Plunderer

October 25, 2020

How nice it must be that for us all to have a counter that adds points when we do something good and deduct points when we do something bad. It’s a great system of reward and punishment. And once you run out of points, something worse than death awaits you… At least, this is the basic premise of Plunderer. So I’m guessing that title is derived because somebody decided to beat the system and thus ‘plunder’ all the hard earned points from everybody else? How wrong I was. It could’ve been interesting had it been that but instead we have a young girl protagonist in search of some amazing legend but ends up with a masked weirdo with a negative count.

Episode 1
Hina is in town looking for the legendary Ace. Until this weirdo, Licht Bach comes up to her begging for money! Worse, he wants her body too! She runs but the pervert is hot on her heels. Thanks to Nana Bassler, Licht is stop dead in his tracks. Apparently, Licht doesn’t learn. He has the cheek to ask Nana for food and money when he still owes her. After another beat down, Nana listens to Hina’s story. It seems her mom was dragged into the ground and her last words were to seek the help of the Ace. Nana explains her mom was dragged into the Abyss. Noticed everyone has a number carved on their body? Everyone tries hard to increase it but if it reaches zero, you get dragged into the Abyss, a fate worse than death itself. Also, this world is ruled by those numbers and those with lower numbers cannot disobey those with higher counts. Nana’s is 77. Hina? 441! She got that count from walking and travelling in search of Ace. Sadly, Nana hasn’t heard of any Ace in this town. As Hina leaves, David from the military approaches her. Is he the Ace? Because he has this white star on his face. Nana is suspicious since there are some fakes posing as Ace to get their way with girls but since Nana cannot oppose the military, she is forced to let Hina go with them.

Back at the base, we can see that David is a creep. He is trying to get his way with Hina. She shows him this orb that mom gave to her. Everyone is startled she has a Ballot. Is she a Ballot Holder? David attacks her and wants her to hand it over. Hina tries to use her higher number for authority (David is 320) so David asks to do Star Stake. Thinking this would stop this madness, she accepts. Now that she is official, David attacks her! Star Stake is the ultimate privilege given to soldiers in which they fight over each other’s numbers. Because Hina pleads to stop, this means defeat so David gets her numbers. 440 only? Not all? David now wants her to give her Ballot or do another Star Stake that will surely send her to the Abyss. Hina is disappointed the Ace, a hero with supernatural powers from the Waste Wars would do this. Unfortunately, David’s white star is just a sticker! Plus, the Waste Wars happened 300 years ago. You won’t find any such hero alive today. What a waste indeed. Before he could finish her off, here comes Licht to fight as her proxy. Licht’s counter? Negative 999???!!! Is that even possible?! Damn, this guy is weak as he gets beaten up by David. But David’s men notice something off. Shouldn’t he be sent to the Abyss already? His negative counter means he must have something to offset it. A Ballot Holder! And true enough, Licht reveals his sword. It has a white star on it and its counter is 5700! Licht tells Hina to stop looking for Ace. They are not heroes but murderers. Just try to find and live a normal life. But seeing she travelled far and wide for her mom’s sake, Licht will have David give back her counter.

Episode 2
Licht wants Hina to close her eyes. And with that, the awesome beat down begins. As explained, it seems Licht has superhuman powers of moving at lightning fast speed as well as every step he makes becomes a strong wind enough to beat your ass. Also, his negative counter is the number of times he has been rejected by a girl! In the end, one long drop from the sky to land David the defeating blow. David has all but 1 of his count transferred to Hina. Hina is so happy that she could cry but wait. There’s more to this twist. Because Licht steals her Ballot and wants to sell it. In shock, he threatens her if she doesn’t like it, they could have a Star Stake. In exchange, he can have this ugly doll of his. Bye. Poor Hina. What a day. She returns to Nana as she is lost on what to do next. But Nana noticing the doll, realizes something. She has Hina hold it longer because soon, pop! Out her Ballot comes! How could this be? So Licht just pretended to steal it from her? Nana explains that it is a crime in this part of the world to hold a Ballot. As the military was the witness when she refused to hand it over, she could have been charged with the crime. Also, there would be bandits out there who would steal it from her. Hence Licht playing the villain so she will not be targeted. Hina runs looking for Licht. Can’t miss him. The only carriage out of town. In tears as she chases and explains her lonely life searching for the Ace. Trying to guilt trip him? He tries not to listen and continues his journey. In the end, poor heartbroken Hina calls him a liar. So that counts as a rejection as his counter goes up a number? In the aftermath, one of David’s men pops up. He assures her he is not after the Ballot. In fact his real mission is to find an Ace and thanks to her he has confirmed one with his own eyes. Then he reports to his real commanding officer about this.

Episode 3
Lynn May loves helping the villagers in every small way. That’s because ever since she and her assistant, Pele Popolo got posted here, there have been no criminals to catch. Pele then shows her a poster of a wanted Licht. Speaking of which, there is a suspicious man in a mask here right now! Lynn tries to get him take of his mask and no matter how much he denies as the man in the poster, you bet this guy is definitely Licht. Firstly her perverted ways. And that negative counter on his fist. Licht then ‘lies’ how his face is so ugly, that’s why he wears a mask. I mean he got rejected a thousand times and wants to at least date a girl before he dies. Pele suggests Lynn date him since she loves helping out. Can’t turn down a guy in need, right? So we see Pele consulting his dirty magazine as suggestions on what to do for a date. And of course, Licht taking advantage of Lynn. Man, it must be so easy for Lynn’s counter to go up for every perverted things Licht does to her. When Pele has had his fun, he lets Lynn know that Licht is their wanted man. I mean, the negative counter is already a dead giveaway. Licht thought of stealing her sword to render her armless but her real skill is her devastating kicks! Thank goodness for the short military skirt because Licht is having a nice time seeing her pantsu. Embarrassed, Licht moves in for the kill with his cheesy romantic pickup lines. You mean Lynn actually fell for him and is already talking about wanting some kids?! She even prepares to kiss him! Too bad missy, Licht is already gone. Meanwhile Hina is helping Nana since they need to save up to go find Licht. But Jail Murdoch and his military men surround Nana and want news about Licht. He warns her about lying after demonstrating his power. She says all she knows is that he went west. Jail and his men set forth their journey to hunt down the Ace.

Episode 4
Hina is shaken by Jail’s powers to make metal spikes protrude from the ground. Nana explains this is why Ballot Holders are dangerous and deemed illegal because of its power. We hear Lynn lamenting not being able to catch Licht that would have allowed her some promotion. This is because the next rank allows her to modify her outfit and she wants to do away with this miniskirt! Apparently that dream is still alive as Licht is still around. Because he has no money to travel. Another round of chase. But with the townspeople joining in too, Lynn continues to help them with their problems instead of chasing Licht since she can’t ignore what is important for these people. Licht is touched by those words and ends up helping her. But of course they continue their fun chase. Only brought to a violent halt when Jail and his men are here. Jail ignores Lynn’s plea for mercy as he orders his men to attack Licht. No more nice guy for Licht as he gets serious too because seriously, the soldiers were also attacking Lynn? WTF?! Jail has Lynn recite the military rules that conveniently explains more about Ballots and Ballot Holders. One of them include its power changes depending on how high your counter is. Because Jail’s counter is 900, Licht didn’t think he would be stupid to fight him. On the contrary, Jail mercilessly unleashes his power at him that only has Licht defending and running. He can’t even escape and realizes Jail’s count is more than 900. Indeed. He takes off the fake counter and reveals his true counter: 12,500!!!! IT’S OVER 9,000! Anyway, the reason for doing this is because as per military rules, he would be deemed for promotion and because he doesn’t want to sit behind a desk job, he has to do this trick to allow him to stay true to his convictions. Oh Licht. Now you’re really screwed.

Episode 5
No matter how much Licht tries, Jail is far superior. Finally Licht is restrained. Jail asks him some questions. Who is he? Based on everything he has seen, nothing about him makes sense. When he fought Licht, he used a stance that was only thought in the military. If he was a deserter, Jail would have known about it. And why are the higher ups so obsessed about capturing him by going so far as to use all their resources? Licht won’t tell so Jail is going to torture him. Lynn protects Licht. It’s amazing her arm didn’t come off from Jail’s nasty spikey whip. Just a scratch? Anyway, Lynn believes Licht is a good guy because he helped around. So she’s asking him to also help a children’s playground? Jail is not amused and knows the rumours about her doing voluntary work instead of her official duty. He continues to call her useless and instead of spending her time doing such frivolous matters, why not use it to dispense justice on evil? That does it for Licht. No more Mr nice guy. He easily breaks out from his restrain and claims he could have easily cut through his metal. He didn’t out of respect of Lynn’s wishes not to destroy this town. Uhm, isn’t Jail’s metals the things that did the damage? Both men clash again as Licht tells Jail off Lynn is useless because the town is peaceful but rather the town is peaceful because of her! Jail loses out to Licht. Oh boy, more destruction. Somehow Lynn falls off the cliff. Jail abandons his fight to save Lynn. But Licht is faster. Then he says bad about her weight just to make her hate him before tossing her to Jail. A chance for him to escape. Jail returns Lynn to safety and reflecting on Licht’s words, he creates a metal playground. Because it will dissipate when he is not close by, he will give Lynn 3 days to secure it before they resume hunting down Licht. And yes, Lynn will join him on this mission.

Episode 6
Hina finally finds Licht. Still trying to run away? Hina will not be fooled this time! So now that he can’t get away, Hina is still mad he didn’t make good on his promise. A woman remembers, you know… So they have a nice lunch when suddenly somebody is seen trying to do some Wright brothers achievement. Pelmo is trying to get this contraption to fly. Too bad she dives right down into the ravine. Licht jumps in to save her. Pelmo thinks he is one who could fly and starts examining his body! Sorry to disappoint. He just can’t fly. She brings them to her workshop and reveals she is making something that could make others fly freely in the sky to wherever they want. You mean an airplane, right? Anyway, Licht knows that the laws of this kingdom bans any research on flying. Anyone caught doing so will be executed. Despite knowing the risks, Pelmo thinks it is a dream worth dying for. And it’s like Licht knows what to do and makes some adjustments to the blueprint. So you think this can fly now?! As she makes the adjustments, Licht and Hina hang outside. Cue for some pseudo fanservice because Licht tries to get naughty with her and peek at her panties. I can’t believe it that Hina’s tights are stronger than Licht’s hands! Sorry to interrupt but Pelmo has just finished. But before they can start flying, Licht spots the army coming from a distance. You think he drew his sword to fight them but it is to destroy Pelmo’s craft. Does this look like something that can fly? Think not. Although she is saved and she tries to be positive, however this is the last straw. Looks like her count has reached zero! Apparently her count increases if she realizes her dream. So I guess she failed so many times, huh? Could she have picked a simpler dream? Yeah, it won’t be worth living for, no? So she pays the price as she falls into the Abyss. Those hands grabbing her boobs must be the best… Traumatized Hina tries to save her but Lichts protect her from the hands. Licht then feels pain and sees weird visions. Pelmo remains positive that she may come back and make her dreams come true. After all, death is not guaranteed in the Abyss. Licht starts to feel strange. Hina sees a number in his eye.

Episode 7
Licht is depressed ever since and blaming himself for all the failures. Hina tries to cheer him up in town but what do you know? Here is Lynn to thank him as well as arrest him. With both women meeting for the first time and learning about Licht’s lecherous ways, you bet sparks are going to fly. That is why Licht’s escape is stopped by Nana who is going to host a very interesting event. Hina and Lynn will have a cooking showdown over Licht! I guess she needed to attract some customers for her sales. While we see Lynn creating a delicious stew (is Lynn trying to play the tsundere role?), don’t be fooled by Hina’s innocent smile. Look at her cutting up the bear! Holy sh*t! Is this Hina?! Lynn serves first. Definitely good. Now it’s Hina’s turn. Uhm, is she trying to poison Satan?! Gulp. The perfect moral of the story not to judge a book by its cover. Because it actually tastes good! Licht thanks Hina and she in turn is glad to see him smiling again. But now here comes the real problem. Licht has to decide the winner! Oh sh*t. Come on. Haven’t got all day. Lucky bastard manages to avoid this responsibility with Jail here. I guess it’s time for the boys to fight. Jail is convinced that Licht still isn’t fighting at his best and that’s why he must capture him when he shows his true powers. Eventually the fight is stopped by Nana because they’ve damaged the town enough. So this is enough for them to stop? Oh man. Jail, is this how strong your conviction is? After cleaning, they drink the night away. But it could be a trick because everyone else is gone the next morning as Jail and co are left behind. Had a good time last night till the last drop, eh? As they quickly chase after Licht, they stumble into the town of Linden which is burning to the ground.

Episode 8
The lake in Linden is now a hole filled with ominous purple smoke. Like the Abyss? A sole soldier survivor recounts that a demon came out and killed everybody! Taking that man to the next town for treatment, oh look who’s here too. Licht and co. You bet Jail wants to interrogate Licht about the demon. He knows it isn’t him but believes he knows something about it and wants him to spill the beans. Since Nana can’t have them ruining her business, Jail buys all her napita drink so they’re going to have a drinking contest? Drink and ask. Looks like Licht’s not drunk enough because he is giving stupid answers. Or is he? Anyway the answers Licht gives isn’t anything conclusive or that we already know. Licht looks like he has the upper hand making Jail mad with his words. Even Nana tries to tease the boys by drinking some with them and showing how it’s done. Meanwhile Lynn is comparing herself to Hina. Since she’s a bit drunk too so you bet there is going to be some sort of ‘rivalry announcement’. She won’t lose to her! That’s about it. In the end, Jail and Licht drink themselves out. My, Hina and Lynn more concern and fighting to treat Licht? The fight is going to be a long one… But no more silliness now because the same Abyss hole is now opening up right in town. Jail has the citizens evacuated while the military take down whatever comes out from it. But Licht closely listens to it and realizes the nightmare is coming. He wants everyone to get out. This only makes Jail more suspicious that he knows something. Licht can’t believe that thing is still flying. Didn’t they took it out of the sky in that war? Turns out the ‘demon’ is actually an attack helicopter!!!

Episode 9
Jail’s iron walls can stop the bullets. But what about the missiles?! Thank goodness they’re not homing missiles. Licht takes command and wants the military to evacuate the citizens. Who gives him the right to take charge? Well, see that insignia on his shoulder? He is colonel rank! Licht tries to take down the helicopter but those damn Abyss hands (Althing as the military calls them) get in the way! WTF, you mean they can’t reach as high as the helicopter???!!! Licht takes a beating whenever he strikes the hands. The military can’t do anything about it because it is a crime to attack Althing and the penalty is death! Who the f*ck made these laws?! Of course there is a loophole. Jail pretends to lose his glasses and ‘attacks indiscriminately’. Can’t see what he’s throwing at! Everybody also follows suit by turning a blind eye. That easy, huh? I guess the hands are full so they can’t attack, allowing Licht to jump up to the helicopter. But he stops. What gives? He escapes in time before a rain of bullets destroy the helicopter and sends it plummeting into the Abyss. The culprit is this crazy b*tch, Mizuka Sonohara. She admits she is an Ace and knows Licht. Then she shoots Jail! Normally she wants everyone to keep quiet about this. What’s the safest way to do that? Kill everybody! Oh sh*t! Licht tries to stop her but apparently she is following Licht’s old orders to kill and wants to be praised about it. You’d think the people would’ve run but nope. They’re still standing there getting killed! Oh, she’s got her own MIBs to help with the killing? With the survivors held hostage, Sonohara has a boy as the next victim. She wants Licht to return to his old ways and kill her. Licht won’t and even promises to save the boy. Sonohara gives the orders but suddenly the MIBs disappear? Oh, Licht has returned to his old form and kills her men in a flash. Too fast to see. He will grant Sonohara’s wish to be killed. He answers everyone’s greatest question about his identity and goal: He is a Plunderer who will take everything from this nation.

Episode 10
Apparently there is 1 rule that Aces must do before they fight each other: Do a Star Stake! As both Aces fight, Licht seems like he is losing. I mean, how can he beat Sonohara’s 32,000 counter! Pele notices something amiss and he realizes that Licht might not be displaying his true power after all. True enough, once Licht takes in too much damage, he starts to power up. Damn, his counter now goes up to 57,000! Sonohara excited but also scared? I thought she wanted to die by his hands so why still putting up resistance? Anyway, Licht becomes a monster obsessed in taking down the enemy. Nana explains about Licht’s change in personality when he powers up. He is no longer the Licht you know. Hence it is possible that Sonohara is the same. Somebody must have drugged her to draw out her powers so as to draw out Licht. When Sonohara loses, her counter returns to 16,000 and she is now in her original meek and cowardice personality. But Licht still wants to kill her. Can Hina’s hug do the trick? Nope. Kill all enemies! Now Sonohara is going to die. Who is going to save her? Oh my. Jail still alive? He can still move about with a hole in his chest? Looks like he is going to settle it with Licht. Jail chides Licht for his hypocrisy and giving in to his dark side. Licht then explains his reasoning to kill all enemies. Because when there are none, there would be no more murders in this world. Also, he’ll kill his friends so that they won’t become murderers. So basically, kill everybody, huh? Now the guys enter a final battle of conviction and Jail wins. You can tell Licht is back to normal when you see his sissy crying face. Now Jail can faint. Ah, everything back to normal. But hey. What happened to the Star Stake???!!! Meanwhile Schmerman Bach is reading that classic fairytale about the hare and tortoise. But with a twist! Because the tortoise who wanted to be faster than the hare, sought a magician who gave him drink his blood. The tortoise became fast, caught up to the hare and killed him!!! OMFG! The kids rejoice hearing this twisted story! A soldier reports the failed attempt on Licht. But Schmerman isn’t fazed yet as he is a wizard.

Episode 11
As Licht recuperates… WTF those Abyss Hands are molesting the females???!!! Having fun? Looks like they’re only into big busts because they avoid Hina like a plague. Insulted Hina attempted to bust up by putting apples but this only attracts Licht. Jail is not around to see this spectacle as he is summoned by the supreme commander, Alexandrov Grigorovich. Jail asks about those military in black because he has never seen those before. Are they under his command? Alexandrov denies as he reveals this secret that only a few knows. Those in black are directly under the command of the royals known as Special Services Unit (SSU). Nothing is impossible for them and they’re everywhere. Oh, each one of them is also a Ballot Holder. Regarding Licht, Alexandrov explains about individuals who underwent some surgery with their Ballots to receive some boost. Those individuals were sent to fight in the Waste Wars. But how can they still be alive? Apparently the side effect of this surgery is one stops aging. There’s your convenient answer. Yup, so Aces like Licht are the real deal. Alexandrov thinks Jail is trying to hide Licht and knows about them breaking the law attacking Althing. He denies and his counter decreases. Meanwhile we return to the Althing molest fest but it all stops and those hands disappear once Jail returns. Seeing his distraught face, Licht knows what happens and surprises everyone by saying he will surrender himself. He knows Jail has been put in a situation to turn Licht in to save his men. Despite Jail denies, we know it’s true because his counter keeps decreasing. It only took Nana to slap him and tell him Licht has more convictions than him. Because Licht would’ve screwed that order and take on everybody while protecting everyone. But she gives Jail credit for the only one to face Licht seriously and believing in him. Nana then reveals herself as an Ace so she’s going to use that power to show them what happened 300 years ago. Also, this isn’t a dream so feel free to change things when she couldn’t. So they go back in time which is your typical modern day Japan. They see Sonohara and Rihito (as Licht is known then) as high school kids.

Episode 12
In a hall filled with weird people, Jail and co got into trouble with this delinquent, Taketora Doan. Jail realizes he can’t use his abilities here and gets punched. Sakai Tokikaze tries to stop Doan but since Jail won’t allow his conviction to lose, Jail x Tokikaze rivalry begins? Meanwhile Rihito trying to look up Hina’s skirt… Playtime’s over with Captain Alan and Firenda starting the entrance ceremony. As explained, this is a military school and the previous world war destroyed cities and led to shortage of food. So by obeying orders as a soldier here, they can earn money and food. The school’s headmaster is introduced: Schmerman. When he starts reading his hare and tortoise story, some laugh at this. Alan then shoots them dead for disobeying orders to be quiet!!! Panic sets in. Everyone tries to run. Alan threatens to kill them all. But he is going to kill Hina for being a cry-baby. Tokikaze and Jail try to stop him but they’re no match. Surprisingly, Rihito holds Schmerman hostage and threatens to slit his neck. With a stick? Ironically, Schmerman teaches Rihito how to snap his neck. Do so and Hina will be saved. Will he do it? Rihito rejects this notion. He will not kill anyone. If that’s the case, Schmerman is going to kill Rihito and his killing intent aura is just overwhelming. Firenda then stops everybody. Showtime’s over. Turns out Alan’s gun is just paint bullets. Yup, those dead just fainted. So a lesson to everyone: Those who die in wars are those who disobey or panic. Wow. What a first day. In Schmerman’s office, he talks to Alan and thinks Rihito is an interesting kid. Because he moved to tackle the enemy’s leader unlike others. However he might be just spouting ideals since he won’t kill and this is contrary if he is going to be a soldier. They wonder making him a candidate. So Pele somehow discovered what a PC and internet is and can use it? Anyway, he shows the rest about Althing. Top secret. Further access denied. If it’s so secret, why is it on the internet?! But kind Alan is here to explain before humanity was destroyed, this alien thingy fell from the sky. Everyone called it Althing and were ecstatic with its democratic vote majority decision making ability. So it’s supposed to end wars and have everyone live in peace, right? So what happened? That will be a lesson for next time.

Episode 13
Alan is supposed to be the teacher for Rihito’s class (yeah, everybody conveniently in the same class) but last minute Schmerman takes over. He relays the rules. Everyone gets 2 stars at the start. Get 10, you graduate to become a soldier, you’ll get lots of money and food. But lose all of them, you’re expelled. Normally one can gain stars by doing various activities but the quickest way is to take it from others. To avoid meaningless violence, he lays the ground rules to do so that sound very much like a Star Stake. However it seems Rihito doesn’t get any and he has 3 days to get 1. Rihito doesn’t mind being expelled since he is just here and tasked by grandma to persuade Tokikaze to also quit. But Tokikaze remains stubborn and wants to be a soldier. On the third day, still no stars. But somebody has broken into some of the students’ lockers to steal the stars. Many suspect Rihito since he has none. But it soon turns out to be scumbag Doan who is taking them from Sonohara. He claims he did not steal but was ‘given’. He also has Tokikaze give his. For grandma’s life. Man, you mean he gives them? Well, grandma lives in his family dojo so better be thankful. With Jail and co sharing their stars to others, eventually it isn’t enough for Rihito and Tokikaze. Then we hear Tokikaze’s sob grandma story that she hasn’t had enough to eat. That’s why he needs to become a soldier to send her food. At the end of the day as Doan is about to graduate, Rihito tries to plead to him to give back the stars but is pushed away. But outside the school gates is Jail. He has given his last star to Tokikaze. Expected to be expelled, once Doan steps outside, he will give him a good beating. Doan falls for his provocation but before any fight could begin, Schmerman wants to count Doan’s stars. Doesn’t he have 12 in total? Actually only 2! Yeah, Rihito stole them during his begging! No graduation for you scumbag! Schmerman intended to give 2 stars to Rihito anyway but since he doesn’t need them, he gives them to Jail. Nobody’s getting expelled today. Rihito tells Tokikaze that he’ll stay with him here at school but doesn’t want him to graduate. Because doing so means they have enough to eat and send back to their families. They have time to think if they want to be a soldier. I hope the military isn’t dumb enough not to see this loophole if they don’t want to ever graduate.

Episode 14
Yeah, Rihito is still up to his no good peeping ways. With the backdoor heavily guarded, he tries going in from the front! Only, the girls are waiting and they beat him up. He fell for the trick of the signs changed. Oh, but Jail… I guess he looks too handsome for the girls to scream… So what does he say when he sees Lynn’s naked body? Too fat! Slim down! WTF?! Anyway, because Alan catches Rihito as the peeping tom, part of the deal is that the class is collectively punished. They are dropped in some unknown forest and Rihito still wants to be pervy?! That is when the girls just give up. Okay. We’ll strip for all you want to see. After all, they’re soldiers and have no time to get embarrassed. And just like that Rihito lost interest. Then he has everyone think deep if they really want to become soldiers because that would mean killing others. They don’t want to kill but have no choice. Otherwise their loved ones will starve and die! So how? This is when Schmerman pops up to suggest to become an army that doesn’t kill. Eh? How? By becoming stronger than the enemy. Because this is Rihito’s idea, he believes everyone can do it. Wow. Now everyone so motivated they can do just that. Except for Jail. He remains sceptical so he tails Schmerman to some secret lab underneath the school. He sees him and the other faculty members discussing about some experiment to duplicate Ballots as well as the Aces project. Yeah, some rat being given the Ballot and go berserk but only to be stopped by Schmerman’s power. And he isn’t even holding a Ballot. Because tests on rats may not be sufficient, humans could be needed. But Schmerman disallows it because those kids will become an army that doesn’t kill.

When Jail feels weird, he is then whisked away by a young Nana who hides him in her place. She reveals she is an experiment subject #7 (hence her name) and because of surgery, she is the first Ace. She has the power to time travel and see the future. But there are some who can synchronize their power with Althing without a Ballot to draw its power. Such are wizards and Schmerman is one of them. Hence the thought of embedding such in the DNA of others to create more wizards. Many children like her were chosen but she is the only one who survived the surgery. The next in line to get a surgery is Rihito. Jail takes it as Nana sending them back to stop this surgery. Because if Rihito wanted an army that doesn’t kill, that didn’t happen in the future and he became a cold blooded killer. Nana points out the difference in knowing the future and doing something about it. It’s hard to do the latter and sometimes all you can do is watch. Jail wants to take her along to escape as prove they can change the future. They have to take the first step, right? But Nana won’t and gives him an SD card her future self left her. So Jail promises to meet her again in 300 years. As Jail leaves, Alan has caught him and the penalty for waltzing into a top secret military area is death.

Episode 15
Jail fights back but because he is predictable, Alan gets the better of him. Some of his words are strikingly familiar so when Jail is about to get executed, he helps Alan to point the gun at his own head. Jail then identifies himself from the future he came from and that Alexandrov is his adopted father. Alan realizes this is Nana’s doing but never expect she could bring people from the future back. Alan wants all those who came from the future for a special class tomorrow. He brings them to a residential area whereby all the civilians are prepared to attack the military for food! But a few warning shots and they scatter. Can’t fight on an empty stomach. So this is the special lesson and if they have no answers how to save the world, then get out of the way. So they contemplate about this and despite Hina’s suggestion to change the past, Jail doesn’t think they can do anything. Remember, altering the history means changing the future and they might not even exist. Jail now sets his sights on defeating Alan as his training. So he is going to be the supreme commander himself in the future?! We hear Schmerman talk to Firenda about the inevitable war. However the darker truth is that they won’t be fighting over limited resources. Rather, to reduce the world population! Firenda tries to push for the testing to be done on humans but angry Schmerman vetoes her. Now we have a beach episode! But it’s not going to be all fun as this is part of their training. One of them is capture the flag game whereby their only weapon is to shoot with this water gun. However Rihito has an idea of winning this without even using the gun. That’s right. Run until the enemy team tires out and take their flag! So the morning run every day has paid off. In the finals, they face off with Doan’s class. How will they face this guy without using the gun? Rihito purposely provokes him to chase him around until he falls into a pit. Victory. Rihito’s class celebrates their victory and thank him for a great plan. They hope he can continue to become their leader and lead an army that doesn’t kill. Later on, it is learnt that David has been killed but he left a shocking message about they have been deceived. It could mean that their plans have been leaked. Firenda uses this to push her agenda and not even Schmerman’s anger could stop her this time. Citing the lab rats have reached its limit as they possessed his desire to kill, DNA testing has shown only a candidate has a high chance of success. Schmerman has no choice but to tell this to Rihito but he agrees to do it if it can protect everyone.

Episode 16
Everyone opposes Rihito’s surgery but I guess everybody is too weak to fight on their own so they need super Rihito, right? After all, Rihito says if there’s a chance he can protect everyone, he’ll take it. Even Jail thinks this is necessary. Can’t put the future at risk. All they have to do is wait and at least they know the surgery is successful. Meanwhile we see Doan bullying Sonohara for being weak. Yeah, he steals her star so she clamours to Jail to give one? Jail tries to teach her about conviction but Sonohara continues to be a coward who only relies on Rihito. Eventually Jail just gives her his star? Now we also have Lynn in a dilemma. She doesn’t want to lose the Licht she loves so Pele had to tell her off to not think about complicated stuffs because she’s too stupid for that. Just continue as you are and that’s fine. Apparently Hina overheard all this and is jealous Lynn likes Licht? But she herself doesn’t admit she is Licht’s girlfriend or anything because Licht is her first male friend and she doesn’t know what love is. F*cking complicated! Anyway, Hina has a way to still save Licht. Although he will turn into an Ace, they have to stop him from killing others. Jail also agrees to this because the ordinary Licht is actually much stronger than the monstrous Licht. With everyone looking positive, Lynn feels the need to change herself. Pele doesn’t want her and prefers her to stay the same. Because as you could’ve seen it from miles away, he likes her. Not that he could say that out loud. Because suddenly the military attacks the place! Woah! Lots of dead students. So as Alan and the usuals take cover, it is learnt that the war that was supposed to start in March as per dictated by Althing, well, I guess the majority of the rest of the world did a re-vote and they’re starting it now. Yeah, they tricked Japan and didn’t tell them. With the attack, the power is shut off and this puts Rihito’s surgery in danger. Yeah, got to turn the backup power unit on. It’s going to be a dangerous task. A challenging one since they can’t kill to live up to Rihito’s ideals. Hina is about to be killed. Can calling out to Licht save the day?

Episode 17
Jail manages to turn the backup power on. So I guess in that short moment where power was cut, the only effect was turning Rihito’s hair white? Otherwise the surgery is a success. Schmerman then gives him a sword that will help amplify his powers. However it is not activated yet and he needs to make an oath and authenticate some count to be recognized as its master. Rihito returns to the battlefield. It looks like he has the ability to stop time and slowly do things but it is rather he is so fast that everything else is moving slowly. He easily takes down the enemy with his speed. Because others only see a flash of light, hence they nickname him the Flashing Strike Ace. Everyone is happy that Rihito is okay but they can’t rest on their laurels yet because the enemy commander mocks Rihito’s ideal of an army that doesn’t kill. He and his men have strapped themselves with explosives and will take them all out with them. Of course Rihito is faster to take away the remote. Enemy commander now claims there is a nuclear bomb planted somewhere in the school and the remote is hidden within one of their bodies. The only way to stop this is to kill them. Rihito tries to reason with him but apparently if they are still alive, they will always come to kill them. That’s because for each kill, their families will be given food. The more kills, the more food. So what will it be? Rihito is in a dilemma but before Tokikaze could kill them in his stead, Rihito kills them all. The enemy commander then notes the nuke was a lie. He did well. He hopes Rihito will survive. While everyone is in shock, Rihito goes away. Hina follows him only to see him breaking down over breaking his promise. At this point, Jail and co are going to return to the future. Hina sees Rihito coming to terms with this. As long as he is the only one who kills, it’ll be fine. Hence he makes an oath to the sword to make his counter as the number of enemies he’ll kill on everyone’s behalf. Now that Hina realizes the kind person he is, she starts stripping him to kiss him?! I know she realizes she is in love with him but what will this achieve? Apparently this is to make him remember that if he wants more of this, just wait for her 300 years in the future. She promises not to make him alone then because she is willing to have his children and will hunt him down wherever she goes! Boy, that escalated quickly.

Episode 18
Rihito returns to his friends to give them hope they have allies in the future. This means they must carry on what they do so that they can connect the future. However this meant Rihito only does the killing. And so the Waste Wars started to take out overpopulation and match it with the food output. The more Rihito kills, the more he starts to lose his mind. He lost the ability to smile and ever since wore a mask and never took it off. Girls even try to flirt with him but he is not interested at all! It is sad but his comrades continued to obey his orders of not killing anyone in hopes this would bring the old Rihito back. As the war rages on, his friends all want to undergo surgery so as not to let him shoulder the burden. Schmerman agrees since this was the original plan. Only 4 others remain compatible: Tokikaze, Sonohara, Doan and Alan. Even so, Rihito ordered them not to kill. Schmerman and co decide to move on to the next phase in their plan. They need to steal all 7 Ballots so as to form a unanimous vote and create a utopia known as Alcia. Meanwhile Rihito’s mental state has gotten worse and he hurt Sonohara during the scuffle, causing her to undergo another surgery. 2 years after the Waste Wars ended, Nana is happy to think she can be Rihito’s wife. However she was not aware of what happened that day.

Schmerman and co obtained all 7 Ballots and initiated the creation of Alcia. It is a floating continent above the ground that plunders all resources from below. This means with no fuel, nothing can fly up to Alcia. Hence the Abyss is the abandoned world below. It was also decided that Althing will be used to govern Alcia and a count was enforced on the population to make sure they were in check. To keep this dark history from the people, any study or research on its history is forbidden. Ballots were replicated and the military given powers to suppress those who rebel. When Tokikaze rebelled against this idea and tried to steal a Ballot, Rihito was sent to go after him. In worst case scenario, he cut him down. His mental state further deteriorates. His heart stopped beating and went into hibernation for 20 years. When so, he learnt that his comrades took their own life so as to give their children more food. It was that day Rihito escaped the military with Nana. Many years passed. Rihito has never taken off his mask and went on for years without even speaking. Nana maintained hope that Rihito will one day become his normal self but after 300 years, it dawned to her this will never happen. Alcia might have prospered since but that is only at the expense of stealing resources from the Abyss. It is then Rihito decided to take action against Alcia. He will destroy Alcia and its military to end all its madness. This is why Nana sent those 4 back in time in hopes to change things so that Rihito will not come to this regret as she herself couldn’t. She saw that hope because they were able to make him take of his mask and embrace his sorrow. So when Jail and co return, Nana accepts they couldn’t change the past. First thing Hina does is to find Licht. There he is. She strips for him. Picking up where they left off 300 years ago, huh???!!! Oh damn, he took off his mask! To see better, huh? Damn, can’t forget that nice body, right?!

Episode 19
Sex on hold because Nana organizes a party. All you can drink! All you can grope?! Well, Nana’s the only lively one. The rest not so. Not after that long trip back in time. No mood. But soon Hina starts drinking. Oh my. What gives? Flashback shows when Hina wanted to get it on with Licht then, he started vomiting because he is no lolicon! Not only Hina’s boobs were small, she is way younger than him in terms of him being over 300 years older than her. So I guess Hina felt insulted? Hence she harasses Lynn and forces open her boobs to let Licht grope! Damn, that guy starts panicking on how to unhook a bra?! Don’t worry, Nana is here to teach! Frustrated Hina flashes her boobs. Grope mine now! Licht vomits… While Hina takes out her frustration on him, Jail can tell Nana has been holding it back. So what’s this he hugs her so we can all see her embarrassed crying face? Then he shows Licht the video of Nana from her wanting to be his bride, the years she spent following him and the time she pleaded for help because she felt cannot save him anymore. Before Nana could recover from her embarrassment, Licht hugs her. He explains it was never her fault. He didn’t take off his mask not because she reminded him of the war but rather he didn’t know what face to show her. He apologizes he should’ve spoken to her sooner since she was the only one by his side for the last 300 years. Next day, the drinking fun continues! I guess everybody is okay now? I think not. Hina still feeling insulted and drinking like mad! Lynn might have boobs but she has belly fat. Because of that, she tries to normalize it. Too bad Nana and Hina are f*cking slim. No belly fat. Even Lynn drags out Sonohara but she too is slim as f*ck. Only Lynn is the fatty… Meanwhile, you think Licht is taking a long piss but he falls into one of Hina’s traps. Damn, this girl still drunk and wants to get it on! OMG. Is Licht going to get raped?! Hina then starts crying and notes how he is always leaving him. Even from the first time they’ve met. He has avoided her even more after the past trip. And now it seems he is trying to leave her again. Licht wants to make it clear as he asks about her mom who asked her to find the Ace. Her name is Tsukina Farrow, right?

Episode 20
Tsukina is Licht’s childhood friend. It is the reason why the first time Licht first saw Hina, he was inclined to talk to her. However he thought it was all just coincidence until she pulled out the original Ballot. These are what created Alcia and in the possessions of SSU. Only Tsukina could pull something off like stealing one from them. Remember about Hina’s mom telling her to find the Ace? Licht knew he wasn’t the one. Because Hina never knew her dad, Licht reveals that she did meet him 300 years ago. He is Tokikaze. Tsukina is his fiancée. Hey wait. So did Tsukina wait like 300 years later to bear a child?! But how?! Anyway, Licht was the one who killed Tokikaze so how do you feel about that now? Since Licht has drugged the drinks, his intention is to put everyone to sleep because he is again going to break Hina’s promise by leaving as he will take on the entire military himself. Meanwhile, several military men are being assassinated. Alexandrov knows SSU is behind this since those who are trying to investigate will die mysteriously. Hence, he and his generals are contemplating on what to do next. Because of the tremendous power of the unanimous vote, constant re-approvals are needed to maintain Alcia. As a Ballot was stolen 5 years ago, hence Schmerman might be resorting to this. As the SSU is demanding the other original Ballots in the military’s hands to be returned to them, some think it is for the best while others disagree and plan to fight SSU. Alexandrov stays neutral so his suggestion is that he will go ask the king about it. As Licht is about to leave, Jail of course confronts him. His conviction won’t get him drugged. Jail argues he never knew the hurt feelings of his comrades while taking on all the burden himself while Licht is okay to bear it all as long as they don’t kill since it is his way of atoning. I don’t think they’re going to get things resolved so Licht flies to the capital. Schmerman is expecting Licht to arrive. His men are willing to intercept if he gives the order but Schmerman will send Doan to do the job. When Hina and co wake up, they are dismayed Licht has left to fight the army himself. Jail too. Better hurry to the capital. Meanwhile Licht gets pinned down by Doan because of his gravity power.

Episode 21
They find Licht’s body under a rubble. Sure he’s dead? Unfortunately the SSU arrest them. Meanwhile Jail confronts Alexandrov. Father does his stupid hug thing but gets shocked and confused when Jail hugs him back! Something wrong?! Alexandrov warns Jail about siding with Licht because doing so means action will be taken against him. Jail then wants to do a Star Stake with him and knows Alexandrov is Alan. Eventually Jail can’t beat this Ace. Alexandrov tells his old story. He has a son and daughter. One day they were killed while he was away. He hunted down the man who killed and stole their food but couldn’t kill him after seeing him feed his malnourished child. He admits creating Alcia is wrong but there’s no other way. However Jail believes Alexandrov will never defeat him unless he kills him. Because he finds it funny that he didn’t ask Nana to send him back in time to save his own children. Afraid to change the future? Saving them might change his conviction? So he rather let his children die but did all he could to save Jail who was a stray? Alexandrov tells him not to talk nonsense and knew he came just for Rihito’s closure. Also, he fires Jail. You’re free to go. Meanwhile Doan interrogates captured Hina, Lynn and Pele of Sonohara’s whereabouts. He finds it weird they are in his memories when they shouldn’t be. Then here comes Schmerman and he too believes he has a second set of memories thanks to Nana. Hina lashes him out for betraying the class but Schmerman reveals the army that doesn’t kill was just a test to weed out the weak. Those who are so have no place in his army. Schmerman wants Doan to perform an operation on them to become Ace. This new drug that can change anyone even without compatible genes to an Ace. As a soldier tries to force feed the pill, Doan kills them. He will not acknowledge those who didn’t go through the hellish war deserve to be called Aces. He lets them go free. However an accident rips Hina’s bag and this reveals the Ballot. You mean they didn’t even check her bag?! Doan is puzzled why they have this so he changes his mind and is going to kill them.

Episode 22
Pele and Hina stall Doan so as to give Lynn time to bring Licht here. Lynn manages to escape but with her taking lots of damage, Doan is confident she will die from bleeding. With Hina continuing to believe Licht is not dead, Doan makes a bet with her. Not with their stars but their lives. If Licht doesn’t turn up by morning, he’ll kill all of them. Lynn reaches where Licht’s body still lies. She remembers what Nana said and thus he isn’t dead but asleep. However he might be doing so for the next 20 years so she tries to wake him up. Kiss didn’t work. She passes out but soon after wakes up because the people of her town help treat her wounds. How the heck do they know she is here?! Anyway, with the people’s encouragement, Lynn manages to confess she loves Licht. Uhm, wanna say that louder? I don’t think he could hear you. One of the ladies then slaps Licht because he is being rude not to reply to a lady. Lynn doesn’t mind it anymore because she knows the answer already. Despite falling for him, she knew he was in love with Hina from the start. So she hopes he can wake up and save her before she gets killed. So once more, she confesses she loves him. Then goodbye. Before she passes out, Licht wakes up and catches her. Oh Lynn, don’t cry so hard now. Tell him where Hina is or they’ll be killed! It’s already sunrise! Yeah, Doan gonna kill them and Hina trying to stall for time that Licht isn’t dead because Doan didn’t actually confirm he is dead. And just like that, Licht is back! Doan such a nice guy that he will grant Licht’s request to fulfil some minor promises. Licht hands Lynn to Pele and believes he can treat her wounds. Then he confesses to Hina that he loves her. He has to as this was what Lynn made him promise to. He wouldn’t have said it ever since he still views himself as the killer of Hina’s father. You know a girl doesn’t care for all that when she kisses you. She explains when mom told her to go find an Ace, it was an Ace of her choice. And she chose you, Licht! So now that they are officially in love with each other, Hina is talking about making babies?! Oh, that’s why he has to win this fight and return. But don’t kill. Because that mistake made him lonely. Licht corrects her that he was never alone as he returns to face Doan to make amends about some promise he almost broke with him for trying to destroy Alcia. But Licht will have a tough time since psycho Sonohara is aiding Doan.

Episode 23
Licht has a hard time fighting them both. Hey, remember about that rule when Aces fight each other, they must do a Star Stake? Guess not. Sonohara ranting how much she tried to chase after him but each time she caught up, he pushed her away. So she thought she needed to kill more to be by his side. Doan adds all this is all Licht’s fault. Because that one time he saved Sonohara from bullies during middle school, she wouldn’t stop looking at him ever since. Always Licht this, always Licht that. Thanks to this, Sonohara can’t move forward. Fearing she cannot be with him, she crushed her own heart just to follow him. Not just Sonohara but the rest of his classmates who killed themselves. Had he not fooled them with the ideal of an army that doesn’t kill, this wouldn’t have happened. Nana tries to stop Doan but gets thrown away. I thought she was helping with Lynn’s surgery?! Oh see? Now you put the surgery in danger! Before Licht is forced to do a desperate move, Jail comes to his aid. He is here to keep his promise as a friend. Now with the odds even, Jail fights Sonohara so Licht could concentrate on Doan. Despite Sonohara shooting all her bullets, she cannot hit him. Is that Jail’s conviction? Or does she lack them? Sonohara panicking each time Jail inches closer. Until she breaks down and can’t shoot no more. She realizes she doesn’t want to shoot him. With that settled, now it’s Licht vs Doan. Licht wants Doan to join him to try and make a better world, another army that doesn’t kill with the friends they have now. But Doan will not fall for that again. Revealing the truth that Licht cannot kill children because of absorbing too many of Schmerman’s genes, when the enemies realized this, they brainwashed kids to assassinate him. It was Doan who had to kill all those kids. Hence Doan thinks if what Licht is doing now is to let Alcia fall, a war will definitely start with Abyss. You want to go through that hell again?! Licht certainly doesn’t want that either. But he can’t let the blood of those who died go to waste. He won’t let this world be the reason why those people died. At this point Doan is through listening. Either one of them must die to end it. Doan unleashes a super gravity move faster than light to swallow up Licht. Damn, did he just create a black hole?! Oh f*ck. Licht got done in by the black hole?!

Episode 24
Licht is in the lowest depth of this black hole. He hears inner voices of the Aces trying to convince him to stay here forever so he doesn’t have to kill. Licht fights back by trying to deny it all but they keep harping on his conscious. Just when he is about to give in, ah yes, the voice of Hina making him realize he has a promise to keep. That’s right. He has people whom he can share his life with now. And so Licht returns from doom to face off with Doan again. This time his single punch filled with utmost resolve is what sends Doan to his defeat. Flashback reveals further that Licht felt sad that Doan had to kill kids on his behalf. So Doan made a promise between them that only both of them shall do the killing so as to end the stupid war. Doan tells them the whereabouts of the other Ballots. He returns Hina’s Ballot and claims not to care anymore. He will not submit to anyone. Not even Licht. So I take it that’s his way of saying I’m your ally once more? Lynn wakes up and realizes the embarrassing thing she said to Licht. She thought it was a dream but her town people are here to tease her about it! And her rejection too! Oops. Lynn crying. Bad move. Then they realize this is Licht’s fault and go beat him up! When that charade is done, Pele confronts Licht and wants to know who he is. Because he should know well that Hina was more suited to treat Lynn but yet Licht chose him to operate on her. Licht claims during the attack on Linden, Pele reacted perfectly to SSUs with guns. Something people of Alcia do not know. He knows he is on Lynn’s side and if that’s the case, he doesn’t care who he is. Yeah, but it still doesn’t explain how he knows. Anyway, Pele is then roped in to go console Lynn. He checks on her wounds and they talk about things but nothing much. So can I assume Lynn accepting Pele as her substitute pudding now? Meanwhile Hina is shameless as she wants to f*ck Licht right now! She even strips his pants! Oh f*ck! This is weird! Licht gonna get raped! Luckily or not, the rest interrupt them as they need to talk about their next action. Licht wants to obtain all the Ballots. He has seen how absolute power corrupts and that Althing’s power to grant wishes via simple vote is wrong. He is going to find a way to make humans live without relying on Althing. Because humans have potential! Well, if that’s what Licht wants, the rest will follow. Schmerman knows Licht is on the move but will not act hastily. Besides, he has an army that is hinted to be Rihito’s dead classmates?! Anyway, Hina happily travels with Licht. I take it he won’t run away from her anymore. Unless she gets awfully horny…

Wanderer Blunderer Wonderer
Too bad I got this feeling that all the Ballots were missing and hence conveniently no democratic decisions were made to further continue this series! Haha! Oh well. Damn. I suppose it will be another long journey before Licht gets to rid this world of Althing altogether. But this time he won’t be alone. After all, the final boss fight with Schmerman is yet to happen. This guy just biding his time and not rushing because hell, he sure doesn’t want to end up like his twisted tortoise and hare story of them getting killed off! Yeah. So he has all the time in the world to wait for Licht. But for the rest of us, I guess it’s time to move on to something else. Yeah, not worth ‘plundering’ any further?

The overall story feels pretty much ordinary. Without that weird trip back in time to that high school setting, many of us would have been scratching our heads in wondering how this count system actually works. We’ll be wondering why strange (and perverted) phantom arms keep popping out from the ground as well as the workings of this count system. Thanks to the high school arc, it does answer a lot of those questions although there are many more that remain pretty unclear. For instance, Hina being the daughter of Tokikaze and Tsukina. You do know that 300 years have passed, right? So how the heck is Tsukina give birth to Hina almost 300 years later? This doesn’t make sense. I thought maybe they counted years differently here. Say, maybe 10 days = 1 year! But that doesn’t seem to be the case since Nana’s video keeps a log of the years passed. Unless you tell me Nana has no concept of time. Ironic because Nana’s ability is related to time. Unless also you tell me that Hina is nearly 300 years old! Yeah, I don’t know what happened in between. It’s just mind boggling.

Then there are others like Licht’s count. I wonder how he gets another set of count. I don’t know. Maybe I’m missing something because you do know that he engraved his count on the sword. So if you remember in the initial parts of the series, he had another counter on his body which is negative. Which is the number of times girls reject him. It’s pretty odd you know, if Licht was just wandering about like a zombie for 300 years and only decided to fight back against Alcia recently, how the heck did he find time to flirt with a thousand girls?! And why the heck was he flirting?! Didn’t his awakening meant he meant business to take down Alcia? And like I said, how did he get another the counter on his body just for this rejection? Shouldn’t his sword’s counter be deducted? Unless you tell me that as a Ballot, the counter remains stagnant. Can’t be. He increases his counter by killing on behalf. Oh wait. So now Licht has 2 sets of counters?! So did they forget about that girl rejection counter of his? Damn, I’m so confused now!

Also not making sense is how one decides what their counter’s basis should be. I mean, can I decide my counter to increase each time I take a breath???!!! Woah, my counter should be over the roof and my body will be covered with numbers! Oh yeah. So easy. And yet it just feels dumb that everybody’s counter is different from each other. I know it is for variety’s sake but sometimes it feels unfair. Remember Pelmo? What do you mean her count only increases when she realizes her dream?! That’s so unfair! I know she could’ve set her dreams lower but I guess there’s no point in that story wise. And speaking of which, what number does one start off at first? Who gives that number? Yeah, this counter thingy is starting to feel dumb. Even more unreasonable if I think deeper about it. Because what constitutes having one realize a dream? Is it 10% or 100%? Or Jail’s convictions. How do you determine someone’s conviction anyway? I didn’t notice but I think Hina’s counter never moved ever since she met Licht. Did her counter stop running? I mean, she started chasing Licht each time he gives her the slip so her counter should increase more, right? Oh boy. Better leave this one here if I want to avoid a major headache.

The other big issue I don’t understand is that if Alcia was created as a utopia and the Abyss is the abandoned world below, I think I am missing something here because if my memories served me right, they said that all the resources were absorbed from the original land to Alcia. This is why Alcia prospered. Now, one would normally think that Abyss would be a wasteland devoid of life seeing that all the resources will be given to Alcia. People down there in Abyss will be left to rot and die. So this begs the question that even after 300 years, there is life down there? I mean, understandably those on Alcia who got their counter reduced to zero would be sent there but I don’t think there would be any other life at Abyss. So Alcia worried about another war with Abyss shows that there are people living there and with great numbers. To think the Waste War was to reduce the population but it looked like the world is still filled with humans. Do we reproduce like a rabbit???!! More like Wasted War if you ask me. The irony people had not enough food to eat but enough to make weapons and go to war and kill each other!!! And how do you explain the helicopter that popped out back on Linden?! I thought there was supposed to be no more resources left to even make fuel down there? Let alone there is an army in the making to take down Alcia? Man, this is all so confusing. Yeah, like I said I might be missing something since I don’t fully understand what is going on so anyone of you smart people out there care to enlighten me? Too lazy to Google despite all the resources at my fingertips…

Getting the story out of the way, I guess the characters are just pretty meh either. There isn’t any depth in the main ones and it feels like they’re there just for plot convenience. Licht being the main character is one of those guys with a hidden past and a tragic tale whom we all will get to know much later in the series. You know it’s all that because he is trying so hard to hide it all with his joker and perverted personality. Sometimes he is serious but at other times he is just being a lecher and comic relief character. Maybe to confuse us and make us question who this guy really is. So yeah, a guy like him wants to shoulder the burden of the sins by himself. But if I have seen too many animes over the years, it is usually the power of nakama or friendship that rises up. Because no main character shall be alone in shouldering that burden all by himself. You want to save everybody but end up doing more damage. So believe in your friends, right? It’s going to be another round of emotions when our usual gang faces off with their old classmates who are supposed to be dead. It’ll be one heck of a class reunion. They’ll need all the trust and believe they have for each other for that.

And then there’s Hina. Oh boy. Where do I begin with her? Just to sum it up about her, at least I’ll give her points in being persistent in chasing down her man! Ever since her time trip back, she almost descended into some comic relief character and you can tell when she’s pouting. Oh no. Hina in this mode. Licht, you’re in trouble. So yeah, it’s weird for me to come to this conclusion but Hina offering sex is probably the only thing that somewhat kept Licht alive all these centuries! So as not to bore us with Hina’s antics, they have to add Lynn as the backup. Guts tell me that it is most likely Licht x Hina (because opening and ending credits clearly hinted this) but we need Lynn so that we have some few episodes of cheesy fillers to see them fight over him. Sort of. I mean, how else are they so relevant? Except for the fact that they needed that time trip to learn the truth. Could have just shown us as a flashback dream or something. But whatever. Aside love, is there any other reason why Lynn is chasing after her pudding? Oh yeah, they also make her belly fat as a running joke. Because otherwise, how should we remember her other than Love Rival #2. Unfortunately all that chasing after Licht didn’t burn away those fats… HAHAHA!!!

It didn’t surprise me when Nana was related to it all and an Ace because of the strange way she acts like as though she knows everything but chooses not to brag about it. Probably she just wants to move on and have some fun because after 300 years spent so boringly with Licht, that’s why she’s so eager to host all those cheesy waifu battles between Hina and Lynn. Life’s more interesting than that. And add booze too. Boobs and booze. Oh yeah. That’s what Nana is. Licht being such a comical character, I guess we need Jail as serious character to make it believable. Make sure we have the conviction to continue watching it all. His conviction of not being a bad loser means sometimes he too falls into the trap of being a comic relief character but that is rarer compared to the rest. And this Pele guy. Why do we need him at all? He just observes and when only needed, offers some indirect advice and help. I guess somebody needs to watch after Lynn. Of course there is more to meet the eye for this guy. Most of the time he just acts dumb and not giving a rat’s ass. It could be well hinted he is a spy from the SSU! As long as he has Lynn, he won’t make any rash moves to put her in danger.

Schmerman sounds like the antagonist but as we have seen from the trip back in time, he is quite the nice guy he is. Unless he was putting up airs. But then again, when the Alcia people went back in time, they split another alternate timeline so it could be in the original timeline, Schmerman could have been a much crueller person. Because we have seen how he was against Firenda’s suggestion to do surgery on the kids he loves so much. And then back in the future he says it was just to weed them out? I mean, seriously. Can an army afford to keep soldiers who won’t kill? If he was serious in that, he would’ve just killed them all in the first place. Yeah, maybe he too is hiding something like Licht but since we don’t get too much focus on him, he is still a mystery. Unlike Doan who is more straightforward and brash. Not the nicest of guys out there but at least he is brutally honest. His violent behaviour and crude demeanour is just his way of showing his kindness. Just like how Alexandrov too for Jail (though him wanting to be kissy-kissy with Jail boy was ultimate cringe). With the wars going on and all, it is some people’s style to show their kindness like that. Tough love it is. Hey, who am I to judge others?

Although there are some fanservice bits in this series, they are just quite minimal. I know. Hina getting naked, girls in swimsuits and some female classmates showing off their lingerie. I’ve seen better stuffs than that ;). Because the next episode preview often trolled us with such naughty fanservice lines. Sorry folks. Licht or whoever are liars. No panty flashing festivals for us to gawk at. No boobs or asses to gaze at either. Trying to get our hopes up, huh? Well luckily I didn’t continue to fall for that. Yeah, the big shocker is Hina herself slowly turning into a crazed pervert just to get into Licht’s pants. That’s just creepy. I know if the roles were reversed it would be worse but we still aren’t ready for girls to be absolutely horny. And with this proves Licht loves playing hard to get. Yeah, too easy when girls give him their fanservice. Or maybe being a pervert is just Licht’s way of cheering things up. Sick logic but I can understand why. Oh well. Eating ass isn’t going to fill your stomach anyway. Oh sh*t. What did I just say?!

Being an action series, it does have its moments and fight sequences. It was nice to see some power fights between the power users but eventually that stuff will get old. After all, how much of a variety can you see Licht going faster than Sonic and using his sword? Jail can come up with a variety of iron contraptions like as though he is this series’ version of Green Lantern but it’s either to strike or defend, right? Sonohara being trigger happy with that ahegao look all over her face while Doan using his green bolts of gravity. Gravity is green? Some Star Stake battles, when one loses the battle, I’m stumped not all their stars were taken. Instead 1 star is left. I thought the loser is supposed to lose all the stars and get sent to Abyss? Was there a way to bet how many stars you want? If so, it just renders Star Stake useless, right? Nobody so dumb going to lose all their stars in Star Stake. Just saying…

Art and animation are pretty standard although there are some scenes that I notice there are drops in quality. Especially those action scenes where some movements just feel stiff and rushed. Sorry, my eyes were fast enough to catch those flaws. But there’s some blood when things get bloody (duh!) so if you can’t stomach that, go watch Barney or Sesame Street. Backgrounds also feel bland even in both Alcia and the past. And some character designs are weird. Like Doan, his eyes look like cockroaches! No wonder that’s his favourite mockery line. Fuel nightmare. At least for me. And Hina wearing a bowler hat? What kind of girl wears a bowler hat?! Lynn’s white side hair sticking out makes her look like some lamb. Yeah… This series is done by Geek Toys who did RErideD: Tokigoe No Derrida and Kawaikereba Hentai Demo Suki Ni Natte Kuremasu Ka.

Voice acting is just pretty passable. A couple of recognizable seiyuus include Shizuka Itou as Nana and Aoi Yuuki as Sonohara, I thought it was Tomokazu Sugita as Doan but I guess I was dead wrong. It’s Satoshi Hino. How did I mess this up? Come to think of it, he sounds a lot like Overlord’s Ains but with more evil angst infused now. The rest of the other casts are Yoshiki Nakajim as Licht (Nitta in Hinamatsuri), Rina Honnizumi as Hina (Sizilien in Kenja No Mago), Ari Ozawa as Lynn (Fai in Endro), Yuichiro Umehara as Jail (titular character of Goblin Slayer), Aoi Ichikawa as Pele (Assistant in Tejina-senpai), Hiroki Touchi as Alexandrov/Alan (Abel in Trinity Blood), Toshihiko Seki as Schmerman (Aleister in To Aru Majutsu No Index), Kaito Ishikawa as Tokikaze (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Kotono Mitsuishi as Firenda (Boa Hancock in One Piece) and Aya Endo as Pelmo (Tchaikovsky in ClassicaLoid).

Both the opening themes are sung by Miku Itou. The first opening theme being the same title as this series while the second is Kokou No Hikari Lonely Dark. Honestly, as they sound more like generic genki anime pop, I find it unsuitable for the pacing of this series. Besides, both songs sound awfully similar and generic that I think they copied each other. Anyway I can’t tell them apart either. Countless Days as the first ending theme by Rina Honnizumi plays to a slower beat but not really attractive to my taste either. She also sings the second ending theme but this time a trio with Ari Ozawa and Shizuka Itou in doing Reason Of Life, which almost feels like a dance song. Must be that dubstep in the background. Is it me or do the characters in this ending credits animation look a bit different and weird?

Overall, this is just run of the mill anime. It tries to take in a lot of aspects like a fantasy utopia that is built on a tragic past, time travelling, some power action fights, a few fanservice shots, some silly moments just for the laughs, some cheesy love drama romance however you want to call it. You know, all that typical ingredients that make veteran anime viewers turned off and feeling bored by the end of it. Or is it by midway already some of you are feeling bored? So this might only appeal to those who are totally new to anime and don’t know what to expect. Otherwise this series just plundered our time. If only I had a counter that increases by the number of anime episodes I’ve watched. It will be over 9000!!!! At least this anime is being honest that even if you can go back in time, you can never change the future. You’re right. Having lots of bad animes for the rest of time is better than having no animes at all!

Wait a minute. You mean there’s more?! I wouldn’t have guessed in my wildest dreams that Granblue Fantasy The Animation S2 OVA had another episode. Oh well, looks like I’ve forgotten. If my memories served me right, there were 2 OVA episode for the first season, in which only I watched the first one and somewhat forgotten about the second. It was only during the second season that I caught glimpse of it when it was shown as a rerun. So yeah, there should be a second OVA for the second season. But oh boy. Does this mean more Djeeta adventures?!

Shingeki No Macho
Gran and his crew are roped in to help a village enter a wrestling match. Every year they hold a tournament in dedication to the gods. There’ll be hell to pay if they lose but looks like their top fighters are all injured. You bet Gran is going to take up this request. On match day, damn is Gran so buffed up?! I thought he was a scrawny kid?! Whatever grandma blessing he got… I don’t want to ask for details… Whatever. As a masked lucha libre under the alias Masked Cypher, his opponent, Titan the Macho is actually a giant Primal Beast! I guess Katalina doesn’t have much faith in Gran and tells him to quit now! But as expected, Gran will not run away. Of course to be fair, Titan shrinks himself to normal human size so they can have a decent match. As the match starts, Gran goes on the offensive but of course Titan is just taking in the blows just to make the match more exciting. And then a devastating suplex move that has Gran down. Oh no. Is this over? Not when everyone starts calling out Gran’s name. And suddenly he powers up and turns Super Saiyan?! WTF?! With that, he is able to pull off incredible moves to defeat Titan! Woah! Incredible! Gran’s win means everyone is rejoiced they don’t have to undergo last year’s suffering. Uh huh. Titan forced them to undergo Spartan training. So yeah, they were just faking their injuries?! Titan is impressed with Gran’s guts and hopes to get a rematch next year. Don’t worry. Gran will be waiting. Wait a minute. What about reaching the Astrals???!!! I hope he hasn’t settled to be a masked wrestler!

Katalina-sama Ga Miteru
Oh well. Back to more Djeeta fantasy crap. This time a high school fantasy at Albion. When Djeeta first glimpsed Katalina, she was the most beautiful and elegant senior ever. You bet she has fallen for her. It is clear when she talks to Lyria and Io about this. So to see how cool she is, they go spy on her. They witness all the incredible things she has done. So sugoi! On a totally different league. One day, rumours swirl that Katalina’s appearance near the animal shed means the student council that she is part of is going to dismantle it. This breaks Djeeta’s heart since she worked hard to tend to those animals. Wow. Those tears in her eyes. Of course Djeeta is going to ask Katalina in person. Thankfully, Katalina assures that was never her intention and was just seemingly acting that way so that people won’t have the wrong impression of her. I mean, can you imagine someone like her liking cute things? But with Katalina being too close to Djeeta, this irks Vira as she comes out of her hiding and claims Djeeta and co have been stalking her! Well, she’s the one to say because she’s been stalking Djeeta and co!!! You bet Vira is so jealous that she listens to nothing. She attacks Djeeta and causes her to sprain her ankle. This plan backfires as Katalina carries Djeeta away. The shock ‘kills’ Vira. Then it gets ludicrous because she turns into a giant mecha?! Yeah. Mecha Psycho Vira. She’s causing havoc destroying Albion! Katalina goes to stop her and also turns into a giant mecha. Uhm, Katapillar?! More weird sh*t when the playboy trio from the all-boys school next door turn up in their mecha, claiming they can stop this madness. More madness because some giant goddess or Primal Beast hugs the entire Albion. Yeah, everybody gets squished. And are those Shingeki No Bahamut characters making their cameo here?! Madness ends when Djeeta knocks those playboys out of their delusion. She claims they are just being exaggerated and that Vira who newly joined their crew isn’t that kind of girl they think she is. However they all agree that fantasy was totally awesome and drink a toast to it. Cheers!

GranDelusion Fantasy The Imagination…
Ah well… All within expectations. At least the silliness of the plot. Nothing really profound that matters. All just simple fun for those looking to enjoy and relax. So yeah, it isn’t entirely a bad thing. Because I already set my expectations so low so it helps. Anyway, the only difference this OVA had to offer is that Gran and his crew actually make their appearance albeit just for half of the episode. Because all other OVA episodes always featured Djeeta and her female crew. Also, this time my predictions of Djeeta from the last time of her having her next appearance means having an entirely new cast of characters as her crew didn’t materialize. I guess they can’t afford to add new characters that don’t matter even if it is just cameo (Zeta and Beatrix from the previous OVA, anyone?). So they just went ahead with the old characters we know. Oh sorry, those playboy trio are the new characters and since they appeared quite late, I guess it didn’t matter. Yeah, maybe all the small different plots in these OVAs are different alternate timelines. Oh sh*t. If Shingeki No Bahamut characters were briefly spotted here, could it be the universes of Cygames are really connected?! I think I better stop here before I open Pandora’s Box to a whole new possibilities of conspiracy theories regarding Djeeta and the Granblue universe. Imagine Gran’s girls turning into horse girls and running in races or turn into dead zombie idol girls touring the vast skies or forming a guild to search for the most delicious food in the world. Delusions can sometimes be awesome and dangerously crappy, you know…

One Punch Man S2 Specials

October 23, 2020

Oh well. Still no news of a third season. So I have got to do with One Punch Man S2 Specials for now. It might not be much but I guess it’s better than nothing. It might have been a while but personally the kind of cliff-hanger ending for the second season was somewhat disappointing and unsatisfying even when I think back about it today. So hopefully watching these 10 minute specials will help soften that bad aftertaste in my mouth. Hopefully. I hope.

Special 1
A group of small time baddies meet up for the first time and plan to do something real shady. There is a fourth guy but they think it is Saitama who just came out from the toilet. But when he points out he is a hero, looks like they’re not going to let him get away after hearing their plans. As we can see, their powers are weak and pathetic. Heck, they accidentally doused each other with their own power while trying to put it out! Eventually Saitama puts a stop to it all. The baddies come to terms that they’re just mediocre. However, Saitama isn’t pleased. He thinks they are hero wannabes and was just testing their powers on him. Could it be they are his fans?! Just then, some earthworm monster tries to attack them. Of course Saitama easily stops the threat. Genos comes running by but sees Saitama taken care of it all. The baddies recognize Genos and think he is the one who stop the danger. With Saitama explaining what’s up with these dudes, Genos isn’t too happy. Hence they make up excuses they want to become heroes. Saitama misinterprets this as they are actually his secret fans. Genos cautions him that if they become his disciples, they might move in and live with him! Well, he is talking from experience. The baddies act disappointed and try to leave. However not so fast. Saitama thinks they don’t have what it takes to become heroes because with those mediocre skills, they’ll never survive. In short, he is going to train them! And so Saitama becomes their Spartan instructor as the baddies rue their luck. Yeah, should’ve just stayed as some small time unknown. No talking! Move your body! No rest! Next training! Can’t stop now…

Special 2
Bang and Atomic Samurai are fishing on a tranquil lake. It has been 1 week since the alien incident and nothing much has happened since. Meanwhile Licenseless Rider and Chain Toad are tracking down a monster that has entered the lake. We continue hearing the old guys talk about their disciples as well as the new generation of heroes. They feel disappointed that many have lost sight on what it means to be a hero. Licenseless Rider and Chain Toad try to fish out the monster without getting those ‘fishermen’ involved. However the monster is too great and even swallows up Chain Toad. As he turns his attention to those old guys, Licenseless Rider will not allow it and tackles him head on. The old guys are impressed with his guts but note that this is not enough to make him a great hero. One also needs stength! Hence it’s their turn to show off and easily destroy the monster without cutting much of a sweat. So easy. But Bang hints that there is a hero who might be very promising (Saitama). Atomic Samurai can’t put his finger on it although Bang hints he has already met him.

Special 3
As Saitama is opening a bag of chips, too much force and the chips fly all over. In his lightning speed, he grabs all the chips but during one of his attempts, he hits Genos’ face hard. When Genos wakes up, safe to say that he has amnesia and his mind demoted that of a child. However he becomes mad when Saitama tells him he is his disciple. Not believing that crap! Genos can’t understand why his hand blaster starts activating. When Fubuki arrives, she sees the place in a mess. Saitama stopped it in time or else… Genos tries to hit on Fubuki but looks like she has another idea as she calls her men to assemble. Later, Genos cannot understand as his body moves itself to a warehouse. Fubuki’s men start attacking him but Genos manages to block. Fubuki praises him that his body still remembers and tries to recruit him into her gang. However Genos gets scared and thinks she got the wrong person and runs away. As he ponders about his lost memories, a monster attacks. Reluctant Genos tries to fight it and lures it to the warehouse. Too bad Fubuki and co aren’t there anymore. Genos takes a pounding. Fearing for his life, he runs but takes more beating. But thanks to that, his memories return and now it’s payback time. The monster is incinerated with no mercy. Genos later apologizes to Saitama for what happened and of course the master doesn’t mind. To make amends, here is some monster meat. Okay. Whatever.

Special 4
Saitama and Genos are at a convention where a fighting video game tournament is being held. You bet Saitama is going to join when he hears the winning prize is 5 million yen! Oh yeah. As players have choice of using controllers or VR headset, Saitama thinks he has got this one in the bag because of his superior skills. Too bad the video game can’t translate his superior one punch as he goes down in the first round in seconds!!! There goes his 5 million… The semi-final pits Garou and Suiryu. Both using the VR headset and it looks like they’re having fun fighting each other. However, perhaps the game can’t handle Garou’s quick moves so his character ultimately glitches and freezes, allowing Suiryu to win. He moves on to the finals but against everyone’s expectations this is going to be an awesome fight, he goes down in seconds! How anti-climactic! In fact, his opponent is the one who defeated Saitama. Suiryu reasons that his opponent who pulled off such amazing moves, it must be that he too is using a VR headset and an even better martial artist than he is. So when the winner collects his prize, looks like those who know him are disappointed. Because he is King and he was just using the controller! Yeah, he’s too strong for everybody. Life so unfair…

Special 5
Because some monster is spotted near the prison facility, Prisoner does a jailbreak to go apprehend It. As explained by veteran prisoners, nobody is going to do a jailbreak because based on the security system, the security personnel will be here in a minute and take down all those who tried. However with Prisoner accidentally taking down the power lines, the security is delayed and hence some convicts take this chance to escape. By the time Prisoner fixes the power, 10 have already escape. Fearing that a cute security guard boy will get fired, he takes it upon himself to hunt them down. The escaped convicts hole up in some house as they hear rumours of Prisoner coming to get them. Yeah, it’s a fate worse than death since his gay kisses are enough to knock you out! Prisoner has caught a few already but Sonic who also escaped during the incident wants to help out. However Prisoner declines because he notes Sonic broke out with his own power. The house the convicts is holing up turns out to be the base of a monster. He is going to eat them but here comes Prisoner. He easily defeats the monster with his naked submission moves. Now he turns to those convicts and if they haven’t repent, they will get what’s coming. Just then, the monster gets up. He won’t lose. Not after his modesty being outraged like that. The convicts feel for him and support the monster to beat Prisoner up. Alas, the monster goes down easily. Oh well. The convicts change their mind and heart. They’re all willing to go back to prison like the good boys they are.

Special 6
Child Emperor, Zombieman, Metal Bat and Blackluster are trying to hunt a monster. However they get caught up in a blizzard and decide to stay in a cabin nearby provided by the Hero Association. But in this cabin are Saitama, Genos and Flashy Flash. Sonic is also here but waiting outside for Saitama to be alone so he can get his revenge. Too bad that didn’t happen quickly enough so he froze up and crashed in. After tying him up, everyone returns to their rooms. Soon, Sonic frees himself and tries to sneak from underneath. Too bad Genos catches him. Both fight and Genos’ blast incinerates the area. The cold has Saitama sneeze and at the same time the living room where Zombieman in explodes! Oh no. Zombieman dead? Not another murder mystery! Luckily, Zombieman didn’t die as the rest deliberate who is the culprit. It could be one of them since they detect no other life forms. Because they think there is a monster who could mind control them or even shape shift and pretend to be one of them, hence they try to figure out. However with their weak alibis, all is still a suspect. The tension starts leading everyone to accuse every one of the slightest suspicion. When Hero Association sends images and details of the monster, it then occur to them it has no mind control or shape shifting abilities. Then it hit Child Emperor. He realizes what happened and explains. When Genos incinerated the place, dry dust particles filled the air. Saitama’s sneeze blew them into the living room. Because everyone was using their appliances, this puts a load on the electricity. And when Zombieman lights up the lighter, boom! So yeah. Mystery solved. Everybody was the culprit. Then the monster enters to brag about defeating the heroes but I guess the heroes beat him down and end the mission.

Pulling No Punches
As expected, the specials are short and silly and have no bearing on the real plot and story in the season. So don’t worry about getting confused where the timeline this should’ve heck happened. Some showcase a few other heroes and while that is a good thing, as you may know there are lots of other heroes and it isn’t possible to feature them all here. So too bad Tatsumaki fans, her single nose hair isn’t seen anywhere here at all. But honestly, I prefer Fubuki as she’s more hot and prettier. Really. Ahem. Getting a little distracted here. Anyway, Saitama and Genos stay pretty much the same. It’s both good and bad thing because we can expect more or less the same thing without some shocking plot twists. Every day is just a mundane normal ordinary day for Saitama. Can’t use his single punch to end fights. And Genos still continuing to be his disciple who doesn’t really listen. All in all, the shorts are for short term chuckles and I don’t blame you if you feel bored (WTF?! A pseudo fishing episode?!) and expected something better (can we do away with the Zombieman murder mystery already?). After all, we all have high expectations of Saitama, right? So, season three when?

Gleipnir

October 18, 2020

A guy who can transform into some dog mascot monster and fight other monsters? Ugh. This sounds like a horror series. Yes, it is stated in its genre. Definitely not going to watch it. Horror not my cup of tea to begin with. But what’s this too? Gleipnir has got some fanservice elements too? Uhm so they’re trying to scare us but at the same time give us a boner? Is this an experiment to see how fast your erection can return to being limp with jump scares?! I don’t know about that but I guess I used my wrong head to think and that’s how I decided to jump in and check this one out. Oh right. Now I remember how the trope of slashers prefer dumb blondes are so prevalent in horror genres.

Episode 1
Shuuichi Kagaya is one of those guys who loves being normal. So normal that he turns down some college recommendation. Even got a lucky sukebe incident. Normal friends. Then he tells us his eyesight has been getting better somehow. He smells a nearby fire and realizes a house is on fire and someone is unconscious inside. Then he tells us another secret: He can transform into this monstrous dog mascot suit! Though, his vision is less sharp and he is clumsier. He doesn’t want to transform but looks like instincts took over. He saves Clair Aoki from the flames. Outside, looks like his beast mode got turned on. He tries to rape her?! Luckily he is in control of his libido so he just leaves. Next day, he realizes his Smartphone is missing. Could it be he left it behind? Hope nothing happens. Unfortunately that’s the start of his nightmare. Clair attends the same school and has his handphone. Her wicked smile indicates she is happy to have found a monster hiding here. She wants to ask questions but how long can he feign ignorance? In his desperate attempts to get it back, Clair puts it on the edge of the rooftop. When he goes to get it, she kicks him down and hints she knew about that near rape incident. Naturally he transforms into his beast mode to cushion the fall. But Clair has already snapped a pic of him. She wants to know everything about this form or threatens to tell the whole world about it. Shuuichi doesn’t know how he got it but he just got it one day. She trusts him for now. Better not be lying. Then she asks him about this coin that seems to be related to the monsters. No idea. Clair brings him back to her home. She claims she must do whatever she wants or she’ll rat on him. This is his thanks for saving her? It seems she was trying to commit suicide but he ruined it! Something about nobody believing her about monsters? Suddenly somebody barges in and beats up Shuuichi. She wants the coin. Apparently in exchange for power, you lose everything. This only has Clair even more curious about what it is. Shuuichi in his beast mode holds the trespasser down but she too can transform.

Episode 2
Hikawa dreams to be a runner but her times meant she isn’t cut out to be one. She had that coin and heard rumours of it. At a strange vending machine she uses it and then a guy thanks her for finding it and would grant her wish. Now she could run faster than anybody but soon realizes she could transform into a monster. Desperately searching for another coin, that’s when she stumbled into Shuuichi and Clair. She beats Shuuichi up but when Clair pepper sprays her, instead of fighting back, Shuuichi takes her and run. As they take a breather, she notices he has a zipper at the back. Want to know what’s inside? Only 1 way to find out. Unzipping… Well… Nothing! Empty. Before Shuuichi could fall into depression about his emptiness, Clair gets this idea to go inside him and become one. Cue for sexual innuendoes!!! She feels nice and warm while at the same time he could feel her hatred and sadness. Though she denies it. Just in time because Hikawa has found them. Both monsters pound each other with hard hitting moves. It is Clair who is controlling the body and Shuuichi is just providing her the power. Once she gets used to controlling it, she beats down Hikawa easily. She questions her about the coin but since she won’t answer, she shoots and kills her! A week passed and nothing happens, proving that nobody else knows about them. Shuuichi is depressed and doesn’t want to have anything to do with a killer. He doesn’t care if he gets exposed. But Clair wonders if he can fight by himself. He couldn’t, right? She suggests they join forces. Shuuichi is still scared and fears the unknown. Clair tires to stay positive but also be realistic that it could only get worse from now on. But she assures him that in the event if he dies, she will also die along with him. So what if he wants to die now? Clair goes to jump off the building! Of course Shuuichi catches her. Enough drama for today? Clair reveals she is looking for her missing sister, Elena. She killed their parents and went missing but before that gave her this coin. She knows this town is in a mess with monsters and all but believes they are brought together by destiny.

Episode 3
That guy who is looking for his coins, since it doesn’t appear in cameras or photos, he’ll just have to leave it to humans to find it for him. Clair wants to practice with Shuuichi to see their capabilities in this form. Yeah, cue for more sexual innuendoes and Clair to get naked because she doesn’t want her clothes to be soaked by his slimy liquid… At least put on a swimsuit. We see Shuuichi still can move by his own will but if there is a conflict, Clair will have the right of way. Clair also notices that Shuuichi has another power ability: His sense of smell. She can use this to help locate her sister. Using Elena’s uniform as a base, when Shuuichi starts to sniff it, he can smell blood of many people on it. Definitely this monster has killed a lot including Clair’s parents even if Clair has not witnessed it herself. While staking out at the train station, Clair believes that if Elena is to continue hiding in this town, she must have an accomplice. Possibly her classmate. Hence if Shuuichi picks up the scent of Elena on somebody, bingo. And then that strong familiar scent is picked up. So that is the person they’re looking for? Well, it’s Elena in the flesh! The plan now is for Clair to shoot her in the leg and then take her and run. As they wait, Shuuichi is confused as he senses no emotions from her. But he does at the last minute. That is when he prevents her from shooting. Damn, he almost killed Elena as the bullet shoots off her hat! Suddenly Elena transforms into a monster that could teleport behind Shuuichi? They’re screwed. But then Elena flusters and panics. She understands he is here to kill her but wants to do it at a place with no people. As Elena apologizes for everything, Clair thought her identity was busted since Elena’s vague words sounded like she knew everything. Turns out Elena is sorry as she is the one responsible for turning Shuuichi into this. With Clair eking out a shock voice, Elena now turns angry. She realizes there is a girl inside Shuuichi and turns into a monster. She rips off his head while claiming that place belongs solely to her!

Episode 4
Elena feels sorry for ripping off Shuuichi’s head. Clair gets mad and tries to kill Elena but gets owned. Elena explains their parents were bad people and there was a point where Clair actually wanted to kill them. Elena assures that she will no longer be the weak sister she had to protect. Asking if Clair still has a coin she gave her, Clair claims she threw it away. So Elena gives her another one and to go to the abandoned hotel. After Elena leaves, Clair is about to kill herself but thankfully Shuuichi is still alive and stops her. They head to that hotel to meet that guy. He claims he can fix Shuuichi but needs a coin. Using that, he gives Shuuichi a special drink that will allow the head to reconnect. Had Shuuichi reverted to his human self, he would’ve died! So while waiting for that, they learn this guy is actually an alien. As proof, he eats a strand of Clair’s hair and transforms into her. Alien says he can change people to what they desire with this special drink if they give him a coin and hence this form is what Shuuichi desires most. Of course Shuuichi denies since he doesn’t remember it all (after all, Elena claimed she was the one who turned him so). Alien continues his story that he and his comrades were returning home. A physical form is a nuisance when travelling long distance so they compressed their form into these coins. Of course they crashed into Earth and the coins scatter. Since he doesn’t specialize in repairing the ship or gathering, he hopes humans can help recover the coins. He hints that if one collects 100 of them, they can become something powerful enough to destroy the world. As they leave, Shuuichi knows Clair has the other coin and doesn’t want her to use it or her life would be more miserable. On the contrary, she claims life has been more exciting ever since she met him. But she promises not to use the coin. With Shuuichi being much cooler and mature in school, some have their opinions changed about him. Nana Mifune talks to him but he asks her opinion if the world would suddenly one day end. Tough question. So try her best to make sure that won’t happen? Okay. He just needed to hear that from someone. Soon, Shuuichi and Clair head to the mountains to find that spaceship.

Episode 5
Clair advises Shuuichi some survival tips in the mountains. Especially when he is up against those monsters. They can’t randomly look for coins so they need to know where those are found to give them more clues. Also, he better be in his mascot form because if others recognize him, they might drag his family or friends into a big mess if they ever get back to town. Shuuichi picks up a scent of a fellow gatherer. You mean they have to fight this armour death knight dude?! Oh sh*t. Clair tries to negotiate they work together to look for coins but Tadanori Sanbe says he isn’t here for that and came to fight the strongest. When Alien gave him this form, no normal humans could withstand this form. So he thought he could fight other gatherers who are stronger but all those he met ran away. So I guess they have to fight. Clearly Tadanori is stronger. Thus Clair tries to negotiate her way out that she is looking for coins to stop it from falling into the wrong hands. But he questions her back how can she prove she is not evil? Everyone views others as the enemy. Shuuichi pulls out his gun but Tadanori manages to block it with his hand. Tadanori thanks them for putting their life on the line so he is going to show them a martial art he created specifically for this form. Not sure what this hentai pose is but you better run! Shuuichi keeps running until suddenly he grabs onto him. Tadanori thought he is being scared and stupid when he realizes Clair is pointing the gun behind him. Confused but also amazed by their strategy, he admits his loss and transforms back but Shuuichi accidentally hugs him to hard and crushes some bones. Tadanori wants to be killed for losing but Clair blames him for putting their lives on the line just to play this dumb game. She wants them to help them find coins. Suddenly some creep has taken photos of them and wants them to be their slaves or else he’ll spread this photo around. Tadanori sees this scumbag and kills him outright! He agrees to help them find coins and he can face off with other strong monsters. Clair looks through the creep’s handphone and finds some prey they could target next.

Episode 6
One of the members in the photo is Ikeuchi. Clair calls him and wants to join his group. Clair and Shuuichi meet the group that is led by Sayaka Koyanagi. Their goal is to collect coins and to use it as leverage against Alien to end this silly game. Koyanagi wants Clair and Shuuichi to reveal their identity as part of the ritual to join their group. Shocked at first, Clair thinks about it and comes up with this idea. She gets out of Shuuichi (shocking everyone in the process) and says she herself will enter the pact first. If they are trustworthy, she’ll let Shuuichi join. So Koyanagi takes Clair to a room to start their ritual. Wow. You mean it’s hot yuri sex?! It seems a condition to join the group is not to reveal their group’s secrets. In Koyanagi’s case, she has to power to kill those who blurt out her secrets. She hates those who can’t keep secrets. Clair then shows a picture of Elena and explains her goal in all of this. Koyanagi knows who Elena is and can tell her more if she joins. She starts off explaining she was once in love with a teacher and they had sexual relations. However to due virtue signalling and strong moral compass, they severed their relationship. Koyanagi was sad about it and confided in her best friend. Unfortunately she didn’t keep it a secret and her lover hung herself. Yes, the teacher is female. Yuri sex on hold since we got back to see Chihiro Yoshioka taking a liking for Shuuichi. Because she likes animals and yearns to be a vet. She joined this so that the people she loves will not get involved. Because she lost her wallet, she hopes Shuuichi’s strong sense of smell can help find it. He wants to find it alone seeing her scent may confuse him. Is this an excuse so that she can get naked and get inside of him?! Oh well… You happy about it, Shuuichi? Oh, jealous Ikeuchi is filming all this… Meanwhile back to the hot yuri sex… Well, nothing happens. So on to the real ritual. Koyanagi will put a real choker made out of her hair around Clair’s neck. There’s some mechanism that will know how she’ll betray and expose secrets and this choker will cut off her head. Meanwhile Yoshioka’s wallet is found buy a guy in Elena’s groupie, Subaru.

Episode 7
Koyanagi transferred schools after her teacher’s suicide. It is then she became classmates with Elena in her new school. Because Elena was a very friendly person, she was sceptical when Clair claimed Elena killed her parents. Meanwhile Shuuichi picks up Elena’s scent as well as those with her. And yes, Yoshioka’s wallets is with them. Shuuichi will not run away this time despite knowing he is no match for them. Yoshioka is afraid but he assures he will protect her when the time comes. With the pact done, Clair wants to know where Shuuichi went. How convenient Ikeuchi showing the clips until the part Yoshioka went inside of Shuuichi. He couldn’t stand it much longer and stopped filming after that. Clair sets off to find her but Koyanagi has Youta Murakami accompany her since he is a fighter. Clair wonders why he doesn’t hide his face when they first met. He has no family or friends to keep secrets from so he has nothing to hide. Youta wants to flirt with Clair but apparently she’s not interested. He understands when she says Shuuichi isn’t her boyfriend but her other half. Shuuichi stumbles into Subaru. Too bad the latter is in bad mood and summons his titan monster (his parents?!) to crush them. Oh sh*t! Shuuichi and Yoshioka crushed to bits! So much about protecting her. Of course the show isn’t over. Somehow Shuuichi and Yoshioka merge into some new type of monster. BNA? Brand New Animal? Faster and stronger this time, they take on Subaru. Since the fusion has them see each other’s memories, their rage is what fuelling them to go all out against Subaru. Even more so that Subaru really wants to kill this kid. However Elena stops this mindless violence to remind Subaru that his role is important and he mustn’t recklessly use his powers here. Shuuichi is enraged seeing Elena. He is furious and feels the need to stop her now. But Yoshioka stops him from becoming a killer and that’s the end of the fight. Flashback shows Elena telling her wish to Alien. A certain person she wants to be with but she couldn’t… Clair and Youta arrive at the devastating battleground. Clair devastated to see unconscious Shuuichi. Did the body get regenerated?

Episode 8
Shuuichi and Yoshioka are okay and Yoshioka got her wallet back. Back at the base as they try to explain what happened, it seems they have no memories when they fused. Shuuichi takes the pact ritual and after that, he is introduced to the other members that include Isao Kasuga (flora and fauna lower whose ability is to grow plants) and Miku Aihara (invisible girl). Isao thinks he knows Shuuichi because he lived around the area where they went to cram school. Although Isao thought Shuuichi hung out with his cram school friends, Shuuichi claims he was the only student there. Clair and Shuuichi demonstrate their power since everyone shows theirs. Later Clair confronts Yoshioka and knows she is lying about not remembering what happened. Before this can turn into some jealous b*tch fight over Shuuichi, Yoshioka comments both of them are different and that’s why they cannot be one. End. You bet Shuuichi is worried because he can tell Clair is mad even if she says she isn’t. I mean, this guy let another girl inside him! Clair then hints of sex but was just trolling him. This is why guys can never understand women! Later as Shuuichi takes a walk, he notices his friend, Abukawa burying a dead dog. He is sceptical because the dog had its tail cut. Then Abukawa hangs out with very shady people. Later, Ikeuchi confronts Shuuichi about that power demonstration. Obviously something is wrong because the one who killed that creep was like a blade cutting it clean but the demonstration showed Shuuichi throwing punches. Ikeuchi accuses Shuuichi that he can’t fight alone. He admits it that his power is meant for someone else to use. Meanwhile Yoshioka calls Elena. She wants to know about their monstrous fusion form. Because they blended, she doesn’t feel like herself or anything. Elena explains that is the power only Shuuichi has to combine powers of others. Elena is not pleased that Shuuichi gave her this number. More accurately, she got it from his memories during the fusion. Yoshioka talks about the blank space in Shuuichi’s memories that he won’t notice unlike an outsider. She thinks they are Elena. She wants her to join them and solve this conflict but Elena refuses because they don’t know if somebody already collected 100 coins. Furthermore, Shuuichi has different goals than her now. Koyanagi tells her comrades how at this rate they can never gather 100 coins. But pinpointing where they got their first coins, it seems it looks like a trail leading to where the crashed spaceship may be. Hence their goal is the spaceship where there could be plenty of coins.

