Tesagure! Bukatsumono

October 13, 2019

Atarashii! Something new! NOT! For some reasons, Tesagure! Bukatsumono is supposed to be the kind of anime that I would definitely have put it on my watch list but never managed to do so. I don’t know how I missed this series that aired way back in 2013 but I guess many years later my random search on the internet over what potential ‘past’ animes to watch led me to stumble upon this. The plot is just about a group of girls talking about the common and generic tropes of clubs and giving their new ideas about it. Yeah… Sounds boring… Maybe that’s why I skipped it… But since here I am now, perhaps those new ideas might sound interesting and funny.

Episode 1
Yua Suzuki, Hina Satou and Aoi Takahashi are trying to recruit members for their club. They contemplate of letting a normal boy join to turn into some harem but by doing so means they can’t do girly things anymore and it will be awkward. Hence they snag Koharu Tanaka to join. She didn’t even know how the heck she ended up joining either. She is still unsure to join this one as it was her goal to join her club but after seeing so many presentations, all of them were boring so she isn’t sure anymore. The rest explain this club is for her and is different than the rest. They don’t have anything in particular to do so they think of the things they want to do via trial and error. Hence they are like groping to do things and testing to see if they are interesting. Thus tesagure bukatsubu literally meaning a groping club. Now that Koharu is convinced to stay, they brainstorm their first activity. They think up the first things that come to mind about baseball. All the cliché stuffs like how the main characters act and look as well as how such typical baseball tournament stories go. Then they come up with new rules for a new baseball club. That rule is flexibility. So it’s like anything goes? From what they should do after winning and their dress to the cheerleaders, speak your mind, girls. Then they experiment with blind baseball by calling clones of Mobuko Sonota to join in as the opposing team. The players are blindfolded but are guided by directions by their teammates who aren’t playing. Just like that traditional blindfolded watermelon splitting. Safe to say, they fail badly. Oops, did they break a window? Blaming bad instructions, huh?

Episode 2
The girls visit Koharu’s class to find out where she sits. Since she sits in front and in the middle, they thought she was supposed to be the main character because main characters always sits next to the window! Koharu worries when they mention they can read her thoughts. In the clubroom, Koharu discovers the club isn’t official. They submit every year but it gets rejected. But of course. So they’re operating illegally? Anyway, just like last episode, they brainstorm about football. All the clichés and stereotypes of football in anime and manga. Then they come up with new rules for the sport that includes carrying the goalpost to the ball and digging holes?! It’s time to experiment with it so they call Mobuko to help out. It is revealed that they are all sisters! Must be one horny dad to f*ck his mom and give birth to sextuplets for 3 consecutive years!!! Anyway, today’s football rule is that when you receive the ball, you must recite a haiku. Not sure if the poem isn’t any good you can get a yellow card by the referee?! And even if the goalkeeper catches the ball but a bad haiku means it is considered a goal?! Weird. Thankfully real football doesn’t follow this.

Episode 3
Koharu tries to pinpoint the typical and cliché anime girls in their school like twins with opposite personalities and the rich girl. However the rest point out they are totally not and just normal people. But I guess Mobuko’s the exception… This time the club in discussion is shogi. They dispense their views on the game before imposing the usual new rules. They include the pieces acting as a wish plate, moving a piece with a non-dominant hand and the pieces themselves having some sort of drama like the generals on both sides are actually going out with each other! As they prepare for the experiment, Koharu learns that despite not being an official club, thanks to Yua being in many other clubs, she has influence and thus their club has a clubroom. This means Yua has also got some clubs to create a giant shogi board and pieces. The twist of this game is that Twister rules are incorporated. Yeah, it’s damn hard to play with your ass blocking that space! Weird positions! You lose if you can’t maintain your position. Truly, this game isn’t for the weak!

Episode 4
When Koharu learns that Yua is also the student council vice president, she starts worried about her school life since her perception on them as well as the disciplinary committee is strict people. Her friends dispel that misconception and that they are actually nice people. Koharu feels relieved and is amazed to see them having colourful hairstyles like main characters. Later Koharu worries that because their club is only all girls, people might get the wrong impression. The rest then start to tease her that they may just be yuri and start getting yuri on her! Don’t get your hopes up on a foursome… Next they discuss about the tea club. Like before, their views on what they think the club is like before making their own rules such as putting in milk and bowls that look like pantsu! Then the rest seem to pester Yua to do something about the tea club but she jokingly denies and doesn’t want to do it. Eventually she does a weird cha-cha dance?

