Oh no. Not another Nobunaga reincarnation and adaptation. Over the years, we have had that great unifier of Japan being twisted into many different forms in the anime, manga and game media. Some are okay but mostly I’ve seen a lot are those gender bender thingy. Yeah, some of them were just awful. Blame me for being a straight guy and had to go watch them just because they turn him into a cute girl or pretty woman. Thankfully (or not), Nobunaga-sensei No Osanazuma might be yet another unholy adaptation of that great man (can fiction let him rest in peace already?), however it is not a gender bender theme. Instead, his young wives and concubines are somewhat sent to the future where they try to make out with his descendant who coincidentally shares his exact name. Different era, different culture. But the same clichés are always there. Over hundreds of years, I guess some things never change.

Episode 1
Nobunaga Oda is a teacher and he laments he is still single. Though his student, Mayu Biwajima offers to date him if he has none by the time they graduate. Back home, his parents are pestering him to get married and produce an heir. It seems Nobunaga is really a descendent of the actual Nobunaga! When he and his sister, Ichika clean the storeroom, he accidentally broke something and a girl pops out in mid-air. Taking her back to her room, when she wakes up, she asks which country she has been kidnapped to. Father thinks he kidnapped her! When she learns his name, she introduces herself as Kichou Saitou. She is supposed to be Nobunaga’s wife. He is happy with that and thought she is of legal age. Nope. 15 years old. F*ck! As she explains more of herself, Nobunaga can tell she is the real deal from the past based on the historical accuracies and knowledge. Somehow the ancestors sent her to the future. When he tries to tell her the truth, she doesn’t believe him. After all, this is her first time seeing Nobunaga and she doesn’t actually know how he looks like. She then tells him she will give her body but not her heart and warns she will not believe everything he says just because she is his wife. Then she gets down to business, stripping herself and getting ready to make babies. That’s what a wife supposed to do, right? Love or not, it has nothing to do with it. Nobunaga tries to be reasonable but Kichou is being pushy and the other women are threatening to call the cops if he touches this minor! Worst, he can’t shake off this responsibility and must take care of her.

Episode 2
Nobunaga brings Kichou back to his condo. She is confused with this ‘castle’. She wants to call to call it a night since she is tired. Is that the old way of saying let’s f*ck? Of course Nobunaga dismisses her and this makes her think she doesn’t have the body to stimulate him. In fact, unemotional lolis are his type of girls! Too bad it is the ethical issue that gets in the way. He talks about the legal age of marriage and sex. Although Kichou doesn’t really understand, she’s simple enough to say that they just have to make sure nobody knows. She is confident her serving lady has taught her enticing sex techniques. How times have changed because lying there naked is supposed to be super sexy? Nobunaga even has to teach her what turns him on! Yeah, spread those legs baby!!! Surprisingly, Kichou feels embarrassed. As she has learnt something, Nobunaga then realizes he is going to educate her on how to survive in this modern world. She is no different than his students. And he is starting off by making her play an eroge!!! Hentai games allow you to make many choices for a possible future, right?! It also teaches you about love, right???!!!

Episode 3
Nobunaga brings Kichou to school as a transfer student. This is the best way she could learn and socialize. They meet Yuri Hoshigaoka (hentai boobs!) who is also a fellow teacher at school. She offers to help Nobunaga if he faces any problems. As Nobunaga introduces Kichou to his class, Kichou gets worried seeing so many girls. Feeling threatened, she declares she is Nobunaga’s wife whom he promised to marry once she turns 16. Though, she allows them to be his concubines. Of course Nobunaga has to tell her to shut it to avoid any more misunderstandings. Later, Mayu’s friend, Anna Atsuta confronts Kichou about what she said. She wants to really ascertain that because she points out Mayu is also in love with Nobunaga. Although marriage isn’t certain at this point in time, Kichou allows Mayu to be his concubine. Nobody else but herself can take the position as his wife. Ironically this makes Anna mad so she wants this settled right now. The one who convinces Nobunaga to have sex with her gets to marry him! Does Mayu get a say in this? When Nobunaga is called over, he is shocked to see the competing girls stripped naked. Kichou is cool but Mayu is super embarrassed. She sums up her courage to show him her boobs and as he tries to cover her up, his hands accidentally grope them. So embarrassed that this turned on her sexy switch? Please grope more! Just then, Yuri walks in and sees this unholy act. Is his teacher life over?

Episode 4
WTF Nobunaga’s answer is to strip Yuri and molest her till she climaxes???!!! Of course this is just his wild imagination but WTF he thought up about it?! Kichou wants to slit her throat but thankfully Nobunaga won’t allow any violence. So Yuri interrogates them. Nobunaga explains the truth and of course nobody believes about this time travelling thing. Not even Kichou. Kichou suggests heading to Inabayama Castle where her family lives to disprove of this. The town are seems a bit larger than she thought and then Nobunaga points out that small castle on the hilltop. It has been renamed Gifu Castle. There is a notice that details the brief history that includes her brother killing her father. She is in shock and even more so to see her castle turned into some museum. That is when she has come to terms that this is the future. She apologizes to Nobunaga for troubling him as he really isn’t the one she is supposed to marry. She is sad she has no more family, nobody to marry. Nobunaga cheers her up that until they find a way to get her back, he will take care of her. As they look at the several items on display, Kichou could recognize some of them she used to use. When Nobunaga touches one of them, oh no, another girl appears in mid-air!

Episode 5
Kitsuno Ikoma drops into Nobunaga’s arms and slaps him thinking he is trying to get his way with her. But upon realizing who he is, she apologizes and allows him to have his way with her. With Mayu interrupting them, she then introduces herself and is Nobunaga’s concubine. She was married to another man but he died in battle. She then met Nobunaga (the original one) and fell for him. However she died of an illness and she thinks this world is where she has been reincarnated along with Nobunaga. Learning that he is single, she wants him to marry her. This is when Kichou draws the line. Hold on, b*tch. However Kitsuno tells her to f*ck off. Because although she was destined to marry Nobunaga, it is not the Nobunaga of this era. She’s got a point. Even more so, Kitsuno is Nobunaga’s type because despite she is 29, somehow her reincarnation has her body in a form of a young girl. Hence legal loli!!! Must have her!!! Kichou still doesn’t approve of this and draws her sword. Before you think Anna’s interruption is to stop the loli b*tches from killing themselves, it is actually to throw Mayu into the battlefield. Yeah, a 3 way fight for Nobunaga!

Episode 6
Nobunaga brings Kitsuno back to his place and introduces her to some modern conveniences like instant ramen! Nobunaga is having dirty thoughts of f*cking his legal loli but something in his guts tell him it’s a bad idea. Because Kitsuno is already asking for sex and good for him turning her down. He tries to avoid the subject by taking a bath. Yeah, I saw this coming. Because Kichou and Kitsuno now want to wash his back. Hence it becomes a showdown to see who could do better. Kichou is just pretty plain and normal while Kitsuno uses her entire body to do the washing. Ichika comes by to check and sees this unholy act. She’s calling the cops. Matte! Matte! After being introduced to Kitsuno and learning how she came to this era, she deduces that it is not stuffs that Nobunaga break that will occur this phenomenon. Rather when he touches them. This could mean that the original Nobunaga’s soul is residing inside him and anything related closely to Nobunaga will appear if he touches them. Meanwhile Mayu rues she is a disadvantage for Nobunaga’s love since Kichou and Kitsuno are living with him. Though, she felt really happy when Nobunaga touched her boobs. She wants him to touch them again. Anna supports her that she is ready to go again.

Episode 7
Kitsuno is introduced as a new transfer student. Did Nobunaga put a gag order on her because she claims she is his wife and came from the past. But it’s not like everyone cares, right? Even with witness accounts from the rest, it is still hard to believe. Though, they tease Kitsuno to beware of him because he might rape her. Believe it or not, Kitsuno is disappointed because that’s what she’s hoping for! This puts Anna on high alert because Mayu will lose at this rate. So at the teacher’s lounge, Mayu goes to talk to Nobunaga. But he thinks she might be sick and touches her forehead. Suddenly something activated and now Mayu turns into some flirty vixen. She wants him to touch her boobs! Yeah, she may be sick. At the infirmary, she strips herself and wants him to touch them. Kitsuno barges in, not happy he is going to touch the boobs of another woman. To see how mad she is, she punches a hole in the wall! But this only allows Mayu to taunt her that Nobunaga will not love a violent savage like her. This farce is put to a stop when Kichou tells them to behave like a proper wife material. Kitsuno takes a closer look at Mayu and realizes that she is Onabe, one of original Nobunaga’s concubines. Then they discuss about Nobunaga’s touch. It seems not only objects but humans who are related can have this effect as well. Mayu relates that when she was touched by him, she heard a voice and then everything goes fuzzy like a dream. This has Yuri worried because she also had almost the same experience when Nobunaga grabbed her hand earlier.

Episode 8
So, Nobunaga thinks he can avoid all those weird phenomena by wearing gloves, huh? Then Yuri invites him to go drinking. Just the 2 of them. Alright! Kichou and Kitsuno are suspicious so they tail them but damn those age restrictions as they aren’t allowed into the bar premise. Yuri seems to be fretting over something she needs to tell him but she can’t. This is going to take a while. Outside, Kichou asks if Kitsuno has ever fallen in love. Of course. With Nobunaga. That’s why he married him. Kichou envies her and wished she had that experience too. But Kitsuno points out she already loves him because whenever she is close to him, she gets mad. With so many beers, Yuri still can’t say and now blames him and wants him to take responsibility. Naturally he takes this as she wants to f*ck him. Okay! Let’s go somewhere else! At the park, she starts stripping and wants him to suck on her tits?! Woah, man! This has escalated too fast! Really, suck on them? Okay. So why Nobunaga is complaining about a certain order to go about when dealing with boobs?! Just suck them!!! With Kichou and Kitsuno now popping up, Yuri explains why it is his fault. She has felt strange ever since he touched her hand. He realizes and wonders if she could also be one of the original Nobunaga’s concubines. I’m sure he is having such fun sucking on those cow tits but on the other hand, angry Kichou complains to get his mouth off some other woman’s tits. That’s enough sucking! But Yuri wants more sucking! Oh, what to do? Yeah, this sucks. Kitsuno then thinks Yuri could be related to Jitokuin, the wet nurse of her child.

Episode 9
Yuri feels violated but when Nobunaga says he will take responsibility by marrying her, she refuses! She hates him for messing up her body like that! Wow. A girl who despises Nobunaga the main character? With Nobunaga feeling down, he thinks of quitting teaching. Probably he’ll go to some tropical island and frolic with naked girls. WTF?! Did Mayu actually believe that? Because she’s getting scared he will really quit. Hence in her desperation she strips naked and tries to convince him she doesn’t hate what he has done. Weird logic. Yuri doesn’t want him to quit either as long as he doesn’t touch her again. Now the attention turns to why Mayu likes Nobunaga. You mean she has to explain? I suppose it is to valid her stance as a ‘competitor’. However she feels Anna might hate her but after whispering it to Nobunaga, he believes she won’t. Mayu reveals her hobby to draw erotic BL. She thought her life was over when Nobunaga accidentally saw it. However he was impressed by her good art and wanted her to even draw futanari for him???!!! WTF?! Anna might not hate her but she looks like she hates him… Anyway, because Nobunaga doesn’t tease her hobby, she started liking him ever since and technically they both have each other’s dirty secrets. I hope this doesn’t cause the other girls to have some weird awakening because they want to see more. Kichou can’t understand Nobunaga. She believes he is a respectable person as there were times he lifted her out of depression.

Episode 10
Kichou asks what the f*ck does futanari means! Mayu explains! Did you get all that, huh? Kichou is left confused. Does this mean Nobunaga is gay?! Speak of the devil, Nobunaga brings Ranma in as he is Anna’s brother and he wants to see her. Anna warns him about being touched by Nobunaga but as Nobunaga demonstrates, nothing was summoned when he touched him. Later Nobunaga catches a girl falling from the stairs. In the infirmary as she recovers, she helps sew his shirt that was torn during the catch. Nobunaga loves how feminine she is despite feeling something familiar about her. Suddenly she pins him down and wants to f*ck! Oh yeah! WTF she is stronger than him? Nobunaga’s first kiss goes to her. Things are heating up as she lets him touch her privates. Hmm… Feels like something is there… Just in time when Kichou and Kitsuno enter to stop this unholy act but she is able to dodge and turn the tables on her. With Anna here, it is revealed this girl is actually Ranma! He has a habit of cross-dressing and makes his own clothes. So about the part they were fondling each other? Nobunaga claims he was being raped! However Ranma sounds strange when he talks about receiving his love. Can guys marry? In Japan? Ranma reveals his true identity: Ranmaru Mori. Even back then, there were gays…

Episode 11
Yuri’s boobs are tingling?! Yeah, they’re acting up again and she blames Nobunaga. Fix this! Calling the usual gang to brainstorm, they think Jitokuin wants her tits to be sucked. Nobunaga believes she must have some regrets. Like Kichou who married Nobunaga but failed to have kids and Kitsuno remaining as his concubine. If they can figure that out, they’ll solve this tits sucking problem. WTF?! But Yuri still doesn’t want him to fondle her boobs like last time. So how? This time he is blindfolded but the fondling is still the same. So good that Jitokuin is channelled through Yuri again. He asks her regrets. Actually she loves having her tits sucked! After Nobunaga died and his son grew up, she felt empty because nobody sucked her tits. WTF?! Nobunaga’s depraved answer is to marry her, have a child and suck her tits all day long! You know the rest won’t let this fly, right? With Onabe possessing Mayu, she too has some sort of regrets but refuse to say it. When she goes into hiding, Nobunaga fondles Mayu’s boobs to get her back out. This time she reveals it. She never said so in fear that he will hate her. In short, she wants to see gay sex between Nobunaga and Ranmaru. No, not Nobunaga f*cking Ranmaru but the other way round, Ranmaru sticking his dick into Nobunaga! And she wants to draw that!!!! Of course Nobunaga is not going to do gay sex but Onabe threatens she won’t leave until she gets what she wants!

Episode 12
Yuri enjoying Nobunaga sucking her tits?! Until she realizes it too late and slaps him! While it solves her problem, what is he going to do about Mayu/Onabe? This is when Yuri tells him to do gay sex! How does it feel to be doing something against your will? Now suffer! Back at the comfort of his home, Ranmaru gets ready to have gay sex with him. Oh dear. Lots of gay sexual subtext that is cringey as hell and probably Nobunaga is feeling the same way. But before Nobunaga can lose his virginity this way, Onabe stops it. What gives? She is satisfied she could draw enough and has found her peace. With that, she leaves Mayu and ascends to heaven. What a relief for Nobunaga. But please hide that junk. Though Nobunaga is confident he can fix Yuri’s body, however she continues to chastise him. Suddenly Kichou takes out her knife and threatens Yuri. Nobunaga is trying to help solve her problem and all she does is insult him? This is unforgivable. Yuri apologizes for being unreasonable and Nobunaga helps calm Kichou down. After he thanks her for standing up for him, she hugs him and realizes she wants to stay her and not go back. So let’s make babies and watch them grow up! I guess this beats having gay sex, right? Though, from time to time Ranmaru still tries to get him while Kichou and Kitsuno try to sneak up on him in bed at night. Naked. Damn, this guy’s dick is so coveted!!! Lastly, we see Kichou’s knife suddenly summoning another girl. Oh no. Say it isn’t so!!!

Blast From The Past: Sengoku Sluts
Oh dear. Everything feels so bad and going downhill that they introduced a new mysterious girl in the end. And not one by Nobunaga’s touch. So it could be that she isn’t one of his concubines and might be related to Kichou. But I’m not going to go there. So if Nobunaga has to satisfy all this wife and concubines’ spirit to ascend to heaven, I am figuring out that Ranmaru will be the last and probably never to be satisfied! Unless he turns gay then maybe. But for now, they’re trying to say that as long as you sexually satisfy them, they’ll go back. WTF logic is this?! So for the girls who want to be penetrated by him, does it mean until he is ready to do it with them, they’ll be stuck here forever? So it’s like a catch-22 situation for Kichou and Kitsuno because they want to have sex with him but once that is fulfilled, they can no longer be with him. Damn, this is a tough situation…

I wasn’t already expecting much already from this series but as the series progresses, it feels it has gone further and further into a downward spiral. It feels like they are making things up and write whatever that comes to mind as they go along. Basically the entire series feels like one shallow attempt to give us some sort of ecchi fanservice by turning this Nobunaga descendent into some sleazy perverted scumbag. And because this is supposed to be some sort of harem, hence females from his timeline are somewhat transported to this era to be sexualized by him. That just feels so shallow. Like as though they really badly wanted to do a sengoku harem centring around Nobunaga. I mean, does it really explain or attempt to explore why these girls from the past are brought to the future? At this particular point in time? Do they even attempt to solve this problem? Nah. Screw it.

Nobunaga feeling up his harem is what this series is aiming about. Sadly, it started with some potential when Kichou was summoned. You know, Kichou trying to make sense of her current surroundings and adjusting to life in the modern era. Everything looks okay until they brought in more sengoku girls just for the harem sake and didn’t care anymore. It turned from girls who didn’t mind stripping naked and suggesting he f*ck them to Nobunaga the man himself touching up the boobs of his harem. All in the name of helping them. This guy is one step in opening his own sex cult. Because any girl is okay with him. Though his fetish is lolis, he is still okay with mature women like Yuri. But no gay stuff. Don’t want dicks stuck into his ass, huh? I’ll say, the last episode was the most ‘exciting’ because they really made it in a way that Nobunaga might succumb to gay sex. I don’t watch gay porn animes so I’m not used to this ‘climaxing’ scene. But it sure feels refreshed compared to all the other straight sex porn molesting stuff in terms of that. Phew. Lucky Nobunaga. Couldn’t shag a female but did in a male? This is so screwed up if it ever happened.

The characters themselves are poorly written. Like Nobunaga himself is set up to become a sleazy pervert because that is what this anime is all about. He gets to touch his girls with ease because he starts thinking since he is the descendent of the original Nobunaga, that kind of status gives him a free pass to do as he wishes. After all, these sengoku babes are also somewhat thirsty themselves, right? They want to be his wife, get f*cked by him or get their tits sucked. Heh. I guess back in the past when there were no internet connection, other than going to war, there was literally nothing else to do. Yeah, there were no sex experts or sex therapists too so you can guess that people back then are as horny as people nowadays. Yeah. Some things never changed.

The girls fare no better. For some odd reasons, they tolerate his perverted behaviour because you know, he is the mighty Nobunaga. Heck, as the ultimate daimyou, he gets to do what he wants! Well, that would have passed if it was in the 16th century. That’s not going to fly now. That’s why this series looks so cheesy and mediocre. Kichou had the most potential at the start. But after she has come to terms with reality, it’s like as though she lost her bite. I know she started off as a character who doesn’t really love Nobunaga and only does so because it is her role as a woman. But subsequently I don’t see her growing to naturally love Nobunaga. With the focus mainly on Nobunaga molesting his girls, Kichou seems to be reduced to some sort of side viewer. She’s not really amused he is doing all that but she’s not really giving a f*cks to stop him like before. Remember there was a point where Kichou and Kitsuno were going to take out their knives and get ugly with each other? Yeah, logic dictates that they should enter a b*tch fight over dick instead of killing each other because this is an ecchi harem genre. Remember? Maybe the girls don’t really stop each other because they realize Nobunaga is a loser with no personality and will never get laid! Hah!

Yuri is one of those few characters who doesn’t like the main character. She’s not even tsundere. But it is still mind boggling that she allows herself to be molested by Nobunaga because of the twisted reason that his touch makes her inhabiting sengoku b*tch settle down. So there is no other way? Whatever. It’s your boobs anyway. Making her detest Nobunaga feels more fun because there is this thrill when you assault a resisting woman as oppose to one who is willing to do it any time (like Kitsuno). So yeah, with the only one having such humongous tits, it would have been a waste has she started using her brains to find out of a solution instead of letting Nobunaga HAND-le it. Pun intended. Then there is Mayu who is the typical cliché fujoshi girl, also a shy girl who harbours interest in her sensei. No wonder she feels threatened with the ever growing sengoku harem because before all this sh*t happened, she was the only one who was genuinely in love with him. Remember that promise to date each other if they haven’t found anybody by the time she graduates? No? So do I. Because it doesn’t matter now. She might be the first in line for his love but with the advent of those sengoku girls, she’s sliding down the rank and file. Then it gets even worse when they bring in Ranma/Ranmaru into the mix so late into the series. If having legal lolis is already bad enough, let’s throw in a cross-dresser and get some gay sh*t with! Yeah, this really sucks.

Not every girl here is part of his unofficial harem. Take Anna for instance. Because Mayu is such a shy girl, probably for her to have any chance in this unholy competition, you need to have this bold friend who would push you into the ring whether you are ready or not. That is primary her role. Yeah, she’s like the love manager and coach for Mayu. It’s more fun to see her friend be in this mess than herself. Nobunaga’s sister, Ichika feels as irrelevant. Sometimes I feel her character serves as a running joke to catch Nobunaga red handed in some sort ambiguous seemingly illegal loli activity and threaten to call the cops. I don’t see her trying to help solve this problem. Oh yeah. This is his problem. Not mine. So when he seemingly looks like as though he is going to rape his legal loli, she doesn’t hesitate to call the police. Some sister. No wonder Nobunaga gets depraved as the day passes. After all, this sengoku heaven won’t last forever. Either they somehow go back one day or Nobunaga dies first and leaves his wife and concubines behind like before in the past. Damn, I see a tragedy in history repeating itself.

Art and animation feel pretty average. Sometimes it is a bit bland but it could be my hardware. I don’t know if Yuri ever gets harassed by her students or outside school because of her unrealistic huge boobs but I guess those tits are drawn in a way to really attract your attention and keep your perverted eyes focused on them. Can’t… Take… My… Eyes… Off… Them… Kichou and Kitsuno wearing their traditional kimono around but nothing underneath feels like they are ready to give sex whenever Nobunaga wants it. Is it this easy to unrobe a kimono? Don’t worry. Proper censors in place when these girls decide to be an exhibitionist. Ironically bare tits don’t get censored at all unlike that heavily ecchi short series, Nande Koko Ni Sensei Ga. Heh. Sengoku lolis no tits at all… This series is animated by Seven who are masters in animating various short hentai flicks but they also did decent ones like Okusama Ga Seitokaichou, Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken, Inugami-san To Nekoyama-san, Strange+ and this season’s Joshikausei too.

Nothing special with the voice acting. The casts include Koudai Sakai as Nobunaga (Yuuto in Hyakuren No Haou To Seiyaku No Valkyria), Akari Uehara as Kichou (Riona in Ousama Game), Ari Ozawa as Kitsuno (Kirin in Gakusen Toshi Asterisk), Konomi Yuuzaki as Mayu, Marika Tanaka as Yuri, Moe Toyota as Anna (Midori in Hibike! Euphonium) and Suzuna Kinoshita as Ichika (Nona in Chou Kadou Girl 1/6: Amazing Stranger) and Kouki Miyata as Ranma (Susumu in Wandaba Style). The opening sounds weird. Koise Yo Minna Hai by Pyxis is a mix of traditional theme but added with some fast rapping hip hop music. And lots of spinning too! Spin round and round and round!!! Thank goodness this song only lasts for 30 seconds. The ending theme sounds a lot better and not that bad. Returner Butterfly by Rika Tachibana feels wasted to be put in this sleazy anime because its dramatic rock beat would have fit in other better anime series. Too bad it also lasts for only 30 seconds.

Overall, this anime is really bad. Cheesy, sleazy and fails to be funny at all. It’s only funny because it’s weird and cliché. You thought turning Nobunaga into a female in other series was bad and insulting enough. This one goes a step further by turning him into some depraved school teacher. A descendent who has somewhat tainted the name of the great unifier of Japan. At least those female reincarnations of Nobunaga can fight and have tits themselves. Such badass. This one feels like a perverted wimp. I hope that the real ending of this series would be Nobunaga was just having one of the weirdest dreams as he wakes up from his bed and realizes this fantasy was all in his head. Then somehow he gets summoned to the past and replaces the original Nobunaga and once more he gets to f*ck his harem and concubines in this sick and twisted isekai genre. See? I can also write this crappy story myself. No wonder the original Nobunaga is turning in his grave if he ever sees what Japan has become and done to his legacy.

I bet the reason why we know the seven deadly sins is not because we were pious and attended Sunday church to really know more about them. It’s thanks to anime! Not even common sense. Having characters based on those seven cardinal sins are in fact more fun than basing those off the seven heavenly virtues in which, by the way, can you even name them? So for today’s blog, I am listing down anime that uses this trope in their characters:

Anime: Fullmetal Alchemist & Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood.
Group name: Homunculi.
Members: Sloth (big dim-witted guy in Brotherhood but Juliet Douglas in the original), Greed, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Pride and Bradley (Wrath).
Trademark: Ouroboros mark on their body.
Leader: Father (creator for most Homunculi), Dante (only in original series).
Role: They serve as the main group of antagonists in both series.
Status: All died except for Pride who was stripped of all homunculus powers and rendered ‘useless’.
Thoughts: This is the very first anime I watched using this theme but ironically didn’t exactly watch the entire original series and skipped the rebooted version. The overall series wasn’t really my cup of tea so apologies for any inaccuracies.

Anime: Nanatsu No Taizai.
Group name: Nanatsu No Taizai (obviously).
Members: Melodias (Wrath), Ban (Greed), Diane (Lust), King (Sloth), Gowther (Sloth), Merlin (Gluttony) and Esconar (Pride).
Trademark: Animal mark on their body.
8th member: Elizabeth Liones and Hawk.
Role: Originally accused and blamed for trying to overthrow the kingdom, they are now being recalled as ‘heroes’ to defeat the corrupted Holy Knights who once saved the kingdom. In the second season, they have to thwart the revival of the Ten Commandments (powerful elite demons serving under the Demon King – ironically the laws of God are made up of really bad demons).
Status: Currently rising up as Britannia and possible the world’s greatest and most powerful band of heroes… Stay tuned.
Thoughts: Perhaps currently the most famous anime using this theme as it is the most recent and epic one (unless you’re a hardcore fan of the Fullmetal Alchemist series). This is one of the few series that encompasses the seven deadly sins as the good guys and you can’t help support and cheer for them.

Anime: Umineko No Naku Koro Ni.
Group name: The Seven Stakes/Sisters of Purgatory.
Members: Asmodeus (Lust), Satan (Wrath), Lucifer (Pride), Leviathan (Envy), Belphegor (Sloth), Mammon (Greed) and Beelzebub (Gluttony).
Trademark: Ability to turn into stakes and use sword of light.
Leader: Beatrice.
Role: They serve as Beatrice’s weapon in battles.
Status: Despite the ambiguous ending in the anime, their fate is not known as they are tied closely to Beatrice’s fate. I read that in one of the game chapters when Beatrice is defeated, they become furniture. That’s putting stakes to good use…
Thoughts: Not really central to the anime. I thought they’re needed just to showcase Beatrice’s power as well as to add more spice and variety (sometimes complication) to the deaths and mystery of the arc. Not that powerful or united because sometimes they lose and at certain points, fought against each other.

Anime: 11eyes.
Group name: The Black Knights.
Members: Superbia (Pride), Avaritia (Greed), Ira (Wrath), Invidia, Acedia (Sloth), Gula (Greed) and Luxuria (Lust).
Formerly: Part of the Punishment Squad under Index.
Leader: Liselotte who is actually Luxuria.
Role: To eliminate the protagonists of the series whom they calls as Fragments.
Status: All died except for Superbia.
Thoughts: Saw this anime such a long time ago and can’t remember much. Only remembered them because of their creepy voodoo Halloween-like armour that was enough to give nightmares. At least for me.

Anime: Kateikyou Hitman Reborn.
Group name: The Varia.
Members: Xanxus (Wrath), Superbi Squalo (Pride), Leviathan (Envy), Belphegor (Sloth), Mammon (Greed), Lussuria (Lust) and Gola Mosca (Gluttony).
Other member: Flan (replacing Mammon in future arc).
Privately owned: Mansion and private jet.
Role: As the Vongola’s elite assassination squad, they temporarily become the antagonist against Tsuna’s Vongola family to test their worth for the ownership of the Vongola Rings.
Status: Now serving (although it feels like reluctantly) under Tsuna’s reign.
Thoughts: It was nice having to watch each member facing off against Tsuna’s side. One of my favourite arcs and battles in the series. This group is one of the few using this theme to be completely all male.

Anime: Trinity Seven.
Group name: Trinity Seven (duh).
Members: Lilith Asami (Lust), Levi Kazama (Envy), Mira Yamana (Pride), Akio Fudou (Gluttony), Arin Kannazuki (Wrath), Yui Kurata (Greed) and Lieselotte Sherlock (Sloth).
8th member: Selina (Lieselotte’s younger twin sister).
Trademark: Research themes called Thema.
Master: Arata Kasuga.
Role: As the top mages in their respective field of Royal Biblia Academy, their goal is to help Arata become a powerful mage so he can rescue his cousin, Hijiri.
Status: Harem already in hand, when can harem activities begin?
Thoughts: Ironically this is perhaps the only anime that uses this theme for its characters that has their traits far off from their assigned sin. Simple because “the Thema is supposed to be the thing that is farthest from yourself, hence your true magic”. Don’t really understand…

Anime: Fairy Tail.
Group name: Seven Kin of Purgatory.
Guild: Grimoire Hearts.
Members: Ultear Milkovich (Envy), Meldy (Lust), Zancrow (Wrath), Rusty Rose (Sloth), Azuma (Pride), Kain Hikaru (Gluttony) and Caprico/Zoldeo (Greed).
Leader: Hades (guild leader).
Role: To find Zeref’s seal and to resurrect him for their ideal World of Great Magic. Also, during the Tenroujima arc, to defeat all Fairy Tail members.
Status: Failed group. Mission not completed. With deaths and defections as well as the fall of the guild itself, only Rusty Rose and Hikaru remain ‘active’ but they’re hardly any threat to anything. Why do they still exist?
Thoughts: I guess when you have a long running epic anime, you need to have a bunch of varied enemies or groups for our many heroes to fight, power up and drive forward the plot. Yeah, despite being failures I suppose they did good in their part for our heroes.

Anime: Sin – Nanatsu No Taizai.
Group name: The Mortal Sins.
Members: Lucifer (Pride), Leviathan (Envy), Satan (Wrath), Mammon (Greed), Asmodeus (Lust), Beelzebub (Gluttony) and Belphegor (Sloth).
8th member: Maria Totsuka (normal girl serving Lucifer).
Former members: Belial (Vanity – former leader) and Astaroth (Melancholy).
Role: Lucifer who was formerly God’s archangel became a fallen angel and vowed to seek revenge against Michael who betrayed her. Hence the other Mortal Sins were tasked to stop her from taking over hell.
Status: Lucifer kicked everyone’s ass and became their new leader. Time to prepare their fight against heaven…
Thoughts: The series’ name itself is already almost confused with a well-known one, making some to think this is a much sexier version of it although it has no relation whatsoever. Demons so hot and sexy is no wonder why people keep losing faith in God and turn to the dark side… I guess committing the sin is worth the price. They have their Seven Heavenly Virtues counterpart but they are appalling and far less attractive than the devilishly sinful ones…

Anime: Inu Yasha.
Group name: Band of Seven AKA Shichintai.
Members: Bankotsu (Pride), Jakotsu (Envy), Renkotsu (Greed), Suikotsu (Sloth), Ginkotsu (Wrath), Mukotsu (Lust) and Kyoutkotsu (Gluttony).
Trademark: Unique facial tattoos.
History: Merciless mercenaries who loved to kill and were finally beheaded by the feudal lords but brought back to life later by Naraku’s Shikon Jewel shards.
Role: As antagonist in their arc, they serve as distraction for our heroes while Naraku heals himself.
Status: All killed. Again for the second time…
Thoughts: While watching this arc in this series, this group never occurred to me as using this theme and only much later. Don’t remember much in detail but they’re one of the deadliest groups Inuyasha has fought aside Naraku’s groupies.

Anime: Re: Zero Kara Hajimaru Isekai Seikatsu.
Group name: Witch Cult’s Sin Archbishops.
Trademarks: Part of their names are taken after the constellation.
Thoughts: Oh hell, they are only mentioned in the anime and haven’t made their appearances yet, though many of its members appeared in the novel already. Only Betelgeuse Romanee Conti who represented Sloth made his appearance but he got killed. If Betelgeuse was already a crazy maniac, imagine what the others would be like…

Let Those Without Sin Cast The First Stone
This list isn’t meant to be exclusive as there are many more out there that I have missed. For example, Angel Sanctuary. I did not see that show but this manga was only adapted into an OVA with a few episodes. There are characters representing the seven deadly sins in this manga but did not appear in the OVA. Then there is Digimon (which I mostly didn’t see either) whose seven deadly sins aren’t all in one series but I read each one of them is represented through each spinoffs. It clearly shows that as long as we are humans, we are all susceptible to one or many of the aforementioned sins. Because being human, to do evil and have desires are so much fun than being virtuously clean, good and innocent. Who else is to blame for our crumbling faith that would eventually destroy our existence? Probably it is all worth the risk and sin. That’s what makes us so human. Not God or angels, Satan or demons. Just humans.

Kenja No Mago

August 18, 2019

Oh no. Here we go again. Yet another isekai genre with overpowered main character theme. Main character who is supposedly a normal guy whom nobody will ever notice in his life somewhat dies. Gets reincarnated in another world. A fantasy world filled with magic and, uhm, other fantasy-like stuffs. Retains memories of his old life. Grows up to be the most powerful character. Ever. Easily creates or overcomes anything because he is main character. If that sounds so cliché, overused and generically done to death, don’t be surprise this season we have Kenja No Mago having the same thing. One reason why I decided to watch this (because seriously, I am ‘hooked’ on this sort of bad genres) is because the synopsis said how the grandpa of this main character taught him everything he could. Except he forgot to teach him common sense! Ah, I am expecting this is going to be funny but still keeping my low expectations not to expect so much. Because they shouldn’t have made this anime had they had common sense in the first place! Haha!

Episode 1
Typical Japanese salaryman works late. Overworked. Goes home tired. Gets hit by speeding truck while crossing the road. End of story. On Earth, that is. Because now he is reincarnated into a baby in another magical world! Shin Wolford learns all kinds of great magic from his grandpa, Merlin who is of course the greatest wizard who ever lived. He is further trained by his friends, Melida Bowen and Michel Colling. At 10, Merlin reveals to him about demons. Apparently anything can turn into a demon if the magical power goes berserk. On his first try, Shin manages to detect a demon and kills it! Merlin lets him know the truth that he isn’t his real grandson but saved him from a carriage attacked by demons. However Shin also knows this. This is because he somewhat retains his memories from his previous life in Japan. As Shin turns 15 and into adulthood, he must now think what to do. Discussing with his relatives, it is most likely demon hunting due to his great skills. However he lacks common sense since Merlin never thought him any. After Shin shows them his great teleportation skill (that surprisingly doesn’t exist in this magical world) as well as a super fire power explosion, this has everyone think he can’t really go out into the real world like that. It will be dangerous. Aside putting others in danger, think about how he might be targeted by others who want his power. Hence his uncle, Diseum von Earlsheid suggests to attend a magic academy in his kingdom and make new friends around his age. Did I mention that he is the king of his own country? This means his siblings, Christina Hayden and Siegfried Marquez are his royal guards. Diseum and Merlin are good friends due to a demon incident that attacked his kingdom when he was still a crown prince. The subjugation team was decimated and Diseum could have been done for had not Merlin and his then assistant Melida saved the day and destroyed the demon. Oh, did I mention that Merlin and Melida was once married? I think these few news surprises are too much Shin can take for today. Shin makes his way to the capital. Because Merlin and Melida are such great celebrities, everyone loves them. While they take care of matters at the super luxurious mansion Shin is going to live in (maids, butlers and even an own chef!), Shin explores town. So far so good for a guy with no common sense. Then of course he sees ruffians harassing cute chicks at the back alley. He easily defeats them and is instantly taken by the beauty of Sizilien von Klode.

Episode 2
Sizilien and Maria von Messina introduce themselves. Coincidence they are all going to take the entrance exam to the magic academy? They also talk about the revered Merlin and Melida without realizing Shin’s relationship to them. At the school gates, Shin gets into trouble when douchebag Kurt von Rietsburg accuses him of some petty stuff. He is forced to back down when August tells him off that this is against the rules. August is Diseum’s son and this means he is Shin’s cousin. During the entrance exam, Shin witnesses and is embarrassed to see candidates chanting and making elaborate moves but their firepower is so weak! When it’s his turn, he almost destroys everything without putting in any effort! It goes without saying he passes and the top scorer. Because of that, he has to give a speech during the entrance ceremony. You mean Maria and Sizilien now only discover he is related to Merlin?! You mean they never bother to even find out or noticed his name on the results board?! Soon Sizilien turns to Shin for help as Kurt has been harassing her and trying to force her to be his fiancée. We can see Kurt the jerk trying to throw his weight around and even threatening to use his family’s position to ruin her father’s job. With Shin vowing to protect her, August then steps him and reminds him of what he said. Back down again. Fearing Kurt might strike again, he invites them to his home. August also tags along since his father will be there. Shin has to accommodate a couple of more friends, Thor von Flegel and Julius von Littenheim as they are August’s escorts. After meeting Merlin and Melida, Shin offers to rewrite the enchantment on Sizilien’s uniform. However Melida cautions her that this will make her uniform national treasure grade level. Is she worthy to accept it? Sizilien feels guilty and can’t accept it. She felt she had used Shin for her own gains. But this is just a test by Melida to see her true nature. So I guess she gets to get her uniform enchanted, huh? With Shin easily doing so, Diseum suggests to keep this a secret because there will be nations who are willing to wage war just to get this. To make Sizilien even safer, Shin will send her home from school every day. Will that be imposing on him? Nah. Just use his teleportation! Since he only can teleport to places he has been, he needs to go to her house once.

Episode 3
We are introduced to the rest of the S-class that Shin and co are in. Alice Corner, Lyn Hughes, Tony Freyd and Yuri Carlton. Their teacher, Alfred Marcus shows them around school and also talks about forming a club. Everyone seems to be deciding for themselves that Shin should create a new club and be its president and that they’ll all join it. Heck, they’ve even already got a name for it: Ultimate Magic Study Group! Lame! Meanwhile Diseum receives reports of an increase in demon sightings and orders an investigation since the reports sound like they are artificially induced. Kurt’s father reprimands his son because he received a summons to the king. Kurt maintains they are the chosen ones and are different than everybody. Dad has no choice but to beat him up and lock him up for this unruly behaviour. With Kurt grounded, does Shin have any more reasons to escort Sizilien from school? Oh Sizilien, why the sad looks? Even if the menace is no more, is there any reason not to? Their homes are in the same direction. Oh Sizilien, you looking so relieved as you are embarrassed. On to serious talk regarding Kurt’s behaviour, as August went to the same middle school with him, he was not like that at all. He only noticed after he was summoned to the lab of Oliver Schtrom that he started behaving this way. You know it’s bad news when that magician has a reputation of being exiled from an empire. Speaking of which, he visits Kurt’s residence as requested in hopes to talk that boy to his senses. But unfortunately he aggravates the situation as he imposes more magic on him and tells him to get rid of this hindrance. Later Shin could feel somebody having great ill will towards them. It’s Kurt! Thanks to his fast reflexes, his barrier protects them all from Kurt’s roasting. With Kurt as a demon, Shin wants everyone to get out of here and he’ll face Kurt alone. They will only get in the way. Shin fights the raging demon but notes Kurt doesn’t display any full symptoms of a demon so he might not be fully one yet and there’s a chance of him turning back. However with Kurt threatening to blow up himself and everything caught in the school’s radius, Shin has no choice but to decapitate him. It’s the only way. First human killed. There’s a first time for everything.

Episode 4
Schtrom is satisfied with the results of his experiment. Meanwhile Shin is baffled because is it that easy for one to turn into a demon? Fighting Kurt, he was weak and has not lost all his sense of reasoning. Hence he deduces that Kurt turning into a demon could be artificially induced. As word of his heroics spread, Diseum awards him a medal. This doesn’t please Merlin as this would mean politicizing the issue and making Shin the target. Diseum assures he has issued a gag order and will take any steps to prevent anything bad from happening to his people. Merlin takes his word for it and if he breaks his promise, they will leave the kingdom. With Shin’s popularity, many want to join his club but luckily Marcus imposed high standard requirements to join. I guess Mark Bean and Olivia Stone are the lucky ones. As Mark’s family is a blacksmith, Shin hopes he could forge a better sword for him to slay demons. The security investigators trace Schtrom as the last person who has seen Kurt and talk to him. We find out he is blinded in both eyes due to a family power struggle and hence he was exiled. Schtrom sounds sympathetic to Kurt’s case and when invited to join a group of specialists to examine Kurt’s body, he agrees. But soon royal guards surround Schtrom. They know he is the culprit. As Diseum has put a gag order, Kurt’s name has not been released to the public to allow privacy for his family and yet Schtrom knew he was the demon. Schtrom admits he did it for an experiment but it’s time to flee since all his experiments here are done. Good timing or coincidence as Shin and co are walking home when a blast occurs nearby. Schtrom attacking his captors. When Shin realizes who he is, he jumps into attacking him. Shin manages to destroy his blinds and is shocked to see red eyes. He is a demon but how could he maintain his reasoning? In that case, Schtrom asks to define reasoning and on what grounds. If so, all humans mean nothing to him. Shin defeats him by burning him with God’s ray of light???!!! Because he doesn’t sense his presence, did he really get him? But Shin remains sceptical. With Dominic Gastor (Michel’s knight commander successor) and Rupert Olgran (court magic division captain) praising his efforts, Shin tries to explain how he used the sun powers to magnify that magic. Of course, nobody gets it. And true enough, Schtrom lives but badly wounded. Managed to escape in the nick of time.

Episode 5
Melida asks Maria about Shin and Sizilien. They’re perfect for each other although they don’t know it. Even worse for Sizilien as she doesn’t know she is in love as she has many boys confessing to her but all were rejected. Because of that, Shin is actually her first love. Later Shin deduces and confirms Schtrom is alive because he tested out the same magic but the outcome and effects were so much different than that battle. Shin meets Mark’s father and puts in his order to develop a new weapon. Meanwhile in the Blusfia Empire, Zest reports to King Herald about his info Earlsheid Kingdom. With that, the king is ready to go to war with them. When Shin wants to buy Sizilien an accessory, she flusters greatly about it. Only to learn the accessory is supposed to be a defensive charm. No wonder everyone is so disappointed with him! Realizing his mistake, Shin gets a small ring for her. Why does it look like an engagement ring? Shin must be a tired and popular man because after the award ceremony and party, now the public is hounding him. Thank goodness for his teleport magic, right? But he explains it isn’t teleportation but rather relocation because it just closes the distance. Huh?! Shin has his friends level up their magic due to the recent events. Because of their different perception and thinking of magic (they think it is chanting and visualization instead of magic power), he demonstrates the difference in the magic barrier they create compared to his. And then he shows how to control magic and his aura was so freaking intense that everybody thought they were going to die. I guess no pain, no gain. With that, everyone is tasked to train and control their magic every day. Good for them, they also get some hints from Merlin as he tells them Shin does his magic is not by visualizing the outcome but the process. Thus Merlin displays he can also open the same teleportation gate as Shin once he understands the process. The sword prototype is ready and Shin likes it. August seeks his permission to mass produce it since it will be cost effective. This is because it seems war with Blusfia is imminent as the latter has been having a massive build-up for war. If that happens, the students might be enlisted to fight. Even if the kingdom take steps not to make Shin fight, he will not let his friends be in danger. Yup, he is going to fight with them. Oh yeah, we are so assured and safe when our Shin the hero is around.

Episode 6
Herald is devastated to learn the Earlsheid ambushed them and is way more prepared than their side. More fury when it is reported that Zest has been missing and Herald takes this as a sign of betrayal. That’s not all. Reports that demons are attacking his Blusfia capital. Hence he orders his troops to pull back. The Earlsheid side would love to pursuit but it seems the demons are aiding in Blusfia’s retreat? Back in Blusfia, demons ravage the entire capital and the one behind this is no other than Schtrom and his assistant, Miria. When Herald returns, he is personally killed by Schtrom. A few days later as the Earlsheid side waltz into the devastated capital, they realize Schtrom is behind this and everyone in the capital has turned into demons. Man, Schtrom must be kind enough to let them go and report back. To counter that, there will be a joint training between the magic academy and knight academy. Some of the magicians are frowning over this because there is some rivalry between both schools. Magicians are superb in magic but physically weak while the knights are vice versa. You can see where the taunts are coming from. Not sure if it is jealousy or admiration as the friends learn that Shin was trained under Michel. If Merlin is the magic genius, Michel is the sword version. The joint training is divided into several groups. Shin, August, Sizilien and Maria get to be with top knights, Kreis Lloyd, Miranda Wallace, Neun Curtis and Kent McGregor. As expected, the knights look down on the magicians and don’t even think highly of Shin despite his reputation. This forces August to have them learn the lesson the hard way. If they face a demon, the knights will take it down without any of their help. Good for this team, their advisors would be Christina and Siegfried. Damn, those 2 have fan boys and fan girls?! The first demon is sighted and the knights go into action only to be pathetically defeated. Then in one fell swoop, Shin decapitates it. With Miranda denouncing their pathetic showing, they regret their arrogance and promise to work together. And Sizilien being kind to them treating their wounds, have they found a new person to look up to? Shin, you jealous? But Maria too? I guess she wants some of the guys’ attention too. When the next wave of 100 demons come, Shin now takes centre stage. A single blast not only destroys the horde but clears a path through the forest! Thank goodness environmental laws don’t’ exist here. Miranda is so awed that she apologizes to him for her earlier arrogance. She thinks Shin and Sizilien are a couple, causing them to deny and react in the obvious and most embarrassed way that proves that they somewhat are.

Episode 7
Shin’s group is getting along pretty fine. Siegfried is interested to know how Shin’s study group practise their magic. So after August explains the boringness of their daily practice of magic strengthening, he then has Maria and Sizilien demonstrate. Their barrier might not be as thick as Shin’s but they’ve improved a lot. Meanwhile we see the other groups still somewhat not getting along. Yeah, a frosty relationship still. Tony is hated by Julio not because the former defected from a knight to a magician but rather the girl Julio likes confessed to Tony and they went out together. Although they broke up shortly, the straw that broke the camel’s back was they kissed. Yeah… Meanwhile on Alice’s side, the knight guys think they’re tough enough to let the magician chicks be protected by them. Of course we seem them getting owned by weak ass demon pups (are they fighting or just playing?) so the girls unleash their devastating magic to show them who’s boss. All those training paid off. All groups finish their joint training with no unwanted incidents. Shin’s group continue to train in a desolated place. The best place to take out all their raw magic power! August then tells them a secret regarding some info they got on demons. He has to since they are basically not the general populace anymore and if anything happens, they’ll be an important part in their forces. The info is about Blusfia having all its citizens and even nobles turned into demons. Hence Earlsheid must form a coalition with other nations or they won’t stand a chance. How to counter this gloomy news? A training camp! Summer break is coming up anyway. Since a resort area isn’t ideal in the current situation, it is suggested that Sizilien’s place would be for the best as her family runs a hotspring. With that, even Merlin and Melida want to join in under pretence to keep an eye on the young ones. Hotsprings are so irresistible. During the journey, a few demon wolves attack. Heck, they look vicious but we know they’re pretty weak. The gang even draw lots to see who attacks them and Lyn won the lottery and gets to blast them all away. Easy pie. Reaching at Sizilien’s estate, everyone takes a dip after a long day’s journey. Nothing exciting over the men’s section. Guys grateful to each other and Shin thanking Merlin so much that it makes the old man cry like a baby. BORING! What about the girls’ side? All those with big boobs like Sizilien, Yuri and Olivia get molested after Melida describes her exercising regimen actually made her boobs smaller because you know, exercising burns away fat! Can’t argue with that!

Episode 8
Everyone’s doing well in their magic training. Shin won’t fall behind too and this causes everyone to take precaution and form a barrier. Just in case. True enough, Shin ravages the mountains! August wants Shin to send him back to his castle for a while so he can get updates on the demons. However he didn’t expect to see his fiancée, Elisabet “Ellie” von Koralle and his little sister, May. They aren’t happy since they went to a camp without them. August reminds them this camp isn’t all fun and games and won’t allow it. Unfortunately Diseum approves of it since it would be a nice change in pace for them. Can’t disobey a king’s words. Both promise to not get in the way of their training. Ellie seems to be more worried of Shin than the other girls as she has this misinterpretation that he is close enough to August for some hot BL action???!!! WTF?! August dispels that thought with some sweet words and then turns the topic about Sizilien. He hopes Shin would make his stance about their relationship clear. Would he rather have he come out and say it instead? Ellie and May are introduced to the rest. May is a big fan of Melida and is thrilled to meet her. Then everyone starts teasing Sizilien about her love, causing her to blush so red that it makes her run away. Oh Shin, better do something quick. And so that night they both talk things out and in the end, they confess they love each other. Finally. Before they seal it with a kiss, only to be interrupted by the cliché of all the busybodies crashing down. There’s no way they could miss this big event, right? Even Merlin and Melida are in on this big scoop. With that, Shin and Sizilien are now officially dating. The magic training continues the next day with Shin coming up with a new practice. It isn’t your ordinary beach volleyball. But one with magic infused! Yes, everybody can use their magic to their heart’s content to send the ball over to the opponent’s side. If there was a championship on this, they’d be winners. Consecutively. At night, August talks about him meeting Ellie for the first time and was the only girl who caught his attention and eyes since unlike the rest, she never tried to butter him up. Everyone has to hide since Melida is coming to check on them (they’re supposed to be sleeping at this hour?). Unfortunately this is the much needed fanservice cliché moment for Shin to hide underneath the same blanket with Sizilien and he accidentally got his hands all over her boobs. I guess you can say they’re busted. But the blame falls on Shin since Melida thinks he is trying to take the relationship to the next level too soon. Oh, everyone also gets busted and punished.

Episode 9
Nothing is more important than interrupting training camp for Sizilien to bring Shin back to her home and introduce him to her parents. Thankfully, instead of that cliché overprotective dad that cute daughters have, Sizilien’s dad is so happy and thankful. He could have further made a fool of himself had his wife not stop him. Of course they remind him that since they are part of the viscount, there needs to be proper steps. This means they must be engaged first before marriage. They’ve at least thought this far, right? Back to the training, you can tell the gang is definitely overpowered when all these explosions are just warm up! Everyone gets defensive again when Shin tries out his new magic. Thankfully it is just floating magic and he successfully can make himself fly now! Later as Shin tells Merlin and Melida about his engagement, looks like they need to go see Sizilien’s parents for an important business. That is, they reveal Shin isn’t their real grandchild and apologize if they accepted their engagement based on this. Though they are disappointed, however that is only because they think little of them. Sizilien’s parents are in fact happy that there is a boy who cares for her and they agreed to their engagement not because of Shin’s status but because he values her. With that out of the way, Shin thanks his grandparents for being his grandparents. Age must have caught up to them because they’re now so teary eyed. Shin has boosted up the stats of the uniforms of his friends. Looks like they’re going to go hunt a dangerous catastrophe level demon. Before that, May feels side-lined again so Shin makes a paper cup and string telephone for her? This isn’t magic! It’s just basic science!!! Shin has those playing support role attack a catastrophe level demon. Damn, they make it look so easy. If they are this powerful, imagine what those offensive level magicians could do. Yup, individual they could easily roast those demons with no sweat. Fast forward to the engagement party. Sizilien looks absolutely stunning in her gown. Diseum leads the party to cheer and drink to their engagement. After the party, Shin proposes to Sizilien with a ring to marry her. Yes! Yes! I do! Man, they really move things along fast.

Episode 10
Now everybody can fly! Yeah, thanks to Shin’s new flying magic! Meanwhile Schtrom has finally destroyed all nobles in Blusfia. He did it by turning the suffering commoners into demons and then exterminate the nobles who still continue to enjoy their lavish lifestyle. With his goal achieved, Schtrom has no other objectives but his demons want to conquer other nations and the world! However Schtrom won’t do something so troublesome. He already achieved what he has to. He tells the rest to do whatever they want. Miria wonders why he doesn’t have any more desires so Schtrom tells his tragic past. During a time he was an imperial duke and going by the name of Oliveira, he truly worked hard for his people. This stems from his journey to Earlsheid during his younger days when he saw commoners living a normal life compared to his Blusfia nation that has a slavery system. Of course the nobles were not pleased by this. They fear when he becomes emperor, he will make policies in favour of the commoners and they will all flock to him while nobles lose their powers. Led by Herald who was then just a noble, they plan to invite Oliveira to the capital for some management training and keep him there. In the meantime, they spread lies to his people about some fake kidnappings Oliveira did. After all, why would a noble treat you so kind, right? They even staged a fake kidnapping trail to show the people the ‘kidnapped women’. That’s when the people decide to take the law into their own hands. Yeah, they burn down his house? Oh, did I mention Oliveira had an expecting wife?

Coincidentally, Oliveira is on his way home and saw his house burnt to the ground. Not sure if the mob beat up and killed his wife because she doesn’t look burnt at all. And they all confront Oliveira inside his burning home?! Once Oliveira heard the rumours he is accused of, he quickly realizes his naivety and connected the dots of the culprits behind this. With him so mad and sad, he Super Saiyans into a demon! Too late to beg for mercy now! He is going to destroy everybody! So Super Saiyan his aura that it turned everything into wastelands!!! Now with his story told, Zest tells Lawrence they need to set a new goal for Schtrom. He is to attack the small kingdom of Sweed that borders with Earlsheid. Doing so will attract Shin. This guy will be the next perfect objective for Schtrom and will make him stronger. Meanwhile August is in some public ceremony when some guard can loudly announce the attacking of demons at Sweed? Man, he really wants to cause a panic, no? But no fear as August assures. They are prepared because they have Shin! But of course. WTF unrobing with style is this part of the tactic? We’re so confident. Now August wants Shin to come up with a new name for their group to add more bite. I’m sure he is looking around for answers. Aha! Don’t worry, people. Ultimate Magicians are here! Oh well, we should have known better. Nothing says like more assurance as Ultimate Magicians take off to the sky! Ultimate Magicians, roll out! Oops, I mean, move out!

Episode 11
The demons begin their attack on Sweed. The Sweed people don’t have to wait for days for reinforcements to arrive. Ultimate Magicians just fly in! A big chunk of this series follows this sort of pattern: Demons terrorize the people, about to kill the weak and helpless, just in time Ultimate Magicians drop in to fight them, demons get cocky and underestimate those kids, realize too late they are f*cking powerful and die standing. Uh huh. We get to see all of Shin’s friends at least having their bit of spotlight in kicking ass. Those who fight Shin themselves draw the raw end of the stick because you know how absurdly powerful he is, right? This sends Lawrence panicking. He thought it was easy to scout his weakness. Only, DOES THIS GUY EVEN HAVE A WEAKNESS???!!! OH SH*T!!! Not only Shin, but his Ultimate Magicians are also f*cking overpowered! Better rethink your strategy. Hence Zest felt he has got more than he bargained for. The plan to gauge Shin’s strength has backfired. Since it would be too much for Lawrence to help the surviving demons to retreat, he sends Miria in. Damn, Dark Phoenix rising? Should’ve sent her in the first place! Meanwhile Schtrom feels envy that Zest didn’t tell him he was having so much fun. Now he wants in. Hey, don’t blame Zest. Weren’t you uninterested in conquering the world in the first place? But at least we can get to the final boss fight very soon… I hope.

Episode 12
Wow. Sizilien healing everybody like Jesus! Until she meets her match when one just couldn’t stop bleeding… Meanwhile Miria takes on some of Ultimate Magicians. I don’t know whether to feel happy and support Miria as she gives them a beat down. For once they aren’t so tough. This distraction allows Lawrence to get the other demons to evacuate. Of course Shin won’t let them escape and is close to doing overkill. However he has to let some go when he spots his friends fighting against Miria. But sorry, no epic showdown because Lawrence assists her in setting up some great explosion to help her escape after the other demons are gone. Damage report, despite the city in ruins, none of Ultimate Magicians suffered any real injuries. Yeah, they’re back up walking. Meanwhile Sizilien is at her wits’ end to heal this guy. She can’t go on anymore. She is even thinking of stripping and let this guy where her auto healing robe. Unfortunately Sizilien’s naked body is only for Shin to see. So he can’t have her stripping and takes over. It’s tough and I don’t know how he does it but he did it. Guy lives. Wow. Sizilien is on the verge of breaking down over her uselessness. But Shin reminds her not to let this near defeat shake her up because look at all the others she has healed. August and Ultimate Magicians have an audience with the king of Sweed. August feels weird about this attack. Because Schtrom didn’t enter the fray, he thought it was a diversion but there are no reports of demon attacks elsewhere. Since this is not over, he proposes an alliance between both nations and will organize a meeting in a few days. August returns to report back to Diseum and is given permission to become the negotiator between both nations. Meanwhile Zest and co get a little lecture from Schtrom. He knew what they were doing but didn’t intervene just to let them know the hard way how formidable Shin is and that is why he must be left alone. When Schtrom asks Miria about that matter, she needs more verification. It hints she might be carrying his baby! Holy sh*t! Ultimate Magicians take off for another mission. Merlin and Melida thought it is going to get a little quieter now. However all of them suddenly come back since nobody booked any accommodation and they don’t want to sleep in the woods. No you appreciate your peace and quiet more?

Wild Child, Wiser None The Less
Oh God. I don’t know how much more I could take but thank goodness it ended. Despite the lacklustre ending that leaves a lot to be desired, I guess it is better than having a rushed ending that would even ruin everything. There is this dilemma to see Shin and Schtrom in an ultimate epic showdown for the world’s fate but I guess it is best to leave the possibility that an ultimate demon baby born between powerful demons to be the one who will get in Shin’s way! Yeah, I think I prefer this but considering after a dozen episodes of mediocrity, I’ll leave that to my wildest imaginations. If I ever want to think of this series in the future, that is.

I thought having low expectations was already bad enough but it seems that wasn’t enough for this series and they went to exceed that by being even more disappointing. Heh. Maybe I was unconsciously not putting enough low expectations on this series in the first place? Even though this series does have some potential, I don’t think it would be anything that would be ground breaking. I mean, the most I can see is turning up the tragedy of humans turning into demons with higher intelligence capabilities. Even so, how far can one go with that kind of storyline? Instead, the series meanders about aimlessly with the initial episodes trying to establish the characters, especially Shin and his friends whose groupie is now known as the Ultimate Magicians (*chuckle, chuckle*)!

Despite the looming threat and introduction of Schtrom as a potentially dangerous demon, the middle of the series further wanders about into some time wasting fillers that don’t mean anything much except to establish the fact that Shin and Sizilien are now officially a couple. I guess that puts to rest the debate of whether or not this should be a harem series. And then the final stretch of the season has the demons attack the neighbouring country and our Ultimate Magicians face their greatest battle yet. Too bad. Not enough episodes left. That’s why it also somewhat feels rushed. Then again, after all that straying, one would wish this would end and not waste any more time.

The characters are just boring, generic and cliché as ever. Especially the main character like Shin whom we have all seen numerous times in other animes. It is like as though he is that same character but existing in a different form in a different universe. To add more cliché insult, they make him overpowered from the start. He can do anything, fix anything, make everything better! It is such a good thing this world lacks the kind of R&D technology despite having magic. Because if they can’t figure it out, let Shin do it! Wow. Everything so easy. Don’t need for any more magicians in this world. One man Shin can do the job. That’s why given all these clichés, it is hard to find Shin likeable or a reason to support him because for us to really want to root for main characters, we have to see him grow as a character and that includes overcoming all his shortcomings and weaknesses through trials and tribulations. What did Shin ever go through? We see him come up with the solutions with ease and even besting the toughest of the toughest mother monsters in the land without breaking a sweat! Without any worries on his face! WTF???!!! I bet the hardest he has ever need to go through was his confession to Sizilien! Yikes!

Making all this seemingly worse is how they start off by letting us know he is from our world and then gets killed off and be reincarnated in this new world. In exchange for losing his old life, he retains his memories. That is isekai logic for you. I guess this isekai thing is so that the series can make a big deal of why he is so overpowered in the first place. Because plucking him out from the common fodder with no background to boot makes it all so suspicious and cheesy. Yeah. Damn if they do, damn if they don’t. Therefore by letting us know that he comes from a different world, it gives an excuse (no matter how flimsy and weak it is) so that this main character is a genius and overpowered one. Hey, remember, isekai logic. Can’t be August. Can’t be Sizilien. Can’t be Maria. It has to be Shin. Despite the rest being talented themselves, Shin is the chosen one. Because he comes from another world! So now you see why this isekai genre is so popular lately?!

I guess I was wrong in the first place to put any sort of hopes regarding Shin’s lack of common sense. To say that he lacks so is somewhat misleading. Sure, he is not taught the proper social ways because of his intense training but it is not like he is stupid, right? Besides, he is more of oblivious and this character you can see everywhere in so many other animes. You know, characters who are just basically dense. An important ingredient (although not necessary) for main characters. Thus with the synopsis having labelled him as one with no common sense, I guess my own common sense failed me as I got taken in to expect something that would make Shin different than the rest of the other main characters. He’s just the same like any dense and oblivious character. But hey, aren’t all geniuses eccentric and hence their quirky behaviours aren’t really that common after all?

The rest of the other characters feel like they don’t matter. So as to show us that Shin is not a lone wolf, therefore he needs to have his own circle of friends. Well, it’s another catch-22 situation because it is a good thing they are growing as powerful as him instead of the need for him to always protect them forever. So if you’re tired of seeing Shin always hogging to overpowered spotlight, sometimes we get to see his friends. Following his footsteps to become the next destructive force in the land! And then the world! So to basically sum up his groupie: August the royalty trope. Ellie also the royalty trope but female version. Sizilien the cutie girlfriend. Maria her token best friend. Also the girl who sometimes b*tch about wanting to have her own boyfriend. Yuri for fanservice since she got the biggest bust. Alice the loli type for those not into big boobs. But don’t call her a kid. That’s her taboo word. May the little sister trope. Lyn the megane girl. Also comic relief for her magic to get overpowered enough to blow up and cause some afro hairstyle joke. Thor the girly guy. Julius the manly guy. Mark and Olivia the normal people. I guess that sums up the kids.

I don’t want to go through the same cycle for the adults because who likes to talk about old people, right? This series seems to introduce a lot of irrelevant people and they make it look like as though they are going to be significant later on since their name pops up on screen. But it could be just red herring. You know, don’t want this certain butler and maid to be just nameless NPCs. Here, slap a name onto them. Yeah… That should make them feel a little more important. Otherwise, Merlin and Melida feel like a grumpy old couple and being that famous magician during their heydays feel a lot like anime fantasy. Heh. I feel Diseum has the weirdest name because it sounds like, “Diss ‘em”…

The antagonists are also big fails themselves. I wonder if Schtrom knows how to be a proper villain. Sure, he has a goal. He just wants revenge on those who wronged him. I won’t say it’s noble because like they say, a thief with a cause is still a thief. So destroying the entire empire and turning commoners into demons isn’t exactly justice but I guess when you’re in his shoes at that desperate situation, you don’t give a f*cks anymore. Funny Schtrom didn’t kill and destroy Blusfia the moment he turned into a demon. What took him so long? I thought he could just Super Saiyan and his aura is enough to devastate everything? Was the plot telling him to wait for Shin to come of age? Maybe his demon experiment needed that long to be successful. Because of that, his past despite being tragic, I just can’t help feel any sympathy for him. Oddly at first he didn’t want to anything more after destroying Blusfia because funny, he never really thought that far his next move? Because had he turned greedy and decided to conquer the world after that, despite how cliché that sounds, I guess it is better than ‘retiring’. Now he is probably going to play daddy to the greatest demon baby ever…

This mind boggling reason is probably to make his other ‘generals’ move and be put to some use. Because otherwise why the heck do we need Zest, Miria and even Lawrence who was lately introduced. Yeah, suddenly this Lawrence dude pops up. Like, who the f*ck this guy?! Kurt as the initial antagonist was easily a one-dimensional bad guy to make viewers obviously hate him. Like as though they forced him to be this a big asshole and jerk. And he became a sacrifice to be killed off as the shock factor so our main character Shin can look like he has grown and matured because killed somebody by breaking the status quo he tainted his hands. Killing for the greater good is allowed, right?

I did mention a few paragraphs ago about the middle episodes in the season losing its way to eventually set up Shin x Sizilien. Well, it seems they want to add some romance factor into this series but it feels like a distraction and not really important. Perhaps important to show us that these kids have something else other than improving their magic. Got to level up on your love life too! Thus I feel Shin x Sizilien romance sometimes feel awkward and forced. I mean, we expected them to end up together. But like this? Those blushing, shy-shy moments so cheesy… Yeah, just to confirm it all, they go a step further with that Meet-The-Parents session so that they can really tell us they are serious with this dating stuff and future marriage thingy. So as not to spam Shin x Sizilien romance, there is Mark x Olivia but I guess we’re not interested in normal and established childhood friend love drama, right? Because it’s not that they show their affections in public either.

Not to be outdone by Shin and Sizilien, I guess August too must have his own. That’s why they brought in Ellie. A character otherwise that can be done without. Strangely, all the guys are taken. Even Thor and Julius have their own fiancée since they don’t brag about it and we won’t know about it if they didn’t mention it. Hence it is the rest of the girls in the group who are still singles. WTF this logic. Nobody interested in busty Yuri or Ellie or even loli type Alice?! Megane type Lyn also nobody interested? How about kickass Maria?! Oh yeah. Maybe they’re too high to be reached by any other ordinary guys. Remember, they are already in the next level of magic greatness. They’re the Ultimate Magicians!!! Hwarhwarhwar!!!! So stay strong girls. One day there’ll be a prince for you who could match your standards. Just keep waiting…

With everything so overpowered and so freaking easy, it is no wonder that the action bits look and feel boring. You’ve heard me say a few times already that Shin and his Ultimate Magicians are just too powerful for anything. Heck, if they turn evil, they could easily conquer the heavens, dispose of God and become Gods themselves! Hence with lots of big magic firepower and explosion to reflect how overpowered they are, it comes off as cheesy than any wow factor. They have the strongest offence in the land thanks to all that ‘rigorous training’. They have the best defence in the land since Shin conveniently enhance their uniforms so no more messed up uniforms from now on if they ever get trashed in battle. If that ever happens, that is. And now they also have the best mobility in the land because Shin taught them to be Superman. Up, up and away! Look up in the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Ultimate Magicians!!! Hahaha!

Art and animation feel mediocre. Sometimes you can see the drop in quality and even during action sequences, the quality of the animation takes a dip. The characters also look pretty bland and generic maybe except for Schtrom before he lost his visor. Because I thought he looked cool with those blindfolds. Like as though he is this anime’s version of Rider from Fate/Stay Night and Godot from Gyakuten Saiban S2. I don’t know, it feels like a lazy reason that when one turn into demons, their sclera just turn red. That’s all. You mean, no fangs or claws? Or even wings to boot? Okay. Fine with me. This series is animated by Silver Link and since they’ve animated so many varied series in their long line of history such as Strike The Blood, Non Non Biyori, Masamune-kun No Revenge, Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism, Kokoro Connect and Imouto Sae Ireba Ii, one would thought the quality would at least be decent. I guess not.

Voice acting part, there is a hell lot of characters, many of whom probably made short cameo appearances. I only recognized Kenjirou Tsuda as Zest and Sayaka Ohara as Miria. It’s good to hear the latter back as voicing yet another antagonist, a role I pigeonholed her voice for a long time. Initially I thought Aoi Yuuki was Alice. Yeah, that spunky squeaky cutie voice. To my surprise, it isn’t! That’s Miyu Kubota as Alice (Medusa in Jashin-chan Dropkick). Damn she sounds close enough. Or am I losing my touch? There is one character whom I feel wasn’t suitable for her character. Maya Hinanogi as May sounds very, uhm, horrible! As a virtual YouTuber, being an amateur is understandable. However the way May sounds is like as though some gay guy is using his falsetto voice in one of the worst attempts to make a little sister sound like a little sister! Just horrible. This makes May doesn’t sound anywhere close to a little sister at all. But having said she is a virtual YouTuber personality, it could be that he real identity could be some otaku guy… I don’t want to know…

The rest of the other casts are Yuusuke Kobayashi as Shin (Subaru in Re: Zero Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Rina Honizumi as Sizilien (Saaya in Hugtto Precure), Yuuki Wakai as Maria (Sumeragi in Kakegurui), Shohei Komatsu as August, Juri Nagasuma as Yuri (Yuka in Circlet Princess), Arisa Shida as Thor (Amanda in Little Witch Academia), Keisuke Koumoto as Julius (Nozomu in Watashi Ga Motete Dousunda), Megumi Yamaguchi as Lyn (Hifumi in New Game), Shouta Hayama as Mark (Ichiro in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Happy Kiss), Saya Satou as Olivia (Clara in Ange Vierge), Chiaki Kobayashi as Tony (Keiji in Boogiepop And Others), Yuusaku Yara as Merlin (Rod in Shingeki No Kyojin), Gara Takashima as Melida (Hild in Aa! Megami-sama), Mitsuaki Hoshino as Diseum (Friedman in Toji No Miko), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Schtrom (Sasaki in Gintama), Noriaki Sugiyama as Lawrence (Shirou in Fate/Stay Night), Nozomi Kimura as Elle, Makoto Kaneko as Siegfried (Daichi in Tsuki Ga Kirei) and Aoi Koga as Christina (titular character in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai).

I find the opening theme somewhat unsuitable for the series. Ultimate Magic By I-ris sounds like a bubbly, happy-happy cute idol song that I believe suits better for a high school rom-com than this fantasy failure. You know a series has signs of failing when the opening scene of the credits shows Shin bursting into topless-ness! WTF???!!! Among the happy-happy scenes you see in this credits like Merlin and Melida doing some weird old couple dancing together and the gang getting chased around by a demon boar (was this their pre- overpowered magic days?), it gets harder to take it seriously when the face of those villains finally pop up right at the end of the song. Happy-happy song and then finally badass villains’ mug comes up. I don’t know. Feels so weird. And it’s not the trippy kind of weird.

I also feel the ending theme is unsuitable despite Attouteki Vivid Days by Nanami Yoshi sounds badass with its rock tune and its ending credits animation looking a bit edgy (at least the opening moments). Because after the kind of mediocrity seen here, it feels this song is too good to be wasted on this. This rock outfit reminds me of Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka’s ending theme and would have fit that kind of action series better. But the weirdest and mind blowing is that one of the episodes, the ending credits animation suddenly becomes this strangely horrible CGI Vocaloid dancing sequence. I think it was inspired by that cute Chika dance in the special ending theme of Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai. However this isn’t cute or infectious at all. It comes off as lame and stiff. Horrible to watch. Like as though somebody did a fan video of this but accidentally uploaded it to the series. Worst of all, it has no relation to the series whatsoever. Because who the f*ck is that girl dancing?! Not even one of the characters! Is that Maria, seriously?! I don’t think so.

Overall, yet another disappointing isekai anime added to the list. Poor storyline pacing that lacks substance and characters that you don’t want to even care (plus a lot of other characters that don’t really matter) and a really easily overpowered main character leaves a bitter taste and not a good impression in this genre. It felt like this series is done just to cash in on the rising isekai popularity but the staffs aren’t interested in developing properly but had to because higher management said so because otherwise this season’s anime slot will be 1 show less had not some crappy show being produced. Heh. I could be wrong but it still doesn’t hide the fact that this series is bad. Very bad. It’s just common sense. If there was only a magic solution for Shin to formulate to fix this. But just like stupidity, no magic or miracle can cure it. Hence the Ultimate Maji Deshou Ka (Ultimate Seriously)?!

Nande Koko Ni Sensei Ga

August 17, 2019

It sounded and looked so much like porn material. I mean, when you have school teachers and their students getting into very sexy and ambiguous positions many times, can this not be more than just coincidence and definitely porn logic? But alas, do not fret. Nande Koko Ni Sensei Ga isn’t actually hentai although it is very heavy on the ecchi fanservice side. Not hentai because no sex. Phew, right? Don’t have to worry that they might have increased the number of hentai series masquerading as normal anime this season. The cupid of love must be a stupid mean guy as our poor students here are caught in embarrassing sexy situations with their teachers. It is already awkward enough to see your teacher outside school (although most of us will have this thought that they have no authority here!), what more in such mortifying circumstances. Thankfully it’s just both of them alone so no public humiliation. A secret they can both share and keep… So are these students lucky or unlucky? Maybe a bit of both.

Episode 1
Ichirou Satou is f*cked. Just when he entered the toilet, he sees Kana Kojima using it. Yeah, the ladies is being cleaned so she’s using this one. Satou fears this is it as Kojima has a reputation for being a demon teacher. Plus, the lock is jammed! WTF?! He thought of calling the other guys coming in for help but she pulls him closely so as not to make a sound. This has his face in her boobs and she makes the weirdest but cutest sound. Then she can’t hold herself any longer. Satou too can’t hold himself any longer and hugs her. So did they both ‘leak’? A week later and they both act like it’s nothing but Satou can’t get it out of his mind. He tries to play truant at the infirmary by faking a sprain foot but Kojima is there too! Yes, she is really sick. But sleeping in her revealing clothes? Since Kojima is really in pain, she wants him to put suppository into her ass! WTF?! Hurry! Stick it into her! So he does it blindfolded. Hope he gets the right hole. Eventually he does so and this ambiguous scene… Is she climaxing or what? But what a relief, no? Fellow teacher, Mayu Matsukaze comes to check so Satou instinctively hides underneath the sheets. He thought he is screwed by Kojima pats him for helping her. Next day, he caught her cold. Since she is acting all shy while visiting him, he is starting to think better of her until she gets mad about lying about his sprain foot. So she sticks the suppository into him so as he could heal faster and get scolded! Here comes the pain train!

Episode 2
Satou takes shelter in a coin operated laundry store. Yeah, Kojima is there too. All soaked from the rain. With no other clothes, Satou lends his while she gets hers dried. Kojima is afraid of lightning and clings on to him. Then the lights go out. Why the f*ck is the circuit breaker so high?! He lets her sit on his shoulders to reach but he sees underboobs! The consciousness has them losing their footing. Some laundry detergent poured over her so when Satou tries to lift her up, the slipperiness means his hands grope her boobs. He panics and pulls down the shirt, causing a few buttons to come undone. When Kojima now tries to let him sit on her shoulders, she could feel his dick poking her head. This is going to be a long day. When Satou returns home in the mountains, why the f*ck is Kojima here too?! Apparently she is good friends with his mom, Saki and is helping to look after his baby sister, Shio. As you would guess, Shio cries whenever demon teacher holds her. She laments her parents are nagging her to get married, etc. With Satou being good with kids, could he be the one? No way! They’re teacher and student, right? As they dip in the inflatable pool, her old swimsuit just makes her look more erotic. Shio gets naughty and pulls the string to make her top undone. During the commotion, Shio falls off and although both manage to catch her, they accidentally kiss! Shio then starts liking Kojima and sucks her boobs. Maternal instincts going to kick in? In the aftermath, Saki teases that her son is good enough to be her partner. Oh, she’s serious about it too? Kojima dismisses it although she is embarrassed thinking about that kissing incident and brushes it off as an accident. She gets the wrong idea seeing Satou laying the futon and seemingly inviting her to bed (it’s for Shio) and scolds him he should at least wait till he graduates.

Episode 3
What the f*ck is Kojima doing in Satou’s room?! Saki called her over to celebrate Kojima moving into her new place. But at their home? Saki seems to have an ulterior motive when she lets Kojima drink a bit of alcohol. Now she’s totally drunk! She shows this photo album in which she was a plain and shy girl. Then she points out to this kid (Satou obviously) who was her motivation to become a teacher. Something about he jumped down a bridge to prove he has climbed into adulthood and she too jumped down to save him. Of course they were okay and despite that adulthood thingy didn’t work, but somehow Satou pointed out it made her brave enough to talk to him. As she is still unaware of who this kid is, mom blurts out the truth. Is Kojima mad? In fact she hugs him and has always wanted to meet him. Yeah, still under the influence. With that, Saki sneakily hopes she can ‘take care’ of her son. Wink, wink. Mom will let them be together alone. Kojima is all over him and when she finds his porn mag, she thinks he is into girls with big boobs and starts stripping so as to let him have her way with her. Then mom is coming back in and Satou really needs to stop this ambiguous blowjob scene. When she wants him to transfer water via their mouths, it hits Satou that if the school finds out about this, her life will be over. Before he could put some sense into her, she kisses him. Mom must be smiling to see them ‘advance’ this much. Oh please do continue. Sorry for interrupting. Next day in school, Satou gets scolded and reprimanded by her when he tried to call her onee-san as she told him to. He thinks she completely forgot what happened last night. Actually she still remembers and is just embarrassed he called her that.

Episode 4
Satou is supposed to be on a family vacation. But why the hell is Kojima here too?! Apparently dad got work to do so instead of letting this extra ticket go to waste, Saki thought of inviting Kojima. After all, she is going to be family soon, right? With Satou being dense, mom tells him she is hinting that she likes him and do as he pleases with her. Yeah, mom wants to go shopping… So first order of a beach outing is for a guy to put sun lotion on a girl’s back, right? As he applies them, Satou gets worried if she likes him and Kojima accidentally blurted out she likes him. This panic causes him to accidentally grab her boobs. Embarrassed, she runs into the water but gets her leg cramped. Then she thought she got bitten by a sea snake. Did it bite near her crotch?! Don’t worry. Satou will save her by sucking and spitting it out. Damn, that face. Did she climax? Did she have a good time?! In the aftermath as they attend some party reception, Kojima thanks him and it is one of the most angelic faces he has ever seen. Not that he has seen this side of hers either. They see a wedding in progress and Satou hopes they can come here alone after he graduates. But she scolds him that there should be proper order for things. Kojima goes out drinking with Matsukaze. She is happy to see Kojima getting along well with Satou. Unfortunately Matsukaze laments her own happiness. She likes Rin Suzuki and nothing has happened since the 3 years that passed. They’re not getting any closer.

Episode 5
Now that Satou is dating Kojima, he can’t hang around with his lunch buddy, Suzuki. Poor guy. But don’t fear, Matsukaze is here to accompany him! As they share their food, Matsukaze gets flustered and falls into the pond. In his bid to catch her, he rips her skirt. Oh dear. A bit stuck, he tries to pull her out but she’s in a freaking weird position with her legs open. It’s like God wants to see more of this perversion hence we got Suzuki accidentally switching on the water fountain for water to spray into her ass, her shirt button becoming undone and when he pulls her out, her panties got stuck so… I think that’s enough ecchi for today. On the train home, it is crowded as usual. But Suzuki is shocked that Matsukaze is here too. Oh yeah. Her shirt caught in the door. She tries to remove it but as the train turns, she loses her footing and clings on to him. Boobs pressed against his body. Oh, did I mention her buttons come undone too? Yes, boobs in the flesh against his body!!! In order to protect her, he turns her around but now she’s got her boobs pressed against the window. Does this look like some hentai rape scene? Before they reach the next stop, he hopes to button her shirt. But why is this button not fastening? That’s not her button! OMG are you playing with her tits???!!! Not sure if she climax but down the next station, a staff thinks Suzuki molested Matsukaze due to her clothes in disarray. Matsukaze tries to pass themselves as a couple but Suzuki will not allow this. However she misinterprets this as she doesn’t turn him on and ‘dies’.

Episode 6
Suzuki is ordering a fast food set when Matsukaze is also here. Suddenly it rains and neither brought their umbrella. Lucky for them, Suzuki’s younger siblings, Rei and Suzu brought one. Suzuki offers to share. Because Suzu didn’t like the toy that comes with the lucky set, she throws it away and it ends up in Matsukaze’s cleavage. Damn, she gets turned on by its vibration? When a truck is seen coming, Suzuki has all of them hide behind the umbrella but the handle got stuck in Matsukaze’s ass! In the end, Matsukaze runs the rest of the way home. Back home, her sister, Saya chides her for buying another toy with the lucky set and she should act her age. But Matsukaze says this isn’t a child’s toy. It’s an adult toy! Oh man, she’s right in some ways. When Matsukaze and Kojima are drinking. They got drunk so Satou brings the latter back. This has Matsukaze falling asleep and dreaming of the first time she met Suzuki. She was already late on her way to taking an exam to become a teacher and her high heels broke. Suzuki who was working nearby as a construction worker, offered to help carry her although she was first terrified at his face. Carrying her on his back, he ran all the way. Of course with Matsukaze’s bra unhooking in the process, it was one wild and weird ride. They reached in time and he even was kind enough to fix her shoes. That was when she started falling for him but he left without giving her a chance to thank him. Matsukaze wakes up, shocked to realize Suzuki is carrying her back. Satou called him about this. Although Matsukaze has never got the chance to let him know her feelings, at least she manages to thank him.