Episode 9
They find a mark in the middle of the forest. It could be a mark of a rival’s territory and a warning for those who trespass their area. Well, if the spaceship is just right over there, I guess they still have to cross it, right? Until they reach the river, Clair thinks this path is too dangerous and they need to turn back. She deduces that the mark was just a trap to lure them here. Because of their open surroundings, they are easy targets. You don’t say because there’s a bunch of scary guys watching them from afar. They make a run for it as the enemy contemplate in fighting or killing them. However their boss, Madoka believes in capturing one of them and treating them nicely so as to join their group. When others fall in line and do so, their chances of gathering coins will be higher. Hence Morita goes to chase after them and with his incredible speed, he catches up. Clair and Shuuichi are no match for his strength too. Morita takes Koyanagi hostage and tries to threaten them to join their group or they’ll all die. The last straw is when he throws a decapitated head of a girl who wandered into their territory and got killed for refusing to join. This is when Youta gets mad and transforms into his beast mode. Actually, he just looks the same but pretty much topless. As a normal human, he is a delinquent and got into fights that got him into trouble. If he is that strong naturally, imagine his monster form. Morita takes a beating as Youta rescues Koyanagi and they continue their run. By the time Madoka’s group catches up, they see Morita in a pathetic state. Some think he is useless and wants him killed but Madoka will not allow that to his gang because he is their boss and will take care of them all even if they’re all trash. Madoka transforms into his gorilla monster form and catches up in no time. He takes down Isao, thinking he is the one who took out Morita. Youta tries to fight him but gets ignored and beat down because Madoka sees Clair getting into Shuuichi and is interested to know this power.

Episode 10
As curious Madoka gets closer, this is part of Clair and Shuuichi’s plan to shoot him and point blank range. However he is faster and grabs the gun. Madoka is impressed and he wants them to join his gang to find coins. They will find it for him and once he gets the power, he will use it to grant their wishes. Simple and fair, right? Because he values his friends, since one of them did in Morita, he needs one of them to die. He lets them decide who. Clair poses the big question since he knocked out 2 of their members and if both die, how will it work? Don’t care. He still wants them to choose. Failure to do so means all of them will die. So as team Koyanagi contemplate what to do, they know they can’t go up against him. So are they going to sacrifice one of themselves? When Clair suggests it is better than letting all die, Ikeuchi supports this idea. This has Clair thanking him for being the brave one before Ikeuchi realizes he should just shut up and not let others make him the scapegoat. Isao is depressed he can’t do anything. But Clair wants him to grow lots of these flowers. This will be their escape plan. Shuuichi wonders if he can help. But she talks about the scariest part isn’t the powers but the people who wield them. Shuuichi hugs her so as to remind that they are one and he will not allow her to carry the burden alone. Ikeuchi betrays the team and tries to join Madoka’s side. Because of this betrayal, Koyanagi’s curse activates and kills him. The forest is on fire and Madoka’s group thinks they’re crazy to burn to whole forest down. As explained, the flowers are common but what people do not know is that when burnt in large amounts, its fumes become toxic. While this is a sign for Madoka to kill all of Koyanagi’s team, he can’t abandon his pals who are suffocating. So while he is helping them, Koyanagi’s team uses this chance to escape. Koyanagi is impressed but also scared at Clair’s thinking. Although Clair still doesn’t understand why Elena handed her a coin that day, she understands her sister couldn’t bear the weight of her crimes and couldn’t run away either. That’s why she is the only one who can save her.

Episode 11
Elena sees Alien and she is blaming him for all the madness that has happened. Alien doesn’t think it is his fault since everyone is responsible for their own power. Elena thinks killing him will end the madness. Maybe. But does she think all that has happened can just stop like that? So Elena gave up killing him? Koyanagi’s group calls off the mission as they leave the mountains. But Clair cautions them she doesn’t know how effective the poison was. Because now they have to worry if any of them survived, they could come back for revenge as they have seen their faces. Later we hear Koyanagi talking to Aihara about her ideals leading to bloodshed. She regrets it. I didn’t know Aihara is trying to get lesbo with her but Koyanagi isn’t in the mood. Elsewhere, Isao feels bad he killed others even if it isn’t directly. Talking to Youta, they think Shuuichi is weird, especially that cram school thingy. Likewise, Shuuichi talks to Clair and believes Madoka’s groupie should all be dead because otherwise they’ll come back to haunt them. Clair hugs him and apologizes for getting him involved with this. Shuuichi returns to his normal school life but notices something strange. Abukawa has not showed up in school ever since until one day there are rumours circulating that his charred body was found downstream. It dawned to Shuuichi that Abukawa as part of Madoka’s group and has died. Hence Shuuichi confronts Alien and wants to know how he chose this mascot appearance. Alien doesn’t see how it will benefit him. In fact, Alien suggests he can drop out of this game and live a normal life. But Shuuichi declares he is going to collect 100 coins, get his memories back and live a normal life. Okay. You do what you want. But Alien hints that this game wasn’t his idea.

Shuuichi leaves he knows somebody is following him. At a scrapyard, he calls out to Taguchi who is one of Madoka’s men. Taguchi overheard his conversation with Alien and is done collecting coins. It seems he wants revenge on them for killing his entire groupie. He is the only survivor as Madoka died for the rest to escape the forest flames. Shuuichi manages to overpower him as he asks about Abukawa. Why such a kind person joined a group of scumbags. Taguchi reveals that Abukawa isn’t the nice person he knows. Everyone has their dark side. Taguchi wants Shuuichi to kill him but at that point, Clair calls him. She could hear Shuuichi is in danger but Shuuichi made his resolve and he is going to finish this by himself. He takes out his gun and shoots Taguchi. Alien reminisces about Honoka, the first human he met after crashing here. Seemed he wasn’t keen on looking for his friends because he didn’t think their evolved form is any way to live. However Honoka disagreed because this means he will be lonely. No, that stomach growling isn’t loneliness! To show his gratitude for feeding him, he can modify her body parts. That is when Honoka got this idea for a game. Let others look for coins for him. Those who found them can be inserted in this vending machine in which their wish will be granted. Alien isn’t so sure about this since he isn’t good with others. Honoka assures she will tell her friends about him and they’ll help. Among her friends in the photo consist of Shuuichi and Elena. Meanwhile a group has found the crash site. However standing before them is Kaito. He tells them to go away but they think they can kill this lone guy. Too bad he kills them off with his, uhm, angel? His angel called Honoka!

Episode 12
Naoto tells Sakuma that there might be a person who have collected 100 coins and turned into a powerful being and protecting the coins around the crash site now. It is the reason Elena formed this group of hers to stop him. Sakuma doesn’t care as long as he gets his cut. But he finds it weird like as though they know the guy. Indeed. Elena, Shuuichi, Kaito, Naoto, Honoka and Aiko were from the same cram school and childhood friends. Many months earlier, they decide to meet up. Kaito was puzzled that Honoka didn’t show up. It is then Naoto revealed that Honoka went missing because her father was arrested for killing someone. In shock, Aiko thinks it is best they forget about Honoka and move on. The fact Honoka didn’t tell them this meant she didn’t want them to find her. Of course Kaito cannot accept this and started snooping around. No Honoka was found. Then he remembers something strange. Aiko doing habits only peculiar to Honoka. Is Honoka masquerading as Aiko? Kaito tails her to Alien. Then he brings the rest of his friends here to meet Alien as he reveals that Honoka found a coin and indeed requested Alien to turn her into Aiko. Of course Alien hoped they won’t make a big issue out of it because if people start swarming here, he may be forced to take drastic measures. As the friend contemplates what happened to the real Aiko, Kaito wants to get to the bottom of the truth but Naoto doesn’t want to pursue further. He wants things to stay as they are since this Aiko isn’t giving them trouble. Shuuichi and Elena also agree not to stir the hornet’s nest. Kaito of course cannot accept this and confronts Aiko. He thinks she killed Honoka and took her identity. It is hinted she buried her body at the cram school. He asks if they can go back to how it used to be. Nope. Because she doesn’t even exist anymore. With that, Kaito strangles her to death.

Soon, Naoto tells Kaito that they found the real Aiko’s will written to Honoka. It seems the real Aiko killed herself. Kaito goes into shock he erred in his thinking. Flashback shows Honoka meeting Alien and wanted him to turn her into Aiko. Because Aiko had a strong sense of justice, she was also the target of bullies. However the bullying was too great that she couldn’t take it anymore and hung herself. Honoka regretted the fact she was best friend and yet couldn’t do anything. Thinking that everyone will be sad by her disappearance, Honoka wanted to transform into her. After all, she thinks herself as a nobody. Kaito also regrets his actions as he thinks deep that his friends probably knew Aiko killed herself and that’s why they didn’t want to further pursue this. He reasons that he killed the imposter because he didn’t want Honoka to disappear. His further twisted thinking leads him to think that everybody wanted Honoka to disappear. So the next time he sees Alien, he makes his wish and something about everyone can just disappear. Naoto talks to Shuuichi and Elena about rumours of a glowing ghost girl. If she pops up before you and you can’t identify her name, your existence gets erased! They think Kaito is behind this because he too now is missing. Shuuichi then felt guilty for his inaction and will see to it to stop Kaito. In present time, Clair is investigating the cram school. That is when she called Shuuichi to meet but that guy was busy killing Taguchi. To Clair’s horror, he sees that dog mascot plushie sitting on the shelf. Meanwhile Yoshioka calls Elena to bug her again.

Episode 13
Shuuichi and Clair calls Youta and Yoshioka to meet. They get straight and want them to hand over all their coins to them. Let them handle ending this game while you guys return leading their normal lives. With Yoshioka thanking Shuuichi for all that he has done for her, I take it that’s a no. Then more cheesy Shuuichi-Clair talk and hug. But Clair believes at this rate they can’t become one right now. She comes by his house and sees it in a dilapidated state. Shuuichi is acting weird since he is acting all normal. When she asks the last time he met his parents and he can’t answer, she believes this is the work of Elena. Looks like she can control the memories of others. When Shuuichi remembers a bit about Elena, suddenly he tries to rape Clair???!!! Is this our fanservice for today?! Of course that won’t happen. It is then Koyanagi calls them. She is ending their pact and wants to meet up. It seems she is agreeing with Yoshioka’s call to hand over their coins to Elena. As Shuuichi thinks about that short Elena memory, it feels like she was trying to protect him. Naoto talks to Elena about another of Aiko’s classmate disappearing. Had Elena used the same power like she did on Shuuichi, she would’ve been saved. However Naoto notes doing so means weakening her own power and their chance against Kaito. It is also noted that if a certain thing uses bonds to remember Shuuichi, it will be the end of the world. Clair and Shuuichi realize Yoshioka is nowhere at school. So as they go find her, Clair knows Aihara is tailing her and gives her the slip and dumps her in the pool.

Shuuichi sees Yoshioka handing all her group’s coins to Elena. He then reveals he remembers a bit of those memories. Despite so, it means what he has been believing all the while has been wrong. It could be that Shuuichi was the one who brought Elena into this mess and not the other way round. Clair interjects and believes there a connection to the past that Shuuichi has forgotten. When she takes out that dog mascot plushie, Shuuichi’s memories return. Those blank spaces in his mind are Elena. Elena tries to use her power to stop it but Shuuichi-Clair combo put up a fight. When Clair thinks what Elena did to her was to protect her, we see further snippets from Shuuichi’s memories that the Honoka ghost erased Shuuichi’s parents from existence. Hence she used her power to alter his memories to save and protect him. Elena takes a pounding until ghost Honoka shows up. Who am I? Before Shuuichi could answer, Elena snaps him out after warning that is not her but something else. Shuuichi shoots the ghost but soon finds himself in another dimension shooting more Honoka ghosts. In the end, Elena guides his hand to shoot at her instead. His memories of Elena sealed again. Honoka ghost then loses interest because she views them as monsters. She is interested in bonds between people. As long as they don’t come to that place. Shuuichi and Clair try to find out more about that place. The crash site? But ghost girl gone. Elena also leaves and dismisses Shuuichi’s claims to collect all the coins and bear the weight of her crimes. It’ll be her to do that. Shuuichi and Clair meet up with Tadanori as they begin their journey to the crash site.

Duel Monsters: Love You Inside Out
Uhm… Wait a minute… That last episode, what just happened? I’m so freaking confused???!!! I just don’t understand!!! I thought it couldn’t get any worse and suddenly ghost girl pops up. Now I’m even more confused!!! Everything just feels so rushed like as though they wanted to have a short final boss fight with Elena just to end the season. And then off they the pair goes to the mountains. I guess they needed to discard some excess baggage before their next trip, hence the disbandment of the group. Yeah well, if you take those people out of the equation, it will be less complicated because after all, in the end it will always just be Shuuichi and Clair. I just can’t believe all of them actually agreed to give up just like that. Well, after seeing all the crazy stuffs in a short span of time, they realize it’s not worth the risk and having the normal life is way better than this. Definitely. Only crazy people with crazier ideals, please proceed.

Although the story seems interesting at the start, it felt like it had potential but then started to fizzle out and lose its shine. The manga is still ongoing and I’m sure there are lots of other developments at this point but as far as the anime is concerned, I don’t think a single cour of 13 episodes is enough a season to do this series any justice. So far I haven’t heard of any sequels so it is most likely this series won’t be getting one in the near foreseeable future. Anyway, the story for the current season starts to drag out somewhere in the middle because after feeding us bits and hints of clues about Alien’s mission to reassemble his coins, it then becomes the main plot to introduce the potential teams, the groups of people who will be there in the main hunt for the coins. That’s really all there is for now in the anime. Hence I can’t help feel that it has stuck in here ever since Shuuichi and Clair joined Koyanagi’s team. It didn’t make much progress and the whatever drama drags out till the end of the season, raising more questions than answers. It tries to be edgy but look how draggy it turned out to be?

Even more confusing is I don’t know how they named this series Gleipnir. Well, perhaps at this point it is too early to reveal. Otherwise simpleton like me who went on to Google to search came to discover Gleipnir as is some Norse mythology chain made up of several things to tie up the wolf, Fenrir. So once this chain breaks, Ragnarok AKA end of the world for all. So maybe this endgame is how the title is related to somehow. Honoka remembering a certain bond will be the end of the world, huh? I don’t know. It’s more confusing than scary.

One of the most disappointing aspect is the quick kill off of Madoka’s group. I thought they will be the team that Koyanagi’s group will have a run for their money in the future but apparently they got killed off in the poisonous forest fire. What a let-down. This is just so disappointing. Despite Madoka not being one of those likeable characters and his villainy can be said to be one dimensional, at least on first impression he would be one of those tough baddies to crack. Like I said, giving Shuuichi, Clair and the rest of everybody a hard time and run for their money. So I guess we do not have to worry about the main group facing off with typical one dimensional villains, huh? Too bad they introduced and exposed them to us and then they just quickly kill them off just like that? Man, this is even more cruel than Madoka’s ideals! And then what do you know? They also disband Koyanagi’s group at the end. So like what’s the point then, huh? Oh right. They’re just stepping stones and since they’ve done their part, I guess no point keeping this group active. One less thing to worry about.

Then there’s the case of Shuuichi and Clair as the main characters. Their relationship and how they got entangled with each other’s fate looked interesting at first but then the constant reminder of how they need each other so as not to make the other shoulder the whole burden and feel guilty, it starts to really get weary and annoying. I mean Clair might not be your typical average anime girl (which is a good thing), but she looks like she is on the verge in becoming some sort of psychotic character with her crazy behaviour (which is a bad thing). And don’t get me started with Shuuichi. Oh yeah. He falls under that main character trope of being some whiny amnesiac kid but has great powers to boot. Yeah, it’s like a trap to make us accept him because of his conscious and blanks in his memories, hence the drama to make him think twice and not turn into some sort of monster despite physically being one in his transformed state. Unfortunately it just makes him look like a wuss. He already has got a foot in the grave, so why not just go all the way? What is he still doubting? He thinks things will go back to normal somehow without drastic measures? Oh well. Maybe he’ll find out. Some day. When he accepts himself as the main character.

Elena (one step away as a yandere) being the link between Shuuichi and Clair, I guess they try to make her character edgy and share some of that psychotic trait with her sister. Too bad the draggy drama just made me lose interest in why she had turned Shuuichi so. My guts tell me that because she is in love with him, turning him into this monster is the only way she gets to protect him. I don’t know. Just my twisted thinking trying to think like this twisted woman. So if she wanted to spare him this deadly game, so why transform him so? Weren’t there any other better ways to not let him involved? Say, just erase his memories only? I think I’m missing something. I thought so as long as Shuuichi and Clair do not directly meet and talk with Elena, hence the duo will continue to be together and search for answers. But looks like even the final episode didn’t change anything much. No difference Shuuichi and Clair facing off with Elena. Got his memories sealed back again. Oh well, back to square one. Yeah, it keeps the drama going on. As well as their weird romance together. This show is also romance category, right?!

I’m sure there will be more interesting characters along the way but for the ones with have seen here, they just show us the tip of the iceberg like Madoka and Koyanagi’s past and a (almost) full story on Kaito. The last one was interesting but the rest just felt like touching the surface. After all, they will need more than a season if they want to really flesh out the other characters especially in Koyanagi’s group (which is a very small team) and don’t want to take the spotlight away from Shuuichi-Clair dynamism. Yeah, they’re both separate individuals but also at the same time are one. Your mind ready to explode? Then there’s that Tadanori dude who is just here to fight the strongest. I can’t help feel his character might exist just for plot convenience. He says he gave his life to Shuuichi and Clair but won’t join any others (so that we may forget about him). So I’m willing to bet when our main heroes are in danger, they can just whip out their phones and call their trump card to the rescue. I bet the same can be said about Mifune because she’s so irrelevant for now but I can wager that she too is in love with Shuuichi but for now just maintains status quo. I guess normal people are not the focus of this series. So what’s this about her trying to transfer away to another school? How the f*ck is that even so relevant?!

Last but not least, Alien himself. There are so many mind boggling questions that I want to ask him but I don’t want to confuse myself by opening another can of worms. So I take it at face value of what he is saying that he is truly waiting to gather all of his friends. But also deep down inside, I feel that there is more to it. I mean, does he have a whole checklist of his comrades on the spaceship? I’m not sure if aliens take a rollcall but I wonder how he will know if all his comrades have been gathered. He already told us that gathering is not his specialty so that we will stop asking why he just doesn’t get the job done by himself instead of asking others. I mean, does he not have any high-tech alien technology equipment to help him? Asking puny humans to do a needle in a haystack search instead. Suspicious. And how did Alien crash away so far from his ship? Assuming he truly doesn’t know where the crash site is, so how did he pick this abandoned hotel as his base? Unless the ship is right there… Oh dear…

Furthermore, granting people who find the coin anything they desire only shows that everybody is just bloody selfish. Because somebody could have just wished they turned into some giant coin magnet and instantly find all the coins. There. All your friends gathered. Now to go home. Goodbye. The end. Then all this f*ck sh*t wouldn’t have happened! So it could be that this is some battle royale and Alien is just amusing himself with this entertainment as he waits for the big mothership to arrive and invade Earth! HOLY SH*T! DID I JUST COME UP WITH THAT LAME ASS CONSPIRACY THEORY?! And if a coin is only valid for 1 power up, what happens to the coin when Alien uses it to grant their wish? Hmm… I don’t see the alien comrade popping up anywhere.

Good news for me, the horror elements aren’t so scary that I have sleepless nights. I don’t think I ever grew out of it but even those scary shadows aren’t looking that scary. It sure may look chilling for Shuuichi’s monster form to have a zipper and then Clair hopping inside of him but once you get used to it, it isn’t scary anymore. Maybe a bit grotesque because it’s Shuuichi’s innards or something. Clair entering Shuuichi feels like she is piloting a mini mecha but not made of metal but organic. Weird, huh? And the monster designs too aren’t that scary. I don’t remember any jump scares (are there?!) but even if this is of the horror genre, I think they want to emphasis on the action bits. It is quite interesting to see that different monsters have different ability but since this season feels a lot like introductory, I guess we’ll have to wait and see if there would be clash of the titans out there. I mean, there are going to be a lot more stronger and weirder monsters out there and at this point it just shows that the battle royale to see who the strongest monster is, isn’t on the cards yet. Only the weak ones get weeded out at this point. But I still can’t believe Madoka who is just crazy strong got killed off like that. Oh well, it’s one of those unexpected… But also be warned that there are quite graphic scenes of blood and limbs being torn off (Elena pulling off Shuuichi’s head!!!) so be warned. After all, when Hikawa got killed off, that should be a warning sign already.

And now to touch on my favourite fanservice elements and it’s probably what this series will also be remembered for. Uh huh. Clair making sexual innuendo quotes about getting into Shuuichi and she’s feeling all wet and sticky all over. I don’t know if I’m supposed to laugh or cringe at that moment. And that is why freckle face girl is such a hottie because in every episode you’ll at least get to see her once in her undies as she strips down to get inside of Shuuichi. Oh yeah. Cringe sexy lines and jokes sure to liven up your day. Now you giggling like an innocent kid? I bet not. Damn Shuuichi is such a lucky bastard he already has 2 girls inside of him (Yoshioka too, remember?). I figure if Elena had her way, she would also get inside of him. Yeah, if Shuuichi proves how hot he is, probably he’ll turn lesbos Koyanagi and Aihara straight and they too want to get inside of him! Sorry yuri fans, Koyanagi x Clair was just a big cock teaser! Hence the fanservice may borderline very thinly between pornographic fap material and creepy and disturbing. Unless you have such fetish, then you do you. Ultimate horror is when a guy who can transform into a hot sexy babe and in this form will also have a zipper at the back in which another guy can get inside of her. Is this gay or straight sex then?! I hope this won’t happen. Ever!

Art and animation are rather okay. But I find the colouring and hues to be a bit bland. Is it trying to be edgy? I mean, not many characters have really bright colourful hairstyles. After all, got to be close as realistic as possible. Of course some characters look really weird like as though they came out from One Piece. Like say, Madoka. This is his human form. But I guess it makes him look fiercer than his pre-loser version before he found a coin. And Kaito and Sakuma have freaking spread out lion hair! Speaking of which, some of the character designs I think I’ve seen them from elsewhere like Mifune I thought she was Mina from Karakai Jouzu No Takagi-san. I want to link Elena with Monogatari Series’ Sengoku but I think it’s just the similar hat they’re wearing. Worse, I think Taguchi’s design is stolen after Mortal Kombat’s Kenshi! See the freaking striking resemblance! Blind guy with a red bandana over his eyes and he carries a sword! I think it’s more than just coincidence. Others feel too generic like Shuuichi looking like your typical anime main character, Alien looking your typical blonde anime guy and Youta looking like your typical handsome ikemen guy. This anime is produced by Pine Jam who did Gamers, Just Because and Mahou Shoujo Nante Mou Ii Desu Kara.

Voice acting, got a few recognizable seiyuus like Natsuki Hanae as Shuuichi, Kana Hanazawa as Elena, Shizuka Itou as Koyanagi, Takahiro Sakurai as Alien and Hiroki Yasumoto as Tadanori. I didn’t think it was Nao Touyama behind Clair’s voice until I finished watched the series. The other casts are Takuma Terashima as Youta (Shiroe in Log Horizon), Kana Ichinose as Yoshioka (Marlya in Fairy Gone), Kazutomi Yamamoto as Isao (Yumoto in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love), Kouki Uchiyama as Kaito (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), You Taichi as Subaru (Sayo in Love Lab), Ryota Ohsaka as Naoto (Yuiga in Bokutachi Wa Benkyou Ga Dekinai), Haruka Shiraishi as Honoka (Asirpa in Golden Kamuy), Mitsuo Iwata as Madoka (Ivankov in One Piece), Hisako Kanemoto as Aihara (titular characer in Shinryaku! Ika Musume) and Souya Chiba as Ikeuchi (Kou in Jibaku Shounen Hanako-kun).

The opening theme is Altern-ate- by H-el-icall//. They add some typical organ play you hear in some horror genres into some parts of the song and choir effects to add to the creepiness but otherwise this is generally just a generic anime pop music. The ending theme is weird. Ame To Taieki To Nioi by Mili sounds like an alien is singing it. That kind of feeling somewhat reminds me of the ending theme for Zettai Shonen. On a trivial note, the next episode preview may not be anything much, but I can’t help ponder what that creepy macho man voice is saying in the background. YOUR BRA, TAKE OFF, GIVE ME PANTSU????!!! Is that what he said???!!! I know I’m wrong but I can’t hold back laughing like mad thinking if that is what he said!!!

Overall, this show really had potential to be interesting but unfortunately it became a draggy affair that ended up going nowhere. It’s not that bad and still watchable (except maybe some scenes are a bit graphic). They thought having fanservice and sexual innuendoes would help pull in viewers and even if that did the trick, it might leave many with some bad aftertaste in the mouth. After all, everyone who gets inside of Shuuichi comes out all wet and sticky! Yeah, you could say just like the plot, it was just messy. Haha! And just like kinky sex, this show is just weird. Just like masturbating to porn, you feel great and excited and doing it but once you’re done jerking off, you just feel so empty inside. Did I just make some reference to relate about Shuuichi’s emptiness? Hope not. But I’m willing to give this another chance provided they have another season. Better plot progression, better character development, better monster action and yes, better fanservice and sex jokes. What do you mean sex jokes are nut funny?! I mean, cum on people!

El Cazador De La Bruja

October 17, 2020

Finally. How many years has it been? I kept delaying to watch Bee Train’s final trilogy of girls with guns. El Cazador De La Bruja for the dumbest and silliest of reasons. Maybe I wasn’t that interested to begin with. Even though it is my policy to finish what I started (in the loosest terms, anyway). And now, because of the Corona virus, the lack of animes to watch for that period had me decide to just pick this up and get it over with. Finally. FINALLY! For better or worse, now I can finally put this trilogy of girls with guns to rest. The back burner of my mind and those pesky inner voices won’t be bugging me from time to time now. Heh. Talk about ultimate procrastination…

Episode 1
An opening statement about the theory of Maxwell’s Demons, huh? Don’t understand… Ellis is doing a street performance. But nobody wants to donate. Only Nadie. Well, Ellis wants more and even so, not even a thanks! However Nadie is here to get Ellis. Though Ellis plays dumb she is that person, Nadie won’t be fooled as her face is all over the wanted posters. Nadie wants to take her away before bounty hunters arrive. Oh, they’re here. Don’t worry, greedy bounty hunters trying to outdo each other so the girls manage to get away. Douglas Rosenberg is in charge of Project Leviathan and it looks like Ellis is the main star. He is notified that Ellis has been found. Nadie talks to the granny whom Ellis has been living with. Granny takes Nadie’s fortune readings. A miserable life from now onwards and it’s only going to get worse! There goes her happy dreams. Granny believes Nadie can protect Ellis who has some wish to head south. She couldn’t leave because of granny in mind. Later Nadie talks to Ellis about this. Because now that Ellis is wanted, it puts granny’s life in danger. So now Ellis won’t go back? Ellis knows she is wanted because she is a murderer. Though, she can’t remember anything else. Then granny’s place blows up. Those damn bounty hunters. When both sides are at a standoff, Ellis’ stare causes the baddies’ gun to become hot and explode! Ellis then sees dying granny who then gives her a glowing stone and wants her to head south to some Incan eternal place called Winay Marka. She doesn’t want Ellis to blame herself for this as it isn’t her fault to begin with. Nadie follows Ellis since she made a promise to protect her despite Ellis warning her not to if she doesn’t want to be killed. Hey, her life is going to get worse from now on, right? Might as well take the bull by the horns and laugh! And off they go towards the south.

Episode 2
Their jeep broke down in the middle of nowhere. One of Ellis’ mysterious abilities is to see quite far ahead so she spots a diner. Run by Frida, they rest for a while but it seems Frida doesn’t like Nadie as she is a bounty hunter. She views people with such jobs as stupid. As luck would have it, Nadie accidentally breaks something so they are forced to work to pay for their food. The difference in treatment is startling. Ellis treated like a dear. A regular customer later reveals that Frida was once a bounty hunter too in her heydays. However her only daughter, Maria despises it so much that she went to live by herself in the children’s home. Frida gave up bounty hunting and opened a diner but attempts to reconcile with Maria failed. Meanwhile there is a creepy pretty boy stalker, L.A watching Ellis’ every move. As Nadie is out in town to do errands, she makes a call to Jody Hayward to update her about Ellis as well as to know who she is. But she is told nothing more than to continue protecting Ellis. Before she heads back, she spots Maria and takes her back. Meanwhile somebody sets fire on the regular customer’s bike. So Ellis having some asphyxiation. L.A having orgasm watching her breathe like that?! ARE THEY BOTH HAVING ORGASMS?! The fire is a distraction for a bounty hunter to kidnap Ellis. Luckily he can’t get away since L.A messed with the engine. Frida then confronts the bounty hunter and shoots him when he tries to draw. When Nadie returns, she realizes what is happening so she pretends to be the one who shot the bounty hunter so as to make Maria hate her. Nadie is okay with this lie because Frida helped to protect Ellis so it’s her turn to protect Frida. She hopes mother and daughter will reconcile. After their jeep is fixed, Nadie and Ellis continue their journey.

Episode 3
Nadie and Ellis barely escape from a policeman who recognized them as wanted. After travelling some distance, it seems the rainy weather has turned certain roads into rivers. So they seek shelter in a nearby cabin. So the owner’s dead (that skeleton bones in the corner). Feel free to make yourself like home. Shockingly, everything still in working order. How convenient. Also, for some reason, Ellis rescues a newt from the river. New pet? As they talk about stuffs, Ellis mentions about killing her professor so Nadie responds by viewing her as different but not weird. There will be those who view her positively and others negatively. Just ignore the hate and life will be easier to get by. Meanwhile that policeman talks to Ricardo who is his old friend and another bounty hunter chasing Ellis. He finds it weird that Ricardo is bringing a young girl, Lirio who isn’t even his daughter on this trip. But as a friend, he advises him to give up bounty hunting. However Ricardo doesn’t think so. A pair of gay bounty hunters have tracked them down and are about to ambush but L.A destroys the bridge. So they head back to their car and wait for the weather to clear up for a chance to ambush. Ellis accidentally cuts her finger while cooking so we see snippets of that murder. Nadie had to suck on it to stem the bleeding. After dinner, they thought they heard footsteps. Nadie goes to check it out but is put to sleep by L.A’s perfume. So L.A is here just to tell Ellis he has always been watching her? Creepy. He believes that he will become someone precious to her. Though, Ellis disagrees. When the weather clears up that night, the gay bounty hunters are about to move but L.A puts them to sleep. Don’t disturb Ellis’ rest… Next day, Nadie and Ellis give thanks to their great host before continuing their journey. Also, Ellis can’t take the newt so it’s goodbye too. And L.A continues to watch from afar. Damn, this guy is sure creepy as hell.

Episode 4
Nadie and Ellis are taking cover along with a few nuns from gunfire by those gay bounty hunters. Not sure how long it has lasted but Ellis has fallen asleep! Hayward narrates about the secret project, R-339 AKA Project Leviathan that Rosenberg is in charge with. As she is from the audit department, she is trying to get him to answer some few shady questions regarding the funds but he always keeps giving excuses. Of course she manages to trick him so he better check on those. And then something about Dr Heinz Schneider who is the professor tasked to watch Ellis. Not sure if Ellis actually killed him and even if she did, why? Back to the shootout, now it’s hide and seek? Gay guys too stupid to further check. Girls too naïve as they come out of their hiding as soon as they leave. Nadie and Ellis try to make a run for it so as not to get the nuns involve anymore. They slip up since Ellis dropped her stone and returned to retrieve it. Gotcha. The gays have them at gunpoint. Especially at Nadie who clumsily tripped over a statue?! When Ellis starts her weird breathing, as explained it is one of her unknown abilities to control the nature of the molecules. This is called Maxwell’s Demons. Ellis melts a shoe of one of the guys. Off balance, Nadie fights back. The other nuns also fight back and knock out the other gay. God forgives. Then it becomes some short car chase scene that turns into a chicken game. The ladies got more balls than the guys. Anyway they won. So they give up? The nuns thank the ladies for helping them overcome this trial of God? Oh, but Ellis isn’t a child of God… Meanwhile we see Hayward spying on Rosenberg meeting a senator. She claims her mission is to stop Project Leviathan. Next day as Rosenberg returns her audit queries, he notes he knew she was around. Ellis has a nightmare about some experiment but Schneider calmed her down. Then Nadie sees her crying in her sleep.

Episode 5
Once again, the jeep runs out of fuel. Didn’t Nadie just fill up? Thankfully a passing salesman takes them to the nearest remote village. A mechanic takes a look at the problem and realizes there is a hole in the gas tank’s bottom. He patches it up but since this is just an amateurish job, they have to get it really fix when they head town. However they can’t go now as the mountain pass is dangerous at this point. Looks like they’re staying here for the night. The salesman is also trying to sell clothes. High quality. You think anybody can buy? Except for local girl, Rita. In fact, she’s buying on credit? She claims she’ll pay him back once she hits it big in town. Rita is also pleading to Nadie to take her out of this town. She is sick of staying here and wants to get out. Rita believes she is ready to live on her own. However when Nadie explains she is a bounty hunter and Ellis is the target. However Nadie gets upset and thinks they’re lying just because they don’t want to bring her. That night, the salesman tries to kidnap Ellis. But Nadie anticipates this and is faster in drawing her gun. Nadie has suspected the salesman because she only told him her car ran out of fuel and it wasn’t damaged. Seeing he knew about the damage, this means he was the one who caused it. Then this WTF moment, the salesman pours oil into the room. Hah! Nadie can’t shoot, right? This allows Rita who is his accomplice to kidnap Ellis. So easy. They take the jeep and drive to town. They’ll strike it rich! Unfortunately with Rita driving too fast, the patch comes off and the jeep starts losing fuel. Nadie manages to borrow the mechanic’s car and go after them. Dumb salesman’s gun bullet ricochets off the rock and onto their own fuel trail. Off the edge. However Ellis didn’t fall with them and floated as the jeep falls off. I guess in the end they only save Rita. She is confined to bed but still hopes of getting out of this town one day. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise because now Nadie can travel in the salesman’s caravan. What an upgrade.

Episode 6
Miguel is a bad mariachi. A few bounty hunters show him a picture of Ellis and if he can help capture her, they’ll share their reward. Miguel recognizes the other woman as Nadie. Meanwhile Ellis reads a romance story on Nadie and Miguel! Turns out it is fiction and so happen the protagonists name are the same! Nadie trying to lecture about love? Ellis might think she hates men! Oh look. Here comes Miguel! One punch in the face! That’s his same ol’ Nadie he knows! As they hang out, we see their short fling together. Nadie was hired as a waitress out of pity so Miguel helped her a lot. He told her about his dreams to be a top mariachi but if only he had money to get a better guitar. Nadie gave her pay to him. Hey, not like she needed money, RIGHT?! But then she spotted him spending it on some jewellery for another girl! Heartbroken, you bet that was where the first punch came from. Miguel claims he can pay her back and then wants her to meet tonight. He’ll wait forever till she comes. You think Nadie knows better and despite her mouth says no, you can tell her body is going to do the opposite. Yup, she actually meets this jerk! So while he takes her out to a fancy restaurant, when she returns from the toilet, she finds him gone. Asking about, it seems he just left. Stood up again, huh? It seems he went back to get Ellis! Sneaky. Yeah, how can Nadie leave her alone just for a guy?! And why the heck L.A allowed this?! Wasn’t he spying on sleeping Ellis?! For some reason, she finds out where he works but is told he was fired for being a lousy mariachi. Yeah, he can’t be trusted. You don’t say… By the time Nadie rushes back, Ellis is gone. She confirms with the receptionist Miguel took her away. Miguel tries to give Ellis to those bounty hunters for his reward. You bet they won’t! Besides, a wanted poster of Miguel is up. Looks like some gang boss wants him dead or alive for knocking up his girl???!!! So is Miguel going to die? Not if Nadie is here to the rescue! Yeah, she shoots the bounty hunter. But what’s this? Miguel also dead?! Who shot him?! Anyway, Miguel’s girlfriend somehow comes rushing in and sad that they’re supposed to leave this place together. Cue for Nadie to get Ellis and leave. Continuing their journey, Nadie sounds like a sourpuss talking about how men can’t be trusted and don’t follow them blindly. But Ellis points out she just did. Oh well… But Ellis starts crying?! Nadie too???!!! Is this love?! Damn, love so confusing?! Man, this episode is weird…

Episode 7
Looks like Nadie and Ellis no longer have any ride and have to walk. Nadie tries her sexy pose to hitchhike. Nobody takes the bait. She doesn’t think Ellis can do it but apparently she got it on her first go. Must be a lolicon. At the next town, they stay a night at a lavish hotel. Nadie notices Ellis’ hair shorter. Did she cut them? Nope. You see, last episode when Nadie went to Miguel, L.A not only kissed sleeping Ellis but also cut her hair as keepsake! Creepy! Yeah, he made it into a straw doll charm. And anybody who mocks it gets killed! Nadie and Ellis soon notice Lirio waiting at the lobby. She is waiting for Ricardo to return. Hence the girls hang out in the meantime like playing in the pool (you mean this is extra charge if you’re not VIP?!) and Lirio ordering a lavish meal! Oh well, Nadie has got money problems… Hence she calls Hayward for some help. I guess ATMs do not exist in this part of town so Nadie has to go off and wait till some pickup driver drops her the goods. Meanwhile, Ricardo is seen fighting L.A. The latter is superior but because he is cocky, Ricardo manages to surprise and knock him out. So that’s it? Didn’t dispose or the body or take him back somewhere or something? Nadie and Ricardo return to the hotel at the same time and both their girls are waiting. Ricardo thanks them for looking after Lirio before taking their leave.

Episode 8
L.A is interrogated by Rosenberg for not doing his job and being an Ellis stalker instead. Meanwhile Nadie and Ellis enter a bad part of town. Creepy guys keep staring at them until this tough dude, Sanchez comes by. Enough for them to just get the hell out. He warns the girls to get out of here and if they have money, it’ll be worse. But subsequently, Nadie gets caught in between a gunfire feud. OMG. She got shot! How could that even happen?! Luckily it’s not fatal but she is rushed to the hospital to get the bullet out of her waist. But with no doctors available, Ellis then uses her ability to extract the bullet out. Sanchez sees this and immediately brings her back to his family’s home to meet his father, Enrique who is also the family head. Looks like he is dying and he wants Ellis (whom Enrique keeps mistaking as Paulina) to heal him. He’ll pay or give her anything while explaining that with Enrique dying, there is now a fight to be his successor. Unfortunately Ellis can’t do that so Sanchez tells her he can’t let her leave until she does that or she’ll have to die. Once Nadie is discharged, she finds out where Ellis is and makes her way there. Sanchez tells his story of how Enrique picked him up as a street kid although he never felt like he was part of the family. I guess it is Enrique’s last moments so Ellis plays along as Paulina and makes him go in peace. Sanchez is glad that he was somewhat with his family then. Then they discovered a keychain in Enrique’s pocket, one that Sanchez thought he threw away a long time ago. So I suppose this means Enrique had considered Sanchez to be family too, huh? Finally he can cry. After the girls leave, it is narrated that Sanchez left the town too but his whereabouts unknown.

Episode 9
Nadie and Ellis are missing? Actually, they were from a run from a bounty hunter because Nadie ran out of bullets. So they ended up in an abandoned town. They meet a young woman named Iris Gonzalez and she is digging for silver. Funny, didn’t this town ran out of silver, that’s why it’s abandoned? More accurately, she is looking for a silver cross. Apparently she never thought what to do after graduating so father handed her some old map to let her look for it. Gee, I guess going straight to work after graduation must sound too cliché, huh? Anyway, Nadie and Ellis help look for it and meanwhile the baddie just arrived. He has a special ability and that is a very keen sense of hearing. Also, this guy has a penchant of using grenades so he is bombing the mines to bury them alive. So what the girls do? Don’t worry, this is fine, carry on mining! WTF???!!! I guess the rumblings in the mines and the danger it might cave in doesn’t outweigh Iris’ goal to find the silver cross, huh? Eventually with all the holes made from the bombing or digging, eventually Nadie and the baddie come face to face. Yeah, Nadie (borrowed a gun from Iris earlier) is faster and shoots him down. That easy, huh? But that guy isn’t going down alone. He is going to take himself out with everyone with his final bomb. Of course we know that won’t work because the girls jump for cover in time. So now the place is going to cave in? Oh right. Follow the map and bingo! A room with a giant silver cross! Jackpot! Gee, it’s so shiny as though somebody just polished it. But they have to escape since the place caves in. Then they dig the rest of their way out when they’re near the exit. Yeah, the mines so kind to let them dig out before caving in completely. As Nadie and Ellis part, Iris wants to stay back and dig out the silver cross. Yeah, she realizes her stuffs are all inside the mine. Oh dear. What to do? Nobody ever heard the retrieval of a silver cross…

Episode 10
Since Rosenberg is away, Hayward manages to sneak into his office to steal his papers on Project Leviathan. Speaking of him, Rosenberg has managed to brainwash L.A never to go after Ellis again. In the next town, Nadie and Ellis save Antonio from a tough guy jerk by pointing the gun at his balls. Yup, this guy got no balls and passes out. As thanks, Antonio brings them back to his taco diner and introduces him to his sexy wife, Margarita. Later, Antonio thinks Nadie is hired by Marcus to kill him. Of course she denies. So Antonio tells the whole story that he too lived a life of crime until 3 years ago where he messed up and got sent to prison. He met Marcus there who was in for life imprisonment. Antonio was released 2 years later and tasked by Marcus to kill Margarita who was his woman. Yeah, can’t see her anymore, might as well kill her! I guess there’s no such thing as visitation rights here. Of course Antonio can’t bring himself to kill this angel. He decided to put his past behind him and start anew. And not sure how Marcus found out so he wants them dead. Sick guy. Meanwhile L.A escapes and this is all part of Rosenberg’s plan so to awaken the real Ellis. That night, a sound is heard. Nadie and Antonio go to check it out but realize to late this diversion because Margarita got kidnapped. So this Marcus dude escaped prison or his life sentence got reduced? Anyway as they both argue about Antonio going back to this life, Margarita pops up. When the sound was heard, Ellis led her away to hide. So it is Ellis who got kidnapped by Marcus instead. I guess they have enough time for Antonio to tell Margarita the whole truth. The angel doesn’t get mad but hopes he won’t keep anymore secrets from her. How sweet. As Nadie and Antonio still argue who to go rescue Ellis, Margarita suggests they both go save her. Not sure about this plan of Nadie hiding behind Antonio. This guy is fat, right?! You wonder why things are taking too long because it looks like Ellis knocked Marcus out with her maracas! But not sure if Ellis actually killed the guy because they see his blood all over the floor! Oh my. Next they, they part as Nadie asks Margarita why she fell for Antonio. Well, he reminded her of her dog. That’s one good laugh for the road.

Episode 11
Some cult is thinking of taking action on Ellis but they have to be cautious since this might put them at a disadvantage. Once more, Nadie is shut down by Hayward regarding Ellis’ nature. Just do your job in protecting her until you receive further orders. In the next town, looks like they’re celebrating some holy event. The witch wowing the crowd by twisting swords but a few guys think she is a scam. Ellis reacts to it and passes out. The duo then find themselves in the nice luxurious house of Natarsha (that witch). Nadie recognizes her as a scam artist because she is famous worldwide quite a while ago. Natarsha admits to that and yeah, she has scammed so many and earned so much that her cat was able to live a luxurious life and died of diabetes!!! So she has been running and lying low for a while and stumbled upon this town where they had an ancient folklore about witches. So she’s trying to make a comeback? Further revelation reveals that Natarsha does have an ability, that is to read memories of the one she touches. She had this ability since young and was bullied. Nothing like scamming the world to get back at them, eh? That night, I guess the people have realized they’ve been scammed so they head down to Natarsha’s house to demand a refund. When a fire breaks out, Ellis goes into that weird asphyxiation to summon the wind to put it out. The people think this is the real witch’s magic and runs away. Now you believe? Stupid herd mentality people. As Natarsha catches an unconscious Ellis, she sees her true memories from the start. The next day after the duo leaves, Natarsha calls the White House to make a deal in exchange for Ellis. HOW THE F*CK?! Damn, she even negotiates for payment and guarantee of their lives?! CAN SHE?! Don’t tell me the White House is going to accept this sh*t?! But that won’t happen because those cultist send weird people to assassinate her and burn down her house. Karma finally caught up on her.

Episode 12
Hayward just arrived in town and calls Nadie. Too bad she is in a middle of a gunfight with those weird cultist goons. Man, I don’t know how long the phone receiver Nadie is for her to run, hide and talk to Hayward like that! Nadie and Ellis manage to run and take refuge in this custom armoured truck of this gun enthusiast, Ortega. Of course they have to continue running since those goons are hot on their tail and nonstop shooting. Thank goodness for the armoured truck, eh? Yeah, nobody tried shooting the tyres unless you tell me they’re bullet proof too. Not sure how Hayward knows the number of this truck because she calls Nadie just to tell them to hold out until dawn. Until then, keep safe from the rain of bullets. How many more hours is that? You can tell Ortega is smitten with Ellis and does anything she says. Even if it means ramming through those goons ahead! But the dumb part sets in. Yeah, the armour pieces now fall off from the constant shooting (WTF?!) and when a bullet grazes his cheek, he gets scared. Think of surrendering? The girls don’t think so. Ortega is so broken that he uses his secret gatling gun to fire at the enemies! Yeah, the enemies so dumb they just stand there to get shot. And then the truck stops moving. Oh dear. Need a miracle now. Yes, a miracle happens. Because it is now dawn. Phew. Looks like Hayward has left a brand new sports car for the ladies to continue their journey. They part but Ortega wants a kiss from Ellis since he doesn’t want money for his truck to be repaired (damn inheritance money). Yeah, he got trolled because he kissed Nadie’s hand glove instead. Do girls’ lips feel rough? Better go back playing your guns, rich boy.

Episode 13
Arriving at an abandoned town supposedly ravaged by an epidemic, it seems Ellis is drawn to the strange biohazard logo. Of course they have to hide from men in hazmat suits who are trying to take their lives. Though, they have indirect help from Ricardo and L.A from the shadows. While Nadie tackles the gunfire, Ellis goes to hide. They get separated and after a while, L.A shows up before Ellis to explain the whole truth. You see, long ago there were witches who can control the elements but they died out. So there is some experiment to recreate with their DNA or something. With so many failures, Ellis is the only successful one. Yes, Ellis is an artificial life form witch. But L.A claims he is also the same as Ellis but because he is male, he doesn’t have such powers. Meanwhile Nadie stumbles into a room with films. She sees a young Ellis in some of them. Don’t tell me she can tell the whole story by just looking at them?! Anyway she destroys them by overkilling it with her gun. Don’t waste bullets! L.A continues that Ellis cannot control her powers perfectly and can only invoke them indirectly. One day she’ll be able to do that. L.A doesn’t know or care if she killed the professor. He wants them to be one but Ellis keeps her distance. She doesn’t bat an eyelid to say she hates him and doesn’t want him to follow her anymore (despite he warns her about Nadie). After she leaves, L.A thinks he was too hasty but believes she will one day return to him. Ellis and Nadie reunite. Man, Ellis hugging Nadie like that, I guess this proves Nadie is better. They continue their journey south since this is not Winay Marka. Similarly, those hazmat men also pull out. Meanwhile Rosenberg sees some high profile politician and they have plans to benefit themselves greatly soon. Nadie has a new vow to protect Ellis even if it costs her life.

Episode 14
Flashback time. Schneider and Rosenberg were in charge in some experiment on Ellis. Because Ellis refused being tested, Schneider can’t force her. Rosenberg suggested some tactic via matters of the heart so Schneider hangs out and spends time with her. Even so, Ellis doesn’t change much and Rosenberg suspects Schneider might the one changing (since he claims Ellis is no different than a normal girl). After all, if this research is cancelled, he has nowhere to go. Of course Schneider rubbishes that. One day when Ellis’ teddy is torn, she started doing that weird ability to fix it. Schneider hugged her and things returned to normal. Rosenberg continued to suspect Schneider might be messing with the data because it looked the same as last year’s. Of course Schneider denies all that and even dared him to fire him if he thought so. Schneider spent more quality time with Ellis. Best time ever. But at the end, Ellis still refused to be tested. So Schneider promised to never test her again. One day they’re celebrating Thanksgiving so what’s the occasion if Ellis wants to give him a present? It’s not Christmas. It’s because she loves him. I don’t believe it’s on the romantic lines… That is when Schneider made up his mind. He wants them to get away from here. Then we hear a gunshot. Well, you fill in your own conclusions.

Episode 15
Ellis feels guilty and leaves Nadie. Thank goodness that was just a dream. This has Nadie resolve to tell Ellis the truth. So she’s going to wait for the right time? On the news, the FBI has arrested Senator Hanss Letogen for corruption. Rosenberg sees his superior in which Project Leviathan is explained. It is to revive witches and their powers will bring them great profits since they will be monopolizing them. However the project was suspended due to some accident and the team disbanded. Rosenberg has been secretly contacting Letogen to secure funding for the project’s revival. Since the scandal has come to light, this may put their organization in danger. Hence he requests Rosenberg to take leave. It will be good for him and the organization. He will plead for a lesser charge for Rosenberg although he must confess to his wrongdoings. Nadie and Ellis arrive at a closed hotspring facility. Not sure how long it is closed but damn, the hot water still working and it’s clean water! Even the electricity is working too! Anyway, Ricardo and Lirio are here. As the kiddies play in the water, Ricardo talks to Nadie that this will be their last time seeing each other because the contract has been cut. They will leave at the end of the day so he hopes the ladies can accompany Lirio then. Soon, Nadie gets a call from Hayward to meet. She gives her a big fat cheque with bonus as part of their agreement. This means Nadie is no longer required to protect Ellis and the contract is off. Nadie is disheartened. Because Hayward will not disclose further what will happen to Ellis, Nadie returns to cheque. She is going to stay with Ellis. Apparently Ellis > money. Suddenly the hotspring is on fire! L.A attacking. So why is he cutting so dangerously with his wire if he wants to smoke out Ellis? Lirio almost gets cut so Ellis jumps to protect her. Almost gave L.A a heart attack as he almost hurt her. This distraction is enough for Nadie to ride back and slam her bike onto L.A! A short chat but L.A will be back and wants Nadie to continue protecting Ellis. After Ricardo and Lirio depart, Nadie and Ellis have the hotspring to themselves. Of course Ellis already knew about her past. Nadie never asked. Of course Nadie isn’t afraid of Ellis’ true identity and doesn’t hate her.

Episode 16
Hayward freezes Nadie’s account so as to teach her a lesson over that impulsive childish behaviour. So how is Nadie going to make a quick buck? Street performance? Nobody’s buying it. Regretting she should’ve just taken the cheque? Lucky for them, there’s this tacos diner owner who hires them just because they find his tacos delicious. He trains them (didn’t they do this gig before?) and as they work, Ellis gets her butt touched by a sleazebag. Since she doesn’t know about sexual harassment, Nadie shows her how it’s done by beating up those punks if they think they can get funny with her. Then Ricardo and Lirio walk in as customers. After Ricardo leaves for a job and Nadie commissioned by the owner to hand out flyers, L.A drops in. Damn, this guy is borderline harassing Ellis! But damn, Ellis so patient! Customer service at its finest?! When all the customers are gone, L.A is now alone with her so he is going to get his way with her? Oh damn, he even tries to hurt her? Oh sh*t, showing his horny side wanting to be one with her?! Ellis is still ever patient. Until he picks up her stone and is about to destroy. That is when Ellis gets mad and remembers Nadie’s ‘teachings’. Oh damn! Ellis beats up this guy! HOLY COW! L.A gets a beat down! Ellis wouldn’t have stopped had Nadie tell her to not go overboard. Is it because Nadie wants a piece of the action too? However L.A claims he knows where Winay Marka is. If they kill him, they will not find the place. Thus Ellis protects L.A and lets him escape. She can follow him if she wants. No thanks. She’ll stick with Nadie. L.A is still recovering from the shock of Ellis hitting him like that. But he reasons this is their love! Oh God… I think I’ve hold my puke long enough…

Episode 17
Other than that tacos job, Nadie needs another way to make a quick buck. Something she knows. Yes, bounty hunting. Tired of camping outside and their car running out of fuel, huh? So we see Nadie telling Ellis the secrets of the trade. Does Ellis understand? So there’s even some secret bounty if you know your stuffs, you can get quite a lot of money. So looks like their next target is this Guerrero guy. Because of his high bounty, this guy isn’t going to be easy to find and is in hiding. Similarly, Ricardo has also taken up this job. You bet both of them are going to bump into each other. The best is they cooperate and split the spoils 50-50. Ricardo wants 60-40 but with Lirio taking a liking for them, I guess it’s 50-50. So we see them searching around until they find where Guerrero is hiding. They have to rush in when they hear gunshots. L.A somehow got ahead and trying to kill this dude. He would’ve had not Ellis flew in just to tell him not to kill this guy. I guess Ellis lover must obey. Guerrero makes a run for it in his car. Nadie pumps some shots into it but of course didn’t hit the guy. His car loses control and is about to hit the car Lirio is in. Ellis uses her ability to turn parts of the road into the ice so he crashes into the pole. As Nadie comes to get them, she gets shot! Ellis in shock. Before Guerrero could steal their car, Ricardo shoots him. Ellis is relieved seeing Nadie didn’t get shot but slipped on the ice. Phew. What a relief. Ricardo goes to claim the reward since he gets a lower commission cut and then shares it with Nadie. Nadie and Ellis continue their journey and Ellis still a bit shaken from it all, promises she won’t say about her bounty hunting job again. So now she cares? Okay. Whatever.

Episode 18
When Nadie accidentally causes Ellie’s souvenir to break, Ellis might not show it but she’s mad alright. They end up staying at the nearest inn run by an old man, Howard Heisman who was a famous author before retiring 10 years ago. Ellis is mad enough she doesn’t want to share rooms with Nadie! Oh, look who is here to stay too. Ricardo and Lirio. I swear these couple is stalking them… Things get worse when Nadie nonchalantly comments on Ellis’ flute playing. She sucks. Oops. Yeah, Ellis won’t let her come in to even talk. Meanwhile Howard can tell L.A and Hayward are ‘stalking’ outside. He welcomes them to come in but they rather not. Hayward is suspicious of Howard because he isn’t what he seems so Howard just tells her he is a spirit. That night after Ricardo talks to Nadie about the fragility of a child’s heart, Nadie is confronted by Hayward. She reveals the real Howard died 3 years ago and this imposter might be a bounty hunter. It seems she really wants her to not let Ellis go to Winay Marka. Do it for Ellis’ sake. You think she’d be happy? Then L.A joins the conversation. On the contrary, he wants Ellis to reach there. I guess Nadie is kept in dying suspense of what is at Winay Marka. Because both won’t tell and feel it is better she doesn’t know. Before a 3 way fight begins, some fire circle surrounds them and L.A and Hayward soon vanish. Then Ricardo comes out to tell Nadie that Ellis is missing. Well, Howard led her to open some door (after he ‘disabled’ Hayward’s subordinates by just smiling at them?!) and this led them to some fields of gold. So uhm, young Ellis and young Nadie… So you telling me they’ve met before? Then Ellis returns to reality and just like that, the animosity is gone. Back to being friends again. Next day, they continue their journey. L.A finds himself in some travelling bus. Hayward and her subordinates return to the inn but realizes it is all dilapidated and abandoned… So do you believe in ghosts now?!

Episode 19
The cultist narrates about how witches’ power were once needed from the world before they somehow became persecuted. Hence they hid their existence in the dark and legends even in this manmade situations. With Project Leviathan frozen, it is not wise to leave Ellis alone, let allowing her to set foot on that place. If that happens, their entire clan will be in danger. Nadie and Ellis see Ricardo trying to hitch a ride. Car busted? They tow his car to the next town for repairs. The mechanic teases them as a married couple. I understand they can’t give away their identity but WTF Nadie not happy? Even Ellis?! The mechanic then gives them tickets to a fancy restaurant as apology. So at the restaurant, I guess it’s their policy to just seat 2 at the table. No wonder Ellis looking so jealous at Nadie at the table with Ricardo. So the adults talk about their bounty hunting life. Nothing really special. A blackout happens a few times. Nothing really happens. So by the third time you’d think the customers would think nothing of it but luckily the bounty hunters are sharp to know that this is a trap to kidnap Ellis in the dark. Damn, it’s that easy to kidnap Ellis?! Nadie punches her way through the waitresses who are Hayward’s subordinates. Ricardo can’t do anything because Lirio is hugging him?! Unconscious Ellis in Hayward’s car as they speed away. L.A wanted to stop them but some bracelet on his hand turns him into some retard as he freezes in the middle of the street. Nadie and Ricardo catch up. Can’t miss the only speeding car in town. WTF Nadie and Hayward still want to exchange words? I though Hayward is through with the traitor? And then Ellis’ stone starts to glow. Damn it explodes the car door! Ellis flies! But Nadie catches her! Ricardo pumps a few bullets into the car to stall it! Woah. So amazingly convenient!!! Later they confront the mechanic and can tell all this has been a setup. Though he admits he was forced to do it by someone’s orders, as apology he won’t charge them for the repairs. Call it even. They leave town and Ellis is happy to get Nadie back next to her. Damn, she’s sitting so close. Like a married couple?! I hope she doesn’t have a new awakening…

Episode 20
Damn, L.A so jealous Nadie is close to Ellis that he literally destroyed an entire bar? What you policemen gonna do?! But when Nadie and Ellis arrive in town, the policemen want to take them into custody. Yeah, things are so dumb that the girls literally got away! And they would have made a clean getaway had Nadie not been clumsy! While Ricardo and Lirio manage to hide Ellis, Nadie gets thrown into prison. Apparently the policemen are cooperating with L.A to get Ellis for him because as promised, he will leave town. Impatient Ellis wants to go save Nadie but Ricardo tells her to calm down and wait. He’ll go rescue her when night falls. For some reason, as Ricardo talks to Nadie from outside her cell, he tells how she and Ellis are such a good combination. Apparently this is so to make jealous L.A mad. Yeah, that sicko is eavesdropping. Hence he just kills off the policeman and goes directly to kill Nadie! Since this guy is so mad, Nadie further mocks him that he is acting more and more like a human he detests. Even more so the reason he left Ellis in her care was because he was afraid to make a mistake that will make Ellis hate him! You mad? On another try to kill her, Ellis this time pushes Nadie out of harm’s way, getting slightly injured by his wire. Oh, the horror! At least for L.A. Ellis is mad enough to pin him down and warn him if he hurts Nadie, she won’t forgive him. L.A gonna be a good boy now? L.A then reveals Nadie’s true nature as she was hired by the organization to observe her. You don’t think Ellis will believe that, will she? Oh wait. Did she?! Weird asphyxiation again. Lighting L.A’s crotch on fire????!!!!! OMFG WTF???!!! Nadie snaps her out. Ellis hugs her. L.A more jealous. He leaves. Ellis says she doesn’t care because Nadie is Nadie. She wants to end this now but he says he’ll see her again and take her to Winay Marka. And Hayward laments they lost their chance?! Did they even had any????!!! Finally Ellis and Nadie getting close. Latter thanks former for saving her. L.A blowing bubbles naked while soaking in the pond and crying. Damn, this episode is so freaking weird!

Episode 21
Damn, L.A so sad that he buys all the flowers from a girl peddler? WTF. Meanwhile Hayward is captured and her boss isn’t happy with her work. Their goal is to capture Ellis and for that to happen, all obstacles must be taken out. This means Hayward is given the task to kill Nadie. Wow. Hayward got a mean sniper gun. She’s a deadly sniper too. But can she do the job? Meanwhile we see Nadie and Ellis trying to catch a buzzard?! WTF?! I think earlier on they got duped by some old man to catch or else they’ll have to compensate. So as they fail to catch a single bird, at the same time Hayward camps out to try and take a clean shot of Nadie. Heh. So she can’t shoot if the target is moving? Yeah, Ellis gets in the line of her shot too. Can she not just move to another spot? Nadie and Ellis take refuge underneath some small rock as Nadie talks bad about Hayward. You bet she has a tracker on them and can hear all her thoughts. I think the real kicker is when Nadie notes that what makes them truly different is that Nadie has freedom. So another round of trying to catch the bird. Yeah, another silly moment. I guess the bird is just so dumbfounded and just get caught. But then Ellis just releases it! Is it to signify the freedom? Hayward, you finish being distracted? Finally a clean shot. Will she take it? A gunshot is heard but did she miss on purpose? In the aftermath, she tells her subordinates that she is a descendent of real witches. Unfortunately she can’t use any powers and is unsure if they are dormant. She started thinking if Ellis’ power will awaken at Winay Marka, so might hers. Hence she never wanted to capture Ellis in the first place and has been confused all along. But now she has decided. She might be targeted and that’s why she’ll telling this to them and letting them go. She wants to be like them and walk her own path.

Episode 22
Nadie talks to an old man who believes the whereabouts of a witch village. Though it sounds far, he also notes it has been destroyed 10 years ago in a fire. He is not sure if all of them died or the survivors fled. Also, his late wife was a witch although she can only do small time powers. Money woes again for Nadie and Ellis but do not fear, Lirio thinks of sharing this next job with them. Thankfully it is not bounty hunting either. They have to catch this puma who has been killing villagers lately. The hunt for big kitty begins but Ricardo gets injured and a nasty scar on his leg. Hold up, Lirio. You don’t think that small stick is enough to get your revenge, do you?! So Nadie tasks her to take Ricardo to the hospital while they track the beast. Eventually somebody hurts it so its blood trail makes it easier for them to follow. When they finally reach a strange ruin, the puma is dead courtesy of L.A. In this area, there is a pole that contains the same stone as Ellis. It starts to activate. Ellis now experiences some awakening. L.A so awed with this version but as he approaches her, she blasts him away! That’s some mean power. Now it’s Nadie’s turn but Hayward warns her not to since this is no longer the Ellis she knows as she has received as great power and her soul is being released. Ominous clouds hover over and the ruins start collapsing. Nadie pushes Hayward out of the way but gets hit by a rock. Then everything just goes away as Ellis regains consciousness. Oh dear. What happened to Nadie? And Rosenberg has returned…

Episode 23
L.A is going crazy, realizing Rosenberg has been making him do all his sh*t. So did using a rock to break the bracelet did anything? As Nadie lies in hospital, this makes Ellis very sad and worried. But the stone resonates and suddenly Nadie is healed. Ellis so relieved she faints?! Cue for Hayward to reveal the truth. She is a descendent of witches and through the centuries, real witches have lost their real power. So when the government was researching ‘magic’, she became interested in researching it. Many methods were used but none worked. So when Ellis was the first successful manmade witch, she thought something in her would activate. That was her private motive and her official one was to protect the clan. As we know about to project to revive witches for profit, the clan will not allow it. Even more so an artificial witch. They manage to put a stop of it but Rosenberg stepped in to revive it. Hence her role was to keep his ambitions in check. Though, she abandoned it halfway. Because she wanted to see Ellis in person, she accepted her clan’s orders to capture Ellis. As Hayward has no successor, perhaps it’s the reason why they want Ellis protected now. Hayward is glad she didn’t carry out that order. As for what Ellis said during that possession, that was a line from the witches’ verse that contains strong power. Because witches of the old can control all elements like God, it is what Rosenberg wants. It is certain that Ellis possesses that power. Because Ellis heard it all, she is now further depressed. An old man even advises her to control her powers better so that one day she doesn’t have to hurt the ones she loves. Still confused, Hayward thinks of letting her be because that is what freedom is, right? Nadie thinks otherwise. She thinks Ellis is lost as she is trying to find the answer herself. Nadie knows freedom is not easy as she thinks because she has always been alone in her life. She may be able to do what she wants but nobody was there to guide her. Hence all Nadie wanted was somebody to support her. Now Ellis goes to see L.A. Best moment in his life because now Ellis wants to run away with him not to Winay Marka but to somewhere far. But can’t run on an empty stomach. So as they have a taco break, suddenly L.A starts to act violent, trying to get Rosenberg out of his mind. Yup, this scares Ellis so she runs back to Nadie! Cue for Nadie to assure she will always be there supporting her and has decided she will take her to Winay Marka. With that, the duo continue their journey but before them is Rosenberg and he has been expecting them.

Episode 24
Rosenberg fires a warning shot. This invokes Ellis’ trauma as she passes out. Rosenberg reveals everything that happened was part of his plan. He purposely set Ellis free and put a bounty on her head so when bounty hunters chase after her, the witches panicked and sent a bodyguard to protect her. How fortunate it was Nadie. To make Nadie and Ellis bond over the long journey, hence he sent L.A. Since this guy is insane, that’s why he hired Ricardo to watch over the ladies but also keep L.A in check. What Rosenberg wants is Ellis’ power and to awaken that, he needs to drive Ellis to a corner. That ultimate fact is killing Nadie. She is the sacrifice he has prepared for Ellis’ awakening. Because Nadie doesn’t have the answers yet, she can’t kill Rosenberg so he’ll gladly wait for them at the witch’s village. Rosenberg goes to pick up a broken L.A. This guy hates him but is afraid of him getting closer. Rosenberg being the smooth operator eventually brainwashes him and then gives him his next mission to kill Ricardo. Hayward has returned with more info on Rosenberg. It seems his dad who hailed from old Berlin was researching on Maxwell’s Demons. Basically, infinite power. However he lost everything when the state took all his research and he eventually took his own life. Hence Rosenberg is doing all this to get revenge. Ellis wakes up and we see clearer snippets that she shot and killed Schneider. Hayward’s subordinates get word that L.A is out to kill Ricardo. Macho guy wants to go it alone and not let Nadie help. If she dies, who is going to protect Ellis? Oh yeah? The same can be said about Lirio, no? Hence Ricardo has Nadie ‘hire’ him to go fight L.A. Sorry, a coin is all she’s got. Keep the change. Mission accepted. Now we see the showdown between Ricardo and L.A… Uhm… Skinny Rambo?! Anyway, L.A goes crazy and at one point wanted to just go look for Ellis. Ricardo won’t let him and used Nadie’s coin distraction to shoot one at him. L.A lies at death’s door as he hallucinates and talks about his darling Ellis. I guess Lirio is so cute she could be mistaken as Ellis. Yeah, loli watching a psycho stalker die… And she’s smiling?! Oh well, might as well give him a peaceful death. But hey. Who the f*ck was supposed to be watching over Lirio???!!! Because how did she get into the battlefield?! Anyway, RIP L.A.

Episode 25
Arriving at the witch’s village. This is Winay Marka but I think it’s no Machu Picchu. Waiting for them deep in the underground lair is Rosenberg. Man, he’s in a native priest garb already. With the power of the stone, he has some sort of barrier protection and Nadie’s bullets can’t directly harm him. Of course they can’t kill him until they know the truth. Hence as they charge towards him, I can’t believe Nadie’s bullets are better than Rosenberg’s earthly powers! Eventually they get close to him. Time to reveal the truth. Rosenberg admits he was the one who shot Schneider and not Ellis. He did so because Schneider’s role is like Nadie’s. He killed him to invoke Ellis’ power. Nadie claims they will not be tools for his father’s revenge. However he laughs it off and claims they misunderstood. From what I understand, this guy is in love with Ellis! CREEPY!!! That’s why he had no qualms when Project Leviathan was put on hold because he secretly took Ellis and put her under Schneider’s care. Rosenberg uses his power to separate the girls. Ellis will be his now. Ellis realizes her memories are fading and wants Nadie to kill her before it is too late. After some deliberating, Nadie is forced to do so because it’s better than being Rosenberg’s tool. Nadie shoots through Ellis. WTF, I thought Rosenberg had some protection?! Why didn’t it work now?! Nadie is sad and apologizes for failing to protect her but rest assured, he will be with her. I’m not aware of any injuries Nadie has because she dies next to Ellis! Did she die of heart brokenness then? Rosenberg so shocked and stood there that he didn’t react to Ricardo’s warning shot. Everyone so sad the girls are dead but shockingly Lirio speaks up. Not sure if this is her true voice or some witch is channelling her thoughts through her. Because she tells Hayward to invoke her powers too. With that, she gets enough power to bring Ellis back to life. Schneider grateful to Hayward and wants Ellis to journey with him. Ellis uses his powers to push him away. Then she hugs Nadie and brings her back to life! Was it Rosenberg’s stupid move because when Ellis revived, he threw away the stone and didn’t need it and then set bombs to collapse the place. Now he runs. Nadie and Ellis go after him. Showdown outside. Who will win this gun duel? With Nadie’s guidance, Ellis pulls the trigger on Rosenberg. I don’t think that man got the guts to pull the trigger with Ellis being in front but it made me wonder if he loved Ellis, why would he pull out his gun on her. Anyway, Rosenberg is dead. The end. Weird.

Episode 26
We see Nadie and Ellis living a peaceful life as a storekeeper in a small quiet town. Then there’s the sheriff Pedro and his son Joaquin. Nadie trolling us as she advises Pedro to marry again since his wife died. You think Nadie is in love with him but she offers Ellis instead. Oh, Ellis will do it if she says so?! Sorry, Pedro not a lolicon. Besides, Joaquin being a cheeky brat who keeps calling Nadie a manly woman… I think Pedro wants to confess something but a couple of fat biker dudes enter. However they quickly leave. More Nadie and Ellis bliss and it seems both of them have to hide their past and Ellis not using her powers if they want to live this peaceful life. Soon, Hayward visits them. She has been promoted as manager for this area in some company. She updates them on Ricardo and Lirio as they are doing well and travelling. Lirio trying to learn how to use a boomerang?! This prompts Ellis to ask if they should return to journeying but Nadie doesn’t want to since they have found a nice place to settle in. Nadie is shocked with the appearance of Rosenberg! Thank goodness he is Steve Beckmann and is Hayward’s assistant. The uncanny resemblance. Sure he is not a clone or his twin brother? No? Okay. However everyone is soon taken hostage by those fat biker dudes. Do you remember them? Nadie sure didn’t. Actually they’re those gay bounty hunters! OMFG! After they were done in by them, they were badly injured and spent lots of time recuperating in hospital. In order to get back in shape to hunt them, they ate a lot. So this is the result?! I CAN’T BELIEVE HOSPITAL FOOD IS THAT NUTRITIOUS AND TASTY?! Safe to say they got out of shape instead and they’ll use the reward to slim down. Can’t blame them for living under a rock. This isn’t the age of the internet either. So shocking news, boys. The bounty on Ellis is off. Since they still don’t want to lose, the turning point is when they call Hayward an old hag. I guess time to fight back. Hey, slim girls move faster than fat dudes. Pedro and Joaquin late to save the day, huh? But another moment of distraction has those fatties turn the tables again. This is when Ellis uses her powers instantly to heat up the gun and Nadie showing us she still has her sharpshooting skills. In the aftermath, the fatties are arrested and looks like the ladies’ secret are out so they have to leave. Even if the townspeople don’t care and will still love them, I guess Ellis wants to go on a journey. Yeah, she loves Nadie’s shining eyes than her crying eyes (because Nadie so touched with their kindness). And so, the duo return to journeying. Where to go next? Let’s go see Lirio for a start.

Road Trip: The Women Who Taco Chance With Fate
So I suppose the quiet and peaceful life isn’t the cup of tea for Nadie and Ellis. They just can’t sit around and do nothing or normal things because after that long dangerous journey, it would seem so out of character. Yeah, it’s crazy but I guess those girls have come to terms and love the dangers that come with it. And so once more they’re back on the road and with no particular goal in mind, maybe they can just sit back and enjoy the scenery. No crazy people trying to go after them anymore and even crazy creepy psycho stalkers. Take it slow and easy, girls. I’m just glad that I’m not going to follow them on this trip! Phew. That’s it, I’m out!

I might not remember much about Noir and Madlax, but I think this series is easily the worst and most boring of the trilogy. Yes, you heard me right. But hey, at least this is not the most complicated one. Yeah, the story is fairly simple and for the most part it was draggy seeing that it was trying to drag out the drama and adventure of the main characters. You see, for a big part of the series, many of the episodes as we seen Nadie and Ellis journey through, they seemed more like standalone episodes. It’s like they go into one town, get involved in some mini mess but always came out without a hitch and with that they get to continue their journey again. Heck, for those seemingly standalone episodes, at the end of those episodes, the narrator will even give a short account of what happened to the guest character of that episode. In case we are ever so interested in knowing their fate. I mean, do we even really care? But hey, at least they give us a closure of what happened to them. Yeah, we won’t really hear from them ever again after that. So please be assured despite never hearing from them again, they carried on with their own lives. Somewhat. Sort of.

Anyway, the long draggy drama of Nadie and Ellis stumbling into many towns on their way south is perhaps part and parcel of the formula to see them bond together. Imagine if we eliminate all those standalone episodes and get right to the real story, it would have ended too soon and everything would have felt rushed. So in order to see how Nadie and Ellis get close to each other, hence the draggy standalone episodes. They might not amount to anything story wise and sometimes can be boring and silly, but I supposed they need to show us how Ellis started to trust and open her heart to Nadie. So that when the end comes and the big truth is revealed, you can’t say that there was nothing going on between them. They’ve been through a lot of situations (the good, the bad and the silly) so you bet they’re going to look out for each other in the end. Though honestly, personally I don’t really feel that they are THAT close to each other. I don’t know, it feels like their relationship is mostly quite, uhm, robotic? Is that the right word? Unless something dramatic happens like the other party getting injured or experiencing near death, their odd relationship with some sarcasm and the likes feel a bit robotic.

In view of all that, basically I can’t say much about the characters too. Especially Nadie and Ellis who are the main characters and as said, the draggy episodes are supposed to show us how they bond and trust each other. Due to plot convenience, there’s a lot of dumb luck involved in getting them out of sticky situations. It’s either they are very lucky or some goddess (or a witch) is watching over them. For a very dangerous and long journey, I seem to observe that Nadie is quite laidback. Even when she sounds serious, there is this sort of easy going feel to her character. With her being the main character, you bet she has nothing to worry about because the clichés will take care of it. As for Ellis, because she is an artificial manmade witch, I guess she is made to look like a retard. And of course with all the journeying and experience with Nadie, it is one way to showcase to us that she is slowly learning what it is to be human. Honestly, I was still bored by the end that generally I see them still the same as they were at the start. Yes sir. Uhm, shouldn’t it be yes ma’am? Whatever. So witch or no witch, natural or manmade, Ellis will always be Ellis.

Rosenberg being the evil mastermind genius of all this, I realize he is just one of those dumb villains because he went and did all this elaborate setup just because he loves Ellis and wanted to be with her. I might be missing something here but I suppose don’t you think if you really love a person, do you not want to spend time with that person yourself? Instead, he went with this elaborate road trip plan to make it so complicated! I don’t know, was he using Schneider to test if Ellis would open up and love back like a human? Well, she proved it. So I’m guessing Rosenberg didn’t do this himself was because he was afraid of being rejected. Like as though he thought Ellis was like some angel far beyond his reach or something. And to think to make her spend time with the person she bonded with and then kill them off, do you seriously think Ellis would want to love you back?! I mean, you killed the people she loves! That makes you a villain, dumbass! Yeah, seriously. I don’t know what this guy is thinking.

And to think that his love for Ellis was the biggest twist to the series. Not the revival of a witch, not eternal powers and not even a revenge story! Thank goodness he died in the silliest way ever. Good riddance. And his last words were that he envied Ellis? Oh yeah. Ellis was way closer to Nadie than he is. But sorry folks, still no yuri. Yes sir. No wonder he’s so envious till his last breath. I don’t know too, during his leave from the project and as Nadie and Ellis continue to journey south, we see him and his female companion living in some luxurious mansion by the picturesque mountains and lake. Like what the heck is this for but wasting our time?! So when he finally made a move and left, was it an indication he is a lolicon than into mature woman?! Haha! Who cares anyway?!

Then there is Ricardo and Lirio who are unofficially Nadie and Ellis’ allies. Something tells me that there is a conspiracy for them to always bump into each other even after Ricardo has stopped taking orders from Ricardo. I don’t know if Ricardo is attracted to Nadie but from what I’ve seen, nothing. Call it fate but I’m calling it plot convenience because if Nadie is in a punch, Ricardo will somehow be there to help her out. For some odd reasons never explained (or maybe I was so bored I wasn’t paying attention or have forgotten), they never told us his relationship with Lirio. Is this his real daughter? Why bring her along on a dangerous mission? Unless he has no home. But still, to bring a kid onto bounty hunting missions, that is f*cking seriously dangerous. But don’t worry. Lirio is such a cute loli so she’ll be kept safe. Somehow. Yeah, she’s so cute that you won’t realize she is like a retard and mute. Each time Lirio smiles, it’ll warm your heart and make you go, “Awww… So cute this loli. I forgive you”. And then you forget everything was just dumb. Yeah. And now she wants to handle a boomerang just to help Ricardo just in case. Little girl, can you even handle your milk?!

Hayward being the latest ally to Nadie and Ellie, she too doesn’t fall very far from the tree of silliness. I suppose they have to make this cool beauty feel conflicted and lost about her goals since as the last descendant of witches, what else is there to do to protect her clan? I don’t even know if those witches (the cultists whom I keep referring to throughout my blog because that’s the vibe they gave off) have very deep pockets because somehow Hayward can fund Nadie and Ellis journey from cash to even a brand new car! And they’re not even the government! And his is during a time where the internet wasn’t such a global thing yet! And this is Mexico and Latin America, right? Damn. Awfully weird. Even weirder when those cultist have weird ‘action members’ that dress up in weird garb. Short of me calling them a spinoff of the KKK since their top isn’t a pointy triangle but limp like lamb ears. Like, WTF these people?!

Lastly, L.A. This guy is definitely creepy and the weirdest in terms of his personality. I think psychotic may be the right word because he too is an Ellis lover. Unfortunately like the rest, he is also plotted in for plot convenience. The occasional sparring with Nadie or Ricardo just to give us some action bits but you know how it all ends anyway. It’s a good thing they killed him off too because I can’t imagine him being part of the group. Somebody whom Ellis despises and though he isn’t as bad as Rosenberg, I suppose we have seen too much of his fair share of being a crazy Ellis stalker. Good riddance. RIP, L.A. You won’t be missed, though.

Speaking about the action bits, I think these parts are quite mediocre. They have to live up to the girls with guns theme but I don’t find the gun action here to be anywhere satisfying. Heck, I don’t think it is even passable. Dumb luck always has Nadie getting her out of sticky situations while her enemies have Stormtrooper aiming abilities. No wonder she gets to tell her enemies “If you have your last words, say it now” as the punch line right before she finishes them off. Yes, that I suppose is her favourite line. Also, I just don’t feel the impact of Nadie firing her pistol. This makes Nadie look like she’s firing a toy gun. And despite the gunshots, this anime also try to do away with blood. Just like Noir and Madlax, this series is also shy about showing blood. There are some scenes that show blood but it is just miniscule.

I didn’t notice it but apparently I found out there were quite a few references being made to Noir and Madlax peppered throughout the series. Some even paying some sort of tribute with cameo appearances in the form of outfits or items and since some characters were played by the same seiyuu in all the trilogy. Well, only myself to blame since I forgotten much about those series. But I do know they want to promote tacos here seeing Nadie and Ellis sometimes talk about it. How does the tacos song go again?

Artwork and animation are okay at best. I noticed certain scenes have drop in quality. And some characters look similar especially in the early episodes where there were several bounty hunters, I couldn’t tell them apart. I also though Schneider and Rosenberg were twins seeing they look closely similar to each other. Just sporting different hairstyles. Also, I just find Nadie’s poncho to be just in the way. I don’t know, it looks clumsy and not fit for many situations like fight scenes. But thank dumb luck and plot convenience to get her through as her poncho stays clean throughout. In fact, the characters all wear the same clothes and they don’t even get dirty. They’re going through the desert plains of Latin America, no?

Voice acting, there are a handful of recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here like Shizuka Itou as Nadie, Ai Shimizu as Ellis, Mamoru Miyano as L.A, Fumihiko Tachiki as Ricardo and Shinichiro Miki as Schneider. Because Lirio has no spoken dialogue throughout the series except for those cute loli huffs and puffs, only during penultimate episode that is when I could identify Marina Inoue behind her voice. The other main casts are Aya Hisakawa as Hayward (Maya in Tenjou Tenge) and Kenta Miyake as Rosenberg (All Might in Boku No Hero Academia). Anyway, the overall voice acting feels stiff as well as the dialogue. And to think L.A’s voice being the craziest and liveliest of the lot and that itself is just so-so.

The famed Yuki Kajiura handled the BGMs of the series (she also did them for Noir and Madlax) so if you find them pretty similar to other soundtracks she worked on like Tsubasa Chronicle, Mai-HiME, Princess Principal, Kimetsu No Yaiba and Fate/Zero, rest assured this is her trademark sound. Though I find the one with the choir voices to be a bit creepy and weird. It sounds like a song for a cult? Even in the songs with lyrics, Yuki Kajiura weaved her magic into them as you can hear her trademark tune in them all. While Hikari No Yukue by Savage Genius sounds rather okay while the ending theme, Romanesque by Fiction Junction Yuuka has some Latin feel to it. I’m just curious who that masked man is in the ending credits animation. Looks like Nadie’s lover or something but definitely not Miguel. Not sure if this guy had some reference too Noir or Madlax and if it does, I won’t be surprised. Come to think of it, this guy looks closely to that Friday dude from Madlax. There are other insert songs like Cazador Del Amour by Fiction Junction Yuuka, Forest and I Reach For The Sun (both by Emily Bindiger) and they sound okay too.

Overall, I find this final of the trilogy to be silly and boring. I find lots of mind boggling moments that are just dumb AKA laughable (yeah, I’m such a smartass, thank you). This is in contrast to what many reviewers have said as they sang praises and gave lots of good score for this series. I don’t know. Maybe I watched it like 10 years ago and not waited this long, would I have had reached a different conclusion? Gee, my taste in anime must be so different now, huh? Had I not overthink and held it to high expectations, would I have had a different opinion then? Sure, it’s a story of 2 main characters bonding and just like the age old saying that the journey is important rather than the destination. But at the end of the journey, looks like I’m exhausted from it all. And I’m not into tacos either. This means I’m not going back on that trip or rewatch this anime again to have a better opinion. You can burn me on the stake for all you like for that. That’s all I have to say and those were my last words. Yes sir. Adios amigos!

Getsuyoubi No Tawawa

October 16, 2020

You know how bad a Monday is when even Garfield hates it. I mean, a cat that hates Mondays! A CAT!!! Oh well, what has that first day of the week ever do to you. I guess a lot, huh? Even Karen Carpenter once sang rainy days and Mondays always get her down. So if you had a bad week or that feeling the next week is going to be worse, then just watch Getsuyoubi No Tawawa to relax and take your mind off that bad week. Hey, it might not change the inevitable but hopefully you’ll have a nice time watching this. Wink, wink.

Episode 1
Our main protagonist, conveniently named Oniisan gets on board a crowded train. And there’s his usual Ai again. Thank goodness her boobs cushioned all the pushing, eh?! Flashback shows he often has a bad week. Yeah, scolding by his boss and the likes. There was one time he thought of contemplating suicide but I guess he was just kidding. No guts? Anyway, one day while waiting at the train station, Ai was rushing and tripped down the stairs. Damn, her boobs slammed into him and he ended up in hospital! F*CKING LETHAL BOOBS!!! She apologized for it and ever since, they keep bumping to each other at the train station during rush hour. Ai gives him a button as charm to blow away the Monday blues. Don’t lose it, because this one popped out from her shirt last week! I wonder how! Oh yeah, you bet this is sure going to be a lucky charm.

Episode 2
Senpai looks like he is having trouble with his sales report since his boss keeps asking him to redo it again and again. Yeah, the person in charge suddenly quit so you bet he is going to have some headache. But don’t worry, his junior, Kouhai will help him. Though the report goes well, I guess Senpai has to continue fixing something and this means he has to stay late. Don’t worry again. Kouhai will stay back to help him finish up. As they work on their report, Kouhai thinks her PC is broken as her worksheet keeps scrolling down automatically. Little does she know her boobs are actually pressing on the button! Not sure if she padded her boobs so thick for her not to even feel it pressing on the button!

Episode 3
Looks like Oniisan gets another chewing out by his boss (Kachou). Of course he is stressed out so he notices the gym. Now we see Trainer telling us how to de-stress with the exercises as well as keep in shape. Make sure you focus and concentrate, okay! I mean, look at focus at her movements, okay! WHERE THE HECK ARE YOU LOOKING AT?! At the end of the day, Trainer praises Kachou for seeing through the exercises since many gave up. Meanwhile Oniisan talks to Ai and to his dismay, he tried the gym but quit soon after. He thought he wasted his weekend. Ai tries to cheer him and touches his ‘abs’. Really? Back at work, Oniisan is surprised Kachou didn’t yell at him but instead gives him motivation to work harder as well as do some exercises to relieve stress. So he’s recommending the gym? Trainer welcomes you.

Episode 4
Seeing Ai at the station sure makes Oniisan’s Mondays feel a lot better. He narrates what he observes about her like her beauty, often reading a book instead of looking at a Smartphone and wearing a watch instead of jewellery. Of course, not to mention those boobs. While he does fantasizes of her, he also dreads thinking what other men would think of her. So in another crowded train, I guess Oniisan gets to test yet another of Ai’s elasticity! Haha! Ai knows that he is perhaps a bit jealous seeing her talk to some guy earlier on. He teases him but doesn’t say if that guy is a person she knows or her boyfriend. It’s a secret. In exchange she gives him a button. Looks different. This one came from her part time job uniform and she hasn’t told her friends yet. That’s why it’s still a secret. She hopes he’ll come visit.

Episode 5
Summer is here. Ai doesn’t quite like her summer uniform because the fabric is thin and in cool places, she would get cold easily. Oniisan hears her stomach growl. Skipping breakfast? Oh, physical test today. She claims despite her height, she is heavy. I can guess where all that weight came from… Then she has him close his eyes and not peek as she tries to stretch herself up to him. Then a button pops! I guess that’s the limit. So how did he get so tall? Drinking milk, I guess? In class, her volleyball friend, teases her. Including molesting her boobs just to make the guys drool. Damn, she molesting those twin peaks like as though they’re her property! The physical test goes on normally. One thing to note, when Ai steps on the weighing scale, her friend then uses her hands to support her boobs and it took 5 kilos off her weight!!! OMFG!!! OH MAH GAWD!!!!!!!!! And she wonders if she should start drinking milk! Oh man, I believe the wrong part will grow even bigger…

Episode 6
During a company drinking session, Kouhai is asked by a colleague to have another round. Kouhai tries to decline but she remains stubborn. Until Senpai gives an excuse that they have some client to meet only then she backs down. As the session continues, Kouhai gets drunk and cuddles too close to Senpai. She’s saying funny things like how she feels good having her boobs being pressed down. Actually it was his cat giving that special fanservice. All the guys want to be that cat now… At the end, Senpai has to carry her back. She’s still drunk despite him trying to advise her to be careful and act her age. Yeah, since when did he become her parent? She also reveals she made up some boyfriend thingy to dodge her bugging parents and a reason why she doesn’t attend drinking parties. She believes Senpai isn’t that kind of guy. When she sober ups, she wants to come to his house to play with his cat. Yeah, we guys want to be that cat now!

Episode 7
Such a hot summer. Before Oniisan can complain how much he hates it, he realizes with all the sweaty girls, he can see through their shirt and their bra. Wow. Summer not so bad now. And there’s of course his dear Ai. So talks to him about her friends inviting her to the sea. She also talks about her volleyball friend but Oniisan gets jealous thinking that friend is a guy. Here’s a picture of her. Phew. All that is left for her is to buy a swimsuit. Wow. Imagine Ai in a swimsuit. Well, fantasize all he wants because he is going to need it. Because Kachou announces everyone will be coming in to work during the weekends if they can’t finish their project by the deadline. Work is a real bummer in summer. Ai then texts Oniisan that her sea plans are cancelled. So she bought her swimsuit for nothing? She then sends a picture of herself in it. Wow! Jerking off material! Because of that, he tells his boss he can’t come in for work on weekend as he got other plans. Yeah. Plans to take Ai to the beach as promised! Gonna be the best summer memory ever!

