandoned the war due to difference in military power blamed her brother for their own good and decapitated him. It was a humiliating but alas it was their fate. So if he ended his fate as a monarch, then by holding on to the contract with the empire, she will sacrifice herself to this fate. Of course Lux tells her she is totally wrong. He gives an example in Lisha as she continues to fight and resist. In her case, without the conceit of the position of someone being called a princess.

After a few more clashes and Yoruka thinks she has got victory in the bag, Lux makes a comeback with… Words! Uh huh. He is saying something about her ideal which is the same as her brother. That moment of hesitation allows Lux to cut her down. Lux explains his failed attempts to change the country. He wanted to do it himself but for that to happen he had to destroy the Arcadia kingdom. Wait. What? Huh? Anyhow Yoruka realizes she has misunderstood all the while and that Lux has been fighting for Arcadia by himself all along. No kidding, right? Hayes believes she still has the final trump card because she has ordered Giant to fire a devastating blast to destroy the capital when everything has failed. But you know why it won’t happen? At least for once they didn’t let Lux do the honours and save the day as the main character (albeit he is still the main reason why the day is saved). That is because Yoruka betrays Hayes and disables Giant from within. Now it is all down to Lux to finish this b*tch once and for all. Good riddance. On the final night of the festival, Lisha address the crowd as the kingdom’s future queen. She also announces appointing Lux as her personal knight. And a few more words about moving forward for a bright future that don’t matter. During the party, Lux spots Fugil across the hall. Luckily, they just stare at each other. Some kind of psychic warning from both sides? Fugil makes his exit. Time for the series to end in a typical fashion. Because Lisha is once again too slow to ask Lux about deepening their relationship, the other harem girls usurp her. Non-harem girls either tease her or chastise him as the words (Airi, who else?). With Yoruka now joining in too, Lisha gets mad and desperate because he wants Lux to answer right now whom he loves the most. Be careful with your answer. Try not to collapse your harem kingdom, okay?

Saiyaku Mottanai No Harem
Phew. Thank goodness is over. Yup. From the way I sarcastically said that means I am downright casting this series as mediocre. I wasn’t putting up very high or even moderate expectations for it but seeing this doesn’t even get pass the hurdle, I guess it is that bad. I think there are many moments that made me want to raise a question but seeing where everything was going, I have forgotten most of them. Which is pretty a good thing because I don’t want to confuse myself with questions that will not be answered and even if they were, it is because of my own silly theories.

Plot wise, it wasn’t interesting to say the least. I am not sure if they have some sort of pacing problem but let’s start off with that Black Hero thingy which is fast forgotten once you get to know it is Lux behind that armour. And I actually guessed it was him! I wonder if because it was so predictable, they got it out of the way in the early episodes. Then you won’t really hear about it ever again. Over the next few episodes, we are introduced to Lux’s harem and their seemingly problems like Lisha an ex-POW, Krulcifer with her engagement problems (why do they always prefer the main character than some snobbish arrogant rich dude? Oh, right…), Celis with her pride as a noble especially her false reputation as a man hater (which was clearly set straight soon after because it would be awkward for a harem to have a man hater, wouldn’t it?), Philuffy being dead (so she is technically a zombie, right?) and of course with the final arc fighting off against villains who want to overthrow the new kingdom.

If it wasn’t cheesy enough, the lack of romance and harem cat fight made it worse. I know it would be cheesy to put in those but seeing how mediocre everything is, I have to admit I did enjoy no matter how cheesy the tussle over Lux was. It made me wish the series had more scenes like this even if it doesn’t make sense and even if it doesn’t contribute to the overall plot whatsoever. I know, you’re going to say that I would accuse this show of being cheesy had they spam more of this. True. But might as well be something of this sort that I like if this genre is going to be mediocre. Yeah, blame me for being the worst… So having a few seconds of Lux alone with Philuffy’s boobs proximity, Krulcifer stealing quick kisses and even that ‘speed dating’ affair didn’t quite cut it.

As generic the characters of this generic harem anime might be, it is sad to say that the characters are pretty forgettable. Nothing about them really stands out. I expected all the cliché stuffs that are expected with this series but this one just didn’t even live up to that threshold. Lux is so typical like a hero kid from a fairytale that toddlers can write better stories for him. Really. I mean, take a look at this guy. Son of a former disposed kingdom. Good kid. Will go as far as to protect the ones he loves. Has latent power. Defeats main antagonist to save the day. And most important of all, he must have beautiful and popular girls flocking to his side. Because he is the main character. Even though he is pretty dense when it comes to flirting and romance. And the only reason why he became Lisha’s personal knight at the end is to compensate for the lack of screen time with her throughout the series. Everyone else did. So why the f*ck was she left out the most? Despite being a knight, that doesn’t mean he is dating her so every other girl still has a darn chance to steal his heart. And I believe Lux has got a few flashbacks pertaining to his life during the former empire which isn’t really pieced together all that well. So I guess we’ll never know about the human experiments and Lux’s overkill/over-9000 power.

Now let us look at his harem. Typical. We’ve got the tsundere, the dreamy and ditzy childhood friend, the socially awkward and proud elite and finally the other elite who is elegant and mature and the boldest of the lot when it comes to flirting with Lux. And now that Yoruka under the guise of being loyal to her new master is part of Lux’s harem, she will be the yandere type. Haha! How do I know if Yoruka is going to be part of Lux’s harem even before the final scene? Just look at the ending credits animation. You would notice his harem girls will be added to that final montage. And if Yoruka is in it, it just proves that she is a possible candidate. Yeah, just like how Date A Live’s Kurumi is, no? And everybody is so nicely dressed up like as though they’re preparing to marry Lux who is also equally well dressed like a gentleman. At least it is safe to say Airi and Noct will not be part of his harem trope as little sister and sister’s best friend. Haha!

What about the rest of the other girls in the academy then? It feels like they are there just to make up for the numbers. Some sort of proof that Lux isn’t a perfect lady killer. Imagine the screen time that needs to be divided if everyone from supporting characters to extra background characters start hounding this guy. Therefore characters like Shalice and Tillfur are there just because they are there and sometimes play cupid and revel in watching the love hopefuls in their pathetic and funny shenanigans. Yeah, I think it is more fun that way. It is the same for Relie except that because this is a school setting, you need to have an adult as the headmaster. Airi isn’t your typical buracon little sister since there is this weariness you can hear in her voice each time she has to gently chastise or remind her brother over the ‘trouble’ he has caused. I know she cares for him but sometimes it just sounds like nagging… And Noct is her sarcastic best friend whenever the time calls for it.

The antagonists are as uninspiring and one dimensional as they are. Nothing much about their background revealed although I think it is to give some sort of mysterious feel. But seeing we know nothing about Hayes on why she decided to destroy the current kingdom and establish a new one for whatever reasons, coupled with the fact that Fugil could be the mastermind and puppet master behind everything and yet we don’t know a f*cking reason why, we just wish they are rid of as fast as possible. From the looks at the end, Fugil still roams free but I am assuming Hayes, Saniya and Ragreed have been captured. Or even better, assume they just died in the onslaught. That’ll be easier. Some like Barzeride feels like he is a much needed low level pawn so that he could be disposed of. I am wondering for certain characters like Kurushe. She often feels like a joke character especially an automaton who has a penchant for going back to sleep. Her appearance sure makes you think why she is around in the first place. Seriously, that double episodes in which she only appeared can actually be done without her. It is like they need to stretch it out a little by putting in an unimportant character.

Because of how mediocre the series already is, not even the fights could sustain my interest. Because we have evil dragon creatures and the heroes have mecha suits, it feels like a waste not to put any sort of action into it. After all, everybody seems to have only a single if not two special attacks from their Drag Ride. Hardly any variety because why spam different moves when you know you’re just going to defeat the enemy shortly. I guess it is better than lasting the entire episode. That is why I suppose they sometimes let us know there is a time limit for Bahamut so Lux won’t spend the entire episode striking down his enemy. If that ever happens, it just makes him feel like an amateur Drag Knight, right? So don’t be surprised if you see fights finishing quickly or not shown at all (All Dragon Battle, anybody interested in seeing that? No? Same here). Besides, do you see any difference between a generic and divine Drag Ride? Looks all the same to me even in performance.

Making it even worse is the paltry fanservice. Sometimes it feels they aren’t interested in putting it up but had to because the genre calls for it. For example, Philuffy’s monster tits make her feel like she just came out from some sort of hentai flick. Sometimes it makes you think if her character is being a retard and lacking the intelligence the other girls have is because if her brains went into her boobs from the human experiment. Really. Another fanservice borderline with hentai is the fact that Lisha’s mark dangerously near her crotch so that we can have some sort of pubic fanservice. You’ll be asking of all places, right? A beach episode, a girls’ changing scene, main character’s hand on boobs scene, a few bath scenes and voila! Your series’ fanservice. But no tentacle rape scenes?

Art and drawing also feel generic. That means to say it is passable as in today’s standards. But nothing that really stands out. Not even the Drag Rides. CGI are used to animate them. No problems with it because in this era of technology, such smoothness in animation is a given and anything lesser than that would earn the ire of anybody who is watching it. As for character designs, it is that time again when I have watched so many animes and the characters start to look pretty similar. I’m too lazy to list them down here because of my fading sentiments of the series but just to let you know what I mean, don’t you think Philuffy looks very much like Karuta from Inu x Boku SS? Only with monster boobs. And Celis like Infinite Stratos’ Cecilia? Did Hayate No Gotoku’s Nagi make a cameo here? As Lisha? Oh, since when did To Aru Majutsu No Index’s Accelerator become less insane and looking tamer as Lux? Wait a minute. I think Lux is Hunter x Hunter’s Killua in disguise!

Surprisingly, the only seiyuu that I recognized was Risa Taneda as Celis. The moment her character opened her mouth, I instantly knew it was her. Because she sounded so familiar like Yukina from Strike The Blood and recently Tamaki from Luck & Logic. The other seiyuu I know but didn’t recognize is Youko Hikasa as Relie. Perhaps one of the few trivial things that set this harem anime apart from its other counterparts is the use of a female seiyuu to voice the main male character. I have noticed that harem genres will usually employ male seiyuus for the role and while it might not be the first, it certainly is rare to cast a female in such a leading role. Therefore hearing Mutsumi Tamura as Lux (Sonya in Kill Me Baby) felt a little different at first in this aspect.

The rest of the casts comprise of Lynn as Lisha (Maya Sabagebu), Yukiyo Fujii as Krulcifer (Latifa in Amagi Brilliant Park), Yurika Kubo as Philuffy (Hanayo in Love Live), Ari Ozawa as Airi (titular character in Wakaba Girl), Rie Takahashi as Noct (Futaba in Sore Ga Seiyuu), Yumi Uchiyama as Shalice (Momiji in Binbougami Ga), Shiori Izawa as Tillfur (Tanpopo in Witch Craft Works), Shizuka Ishigami as Yoruka (Syr in DanMachi), Saori Oonishi as Altelise (Eriri in Saenai Heroine No Sodatekata), Hisako Kanemoto as Hayes (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume – believe me, she sounds nowhere near as cute but different and menacing to the point of unrecognizable), Ryota Ohsaka as Fugil (Haruto in Valvrave The Liberator) and Mao as Saniya (Madoka in Denpa Kyoushi).

The opening is Hiryou No Kishi by True. Sounds like a typical generic rock music. Nothing that attracts my attention anyway. Every time Nano.Ripe sings an anime theme, you bet that I am going to say something about it. It is with mixed feelings when I listened to Lime Tree as the ending theme. Although her unique voice is not as bad when I first heard her many years before (at least her voice still stands out and is immediately identifiable compared to many other artists that ‘sound the same’), I am not sure whether it is that voice of hers that ruined the catchy rock beat of this song or actually enhanced it. If I hear its instrumental version or imagine the song without her voice, it is good (and perhaps better?) but it feels something lacking. That’s why I’m not sure and in a dilemma if her singing adds to the appeal of the tune.

Well, what more can I say. After watching this harem series and with the only fact that I can add it to the expanding list of harem shows I have watched. From Infinite Stratos , Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry, Kuusen Madoushi Kohousei No Kyoukan, Seiken Tsukai No World Break, Seikoku No Dragonar, Juuou Mujin No Fafnir, Absolute Duo, Date A Live and Gakusen Toshi Asterisk (which I have not watched at this point yet), oh yeah, let me name them all again. Everything feels too familiar. More or less the same thing but with a different packaging. It is hard to make something that is of exceptional standards like High School DxD (the first 2 seasons, that is). And yet idiots like me continue to watch such shows seasons in, seasons out. That is why I think there is no need for producers to improve seeing we would fall for it every season. Just like how Apple comes out with a new but generally the same product every year and everybody would still go make a beeline and buy it, no? We harem lovers attracted to harem series are like what the girls in a harem are mysteriously attracted to for that main douchebag. Strangely ironic, isn’t it?

You mean there is more?! I wouldn’t have guessed that there would be a third season but it wouldn’t be called Maji Love 3000% this time. Yeah, that would be over doing it. Instead, we have Uta No Prince-sama Maji Love Revolutions. Yes. The revolution. I guess things will go stale, get stagnant and be the same if you rely on the same ol’ formula. That is why you need revolution to spice things up and bring you to new heights. But for an anime series like this, I am already expecting more or less the same thing even though there were only 2 seasons before this.

Episode 1
Haruka is walking back to Saotome Academy in the middle of the night. A cue for each of the Starish members to get a little romantic with her and refresh our memories of how hot these guys are. Really. Like Otoya’s hug, Natsuki’s princess carry, Cecil kissing her hand, Ren closing up on her face, a waist hug from Sho (part of his acting stint), accidentally touching hands with Masato (to pick up his dropped piano scores) and a shoulder hug from Tokiya. Oh, how romantic… If that wasn’t enough, Haruka too has some sort of encounter with Quartet Night. From Camus riding his white steed into the forest (no sunset, though), some chat with Ai, Ranmaru’s patting of her head (just to pick up a sakura petal) and encouraging words from Reiji. Not forgetting the only other female in this series, Tomo gives Haruka a big girly hug as well as a souvenir as she has returned from Hokkaido after a shoot. If you can get through 2/3 of this episode which is just that, now here comes the supposedly plot of the series. Oh, not forgetting to introduce the teachers as well. The eccentric principal Saotome with his fancy exaggerated grand entrance, the transvestite Ringo and the macho Ryuuya. Saotome announces the international sports festival called Super Star Sports AKA SSS. This year’s host is Japan and they will grace it with an opening ceremony of performance. Quartet Night has been chosen to do that and Saotome wants Haruka to write a song for them. Everybody is darn excited about this, including our Starish guys. Till Cecil brings up this idea: He would like to sing at the next SSS. It makes the rest think. When will it be their turn since SSS is hosted by different nations? It could be an awful long time before it returns to Japan… So everybody runs down to Saotome’s office to bug him about wanting to sing at SSS. Sorry boys. If that is their wish, no can do. Do they understand what it means to enter SSS? REVOLUTION!!! What? I don’t understand!