Episode 7
Matsukaze, Saya and Suzuki meet Takashi Takahashi of another school to plan for their joint festival. Unfortunately, Hikari Hazakura barges in feels up all over Takashi and teases him which of the sisters she likes. Weird. Takashi goes home and is shocked to see Hikari sleeping at his place. I suppose the heater in her place is broken. Then she pulls him in and hugs him while she sleeps. Takashi narrates they have been childhood friends but Hikari has always been ‘bullying’ him and treating him like a toy. Now that he is grown up, looks like things haven’t changed. He tries to break free but somehow unhooked her bra. He tries to put it back but now he has full view of her boobs. Worse, she pulls him in. Full face boobs. He can’t break free since she is strong and somehow ends up sucking on her tits. When she wakes up, he thinks he is done for but she pats his head and thinks he is longing for mama. Good news is that she didn’t get mad but bad news is she doesn’t see him as a man. When she leaves, Hikari is actually embarrassed of it and thinks his male instincts have awoken. It will be bad if he continues to dominate her like this. Hence she brings him adult shopping. Lingerie shopping. Yeah. She forces him to pick a set and because he is so embarrassed and conscious of this awkward situation, he hands he a see though set. She’s getting embarrassed as she puts them on. Suddenly Takashi takes her hand to run away from this place. Don’t worry. He already paid for it. Oh my. Hikari running through the mall in her undies! So when Takashi realizes too late, he tries to help cover her but flops. The embarrassment look on her face is priceless. WTF escalator handle rubbing against her pussy until she can take it no more… In the aftermath, Hikari forgives everything since they’re adults. Just when Takashi thought she has changed, then again, she might still be the same Hikari who never grew up as she childishly mixes her soda drink.

Episode 8
On a field trip, because Takashi is still conscious of that day, he accidentally falls into the river. Although Hikari tries to pull him back up, she also falls in. They take shelter in a cave as a storm is building up. However with Takashi freezing from hypothermia, Hikari has no choice but to strip herself and warm him up with her bare skin. Yeah, thank TV for that. Suddenly Takashi feels thirsty (not of the sexual kind!) and starts sucking her tits! She tries to pour some barley tea for him but spills it over her lower half. Oh my, Takashi going to drink that filthy pool now???!!! When everything is settled, Takashi barely conscious thinks about his ‘tortured’ past with her but there were also many times she took care of him when he was sick. Because of that, he says he loves her before falling asleep, leaving Hikari panicking all by herself. Suzuki is at the cultural festival. With Matsukaze. Naughty Hikari teases her that she likes Suzuki and quickly handcuffs her so she could participate in this game of hers. Hikari shoves the duo into a room to do whatever they want since the key is inside here. In the room, Matsukaze wonders if Suzuki heard what they said. To her relief, he didn’t. But he just lied because he actually did and is in shock if Matsukaze really likes him. Because of that, he fumbles and the key drops out of his hand. The key falls and unhooks her bra?! HOW THE F*CK CAN THIS HAPPEN???!!! Better still, the key gets stuck in her butt!!! WTF???!!! HOW???!! HOW????!!! Matsukaze has him close his eyes so she can guide him to take off her panties (her hands are cuffed, remember?). Can’t blame this tall guy since he gropes her boobs first. After he manages to take them off and the key falls off, man, he should’ve seen her orgasmic face… In the aftermath, he apologizes despite she doesn’t mind all that trouble. Then she accidentally mentions she loves him and upon realizing this, she runs away in embarrassment. Suzuki has confirmed she does have feelings for him but worries about their teacher-student relationship. But after seeing Satou-Kojima and Takashi-Hikari, I guess no worries. Everybody is doing it too.

Episode 9
Saya and Takashi are supposed to patrol the school grounds. Because Saya views Takashi as manly, this makes Hikari jealous. She is going to make him embarrass himself but she accidentally falls through the floor and gets stuck. As they go to get help, Hikari won’t let him leave. He too falls through. With the hole in the ground getting bigger, Hikari is now left hanging. Takashi tries to support her but she needs to pee. Conveniently there’s a bucket. And please pull down my pantsu too so I can do my business. After this embarrassing situation, Hikari thinks she can solve this by also making Takashi wet himself?! However he leaves with the rest and this makes Hikari think he has abandoned her. In actual case, he is too shy to face her. Later, Hikari is in a bear mascot outfit and taking out her frustration by interrupting couples. However this backfired because they got closer instead. Now she becomes a target of other boys and girls who want to be bumped by her. She runs and hides but Takashi knows where to find her. A little commotion and I don’t even know how they ended up in a 69 position inside her suit???!!! It’s for some sleazy fanservice for Takashi to be rubbing against her naked body. I don’t know how they got out but Takashi made an uncool confession he loves her and in return, she makes a selfish declaration he belongs to her. Meanwhile Matsukaze is still trying to find the bear. She thinks she hugs it and declares her love for Suzuki. Only, she is hugging the real Suzuki. He somewhat accepts her proposal and even suggests they get married in the future. Too much for her to handle as she passes out. Is that from shock or happiness?

Episode 10
Kou Tanaka is jealous that his friends are dating their teachers. He vows to get his own girlfriend and then they can all go on a group date. Can’t blame him. The parfait café he works in… All macho men behind the kitchen!!! So freaking gay!!! On his way out of the kitchen, he accidentally spills some oil over his teacher, Chizuru Tachibana. He fears this school nurse as she has no expression and has a reputation of not caring for students who seek treatment. It gets worse as she nonchalantly takes off her top. Panic, he trips and somehow has his hands slip onto her boobs. Because he sprained his ankle, he can’t get up. More boobs fondling until she has to cover his face. After getting off, though she wants to treat his ankle, he tolerates the pain to go get help elsewhere. It seems Tachibana notes she has failed again. As she talks to Hikari, her goal is to get closer to her students. Hikari advises to change her facial expression because no one can tell what she’s thinking with a face like that. On Christmas Eve, Tachibana is in Tanaka’s home! Sexy Santa? In her bid to get to know him, she shows him a video she records of herself every Christmas. What a lonely Christmas… Thankfully this year she doesn’t have to be lonely. She has a penchant to write her name on everything she owns too. Then accidentally a sexy clip of her. Tanaka panics. Cake drops. She saves it but her ass now ends up on top of his head. Don’t even know how the champagne popped and sprayed into her ass! When he sees her name written on her pantsu, I guess that’s enough for tonight knowing about her. In the end, they exchange presents. He gives her a teddy bear and quickly writes her name on it. What does she give him? Her pantsu!!! Merry Christmas, lover boy! Of course later we find out she mixed up with the actual present.

Episode 11
How did Tanaka end up with Tachibana on Iwagaki Island? Apparently she won some grand prize raffle and shared it with him. At the beach, she starts stripping. Don’t worry. She’s got swimsuits under. Too bad no swimming sign. Don’t they know not to play too closely on the cliffs? Because of that, Tachibana slides down and what do you know? Her bottom came off. Tanaka dives in to help her out and realizes too late her nude bottom. As he tries to push her back up, naughty hermit crab got stuck in her boobs. Tanaka tries to take it out but ends up pinching her nipples! Did that feel good? After getting out, they did a lot of things together. This has Tanaka start thinking if he has fallen for his teacher. That night when they’re supposed to go stargazing, it rained. Taking shelter in a cave, obviously something needs to happen. They both fall deeper into the hole and your guess is as good as mine who they’d end up in that ambiguous position. They can’t move freely due to stalactites. Careful. Don’t want to destroy them. As Tachibana moves slowly, it’s your perverted excuse to somehow lose her clothing from all that tight crawling. Best fanservice view for Tanaka? I don’t know how, it ended up with him sucking her tits. Thanks stalactites! Although the rain clears up, it is still cloud. But don’t fear, the cave now looks as starry as the sky. Tanaka accidentally says out loud he is in love with her. However he feels disappointed seeing Tachibana views him more of a student than a man. So he thinks. Because she feels embarrassed enough and won’t let him look at her.

Episode 12
Tanaka really wants Valentine’s chocolates, eh? Yeah, he really waits after school to at least receive one. None! So sad. Only if the blizzard didn’t hit town. But what’s this? Tachibana freezing from the cold outside?! So as they warm up inside, Tanaka spots a chocolate from her but thinks it is from Hikari since it is the same packaging that Takashi got. She decides to share with him but damn it melted all over her tits! Cue for Tanaka to slip and land himself sucking up the ‘chocolate fondue’! When Tanaka confesses he likes her and wants to go out with her, she rejects. Shock! It gets awkward between them but it seems Tachibana can’t say something and she hopes he will wait until after graduation. During graduation, Tanaka gives his speech. He’s crying not because he is graduating, but rather he got rejected! So sad. Tanaka’s friends are at his place. Somehow the rest of the teachers too as they make cake. Somehow Tachibana gets flour all over her boobs. As she changes in Tanaka’s room, cue for mishap to happen. I don’t even know how the fishing reel ended up tying her up and everything!!! Tanaka goes to get scissors to cut it but Tachibana fears Hikari will come in and see this awkward position. Thank goodness Tanaka cuts the line in time. Tachibana then hugs him but she is shivering. Now she can finally say it. She too loves him and wants to date him. She is waiting for graduation day because now he is officially no longer her student. Finally happy ending for Tanaka! As spring arrives, the quartet of pairs are shocked to discover each other dating. Damn, is this sakura spot the best place to make out?

Nande Ero Ni Sensei Ga?!
Wow. Teachers really ending up with their students? I guess no adult men could give them a greater love than their students. These are really cougar ladies. Let’s just hope that others will not discover about this affair. Because it would really become scandalous for a teacher-student relationship to be busted. Only Tanaka-Tachibana looks valid since Tanaka has already graduated. So you’re a real man now. Go do whatever you want with your girl! The rest still have to thread carefully until they at least graduate. Let’s hope their relationship will not also be busted because of the preferential treatment they get in class. You know, I pass instead of fail you because you’re my lover boy.

Sometimes how the pace flows or the absurd things that happened dangerously borders hentai logic. Though still very much soft porn. Basically the plot is how students end up in very ambiguous and embarrassing situations with their teachers. So how do you do that? Here. As seen, the weirdest and most illogical of moments that defy science and physics happened right here. It’s never going to happen in real life (although the chances aren’t remotely zero) and the way all those accidents keep piling up, damn they are either the most blessed students or the most bad luck teachers. Like as though fate is pulling a cruel prank on them to be together. You know, that stupid cupid instead of firing his normal arrow of love instead missed and that’s why the teachers get sexed up here. Yeah. It feels a lot like that. Especially how every skit starts with the student being surprised their freaking sensei is here. How the heck they always end up in the same place?! I smell a conspiracy going on…

The only reason why this isn’t hentai is because no penetration was done. Uh huh. Fanservice galore of tits, boobs and crotch shots in our faces! But oh yeah, no f*cking of dicks entering pussies, that’s no hentai. This series is so sexy and ecchi enough that there is a censored version. The one that I watched of course. And you’ve guessed it, you want to see those delicious tits without the censors, pay some money and support the BDs. Poor guys like me only get to use my own imagination ;p. The things is, those censors are already annoying but sometimes when the scene is too risqué, that censor can actually take up the entire screen! Good luck trying to guess what the heck is happening. Depending on how zoomed in the sexually charged scene is, the censor size can vary. But don’t worry. The censor designs are tailored to that particular teacher so here’s your consolation. Heh. Maybe it’s time to break the piggy bank for the BDs…

I have this theory why the plot is so. You know for all of us that went to high school, there is always that strict and snobbish b*tch teacher that we seem to hate. Or perhaps there is that young beautiful teacher whom we had a crush on but find it hard to approach. This anime feels like taking out that sort of fantasy with them. You know, the strictest of the strictest teacher is still a woman and what a way to bring her down than getting into this sort of weird perverted situations. Yeah. That should show her! Admit it. You at least thought of that once! And then there’s this nearly twisted porn logic that if you pleasure your teacher good enough, she’ll fall in love with you. That’s short of that porn logic of f*cking a girl until she loves you. Basically you feel it’s like that. After getting into enough embarrassing perverted situations, I suppose these poor teachers can’t marry someone else because this student of theirs have seen their everything and since they aren’t that bad, hey why not date them?! Students and teachers dating aren’t something new if you go all the way back to Onegai Teacher and Okusama Wa Joshi Kousei. But this want waits for things to become too sexy before they become a couple.

The characters aren’t really anything deep and in fact are typical clichés of many other characters you might find almost everywhere. Heck, you can even tell how normal they are because their names are among the most common of commoners in Japan. We have the typically normal boy Satou. Then there is the delinquent looking Suzuki who is actually a gentle giant more than anything else. Then we have the meek ‘little brother’ type in Takashi. Finally the bespectacled senpai in Tanaka. There you have it. Just 4 ordinary guys who used to be single but they struck love lottery in the form of their sensei. Strange, huh? It’s not the popular girl in class nor their childhood friend nor the new transfer girl whatsoever. But their sensei. Yeah. Love is so weird alright. But if you really want to know more about them, the mid-intermission has all their bio and details. Not that you could actually use it for anything important. Except maybe for our sensei’s vital 3 sizes statistics ;p.

The teachers also feel like common personality types cliché. Of course there is the strict demon teacher who has this reputation that sends shivering fear down everyone’s spine just the mention of her name. That’s you Kojima. And look how she got ‘tamed’. Funny, right? Love really does change a woman. But in her case, lots of pervy situations before that. Then you have Matsukaze as the nicest teacher whom every student would like to get. Because she just want to give thanks to a certain student she is indebted, she ended up in many situations that outrages her modesty. Any students would have given his thanks for that! Also, despite her meek nature, it is hinted that Matsukaze could be the most perverted of them all because you can see some hints that she really wants to get it on with Suzuki but gets disappointed when this guy is such a gentleman. Then the brute, crude and sporting teacher in Hikari who hides all that true emotion behind this outburst. All those embarrassing situations must be a sign to tell her to be true to her feelings, huh? And finally the taciturn and emotionless teacher Tachibana who wants to get close to a student but gets more than she bargained. I guess she opened up a lot more than required, eh? Damn, and I thought these teachers ending up with their students instead of their peers of the same age shows how sad their love life is, huh? Oh well. Better to have found love than none at all.

Art and animation look okay and pretty standard. I suppose it is a good thing that the creators are into mature woman because all of them have really big tits. Even if the creators don’t have that kind of fetish, just imagine a really flat teacher in all those perverted situations. I don’t think it would be that stimulating. So yeah. Those humongous boobs really do have a role in here. A role to be molested, squeezed, rubbed on and the likes. Thanks for the oppai! This anime is animated by Tear Studio, a relatively new studio whose other works for now include Oushitsu Kyoushi Heine Movie and Lord Of Vermillion: Guren No Ou (joint with Asread).

For the voice acting part, looks like Yuuko Gotou has reached her quota of voicing a character in an anime per year. Got to take it easy on that voice now after recovering from that lupus illness. As Matsukaze, this is her most prolific character she voiced in recent years as those like in Overlord and Kobayashi-san Chi No Maid Dragon are just very short cameos. Voicing Matsukaze as the main character feels like she is ready to make a comeback as she still hasn’t lose her touch on that trademark voice of hers. Probably we will get to hear more of her this year than wait for next year. The rest of the other casts are Sumire Uesaka as Kojima (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Ryouta Suzuki as Satou (Yuuga in Dorei-ku The Animation), Toshiki Masuda as Suzuki (Kirishima in Boku No Hero Academia), Shizuka Ishigami as Hikari (Renge in Kyoukai No Rinne), Kazutomi Yamamoto as Takashi (Yumoto in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love), Nozomi Yamamoto as Tachibana (Chihiro in Imouto Sae Ireba Ii), Yuusuke Kobayashi as Tanaka (Subaru in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu) and Yuka Ootsubo as Saya (Kyouko in YuruYuri).

While the opening theme, Bon Kyu Bon Wa Kare No Mono by Sumire Uesaka sounds generic, it is the lyrics that are quite naughty if you pay attention to it. When you have words that tempt you to touch boobs, thighs and ass, it’s like some sort of ‘warning’ on what to expect when you watch this series. And it also sounds like some sort of desperate attempt for the guy to do anything to her if he becomes her boyfriend. Boy, sex really sells. The ending theme is Ringo-iro Memories and there is a different version sung by the teacher in focus of that episode. The song isn’t too bad but it is filled with lots of sound effects that sometimes to me sound a bit trippy. Maybe all that ecchi spammed in my face had some sort of psychological effect on me? Oh heck. I’ve been a pervert for a long time! You can’t control me like that now! Can you?

Overall, if you harbour that sort of naughty fetish with your teacher, this series finally answered your wishes. Or if you feeling horny and want something naughty without resorting to legit porn or smut, this is your short term solution (though, there is another ecchi series in the same season about a student too horny to study: Midara Na Ao-chan Wa Benkyou Ga Dekinai – but with much lesser ecchi fanservice). Ecchi lovers will find this enjoyable because the lack of any confusing story plot and no brainer ecchi situations just for the sake of mind blowing fanservice will have you break into a smile as well as go WTF in your mind at the same time. Now I know why when we stumble into our teachers outside school, we get that same panicky feeling. Who’d knew that this kind of situation might arise? I guess we all learn something from watching this. Sex education is best learnt via hands on approach!

SEX! Sex education!!! Aha! Got your attention there, did I? I guess there is this myth that guys think about sex many times a day. Probably even more so when you’re a healthy young guy. Even though you will be labelled a pervert and other less than desirable nicknames, I suppose guys don’t really give a damn and continue to ‘stay true’ to that depravity. But what happens if it is a girl? Can girls actually think about sex too? Societal norms say otherwise. Therefore in Midara Na Ao-chan Benkyou Ga Dekinai, our titular character is trying to get into a good university and she might have actually no problem in doing that had not those dirty thoughts on sex keep propping up in her mind! Too much sex on your mind! Too horny to study! Oh dear. What would others think about her? What would society think about her? Oh, did I mention her dad is an erotic novelist? Oh dear. Prospects don’t look too good…

Episode 1
When Ao Horie was young, she read aloud in class how her father named her. Let’s say it was due to a porn scene! Now in high school, she is trying to get into a good university and live a modest life. She doesn’t mind sacrificing her youth for that. Unfortunately, Takumi Kijima always keeps bugging her. Ao further narrates how she hates men as she thinks all they think about is sex and that women are sex objects. Hence she believes Kijima has a hidden agenda to get in her pants. When she returns home, you mean this puny little Happosai clone is Ao’s father and not her grandpa?! He bugs her for his tits shaped pudding. Or else he threatens to introduce himself in her school. You see, Hanasaki is a very prominent erotic novelist. And his home is called House of Lewd. Yeah, I can see why she hates her father and all men. But her father thinks she is in heat. In school, Ao is tasked to bring Kijima his uniform at the infirmary since he injured himself. As usual, she heard them talking dirty stuffs. When she goes talk to him, she thought she saw him blush. She thinks of slowly letting know how much she despises him when Hanasaki tries to interrupt by showing place cards that he supports her to get f*cked! Ao tries to prevent Kijima from seeing this and accidentally has her boobs all over his face. As she tries to explain herself, damn daddy uses a fishing rod to lift her shirt and expose her bra! Ao thought she is done for but surprisingly Kijima covers her up and tells her to value herself more. He promises never to do something like that to her because he loves her. Ao is left in shock. Did she understand what he said? Despite assuring herself she doesn’t need all this crap, she can’t help feel worried about this.

Episode 2
Ao heard the guys talking about how you can tell a guy’s dick size by the size of his hand! You curious? What’s this about being big also means pain? Hence she asks father what it means! Hanasaki admits his works are pure fantasy and pleasure because if it is written like reality, no women would enjoy his works. Anyway he continues to describe and Ao concludes that the dick must be really a lethal weapon! She tries to dress up in her studying gear to concentrate but comes off as sexy since the dress is too tight and skirt too short. Later when Kijima is napping, Ao gets curious to touch his junk. So you want to touch it or not? Kijima grabs her hand and allows her to touch. Well, she’s just feeling his hand. She tries to reject him that there is no space inside her but he argues if you don’t try, you won’t know. Oddly, Ao wants time to think about this. It gets worse when Hanasaki gives her stacks of books to read on fetishes. Yeah, she brought the wrong book to school. So when Kijima wants to study with her, she throws the book at him. Obviously because of the same cover, their books get mixed up. Only later she realizes this fouled and goes to look for him. Yeah, she sounds ‘desperate’. At the park, Kijima talks about the English vocab book but Ao misinterprets he has read this bondage book. Hence wanting to study outside she thought wanting to f*ck in public! He wants her to teach her too?! He teases her a little by not giving back he book. Because she looks cute. When he does so, only then Ao realizes he didn’t actually read the book and she got the wrong idea from the start. Strangely, back home she continues to read dad’s works and despite not feeling anything about it, her heart still feels restless whenever she thinks about Kijima.

Episode 3
Ao doesn’t want to go on her school’s field trip but Hanasaki forces her and hopes she gets into one of those orgies! As Ao avoids Kijima, the rest thinks he got rejected and that he should go for an easier girl. But when he mentions Ao has her cute side, this makes the other girls curious if something happened between them. So they bug and force Ao to join in their party later. Yeah, Ao thinks it must be that free show orgy! So as she goes to Kijima’s room to turn down the invitation, he is not in. But she heard him coming back and hides in the closet. He thought the closet door is stuck and puts his hand in to feel. Ao is devastated he is feeling her thighs, though he can’t make it out. Surprise! Not a cat! WTF does he know how furry a cat feels?! Anyway he is curious on the part he touched so as they struggle, she lands on top of him. Of course everybody sees this. Maybe postpone the party? Ao wants to come with them to whatever. Yeah, out of the frying pan and into the fire. Now she’s got to do kimodameshi in pairs! And you know the setup… After Ao finishes doing her business in the toilet, Kijima realizes her skirt is stuck up her panties. He can’t tell her straight in fear it might hurt her. But giving indirect hints, she’s too dumb to notice either. Hence she misinterprets he really wants her lower half. I guess the thighs weren’t enough. So when she accuses him of targeting her body, he won’t let her go back to crowded place and of course this ‘frightening’ scene looks like as though he is going to rape her. He’s taking off his shirt already?! Ao trips as she panics. She laments and succumbs to her fate. Please do it gently. Then he helps her up and covers his shirt over her waist. Your panties were showing. She ‘died’. Not too sure if she was relieved she wasn’t getting raped or she really felt like an idiot. I think it’s the latter.

Episode 4
Flashback shows after Ao made that ‘name revelation’, she was bullied by kids. Hence she hated her name ever since. When a photo of Kijima sleeping with a beautiful girl surfaces, mad Ao goes to confront him. See how cool he is playing football? It gets worse when a senior confirms he went to a mixer and brought a girl home. I think he is being gay with Kijima but that’s it for Ao. Don’t talk to me ever again. Later she bumps into that girl in the picture. Actually she is Miyabi Takaoka and one of those kids who bullied her. Though Miyabi confirms that Kijima confessed he only liked Ao, because they aren’t dating, Miyabi takes this chance that Kijima is hers for the taking. She scorns Ao for being confessed by good guys and then get cocky about it. Later Kijima calls to explain but Ao was harsh to him even if she didn’t intend to. Ao then sees Miyabi talking to Kijima. It’s none of her business but she gets worried. Dad for advice about guys losing interest in girls? When they doubt their own feelings and when women won’t believe them. But Ao rather believes in his joke when a cute girl who accepts after giving it one shot! Miyabi takes Kijima out to the park and wants to take him to this dark place but they got separated. Similarly, Ao is supposed to be out dating shopping with dad and got lost. So in this dark haunted house they bump into each other but it’s too dark to see each other’s face. Then a flash of light. With Hanasaki calling out for Ao, Kijima gets the wrong idea that she is seeing another man. Same case for Ao when she hears Miyabi calling for him. Then they just part ways. Can’t break up when you’re not dating in the first place! Miyabi tries to badmouth Ao although he doesn’t really care. Miyabi gets desperate, telling him off that Ao is just cocky because she knows he is waiting for her answer. She just likes how he makes her feel. She then hugs him and says her emotions for him are clear. Somehow Ao got concerned and tries to find Kijima. She sees Miyabi hugging and kissing Kijima. Outside a love hotel.

Episode 5
Ao is disheartened seeing Miyabi take Kijima into the love hotel. Back home, Ao is even making a countdown of how long they are staying?! So while she fantasizes the horny things they are doing, she passes out from the bath heat. She has this weird dream that Kijima saved her and when she wakes up, she is in her room and Kijima sitting around?! Forced to wake up when dad starts reading some horny lines. When Ao starts ranting away, Kijima shuts her up to listen to his explanation. Right after Miyabi ushered him into the love hotel, the clerk rejected them since no high school students allowed. Outside when he asks if she is friends with Ao, she got mad and stormed off. And about that kiss, he blocked it with his hand. Ouch. Kijima will not do it with anyone he loves so Ao then accuses him of saying that to all the girls and he is targeting her now because is easy. Kijima refutes that and admits HE IS A VIRGIN!!!! With him avoiding her at school, but Ao is being extra nice to him to teach English. WTF she must be nice to virgins?! What kind of philosophy is that?! After that, Ao ponders about Kijima being such a popular guy but still a virgin. She wonders if she is his first love and if he wants her to be his first. Why? Because he’s a virgin. Kijima gets a bit mad as he corners her. But with Ao in tears and claiming it will be her first time for everything, she eventually runs away. Miyabi is having a nice coffee. Yeah, it soothes away her pain especially from the past of cry-baby Ao who keeps clinging on to her. Well, history repeating itself now because Ao comes crying to her and complaining how normal people don’t respect virginity. WTF? Cuppa ruined.

Episode 6
Hanasaki has been meditating for days for inspiration. This worries his editor, Souichirou Yabe since the deadline is coming up. Even Ao is worried for him? As she also hopes for Yabe to take care of his health, Yabe has her accompany him to a meat festival. Yes, food meat and sexy meat all in one place! Yum! Not sure about the logic of the desire for flesh is connected to sexual appetite but damn this looks like some den of depravity to her! Ao gets lost and bumps into Miyabi working here. All seems fine until she too sees Kijima working here. It really irks her that they look like they are close enough. When Kijima meets Yabe and learns who he is, it’s his turn to get jealous. So it becomes a game to see who knows Ao more? Miyabi takes Kijima away to return to work while Ao continues to worry since Yabe mentions the close proximity of the duo is the first step to having sex. Oh Ao, you sure got a vivid imagination there. Ao ponders about Kijima. He is supposed to like her, huh? She tries to brush everything off but we know her body is saying a different thing. When Kijima finds Ao again, he learns that Yabe went to Tokyo University and is smart enough to tutor Ao. Did that hit a nerve? With Yabe calling for Ao to return home, Kijima doesn’t want Ao to go home yet. Instead he carries and kidnaps her! WTF?! At the park, Ao wants an explanation. Here’s your explanation. He is going to make her fall for him.

Episode 7
Wow. Is Ao really fantasizing what Kijima said? Thanks to that, she got failing grades for her prediction tests. Karma? Ao is at the beach since there is a study group. Apparently Kijima is also here. WTF Ao fawning over his abs and nipples but have the audacity to accuse him of being an exhibitionist before her?! Ao turns down whatever plans Kijima wants to spend with her due to her study group starting in 3 hours. However Miyabi will not allow it since if she leaves, Kijima will also leave. Also, she needs to do something about Kijima’s annoying friend, Masaki Uehara. Can that guy ever shut up? Ao claims she didn’t bring any swimsuit but Miyabi takes her to the store and gets a real sexy one. With that, Kijima and Ao head out to the sea. Miyabi is only allowing this because she has done some prank. She snipped a little on Ao’s top. It could fall off anytime now… Ao and Kijima talk over a few things. She thinks of giving him a chance and after a few flustering moments, she thinks he is going to f*ck her in the sea. Nobody can see, right? She prepares for this but of course you know, Kijima then paddles their way back to shore. Her study group is going to start, right? Oh Ao, why you looks so disappointed? Very disappointed indeed. She also feels embarrassed as this virgin did not have any sexual intentions and that it makes her the one who is hard up for sex. As they argue, the time has come now for her to drop off. Damn that view. Ao descended into shock that she missed her study group.

Episode 8
Wow. Ao is really frustrated that with all those flags, nothing actually happened, huh? Why, she even fantasizes if their genders were swapped, she would dominate him and would have done it 10 times!!! Oh my! Is this your true self, Ao?! When he texts her he has an upcoming football match he wants her to see, Ao starts to overthink that he might not have enough energy to get it up. Uh huh. So she painstakingly goes to gather all the libido enhancing ingredients to make the greatest libido enhancing bento. Since dad discovers this, he adds his secret formula to enhance its effects. As Yabe offers to tutor her, Ao realizes the date clashes with Kijima’s game. She realizes she must choose what is important to her. Uhm, so Kijima is important? Whatever happened to university or bust? So it’s bust, huh? Anyway, Kijima’s team lost the game and I suppose Kijima was pretty pathetic. He is really depressed but thanks to Ao and her bento, he gets his liveliness back. With Ao fantasizing about him, be careful what you wish for because suddenly Kijima is now on top of her. He continues to caress her thighs, leaving Ao in shock but also partially feeling good. Could Kijima score this time? Nope. Missed. He restrains himself. He realizes something is wrong with him today and she should leave before something happens to her. She asks doesn’t he want to do it with her? A person whom he loves? Of course. But he values her over his desires. She might sound disappointed and sad and wants him to stop inviting her from now on. But she realizes that at this rate she can’t study and won’t be able to fit anything else in her life.

Episode 9
WTF is this creepy comfort doll for Ao?! One of dad’s healing products, huh? Not having it! On to serious stuff, she thinks Kijima hates her now for rejecting him. In school, he avoids her like a plague and when Uehara talks to her, Kijima tells him not to bother her. At home, Ao tries to focus on her studies but she can’t. Kijima on her mind. Because of that, Yabe punishes her by making her wear a maid outfit. I approve! As Yabe leaves, Kijima arrives at the doorstep. He wants to see Ao and asks her about her feelings one more time. He knows he is in her way of studying so if she says no this time, he will give her up forever. Yabe agrees since she might progress if she feels better. As Ao continues to blame Kijima for hindering her studies, of course he heard that. Kijima promises not to bother her anymore because he loves her. He leaves as Ao ponders if it is the end. Realizing he gets angry for her sake, she stops him and wants him to stay. Okay. He hugs her and carries her to bed. Horny mode on? He starts feeling her stomach but she upgrades that by letting him touch her boobs. Are we finally doing it?! Moment ruin when they realize Hanasaki is filming them. Though Kijima apologizes for trying this, Hanasaki gives him motivation. So he wants him to f*ck his daughter? Ao has come to accept the fact that this is going to be a horny relationship. She waits for Kijima to prop up that question. Kijima promises not to disappoint her and her dad. That is why they are going to study together and get into the same university! WTF???!!! Oh Ao looking so disappointed. She was expecting to be asked out, huh? Looks like the drought is going to continue as Kijima vows to hold it off until she gets into university. At least Ao is now motivated to pass ever damn subject. You can do it!

Episode 10
Ao isn’t interested in the upcoming sports festival. But after hearing Kijima will be on the cheerleading team and cheering for her, you bet she is going to participate. Hanasaki wants to come but Ao forbids him. Flashback shows when he was around, he distributed his erotic works or sold his weird libido drinks. Needless to say, it embarrassed the hell out of her. Since he is still adamant to come, Ao calls Yabe to lie about dad seeing another editor, hence increasing his workload. This puts a strain in their relationship and they didn’t speak ever since. During the sports festival, Ao feels guilty for saying too much. She feels better when Kijima gives her some words of encouragement. To her surprise, dad is here. Looks like he finished up early because he too wants to see and support her. During the race, Hanasaki joins Kijima and his team to cheer for Ao. She is embarrassed but it makes her run faster. On the last lap, Ao is losing stamina and is in danger of being overtaken. That is when Hanasaki screams to her, hold your G-cup and run faster!!! WTF???!!! Deafening silence. Everyone stood still. This allows Ao to rush past the finish line and go beat up dad. And that’s how she won the race. In the aftermath, she bans dad from ever coming to her school Ever.

Episode 11
Kijima wants to study together for the upcoming test but Ao refuses citing that it will lead to sex. I wonder who is the want who is hard up for it. But I guess since he asked a few more times like she wanted, I guess she relents. Alright! Sex on the cards! So she orders silky panties from the internet. Damn she’s fast in taking the delivery. Even Hanasaki is suspicious but Ao is faster. As they study together, Ao is anticipating he will jump on her. An hour later… Nothing happens! Yeah, this guy is actually studying! She tries to add ambiguous words into equations as hints. Unfortunately this guy is dense. Even switching to the more obvious literature, I guess Kijima’s vocabulary isn’t that wide. Time to give it slightly straight to him. She hints they are both alone in this room. There is something he wants from her, right? Oh yeah. The quiz. Whoever scores the highest gets to order the loser to do anything he/she wants. Not what Ao is looking for but maybe he’ll ask her to do lewd stuffs. What does Ao want from him? Being a sadists! What about Kijima? Make bento for him. WTF?! You trying to kill her vibe?! Disappointed girl thinks the power of virginity has made him choose this sh*t so she’s going to teach him. Uh huh. Literally, teach him and tutor him in his studies. Suddenly Ao’s stomach starts feeling pain. She became sick and missed the test. As revealed, Ao isn’t used to wear low waist panties like this silky one so her stomach got cold. You blaming silky now, girl?!

Episode 12
Miyabi is hounding Ao if she has kissed Kijima. To her relief, she hasn’t. Miyabi then boasts about kissing despite never having done it herself so when Ao asks her about it, she tries to cover it up by pretending to kiss her. Oh my. Is this turning yuri?! Thank goodness they stop. Otherwise their first kiss is each other! Ao clears her thoughts about this so she is able to concentrate on studying. But all that comes crashing down when one evening in classroom, Kijima tells her how beautiful she is. She tries to stay strong and not be deceived but then realizes whatever she does, nothing will ever happen. Why the sad look? Hence when she brings about asking Miyabi’s question that she never kissed him, Kijima asks if she really wants one. He can give it to her. What looks like him being a master baiter, it is surprisingly Ao who is the one who kisses him! Embarrassed and apologetic, Kijima in fact wants more. Here’s another one for the road. Now she can’t concentrate on anything! Despite seeing Kijima means kissing, however when she heard a few girls talk about how guys who are good kissers are also good in ‘that’, this makes Ao suspicious of Kijima. Hence she sulks and accuses him of being a great kisser but a virgin. So it’s not okay if she is the only girl he wants to kiss? Later as Ao rues about it, she might get another chance. Kijima admits that was his first kiss and he also felt good kissing her (meaning, Ao is also a great kisser?). He pecks her forehead and hopes he can kiss her again. Before she could give her permission, here comes to big one! Uhm, should they be kissing somewhere more private instead on a pedestrian bridge? So all is well, end’s well, right? Well, Ao just failed all her mock exams… Damn!!! I guess being a good kisser doesn’t make it up for the grades.

Squalor Me Bad – I Wanna Sex You Up!
And so both Ao and Kijima continue to remain a virgin. It feels like the final episode toned things down because before that it was all about dirty minded thoughts and sex. I know we expect them not to actually do it but then they decided to take one step back and make a fuss about kissing? Are they happy with just that?! Are we happy with just that?! Oh well. I guess before moving on to much greater acts of love, I suppose kissing which is the most basic of the basics should be ‘conquered’ first. Maybe that is why you see them freaking out so much especially Ao who starts having indecent thoughts. So theoretically if she masters kissing, then perhaps the next stage will be slightly better to handle. Please note, there is an opposite correlation between studying and sex! Choose your destiny!

It feels weird that it was established at the start that Ao wanted to live a decent life and even gone as far as to state she hates men. With the force of porn logic descending into this anime, this is somewhat quickly overturned and Ao suddenly becomes some sort of sex maniac trying to get laid but not make it look like she’s desperate for it (which she is). Like, WTF?! My guess is that if Ao was established to be a horny b*tch in the first place, it would not have been so much fun. Because I have a feeling that people love to see b*tches like Ao who think they are so high on the moral high ground to come stumbling down, eating their own words and become perverts themselves. After all, we have to remember the name of this anime. Hence it is the plot and running joke that Ao can’t study because of her indecent thoughts that obstruct her focus.

Some might find this distasteful because it paints Ao in a bad limelight. Like as though she is a sex object. But then again, who is the one thinking about sex? Imagine if their genders were switched. That would be even more distasteful and offensive. The irony that guys can be horny and think about sex but not girls. Even if it did play out this way, it would most likely end up in hentai. So don’t worry, people. While there may be seemingly dangerous scenes that would most likely look like as though it is going to cross the line, I assure you it is all in Ao’s head. All in your head. You pervert! Yeah, even some of the titles are a little suggestive like “Kijima Lacks Stamina”, “Kijima Can’t Wait Any Longer”, “Ao Can’t Protect Her Lower Half”, “Ao Needs More Than Fantasies” and “Dad Can’t Offer Support” to name a few. But don’t worry, it won’t be as dangerous as “Ao Can’t Ride The D!”. Haha!

Anyway, this whole story is about Ao trying to find her own romance in her life. Though she gives excuses she wants to go to a good university and live a decent life. You know that is all BS and crap, right? Fortunately, Kijima is the only guy who resonates with her and since they spend a reasonable amount of time together, naturally Ao’s horny instincts would have taken over. You might find it ironic that as the daughter of a famous erotic novelist, she would have at least some sort of knowledge or even control over her horny feelings. But I guess your true colours can only be seen in real situations. So it goes to show that Ao is still very much a virgin like her crush counterpart. She might think so and so, which is sexy in her mind. But come the real deal, she freaks out. Or sometimes getting disappointed because Kijima didn’t act out the way she wanted. Well, too bad. Guys can’t read your minds even though girls really want them to. No wonder this is one of the main causes of relationship breakdowns.

Kijima being a decent guy adds in painting Ao in a bad light that she is a horny b*tch. Remember, what is the name of this anime again? Because of societal norms, Kijima trying to be a gentleman and put Ao’s feelings first than his own desires, makes him look like some sort of loser. Don’t you think? Well, that’s the catch-22 situation. Because if Kijima gives into the desires of the flesh, it takes the fun out of the series. Again, this isn’t exactly hentai to begin with so the so called funny parts and jokes come from all those sexy near misses and misunderstandings. All in all, what Ao wants is just to be truly loved. Because she has not experienced real romance in her life and furthermore having her dumb dad as her only ‘love expert’ as reference, this is why she thinks that sex = love. Though, it isn’t wrong to say that sex is one of the main components for love. So if Kijima truly becomes the gentleman and true love of Ao’s life, perhaps she can do away with this dirty minded thinking. But then again, the series will lose its charm and funniness. So carry on being dense virgins, both of you!

I feel Miyabi’s role to provide some love rivalry feels underutilized. We definitely know that it is eventually going to be Ao x Kijima. But Miyabi’s actions to snag Kijima don’t feel like she is really putting real effort in it. Like as though she is just doing it to annoy Ao and make her feel like a loser. I could be wrong on this since they don’t want to put too much focus on this distraction and instead concentrate on Ao x Kijima. I mean with only a dozen episodes and each episode is half the running time than your standard anime episode, you’ve got to make the most out of it. So when the series reaches the end of its season, viewers want to vouch for Ao x Kijima pairing.

Yabe also feels a bit unnecessary. Becoming Ao’s tutor only serves as a role to make Kijima jealous and show us that he has a soft spot for Ao. There is nothing better for a man to make a move faster when there is another seemingly another male rival or competition. Otherwise this guy isn’t near a threat to Ao x Kijima unlike Miyabi. I was hoping Hanasaki would be the best character ever because you know, eccentric dad. But he comes off mostly as weird rather than funny. Just when you think he is supposed to be funny, then he comes off as annoying instead. Even if he is mostly a dick, but at important times, he provides the best dad advice for Ao. She is after all his only daughter. Daughter that has a name with a porn reference! Ouch! Truly a love-hate relationship…

Art and animation are pretty decent (yeah, the irony). A few ecchi scenes here and there, no wonder Ao’s character is designed to have such big boobs. Fortunately, not big enough that I would consider hentai material boobs. The oddest looking character goes to of course Hanasaki. This Happosai clone seems to be a midget and that size even when Ao was born! Damn, baby Ao as big as him?! Now that he has grown old and white hair, he looks more like a crazy character that ran away from some crazy cartoon. Seriously. Come to thinks of it, he looks like a crazier version of that Colonel Sanders fairy in Hitoribocchi No Marumaru Seikatsu!!! This series is animated by Silver Link who did a few animes ‘similar’ to this such as Watashi Ga Motenai No Wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera Ga Warui, Kyou No Asuka Show, Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne, Imouto Sae Ireba and Strike The Blood.

I want to point out that for the voice acting part, Kenjirou Tsuda really takes the cake as Hanasaki. His character’s main voice sounds like as though he is talking because his balls are tightly squeezed or something! Initially it sounds hilarious enough that I was trying to imitate that voice myself! He is unrecognizable in this voice but come to his serious mode, that low sexy voice of his is definitely him. But kudos in making Hanasaki really sounds sleazy and weird. The other casts are Azumi Waki as Ao (Maika in Blend S), Junta Terashima as Kijima (Nakano in Animegataris), Juri Kimura as Miyabi (Tsugumi in Nil Admirari No Tenbin) and Takashi Kondo as Yabe (Train in Black Cat). The opening theme and ending theme, Wonderful Wonder by Edoga Sullivan and Koi Wa Miracle by Spira Spica respectively sound like generic anime pop. Nothing special for me.

Overall, a pretty decent (oh, the irony) ecchi rom-com anime. If you don’t want too sleazy a fanservice anime like Nande Sensei Ga Koko Ni (because this one has too much spamming of boobs and crotch in your face), this one has the right mix of sexiness… I think. Because not everybody thinks a romantic dinner and a walk in the park as the most romantic idea. No sex here. But sex still sells. Although technically for laughs. The next time you feel too horny and can’t concentrate on studying, perhaps it is nature’s way of saying go get screwed first. Who knows? You might study and absorb better after sex because all those brain chemicals released. And if it did not work, oh well, I guess life has screwed over you then. Now you know why sex scandals never turn out well…

Making friends is easy, right? With today’s technology, you can get hundreds and even thousands, or even better, millions of friends! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, WhatsApp and SnapChat, OMG you’ve got another friend request! OMG! You’ve just surpassed your hundred millionth friend! Oh yeah… Unfortunately such numbers these days don’t mean a thing. Uh huh. Trying to make real friends, real physical bonds is the challenge nowadays. It’s not surprising that our social skills have dramatically decreased with the rise of social media platforms. But still, I guess some of us really shy ones are still struggling to make true friends. Like Hitoribocchi No Marumaru Seikatsu. Meek girl is forced to make friends in her new class if she is going to be reunited with her best friend that has gone away. It’s going to be tough but hey, it’s better than simply clicking the subscribe button to be my friend.

Episode 1
Bocchi Hitori is a shy girl and dreads her first day of middle school. However her childhood friend, Kai Yawara went to another middle school and severed their friendship. If they are to be friends again, she has to make friends with everyone in her new class. She gave her a charm for that. What’s with this creepy fairy that looks like Colonel Sanders? Since her wish to destroy middle school didn’t work, how about being the only person in class so that technically means she is friends with herself, right? Well, Class 1-1 has 29 people. So sorry. After the opening ceremony, Bocchi even got this idea to place a note that the class is abolished and everyone is to be transferred elsewhere! But everyone takes this as a joke and thinks this class will be super fun. I guess the only way is to live up to that promise. During class introduction, Bocchi was so nervous that she vomited! Because the person sitting in front of her, Nako Sunao talked to her, she thinks she is already her friend. Hence she nervously tries to do stuff for her. Is she trying to be her gopher? You mean gopher = friend? With Bocchi thinking they are done for, Nako eventually gets the chance to tell her she likes the idea of being her friend. Bocchi remembers Kai’s advice of making friends. A trick is to start liking the other person. As Bocchi tries to like her, it looks like she is invading her personal space and getting annoying. I wonder if Bocchi wrote all the scenarios on how to answer on every inch of her body. What if no answer? Damn she’s screwed! Soon they exchange contacts and they communicate via texting. Wow. So fun. So much texting that Bocchi bumps into everything as she is too focused on her handphone. Bocchi then confesses she likes Nako. As a friend. But aren’t they already friends? Well, she never heard it from her. Nako has to spell it out that they’ve been one since the day we’ve met. Oh wow. This really brings Bocchi to tears. Bocchi now has the confidence to face her middle school life. One small step for Bocchi, one big step for her middle school life.

Episode 2
Nako is mad! Oh no. Did Bocchi lose a friend? Ah well, easy come, easy go. Thinking on how to fix this, the class vice president, Aru Honshou speaks to her. Damn right we’re going to have a long flashback on how it all happened. With Bocchi referring to a magazine on how to make friends, the duo explored several places in school. Nako playing a few ‘ghost’ pranks on Bocchi like tapping on her shoulder. All those were just red herring as the deal breaker was when Bocchi tells of her promise to Kai. That promise to make friends with everyone. Aru helps her ‘get ready’ to apologize. WTF why change into her gym clothes? Bocchi sums up her courage as she stammers her way through her apology that sounded like a love confession. I guess seeing her trying so hard or to stop this pathetic act, Nako isn’t mad anymore. Yay! Back to friends again. So with Nako noting her promise, is she going to try and make friends with others? Oh dear, Bocchi getting cold feet again. Even when Nako suggests starting with Aru, she’s getting nervous just hearing that. Speak of the devil, here is Aru. When Nako notices a hanger in her clothes and Aru tries to pass it off as fashion, that is when Nako realizes she is an unfortunate girl. Yeah, she could somewhat guess she mixed up her pantsu with her mom’s. WTF???!!! With Aru devastated, the duo try to reconcile with her although she thinks they just want to laugh at her. Aru talks about her misfortune being some sort of hereditary. So unfortunate she didn’t end up being the class president but the vice. Yeah… Bocchi sums up her courage to ask her to be their friends. Sure, it is due to Kai’s promise but even if that wasn’t the case, she still wants to be her friend. With Aru agreeing loud and clear (or else Bocchi will think otherwise), Bocchi is so happy that she faints? Can’t blame her. She’s raking up new friends faster than the speed of light. Read, sarcasm of course.

Episode 3
Homeroom teacher, Teruyo Oshie is scared of Nako?! WTF?! Seriously, she’s all nervous and running away when face to face with her. Bocchi wants to ask Aru to walk home with them but with others getting in the way, this is going to take a while. When she finally does, she passes out from excitement. Can she walk home at this rate? Because Nako and Aru don’t really get along with each other, this has Bocchi worried. Better start making up if you don’t want her to have trauma that they are doing this just for her sake and that she is the only one happy with this friendship. The duo are supposed to meet at Bocchi’s place and when they’re late, she starts thinking they’re no longer friends! Only Nako shows up as Aru has last minute tennis practice. WTF Bocchi dressed in her bear suit and trying to be a super nice host?! Yeah, must be a lot of hard work trying to stick to the script, eh? However Bocchi fumbles and ends up getting sick. This means missing school tomorrow. Oh dear. She is already having this trauma her friends will forget her! Hence she spams them if they remember her! Extreme! Meanwhile Teruyo still have fears of Nako and wants to resign? It gets weirder since Nako is here to collect today’s assignment to hand to Bocchi. Teruyo being overly polite so as not to make her mad or something but it ends up with her running away since she’s so scared. Aru teases Nako for having a scary face and tone and that she should learn for her who has a pretty smile. Fake smile? Better hurry to Bocchi because those spam messaging is getting worse. Hi, I’m Bocchi… Not sure if her illness is getting to her, but this girl is really ‘sick’. Upon reaching her place, she is so ‘excited’ that they’re here that she really gets passionate to remind them she is her friend. Don’t worry. They still remember her. Please don’t even tease an inch because trauma switch on… They hope she gets well tomorrow so she can come back to school. It’s boring without her. Or perhaps they don’t want it to be a pain… You know…

Episode 4
Looks like Bocchi has a long way to go to even interact with the people in the neighbourhood. Just when she thought she managed to avoid talking to them, she bumps into Sotoka Rakita. Damn, Bocchi giving out the scariest scream! Sotoka thinks she is a ninja due to her lack of presence and good at running away. But she is left disappointed when Bocchi says she isn’t. Since then, she is a bit down and Bocchi thinks it is her fault. Later Sotoka reveals that as a foreign who came to Japan, she was impressed with ninjas, the reason she came here to meet one. She really believed Bocchi was one but sadly that zapped her enthusiasm. Hence Bocchi comes up with an idea to be friends with her by making a paper shuriken. Inside is a message for them to become friends. However Sotoka thinks Bocchi is really a ninja and that she cannot admit it upfront! Therefore instead of becoming her friend, she wants to be her disciple! This is just getting worse. Uh huh. Sotoka loves lifting Bocchi and this act is almost good enough to ‘kill’ her. Now Sotoka looks up to Bocchi with much anticipation. Can’t disappoint her, can we? Aru has an idea for Bocchi to let Sotoka gain mastery quickly so they can be friends. But first, a lecture from Nako to Sotoka to stop hugging Bocchi as and when she likes since there should be some distance between master and student. Bocchi teaches one pose and claims she has achieved mastery. Sotoka thinks there’s more so Aru interjects by teaching this lame ninja beam pose. Yeah, even Sotoka is laughing at her unfortunate pose. Bocchi then tries to teach her some ninja running but ultimately trips. Sotoka carries her to the infirmary. Bocchi reveals she has a scar on the other leg due to a similar ‘training’ with Kai. She really wants to see through this with Sotoka since she looked so much happier during training after thinking she found a ninja. Hence Bocchi hopes that once Sotoka masters everything, can they be friends? Certainly. She’ll do her best. If she could only remember not to lift and ‘kill’ her master like that all the time.

Episode 5
For some unfortunate reason, Aru wears her elementary school bag. She manage to get by fooling her friend, Hanako Yamada but the thought of Nako seeing her would mean disastrous. When she tries to hide from her, her leg cramps. How unfortunate… But that goes on to a whole new level the next day as she somewhat dresses in her full elementary school gear! How does she fool Hanako this time? She is Aru’s little sister, Mieru! But this doesn’t work with Nako as she starts to laugh her ass off! When Aru tries to fool Bocchi and Sotoka, because they are so gullible she decides to come clean with them. WTF they think she used some substitution technique? She tries to fool the class as Mieru. With Nako laughing her ass off again, the class is impressed she made her laugh and start applauding. Huh? Later Aru challenges Nako to a tennis match. She will have to stop teasing her if she wins. The first to score 10 points wins and they will take turns to serve. Nako is bad at serving. Aru too! Miss! I guess this is the result of missing club activities too many times. Nako tries to shift the serving to Aru with the excuse to show her serve. With Aru taking up that challenge, yeah Nako is raking in easy points doing nothing as she continues to miss. One time she hits it but it flew to the swimming pool. Go get it. Finally with Nako up 7-0, she finally hits in. That is when Aru admits her loss. She thinks this is part of Nako’s kindness to tell her to attend her club activities. Of course it’s not. It’s just to make her serve and lose while she does nothing. As for why she accepted this tennis challenge, she thought she could win. Uh huh. All one big misunderstanding. But the unfortunate teasing still goes on. Especially Mieru! This reminds Bocchi she bumped into her sister this morning… Damn… When Aru goes help out another club and by the time she returns, she is surprised to see her friends still waiting. They didn’t have time to talk much today and hoped to wait till she finishes all her club activities. So Aru just screws the rest of her club activities and walks home with them. Nako advises Aru that she doesn’t need to be perfect since Bocchi would love the unfortunate Aru more. Is that a compliment or insult? Or both?

Episode 6
Bocchi is praying to get a fever. Don’t want to go up in front of class to recite her haiku. Nope. Still fine. How about a sore throat? Doing fine. I guess it’s time to go face those fears. In class, she tries to make weird movements because mom told her to do so whenever she is nervous. Sorry, nothing happened. Only her leg gets cramped. After failing to visualize everyone as a potato, can she now read her haiku? She vomited instead. At least she managed to stand in front of class, right? When Teruyo hands back the test papers, she thinks Nako will be mad at her because she failed. She tries not to be scared but eventually her natural reflexes take over. Yes, bowing to her again. Nako realizes she is still scared of her and needs a way to act friendlier. Somehow thinking of Aru’s style only makes her feel disgusted. Hence Teruyo gets the wrong idea that she is really mad at her. With Nako failing her test, this means she has to stay back and take supplementary lessons till she passes. Aru offers to coach her but is ignored. Bocchi offers to teach her how to laugh and have fun while studying. This can’t be good. As Teruyo is still terrified with Nako, she still wants to be a respectable teacher. So she spies on the gang but comes up with a twisted conclusion that Bocchi is the secret gang leader since she is teaching Nako and Sotoka is calling Bocchi her master! Later when Teruyo talks to Bocchi about this and Bocchi revealing he goal to be friends with everyone in class, poor Teuryo overthinks and gets scared about Bocchi needing a lot of underlings. Teruyo manages to tell Bocchi she can’t be her friend but is her teacher. She thought she got her confidence back but the moment she sees Nako, it’s that perfect bow again. Because Bocchi feels sad that going home without Nako is different, the rest suggest to wait for her outside school till she finishes. But worry no more as Nako passes her test. Yahoo! And WTF everybody starts laughing in this weird robotic monotonous style. You mean this is a song?!

Episode 7
The most horrifying dream for Bocchi: Kai is no longer friends with her! Never too young to realize how cruel the world is. Bocchi tries to take assertive steps to make friends but they all fail. She thought of making a new friend with Kako Kurai and everything looks fine in her mind. But in reality, Kako chides her for slacking. No accomplishment for the day. With Bocchi being worried about this, the friends plan do to things together over the summer break. First up, they head to the pool. WTF Sotoka thinks she can walk on water but falls right in. Need more training, huh? Bocchi notices Nako sitting out. I can guess why. True enough, she is scared of water as she doesn’t know how to swim. With Bocchi overreacting and suggesting they go home, Nako decides to learn swimming from her. By now Aru has discovered this and brags about getting one up on her this time. Too bad Nako throws her back into the water and continues practising with Bocchi. Next, they hit the karaoke joint. It dawned too late to Bocchi that one is supposed to sing in front of people! Muri! Can’t do it! With Sotoka not knowing any Japanese songs but only call backs and Nako just providing the beat, is this going to be Aru only show? Suddenly Bocchi sees Kai passing by. She rushes out and calls out to her. However Kai continues to ignore her despite Bocchi telling her she has made friends and will continue this until her entire class becomes her friend. Kai has left the building, reducing Bocchi to just tears. But outside, Kai also cries. She has been worried about Bocchi all this time and is happy she has made some friends. In the end, both of them vomited after crying too much. Birds of the same feathers? The friends carry sleeping Bocchi home. Sotoka seems to have her reasons to continue being Bocchi’s disciple rather than being her friend. Bocchi still crying in her sleep and sleep talking that she made some friends. Must be traumatic, huh?

Episode 8
Sotoka gives out her paper shuriken, making her a little more famous. When Bocchi tries to talk to Kurai, once again she gets shot down and is almost at breaking point. What a bad way to start the new term. Talking to Nako about this, it seems Kurai lent her ribbon and she wants to return it, hence a chance for them to talk. With some motivation, Bocchi tries again. Too bad she gets nervous again and Kurai thinks she is mocking her. Thus it begins the weirdest and slowest chase ever. When she is cornered, Nako gives her the signal so Bocchi comes clean. She purposely undone her ribbon then so as to make her notice her. Although Kurai is fine if they chat, however it is against her policy to become friends. Oh dear. Looks like this is a high hurdle to overcome. Can she try to make other friends first? Meanwhile the rest wonder if Sotoka is going to ask Bocchi to be friends instead of a disciple and again she doesn’t want to yet as she is afraid she would get mad. Bocchi, get mad? Next day as Bocchi arrives at class early, she sees Kurai cleaning the tables. Spooked at first, she helps her and they get the job done in half the usual time. The mood is great for Bocchi to strike up a conversation. She asks about her policy of not making friends. She wants to become strong because having friends just creates weaknesses in your heart so as she can rely on herself. With Bocchi agreeing to that, Kurai helps discipline her a little. Not sure if Kurai is being petty as she is THIS strict with the other classmates streaming in. I know a thread sticking out from the sleeve is untidy but she could spot that?! And WTF she asked another if she forgotten her handkerchief?! Here, have hers. With that, Bocchi also tries to be as strong as her. I don’t think making that weird face works but it’s a start. Meanwhile Sotoka has to listen to Nako and not get in Bocchi’s way. Must be tough for a disciple, eh? A bit of gloom blown away when Bocchi gives her some ninja arts book as homework. You mean she is really serious in her being her disciple? Sotoka might look happy and lively with her friends but back home she is all alone and her face is cracking to cry. But when her friends message her, she is all smiles again. We see the hidden side of Kurai smiling as she thinks about Bocchi praising her. Then she reminds herself she can’t be weak and returns to her strict mode.

Episode 9
Oh Bocchi, stay strong. For the cooking class, she is separated from her friends and in a different group. Chance to make new friends? She overthinks what to do and it gets off to a bad start as she messes up the flour. Luckily Aru is here to help out by handing her some of the ingredients. With that, Bocchi’s group manages to create a great pancake dish. Her groupies are glad to finally see her smile. However because Bocchi feels the need to apologize, all in wrong timing when the girls hope they could be friends, Bocchi apologizes! It sounded like she rejected them!!! Nako suggests that Bocchi introduce them to Kurai. Speaking of the devil, here she is. She starts off introducing herself before introducing her friends (I think she said more than she should for Aru… How unfortunate). So what does Kurai think? She too introduces herself and ends it that it is not her policy to make friends. Goodbye. Luckily Bocchi won’t give up since there is a chance to ask Kurai to join her group to make curry in an outdoor camping trip. Don’t mind the pun of zekkou which can mean both perfect and not friends. Because Kurai catches Bocchi ‘stalking’ her. Trying to find that perfect timing to ask, eh? At first Kurai turns her down but after Bocchi explains how Aru helped her out during the cooking class, Kurai thinks Aru is a strong person and agrees to be in her group. But Kurai threatens to leave the group if Bocchi thinks she is looking forward to making curry. Which I think she is because she has really come up with the idea of making seafood curry and she’s serious about it. Oh Sotoka, please don’t ruin her vibe with your seafood doria suggestion. She gets her vibe back with Bocchi’s motivation. They had the best friendship curry ever. Later Kurai talks to Bocchi and notes their different approaches to become stronger. Bocchi does it via having friends while Kurai does it alone. She wants to continue watching Bocchi to see if she can grow stronger this way. In a way she wants to see the ideas Bocchi comes up and help improve herself. Hence she views them as rivals. Bocchi is confused. Is that counted as friends? I guess not.

Episode 10
Oh well. The semester is ending and Bocchi feels she didn’t make as much friends as before. Hence she tries to be super strong? Too bad it backfires when she tries to put it up to her friends because it makes her look weak instead. Though Sotoka tells them about Bocchi’s intentions, Sotoka herself is reminded about her own. Still want to be an apprentice instead of a friend? It’s complicated! The friends visit the shrine for New Year. Kurai is also there but since she isn’t officially part of the group, she leaves earlier. Bocchi stumbles upon her cooking class friends. Since she earnestly wishes for them to become her friends, they agree. Hooray! Wish to make more friends come true! So happy that she faints?! That’s Bocchi for you. With Ito Kurie and Peko Onaka now her friends, why is Sotoka putting up the biggest shock on her face?! It’s the way Bocchi addresses them. Because Sotoka is still addressed as Sotoka-san rather than Sotoka-chan. Talking to the rest, it seems she is reluctant to end her apprenticeship because of what Bocchi said about the need to pass everything down to her, then only they’ll be friends. So she hasn’t passed everything down yet? Sotoka gives it a shot. Nope. Still Sotoka-san. So shocked that she now speaks Engrish?! So the friends set them up to meet. Bocchi has created a new shuriken for her. I guess they’re back to friends. But why is Sotoka still worried? Now she can’t call her as master? Nako tells her that Bocchi already told everything she had to her. At least her feelings. With renewed determination, Sotoka sees Bocchi again. This time she manages to get it out. She wants to stop being her apprentice and be her friend. Music to Bocchi’s ears as this is the first time somebody asks her to be her friend. Hey, at least she didn’t faint this time. Oddly, they are still somewhat distant when trying to address each other. But they are super close when it comes to making shurikens together. Needless to say, they’re already good friends.

Episode 11
Wow. Bocchi has so many friends to say good morning to that she is panicking?! WTF?! Yeah, this is unprecedented. As Nako and Sotoka are in the same Smartphone group, Bocchi also wants to join. Too bad she realizes hers is still a flip phone! Desperate, she calls mom for an upgrade! Otherwise she can’t make friends! Oh silly, you have to wait till next year to get yours… Bummer. When Kurai refuses to still be friends with them because they will be changing classes, this activates yet another Bocchi trauma. Because now she ponders about Kai’s words. When she said make friends in your entire class, is it first year, second year or third year? And if changing classes is true, does this mean she must start all over! Oh the horror! Hence she tries to come up with strategies to stay in the same class. Yeah… That plan flies into the hands of another classmate, the rich girl, Mayo Oujosa. After hearing her troubles, Mayo suggests buying school! WTF?! Not enough money? She’ll find her a job! And she did! So folding 1000 cranes? With help from her friends, they get the job done quick. Mainly thanks to Sotoka who is super fast due to her shuriken training. So how much the pay? 500 yen. Wow. So much. Now let’s go buy the school! But where to buy? Oh dear. Heh. The store lady says school is not for sale! You can’t buy it here and even if you could, it’s probably worth 10 billion. Shock! Better start folding more cranes! I think that will be kingdom come… You bet Bocchi is going to do it but then Mayo reveals the truth. This school doesn’t change classes although she tried to use her influence to do so but failed. Bocchi is happy but Mayo leaves sad. Bocchi goes to talk to her as she reveals more truths. She wanted to be friends with Bocchi and lied about the class changing thingy for fear Bocchi will not be with her anymore once this is over. Mayo is always feeling lonely as her parents are working abroad. Oh no. It’s going to be noisy with 2 emotional girls crying… Bocchi then gets an idea. She wants to spend this 500 yen with her friends as they helped her earn it. Mayo joins them at the photo print booth. Aru can’t stand how the noobs can’t decently operate the machine and takes over. After taking their picture, Bocchi reveals they planned this for Mayo. So they’re friends now? You bet. Ah, signature Bocchi fainting. With that, Mayo now has the courage to text to her parents about her loneliness.

Episode 12
Finally! Bocchi has got a handphone! Hooray! I guess mom moved forward her promise since it’s cheaper to get one now. Damn, Bocchi treating her handphone like a human friend? I hope she doesn’t get the idea she can buy ‘friends’ with money! Bocchi starts taking pics of her friends. When Nako falls asleep, all the friends spam taking pics of her sleeping! Later Bocchi tells her friends the biggest incident! When she talked to Kurai, she smiled! Honest! They go talk to her to see for themselves. See! She’s smiling! Weird. Something must be wrong… Bocchi enjoys talking her so much that suddenly Kurai collapses! OMG! Bocchi did you just kill her???!!! As she recovers in the infirmary, Kurai is back to her gloomy self. Ah well. Good while it lasted. It seems she was putting up that fake pleasantry to hide the fact she is sick so as not to look undependable. With the graduation day for seniors looming, Bocchi is worried she can’t attend. So WTF stalk her? I think it is easier for Kurai to just ignore and pretend she didn’t see them doing their lame hiding. Kurai left some DVD she earlier promised for Bocchi. But let’s hope it’s not revenge or prank because the DVD inside is empty! Actually she forgot and still left it in the player. Embarrassing! Graduation day is here and Bocchi practises putting a pin on Nako. Thank goodness she didn’t slip up, eh? But that was sure heart pounding. Bocchi manages to put the pin on the senior but says the wrong word that sends everyone having the wrong idea that senior is pregnant. Bocchi wants to go home with all her friends today. Unfortunately Kurai shuts her down! Maybe next time. On the way home, the friends stop by for pancakes. Soon, the next year starts. This time Bocchi is chosen to introduce herself first in class. Time to show how much she has learnt… And here it is… She vomits again! Some things just don’t change.

Step By Step: You Are (Not) Alone!
From the looks of it, looks like Bocchi is still going to have a long way to make her entire class as her friend. That is, pending on what the definition of ‘entire class’ is. I don’t think Kai would be such a bad hearted girl to shift the goalpost but as long as Bocchi still feels insecure that she doesn’t have enough friends, her mission to get more friends will continue. But not bad, getting 6 people in her class for the first year is impressive. And as Nako said there are 29 of them, let’s hope that she will score more in her second year because you know, being status quo means she’ll fail to achieve it by the deadline. Or worst case scenario, everyone has to stay back until Bocchi makes friends with all of them! I hope it won’t go down this route…

Call it boring or call it cute. Animes like this one can divide the audiences into generally that. You know me. I’m on the fence! Yes, this anime isn’t perfect as there are pros and cons. Besides, it isn’t outright good nor is it outright bad. That’s why it’s in between. As always for me. I have seen so many of this cute girls doing cute things throughout the seasons and years that this series can be part of that statistic in my watch list. Fortunately the characters are quirky in a cute way that it partly helps in my enjoyment watching the dozen episodes. But still, if you’re the kind who can’t stomach all the sparkly cuteness and all that charming adorability would start churning your stomach, well yeah, you’re going to find all the sugary sweetness to be nauseating.

With the plot of the story basically being about Bocchi trying to make friends (heck, it doesn’t feel so much like a main plot and an excuse-cum-reason why the girls need to gather and do cute things), the main focus falls on the characters. Thankfully they aren’t such a bore and as I’ve said, all of them have quirky personalities. Though, you might feel their character types might be a little cliché. We have the shy girl, the not-so-delinquent girl, the girl who wants to stand out, the unfriendly girl (also sometimes known as the emotionless girl), the rich girl and yes, the foreigner who loves Japan.

One might have realized and get to know after watching a couple of episodes into the series, the characters’ names revolve around puns. Disregarding the fact how their parents could name them so accurately or if the girls decide to live up to their namesake, you can quickly tell a girl’s character or role just by looking at her name. Heh. That’s like judging a book by its cover, no? Even though that a majority of the characters live up to their named puns, I am worried about Bocchi. Yup, you guessed it. If she were to live up to her namesake, she would forever be alone! Yikes! Horror! Because Nako is sure being the honest girl she is. Aru certainly has a ‘true nature’ she is trying to hide. Sotoka definitely came from over there (AKA foreigner) and Mayo is absolutely a rich girl. No doubts that Teruyo will still be doing her teaching job. Even if Kai sounds ‘mean’ in giving Bocchi this mission, she is actually being kind. You gotta be cruel to be kind? Hence if you take all this into account, does this mean Bocchi will forever be alone?! I don’t think so but considering this theory, perhaps she will have to change her name soon once she reaches her target. Maybe… Tomodachiga Ippai! Konichiwa, Ippai-chan!

It makes me wonder if Bocchi’s class is the only class filled with classmates with such weird names. I bet there are other quirky classmates but unfortunately the dozen episodes do not give the series justice to flesh them all out (I noticed there is one classmate who is always wearing a sleep mask over her face. I bet she must be named Nemu or something…). Yeah, hint to go read the manga if you want more. However as I noticed, not all of the classmates are weirdly or aptly named. Because you do notice there is a girl named Hanako. Why, that’s a very normal name! So common and normal her name that hers really sounds the weirdest. Unless she is a flower girl who lives in the mountains… I guess it is safe to say that being the most normal of normal of all names, can she even become Bocchi’s friend? Because she doesn’t display any sort of quirky behaviour like the rest. Yeah, maybe Bocchi is attracted to make weird friends.

On to the main characters, to sum it up for Bocchi, she is a funny girl! Being extremely naïve and a simpleton makes her extremely, uhm, cute? It feels like she has this comprehension level the same as Drax the Destroyer from Guardians of the Galaxy! No kidding. She tends to overthink the simplest of things and this leads from one thing to another, causing unnecessary worries and anxiety. And she looks so innocently cute in that mode! Keep calm and carrying on being Bocchi! Oh wait. She can’t keep calm always ;p. Bocchi as the main character having this sort of trauma and insecurity problem seems to mirror main character girls in other similar series of the genre like Kaos from Comic Girls, Hinako from Hinako Note and Hana from Slow Start. I guess it beats being a dumb my pace retard like Kohane from Anima Yell.

There is a very interesting interaction and relationship between Nako and Aru. It is like this series’ own manzai comedy duo. Because Nako being true to her character will always find opportunities (and there are plenty of them) to label Aru as an unfortunate girl. Yeah, this word is so taboo to Aru that now it has become some sort of reflex for her to rebuke it via her trademark style of head diving. How unfortunate. Oops! But it’s like the running joke of the series. Seriously. Not. But not as much as a running joke of Teruyo kowtowing to Nako every time Nako opens her mouth! Poor teacher. Her job is supposed to straighten out students but she gets straightened out instead. Friendship problems aren’t only for Bocchi since Sotoka has something similar. So it feels like a big roundabout for her to play master-disciple relationship because that is somehow closer than being friends? I thought friendship is universal? Not bound by language or cultural differences? But it’s a good thing they are friends now. Because dragging it out, Sotoka may learn how to clone herself or become invisible! Holy cow!

Kurai feels like that stubborn thorn on your side. She clearly stated her intentions not to have friends but yet she doesn’t entirely shut off Bocchi and co. She feels like the last boss of the class that Bocchi should conquer after having everyone else in class as her friend. But Bocchi being Bocchi never gives up. So it could be that ever since she initiated the ‘ritual’ of trying to be friends with her, it has been just one very long ‘battle’ to turn Kurai into her follower friend. Or could it be that Kurai has already accepted Bocchi as her friend but just playing hard to get. After all, you can see in the ending credits those who have officially become Bocchi’s friend will be added to the animation. Kurai is no exception. But oddly when Mayo became part of the friends, why is she not part of the animation? I know she was introduced very late but at the end of that episode aren’t they already friends? Even Ito and Peko aren’t in this line-up. Hmm… Something is fishy… Does this mean they are considered as lesser friends because they don’t spend enough time with Bocchi’s close inner circle? Oh well. But hey, at least Mayo isn’t as naïve enough to think friendship can be bought! Yeah, that will be 10 trillion yen to be my friend! Heh. Not sure if it is a good thing or bad thing since she doesn’t know the value of money since she is so rich.

Art and animation are very bright and cute. But of course. As usual, the cutely designed characters feel like they are taken from other anime series. For example the most obvious to note the moment I laid my eyes on her: Sotoka, doesn’t she look like Karen from Kiniro Mosaic? As for the rest, I bet I’ve seen them somewhere before (like Nako looking closely to Hinako Note’s Chiaki) but my brains can’t think right now so I’m being lazy to go right over and skip thinking about it. This series is done by C2C who produced Harukana Receive, Shuumatsu Nani Shitemasu Ka? Ishogashii Desu Ka? Sukutte Moratte Ii Desu Ka?, Yurumates 3D, Aquarion Logos and Onee-chan Ga Kita.

For the voice acting department, Chisaki Morishita as Bocchi takes the cake. She sounds both cute and insecure at the same time, fitting her character role very well. This is her debut as a main character although she has voiced minor extras in a few other series like Harukana Receive and Mitsuboshi Colors. The other casts are Minami Tanaka as Nako (Mary in Kakegurui), Akari Kitou as Aru (Noa in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita), Yuuko Kurose as Sotoka (Coco in High School Fleet), Kana Ichinose as Kurai (Asagi in Irodzuku Sekai No Ashita Kara), Konomi Kohara as Kai (Chika in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Minami Takahashi as Teruyo (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma) and Rika Nagae as Hanako (Olivia in Asobi Asobase). The opening theme is Hotoribocchi No Monologue by the trio of Bocchi, Nako and Aru. Highly energetic and genki anime pop. Typical and suitable for this kind of show. The ending theme is slightly slower, Ne Issho Ni Kaero by Bocchi. It feels a bit like Celtic music due to the Celtic-like flute tunes permeating throughout the song.

Overall, still an enjoyable cute girls doing cute things genre of the season. This is probably one of the very few series that I don’t mind having another season because I would love to see Bocchi get more friends and in the process try to overcome her friendship achievement trauma. Because one day Bocchi is going to realize that it is going to be really hard to fit all her classmate friends into the photo frame! Hah! That’s another trauma she has yet to think about! But this series shows that making friends might sound like an easy task, but it is a herculean effort for a shy introvert and it is laudable that Bocchi managed to do that. You can say she well deserves her friends. She earned it. Goes to show that true friendship is like respect, you earn it and is not given for granted. What next after conquering the class? The whole school? The entire nation? The whole wide world???!!! Watch out, people. Bocchi is coming to make friends with you on the internet! By that time I’ll quickly block her invitations from all my social media accounts ;p. Just leave alone to watch my animes, okay?!

Joshikausei

August 10, 2019

Ah, remember those very old times of the infant stages of movies when they were just moving pictures? Yes, those silent movie eras marked the start of how movies will be developed into a sophisticated state right now. Hence we get to somewhat relive that era again in Joshikausei. Yes, an anime with cute girls doing cute things without any dialogues or speeches! Oh yeah. Why do you even need dialogue when you have girls this cute?! Says the synopsis, obviously! I guess we too will be left speechless and only making `~kyun noises at how moe everything is.

Episode 1
Momoko Futo is lying on her classroom desk with her thighs spread out. Yeah… When Mayumi Furui enters, she is devastated with this indecency and tries to close her thighs but Momoko uses them to squeeze her face! Next, Shibumi Shibusawa also sees this atrocity and does the same. But this time she shuts and opens her thighs like as though it is some sort of music instrument. Mayumi sees this and gets the wrong idea. When Momoko is lying alone, now comes the annoying mosquito to ruin the peace. To protect herself from this annoyance, she wears stockings but now the damn pervy mosquito is gunning for her ass! Hence she slaps her own ass in her bid to get rid of it. Missed, of course. So when Momoko takes the train home, a guy gets the wrong idea to see a hand mark on her ass.

Episode 2
As per astrology readings, Momoko is going to experience bad luck today. Uh huh. She takes out the trash and a murder of crows is waiting to target her. Scary! One even almost drop bird poo on her! In class, Momoko didn’t do well in the test and all the plastics to her food and utensils failed to open cleanly. On the way back, the drink she wants from the vending machine is sold out. But Mayumi wins a lucky extra can and gives it to her. After finishing, Momoko fails to properly dispose of it in the recycling bin. Hence a cat comes to toy with it. The can then rolls along the same path as Momoko and she trips on it. Luckily her friends catch her. After they help her up, a crow drops bird poo directly hitting on her shirt. You mad? Catch me if you can!

Episode 3
A guy was up watching TV late last night. It’s no surprise he is sleepy as he takes the train to work. The train as usual is crowded as he dozes off. When the train jerks him up, he sees Momoko smiling at him. He fears he might have fallen asleep on the shoulder of the old dude next to him (which of course he did not). But another jerk causes that old jerk to bump his face onto his shoulder. At the same he took out his gum and it fell in between Momoko’s thighs. When she returns it, everyone who is watching might get the wrong idea so he lets her keep it. But Momoko in return gives him her cookie. This brightens up his day but Momoko tries the gum but it isn’t a flavour she likes.

Episode 4
At a restaurant, Momoko has no money to order parfait. Shibumi tricks her into letting taste some but eats it all herself. Luckily Mayumi shares some and Momoko tries to mock Shibumi that Mayumi is now her new best friend. Momoko and Mayumi use the serviettes to make animals as they play some weird food chain game. I wonder who wins if bear vs crocodile. In the end, Shibumi makes cages out of straws to cage the animals and end this charade. After they leave, the waitress is about to clean their table and is confused at this ‘circus’.

Episode 5
On their way home, the girls find an abandoned skateboard. Momoko rides it but because the wind is threatening to blow up her skirt, Mayumi stops her. So what is the best way to ride? On your knees?! Momoko and Mayumi have fun riding it in different positions like the penguin slide and the bobsled while Shibumi takes pictures. Eventually she wants in on the fun and sits with them. It’s getting a bit cram and heavy. But it’s fun once they get moving. After they had their fun, they leave behind the skateboard but with a bottle and feathers as offering?

Episode 6
Kizuku, Momoko’s sister realizes she has put on a bit of weight. Watching from a TV commercial of a simple weight loss exercise, she tries it out but fails. Then she tries it out on Momoko since she is sleeping so soundly. So she goes on top of her and not sure if this method makes use of Momoko as the support. Definitely when Momoko wakes up, she is giving that WTF look. Eventually Kizuku can’t hold any longer and falls onto Momoko. Thank goodness those boobs didn’t kill her when it land right smack on her face. As punishment, Kizuku continues to do that exercise but Momoko now sits on top of her.

Episode 7
A cold wintery day. Momoko and friends get creative drawing on the foggy window. A few close shaves like Momoko drawing a turd but Shibumi covers it up as an ice cream. Mayumi thought there is a ghost when she saw footprints over the glass but it turns out to be Momoko using her fist to draw the footprints. By the time they want to snap pictures of their artwork, it is all cleared up. Lessons resume and for some reason the teacher brought a kettle. When it boils, the steam fogs the window and the teacher sees our girls’ creativity mark on it. They are forced to stay back and clean up.

Episode 8
During a heavy downpour, Momoko takes shelter at a bus stop. There is also a guy waiting there and he gets a little nervous since you know, they’re all wet (from the rain!) and he could almost see through her uniform. Then Momoko bends to pick up something she dropped. Oh yeah. That ass! Then she ties her hair up. Oh yeah! That nape! Sexy! But she accidentally swings and her ponytail smacks his face. Is that divine retribution? Then a passing truck splashes water on him. As he tries to find his handkerchief but couldn’t find it, he thought Momoko was kind enough to offer hers. Unfortunately it is a fat ugly lady now taking shelter! Shibumi has come by and shared her umbrella with Momoko.

Episode 9
Flashback to a year ago when Mayumi was a new transfer student to this school, she was a bit clumsy. She was afraid of Momoko because of that delinquent vibe she gave off. And those weird hand signals she gave. WTF?! After school, Mayumi spotted Momoko doing weird poses. Then she realizes she was doing shadow puppets. Mayumi goes to join her and their friendship took off from there. They had a swell time making a few hand shadow puppets.

Episode 10
Another flashback episode, with so many kids bringing key holder accessories to school, Shibumi as the class rep bans them. This doesn’t sit well with many of her classmates. Then Shibumi receives a hair accessory for her birthday. Some girls confront her about her double standards and try to tear it off her hair. Accidentally they broke it. Then Momoko cuts her beads accessories and help glue them back together. I believe Shibumi cried tears of joy. In the aftermath, Shibumi relaxes the rules and allows key holder accessories but only not more than 1. The guilty girls feel guilty of their actions and Momoko claps to Shibumi’s fairer rule.

Episode 11
On a cold winter day, the trio return to Momoko’s home and enjoy the warmth of the kotatsu. They eat some delicious mikan as well. Momoko starts sketching Shibumi blindfolded and of course her portrait turned out awfully funny. This has Shibumi in turn do the same. Yet another hilariously awful drawing. They continue to fool around and have fun so I guess it is time for the friends to leave since Momoko is cosily sleeping in. Before they leave, they play a prank on her by balancing a bunch of mikan on her forehead. Steady now… Damn, they’re really balancing well.

Episode 12
We see the trio walk back on their home from school. They stop by the convenience store before getting on the train. Because Mayumi is too short to grab the handles, her friends lend their arms. Eh, why stand when there are spare seats on the train? Then they hang out at the bridge before making their way home. After seeing of Mayumi, Momoko and Shibumi go their own way. But because Shibumi’s stomach growls, Momoko shares her bun. Momoko then reaches home. And she says, “I’m home”. OMFG!!!!!!!! FIRST WORDS OF THE ANIME!!!!!!!!!!!! SO SURPRISING!!!!!! I CAN’T BELIEVE MY EARS!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Wow! OMG! Isn’t this so great?! Girls not opening their mouths and saying anything make them look even cuter!!! Damn, why does that sound so misogynistic in today’s politically correct world???!!! But heck, they had to ruin it with that final scene of the final episode. Somehow that single line from Momoko just ruined the crazy speechless combo! Now you can’t say this is entirely a dialogue-less anime!

But seriously, definitely part of the unique charm of this series is because there is no spoken dialogue whatsoever. Sure, it makes them look like retards or this world is nothing but a pantomime but it gives a whole new refreshing look without any conversation at all (except for that final episode scene that dispels this theory). It goes to show that action speaks louder than words and that a picture is worth a thousand words. One can easily enjoy and guess the antics of the girls just by watching what they are doing. It doesn’t take a genius or rocket scientist to deduce and figure out their (mis)adventures. Why talk when you can translate what you want to say via your actions?

So yes, there is no story and plot at all and every episode seems to be random. That is why everything seems so fun. After all, what do you expect from a 3 minute episode? Besides, not too long ago we have had cartoons with no dialogue. Those who are old enough should remember Tom And Jerry as well as The Road Runner Show. Yeah, remember those classics? Hence this anime is suitable for everyone and those who don’t even speak Japanese! No subs required. Just don’t mind the miniscule words in the background such as notices and signs. But these aren’t a lot either so don’t worry about it.

The characters are paper thin too but who cares when you see the girls having their own random fun. You could probably guess that Momoko is the adventurous one, Mayumi the shy one and Shibumi the prideful one. Yeah, can you not blame us for judging the book by its cover? I could be wrong judging their stereotypical characters but I’m sure my guts are pretty close to correct. And besides, it’s not like we really want to know about their background and history, right? As long as we have our bishoujo having fun, everything else is a-okay. I hope.