Episode 8
Oniisan has a cavity so you bet it is going to be painful each time the train jolts. Too bad, Ai’s boobs not high enough to cushion it! When he talks about company check-ups, Ai also relates a check-up herself. All I can say is that, some ‘big shadows’ had the doctor confused on what the f*ck this sh*t is! Glad it wasn’t breast cancer or something. Ai gives him a pain killer to help. Meanwhile we see the sexy busty dentist ‘servicing’ her client. I wonder if those boobs are in the way. Nah! The client is Kachou as he comes out a satisfied man. You wonder why his hair is so messed up, eh? Uh huh. I agree he had the best pain killer ever! Oniisan is next but he gets an ugly old fart as his dentist. The pain is going to be worse now…

Episode 9
Oniisan visits Ai working at the bakery. She seems quite professional. Not sure why he looks worried. Oh. Because while attending to another customer, she accidentally spills the drink. Not that the customer is mad because he had a nice time looking at those jiggling parts… Yeah, Oniisan jealous? So when she finally waits him, she whispers to wait for her at the station after her shift ends. Then there is one moment where she got too close to him so he spots another button going to pop off! I guess it never popped off before anyone before, that’s why Ai is reacting so embarrassed. Damn, clothes quality these days are doing to the dogs, huh?! After her shift, Ai gives the dress to him after sewing it back. It’s her way of giving him the service he didn’t get at the shop. Wait. She giving him her uniform?!

Episode 10
Ai hates the marathon because of some handicap they imposed. But I think I know what is dragging her and making her run so slowly… Yeah, the guys even running by her side to see those jugs jiggle! Awesome! Of course her friend shoos them away. But Ai still mad. Suddenly she gropes her boobs and is upset they don’t jiggle as much as hers! How on Earth! Her friend is happy to be groped and is even happy to start a yuri marathon but I guess Ai isn’t in the mood. So she explains about some running posture and of course, her boobs aren’t as big as hers. Ai also mentions she wears a sports bra so her friend feels her up just to make sure. Yup, it’s there. With her friend supporting her boobs, damn, Ai feels lighter running! It’s a weird running pose but whatever. Ai then sends a picture of herself to Oniisan reaching the finish line. Guess which body part touched the finish line first?

Episode 11
A guy reminisces about his old friend from middle school, Tokumori. Before they parted, she promised to surprise him how much she has grown. So many years later during a reunion gathering, yup, you can’t miss her. She’s really grown a lot. Especially those twin peak of hers!!! OMFG!!! JUST HOW?! Definitely jaw dropping. She talks about her life after they parted. She went to a normal girls’ school. Guys who hit at her were just scumbags (who could blame them?) and she is somewhat ‘disappointed’ he never noticed her many times. Yes, she is that convenience store clerk who always served him each time he made his purchase. You mean he never noticed those racks? Maybe he did. But he never noticed it was her because you know, somebody was a real flat chest the last time. So she asks if he noticed how much she has changed. I’m sure we all want to answer it’s her boobs but I believe it’s the question of how pretty she has become. With those boobs? OF COURSE! And it’s the same usual service the next time he patrons the store.

Episode 12
With the heavy snow, the train is running late. Ai hints if she could stay at his place if the train is cancelled. Yeah, Ai giving very suggestive hints just to tease him he had dirty thoughts. Can we blame him? Oh look. The train is here. However with the heavy snow, it stops dead in its tracks. She then talks to him that because nobody wanted to work on Christmas, she had to. Hence she had nobody to spend that day with in particular. She continues of wanting to stay as a child since everyone seems to want to be in a hurry to treat her like an adult. With those melons, I can sure see why. Before she could hint doing something at his place, the train moves again. The jolt pushes them too close to each other. It is then Ai reveals she lied and has already ascended to adulthood. Oniisan is horrified! But she trolled all of us good because she meant ascending from I-cup to J-cup! OMFG! Ai-chan’s boobs FTW!!!!!!!!!! Christmas is so special this year.

Special 1
We see Kouhai waking up, taking a morning shower, choosing the lingerie she needs to wear for today because she’s going out with Senpai after work. Then she gets dressed and puts on her makeup and being a bit clumsy and forgetful at times. On her way to work, you bet lots of guys are giving her that stare. When she meets up with Senpai, he can tell what colour lingerie she is wearing because she forgot to zip up! I’m sure it made all the guys’ week today. So she ‘complains’ about not being able to get married and he’s just like “Okay, okay whatever…” to her. Until she says she has to take responsibility and he wasn’t paying attention until it is too late. Gotcha.

Special 2
Ai is cleaning up Oniisan’s room when she stumbles upon his porn stash. Uh oh. And hence begins the moral lecturing of a woman who isn’t his girlfriend or anything but he shouldn’t resort to this kind of thing. So is she relieved or is she mad? I’m guessing it is more of the latter. Yeah, she’s confusing herself with these conflicting feelings too. Worse, one of the porn material is a cosplay in that bakery uniform. Of course he is being truthful at how sexy the uniform in. And looks like the table is turned on Ai since he manages to make he feel uncomfortable with all the customers staring at her. She tries to wrest back control and stomp her foot down, NO TO PORN! Oops. She broke a porn CD. DEVASTATION!!! So is Ai going to take responsibility, huh?! Oh well, I don’t think so but one day after he comes home from work, she feels really bad about it and is going to take responsibility! For real?! Yes, she came dressed in that bakery uniform just to let him stare. Just for him. Only him. Itadakimasu! Later a delivery guy delivers anime he ordered. Ai is not pleased this anime has lots of girls with big boobs! (Ironically it is this anime!). She is so mad that her button pops, almost exposing her boobs! Miccha dame!!! Oh yeah. Why watch anime when you can watch the real Ai!!!!!!!!

Busting Away Monday Blues!
So are you feeling refreshed and ready to start your week? Hell, no! Still got to face that sh*t known as reality. F*cking reality. Oh well. At least this short series was nice to pass the time and made me forget about reality for that period. Not just Mondays. But Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Why can’t we just have a 5 day weekend and just 2 work days ever week?! Oh see? Trying to blow away my blues just made me worry and anxious even further. Yeah, I don’t know if this anime really had that effect or it’s just me overreacting to the series. The frustration of never having ‘those things’ that some lucky male protagonist gets to at least enjoy every day before he goes to work!

It goes without saying that the entire theme of this series revolves around fanservice and boobs. Yes, without this, the series is dead boring and nothing. Even the jokes mostly revolves around those twin peaks. This is why and how the series successfully managed to blow away the blues. Yeah, it did its job and if it doesn’t, most probably you’re the problem and probably gay. It’s hard to believe that boobs solved a lot of problems here. They somewhat distract us from the idle chatter and makes the episode more palatable to watch. I won’t say that those kind of huge racks do not exist in reality but it is so rare that normal people like you and me won’t actually get to see this on a regular basis. Unless you watch porn but that’s a different story. So for those who didn’t like how the women are sexualized because of their freaking huge busts, well, bear in mind that this is escapism and fantasy. It gets the job done better than moral policing any time. Hence the perfect girlfriend exists right here in this series… Yeah…

Character wise, there isn’t much to say about them but you can guess that the main girls here are in love with the normal plain guys. Makes the rest of us so jealous to want to be in their shoes, huh? They can be so sexy, flirty and teasing only because they are in love with the guys they love. They get a free pass while everybody else giving the same gaze and having the same dirty thoughts are just perverted scumbags. Double standards? Imagine your girlfriend like that. Yeah. Don’t like it, huh? So I guess it is just natural that when a woman is in love with you, she’ll use part of that feminine charms to attract your attention. Because naturally too, that is how most of us guys’ minds are wired. Thanks for the fanservice!

Ai as the main character gets a bulk of the screen time. As hinted very late, it isn’t even her real name and is just a nickname for her bust size! Damn, now she has upgraded to J-cup, I don’t even know if that is possible but thankfully I guess she wasn’t named Kei or even Anne. HAHAHA! Imagine how freaking awkward if the bust size had to correspond to your name. Ai is cute, sweet and all and my only regret is that they didn’t put her in a maid outfit that was one of the manga cover feature. Damn, it would have been so epically perfect. I have this bugging question that since they made it a running joke that Ai’s buttons keep popping out because of her boobs, this happens so many times you would think she would get a more fitting size for her clothes. Unless of course doing so means you’re fat because you know, you’re bigger by 1 size. I don’t know women logic so don’t ask me… And yeah, those boobs busting out just makes it look like Ai is torturing them so they wanna break free! FREEDOM!!!

Kouhai getting the next batch of the limelight, I guess if you’re not into high school girls, maybe office girls are your thing. Yeah, which male colleague wouldn’t want a helpful junior to be by your side? Nobody marries her soon or she’ll have to resign and become a housewife too young. What a waste it’ll be then. Then there are the rest of the girls who only make like 1 appearance. It feels like to give more variety to the show and not to be bored with Ai-Oniisan mundane chatter.

I was really cocksure that Ayana Taketatsu was behind Ai’s voice but apparently I was dead wrong. It seems like some other seiyuus, I’m going to have trouble distinguish those who have very similar voices. In this case, it is actually Sayaka Harada (Chiya in Urara Meirochou) who is behind Ai’s voice and I believe this isn’t the first time I mistaken her so and may have fell for the same trap long ago in the past. But hey, at least my favourite Mamiko Noto makes a cameo here as the dentist. Oh yeah, this one definitely made my day! The other recognizable seiyuu is Ai Kayano as Kouhai. The rest of the other casts are Junji Majima as Oniisan (Kinji in Hidan No Aria), Yasuaki Takumi as Senpai (Mastuda in High School DxD), Kouichi Souma as Kachou (Tokage in Beastars), Minami Tsuda as Trainer (Mei in Citrus) and Hisako Kanemoto as Tokumori (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume). The ending theme is Otome No Tawawa by Sayaka Harada. Pretty standard anime pop, nothing special.

Overall, this series treads the middle ground and depending on your perspective, it could be a good relaxing short or just an utterly complete waste of time. Of course it is not the best or a masterpiece but this is neither nonsensical garbage at all. Unless you’re the kind to think that anything with boobs at the forefront are just bad. Well, I got news for you. Boobs will always be at the front, silly! And the lack of boobs in this world is what made us resort to watching this sort of anime. SHOW ME THE BOOBS, BABY! Don’t let it get to you. They’re just boobs. Yeah, aren’t they just the b(r)e(a)st?! Sorry, I suck at boob puns… Heh. Boobs or no boobs, I hope you have a good week ahead.

Tower Of God

October 11, 2020

Sounds relatively simple and cliché plot. You want anything that your dreams desire? Just climb through the top of the tower! Of course when you break down the details of all the harrowing and life-and-death trials that one have to pass, it isn’t easy as it sounds. Of course I’m talking about the Tower Of God. I guess this anime that is based on a Korean webtoon was hyped up so much that I too had to take a look at it and see what’s all the fuss in climbing the tower. Yeah, if dreams and desires can easily come true, why do we need to go through all this sh*t? Something tells me a bored God just wanted some amusement with the mortals…

Episode 1
Sounds simple. Desire anything? Just climb to the top of the tower and anything you wish can be granted. Even being God. Bam is disheartened when Rachel leaves him just to climb the tower. In despair, he suddenly finds himself inside the base of the tower. Headon who is the tower’s caretaker speaks to him that he can find his answers at the top. If he so desires, he must take a test to see if he is worthy to climb the tower. That is, he must get pass this giant white steel eel and break the black orb behind. Bam presses ahead but is stopped by Princess Yuri and her servant, Evan. She finds him stupid for trying to just go to his death. After all, he is an Irregular. And weak too. Headon suggests lending him her Black March sword to help with this test. She does so only because he looks cute. Love at first sight? Guess not. Bam then enters the cage. Instantly the eel swallows him! Game over? Not quite. That’s supposed to be the only correct way. Because Bam slices the eel from inside until it spits him out. But too bad the orb just can’t break! As he keeps hitting it, flashbacks show how Rachel found him and told him her dreams of going beyond the sky because there are beautiful stars. She is sick of being in this dark world. Moments before Bam gets devoured again, Evan yells out a hint to request the power from Black March. Doing so, its spirit pops out and agrees to lend Bam her powers. Just because he is cute. Bam, you lucky bastard. Yuri realizes Black March never responded to her because she isn’t into women! Sorry yuri folks. No lesbianism here. The orb breaks and they disappear. It is a sign that they have ascended for the next level. As Bam still has her sword, this gives Yuri a reason to go after him. Bam wakes up in the next level. The announcer tells this level will test those who are worthy of climbing the rest of the tower. There are 400 of them. Find a way by any means to reduce it by half. The test ends when that is achieved and the survivors go to the next floor. Bam is sure screwed when he meets this gladiator dude! Lucky for him, the contenders start killing each other. Uhm, so there are monster participants too? With the numbers rapidly reducing, Bam finds himself in the midst of strange monsters and men. Friend or foe?

Episode 2
Khun Aguero Agnes loves teasing Rak Wraithraiser since the latter views himself as wanting to fight the strongest who is Bam. Khun sees Black March and is interested so he helps Bam hide from Rak. He learns how he got the sword from Yuri as well as how he wants to see Rachel, the person who taught him everything. Khun views Bam as useful to climb the tower. Though he won’t follow the set rules because instead of killing 200, he’d rather find allies among the survivors. Rak then finds them and wants to fight but the test ends as 200 survivors quota is met. This mean the fight between Anaak and Hatz ends in a draw. The next test wants the survivors to make a group of 3 within 5 minutes. Anyone failing to do so will fail. Bam and Khun have no choice but to join hands with Rak but he is still stubborn in wanting to fight. So Bam throws down his sword and makes Rak throw a tantrum. Is this just to stall for time? Just when the time is almost up, they touch each other and pass. Shibisu who would’ve gladly joined with Anaak and Hatz have been greatly ignored by them. Not sure how but the trio ended up together. During the break, the test administrator, Lero Ro who is also a Ranker (one who has climbed to the tower’s top) thinks there are too many survivors and will trim them. He puts up a water wall called Shinsu. Those who can get through will pass but if a teammate fails, the entire team fails. He believes many of the tower’s trials are based on luck. Khun is worried for Bam but he is already on the other side?! While Bam thinks he wasn’t pushed back, Khun knows he was flushed back with the rest. Luck? So as they wait for others to cross (some like Anaak and Hatz could easily walk through), Lero talks to Bam and answers some of his questions. He hasn’t seen Rachel. The tower is divided into 3 parts and many of them are born and raise inside the tower (Bam wonders if he and Rachel are aliens then). Irregulars are those who enter the tower without being chosen by Headon. Khun and Rak have finished watching others and easily walk through. Others like Shibisu who couldn’t get through, after much pushing, they somehow pass through. It’s time for Lero to go so he warns Bam not to get too close to Khun.

Episode 3
A flashback of Khun. Seems he was betrayed by somebody he trusted, Maria. And because of that his family got exiled. And so his mother’s words not to trust anybody rang true. In the next level, Bam is surprised to see the sky as he has never seen one before. While Rak laughs his ass off, Khun explains it could just be an illusion created by Shinsu. The next test seems to be weird as teams take their turn entering a room. A funny participant hints Bam’s group that if you don’t scream for 5 minutes, you pass. Khun is sceptical and doesn’t believe him, thinking he is only using them as a guinea pig to test his theory. He then gets agitated when he brings up his betrayal past but choose not to kill him. Bam’s group head in next. Hansung Yu is a test administrator and tells them they have only 1 chance to pick a correct door to pass. If they fail in 10 minutes, they will be forcefully removed from the test. Khun starts thinking but he is hesitant about the clues. That’s when his trauma starts playing on his mind. He thinks he remembers them now only because of the similarity in Bam’s eyes. Then suddenly Rak opens the door. They pass! How does he know? Guts. It is revealed that as long as they open any door within 5 minutes, they pass. Khun wonders what this is supposed to test. Hansung says because of his betrayal and distrust, he needs friends who will not hesitate to open the door. Does he not want to protect those eyes like Bam’s? Later, Hansung talks to another test administrator, Quaint. Seems he was sloppy in administrating a test as he thought he would save time. This means only 1 group slaughtered everybody else in just 30 minutes! The next test is a bonus one administered by Lero. Though participant is voluntary and not participating will not put them in any disadvantage, however the winning team is deemed to pass all the test and qualified to climb the tower. Yup, everybody is going to play this one. In this crown game, a team will have a member sit on a throne with a crown. Teams will gradually come in as they fight them off. If the crown bearer leaves his seat, everyone in that arena loses and the process begins again. The team who wears the crown at the end is the winner. While it looked like those who participate early may lose, but if you delay, you may not even get a chance to participate as the game could already be over. So the first match to fight for the crown sees Shibisu’s team going in. Anaak singlehandedly defeats her enemies and then wears the crown herself. Looks like Shibisu can’t take it easy. As the next round is about to begin, Bam thought she spot Rachel…

Episode 4
Nope. Maybe it’s not her. The next round begins with only 2 other teams entering the fray. One of the teams, Phonsekal Laure (the guy who always sleeps) thinks it is a good chance for them to enter now because the one sitting on the throne is at a disadvantage. No matter how long you sit there, other teams will interfere. It is likely the crown will be stolen from under their noses. Laure has a plan. So as he sleeps, he wants Serena Rinnen and Hoh to draw Hatz and Shibisu away from the throne. Once done, Laure wakes up and fires his wave Shinsu at Anaak. This has her dodge while Serena and Hoh attempt to attack her. As she is about to fight back and draws her weapon, Black March resonates. Bam has a tough time holding it down. Serena takes Laure and return to their room. Even if this disqualifies them, it is not worth risking their lives. Anaak crashes into Bam’s cell. She introduces her weapon as Green April, one of the 13 Month Series that King Jahad bestowed upon all his children. She wants him to hand it over since it isn’t his. Lero stops this farce and disqualifies them for breaking the rooms. However Anaak throws Bam a bet. If they can survive till the end of the game, she will give him her Green April. Otherwise he must hand over his Black March. Bam sees no reason to do so. Anaak tells him she intended to kill him and take Black March when the game ends so at least with this, he has a chance. Lero is okay as long as the game can continue. Khun is impressed Bam didn’t give in to Anaak’s threats so Bam credits it to Rachel who told him never to betray. So with the game resuming to see who gets the crown, more teams step in. Everyone thinks they can get it faster but it is Khun who gets it. Then he teases everyone by throwing the crown on the floor just to watch them fight over it. Then he laughs at them because he is holding the real one?!

Episode 5
Khun’s bag seems to be able to clone things. So in order to get Bam to sit on the throne and wear the real crown, hence this distraction. Now that this is done, the teams turn their attention to Bam. However Rak’s might defeats them all in one blow! Next round please. A few teams only enter. But Khun doesn’t want to waste their strength and reserve it for the final round where the strongest will appear. So how? It seems the teams start fighting among themselves! Khun notes that one of the teams is their ally. During the first test, remember how Khun went about and made allies? Yup, these are them. So once they dispose the other teams, they disqualify themselves. On to the final round. All remaining teams come out. However an assassin babe in body hugging suit starts fighting other teams singlehandedly. Bam wonders if Rachel is in this new team. She doesn’t reply. However it seems the new team is help defending Bam despite they are not Khun’s allies. Also, it seems they’re not interested in the crown. Till assassin babe targets Bam so Rachel goes to protect him and gets hit. Hood comes off. Definitely Rachel. Bam then leaves the throne in order to protect Rachel. He gets strike on the head. Bloody. Just then, something inside him awakens. Some fire Shinsu burns up everything?! While assassin babe is down, Bam is going to punish her but Black March disapproves of his emotions getting the better of him and puts him to sleep. We see Lero talking to Hansung about the crown game. It ended with no winner since the crown was burnt up. Lero questions Hansung’s motives to hold this game. Because there is a rule that disallows acquaintances from participating in the same tests. Hansung then reminds him the reason such tests is held. It isn’t to see who is worthy to climb the tower but to expel those with powers who could bring harm to the tower. Anybody fit that description? Lero says no. As he leaves, he asks about ever seeing someone who hasn’t formed a contract with an Administrator use Shinsu without constraints. Only Urek Mazino, an Irregular. Bam has been sleeping for days and Khun wonders if he’ll wake up in time for the next test. Then hear comes Rachel in the flesh. She has a request.

Episode 6
Rachel wants Khun to lie to Bam that she isn’t Rachel. She thinks if both of them together, they’ll become a burden and each other’s weakness. Well, Khun doesn’t want Bam to go through the same betrayal he did so you bet he is going to do that just to keep Bam away from her. So Bam wakes up and Khun just lies to his face about Rachel. But he still gives him hope that he’ll eventually bump into her if he continues to climb the tower. We see Lero explaining team members can be further assigned to 1 of the 5 roles: Fisherman (basically your CQC fighter), Spearman (basically your ranged fighter), Light Bearer (one who illuminates and gather info), Scout (investigate the enemy and assist Fisherman) and Wave Controller (Shinsu user of course). So we have Bam, Laure, Hoh and that assassin chick as Wave Controller. They also take lessons to make a contract? Whoever this creature Bam got, it’s certainly exhausting. Shibisu and Hatz seek help from Bam and Khun. Apparently they’re Scouts so their assignment is to make friends? Yeah, they’re having a blast with Hoh and Laure too as this cute chick Endorsi joins in. When Anaak notices this, she wonders what a Jahad princess is doing here. Yes, both of them are Jahad princesses. Anaak is in possession of Black March since Bam lost the bet. Bam asks if the princesses are related to Yuri. Not quite. Jahad princesses are those recruited to represent capable tribes and families. While Rak is training as Spearman, Khun is trying to find info on some of them like Bam and Rachel. Nothing much. But he is surprised to see the info on Anaak. After becoming a Ranker, she was selected as a princess and was given Green April. But there’s more. She’s already dead. And why is she taking the test again? We see Endorsi and Anaak and others in some game. Anaak definitely targeting Endorsi and claiming all Jahad princesses are imposters. It is hinted that this lizard girl took on the name of her mom. Anaak reveals that her mom lived a happy life but that was taken away when her husband who made great chicken pies got killed by one of the Jahad princesses. Hence her goal in climbing the tower is to kill all of them in the name of revenge.

Episode 7
As narrated, Jahad gave his princesses certain special powers but it also comes with its limitations. One of them is that they cannot bear a child. This is to stop the spread of Jahad’s powers. So naturally Anaak’s mom broke that rule and was killed. Anaak and Endorsi take out each other as Anaak reminisces about her kind days with her mom as well as her last moments. Shibisu bugs Bam since their friend making test isn’t going well. Need help? With Khun’s idea and script, they feed food to Endorsi and Anaak (can’t resist the chicken pie) to help complete their mission. Later Endorsi goes to talk to Rachel who is going under the alias of Michelle Light. She tries to rile her up about Bam being a nice guy and whatever she is seeking at the top of the tower is worth more than him. Hoh seems to be worried. He can’t produce decent Shinsu unlike Bam who can do so easily without even understanding its basics. He wonders if Bam is hiding something. Then some trauma about some bad people stealing his people’s horns. Somebody slips a note to Hoh that would allow him to climb the tower. Lero is not pleased that Hansung has agreed to let Quant co-administer the next test, which is a tag game. Except for Rak and another dude who is sitting it out because they passed their test with flying colours, the rest will participate in this tag game. In addition to the teams stealing each other’s tag to win, the administrator will also have their own tag in which they can steal to win (which is Quant). Of course the reverse is also possible. While everyone is luckily on the same side, except for Bam who is on the other team. So it’s the dilemma of winning this and letting Bam fail. With Khun being selected as the team leader, he puts forth his plan using Shibisu as a bait. Immediately Quant comes hunting Shibisu down and of course this is a trap to capture him using Anaak who is their it. Not going to be easy.

Episode 8
Quant is mad. But he’s just pretending to be tough. With Quant giving them a time handicap, Khun has his teammates initiate the next plan. While Anaak rushes to the top floor, everyone else tries to stall Quant taking the stairs. Too bad they got owned. Quant reaches the top but only sees Khun. He claims Anaak has jumped back down. At this height? Well, she is a Jahad princess. Quant thinks Khun is deceiving him because he might have cloned a lightcube and had Anaak hide inside it and they’re hiding under this bridge. Khun tries to dismiss that so Quant takes his hand and jumps down together. But this is all part of Khun’s plan since Khun’s fall is used as a leverage for Anaak to ride up while Quant falls down. However with Anaak reaching the exit, suddenly Quant is before and steals her tag. Khun’s team loses. Khun laments he failed his team but his teammates are impressed with his strategy as it gave Quant a hard time. Flashback to what really happened. When Quant reached the bottom, Khun then turned up and offered him to go back up. So did Khun betray his own teammates? From what I understand, Khun’s real team are those on Shibisu’s list. As a Scout, he purposely made his team lose so as to leave as many possible hints for Bam’s team. And so it’s Bam’s side now. Some arguing who should be the leader so Endorsi just steps in and claims the leadership. As everyone gets into their position, we see Serena talking to Hoh. She has lost motivation in climbing the tower. Flashback shows her past, living life as a thief. One day she picked the wrong ship as there was a Ranker on board. Her comrades were killed and as she was hiding, Headon came to invite her to climb the tower. Now she has doubts if she could kill those she knows. Hoh is indifferent. They do it just to climb the tower. No matter what happens, no hard feelings.

Episode 9
Endorsi betrays! She beats up a few guys. Why is she doing this? She tells a little story about herself about a fallen noble family adopting a few girls to become Jahad princess candidates. They are ranked based on the tests they undergo. Those who do well are treated with great food and those who don’t are given stale bread. So Endorsi got tired of such food and one day killed everybody else! Anyway, she is doing this to take out some of the Fishermen so that she can guarantee herself to pass. This is also a lesson to Bam that if he wants to climb the tower like that, then go to Rachel. But of course trickery and betrayal aren’t Bam’s style and he won’t resort to it no matter what even if Rachel hates him. Meanwhile Hatz is having a hard time fighting off Quant. Though this is to help setup his other comrades to help him, too bad they already flee, leaving Hatz in a lurch. Quant didn’t like this so he goes to beat them up. Meanwhile Hoh takes Rachel hostage. This is so as to draw Bam out. Then he will take out Bam and with that dude out of the way, he can climb the tower. Hoh is shock when Quant is here. Then Bam sees this. Hoh realizes the letter could be a trap to set him up. As Rachel struggles, Hoh accidentally stabs her. OMG. Rachel dead? Why do I have a feeling I’ll be happy if that happens? Anyway, Hoh thinks the tower chose Bam. Time to expand on his sob story. Everyone he loved was dead before he started climbing. He thinks strength is everything. Had he had that, everyone wouldn’t have died and he wouldn’t have failed to protect them. Now that he has lost everything, Hoh kills himself! Endorsi comes here to fight Quant. With assistance from Bam (who has somewhat copied Quant moves), they put up a formidable fight as Endorsi tricks Quant and steals his tag. Their team wins as the injured and dead are quickly rushed into ICU.

Episode 10
Khun thinks back that those aiming for the Wave Controller position, only 2 can pass. Since Laure is guaranteed to pass, Bam is one of those who have the edge to pass. Assassin babe told him that she isn’t going to pass but warns about Hoh’s jealousy. Khun then removed Hoh’s name from the list. Rak has become small?! He got arrogant passing Hansung and he made him small! Bam returns with news that despite Rachel is okay, but her conditions are severe and this means she will forever be unable to walk. However Bam is still adamant to carry her all the way to the top of the tower. Whatever she wants, he’ll do it. Khun and Rak agree to help him. Then the usual gang go to pay their last respects at Hoh’s funeral. Bam talks to Rachel privately. She breaks down admitting she was so desperate to see the stars that she abandoned him because she thought he was weak and in the way. She thinks he has the right to abandon her now. You know Bam won’t do that, right? After the usual gang drink till they’re drunk, Shibisu confronts Serena because it looks like she is dropping out on her own accord. She’ll find her answer elsewhere. Elsewhere, Hansung confronts another test administrator, Yuga. He knows his real identity as a royal enforcer and his mission to steal Black March and Green April as well as kill Anaak. Yuga wants to fight him but Hansung is superior. In fact, Hansung is pretty much happy to help him in his mission since it is his job to keep out all those who would bring harm to the tower. The results announcement is here and all our usuals pass. Others include Dede Cancho, Blarouge, Paracule, Alexay and Narae. Although Rachel passed, because of her injuries, she is deemed to have failed. Those who aren’t satisfied are made to withstand some pain for a minute? Can’t? You fail. Though Khun passed, he also proclaims his dissatisfaction. It seems he wants to take a test to become an administrator to change the rules and pass Rachel. The test is tough but Hansung brings up another rule that makes Khun ineligible: Only Irregulars can take the test. Gee, that’s when Bam shocks everyone as he reveals that. So while Bam is taken to the test, the rest wait outside as Lero tells them the pros and cons if they help an Irregular. By associating with him, they’ll earn the right to climb the tower by the shortest and quickest route. However they’ll be branded as his accomplices. Everyone has no qualms to assist Bam.

Episode 11
Bam is faced with the Administrator and asked his desires. With that, Bam’s desire to climb the tower with Rachel is approved. On to the final test, it seems to be some underwater trial. Bam and Rachel will be encased in a bubble and wait for net dolphins (seals?) to bring them to their queen who will spit them out on land. If this happens, they win. However there are goblins and worms and striped pigs that are their natural enemies so the roles of the rest are to prevent the net dolphins from being eaten. And there’s also a monster known as Bull who eats everything. Pray you don’t bump into him. Khun assigns roles to everyone. He talks to Shibisu about everyone risking it all to take this test. Everyone is jealous that Bam got what he wanted before even climbing the tower. But it would be a shame for him to lose it. That’s why everyone is trying to prevent that. Bad news when Dede and Blarouge got killed by Bull. Shibisu is next but then it targets the net dolphin. Shibisu distracts it enough to buy time for Anaak and Endorsi to come fight it. These women are still in competition to see who can take down Bull first. If Endorsi wins, she’ll take her swords. Otherwise she’ll be Anaak’s servant for life. Endorsi fights Bull and when it retreats, she goes after it only to realize it might not be displaying its full potential because she got knocked out with its faster speed and stronger strength. Meanwhile Anaak runs into Yuga. He doesn’t bat an eyelid to claim he is her enemy. It seems she has her mom’s necklace. Blinded by rage, they fight but Yuga deals her a lethal blow. It is revealed that he is in control of Bull and this entire test was setup in a way to eliminate Anaak whom he considers as the tower’s trash and enemy of Jahad since she is not an official Jahad princess. After stealing her Green April, Yuga wants Endorsi to redeem herself by killing Anaak.

Episode 12
Shibisu bumps into Yuri… Endorsi trolls us all pretending to kill Anaak. But instead she asks to give Black March so both princesses could go beat up Yuga. Meanwhile all hell breaks loose with Rak and co fighting the goblins and worms. However thanks to Khun’s plan using Narae and Laure doing some underground scanning thingy to lead the striped pigs up and fight the goblins, I guess our candidates are all safe. Khun is confronted by somebody from his own clan. He claims he can take her to Princess Maria since he too is an outcast like him. However Khun rejects his proposal because he is climbing the tower not just to rise to the top of his clan. And that’s the end of that short confrontation. Yuga is still better than the princess and seems it is his plan to kill both of them and use their treason as excuse for him to kill them. You know that won’t happen as Yuri confronts him. He claims he is here to retrieve her swords but since she is here, she’ll do it herself. Yuga tries to be funny but Yuri not impressed with his ‘threats’. Yuga then attacks her but she deflects them with no sweat. Meanwhile Evan sees Hansung to tell him about a Jahad’s assassin entering the test area. However Hansung won’t tell anybody about this because he thinks Jahad’s family should pick up their own trash. Yuri easily defeats Yuga but is warned not to further get involved. It’s fine if she kills Yuga but this would be seen as helping Anaak and this could be troublesome. Yuri backs off but lets her subordinate, Kurdan hammer him to death! One flat rice ball coming up! Yuga’s last words are he sent Bull to kill Bam. He won’t let that Irregular live. Yuri wants to interfere with this test and doesn’t care if it means Bam will fail. However the rest tell her to stay away. Because they all made a promise to climb the tower together. Yup. We all trust Bam! Yeah, if they could only see him taking a beating while Bull tries to eat him! Is it me or is it Bull now many times bigger! Holy f*ck! Bam gets eaten! But remember how he dealt with this the first time? Yeah, explode from within the guts! Yeah! After Yuri retrieves all her swords, she gives her hairpin to Shibisu and wants him to relay Bam a message to meet her at the 77th floor. Bam returns to Rachel and you thought they have finally passed this test when suddenly Rachel gets up and pushes Bam off!!! WHAT THE FFFFUUUUUUUU???!!!

Episode 13
When Rachel abandoned Bam, claiming the tower called her, in actual fact Headon told her straight that she wasn’t the chosen one. Because she was desperate, he gave her that eel test. First thing she complained how this was unfair and that there was no way she could pass it. Hence he made her sit back and watch her saviour AKA Bam do it. And we saw what happened. Headon adds that it is not that she wanted to see the stars. She wanted to become a star herself. To become someone special. Rachel continues to beg and would do anything. In that case, kill Bam with her own hands. After all, she abandoned him, right? First thing she asks for a weapon! Thus Headon gives her a bodyguard whose other ability is to resurrect her once if she dies. During the crown game, she was contemplating how to kill him. Hansung sent assassin babe to test Bam and Rachel was unaware of this plan got caught up. She was shocked Bam protected her. This has Rachel started to grow jealous of Bam because he had all the things she wanted as all the other participants gather around him and become his friends. Making no headway, assassin babe then hinted her to plot against Bam. So this sets up Hoh’s betrayal. Because she misread some sign, she got stabbed. She should have died but her bodyguard used that ability to resurrect her. During Hoh’s funeral when Bam talked to her, she realized that he is the star, not her. Her jealousy and hatred grew as she further bottled those negative emotions up. Then during the final test with Bam talking and giving her lots of motivation about their future, I guess Rachel interpreted it all in a different light. It was then she decided that she needed to kill Bam and replace him as the star!

When Rachel alone was only spit out on land, the rest were worried about Bam. Well, Rachel isn’t technically lying when she said Bull attacked them. Lero confirms that Bam’s body is not found. Yeah, all of you passed. Congrats. Lero then confronts Hansung and wants to know if he planned it all. He laughs and says it was Rachel who decided. Yeah, Rachel hysterical in her room. Hope she’s happy that it’s all worth it. Lero soon quits as a test administrator. He is going to climb the tower to find the truth. So Quant also got fired? With the gang in shock, the only way to honour Bam’s promise is to climb the tower with Rachel. Khun notes to Rachel that Bam really cared for her and she never understood it. Because otherwise she wouldn’t be here. He laments he should’ve met Bam before her. Hansung is glad things are proceeding as planned. Bam is of course alive and is being taken care of in the hands of assassin babe. This is part of the plan to make everyone think he is dead. Assassin babe talks to Bam about Rachel’s betrayal as well as the power he has that everyone wants. Naturally, Bam doesn’t care for all that. She advises him if he wants answers, then climb the tower. But she’ll train him up first. Bam claims the answers aren’t at the top of the tower. They’re where he’ll find and decide they are. Woah. So philosophical. But for now he’ll climb. Gee, that’s a weird way of saying he’ll accept her training.

Tower Oh Mah Gawd Betrayals!
So… WHERE’S THE ANNOUNCEMENT FOR THE NEXT SEASON?! Things were getting really interesting (and spiteful because of a certain b*tch) and are they going to really let it end like this?! At least for the anime? Yeah. F*ck Rachel! I’m sure that’s what everybody’s thoughts are right now when they watch the f*cking final episode. We need another season to see this b*tch being served her just desserts. We need another season to see this b*tch’s priceless face when she realizes the object of her envy and hatred is still alive. Oh God, we just need another season, okay???!!! Is that too much to ask without the need to climb the tower?

The problem with this adapted series is that 13 episodes are just too short to tell anything. So it is understandable that when the season ended, a lot of viewers weren’t too happy that nothing exciting or interesting had actually begun. They’re partly right, though. You see, those who don’t read the webtoon will definitely feel frustrated with the way this season ended because it seemingly has gotten nowhere. For those who have, they can tell us that it will only get more interesting and lit once the usual gang starts climbing the tower. Hence this season feels like very basic introduction to the setting and it all. That’s why it would be a real shame if this doesn’t get another season. After all, by the time the anime ended, the webtoon series has become the most popular Korean webtoon around. At the time of this writing, I haven’t heard of any news of it. I’m not sure if there are political elements working in the background because since this is Korean based, the Japanese wouldn’t want something outside their traditional manga to take the bigger slice of the cake. This is the reason why webtoons didn’t really catch on in Japan as the manga industry is trying to keep a tight lease on its traditional rice bowl.

The other problem that contributes to one’s frustration is that there is not enough explanation of this series’ setting. Believe me, I had to go read up a little on Wikipedia and do a little (but lazy) Google just to understand a bit more of this world. Otherwise, I would have been so confused and do not understand what is going on. I believe there is a brief explanation about the towers of this world somewhere in one of the episodes, but it was just a fleeting one that didn’t amount to anything. Perhaps they didn’t want to distract us from the story of the season and those interested can further look it up themselves. As one who doesn’t even read the webtoon, although I got a little enlightened by what I discovered, there are still a lot more stuffs that I still couldn’t understand. Like what inner towers and outer towers, they exist as worlds of their own, etc. There are lots of monsters too other than humans so is this some diverse alien planet or what? Eventually I still couldn’t wrap my head around it so I’m really hoping they adapt another season for this.

But as far as this season is concerned, even though it is all basic and introductory, I believe that some of the tests are not really explained well. Even if I go back and listen to the test administrators explain the rules, I still couldn’t understand them since the way the candidates play and carry them out turned out differently. Like that big tag game, I just don’t really understand it. Generally I think I know what the goal of the game is, but they added a few more rules just to prolong the drama and whatever that needs to be stretched. And boy, was I surprised when I discovered that all the tests in this season are just to see who is fit to climb the tower. So you mean they haven’t even started climbing the real tower yet?! Oh boy. No wonder I’m so confused. I know they want to see who qualifies to climb the tower but with so many tests just to thin out the potential candidates? Can they just let everyone climb the tower and those who are unlucky or unprepared, just die?! Sounds cruel, but isn’t that what happened in the free for all first round test?

The next problem are the characters themselves. There are quite a lot of them but many who don’t matter and those who matter didn’t look like they did matter. For instance, throughout the tests, there are some who failed and dropped out. We never see them again. Which is fine and okay as I figure that you can’t have like 100 main characters climbing the tower, right? You’d think that some characters might make the final cut but then they didn’t pass the test and that’s the end of them. I think there was this young girl, Grey, was it her name? She looked like she had the potential to be part of the final group but then she didn’t pass the tag game so whatever happened to her then, I guess we’ll never know. Do failed candidates just get kicked out of the tower and return to their daily lives? Then there was this huge scary warrior like guy, Ghost, was it his name? The guy who automatically passed along with Rak and was Rachel’s bodyguard. He just suddenly disappeared! Never to be heard of again. At least for this season. Is that their way of killing off this character?! Oh right. He died for Rachel so the b*tch could survive. Still couldn’t wrap my mind why they needed to put in this character, though. F*ck Rachel. Even her bodyguard-cum-weapon died for her.

Then there’s this short distraction in the form of Hoh and Serena. I don’t really understand what the fuss or problem is but I believe Hoh just like everybody else, got their own past and problems to deal with. Because it was not fleshed out properly, we just see bits and pieces of whatever trauma he had. He failed and then he died. Yeah, it escalated quickly but it made you go what just happened? Why was it all necessary? How will this affect the main group in any ways? And then Serena just left like that. You thought she would be part of the main group too. Nah. Trolled you. She’s out on her own accord. Don’t have the heart to kill off pretty babes like her? Okay. Whatever. Not too sure if she would return later as plot twist or plot convenience but certainly this short story for these characters felt like it didn’t matter in the big picture.

Of course Bam, Khun and Rak are the core and main characters of the series. Rak is only the most interesting because of his role as a comic relief character. Yes, this is what I feel he is mostly about. His arrogance and straightforwardness is often played to a comedic effect. Even more so when you see his design go into that chibi mode. He sounds tough and laugh but then again, it’s all for the comedic effect. Do they want us to like this chocolate loving crocodile that much? Going to admit this but despite how annoying Rak is, at least he has much better personality and charisma than Rachel! Yeah. F*ck Rachel. And then there is Khun who is the cool and brains of the group. He also has his own story but as far as I can see in this season, it is just touching the surface. He has his own experience with betrayals so it would be interesting to see the kind of route he chooses as he follows Bam. I hope Maria isn’t his family’s version of Rachel because f*ck Rachel.

And not to mention Bam himself being the main character, he is actually rather ordinary and plain. He might be holding some latent power but at this power he just seems weak. Notice how he often does nothing and it’s his buddies who are protecting and helping him? After all, a lot of us viewers are calling him anime’s biggest simp because of his obsession in chasing down Rachel! Haha! Just no money involved. Yeah, this guy would take Meatloaf’s song to a whole new level because he’d do anything for love and will do just that and everything more for Rachel. No questions asked. His past is also a bit shady and not revealed much but as I read online, because he is an Irregular, as such his status makes him one of the few who could only kill Jahad, which is what the series’ plot now mainly revolves around. Oops, spoilers! I guess it isn’t a joke when really IS THE STAR of the series too! Hahaha! Sorry, bad pun.

Speaking of Rachel, I guess at this point everybody hates this character! Well, hard for me to say because that is only so as we do not know the whole circumstances and the real situation. We are just shown angles that painted Rachel in a bad light. Even more so during the final test as Bam spent some quality time with Rachel, like as though they want to make us feel sympathy for Rachel with Bam really saying positive and sweet words for his beloved. Just when we think it is okay for us to forgive this selfish b*tch and accept her as one of the good guys on Bam’s side, AND THEN THIS F*CKING B*TCH PUSHES BAM OFF!!! OMFG!!! HOW COULD YOU???!!! I think that sealed almost everyone’s disgust for this self-centred b*tch. I want to believe there is more than meets the eye to Rachel’s actions towards Bam but with this kind of level of betrayal, I don’t know if I can trust her anymore after this… Not after the final episode revelation that showed her true colours. That was the last straw. We thought everything she said were thoughts that maybe she still had a heart for Bam. Instead, they were all just twisted jealousy and hatred. If there was a list of the most loathsome anime characters, Rachel will definitely be on that list! Is there a #F*ckRachel tag trending around?

Then the rest of the other characters who are supposedly part of the main group, I guess they are rather okay. Nothing much about them fleshed out yet. Except maybe for Anaak but that also feels a bit shallow for a character of her calibre this season. Then there is Shibisu who feels like the other comic relief character because if Rak is too menacing and loud, then you get this really plain ordinary guy in jerseys to do some funny stuffs for you. Just like how they have Khun x Hatz rivalry, I guess they need one for the girls too, Anaak x Endorsi. More than meets the eye for Laure because he loves sleeping but when the time calls for him to pull off some powerful moves, he gets up. Or you can just take his pillow hostage to force him to do your bidding. One comic relief character, two comic relief characters, do we need a third comic relief character? Yes we do and that is what Paracule feels because he is more of a coward and I can’t believe how this guy made the final cut when other more suitable candidates didn’t. Not that I was really clear on the criteria of selection and passing in the first place. Otherwise, this new third joker sucks. Less charm than Rak or even Shibisu.

Aside the candidates, there are the test administrators who seem to have their own agenda. Oh, who am I kidding, it’s probably just Hansung. At least he gives me that impression. No, not his instant coffee that he loves. So is he an ally of Jahad or a hidden traitor? Then there’s Lero who sounds like the good guy and on the candidates’ side because of his inquisitiveness but you never know. Seeing how he has quit from the way the final exam turned out, looks like he is really in for the truth. So is he a Bam fan too? If only everyone is as simple as Quant. But then again, the integrity of the tower might be in jeopardy if everybody is as simple as him.

On a trivial note, some might notice the difference in the names pronounced from their original. Most notably, Bam. In Japan, it is clear that they call him as Yoru. So why the subs continue to put it as Bam? As I read, Bam means night in Korean so naturally Yoru meant the same in Japanese. But I am perplexed as to why Japanese made this change especially for a main character. It’s just like in the old days where English dubs used to change the main characters’ name (example, Maburaho). I don’t know, does Yoru make him sound a lot like Japanese? Bam doesn’t sound Japanese enough?

And then there is Rachel’s name. Pronounced, Rah-hell. Before you start mocking the Japanese for not knowing how to pronounce names properly (like I almost did here), luckily I did find out that the origins of the name Rachel is from Hebrew. Originally it is pronounced as Rah-hell but somehow the dumb English corrupted and mispronounced it as Rachel till this day. So are you enlightened yet? Now I guess that’s why Japanese pronounced other names like Michael as Mikhail (which also has Hebrew origins). Who feeling dumb right now?! Of course there are other character names that are different in spelling and it is just most likely just that such as Endorsi sometimes is referred to in other media as Androssi. Also I read the creator likes football and hence some of the characters’ names are in reference to football players.

The action sequences are rather okay. While some are good, others just really meh. I prefer when characters get to use their special abilities or see them clash for a while rather than just zip past through. And hopefully, Bam can contribute more to the fight when he is ready the next time rather than letting his pals take on the offensive role.

You may like or hate the art style. Because it really feels like somebody just used a cheap software to animate the entire series! Yes, the art and animation do feel cheap and simple. The colouring and hues also feel the same. Can’t say it is totally cartoonish since the character designs lean more towards standard anime style, which is quite different from the original webtoon’s character designs as I have seen them in comparison. So at some points, say, Rachel may look a bit weird. But who cares because f*ck Rachel. This series is done by Telecom Animation Film who did Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation (the bad one), Orange, Moyashimon, Muteki Kanban Musume and Lupin III films.

There are a few recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here. Namely Saori Hayami as Rachel, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Khun, Daisuke Ono as Laure, Shizuka Itou as Black March, Houchuu Ootsuka as Headon, Yoko Hikasa as the assassin babe (oh, so her name is Hwaryun?) and Kenjirou Tsuda as Lero. The rest of the other casts are Taichi Ichikawa as Bam (Kengo in Hinamatsuri), Kenta Miyake as Rak (All Might in Boku No Hero Academia), Rie Suegara as Endorsi (Altena in Hataage! Kemono Michi), Akira Sekina as Anaak (Princess in Princess Principal), Takuya Eguchi as Shibisu (Julius in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Toshinari Fukamachi as Hatz (Hajime in Arifureta Shokugyou De Sekai Saikyou), Daisuke Kishio as Hansung (Suginami in Da Capo), Hitomi Nabatame as Serena (Yukiji in Hayate No Gotoku), Fumiyoshi Shioya as Hoh (Sora in The Idolmaster SideM), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Quant (Doug in Gangsta), Mariko Honda as Yuri (Kurimu in Seitokai No Ichizon), Kazuyuki Okitsu as Evan (Miyao in High Score Girl) and Shintarou Oohata as Yuga (Doc in Radiant).

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Stray Kids, a K-pop boy band. Interestingly, both themes have a version sung in Korean (the original one) and the Japanese version (for this series of course). I have to admit that the hip hop of Top (opening theme) as well as Slump (ending theme) have this catchy tune to it despite laden with heavy synthesizer effects. Yeah, I kinda like it! I don’t mind hearing it over and over again for now. Maybe I’ll do a bit of a dance too.

Overall, this adapted anime has a lot of flaws but at the same time it has a lot of interesting intrigues that makes you wish that another season would be confirm as fast as possible. Because this is just introductory, it falls short of expectations. And you know how first impressions count a lot these days… Some will hate it, some will love it and continue to have hope for a continuation. It’s going to be a really divided internet if this series ever gets debated online. Oh wait, is it already? Only another season can help settle this. Webtoons are one thing but anime is an entirely different matter. Yeah, some lazy to read and some just Japan-only purist. Heh. So do I have to climb to the top of the tower just to make that wish of a sequel come true?! Oh boy, sounds like a lot of hassle. Maybe I’ll just wait till a genie lamp drops on my lamp for me to make my wish. So much easier…

P/S: Also… F*ck Rachel!

Geneshaft

October 10, 2020

In the 21st century, mankind should have been able to achieve what those have been dreaming about should have done. Awesome high technology as well as advances in medical sciences that include genetic engineering. Humans could have evolved better and do better stuffs with better and more efficient genes and DNAs, supported with unparalleled technological advances that would further help mankind achieve even greater heights. However… It is 2020 and we’ve got all sorts of nonsense and crap like the Corona virus wreaking havoc and playing mind games with everyone. Than you have natural disasters, killer hornets, riots and potential world war… OMFG… Can this year get any worse? Can humanity get any worse? History says yes. Possibility says yes. Anyway, never mind all that and just go watch Geneshaft, okay?

Episode 1
As narrated, human killed each other until they are on the brink of destruction. Hence the only way to save themselves is to do some genetic engineering that results in male to female ration as 1:9. And with that, mankind has achieved peace for 200 years… If so, why do they need some intergalactic Earth army? Are they fighting aliens now? Because Mika Seido joins one and is enlisted to the moon base for a special S-mission. She is met with this very tall girl, Sofia Galgalim who starts picking a fight with her. Before you can scream b*tch fight as the girls throw punches and kicks, turns out they are old friends and this is their way of greeting. Yeah… Looks like Sofia is also on the same S-mission as Mika. It seems a strange ring has appeared outside Earth’s orbit 5 years ago. So now they’re only putting a team to survey it?! When Mika sees Hiroto Amagiwa, she gets angry and tries to kill him?! Yeah, she smashed into the protective barrier. Can’t touch him. We hear Lord Sergei Sneak talk to his Register, Sibyl whose job is to watch over his every actions. Apparently the violence in men’s DNA cannot be eradicated and hence it is a Register’s job to watch over them. WTF… Anyway he is leading this S-mission as he greets Amagiwa who will also be joining it. We hear Mika tell Sofia about her grudge against Amagiwa because he is responsible for her friend’s death. Conversation interrupted when this petite Tiki Musicanova talks bad about them. Apparently she too is on the S-mission and not just her but some big names like Remmy Levi Strauss and Mir Lotus, both of whom are now in the midst of the survey. Tiki then introduces them to Mario who isn’t just her backup but her brother too. Apparently siblings are unheard of and only are so if there’s a bug. Some mumbo jumbo about their time lag birth of DNA and chromosomes thingy that makes them superior. Whatever. I don’t get it. As Mir and some of the team land on the ring to investigate, it seems she is being attacked. Terrorists have somehow infiltrated the survey team and they have this ideology that because Mir is the epitome of perfect humans, this goes against the universe’s fundamental laws. They believe humans will use this ring to distort that law again. The terrorists kill the others but Mir is lucky to have escaped. A suicide bomber’s explosion causes the ring to activate as it fires at the base.

Episode 2
As the base is damaged, it will soon collide into Earth. To prevent that, an auto self-destruct has been initiated. Hence all are to evacuate. But for those on S-mission, they are to board the warship, Bilkis. Sneak wants to board Bilkis too but Sibyl views this as violation of order. So he shoots her! Mika and co arrive in Bilkis safely. But she is not too happy to learn Amagiwa is made the captain and Beatrice Ratio as his Register. Can Mika hold in her anger? Amagiwa then explains that the ring attacked Earth and took out California in which the IESA command centre is located. Yeah, Mika’s mom is there too, right? Because there is a pod that is stuck and cannot detach from the base, you bet Mika is going to b*tch at Amagiwa for trying to kill others again. Though the chance is slim, Amagiwa gives her a chance to pilot Shaft. Just do what you do in your simulation training. Is 7 minutes enough to dislodge the pod? Anyway, the stupid programme is filled with bugs and although Mika’s dumb luck gets her through, in the final seconds just before she could help detach the pod, the programme freezes! WTF?! If only she had a couple of more minutes… Too bad, Amagiwa orders the retrieval of Shaft and to get out of here before they get caught in the explosion. Wow. Mika so mad she goes to punch him? Blame your own lack of skills first, girl! She is restrained as Amagiwa further elaborates that they have received special military orders and that Bilkis was constructed for this mission as well as Shaft which is a special assault weapon. Hence there are 5 Driver candidate selected by IEO to pilot it. You can guess who. But I guess this is a chance for Mir to show her b*tch side because she thinks it is an insult for her to be co-pilots with the rest. Yeah, does Remmy have to lap up to her saying that she is so perfect that God even bows before her???!!! Mir continues to b*tch before Mika as she claims that despite her ordinary skills, she is somehow personally selected by Amagiwa. Shocking, huh? Mir reminds her even so, her skills are way far more superior than hers. Oh Mika, you just want to beat up everybody who makes you mad, huh? Show more restraint please! Like Sofia who excels in sarcasm.

Episode 3
Amagiwa and Beatrice talk to Sneak about the pulse and shockwave fired from the ring. And something about humans looking for the end product of evolution that might be at Ganymede. Later Mir comes in to b*tch about the terrorist attack but Sneak knows how to put it in nice words to allay her anger. She’s a superior being, right? And just like that she’s back to normal. That’s how you deal with women apparently… Part of the next mission is to destroy the ring so Amagiwa needs to assign his Drivers. Prideful Mir doesn’t want to pilot something with a defective programme and hell Tiki doesn’t want to be kamikaze. Of course there is always Mika who will do it and Sofia who will back her up. So as they get Shaft up to moving, looks like there is a small group of girls working their ass off trying to patch and deal with this programming sh*t? I don’t know but it all feels like WTF. So in the meantime, Amagiwa orders firing missiles into the ring. Nothing happens. Well, spam more missiles! Obviously an attempt to provoke it. Naturally the ring fires back and thankfully Bilkis’ shield holds up. The ring is about the fire a second shot which is much more powerful than the first. So uhm, how is Shaft’s activation coming about? Oh yeah. Mika manages to restart the whole damn thing. As Shaft approaches the ring, suddenly it disappears. Oh, damn programme freezes again. The ring appears right before Shaft and it seems to be scanning Shaft. Amagiwa then orders to fire the quantum cannon and this destroys the ring. Mission complete. Meanwhile a group of old farts in some Council of Elders are not too happy that Sneak has destroyed the ring without their orders. It puts a damper on their future plans as their research on Immortal DNA isn’t complete yet. If Sneak who is the most superior of all Immortals has betrayed them, they have no choice but to eliminate him because mankind’s stability to ensure humanity’s existence in the universe forever is utmost important. Mario confirms his suspicions from Amagiwa that Sneak plans to break away from the government and head towards Ganymede.

Episode 4
Mika gloats about her success but too bad Remmy is here to rain on her parade because she snobbishly tells her she was just a decoy for the ring while Bilkis destroys it. In other words, she is expendable. Mika dares her to pilot Shaft with such crappy programming but Mir deflects this that Mika gets riled up with such trivial matters. Mika tries to fight her but loses. B*tch fight stops when Sneak is here to explain things. It is discovered the ring belongs to some alien whom they call Oberus. They are possibly observing humanity and from the simulation data they have run, it is possible Oberus may attack them via a second or third ring. Hence their mission is to determine Oberus’ location and objective. As Bilkis arrives near Ganymede, Mika has unpleasant memories of this place. This is where her friend, Ryouko Banning was killed and that’s why she hates Amagiwa for stealing her oxygen and leaving her to die. Despite Ryouko had a DNA file and was duplicated, Mika felt she wasn’t the same Ryouko as before. That’s why she can’t let go and will make Amagiwa pay. Sofia thinks she is just looking at this from her own perspective. What if Ryouko was the one who decided to sacrifice herself and let Amagiwa live? Oh boy. Mika now madder. But she’s going to ask Amagiwa directly. Meanwhile Sneak takes Mir to a base on Ganymede. He shows her a dilapidated base that contains skeletal corpses of aliens known as Giants. It is believed they were original inhabitants of this solar system but were obliterated by Oberus. Hence the asteroid belt has proof, indicating their home planet was blow away! From Giants’ data, it is deduced that Oberus are an evil intelligent life form and that’s why Bilkis and Shaft were constructed in view of that. Back to Mika as she angrily confronts Amagiwa. He is not obliged to answer. Suddenly a ring forms over Ganymede. Amagiwa orders Mika and Sofia to pilot Shaft. Mika refuses to die for him so he fires a warning shot. Do your duties. Realizing her life only has value as a Driver, she goes to pilot Shaft. Some drama of Shaft having some output error. But after restarting it and having lots of will power, Shaft destroys the ring. When they return, they see this cute loli girl, Dolce Saito. However her dolls starts shooting her mouth how terribly pathetic they are she proclaims herself as a genius programmer. Lots of evil loli laughter… WTF…

Episode 5
Another ring is detected. This time Tiki and Mika go pilot Shaft. But after they’ve launched, they do not see the ring anywhere. Little do they know, it is miniature size as it gets into Shaft. Because Tiki is taking things easy, Mario berates her and this causes Tiki to throw tantrum. When Shaft returns to Bilkis, Mika calls for emergency because Tiki is unconscious. Though the cause is unknown, it seems she experienced sudden extreme anaemia. Mario decides to give some of his blood to her since they’re siblings. Suddenly Bilkis’ entire programme is being infected by a virus. Everything gets shut down. Mika hears Remmy’s scream. When she arrives, she sees the miniature ring hovering above her before transforming into a perfect clone of Remmy. Sofia notices some bite wounds on Remmy’s neck. As Mika looks for the imposter, she stumbles into Amagiwa and thinks he is one. So proof yourself he isn’t. He answers her question about Ryouko’s death. Apparently she killed herself to give him a chance to survive since there wasn’t enough oxygen for them both until the rescue team arrived. Mika cannot accept this so he dares her to shoot him. Can’t, right? But she gets the guts to do so once he enters the bridge? She fires a few shots but he takes Beatrice as his cover! Before you can call him a scumbag, he then pumps a few more bullets into Beatrice. He knows this is a fake. Beatrice then reverts to the mini ring and tries to take Mir hostage. After Mir shoots it off, it escapes. Mika chases it down but looks like it has hijacked and blasted off in Shaft (at this point, genius Dolce has revived the system. Cue her arrogant loli laughter). Upon Amagiwa’s orders, Mika is to retrieve it so she thinks he is only doing so because he doesn’t care about her life. On the contrary, he chose her because he believes her genes have the highest success rate for this. Mika manages to get into Shaft but accidentally destroys the imposter. Amagiwa rests in his room as he remembers the conversation with Ryouko. He was against her taking her own life but she digressed. Because she has a duplicate, she believed Amagiwa’s abilities would be crucial to save mankind. He still thought an exact duplicate wasn’t the same as her but Ryouko still refused. She then ate some pill to die. Amagiwa thinks that decision was the right one.

Episode 6
Bilkis picks up an old NASA space shuttle floating in space. It seems the 3 American astronauts in it are actually from 200 years ago! While they were delivering supplies to the international space station, the ring appeared and the next thing they know, they’re drifting in space. As these people of the old civilization are viewed as the violent ones, the ones who led to all that DNA engineering crap, they are forced to be quarantined in their own shuttle. However Mika seems to take a liking for them and even sneakily shows them around the ship! Almost got busted by Remmy but even the lapdog has got her good side and didn’t rat out on her. Because Dolce’s laughter is so loud, the Americans could hear something about Shaft’s faulty programming and their natural answer is to return it to Earth to fix it. Of course Mika explains they can’t because of Amagiwa’s stubbornness to advance the mission. This leads the Americans learning that modern humans only live up till 45 years of age since they are considered useless after that optimum age. Plus, a shocking revelation that women do not make babies but the government! How else do you think they could keep human behaviour regulated?! One astronaut tries to force kiss Sofia. And she’s like, WTF?! You bet these Americans are so disappointed the kind of life future mankind has. Hence they decide to take things into their own hands as they storm and hijack the bridge. Taking a few women hostage, they try to force Amagiwa to return to Earth but of course he won’t. Amagiwa then explains why the current humans are much more superior than the old ones and in a way, he isn’t wrong to blame his predecessors who started fighting meaningless wars and wasting natural resources until Earth is no longer inhabitable. Yup, no longer the blue sphere you think it is anymore. By the time Mika and co storm into the bridge, the Americans give up. They’re not soldiers anyway. Just then, the ring appears and it passes through Bilkis. The Americans and their shuttle start disintegrating. Their last advice to Mika is that they believe people can believe in something other than their DNA and they hope she will survive. How is the cigarette the only thing from the past didn’t get disintegrated?!

Episode 7
Amagiwa chooses Mika as the main Driver and Mir to assist her. Mika gets to work but as expected, Shaft stalls once more. While she is working to get it back online, the ring has fired 3 shots directly at Bilkis. One more and they’re doomed. This is when Amagiwa looks like he is panicking as he orders Beatrice to do something. However from last episode’s hostage, she is still out cold. Because Amagiwa is going to shoot her, Mario knocks him out and takes over the captaincy. At the same time, Mir forces Mika to eject and takes over her role. However to her surprise, it seems Mika has programmed a never seen before attack pattern as Shaft fires and destroys the ring. But it’s not over yet as now multiple rings appear around Bilkis and Shaft. You bet they’re going to finish those humans. Amagiwa resumes captaincy to order Shaft’s retrieval and to warp back to Ganymede’s base. Phew. Just in the nick of time. When Mir docks back, the first thing she does is to see Dolce about the new Shaft programme. However she keeps denying there is no such programme. Then she tries to look into the database of Shaft. Nothing. This makes Mir mad that Mika is playing dumb and hiding something. Even when Sofia praises Mika for that totally new move, Mika gets mad thinking she is making a fool out of her. More angry Mika when Tiki hints she hacked into the programme to steal something. Before Bilkis is about to land, they are told they are given no authorization to do so as their ship has been charged with treason by Earth’s government. It is assumed that Sneak may have been apprehended by them. The Drivers continue to accuse Mika of that whatever programming and she continues to deny. Amidst all that, Amagiwa starts to have weird visions and flashbacks. Then he starts crying blood and collapses! This is getting weird. Meanwhile Sneak thanks Remmy for getting all the data he needs.

Episode 8
Sneak is seen talking to Council and they’re not pleased he is relaying his reports late. Though they are suspicious, they trust him to continue in figuring out Oberus’ systems. Later we see Sneak talking to Remmy and it seems his true goal is to destroy the current humanity with manipulated genes and bring mankind back to the good ol’ nature kind. Remmy then contacts Bilkis but this isn’t going to be a friendly chat. She warns them that the IESA fleet is on its way to destroy Bilkis. Because Oberus is hunting down Bilkis, the government think this is why trouble started and hence their stupid decision to destroy Bilkis! WTF?! So they think by destroying Bilkis, Oberus will leave them alone forever?! Who told them that?! She tells them Sneak’s true intentions and that is why she has gathered all their data when they piloted Shaft. They were all just decoys meant to distract the government and the Council. So be good people and just die. Mir despite in shock, still can be a b*tch. I guess Mika has no mood to pick a fight with her seeing she is crying and all. And of course as she cries in her room, flashback shows a young Mir meeting a young Sneak. He promised to be with her forever. Yeah, Sneak can’t betray her now, right? As Amagiwa is still unconscious, Mika is worried about him? Then she overhears the doctors saying how he has some faulty genes and only has 1 month to live. Mika now really worried. WTF she doesn’t want him to die so she can kill him herself?! Suspicious Remmy has peeked into some secret files and discovered that the Giants were actually creators of the solar system. Realizing Sneak has been deceiving everyone, she discovers a secret room containing a production of Shaft. Too bad Sneak shoots her as he reveals his true goal: Destroy all of humanity! No matter how advanced humans evolve, they will always be the same. In other words, humans don’t change. Yeah, so what better just to solve everything by destroying mankind, no? Hence it is his plan all along to create Shaft and Bilkis because this will make them the target of Oberus. He will use Oberus to wipe out humanity. Remmy is further wounded but manages to escape into Shaft to make a final communication with Bilkis. She reveals Sneak’s dark plans but the hope is that Bilkis and Shaft are the only things that could destroy Oberus. Sad moment when Sneak shoots and kills her, cutting off all communication. No time to mourn her because IESA fleet is here and ordering them to surrender.

Episode 9
Mir continues to believe in Sneak. So I guess that means sporting a new look by cutting her hair short. Mika and Sofia pilot Shaft to protect Bilkis from the fleet’s attack. The fleet’s commander, Natalie makes contact with Mario. It seems they know each other but I guess that is all in the past right now. She gives him a gentle reminder that Bilkis belongs to IEO and if they further to have unauthorised use of it, they will be taken out. Mario then explains about Oberus and their rings as their core weapon to destroy Earth. After revealing Sneak is hiding something from everybody, Natalie gives Mario some time to decide. Shortly, Jean Gedoux approaches Natalie and this scumbag forces her to make him in charge in taking down Bilkis. I think they want us to hate him because we see him blaming and abusing his Register. Yeah, he thinks of himself so highly and everyone around him is just useless and incompetent. Meanwhile we see a weird conversation between Mario and Beatrice, their opposing views on the DNA concept. And Mario tries to teach her about love by hugging her? So it did invoke some past memories. In that moment, meeting Bilkis and its crew becomes a memory. It’s the reason why he loves them all and promises nobody will die on his watch. Mir tries to take matters into her own hands and be an operator now? Sofia tries to tell her off and face the facts but Mir continues to resist and yeah, believe in her Sneak darling! Surprisingly, it is Mika who sympathizes with Mir and slaps Sofia for being cruel. Mika then tries to give some hope to Mir and the latter still putting her faith in Sneak and that’s why she has 100% faith in her skills. More flashback of Sneak being a smooth operator with Mir. Wow. Some teen romance drama going on? But Mir will change if Sneak himself has change. Meanwhile Jean forces his Register to hack and give him authority to fire some cannon. Bilkis takes a hit but it also destroys some of the IESA ships! And he blames and beats her up for not calculating correctly?! WTF?! But then he starts thinking since Natalie’s flagship was caught in the blast, this means he is the new commander. Yahoo! Then he contacts Mario just to sh*t on him.

Episode 10
So who made this kid the new commander, huh? Jean and the one and only Jean, you piece of sh*t! Oh yeah. That attitude never changed. Mario remembers he attended the same school with him. Still that high and mighty cocky personality. It isn’t that Mario wants to pick a fight with him and tries not to be hostile but Jean didn’t like that and punched him! Now Mario needs to have Bilkis run from Jean but there’s another virus infecting the programme! I know Dolce can fix it but it seems Mario seeks Mir’s help too. Eh? Since when she let her feelings dictate her actions? Don’t feel like it, huh? All Mario needs is to say the magic word and he needs her skills and she’s all up to it. Of course her agenda is so that she could quickly go see Sneak as she helps Dolce write some teleport programme. With Bilkis taking some damage, they will soon fall into Jupiter’s gravity. Happy Jean is going to wait and see Bilkis sink in. Once the programming is done, Mir tries to hijack Mika’s seat with pretence to use the teleport to go see Sneak. When she continues to throw her tantrum, Mario slaps her. Ouch. Sure, he did promise her that but now is not the time. Because Mario is going to use the teleport to Jean’s ship and kill him. Sofia thinks she is better suited for that job but Mario disagrees. Sofia fights him to prove herself but loses. Mario then leaves the captaincy in Beatrice’s hands. You think all that talk about love would have her accept it but she pulls a gun on him. Leave the ship and she’ll shoot him for that violation. He continues to walk. She fires. She misses? Actually not on purpose. So feelings of the heart got to her? Flashback shows Mario’s Register, Anne told him how she was going to look for love and that people see things clearly when they are at death’s door. Mario teleports to Jean’s bridge. However due to the incomplete programming, his arm freezes and cannot shoot him. Jean shoots him back. More arrogant dissing until Mario jumps on and overpowers him. We all know Jean is a scumbag so it is no wonder all his crew and even his Register just look on and not help him despite his cries for help. Jean starts feeling scared and begs for his life. Even apologizing he became the best so that people will listen to him. With Mario too weak to kill him with a knife, don’t worry, backup plan. Yeah, this mini bomb will just blow them both up. I guess Jean resigns to his fate. Weird gay moment. Because Mario says let’s go see love for themselves. Jean touches his face. Mario pushes button. BOOM! Sheesh… With the threat over, Bilkis crew is happy Mario succeeded but it seems only Beatrice is worried because she can’t detect Mario’s pulse anymore.

Episode 11
Jean’s Register hands Mika the knife from Mario. It’s the only thing left from him after the blast. With Bilkis sad and shock over his death, none is sadder than Tiki. Yeah, I understand why she feels so even if her words don’t make sense like Mario didn’t tell her he was going to die! Worse, she blames Mika because had she been faster to pick him up, he wouldn’t have died! Mika feels bad but Sofia tells her Tiki needs some time alone. Mario’s death so impactful that even Beatrice is acting strange. I mean, she’s asking Tiki’s permission to keep his knife as keepsake. I guess Mika has had it with Amagiwa sleeping so she tries to forcefully wake him up since she doesn’t like that smirk on his face! Yeah, what he dreaming? Looks like he did meet Mika and Ryouko as a child… Mir hijacks Shaft to head down to Ganymede. She ignores Beatrice’s command to return so Mika goes after her. Somehow Mir hijacks her controls and brings her to Ganymede. Oh, now Sofia will go bring them back! If any more people start leaving Bilkis… On Ganymede, Mika thinks she can help Mir fight Sneak. However Mir says she needs to see him or else she will have to deny everything that she is right now. She believes Sneak won’t kill her. Because if that happens, she’ll kill him first. Wow. I can’t understand how women think sometimes… Because of that, Mika now understands her and that’s why she must return and kill Amagiwa! Oh man, these women! As Sofia picks her back, Dolce has finished the entire programming for Shaft. Just in time because a ring just pops up. So while we wait for the programme to be fully uploaded to Shaft, Beatrice takes command of the bridge and skilfully commands her crew as they try to dodge the ring’s blast. At one point, the ring actually trapped them and Bilkis is in no way to get out. They’re supposed to be blasted to smithereens but the ring suddenly stopped operating! Mika uses this chance to attack but WTF still some bug in the programme and it shocks Mika out cold! You sure you fixed this thing, Dolce???!!! With the ring activating again, Sofia is going to sacrifice herself to save everyone. Like others, she gives false hopes that she would like to become a mother and raise a child after this mission ends. Mika realizes too late as Sofia fires Shaft. The ring disintegrates but at the cost of also disintegrating her own unit. SOFIA… NOOOOOO!!!!! Sneak realizes the ring stopped shooting because the moon Europa popped up in the background. Oh, Mir is here. You gonna shoot him or what? And yeah, Amagiwa just woke up because he could feel Oberus nearby…

Episode 12
Amagiwa stumbles into the bridge as he reveals that Europa itself is the core of Oberus’ system. A quick scan over the moon proves so. Hence no matter how many rings they destroy, it is futile unless the core is destroyed. He wants to use Shaft to destroy it. What are his options? Remmy: Dead. Sofia: Dead. Mario: Dead. Mir: MIA. Oh… Now what? Beatrice can’t take this anymore and leaves her post?! Like, WTF?! Yeah, she goes to hang out with Mika who is also depressed. People, are you interested in saving humanity???!!! Anyway, Bilkis bombs Europa to create some atmosphere. Meanwhile we see Sneak telling Mir about the search for perfect DNAs in Immortals. Sneak has high quality DNA and had many duplicates. However all of them were terminated without his knowledge. Hence he is like high quality parts meant to allow humanity to exist. As humans are bugs of the universe, they are unneeded. He wants her to watch the end of humanity with him. Yeah, why kill him when humanity is going to end, right? Dolce pages Mika to come complete Shaft’s programming. Mika: I don’t feel like it. Dolce: I don’t f*cking care! Just get your f*cking ass down here! Yeah… But wait, Amagiwa wants Mika to pilot Shaft. Mika: I don’t feel like it. Not doing it anymore. Amagiwa: … So this guy teleports down to Europa himself and is going to blow up the entire moon?! CAN HE?! Oh well, if you want a job done, do it yourself. With Shaft’s programming complete (hopefully), Dolce claims that Shaft is under Mika’s full control and she can do anything she wants. Thus Mika flies Shaft to go look for Amagiwa. But wait, multiple rings pop up to take them out. Sneak continues his explanation how the Giants scattered life forms throughout the universe but the seed of humanity was defective. Hence Oberus who was observing it deemed them unfit and to be eliminated. However Oberus got confused since humanity had Bilkis and Shaft, technologies that belonged to the Giants. Sneak is going to confuse them further with this other Shaft. The results? Total annihilation! Mir: Can we just restart and redo everything again? Sneak: Nope. Impossible. Simple. He’ll be waiting at Europa. Mika is fed up with all the minor ring annoyances so she Super Saiyan Shaft and some super blast destroys them all?! Woah! Meanwhile Amagiwa is still trekking through the frigid Europa landscape. Should he have teleported closer? I guess he was in a hurry then… But before him now is Sneak. Mika is shocked to see another Shaft. Golden Shaft!

Episode 13
Rings are now trying to encircle the sun! Man, should’ve done this from the start if Oberus was serious about eliminating humanity!!! We see the Shafts fight each other. Since humanity is going to be destroyed, she wants to settle things with Mika. WTF… But Mika seems to be faster than Mir so she manages to stop her attacks. Weird seeing the Shafts ‘hug’ each other… Talk about believe in me, believe in you, I guess Mir’s also confused so whatever. She agrees to be a good girl and return to Bilkis. Amagiwa shoots Sneak but because of his regenerating cells, he still lives. The only way is to destroy all his cells at once. Then more talk about humanity being the bug and some humans are like the bugs of bugs. F*ck this. I’m just so f*cking confused at this moment. So much so Amagiwa remembers a flashback of Ryouko talking to him about wanting him to meet her friend Mika. With that, Amagiwa laughs and somewhat ‘understands’ Sneak. Because if he says he is like him, then Amagiwa has put some faith in Mika’s inferior genes. We see Mika using Shaft to unleash an even more powerful ring encircling Europa. Sneak is mad this would put a dent on his plans. Amagiwa calls it potential. Sneak calls it error. Whatever. Sneak is then confronted by the ghost of his clones. Lecture time how things are never perfect and the difference is that Mir loves them. I guess no use trying to open his eyes because as the ring fries Europa, the changing landscape and earthquake does in Sneak. Good riddance. With Oberus’ system obliterated, the rings around the sun also disappear. An Earth-like atmosphere now forms all over Europa. Mika gets out from her totally wrecked Shaft and goes to find Amagiwa. She finds him and reminds him he can’t die until she kills him! Is this love? Oh yeah. And what about everyone else? They’re fine and coming to pick them up.

Shafted En-gene-neering: Perfecting Possibilities
Wait. So this is how it ends? Why do I feel unsatisfied? What was I expecting? I guess with humanity being able to live another day is already a great feat. Bilkis and its crew accomplishing what it needed to do is all that matters. For now, no more Oberus threat until the next time they decide to install another system secretly in one of our Solar System’s planet’s satellites. So enjoy the next few hundreds of years while you can.

Although the story and plot isn’t a masterpiece, at least I find it quite intriguing and interesting. You see, the main plot of this series wasn’t actually to discover about the enemy Oberus or other intelligent life forms. Throughout the entire series, it is more of questioning and exploring the effects of genetic engineering of mankind as well as its overall effects on what we call human society. While it is a great topic to ponder and discuss, somehow I feel that they are just touching the surface and any other deeper aspects, feel free to deliberate it with other interested parties. I guess it was for the better that they kept it this way because if they spammed us with lots of those technical stuffs, simpletons like me will already be at a loss and lose further interest. Heck, I think some of the pretty basic genetic stuffs explained here, I’m already scratching my head! And I dare ask they should’ve incorporated more of this?! Yeah, I’m asking for it. Must be a bug in me.

They also keep repeating to us that humanity itself is a bug (for the sake of the plot of this show) and I suppose it is a good starting point to ponder what makes human, human. So even if we genetically engineer ourselves to perfection or close to it, will we be considered human? After all, to err is human. That is what defines us as human. So to genetically engineer us into obedient peace loving humans, should we call ourselves humans then? Or are we just humans by name? It is just so odd and weird from where I stand to know that humans can’t live longer than 45 and women don’t give birth but need to apply to the government! And men are the ones with violent genes so that’s why they have a Register to watch over them? Like what stupid system is this? Why not wipe out the men instead?! Oops… Said too much. Hopefully this kind of reality will not turn into reality. So it is really interesting to note some of the things society has evolved and become just to preserve the survival of our own species. Sure, I do want peace and no fighting at all but is that even remotely possible? Eventually like Sneak said, the ‘bug’ inside humanity’s genes is so defective that it can’t actually be fixed at all. I guess that’s our specialty after all. Ultimately humans will always be humans no matter where we are. All hail the stubbornness of our human genes! Even if we’re perfect, this makes us flawed because we’re not supposed to so. Geddit?!

Speaking of the alien threat known as Oberus, as I have earlier pointed out, the series does not delve deeply into such higher extra-terrestrial beings so as to focus on the said topics. However I can’t help find it odd and wondering if Oberus themselves are really interested in actually destroying the entirety of humanity. I mean, they waited for THIS LONG to finally make a move, right? So okay, perhaps they want to watch and see if humans were decent life forms. If so, they should’ve just annihilated us bunch back when humans were at the height of the war! So Oberus could actually mean Obliterate-R-Us or Obey-Us! HAHAHA!!! Though the ring technology and system aren’t explained in detail, it somehow feels they are just for plot convenience. You know, they just pop up wherever and whenever they like, the size and frequency. It would have been so easy to just wipe mankind out with that kind of convenient ring system. Saying they are confused because humanity has got Bilkis and Shaft makes them look even more stupid. Even more so when they should’ve just used the ring to destroy the sun after their first failed attempt rather than waiting till Europa was in danger. And now their core system on Europa just got obliterated, will they be back (in a few 100 years) or will they drop killing humanity because they just ‘proved’ the impossible?

Then there’s the strange technology and weapon known as Shaft. Although it is later revealed it is a technology of the Giants, I can’t help but think that its programming has so many bugs that they need a handful of programmers to debug and patch the whole damn thing! It was funny as it was mind boggling. I understand that the mission of utmost urgent and perhaps the reason why they need to use it. That’s why they can’t wait for the patching to be completed. Even so, to think that there were just 3 programmer girls trying to patch the entire programme. Like, could they have just dedicated a few more girls for the job? Yeah, the bridge had more operators than programmers, a very important and vital part of the entire mission. The way Shaft fails during missions at the most crucial of times just feels laughable. And here I was going, “Oh man. Time to ramp up the drama”. So thank Dolce for howling and working you programmer girls to the bone to get it all done? I guess Dolce isn’t so great of a programmer genius because otherwise she would’ve just got it all done by herself. Maybe she just wants somebody to scream at and crack the whip. Thank goodness it became useful in the end, huh? Yeah, that is what it feels like piloting a powerful weapon without all those stupid bugs. Good riddance.

As for the characters here, they aren’t really in depth and just passable. You won’t really get to know much or deeply about them apart from what has been told to us. Thus a few short flashbacks from the characters just to raise some sort of flag or something soon. Some feel unnecessary so as to move the plot along. For example, Mario for some reason being kind to Beatrice so as to invoke some sort of love emotions in her. Like as though he foreshadow his own death and needed to pass the captaincy to her (assuming Amagiwa would continue his slumber). Then there is Amagiwa’s flashback in the end episodes about meeting Mika and Ryouko. What was that all about? How is it related to what it is right now? It feels so disjointed and the only thing I can think of is that this is to make Amagiwa realize that he is in love with Mika. Weird, no? The same case with Mika although when she started being kind to him despite the irony of her words and ‘threat’ to kill him, I knew she had somewhat fallen in love with him but since she doesn’t know what love is, that’s what you get. And what’s this about Amagiwa has only a month to live? How is that so relevant to the story? I guess Mika has to make up her mind if she really wants to kill him and quick.

Mika being the main character, it is never really explained in depth about her inferior genes. I suppose again this is to further the plot of her being able to pull off some sort of miracle when the time comes because she doesn’t have what is required as stipulated by the government so she is considered an outcast. Hence everyone including the Bilkis crew must have their genes tailored closely to perfection but yet they’re just barely doing their job. The irony the imperfect one gets the job done. I suppose the ‘defect’ in her genes means she is the one who is most emotional and brash in her decisions. Initially often butting heads with Mir but eventually the power of friendship saved the day. I guess when everybody starts dying, you’ll have no friends left if you continued being a b*tch. Case in point, Jean. Oddly enough, Mika writes a diary to her pet dog back home. I don’t know the relevance either but I guess she needs some sort of family to relate her problems. The dog is said to be of human intelligence and could’ve been an awesome mascot for this series. But too bad it is just relegated to this side distraction that doesn’t even matter.

Sofia is quite the rational character, often putting a stop to Mika’s temper and rash behaviour in otherwise there would have been multiple b*tch fights on the bridge. Unfortunately as she is also genetically modified, so her views are also, how should I put it, rigid. Not a bad thing, though. Too bad she had to be sacrificed. I don’t know why they need Tiki for. She’s some lazy brat whom I only remember piloted Shaft once and even so we didn’t see her show her skills because it was when the ring turned miniature. Otherwise I feel she is like the mini comic relief character because of her hyperactive and child-like behaviour. Kinda reminds me of Kaolla from Love Hina. Do I see a similarity here? And Remmy. Before I could pigeonhole her as Mir’s lapdog, turns out she belonged to the terrorist. And before that plan could take off, plot twist! Remmy dies. Oh well, sorry means nothing if you’re dead. Lastly, Mir being the resident b*tch of the Driver group only because she thinks she is so perfect. Isn’t that because only Sneak told her? She is blindly loyal to him because he is the only thing that defines her existence. Otherwise she is technically nothing if you think about it.

Oh boy, Sneak. This guy being the biggest bug humanity has ever produced that he himself isn’t shy to admit it. His name is already a bloody giveaway and he lives up to it true to a tee. Yeah, being sneaky about destroying humanity in a bloody roundabout way and leading on everyone. Because he is technically an immortal thanks to his regenerative genes, it is probably why he is so f*cking tired of it all and probably the only human who wants to end all of humanity. Yeah, technically people who live forever only have that kind of privilege. Can’t he just go kill himself instead of dragging humanity along? The irony of him being haunted by his past duplicates and boom! Just like that he died because I guess his cells can’t regenerate fast enough when the lava burns through his entire body.

I feel Jean being the other mini antagonist is just a side distraction just to prolong the drama and also make Mario look cool. Otherwise, Mario doesn’t really technically stand out despite having some cool advice for his crew. I suppose it’s the only way he gets to be useful as a backup captain. So back to Jean, damn this shorty is one character whom you will want to hate. They really make him so despicable so that you could easily hate him and make Mir’s b*tchness and look like a baby. He isn’t really necessary to the plot but like I said, they needed to make Mario into some sort of martyr. Because stupid human government think of killing the only thing that could literally defend them from Oberus. I’m sure they got the memo from Oberus stating that if they destroy Bilkis and Shaft, they’ll no longer chase them anymore. The more I see this kind of humanity stupidity, the more I understand how Sneak felt and what he did.

Last but not least, the most amusing as well as baffling character role goes to Dolce. As said, she is a genius programmer to help fix the bug and patch up Shaft’s programme. It has become some sort of a running joke in every episode to see Dolce be a cruel slave driver and yap at those poor girls to work till they die! Since only the doll talks, I wonder if this is her true personality because the real loli doesn’t speak and is quite a meek person. Like as though the human is just a vessel to carry the doll. Because I think you would look stupid if you were to lash out at a doll. Scolding a loli may look cruel. But not as dumb as you look arguing with an animated doll. Dolce could have actually been done without in this series but they needed to connect something about Shaft’s extremely bug filled programmes and to add to the drama. Because whatever drama of doing this programming, doing that programming, it looked like they just pulled it out of the air. I guess even if they really showed us the technicalities, dumb people like me won’t really understand either. So yeah. Programming and patching. Whatever. She gets the job done. Laugh and cackle all you want. Good job.

The action bits are okay but not the most exciting in the world. After all, the main action sees Shaft taking on the unpredictable rings and because we don’t really know the Oberus system, I guess it is anybody’s guess on how they work. As long as plot convenience wants it to be. I find it really odd that despite Shaft having a double cannon barrel as its head (if you can call it that), it shoots its blast from its guts! Like, WTF?! It makes the head feel just so clumsy. I don’t know if this is bad design or something but it feels odd to think those gun heads are going to fire the beam but instead it shoots from its stomach. Oh well, as long as it does the job.

Despite being a 2001 anime, I find the art and animation to be quite good quality. Yes, it reeks the anime style of the early 2000s and surprisingly there is quality in the production. Even the CGI doesn’t look as bad as it should! Most probably space being the majority of the backdrop made it easier for the animation to look this good. With the exception of inside the ships, it is just the darkness of the space and big ol’ Jupiter and its moons floating around. So yeah, I’m quite impressed with the 2D animation as well as the CGI quality. Kudos to Satelite doing this anime. So hence I’m going to nit-pick the ‘bad’ stuffs on this segment. Well, I somewhat find that some of the character designs have this slight chubby look in their face. Just look at Mika, Sofia and Mir. Aren’t their faces a little bit fat? I don’t think it’s my hardware. Because Beatrice looks slim enough. And the other weird thing is the design of Shaft. I don’t know how they end up with this design but it is totally hideous! I know it is alien technology, but can they come up with something looking better? Oh, what’s that you say they don’t want it to look like your typical mecha like Gundam? Okay. But still, Shaft as ugly as f*ck. Like as though Aliens and Transformers had some sort of love child and it came out this huge scrawny piece of monstrosity. Really.

For the voice acting, While Yuko Kaida as Sofia and Takahiro Sakurai as Amagiwa sound pretty decent in their roles, the one that I really love most is Ayako Kawasumi as Dolce. How long has it been since I heard her in such an exuberant and lively obnoxious voice? She literally nails it as the arrogant Dolce. Her character might be annoying but I find myself in a dilemma to actually want to hear more of her insane howling and maniacal laughter. Next in line is Kappei Yamaguchi as Jean. This is one of his rare roles as a villain and he really makes his character despicable. This is what happens when One Piece’s Usopp or Ranma turned evil. Yeah. The other casts are Kumiko Higa as Mika (Manatsu in Tactical Roar), Yumi Kakazu as Mir (Mikaze in Stratos 4), Houko Kuwashima as Tiki (Sango in Inu Yasha), Kenji Hamada as Mario (Jouji in Paradise Kiss), Maaya Sakamoto as Beatrice (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Ryoka Yuzuki as Remmy (Satsuki in Kill La Kill) and Shinji Kawada as Sneak (Shino in Naruto).

One of the blaring things I noticed throughout the series is the heavy metal guitar riffs as BGM. Yes, this series is laden with a good amount of those kind of electric guitar solos throughout. Battle scenes are understandable. But in almost every other scenes too? So it was somewhat weird to me that during dramatic and even solemn moments, they start jamming the electric guitar!!! OMFG! I don’t if this is epic but it made me feel weird and sometimes want to laugh! Not joking! Sometimes I was just waiting for the moment where a heavy metal rocker would just start screaming in the background. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. Oddly, I think there is one BGM (Identification) that sounds very close to the iconic Doom theme song! Especially the next episode preview! OMG. Isn’t it?! Yeah, totally rocks! Although many in the soundtrack has this heavy metal rock although I noticed that there are some slow ones like the cool country blues jazz. Neat.

Hence if you like such heavy metal music, the opening theme is a totally instrumental rocker and you’ll definitely want to rock with Shaft Drive by Akira Takasaki and Ji-Zo if you’re high on drugs. Heh. Be careful to turn down the volume as the opening piece of this song really has that screeching electric guitar effect. Unfortunately the ending theme is freaking weird. Because Broken Camera by Ji-Zo sounds like a drunkard singing!!! Really! Or at least he is half asleep while singing this song. Or maybe he just underwent some surgery to remove some of his teeth so he can’t sing that well. And I thought that opening theme in NieA_7 was bad enough, this one takes the cake. Weird indeed.

Overall, this series is good but unfortunately it feels like it was missing something that prevented me from rating this as a masterpiece. Because it seemed like it borrowed elements from many other animes of that era like Evangelion, Gundam, Vandread, Appleseed, Blue Gender, Crest Of The Stars, Infinite Ryvius, etc, to some it just feels similar. The topics of genetic engineering and its effects on the future of human society are interesting subjects to ponder but in terms of entertainment value, the lack of a physical enemy to focus and deal with just makes this series feel like another space opera. But this series being imperfect and having its own flaws is a perfect example of how it represented humanity. Not the best and there are lots of room of improvement to get better and better each day. Yeah, this means despite anime has grown and improved a lot as they have come a long way since, there are still a lot of crappy and garbage nonsense out there. Oh well. Looks like we still have a very long way to go…

Hagane Orchestra

October 9, 2020

We all know (or at least being told) that advertising is such a powerful tool in making your product or brand known and exposed. So in this age with the Corona virus wreaking havoc with people’s life and severely affecting the economy, we need to get back up to our feet as soon as possible. That’s why we need to find new ways to advertise our products and stuffs. If all those advertising gurus and talks sound too complicated, maybe you can try this anime for a start, Hagane Orchestra. This might not be very comprehensive or even related to what needs to be done in real life but perhaps it could give you some sort of idea. Hopefully. Maybe. I think. After all, it is blatantly admitted that this anime is nothing but an advertisement for a Smartphone game set in this world! Hey, I did warn you.