Episode 2
Well, it seems Saotome has come up with a plan for Starish to revolutionise. He calls it cross-unit groups. So who will be their cross-unit groups? Oops, he hasn’t worked out the details yet. Check back later. Starish and Quartet Night fly off to some beach town for some promotional shoot. Of course our Starish will be paired with a Quartet Night member. Like Otoya and Tokiya with Reiji entertaining kindergarten kids. Reiji is so hot and cool that even young girls start falling for him! Then we have Ren and Masato walking around town with Ranmaru. That’s it?! What the heck is this for? When a street band is playing, Ranmaru joins in and attracts the crowd (and ladies!). If you think that is WTF, wait till you see Camus and Cecil booking an entire restaurant for themselves just to eat cakes for the filming. Of course some customers aren’t pleased with that but thankfully those ladies got charmed by Camus’ apology. So everything is okay? And I really lost it when Sho and Natsuki with Ai trying to find some haunted spot. WTF… Sho is a big scaredy cat… Despite these events give Starish a huge morale boost to impress Saotome, Quartet Night had to play their arrogant villain role to quit dreaming. They are not on par at their level. You want to bet they’ll not give up? Finally Saotome has got their cross-unit groups figured out. He pairs Otoya with Natsuki, Ren and Sho with Cecil, last but not least Tokiya and Masato.

Episode 3
First up on the focus is Otoya and Natsuki. They have received a direct offer from a legendary Broadway director, Gen Isurugi to play in his upcoming rock musical. Of course, Haruka will have to compose the main song. So the plot of the play has 2 princes of opposing personalities have to stop an impending war with their power of music and love. But after the first rehearsal, they got a ‘warning’ from Isurugi to do better next time. Depressed mode… Talking out with the rest to find out their problems, it is mainly because Natsuki and Otoya had to play characters that are opposites of their own natural character. I suppose the best way to learn one is to imitate another? That is what Otoya tries to do while he copies every of Tokiya’s moves. Every. Move. Like the Tokiya we know, he tells him copying won’t do and whatever that solution is, it is Otoya’s job to find it out himself! We’re not going to have the same for Natsuki because Sho is showing macho films of Ryuuya. But he acted out as the wrong prince. At the end of the next rehearsal, another personal note from Isurugi: Don’t overact. Just act naturally like yourself. Eh? What? Another downer… The duo work hard and their confidence boosted by who else but no other than Haruka who has written a song for them based on their ‘colour’ that will draw out their strengths. Therefore, the play is perfect that the duo have become such fabulous princes. Thanks to Haruka’s music too.

Episode 4
Because Haruka writes the song for the film, she gets to watch Ai, Sho and Natsuki act in it. Despite Ai being flawless, he doesn’t understand about emotions at all. Baffling isn’t it? Haruka sees Ai practising in the rain. And then he collapses! He is burning up. After putting him to bed, they see lights flickering in his eyes. That is when Ai reveals he is a robot! OMG! WTF?! We had some magic touch with Cecil and now they’re adding sci-fi?! He is made by Saotome who paid a lot to get his ideal idol created. But there is a bigger problem whether you want to believe Ai is really a robot. And that is the rain is draining his power and at this rate he will not make it. He can switch to low power mode but that would make him start overheating. Oh, the irony. Such sophisticated AI (I have a feeling why he is named so…) with lots of RAM to memorize and learn emotions in which he can’t understand but yet gets power down when exposed to rain. What kind of freaking logic is this?! Anyway, Ai manages to continue putting his best performance but once the director yells cut, he shows signs of wavering. I’m not sure how effective is when Haruka and the duo want to fan him dry. It will take ages! Then there is a talk between Ai and Haruka about emotions in which he thinks he must have made the right decisions since those ‘emotions’ resulted in the right reactions. But he did say the more he learns about it, the more accustomed he becomes to them. Isn’t that like a human being? There is a scene in which Ai dramatically collapses. The director thinks this improvised scene was damn good! But his friends no better. Ai promises this will not happen again but they are really, really, really worried it might be a lot worse next time. And the magical part of their concern somehow has Ai understand what it means. It makes him want to act some more. So here is Ai doing his solo singing for us as he wraps up the last scene of the movie. He finally collapses on Haruka’s lap but there is a big smile on his sleeping face.

Episode 5
Ren, Sho and Cecil will have to do a TV commercial for a Smartphone company. Of course with Haruka writing its theme song, the guys must also help choose its concept. Heck, I thought the phone company was being lazy and just throw all the work to them. So it starts out high with enthusiasm all of them discussing what the phone is supposed to be. Ren vouches for passion (Latin style?), Sho for strength (superhero style?) and Cecil for elegance (Arabian prince style?). But cracks begin to surface when they think their concept is better than the other and cannot compromise. Oh dear. The biggest bust up ever in the series? You can’t blame them for feeling the pressure for doing better after the smashing success of Otoya and Natsuki’s musical. They get a little advice from their friends and they start again their talks. Unfortunately it ended the same way. They’re not giving in. Dead end. When Saotome learns Haruka hasn’t composed a song yet because the trio are still in disagreement, he wonders if they should cancel the project. It wouldn’t be nice to the client if they cancel it last minute, right? And so Haruka is given until tomorrow to come up with a song or else he is calling the project off. So she gets to be put on the heaviest pressure? She goes to talk to the guys individually. They feel bad for worrying her. She doesn’t mind. They vow to work together. Yeah, basically the same thing 3 times over but in a different way. Haruka thinks deep about their connection now and then a spark of inspiration. She texts the guys the song she wrote. They love it. Now we get to see the final product of the Smartphone commercial that has them singing and incorporating all their ideas. Somehow I feel for a Smartphone commercial, the song is just too flashy like it was tailor made for a boy band. And besides, is this song supposed to promote the Smartphone but why do I see prominence given to our hot studs? Now you know why pretty models are always there in promoting gadgets, eh?

Episode 6
The world’s tallest tower is opening soon and you bet it is going to be Shining Tower! Since Camus is to perform on its opening, Haruka as usual must write a song. But that guy as usual is being the cold jerk and tells her only to come to him once she has written one. Cecil can even vouch how cold this bastard is as he lives with him. Despite all the odd requests, he does everything perfectly but yet never does anything earnest. After watching Camus in a programme that has all the fan girls screaming, Haruka requests to watch him work so she can write a song. His first order? Become his ‘slave’! And so Haruka is subject to odd labour especially making his perfect tea. Cecil is not amused and is going to give his piece of mind but when Haruka says it is okay, then everything is okay. Besides, if she accepts it, there is nothing everyone else can do. Haruka continues to be his assistant till she manages to write a song that will bring out the sincerity in him. But he shoots her down just after looking at her score! WTF?! Shell shocked! He also ends her assistance. This is the last straw for Cecil because it is as though he is making fun of Haruka’s music. But Haruka the good girl as always, blames herself instead. While everything seems to go smoothly, suddenly Camus ushers her to Shining Tower! Everything happens so fast that Haruka is probably in shock over the developments. And this guy starts singing Haruka’s song in such a sincere way that he brings everybody to their knees! OMG! I’m not kidding!!! Food for thought: I wonder how Camus knows how to do everything perfectly because if he has rehearsed a single time, I’m sure Haruka would have known since she was always with him. I know he is a genius and can understand things with just a look but you should look at all the choreography, stunts, special effects and exaggeration! Can a mere rehearsal make it so freaking perfect?! Like as though he did everything. So what gives for this? Answering Haruka’s questioning about how he sings in a sincere way, he is always perfect in every way without the need of going that far. But being sincere sometimes isn’t so bad.

Episode 7
Everyone is shocked when they hear Haruka explaining Ranmaru telling her to write an idol song for him instead of rock. He was a bassist in his rock band before they disbanded and he joined this agency. Then Haruka overheard Ranmaru turning down his ex-bandmate for a reunion. The story goes that the outdoor stage is going to be torn down in favour of the SSS stadium so the band wanted to reunite for one last time to play there. He turned him down because he is busy with another job. Haruka asks if he really had to give up his love to be an idol. Well, he can’t handle 2 jobs at a time. Ranmaru is seen training hard. Though it is commendable and professional, the rest feel like he is trying to forget his rock roots. I suppose he trained too hard that he got some ‘trauma’ thinking about his band. Haruka tries to wake him up but he got startled and accidentally grabs her hand. As she keeps bugging if he is fine not turning up for that concert just as a spectator, he tells her he can’t forgive himself. His friend wanted him to play together one last time so bad but he turned him down. He really wanted to go. But with all the work in Quartet Night, he can’t. He never understood things when his band broke up. After joining this agency and meeting everyone, now he understands what is important. He now has a place and won’t make that mistake. He will be an idol and forget his rock and past. Before Quartet Night’s photo shoot, Haruka has written a song for him that is both idol and rock. It is what makes him today. As the photo shoot consists of the members holding their instruments, the moment Ranmaru picks up the bass, he could feel the excitement. After it ends, he grabs Haruka’s hand as they rush to the final concert. Changed his mind, eh? And did he smile? Too bad everybody is already packing up. No matter. Ranmaru gets on stage and starts singing. So awesome that it draws everybody back! OMFG! It’s like they reversed time and the full crowd goes wild over his singing! At least he looks happier.

Episode 8
Otoya and Natsuki won an award for their musical. Ren, Sho and Cecil also won an award for the best advertisement. Now it is down to Masato and Tokiya. They will be performing at Neo Dream Music Festival. In short, the biggest and most famous shows around. The freedom to come up with what they want makes it harder for them so the guys decide to write the lyrics first. They are so perfect in sync that nothing could go wrong, right? Right?! Then this deadlock happened… Reading each other’s lyrics, hmm… Sounds cheesy… Back to the drawing board. Trying to change their thinking styles and even meditating under the waterfall didn’t do much. This deadlock has everyone soon worrying about them and it puts more pressure because as long as they haven’t got the lyrics out, Haruka can’t compose her music. Of course all they can do is to believe in them. Like always. Haruka then motivates them by telling how everyone has been supporting them in the background like cooking for them, etc. A song pops up in Haruka’s head when she looks at them. Then the words just came out naturally from their mouth. Soon they get it going with their lyrics. So during the start of the festival, needless to say that they blew everybody away with their talent. A fist bump for such awesome display from the duo. And Saotome is screaming “Revolution!” with delight.

Episode 9
Otoya and Tokiya help Reiji in a magic show variety. Otoya fails but because it was funny, the audience still had a good time. Haruka is tasked to write a solo song for Reiji but she would like to know him better first before she starts penning. So he takes her on a detour and summarizes his life as a performer during various stints since a young age before becoming part of Quartet Night. Of course they also talk about Starish who is growing and singing song that makes everyone smile. Reiji would also like to sing a song that puts a smile on everyone. Meanwhile Otoya practises his magic before the Starish guys. Still fail… Reiji leaves for a job overseas. He expected his fellow Quartet Night would be sad but you know those stuck up guys, right? No feelings at all… And when he is gone, they realize how quiet everything is. But I don’t think they will go as far as missing him. As Otoya and Tokiya helm the magic show, Reiji ‘usurps’ the show with his live broadcast. He could have stolen the show had he not stopped. At the end of the day, Otoya, Tokiya and Haruka are surprised to see Reiji back. His job went well and that live broadcast was just a pre-recording. So to say he predicted their moves?! Is he a psychic?! He steals the show from the guys again by ‘stealing’ Haruka so that he could let her hear the lyrics of the song. At the end of it, he says he didn’t expect her to find the real him. What does he mean? He confesses he loves her! OMG! After 3 seasons, this is the first guy who has the balls to confess to Haruka! But then he brushes it off as a joke and all is well again. Bummer. I guess that is why Quartet Night doesn’t take him seriously.

Episode 10
With Haruka needing to compose a song for SSS, she is whisked away for a special camp with Quartet Night. You should have seen this coming… As the opening concert will be a big thing, Quartet Night for the first time tries to work together with Haruka with suggestions. Normally they do not interfere with the songwriter and just sing the submitted songs. It goes without saying that with their varied personalities, they have different ideas. It is a surprise that they have worked with each other for so long. With no headway, they take a break with lunch. Can’t think without an empty stomach? That night as Haruka starts composing, she is met and chats personally with all the members of Quartet Night. As expected. Then when she plays her song on the piano, you can bet Quartet Night is going to say how awesome it is and how it fits who they are. Then we hear a demo of them singing to Haruka’s song. It is done. As SSS draws near, the people are being interviewed about it and many feel it is a shame that both Quartet Night and Starish cannot perform there as only a group per agency rule.

Episode 11
With Starish gaining more popularity, the baffling question still remains why won’t Saotome let them perform at SSS. You can tell some serious sh*t is going on when even Reiji himself is not being jovial. Why so serious, Quartet Night? They have returned from the trip but Haruka chose to stay back. They give Starish the CD of their SSS song they co-wrote with Haruka and warn if they don’t buck, they’ll take Haruka away from them. As expected, you can see Starish being blown away after hearing the song. They’re starting to worry now. But they put that behind first and attend an interview which covers their experience during their cross-unit stint. In the end, they always had Haruka to thank for (cue for flashback of personal moments with her in previous seasons). It makes them want to see her. They thought of going to where she is but look, she is just on her way back. Why so surprised to see them, Haruka? Why the heck do you need to say “Welcome back” 7 times? So happy that she is back that they start singing for her. They want to write a song for SSS with her. You don’t say because she already did! Isn’t that why she stayed back? Oh, you don’t have to say her name 7 times either. And you don’t have to praise her 7 times too! Amazed by her work as always, Starish gets straight to work. It is a sign that they work so hard that they just sleep where they stood or sat. So when Ringo comes to wake them up the next morning, everyone agrees to just let Haruka sleep. She’s the one who worked the hardest, right? When Haruka and Starish present their song to Saotome, he looks like he is so undecided that he is shooting beams out from his eyes!!! OMFG!!! Then he kills the mood by saying their revolution isn’t complete yet. That’s like saying no, right?