Of course this series is totally void of human voices. You can still hear them but only limited to grunts, sighs, groans and similar murmurs. Therefore it sometimes feels like a waste of seiyuu talent for having seiyuus voice the characters. I mean, the producer could have just ‘voiced’ them all himself and nobody could tell the difference. But hey, need to look realistic on the books. So we have Rika Tachibana as Momoko (Reiko in Shomin Sample), Yurika Kubo as Mayumi (Hanayo in Love Live), Tomomi Mineuchi as Shibumi (Eiko in Slow Start) and Misato Aoyagi as Kizuku. Ironically, it is the ending theme, Silent Days (also such an ironic song title) by Amatsuuni that has spoken words. Heh. Singing, that is. Sounds so odd after 3 minutes of no dialogue. And then they play this anime pop with lyrics. Not bad actually, this song. But that violin BGM sounds a bit weird… Like as though an amateur is playing it. Sounded like the violin was almost screeching…

The art and animation can be said to be hovering close to poor quality. It is average at best but it’s not like it is worth it to put all the effort to make everything looks so masterfully beautiful for a 3 minute episode, right? Because of that, sometimes the scenes look a bit dull because no bright colourful hues were used. This series is animated by Seven who specializes in doing anime shorts like Okusama Ga Seitokaichou, Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken, Recorder To Randoseru, Strange+, Fushigi Na Somera-chan and Morita-san Wa Mukuchi (this one has a character who technically doesn’t speak too). Don’t mind all the other anime porn shorts that they do too… Maybe that’s why the animation quality has this similar feel…

On a trivial note, I figured why they named this Joshikausei which is supposed to be a pun of Joshikousei (high school girl) is because the latter is already taken. Remember Girls High AKA Joshikousei? Yeah, I remember watching that slapstick comedy. Don’t want to get lawsuits… And perhaps Joshikausei sounds a lot cuter… Probably…

Overall, not really much to say (pun intended) and if I had to put it in a few words, fun and enjoyable. Not the best there is because our anime standards are so high these days… However if you are looking for something short and fun, this is your answer. No need for complicated dialogues because even simple ones can give you headache as you have to ‘think’ and figure out what is going on with the conversation. Unfortunately the internet out there isn’t so kind as I have read many comments calling this a waste of time. Wow. Such sophisticated and classy people. But me, I’m just a simpleton. Strange (but cute) girls entertaining me and making me smile is more than enough to make my day. Enough said. Period.

Girlfriends come in all shapes and sizes. Yes, literally. Imagine having those little plastic models that is 1/6 in size of an actual human being as your girlfriend! Thanks again, Japan! For introducing to the world the weirdest sh*t ever and enriching our lives with them. Don’t be surprise to find people nowadays wanting to marry their virtual idols and even those little plastic models. Because life now is too hard and so convenient for all this. Enter Chou Kadou Girl 1/6: Amazing Stranger. Because nothing beats having that little doll as a girlfriend for a total otaku nerd. A dream come true!

Episode 1
Nona from Female Form Planetary Space Probe 9 travels the universe in search for intelligent life. She arrives at a planet of a lone giant as he carves images of her. But the next thing she knows, she is in the room of Haruto Bouida. We can hear this dude lecturing his friend on the phone that 2D girls are the best while 3D girls suck! No wonder his friend hangs up. Haruto notices his Nona doll in a different position. He checks her out and notices the seamless joints and what’s this? He can take off her pants?! Oh yeah… As he is about to try that, Nona’s self-defence activates as she fires at the enemy! He runs for his life and it gets worse when he somehow takes off her top. Incoming missiles! So as they explain themselves, Haruto wonders if the AI and technology have advanced so much for this doll to talk and act so real. But he realizes from what she said, it must mean her memories are only from the anime and that giant dude is from the last episode. Hence he can’t let her see the anime or near his merchandises (he is a big fan of her series). After a few close calls in preventing her to see those stuffs, he plays along and claims he is a scholar among giants (though he is just a programmer). Nona is amazed and agrees to do as he says since she is interested to explore this planet. In exchange, she will tell him about her travels. Next morning, Haruto wakes up thinking last night was a dream. But then, it’s not. He sees Nona trying to act like a doll but fails. She desperately tries to be one so Haruto says she doesn’t need to pretend to be a doll when he is around. That should make things easier.

Episode 2
When Haruto is about to pour hot tea into his cup, suddenly a strange creature jumps out. He is Ozma, Nona’s intelligence gathering ally. Apparently Haruto doesn’t really like him and doesn’t even remembering buying him despite coming in the same box as Nona. Ozma tries to threaten him that he knows he is lying to Nona about everything but since Haruto knows his habits of hiding in a jar, I guess the tables are turned. Or in this case, jar? Unfortunately, Nona has heard everything and she wants to know the truth. Haruto isn’t breaking down in fear but in fact happy that he gets to feel her true feelings. Then he lets her see all the merchandises about her. Her backstory, her specs, her adventures, everything written down so clearly. In short, she is a fictional character. Of course she cannot accept this since it means her life was all made up. Haruto says he loves her. As a fan. With so many people watched her anime, it proves that she is not forgotten and not alone. So as he lets Nona go through more of his merchandise, he realizes there is one section he shouldn’t let her rummage: Porn! Oh sh*t! WTF tentacle rape with Ozma???!!! Is that what he wants to do with her?! She bans the guys from coming close to her for now. A couple of weeks later, Nona is lazing around and only eating like a housewife. With Haruto talking to her about this, suddenly she asks if he loves her. Well, of course. You know, as a fan. Then she shows a paper she found: A marriage certificate that he wrote her name. He explains although there are other anime girls he loves, but none is greater than for Nona. So with both happily accepting each other, you mean this is their wedding ceremony? Because now Nona has got an excuse to laze around and eat like a housewife! Sneaky! Also, she lays down the ground rules he cannot see other 2D or 3D women! Wow. This is really like married life. Suddenly a girl walks in. Cracks in the marriage already?

Episode 3
Mikoto is Haruto’s little sister. She too is a fan of the series and she is ecstatic this Nona can talk and move. She interviews her on various questions but is baffled when it seems Nona is Haruto’s wife just for the sake of being his wife. As Ozma explains, since romance isn’t a genre in the series, Nona can’t possibly understand those feelings. Mikoto thinks they lack bonds of a married couple (didn’t they get ‘married’ a few minutes ago only?) and if they have it, they can overcome anything. Haruto returns and he bought more dolls. What if they start moving like Nona? Not to worry. He’ll have a harem! On Christmas night, Nona is disgruntled Haruto is going out. On a date?! What’s this anime convention he is going to since he hasn’t been watching any anime since Nona came into his life? So is he deprived! She points out that his otaku life is wrong! But he stubbornly ignores her and leaves. Actually, Haruto goes to meet his fellow otaku friend, Seijirou Kanmuri. This guy is not happy he is slacking in his otaku stuffs. However Seijirou starts criticising Nona since he never liked that anime. He has got some point and having a right to opinion is also valid. Haruto argues back he has been rewatching Nona every night to get to know her even more and he feels for her who is trying so hard. Too bad they are kicked out of the restaurant for being loudmouth nuisance. On the way back, Nona pops out from his bag. Looks like she heard everything. She admits she was envious about his friend who was able to say things from his heart and that he knew more about Haruto than her. She also doesn’t want him to date other girls. Meanwhile it seems Seijirou has his own talking doll. It was part of his plan to get him worked up over Nona. They also have sent another doll to infiltrate…

Episode 4
Haruto is playing one of his old video games as Nona notes the beautiful heroine on the box cover, Bellnoa. Since this game can play for 4 players, he leaves to buy more controllers. However Nona is attacked by Bellnoa the doll. She thinks by defeating her, she can return to her world. Nona then explains how everything is fiction and this makes Bellnoa sad. However she still wants to fight Nona as it is her instinct to fight strong people. As she struggles, Nona transforms into Shadow Nona. She is much stronger and faster. Although she almost lost to Bellnoa, Haruto returns as Bellnoa threatens Shadow Nona’s safety in exchange to return to her world. So what does Haruto do? He goes to change the game stats of Bellnoa?! Anyway it worked. With Bellnoa paralyzed, Haruto tries to reduce her powers even further. Funny, shouldn’t the skimpier the dress, the more power it should add? Anyway, Haruto is really curious to see some legendary swimsuit. Perhaps it’s some naked version. But with Bellnoa in tears and everyone calling him the worst, I guess it’s time to stop. Bellnoa gets more violated when she baths with Nona. Your obligatory bathing scene! When Bellnoa realizes they can go into her world via his monitor, she wants Haruto to fight with her. Nona and Ozma are shocked to see Haruto inside the video game. So how does it feel being a pixelated 2D?

Episode 5
It might look like top-down pixelated on the outside but it looks like 2D RPG from the inside? Bellnoa’s new aide is not accepted by her ally, Nazuna. She challenges him and Haruto runs away?! So how does he ‘subdue’ her? By knowing about her past! Since he is going to die, he requests to see her face. And also those small boobs. I think he is going to die now! Of course Bellnoa puts a stop to that. With Nona watching all this drama and worried about this affair, genie girl Kusabi offers she can send her in. But Nona believes in her husband and will wait till he gets back like a true wife. Can she say that when Haruto is going to have a threesome at the inn?! Fortunately (or not), nothing happened in the inn. What a waste. Haruto and Bellnoa continue their quest however Bellnoa has doubts of defeating the final boss because when everything is over, what will be of them? She wants to stay like this forever. Instead they go to fifth some hidden boss and Bellnoa thought she was strong but apparently lost her clothes. WTF?! The monster then berates her for not going on to defeat the final boss and instead linger around, making the world continue to suffer in chaos. With Haruto apologizing on her behalf, he accepts his fate to be eaten but here comes Shadow Nona to the rescue. She easily defeats the hidden boss in one blow. With that, they are thrown out of the game. Shadow Nona and Bellnoa might have gone at each other’s throat but they are stopped by Kusabi. It took a while for Haruto to recognize her because the real Kusabi source looks like crap! Since she has finished her job, she will return to her master and warns she might take Haruto away from them.

Episode 6
Bellnoa wants to return to her world but Haruto wants her to stay and chill. And they do so by playing video games? This makes Nona jealous as Mikoto realizes that Bellnoa is in love with Haruto. Despite Nona being pessimistic about her chances with Haruto, she still confronts him to choose between them. She even tells him bluntly that Bellnoa is in love with him. But what about Nona as his wife then? Hence she challenges Bellnoa to a fight to see who can truly win Haruto’s love. So the fight begins by sleeping next to him? Yeah, they’re arguing about their higher resale value… Haruto is feeling weird since he is experiencing the stereo effect of both girls arguing into his ears. Then they both decide to kiss him. Because they’re so small, their puny kiss doesn’t have any effect. Haruto is squirming at this moment and the girls think his weakness is to be whispered in his ear. Hence more of I love yous whispered and it just paralyzes Haruto with embarrassment. In the end, they call it a tie but the battle is not over. Haruto thinks they would just let it go? He doesn’t know how women will fight tooth and nail till the end for their loved one! But Bellnoa is shocked when Haruto and Nona seem to know what each other want even without saying it to each other. Just a nod as reminder and they know what to do. It’s not magic. They’ve been living together for quite a while. This gives Bellnoa the motivation to stay here longer and one day make Haruto look at her.

Episode 7
Haruto is shocked that Seijirou is in his room. How did he get here? He is the owner of Kusabi and she has portal abilities. It seems he wants Haruto to join him on a quest to unravel the mysteries of the moving figurines. To his dismay, Haruto rejects. Seijirou then presents Subaru Amanohara, a figuring based on a fighting game. Since she is strong, Bellnoa wants to fight her but ultimately loses. Seijirou thought this would convince Haruto to join him but unfortunately he thought Seijirou was here to give him Subaru. Yeah, this dude wants her and this doesn’t sit well with Nona. Suddenly Subaru goes missing. So why are the rest playing board games? Knowing Subaru’s character as an otaku, if they have fun, they might lure her out. Subaru is hiding in some ventilation and trying to suppress her temptation. Eventually Nona finds her and although in a dilemma to reveal if she is a figurine, Subaru has already accepted herself as one. Thanks to that, it makes things easier for Haruto. But Subaru is very embarrassed as Haruto knows everything about her. This means her deep and darkest secrets too. But Haruto shows her a letter that contains his deep and darkest secrets. They’re even. They both vow to keep each other’s secret a secret. Ozma then talks about all of them seem to be made by a small niche company, Takasago-ya. It is no surprise when revealed that Seijirou is the president of Takasago-ya.

Episode 8
As the girls are playing a video game, suddenly the screen is being hijacked by Seijirou. He has kidnapped Haruto and if they want him back they must fight and win best out of 3 matches. Otherwise they will also become his research samples. First up is Bellnoa against a secret boss character of a fighting game, Karate Mao. Because Bellnoa took too long to power up, time’s up, she lost. Next is Nona against Dragulious. Big bad guy wants to marry Nona because she’s cute?! Oh no. Is she going to get raped?! Luckily Haruto screams to her to activate some mode and Nona transforms into a champion version and defeats this pervert in a blink of an eye. The final fight is between Subaru and Rindo. The latter cancels out all of her moves as she reveals her goal is to be an idol after defeating her but it seems that because of all the game sequels, Subaru always returns and hence thwarting her dream. She is going to dispose of her once and for all when Karate Mao protects Subaru and reveals himself. He is Kaimon and also Subaru’s father. He wants Subaru to open her heart to the Amanohara style and when she refuses, he reveals her deepest secrets of BL volumes?! WTF?! The other guys aren’t moved since this is pretty normal by today’s standards. But Haruto punches him for trying to embarrass his daughter. Unforgivable! Kaimon isn’t moved and is going to read aloud those books when Rindo agrees to cooperate with Subaru to take down her dumb father. KO! Yay! She won! But back home, Nona and Bellnoa are spotting angry faces because Subaru somewhat confessed her feelings to Haruto. Oh dear. This guy is going to get his own KO when he gets back!

Episode 9
Oh my. Haruto is already an old fat and still with Nona? Yeah, their love do lasts. But wait! Suddenly Haruto dies!!! OMG!!! Apparently this is a nightmare that Nona had. Because of that, she has Haruto take her out on a date to make some memories. They did a lot of fun stuffs to appease her fears. However for the next couple of times, she still has that same nightmare. No choice, their dating routine continues. Ozma who has switched off her ability to dream (why is this feature even implemented?), believes the reason this is only happening is because Nona is lying. Probably she wants Haruto to give her some attention. However Haruto forgives her since she is only lying to him and not to the world. Nona’s super hearing means she heard all that and now she feels as guilty as ever. She wants to take responsibility for this and allows Haruto to do whatever he wants till he is satisfied. Gee, why does she have to sound so ambiguous? In that case, Haruto will go on a date with Bellnoa and Subaru. Is this guy literally trying to test her patience? But Haruto wants Nona to join them. She definitely won’t turn this down.

Episode 10
Hotspring fanservice episode! Haruto shows his ‘maturity’ by not looking at his little ones although he prefers to eavesdrop on them. Is this some high level perversion here? Too bad no sexy talk or boobs comparison. Because when Bellnoa talks how she is enjoying this world to the fullest, Nona’s memories only last until the final episode of the anime. There is this one guy in a straw hat whom she wants to meet as he was the one watching over her all the time. Though, she can’t quite remember his face or name. However this puts Haruto in an awkward position as he submerges himself pretending not to hear. With Nona also worried about this, suddenly she finds herself tied up on a tree branch. She recognizes the perpetrator as Rue Hitoma because this tank girl is Haruto’s recent obsession as he spent a lot of money to get this limited edition of her! Rue’s mission is to eliminate all the other girls in Haruto’s harem because of the sum invested into her, she will repay his love. Hence with no rivals, he will only love her! Man, that’s deep. Seijirou visits his worker, Kamiya Tatsutagawa and realizes she is the one who keeps continuing to make these dolls that come to life because she uses the legendary shards of Galatea. Say what?! Nona becomes Shadow Nona to challenge Rue. She cuts down Rue in her jealousy because unlike her, she has no happy ending and her true system is DP System that destroys planets. Bellnoa heard all this and subdues her with her dragon. Rue apologizes to Haruto for losing but he doesn’t mind. Besides, it’s not that he bought her or anything and believes Seijirou is the one who slipped her into his box. Meanwhile Shadow Nona complains to Haruto that she too wants to be loved. Haruto chastises her that her loves all of them and that includes her. However he still calls her Nona so I guess that’s not going to go well. She reverts back to Nona and since she heard everything, she is now determined to learn her true self. Only then she can feel she is truly loved by him. Haruto agrees. Let’s watch the final episode of her anime together.

Episode 11
As Nona is searching for life on a planet, she stumbles into another girl who looks similar like her. She too is called Nona. Both claim they are the original Nona so they theorize they must have come from very similar planets with similar cultures. What are the odds? I guess it’s possible in the infinite universes theory. However, they believe their destiny is to fight each other until only one is left. So they face off playing various games?! From reversi to poker, all ended in draws. I guess you can’t beat yourself, eh? When Nona decides to go home because someone is waiting for her, the other Nona knows about the straw hat guy, prompting her to break down. Those memories weren’t just vague. They were planted and fake. So the only way is to destroy each other that will not leave any trace and hope their future sisters will choose a different path? So all this is actually the final episode of Nona’s anime series. While Haruto is touched, Nona’s look is so WTF-is-this-crappy-sh*t. Yeah, I can’t believe it either. Later when Haruto and Nona are out, suddenly Seijirou and Tatsutagawa putting up an emergency press conference in his room. They reveal to the others about the Galatea shard that allows them to move and how they are all carved by Tatsutagawa. I think everyone is shocked by the sloppy reasoning more than anything else. They believed love moved them and hence the reason they used Haruto in this experience since he loves those characters. But he bought them from the store, right? Yeah, they anticipated his arrival and made him picked their model. But this announcement is just one big setup to elaborately announce their marriage?! Yeah, looks like they have to do it again when Haruto and Nona comes back. Unfortunately Kusabi worries Nona might not be coming back. Here’s the note she left for home. We see Nona waking up from her stasis coma as her ship approaches another planet. She narrates of the weird dream she had of loving and being loved.

Episode 12
Kusabi explains Nona came to her to seek that power to enter the final anime episode. To show her determination, after entering, she destroyed the disc. This means nobody else can follow her as Kusabi’s power only allows exist from the same entry point. So where is Haruto? He went after her too! But how? He entered the penultimate anime episode! Because both those episodes are linked together. So when Nona wakes up, she can instantly tell this quack doctor is Haruto! After reprimanding him for doing this, he shows her that straw hat man that she supposedly created from her vague memories. Ugly as f*ck! Anyway, Nona wants to continue doing this for the other Nona counterpart known as Nona Equal. Something about Nona not really happy that she is the one having all the happiness despite being the same. That is when Haruto orders the computer AI system known as Ozma to turn around the ship and head for him. His theory is that if Nona doesn’t go on that planet, Nona Equal will also do the same action. Hence they don’t have to meet and end up with that tragic end. Unfortunately her nanobots start going out of control. Haruto hugs her and risks himself getting melted. With some feelings exchanging between them, the nanobots stop going berserk! Wow. So convenient. And then more great memories and when the feeling is getting good, Nona readies herself to kiss him. Only to be stopped by others. Yup, they have also arrived via penultimate episode. Uhm, so why did they only arrive now and not the same time as Haruto did? Argh! So confusing! I guess all is back to number with the plastic girls fighting over him. Back home, Ozma remembers there was another figurine Haruto bought along Bellnoa. Oh, she’s starting to awaken now. She is Nona Equal! And she too joins in the chase for Haruto’s love! How sweet.

Toy Story: Plastic Memories Of Plastic Little
Well… That was a cheesy final episode trying to ascertain Haruto’s feelings for Nona. Just like that cheesy final episode of Nona’s anime too! I bet Haruto says that to all his favourite figurines so Nona isn’t that special and only seems so because it’s the last episode and well, maybe she’s his ‘wife’. But it sure prompt up a lot of weird questions like how Nona is able to enter the anime and do whatever she wants. Gee, this must mean there are thousands of other Nonas in other households who own her DVD. And how is this episode thingy connected despite on different discs? Can their actions now actually change the entire plot of the Nona anime on the disc?! Because Seijirou and co are watching all that live on TV! Damn, this is so confusing. But don’t worry. I’ll say it’s because of Kusabi’s magic. So convenient.

The story itself isn’t really much. Just an otaku spending time with his ever growing plastic harem. Perhaps newbies might find this heart-warming and light hearted because well, an otaku trying to get along and develop some sort of ‘normal’ human relationship with his toy, uhm, I mean little girl, wait, sorry, uhm, plastic model? Ah damn. Hard to classify what Nona actually is without sounding weird. Yes, this series is still rather okay but you know me, now a self-proclaimed anime veteran, this doesn’t bring anything extraordinary to the table. I mean, this isn’t the first time there is a series about little plastic models come to life. Remember Busou Shinki and Frame Arms Girls? This one just adds the harem factor to it. Plus, I’m not really into those plastic models. So yeah, not really seeing anything favourable for this series.

In the case of Japan being Japan, I’m sure you’ve heard of the story whereby a man married his hologram anime character. Not saying that this anime takes its inspiration from there (it is after all based on the manga of the same name), but rather the thought of people now having really weird relationships these days instead of the traditional family. Now you know why Japan’s birth rates are rapidly declining, huh? Anyway, with Haruto frolicking with his plastic models, though he treats them kindly like as though they are his girlfriends (heck, he might be treating them even better compared to if he has a real life sized 3D girlfriend!), one might start thinking how far they will take this relationship. Will it just be that a status quo harem or is he going to marry them. Because eventually if they really get married, the weirdest thought of them making out will be mind blowing. Will Nona be considered a sex toy then? And if she does get ‘used’, isn’t Haruto just masturbating using a sex toy? Weird, right?! I mean, Haruto those have naughty versions of the plastic models and in a different medium. So this thought isn’t so far off…

As for the characters, they are considered shallow in my terms. Nothing really deep about them. You can instantly tell Haruto is a typical otaku and like how all otakus must be shown in a good limelight and because he is main character, he is a good guy. Despite some of his weird fetishes and hobbies (who doesn’t have them?), he treats his plastic girls good. Like I said, they have so much the same rights as a full grown adult woman. Nona is the weird one because she is acting like his wife. It makes you wonder if she is programmed that way. But anyway, with Nona having mild jealousy when Haruto is paying more attention to the other plastic girls serves as plot amusement because nothing beats a jealous girlfriend/wife than initiate some weird face off. Also cue to initiate the other side of Nona AKA Shadow Nona to give a variety that Nona isn’t just housewife material. I guess sometimes we need a little of plastic battles because it is a waste to have such characters crafted from various genres and not use their specialties. Bellnoa’s warrior might, Subaru’s fighting capabilities, Kusabi’s magic properties and Rue shooting from her boobs! Yeah, I guess that’s why she’s a tank girl.

The rest of the other plastic girls in Haruto’s harem feel underutilised. It only feels they are there as numbers because that is what is needed in a harem. That’s why Rue’s character felt so rushed like as though they needed to add more numbers to the harem. After all, Nona is the face of the series and you don’t want to usurp her limelight by giving the other girls more of it. Otherwise, pretty much redundant in terms of character development. They are given at least one episode in focus so as to justify why they are choosing to stay with Haruto. After all, if you want to hang around a guy like him, might as well love him too. Might not have the best job, status or money to begin with but I guess for plastic models like them if they are to ultimately be cared and loved, the best people to truly take care and love them are otakus, RIGHT???!!!! It’s really a strange way to have these girls started out as enemies, after fighting each other they become friends and ultimately Haruto’s harem. Weird shonen-harem genre mash-up… And then they add the final Nona Equal to the mix. What is better than one Nona? Two Nonas!!! I have this feeling Ozma is supposed to be the wisecrack know-it-all but more than often I find him sort of flat.

It feels like a lazy reason and writing as to why these plastic model girls come to life with their own thinking. WTF Galatea shard in Tatsutagawa hands just feels so flimsy a reason that it was probably thought up on the fly to satisfy curious people wondering why the girls suddenly become animated. I guess a reason is better than no reason at all. Hence Seijirou acting like the antagonist to get Haruto join in his experiment feels more like a distraction than any actual plot. No wonder Haruto tries hard to ignore this guy. But you know what they say about persistence. Still got him nowhere, though. Sure, he tried to shock us all with his engagement. Congratulations. But we are more concerned about Haruto and Nona, right? Last but not least, Mikoto. Her character also feels redundant and my guess is to fill in the little sister trope. After all, she doesn’t appear that often and only when the plot commands it. Even so, her role doesn’t amount to anything much.

Art and animation aren’t anything to shout about. They aren’t looking sophisticated and I might go as far as to say they look plain simple. Because the characters do sort of have that one kind look. They mix 2D animation with some 3D CGI and perhaps it is to justify that if these little plastic girls move in odd fashion, maybe that is why little plastic girls move so. After all, their joints aren’t exactly like humans. This anime is done by Studio A-CAT who also did Frame Arms Girls (with Zexcs).

For the voice acting, I thought Suzuna Kinoshita as Nona sounded a bit raw. I thought perhaps her character sound like that but considering her characters Ayaka in Dorei-ku The Animation and Misaki in Fumikiri Jikan sound somewhat similar, maybe she does sound like that. The other casts are Wataru Hatano as Haruto (Gajeel in Fairy Tail), Sayaka Senbongi as Bellnoa (AnchoR in Clockwork Planet), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Ozma (Sasaki in Gintama), Mao Ichimichi as Subaru (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Risae Matsuda as Mikoto (Kaoru in Toji No Miko), Sora Tokui as Kusabi (Niko in Love Live), Kengo Kawanishi as Seijirou (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion) and Yuu Sasahara as Rue (Akari in Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san).

The opening theme is Soreyuk! Koigokoro by AOP. For some weird reason, even though I find this song pretty normal, I can’t seem to get it out of my head. I won’t go so far to say it is catchy but, uhm, is it catchy? I mean, that’s the only explanation. Why don’t I admit I just like this song? That’s why it just feels strange. Maybe it’s that synthesizer sound effect in the singing voice. Some sort of hypnotizing effect there? The ending theme is One by Haruka Toujou. Typical rock outfit. Sounds rather okay to me. Not infectious as the opener, though.

Overall, nothing that amazing in my books. Pretty average but I guess it beats having that ubiquitous isekai genre permeating the industry lately. Hmm… Come to think of it, doesn’t this feel like a reverse isekai in a way? Because Nona comes from another world and arrives in our world. Also, having a pretty average anime series these days feels like it speaks volumes due to the amount of sh*tty and crappy animes we get by the load every season. So yeah. Otaku guy having a little plastic model girl as his girlfriend-cum-wife? Pretty normal. Having a bunch of other plastic girls to live out his fantasy harem? Pretty normal. Because it’s Japan, people! Amazing Japan! Japan is amazing!

Slimes are supposed to be the weakest monsters that beginner adventures would face in many RPGs, right? They are mostly use as target practice to help adventurers level up and gain experience points to fight other tougher and stronger monsters in their journey. So I suppose somebody didn’t like how slimes got discriminated against because their only other stereotypic role is to melt through women’s clothing for fanservice. Yeah. Thus the need to change our perspectives that slimes aren’t weak and perverted. Slimes can be powerful and almighty too. Slimes can be fearsome and respected at the same time. Do not underestimate slimes! Do not disrespect slimes! So yeah. That’s how we get Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken. Just kidding. Sort of. But true, somebody died and had to be reincarnated into a slime in another world. Using all the abilities and chances available to build from scratch to turn himself into a lowly slime into a powerful creature you would think twice about messing with. Oh boy. This is going to get cliché…

Episode 1
You know it’s a jinx when a middle aged guy narrates he is successful but has not have any girlfriend in his largely uneventful life. Yup, Satoru Mikami meets up with his junior whom I think wants to show off his new girlfriend. I guess she is some famous idol or something because some jealous stalker jumps out of nowhere and tries to stab her but Satoru took the stab. As he lies bleeding to death, it’s like some internal voice/computer/processor/God thingy trying (Great Sage as he refers it to) to ‘accommodate’ his wishes like nullifying the pain and making him unable to feel hot or cold. And the ultimate wish is that he thinks he is a sage since he is a virgin at this age and hence he is going to be one. The next thing he knows, he wakes up in a cave. Feeling weird about himself, he realizes he is now a slime! But not just an ordinary weak slime. He can devour anything, break it down to analyse and even obtain/absorb whatever attributes or nutrients. And with help of Sage thingy, he gets to upgrade and level up, earning lots of skills in the process. Yeah, it’s going to be really convenient for this blob to do whatever he wants. With all the wandering, he now stumbles into a very ferocious being. Promising not to fear, he is then given sight and is shocked to see this storm dragon, Veldora imprisoned by a powerful barrier. I guess they make good company since there is nothing else around them that could talk. Slimey relates how he was once human but somehow reincarnated here. Veldora finds it unusual because although his case is not the first, many are brought to this world via summoning. These Otherworlders possess the ability to cross worlds. Like the hero who sealed him here 300 years ago. This is the price he pays for burning down a village accidentally and underestimating his opponent. Tsundere dragon wants to be slimey’s friend and not leave so quickly because even such majestic creatures can get lonely after 300 years.

Episode 2
It seems unsealing the barrier is impossible and at this rate, Veldora will die once his magic runs out. Slimey analyses for a while and has this risky idea to eat and quarantine him in his stomach while he finds a cure. Better than rotting here forever. Before that, they decide to give each other a name. Slimey suggests a family name and so he will be Veldora Tempest. In return, Veldora names him Rimuru Tempest. With Veldora swallowed, in an instant everyone in the area could feel that the dragon has ‘vanished’. Rimuru wanders about to find a way out. He encounters various deadly monsters but all of them serve to enhance and add to his skills. Finally he reaches the exit. He manages to sneak out thanks to a group of human adventurers entering to find Veldora. These puny rookies want to take on the mighty dragon? Good luck. Rimuru continues to wander in the great forest of Jura. Then he stumbles into a weak group of goblins who are begging for help. Bringing him back to their dilapidated village, he meets the feeble goblin head who explains ever since Veldora is gone, monsters constantly attacked their village, especially the Direwolves. Rimuru is puzzled why they pick a weak looking slime as their strong champion until he views himself from a different perspective, he is shocked to see himself overflowing with magic! The goblin head continues that their only warrior who is his eldest son died in the recent battle against Direwolves. Many are injured and the rest are females. Their fighting chance is very slim. Rimuru would like to help them and isn’t looking for compensation but still needs to put on a show worthy of his might. So he asks what they can give in exchange for his services. The goblins pledge their loyalty. Rimuru agrees and now he becomes their guardian and leader.

Episode 3
Rimuru sees the injured. He swallows and spits them out. They’re all healed. That night, the Direwolves pack attack. Rimuru warns them to retreat and no harm will come to them. Their boss is stubborn and will not listen. Luckily Rimuru has set up wires to trap the wolves and the goblins could easily kill them. When the boss directly attacks, Rimuru kills him. The pack is in shock so Rimuru absorbs and mimics the boss. Subjugate to me or die. When it seemed like they still want to fight, actually they just trolled him and pledge their loyalty. Now goblins and Direwolves are living together, Rimuru pairs them up. Because they have no names, he decides to name them, bringing absolute delight. The goblin head is now known as Rigurd and his youngest son, Rigur. And the rest feels cheap… Gobta, Gobchi, Gobte, Gobtsu… Is he even trying?! With the goblins done, it’s time for the Direwolves’ turn. As soon as he names the boss’ son as Ranga, Rimuru suddenly collapses! It seems naming monsters take quite a bit of magic and his has fallen below critical level. It took 3 days for Rimuru to replenish but what’s this?! All the goblin guys are buffed up and macho???!!! Did Rigurd turn into Arnold goblin version?! And why are all the goblin females so sexy?! Despite only naming Ranga (unicorn wolf?), the other Direwolves also evolved as they are bonded as one. They also discard the name Direwolves and will now be known as Tempest Wolves. Rimuru lays down a few rules like not attacking humans, don’t fight each other and don’t belittle other races. He delegates tasks like finding food, making shelter and clothes. But they suck in the latter so Rigurd mentions the dwarves in Dwargon may know how to build houses. Hence Rimuru decides to travel there and is excited to meet the king of dwarves. Oh the oxymoron, I bet he can’t be standing tall. Haha! Oops. Just kidding… Don’t belittle other races…

Episode 4
Rimuru asks Rigur how his older brother was named. Apparently by a passing Demon Lord general, Gelmud who saw potential in him. Then he asks Ranga if he ever wanted revenge. Although Rimuru killed his father, he spared them and even named them. Their loyalty now lies with him. Arriving at Dwargon, it’s a long queue to get in. Some punks think this slime is easy meat to bully. Hence Rimuru mimics a Dire Wolf to scare them off. Too bad his howl is so great that some even got confused or soiled their pants. For this chaos, Rimuru is thrown in prison. He could easily get out but he doesn’t want to break any rules and get on the king’s bad side. When he hears the security chief, Kaido that his men are having problems in the mine (being attacked by a monster), Rimuru makes some potion to heal them. Grateful, Kaido introduces him to his brother, Kaijin who is the greatest blacksmith. However he is busy trying to fulfil Minister Vesta’s request to make 20 longswords in a week. So far he only made 1. Due to shortage of supplies, he initially rejected. But when mocked about his reputation, he can’t let that slide and took the job. Even if he had materials, if he can’t finish on time, his licence will be revoked. Rimuru remembers he absorbed all the magic ores in the cave. Hence he spits them out. Looks like they’re ripe for the picking. After making a deal for Kaijin’s men to come to his village to teach goblins and Tempest Wolves crafting, Rimuru then absorbs the longsword, analyses it and spits out 19 of them in perfection. The dwarves are so grateful that they want to take him to a cabaret club. Initially he rejected but after hearing there are beautiful busty elf babes, bring it on! And they don’t disappoint! Hell yeah! Elf babes banzai! Do elf babes love slimes? Yeah, soft and bouncy…. Just like boobs… Haha!

Episode 5
Vesta is also in the establishment and he is shocked to hear Kaijin managing to fulfil the job. He notices Rimuru and looks down on this slime. Although he pours water over the slime, Rimuru keeps his emotions intact. But it is Kaijin who punches Vesta for being rude to his guest. As expected, all of them are rounded up and put in prison until their trial. Kaijin tells his story that he was once the head of the royal knights for King Gazel Dwargo. Vesta was his vice and they have not get along since. Until one day a failed project to create magic soldiers, Vesta pinned all the blame on Kaijin but he took responsibility and resigned. He doesn’t think bad of Vesta and maybe if he leaves Dwargon, he can be a better man. So will Rimuru take him in? You bet. During the trial, it is obvious their lawyer has been bribed as he exaggerates how Kaijin barged into the establishment and beat up Vesta. Initially the charge is for him to be sentenced to 20 years of hard labour. But Gazel asks if he would return to his service. Long story short, Kaijin refuses because he has found new master and will not back down even if Gazel orders. With that, Gazel exiles him immediately. Later, Gazel talks to Vesta and is disappointed he lost a loyal retainer. He wasn’t talking about Kaijin but Vesta. For years he has waited for him to tell the truth but unfortunately it never came. He shows Vesta a healing potion made by Rimuru. Vesta’s actions have caused them to sever ties with the slime. Vesta regrets his actions and now only sees all this stems from his jealousy towards Kaijin. But too late, Gazel drops him from his service. With Rimuru and the dwarves returning to their village, Gazel still won’t let that slime go and knows he is the real monster. He sends his agents to spy and observe.

Episode 6
Those humans who ventured into the cave, Kaval, Eren and Gido report to the guildmaster, Fuze that Veldora is gone. They are then sent to investigate the forest further and they’re not too happy about it. A masked girl, Shizu wants to join them. Rimuru is back at the village and the dwarves are teaching the goblins how to make homes and craft other stuffs. However, during his absence, Rigurd took in more goblins who were fleeing from the power struggle of other monsters like orcs and lizardmen. Yeah, 500 of them. Rimuru can’t shoo them away and accepts them. Oh boy. Time to name them all. Reports of humans are seen in the forest. It’s Kaval’s party running away from monster ants! Though Shizu cuts most of them down with her flame powers, the last ant could have got her had not Rimuru’s black lightning struck it to death. Rimuru then recognizes Shizu as she was the prophesized woman by those elves girl that he is destined to be with. Taking them back to the village and treating them with food, Kaval didn’t hesitate to relay their mission. Rimuru tries to act like a retard in hopes they don’t see him as a threat but this makes Shizu laugh. Later he talks to her alone and asks if she came from Japan. Yup. She was. Unlike him who was reincarnated, she was summoned. And that was a pretty long time ago. From the way she describes the bombing raid on her village, it sounded like WWII. Rimuru then lets her sees his memories (hide the ecchi ones!), clips of Japan’s progress after the war and living in peace. His goal is to make this world where everyone can live in peace. Shizu for a while there felt some sort of pain but assures it is nothing. Flashback shows when Shizu was running away with her mom from the bombing, she was suddenly whisked away. In some hall, she was given Ifrit, a fire spirit as her power by Leon Cromwell.

Episode 7
When an assassin immediately attacks Leon right after Shizu’s summon, he puts her to the test. Ifrit takes over her body and burns the assassin to smithereens. We see young Shizu making friends with a forest girl and her little monster pet. Because it growls at Leon, Shizu turns into Ifrit and burns them! Shizu was left in despair and is still reeling from this nightmare. From time to time, she still feels the pain in her heart. Shizu decides to leave the village since her goal is to find someone. Rimuru will always welcome her if she comes back. As Shizu begins departing with her human members, suddenly she starts to experience unusual pain. She then bursts into flames. Kaval realizes she is Shizue Izawa AKA the Conqueror of Flames. She was the guild’s hero 50 years ago and is supposed to be retired. Shizu eventually turns into Ifrit. Summoning his fire demons, they burn down the entire village. There goes all their hard work. Rimuru has the goblins retreat. The humans won’t since they view Shizu as their comrade and won’t abandon her. First they have to take down the fire demons and Rimuru realizes that magic is especially effective against them (water evaporates before it could touch them). So he absorbs Eren’s icicle magic and creates his own icicle shotgun to destroy the fire demons. However the last one self-explodes, injuring the humans. Rimuru orders Ranga to bring them away. Now it is one to one with Ifrit. Ifrit clones himself but Rimuru easily destroys them. Too bad he fell into his fire trap. Rimuru thought he is going to die but this process seems to be taking longer… Oh right. He is fire resistant and can’t die! With that, Rimuru turns the tables and it is now Ifrit who is sweating in his pants since his fire has no effect on the slime. Rimuru swallows Ifrit as a whole. Shizu is freed. Ifrit tries to get out from Rimuru’s abyss stomach. He can’t. At least that’s what Veldora says. Now he is going to keep him company for hurting his friend.

Episode 8
Shizu tells Rimuru her life story. After being possessed by Ifrit, she served the Demon Lord until she met the hero. Instead of being slain, she was spared. This brought her emotions back as Shizu now followed the hero. She gave her this mask to suppress Ifrit but as you can guess, she is getting older, the power is getting weaker. Shizu learnt many things during her travels with the hero but one day she disappeared. Shizu then became a teacher as she wanted to help those in need. Some of them went on to achieve greatness like one of them became a guildmaster. As Shizu nears the end of her life, she remembered about the one who summoned her and hoped to find him. Hence taking this journey. At this point, Shizu is close to death and wants Rimuru to eat her as she doesn’t want to be absorbed by this world she hates. Rimuru agrees to find Leon for her and her wish is to perhaps get him to acknowledge that she existed. And also something about returning some kids to their world. Once Shizu dies, Rimuru eats her and is forever to dream a sweet dream of her original life. When the rest come in to visit, they are shocked to see Rimuru taking on Shizu’s form. From time to time, Rimuru will appear like this to honour her. Before the humans leave, they want Rimuru to transform as Shizu so they could thank and say goodbye to her. Rimuru notices their worn out gear and replaces it with better equipment. You can thank Kaijin for that. An orc is dying in the desert but is saved by Gelmud who feeds him and names him Geld. One day, he will conquer Jura and become the Orc Disaster.

Episode 9
Rimuru tests some of his humanoid forms. Androgynous, male, female… I think the last one was too sexy and might be an insult to Shizu. As he can now take on a humanoid form, this means he can taste and suggests a feast tonight. Rimuru puts on the mask that suppresses his aura and magic, making him just an ordinary human. He gets a distress call by Ranga. The party was out hunting for food but are attacked by a group of ogres. Rimuru comes to their aid but the ogre leader insists they are the bad guys who attacked their village and slain their brethren. They identify Rimuru’s mask as the evil majin perpetrator and are out for revenge. Since they are not on talking terms, Rimuru knocks out some of them. Although they manage to cut off an arm, Rimuru easily regenerates it. Then he takes off his mask to show them his true power. Even demonstrating this huge black flame that indicates he is inherently f*cking strong. Still want to have a go? The ogre leader is afraid but will not run away and willing to die to avenge his fallen. His sister stops him. She has him think if such majin was so powerful, why not wiped them out himself instead of sending low level orcs to do the job? Rimuru reverts to his slime form and lets them examine the mask. It does look similar to the perpetrator’s and the only difference is this one suppresses magic. The perpetrator’s mask did not. The orcs apologize for their ruthlessness and Rimuru forgives them. He also invites them to his village for a feast and talk things over.

Episode 10
At the feast, the ogre leader explains the orcs wearing human-like armours killing his brethren. It is unusual since ogres are way stronger than orcs. This could mean that there is a great one controlling them. He saw a masked majin among them and that’s why he mistook Rimuru as the enemy. He doesn’t have plans so Rimuru suggests becoming his subordinates. Although it might involve the entire village in this revenge battle, Rimuru believes with the other races jostling for power, they need the numbers and help they can get. The ogre leader takes his time to think and finally decides to become Rimuru’s subordinate. This pact will last until they avenge their fallen. Then they are free to do what they want or join Rimuru’s camp. With that, Rimuru names them. I guess being named means transforming into ogres into kijin. Yeah, bishoujo and bishonen alert! Folks, meet Benimaru (ogre leader), Shuna (cute princess sister), Shion (sexy busty babe), Hakurou (old dude), Souei (the other handsome guy but more sullen) and Kurobe (big middle aged guy). Meanwhile the lizardmen are unsettled. Scouts picked up a strong 200,000 orc army and they think they are going to be invaded. It might be unbelievable that there is somebody who could control a rowdy bunch and keep such a great number fed but the only one possible is a unique monster. In this case, an Orc Lord. Hence the lizardmen’s chief summons his son, Gabiru for a task. Benimaru further explains before their village was massacred, a masked majin named Gelmud came and offered to name them. However Benimaru rejected as he didn’t trust him. So was the attack based out of spite? Souei reports lizardmen around the area. Gabiru is not pleased his father sent him to seek alliances with goblin villages. His subordinate egg him to be the next chief. Initially Gabiru didn’t feel he was up to the task and was just talking big. But seeing how his subordinates believe in him so squarely, I guess he really thinks he is that great!

Episode 11
We take a detour with Rimuru narrating Shion is now his secretary and bodyguard. Yeah, first class seat below her boobs, right? However she sucks at cooking so Gobta had to ‘die’ as a sacrifice for Rimuru to issue an order she must get Benimaru’s approval first before she cooks. The other goblin villages agree to serve under Gabiru not because they find him credible but to defend themselves from the impending orc invasion. Hence this misinterpretation only fuels Gabiru’s ego. Now that he is at Rimuru’s village, he acts so snobbish (complete with some flashy WTF entrance) to have these weaklings serve under him. Everybody wants to kill this asshole when Gabiru looks down on Rimuru. Luckily this won’t turn into a one-sided bloodshed as they make Gobta fight on their behalf. He better win or else he will have to eat Shion’s cooking! Everyone is stunned when Gobta uses some shadow manipulation skill to knock out Gabiru. OMG! Is he some prodigy! With Gobta’s win, Rimuru will agree to cooperate to fight against the orcs but not serve under them. The lizardmen retreat. Rimuru and the rest now discuss about this. With Souei confirming there is indeed 200,000 of them and heading towards the lizardmen’s marshlands, they wonder if a Demon Lord is behind this. Souei then receives contact from a dryad who wants to speak to Rimuru. You mean those sexy tree spirits? Okay. Bring her in. Treyni has a request of Rimuru and it is to defeat the Orc Lord.

Episode 12
Rimuru wants some time to think and gather some info instead of stirring the hornet’s nest. Discussing about the orc’s goal, Treyni further explains that they have no goal in particular and just to move forward as per their Orc Lord’s wish. Like locusts, they devour everything in sight, including their fallen comrades. This gives them even more strength than before. Rimuru is still thinking but Shion believes nothing can defeat Rimuru so he agrees to Treyni’s request. He wants to make an alliance with the lizardmen but wants someone more responsible than Gabiru. So he sends Souei to see the lizardmen’s chief to broker an alliance. Meanwhile Gabiru thinks Gobta is the real master! He is interrupted by Laplace, a subordinate of Gelmud who tells him of the advancement of the orcs. He also instigates him to take his father’s place. Souei sees the chief but will only agree to an alliance after he meets Rimuru in person. Souei promises to do that in 7 days. The chief summons all his guards to defend this place but not engage in any battles with the orcs. Because if one of their own dies, they will be eaten and this only provides strength to the orcs. However by the fourth day, Gabiru returns and forces his father off the throne. He takes his spear that signifies the leadership of his race. With all those loyal to his father imprisoned, the younger ones side with Gabiru who is going to show them how real lizardmen fight. His hit and run tactic might look good but he is then shocked to see the orcs doing cannibalism.

Episode 13
As Rimuru’s team march into the marshlands, Souei reports a lizardman is fighting a group of orcs. With permission to assist, Souei kills all of them. This lizardman is the chief’s personal guard and Gabiru’s sister. She mentions of the rebellion as well as Gabiru’s intention to fight the orcs on his own. Rimuru recognizes her as the representative for the lizardmen and forms the alliance now. He has Souei rescue the chief while the others back up the other lizardmen in battle. The lizardmen are surrounded by orcs. They realize their movements have become faster since eating their lizardmen comrades, they also gain their abilities to move through the marsh faster. Gabiru thought he is going to face off with the Orc Lord. Unfortunately he is just an Orc General who is much inferior to the Orc Lord. Meanwhile Gelmud and Laplace are delighted with their plans in motion. Treyni tries to kick them out of the forest but they escape. Gabiru puts up a brave fight but before he gets owned, here comes Gobta and Ranga to his rescue. We see the kijin so powered up like as though they are on cheat code mode to destroy the swarm of orcs easily. Ranga shows his true power by summoning some death storm that zaps Orc General into nothingness. So powerful that he grew another horn?! Souei rescues the chief and others who are imprisoned. They are shocked to see him dispose so easily the orcs. So flabbergasted… Gelmud is panicking to see the tides turning against him. He fears all that he has prepared will be for naught. You mean this guy didn’t know about Rimuru? He must do something quick lest he faces the wrath of his master. Rimuru has finally spotted the Orc Lord. Time to ends this.

Episode 14
Gelmud drops in to complain how his plans to create a Demon Lord is ruined. He tries to kill Gabiru to have the Orc Lord eat him but is saved by his subordinates. Time for Rimuru to move in and beat the crap out of this annoying whiny guy. Gelmud wants the Orc Lord AKA Geld to help him. Hurry up and evolve into a Demon Lord. Guess what? Geld decapitates and eats him! Good riddance. But now Geld has transformed into Orc Disaster thanks to the mana he devoured. The rest use all they’ve got on him but no effect. His regenerative abilities is so great that even when decapitated, he just needs to put his head back on. Time for Rimuru the big boss to show what he’s got. Using Sage to come up with the best measure, it seems Geld is also now immune to fire and burning. Rimuru doesn’t need Sage’s help to come up with another plan because he knows what to do. He turns into a slime to devour Geld! So it becomes a battle to see who can devour who first. Of course Rimuru being a slime, he is unbeatable in this game. Rimuru sees Geld’s memories. As the king of his tribe, they were facing starvation. He gave parts of his body to the starving children although he has regenerative abilities. But this cannot go on as the infant mortality rate is rising so he went on a journey to find food in Jura. The rest is history when he met Gelmud. Geld is adamant he cannot lose or his sins fall upon his brethren’s shoulders. But Rimuru the greedy one will not only eat Geld but all their sins as well. Geld then sees utopia and thanks Rimuru for satiating his hunger and freeing his people from starvation. The orcs are sad their king is dead but at the same time could not be happier that their king is now free. With the invasion over, Rimuru releases the kijin from his pact. However they want to swear their allegiance to him till the end of their lives. After seeing all that greatness, you’d be a fool not to!

Episode 15
Rimuru presides a conference for all the races. Firstly, he will not punished the orcs as he has agreed with Geld to shoulder their sins. This might sound unreasonable to the lizardmen as they suffered the most but to all the monsters, there is rule of survival of the fittest. Rimuru suggests cooperation from everyone. The lizardmen will provide water and fish, the goblins will provide housing while the orcs will provide labour. With that, Treyni makes Rimuru the chancellor of the Jura Forest Alliance! Geld’s right hand man wants to sacrifice himself to the kijin to spare his men but Benimaru doesn’t harbour anymore hate for him since they serve the same master. Rimuru then names this orc, Geld in honour of his king. Yeah, 150,000 more orcs to name!!! Now they are high orcs! The lizardmen’s chief is named Abiru. Instead of giving the death sentence to Gabiru for treason, he excommunicates him. He won’t go alone as his loyal subjects follow him to be excommunicated. Laplace reports back to Demon Lord Clayman about the failure to create another Demon Lord. He doesn’t sound worried though he needs to do something about that slime. Gazel and his men fly down into Rimuru’s village. After the battle with Orc Disaster is over, he is worried with the gatherings of evolved monsters and feared this would threaten his country. Hence he wants to see Rimuru with his own eyes and fight him to see his true nature. The fight ends with Rimuru winning since he is able to block Gazel’s greatest attack. Gazel is relieved he is not evil. Rimuru can thank Hakurou for the sword lessons and it seems this old dude was also Gazel’s sword instructor. What a small world. Gazel suggests their nations could form a treaty with each other. Rimuru panics as he hasn’t named his nation, let alone his village. So he plucks out what he can think off. Hmmm… Aha! Jura Tempest Federation! And this leads to the rest naming this village as Rimuru Capital City! History is now being made.

Episode 16
A few days later, Gazel returns to give Rimuru a gift: Vesta. As he can’t work under him and to avoid his talents go to waste, he hopes Rimuru could take him in and use his research talents. After that, Gabiru wants to join Rimuru. Yeah, where else to go? His sister also joins in not because she missed him but Abiru sent them to train under Rimuru. This means he has to name them. Yeah, the sister is now known as Soka. Evolved lizardmen become dragonewts! Damn, dragonewt females look like hot sexy ninja babes?! Rimuru didn’t want to give Gabiru a name since he already has one but apparently somehow he unwittingly overwrites it. Same name but this time it is as though Rimuru is the one who named him. Demon Lord Milim Nava is curious about Rimuru’s exploits so she drops down to check him out for herself. As they talk, Rimuru’s comrades come to attack her. WTF, I thought they were talking nicely and they start attacking? Isn’t this their fault? Don’t blame Milim if she goes all out. Rimuru analyses her and sees she is already 10 times more powerful even not at her best. So the only way is this: He throws her delicious honey! Like the kid she is, she really likes it and wants more. Rimuru can give her more if she admits defeat. But she wants to call it a draw and promises not to mess with them. Deal. Happy Milim eats her honey and wonders why Rimuru didn’t become a Demon Lord. Aside fighting and bossing around others, doesn’t that seem boring? Wow. Milim in shock. Instead, she bugs to join his side since it looks more fun. What’s a slime got to do? He introduces her to the entire town and Milim now wants to stay here! They’re best friends, right?! While everything seems to be going well and Milim enjoying herself, the other guys talk to Rimuru about this. There might be a problem with the other Demon Lords. Being friends with Milim means they are in an alliance. She might use this to increase her influence and hence upsetting the balance. Other Demon Lords may become hostile. They stay positive that at least they will have Milim on their side despite standing no chance if facing other Demon Lords. Then they dump this responsibility on Rimuru. The great chancellor will take care of this, right?

Episode 17
Now it’s Fuze turn to see Rimuru with his own eyes as he has Kaval’s team take him there. Meanwhile Vesta has successfully created a very high end potion but they can’t sell it as Rimuru wants since it isn’t viable for daily use and only used in near death situations. Rimuru has this idea to let Dwargon sublet making potions to them while they only need to procure ingredients. A little trouble brews. Phobio, an underling of Demon Lord Carrion thinks this town is fit for his master’s subjugation. Because he beat up Rigurd, Milim beats the crap out of him. She’s expecting Rimuru to praise her but since he reminded her about the promise not to make a fuss, she takes it out on Phobio. Talking things out, Phobio reveals Carrion’s order to scout a mysterious majin to serve him. Rimuru doesn’t want war but if Carrion chooses so, they’ll be prepared. He prefers to talk and to set a date to do so. After Phobio leaves, Rimuru smooth talks his way to make Milim reveal more about Carrion. Demon Lords, Clayman, Carrion, Frey and herself used Gelmud to create a puppet Demon Lord just to kill time but seeing what happened, it’s not doubt Rimuru will be targeted for messing about. Fuze hires Youm and his men to fight off monsters. However it is Gobta who easily cuts down this giant spider and cook it for dinner! Fuze sees Rimuru for himself and is shocked to learn Rimuru has entered a treaty with Dwargon. Rimuru wants to have good relations with human too but Fuze would like to see if he is really an ally of humans. Rimuru welcomes him to stay and observe. Learning that news of Orc Lord’s defeat didn’t spread like wildfire, Rimuru suggests hiring Youm. He wants him and his men to be the champions who defeated Orc Lord. Rimuru will be introduced as a monster who helped him and this would easier for him to befriend humans instead of being seen as a mysterious powerful monster. Youm after thinking a lot, decides to accept Rimuru’s terms. He reveals his men accepted this mission so that they will be officially dead and use this chance to escape to another kingdom. Meanwhile Tear reports to Clayman that Frey has no interested in getting involved with Jura. It seems she is preparing for battle as Charybdis is going to be revived. Clayman is delighted and tasks her to find the location of the seal.

Episode 18
Phobio still feels sore about losing to Milim and wants revenge. Just in time because Tear and Footman can offer him that power and turn him into a Demon Lord himself. They sound tempting but they seal the deal when they mention Charybdis. Thus Phobio tells his comrades to return and report all this to Carrion while he himself will resign from all positions and become carnage itself to force Milim to acknowledge his power. He is taken to a cave where Charybdis is sealed. It seems the catch that he must use his own body as a vessel to combine as one with Charybdis. Otherwise Charybdis will break out itself and nobody will be able to control it. Phobio takes up this challenge. Meanwhile Fuze is really enjoying himself and is he overstaying his welcome? Well, Youm and his buddies have already left to spread the news so why is this dude the only one left taking easy? Anyway, Rimuru wants to build a road directly to his kingdom of Blumund. This will make it easier for both their nations to trade. He can provide the labour but in exchange wants to sell their goods to other countries. Soon, Trya who is Treyni’s sister comes to warn of the revival of Charybdis. It seems the dryads are waging a futile war to stop it as it is coming for this place. Rimuru calls an emergency meeting with everyone as Trya explains that Charybdis can be said to be Veldora’s child as it was generated from his magicules. From time to time it was defeated and revived. Many times. Rimuru fears Charybdis might know Veldora resides in his body and hence attracted to this village. While he is more than happy for Milim to take it down, too bad Shion and Shuna interject she shouldn’t rely on friends too much and this is their village’s problem so it is theirs to solve. Oh well, looks like Rimuru has to show everyone he is the strongest again. He has everyone make preparations against Charybdis and his flying Megalodon sharks it summoned from the spirit world?! WTF?!

Episode 19
The plan is for each team to separate the sharks and attack them individually. Only Milim is complaining as Rimuru told her she can’t join in the funny. Puppy dog eyes won’t sway his decision. After all the sharks are taken out, it’s time for the final boss Charybdis. It’s tough taking down this mother because his scales can attack you like flies. I guess it’s time for Rimuru to enter the fray. Despite he stops the scales, Charybdis has ultra regeneration. This is going to be tough. Even if it takes almost the whole day, they only deal 30% damage. Rimuru then hears Charybdis harbouring intense hatred towards Milim. He realizes Charybdis is after her rather than Veldora. Hence he goes to wake up that sleeping Demon Lord to put a stop to this. I suppose Milim is itching for this action as she easily destroys Charybdis with 1 blow. This is already considered restraint? With Phobio kicked out of Charybdis, Rimuru collects him and even removes whatever remains of Charybdis inside him. When Phobio wakes up, he apologizes and regrets what he has done. As to how he stumbled into Charybdis, he mentions about a few clowns. This has them realize this Moderate Harlequin Alliance are comprised of jack of all trades, pretending to help you out but use you to fulfil their goals without getting their own hands dirty. Phobio is shocked that Rimuru spares him. He thought of being killed in exchange they don’t go after Carrion. Apparently Carrion is here and heard everything. After smacking and reprimanding Phobio for giving them trouble, he agrees to Rimuru’s suggestion of forming a nonaggression pact with him and will never go to war with him.

Episode 20
With the threats gone, back to partying and peaceful life. Milim decides to get to ‘work’ by spreading the word to her fellow Demon Lords not to mess with Rimuru. Oh, she’ll be back. Before Rimuru and us really forget, time for that timely reminder of Shizu’s dream. Time to make good your promise, Rimuru. Leaving his city in the capable hands of his people, Rimuru leaves with Ranga to the Ingrassia Kingdom where Shizu once tutored. Freedom Academy was established by Yuuki Kagurazaka, one of Shizu’s students and his plan is to meet him. Thanks to Fuze arranging the necessary documents, Rimuru enters Ingrassia with ease but needs to keep his monster aura hidden. The moment Yuuki sees Rimuru, he gets agitated because that mask belongs to Shizu. He starts fighting him but immediately stops when Rimuru mentions about things that happen in their former world. Yuuki is impressed as Rimuru reveals all the spoilers of anime and manga that happened after he died. Yeah, Rimuru lived long enough to watch the ending of certain series. If hearing isn’t enough, heck this slime can replicate a manga magazine from his memory on paper!!! Free manga reads forever! Anyway, back to proper business, Rimuru mentions his mission here is to make good on Shizu’s promise-cum-regret regarding the children of Freedom Academy. We are reminded of the summoning of Otherworlders that takes many mages, days and resources to summon a powerful one. However sometimes a kid is summoned but their body cannot withstand all that power and they will be incinerated. Shizu took them in to save them but none of those kids have ever lasted more than 5 years and no way has been found to prevent their destruction. He hopes Rimuru can take on and save these kids. With Shizu becoming a teacher, he is shocked to see how lively these brats are. Full of life. Full of energy. Full of mischief. They don’t like they’re kicking the bucket soon. Folks, meet Kenya Misaki, Ryouta Sekiguchi, Gale Gibson, Alice Rondo and Chloe Aubert. Rimuru thought he felt Veldora resonating within.

Episode 21
The students aren’t respecting him so nothing like a little threat from Ranga to make them listen. Then he has them fight him one on one. This is to see and test their abilities and each of them have some pretty good quality skill and magic. The students agree to put their trust in him since he swears on Shizu’s mask that he will save them and not abandon them. Later Rimuru goes to see Treyni. He wants to meet a higher spirit. She notes there is a place called Dwelling of Spirits. Although it has many entrances, unfortunately the previous spirit queen she served has long passed away. She is unfamiliar with the current queen so she doesn’t know where those entrances are. A month into Rimuru’s teaching job, a sky dragon soars down to attack Ingrassia’s capital. Time for Rimuru to show off to those kids why he is so powerful. He easily defeats the sky dragon without any sweat. After Charybdis, this is nothing. He is then invited by a merchant, Mjolmire as thanks for saving his life. He might be a loan shark and has other shady dealings but he is trustworthy as a merchant. Rimuru takes up on his offer and also invites him to his town since he would love Mjolmire to teach them how to trade and make some deals. As they leave, Mjolmire’s assistant chants a blessing to the kids. Rimuru becomes interested because her prayers are based from the current spirit queen. At least from her hometown. Rimuru and co now make their way to the Dwelling of Spirits at the Ulg Nature Park of the Republic of Ulgrasia.

Episode 22
Because Shizu had Ifrit inside her, it was perhaps that spirit helped controlled her magicules instead of dying young. Hence Rimuru theorizes if these kids had a superior spirit inside them, they would also avoid dying young. Inside the labyrinth, a cheeky spirit toys with them and will grant their wish if they pass her test. So they have to defeat this powerful golem? Not a problem for Rimuru. Yeah, the spirit is in extreme shock to see Rimuru easily taking it down. Now she is summoned out of her hiding and real scared of Rimuru. Ramiris claims she isn’t just a fairy but a Demon Lord. Really? Mind her being an idiot but she is really a Demon Lord as Milim is a friend and was here not too long ago. That’s why she knew about Rimuru. Ramiris continues to talk about her greatest spirit engineering in that golem that used all the elements to make it move. This reminds Rimuru of Dwargon’s failed project to make magic soldiers and Ramiris easily completed that research herself. After Rimuru explains what he wants, he is shocked to hear that Ramiris is also the spirit queen. Believe it. Can she be a Demon Lord at the same time? Actually, she fell from grace as a spirit queen to become a Demon Lord. The same can be said about Leon. He was once a hero who had the blessing of the spirits but along the way he fell from grace. Ramiris is the former and also current spirit queen. Confused? Although she died and reborn, she retained memories of her old self. That’s why Treyni doesn’t have connections. Ramiris leads them to the deepest part of Dwelling of Spirits. She explains they can summon a superior spirit and they will respond if they like it. But if they don’t, they can create a new one. Wow. Sounds easy.

Episode 23
Those who summoned inferior spirits like Gale, Alice and Ryouta, Rimuru absorbs and combines them into a superior spirit. That easy, huh? Rimuru doesn’t need to do anything for those who summon superior spirits like Kenya. They just directly inhabit him. Finally when it comes to Chloe, it seems she summoned a super superior spirit. She gives Rimuru a cheeky kiss before inhabiting Chloe. Ramiris finds this dangerous and from what I understand, this spirit is supposed to be from the future and has implanted herself into Chloe as a vessel to be reborn in the future. Rimuru doesn’t understand and since all is well, I guess they’ll leave it at that. I guess with everything solved, there is nothing more for Rimuru to do, huh? He leaves the kids with Yuuki as they will continue their studies in Freedom Academy. It’s going to be a teary goodbye so say what you want to say before Rimuru leaves for home. It’s not like they won’t see each other forever, though. They’ll visit sometimes. Rimuru feels it is best to leave Shizu’s mask with them as a parting gift. He isn’t sure why he did that but he feels it is the natural thing to do.

Episode 24
We go back in time when Shizu was an active adventurer. Somewhere, a dying woman desperately summons a demon known as Kuro. She wants vengeance an in exchange gives him her life. Shizu is one of the many warriors summoned to Flitwood Kingdom to defeat a revived demon. The minister relays the bad news that their heroic champions have died and this sends some of them panicking. Even more so when the minister doesn’t relay enough info about the demon who was supposedly sealed by a hero named Orthos but the method was never mentioned. Shizu asks some questions and learns that the revived demon has no name and hence it cannot be an Archdemon. Still, she finds it hard to believe champions would lose to it. When an adventurer refuses this dangerous mission, he is promptly killed. It is revealed there is a lesser demon residing in him. Shizu thinks this is bad because with the adventurers forced into cooperation, could it be they also want to find which among them are the demons? This is when Kuro who is part of the adventurers start laughing. He calls this a charade and knows they planted the lesser demon into that guy just to put on a show. Shizu confronts him and from what Kuro says, he intends to kill everyone here to reveal the true demon. They both fight and Shizu manages to cut off an arm. But when he targets her mask, he finds it has some infinite properties and decides to back down. Everyone cheers for her but Shizu only knows Kuro was only using half his strength and that somebody had summoned Kuro. Later, Shizu is summoned by a knight to see the king. She is puzzled since she didn’t see him around and how could he know she fought Kuro? Then it all starts to make sense when she sees him colluding with the minister and king. The knight is actually Orthos and was never sealed away. By gathering adventurers and eliminating them, he would gain more power. Hence Flitwood is ruled by demons and the king is just a puppet. Orthos wants her mask and plans to sacrifice her. Shizu is forced to fight him in her weakened state and has a tough time fighting this Archdemon. He even dares her to combine with Ifrit. Before she could do it, Kuro pops up and kills the other goons. Too bad Orthos cannot judge the strength of others so his underestimate Kuro and gets killed by him. In the aftermath, the official story goes that Flitwood is purged of all demons and Kuro was the one who killed the king and minister. Shizu then defeated Kuro. This is a story cooked up by Kuro so as to have Shizu’s story straight. Do that and he won’t target her. But Kuro is interested again when the mask showed up in Rimuru. But spoilers ahead as Rimuru says, Kuro would be summoned by him and be named as Diablo.

Episode 24.5
This supposedly recap OVA episode is narrated by Veldora and Ifrit trapped inside Rimuru. It isn’t exactly 100% copy and paste. Although it is for the visuals, the dialogue is completely different. Veldora has Ifrit as his shogi partner because, what else to do, right? Great dragon teaches fire spirit how to play as they talk and comment about Rimuru’s progress among other stuffs. Yeah, Veldora sounds like some crazy emotional insecure old dude while Ifrit’s replies sounds more like out of pity. I guess that is what loneliness can do to you. In the end, Ifrit manages to checkmate Veldora and the latter tries to change the topic and everything. Oh well, they’re going to be stuck in here for the while so buckle up for more solitude insanity…

OVA 2
Shion and Shuna are fighting over Rimuru. This slime will one day break in this tug of war. Rimuru thought of cloning himself but the thought that everybody wants a piece of him eventually, nah, bad idea. Hence he has this idea to make cushions in his image for them. I guess explaining to the dwarves about the materials called styrofoam and polystyrene isn’t exactly making them understand. But they think that sort of material can be found near a lake. But beware. There is a rumour about a monster that will drag you down. A monster that can defeat Rimuru? No way! Since it would be lonely to go on this trip alone, Rimuru has the usual gang follow him on this picnic trip. It gets off to a bad start as Shion has cooked for Rimuru! Well, he did carelessly say everyone should make their own food! So bad that the container melts and burns a hole in the ground! If that’s not bad enough, Shion also made an onigiri that is equally as bad! Fortunately for Rimuru, she trips and the onigiri rolls into the lake. Phew. Fanservice time as the ladies put on their swimsuits. Super sexy! Rimuru approves! The guys also do the same! Rimuru disapproves this macho gay sh*t! Then Milim crashes in. She is mad she wasn’t invited on this picnic. Well, I guess we know why. But since she’s here, might as well. As they swim towards the sandbank in the middle of the lake that is the supposed material, suddenly a tentacle drags Rimuru down. After he cuts himself loose and swims to the surface, he sees the ladies getting tentacle raped! Nice spectacle! Yeah, the guys too! Shameful! Rimuru swims to the bottom and sees a monster who is the source of this. He realizes the monster is more of in pain rather than intentionally doing harm. The cause? It’s that onigiri! Rimuru splashes a few healing potions to heal it and the monster calms down. He realizes it is also blind and lonely and promises to do something. Returning to the surface, looks like the swimsuits have melted. I’m sure Rimuru would have loved to feast his eyes on the ladies but the guys too?! Mood ruined. The sandbar seems to be the perfect material to make cushions as it is made out of the monster’s mucus. Rimuru wants the entire sandbar to be taken back. But do they have enough bags to carry it? This is part of Rimuru’s plan to make frequent trips to and fro so as to keep the monster company. Once the cushions are done, Shion and Shuna continue to fight over Rimuru. Eh? I guess nothing beats the real deal.

Overlord: That Time I Got Reincarnated As God
Well people, looks like there is some ‘good news’. Because this series is going to get another season! Huzzah! More slime exploits and greatness! All hail the great Rimuru! I mean, this slime has gone on to defeat the most badass of the badass and gather a lot of powerful monsters, is there no other creatures he could not face and take down? Oh right. He hasn’t fought God and his angels yet! OMFG! That would be so f*cking epic. And so f*cking insulting if the slime ever brings down God! That would be just, I don’t even know how to put it in words. But for now, there are still a lot of potentials and development even though it might seem Rimuru has greatly solved them all with ease. Like Leon whom I am guessing will be his ultimate goal as well as the mysterious Moderate Harlequin Alliance that are like the wild joker cards in this world. And yeah, don’t forget Veldora (and Ifrit) still imprisoned inside Rimuru. Better hurry before they go insane when it’s their time to finally be set free.

I find myself having mixed feelings whether to love or dislike this series because despite being filled to the brim with lots of overpowered clichés, it seems that I myself have enjoyed many of the scenes despite how clichéd it was. One of the biggest problems that one might find is how Rimuru is overpowered from the very start. I mean, he has literally everything at the tip of his fingertips and just needs time to get used to them. Therefore it becomes very cliché and predictable that the plot goes something like this: Some enemy wants to pick a fight, Rimuru uses what he has or something his skills as suggested by Sage to defeat the opponent. In many cases, the opponents he kills, their clan members become his allies. Next enemy comes by. Repeat process but this time having some help from his monster associates. Continue to rinse and repeat. It gets really repetitious and boring but somehow I didn’t find myself being bored or sneering with sarcasm and disliked each time a chapter of that ends. Is it the way they executed the pace of the story? Hard to say.

Thus one might come to love or hate Rimuru as the main character not because he is a slime but rather because he is so overpowered that it makes everything look so easy. Note that I said in my previous paragraph how he monsters he defeated become his allies soon after. While it is great to see Rimuru gather and make allies with various monster nations, however the fact still remains that he was overpowered in all of his fights and if I should say, all of them are just so freaking easy for him. Hence the irony he doesn’t really need to have allies in the first place. But I guess he needs to because it beats being a lonely slime. I figure that this is to showcase how powerful this slime is because if somebody else were to get the job done, then Rimuru wouldn’t have been called to the fore.

So with great monster attacks like the Orc Disaster incident and the revival of Charybdis, it is just to showcase and crystalized Rimuru’s greatness. While I understand it is so because he is the main character, the problem is how he does it with ease. I mean, I don’t feel that there is any sort of challenge he has to face. Sure, he thinks a little bit, gets a few suggestions by Sage or his comrades. But eventually just one swift action is all it takes to end it. Is this the monster’s equivalent to One Punch Man? The only reason why Rimuru isn’t as hated as an overpowered character is because he doesn’t have a Smartphone! Oh yeah. We’re still reeling from that disaster, eh? With Rimuru being like some sort of immortal since so many things just can’t kill him, my conspiracy theory that the only thing that can kill him is Shion’s cooking! Hah! Even the great Rimuru has his weakness! Imagine the thing that made him keel over is poison cooking. You mean Sage can’t analyse this toxic abomination and turn it into some weapon instead?

So my guess why I find this series fascinating and entertaining is because of the action bits. I think this is what I will personally remember the series by. Not to say the action sequences are such a masterpiece as they are filled with such over the top and overpowered moves and magic (which it is supposed to be) but they are a lot entertaining nevertheless. I have to admit that despite Rimuru making it really look easy to defeat the big boss, I still enjoy seeing him do it. We also get to see his other minions fight but they are minimal and just to showcase and strut their stuff before their boss joins in and shows it how it’s done. So yeah, the action is also pretty cliché and over the top but it’s done in a satisfying way so I guess they pass. I also guess I can’t complain since I don’t really want a boss fight to last for episodes like Dragonball or One Piece. Yeah… Sure, the big battle might last for a few episodes but it is important the climax of the match isn’t dragged out.

With so many characters joining Rimuru, it seems that many of them lack any proper character development and I could say that many fall to the wayside when they are no longer in focus. We do see them from time to time but it feels like it is to assure us that they are still sticking around with Rimuru. But of course. After all, many of the creatures like the goblins, ogres and orcs have lost their home so there isn’t much to tell on that since by following Rimuru, it gives them a purpose of existence. Like Shion who becomes Rimuru’s secretary and carries him around feels more like an excuse for fanservice because of her big tits that Rimuru loves to cuddle under. Then there is Gobta who is supposedly a comic relief character and many of his scenes and actions can be seen as comical. But don’t write him off as he has shown some growth under the tutelage of Hakurou. Gabiru is the next comic relief with his egoistic ways but he got less screen time after becoming Rimuru’s follower. So no more funny lizardman poses. Then there is one of the dwarven brothers who has no lines and can only nod in agreement. To everything! I think this is a running joke that Rimuru sometimes even scoffs at. Ranga… Animal mascot! It’s amazing Rimuru has managed to build a great city for his monsters to live. But the city is so human-like… Complete with hotspring! Damn these monsters really have it good. Rimuru is God!

Rimuru as the big boss himself, he isn’t such a bad character. Has his own ideals and justice that fits into any main character tropes and clichés. I just wonder why they need to showcase to us at the start that his true identity is a dead normal guy from our world. Was this even necessary? I guess it is this or either a strange slime creature awakens in the deep parts of the cave having no recollection of who he is. Yup, cliché amnesiac main character. Uh huh. I guess we were tired of that trope too. So by having someone from our world getting a second chance at life in another fantasy world, my speculation is that because this fantasy world isn’t as advanced as our world, hence chance for our main character who conveniently retained all his memories to live out his wildest dreams. Something that he can achieve here and even more compared to when he was alive in his own boring world. Therefore I can’t blame recent many isekai anime series for following this formula because we were definitely complaining at one point about amnesiac main characters. Sheesh. We customers are going to be harder and harder to please. Besides, that Otherworlders plot seems to be just hanging there. I feel they could have fleshed it out but perhaps they somewhat forgotten it this season…

Like I have said, having Leon as the endgame is a reason why this slime’s adventure is going to continue. So in the meantime, more other adventures, more gathering of other fellow monsters. In no time I am expecting Rimuru to have a vampire in his team. Yikes! Why can we not have a vampire in such a fantasy setting?! You have fairies, right? You have goblins, lizardmen orcs and ogres, right? Damn you got dryads too. So why not vampires and add zombies to that mix? And since this world has demons and Demon Lords, what are the chances of having an angel by your side? Damn, this would have been the ultimate monster combo ever! That aside, Rimuru who vouches for peace and doesn’t want war is commendable because I would also want to make friends, pacts and treaties if I were in his shoes. Therefore this brings me to the point of how easily Rimuru makes friends with. I know I’m repeating myself with this cliché but I guess I have to point it out again because not only in battlefields but in the diplomacy segment Rimuru also rules. Humans and some Demon Lords easily becoming his allies? Too f*cking easy! It feels like lazy writing. Thinking about it, even if I were in the other shoes, I would think twice of making this slime as my enemy because we’ve already seen how powerful he is. After all, that is why Rimuru is a slime in the first place so that enemies could look down on him and then he owns them by surprise. Heh. That should show them.

I’m not complaining about the art and animation since they’re rather okay. The fantasy world feels a bit bland as we mostly see the Jura forest since this is where many of the incidents and setting take place. Character designs are rather okay too. Oddly everyone powers up after they are being named and this means they look even hotter. Especially females. Mind boggling how lizardmen’s females can take after humanoid form. Some females like Shion are definitely for eye candy fanservice as well as Milim because it feels like she forgot to wear her pants and fly around in her skimpy pantsu. Really. Then you got some looking comical like Gobta (why do I feel he is a combination of Sesame Street’s Bert and Ernie? Is it his round nose?) and the lizardmen who are followers of Gabiru especially when they have those cute round puppy dog eyes. So weird. I wonder if Rigurd is taken after Arnold Schwarzenegger. Why do they have to make fairies so annoying these days? Because like Ramiris, it reminds me of another certain annoying fairy in Black Clover… Is this trend started by The Legend Of Zelda’s Navi?! Animated by 8bit who did Infinite Stratos, Tokyo Ravens, Grisaia No Kajitsu, Rewrite and Yama No Susume.

The voice acting is fine too but with so many characters the list is long. I only recognized Takahiro Sakurai as Kuro/Diablo, Takehito Koyasu as Clayman, Kazuya Nakai as Laplace, Hochu Ohtsuka as Hakurou, Kenjirou Tsuda as Vesta, Kana Asumi as Trya and Jun Fukuyama as Leon. I thought Rie Tanaka has retired for good so I didn’t recognize her as Treyni. I guess sometimes you have to come back in a while just to surprise people like me. Or is it? The other casts are Miho Okasaki as Rimuru (Miku Nisho in Ongaku Shoujo), Yumiri Hanamori as Shizu (Seth in Radiant), Chikahiro Kobayashi as Ranga (Sugimoto in Golden Kamuy), Makoto Furukawa as Benimaru (Banri in Golden Time), Mao Ichimichi as Shion (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Takuya Eguchi as Souei (Kaidou in Saiki Kusuo No Psi-nan), Sayaka Senbongi as Shuna (AnchoR in Clockwork Planet), Rina Hidaka as Milim (Last Order in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Kenji Nomura as Geld (Ushiyama in Golden Kamuy), Kanehira Yamato as Rigurd (Kunimi in Noragami Aragoto), Jun Fukushima as Gabiru (Kazuma in KonoSuba), Ken Narita as Fuze (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha), Takaya Hashi as Dwargo (Joujin in Basilisk: Ouka Ninpouchou), Anzu Haruno as Ramiris (Mafuyu in Blend S), Asuna Tomari as Gobta (Ryuou in Dorei-ku The Animation), Tomoaki Maeno as Veldora (Junichi in Amagami SS), Taku Yashiro as Ifrit (Natsuo in Domestic Na Kanojo) and Megumi Toyoguchi as Sage (Revy in Black Lagoon).

I prefer the rock based opening and ending themes. At least the first ones. Nameless Story by Takuma Terashima and Another Colony by TRUE respectively. They fit the pace of the series better. Not to say that the second opening and ending themes suck but they sounded a bit toned down. Meguru Mono by Takuma Terashima and Little Soldier by Azusa Tadokoro feel like as though they are better suited for a non-action genre series.

Overall, this series has its ups and downs and many will accuse it of being another isekai cliché with the main character being so overpowered and making everything look so easy. Lots of other cardboard cut-out characters that don’t really matter too. In other words, many regard this as a bad copy of Overlord. That time when they reincarnated the isekai genre and churn it out as a super cliché. Although I agree with the bad clichés and overpowered main character don’t make it any much better, somehow I can’t find myself to hate or even dislike this series. The action bits kept me entertained but is that enough to trump all the other bad aspects? Maybe. I’m such a simpleton. After all, I think it is better to become a follower of an overpowered slime than to become part of a harem of a guy with an overpowered Smartphone! Phew! No App Disaster to be brought into this world!

W’z

August 3, 2019

This is so wack, my man. I never really thought Hand Shakers would get a sequel and I never really thought W’z (pronounced as Wise and not Wiz as I thought) was that sequel. When I first read the synopsis, I never really gave much thought about it as it says something about a genius DJ prodigy kid. Nothing hinted of any sorts it was related to Hand Shakers. I thought this would be some music themed anime and even so, it was strange for me to get interested in the DJ genre. DJ and those techno club music aren’t my tea so naturally I would have given this a pass. Something didn’t mesh apparently so I ended up checking it out. Until I watched through the first episode that I started realizing there are pretty familiar things. Oh dear. Too late. Really, this is just so wack, my man…

Episode 1
It is 10 years later from the events that ended in Hand Shakers. There is a young boy going viral on the internet. Dubbed as W’z, this genius DJ who is getting many hooked with his music is actually Yukiya Araki. He is on his way to start his new term of middle high school and because he isn’t concentrating, the mere touch of an innocent by-stander causes her to temporarily enter Ziggurat. Though, she loses her memories of her time in Ziggurat when she returns. Yukiya wants to take up music at Kita Asuka Academy. However his father opposes it very much and it looks like Yukiya is going heed his advice. Along the way, he meets Masaru who takes an interest in him and suggests meeting Koyori who is a teacher at that school. Masaru leaves when Yukiya’s childhood friend, Haruka Tosabori arrives to accompany him to school. Yukiya thinks he has no talent since his video wasn’t that well received. Haruka disagrees and to prove he has much more talent than that, she suggests doing whatever crazy thing he has on his mind. That night in the crowded streets, the duo set up the DJ equipment right smack in the crowd. Yeah, nobody cares. When they hold hands, they enter Ziggurat. They don a mask as he streams live his DJ talent. Some people are stumped because they are watching this video right in this spot and they can’t see this dude anywhere. Yukiya realizes they are under attack and goes to protect Haruka. Not just 1 but 2 pairs of enemies, Hana Mihara-Senri Teshima and Gai Kishiwada-Masataka Sakai. They are here to steal his power. Yukiya manages to deflect their attacks with his Nimrod sword.

Episode 2
Because the enemies are busy trying to outdo each other, this allowed Yukiya and Haruka to escape. At school, Yukiya sees Koyori. He experiences some weird flashback/trance when she touches him. Koyori can tell he is W’z (did Yukiya seriously think that mask was enough to hide is identity?!) and although he has seen many of his videos, she wants to ask the recent one where he entered Ziggurat. It seems Yukiya has this ability to enter Ziggurat by holding anyone’s hands. The caveat is that they cannot summon Nimrod and they lose their memories when they leave. But Koyori touches him again and nothing happens. She cannot enter Ziggurat anymore and she has a request of him since there are people she wants to find trapped in there. It is believed that Nagaoka and Mayumi met God. However they went missing after that and Koyori has never seen them since. With Yukiya’s ability to enter Ziggurat anywhere, she hopes he can help find them. She also notes the dangers that will follow him as there will be people targeting him. She wants to protect him and the best people to do so are those ex-Hand Shakers. We hear the wishes of the other parties. Gai and Masataka want to stay in Ziggurat forever while Hana and Senri want to get rid of this power and hold hands like normal. Yukiya returns home. He needs to face his father who is still opposed to the school of his choice. It seems his parents, Reijirou and Yukine are ex- Hand Shakers whom we knew as Break and Bind respectively.