Episode 1
Our game characters, Kurenai, Masha and Nanaka and Kako brainstorm how to advertise their game. One idea includes handing out tissues at Akihabara. It failed because they used guys to distribute tissues! How about giving Hagane parts? Illegal! Got summoned by authorities? Sexy naked pics of Kako? Got arrested by authorities! Okay then. How about using maids to distribute tissues! Oh yeah! But… They are guys dressed in maids! F*CK THIS SH*T!!!! Masha laments at their failure and if only her prince is here. Chris who is the main character of this game, has no qualms passing this one up.

Episode 2
What is today’s advertising going to be? Hmm… Something that shows off the game’s selling points. No, it’s not the orchestra! That’s right. Hagane, supposedly strange artefacts found throughout this world. The girls decide to come up with their own awesome Hagane like a giant mecha version of Kurenai, a giant mecha groom version of Chris (Masha would certainly love to elope with this one) and your typical several vehicles that combine into one giant mecha. Of course the question is whether or not they can make such Hagane. If you’re curious to know, download the game!

Episode 3
The game is now top of the rankings because of many people downloading it. Not satisfied, Masha wants to further increase their rankings. This means the whole gang downloading the game, deleting it entirely and repeat the whole process again! You bet this ‘ritual’ is going to get sickening! Of course, to further entice others to download, they write fake reviews which are blatant lies! So you can get a boyfriend after downloading this game?! It is only put to a stop when the inn hostess, Tsubaki warns them about deceiving customers. Better stop now or you’ll get what’s coming. Yes ma’am! And now they’re talking about integrity in business!

Episode 4
After reading a fan letter on how she wants to play a mobile game but finds it hard to get started, the girls start talking about the harsh industry whereby new games are released every day and this means there will some that will get shut down. So they talk about the possibility of keeping their game running for many decades to come. I don’t know how but fast forward 70 years later and this game is still running! Yeah, Kurenai and co are frail old women and some of the other characters have already passed on. Oh yeah. 70 years and still running! Let’s keep going! No confidence to pass on the baton to others, huh?

Episode 5
So we take a break from advertising for a hotspring fanservice episode?! OH YEAH! But wait! There’s a catch. There’s those blatant steam censors! You want less of them? Download the game!!! OMFG!!! This is sure going to be super effective. So as we see the horny guys downloading with all their might to get rid of the steam, but each time Kako does something creepy that would ruin the horny mood, the download meter goes down!!! Come on, guys! What are you doing?! Keep on downloading?! Don’t lose out to Kako’s lame stupidity???!!! OMG!!! COME ON! COME ON!!!! Damn, the lameness in Kako is too strong…

Episode 6
Our girls are cosplaying as Sabers from the Fate series. So are they advertising another series and how is this going to advertise their own? Beats me. Then Tsubaki gives them eat mushroom snacks. Mushrooms with faces?! I don’t think it’s Super Mario but I could be wrong… Masha thinks she has the answer for a skyrocketing popularity trend. The guys cross-dressed as idols? Anyway as you can tell, this is not what Masha had in mind. And Chris is enjoying wearing the silly mushroom outfit…

Episode 7
Today’s episode will show off the Hagane. As the girls enter the workshop, they hear ambiguous lines coming from Chris and Nanaka. As you can expect this sex cliché, they are just fitting parts of the Hagane. It is complete but Kako doesn’t understand why they did not fit in the huge cannon. If they did, the Hagane will not be able to move since it is heavy. Taking it for a test run, Kako appoints herself as the captain. The Hagane ride is smooth as expected. Then Kako wants to test fire. Since Nanaka doesn’t skimp on the Hagane, this means it contains real ammo! Everybody run! Unfortunately the blast hits the male characters having their break time.

Episode 8
Maki and Yukari enter town and seek lodging from Tsubaki. They’re like frenemies since they keep arguing passive aggressive style and giving each other sarcasm. They tour the place like soaking in the hotspring and visit the agriculture area. To look for a job, Yukari thinks of using their beautiful voice to do BL voiceovers. Would they?! Until Yukari spots some Hagane recruitment poster and thinks this is her calling to become the best Hagane pilot. And for those wondering where the heck this series’ advertisement is, the narrator had to point out that these 2 babes are already the advertisement themselves!

Episode 9
So today’s blatant advertising will be done by the male counterparts? BORING! But they reason because 99% of their target audience is male, it only makes sense that their input is important because they know how men think. They’ve got a point… So what we see them is fantasizing the female characters with their typical male fantasies. Like Tsubaki the perfect sexy wife, Kurenai the gothic chuunibyou, Nanaka all bandaged up, Kako in kimono and Masha the kindergarten loli. Then they all laugh how most of them have no sex appeal at all. However Chris has reported all this to their female counterparts. Thus they march over angrily and beat the crap out of them.

Episode 10
High school setting! But Hibike! Euphonium spoof? It feels like a big trailer as we see the characters in a high school concert band trying to get to the Nationals. Yes, filled with clichés of friendship, rivalry, love, heartbreak and some other tropes you can think of. Anyway it all turns out to be Kureha’s idea to get more audience so Masha thinks she just wants to do something with orchestra. What is the name of this anime again?

Episode 11
Kako has this idea to do doujinshi and advertise at an expo. Masha will not allow this because she thinks such stuffs are BL yaoi and she will not allow her Chris to be defiled by other men! Though, she herself gets a nose bleed. Kako denies it is BL yaoi because it is more yuri! Yeah, the thought of being yuri with Kurenai too has her getting a massive nose bleed. Anyway Kurenai likes this idea so they start making their own doujinshi. On the day of the expo, visitors who flout the rules will be mercilessly shot by Chris piloting the Hagane! Take no chances! At the end of the day, their event is successful and they hope to do more expos. But as narrated, this doesn’t help in advertising the game no matter how successful their expo is. And too bad the girls only realize that after the fifth expo…

Episode 12
This is what the series looks like if you take away all the nonsense and comedy. A show about a boy (Chris) and girl (Kureha) using their Hagane to defend their hometown from enemies. They aren’t fighting alone because they also have their friends. Hence their cooperation and coming together to fight the enemy is like an orchestra. Wow. Such a really serious movie-like trailer. Should’ve done this from the start if they really wanted to promote this series! Everyone is impressed. Except Masha. Was she on the enemy’s side in the trailer?! And finally, Chris breaks his character to become a lively guy to ask us to download the game!

Can’t Sell Anything If You Don’t Tell Anything
So… Did we learn anything? Unfortunately for me, I didn’t. HAHAHA!!! Oh wait, that’s not funny… Oh sh*t… Sighs… :’(. So if by today you still don’t remember the name of this anime, is the advertising considered a failure? It didn’t become a household name for Smartphone games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds or Clash of Clans. Too wacky for people to relate to anything, huh? Yeah, maybe if they made Hagane Orchestra The Movie, maybe it could have gotten a little further. Just maybe. I mean, with all the downloads and ungodly fees one dumps into mobile games, you’d think those companies would have a cash load to even finance a decent movie, no? Oh wait… That Emoji Movie… On second thought, maybe being a bygone product would be better for this series… And in a way it has. You’ll soon see why…

It is quite unfortunate that the anime itself didn’t do any justice to promote the game. I mean, what can 4 minutes actually do? Although it is meant to be funny shorts, they aren’t exactly advertising material either. Yes, we do see the girls trying out funny ideas but they all seem more like antics and misadventures rather than actually promoting the game itself. I know, I know. If they actually make it look like a serious game promotion, I would still complain this is so advertisement-like that this is not an anime and shouldn’t have been one in the first place! Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. But what I’m trying to say is that the antics featured in these episodes here don’t make me feel interested in checking out the game itself. I can’t anymore. Why? There’s a good and sad reason for this. Well you see, sadly the game has its servers shut down in May 2018. I guess 2 years after the anime, it didn’t do well or enough advertising to help sustain it, huh? So unfortunate that they can’t live up to one of the episode’s jokes that this game will keep on going after 70 years… Damn…

Hence many of the antics and skits seen here especially when the narrator blatantly tells you to go download the game if you are ever so interested to know more, personally it just feels more like a joke than an actual order to go download and play the game. At least, I don’t feel that kind of urgency or conviction that ads have that tell you to go buy their products. You know, when you see an ad you like and the product resonates with you or something, you are more likely to have that impulse to buy it the next time or at least keep it in mind. I don’t feel any of that here. Most probably it is because I am not really into Smartphone games even until today so I didn’t actually take the bait whatsoever. To me, they are all just jokes of an anime that I am supposed to enjoy as an anime and not the game. I had no connection to both mediums whatsoever.

Hence the jokes in this anime are mostly a hit or miss. There are some that I don’t get it and most likely those who are familiar with the game itself would appreciate and understand. Of course as said, they can’t spam too much explaining about the mechanics of the game or it will bore viewers. That is why for those who knows nothing about the game like yours truly, one may not find some jokes to be funny and just head scratching. At the end of the day whether or not this is good advertising, I think they’re trying to strike a balance about revealing too much about the game because if that happens, potential viewers may not find it interesting so they need to leave some parts unexplained in the anime so as to pique your interest to go download the game and further find out. As you can see for my case, it did not at all. It did not give me a really good reason why I need to download this game. So did I help contribute in the closure of the game? Uhm… Oh… I think it’s bad advertising then. Heh.

The characters themselves aren’t anything much. I mean, do you expect any sort of character development with just a dozen episodes of 4 minutes each? Kurenai as the supposed leader of the pack seems to be bold in trying out those ideas but other than that, she’s pretty plain. Same case for Nanaka who is a mechanic and her obsession is tinkering with the Hagane. That’s all. Hence you are more likely to remember Kako for all the wrong reasons because this perverted lesbo has only getting into Kurenai’s pants on her mind. And then there is the prideful Masha, if she is not being prideful, you can see her blushing and fantasizing over Chris. Speaking of that guy, he is probably the best character because of his deadpan monotonous character and perhaps the only one you will ‘laugh’ at as he pulls off his deadpan punchlines. There’s so much on his face that screams he wishes he isn’t here doing this sh*t. Yeah, we can all relate to this guy… Then there’s the beautiful inn hostess Tsubaki who is at the top of the pecking order because if anything gets out of hand or anybody stepping over their boundaries, she’ll be there to warn you or get rid of you. And not forgetting those other male characters whose names I don’t even remember and their role is to be comic relief characters, bearing the brunt of whatever unfortunate consequences. Hey, it’s all for the sake of advertising, no? At least they’re hilarious…

The art and animation seems pretty normal and standard. The character designs lean towards the kawaii and moe look as opposed to the chibi look the game is mostly appears as (note, this is just my quick lazy Google search). This anime is done by Fanworks who only produce short form animes like Aggressive Retsuko, Honobono Log, Gakkatsu and the Ani Ni Tsukeru Kusuri Wa Nai series (joint with Imagineer). At the end of each episode, one can be awed by the latte art drawn by some latte art maestro. It is quite nice to see them draw from start to finish and we’re so awed at how they bring their art to life (making it harder for me to drink if I ever ordered a cuppa like that!), so I suppose we won’t be paying to the ranting of the next episode preview because who cares what the characters say when you can appreciate good latte art, right? Of course not every episode features latte art and a handful of them are just normal illustrations. I think I still prefer the latte art, though…

Overall, this is just a passable anime and I don’t think this was really meant to be a serious advertising for the game. Even if they told you it was, it was just to break the fourth wall and make you laugh. Or maybe it is. Damn, advertising can be such a psychological pain. As we can see the fate of this series, it goes to show that advertising can only do so much. Even big and established brands too can one day go out of business if they do not find new models to adapt to. So yeah, looking back in retrospect and what happened to this game, advertising is indeed a powerful tool. Too bad this series didn’t become a household name because I am sure if you mention this to even gamers, they’ll give you that confused look of WTF-this-game-you-mentioned. There are no plans to revive this game in the foreseeable future so I’m guessing this game is buried dead for good. Unless a new advertising stunt like being featured as guest players in other popular mobile games like Azur Lane or Girls’ Frontline. Uhm, maybe not. Because many would still be asking Hagane who?

After my stint with Agent Aika, I didn’t think I would be going to watch another anime that has its world setting over water or the vast ocean. At least, not that soon. Yeah, such setting feels like an excuse for blatant fanservice because it’s the only reason why hot chicks get to go around and about in skimpy bikini outfits without everyone batting an eyelid. No virtue signalling parents to complain about why sexy semi-naked women are running about all over town. And also, I ‘blame’ the Corona virus for making me go take a look at Daphne In The Brilliant Blue. Okay, okay. Maybe I have to be partially thankful for making me go check out this retro anime because otherwise I got no sexy fanservice anime to watch for the season. Don’t want this season of mine to be left high and dry!

Episode 1
Maia Mizuki is doing well in her practical exam. Together with friend, Tsukasa Takagi, they hope to join the Ocean Agency together. While at the café, a car almost crashes into Maia. Turns out a pair of robbers are trying to run away from scantily dressed babes, Rena Honjo and Shizuka Hayama. Only one of them gets caught. Then Maia checks into the Ocean Agency dorm. Wow. Counting her chickens? Because right after she moves in, she receives a notice from them that her application has been rejected! No sh*t! Then a call from Tsukasa. She passed. Uhm, congratulations? Next day, workers come by to remind her to get evicted. Yeah, can’t believe this blooper. Maia tries not to be disheartened so she heads back to the city to find a place to stay. Yeah, way out of her budget. Then she tries to find a job. Looks like she isn’t cut out for all those she applied. And just when she thought she got this hotel job, please come back in 2 months as they are closed for renovation. Bummer. From bad to worse as she realizes too late she got pickpocketed! Reporting to the police isn’t going to help as there are piles of reports. I don’t think they can catch the pickpocket dude anytime soon. What a sad day. She’s trying to stay positive while holding back her tears but it’s like God is really trying to screw her. Because that robber who got caught, Chang has escaped. What rotten luck he takes Maia hostage and threatens to kill! Guess what? Rena fires at both of them!!! HOLY SH*T!!! Maia dies. End of anime. The end.

Episode 2
Sorry, the series will still continue. Maia still alive and finds herself in the office of Nereids Kamchatka branch. Rena and Shizuka want them to follow her to a room. The moment Maia unlocks the door, Chang runs out thinking he is free. But Rena expects this and has Shizuka waiting in the corner to knock him out. Then they measure Chang and Maia. Same size. She could prove useful for the exchange and at the same time nab his brother, Wong. So as both sides meet for the exchange, after Wong gives them a suitcase filled with money, they let Chang go. Of course this is Maia in disguise. Maia as told previously, points her gun at Wong in pretence to arrest him. Seeing that she is an amateur, he kidnaps her and goes off. Back at office, the babes ponder their next move as the branch manager, Tsutomu Hanaoka is stressed at the troubles they have had so far. But Rena being the cool babe returns fire about him being ordinary and the financial expenses he is facing. Can’t argue with that. Just then, a video message from Wong. Maia reading from the script, blames Nereids and wants another exchange done or else she will be killed and the tape sent to the media. The second exchange is now in session. When Chang and Maia pass each other, Chang manages to free himself from his cuffs and takes Maia hostage. The brothers then escape with Maia in tow. The Nereids babes chase them in this underwater action chase scene until the brothers lose control. They pass out from the crash. But luckily for Maia, Ocean Agency training has proved useful as she drives the car to the surface before it sinks to the bottom. Nice timing for the police to pick the criminals up. Rena wants police chief Gendo Kousuke Yagi to deposit the reward as usual but he is not amused since the ruckus and damage is mostly caused by them. Rena wants to hire Maia and will pay her and provide her with lodging. Not interested! Maia returns to the dorm but it seems there is already an eviction notice and her stuffs confiscated until she returns the house keys. No choice, she returns to Nereids. I guess she has to take up the job offer. Rena knew she would be back and has cleaned the place for her to move in.

Episode 3
Hope Maia gets used to the odd jobs from finding lost cats, lost items, investigating extra marital affairs and being a debt collector for a guy who is months behind his rent! And those are just the easy jobs… One day, Mr Martin enters Nereids for an urgent request. The money he took out from the bank for his daughter’s wedding got stolen. If he goes to the police he knows he will never get it back in time as the wedding is in a week’s time. Rena turns him down seeing they have too many jobs at hand but Shizuka wants to do it. Can she handle it? Well, she has got the best assistant. That’s you, Maia! Trying to ask others for clues in the shady part of town, can Maia actually get through this? Turns out all those punks know Shizuka. No worries. Apparently Shizuka grew up in this area so you could say she knows this place like the back of her hand and almost everyone is like her family. Next morning before Maia needs to continue her help with Shizuka, she has to go collect the rent. Nobody answers. The neighbour says he got some cash windfall and won’t be back. Uh oh. Looks like their guy. Searching his place, they found the clothes as Martin described. I bet he is the only one in town having this. Shizuka then gets a tip off where the dude is. No surprise, it’s a casino. Poor security. Easily snuck in. Maia sees that guy gambling. She gets mad and confronts him. However he escapes. Shizuka starts shooting! Damn, poor innocent people get stunned! And then security enters and start shooting everything! WTF?! Everybody so dumb. Shizuka and Maia escape to go after the guy. As Shizuka knows the place well, she manages to corner the dude and eventually has him flung out to sea. When captured, he has no money to return because he spent it all on gambling. Martin understands the situation so that’s that. As he is about to leave, his car dies. Shizuka checks on his engine and realizes it is a vintage. She manages to help sell it to collectors and this helps finance the wedding. As reward, our Nereids heroines are invited to this lavish wedding.

Episode 4
Nereids got a request for some asset reposition. As they head to the luxury area, Rena senses something amiss and luckily has everyone take cover. Suddenly the place explodes and somebody starts shooting at them. Turns out to be Gloria and she wants Rena to give her money back. With a little distraction, Shizuka whacks her unconscious. Back at the office, turns out Gloria is a member of Nereids. Rena shows the reports of the expenses used up so there’s almost nothing left to her money. Next day as Maia goes to do her usual job, Gloria offers to teach her. So we can see the difference. Maia is too naïve to get things done while Gloria is forceful but gets results. So over dinner as they talk about things, Gloria explains her predicament. A museum’s valuable displays got stolen so Nereids went in to track the thieves and stole it back. While it looked like Gloria sacrificed herself to let the rest escape, it is only so because she won’t let a single penny get left behind! Although the baddies surround her, she went all out crazy fighting back. Yeah, more gunfights and explosions. Now, the baddies have found Nereids and kidnap Rena, thinking she is the leader. So a high octane chase begins and of course Gloria gets reckless in getting back. So when they calculate the damage costs from the reward, it looks like they owe money! Correction. Make that Gloria is the one owing! Don’t worry, paying in instalments is acceptable and no interest charged. Gloria is so screwed…

Episode 5
Hanaoka’s request for some licence renewal got rejected. This seems to be the order of Yagi who is refusing to let that b*tch, Yuu Park work at Nereids again. Let’s say that she has dealt quite a lot of damage for a single person. Yeah, Yagi is one of those ‘victims’ of her violence. He doesn’t care if her prison sentence is over today, he’s not letting her back. As Nereids ponder over this problem, here comes Yuu herself into the office, scaring the sh*t out of Maia. Rena tells her to go home for now because if she’s here, Yagi won’t stop harassing them. Rena also wants Maia to tail her. Oh sh*t. As expected, Maia flops in tailing but Yuu lets her into her home anyway. So her dog eats sandwiches? Yuu talks to Maia a little about herself. She was a fugitive and Rena put her in prison. But upon release, Rena recruited her for reasons unknown. Meanwhile Rena dresses up sexily and invites Yagi to dinner on a cruise. She’s trying to seduce him in an attempt to make him approve Yuu’s licence. She thinks having Yuu back will benefit both of them. Yagi is trying to resist the temptation but it could have worked as Rena invites him to her private room. Wink, wink. But then stupid terrorists storm into the cruise! Led by Lee, they want their brothers Wong and Chang released or they’ll execute a hostage every 30 minutes. He’ll execute Yagi first since he arrested his brothers. Yagi tries to blame it on Rena?! Her womanly charms maintain Yagi will be shot first. And she’ll be the second. Rena strikes up a deal with Yagi. Nereids can get here faster and clean this mess up before the police. But he must approve Yuu’s licence. Fine. She calls HQ for everyone to get to her location. Yuu reaches first as she kicks her way through! Damn those baddies can miss her with their submachine guns?! Lee takes Yagi hostage and threatens to shoot him. So why is he being intimidated by Yuu? Just shoot the cop! Bad move because he tries to shoot her but miss and Yuu gives a good punch in his face. Game over. Gloria has arrived but all the action is over… In the aftermath, Yagi reluctantly approves Yuu’s licence.

Episode 6
Maia is hanging out with Tsukasa. The latter is going to give Maia a lift home in her rented car. But then… She realizes it has been stolen! While lodging a report at the police station, Maia sees her Nereids girls there. Oh dear. Some trouble in their previous mission because Gloria and Yuu couldn’t get along and messed up. And Yagi somehow got injured it. Nothing like a little Rena seduction to break this guy’s tough barrier down. Seeing how wild the Nereids ladies are, Tsukasa really hopes Maia can join Ocean Agency next year. They learn about Tsukasa’s problem and will take on this job. After all, the rental car company will pay them if they manage to get back all the stolen cars. Studying the alarm system of the cars, it seems only professionals could disable it in such a quick time. As they stake out, the usual Gloria and Yuu fighting. Maia caught in between. They stumble into a suspicious guy and apprehend him. Nothing else happens tonight. Maia requests to be put on a different team but apparently Rena refuses. Gotta bite the bullet… Thus the stakeout tonight has more or less the same scenario. Gloria and Yuu passive aggressive quarrel has them almost lose a getaway truck. After they go after it, Maia who is left behind realizes something strange of a car nearby. That is when she is kidnapped by a pair of lovers who are actually the real car thieves. They reveal some camouflage item that changes the car’s appearance. This will make the owner worry and go lodge a report. The thieves will then use that extra time to dismantle the car’s security system. Gloria and Yuu realize the truck is a dud although they arrest the dude for illegally trafficking some food. Then they track Maia’s whereabouts. Not sure what happened because they ram into the car and save Maia. Once safely on ground, not sure how they could let the thieves sneak up and hold Maia hostage. Distraction from the Ocean Agency means Gloria and Yuu manage to jump on the thieves. So the reward is split between Nereids and Ocean Agency but I’ll leave you to guess how much they have left after compensation damages were deducted. Next time Maia hangs out with Tsukasa, though Maia is determined to get into Ocean Agency, Tsukasa quips that is only if she doesn’t fall in love with Nereids then. She thinks she fits right in. She’s joking, right?

Episode 7
Yukari is Hanaoka’s daughter. She thinks papa is a very cool person! Oh God… The lies… Because she is coming to see him work for a day, Hanaoka pleads to his ladies to put up an act. They don’t really care but since he promises paid vacation and a raise, oh well, gotta do the job. And so the little brat is here. She calls everyone unsavoury nicknames but hey, that’s how papa describes them, right?! Papa tries to act cool while the capable ladies have to suck it in and play his useless lackeys. And then there is this bounty hunting mission Yukari wants to tag along. As a father, he should know it is dangerous to bring his own daughter but what the heck, he just have to look cool, no? On this deserted island ruins, they smoke out the baddies and of course everything is a setup. Gloria and Yuu playing the baddies with a bad unconvincing script to boot. Yeah, they got some blanks too for the shootout. But then an accident somewhat reveals the truth. Yukari becomes disillusioned and sad. What mama said about him was true! Oh God… The lies… Now she hates papa. She runs off as Hanaoka and Maia go look for her. They stumble into some penguin sanctuary? Actually they realize this is a HQ for penguin black market. It goes without saying that they get captured. Hanaoka trying to prove how cool he is by cutting the ropes with his hidden knife. But he is clumsy… Oh dear… Father crying, daughter crying… This sucks. When they are to be taken away, Rena and co come to their rescue. But the boss takes Yukari hostage. Hanaoka jumps on the boat and tries to beg for Yukari’s freedom. Even if he gets beaten up and shot (bullet just grazed his skin), he still won’t give up. A stroke of luck has the boss fall off. Police arrive. Happy ending. In the aftermath, Yukari writes an essay on how uncool and pathetic papa is. It’s the truth! But she still loves him very much! That’s daddy’s girl. And the Nereids girls won’t get paid vacations or raise because HQ rejected that proposal. Time to beat this loser up…

Episode 8
Shizuka and Maia are at a race event. They are here to see Millie who is Shizuka’s childhood friend test drive a new hover car. However something went wrong and Millie got injured. As they visit her in hospital, the duo discover that Albatross Company, the company Millie is working under is in competition with Pegasus Corporation to come up with a new hover car that will become the official car for Ocean Agency. As there will be a time trial race in a few days, the fastest car of course wins it all. But there has been spates of incidents like this on Albatross. Many test drivers have quit. Then Maia points she has a Class A licence due to her stint at Ocean Agency’s test. Immediately she is hired as a test driver and she’s screaming all the way. Hope she’ll learn to keep her mouth shut if she doesn’t want to get involved. But with Millie guiding her with some mental image training of the course, Maia will see this through. Rena discovers a suspicious character from Pegasus in the pictures. Wow. The zoom feature is so detailed! So when confronted the bugger, unfortunately Yuu knocked him too hard that he is now in ICU! There goes their lead. They can’t question him about some weird terms he said over the phone. Race day is here and Pegasus does extremely well. Maia is nervous at first but remember all your training. With Maia being slower, the chief of Albatross seems to be joyous. Turns out he is the culprit who has been sabotaging their efforts because if Pegasus wins, he’ll get to join them as he considers his talents wasted at Albatross. Yeah, there’s a bomb in the car and if she stops or crosses the line, boom! Rena doesn’t want to tell Maia about this and when she does, as expected she starts panicking. After Millie beats up the chief, she has him point out where the bomb is. How are they going to diffuse it if they can’t stop the car? This is where Gloria’s sharpshooting comes in. She shoots the bomb off right before Maia reaches the finish line. And I believe that blast helped pushed Maia to the finish line and finish faster than her competitor! Oh wow. The guys throw Maia in the air to celebrate their victory. Isn’t Gloria the true heroine?

Episode 9
Nereids are undergoing a health test. Don’t take one, can’t go on the company trip next one. When Hanaoka returns to collect the results, he overhears the doctor talking to his nurse about Gloria having the big C and only a week to live. Yeah, we all know he misinterpreted it but let’s see how ‘fun’ this will turn out. He returns to tell the rest about it who are shocked. Hence everyone treats Gloria nicely. Until she suspects something amiss and forces Hanaoka to spill the beans. It’s true how curiosity killed the cat. Yeah. Now Gloria’s depressed. Somebody needs to go talk to her to return to the hospital and Maia drew the short end of the stick. But Gloria wants to do something before she dies. FIND TRUE LOVE?! I’m not laughing… I’m not laughing… Man, she even has a specific description of the kind of guy she wants! Looks plain… Then soon enough she actually bumps into that guy, Clyde! From the bad script and bad acting, you know this is a setup. Clyde is actually Tsukasa in disguise and she is forced to do this as Gloria’s last wish. Thank goodness Gloria is simpleminded and can’t see through it all. So their date at the amusement park goes well. At the shooting gallery, Gloria wins the prize to Siberia. Hey, the owner ‘cheated’ so she had to shoot with her real gun, right? Gloria reveals she is doing this as final thanks to her comrades for being nice to her. I’m not crying… I’m not crying… At the end of the day, Gloria steals a kiss on Clyde. Hope that wasn’t Tsukasa’s first kiss… But it gets worse. Now Gloria wants to have sex since they’ve come all the way here! Hey, what has she got to lose?! Desperate Clyde reveals he is actually a girl. Oh… In that case… Let’s die together!!! OH NO!!! Hey, at least Gloria isn’t lesbian… Man, Gloria really crashed the car over the barrier! They end up in hospital. Hope Tsukasa isn’t petrified for life. And now the truth as the doctor reveals. He was referring to Gloria’s gun in the x-ray as she forgot to take them off. As for Gloria’s life, he was referring to the monitor because it’s already at the end of its lifespan. And yeah, everything is all Hanaoka’s fault. This means he can’t go to the company trip and must stay back at the office. Gloria is happier than ever since she gets to go to Siberia. To find true love!!! Ah, such simpleton…

Episode 10
You think Siberia is an icy frigid wasteland? Think again! It is a tropical beach with lavish hotels, parties and cruises! Are you sure this is Siberia?! Anyway, the Nereids girls are here Gloria gets detained seeing she brought her guns. And she’s arguing with the officers? Take her away! After the rest check into their hotels, they have the free time to do whatever they want. Rena having man whores around her serving her like slaves. Yuu going around taking selfies of places of attraction. Because Maia is a newbie, she follows Shizuka around. Unfortunately all the places she goes are food places. Maia must be having a terrible stomach discomfort from all the food she ate. Can she get fat? And Gloria crawling in prison… Since Maia can’t stomach more food, Shizuka begs this last place where they serve mammoth meat. Aren’t mammoths extinct? Thank cloning technology! As they start, a couple of guys get the know them. Apparently they drug their drinks. Because Maia can’t swallow more, she rushes to the toilet to vomit. Once done, she sees the guys kidnapping an unconscious Shizuka. They plan to sell her. Off they go as Maia tries to stop them. Can she run after their car? Well, at least she’ll burn some calories. Luckily she stumbles into Yuu who then ‘borrows’ a bike to chase. For some reason, Maia knows the place well. Even if she does, how the heck does she know where the chase will go?! Anyway, she manages to cut them off, forcing them to crash. Don’t worry, Shizuka is alright. Slept like a pig sleeping beauty all the way. In the aftermath, Maia has some serious spacing out. What’s this about Daphne again? Next day as they are about to leave for their flight, Maia wants to stay a few more days. You know that isn’t possible, right? That is when Maia reveals she is amnesiac. She cannot remember her childhood days.

Episode 11
We delve into Maia’s past. She woke up in the hospital and all the doctors call it a miracle. It seems she was in a car accident that her parents perished and has been in a coma for a year! Her only living relative is her grandpa, Sho. With Maia being amnesiac, she has no memories of anything prior and keeps starring into space. She undergoes rehabilitation that might help get back her memories even if it means bringing back the day of the accident. At first Maia was uncomfortable with everything, including Sho whom she cannot remember at all as her grandpa. Sho then gave her some words of encouragement: Trees planted by the water bear fruit when the time is right. Its leaves will never wither. Slowly Maia opens up and not sure how successful her rehabilitation was because she got discharged. I mean, it’s not like she regained anything from her past, right? So Maia and Sho lived a happy life. Until one day when she returned from school, she saw Sho experiencing a heart attack. His last word was Daphne. Alone again, naturally. After hearing this sob story, Rena purposely has the girls miss their flight. She gives Maia a day to find clues. Not sure what they expect to find as they talk to the citizens. They even went to the official records but no such records on Maia. And so they leave Siberia emptyhanded. Back at office, Rena gives Maia some hope. Don’t be burdened and cling onto your past. If you don’t have one, then create a future.

Episode 12
Today is memorial day as it marks its 100th year since civilizations came out from under the sea to the surface for the first time. But this day also marks another tragedy because in the process of that resurfacing, a huge city, Elpida sank and many lives were lost. Hence today is a celebration of the future and mark of respect to those who perished. Of course Nereids are tasked to keep the peace with the local authorities. Hence we see them especially Maia doing very odd jobs like giving directions and helping a lost kid find her mom. There is also a case where Hanaoka got too drunk and this strained his relationship further with Yukari. Papa daikirai! Later in the afternoon, Maia manages to make it in time for an exhibition race with Millie and Tsukasa. Wow. She is really having a busy day. In the end of the race, it is Millie who makes a comeback and wins it. Millie speaks to Maia that she is planning to move to Alaska after this since this is the base of the pro racing industry. She wants to see how far she can go as a professional racer. While Maia is sad, she still has her Nereids comrades. Yup, she has to go treat them to food at the stalls before they close. Uh huh. They lost the race bet on her.

Episode 13
Remember those dumb brothers? Yeah, doing time in prison. Until some explosion floods the place! Brothers gonna die together? Not if their sister, May could help save them. Apparently their mom is once again pregnant and to celebrate the birth of their new sibling, what better way than to head to the sunken Elpida and look for treasures. Wow. May got this submarine?! Took her many years of failed attempts to finally get it. I don’t know, but isn’t security so lax that they didn’t even bother looking for a missing submarine? But that’s none of my business. May has got everything prepared for their treasure hunting and all that’s left is to train the brothers. While doing so, they stumble into Maia. Apparently she is here with Nereids to train. You bet those guys kidnap her again to settle some grudge. Yeah, once more she is used as bait and hostage to lure the Nereids to come here or she’ll be hamburger meat! Oh no! So the brothers got this awesome plan on how to take those Nereids babes down. But as they wait and wait, they never turn up! They make Maia call them again and what do they see? Rena and co happily eating at the restaurant! They think Maia is done for?! MEANIE!!! The brothers has had enough and rush to that restaurant to settle their business. However it is just a ploy. Rena and co were just pretending and the restaurant is just a backdrop. With the brothers gone, they go a depressed Maia but they have to face off with May. As she is a fighter, only Yuu can take her on and defeat her. Meanwhile Gloria fires her bazooka at the brothers! The brothers are doomed to their watery grave but Maia still wants to save them?! How? The submarine. Wow. Shizuka can actually pilot it???!!! With the brothers saved, they all hail Maia their saviour and are warned never to come after them again. Or else. Maia even wishes them good luck on their treasure hunting! Maia the goddess! The brothers say goodbye but May is not pleased that they gave the submarine to Nereids! DUDE!!!!!!!!

Episode 14
What to name the submarine… Since Shizuka is the one controlling it, I guess it’s her right to call it Yomogi-1. However maintenance for it is expensive. How? Find jobs to leverage its upkeep! Is there anybody who is going to pay a price to use their submarine? Lucky for Maia, a kid named Kouta has a request. His stubborn grandpa, Yasuo is dead set on killing a sea monster whom he calls Sea Devil. Too bad everybody thinks he is nuts and the monster is just a fabrication. Yasuo claims those scars on his back are from Sea Devil and won’t rest till he kills it. Hence Kouta hopes Nereids can use the submarine to play the part of the Sea Devil. Get defeated and put grandpa’s dream to rest. Sounds easy, right? Yeah, those cheap camouflage isn’t going to cut it… But since nobody knows how Sea Devil looks like, I guess this flimsy cover and paint job will do. Meanwhile Maia is tasked to be Yasuo’s navigator. The plan is to meet at a designated point for the ‘battle’. Too bad Yasuo wants to take a detour because searching in the same place for years didn’t bear fruit. Yomogi-1 has its problems too. With Gloria accelerating it recklessly, heck those flimsy cover came off! WTF?! She has to go fix it but Yomogi-1 is also stuck by the rocks. With Yasuo coming by, I guess the dark sea means he can’t see clearly so he thinks Yomogi-1 is Sea Devil and fires a torpedo! A fishing boat carrying a torpedo! Oh sh*t! Luckily the torpedo just grazes by and somewhat sets Yomogi-1 free. Yasuo won’t let this go and wants to continue hunting it. Don’t worry. He has a spare torpedo! Maia so conflicted on who to support. In the end, a direct hit! Oh sh*t! Yasuo is so happy. We celebrate tonight. Back on land, he tells Kouta the good news. Only Maia is sad. Sorry, don’t think she is crying due to happiness. But to her surprise, her comrades aren’t dead. They claim they were only hit by 1 torpedo and after they were set free, they escaped after knowing the mission failed. So does that mean Sea Devil actually existed?! Yeah, the sea is so vast an unexplored…

Episode 15
Kenta Takahashi wants to confess to Yukari. However he is so anxious and this only makes Yukari mad that he wasted her time! Damn… Next day, he left a note to his parents that he has gone for a trip and not to look for him. Obviously he ran away from home. His parents file a report to the police but apparently Yagi isn’t interested and refers them to Nereids. What a way to push responsibility over to somebody else… Hence Maia is tasked to track Kenta down. It is discovered he took a trip to Siberia! Remember, he is a rich kid and has 20 grand for allowance! Damn, if only I had money to run away like that! So Maia has to do it alone since Hanaoka is on leave nursing his sick wife and Shizuka is filling in for him. And you bet the rest have other jobs stacked on them so Maia is the only free one to go. Oh well. Welcome back to Siberia. As Rena has also requested Siberia branch’s Nereids for help, it seems its manager, Katsuya Mori has some grudge against Rena so he has his assistant feed fake info to Maia every few hours. Naïve girl takes the bait and goes on a wild goose chase. When Kenta is finally found, Maia is about to approach him but Mori knocks her out to claim Kenta for himself. As he takes him back, he hears his problems. Yeah, he paid a few guys to be his friends for a few days. Also, because Yukari rejected him, he felt embarrassed to go back and face her. This has Mori remember something similar. It seems he proposed to Rena but she rejected him! He went into depression after that. Wow. This guy so emotional. As Maia is trying to figure out what happened back in her hotel, it seems Mori returns Kenta to her! He leaves a message for her for Rena and hopes everyone is doing well. What just happened? Not sure. Even Kenta doesn’t what he meant about he’ll stop being a jerk and be a good person from now on because he found his innocence again. Huh? Whatever. Maia and Kenta take the next flight back. She takes a picture of Kenta and sends it to Rena. But Rena notices Alexander Fujiyama, the CEO of Fujiyama Technology in the background. Why is this important dude taking a normal passenger airline instead of his private jet? Well, some conspiracy is going to happen to the flight Maia is on… Meanwhile Hanaoka and Yukari are on some school field trip when terrorists take over! This going to be Die Hard?

Episode 16
Terrorist boss makes his demands that he wants certain prisoners release. Wilfred Kim is the head of Ocean Agency’s security department as he handles this case. However the problem is that the prisoners are located in different cities so it will take time to negotiate with them all. Meanwhile the flight’s arrival is delayed because of the terrorism so they are forced to keep flying. Rena has sensed something amiss so she heads to the airport and finds Fujiyama staffs acting strangely. Then she makes a call to Mori to help out with some investigation. He soon gets info that the real plan is to kill Fujiyama boss and the prisoner release is just a distraction. She tries to warn Ocean Agency but nobody is willing to listen to her except Wilfred. With the plane low on fuel and the pilot having heart problems, also there is no doctor on board this flight, who do you think can pilot this plane? Maia up to task? As the prisoners cannot be released in time, the terrorist boss claims negotiations have failed and detonates the bombs to make it look like he killed himself. As he escapes, he is intercepted and arrested by Gloria and Yuu. How convenient. It is discovered this terrorist boss was a disgruntled employee at Ocean Agency and was fired for bribery. Maia learns she has to land the plane without autopilot. You know what this means. Complain! Pessimism! Can’t do it! Until Tsukasa tells her off about it! Now you can do it? Try. And as expected, Maia lands the plane safely although it’s not exactly a smooth ride. The only big bump is the one she got on her head! Wilfred so impressed that he wants her to join Ocean Agency… In the aftermath, it is discovered that it was the plan of Fujiyama’s brother to kill the CEO. Meanwhile Rena thanks Mori for his help. She really didn’t think he would help but this guy has matured and doesn’t want to past to shackle him. He suggests they date again. Rejected! Meanwhile, Kenta has got balls to confess to Yukari and even wants to marry her! But she would only like them to start out as friends. Poor Kenta. Depressed again. Oh dear. He’s gone on another trip! With Mori! Sad guys…

Episode 17
While chasing a baddie, Yuu only saves the rare piglet. Though the baddie crashes, she lets him get away. Rena is not pleased since there is a bounty on him too. Because Yuu seems to be fond of the piglet, Gloria tells her to get a kid instead. And Hanaoka can help! She got what’s coming. When Yuu returns home, a baby is placed outside her doorstep and a note to take care of him. Normally she would’ve taken him to the police but Gloria is against it. Doing so means the kid will be sent to the shelter and they’ll grow up bullied and abused. Oh my. Gloria speaking from personal experience! Because nobody knows how to take care of the baby and he only doesn’t cry with Yuu, I guess she has to take some responsibility in looking after him while the rest try to find their parents. Gloria believes the parents will return because had they abandon the baby for good, why did they not leave him at the police station? Yuu gets by taking care of the baby and it seems Gloria also often helps out. Yeah, Yuu is really becoming a fine mother. The only one not pleased is Rena. Yeah, the workload is piling up. A bit of drama as Yuu thinks she has got some advice needed to give better food to the baby. However he starts feeling sick so Gloria has no choice but to rush them to hospital to get whatever surgery done. Thankfully nothing serious but what the heck this drama?! One day as they hang out at the park, that baddie comes back for revenge. This guy so dumb he charges straight on. Although Yuu subdues him, unfortunately she accidentally pushes the pram down the stairs. Luckily Maia was there. Though the pram hit her in the face, the baby went flying! Gloria catches little Andy. Then the cat is out of the bag. A video from Rosemary (Gloria’s sister) is having a blast in Siberia and sent Andy to Gloria to take care of him. Of course she’ll compensate her in full when she gets back. Oh, so Gloria’s not from the shelter? I guess she got what’s coming. Better call the ambulance…

Episode 18
Shizuka picks up an injured guy in the alley. Since she didn’t show up for work, Maia is forced to go check on her. From her angle, can’t blame Maia for freaking thinking she saw Shizuka giving this guy a blowjob! When caught, Shizuka wants her to keep this the secret. Of course. Actually, what she meant was this: Trevor is a spy from Ocean Agency and was infiltrating some criminal organization when he got caught. He fled but was injured and that was when Shizuka saved him. She doesn’t want Maia to let others know or they’ll be dragged into this mess. Oh well, we all know how a lousy poker face Maia is, right? Nereids can tell something is fishy. Especially Shizuka giving food poisoning as her reason of absence. This big eater? Food poisoning? Some cheesy love scene between Shizuka and Trevor… While out on the streets, it seems there are guys looking for Trevor too. One thing led to another so it is discovered Trevor is a conman and goes by many aliases. Wanna bet Shizuka heard that? Yeah, she rushes back to see her place ransacked and he is gone. But she can soon tell that somebody kidnapped him. Since Trevor has her ID, she could trace him to some warehouse where some criminal organization that traffics rare exotic animals are based at. Looks like Trevor also outplayed them and they want payback. With Nereids hearing the whole story, they drop in so that Shizuka can go settle her business. But looks like Trevor already beat up the big boss and fled. Shizuka knows he would be trying to flee via airport and meets him there just to get her ID back. So one last cheesy fling since she can’t go with him? Then not sure what Yagi calling out to him (with a different name) of trying to flirt with another woman and this makes Shizuka mad and slaps him. What a way to nurse a broken heart by entering an eating contest and blowing all the competition away. Nothing gets through Shizuka’s heart through the stomach!

Episode 19
Oh no. It’s those dumb brothers again and May. They steal Yomogi-1 but luckily Maia catches them. Not that it would do any good since they kidnap her. Again. Maia is smarter this time since she manages to alert her comrades. You bet they’re not going to let this one escape. It seems Yomogi-1 is damaged from the torpedo attack and is leaking all over! Yeah, Maia has to help out in plugging the leak. Wow. Some hi-tech film enough to seal the holes?! If the bridge got flooded a little, how the heck the electronics still working?! Anyway, after patching things up, Maia learns that they are still eager for the treasure hunt despite being dumb in many areas. I guess that’s the fun in treasure hunting? As they continue, looks like Rena and co have caught up. They’re firing bazookas at the submarine! Do they not care for Maia?! Well, if she’s lucky, they’ll meet again. Poor Maia. Abandoned again. Even the baddies feel bad for her. Of course this is just a ploy to threaten them but Gloria thinks they really want to sink the submarine and blasts a direct shot at it. Now the submarine sinks for real and a heavy structure falls on it. Oh my. We gonna die now? Maia manages to contact Rena to tell the situation. But from their position it looks like help will take a while. By that time they’ll be dead so better do something. For once, Maia takes control and will not give up. Yeah, this part gets ridiculous. Because Maia spots a building structure with air pocket. So in her mini sub, she goes to unload extra air into it so the structure can lift the beam up a little enough for the submarine to get out?! YOU MEAN THAT LITTLE AIR IS ENOUGH TO MAKE THE HEAVY STRUCTURE FLOAT???!!! Oh, if Yomogi-1 can’t move forward, Maia rams her sub into it for a little push! YOU MEAN THIS LITTLE POD IS ENOUGH TO PUSH THIS HEAVY SUB FORWARD???!!! Yeah, it did the trick. However, Maia’s sub loses energy. Yomogi-1’s ballast is damage and can only surface. Rena’s hover car has depth security so after reaching certain depth, it automatically goes back up to the surface. Maia sinks to the bottom until all systems loses its energy. Gonna die here? That’s when she starts remembering she has an older brother. She passes out but saw some guy pulled her out. She can’t remember much. Nereids take her back and don’t understand how she got to safety but as long as she is safe, right?

Episode 20
Maia having dreams about her brother. This is going to be bothersome. Since it’s bugging her too much, she goes see her old doctors, Kevin and Clare for some clues. They are pretty sure she doesn’t have any other relatives and that she could be just calling a friend’s brother so out of admiration. Since Maia insists, they let her access a very detailed report of the accident. She may see things she doesn’t want to see. And so Maia relives the trauma of the accident but no big brother info or anything. Maia gets depressed but Tsukasa talks to her and gives her hope and hasn’t given up on her trying to join Ocean Agency. I guess studying is boring so Maia dozes off while so and yet another dream of onii-chan. This time she dreams that they buried a time capsule under that Daphne tree. Hence she wants to go to Siberia again and will deduct the expenses from her pay. Rena has no choice but to let her. Better she wakes up from her dream whether she finds anything or not. But Shizuka pities her most since it is the only thing that Maia has now. Not wanting Maia to screw up, Rena already contacted Mori to help out. Too bad she snubs him each time he wants to talk about getting back together again. So… Can they just dig a tree like there in a park? No security personnel whatsoever? Okay. Whatever. Digging and digging but Maia doesn’t come across anything. She doesn’t give up since she is done being a quitter and hopes this will fully bring all her memories back. But still, night is here and she must go back and return the next day. Instead, she walks around Siberia and since she unknowingly knows her way around, this confirms she was here before. Suddenly a guy attacks her but is saved by another. It is then Maia realizes this dude could be her brother and tries to go after him. ONII-CHAN!!!

Episode 21
Maia so spaced out thinking about onii-chan that she can’t concentrate on her Ocean Agency test. WHY THE HECK IS THERE ERASE ALL ANSWERS OPTION AT THE END???!!! You bet Maia fails again… Time to mope about… Only Shizuka worries about her. Meanwhile a few higher ups in the Ocean Agency are talking about Maia in a secret meeting that includes Kevin and Clare. They fear Maia’s memories will return and will not wait till it’s too late to take action. Nereids is in a job to save girls kidnapped for a prostitution ring. All is going well until Maia who is on standby thought she saw onii-chan. She leaves her post but too bad, wrong person! Because of that, the Nereids girls are engaged in a gunfight with the traffickers. Not sure how Maia got back into the midst of the gunfire but Shizuka had to protect her and gets shot. Oh no. Shizuka in ICU?! You bet Rena is going to chew out Maia for being this useless. But she goes too far saying that it is better she hadn’t recovered her memories. However Maia argues back those are important to her. You mean more important than the future? Her job? Her comrade’s life? If that’s the case, you’re fired. Okay. Maia leaves. I’m sure she would love to stay at Tsukasa’s place but she’s away on a business trip. Oh well. Got to put up with this low budget hotel where the walls are so thin you could hear everything… Back to familiar ground as she hunts for a job. No such luck. More bad luck when the police then surrounds the hotel to do a raid. Yeah, you can hear people panicking that whatever shady business they’re doing is busted. Heck, her next door neighbour is shooting back at the cops! Luckily Maia manages to escape amidst the commotion. However she bumps into those traffickers who were basing their operations in the hotel. They want to get back at her so Maia screams her onii-chan. Oddly, onii-chan is late to the scene so it is Millie who rams those jerks. So she’s back. Enough drama for today as Maia collapses but murmurs something about everyone will resurface one day. And now here comes onii-chan.

Episode 22
Flashback time. We see a young happy Maia childhood. Her father is a researcher and his team is tasked to preserve animals in pods in case one day the cities resurface. Maia also had a brother but because he is away studying, she is somewhat depressed. Hence, Ai Mayuzumi who is daddy’s colleague accompanies her. This helps soften the blow. Of course onii-chan returned to celebrate her birthday and Maia was complete smiles again. Then there’s one incident where there was some break-in in their house. Ai went to neutralize the threat while onii-chan kept her safe in her room. Later on, Maia and onii-chan planted a time capsule under a Daphne tree in hopes they’ll open in someday. Now Maia remembers she lived in Siberia before moving to Elpida. Too bad this dude isn’t her brother but Tony Long, Ocean Agency’s security division. He confirms that 100 years have passed and Maia is the sole survivor of Elpida. Ocean Agency found her pod drifting in the ocean 5 years ago and brought her back to life. Though the side effect was her missing memories due to the long cold sleep. His job is to guard her since there are some who considers Maia’s existence bothersome. Tony returns to HQ to report to Wilfred about Maia. She hasn’t remembered everything fully yet but in time she will. So if you’re wondering why Millie looks awfully familiar, it’s because Ai is her great grandma. After some touching talk, a few armed men barge in to kidnap Maia and knock out Millie. Tony, this is your fault! You should know better to let a pro racer take care of Maia unarmed! Did you not see this coming?! What was your job again?! And yeah, those armed men are working under another Ocean Agency top dog, Tanaka.

Episode 23
Kevin talks to Maia held up in a room. He apologizes that the memories of her parents’ car crash were all fake. When Maia was extracted, she underwent a memory correction programme. Since some viewed her existence as troublesome, they thought it would be best if she had no original memories, she would continue to live a normal life. Before more can be revealed, Tanaka is here to take Maia and erase her memories again. Wilfred speaks to his boss about Maia’s abduction. However he has no solid proof and is brushed off. Time to call Tony for a job. Shizuka is discharged but learns the truth when she returns to office. Nice timing because Tony is here to tell the truth about Maia. Conveniently, May and her bros are also eavesdropping. Yeah, everyone is going to know about Maia. Shizuka wants to go rescue Maia since Ocean Agency is unable to act but Rena is being realistic that they don’t know where to look. Plus, Maia’s fired so this has nothing to do with them. Shizuka then quits and takes measures into her own hands. With Tsukasa’s help, Shizuka is able to sneak into Ocean Agency’s place and sniff out where Maia is held and rescue her. I guess Ocean Agency’s security is so lax because they aren’t expecting such bold moves. Even if Maia is such a prized specimen… Anyway with Mille also discharged from hospital, they try to make a run for it. Oh no. Ocean Agency goons surround them. How? Here comes Gloria and Yuu blasting in. Now begins a high speed action chase. Yagi, you better stay out of the way and let those Nereids ladies go if you know what’s good for you. Eventually their hover car gives way and are surrounded. How now? Great timing because Rena pops up in Yomogi-1. Perhaps she’s a genius because she learnt how to pilot a submarine after reading its manual for only a few days… Before you can complain about her change in heart, Rena explains all this is part of her plan. Including firing Maia. Thus Maia isn’t fired. Gee, I guess we’re back on good terms now. Maia wants to go to Elpida to find her true self. But she’ll have to compensate it all with her pay. I think she is highly paid. Maybe. But where is Elpida? Conveniently somebody sends them an encrypted data of Elpida’s location. They can thank Kevin for that.

Episode 24
Reaching Elpida, they find it strange that the dome looks perfectly fine. A big hole on it indicates it was attacked and sunk. No time to think because Ocean Agency’s sub is here to arrest them. Shizuka tries to outrun but who is she kidding? Can’t outrun a bigger and more powerful sub! It takes some damage but luckily they’ve got help from May and her brothers! And even bigger sub that has the Ocean Agency running away! WTF?! Tony lent them this in exchange for protecting Maia. Of course they want Maia after all this is done because as a survivor of Elpida, she is their ticket to its treasure. Maia has to go alone since her Nereids comrades have to fix the water leaks. Maia goes in as the memories soon flood in. What’s this about some virus and biological disaster? Meanwhile Wilfred and Tanaka are summoned by their boss over Maia. Tanaka argues they have to continue hiding the history but Wilfred digress and doesn’t want future generations to carry the burden and it’s time they take responsibility for the past. Maia finds her old house. Can’t miss it. Must be the only house that look like that in all of Elpida. Then she remembers some disaster. Panic everywhere. Her parents put her and her brother into the pod in hopes they’ll meet again someday. When Rena contacts her, Maia remembers the whole truth. There was a contagion Elpida failed to contain and since they failed to even call for help, they decide to abandon it and kill everyone in it. Hence its failure to rise to the surface was just a cover up for this. Then she finds her capsule. Inside is a CD. Can that old technology work? Heck, is the CD even workable? IT IS!!! It is a video of Maia celebrating her birthday. Nothing really extraordinary except it brings back memories for Maia. Then she realizes the mark on her brother’s hand is exactly the same as Sho’s! So grandpa is actually her onii-chan! No time to reminisce. Elpida is collapsing. Gee, what great timing. Like as though they were waiting for somebody to discover the truth before crumbling. Back at Kamchatka, Maia prays at Sho’s grave as Tony tells her how Sho’s pod was found 35 years after Elpida’s disaster. Though it didn’t take long for him to recover his memories, he was made to keep his mouth shut to ensure his safety. And he waited 60 years for Maia to be found! And even so, he couldn’t tell her. As the PM has decided to tell the truth of this bleak history to the people, Maia decides to move forward and not be bounded by her past. This means passing up the Ocean Agency entrance exam to continue chasing baddies with her semi-naked Nereids ladies! Yeah, she’s happier this way.

Special 1
Looks like a blatant promo of Nereids with bad acting. If you’ve been following the series, you know what kind of jobs they do… Anyway, we see them do just about anything as long as you request them. Including fixing your stalled hover car. Yeah, Maia gets kidnapped again! Not part of the script! Then there is this party they fill in since those server girls didn’t turn up. Yeah, Gloria so bored she starts stealing from the mansion’s safe? Then there is this ‘entertainment’ whoever shoots off the apple on Maia’s head will get the old bugger’s fortune. Thank goodness everybody so bad shot. Maia always moments from death… Gloria wins and turns out old geezer’s fortune is just some sailor uniform his late wife used to wear. WTF. Then they take on a request to help a woman discover her husband’s affair. Detective work time. They tail this businessman, Yang and they find out the woman he is having an affair with is Rena?! Oh course, she’s also on a job and has proof that associates him with some criminal organization. But they are discovered and sent to the torture chamber. But WTF, the dominatrix torturer tortures Yang instead? Turns out to be Yuu in disguise so they have to make a run as Gloria has planted bombs all over the place. Because she went back to get the money, looks like she didn’t make it out. Pay your last respects for the brave heroine! In the end, this supposed corporate PR video is a disaster as Hanaoka puts it. He is not amused that he misused the approved budget to turn it into some sex tape filled with violence (and stupidity). As they argue over this, news of a dangerous criminal with an extremely high bounty has escaped. Time to get into action. So people, are you glad that Nereids is working hard to keep you safe at all times and provide you a service with a smile?! Uhm… Can I ask for a refund???!!

Special 2
Gloria takes Maia on a secret side job. If they kill this Roberto family guy, she’ll give her 1% of the 5 million reward! However they stumble into a strange vending machine and upon touching it, it explodes! Of course this means the target got away. That’s not the worst part. That’s because Maia and Gloria switched bodies! So if you ever wondered how Maia looks like as a kick tough ass babe and Gloria a shy naïve girl, this is what it looks like. Not wanting to let Rena know about this, they bring back the vending machine to Shizuka to fix. In the meantime, they have to act like the other. Which is pretty hard without bringing up any suspicions. Though Hanaoka deduces they might have switched personalities, Rena quashes this stupid idea. Maia and Gloria have to do each other’s jobs. Maia going to a shady part of town. Everyone shutters their windows and doors. Yeah, some even paying her protection money! Meanwhile Gloria is at a construction site with Yuu. Because Yuu badmouths Gloria, she thinks of getting back at her by whacking her with the wrecking ball?! Didn’t work. Poor Maia’s body almost wrecked and Maia has to give the protection money as compensation. Since Gloria has no home, Maia is forced to camp outside but is kidnapped.

Meanwhile Gloria stumbles into… Clyde?! Actually, Yasuki Jonouchi. Definitely a guy. Using Maia’s sob story, she pretends to be Maia and let this guy treat her to stuffs. Meanwhile Maia is taken to the boss’ place and is told to return the advance. You know, the 5 million advance he gave and the additional 20 million if she completed the job. But since she failed, no money. Please return advance. Desperate, Maia blurts out about the body switching incident. Kill her. But wait! He thinks of using her as bait and calls Shizuka. Meanwhile Gloria is about to get all hot and steamy with Yasuki. When a call from Maia explaining about her predicament. However Gloria doesn’t care. She is going to live the rest of her life as her! Yeah, in honour of that, she’ll let her name the baby! Oh sh*t! Maia so screwed up! When Yasuki thinks it is wrong to take advantage of this, Gloria knocks him out! OMG. She gonna rape him?! Too bad she gets knocked out because Shizuka doesn’t like her ditching a comrade. So Shizuka and Gloria go return the money. Of course it is just a trick as Gloria goes guns akimbo to teach those bastards a lesson and rescue Maia. Finally Shizuka has fixed the machine. Time to see if it works. When Hanaoka walks in, another explosion. You bet it got more complicated with more body switching. Who’s who now? Gloria -> Shizuka. Shizuka -> Maia. Hanaoka -> Gloria. And yes, Maia -> Hanaoka. Damn, poor Maia having bad luck all the way… So much so the end have to put a disclaimer everything is not real and not related to or affected Nereids in any way! Don’t wanna traumatize us with this nonsense, huh?!

Definitely In The Sexy Blue
Well… even if Nereids do exist in real life, not sure I would want to be hiring their services for anything after seeing all they can do. Yes, seriously. May consider a refund to… I mean, being sexy hot babes can’t be the only reason that convince you to hire them, right?! Aren’t there other all-rounder services in town?! Maybe. But they don’t have such hot and sexy babes like Nereids do! Let’s hope they don’t sell their bodies to make ends meet because despite all the damages deducted from their rewards, compensation and even salary, they’re still going strong with no signs of slowing down or being affected by the cut. Do they have a secret director pumping secret funds into the company? And you’d think Nereids have racked up a bad reputation with all the damage done but I guess there’s nobody around in town who would do odd jobs like them. Yeah, who so desperate to pay such high fees? Something a small time unknown can do rather than big corporations like Ocean Agency with strict SOPs and red tapes to follow. I can see why Nereids will continue to keep operating. And sexier too!

Anyway, the story and plot of this series feels very episodic and many can stand as standalone fillers. While there are bits and pieces to hint about Maia’s past, basically and generally each episode feels a lot so and don’t have that continuity. Perhaps it is because the series lacks an actual plot except the mystery of Maia’s past, it is overall fun and enjoyable. In a dumb way, that is. You see, recently I also watched another series that also has this episodic feel: Samurai Gun. However, Samurai Gun despite having this format feels very dissatisfying even though the plot given in the synopsis is very general. Is it because there is some sort of expectation needed to connect the dots and the overall underlying plot? The heroes meting out justice against the corrupted shogunate. But for this Daphne anime, I wasn’t even close to feeling all that. Maybe it’s because Nereids is not fighting against the tyranny of the government and they’re just a multi-service odd jobs caterer catering to all your requests. And because the flow and pacing feel more relaxing and dumb unlike the more tense and dark ambient of Samurai Gun, this could be the reason why I didn’t mind the filler-like episodes and their dumb misadventures.

So if you think about it, the dark past of Elpida and Maia’s amnesia could actually be over in just an episode if everything went well. It is nothing really mind blowing or extraordinary and that’s why we see Maia’s misadventures filling in between all the episodes before she remembers the truth. So what Elpida was destroyed because authorities failed to contain a virus? From what I can see at the end, it’s not going to be a big deal. Because even with the shocking revelation of the government going to admit to their mistakes and take responsibility (really, the government going to do that?!), I am very sure at this rate, nobody is going to give a f*ck. Yeah, so what they lied to you in history class? Going to form a mob and burn down the government? What good will that do?! I see some fear that and that’s why they want to silence Maia. Strange, they could really sink an entire civilization and fake its past but they just can’t handle one amnesiac woman. They sure have no faith in the people. Or themselves. And now that Maia knows everything, right back to that question: So what?! Yeah. Such unfounded fears. Geez. On a trivial note, I kinda noticed the cities before resurfacing are in Greek names. Once they surfaced, they change their names to Russian. Like, what? Why? Not really explained but I suppose it wasn’t integral to the plot.

So I guess the characters are pretty okay. Aside Maia, the rest aren’t much but each of them has their own quirks that will grow on you once you keep watching more and more of their antics. Like Rena, the leader of Nereids who may sound like she is a cruel and heartless woman but she always has a plan. It’s her style to pretend to play the villainess and before you can admonish her for being a calculative scheming b*tch, she redeems herself with that plan working out in favour of her. Thank goodness. She isn’t also shy to use her sexily bodily charms because I guess lots of guys here can’t think straight when there’s a hot chick trying to seduce you. So Mori, don’t get your hopes up about Rena trying to go back to you. She only calls you when she needs to use you.

Then there is Shizuka whom you’ll identify as the nerdy mechanic as well as a glutton with a bottomless stomach. Gloria and Yuu are like one of the weirdest pairs. Money loving Gloria loves nothing but gun trigger action and because she often goes overboard, Yuu always beats her up to keep her in place. It’s like Yuu only exists to keep a leash on this mad b*tch dog. I guess we need some slapstick violence here apart from the other dumb slapstick violence when Nereids go into action. Yeah, so many gunshots and bullets fired and miraculously nobody died. I wonder why. Yuu being taciturn and poker face is physically the strongest and it’s like as though she is some version of the She-Hulk or something. Hanaoka is like your typical loser guy, powerless to do anything on his own and a submissive manager, making Rena look like she’s the one wearing the pants. I don’t know, because Hanaoka looks like a loser version of Hitler and this is how pathetic he would be if he wasn’t the supreme commander of the Nazis. I mean, really. Now he’s just serving tea to a sly vixen…

Not forgetting Maia, as the main character, she is pretty much useless, weak and clumsy! Complains a lot, a pessimist, naïve, gullible, cries a lot… Wow… Sometimes you feel for her but I guess she needs to be so because otherwise how are we going to get our laughs and dumb misadventures? Well, it’s as though it is part of her character role since she also attracts a good amount of bad luck. How many times have she been kidnapped? Like as though she was born for this! But thankfully it all worked out well, right? Since Maia is quite honest and emotional, it makes you wonder if she is really suitable for this job. Despite being so bad luck, she is also very lucky because by the end of it all, she still survives, right? So I guess all is not so bad about her. Maia has been through a lot and it might not seem that she has changed very much (because she’s still the overall same useless, weak and clumsy girl – also complains a lot, a pessimist, naïve, gullible, cries a lot…), but you know she’s gotten a bit stronger. Because power of friendship, no? Oh Maia. You carry on being you. That’s for the best. It’s amazing she isn’t traumatized from all her bad luck like how her fake accident story did to her. A matter of getting used to, huh?

As for the other characters, I believe they’re just there for comic relief. At least most of them. Like this Yagi dude, he acts tough but then he has got this trauma when he sees Nereids and quickly loses his sh*t. Yeah, I wonder what they did to him but then again, I don’t want to know. Each time he reminds himself he won’t give in to Rena’s charms, he fails big time. There is no guy on land that could resist Rena’s charms. Then there’s May and her dumb brothers. Despite being criminals, they aren’t as hardcore and cruel. Well because, they’re supposed to be comic relief characters. Mostly they come to the aid of the Nereids ladies even if it’s by accident. It’s a shame as I thought Nereids will eventually going to face off with their great big mama and all of her children are from different fathers! She didn’t even appear at all in the anime but if they established this mini plot, maybe the series itself would lose some of its charm. Remember, being random and episodic is part of this series’ charm.

With Maia being happy at Nereids, I guess she’ll have to break her promise of joining Tsukasa at Ocean Agency. They’re still best friends, right? Lastly, Tony’s character feels like just for plot convenience or filling in the blanks. Although he doesn’t appear in every episode, he does pop up for a short while and seemingly like a character who stalks Maia. Who this dude? You’d be asking that a lot and having your own weird conspiracy theories. Sorry, no plot twist because he’s not her brother and just an Ocean Agency security division personnel tasked to watch over her. Though, I did figure out that Sho was Maia’s brother since after they let us know she had a brother and if her grandpa is her only relative, something doesn’t quite match up. So when the big reveal came who Sho really was, it wasn’t surprising to me. Yeah, I’m so smart…

As I’ve mentioned earlier about the world’s setting of cities established over the ocean surface is a reason why they have female characters don in skimpy outfits, but it was just weird when you see the kind of skimpy clothing our Nereids ladies wear when they do their job. I mean, it’s like just wearing only tampons on their bottom half?! Like, WTF?! Just enough to cover their modesty! Even their normal clothes cover more skin than their atrocious ‘battle outfits’. I don’t know what gave them an idea that being skimpy makes them more powerful because if you tell me the less clothing they have, the less restrictive their movements will be and will be able to pull off the impossible, that’s just stretching it. It’s just crap. I don’t believe the branch has not enough funds to even buy a decent outfit. Yeah, it looked like they just patched whatever leftover materials and voila! You get this fashion faux pas bikini! It’s amazing they’re not embarrassed running around like that. Hey, at least they’re not totally naked.

Even if this is an old anime that came out way back in 2004, the art and animation may reek of that era’s style. But there is one thing that I want to point out that I found very strange when I first watched this. You see, the character designs have this very weird and odd forehead shape, making it look quite big. I believe it is the series’ trademark character design whatever but I was really not quite used to looking at them this way because the characters look very weird. Of course I gotten used to it all but thinking back in retrospect, it was really a strange feeling when I first saw this kind of character design. Maia, Gloria, Yuu and the likes, I just couldn’t take my focus off their forehead… Although the hairstyles of some characters aren’t that outrageous, but it’s enough to also make you feel weird. Like Rena’s ‘rising phoenix’ hairstyle or Shizuka’s ramen-like hairstyle or Yuu’s spreading bird tail-like hairstyle. At least, that is what they look to me when I first look at them. And some characters look pretty familiar as I’ve pointed out, Hanaoka = Hitler and Yagi = Gendo…

Speaking about the anime being dated, I guess I also want to point out how ‘futuristic’ the setting of this world is. Uh huh. Looking back, those ‘futuristic’ technology now feels so outdated that it is just laughable in this era. City slums and back alleys look suspiciously similar to reality despite the cities having resurfaced from the ocean floor so many years ago. Oh yeah, look at how far we’ve come. But I guess in this current year we also can’t laugh totally at how silly it is. Because in the anime we have cool hover cars and the likes. Yeah, we’re expecting to at least have that kind of prototype or concept taken off in 2020 but what do we get? Oh dear. NEVER SPEAK ABOUT REAL LIFE YEAR 2020!!!

On a trivial note, I seemed to notice that some of the episode titles are parodies of Hollywood movies. Or at least when they officially translate it to English, they make it sound so. For example, the episode on Yomogi-1 being stolen by the dumb siblings, if the Japanese title is translated directly, it would read, “Yomogi-1 Doesn’t Rise To The Surface”. However it is translated as “The Hunt For Green Yomogi-1” which is of course a parody to The Hunt For Red October. Or the flashback episode that actually reads “Everyday Life Of An Eye And Recollection” but listed As Terms Of Endangerment. So… Terms Of Endearment parody? So Anger’s Aweigh = Anchor’s Aweigh? Then there’s that Die Hard spoof which doesn’t have any similar Die Hard elements besides terrorists taking some hostages. In Japanese, the title means “The Big Wave” (Dai Hadou). Definitely a play on words here. The rest are more obvious like Once Upon A Time In Siberia (Once Upon A Time In China?), What Happened To Baby Maia (What Happened To Baby Jane?), Shizuka’s Choice (Sophie’s Choice?), Chaka Chaka Bang Bang (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Five Women With Guns And A Baby (Three Men And A Baby?), Escape From Kamchatka (Escape From LA/New York) and The Old Kook And The Sea (The Old Man And The Sea – okay, this one’s a novel by Ernest Hemingway). So if you know your Hollywood movies or such a buff, you’ll find these titles to be amusing.

I’m glad I can still identify some veteran seiyuus lending their talents here, albeit just a few of them. Like Mai Nakahara as Maia, Sayaka Ohara as Rena, Kana Ueda as Shizuka and Yuko Kaida as Yuu, Ami Koshimizu as Yukari, Rie Kugimiya as Kenta and Jun Fukuyama as Yasuki. The other casts are Masumi Asano as Gloria (Hakufu in Ikkitousen), Mitsuo Iwata as Hanaoka (Emporio in One Piece), Susumu Chiba as Tony (Kondou in Gintama), Sakura Nogawa as Tsukasa (Hina Ichigo in Rozen Maiden), Hitomi Nabatame as May (Margery Daw in Shakugan No Shana), Junko Noda as Millie (Kitsune in Love Hina), Hidetoshi Nakamura as Yagi (Gid in To Love-Ru), Daiki Nakamura as Wilfred (Dayakka in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann), Mugihito as Sho (Wombat in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love) and Tomokazu Seki as Mori (Gilgamesh in Fate series). The opening theme is Asu No Blue Wing by Sae. Pretty generic upbeat anime pop, I guess pretty okay for this anime. I prefer the slow and lovely ballad ending theme is Anata To Iu Toki. The first half is sung by CooRie before Mai Nakahara herself taking over in the next half.

Overall, if you don’t mind the silliness of it all and the fact that the main characters dress so skimpily that put most porn stars to shame, you’ll definitely enjoy and have a good entertainment time. It’s fun, funny, dumb, crazy, wild, loud and definitely a whole lot sexier when you have these bombshell girls troubleshooting. It’s a good thing that this didn’t get any sort of sequel down the years or even a thought of getting a makeover or reboot. Even if this series has its flaws, I will still definitely prefer this original version than a newer total revamp. After all, some animes can only shine brilliantly when they become a rare retro time capsule treasure and it is definitely a gem when you find and watch them many years down the road later. Yeah, forget about my refund request, keep my money! Thank you Nereids, for protecting the sanctity of this anime and making me smile with sweet satisfaction!

Legend Of Basara

October 3, 2020

A retro fantasy anime series that takes place in a future Japan that makes it looks so dated and historical. I’m talking about the Legend Of Basara. I thought it would be some futuristic dystopian nightmare but I guess thankfully technology didn’t play as the downfall for Japan because the setting and everything looks so backwater. But whatever. Sometimes a restart and reset of the world is necessary. Like this Corona virus epidemic thingy. Maybe. But anyway, a pair of twins born and prophesized to break the country’s tyrannical rule, but what if one of them dies? I guess the other twin has to shoulder the burden and live up to that prophecy.

Episode 1
As narrated, when civilization fell, Japan became a land of tyranny. Hundreds of years later, a pair of fraternal twins were born, Tatara and Sarasa. Prophet Nagi prophesizes that Tatara will become the saviour of the land. As the twins grow up, Sarasa becomes increasingly annoyed that she is not treated equally to her brother and considers herself unimportant. That night as they celebrate Tatara’s coming of age, Sarasa wanted to touch the sword he is given to, Byakko. However she is slapped and told not to taint it because she’s a woman! Sexist! Poor Sarasa. Can’t blame her for running off and getting lost in the desert. That is when she stumbles upon the Red King and his army. Not sure if she has suicide thoughts because she runs straight into them. However her uncle Kaku came running to protect her from being killed. He begs for mercy but the cruel Red King orders their death. This is only stopped by a blue noble known as Ageha who warns him this might only tarnish his reputation. Red King lets it slide but at the expense of blinding an eye of Ageha. Ageha believes Sarasa is the chosen one though the girl says it’s her brother. When they return to the village, looks like the Red King and his army were here to kill the chosen one. A brave kid pretended to be Tatara and got killed! This has Sarasa thinking how she could help Tatara. 3 years later. Wow. They’ve grown up so much. The Red King and his army return because they realize they’ve been fooled! 3 YEARS LATE DAMN IT!!! This time they manage to kill the real Tatara and take the real Byakko. How sure are they that this is him? Oh yeah. The villagers’ response. Then they proceed to burn down the village. Hahaha. Pure evil. Damn, they really mad-cum-evil for being fooled. With the villagers lamenting their fate, Sarasa then remembers Tatara’s last words of protecting others. With that, she cuts her hair and takes on her brother’s role. She manages to fool the villagers that it is Sarasa who died. She will lead them to safety. Nagi points out that Sarasa is actually the real saviour. So Sarasa rides her horse out to distract the Red King’s army so that the villagers can blow up the mountain with hidden explosives for their escape.

Episode 2
While Sarasa distracts the soldiers as Tatara, some soldiers go in to kill the villagers. Kaku can only hold back so many and Nagi would’ve been done for had Ageha not stepped in and help. Kazan and Ashofu are arguing and blaming each other that Tatara fooled them once more but the Red King orders them to order their troops to withdraw now. Thanks to that, they did not suffer a lot of casualties from the mountain’s explosion. The Red King then returns to his base at Dodan. Ageha tells Sarasa that Tatara’s head and Byakko are there. He is expecting her to show up and steal it. Sarasa has this idea but she needs 1000 cows? No money how? Don’t worry. All the villagers help to pitch in. Are cows that cheap? Anyway, a herd of cows stampede into Dodan, causing havoc. I know it’s smart for Sarasa to hide among one of the cows to sneak in and steal back Byakko but how the heck does she control the herd where to go?! The Red King fires an arrow at Sarasa. She gets hit! Don’t worry. Not fatal. In the end, lots of cows died. Beef party for months. Sarasa is not found and that’s because she managed to escape hiding via underneath a cow. Though, her injuries still need to be treated. While resting, she is being told the history or this land. Basically the current emperor divided it for his 4 sons to rule. So they’re colour coded, huh? Black King in the north is against central government. Blue King in the east rules the sunken underwater land. White King hates wars so he secluded himself in the mountains. And finally we all know the youngest Red King who rules the west and south. Ageha is taken to a hotspring believed to cure her injuries. However she meets a flirtatious young man, Shuri who is here to let his horse bath in the same water. He tries to seduce her but she punches him! Yeah, Sarasa isn’t your ordinary woman! He learns about her revenge and she learns he is trying to be better than his useless father and brothers. This time he manages to steal a kiss from her and of course gets retribution. So is he a masochist? After Sarasa leaves, it is revealed that Shuri is actually the Red King!!! When Sarasa returns, more woes because some of the villagers who went over to the next to get food and help were forcefully kidnapped by Kazan as part as his recruitment drive. You bet Sarasa is going to go rescue them despite advices that she is not strong enough yet.

Episode 3
Kazan is interrogating Tatara’s mom. She intends to kill herself but upon learning that it could be Sarasa who is living and not Tatara, she changes her mind. Ageha parts with the gang since he finds it impossible for their small force to take on the Red King’s army. Sarasa and her men pass through a decimated village. And old lady is left as she makes graves for the fallen. Sarasa’s people also want to do one for Sarasa. This has Sarasa thinking that everyone truly believes she is Tatara despite the obvious difference in size and voice. Later Sarasa alone once more stumbles into Shuri. As she is in a hurry and got no time to play with him, he gives her a bag of seeds. It is learnt that the Red King’s army will soon pass a flimsy bridge over a narrow canyon. Yeah, ambush them, right? Also, Sarasa learns from her village chief about the need to head to Sakura Island in Kyushu to get a sword. You see, Byakko is one of the 4 sacred swords that will give its user awesome power. Yes, her next mission is to collect them. Too bad the other 2 are unknown. Sarasa and Kaku somehow manage to slip in and blend as part of the hostages. You bet Sarasa wants to fight upon seeing how the soldiers mistreat her people. Luckily there’s Kaku to calm her down. And then the Red King pops up. Too bad Sarasa can’t hold in her anger anymore. She attacks and kills him! Too bad it’s a trap set by Kazan! Wow. Sarasa dumb to fall for this?! Whoever that poor dude was, he died and the real Red King can be seen watching from afar. Now the soldiers are alerted, they surround Sarasa. A messy fight begins and they’re already at the bridge. Tragedy begins when the village chief sacrifices himself to cut the bridge ropes. Injured Kaku falls a long way down and the villager whom Sarasa wanted to save died from her wounds. What a bad day. No wonder she’s starting to have doubts about herself. But hey, it was all your fault. Had you been a bit patient… Hence Sarasa runs away alone to Suou, the city base of the Red King. It’s the only way to get on a ship to Kyushu. But as the place is heavily guarded with orders to watch out for Tatara, Sarasa only gets in because of a travelling troupe known as Madam Butterfly led by Kichou. Inside the city, Sarasa saves a boy who stole from her soldier. Only this wealthy dude, Shido saves the situation from turning ugly. He leaves upon learning she is under Kichou. Sarasa then learns that Kichou is actually Ageha!

Episode 4
The Emperor’s messenger brings a warning for Shuri to kill Tatara or else. However Tatara ignores it all and has the messenger killed! Then he spars with Shido and talks about the cunningness of Tatara. Shido asks about seeds he gave him and Shuri replies he gave them to some girl. Sarasa has never seen the sea before so she’s quite amazed. Ageha points out a ship at the horizon watching them and waiting to attack. He believes the Emperor is a fool to think he can negotiate. That’s why the Red King is preparing his army to counter attack. As Ageha goes for a swim, Sarasa notices a mark on his back. Shido explains that is the mark of the slave. Sarasa is shocked to learn that the Red King abolished slavery in his territory. She asks him for advice on her mission so he replies from the Red King’s view. Something about hesitation. After Shido leaves, Ageha lets Sarasa know that Shido is actually the Red King’s cousin so if she is going to kill the boss, Shido is the sub-boss that she must go through first. Some kid overheard Ageha calling Sarasa as Tatara so he spills this when a guard catches him. Hence Kazan leads his army to search the troupe but Madam will not allow it at least not until after the show. Damn, Kazan so bloodthirsty he wants to kill her? Had not Shido been more diplomatic, it could’ve been a different show altogether. The show goes on and for some odd reason, Ageha has Sarasa dance behind the scene. The mind boggling thing is that during the scene change, he wants Sarasa to flee to some tunnel. Because other than heading to Kyushu by boat, there was a tunnel that connected the land. WTF?! Why during the scene change?! Could he told her to go even way before this?! What danger?! It’s not like it will get easier if she waited, right?! This is so dumb. Why give Shido notice there is a dancer short? After Sarasa flees, Tatara is nowhere to be found so once more, violent Kazan gets rough with the kid. Shido is more diplomatic and thinks he was trying to show off. Hence the kid spills the beans of what he heard. Ageha is then taken in for interrogation. Sarasa is outside the cave. Something is wrong when her horse doesn’t want to enter. After forcing it, they fall through a chasm! WTF?! Then as she traverses the maze, it’s like she sets off traps but lucky enough not to be killed! Damn, this is all just so dumb!

Episode 5
More misfortune and luck for Sarasa as she gets into but misses the traps. Starting to panic? Well, just remember Nagi’s teachings! Should have done this from the start. Then she comes across a chasm. This is the dumb part: She lets her horse jumps first and then she herself does a running jump across!!! WTF?! WHY DOES SHE NOT SIT ON HER HORSE AND JUMP TOGETHER?! She falls short but her horse picks her up. Then this curious part: She is attacked by a lion! There’s a lion in Japan? And it lives in a cave? After defeating it, Sarasa is shocked to hear a statue talking to her! He is Rasho of Suzaku. He has been expecting her. He tells his story of fighting the Lion King but lost. Hence he scattered the 4 sacred swords in various locations. He was betrayed by a comrade and was thrown down here which is actually some prison. Apparently this maze and traps were created by criminals thrown here to protect themselves from lions. But one day an earthquake destroyed the tunnel. So only a lion survived? Rasho had a staring showdown with the lion and won. Now they’re friends?! WTF?! THIS IS SO STUPID. AND SARASA IS CRYING?! Whatever. Rasho tells her to head to Suzaku and gives her his ring to give to his family if they are still alive. Sarasa continues her journey. Oh no. Now she’s drowning. Remember Nagi’s lessons once more… Once resurfacing, she arrives at a small village. It seems the people think she is looking for Tatara because there is a letter with someone impersonating as Tatara to come join him at Dazaifu. Sarasa heads there and this WTF moment she doesn’t want to be a burden to her horse and ride it but the horse just tell her to STFU and ride! Isn’t that what horses are made for?! Dumb. Upon arriving, Sarasa is attacked by a kid who claims to be Tatara. Liking Sarasa’s skills, he allows her to join his gang. Yeah, these men look like thugs. Their goal is to talk with the government about the future of their country. I smell a trap… Sarasa learns that Kaku came here before her (I don’t know how he avoided all those traps) and is glad he is here. So maybe she’ll got to Suzaku and meet him. Meanwhile Shido tortures Ageha for Sarasa’s whereabouts but he isn’t saying. But Shuri knows she has fled to Kyushu since she likes to throw surprises. Ageha tries to rile Shuri up by calling him a fake king who doesn’t care for his people and is just another dictator. Well, Shuri doesn’t give a f*cks.

Episode 6
While this fake Tatara is taking a piss, Sarasa threatens him to tell the truth. He is actually Hayato and Shido told him to do this, gather a few men to Dazaifu and he’ll send some medicine for his ailing mother. Sarasa knows all too well this is a trap but Hayato sticks to his beliefs. When Hayato mentions his great grandpa was executed for treason, Sarasa realizes that person is Raisho. Hence she gives him the ring. Hayato and the men go to Dazaifu. Of course they realize it’s too late as it’s a trap as the soldiers start killing them. Luckily, Sarasa comes in to let them escape. Hayato in despair so Sarasa has to slap some senses into him and to stop using Tatara’s name. I guess Hayato has had it. He doesn’t want this avenge mission his mom entrusted him and just wants a normal life. So he thinks he can take on the entire enemy?! Oh well, Sarasa had to pull him out to escape. When they return to Hayato’s mom, looks like she is already dead. But conveniently left him a letter for him to go on a journey to Suzaku. Since that is where Sarasa is going, might as well tag along. Shido receives news that Sarasa and Hayato are heading to Suzaku. He is going there now. But first, he stops by the house of his fiancée, Senju. He is here to tell her he already spoke to relevant parties to postpone their marriage. He will settle this Tatara business first. Hisha (one of the villagers from Sarasa’s village) reports about the Red King having a new ship at Beppu and hence this is where Nagi and co are heading. Looks like they’re taking a detour. More distraction as Sarasa takes a bath in the hotspring and guess who is there? Shuri! Do we have time for this cheesy frolicking?! Then somebody shoots and arrow at Shuri. Just grazed his arm. Not sure how this dude got killed. Staring at Shuri’s eyes maybe. HAHA! Anyway, the arrow is poisoned so Sarasa becomes concerned and tries to suck the poison out and treat his arm. Shuri thinks he is immune but looks like he is getting sick. Man, Sarasa so panicking that he will die… Meanwhile the other distraction, Senju thought it is a bad omen when the lightning strikes the pitcher! Don’t go, Shido! Make me your wife now! Okay. So I guess the marriage can be solemnized without a priest.

Episode 7
Shido tells Senju about Shuri’s past. When he was born, it was prophesized if the king had a son, a disaster will be brought upon him. Hence the king branded Shuri as a slave instead. Banished from the palace, Shido’s family took him in and raised him until he became of age. That’s why Shido who isn’t blood related to Shuri can never ascend the throne. When Shuri was 12, he was given China to govern. Maybe the king wanted to make fun of him. So he sat there for 3 years doing nothing and let all the evil corruption take over. Then he came back to seize western Japan and let the same thing happen. And when all the evil finally reached its peak, he killed them all! Those who weren’t committed were made to pledge loyalty to him. Shido thinks had he not been cursed, he would’ve lived a luxurious life and become spoilt. Back to more Sarasa-Shuri antics. After Sarasa opines the Red King is silly for trying to fight with foreigners because of their difference in technology, this makes Shuri all the more to want Sarasa by his side. More flirting and once again she punches him. Yeah, likes girls who play hard to get… Before he leaves, he gives her his parrot. It will always go back to him so if she has any letters, use it. But how will the parrot find Shuri assuming he is always on the move?! Anyway, Sarasa and Hayato continue their journey to Sakura Island. But a local told them it sank a long time ago. Then they get kidnapped by pirates! Damn, they’ve got their own pirate song to sing along! They are taken to their base to meet their leader, Chacha. Seems she wants to sell them and their belongings to foreigners. Sarasa makes a gamble and proclaims herself as Tatara and her goal. Chacha will only believe her if she is strong enough. So, uhm, a drinking game? You bet Sarasa can’t hold her liquor but here comes Kaku to the rescue! So he just joined the pirates, huh? Kaku and Chacha drink till there is none left and it’s a draw. Turns out Kaku can’t drink too and has been trolling us with his poker face! Zaki, Chacha’s right hand man lied about having no liquor because had they continue, they would’ve died. After Sarasa uses the parrot to carry her message, she then makes a proposal to Chacha. However they will duel over the plank blindfolded to see who wins. If Sarasa wins, she wants Chacha to fight alongside her.

Episode 8
A small earthquake allows Chacha to send Sarasa down into the waters. Don’t think you’ve won yet. Because Sarasa stabs a shark, rides it up just to drag Chacha into the waters too! WTF?! Sarasa still wants to fight but Chacha admits her defeat and will follow her. The pirates are now her ally. Soon, they are discovered by the Shoujo clan who want them to hand over Tatara (so they can claim the reward from the Red King). Worse, in the distance from behind, Shido is leading his Red Thunder army. Sarasa panicking?! Wow. She thinks of giving herself up just to save everybody?! Even Chacha and the pirates have more faith in her because did she not remember they consider her as their comrade? And so Chacha accompanies Sarasa on board Shoujo’s ship. The monkey captain wants to test his western pistol but here comes Chacha’s pirates invading the ship. You mean nobody saw them coming?! But Sarasa soon finds families of Suzaku village held captive. The men are forced to work on this ship. Sarasa manages to stop the bloodshed. Then she talks about getting the Suzaku sword for Hayato? Better get moving because Red Thunder is closing in. Meanwhile we see Shido talking to Ageha about the nonsense of Tatara trying to collect the 4 swords. Ageha tells him off he doesn’t understand and something about the spirit of all the rebels accumulated in it. Looks like Sarasa and co are trapped again. This time the naval army of the Red King, Red Gale surrounding theme. Yeah, they mercilessly burn down their ship so everyone swims for safety. Sarasa becomes distraught to see the Red King leading the army itself and slaughtering those unlucky ones. As they hide temporarily, Kagerou (Ageha’s pet owl) comes to send them a message. So some artillery that can destroy this naval army? Yeah. Whatever. Sarasa intends to bring it here so just give her an hour. Otherwise Kaku will offer his head as Tatara. Zaki accompanies her as they swim through the Red Gale. Yeah, I bet those soldiers are all blind.