Episode 12
As expected, Starish explains how hard they have tried so they need to know why. Even Haruka pleads to Saotome but despite all that, he feels something is missing. Quartet Night enters. They have considered Starish good enough to enter and that it would be meaningless to perform without them. So they are giving the green light? Suddenly Saotome becomes ecstatic. Is this the true revolution he is waiting for? There is his passionate explanation about new replacing the old and not only changing themselves but others but I wasn’t listening. Because I was more amused seeing all those explosions, burning flames and light beams from all that!!!!!!! Saotome adds that Starish had already garnered fan mails (the number is still rising as they speak), petition from the web and social media. The only thing left was Quartet Night to stand up to complete the revolution. And with that, Starish is in. Later as Starish tries to thank Quartet Night, the latter of course want them not to get the wrong idea. They’re doing this for themselves. Despite saying there is no point performing without them, it is only so that they can prove why they are much better. It looks like they might be putting up a tough act because at the backstage, they realize how awesome the song Haruka wrote for them. They continue to practice hard. Apparently that wasn’t enough so they call Haruka to rearrange the score again. Not to say that the original one was bad, after hearing Starish’s song, their feelings have changed. They have tried changing the lyrics and dance but nothing that really stands out so they thought they would start with rearranging the song. So as Haruka works with Quartet Night, Starish also work hard in their practice till the day of the opening act of SSS is here. Is it me or do I notice the queue and the crowd consist of mainly women? Quartet Night is chosen to perform first. I can only hear the screaming of the girls’ voice as it drowns out the announcer’s voice when he is introducing them. I know, passionate crowd, right? I wouldn’t even be able to hear their song if they didn’t cut out all that screaming shortly after their performance begins.

Episode 13
Girls screaming. Girls swooning. Girls fainting. So awesome that everybody is blown away! OMG! Cool special effects?! Needless to say, they’re awesome. So this is not revolution but evolution?! Now it is Starish’s turn. Of course the inevitable backstage face off with Quartet Night. We’ve done our best. We’ve levelled up. We’ll go higher. Starish pays a little respect to Haruka about her words that their music will change the world, before they go on stage. And yeah, double high 5 with her. Each. Same thing. Girls screaming so noisy I can’t hear their introductions and initial parts of the song. But if you’re wondering why you aren’t surprised with their hit it is because we have glimpsed it as the ending song of the series. As expected, Starish blows away everybody. Even Quartet Night is surprised at their level and acknowledges them as equals. Before things could end, suddenly somebody returns to steal the limelight! OMG! Look who is back?! It’s Heavens!!! And they’ve brought back more members! 7 of them?! They sing their way into everybody’s hearts! Everything is so exaggerative! How the f*ck did they manage to get that heavenly arc prop on stage?! So awesome that they’re shooting beams at everybody! Shooting blue flames at everybody! Some even blown away by the ‘bomb’!!! OMFG!!! When they end, everybody is so stunned that the silence is deafening! Yeah, I think some judges ‘died’!!! OMFG! Then it is time to introduce themselves. Besides Eiichi, Kira and Nagi from the original line-up, we have newbies Eiji Otori (Light/Kira from Death Note?), Van Kiryuin (Aizen from Bleach?), Yamato Hyuga (Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club?) and Shion Amakusa (Maximilian from Senjou No Valkyria?). They claim the world will be ruled by them. But of course. The crowd is split. Some are chanting Heavens. Some are chanting Quartet Night. Some are chanting Starish. Oh God. Hell on Earth will soon begin. Could this be part of a bigger conspiracy plan by Saotome and Raging?

Same Ol’ Revolution?
Guess what? With that kind of cliff-hanger ending and those 3 inevitable words… Apparently there is going to be a fourth season!!! Obviously. OMG! Does this mean I am obliged to watch it?! Well, if not for nostalgia… And if not because it isn’t complete yet and so I must finish it! Also because now that I know that reverse harem anime especially of the music trope isn’t my cup of tea (that is, this genre is not trending now for me), I am staying away from such genres. Because I haven’t watched animes that are suspiciously similar to this. Say, High School Star Musical AKA Starmyu. Yes, another group of hot guys singing. Or even Shonen Hollywood -Holly Stage For 49-. Or even Bakumatsu Rock. I wanted to say that these animes are not as popular as Uta No Prince-sama series and most probably they are but since Shonen Hollywood already had a sequel and Starmyu is going to get one, the force of singing handsome guys is still going strong.

But as far as this season is concerned, the entire third season seems to be close to a bore. Not that I am saying it is bad but there was nothing much to call it any different. That is why the only most exciting part where I sit up and actually take notice is Heavens’ surprising entry at the end. And here I thought even if they did pop up, perhaps it was to congratulate our eventual winners but who am I kidding, right? If you know these guys from last season, they are as arrogant as f*ck. And nothing has changed since except their arrogance level just gone up. For a group that has been missing for the entire season, only to pop up at the end and throw the spanner into the works is just amazing and yet shocking. Out of nowhere to come steal the limelight. Great job guys? Almost pull the rug from under everyone’s feet. So just when I thought the third season will come to a boring predictable end, here they shock us with this cliff-hanger. It is indeed a twist and perhaps the only revolution-cum-evolution that I can attribute to this season.

They call the change in Starish a revolution but personally I don’t see any difference. Maybe because I have always had this in the back of my head that since they are the main characters and that everything no matter how dire the straits (really?) will turn out alright for them. They will always be tops. Fans will always love them. Girls will always scream out their names. They can never get enough of them. Always. That is why when Saotome was screaming revolution and all that crap, I didn’t notice anything so different seeing they won the Utapuri Award last season and that already made them the most awesome of all awesomeness, right? Of course when you take into account their rising popularity on the internet, the people down in the streets and even their closest rivals, maybe this was the revolution that Saotome had intended all along. It is only the final episode that was the most amusing and had me laughing because of the exaggerated effects! Yeah, that one was a real killer. Yeah, those beams can kill! Just like cooking shows have their exaggerated reaction effects, I think this one takes the cake for this genre. Truly epic revolution-cum-evolution then.

The flow of the story remains the same as in previous seasons. Haruka as the only main recurring character in the series because all of the guys need her to conduct their business. And I don’t mean it in an ambiguous way. Please, this is a very pure romance show aimed for pure girls. And because whatever personal issues Starish had in the previous 2 seasons, Quartet Night takes up the other half of the focus. It isn’t all that bad but it does mean the roster is getting bigger and we can’t afford to spend a single episode for a single character. At least for Starish. So while each Quartet Night member will get their own personal time with Haruka, they ‘speed up’ the Starish members by putting 2 or 3 of them in focus for a single episode. Because like I have said, there is nothing more to tell about them so they put random filler-like events, a reason why they need to be with Haruka for that particular episode.

So with Quartet Night having more focus this season, we get to know more about them but nothing that really is revolutionary because from last season despite their cameos, we already know what kind of characters they would be. They hardly change albeit a bit because of, wait for it, Haruka. Yes, this girl is an angel. A miracle. A goddess. Not only is she the academy’s slave to write songs, but she manages to churn out hit after hit! I thought songwriters have their up and down days but this girl somehow can write good hits after another. And you know why I said that she is a slave is because Saotome is like a slave driver, entrusting her to write songs for very important and crucial events. Sure, there are problems but it is so minor that you don’t really see the big pressure on her. Do you not believe me when I say that I have not seen Haruka actually go under pressure? This girl is good. And where the heck are the other songwriters in the academy? Is Haruka so good that she can only be relied on to write good songs? Apparently. Saotome is one lucky bastard to have a girl like her. A golden goose. Speaking of Saotome himself, he is still quirky and all those flashy moves define his eccentricity. Still amusing to watch but it gets tiresome and it makes you wonder if he does all that just to get your attention. After all, nobody pays close attention to a boring strict old guy giving lectures, right? Other recurring characters like Tomo, Ringo and Ryuuya are around just because of the need to. Otherwise they don’t even contribute anything much to this season. I guess this means Natsuki’s dark alter ego, Satsuki didn’t make a single cameo. Yeah, was there a need?

On to Quartet Night themselves, I believe I have also said that nothing much is expected to change of them because they continue to remain the same obnoxious, stuck up, arrogant hotties that we would ever know in this idol world. It is like they’re putting up fake smiles before the camera and fans but behind the backstage, they are like conceited idols who think everyone else should bow at their perfect feet. At least for Camus, Ranmaru and to a certain extent Ai. Reiji could have been one too but I figure somebody needs to be the joker and clown of the group or else it would make the entire group look more spiteful. The only ‘shocking’ thing that I never expected was Ai to be a robot. This explains a lot but I guess when a series is based on a game of the same name, something like this should be expected for an element of surprise. Thus I was hoping to learn that perhaps Reiji was an alien who crashed on Earth, Camus the prince of an alternate world fleeing a war and Ranmaru a fallen angel!!!! OMFG!!! Thank goodness that never happened, right? I thought they forgot all about Heavens. Although I did have a hunch that they will make a cameo return somewhere in the middle (though I didn’t expect it to be at the final scene of the final episode).

The one thing that I had predicted but never came true is the fact that Starish and Quartet Night combine into one big group to perform at SSS. I mean, that is how you are going to satisfy all the fan girls and comply with the rules, right? Then we can name their newly combined group as… Starry Night!!! Oh yes! Think 11 hot men in a group is not big enough? Yeah, think South Korea’s Super Junior… I even had another idea that this group will ultimately combine with Heavens to make it even bigger!!!!! I had a hunch Heavens will make a comeback somehow but what caught me off guard is that I didn’t realize they will come back with more members! If they do combine, what better way to make your group even better by absorbing former rivals. But looks like nobody is combining to make into one super group like AKB48 and instead it has become a 3 corner fight to determine who will become the ultimate idol. And this time I can see how bloody it is going to be considering that the fans themselves have quickly divided into supporting their respective camps. Why can’t they just love them all?

To show important Quartet Night is this season, they sang the first opening theme for the first episode, The Dice Are Cast. You can also sample the awesomeness of their magic in the ending theme for episode 12 during the SSS opening act, Evolution Eve. Of course seeing this is Starish’s series, they cannot be left out entirely as the group sings the main ending theme, Maji Love Revolutions. And in all previous seasons, the main opening theme is also sung by Mamoru Miyano entitled Shine. There are also a bunch of insert songs from the cross-unit groups and solos but none of them and not even this season’s opening and ending themes could match the catchiness and greatness of the trademark song of this series that started it all, Maji Love 1000%. Yes, this is still by far the best song ever from all that I have heard. That is why whenever Haruka is said to have written better and much superior songs than before, I could only note the irony that is so because these latest songs don’t move me as much as Maji Love 1000% did.

Overall, unless you are a hardcore fan of the series and love the reverse harem trope, this season is yet another one of those fixes for you to swoon over your handsome guy. Otherwise, seeing handsome hunks battling out via singing feels a bit odd because you know, where is the machoism? You’re in the wrong anime then. Since the ending caught me off guard, I must mentally prepare myself not to fall into the same trap when the next season comes. This means I am making wild predictions as far as now to where our idols will go so as not to go into that ‘shock’. Therefore I am predicting there isn’t going to be just 3 idol groups but there will be a fourth one entering the fray too! Then a fifth! A sixth! A seventh! An eight! Oh yeah, the boy idol industry is going to be crowded with so many handsome boys jostling for screen time and fans’ attention. Then more rivals in the form of… Girl groups! Battle of the sexes! And at the end, they’ll all just join up into one big group, bigger than your choir and orchestra band combined and sing a song that unites the world. Sniff, sniff. Oh, I love the drama of it all. Hey, something feels wrong. Why do every guy here looks f*cking hot and handsome?! I guess there are some things that don’t need to undergo revolution and evolution anymore.

Wagamama High Spec

September 2, 2016

The story might sound cliché an unoriginal. But I thought a guy who likes this sort of genre should check it out for the umpteenth time. Wagamama High Spec has its main protagonist who draws a risqué manga for a weekly magazine. This secret is only known to his sister and her best friend. But when the student council president discovers this, he is forced to join the body to keep his secret intact although a member opposes his joining. And so he becomes their lap dog to do their whims and wishes just to hide this dark little secret. That’s where all the troubles pile up. Don’t laugh. You don’t know how some guys go the great lengths to hide their porn.

Episode 1
The air-cond is broken. The student council girls are not motivated to finish their work although they have a pile of them. Till Ashe R. Sakuragi suggests they strip since they are all girls. Kaoruko Rokuonji and Mihiro Miyase agree and straightaway give us the much needed fanservice. Toa Narumi tries to sneak away but the rest won’t allow her and start stripping her clothes. Rape scene? As she starts throwing stuffs at them, it hits the air-cond and is now working away. However it starts blowing hot air. They are in a dilemma to run out in their undies and be labelled a pervert for the rest of their lives. How do you unplug an air-cond anyway?

Episode 2
Mihiro wants her friends to come up with ideas for her family restaurant’s menu and the winner gets a platinum ticket for all you can eat for 1 year! That sure motivated them. However Toa comes up with snacks (the restaurant serves western food) and Ashe creates a very large donburi serving that will be hard to finish. Kaoruko creates bitter melon curry but it is too spicy even for Mihiro’s standards to handle. Ironically it became the restaurant’s most popular menu with a long queue waiting outside. Business is indeed booming.

Episode 3
Kaoruko needs inspiration for her manga so she sets up Toa and Mihiro to become her models as she sketches. To motivate them, she’ll give them some legendary potatoes. The duo pose in a kissing position. While Mihiro is very embarrassed, Toa is as cool as a cat. All for the potatoes! Kaoruko needs it to be more realistic as she tells them to kiss! Mihiro flusters but Toa is going ahead with it. All for the potatoes! It is when Ashe walks in on them and misinterprets their unusual love. You’re free to love whoever you want!

Episode 4
Kaoruko has finished her script but the place is now filled with her crumpled papers. It’s a mess! As they slowly clean up, they spot a cockroach! The girls are scared except for Mihiro. She’s cool. But she is also not pleased. Because roaches are the enemies of restaurants! One hit kill! But she warns for every single one of them, there could be 10 more hiding. She becomes a demon instructor to force them to clean up properly. Sir, yes sir! The room is now sparkly clean but little do they know those little ones are hiding in some dark corner…

Episode 5
Ashe reads a scary story. By the time she finishes, it is already evening and everything she sees spooks her. Whether it is the crows outside (Mihiro just feeding them) or a shadowy figure from downstairs (Kaoruko somehow all wet). She runs back to the student council room and thinks she is safe. She thought Toa is doing her programming but after calling her several times and she did not respond, she freaks out upon seeing Toa has no face! After she faints, it is revealed that Toa was blowing a bubble gum and it exploded covering over her entire face.

Episode 6
When Ashe and Mihiro find a scribbled letter, Kaoruko thinks it is a hidden message left behind by Toa’s brother, Kouki. Excited Kaoruko goes to great lengths to play detective and decipher the code via various unorthodox methods. So her deductions of the riddle that is based on Sumerian texts, the orbit of Jupiter and some ancient Japanese text leads her to believe the human race will die in July 2016?! And Kouki was eliminated because he learnt this secret? Sounds like BS, right? When Toa comes in, she could immediately read the scribbles as her brother failed a test and has to take a supplementary test. His writing becomes bad when he is in a hurry. There, your riddle solved. You should go back to detective school, Kaoruko.