Episode 3
Yukiya tells Haruka that he deleted his recent video after receiving lots of comments. He is still unsure what to do so Haruka believes he is afraid because he is unsure what the right thing to do is. The ex-Hand Shakers of Chizuru, Hayate, Koyori, Lily and Masaru converge at the former’s restaurant. However Reijirou crashes in and picks a fight with Masaru whom he believes is the one influencing his son. Masaru claims removing him from the problem will not solve anything as he will eventually face off with other Hand Shakers. After cooling down with a cuppa, they discuss about Yukiya already deleting the original but you know the internet, what is uploaded will always stay there forever. Yeah, clones of his videos everywhere. Further revelation shows that Yukiya isn’t really Reijirou and Yukine’s son. He is their adopted son, though he doesn’t know that now. Flashback shows some shady characters gave baby Yukiya to them to be raised and grown in Ziggurat, free of combat and strife. The main point of discussion is Yukiya isn’t just able to bring anyone into Ziggurat, he was able to bring in something huge like his entire DJ equipment. If this is so, can he bring something out of Ziggurat too? This is dangerous as there are people who want to use this power for criminal activities. All of them despite not being able to summon their Nimrods, want to protect and advise Yukiya. After all this, Reijirou still refuses. He is tired of dealing with Hand Shakers and the likes. Of course his wife talks to him about respecting what Yukiya wants to do. And when that happens, all they can do is simply watch over him. Yukiya finally arrives at the restaurant and he feels awkward with Koyori being close to him. Does this guy like her?

Episode 4
Hayate and Yukiya enter Ziggurat to start looking. It’s a boring conversation until Hayate mentions about Tazuna being Koyori’s partner. But he had to travel around the country to do some business. And this made Yukiya mad because he ‘abandoned’ her?! Sure, complain what a jerk he is to Haruka. She plays along and to calm him down, she gives him tickets to Western King Fest musical event whereby his favourite DJ, Nielsen Fumiyuki will be playing there. Next time, Yukiya pairs up with Chizuru for the search. She talks about how great Tazuna was. Because they met God, Koyori is now able to live normally and not always hold Tazuna’s hands to exist. But Yukiya still seething he ‘abandoned’ her? When they return, Haruka gets the wrong idea of Yukiya ‘dating’ a ‘loli’. Yeah, it’s that taboo word but to prove Chizuru is an adult, she doesn’t blow her top. Chizuru tries to set up Yukiya and Haruka as a date. But that has to be put on hold since Gai and Masataka are here. Back to Ziggurat to fight. Worse, Hana and Senri are here too. Chizuru and Senri are shocked to see each other since Senri works at Chizuru’s place as a part timer. This is awkward. Soon they start fighting but this time the enemies make a pact to cooperate against Yukiya. But whoever defeats him first wins. Chizuru realizes that without a goal or desire to protect someone, Yukiya cannot win. Thanks to Yukiya’s irregular power, Chizuru is able to draw her Nimrod. She clones themselves to escape back to reality. Even so, the enemies still want to fight and Yukiya is tired and injured during that battle. Don’t worry. Finally Tazuna shows up for help. Holding Yukiya’s hands to go back into Ziggurat, the enemies are now certain about his abilities to have different partners to enter Ziggurat. Remember Tazuna’s Nimrod of gears? Welcome back.

Episode 5
Tazuna easily defeats them and suggests they pull back. Wise choice. They can’t defeat him as they are now. In school, Tazuna discovers a transmitter underneath Yukiya’s belt. That’s why they knew where he is. Tazuna has a heart to heart talk with Yukiya inside Ziggurat. He explains they are the same because of their ability to summon Nimrods as they like. Tazuna understands his worries as when he became a Hand Shaker for the first time, he was also targeted. But with his feelings to protect Koyori strong, he overcame all that. Of course with a few slip ups. Yukiya’s Nimrod that he names Disk is the core of his heart so when he is lost, take a look at yourself. Senri now can’t return to Chizuru’s restaurant. So she’s going to ignore all her messages? The girls get their details of W’z from this mysterious informer known only as Composer. He sounds shady but they have no choice but to trust his info as that’s all the lead they’ve got. With them reminding us how they want to rid of this power, time to see flashback snippets of their close relationship together since kindergarten. Yeah, Senri got bullied and Hana came to her rescue. Lots of handholding until they’re grownup. Is it because they hold hands too much that one day they find themselves in Ziggurat? In school, Yukiya is shocked that he and Haruka enter Ziggurat despite not touching each other. So now close proximity can also trigger this? And you bet Hana and Senri are on the offensive. They are much stronger than before because thanks to their flashback bonding. I don’t know why Yukiya is standing there just defending and protecting Haruka and getting injured. I know Haruka is also hurt so shouldn’t they hide in some structure? I’m sure the girls only target Yukiya so if he runs elsewhere, they won’t bother with Haruka. I don’t think taking hostage is their style. Because of this, cue for flashback of Yukiya and Haruka’s childhood moments. Yeah, they’re close, right? I suppose the power of yuri makes Hana and Senri even more powerful. Hell yeah, their handphone charged right up to 150%!!! If only my battery can last that long! But WTF, banzai to the power of yuri!!!

Episode 6
Will the power of yuri penetrate through Yukiya? Not if Haruka helps power up and cuts through them first! Now Senri and Hana are at Chizuru’s restaurant and siding with them? They believe Composer has lied to them and only using them. Because now they have officially lost, he blocked them from his contacts. Also, Senri and Hana lost means they are unable to go into Ziggurat. Something they have wanted all along and was as simple as just losing. The gang discusses about Composer and how he leaked info to mislead others. Because Yukiya’s position was also known despite the transmitter was destroyed, it could either be him or those other guys. The only sensible thing is to confront them. Yukiya wants to come along since this is his fight. Gai and Masataka thought they were going to meet up with Senri and Hana to fight Yukiya but realize they have flipped sides. It is confirmed the transmitter was from them and since they refuse to destroy its records, they’re going to fight. This time Yukiya is paired with Masaru to handle the duo. I guess it’s due for their flashback. When they were kids and on some camping trip with Nagaoka and Makihara, that was when they learnt about Hand Shakers for the first time. Through the years, Gai developed interest in hiking the mountains and stargazing. Other friends didn’t share the same ‘boring’ hobby except for Masataka. Okay, he looked uninterested too but he plays along. That’s when they made their dream to go into Ziggurat if they can’t go into space. During the battle, Gai falls into Masaru’s trap cards, immobilizing him. This allows Yukiya to go after Masataka. Meanwhile Tazuna and Koyori bump into Nielsen. Koyori remembers him at her father’s lab a long time ago. Nielsen wants to talk to Yukiya since Midori Okuike of Okuike Group is making his move. Yeah, that’s the company that sponsored Koyori’s father’s research. Are things starting to come around?

Episode 7
With Masataka in danger, Gai forcefully breaks himself out even if it means hurting himself. But with Yukiya right in Masataka’s aim, he shoots at Gai. Is that on purpose? Flashback shows Masataka was a nervous wreck when he first entered Ziggurat and he hated shooting people. So Gai told him if he finds it hard to shoot anyone, shoot him. Then the game will end. With Gai down, Yukiya cuts down Masataka. Now that they’re defeated, are they like friends? As promised, they delete the data. Haruka learns Yukiya has submitted a music application not as W’z but as himself. Why does this make her feel inferior, praising he has a lot more talent than her? Cue for flashback to see how they met. Haruka took up a musical instrument just because he was good in music. Now she feels she can’t keep lying to him. Tazuna and Yukiya oddly hang out with each other. They’re getting along just fine. Yukiya didn’t expect Koyori to join in. I suppose Tazuna forgot to tell him. At the karaoke, Yukiya is tone deaf. But Koyori continues to support him… Real partners stick through thick and thin, right? When Yukiya brings Tazuna back to his home, it looks like Reijirou wants to fight him but it’s his crude way of greeting this dude. They’re friends, huh? Talk about old times, they’re so modest and humble in their victory and defeat then. Although Reijirou noted Tazuna and Koyori met God, the problem is they couldn’t remember what happened after. Now they shift their attention to Yukiya. What are his ambitions? Still not sure but he wants to help Koyori find her sister with his power. At first he was afraid and scared of it because he once dragged Haruka into Ziggurat and she ended up injured. He hated it. Then he was targeted by others and caused problem for others. He knew he was lying to himself but in fact all he wanted was not to be rejected. Reijirou gives his blessing to do whatever he wants.

Episode 8
Koyori calls Haruka out late just to tell her about Yukiya lying and that Haruka has something to say to him? Oh dear. What did you do? Now you making Haruka cry harder as she blames herself for dragging him down because she isn’t good enough. She fears he will leave her and she doesn’t want that even if it means Yukiya ending up hating her. Koyori relays her experience with Tazuna. So the bottom line is to stop lying. Easier said than done. Tazuna tells Chizuru and Hayate that Midori is Composer and the one pulling the strings. Of course this info wasn’t for free and he made a deal with Nielson. It seems that DJ is still an active Hand Shaker despite never meeting God and his goal is to watch over Ziggurat and those connected to it. The school cultural festival is here. Nielsen brings his busty and sexy assistant, Tamari so they could watch W’z AKA Yukiya who is to perform here. Safe to say that everyone else is here too to see him perform. Yukiya is nervous but once he starts getting into the groove, everyone is stunned at his awesome talent. So good that even Reijirou cried. Yeah… This gives Haruka the motivation that she wants to tell him something when this is done. What a coincidence. Yukiya too. After Haruka’s band is done with their awesome gig too, the band members congratulate themselves. Then they talk about Yukiya who is pretty weird (but in a good way) and despite this makes Haruka awkward, I don’t understand why she gets worried when she realizes Yukiya was hearing this. She realizes she has lied again. Wait a minute. WTF did she say? Did she say anything?! Hence the melancholy of Haruka continues…

Episode 9
Haruka isn’t answering Yukiya’s calls. Yukiya receives a call from Seba Suchan who is calling on behalf of Midori to meet. He is hesitant until he mentions this is regarding Hand Shakers. Yukiya tells this to the rest and Tazuna will accompany him. Both meet Midori for the first time. He cuts straight to the point that ever since mankind is eating up resources in the name of development, he wants to use Yukiya’s power to bring things in and out of Ziggurat. As time moves differently there, Hand Shakers can create copies of the same world as many times despite the Ziggurat crumbles after their battle. So as we can see, Midori is able to enter Ziggurat with Seba and has duplicated loads of silver bars. So he is going to use this concept to solve resources and energy problems plaguing the world. He doesn’t call this exploitation and merely wants his assistance. Unlike other Hand Shakers with their own desires, Yukiya will become God himself and move humanity forward. Tazuna opines this will destroy the world balance. But what does Yukiya think? Since he doesn’t approve of the Hand Shakers fighting each other like those recently, Midori believes their thinking is not aligned and will talk again in the future when they are of clearer mind. Now Seba calls Haruka and brings her to meet Midori. It seems the lie she has been hiding from Yukiya is that she remembers everything that happened in Ziggurat. Though she doesn’t want Yukiya’s powers to be exploited, Midori puts it in a nice way that he is a nice kid but others will take advantage of him and at the same time he doesn’t want to force his ideals on Yukiya. He believes if Haruka can become Yukiya’s partner and act in his place, he will use all his power to protect her. They share the same path and he can help her. The clincher: We’re doing it for Yukiya. Nielsen finds out that Midori has made his move. No time to be fooling around. Time to go busting. Yukiya soon learns that Haruka transferred to another school and moved out. Wow. She really told nobody. Not even the school bothered to announce to her classmates. Feeling worried now? He goes talk to her mother and she tells him she suddenly wanted to transfer to Okuike University and living in their dorm. Wow. Things really move fast when you have the money and influence. Oh Yukiya, you now have something to tell Haruka? Something about your feelings?

Episode 10
Nielson confronts Reijirou. He was the one who handed baby Yukiya to him 10 years ago. Now he is mad that Reijirou broke his promise and let Yukiya be a Hand Shaker. He could have taken Yukiya’s powers any time but didn’t because he believed in him. Now Nielson is going to crush that boy. I guess this stems from his trauma when he was an active Hand Shaker. He lost his then partner, Jessica. Reijirou then finds Yukiya and can tell he is having trouble. So Yukiya tells him what he knows about Midori and Haruka being taken away just because he refused. But it could be that Haruka went on her own volition rather than being forced. Father is going to give him a ride to the dorms to settle his business. Along the way, he reveals the truth about Yukiya being adopted. Even though not his own child, he loves him as his own. Why say so when he knows this isn’t an appropriate time? But thankfully Yukiya didn’t freak out. He somewhat knows. There were no pictures of him in his younger days. He wasn’t entirely sure but with this revelation, he is now. Entering Ziggurat, they are confronted with Seba. Damn, what a waste of the bike as he cuts it in half! He wants them to leave. No can do. If Haruka doesn’t want to see Yukiya, why is she here?! Seba and Reijirou face off. The latter might be a bit rusty and gets beat down. But nothing like a father’s love to turn the tables and turn it into some head butting fight? Whoever has the hardest head wins. Meanwhile Yukiya and Haruka have no choice but to fight since they’re stubborn. Haruka condemning herself as a liar unworthy of him. He shocks her that he too is a liar. Smooth operator in session as he commends her very being who is always by his side cheering him up. Hostility turning into awkwardness when both confess they love each other. That’s not a lie, right? And Yukiya saying he wants her as his partner, is that in Hand Shaker terms? Seba won’t allow this and tries to attack Yukiya. With Reijirou pinning him down, Yukiya and Haruka combine their Nimrod to kick him out from Ziggurat. Yukiya and Haruka are back on good terms. But they can’t get out from Ziggurat. Because Nielsen and Tamari are going to defeat them.

Episode 11
Yukiya is happy to see Nielsen since he is a big fan of his. I’m sure Nielsen will give him his autograph after this but now it is Hand Shakers business first. In order to wipe out Yukiya’s power, Nielsen summons Tazuna and Koyori into Ziggurat. This is his irregular power. The offer to Tazuna was to join forces and take down Yukiya’s power. Koyori is fine if Yukiya loses that power and she can’t look for her sister anymore but Yukiya will not have that. All that is left is to battle it out. With Tazuna being formidable, I’m not sure how Yukiya and Haruka now gets it as they, uhm, summon some pog or something, attach it to their Nimrod and summon Reijirou and Yukine here?! WTF?! Whatever. Reijirou and Yukine keep Tazuna and Koyori busy so that Yukiya and Haruka could duke it out with Nielsen and Tamari. During the fight, I guess Nielsen felt Yukiya’s vibes that he truly wants to use his power to search for people. So Nielsen stops the fight and has Yukiya meet up at a certain place later. Nielsen commends Yukiya as the first irregular Hand Shaker he didn’t defeat because irregulars can cause some imbalance and that is why others show up to manipulate their powers. Not sure where in this Ziggurat, Nielsen leads Yukiya and Haruka to where Nagaoka and Mayumi are staying. Yukiya crying at the sight of seeing them? Must be so touching, huh? They explain why they choose to remain here. Nagaoka has an incurable disease that no current medicine could help. But his wish was for Mayumi and Koyori to lead normal lives and Mayumi’s wish was to stop Nagaoka’s illness. So did God heard it and granted them? Apparently stopping time in this Ziggurat is the only answer. You mean God just didn’t make Nagaoka’s illness disappear? Lame! Yukiya gets this great idea. Lend his handphone to call Koyori and let Mayumi talk to her! Damn, did they not bring any phone around here? It must be one long talk since there’s a lot to catch up for the sisters. Maybe Yukiya should leave his phone here? After they leave, it is revealed that Yukiya is the son of Nagaoka and Mayumi. Because time stopped here, the moment he was brought back to reality, that is when time came flowing back all of a sudden and he grew up many years all at once. Just weird… So I guess you can’t slow down your aging if you head back to reality.

Episode 12
Yukiya and Haruka see Midori directly. They’re here not to fight him but believe can grant his wish. Because their powers include summoning others including ex-Hand Shakers into Ziggurat, they can set up many sham victories until one is able to meet God. Now I’m confused. I thought you stopped being a Hand Shaker and lose all that power when you’re defeated? Anyway, Midori rejects this as he no longer has a wish to ask God. He shows them a giant crystal embedded in his chest. It seems Midori has also met God. What he said about saving the world was just an excuse. His true desire is to exploit the system of Hand Shakers, God and irregulars. Flashback reveals his father pushed Akutagawa and his team to hasten their research on Ziggurat. He wanted to become like Columbus discovering America, a new world. He even allowed them to use his son as experiments. However Akutagawa went missing and the only reason Midori stayed relevant was because he was a Hand Shaker. To regain his value, he met God and granted his dad’s wish. He brought out some gem from Ziggurat. He had to cut his own flesh since it was embedded into it. Father was happy and the experiment continued and it made Midori close to death. Doctors even had to operate deep into him to dig out the crystals. Seba couldn’t stand it all and shot the doctors and his father to death. When dad pleads for help from Midori, he pulled the trigger many times and killed him. Overkill! That’s for all the loveless exploitation! Now Midori will fight Yukiya and Haruka not to defeat them. But to torment them. It is clear that Midori is way more powerful so Yukiya and Haruka retreat. Midori won’t give chase as he knows well this tactic of theirs to bait them. Back in reality, the rest of the gang are lying safe in one of Nielsen’s place. It is a good thing since Midori’s men have started targeting the families of Yukiya and Haruka’s home. They can’t stay here forever and need to fight back. Yukiya is going to need some reinforcements then. Midori realizes Yukiya’s side has also taken action and got away from his men. The negotiations weren’t to buy time and believed Yukiya really wanted to help out. Although they ran away, Midori believes the outcome will still be the same. He has his men take control of Nielsen’s club and predicts the Hand Shakers will attack via Ziggurat.

Episode 13
Inside Ziggurat, Yukiya-Haruka faces off with Midori-Seba. However the former aren’t alone as they temporarily summon their ex-Hand Shaker friends into the fray to deal some damage to the latter. To allow their battle to continue and not interrupted, Reijirou, Yukine, Nielsen and Tamari are fighting other Hand Shakers. You mean there are tons of them?! Don’t worry. They’re so insignificant that we don’t really care. Meanwhile we take a detour, Mayumi explaining her wish to want a son to be born between them then. So she’s like Virgin Mary? She wanted a son who is strong and never lose. You mean a son like God? So is Yukiya like Jesus Christ???!!! WTF???!!! We now return to the Ziggurat battle. Yukiya calms himself down and strikes Midori. That was fast. Midori retreats but vows to return and make him kneel. Yukiya then summons Tazuna, Koyori, Nagaoka and Mayumi. From what I understand, they all have powers qualified enough to see God. We have 2 pairs who have met God. On the other hand, Yukiya just defeated someone who met God. Hence Yukiya is qualified to meet God. Damn, does that even mesh?! Did Yukiya realize Nagaoka is his real dad? In the aftermath, it seems Yukiya has lost his powers and he is happy with it. We hear Nielsen and Makihara talking about the shocking wish Yukiya made that nobody expected: Getting rid of all the unwanted wishes granted by God before losing his own powers. Oh, how selfless. Because of his unselfish wish, Midori is now free from his curse. No more crystal embedded in his chest. In a dilemma over his role and existence, he ponders if he should go after Yukiya to seek revenge for saving him. My man, you trying to be some twisted second class villain here? Seba isn’t sure but he mentions that he knows someone who was once saved from death. That’s himself. Midori made him his butler instead of letting him die. Just to show Midori isn’t some cold hearted jerk, Seba carries him like a princess and he starts getting emotional and cries. Probably Yukiya’s greatest wish, the one not granted by God, is to become a DJ under Nielsen’s tutelage. He’s already a talented DJ. Need I say more?

OVA
We delve into the past of Reijirou and Yukine before the events of the Hand Shakers TV series. He was a delinquent dropout. She was an elite high school girl. Also the stalker type. And a masochist. Scold me more, Reijirou! Creepy… Reijirou had a hard time manning several part time jobs and it’s bad enough that Yukine often breaks into his room without his permission just to be with him. Then it all gets worse when he gets fired from all his jobs. Even the restaurant job he worked, the owner, Kozaki accused him of stealing stuffs when it was he himself who gave it all to his fatty customer, Oyama whom he is sucking up to. Even Yukine doesn’t approve of her father trying to break them up. Flashback reveals they were childhood friends and always close together. However Reijirou changed when his mom died. She realized she is the only one by his side and only knows his true and warm aspects. Yukine tries to be smart and goes to slap Kozaki and Oyama for being unfair. Of course they retaliate by trying to rape her. Good thing she texted Reijirou about what she was going to do and here he comes to save her. After pushing those guys away, the moment Reijirou and Yukine’s hands touch, they enter Ziggurat. So now they are Hand Shakers? So was Reijirou’s whatever wish that strong to qualify them for that? Apparently Kozaki and Oyama are also Hand Shakers. They relentlessly attack the newbies. Reijirou realizes that chain dream wasn’t just a dream. Yeah, Yukine had that dream too. And with renewed determination, Reijirou uses his chain powers to fight back. Partly it is Yukine’s masochism that wants him to bind her harder but also it enhances his powers. Reijirou is able to turn the tables on them and now they are the ones cowering in fear and begging for mercy. Reijirou gets cocky as he tells them off. He is about to mercilessly crush them but Yukine stops him. She has a conscious? Actually, she wants him to save all his rage for her. But of course. After defeating them, the duo realize they need to make their wish come true so they go to crowded areas to find more teams to defeat. Well, we all know what happened next. The rest is history.

Wack’… ZZzzZZzzz…
Ah well… It really all doesn’t mesh. I don’t know whether the TV series actually ended the entire series itself and the OVA feels very disjointed because it has nothing to do with W’z and more of a prelude to the Hand Shakers prequel. No characters from W’z whatsoever and heck it should have been actually called Hand Shakers OVA 2. Technically, which is also correct in a way since this season’s OVA is indeed the second OVA overall after Hand Shakers very first season’s OVA. Yeah, really wack, my man. Making it even more wack for me is that this OVA looked even more interesting than this season. Yeah, pretty odd I should say. Probably it’s because of Yukine’s character that I wasn’t totally expecting her to be like that sort of character before… Maybe they’ll make another OVA. This time about Jessica. You know, Nielsen’s previous partner. Because is it me or do I feel that this plot was unnecessary or the producers totally forgot about it. Yeah, I guess this doesn’t really matter. Won’t mesh anyway.

I didn’t really get the overall plot of this season at all. Yukiya as an irregular Hand Shaker and people who are after his power. Okay, I get that. But they want to make it look like some sort of massive power was behind the scene that was after Yukiya’s power. It really felt weird. While the Okuike Group might be a huge conglomerate, I don’t really feel its impact and presence in the story. It felt like Midori was just a single guy trying to get what he wants and his power and influence on the group was just fringe and marginal. In between, we have Yukiya being worried and conflicted about his own power. Therefore the much needed drama to help build Yukiya’s character from a loser into a slightly better, uhm, loser. Technically. Because he might have lost all those great powers but at least he has his life. And girl. And they bring back many of the original Hand Shaker characters just so to let us know that the power of friendship is a reason why Yukiya is able to change and become a better person. I guess that’s not a bad thing and it is better off than starting off as an overpowered character.

While the flimsy plot is one thing, it got me pondering how this whole system and mechanism of Hand Shakers works. Because from the looks of it, God must be a dick and a sadist. Like Nagaoka’s illness. You mean the Almighty can’t just wish for his dreaded disease to go away? With a snap of a finger? Maybe Nagaoka who doesn’t talk much wasn’t being specific but I mean, this is God. The one and only God. Shouldn’t He understood all that and cured him instantly instead of making time stop and stuck inside Ziggurat like forever? WTF, dude?! Initially I was under the impression that the Hand Shakers fight in some battle royale and the last one standing gets to meet God. But apparently you fight and defeat enough Hand Shakers, obtain their powers enough to qualify to make you meet God. Isn’t this insane? Like Yukiya’s suggestion for sham victories, if this really worked then God didn’t really thought out this very well. I thought it was a sacred honour-cum-privilege to see God and understandably only one, the best of the best could do so. But having so many meeting Him, damn this feels more like an exclusive club or something.

The other problem being the creation of Hand Shakers themselves. So apparently I was also under the misconception that this Hand Shakers thing was just a one time battle. From what I see here, it looks like there is no starting and ending point. As long as you rake up enough victories, you get to meet God. Which brings me to this point as of how many Hand Shakers are there really? How many are there right now? In the final episode we see Reijirou and Nielsen bashing up other Hand Shakers so it must mean that there is some Hand Shaker battle still going on. How does one become a Hand Shaker? The narration in the beginning of some episodes I assume is from God. Sounds like a young Japanese adult guy. At least that ossan at the end of last season whom I thought was God was actually Nielsen. The terms to become a Hand Shaker sounds vague. You have a wish? Then join hands and fight your way to see me. Yeah, pretty shady if you ask me. And I suppose if you wish hard enough, God may somehow give you those Hand Shaker powers. Go forth! And entertain me! Haha!

With that, this also brings me to the next point that is also related to the plot of the series. With Yukiya as an irregular Hand Shaker and many coveting his power, I was under the impression that there would be hundreds targeting him! Damn there were only 2 groups!!! WTF???!!! Even if they had like 5 pairs of Hand Shakers, I guess that would be acceptable. But damn, just 2 pairs?! Oh yeah. Big deal indeed. It doesn’t really mesh. I guess we need the cliché tropes so that when Yukiya defeats them, they become somewhat his allies. So if there were like 100 of them, how to fit them all in the final battle? Oh yeah. You really got me. So just 2 freaking groups who just target Yukiya’s power. And they’re not even scary.

Hana and Senri are just cute and provide some female eye candy and possibly some boobs fanservice since Senri is a cow tits monster. I guess she replaces Lily as she doesn’t make much appearance here. I said female eye candy because I have a hunch this series caters more to male bishonen as seen in the opening credits. That group pose… All guys! At least hot guys. Gai and Masataka are another bunch of weirdoes. Masataka being the quiet one and Gai being the lively one whose catchphrase is “Sugoi…”. Like as though he has a limited vocabulary or something. Yukiya and Haruka are supposed to be the Tazuna and Koyori of this season. Both their problems are not having an honest heart. They claim they lie to each other but once they get that out of the way, they’re just unstoppable. So cliché. Good thing Yukiya doesn’t continue to pursue his crush on Koyori (thank goodness for Haruka). Because it would have been freaking weird to have fallen in love with his aunty!!! And his wish to undo unwanted wishes? What are the chances that God isn’t being a dick and undo some wishes that were really wanted? Hey, can’t say. It’s not like God knows what we really want in our hearts, right? This series’ God is so dumb. I don’t like this idea either but I feel Yukiya should just become God and take His place and make the world a better place.

Finally with Midori being the antagonist of the series, I thought it was going to be a running joke that he and Seba would never appear. Hence their only chance is in the next episode preview where they talk some nonsense whatever. I thought this is all they would amount to. Their proper and formal appearance would be after 3/4 of the season and it already felt too late. It is hard for me to support or even hate Midori as the so called villain because his character is written in a mediocre way. Hard to sympathise with this dude despite his tragic background because I just couldn’t connect how it turned him into a Hand Shaker. Hard to hate this dude because he is one of those hot looking bishonen guys and his actions aren’t really despicable albeit twisted. This guy just wants a reason to exist. I guess being alive isn’t good enough because he is so rich and have everything, that’s just boring. Uh huh. What a boring villain.

Previous Hand Shaker characters make their cameo enough to make this season look like a sequel. They usual provide some support to Yukiya and Haruka and don’t do much so as not to take away the spotlight from them. Like Chizuru and Hayate, why are they still around? So it is as though the gang have a fixed place to gather and discuss their Hand Shakers related problems. Otherwise they could have been done without like some other characters. Like Makihara whose absence is so obvious. It is stated that he went on some journey to try to find a cure for Nagaoka. In the final episode it is hinted he has made some progress. WTF???!!! If God couldn’t find a cure, you mean this siew mai lover could???!!! This doesn’t mesh!!!

But I couldn’t be more grateful that Kodama and Hibiki didn’t show up here. If they did, it would have been a complete alumni of last season’s Hand Shakers. It is also because Kodama was really annoying with her celebrity quotes. Thank goodness. I guess she is too busy with her singing and acting career to even care about this. Good for her. Good for us. Phew. Isn’t it odd that Nagaoka and Mayumi had been missing for so long and thanks to plot convenience, they are finally found? Like WTF?! Thanks to the OVA, we get a shocking glimpse of how different Yukine’s character is. It’s like she’s a totally different person and can we say that motherhood changed her into a decent person and ‘freed’ her from that masochism? Reijirou still has that rage and short temper with him like forever, but Yukine is like a cool cat now. Yeah, parenting does change some people. Imagine how freaky if Yukiya sees his foster mom as some masochistic slut. Totally wack!

Action scenes are rather okay. Nothing really spectacular. Using CGI for Nimrods and some pretty abstract scenes in Ziggurat as excuse that you are in a different world. Yukiya’s irregular power sometimes feel like a convenience to the plot and action because otherwise how could he overcome more powerful and determined Hand Shakers? Ah, I see that is what it means to be an irregular. Since GoHands animate this sequel, it goes without saying that their trademark weird colour hues permeate every scene we see. I did say that this series feels like a guy anime because the guys look slightly better than the girls. Do you not see the female characters look a bit one kind? They’re like… Weird dolls… Like Tamari, WTF is this hippy hipster doll look? Same case for Yukine. She looks like a bisque doll or something.

Unfortunately music isn’t the main theme here. You can feel the same jazzy and bubbly vibe it has in the prequel. Not to say that they are bad but it is not as attractive as I would find them in K. And W’z seemingly only have hit song on his DJ music… Whatever. I hope he doesn’t become a one hit wonder. Opening theme, Reason by Ryohei Takenaka sounds like it is trying too hard while Kamisama Wa Kitto by Fuki as the ending theme sounds ill-fitting as a slow ballad. Yes, it’s calming in a way but it feels like in the aftermath of seeing God whatsoever. With the old Hand Shakers cast retained, lots of new ones joined this season that none I recognized. That bad, huh? They include Katsumi Fukuhara as Yukiya (Touya in Isekai Wa Smartphone To Tomo Ni), Akane Fujita as Haruka (Sagiri in Eromanga-sensei), Daisuke Namikawa as Nielsen (Rock in Black Lagoon), Atsumi Tanezaki as Hana (Miu in Blend S), Inori Minase as Senri (Chino in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka), Takuya Eguchi as Gai (Koikawa in Mushibugyou), Yoshinosuke Yamagami as Masataka, Toshiki Masuda as Midori (Kirishima in Boku No Hero Academia), Shunsuke Takeuchi as Seba (Yamato in Nanbaka) and Minami Takahashi as Tamari (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma).

Overall, the sequel is still as disappointing as the prequel. The producers tried to make an original anime out of the Hand Shakers but I guess it is very certain that God didn’t grant their wish and turn this into a hit masterpiece. Boring plot and characters is more than enough to turn anyone off and drop this series like a rock. It must be amazing for me to stick through till the end thanks to all the thick skin of stubbornness that I have accumulated in watching animes like this over the years. Oh well, if they decided to surprise us and do a third season, then I have to admire their perseverance and aversion to failure. Because like Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Only those who dare fail greatly can ever achieve greatly”. “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing”, said Henry Ford. “Failure is good as long as it doesn’t become a habit”, said Michael Elsner. But still, it doesn’t take away the fact that this season is really wack and doesn’t mesh…

Main race is over. Some win, some lose. But if you aren’t satiated by the thrill of horse girls racing, be glad to know there are special extra episodes, Uma Musume: Pretty Derby – BNW No Chikai for you to bet extra money and quench that gambling thirst. Oops, I mean fulfil the excitement of watching these horse girls locked in close battle derbies. As its name implies, Team Spica isn’t going to be the main stars of these special episodes but a group of horse girls remembering their promise to run together always. That promise is put to the test when they have a fall out. Nothing like a little drama to put that friendship back together again via a big race, eh? Oh the power of (horse) friendship!

Special 1
Team Spica continue their usual training. Special Week is aiming to run at Summer Dream Trophy because she made a fool out of herself at the Winter Dream Trophy. Before the race started, she was talking to her rival and before you know it, they flag off and she was stranded. Trainer comes in with good news for his girls. They will be supervisors for the cultural festival! Uhm, actually doesn’t that mean he drew to short end of the stick? We see Team Spica going around to supervise, partially I feel it’s an excuse to introduce some of the other horse girls that will not make their cameo any more. But the focus is on Biwa Hayahide, Narita Taishin and Winning Ticket (the trio collectively known as BNW). They notice their strained relationship. When they go talk to Rudolf about it, she shows them a clip from the Japan Derby. A very close race between BNW that was eventually won by Ticket. It solidified their friendship-cum-rivalry. But now what? She is organizing a relay race between them. Team Spica isn’t particularly interested until Rudolf mentions the winning team gets free sweets for the whole year! You bet they’re going on a recruitment spree! While Hayahide accepts, Taishin and Ticket are not interested. I know some of Team Spica is desperate but resorting to dumb tricks that only make a fool out of themselves? Definitely not working. Timely reminder that Suzuka is currently away overseas so she calls Special Week to keep in touch. Hearing about this problem, this reminds them about the time Trainer lectured them about their rivalry during their training camp’s mock race. It gave them a lot of motivation. Now Special Week knows what to do. And that is to say the same exact lines from Trainer to Ticket! Word for word! So what happens when she finishes? Ticket not impressed… Oh sh*t… Better think fast… Because this is so comical, Ticket starts laughing. So it’s revealed perhaps their strained relationship originated from a race where Hayahide and Ticket was running. They were supposed to win but lost. Yeah. That. Taishin was out on an injury. Anyway, Special Week now in her own words mentions about her unfulfilled promise to Suzuka but she still loves her and hopes to fulfil that. Can the same be said for Ticket? With that, the next day Ticket joins them to help recruit members for the relay race.

Special 2
Scarlet goes around to interview the teams. Ticket’s team is doing fine. Even got the motto for motivation: Sweets into our mouth! Hayahide’s team are very technical. In a serious strategy meeting now, huh? Taishin’s team… Yeah, everybody is all over the place. Even if they put up some fake delusional spirit, it’s more of style than substance. And with special effects! The clincher: They don’t even know where Taishin is and think this is okay to get them running for the relay race! Scarlet wants to report this to Rudolf but seeing she has already given a good impression to the press, oh yeah, everything is going perfect! Scarlet finds Taishin who is just being a zombie to her Smartphone. Talking to her, looks like she’s not interested. Yeah, some trauma flashback. Whatever. Taishin still won’t enter and is considering retiring. Scarlet then tells Narita Brian about this and in turn she talks to Hayahide and Ticket. Yeah, remember those good times together? Later Brian talks to Taishin. Still won’t change her mind? Brian mentions about her own devastating lost that made her think deep she wanted to quit. She gives Taishin a charm and hopes she’ll come. Everyone’s waiting. Race day is here and Taishin is nowhere to be seen! Scarlet getting close to panicking. Better set out and look for that girl. Don’t want to fail spectacularly in Rudolf’s eyes. After all, she promised her she’ll see to it this race’s success till the end. And yeah, Broye is also attending this event. Don’t screw up now. How not to because Hayahide and Ticket are even cool about making Sun Visor as Taishin’s substitute! They think this is really going to fool everyone, huh? The relay race begins and I guess that’s why it’s a relay. So we have time for some drama and for a certain someone to make it… Anyway, this race isn’t confined to the stadium but across town. That’s why it’s just weird that they have to run through a train crossing?! It feels like Special Week got the raw end of the stick and needs to wait for the train to pass???!!! Some call it unfair, some call it strategy… Of course the anchors of the teams are BNW. They are interviewed about their chances so they hijack the mic to tell Taishin to come run. This is her place to run. Everyone’s waiting for you here! Yeah, enough to change her mind and start running back. Good thing she’s watching the TV, eh? And meanwhile another race is going on: Oguri Cap trying to finish 1000 bowls of ramen???!!! Damn, she’s eating faster than the ramen can be replenished!!!

Special 3
Thank goodness it must be a short train since Special Week is able to make up time. Because it won’t be fun if they turn it into a 2 horse race. As the interviewer interviews the leaders, Hayahide and Ticket try to change the topic. However she tries to interview ‘Taishin’ and is stumped she is staying silent. She is even going so far as to unhood her. It’ll be over if Sun Visor is busted. But thankfully Taishin arrives in time. I’m sure everybody is confused about Taishin not being at her starting position but what the heck, the real deal is here so let’s continue with the race. However there is another emergency. Hayahide suddenly becomes sick. Probably searching for that charm during the rain was the culprit. Oh Taishin, too late to blame yourself and trying to take responsibility. It’s already done. With Hayahide unable to run, Rudolf makes an announcement that the race will end when the relay reaches the anchors. That will be the finish line. Everyone is disappointed. But don’t worry. We’re not here to cheat your money. Because Brian will step in to replace Hayahide. She is after all her sister. Technically her name still covers for her team. So we see a very close race between the trio that has Taishin winning, Ticket in second and Brian coming in third. However! The judges start deliberating. Because Gold Ship went off course and accidentally took a short cut, hence Taishin’s team is disqualified. So does this mean the win goes to Ticket? Nope. When Special Week missed passing her sash to Vodka, Vodka took something else to replace it. Disqualified! So it’s Brian’s win? Also nope. Because McQueen is accused of blocking her opponent’s path. So… Nobody wins?! Yeah, Rudolf confirms it. Damn, is this the most disappointing race? But don’t worry. Even though BNW was unable to make their full proper appearance here, be happy to know they will be racing in the upcoming Osaka Hai race! I guess everybody can overlook this farce and look forward to this one. Probably Oguri Cap is the only legit winner after finishing her thousand bowls. Yeah, she looks like super pregnant… Finally we get to see BNW race together at Osaka Hai. Another close fight between the trio that has Hayahide winning. Great race. Won’t lose next time. But of course.

Run Of The Mill But Keep Running
Luckily I didn’t bet any money on any one of the teams so I didn’t lose. Haha! Anyway, these extra episodes don’t really add anything much to the main storyline as seen in the TV series. Because with Suzuka away overseas, it’s like the rivalry between her and Special Week is put on hiatus until the former returns. With that, they focus on BNW and if you’re a casual viewer like me, you’re wondering why the heck? Who the heck are they? Well, not like it is going to make any difference if they focus on other horse girls. Because again there are loads of other horse girls introduced here that don’t matter that it makes you wonder if it is actually relevant or not. I don’t remember if they are introduced in the TV series and even if they were, they’re just insignificant at least as far as this series go. My conspiracy theory is that there are many great race horses throughout the years in the Japanese horse racing derby. So in order not to have a few being left out, hence their cameo here just for some sort of tribute. There, here is the name of your favourite horse personified as a horse girl in this anime. Happy? Now, be gone!

Back to the main BNW trio themselves, I fail to see anything that would have made these special episodes, uhm, special. Sure, they have some sort of failure in the past. Hey, you can’t win every damn race you enter, right? One failure was enough to give Taishin some trauma and then it strained their relationship. Then plot convenience commands that they should get back together for the greater good because there are lots of fans who are still supporting her and them. Also probably lots of other people betting lots of money on her! Haha! So Taishin, you’re still young and healthy, don’t you even think of retiring after one moral zapping race lost! If I had to bet on one of the team, I would have chosen Ticket, because you know, it’s in her name, baby! With a name like that, how could you lose?! Oh wait. She didn’t win… Thank goodness I’m not addicted to gambling in any forms. Especially horse racing. On a trivial note, initially I saw the title as BMW! It would have been weird if those horse girls had that automaker’s speed and power for a race… Too weird.

Overall, fans of the series as well as the game should appreciate these extra episodes better. Casual viewers like me won’t find anything special and wonder what the fuss is all about. We’re probably here just to see the novelty of so many different horse girls and the strange racing cosplay because it is mind boggling how Hayahide, the one whose outfit looks so heavily dressed is the one who won the Osaka Hai race. I still believe if the horse girls wear appropriate attire like human female athletes, they would have run much faster. And Hayahide might have won by a few centimetres instead of a close photo finish. Just saying. Well, I also sometimes believe that even if you win, you still have to go out and win in style. Same for those who lose. Hey, at least you lose in style. Everybody wins. Horse girls win because they get to race with each other again. The fans win because they are entertained by all the horse girl racing action. Sponsors win because it brings in more revenue. Punters win because they made money from all the bets. Uhm, except maybe those who bet on the wrong horse and lost heavily. BNW: Bet, Nit, Wager…

Radiant

July 28, 2019

How often it is for an anime to adapt manfra? That’s French manga. Japan has taken countless of French stories and adapted them into anime like The Count Of Monte Cristo being adapted as Gankutsuou (don’t even get me started over that countless Jeanne d’Arc stories). But I think Radiant is the first that it is based on a manfra. So I suppose that is a big achievement, no? We’ll have to see if this ‘foreigner’ can live up to what Japanese manga expects since some Chinese and Korean manhwa do have got their adaptations but French? That’s really got to be the first. It must really have something.

As narrated, monsters known as Nemesis fall from the sky. When humans touch them, they are permanently cursed. But those who survive obtain magic known as Fantasia and they are the only ones who can fight against Nemesis. Even so, these people face great discrimination among the other normal humans for they fear it is a punishment from God or the wrath of mother nature. This is the story of a young boy who strives to become the greatest sorcerer ever. Why does this sound like Black Clover?

Episode 1
In the peaceful Pompo Hills, Seth tries to show off to Tommy his magic. Since nothing works, he tries his own original magic that of course goes berserk and causes the nearby elephant cows to rampage into town. Thanks to Alma, the damage is put to a stop. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. The townspeople blame Alma for bringing back luck despite it is clearly Seth’s fault. In fact, people don’t really have a favourable view on sorcerers and blame them for bringing bad luck. Seth would have wanted to give them his own piece of mind but Alma doesn’t want to provoke the situation any further and brings him home. Of course he gets reprimanded to clean the place and the usual lecture that if he wants to be treated like an adult, then act like one. Apparently being the rebellious kid he is, Seth doesn’t really learn from his lesson and continue to experiment with his magic. Worst case scenario happens as a Nemesis Egg lands right smack in the middle of town. I guess there’s a first time for everything since this town has never had a Nemesis attack before. Seth gears up to go tackle the Nemesis menace. Nothing really works until the Nemesis hatches out from its egg. You bet it is way stronger than Seth. Seth might be useless against this thing but when it comes to protecting Tommy, he has no qualms doing so. After letting Tommy escape, Seth is in danger of being squashed. How can he still think of showing others sorcerers are good when he lacks the strength to get out of his predicament? But do not fear. At such times, a hero will pop up to save the day, right? Here comes macho old guy Don Bossman, the leader of Bravery Quartet.

Episode 2
Bravery Quartet looks like a bunch of weirdoes with their own poses but they easily bind the Nemesis even if it is temporary. With cool motivational words, Seth wants to join him and fight Nemesis. So Don tells Seth to keep the Nemesis at bay while his gang go warn others to evacuate. And so Seth lets the Nemesis chase him around town while thinking of ways trying to outsmart it. Meanwhile we see Bravery Quartet’s true colours. They are actually bad sorcerers and are taking this chance to rob the bank when everyone has evacuated. Too bad the bank people haven’t yet. After rounding everyone up and stealing all the cash, Seth comes in to report he managed to restrain the Nemesis (how the heck does Seth know they are at the bank?). He is shocked to learn their real identity and is really disappointed because he believed in them. Don tells this naïve kid the harsh truth that sorcerers are blamed for everything. They only ask for help when threatened by Nemesis and once that is done, they hand you over to the Inquisition. Yeah, those people even prove that right now blaming them that Nemesis won’t come here had sorcerers been here in the first place. So are these people still worth saving? Luckily, the justice is still strong in Seth. He doesn’t accept their pathetic ways but when try to fight back, he is put down by their great magic. Bravery Quartet escapes because it’s time for the Nemesis to blow everyone to smithereens. Don’t worry people. Seth is the main character so you bet he is going to get up and protect them all with his awesome magic.

Episode 3
Seth dealt some damage to the Nemesis but not enough. As usual, had not Alma come back in time to finally put an end to this, it would have been over for this series. Seth recuperates back home as Alma explains she apprehended Bravery Quartet and at least Tommy gave his thanks. With Seth still bent on defeating every Nemesis so humans can get along, Alma talks about the legendary Nemesis Nest called Radiant. That is where all Nemesis Eggs come from but of course nobody has ever found it. You bet Seth wants to go find and destroy it. This brings back some old memories for Alma. She has no recollection of her past and the most she could remember was waking up after a fiery fight with a Nemesis. There was a young boy named Seth with her and the doctor mistaken her to be her son but as far as she is concerned, she has none. So as she travels to find her identity, she has Seth tag along. He was always a burden and the only reason she never tossed him away was the belief he is a link to her past. One day Alma went faraway to hunt Nemesis and left Seth alone. Some kids bullied him and unwittingly he unleashed his Fantasia. The townspeople wanted to burn this cursed boy but luckily Alma came back in time to shoo those heartless bastards away. It was then she realized how small and weak he was and took upon herself the role to not let anyone treat him like a villain again. Now Seth decides to set out on his journey and he thought Alma was going to stop him. I guess she knew he wouldn’t listen so she hands him some of her stuffs as parting gifts. One last big emotional hug before Seth gets going.

Episode 4
Doc sees Alma to get parts of the Nemesis. He sent his assistant, Melie in advance to tell her but apparently she never arrived. Seth has the bad luck of crashing into the Inquisition ship of Captain Dart Dragunov. He puts up a fight before being put in a black silver cage that nullifies his Fantasia. Seth regrets not listening to Alma properly. He was told to head to the town of Artemis and find a sorcerer named Yaga who might have an idea about Radiant. Seth meets Melie and her familiar Boobrie who are also captured. Doc then comes by but is also captured since Melie revealed the reason of her capture: She was tasked to retrieve Nemesis part (a crime under existing laws). Seth continues to brag how he is going to find Radiant and defeat all Nemesis while Doc isn’t so optimistic since he is more of a researcher and doesn’t want to die. Thanks to Boobrie stealing the guard’s keys, they are free. However Seth needs to get his stuffs back. He does but gets ambushed by the guards. As they put up a fight, Seth is impressed with Melie’s defensive magic. But when they are cornered again, Melie suddenly changes character into a badass girl. When in extreme stressful situations, her character will completely flip. Dragunov has got Melie in his point blank range but Seth uses his magic to bust them out of here. In no time, they finally reach Artemis.

Episode 5
In Artemis, Doc rushes Seth to be a citizen in hopes of ridding him. The ceremony is initiated by the head of Artemis, Master Lord Majesty. After Seth signs the contract, looks like he has also take on huge debts. Karma backfires because since Doc is Seth’s guardian, he will also share the debts! They go round looking for Yaga but Seth and Melie only incur more debts. Yeah, everything here costs money! A strange wizard approaches them and is willing to tell them were Yaga is if Seth answers a few questions. Seth gives his honest opinions on Artemis. As for why Majesty ‘extorts’ from his citizens, he shall see the answer now as the alert is sounded. The Inquisition’s ship is nearby and would have initiated a full scale attack had not they received orders from HQ to back down and not risk war with these powerful sorcerers. Majesty has used the money to pay off these people. Wouldn’t that make them come back for more? Anyway, this is where the money goes and that is why Artemis is the last sanctuary sorcerers go. No discriminations or persecutions. The wizard suggests Seth live here and protect this paradise. However Seth still wants to find and destroy Radiant. This might be a safe place but the rest of the world. If they want to help others, they must change it. If no one will do it, he will. With that, the wizard reveals himself to be Yaga. Hardly surprising unless you’re as dense as Seth and Melie. Dragunov reports his failure to capture Seth to General Torque. He is ordered to keep a close eye on his movements.

Episode 6
Because Yaga tells Seth to get stronger if he is to teach anything, Seth bugs Melie. Too bad she can’t explain well and thinks Doc can do the job. Hate to break your futile flirting with Kettle Café’s Melba (her herbal tea sucks, by the way – and she has a hand puppet as her father!) but Doc was initially reluctant to teach Seth anything at all. Until Melba notes about all the kindness and that crap that Doc wants to show off. But since Seth fails, Melie gets desperate. She turns into her crazy side and starts attacking! This is sure going to rake up the debts with all the buildings damaged. When a slab threatens to fall on her, Seth could suddenly pull off basic magic to save her. Why do I have a feeling his gloves are the one suppressing his power? So with Seth a bit stronger, as per agreed, Yaga takes him as his disciple. I don’t think strict hell training is going to scare him. On a side note, Seth lives with Melie since he can’t sleep anywhere for free and Doc refuses to take any more debts. Oh sure, conveniently she has an unused room in her home.

Episode 7
Looks like Seth still has a long way to go from Yaga’s training. I’m surprised Melba’s bad coffee isn’t going to be a running joke because Doc tastes her latest brew this one tastes really good! Suddenly Doc is kidnapped by a tentacle monster! Don’t worry. It’s not Nemesis. I guess this Kraken is classified as an animal that lives in Artemis’ sewers. Yeah, it likes coffee… Seth and Melie head down to rescue him but all their plans backfire. Yeah, somehow Doc is the one falling into their traps. This guy still alive after being dragged by Kraken for so long? So before the young ones can give up, time to remember what quitting is not in Seth’s vocabulary. The next time they face Kraken, looks like Doc has become acquainted with it! They’re coffee buddies! Seth’s plan is to dump a cauldron of Melba’s coffee onto himself. This makes him irresistible as Kraken swallows him whole. Despite the mind boggling nice coffee aroma, it tastes like sh*t. Even Kraken spits everything out. Is he going to get some stomach discomfort? Seth and Melie combine their power to take Kraken down but before that, Doc protects Kraken! Don’t hurt my friend! Devi? I guess that’s that. If Kraken is Doc’s friend, it is also Seth’s friend. Doc returns to normal life and he thought he could have more of Melba’s good coffee. Then the truth is revealed. It is actually her dad who makes it. Yeah, from now on, he will be making coffee for this loser. Doc is so the biggest loser.

Episode 8
All the training has wrecked Seth’s gloves. So Yaga makes him wear special black silver gloves that restricts any use of magic. Seth is unhappy but is made to think that there is more to this world than just power. If he takes off the gloves, he will be expelled. Seth and co are called by Majesty. Yeah, they have the highest accumulated debts ever in history. Seth, I don’t think that’s a record to be proud of. They must pay this up now or… Oh well, I guess it’s hard labour for them. Seth and Melie clean Artemis’ top. Then they spot Bravery Quartet trying to break in. Looks like they escaped from their low security imprisonment and why are they only in underwear? Because it gives them magic! Seriously. Don tries to make a deal to help free Seth from the gloves in exchange he lets this slide. But Seth refuses. Don then tries to sweet talk him about his potential strength and that the strongest in this world only gets what they want. The resisting force is still strong with Seth. He sure wants power but not use it like they pathetically did. Time to square off. Seth might have no magic but he uses Melie’s explosive magic as springboard for a dropkick on Don. When Don tries to take Melie hostage, Boobrie pecks him off. Don would have fallen to his death had not Seth swoop down to save him. But not after breaking his gloves. Later he apologizes to Yaga for breaking his promise but Yaga saw the whole thing and let this slide. He also repaired his gloves with some modifications and hints why Alma made him wear it all along. Because sorcerers cannot use magic with such gloves, those doing so bare handed will be considered a heretic. Alma’s foresight saved him from unwanted attention. It is discovered that Majesty setup this so he could capture Bravery Quartet via cheap means instead of deploying the army.

Episode 9
Dragunov’s team has been stationed near Artemis for so long that they are running out of provisions. Not if Dragunov can do some fishing and cook for his men. A newbie is starting to feel disillusioned with him as he thought being an Inquisition would be a more glamorous job. Soon they receive word that another Inquisition team led by Captain Edmund has been damaged after a fight with a Nemesis. They are to assist and repair the ship scheduled for HQ. Edmund boasts about his skills that drove the Nemesis away and also shows Dragunov the evil sorcerer prisoners he captured. Women, children and the old? As they fix the ship, the newbie thinks of requesting a transfer when the Nemesis returns. However it ignores the Inquisitions and head for the nearest town where there are lots of people. Edmund is relieved they don’t have to deal with this and doesn’t care if the people gets killed. But it’s a different story for Dragunov. He and his men’s goal is to take out threats that threaten the lives of powerless people. Hence taking out Nemesis is the same as weeding out evil sorcerers. Dragunov’s team easily defeats the Nemesis and it is only so since somebody else has already fought it and put a deep wound on it. When Dragunov returns, he arrests Edmund. His men has checked the prisoners and they lack any markings that indicate they are evil sorcerers. He knows it is easy to round these harmless people up and then accuse them of being sorcerers. He realizes Edmund has been using his false achievements to get where he is and will report this to Torque who will then judge him. The newbie has seen this side of Dragunov and decides to stay on his team.

Episode 10
Majesty throws a festival so foreigners can spend the cash. But the highlight is the broomstick race. Although the prize money is high, so is the participating fee. Seth contemplates on entering but this arrogant jerk, Nick who is double winners of this race starts badmouthing Alma. Seth won’t let it slide (excuse for this episode to air some recycled footage of Seth’s parting with Alma) and will win this race to prove Alma is the strongest. So as the race begins, Seth is put at the lowest odds. His broom might not be the most high-tech and expensive like Nick but it’s filled with Alma’s love! Majesty plays cheat by entering the race with his giant spaceship! Well, technically you keep the money if you win your own race. So with him blasting other competitors out, Seth puts a stop to this foul move. Thanks to Yaga’s training, he has gotten better and forces that greedy cat on eject mode. With the race entering the final stretch, Nick is in the lead but Seth is catching up. Desperate, he uses his turbo mode and blows his lackeys away. Although he reaches the finish line, Seth is the real ‘winner’ since he went to save those lackeys. Hey, I thought all those who participate wear a parachute? Whatever. It’s just to show that Alma’s teachings are never wrong. And Seth can only later dream he won the race because now Doc is once again exasperated for the increase in debt. He had to pay for his participation, you know. It’s not like taking on another debt would make a difference, right? Oh Seth… I understand money is of no value to him but sometimes…

Episode 11
Doc needs to find a job that makes a quick buck fast. So definitely he won’t take this Nemesis hunting job. Not if Seth and Melie wants to take it up. He tries to give excuses until Melba notes how brave it is for one to take up this job. Yeah. Love makes you do silly things. They make their way to Rumble Town, supposedly a noisy and industrial area but it looks more like a ghost town than densely populated. They stumble into that Nemesis but realizes there are 2 of them. A short bout before some pied piper calls them back. Man, there are hundreds of them now! Seth chases them but is attacked by a weird sorcerer, Grimm. He wants to know Seth’s goal in chasing those Nemesis as those Nemesis are his. They may be a clue to his past. Seth is not obliged to answer him so they fight and Grimm is much powerful than him. Melie helps out but the commotion will certainly draw attention and that is what Grimm dislikes. He retreats and as long as they are connected to that Nemesis, they will meet again. The Inquisition sees this and reports to the captain of the area, Konrad de Marbourg. He is happy he can go sorcerer hunting.

Episode 12
Konrad is shocked to see Dragunov, his former superior here. Konrad tries to assert he is now the boss here and won’t take any of his orders but instead Dragunov plays it cool and it is Konrad who gets impatient and loses his cool. Seth and co see Zeda who requested the hunt. He explains that his son, Taj had come into contact with a Nemesis. Thankfully he survived but he is now sneezing purple snot. Is this the curse? Because they are immigrants and highly discriminated against, nobody will believe their story and if they tell their son is infected, what would others think? Because Seth is determined to see this through, Taj shows him the place where he saw the Nemesis. Inside this building is a large tree with feathers. Melie mentions about Source Nemesis, the original Nemesis that could curse others. It can also create smaller clones called Echo Nemesis but those do not have the ability to curse and serve more like scouts. Then the ground starts shaking. Doc deduces that the constant boring of the land made it unstable. Hence some parts had no people because they were ordered to move. Seth has an idea. After everyone is evacuated, they observe from the sky and wait for the Nemesis to come out. True enough, they do. They use their magic to trap and capture it. The more Nemesis they capture alive, the more those money signs in their eyes begin to flash. Yeah, not only their debts will be gone, they’ll be filthy rich! Until Grimm destroys the trap. Like, WTF?! If he isn’t interested in them then why destroy their catch?! Luckily as he escapes, Melie has put a mark on him.

Episode 13
Doc wonders if Grimm is behind the disappearance of immigrants too. When Seth asks him about the marks on Nemesis, he explains when it glows, it means they are being controlled by sorcerers called Domitors. Dragunov hears rumours of the immigrants being blamed for everything. He knows this is Konrad’s doing and that his target are the immigrants. He will not interfere but warns if he is getting Nemesis get away while being so preoccupied with his goal to protect citizens (apparently immigrants don’t fall under the category of citizens). He shows him a letter that Torque and his Thaumaturges will be coming here since that sorcerer kid they are targeting is believed to be here. Looks like Konrad is definitely hiding something. He knows he can’t hide it any longer and will proceed to his final phase of his plan by using the sorcerers to create a chaos. Seth and Melie visit Taj’s house but it is destroyed. A passer-by says the Inquisitions have taken them away as immigrants and sorcerers are being accused of plotting terrorism. Konrad then rallies his people to cooperate with him to witch hunt immigrants to protect their town or risk repeating that tragedy 15 years ago. Doc hides from the mob and stumbles upon an abandoned home that serves as a nest for Nemesis. An Inquisition catches him now that he has seen the secret. The mob tries to burn Taj but luckily Seth comes to their rescue. The people retreat as they are scared, claiming they are only following orders from Konrad. Learning that Taj’s family are arrested by the Inquisitions for sheltering an infected, Seth vows to take Konrad and his men down. He downplays crazy Melie’s logic to hurt the people as they are only afraid. If they attack them, everything will be blown beyond repair. It won’t take long for Seth to encounter Konrad. Because he orders his men to fire on the district despite the people have not yet been evacuated. Because some sacrifices are needed to protect the peace.

Episode 14
Dragunov helps Konrad to defeat Seth. He has to give up because they see Doc as a prisoner. Oh my, he looks so old. Did they suck out his life force?! With the riots against the immigrants happening, Konrad uses this chance to lie to the public by blaming Seth as the one siding with the immigrants and hiding a horde of Nemesis. So to eradicate this quickly, he will destroy them all. This means trapping normal people in the area and sacrificing them too. Seth uses his Fantasia to beat up Konrad. However he orders his troops to fire. Grimm absorbs the shells. He asks if Seth knows about the Domitor. Since he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, consider Grimm his unexpected ally. Speaking of the Domitor, Hameline makes her move as she unleashes her Echo Nemesis to attack the people. Konrad wants to settle the score with Seth and reveals that Hameline works under him. The Echo Nemesis run rampage. Sorcerers and Inquisitions put aside their differences to save the people. Hameline has summoned a whirlwind and intends to crash the bell into the ground to cause a massive ground collapse.

Episode 15
The bell crashes into the Inquisition’s HQ. You mad, Konrad? Cue for Hameline to tell her sad story 15 years ago. She was part of a group of tainted children gathered to fight Nemesis. However they were thrown into prison and the people hated them for just that. Only the kind Major Oxumare treated them nicely and gave them a flute to play to ignore the mockery. However, Konrad who was a mere soldier at that time, detested all that. So one night he let the children escape prison. However he also told the crowd about their escape and hence began a witch hunt. By the time Oxumare intervened, all but Hameline died. When actual Nemesis dropped into Rumble Town, Konrad used this chance to have Oxumare put Hameline in the frontlines. But it is just a ploy for him to kill him. Scared Hameline fled and at a lost, started playing her flute. The Nemesis became attracted to her. At the same time, the Inquisitions bombed and let an entire district fell from the sky. Konrad continued to blame immigrants for this and he himself admits all that with the excuse of protecting this town. Hameline accuses him of accepting her offer when she said she would help rid of all immigrants. Though, Konrad denies this. But Konrad continues to admit he is willing to sacrifice more people to keep the town safe. Naturally the townspeople turn against him and think Hameline will be their saviour. Sorry to disappoint. She isn’t here to save them. She’s going to kill them. She considers all of them as the same as Konrad. Accomplices in murder. They never changed. Even if they said they weren’t around during that time or try to wash their hands off this, she views this all the same. Because they don’t want to shoulder the responsibility, they picked a leader to decide for them. Hence, she is going to destroy Rumble Town and lived for this day. Her destruction put on hold since Grimm has a question for her. Meanwhile Seth blames it all on Konrad for this mess. Epic power battle with Seth now even stronger without using Fantasia. I guess we’re tired of hearing Konrad blabbing about him being the impregnable wall of Rumble Town so here comes Seth’s Skull Burst to break down this immoral wall. XD.

Episode 16
With Konrad defeated, Seth goes to stop Hameline. Dragunov vows to arrest him after that. When Seth meets up with Melie, she is sad that Doc had died. However Seth shows Doc has turned into a baby! Seth stumbled into Doc’s corpse and bursting out from the stomach was this baby! Cute cuddling put on hold with Grimm telling them he doesn’t intend to sink with Rumble Town unless they have a plan to stop Hameline. Seth believes he can do so without killing her and Grimm would gladly lend his assistance. As they fly up the clock tower, Hameline unleashes Nemesis to attack them. In some strange burst of power, Seth is sucked inside the clock tower whereby he meets this strange guy with horns, Piodon. Melie and Grimm fight Hameline. Melie manages to seal Hameline’s Fantasia in a giant lamp while Grimm goes on a Nemesis killing spree. Piodon wonders about Seth’s strange seal that makes him unable to use Fantasia efficiently. He offers to get rid of it but asks whom Seth is fighting for. Is it the weak? The infected? The Inquisition? Seth can’t stay to chat so he leaves but thanks him for saving him earlier. Piodon believes they will meet soon again because they are family. Because of Hameline’s strong bond with the Nemesis, she could combine her powers with them. This means, Melie’s lamp is unable to absorb anymore of her Fantasia and Grimm’s giant sword has reach its limits. But don’t worry. Seth is here.

Episode 17
As Seth and Hameline fight, the latter accuses him of helping his enemies. Even when Seth says he wants to protect the people, this doesn’t bode well with her. She doesn’t care about the people and will let them die. Seth points out she is only doing the same things Konrad did. She does have a point about the people will never acknowledge him and will only use him for their own purpose. People’s attitude will never change. Despite Seth disagreeing with her, he points out he is the same as her. Although people treated him badly and at times he wanted to destroy everything, he refuses to become the monster they painted him. Seth overwhelms her but refuses to kill her or hand her over to the Inquisition. He wants her to join him in his journey to find and destroy Radiant. Only then everyone can happily live together when there are no more Nemesis. Conversation interrupted with Santori making his divine entrance. So people like them don’t use Fantasia but Miracles? Is there a difference? Must be the power being bestowed from God. Anyway, Santori wants Seth to be handed over as he lists down all his crimes that ranges from killing, stealing, etc. Seth doesn’t know all that but can’t help feel familiar with those murdered names. Hameline then takes Seth hostage in hopes to negotiate. However Santori rejects her demands. She attacks Santori so as to buy time for Seth to run away. She leaves her Nemesis siblings in his care. Bye. Seth would have wanted to stay behind to save her had not Melie and Grimm take him away and not let Hameline’s wish go to waste. Sadly, Torque kills her.

Episode 18
Seth tries to take on Torque but Von Teppes puts him down. Before he can kill Seth, Piodon did something that turns Seth into some monster that oozes out tremendous Fantasia. He easily pulverizes Teppes. Torque strikes him down and in the midst of the chaos, Grimm and Melie whisk him away. Grimm then shows some dimensional coffin where he put all the missing people. Those who were infected or witnessed Konrad’s atrocities are kept here and hence many thought people were missing from the Nemesis. But to get off Rumble Town, looks like Artemis sent a train to save them. Thaumaturges prioritizes saving the injured of Rumble Town and hence ‘allowed’ Artemis’ train to escape amidst the fireworks distraction. Seth is inside his own consciousness, blaming himself he couldn’t save Hameline. He also accuses Piodon of doing something but the latter explains had he not, he and his friends would have died. Seth laments that in his monster form, he couldn’t tell between friend or foe. Everything that Seth did was on his own. All Piodon did was to help him get in touch with the powers and memories he doesn’t know of yet. Then the revelation that we aren’t too surprised: Piodon is Seth’s older brother. After a week, Seth finally wakes up in Melie’s room. Grimm explains of Torque’s ability to nullify Fantasia. Since Seth’s arm was hit by it, it cannot be healed by any magic and he might never use Fantasia again. Seth doesn’t think it’s bad since he realizes all he is capable of is reckless violence. Rumble Town is under construction and since Konrad is gone, it will be better than before. Oh Seth, still blaming yourself that it was the Inquisition who saved the day? A bit of good news, Hameline’s Nemesis brothers are safe, living in Artemis’ facility.

Episode 19
With Seth’s heroics all over the news in Artemis, he is a hero. Too bad that gloom face that says it all. Because the news labels Hameline as an evil sorcerer. Oh, how will Melba ever love Doc now? Oh well, she finds him adorable and he has more skinship than ever he has of her in his life. Too bad her papa changes his diapers… Doc uses his secret stash of cash to buy an expensive potion to grow up. At least, he is now the body of a young boy. Just in time for the party Majesty throws to celebrate Seth’s heroics. But you know, Seth is still gloomy over his failure. Even when everyone sings praises of him, he denies of being a hero. F*cking Seth, still so down over Hameline’s death. Like, WTF?! Like he needs Nick to challenge him to some strength competition. Not in the mood. But Nick crosses the line by badmouthing Hameline so here comes a great sucker punch in his face. Seth snaps about many other sorcerers out there that shares Hameline’s tragic fate. That’s why he must destroy Radiant as soon as possible. He sounds disappointed that with so many sorcerers here, none know anything of Radiant. More sulking until Alma shows up to give him her usual beating. She wouldn’t have known had not Melie contacted her. She gives him a letter from Taj. He thanks him for what he did. Everyone now is helping to rebuild Rumble Town. He hopes to meet again. Seth might not been able to save some but he did change those he touched. Even back in Pompo Hills, everyone treats Alma nicer than before. Also, Melie disregarded her own wounds to nurse Seth back when he was in ‘coma’. With Seth’s blues blown away like that, now he goes around thanking those who helped him. At least better than moping around.

Episode 20
Thaumaturges discuss about Konrad’s actions have led to people’s trust in the Inquisition dipping. Teppes has been removed and punished for letting emotions get the better of him. Then there’s the case of Dragunov too… Speaking of him, his unit is facing food shortage as they had to give theirs to Rumble Town to help it rebuild. So hunting a few wild animals didn’t yield anything. Even calling towns for help, they are turned away. Yeah, nobody likes the Inquisition as much as before. When the newbie asks Dragunov about the things they do because at this rate the world will not get better, Dragunov replies that despite doing the right thing doesn’t guarantee good results. The newbie suggests asking from the town they saved from Edmund and surprisingly they are more than glad to help. So everything isn’t wasted. Kindness goes a long way. We take a detour as Melba’s coffee is getting thinner? Sorry, lack of coffee beans. Thanks to all the coffee and other supplies being rerouted to Rumble Town. At this rate her shop might close down. But what could me more concerning for Doc than her? Devi! Yeah, dried squid is so dried without coffee! Seth tries to help but after a few blunders, he gets it right. Only, he took out a loan from Majesty for the beans. Better enjoy the world’s most expensive coffee. Dragunov has got a personal letter from Torque. His vice knows it is an invitation to join Thaumaturges. At first Dragunov didn’t want to accept because he was worried about his men. But looks like he knows they’ll be alright. Just like Seth, he believes he needs to leave to protect those around him. His men will wait for his return one day.

Episode 21
Alma wants Seth to bring him to Yaga to talk about Radiant. However that guy went into hiding as he doesn’t want to see her but left a note. It says to go to Caislean Merlin, the capital of Cyfandir and meet the knight sorcerers as they are a bunch of people who are also looking for Radiant. But beware. The Inquisition has begun to hunt them down in hopes of regaining their reputation. Of course Doc will not go with Seth this time and doesn’t want to die again. He’s got enough problems on his hands already. Friends you say? Doc tells him straight that he is going to fight even stronger and crazier enemies. Is he willing to put Melie in danger? As he thinks about it, I doubt Majesty is here to give him any solid advice but a reminder to pay his debts. Because if he’s dead, he’ll still has to repay them! Does he have connections with heaven? Just then, many Nemesis Eggs plummet into Artemis. The sorcerers go to battle them but with Seth ‘frozen’, Nick mocks him for being a fake. Oh no. Seth, are you pitying Nemesis now?! Because Hameline said they are not all monsters. But with an egg dropping in to where Melie is, Seth ‘borrows’ Nick’s broom to rescue her before she becomes Nemesis chow. They both take it down but a moment when Melie let her guard down, the Nemesis strikes again. This scene traumatically reminds Seth of Hameline’s fate. He pushes out of harm’s way and takes the brunt. He is being dragged deep into the waters and this is when his berserk mode unleashed. This time the Nemesis is blown to smithereens. When he comes to, he is sad he once again lost control. Now that Seth is determined, the next morning he left a note to Melie saying that he has left since he can’t be bringing her along to his dangerous journey. Take care. He left with Alma and didn’t say goodbye to everyone either in fear he might want to stay. Yeah, blaming himself he caused everyone problems. Especially Doc with his debts, right? Oh, that guy is the most shocked in hearing Seth left.

Monster Hunter World
And as expected, there will be another season. But I am surprised that it only had this odd number of 21 episodes. It fuelled my speculation that it wasn’t expected to do well but I suppose it did and that’s why another season was announced. From the sneak preview that I see at the end of the final episode, it looks like it is going to notch things up a bit and things might get a little grimmer. After all, for light to shine the brightest, there has to be the darkest of the dark, right? And of course, don’t count on Seth going at this alone as Melie and Doc will soon catch up. You know, they’re friends, right?!

Also, despite that speculation of mine, initially I thought this series was going to be the next big long running anime. It was going to be the next Fairy Tail. The next Black Clover. The next Naruto or Boruto. The next Bleach. The next One Piece. So for them to just have 2 cours for the first season, hmm, something doesn’t feel right. Because as far as I can see the way the story and the pacing plays out, it certainly is going to look like one of those very long running animes that is going to lust for multiple cours. There are still other things and developments to flesh out and from what I can see from this season, this is just merely touching the tip of the iceberg.

Hence this season can be both good and bad at this point in time. As the manga, oops I mean, manfra is currently ongoing, there is of course the need to wait for more materials to be published. As you can see, this season has only 2 big main arcs: Artemis and Rumble Town. With the series taking several episodes to flesh out the stories and characters in both these arcs, it is good pacing to see Seth grows as a character but at the same time it hardly moves anywhere. Sure, Seth’s heroics of Rumble Town may skyrocketed his fame and status but if a story is about a boy who goes on an adventure to seek some imaginary place that is not supposed to exist, it is definitely going to be a very long journey and don’t tell me that Seth is going to find Radiant after hitting a few places. I mean, look at how freaking long One Piece has been running and they still can’t find that One Piece! Heh. You get what I mean. But thankfully, Radiant doesn’t take as long as One Piece for its single arc that could span to as long as a half a year to a year! Is that good? Is that disappointing? I know it is wrong to directly compare this series with One Piece but with the vibe Radiant has been giving off initially, I really thought it was going to at least be Black Clover’s rival.

Like I have already said, the story and pacing is building up at a reasonable pace. It does take its time trying to flesh out Seth as the main character as well as the other supporting characters. Sometimes they have time to even put in fillers especially after the big Rumble Town battle, we get this very slow moving and boring couple of episodes as the characters ponder their next move. That is why I thought this series was going to be the next big thing (sorry if I sound like a broken recorder on this). Because when you have long running series, it is without a doubt that sometimes they need to put in filler episodes to fill up the space while they make preparations for the next arc. Even though this Rumble Town arc lasted for about 10 episodes, somehow it felt like a bit draggy to me. Initially I thought it was just going to be 3 or 4 episodes and the final arc would be something else but it eventually lasted till the end of the season. Oh well, goes to show that sometimes my own guts and expectations can be dead wrong. On a trivial note, is Rumble Town’s immigration problem a take on the current USA’s issue of influx of illegal immigrants? Must be just coincidence.

On a trivial note, sometimes I believe Radiant is aimed for younger audiences like teens. Sure, there are some dark themes and well, some character dies but the overall feel of the series can be said as, uhm, how should I put it, bubbly? Like the narration at the beginning as well as the next episode preview is narrated in a way that makes me think that well, maybe this series is targeted for young teens to watch. This is no Shingeki No Kyojin or even Goblin Slayer but if you put Radiant and One Piece side by side and if I had to pick one for my young nephews to watch, I would have gone with Radiant without a doubt. Of course One Piece keeps going forever and that means they’ll be glued to the screen forever… Theoretically!

Character wise, surprisingly there isn’t a lot of characters. At least not yet. We have the main character, Seth. His groupie, Melie and Doc. The master, Alma and Yaga. Animal mascots, Boobrie and Devi. Mystery ally, Grimm. The scheming brains, Majesty. The supposed antagonist, Torque and his Thaumaturges. And the anti-hero or how should I put it, fighting on the wrong side? Yup, that’s Dragunov. Did I miss out anybody? Oh Melba, where should I put her? Anyway, if I look at this series generally about character development, not really good either. I did say that the story and pacing was to help develop the character. Yes, but that is for the long run. For this season, it doesn’t look like it moved anyway. I mean it did. But not very much.

Seth as the main character, we see him grow from a reckless sorcerer into one taking fate and destiny into his own hands. Oh wait. Seth has been the same reckless sorcerer with his staunch ideal of justice from the start. Literally Seth is Seth from the beginning till the end. Lots of anime main protagonist seem to fall into this cliché trap. How much different a character can you make Seth from Luffy, Natsu or Naruto? And hence you’ve got a kid who has lots of power but is a simpleton. I guess that is why they usually always win in the end because it is not complicated unlike complex brainy villains who planned this and that with backup plans here and there. Yeah, how not to fail like that? Also, they rant about their plans to the heroes cliché. Heh. And oh, to top the cherry on the icing for being a cliché main character is that Seth has this hidden latent power, now taking in the form of his berserk mode. How convenient. Wanna bet he is going to learn and control it by the time the climax comes around?

Anyway, I am fine with Seth being that typical stereotype of main character until they made him such an annoying kid when he couldn’t get over the death of Hameline. I mean, that was like the worst. I know they want to portray him as a character who realized he is weak and needs to get a lot stronger (because there is always room for improvement) but they spam it so much that it is just intolerable. Like, WTF?! Oh God. Can we move on already? Instead of looking at the positive side of the numerous lives he changed (Tommy and Taj to name a few), he had to focus on his one miserable failure. And it’s not really his fault either. So he wants to mope around forever like that? Oh yeah, thank goodness for Alma to come smacking some reality back into his mind. I guess that’s the only reason to bring her character back. While it looks like Seth might have gotten over it, but that ghost of a regret is hinted to linger on. That’s fine too. But don’t overdo it, okay? Don’t make it Seth’s weakness that when he is faced with another similar situation, this fear paralyzes him. Please don’t. I know Seth can do better. Don’t even start on him starting to slowly sympathize with Nemesis. It makes his life’s mission and setting of this series redundant for the sake of plot twist.

As for the other characters, not really much is known about them or fleshed out properly. Especially Melie and Doc. Melie feels like your token cute girl because every main character groupie needs to have a kawaii bishoujo, right? Right. Since she has another alter ego, it is never explained how she got this and it would be interesting to see the backstory to this side of hers in the next season. Yeah, I guess Boobrie really loves this sadistic version because you see hearts in his eyes whenever she is in this mode. Doc is like the whiner, complainer and pessimist of the group. He feels like a comic relief character because of his failed one-sided love to Melba and constantly being piled up with debts thanks to Seth. He claims he doesn’t want to help them but from what I can see, he still cares for them despite all he has said because he could just walk off and not entertain them anymore but keeps coming back. Yeah, maybe it’s fate. And those damn debts that tie their fate together.

Speaking of love interest, this series seems to lack every inch of it as it is marketed as some fantasy action adventure oriented. But if our guts and experience tells us, will it be Seth x Melie? Has cutie pie Melie already fallen for Seth from the start? She might be sticking around him because she is so impressed with him whatsoever but what if it is because she likes him? What if her alter ego was just a fake front to hide her love for him? Notice how she usually gets stressed up when Seth is in danger, causing her to be this BDSM queen? No? Must be me then? Since Seth too has another dark alter ego, I guess they’re a match, no?! Because I think Seth x Melie is more probably than Doc x Melba! My conspiracy theory is that Melba also likes Doc but puts a barrier in the form of her hand puppet father. She looks and sounds a bit dumb but I think she isn’t. Especially making poisonous coffee all the time. Think about it. How can her business survive when she makes such bad coffee? Oh sure, her father backs her up but I want to really believe her father is just a hand puppet.

Torque looks like the big bad guy but I doubt that he is so and he only looks mean and his goals might sound a bit tough but I am predicting that his sense of justice doesn’t stray too far as from Seth’s. After all, this guy doesn’t talk much unless when necessary. I’m thinking there will be another hidden bigger baddie to all this and that Seth and Torque will eventually cooperate with each other. Same case for Dragunov. He might be fighting against Seth now but in time I foresee they will be fighting on the same side of justice. We also assume Grimm is on Seth’s side but that is only their goals somewhat aligned. Remember, this guy who talks in third person may be more than meets the eye.

One of the biggest nonsense I find about the setting of this series is how sorcerers are treated badly by others. Yes, it is stated that they are cursed by Nemesis but the only ones with powers to take them down. Are they trying to teach us that the world itself is ungrateful no matter what you do? And that only those with strong sense of justice and goodness can arise from this? That’s so screw up if you asked me. People who have no qualms scorning them but yet cower behind sorcerers during Nemesis’ attack, they are the worst. Damn, it’s not like they are even trying to hide it! If I existed in this world, I would have gladly joined Bravery Quartet! (Why do I feel these characters are like those jiggly butt jokers of Fairy Tail and Rave?). It doesn’t make sense since Inquisition are also out to capture such sorcerers but doesn’t Thaumaturges have one? Piodon, anybody? Oh come on. Do you not see his costume is clearly from the Inquisition? Oddly, if Torque’s main ability is to nullify Fantasia, wouldn’t it be a lot easier if he just went around and do that to other sorcerers? Turning them back into normal human beings? No more sorcerer discrimination, hooray! Sometimes I think that Nemesis randomly rain down on human civilization to attack them is because to wipe them out for being assholes. People are the real dicks (which is somewhat true). Only if those sorcerers didn’t get in the way! Uh huh. Plot twist! Nemesis aren’t the bad guys! Isn’t that why Seth is starting to think that not all Nemesis are bad?

Action bits are rather okay. Not to say they are mediocre nor are they mind blowing but for an action series, I suppose it is suffice. With big explosions and effects, I guess they really exaggerated the effects of using Fantasia. It’s magic! After all, with Seth being just somewhat a beginner in using his Fantasia, we see him pull off a few variants of punches and the recent Skull Burst. Then we have Melie casting her Meteor Drops, barriers and traps. In time maybe they will learn more and add to their repertoire of skillsets. Does Dragunov shoot anything else except with his bow? Oddly, a series about hunting down Nemesis, there aren’t really a lot of them. Sure, you can count them with your fingers. And I don’t mean Hameline’s brothers as individual Nemesis but a collective one.

As for the art and animation, everything looks clean, bright and colourful, also the reason why I said it looked like a series aimed for younger audiences. Some really weird character designs because what’s with the main female characters having weird hairstyles? Like Alma’s big bushy broomstick hairstyle and Melie’s killer croissant drills? Some character designs look familiar like Torque I thought Fairy Tail’s Gajeel was moonlighting as the high commander of Inquisition. Before Doc turned into a baby, I thought he look like that character from Cartoon Network’s Codename Kids Next Door, Numbuh 2. Why does the Nemesis feel like they are rejected designs of Bleach’s Hollow? This series is animated by Lerche who did Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Asobi Asobase, Mahou SHoujo Ikusei Keikaku, Kuzu No Honkai, Danganronpa and the reboot of Kino No Tabi.

Voice acting, they used a lot of popular seiyuus like Aoi Yuuki as Melie, Takehito Koyasu as Grimm, Romi Paku as Alma, Koji Yusa as Dragunov, Kappei Yamaguchi as Majesty, Nao Touyama as Melba and Sho Hayami as the narrator. Saori Hayami and Ayane Sakura also lend their voices as members of Thaumaturges but sorry I didn’t catch their characters’ names here. The other casts are Yumiri Hanamori as Seth (Hayasaka in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Shintarou Oohata as Doc (Morgan in Beast Saga), Kenta Miyake as Torque (Klaus in Hayate No Gotoku), Hiroyoki Yoshino as Yaga (Favaro in Shingeki No Bahamut), Ryohei Kimura as Piodon (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Yumi Uchiyama as Hameline (Maki in Toji No Miko) and Katasuki Murase as Konrad (Three in Hamatora) and Tetsu Inada as Don (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill).

The opening theme is Utopia by 04 Limited Sazabys. I didn’t like this because it is like punk hard rock and the constant bass drubbing feels like you need to be high are on drugs while doing head banging if listening to this song. Really. Hence I prefer much the ending theme which is as the same name of this series and sung by Polkadot Stingray. It has this funky feel to it and the electric guitar accompaniment isn’t too shabby either. Though, the singer’s voice might sound a bit flat but it is still way better than mine!

Overall, even if this doesn’t seem like the next big anime that will stand alongside the other aforementioned big anime titles, Radiant is still Radiant and stands by itself as a decent fantasy action adventure genre. Story, characters and action all feel pretty much cliché and standard like any other stories about a young character setting out on a journey to defeat the main evil and bring ultimate peace to the land and in the midst discovers more about himself and changes for the better. It is still too early to call and judge it and even maybe a second season won’t be enough if it is to strive for higher greatness and garner followers and fans from all around the globe like One Piece. Even with its flaws and shortcomings, this series still did what it takes to shine through. There is still a radiant of hope after all. Because (to borrow a quote from A.P.J. Abdul Kalam) if the series (and Seth) wants to shine like the sun, they must first burn like the sun. Keeping shining forward!