Episode 9
Red Gale is smart enough to put nets in the waters. Had it not been for Zaki, Sarasa could’ve been toast. Luckily, the duo are smart enough to kill a shark and ride underneath it. Yeah, still wonder how they passed through all the nets… Anyway, they arrive at the Suzaku flagship that contains the artillery. Wooden door locked? Zaki using his bare hands to break it! GARR!! You don’t think of bringing this cannon back, do you? Yeah, just fire it from here! Firstly, how the f*ck do they know how to operate it?! Secondly, can they even see or aim from where they are?! Oh, just f*ck it! Fire at will! WOW! One cannonball is able to sink a Red Gale ship! OMFG! Red Gale is burning!!! So unbelievable… Meanwhile the Shoujo clan steals a map containing the real Suzaku sword’s whereabouts from Hayato. They claim theirs is fake and forged it to gain political leverage (the real one lies underneath the ocean?). Yeah, dumb reveal. Because Hayato breaks free and then breaks the sword to show the people they’ve been misled. With that, they have no reason to follow them anymore. When Shido receives word about the attack and possibly Tatara, that is when he starts to realize and fear the basic mistake they might have made. Ageha continues to taunt him that his fear is that Tatara and Sarasa might be the same person and if so, this will make it hard for the Red King to capture that person. Meanwhile, Shuri is to go aid Shido. However some traitor sinks a foreign ship supposedly docking by to observe the country’s power. Because of that, the European fleet attacks the capital city of Suou. Hence Shuri is forced to abandon helping Shido (much to Senju’s dismay) and turn back to save his city. However somebody gave unauthorized orders to sink a couple of those European fleets. Soon, a message from the Blue King offering his help. Shuri realizes this is not Tatara’s doing but the Blue King moving in to take his land during the chaos. After Shuri captures the traitor, he has him tied to the ship while the rest flee. Then he sends a message to those Europeans that the Blue King intended to seize his land and that’s why he made them fight each other. He believes the Blue King has also sent a spy to infiltrate them. Shuri will however take responsibility for destroying some of their ships so he destroys his own ship along with the traitor. Luckily the European commander is equally honourable because he won’t use this chance to attack them and will settle this fair and square at the captain’s table. WTF he talking about the spirit of the samurai?!

Episode 10
The volcano erupts. So fast it forms a land?! So this means Sakura Island has revived?! WTF?! With the Suzaku flagship under Sarasa’s control, since it is partly damaged by the eruption, the men are helping to fix it. Then a villager from Chiran drops in and seeks Tatara’s help. It seems the Red Army has occupied his village and taken all their supplies. At this rate the women and children will die! Until Sarasa hears Ageha as hostage, you bet she’s going to save him because that’s her promise to him. Of course she won’t go alone as Hayato will accompany her. As they arrive, they see Ageha hanging so obviously from the tower. And as expected, this is a trap. Sarasa and Hayato are now trapped in the maze as they have to run and dodge from archers. Thankfully they’re all bad shots. One of Shido’s generals go to face them. How? Sarasa throws a dynamite at him! BOOM! OMFG! Just blasted him away like that!!! Sarasa then wants Hayato to shoot Ageha down. Damn, this kid is also a bad shot. Thanks to this, the arrows can’t kill Ageha, right?! Hayato panics. He can’t do this. Oh yes you can! Last arrow. Make it count. Yes he did! Ageha is freed. Shido then learns of Shuri’s encounter and fate with the Europeans. More to worry now. Shido’s soldiers then surround and tie up Sarasa. It’s good they want to kill her because letting her live she might get another chance to fight back. But fate screws with them because Sakura Island erupts again! The shockwaves so great that it could be felt this far?! Damn the entire village is crumbling! WTF Sarasa thinking about Nagi’s teachings to be one with nature?! WTF does that got to do with this?! In the aftermath, Ageha pulls Shido out of the rubble. Can’t let him die yet. Because he wants to watch him die. Shido is shocked that despite all his men dead, Sarasa is still alive looking for Hayato. Shido goes to confront her despite Ageha’s warning that he will die.

Episode 11
Sarasa has lost Byakko and her leg is injured so she can’t move. So she’s just sitting there cowering? Good think Shido is also injured and weakened so his strikes miss. Shido gets his motivation when he touches the necklace Senju made for him. But then he realizes the bag of seeds on Sarasa. His worst fear realized when he connects the dots that Sarasa is Tatara. He is frustrated that Shuri and Sarasa love each other without even knowing each other’s true identity. Meanwhile Sakura Island erupts again. This time the old Suzaku village ruins emerge along with the legendary Suzaku sword. Shido needs to kill Sarasa otherwise she will one day overthrow the Red King. As he prepares to do that, Hayato manages to pick himself out of the rubble and shoots his arrow at him. Straight through his throat!!! BRUTAL!!! Shido pulls it out, though. It’s like they want to drag and dramatize his death so we see Shido and shock as he thinks of his last thoughts before dying. Meanwhile Sarasa still scared. Damn, she’s so lucky. The entire place is going to crumble for good but luckily Sarasa’s horse is here to pick her and Hayato up. Phew. Made it in time. And we see Ageha in the distance, mourning over Shido’s death. Something about how he will never know his feelings of just wanting to be his equal ever. A surviving Shido’s general manages to bring Shido’s body back to Shuri and Senju. He recounts the moment Shido was defeated. It seemed Shido could have won had he not hesitated then. Shuri gets mad and destroys his stuffs. Feel better? Shido still dead, though… And poor Senju trying to wake Shido up. He’s sleeping forever… :’(.

Episode 12
Ashofu reports to Shuri that the Blue Army will be marching to take on the Red Army as per Emperor’s orders. They blame the Red King for starting conflict with the foreigners and it will be on their head to take responsibility. Shuri has a plan. He will head to Kantou to settle this himself. Can he assassinate the Blue King so easily? So while he is away, he hopes his men will hold the fort. So I guess before his journey, he calls Sarasa to meet. I guess he needs some recharge to deal with Shido’s death. So serious, Sarasa doesn’t even feel right. So no pranks this time? Not until he forces her into the hotspring. Shuri always be Shuri… Next day, a messenger from the Blue King has a message for Sarasa. He wants to form an alliance with them to take down the Red King. Sarasa refuses to collaborate and help one brother kill the other. In that case, the messenger shows the Blue King has somehow gotten hold on Byakko. Also, the Blue King knows the whereabouts of the other sword, Seiryuu. With that, Sarasa changes her mind and will come. But it will be in 10 days to fix the ship. Of course this is just a bluff as the ship doesn’t need to take that long for repairs. During that time when the Blue King thinks she will be stationed here, Sarasa will sneak into Kantou to steal it. Chacha and co want to come but apparently Sarasa wants them to stay behind and help rebuild the village. Yeah, this will take more than 10 days.

So Sarasa meets up with Shuri to travel to Kantou via boat. Sarasa laughs at him as he has shaved his head bald and disguised as a monk. Also on this boat is an elite group under the Blue King known as Ultramarines. They are escorting slaves to Kantou. That night, a slave tries to escape and take Sarasa hostage. But she kicks him in the balls! Shuri protects her when he fights back. The slave is then apprehended by Asagi, the leader of the Ultramarines. Asagi notices the slave mark on Shuri’s back and thinks they are slaves as he too apprehends them. Thrown with the other slaves, I guess they’re kind enough to tell them the Blue King’s cruelty in gathering slaves at Kantou to be killed for his amusement. And so at Kantou, the slaves are ordered to do that and only the winner will be spared. Sarasa is shocked to see among the weapons they must choose is Byakko. Shuri is also shocked but wonders if Tatara has any connections with the Blue King. Some slaves try to attack the Blue King but are promptly killed. Because the Blue King mocks their deaths, Sarasa gets mad and throws a sword at him. Missed of course. She then starts ranting how he is unfit to be king because he doesn’t value lives. The Blue King is amazed by her but corrects her. They are not the same equal human beings. His life is more important than everybody and hence the people are his property. Shuri is also impressed by Sarasa’s words and wants to marry her? If they get out of this alive. When a messenger reports that the Red Army is going to attack here, the Blue King gets scared and wants to retreat. What about Sarasa and Shuri? Kill them. But it is suggested to use Sarasa for some sacrifice. Okay. Shuri and Sarasa try to escape. But there is only so many they can kill before Sarasa is captured by Asagi. Sarasa is imprisoned as Asagi tells her Shuri is dead after falling to his death while escaping. Sarasa feeling so dead right now.

Episode 13
Sarasa is being told that she will be a sacrifice to a dragon that lives in these waters. So if she thinks of running, the slaves who are tending to her will also be killed. Asagi sees Ageha and it looks like they know each other. He wants Ageha to perform for tonight’s ceremony. Asagi then sees Sarasa and forces her to drink a sleeping potion. Then he tells her how the dragon causes floods and all, the Blue King often holds sacrifices to appease it. He will rip out her heart and limbs but don’t worry, she won’t be awake during that. That night, we see the Blue King starting his ceremony (WTF are those KKK people?!). Before he uses Seiryuu to cut up Sarasa, she wakes up and steals the sword from him! So she hurt herself enough not to fall asleep? She then takes the Blue King hostage and makes this coward tell the truth. Looks like everyone has been duped. Because of the fumes, everyone thinks they see or hear is real. Hence this dragon is actually made of wood as Sarasa burns it to further proof. The Blue King further admits he is a fake and blames it all on Asagi. This was all his plan! With the people mad, they want the Blue King’s head. As the Blue King escapes, Sarasa is then retrieved by the knight commander who reveals he is actually the last survivor of the clan that protected Seiryuu. He has secretly gathered allies to take down the Blue King including the slaves. He reveals his face, blonde hair and blue eyes, this dude is a foreigner? But he rallies the people to stand up to the tyranny. Meanwhile Shuri (alive of course) confronts the Blue King and ‘thanks’ him for all that he has done. He doesn’t kill him quick but lets him hang over the pond of crocodiles. The Blue King thought Asagi is here to save him but their talk seems to hint that Asagi is the real Blue King? If so, why Shuri doesn’t recognize his brother? Yeah, maybe all those heavy makeup… Since the Blue King has outlived his usefulness, Asagi lets him drop and become crocodile fodder. Sarasa thought she saw Shuri and rushes to go see him. Instantly she hugs and kisses him. Missed him so much, eh? Sappy reunion interrupted because Asagi and his Ultramarines flood the entire city! Damn, this guy really wants to destroy the entire place! Cue for Sarasa to be separated from Shuri. He tells her to come to the Red King palace at Suou but the water’s too loud so she couldn’t here. Once the flooding is over, everyone returns to their usual lives. Sarasa reminisces the happy days with Shuri but from now on she will be Tatara to defeat the Red King so that she can meet Shuri again. Oh well, somebody tell her already…

Legendary Fail Of Busted Sarasa…
So looks like it ended abruptly. But I guess it is better than dragging on this side plot of Sarasa being captured by the Blue King and then have a few more episodes seeing her trying to free the people and start a revolution. Yeah, that’s why the final episode feels so rushed because looks like they’re not going to do another cour or season of this anymore. Oh well, if you’re so interested, there is always the manga. If you can still find them in shelves or some very friend of an old friend still has in their dusty collection.

Although the overall feel of the plot and premise feels somewhat dumb, it is unfair for me to entirely label the premise and story so and that it sucks because the anime only adapts the first few chapters of the manga. If this series had gotten another cour, it might have been a different story. It could have fleshed out the story and the characters more. Albeit I know it is more or less somewhat predictable. But it could be better. Slightly better. Maybe. But as far as this season is concerned, it just feels dumb and mind boggling. But hey, this is an anime that came out way back in 1998 so it’s retro anime. Show some mercy on the kind of stories that came out at the end of the turn of the century. On a side note, this anime came out the same time as Cowboy Bebop, Trigun, Yugioh, Initial D, Cardcaptor Sakura and Lost Universe, among the other few memorable retro hits. Damn.

You see, why I say the overall series feels somewhat dumb is because of the kind of pacing and story that wouldn’t actually fly in today’s standards. Yeah, the world has evolved so that the standards bar has been set higher. Way much higher than what it was 20 years ago. Hence a lot of things here happened because of dumb luck AKA plot convenience as we see Sarasa trying to live up to Tatara’s name and bring salvation to Japan. Don’t get me started that even in the first episode the Red Army didn’t confirm Tatara’s death and came back only 3 years later after realizing they’ve been duped! A WHOLE 3 YEARS!!! Damn. Everybody so slacking. More dumbness follow suit as Sarasa takes on Tatara’s role as you can see it peppered throughout the series (the lion in the cave, Hayato being duped to meet Shido and not suspect a damn thing, the swim to the Suzaku flagship and the firing of its cannon, need I go on some more?!). By the end of the season, Sarasa is nowhere close but I guess inching closer to that salvation is better than not even moving at all. While the plot of Sarasa’s revenge to take down the Red King is rather okay, the way she goes about it feels so roundabout and primitive. I guess this is what happens when you have no technology even in a dystopian future. Good in a way. Because I always keep thinking this happened during the Middle Ages or the feudal times or even way back before Jesus Christ was born! Somehow only foreigners get to keep their technology…

Then they try to infuse the cheesy romance between Shuri and Sarasa. It feels forced as well but I guess we need some sort of drama that both enemies are also lovers. Depends on what masks they put on for the day. It is also a weird way that they can juggle with their life’s mission as well as their love life. Yeah, people today are so preoccupied and busy that many of us could hardly have that kind of success! Yet the duo make it look so easy. Wow. Such simple times. Can’t blame them for not recognizing each other when they’re this close because on the battlefield they have their face covered and the dust of the battlefield just blocks their vision or whatever. It’s going to be an epic showdown and revelation when they realize the other’s true identity. Will vengeful hate or the power of love prevail? I’m guessing it would be the latter because you know, that’s how it is supposed to be. Hey, I didn’t read the manga or do my lazy Google search after that so I could be wrong, though… Imagine if they only found out about each other after getting married. Oh boy. Does this look like a modern day recipe for divorce! I’m just stumped that in the final episode, if Shuri saw Sarasa being all so brave in tackling and revealing the fakeries of  the Blue King, did he not see a shred of Tatara in this? And to think he was so obsessed in taking down this prophesized saviour.

As for the characters… Well, just passable but mediocre overall. Take for instance Sarasa, if you look at it from a general perspective, she is one lucky girl to have gotten out of many dangerous situations that would have killed her. Is it because of her dumb luck or plot convenience? Like that underground maze to Kyushu. It was just so freaking dumb that I didn’t know whether to cringe or laugh. Mostly I resorted to the latter because that’s how it should be. Sometimes it makes Sarasa look like one lucky wuss but I theorized that they only made her so is to show how Sarasa grows to be a strong warrior. However like I said, at this rate it only makes her a lucky wuss with all the dumb luck she’s got. It is understandable that she still believes she isn’t the chosen one unlike her brother and therefore she has cold feet and not enough self-confidence to see it through. But always and more often than enough, she summons her courage to pull it off despite getting discouraged. After all, Sarasa is still a girl deep down inside and ask any girl to shoulder such burden, I think they won’t make it past 5 minutes after assuming such role. So while I really do want to look at Sarasa this way because it shows her more fragile and human side, it also makes her look inconsistent in the sense that she is flip flopping between her strong Tatara persona and her more feminine Sarasa side.

Then there is Shuri who is the other main character who isn’t supposed to be all that bad as he seems. He is actually a fine guy and has his own quirks. We are just perhaps initially shown in an angle to make him look like the bad guy (since they were like preoccupied in trying to find and kill Tatara) but once you get to know more about him, he isn’t so bad. He wants to unify Japan and I suppose ordinary methods can’t make him achieve his goal. So he has to be seen as cruel as well as steadfast if he needs to get somewhere. So perhaps he and just like many others were given the false proclamation that Tatara will be the one who will lead a new revolution. That’s why the obsession in taking Tatara out. If only we interpreted that in a different way. Say, teaming up with Tatara to overthrow the Emperor or something? Yeah, everybody thinks they can be the only chosen one.

Shido is quite an interesting character as he has charisma. Too bad he had to be killed off. We don’t know him much and personally like Ageha did so I don’t really understand why Ageha keeps describing him as a crueller person. Can a person change? Or maybe this is just Ageha’s way of talking. So it’s quite a shame he had to die but I suppose this could be some sort of pivotal point in Shuri’s life now that the person he relied on most is gone. I just want to note that with the late appearance of the Blue King, because of his funny falsetto voice, the first impression that I had about this seemingly gay dude is that he could be the reincarnation of Mickey Mouse!!! OMFG!!! That falsetto voice!!! The Blue King is Mickey Mouse! I can’t stop laughing! This is how Disney survived in the future!!! So another gay dude thinks he is God, huh? Yeah, boring, not laughing anymore… Thank goodness this fake got killed off because I don’t think I can stomach anymore each time I hear him talk. And if Asagi is the actual Blue King, it bugs me Shuri doesn’t recognize him but it might be so because the Emperor may have fathered children from different wives (I briefly read Asagi is the son of the Emperor and HIS DAUGHTER????!!! WTF????!!!!!) and after all, all the Emperor’s children has got to be good looking, right? Yeah, this fake Blue King looks like some tranny whose cosmetic surgery went wrong! Ugly, in other words.

The rest of the other characters I can’t say much about them. Like Hayato who becomes Sarasa’s disciple, he feels like a comic relief character. Heck, the way he dresses also gives me that impression. Most of the time he just hangs around and follows her like a lackey but I don’t see him do anything useful unless the plot commands him to. Then there is the father figure Kaku who tries to look out for Sarasa but that’s about it. Nagi too but I suppose this blind prophet only serves as some mental image for Sarasa to be strong and remember his weird teachings so that she can get the strength to overcome whatever obstacles. Then there is Chacha because we also need a strong female character who can fight by Sarasa’s side. So make her a pirate because she’ll be sexier that way. And that Kazan dude is brutal. This guy is just kill, kill, KILL!!!

As action plays an important factor in this series, most of them are laughable and mind boggling. It makes you really question if it is all possible in the first place. Like I have said, Sarasa’s dumb luck has her survive this long. For example, Hayato shooting his arrow to free Ageha. If that is not what you call plot convenience, I don’t know what is. Same case when Shido had the upper hand in killing Sarasa only to be killed by Hayato’s arrow. That shot really counted, huh? Because of some of the fight scenes, there are some blood spilled too. But don’t worry, because of this 1998 production, the blood often look like sparking water colour animation! I was wondering if somebody just spilled their rose coloured juice all over the battlefield. Wow. So violent. At least by 1998 standards.

As you would have expect from a retro anime, the animation and art style really feel dated and from that era. So it is no surprise that sometimes I see character designs of certain characters from other anime such as Sarasa looking a bit like Meiko from Marmalade Boy and Shuri suspiciously looking like Slam Dunk’s Rukawa. Even the voice acting feels a bit amateurish like Sarasa sometimes her dialogue doesn’t sound ‘convincing’ enough and there was one time I remember she was screaming, it sounded so fake… The opening theme, Endless Loop by Rouage feels like a retro rock but somehow I feel it doesn’t fit the pacing of this anime. I thought this song would maybe fit shows like Yugioh. Worse, Plumeria No Saku Basho E by Kanako Nakayama as the rock ending theme just feels too dramatic and uhm, loud? The songs aren’t that bad, just that I feel they aren’t suitable for the series. Hearing them by themselves should be okay but not for the series. More weirdness as the ending credits animation show the actual manga illustrations of the characters which are mostly lots of very effeminate hot looking guys. So this is how hot bishonen look like in the 90’s, huh?

Overall, this series had the potential to be better had it had more episodes to flesh out its story and characters. But unfortunately it did not and so it remains incomplete. At least for the anime adaptation. Ironically the manga ended its run in the same year the anime ran. So did they not have any more budget or see no hope in adapting other chapters or was there a fallout somewhere in the production? Whatever it is, we’ll never know nor get a sequel (reboots and remakes are so overrated these days). Thus I can’t blame you if you share the same opinion as mine that the plot and the action scenes are generally dumb and laughable (this series is not meant to be comedy!). But I guess still better than a lot of animes today that are just nonsense or mediocre at best. Perhaps that is our dystopia and this means we’re still waiting for the prophesized anime to save anime. Heard a lot of others saying this AOTS, that AOTS or this anime will save the industry… All just red herrings and false prophecies as best… Where’s Sarasa AKA Tatara when you need her?

Futarigurashi

October 2, 2020

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? No, not that question of asking a mother who just recently gave birth. A boy who looks and sounds like a girl but is actually a girl. Confused? So it’s basically a girl, right? Nope. A boy. At least that’s what this character thinks. If Futarigurashi had been made in recent times, this might have gotten some PC brickbats or support from the trans and LGBTQ+ whatever whoever. Fortunately this retro anime came out way back in 1998 and more than 20 years ago so I suppose the internet and nobody is going to bother. Yup, thank the internet for making me stumble upon this ultra rare series.

Episode 1
Kenji Aoyama narrates he is a college dropout and is doing erotic manga as part time. Can’t concentrate because the next door couple is f*cking loudly in broad daylight! Hey, at least they’re not like a loser like Kenji who has no girlfriend! Worse, his manga editor claims his manga has no sex appeal! Today he will be receiving Hikaru Saitou who is his friend’s brother who will start living with him to help pay the rent. But wait. Hikaru looks like a girl and sounds like a girl. So is she a girl? Hikaru claims she is a boy! No gay stuff! Yeah, so pretty that Kenji tries to assault her?! So if Hikaru is a girl, why the makeup? Because many say she looks prettier that way. Because Kenji still doubts, Hikaru lets him touch her crotch. Shock! I don’t know what he touched but he seems to really believe now that Hikaru is a guy! Wait. REALLY?! Such a cute guy that the couple next door, at least the guy felt he lost! Yeah, his girl looks damn ugly! Then there’s this incident Hikaru just came out in a towel after the bath. Kenji knows she’s a guy, right? But his libido is so strong he tries to assault her! Can’t take it anymore!!! RAPE!!! Fortunately Hikaru slaps him and thinks he is drunk. Yeah, drunk on his libido alright. With Hikaru living with him, Kenji is able to draw decent erotic manga so much so the editor loves it and will hire him.

Episode 2
Hikaru sees Kenji’s works and thinks the protagonist of his manga is a female version of her. Hence she tries to do sexy poses for him which of course turns his libido on. So Kenji gonna assault this ‘dude’?! Yeah, definitely a cock teaser. He tries to resist and by that he rubs Hikaru’s crotch just to check?! Kenji feels weird out seeing Hikaru’s orgasmic face. Or is she just kidding and trolling him? Anyway it ends with her accusing him of being a virgin. Hence Kenji tries to psycho himself that his goal is a harem of beautiful babes. Not a group of macho men. But since Hikaru is in the latter group, he leans towards that group?! WTF?! Then Hikaru thinks that to avoid people having misconception of them, they should be brothers and sisters. Like, WTF?! If she thinks she’s a guy, shouldn’t she be playing his younger brother instead?! Wouldn’t being his sister raise more suspicions?! Like in this store where they try to get her some girly clothes and mini skirt, yeah the storekeeper is even having fantasies of marrying Hikaru!!! Uh huh. He is jealous of Kenji is her brother and even asks him what will he do if Hikaru isn’t his sister. Oh. That psycho fantasy again. Bevy of beauties or macho men. MACHO MEN he picked just because Hikaru is the ‘king’?! I suppose this guy is going to turn gay because that night as Hikaru sleeps, the beast in Kenji awakens as he is going to assault her!

Episode 3
Oh yeah. Kenji is coming in! When he strips her, WTF, boobs???!!! It is then Hikaru admits she is a girl and that there is no need to hide anymore. You bet they can do those stuffs now. Here’s her licking an ice cream for your imagination to go wild. And then Kenji going to ride his train into her but then it gets derailed. Yup. Just a stupid dream. Too good to be true. But still, sleeping Hikaru is sexy enough to turn him on. Kenji still has doubts if she is a guy since the last time she let him touch her crotch, he wasn’t exactly sure. Now it’s time to make real sure. Can he do it or not? If his dirty thoughts didn’t interrupt him all the time. Because Hikaru wakes up and slaps him. As he explains himself, this of course leads them to a big argument with Hikaru calling him a pervert and that he is nothing without her! Because without her, he only has his stash of porn magazines! Angry Kenji kicks her out. But his mind starts to think that it is 2am in the morning and it would be dangerous for her, right? Why does he care? Hikaru is a guy, right?! Yeah, go watch more porn… An hour later, I guess he is really worried so he goes look for her. Just sitting outside. Care to come in? Just then, the bathtub somewhat malfunctions. And explodes?! This is so that Hikaru believes he can’t do anything without her and that’s why she’s staying. Yeah, she’s going to make things more fun. Oh sh*t?

Episode 4
Beach episode! You bet Kenji is going to try hit on the girls. Too bad he has no muscles so he tries to fake it by holding his breath. Yeah, nobody’s buying it. Especially those hot chicks have their muscular men by their side. Then he sees a few guys trying to hit on Hikaru. I guess they only go away because the creepo is flexing his stupid non-existent muscles. Creepy. So why is Hikaru dressed in a bikini? So that nobody could suspect them? WHO THE F*CK KNOWS OR CARES IF THEY ARE SIBLINGS???!!! Anyway, a hot guy, Katsuya Shinjo mistakes Hikaru for a previous girlfriend. Though Hikaru clears up the misunderstanding, Kenji gets jealous and tries to throw a punch but misses. Shinjo then advises him to do more exercise. After Kenji returns from the toilet, he is shock to see Shinjo kissing Hikaru?! WTF?! Another failed punch. Turns out Shinjo was giving Hikaru CPR and saved her from almost drowning when she got leg cramps. Where was Kenji at her time of need, huh? So who’s the loser who jumped to conclusions now? I guess Kenji has to seriously think about doing exercises so as to protect her. Even more so when he hears those beach babes badmouthing a certain loser who failed to protect his girl. Let’s hope he maintains that fiery motivation to become a stronger man.

Episode 5
So for Kenji to be stronger, he decides to take up boxing. However this gym is where Shinjo is the instructor. Shinjo doesn’t have high hopes for Kenji to improve here and of course that bad loser is going to take that challenge. So they start with some basic training and you could say that Kenji is so out of shape and breath and ironically Hikaru is keeping up with Shinjo at a better pace. So the fastest way to train up is to spar with another member. Kenji acts tough until a huge muscular boxing guy volunteers to spar with him. Trying to run away, huh? Shinjo dismisses that guy since he is too big for amateur Kenji to spar. Kenji then spots this scrawny guy, Yoka. Yeah, he convinces that kid to spar with him. This will look easy, right? So you think he can bully this kid, huh? Wait till he hears too late that he is the junior champion and he has taken off his 10kg glove weights! Damn, Kenji so screwed. He goes down in just 10 seconds! Because of that, Kenji now is seriously training because in a week he is going to have a rematch with that guy. Not going to lose again. Can a week do any difference? Not sure but a man has got to do what he’s got to do. Wow. Kenji sound so cool that Hikaru’s heart skip a beat? However a group of hot babes heard Kenji’s struggles and offer to help him.

Episode 6
They are the Unga sisters, Yona, Akeru, Kanae and Meguru. As they are boxing trainers, they claim they can help Kenji. So who made Hikaru the trainer of Kenji anyway? You think Hikaru can effectively train Kenji? Don’t think so. So leave Kenji in the capable hands of those sexy sisters. Yeah. You bet Kenji is going to go with them. In their rich estate, Yona has him strip. Oh yeah! Too bad it is just to make him wear some special clothes. Then she strips! No kidding! You see, they believe Kenji possess this ecchi power that is his true hidden power. So each time he gets an erection, a bell will ring and this means he must continue his training until the bell stops. WTF… You can’t make this sh*t up! At the end of the day, he thought Kanae wants to sleep with him and she’s very inviting. Too bad another erection so back to training. However for Kenji, screw training! He wants to screw with her! Yeah. Sexy Kanae > Yoka fight. Before he gives into his power of darkness and can rape her, Meguru stops him. Looks like it’s her turn to train him.

Episode 7
Meanwhile Hikaru feels jealous home alone. Damn Kenji went with those sexy sisters. You feeling jealous even though you’re a guy? Meguru’s training is some forbidden teacher-student relationship? Then she has a voodoo doll of Kenji as she tickles his crotch area. I don’t know how this is supposed to be part of the training but whatever. Kenji then spots a voodoo doll of Meguru and does the same to her. Yeah, both getting turned on molesting each other, huh? This sick molesting game ends with Akeru turning up to train him. Oh dear, can Kenji handle this dominatrix queen? As Meguru can’t stand her whipping Kenji, she throws him a voodoo doll of Akeru to Kenji. Kenji lets his fingers do the magic but it has no effect on Akeru. Something about Akeru has higher magic power so she deflects her doll to Meguru, hence Akeru is the one feeling Kenji’s doing. Because Kenji sounds so cool in trying to defend Meguru, Akeru doesn’t like this so she has both their dolls do explicit things to each other. Can Kenji hold it in?! I mean, she’s literally giving him a blowjob!!! Luckily training time is over. So this is going to be his training for the next whole week? You bet when his fight with Yoka is here, Kenji looks all drained out…

Playing It Straight: My Roommate’s Not Gay…
Ugh… As you can see, this retro series would never probably be picked up or subbed at all. Heck, I can’t even find raws online to watch the rest. Yes, I was even prepared to just watch the rest of the series without subs. I was even lucky to watch the first 7 episodes that had subs and even so the subs were provided by Russian subbers! The irony. Gotta be thankful anyway. Last I check, this group has gone inactive so it is most likely they will not complete the series. And to think there were 36 episodes in total! Woah. Such a tall order. Oh well. It was good while it lasted. But no matter how good the internet is, I suppose when there are no videos of it online, it means no videos of it online at all. Not sure if this exists in the dark web…

The only reason why I watched this was because of Yukari Tamura as Hikaru. Otherwise, going by the synopsis itself wasn’t enough to make me even want to take a look at this. I would have just skipped this altogether and not even bother with it without batting an eyelid or take a second glance. Good thing my eye caught her name in the credits listing first, huh? So yeah, she is the sole reason why I wanted to check this out and playing her character, she doesn’t disappoint since her trademark squeaky voice is there and all over the place. After all, she is one of the few of my favourite seiyuus of yesteryears still going strong in the voice acting industry although she isn’t taking on roles as frequent as before. On a side note, Taiki Matsuno is the voice of Kenji whom fans may recognize as the titular character of the Kindaichi series and Inu Yasha’s Kouga.

On a side note, the opening theme, Nageki No Melody by The Netanders despite sound like retro rock, I feel the overall song sounds amateurish. Like as though the amateurish band is trying to hammer it all out. Heck, I’m not sure if it is my hardware (I doubt it) or the studio recording of the song was just low quality. Because the thunderous hammering of the beat sounds like they’re trying to thump a dead elephant or something! Serious! Keep the volume low if you don’t want to be partially deaf by the end of this minute long song. Yeah, ironically like the name of the song itself, it is truly a melody tragedy! Oh hell, the band is even featured for a short while in the opening credits. Why the f*ck they want to showcase this scrawny guitarist lead singer performing???!!! Did they not have enough artist to cover the entire opening credits animation?

The animation quality is horrendous and of low quality. If you think I’m going to vouch for this series just because it is retro, well, too bad this isn’t it. Despite it reeks 90’s style anime art, the quality is bad enough that perhaps the producers thought they could pass it off with the dirty jokes and fanservice. 1998 sounds like a long time and even more so in anime years but then you realize this series came out in the same season with hits like Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Initial D, Yugioh, Cardcaptor Sakura, Lost Universe, Weiss Kreuz and Neo Ranga, it makes you wonder if this is one of those garbage animes of the season. No wonder they keep each episode to 8 minutes and spread it out to 36 episodes rather than having a normal anime runtime with just a dozen episodes for 1 season.

But yeah, I do have to admit that for the episodes that I have watched, I had a short fun and dumb time watching them so I guess it wasn’t all that bad. Although the relatively general plot is nothing (basically just Kenji getting into weird misadventures with girls as well as him trying hard to keep his erection at bay) the most mind boggling matter that one will often fall back to question is Hikaru’s gender. I bet my ass that Hikaru is 99.99999999% a girl. I didn’t read the manga so I’m not sure if they would really pull the shocking revelation that she is actually a guy. More than often (at least as far as the episodes I have seen), they have never actually made it clear to viewers of her actual gender. They trolled us with ‘confirmations’ like Hikaru letting Kenji touch her crotch. So we assume his flabbergasted face means Hikaru is a boy, right? Yeah, looks can be deceiving. I’m not ready to give them the benefit of the doubt. This whole gender conundrum could actually be swiftly solved if Hikaru just stripped naked and show her crotch. Does she have a penis or vagina? Case solved. End of series.

Alas, they pour further doubt into the mystery of her gender since she refuses to show her anatomy, citing that weak excuse of that no gay thingy. Uh huh. If they are both guys and even if guys are shy to show or see each other’s dick, it is so weird that Hikaru keeps acknowledging herself as a guy but does not hesitate to act like a girl. See the problem and irony here? Already 16 years old, you would think that the natural hormones would have kicked in but instead Hikaru continues to really believe she is a guy. I mean, does she even know what a penis and a vagina is?! How the heck did she pass basic biology in school?! Sure, she has small boobs but how come I don’t see her go topless? Guys don’t care about being topless, right?! So unless she is actually trolling us all but I doubt it. Because there are a couple of occasions where her heart starts to skip in seeing Kenji’s ‘manliness’. So are you telling me that Hikaru is not a girl or is she slowly turning gay? Either way, one of those options has to give.

Hence this is all just mind blowing dumb and silly, the basic foundation and setting of the series. It makes Kenji doubt himself and his sexuality because most of the time he has to think hard if he would actually want to turn into hard gay and screw Hikaru, which he often gives in to but thankfully plot convenience says he can’t bang Hikaru not because of risking him turning into gay but to prolong the mystery of Hikaru as a guy. Now can we move on to the next antic? Until the next horniness takes over. Rinse and repeat. I can’t blame Kenji if he ever turns a psycho or have his sexuality twisted by the end of the series. He’s got all the pretty babes around him and yet he can’t shag them somehow. Virgin for life. Too bad I can’t say for the rest of the other characters considering the ‘misfortune’ of me not having more episodes to watch but I think I can safely say they’ll be as quirky and add to all the hilarious hijinks in future episodes. Sighs.

The fanservice itself is pretty mild. But considering this is 1998 anime, I guess it can be considered as borderline raunchy taking into account the mind set of that era. There are a few scenes that show bare tits and some pseudo porn scenes that would’ve caused some stir back in those days (maybe that’s why this series was quite obscure). Of course the fanservice is used as an accompaniment to the series’ brand of comedy of Kenji getting in sexy misadventures and all. Mostly played for laughs more than anything else especially who could forget the way they portray his dick’s erection. Yeah, this guy’s penis is f*cking huge! And how the f*ck do you use sexy fanservice to train a guy in boxing?! If that doesn’t scream comedy fanservice’s sake, I don’t know what is? Imagine if such hidden ecchi power actually worked in real life, man, we’re actually going to see some real power knockouts in real life! I kid you not!

Overall, it is with mixed feelings that I have for this anime. It is definitely one of the worst animes of that particular season but remember, that is only because you compared it with all the aforementioned cool animes that came out in the same period. Yes, definitely this is a bad anime with its low quality production and using fanservice as the core of its jokes. But since I’m such a simpleton, I found myself laughing at all the silliness so I can’t call it a total failure. Libido frustration even more so when I can’t watch the entire series to make a full evaluation and is just limited to the 7 episodes I saw. After all, there’s this saying that you can’t blame the clown for acting like a clown. Ask yourself why you keep going to the circus! So don’t blame a bad anime filled with fanservice clichés and poor quality. Ask yourself why you keep watching such crap! It’s because we love this simple stuff, silly! And if Hikaru’s gender is causing us to debate if she is a boy or girl, wait till we start discussing if traps are straight, gays or lesbians! Futanari-gurashi maybe?!

G-on Riders

September 27, 2020

Oh well… The Corona virus pandemic and panic scare is slowly subsiding… Life is slowly and gradually returning to normal… I guess I can’t binge watch my animes from now… Ugh… But maybe I can just squeeze in one more anime… Just one more anime… And that ‘lucky’ anime goes too… G-on Riders! Yeah. Actually that’s not how it all went. Sure, the stay-at-home order is already lifted long before. But with animes that has been delayed or postponed starting up its run again, before I get back to my usual seasonal binge watching, this was the series that somewhat caught my eye. Strange, I don’t even know how I stumbled upon this on the internet but I sure did. It’s got all the funny stuffs, big explosive mecha action, fanservice and yeah, girls with glasses! Not that I’m a fan of bespectacled girls anyway. But if that didn’t make me curious to check it out, I don’t know what will.

Episode 1
Yuuki Kurama is a new transfer student at Saint Hoshikawa Academy. Trying to take a shortcut, she falls into a pond. As she strips naked to let her uniform dry, suddenly an alien robot known as Fancy Beast drops in to attack. Naturally it blows away her clothes. Though, she is able to get most of it back except… Anyway, Fancy Beast attacks the school but a barrier defends it. Also, people has evacuated into the shelters nearby. Except for Ichiro Hongou. One lucky guy not to get hit by the missiles. Juuzou Hoshikawa who is the principle of the school is also the captain of some Earth defence force. When the barrier breaks, Thank goodness for the bespectacled duo of G-on Riders, Sera Arashiyama and Yayoi Hoshikawa to come tackle the monster. However they hesitate as they see Yuuki climbing it trying to retrieve her panties. Moments before she gets it, Sera blasts the monster away. Yuuki is sent flying but lands on Ichiro. We see the aliens made up of Pao, Ai, Mako and Zero frustrated over their loss. Yup, 12 consecutive losses. They are then contacted by their employer who warn them to invade Earth quickly or else they’ll cut their funding. Oh sh*t… Yuuki is in the same class with Ichiro. Somehow he has got her panties and finds it hard to give it back to her. In the meantime, lots of nose bleeds since Yuuki is unaware she is going commando… Ichiro and Yuuki become friends as Sera tries to fight with Yuuki for this morning’s interruption. Ichiro tries to get in between but ends up receiving their blows. He is taken to the infirmary but school nurse Mio Sanada has Yayoi treat Ichiro to cure her phobia of men. Yayoi maybe the granddaughter of Juuzou and this weird phobia has her no friends. Yuuki decides to become friends with her. But Ichiro got too close and Yayoi’s phobia kicks in and he is blasted outside. Then once again, Fancy Beast returns to invade. Déjà vu because once again Yuuki’s panties got stuck on it. When G-on Riders go to fight it, this time Fancy Beast blasts them with, uhm, sticky liquid? Yuuki protects her friends and her single kick has Fancy Beast malfunction! After Sanada gives the solvent solution, Pao tries to escape and could’ve been owned by Sera had not Zero come to her aid. The aliens escape, Sera not amused with Yuuki and her panties once more somehow in Ichiro’s hands. It’s been a weird day.

Episode 2
Ichiro gives Yuuki’s panties back like a man. You bet she’s going to fall in love with him but the Fancy Beast pops up and claims this bigger pantsu is hers. Oh boy… And yes, this is just a stupid dream… How will Ichiro give them back? Oh wait. Yuuki just moved next door to him?! I guess the dorm is all filled up and this is the only place available. There’s your chance, Ichiro… Meanwhile Pao gets another scolding from her boss to win this or they’ll be fired. Ai has created a new Fancy Beast. There’s aesthetics but will it be more powerful? You bet. Yuuki is tasked to take an exam. Physical measurements and gym agility tests, she passes with flying colours. Ichiro tries to put the panties back in Yuuki’s locker. Finds another one. Then he falls through a trap door. Yuuki’s test now has her fight real enemies called Mokujin. With Ichiro held hostage, Yuuki draws upon her power and activates some inner power to beat all of them down. Naturally, she passed. Juuzou then explains that this school is actually a secret organization called GRA (Grand Reflect Armed – damn it! You mean it’s not G-on Riders Association?!) and their mission is to thwart alien invasions. Flashback shows a secret committee group were discussing dealing with this threat when Sanada popped up to blab about some Tokimeki power drawn from within to defeat them. The use of special glasses known as G-on can all bring out that power but the drawback is that only strong teens can do so to control that power. Hence Ichikawa the chief decided to build a school to search for those people. Sera and Yayoi were the first and second. Now Yuuki is the third. Yeah, her very own glasses. A real alien threat arrives. This time Pao riding the new Fancy Beast. Sera wants Yuuki to sit back and watch her seniors strut their stuff. Of course Sera just wants to show off but the veteran G-on Riders get caught in the new trap. This is when Yuuki comes to the rescue as she dawns her glasses. She powers up and cuts her comrades loose. Pao is shocked there is another G-on Rider as the trio give her the Team Rocket treatment. Pao escapes and reports back. Oh dear. How will their boss react when they learn there is another G-on Rider… Later Ichiro wants to give the panties back directly to Yuuki but before he can, she doesn’t want it and tells him to keep it. Just don’t peep on the balcony. Yeah, but she didn’t say not to peep through the hole in the wall… Too bad for Ichiro, she sleeps on the top bunker and not at the ground level where the hole in the wall is…

Episode 3
Juuzou is aware that Ichiro is the trigger for Yuuki’s power and that must remain a secret. If he ever starts activating it for fun, they’ll have to take serious measures. Ichiro wants to show Yuuki around town since she is new. Of course this is his plan to return her panties. Meanwhile Sera is jealous Yuuki is more famous than her and then goes to a secret room to pray to God?! WTF?! In town, the date goes on like normal until they stumble into Yayoi. Yeah, I guess this means Ichiro has to keep his distance. Also, they bump into Ai. Pretending as a lost child, it seems Ai drew the raw end of the stick. The aliens’ planned to defeat G-on Riders one by one and Ai was selected to defeat Sera! Yuuki agrees to help her find her way home. Meanwhile we see Sera’s flashback. She got into trouble with foreigners. Basically, she doesn’t speak English. Until some banchou dude saved her and told her to follow her own destiny. So she embraced Christianity after that?! As she trained hard, she became qualified to be a G-on Rider. Despite all that, she won’t give up her number one spot to that new transfer girl. As Ai figures out an excuse to give to her comrades (she couldn’t find Sera), but here comes Sera in the flesh to challenge Yuuki for the number one spot. Oh sh*t. With Ai’s buddies pressuring her to defeat Sera, when Sera gets too close, Ai panics and escapes into her Fancy Beast. The rest think she has been kidnapped. Sera transforms and violently tries to destroy the Fancy Beast. Though she is successful, her mad violence is only stopped by Yuuki. Take a look around her, all her destructive violence. With Zero here to pick up Ai, although Yuuki realizes Ai is an alien, she is glad to have kept her promise to help find her way home. So please don’t come alone next time, okay? While everyone praises Yuuki, Sera feels guilty and admits her loss. But Yuuki gives her some hope as she still looks up to Sera and hopes she can teach some stuffs. All is looking well until Yuuki brings up the English subject she is weak at. Sera blows her top again. But nobody seems to remember Ichiro getting blown away during all that commotion. Operation Give-Back-Panties: Failed!

Episode 4
Hotspring training episode! Only GRA girls allowed. Sorry Juuzou, you’re keeping watch on the school. Sanada trains the trio to have their heart and minds as one. As you can see, they’re all over the place and lost badly to the Mokujin trainer. Then they also do lots of other funny weird stuffs just to deepen their skinship but it didn’t work. In fact, Sera just got madder. Meanwhile Ichiro is also here to find himself and get the courage to return those panties. Oh, those alien girls are here too. Resting before their next fight? They’re going to need all the rest they can get. With the skinship not going anywhere, Sera is quick to blame Yuuki is slowing them down. This dawns upon Yuuki that perhaps she needs a special move. So early next morning, she heads to the mountains to train and find that special move of her own. Meanwhile Yayoi stumbles into Ai and hopes she can leave as soon as possible since Yuuki and Sera are here. Things might get ugly, you know. As GRA girls are soaking in the hotspring, suddenly Mokujin goes out of control and rampages. Oh, Ichiro as hostage again. Of course this is all part of Sanada’s plan as she is secretly controlling Mokujin. This commotion also draws Pao’s attention. Realizing G-on Riders are here, she quickly goes to intercept them. She uses her Fancy Beast to brainwash Mokujin and pilot it as her own. Can the girls fight without their modesty? Not if Yuuki demonstrates her new special ability of using the wind and leaves to cover up their modesty! Now they can fight with no shame! Pao thought she has it all under control under Yuuki uses her sword as a helicopter and then one single slash to cut through it all! Lost again. In the aftermath, Yuuki apologizes to Ichiro thinking he knows her secret. Of course it’s not the panties secret he thinks. So she claims she is a ninja! Of course Ichiro doesn’t care. Yuuki is Yuuki. Yuuki then thanks Sera and Yayoi for their help and hopes they can become closer. Ichiro has the motivation to return the panties but looks like all the leaves all drop off. Naked girls galore! Curses. Foiled again. Maybe next time.

Episode 5
Yayoi flees from a mansion in a carriage! As the SPs go after her, it seems Ai is hiding in a carriage too. After bumping into Yuuki and Ichiro, Yayoi explains her story. Grandpa was celebrating her birthday. As her present and to prepare her for the future, he presents a bunch of handsome hunks! You bet she got scared and ran away. Yuuki lets her stay at her place. As for why Ai is here. It seems once more she was picked for this dirty job. The aliens know today is Yayoi’s birthday and has planted a bomb in this cake. Ai is to give it to her to cut and then BOOM! Ai voiced her displeasure but Mako pressures her this is for her own good to become strong. Ai stops Yayoi and Yuuki from eating the cake. She also gives excuses to her comrades to wait for Sera so that she can bomb them altogether. Next morning, it is a Yayoi scream fest since she bumps into the guys of the dorm. Yeah, this is a guy’s dormitory! Sanada gives her a power suit but it just makes her stronger! I think all the boys are just masochist. Yeah, they love getting busted by Yayoi. Surprisingly, Ai comes to her defence. She knows what it feels like to do something against one’s will. When Sera is here with Yuuki, Ai drops the cake instead. Pao is displeased and decides to go handle this herself. In a Fancy Beast, she attacks the dorm. Sera tries to show off by doing this herself as she has Yuuki guard Yayoi but gets in a pinch. Yayoi tells Yuuki to help since she has Ai with her. But before Yuuki can act, Ai throws the cake on the Fancy Beast. BOOM! Bye-bye again. Yayoi realizes that Ai’s plan was to bomb her with the cake. Scared Ai admits it but Yayoi is glad that she saved her from it. When grandpa is here to get Yayoi back, shockingly Ichiro turns up to blame grandpa for loving his granddaughter too much. That’s why Yayoi turned out like that. Hence the victim is Yayoi. Sure, he’s so cool with it that Yayoi falls for him?! Though she can get closer to him but still needs a metre in between. Grandpa has decided Ichiro will be Yayoi’s wife and orders his SPs to capture him. Prepare the wedding now! Oh boy. As the aliens rue yet another loss, it seems they are not prepared for this loss they will have. Ai sends them a message that she is leaving their group and will be joining Earth’s side. Gasp!

Episode 6
As the dorm is rebuilt, looks like a Japanese house is made and Yayoi is staying here just to be close to Ichiro! Looks like she is serious. And Ai is now her lackey or something? Ichiro is happy that Yayoi knitted him a scarf. But he gets punched when get got too close. And what’s this? Yuuki crying and running away?! Ichiro feels bad he might have hurt her feelings so he seeks Sanada’s advice to become manlier. You bet she has the answer… Sort of. So he has to go through training in this tower? The first level is some judo throw with Sera? He gets owned until Juuzou pops up and reads some cheesy poem. And what’s this about reconnecting with Juuzou’s dead son and Ichiro’s dead father? I don’t get it but apparently Sanada passes him because part of being a man is knowing you’re not alone. WTF. Meanwhile Mako is so sad that Pao agrees to go get back Ai. Yuuki’s crying was just dirt in her eye. Then she sees an abandoned cat girl (Pao in disguise), listens to her sob story and agrees to her request to take her to school. When she does, Pao shoots her. Too bad, stupid alien didn’t make sure she is dead and it is obvious her shot missed by a mile. WTF. Yeah, Yuuki still alive. Ichiro’s next trial is to choose between a girl in swimsuit or nurse outfit. He can’t. This means he passes because he held back his desires. WTF. Final floor, he has to see how close he is to Yayoi? Nothing is closer when grandpa hints he must have sex with her because he wants great grandchildren! Is that manly enough for you?! Sorry, sex interrupted when Pao comes attacking in her Fancy Beast to take back Ai. Sera and Yayoi go attack but get owned. It is Yuuki’s turn but realizing her panties are missing, she is embarrassed and can’t move. Ichiro rues he can’t help but seeing her in this embarrassing state activates some power. As narrated, Ichiro is actually an artificial human. The manlier he feels, his Romantic power grows. When at maximum output, he becomes a cyborg warrior known as Cosmo Banchou! Easily he destroys the Fancy Beast and saves the girls. Cosmo Banchou looks pretty familiar to Sera so you bet she has fallen for him. In the aftermath, Yuuki may have found her first panties but another lost one found its way to Ichiro. So is this considered manliness failed?

Episode 7
Oh dear. Alien boss knows they have not made any progress and is very close to firing them. How good is your begging game, Pao? Meanwhile Sera wins 204 consecutive tissues at the raffles. Not even God wants to help her because Yuuki wins the grand prize to the beach on her first go! As Pao and Mako desperately plead Ai to come back, I guess she rather shut off the communication and go with the Earthlings to the beach. Ichiro is also here and by this time we know why. Too bad with the girls being sexy in their swimsuits, he has to run away since his manly power is on the verge of activating. Sera continues to lose out to Yuuki in terms of popularity because all the beach goers definitely prefer Yuuki’s plain school mizugi. Yayoi misinterprets that Ichiro hates her because he keeps running away. Yeah, now the roles reversed. So Yuuki thought of this (dumb) plan to let him jump over the fire to get close to her? Of course it won’t work. Sera and Yayoi are sad thinking Ichiro keeps running away from them so Sanada proposes this legendary flower on the cliff. If you get it, you’ll forever be with the one you love. So you bet it is a race to see who can get it. Even Ichiro and Juuzou enter the race. So the old principal has a crush on Sanada, huh? Anyway, the guys being dumb, go out of the race early. With the girls remaining, Sera gets desperate to claim the flower for her own and even transforms to take it. Of course with all that excessive force, she falls off the cliff and the flower ends up in Ai’s hands. At the end of the day, everyone is tired. Some winners, some losers. Ichiro can take heart since Sanada notes he and Yuuki look a bit like a couple. Later, Ai sends the flower to her ex-alien friends. They don’t really sure what it means but Mako gets mad and if this is so, Ai is no longer their friend and will take drastic measures. Oh dear. Look at her serious mad face. Even Pao is scared.

Episode 8
Pao communicates to GRA and calls a truce as she wants to hang out with Ai. While the rest cautious this is a trap to kidnap Ai, Ai wants to do this alone to convince Pao that Earthlings aren’t bad people. So Ai and Pao meet up. Pao looking very nervous. You see, Mako hatched this plan of putting a bomb capsule in this drink. Pao must let Ai drink and after doing so, it will explode and enough to take out G-on Riders too. Pao is against this heartless move (how can she claim her comrades have no human heart?! They’re aliens!) but with Mako pressuring her to stay as friends, how does it taste like to be in Ai’s shoes now? So Ai takes Pao around the city as the latter continues to be in dilemma. Meanwhile Ichiro somewhat ends up in a date with Sera?! Pao and Ai enter the restaurant they are in and Ichiro quickly invites them to join in since he doesn’t want his manly power to activate (which is on the verge being alone with Sera). You bet Sera and Pao are going to butt heads. Pao gets this idea to let Sera drink but apparently Mako rejects and wants her to make Ai drink it. That serious, huh? They continue to hang out and while Pao and Sera have another argument, it soon dawned to Pao that Ai has drank it. Mako then tells her to return home and has set a timer for the bomb to explode. Gee, why so complicated this plan? As Pao leaves, Ai asks if she wants to become friends again. But Pao runs away and returns in a Fancy Beast. Because she looks like she is attacking, GRA of course puts up a barrier. So why can’t she just tell them straight what is happening instead of asking them to put down the barrier?! See, when she tells them about the bomb Ai swallowed, everybody is in shock. Sera takes out her frustration on Fancy Beast. Ai tries to be considerate to run away herself without letting everyone get caught in her explosion. And then Pao realizes the bomb is still in the container. She didn’t drink it! I mean Pao was dumb enough not to check, Ai too???!!! Did she not know she drank it or not?! Anyway, Pao is happy but it explodes. Dang. Ai brings Pao back to the infirmary where they reconcile their friendship. Except for Sera. She still hates her but Sanada thinks both of them are similar and has Sera look after Pao. I assume them arguing means everything is back to normal. Meanwhile Mako is sad that she has no more friends. She hopes Zero who is an android will not betray her.

Episode 9
Since Pao is living with Sera, she is forced to wear a maid outfit and act like one. So is this a prototype of Nekopara? Too bad Sera makes her work like hell. Even at school, all the creepy guys make Pao say and do borderline stuffs that turn them on! Even Juuzou?! This is maid harassment!!! Later she confronts and accuses Ai for all this. They say Earthlings are good people, huh? Yeah, Ai trying to remain positive that she can be a better maid! Then they reminisce how Zero always had it tough. No matter what tantrum they throw, she always took care of it without complaining. Don’t look now because the school is under attack. Not by a Fancy Beast but Zero herself! Yuuki goes to fight her but is not strong enough. Not even Sera and Yayoi helping her could stand a chance. Damn, Zero so effective than all the Fancy Beasts, makes you wonder why they didn’t send her in the first place. Seeing G-on Riders in a pinch, Ichiro now goes into action (after making Sanada do something naughty to him?!). Cosmo Banchou is here! He doesn’t intend to fight a woman and takes a beating. But after that, he questions her if this is her true form. Blah, blah, blah and then suddenly Zero starts to have feelings???!!! WTF?! ISN’T SHE SUPPOSED TO BE AN ANDROID???!!! Oh… This narration explains some Otome power she has that after certain conditions are right, activates it and she levels up to a new android with feelings?! WTF?! As she no longer has the will to fight (Sera could have actually killed her had her comrades not stopped her), Mako views this as betrayal and initiates some bomb inside her. Not wanting Pao and Ai to get caught, Zero flies up into space. Cosmo Banchou catches her so as she won’t go alone but is unaware of the bomb until too late. But Zero finds him admirable as a man so as they fall in on the re-entry, somehow dismantles the bomb. Cosmo Banchou recharges her and safely returns her to Pao and Ai who for the first time sees Zero’s smile. And Mako now alone… And the alien boss wondering where everyone else has gone…

Episode 10
The alien spaceship is gone. Because of that, the world suddenly celebrates! Oh yeah. Peaceful times! What to do now? Yuuki suggests everyone take a trip to the mountains. Of course, Ichiro has a plan to confess to Yuuki and has a whole script of plans. During lunch, Zero got too close to Ichiro and this activates her clumsiness. Dojikko maid the best? As expected, Ichiro can’t take the heat or his manliness is going to explode. As they move on to the lake, Ichiro’s plan is to share his drink with her. But as he cycles to catch up with her, he is catching his breath and you bet his face looks more like a monster. Yeah, he needs the drink himself. Yayoi would like it then but as you expect when their hands touch… Ichiro’s next plan is to wait for Yuuki to pop up alone. Too bad it is Sera. Yet another too close to comfort for him. Don’t forget Zero wants to continue ‘serving’ her new master… It’s amazing his manliness hasn’t exploded yet. So apparently Sera and Yayoi also have their own script to get Ichiro’s heart. Sera has this boat outing theatrics but upon realizing the legend says couples who boat together will never be together, that’s the end of the plan. Then there’s Yayoi pretending to sprain her ankle so Ichiro could carry her on his back. Your guess is as good as mine what happens next. The more Ichiro tries to get Yuuki’s attention, he is always intercepted by Sera, Yayoi or Zero. Running out of scripts… Finally he is alone with her. Don’t mess up the script now. Oh screw it! He confesses he loves her. Wanna bet Sera and Yayoi also heard that? Surprisingly, Yuuki also says she loves him. As a friend. Heh. After all, he is the first friend she made when she moved here. Also, she loves everybody else. Oh well, that’s our Yuuki. Everybody happy now? And talk about everyone being so relaxed, no one actually saw it coming a freaking huge UFO hovering over the city?! Mako’s back…

Episode 11
A single blast from the spaceship disintegrates the barrier! But G-on Riders can hit it away like baseball? Okay. See how long they can last when it starts raining those beams. Ichiro wants to help but he forgot he isn’t in Cosmo Banchou mode and gets owned. That’s it for him for this episode. Juuzou then has the school turn into some giant robot fortress mode. He launches several Gorilla Missiles but all of them does not even scratch the spaceship. And the spaceship shoots again, causing critical damage this time. Human technology so useless… Makes you wonder why the aliens didn’t even use this in the first place. Now it’s time for the power of friendship to try and snap Mako out of her senses. Yes, Pao, Ai and Zero are trying to make Mako remember their good times together. But apparently Mako claims she doesn’t know them all. Trying to act tough? Of course we can tell that she is being brainwashed because tell-tale signs that her head is hurting when she keeps denying. Yuuki uses her superhuman strength (even much stronger without her weight limiters) to barge into the spaceship and confront Mako. Alien friends don’t want Yuuki to hurt their friend so can the power of friendship save the day this time? Nope. No more energy or trump card left, what is GRA going to do? Looks like Sanada has her last resort. She rides a huge spaceship hidden underneath the school. She contacts Mako and some flashback floods her mind that has her snap out of her brainwash. Gee, couldn’t she have just contacted Mako directly from the bridge? Or this spaceship has some special communications line? Anyway, Mako reverts to herself as she cries about being scared about something in Yuuki’s arms. But no breather yet for you humans because a beam from space strikes and destroys Mako’s spaceship. Mako is then abducted back to that big mother of all spaceships.

Episode 12
No prizes to guess that this is the alien boss. I suppose Riro has had enough of her subordinate’s failures so she’s taking over the world herself. It seems Riro and Sanada know each other. Wanting an explanation, Sanada begins by revealing that she is the one who created Zero and was sent by Riro to investigate the Tokimeki power. Then she steals all the glasses that contain G-on powers. With this, no enemy is invincible! She then escapes to the mothership. Before all of you can scream Sanada is the traitor, Ichiro points out this is not the true Sanada. Flashback shows he was worried about being manly so Sanada took him and he underwent the knife to become manlier. Uhm… What?! Anyway, it is Sanada who betrayed Riro because she fled from her. Sanada gives the G-on power to Riro but it is just a decoy. She reunites with Mio who is her older sister. As you can see, Sanada did all this to rescue her but Riro is not pleased for being tricked and imprisons them. With the mothership continuing to fire at everything, time for our heroines to fight back. But first they have to put up with the Fancy Beast copies that Riro made. Ai and Pao manage to sneak in but before they can rescue the sisters, they get owned by Juuzou. Before you scream he is the real traitor, take note that it is obvious he got brainwashed by Riro. Luckily he is easily defeated by Yuuki who did some ninjutsu move of switching bodies. This means seeing her in the nude. But not enough to activate Ichiro’s Cosmo Banchou. Riro comes face to face with Yuuki and Ichiro. She is willing to free the prisoners in exchange for the G-on powers. Yuuki wants to be friends with her but apparently bratty twintail loli remains stubborn. Riro tests this friendship thingy as she fires at Ichiro. Zero comes to protect him but damn, the shot went through Zero and still hit Ichiro! Yuuki, you mad? Oh dear. She took too long to be mad so Riro captures her.

Episode 13
With her glasses taken, Yuuki is thrown with the other prisoners as Riro will defeat the remaining G-on Riders and take their power. Of course she’s going to make them suffer first for all the troubles they have given her. Sera and Yayoi are defeated easily and captured. Turns out they were just pretending to be defeated so they can enter the mothership and defeat Riro when she has her guard down. Successful? Riro trolls them all by getting back up and owning them. Who tricked who? Now that she has taken all their G-on powers, the universe is hers! Cue evil loli laughter! But wait! The G-on powers move on its own and return to their rightful owners?! There’s some explanation by Sanada but it sounds confusing. Anyway, she turned into some energy of peace, that’s why Riro can’t have it and hence rejected by the powers of G-on. Mako wants revenge on Riro but Yuuki continues to play the friendship card. Can we all get along? At this point, Riro is just going to destroy everything. Yeah, the mothership turns into one giant laser cannon. Records show it destroyed 7 planets in 1 go! Yuuki’s friendship power isn’t stopping this loli… So how?! Suddenly all the bespectacled girls of the world, pray and combine their powers to deflect the beam!!! OMFG! The laser that pierced through 7 planets, this is how it is defeated???!!! Riro realizes she is alone and starts crying. But don’t worry. Yuuki is here. You are not alone. With the place collapsing, I don’t think Yuuki’s protection and assurance is going to save them. So how? Ichiro still lives! (And Zero too). He transforms into Cosmo Banchou to save them. In the aftermath, Riro realizes she has been to this planet before. How long ago? When it was the dinosaur ages! She befriended a caveboy and gave him her glasses. It changed the boy’s life as he grew up to be kind, courageous, etc. Because of that, without those glasses, Riro became distant and cold-hearted. So you could say the G-on powers originated from Riro. Most of it went to Yuuki, the reason why she is so fond of being friends. Ichiro laments he can’t be in love with Yuuki now that she knows his secret. But wait. She still gives him a present. An oil can? Do cyborgs get rusty? Anyway, the world returns to its peaceful days. All thanks to our brave bespectacled girls!!! Hooray!

Episode 14 (OVA)
Sera continues to abuse Pao. You want this console game? Work for it! When Pao requests Zero to help her out, she refuses! Can an android refuse orders? Turns out there is this cosmic maid law that a maid can choose any 1 day not to obey orders. So Zero must have chosen today. Thank goodness this isn’t planet Pluto… Meanwhile Ichiro fantasizes of giving Yuuki a bouquet of roses before kissing her. If the kiss feels so real, it’s because he kissed Zero!!! While his powers go out of control, the lolis are amused with this real kiss but Sera and Yayoi are shocked and depressed. Of course they’re not going to give up. So Yayoi’s grandpa hands her a book? Is this a guide on how to sex?! We see Yuuki and Riro hanging out. They’re so good friends. They stumble into Zero who is trying to earn some money doing a part time job. They help her out and with lots of jobs unsuitable, they eventually end up handing out tissues. Because it is for a sleazy establishment, this attracts lots of sleazy guys. Time for Zero to shoot them. Next job is a maid café but they’re only wearing aprons and their tits are free and open. You bet those customers want more! Time for Zero to shoot them. Elsewhere, Yayoi invites Ichiro for lunch and after that, has him go bath. We can see what’s coming. Some cliché slip-ups, she lands over him, too close, once again Ichiro takes to the skies. He is then kidnapped by Sera who tries to seduce him. When she wraps herself with strings as his present, as she is about to give herself to him, but it is Juuzou instead?! Apparently Pao called him after too much abusing. So Juuzou wants this present?! Anyway Pao shoots him. Zero manages to make enough money by flying kids in the sky. When all the gang converge, Zero gives a rose to Ichiro. She scanned his memories and thinks this is what he wanted. Of course Ichiro accepts. But then Sanada claims a cosmic maid law that when that happens, they must get married immediately?! Yeah, it’s like she already set everything up beforehand. Yuuki disagrees! Why? Because she wants him to meet Zero’s parents first! Technically it is Sanada so everything’s okay now. I think Juuzou is trying to pull a fast one that some cosmic maid law needs this marriage to have a father. So will Sanada finally marry him? What does Mako say? NOOO!!!! And that’s the end of that. Also, everyone must obey the first law of glasses wearing kid: Always love them!

Looking Through Blue Glasses: Taken For A (G-on) Ride!
Ah… What else can I say? It was fun as well as it was dumb. This series is actually quite mediocre if you talk about its story, characters and everything else. However because it is bad enough that it is good. Yes, this is that kind of series. Because I have to admit that I enjoyed and had fun watching this piece of crap despite all the inferior factors. Not bad for a mediocre series, right? I mean, I didn’t hate it outright. Not because they tell us not to hate bespectacled girls. It was dumb fun all the way. That’s why I said despite it is bad, it was bad enough to be considered good. At least in terms of entertainment value anyway. I mean, was I not entertained? Certainly I was, so can’t give it double thumbs down, can I?! Yeah, I’m not that kind of black hearted person… Heh.

Anyway, let’s consider the storyline first. Overall, it feels like everything was made up as they go by. I’m sure the series as a comedy is made to make people laugh but there are just some dumb things that really wouldn’t have flown by today’s standards. For example, the time Pao had to place a bomb capsule in Ai’s drink. Nobody realized Ai didn’t drink it. Not even Ai herself. Nobody bothered to check. Bomb still inside container. Oh thank goodness. Lolis still safe. Like, WTF?! To add more to the simplicity of the plot of just bespectacled power girls fighting aliens, I guess they needed to add some ecchi romcom drama and other stuffs just to fill up the remaining time in the episode. For instance, the time Yuuki tried naming her new sword. Like, it doesn’t really matter nor is it integral to the plot whatsoever. I guess it is just to tell us how she came up with Fuurin Kazan rather than suddenly she got a name for her sword. Which of course hardly really matters to the story anyway. And Ichiro being some cyborg powered by manliness thingy? I don’t if I can call that plot convenience…

Then there’s the characters. As shallow and cliché as they can be. You can probably see it coming from a mile their personality and roles and if you’re a ‘veteran’ like me, you won’t be surprised. Like Yuuki who is a feisty girl and penchant of wanting to be friends. Sera initially had this jealous penchant of showing off just to self-satisfy herself she is number one (not that anybody cares anyway) and her running joke is she prays so often to God but it is either He doesn’t exists or love seeing her in misery and hence she gets a lot of bad luck. Yayoi your typical shy girl who can’t get close to boys or else she’ll get violent. And hence Ichiro plays becomes her punching bag and it is the staple of the series to see him fly to the stars in almost every episode.

The only girl Ichiro loves doesn’t reciprocate his love because she is just dense. Hence your sorry excuse for some sort of weird love polygon happening. Ichiro chases after Yuuki but eventually it is Sera, Yayoi and Zero who chase after him. Hence your stupid and dumb antics these pitiful girls have to go through and show us and at the end of the day, they still can’t get the guy because of course, status quo. The same reason why Ichiro can’t hand back Yuuki’s panties so it serves like some sort of mini motivational plot for him to try and be with Yuuki. We all know how it will turn out eventually even if we didn’t get through halfway of the series. So predictable. But I guess it’s better than being Juuzou’s unrequited love for Sanada. It’s not sad. It’s just pitiful and awfully funny.

Speaking of Juuzou, his character is made out to be a comic relief. He acts cool with all the poses and poems but I guess in the end he is just being a loser. Because as long as he sees any naked body of young girls, he goes into his running joke mode of nose bleeding and fainting. That’s how you take out the principal who is also the school’s GRA captain. No wonder nobody cares about him. That is why Sanada is so good in playing him well and ignoring him because he’s just a loser. And just when they thought they could surprise me with a plot twist that she is an alien, jokes on you because I already saw that coming a long time ago! Such a cool beauty has always something to hide, no? Oh what?! She created Zero???!!! Oh sh*t! I didn’t see that one coming???!!!! Shame on me…

And yeah, it goes without saying that the aliens are pretty dumb themselves too. But they’re so kawaii and lovable, you can never hate them. Even more so when they wear glasses. Oh heck, many female characters and even the background characters here wear glasses in one form or another. But is it me or does Ai and Pao look a lot loli sexualized ever since they defected to the Earth’s side? I don’t know, I still prefer to see them in their nerdy outfit of a mechanic or whatever dinosaur outfit. Maybe it looks a bit heavy on them so they casted away this look for a much lighter and sexier loli look. Anyway, I don’t know how these loli aliens are able to invade the entire world except this small part of Japan left that is standing in their way of total conquest. Either the rest of the world must be even more stupid than them or it’s just the aliens got complacent and their intelligence got dumbed down with the last remaining place to take over. And eventually, glasses foiled their plans and saved the day. People, be grateful to glasses! And don’t forget the power of friendship. That is how you turn a bratty stubborn loli like Riro to be your BFF. And just like that, aliens don’t want to take over our world anymore.

While the action bits are over the top exaggerated and silly, it’s all in the name of comedy. So you bet all the fight scenes are just one big plot convenience if you just think about it. I mean, for example when the aliens were on a losing streak taking over Japan, you would think they would have taken some drastic measures. But then they made the same stupid mistake, just that done in a different manner and thus handing victory to our G-on Riders and Earth. It is even played out as a joke in the earlier episodes when Zero actually calculates their very low chances of winning, that is why she is always there in time to rescue her comrades when they lose! It’s like expecting them to lose from the start! You’d think they would send Zero to do the job since she is more efficient than whatever Fancy Beasts. Even if plot convenience says she will lose, at least she has a higher percentage than those idiotic lolis.

The G-on Riders don’t fare well themselves either. It is only because of dumb luck AKA plot convenience commanding so that they actually get the better of those aliens. More than often we see them lose especially Sera who always rushes in and resorts to violence. Then they get into a pinch and would have like lost had the aliens be a little bit smarter not to screw up. Of course they do and they got what’s coming. And then we have Ichiro as a cyborg, the school as some giant robot fortress, alien spaceships shooting laser beams with unlimited ammo and the mothership with planet destroying power properties… Do you not see how it feels like they made it all up as they go along???!!! Earth is safe as long as all the girls continue to wear their glasses. Heh. I bet not even God and his angels even collaborating with Satan and the denizens of hell can defeat Earth. Yeah! Viva meganekko!

There’s some fanservice too but it is just minimal and sparring. You don’t really notice them and even if you do, it is for a flash when the wind flutters up the girls’ skirt and you can catch a glimpse of their boringly designed pantsu. Heh. I guess being horny in those days were much simpler. Even the OVA episode, I read there were some raunchy stuffs that is why it was unaired and released as an OVA. Only a few bare tits scenes… Nothing else. Yeah, I forgot back in those days, those were the kind of standards and was already considered explicit. Oh yeah. Such great simpler times… So I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining about Ai and Pao given their sexy loli makeover, huh? And to think Ichiro carries Yuuki’s panties all the time, he is so lucky never to get caught or anything.

The other atrocious thing about this series is the animation quality. Sure, the art style might reek the retro anime of the early 2000’s (this show was released in 2002) but the animation is just atrocious for the most part. In some scenes, you can obviously see the lack in details like as though they didn’t put in the effort and just rolled over QC. Some of the scenes are recycled, lack animation or to a point looking cartoonish that it feels like it came from another anime. To think this anime was done jointly by SHAFT and TNK… Yeah, surprising, huh?! I’m not sure if there is a remastered version but the one I saw was really low quality. While the character designs are pretty generic (do you know how bloody common Yayoi’s look is with many other anime characters? Long black hair bespectacled girl…), my only complaint is Sera who looks quite androgynous so earlier on I keep thinking she is a he despite it was obvious. I don’t know if I should find it disturbing that the mid-intermission eyecatch, they have cute chibi loli illustrations of the female characters. Make that very cute and chibi. So how do you like ‘em lolis now? Kawaii…

Nice to hear some of my recognizable and favourite seiyuus lending their talents in this retro anime. Like Nobuyuki Hiyama as Ichiro and Yukari Tamura as Zero. But it feels like Nobuyuki Hiyama didn’t put enough passion into his role and is just passable while Yukari Tamura is in one of her rare emotionless character roles. Initially I thought Rie Kugimiya was behind the voice of Ai but it turns out to be Takako Uemura (Machi in Hunter x Hunter: Greed Island). Sounds close. But Rie Kugimiya does have a role here and it is as Riro. My favourite one goes to Miki Machii as Pao (Kazuma in Fruits Basket) because she really shows the most passion and emotion as her character. The voice acting I find most unsuitable is Omi Minami as Sera (Tama in Gintama). She’s supposed to be some delinquent but overall she sounds quite weak. I just feel she just doesn’t match her character.

Most of the other seiyuus don’t stand out and are perhaps retired since such as Ryouka Shima as Yuuki (Fumitsuki in Happy Lesson), Masayo Kurata as Yayoi (Shinobu in Love Hina), Aya Hisakawa as Sanada (Maya in Tenjou Tenge), Kaori Mizuhashi as Mako (Miyako in Hidamari Sketch) and Hiroshi Naka as Juuzou (Garp in One Piece). The opening theme is Tokimeite G-on G by the G-on Riders trio. Typical upbeat genki anime pop. Personally, the trio may not be professional singers so the song somewhat sounds weak. The main ending theme is Miracle Pajama by Lolivaders Z which is of course the alien quartet of Pao, Ai, Mako and Zero. Sounds all fun and cute if you ask me. Like a song for kindergarten children… Definitely more fun than the opener. Yell by Cutie Pai as the special ending song for episode 13 plays to a slower beat. Feels like it is meant to sing goodbye to the series but still comes off as weak. I don’t know, I should have more biasness of preferences towards retro anime songs but looks like these ones didn’t quite even get pass my threshold.

It is no surprise we don’t hear this series getting a remake or reboot today. It would have been probably much worse. Thank goodness this retro anime doesn’t have any ‘remake’ value. Phew. Better stay as a mediocre retro series that could be a gem or national treasure one day in the distant future (or probably never) than some new material nightmare with updated aesthetics. Despite the overall series being dumb and silly, it still is fun and enjoyable in its own right. That is, if you don’t compare it to the best or the worst anime of all times, you’re going to be alright. If you want an anime that doesn’t even make you use a sliver of your grey matter, this series is sure going to make you have a good time. Leave your brains at the doorstep while watching this anime and let the dumbfounding laughter roll in. Yeah, I’m so generous and big hearted for this show because I’m wearing rose coloured glasses… Can’t hate this show for going overboard with the glasses fetish theme. Because after all, glasses are the only socially acceptable disability fetish.

Shin Sakura Taisen

September 26, 2020

After about 20 years and several OVA spinoffs and movies in between (as well as the series being dormant somewhere in 2008), finally we have a sequel, Shin Sakura Taisen. Feels like a long time but hey, I wasn’t exactly a Sakura Taisen AKA Sakura Wars fan. Aside the first season of the TV series which is the only one in the series that I’ve watched, the rest of the OVA spinoffs and movies I never watched at all. So with the new sequel, I hope I won’t miss out a lot. Oh, new characters to replace the old ones? Phew. Looks like I don’t have to go back and watch that nostalgic first season and catch up on all the other OVA spinoffs and movies. Time to start anew! And hope I don’t bitterly complain how I don’t understand anything by the end of it…

Episode 1
High stakes kidnapping on a train. Some loli must be very precious. Thanks to the interception of Lancelot, Elise and Seijuurou Kamiyama, the perpetrators, a masked woman and a devil woman give up. Now we go back to Tokyo as we see the Imperial Combat Revue Flower Division consisting of Sakura Amamiya, Anastasia Palma, Hatsuho Shinonome, Clarissa “Claris” Snowflake and Azami Mochizuki prepare themselves for a play. Sakura is excited because today is also the day Seijuurou returns. See her eyes light up? And then… WHO THE F*CK THIS LOLI WITH HIM?! Secret daughter???!!! Hope that won’t spoil her day or the play… She is Klara and she will be joining their division as an apprentice member. Anyway the performance goes well and everyone is of course amazed. Now we see their other role in this division. Led by Sumire Kanzaki, everyone is in a meeting to discuss a recent explosion that left a crater somewhere in Europe. But this was just a cover for a secret mission that Seijuurou underwent. The Moscow division has crashed and all members went missing except for one. It is believed that Klara is that sole member and only survivor. In addition to orders for all Revue divisions to send members and investigate, there are also seemingly multiple factions who are interested in getting their hands on Klara but ever since they have not made their moves. As Klara has lost her comrades and memories since the crash, Seijuurou brought her back here. He believes this division like his own family and hopes the girls can treat her as one and keep her safe. Yes, Seijuurou will be away for a while to handle the paperwork and do more undercover investigation. The girls are happy to get a new little sister. The time is right to also show what these girls are made of as the capital is under attack by, uhm, demon raptors?! And winged ones too?! Flower Division to sortie! We see them kick ass with their flashy moves. Easy pie. You bet Klara is so impressed.

Episode 2
Seijuurou believes in Sakura that she can take care of Klara. Then they kiss. If this seems cheesy, bear in mind this is Sakura’s dream-cum-delusion. But it gives her lots of motivation. There is also rumours about a mysterious person known as White Cape going around punishing evildoers. Sakura shows Klara around the theatre and personally introduces her comrades and other characters such as Kaoru Rindou (Sumire’s secretary and the financier of the theatre), Komachi Oba (runs the shops and merchandises at the theatre) and Reiji Shiba (chief engineer who maintains their Kobu robots). Klara feels happy to become part of this family. Sakura then brings her to meet her sword master, Hakushu Murasame at the outskirts but she isn’t in. When Sakura makes a call back to Kaoru, suddenly somebody attacks her. She takes Klara and run so the rest think it is White Cape. But this dude is all in black. I guess they’re just nearby because Sakura’s comrades arrive in time to assist but the Black Cape is still superior. Until he kidnaps Klara but that is swiftly overturned with the appearance of the real White Cape. After putting Klara to safety, she fights Black Cape and then letting Sakura deal the finishing blow. Though, Black Cape escapes. Sakura goes after White Cape as she wonders how she knows her name. Sakura then bumps into Hakushu. Well, I guess it is freaking obvious that Hakushu is White Cape! She might have just taken off her mask but does Sakura not realize her same outfit???!!! While Klara is safe, she is starting to have doubts of staying here. The rest ponder over if Klara has something to do with the destruction of Moscow’s division when suddenly a giant flying castle hovers over the capital. This is Mobile Air Fortress Sevastopol, operated by the Moscow Combat Revue.

Episode 3
Girls, meet Valery Kaminsky, the commander of this Moscow’s division. He explains that they received orders to retrieve a new member but were shot down by an unknown enemy force. Luckily, there were no casualties and the badly burnt crew underwent rehabilitation. As you can guess, they are here to take Klara back as she is their member. Kaminsky has Leyla get Klara but she is obviously scared. Somebody tell her she has no memories. Of course the Flower Division won’t hand her back so easily. I mean, did Kaminsky even show proof if she is part of their team? Leyla tries to be forceful but Hatsuho stops her. Kaminsky stops them from fighting. They should be fighting demons and not each other. With Sumire stepping in, Kaminsky explains the situation. Even so, Sumire cannot give Klara to them as she cannot overturn Seijuurou’s orders. In that case, Kaminsky will get official orders from WLOF. While Sumire confirms from WLOF that this is the real Moscow unit, they are still awaiting orders to hand over. So until then, Klara stays with them. It is revealed Leyla is Klara’s sister and even if Kaminsky is going to wait from orders from WLOF, he isn’t just going to wait idly. Next day, Klara feels weird that something is coming. A demon pops up. We see a flashy sortie and launch of the Flower Division into action. Despite there is only 1 demon, this one is bigger and faster. They take a pounding so Kaminsky offers to help. No thanks. Tokyo pride. Okay. Feel free to call him if they change their mind. It seems the demon is making its way to the theatre and they have to stop it at all cost. Hatsuho seems to be jealous of Sakura as the acting commander so she goes off to fight it herself. She counted her chickens too early as the demon revives and gives her a beating. She could have been done for had not the more powerful Moscow unit drop in to help and destroy it. I guess this gives some ammo for some snarky remarks how they have fallen. Kaminsky even warns them that the demons will return as long as Klara stays here. So isn’t it better they hand it over to them? Your call. Don’t give in to this provocation to make you girls feel powerless and guilty!

Episode 4
Seijuurou and Sumire trade info. The former believes they are making it hard for him to make Klara official and he is surprised to learn a new Moscow unit. Nobody here said anything. Also, WLOF is dragging their feet over Klara and gave excuses that they should sort it out themselves. Hatsuho must be embarrassed from her recent plunders so she left a note and went home. Sakura had to cover for her that she might be preparing for the spring festival and explain to the rest of her non-Japanese comrades that she hasn’t run away forever. Sakura then takes Klara back to Hatsuho’s place. They’re childhood friends so she knows where she lives. Meanwhile Azami commissions Komachi to investigate more on the Moscow unit. She manages to get a picture of the epicentre of where the old Moscow unit when down. Magnifying it, in the centre stood Klara and she looks unscathed. Hence Azami goes to ‘stalk’ on Klara. Putting her ninja skills to good use? As Hatsuho dances for the festival, Klara is amazed but also feels some pain. Some ballerina trauma flashback? Once the dance is over, they head back as Hatsuho points out the sakura tree that never blossomed ever since. Some flashback where Sakura and Hatsuho argued over who is being more talented and it ended up with Sakura in tears. To show how both girls have matured, they apologize and try to own up to their own silliness. Hatsuho also gives her special thanks to Sakura because had it not been her and Seijuurou, the Tokyo unit would’ve been done for as everybody was about to give up. But of course Sakura attributes it to everybody. With the girls bonding and making amends, Klara joins in and this awakens some power that makes the sakura tree bloom in full! Wow. Miracle. Cue for Klara to note how they are her friends too. Friends help friends, right?

Episode 5
Azami thinks after watching Klara’s power, she could be a spy. Fearing that this might put her team in danger, she ropes in Claris to help further spy on her. Apparently Shiba also wants to help and is confident with his intelligence gathering skills? You know, for a ninja, Azami gets caught pretty easily by Sakura and Hatsuho. Claris has to cover for her that she is helping her with some materials for her new story. So we see the duo stalking amateurishly and to a point they see Shiba naked in the bath? Fail! Then on another tailing, Klara’s ‘secret’ at the rooftop seems to be feeding a stray kitten. But look, here comes Kaminsky. He wants to talk to her but time isn’t on his side. Kaminsky goes to talk to Sumire about getting Klara back. Since WLOF is still dragging their feet and they’re not going to wait till kingdom come, he has a proposal. Azami and Claris continue to tail Klara as she makes her way out to the streets. Oh, now a demon attacks. Don’t worry. Shiba is going to help out with his, uhm, mini robot?! I didn’t want to look down and thought the robot could actually do something but it got destroyed by a 1 hit. Fail! Even Klara helping out with Claris’ magic seems to have more effect in destroying it. But the drama continues with Black Cape kidnapping Klara but luckily White Cape saving her again shortly. Then off both capes go. What was that all about? With the whole gang here, Klara brings them to a spot. This scenery reminds her of her hometown. She thanks everyone for saving her. In the end, Claris thought they couldn’t find anything on Klara but on the contrary, Azami has confirmed that Klara’s ability is to amplify one’s power. It is no wonder the Moscow unit wants her. With that, they vow to protect Klara who is part of their family.

Episode 6
Hakushu pays a surprise visit to the theatre. They introduce Klara to her for the first time but Klara wonders if they’ve met before. Hakushu of course denies. Hakushu then brings Sakura and Klara to the temple and orphanage where she often helps out. Klara gets acquainted with some of the orphans who for the first time see what a Russian loli is like. And then of course Black Cape pops up to kidnap Klara. Hakushu so skilled in defending Klara while fending the enemy off, you bet Klara is smart enough to believe she definitely met her somewhere. After Klara and the orphans are put to safety, the other Flower Division girls arrive in their Kobu to help out. Even Sakura’s. Now they can have special unmanned launch of their Kobu? It is revealed that Black Cape is actually an android. Now it’s attacking stronger and faster? Oddly, only White Cape can fight on par with it. Oh Sakura, still don’t get it how White Cape knows your name? When the android turns into some golem demon, White Cape points out the obvious core they must destroy to defeat it. After doing so, it explodes. But this explosion reminds Klara of the one in Moscow so she gets traumatized. Back at the theatre, Hakushu reveals this was all part of her plot to use Klara as bait to draw the enemy out (since they won’t go after her if she remains in the theatre). How dare she put Klara in danger?! Well, Hakushu and Sakura were there to protect her, right? Do you not believe they can protect her? Despite knowing Black Cape’s identity, they do not know who is controlling it. This means Klara is still in danger. But don’t worry. Everyone will protect her like usual, right? Meanwhile we see Kaminsky reminiscing that Moscow explosion. He was caught in it but also saw, uhm, God? But this angel then flew away. Cue for his madman laughter as he mentions something about a false God and how the world does not need for that.

Episode 7
Seijuurou is back! Oh man, Klara getting emotional to hug him. I hope this doesn’t give the wrong impression she was bullied by the Flower Division!!! Seijuurou reports of his findings and most of which are strange. Especially about Kaminsky because there are no records of him in the previous Moscow unit nor was there anything about his appointment. And trying to go through more data, looks like some WLOF director destroyed those files. Fishy. Then there is this prototype developed by Kanzaki Heavy Industries and the Berlin unit that was taken to Moscow by parties unknown. Sumire thinks she knows what they are and thought they were lost in an operation. After everyone cooks for Seijuurou’s return, Seijuurou talks to Sakura and personally thanks her for taking care of things when he isn’t around. I guess this means he will be heading to Europe to investigate and won’t be around soon. So to make it up, go on an outing tomorrow? With Klara, the trio sneak out the next morning. Apparently the other girls aren’t happy about this. Especially Shiba. He is hell bent in breaking up this date? With the help of Moon Division girls, Itsuki Saijou and Hiromi Hongou, they tail the trio around town. Looks like even Kaminsky and Leyla are also doing their own tailing. Sakura stumbles into Hakushu bringing the kids out and is warned they are being tailed. So they run all around town trying to give their unknown pursuers the slip. Weird. Finally they board a ship and though the Flower Division girls couldn’t make it, Kaminsky and Leyla chase after and try to JUMP aboard! FAILED!!! Seeing how silly all this is, the Flower Division give up on their jealousy and go have their own fun. Shiba, you’re all alone. But he gets reprimanded from Sumire for unauthorized use of the command centre. Klara sleeps as she is tired from running around all day. So Sakura gets to have a special time with Seijuurou watching the sunset. I guess he needs her to take care of things when he is gone so he gives her a little bell souvenir.

Episode 8
Why is Leyla so loyal to Kaminsky? Here’s a short flashback. Seems she hated herself in this ugly form but Kaminsky found her beautiful instead. Now the fight for Klara will be a competition between Tokyo side and Moscow unit. Komachi and Shiba are the commentators. No spectators but this event will be live streamed around the world? Wait. WTF?! I can accept steampunk machines and flying fortresses but now we have the internet?! This doesn’t look like the Taisho era anymore… The competition will be best of 3 and the first part is a dance. Hatsuho amazes the crowd with her traditional dance. Then Leyla does her Russian ballet of Black Swan and beats her. I guess this is bound to happen when the judges are all Europeans… Next up is an obstacle course. Azami is up to it but Kaminsky forfeits this one, claiming it is too unrefined for them and would love to give their opponents a handicap. Okay. A win is a win. Finally, a battle to save Klara encased at the tower top. The first team to do so wins it all. So easy to see Klara is really vouching for Sakura’s side to come save her. We see Sakura and co making it look so easy and taking down the enemies. Until Kaminsky gives the signal that it’s time. Kaminsky and Leyla reverberate and this also effects Klara, causing a blackout. Nothing like Shiba can fix it to resume streaming. By this time, the Moscow unit has moved in to surround Sakura as Leyla claims they will be taking Klara back. By force? Sumire orders Claris and Anastasia to apprehend Kaminsky but he’s not in his room. Only Black Cape. Sakura tries to protect Klara. Because they’re family. FAMILY. This irks Leyla so she reverts to her form with wings and brushes aside Sakura. Trying to take back Klara, the loli struggles as she too reverts to her winged form. Kaminsky is pleased that Klara as the messenger of God has awakened and will bring a new justice and equality to the world. Klara is probably frightened by her form but not as frightened as she sees Sakura’s face. Poor loli flies away.

Episode 9
Klara is missing. Sevastopol is also missing (nobody ever thought it was hiding underwater?) and our Flower Division girls ponder about Klara hiding the truth on them. Hey, I hope you didn’t forget she is amnesiac! Leyla talks to Kaminsky and offers herself instead of Klara. However Kaminsky thinks she is jealous of her sister and uses some mind control element to brainwash her and go collect Klara. Klara wakes up in Hakushu’s orphanage. Now that she has remembered everything, she can’t stay. On the contrary, Hakushu says this orphanage has some demon kids here and that’s the reason why she created this in the first place. A call from Seijuurou to report his findings. Apparently all that Kaminsky said was a lie. The actual Moscow unit is dead. All of them. How convenient. There’s their grave he’s at. Then he visited an old researcher named Natalia. After many failures, she was able to create a half-human half-demon life form called Nadezhda. 2 of them: Leyla and Klara. Later on, Kaminsky joined the research team but it was a mistake because they found out too late his goal is world domination. After taking Leyla, his target is Klara but Natalie escaped with her. To ensure her safety, she tried to hand Klara over to the Moscow unit but as we know, they got vaporized. Natalie hopes that Seijuurou would send Klara to her friend in Japan (Hakushu). How convenient then she dies. Seijuurou believes that the whole truth was not told in fear that they would hesitate to take Klara in. So now that we know the whole truth, we also know that their sentiments for Klara won’t change, right? Yup, they’re going to save her. Leyla drops in the orphanage to take Klara. Or else she’ll target the other kids. Klara goes with her but of course not without some resistance from the Flower Division. White Cape also joins in but this time she reveals herself so that those dumb ones can put the rest who her real identity is. Leyla transforms into her true monster form (why so sexy?) to fight. But Hakushu tells her that the question is not who wants Klara, but who Klara wants. And the answer is obvious. The damning verdict that Klara wants to be with Sakura. If Leyla is her big sister, she must respect what makes Klara happy. Happy ending then? Not quite. Kaminsky fires a direct shot from Sevastopol at Sakura. Her Kobu is going to explode and she is unconscious. Klara tries to user her miracle but she expended it too much the day before. Nothing happens. As Hakushu pulls her out, Leyla uses this confusion of Sevastopol firing random pot shots to take Klara away.