Episode 7
Kaoruko is definitely overworking herself by pulling all-nighters to finish her manuscript. She agrees to lie down but can’t seem to fall asleep. Toa recently bought some music that would do the trick. Soon Kaoruko is sleeping like a baby and the others follow suit too. Refreshed Kaoruko completes her work while the rest sleeps like a baby.

Episode 8
A new cleaning robot arrives in the room. Ashe messes with it and it accidentally broke. Feeling the need to fix it up before the rest come back, she disguises herself as the robot made out of cardboards. Yeah, this should fool them… Ashe becomes the best robot ever as she perfectly carries out Kaoruko’s whims and fancies. Then Toa reveals a note that this robot was broken in the first place and was to be recalled. Busted…

Episode 9
Mihiro picked up a stray cat outside school. She knows regulations won’t allow it but she doesn’t know how to use a computer to look for its owners. Thus she leaves the cat in Toa’s care. As the cat stays at her place, it makes a mess out of things, eat her food, do whatever it wants. You know, what a cat ALWAYS do to piss you off. Thank goodness at the end of the day, there is a reply. The cat is handed back to the little girl and she couldn’t be more grateful. I think Toa couldn’t be more relieved.

Episode 10
Kaoruko is fired up to do a movie and upload it on the school website. A week later, this is the result. This movie is a mish-mash of everything. It has supernatural. It has food eating competition. It has espers and ninjas. Action, drama and yuri romance! All you ask for is right here! Kaoruko loves it so much and approves it but the rest definitely aren’t going to release this risqué movie.

Episode 11
After a long absence, it is time for the fanservice to make its return. Ah, the girls in their swimsuits at a spa resort. Ashe shows off from a high diving platform. Unfortunately she loses her bikini top. Not wanting to lose her modesty, they go after it. Why is it always it must float away to hard to reach places? The other girls are washed away by the various waves. When Ashe finally retrieves it, she slides down the giant slide. Good news is that she has her top. Bad news: Now she lost her bottom…

Episode 12
Just when Kouki is about to enter, Mihiro manages to stop him and send him to do more errands. This is part of their plan to throw him a surprise birthday party as they are in the midst of preparations. When he returns, they throw him a surprise as planned.

Mama Mia Low Specs & Expectations
After the first few episodes, I knew it was going to be bad. But I never thought it would even go lower than my lowered expectations. First of all, the main character never appears! That’s right. The most you see is his shadow and even that is in the final episode. Heck, he doesn’t even have a voice! The damning foreshadowing that Kouki will never appear is at the start of each episode. A board that indicates the presence of the student council members in the room. Always you see Kouki’s name being listed as absent for a variety of reasons ranging from reasonable to absurd. Whether he is away for a meeting or an errand to being away on a journey of self discovery or even overslept! Heck, the final episode even had the cheek to list it as being banned from entering! When a main character like that gets shut out in its own series he is supposed to star in, you know it is going to go downhill from then. So did they lie to us in the synopsis? Unless they used the same synopsis for the anime that was supposed to be for the game.

Therefore this short anime series feels like another generic cute girls doing cute things as well as some sort of promotion for its adult visual novel game of the same name which was released around the time this series started airing. Unfortunately the anime itself doesn’t do much to try and appeal if this is what its purpose. If this is the way they are going to make you curious and play the game, wrong way. It turned me off even further. Sure, they threw in a few lingerie and swimsuit fanservice (and a yuri scene to set our pure hearts aflutter…) just to remind us that this is an ecchi anime but those few scenes are as much as we can get out of it. It is just so freaking standard that any anime can simply come up with shameless underwear and swimsuit scenes with a snap of a finger anytime.

Making it even worse is supposedly the next episode preview. The girls in cut-out illustrations are supposed to let us know more about the world of their game in this segment like introducing the characters and stuffs. Sadly, they end up ranting away that I don’t seem to understand a thing about the game. I don’t even know what it is supposed to be about. Sure, the synopsis of the series. It feels that this section is just a waste of time. To make things even worse, halfway through the series it is like as though they have ran out of topics to talk about this series, so they try to talk about another game I believe is under the same developer, KakoTama. Again, adding a couple of new characters to this segment didn’t do any good. They didn’t really explain well about things so I still have no idea what this game is all about and supposed to be. You can bet that I won’t be checking out this game as well.

The characters are as minimal as they can get, focusing on the main quartet females of the series. It is sad that they do so much random stuffs that their characters suffer a lot. If you want to know more about them, their habits, their traits and their personality from watching this series, you’d be disappointed. Yeah, play the game to know more about them… That’s not what I’m asking for. So what can I tell about them just by watching the anime? Uhm… Toa the expressionless girl good at computer programming, Mihiro’s family runs a restaurant, Kaoruko seems to be another secret mangaka and Ashe… Uhm, Ashe… Blonde twintail. Argh! I’m going with the stereotype. Tsundere character?! And an unusual non-Japanese name means she must be a half foreigner too, right?!

Sometimes I want to draw comparisons of this anime with Seitokai No Ichizon simply because both series focuses on a group of student council members, 4 girls and a boy doing nothing and random things. And the guy always gets owned. Unfortunately as we have seen here that Kouki has been taken out of the picture throughout the series so imagine the fun and havoc this guy would have to go through by dealing with these girls. Ah, such a shame. It could end up pretty similar and close to a rip-off to Seitokai No Ichizon but if they did it in the right and funny way, we won’t mind at all. It is just sad that potential is already taken off from the beginning.

The art and drawing are pretty standard. Since it mixes the anime standard as well as the typical visual novel game style, you can very much see the difference. Of course personally I would prefer the anime style since they look much cuter compared to their original counterparts. So forgive them if you find some scenes to be of low quality and plain because this anime is developed by the relatively new AXsiZ whose only other work was a collaboration with Studio Gokumi to produce Koukaku No Pandora.

Voice acting is decent too and nothing to shout about. Must be one of the easiest voice casting ever having only 4 seiyuus for a series that lasts 3.5 minutes. So we have Mariko Honda as Kaoruko (Kurimu in Seitokai No Ichizon), Megu Sakuragawa as Ashe (Tsubasa in Love Live! S2), Chiyo Ousaki as Mihiro (Sara in Da Capo III) and Mai Goto as Toa (Mizuki in ef series). The ending theme is High Spec Days by Haruna Ooshima. It is a shame that this upbeat anime rock shows great potential if it was adapted to a full length anime series. In such a short series with already disappointments in other departments, it just feels like a waste.

Overall, a disappointing short series and the only good thing was it was short enough so that your suffering of “What did I just watch?” wouldn’t prolong any further. Maybe the game would turn out good or not but that itself is another story to tell. So it goes to show that just by putting in cute girls doing cute things and throwing in a few yummy fanservice don’t quite cut it these days. Fans are demanding more and more so this appalling cock teaser isn’t going to do to bring up its reputation. It is as good as never should be made in the first place. Just like your hidden stash of bad porn that will never ever be found. That makes it both a victory and a loss in this case.

One Punch Man

August 28, 2016

How many episodes does it take for Super Saiyan Goku to finish his fight with his arch nemesis, Frieza? Well, don’t be surprise it will take at least a minimum of 10 episodes! Oh no! Why so freaking long?! Well… One episode to arrive on scene, one episode to scream and shout at each other, one episode to power up, one episode to show off all that warm up, two episodes for flashback, one episode for warming up fight, one episode to shout out for another power up to the next level, one episode for another flashback and then ten episodes for the actual fight and another five episodes to end it. Yikes! That went over 10 episodes!!!

What am I saying? You know why superheroes take some time to defeat their enemies, right? That is because there has got to be a lot of fighting and punching in between to weaken the enemy before defeating him. Am I right? But let’s say that what happens if all that could end in just a single punch. Say what?! How can you defeat an enemy in just a single punch?! Where is the fun in all that? It will be all over too soon before we even get to sit down and warm up our seat to watch the awesome fight! Yes people. It is true that there is a superhero that could end it all in just one freaking punch. One Punch Man. The titular hero is so freaking strong and could end any fights with just a single punch that he himself has become bored and mundane. Where’s the challenge? Yeah, even he is struggling to cope with his seemingly boring ordinary daily life. There are other challenges to overcome, you know. Ah yes, whoever said being a hero is easy?

Episode 1
The city is under attack by… Purple Piccolo???!!! Oh my. Who is going to save the day? Who is going to save this poor kid about to be squished by this DBZ knockoff? Don’t worry. Here comes Saitama. This bald dude is going to save everything? Laughable! And then… One punch! Piccolo clone explodes into smithereens! OMG!!! Flashback reveals Saitama was an ordinary salaryman. Actually he is still trying to find a job and unsuccessful for the umpteenth time. He still had hair then, though. He bumps into this Crablante monster who is killing everybody in his path while finding a kid who drew nipples on his body. Because Saitama had suicidal tendencies, Crablante lets him live. Saitama then sees that kid. He thought of minding his own business but when he sees him going to be killed by Crablante for real, he instinctively saves him. Despite getting beaten up several times, Saitama then finds his ultimate strength to counter it all and pull out all his innards!!! Ever since then, he began training strictly for 3 years until he is so freaking strong enough to destroy anything with 1 punch. Along the way, he became bald. Sighs… Now he is living his mundane ordinary life. Buying his usual groceries at the store when suddenly a giant monster begins stepping all over the city. It is another case of a mad scientist who did several tests on his brother who wanted to become the strongest man in the world. Mad scientist dude revels in squishing people like ants with his giant brother. Saitama flies up on his shoulder and when mad scientist brother tells him to get rid of this bald dude, giant brother smacks the wrong shoulder! OMG! He just killed his own brother! Well, he might be strong be he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Giant brother feels empty after his brother’s death and before he could go on a rampage, Saitama defeats him with a single punch.

But Saitama has been plagued with personal issues lately. He doesn’t feel the same before when he started becoming a hero. He doesn’t feel the thrill in fighting anymore. It is like he has become an emotional robot. Because all he needs is one punch to end everything. Where is the fun in that? So he thought at least living his mundane life and doing the little things he enjoy would be okay. Then suddenly the underground people destroy his home. These Subterraneans are going to make the surface their home since the underground has been overpopulated. They are going to do this by wiping out the surface dwellers. As Saitama fights the ugly hordes, he could feel his adrenaline rushing. They put up a decent fight and this has been the thrill he had been seeking for so long. He takes on all of them and even kills off the big king. Yes! This is it! This is the exhilaration that he wants! Then suddenly… He wakes up! Damn dream sequence! But that dream may be a foreboding omen because those Subterraneans are here. Unfortunately they look pathetic. And when Saitama finishes off one of them and dares for them to come at him, the rest decide to cowardly go back and live underground forever. Yeah, they even said sorry for invading. What a letdown. Yeah, he became too strong alright.

Episode 2
Saitama might be the strongest dude but he still has a hard time trying to swat a mosquito! OMG! Is this a joke? Meanwhile the city is under curfew because of a swarm of mosquitoes sucking the blood of anything in its path. They are actually under the control of Mosquito Girl who is using them to collect blood as her food. Genos the cyborg has been tracking her down and fights her. Knowing she cannot best him, she flees to buy some time. That is when Genos stumbles onto Saitama. Still trying to kill the bug? Mosquito Girl returns with a bigger swarm to kill Genos but he burns a big radius of the city after confirming no other life forms are around. But Saitama is still alive. Only naked. Mosquito Girl has enough blood to transform into a super fast and powerful monster to rip Genos apart. Genos’ only hope is to self destruct and take her along with him. But Saitama punches her and she splatters into a big paint of blood! Seeing how strong he is, Genos wants to become his disciple and starts bugging him at his apartment. Saitama isn’t interested in taking him in but I don’t think cyborg guy is listening. He even went about telling his past of his poor but happy life till a crazy robot destroyed his town and family. He was the only survivor. Dr Kuseno performed body modifications on him and it has become his mission to find this robot but so far has found no clues. Feeling indebted to Saitama, he vows not to die before getting his revenge. Therefore he wants to study under him to obtain the greatest power to achieve his goal. His long ass story is put to a halt when Saitama screams his head off for being too long and just to summarize it in 20 words!

Meanwhile, a mad scientist, Dr Genus learns that Mosquito Girl has been defeated. But with one punch? He wants Saitama and to study him as a specimen. Before Genos can ask to start his training under Saitama, he detects presence of enemies surrounding the area. Too bad this praying mantis dude got owned by Saitama before he could finish his introduction. Then there are these weird weakling beasts outside, frog man and slug man outside the apartment, having second thoughts if this was such a good idea after all. Saitama easily knocks them underground and even lectures them about crashing through people’s ceiling. But he is also pulled under by this mole dude and confronted by cocky lion king while Genos takes on this gorilla dude. The beasts get cocky but Saitama is as his nonchalant self. He gives them a chance to apologize and go away but since that didn’t work, a single punch to kill off lion guy! Mole guy starts panicking and digs underground to hide but Saitama is waiting… How the?! Hello. Welcome to hell! Genos has defeated gorilla guy and the latter acts tough that his mouth is shut. But when Saitama brings the lion king’s eyeball, his balls shrink and will tell everything! Genus learns his beast army he sent has been eliminated. He and his clones are surprised at the turn of events.

Episode 3
Long ago, Genus was a brilliant scientist and got lots of awards. However there was a problem. None of his colleagues supported his idea of artificial evolution of humans. He became disillusioned and went on to do research on it by himself. It was till he is 70 years old that his efforts yielded results. He regained his youth, made clones and named his lab House of Evolution. Since gorilla’s summary is too long, he is told to summarize it in 20 words! In short, Genus is interested in his body. No, that is not a gay statement! Saitama wants to finish this today since tomorrow there is a sale at the supermarket. Genus and his clones detect Saitama and Genos coming towards their base. The clones become restless when Genus suggests unleashing their last trump card. They have set traps and this will only be their last resort. When the heroes arrive, Genos blasts the entire tower away! Bummer. And Saitama wanted to at least see what the enemy looked like. They find a trapdoor and an underground passage. Genus sees Carnage Kabuto. This giant beetle has been locked up underground and killing his clones. He deems himself as the strongest and most intelligent being ever although Genus sees him as a failure because he lacks humanity and is very mentally unstable. Kabuto charges through the passage and wipes out Genos. He tells Saitama to face him in a big empty underground room where it is used to test fights and such. Genos is not done yet and tries to burn Kabuto but he could easily deflect his flames. Flashback shows Genus considers everyone himself as inferior. This realization made him agonize. That is why he wants to see how this new human breed will transcend humanity.