Uhm… Wow… You mean after almost 7 years since the second season aired, they finally make the third season?! Damn. That felt like an eternity in anime years. To Aru Majutsu No Index III was a surprise to me as I wasn’t a big fan of the series and probably the series I blamed for making me dislike very heavily themed sci-fi shows (although that doesn’t mean I don’t watch them from time to time). I didn’t think it would come out after that long but anything is possible. Having said all that, the only reason why I am watching this and allowing myself to be confused even more is because of the upcoming third season of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun. Uh huh. I think I need to see this if I want to understand what happens in that series. Wait. Did I say understand? Looks like when science and magic collide, I become a retarded NPC otaku who feels obligated to watch this because, reasons :’(. Such a misfortune…

Document Of Constantine Arc

Episode 1
Fukou da. Bad luck for Touma. Lost his wallet. Can’t buy food for Index. She bites him. At school he gets reprimanded along with Tsuchimikado and Pierce Aogami for entering some heated debate about Playboy bunny girls. Yeah… On the international scale, there are protests everywhere to puts tension between Academy City and Roman Catholic Church. Of course, more trouble for Touma when he sees Misaka doing her kick on the vending machine. He ignores her but she spots him. Then she blames him for never replying her mails and goes to search his handphone. WTF?! Are they dating?! I mean, is Misaka his girlfriend or something?! Then she gets mad seeing a selfie of him and her mom! She would have roasted him had his right hand not nullify it. He manages to escape when she tries to talk about that fight he got into. When Sphinx escapes, Index chases after it and bumps into a nice old lady, Monaka Oyafune. She treats her to some food and learns about Touma probably being a nice guy (because he feeds her). After that, Monaka goes to talk to Touma and needs his input to solve a simple problem. That’s because he has what everybody else doesn’t: Imagine Breaker. As a board member of Academy City, she leaves the rest to Tsuchimikado to explain but he shoots her! Touma is mad but Monaka explains this is her wish. What she is doing is against the board’s will as they want to aggravate the confrontation and eliminate the Roman Catholic Church. She was against it and knew would be taken out. If she ran away, they would target her family. Tsuchimikado takes Touma on a trip to France now. Their target is a Roman Catholic mystic artefact that is the key to resolving this mess: The Document of Constantine AKA C-Document.

Episode 2
Stiyl is interrogating a couple of detainees about God’s Right Seat. However Lidvia wants the release of Oriana so that she can continue to guide the weak. More mumbo jumbo about God’s Right Seat not only to eliminate the original sin of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit but to be just that: be God’s Right Seat and sit next to Him. Fukou da na, Touma. Parachute have difficulties opening. Crashed into a river of a small town in France, Avignon. Luckily saved by Amakusa Church member, Itsuwa. He tells her what Tsuchimikado told him about C-Document. Supposedly some document gives the Pope absolute powers to rule over the land. It also can make what the Pope says become the truth. Hence the Roman Catholics are trying to use that document to make Academy City as evil. Itsuwa explains about the history between the Pope and king of France. What I understand is that Avignon has lots of leylines that would allow the Pope to use the artefacts freely instead of going through all that protocol. Something like a remote. The only drawback is that it takes time to be activated. That is where they come in to stop it. They have to flee when protesters identify Touma as from Academy City. Their goal now is to make way to Palais des Papes. However Tsuchimikado calls and says they don’t necessarily have to go there. They just need to sever the leyline connecting to the Vatican. But he doesn’t want Touma using Imagine Breaker at is still unknown and they are not sure the effects and exceptions. Itsuwa can perform the severing based on her Amakusa skills. In some old building that is housing a leyline, Itsuwa prepares for the ritual (including putting white pantsu?!). But before she could finish, they are attacked by Terra from God’s Right Seat. Did the freak show came to town? If not for Touma’s Imagine Breaker, they would have been goners. Touma could feel the might of Terra’s magic but this guy can pass through solids and spring surprise attacks.

Episode 3
What? What? WHAT?! I don’t understand the explanation of Terra’s precedence magic skill that allows him to change the laws of whatever. Whatever. Forget it. Tsuchimikado drops in to help but with Aleister sending in those powered suits from Academy City to attack, Terra flees. Tsuchimikado fights the powered suits while Touma and Itsuwa find Terra. I don’t know what Tsuchimikado did but he immobilizes all the powered suits because of overflowing data? But Aleister unleashes his next phase. Now those stealth bomber planes fly in. One of them is carrying Accelerator. Touma calls Misaka (surprise!) and asks about the news on Avignon. She mentions about some terrorists creating illegal weapons so Academy City is assisting in some search and destroy operation. Conversation interrupted with Terra attacking. He has C-Document in hand. After knocking out Itsuwa, Terra realizes that Touma has no memories about Imagine Breaker. The prolonged fight allows Touma to deduce his abilities. The reason he cannot kill them is because he couldn’t. He is weak. His magic cannot affect multiple targets at the same time. That’s why when they took full force of his magic, they still live. Touma manages to land a punch in his face and then destroys C-Document. Before Terra could reveal what Imagine Breaker is, he is burnt to a crisp by Accelerator. Lidvia continues explaining that God’s Right Seat isn’t about its members wanting to become angels and stand beside God like Michael or Lucifer. It is to become something above God. Kamijou? Play of words? Terra still lives and returns to Acqua. As the Russian Orthodox Church has sided with them, he thinks of using this incident to invade Academy City. However Acqua asks him about using his skills on tourists and children. Wasn’t he supposed to save humans without discrimination? Terra claims it is to hone his skills so Acqua drops a slab on him to kill him. People like him will never be God’s chosen one. The Pope is here and he hears Acqua’s plan to fight in the upcoming battle himself. Meanwhile Misaka is confused. Yeah, she overheard the entire conversation between Touma and Terra and is not amused about Touma’s lost memories.

Battle Royale Arc

Episode 4
An illegal trader is willing to cooperate with Tsuchimikado but is shot in the gut instead. While being taken away in a police wagon, some weird computer head guy, Banka Yobou slices the van in half! Too bad the trader got killed by him too. Unabara checks the house as Tsuchimikado fills him in on that trader’s job to find people to fill positions of a small and newly formed organization. It is believed they will make their move soon. SWAT people known as BLOCK storm into the house. Later Tsuchimikado and his team check the place. Unabara used his ability to blend in and disguise with BLOCK and has left clues. A small unofficial unit under the name of SCHOOL has hired a sniper, Chimitsu Sunazara to snipe at Monaka who is about to give her speech. Accelerator has Awaki to teleport Monaka and have the sniper miss. A discontented Sunazara wants to snipe Accelerator but is told by his employer to fall back. Hamazura has the misfortune as a manservant for ITEM. Realizing that SCHOOL sent another sniper targeting Monaka after they disposed an earlier one, it is safe to say their warning went unheeded and they’re going to kill them. After the failed Monaka assassination, SCHOOL massacred the scientists at some lab. ITEM drops in as they meet their match in Yobou. Although they emerged victorious, it was a tough fight to defeat him. Mugino realizes the one behind this is Teitoku Kakine, the second ranked Level 5 in Academy City. She has Hamazura chase after some cargo they stole but SCHOOL’s Dress Girl (as she is only known) intercepts. They split up and Hamazura sure does have misfortune with women as Dress Girl goes after him. Lady luck smiling on him as he manages to escape from her hot trail. Tsuchimikado informs him team about a district being under cyber attack. As it houses a lot of viruses including experimental ones, you bet all infrastructure will go haywire and all hell break loose if it gets out. Their job is to intercept it although it pretty looks like a trap to bait them. Unobara calls Accelerator to inform some satellite control centre is the real target so Accelerator hijacks a car and heads there.

Episode 5
Accelerator is ambushed by a member from, uhm, MEMBER. Thanks to his predictable teleportation ability, Accelerator shows no mercy in killing him. At the same time, Kakine is also ambushed by a professor who is a member of, uhm, you guessed it, MEMBER. F*ck his bragging since Kakine easily kills the dude. The last member of, sighs, MEMBER gets trapped in a room that is filling up fast with water. Meanwhile BLOCK has prepared 5,000 mercenaries outside ready to ambush. But Unabara cuts short that plan by making a pre-emptive strike first. This causes Academy City’s deadly helicopter drones to attack and kill many of those mercenaries. Tsuchimikado and co interrogate one of them and from what I understand, they want to use Awaki as a bargaining chip to get into the windowless building where Aleister is. Arriving at a facility, they see lots of BLOCK members dead. They killed themselves? Thanks to the Aztec spell of Xochitl (a member of MEMBER) that made them do so. She has a grudge against Unobara and wants to kill him for his betrayal. To his horror, Xochitl has somewhat merged herself with the original grimoire and is now turning into some horror monster at the expense of her own life just to take him down. Not if Unobara can save her. Tsuchimikado and Awaki confront Tatsuhiko Saku and Megumi Teshio of BLOCK. Megumi isn’t pleased to learn Tatsuhiko plans to use hostage to get to Aleister so she kills him. She faces off with Awaki as she explains her goal to kill Aleister due to some tragedy she experienced and wants to know if Aleister was involved. Awaki defeats her. Meanwhile Kakine beats up Frenda to find out ITEM’s hideout.

Episode 6
Kakine enters ITEM’s hideout and attacks. Kinuhata calls Hamazura about their situation. Their target is Takitsubo. They need to protect her. By the time Hamazura arrives, Mugino has fled and Kakine is about to kill Takitsubo. Even at this point, Takitsubo wants Hamazura to run away and not die. She then uses Body Crystals that makes her abilities go wild. Knowing that she will die if she uses it another time, Kakine doesn’t even bother to kill her and leaves. Hamazura then gets a call from Mugino to counterattack SCHOOL. After Hamazura leaves Takitsubo in the hands of Yomikawa, Mugino confronts him (with Frenda’s corpse in her hand – she got killed by her for her failure). Hamazura has had it with Mugino and will not let her use Body Crystals anymore on Takitsubo. He gets pissed off knowing that she doesn’t care about Takitsubo at all and if she dies, she’ll just find a replacement. Hamazura runs to an unmanned facility to fight Mugino. All I can say is that because Mugino is arrogant, viewing herself as Level 5 as compared to Hamazura’s Level 0, he beat the sh*t out of her, knocking her out with one punch to her face. Accelerator gets a call that Last Order is in danger. She was lost and Uiharu found her. After Last Order went off, Kakine beats up Uiharu for not telling about Last Order’s whereabouts. If he knew she was with her, why didn’t he follow the loli? But thankfully here is Accelerator to settle the score. Yeah, they’re turning this place into a hellish battlefield. Kakine thinks his dark matter is superior to his vectors since it doesn’t exist in this world and hence not subjected to its laws. His plan is to defeat Accelerator to steal his top spot so he gets to see Aleister. However Accelerator shows him why they are different as Accelerator managed to protect the innocent people from their destructive battle. Kakine becomes mad and this allows Accelerator to defeat him. Before he could kill him, Yomikawa tries to reason with him not to be the bad guy but is stabbed by Kakine. This causes Accelerator to go berserk with Kakine adding fuel to the fire by blaming him he can’t protect others. Accelerator turns into his dark mode and beats Kakine to a pulp. Until Last Order shows up. That cute loli smile makes him want to kill her but can’t. When he calms down, Last Order hugs in. Nobody can beat the loli power! Tsuchimikado narrates about Alesiter’s secret plan of spreading millions of surveillance nano-devices called UNDER_LINE around that would give him direct info. SCHOOL, ITEM, MEMBER and BLOCK are names from the dark faction. And there’s one more: DRAGON.

Acqua Of The Back Arc

Episode 7
Itsuwa warns Touma that Acqua has sent a challenge to the Church of England and Academy City that he will hunt Touma down. Touma downplays that although Itsuwa and her Amakusa group are here to protect him. I guess Tatemiya is bored with the job so he executes some sick plan to make Itsuwa’s boobs grow bigger by kicking a football at Touma so his head falls into Itsuwa’s bosoms. Misaka not really liking that… Even Index isn’t fond of him bringing home an Amakusa girl. However with Itsuwa being useful helping around unlike useless Index, Touma even tells off Index to clean the bath! More weirdness with Maika busting in to learn of Itsuwa’s secret recipe. I think it’s time for time out so they take a break by heading to a public bath at an underground district. Misaka is there to blow off some steam too but I guess she’s going to need more than that with Index and Itsuwa there too. As Touma and Itsuwa leave, they realize the place suddenly is void of people. That is when Acqua attacks. He claims he has defeated Tatemiya’s groupie. Acqua wants Touma to give his right hand and since he won’t, he gets beaten up. Itsuwa tries to heal him but with no effect. Touma tries to be a hero and get up to beat this guy but gets beat down again. Acqua will wait and give him 1 more day to cut his right hand and give it to him.

Episode 8
Itsuwa falls into depression for her failure to save Touma. That guy is lying in hospital. Tatemiya had to scold her that by doing so, Touma’s sacrifices were in vain. Acqua will be back and she moping around will not extend the deadline. If she wants to apologize to him and prove she is not useless, then fight. Thanks to that, Itsuwa now turns into a scary yandere, sharpening her blades. Did Tatemiya say too much? Tatemiya gets a call from Orsola who has done some research on Acqua. William Orwell is his real name and was a British mercenary who fought in hellish battles. He was about to be knighted but went missing. When he reappeared, he became Britain’s enemy. I guess this is to show what they’re up against with. Someone who is both strong and smart. When the Amakusa guys surround Acqua, Itsuwa is in no mood for negotiation and attacks first. This time she is better prepared, though Acqua is still way better than her. There’s some rant about Acqua having some ability to use both humans and angelic powers but then the Amakusa guys got a trick up their sleeves as they pull off some move that breaks that balance, allowing them to defeat him. But too bad, that is just short-lived. That trick would have worked had Acqua been an ordinary saint. Yup, he isn’t an ordinary saint. Remember, he is one of God’s Right Seat. Acqua goes on the offensive and the Amakusa guys could have been done for had he not leave. So why are they lucky? Acqua instead goes to square off with Kanzaki.

Episode 9
Kanzaki is no match for Acqua. As expected. But it’s still too early to call, right? Misaki is complaining how she can’t get out when Touma pops up in front of him. Because he still feels the need to go, Misaki scolds him about never asking for help and shocks him that she knows about his memory loss. However Touma replies even if he had them, there are things he still must do. He is moved by the heart, not the head. Misaka just stood there in shock. She probably would have wanted to help him but realizes this is something he needs to fight to get back on his own 2 feet. We return to Kanzaki’s beat down. When she calls the Amakusa gang to assist her, this is because she has realized that her own arrogance and labelling others as weak has brought this upon herself. So there’s some more explanation about Acqua holding tremendous powers of a saint and because of that, he is the most susceptible to anti-saint spells compared to other saints. So when Acqua tries to attack, our hero Touma pops up to stop his tracks, the Amakusa gang hold him down while Itsuwa delivers the finishing blow of Saint Destroyer to purge his powers. Acqua’s flashback shows the moment he decided to leave Britain after turning own being knighted. Knight Leader gave him a few punches as dissatisfaction. Acqua’s plan was to protect Britain from the outside while Knight Leader from the inside so as to allow them to have the widest range of options. Touma is back in hospital and Itsuwa by his side. Because they look so close together, it made Index mad. I think leaving the hospital without her knowledge is just an excuse. And Itsuwa sides with Index… While the Pope is devastated over Acqua’s defeat, Fiamma wants to strike Britain. Forget about Academy City. There is something in Britain they must get. The Pope refuses to allow this madness and attacks him. But you know, Fiamma as the leader and most powerful of God’s Right Seat blows the Pope away. He didn’t die but he took the brunt of it, hence preventing further damage from affecting the Vatican. The news report some sort of infighting among the Roman Catholic Church but everything else is speculation.

British Royal Family Arc

Episode 10
Itsuwa looking up on long distance dating? And how to snatch a man’s heart? Well, good luck. Yeah, even Misaka is feeling really embarrassed over her recent close up with Touma. She didn’t abuse the vending machine this time but her sparks went out of control… More bad luck for Touma. Sleeping gas suddenly gets thrown into his room. Tsuchimikado calls him right in time to tell him he needs to head off to Britain with Index. Yeah, some bombing of the Eurotunnel has strained the relationship between Britain and France. During the flight, Touma goes to the toilet but sees blood stains. He is quickly apprehended by the stewardess who tells him that is the blood of her colleague. Apparently there is a French anti-Britain terrorist on board making some demands otherwise they’ll bring down the plane. Touma wants to help but is told to stay put. Meanwhile the terrorist tries to fix some connector that is near Touma’s seat. With Index returning and wondering what he is doing, he takes her hostage. Touma hears her cries and barges out to beat up that guy but he runs away. Touma is done doing nothing and will go stop the terrorist. He learns the connector is some stabilizer thingy. Without it, the plane will crash. Touma goes on the search and tries to lure out the terrorist by pressing the emergency button. But then the co-pilot sees his instruments of fuel leakage and hence they are going to force to land the plane on the highway. Apparently this is the doing of Laura. Even if this risks the lives of the passengers, as long as she can secure Index, that’s okay. The terrorist contacts the captain and threatens to kill the passengers if he doesn’t bring the plane back up to altitude. Thanks to the jamming interference, Laura’s plan fails so she sends Stiyl to do the job. Touma finds the terrorist and punches him out. He is then suspicious why he waited so long only to act. He then realizes he had a comrade hidden in the cargo during the transit from Paris. So only 1 comrade? Yeah, Touma takes him on and he is crazy enough to take the plane down if everything fails but luckily with the help of Stiyl to cause some air pressure vacuum to pin down that guy and Touma to take the grenade off his hand. The plane safely lands in Edinburgh.

Episode 11
Kanzaki brings the duo to Buckingham Palace as they meet up with Knight Leader who will bring them to meet Queen Elizard of Britain as well as her daughters-cum-princesses, Rimea, Carissa and Villian. Elizard shows a sword, Curtana Second which is only a replica of the first which supposedly gives you powers similar to Archangel Michael. They discuss about the Eurotunnel explosion and because Elizard believes its cause is magic, hence she called Index to determine if it is French type. People might see it as a quarrel with Britain and France when actually it is between Britain and Academy City, and Rome and Russia. Intelligence also showed interference during that plane hijack originating from Scotland. This means they have enemies within. They are identified as New Light, a small unit that has 4 people. Elizard assigns her subordinates each a mission. As Touma is a civilian, he cannot be forcefully participate. However this means he is going to get billed heftily for the services… Yeah, glad he volunteer himself. Touma and Oriana are driving around the streets of London when New Light already blunders because Lessar got confused of a few similar bags with the same design as hers. This allows Touma and Oriana to go after her. Meanwhile, Bayloupe is found by the Amakusa side and although she defeats Itsuwa, she is then caught in by some magic trap. Touma and Oriana continue their chase of Lessar. Touma is told that the bag they are carrying is Skithblathnir. It can teleport contents among each other. When they corner her, Lessar calls this a victory because there is a fifth member. Lessar is prepared to die and could have taken a direct snipe had not Touma saved her. Though, she is still injured. The perpetrator turns out to be Carissa. What New Light was transporting was Curtana Original and now in Carissa’s hands, she rallies all knights of Britain to begin their attack. Claiming herself as the new head of state, she vows to change Britain by destroying the current one.

Episode 12
Knights vs witches and nuns?! Weird. After Index confirms that France was behind the tunnel’s explosion, Carissa orders her side to make preparations for retaliation. Carissa mumbles about the need for Britain to stand up on its own separate power to avoid getting owned in this mix up between science and magic as well as those Christians and Catholics. Now she turns her attention to deal with her royal family. She will kill them all because the less people who can wield Curtana Original, the better. As they have already fled the palace, Carissa is now confronted with Kanzaki. She has no time to deal with her so she lets Knight Leader handle her. Well, that was a quick defeat. Carissa intercepts Villian’s carriage. As Knight Leader is about to behead her, here comes Acqua to the rescue. Man, if he was just a second late… He then lets her ride a horse directly to Necessarius’ hideout and will catch up later after he deals with Knight Leader. Acqua takes in a lot of damage but it’s time both side put an end to this epic power fight. Meanwhile Oriana will stay and handle things and lets Touma sneak away on a train to France. As he tries to hide from inspection, he stumbles into Floris of New Light. Since she is magically cuffed, his Imagine Breaker easily breaks the spell. He takes her to escape by jumping off the train. Don’t worry. There’s a river below, right? Yeah, just 1 metre deep! Oh sh*t! Elizard and Laura manage to break free from their captors. Blame Laura’s careless explosion for that. Laura’s plan to hitchhike using her sex appeal failed. Truck drivers must be very wary these days. I guess it’s riding the horse to London then.

Episode 13
It’s not science. It’s not magic. It’s crap that they survived that fall into the shallow river! Luckily Villian is here to pick them up but Touma leaves Floris in her care. Because Knight Leader is shocked and distracted at Acqua’s goal to fight for United Kingdom without siding with the church or royal family, this caused his defeat? Touma returns just at the end of the fight and sees Acqua trying to rescue Index. They both have to cooperate since Carissa is here to finish them. Some explanation about how Curtana Original can alter dimensions. Whatever. It blew Touma away. Acqua leaves Index in Touma’s care, mentioning that Carissa and the knights’ interest aligned only because of Curtana Original. If they destroy that, the coup will be over. Touma and Index are picked up by the Amakusa guys. With Carissa returning to Buckingham Palace to retune the sword due to its unstable power, they plan to use this chance to strike. With Knight Leader defeated, it is a good time to destroy Curtana. So they make plans to infiltrate via subway underneath the palace. Meanwhile Misaka is eating at a restaurant that she believes will enhance her boobs? WTF?! Then Touma calls. First time. You gonna answer it? As expected, he asks her suggestion how to open electronic locks on a subway’s shutter. You mean there are no electronic locksmiths around? Touma, Index and Villian walk through the subway. Touma accidentally activates a golem that attacks them. The trio combine their efforts to take it down. Thanks to that, they got the train running. But before the big strike, everyone has a big feast. Can’t fight without an empty stomach, eh? Do they even have time to talk about squandering excessively large boobs?! Elizard and Laura finally reach London and they picked up Rimea along the way. Elizard doesn’t think those guys can actually defeat Carissa with just their willpower and without any trump cards. Hence she is going to get some mystic artefact from the museum.

Episode 14
The big chaotic battle is here. Touma and Villian arrive first at Buckingham Palace to face Carissa. She is alone and disposed all the knights by her side. Slowly the rest come by to pitch in to fight Carissa. Everyone vs Carissa. Carissa has got the command of several destroyers to fire devastating bombs at the palace and even if they manage to destroy one, she can order another. Rimea has realized Carissa’s actions, the reason why she hasn’t killed anyone yet. She relays to everyone how Carissa is doing this for the sake of Britain. France and the Roman Catholic Church were using EU as their pawn with pressure from Russia. With their nation’s dignity violated, Carissa wielded Curtana Original to fight against all of them. At the same time, she resolved to seal this weapon for eternity along with herself in a cave she has chosen as her tomb once this is over. She hopes the knights will come to save her. Knight Leader leads his knights to face Carissa. Despite she can threaten to call more bombs, Acqua disables the telecommunication satellite. More of everyone vs Carissa. However she can still hold her ground because with the bloated heroic side, this means more of them to defend and she just have more targets to strike. Finally Elizard steps in. She uses the power of Union Jack to equally distribute power to all the people in the United Kingdom. This gives them the power to fight and be heroes for the day. How can 90 million citizens march to Buckingham Palace and fight against Carissa? Literally now a whole lot more of everybody vs Carissa. The people vs Carissa! United Kingdom vs Carissa! But they don’t have to lift a finger because it is eventually Touma’s Imagine Breaker that breaks Curtana Original and one good punch in Carissa’s face, sending her flying away! Team Rocket?! I don’t know why in the aftermath, nobody picks up Carissa as she lies weakened in some British alley. Because of that, Fiamma is here to thank her that this war he instigated paid off and he was able to get what he wanted. Before he could dispose her, Touma comes to her rescue. Fiamma won’t fight him as he doesn’t want him destroying the mystic artefact he worked so hard to get. That artefact is some safety device for Index. Man, she sounds like a broken computer? Fiamma needs to go to Russia to collect a material he needs to summon an angel. While he is away, he hopes Touma can fix Index and take care of his right hand until he returns. Index is left in the care of Stiyl and as you guessed it, Touma is going to Russia to punch the hell out of Fiamma.

DRAGON Arc

Episode 15
Tsuchimikado gathers his team with orders to eliminate a terrorist group called Spark Signal who has taken some hostages. We take a detour seeing Hamazura and Kinuhata visiting Takitsubo in hospital. She is doing well but has lost her fighting abilities. Kinuhata mentions that ITEM has been dissolved and she is waiting to be assigned to a new group. Then this WTF distraction with Kinuhata trying to tease Hamazura by almost flashing her panties since that guy is more into Takitsubo than her. WTF?! Spark Signal plans on destroying this huge particle accelerator to prevent the board from making any open moves. They are about to kill a hostage but a hero in the form of a villain (read: Accelerator) kills them all. This mission might be simply over except for that one fact bothering Accelerator: The terrorists were demanding the higher ups to release to public info on DRAGON immediately. Stephanie Gorgeouspalace is hired to replace Sunazara to take out Accelerator as well as other targets like Kinuhata. However she kills him because her enemy is everyone in Academy City. Tsuchimikado’s group is then contacted by Shiokishi of the board to dispose the remnants of Spark Signal. Of course they want to get this boring job over with but if they do as they’re told, they might lose their lead to see DRAGON. Perhaps side with the enemy this time? Kinuhata tells Hamazura that she along with the surviving remnants of ITEM, SCHOOL, BLOCK and MEMBER are now drafted into a single new team. Yeah, she’s already disobeying orders by being with him instead. That’s why she needs his help to wipe out all the terrorists before she gets dragged back into this new team. Before they can start doing that, they are being chased by a drone attack helicopter. Dress Girl contacts him and possibly the one who set up this attack. She tells him the terrorists he is after have occupied a salon in District 3.

Episode 16
Hamazura tries to hijack a helicopter to go save Takitsubo. Then he gets a call from her not to come because the terrorists are well armed. She is okay but is in hiding. With Hamazura getting really desperate, the pilot agrees to help. And he jumps onto the roof, the plastic tree breaks his fall? And he manages to shoot straight and kill several terrorists?! WTF???!!! I guess a guy in love can do the impossible. At the same time, Accelerator busts in to kill the terrorists but Sugitani ‘assists’ in killing them. Sugitani hopes they never meet again. Accelerator checks around and sees Takitsubo unconscious. Hamazura got the wrong idea that he did something to her. Accelerator shows no mercy in beating him up but spares him. From what he said, Hamazura realizes Accelerator was only helping her. While lying in his pathetic state, he gets a little reprieve with Takitsubo hugging him, commending he was the only one who came to save her. Aww… So sweet… As Tsuchimikado’s side contemplate about DRAGON (since all those who know about it are dead), Accelerator connects the dots and realizes it must be connected to Last Order. Accelerator knows and escapes an assassination attempt from Shiokishi. He is going to kill him but Tsuchimikado believes in getting Monaka on their side for political preparations. When Accelerator does so, an aide warns him not to because it will drag her back to the double underground life that she has escaped from. But when a kid whom he saved during the hostage incident wants to fight alongside him no matter how dangerous, Monaka agrees to join him to meet Shiokishi. Hamazura and Takitsubo see several simultaneous explosions in the city. They see Kinuhata trying to escape Stephanie’s assassination. Sugitani reports to Shiokishi about Monaka and Tsuchimikado’s group cooperating and will definitely come here. Shiokishi will make preparations to meet them. Inside the building, the gang is separated. Accelerator is confronted by Sugitani. He mentions once Monaka is done for, they will use Academy City’s collective power to get rid of him and then secure Last Order. Monaka talks to Shiokishi that she wants to revoke his powers. She also wants to know about DRAGON. Eventually, negotiations break down and Shiokishi wants to kill her. Too bad it is Unabara in disguise. Shiokishi plans to escape and have his guards keep Unabara at bay but is killed by them. Seems his guards are Unabara’s Aztec buddies in disguise, Tecpatl and Tochtli. They are here to kill him.

Episode 17
Tecpatl possesses the original grimoire and uses it to attack Unabara at the expense of Tochtli. But he didn’t read his grimoire well enough so Unabara is able to cast some spell that blows a hole in his guts. Sugitani thought he jammed Accelerator’s device to immobilize him but Accelerator reconfigured it and turned the tables on him. Kinuhata manages to defeat Stephanie since she is all just firepower compared to Sunazara. She then realizes the target is Hamazura and wants him to run away with Takitsubo. Kinuhata is apprehended by Dress Girl and is explained this is all part of Aleister’s plan. People like Touma and Accelerator are just outliers that could be incorporated easily to his cornerstone plan. However, Level 0 like Hamazura is hard to predict and poses a threat since he is able to take fate into his own hands when he should have died. Hence all of Academy City is now going to kill him. Accelerator interrogates Shiokishi about DRAGON. He mentions that it is all around them. Then this angel thingy pops up before him. This is DRAGON? Some mumbo jumbo explanation about his being but if he is to be specifically called, he is Aiwass. Some of his words are inaudible because our human ears can’t comprehend such beings. He offers to destroy Aleister’s plans since it is already starting to show cracks. When he mentions that Last Order will eventually break down if things continue this way, that’s the taboo word that gets Accelerator all revved up to kill him. Of course he can’t even touch this being and gets trumped. Hamazura is cornered and praying for some hero to save them. Good news: The guards are killed. Bad news: By Mugino. She wants to kill him herself! He runs but Mugino is trying to force Takitsubo to use Body Crystals to save Hamazura or he dies. Hamazura won’t let her do that. If blasting explosions at her won’t do, maybe this jet burning testing chamber will burn her to smithereens. I can’t believe she allowed him to get into the safety area to start the burning! Was she lamenting how the higher ups won’t let people like her die so they can reuse her again and again? Hamazura gets a call by Kinuhata to run some more since more guards are coming their way. So can he fly this jet?! Oh well, it’s on autopilot. Thank goodness to autopilot because Hamazura and Takitsubo can kiss and make out! Best reward for surviving this sh*t! Meanwhile Accelerator has taken Last Order and on a train to Russia as advised by Aiwass. Yeah, this guy looks traumatized. Aiwass calls Aleister about being obsessed with the kids of Academy City because they have what he lacks and will always stand up no matter how many times are defeated. Aleister’s reply is that he will use anything to achieve his goals. Including him.

World War III Arc

Episode 18
Russia declares war on Academy City. They believe they are hogging all the world resources for their science and technology that will leave the world devastated. If they do not comply with the demands to be transparent and drop all their projects within the deadline, it’s all-out war. Hamazura is travelling through the Russian wilderness and Takitsubo is sick from the effects of Body Crystals. This guy is desperate to rob a store to get some goods to save her but thankfully the store is currently being robbed! He beats up the robbers and gets the stuffs for free as gratitude. Meanwhile Carissa leads the nuns and knights to protect from the onslaught of the invading French. I know Touma is on his way to Russia but is he walking the entire way there?! But he isn’t travelling alone but with Lessar. She claims she is here to protect him from death as it would be a pain to Britain if he dies. Also, he needs a translator, right? Not sure if the mission is unimportant or Lessar’s life is so boring that she tries to outright flirt with him. WTF?! Touma and Lessar find Fiamma’s secret base. Hearing that he is looking for Sasha who is hiding in the Elizalina Alliance of Independent Nations (EAIN), they plan to find Elizalina first to ambush Fiamma. They manage to do so and though Elizalina acknowledges Fiamma as an important figure in this war, she doesn’t want her EAIN citizens hurt. Knowing that Fiamma and Touma are looking for Sasha, Touma suggests to send Sasha out of her borders and execute an operation to fight Fiamma there. Before the plan could reach further deliberation, Fiamma attacks. Imagine Breaker saved their skin a few times but can Touma defeat Fiamma if he just defends? This fight has also do away with the need to find Sasha since she drops in to fight Fiamma. Oh, Vento is also here to fight against Fiamma as she can’t tolerate his actions messing with the Roman Catholic Church any longer. After Accelerator dispatches a few attackers, he found some operation plans that could be related to Aiwass. But upon reaching the Russian military unit, it is decimated and he believes Academy City could be behind this. A few sorcerers surround him. Time for some fun.

Episode 19
Though Accelerator disposes of them easily, he notices the different laws in their magic. Could this be what Aiwass was talking about? Then flies down Misaka Worst. Another one of those Sisters whose goal is only to kill Accelerator. Vento thought she could kill Fiamma with her new powers. Sadly, she’s mistaken. He is still a lot superior. He then collects Sasha and will be back for Touma later. He claims they are both the same. Just that he has confidence he is doing this for the greater good. Touma doesn’t share the same sentiments. He doesn’t care if it is right or wrong but making Index suffer is unforgiveable. Fiamma wonders if he can say that to her face since he might look like he is protecting her to satisfy his own consciousness but is this what Index really needs? Takitsubo is being treated but with the village’s insufficient facilities, she might not hold out. The village will soon be attacked by privateers, unofficial mobs under the army. They’re trying to take this village and make this as their foothold for the Russian army since this village is near the border of EAIN. Accelerator runs from Misaka Worst and cannot fight back due to his vow never to hurt them again. Hence she has a blast beating the crap out of him. She even mocks how the Sisters never sympathized with him not because they decided so but rather they were incapable of expressing such feelings. So once the next phase is launched, those hatred will accumulated and it will be revenge time. When she decides to target Last Order, that is when Accelerator screws it all and fights back. Now it’s his turn to beat the crap out of her. His trauma activated when she pleads for help. He goes berserk thinking Sisters’ are meant to be killed by him and then make his mind broken. All those higher ups must be watching and laughing at this spectacle. Well, he is going to show them that his power can also be used to protect. Hence he is going to save her too.

Episode 20
Misaka Worst wakes up. She is mad Accelerator saved her. I don’t think it’s the right time for her to be ungrateful. Because Accelerator is going berserk trying to destroy everything. Does she want to get destroyed? Hamazura is trying to defend against the bloodthirsty privateers. Land mine came in handy to immobilize the tank but how will he fight against the helicopter? Don’t worry. Acqua is here! Touma arrives where Accelerator is. The latter is mad he is here and starts blaming him he couldn’t save Last Order and that this little kid had to go through lots of sh*t. That’s why the only way he could protect is by playing the bad guy. Touma tells him off it doesn’t matter if it is good or bad. You don’t need reason or status. Just protect the person you want and stand proud of it. Man, Touma’s words must be so resonating that he allows to be beat down like that? Yeah, he lost to Touma again. I guess Accelerator has come to terms that the guy who doesn’t think about whether good or evil is the strongest. Carissa faces off with the Maiden of Versailles and tells her about the Kremlin Report. Something about the Russian military able to take measures during an invasion and capture nuclear installations. The nuclear arsenal takes priority over human lives. Versailles accuses her of using French territory as a stepping stone to attack Russia. Once France prospers under the Roman Catholic Church, they cannot disregard their orders then. Carissa speaks the truth that this war is not the will of the Roman Catholic Church but Fiamma. They still have a chance to end this or will they become pawns of Fiamma. When Misaka sees Touma in the background of some TV news, she packs her bags to head to the warzone. Sorry Shirai, a certain guy is more important. Accelerator wakes up with Last Order by his side. A note left by Touma that only states Index’s name. Touma is doing some serious reflection if his doing has benefited Index in any way. He realizes he has been deceiving Index and is the worst but he will not tolerate submitting to Fiamma.

Episode 21
The Pope realizes the cardinals are holding a meeting to elect a new Pope. This means he has lost his authority and whatever he says will not end the war. But he is going to do what he can. Hyouka is talking to Aiwass about the situation in Russia. Though Aiwass doesn’t intend to do anything unless it interests him, Hyouka intends to head to Russia but on a condition her friends will not be hurt. Otherwise she will also make him her enemy. Acqua just finished clearing out the privateers. Those powered suits from Academy City arrive. Hamazura doesn’t want Acqua to destroy them. Instead, let them use this village as their base. Although they will temporarily lose their territory, at least it will be guarded. Accelerator doesn’t understand whatever magic is related to this document who took from the train. He is told that perhaps Elizalina could read it. However she is injured and recuperating at the battlefield. Accelerator shoots all the spies since he is going to leave Last Order here and get Elizalina. Hamazura and Takitsubo are running away from a powered suit. Thankfully Accelerator saves them. Elizalina diagnoses Last Order and Takitsubo’s situation. They have toxins in their bodies. Although Takitsubo’s can be removed and she is safe for sure, the same can’t be said for Last Order as her toxins will ‘replenish’. Accelerator shows the document to Elizalina and wonders if she can read it. Maybe. But he wants her to concentrate on healing the girls.

He goes to see Misaka Worst and wants her to work for him to collect data from the spies. Why would she work for him? Dark May Project. Misaka Worst needs to find an ability that makes her irreplaceable and not easily disposed of while Accelerator is going to find a way to save Last Order. As Academy City has crafted them to be evil, they are going to fight against them. They interrogate the spies but find lots of inconsistencies in their stories. Realizing this document is to be brought to the Russian’s frontlines, Accelerator is going to storm it. Touma is puzzled that the Russians and Academy City are fighting each other but Fiamma hasn’t come out of his base. Is he in some magic ritual? Ponder no more because Fiamma tells him himself that this is all to lure Touma out and make sure his right hand is safe. Stiyl accuses Laura of trying to mess with Index’s body to prevent Fiamma from getting all her grimoire as she has the other remote artefact that controls her. When Stiyl intends to do something about it, Laura uses her remote to activate Index. The time has come for Fiamma to finally materialize his floating island, Star of Bethlehem (SoB… ;p). This is his intention rather than preparing for a large scale mystic artefact. Misaka has hijacked a plane to Russia. Oh my, how could she see Touma right on that floating island?! Is her Touma vision really that strong? An angel cuts down the jet. Misaka lands but stumbles into one of her Sisters.

Episode 22
Fiamma has materialized the archangel Gabriel and uses her to remove all those who aren’t related to this. Takitsubo has recovered. Together with Hamazura, they decide to go back and protect that little Russian village since the Russian military might be planning to use a biological weapon on it. EAIN can’t act because the Russians will think they might be after the nuclear silo info. When Elizalina tells Accelerator about SoB and Gabriel being somewhat incomplete is because of the document in Accelerator’s hands, he believes this might be all connected in saving Last Order. Touma bumps into Sasha. She was used by Fiamma in a ritual to materialize Gabriel, hence the archangel manifested on its own rather than possessing her. Touma thinks she is connected and tries to touch all over her. Did he have a good time feeling her up? Too bad no nullification effect. Just Sasha beating him up. Touma thinks he might be using a remote to control Sasha like he did for Index. The next Pope hopeful thinks he will become the next Pope. But with the ex-Pope rallying the people, they are marching towards the Vatican and the guards can’t stop or harm them. Hence this Pope potential curses his fate what should have been him as the next Pope. But ex-Pope somewhat praises him for his actions pf uniting his followers and will vote for him in the next Papal Conclave and will aid him in his path. All he needs is to head to the library to do some research on how to bring down Fiamma. Fiamma cuts ties with his Russian conspirator seeing he already has what he wants and this dude no longer has any role to play. Carissa and Elizalina take on Gabriel. Can they really take on God’s archangel? Don’t really think they can win but what’s with Carissa’s plan to call in her surface to air missiles to fire at SoB? Gabriel returns to protect it. She turns her attention to Touma and Sasha but Hyouka kicks down Gabriel?! Hyouka > Gabriel?

Episode 23
Stiyl tries to attack Index but she eliminates him. What are the chances of she killing him for good? Hyouka and Gabriel continue to battle but the latter soon departs as she detects the document nearby. She tries to steal it from Accelerator so he too joins in the fight with Hyouka to pound this archangel. Fiamma is confronted by Acqua. I don’t understand this part but since Gabriel is under Acqua’s control, he is going to do some suicide move by absorbing telesma to remove it from the field. Fiamma dares him and believes his actions are futile but when he tries to order Misha to finish him off, she isn’t responding. Touma is randomly trying to use Imagine Breaker to break Fiamma’s power source. He deduces that Misha only appeared after SoB was in place. If Fiamma could control an archangel, he wouldn’t need to start World War III to achieve his goals. Hence SoB is needed to summon and maintain the archangel. With Gabriel weakened, Accelerator manages to beat down Gabriel. All for Last Order! Hamazura sees Acqua dying. The latter is more than happy to sacrifice his life and take Gabriel with him. However Hamazura yells at him about the people waiting and relying on him. Don’t you dare be the tragic hero now! With that, Acqua screams back to life. Wow. The power of words. While Fiamma faces off with Touma, Accelerator is dismayed after finding the jeep driven by Misaka Worst and Last Order has crashed. Is Hamazura really going to take on the entire Russian military? Don’t worry. Academy City bomber plane is here to bomb it all away.

Episode 24
Hyouka tells Accelerator that a song that Index once sung to Last Order is the key to save her. She can also do the same but he needs to find out some parameters for her to adjust to it. Takitsubo is missing from the bombing. As Hamazura searches for her, misfortune finds him in the form of Mugino. Damn, this b*tch is really hard to die. She eats some Body Crystals to power up. Her powers enough to go berserk. Thankfully it didn’t last long as she goes back down to powerless. Even in this pitiful state, Hamazura can’t kill her. Instead he hugs her and wants to save her (is this considered cheating?). I don’t know how he is going to do it but he vows to protect her (despite choosing Takitsubo) and find a way to bring ITEM back. You mean he is confident of reviving Frenda? Lessar finds Misha and strikes a deal with her to put a dent on Fiamma’s plans in exchange she helps England out in their time of need. Fiamma prepares to take Touma’s right hand. If Academy City’s super satellite laser can’t even touch him, is Touma f*cked? We hear Fiamma explaining about his goal to bring salvation to the world. He isn’t going to brainwash everybody but open their eyes with this power of his. Oh yeah. Like that will definitely work. Will it?! Fiamma cuts off Touma’s right arm and absorbs it. The power is his. However something still feels odd. Touma still has power? And then Touma’s right arm just grew back out! Damn, is this science or magic?! Fiamma is looking pretty scared as the most powerful being closest to God. From what I understand, Touma threw away all his power to get Imagine Breaker back. Touma now knows why Fiamma is doing all this. If he was all that powerful, why does he need to create this large SoB? Why does he need to gather all the churches and temples? This means that his power depends on how strong the enemy is. But still why does he need that much power? It’s because he is scared. He is scared that he cannot save the world. After all, he never saved the world before so there is no way to know if he has the power to do it. Touma can say he saved the world. Technically he saved many people so I guess that counts. He saved the world of those people. The final lecture to nail the coffin: A person who tries to be the saviour of the world cannot protect it. The world isn’t so weak to need one lousy bastard to be saved.

Episode 25
Hamazura still desperately trying to find Takitsubo. Happy to find her, however the hugging has to wait since she detects a couple of coneheads sent by Academy City to retrieve the failure that is Mugino. Does he think he can take them on with his machine gun? The power of deception as he deceives them about accidentally breaking some bottle with some virus. Enough for him to fire at point blank to a couple of them. The last one Mugino has the honour of taking out with Takitsubo’s help. Meanwhile from all that explanation that I don’t understand, Accelerator seems to have found the parameters to save Last Order and he need not be the villain anymore. Accelerator singing? Weird. He is bleeding all over, papers falling everywhere, feathers falling everywhere… Is he witnessing God right now? Touma and Fiamma’s fight continues. The former still shocked he can still block and do more than just nullify. Although Fiamma blames human for all the war, poverty, destruction of nature, etc, Touma argues that humans although may contain malice, but that is not what they only have (something that Fiamma only sees in them). Also, people don’t need a reason to fight for those they love. Touma believes he can save the world because unlike Fiamma, he believes people are strong. Strange, huge right arms appear all over the world and explode. Humans put aside their differences to take it down. The Russian side dispose of their greedy pope and rescue the real patriarch pope (a kid). Because Fiamma’s power may not originate from the Russian or Roman Catholic so their only choice is to seek the power from England’s Archbishop. Oh, Stiyl still trying to fend off against Index? He just needs to hold out long enough till Touma fixes everything… Anytime now… SoB is starting to lose its powers. Fiamma acknowledges he might be at a disadvantage now but he isn’t going to sit by and do nothing. The original plan was to gradually transform Earth. But thanks to Touma’s goodness some unnatural distortion has arisen between Heaven and Earth. Accumulated telesma will rain down on Earth, wiping everyone out. So much about doing good. Too late to do good?

Episode 26
Last Order wakes up. Look at the relieved look on Accelerator’s face. Because those lights are still going to rain down on Earth, Accelerator is not happy with this sh*t and is going to stop it. Damn! He becomes an angel complete with halo?! He was drenched in blood a second ago and now he is so clean and pure! Fiamma tries to use Index but his remote isn’t working since the English did something. Hence perfect timing for Souma to land one knuckle sandwich in his face. With SoB crumbling, Lessar leaves a note for Touma to escape. He still wants to save Fiamma? Okay. But only 1 pod left. Touma lets him use it since he has something to do. So Misaka’s trip all the way here was to be shoehorned to rescue him off via a jet she hijacked? Too bad that is wasted since Touma can’t go yet. Touma finds Index’s remote and conveniently talks to her consciousness. He admits about deceiving and doing something horrible to her. And then something inaudible about his memories. Damn those crashing loud sounds. But Index doesn’t mind. As long as the Touma she knows returns. He touches and nullifies the remote. Stiyl talks to Touma about destroying certain numbered artefacts so that SoB could crash into the sea. However Misha (Gabriel) is heading towards SoB. As she is trying to replenish, the power will grow but too forcefully that it will explode and release a massive amount of telesma. I don’t how Touma did it but he made SoB slam right into Misha! You mean she actually stood there and took the hit?! With everything sinking deep, Touma manages to get close and use Imagine Breaker on her.

Hamazura is trying to find something as a bargaining chip against Academy City. They are surrounded by Academy City people. This helmet woman spouting some crap about retrieving Takitsubo as she is top priority. Something about her rare ability to exert her influence as seen when she cooperated with Mugino to take down a conehead. Something about she can be able to provide the functions of Academy City all by herself. However all her men are shot by the villagers. That easy? It’s Hamazura’s turn to interrogate her all about this Parameter List she was talking about. Accelerator is retrieved and restrained. He tells those blokes to never use Last Order or Sisters again and never let him do their dirty work. So what if they don’t want to? Yeah, he just easily breaks out. That’s one lesson they’ll never forget. Fiamma crash lands safely but upon exiting the pod, his right hand is cut off by Alesiter. He claims he has grown too obsessed with it and almost went beyond that and discover some truths. Too late for Fiamma to be motivated by Touma words. He wants to fight back but Aleister promptly kills him. Aiwass is glad his form was transferred to a different domain than eliminated. Hyouka advises him to learn more about humans because betray them and they’ll get you back when you least expect it. Aiwass doesn’t believe it because they would have done so had they had that kind of power. Misaka is looking through the icy waters. Gasp! Not Touma she found. His handphone strap. Oh no! But don’t worry. Touma is seen floating on some board and is picked up by Leivinia Birdway and Mark Space. Russia’s Pope suspends all military action and agrees to talk with Academy City. Fiamma is apparently alive. Picked up by Ollerus and Silvia. WTF Ollerus was supposed to be a Magic God but is now just a normal sorcerer?

Screw Science! Screw Magic! Screw Religion! Screw Humanity! It’s Revelation!
So this is how it ends? Well, if you think this is the end of the Index series, then you’re both right and wrong. True, the Index series ends here. But the story somewhat continues into a new story, Shinyaku To Aru Majutsu No Index. We’ll have to see if that will get adapted in the future. Of course with so many developments and even throwing in a few new faces in the final episode, it is safe to say that something bigger than a world war is going to happen but that would be for the next spinoff. After all, the Index series itself has many spinoff novels where these other characters popped up. So those who have been reading up wouldn’t find them entirely alien.

So yeah, you might be bored and annoyed and predicting that I am going to be a broken tape recorder. Repeating myself and telling the whole wide world how I still don’t understand everything. What to do? I wasn’t born a rocket scientist nor became one along the way. I don’t know if I could say that I wasted 26 x 24 minutes of my life watching this third season because ultimately I still don’t comprehend the finer things of what this series had to offer. All I know is that some people in here wants to play God, wants to become God and in in the name of bringing salvation to humans because you know, we are such malicious creatures with no redeeming points. Oh no. That’s not at least what our heroes in this series believes. So it’s always that conflicting cliché that bad guys are the ones who want to change the world while the good guys want status quo. The reason we don’t often resonate with the baddies is because of their methods and how they go about to reach their goals. Hence it’s that dilemma of rather than wiping out humans or brainwashing them into mindless but good NPCs, it is better to accept the good, the bad, the ugly, everything that defines us and continue this sh*tty life. Because life isn’t fair. Because that’s life. Yeah. Heroes often love to argue this when saving the world from villains.

With the final arc being the longest arc ever in the entire To Aru Majutsu No Index series, however my pet peeve is that this World War III arc doesn’t really feel like a World War III arc. Personally it feels like Fiamma Versus The World arc. Because the scenes are mostly concentrated around SoB and we don’t really see the world fighting each other. Therefore it doesn’t give me the feel that the entire world was actually against each other. Sure, they may be fighting in the background and the series doesn’t want to distract us with ‘meaningless war’ elsewhere that doesn’t contribute to the plot. Therefore World War III might just be mislabelled like World War I because the latter only involved Europe and yet they named it World War. How grand. Furthermore, from what I see and remember, wasn’t it just England vs France, Vatican vs Russia and Academy City vs everybody else? I don’t know. It just feels like that to me. And in the end, World War III somewhat became World Liberation because humans finally found the strength to put aside their differences to save their world. Damn, it’s really wishful thinking that a bunch of mortals on Earth can actually defend themselves from the onslaught of God and Heaven.

I didn’t study the bible so I know nuts about all the biblical terms here. Yeah, a very Christian anime, right? Sometimes it feels all the plot and whatever shenanigans they pull off here, it’s like as though they pull it out from thin air. God have mercy on my soul. I’m sure very fanatic and dedicated Index fans can enlighten me a lot or I do my own extensive research on the internet but you know me, I’m just lazy and not interested ;p. The way they show how Christians are being at odds at each other feels like a big thing because how come no other major religions like Muslim, Buddhism or Hinduism are caught in this conflict? Oh yeah. I’m an atheist so I’m somewhat safe, right? So we have England being Anglican Christians, Roman Catholic Christians representing the Vatican, Orthodox Christianity widely practised in Russia and in Academy City, uhm, scientific Christians?! Haha, don’t worry I made that one up.

Character wise, surprisingly Touma isn’t the only star here. Heck, triple stars here. Touma along with Accelerator and surprise package Hamazura are the main heroes. I believe for the first time that there are a couple of arcs that Touma was completely absent thanks to being him having his overseas mission so often here. Hence this gives Accelerator and Hamazura to shine and time to build up their plot and character. Among the trio, I think I prefer to vouch for Hamazura because he seems so normal and yet he defies all the odds. It might look like he gets into unfortunate incidents but I feel it is the ‘opposite’ of Touma’s misfortune and that he is such a blessed guy anyway. Accelerator is as weird as he is filled with angst and it’s strange just to think that his life’s mission is to save Last Order and the only way he could do that is to play the villain. Not that I understand. Is he being an anti-hero? Does he know how to actually play the villain? Because he sounds crazy doesn’t mean he knows how to be one. But whatever. Even weirder he sprouts hurricane vortex wings when unleashing his ultimate power. Sure, he is still crazy but I find he isn’t as crazy as before in the previous seasons. Did the loli tame him? And then he became an angel. I think that was really pushing it and I lost my WTF mind. Everyone is screwed if there was this type of angel.

Lastly this Touma dude, there might be some secret about his real identity that I might not have understood. Especially about his surname which is more than just coincidence than a play on words. Oh wait. I don’t think it is revealed yet. Just teased. Otherwise, typical cliché main character. Don’t care what is right or wrong. Just do what your heart tells you! And you don’t need a reason for it! You know that won’t really fly in a lot of other situations. After all, nobody could best his right hand. At least, nobody yet. So yeah. He’s got that kind of main character vibe.

Oddly, I started thinking how similar these 3 characters are because they have got a girl they love or some b*tch girl who is after them. For example, Touma probably loves Index and he’s got this tsundere biri-biri Misaka ever so ‘concerned’ over him. Then we have Accelerator who is protecting Last Order while Misaka Worst despite working with him in the end, is ultimately still a b*tch. No prizes to guess that it is Takitsubo for Hamazura while psycho b*tch Mugino always returns from the dead to haunt him. So yeah. Do you see a particular pattern here in this sense? I forgot to add Itsuwa to the mix and even Lessar to a certain extent. I guess Touma being the top main character means he has these extra babes, huh?

With a host of other characters, it is just hard to keep track of them so I’m skipping them because when some made their recurring appearance, I had to dig back deep into my previous blog just to remember this character’s name. Heck, I was lazy so I Google for faster search results. With too many of them to remember, I believe many of their fates are still left hanging as the season ends. But remember, the series itself is technically ongoing and not over. However what I want to say that Index being the titular character here feels so side-lined that sometimes it feels that she doesn’t really matter. Like as though she has been reduced to some plot device and convenience. Because in the early arcs while Touma or the other guys were at the forefront, Index was like at home bumming around and doing nothing really significant. I’m sure Touma is keeping her safe and hidden from those who are after her grimoires but really, Index feels more like an annoying brat who complains about not having her regular feeding time when Touma fails to do that thanks to his ‘busy’ schedule. And then in the later arcs, Index becomes immobilized as she goes into some sort of coma because Fiamma has some weird remote control over her. Whatever. She didn’t get to even reunite with Touma in the end. That spiritual vision in the final episode feels forced. Got to give us some peace of mind before the season ends.

Other trivial things to note, the British royalty seems to have really weird and unusual English names. Like Elizard and Rimea are names of the old English (I guess it beats having the usual Elizabeth, Victoria or Catherine – or Jane or Sarah) but Villian? Did they misspell Vivian or something? Because I keep misspelling her name as Villain. Or at least each time I see her name it looks like that synonymous word for antagonist. Carissa might sound so English but that name is actually of Greek origin. Yeah, the irony. I think I want to get this off my chest because Aiwass calling himself so, I can’t help want to tease it as Ai-what-ass?! Ai (I) was an ass… Haha! I never thought Aleister would leave his windowless building but I guess he got bored hanging out upside down in his tube. Sometimes you need to take a walk outside and throw the trash. Sort of. The creepiest character goes to Gabriel because whenever she ‘speaks’ there is this very eerie frequency that comes with it. Our puny human ears cannot hear words of an angel. But yeah, still creepy.

If there was something that was less confusing for me to understand, perhaps some of the action sequences brought in a little reprieve of my prolonged headache. Sure, they are packed with divine power and punch but ultimately it feels a lot like sci-fi fantasy when they get to do such weird overpowered moves. Becoming angels, summoning the powers of angels because of some certain characteristics and traits, I wonder how science can explain all that. Heck, even some of the technology of Academy City feels so bizarre that it is more fantasy than sci-fi. And don’t get me started of how WTF certain action scenes look. They defy the law of physics just for the sake of action. I don’t know if science or magic is behind this but it’s just mind blowing (like Touma’s jump from the train and Hamazura’s jump from the helicopter). Physics give a pass for those who are trying to save what is important to them!

This season it isn’t Mami Kawada who sings the opening themes. They are replaced by Maon Kurosaki (who sang the ending themes for the previous seasons, by the way). The first opener is Gravitation, a dramatic rock piece with a hint of synthesizer effects. Although the second opener, Roar has the same feel to it, but it sounds a lot darker and heavier on its metal side and in comparison, I’d prefer Gravitation. Because Index was insignificant in this series, I figure that is why Yuka Iguchi sings both the ending themes. However Kakumei Zenya (first ending theme) and Owaranai Uta (second ending theme) are slow ballads and these sound unfitting for this sci-fi action series. Though, it isn’t the first time the series had slow ballads as the first season had them too. Honestly, just weird.

Overall, I couldn’t fully enjoy this season because of all the complicated sci-fi terms and plots. Too many characters to remember and many feel irrelevant as the season crosses into its final stretch. And like I’ve said, I’m only watching this first since To Aru Kagaku No Railgun is getting another season subsequently. Not that I’m pinning my hopes that spinoff will get me to understand things better but it’s the only way Misaka, Shirai, Uiharu and Saten are going to have more screen time of their own compared to this paltry cameos here. Oh wait. You mean there’s more? You mean Accelerator is getting his own f*cking spinoff?! Damn, is this science or magic behind this trickery?! Is it because that guy got elevated into an angel that he now must have his own spinoff?! In that case, why didn’t they make a spinoff for the erotic fallen angel maid Kanzaki?! That would have been the most epic storyline ever! WTF, you guys?! Did you miss this one out?! I definitely would see that one! It’s not science. It’s not magic. It’s not religion or faith. It’s just love. You don’t need a reason to love maids. Ah, the misfortune of not having that godly spinoff…

Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan

July 26, 2019

A sequel to an anime that I have never heard of? Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan is apparently the sequel to Genki!! Ekoda-chan that was aired way back in 2011. It must have been one of those very obscure animes and I would have probably given this anime short the skip too had not the synopsis sounded intriguing. The titular character is a woman who drifts around Tokyo through various jobs and even relationships. This series is a take on cute girls who use their cuteness and affect stupidity in order to try and score against men (against whom the author is constantly fighting). I guess it really is a dog eat dog world out there when the competition is so intensely insane. But this series isn’t going to be a typical continuous series like many others. Each episode is directed by a different director and hence like a standalone, you can see their different interpretations and results on this take.

Episode 1
* Ekoda has been working at a bar and people always make assumptions she is 3 years older than she looks. This makes her worry that she looks older than she is supposed to be.
* Ekoda while changing manages to catch a lizard (after 20 minutes) and makes it as her pet.
* Ekoda works so tirelessly at the bar that the only way she can replenish herself every night is… sumo wrestling with a dog?! Sure it wasn’t sex?
* Once her family wanted her to help out with some family business but she ended up driving all over the crabs on her trip. What did her boyfriend think? What a waste of crab meat…

Episode 2
Ekoda ponders about the structure of a baby’s body that made them able to survive plane crashes. However all these thoughts are just to distract herself from her boyfriend who is brazenly talking to his other girlfriend on his handphone! He even has the cheek that he is not cheating on her! But there is a reason why Ekoda tolerates this. She has been waiting and ‘fighting’ this long battle and if she gives up now, all this would be for naught. She knows he is the problem but if she starts telling herself that, it renders this long hanging on as meaningless. Then she asks if he would like sex. Nah. He has to wake up early tomorrow. The problem now is to whether sleep facing him or away. The former makes her look like begging but the latter makes her look like sulking. Facing upwards looks like some desperate pathetic compromise. In the end, she sleeps facing him.

Episode 3
* Ekoda is now a cat girl! She observes a girl who loves animals. Including eating steak… Maybe it’s just her.
* Ekoda’s big sister thinks she knows everything but she doesn’t know she eats in her sleep because Ekoda herself has tried feeding her so!
* A guy tells Ekoda how all the school girls here would be married or have migrated overseas in the future. And then, some will have died… WTF?!
* Ekoda tries to order a hamburger but the waiter keeps messing up her order.
* A friend talks to Ekoda about her sexuality. As she is unsure about BDSM, she bought some ropes and boiled them to soften it up. However her dad accidentally ate it thinking it was oden. It has been awkward between them ever since.
* Ekoda’s rule of doodling is to draw fish on rice omelettes, put paw prints on condensation and draw happy faces on knees.

Episode 4
Ekoda is always fine being alone when young. But as she grow older and saw on the news how a celebrity died, it made her worry if she’ll die lonely. Well yeah, she knows her boyfriend is brazenly having another girlfriend. So she ponders about relationship issues and feels that her boyfriend doesn’t even acknowledge her existence considering he knows her ‘warm living insides’. Then she finds out from his friend that he already broken up with her girlfriend. You mean to sound that shocked? She confronts him and why didn’t he tell her? It’s none of her business. Oh, there’s this other girl he wants to date… And he finds his new date nothing new. Ekoda blames him for fooling around. Likewise he does the same. Her excuse is that she only changed into so because he didn’t become her boyfriend. And that is why he didn’t want to. That must have really hurt Ekoda. She is devastated that she has now become a ‘ghost’.

Episode 5
Ekoda fears this lizard would crawl inside her (?!) so after painting herself with body paint, she captures it and it now becomes her pet. But now she has the cockroach to deal with! A battle begins and as she tries to throw a knife, she missed and instead her lucky bamboo became unlucky, cut into half. She manages to trap it in a paper bag and then microwave it! Extreme! But now what? Mosquito attack! Yeah, her room is like a pig sty, no wonder so many bug invasions. Will Ekoda smack the blood sucker? Will Mosquito get the better of this giant? Accidentally Ekoda releases the lizard as it violently eats the mosquito. Then the lizard escapes. Alone again. Naturally. Even more so when Ekoda realizes she stepped on her favourite bun. Summer has ended.

Episode 6
Ekoda returns home after a long day at work. She strips all her clothes till she is in her comfortable birthday suit. She cooks and drinks in the privacy of her own room that makes you think that she might be acting like a typical middle aged man. Then she gets a call from a friend to hang out. So she dresses up and puts on makeup and heads back out. She narrates that unlike middle aged men, she acknowledges she is at the prime of her life and is attractive enough to make the flowers around blush. She still has dreams, hopes and other battles to fight through.

Episode 7
Ekoda wakes up from this weird dream with red threads of fate everywhere. She panics and looks at her boyfriend’s hand. No red thread. I guess he’s not the one. Then more weird dreams of red threats connecting everything as she is trying to find her own. Sometimes she gets too tied up in them. Then there’s a time she was drowning in the sea of red threats and some monster was about to eat her but luckily her mom and sister reel her up. Too bad the string broke and it’s down into the monster’s mouth. What a way to wake up from another weird dream. It is then she realizes her familial bonds felt more real than any other fated connections she might have.

Episode 8
Ekoda’s friend, M is attending a drinking party. Everyone is trying to figure out what Ekoda does and they have very different ideas. Albeit they think she’s an amazing person. They ask M about it but it’s not like she’s her babysitter who knows everything about her. When another member comes in and talks about seeing Ekoda somewhere, M cuts short her night and leaves. Returning home, she sees Ekoda eating alone. Looks like she cooked for her boyfriend but that guy stood up on her last minute again. M joins her and thankfully didn’t invite Ekoda to the drinking party that she was supposed to. There wasn’t anybody interesting. I guess that’s why they love their curry meat as it doesn’t cancel on you or badmouths you. But you can’t marry meat and can even get fat. Ekoda is confident she’ll get back to normal again later.

Episode 9
A unique first person view of Ekoda as she works as a customer service call centre for a life insurance company. With so many waiting calls and people calling with the strangest and most bizarre reasons (including disgruntled calls), I guess her only reprieve is the nice view across her window. The colleague sitting next to her is equally noisy and her superior seems to be a pushy one. And then a storm. The lightning is scary enough to cause a blackout. Is this the norm because everyone is like doing an evacuation drill. Although the power comes back, the boss tries to tell everyone to get back to work. Some really losing it and the next door colleague is just going crazy before returning to her duties. It’s utter chaos. Ekoda feels like running away but eventually picks up a call. A mother’s son has STD… Here we go again… Sighs…

Episode 10
Ekoda in weird marionette animation and musical. Basically the song is about what really Ekoda is and that Ekoda exists inside us all. We are Ekoda! The final full body marionette of Ekoda, why does she remind me of The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Sally? Somehow seeing blue characters now give me the chills. Megamind, Avatar, Smurfs, the rebooted Genie from Aladdin, that horrendous Sonic the Hedgehog…

Episode 11
Ekoda is in a bar and some guy who sounds like he is some sort of budding musician is trying to get her to join his gig or something. We can tell from Ekoda’s face that she isn’t really interested but she isn’t that mean to tell him to go f*ck off. On another night, this time this guy can’t stop chatting about himself and how he got into this music genre and its history or something. Boring. You can tell Ekoda once more has picked up a useless guy. But all this didn’t dishearten Ekoda as she continues to do what she’s doing. Maybe she’ll hit the Mr Right one day?

Episode 12
Ekoda realizes she has turned 24. But screw all that because ignorance is how you survive today! Right on! Unknown to her, a peeper is happily watching her via his viewing scope from across. As Ekoda watches TV about knife demonstration and laughs at the impossible cutting, she realizes her boyfriend hasn’t called her recently and could it be that she has been cut off?! Not sure what this weird cat girl idol dance is all about but whatever. Ignorance, right?! Then she realizes the peeping tom is watching and then dares him by baring it all. Can you see the bear in her pubes?! Look at all you want you creepy bastard! Gochisousama?

Naked And (Not) Afraid
So which Ekoda am I? I don’t know. I’m not a woman who loves frolicking around naked so I don’t know which Ekoda I am closest to. Heck, I’m not even a woman! Excuses, excuses… Speaking of excuses, I guess I was expecting the final episode to end with a bang. You know, saving the best for last. But it is just like any other standalone episodes and nothing really that mind blowing. Except maybe Ekoda may have awakened and transited from a closet pervert to a full blown exhibitionist. I suppose there is nothing more turn off for a peeper for a target who knowingly dares you to look. Yeah, where’s the fun in that. Ekoda may not be winning in her life but she’s doing it at her own pace. Ekoda being Ekoda is just Ekoda. Heh. I don’t even know what I’m saying now. Ignorance is to survive!

With only 3 minutes of running time in each episode, a simpleton like me who jumped into watching this series without reading the original manga source would definitely be lost. I mean, they have to cram everything into that duration and have to tell what needs to be told in that same length. Therefore there are many skits that I don’t really understand and I’m just like, “Okay. Whatever”. Essentially I believe that all showcases somewhat the challenges and issues faced by Ekoda in her everyday life. Mostly about her relationship blues. After all, Ekoda like many other women do long for a man to lean on and be supported in her life. Not to say that Ekoda is a weak woman but that is naturally a woman’s instinct. So what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? I suppose that is why the series’ title included rinshi which means near death. Well then, fight on, Ekoda-chan!

Not sure if it is clickbait to get people like me to watch since one of Ekoda’s most prominent feature is that she loves to be naked. At least within the confines and comfort of her own home (notwithstanding the final episode somewhat). But don’t worry. This isn’t even hentai or close to ecchi. You can circumvent that by not drawing tits! Yeah, that always works. I don’t think Ekoda is an exhibitionist but by I believe being naked somewhat symbolizes the freedom that she longs for. Because by wearing clothes especially uniforms, you are then chained and bound by the rules of whatever the role or job that uniform or clothes encompasses. Even if it is for a short moment, Ekoda can be by herself, for herself with that freedom she enjoys, oblivious to the world. Then it’s back to dolling herself up and trying to get herself a man. The vicious cycle continues. I guess eventually she has to go back to the system. Or maybe nobody can really escape it.

The irony of having a 3 minute short episode is the special interview segment that comes after it. Uh huh. It lasts way longer! A full 24 minutes to be exact! As each episode has a different director and seiyuu, this interview segment discloses their thoughts on just about everything. Their views on the anime, the character to even their opinions on working with each other and how relatable Ekoda is in their life. It is quite comprehensive if you really want to know more about this stuff but I have to admit, I skimmed through this part and didn’t watch the whole thing. Yeah. Don’t want to fall asleep listening to their outlook on just about everything. No wonder I’m so blur after watching this series. Not that I would understand it any better if I sat through that whole 24 minutes! I mean, when you have this segment longer than the actual series itself, you gotta make it worth by expressing and saying all that you want to say that is on your mind. Sometimes it feels ‘wasted’ because they put so much time and effort in the interviews but the actual anime is just 3 minutes. Ah, I see even producing an anime short has lots of challenges going on in the background. But what do I know? I’m not even in the anime industry.

And isn’t it just weird, pairing an old man director with a young cute, beautiful seiyuu? Feels like an after porn shoot! Haha! Oops, sorry. Crossed the line there. But yes, it does feel a bit odd. Of course some seiyuus are veterans so they’re also showing their age but not as hagged and ugly as the male directors. Old men in Japan don’t really take care of their appearances, huh? On a trivial note, the only seiyuus I recognized participating in this series are Romi Paku and Ami Koshimizu. Damn they didn’t employ Mamiko Noto and she would have been perfect for the role of Ekoda. Oh yeah. I can already imagine her in it.

But this interview segment isn’t all about the boring talking. At the end of this segment, we have a glimpse to see how they make the episode in focus. However the interesting ones are those who didn’t employ the usual traditional 2D hand drawn style. For example like that marionette episode, it is quite interesting to see the equipment and how they do it to make the visuals look so surreal. Quite fascinating. Otherwise those traditional hand drawn ones are just your typical artist sketches and adding colour and final touches before that scene becomes the official and final cut.

With different director producing an episode each, it is hard for me to pinpoint which is the most interesting one. They have their hits and misses. Each has their own quirky weirdness (some call it creativity). From the very sketchy frame-like episode 11 (like as though it isn’t finished and still at the editing board) to the rotoscoping technique in episode 6 and of course that live action marionette in episode 10. In terms of visual, my pick would be episode 9 because of its first person view. I don’t know, I seem to be quite fascinated with this visual style since you don’t often have series that is entirely from a first person perspective. In terms of the ‘storyline’, episode 5 is most amusing and interesting because Ekoda vs the bugs! That was really funny. The most WTF is episode 7 because everything is so abstract, I don’t know what is going on. The most thought provoking would be episode 2 as Ekoda contemplates if should tolerate the tomfoolery of her boyfriend despite him shamelessly having another girlfriend and not even trying to hide it. Episode 4 comes in a close second and her relationship with her boyfriend can be easily checked as Facebook’s ‘complicated’. Episode 12 is the closest I can somewhat relate to. At least in the sense that ignorance is the key to survival! Oh yeah. I wonder myself how I got this far in life… Thanks Ekoda, for that one :-).

Each episode also features a different ending theme. Some of them are quite nice to hear. For instance, the jiving Broadway-like Ukiyo Ni Hana by Shoose (episode 1), the dramatic Yume Ni Yowasarete by Sho Hayami (episode 2), the interesting enka take of Mukudori Bojou by Hiroshi Kitadani (episode 6) and the lively Numa by Masayoshi Ooishi (episode 10). Hard rock ones feel somewhat weird like Naked Echo by Araki (episode 3) and Ganbarima Sengen by Gero (episode 5). Not as weird as the weird Ito No Yume by Noristry (episode 7) that sounds a bit like cacophony. Other okay ones include Sora Omoi: Dattan-jin No Odori (episode 4), the slow ballad of Roudousha No Ballad by Asa (episode 8), Koi Ga Hajimara Night by Yuusuke Kobayashi (episode 9), the soulful lounge-like Tokyo Shinobi Saki by Piko (episode 11) and the generic rock beat of Dear Gemstones by Yuuri Matsuoka (episode 12).

Overall, not really a bad anime but despite being a unique styled anthology it still isn’t enough to make me really want to love it or wish there was more or another season. It’s just, how should I put it, strange and peculiar. You mean, unique? Nah. More like strange and peculiar. Because at the end of the day, it’s not like I understand very well Ekoda’s heart either. Maybe Ekoda just simply wants a man to love and I’m just overthinking if there are lines to read in between. Even if Ekoda doesn’t have the advantage of those ‘birds of prey’ girls, as long as she knows this by heart she’ll do just fine: God made women beautiful so that men could love her. Also, God made women foolish so that they could love him!

RDG: Red Data Girl

July 21, 2019

Every day, we stray further and further away from God and His path of light. With today’s era of modern society, it seems people have become less and less religious. Blame technology? Blame the changing of societal norms? Blame us being typically humans. Well, I’m not here to lecture and preach to everybody on how everyone should go back being religious because yours truly is also as guilty as hell in not doing any hourly/daily/weekly/monthly/yearly prayers. So it’s not like I felt guilty or empty or something that I decided to go watch this somewhat spiritually associated RDG: Red Data Girl. Heck, I thought it was something to do with the internet or IT. You know, some sort of hacker girl thingy. How wrong I was. Instead… Girl with spiritual powers. A vessel for a powerful goddess. People targeting her. Boy-cum-childhood friend tasked to protect her. Will love come in between? And I’m not talking about the love for God kind.

Episode 1
Izumiko Suzuhara wants a change. So she just slightly cuts her bangs and the whole sleepy village notices and is in shock. Yeah. Those nasty boys at school even mock her that the ‘shrine has got a new roof’. During computer lessons, Izumiko decides to try and use one. Previously anything electronic she touches go haywire. Will this time be different? Suddenly she manages to do a video conference with her dad, Daisei? Wow. The internet must be damn good at that time for them to speak so smoothly in real time. It seems Izumiko is against going to Houjou Academy in Tokyo and she doesn’t want him to decide her life if he can’t even attend her PTA today (I guess he got swamped with work in good ol’ America). Then he notices her bangs. Things get weirder and trippy. Izumiko panics to cut off the power. Suddenly the entire school faces a blackout. Hope you saved your work. Izumiko starts crying, blaming herself for this outage. Even more shocking that Yukimasa Sagara, an acquaintance of Daisei flies in with his helicopter to pick Izumiko up. You mean dad made this emergency call???!!! Yukimasa explains that her hair may have spiritual powers and she doesn’t have to worry if everything around her has changed. It hasn’t. Only her. Because she cut her bangs, right? Damn, Izumiko is taken to a hospital for a full scan and check-up. This must be really a big deal.

When she returns, she meets Yukimasa’s son, Miyuki. But he is not too pleased to meet this plain Jane bespectacled braided ‘goddess’. You can say he hates her. He isn’t also happy that he is the backup plan for all this. Yeah, they haven’t seen each other for 10 years. Yukimasa assures he won’t marry them off. Their status will not allow it. The most he would become is he manservant and that he will be by her side until he dies. Originally the plan was for her to meet up with them at Tokyo but since she didn’t want that, they will follow with her plan to go to a local high school. Izumiko’s fate is to be raised protected from the world. Whether or not she knows about it doesn’t matter, this is their matter to handle. Miyuki will not accept all this and leaves. But after Yukimasa brings him back, he is all messed up and bruised from a fall. The damning thing is how Miyuki is a changed guy! He has regretted the err of his ways and will transfer here. Later that night, Izumiko talks to Miyuki and knows he didn’t want to do this. Certainly. Miyuki only agreed since Yukimasa threatened to kill him. That guy is crazy. Telling others won’t do any good as he is the one calling the shots. Miyuki adds how much he hates people like Izumiko since she is unable to think for herself. She tries to deny and some flashback of how Miyuki ‘bullied’ her to make her strong but she remained a weakling cry-baby. Izumiko doesn’t think she is special too and that is the only thing that Miyuki agrees with her. Next day, Miyuki introduces himself as a new transfer student in Izumiko’s class.

Episode 2
The school will be having a field trip to Tokyo and Izumiko is uneasy about it. Because, crowds. The only guy in school whom Izumiko feels comfortable with, Satoru Wamiya shares the same sentiments with her that he doesn’t like Miyuki. He hopes they can go to the local high school together. Izumiko receives a handphone gift from her mom, Yukariko. Hope the reception here is good. Miyuki doesn’t like Izumiko bugging him but with Yukariko’s letter, he thinks this is the only person whom Yukimasa will listen to. It seems mom wants to meet up with her at Tokyo. But she lacks confidence and wants him to do it on her behalf. He snaps back what if Yukariko doesn’t want to speak to him? In that case, she’ll go. But he has to come along. Can he say no? Izumiko has a bad feeling during the flight and upon touchdown at the airport. She looks pale and sick. It is believed the dark shadows are bad people and there could be some targeting her. They can’t chicken out now as they have to meet Yukariko at the designated place. But as they wait, she didn’t show up. A message comes in saying she can’t make it as she has been spotted. Possibly the people who are after her. She suggests that they come to her house since there is a barrier. As they make haste, weird things seem to happen like as though it is trying to stop them. Like the turnstile suddenly stop functioning and the trains too. Oh dear. Japan’s trains are going to be late! Even the taxi brings them to the wrong street. Yeah, it’s raining heavier. With the electricity around them being cut off, Miyuki too can’t help feel paranoid. Izumiko now really feels scared as something ominous is approaching her. She doesn’t want him to chant an exorcism but to hold her hand. But as the ominous shadow approaches… Yukimasa???!!! Miyuki doesn’t believe he is the real deal but Yukimasa points out Izumiko recognized him and her fear of him proves he is the real deal! WTF???!!! No wonder Miyuki is mad. Izumiko insists she felt something bad. That’s not Yukimasa and probably those bad people who are targeting her. He adds they won’t find Yukariko at home but she provided her place for them to rest safely.

In her house as Izumiko rests, Yukimasa explains about Yukariko always away and working hard to draw attention away from Izumiko. Miyuki still accuses Yukimasa of doing something fishy to Izumiko and perhaps he is the reason why Yukariko stayed away thanks to his presence. Yukimasa doesn’t blame her as it is their nature. There are many people who want to use such powers for their own benefit. Even mountain monks like them. Through ancient times, mountain monks have received powers via training but they have always been women. Miyuki felt nothing from Izumiko as her powers aren’t awaken yet. Miyuki doesn’t think he is up to the job. If he wants to protect Izumiko, by all means do it himself. Suddenly Izumiko appears before them in a kimono. However it is not her. It is Himegami possessing her. Immediately Yukimasa bows before her. It seems Izumiko’s body is to be her vessel but it feels too uncomfortable to inhabit her now. She just came down to check things out after feeling some change. Himegami warns that Izumiko will be her last vessel as she could no longer move forward. Himegami withdraws and Izumiko returns to normal, unaware of what just happened. Yukimasa assures her that her memories will return in time. Miyuki realizes Izumiko is part of a lineage of living vessels. Yukimasa agrees that this burden is too big for Miyuki to handle. He gives him the option to get out and even transfer out from school. Miyuki not happy? Isn’t this what he wanted?

Episode 3
Izumiko explains during her time being possessed. It felt strange like as though she is watching herself. Miyuki now realizes why Yukimasa did all this with great importance and that his real goal is Himegami and not Izumiko. Izumiko’s friends must be considerate. Realizing that Wamiya didn’t come on the field trip, they bought souvenirs for him but have Izumiko give it to him. She does so but Wamiya notices she has changed. He regrets she went to a filthy place like Tokyo. He reminds her she can’t leave here and noting that she now doesn’t hate Miyuki as much as before, he will eliminate him. Hence a few guys go pick a fight with him. It seems they are under Wamiya’s control and they’re really about to get dangerous when they pull out a knife. Luckily, Shingo Nonomura, Izumiko’s driver safely knocks them out and has Miyuki come with them. Miyuki tells Izumiko that there is no such classmate as Wamiya. An ominous presence starts chasing them as Izumiko realizes that it could be partly her fault that Wamiya is doing this. The shadow catches up and crashes the car. Thankfully all survive but Nonomura is stuck. Wamiya shows his face and for the first time Miyuki sees him. Just a normal middle school student. He admits so. As long as Izumiko wishes. As Wamiya has existed in the mountains for a long time without a form, she could only see him after cutting her bangs. He is born out of her wishes. A friend who would understand her. And since she created him, he will not allow her to easily abandon him. Nonomura wants Miyuki to use his staff in the trunk but he is unconfident since he lacks experience. Wamiya wants Izumiko to go to the local high school and she doesn’t have a choice. Otherwise he will kill her. Miyuki wants Izumiko to do just that. Better than dying. However she won’t do that. This isn’t like him. So she confronts Wamiya that if he is from he wishes, obey her. Stop being selfish or she’ll hate him and leave the mountains for good. With that, Wamiya disappears.

In hospital, Nonomura explains Wamiya could be a familiar of a goddess. He had enough powers to go berserk once she realized his form but luckily she managed to control him before it was too late. He assures Wamiya isn’t destroyed but is waiting for a chance to meet again. Izumiko decides to go to Houjou. Miyuki promises to hone his powers there since that place gathers people like them. He will transfer there and tell her what it’s like. Wamiya pops up again but this time he seeks to be dissolved. Since Izumiko first summoned him via mountain top dance that she thought it was some exercise, that same ritual will dissolve him. Izumiko dons her miko outfit as she realizes the reason why she summoned him in the first place. She wanted someone to understand the real her. She was afraid of others looking at her and embarrassed at them seeing her as she is since she can’t accept herself. She starts off her dance and this captivates Miyuki. For once she doesn’t think she is that useless. Wamiya is satisfied and disappears into the wind. 6 months down the road, Izumiko arrives at Houjou and is greeted by Miyuki. He advises her to keep her powers a secret since she is one of the few who got accepted without taking any entrance exam. Izumiko meets her roommate, Mayura Souda who instantly takes a liking for this cute girl.

Episode 4
Mayura introduces Izumiko to her twin brother, Manatsu. His passion is horses but thanks to him, Mayura manages to get into Houjou without sitting for an exam. Mayura further explains that they aren’t exactly twins but triplets. There was a third one but died when they were young. Izumiko gets anxious around the top student and student council candidate, Ichijou Takayanagi. It’s because he looks very similar to Wamiya. However he gives off this creepy feeling and sounds like an arrogant jerk. Izumiko is in a separate class from Mayura. She is in the same class with Manatsu, though. Izumiko has that anxious feeling again as she could see those ominous shadows. Today she is on contacts and only know she remembers why her mom gave her glasses? To protect her from seeing things? Anyway, Izumiko is afraid as she points out to Manatsu about that shadow sitting at the back of the class. Since he can’t see, he points that person out as Ricardo, the Brazilian transfer student. A couple of girls give Izumiko a website that is made by Takayanagi. They give her a password to access it and the site supposedly has some fortune telling readings. Izumiko has the misfortune to make eye contact with Ricardo. He approaches her and wants to meet at the AV room. She agrees just to make him go away. It got so bad that Izumiko ran all the way to Miyuki’s class for help. He hears her out and wants her to see through that promise. You know, Japanese people are good in keeping the promise they make, right?