Episode 10
Looks like their Kobu units are badly damaged and Sakura’s one is done for. Leyla tries to impress Klara with a room that is remodelled a lot like Natalia’s home. But Klara isn’t impressed. In fact, she has a point that they can’t return to that same past but what they can do is make the future. So she’s hinting the Tokyo side is her future, eh? Leyla asserts humans and demons cannot coexist so Klara asks her what about mom? She loved them unconditionally, right? That is true love. Before Leyla could have doubts, here comes Kaminsky and he’s not going to waste a single moment in using her power. After putting her to sleep, he makes an announcement to the entire world. Yup, he is now their God! His demand is for all nations to dismantle their police, military, etc. This includes all revue divisions. 24 hours for that or be obliterated. He demonstrates by using Klara who is tied to some machine. Then using her power, he fires the Rage of Tunguska to destroy a mountain! Oh sh*t. Meanwhile Seijuurou relays his report that some of WLOF’s directors are robot puppets of Kaminsky. He has taken them out but it might have been too late. He asks Sakura what she is going to do next since her unit is destroyed. She is adamant to use an older unit. With that, he orders the girls to protect Tokyo and rescue Klara. He also requests Hakushu to look after his girls. Can’t say no. You bet the girls are going to fight seeing the European cowards have decided to surrender their liberty to Kaminsky. Wuss. The Flower Division girls are blasted via a giant crossbow directly into Sevastopol. Now they have to face off with Black Cape clones. Sakura’s unit gives way. But to show how determined she is, she manages to move it. But not much. Her comrades want to fight and let Sakura go save Klara. But Sakura’s stubborn. Can’t leave them behind. Hence Sumire confirms how determined she is. Is she willing to use her spiritual power and risk dying? Yes. Okay. Send in this prototype Obu unit. Nothing powers it up faster than strong determination. And it shows because Sakura takes out all the enemies in a single strike! Don’t mess with Sakura now.

Episode 11
The power of cooperation defeats those golems so easy. Now before Kaminsky, they’re going to take Klara back. But it won’t be easy because Klara is clearly brainwashed and will bring justice to this world. Kaminsky insists Klara has that power to do so but Sakura dismisses that because Klara is made to bridge humans and demons. Time for Kaminsky to tell a bit more of his past. One day wandering in the Russian woods, he was caught in some meteorite blast (more like a ray of heavenly light). What he saw coming out from the centre was some angel popping out. He was entranced by this godly power. It also made him realize who fragile humans are. Though he accepted his fate to die, fate f*cked with him because he was soon healed by the effect of the blast. He wandered around the world only to discover the ugly greed side of humans. He became disappointed when God didn’t answer his calls to make world peace. Then one day he saw a scared young Leyla and found her beautiful. This led her to Natalia and Klara. Realizing they aren’t angels, he decided to use this power to save humanity. Typically, he thinks he is chosen by God. Yeah, become God himself too. Of course nobody is buying into this BS. Kaminsky is going to destroy part of Tokyo to make them yield. Oh, the cannon gets destroyed? How the heck can Hakushu do that? But not to worry. Kaminsky shows his God-like power by repairing the cannon!

Kaminsky has Leyla toy with them while he resumes the cannon. Sakura tries to open Leyla’s eyes that Kaminsky is the real monster manipulating her. However Leyla admits that she knew Kaminsky is a bad man and manipulating her from the start. So why so loyal to him? Because he called her beautiful? That can’t be it, can it?! I guess as long as she’s happy, she doesn’t mind serving him. As long as she is needed. But then Klara came along. He became obsessed with her power as he built Sevastopol in secret (by himself?! HOW?!) and chased her all the way to Tokyo. So Leyla is saying that she is jealous that the sister whom she wanted to live and love, she is the reason why her heart was taken from Kaminsky?! Time for Kaminsky to show us he is a big dick so we won’t care when he gets his ass handed to him. Kaminsky uses the core to further make Leyla obedient. Though he admits he needs his strongest sword to fight but after that she can die! Leyla so sad that the power of sisterly love overcome that obedience as she rips out her own core. She is going to stop him. That is how she’ll show his love. As Leyla is about to get Klara, Kaminsky stabs through her. Proof sisterly love is stronger as Leyla rips Klara out from the machine. This makes Sevastopol malfunction?! Death flag coming soon for Leyla so her last sisterly act is to rip the core out from Klara and then wake her up with those poor sisterly tears. Bye sis. Engulfed by the flames. Traumatizing. Klara so in despair that her power goes berserk. Oh dear. Nothing is worse than a loli in raging despair.

Episode 12
Only Sakura can stop a rampaging loli. So in another dimension or something, we see Klara encased in some prison to show that she is scared her powers bring harm. And of course Sakura the saviour says it’s not. Rather than dragging out the drama, Klara believes in her and just like that, Klara is back to normal. Proof, she blasts Kaminsky away with 1 shot! But that’s not going to put him out yet. Because Sevastopol has absorbed those half-demon powers and Kaminsky will absorb them. So I guess he doesn’t need Klara anymore. Now he becomes his God form. Uhm, naked guy with crystal parts? Uhm, this fashion better not catch on. Luckily Seijuurou and the international combat revue girls are here to aid. They manage to rescue the Tokyo comrades as Sevastopol crashes into the sea. Hakushu says Kaminsky couldn’t survive that? Do you not remember he has become God???!!! True enough, he comes bursting out with his new fusion form with Sevastopol. Some giant mecha crystal golem whatever. He won’t toy with the small fries so he’s going to destroy Tokyo. Oh no! Quick, aim for his weakness. It’s that big red core in the centre, you can’t miss it! If you can only get through his rock solid defence. To show the combat revue girls’ bonds are solid, they combine their spiritual power to block Kaminksy’s shot. Yeah. Whatever. It worked. Since Klara doesn’t want to be a protected loli, she joins in the fight. This means she is given this Tenjin machine to fight with. Better still, it is supposed to aid the Obu because both can combine to be a more powerful unit. Yeah, just merge your spiritual power as one. You don’t think that would be too hard on Sakura and Klara, no? Even in this form, Kaminsky is still formidable. So how? Suddenly… The ghost of Leyla hugs Kaminsky! OMG! Nothing scarier than a dead woman still in love with him! This allows Sakura and Klara to break through his defence and core. Sakura deals the final blow and the truth to his face: You are not God. Just a lost man. Yeah. But damn, a loving woman brought down God!!! THINK ABOUT THAT!!! In the aftermath, we see Klara performing together onstage with her Flower Division comrades. Truly feels like home now. Lastly, Hakushu flies away in her angel form!!! OMG! She’s the real God???!!! Damn, I’m so confused.

Loli Wars: No Loli Return Policy!
Well… I guess the final episode was pretty okay with all the action and climax. Though, it was still weird and cliché because damn, I never thought that Leyla would be the one who ultimately brought down Kaminsky! And to think that Hakushu was some sort of God, oh man, it just got a lot weirder. No wonder Kaminsky kept clicking his tongue accusing Hakushu as some false God or something. Yeah, I was like, this sword master is just some caped crusader wannabe and what God is he talking about?! Oh… Angelic wings… Come to think about it, Hakushu fights without a Kobu unit and you wonder how a puny human body can withstand all that impact. And for her to run an orphanage with demons, yeah it all makes sense now. But still so weird when I think about it. So too bad Kaminsky, you aren’t even chosen by God. You lost to a real God (or at least His angel) and now you get to rot in hell. Okay, enough of him and let’s return to happy loli Klara and the rest of her new Flower Division family, shall we?

The story seems pretty standard and nothing extraordinary. Good versus evil who is trying to become God and shape the world based on his own ideals. And yeah, a loli got involved in this tug of war. At first, I was stumped by the synopsis of the anime of this sequel. They were talking about some upcoming tournament between the other international revues and thought this would be more prominent in the second half. And as I have seen, there was no way there was going to be a tournament whatsoever. How can there be one when self-proclaimed God is going to destroy the world? In fact, the anime doesn’t even mention or hint anywhere close to this. Before I jumped to conclusions to accuse how the series was trying to clickbait me and lied to me with this fake synopsis, luckily I did a little Google search and discovered that this story is actually the settling of the game itself. Hence this anime adaptation takes place after the game. It is no wonder why I didn’t see the Russian characters anywhere on the official website for the game.

As I have said, I haven’t watched all the other OVA spinoffs and movies and I certainly did not play any of its games either, including the latest one. But thankfully with the simple plot, there is nothing much to lose. Nothing really complicated that would make you scratch your head with all the twists and turns. I mean, it is already so evident that Klara would have been the key and centre of attraction. If you’re a veteran anime watcher like me, you could’ve seen it from a mile that Klara possessed a power so great that only a madman would think it is equivalent to God and claim it for himself. And so we have the first few episodes establishing and introducing Klara and making her home to Tokyo’s Flower Division, a few filler episodes in the middle to make Klara feel like as though she is family and at home, then the big finale where the truth is revealed and everyone heads in for the climactic battle to save the world. Now, isn’t that so easy? Heh. I kept my promise of not complaining and b*tching things were too hard to understand! Though, there are some really dumb moments like Sakura never realizing Hakushu = White Cape until the obligatory reveal. Duh! Yeah, I’m so smart…

As for the characters, it feels like there is very little character development here. After all, I believe that if you want to know more about Tokyo’s Flower Division better, the game could have already done that and it would be just a waste of time trying to repeat that here, a season with only a dozen episodes. So if you felt that the foreigners in the Flower Division like Claris and Anastasia need more fleshing out, better go play the game. They feel a lot like minor characters here and don’t really do much to stand out. Even Hatsuho and Sakura’s childhood flashback is short but nothing really deep. I’m also sure that the game would also explain better about the ninja village Azami comes from because it just feels strange that a ninja who needs agility and dexterity would be piloting a bulky Kobu. Not to say that the Kobu is inefficient, but I thought stealth should be what a ninja excels in. Just saying…

Sumire being the only recurring character from the original Sakura Taisen series, I suppose she has mellowed and matured a lot because I remembered her as a prideful and arrogant b*tch who was always some sort of rival to the original Sakura. I am guessing that with Sumire acting as their director, she is the bridge that links to the original Sakura Taisen and the new one so that we will not consider this as some sort of alternate retelling or soft reboot whatsoever. Who knows what happened to the original Sakura because I hope she didn’t die and conveniently they got a new Sakura to take on the titular role. Unless some prophecy says that only those named Sakura can stop the evil demons. Heh. Seijuurou is quite a reliable guy but he is often away. Perhaps to let us get our hopes up for some cheesy romance with Sakura. I don’t remember much about the romance department in the original but I didn’t think it was this cheesy. Shiba feels more interesting in the filler episodes because he seems to be quite passionate when Sakura’s involved in something else other than fighting demons. So I take it this guy has a crush on Sakura? He might be a good engineer but he’s just a lousy executioner of his plans. It’s a running joke to see him squeal like a girl each time he gets busted by Sumire for unauthorized use of the command centre or fooling around instead of working. Oh well, all work and no play makes Jack Shiba a dull guy. No wonder he’s just a mechanic… Other new characters like Kaoru and Komachi are just so minor that they’re forgettable.

As for the new Russian counterparts, it is pretty cliché that a Russian loli is taken in with her new family in Japan. Because, Japan. What else? Why go back to the cold rigid winters of Russia when you have all the nice stuffs here in Japan? Heh. Just making them up. Just like a little fledging bird imprinting, Klara loves Sakura and co because they’re the first one to treat her nicely as family. I’m sure the other international revues would have done the same had they picked her up. Lucky Japan. Leyla is also your typical cliché character of a confused character serving a villain because despite all the bad news this guy is, she’s just clinging on to that meagre percentage of his goodness. Well good for her, he has none. Too bad she found out the hard way. Yeah, it also made me think that perhaps this is why girls also pass up good guys and stick around with jerks like Kaminsky.

Speaking of him, I guess they decided to turn him into a one-dimensional villain once his true colours is revealed so that we will have no pity for him when the Flower Division girls kick his ass or he dies. Yeah, it’s like they want us to really hate this guy for misguiding a big sister and trying to get his hands on the hidden power of a loli. That’s why the final fight he sounded like a poor desperate villain who lost his mind and just wants to kill, kill, kill, destroy, destroy, destroy everything. Wow. So cliché. Scumbags like that should just die, don’t you agree???!!! Now you also know why they say behind every successful man is a woman and a failed one as well!!! Oh damn, I think I can milk this meme till it’s dry!

The series being an action genre, the action sequences doesn’t disappoint. Not to say that it is a masterpiece but it falls within expectations. After all, with its alternate steampunk setting, it is not Sakura Taisen if you don’t see those big Kobu machines taking on those demons or whatever adversaries. They keep it big and flashy with the moves and while it is normal for Sakura’s Kobu to swing her sword, it feels weird for the rest just because we need some variety. I mean, Hatsuho wields a giant hammer, Anastasia has a giant umbrella, ninja daggers for Azami and a magic book for Claris? How does even technology do that?!

One thing you’ll notice which differs greatly from past Sakura Taisen editions is the art and animation. Totally 100% CGI animated! So if you’re not a fan of CGI, you’re going to be turned off by it. Yeah, but the game is also 100% CGI… Anyway, it is very high quality and my experience is that initially I was confused if this was CGI or traditional 2D animation since the CGI movements looks slick and very close to 2D animation. I mean, not so perfectly smooth that you can actually pick out it is definitely CGI. Eventually there are some movements that are too smooth so it puts an ease to my dilemma of which one it was done with. If only CGI could be done this good for other animes but that’s none of my business… Since this anime is done by Sanzigen, perhaps the CGI is right up their alley as they have done so with the BanG Dream series (second season onwards).

The girls in their battle uniform sometimes feel a bit like Power Rangers. I don’t know, I just felt so. After all, each of them is colour coded just like the original so I’m just waiting for the day they turn into a Power Ranger spinoff. Heh. Heck, even when they go into action and launch into their Kobu, it just felt like some Voltron knockoff. Anyway, the only weirdest character design goes to Azami. What I mean is that she is a ninja so it feels weird that her outfit is a yellow maid. Like, huh?! And Hakushu, I thought her very pale face makes her look like a living doll. No, seriously. I thought he skin is made of porcelain or something. Is this what true beauty of God looks like?! In that case, I think Leyla looks much prettier… Honest! Not because she’s busty, mind you! Also, I read that the characters are designed by the legendary Tite Kubo. You know, the guy who created Bleach? So maybe that is why I thought I see shades of Orihime in Sakura and Claris, Soifon and Rukia in Azami, Yoruichi in Anastasia, Matsumoto in Hatsuho and Nana in Kaoru. Or maybe anime characters design are so general that any anime character looks like another character if you look at it from a different general perspective.

For the voice acting, as Sumire is the only recurring character, naturally Michie Tomizawa reprises her role. The rest are new ones with the recognizable ones include Ayane Sakura as Sakura (I hope they didn’t pick her just because she shares the same name with the titular character – double Sakura joy!), Saori Hayami as Claris, Miyuki Sawakshiro as Hakushu, Tomokazu Sugita as Shiba and Nana Mizuki as Elise. I thought Komachi sounded very familiar and couldn’t put my finger to it. So I gave up and went to check it is the kansai expert Ryoko Shiraishi! Oh, I thought she retired since I haven’t heard of her for a long time. Oh well, cameo appearances of old seiyuus somewhat excite me nowadays… The other casts are Maaya Uchida as Hatsuho (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Hibiku Yamamura as Azami (Sara in Island), Ayaka Fukuhara as Anastasia (Veronica in Fairy Gone), Youhei Azakami as Seijuurou (Deathpierce in Nanatsu No Taizai), Misaki Watada as Klara (Delmin in Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh), Haruka Shiraishi as Leyla (Asirpa in Golden Kamuy), Kenji Akabane as Kaminsky (Arashi in Triage X) and Yui Ishikawa as Kaoru (Mikasa in Shingeki No Kyojin).

More nostalgia flooding my mind when they decide to keep the opening theme’s most identifiable tune. Although Geki! Teikoku Kagekidan – Shinshou by the new quintet of the Tokyo’s Flower Division girls has major changes in its lyrics and a few parts of the tune tweaked, I’m glad the main chorus remains the same. After all, this I feel has become the series’ identity so it is only right to retain this flashy blazing military-like fanfare. They’re doing a show after all if they’re not fighting demons. Though, I can’t say the same for the ending theme, Sakura Yumemishi sung by the same quintet. It is very dramatic and it’s like as though the song needs them to showcase their vocals with some powerfully belted out lines. Well, not bad actually. But oddly, the song in some sites is credited to Nana Mizuki, Manami Numakura and Sumire Uesaka (all of whom have cameo appearance from other international revue units) but I can’t seem to hear this version anywhere. Is it the song from the game? I could be wrong, though.

Overall, if you’re a fan of the series, this could be a good extra story after playing the game. New viewers will not be lost as it doesn’t delve heavily into the lore or previous events of the original Sakura Taisen. It feels fresh and can stand on its own like a new chapter in the franchise. And people like me can still enjoy it while having the nostalgia experience of the old. The story and characters are pretty basic but it has quite high quality visuals and explosive steampunk action so it’s give and take. Not so sure if this new sequel is going to have tons of OVA spinoffs and movies to add more depth to the new characters and setting. But only time will tell. Hopefully it won’t sputter out so soon after its revival. Sakura flowers may not have a very long life after their blooming period but when they do, they’re the most beautiful thing in the world. Enjoy them while they last!

Murenase! Seton Gakuen Special

September 25, 2020

Apparently I thought Murenase! Seton Gakuen Special was going to be a standard affair. You know, when they said it was an unaired episode that will come with the Blu-Rays and whatever, I thought it would be the usual 24 minutes of running time. But WTF?! Only 6 freaking minutes?! 6 minutes that they can’t fit anywhere in the usual TV time slot?! Oh… What’s this? A hotspring fanservice, huh? I see… Okay then… Carry on. We wanna see and observe closely how the animals take and enjoy their bath in nature…

Hotspring Conference Of Animal Girls
It is hinted that the fight between Darwin and Fabre was just over! Hence this hotspring fanservice is to help our female characters wind down. Yena wanted to do it alone but apparently Hitomi invited her and she somehow didn’t have the balls to turn her down. Females got no balls anyway… HAHAHA!!! So we see many of the female characters of the series soaking in and relaxing the way they like it in the hotspring. Because An is also here, you bet she and Yena are just the slightest offense away from sparking a war. Luckily Hitomi is here to tell them to get along with everyone else. Hitomi tries to cheer An up that Neanderthals’ genes are still present in modern humans’ DNA. At least 2%. Not bad, right? This proves that modern humans and Neanderthals did mingle with each other. An is so happy that she wants to have babies with Hitomi! Uhm, I don’t think she knows how it works but whatever. However this somewhat makes Yena mad. Because this causes her to show her modesty, in turn this also makes An mad. Now they both fighting. Meanwhile Yukari and Yangyang are trying to troll us with their pseudo yuri thingy. Turns out Yukari manages to convince her to want to eat her poo!!! Elsewhere, our flat chest lolis of Ranka and Man get into a loli fight over Hitomi and whatever human extinction. Damn, Hitomi so popular. Chaos erupting at the hotspring… Will everyone listen to Hitomi to stop and not ruin the fun tonight? Nope. Animal instincts and barbarism rule the night…

Call Of The (Sexy) Wild!
So there you have it. Nothing really special, right? I mean, who the f*ck would get turned on seeing animals bathing in their own natural order???!!! Oh… Oh yeah… As long as they look like cute anime girls I suppose there’s a lot that we care to see about! So carry on girls, socializing and fraternizing in your naked naturally beautiful skin. But in a way I feel ‘cheated’ because we don’t get to see free bare tits… Why the natural censors?! WHAT IS THERE TO BE SHY ABOUT?! THEY’RE JUST ANIMALS TAKING A BATH!!! I’m also surprised that Miki didn’t get invited to this hotspring party seeing that this nudist would probably be the one who would feel at home, flaunting her nakedness. I suppose the girls aren’t just enjoying this but Jin too. I bet he is home alone enjoying his privacy with no stupid mutt (that’s you, Ranka) bugging him. Too bad this means he won’t be spending any private time with Hitomi. Not sure if there will be more of such ‘unaired episode specials’ in the future and if there would be, I hope it would be longer than this and show the battle with Fabre Academy. Yeah, I’m really curious to know and see if we could actually win the war against insects. On second thought, maybe I want to see more wild animals sharing the water hole together on National Geographic. Or at least this anime’s sexy adaptation of it. Hey, this is not soft porn. It’s educational documentary, people!

After my stint with that corporate and business themed anime, Shachou, Battle No Jikan Desu (Shachibato), I was then referred to another anime with a somewhat similar theme, Last Period: Owarinaki Rasen No Monogatari. But unlike corporate and business themes, this is more towards the gacha mechanics (loot boxes and microtransactions for you westerners not familiar with the term). And what’s this about a company falling onto hard times and they have to take quests to rebuild it? Hmm… Suspiciously similar… I wonder if Shachibato copied some elements from it. Oh well, you know how clone-like many mobile games of the same genre are…

Episode 1
As narrated, Periods are magic users who fight monsters known as Spirals. Haru, Choco, Liza and Gajeru are working under Arc End Branch Office #8 (BO8) and as they return to their office in the city called Hopeless (?!), their office is closed down?! Following its route to its new location, Campanella is happy to see them again. Erika their boss explains that a few days ago, somebody stole their money and without the means to pay off their suppliers, their assets got seized and they got shut down. Other employees left because other branch offices enticed them with better offers. Well, Haru looks on the positive side and will help rebuild their office. For free! Are you sure?! Apparently all their personal stuffs also got seized. Yeah, Liza had to buy back her own stuffs at much higher price… They can use the empty room next door but one rule: No pets! They argue Miu is an Art rather than a pet. Well, rules are rules… However Choco argues that Miu is emergency food! Okay! Oh sh*t! This is much worse! At least Miu gets to stay… Then they discuss their plans to revitalize. Since they’re not going through legal channels, so you mean they’re going to operate illegally without a licence?! Just don’t get caught… So their first mission is to clean up some Spiral in some small village run by a stingy mayor. Why do they have to do a lot of work for so little money? Campanella said something about doing it in volume… Damn… Liza and the mayor argue about payment terms when suddenly Team Rocket Wiseman made up of Guru, Kikazaru, Iwazaru and Mizaru pop up to offer much better terms. You bet the old stingy poker is going to switch. What about the contract? Fire the old one and hire the new one! As both sides argue, the mayor suggests a duel to see who gets the rights. So Haru will represent BO8. What about Wiseman? They summon a rare 5-star beast, Nero! Oh sh*t! They know their combine might can’t beat him so how? A wandering girl, Iona offers them to use Calls. However they can’t pay via their local currency, zel. So you have to use real currency, yen?! But Iona does them a favour and calls one on the house. Uhm, so they got this 1-star cat boy? Tough luck. Naturally they get owned by Nero. Soon, Wiseman gets a call from their boss to cancel mission and return. The mayor tries to change his tune with BO8. Liza not impressed but with Haru being a nice guy, you bet he is still going to kick some Spiral ass and got a cute Art. They return home and that cat boy tags along. Meanwhile Wiseman is baffled they got everything under control and why the sudden cancellation? Their boss says this is just their introduction. Uhm, doesn’t she look like Campanella?

Episode 2
The cat boy is named Monk and now works as their errand boy at the office. As BO8 talk about Wiseman and Calls, looks like another job at the hotspring village. I guess Erika and Campanella are also coming so we can have some fanservice this early in the series. After an easy Spiral mission, we see them take to the hotspring. Sorry to disappoint you guys, nothing much happens! Erika and Campanella then leave to let the rest hear out the mayor’s problem. Looks like this town has no other attractions and with the dwindling hotspring, you bet customers are not coming. As they brainstorm for ideas, here comes Wiseman to give their input. Even Haru wants to listen to their ideas. So it seems they want to establish this location as an anime mecca to attract people. Cliché fanservice locations? Plus, they throw in pretty good deals that the mayor can’t refuse. As usual, Liza is against all this so how to settle this? Yeah, another fight. Wiseman has Luluna make a Call to summon another 5-star witch, Meldia. However Meldia wants to soak in the hotspring first. Enjoy your meagre fanservice while it lasts. Our Period quartet wait outside as Iona pops up to suggest using her service for a Call. Well, if you pay more, you might get better summons… The battle resumes and after Meldia demonstrates her power to destroy a mountain, you bet those BO8 Periods beg Iona for a Call! Anything! Now! So she puts it on their tabs as she summons… ANOTHER MONK! Just palette swap this time. You’re screwed. Before you can expect what’s coming, suddenly a giant snake Spiral bursts out. Meldia goes fight it as Haru assists her to defeat it. She thanks him and hopes one day they can battle it out together. In the end, because the Spiral was blocking the water source, the place now is bursting with hot water. No need that anime plan now. Back at BO8, looks like they’ve got 2 Monks now… And in the news, that hotspring village eventually became an anime mecca. Albeit a cheap one…

Episode 3
Campanella leads Haru to some shady alley where he can get some yen. Of course she advises him not to get addicted too much on it. It seems Liza is afraid of ghosts. You bet the next mission is a trip to a haunted mansion and Gajeru seems excited about the legend of some lone girl crying? Oh Liza… Upon arriving at the mansion, Wiseman scared to death and don’t want to deal with it?! Man, if Wiseman runs away like that, you’re screwed… Liza wants out but she dug her own grave when Haru points out she herself said ghosts are unscientific. So they can’t exist, right? Let’s go in and investigate! Going through the dark halls, the gang is suddenly separated. Before you can scream Scooby Doo parody, looks like the ghosts are actually the mayor and his men trying to get rid of these Periods and they’ve taken out the guys already. Liza stumbles into a room with a girl crying alone… Oh sh*t… But she looks like a real girl. She is scared that this place will change and she fears there will be many coming. She wants Liza to find some treasure and save this village. Meanwhile we see the mayor hosting a few bigwigs. It seems the mayor is planning to make some collaboration theme park but the bigwigs are not pleased that groundwork construction hasn’t begun yet. Something about the mansion being in the way… As Liza looks around, she stumbles into those ghosts. Afraid at first, she decides not to run. But with help of Choco, the ‘ghosts’ are revealed. No longer afraid, Liza owns them. Surprised at seeing the mayor, he replies that is actually his brother and wants to sell out this place for the theme park. Hence, he hired Periods to get rid of them while they act as ghosts to scare away the Periods. But no matter, the mayor is here and he is going to not let his plans fail. So he summons Higurashi characters!!! Will the bloodbath begin? Then Wiseman bursts in. They head everything and want payback. So they summon Rena from Higurashi!!! I guess with all the tragedy in that show, we don’t want to see them butchering each other so the Higurashi characters just leave. Then everyone gives the mayor his due payback. In the end, the collaboration fails and Haru even not wanting the reward so as the village can use the money to rebuild itself. Ah well… It’s for a good cause. As Liza wonders about that girl, she learns that nobody lives in the mansion, causing her to freak out that she actually met a real ghost! Yup, you bet she’s real as she disappears into the picture.

Episode 4
Last episode, the ghost girl secretly slipped a lottery ticket to Haru. Nobody believes he can win it because the odds are just too low. So next morning as they scour the papers, they didn’t realize their same numbers actually won until Choco points it out. Wow! Now they’re zellionaires! Never seen so much money before, huh? While Haru doesn’t mind giving some to BO8, Gajeru and Liza do not want to share their keep! So BO8 has been remodelled into a huge luxury office with many Periods wanting to join. So they’re saying this is their dream job, huh? Meanwhile the rest of our BO8 Periods are living in a huge luxurious mansion. You can’t miss it. It’s that f*cking extremely huge mansion in the west! Haru doesn’t feel good about this wasteful lavish extravagance but Gajeru and Liza are getting so used to it. Then they go on a mission at a poor village to destroy Spirals ravaging the potato farm. Those rich jerks don’t want to get their hands dirty and prefer to compensate with melons! Luckily, Wiseman is here so the rich jerks subcontract this dirty job to them. Haru helps them. In the end, Haru doesn’t feel right about this so Gajeru and Liza agree to split up. While we see Gajeru and Liza enjoying their extreme wealth and wasteful luxurious life, Haru goes on being a normal Period. Heck, he even somewhat joins Wiseman as their lackey? But hey, this is much better, right? Meanwhile Gajeru and Liza end up trying to outdo each other with their wealth. Yeah, it’s so stupid just to annoy each other by flashing bigger stuffs. In the end, they realize all this is stupid and they should just save their money for a rainy day. Too bad they receive news that their servants have run away with all their money. On an unrelated note, somebody also robbed BO8. Uh huh… So back to square one. Everybody is poor but they’re together as a little team. Ah, such beauty in humbleness… Oh, Haru got fired from Wiseman for being too useless. As they get back to their usual Period life, they learn Haru still has his share of money. Can I borrow some?! Nope. He’s going to save it and damn he’s right he learnt how money will split the team up if history repeated itself again. Not going to let that happen! So no money for you folks!

Episode 5
A special documentary hosted by the mayor and his assistant Ashiko. Yeah, the village makes a living doing documentaries so I guess Haru and co are pretty lucky they’re filming their lives, huh? Anyway, we see the cameras following Haru going about his daily life as a Period, as well as the place he lives and the bar he frequents too. Oh, he meets up with brother Gilled and sister Noin. Both not related anyway. Soon, Haru stumbles into Iona. Looks like her business has taken a hit as people rarely do Calls. Remember those zellionaires? Yup, they ruined the economy after disappearing! Haru pays back what he owns so she returns some balance in the form of luna stones. I guess in such bad times, she will accept them in the place of yen but using this can be costly since she will take a bigger chunk of the commission. Haru then invests and buy more luna stones just in case. One day, BO8 has got 3 separate missions. This in a way is good news because if Wiseman shows up, they can only interfere with 1 of them. Everybody believes it will be Haru since they’re such good friends. True enough, Wiseman pops up before him! As they summon a 5-star witch, Zaku, Haru uses this chance to summon Iona and make his Calls. Yeah, this time is going to be it. He summons 10 at one go. Well… All of them 1-star!!! OMFG! WHAT ARE THE ODDS! Not wanting to give up, Haru summons one by one now. Well… All of them 1-star! How do you like ‘em palette swap?! Haru is mad while Wiseman is laughing their ass off. Remember, all this are randomly generated… Haru won’t lose so he breaks his bank and all his savings just to make more Calls. Well… More 1-star! This isn’t funny anymore. Yeah, Wiseman feeling bad and wants him to stop but Haru won’t give up! In the end, a very desperate Haru has 1 more left… What does he get? Tada! A 2-star! Dang… Oh well, Iona congratulates him and quickly leaves. In the aftermath, Haru got over this addiction and goes back to his poor and happy life. Yeah, the documentary advising us to be careful with this self-destruction! Don’t spend too much on microtransactions and loot boxes, people! Do things in moderation! Also, all the 1-stars Haru summoned, they left as BO8 couldn’t afford to keep them. Even the Monks. They go on a journey and hope to meet Haru again. After all, they never got the chance to thank him for summoning them.

Episode 6
This is official. Campanella reveals that she is Wiseman’s boss, Kuropanella. As for why she is doing this, she’ll tell us another time. Campanella wants to go to an amusement park located at Blood Realm, home of the witches and Liza’s hometown. However she doesn’t want to go alone and has Haru and co join her. Too bad goody two shoes Haru doesn’t think it’s fair for Campanella to bear all the cost herself and should reject. Spoil sport. Hence Kuropanella invites Wiseman instead. Since she is paying to accompany her, I guess they’ll go. As they make their journey thee, Campanella takes a break and is shocked to see Haru and co on the journey too. Apparently Erika decided to use the company money to fund this trip and not let Campanella be alone. Oh well… So we see Campanella switching back and forth between her personas. Yeah, some slip ups but you bet it is undetected since those guys are just dense. By the time they reach Blood Realm, Campanella is already a pro at switching. A loli witch is hiding behind Haru. Liza recognizes her as Dia who is the head of the witch’s association. She is actually ditching her job and doesn’t want to work. Eventually her comrades who are part of the Ten Jewels (the kingdom’s top models) find and force her back to work. BO8 Periods and Wiseman continue to have fun and yes, Campanella/Kuropanella switching seamlessly back and forth without any suspicion. Then there is this concert by the Ten Jewels. Oh no. BO8 Periods and Wiseman sitting together. How will Campanella/Kuropanella solve this? She needs to watch the show too. Yup, she dresses half a side! Thank goodness those bozos don’t pay too much attention. But when both sides start talking to each other, before they could suspect something amiss, Spirals attack! Don’t worry, Dia and her witches easily take care of them. The concert resumes without a hitch. Campanella/Kuropanella continue to accompany their respective groups home. So you bet the gang is very tired from today’s outing. Oh, Campanella looks like she’s okay. Oh, you don’t say. She’s twice as tired!

Episode 7
Now we’re going to Animal Realm, the home of beastmen and of course Gajeru’s hometown. Upon arriving, Gajeru is beaten up by his tsundere little sister, Mimosa. She tells them the job to defeat Spirals is already over and apparently it was an easy one. Gajeru faked the request because he wanted his friends to come visit his hometown. Mimosa then introduces them to Yumiru who is the most famous tour guide. Because of him, tourism in Animal Realm skyrocketed. After a great day (Wow and Fun are the only words they’re allowed to say?), Yumiru then announces he is quitting. Actually, the mayor forced him to quit and will replace him with hot beautiful chicks. Since Haru and co won’t allow this, they hatch a plan. After Yumiru makes his official announcement of his resignation, Haru and co rally the crowd to not accept this and to vouch for Yumiru. Everyone follows and soon this becomes a large scale protest. The mayor thinks if they lie low, everybody will eventually forget. Too bad they’re going to do it the legal way and that is to sign a petition! WTF Wiseman pops up and has gathered petitions from all other realms?! So it’s a competition to see who gathers more signatures?! Does it really matter?! When Gajeru calls his family, Guru finds it unfair and Calls Nero. How is that for a power signature? Too bad it’s only worth 1 signature. What a waste. Nero later goes to see the Spirit King who rules over Animal Realm to complain that he isn’t doing his job, that’s why this sh*t happens. As the protest picks up, the mayor still refuses to budge. And then here comes Spirit King to make the mayor listen to the people. He then declares Yumiru to keep his job. The mayor feels guilty and wants to resign but Yumiru doesn’t want that. He has helped a lot too. Let’s make Animal Realm great again! MARGA!!! Spirit King also feels the same and has the mayor why he resorted to this. He fears he will burn out one day as he singlehandedly does all the tour himself. So the plan to fire him is actually to let him train those hot chicks to take over. He can’t say this out loud because he is a Yumiru fan? Our concerned parties reconcile and everyone is happy. Yumiru shows his appreciation as everyone joins in this traditional campfire dance.

Episode 8
Beach episode! But good luck because there are tons of characters in this episode! Anyway, BO8 is here at Neutral Realm to work since they’re barely breaking even. Yeah, not vacation. Erika has Haru be a lifeguard while Gajeru and Liza work at the beach house. Campanella is selling her body… Basically, you want a picture of her in this sexy swimsuit, you gotta pay a hefty prize… Yeah, lots of men do… Other antics include a glutton girl with a bottomless stomach, a vampire girl needing blood, a reindeer girl who fears interaction of others and becomes the target of glutton girl and vampire girl. Then there is some girl egged to jump off a cliff but Haru saves her from drowning. A demon girl tries to sell her ice cream laced with love potions that will make those who eat it fall in love but it failed since Meldia-Aletia and Haru-Choco remain the same. Gajeru loses it when a prideful and stubborn girl keeps calling him her sister. But then he sees Dia and the witches nearby. This means his favourite idol, Sapphire is here too. Oohlala! Sexy beach! Yeah, Gajeru fired himself into the sky riding a missile. Not forgetting Gilled trying to show off his surfing skills but gets eaten by a shark and a couple of angels accidentally talking dirty to each other? Gajeru blasts off again when Sapphire tries to see what’s wrong after he crash lands. However, babes from Spar Realm soon arrive and they claim they want to do a military exercise. So get out! However, the ruler of Huma Realm, Fiora and her sister Aferola argue the neutrality of this realm and that there should only peace. As the military babes try to give excuses, Fiora believes they are here to have fun too because they’re already in their swimsuits. If you’ve been noticing, all the girls’ swimsuits have been glowing on and off. Now everybody is experiencing it. Haru then sees his master, Moegi who explains some Spiral haunting the swimsuits. Yeah, some despair of a boy who never got a girlfriend and died… Then everybody’s swimsuit starts disappearing. Panic! The Spiral pops out from the water. But after seeing all the hot fanservice, it disappears. Thanks for the freedom of expression and thought! Ah yes, peace is the best.

Episode 9
Kuropanella is disappointed with Wiseman’s streak of loss against BO8 Periods. Wiseman not even taking this seriously and thinks their opponents got stronger. Hence Kuropanella will fire them in a month. Panic! After tasting the luxurious life, they can’t be without a job and money. Hence Kuropanella has hired a new boss for them. She is Android Sonya and she bought it from the internet after reading its (fake) good recommendations. Wiseman thinks of a way to defeat Sonya or they’ll be out of a job. Aha! Thinking she is weak, they get her to fight Haru and co. Obviously Sonya owns their weak asses. I guess it’s a win for Wiseman too. Now they’re into the winning streak. Yeah, Sonya turning into a sadistic queen and Guru her masochistic lackey. Damn, Gajeru also a masochist fan?! As Haru continues to lose to Sonya, Wiseman even asks him why he didn’t just give up. They did when they realize Sonya was too strong for them. Well, it’s the only thing he can do. Soon, Sonya becomes ‘defective’ and thinks she is too good to be under Kuropanella. Kuropanella is going to call the manufacturers to return this defective product but apparently warranty is over. Sonya takes over as their new boss and proclaims her mission to take over the world. With her other android sisters all over, it is time for androids to rule the world. Kuropanella has Wiseman go seek help from BO8 Periods. When they arrive, they see Haru in a relentless training. Despite getting beaten up all over, he still doesn’t give up. Inspiration moment. Hence Wiseman leaves a letter and then rushes back. Yeah, they’re going to take on Sonya themselves. Even if they lose, somebody stronger will come defeat her. As expected, the epic Sonya-Wiseman showdown ends with the android being victorious. Erika and her employees arrive just in time. Sonya finds this troublesome and summons Luluna to make 10 Calls. However Luluna refuses. She prefers Wiseman because they are more fun. She also claims she hates androids and then takes a bite out of an apple! OMFG! DO I THINK IT MEANS WHAT IT MEANS???!!! Frustrated Sonya transforms to her true form, which is a Terminator discount but one strike from Haru sends her exploding. I guess that’s what happens when you have too big boobs… In the aftermath, our BO8 Periods and Wiseman return to their usual petty this-job-is-mine argument. Wanna make a Call to settle this? Ah, back to normalcy…

Episode 10
As BO8 Periods chase after Wiseman for stealing their quest details, although they lose them, they stumble into their home. Can’t miss it. Their name is clearly written on the plate. They enter in hopes of catching them but stumble upon Luluna. They think of getting her to make a Call because she always summon good ones. Well, Luluna agrees to show them. Though, she doesn’t know how she does it despite doing it all the time. As she starts cranking, because the space is too small, everyone gets absorbed into whatever this is. Next thing we know, Luluna and Choco are in a barn and only a Smartphone in hand with game apps from Happy Element (blatant advertising and promo!). They try out the first game, Ensemble Girls and we see Liza as a high school protagonist with friends Natsumi Minami and Himari Tsurumi. In class, Liza gets this weird feeling that somebody is poking her! As she relates this to her friends, they think she is being haunted by a ghost! Of course the real deal is that Choco and Luluna are playing and ‘interacting’ with Liza as the main character. Next they try Ensemble Stars game with Haru and Gajeru as the lead. In a music school, it seems Haru has this weird headache of some missing memories. Of course Gajeru thinks he just bumped his head after tripping during dance class. Yes, this is another simulating being played by those girls and those multiple choices pop up, freaking out Haru. In class, his classmates try to cheer him up with a game. LAST PERIOD?! That is when Haru gets his memories back and believes they belong in another world. This is not their world! As he tries to convince Gajeru about this, they are being prompted by the student council president, Touri Himemiya that they have been assimilated in this world. More mindf*ck for Haru because Touri and Gajeru swap voices and personalities?! Inception?! Haru so confused he passes out. Next time he wakes up, he has forgotten his true memories and has blended with this world… Meanwhile Choco doesn’t think this is Haru because he can’t be that cool! Before they try the final game, Merc Storia, Iona is here to pick them up. As they head outside, Choco doesn’t recognize this world. Then she realizes… Could she be trapped in a game too?! Oh, you bet she is!!! Inception!

Episode 11
It seems the next mission will be enough to revive BO8. So our Periods head down to this little bossy village to meet the bossy mayor who wants them to help them deal with their next door neighbour, the selfish village. Yeah, they’ve built a giant wall over their territory after encroaching on their land and stealing their crops. Furthermore, they’ve got Spirals guarding the walls and it is believed they have a giant Spiral boss hidden. This is what they want our Periods to destroy. Because this is so dangerous, Liza rejects this. Yup, cue for Wiseman to take this job up at a cheaper price! BO8 Periods return to report to Erika that they turned it out. She understands although it is clear that she is in shock. There goes the planned revitalization… Meanwhile Wiseman gets easily captured and also tricked to spill the beans. The selfish mayor puts them asleep and wants to dispose of them but assistant Sonya believes Luluna is of value. As Wiseman never returns, Kuropanella had to tearfully plea to BO8 to go rescue them. You bet Haru and co are going. Erika knows Kuropanella is Campanella and has an idea how BO8 went bankrupt in the first place as well as she using Wiseman to make Haru and co do what she wants. Time to spill the beans. As Haru’s side is outside the selfish village, Iona comes to bug them to use her services. Haru will not fall for that again! Yeah, she keeps bugging him… But she has an idea to infiltrate. Disguised as a performing troupe, as Liza and Choco keep the mayor occupied, the rest go look for Wiseman. Every door they open hides a Spiral. Care to make a Call? No way! Eventually Gajeru uses Miu as a tracking device. I don’t know. All I see is animal abuse… But it did lead them to Wiseman! However they are now zombies? They attack and since Haru cannot fight them or use a Call, he throws Miu at them! Animal abuse! Some brainwash device drops out and returns them to normal. Before they could escape, they remember Luluna is being held somewhere. Meanwhile the gig is up as the mayor puts Choco and Liza to sleep. It is part of his plans to lead Haru and Wiseman to where Luluna is so as to witness their great victory. Something about Luluna’s pendant that contains all of mankind’s darkness. Haru and Wiseman have to face off with Sonya androids. Wiseman will not give up and want to save Luluna who is part of their family. Oh, Iona bugging Haru to make a Call. But it’s different. She will do it for free because she wants to save her little sister! Not sure how many stars these coloured rangers are but they kick ass and send all those androids exploding. Unfortunately, Luluna’s pendant power has all been sucked up. It is used to activate the giant Spiral boss. Everyone escapes outside. Doomsday is here. But bossy village also uses their giant Spiral boss to fight! What’s going on?!

Episode 12
Apparently the bossy mayor tamed the Spiral first and then somehow the selfish mayor also got it to fight back against him. Yeah, basically they’re both bad guys. Both Spirals start fighting and you bet the village in the middle is going to get pretty damaged. Meanwhile we see Erika talking to Campanella about Luluna’s pendant. Apparently it is a natural cheat and that is why it is able to summon 5-star characters. However this in turn leads to unbalance because other people who make the Call will get low summonses. This leads them to despair and frustration and this dark energy accumulates in that pendant. Hence Luluna was actually given to Campanella by the HQ to solve that mystery. More bad news as a bigger Spiral pops up and swallows those Spiral bosses, turning into its true giant form. The accumulation of those dark emotions. Then it senses great power in Choco and kidnaps her. Haru gets desperate to save her as he cuts down wave after wave of golems symbolizing humans’ greed and despair from you know, gacha games effects. He blames himself for having such feelings and that’s why Choco got captured. However everyone is in the same boat with him. They give him the confidence to carry on fighting. With Erika and Gilled even here as backup, they fight the hordes of Spirals this big boss generates. However it is endless. This is when our Call girls live up to their names to summon 5-star characters to help out. But the Spiral is going to fly away and destroy the world. Cue for Monks and those other 1-star characters to return to hold it down. Now Haru can jump through and rescue Choco. In the end, their collaborated effort defeats the Spiral. In the aftermath, the bossy and selfish mayor are still pettily arguing and not repenting. Until they realize they are both fans of Sapphire and just like that, all the animosity is gone! Care to discuss more about their favourite top idol? What the… Oh well, at least peace reigns. BO8 packs up, preparing to return as a real branch. It is revealed that the funds never got stolen and was just ‘hidden’ by HQ to test Erika and train her Periods. Only Campanella knew about this. Though rejoining Arc End means they are at the bottom of the ranks, Haru looks at this in a positive way because they’ve gotten stronger. Really? As for Wiseman, Campanella has left them a goodbye note that Kuropanella has gone out of business. Sad to return to the poor life, they too look at this on a positive note as they were wanderers to begin with. However they won’t be wondering alone because Luluna wants to join them. They give her a glass bead to replace her pendant. And everybody else resumes their normal life.

Shibuchou, Business No Period Desu! Money For Nothing…
Oh wow. Man, I didn’t expect to find myself enjoying and laughing this hard! Because of all the funny jokes and parodies, this could have been the next Gintama or at least a mini epic spoof of it but alas, I guess the journey of my despair continues since there is no more continuation or sequel. At least for the anime. Because as blatant as they are and said by Choco in the final line of the final episode, for those who want to continue the series, go play the game! No sequels as long as there is money to make from the game! OMG! They’re trying to make me addicted to the series and then go download and play the game?! Must… Resist… Temptation… Oh heck. I’m not falling for that one. Even as interesting and funny the anime is, anything it does that relates to its game version I will surely have no interest. I never had the interest to go check out animes that were adapted from games before, so why should I be any different now just because I really enjoy the anime? Heh. You greedy game developers can go suck my &^@#!* because I’m not going to part my hard earned cash and fatten your pockets! Haha! I win! Haha! Oh, better not get distracted…

Anyway, I don’t know how I missed out this anime that aired only as recently at the end of 2018. I guess the Corona virus wreaking havoc, I have got more time to look at other animes more carefully unlike back then with so many animes so ‘suitable’ for my taste and almost everything I wanted to watch. Hence knowing the backlog of animes could put a burden and strain on my life (practically I have no life but basically it just revolves mainly around watching animes…), perhaps this was one of those shows back then that I had to judge the book by its cover. Yeah, the promotional poster and artwork looked kinda like some kiddie stuffs so I may have thought this was going to be a show for babies. And hence I passed it off then and never looked back. Never was in the back radar of my mind. So had it not been for my spell with the so-so Shachibato, I would have really missed out this gem! So, uhm, thanks Shachibato? Yeah, this one way better than you, Shachibato! That’s my thanks for you ‘introducing’ me to this series!

The plot of Periods fighting against Spirals feels almost non-existent here. In fact, that could be the plot for the game but since this isn’t a game, this is quickly forgotten as the plot basically revolves around random parodies that the series has no qualms about bashing and making fun off. Yes, there are quite a number of funny moments and most of them includes breaking the fourth wall, especially making fun of the gacha mechanics. If you know the state of the gaming industry these days, your money itself isn’t good enough to buy the entire game. Uh huh. Loot boxes and microtransactions continue to ruin our experience and contribute to our greed and despair all because we think we can get that super rare ultra item in the next go. Basically, gambler’s mentality. Other than the gacha mechanics, they also poke fun at some pop culture references and clichés such as crossover characters from other animes, hotspring and beach episode that is such an obligatory affair for many animes. It is just unfortunate that my pop culture knowledge isn’t so great so there could be a handful of such jokes that I miss out and do not get. But generally, the comical moments are really funny and over the top (might as well go all out if you’re going to make fun of everything, right?) it’s just sad that this didn’t become the next Gintama like I said. Yeah, the Apple-Android rivalry one was a pretty good subtle joke if you ask me.

Because of all the silly jokes and parodies, no one gives a damn about the characters. So basically our BO8 Periods are pretty meh and they don’t really have much back story to them. Basically their personalities are pretty much cliché (on purpose to also make fun of) and not very deep. Like we know Haru is a really honest to goodness kid who keeps doing what he does because he loves it and it’s the only thing he can do. Yeah, he’s your main character and possesses some main character traits but lacks that oomph that would make one charismatic. Then there are Gajeru and Liza who I suppose play the role of the comic relief character and uhm, a female magic user. Then you’ve got the caring boss Erika who doesn’t really do much but I guess she’s being so stressed out in managing the place, she’ll only pops up when the plot commands her. And yeah, the sly Campanella who is a double agent whom you can see coming from a mile if you have brains and paying attention. But don’t worry, she’s not a bad guy. How can such a cutie pie with an eternal smile be a villainess?!

There’s no back story even on Choco or how she came about. She isn’t a Period like them so I’m guessing she’s an Art. Whatever that is. I guess they’re telling us to go play the game if you desire so much to know more about this character as well as the setting of this game, huh? Yes, it seems a lot interesting this world is divided into different realms but it is just briefly touched on and even the Spirals feel like chopped liver and don’t really matter. Just some cute little monsters bumming about waiting to be defeated by Periods… Anyway, back to Choco. Choco herself is a mystery but also in a way ‘funny’ because she is the one who mostly breaks the fourth wall. A lot. If you think you know the obvious, then you have Choco to confirm all that. And she saying it with her deadpan voice, I don’t know if that really ramps up the effectiveness of the joke. Also, she loves hitting Haru from time to time and biting him for reasons unknown. I guess Haru such a good boy, he will never hit her back. Last but not least, Miu is supposedly to be the mascot character but I feel it is slowly forgotten after the initial episodes of Choco trying to treat it as an emergency ration. With all the funny parodies, it’s no wonder why Miu’s cuteness is so easy to overlook. Better do more than being just an emergency food or for animal abuse plot.

Personally I believe that Wiseman are the better characters and also my favourite characters for the series. They never cease to amuse me. I mean, they’ve got this cool entrance intro and group pose, what is there not to like about them?! They are more charismatic and likeable than the BO8 Periods. Yes, I’m serious about it. Because BO8 Periods are just so weak ass that sometimes I think there is a conspiracy to make them so just to make Wiseman look better. Uh huh. Obviously Wiseman is taken inspiration from the 3 wise monkeys and it is obvious that each of them represent one of the principle of see no evil (Mizaru), hear no evil (Kikazaru) and speak no evil (Iwazaru – isn’t that why she has Guru who ‘talks’ on her behalf?). Yeah, their names are even a dead giveaway. It’s just sad that Wiseman didn’t join BO8 or at least become a special branch unit of Arc End. But it would be weird if they did so because they’ve been clashing with each other for so many times for the silliest of reasons, making them comrades just feels so out of place. They’re not Wiseman anymore. After all, Wiseman and BO8 Periods are like friends now, no? Okay. Somewhat. I’m sure they’ll meet again, fight again and help each other again. As long as the plot convenience tells them so. Hah! Plot convenience, the real boss of the series or any other animes!

Don’t hate Iona! Hate the system! Yeah, somebody should tell it to the one who created those money grabbing mechanics. You can’t blame Iona for wanting people to use her Call service (is Call girl a right term to use here?) because it’s what she does. And then people blame her for not getting what they want. And some people have all the luck because I’m sure they’re trying to hint something about Luluna who always summons very powerful pieces. There are many more other side characters in the series. Some appearing maybe two or three more episodes but many of them just appear for a single episode. Yeah, they’re forgettable and only relatable for that episode but I was laughing my ass off so it didn’t really matter. So I guess if you want to stay relevant, you have to adapt and change because I think this is the running joke for the mayor in most of the episodes. Uh huh. The same baldy guy (a discount version of Monopoly’s mascot?) just in different clothes or palette swap and role. Yeah, now you know why NPCs are all the same, huh?!

As said, the parodies and funny moments take up a bulk of the screen time and although there are some Period fighting action, these are very few in between. Like, they are only shown because of the plot needs them to. Otherwise, they’re just pretty meh because Haru being the main character is so weak ass, he probably would have lost to a lot of high and medium levelled Spirals had not he had help from others. I know, I know. He doesn’t give up. But that doesn’t mean a thing if he always keeps getting his ass kicked. Besides Calls, you don’t see much of action variety since Haru just swings his sword, Gajeru using his animal fists and Liza only knowing how to use ice magic. Even Wiseman is guilty of this with Mizaru doing martial arts, Kikazaru with her supersonic scream and best of all, Iwazaru shooting her minigun! Yeah, still way much better than seeing BO8 Periods in action.

Art and animation are pretty okay. Because everything looks so cute and brightly coloured, it was perhaps the reason why I thought this was a kiddie show like Youkai Watch, aimed for younger audiences. This is anime is done by J.C. Staff who is a veteran in this industry animating lots of our favourite animes like Toradora, Shakugan No Shana, DanMachi, Shokugeki No Souma, One Punch Man, Bakuman, Kaichou Wa Maid-sama and the To Aru series. Is it me or does Wiseman uniform look like they’ve taken inspiration from Sekai Seifuku: Bouryaku No Zvezda? Well, almost. And the Spirals look cute rather than scary. Could have been kept as pets if they weren’t hostile… Miu, I wonder if its design is inspired from xxxHolic’s Mokona.

For the voice acting, they’re pretty much okay with Yukari Tamura not in her usually genki squeaky trademark voice and is just pretty monotonous as Choco. I know it’s her character role but oh well. Kinda reminds me of Lu of Miami Guns. It took me a while to recognize Ai Kayano because she was being too squeaky cute as Iona compared to what I often hear her as. The other seiyuu I recognize is Natsuki Hanae as Haru. In fact, I believe there are a bunch of seiyuus I recognize over the course of this anime. However they make their cameo as those characters that only pop up for a single episode or two and that’s it. For example, Ayane Sakura as Meldia, Misaki Kuno as Dia, Kana Asumi as Himari, Ayako Kawasumi as Natsumi, Yuuki Kaji and Showtaro Morikubo as those guys in Ensemble Stars. There may be more but I may have forgotten the characters…

The rest of the other main casts are Ayumu Murase as Gajeru (Luck in Black Clover), Mika Kikuchi as Liza (Mokona in Tsubasa Chronicle), Mao Ichimichi as Campanella (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Ai Kakuma as Erika (Rossweisse in High School DxD), Rui Tanabe as Luluna (Nanana in Ryuugajou Nanana No Maizoukin), Sayaka Harada as Mizaru (Chiya in Urara Meirocho), Akari Kitou as Iwazaru (Kyouko in Kyokou Suiri), Shiori Izawa as Guru (Tanpopo in Witch Craft Works) and Kouichi Souma as the mayor and his other clone reincarnations (Tokage in Beastars). I thought Shiori Izawa was also the voice of Iwazaru since this character has no proper dialogue and all huff and gruff but to my surprise, Ayumu Mano voices the latter (Natsumi in Date A Live III). So I guess they’re not saving costs here… But hey, at least she sings the ending theme. Even Miu has no spoken dialogue is voiced by Reina Ueda (Aishela in Grancrest Senki).

The opening theme is Yokubari Dreamer by the duet of Natsuki Hanae and Yukari Tamura. Sounds like your typical genki anime music. I suppose it fits the funny pace of the series but I didn’t quite like it. Because Yukari Tamura trying to sing as her character doesn’t make her sound like Yukari Tamura at all. Seriously. Feels like she’s singing in sleepy mode. I thought it was somebody else. And Natsuki Hanae sound like a weak gay or something… Seriously. The more epic song is the ending theme. Heck, Wiseman Theme by the Wiseman trio but of course! Yeah, so epic as the song sounds that they had to name it after them. Rap might not be my taste of music and the song laden with synthesizer effects but with Wiseman style antics, the song is just so f*cking epic! I’d rather hear this over and over again than the entire opener or part of it, once!

Overall, this is a really fun and funny series and I’m glad I stumbled upon it. Yeah, making fun out of the gacha mechanics seems more fun than corporate jokes. It might lack the story and characters but with the top tier jokes, you’ll be laughing a lot rather than caring about those. After all, this series doesn’t even takes itself seriously and you shouldn’t too. It’s all just for laughs. Despite some episodes look like blatant advertising for the franchise, well, if you like it, good for you, go buy their products. You like what they offer, you buy it and hand over your money, they win, you win. Win-win situation, no? If only that works well for gacha gameplay. Oh well, nothing like more money can’t solve, RIGHT???!!! I guess we never learn…

Dolls’ Frontline

September 19, 2020

Can this be technically categorized as girls with guns anime? Another popular Chinese mobile game given the adaptation. Dolls’ Frontline (originally known as Girls’ Frontline but had to change its name due to trademark issues in Japan) is one of those animes that sat borderline on my to-watch-or-not-to-watch list. Besides, it was hard to find the ‘correct’ version to watch because the series is originally in Mandarin audio and the Japanese subsequently dubbed over it. Also, not a fan of such mobile games. My experience tells me they don’t really adapt well. Take for instance my recent stint with Tenka Hyakken. That was the worse. Of course it wasn’t long that I discovered Mamiko Noto had a role in it and I found a rare site that has Japanese audio. Okay then. What am I waiting for? The rest is history…

Healing Chapter

Episode 1
As narrated, after World War III, a new battle took place that involved highly artificial intelligence known as Tactical Dolls. Hence, plunging the world into great danger once again. So what are the dolls fighting over this time? Over the last piece of cake!!! A fierce battle of wits and trickery as both sides try to get the last piece. But with all the bloopers, finally the cake flies into the mouth of Gr G11. And she was just there sleeping all the time…

Episode 2
G11 uses an extended straw to drink from everybody’s drink. When 416 lets her drink, G11 takes this as her sign she is giving her drink and takes the entire bottle away. Of course it isn’t and she got punished. When everybody else goes out, G11 is tasked to watch over the battery and collect them when it’s ready. Of course the sleepyhead falls asleep on the job. So much so she dreams of the batteries thanking her for watching over them. Sweet dreams…

Episode 3
M4 SOPMODII wants to check on the modification she made on ST AR-15. What modification?! It seems she has placed a speaker in her necktie. Initially it had no sound but now it does. Yeah. Now there’s music coming out of it and SOPMODII thinks it can be played at a lot of occasions. From confessions to watching a movie at the cinema to sleeping and while you’re taking a bath! How useful! Not! And then the alert sounds. Time to go fight the enemy. But then… The stupid music starts playing! Annoying. Oh, AR-15 finds the best use for it. She chases and blasts the music at SOPMODII. Are you loving it?

Episode 4
While fighting the enemy, the tide is turned with the appearance of the UMP sisters, UMP45 and UMP9. We see them being ‘legendary’ as UMP45 rides UMP9 like a skateboard while avoiding enemy fire. Then she uses UMP9 as a shield! UMP9 still loves her sister! During Christmas, UMP9 got a red dog collar for UMP45. WTF… Of course big sister isn’t impressed so she too has a present for her. It’s an ancient wooden handcuffs. And so UMP45 takes her out walking like a prisoner-cum-dog… When they return, they see sleeping G11 using 416 as a bolster. Everybody so weird…

Episode 5
After a successful mission, the girls want to hang out. However, M4A1 isn’t that sociable and doesn’t want to do so. In that case, SOPMODII gives her a mini doll, Jr to keep her company. Alone in her room, M4A1 freaks out when the doll starts to move! Throwing it aside, Jr starts crying. M4A1 feels bad about leaving it alone and agrees to play with it.

Episode 6
M4A1 falls asleep and starts dreaming. Make that a very f*cking weird dream. In some Alice In Wonderland garb, we see many dolls calling her princess, she rides a giant moustachioed enemy fighting against a giant SOPMODII (who got owned anyway), a dog rolling, G11 riding a chariot that is being pulled by the other girls who are rolling (?!) and finally some clips from the game itself! Weird indeed. When she wakes up, G11 is seen dozing off next to her.

Episode 7
A bored 416 surfs through the TV channel. Then she stumbles into this shopping channel hosted by Kalina. It seems she is promoting some grenade 416’s face on it at a special price. Hurry! Pre-order now! Now we see 416 faster than a speeding bullet rushing through and destroying shops filled with her unauthorized merchandise. And right before Kalina could end her segment, 416 pops up behind her. Oh sh*t… Meanwhile some chicken dude who is responsible for drawing this sh*t, suddenly 416 pops out from his computer and haunts him! And it is said that all staffs involved in the project started seeing visions of 416… Oh sh*t…

Episode 8
AR-15 is stumped on how to pass this giant enemy cannon before them. And then SOPMODII finds a black ball and activates it into its giant size. The cannon relentless attacks as both of them get into the ball. While the cannon cannot penetrate through the ball, how can it attack back? Don’t worry. SOPMODII transforms it into a mecha version of herself! Unfortunately all the transforming means it ran out of energy. The only option left is to self-destruct! Goodbye. Yeah, WTF. Because the production also ran out of money. I understand why AR-15 is so flabbergasted at this plot development…

Episode 9
The girls are shocked they have an empty hall! They didn’t think this is what HQ meant when they said they’ll be changing their hall. Kalina suggests that they do some mission and earn tokens that will enable them to exchange for furniture. And so the girls head off to fight the enemy. 1 token per day so after 10 days, they have 10 tokens. And all the furniture they get is a chair?! So you want more, do more missions? Why does this feel like a scam? But some rich customer gives 100 tokens and get extras because of some long term promotional thingy. Scam!

Episode 10
The UMP sisters are dressed up real fancy. This is thanks to all of them overworking for tons and tons of tokens! Right back at you, stingy Kalina! Now she is forced to give lots of freebies. But the stunning one is 416. Damn, she’s hot and gorgeous in that dress! She feels embarrassed but UMP45 notes how 416 has such big boobs and never noticed them from her usual thick clothes. UMP9 thought she could cheer her sister up by supporting her but UMP45 takes this as an insult, thinking she views her as having small boobs. She is about to slap her little sister but 416’s boobs got in the way. Boing! Eh? Then GR11 comes out dressing up like a reindeer. M4A1 looks at a dress display in the window and longs for it.

Episode 11
SOPMODII Jr wants to play with M4A1. However she is busy at the moment. Hence the doll starts playing with another toy, Diner. Then they manage to get out and go on a fun little adventure themselves. Soon it starts raining and they take shelter in a cave. But then there’s a bear in it! The doll calls out to M4A1’s name for help. Can she hear?

Episode 12
UMP45 is about the accuse M4A1 about eating her cake but she sees her cowering in fear. She explains Jr and Diner are missing and blames herself for being too busy to play with them. UMP9 claims she saw them outside so as the girls deliberate on how to look for them, don’t need to worry because SOPMODII has got a tracker on Diner! So they trace them to the cave. Oh dear. Could a bear have eaten them? M4A1 drops into despair but sees a version of herself if she is going to give up like she did. She doesn’t want her too because it doesn’t solve anything. She is different and has hope. That’s why she believes everything will turn out alright. Because everyone is with her. They continue looking and find the little ones sleeping in the flower garden with the bear cub. How sweet. So now M4A1 is ready to play with them.

Madness Chapter

Episode 13
The UMP sisters are about to enjoy their new sofa when suddenly there’s some mad person behind the locked room? Don’t worry. Super Shorty and Skorpion will handle this. Unfortunately Super Shorty failed to kick the thick door open and Skorpion already set off a Molotov cocktail. Can’t cancel! Catch! Boom! Meanwhile FNC enters the kitchen and sees a delicious cake. She gets annoyed thinking this is why the rest won’t let her in here. After some deliberation with her inner angel and devil, she decides to eat it but falls flat and cake in her face. M1897 is cleaning the stains so she gets freaked out seeing FNC’s face with cake all over and instantly sanitizes her. P38 and MP40 are complaining about the tough job they have while the higher ups have it so easy. Then PPS-43 accidentally opens the door, forcing MP40 to spill all the food all over P38.

Episode 14
GR G36 wants her girls to be seriously on patrol tonight. However she is wary of G11 because she is always sleepy and slacking. Then she realizes something amiss. Her worst fears come true. This G11 here is just a cardboard cut-out! The real G11 is snuggly sleeping in her bed. M14, IDW and Super Shorty are stuck in a cabin as they seek shelter from the blizzard. But IDW gets bored and wants to go outside to build a snowman! She got flooded with snow of course. And worse, IDW dozes off with a Molotov bottle in her hand. The cabin’s made of wood, you know. How many bottles did she light up?! They manage to escape but they have to leave the supplies behind. Boom! No supplies. No shelter. Cold. Whose fault is this?!

Episode 15
IDW spots a tactical fairy watering her plants. Because she is so cute, she can’t resist hugging-cum-molesting her. Little fairy bombs her away to escape. Now IDW’s face is filled with holes?! As she tries to sit down and recover from this, unknowingly she sits on one of the fairy’s plants. Anyway it is a bomb and you bet she gets blown away. Plant more of those, little one. Gr MP7 is happy to live in this new place. Looks good. Even has a nice scenery. Until she realizes it is just wallpaper! Damn, high quality wallpaper… Later she is introduced to a veteran member, P38. However, that is just a cardboard image of her and the real person is actually IDW. M14 is warned not to stand behind Super Shorty because of her height. Despite M14 praising all of Super Shorty’s good points and that she is a likeable person, she realizes too late when a bullet is fired their way. Super Shorty didn’t even have to dodge it. Oh, M14…

Episode 16
Z-62, MP40 and Grizzly turn in early since they drank a lot. Next morning when they wake up, MP40 and Grizzly realize they are in cool outfits. As for Z-62, she could see the child IQ of the duo? She freaks out upon remembering she drank too much. Type 63 is shocked to see Type 80 blow up different objects with her tongue (chewing gum actually). She got too close and it exploded in her face. Makarov chides SVD for not living up to her sniper status. She needs more practice and will come check on her later. Hence SVD pleads to OTs-44 for help since she made a bet with AK-47. So when Makarov returns, she is shocked to SVD drinking with AK-47 and the one practising is OTs-44! Skorpion complains to OTs-12 to come out and help her as a secret weapon. Reluctantly she does and then brags to her if this is what she expected from her as a secret weapon.

Episode 17
Agent is going to kill M4A1 (is she asleep?) but as she is about to do it, their eyes meet and it kicks off some weird romance-like stare. Then she vomits all over her face! M16A1 then butts Agent away and thinks she has saved the day. You can praise her now… Yeah, M4A1 might be just sleepy… G43 and MP40 realize they are out of bullets and hope to conserve some. Though they call for reinforcements, she is MG42. She fires away and wastes all their remaining bullets! Later the duo are glad there are still some bullets reserves in the storeroom. Before they could conserve it, here comes MG42… Oh no… MP40 has taken too much damage and needs to switch out. But MG34 and MG42 are too busy firing away so she ‘dies’…

Episode 18
Hearing about how both sides form a temporary truce on Christmas, M1911 starts singing Silent Night. Didn’t work. Enemy continues to fire! Skorpion that she could shoot up in a flashy way. Turns out her effective range is short and rounds that go beyond 100 metres have no penetrating power. Under heavy attack, NTW-20 has 1 last shot to take out the enemy boss. She hits! But it’s a subordinate and not the boss. So basically she missed. Retreat! Skorpion believes nobody can beat her in some speed competition. Turns out she solved 2 Rubik cubes in 20 seconds! Tokarev has fallen. How would they fight in the dark then? AK-47 uses her as a spotlight! Because her soul is still shining bright, no?! PPS-43 and Skorpion are in a competition to see who defeats the boss first. PPS-43 steps on some trap and disappears. She pops out in the real world and starts shooting the poor girl who is playing the game, thinking she is the last boss! Dance baby, dance!

Episode 19
Suomi KP-31 is happy to report for duty. Too bad she is told by her commander to do her job properly because she spent 70,000 resources on her! Oh no. Pressure. Then she has clones of enhancement fodder that has just arrived but Suomi feels embarrassed to use them. The commander is then asked to make some dummy linkage. But since she already used the core on her rare doll, hence she creates C96. She then uses her as a civilian doll. Standing guard in the middle of the rain… M1911 has just been completely healed by the medic. She is touched with the kindness so she shoots herself in the head?! Huh?! With the enemy overwhelming them, the commander wonders if M2HB can defeat them all. Of course she can. She fires away but runs out of bullets. Then the enemy bombs hit them. Game over. Later as the enemy continues to advance, M2HB is tasked to help with suppressive fire. Too bad she is sleeping. She wakes up when the enemy starts shooting back but her comrade has already gotten shot. She still continues firing all she’s got. When they are overwhelmed and told to take cover, M2HB tells them to screw it with their cover and so she goes wild shooting at the enemy! Can’t compete against that!

Episode 20
The enemy is nearing and G11 is supposed to provide cover while M590 attacks. However she is sleeping so M590 wakes her up by throwing some nut. The enemy thought it is a grenade and runs away. AM RFB is locked up for playing video games in the middle of combat! She hasn’t learnt her lesson, though. She continues to play her game in prison until the battery runs out. Let me out! As FMG-9 goes through the security checkpoint and her flashlight looks suspicious. Then it transforms into a sort of weapon (it isn’t a weapon anyway) and she got arrested. M4A1 and M16A1 are looking for Team 404 so the latter climbs atop a giant gun to do so. She spots and calls out to them. Team 404 got scared thinking they’ve been spotted but upon closer look, they realize it’s that idiot. Later as the mission is done, everyone is supposed to greet their new team member but M16A1 wants to sit out since she fell and got injured. So she sleeps in but later gets a rude awakening by RO635 to just get up. Your peaceful life is over!

Episode 21
Kalina narrates about the problems of installing the game. Why does it stall? Because your PC has no extra space to keep the downloaded file. So be sure to make space for it so that downloads can resume. Yeah, she cleared out a fridge of somebody’s snacks just to give us this example. Next, she explains about rings that are able to forge an oath and deeper bond between players and dolls. So she’s trying to sell us an expensive wedding ring too? Next, she explains about login bonuses but some are time limited so if you are a day late and missed it, that’s your problem. Finally there’s this quick repair mode for damaged dolls to get them back in action quick. Why do they have that sexy look while being repaired?

Episode 22
Makarov takes a hit so of course her comrade sends her back for repairs. Unfortunately the commander tells them to complete the mission because otherwise their rankings will drop! Kalina tells us to use support echelons if the enemy is too strong. So we see a giant doll wrestler making mincemeat out of her enemy. Then there is also some narration about enhancing the combat effectiveness of the dolls with your stats via enhancement capsules. Yeah, they go berserk and violent destroying everything. Next, some skill points to unleash the dolls’ potential but all we see them is going crazy and violent.

Episode 23
Kalina reminds the commander to collect his batteries but he is too lazy to do it. Till she explains the things he can do with them so when he tries to look for them, it’s not around. Where are they? Looks like somebody is using it to play games, thinking he never uses his batteries ever. Don’t look behind now because the commander is… Kalina further narrates about expending batteries, blah, blah, blah, gain more experience, blah, blah, blah. Just when she thought she is done, the commander drops her more jobs. The commander is treating himself to food. SPAS-12 thinks she can eat anything too and since the commander gives his permission, she and her clones order everything on the menu. That is sure going to cost. Lee Enfield is going to cook a nutritionally balanced meal. Of course she is just dumping everything in, including floppy disks! Eat up now. Hope your stomach won’t get data corruption…

Episode 24
An explanation about using heavy production to create rare dolls. A tough method but some dolls can only be created this way. Also, something about the effectiveness of handguns via dummy link. M1895 thought she could finally be of use and would do anything. Too bad she is made to do a manga job! Finish the manuscript! We are briefly introduced to the concept of fairies and of course not the real mythical one because everything would’ve been solved easily via magic! So keep struggling with the enemy drones with much intelligent AI!

Dolls Just Wanna Have Fun
What the heck did I just watch? Oh well. It was to be expected but I didn’t expect it to ‘end’ like that. Heck, do you even call that final episode an ending? Like as though they ran out of really random skits and inserted some tutorial in the last few episodes just to bore the hell out of you. Because if the anime sucks, go download the mobile game and start playing! I’m sure you’ll get more kick and excitement when you spend your money on dolls and their upgrades. The more you spend, the more they’ll love you back. Hah! I don’t know. I didn’t play the game so I don’t know anything. Not even interested to go take a peek. Sorry, no game hints from me. Phew.

As expected, there is no proper storyline and all the short skits are pretty random. I guess the objective is to give viewers a short burst of random laughter. Nothing more, nothing less. However I believe that you need to have some knowledge of the game itself for things to make sense and to enjoy it. Otherwise if you are like me who has no experience or knowledge whatsoever even with the game (heck, I only heard about it when it was adapted into anime), there are so many parts that are just confusing. More like, I just don’t get it. It is only ‘funny’ because those moments are shown in a slapstick way so I suppose it is cue for me to laugh? Hence my experience and sentiments throughout watching the entire series hover between confusion and funny. Thank goodness each episode is only 3 minutes long, no? However some episodes in the first half has got this extra live action scene. As random and weird as ever. This segment shows paper cut outs of the dolls bumming around or harassing somebody’s pet cat. Huh? Like, WTF?!

As we have seen, the adapted series is divided into 2 parts, the Healing Chapter followed by the Madness Chapter. It feels that both parts are different despite being the same. What do I mean? You see, the first half mainly shows the interactions and fun between just the few dolls. Nothing much in particular and perhaps that is why it is called the Healing Chapter. Everything or for the most of it needs to be in a calming and soothing pace, right? Okay. Fine. Then when it comes to the second half, the formula suddenly drastically changed. Each episode is already so short, it is then further divided into more skits, making each skit just a few seconds long.

True to its Madness Chapter name, it gets helter-skelter and crazy here because they introduce a hell more bunch of characters. The antics are crazier and everything happens so fast including the punch line, before you could react, the skit is already over. Truly an insane section if I should say. And then towards the end, they narrate some game mechanics and I’m not sure if they are supposed to be tips but as said, if you’re like me who knows nuts about the game, this is where you will truly feel lost. Whatever repairs or batteries topic thingy, the punchline that comes after that feels empty to me because I just don’t get it. Oh yeah. Cue to laugh, right? Okay. HAHAHAHAHA! So those tutorials, they are making assumption that you have fallen in love with the series and are ready to go get the game?! Here, take note of these tips to upgrade and manage your dolls. This is our goodbye present from us to you for the chibi anime series. Heh. Because of this messy second half, I deducted some points off that would otherwise have the series being having a more passable score.

As for the characters, oh boy, there’s too many of them! The Healing Chapter was fine because there were like about 8 or 9 of them only. So it’s pretty much ‘confined’ although there is technically no character development. The most you get is seeing M4A1 with Jr. But even so, that didn’t amount much to anything. And some like G11 being portrayed to us as a sleepyhead while UMP45 takes advantage of her sister’s love for her own gains. That’s pretty much about it. Pretty okay for the most part. The real hell comes with the Madness Chapter when a whole bunch of other dolls are randomly featured from episode to episode. I believe some only appear once but it’s not like I keep any count. Yeah, too confused to even bother. If not for the ending credits and the help of Google search, I think I will not be able to identify which doll is which and name them here in my blog. Yes, that is a true story. I think I got most of them right so forgive me if I misidentified some of them here. So good luck trying to even remember them if you’re not a fan of the series. If you think there are a hell lot of dolls popping up here, wait till you see how much more there are in the game itself! Scary…

You have got to be a really hardcore fan and fanatic of the game or the guns to just remember the dolls. All of them. I don’t know exactly how many they are but being a mobile game, I’m sure they want you to spend your money so there has got to be lots of characters, upgrades, equipment, booster items, stats and other stuffs just to retain your interest. It may look like girls with guns but I think it is more of the lines of girls as guns. Yeah, imagine one knowing all about guns thanks to the personification of these dolls as guns. What a way to turn something so manly and violent into something so cute and violent. Now you can shoot to kill with cuteness!

Art and animation are just okay. Thankfully each episode is only 3 minutes so seeing the characters in their chibi form looks okay and fine. Looking cute and funny together. Yeah, we so many characters, I bet the design of each character is going to be a nightmare with more and more characters introduced. Uh huh. This shows there are just so many freaking type of gun models in the world and to personify them all as cute chibi dolls, that’s a herculean task. Of course my puny brain can’t remember them after an episode and some dolls look the same to me but as said, thank the end credits and Google search. Too bad the Google search images return results of those dolls in their hot mature combat form compared to this anime’s cute and chibi shape that lacks all those details. It is a reason why I might misidentify a doll too. Not that I care at this point.

As you would all already know (if you follow my blog), Mamiko Noto has been my favourite seiyuu ever since and I certainly wouldn’t have picked it up or the chances of watching it this soon, if not for her having a cameo role here. It is unfortunate she’s just making a cameo as UMP9 (a character I believe making a lot less appearance compared to M4A1 and SOPMODII) but I guess I have to be grateful and take whatever roles she plays these days. There are also other recognizable seiyuus lending their talents like Haruka Tomatsu as M4A1, Yukari Tamura as SOPMODII, Ai Nonaka as 416 and Nao Touyama as Kalina. The rest are Nozomi Yamane as M16A1 (Javelin in Azur Lane), Ayaka Fukuhara as G11 (Veronica in Fairy Gone), Emiri Katou as AR-15 (Kagami in Lucky Star) and Tomomi Mineuchi as UMP45 (Eiko in Slow Start). I’m not going to do the other casts appearing in Madness Chapter! Screw that! With the skits so short and the dolls having limited dialogue time, I don’t think I recognize anybody else. Not that I care at this point. I’m sure with such an extensive doll line-up, some seiyuus may be voicing multiple characters. If it’s so, I’m not really surprised.

Overall, it feels like this anime needs to be adapted just because it needs to cash in on the popularity of the series. Otherwise, only fans and those who have played the game are the only ones who can at least appreciate, understand or even enjoy this adaptation. Everybody else will be left confused in the dust. Not sure if this is to expose and introduce those to play the game but it sure didn’t do the trick for me. Hey, I wasn’t even interested in taking look at Azur Lane the game (the other very popular Chinese mobile game) after checking out its anime version and sure as heck I won’t be the slightest curious to check this one out despite having lots of cute anime babes. Call me old fashion, I guess to me the best anime dolls are still those from Rozen Maiden. Dolls with guns still not up my alley. Sure, they look cute but also weird at the same time. Now imagine Care Bears wielding assault rifles. Cutely weird, right???!!!

Bihada Ichizoku

September 18, 2020

You know me. I’m a sucker for a pretty face. So when I heard about Bihada Ichizoku which is some sort of made up competition for beautiful woman and beautiful skin, you bet I’m going to jump right in and watch all those beautiful 2D anime girls to my heart’s content. Though, don’t really remember why I was like over a decade late since this anime came out in late 2008. I guess beauty is timeless and eternal. Or rather, some things like yours truly has never changed.

Episode 1
Sara Bihada just won World Bihada Challenge (WBC) while her sister, Saki is runner’s up. Ai Shiratori admires this competition as Masao Kamada explains about this competition to find the girl with the most beautiful skin. With this win, Rumiko who is the sisters’ mother, hosts a celebratory party. One of the attendees is Tatsuya Yuutenji of the famed Yuutenji family and is of course here to see Sara. Before the sisters head to the party, Rumiko takes Sara to see her father, Kenya. As the only one who has won WBC, father will entrust to her their family secret: Bihada Shichihouten. This treasure can only be inherited by one person. This means Saki is left out and Sara feels bad. However her parents don’t want her to pity a loser because a queen must be firm in taking control of her throne! As Kenya takes out the box containing the treasure, it’s missing! Oh dear. Saki has stolen it!

Episode 2
Saki will not accept being branded a loser after just a loss. While Sara is sympathetic, their parents are less merciful but realistic. Well, she did lose… Saki runs away but to Sara’s dismay, she sees her getting away in Tatsuya’s car. Three years have passed. Sara is now a normal college student. While many still recognize Sara as the first WBC winner, the last 3 years have been won consecutively by Saki. Then there is the case where the Bihada’s family went bankrupt so Kenya even issued an apology to the press but to no avail. Their reputation tanked and they lost all their influence, wealth and fortune. Sara returns to her dilapidated mansion. Wow. So empty. Looks like Kenya sold all their belongings to pay off the debts. Oh, great timing for Saki to come in and b*tch how this place now belongs to her because the Yuutenji family bought it. Sara doesn’t understand why her big sister is tormenting them still but Saki refuses to be called her sister and be related to them in any way.

Episode 3
Sara still thinks Saki as her big sister. Wow. They’re turning this into a musical as we see the young sisters sing and dance with each other. How cute. How lovely. Such innocence. However it is a different story for Saki. In this lame B-class acting drama scene, we see Saki wanted to confess to a boy. However he already confessed to Sara and was rejected. Thoughts of confessing to Saki as replacement? No way! She’s too gloomy! Hence Saki despite being Sara’s older twin has always lived in her shadows. She views Sara born with beautiful skin and never had to work for it. Saki claims her victory was due to her hard work and all. Eh? By stealing the treasure? Anyway, Sara repents and wants Saki to return to the old sister she loves. Too bad Saki will not and wants her to continue living in her shadows! Wow. Ghostly effects for her ghostly exit! Too much drama causes Kenya to have a heart attack and dies! Wow! This escalated so quickly! So at his funeral, Saki didn’t turn up and Rumiko is going crazy denying her husband is dead. Poor Sara… What is she going to do?!

Episode 4
Another 4 years passed and we see Sara taking on odd jobs just to take care of Rumiko. But mother’s mentality is still at a point where Sara won the WBC. So she bought this chandelier! OMFG! Can Sara even pay off her debts! Until Sara mentions about Saki has married into the Yuutenji family… Trauma returning… As Sara feels sad over this whole thing, she receives a call from a potential job. She decides to bite the bullet and take it to restore their happiness. So at this world famous cosmetic company, U10G (is this a play over Yuutenji’s name?!), Sara is instantly rejected as they think she is an impersonator! Then here comes Saki. She is the boss of this company and still refuses to acknowledge Sara as her little sister. However she has the perfect job for her: Janitor. Now start cleaning! When Tatsuya passes her, Sara realizes this is the bastard who brainwashed Saki. She tries to throw the mop at him but it hits Tsuyoshi Minamoto. She apologizes but he is cool with it. I take it. She has fallen for him.

Episode 5
Sara can’t help think about Tsuyoshi. Yeah, kissing the glass, isn’t she? Embarrassing. Then here comes the real person himself. She flusters and excuses herself to the toilet. I don’t think no matter how much water she splashes on her face, she’s not going to cool down her temperature. But oh, here comes Saki to splash the whole bucket of mop water on her! F*cking b*tch! After she leaves, Sara notices she left behind some olive skin product supposedly given by a fan. After work, Sara tries to talk to Tsuyoshi but once again embarrassment rules the day. Next day, Ai who is now a popular high school model is a guest on Saki’s show. Some ladies are asking Tsuyoshi the kind of girl he likes. I guess he doesn’t want them to bug him anymore so he points out to Ai. Sara thinks he is a lolicon! Wait. High school girl is considered lolicon? Not sure Sara’s twisted logic because she spends her money to dress up like a lolicon and darkens her skin. No wonder when she approaches Tsuyoshi, he thinks she is some gal going to a fight! Sara so mad… Can’t be mad on an empty stomach… Yeah, no money left for food… Luckily she is saved by Kamada whom she pours out her love woes to. He gives her some advice and of course the big one is to wipe away her current horrible lolicon makeup and be her own true beautiful self.

Episode 6
The fan leaves more stuffs for Sara to use. Judging from the note, it seems the fan knows about her even as far back as 10 years ago. Thanks to Sara getting a healthy dose of purple sweet potatoes, her skin starts to become smoother. So one day Tatsuya and Saki are about to leave for some grand party and all the employees bow before their departure. Then Saki sees Sara’s nice skin complexion and gets worked up. She has the guards remove her?! WTF?! Sara continues her usual and at the end of the day, she realizes some left a copy of Bihada Shichihouten in her closet! Oh my. But how? Later on, the supposed fan who is a beardy guy in a trench coat, Somekichi pops up and wants Sara to continue the beauty regimen. Here?! Right now?! He’s chopping vegetables for her face!!! However Sara feels she can’t do it and claims she has left the beauty world. But Somekichi argues if that is so, why did she continue doing the beauty regimen he suggested? Yeah, more crap about women and their destiny to become beautiful, blah, blah, blah. I guess Sara is swayed to live up to that destiny. Time to restore the glory of her family.

Episode 7
When Tsuyoshi realizes who Sara is, he gets a traumatic flashback. Looks like somebody named Shiori died by his side. So here’s his true goal: He blames the Bihada family for Shiori’s death and worked at U10G to get closer to Saki so as to get his revenge. But now both sisters are here, my, how cruel such is fate. Sara leaves with Somekichi for training. Yeah, picking nothing but mushrooms for a few days, huh? Not satisfied? He slaps her face! But wait! There’s a reason he did so. Because there is no pain in his slap, it is actually to enhance her facial beauty! WTF?! And picking mushrooms is supposed to let the nature of the forest detoxify her skin?! WTF???!!! Next, he trains her how to catch sliced fruits with her face!!! Better train up. His cat can do it better than her!!! So after 3 months of intensive training, Sara’s skin is radiating. For her final test, she faces off with Ayumi Chousokabe who is WBC’s kansai branch president. In this face catching fruit test, Sara does all her acrobatic and somersault moves to absorb the cucumbers into her face! In mid-air! Just f*cking wow and WTF???!!! You bet Ayumi lost. Sara’s training is over. Unknown to her, U10G’s satellite is spying on Sara’s progress and Saki is looking very worried over her little twin’s revival.

Episode 8
To stop her recurring nightmares, Saki decides to face Sara head on fair and square. Fair and square?! After all this time?! Meanwhile, Tsuyoshi is getting his revenge plan in motion. He sneaks in and is awaiting a chance to pour this sulphuric acid. Nasty. Saki and her men track down and chase Sara and Somekichi who are just returning from their training. Oh my! Since when did this turn into a Fast and Furious car chase!!! Saki so desperate not to let anyone interfere in their fight that she fires a mini grenade launcher at the oil tanker blocking their path! OMFG!!! BOOM! There’s your explosive action!!! WTF?! So f*cking hilarious no wonder Tatsuya is laughing while he watches this from the comfort of his home!!! He doesn’t care who wins as long as he has the strongest one by his side. The chase finally ends after Saki corners them at the pier. So all this chase just to hand Sara an invitation to the next WBC???!!! SERIOUSLY!!! While Sara is happy, Saki is determined to defeat and crush her in front of everyone. But Somekichi believes Sara can’t win. She is missing something in her current state. He won’t tell. Go find out yourself. Think hard…

Episode 9
Kamada is shocked at how beautiful Sara has become. He is glad that she can do it as long as she put in the hard work. When Sara returns home, she is surprised that Tsuyoshi is here. But he can’t execute his revenge plan since he sees Shiori in her. He faints. He wakes up in her place as she treats him. Before he could reveal his true intention, Sara jumps the gun and thinks he is going to confess so she confesses first! Oh wow. So revenge plan gone just like that? Now they make out?! Damn, could it be that sex is the other secret ingredient to make your skin better???!!!! HOLY SH*T!!!! Meanwhile Saki is scared and seeks comfort in Tatsuya’s arms. However he pushes her away because his wife must be the strongest person in the world and he hates weak women. Jerk. Man, look at a satisfied Sara and her skin is glowing. But I guess Tsuyoshi now has the strength to admit his true intentions to destroy the Bihada family and has hated them. This leaves Sara heart broken. So Tsuyoshi just ranted his goal and left? Weird. Somekichi who has been witnessing it all notes that the thing Sara lacked compared to Saki is to know the pain of love. But now looks like she has a chance.