Episode 5
This is inevitable. The topic about boobs! Or at least their uniforms make it so their boobs are protruding. This is more obvious to those with big busts like Hina so for those washboards like Aoi, better keep praying harder. So which club will be today’s victim? The cycling club. Their usual views on it like their uniform and the typical and cliché cycling tournament. And the new rules they come up with include having to bang their thighs with each other like butt sumo (WTF is this gay piece of sh*t?!) and cycling with heavy weights attached to their bikes. Aoi somewhat ‘wins’ as the best rule since she makes a pun of coins dropping and bicycle (both pronounced as ‘chari’).

Episode 6
We jump straight into the girls talking about the wind instrument club. Lots of clichés about characters in this club like siblings, harems, ex-girlfriends, indirect kissing, superhero suits and rich loli magical girls?! Are they serious?! And those are all their ideas and not new rules yet? So the new rules they come up include blowing while having hay fever, only waving sticks, playing inside a pool (a pun for suisou as both wind instruments and water tank sound the same) and spooning while playing the instrument. Everyone later tries blowing a wind instrument and as expected, they all suck. If it was a real weapon, it could really kill…

Episode 7
The cafeteria is crowded and the queue is long because shortage of workers and the new cafeteria lady is unsure of the pricing. Wow. Aoi telling her off what the real prices are? In the clubroom, the girls discuss about the newspaper club. All its cliché perceptions of its characters to the girl who has a crush on the protagonist and the guy who always has the latest scoop. Of course the moral dilemma of exposing the truth. Eventually it is all just a dream of the protagonist’s father? New rules for the club include reporters need to get special training to post comments, using more emoji and having adult content. Later the girls experiment with karuta. The twist is that they must quickly pick out an embarrassing picture of them taken secretly. Is it me or are there a lot of secret embarrassing Koharu pictures? Because of that, she couldn’t snatch a single photo and Aoi is the winner with the most.

Episode 8
Maid cafes are a staple in school cultural festival. With so many around, they realize they all come from the same chain. Is this a franchise? The girls talk about the tennis club. The weird scoring system and the strange ways they use the racquet. They also talk about the clichés of tennis clubs in anime like how everyone looks like an adult and that’s why the protagonist looks like a kid with hidden talents and all. As for the new rules, they include having a sudden death match with only a single point scored, wearing embarrassing and used panties while playing and putting vinegar on their hands as sterilization (a word pun based on tennis) while those on the bench make sushi.

Episode 9
The theatre club isn’t spared. Their perceptions on it include the club having national tournaments like sports clubs and extra actors for minor parts get weird credited nicknames. Clichés in anime include the protagonist memorizing all her lines after reading the script once and there is a direct correlation in her improving acting skill as well as her real life romance. New rules for the club include everyone having to repeat their lines twice hence making the play twice as long, the audience never sympathizing with the heroine and all actors continue to put up and act to hide their real personalities even during rehearsals. Yua has lots more on her list but it’s too dangerous and the rest just vetoed her ideas. Later they try acting out on stage. Wow. So dramatic. So funny. So lame… No wonder Koharu feels embarrassed at the end of the play.

Episode 10
The cliché moment of a couple always getting stuck in the gym storeroom after the last person locks it. Hence that is why when Yua and co pass by, it is a rule that the next person who passes by must unlock it. True enough, a couple comes out thanking them. In the clubroom, the girls discuss about idioms that contain eyes and mouth. Aoi seems to be particularly unimpressed that eye idioms have more positive connotation that the mouth idioms. So they substitute both parts to make new idioms and then make a hero story that is based on mouth idioms. With everyone getting really creative with the mouth idioms, it leaves poor Koharu so confused because the hero sounds and acts like a typical villain! And Aoi doesn’t even care anymore. Before we forget today’s episode we haven’t talk about a club yet, this time they talk about themselves which is basically the slice of life club. No need further introductions so let’s get down to the new rules. When Yua suggests she is God, Koharu misinterprets that she has died! Certainly not the punchline or answer everyone was expecting! I guess that’s enough for today. Later they experiment with scavenger hunt shiritori. They are to bring items to the hall. Yeah, they really bring in weird items including strangers. Koharu so confused…