Izumiko enters the AV room. Why the hell was Ricardo sitting there in the dark? The first thing he asks her if she is human. Suddenly Takayanagi performs a few quick exorcisms on Izumiko. He is glad she is human. Miyuki sees this and calls it bullying. Then he fires his spiritual arrow at Ricardo and instantly turns him into dust. With this, Takayanagi knows their identities. A mountain aesthetic and a spirit vessel. He claims he is not even in his league. After he leaves, Mayura pops out from hiding and she has watched the whole thing. She deduces that Takayanagi is a spirit user and Ricardo must be his spirit agent. She claims she has the same mountain monk training as Miyuki but can’t control spirits the way Takayanagi does. She believes there is some sort of importance for Takayanagi to be the school’s top student. Izumiko remembers the website so they go check it out. The moment she keys in the password, a curse explodes in their face! Though, Mayura bore most of the brunt. But thankfully she still lives and just got away with her left eye needing some bandage. Izumiko blames herself for this so Mayura lightens up the mood by teasing her that it could be Takayanagi’s way of saying that Miyuki and Izumiko are a couple because in the past, mountain monks and miko priestesses often marry. Manatsu comes in and scolds Mayura for being reckless. This makes her cry as she was scared. Izumiko thinks for herself that she never did this as she never pushed herself before. With Miyuki also here, it seems the guys want to settle this tonight. The twins do say some prayers before they go meet Masumi.

Episode 5
Masumi is their dead triplet actually. Though, he materializes as a cross-dresser? With him around, this means Takayanagi has to show up. Indeed. He doesn’t think that was a curse and was just some sort of influence that repels malice at him back at her. Takayanagi uses some binding spell on Manatsu but he easily breaks out. He has Ricardo fight him but Manatsu easily frees the souls that bind into Ricardo. Takayanagi becomes scared that the spirits will haunt him but Manatsu doesn’t care. Takayanagi realizes he isn’t human. Turns out to be Masumi in disguise. With Takayanagi scared sh*t, Masumi gives him a few soft slaps as warnings. In the aftermath, Takayanagi took down the website and gave up on the elections to be the student council president. To cover for Ricardo’s disappearance, it is officially stated he went back to Brazil. Izumiko feels glad to have come here and meet many people who are more special than her. Things seem to be going good between Izumiko and Miyuki when Yukimasa has to pop up. It seems he is now a part time teacher at Houjou. Damn, Miyuki in a bad mood again. But all the other girls swooning over this new hot teacher. In order to avoid being associated with him, Miyuki avoids Izumiko too. She feels sad about it although she realizes that this is to be expected. She has always been alone in the first place and didn’t really lose anything. Later Izumiko talks to Yukimasa about his transfer here. It seems he is doing an experiment to see which students gathered here are to be saved for humanity’s future. You see, there is a decline in humans who have spiritual powers and once this endangered species becomes extinct, Earth will no longer tolerate humanity. This experiment is to avoid that.

Miyuki wants to join the student council executive body and Izumiko won’t have any problems with that. Just that he asked Mayura for help and they seemed so friendly with each other. Sad girl feels so sad that she runs away somewhere alone to hang out. As she sings to calm herself down, she attracts the attention of the current student council president, Jean Honoka Kisaragi. She is practising traditional Japanese arts and brings her to see Hodaka Murakami who is supposedly the school’s first student council president. Meanwhile the former student council president, Mikoto Kanzaki asks Miyuki about Izumiko. Because it seems the shadow student council president has taken an interest in her. Because in reality the true student council president has not changed. Hodaka wants Izumiko to show her dancing but she feels shy. He puts makeup on her and says it is some sort of spell to show her true nature. Even so, she is still reluctant. Luckily Miyuki barges in to stop this farce. Izumiko is confused because he was keeping his distance and now he is concerned for her? Yes, but this doesn’t mean she could hang out with just anybody and should’ve just went straight to Yukimasa had she needed help. Yeah, they sound like lovers quarrelling. When Izumiko realizes she wanted to tell Miyuki something, that is when Himegami takes over. She claims to have seen Hodaka before hundreds of years ago. She warns him he cannot be the judge but Izumiko is the one to choose. She then has Miyuki take her hand. She has a task for him: Prevent her from being created and Izumiko must not become a goddess. Otherwise humans will perish at her hands. By the time Izumiko wakes up, Miyuki and Hodaka just finished making a pact in keeping this a secret. Hodaka welcomes her here if she ever needs advice but please come alone. Miyuki tries to play down his worth and not to expect much from him. Sure. She might not know what the future lies for her but is glad he came for her.

Episode 6
The friends are on the way back to Mayura’s house for the holidays. Izumiko learns from Mayura about Masumi’s death anniversary around the corner. Apparently he slept and never woke up. After the funeral, when the family moved from Togakushi to Nagano, his name became taboo. Since their mom is a normal person, she can’t see Masumi. While having BBQ at night, Izumiko got drunk because there is liquor in the fruit punch. Wait a minute. There are kids here and they put liquor in the fruit punch bowl? Wow. Izumiko so happy. Like on drugs. Until she passes out. When she wakes up, everyone is asleep. She thinks this is a dream when she answers Masumi’s call. Izumiko floating down like a ghost?! Man, this might be a dream. He asks if they can date and Izumiko (still feeling the effects of being drunk) wonders he knows what that means. He believes she’ll find out when she gets to Togakushi. It seems that Izumiko is also part of the student council body as an executive. Mayura organizes a trip for the body at Togakushi to discuss things. However Rena Akinokawa accuses Mayura of having ulterior motives. Because near Togakushi, the history club is also having their camp and it is no secret the club is a big fan club of Mayura. She thinks Mayura is trying to get them to join the body. Mayura doesn’t intend this so Kisaragi puts it nicely that they don’t want any power struggles within the body since the student council is supposed to be neutral judges.

Later Izumiko asks Mayura about her reasons for fighting Takayanagi. She explains she dislikes sorcerers and ninjas because her ancestors were temple priests and Togakushi was a ninja village. She knew about her fan club but chose not to do anything. What is important the student council maintaining their neutrality. Since she knew Izumiko met Hodaka, Takayanagi might have also met him. At first she thought Houjou will have 2 factions battling for supremacy at the cultural festival but there will now be a third force, a vacuum zone. There might be people who are testing Takayanagi’s abilities. It seems the winner of this whatever battle gets to be a candidate for World Heritage. It has lots of benefits for the winner and those around. Because Izumiko isn’t in the loop of this, Mayura talks to Miyuki if he intends to surpass Takayanagi in terms of his spiritual powers. Because those who can foil his tricks can only surpass him in grades. He claims he doesn’t want the top spot and joined the body just to be neutral. This is why he invited them to join too. As for the partner programme that seemingly only them who are using, Mayura believes it was created to favour Takayanagi and his spirit agent. That’s why she wants to know if Miyuki will participate in the battle or not. As she would like Izumiko as her ally, she must settle her case with him first before she goes after Takayanagi. She is going to test his powers now as she summons several tengu spirits.

Episode 7
Miyuki must guess which one of them is Masumi and break out from this special layer. The tengu start attacking and since Izumiko can’t bear to see this anymore, she tells him Masumi is the one standing next to him and not Manatsu. Yeah, Miyuki seemed like a wuss fending off the attacks. Then they realize Izumiko is missing. Luckily Masumi finds her and it seems she is scared not because she could see him but couldn’t see herself. She feels bad for not expecting much from Miyuki and yet talk lowly of him before Mayura. She thinks Miyuki would have been completely normal if not for her. Izumiko returns to the group. She learns the tengu are just the history club guys playing along with Mayura’s plans. Though she put them up to this, they are unaware of Masumi. On the way back, Manatsu gets a devastating call that Tabi, an old horse whom he is fond of is dying. He needs to return but Mayura doesn’t share the same sentiments. She can’t let him go back alone as she cannot leave this camp she organized. Manatsu insists he will return alone (Tabi > this tabi (trip) Haha! Oops…) and will have Masumi take his place. Yeah, Masumi looks like a little kid experiencing his first field trip. So fun! Back at the inn and after dinner, Kisaragi and Akinokawa put up a song and dance. It seems Kisaragi sensed an unusual spirit possessing one of them and this dance is to protect them and expel the spirit. A short blackout occurs before the lights come back on. However everyone notices ‘Manatsu’ and Miyuki missing. Oh, they’re just hiding. Gotcha! Did that scare you? Later Izumiko talks to Miyuki and confirms that Masumi was indeed expelled from the room. He went with him so as he would not be alone. However he finds it weird as Masumi is supposed to be stronger here.

With Mayura getting worried about Manatsu and Tabi’s time is drawing closer, Masumi suggests she go there and tell what she disagrees with and get it over with. However Mayura takes this as Masumi siding with Manatsu as he doesn’t care about her feelings. He points out if they come to think of him differently, he won’t be able to stay as he is. Because their wills are as one, Masumi is who he is. Izumiko and Miyuki offer to go bring Manatsu back. Upon reaching the stable, they learn that Tabi has died this morning. They see Manatsu cleaning Tabi’s stable. It seems he didn’t die a natural death and Manatsu put him to sleep via lethal injection. As Tabi couldn’t get up anymore, its own weight will crush its own organs and cause a lot of pain. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t want to call Mayura and worry her. During this time, Manatsu has thought a lot. Especially how humans have the power to end things instead of waiting for nature to take its course. This brings to the issue of Mayura doesn’t understand that she cannot forever live with him and Masumi. Hence he feels the time has come to end it while he has the power to decide. Surprisingly, Mayura pops up. She isn’t happy about his plan to end things. She knows he is sad and when so, it is natural she will go to him. But he disagrees he isn’t sad that Tabi is gone. He is sad that with Tabi not around, he has to face himself. They can’t keep regarding each other as the most important person in their lives. And then Manatsu runs away riding on Tabi’s spirit?! WTF???!!! Later Mayura gets a message from Manatsu that he will become like Masumi. That way he will forever stay with her. Mayura is distraught as she calls dad about Masumi taking Manatsu away.

Episode 8
Mayura’s father talks to Miyuki and Izumiko. However they have no idea of what Masumi did so father mentions that he too can’t see Masumi and because the twins can only summon Masumi, their mom hates it when they call his name as it goes against a mother’s intuition. Later Mayura talks to Izumiko about Manatsu having the same heart defect that caused Masumi’s abrupt death. That’s why mom refuses to remember Masumi. She knew Manatsu is closer to Masumi than her but never thought he would leave her to be with him. She wanted to become the top student so Manatsu can live longer. Izumiko then talks to Miyuki if he could summon Himegami. As she can’t talk to her in that state, only he can do it. There are risks and they’re afraid but if they don’t do anything, Manatsu will disappear for real. So I guess it isn’t as simple as undoing her braids. Nothing happens. Maybe bad reception? So summoning a goddess is like a handphone? As Izumiko moves, suddenly she enters into a different dimension. She sees Masumi who thinks it is better for Mayura to cry now than later. Because the longer they stay together, the more she will grieve when they are gone. He thinks Mayura would choose Manatsu over Masumi and if that’s the case, it’s better to be one. Izumiko has Masumi lead him to where Manatsu is. He is currently trapped behind a celestial rock. She tries to talk to him but unless he wills it, nothing will reach him. Hence Izumiko decides to dance to expel him, getting the idea from Kisaragi’s dance. As she does so and tells how much everyone will be so happy if she comes back, suddenly Manatsu tells her not to do it. Wait. So this Masumi is actually Manatsu? He warns her if she opens the rock, Masumi will come through and will be different. It was his plant to break the celestial rock and escape. Miyuki and Mayura find them. Mayura hugs her brother seeing she is too tired to punch him.

However they have to run seeing the rock is breaking. Couldn’t have Manatsu realized a bit sooner that he and Masumi are different and shouldn’t become one? Too late. This giant fish god is breaking out. Miyuki defends clumsy Izumiko as he sprouts black angelic wings?! However he knows he can’t fight this thing and Himegami agrees. She is not possessing Izumiko and her own entity. She says a few chants to have this fish god go back to slumber. Izumiko asks if Himegami can remain separate from her so they can talk. However Himegami claims she knows nothing and should ask her mother. When they return to reality, Yukariko is before them. It was her that Himegami possessed her. Izumiko understands why they can’t meet often as Himegami is always with her. Yukariko believes they will face a real trial in the future and although Izumiko believes herself as still weak, that is why Yukariko remains strong to protect her. However this cannot last forever. Manatsu returns to his family and the case is solved. Back in their hometown, Miyuki wants Izumiko to summon Wamiya. She couldn’t. It is believed her getting distorted by Masumi made it impossible. During the camp, a talking raven came into his room. It is believed to be Wamiya and hence Kisaragi’s dance expelling him then and also those black wings he sprouted. Miyuki believes if they are going to follow her, they need to join forces. Then he asks why Wamiya look like Takayanagi. Is it because she likes boys who look like that?! WTF???!!! What was he trying to say???!!! That sure escalated quickly!!!

Episode 9
The student council decides the theme for the cultural festival will be a Sengoku one. And something about the need to have a few models dressing up as that. I can guess who… Later Izumiko is being approached by Takayanagi. He wants her and Miyuki to join his side instead of Mayura. During the festival, the school’s barrier will be down and there will be lots of ‘outsiders’ visiting. He gives her time to think but Izumiko passes out when she hears strange voices calling for her. She is safe in the infirmary thanks to Yukimasa being such a qualified nurse too. He mentions about the upcoming experiment so she wonders if he is referring to her or Himegami. She doesn’t think so since they’re both different. Yukimasa replies that she may be the one to be unveiled as Himegami and probably the last goddess. This has Izumiko think that Miyuki probably wanted to accept her as a normal girl but seeing he is dedicated to serving Himegami, that will never happen. Later Miyuki talks to Izumiko about being part of the backstage crew. Although it is some normal dress, it seems she still has to undo her braids. She is confident from Togakushi that Himegami won’t appear just because they are undone. Hence Miyuki teachers her a simple spell for self-protection. Izumiko sees Hodaka in disguise. He is here to see the preparations and believes the scales might be tip to Mayura’s favour seeing how she treats Izumiko. With one of the models having urgent business, this means Izumiko is now roped in to be her replacement. Mayura warns her that Takayanagi’s supporters might be doing this although there is no concrete proof. As she gets dressed, she has to undo her braids and this has her thinking if this is a ploy to make it easier to draw out Himegami. The models take the stage as everyone is fascinated with the Sengoku costume and snaps away. Izumiko feeling a bit queasy but I guess that angry look on Miyuki’s face that he didn’t expect this to happen tells it all.

Later as Miyuki nags to Izumiko about doing something risky, he didn’t realize that Himegami has possessed her! Even with her braids still intact! Himegami is very satisfied she can move in this body freely. When Miyuki warns her not to appear whenever she wants, she warns him back if he doesn’t treat her kindly, there will be divine punishment. That shut him up. Miyuki accompanies her for the rest of the day. He asks about the state of Izumiko but Himegami doesn’t care. She also tells him to drop talking about another woman as she doesn’t like it. Don’t ruin her vibe. How does she like it if she talks about Yukimasa? Well, she has a point. At the mountain shrines, Himegami talks about how there is nothing here but a vengeful spirit that is herself. She had regrets. After all, she singlehandedly exterminated humanity. When she lost her body, she travelled back in time and wanted help. Someone who could understand her. Not for destruction but for the future. When she returned from an experiment over a thousand years ago, she was declared a World Heritage but the future didn’t change. This is the third time she is going through this experiment and each time her body gets frail and she is gradually forgetting who she is. She might not be able to make it to the fourth time. Her power was so great that in the second experiment, she was killed and stored as a specimen. Her powers put her in conflict with humans as her allegiance is to the planet. She is searching for people who can stop her. That is what Yukimasa and Yukariko are working towards. Miyuki wants time to think so Himegami points out he is like Wamiya. Because of that Togakushi incident, Wamiya resides inside him. Himegami summons him out just to prove. Miyuki wants her to leave Izumiko’s body. Can he force her out? After a few chants, he hugs her and pouring his heart into his feelings for her to come back. Is this impromptu?

Episode 10
Izumiko cries in Mayura’s arms. She is lost on what to do after discovering about Himegami being some destructive force and even Miyuki was scared. She fears she may stop being herself. As the festival gets underway, the model who ditched the job on Izumiko, she approaches her again with her friends. Their reason for that was because whoever does so will be cursed. Since nothing happened to Izumiko, they hope she can be their model for the parade again. They would have taken her away had not Miyuki tell them off. Just hold the parade without a model. Then he lectures Izumiko about being pushed around by younger people. She hits back that he too was doing the same to Himegami. Though he claims he was desperate to bring her back. He explains Himegami doesn’t descent to cause disasters and appears because she wants to avoid them. She just needs someone to talk to. Izumiko wonders if he prefers to spend more time with Himegami than her. Because Izumiko also doesn’t like him talking about other women, that one line has Miyuki thinking both of them are the same?! There’s an incident where several people collapsed after the visit to the haunted house. Isn’t that a success? They are resting in the infirmary, though. Oh never mind. Miyuki and Izumiko investigate just in case. As Izumiko wanders around, we can see ghosts following her. Until they really pop up before her and want to take her away. She manages to run to Miyuki. He asks about not using the self-protection charm. Because she pities them?

Then they visit the infirmary. Wow. A long line of women. Is it that bad? Yup. They’re here to get ‘examined’ by Yukimasa. Damn that guy… Yukimasa talks to Izumiko as she explains the ghosts she saw. Yukimasa seems to want to blame Miyuki for being useless but Izumiko tries not to. So he advises her not to have careless sympathy. He puts a better spell on her. Miyuki blows his top at him that he gets away with everything in the name of Himegami. Yukimasa brushes him off for not making use of the chances. They are shocked to hear Izumiko will be put on several layers after the festival and Miyuki can only talk to her directly while in school. That wasn’t the original plan but Himegami can change her mind. Although Miyuki is not entirely mad at this, he knows Yukimasa has an ulterior motive. Yukimasa might not know Izumiko well but he certainly knows his son. Kisaragi knows that fellow student council member, Yoshiki Hayakawa is making bets for the popularity contest. He wants to have fun and make money while he can. Hayakawa then talks to Mayura and Izumiko. Since Takayanagi will be on the offensive team for tomorrow’s big battle, it is only logic that Mayura will be on the defending team. Mayura feels he has an ulterior motive so Hayakawa says he has the ability to predict the future. Mayura then sees the point of all this. She realizes he is an ally to her as he is from Togakushi. All Hayakawa can do now is set the table. He warns Takayanagi has set something up in school so be careful. Izumiko sees Masumi and it seems he can still hang around without his siblings summoning him. They talk about love but Masumi has a different version of it. Like when he sees a lonely ghost, he eats it to be as one with it. That’s love, right? Well… He leaves her hanging as he mentions he felt some magic in school. But nothing that couldn’t be taken care of.

Episode 11
The friends look around to see if Takayanagi had planted anything suspicious. So far nothing. But when the thought that he might use something not human, Izumiko feels there are strange beings hiding so the guys check it out and find a vial. They believe this is Takayanagi’s doing since he is from the chemistry club. On the last day of the festival, Miyuki gives Izumiko her handphone that he has been keeping all this while. Hope she doesn’t break it. They realize Takayanagi has upped them with a floating balloon from the chemistry club. As they head to their respective posts for the battle, Izumiko has the misfortune to run into Takayanagi and his ‘friends’. Yeah, he summoned a few new spirit agents. He tries to accuse Masumi as the crueller one as he was the one who ‘killed’ Ricardo and that Mayura’s views of the world are narrow. He also tells her about the increase in foreigners at Houjou because of the belief in this era that the west and east need to bridge together and build a common ideology. Izumiko feels scared at first but then finds him not as scary as he thought it would be. Meanwhile Miyuki is rushing towards Izumiko. He realizes there is a spell casted because he cannot reach her. He summons Wamiya to take care of this but he claims that this spell is made by Izumiko. She told him not to come, right? Izumiko finds herself watching one of the battles going on. Once it’s over, this foreigner girl brings her to see Takayanagi as she explains how much she loves Japanese culture and hence why she likes Takayanagi. Izumiko is horrified to see lots of ghosts among the crowd although she is assured they will bring no harm.

Mayura finds Miyuki thinking hard. He believes Takayanagi has set something up and if Izumiko switches side, it will be bad for them. Mayura reminds him about their most important people. She proposes he pretends to be her fiancé. Acquaintances of her family are here to see them and they expect her to be married. In reality she can’t. It’s the same for Miyuki and Izumiko. They can’t be a couple. Because Izumiko said they can’t be together as she would be troubling him, that is why he can’t tell his true feelings to her. Hence they both need an official front. For now, they attend to pressing matters. As the defence side is losing, Mayura has Masumi cover for her and thanks to him, he blows away whatever spell that was suppressing their luck. Izumiko is in the company of Takayanagi and co. They talk about layers and phases. Especially Takayanagi who proclaims he is doing this because they need to seal away dangerous things and set up this world as a place humans can control. As he has known her a bit, he hopes he could study her. What if she refuses? He believes she is now their ally. Izumiko felt confused a calm for a while but when Takayanagi mentions Miyuki’s name, that is when Izumiko remembers him. How could she have forgotten him? She does the chant to break the spell. Must be a great spell since a storm is kicking up. With Izumiko being assertive that she won’t be controlled, Takayanagi tries to calm her down (though, he still wants to persuade her to join his side). She accuses him of using non-humans for his own purposes and won’t stand for this. With the spirit agents blown away, Izumiko realizes she has blown her cover and remembers the warning to keep a low profile. She worries she will now be targeted. It’s that fear of others looking at her again. A small earthquake shakes the place.

Episode 12
Mayura could also felt that Masumi disappeared. All electronic devices go dead after the earthquake. Miyuki is surprised to see Nonomura here. He warns him that Himegami as foreshadowed, Izumiko will awaken today. He passes him a staff. Miyuki and Manatsu head to where Izumiko supposedly is. They find the porch looking strange. Saying a few prayers, they enter another layer to see Takayanagi’s lackeys. And Takayanagi himself turned into a dog! Cute? Yeah, divine punishment from Izumiko for using ghosts! However Izumiko has ventured into another layer and as Wamiya says, she might not want to come back. Manatsu also realizes Masumi is over in the other layer. He has changed the most among the triplets. Because now there is someone whom he loves more than his siblings: Izumiko. Meanwhile we see Izumiko alone, contemplating of never returning to the human world again. Masumi talks to her and he is fine that Mayura has Manatsu. With Izumiko claiming she is no longer human, Masumi disagrees otherwise and humans like her are almost extinct. In short, he confesses he likes her. Miyuki will go get Izumiko but wants Manatsu to stay with Mayura in fear that she will fall apart if Manatsu disappears. But Takayanagi must come with Miyuki so as to apologize and bring her back. In the next layer, they must fight through hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer. But as Wamiya points out, there are many more to come. The problem is not the ghosts and the number of layers but if he has the strong will to get through each layer. Otherwise he can be doing this forever and still not each her. But if he gives up, he can easily return to reality. Manatsu returns to Mayura to tell what has happened. She gets worried since she hasn’t settled things with Takayanagi. Manatsu tells her to stop competing. At this rate they’ll drag and hurt others like Izumiko. Miyuki remembers his reply to Mayura. He doesn’t mind being her fiancé but thinks they shouldn’t do it as it would hurt others close to them no matter how successful the plan is.

Masumi hopes Izumiko can give him a chance to make her happy but she is somewhat hesitant and confused. As Miyuki fights the hordes of ghosts to get to the next layer, I guess it’s time to think out of the box. He calls Izumiko via handphone. Yeah, there’s reception here! Izumiko picks up and he tells her to call for him. She does so and what pops out from her handphone is Wamiya. The familiar says Masumi has lost and don’t be too greedy. Now scram. Then he turns into Miyuki. She admits she was afraid because she found out she is Himegami and didn’t want people to see her. Hence she was hiding. But after Miyuki and Wamiya came for her, she felt better. Miyuki wants her to tell him if she needs anything. Being a goddess is too much of a burden to bear and he’ll help her become one who won’t destroy humanity. However she fears doing so would mean the end so Miyuki hugs her. Takayanagi makes a sincere apology and admits that balloon stunt had some hallucinatory spells. Izumiko is unsure if he can turn him back but Wamiya points out the powers she has that she is unaware of. In reality, everyone is shocked to see ghosts streaming by. Masumi returns to Mayura and vows to protect her. Well, he got rejected so I guess that’s that. Izumiko starts her dance to purify the spells. In the aftermath, we see Hodaka reporting that Izumiko has become the top student and hence a candidate for World Heritage. Izumiko can’t give Miyuki an answer yet but will forever remember how he came for her when she was about to lose herself. She is shocked when he touches her but he just passed out from exhaustion.

Red Data Retention: Spiritual Data Overload!
So I guess mankind gets to live a little longer? Was Himegami’s prediction off? Not surprising as she said she was losing herself so it wouldn’t be surprising if Izumiko didn’t awaken as her at the end of the festival. So is this called a successful failure? Not really sure about the future but as far as the end of the anime is concerned, Izumiko returns to herself with Miyuki by her side. Therefore looking on the bright side of things, all is well, ends well. For now.

As I’m not really into the spiritual theme of things, hence I find it a bit hard to follow some of the storyline and subplots which this series seems to try and cram in a few. The bigger picture looks like if humanity deserves another second chance to exist and hence the smaller subplots include seeing Izumiko taking on a journey if she would be awakened as Himegami’s vessel. It’s rather okay about these subplots of subjugating Wamiya as her familiar, that problem with Masumi and that rivalry with Takayanagi but like I said, these feels like distraction to the bigger plot of Himegami’s awakening. Thus at the end, I was a bit confused to it all. Sure, the festival ended without anything disastrous or untoward but from a long shot, everything is still far by over. Especially when there are other greedy people who harbour such intentions to own that kind of power Izumiko has for their own. I thought that would be a storyline somewhere here but it ended in this Houjou festival thingy. But I suppose that is the story for next time. Next season. Not likely. It’s been years since…

I find it interesting that special people with spiritual powers are now considered endangered species in this anime. So they’re treating such humans as animals now? Hence at the start of each episode you’ll be notified about the Red Data Book/List which is the IUCN’s list of endangered species in the world. Hence the oddly named title of this series as I was wondering at the start. Therefore if Jesus Christ was going to come down a second time to save mankind, in this anime at least it will be in the form of this World Heritage thingy. With people getting more and more hooked to their electronic technological devices, we’re losing that spiritual touch with nature and God. So next time you’re fapping to that porn video you’re watching, bear in mind that there might be many angry spirits watching over your unholy activity… ;p.

It’s hard to say that Izumiko is a useless girl since she is caught in something that is far bigger than what she can understand. She is sheltered and protected from a very young age and when thrust into a different light, she takes some time to stand up on her own two feet. So you can’t really fault her for being gullible and being pushed around because if you are in her shoes, what would you have done? And then she finds out that she is a vessel or could be the big goddess herself, for any normal mortal beings, that is scary enough. Thankfully she has Miyuki to help her bring her back to the right path if she goes astray and the same can be said about him. It feels like this guy is born moody and grumpy and that it sounds like an excuse he is living in the shadows of his great father. He looks like an amateur and unconfident with his abilities because when you’re entrusted with a task that has the big goddess involved, do you not panic and fear you might fail?

Having said that, all Izumiko and Miyuki want is just to be normal high school kids but their fate and circumstances don’t allow them to do so. Hence that wall-cum-barrier-cum-excuse-cum-convenience that makes it a big roundabout way for them not to fall in love with each other. We know and hope they really end up as an item but because the notion of Izumiko is a goddess and Miyuki is her manservant, not so straightforward. Hence she is always insecure and afraid while he is always mad and moody. If the spiritual fate thingy didn’t get in between them, this would have been some sort of generic romance drama. But as we see them rely on each other in the final arc, we can safely say that they are a bit closer to each other than they were at the start. A lot more of these situations should really improve their relationship. Hopefully. It would have been interesting to see if the duo would put their love for each other first than saving mankind. Or perhaps they can do both. But for now, we have to put up with their hot and cold relationship which could be annoying to watch sometimes.

Himegami although feels superior and divine, sometimes I wonder if she is just like any other ordinary woman. After all, just like many other women, she doesn’t like her man to talk about other woman. First sign and hint from your girlfriend that you better pay all the attention to her! I would have been nice to see all the experiments and whatever trials and tribulation she went through to bring about this final journey she is on but I suppose there is not enough time and duration to tell it all in a single cour. After all, they need to keep the mystery of Himegami as her charm. Knowing her a little too well might change our perspective of her and that’s not good seeing she is of a goddess status.

Other characters feel like a distraction like Manatsu and Mayura who don’t really have anything to do with Izumiko and Miyuki’s case and as I have pointed out a few paragraphs earlier, having Masumi around seems like a detour and distraction so as to ‘reassure’ that Izumiko and Miyuki belong to each other. Otherwise, this competition with Takayanagi is still something I don’t get because I don’t really see how this experiment makes one the candidate for World Heritage. Speaking of Takayanagi, that guy really feels like a loser. He looks arrogant and might be suave but eventually in the end he is just a wuss. Heck, he lost not once but twice! You thought he had given up after losing to Masumi and got his spirit agent crushed. But then he returned as sneakier than before and what does he get? Turned into a dog! Hope he learnt his lesson but I doubt it. Then Wamiya is like a familiar for both Izumiko and Miyuki but the way he expresses himself, he sounds not too enthusiastic to serve his masters. It’s like, well, he is doing it because he has to and if so, I mean, what else can he do about it? It’s your call.

Not sure what Yukimasa is doing behind the scenes all the time but I figure it is something important. So important that he had to leave his son with the important task of being with Izumiko AKA Himegami. Didn’t he call Miyuki as his backup plan? So I’m wondering if this multi-talented guy who could do no wrong is just doing all this to piss off Miyuki or in a twisted way, give him some sort of motivation to be like him. I don’t think the latter works seeing how Miyuki doesn’t like him. I mean, you tell when he calls his father by his first name! I’m very sure they are blood related and they are actually biologically father and son but you never know. Anime love to spring surprises about families not really being blood related as plot twist or convenience. Some characters like Hodaka feels like a red herring. I thought he would play some sort of important role but after his debut that makes him feel like as though he is an important character, he falls back into the shadows as background character. Maybe he pulls the strings behind the scenes like Yukimasa but we’ll never know.

The other reason why I watched this series is because it is done by P.A. Works. You know, the anime studio that has brought us a lot of good looking characters and visuals. Like Hanasaku Iroha, Glasslip, Tari Tari, True Tears, Sakura Quest and the recent Irozuku Sekai No Ashita Kara. Oh yeah. Cute kawaii bishoujo galore. You can bet Izumiko is looking damn cute in her braids because I don’t know why many people view girls with braids as plain Janes. This means you can also see the trademark bishoujo and bishonen character designs very similar to their other anime series aforementioned. Like you know, how Miyuki have this main character look but just put him in constant moody mode. Other than the characters, the background and sceneries are also a sight to behold. It is nice to know that P.A. Works have been constant in their anime quality throughout the years as this series came out back in 2013. So continue to keep up the good work and bring me more kawaii bishoujo to gawk at. And to add to my personal top 10 bishoujo yearend list!

Voice acting is fine as I recognized a few seiyuus such as Saori Hayami as Izumiko, Jun Fukuyama as Yukimasa, Akira Ishida as Hodaka, Romi Paku as Yukariko and Mamoru Miyano as Hayakawa. Not surprising but still surprising is Rie Kugimiya as Wamiya because she isn’t nowhere near her tsundere trademark style and is one of those few boyish roles like Al of Fullmetal Alchemist, Hasuta in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san and Shunpei from Oh! Edo Rocket. Only, add more monotony to her voice. I guess she can’t forever be Shana, Taiga, Louise, Nagi… It’s been a long time since I have head Rie Tanaka so I didn’t recognize her when she took over as Himegami. The other casts are Kouki Uchiyama as Miyuki (Shigaraki in Boku No Hero Academia), Madoka Yonezawa as Mayura (Ui in K-ON!), Kaito Ishikawa as Manatsu (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Ryohei Kimura as Masumi (Kodaka in Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Hiofumi Nakajima as Takayanagi (Akatsuki in Aria The Animation), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Kisaragi (Yuzuru in Date A Live) and Kenji Nomura as Nonomura (Shishigou in Fate/Stay Apocrypha).

The opening theme, Small Worldrop by Annabel feels rather okay as her soft voice feels familiar to Nagi Yanagi. Hence making this song sound a bit like those the latter sings. The ending theme, Yokan has some traditional feel to it. But Masumi Ito singing it feels a bit ‘creepy’ and like as though I have heard her singing somewhere before. Oh right. Just like how she sang in a similar fashions in anime ending themes like Zettai Shonen, Scrapped Princess and Umi Monogatari. The song isn’t that bad but I sometimes get the chills hearing her ‘ghostly’ voice. And sometimes too I think that she is an alternate version of Nano Ripe…

Overall, this isn’t a bad series but it isn’t a good one either. It had some potential with its theme but lost its way. Other than the pretty visuals, the characters and plots may leave you scratching your head and wondering if there is more to it. Certainly there is because from what we’ve seen, they’ve presented with so much but yet we don’t have enough data storage memory to absorb it all! Yeah, it’s hard to think of it this way that Izumiko is just a 64GB USB pendrive but Himegami is a 2TB data to download!!! Not enough storage space that’s for sure! Well, there’s a flash drive to accommodate that today but I wonder having so would make it unstable. With people with special spiritual powers on the decline and on the verge of extinction, corrupted pervy otaku misfits are on the rise. A dime a dozen, spreading like a plague. No wonder there are so many sh*tty shows these days. Is there a religious anime that could bring us salvation? Looking for religious themed animes online… Aha, Bible Black. Or Crimson Climax. Or Sins Of The Flesh. Oh wait, no… Oh sh*t!!!

N/B: Is it ironic that we somehow have a lot of hard drive space when we download porn?

Kakegurui XX

July 20, 2019

It wasn’t me. I had no money to bet there would be another reason and was just silently praying to God for it and boom! Here it was! Kakegurui XX was unexpected and I supposed somebody made a bet and won over the producers for another season. Or maybe God really worked his miracle. Thank you. God or whoever you are anonymous gambler for giving another season for this great psychological gambling game that had too many interesting potentials and developments that would be a shame had it not get another sequel. Now I can enjoy the second season without betting or risking anything XD. Or do I?

Episode 1
Yumeko, Ikishima and Erimi Mushibami are in a high stakes gambling. In this game, each will take turns to cut a string. One of the strings is connected to the guillotine that will definitely chop off their finger. Of course the first to pull out loses in this extreme game of chicken. The game is supervised by Inaho Yamato of the election committee whose duty is to be the neutral judge. Erimi is not afraid of the outcome. She knows there is a safety plate that would stop the blade from going down all the way. She is relishing to see the chance of her opponents squirm and panic in fear. However as the game passes and they cut fake strings, Erimi is puzzled that they are getting more and more excited. They’re basically orgasming and hope that the next string they cut is the real deal! She tries to play psychology to see how long they will last as she explains her family is in the business of torture and that’s why she has this mini guillotine. But when Yumeko checks with Inaho if she had checked and removed it and Inaho confirms it, Erimi starts to panic. Wait a minute. You mean there is no safety plate?! Prior to the game, for fairness, all the participants waited out of the room as Inaho checked the guillotine and shuffled the strings. Oh dear. Now it’s Inaho to get scared. She’s sweating a lot. Must be the heavy gothic dress, huh? NOT! And Ikishima and Yumeko are only getting crazier as the strings reduced. Yeah, the chances of the guillotine dropping could be any time soon… And there are only 3 strings left… Oh sh*t! And then Erimi starts crying inconsolably… WTF… What the f*ck?! WHAT THE F*CK???!!! Yumeko not looking happy. B*tch, did you just kill my vibe?! Flashback to when Kirari announced after a string of defeats the student council suffered at the hands of Yumeko, she is dissolving the student council and hold an election. Some are opposed to this because it will mean Kirari relinquishing her power. Kirari explains Hyakkaou is a garden she created beautifully based on the law of the survival of the fittest. But someone came to disrupt that beauty. If left alone, the distortion will grow. Hence she wants to stir things up even more. Kirari ushers in and introduces a new bunch of weirdoes. Terano and Yumi Totobami, Sumika Warakubami, Miroslava Honebami, Nozomi Komabami, Rin and Ibara Obami, Miri Yobami, Miyo Inbami and Erimi. All these are the relatives and branches of the Momobami clan. They have recently transferred here to represent their families as candidates for the presidential election. There is also Rei Batsubami but she isn’t gambling and serves as their butler.

Episode 2
Thanks to Kirari’s sudden announcement, the adults panic and sent their kids here since the winner will also become the head of the Momobami clan. Terano accuses Kirari of loving to see all the families panic over this. She hates her for easily taken what she wants and then relinquishes it with ease. While some of the existing student council protest this, Kirari notes that if they want to maintain status quo, all they have to do is win. Everyone has a fair chance with this election. This means the other students too. Everyone will be given a chip that represents their vote. You gamble and win votes of others. The person with the most votes after 30 days wins. Yumeko was happy with this but rued since Manyuda transferred all his money to her, looks like she can’t use it as bets in this election. Mary is wary of this election and wants to stay out (no Yumeko-Mary lesbian combo, I guess). She suspects they could be distant relatives of Yumeko since they all have that Bami name. Meanwhile Terano is the unofficial leader of the branches. She has everyone remember their pact to topple Kirari and until then they will not face each other. As for Yumeko, she must be a fringe family of the clan and they are free to fight or ignore her. Hence Erimi gets this idea to take her out. Rei then goes to get Yumeko who is delighted that somebody has issued a challenge to her. She wasn’t thrilled that Ikishima also got the invitation but soon gets excited after Erimi introduces her game. And that is where we all now. Erimi is struck by her own fear and terror but with those crazy b*tches egging her to go all the way, I guess Erimi has also lost it and just picks up the scissors to cut. A miss! Damn, the tension is running high! Ikishima is so f*cking excited that she cuts both strings at once! Here comes the guillotine!!!!!! Eh? The safety plate is still intact? Because Erimi pulled out first, she loses. Because Ikishima cut 2 strings, she is disqualified. Hence Yumeko is the winner. But Yumeko is very mad at Ikishima for killing the tension. Never show your face before me again! As for why the safety plate is still there, actually when Yumeko hinted to Inaho, it was because she noticed the table the guillotine sits on was unstable. Hence she removed the pads from the table’s feet to add stability. Yumeko praises Erimi for her pride and conviction of staying true till the end. Wow. Erimi really got psyched on this one. Meanwhile Kirari and Terano talk about the latter bringing in Rei here. Her house was expelled from the clan and he won’t do good as insurance. Terano insists she is just a joker whose actions will be unpredictable.

Episode 3
Nishinotouin loses to Miyo and Miri. Yumeko is now delighted to play against them. While Miri is cold and distant, Miyo tries to put up a polite and friendly façade for Yumeko. Runa supervises this nim zero game that Suzui wants to enter too. He thinks he can help Yumeko? Okay. This game has cards labelled from 0 to 3. Each will be given 4 cards and the goal is not to exceed the total 9. The one who surpasses that loses. They will play this for 3 rounds. Because Suzui only has 1 chip, he is offered a service chip. Each chip means 24 hours of service to the student council. Is he willing to take that risk? You bet! In the first round, Yumeko ups the ante by raising 30 chips! The rest follow. Yeah, Suzui follows to and that means 700 over hours of service if he loses… The round completes with Miyo busting her hand. Suzui is puzzled because she had a bad hand so why did she risk this? Suddenly Yumeko collapses. Meanwhile Mary is confronted by Ririka and is forced to play a simple gamble with her. Guess which hand has a chip and all these chips will be hers. If Mary wins, she will follow her around. If Ririka wins, Mary will team up with her to fight. However Mary takes off her mask, reducing her self-confidence drastically. Mary will not be cowed into this and refuses to play. Then she gets a call from Suzui. Help! Yumeko is poisoned and he is told to bring someone with lots of chips. Mary understands where this is going so she picks the correct hand of Ririka. Rushing to Yumeko’s side, she hears Suzui accusing Miyo and Miri of poisoning Yumeko. Their families might be in the pharmaceutical business but he has no proof. Even more so, Runa is perfectly sure there was no foul play during the game. This means it could happened before the game starts, outside Runa’s jurisdiction. Yup, the time Miyo hugged Yumeko during their introduction. With Mary replacing Yumeko, Miyo adds the serum as the wager. She also adds one cannot fold or else you have to press your finger against this nail coated with the same poison. Deep down inside Miyo, she relishes seeing these friends crumble in their noble bid to save Yumeko. The next round begins and Mary wants Suzui to show his hand! Well, that’s not against the rules. Suzui remembers Yumeko’s words to do all that Mary says. Hence he is going to believe in her. That is his bet! After seeing the weak cards he has, she is sure she can win this and raises the ante to 100 chips.

Episode 4
Miyo and Miri have developed some sort of telepathic way to communicate with themselves. Actually they ‘speak’ with their eyes. Whatever. Miyo wants Suzui not to listen to Mary. She will give the antidote to Yumeko and they should join forces to take her down as Mary is only trying to sacrifice him. Suzui rejects her deal because this is not what Yumeko would’ve wanted. The round ends with Miri losing. For the last round, the same thing as Mary has Suzui shows his cards. When Miyo raises the ante to 300 chips, Mary raises it to 10,000 chips! Miyo thinks she is trying to make them fold and is bluffing. They call on her and the game begins. Miyo and Miri realizes despite having good hands, they are the ones under threat. Yeah, Mary is smiling and enjoying the game. Miyo then notices that this could be Runa’s fault. It seems Mary has also noticed Runa’s Gilbreath shuffling style. From what I understand, no matter how you shuffle and cut the deck, every 4 cards will contain 1 from each suit (in this case, numbers) despite being random. So with 16 cards among them and each containing precisely 4 suits, that is why Mary had Suzui show his cards. This means she can tell what the cards Miyo and Miri have. With the limited choices they could make, it makes them easier to predict. Miyo accuses Runa of not adhering to neutrality. However Runa fires back that she has always been shuffling this way. It’s her fault not to take notice. Even so, as a dealer she sets the rules. It is her principle to make sure everyone has a fair shot at winning even if you are dead! The poison takes effect on Miri. Miyo then tells Miri to lose for her. She claims herself as superior. Miri does that and collapses. Miyo takes her away and vows to kill Mary next time. Yumeko is recuperating with Rei’s help administering the serum. Suzui thanks Mary and even Rei. He is glad that Rei is a kind person despite coming from a scary clan. But this makes Rei feel sad. As the gambling rages on, Kirari feels bored with her easy wins. Like as though nobody is serious in taking her out. Rin and Sumika join in and Kirari finally thinks she could at least have some fun. Mary whispers a secret only to Yumeko. Not sure if she can hear but Mary says she is going to be the next student council president.

Episode 5
The total votes so far after a week. The top 10 from lowest to highest: Yumeko, Miroslava, Miyo, Sumika, Sumeragi, Rin, Mary, Yumemi, Terano and of course in a runaway lead, Kirari. After Ikishima criticizes Yumemi as a talentless idol, this makes her go into a rage. Yumemi’s goal isn’t to become the student council president but if she has to influence on the next president, she must convince others she was the one putting them in power. As she has taken all the votes from her fans, the only way to get more votes is to get more fans. Rin thinks back about his match with Kirari. Because she bet all in, Rin folded. He realized it was her way to get them to go into some sudden death match and that has nothing to do with poker skills. Hence Rin and Sumika decided not to continue. The disappointment on Kirari’s face was priceless. Yumemi begs Yumeko to team up as an idol and garner more votes. Then everyone is abuzz with the world’s famous Hollywood actress here, Natari Kawaru. Yumeko is a big fan of hers. What is she doing here? To take part in the election. Eh? Natari’s real name is Sumika! She ignores Yumemi and wants to gamble with Yumeko. However Yumeko won’t be ignored and also challenges her. Natari agrees the dream girls team up against her in a singing performance. Of course Yumemi doesn’t care about winning or losing. It is her dream to perform with an actress she admires very much. However it would be much better if she beats that b*tch. Meanwhile Mary chides Ririka for following her around like a stalker. She claims that promise thingy but Mary will not acknowledge her as her partner unless she gambles and proves her worth. We see Yumeko and Yumemi belting out a typical kawaii idol song. When it is Natari’s turn, she stuns the crowd with her amazing voice while singing Amazing Grace! Holy sh*t! So beautiful that it blew everyone away?! Yumemi starting to look scared. And at the same time so awed that she also cried. Yumemi is not worried because she bribed her fans to vote for her. So here is the result of the first round. Natari thumping the duo 92-8 votes!!! Yumemi starting to look REALLY scared now.

Episode 6
Yumemi realizes the only way Natari could have won was that she too bribed others. But this was how she did it. She gave it to Rei to tell people to vote however they want. In the next match, they must eat 3 macarons. One of them is super spicy. The winner is one who can guess which macaron their opponent ate is the spicy one. Yumemi might look like she hit it with the first one but good acting. Because Natari points out it was the second one. She knows because Yumemi broke her finger just to hide the grimace. Yumeko could correctly guess Natari’s by counting the times she chewed! She took longer for the first one because she was delaying it, fascinated by Yumemi’s acting. But it was just pure gambling and guessing with the remaining ones. When Yumemi realizes she can never beat Natari no matter what, Yumeko becomes mad. B*tch, you just killed my vibe. She only helped because she was going to win but now that she has moved the goalpost, she hates her. In this last game, players pick up a card and set it face down. They can declare its actual value or lie. However they cannot exceed the value of 63. One may pass but this makes you out of the game. When 1 player is left, if the actual total value is below 63, she wins. Over, she loses. With Yumeko being lifeless and not cooperating with Yumemi, the idol thinks hard about her predicament. Indeed she wanted to lose but then she hears her fan scream not to give up. She remembers all those times being an idol and wants Yumeko to pass with her. Yumeko is surprised that she was acting all the time. She gets her groove back again but Yumemi dismisses it and that she wanted to lose and be praised by Natari for trying despite being talentless. Yumemi never wanted to be an idol but an actress. But being an idol made her realize this role is fun and she has been to places she could never have imagined. She doesn’t know if there is any meaning in beating her but she will find that meaning if she continues to look for it. With the dream girls pulling out, Runa counts the cards and it goes over. The dream girls win and Natari hopes to battle with Yumemi the next time. In Hollywood.

Episode 7
Yumeko sees Terano and wants to gamble. Finally Manyuda wakes up but he doesn’t care about his own life anymore. Even when Sumeragi tears up his Life Programme, he still doesn’t mind becoming her slave. Reverse psychology backfired. Here comes Yumeko to talk to them for a favour. Ibara and Miroslava are summoned by Terano. It seems she is in agreement with Yumeko’s plan. As Kirari is running away with the votes, soon none will have enough to challenge her and hence this plan is to pool their votes together to the winner. However Terano will not be joining in due to her promise not to fight her brethren. Rumia Uru oversees this game. Each will be given 5 coins to put in either a personal deposit box or a tax box. Coins in the personal box will be counted to their overall total. But coins deposited in the tax box will be doubled and distributed equally to all players including those who didn’t contribute. This will last for 5 rounds and the winner will get the votes which are from Terano’s. However if they fail to get 40 coins, they will give their votes to her. Before each round, they have time to discuss strategy and can eliminate a player if 3 of them agree. As Sumeragi heads to deposit first, Manyuda asks Yumeko about her passion for gambling. But does she feel remorse for those lives she ruined? None. However this makes Rei very mad and only backed down when Terano instructed her. When the first round ends, it seems they are a few coins short and this means there is a traitor among them who didn’t deposit in the tax box. With accusations flying, Yumeko comes up with an idea by having everyone pick randomly a paper with a number to indicate how much they must deposit in the tax box. While the traitor may get away with 1 or 2 coins, at least this avoids a big betrayal. But by the end of the second round, even lesser coins were deposit so much so that there is at least 2 traitors in the midst for this to happen. Ibara gets mad believing Yumeko is the traitor since she expected this outcome too. With Sumeragi accusing Ibara and Miroslava as in cohorts, Manyuda surprisingly gives his evaluation on who the traitor is. Judging from the circumstances, he points to Yumeko.

Episode 8
Manyuda explains about Yumeko and Terano conspiring together to assure they could profit from this. This makes Sumeragi sad that he has gone senile. In the next round, it’s the same as the last. Yumeko then orgasms that they they’re going to lose. WTF she seducing Manyuda and that activates his desire to bring everybody down now?! So both of them declare they won’t pay any taxes and hence making everyone to do the same. However everyone paid them in full. Manyuda now reveals the true traitors are Miroslava and Sumeragi. You see, it isn’t against the rules to leave your coins for others. Hence Sumeragi left hers for Miroslava whose turn is after her. Even if Miroslava had no reason to trust her, what if the note says to bank in her coins into her own deposit box? Not bad seeing there are no risks and all she need to do is get rid of the evidence. Manyuda calculates the coins received from this and Miroslava is in a massive lead. Hence the majority agrees to remove her from the final round. Miroslava realizes she has been played by Sumeragi but doesn’t hold a grudge against her since they were both allies in betrayal. But she does note she likes Manyuda because she set this up in a way for him to win. After the final round, Sumeragi wins the game. Although the votes are redistributed and Sumeragi is to receive 100 votes, however Rei announces a third party betting. Prior to this, Sumeragi and Terano made a bet if Manyuda would win or lost and achieve 40 coins. Sumeragi betted he couldn’t and must now pay her 150 votes. Manyuda is mad she did this but for Sumeragi, either way it is a win for her. Had Manyuda lost, Sumeragi would win a huge amount of votes. Had Manyuda won, she loses her votes but knew he didn’t go senile and still had it in him. She is happy with either way. Hence this game wasn’t about him interested in finding out what other people think but what is in his own heart. Sumeragi doesn’t see this as saving him. He is her accomplice and now her gamble is now left in her hands. With that, Sumeragi is no longer in the running for the student council president. Sayaka is getting worried that Terano is obtaining more votes and will do anything like threats and expulsion just to protect Kirari. However Kirari will not have any of that. She wants Yumeko to stir things up further. Oh Sayaka. You looking so sad. Is she going to get a heart attack?

Episode 9
Update on the rankings of the election. The top 10 from lowest to highest: Suzui (surprise!), Nozomi, Miyo, Ibara, Yumeko, Rin, Mary, Yumemi, Terano and Kirari. When Yumeko declares to challenge Kirari right now, this is when b*tch Sayaka steps in to berate her and even wants Kirari to throw her out right now. Of course no can do. This has Sayaka wondering if Kirari will look at her more favourably if she beats Yumeko at gambling. Well, if she can. This has Sayaka challenging Yumeko to a gamble. But it will be separate from the election and not votes. They will bet their lives. As shocking this may sound, Yumeko declines. Because that would be too boring. In order for Sayaka to really bet everything, she must risk her relationship and memories with Kirari. That is her ultimate bet. If Yumeko loses, she will never gamble again. With Kirari looking forward to this and wants to be their dealer, it’s do or die for Sayaka. In this tower game, the aim is to move from the fifth floor down to the first floor to pick a flower and then back up to the fifth floor again. The fastest to do so wins. However there are doors and hatches that brings you up or down different levels. Only the central staircase brings you directly to the bottom and top floor. Each will have 5 minutes as they take turns to choose a door to open but each door has a puzzle they must solve. However a word of caution, even if they get the answer correct, it may not be the solution. With Sayaka still thinking about her important ties with Kirari, Kirari ups the ante for her. Let the loser jump off the highest floor and die. So if Sayaka losers, she will die an utter stranger to her. The game begins, Yumeko goes first. I don’t really get the puzzles to the doors that keep changing but it has something to do with hexadecimal and decimal values. Although Yumeko got it right, behind the door is a wall. Sayaka’s turn, she chooses her hatch and her answer allows her to go down to another floor. But reaching the 4th floor, she realizes the other hatch goes down a few more floors. She thought of praying to God for Yumeko not to choose that hatch but screw that. She is going to believe in her decisions and Kirari! Yumeko’s turn, she chooses a door. Not sure if she is making out with the door because she considers this tower as her opponent and wants to get to know more about it. Every inch, nook and corner. Because rather than living in ignorance, better to know everything and die!

Episode 10
Flashback shows Sayaka as a meek girl who met Kirari and wanted to be a secretary. She was enthralled with her gambling style and wanted to be close to her to learn more. Sayaka feared she said too much but surprisingly, Kirari took a liking for her rationality and accepted. As she makes her way to the first floor, she is shocked that Yumeko hasn’t arrived. She cannot have left since her flower is still here. She starts to think what might have happened and on her next turn, tries the central staircase. Brick wall. It is then Yumeko shows up. Sayaka starts laughing and is now confident to beat her. She climbs her way back up, certain that she will win but wait… Yumeko has arrived! Sayaka in shock! Face it. She lost. Yumeko explains about her choice. The puzzles displayed are actually angles. When she opened the door, she just wanted to look at the moon. However there was nothing. It then dawned to her that this entire tower itself is rotating. That is why they sometimes hit the brick wall. So using this calculation, Yumeko was able to use the central staircase and head right back up. Sayaka is still in disbelief. Why would Kirari design a tower that doesn’t not fully utilize gambling? That’s the thing. That’s part of the gamble. Dead fish Sayaka realizes she lost because of logic. Saddened by her fate she couldn’t understand the person she loves, she prepares to jump to her death. After doing so, she is shocked to see Sayaka jumping after her! It isn’t the flower fields that broke their fall. Yeah, safety mats. Kirari explains this is her tower so she wanted to also be the first person to jump off. However Sayaka chose the correct door because other doors would have led to her death. Hence despite not thinking, her mind is still seeking logic. After all this time, she still finds her fascinating. Now that they are strangers, she offers her to become her secretary. She might not understand her but that’s okay. Can we say today is the day Sayaka died and reborn again?

Episode 11
A few received an invitation for the 100 vote auction. But not all those who were invited came. Those who turn up are Yumeko, Suzui, Mary, Ririka, Nishinotouin and Ikishima (totally ignored by Yumeko). The auctioneer is Rei and Inaho invigilates this gamble. Rei cannot disclose the sponsor for the 100 votes up for grabs and explains the rules. They will be using their votes to bid and whoever places the highest bid will win the 100 vote lot. The catch is that they will not know who bids. Also, if you don’t win the lot, you lose everything you bid. I’m not very clear about the rest because if they are limited by the number of votes they have, will that limit their play? Anyway, Mary is confident she can win this as she warns the others this is just a ploy to compete among themselves as the one who actually wins is the sponsor. But with others bidding, Mary is forced to bid higher and wins the first round. In the next round, Mary says the same thing but this time Nishinotouin wins the bid. Before the next round, Mary announces she will bid 99 to prevent anyone from bidding hire (because if they bid 100, they will trade it with the 100 votes they win). But she lied and bid 10. Then somebody raises it to 20. This only confirms her suspicions that Rei is also playing this game to deliberately raise the price. This will go on until the sponsor made a profit. Rei admits she is playing but vows not to participate further. Mary thought the next round would be smooth sailing but somebody is still trying to outbid her. This is when Yumeko realizes that there is another participant somewhere and that they can see them. True enough the other Bami members are watching from a different room and the one who just bid was Ibara. With Yumeko turned on, she points out that Rei is the sponsor and organizer of this gamble. She then brings in 3 billion yen (from her win from Manyuda) and wants to use this to win this round’s 100 votes (apparently she talked to Inaho about some rule amending thingy and it was approved with all those present consented). She wants to gamble with the real Rei, bid this 3 billion and win everything that belongs to her. With Rei admitting that, she throws away her ‘mask’ and reveals her true ‘face’.

Episode 12
We delve into Rei’s past as one of those Bami members who was raised as a livestock ever since. Her role was to only serve others until one day Yumeko’s sister told her the mark on her hands doesn’t mean it is engraved in her heart forever. Her heart is hers alone. This made Rei happy. She continued her role but every time Yumeko’s sister visited, she would be happy. But each time she looks even more and more weak. Until one day she too got devoured and lost in a gamble among the clan’s conflict. Ever since, Rei vowed revenge and take back what is hers. Hence Rei announces she will win this election and become the next clan head as revenge. With the auction continuing, the other Bami members realized this wasn’t an act by Terano that they assumed. They’ve been had. As for how Rei amassed her votes, there was a large gamble recently where one would vote whether Rei could win this. All the girls who were swept off their feet gave their votes to her and hence she has enough votes to compete. The Bami members want to quit but they realize they will lose more if they quit as there is the risk of Rei getting all the votes so they are forced to stay in. The auction continues in the same fashion. Like as though Rei is going to win anyhow. Suddenly Yumeko quickly posts a few 101 starting bids. And then a few subsequent delayed ones. The Bami realizes this delay is that she is looking for an answer so when the next bid starts, the Bami side quickly cast their 101 bid.

But after that, Yumeko then bids 1. As Mary notes she can’t just profit them all, Yumeko suggests they should join in. Hence everyone takes turns in bidding 1 and win the 100 lot to finally ruin Rei. Rei accuses them of collusion which is forbidden by the rules. However Yumeko explains it isn’t so. It is that they clearly understand each other! Hence they manage to understand the need to profit by not competing with each other (the 101 useless bids were just trolls for this understanding). With Rei having no votes left, she thinks she is done for but Yumeko points out that she still has something to wager: Her 3 billion yen. This is her everything. Don’t gamble for the sake of revenge or others. Gamble for yourself! It is your own heart! Rei accepts this final big gamble in which Yumeko wagers her own name. If she loses, she will take on Rei’s forsaken surname. It all boils down to a single coin toss… In the aftermath, it seems Rei has been freed by her imaginary chains and is encouraged by Kirari to write her new Bami surname. So this means Yumeko won the coin toss and is now gambling it all away! Oh dear. Easy come, easy go? Sumeragi stops her before she bankrupts herself out of this election. Then a smoking hot never seen before babe passes by. Oh gosh! Rei is so feminine and beautiful! Yumeko is happy because today is the first day of her very own life. Terano thinks that the joker wasn’t Rei all along but Yumeko.

Luck Not Needed, Only Madness…
Oh God… I think I’m addicted to it… I think this needs another season… Another season real bad… I mean, it can’t just end here like this, can it?! I need more! I need more right now! How to go on without any more money???!!! I guess I’m broke. This means all that is left is to complain and b*tch about this unsatisfying ending. So I guess the real character in focus this season is Rei. With her being finally liberated from her imaginary chains, is this considered a happy ending? Perhaps for Rei. Because certainly Yumeko would also be happy because there would be another one of her kind who would gamble for their own sake and reach that kind of level of insanity. The kind of orgasmic thrills that such extreme gambler could feel when they are on the edge. But that’s another story.

This season is still as interesting and tense as its first. Although there are some points like the mechanisms and the workings of the gamble in play that I don’t really understand no matter how many times I go back and listen to the rules. That still didn’t diminish my overall enjoyment of the series although it could have been a lot more enjoyable had I really understood how the gamble works. For instance the final gamble of this season, the 100 votes auction felt like anybody could just bid any number. Because I thought they are limited to the number of votes they have and this puts those with low number of votes at a disadvantage. Maybe I am missing something here but trying to follow through the scheming but not understanding the system of how it works feels somewhat frustrating.

The psychological tensions are still interesting to watch as we get to see how such precarious situations bring out the best and the worst in all of us. Of course those who are already as crazy as Yumeko, there is nothing more to say. But those who stand to lose a lot and fear in losing all that power, money, fame, status, etc, have a higher chance of showing their true colours and make a blunder. Good example as in Erimi’s case. She wanted to show off but underestimated her opponents and in the end found herself in a position that should have been experienced by her enemies.

Many of the games are simple but with just a slight twist to the rules. Some are elaborate like Kirari’s tower that aren’t anything much ado but are for aesthetics. While they are interesting in their own right, I feel that because of the drama, sly manoeuvrings, deceptions, delusions and psychological tensions being played during the games, this somewhat lengthens and stretches out the games by 2 or 3 episodes. The game would have seriously end very quickly had they not do all this stuffs. But then again, where would all the fun be had it been cut out? Viewers won’t get a satisfied explanation on what is going on and like myself as I have said don’t really understand some of the rules to begin with, will get even more confused if the game ended too fast. Like Yumeko always said, one must truly enjoy a good gamble.

With Kirari being unpredictable and forcing this student election gamble, hence the introduction of a few characters from the other Bami families in a bid to overthrow her. It feels unfortunate that with only a single cour in this season, it doesn’t do any much justice to the existing and new characters. While Yumeko is still the central main character and involved in almost every gamble we see here, in some instances she doesn’t feel like the main character. How should I put it? For instance the Yumemi and Natari’s battle, the focus is mainly on them and while Yumeko maintains her presence, she feels more like a sideshow. After all, Yumeko’s ultimate goal is to enjoy high stakes gamble and not be some typical cliché main character.

Characters from Yumeko’s camp also don’t fare any better. Feels like they have their turn and moments but those were short. Like Suzui seems really forgettable here and he is mostly an observer in many of the gambles. Except for that card game with the Chinese duo in which he participated but it feels like he is more of a puppet than anything else. Mary also feels very much like a side character. The card game to substitute Yumeko felt like some sort of ploy to give her some screen time and remind us that she is still sly in her own right. Then after Ririka weirdly becomes some sort of her ally and accomplice, she doesn’t stand out too much. Even that final auction game even though shows like as though she is trying to take control but I just don’t really feel the impact. What it feels like a last chance for Sumeragi to be relevant and go out with style and respect, is that the reason why they also brought back Manyuda? I don’t think it will be the last I see of them but after making amends and realizing the important stuffs, does the student council election matter anymore to them? Some weird romance they played out here…

I thought this season Sayaka was going to be side-lined since many of the other student council members too were somewhat thrown off the limelight. Nishinotouin and Ikishima going out early (poor Ikishima being treated as non-existent by Yumeko and anybody who talks to her before Yumeko’s presence gets chastised of who the f*cks are you talking to?!), Manyuda in coma (until that revival for that tax game) and Ririka turning into Mary’s subordinate, where would that make Kirari’s right hand woman? It’s a good thing we don’t have to see her getting jealous and b*tch about her precious Kirari but I suppose that gamble with Yumeko once and for all settles this. So let’s hope that with their renewed bond, Sayaka would be a more respectable character than before. Not like it matters anymore considering the direction of the plot. Kirari as the big boss seems like she is just biding her time until somebody crazy and worthy enough pops up to challenge her. I bet it would be worth the wait for her. So aside her, the only other successful original student council member is Yumemi. Even if she can’t become the student council president (she might be one of the top running candidates but I’m not betting on her to win it… Unless…), she still has something bigger to aim and strive for.

The Bami family members are equally as quirky and even as cruel due to each of their families specializing in some sort of specialty (like the Chinese duo in poison and Erimi in torturing). It would have been very cliché and linear if the story would be Yumeko going on to defeat all the Bami family one by one until the final boss but that would have been absolutely boring. After all, if Yumeko’s real goal was that, she would have challenged them all to one huge gamble. Small bets aren’t her style. It is unfortunate that the single cour has limited the fleshing out of these extremely interesting characters and while some have their limelight, others do not (like Nozomi – because I want to know how relevant her dog is). It looks like Terano is the unofficial leader leading the other Bami families to overthrow Kirari but considering this backstabbing family where power is absolute, there might be plot twists to more than meets the eye. After all when in a game of high stakes, you don’t really trust anybody. And it might seem this unofficial alliance is only intact because of Terano but who knows, anything can happen when so much is on the line. Heck, all this might just be a show and for all you know, Terano is actually conspiring with Kirari all along. At the end of the day, I suppose the last one standing definitely has the right to be called the biggest snake. Isn’t that what uwabami is?

I suppose the hidden and ‘star’ of this season is the character Rei. Serving as the butler to the entire academy as well as the Bami family, many things that she does gives off this suspicious aura. That kind of submissive and servitude feels like she is putting on some kind of mask to hide her true feelings. Not to mention that she has some sort of charisma and all the girls start swooning whenever she passes by. All that somewhat paid off with all of them willingly giving their votes to let Rei run for presidency, huh? Rei’s gender is never explicitly mentioned although she acts and dresses like a man but I know better… With Rei finally showing her true colours, it certainly looks to rattle the entire Bami clan but it went out with a sputter after that simple but gigantic loss to Yumeko. But then again, Rei didn’t particularly ‘lose’. She just ‘lost’ her past and gained her new freedom. You could say she won the lottery of this sense.

The other reason why I said she is the ‘star’ of this show is because that is why the second season is somewhat named after her, no? You see, ‘X’ in Japan is pronounced as ‘batsu’, which is Rei’s surname. Hence double X, double whammy? Uh huh. Thanks to that, I have a slightly hard time trying to find more legitimate info about this series. Because it leads me to those damn porn sites!!! I think there’s a reason why they didn’t call this season Kakegurui XXX… Yeah… A whole new gamble here…

Art and animation remain constant with last season. The trademark of this show is those devilish eyes. When the characters get serious or fall into their delirium, you will see a zoom in and close up of their eye. Yumeko is the main offender as her eyes will glow red like as though she is the devil reincarnate. Even Terminator would run towards his mummy. Heh. And oddly, I know Yumeko gets her thrills from gambling, but sometimes thinking about where the gamble is going also makes her orgasmic. Hence your weird fanservice of Yumeko doing sexy orgasmic poses that looks more like WTF than anything stimulating. Sorry folks, no Yumeko-Mary yuri fanservice this season. On a trivial note, why do I have this feeling that Natari’s character is modelled after Audrey Hepburn? She is considered by many to be one of the best actresses in Hollywood history.

This season’s opening theme doesn’t have that playful and naughty bubbly madness as it did in last season. Kono Yubi Tomare by Junna feels just pretty generic although a bit dramatic. Even its visuals in the opening credits aren’t as crazy. The same can be said for the ending theme, Alegria by D-selections. Last season we were treated to some crazy psychedelic delusions of Yumeko. This season we have Yumeko hinting some yuri action with Kirari in the forest. WTF?! You mean the natural forest?! Ah, the rules of the jungle and natural selection. The survival of the strongest and fittest. And yeah, it ends with some weird psychedelic lights thingy too, indicating that Yumeko might be high on some sort drugs. Whatever.

For the voice acting segment, recognizable joining the line-up include Romi Paku as Rei, Ayana Taketatsu as Erimi and Akira Ishida as Rin. Of course Mamiko Noto making her cameo as Yumeko’s sister! Hmm… Once I considered them as clones due to the similarity of their voice and now they are sisters here… How strange. The other new casts are Megumi Han as Terano (Akko in Little Witch Academia), Mitsuki Saiga as Miroslava (Phantom in MAR), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Ibara (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Ayahi Takagaki as Natari/Sumika (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear), Yumi Uchiyama as Miyo (Hameline in Radiant), Rumi Okubo as Miri (Hibachi in Mushibugyou), Sayaka Kitahara as Nozomi (Mary in Busou Shoujo Machiavellism), Haruno Inoue as Yumi (Kaoru in Nobunagun) and Nanami Yamashita as Inaho (Nanami in Wake Up Girls).

Overall, absolutely interesting and intriguing second season only to be cut short because it is just a single cour. Not enough time to flesh out properly all the other characters, old and new. Some of the games are a bit hard to comprehend for a simpleton like me but that doesn’t greatly impact and diminish the overall enjoyment I had. So back to praying to God that this gets another season. And soon. Don’t want to wait 5 years or 10 years for it to get another season (like a few third season anime series lately like To Aru No Majutsu Index, Date A Live and Chihayafuru being aired after a long hiatus from their second season) so here is leaving to luck and chance! I’m betting that I have a better chance of getting a third season than winning the lottery :’(.

Ah… I thought I feel so refreshed after having skipped one season of pseudo porn. I thought I was going to be so over this deceiving low quality porn trap after they showed that gay BL porn sh*t last season but apparently it never went away. So you bet when they return back to hetero sex porn, I’ll be there ‘curious’ to check out what Araiya-san! Ore To Aitsu Ga Onnayu De would be. Oh yeah. Now we’re taking sex to another location: The public bathhouse. I guess it’s the only place where girls are allowed to get naked and walk around with their bare tits showing. You know the rest then. Porn logic always rules at the end of the day.

Episode 1
Aoi Yuzuki is a talented volleyball player. Souta Tsukishima… Not so much. But he does like to gawk at her in action. His daydreaming causes a ball to slam in his face and Yuzuki teases this nice block. During the break, Tsukishima’s grandpa’s public bath house is featured in the news. He claims the water has slimming effects. First time Tsukishima hear something like that. However the girls especially Yuzuki are eager to try. Tsukishima calls out to this nonsense because if they want to slim down, stop eating! No prizes to guess that he got beaten up by Yuzuki. Back home, looks like grandpa broke his back so he wants Tsukishima to take his place. Although it is just as a washer (araiya). Tsukishima goes into the women’s section thinking only old ladies will show up. WTF full of cute young chicks and from his volleyball club! WTF they don’t recognize him?! Yeah, the towel on his head makes all the difference. He spots Yuzuki and thinks of getting his payback and goes to wash her back. Wait a minute. Is this actually allowed?! Is this actually happening in real life?! Men allowed to wash a woman’s back in the women’s section?! Is this not just for porn logic?! I’m confused! Anyway, Tsukishima takes advantage of this by rubbing more than just her back. He continues to molest every part of her body, including fingering her pussy. WTF Yuzuki doesn’t scream rape and tries to hold it all in?! Was Tsukishima so good that she climax?! Her friend, Mei Sasakura teases her if the slimming is going well. If so, hurry up and slim down so she can confess to Tsukishima. Tsukishima is left in shock and wondering if Yuzuki likes him. He didn’t see this coming as Sasakura asks it’s her turn for a back scrub.

Episode 2
Tsukishima wonders why the volleyball captain and ace who is popular with all the guys wants his service. So as he gives his normal scrubbing, Sasakura then tells him to just lose the tower. She knows it’s him. That voice, that build and of course this place belongs to his family, right? This means she also know what he just did to Yuzuki and from what she heard, he must have been very good. So if he doesn’t want her to expose this, give her a better service than Yuzuki?! Gee, that’s literally saying, please f*ck me! So Tsukishima wastes no time as he starts groping and fingering her. Yeah, he is going into overdrive mode and why does Sasakura sound like she’s having sex???!!! Can’t it be that Tsukishima is that f*cking good?????!!!!! And then somebody is coming. Better hurry and climax. Sasakura throws herself on the floor and just in the nick of time when Yuzuki came in to look for her. She sees Tsukishima and realizes he was the one who washed her. Dismayed, she runs away. Meanwhile Sasakura is lying on the floor taking a breather. Best sex not sex ever, right? Yeah… This guy is so amazing…

Episode 3
Sasakura tells Yuzuki that she also got the special slimming massage from Tsukishima. You know, just to let you know. Yeah. He was good at it. Bye. This leaves Yuzuki worried. Does Sasakura have a thing for Tsukishima too? Anyhow, she blames Tsukishima for this. So during volleyball practice she lands her serve so hard on Tsukishima that he almost died. But she gets concerned when Sasakura rushes to his aid. After Tsukishima gets treated at the infirmary, he goes to the toilet. WTF Yuzuki is bathing there?! Apparently somebody switched the gender signs outside. WTF?! Instead of being mad at him here, she asks if he really did it to Sasakura. Tsukishima admits he did and prepares for the worse. Worse indeed. Because she wants him to do it to her again! And hence the usual treatment of groping and fingering. But this time more on the latter. Yeah Yuzuki, do you not know this is not part of the massage! In the end, she climaxes and Tsukishima is left to ponder because she didn’t resist, does she actually like him? No time to think because other girls are coming in.

Episode 4
Yuzuki takes Tsukishima to hide in the shower. The girls stream in and don’t suspect a thing although Yuzuki did make her presence known to them. With Tsukishima hiding, the problem is that his face is now close to her naked ass! He then hears the girls tease Yuzuki about liking Tsukishima since she constantly attacked him during the game. Yuzuki keeps denying although the rest know very well this open secret. Because of that, this turned Tsukishima on and now he can’t contain his horniness and starts f*cking her!!! WTF???!!! You mean he is willing to risk getting caught???!!! It’s not like Yuzuki doesn’t want to get f*cked by him, right? I wonder how she is going to get away with making all those weird noises. Strangely, all her friends aren’t even concerned how strange she sounds? Even if they never thought if she was having sex, did it not cross their minds that she might be in pain or discomfort or something?! Isn’t it weird that she hasn’t come out of the shower before them?! They just left like that! My, some friends. I guess it was the best sex (and several French kissing too) for them but clearly in the aftermath, Tsukishima knows he is screwed (despite screwing over Yuzuki). However Yuzuki starts acting like a tsundere. All that has happened was just a fluke and it’s not that she likes him or anything. Kawaii…

Episode 5
Tsukishima learns Yuzuki is sick. Sasakura suggests he goes see her on behalf of the club and right away he does so. That sly smile when Sasakura also tells Hidemoto Takasugi to do the same. Yuzuki’s sister is delighted that Tsukishima is here and quickly brings him to Yuzuki’s room. I guess it’s to catch her in the act of masturbating!!! Tsukishima’s slow reflexes means he got volleyball in his face. Sister leaves them alone as she attends to Takasugi at the door. For some odd reasons, Tsukishima hides under her blanket. With Takasugi sounding like a fake smooth gentleman that he cares for he, Tsukishima gets worried if Yuzuki likes him. Takasugi then takes his leave but because sister made tea for him, I guess he’ll stay longer. I guess Yuzuki isn’t the only one sick because Tsukishima is sicker! He is going to rape her?! Is it because he is jealous thinking she likes Takasugi!? WTF logic is that?! And so he starts f*cking her and since sister heard the ever louder humping noises, she turns up the volume of the TV channel. Max! Did Takasugi hear anything? Damn this guy is enthralled with sister’s beauty. But sorry folks. No second sex act here. So are Yuzuki and Tsukishima done and have satisfyingly cum? Good. Because sister barges in without knocking to announce Takasugi has gone home. I guess Yuzuki is feeling alright now that she can go back to school tomorrow.

Episode 6
Oddly, Yuzuki is avoiding Tsukishima. Is this over? The class has a field trip to the hotsprings and Tsukishima’s perverted friends drag him to go peep on the girls. They are put a stop by Takasugi and despite their lame attempts to get him to join them, Takasugi sounds like he has an ulterior motive of his own. Because he won’t let them see Yuzuki’s naked body and asks if it is alright with Tsukishima to begin with. Speak of the devil, here she comes. The guys ‘sacrifice’ Tsukishima so they could escape. With the girls coming in, Yuzuki has an idea to hide him. Yeah, dress him like the araiya and nobody could recognize him! Uh huh. They also believe this araiya works here! This means giving his special massage to the other girls. Something Yuzuki isn’t too fond. When she goes to the sauna, Sasakura invites Tsukishima to follow her there. She wants him to give Yuzuki his special massage. To motivate him, she start getting yuri on Yuzuki! WTF?! Any normal guy can’t resist this temptation so he starts going down on her pussy. Yeah, it becomes a weird threesome with Tsukishima and Sasakura pleasing overly sensitive Yuzuki. Sasakura admits she also loves Tsukishima and if Yuzuki doesn’t do anything about it, she might steal him. After the threesome, they hear the girls scream. There is a peeping tom around.

Episode 7
Sasakura admits that she also likes Tsukishima. So what she did there with him to Yuzuki was punishment for her. It’s for not being honest with herself. Yeah, you mean trying to force and hasten her feelings about this dude by outraging her modesty?! Okay. Fine with me! Haha! Sasakura will help the clear the area so the duo will have a chance to get out. I guess the wait got too long because Tsukishima now has weird ideas of his own. Uh huh. He is going to f*ck her! Extra special massage! Dick massaging your pussy is the best massage ever!!! Oh Yuzuki, you’re feeling so good, why you wanna have him wait for what?! Just cum already!!! So once they’re done achieving orgasm, I guess their heads and hearts are clearer and open to talk. Sort of. Yuzuki ekes out what Sasakura said was true and that she does like him. Change of mind as she feels embarrassed and ‘downgrades’ it as not hating him. Whatever. Sasakura comes to check on them since they are taking too long and sees them knocked out from the ‘heat’. The body can withstand all sorts of weird sex positions but a mere confession does not? That’s porn logic for you…

Episode 8
Yuzuki is letting Tsukishima rest on her lap back in their room. Sasakura leaves them alone and goes to reprimand those naughty peepers. You mean they really regretted it? Maybe they didn’t get to see any tits. Yuzuki thinks Tsukishima is still out so she narrates why she fell for him. He never gave up on his volleyball training and faced adversity alone. He even trained hard outside school hours by himself. At the same time, Yuzuki was at the crossroads in her volleyball passion. Thanks to Tsukishima’s effort, it helped her regain back her passion. So it’s that simple? She puts her face close to his but since Tsukishima heard all that, he takes her by surprise by kissing her. And hearing her true feelings makes him horny. Uh huh. F*ck time! Better still, they do it on the veranda in a lewd position. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as they both had fun. After all that, Tsukishima is about to confess he likes her but interrupted by the cliché moment of the handphone ringing. Bummer. But this makes them laugh because it’s just so strange that despite all the hentai they did to each other, they are still shy in saying those magic words. That’s “I love you” for those who are thinking more of “I wanna f*ck you”. But not impossible too for this genre.

You Gotta Hand It To Him, He’s Got A Touch Of Class!
Instead of being washed clean and free from the filthy sins of the flesh, I was flooded with more corruption and depravity instead! You know there isn’t anything much when there are only 8 episodes. Even far less than that Joshi Ochi one (which had 9 episodes). Maybe f*cking in the toilet or bathhouse isn’t as exciting as other places… Just saying… So I guess the lesson of it all is that if you are not sure about your feelings of the person you love, just f*ck each other enough and then you will soon realize you love each other! Hey, got to remember porn logic weaving its magic here!

I know porn logic rules here but I am very baffled by the fact that there are male araiya in a female area! My guts tell me this is BS and that it doesn’t exist and it is only here that it does for the sake of porn. Because I did my ‘extensive research’ online and could not even find any article whatsoever that there are legally male araiya for females. Maybe I don’t know how to look properly online but that’s not the case. So for a bathhouse that actually provides araiya is one thing (because for the old and disabled who can’t reach their backs) but for the opposite gender? In this instance, young high school girls who aren’t freaking out to see a young male their age in their section? So Tsukishima isn’t so bad looking himself so what if the araiya looks like a perverted fat otaku slob? Yeah, that changes everything. Therefore it can only be truly porn logic with Tsukishima being allowed to wash the girls’ back like that without any sort of legal repercussion. Otherwise, don’t you think there would be a lot more (loser) guys trying to land this job? Uh huh. It’s like your legal molesting occupation whatever.

Unlike in previous of such pseudo porn series I have watched, although it is true that the more times you f*ck the girl, eventually she would come to love you, this is somewhat not the case here. Because you can’t go with that flow of logic when you already have the girl liking you from the start! That is why Yuzuki allows Tsukishima to have his way with her. Touching her body and other sensitive and personal areas without so much as to scream rape. Because she already secretly likes him. Ah, there’s the catch. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the other female characters in those other porn animes are any different since they didn’t call the cops or report for rape, allowing those main character men to continue doing whatever they want. Just as long as you can make her feel good, everything else doesn’t matter. Everything is acceptable. Viva porn logic!

The Tsukishima guy isn’t anything extraordinary either. Just some normal high school kid after all. The weirdest part is how he shows his love for Yuzuki by sexing her up. Hear a heart-warming and touching story from her? F*ck her! Oh yeah! Don’t think. Just do it! I just love it when girls don’t question this strange invasion and just let the guy do as he pleases. Hey, this guy might not be good in volleyball but at least he is good in making her feel good! If sex is an Olympic sport, this guy would win the gold medal and easily leave all his competitors in the dust! Also, Yuzuki must be an easy girl to please since she orgasms so easy. Can’t lie to us. Look at that ahegao face every time she gets f*cked. So yeah, girls always love a guy who makes them feel good.

But looks like this series has reduced the age of the characters having sex to high school students. In those other series, they were usually young working adults or at least one of them is. Now we have both high school students engaging in unholy activities. Yuzuki is your typical high school girl in love and the only difference is that she took a step further and got herself violated. Good thing she liked him. Now she has another reason to love him further. Wasn’t it a good thing that she was ‘mean’ to him so as to get his attention? And then he ‘got back hat her’ with just desserts? Look where this brought them now? Ah, I just love a good love story. *Sniff, sniff*. I want to note that the synopsis described Tsukishima as a clumsy guy. I guess so. So clumsy that his dick eventually slipped into her vagina!!! HAHAHA!!!

Also like in some of the previous porn titles, the other side supporting characters are a distraction and not totally required. I mean, if every episode is about Tsukishima and Yuzuki getting f*cked, how boing is that? Oh wait. That happens in every episode. What I meant to say is that with the inclusion of third wheels, it only serves to ‘intensify’ their feelings for each other. You get worried the other guy or girl likes you and what better way than to show that you love her/him even more is by f*cking her even more intensely. Hence Sasakura is like the backup pussy if Tsukishima and Yuzuki fail and how kind of Sasakura to really let Yuzuki keep Tsukishima. Doesn’t she want her for himself too? Damn, best friends are such best friends. Maybe Sasakura does love Tsukishima a lot more than she puts in words but with her pushing Yuzuki, it might be some sort of penance for her since her best friend has got the boy she likes, all it’s not lost. Acceptable. I think. So if Yuzuki loses her way, all she needs is to give some yuri fanservice to bring her back to the right path. Damn I really love porn logic at its finest. Then there’s the Takasugi guy who is just so irrelevant and his role is probably to make Tsukishima a bit jealous and realize his feelings for Yuzuki. I mean, she is the only one who lets him f*ck her so hell no some other guy is going to take that place away. Takasugi might look dependable but sometimes I feel his character comes off a bit as a retard. Doesn’t this guy like Yuzuki’s sister? That’s another story to tell.