Episode 10
WBC is here and Somekichi is part of the judges. So it starts off with the semi-finals? Whatever. We see Sara facing off with Ai and the beauty theme is some Heian period beauty. While Ai has her makeup artists, Sara is all alone. Can she do it? Not if Kamada drops in to help? Can he do this? You mean this is not against the rules?! Anyway he weaves his magic and puts the final touches on her. The contestants must now do a performance. Ai does calligraphy but misspells a word. Sara on the other hand does some gardening action but laments Kamada using the monpe costume on her. Because of her sadness, I guess this evokes some realism and you bet the crowd is wowed. In the end, Sara scores more points to defeat Ai. Yeah, the destined final of the sisters taking on each other.

Episode 11
Wow. Ai so shocked that she lost. Totally in despair. This is what happens when you never lose in your life… Now on to the finals. Why do the sisters make their entrance like as though this is boxing! And that fake Rocky theme! The theme is some Carmen lady and Kamada once more aids her. Once done, both sisters put on this Latin senorita dance to wow the crowd. But then Sara stops halfway. Why? Because she spots Tsuyoshi in the crowd! Damn, is security so lax that nobody actually cared he is holding a bottle of sulphuric acid in his hands???!!! Torn over her love for Tsuyoshi as well as his true intentions, Sara goes into despair but this allows her to dance more intensive and on par with Saki. In the end, both scored the same points! Man, the scores look like some random number generator. What are the chances?! Everybody in disbelief. Even Tatsuya. But no matter. Whoever wins, he’ll make use of her. Jerk. Meanwhile Tsuyoshi has chickened out. Can’t do it…

Episode 12
Damn, Ai is still so traumatized that she has dehydrated?! WTF?! I guess this is for Sara to signal to Kamada to go to her and that she herself is strong enough to stand on her own. In this extra round, the theme is Jeanne d’Arc. Both come out in battle armour form but why is Sara in such a lame comical armour?! Saki thought of teasing her by using some device to test her skin condition. All perfect! Sara wants to test her next but she won’t allow it. Don’t be so mad. The wrinkles might be showing. So now it’s a swordfight? Sara loses and then she sees Tsuyoshi in the crowd. So he’s back? Oh, now he goes away. Make up your mind! Sara in despair. Saki thinks this makes her the strongest and most beautiful. But Sara disagrees. This only proves she is Tatsuya’s doll. Sara throws some childish tantrum and this activates some beauty cell. SHE’S GLOWING!!! Strong enough to knock Saki’s sword off. Damn, the set production is so weak that it got damage and going to fall???!!! Must be some powerful sword. Sara pushes Saki out of harm’s way. Don’t worry. Sara’s not dead. In fact, she’s alive and glowing like a saint! All hail your goddess! Both sisters get back on good terms and they renew their rivalry for the next competition. Back in business. As for this competition, Sara wins and regains her lost throne.

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep
Oh wow. So that’s it? The Bihada sisters back in the beautiful skin competition and the start of their dominance? Oh well. That’s another story to tell. But otherwise, it was really a pretty rushed ending. Uh huh. A couple of things felt unresolved like Tatsuya. So are the sisters going to dump him and get their revenge? Or is Tatsuya now going to control both of them as his dolls? Not really clear on this one and I suppose he isn’t anywhere near a main character or main villain and just some extra character jerk. So whatever his goals to use the sisters isn’t that important. Because with only a dozen episodes and the season heading into its climactic ending, the focus is on reconciling the sisters and make them back to how it once was.

Anyway, the whole series itself is quite laughable. It is both funny in the sense of light heated entertainment as well as weird. Sometimes it feels like a borderline slapstick comedy and there are some stuffs in which they exaggerate greatly in the name of comedy. Like that Fast and Furious spoof because why not? Nobody ever thought of putting in some (low quality) high octane explosive car chase in a beauty show, right? Oh yeah, don’t forget that obligatory training episode because characters who have fallen from grace need some sort of guidance from a ‘master’ as part of the menu and their path to regain what they lost. Really? Sara needed to do all that acrobatic somersault and whatever crap that is needed? For a beauty contest?! Whatever. And I don’t even know how this WBC works. How the f*ck do they even get over 50,000 points?!

Because of all the absurdity and ridiculous nonsensical crap, sometimes it is hard to think that some of the beauty advice they give is credible. Not to say that there are lots of beauty advice but it is far by few and very sparingly. So when they talk about purple sweet potatoes being good for your skin, it felt like they’re trying to pull a fast one. Yeah, somebody has a penchant to promote purple sweet potatoes compared to avocados or walnuts… I don’t know. I was lazy so I didn’t Google to fact check. But I’m pretty sure the slapping one is just a joke so don’t go slap yourself just to enhance your skin! Maybe they’re just trying to troll stupid people… I don’t think this series even tried or ever thought of wanting to give us such advice at all. After all, we’re here to watch all the insane nonsense and laugh at it at face value. Hey. Maybe that’s it. Perhaps they want to make us laugh because laughter is perhaps one of the best and natural ways to make your skin prettier! I thought the Bihada Shichihouten is going to play an important role. F*ck. Don’t see how a scroll containing a few lines could change anything and why one could even want to own it. Forgettable.

Feeling weirder is the acronym of WBC used. I’m sure there are lots of other acronyms that could mean that but the first impression when I heard of WBC, I thought it was the World Boxing Council! Oh yeah. You bet the beauty competition is just like a boxing competition but without all the punching violence. No wonder the WBC finals between Saki and Sara almost look like one and the familiar Rocky theme song. Of course WBC is also famously known as white blood cells but although cells play a major role in skin beauty, I don’t think it’s the white one…

Don’t hope for any sort of character development here because except for Sara, the rest are just pretty forgettable. Of course this series focuses on the trials and tribulations of Sara. Her fall from grace and then all the hardships she had to undergo to rise again like a phoenix. Hence Sara as the main character feels pretty much like a joker. After all, she’s trying to stay positive in times of despair. What good will it do if she continues to mope and be gloomy? Daddy’s dead and mom has got serious mental issues. And sister became the big bad villainess whom she has to rescue. Oh yeah. And you never thought a beauty queen had to go through all that. Uh huh. Sadly, it is what goes behind the scenes that we do not always see and hence we do not understand. But yeah, Sara makes it look like she’s making that journey a comical one. Coupled in with her innocent and naïve personality, no wonder her journey feels a bit more of comedy than a tragedy.

So Saki is just the case of being an overly jealous sister and one with an inferior complex. So by being a b*tch and somebody’s husband, she thinks she has it all by shoving her little twin sister out of the way. Well, nothing like a little sisterly love to fix all that. I don’t think Saki is entirely a bad person. Just that she wasn’t being shown the same love as Sara did at the beginning so we saw how detrimental that went from then. I thought Ai was a pretty unnecessary character. They could have just used some unknown in Sara’s semi-final fight but I guess she had to face off with a somebody. A high school idol, that is. Otherwise, Ai is pretty forgettable and not even close to being important. Same for Kamada. Just to show that Sara isn’t alone and that she has allies. Somekichi too. This WBC judge feels like a harbinger of death because in the initial episodes, he is seen warning Rumiko and Tatsuya of their arrogance and then something untoward happened to them. So this old dude only exists to help bring Sara back to the right path. Damn, his cat should get more screen time…

Like I’ve said, Tatsuya being the real bad guy and jerk who is using Saki, the sad part is that we don’t see him getting just desserts. This means assuming that if the Yuutenji family was the one responsible behind the downfall of the Bihada family, then it is sad that Kenya still didn’t get his justice. But who cares when you have both sisters back together, right? Oh well, maybe next story. Then there’s this Tsuyoshi guy who feels so disconnected from it all. Sure, it’s to provide some distraction and side romance for Sara. After all, a woman also blooms and becomes beautiful when she is in love. It got interesting when his true intentions for revenge against the Bihada family was revealed. I mean, I really wanted to know why he was so vengeful against them. Did Shiori die (assuming so) because of some excessive use of cosmetics? Was she some makeup guinea pig that gone wrong? Man, this guy also so confused with the feelings of his heart, he flip flops his decision to kill any one of the sisters. So I guess he decided to chicken out, huh? Don’t stain your hands with blood. Shiori might not approve of that. Like Tatsuya, Tsuyoshi as a character as far as this series is concerned is quite disappointing.

Commenting on the art and animation, it mostly feel like as though it is from a comic strip despite having some flashy effects. Also some angles and scenes feel like it looks like retro anime. You know, sometimes I thought the characters look like they come from that Speed Racer series. One of the funniest things is when the characters become displeased or scheming, their eyes glow like a flashlight! Ghostly! Freaking funny to see them lose their eyeballs and their whole eyes just turned white and bright. You bet some of the facial expressions are also exaggerated, making them look comical. Especially Sara during her hardships and Saki when she can’t stand her little twin. But the ‘best’ one goes to Somekichi’s pet cat because it has got as much facial expressions as any other human beings. Pretty amusing to see the camera view zooming up on its face so we can see the funny cat expressions. Oh, and those pretty girls that I was hoping? Uhm… Nah… Pretty meh. This kind of skin beauty not my type. Ironically, I Sara and Saki without all that makeup look prettier!

For the voice acting, I only recognize Eri Kitamura as Saki. She’s truly revelling in such b*tch characters like Ami from Toradora so it feels so much at home for her. I thought it was Rie Kugimiya behind Ai but to my shock it was Aki Toyosaki. Not as shocking as Daisuke Ono as Kamada because I didn’t realize it was him until I finished watching and just looking at the credits. So this is how he sounds like when he is trans? Okay. But the most shocking one that I still cannot believe as I write this is Yuuichi Nakamura as Tsuyoshi. No matter how much I hear and hear this character, I cannot think that this is THE Yuuichi Nakamura. The one who voiced Gray in Fairy Tail, Tomoya in Clannad and Kyousuke in OreImo. Sure this Yuuichi Nakamura? Even if I imagine him in his most normal of voice, THIS CANNOT BE HIM! RIGHT?! Could it be another lesser known seiyuu with the same name? Well, it is! Oh well. It is bound to happen. People sharing the exact same name. So this Yuuichi Nakamura is more of an actor and this role is his only endeavour in anime. Phew. Umeka Shouji as Sara is amusing because sometimes she sounds quite comical. Other casts include Takayuki Sugou as Somekichi, Eikou Kano as Tatsuya, Yoko Soumi as Rumiko, Rina Sakurai as Ayumi and Hirohiko Kakegawa as Kenya. The ending theme is Jet Girl by Lil’B. Pretty generic lively anime pop. All the bling-bling and the likes that fit the series like a glove.

Overall, let me just say that this series might be beautiful in its own right but it still has its flaws. Lots of them! I consider this as one of those redemption stories and nothing more. The story and the characters feel bland, sometimes giving a feel that it is going for more style than substance. In between, a lot of funny and nonsensical stuffs happen to keep you laughing so I guess it is not too bad. Remember, some laughter is good for your skin. That’s why I can’t stay mad at this anime for being silly because all those wrinkle lines will be bad for my skin! So just laugh it off and be mindful not to criticise the next bad anime. Because as Confucious puts it, everything has beauty but not everyone sees it. I don’t know about that. It’s hard to find beauty in crap…

Hey wait. This getting a reboot or a remake? Apparently Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode Oracle isn’t even a sequel of that cheesy Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation that came out in 2016. So it’s a prequel, huh? So the sequel is a prequel, huh? Oh no. Don’t start confusing me… I guess we’re going to throw away that cheesy high school setting of playing this online virtual game for something darker that happened in its origins. As suggested already in the title, it adapts a few Oracle chapters but also adds in some original content. Because might as well go watch people play the entire game if they’re just going to copy and paste the whole thing.

Episode 1
A few terms for us. Oracle: A massive fleet with many spaceships and a mothership at its core. ARKS: A group comprised of races humans, Newmans and CASTs. Afin is part of the new recruit for ARKS. He tries to strike up a conversation with Ash but he isn’t much of a talker. While Afin claims he joined ARKS to find the true sky, Ash just wants to find out about himself. They are dropped on Planet Naverius and their mission is to kill enemy native creatures. All is going well until Darkers pop up and start killing the captain and everybody else. Afin could have been toast too had not Ash come to his rescue. As they take refuge in a cave, Afin is clearly depressed. He thinks the same thing is going to happen again like it did 10 years ago. That’s why he pushed himself to join ARKS. Break time is over when more Darkers spawn. Luckily they are taken out by the rescue team led by celebrity ARKS, Zeno and Echo. While taking a breather, Zeno tries to give them some motivation and positivity. After all, better to face the harsh reality now than living the naïve life. Ash then sees a girl falling from the sky. She seems to know Ash and wants him to kill her before passing out. Suddenly some masked guy drops in and tries to kill them. He claims he will kill the girl and Ash. Thanks to Gettemhult and Melfonseana AKA Seana coming into the scene, the perpetrator escapes. Gettemhult is haughty as he doesn’t mince his words telling off Ash being weak but think he can protect others. Everyone returns to Oracle and the girl is handed over to the infirmary. As she has no ID, they think she isn’t from ARKS. And then a vision of a woman, Xion appears before Ash. This is the woman he keeps seeing in his dreams. So she’s just here to tell him some intertwined fate with Matoi and the chance to save many lives. That’s it?

Episode 2
Ash and Afin talk to Matoi but she doesn’t remember anything except her name. When the duo are to return to Naverius for a mission, Matoi wants to come with them but of course protocol means she can’t. Before they depart, they are shocked that Matoi will be coming along after getting special orders from centre. Commanding them is Kohana who is a veteran ARKS member. During the mission, Darkers spawn. Too much to handle? Gettemhult to the rescue. Of course he insults them before leaving. Kohana warns her team not to let their heart be consumed by hatred. It seems something happened 10 years ago to Gettemhult and killing Darkers after Darkers continue to turn him so. They continue killing more Darkers and there is one time Kohana was spacing out, she was almost killed by fellow ARKS, Risa. Damn, this girl is a psycho and probably happy trigger too. After she leaves, Kohana starts acting strange. At first she attacks Ash but holds it back enough to escape. Looking for her, they stumble into sisters Patty and Tia. They explain Kohana’s strange behaviour due to some Darkers purification thingy. Kohana probably absorbed that more than her abilities can handle and turned into like that. While there is no record of any ARKS turning into Darkers, better get her to the hospital quick. They continue to search for her but alas they find her dead body. Afin can’t take this anymore and calls mission control to request for evacuation. However he is denied and they are to continue with the mission. As they camp out, they start wondering if ARKS has another side unknown to the public. Because finding Kohana’s body, they are pretty sure she wasn’t killed that long (by a single sword strike to boot with) and yet control knew about it already. Afin then reveals the real reason he joined ARKS is to look for his sister who went missing in that Darkers attack 10 years ago. Yeah, something real big must’ve happened then. Because Ash doesn’t remember what happened 10 years ago too.

Episode 3
Next morning, Ash hears some rumbling going on. He rushes there to see Darkers rampaging. Girl in trouble. Goes to help her. But Klariskrays isn’t appreciative. She thinks he is stealing her prey and outdoes him in destroying the Darkers. When he explains he thought she was in trouble, she laughs it off because she considers herself to be the strongest. Poor guy has to listen to her ranting how strong she is. Damn, this is harder than fighting Darkers! Later, Patty and Tia explain that Klariskrays belonged to Council of Six, the strongest members in ARKS. It was 40 years ago on this planet that ARKS defeated the big bad boss of Darkers, Dark Falz but paid a heavy price. When Ash returns, Afin is panicking because he looked away and Matoi is gone. Time to rush off again and go look for her. Afin meets other ARKS members but they too seem to have members missing. Just in time for mission control to tell all of them to return to base. Ash’s stumbles into Gettemhult. Not this dude again. Didn’t see Matoi. But seen lots of dead ARKS members. Ash calls out to Matoi. It seems that snapped her out of her hypnotism. However Ash cannot see Matoi. Only when she comes out from some barrier, he is able to see her. She claims something was calling her and leads him into the barrier. Wow. A totally different world? She is quickly ambushed and knocked out by Maria who thinks ARKS ordered them here. Because this is a place no one should enter. Her assistant, Sarah has been putting people who wandered in here to sleep. Since Ash doesn’t know what’s going on, Maria tells him a big secret. The story of ARKS defeating Dark Falz? Well, there’s a darker truth to that. They didn’t kill him. They just merely sealed him here in this grave monument. Hence Dark Falz continues to call ARKS here and feed on them until he revives. So why is ARKS trying to hide this fact? Because their perfect image is falling apart.

Episode 4
Ash wonders if it is okay for Maria to tell him all this. He might tell others. That’s up to him. The question is how he will live the rest of his life in ARKS. On the way out, a strange girl asks him about the rampaging dragons. Ash heard of it but has never seen one. With that, there is nothing more for her to talk to him. Back on ARKS as they eat out, the poster girl of Quna is making her idol appearance on TV. Of course Ash doesn’t have a clue who she is. The waitress who serves them, Ulc is hoping to join ARKS since her friend, Theodor already did so and she believes he is supposed to be in the same grade as them. Going back to their quarters, Ash sees another vision of Xion who tells him of some starting weapon he must get. And then an emergency for all ARKS to head down to Naverius to fight Darkers. Ash and Afin are assisted by this guns akimbo hotshot, Takura. Suddenly a Darkers pops up and devours him! OMFG! He just died like that! So this is actually the rampaging dragon? Once done eating, it jumps back into the warp. Takura’s partner is Theodor and he is in shock that his partner is dead. Seems he doesn’t like fighting and joined ARKS because he went along with a friend and somehow they accepted him. Ash and Afin realize who Theodor is and tell him about Ulc. As Theodor was against Ulc joining ARKS, they tell him to go tell her himself. After that, Ash feels something leading him into a cave. Touching this giant glowing crystal, it turns into a weapon. So this is what Xion pointed out? The strange girl reports to Luther about Ash getting the weapon. He is pleased and tells her to let him go free for now. Ash brings the weapon back to Matoi in hopes she could remember something. She has a bad feeling about this but touches it anyway. Some short memory flashes before passing out. Needing somebody to analyse this weapon, they bring it to this old senile robot, Zig. At first he is sceptical but after looking at the weapon, he becomes really interested and wants to fix it up. Ash and Afin see Ulc has officially joined ARKS. Although they tell him they bumped into Theodor, seeing she is so happy and hopeful, they can’t bring themselves to tell her about his condition. I guess if you look at the broadest sense, he is doing fine. ARKS members have to scramble when the alert goes out that Darkers have appeared on the ship, Themis.

Episode 5
As ARKS prepare for battle, the people are being evacuated. Except for Zig. He is obsessed with analysing the weapon. Ash and Afin stumble into this flashy dude, Huey. So he is part of the Council of Six? They’re all a bunch of looneys now that they’ve seen Klariskrays being reckless too. We also see Gettemhult trying to chase down some bird and Risa happy sniping and killing Darkers. Matoi is tasked to help in the medical division. Hope she doesn’t get disheartened seeing too many deaths. Then the ‘worst’ part was she thought she saw Ash’s dead body. Turns out to be someone else. She feels relieved. That is the dilemma she is now facing. So it’s okay for others to die as long as it’s not Ash? It’s that masked guy again coming to fight Ash and reminding him how he must kill Matoi. If you don’t explain it well, how can he understand? And just like that, he’s gone. With this area cleared of Darkers, Ulc and Zeno transport them to the next zone. Ash and Afin learn that Zeno was Gettemhult’s apprentice but of course something happened 10 years ago. Before that, Gettemhult and Siena were such a perfect partner combo. Now he’s just like being mean to her, no? Before they could fight more Darkers, the monsters all teleport away. With Themis now freed of Darkers, ARKS is tasked to find survivors. Ash and Afin visit Jig’s place but sees him being cut into half and the weapon stolen. So the robot couldn’t detect who the culprit is but could recognize from his hand he is from ARKS? After getting help, the duo stumble into Theodor who was mostly hiding during the fight. Looking around, then they see an overturned truck. Ulc’s ID conveniently dropped on the ground and a charred remains of somebody next to it. Oh dear. Are we going to jump to conclusions now?

Episode 6
Ash sees a vision of Xion and again she talks to him in riddles. What’s this about descending Naverius and something bad will happen with Matoi? Ash, Zeno and Echo visit Matoi at the medical section when suddenly Gettemhult barges in and beats the crap out of them to kidnap Matoi. She is the key for what again? Oh Ash, you didn’t think throwing your weak punches at him would do something, did you? So the trio get up and start chasing the jerk. Ash thinks they will head to Naverius. Casra, one of the Council of Six saw Gettemhult and Seana get away on the footage. He gives info and helps out Ash and co. Down on Naverius, Gettemhult forces Matoi to use the staff so as to break the barrier that is cloaking Dark Falz’s grave. With Ash and co arriving, conveniently Gettemhult reveals his intentions to release Dark Falz and submit him to his will. So he thinks he is God now, huh? They try to stop him but unfortunately they got owned in round 2 too. Gettemhult then hears voices mocking him. Then he turns to Seana and reminds her she did say that she’ll do anything for him. Anything? Then die for him! F*cking ungrateful bastard kills her!!! This horrifying scene has Matoi accelerate the release of Dark Falz. Gettemhult is so wrong to think that the power is all his. Because Dark Falz completely possesses him. Yup. Big baddie just released from his prison. Now the whole universe is going to die. Casra has Ash and Echo evacuate the ladies while he and Zeno take on this thing. So Dark Falz isn’t completely revived so he thinks they still stand a chance? Well… Better than nothing. Once Ash returns to the ship, some huge monster Unicron thingy bursts from the planet. Yeah, the universe is so dead. Not as dead as Zeno and Casra right now. Haha! Oops. Wait. Please don’t tell me they really died???!!!

Episode 7
Regius of the Council of Six takes command of this crisis. He is going to settle this score with Dark Falz and has not forgotten the pain he inflicted on him 40 years ago. Dark Falz release Darkers to attack the fleets. Matoi wakes up only to be attacked by one. Thank Maria for saving her ass. Reuniting with Ash and Afin, Ash reveals the truth of Dark Falz was never defeated but only sealed. Luther contacts Regius and tells him he needs to take drastic action and sacrifice something or else he’ll lose everything. With that, Regius is going to fire some photon blaster from the mothership. The catch is that there are fleets in their path that will be destroyed. Better evacuate now as the photon is charging up. Of course the ship that Ash and co are in, the evacuation mechanism is damaged. How typical. As usual, Ash is going to be the hero to manually override the controls. Yeah, it was just that easy and he could have returned in time had not rampaging Darkers crash and destroy stuffs, collapsing the corridors and blocking his way, and that damn masked guy popping up and reminding him to kill Matoi or else he’ll regret it forever. Can we postpone this fight to another day? Guess not. Because of that, Afin and Matoi are sad when Ash didn’t make it back in time as their pod evacuates. The photon is charged up and fires a super big mother beam that destroys Dark Falz!!! OMG! It was that easy?! Like as though Dark Falz was waiting for them to charge up and fire at him! With the high damage report, Regius takes responsibility for everything. Before Afin and Matoi can sink into depression, Afin receives contact from Ash. Luckily he found a convenient escape pod. Phew. And yeah, Dark Falz isn’t dead yet. Just reverted to his Gettemhult AKA human form. He is reunited with his fellow members like Apprentice and the terror loli twins, Gemini. That masked guy is also part of this groupie although he is a new member. So he is called Persona, huh? Dark Falz is so entertained by this that he will let ARKS go for today. As long as he is free, he has all eternity to create chaos. Gotta have fun and enjoy every last drop if you’re immortal.

Episode 8
Regius gives a speech of hope so that everyone can move on. Well, not everybody. Theodor still trying to find Ulc. Seana wakes up and is still worried about Gettemhult. Casra calls Ash and Echo to explain that during their fight with Dark Falz, Zeno came up with a plan to separate. Dark Falz ended up chasing Zeno and that was the last he saw him. He hopes he is fine. Seana tries to escape and nobody could catch her?! It’s not like she’s the fastest runner either. Then she steals a ship to Naverius?! Make that 2 ships because Ash only went after her. I can’t believe this sloppiness. THIS IS THE REASON WHY DARK FALZ GOT THE BETTER OF YOU ARKS LOSERS!!! At the monument, Seana tries to look for Gettemhult but once Ash tells her he is dead, she tries to kill herself! Ash not going to let that happen. Once she calms down after that incessant crying, she tells of how Gettemhult used to be kinder than this. In fact, he and Zeno were some sort of rivals. She blames herself 10 years ago had she stayed out of it, Gettemhult wouldn’t have been like he is today. During the Darkers attack, Seana was hiding in fear while Gettemhult and Seana’s older sister was looking for her. Though Seana managed to get away, she picked up a staff that could kill Darkers. That first kill gave enough confidence for her to think she can fight Darkers. How terribly wrong. Gettemhult got scarred while her big sister lost her life. In the aftermath, Gettemhult cannot accept this and went looking for her. So Seana embraced her sister’s identity just to assure him. That’s when the jerk became a jerk. Story interrupted when Dark Falz crashes in after sensing some great power. Ash is shocked that Dark Falz still lives. Seana thinks this is Gettemhult and goes to him, almost getting killed. Because Dark Falz is more interested in Ash and fights him to draw out some power. However it is still weak. So he wants him to get stronger so that he could entertain him in the future. Dark Falz leaves, Seana still blaming herself for Gettemhult’s death so Ash twists the tune a little. She must live to find a way to turn Gettemhult back to normal. Enough motivation for you? To thank him, she tells him her real name: Melrandia.

Episode 9
A small ARKS group is on a search mission. They’re pretty bored and even want to go hunting for Darkers. Suddenly a rampaging dragon pops up and kills them all! Hahaha! Take that! Casra takes Seana into custody and strips her of her ARKS privileges. This is of course just for show as he intends to question her in detail. He heard about Dark Falz still alive so he hopes Ash will keep this to himself. Patty and Tia seek Ash’s help because they were trying to contact Echo who went down to Naverius to look for Echo but she didn’t respond. So he finds her being depressed at the monument and agrees to help find Zeno. Conveniently he falls down a ravine and stumbles into a ruined lab and meets an old senile man. Turns out he is afraid of Haddred, the person responsible for wrecking this lab and killing everybody. He’s out there somewhere and he’s going to get you… Ash has to leave him since he receives request to support a nearby unit fighting off Darkers. Once he is done, they go berserk and try to attack him. The strange girl drops in and kills them all. Ash doesn’t like it she just killed their fellow comrades. Couldn’t she have just taken them to the medical centre? No point. It’s already too late. You see, it’s her job to kill ARKS who turned into Darkers. Ash doesn’t believe such could happen but she hints he is better off not knowing. Then another nearby unit goes insane but before she could kill them, a rampaging dragon pops up to kill them. She recognizes this as Haddred. Then they get swallowed by some Darkers portal. Darkers surrounding them if not for a rampaging dragon shredding into it and killing the Darkers. Then disappear into another portal. Wow. Such convenience. Ash returns to the old man for some answers. So apparently this lab was commissioned by Void to do some experiments. He was in charge of fusing a dragon with ARKS to create an artificial dragon that can be manipulated. Yup. A living weapon. Of course that fateful day, Haddred went berserk and killed everything. Only this old geezer survived. Then the strange girl shows up after tailing Ash. She introduces herself as Quna and this is the place she and Haddred were born and raised together. Yeah, see that lovely picture of them together?

Episode 10
We see a flashback of Quna and Haddred’s peaceful life. Such a bliss. The old geezer blames this all on Quna. The experiment was supposed to be done on her but Haddred stepped in her place. But he okayed it since as long as he got the results, the higher ups will shut up. The rest is history but think about it, isn’t it this entirely HIS FAULT?! He still thinks he can atone for this if he fuses Quna with Haddred and of course she tells him off they’re not his tools. Just die here along with his dreams. Later Casra meets up with Quna and she knows he is here to tell her to dispose of Haddred. Showing the spots that Quna are supposed to do her mission, Haddred beat her to it. This could mean that Haddred’s senses could have been amplified and he might be doing the killing ahead of Quna before she dirties her hands. But because he is killing ARKS members before they even become Darkers, this is a grave crime that must not go unpunished. So at their usual spot, Quna knows Haddred will come if she sings their usual song. She’s right. Here he comes! She tries to talk to him but he is trying to withhold himself from harming her. Knowing that he is suffering, Quna will relief him of his pain. And that means to go all out fighting? Eventually she cuts him a lethal blow and his last wish is for her to sing her song. You bet she’ll sing it as many times as he wants till he keels over. RIP Haddred… Back at base, Ash once again sees Xion’s vision. Halfway talking to him, Luther interrupts. He introduces himself to Ash as the leader of Void before taking his leave. Xion then explains Luther cannot see or hear her but knows she exists. She wants Ash to end her connection to Luther. She blames herself that Luther became twisted because she came into existence and regrets her curiosity of the genesis. More sh*t for Ash, right? And she still doesn’t give him clear directions on what to do!

Episode 11
Ash is shocked to learn Io is of the Deuman race. Did such race ever exist? He wonders if he changed history because as explained, Deumans are formed via fusion from dragon and Darker blood cells. This is somewhat confirmed by Xion due to some time axis shift caused by spatial distortion. Did you get all that? Then exploring a new planet, Darkers attack but this time Theodor who is still crazy over Ulc’s disappearance, goes crazy in killing all of them. Then Luther pops up before him. He can offer him to become stronger than anything so Theodor takes up his offer without hesitation. Ash is then brought by Sarah to see this little kid, Xiao. He is Xion’s little brother and is trying to avoid Luther. Xion claims Luther is trying to understand Xion. That’s why she always speaks in riddles! But soon Luther will understand what she says and hopes Ash can help. Right now Luther controls ARKS like a puppet and Xiao intends to bring it back to its proper form. To gain his trust, Xiao sends Ash back to Naverius. In fact, he has been sent back in time. It is when Zeno was fighting a revived Dark Falz. Maria is also here so she fights Dark Falz. She is only winning because Dark Falz is losing power and he accuses Ash as the culprit. Complete victory over Dark Falz prevented when Persona intervened, allowing Dark Falz to escape. Back on Maria’s ship, she offers to help Zeno train to be stronger. Zeno hopes Ash won’t tell Echo that he is still alive or this will put a dent on Maria’s plans. Ash returns to normal time. Xiao points out that he changed time since he saved Zeno. Ash is convinced and will help them put a stop to Luther.

Episode 12
Sarah contacts Ash so they can go meet Xiao on another mission. Xiao has severed the surveillance on him so he can leave the ship. Yeah, because of his closeness to Xion, Luther has been watching him. Oh, how to act normally once he knows that. On Wopal, Sarah brings him to a decimated lab. There are many labs found by ARKS but Luther destroyed them before ARKS could find any evidence. This one includes abandoned test subjects by Luther. As Sarah downloads the data, Ash asks Xiao about Luther. 40 years after the victory of Dark Falz, Luther helped ARKS get back on its feet but with condition of absolute obedience from Regius, Casra and Klariskrays. Basically he is the one holding all the power. This is of course part of his plan to get Xion who is omniscient and not even human (her true form is the core of the mothership). She has knowledge about the past and future. After Sarah downloads the data, they have to hide because Luther brings Theodor here to test his devastating power. Ash changed history that Theodor is now a Deuman? After they leave, Ash thought of returning to the past to save Theodor but apparently that can’t be done. So some histories can’t be changed? This is confusing. Xiao analyses the data and it looks like Luther was doing an experiment to create a Xion replica. But that was scrapped and that means he doesn’t need a fake anymore. Then Xion appears before Ash. Ash wants to go back in time to prevent Dark Falz’s revival. So this one also cannot change? How about Ulc? Okay. So this one can?! Back on Themis, this time Ash manages to save her from a Darker and her truck’s explosion. Xiao brings them away to explain that she should have died in the attack but doesn’t want her to report she is alive. It is better to leave it that way because Luther will target her life. Sadly, this is all part to recruit Theodor and there is nothing they can do to stop this. Ash thinks he can go back as many times as it takes to save others but Xiao tells him the harsh reality he can’t. Because they’ve already tried thousands of times and sometimes it got things worse. So Xion did so? Nope. You, Ash! Ulc remains positive that she will accept this outcome but will do whatever she can to help rebuild ARKS. Fuelled by this positivism, Ash is going to return to his own time and tell Theodor that Ulc is still alive. Let’s hope so.

Episode 13
Ash tries to find Theodor’s contacts in the database but no such record of such ARKS member. Suddenly an emergency announcement that all ARKS members are to abandon their current mission and return to the fleet now. It seems everyone is looking at Ash in a very suspicious way. As described by Io, there are rumours floating around that he did something wicked. What it is and whoever started the rumours, nobody knows. So he bumps into a few characters who know who happen to think the same about the rumours. Except for Klariskrays. She snuck out from HQ and thinks Ash is here to bust her. So she wants to beat him up for it?! But better not cause a ruckus and force him to promise not tell. Whatever. Matoi meets Ash as she is very concerned about the rumours. Then Xion pops up to explain that this is partly the effect from the time stream. However she has been waiting for this precise moment to happen. This is not yet the finishing line yet. There are some final touches left so she wants them to come and bring her salvation. Unfortunately Luther has also waited for this moment. He makes his move by having Regius announcing that Ash is a traitor who has infiltrated the mothership and also brought an unidentified person (Matoi) to gather intelligence on the fleet’s activity. They are accused to be in cohorts with Darkers. Regius initiates the code to have ARKS destroy them. Luther teleports ARKS members to go deal with them. Sure, they can fend off a few unknown ARKS guys. But what if they are people they know like Afin, Io and Risa? I don’t think talking to them won’t change their mind. They’re completely brainwashed. Until Ash is about to get killed, Matoi’s screams nullifies that effect and has returned them to their senses. With Darkers spawning, they stay back to let Ash and Matoi go ahead and finish their mission.

Episode 14
Ash and Matoi are joined by Maria, Huey and Echo. Maria explaining that she and Huey are the arbitrators for the Council of Six while Atossa and Wolf being the other members of Council of Six were killed 10 years ago. The balance is already crumbling. As they make their way to the core, they are of course confronted by the Council of Six trio: Regius, Casra and Klariskrays. Time for some match ups on the cards. Regius vs Maria, Casra vs Ash-Matoi-Echo, Klariskrays vs Huey isn’t so much of a match with Huey just trying to convince Klariskrays she shouldn’t listen everything to what Clarissa says. But poor girl is just so confused. Casra reveals he is the second generation as the original Casra has his life taken by Luther. So if Luther dies, Oracle dies. Echo getting emotional when Casra badmouths about Zeno. At the point of losing, she calls out to Zeno. Like a typical hero making his entrance at such point, here he is. Casra kind enough to give them some reunion time. Echo slapping Echo for not telling he is alive, blah, blah, blah. Can we continue with the fight already? Yeah, too emotional that she tire herself out. Casra vs Zeno-Ash. Perfect timing, Quna has hacked into the data and shows everyone about the false data and accusation of Ash. Proof shows Luther behind all this. ARKS members are confused who the real enemy is so Quna just tell them to think and look into their hearts further. I hope she’s not as lost as them. Now Luther makes himself known. He doesn’t bat an eyelid trying to get rid of the Council of Six. He never cared for them and only used ARKS to fulfil his dream. Now that they have done that, they are no longer needed. Bye. He sends Klariskrays clones to do the job. I guess Klariskrays is so scared and confused now that she clings on to Huey as her hero.

Episode 15
Everyone clears a path for Ash and Matoi to go save Xion. But first, they have to face off with Theodor. This guy knows he is being used but he doesn’t care. As long as Luther promises him to resurrect Ulc, he’ll do anything. Guess what? Here comes the real Ulc. He can’t believe his eyes. He refuses to accept this is the real Ulc and this must be an illusion. Ulc takes in all his attacks until she hugs him. See? It’s all real. So can we expect the old Theodor back? Now Ash and Matoi have to go rescue Xion. How to open this portal? Matoi unconsciously uses her staff to do so. So as they go through the portal, time for Xion to tell them about her origins since Luther is already in possession of her real form. She was an ocean of a planet who developed intelligence?! Then Photoners stumbled onto this planet and named her so as she learnt their language and tried to understand them. With her request to go forward with them, the planet them becomes one huge engine to move. At first she thought all this wouldn’t have happened had she not encounter the Photoners but Matoi thinks otherwise. She would’ve been lonely and sad. Luther is surprised to see the duo but no matter. Because he is going to fuse with Xion and obtain all the knowledge of the universe! Not needing ARKS anymore, she shuts down all the life support system. This is when Xion tells Ash that he needs to kill her now before the fusion is complete. Otherwise everyone will die. Ash does the unthinkable and stabs Xion. Even Luther didn’t think he got the balls to do it. But he did. Xion fades as Luther laments all the knowledge just slipped from his grasp. ARKS regains its control thanks to Xiao taking over. But now we have to deal with a very mad Luther. So mad his plans foiled that he transforms into Dark Falz version?!

Episode 16
Ash and Matoi aren’t enough to fight Luther. Yeah, here comes everybody else to pitch in. Could have been like Avengers where everybody versus Thanos. Unfortunately Luther is no Thanos and gets easily owned. Luther gets desperate as he wants Regius to join forces and in return he can bring back Alma. Regius will not be swayed because screw all this omniscience thingy. Regius uses his long sword and cuts up Luther. Wow. That easy, huh? No wonder Gemini pop up to defile Luther’s corpse that he’s a useless piece of sh*t. Then they devour him to spit out copies of Luther zombies. Luckily Xiao manages to provide teleportation for everyone to escape and then send this mothership into some warp. It is going to explode like the supernova anyway. Later when Ash talks to Regius and Casra, they seem to be concerned about secrets of him and especially Matoi. If anything suspicious comes up, please inform them. Matoi gets a new uniform as she is officially part of ARKS. Then everyone gathers to watch the fireworks. Nope. The supernova explosion light of Xion now reaches them. ARKS then head down to an abandoned planet, Lilipa to investigate a sudden spike in Darkers activity. Too bad they hear Klariskrays talking to local animals (koala bunny Ewoks?!) about how nobody cares for her because she can be cloned. Of course Matoi talks to her about herself. As long as she has everybody, right? Then Huey clinches it with his cool lines that Klariskrays will always be the one and only Klariskrays. Man, you want to make this girl cry some more?! Somewhere on the planet, Apprentice pops up just to say hi to Ash and Matoi? WTF?! Why? Ah, I see. Because judging from Afin’s reaction, she must be his missing sister, right?

Episode 17
Xiao summons Ash as he explains he cannot find anything about Matoi. Not even in Xion’s memories. Weird, right? Oh, so it’s easier to go back 10 years where certain events were completely erased. Oddly, did they not even think to try this earlier? Anyway, Ash is sent back 10 years and finds himself in the midst of Darkers attack on Naverius. What a way to make your entrance. Luckily he is saved by Matoi who at that time goes by the name of Klariskrays. At first she is suspicious of him but oh look, more Darkers to kill. This has Apprentice pops up and this is part of Matoi’s plan to bait her out if she kills enough Darkers. But Apprentice won’t fight or kill her yet and escapes. Matoi is left embarrassed as she showed her crude side before Ash. Because Xiao cannot track Matoi since Luther still exists in this era, Ash will have to do it the hard way. He saves a young Zeno from being mincemeat. Trying hard not to change history, he gives him some motivation to become stronger in ARKS. Then he goes off to find Matoi fighting more Darkers. Apparently she is pushing herself hard so that she would become Apprentice’s target. Ash is not happy she is reckless with her life. Then she goes off to fight Apprentice again. Matoi absorbs Apprentice’s power and would have won had not Apprentice escape in time. Matoi is hell bent on absorbing Dark Falz and all Darkers and then erase them from within. As Apprentice nurses her wounds, Luther approaches her to make a deal. He’ll get her the revenge she wants in exchange for info. Then another moment of Ash and Matoi talking together. She reveals she has another real name but hopes to use it one day once this is over. After she leaves for yet another mission, Xiao tells Ash he has found a disturbing bug in Xion’s memories. Something about Matoi using up her life to stop a Darkers invasion. Oh boy. Time to go find that girl again. This has been the longest game of tag-cum-hide-and-seek…

Episode 18
10 years ago as Apprentice wreaks havoc with her Darkers, we see more in detail the events that led to Seana’s death. Gettemhult and Seana were looking for Melrandia but she was hiding with a girl (Sarah?) from Apprentice. Eventually Sarah stays back to let Melrandia get away. Though Melrandia reunited with Gettemhult and Seana, they have to fight Gemini. This is how Gettemhult got his scar when Melrandia thought she could help ended up doing more damage. Seana moves in to protect them but gets killed. Apprentice beats up Sarah because she reminded her of Matoi. But luckily here comes Matoi. She lets Clarissa lead Sarah to safety. Matoi so badass when she says she isn’t here to fight Apprentice but to kill her! Sarah then stumbles into Ash. After he takes Clarissa from her, watching Luther thinks Clarissa chose Sarah and approaches her. Apprentice plays dirty by brainwashing ARKS members to fight against Matoi. She can’t fight back and takes a beating. Until Ash comes to save the day. And then he kills her???!!! Oh, this is fake Ash? Real Ash devastated to see this and goes to fight the imposter who is of course Persona. Matoi is leaking out Darkers essence to a point where she not only turns into Dark Falz mode but some Profound Darkness. She pleads to Clarissa to purge her before she fully transforms. Clarissa kills her. This causes a storm too big for Ash to handle so Xiao is forced to take him away from this timeline. We hear Xion’s regret in the very sole purpose she created Matoi to destroy Darkers and bring world peace but only gave her despair. For that she decided to erase these memories. She will wait until Ash arrives because he is the only one who could save her. In the aftermath of the destruction, Afin’s sister, Eucie is wandering about when she stumbled into a hagged Apprentice. That loli rape face…

Episode 19
So because Ash went back to the past, they actually triggered those events! Holy sh*t! And now that past is sealed off so they can’t go back there again!? How convenient! Xiao thinks Xion must have calculated this and because it was inevitable, it is theorized that Xion erased all such records not because to prevent looking into Matoi but rather she wanted to forget it. It is also believed that the killing of Matoi might release Profound Darkness, a void that destroys and reduces everything into nothingness. But Ash finds it funny that Persona is always asking him to kill her instead of doing it himself. Something amiss. Meanwhile Quna wants to kill Casra but changes her mind since his death will not make her feel better and that he is managing the fleet properly. Though, she wants him to apologize. He does so and she’s still not happy. Heck, he even offers to get killed by her and this even riles her up even more! What you want, woman?! Until Ash comes by then I guess Quna goes off to cool her head. He reports about Matoi’s power origination but stops short of telling about Profound Darkness. Ash and Matoi later learn that Afin has been trying to look for Eucie but there are no records of her. He thinks Dark Falz who inhibited Gettemhult, the same might have been for Eucie’s case. Ash and Matoi help out but make no headway. If records don’t say anything, maybe some people would? With Patty and Tia’s help, they interview Regius and Huey but they don’t say or remember much. Asking Zeno, it seems he didn’t see any woman but twins rather. Noting that today is Seana’s release from house arrest, they go talk to her. It’s been a while. Though she recounts Gemini was the one who killed her sister, there was a female Dark Falz she was running away from. However she doesn’t look like Eucie. She also relates how Sarah saved her but never had the chance to see her again. Talk on hold when the alert is sounded. Lilipa is being attacked by Darkers.

Episode 20
Fighting hordes of Darkers… More Darkers… And more Darkers… Ah, there is Apprentice! Afin tries calling out to his sister but apparently she doesn’t have time to waste on this small fry. She’s looking for some power, I think. Afin won’t give up so he tries to keep talking in hopes Eucie will come back. Well, you know how this will play out. Apprentice having weird short snippets of Eucie’s memories. This confuses her a lot so I guess Gemini got bored of this. They’re done playing with their leftover toy. They recount what actually happened that day. Original Apprentice tried to use Eucie’s body but Gemini killed her and ate her essence. Because Eucie has traces of Apprentice’s essence, Gemini decided to take her back and see how she turns out. Hence she is just a regular person that the original Apprentice tried to possess. Gemini tries to kill her now but Afin saves her. Gemini even spawns clones of Apprentice and Luther to keep them busy. But looks like Dark Falz decides to crash in. He is not amused Gemini has enslaved them? Gemini thinks Dark Falz has lost sight of his original purpose to revive Profound Darkness and because he is of no use, they will also kill him. They fight each other and you can tell that there is some essence of Gettemhult left inside when Dark Falz saves Seana from harm. Then he does some suicide move to take both of them out. And also some last advice to Seana to not become like him. Wow. Can Seana handle this trauma this time? With the Dark Falz and Gemini threat over, now we return to Afin-Eucie drama. Eucie still refusing to believe she is so. Then her Dark Falz power starts going out of control. It might kill Afin too so Ash has no choice but to jump in to kill Eucie. Matoi who wants to save everybody intervenes. Worst possible outcome because now she absorbs her dark essence.

Episode 21
Afin undergoes check-up. He’s fine. Ash hopes Matoi undergoes one too. Okay. She’s also fine. No worries. Later Ash sees Seana. She looks a bit different now. Despite she still hasn’t gotten over Gettemhult yet, she has decided to move forward. Good for her. So we can all call her Melrandia now? When Sarah sees Matoi, she runs away. Of course, Ash goes look for her and because he is calling her name out in the middle of town, I guess Maria needs to talk to him. So he tells about how Matoi and Sarah met on that fateful day. After Ash rescued Sarah and left her alone, Luther took Sarah in and experimented cruelly on her till she lost her photons. And now Ash goes to see Sarah who can tell what has happened. So tells him off not to feel sorry for her even if she now realizes he is the guy who escorted to safety. Besides, she made her own choice to go with Luther (since he said he could give her the power to protect everyone) although she regretted it. Also, it seems Klariskrays has a bone to pick with Sarah since the latter also keeps avoiding her. Before their argument escalates, Huey sends them both on a mission to Wopal. You bet the guys are watching them from afar as Huey reveals to Ash that Klariskrays is actually a clone of Sarah! Now you know why Klariskrays looks like her kiddie version. On Wopal, looks like there is one of Luther’s abandoned lab. Terminal is still working so data on Klariskrays being Sarah’s clone pops up. Sarah panics but Klariskrays is cool about it. So what? Then they bust Darkers as the clone tells her original off about moping over her past. Just get over it and move on! And with that, they agree. Huey is glad the sisters get along but Klariskrays feels Sarah is more of her mom! Yikes! More sisterly, I mean, mother and daughter quarrel. It’s a sign that they get along, right?! Ash returns to his room. What now? It’s Persona! He does us a favour by unmasking himself. Uhm… ASH?!

Episode 22
Apparently Persona is not a clone of Ash but is him from the future. He still wants Ash to kill Matoi to save her. 10 years ago he was too slow and the darkness tainted him. But Ash has fought Dark Falz many times and even has this purification power. Hence he is the only one who can save Matoi. Ash discusses with Xiao about this. Because Darkers naturally hunt those with photons, the only way to save the situation is for Ash and Matoi to erase their photons completely. This would mean quitting ARKS forever. I guess Ash needs time to make a decision. He then goes to see Eucie if she knows anything about Persona. Nothing. Patty and Tia try to get some scoop on Eucie but is stopped by security. Patty notices Matoi’s shining aura and thinks something good will happen. Matoi couldn’t be happier since she is feeling better recently. However Ash is worried, he talks to her about them quitting ARKS forever. Of course she wants an explanation. Unfortunately great timing means an explosion occurs at the hospital right from Eucie’s room. Looks like Gemini has returned. Ash, Matoi and Io have to take a detour and fight off strange Darkers (is it scary clown season?) to reach Eucie’s room. They see Afin being strangled. They rush in but it’s a trap. Gemini eats Ash and Matoi! Tastes great! But they’re having a bit of stomach discomfort? What did mama tell you about picking up and eating strange food?! Anyway, they are inside Gemini’s stomach which is a whole different dimension. They are shocked to see Luther here. He notes he has no more interested in the outside world since Xion is no more around. He finds this more fascinating. He lets them know that Profound Darkness will soon revive. Some history about Photoners prospering and growing conceited after meeting Xion. They tried to create something that controlled everything but of course they failed. Profound Darkness was the result. They manage to use all their photons to somehow seal it. Without photons, Photoners need something to help them be their weapons: ARKS. Hence ARKS is like Photoners’ biological weapon. Also, the battle between ARKS and Darkers have all been futile. ARKS hunt Darkers and accumulate the dark essence in their bodies and get hunted by Dark Falz. Then they get purified and Gemini hunts Dark Falz. So with enough dark essence gathered here, Profound Darkness will revive. The countdown has already begun. But what stumped Luther is why Xion allowed this to happen since she is omniscient. Also, he is curious about Ash. Yikes, Luther has many of his tags?

Episode 23
Those tags are actually authentication device from 10 years ago. Ash got it from Xion but apparently this is an artificial womb Luther created Ash in! So basically… Ash, I AM YOUR FATHER!!! OMFG!!! Luther did so just to understand Xion. He noticed that Klariskrays (Matoi then) was entirely created by Xion so he should also do one. But when she disappeared, he also lost interest in creating Ash and abandoned the project. Xion somehow picked him up. Luther lets Matoi know she is the previous Klariskrays. So they’re like siblings or cousins? Damn, this is confusing. Before Ash could feel more guilt he kept this from Matoi, all she needs to do is flash her smile and say some positive stuffs. Thanks to Ash that she now has wonderful memories, right? As for the Profound Darkness problem, they’ll face it no matter what comes. Regret it or not, try first! Because Luther never said there is no way out of here, Ash has him show the way. Yeah, purify whatever portal that is. Luther is of course not coming. No Xion, no life. They return to reality since Gemini is having a bad case of tummy ache and barfs them out. Since a little bit more they would have revived Profound Darkness, you bet they’re going to eat them again. Cue for them to fight Gemini in their horror clown version. Afin and Io want to help but are told to stay back. Can’t help, partner? Oh right. Gemini unleashes little Darker clowns for them to play. Now they can help. When Ash and Matoi cut down Gemini, they laugh instead and aren’t disappointed. They claim the duo are monsters just like them and not ARKS like they always think they are. They realize they are the key to release Profound Darkness since devouring Dark Falz and Luther didn’t get any reaction. Before they die, Gemini fire their final present and Ash pushes Matoi aside to save her. Now he is going to become Profound Darkness. So Ash don’t want anybody to help him? Matoi has Clarissa help to deal with this so can the power of love do the trick? At least it transfers the dark power to her. Yeah. Now her turn to become Profound Darkness. And her memories back. Don’t worry. Flash that smile just to assure we’ll be alright. By Matoi. Hello Profound Darkness babe.

Episode 24
Matoi is going to give everyone eternal peace. That’s the best, right? Regius has all the motherships focus their energy at Matoi. Well, that was easy bringing her down. Too bad she is only in hibernation mode and will revive soon. Hence Regius orders all of ARKS to find and kill Matoi. You bet Ash won’t accept this. But even seeking Xiao’s advice, he has calculated all possibilities and the only way is to kill Matoi! I guess Ash needs a third opinion. Luckily not everyone wants to kill Matoi, especially those who know her like Zeno and Echo. Afin talks to Eucie for some hints but she thinks only a fool will try to fight Profound Darkness. That didn’t stop Afin but gave him an idea. Ash talks to Risa and she views him the say like everyone since he is willing to take Matoi’s place and sacrifice himself. Because is sacrificing someone is ever the right choice? Ash and Afin get the same idea to have everyone help in purifying Matoi. But this idea is shot down by Casra because those who don’t know her will not be willing to do it. Even if they use that mind control thingy, it is futile since it has to be one’s own will. Checkmate. How now? Patty and Tia then hack into the system to make a live plea featuring Quna. I guess everybody is going to listen to their idol to support Ash, huh? More credibility added with Huey and Klariskrays jumping on the bandwagon. With more of their friends voicing their support, you bet everyone now feels they want to help. This means Regius has to rescind his earlier order to kill Matoi and make a new one to help save her. Even Xiao approves this? Didn’t he calculate it was impossible? But ah, he only calculated the possible outcomes… But if the impossible is possible, then shouldn’t it be possible?! I’M SO F*CKING CONFUSED! Anyway, where to find Matoi? Ash has an idea. That usual spot. But no Matoi. Only Persona. Still want to kill Matoi, huh. The quickest fight ever since Persona loses. Persona’s version to save Matoi < Ash’s version to save Matoi. With Ash saying he won’t give up and he’ll be himself always, wow, Persona also having doubts now? Ash asks for his help to save Matoi and after all that has happened, you think Persona is going to reject? Maybe trying a new way would have a better outcome… Final battle at hand with Profound Darkness detected to have revived. Darkers stop Ash but nothing like other ARKS members to show solidarity by fighting the small fries so Ash can deal with the bigger issue.

Episode 25
Xiao explains what the Council of Six needs to do for us dummies. Too bad I still don’t understand. So basically form a barrier enough to seal Matoi for Ash to do his part? We get the action rolling with Matoi materializing Dark Falz, Luther and Apprentice to fight. When those fakes are taken care of, spam hordes of Darkers. Of course this is cue to see ARKS’ unity as everyone pitches in to allow Ash to do his duty. We hear Matoi’s thoughts that she could feel everyone’s despair. That’s why she is willing to shoulder it all and it should all go away. But why hasn’t it? Because Ash just arrives to try and talk you out. Words not reaching? Fight it out first. Once he got her down, try talking again. Stubborn Matoi still thinks she can shoulder it all and while she thinks she can, she’s going to kill herself. Ash won’t allow that and gets in the way. He gets hit, Matoi goes into despair, Profound Darkness revives and destroys the entire planet! Oh sh*t! End of existence? Time for Persona to step in. Looks like he learnt whatever from Ash. He is going to sacrifice himself to seal Profound Darkness in the shackles of time using Clarissa that contains Xion. He is successful and Matoi is returned to her normal state. Ash and Matoi see Xion and Persona as they tell them Profound Darkness is not yet destroyed, seemingly rendering Persona’s sacrifice in vain. You know you’re screwed when Xion says she knows not of any history or future where mankind can win against Profound Darkness. Oh well. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. One step at a time. Persona makes his peace with Matoi and one last final goodbye. Back in reality, Xiao further explains that Persona just rewound time just before Matoi becomes Profound Darkness and this means Ash is doomed to repeat this process for eternity until he is at his limit and this is when Profound Darkness will revive. Oh well. Don’t think too negatively about it. We’ll cross the bridge when we get there. One step at a time. Now let’s just return to everybody waiting.

Panned-turd-sea & Fallacy Star: Eh-piss-sode Bore-acle
Oh man. You mean Ash has to repeat this again and again for eternity? Wow. This looks way worse than Groundhog Day. I’m glad I do not have to share this curse fate of watching this anime over and over again because phew, thank goodness it has ended so I’m out of here! So I suppose that with Matoi now returning to her pre-Profound Darkness state, everyone can at least breathe a little easy and celebrate a hard earned victory. I mean, no Luther to screw things up. No Dark Falz or whatever being that summons Darkers to randomly attack. Profound Darkness safely sealed. What else is there a threat to ARKS? Hooray! We finally achieved peace for now! Next time if Matoi shows starting signs of becoming Profound Darkness, just rewind time! So easy. There. Problem solved.

The story is pretty hard to follow unless you’re an avid fan of the series. It is confusing at times and you know casual viewers like me will already be lost after a few episodes in. I have to say that it wasn’t interesting enough to make me want to go read up or find out a little more on what is happening. Because I thought I might as well be in ignorant bliss rather than hurting my brains reading up and in the end still not understand the whole damn thing. Then I can blame this series for being too convoluted for my puny brain to understand. So basically from what I can see, for most of the plot revolves around giving our main characters the wild goose chase. You go here to do or get something but turns out it was so and so, then they go back and something else happens. It pretty feels a lot like that considering Ash has been running around in circles and in his case, even gone back in time! I know they want to give some twists to the plot whatsoever but it doesn’t help if your viewers don’t really understand what is going on.

So perhaps the entire plot of this adaptation was to find and prevent the ultimate ‘evil’ that would eventually bring nothingness to everything. And do you not see what I mean when I said earlier on about the whole thing being a wild goose chase? Eventually all the things that Ash and co did, ultimately it ended up with this ultimate f*ckery of Profound Darkness the ultimate big bad final boss reviving. Of course we must show that the unity of ARKS coming together and tackling this problem to be the final stretch of the season and that everybody’s efforts have not been wasted from the start. You thought Luther and Dark Falz were going to be the final boss, huh? Nope! Profound Darkness here, b*tches! If this was cliché enough, I am speculating that Profound Darkness could be the weakest of the 4 Heavenly Kings and they’ll have to battle the rest to finally reach the true final boss who is no other than the Satanic Demon of Nothingness. Yeah, I just made that all up. But you get the point of what I’m trying to say with all this.

It doesn’t help when some of the parts were confusing, especially the time trip back. It’s just a convenient way of showing us what happened then because as I have already pointed out, all of Ash’s doing to prevent it actually helped what happened in the current time. Yeah, they want to do this time paradox thingy but it got crappier because it was a pretty lame excuse that they can’t go back to that exact time again. Oh, I don’t know. Not even sure how Xion locked that time period forever. So why not go back 1 year before that and just wait? More confusion when you think about Persona being Ash’s future, uhm, persona. So if everything that happened in the past cannot be changed in the future, are they implying that Ash will eventually turn into him? Unless you tell me he is from the alternate future, which is BS because we can have an alternate future but not an alternate past? So everything stems from that event 10 years ago and that’s where it branched off to different timelines and versions? Damn, I thought this only happened for the Legend of Zelda series!!! And if Persona relied on Ash to do the job for him and assuming the future never changed (meaning Ash will eventually turn to this hard bitten version), so doesn’t it prove that everything has been futile? Damn, I’m so freaking confused right now! Don’t even get me started on that eternal cycle that Ash needs to do in place of dead Persona. No more confusions, please!

The first half trying to see Luther get his hands on Xion felt dragged out because as I can see, Xion speaking in incomprehensible fashion despite being part of the plot to make Luther not understand and locate her, eventually that also confused the hell out of me. Then it’s like some 4D chess (or rather hide and seek) between Luther and Xion because everything else they do feel like a prelude that would lead to either hide from Luther or get closer to finding Xion. Oh yeah. Everything is set in place and you’re all just pawns in part of my larger plan. Hahaha! And it feels like WTF that Xion originated from a smart ocean. I know there’s this theory that all life began at sea but this feels too much. I suppose this anime doesn’t have any God with some sentient ocean becoming omniscient. Yeah… Not even an ocean can beat the mother of all nothingness.

Some episodes feel like taking a detour and focus a bit on other stuffs like that Quna one. It’s like the need to settle that whatever rampaging dragon issue and her past before moving on and we quickly forget about it. And also the creation of the Deuman race for some reason that doesn’t impact anything significant with the story. So had they stopped some rampaging fairies, this future timeline will now have a new fairy race. Fayman? F*ck, man!!! Then there’s that Ulc and Theodor thingy which is only a small part of Luther’s plan. Once that got done in, they also become forgettable. Sarah-Klariskrays’ reconciliation episode feels like a filler but just the need to tie up some loose ends because we can’t have the characters having awkward feelings for each other when the season reaches the final. Because everyone’s unity and clear feelings are important to save Matoi, right?

Wow. This anime sure has a lot of characters. They sound and feel important but many of them eventually aren’t if you think about it. So that’s why I feel that many of them fall by the wayside and unless the plot convenience commands it, they’ll be brought back for a few seconds cameo and nothing more important. They started out by killing off a few characters but eventually this sputter out and not even Luther himself is dead. Inside Gemini’s stomach, huh? Now where is he seeing that Gemini is dead? Oh, Gemini is really dead, right?!

The big bulk of the character in focus is of course Ash. Like any other main characters, he must have that main character qualities cliché. He wants to help everybody but not sacrifice anything (except when it comes to himself) but then most of the time when he faces with the person in question who is facing the difficulty, he has this obvious troubled look on his face. Yeah, pretty awkward. He wants to help but doesn’t want to hurt his/her feelings. So he doesn’t trust them enough? Because my veteran anime guts tell me even if Ash tells the whole inconvenient truth that might hurt (like in Matoi’s case), they’ll somewhat accept it because that’s how it’s supposed to play out. Because if they don’t, they’re just jerks and big dicks. So why so worried? Accept and move on! So convenient.

Ash also starts out with the cliché formula of an amnesiac character. Sure, every main character has his/her past that will be revealed in time for some plot twist. Though I didn’t see it coming he would be sort of Luther’s ‘son’, but I do speculate earlier on that he could be created. So when the big reveal came that he was made in a lab rather than being born of a woman, I wasn’t that big of a surprise. Even that Persona dude’s revelation of future Ash didn’t surprise me. I mean, somebody who keeps bugging Ash over and over about the same thing, something must be off here. Why only Ash and nobody else? Yeah. I mean, who else can you trust to do a job if not yourself? Apparently the past Ash doesn’t even trust him. Dang.

Matoi the other main character in focus also doesn’t fare any better. Yet a mysterious character who suddenly appeared before Ash and co. They give subtle hints about her and not having a real past adds to the mystery and excuse for some suspense. We don’t think much about her earlier on because we get side-tracked with other characters or other happenings like the revival of Dark Falz and the likes. Only after that trip back to the past revealed the whole truth, only did Matoi get featured more prominently. Otherwise in earlier half of the season, she feels a lot like Afin who is just sitting by the side-lines and helping out whenever she can. And speaking of Afin, this guy also feels underutilized as Ash’s partner so I guess they added some drama of his sister becoming Apprentice to make it look like he has something to do with it all. Can’t blame him entirely for being useless and not being able to help out because Ash mostly is to blame for thinking only he is the one who can stop it. So don’t get involved! Not sure if he had this intention to not let his partner or friends get injured but even if that is true, isn’t he treating everyone in ARKS like a child? Yeah, they can fight, you know! Isn’t that what ARKS is about in the first place? To fight Darkers?!

What else can I say about the other characters? They’re just pretty meh and like I’ve said, unless they are needed, they only show up for the plot to move forward. So like Melrandia FKA Seana wallowing in deep regret and depression which seems pretty annoying because she just couldn’t get over the guilt which isn’t entirely her fault. It doesn’t help when Gettemhult is the series’ biggest jerk whom everyone loves to hate for picking on her and just being a dick. That’s why he is so suitable to become the host for Dark Falz. Then we have Patty and Tia a bunch of comic relief characters who just loves a big scoop and Quna who is everyone’s favourite idol. Gee, no other idols on this fleet? She’s got this bone to pick with Casra but it feels like it follows her mood. To kill him or not to kill him? Oh well, let him live for now. Then we have Huey whose trademark is making a flashy entrance and confused Klariskrays needing a lot of reassurance from Huey so that she can think for herself and not rely on Clarissa. Otherwise, these 2 make an awesome manzai comedy duo other than Patty and Tia by being dumb and brawns > brains.

Zeno is someone needed to help reinforce that time paradox thingy because Ash needs someone besides Afin and Matoi who firmly believes in him no matter what. Zeno’s that guy. Risa sounds like she is just one click away from turning into a serial killer who will massacre everybody. Thank goodness that didn’t happen. But it would be fun to see that if it ever happens. Sarah is needed so that we can tie the relation between Matoi and Klariskrays together. Otherwise, pretty redundant. Xiao, an inferior version to Xion created so that we can stop that draggy plot of Luther chasing after her. Yeah, had Xion continue to live, I’m sure Luther will still come back from hell to steal all her omniscience. I guess I’ll stop commenting on the other characters since they aren’t that significant to me and also because I’m starting to have a headache and could be worse if I try to comment on them all. Yeah, whatever happened to Zig anyway?

The action sequences are rather okay. It is somewhat predictable and not really that much exciting. Some special effects and power hitting moves but I’m not impressed with it either. When Darkers show up, ARKS go into action and our main characters do their move or two to destroy those low level Darkers. Fight will Dark Falz versions will usually get interrupted and having them retreat or back down because we need a next time fight otherwise it will be just too boring not having any Dark Falz generals to deal with. By the way, I thought there were going to be more of Dark Falz types but too bad they’re not the kind that would band together and fight like a team. So say goodbye to my hopes of seeing some group fights. What was I thinking anyway?

The art and animation are pretty passable. After all, it is animated by the veteran studio of Gonzo (Gantz, Rosario To Vampire, Linebarrels Of Iron, Full Metal Panic, Seto No Hanayome, Trinity Blood, Chrono Crusade, Basilisk, Samurai 7) so what else to expect? Yeah, some inconsistencies here and there but I suppose I’ve gotten used to it by then. Especially the CGI is just mediocre. Why do Darkers remind me of Starship Troopers’ bugs? My main gripe is the design of the female CASTs. They’re basically a race of robots, right? So why do they even have a female version?! Why do they look a lot sexy and have feminine physical body traits? I mean, think about it. Why the heck do they need boobs and show their metal thighs? I don’t think they’re organic, though. So it makes no sense seeing Risa and Maria looking like girls in sexy cosplay while Regius and the male CASTs are like full mini Gundam. Seriously.

If there is one thing that I ‘like’ about this series, it has tons of seiyuus that I recognized! Wow. How long has it been since an anime where I could identify a big majority of the cast? So we have Daisuke Ono as Ash, Satomi Satou as Matoi, Hiro Shimono as Afin, Hiroshi Kamiya as Casra, Kana Hanazawa doing a double as Risa and Melrandia, the same for Megumi Ogata as Xion and Xiao, Kana Ueda as Sarah, Aoi Yuuki as Klariskrays, Eri Kitamura as Quna, Kana Asumi as Patty, Yuka Iguchi as Tia, Takahiro Sakurai as Luther, Tetsuya Kakihara as Huey, Youko Hikasa as Echo, Rie Kugumiya as Gemini, Nobuhiko Okamoto as Theodor, Ayana Taketatsu as Io and Fumihiko Tachiki as Zig. Wow. That’s almost freaking the entire cast, no? I’m so proud of myself. But no Mamiko Noto anywhere… So sad… The rest of the casts are Yousuke Akimoto as Regius (Colonel in Kimi Ga Aruji De Shitsuji Ga Ore De), Ryohei Kimura as Zeno (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Nobuo Tobita as Gettemhult and Dark Falz (Souun in Uchouten Kazoku), Mariya Ise as Eucie and Ulc (Levi in Fairy Tail), Mami Koyama as Maria (Big Mom in One Piece) and Houko Kuwashima as Apprentice (Sango in Inu Yasha).

Both the opening themes are sound by Aimee Blackschleger. Both songs are entirely in English and since she is American, you bet that the song sounds better rather than a Japanese trying their Engrish. I know many of them are a lot better these days but certain stereotypes are hard to brush off. Anyway, Destiny as the first opener and Universe as the second one, honestly they sound pretty much the same to me. The lively beat and synthesizer effects and the lyrics feel like advertising the series (because “Phantasy Star…” are the only words I could clearly hear) somewhat fits the pacing of the series well. As for the ending theme, I feel that the first ending theme, Timeless Fortune by Mika Arisaka sounds a lot better with its slow rock than the second one, Soleil -Dear Destiny- by Haruka Momoi that sounds somewhat wimpy despite its upbeat outlook. Other special ending themes are slow ballads like Eien No Encore by Eri Kitamura and Living On Like Stars by Mika Arisaka are okay and add to the feels and impact of bittersweet tone of how that episode ended. The final episode’s Hello by Monique Dehaney feels like a fitting song to end the long ride we’ve been through.

Overall, this anime feels like a big confusing drama and unless you are hardcore fans of the series, you’re not going to find this enjoyable. Not sure if the fans also find this adaptation pleasant either. It’s one big mess and if this is supposed to expose and introduce those who have never heard the game to go check it out, I don’t think it did a good job here. Personally, I am just glad that it is over and hope it won’t have any sequel (there are still other balance chapters from the game not adapted as the anime already ended). Or prequel. Worse, reboot or remake. Please don’t. But yeah, this still feels a lot better than that high school setting one. Kids of some future academy get to go fight virtual Darkers in the comfort of their seats while we otakus get to watch and criticise animes that do not live up to our hyper unrealistic standards. But hey, what do I know? I’m not an omniscient ocean to begin with.

Bastard! Ankoku No Hakai Kami

September 12, 2020

With a name like that, it will sure turn heads. At least that is how Bastard! Ankoku No Hakai Kami got my attention. Well, thank goodness it isn’t one of those sleazy early hentai anime of the early 90’s. Yeah, with that kind of name it is easy to sometimes associate it with that kind of genre and material (although there are much more amusing porn titles out there). But this one is more about sorcery, revenge and power struggles. Oh yeah. Typical age old human conflict and greed that turns us all into bastards. We humans sure never learn.

Episode 1
The Four Lords of Havoc have just decimated the city of Judas. Doing so, they have got 1 of the 4 seals that would unleash the God of Destruction, Ansla-Sax. Now they set their sights on the city of Metallicana. Monsters led by the dark wizard, Kebidabu try to break into the city walls. While many knights are killed, a few civilians have fled into the safety of the inner walls. Among them include Princess Sheila, Tia Noto Yoko and a young boy, Rushe Renren. Geo who is Yoko’s father wants her to unleash the seal that was casted upon her a long time ago. You mean the seal that has her give some virgin kiss to Rushe? And for her being a virgin means the more power Rushe will have? Yeah, this is so screwed up. No wonder Yoko doesn’t want to do this sick ceremony. How embarrassing. Uh huh. Pride > kingdom and many others dying. But when the attack soon reaches into the city, I guess Yoko has a change of heart. She kisses Rushe. Nothing happens. Before you jump to conclusions that Yoko is no longer a virgin, please take note the effect takes a while. Rushe now transforms into his wizard form, Dark Schneider. The priests will give him anything just to kill the enemies. However Schneider refuses because he wants to take over the world! For that, he will kill Geo, one of the few people who imprisoned him 15 years ago. Geo manages to block Schneider’s fireball blast. But can he defend the next deadly one? That is when Kebidabu breaks in and brags his ass off. As Schneider got his face slightly cut from the debris, you bet his ass he is going to kill this scumbag. Kebidabu unleashes his hydra to kill Schneider but the explosive wizard decapitates all their heads before unleashing a spell on Kebidabu that turns him into nothing but blood. Schneider now turns to Geo but disappointed Yoko wants him to stop because this is not who Rushe is. Schneider assures her that he and Rushe are the same despite having different bodies and personalities. If one dies, the other will also die. He also likes what Rushe likes so since he likes Yoko… Schneider kisses her but this turns him back to Rushe. So the virgin kiss also seals him back, huh? So I guess Yoko has got to treat Rushe better now. No more slapping him for just seeing her in her undies…

Episode 2
Weird dreams from Yoko ever since. Or is it a nightmare? One night as she is sleeping, Gara who is one of the Four Lords of Havoc sneaks in to interrogate her on how she broke Schneider’s shield. Even if he knows the spell that killed Kebidabu is Schneider’s original, how did he know it was her who broke it?! Since she can’t say (because it’s too embarrassing), he threatens to rape her?! Suddenly Rushe wakes up. However this is Schneider talking. He regains some of his power when Rushe is asleep and tells Gara to hands off his woman. With Geo barging in, Gara kidnaps Yoko. Hence they go need to rescue her but how are they going to awaken Schneider? Oh right. The other virgin. Sheila. She kisses Rushe to turn him into Schneider. As usual, this cocky guy won’t do as he is told. He claims he can have all the woman in the world after conquering it. When he gets flirty with Sheila, she slaps him. Uhm, so that ended the charade? Go on the rescue mission now? Sheila and some of the knights led by Von Jobina accompany Schneider to Gara’s hideout. Meanwhile Gara continues interrogate Yoko. He tries to irk her that she is in love with Schneider. So you mean she tries to guess his question how many women Schneider has in the past? Not 10. Hundreds of them! Schneider is in fact 400 years old! You mean to look that shock, Yoko?

With Schneider blasting the front entrance (you mean no ninjas were stationed outside?), interrogation time is up so Gara sends slime to devour Yoko’s clothes. Oh boy… But Yoko more worried who unsealed Schneider?! Schneider works up the knights to fight the minotaur while he and Sheila move ahead. Nothing says die for your princess to get them motivated. Schneider then faces off with some eyeball monster. He gets injured but lets loose his fury to defeat it. Then Sheila spots a convenient sword to use and picks it up. Girl, it’s a trap!!! Schneider throws it away but gets poisoned. She is forced to suck it out. Why do I feel that they want to put in this ambiguous sucking scene… But then, Efreet the fire spirit that inhabits the sword pops up. He is going to burn Schneider. The easiest way to defeat Efreet is using a cold spell but Schneider does not have any. So how? This guy goes naked and charges straight at Efreet! OMFG! Then it the twisted sense of using fire to fight fire, he combines their fire power to make it even hotter that Efreet cannot stand! His first defeat! OMFG! Unbelievable! Now that Schneider has tamed Efreet and become his master, it is time to face off with Gara. Give back his woman!

Episode 3
Wow. All the ninjas just waiting for Schneider to come? Here he is! Instantly he fights Gara without giving him time to talk. He then powers up going Super Saiyan. Why so mad? Because Gara undressed Yoko, something he himself hasn’t done yet!!! WTF???!!! But after that power up, Gara beats him up. All for show only? He thinks Schneider has changed because he protects others and there are others who protect him. Is this the real Schneider? Schneider tells the ladies to just STFU and not get in the way of their fight. But before they fight, they reminisce that night 15 years ago. Then, Schneider was destroying kingdoms and so Gara sought permission from his king to fight Schneider alone. So the king was so impressed of his braveness and if he defeats Schneider, he’ll give him the Ninja Master title? Whatever. Gara snuck in to kill Schneider but the latter is cool as a cat and toying with him. Gara wants to know his intentions so Schneider says it is to kill all men so he can have all the women! No, seriously. What is your goal?! To conquer the world. Gara finds it strange. If he wants to rule the world, why go round destroying kingdoms then? Well, he doesn’t care! He’ll just take everything in the world! Wow. Yoko interested to know more what happens next? Too bad, the boys are going to fight now.

Both giving all their best strikes and when Schneider is in a pinch, he unleashes Efreet to help. Gara still can’t believe this is Schneider so he uses up his final ace up his sleeve to cut Schneider! HOLY SH*T! Schneider got cut in half?! Flashback continues. When Gara told him he wanted to save the world, Schneider laughed it off because that’s just futile. After Gara cut an illusion of him, that is when he realized what Schneider meant. No point in saving the world. I mean, he wanted to be the strongest man but that meant gaining power over others. Fighting wars while others starve feel pointless. So he understood the power Schneider had and though if he had it, he could destroy the world and start anew. That’s why he joined the Four Lords of Havoc. The weirdest yahoo from Gara as he and his ninjas bring out the table and wine to start celebrating!!! WTF?! Suddenly the place shakes. Schneider revives! He is going to show his true power with some extremely powerful earth shaking spell???!!! HOLY F*CK!!! In the end, everyone is okay?! Schneider protected everyone from it all with his barrier. So damn, Schneider and Gara just shrug this off and continued to be friends?! Gara was his disciple all along?! Yoko going to complain a hell lot so be prepared… Gara so impressed he admits he lost again.

Episode 4
Arshes Nei who is one of the Four Lords of Havoc is actually a dark elf woman and Schneider’s ex-lover. Now that Gara has deserted them, she is going to have to kill Schneider herself. Yeah, some flashback how they met and became lovers for 100 years but looks like their love isn’t going to be strong enough now. Because in this dream illusion, Schneider waltzes in just to tell Nei not to kill him but she says f*ck you and blasts him away!!! We see Rushe in the forest with a little talking dragon, Lars. We saw him last time as Gara’s pet but he is actually one of the old enemies Schneider fought 15 years ago and was imprisoned in this form. The other Four Lords of Havoc, Kall-Su and Abigail discussing if Nei can kill Schneider. If she betrays them, some ancient spell will kill her. And something about both have similar powers and their clash means one of them will die. Apparently Schneider is missing so Yoko and a few female knights go in search of him (Metallicana is ambushed by Kai Harn who is one of Nei’s generals and dumb Von Jobina gets easily owned!) but gets ambushed by some monster. Yoko runs away and falls off a cliff. Don’t worry. Water below. That is where she stumbles into Rushe and Lars.

They are then picked up by this vampire noble, Di-Amon who brings them back to his castle. Of course he is going to suck the blood of those virgin girls to stay young. I guess crosses don’t work, huh? Yoko of course is scared and is screaming to Rushe for help. How can she kiss him if he is imprisoned in that cage?! But seeing his woman going to get raped, Schneider tries to break the seal. Unfortunately Rushe’s fear is too great so he still can’t break. Until Di-Amon beats up Yoko for kicking his face. Then Schneider breaks out in his form! Nobody touches his woman! Even bold enough to declare Yoko will bear his children one day! Schneider makes a fool out of that dude by fooling with his senses so Di-Amon kills his own men instead of him. So he just f*cks it and kills everything just to take out Schneider but our hero tells why he cannot win: Because stupid ugly macho guys can never defeat handsome smart main characters!!! OMFG!!! Schneider breaks the fourth wall?! Also, he breaks the wall so the sunlight kills Di-Amon. Not quite. He turns into a bat and since he is still cocky, Schneider finds it too amusing just to kill him so he casts a spell on him that if he ever disobeys him, he will turn into a toad! Oh sh*t! Fate worse than death! With the threat over, Schneider tries to flirt with Yoko (licking her wounds?!) but gets beaten up. Not now! Meanwhile Kai Harn is making advancement into Metallicana. Geo fears the worse but a soothsayer sees a vision of Schneider dead and his heart ripped out. But first, you can tell that Schneider is back when he unleashes an ultimate destructive spell that only he can pull off outside Metallicana. He’s back. Nei looking scared?

Episode 5
Looks like Nei also has that same toad curse. So you bet she is going to kill him rather than turn into that ugly amphibian. Immediately she goes to fight Schneider. I guess this means Schneider’s women (that’s you, Yoko and Sheila) to get out of the way while he settles his fight with his ‘daughter’. Yup, their relationship isn’t just lovers but also father and daughter. Complicated. As they clash swords, Efreet pops up to help but it’s just a cue to have both monsters in their sword (Nei has some Nue in her thunder sword) destroy each other so that they won’t be used again. Not that I actually remembered Efreet to be useful anyway. What’s that again that the world needs Schneider? Nei strikes him dead but as we know, he revives soon after. She tries to work him up by saying that she never saw him as her father. More power fight. Schneider dies again. Oh boy. Sheila and Yoko worried. But Yoko believes he will come back because some lesson she taught Rushe to pay back his debts. So that’s the significance of lending Schneider her coin before the fight?! WTF???!!! Of course Schneider revives and laughing like an ass. Nei goes in for the strike again but this time he plays dirty by saying I love you. Time to hesitate. He asks why she is trying to do this. Something about building an ideal world where there’s no discrimination, blah, blah, blah. I’m sure she can relate to all the bullying and torment as a child. And then she was abandoned by her own race. How sad. But of course Schneider tells her that that’s why for the last 100 years, he picked her up and made it a safe space for her by his side. Wow. You gotta be kidding me.

With Nei’s determination grows weak, the curse starts to activate. So while we hear Nei spout tough lines of killing Schneider, we also hear inside her heart how much she actually loves him. All she wants is for him to stay defeated but Schneider being Schneider, he gets back up every time. Yoko almost gets hit and Nei’s heart sinks upon seeing Schneider concerned over Yoko and calling her name. Don’t worry. Yoko’s fine. Hence the final showdown where she challenges him to unleash their most powerful spell. If he doesn’t beat her, she’ll target his woman next. Wow. That enough to rile up Schneider! Let’s do this! Of course this is all part of Nei’s plan to be killed by her lover-cum-father before she turns into a toad. Both start chanting the same powerful destructive spell when Schneider hears Rushe’s voice. Could he not see Nei’s suffering? Could he not see he love for him has trapped her in despair? Damn, kiddo had to point that out before Schneider actually realizes what is happening to Nei. Then some powerful spell to negate it all. So Schneider is going to put Nei out of her misery. How? He rips out his own heart! OMG! Prophecy came true! As this means Schneider is dead, the curse on Nei is lifted. Oh no! This better be a joke! Schneider please revive now. Any time now… NOOO!!!! Too much drama for all his women to take for today…

Episode 6
The other 2 cities that seal Ansla-Sax, Witos Neiki and Iron Maydon have fallen after Kall-Su and Abigail easily obliterate them. Of course with Metallicana the last standing one, it is without a doubt the final seal is inside Sheila. Now that Schneider is dead and Metallicana’s army has been depleted, the king has no choice but to order to kill Sheila. What is one life compared to saving many others? If they don’t do their duty as royals, then when?! And all Yoko can think off is Rushe not returning her coin! Like, WTF???!!! With Abigail’s forces arriving outside the gates of Metallicana, Nei goes to fight them and eventually faces off with Abigail himself. However he encases himself in an immortal cyclops that is made out of tissues from Ansla-Sax. You’re so screwed. Nei is on the verge of being defeated but who is here to help? Not Schneider. It’s Gara and his 2000 strong ninjas! Meanwhile Sheila is squirming in pain. Geo is about to kill her when something is happening to Schneider. With Ansla-Sax partially revived, Schneider is also reviving?! You mean he is reacting to Ansla-Sax’s revival?! Oh damn, see his heart regenerating from thin air!!! That quickly ended when Kall-Su casted some spell. Yeah, his heart fell apart.

We return to Gara and Nei’s fight against the cyclops. Because we can’t let them see their victory off screen, right?! Time to ramp up the drama as Gara sacrifices himself to save Nei. Then his ninjas die like flies just to rescue their master. Woah. Gara so mad that he goes Super Saiyan and transforms into a demon?! He manages to cut through the cyclops but only kills 1/3 of it?! WTF?! Nei so sad that she can only call out for Schneider’s help. Don’t worry, his heart regenerates faster this time! But he is still asleep. How to wake him up? Yoko slaps him up! Hey. That’s not going to- IT WORKED???!!! And here comes Schneider into the battlefield. Abigail’s flabbergasted face so priceless. Time for the final battle. Since Schneider is casting some long winded spell, Abigail thought he managed to rip out his heart for real. Too bad this is just a body double. Schneider then blasts away the cyclops along with Abigail. So did Schneider really finish him off because Abigail saying he’ll be back next time… Anyway, our heroes are victories and Nei so glad she can’t wait to hug him. But here is Yoko. So is our dark hero going to kiss her? Nope! He returns the coin! Oh yeah! Didn’t forget that, did you! The threat for now has passed and Ansla-Sax returns to its slumber. Kall-Su as the last surviving baddie vows to make Schneider pay for this.

Bastardized & Busted!
Oh dear. That was fun but at the same time it was also dumb. Dumb fun if I should say. If the ‘ending’ felt somewhat incomplete, that is because originally there were meant to be 8 episodes in total but the final 2 didn’t get pass production. I can see why. The overall feel of the story feels a bit dumb so I guess it makes no sense to continue making the final part. Oh wait. What’s that? I read somewhere that the producer got arrested and hence the production for the remaining episodes were halted for good? Oh well, you could say Ansla-Sax revived and destroyed this series. Hahaha! Oops… So I guess we’ll never get to see the final fight between Schneider and Kall-Su. At least on TV. If you’re ever so interested, you can continue over the manga.

Well, as you can see, the whole quality, pacing and screenplay of the series is somewhat weird and amateurish. The kind of quality that would not fly by today’s standard. The plot feels a bit draggy and dumb. Even the dialogue feels amateurish in the sense that they didn’t put much thought into the story and just want to go all out with the violent action and explosive magic whatsoever. Of course this series was produced way back in 1992 so you can tell it is so dated from that era. You know me. Just because it is a retro show, I show more leniency and forgiveness. Boy, if it was a series that was released in this 2010’s decade, I would have fully lambasted how lame and inferior this sh*t is. Of course I got to admit that it is still bad even if it is by 1992’s standards but since I was laughing at how bad everything is, I guess I can forgive it. Yup. So bad that it is actually good. Hey, at least it is still way better than that 6 Angels crap I saw some time ago.

Anyway, the plot is relatively simple. Some baddies want to revive the ancient God of Destruction to destroy the world and only the baddest dude in the whole wide world who is also the main character happens to be the only one who can stop them. Basically they really drag out the fights as each episode is mostly dedicated to seeing Schneider or his comrade fighting off against a Four Lords of Havoc. Don’t think too much about the plot and just be here for the low quality violence, action and blood. Characters get wounded a lot but they shrug it off and make it look like a small wound that doesn’t matter… Then it goes away! Oh, nobody dies of blood loss too? And yeah, lots of magic explosions too. I guess we need to see how f*cking powerful Schneider is so that’s why we have to see him pull off trump card after trump card to best the enemy and tell us why he is still the most powerful mother*cker in the land. Sure, it doesn’t make any sense sometimes and some plots felt like just winging it or written as they go along. For instance the final episode just to f*cking revive Schneider. Like, how in the world?! How the f*ck do you even explain that?! So they just f*ck it and make him come back to life because, hell yeah, smart handsome main characters always drop in at the right timing, right? Oh yeah. Plot convenience privilege. That’s what Schneider definitely has.

As you might have known, this series is heavy and has a lot of references to the western heavy metal bands. The series’ author I read is a big fan of those music. Of course they are changed so as not to get sued. So it’s no surprise where Metallicana got its name from. Yup. Hero Of The Day. Anthrax = Ansla-Sax? Oh boy. The Devil You Know… Von Jobina is so obviously Bon Jovi. Yeah, royal knight captain never felt so useless but so lucky to have survived this far. You give such characters a bad name! Not only names of places and characters are named after these heavy metal bands but some of the magic spells too like Venom and Megadeth. Since I’m not really a big heavy metal fan myself, I think there are a lot of references I missed out. You can check out the Wikipedia site for some of its references if you are so interested. On a trivial note, every start of the episode is narrated in English (trolled me to thinking it was dubbed and not subbed!) about the setting of this world. Well, doesn’t sound like a heavy metal guy narrating but more of some lax chill dude after taking his drugs! Yeah, I was expecting some gar manly heavy metal voice but instead got this wuss. Heh.

And the characters, oh yeah, nothing really special either. They either exist to give some plot convenience or some pretty cliché stuffs. Like for example, Yoko and Sheila don’t really do much accept when the plot tells them to become damsels in distress or something freaking nonsensical that doesn’t make sense. And also some mild cheesy fanservice from time to time (slime dissolving Yoko’s clothes, Sheila sucking out Schneider’s poison from his lower anatomy…). You wonder why they wear so short skirts in dangerous battlefields. Otherwise their characters don’t really matter. It’s to also showcase that Schneider is some sort of dark playboy or something because he’s got a couple of babes by his side. Yeah, he gets mad when somebody else touches his women. Then he goes all the rage and gets beat down before making a comeback. Like, WTF?! I guess Yoko and Sheila love Schneider too. You can tell from their blushing reaction when they see him in action but Yoko being more tomboyish do not hesitate to beat that mother*cker up. So is this slapstick relationship what defines Schneider/Rushe-Yoko relationship?

Other characters aren’t fleshed out properly like Rushe. Who the f*ck is this kid and how did he become a vessel for Schneider? And that Lars guy? In the anime he isn’t very prominent but I read he was the prince of Metallicana who played a primary role in handing Schneider his ass to him. I suppose the series needed some animal mascot but he is so forgettable that you wonder why he needs to even appear. Gara and Nei have their own episodes in focus but their past and flashback are relatively short. That’s all you need to know about them. Now fight! Too bad Kall-Su continues to wait and wait…

Lastly, Schneider as the main character himself. He tries to be a cool badass but mostly comes off as a jerk. Because he is so powerful and no one can actually match up to him, it’s the reason why he does as he pleases. He literally doesn’t give a f*ck and only does so because his women got kidnapped or something. Hey, he is going to be the master of all the women in the world, so can’t have anyone defiling them anyhow! Basically this guy feels like an immortal because he somehow just keeps coming back after he dies. I guess we need to ramp up some drama when his women get worried sick when he dies or even the slightest being injured. It’s pretty lame but hey, at least he got his women! And since he is the only guy whom Metallica can rely on to prevent world doom, you bet he can do as he wishes. Because no competition obviously. Each time he speaks, I thought he was going to do One Piece’s Franky trademark. After all, Kazuki Yao is the one who voiced him so it feels like the early days of Franky before he turned into some pirate cyborg. Yes, I’m just pulling a fast one.