Kabuto is cocky as usual. He is going to finish off with his super speed and strength. But when he gets behind Saitama, suddenly he starts feeling scared and backs off! Everyone is shocked with this reaction. Kabuto notes that despite his pathetic appearance, his guts is tingling that he is a freaking dangerous man. Kabuto can’t stop sweating. With everyone wanting to know how he became this strong, Saitama is going to reveal it. Listen carefully to his secret. The most important of all is to stick to your training strictly. It took him 3 years to get this strong. 100 push-ups , 100 sit-ups, 100 squads and running 10km. Every day. This is the only way to become strong instead of tinkering with genetics. But it is Genos that gets mad at his crap. He doesn’t believe in all that. This joke isn’t the reason he became his student. He wants to know his true secret. But that is all he did. Kabuto is also mad that he becomes so pissed, he transforms into his ultimate carnage form. He will not stop rampaging for a week in this mode and will kill everybody in town after he kills him. While Saitama gets pounded mercilessly, he starts thinking that if Kabuto goes berserk for a week, that means what about the damn supermarket sale???!!! This won’t do so Saitama punches and destroys him!!! Don’t f*ck with this guy! Genos says that they can make it for the sale if they run back now. So as the duo hurry out, Genus still in shock decides to give up on evolution. Screw science. He is the one who must change. Yeah. Good point. A couple of agents are investigated the burnt site where the tower once stood and they believe Genos could only do this.

Episode 4
Hammerhead (did I see this guy from Dragonball somewhere?) and his men are decrying about the injustice for the need to work like dogs and thus creating a society of imbalance wealth where the rich gets richer and the poor gets poorer. Nobody is listening… So their first job is to destroy the luxury apartment of the richest guy in town, Zeniru with the power suits they stole. Oops. Wrong apartment. Their terrorism is all over the news and Saitama isn’t really interested till he realized the single trait they all share: They are all bald! He fears this trend will make him be seen as a villain. So he goes out to stop them but good luck in trying to dismiss the public pointing him out as a terrorist! Zeniru sends his henchman, Sonic to take care of the terrorists. No, he is not a blue hedgehog but a crazy bloodthirsty ninja. He easily decapitates the goons like hot butter. Hammerhead is formidable but eventually gets a kunai in his head. Thanks to his thick skull, he manages to fake death and slip away. That is when he bumps into Saitama. Since he is not going to join his gang, he is going to kill him. A single punch is enough to shatter his power suit and send Hammerhead running away with his life intact but butt naked. Saitama is attacked by Sonic who mistakes him as Hammerhead’s henchman. However Saitama is fast enough to dodge all his attacks. His pride as a ninja is hurt so Sonic shows off his supersonic speed but Saitama thinks he just wants to boast about it. He knows. Look at his innocent smile. Yeah. ‘Innocent’…

Sonic is shocked he can see through his attacks even at this speed. Saitama could have punched his balls and would have been a painful death had not Sonic pulled back. There was contact but it was enough for Sonic to feel the pain. I’m sure it hurts as hell but hey, at least it is intact. He vows to go for training and return stronger to defeat him. When Genos visits after being repaired Kuseno, he sees Saitama depressed. What is bugging him? Actually he is thinking of the big problem that nobody knows him as a hero! So all those monster and bug destroying feats, nobody cared? Realizing that Saitama’s name didn’t pop up on the news and only some minor hero who took the credit for disarming Hammerhead’s gang, he wonders if Saitama is registered with the Hero Association. Oh look. There is a website you can look up. One can register at the nearest branch, take a test and once confirmed, will become a professional member to do lots of hero work and even get paid from donations. Anybody else self proclaiming as one are just weirdoes. Well I’ll be damned. Saitama never knew about this? Genos is not a member because he didn’t think it was necessary. Saitama suggests they go join and then he will take him as his disciple. Agreed. Meanwhile Hammerhead is killed off by some weird guys who purposely let his gang steal the power suits to collect data. Thanks to Hammerhead’s thick skull, he still lives. Yeah, now he has regretted his way of life and will get an honest job. So glad to be alive, eh?

Episode 5
The committee is discussing the increase in heroes entering the certification exam. However it is noted that the quality of heroes has reduced throughout the years and this year’s evaluation must be more critical. Saitama as at the exam. He is so fast and powerful that he is already done with the task when others are about to begin! Holy crap! Why is there a whack-a-mole game at the test too?! Saitama is so great that it discouraged some heroes. Yeah, going home, aren’t they? Despite Saitama’s awesomeness, he only got C-rank as opposed to Genos getting the highest S-rank. There was an interview Genos underwent. The agents asked him about the burnt down side of House of Evolution they have been tracking down. Genos didn’t hesitate he was the one behind it and immediately they pass him. Seems the duo are the only successful candidates and they have to attend a special seminar helmed by this cocky A-rank hero, Snek. He warns them about embarrassing themselves but didn’t he just put up an embarrassing pose? Even more insulting is how they’re not listening to his crap. The duo also learn a little history of Hero Association. Formed only 3 years ago, it was by Agoni, the grandchild of a millionaire who was saved from a monster by a passerby. He then used his fortune to establish this system. While Snek is complaining about those amateurs, he is being told that Genos scored perfect in written and physical tests. As for Saitama, he did poorly on the written tests. Despite his perfect score in the physical, he is only admitted based on the fact that he broke all Hero Association’s test records by inconceivable margins. It is like as though there is a god residing in his body. Snek fears he would soon be surpassed by them and out of jealousy goes to attack Saitama. He got owned in a single punch. I believe Saitama didn’t even go all out or break a sweat, that’s why he is still breathing.

Genos trains with Saitama and wants him to go all out so he too can be serious. This fight might also give him insight on Saitama’s powers since he believes his master cannot explain his secret well. Despite Genos pulling off every firepower in his arsenal that leaves burn marks on the terrains, Saitama could easily dodge them all. Genos thought he isn’t being serious so when he does, he is even faster than before! Genos thought he is done for when he sees Saitama’s punch coming into his face. But he stops inches before hitting his face. However the aftershock was huge that it turned the cliff into a huge valley! OMG! I am sure Genos is ready to call it a day since he realizes he can’t see himself coming close to this power. During lunch at the udon house, we see Saitama isn’t the strongest after all because Genos beats him in the udon eating competition. Do cyborgs need to eat? Genos is approached by a handsome A-rank hero, Sweet Mask who wants to talk outside. Genos returns shortly and there was no fight as Saitama expected. He was here to give his welcome to the association. Because Sweet Mask is quite a popular hero, several pretty girls (and ugly ones too) want to shake hands with Genos for being friends with Sweet Mask. I guess Saitama could see the different treatment between their ranks, eh? Better move up fast. Genos remembers Sweet Mask’s advice not to be too quick to be hot headed or he will get burnt. Saitama thinks he got deeper into trouble now that Genos is officially his disciple. I’m sure he didn’t count on him moving into his place as he brings all his stuffs. But after seeing Genos’ stack of notes as rental, it is a big welcome! Oh yeah. Nothing changes your stance better than money.

Episode 6
If having to think up of an acceptable training regiment is stressing out Saitama, wait till here hears how C-rank heroes must be involved in some hero activity at least once a week or they will be deregistered! Because A-rank gets to fight terrorists and monsters, C-ranks are usually reduced to catch petty thieves. Time to make up time for idling around the house. Saitama manages to convince Genos with this crap he just made up about not training his body but his mind. Then off he runs around town to find any crime. Too peaceful! Oh well, there is always tomorrow. That’s the thing with procrastination. Yet another peaceful day. Time to panic? He stumbles upon Sonic who wants to kick his ass. Saitama ignores him since he is busy. Sonic swiftly cuts him but Saitama is swifter as he breaks his sword with his teeth! Sonic couldn’t even see it coming! More trouble for Saitama when a civilian calls this hero, Tank Top Tiger to apprehend Saitama! Because he was running around with a scary face yesterday! Disturbing the peace? Sonic easily puts him to sleep with his explosive shurikens and then continue his big fight with Saitama. Yeah well, the entire town is going to be destroyed at this rate. Hope this counts as work. A committee is keeping track of reports of the various top heroes and their activities on various alphabet cities. This committee was formed because of the substantial damage to the cities and thus the need to prevent it by detecting any potential threat via investigation. City Z has the highest number of monster attacks and has been increasing over the years.

Top A-class heroes, Golden Ball and Spring Mustachio are sent to investigate this ghost town. It is natural that people fled the city after experiencing too many monster attacks. During their investigation, they stumble upon a seaweed tentacle monster. Golden Ball intercepts it but he didn’t count his bullet to be broken. Then he got owned. Mustachio takes him on but realizes the monstrosity he is. Before he is defeated, he requested backup from Hero Association. The monster is disappointed about everything. He thought he could take it all out on Saitama passing by. Bad choice. And so Saitama is going to have a nice dinner of kelp and seaweed. Yum. The report on City Z is handed in as nothing extraordinary. But it is noted despite the A-class heroes failed to defeat the monster, they fear it might be still roaming around. Even more baffling how the reinforcement heroes came and saw a freaking big devastation at the battle site. It made them feel scared about what had happened. The investigation continues and rumours start spreading to humans and monsters alike that there is a much more dangerous monster lurking there. Saitama is glad his rank went up a bit thanks to quelling that Sonic incident. But he is disheartened that despite Genos being ranked last in S-class, he is voted the 6th most popular based on appearance. I guess Saitama had to stop him from reading aloud and further all those comments.

Episode 7
Genos receives an emergency call to gather at Hero Association. But when he arrives, it is empty. Only he and another S-class hero, Bang are there. It seems a meteor has deviated from its trajectory and is about to hit City Z and affect its adjacent cities. All S-class heroes have been called to handle to problem but looks like nobody is interested. Besides, the evacuation announcement just made panicking worse. Genos goes to stop the meteor and he has no choice but to test out his prototype arms. Before he could make a move, fellow S-rank hero, Metal Knight is here to destroy the meteor. However his intention is not to help but to test his new weapons. He isn’t afraid of losing and dying since he is controlling this robot body via remote. When his fiery missiles fail to even scratch the meteor, Genos starts panicking that it is all up to him. Will his firepower be enough to stop it since Metal Knight failed? Bang is here to tell him off about worrying too much so Genos screws his thoughts and fires away. Nothing happens. Doomed. But don’t worry. It is Saitama’s turn. He jumps up to destroy the meteor in a single punch! OMG! Missiles can’t do the job but his fist can?! However… The meteor breaks up into pieces and rains down on the city. Damn… In the aftermath, it is reported that although City Z is visibly in ruins, it is not completely destroyed. Because usually the shockwaves from the meteor would have destroyed everything even if it was in pieces but Saitama was able to stop that with his punch and minimizing damage. I guess it isn’t that all bad. Plus, nobody died. However Genos is concerned that despite his heroic efforts, he knows that the ordinary people view him as a villain who destroyed their city. It is all over the forums.

Thanks to their heroics, Genos and Metal Knight move up a rank while Saitama moves up over 300 places to fifth in C-class! OMG! Unbelievable! Perhaps the only thing preventing him from being promoted to S-class is because the association thinks he got help from Genos and Metal Knight. Saitama goes to patrol the city alone. That is when Tank Top Tiger calls out to him. Yeah, he brought his brother, Tank Top Black Hole to get his revenge. But honestly, Saitama doesn’t even remember this dude. So instead of beating him up, big brother has a better idea to break his spirit. At the top of his voice, he blames Saitama as the one who destroyed the city and causing unnecessary troubles to others. With the crowd gathering and the typical ungrateful herd mentality, they all chant for him to resign as a hero. The brothers get greedy to make this as their publicity stunt as they claim Saitama wants to take out his frustrations on the people and they are here to stop him in a fair fight. But you know… Tank Top Tiger gets punched away and Tank Top Black Hole starts squirming in pain, pleading for his life and admitting all his lies! Saitama is just holding his palm. Yeah… In a surprise move, Saitama then admits he did destroy the comet. Also, he tells everyone to shut up b*tching about their inconvenience. Tell that to the meteor and see if it listens to you. So just shut the f*ck up! Genos is here to bring Saitama home before he starts blowing his top and making him even balder. Hah… Genos assures him even if the public turns against him or doesn’t appreciate him, he will always follow him for he is the most incredible person he has ever met.

Episode 8
A sea monster terrorizes another city. It could have been vicious tentacle rape had not he been taking out by a single punch. Guess who? Despite the public forums view him as strong, many believe he steals credits of others. Soon, more sea monsters (and more vicious sea tentacles) attack the city. The alert is sounded so S-class heroes stream in to fight them and the people evacuate. This Stinger dude (Lancer?) manages to defeat all the monsters till he loses to the super strong Deep Sea King. Not even Lightning Max had a fighting chance. Then here comes this macho gay hero convict, Puri-Puri Prisoner. This S-class hero is a convict? Yeah, assaulting too many handsome guys and beautiful boys. He escaped with Sonic. Prisoner and Deep Sea King are evenly matched in terms of strength. However after Prisoner pulls off all his combo punches, Deep Sea King is still standing and blows him away with a few punches. Sonic thinks his speed allows him to take him on. At first he is fast but slowly he realizes Deep Sea King is getting faster and stronger. It must be the rain enhancing his true powers. He makes a wise decision to escape for now. At the expense of his clothes. So when Genos just came running into the city, he thought he saw a pervert. Deep Sea King turns his attention to slaughter all the civilians taking shelter. He is not taking any prisoners. Some of the heroes at the shelter thought they could buy time but they got owned in no time. So much about that. Saitama runs into fellow hero, Licenseless Rider while on his way into the city. He thought he saw a naked pervert zoomed by. He goes to check it out but lost him. At that time, Licenseless Rider got word that Deep Sea King is attacking the shelter and pedals there. He dropped his handphone just when he gets a call from Hero Association. Saitama picks it up instead and hears how S-class heroes have been defeated and they stand no chance. Saitama’s serious face says otherwise…

Episode 9
Genos arrives to fight the monster. He throws every arsenal in his book but Deep Sea King regenerates and fight back. When he spits acid at a girl, Genos uses his body to protect her. Gosh, he looks worst than Terminator. All bare, uhm, bones and metal? Before he could be finished off, Licenseless Rider comes to attack. Unfortunately he too takes a beating. Another hero to bite the dust? Licenseless Rider knows very well himself that despite being a C-class hero, he cannot win this. But yet he must try. It isn’t about losing or winning. It’s about him taking him on right here, right now. The crowd is touched and cheers for him but a single monster punch is enough to knock him out. There goes the hope. Oh wait. Here is Saitama. It’s his turn now. A big punch from Deep Sea King doesn’t even move him! And he calls that punch weak? Saitama throws his usual punch enough to blow the monster away and even clears up the sky! WOW!!! Unbelievable! Sonic returns with his gear… It’s over dude. In the aftermath, Genos receives lots of fan mail. There is one for Saitama but it is a threatening letter calling him a cheat. Flashback after Deep Sea King’s defeat, the crowd is ever so grateful but a stupid jerk said the monster boss wasn’t that tough after all. Even though many heroes were defeated, their titles meant nothing and imagine if a C-class hero could beat it, they are all just talk. Since the heroes are paid with their donated money, they had better protect them and it is a good thing this one turned out well. The crowd wants to punch that jerk but that is when Saitama declares it was a good thing he was late. Because the other heroes weakened the monster for him and thus it was easy for him. Now he will claim all the credit. He wants everyone to spread the word and look after the fallen heroes otherwise his credit will be tainted. This made the crowd rethink that the other heroes were more heroic. Genos felt bad but if this is the path he wants to walk, so be it. But if the next time it happens, he will have his say. All is not lost since there is a letter thanking Saitama. Then another letter that promotes him to the top of C-class. Soon he is called by Hero Association for a promotion test to B-class. He accepts the test since it will get him out of the bothersome weekly quota. Deep Sea King’s defeat is on the front page of the newspaper. The fallen heroes must be feeling sour. But Prisoner wants their ass but they have energy to run. Prisoner sees an article calling him a failure. After a lengthy test, Saitama is now a B-class hero. Licenseless Rider treats him to oden to celebrate his promotion. He is the one who sent that thank you letter.