On a trivial note, the ending theme Renai Sensation by Yuzuki and Sasakura feels weird. I don’t know if this pop song is infused with some kind of weird punk rock music or something because it sounds more like a piece of cacophony. It’s just chaotic. The tune especially the synthesizers felt like somebody just simply mashed the keyboard and they got lucky they come up with this ‘tune’ which is as equally chaotic and frenzied like the entire song. And there is one weird line in the lyrics that goes, “I would like to be impregnated by your smell”. WTF?! I know that verse is talking about bathing and shampoo with your love but this just really WTF.

Overall, nothing really new or exciting. The irony that washing and bathing are symbolized as something clean but this show makes it all so dirtier. Perhaps the mind is the hardest to clean. Haha! I guess I have watched quite a few of these every season in the past for almost 2 years to form some sort of immunity. Not sure whether it is a good or bad thing. Because I fear that it would take a kinkier porn to turn me on! Yikes. I hope that’s not true. But that will be something that only I will find out in the future… Anyhow, I can’t say that this would be the last pseudo anime porn I will watch and that I haven’t really washed my hands off such genres. I mean, it’s not that I love to watch anime porn and only doing so out of curiosity and listed as a ‘legitimate’ anime in the seasonal chart as the synopsis sounded ‘legitimate’ (hey, it didn’t say ‘sex’ anywhere, right?). Honest. I hope I didn’t rub that the wrong way.

Kemurikusa

July 14, 2019

Well, the synopsis didn’t say much. Kemurikusa is about a group of girls needing to fight off bad bugs in a world covered with red fog and mist. Sounds intriguing enough and although my interest of whether to watch it then was on the fence, I further read that this adaptation only came into being after it because it won’t a 3D anime contest back in 2012. So I guess that there is something good about it. I hope.

Episode 1
Rin and Rinako are out to get some fresh water. However Rin detects a red bug and engages in combat. Although Rin defeats it, she didn’t realize there was another one. It attacked careless Rinako drinking the water. By the time Rin returns to defeat it, Rinako is already close to death and soon sadly dies. Rin returns to her base that houses her other sisters, Ritsu and other Rinako clones who are collectively known as Rina. Yup, 4 of those Rina still left. They fill up the water tank and eat up some green leaves called Kemurikusa produced by their tree named Midori. Suddenly a boy is washed into the water tank. Wakaba is unsure how he get here but the sisters think he is some kind of bug and attack him. He tries to run but ends up being captured. They are puzzled this new bug type can talk and although Wakaba says he is human, they don’t believe because the sisters are the only humans left on the island. To prove he isn’t a bug, they shoot a green leaf at him. It is supposedly a bug’s weakness. Rin fires at him. The blast destroys the structure around but only Wakaba is still intact. So he’s not a bug, right? Nope. They think he is a new type that is resistant to Midori’s leaves! Ritsu picks up the appearance of a red fog and hence another red bug. They are surprised because the fog has never come so far up on this island. Rin and Rina take Wakaba there. More ‘confusion’ because Wakaba feels pain when he touches the red fog. Bugs shouldn’t. The bug makes a surprise attack and gobbles up on of the Rina. Wakaba can sense where she is held and not dead yet. Hence he braves the red fog and dives in to go get her. This also lures the bug out and Rin is prepared this time to take it out. The sisters are happy that they didn’t lose one of their own this time. However Rin remains sceptical of Wakaba although she feels something strange welling in her heart…

Episode 2
The sisters decide to let Wakaba live a little longer for now. Ritsu deduces this is the last batch of water on this island. But since they have gathered so much, they can go to other islands and search again. Rin tells Ritsu her strange heart problem. Whenever she is near Wakaba, her heart beats fast, her face feels flushed and her vision sometimes get blurry. Oh! I know what it is! But guess what they think? It must be a poison from the red bug! DOH!!!! WTF???!!! Rin then takes Wakaba to get some kiiro that serves as food and light source. Yeah, this guy is like so fascinated with everything. He spots different coloured leaves and decides to keep them. They also spot some bugs but those that are not red are not hostile. But there is one that attacks Wakaba! Rin blasts it with a green leaf. Wakaba gets caught in it but nothing happens to him. Also, his wounds get healed. As Rin gets some kiiro, she talks about the sisters surviving from letters that tell them locations of the water as well as how to defeat red bugs. She claims she has no ambition and the only thing she cares is protecting her sisters. When they return, Wakaba’s Kemurikusa starts glowing. It is rare for leaves other than Midori’s to glow. Furthermore, it is in another colour. But soon it stops glowing. Rin then makes a decision to leave the island. They pack up and make plans to leave Island One they are in now to Island Four. Wakaba is amazed as Midori’s roots turn their tram base into a mobile one as it sets itself nicely over the tracks. Rin scares Wakaba not to do anything funny or else she’ll kill him. I wonder if she is trolling him about leaving the island. Because whenever they do, somebody dies. So Wakaba is that bait?!

Episode 3
The gang make their slow trail to the next island. Wakaba might be having too much fun being fascinated with everything that he almost fell to his death. Thanks to Rin grabbing him, he did not meet his maker. I guess she owes him for saving Rina. Arriving on Island Two, they use some fish-like thingy to detect water around. They’re not going to find any for a while. Ritsu starts coughing since she is pushing herself. So they all take a break and drink some fresh water from their tank. They drink a lot at one go and it will last them for several days. Because they stopped by some amusement park, one of the Rina went off on her own. Hence Rin and Wakaba go in search for her. Wakaba learns that Rina can eat anything and then produce some weird stuff. So this is how they supposedly duplicate? Though, Rin warns not to just eat anything in fear of getting that poison. Yeah… Wakaba then finds another Kemurikusa but this one has a stem. Because it is also edible, the Rina also want a taste of it. Back at base, Ritsu gives Wakaba a Kemurikusa they used to use a long time ago. Apparently it belonged to their old sisters. Ryoku didn’t particularly like Kemurikusa and was always furious when Riku made them glow. After all, only Riku can make them glow and thanks to Ryoku, they know so much. The ground suddenly shakes and opens up. Wakaba could have fallen into the red fog just to save a precious pot of the sisters but Rin pulls him up just in time. Rin is mad that he saved something that he didn’t know of its importance. He didn’t think of it and just knew it was important to them. He hopes he can help out in anywhere and thanks her for saving him. Rin starts to blush. Must be the poison…

Episode 4
They have reached Island Three as the Rina notice Wakaba continuing to be obsessed with his Kemurikusa collection. They show him a few nifty tricks of their own that they develop from eating many things but since Wakaba is only amazed at those with Kemurikusa, no more tricks for you mister! Along the way, a few red bugs but nothing that Rin could handle herself. As they rest for the night, more Kemurikusa obsession from Wakaba as he swings around his collection and in certain angles they do glow. With the Rina using Kemurikusa for cloning purposes, Wakaba realizes its importance to the sisters. He admires Rin’s Kemurikusa too but she hides from him. Is she being shy? Nope. Just taking precaution to stay away from his poison! To get to Island Four, they need to take the sky bridge. Rin uses her strength to haul the entire tram up. But along the way, they encounter a red bug. This isn’t just an ordinary one. It’s so freaking big and powerful that it’s termed as Nushi. The gang retreats as the Nushi attacks them. Rin is injured by its blast albeit a minor one. At this rate the Nushi is blasting about and putting holes in the bridge, I’m thinking the bridge’s integrity will be compromised. The plan seems to be like this. Rin sacrificing herself to let the sisters pass. Not if Wakaba has an idea. He noticed the Nushi reacts to Kemurikusa thanks to some of them he dropped while retreating. So he has Rina make several little toy clones to carry Kemurikusa as distraction. Rin will use that as a chance to destroy it. The plan works but the dying Nushi gives out one last blast at the sisters. If not for Wakaba reacting fast to protect them with the special Kemurikusa, they would have been goners. Now the Nushi is dead, the sisters are in disbelief they actually defeated one on their own. They are excited as they draw closer to Island Four.

Episode 5
Now on Island Four, they are looking to get to Island Six. They don’t really want to get lost and end up in Island Five although ironically that is where they found this tram. It was also around here that they picked up Midori’s branch. It was small at that time but now it is big and able to protect and move the tram around. When a Kemurikusa glows, Wakaba throws it at a broken pole and suddenly it fixes it back to normal. As they continue their journey, you mean now only they realize a wheel of the tram is missing and possibly during the fight with the Nushi? Did they not notice Ritsu controlling the tram and walking in a weird fashion? Wakaba looks at the nearby junk for some parts and oddly a docile bug helps find a wheel. Because the mechanism is broken and some parts are missing, Wakaba has this idea to use a Kemurikusa to fix it. Well what do you know? It is as good as new! Everyone is happy and surprised that Kemurikusa could be used this way other than fighting red bugs. Ritsu is in tears with Wakaba praising her so much for taking care of Midori. Time for Rin to accuse Wakaba of doing something fishy. Somebody explain to her those are tears of joy? Finally they arrive on Island Six. It is mostly uncharted territory and filled with red bugs. Thanks to Riku finding this tunnel hole, they can travel underground and avoid any hostiles above. But first, they need to rest. I guess Wakaba isn’t as tired as the sisters so he explores around. To his delight, he finds lots of Kemurikusa lying around. So happy picking them that he realized too late that he is lost. Oh sh*t. You scared now? Then he stumbles into a girl. Not a ghost, I hope.

Episode 6
Riku thinks Wakaba is a bug and tries to attack him. Good thing Wakaba is quick at dodging. But after hearing she knows her sisters, now he’s her friend. She talks briefly about her sisters as she hints she is here to do some preliminary investigation. She also teaches him how to use Kemurikusa as a barrier (good thing he learns fast otherwise he would’ve been vaporized). Riku gives him a compass to find his way back and doesn’t want him to tell her sisters about her. She’s supposed to be gone. On the way back, Wakaba discovers a new interface in using the Kemurikusa. Especially one that looks like a diary written by one of the sisters, questioning about the world and the likes. Walls and connecting islands, the first person hiding something, some memory leaf, all too vague for now. Before he knows it, Rina jumps on him for going missing. I guess he’s back. Well, it’s not like they cared, right? So let’s move on. Thanks to Wakaba’s new compass replacing their old one, they manage to make their way through the labyrinth. They stumble into another huge tree like Midori. Ritsu tries to connect with it but it’s too huge to move and most of its branches have wilted. Wakaba consults the diary to find an answer. Something about large Kemurikusa tree dead, its large branches and roots can lead to a pool of water nearby. Following the path, they reach a huge lake.

Episode 7
The giant criss-crossing roots of this tree is supposed to be Island Seven. Because it is overgrown other structures, they wonder if humans once lived here. Then they stumble into a wall. They find it weird because there is no hole. Ryou supposedly broke it the last time. All of them pool their powers and yet it did not make any scratch. Then all the harmless bugs turn black and start attacking them. They are easy to deal with but their numbers is a pain. Wakaba then uses his Kemurikusa to open a hole in a wall to retreat to safety. At the centre of this tree is a huge pool of water that would last a lifetime. Everyone is joyed that they finally found a safe place to live. No red bugs, no red fog. This could be their utopia finally. Wakaba is thrilled to find more Kemurikusa. Rin and Wakaba go explore around and find another wall. Using the same technique to open a hole. To their horror, they see endless red fog and endless red bugs. Does Rin think she is a hero and can take all of them?! There is also a giant red root but when cut, it regenerates. For now they are forced to go back and report to the others. At this rate, the red bugs and red fog will eventually break through and reach the water source. While Rin’s decision is to carry all the water they can and find some place safe to live, she is scared that she would make the wrong decision that would result in someone dying again. Because Wakaba saw something further at the end of the red fog, they decide to follow the red root that would led to its trunk that they must destroy.

Episode 8
The sisters fight their way through and although they defeated many red bugs, they are tired. As they make their next plans, that docile bug pops up. Let’s call it Shirou for ease of reference. So it followed them? Heck, it is showing them a map that could possibly take them to Island Nine. There is also a route that is clear of red fog or bugs. Shirou gets attached to Wakaba like as though it is his pet now. Wakaba reads more of the diary but still too many riddles. Wakaba notices a red Kemurikusa inside Rin and from the diary, it supposedly belonged to the first person. He wants to touch it. Eh? You sure you’re not rubbing it off the wrong way? Of course Rin won’t let him even if it’s for info. Coming out from the tunnel, they arrive at the top of the dam. Red fog below and the valley is covered with red roots. Shirou wonders if a map could help. Then it leads them to a boat where there are other Shirous! It seems they came from Island Nine and are sleeping here since the red fog makes them go crazy. They escaped there since the place is sinking but lost their captain along the way. They want Wakaba to be their captain and will do anything. They hand him to map of Island Nine as requested. The only way there is to cross the red root blocking it. Since they can’t go unnoticed, they’ll have to destroy it. Hence the Shirous combine themselves into some giant cutter machine to cut it. The root tries to fight back but the Shirous manage to snip it to free their path. But since they have absorbed too much red fog, they will stop functioning before turning into a red bug. They thank Wakaba for allowing them to serve him and giving them a purpose. Wakaba feels sad for ordering them to their deaths but Shirou can’t understanding because his comrades were grateful. Rin finds this familiar since sisters died smiling. She wonders if Wakaba will cry if they die. Of course!

Episode 9
Trekking up the mountain, be careful not to fall off into the red fog. They reach a wall and as Wakaba prepares to open it, they are being attacked by a Nushi. However this one seems to be using the wall as defence but at the same time it can’t leave the wall. Instead of opening the wall to lure it out and attack it (and risk the Nushi calling the red root for reinforcement), they rest up and think up of another plan. When the sisters are asleep, Wakaba wanders off to find water and stumbles into Ryou. I guess she is supposed to be dead but is kept alive by a Kemurikusa inside her. One more big fight and she’ll vanish for good. She supports him to fight the red root but first they need a way to get through this wall. Hence she summons Ryoku. So she just shapeshift into her? Are they both occupying the same body? Ryoku doesn’t like Wakaba in particular and even more so he read her diary. But after hearing him out, they exchange ideas. Ryoku believes this world deliberately made this world and could have learnt more if they opened the memory leaf. Then there’s the page with some contents erased. More about this world could be known if they had the memory leaf. Conveniently or not, it is with Rin and you know damn well she isn’t going to give it to Wakaba for such puny reasons. She encourages him to take it by force as she wants to know about the world before she dies instead of defeating the red root that will eventually destroy this world. Ryoku thinks if he can touch Kemurikusa, he might control the red tree. One way is to use Midori’s branch since they are of the same material. Wakaba returns to the sisters to ask permission to use Midori and of course Rin snaps at him because Midori is precious. However Ritsu agrees since Midori has gotten a lot stronger. Wakaba will be the bait to draw it out. After Wakaba opens the wall, the Nushi attacks. How can puny Wakaba grab and hold it down for Rin to throw a part of Midori at it? Yeah, they make it look so easy, defeating this Nushi. Midori must be damn strong. With a hole in the wall, they can now move forward.

Episode 10
The gang are tired after beating lots of tough bugs in this red mist zone of Island Nine. Reaching the end of the island, they believe what lies ahead in the thick red mist is Island Ten. But this is no ordinary island. It’s floating! Wakaba feels the main trunk is nearby and the only way is to climb up. They think on how to deal with it since the bugs and mist react to their Kemurikusa. Wakaba thinks if he can touch it, he might be able to control it. For now they rest and they drink their last portion of water. Ritsu and Rin talk and thank each other for being sisters. They are the world to each other. But of course. What else is there left? When they begin trekking up, it seems Ritsu and Rina can’t go up. It dawned to Rin that they didn’t drink their water portion and instead made a few more Kemurikusa for her. Rin doesn’t want to leave them alone but they have to go now or all their efforts will be in vain. Wakaba leaves Shirou to protect the sisters. After they leave, it seems there is a reason why Ritsu and Rina stayed back. Once the duo attack the trunk, red bugs will swarm to attack them. So they think they can stop the bugs? Wakaba and Rin arrive at the trunk’s centre. It looks like a giant beanstalk reaching the heavens. Wakaba wants Rin to show her memory leaf in hopes there would be clues to defeat this trunk. Hurry up, Wakaba. Don’t want to make a girl feel embarrassed by touching and doing something strange on her back, do you? When activated, Rin suddenly sees a vision. It is a view of the first person. Hmm… A young girl who is eagerly studying and can’t wait to grow up to be an adult.

Episode 11
Riri loves Kemurikusa and bugs. At least those white ones. Yeah, they’re cute and useful. She lives with Wakaba and is glad he has come home from his research work. We see him talk about his Kemurikusa research but Riri is also a genius seeing she mixes a few different Kemurikusa colours to create a new one. We also see Wakaba using Kemurikusa to make buildings and islands in his giant floating crane. Huh? Because there isn’t enough circulating water, the buildings crumble. Then something about Riri died once but Wakaba saved her. Her parents are dead and she would prefer to live with him than by herself. Riri notices Wakaba is working so hard that he might be neglecting himself. Hence she tries to create a new type of Kemurikusa that can stop Kemurikusa to help out with Wakaba’s work. But it is glowing that ominous red colour… We take a break with Rin returning to reality. She tells Wakaba what happened. Yeah, she believes that Wakaba must be him. Still the same dork. However Wakaba can’t remember a thing. She returns to watching the vision in hopes to find more clues. And what’s this? Looks like that red Kemurikusa has grown out of control and growing into a big menacing root. Riri feels sorry but Wakaba understands she was only trying to help out. All the trick Wakaba try to stop it didn’t work. So he sends Riri away and tries to stop this red mist himself. Several walls come up after Riri is far and safe. She waits for him but after 10 days, what broke through the walls isn’t Wakaba but the red fog. Instead of waiting, Riri needs to do something. She intends to become a wall and uses all that she has learnt from Wakaba to configure the Kemurikusa she has. There is a risk she will become a Kemurikusa and not human so just in case, she decides to split her memories. There is also the danger of the red tree making her vanish. She wrote in the diary that her mission is to save Wakaba and despite the risks, she is going to do it.

Episode 12
Wakaba notices the root targeting Rin while she is still having her vision. So he distracts it with more Kemurikusa power. When Rin is back, what she sees? Wakaba got stabbed by the root! Oh no! But don’t worry. Thanks to a Kemurikusa in his pocket, he still lives. So the duo try to fight their way to the trunk. When Wakaba gets pinned under and ‘dies’, this triggers another Riri flashback. When she was separating the Kemurikusa into several bodies, she noticed her memories are clear. She used this to find Wakaba but to her horror he is dead. Saddened, she doesn’t want this to be known and erases some of the records in the diary. Now that Rin has realized, timely messenger by Ritsu and Rina to give her a branch of Midori for her final fight. They hope she has realized to do the thing she loves. So as not to make it sound like a death sentence, they assure her they are doing well holding back the other red bugs. Rin powers up to fight and reach the red root but can she do so as she is losing limbs at this rate? Cue for her ‘dead’ sisters to pop up and show what they’ve got to weaken the big bad monster and allow Rin (who somehow regenerate all her limbs) to nail the final coffin for this red trunk. Falcon Punch!!! With everything red dissipating, last goodbyes from the ‘dead’ sisters. They hope she realizes what she loves and not let go of it. And yeah, Wakaba lives too. Again, thanks to what’s left of Midori protecting him. First thing Rin does? Hug him! I guess after all this time of berating and distrust, it paid off with something different. Wakaba you lucky guy now. Ritsu and Rina report the red bugs and mist disappearing so they must have won, right? With no water and a long way back to the rest, I guess Rin wants to sit and chill with him. Just don’t leave her alone. But soon they notice a draft and it leads them out of the cave. Oh my! The real world?! Mountains, rocks, trees, the sky and more importantly, water! Water! River! Rin is so happy that she starts crying. And the most important of all, she finally says I love you to Wakaba with a big smile.

Bugged Out, Blow Out & Blow Over: Mist-ing The Point…
Is this supposed to be a romance theme either? Like as though the goal wasn’t to defeat the red mist and red trunk and to find the eternal utopia but for Rin to finally remember who she really loves. Thank goodness it’s not poison. Haha. But I’m still confused. If they all are from the same person (because the sisters hinting they should all stop talking differently now that everything is over), aren’t they all supposed to love Wakaba? Unless Rin is the main body or something. Does this mean everybody except Rin knows about the past and Wakaba? Or they can tell from her bad acting that her body and mouth say different things. And with the final scene revelation that they broke out from some ‘ship’ into the real world, are they saying that this entire setting was just some sort of experiment?! Man, it has got to be one giant ‘ship’. A ship that was good enough to contain the red menace because I surely didn’t see it contaminate the natural greens of the real world. Let’s hope the wild animals won’t eat them the moment they step out. That would add a lot to the cheesiness and weirdness after Rin’s final scene confession. Next sequel, Wakaba and the sisters living like Tarzan and Janes in the jungle! Thankfully that will never see the light of it.

Unfortunately, the intrigue and novelty of the plot seems to wear off very early and it became a drag to watch. It became some sort of horror journey survival as the sisters and the only male in the group seek to move from one island to another. Don’t really understand why they needed to do that because it is not like they had any other goal to do so in the first place and my suspicions is that it is better than staying in their (almost) safe zone and go adventuring in this vast unexplored world. I could be wrong since I was too bored to pay any attention. Oh right, the water source. Even so, how did they end up on Island One in the first place? Did they try to escape from the other direction? Because is Island One the last? Is there Island Zero before that? I’m sure the producers wanted to unravel the mysteries bit by bit as it goes along but with every episode almost having this same feel of getting from one point to another, I was quickly confused and bored. Even if they leave it late to reveal some of the secrets of this world, I was already not really that interested. I wanted it to end. Yeah, it would take a shocking miracle if they really wanted to get my interest back. No such luck.

Even with the penultimate revelation of what happened, it still created a lot more questions on the setting of this world. For instance, why is Wakaba creating islands and buildings? For what purpose? And where are the other human beings? If he is going to make such big cities and with no humans to populate them, what does this achieve? If it was all in some ‘ship’, was the project then abandoned because nobody else came to their aid? Damn, it would have been better if they just entered some portal to a whole new world to live in instead of their decimated waterless world. Wait, on second thought, maybe that isn’t any better either. There is also the case of how the sisters come about as they aren’t born and conceived like how normal humans would (is Riri some sort of magician to materialize them like that?). One day they just woke up and realized they came into existence. Hence, what are their purpose? Are they supposed to continue the lifeline of humanity’s existence? Are they even humans in the first place? Riri’s flashback did shed some light on this by it doesn’t really make sense for her to split herself like that. And how did Wakaba first pop up to the sisters? Sure, it’s in the water tank but how did that even happen? I am guessing that it had something to do with Riri saving him and hence his sudden appearance in present time, that is the future. So did Wakaba get thrown into the future? I mean, it’s not like we could see that old Wakaba was actually dead in the first place, right?

Hence there are lots of things I don’t really understand about the Kemurikusa or how their different colours and shapes give it different abilities or something. They just look like lines made out of thin neon lights and sure, they’re nice to look at when everything in this world is so dark and covered with ominous red fog. Perhaps I could have make the connection if I watched the original Kemurikusa indie series but at this point I’m too bored and lazy. There was even a chart I saw somewhere on how Riri was related (or rather created) to the sisters. But yeah, not really interested at this point. Sorry Wakaba. I don’t share your enthusiasm and curiosity on the different Kemurikusa types.

The characters didn’t help in making the story interesting either. I know that with the small group making their advance and the episodes showcasing how they ‘get along’ but I still feel that it wasn’t enough to make me want to really care about them. Even if I did, it was just hoping to answer some of my questions about them. So basically the group consists of tough girl Rin AKA tsundere, nice elder sister Ritsu AKA cat girl and a bunch of Rina AKA loli and not forgetting Wakaba as the Kemurikusa enthusiast that makes him sound like a retard sometimes. Each of them has their own abilities but nothing that feels exciting. I really don’t understand the logic of the other ‘dead’ sisters to not live with them seeing that they would stand a better chance as a group but I suppose this way is going to make them stronger by being apart. Better than living a peaceful sisterly life together for as long as they can. Their appearances before Wakaba didn’t make any sense. Plot twist? It’s like they want to have us think they are really dead but surprise! Not dead. Yet. So I think it is so that when they pop up finally, you won’t surprise or be angry they throw in a few new characters. The last episode feels like one big ex machina for those dead sisters to pop up. Like as though they’ve been waiting their whole existence for this to happen. If they are this powerful to bring down the red trunk, why didn’t they do it in the first place and wait for their other sisters to suffer? Maybe they can’t deliver the finishing blow? So they’re like waiting for the sisters to be strong enough to go on this journey to defeat the red trunk, huh?

I wonder what the goal of the red tree is. Is it to destroy the world by turning everything its poisonous red mist touches into antagonistic beings that attack those who are not affected? Well, literally painting the town red. Haha! Heck, turning the entire world red. And I thought those Nushi would be some sort of level bosses seeing they are powerful enough. Who made them anyway? I’m sure they were good bugs or robots before the red fog engulfed them. Yeah, a group of characters on a journey to destroy the root cause of this redness while defeating bugs and the more difficult Nushi feels more like a video game concept. Well, the red trunk does give off that feel of a final boss because it’s really big. Really, really huge. The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

If there was something more bugging than the story and the characters, it would be the visuals. Entirely animated using CGI, the animation can appear jerky and one kind. If you want to say it makes them look unhuman, this is the reason. Uh huh. The sisters aren’t human not because they drink large amounts of water at one go, fight using Kemurikusa (Rin), eat almost anything and everything (Rina) and control branches and roots of Midori to scout for enemies (Ritsu) but rather because of the poorly animated CGI! Just really plain weird. This anime is made by Yaoyorozu who also brought to you a few other CGI anime series like Tesagure! Bukatsumono and Kemono Friends.

Voice acting feels pretty normal with me only recognizing Mikako Komatsu as Rin. She also doubles as Riri and hence my speculation that the reason why Rin had this ‘poison’ (AKA love) feeling towards Wakaba. Oh, and those Shirou robots with their squeaky beeping sounds, yup, Mikako Komatsu too. Beep, beep, beep! No offence to Kenji Nojima (Eiji in Banana Fish) but him voicing Wakaba does make his character sound so gay. Especially with his tagline “I’m so curious!”. All the loli Rina are voiced by Tomomi Jiena Sumi and this is her debut role and her only role so far. The other casts are Arisa Kiyoto as Ritsu (Misato in Gin No Saji), Yuuna Mimura as Ryou (Riko in Hanebado), Kanna Asanuma as Riku (debut role) and Akira Sekine as Ryoku (Princess in Princess Principal).

The opening theme is of the same name as this series and is sung by Nano. Although this rock piece is rather okay, sometimes hearing it sends shivers down my spine or my hairs stand on ends. Not to say that this song is scary or creepy (or even that bad) but somehow I just don’t like the way the singer sings the song. The deal breaker was the last line “Finding my life in the Kemurikusa”. I don’t know. I just find that intolerable the way he sings that. The ending theme, Indeterminate Universe by Yuuya featuring Kemurikusa feels like it is fit to be a video game song. At times, the song also reminds me of the opening theme from Black Rock Shooter. I don’t know, the singer sounds similar enough although they are entire different.

Overall, what started out with an intriguing premise quickly turned into something dull and tedious. Perhaps I was too impatient in wanting answers quickly instead of letting the flow reveal itself in time. Sure, there are some unanswered questions (or unsatisfying answers depending on your point of view) at the end too but if you were like me, the dragging out of the journey of the Wakaba and the sisters would have zapped your zest a long time ago. And the ending was like we need to get over it so let’s just throw in everything for a good happy ending as reward for our characters who came from a long journey and to our viewers who have stayed with us through thick and thicker mist. Yeah… Just to be fair, there are no feelings of ‘red mist’ or ‘seeing red’ from me. Just some boredom and dissatisfaction. Unfortunately for me, this series will soon be lost in the mists of time…

Marchen Madchen (cont)

July 13, 2019

Oh well. Better late than never. After that horrendous production issues, I never thought Marchen Madchen would have their final 2 episodes released. But yeah, call it a miracle and that all stories must come to an end, finally those couple of episodes made its way out instead of being lost forever in the wilderness of abandoned production hell. Uh huh. Better make a few bucks off those DVD and BD sales. Unfortunately I can’t remember anything much although the series only came out less than a year ago. Girls using their fairytale origin powers to fight in some tournament. Remember that? Yeah. We’ll always remember this series for its infamous art and animation quality then.

Episode 11
Lynne has gone crazy. She thinks papa is so good to give a useless girl like her a present. Meanwhile our Japanese side are hanging out together and Sachi is bragging about taking on the Germans since her debut wasn’t enough. It’s not like she did anything right then either. Speaking of Germans, yeah they overheard her. Want to have a go now? Thankfully Agathe doesn’t want to waste time with this since tomorrow’s finals will prove everything. Later Hazuki talks to Agathe who starts talking about the doll she has. Funnily, Hazuki doesn’t laugh like Agathe expects since others always do so. Hence Agathe goes into b*tch mode reminding her she isn’t here to make friends. Huh? When Hazuki is teased by Misa about her ‘boyfriend’ and to introduce that loved one to her family, Hazuki is motivated to win Hexennacht to bring Shizuka to her home. Sugami tries to get Committee 13 to postpone the finals for tomorrow because it looks like James is plotting something but you know, they’re not going to do anything unprecedented. They’re going to regret it because right before the finals start, Lynne unleashes her present from papa. It is a tube containing a Fleck. She gets swallowed and turns into a rampaging Fleck. Everybody evacuates but apparently Agathe tries to be a heroine and got swallowed by it. Uh huh. Some C-grade horror flick with silver liquid coming out from all her orifice before she turns into one. Why the f*ck is everybody standing there watching in shock? Aren’t they going to try and stop her? Because Agathe is now going to destroy the library that houses all the Origins. Yeah, for a place that keeps all the important documents, its defence is pretty much weak. And f*ck, now the English side moves. So is this what they mean about you’ll know when the time comes? Arthur explains with Agathe as the vessel, Shizuka’s new magic and Arthur’s holy sword, the prophecy will be fulfilled to stop this disaster. So Shizuka gets to avenge her mom? Don’t forget, Hazuki is the main character and she’s going to do something about it. She unleashes her magic but this teleports her to another dimension. She meets a person who is the personification of Cinderella. Not sure what crap she’s spouting about miracles. Because of that the backlash of altering reality is so heavy that one would shatter. WTF?! She claims Hazuki doesn’t have to do anything as her friends will stop Agathe. It might not be perfect but it’s still a happy ending. However Hazuki can’t accept it. She’ll make her own ending.

Episode 12
All the girls cooperate to combat Agathe. Thanks to Avengers: Endgame, a group of heroes fighting a giant lone baddy is now the standard everybody vs Thanos. Arthur has Shizuka power up because looks like the only way they’re going to end this madness is to sacrifice Agathe and Lynne inside. Yeah, got to do what the prophecy says. And everybody doesn’t like this. But what else can they do? Don’t worry. There’s always the other option. Because Hazuki returns. She has everyone join powers. Come on everybody! Join your hands together! Before Agathe and Lynne could be swallowed forever in the Fleck, those hands pull them out! With them in safe hands (pun intended), this allows Shizuka to drop her moon on the Fleck! You mean that really killed the Fleck?! And why does Arthur looked so shock? You mean she never saw this coming or even expect this? No wonder she isn’t the main character… In the aftermath, Hazuki invites Shizuka to her place. Saeko and Misa shocked and confused she isn’t a boy… Yeah, how did they jump to that conclusion? In Hazuki’s room, Shizuka sees a picture of Hazuki’s real mom. Hmm… Doesn’t she look like the actual identity of that personified Cinderella? Shizuka reports this year’s Hexennacht ended in a draw. So no victor. Why not cancelled all the results outright if that’s the case? Agathe is recuperating well. She wanted to thank Hazuki because when she was inside the Fleck, she heard a voice and that was the reason that she was able to come back. Meanwhile Lynne is sulking. But eventually becomes a cry-baby after Angelina gives her sisterly hug. Hazuki and Shizuka revisit ground zero of the moon drop. It’s going to take a while to repair the damage. Then Shizuka brings her to the original site where the tragedy occurred 7 years ago. Still nothing growing till this day. She was here on the day she first met Hazuki. She accredits Hazuki for saving her and the reason why she could fight in Hexennacht. Hazuki helps sprinkle her magic all over the world and he friends could tell it’s her brand of magic. Wow. So magical that it sprouts flowers and greens all over???!!! Damn, it’s really a miracle. Sugami is approached what seems to be the ghost of Shizuka and Hazuki’s mom. Take care of our daughters, please. And finally the words we all have been somewhat waiting and expecting to here: Shizuka confesses she likes Hazuki and wants to be her friend. Hey, I thought they were already one? I guess this is official since Hazuki accepts her friend request. Sorry yuri fans. No kiss.

What The Fleck?! The Magic Of Crappy Ending
I wasn’t really that enthusiastic going in watching the couple of final episodes of the series. After all, I was only doing so to get some sort of closure and not really expecting anything much. And the series did stay true to that. It didn’t exceed any of those expectations and hence, uhm, a successful failure? Like I’ve said earlier on, the production issues plaguing the series has been a curse and bane and it is somewhat a miracle that they managed to release them in less than a year instead of taking 10 years later or forever. So even if the ending is pretty much cliché and meh, at least the ‘happy ending’ is that we get somewhat of a closure to this series. We can now file everything and dump it all in the darkest corners of our minds or wherever. This series is done. We can all move on now. Heh. Sad ending, really…

Looking at the art and animation quality this time round, they seem pretty decent and passable. I’m not saying they really put in a lot of effort in those months to make it look good but at least it wasn’t so obviously bad when they aired those horrendous episodes on TV. This was and should have been the quality of the overall series from the start to finish. Just borderline okay with nothing much to shout about and nothing special. Thanks to that no-QC episodes, the series will forever be remembered as such no matter how decent the animation quality improves or even if it really becomes super gorgeous like Shingeki No Kyojin or the Fate series.

Character wise, it’s like they try to make some sort of redemption for the other multi-national girls but it really falls flat. Remember how we couldn’t see those Chinese and Indian schools in action? Well, yeah. We get a glimpse of them here. And that isn’t amount to anything much since everybody is just giving their one shot effort to bring down the Fleck possessing Agathe and Lynne. By the time it all ends, you won’t remember them nor do they actually matter. And they throw in the twist hinting that Hazuki’s mom may be among those Origin users who fought Fleck 7 years ago and perished. So it somewhat makes sense and connects to why her daughter is drawn to this fate. But I’ll say the most interesting-cum-annoying character still goes to Sachi. This girl should be given her own spinoff. She never stops yapping about wanting to be in the spotlight and even right till the end, still shamelessly b*tching about not being credited. Oh Sachi, you’re just a minor character. What more do you want? That’s why I suggested having your own spinoff where you can be as lame and energetic all you want.

Overall, still a mediocre series that ultimately disappoints. They say time heals all wounds and maybe that is partly a minor reason why I don’t really hate this series nor do I feel so dramatically dissatisfied. Because my heart is not there anymore for this series. Haha! What is supposed to be a story about 2 girls who lost their moms from a tragic incident trying to be friends, instead dragged in a myriad of fairytales that aren’t related into a poorly written plot. Will the Fleck be back again? Because it sure looks like some discount Terminator silver liquid metal thingy whose weakness seems to be the moon. Will Hexennacht be the same again next year? Fire those damn Committee 13 spineless old hag b*tches. Will Lynne be forgiven? Always give America a second chance! Will Hazuki and Shizuka end up having yuri sexual relations? Hentai versions if you look harder, definitely. Some stories are not meant to be told. Ever.

I didn’t think this would get an OVA but Wotaku Ni Koi Wa Muzukashii did. The TV series didn’t really make much impact on me since it’s about a group of working adults who continue to divulge in their otaku hobbies. Nothing really spectacular happened and that sort of otaku love was just pretty okay, if not didn’t really go anywhere. Love itself for normal people is already hard and confusing. What more when it comes to otaku nerds. For this OVA, if you’re hoping of any other sort of advancement in the relationship between our main characters, don’t hold your breath. It is more of a flashback on Kabakura and Hanako’s high school love story.

It Appeared Suddenly=Love
Narumi and Hirotaka see Hanako at the café. She tells them she managed to invite Kabakura to some 2.5D show. He was reluctant at first but she managed to line it up with his interest. Since that show is about volleyball, this prompts them to note that they were once captains of their high school volleyball club. Since they are eager to know, Hanako doesn’t mind telling them about their little story. It wasn’t as rosy as you think and it started very shaky and antagonising. Hanako went to confront Kabakura about sharing the gym for practice. However Kabakura asserted his authority that the guys are better and that the girls should concentrate on doing laps. This was when Hanako showed a photo she secretly took of him at an anime store. She used this as blackmail and Kabakura in fear his teammates would find out he is an otaku, gave in. Suddenly the boys are now sharing their place with the girls. One day, Kabakura saw Hanako practising and since she wasn’t very good in it, he showed her how it’s done. Now, Kabakura looked so cool that Hanako was interested to learn more. He didn’t mind teaching her as long as she deleted that photo. Hanako really looked conflicted so he also promised to continue sharing the court with them. As they only started officially dating after graduation, Narumi and Hirotaka make a bet on who confessed first. Hirotaka bets on Hanako while Narumi bets on Kabakura.

Hanako continues with her story. Kabakura continued to coach her and one day she learnt his secret of being successful in his game was that he listened to his favourite anime songs. Hanako would love to follow in his footsteps but the otaku world was just so alien to her. So he simply explained how a song pumped him up and gave him ‘super powers’ to perform. Sadly, Kabakura’s team lost an important match and went out. Everyone looked so disappointed. Hanako went to console him but she was the one with the ‘ugly’ crying face. During graduation ceremony, Hanako talked to Kabakura before he leaves. Because of the note she left him, he is furious thinking she has never deleted that photo. Though, she points out she never mentioned anything about a photo in the note. While they taunt each other that they don’t have to see each other’s face, Hanako eventually said his otaku side might not be his coolest but it isn’t his lamest either. That’s why he should be confident and do his best wherever he goes. And before you know it, they give each other a big strong hug. Narumi and Hirotaka are amazed with this love story and before Hanako manages to show them a photo from her handphone, here comes Kabakura to put a stop to this ‘nonsense’. Kabakura and Hanako end up in their usual argument, accusing the other as the one who turned around first to hug. After they leave, Hirotaka is puzzled that the photo Hanako showed them, wasn’t that the one on Kabakura she was supposed to delete? Narumi understands very well why she couldn’t delete it…

Love Is Served
As you can see, this single OVA doesn’t isn’t really much and it just expands on the high school love story of Kabakura and Hanako. It is probably the point in time where Hanako stated taking some sort of interest in the otaku world. It wasn’t just because she finds them fascinating nor was it to help improve her volleyball skills but rather because she found Kabakura somewhat cool with it. So trying out the stuffs that your loved one loves is only natural. So yeah, it introduced Hanako to a whole new world and possible opened up a whole lot of other awakenings. Like cosplaying and fujoshi. Yeah… You could say that love changed them but also entirely have them stayed the same. Because their frosty relationship from start up till now is how they interact with each other. Arguing is one of the ‘key points’ of why their relationship is alive and kicking. And that my friend is why the also call it love. Confusing, right? They might be volleyball aces and didn’t win the volleyball tournament, but they aced each other’s hearts. Okay, that was pretty lame. Hey, I’m an otaku, not a lover!

Oh dear. Not another magical girl anime again. But wait. This is not going to be all sparkly cute and magical girl girly. No siree. It is one of those dark magical girl series like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. So if our magical girls aren’t fighting cute monsters, what are they fighting against? Well, in Mahou Shoujo Tokushusen Asuka, magical girls no doubt have served and saved the world and rid it from monsters. But they are now fighting on another front against a more familiar monster: Men. That’s right. Magical girls being used to fight terrorism and wars! This goes to show that even with magic, you can never eliminate the great evil residing inside us humans.

Episode 1
When monsters called Disas appeared to destroy humanity in 2016, a year later, humanity formed an alliance with the Spirit Realm to fight them. This allowed girls to combine with spirits and become magical girls. In a bloody fight that took many lives of the military and magical girls, the last 5 led by Asuka Ootorii finally destroyed its king. 3 years later, Asuka is now leading a peaceful high school life but suffers from PTSD. Nozomi Makino and Sayako Hata are disgusted when a man accidentally throws his cigarette butt on them. When he refuses to apologize and gets rough, Asuka pins him down. Soon the trio become close friends and Asuka amazingly finding some sort of peace being with them. But one day, Yoshiaki Iizuka from the JGSDF pops up and wants Asuka to come back and join a small special division he is leading, M Squad that specializes in magic combat. However Asuka has put her magical girl fighting days behind her. She believes if she comes back, more around her will get killed. She remembers the time Disas kidnapped her parents and returned them. In parts. Asuka lies to her friends that Iizuka is her dad (technically he is more of her ‘adopted’ father figure) so Nozomi is relieved she isn’t whoring herself. Asuka continues to live her happy school life. Until one day a security escort escorting a dangerous terrorist, Kim Kanth, his underlings break free. To cover their escape, they create chaos by shooting at civilians! Sayako could have been one of them had not Asuka been in the vicinity. She quickly transforms and kills all of them except for Kim (just amputating his feet). Asuka narrates how the battle for magical girls never ended. There was no real peace for them. After defeating Disas, their battlefield changed to fighting international terrorism, civil wars and other conflicts.

Episode 2
Asuka returns home only to see Iizuka sitting in her room. He still isn’t giving up on her joining his team. Although Asuka’s magic distorts her perception and keeps her identity safe, he wished she didn’t make that slaughtering mess in the streets. Yeah, the cleaning up is tough. No sh*t. At school, Asuka wonders if Sayako is immune to her magic because she is acting like as though she remembers her during the chaos. As Sayako is still pretty shaken up (she was also questioned by the police), Nozomi changes the topic and mentions her dad works in the police department. Unknown to her, Akinori Makino is actually in a very secretive and special unit that doesn’t even officially exist. As his department has captured Kim, he is torturing him to extract any info they can get. Kim is officially declared to the public as dead. Some of his terrorist members think of getting revenge but a rogue magical girl, Abigail has a better idea. It is sad that Sayoko looks like she is going to be suffering from PTSD as police sirens give her the jitters. Asuka may sound harsh calling her weak but it is better than trying to pretend to be strong. Asuka gets a call from Iizuka. She thought he is bugging her again but he mentions a terrorist attack nearby using Disas magic weapon. Looks like his unit is still undergoing training and won’t be ready in time. Speaking of which, only Kurumi Mugen is available. She is Asuka’s old magical partner and currently working in the research division. She fights the Disas but fails. Thank heavens Asuka is here in time to save the day. With the help of Sacchu their familiar, Asuka analyses the weakness before cutting it down. The duo rekindle old times and Kurumi thought it was unfair for Asuka who begged her to join her to fight Disas, now only to run away, leaving her alone. Kurumi couldn’t contact Asuka since Iizuka kept all her info confidential. She hopes Asuka could keep her promise of protecting her since she isn’t strong like her. Looks like now that Kurumi knows Asuka’s whereabouts, she becomes a transfer student in her class.

Episode 3
Magical girl, Mia Cyrus barges into a drug cartel base in Mexico and kills them all. There is a tortured guy in a room who only spouts numbers and something about Babel Brigade. Some magic barrier then crushes him into a cube. It looks like Kurumi is jealous that Asuka has other friends. She doesn’t like it that Nozomi and Sayako are now their usual company. She tries to keep a civilized manner, though. Kurumi remembers she was terribly bullied and she was young. She didn’t like how weak she was and changed. That is a reason why she could still fight optimistically after that awful final battle with Disas. As for Asuka, even though she doesn’t fight anymore, she still works out in fear of becoming weak. When Iizuka brings Asuka to a maid café that serves as his unit’s secret base, he also introduces to his trainees, Shima and Kaede. Asuka reminds him for the umpteenth time that she will not join but he mentions even though the war is over, there is increase in illegal magic trade. They cannot be consider remnants of the war because somebody big is backing them that allows them to modify things. Also, illegal magical girls are increasing of lately. As the world needs a new order, Asuka is vital for that to happen. Makino finally gets some info from Kim. Something about Babel Brigade targeting magical girls to remake the world. Hence some new terrible war is about to begin. Nozomi invites her friends to swim. They are shocked that Sayako dives from the highest platform despite being scared. But somebody save her before she drowns after fainting from her success. With Sayako trying to move forward, it gives some food for thought for Asuka. Though, Kurumi finds it wrong that Asuka is not fighting as she has now things she loves. It should be the opposite. After the friends part, Nozomi on her way home is kidnapped by Abigail.

Episode 4
Asuka still has nightmares when Chevalier Francine (ex-magical girl leader) died in battle and handed the leadership to her. Makino has received word that his daughter has been kidnapped. However no ransom is made and only a note saying this is for revenge. He has his subordinates interrogate Kim about the whereabouts while he goes to see his superior, Miura for a rescue operation. However top brass refuses to send reinforcements because of possible Disas magic that will only cause casualties. They can’t ask for military help unless there is a magical battle. So the plan is to sacrifice and let Nozomi die and they can use this as an excuse to calm down hard on the terrorists. Of course there is one other option where the magical girl acts on her own… Asuka learns Nozomi’s fate from Iizuka. There is no need for second thoughts. She is going to rescue her and Kurumi is coming along. The most Iizuka can do is request the police to cordon off the area. Meanwhile Abigail is recording Nozomi being viciously tortured by her Russian subordinates, Povar and Storozh. Her aim is to use Nozomi as bait to lure in the magical girls. Because as her queen commanded, they are vital to develop a Girl of Mass Destruction! Asuka and Kurumi sneak in and disable the low level terrorists. They are shock to see Nozomi’s state once they enter the room. Abigail warns them to throw their weapons down or they’ll hurt her but Asuka will not negotiate with terrorists. In that case, Abigail cuts off Nozomi’s arm! Asuka pretends to drop her weapon, enough for Kurumi to pin Abigail down before they take Nozomi to safety. Asuka will buy Kurumi time to escape with Nozomi. However Abigail leaves the Russian twins to face Asuka while she goes after Kurumi.

Episode 5
The M Squad moves in after the area is evacuated. Makino reveals the interrogation from Kim that the terrorists have magical mercenaries as well as an illegally created magical girl backing them. After Nozomi is rescued by medics, Kurumi faces Abigail. She gets pinned down and cornered by her Disas. Asuka uses up a lot of magical power to kill off the Russian twins. Meanwhile Gobu the enemy fairy reports to the queen on the situation but is intercepted by Sacchu. Kurumi is about to lose when M Squad moves in. Their specially created bullets take down the Disas and although no match for Abigail’s barrier, their intention is to hold her here until Asuka arrives. And when she does, she’s going to get a taste of her own medicine of what cutting limbs feel like. But before that could happen, the queen protects Abigail with her magic barrier before retreating. Asuka has a feeling she has seen her somewhere before. Later Asuka and Kurumi visit Nozomi in coma. Makino is sad that she could be suffering PTSD for the rest of her life. The moment she wakes up, she starts screaming in fear. She hates magical girls so much until she passes out. Asuka feels sad but Kurumi says there is hope. She can remove her memories for the past week with no side effects but she must do the operation now before it sticks into nervous system permanently. Is there any reason to hesitate? With some medical sci-fi mumbo jumbo, Kurumi successfully removes those memories. As Asuka laments she cannot protect anybody, Kurumi disagrees because if not for her, a lot would have died. Kurumi looks up to Asuka and wants to be like her. With the recent events, Asuka decides to join M Squad. When Iizuka reports to his higher up to move Nozomi and give her a new identity as the enemies know her, instead they have another idea to make Nozomi stay put. She will be bait for a trap. After all, 2 magical girls go to her school, right? Nozomi is as chirpy as before but has no memories of the week before, including their pool visit. A small price to pay, right?

Episode 6
Mia and her team talk about Asuka and Kurumi returning to active duty. Maybe she’ll get a chance to see them. Because the next mission conveniently brings them to Japan. Asuka and friends are studying together when Nozomi suggests visiting the Tanabata festival tonight. Kurumi sounds like a desperate girl trying to make special memories with her. I mean, really desperate. Especially when she gets that jealous feeling seeing Asuka getting friendly with Sayoko. The more the merrier as M Squad too is here to celebrate with them. Don’t worry. No shock Disas attack. Asuka meets a foreigner there who claims she is looking for a child she was separated a long time ago. But Asuka’s friends meet up and the foreigner just vanished? Leonid Greenburg was that guy who died as a cube in Mexico. This mathematician has a brother Jerome living in Japan and he is a retired well off IT owner. However a few months ago he has also gone silent and they’re here to check it out since not even the Japanese authorities knows what is happening. As they barge into his penthouse, they see his body crushed like his brother in a cube. Mia finds it strange because it’s like as though they want them to find the body. There’s also strange writings on the mirror, “He who laughs last, laughs best”. The place is then filled with drug mist. They are attacked by the foreigner who is a magical mercenary, Sandino. She gets her powers from the drug. She claims she is doing this out of revenge for the US bombing raid on Disas that killed her family in Columbia. Revenge via terrorism? But why target magical girls? Her daughter died and humans were the ones who killed her in that war. Well placed bombs caught Sandino off guard. Mia will not fall for her deathbed redemption and kills her since she is too wounded for interrogation. They’re all just terrorists after all. Like the ones who killed her parents. As Mia’s teammates theorizes Babel Brigade hiring Sandino, Mia dismisses it because the motto is only known to the magical girls. Meanwhile Asuka prays and hopes she can continue a happy life by protecting and supporting the dreams of others.

Episode 7
Flashback 3 years ago shows Asuka in despair just before the final battle. After Francine passed the baton to her, more magical girls died and she started to feel she can’t do this. Until Tamara Volkov tells her to continue fighting and at least hold out for an hour more. Then they’ll think of something else. M Squad holds a welcoming party for Asuka. They don’t have budget so all the food are military rations! Expired! But still tastes good… Asuka is formally introduced to other M Squad members, Yoshino and Ise. Meanwhile Tamara receives a mission by her boss for an undercover mission in Japan. She must not fail for the sake of her older sister. Iizuka briefs his squad about Topology Bridge. Portals that link to other worlds. However only 2 of them are stable and they’re in Copenhagen and the other in Okinawa (Japan, of course). There are other Random Bridges popping up randomly elsewhere but they are unstable. One was reported to have appeared in Hokkaido and intelligence revealed an illegal trade is about to take place by a Russian mafia. After all, 10 police at the scene were already murdered by a magical girl mercenary on their side. As they arrive, the mafia already finished their deal with some Disas trading a few Japanese hostages for lots of magical items. What a bargain. M Squad begin their operation by taking out the mafia. I suppose with everyone dead, Nazani only acts to fight back and escape. When Shima is injured, Asuka freezes and her trauma of a comrade is going to die flashes through her mind. Kurumi holds out from her onslaught long enough for Asuka to regain herself back before cutting Nazani’s arm and making her squirm and cry like a baby. M Squad leaves after the mission. How convenient that a Random Bridge never appears in the same place again. You mean not even a metre away from it? The mafia leader is the only one who managed to escape thanks to swallowing a Disas pill that allows quick teleportation but at the risk of liquefying his organs. But he is cornered by Tamara and in his desperation, stabs himself a Disas weapon to turn into a monster. However Tamara burns him with her flame thrower. She asks about the items in the bag but he could only mention about some new world order and Babel Brigade before the item explodes, killing him.

Episode 8
Chisato’s father tries to turn her into a whore and make money but the establishment doesn’t want to risk dealing with minors. Plus, she is an amputee. Hence the drunk father takes it all out on his ‘useless’ daughter and possibly going to kill her until Giess barges in and kills this bastard. Giess asks if she wants to be a magical girl. While Asuka and friends are having a nice field trip at Okinawa, Kurumi is torturing Nazani. Is this mild BDSM? Nazani pleads she knows nothing about Babel Brigade but Kurumi isn’t going to make it easy for her by enhancing her senses. Kurumi remembers how her classmates played a cruel prank on her and even made it look like she is dead. Even the teacher pretended not to see. She was so enraged she wanted to kill them until Asuka told her not to waste her time with these fools and join her to be a magical girl. Iizuka briefs his M Squad that a secret conference between the worlds will soon take place at this Topology Bridge at Okinawa. A major figure from the Spirit Realm will attend and they will do all it takes to protect this conference. American and Japanese forces will cooperate to provide security. With Iizuka representing the Japanese side, Captain Larry Ironside and Mia are from the American side. Tamara is here as a UN observer. They have lots to do since they receive word that a terrorist group that uses magic items will be up to something. Hence, hate to break your nice field trip, Asuka and Kurumi. It’s mission time. Giess relates his sad story as a child soldier in Somalia. Left for dead, his rescuers gave him this new robotic body as a new lease of life. Now he presents Chisato with a new mechanical leg. Literally she kicks ass with it as she fights a Disas as test. Chisato feels comfortable enough to explain her past. She had a nice mother but was killed in a car accident. However the culprits were drunk minors and the most they get is juvenile detention. They’ll be out in a couple of years. Giess then shows her those delinquents she kidnapped from the facility. If she is to be a magical girl, she must kill them slowly via her own hands without transforming. Giess further narrates his past that as a farmer, his village was attacked by guerrillas. He pleaded for his life but they only let him live if he killed his parents and raped his sister. He did that and joined them. When he was left for dead in an operation, his rescuer gave him a new breath of life and the first think he did was to slaughter the guerrillas. Without hesitation, Chisato takes her time to kill them. It must have been worth it since she killed them until she is exhausted. As Chisato has passed the test, their plan to attack the conference will proceed as planned.

Episode 9
Asuka is in tears when she reunites with Mia and Tamara. It’s been a while. The next day while final preparations are being made for the conference, Iizuka takes the magical girls somewhere first. It seems this is a personal request from General Tabira who is representing the Spirit Realm for this conference. The magical girls aren’t fond of her because they know she is obsessed with them. Like how she almost ‘killed’ Asuka with her boobs smothering hug. She gives them a present, a newly developed item that will enhance their magical powers. They wouldn’t have been so suspicious had she not trolled them at first with skimpy swimsuits! Giess and Chisato begin their magical artillery attack on the base. With the damage and casualties rising, report comes in that they are only targeting the Japanese army. They’re not even touching any of the US bases. Because technically this means the Americans can’t mobilize their marines. Damn stupid loopholes… Of course with the Japanese Minister of Defence authorizing the use of magical girls, it looks like they have their hands full as Disas are reported attacking civilians in a nearby town too. They know too well this is a distraction and Asuka is worried about her friends there. She offers to go there but Iizuka rejects her as she specializes in close quarter combat and will be their last defence at this base. Instead, Mia offers to go there. Tabira wants to fight too but is also rejected and ordered to return to her world. If anything happens to her, it is a loss for both worlds. However they realize the Topology Bridge has been forcefully sealed off from some dimensional explosion (magic bomb?). It will take 48 hours to be restored. They realize their target isn’t the conference but Tabira. You mean they didn’t think about this possibility?

Episode 10
Large civilian casualties in town. Damn goblin type Disas raping women???!!! Does this look familiar???!!! Amazingly Nozomi and Sayoko manage to stay alive and escape. Even when Nozomi injures her feet, Sayoko won’t abandon her. Although on the military base’s side, they look like they are able to handle the first wave of Disas. However it is the enemy’s plan to give them false hope and send them straight to despair. Because the next wave of Disas is larger and they can all use magical guns!!! Sh*t hits the fan!!! Hence Mia is caught off-guard and wounded in the crossfire. It could have been a lot worse for her had not Nozomi and Sayoko scream and warn her from the back. As they trek on, the girls wonder how Mia can continue to do this despite in pain. Mia explains she isn’t chosen because she was the strongest. It is because she was chosen that she became strong. Everyone is born for a role. Some are lucky and others not so lucky to find it. Asuka is starting to get traumatized by the piling deaths. It could be a repeat of the disaster again. Before she can think that the existence of magical girls make no difference, Kurumi hugs her. Please don’t disrespect the dead. She can forever as long as she is by her side. They get ready as Giess and Chisato burst in. Giess uses some sorcerer type Disas to keep Asuka at bay since old data showed she is weak against this type. Kurumi is kept busy with Chisato. Giess then heads deep into the shelter and kills all of Tabira’s guards that stand in her way to confront her. He wants her to hand over her newly developed item. I don’t know what took Sacchu so long as it finally blasts those sorcerers with some magical fire grenade, allowing Asuka to be freed from those magical wires. When they rush to Tabira’s side, Asuka is seething with anger seeing Tabira down.

Episode 11
Giess’ penguin familiar takes the item and flees, leaving Giess to fight Asuka. Kurumi gets owned by Chisato. However she hears the taboo word of punching bag and this brings back traumatic memories of her bullied past. This makes her go into rage mode until she manages to overcome Chisato and knock her out with her needles. Asuka cannot penetrate through Giess’ heavy armour and in order to free herself from the rubble, she cuts off her left arm! She has Sacchu analyse some special magic tank inside Giess so that she can destroy it. Giess is happy to meet Asuka. He was happy when he watched on TV how magical girls fight and won against Disas. However all that come crashing down because the true monsters are humans. That is why he thought it is better that the world is destroyed. Asuka may agree to some of it but there are still beautiful things in this world she wants to protect. Although she manages to rip off his magical tank, her weapon is embedded inside him and is armless. Literally only 1 arm. Luckily Iizuka drops her a new weapon that allows her to cut Giess like a butter through hot knife and ripping out his true spinal form. He reveals their goal wasn’t Tabira but the item. Meanwhile, Mia and the girls are saved with Tamara backing them up. I guess her site is secured to go rescue them. As Kurumi repairs Asuka’s arms, Giess apologizes to Chisato that her mom’s death was their doing. Because Killgee sensed her powerful magical ability, they wanted to test her under severe stress. At least she got to be a magical girl. When it’s over, forget about them and a new world will open for her. Giess dies and Chisato goes crazy from sadness. She is restrained and taken away. Asuka immediately gives Mia and Tamara a big hug after seeing they are alright. Tabira is now in a form of a cute animal to reserve her power. The magical girls part ways and hope to see each other again. I guess the battlefield is the most likely of places.

Episode 12
Looks like our magical girls too have to complete their paper work. Mentally draining in addition to physically draining. Mia reports to her comrade and in return is told that Greenburg dude, he was forced to calculate something by Babel Brigade. Because magic is like physics in the other world, it might be to calculate summoning of magic for terror attacks. Tamara returns home and sees her sister. But it could all be an illusion since her actual form is a Disas? Now we see a hot chick killing the Chinese mafia in Shanghai. She turns out to be Lau Peipei, the last of the legendary 5 magical girls. She is now working as a freelance mercenary. Since when did she transformed from a plain Chinese girl into a hot sexy ganguro gal?! Iizuka sees Miura and suggests their units team up unofficially. Chisato is being tortured by Kurumi. Is this her style to strip them to their undies and do inject some serum that enhances their pain? She even introduces Nazani has her pet dog! Kurumi talks about the 30 official magical girls designated as weapons by the UN but with so many rogue magical girls, there could be over 300 of them. Nazani tries to assure that turning a new leaf in life and doing good is best but Chisato feels life is no different. And with all the fake hope, she wants to die. Only, Kurumi won’t allow that. Magical girls don’t die easily. Despite giving her some hope that she will find something to live for, Chisato is given a choker. Although she is set free, if she runs away far enough, it will paralyze her and alert the authorities. So much about freedom. When Nozomi receives an invitation to the maid café, it sees Nazani and Chisato are new maids working there. Didn’t Asuka warn them about the food here being horrible? But it’s dirt cheap! Elsewhere, they get our attention with this short suggestive sex clip of Abigail and her queen. Then it’s back to business. It seems they have everything ready for the next war. All they need is a vessel. The queen points out a war needs enemies. And they need the magical girls to get a little stronger. Asuka is once again having this forlorn thinking about their current peaceful life that won’t last as well as reminiscing her dead comrades. Leave it to Kurumi to assure her (again) she’ll always be by her side. Oh look, Iizuka calling. Time to move. Flashback shows the magical girls gather before their big Disas boss fight and they talk on what they want to do after it all ends. Some wanting to join the army and for Kurumi, she wants to fall in love. Asuka? She wasn’t sure as she only knows how to fight. Francine told her to try different things because people can change. Big wefie for posterity!

Call Of Duty: Magical Warfare
This needs another season. With the rise of Babel Brigade, it looks like this season feels like just introducing them and since they have already begun to move forward their plans, it is not yet over by a long shot. Especially the queen whom is hinted to be someone Asuka knows. God, let it not be her twin sister! Or perhaps one of those dead magical girls. With so much potential (and terrorism) waiting to explode from Babel Brigade, the next world war is about to get heated up. After all, Asuka herself did narrate that it is a never ending battle for magical girls. International crime, terrorism, civil war… All manmade conflicts with the poor magical girls being viewed, treated and used as weapons. No wonder you can’t blame some for wanting to rid mankind, the source of all the problems.

This season’s storyline is just suffice. Mainly about Asuka re-evaluating the path in life she should walk. After all, what was the name of this series again? It is sad that young girls were made to fight against horrifying creatures and some losing their life so it is understandable that Asuka was and still is suffering from PTSD. It is reasonable she wants to lead a quiet life away from all that terrorism nonsense. Until fate decides to call her back and play a cruel joke on her friends. That was the clincher for her to readjust her goal in life. Because if she isn’t going to fight, who else is going to fight in her place? Who is going to fight for her? Is she going to let other young girls become magical girls and develop PTSD along the way? So by accepting her fate to continue fighting for the ones she loves, it’s like making peace with herself and being able to move forward.

The other characters provide great support for Asuka. Like Kurumi who is Asuka’s greatest aide in battle but outside the battlefield, she’s like one of those very overly possessive friends. The kind of girl who thinks nobody can own Asuka except her since she could monopolize her if ever the opportunity of some yuri hentai materializes. Is Asuka some sort of commodity? I know friends can be bought (figuratively speaking) but I don’t think it works here in her case. I’m sure she would have taken care of Nozomi and Sayako had she not considered that it will make Asuka sad if they’re gone. So basically Asuka’s wellbeing is her primary goal in life. Nozomi and Sayoko must be the most fortunate and unfortunate friends ever. They have been into many situations where their life could have just ended. From Kim’s random terrorist attack to the Disas attack on their field trip, damn these girls are really unluckily lucky to have survived this long. Just make sure Asuka is your friend.

I thought the legendary 5 magical girls would get back together again and fight terrorism as a unit since they teased it a lot in the opening and ending credits animation. I suppose the mini reunion wasn’t that bad. Still, they really leave it late for the final magical girl to pop up. I was even thinking if she was going to show up at all and perhaps started making up about a conspiracy theory that she was secretly dead all the while. Yeah, Peipei having a total makeover might fuel this conspiracy theory. I’m not sure if it’s the Spirit Realm’s taste that they could only give young girls magical powers, hence their aptly named magical girls. Because you don’t see young boys or men doing all that magic thingy, no? Yeah, so awkward to see men in revealing outfits in battle. Big nope! Better leave it to magical girls. Visually appeasing and assuring (after decades of magical girl genres too). Men only get drafted into the military and die like ants! For some reason, the magical girls here are so UN diversified. It’s like they’ve got a magical girl from a major nationality. Japan has 2 of course because you know, Japan. America, Russia and China make up the balance of the superpowers and France was killed off. Was there a British or German magical girl? Spanish or Italian perhaps?

The series tries to tackle some dark issues like PTSD but it isn’t really that deep. We can see that all of the magical girls suffer from some sort of distress or a past issue that is bugging them. It is both a strength and weakness and made them where they are today. Asuka wants peace. Kurumi as a bullied victim fears being alone or abandoned. Mia has grudge issues to avenge her parents while Tamara is hinted to have some concerns regarding her sister. Mia and Tamara seem to be holding it well but we aren’t sure if they are suppressing their emotions and in time will blow up. Let’s hope they don’t turn into rogue magical girls no matter what. The world already has enough social problems and it doesn’t help if they cross over and become part of the problem.

Sacchu is so weird. Supposedly the series’ mascot but its presence feels so lacking. I suppose with other strange furry fairies (albeit playing lesser roles), it’s hard for this one to stand out. Furthermore, I think Sacchu is like the comic relief at times especially when they go into action mode. Because you can see how this critter makes a crazy I-wanna-go-kill-me-some-Disas face and sounds the part. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be serious but it comes off more as funny and cute if you ask me. And wait, Sacchu is actually a mouse?! I thought it was some black cat???!!! Or a funny bunny.

The action sequences are entertaining to watch. They might not be the best with jaw dropping choreography, but with the fast and furious action pace, at least it provides some adrenaline rush. Because Asuka and the magical girls aren’t just formidable, rogue magical girls and other sorcerers are just as deadly so it is a battle of not only skill but wits, reflexes and sometimes even luck for a fight to turn in your favour. Some fight scenes are pretty gory and gruesome. Lots of blood, casualties and even some losing their limbs. Not for the faint hearted. Many characters have some sort of amputation or experienced one. Iizuka, Nozomi, Giess, Nazani, Chisato, Kim and even Asuka herself. But don’t worry. With Kurumi’s magical medical advances, we can use that sci-fi crap to attach it back like as though it never came off. Limited time period offer only so hurry! ;p.

While the art and animation are pretty standard and nothing that mind blowing, I just want to personally note the strangest visual aspect of this series: The characters’ eyes. Do you not agree with me that they look a bit strange? How should I put it? They’re slightly bigger than your already big sparkly anime eyes. If you have seen Koi To Uso, you would understand what I mean. Not to say those bigger than usual eyes makes them creepy but it sure makes them look a bit strange, especially Asuka. The designs of the magical girl outfits, I don’t know, it made some of them looking like cosplay sluts. Like Chisato who is just practically looking like as though she is just wearing ribbons all over. Then there was one of those dead magical girls looking like an Amazon woman due to her very revealing-like Amazon outfit. And was one of them looking like a gypsy woman too? And Mia’s outfit, is she like going to the beach or something? You’d think magical girls fighting against magical creatures would wear very protective suit like how the M Squad does from head to toe but I am guessing that the magic comes from the outfit. Otherwise why the logic of wearing such exposing costumes into battle? Oh yeah. Must be Tabira’s twisted taste in magical girls.

The Disas’ designs are primarily nightmare fuel. They might look like cute oversized stuffed dolls but I assure you when you are up close with them and moments before your horrifying death, they’re the kind that would give you sleepless nights. Even more so when we consider stuffed dolls to be cute, adorable and all, contributing to our dilemma that these creatures are out there to wreak havoc and take our lives. Yeah, no wonder we’re so confused. Too late to realize once they bare their fangs right in our faces. There are some Disas that have cute animal faces but a body of a macho man! This somewhat reminds me of those antagonistic squirrel henchmen in Mahou Shoujo Ore. Only, these ones are much deadlier and you can’t bludgeon them to a bloody death with a magical wand. This anime is done by Lidenfilms who did Koi To Uso, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet, Hanebado and Killing Bites.

Voice acting is decent. But beware some screaming moments that could be slightly ear piercing, if not heart breaking (like Nozomi’s traumatic moment). The only seiyuus I recognized are Sayaka Ohara as Tabira, Ayana Taketatsu as Chisato and Shizuka Itou as Sandino. Due to limited dialogue and screen time, I wasn’t aware Youko Hikasa was behind Peipei’s voice. Had Sacchu been voiced by Ikue Ohtani, it would have fuelled my speculation that this character was indeed taken after a certain electric yellow mouse. At points I thought it was so but too bad it is Kokoro Kikuchi (Akito/Agito in Air Gear) behind that black fairy mouse. The other casts include Aya Suzaki as Asuka (Mako in Kill La Kill), Akira Sekine as Kurumi (Princess in Princess Principal), Eriko Matsui as Mia (Amou in Busou Shoujo Machiavellism), Mao Ichimichi as Tamara (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Kenji Nomura as Iizuka (Shishigou in Fate/Apocrypha), Rie Takahashi as Makino (Emilia in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Chinami Hashimoto as Sayoko (Chiyo in Prison School), Ayahi Takagaki as Abigail (Chris in Senki Zesshou Symphogear), Yuka Terasaki as Giess (Basil in Katekyoushi Hitman Reborn) and Shizuka Ishigami as Nazani (Renge in Kyoukai No Rinne).

The opening theme is Kodo by Nonoc. It is hard rock music infused with some techno music. I guess it fits the fast and furious action pace of the series. Basically there are many BGMs across the series that is very techno-laden. Very much suitable for the action scenes. So techno that I think it can also serve as dubstep. Turn on those volumes and let it blast aloud! If you’re high on drugs maybe you’ll go into some trance. Heh. Just joking. But just saying. The ending theme is Rebel Flag by Garnidelia, just normal hard rock music.

Overall, not really one of the best animes this season but I still particularly enjoyed it because of the action sequences and the intriguing dark nature and theme of the magical girls. Though, it could have been better if it the storyline was improved. It is a refreshing and unusual notion to use magical girls as the main trump card by the military to combat terrorism. It is one of those magical girls themed series that doesn’t clearly make our heroes victorious in the end. Heck, even Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica had a good happy ending. Uhm, sort of. Even Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku had a good happy ending. Okay, sort of. And even Mahou Shoujo Site had some sort of hope in its ‘good happy ending’. Well, kinda. But for our special operative magical girls here, it is still a long road ahead and even triumph is not guaranteed. With so much blood on their hands, it is either they live with the trauma from all the bloodshed or the ‘highest honour’ they could get is to die in the battlefield. Just sad…

Date A Live III

July 6, 2019

Wait. What?! Right now?! It has been a long time since so I never thought Date A Live III would actually materialize. It has been 5 years since the second season graced the TV screens and 4 years since that Mayuri Judgment movie came out. You bet that I would have certainly forgotten a lot from the first 2 seasons and even more so I didn’t see the movie so I might have missed out something. Maybe. I guess when they bring back a seemingly popular series after being in absentia for very long, I suppose there must be something great or epic happening, right? I hope so.

Episode 1
We start off so as to remind us the harem Shido has accumulated. Yup, they made him some horrible looking stew. Eat up, Shido. Fortunately, they didn’t turn this into a cliché because despite its looks, it actually tastes good! Even Origami is here on a short notice to contribute. But this will have to continue later as it is mission time. A Spirit is detected at an abandoned park where a spacequake occurred 30 years ago. Shido goes down to the ground to find this Spirit, the witch-like Natsumi who seems to be quite interested in him (which girl wouldn’t?). So a series of choice pops up and oddly the Ratatoskr didn’t choose the ‘fondle your boobs’ option and chose the ‘I am lost’ route. Natsumi asks if she is pretty and of course he says yes. Natsumi is very happy but the AST is here. Natsumi uses her magic to turn them into… Harmless cute animal pyjamas? However she used too much magic and this causes some disturbance. In that short period, Natsumi reverts to her true form and she becomes angry that Shido saw her. She thinks he is playing dumb and vows to turn his life upside down. When Shido attends school, all the girls accuse him of being a pervert! Even his teacher Tamae and that gay friend, Tonomachi! Of course his twisted harem like Touka and Origami would’ve preferred him to give heads up before lashing out his carnal desires. It doesn’t take long for Shido to realize there is a doppelganger going around doing bad deeds to sully his name. Confronting his clone at the rooftop, of course she is Natsumi in perfect disguise. She wants Shido to leave this town forever and she’ll take his place. Because everyone will get confused if there are 2 of them around. Touka and Origami enter. Oh no. The game of who is the real Shido begins. However the duo can sniff out the fake. Touka can smell the difference while Origami has memorized Shido’s habitual patterns (like blinking) right to the dot! Sore loser Natsumi will not accept this defeat. But she’ll be back. A few days later, no movements were detected from her. But Kotori gives him a letter from Natsumi. She wants to play a game. There are photos of 12 people (his harem, including Tonomachi!). Natsumi is impersonating one of them and failure to guess which one will result in one randomly disappearing until there are none.

Episode 2
Westcott is in a meeting in London. The board accuses him about turning Japan into a warzone. They pass a resolution to dismiss him but all those in support have their hands chopped off!!! Shido, Kotori and Reine discuss about Natsumi’s challenge. Shido maintains that Natsumi isn’t the kind who will disappear someone forever. He remains positive if he guesses right, all will return. So the only way to tell who she is impersonating is to date them all. The first is Touka and the moment Shido accuses her as Natsumi, she becomes mad. Who the f*ck is this Natsumi girl???!!! Oh dear. Just stepped on a live wire. He manages to bluff her it is some lovely greeting. But something is still wrong with Touka. There is an all you can eat buffet and she’s not excited? She’s even holding back on her portions. When he learns a TV programme said guys don’t like girls who eat too much, Shido corrects her that he prefers girls who can happily eat lots of food. With that, Touka returns to being a glutton. I guess she’s not Natsumi. Next date is Yoshino and she’s quite happy to eat pancakes with him. Definitely Yoshino alright. I guess we skip his date with Tonomachi since Shido himself doesn’t even want to consider that as one. Night fall and his final date for today is Yuzuru. She asks the question if he prefers her or Kaguya more. Since he cannot decide, Yuzuru replies she would have been happy had he picked either. But his chicken answer disappointed her. She also hopes if Kaguya asks the same question, she wants him to choose her. She might also ask the same things she did. Kaguya might not look like it but she likes Shido as much as she does. It feels like some sort of death flag when Yuzuru hopes he will take care of Kaguya and then runs away. Next morning, Shido answers the door only to find a frantic Kaguya. Yuzuru has been missing since last night. As all the 12 candidates have a video watching over them 24/7 (creepy), they see footage on Yuzuru. At midnight, Natsumi’s broom absorbs her. Shido maintains his trust in Natsumi but will end this game soon.

Episode 3
Shido is now dating Kotori. He knows she is the real deal when he snatches away her ribbons and she turns into a tantrum throwing kid. We see snippets of Shido dating other girls (Tamae even going so far as to seek him to register their marriage!) and the highlight of those dates is with Kaguya. After lying on his lap, she starts crying since she is worried for Yuzuru. She begs for him to save her. I don’t know why previously Natsumi never gave him a chance to guess and just absorbed a few people. Now she is giving him that chance? Shido thinks hard and thinks it is Yoshino. Wrong answer. For the next few days, a few more people have gone missing. Until after Touka goes missing did it really start to hit Shido hard. The only ones left who haven’t been taken by Natsumi are Kotori, Origami, Kaguya and Miku. Shouldn’t they have done this in the first place after Yuzuru went missing? Gather everyone, tell them the truth and find a solution. Instead of waiting for this desperate hour. As they discuss, Origami finds this game weird. With the pool growing smaller, it makes their chances of answering correct increase. Why would Natsumi put herself in such a disadvantage? Time is up and Natsumi is generous to give Shido 3 tries. He picks Yuzuru since she was the first to go. Wrong answer. Origami ‘dies’. Can Kotori answer on his behalf? Because she chooses Tonomachi! Dead wrong. Kaguya gets it. Miku is so scared and leaves her hairpin with him if worst case scenario happens. She hopes he will remember her with this piece. But this hint suddenly has Shido realizing the true answer. He knows that despite Natsumi says she is impersonating someone in the 12 pictures, it doesn’t necessarily one of the 12 people. It must be someone that she is confident he will not ever pick. And that person is Yoshinon. Because this rabbit is just Yoshino’s hand puppet, he now remembers it was acting on its own (it should not be able to see what Yoshino can’t). Natsumi is devastated with his correct answer and all the missing people are spit back out. Since this disrupted her power. Now everyone sees her true form. She’s a loli? Being the sore loser she is, she will not let all of them get away. She turns all the girls into young children.

Episode 4
I guess Shido has got it tough now that he has to babysit little girls! Heck, they even follow him to school and claim they are his daughters! Of course Shido gives an excuse that they are his relative’s but I don’t think they want to believe him. But Natsumi is up to her mischief again. Randomly changing the outfit of the girls and even turning their house into some funfair. This though, enables Reine to pinpoint Natsumi’s whereabouts. Westcott gives Ellen the green light to go Spirit hunting. Her first target is Natsumi. So when Ellen and her AST girls corner her, Natsumi just turns them into lolis. However this doesn’t startle Ellen a bit as she slashes her. Natsumi becomes afraid in seeing her own blood and pleads for her life. Ellen is about to deal the finishing blow but Shido and his mini harem are here to save her. With Miku’s help, they mind control the other AST girls to hold Ellen down to buy time for their escape. Meanwhile Origami receives a call that she will be punished. Thanks for the heads up because this gives her time to escape from the agents. With Natsumi in custody, Shido goes to talk to her. She is conflicted that he came to her aid despite all the bad things she has done to him. It seems she has low self-confidence over her true loli form. She thinks nobody listens to her in this form and Shido the same because he called her pretty in that busty mode. Had she appeared before him in this loli form first, she believes he would have ignored her too. She thinks he is lying when he says even her loli form has some charming points. She won’t be fooled by this. But soon, Shido and his harem give Natsumi a special makeover. They will transform her the best they can. If they succeed, they win. Natsumi becomes the cutest loli under their care. However she is now very conflicted because it is her loss if she is cute! Too much to handle for today. Meanwhile Ellen contacts Origami and wants her to work for her under DEM Industries. She refuses, citing she will not join any organization that harms Shido. But when she offers info that would allow her to avenge her parents’ death, she has no choice but to accept.

Episode 5
Natsumi has stabilized but still thinks everybody is lying. Kotori talks to the girls and tries to get them to think the same like her. That is, badmouthing Natsumi as an ugly brat. However none of them think so and believe it is Kotori who is something wrong. Even Shido is thinking they shouldn’t confine Natsumi and should let her eat with them. This makes Kotori mad and runs away. Of course that was Natsumi in disguise as the real Kotori calls since well, Natsumi has somehow escaped her room. Shido looks around and returns home only to see Ellen waiting. She wants him to hand over Natsumi or else he will ruin his home and family. Nice timing for a call to evacuate. It seems those vengeful board is trying to drop a satellite on this town to get their revenge on Westcott. Everyone is evacuated but Shido continues to look for Natsumi. Fraxinus tries to blow it out of the sky but there is some barrier. Hence, Kotori transforms into Efreet to blast it out of the sky. It works. Oh, there is a second satellite dropping! She is out of power and wants Shido to evacuate but you know, stubborn guy is willing to put his life at risk just for a witch girl. He even uses Sandalphon but no effect and he too is out of strength. Kotori has to beg the other Spirit girls to save her brother. Meanwhile Ellen returns to Westcott and is stumped he still hasn’t evacuated. He is confident the plan will fail. But just in case, he wants to use and put her to the test. The Spirits combine their powers to push the satellite away since exploding it too close to town will be dangerous. However, bogeys are here to stall the Spirits. With their hands tight, who else is going to save them? Natsumi! She easily turns the satellite into some harmless cartoon. Natsumi tries to act tough but Shido is only glad that she is unhurt. I guess this is it for Natsumi. She admits all her wrongdoings and starts crying. Shido hopes she could be his friend and she cries harder! WTF?! The Spirits too can’t leave Natsumi alone and want to be Shido’s friend. Why the heck did they ‘downgrade’ themselves? Do they want to be his lover? Natsumi learns the sealing process. Though embarrassed, she gets it over quickly by kissing him. Can’t rest yet as a bomb is now literally being dropped! Who saves them this time? Origami!

Episode 6
Perhaps Shido should have seen this coming. Sexy Natsumi trying to seduce him in bed. Foreplay folly only stopped thanks to Kotori. Then it descends into some petty argument of sexiness and boobs. On to a serious note, Shido is in shock when he hears Tamae announcing that Origami has suddenly transferred out to a school in England. Shido then connects the dots that she might have joined DEM Industries since she was wearing their power suit. So desperate that during lunch he goes to her place. Empty. Despair? Like as though it was a trap for him as he gets kidnapped. Kotori receives word of Shido’s sudden disappearance and wants him found before the end of the school day. Shido finds himself tied in a room. The perpetrator no other than Origami. Although she admits she joined DEM Industries, these actions are of her own and not Westcott’s orders. She has finally found the resolve to kill the Spirits. Not just the Spirits that killed her parents, but all of them. Hence, she abducted him to keep him out. To her, all Spirits are the same and to prevent future tragedies like her, all Spirits will die. Shido argues that Touka and co have changed and all they want is to lead normal lives. That is the reason Origami couldn’t accept. To accept living together with the likes of Touka. Origami begins her plan by sounding a fake spacequake alert to evacuate the people. Now she can kill the Spirits with no interference. Touka and co are shocked at Origami’s resolve. They don’t want to fight her but are forced to since they can see she is dead serious in killing them. Meanwhile Ratatoskr is about to head and retrieve the Spirits but is intercepted by Goetia, DEM Industries’ ship. Ellen contacts them and gives them a chance to run. She also relays a message for Woodman. They call him a traitor and will make him pay. With nobody on Fraxinus turning away, they prepare to fight back but Goetia easily blasts them. Meanwhile Touka is down for the count.

Episode 7
Did Origami return just to laugh at Shido? Actually it’s Natsumi. Yoshino and Natsumi were wandering around town and spotted Shido and Origami, hence the tailing game. We see Origami owning the Spirits. With Touka hell bent on protecting those important to her, her Spirit power returns and is able to defeat Origami. Origami laments all that she has thrown away have been wasted when a voice asks her if she wants power. Of course. With that, Origami is now a Spirit. Stronger than before, she renews her vow to kill all Spirits before killing herself. Touka can’t fight and protect at the same time so she has the rest get away. The power Spirit fight gets on the way but further damage is prevented when Shido calls out to them. I guess Origami isn’t in the mood anymore and flies away. Shido learns what happened from Touka as they all recuperate in the infirmary. Shido has to seal Touka’s power and you know that means kissing. I guess it is better here in this room than out in the public. If only the other damn Spirits weren’t so eager in being peeping toms. Meanwhile our favourite Spirit, Kurumi is seen frolicking around town. Origami then approaches her.