One of the most disjointed characters ever is Di-Amon. That episode itself feels like a filler and his character is so freaking comical, you wonder if they purposely made him that way so they can make a fool out of him. After all, he is voiced by Shigeru Chiba and that old dude has voiced many weird clown-like characters in his colourful voice acting life such as One Piece’s Buggy. Of course, the series itself sometimes tend to break the fourth wall like Schneider obviously being so vain by calling himself as the main character and Gara himself sometimes feels like he is talking to us viewers. Since Gara is somewhat Schneider’s disciple so it’s like he takes after his master’s joke or something? Yes, it’s not a joke that this series is also fall under the comedy genre! I kid you not! Bad jokes, huh?

Speaking of funny, one of the funniest aspects that had me laughing is the way the magic spells are chanted. They’re mostly gibberish. Uh huh. It feels like they’re pulling out from thin air on what to say on chanting the spells and the funny part is watching how the English subtitles try to make head and tell those words. Literally. Like, WTF?! Yeah, I couldn’t hear properly what they’re saying so thank you for providing those subtitles so I can exactly know what garbage they’re saying. Word for word.

The art and animation goes without saying that it is so dated and reeks of the early 90’s style. Call it low quality but I guess that is the best the production can do then. Some scenes that has close ups on the character’s face try to showcase how ‘detailed’ they are but it comes off more manly than anything. As for the character designs, I thought Schneider looks like a badass version of Inuyasha! But minus all the charms of Inuyasha! Oh well, Yoko is no Kagome and Sheila is no Kikyou but whatever. And what’s this? Gara looks like Guts from Berserk?! And Di-Amon doesn’t look anywhere your stereotypical vampire because he looks more like a cross between Lobo (that DC comic character) and a failed audition member of KISS. Really. This guy himself looks so freaking comical! Now, Abigail is the one who looks more like your stereotypical Dracula. Though oddly, he is the master of zombies. Whatever.

Overall, this series is filled with so much clichés and bad quality that it feels like it could actually provide you with some comic relief on a bad day! I guess mind numbing big explosive bloody action battle scenes with manly wizards taking on each other on an earth shattering scale can be healing therapy in some ways… Too bad with lots of heavy metal bands being referred, there are no visual heavy metal references (save maybe for that joker Di-Amon) like nobody has some heavenly electric guitar shockwave spell or something or a division Abigail’s army could look like KISS members. Heck, no heavy metal music too! Well, the series has a rock ending but it doesn’t sound so heavy metal like those western bands. It is unfortunate seeing the state of this series has become and it is not something that any ordinary viewers would want to pick up unless you’re feeling a bit ‘adventurous’ or in the loosest term, weird. Otherwise this rare retro series has already Fade To Black and only The Memories Remain… Sad But True…

Don’t you just hate it when they insert summaries or recaps in the middle of a running series or even just a few episodes in just because of some production issues or whatever reasons they are unable to air the actual next episode? Yes, I know it’s really hard to make a decent episode of anime but that is not our problem! We noble entitled otakus expect our weekly anime release on time!!! WE DEMAND IT!!! WE ARE KINGS!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Ahem. But anyway, not every series seems to have inserted the dreaded recap episode in between. Far and few in between have in fact put them at the end of the series when the season has ended. It’s like they needed to push out another episode just to fill in the timeslot, huh? So listed below are the anime series that have its recap episode as its final episode of the season:

Anime: Jashin-chan Dropkick S2.
Final episode recap: 11.
What’s so special: Included a 10 minute long song sung by the one and only Jashin-chan! Let’s hear it for the days in Jinbouchou!

Anime: Air.
Final episode recap: 13.
What’s so special: Well, if you’re a fan of Misuzu, be glad to know that this recap is all about her arc. Screw Kano! Screw Minagi!

Anime: Mayoi Neko Overrun.
Final episode recap: 13.
What’s so special: Cat girls sarcastic commentary + Cat girls fanservice!

Anime: Soushin Shoujo Matoi.
Final episode recap: 13.
What’s so special: It’s Yuma-chan, dammit! This cutie pie should have gotten a spinoff of her own instead of a single measly recap. But at least they replaced the main heroine in the opening credits with her to make it look like she is the star of this show!

Anime: Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken.
Final episode recap: 24.5.
What’s so special: Uhm… Veldora and Ifrit playing shogi inside Rimuru?

Anime: Chobits.
Final episode recap: 27.
What’s so special: Though this was released as an unaired episode on the DVD, I saw it together with the TV series so I’m going to classify it as such. If you love Chitose the landlady so much, you’ll be glad she’s the one narrating the events here.

Anime: Wind – A Breath Of Heart.
Final episode recap: 13.
What’s so special: Possibly the most depressing and also disappointing recap ever because Minamo reminisces about her feelings for Makoto.

Anime: Clannad ~After Story~.
Final episode recap: 24.
What’s so special: What a way to tell your daughter how I met your mother via recap. Another depressing recap considering the tragic elements of the story but made heart-warming and satisfying when we see Ushio and her family as a whole.

Anime: Hani Hani Operation Sanctuary.
Final episode recap: 13.
What’s so special: Biostatistics of the main girls as well as a few short clips not seen before in the series although it amounts to nothing much.

Just To Summarize Again…
Oh well, this was quite a tough one. Not sure if I missed out any when I was going through my ‘extensive’ list of animes that I have watched all these years. And there could even be more of such animes that have been omitted from the list since I didn’t watch them in the first place. Zoomed past my radar. So yeah, anime recaps may not be desirable at this point because it signals inefficiency and laziness but I guess they’ve aired something rather than nothing. Or a repeat of the previous episode. So if you’re too busy and do not have enough time in your already short life, then recaps are the best way for you to go instead of binge watching and rewatching those previous episodes in a single go. Hey, sometimes our memories fail us and we might even forget the most important detail of what happened when we thought we actually remembered them. With anime summaries looking to stay, now I’m just curious if there would ever be a 1 episode recap!

In many movies, series, books and even games that we indulge in, we are always being told from the perspective of the hero or the heroine. How many are there that would look at the angle and view of the villain or antagonist? Sure, there are but they are few by far and in between. After all, nobody wants to be the bad guy, right? Well… Otome Game No Hametsu Flag Shika Nai Akuyaku Reijou Ni Tensi Shiteshimatta (or Hamefura for short if that name is too freaking long ass for you to remember) has the main character being reborn into the role of a villainess of a dating simulation. Considering she is a pro in playing this game and has conquered almost every possible route there is, that is only when she was playing as the role of the heroine. Now what happens if you are taking on the villainess role? Looks like every path you take will end in your doom, no?! And hence her life’s mission is to make sure to avoid setting off the death flags that would lead to her doom. Sounds easy, right? Well, just remember there is no save game moments here. One chance, baby. One chance…

Episode 1
Catarina Claes is introduced to the third prince of the kingdom, Geordo Stuart. She instantly falls in love with him and as they stroll around the garden, Catarina slips and bumps her head. It seems she starts seeing her life in flashbacks. Hmm… A high school girl who is hooked on otome games and then got killed? Oh gosh. That is actually memories her past life! Though she is okay, she only has a scar on her forehead. As such women will find it hard to find a partner to marry, Geordo hints that he will officially propose to her later. Catarina’s parents are ecstatic to hear about this and want to celebrate this. But soon Catarina finds these events familiar. In the popular otome game she was playing, Fortune Lover, there existed a same prince with the same name. However he was sadistic and had an evil fiancée who locked him up because she blamed him for the scar on the forehead. Uhm, isn’t Catarina that villainess?! The main protagonist of the game is Maria Campbell, a commoner. In the game she meets other male characters and depending on which route you take, you end up falling in love with one of them. Other than Geordo, there is Alan (Geordo’s younger twin brother), Keith (Catarina’s half-brother) and Nicol Ascart (son of the premier). If you follow Geordo’s route, Maria is often bullied by Catarina and in the end, Geordo killed her and broke up with Maria to go into exile. That is the bad ending. The good ending has Catarina been exposed for her crimes and gets exiled. It seems there are other endings too but all either has Catarina get killed or exiled! Catarina researches more about this world and soon realizes this is indeed the world of Fortune Lover.

Now Catarina has a meeting with various versions of her inside her mind to find a route that will avoid her getting killed or exiled. They come to a conclusion to be good in magic. So the best way to be good in earth magic is to do farming? Yeah. How else can you communicate with the ground? Geordo is here once more and sees Catarina in this state. Shocked at first, he eventually says nothing and proposes to her officially. Catarina accidentally accepts and this sets off the flag as it follows the exact events in the game. Even more so when Keith is introduced to stay with her. In the game, because he is the son of a mistress, he is often bullied. Thus he locks himself alone in the room. He grows up to be a playboy but finds true love in Maria. No prizes to guess what happens to Catarina. Hence another mind meeting as they decide to be nice to Keith to avoid him being lonely. She tries to impress Keith by climbing a tree but slips. Almost ‘killed’ him with her butt? Later she has him demonstrate his magic against his will. But it goes berserk. Catarina wakes up in her room alright. She learns from her parents that Keith cannot control his strong magic and vowed not to use it upon others. Catarina realizes she was in the wrong and goes to apologize to him but he has locked himself up in his room. Flashback shows he used his magic that almost killed a couple of bullies trying to throw stones at a bird’s nest. He got ostracized since. Hence his thinking is that if he is alone, he can’t hurt anyone. Just then, Catarina uses an axe to chop down the door! Just to apologize! Uhm, is she apologizing on the broken door? Be careful of splinters… Catarina gives him hope that he can control his magic via training and she promises to always stay by his side. But for now, Catarina’s mom is going to scold her for breaking down the expensive door! Is this part of the death flag?

Episode 2
Catarina receives an invitation to a tea party. Fearing that she doesn’t know any manners, they send Keith to go along with her. You bet Catarina wants to bring back all the delicious treats but with Keith warning her about what mom said, Catarina tries to eat them all! Tummy ache? Luckily she manages to relief herself but stumbles upon Mary Hunt in the garden. Because she learns Mary plants very nice flowers, Catarina is interested to learn more about gardening (since hers is wilting). Mary agrees to go take a look at her garden and both lolis put in the effort till Catarina’s mini garden finally blooms. Later Keith explains Mary was a very lonely girl because she is often bullied by her sisters (as Mary is from a different mother). After her mom died, she felt she had nowhere to go. Keith also explains about Mary’s engagement to Alan. This shocks Catarina because this is part of the game as well. In the game, Alan has health issues and always felt inferior to Geordo. But all that changed for the better after meeting Maria. The game is a good ending if Alan and Catarina end up being a pair and their respective future spouse backing down. A bad end is if Alan and Mary end up together. Thing is, Catarina said the exact words about Mary’s gardening that Alan would have said to her in the game. That line was what clinched Alan and Mary’s relationship. So is Catarina looking at her doom?

Catarina talks to Mary again but it looks like Mary said those same lines to Alan. Soon, Alan comes to visit Catarina. He is not pleased and thinks she is seducing his Mary! Because when he tries to invite her out, she gives excuses she has plans with Catarina. Also, she talks nonstop about her! Catarina dismisses all this and instead accuses of having no appeal at all. That is why Mary won’t accept his invitation. Realizing too late she said too much, Alan considers this as an insult and challenges her. He lets her pick the challenge. Tree climbing? Yeah, Catarina always beats him. Rematch? This goes on day after day. Yeah, it’s like he visits her every day just for this challenge. So I guess it is time for Geordo to step in and break this up. Alan still insists on a challenge so Catarina suggests playing piano. Catarina is good but Alan is better. They praise him but Alan is displeased. He thinks they are mocking him and runs away. Catarina finds and talks to him as he laments Geordo is good in everything. On the contrary, Catarina knows Geordo has a weakness. She believes it is snakes because while gardening, she saw his scared face when stumbled into one. To prove it, Catarina throws a toy snake at Geordo. As expected, he gets frightened. Of course he finds out and he is going to tell her mother about this prank. Oh dear, another scolding from mom. Can she not avoid this doom flag? But all this left Alan laughing his ass off. After another mommy scolding, Catarina is still confident that if her doom flag arises with Geordo, she can pull off this snake prank to buy her time to escape her death. Heh. It’ll be easy…

Episode 3
Another tea party invitation for Catarina. This time it is by Geordo and Alan. Also invited are Nicol and his younger sister, Sophia. She seems most displeased. As usual, Catarina eats a lot till she needs to go to the toilet. Then she got chased by some dog and only loses it climbing up a tree. But then she spots several kids ganging up on Sophia. As she really needs to answer the call of nature, she jumps down and that scary face scared those kids away. Back at the party, Catarina and Sophia talk. She finds her similar to some romance novel she is reading and what luck, she is named the same as that character and also shares the same interest as her. She invites her to her home the next time. When she does, Nicol also tags along. That is when Catarina remembers. He is the childhood friend of Geordo and Alan. As he has a very strong sister complex, you cannot win over him unless you win over his sister. As Nicol’s rival isn’t Catarina, hence no matter how they interact with him, there is no danger of the death flag. As Catarina and Sophia become friends, Catarina is also impressed and loves her silky white hair. This shocks Sophia. Because many view it as creepy, including her red eyes. Many use this to discredit the family and call her a cursed child. But since Catarina doesn’t find it so, she hopes they can continue to be friends and this makes Sophia very happy. Along with Mary, the trio become form their own romance novel book club of their own. Catarina also visits Nicol’s residence from time to time. Before she leaves, Sophia goes to get a recommended book she forgot. Hence Catarina is left with Nicol. Not wanting this awkward silence, she mentions their family is blessed. At first he doesn’t look too happy but changes his outlook and agrees with her. Knowing his devilish smile, he fears that Keith’s heart might be stolen and this might open some BL route! She won’t let that happen! Glad to know she isn’t into BL. Yet.

Many years passed and we see Catarina now a gorgeous 15 year old teen. She heads down to celebrate her 15th birthday with all the usual suspects attending. They too have grown up splendidly. She dances with Geordo first as he asserts he will never break off their engagement. However she is okay if there is another girl who catches his eye and if so, she’ll gladly back off. Then he just kisses her nape and claims he could easily take her any time. She is left clueless as Keith tries to rub off the ‘bug’ on her nape. He warns her not to see Geordo alone. When Catarina dances with Nicol, everyone looks at them with utmost fascination. She asks if there is someone he loves. He does but he can’t say because he is not supposed to fall in love with that person. This has her to think if he is in love with someone’s wife or a guy! Later, I guess Sophia and Mary also want to dance with her since she is such a beautiful lady so she obliges. But now the real problem comes because she will soon enrol in a magic academy which is the beginning of the game’s setting. She hopes that all that she has done in the past to foster and fix a close relationship with the related characters will avoid her own doom as well as stay with them forever.

Episode 4
Catarina needs to be wary of Maria who possesses rare light magic. Her mini mind minions review the effort she has made over the years. Though there are some changes, there are some still remain the same. For example, Geordo who had no interest in Catarina in the game now gets along with her well although he still doesn’t break their engagement. Alan no longer has inferiority complex to Geordo but Mary isn’t attracted to him. At the academy as Catarina enjoys sweets from Geordo, she learns that he has already stumbled into Maria and helped her. Oh dear. Things are already starting to role. Even more so when the same happens to Keith. His reaction clearly indicates he takes a liking for Maria so Catarina assures she will support him. But does she need to shake him up like that? And when Catarina herself crosses path with Maria, she can’t concentrate in class as her mind is preoccupied with this heroine. Hence another mind deliberation on what to do before her doom flag sets in. In the end, they decide to do farming because if she gets exiled, at least she has this survival skill. After getting permission by the school, she starts farming her vegetable farm. As top students are to automatically join the student council, Geordo, Maria and Alan being the top 3 are in. Catarina. Down at 80th. Catarina finds herself visiting the student council office often that also consists of current student council president Sirius Dieke (Serious Dick what?!) and Nicol. Catarina enjoys Maria’s sweets but has to be careful how she knows about her as her info of Maria comes from the game she played. One evening, Catarina spots a handful of girls bullying Maria. Catarina jumps in to scare them away (evil villain face came in handy?) and then eats all her cupcakes the bullies threw on the ground. Too good to resist, huh? I guess the 5 second rule doesn’t apply to her. Catarina feels embarrassed upon realizing this but Maria’s sweet smile blows away all that. Later Catarina remembers such scene. In the game, it was Catarina who led the bullies on Maria. Then Geordo popped up to scare them away and ate her cupcakes. She realizes that since this didn’t take place, Geordo’s romance route won’t happen and that her doom can be prevented.

Episode 5
Catarina gets closer to Maria. She also notices Sirius is more popular with the girls than Nicol and ranks higher in grade too. Catarina then realizes she doesn’t interact with them often outside the student council room. As Maria is still being bullied, she needs to find a way to protect and get closer to her so Keith suggests hanging out with her more often. Brilliant idea. During lunch as she tries to make her move, she sees a group of snobbish girls bullying Maria. Instantly Catarina goes to protect her and dispel whatever rumours of Maria being a cheater. The bullies as expected run away with their tail between their legs. Later Catarina remembers this similar scene in the game. As you would have guessed, it was Catarina who led the bullies and Keith who saved her. So now that they have prevented this Keith’s route, looks like her doom flag is slowly being prevented. Trying to get closer to Maria and ask is there anyone she loves, is Catarina the right answer? Heck, even Mary and Sophia say they like Catarina! Holy sh*t. This game got yuri harem route?! As Catarina plans to expand her farming experience, she heads to the outskirts and at the same time visit the town where Maria lives. Apparently Maria is pretty well known because of her light magic. Some girls pester them for Maria’s real father as they think the rumours of Maria being the illegitimate child of a noble is the reason why she has such rare power. Keith ignores them and takes Catarina away. Maria is surprised to see Catarina and Keith visit. She learns about their farming hobby and allows them to set up a mini farm outside her house. We see Maria’s flashback that she was just an ordinary child. Until she started using her light magic, everything went downhill as others started suspecting and ostracizing her as a special child. She laments nobody wants to see the real her. Maria’s mom realizes she has been a terrible mom ignoring her daughter’s plight. She promises to help Maria and hopes her friends will continue to be friends with her. When Catarina returns home, she didn’t expect her own mom to visit. Yikes! Mom heard rumours about her making her own mini farm at school. Oh dear. A ‘long chat’ they’re going to have. Eek!!!

Episode 6
Summer vacation is here! Though Catarina’s mom allows her to keep he farm, but she has to stop shouting those strange farm words. Catarina and Geordo are supposed to go to the lake alone but Keith learnt about this and quickly joined in to avoid anything suspicious. Then the rest of the gang also join in and we got boat races to lovely picnic before a bird steals a snack from Catarina’s hands and she shamelessly goes after it. While the gang is out to get a book from the bookstore, when Nicol waits alone with Catarina, he gets close to her to thank her for being with them. Like as though prepping up for a kiss, Nicol further adds that he would love to stay by her side. Catarina can’t handle this shock and faints. Not sure if the summer heat is part of the culprit… Then everyone attends Alan’s piano recital. Dazzling. After that, Catarina talks to him and wonder about the last song because it is as though he played with someone in mind. He starts acting all embarrassed so she thinks it is. Then with other girls calling out for Alan, Mary doesn’t sound very pleased. Hence Catarina concludes that contrary to what has happened, Mary actually likes Alan secretly. Catarina then accidentally asks Sirius if he has someone in mind considering he is the only one not engaged to anybody. Of course he says none. Reality soon sinks in as the last day of summer vacation is here. Because Catarina hasn’t done her homework! Oh dear. I suppose that’s why she has Keith to help her out with some. This has her remember in her previous life she also always did her homework on the last day. Then she is awakened by her maid the next morning. Her homework is blank. Oh sh*t. So was that all just a dream too???!!!

Episode 7
Before she became Catarina, she was a normal high school girl. Yes, this was her previous life. Somewhat boring until she became friends with a classmate, Atsuko Sasaki who introduced her to Fortune Lover. Unfortunately such days didn’t last long as her friend died in a traffic accident. She became sad. Atsuko’s last message was a route she didn’t clear in Fortune Lover so as a sad friend, she promised to carry on in this new world she gave to her. She noted that if she had a chance to be reborn again, she wants to be friends with her again. Oddly, this is dreamt by Sophia. Uhm so is Sophia that friend of hers? It is exam time and you bet Catarina needs to pass this because certainly she doesn’t want to meet her doom via her mom’s wrath, right? Yeah, not part of the game’s plot! They are divided into groups and must find a magic stone in a very dangerous labyrinth ruins to pass. As we can see Catarina being clumsy and activating all the traps! Thank goodness they have luck too. She tries to help but activates yet another trap. While the hot guys diffuse it, she accidentally drops into a trapdoor. Oh dear. Will she meet her doom from something that is not part of the game?! When the others reunite and tell what happened, Nicol suggests using his wind magic to trace the whereabouts of Catarina’s voice. They manage to locate her since she is hunting, uhm, mushrooms? Doesn’t those look poisonous? Catarina falls off the edge in her mushroom hunt but is luckily caught by Sophia. Hey. Why is she the only one trying to pull her up? What happened to the rest? Some whirlwind makes them land safely and now the rest arrive. You guys are late. Everyone is happy that Catarina is okay and even more so she is in possession of a magic stone! She didn’t realized it was one as she picked it up just to cut off the mushrooms! Maria thought she saw some ominous shadow behind Catarina. Catarina wants to cook a mushroom broth with this haul. The guys aren’t so keen but the girls will follow her even if it means death! Can we settle on something else like cheesecake or something?

Episode 8
Catarina can’t focus studying on the test so what does she do? Farming! When Alan comes to talk to her, Mary gets jealous and wants to get in their way. But that won’t be necessary since Catarina wants to resume studying and invites Mary to study with her at the library. Great news! Only, she invites the rest of the gang. In the library, Catarina picks up some ancient book and this has everyone get absorbed into it. Only Maria and Mary didn’t because they were away to get sweets. So after they see this phenomenon, they realize this book could be one of the 7 mysteries of the school. You can’t get out if your desires aren’t fulfilled. Hence Mary is tormented to see everyone in the book trying to hit on Catarina! From Geordo’s flirting moment on their wedding day to Keith’s cheeky food teasing moment to Sophia doing a wall slam and even trying to confess her love to Catarina and Nicol doing some cheesy phantom thief thingy to steal Catarina’s heart! So these are their desires, huh? No wonder Mary can’t stand the cringe and wants to burn the book! When they get to Alan’s part, they just see him playing piano but Mary knows how it will eventually end. Finally they see hungry Catarina stumbling into a house made of sweets. Yup, she gobbles them all until she becomes fat and, uhm, WTF the whole thing explodes and everyone gets purged from the book?! Once everyone hears what happened, they get embarrassed. But Catarina continues to enjoy her sweets in real life. It is theorized that because inside the book is fictional, Catarina’s desires can never be fulfilled since she will never be full from the sweets. Since her desires are so much greater than the book can handle itself, the book couldn’t contain it anymore. So basically Catarina’s desire > ancient magic book. Wow… In the aftermath, we see Catarina and Alan watching the sunset together on a tree. Looks like a lovely moment, right? Not if Mary can do something about it!

Episode 9
Catarina tells her maid, Anne Shelley that she has passed and will be able to move on to the next grade. Great. Surprisingly, Catarina thanks her personally for it. Anne is surprised to hear that. We hear her narrate about her observations that those around her have feelings for Catarina but she herself is too dense to realize it. From Geordo to Keith and even Mary herself (Catarina thinks she is joking?). Alan too but unfortunately he himself is also too dense to realize that. She also notices the same in Nicol despite hardly ever talking. While Sophia also loves Catarina, she noticed about her brother’s love for her and also tries to hint to Catarina about it but you’ve guessed it. She’s too dense to figure that out. Also there is Maria but it is most likely a normal friendship kind of love. The girls then have a pyjamas party. Of course they talk about love. Instead of who, Catarina asks what they’ll do for that person they love. So Catarina will cook her love the things she grow in a garden? Okay. Then they ask Anne if she had someone in mind too. She tells them she has no intention to marry and doesn’t elaborate further. Cue for Anne’s flashback. Born into a baron family, she obeyed her father’s words to be a submissive woman. But one day her house caught fire and her mom died. Because of that scar on her arm, her father deemed her as useless for marriage and told her to leave. Heartbroken, she found her way working as the Claes’ maid. Catarina as a kid was hard to handle but she already accepted her fate to just obey as her young mistress wished. Until that one day she got her forehead scar, Catarina changed. Catarina became more thoughtful of her and even gave her a present. Anne was happy. Until one day her father returned and told her he found someone who would marry her despite being ‘damaged goods’. Catarina then told him off that she still needed Anne for various things. Anne then got the courage to reject her father. Hence Anne will always be grateful to Catarina and follow her wherever she goes. One day, Geordo gets an invitation letter from Catarina to meet at her garden. He finds it suspicious at first because Catarina doesn’t do such things. A prank? But as her fiancé, he can’t decline her and even thinks of buying a pair of golden shears to surprise her. Of course when he gets there, the usual gang is there. Yup, Catarina invited them all! It’s harvest day and she even has uniforms for them to help pick her harvest! Oh well. At least he gets to give his shears, right? Only… Everybody else got the same idea and bought one for her too!!! Oh my! As Catarina works hard to avoid her doom, this could probably be her first real test because a bunch of girls now confront her and vow to expose her evil deeds!

Episode 10
The girls show ‘proof’ how Catarina bullied Maria. Catarina is worried because this feels very similar to the doom flag in the game. Even more so when her friends are here, it is over if they vouch for the girls. But to her surprise, Maria rubbishes the claims while the rest assure Catarina could never come up with those schemes because she is stupid! Should that make her happy or insulted? Though Maria admits she has been bullied, it is not by Catarina and in fact she helped her. She can name those bullies now if they want to. Those girls just run away with tails between their legs. While the rest try to get to the bottom of these false accusations, Catarina is only happy thinking she conquered her greatest crisis. Don’t rest on your laurels yet… Later, Maria notices something and wants to investigate it herself. But Catarina will soon regret that decision not to go with her because it is the last time anybody saw her. The friends go in search of her but to no avail. Geordo then talks to Catarina about what he found out. His investigations show those girls couldn’t have come up with such schemes themselves and somebody put it together for them to carry out. The problem is, they didn’t know who. They felt the urge to do so and when it’s over, they felt a terrible sense of remorse. Geordo thinks someone with dark magic could only do this and erase their memories. It only works on those with negative emotions, that’s why those girls were used. But if Catarina was the target, why was Maria kidnapped? Because her light magic can only detect dark magic and hence she could be a threat. Also, dark magic is not one that is born with. There is a ritual to sacrifice a life to obtain it. Catarina becomes worried and dreams of everybody being killed! She regrets that it would have been better had she be the only one effected. So as she is hanging out in the school garden alone, Sirius comes talk to her. That is when she remembers something so important that she can’t believe she forgot it until now. In her previous life, her best friend told her about a secret character. However his route is super bad ending where everyone else got killed. And that hidden character matches Sirius’ description. At first Sirius plays dumb about dark magic but soon shows his true colours because he can’t stand Catarina’s kindness. Flashback shows Maria confronted him about his dark aura. After revealing his plans to get rid of Catarina whom he so detest, he put Maria to sleep. Now, Sirius doesn’t bat an eyelid to tell how much he hates her and wants her gone. But Catarina could only see sadness in his eyes and tries to comfort him. But he isn’t taken in by this and puts her to sleep forever with his dark magic.

Episode 11
So Catarina returns to her previous high school girl life? Well, she seems to be forgetting her days in Fortune Lover and continues living her normal high school life. Of course we will soon discover that it is all a dream because back in Fortune Lover world, Catarina has been asleep for 2 days and the doctor cannot figure out why. At this rate she will die without ever waking up. Hence, cue for all her pals to reminisce the good ol’ days with Catarina. How she saved them and never realizing their true feelings for her up till this point. Of course they realize no good will come if they continue to mope so they’re going to do something about it. Stay by her side and emotionally call her to come back? Yeah. Maybe that will work… You bet it will! Because she is confronted by Atsuko who tells her this is not the world she belongs. She regains her memories as Catarina as Atsuko also tells her that Maria is kept hidden in a hidden room in a storehouse. Both friends say goodbye for one last time and from what Atsuko says, it looks like she has reincarnated in the form of Sophia. Now Catarina has awakened, everyone is happy. But Catarina wants to get down to business and save both Maria and Sirius as she tells them what happened. They head down to the storehouse that Sirius’ family built but now abandoned. Inside the secret room, they find Maria alive and well. Then they make their way to where Sirius is. Creepy atmosphere. Is he trying to summon a demon? Anyway, Sirius is hearing voices in his head forcing him against his will to avenge his mother. Don’t be in a hurry to slay the demon first. Catarina wants to try diplomacy and conversation.

Episode 12
Sirius is in shock not because Catarina broke out from the spell but she has the guts to confront him again despite he had full intention to kill her. Catarina doesn’t think he wanted to kill her because he would have done so after putting the spell. That’s why she is here to talk to him. It’s flashback time as Sirius claims the real Sirius died a long time ago. We see Sirius living a poor but happy life with mom. Until one day they were kidnapped by a marquis’ wife. She blamed his mom for having a healthy son but hers was dying of an incurable disease. Not wanting this ‘unfairness’, she had a mage sacrifice her to achieve some dark magic to transfer her son’s soul into Sirius’ healthy body. After that was done, she killed off the mage so as to silence him. Of course the magic failed as it only transferred the memories and Sirius is still Sirius as he played along to inherit his family’s fortune. Okay, so I see what happened. But I fail to see why he has a grudge against Catarina who has NOTHING to do with it all. So what he doesn’t like how she saved others? How does Catarina have anything to do with his revenge?! Catarina gets honest with him. Sure, she can’t save him because she is not the heroine but the villainess. That’s why all she can do is just stay by his side. Her words somewhat reflects exactly of his mom’s. It goes without saying that the mage has been manipulating Sirius and implanting false memories in him because Sirius has realized mom didn’t want revenge but for him to live happy. The mage will not accept this but with the touch of Catarina’s blessing, Sirius blows away the mage. Gee, that was easy. Others not even needed!

In the aftermath, Sirius whose real name is Raphael Walt, quit the student council and exposed the marquis’ wife’s crimes. He vows to start anew. Although Catarina is glad she avoided everyone being killed, she fears the graduation ceremony for seniors because this is where the game ends when Maria chooses a partner. She will leave during the midst of the party and confess to her lover and it’s game over for Catarina. However during the party, Maria never left and this makes Catarina nervous. Can’t take the tension, she asks Maria directly if there is any guy she likes. Well, no. She likes Catarina and wants to be by her side. Wait. Was there a lesbian route? This has the rest of her friends also claiming the same. Catarina remembers this friendship ending whereby everybody gets along with each other. In game terms, this is a bad ending but for Catarina, this is good enough! Not doomed! Raphael returns to update the friends that he is joining some magic department (Hogwarts?!) since he can’t graduate. He also seeks Catarina’s ‘permission’ to be by her side. Of course. Why would she reject him? But of course this has some jealous with the increase in competition. Catarina despite a villainess, feels truly blessed to have all her friends around.

Doom(ed) Eternal(ly)
Well people, that is not the end of it yet. At least not by a long shot. Because when I heard they announced a sequel for this, it could only mean that Catarina’s doom flags are still on! Oh my. This means she will never live a peaceful life and until she falls in love with somebody or one of her friends fall in love with anybody. But to be fair, as Catarina hinted at the end, it is a script that does not exist in the game so it could be that this route that Catarina has taken may have ended as far as the game is concerned but in her real life (in the game), it goes on. I mean, when the story reaches the end, the audiences never usually find out what happens to those living happily ever after, right? Unless of course this is another secret route that Fortune Lover has that Catarina did not unlock. Oh boy. Looks like the sadistic game creators might have actually thought our all the routes that would make Catarina meet her demise in every way! But we’ll have to wait and see then.

I guess it is hard for us to classify if this is an isekai genre or if this is another one of those protagonist trapped in a video game situation. Well, it’s kind of both obviously so if you despise both genres, it’s like they’re giving you the double middle finger by incorporating both the genres you hate so much. It is not clear if her high school girl persona actually died or not even though it is stated that she was so. You know how Catarina likes to sometimes exaggerate things, right? Making it more confusing is that she is reborn in another world that is an exact duplicate of the video game. Because genres about players getting trapped in a video game world don’t really die. Isekai genres do. Unless this isekai world is an exact clone of Fortune Lover. Such coincidence.

Although we are given the premise that Catarina is the villainess, this quickly changes as you can see it coming from miles and expect that she will eventually turn out into a good person. Hence it is no surprise that all the good she has done to those close to her has turned out for the better. Her efforts have paid off. Initially it might started out as Catarina doing all this just because she is afraid of dying young but as the story progresses, you can see that she is genuinely doing so because she loves her friends and closed ones. This is more evident when Catarina realizes that she would rather die along than let all her loved ones die. I suppose loneliness is a fate worse than death.

Though, I thought there would be someone else to play the villainess role in Catarina’s absence. You know, at least fate has it that someone would be the ringleader of the b*tches. Someone to replace Catarina. I guess nobody could be a great bully like Catarina. Just saying. It also didn’t come to me as a surprise when Sirius turned out to be an antagonist (albeit a temporary one) because you’ve got all these hot looking guys around Catarina and Sirius somewhat fits the description but is not part of the groupie? Uh oh. Could be some hidden plot twist. And true enough! I wasn’t surprised at all. After all, with that kind of name, you’d think he would be mad if people started taunting him as Serious Dick! Oh… I see he had a real name…

Strangely but not surprisingly, Catarina being the main character here, she becomes the main heroine. It makes me wonder if Fortune Lover had Sirius as a hidden character, could it be that the game also has another secret player in which Catarina is the heroine instead of Maria? If so, you get this anime then. As I’ve said earlier, the entire anime is about Catarina making good with her friends so that she doesn’t die early and it is a good thing that Catarina has decided to turn over a new leaf ever since being reincarnated. It gives food for thought what if all Disney villainess too have this good side to them had they only been given the chance. One thing is for sure, things would have turned out differently with the villainess becoming the main heroine and the heroine we used to know relegated to just a side character. Interesting. Thanks to Catarina’s sunny disposition, this is why the main characters all stay by her even an introvert like Nicol. It might be mind boggling and ironic but Catarina is the most lovable villainess, right?

So basically the key to ensure her survival is to stop bullying and harassing others and at the same time make everybody love you. Catarina being so focused in not triggering her death flag, perhaps she forgot how to fall in love. Perhaps with her being dense to realize those guys’ feelings is also a good thing because I believe the death flag is triggered when she actually falls for one of them (although initially it was Maria). I bet the other guys (and Mary) won’t take this. Another form of royal bloodbath on the cards. Now you know why many harem genres always have status quo in the end, no? So stay simple and happy. As long as nothing beats her love for sweets, world order (at least in Fortune Lover) will be alright.

Unfortunately the rest of the other characters aren’t so interesting as Catarina (despite their past and circumstances fleshed out early during their young period). Especially the main guys. It’s just like they’re there to tick off the checklist of the cliché and tropes needed for a reverse harem. Just like their elemental powers. Yeah, they got all the elemental magic covered and I don’t see how it fits any purpose. I feel Geordo and Keith are the main runners for Catarina while Alan and Nicol are the dark horses. Geordo and Keith are mostly seen trying to compete to be with Catarina in a gentlemanly way as they are the closest to her. Alan looks more like a male tsundere while Nicol is an introvert and they hardly make any impact at all. Mary being the more interesting one because she looks like she has changed the most from her original intended role. Not sure if lesbianism is part of the game route but nothing that would make Mary stay away from her precious Catarina. As for Sophia, not too sure if she also retained her memories from Atsuko’s life and if she is, she’s playing one big pretending game. Last but not least, Maria being relegated to a side character now doesn’t really feel she did much either. To a point that she’s a lot more forgettable.

Art and animation are pretty standard. Main characters are design typically to your bishonen and bishoujo style because this is also practically a dating sim so all your characters to be conquered need to be hot because we all like it that way. Even Catarina herself who is supposed to be a villainess looks pretty beautiful herself and even more so with her sunny and positive disposition. Not to mention her simple mindedness and goofy ones too. Yeah, that kind of beauty makes you forget that she’s actually supposed to be the real villain. Goes to show that if you smile more often whether you’re good or bad, it helps a lot in your physical beauty. Hopefully. Only unimportant minor background characters like those snobbish arrogant b*tches look just plain. Uh huh. Easy to tell them apart, I guess. This anime is done by Silver Link so don’t be surprise to see the animation style similar to some of their past works like Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry, Masamune-kun No Revenge, Rokujouma No Shinryakusha, Kenja No Mago and Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku.

For the voice acting, I believe most of the credits can be accredited towards Maaya Uchida as Catarina (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai). Since this anime is mainly from her perspective, we hear her different forms of moods and dispositions (especially those chibi variations in her mind) and it gives her a lot of character. Ironically but not surprisingly she sounds a lot more interesting (aurally in that sense) compared to the rest of the other characters. Because the rest mainly sounds flat especially the guys. Trying to be gentlemanly or it is part of their personality, they sound a bit boring. So much so I feel that Tetsuya Kakihara and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Keith and Nicol respectively are way much toned down than their pigeonholed livelier and more passionate roles like Fairy Tail’s Natsu and Sword Art Online’s Kirito (though I somehow feel Nicol looks pretty close to Kirito, just without the sword). Even Saori Hayami as Maria just sounds like her usual Saori Hayami, if you know what I mean. Miho Okasaki as Mary (Rimuru in Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken) is only lively only when her lesbian delusions with Catarina becomes under threat. Yeah… The other characters are Shouta Aoi as Geordo (Ai in Uta No Prince-sama series), Tatsuhisa Suzuki as Alan (Ban in Nanatsu No Taizai), Inori Minase as Sophia (Hestia in DanMachi), Azumi Waki as Anne (Maika in Blend S) and Toshiki Masuda as Raphael/Sirius (Kirishima in Boku No Hero Academia).

Angela fans can rejoice since she is back singing the opening theme after taking a few years off as hiatus. Otome No Route Wa Hitotsu Janai is a strange and amusing song itself. Firstly, it has the singer singing in a cute kiddie-like voice for the verses. It also borrows a very famous and recognizable tune from Beethoven’s 5th Symphony (I guess such tune is synonymous with beware/danger scenes?!). Then you have one portion of the song that sounds like it took inspiration from Batman’s iconic theme! If you watched the opening theme of an old retro anime, Moetan, you’ll understand what I mean. Yeah, this part sounds awfully similar… And also you have lots of bells and choir background voices, making some parts of the song sound like a Christmas song. Definitely weird and crazy havoc indeed. May not fit Fortune Lover like a glove as a main theme but perhaps so from Catarina’s life and perspective. The ending theme is Bad End by Shouta Aoi. This dramatic rock piece isn’t all that bad. Because Shouta Aoi’s voice sounds so feminine, I thought it was a female rock star singing this!

Overall, this series is fun and enjoyable to watch in its own right despite just being rather okay and not breaking any new grounds. After all, we are not watching from the perspective of a villainess of being a villainess. But rather, a villainess who has abandoned her wicked ways and lived her life as a heroine. Basically you’re watching another one of those heroine lead series. Yeah. There are a few reverse harem romantic moments but Catarina being dense and all, it turns out to be funny rather than steamy. Yes people, this isn’t your usual reverse harem genre like Amnesia, Hiiro No Kakera or the Uta No Prince-sama series. And remember, all of us are the main characters in our own story-cum-lives. Take charge of it today! Though I’m still waiting for my first romance flag to kick in. Any time now… On second thought, maybe not setting off any flags and leading a mundane normal life is the best. That’s what all main characters at the beginning say…

Shachou, Battle No Jikan Desu

September 5, 2020

All in a day’s work. It’s just business, my friends. Money makes the world go round. It takes money to make money. Well, you probably thought I’m watching another money themed anime but Shachou, Battle No Jikan Desu actually revolves around business. Which is of course, the bottom line is still money and other financial instruments that we all agree to have monetary value. Even in the fantasy world, we have companies and corporations in competition over various businesses to keep afloat. Who’s making the most money? Who’s making the most profit? Who’s got the best employers and employees? What are the trade secrets of conducting business? So if you’re a business enthusiast and want some great tips and insights in the business world… This is not that anime!

Episode 1
Minato narrates how Gatepia was founded from a barren wasteland into a prosperous land because of some gate that the goddess brought. He goes to meet his friend, Yutoria and thinks she is going to confess to him. Actually she wants him to become the president of Kibou Company! Minato’s father who was the previous president has left the company and left a note. Without a president, Kibou will go bankrupt! I guess she doesn’t want to hear whether Minato wants to be president or not. As Kibou’s secretary, she lets him watch a video on what their adventurer company does. Basically they lead their employees through the gate and fight battles against maju (monsters) via various routes. In the end, they will get kirakuri and other valuable minerals that could be exchanged for cash to pay off costs and fund the next adventure. There are other stuffs like paperwork but we’ll leave that for another time. Get all that, Minato? Yutoria introduces the other staffs that include Makoto (healer priest), his sister Akari (fighter) and Guide (office work and accounting). Before they could go clear a dungeon, they must induct Minato as the new president by passing a test. I guess he has no choice to opt out. As they go along, they meet another adventurer, Thomas who is trying to get a flower that only grows high on the cliffs as birthday for his sister. Minato despite in the middle of his test, feels the need to help him out. Along with Akari, they go get the flower. But then a maju attacks. Because Minato tries to help Akari, she had to save him and got a little wounded. As Makoto heals her, Minato thinks how the maju is able to sense them from behind. So that bunny tail works like an antenna? Just throw slime to block it! With that, Akari is able to defeat it. But to really do so means Minato has to stamp his company’s stamp?! And then they stumble into a kirakuri with a letter. It means Minato passed the test. Everybody returns and celebrates Minato’s induction as their new president. Welcome aboard. No point thinking negatively, right? Minato feels that good things will come. Not until tomorrow when he sees his staffs looking worried. They’re out of money!

Episode 2
Even with those rewards, they’re still in the red because of the induction costs. Furthermore, with a new change in president, their rank has gone down a bit as other agencies rate them as unstable. Worst case scenario, their licence will get revoked! Minato wonders if his father left anything that can be inherited but unfortunately he donated most of them to the museum. So he heads to see if he can claim them back. Sure he can. But he has to pay inheritance tax. My, that’s a lot of zeroes!!! Back to the drawing board. They discuss how to make money and looks like gambling is out of the question. Can’t take the huge risk. Luckily Yutoria saw this flyer. 8th Good Adventure Contest is open for application in which companies will explore a dungeon and obtain a kirakuri. The first company to overcome all trials to retrieve it wins. On the day of the contest, Kibou is met with this haughty guy, Rivar from Cyedge. He is Akari’s classmate but Akari doesn’t remember this dude. Apparently he is the kind of guy who tries to boast he is better than Akari. Though, Akari doesn’t give a damn. Basically, an annoying jerk. After they graduated, he kept bugging her to join Cyedge. Maybe this guy just wants her attention? The contest starts so they enter the dungeon to explore and fight maju. When they hit a dead end, they have to answer questions that are business related? Rivar tries to show off but he gets wrong. Minato gets them right and has his company advance. It gets to a point where Rivar is jealous of Minato and wants to know his relationship with Akari. Employer, employee. Rivar then tries to look down on his low rank so Akari tells him off not to look down on him. Hence Rivar throws her a challenge. If Cyedge win, she will join him. Otherwise Rivar will do anything as she wishes. Challenge accepted. Minato wonders if she is okay to just accept such challenge so Akari says that she will not stand anyone badmouthing her colleagues because they are her family. She’s right. Just got to win this.

Episode 3
Apparently there are some plant related business questions. As Makoto’s interest is plants related, he helps answer the question to get them through. Then Minato picks up some cursed mandrake. Makoto knows a way to get rid of it but everyone must hide and close their eyes. Though not curiosity killed the cat, Minato thinks he saw Makoto’s bag devour the mandrake! Is there something inside it?! Rivar seems to get into the same trouble and Kibou might have a chance to pull ahead of them if not for boss order’s to help. Rivar shows his ungrateful side anyway. Later, Kibou stumbles into Cyedge fighting off a Cerberus maju. Minato suggests teaming up to fight it so as to have a better chance. Then he comes up with a strategy to distract and attack their blind spot. This has the heads soon starting to fight each other. After defeating this maju, Rivar tries to rush and get the kirakuri for himself. However it is not there. Somebody beat them to it. She is Subaru who is from Imperial, Gatepia’s top company. In fact she took it before they even arrived. Apparently the maju was sleeping and she just strolled through. When Rivar came, he woke it up just to fight it because of his stupid male pride. With Imperial winning the contest, at least Kibou and Cyedge get a decent reward in taking down the maju. Akari is not pleased Rivar calls this a tie but hey, look on the bright side. She didn’t get taken away. As they leave, Valmi (Cyedge’s secretary) talks to Minato and knows he is no ordinary person. She has been observing him throughout the dungeon and observed his unique decision making. In a condescending tone, she says Rivar loves to act smarter and better than he actually is and this is just a lesson she hopes he will learn from. Otherwise she will need to drill it into him… Also, she hints that as Minato became the new president of Kibou, at the same time there was an elite employee who recently left a certain top company. Is it a big coincidence? Minato can tell despite her sweet smile, she is trouble. Back at the office, Yutoria is concerned over what Valmi talked to Minato. She is worried that Minato might leave the company as there has been lots of headhunting recently. Minato assures Kibou is like his family and home despite being the new president and has never thought about quitting. Though, I thought he didn’t want to be one in the very first place. Yeah, things change when you’re really settled in, huh?

Episode 4
Yutoria comes in with some juicy news. Thanks to her friend, Marika, they have a treasure map that would enable them to pay the inheritance tax. Marika may be a genius but she’s arrogant and a b*tch… Just saying… But only Minato and Yutoria can go along with Marika for this treasure hunt as the rest has some other business to deal with. Turns out that other business is Akari wanting to buy some rare collectible but it’s sold out. So sad. So our treasure hunting trio head to some forest as they try to decipher clues in the map. Thank goodness for Thomas around or else they won’t even get to start figuring out the first clue on the map. WTF Marika trying to assert her dominance over Thomas? Told you she’s a brat. After digging up at the spot, is this tiny box the treasure box? Nope. Just another clue. Look at a picture in the haunted house? Oh, Thomas knows where that is too. Come on, follow him. As they venture into the house, they learn Marika’s dream to follow her late grandpa’s footsteps to become a respected wizard. After fending off a few weak ghost maju, they arrive at the supposed picture. What’s this note behind? Turns out it is a letter written by grandpa. His worry is Marika herself. Knowing that she is a genius, she will have trouble making friends her age. Grandpa knows because he too experienced this. Hence he created this treasure map that Marika can’t solve herself but needed the help of others to solve together. Sad Marika still insists she didn’t care about making friends and was happy with grandpa around. With Thomas insisting they are friends, I guess Maria has no choice but to give in. There. Friendship. The true treasure of this hunt. Minato and Yutoria also remember how Minato’s dad made a treasure map for them. It was a time Yutoria just moved in and they were awkward. Hence the treasure map brought them close together. So much so they got scolded by dad for being out so late. Oh yeah. Those were the days. But looks like Minato has to explain to the rest how this treasure hunt didn’t yield any monetary treasure…

Episode 5
Yutoria is pressing the panic button because the failed treasure hunt means no money and that also means they’re nowhere near in clearing the inheritance tax. Don’t worry. Marika gives them half her share from the sale of valuable items dropped by maju at the haunted house. In fact, she will give her share too on condition she joins this company. You don’t mean to look so surprised that Marika wants to be an employee of Kibou?! Of course there is all that paperwork and contract to fill in and since she hasn’t hand it in for some time, Minato goes to check on her. Uhm, she forgot where she put it! So they look for it and aha! There it is. Unfortunately they step on some trap magic she set for burglars. They are transported to some strange dungeon. Aside Marika being scared of mice, Minato notices something strange. Like as though the mice are running away from something, the place feel mechanized and corrupted. They manage to find their way out and return to office. Similarly, Guide returns with news that Rivar has been hospitalized after getting hurt while exploring a strange dungeon. There are news of such strange dungeons popping up in Gatepia with maju that nobody has seen before. In order to get more info, they visit Rivar. With the clerk not allowing anyone without an appointment, here comes Valmi using her threatening looks to let them in. Or else… I bet Valmi loves explaining how Rivar hurt and humiliated himself, huh? Yeah, it’s all his fault anyway… Rivar doesn’t like the unannounced company but he tells them his experience in that strange dungeon. He got owned because the maju he thought he defeated immediately resurrected. The next thing he knew, he was in hospital. Kibou is going to explore this anomaly as well as get some precious rare earth material that could help pay off the inheritance tax. They’re nicely preparing for it when Guide reminds them about Marika’s application that is dye today. Oh, the contract still at her home? Better make a dash for it first.

Episode 6
Marika is now officially part of Kibou. Then they head straight into the dungeon. Meanwhile Subaru doesn’t want to undertake this dangerous mission. Although they have reached this month’s quota of rare earth, she is not willing to risk failure and damage Imperial’s reputation. She will use this chance to see how it will turn out for smaller companies who undertake this risk. Inside the dungeon, Minato accidentally triggers a trap. Run from the boulder! Jump across the abyss! Phew. Then they enter a strange room filled with rare earth that could actually pay off the inheritance tax. However they are attacked by mechanized maju. Akari and Marika easily defeat them but the boss maju soon revitalize the subordinates. It is then Akari and Marika also become infected with the same disease. Corporate slavery?! So the only way is to take out the boss. Minato has an idea as he wants Makoto to heal them and Yutoria to distract the goons. As the goons are being abused, being healed confuses them so they rest instead of listening to the boss’ words. Minato got too confident and almost got owned. Luckily Yutoria backs him up. With the great haul, Kibou manages to pay off the inheritance tax. Now they don’t have to worry about equipment. As Minato wonders why dad donated such great equipment, they then find a hologram projector. It is dad as he reveals he did this as a test. Managing to pay off the tax means they are ready to manage the company. On to the real deal, by the time they’ve seen this message, he has already gone into the Big Gate. Some anomaly is happening so he has entered it to investigate and stop it. As this is a very dangerous mission, he might not come back in one piece. That is why he hopes when Kibou is ready, they could come back him up. Then they find a group picture of dad and his old employees. They take it he values his employees as family. But that mood is ruined when they also find sexy Playboy pics with it. Sexual harassment? Back at their HQ, they talk about the Big Gate that is overseen by 12 powerful people. They have closed it for now so nobody can enter it. Of course an option is to seek the goddess’ advice and if you grant her enough kirakuri, she’ll make your wish come true. Just that it costs 5 times more than the inheritance tax! So are they going to bust their ass again? Well, never try, never know.

Episode 7
Minato enters office and nobody is in except Guide. Looks like everyone left to test out their new weapons. Minato thinks he can help Guide with the paperwork. Can he? This heap! And this is just only a quarter of the usual?! Oh damn. Better get to it. Minato such a slowpoke making mistakes while I swear Guide is some sort of machine faster than the super computer… Then they stop for lunch break. Minato has too much. At least her coffee was worth it. Back to the paperwork, it seems an unruly punk comes knocking on their door. He claims he wants his Excalibur back but going through the records, they never accepted such request. He proves it with the receipt but Guide can tell is fake. So how? Guide then whispers something and this makes this guy so scared that he apologizes and runs away. We won’t know Guide says because it is trade secret! Once work is over, they go out drinking. Minato has too much of course. Guide is about to tell him some fond memories but he fell asleep. We see a short clip of young Minato trying to protect Guide from an unruly customer. Save those memories for another day. On another day, Akari wants Minato to go out with her to go buy some accessories. But they get distracted with shopping other things and it’s like Akari is the one wearing the pants. I mean, Minato concerned about indirect kiss when she suggests sharing their food?! Then Akari sees some limited edition product she wants but have no money. Minato recognizes this punk. Isn’t he that swindler?! Yeah, punk packs up and runs. Gotta be fake anyway. At the end of the day, Akari goes with Minato’s suggestion to buy this tie bar. He thought she is buying it for Rivar but it turns out she is actually buying it for him! It’s thanks for all the hard work and the times he helped her. Then it looked like a confession scene with Akari being nervous asking for another favour. Turns out she ran out of money to go home and needs to borrow some. Also turns out Minato didn’t bring his wallet. This sure sucks…

Episode 8
Minato is caught off guard when Makoto asks him if he has found the love of his love. Gee, tough call. Yutoria or Akari?! Turns out Makoto was referring to some maju. Back at office, everyone is talking about some new maju species that can talk to humans, famnela. This has Makoto real excited and wants to go explore. In this cave, we see Makoto the eager beaver who can’t contain his excitement. Yeah, everything is so cool, right? Then when they stumble upon the group of famnela, Makoto instantly goes to talk to them. Of course they see this as a threat and attack Makoto. Luckily he is saved as the famnela escape. You’d think Makoto would learn his lesson but he continues to be an overly excited kid. So much so he falls down the pit and Minato comes tumbling with him. While Makoto is out cold, Minato knows he can’t carry him and worse, there are maju threats! Oh no. But then Makoto’s bag devours them all! Minato pretends not to see anything but the bag assures him he likes Minato as their boss. He also talks about Makoto’s passion and loses sight what’s around him. But still, Kibou is very important to him. When Makoto wakes up, he apologizes for his recklessness. Then they meet a strange girl Mineko who leads them to a way out. It is revealed this shy girl is actually a famnela and Makoto knew it from the start. Just that he learnt his lesson and tried to be calm in approaching the situation. Makoto helps Mineko heal her wounds and then talks to her and wants to be friends. Just when they’re about to hit the right note, stupid Rivar attacks Mineko, thinking Makoto is in danger. Mineko of course flees. Cocky Rivar wants his thanks but only gets scolded by Makoto. The other Kibou ladies then arrive and are glad the guys are alright. Akari explains they stumbled into Rivar exploring alone while they were searching for them. Makoto won’t give up on Mineko and wants to go talk to her. Speaking of her, she is being confronted by other famnela and their queen.

Episode 9
As they go look for Mineko, they stumble into a couple of famnela. Logic dictates that they remain hiding and not attack them in hopes that they will lead them to their den. Along the way, Makoto deduces that from Mineko’s injuries, she might be bullied by her herd. And true enough, they see the entire famnela herd bullying Mineko. Instead of taking them all head on, they use Rivar as distraction. Because famnela love shiny things, Rivar is forced to lead them away by throwing his coins. The rest then talk to Mineko who confirms she is being bullied just because she is different. For example, she tries talking human language. Makoto suggests joining them at Kibou to become an adventurer since staying here won’t do her any good. But Minato warns him that she is still a maju and that there may be differences. Makoto is alright as long as they understand each other. Mineko is now interested to become an adventurer but then the famnela queen turns up. She is not going to let any of her members leave her pack. Yeah, you need a very high level adventurer to defeat her and none of them are. Makoto claims he can do it so he shoots his healing magic at her. Because famnela is basically an undead maju, this have a tremendous effect. Mineko finishes her off by disposing of her crown. Instantly she grows weak because she lost her authority status? You’d think with this victory, everybody is happy, right? Not exactly for Yutoria. She looks worried. She reminds Minato about their mission to find his father and since Kibou is not in a healthy financial state, they can’t keep adding new employees. Basically, they can’t afford it. That is when Mineko has something to show them. She leads them to a room filled with kirakuri! She collected them all and came here to feel better whenever she gets bullied. Now she doesn’t need them because she has friends. Here you go. Have them all. Wow! Money woes solved! You happy now, Yutoria? Meanwhile, Rivar has been cornered when suddenly all the famnela started getting confused. Did they sense their queen defeated? In that case, they happily and forcefully make him their new leader. This is not a good ending for Rivar…

Episode 10
Guide reports the good news that after paying all their expenses, they have lots of profit! This means they can summon the goddess sooner. Minato is hyped that they can do more dungeon exploring but looks like Yutoria is the only one who is with him. Well, the rest have other stuffs to do so it’ll be just them going on an adventure. So what if they run into maju? Don’t worry, the rest claim Yutoria is a great fighter and has done her fair share of fighting during Minato’s dad’s time. Destroyer Yutoria? Wow… Sounds embarrassing now… So we see the duo adventuring together while they talk about their old times. We also see them fight weird maju. One that duplicates whenever get cut but if you destroy its necktie, no more duplication… Then there is this boar maju who seemingly is going to attack them so Minato instinctively protects Yutoria (is that a hug?) but apparently this boar maju is the friendly type whom Yutoria made friends the last time. It leads them to a place where there are more kirakuri. Back at the office, Yutoria trolls us as she looks flirty towards Minato. Turns out she has fever and collapses on him. Worried Minato nurses her but don’t worry, no need to go so far as to do CPR. He lets her rest while he completes the paperwork and then even cooks a nice meal for her. Then just like old times, they sleep next to each other while reminiscing their childhood days. Don’t expect anything more than that. More trolling because when Minato says he has fallen in love, it is with Kibou and its employees. But of course. Yeah, gotta carry on doing the things you love, no? And also, Yutoria adds that she wants to stay longer as his girlfriend secretary. Wow. Such a touching corporate story. Next morning, Yutoria returns the favour as she cooked him breakfast. The other employees return and I’m sure they would love to tease this but stupid earth rumbling has everyone on alert. Wow. An ominous cathedral just arisen from the ground.

Episode 11
Earthquake’s over. Everybody alright? Akari is relieved her limited editions good are. Phew. Mineko smells lots of kirakuri from that cathedral. You bet Kibou is going to raid it because with that much kirakuri, they can summon a goddess. However they are cautious of entering this place because it could be one of those weird dungeons they encountered before. But they eventually have to when Cyedge and Imperial are also here. Heading into the building, it is one big creepy maze. They face off with familiar maju they did before in those dungeons. But some are pretty easy with Mineko just scaring them. Déjà vu time as Minato steps and sets off a trap. Luckily nobody is hurt, Minato and Yutoria are separated from the rest. As they continue, it looked like some good bonding time between them. Only, interrupted by Rivar and Valmi watching. Please continue your office romance… After all the denying, it is suggested they team up to get out of this place. When Rivar notices something amiss about Minato’s great commanding despite his low status, this is when Valmi takes this sneaky opportunity to reveal that he is hiding something. In fact, he is an exceptionally talented person but is trying to hide a history. Remember about that elite employee Valmi was talking about? She dug around and discovered Minato is that said person. You see, before Minato came to Kibou, he was working for Imperial! Why didn’t he tell others? That’s because he was fired for workplace violence! Yutoria pesters for the truth but in great timing, other Kibou employees reunite. However a rampaging giant wrestler maju comes charging in and Minato takes a direct hit.

Episode 12
Subaru comes tackle the maju. Everyone hides as they talk about this Psychopath Management and its traits. Oh, but Yutoria still desperate to know about Minato’s workplace violence. Please tell! Here’s the flashback. Minato was up and coming in Imperial. But his direct boss decided to show him how it’s done by scolding a weak employee. Minato is against this because he is demoralizing the employee but the boss instead thinks he should be grateful for this lesson. He forces Minato to apologize in which he refuses. Here is the clincher. Minato didn’t actually retaliate back in any way. It is the boss who punched him, broke his hand (?!) and then got Minato fired as revenge. Of course later on, the boss got demoted. Minato didn’t say anything because he thought he might look uncool. You relieved now, Yutoria? Heh. Like as though you almost didn’t believe in him… Anyway, Minato wakes up and learns what is happening. Subaru wants him to take command so with Minato’s orders, they help take down this maju boss. However he summons other maju to surround them. This is when Minato uses his persuasive charm to just ditch such heartless boss. Yes, this is what they actually do! Nobody wants to work for a cruel boss! With the maju boss losing his men, he also loses his motivation. Minato will not claim victory and hopes they can fight together again another day. Maju boss so happy. Then they head into the room with the biggest kirakuri haul. Subaru explains how Imperial has assigned her to a special unit tasked to explore these dungeons that they name as black dungeons. She also adds that while the adventure agency has ranked Minato lowly, Imperial’s ranking which is based on other criteria actually ranks Minato much higher! Take that, Rivar! Oh no, place crumbling. Better take as much kirakuri and leave.

Now that they have enough, they summon a goddess. Ask anything: Where is Minato’s dad? Answer: Don’t know. Wait. What? So is he dead? Nope. She doesn’t know the whereabouts of anyone who is not in the area but is definitely somewhere in the Big Gate universe. You see, she is just a clerk level! To know more, they need to ask a manager level and that of course comes with higher price! Much higher price! The most she can do is some massage relief service? Oh dear. Anyway, Kibou celebrate back at their office and despite not making any progress, at least they know Minato’s dad isn’t dead. So Minato’s goal now is to investigate the Big Gate while gathering more kirakuri. Meanwhile Subaru reports to her bosses. They fear the effects of the Big Gate is spreading and at this rate the disaster is bound to happen. She suggests using Kibou as help since Minato as helming that company. They agree to this and entrust her with it as Kibou could be the world’s last hope. Damn, I hope they didn’t just make a pun out of it! Minato and Yutoria reflect their year together at Kibou. Great things, right? Yeah, there’s always next year to look forward. Uhm, Yutoria a little too close to him? Well, the last montage seeing Kibou employees taking a beach break might be the end fanservice we need. Nothing exceptional except when you see Minato wearing that swimsuit!!! OMFG!!! WHAT THE F*CK???!!! WHAT F*CKING FASHION IS THAT?! MY EYES!!! ARGH! MAH EYEBALLS!!!!! Nightmare fuel indeed!

No Hard Feelings, It’s Just Business As Usual
Oh wow. Even those in the deity level must pay some sort of fee to access more info? Damn, I hate to say this but it shows that money is everything in this universe! Everything is truly money talks. Even the gods are like so damn hard up for money to charge such high fees for such miniscule info! Ah well, it’s just another good excuse for Kibou to continue doing what they’re doing, gathering kirakuri and keeping the company profitable and in the black until they reach their goal. Well, don’t take forever. Not sure if there are rules on retirement age and the likes.

The storyline and plot seem pretty plain and nothing out of the ordinary. Just one of those lesser companies trying to have a foothold in a very competitive world. But I must say that despite the synopsis mentioning thousands of corporations to compete with, how come other than Kibou, we only see Cyedge and Imperial? Unless you tell me those are the only treasure hunting companies in all of Gatepia. I understand that not every company can be a treasure hunting company but since I don’t even hear a mention of other company names, no wonder it feels like Kibou is having a pretty easy time in this treasure hunting business. Oh right. They got a genius new president at the helm but that is beside the point because I’m sure we all know about Kibou’s reputation at the start which isn’t that reputable to begin with. They might not be on some union or association’s radar and not breaking any laws but they’re still pretty much unknown at this point and that it makes hard for small businesses to survive. Unless they’ve got enough kirakuri to sustain everything but not enough to enter Gatepia’s Forbes top 100 list of richest companies or something.

So as we can see, this anime is mostly business related in its theme. There are a lot of business subtexts throughout the series like that Cerberus maju that implies the thorny relationship between the president, management and subordinate. Then you also have other terms explored like headhunting, inheritance tax and corporate slaves which of course we know how much workaholics Japanese are… All in all, if you have some business sense or are a bit familiar with these business terminologies and jargons, you can find those subtle jokes that poke fun at the corporate culture. Yeah, business is weird. All just to get that paper thingy called money. In this sense, kirakuri. Which is of course just a fancy term for shiny crystals. You know, ‘kira’ as in shiny in Japanese and ‘kuri’ being the Katakana short for crystals. I’m sure all those in the working adult life can relate to one or two or more of those situations. Uh huh. How we all wish and dream of the easier life… So either we’re going to laugh it all off and point out how it is so relevant that it happens to us or it’s going to hit a nerve and feel bitter because we got the raw end of the deal. Yeah, nobody likes being a corporate slave…

Character wise, I think the characters are just rather okay. After all, it is undeniable that employees are the main driving force of the company. So you could say that a small company like Kibou has a tight knit relationship among its employees because it is easier and more family-like that way rather than a huge conglomerate that has thousands of employees and spans over in various countries and some people not even knowing their colleagues in the same department! Yikes. So yeah, Kibou being a small company just works out fine since people like them are so family oriented. You know, the company is like my family! Heh. And that’s why we see Kibou having a lot of fun despite their troubled times. It’s like they’re in no danger at all because either they are just so lucky or everybody else is just so incompetent (looking at you, Rivar). And hence, the story of this series mostly revolves around Kibou getting back on its feet again by trying to get back in the black and in the meantime, hire a few new fresh faces. Pretty standard in business.

So I guess the characters can be somewhat related to certain business clichés and stereotypes. Like Minato who is the young president hotshot, others might not have a lot of faith in him yet because, duh, he just started out. So give him some time to strut his stuff and in time you’ll see what he is capable of. Also, people hopping from company to company, quitting their previous ones with various reasons of their own, Minato is just like other veteran employees with a history and record. It’s a dog eat dog world out there in the business world so once your reputation gets sullied, it stays there like forever. Can’t blame him if he doesn’t want to say it to Kibou’s employees for they may treat him differently. After all, Minato himself is a bit relaxed and his employees sometimes don’t take him so seriously. But you know, because we’re family and Minato is Minato, we all accept you! Wow. So cliché. Also, Minato might be riding a little on his father’s reputation and like in the business world, it’s all about connections. Though, we see Minato not relying on his father’s accolades and trying to break out from his shadow as his own. Can he do it? Only time will tell. And of course he can because he is main character. Wow. So cliché.

Yutoria as Minato’s childhood friend, I suppose she is there to provide some office romance? Well, some subtle hints but don’t be too hopeful about it. Let’s be professional in their relationship. Otherwise you can guess the scandal that may come like favouring a certain someone… Thank goodness your childhood friend is still the benevolent guy you always knew, right? Phew. Guide is that someone who is always there doing the desk job. That’s why many companies have such secretaries, right? Yeah, don’t you just hate all the paperwork? Ironically the more paper called money we love but the more paper in the form of paperwork for filing and other official red tape formalities, we loath it so much! Makoto, we always have that nice guy in the company, right? His bag is still a mystery, though. So, uhm, is that bag creature some sort of the series’ mascot? I don’t think so… Akari, we always have that somebody playing the big sister role in the company, right? Not that Akari plays that role anyway but is just technically a big sister only in name. Heh. Marika, the fiery new employee and promising upstart? Mineko, the quiet one? Oh well, I’m sure they missed out a few stereotypes but remember Kibou is a small company.

We always have that one arrogant and idiotic jerk whom everybody hates, right? Yup. So Rivar is the embodiment of that. As we can see, this guy often talks big but when it comes down to the real stuffs, this guy is just pretty average or even mediocre. Sometimes he feels like the Squidward of the series but he isn’t that bad as that octopus. Also, this guy is really needed so that he can be turned into a comic relief character as he bears the brunt of his own stupidity. It might be me reading too much about him and Akari having a possible romance and while the chances are not zero, I think they’re just more like wanting to annoy each other’s guts. Of course Akari getting the upper hand most if not all of the time. I don’t know how famous Cyedge is because it only has 2 employees. I don’t see the rest. How can they even compete with Kibou? Unless Rivar just wants to hog the glory all the time. No wonder Kibou always comes out tops when competing with this jerk.

Now, the most dangerous person ever is Valmi. It is very obvious from the start that from the looks of her face, the tone of her voice and the words she say, she is definitely hiding some very ulterior motive. Or at least she gives off such vibes. She is the epitome of still waters run deep and don’t judge a book by its cover. I mean, Valmi is pretty cute, no? It is very hard for me to determine if she is friend or foe as she gives off that troublemaker aura. Each time she pops up, my guts tell me she is trouble. I don’t know if her intentions mean well or she is really hiding an ulterior motive but she is someone to tread very carefully with. After all, she loves enjoying seeing Rivar’s dense dumbass getting owned and I believe she could be more than just a sadist. If ever you have some secret or scandal you really want to hide from the world, Valmi is the last person you would ever want to find it out because she can ultimately be your downfall and pull the rug under your feet before you know it. Dangerous girl. Stay alert at all times!

The battle sequences are just mediocre. I don’t see how the RPG elements that this series adapted from the game were being played out. Heh. I didn’t even play the game so what am I talking about? Anyway, I was thinking maybe they’re going to throw up some corporate power moves like throwing stacks of dollar bills to burn the enemy!!! HAHAHA!!! Okay, just exaggerating. But you get the idea. But instead we have just a very watered down and plain fights with the maju. After all, Akari is the only reliable fighter (Marika is secondary if you ask me) while Makoto and Yutoria provide more of supporting role. I don’t ever feel they are in real danger whatsoever. Like as though the fights are children friendly or something. Even if Minato has no real fighting skills, to show why he is worthy to be Kibou’s boss, that’s why some ‘battles’ that use brains, I guess we need to showcase his intellect. Sort of. Despite Kibou’s employees having cool weapon upgrades after paying off the inheritance tax, I still don’t see any difference. If a small company like Kibou can handle the maju easily like this, my guess is that other smaller and unknown companies can also do the same with ease.

Art and animation are pretty okay. Because the character designs lean towards the cute and moe factor and the fact that everything else looks vivid and bright, sometimes it feels this series were made for younger audiences. You know, the kind of kids that would watch Youkai Watch and those similar animes for kids. It feels a lot like that from the visual perspective but as I have said, the corporate context of this anime may leave younger audiences who watch this confused or at least not understanding the business lexicon in the conversations. Unless there is an ulterior motive of trying to expose kids and get them interested in being a corporate slave the corporate world. Even the maju and such creatures look cute rather than scary. Also, this anime was done by C2C who did Hitoribocchi No Marumaru Sekai and Onee-chan Ga Kita so you can definitely their trademark cuteness and kawaii style in their artwork. One last thing to note, I can’t help notice about Akari’s clothes design because I can’t help stare at her crotch area… Don’t blame me! It’s a fashion faux pas design!!!

For the voice acting, I guess Yui Horie must be keeping herself busy this season and it feels like she’s back with a vengeance after only making short cameos here and there in between the series within these few years. Or at least the few recent animes that I watched coincidentally featured here like Shironeko Project: Zero Chronicle, Boku No Hero Academia S4, Azur Lane and Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden. So it’s with much delight and welcome for her fans to hear her as Guide even if her character is only mainly supporting. The other casts are Shun Horie as Minato (Enta in Sarazanmai), Kana Ichinose as Yutoria (Marlya in Fairy Gone), Azumi Waki as Akari (titular character in Midara Na Ao-chan Wa Benkyou Ga Dekinai), Yoshino Aoyama as Makoto (Yoshino in Wake Up Girls), Minami Takahashi as Marika (Megumi in Shokugeki No Souma), Akane Fujita as Mineko (Sagiri in Eromanga-sensei), Taku Yashiro as Rivar (Ryuuji in Darwin’s Game) and Sumire Uesaka as Valmi (Shalltear in Overlord).

The opening theme is Hurry Love by Azumi Waki. Sounds like one of those denpa songs with its fast and frantic pace throughout. Can also double as a techno dance music. Meanwhile the ending theme is Oyasumi by Kana Ichinose. Plays to a slower pace and perhaps it wants to stick true to its title because the song sounds a bit drowsy. Goodnight!

Overall, I guess my interim report says that this series is just average and nothing so special. Of course the business goal is to get more money to fund what is possibly another season but I don’t think the anime will be able to cover that. Yeah, maybe it’ll come from the mobile game but I’m having doubts it is doing well because I don’t hear it making any waves in the mobile market. Failed business venture? Too early to give up! Persistence is key in every business. If you want an anime that is not too heavy on the business tone (because it’ll confuse the hell out of our non-business brains anyway) with some decent action and visual cuteness, this is sort of that anime to go with. Even if this anime is mostly forgettable once this season is over, the anime, manga and game industries are still one big money spinning business that needs to be rolling to keep us otakus occupied. It’s the only reason we otakus support Japan and keep the money flowing. So a full swimsuit fanservice beach episode for the OVA next? Yeah. And please do away with that hideous Minato swimsuit too! Give us what we want or we’ll take our business elsewhere!

Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai S2

September 4, 2020

The war on love has not ended yet. At least not by a long shot. While it is not surprising to many, I guess it was for me since I wasn’t expecting Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai S2 to air over a year later after the first season ended. Heh. I guess it is too popular to be passed up for another season so I figure it is better to do it now rather than waiting a few more years down the road for a sequel. After all, it is Corona virus season and it had to be this or the other waifu series (Sword Art Online Alicization finale of the second part if you’re wondering) that the staffs need to choose to give us our seasonal anime. And perhaps this came out tops because there’s a higher probability of Shirogane x Kaguya happening than Kirito x Asuna or Alice or Yui or Suguha/Leafa or Sinon/Shino or Lisbeth or whoever else you can think of. Yeah. Screw that harem and kick it over to next season. This straight love drama is more pressing. Okawaii koto…

Episode 1A
Hayasaka is seen sneaking into the student council room deep in the night to switch Shirogane’s coffee. Next day, Shirogane drinks it and falls asleep when it is supposed to keep him awake after being constantly sleep deprived. This is all part of Kaguya’s plan but it ‘backfires’ as Shirogane falls asleep on her shoulder. So an emergency call to Hayasaka for change in plans. This means we see Hayasaka preventing all sorts of people from entering the room while Kaguya tries to figure things out. She makes the possible out of the mission impossible in keeping all away as she returns to check on Kaguya’s progress. None. I guess Kaguya loves the idea of Shirogane sleeping on her shoulder and will let him be for a while. So Kaguya’s win?

Episode 1B
Kashiwagi’s boyfriend is here to seek Shirogane’s advice to further his relationship with his girlfriend. Is it me or is he here just to gloat how awesome their summer vacation with his girl was? Of course Shirogane and Ishigami try to hold in their anger and not kill this guy (with the toilet roll?). When Kashiwagi comes in to talk something to her boyfriend, the guys get this idea to spy on them outside to see how far they’ve taken their relationship. With Chika and Kaguya spying too, they get flustered seeing the physical contact they made! OMG. I guess their biggest question is how many dates to achieve ‘nirvana’. With Kaguya being the naïve one, she passes out with all the ‘excitement’. Turns out Kashiwagi was just trolling them all. She assures they haven’t reached that point. Yet. Today’s loss is purely on the student council…

Episode 1C
Chika has created some table top game. At first nobody wants to play it but after throwing a tantrum, it wouldn’t hurt to try, right? In this spoof game of Life, I think the goal is to make it in life and get the most money. Ishigami goes out early because he ‘died’. Yeah, it’s a crappy game. When Shirogane lands on a marriage square, the nearest partner he is to marry is… Chika! This does not sit well with Kaguya. They even have 9 kids?! Woah… Too much to handle. Despite Kaguya doing well herself, she cannot feel irritated with Shirogane and Chika’s happy married life. What is the use of all the money when her love life is basically zero?! And then, they got divorced. Child support payment… Kaguya looking so happy! When Kaguya lands on the marriage square, however her distrust of men card she picked up earlier means she cannot marry Shirogane. She marries Chika?! They got 1 child?! I don’t even… In the end, the game is crappy and the lesson learnt is that if you marry Chika, you will definitely be driven to depression!

Episode 1D
A year ago, Kaguya found out about Shirogane’s birthday but since he doesn’t care about celebrating it (he has no money), she told him she’s not going to bother celebrating it next year. Of course now that is all on her mind but she can’t say it in fear of what she said a year ago. And herald Chika to solve Kaguya’s blues with this app that tells your birthday horoscope fortune. Kaguya has an idea so she tells hers. Noble character filled with pride? Kaguya of course rubbishes it. Chika: What’s this about dedication and affection thingy? Since Ishigami’s birthday is the same as Chika’s, she gets mad because it takes away her specialness! Now they have to share celebrating their birthdays?! WTF?! But Shirogane will not participate in this, throwing Kaguya’s plans into disarray. She gets mad, accusing him he doesn’t want to celebrate her birthday either. On the contrary, Shirogane is actually a horoscope buff and checks it every day. Heck, he already checked the compatibility thingy and it looks like they’re not compatible! That’s why he can’t tell her! But seeing the frustration on his face, Kaguya misinterprets that he might want only her to celebrate his birthday! And his bad mood is perhaps he thought she forgot his birthday! With her in good spirits, she lets this slide. Oh, such an angelic smile. Kaguya wins for today.

Episode 2A
Kaguya hangs out with the girls. In addition to go shop a present for Shirogane, her goal is also to get closer to Kei. However with Chika hogging her most of the time, she is left stuck with Moeha. Annoying. F*cking ANNOYING! Finally when Kaguya gets that chance, she talks about Shirogane. It seems Kei finds her brother annoying and describes him as some slob. Although she ‘badmouths’ him, it is probably her twisted way of saying how kind he is. Kaguya realizes that she is exactly like Shirogane and the more she looks at her, the more Kei resembles him. Hence she keeps thinking this is like a date with Shirogane. Then when the girls part, Chika and Moeha ‘steal’ Kei from her and start rubbing some skinship thingy all over her. Kaguya is mad, thinking how such girls only use their body and see men as their prey! Uhm, Kei isn’t a guy… But when they invite Kaguya to join in, she gladly does so. Ah, such nice and soft skin… Back home, Kaguya tells Hayasaka the kind of present is needed to give Shirogane that must not be obviously expensive. Hayasaka finds the answer easy. She has Kaguya wrapped herself with a ribbon and then read aloud this words: I am your present. Kaguya gets embarrassed upon realizing she has been duped.

Episode 2B
Kaguya has baked a splendid cake for Shirogane. However Hayasaka isn’t impressed and calls her an idiot. Kaguya is too impressed with herself to think further into that meaning until the moment she is about to present this cake to him in the student council room. Because she realizes she just baked a multi-layered wedding cake! OMG! What to do?! Hence Kaguya has a court session with her various versions inside her mind. The ice queen prosecutor disagrees because of pride and honour while the foolish defendant is all for it in the name of love! Of course, what they say are true as they reflect Kaguya’s feelings. Of course the real Kaguya still denies them. In the end, the judge (a child version?), rules that it is Kaguya who must ultimately decide. Thus Kaguya has Shirogane close his eyes until she is ready. A small slice of cake for him and a fan as a birthday present. Happy birthday. Kaguya leaves and bravo to the girl for managing it all so well. Because Shirogane is feeling at the top of this world for this surprise, it is no surprise that Kaguya is the winner today. Also, he is told not to open the closet. Is that where the rest of the wedding cake is?

Episode 2C
Next day, Shirogane starts thinking why Kaguya celebrated his birthday so. Could there be a different meaning when a woman celebrates a man’s birthday alone? He’s right on the money but dismisses such thought. He thinks that if he tells Chika about this, she will be surprised that his birthday is yesterday, hence she will accuse Kaguya of not telling her his birthday and will come to a conclusion she is in love with him. Checkmate. But such underhanded tactic that undermines her good intentions is not his style so he won’t do it. So when Chika asks about the fan, he says a friend gave it to him. But this has Chika accusing him of not telling his birthday and that he must be in love with Kaguya for doing so! Backfired! This is all part of Kaguya’s plan as she already gave Chika that impression before entering the room. Shirogane realizes he has been tricked. So two can play that game. He then points out Kaguya found out about his birthday a year ago and didn’t tell anybody for a whole year. So what does this mean? Chika now thinks it is Kaguya who is in love with Shirogane. Kaguya is lost on what to do when Ishigami comes in. Chika tells about Shirogane’s birthday yesterday but apparently he knows it. It is at least courtesy to know the birthday of someone who helps you out, right? So this means Chika is the only one who doesn’t know and jumped to conclusions. She’s like the bad guy now? She can’t take the pressure and runs away. Kaguya is grateful to Ishigami who instead worries he did something wrong. Some breathing space for Shirogane and Kaguya but it’s Chika’s loss for sure.

Episode 3A
Shirogane has his student council members go moon viewing on the school’s rooftop. Kaguya isn’t fond of this but considering the right mood, she can make Shirogane confess to her. After easily getting rid of Chika and Ishigami, now the duo are alone. Her plans is to make him fluster by asking for his jacket. However before she can start, he already throws her one! Then sharing his cup of tea, she thinks the indirect kiss will get to him but he drinks back like as though it was nothing! Trying to ask a certain constellation, she gets more than she bargained for when he pulls her close to him and starts talking away. If that’s not enough, lie down closer! Yeah, this guy is over the moon for the moon. This celestial body > womanly charms! Shirogane then asks about the Kaguya folklore since she bears the same name. She doesn’t like it because of its ending how Kaguya was forced to abandon her lover. Though she gave her lover an immortality elixir, he destroyed it thinking it wouldn’t be right to live forever without her. But had Shirogane be in that lover’s shoes, he would have interpreted it differently because it meant Kaguya is telling him she’ll come back for him one day. Therefore he would never had let Kaguya go. At this point, Kaguya is filled with embarrassment. She can’t take it anymore and runs away. Next day, Shirogane realizes what he had done and is embarrassed to death. He wants to forget it. Shirogane loses… And you thought he was going to win…

Episode 3B
What’s this? The student council has now been disbanded? Their term is over so they are packing things up and looking back through all the items in the room, it brings back fond memories. Mostly embarrassing ones. Except maybe for Ishigami who was absent most of the time so many doesn’t ring a bell. They leave the room for the final time. Ishigami showing a secret chamber that nobody knows that was perhaps used during the student movement. After they close the door, Chika starts crying so Kaguya also cannot contain her tears. They bow one last time to the room. Thanks for everything.

Episode 3C
The ex-student council members celebrate the end of their term at a restaurant. But there is a problem for Kaguya. How would she address Shirogane now? While the rest could easily call him by his given name, Kaguya still can’t. It’s too embarrassing. Then she realizes she can’t be selfish. As Shirogane has gotten the letter of recommendation from the board, there is no reason why he will stay as the president for next year. She thought of an idea that she could be the president while he becomes her vice. Nothing would change. Yup. Nothing would change at all. So she thought it would be best for him to just concentrate on his studies. But before he really leaves, Kaguya can’t hold it anymore so she pleads to him if he should become the student council president again. Well, he already filled up his application to run for that post again next year! Kaguya realizes he got her this time. Shirogane wins! Shirogane hands his application to the teacher. Initially he didn’t intend to run again but he wants to show how far he has come.

Episode 4A
Ever since the student council disbanded, Shirogane and Kaguya have not talked to each other. Of course Kaguya is lamenting that and even thinking perhaps Shirogane is coming up with some sort of confession. For the umpteenth time, Hayasaka isn’t impressed and can’t understand how they did so many things together and still cannot progress. Kaguya is irked that Hayasaka make it sound so easy and even dares her. Hayasaka gets annoyed and takes up that challenge. Hence we see Hayasaka having a total makeover from a deadpan serious maid to a cheery flirty high school girl! She meets up with Shirogane at the bookstore on pretence to buy a computer book with his help. Of course Kaguya is spying and is getting jealous by the second. Even more so when Shirogane falls for all of her lies. ALL OF THEM. Damn, Hayasaka is good. In the end, even after flashing those eyes that signals a girl falling in love with a guy, she even pops the question of asking him to go out with her. Including the possibilities of just being a side girl. At this point Kaguya regrets challenging Hayasaka but surprisingly Shirogane turns her down and claims there is someone he likes. Immediately Hayasaka loses interest and leaves. Outside, a relieved Kaguya tries to brag and told her so how hard it is to crack Shirogane but what’s this? Hayasaka frustrated and almost close to tears that she could have done it if she had more time?! Woah. This girl is serious.

Episode 4B
Chika seems to be hinting to Shirogane to choose her for to write his campaign speeches. However Shirogane thinks Kaguya would do a fine job and hence annoyed Chika threatens not to vote for him! Shirogane is nervous outside Kaguya’s class. When she is finally called, this attracts everyone’s attention. Shirogane wants to talk to her about the campaign speeches but all everyone hears is him asking her to meet for a confession. Everyone is now hyped about a possible romance. Rumours soon spread and the entire school is watching them as they meet! Shirogane nervous with all the staring. He can’t ask her directly in fear everyone will be disappointed and will not vote for him! It gets worse when Chika who is unaware of the situation, puts it ambiguously that he chose Kaguya over her! Adding fuel to the fire, huh? Shirogane reflects on his pride to make Kaguya compare to him first but realizes at this point his feelings are too strong for her. So he whispers about the campaign speeches. Oh well. Kaguya should’ve seen this coming. So she whispers her answer back. Yes, she’ll do it. Then they run away before the crowd hounds them for answers.

Episode 4C
With the elections ongoing, Shirogane is popular because of his track record that he doesn’t need campaigning to clinch the post. However, this first year, Miko Iino strikes a chord with Ishigami. She is popular in her grade because of being quite an intense girl. She is part of the public morals committee and her father is the head judge. They go meet her and Miko already gets on Shirogane’s nerves with her strong ideals. She even calls his lack of campaigning as complacency. With Ishigami backing up Shirogane, they sound a lot like villains trying to outtalk her! And then Miko asks Chika to be her vice should she win the presidency. Now she jumps ship! Seems Miko praises Chika for her past achievements especially for being a piano prodigy. Chika sure loves the praising. With both sides not backing down, Shirogane realizes the need to come up with a countermeasure. But Ishigami doesn’t think it is necessary. Miko is so by the book, that the flier she hands out is too serious. Apparently many will get turned off by it. She doesn’t realize it herself but she is a walking annoyance and hopes she will realize this herself one day. Chika sees the lame flier and realizes she can’t betray her friends… Time to jump back.

Episode 5A
Because Shirogane has enough sleep, his face looks less scary! Though Chika and Ishigami are shocked, others who never talked to him before, did so. He thinks he might get Kaguya to confess to him and so he does this pretty face charm. However… Nothing happening. Try again. Again… Nothing happens. Of course we all know better that Kaguya was just putting up a poker face and inside she’s melting.

Episode 5B
Kaguya now talks to Kashiwagi about the change in Shirogane. Although talking in third person, Kashiwagi can tell whom she is talking about. She normally doesn’t want to get involved in this but seeing Kaguya is seeking her help, better bite the bullet. Kashiwagi tries to give her best explanation to what is true love. Then busybody Chika hears it and wants to help so Kashiwagi has to put it as though she was the one asking for advice. Hence Chika’s explanation how such love is fake has Kaguya trembling in fear! More complication with Ishigami giving his own views on realistic love. Then here comes Shirogane. His eyes are back to normal. Not enough sleep from all the campaigning. Kaguya loves these eyes? She thinks this is true love? Kashiwagi only knows it better that it isn’t…

Episode 5C
Chika catches Shirogane lip synching the school anthem and is furious. So as she lectures him, she learns he is tone deaf. Remembering that volleyball training last season, she normally wouldn’t want to coach him but seeing this is music and her forte, she’s going to do it. Hope she won’t regret her decision because this dude is the worst! How long can she last? But after hearing that he too would like to sing when he was young but others tell him to just lip synch, Chika goes all the way to train him. So during the next assembly as Chika conducts the song, she notices Shirogane has started singing properly. Decent enough that Chika is brought to tears on stage! So proud of her boy!

Episode 5D
You bet it is Kaguya’s doing when a student council candidate withdraws. So you bet she is going to target Miko next. Hayasaka has gotten the details of this girl but advises Kaguya she comes from a family of very upright people so she may be a tough nut to crack. On a pretence to meet Miko, Miko remains very cautious and sceptical of Kaguya. Even refusing to drink her tea, thinking it is poisoned! Kaguya continues to be a smooth talker and can tell from Miko’s body language that she is insecure and anxious. Hence she cuts her a deal that if she backs off now, she will help her next year to win the presidency. After all, she has failed to win past elections and that is because of her very strict ideals. Miko will not be cowed and rejects this cowardice. Hence she views Kaguya and Shirogane to be similar and made for each other. Of course Kaguya takes it the wrong way. The clincher is how Miko mentions they both should just get married! Miko vows to become president and will have Shirogane and Kaguya in her team so that she could re-educate them about their warped ways. It is then Kaguya doesn’t think this is such a bad idea. Shirogane will be freed from exhausting work while she gets to spend more time with him. Until Miko points out that she will ban on all romance on school grounds and Chika as her vice! Yes, we can do it! Oh sh*t, Kaguya starting to fear her…

Episode 6A
Ishigami seems to have a grudge against Miko because he wants their team to go all out and win by a landslide. Miko’s friend, Kobachi Osaragi makes her opening speech to support Miko. Although she practised hard, many of the students aren’t paying attention. Then it’s Kaguya’s turn. She gets everyone’s attention with her great eloq