Episode 11
The girls tease Koharu aloud that she might wear panties with holes. Oh my. Did that guy hear it? Yua even goes over to tell him all about it but it seems he didn’t catch all that. That’s because the cliché of main character guys will never know girls’ secret! To further prove it, they tell him more of Koharu’s embarrassing stuffs and he still doesn’t get it. But Koharu still embarrassed… For this special edition, Mobuko joins the club as a guest. This time they talk about the astronomy club. So mysterious that they don’t even know where it is located. New rules include lovers must address each other as Hikoboshi and Orihime and everyone must make their appearance with a comet trail. I guess the club is so mysterious and nothing to talk about that they have time to talk about another club: Cheerleading club. Tight shoelaces, hairstyles and leaving pom pom strands all over. New rules include doing cheerleading in the most unlikely of places like funerals and courtrooms, using pom poms as powder for armpits and wearing loose panties that might fly all over during their cheerleading. I’m sure that will earn them lots of points! The audience will definitely cheer harder!

Episode 12
With Yua and Hina graduating, Koharu notes it will be just the 2 of them. But Aoi notes this club will always have 4 people. When the seniors return, they pack their stuffs and Koharu stumbles into an album containing application forms with weird names. It seems those are failed applications for their club and were always rejected because they couldn’t decide what the club is supposed to be. Then they ask if Koharu has found a club she wanted to join. Well, despite finding it hard to keep up with them, she somewhat finds it fun. Koharu learns that the club’s only rule is to go through trial and member to figure out what the new members want to do. Hence that is why they talk about creating new rules for clubs. Yua hands over the presidency to Aoi while Hina hands over her vice presidency to Koharu. However Koharu cannot accept all this. After hearing all that, there is no way she can be the vice president of this crazy club. This club will not do without Yua and Hina. She begs them not to graduate. This heart breaking scene only reminds them about themselves as they too did this to their graduating seniors. Damn, I thought this would be comedy but now it’s turned into a tearjerker after this big emotional group hug. Hence Yua suggests creating new rules for this tesagure club that includes everyone must laugh at the president’s proposal and everyone acting like Koharu. They note that even though it is sad not to have Koharu around, they prefer to have the one and only Koharu instead of multiple clones. And so Yua and Hina graduate. Aoi and Koharu’s first role is to fill up the application form for the club. Why not call it tesagure club? That’s something new that nobody has thought about.

Encore

Not enough tesagure for you? Don’t despair. Here’s the second season with more ideas coming your way!

Episode 1
We hear Koharu narrate the meaning of her name and the reason why she wanted to join a club. It’s basically a summary of the first season as she also introduces her other club members and their personalities as well as highlighting some of the things they talk then. Now it is time for Yua and Hina to hand over their presidency and vice presidency respectively to Aoi and Koharu. Some last words and also the logic behind the creation of this club was always to find something and to focus on who the members spent time with rather than how they spent their time. Just like history repeating itself, Koharu doesn’t want to graduate and everybody starts crying in a big group hug. OMG. I thought this was supposed to be a comedy and not a tearjerker!!! Again! During recruitment day, Aoi is slacking as Koharu tries to wake her up and warn her other clubs might steal their potential members. And then Aoi starts ranting about the clichés in manga that characters don’t age and that they should follow this trope. What does this mean? It means they’re bringing back Yua and Hina to the club! I guess that’s why they also called this season ‘Encore’.

Episode 2
Since they’re really going down with this repeat route, they talk about the discrepancies and inconsistencies from various sources and media. Hence the most common ‘acceptable’ excuse is of course parallel world! Also, because there were requests for less animation for this episode, hence our girls will be less animated and having less movements. Enjoy your lame slideshow. The girls talk about the stereotypes of the basketball club before moving on to their new rules that include the referee blowing his whistle randomly and for weird reasons as well as everyone wearing loose trousers and the game turns into dodgeball when some music is played.