Episode 8
It seems she wants Kurumi to use one of her powers, Yod Beth to send her back 5 years in time to stop the death of her parents. What is she going to do if Kurumi refuses? Bug her until she agrees! I guess Kurumi is smart enough not to deal with that crap and decides to agree to it. After all, she needs somebody as a guinea pig for her Yod Beth. Origami returns in time just before the spacequake. She confronts the supposed Phantom although we cannot see or hear her properly thanks to ‘interference’. Origami is so hell bent in destroying her without reason to reason, that she realizes too late that she was the one who killed her parents! Well, now that comes full circle. ‘Funny’ to know that Origami hating and vowing to kill the Spirit was actually her future self. Phantom flees after satisfied that she has achieved her goal. Back in current time, the moon goes black and suddenly Origami starts raining down attacks randomly. So she’s no longer a Spirit but an Inverse? Oh sh*t! It took down Fraxinus (for the second time) but this time did it kill Kotori on board?! It’s Shido cue to go save Origami and end this madness and you know it’s his job since the other Spirits fend off the other attacks to make a path to her. They also have to deal with Ellen who wants to harvest her. But Shido loses his chance to kiss and seal her because Origami’s face up close looks like a hagged old woman! Yikes! I can see why any guy would freak out and fall right down to hell!!! Because of that, Kurumi traps him as now it is the right time to set forth her goal. No amount of begging is going to make her let you go, Shido. She fires Yod Beth into him. Shido finds himself back 5 years in time. Sorry Tamae, this boy whom you don’t know is not trying to hit on you. Since Shido is clueless, Kurumi lets him in on what’s happening. The only way to reverse the disaster unfolding in the present is to deal with Origami’s past. He must reverse it. So why is she doing this? Looks like the future is destroyed and Kurumi is holding on to that hope that history can be changed. Wait. This is Kurumi? Our Kurumi?!

Episode 9
Shido almost blunders when he tries to take a shortcut and a neighbour thinks he is a suspicious person. Somehow he manages to use Natsumi’s power to transform himself into a kid to allay the suspicions. With Origami’s battle with Phantom now at hand, Shido is too late as he witnesses and now understands why Origami turned out so. So he hugs loli Origami and tries to convince her that he will shoulder all her burdens. Although she accepts, however this anger is only hers to carry. He will have fun and be sad on her behalf until she kills that Spirit. Oddly, Kurumi feels regret that had she not used Yod Beth in the first place, this wouldn’t have happened. So she didn’t see this coming? However Kurumi believes there is still a way to correct this. Because her old self was nearby the incident, Shido goes to see that Kurumi. She is of course on her guard at this stranger. Shido convinces her to touch him so as to contact Kurumi of the present. She is to fire Yod Beth into Shido to send him back again in time. Just right before that incident again. Shido thinks of a plan. They cannot prevent Origami from seeing her parents’ death because that would be just shifting her grudge to someone else. Hence Shido goes to ‘stalk’ Kotori. As much as he wants to stop her from contacting Phantom, he can’t. So after Phantom turned her into a Spirit and causing the adjacent place to burn, Shido’s plan is to talk to Phantom. However it seems she recognizes him and runs away. But soon she decides to confront him. Even though this is not her true form but it’s better than talking to censors. Who this girl? But Phantom claims she knows him and cannot obey his wishes. She hopes to meet again when the time is right. Phantom goes off to fight with Origami and with history at risk of repeating itself, Shido this time pushes Origami’s parents away and gets vaporized on their behalf. But the next thing he knows, he wakes up in bed in his house. Looks peaceful. But he can’t contact Kurumi anymore. Did he save the day?

Episode 10
Everyone is normal. Kotori tells him today’s date and it is the day after Origami went Inverse. But in school, it seems nobody knows about Origami. This has Shido to believe Origami of this world doesn’t hold a grudge against Spirits and is living happily with her parents. But why he looking so sad? Because of that, some of his Spirit harem thinks he has girlfriend issues. WTF Natsumi’s idea to dress up in a naked apron to cheer him up? Shido then learns of a terrifying Spirit known as Devil. Rather, she is an Inverse. Not surprisingly, she looks like Origami. Back to depression again. But next day, shocking news for him as Origami is a new transfer student in his class! She is shocked to see him. Shido finds out more that Origami did join AST but retired a while ago. So if her parents were saved, why did she join AST? Hence he talks to her directly. Her initial shock was because he looked like the person who saved her 5 years ago. Remember, Shido got vaporized. Shido lies that person is his older brother. It makes her sad but also grateful because her family got to live together. Although unfortunately her parents died in an accident 4 years ago. She joined AST so as not to have more tragic cases like his ‘brother’. However she doesn’t understand when he asks her becoming a Spirit. Later after Shido wakes up from resting, surprise to see Kurumi here? She plans to shoot Yod Beth at Origami to see what happened. Why now? Because she couldn’t get close to the original. When Origami stumbles into Kurumi, she transforms into Devil and attacks. Kurumi lost?! Origami reverts to her normal state and has no recollection of what just happened.

Episode 11
With Origami not sure why she spaces out from time to time, Kurumi admits at this rate it is hard to discover why Origami turned Inverse. Shido tells Kotori and Reine what happened. Reine theorizes her memories split into 2. As soon as she senses a Spirit, she awakens as an Inverse type. The plan is to seal her as a Spirit but looks like Shido already agreed to go on a date with her. With Fraxinus doing that date sim option thingy, Shido wants to try a different route. Like taking her to a love hotel?! Just joking. But it spiked her happiness level. He then takes her to a shop selling weird things and unknowingly she buys those products. Even when shopping for clothes, she unknowingly wears a doggy ears swimsuit? During lunch, she tries to lick his spoon and when accidentally spilling water over his shirt, the moment he shows his abs she starts snapping away! She claims her body is moving on its own? At the end of the day, Origami feels confused. She is still sad about Shido’s ‘brother’ but he claims he would have done the same thing. With Origami’s happiness level at max, time to seal the deal but WTF the wooden barrier breaks and she falls off. Shido saves her but got his hands scratched and bleeding. Because of that she becomes a Spirit? Locking herself inside an armour cocoon, Shido tries to break through but it’s too tough. Yeah, Fraxinus is shot down again. Shido can’t run away and let the town be destroyed so he is going to keep trying even if it seems futile. Not if his other Spirit harem can help path a way to reach her. Meanwhile Origami is inside her consciousness and sees her other Devil self. When she touches her, they receive memories from both their worlds. Devil relates the truth that she can never take back the sin of killing her parents. Before Origami falls into despair, Shido’s voice can be heard. Must have said all the right words. You’re not alone. Always here for you. I’ll always save you no matter how much she is in despair. No matter how many times he has to rewrite history. Works like a charm. Origami reaches out to him. She accepts the fact the sin of killing her parents will never go away and Shido agrees that is her burden to bear. She admits she doesn’t love him but only relied on him. Honoured, it is exactly why he was able to save her. Finally he seals her with a kiss. With Origami back in class, you know it’s the Origami we know because she tries to wipe Shido’s tears with her crotch! Yeah, she claims the swimsuit retains moisture better. Though she did claim she never loved him, that is why she can begin her true love for him now. Oh boy. Let the harem fight begin too.

Episode 12
Woah. Shido suddenly super strong and fast? And then he collapses. The source is because his Spirit harem is hanging around him, their Spirit power is causing his body to overheat. A simple kiss is enough to seal it. No time to be shy because Shido just escaped. Worse, he is now a lady killer flirting with any women he sees! WTF is this short cheesy musical segment?! I guess Ellen got the rudest shock with Shido being such a cool cat, it reduces Ellen to some embarrassed b*tch. Get him back next time, huh? When the other girls come and want to seal his power, he throws them a condition. They must make him fall for them and a reason enough to kiss them. Roles reversed now. So we have the Spirit harem taking turns to swoon him. The twins go first. Eating an ice cream yuri style helps with the cream dropping all over their body. Score! Natsumi tries to seduce him in her busty body but she ran out of power and now the swimsuit is hanging loose over her loli body. Score! Yoshino massages him and shows him her swimsuit underneath? That is also score?! It’s classy and elegant time and with Kotori being such a lady, that is enough to score. Even Miku just saying a few words is enough to score. And she didn’t even do anything. Origami tries to spike his drink but the bartender mixes it up. Damn. Now she’s drunk, she’s so cute falling all over him. Score! Save the best for last because now it’s Touka. She feels uneasy about this but before she could do her usual stuff (eating of course) with him, looks like Shido has prematurely overheated. WTF did he just do a Kamehameha and turn Super Saiyan???!!! The girls chase this raging beast. Kotori is inclined to use some weapon to shoot him down but Origami and Touka stop her. There are better ways to solve this. Yeah, let’s not resort to violence, shall we? With the help of Kurumi restraining him, eventually the girls manage to land some cheap kiss on him (WTF?!) and the last ‘boss’ is Touka. Braving his attacks, she realizes this feeling called love inside her for him and that Shido has been suffering like this to reach out to them. Finally, a decent kiss. Touka won the lottery because she gets to be with Shido recuperating in hospital. She is the only one who didn’t manage to make him swoon in the contest so I guess this is fair. It must be her lucky day because a second great kiss is coming! It’s safe to say Touka won, no?

The Spirit Is Willing But The Boy/Trash Is Weak
Oh dear. The final episode was the lamest, the cheesiest, the most WTF and the worst ever. But it is also the most fun! Because, who really gives a damn at this point? Imagine, this is what this series would have been had it actually followed this route of the most cliché harem trope with Shido being turned into a typical main character harem douchebag. I don’t think it will get past the first season if it ruined the series went along with that kind cheesiness. Even though it somewhat reminds us that it should be Shido x Touka but the ending felt somewhat completed. Uh huh. The sudden abrupt ending with them kissing felt like there was something missing. Why the heck did Kurumi not kiss Shido???!!! Our favourite Spirit and she is the only one left out of the kissing spree?! I suppose she will always remain the rebel until the end.

I read that many hated and criticized this season because of how they trashed and butchered the final arc of this season. If you find that there are things that you don’t really understand (like yours truly), perhaps you can blame this. After all, if you want to watch the third season, it is best you have watched the previous seasons because knowledge of what has happened so far and the settings of this world is very important if you want to enjoy understand this season. To be fair, the series want to advance its plot and can’t be spending an extra episode to refresh our memories or introduce newbies to the series. Yeah, best you go back and watch everything again. Ain’t nobody got time for that! But sad to say, the third season doesn’t fair as well as the disappointing second season and could be the death knell of this series for good.

This season is split into 2 arcs. The first arc being the typical add-another-Spirit-into-Shido’s harem and the second bringing one of the main characters officially into Shido’s harem. Yeah. That’s how I see it. Lucky bastard. Initially I thought the Natsumi arc was going to be the arc that would set the rest of the season. I don’t know how I started coming up with the theory of one episode for Shido to date the possible candidate. Hence an elimination of a character/candidate per episode. I thought this was going to be super boring if they are going to follow through this formula. It isn’t impossible because, what is the name of this series again? Thankfully Natsumi’s cheeky guessing game was cut short and I suppose I also got a bit disappointed because it didn’t really amount to anything much. I thought it would drag on a few more episodes since Yuzuru got the bulk of that focus so I thought some of the other characters might have their chance too. None. Yeah, they literally speed run through this game. It certainly would have been interesting to see Shido on a date with Tamae?

Hence Natsumi becomes a mere side supporting character once she officially becomes part of Shido’s Spirit harem. What is better than having a loli? Why, having 2 lolis! Because Yoshino is the meek kind, we need to have the kind that is bratty. I see no other Spirit having this character so okay, let’s make bratty Natsumi part of the gang. The other Spirits also suffer thanks to Origami’s arc taking the entire second half. Touka, Yoshino, Yuzuru, Kaguya and Miku fall way off into the side-lines as the only non-Spirit girl deals with her issues and becomes a Spirit. I guess it is such a waste for these Spirit characters and they are just around for some comical issues and to remind us that Shido has a harem. Sometimes to ex machina certain situations because Shido as a normal high school kid can’t do everything himself. The last episode didn’t do any justice as it was just rushed. Trying to give his ballooning Spirit harem some flirting time with Shido but it comes off as a big fail and waste of time. So miniscule and ridiculous their screen time, might as well not have this crap in the first place. Oh well, having some sort of crap is better than having no crap at all!

Despite Kurumi only making limited appearances, I suppose she is the reason why we find this series a little bit tolerable. Okay, maybe not for all of us. But yeah, the enigmatic Kurumi is perhaps why many keep having hope for this series and that she should just own every other Spirit and become Shido’s only one. Oh well. Not in this world and timeline. Maybe in some other’s if history and the world was rewrote in another way under different circumstances. Could be possible considering Kurumi’s Spirit powers that there might be a world where she gets Shido all by herself and none of those lame Spirit b*tches in the way.

Remember Mana? No. Not to worry. I don’t even remember her until I was going through my previous blog! Oh dear. Who the f*ck is she?! She is supposed to be Origami’s AST comrade and I don’t see her appearing anywhere in this season. I don’t remember what happened to her the last time but I guess she was so insignificant with no role to play, they might have completely cut her out from this season. Other characters like Westcott and Woodman feel like red herring. It’s like they’ve got a plan for something but so far, nothing to show for. At least nothing important or significant that I can see. Last and not least, got to say that girl who is part of the 3 stooges who only says one single line is still f*cking amusing. Majihiku wa!

Origami’s arc is timely and a focus on her character is much needed. However it doesn’t feel as interesting. Because I predicted and saw it from 100 miles away that she was the Spirit that killed her parents. Cue to drag out the drama after she falls into despair from some emotional brownie points. Who knows, she could actually be Phantom herself from another timeline or future. Might not be confident with this conspiracy theory but it is still a possibility. Though, not a very high one. With Shido rewriting history, we get to see a very different side of Origami. She wasn’t the weird pervert that we always know but a meek and very shy girl. She is so different that she might as well be a very different character. Either way, even if the mind forgets, the body doesn’t. Hence it could be the only explanation why that meek Origami’s body started doing weird perverted things on its own. It’s like between the devil and the deep blue sea. Would we rather have this nice girl Origami or the bold weirdo Origami? Well… I’d rather have Kurumi!!! Damn you people, give us another Kurumi OVA, will ‘ya?!

Art and animation I believe remains constant with its previous seasons but is it me or do I feel that there is a drop in quality? For one, I thought that all the characters look a bit younger than they are. For example like Shido, at certain angles he looks a bit like a kid and at other times just a bit weird. Even some of the scenes showing the Spirits, it’s like they lack details and I thought they just gave up and hope we didn’t notice. Well, I did. Perhaps the different production studios for different seasons were the reason? AIC Plus+ did the first season followed by Production IMS in the second. This time it is animated by J.C. Staff. Seriously, do they not have any animes to animate? Sure, they have their hands full with the To Aru series, then they had High Score Girl and Hangyakusei Million Arthur, One Punch Man S2 and the upcoming DanMachi S2 to deal with. Oh yeah. Big company, many stuffs, more projects, more money. Makes sense.

Sweet Arms have been singing this series’ opener for the last 2 seasons. They’re back again for the third. I Swear isn’t a cover of All-4-One’s 1994 hit single. But I rather hear All-4-One’s piece than this bland generic anime pop. The same can be said for the ending theme, Last Promise by Erii Yamazaki. Sounds pretty generic and nothing special. This season’s seiyuu joining the line-up are Ayumi Mano as Natsumi (Esaka in Ore Ga Suki Nano Wa Imouto Dakedo Imouto Ja Nai) and the recognizable Kana Hanazawa as Phantom. Speaking of which, it is odd and further fuels my suspicions that this Phantom character is not the real Phantom because in the ending credits, Phantom’s seiyuu is marked as “???” whereas Kana Hanazawa’s character is also marked as “???”. Something looks shady here…

Overall, the third season didn’t really do any justice to make amends of the poor showing of the second season and further drove a nail into its coffin. It’s like they want to bury this series for good. Not even Kurumi’s Yod Beth for a different world to rewrite this crap can save this season. Because ultimately even if another parallel world that this third season was good exists, it still doesn’t hide the fact that some bad sh*t has happened and we have to shoulder the burden and accept that the third season was awful. Yeah. Thanks Origami. We learnt something from your past. Accept and move on. Sometimes it feels like Shido is the Date A Live series and Origami coming up with those damn weird pranks represents the production team trying to screw him up. Or Shido being a douchebag and trying to screw with the ladies. Not impressed. Screwed us up alright. Many say that you’d be better off reading the light novels but considering myself who doesn’t like to read, looks like it is dead end for me. Ironically, the most relevant line to sum up this season and our sentiments come from a certain irrelevant minor character. Yup. Majihiku wa.

Raz Dva Tri Chetyre! Wao~ssu! Waiwaiwaiwai shicatte! More lolicon maid for me. At least Uchi No Maid Ga Uzasugiru OVA is just a single episode released for the BDs. But you can expect more or less the same kind of antics from the bunch of characters if you have watched the TV series. A certain maid with killer abs and an extreme unhealthy fetish for little girls freaking out this particular half Russian half Japanese loli whom she is taking care of and the latter is trying to reject her unhealthy love but at the same time find it hard to things without her while trying to carry on her normal life after her mom’s death. Life has never been so fun-cum-annoying…

Part 1
Hotspring episode! More precisely, a resort spa thanks to Midori’s parents’ hospitality. Sure, the TV series had that but it was interrupted with Misha getting lost. Now we can feast our eyes in peace with lolis and maids in swimsuits all day long! Sort of. Misha invites Mimika and Yui here. Of course, Tsubame came uninvited although she claims it is to protect her from the filthy views of lolicon perverts. Is she talking about herself? With Midori looking mature in her swimsuit, Tsubame can’t stop getting nose bleeds from the loli swimsuit fanservice. Hence they tease her to take off the cover of her swimsuit before it gets blood soaked. Well, if you can stomach those abs and muscles. Tsubame acts all violated being seen in public. But it’s just a silly ploy to make Misha take responsibility and sign this marriage agreement. Please don’t ruin the fun. And so we see the lolis having their fun and a few times almost ruined thanks to Tsubame being a lolicon jerk. But thanks to the great security, our lolis’ chastity and fun are protected. As they change and prepare to leave for home, Misha realizes something grave. On the way home, Tsubame could tell from the way she sheepishly walks. Yup, she isn’t wearing any pantsu. She was so excited that she came wearing her swimsuit underneath and forgot to pack an extra pair. This gives Tsubame the excuse to go all out to protect her secret garden. WTF… Excuse for her to get suspicious at everything that threatens her oujo-sama’s secret garden. I wonder if this is an excuse to take advantage and get some herself. But thankfully no untoward incidents. But a few steps from home, suddenly there is a typhoon! Damn, the heavens even want to peek at Misha?! Before Misha is about to give up, Tsubame f*cking Falcon Punches the sky!!! WTF???!!! IT WORKED???!!! Pure coincidence but still WTF. When they finally reach home, Midori asks why she didn’t just buy a pair on the way home. Oh…

Part 2
Misha watches an anime about a very clumsy maid. I guess it’s for fanservice because each time she slips, her pantsu is showing. This prompts Misha to think anyone can be a maid. However Tsubame shockingly slaps some common sense into her about fiction and reality. Then something about how reality doesn’t have people take maids seriously and how this anime’s maid lacks ambition, etc. With Misha getting irk, she carelessly says she can prove by doing all that by being a maid. I guess she fell into Tsubame’s trap. Because now she has to make good her words and this loli maid outfit Tsubame made, I suppose she was waiting for this day to put it on her. Even Yasuhiro can’t help snap a pic of his lovely daughter. One for the road! With Misha bent on getting through this, she’ll do what it takes and doesn’t want Tsubame to help. Otherwise it would be meaningless if she is shown the tropes. So we see Misha doing the chores and getting clumsy but without the fanservice. When she is about to clean her late mom’s workroom, she realizes it is tough being a parent or a maid to do such chores every day. She gets her resolve to continue being a maid for the day and makes a delicious curry dinner for herself and the maids. I wonder if the meal is ruined when Tsubame suddenly says I love you to her. She explains it is because she gets to see how Misha has grown up and showing her different sides. Hence her love just keeps growing. But Misha knows the game she is playing. Because Misha has confiscated her handphone and shows all the secret photos that she has taken while Misha was being as a maid. So engrossed in watching her that she didn’t realize her pets helped stole it from her pocket. Now you know why Tsubame wants her to be a maid? Pressured, Tsubame tries to explain herself but of course being blindly positive that she’s doing this for the future of their children isn’t going to cut it. Misha deletes everything. Best gift ever.

Desperate Housemaids
Still fun, still funny, still cute, still annoying. Nothing really much to expect here. No twists or revelations of any sorts like suddenly incorporating a new maid character into the mix. Just the same ol’ Tsubame using every excuse she has to justify her lolicon tendencies towards Misha and every failure makes her even more determined. Oh well, like they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Misha, her strength and weakness both in one package. Misha is still hanging in there quite well as a kid. With her knowing how to play Tsubame’s game at times, I am confident that she won’t grow up into a psychotic traumatized person. I don’t think she hates maids. Just Tsubame in particular she dislikes. Stress on the word, dislike. If she did hate maids, Midori would be no different but Misha still accepts her a lot more than Tsubame. Speaking of Midori, she is still the same masochist in every perverted way. Even things going her way has her thinking it is just to give her false hope and then make her come crashing down in despair. You gotta love her twisted logic. Yui is still wanting to challenge Misha for whatever reasons and this short part feels unnecessary so as to just solidify her character for the sake of that. Since that whatever challenge she threw down to her didn’t really materialize anyway.

So this OVA didn’t really break the mould or change anything in particular. Anybody who watched the TV series would feel really comfortable at home with all the familiar stuffs and settings. Just add a bit of lolicon swimsuit fanservice and a very idiotic and clumsy in-anime maid fanservice. Thankfully I’m not a lolicon so I didn’t get turn on seeing lolis in swimsuits. Misha looks cute in a maid outfit too but I didn’t drool over her like a certain lolicon pervert did. She should be the star of the next season (if that ever happens) as she takes over being her own maid! Uchi No Maid Ga Watashi Da! It is somewhat true that in reality, people don’t take maids seriously. Because instead of cleaning, cooking and doing the laundry (like what maids are supposed to do!), maids are now there to serve you omelette rice meals with your name or whatever written in ketchup, then chant the magical good luck charm, “Oishiku nare!” to make it become tasty. WTF?! Do maids actually do that kind of stuff???!!! Moe~! Kyun~! Thank you Japan, for helping to rebrand the image of maids worldwide. Banzai meido!!!

Old propeller planes like the Zeros and Spitfires are boring compared to their modern counterparts like F-15 and MiG, huh? Lacking the firepower and the exhilarating Mach speed that would make you go faster than the speed of sound, huh? Well, I’ve got news for you. Don’t look down on old single propeller fighter planes too. Because in the world of Kouya Kotobuki No Hikoutai where the enter land is filled with nothing but desert sand and there are air pirates threatening the skies and livelihood of isolated towns, there is literally no one else you could rely on but these magnificent girls riding their magnificent propeller planes to come save the day. Thank your lucky stars for such great piloting skills.

Episode 1
The Kotobuki Flight Corp girls consisting of Kylie, Reona, Emma, Kate and Zara are chilling out in a bar when Adolfo from Yamada from Nazarene Air Force tries to hit on them. He mentions some of his records and achievements but the girls aren’t impressed and instead make a mockery out of his puny achievements. He really would have wanted to have a go had not his friends stop him. Just in time because the alert has been sounded. Pirate bogeys have been spotted and all pilots are to sortie. The captain of the Hagoromo blimp, Saneatsu issues his orders to take down the pirates and protect the cargo. It is very important because their employer, Madame Loulou despite will reward them for every enemy they shoot down, if one of the cargo goes down, that’s it for them. And so we see the Nazarene side being easily taken out without a fight. Time for Kotobuki to strut their stuffs. They stray a little too far and more pirate reinforcements pop up to attack Hagoromo. Although Hagoromo takes some damage, it is still airworthy and the Kotobuki girls manage to return in time to smoke them out. With the remaining pirates fleeing, Reona gives orders to her crew not to chase and return. However Kylie spots a rogue pirate and chases after it. This is a skilled one as they continue to engage in aerial dogfight. A tricky one too with, leading Kylie into the clouds and almost letting her crash into the ground. If not for Kylie’s skill and good luck, she would have crashed hard. Ultimately the enemy deals some minor damage to the plane but when Kylie is within range of defeat, it looks like time is up for the enemy so he flees instead. Kylie is frustrated and insulted. When Kylie returns to base, she is punched by mechanic, Natsuo for doing something reckless again. When Hagoromo lands safely, the Kotobuki girls immediately head off to town to do their own thing instead of receiving the reward.

Episode 2
As the Kotobuki girls drink in town, they hear a commotion outside. Looks like their comrade, Chika is trying to teach a few men who are looking down upon them. Yeah, she beats him up with her crutches. Kylie even joins in when her pancake was accidentally wasted. Once all that is over, Chika seems jealous that she wasn’t invited to their ‘party’. Technically she is hospitalized but is now discharged early. Bratty girl always seem to quarrel with Kylie on the pettiest of things. They have to put it on hold since they get a call from Saneatsu for another mission. As Loulou explains, this time they will escort Councillor Julia. You can instantly tell she has an attitude problem and basically a b*tch. So why choose to fly this crappy service? Because she hates Loulou. So as Saneatsu shows her around Hagoromo, the rest deduce Loulou and Julia must have go a long way for them to hate each other like that. It seems she gets her kicks by making enemies wherever she goes. Then there’s this sick perversion of men always flocking to Loulou but Julia will steal them before they get to her, twist and use them before tossing them away. Talk time is over with bogeys spotted. They thought they are just the usual pirates but their numbers suddenly rise up to 30. Even more surprising is how they are using the expensive Hien type planes and their formation is very controlled. Skilled fighters to say the least but of course our Kotobuki girls are still better. Even during the dogfights, Kylie and Chika can continue to be buttheads with each other and still shoot down the enemies and cover for each other despite not really liking this order Reona put them up to (they have to or she’ll ground them the next time). They are so in unison. Are they friends? Enemies? Frenemies? In the end, Julia arrives safely and Loulou hopes she would never fly with them again. But what if Julia flash the cash? Loulou is not impressed as Julia waves a load of lovely goodbyes to her. The Kotobuki girls hang out and nobody is paying attention to bratty Chika bragging. For the eleventh time…

Episode 3
Upon reaching the town of Rahama, they find it partially destroyed. Talking to the mayor, it seems a small group of salesmen from Elite Industries flew in. They want to exchange their old Raiden plane for this (fake) painting. They rejected of course and when they leave, they attacked the town as sourpuss and promised to return with their full force. So is it worth to give up Raiden which is the pride of Rahama just to save the town? The mayor thinks so because Loulou’s bill is too much for his budget. But his vice thinks they should fight. Too bad in the name of democracy, the mayor decides to hold a discussion with everyone to come to a solution. As expected, the town is split. Everybody’s shouting and disagreeing. Until Emma steps in to give them a piece of her mind. If they allow this trade, they will be back to demand more. Plus, if everyone agrees to help out, Loulou might cut him a deal. With everyone reminiscing the old days of protecting each other, they want to fight back and thus the mayor finally decides to go with that. With Elite Industries returning with a strong 40 plane fleet, they take Rahama by surprise by coming from the other direction. This is the opposite of where Kotobuki is. Hence the local vigilantes suit up and take flight. But Elite Industries won’t have it easy as they display Raiden in the middle of town (they can’t damage it) and they have ground artillery support. The locals hold them enough for Kotobuki to return for a real challenging dogfight. When Emma is shot but before being blown out of the sky, here comes the mayor flying the Raiden to save her. A dilemma for Elite Industries because they cannot shoot it down. Too bad Raiden runs out of bullets so the boss hijacks it and kicks the mayor out! That easy?! With mission accomplished, Elite Industries retreat. Kotobuki is forced to give up. Although this is a failed mission, the vice believes this is a wakeup call for Rahama to believe they can protect their town like they used to. Emma apologizes to the mayor and thanks him. But it’s not over for Loulou yet. Because as per their contract, they are to protect Raiden. Yup, they’re going to get it back.

Episode 4
As Kotobuki reach the next town, they receive a warning shot from an old guy. However it wasn’t the Elite Industries but those darn air pirates. It gets personal when Kylie realizes the pancakes are also the casualties. It’s getting personal. They discuss about getting into Elite Industries’ base which is located in the natural canyons. When they show him a painting, he claims it is drawn by the boss’ daughter. Since Elite Industries just ordered a bunch of dance girls to their base, this is a great chance for Zara to disguise as one of them and infiltrate. Yeah, she’s hypnotizing the men with her dance moves. She challenges them to drinking and none can even hold their beer. Perfect time for her to sneak around. She finds Raiden in chains and the boss’ daughter holds the key. So she visits her and sees her trying her hand at drawing. Zara gives some motivational advice and Zara wants her to be her model. Meanwhile the other Kotobuki girls take this chance to ambush the base as distraction and in hopes Zara will get Raiden in 10 minutes. Or else they will have to find and rescue Zara and abandon Raiden. I wonder how they could fly through those tight canyons at night!!! It’s like they know the place like the back of their hand or are they on auto pilot mode?! With Kotobuki beginning their attack, Elite Industries is taken by surprise as they scramble to sortie but many of their planes and equipment have been grounded by the sneak attack. With some managing to take flight, however there seems to be a rebellion from within the company. The HR chief along with the sales division have teamed up to attack the boss. Kotobuki is confused but it buys more time for them. Meanwhile some men try to steal the daughter’s key but Zara easily beats them. The daughter gives Zara the key in hopes she could save her father. Zara takes Raiden to the skies as she chases after the HR chief. He pulls a sneaky move on her by escaping via a hidden small hole and this forces Zara to pull up hard. Luckily she is still in one piece as she rendezvous with her pals. Since they’ve got Raiden, they’re out of here. In the aftermath, the boss and his loyal men have turned over a new leaf and will make an honest living. His daughter is pleased when Zara keeps a painting of hers.

Episode 5
The usual Kylie and Chika bickering almost had them being run over a car. Luckily this driver is quick. Such an eccentric joker too. Is he a street magician? Kotobuki is called by Julia for a mission. In a few days, she will have to attend a meeting she hates. She has to meet with Isao who is the head of View Trading because she can’t stand the way he tries to preach his ideals to become famous. I guess there’s nothing wrong about justice, safety, unification, mutual benefits, etc. Is it because Julia can’t be a sneaky shady b*tch now that Isao is turning those in power to his side? Because of that, there would be air pirates targeting the meeting. Julia could ask the local Areshima services for protection but she doesn’t want to be in their debt and would rather be in Kotobuki’s. By now, we should know that eccentric street magician is Isao and man he loves playing pranks. Either you love him or find him annoying. With Loulou not around, looks like Kotobuki is split in whether to accept the job but Reona is adamant to take on the job. This has the rest wonder her strange act ever since Isao came into the picture. Is it love? Is it some debt repayment? The day Julia and Isao have their meeting (I thought it sounded more like a comedy talk show!), air pirates attack. It looks like there’s a handful of them so Kotobuki should be enough to engage. The couple of guys who are remnants of Nazarene just get to patrol the other peaceful end. Until it turns out it was a diversion and the enemy horde is heading from this direction. I figure Nazarene has to hold them until Kotobuki arrives. Just in time because they run out of bullets. Time for the guys to head home in shame while the girls do their usual kickass. Their aim is to take out a couple of heavy bombers. During the dogfight, Reona becomes ruthless, something that Zara points out to the rest that this is her true nature. But so ruthless that she almost fell for a trap and Kate had to cover for her. Kylie lashes out at Reona if she wants to get ahead of herself, do so by all means but don’t let others take your fall. With the enemies closing in, Julia will not evacuate as not to be deemed a coward. Isao? He is going to fly! Yup, he was once known as the Soaring Magician. And now only Reona remembers him?! That guy who shot down a dozen enemies in some war?! The guy who saved her from being shot down?! I know she hasn’t seen him in 8 years but she can’t even remember him until he flies? As usual, Isao shows off his skills and even takes down the last bomber that crashes right at the doorstep of the hotel of the meeting. The tea must be still warm and nice for Julia.

Episode 6
Reona feels guilty for acting out of line and wants to be indebted but is told to believe in her squad and let them help out whenever they can with no strings attached. Hence Chika asking to borrow money! That was really a fast one! Kylie went to see Julia to get their payment. On her way back, she spots that rogue air pirate and chases after it. It seems the rogue pirate is toying with her as they fly through the skies and canyons. The rogue pirate is much better than her and you bet Kylie is mad and trying to get the better of her. In the end, Kylie is shot down. End of chase. Thankfully, only her engine is blown out. Her plane is still intact as well as its fuel tank. Phew. Man, how did she even landed so perfectly? She recognizes this place as Ofukouyama, a small slab of flat rock in the middle of nowhere that rookie pilots used to practice short landings but always ended with disaster. Hence the wreckage all around. Meanwhile the other girls are worried that Kylie might have run off with the money but they believe she won’t because she’s not into all that. Okay. Time to mount a search. As Kylie scavenges the wreckage to find parts, we see her flashback. She met an old man name Sab and is interested in him because she thinks she come from outside and knows a lot. She often hangs out in his place and is not scared of him despite his fugitive status. Better than her own home where they always fight for food. She soon learns he came from Yufang. People there came here via a hole to build planes and factories but one day they left. Did Sab get left behind? He didn’t say. Since she continues to be amazed by his stuffs and wants to know more, Sab takes her flying in his plane. Awesome view for a kid flying the first time. One day she overheard a guy wanting Sab to come back but he rejects the deal. Soon Sab shuts her out and the next time she returns, his hut is burnt and she felt disappointed he left without her. Kylie has fixed her plane and prepares to take off. Remembering the teachings of Sab, she pulls it off. Yup, you don’t fly a plane. It flies itself. You just follow its lead. Not sure if Sab died but Kylie made a tombstone for him and promised to go see the world. Just in time for Kylie to rendezvous with her comrades. Feels good to be home.

Episode 7
Kylie and Kate are having a mock dogfight as Natsuo is testing the octane level of the cheap fuel they bought. Kylie thought for once she beat Kate but soon realized it’s because Kate was being held back by the cheaper fuel. This cheap fuel proves a drop in performance and they should avoid using this fuel altogether. The irony is that Standon Oil Company as one of the biggest companies out there is supplying it. Kate goes to see her brother, Allen in hospital. He is interested in finding out the disappearance of Yufang but was attacked during one of his flights and still recuperating. The Nazarene guys stop at Nanko to refuel. They notice a plane from Standon here. Talking to the bartender, it seems they are here to make a deal to buy out their oil. However there is no deal struck yet since Nanko rather have quality over quantity and know these corporate guys will make them work to the bone for every last drop. Soon after, the oil fields suddenly explode and the entire town is on fire. Hence the Nazarene guys fly over to the next town for reinforcements. Good thing Kotobuki girls are there. Saving the town is more important than evacuating its people. If they lose their access to Nanko, they’ll be forced to deal with Standon. Despite their inferior quality, they will soon monopolize their oil and jack up prices. Also, there is no other place closer to refuel as Nanko. Losing this means they will be block off and grounded indefinitely. Loulou agrees to help put out the fire but Nanko will have to pay one year’s worth of gas at reduced price. And how are they going to stop the fire? Kate’s answer: Fight fire with fire: Bomb it! To Kylie’s dismay, she will be in the driver’s seat of the bombing plane with Kate guiding her since her plane was damaged the last time. As expected, Standon’s planes come to ‘greet’ time. However they are flying Hayate types that have better power and turning speed. Also, their body armour is thicker. Kotobuki meeting their match since these pilots are really pros and don’t give them space to fight back. Our speculations that emotionless Kate might be a robot as she guides Kylie to move directly while she mans the gunner. When it’s time to bomb, she has to light the fuse manually and then calculate to release the bomb accurately! It does!!! The explosion wipes out the fire and at the same time the enemy retreats. A mission accomplished although Chika is frustrated she couldn’t shoot down any bogeys.

Episode 8
Isao has become the mayor of Ikesuka, he formed the Brotherhood of Freedom Union and to celebrate that he bought a rare arowana fish for public display. Hence the Kotobuki girls are to transport it there. Loulou didn’t want to take this job but since he recommended them and the press asked if they were up to the task, certainly she can’t say no. With Saneatsu having stomach discomfort, Loulou takes command of the bridge. As expected, multiple bogeys in sight. As Kotobuki goes to intercept their unusually large numbers, to their surprise this is only a decoy. Because a few more air pirates crept up on Hagoromo by flying very close to the ground. Because Kotobuki took too long to deal with the decoy, the others have boarded and took over Hagoromo. They order the Kotobuki girls to go away in which Reona orders her girls to do so. Then the pirate leader makes an announcement. In addition to the fish, they demand Isao’s resignation and the disbandment of the Brotherhood. Otherwise they will blow up Hagoromo. Kotobuki isn’t giving up of course. After they receive word from Saneatsu about the situation on board, Emma flies up to Hagoromo’s radar blind spot so that Reona and Kylie can board it.

First they have to go find Johnny the bartender and Ririko his barmaid. Although this is where most of the crew are being held captive, Reona hints to Ririko to make a scene. With Reona crashing in, she hints to Johnny and he is forced to use his gunslinger prowess to dispatch the pirates! You mean this wuss is a sharpshooter?! Because we see him ‘dance’ as he guns down all the baddies?! OMFG!!! So cringe! So cool! Ironically all the pirates are dumb. They have machine guns but cannot even shoot straight? The other crew just throw whatever they got and it counts! Isao has received word of Hagoromo and takes his own action. When Loulou retakes the bridge, a small struggle ensues. Stray bullets damage the controls. With some of the pirates escaping, Kotobuki wonders why they aren’t fighting back. Well, Isao’s full air force is coming their way. Loulou contacts them but no response. This could only mean they are here to take down Hagoromo. Can’t have it explode over Ikesuka, right? Hence Loulou wants Reona to shoot down Hagoromo. No, not destroy it. Take out enough helium so it could safely crash land. Of course Reona the pro does it perfectly and Isao’s air force don’t have to cause any tragedy. In the aftermath as the fish gets displayed, the girls learn Johnny was once a good mercenary but left this trade when he met his wife. However because he continued his gun collection, she resented this and left. No wonder this wuss is still praying for her to come back. Not a chance… Loulou hands Isao the bill and hopes never to take another job from him.

Episode 9
Kylie’s unhappy. She has to hold the fort while the rest of her Kotobuki girls are away on a mission. Yeah, this sucks. It seems Kotobuki are to be guards for some retirement ceremony. Something about the new licence system and union registration red tape made it unbearable for them to go on even if they are just flight postal workers. Meanwhile Julia is being heckled by the men in the council for speaking the truth. Something about giving up their own culture and system to adopt another city’s system. But you can’t beat all those sexist men, right? They kick her out of the hall as she notes being an air pirate will definitely be better than working for Isao. Her underlings know it is not safe for her here anymore and suggest she flees before they come arrest her. Kylie is summoned by Loulou for a job. It is giving Allen a scenic flight around Rahama. She also tells her she has been invited to work under a new company in Areshima. In fact the offer comes for any one of the Kotobuki girls. They’ll double their pay and get whatever aircraft they want since they are teaming up with View Trading. Kylie interprets this as she doesn’t want them anymore but Loulou puts it this way: She has no right to tell them to stay. Kylie takes Allen on a scenic flight with her mind preoccupied with this. But Allen talks about the portal to Yufang. He could have seen it had he not been shot down. He believes the portal didn’t close forever but on and off on a smaller scale. At the same time, the ex-Elite Industries HR chief and his men are rummaging through Allen’s room to find some info. Allen gives Kylie directions until they reach a certain point where they see strange circles in the sky. That’s the portal? However suddenly they are attacked by bogeys. I don’t know how Allen fitted his machine gun in this aircraft but at least they have a fighting chance. I know it’s just fantasy he gets to shoot down the enemies while they all miss but I’ll believe it because he says his aim gets better after drinking! Just when they think they’ve gunned down all the enemies, more of them pop up! Can Kylie outrun them in this canyon chase? Soon reality catches up as they are hit and Kylie crash lands. Oh, they also pretend to be dead to stay alive and let the enemies fly away. If not for Chika, they wouldn’t be rescued. With Kotobuki returning, Loulou tells the rest what she told Kylie. But Kylie instantly says she will always stay with Kotobuki as she doesn’t want to take orders from anyone else but Reona. She shocks everyone by optimistically saying another portal might open over Rahama.

Episode 10
Allen tells he gang about the portal. There are many sizes and opened up here and there many times. It was just coincidence the one that appeared 70 years ago connected them to Yufang. The holes may also be the culprit that absorbed the seas of this world. Then Julia barges in, complaining how she is no more a councillor as all the men voted to kick her out and framed her with fake allegations. While the rest think Isao is a pretty nice guy, Julia then reveals this whole thing is just a setup so Isao can become a dictator of the world. As Rahama has not decided to join the Brotherhood, she doubts he will let it go scot free. Because as per Allen’s calculation, looks like another hole has opened up over Rahama. This is why Isao is targeting this place. They take in a damaged fighter plane. Woah. Who this sexy dolly babe? Camilla from Shouto Vigilante has been shot down despite being allies of Isao. They were accused of plotting something and bombed out. Even though Camilla wanted to surrender, they continued bombing so she escaped. The town of Rahama is now in a discussion over the portal over their town. They are discussing whether to join the Brotherhood or not. Isao knows about this hole because his men stole Allen’s notes from the hospital. Then here comes the HR chief who is now representing the Brotherhood. He is giving Rahama a chance to join them and hand over Julia the fugitive or risk being bombed in 24 hours. However it soon dawned to them that their plan is to evacuate Rahama so that Isao can monopolize the entire portal himself. Rahama’s mayor had balls for the first time to reject all that and with the crowd chanting for them to leave, looks like it is war.

Hence Kotobuki and their allies now take to the skies to defend Rahama from the oncoming onslaught of huge bomber planes. The good news is that the bomber planes are huge so you can’t miss them. The bad news is, it’s going to take a while to shoot through their thick armour. Kotobuki shoots down a couple of bomber planes but they were too late for the last one as it unloads over Rahama. Uhm, did it not see the portal was in its path and hence everything just went through the hole?! The explosion causes some sort of huge temporary suction before the portal closes for good. With the hole gone, the enemies retreat. As Kylie is about to land, she spots this rogue pilot. Grrr! Time to chase! Eventually both run out of fuel and land safely. Next to each other! Time to get down for a fist fight! Kylie is no match for the verbal bout with Naomi as she accuses this little girl for always getting in her way. I think it’s fun to see these ladies trade some verbal barb wires but Naomi is the one who always have the upper hand. Yeah, she’s even better than you not only in flying but sarcasm too. Naomi claims she is neither friend nor foe and does what she wants. This time she just sided with Julia as she made more sense than Isao. Naomi then accuses Kylie of copying her plane’s mark that resembles the mark of her mentor’s. That is when Kylie is shocked. Does she know Sab? Oh yeah. Now the girls are like good friends talking about that old bastard. Naomi relates how she was his student training under him but he eventually abandoned her. Since Kylie was abandoned too, now they’re the abandoned sisters! Her goal is to find him and shoot him down with the techniques she stole from him. As for why Naomi flies, because it feels good being up there.

Episode 11
Isao uses his charms (and magic tricks) to convince the crowd that their Brotherhood is the only one that could bring true freedom to this world. Hence anybody else who tries to keep Yufang to themselves are criminals. Like Rahama and Porokka. So to say they aren’t? Rahama and Porokka combine their forces to lead an attack against Ikesuka. Kylie is spaced out not because the briefing was a really long one. She just couldn’t understand what they’re fighting for. Especially their mission to attack Ikesuka. Are wars fought on a whim like this? Is this what Kotobuki stands for? Well, she’s got a point. But no time to think all that because Isao has sent in hundreds of planes to fight them. Man, this is going to be one messy dogfight. I can’t tell who is who shooting each other down. But I’ll bet that the Kotobuki girls will be the ones staying up. Kotobuki is supposed to bomb the factory that makes the firepower for Ikesuka. However it is abandoned and empty. Is this a trap? Speaking of which, yes. 200 enemy planes in sight! At this point, Loulou makes the order to retreat and will not turn this into a gamble to lose any more of their side. They have underestimate Isao. However the Porokka side will not retreat and push on. Unfortunately their blimp gets shot down under heavy fire. And then Isao comes into the fray himself. Because of his more aerodynamic and specially designed plane, he climbs and turns faster and shoots down all his enemies at ease! Reona tries to talk to him to get his side to pull back so they can retreat. He lies so as to get her guard down and then shoots her down. Mad Kylie tries to take on him but Isao recognizes her mark that belongs to Sab. He explains something about Sab being abandoned by Yufang who call themselves the Japanese army. And when that stubborn old goat tried to fleet, Isao shot him down too! Not too sure where he is rotting in desert. This makes Kylie extremely mad and is going to teach this jerk a lesson. Chika is shot down and Hagoromo is about to take heavy damage too. But thank goodness for Elite Industries backing them up. Isao eventually shoots down Kylie but as he brags, he lets his guard down and gets shot by Kate. She confirms that it is this jerk who shot down Allen. In the aftermath when everyone is retrieved back to the blimp, Allen shows them that another hole will appear. This time right over Ikesuka.

Episode 12
Naomi leads her squadron to take on the Ikesuka fighters who have the air pirates on their side. Yeah, money does buy everything in this world. With the battle raging on, Kotobuki is to sneak in and attack Isao’s tower. Along the way, Zara asks Reona if she would like to run away and leave all of this behind. She can do whatever she wants. That will have to wait when the enemies have spotted them. Time for the most exhilarating dogfight action scenes through the narrow streets of Ikesuka’s infrastructures! When Kate gets shot down, it is by a plane with jet engine and using missiles! Just to show how good our girls are, they manage to dodge its radar missiles. Even better, Kylie and Chika trick it to fire multiple missiles at them. Then they dodge for the missiles to hit the huge statue structure to come crashing onto the jet plane. I guess with Chika being taken out because Isao is now itching to get into the fray, as the price to pay seems worth it. Emma gets taken down after her fill of shooting down many enemies. Isao’s butler uses a dirty trick to have the crane crash into Zara’s plane. Don’t worry. She still lives. In return, Reona sacrifices herself to take down the butler. All that is left is an angry Kylie trying to take down Isao. When the portal has fully materialized, that is when the signal is given to Hagoromo. It blasts off into the sky carrying loads of explosives to seal off the hole for good. So Saneatsu is going to do a suicide mission?! Desperate Isao tries to shoot down Hagoromo and even though he took down Kylie before that, Kylie like as though saw the spirit of Sab and remembers his words to let the plane fly itself. I guess it’s a cue so that Kylie’s plane could amazingly land a few more shots on Isao. Hagoromo explodes upon contact with the portal. Saneatsu not on a suicide mission after all. He escaped in his mini plane. Good for him now that he has a chance to confess to Loulou. Isao now being a desperate greedy megalomaniac hell bent on keeping the portal all to himself, gets sucked in as the portal closes. The air pirates retreat and all our heroes fly home, dreaming all the things they want to do. Wait a minute. Naomi seriously considering dating Adolfo?! Amazingly, Kylie’s plane still manages to fly home. I guess her plane really does fly by itself. Reona explains to the rest that Kotobuki comes from the Yufang word of good fortune. I guess it really served them well till the end.

With Flying Colours!
Is this the official retirement of the Kotobuki girls?! But I’m sure like Kylie, she’ll continue to do what she loves doing and even with Kotobuki or not, she’ll continue flying. The final episode to close to portal to Yufang felt more like a revenge plot because I am sure the portal will open up somewhere. It is probably to teach Isao a lesson and open up the eyes of all those who blindly follow him. Who knows if Isao will survive through the portal but I guess the important thing is that this world is now freed of his madness. Perhaps Yufang could have brought more and better technology and equipment to this world. But I figure that each world should retain their own culture and even if this one seems primitive, so be it as long as everyone here is free and happy.

Now, the very interesting aspect that I believe what makes this series stands out apart from other animes this season is the fact of its cool and exciting flight scenes. Whether it is just joyride or in the midst of some hot dogfight, the first person views of the flights are very thrilling. Even a casual viewer like me having no sort of interest in aviation have been charmed by the awesome and breath-taking first person flight views right from the start. I was so immersed in watching them that thinking back about it, it was as though I was in some sort of flight simulation! The visuals and views are done in a perfect manner that it really gives the viewers a great experience of what it is like to be in the cockpit of a plane.

Hence the dogfights are pretty much as exciting to watch too. Your staple fix for every episode guaranteed. Although it can be sometimes a bit farfetched that our Kotobuki girls are so skilled that they don’t usually get shot down. Maybe once in a blue moon. But other than that, they are so perfect in their shooting and flying skills that they could be the world’s greatest pilots. No wonder they are called the Magnificent Kotobuki. They live up to their name. Oh heck, I think that title is an understatement to their awesome talents. Sure, all of them got shot down in the final battle but after notching up their victory ratio to over a billion, it was probably time to bow out. It was worth it. A high score that no one can tops for a long time. Hey, can’t last forever being undefeated. The other unbelievable thing is how there are no casualties or deaths from the dogfights. Once a plane gets shot, you see smoke trails from its engine and the plane crash lands. Yeah, planes don’t explode in mid-air. They really avoided shooting the gas tank, huh? I rarely see people eject out so I’m assuming they went down with the plane. Even though the desert wasteland is vast, I don’t see wreckage of downed planes. Even the final big battle with so many planes shot down, where are those wreckages? Is it too small to see from up there?

The final battle at Ikesuka was exhilarating as well as it was exciting. But because Ikesuka looks like a typical modern urbanized city from our world, it felt so different than the rest of the other towns that we see that looked like old ranches from the wild west. So I wonder if Isao somehow managed to steal some ideas to create this big metropolis. I’m sure it wasn’t built in a day or night. However during the final battle, it felt so devoid of people. Like as though it is a giant ghost town. Such a shame with such beautiful skyscrapers and even roads, it really feels abandoned. Perhaps he has evacuated everyone. Or maybe this is one big giant personal playground Isao built for his dream world.

While there is nothing much from the overall story, I believe there is a lot more potential to be fleshed out. We mostly see the Kotobuki girls taking on job requests of certain towns and while they don’t constitute much, it does contribute a bit to the overall story and bigger picture. What could be fleshed out better is the Yufang side and it is confirmed that this world is another parallel world that exists aside from the real Earth. And since Yufang are actually the Japanese military, this feels like a plot rip-off from Gate. Instead of a single fixed portal, many random portals pop up here and there from time to time. It doesn’t help that these portals are not clearly explained except that they are gateways to Yufang’s world. Like as though they are pulled out from the air for plot convenience. Literally. But then again, more details could be clarified if this had another season.

The Kotobuki girls feel a bit shallow. Each of them has their own backgrounds and past but some are just merely touching the surface. I wish there were more meat to show the girls bond together but with the limited number of episodes, this would have replaced the cool aerial scenes and that is a definite no-no. Because of this trade off, the character development suffers. However you can still feel the closeness and bonds of the Kotobuki girls because of the amazing banter and dynamism in their conversations. Some of them are pretty witty and sarcastic especially Chika and Kylie who often don’t get along with each other and even when they do, still have time to throw a few banters at each other. Kylie gets the big bulk of the focus as we get to know her as a simple girl who just loves to fly. Her relationship with Sab makes it more intriguing and it’s like she continues to fly in hopes of looking for him one day.

Even in this world, there is deception. I thought Julia was going to be the antagonist and Isao some sort of hero but it turns out to be the other way round. Yeah, they had me fooled. Hence a valuable lesson to learn, never judge a book by its cover. Julia may look angry and sound a lot like a b*tch but that is only because of all the other men trying to bring her down and put her in place to toe the line. Understandably anyone could get this mad. Her relationship with Loulou also leaves much to be desired. It’s like a love-hate relationship between them and Loulou always keeps her cool and professionalism at all times. It is hard to see Isao as the baddie because he is always laughing and joking at all times. Even during hard times he can still make comeback lines! Not sure if this guy is the Hitler of this world because since Julia paints him in a bad light so I guess she must be right? Uh huh. Remember, don’t be fooled by appearances. If they really want to take on him, they have to be way more prepared than they are now as Isao still walk the talk and remains true to his legendary status.

Johnny. This minor character is really amazing and amusing. Better than the Hagoromo bridge crew whose names are I think puns of ABCs. His gunslinger skills are really so cool and had he been a pilot, his skills would have been even more extraordinary. This series’ mascot is a dodo bird who is supposedly the captain of Hagoromo too. I don’t see its significance except being a minor comic relief like sending messages to the Kotobuki girls. And laughing at Saneatsu’s forlorn picture of Loulou he keeps in his room.

On a trivial note, sometimes I feel that this series is more of a feminist series. Given that the politically correct era we now live in, I can’t help think about this even though I believe it is just coincidence and me overthinking. All the women here are capable, independent, strong and reliable. Even Ririko kicks ass. I have nothing against it but many of the men here are just weak and lame ass. Like the Nazarene guys are just losers. Especially that Adolfo dude who just talks big. Even when he tries to help, he’s just like useless. And he is even trying to impress and hit on Naomi? Yeah, that kind of strong girl doesn’t need this wuss. Oh wait. She did. Maybe he has some merit after all. Johnny is so gay, the mayor of Rahama is a wuss, Saneatsu is a wuss (I suppose he is doing it all out for his love for Loulou), the boss of Elite Industries is a conman and Isao is a bad guy. More than often you see females piloting on the good side, that is the side siding with Kotobuki like Camilla and Naomi. Sure, there are other guys fighting on their side too but they are so insignificant that they don’t matter. And here we assume all the faceless piloting bad guys flying on Isao’s side are males. I hope I’m just overthinking…

Like the few animes in the same season, this series is animated via CGI. However I am unsure as if to label the entire series as being done by CGI. Although the main characters like the Kotobuki girls are fully rendered in CGI (you know, you can see that one kind animation), there are some characters like the bridge crew of Hagoromo that I cannot determined if they are CGI material or not. It looks like they are your typical 2D animation but I just can’t say thanks to the lack of screen time. Overall if the CGI feels weird, at least it is not that bad. Luckily the environments and background sceneries are nice to look at despite it is mainly the desert wasteland. I guess I am really enthralled with the first person view flight experience as the animation here is seamless for a really good wholesome experience. I’m not an aviation enthusiast but I can see that they put in some details for the planes. Generally speaking, they look nice. This series is jointly animated by WAO World (Animegataris) and Gemba (Berserk – the new one).

Oddly when I first glimpsed the Kotobuki girls, I thought they reminded me of the same bunch of girls in Akanesasu Shoujo. But that is merely because Kylie has this strange resemblance to Asuka (and replace chikuwa with pancakes), Kate having this uncanny resemblance to Mia and perhaps Emma and Nana do look a bit similar. And Reona had the same seriousness tone as Yuu. It made me wonder if those Akanesasu Shoujo girls did the right frequency, would they have ended up in this strange Fragment? Well, frankly speaking, we did see our heroes and heroines fly off into the sunset. Geddit? Sunset? The twilight? Oh, never mind…

Voice acting feels fine with me only recognizing Shizuka Itou as Naomi and Keiji Fujiwara as Saneatsu. Sayumi Suzushiro as Kylie sounds so lively and amazing that it is hard to think of her as the one who voiced Oono in High Score Girl. The latter felt like it was really a waste of her talents. The other casts are Asami Seto as Reona (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Hibiku Yamamura as Zara (Sara in Island), Sayaka Nakaya as Kate (Orine in AKB0048), Eri Yukimura as Emma (debut role), Miyu Tomita as Chika (Aoi in Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou No Holmes), Akiko Yajima as Loulou (Kohaku in Inu Yasha), Ayaka Shimizu as Julia (Masaki in Sasameki Koto), Katsuyuki Onishi as Isao (Oga in Beelzebub), Kazutomi Yamamoto as Allen (Yumoto in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu), Youji Ueda as Johnny (Kisaragi in Basilisk), Nao Touyama as Ririko (Chitoge in Nisekoi), Mai Fuchigami as Camilla (Nagisa in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu) and Rumi Ookubo as Natsuo (Aguri in Gamers).

The opening theme is Soranone by ZAQ. Nothing exciting that attracts my attention. It just sounds lively and okay, trying to breathe some sort of life into the series but I got my kicks from somewhere else during the episodes. The ending theme is Tsubasa Wo Motsumonotachi by the quintet of the Kotobuki Flight Corps. A slower and calmer pacing than the opener and although still not that appealing, it still is a good song if you’re just going on a joyride flight. There are a few fanfare and marching-like military BGMs here. If you heard Girls Und Panzer, you can have an idea what they sound like (heck, they both had the same director). Such BGMs add more thrill and excitement to the dogfights.

Overall, despite the less than stellar storyline and characters, the amazing dogfights and aerial views are the ones that blast all those minus points away. Not to say it is perfect but this is easily one of the best and favourite animes of the season. At least by comparison, still way much better than that other flight anime in the same season, Girly Air Force. To say that old is gold isn’t exactly accurate. It is all in the execution and this series did it right from the start. Truly the top flight. To quote a saying, the sky is the limit to some but to others who love aviation, the sky is their home. And truly this is where the Kotobuki Flight Corps feel at home with. Thank you for letting us fly with you and have a pleasant flight.

Murder Princess

June 28, 2019

Remember my case with Melty Lancer a short while ago? Yup. It’s the same for Murder Princess. Although this series isn’t that bad as there are still subs around the internet, I guess the panic button was pushed and so here I am. After all, alphabetically Murder Princess comes after Melty Lancer in the list of anime titles, right? Uh huh. I must have missed all the other titles that fall in between them and didn’t find them attractive. Anyway the title sounds as suspicious and intriguing because I thought it would be some crazy princess who goes around killing people using her royalty status or at least she was labelled as one when some royal family member framed her by killing the rest of the royal family and hence she has to fight her way back to reclaim her throne and innocence. I am both wrong in that instance. Instead, princess and bounty hunter switch bodies. The fight to fend off rebels from their country begins. And oh, don’t forget that royal conspiracy…

Episode 1
Alita Castilia Arago Forland meets up with her father, the king in the throne room. It seems the palace is under sieged by rebels. The king is gravely injured and he wants Alita to escape through the secret passageway into the forest. As long as their bloodline doesn’t die out, their family will continue to live on. Thank goodness he said all that before he kicked the bucket. To fool the enemies, Alita’s maid, Milano Entrasia substitutes as her as she makes her getaway. The rebels crash in. A bunch of lolis? Anna and Yuna? Make that mecha lolis. Because of their android features, it is believed that a traitor has sold the nation’s secrets and true enough it is Dr Akamashi behind this coup detat. They are given a chance to live if they surrender Alita but fighting to the death is their answer. As Alita runs through the forest, a monster kills her escorts. Run! She bumps into Falis and in her fear, accidentally fall off the cliff together. In that instance, they switch bodies. Luckily they are caught by Falis’ underlings, Dominikov and Pete Armstrong. Falis is shocked to see her own body before her and herself in the princess’ body. No time to rest and think yet as the monster is here. So Falis has Alita throw her sword to her as she cuts it down like hot knife through butter. It is explained that when both are facing death at the same time, their souls may intertwine. Alita then apologizes for bringing trouble to them and then begs for them to help save her country. Falis refuses. They are bounty hunters who do jobs for money. Alita offers anything as reward but what about collateral? She will use her own body for that. So that’s it? Enough for Falis and co to ride back to the palace and start saving the kingdom. Meanwhile, everyone is dead except the king’s aide, Jodo and Milano. Just in time for Falis and co to barge in. Akamashi’s monsters attack but Falis slices them all down. Then she dukes it out with bratty Anna and somehow manages to disable her body. Then she throws Akamashi sitting off her rightful throne and claims her right to it. So cool!

Episode 2
Yuna might be meek but when she panics, she releases a lot of weird weapons. This distraction allows the loli rebels to escape. Dominikov is suspicious since those weapons are from the old world. Alita is sad since Milano is dead. Next morning, still saddened over her death, she decides to cast away her own identity and continue to live as Milano. Then she goes to wake up Falis to get ready for the coronation ceremony. No matter how much she points to the maid as the princess, I guess the rest are playing dumb that Falis is the princess. Time to learn princess etiquette. It isn’t going to be easy seeing Falis is such a crude woman… Later Milano explains that their country’s law that a king must be crowned within a week (can’t they change this stupid law?!) and the only heirs are Alita or her brother Kaito. However he is away in another kingdom for military service and cannot be contacted. Milano hopes Falis will take the throne till he comes back. After all, the pact still hasn’t end yet as the rebels haven’t given up. In exchange for doing this, Falis will gain everything she has lost. I don’t know how Anna got the plans for the coronation procession but she did and they will as expected attack and kidnap Alita then. Falis is coronate as king (from now on, I’ll refer to her as Alita for easier reference). Jodo wonders if this is okay and Milano believes this is the only way. That night when she was running away in the forest, she already lost her title and her identity. She has given everything to Falis in exchange to save this country. Hence right now she is only her maid. Alita accepts her role but still acts a bit crude, confusing the crowd. A parade is held and Alita finds this country to be quite nice thanks to all its friendly people. As expected, the Akamashi unleashes his giant Frankenstein to attack. Time for Alita to go into action. She slices and dices with ease so Yuna shoots some booster into the monster. It’s like Alita herself has her own booster as she powers up into a merciless killing machine. By the time Dominikov confronts the rebels, they escape again. Even when the monster is down, Alita continues to kill it. Then when a kid is close by, Alita tries to strike her but Milano protects her, willing to be cut down. In that instant, Alita returns to her senses and although has no recollections of what she was doing, regrets what she was about to do. Milano calms her down by hugging her. In the aftermath, Alita’s actions have earned the people’s trust but Alita knows that the stronger one is Milano.

Episode 3
Milano tells Alita about Kaito. A very good swordsman but left on an expedition for a peace negotiation in a neighbouring country. Hey, that country is just next door. It’s not like it’s half a continent away?! Milano continues to sing praises of his kindness and loyalty but then the thought of passing the throne back to him, what would become of Alita? When Alita accidentally breaks a doll, they start quarrelling. WTF Milano blaming her she doesn’t understand her feelings?! Of course she don’t! How long did you guys met?! Thanks to the battered army, just in time for Alita to head out and lose some steam and kill some goblins making ruckus in some valley. She leaves with Dominikov while Pete stays back to accompany Milano. Jodo tells Milano not to blame Alita. The doll was given by the original Milano to the original princess Alita and though he is glad she still treasures it, the new Alita doesn’t share those same feelings. While praying in the church, those loli rebels manage to sneak a monster inside and kidnap her?! When Pete comes to rescue, one punch was enough to knock him down. WTF???!!! IS HE THIS WEAK???!!! Good thing Alita just finished kicking goblins’ ass and heard the news from Jodo that Milano has been taken hostage to the northern ruins. The lolis interrogate Milano. They know she is not the maid because they killed her. They believe she could be someone else and the one holding the key. They try to scare her enough not to kill her (although eventually they threaten they will) but as long Milano keeps her mouth shut, she thinks it will be fine. Alita leaves Dominikov and Pete to fight the monsters outside as she heads in. However she is told to drop her weapons lest she wants Milano dead. She does so and gets pounded by the monster. Anna mocks Alita that she may have some secret because a princess coming to save a mere maid. Alita shuts her up by replying she made a promise to save this country regardless to whom she made it. She’ll protect everything! Just in time for some guy to drop in, cut off the monster’s arm, disarm the lolis, free Milano, bring her to reunite with Alita (for some yuri hug), let them ride away to escape on his horse and then finish up the monster. Yeah… As expected the loli rebels run away when the going gets tough. Heck, even the other monsters know how to retreat?! Of course not surprisingly that guy is revealed to be Kaito. Awkward. Does he know who his real sister is? Awkward for Alita to welcome back his onii-sama…

Episode 4
A pre-coronation party is held. As explained by Dominikov, once the coronation is over, Alita and her subordinates will leave the palace and travel. This is because if she stays with Kaito, sooner she will be exposed as a fake. It is better for things to cool down while they’re away before returning. Hence Alita talks to Kaito that she is leaving for a journey after this. Big brother hugs her and wishes her well. Meanwhile we see Akamashi and the twins in the party. Where the heck is security check?! They’re supposed to be the highest on the alert list and here they got in so easily by just change of clothes?! WTF???!!! Milano is looking for Alita in her room but notices she left a note of apology and ‘fixed’ the doll. Meanwhile Alita is being led by this strange woman to a secret passage underneath the palace. Took some time for Alita to be suspicious about her and when she does, Cecilia forces her hand to activate something. Cecilia then attacks her. Milano and Alita’s subordinates continue to look for Alita. Strange, she left her sword behind. Oh look. Oil lamp trails. Lead to dead end AKA secret passageway. You know what this means. They arrive in time to throw Alita’s sword to her. Enough for her to slash out of Cecilia’s grasp and make a run for it. And damn, now they run into the loli rebels. Do we have time for this?! Anna hints about Alita being the key to Teoria. And just when Akamashi is about to have the rare moment of opening his mouth to explain that, he gets killed by Cecilia’s dark knight!!! WTF???!!! Lolis become sad-cum-enraged with his death but gets easily incapacitated. When Cecilia unmasks herself, Alita remembers her as the culprit who burnt her village and killed her people. Now it’s Alita’s turn to attack but with the dark knight defending her, she cannot cut through his magically infused thick armour. The battle then reaches the party. Milano thinks their worries are over as she calls out to Kaito for help. Surprise but not surprise, Kaito is the dark knight! He then accuses them of being the real rebels, conspiring with Akamashi to commit treachery and replacing the real Alita with an imposter. He orders the guards to arrest them. Milano is paralyzed in shock so I guess it’s this series’ specialty for them to make their escape via simple smokescreen. The next day, Kaito is crowned the king, much to the crowd’s delight while our heroes-cum-rebels are resting at the outskirts of the kingdom.

Episode 5
Kaito and Cecilia order a nationwide search for the traitors. Luckily they manage to get help from a group of travelling performers thanks to Pete’s kindness in helping their caravan out when stuck. With them hiding the rebels, they are able to easily pass checkpoints. Yeah, those guards sure didn’t do a thorough job. And since when did Jodo join the rebels?! As they rest, it gets awkward for the lolis since they’re once enemies now they’re allies? So they relate about Akamashi’s struggle. He was a scientist of a kingdom when his research was suddenly halted. Then he met Cecilia who introduced him to several lost technologies. That was when he created the lolis via that lost technologies. And when Teoria came into light, that is when he began executing his plan. The rest is history. But now they realize they have all been used by Cecilia. Dominikov demonstrates his own android abilities. This is the same lost technologies as the lolis but his and Pete’s are different as they are not completely robots. They are bioorganic forms infused with lost technologies. Hence Teoria is lost technology. Milano then explains the legend of how this world was created. Gods fighting, they cried at the end, their tears flooded the world, water gone, life appeared. Yeah, sounds pretty far-fetched. Humans then pop up and started living and now they are in the 672nd year of the Shandena Era. Before that, human civilization reached the peak of science and arts. The ability to even control time?! It was all thanks to the power of Teoria. But due to their constant wars, Teoria went out of control and human civilization ended. The few survivors sealed Teoria away and in time it was forgotten. Of course not all have forgotten of it as its arts were bequeathed to a certain country’s royal family. Jodo and Milano are forced to admit and apologize a secret they have been keeping for them. They do have the key that would unlock Teoria that is located underneath their palace. However the key can be handed to only female successors. It’s a good thing they had male successors all the while, eh? And does it activate when the female reach a certain age? Because why now instead of when Alita was born? It is believed Kaito betrayed them for this power that could literally change the world. Yeah, create a world the way you want it.

Storytelling time is over since the royal army is hot on their tail. Did they take too long to tell? As they run, the lolis ran out of juice so Dominikov and Pete try to stall them. They transform into their true hideous monster form to fight Cecilia and her army. As the caravan reaches near the body, I wonder how Kaito was able to ride this fast ahead of them? With the caravan toppled, Milano tries to be the decoy and runs away. Yeah, Kaito took the bait and caught her. This guy who committed the biggest betrayal dislikes being tricked like this?! However he can’t kill her. Milano’s piercing gaze looks familiar. And when she calls him a traitor, he is shocked to realize this is his real sister. Alita who was weakened and injured since the end of last episode, somehow manages to draw out her strength to save Milano. How the f*ck did she cut through Kaito’s thick armour and even injure him???!!! Is this the power of yuri???!!! Then it’s like since both sides are weakened, let’s call it even, let’s withdraw. WTF… And Cecilia calling the retreat order? I thought they’re not supposed to fail in this mission to capture the traitors? Alita has this nicely timed flashback. Cecilia killing her father or master before her eyes as he protected her. She vowed revenge and picked up his sword. This timely flashback has Alita remember why she became a bounty hunter. Realizing that she and Milano are now facing their destinies, they are not going to run away and will face it. This means returning to the palace once more.

Episode 6
With many of the guards thinking they have crossed to another nation, looks like there aren’t many around and hence they’ll use this chance to strike. But first, Alita and Milano talk things out. Alita has decided on what she wants as a reward: Her body back via Teoria’s power. They will go back to their old ways and of course she will still keep her promise. As the gang infiltrate the palace, Alita faces off with Cecilia. She asks why she burnt down her village. Oh, for fun. Just to test out her new power she got. As they fight, Cecilia zaps her but thank goodness for Milano throwing her doll as distraction. You mean the doll didn’t break at this impact?! WTF?! Anyway the distraction was enough for them to head to the Teoria room. Too bad Kaito catches them and forces Alita to open the door. Inside, he activates Teoria and wishes for the world to be destroyed! Alita has her second bout with Cecilia and this time she manages to destroy the crystal that is the source of her power. Turning Cecilia into an old hag before she bites the dust. Literally, turning into dust. Kaito explains why he wants to world destroyed. He is sick with all the wars and constant fighting and with them clinging on to lost technologies, is there any value in this kind of world? Well, he’s got a point but… For some reason, Alita goes into her berserk mode and only the voice of Milano easily snapped her out? With Kaito defeated, Alita explains there is a princess who is willing to risk everything just to make her happy. That itself is enough for her to find this sh*tty world to be worth protecting. But if Teoria is activated, can it be stopped? Oh, Jodo says it can with a switch! WTF?! Did the sealers create this in mind that this would happen???!!! Of course the only caveat is that everything related to lost technology will cease to exist. This means Dominikov, Pete and the lolis will disappear. Oh Alita, don’t waver now. So we hear Dominikov making his peace with her. Do it. As products of lost technologies, they aren’t supposed to be in this era. They’ve lived long enough to know that. And he explains it so well to the lolis and they’re like, “Okay, bye-bye”. Wow. Better go off with a cute smile, huh? Alita does so and with Teoria stopped activating, all lost technologies related beings disappear. In the aftermath, both ladies realize they failed to swap back their bodies. Alita will continue to live like this for a while and protect the country until they figure things out. And so with an enemy nation attacking, Alita does best what she does as she heads to the battleground to slice them all up, hence earning her the legendary nickname of Murder Princess. Good job for that title to send shivers down your enemies’ spine.

Battle Princess Alita
I guess it wasn’t all that bad. The story is clear cut and simple and doesn’t have anything long and complicated so it is easy to digest. So if you are hoping for really drawn out stories with convoluted plot twists (heh, I saw Kaito as the dark knight betrayer twist coming from a mile ago) or very long complicated character histories, this series isn’t going to cut it. Yeah, you’re going to need anime series to be as long as One Piece or Naruto or even Black Clover to drag things out. So I can’t complain with that kind of ending. Alita and Milano continue to reside in each other’s bodies because I figure if they somehow return to their original bodies, everything would just really, really, really, really, really end there. They part and that’s it. Sounds bittersweet. Because at least with them still being in switcheroo mode, it gives this sort of excuse for them to be together. For how long it may take. And they also ‘wrap up’ nicely her subordinates and the lolis by conveniently disappearing with the cessation of Teoria so that you don’t have to wonder what they’ll be doing in the aftermath. I mean, it would look weird and suspicious if a bunch of ghouls and lolis hang out with our princess, right?

Like I’ve said, the story is simple but so much so there are quite a few WTF moments that will make you raise an eyebrow or in my case, start laughing. From as simple as the numerous times they have to return to the palace (like as though this is the main setting of this series) as if fate always draws them back here (from the princess’ first escape to the final return to fight the final boss scene). Then there’s the use of Teoria which sounds just as suspicious and shady as it is. I think they want to give some sort of story to what this super power is but the execution just feels laughable. I mean, when those human survivors decided to seal it, you mean they also foresee that those greedy descendants will also want to use it for their own selfish reasons? Isn’t that why somehow there is a switch to deactivate it all despite the popular belief that once it is activated it cannot be stopped? And once deactivated, can it not activate again? Because from what I see, it’s like it is forever lost. Yup. Truly lost technologies now. WTF, dude???!!! It’s like I’ve got a wish to change the wold, and then changed my mind. Heck, this means Teoria is only good for one use!!! Like WTF???!!! If that was going to be the case, should have destroyed it instead of sealing it in the first place!!! Yeah, I don’t know what those humans were thinking. It’s like they want to save humanity but let’s just keep this little power just in case. Just in case… Or maybe not… Make up your mind!!!

Sometimes it feels more like annoying and a comedy too with certain scenes especially those that involve Akamashi and his lolis. They come into the picture for a while and then when the going gets tough, they do their best tactic ever which is to escape. And they’ve been doing this for a while for the first half of this series that sometimes I think it’s a running joke. And for them to be able to this again and again for a while, damn the kingdom’s security must be really flawed. I know they give excuse that the recent coup detat has decimated their main forces but allowing this to happen feels more like a joke than anything serious. Damn, the clincher was when they entered the pre-coronation party. These people should be on the wanted posters everywhere!!! Speaking about the royal army, I guess they’re a joke too because they’re so weak and useless I’m thinking that they are newly recruited amateurs. I guess all those really good ones died along with the previous king, huh?

When the princess and the bounty hunter first switched souls, the mind boggling thing is how Alita is now suddenly able to pull off her fighting moves with ease and flexibility. I am assuming that the original princess does not work out or train in ways of the martial arts so I don’t believe her body was able to adapt so quickly to fit the bounty hunter’s deadly techniques. Yeah, in this sense it doesn’t make much sense. Heck, when they swapped bodies, their voices also swapped. This leaves only their body as the outer shell while everything else from personality to skill is switched. Probably that is why it was so confusing for me at first. And before I know it, I got used to them as they are. Note, if they’re really desperate to change back to their original bodies, perhaps they can try another near-death experience? Say, fall off the cliff together again? Yeah, who knows if it would work again and besides, I think they got used to and liked their new bodies so it’s no use trying this risky scientifically unproven (heh) stuff because it’s the same like using Teoria to destroy the world, right?!

Character wise, nothing really deep about them. Alita and Milano are an odd pair due to their circumstances. It is hinted there is some budding yuri relationship between them. After all, they’ve spent some time together. In each other’s bodies. So what is there not to slowly grow to like the other? Yeah, it might be confusing at times if they make out with each other. Are they masturbating, because they’re like playing with themselves? Haha! Oops, went too far… Alita’s past is simple. Just motivated to become a bounty hunter for revenge and she finally got it. But it is never explained well about her berserk mode that allows her to have temporary boost of her power. Does that only happen when Milano is in danger and it puts stress on her mind and hence this mode? Well, good thing Milano was able to stop it otherwise she would really live up to her Murder Princess nickname. Yuri power banzai! As long as Milano is by her side, anything is okay. And yeah, Milano = maid character!!! Huzzah! I approve!!! The past between Alita, Dominikov and Pete is also never explained. How did she team up with those guys? It would have been interesting to see how they pair up but it won’t matter now since they’re gone. Dominikov feels like for plot convenience, at least he is there to explain things while Pete as the gentle giant so as to tell us that not all such big brutes are dangerous creatures.

The funny thing about Akamashi is that I wonder if he is a shy person or not. Because at points he is seen whispering into Anna’s ear for her to explain to the rest (and us) about things. I thought he had no voice but at very rare times, we do hear him speak. Besides, I wonder if Akamashi’s faceless expression is permanent. He has this boring look on his face that screams, “Damn this is troublesome, I don’t want to do this sh*t”. Yeah, it does give off that feel. Funny. But not as funny when he was instantly killed off. That moment for me was like, oh sh*t, you really kidding me?! Not kidding. Dead scientist for sure. The lolis are there for some loli cuteness. Even though they are androids and not supposed to have feelings I suppose they do because we need to sympathize with them. Because Anna said they aren’t supposed to have taste when they ate food but they do anyway so I’m assuming they too have feelings since Anna is the brat while Yuna is the shy one. But they look like they’re handling it well with Akamashi’s death. It’s not like they’re so overly emotional about it and even when it’s time to disappear, they’re cool with that. Yeah, maybe they do have feelings but not a wide range.

I wonder what will happen to Kaito now. Will he still be the rule of his country? I mean, he wanted the world to be destroyed. Didn’t get that wish. Now he is stuck ruling his sh*tty country in this sh*tty world. But then again, with Alita taking the frontlines of the battlefield as their fighting princess, could Kaito have been exiled? I mean, it’s not like the people found out about his treachery, right? Did they? The last we know is that Alita’s side have been branded traitors. Maybe somewhere in the epilogue that wasn’t shown, things were explained to the people. Otherwise, how would Alita have led the royal army to fight the enemies?

One of the reasons why I wanted to watch this series was because I read it was action packed. Well… Not exactly. Sure there are action bits but they aren’t from start to finish. Not to say they are shown sparingly either but at least in every episode you are guaranteed to see Alita go into some sort of sword swinging action. But the action sequences aren’t really top-notched either. Sometimes a bit laughable. Like when Alita slashes Akamashi’s monsters, it all feels so easy like as though she is cutting through just waves of mindless monsters whose sole existence is to be cut down like that. Dominikov and Pete don’t really do anything much since we focus more on Alita so they’re relegated to fighting whatever small fries in the background while Alita takes the bigger slice of the cake. This series has blood too but nothing that would really spook you. I think blood is ‘necessary’ so that you can see how it somewhat lives up to its namesake title when you see blood stains all over Alita’s white princess dress. I think Milano is doing a great job as a maid removing those stains every time…

The art and drawing aren’t anything to shout about. Came out in the last decade (year 2007 to be precise) so everything looks dated like from that era. The character designs, the monsters and even the fantasy setting. Some characters do look weird, though. Like Jodo whom I thought is some leprechaun without the trademark Irish green lucky clover hat. With that kind of serious looks, I thought Jodo would be some sort of traitor but thankfully nope. Then there’s Dominikov whom I thought is some discount version of Ghost Rider. I mean, did his design take inspiration from that? At least his bike on fire wheels made me think so. And Pete is he looking like some kind of punk rock golem? Well, don’t judge a book by its cover? I’ve already said about Akamashi’s look, having this boring outlook expression. How can you not identify this dude as he is the only one in the country with this broomstick hair?! When the dark knight (no relations to Batman whatsoever) first appeared, the first thing I thought was damn, how this guy looks like Overlord’s Ains-sama! More accurately, Momon! They are also dual handed sword wielders. Did Overlord take inspiration from this design? Because Overlord also have dark elf twins and was it these android loli twins they also get their inspiration from? This anime is made by Bee Train who did Tsubasa Chronicle, Noir and Madlax.

It’s nice to hear a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here. Oh, just Romi Paku as Alita/Falis, Ami Koshimizu as Milano/Alita and Chiwa Saitou doing twin roles as Anna and Yuna. The rest of the small casts are Kazuki Yao as Dominikov (Franky in One Piece), Akimitsu Takase as Pete (Tamotsu Kodate in Fafner), Takkou Ishimori as Jodo (Sengoku in One Piece), Megumi Toyoguchi as Cecilia (Revy in Black Lagoon), Daisuke Namikawa as Kaito (Mystogan in Fairy Tail) and Hiroshi Tsuchida as Akamashi (Grisha in Shingeki No Kyojin).

The opening theme is Hikari Sasuhou by Back-On. Typical hard rock music that suits this series. However, somehow hearing this song reminds me of hearing that American punk rock band, Green Day. I don’t know. Perhaps people who sing like that sound like that to me. And oh, also this reminds me a bit of Linkin Park because there’s a little rapping in this hard rock piece. As for the ending theme, Naked Flower, it is very rare to hear Romi Paku sing. I’m not saying that it sounds bad but she is one of those few seiyuus I know that don’t really have that kind of singing voice (I hate to admit it, because my utmost favourite Mamiko Noto’s voice also isn’t suited for singing). So rare that the only other time she sang was one of those ending songs for Ueki No Housoku. Yeah, it’s so long ago that I’ve forgotten about it that I Google it. But this ending theme in general is quite nice since it has that Latin vibe to it and those killer violins at the start.

Overall, looks like another one of those anime series resting in the back burners of my mind being checked off the list. With only 6 episodes in total, I guess I can’t really complain and b*tch about the simple story and characters since I do have to admit that I enjoyed watching this series despite some of the WTF moments that made me want to laugh. The action scenes are supposed to be the big draw but it didn’t really quite cut it for me and it felt more like just to showcase why Alita is badass enough to slice and dice with her sword while still in her princess dress. I wonder if Disney is thinking of incorporating her as part of the official Disney Princess line-up because she sure does kick ass with style like some of them. But then, not likely since Star Wars’ Princess Leia is still waiting her turn and most unlikely she’ll be that part of that elite group ;p. Don’t want to market to kids bloody stained dresses of a princess with an equally bloody sword now, do we? Kill Bill this isn’t either…