Episode 10
With all the king monsters gone, this dinosaur lizard king is going to claim his right to take over Earth. He is confronted with S-class hero, Tatsumaki who ignores him because she just got some call over some problem. They both ignore each other until they’re ready to fight. But dinosaur dude dies after a meteor crashes into him. Saitama and Genos are in Bang’s dojo when they receive an emergency call for all S-class heroes to assemble at the HQ. Saitama meets a few of them like Atomic Samurai. Because Saitama is not even S-class, those heroes act arrogant. But since Tatsumaki is a little brat, I guess Saitama can ignore her ranting. So we are briefly introduced to all the 17 S-class heroes. Yeah, they look more like weirdoes. Only Metal Knight and the top S-class hero, Blast are missing from this meeting. First, the heroes are to decide whether or not they want to accept this mission. If they do, they will be confined here until the disaster to avoid public panic. The great seer, Madame Shibabawa has died. Many of her predictions that befall Earth are accurate. She died choking when she saw the greatest disaster ever to befall Earth. She managed to leave a note but that is all it states. Nobody knows what it is actually. The building is under attack by tengu monsters but they are swiftly cut down by a hideous alien. A big mothership hovers over the city. And in a single powerful blast, 99.8% of the city is destroyed! OMG! Only the HQ is left standing since it was built by Metal Knight. Some of the S-class heroes engage with this multi-headed alien blob, Melzagard but it will be hard to cut him down since he can regenerate fast. When S-class hero, King who is also the strongest man on Earth says it is impossible to reach the mothership from here and should concentrate on finding Metal Knight, Tatsumaki blows her top for him being pathetic and doing nothing. She will take care of this herself. Genos wants to help but she plans on going solo. After all, Genos notes that there is no need for the heroes to work together because he knows Saitama is already inside the mothership. He is leaving a trail of dead aliens in his wake as he searches for the big boss.

Episode 11
Geryuganshoop is shocked that a lone intruder has destroyed 23% of the ship and killed half the crew! But the big Cyclops boss, Lord Boros says the ship will be fine as long as the sphere is not damage. Atomic Samurai, Bang, Prisoner and Metal Bat continue to engage in futile a fight against Melzargard. All they can do is just keep hitting till something happens. When they notice a tiny marble inside a head and smashing it means instantly melting that head, they get motivated to find it and slowly they take out the heads one by one. Geryuganshoop seeks help from Melzargard to kill the intruder but he too seeks his help to come down and fight. But they decide they will just use the artillery to bombard the entire city. Saitama is running rampage that he is lost. Geryuganshoop is desperate to get him off the ship that he will guide him to the exit. But sneaky Saitama did the opposite and ends up in the control room. Geryuganshoop uses his super telekinesis power to control gravity. Not affecting Saitama one bit. He then uses pebbles as deadly projection but Saitama views it as child’s play. Boring. A flick back at him splits the octopus’ head in half! Game over. The bombardment is set to fire now. Before the heavy missiles could rain on the city, bratty Tatsumaki uses her telekinesis to return them to where they come from. Guess who got a taste of their own medicine? Licenseless Rider and a few other A-class heroes help out with the evacuation of the city and those who are injured. Melzargard is down to his last head but Bang takes a direct hit. Saitama has found Boros’ chamber. Cyclops boss is happy he has reached here. He introduces himself as the captain of his alien pirates, Dark Matter. He is the strongest being in the universe. So strong that nobody could best him and he ravaged everything in sight that he became bored. Till a seer told him of a great warrior could match his potential. His crew think it was just a ploy to get rid of him to the far edges of the galaxy but the trip of 20 years is worth the wait. Show me your true strength! Saitama isn’t amused about his boredom crap and his single punch sends him flying. For the first time, an opponent he punches didn’t die! It only shackles his armour which seals his strength. Oh sh*t… Time to return the favour. He transforms into his true form. Since when is electrifying disco punk the trend?

Episode 12
The super epic fight begins that puts Goku’s Super Saiyan fight look like a baby! Meanwhile with Tatsumaki using her telekinesis to wrap up things on the mothership and send other aliens crying about their mama and homeland, some of the S-class heroes just went home. Drive Knight leaves Genos with an advice that Metal Knight is his enemy and should stay away from him. Melzargard is on the offensive but is surprised Bang is still alive. After seeing him regenerate so many times, Bang even knows where to get and crush his marble. We return to our epic fight between Saitama and Boros. The latter thought the fight is his and starts bragging about being the strongest and his regenerative abilities. But Saitama looks bored and just asks him if this fight is still on. Oh, it is just getting started. Saitama is punched away as far as the moon! OMG! How can he breathe? Don’t care. But he jumps back down to Earth! Hope he didn’t change the moon’s trajectory. You bet Boros is shocked that he is back and survives. He is going to be a worthy opponent to defeat. Now they are going all out that makes Super Saiyan fights look like babies. Saitama unleashes a series of consecutive punches. It blows Boros to bits but he regenerates. He then gets serious with his, uhm, serious punch (aren’t all his punches serious?) and defeats Boros for good. Saitama praises him for being a strong dude. Boros In his last breath calls him a liar because he knows he still has strength left and this wasn’t a battle for him in the first place. The mothership is going to crash so all the heroes better get running if they don’t want to become S-class pancakes.

Sweet Mask arrives in the aftermath and wants to know what happened. The heroes explain but he is not amused and calls them pathetic. Is he the one to say for arriving late and not helping? Despite so, he claims the heroes couldn’t save a brick of the city. Sweet Mask argues he never get promoted to S-class despite having the chance because he wants to prevent useless heroes from moving up. Probably a big fight is going to start between Sweet Mask and Metal Bat but Metal Knight drops into the scene. Genos realizes he has come to salvage parts of the mothership and he doesn’t deny it. He will use the parts to create better weapons. Because better weapons = better peace. Some of the captured aliens thought they could talk their way out. They are all instantly killed by Sweet Mask. He calls them evil and there is nothing else to be said. Sweet Mask views Genos as a disappointment. This act reminds Genos he was once like that, rushing to mete out justice. Saitama finally breaks out from the mothership. I guess he even got lost after that. Since master and disciple are ignoring Tatsumaki, she starts insulting them. Saitama tells Genos to shut her up but he gets owned! Bang puts a stop to their in-quarrel. Looks like Saitama has to pick up Genos’ pieces. Oops, he ripped his arm? In the aftermath, news of the alien invasion and the city destruction hog the headlines for days before it died down and forgotten. Hero Association reconstructed their base to be stronger and give those who are ranked A-class and above to live there. They have also built roads and infrastructure that would give faster access to heroes to other cities. In another city, this pig king of the underworld unleashes his terror. And you know who destroys him with a single punch, right? But Saitama doesn’t look too happy… After that awesome fight with Boros, he is not pleased of returning to one punch again! All over too fast!

An origin story because you know, Saitama still had hair. After defeating another monster, he notices his jersey is ripped again and sends it to his usual tailor to fix it. Little did he know, tailor uncle just got a last warning from a loan shark punk to come up with the cash by tomorrow or else. Uncle has taken the liberty to design a tougher costume for him. Looks hideous… Because he is so kind to do so, Saitama feels bad to turn him down. After all, he isn’t sure about this hero thing and is only doing it as hobby. Meanwhile the punk reports to his boss about the tailor. He will finally get his shop deed. It seems some inner voice tells him to destroy. Saitama walks around the abandoned neighbourhood and notices what uncle said was true that with the high crime rate, many shops have closed. But he too has his own problems because the landlady comes knocking on his door at an ungodly hour looking for his 3 months in rent! Next day when Saitama goes to collect his jersey, he sees uncle handing the punk his shop’s deed. Of course you know how extortion works and since he can’t keep up with the interest, it’s time to handover. He hasn’t called the police because the loan shark group lives in an apartment where the police cannot touch them. So with direction advice, Saitama promises to head there and negotiate to get his deed back.

He didn’t expect his landlady to be living there! Also, he encounters weirdoes from counterfeiters and underwear thieves. The only reason he got motivated to beat them up is the reward those dumb criminals mention they have. Finally he enters the room of the loan shark boss. He shows a card and explains about the law how uncle has cleared his debts and now that he is just overpaying and thus has no right to seize his deed. This causes the boss to go mad as he transforms into… A BDSM goldfish monster? Yeah, no wonder Saitama calls him a pervert. Boss shows off his power and once again his jersey gets ripped. But when Saitama hears there is a high reward on him… Landlady wonders why Saitama is at her doorstep. He doesn’t have the rent money to pay her but he has rounded up these criminals with a bounty. He has already called the police and if she turns them in, consider it as his rent payments settled. However she gets upset instead because now her main income source is gone! Oh sh*t! She is the ringleader? As a result, he gets kicked out. Uncle picks him up on the streets and to show his gratefulness for returning his deed, he has created a costume for him (his trademark costume of the series). Of course uncle says he is already getting old and was probably looking for a reason to retire and close the shop anyway. Saitama puts on the costume and feels weird about it at first but eventually gets used to it. It seems Saitama is telling this story to Genos of how important this suit is to him. But he thinks Genos hasn’t been listening because Genos thinking the essence to become a true hero is to have something important, he wants Saitama to throw away the costume so he could personally give him a new one. I don’t think that was even the point…


12 minutes special when you buy the DVDs and cannot get enough of our super strong bald hero.

Special 1
After watching a stalker movie, Saitama has a feeling that somebody is stalking him. It is actually Genos trying to know more about him as he camps across his place. Of course Genos also has to be careful because he thinks Saitama is being cautious and on his guard. At a family restaurant, he observes Saitama ordering only a kid’s meal of fries. No money… It’s a sin to be poor. Yeah, small portion too… Remember, a kid’s meal… After he returns from toilet, he notices a fry missing! He calls the waitress but do you think she can possibly explain? Yeah, she looks scared… Genos is the culprit stealing the fry and will analyze it thinking it would be the diet that made Saitama strong. Saitama believes the stalker is the one who stole his fry and will wait for him to show up. No show… To compound his bad day, there is this handsome guy monster turning people into dry skin. He reminds Saitama that they fought 6 months before and was defeated. The shock of the defeat left his skin dry and so he underwent some strict moisturizing regiment and did random stuffs to attract his attention. Saitama misinterprets all that as him being the stalker AKA French fry thief. Poor pretty guy gets owned big time for a misunderstanding. But hell yeah, Saitama still saved the day, right? He narrates about his fate of being a hero that will have others seeking grudge on him. It is not that he doesn’t want fans but at least it would be nice for someone to notice his efforts. He then remembers a disciple wannabe. Meanwhile Genos analyzes the fry and finds out to be a regular fry. Disappointed? So the next day, he takes his first bold step to ask Saitama to become his disciple.

Special 2
Genos is confronted by Don Pacino and his men. The latter have Genos’ precious key. Don wants to know his connection with this man who is from a rival gang and once he tells him, he can have the key back. It all began when Genos and Saitama at a public bath. There’s some mindless chatter on what expression to say when it feels good. Why can’t a normal “Ahhh~” do? Yeah, even Don is arguing a better way to say it. Anyway, after they are done, Saitama hand the key to his place and cautions him not to lose them since it is dangerous around these days. That is when Saitama remembers some time limited cheap sale. I wonder how he could stick so many brochures in his pocket. Because he worries he cannot cover all of them in time, Genos suggested they split up to cover more ground. Unfortunately Genos had his hands full in defeating some toilet bowl villain and because he was 2 seconds late, the store clerk turned him down. No offer. He rushed to the next store but it was closed with a notice. That is when the rival gang guy passed by as Genos sought an answer. He was told about Don as the new boss around and the shop might have closed down because they can’t afford to pay protection money. That is when Don and his men picked up Genos’ dropped key and want to talk. Don is shocked that Genos and this guy had no relation and they wasted their time hearing his useless story. Well, he asked, right? They are so mad that they pull out their guns. Genos realizes they are wanted men and have no intention to return his keys. I don’t think their bullets can match his firepower. Genos gets the keys and returns home. Saitama is already back as he has an extra set. Genos has stopped by another store on his way home and got some premium meat in which they make and enjoy a delicious sukiyaki.

Special 3
Sonic is still reeling from his trauma of his fight with Saitama. It always ends with Saitama punching his balls! Yeah, that has got to hurt. No matter how he envisions it, he cannot see himself beating Saitama. Sonic is currently living in the woods with an old hunter, Matagi. He tells of his experience of fighting a bear that give him a hideous scar on his arm. Although he survived, he feels afraid each time he thinks of that. The only way he can overcome his fear is to defeat it. The same applies to Sonic. He goes to train himself and one day saves a little boar from a giant snake. At first he sees Saitama in it but overcomes it to cut it apart. The boar sticks around him and Sonic names it Ino. Sonic continues his training until he finds his confidence. He then returns to the city while leaving Ino in Matagi’s care. Sonic’s parting advice is that if he gets confident of his skills and yet lose, the result will always be the same. That night the bear comes by and Matagi despite still shaking knows he must fight after remembering Sonic’s words. The bear tears the place apart and flings Matagi about. He is out of bullets too. Before the bear could kill him, here comes Saitama. Ino upon seeing his face flees! You know Saitama is such badass when even the bear starts feeling afraid. Dead meat. Saitama and Genos enjoy a good sukiyaki with bear meat although he would have preferred boar meat.

Special 4
Bang needs to know why Saitama’s punch is more powerful than his after that meteor incident. He goes to spy on them and couldn’t comprehend their master-disciple relationship. Sizing him up, he finds Saitama to be quite ordinary. He invites them to do some muscle training in his dojo tomorrow. Surprisingly Saitama accepts. But next day, Bang waits and they never show up. He goes to spy on them again and learns Saitama accepted only because the old fart won’t get off their back if they refused. Bang then witnesses Saitama swiftly trying to save something from an incoming truck. Luckily Genos lifted the truck but Saitama is left to rue that the cat was actually a plastic bag. And there goes his meat he bought. Bang then invites them to his dojo because he has meat for them. Yeah, that is how you ring Saitama in. Before he gives his meat, Bang wants to challenge him in a few things. Whether it is tile breaking or karuta, Saitama does it better. So it is decided to play penalty rock-scissors-paper. Saitama always loses and he always slips in reaching for the helmet. By that time Bang already knocked the toy hammer on his head. Finally after the umpteenth time Saitama wins but his hand once again slips in reaching the hammer. Bang feels nostalgic how his dojo was filled with youth. Bang realizes Saitama is going to whack him and he is wise to get out because the helmet is destroyed by his strength! Bang is shocked and left wondering what would be of him had this been a real fight. He admits his loss and gives them the meat. Then he passionately waxes lyrical about the essence of martial art, which is basically his way of trying to coax them to join his dojo. Sorry dude. Not interested.

Special 5
Fubuki and her group successfully defeat another monster. But she becomes disheartened that their efforts are nowhere mentioned in the papers. Even more depressing is how her older sister, Tatsumaki makes the headlines even without doing anything. She takes a train ride for a change in pace. Genos is also there, coming back from an errand of buying crabs for Saitama. He recognizes her as the top rank B-class hero. He receives a call that a serial bomber has put bombs on the train and will explode when it reaches the next station. Genos goes into action. Knowing her psychic powers, he has her levitate the passengers out to safety while he tries to stop the train. There is also a girl onboard who is a C-class hero. She volunteers to go find the bomb. Genos is not making any headway in slowing the train down. All the passengers have been safely evacuated and the bomb is found in the toilet. Fubuki levitates the girl out and she thinks her only way to minimise damage is to isolate the bomb. Before the train reaches the station, Fubuki and Genos are levitated away. Tatsumaki easily levitates the train high into the sky and even compresses the explosion. When the sisters come face to face, the feeling is not mutual. Fubuki walks home and the girl thanks her for saving her. She explains about being the last ranked hero in C-class and felt she was making any progress. But after today, she wants to continue becoming a hero. She hopes to rise up to B-rank and join her group. But Fubuki hints that she has already accepted her. Genos sees Kuseno and wants him to add psychic powers. Of course it is out of his field as he wonders if he needs it to fight a great enemy. Actually it is so that he would have brought crabs that won’t explode. There are crabs that won’t? Meanwhile Saitama continues to wait for his crab meat…

Special 6
A murder mystery at the hotspring inn?! One of the heroes, Zombieman is dead. Previously, Hero Association decided to treat all the heroes as reward for saving Earth from aliens with this wonderful hotspring inn relaxation. Some aren’t too happy that the reward is given to all of them despite some were blatantly missing in action during the invasion. So the usual drinking and celebrating. Before they know it, everyone gathers around Zombieman’s body at the hallway with a sword stabbed from the back. Child Emperor plays detective as he tries to deduce and narrow down the suspects. As the sword belongs to Atomic Samurai, however he does have an alibi so he wasn’t the one who went and stab Zombieman. Prisoner is also suspected as he is the only convict and thus the least trustworthy. Even more so Zombieman did have thoughts on targeting Zombieman as his sexual target! Saitama is another suspect since nothing much is known on him. Genos defends Saitama that he is so strong that he doesn’t need weapons to kill. But then Genos starts thinking maybe he could. Child Emperor asks King next since he was the first one who spotted the body. He recounts when he first saw the body, he reported it to the front desk and returned to his room. That’s all. More suspicions on him because instead of joining the rest in the hotspring, he went to soak by himself in his own room. A fight is looming when Tatsumaki warns she’ll restrain all of them if they start acting up. Just then, Zombieman wakes up! Well, his name is already a dead giveaway that he can’t die. He relates last night he was quite drunk and couldn’t remember much and just slept there when the sword stabbed him. All he remembers is the sword flying towards him from someone with aura like Tatsumaki. Is she the culprit? Tatsumaki defends herself that she knows Zombieman is immortal and wouldn’t die like this. Besides, she was drunk too and doesn’t remember much. Since it doesn’t bother Zombieman, everyone just let it go and return. Later Child Dragon is shown footage from the CCTV that Tatsumaki was the one who threw the sword at him. She was clearly drunk. But her motive remains unclear. When Saitama and Genos talk about this, Genos believes Saitama may be the reason. He teased her to stop acting like an adult because drinking is only for grownups. She got infuriated and forced herself to drink more sake. Then she took out her frustrations on Zombieman knowing he can’t die.

Sucker Punch!
Wait! What?! It ended too soon?! Just like Saitama’s one punch?! Oh, come on! I was really enjoying it and they had to put up that seemingly rushed ending, which doesn’t feel much of an ending by the way. Oh well, just like how Saitama has got to live with his devastating single punch each time he goes out to the battlefield, we must also live with the fact that this series is only one cour for now.

With so much potential for development, it is a shame that it would be a great waste if this series does not get any more seasons. Because the one thing that was the downside of this series only having a dozen TV episodes is the fact that there is not enough focus on the other superheroes. Saitama and Genos have their fair share of screen time in the initial episodes but as we get to know more and more heroes, it feels like this bunch of S-class heroes are as interesting and weird as they are. That is why personally I felt disappointed that some of the S-class heroes didn’t even get any proper screen time and only appeared just for introductions. It would be really interesting to get to know all of them.

Because in the world we live in today, being good or bad is not as obvious decades ago. Everything is such a grey area. That is why I was hoping to see ego clashes with Saitama and the other top heroes. Heck, even comic book hero groups like Avengers and Justice League have their own share of problems, right? I mean, when you have a group of very weird looking heroes (there is a pig glutton among them, am I not mistaken?), there is bound to be friction as we have already seen in some of them. Some like Metal Knight even have their own personal agenda. For all you know, the heroes are no better than villains and what makes them different is just the tag and label of hero on them.

So let me say again that if I had to point out the most disappointing aspect of this series, it would be the character development part on the other heroes. Or even other characters like Sonic who is pretty much like the villain for now and it feels wasted that he isn’t focused very much after his initial bout with Saitama. Yeah, with monsters rampaging, we have got no time for this fast ninja who seems to be more of a clown when he is not in deadly ninja mode. And Sweet Mask? There seems to be more than meets the eye to his upfront beautiful face…

But as far as our main hero Saitama is concerned, sometimes I find it unbelievable that with such simple exercises and discipline has turned him into a God-like character. Yeah, he is so strong and so fast that it is as though he has got the God cheat code on for eternity! So strong and fast that he is just bored when he fights his very cocky and enthusiastic (and soon to be dead) opponents. Like as though he was reading for the script and knows every inch and move his opponents will make. Those who survived will turn over a new leaf! Yeah, seeing his power is more fearful than meeting Satan himself. So if all that doesn’t even make him God, I don’t know what will. Despite all that, the irony is that Saitama is fairly unknown even in his own city. Like nobody cares who destroyed the monster in a single punch? Like no Hero Association members ever questioned who defeated the monsters to save the cities? Aren’t they even curious to find out who? That is why it just boggles my mind despite being the strongest, he is so relatively unknown like as though he is existence under the nose of everybody.

And at the rate Saitama destroys monsters that keep popping out from the ground, sky, space or anywhere on Earth, it is just a matter of time before these creatures become extinct. Uh huh. Maybe that is how the dinosaurs went extinct. Before you know it, Earth will once again be the world’s safest place thanks to Saitama! All hail Saitama the God! Despite Saitama’s boredom, he still tries to live a modest life and works his way up the honest way. He even questioned if joining Hero Association is the kind of hero he wanted to become. That is why it is sad that he decided to play the villain in becoming the bad guy after defeating Deep Sea King. If taking all the credits is not his style, but being the bad guy? Just think about the implications of Hero Association if he did. What will the public think about them? Will they need Hero Association when they have Saitama to do the job? But not everybody will be against Saitama as some like Licenseless Rider are on his side.

I believe Genos is trying to be a good disciple under Saitama’s wing. Mainly his role in this anime sees him observing and analyzing his master’s actions and words and then reflecting them on his own. I am not sure if there would be anything Genos can learn from Saitama because he himself is quite powerful in his own right. Just that when you compare him (and everybody else) to Saitama, they pale in comparison to his unbeatable power. Something tells me Genos is as ‘immortal’ as Saitama because there are some fights when he is beaten up so badly that he could have been scrap metal, after a few fixes by his master, he is back like new. So as long you don’t destroy, say, his heart or brain, you can fix him up always?

They mix action and comedy well in the series and it is one of the main reasons why this series is popular in its own right. You thought it would be boring with Saitama being able to finish off his opponents with just a single punch, right? Well, you’re wrong. Despite it is true that Saitama does end all his fights (except the one with Boros) in a single punch, the ensuing comedy before that which includes the enemy always bragging he is stronger, tougher, hardy, etc will never fail to amuse you. They will never ever know what is coming at them and it is always too late by then. And yes, before Saitama ends it all with his single super punch, there is wanton of destruction before that. This means you see heroes getting owned, panic across the city and the monsters running rampage before Saitama does his usual. That is why it is never boring to watch every episode. Another ‘downside’ to Saitama’s single powerful punch is that the enemy will die and you will never see him return ever again. Yeah. No rematch. Ever.

Just only one problem that bugged me after all those awesome fights: If Saitama can destroy anything with just a single punch, how come his gloves are still intact?! Think about this. I am sure that he can control the intensity of his punching strength to not give instant kill. But for those that became a victim to his super death punch, how come his gloves are still in one piece?! I have seen his costume and caped messed up a little but his gloves are still in perfect condition! Don’t tell me he can channel his energy to bypass his gloves and directly towards his enemies! Well, it is no surprise since this guy can blow your mind by doing the unexpected an impossible.

Art and drawing feel pretty fine until you realize that Saitama looks like the laziest hero and main character design ever! I know they want to make him look plain to deceive us with that boring look to hide his strength but you can’t help when looking at his face and comparing to the others who are more ‘anime-like’, Saitama’s face is so cartoonish! Even your 2 year old can draw a better face than his! But I am not saying that Saitama’s plain looks is bad but just that it is so contrasting compared to the rest. That is, until he has that menacing serious look. Then you are in real sh*t, baby! But if I want to pick a bone in the looks category, I can go on mentioning at how odd at all the heroes look themselves. I guess with super powers, it makes you look different, huh? And the monsters and aliens? Some look ferocious and some looking comical enough that it makes you think the producers called everyone to come up with a few monster designs and the rejected ones end up in laughable roles. Really. Naturally this show lacks fanservice but unless you are thinking about being gay with Prisoner, we prefer much to keep it that way. Except for Tatsumaki who seems to be hinting the haitenai phenomenon with the slips in her long black dress. All the fanservice you need?

This series has a lot of seiyuus due to the sheer amount of heroes, monsters and other minor characters. Of course recognizable ones include Mamoru Miyano as Sweet Mask, Yuuki Kaji as Sonic, Aoi Yuuki as Tatsumaki, Yuuichi Nakamura as Licenseless Rider and Rikiya Koyama as Deep Sea King. The rest of the casts are Makoto Furukawa as Saitama (Banri in Golden Time), Kaito Ishikawa as Genos (titular character in Kyoukai No Rinne), Kazuhiro Yamaji as Bang (Senor Pink in One Piece), Masaya Onosaka as Prisoner (France in Hetalia series), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Boros (Ugo in Magi), Kenjiro Tsuda as Atomic Samurai (Mikoto in K) and Tesshou Genda as Metal Knight (Soro in Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation) just to name a few. I just feel lazy to go over the rest…

The heavy rock opening very much suits the pace of this series. If The Hero!! ~Ikareru Ken ni Honoo Wo Tsukeru~ has a familiar rocking sound to it, it is because JAM Project is behind this song. So get your vocal chords ready as you try to scream out your heroic lyrics of this piece. Oh yeah! One Punch! Power! Get power! Oh yeah. That was a real good screaming. However the ending theme feels weird. Hoshi Yori Saki ni Mitsukete Ageru by Hiroko Moriguchi isn’t that bad but this slow ballad seems to have somewhat a lonely and hollow feel in it. I mean, after all that great action and comedy, when you hear this song, it makes you wonder if the producers had mistakenly put in the wrong song for this series. The special ending theme for the final episode, Kanashimitachi Wo Dakishimete no doubt is a slow pop piece, at least sounds better and very much fitting to the way it ends. It leaves you with a mix of emotions in your heart as you hear this song while the credits roll up the screen.

Overall, this is one of the few enjoyable superhero themed anime series out there. It is different than lots of recently adapted comic book superheroes and even those from the manga simply because our main hero isn’t your typical hero with a brooding past, big muscles, charismatic looks or the kind of high and mighty or super sense of justice attitude that everyone has come to expect these days. He is just an ordinary guy who is trying to live out his childhood dream of being a hero but it doesn’t turn out the way he dreamt of. Great for people who doesn’t like fights to prolong for over 20 episodes and just finish it all in a jiffy. Yeah, there are so many impatient people these days… Otherwise, I am sure this show that has fights ending too quickly would have you start appreciating fights that last longer than a single punch, right? Oh, carry on Goku. Carry on your fight with Vegeta for the next 20 episodes. We’ll savour and appreciate every single punch you throw from now on. And when you’re done with your match, we can come back again and do a rematch that lasts for another 10 episodes.

Gate S2

August 27, 2016

There is always a little devil in our heart. We get worked up when we see the enemy invade and do all the heinous barbaric acts on the innocent. Then we smile and heave a sigh of relief when our heroes turn up to kick all their sorry asses to back where they came from. Don’t we just love such great action stories like that? Be glad because we are about to see more and continue Japan and the SDF’s awesome dominance over the primitive magical world in Gate: Jietai Kanochi Nite, Kaku Tatakeri S2. The first season was awesome enough to assert their dominance and with the sequel, we’ll get to see even more of their coolness as they ride through crisis after crisis plaguing the land in search for peace. Yes people. All hail and glory to the SDF! Ahem… Maybe they just look like big bullies with over-firepower if you sympathise with the enemy… Oh yeah, then there is that otaku first lieutenant guy and his harem girls from this world… It’s all getting as exciting as before, I tell ‘ya!

Episode 13
Itami is dressed as a local for the negotiations. Don’t blame you if you can’t stop laughing at how dorky he looks. Meanwhile Prince Zolzal El Caesar is f*cking hard a furry sex slave, Tyuule. Punishment sex-cum-rape?! She has to put up with it and scream like hell since he threatens her comrades lives depend on it. I guess she couldn’t keep it up. Anyway, he is interrupted by Count Marx about some of their senators being bought over by the enemy ambassadors with the promise of their safe return as a bargaining chip. As this may be disadvantageous to Zolzal who would be next in line to the throne, Zolzal will make his visit and give the enemy his piece of mind. Pina and Sugawara are holding a garden party. There is this noble loli, Sherry Tyueri who seems to be infatuated with Sugawara. Itami and his troops demonstrate their military firepower. The nobles are so freaking impressed and want to know how to make them! Then they visualize how this firepower can bring down their cities and so they are wise enough to negotiate for what Japan wants in exchange for peace. This negotiation is put off when uninvited Zolzal and his party are seen riding in. Pina is surprised to see her brother here. He takes a look around and isn’t impressed. Till he tastes the food. Yeah, he goes away satisfied, bringing back a few of those delicious meat. You know what they say about a man and his heart. Pina talks to Sugawara that she knows this is Marx’s warning by sending her brother here. Sugawara wants to start negotiations as soon as possible but Pina is shocked and fainted after hearing the freaking huge amount of reparations. I suppose all the gold in the kingdom will not be able to pay that off. Marx reports this to Molto who tells him to let Japan negotiate all they want because he is not giving them anything. And when negotiations fail, Japan will break them off themselves.

Chief Nyuutabaru has Kurokawa under his wing as a medical staff. She tends to a local furry, Misery. She is a whore. With a painful name and body for pleasure, I can imagine… She is here to buy contraceptives. Misery gives out some information that Bessala was a big shot around the red light district. Until that fateful night when the army wipe them all out with their firepower. F*cking slaughtered them all! After that all the other big shots split up his money and territory and even went out their way to offer information to SDF. Misery is sad that the men in SDF refuse to do business with the whores and it breaks their confidence. Yeah, heard of STD’s? I’m sure they’re trying to stay safe instead of being gay. Yao desperately tries to find Itami and some information about him. Especially if he has something he would risk his life to protect. She was told there are 3 people… Late that night, Misery brings her fellow furry whores to Kurokawa as one of her friends couldn’t shake off that shaking feeling. Nyuutabaru recognizes this as a sign of a major earthquake because birds and animals panic before one. He orders for everyone to evacuate. Pina doesn’t appreciate Itami waking up her beauty sleep to inform her about the earthquake. She doesn’t believe it. Then the ground shakes… You believe now?

Episode 14
With the locals panicking and proclaiming the end of the world, Itami and the SDF are just cool. They’re accessing the mini earthquake and it is nothing to be alarmed about as this isn’t the epicentre. Pina wonders why they can be so calm at this moment. Because it happens a lot in Japan. She needs to go warn her father and since the SDF can’t just waltz into enemy territory, Pina begs Itami to accompany her. Is she a little girl?! In his throne room before anything could begin, Zolzal barges in and wants father to escape because this woman Noriko predicted another big one coming. Everyone wonders who that woman is and when Zolzal brings her in, Itami and co are devastated she is a Japanese. Zolzal claims she is a survivor during that invasion. Itami becomes so mad that he beats up Zolzal and his entourage! Boxing time! When Zolzal commands to attack, Itami commands his to fire at will! So Kuribayashi relishes going all out from her punches to shooting her machine gun! Man, those shields are useless! The bullets just went through! Now you surrender? Itami questions Zolzal if there are other such survivors but he won’t say. Kuribayashi then proceeds to give him a super combo beat down till his face swells like hell! Itami could have killed him if not for Tyuule protecting him. When Noriko asks about Hiroki, Zolzal says the men have been sold as slaves at the market. Sugawara will have his banquet with Molto once they rescue the hostages. Molto mentions how strong they are but they have a weakness: They love their people too much. Of course he knows he cannot best them anyhow and agrees to initiate peace talks immediately. Pina is sure going to have lots of explaining to do. Can she?

To further show Japan’s might and as warning, the senate house is bombed although there are no casualties. The senate discusses about this unfortunate event all because Zolzal kept Japanese prisoners. Shaky Pina seems to be describing about the Japanese’s greatness and how much they love their people. Zolzal talks to his younger brother, Diabo that unconditional surrender is inevitable. Zolzal regrets he is not smart like him to make his way through life but it is hard too playing the fool. As they talk about succeeding their father, Zolzal believes himself as most likely. Diabo disagrees because word goes around that he is not favoured. That is precisely why. To end this war, father must resign but that man isn’t going to give up on power and will rule behind the shadows. Since Zolzal is easy to manipulate, it makes it more so he will be chosen. Therefore Diabo is told to choose his allegiance either to father or him. They can’t count on Pina as she has betrayed them. As for the slaves, it is learnt out of the 2 that were sold, Hiroki has already died. When Itami and co return to base, he is told by Yanagida that he won’t be charged because the government intends to use this prisoner rescue incident to boost their image and thus cannot punish the saviour. He is also told about Noriko’s family handing out flyers over her disappearance at Ginza then when the invasion broke out. Itami doesn’t want his team to tell her about this yet. Meanwhile Tuka continues to look for her father…

Episode 15
Yanagida further tells Itami about Yao’s request to slay a dragon back at her home. Itami isn’t too keen on it and what’s more, higher authorities have rejected her. But when Yanagida points out there are oil and diamond resources, perhaps a reconnaissance mission would suffice. You know, he has more liberty to do things. Like, he might stumble upon a dragon and kill it? Itami protests to that. He would not risk his men to fight another dragon. Yanagida then tells him to go see Tuka. She is kicking up a fuss because she is being told her dad is dead. When Itami enters the picture, her hallucination is so bad that she sees her father in him. She becomes all clingy with that in-your-face attitude that her ‘father’ is still alive. It is said that Yao told her the truth and that broke Tuka. Itami confronts Yao about this but she doesn’t regret her actions as she merely told the truth. She was also told Itami hold these 3 women dearly and would do anything for help. It gets emotional for Yao when she explains she sought help through her comrades to defeat the dragon but was turned down. They said only Itami could do it. Therefore she broke Tuka’s sanity just to make her understand the dragon killed her father and thus fuelling her desire for revenge. After all, when a man kills another, he can track him down and take dragon. But what if it’s a dragon? How do you direct your anger? She is willing to give her mind, body and soul to Itami if he pulls this off. When Pina tells Diabo that Zolzal has been chosen as the heir, he cautious her that Zolzal plans to go against Molto. He is worried because Zolzal is the kind who will also bring others around him down. Tyuule is told by her informant, Bouro about Zolzal’s succession. Her plan for revenge has begun and will not let this land be in peace. Bouro suggests killing the Japanese slaves so their comrades will burn down the land in rage. She cautions it is not that easy because Noriko was in the same position as her but offered salvation. Bouro wonders who will kill her. She says Pina will do the job.

Everyone is shocked that Itami decides to play Tuka’s father. Oh, happy days are here. Then one day he gets a mission to head to the capital for another translation duty. He takes this chance to tell her he will be going away for a while. Of course she is not too happy about it. Later Itami is confronted by Yao who tells him he can’t keep up with this act forever. She can see Tuka is still in pain. He can play her father but he doesn’t know her father and that is what causes the inconsistency and pain in Tuka. Even playing house continues to bother Yanagida as he wants him to go slay the dragon. He would even help arrange the paperwork when he is ready to go. Itami sees a doctor to ask his opinion if revenge can help one move forward. Then there is this talk with Duran who reminds him he is forgetting his heart. One must act even though it is very dangerous. Because in his heart he already knows what must be done. After Itami and his team leave for their mission, Tuka’s words flash before Itami’s mind. He suddenly changes his mind and jumps out of the helicopter! OMG! Yeah, they’re going to slay the dragon together. I thought Yanagida should be happy but he is blowing his top because he can’t come up with good excuses to cover for Itami abandoning his current mission. So is Itami sure he is going alone with only Tuka? Think again because Rory wants in on the action. You don’t go play fire with a girl alone, right? I suppose she is making him consider her in his team and even so it will be costly. Can he pay for her assistance? She bites his arm and drinks his blood. A contract is formed. What contract? When he dies, his soul is hers! As you might have guessed, Lelei and Yao will also be tagging along. Off they go and Yanagida cannot understand why there are people who volunteer to follow him. Yeah, I wonder. Four hot gorgeous babes, damn it!

Episode 16
Delilah must be one happy singing bunny girl. Till she receives an official kill order. Now, this is all part of Tyuule’s plan to use her spy to kill Noriko and make it look like the orders came from Pina. Relations with Japan will then break down and war will continue. Then Zolzal, the man who destroyed her clan will be destroyed with everything else. When Yanagida reports to Hazama about Itami’s reconnaissance, the latter knows there is more to it. Since Itami is such an important man, he sends out more troops to support him. Yanagida is in shock since he didn’t expect troops to be sent out so easily. Yanagida is then tasked to talk with Duran. He believes his crown prince is trying to get him out of the picture and needs his help to send letters to his allies to retake his province. Of course Yanagida won’t get involved in this family affair if there is nothing in it for SDF. Duran will allow him to cross borders to fight the dragon but that itself isn’t sufficient. Yanagida negotiates for mining rights and tax exemption. Noriko tries to call her family but there is no answer. She thinks of dying. Delilah heard that and she is very much happy to oblige. Oddly when Noriko accepts her fate to die, Delilah becomes worried. Nobody in her line of work would want to die that easy, eh? Yanagida catches her in the act. They face off. As reinforcements come, Delilah stabs him in the back. This causes him to panic and unload all his bullets into her. Double KO.

As they are in ICU, the SDF use their manpower and intelligence to track the mole and information. It seems the anti-peace faction is trying to use the Formar clan to assassinate Noriko and the one who will gain most from it is Zolzal. As information will take 10 days to reach him, they decide to leak out information of the failed assassination and see how far it takes them. Also, they will investigate people around Zolzal. The air force division tracks down a dragon. Normally a dragon would be furious if something zooms faster and closer than it is. This is part of the air force’s plan to observe the dragon’s flying capabilities. Then they play chicken? Well, the jet seemed to get roasted and the pilot got roasted by the mechanic for being too reckless. Itami and co arrive at the canyon where Yao’s clan lives. As she goes down to call her clan, other clan members surround Itami and co. However the dragon drops by. Bullets and arrows do no harm. Rory and Lelei tackle the beast while Tuka starts reeling from the trauma. Itami then tells her this is the dragon that killed her father. She continues to be in denial so he put his foot down he is not her father and they are going to kill the dragon that killed her father. Then he guides her to use a bazooka and aim at the dragon. Missed. But that felt good, right? Or not. But it got away.

Episode 17
Itami and co take shelter for the night. Yao introduces the rest of her clan members who will accompany Itami to kill the dragon as some know where the dragon’s nest is. First, they are trained on how to use a bazooka. I wonder if they understand the fancy words. Then they begin their long trek to the volcano. Lelei puts Tuka to sleep all the way so she won’t kick up any fuss. Because Rory has bad experienced with undergrounds, she is made to wait outside to lookout for the dragon. The rest head in to plant C4 bombs around and it is a good thing the dragon is not around. They notice swords of fallen warriors who died while challenging the dragon. Also, hatched egg shells. Could there be more than one? Rory spots the dragon coming back but the geographical rocks are interfering with the headset. Everyone panics when they see the dragon. I guess the dark elves forgot their training. We see them all get burnt, smacked, stomped and even eaten! Even worse, the wiring to the C4 is cut off. Can Itami rewire them back in this chaos? Tuka wakes up from all that ruckus and this brings back her trauma. She remembers her dad died protecting her and now she blames herself for his death. Lelei dismisses it and tells her it is the dragon that killed him. Now vent your anger towards it. Tuka feels helpless to defeat it. Lelei also explains the same experience of the dragon slaughtering her village and she lost many friends. She uses all her magic to pick up the weapons and pierce the dragon. It worked. But the dragon is even madder. Seeing the utter chaos and Itami’s life in danger, Tuka unleashes her lightning power down on the dragon. This in turn sets off the C4 explosives as it blows the dragon to bits!

Itami and his harem manage to get out alive. If you’re wondering where the hell Rory is all this while, please note that she is bleeding with all the wounds outside! Giselle, a fellow Apostle like her swoops down to explain how she easily defeated Rory. Because Rory made a contract with Itami, all his wounds transferred to her. Therefore in normal circumstances, Giselle can never beat her. Now you know why he is unscathed, right? Giselle is here under orders from Hardy to bring Rory to her. Giselle reveals she has bred 2 dragons and trained it to obey her. Thus the awakening of the dragon 50 years earlier from its slumber is due to Hardy’s doing. Like she gives a f*ck about other lives, right? She orders the dragons to get them as Itami and his girls make a run for it. That is when the air force and the tank artillery support arrive in time to bomb the hell out of the dragons!!! Oh sh*t! Such awesome firepower! Now Giselle is left shaking in fear what the heck she just saw. Better make a run for it before it’s Rory to return the favour. Itami is surprised at the turn of events. I know, it must be shocking to still be alive. Yeah, a miracle. Tuka has come to terms with reality and is glad she has got her revenge. But she won’t stop calling Itami her father is she is already used to it.

Episode 18
For Itami’s act of desertion, he will be suspended for 2 weeks, stripped of his command and get a pay cut. But now for his rewards! And there are a whole damn lot of them! From obtaining honorary ranks from chieftains to commendations to riches to even ownership of Yao, he is also promoted as the Special Region resources and can go anywhere and even bring his harem along to look for anything. What has he got to say for all this? He just wants his break… Itami and his harem make their way to the academic magic city of Rondel since Lelei has a presentation to do so she can be promoted to the rank of master. This town is as odd as any other town. People think they are followers of Rory but thanks to this they get preferential treatment at their inn. Except for Itami whom they think is a manservant so he gets to stay in the dusty storeroom. The gang make their way to the R&D department of the city. The very hip and lively old lady grandmaster, Mimoza La Mer welcomes them with open arms. Only is she managed to pronounce Lelei’s name right. It’s Lelei not Lily! She is impressed she is trying to become a master at such a young age and even making it more commendable is Kato’s recommendations. Happy Mimoza makes a mess by tripping over the books. This earns the wrath of her assistant, Arpeggio. She is Lelei’s older sister. You can tell how much jealous her sister is when she sarcastically hints about a certain someone trying to become a master while her sister is struggling in her doctorate. A certain someone dabbling in romance while her sister can’t land a man. A certain someone hanging out with rich people but her sister has no money at all. Yeah, jealous sister alright. Got a problem? Deal with it!

The peace talks at the capital begin. Sherry continues to bug Sugawara about being her future wi