Episode 3
They’re going to do less animation for this episode too! Yeah, it’s alright as long as they can make it through. All though there will be slightly more animation this time, you will notice how they used recycled scenes from past episodes and sometimes the art gets very sketchy and no colour. Anyway, they talk about the judo club. Yeah, the club with smelly men. Not sure how they go about making puns of names before going on to make new rules like they have to put their full name on the uniform, giving cute names to all the painful moves and wearing nipple stickers the same colour as the belt. Later they experiment by making judo clothes that are hard to grab. One is too slippery because it is made of eel! And shocking too! Another is made of tissue paper! It’s breaking up! Too bad we can’t see any of this because remember, less animation. We’re stuck outside the gym and relying on our power of imagination!

Episode 4
Arts club. Yeah. Those talented nerds. They discuss the different types of people in arts club which we might find cliché and typical in anime and manga. As they move on to the new rules, because Hina makes some incomprehensible pun, the rest find it really hard to understand. WTF, butt drawing? It took a while for her to explain and this only worsens the pun, making Hina ‘mad’. I guess it took up too much time so let’s go over to the experiment. They will be playing shiritori but using art. Uh huh. They must guess what that drawing is and draw their answer. Unfortunately their drawings are so freaking abstract that you will never be able to guess! Yeah, maybe they are just bad artists. Koharu is the only art whom they are able to guess because she is simple. After double checking the real answers, it seems by coincidence that all their artworks are coincidentally shiritori related! So this is real art? So when it is Koharu’s turn, her simple art is guessable but unfortunately she lost. Shinkansen…

Episode 5
Volleyball club. A bunch of masochists, right? After mentioning the few types of typical volleyball characters, they move on to the new rules such as the players wearing ballet dancers’ uniform, allowing players to pick up the ball that has touched the ground for 3 seconds and using human heads as the ball. WTF?! For the experiment, the volleyball game they play has a twist. There are building blocks of cities on each side of the court. They must return the ball while defending their city! If the buildings get destroyed, they lose points! Safe to say, Koharu’s side decimated their own city with all the reckless moves. And if they’re too careful, they’re too slow to return the ball. And Mobuko’s side is like having extreme dexterity and flexibility. None of their buildings were demolished! I know who to call to protect my city when a kaiju appears.

Episode 6
Broadcasting club. Stereotypes about the people in the club. They even take the chance to blatantly promote their soundtrack. When they talk about the different types of main characters in such club and the stammering they usually have, Hina acts them all out. For the new rules, looks like they only have time to hear Koharu’s idea of everyone speaking with squeaky voice after inhaling helium gas. That’s because everyone is so amused with Koharu’s ‘ability’ to imitate her helium gas voice that they want her to continue imitating it. Is this going to be her regular character from now on? Don’t think so.

Episode 7
Koharu thinks that this school is safe because of the surveillance cameras around. Until the rest points out its special features of shooting white beams. They demonstrate by flipping Koharu’s skirt, here’s your white beam censor! Damn, the girls must really feel so safe! Except Koharu. She gets violated as the rest keeps flipping her skirt. Hey, at least security is working. What do you think about the rugby club? Burly idiots! They discuss the absurd rules since they are unfamiliar with it. Also a gender bender rugby club filled with stereotypic cliché girls. New rules for the club include when a tackle is made, a hug must be given. Hence name change to hugby!!! Then they go on talking about balls and the players being gay…

Episode 8
Not a club this time. They talk about the cultural festival and its clichés. So when they talk about its new rules, the only idea came about is locusts descending on the festival. Because the rest of the time they are talking what locusts and other types of bugs are. Just keep the place clean! During the festival, because coincidentally all the members of the light music club is out, our girls have to substitute them. Do they even know how to play instruments? Well, they start talking jokes and puns, turning this concert into a stand-up comedy show. Hey, as long everyone is laughing. They end this with a song. But because they can’t play the instruments, they play the CD while pretending to mash their instruments. I guess the fun part is just singing the lyrics. So it’s like an idol concert? But holding instruments? And Aoi is like when she lost her drumsticks, she just starts banging the cymbals around like a monkey. Having fun, aren’t we?

Episode 9
Koharu wants to buy a birthday gift for a friend but doesn’t know much about her. Hence the rest suggests asking the best friend of the main character. Because he knows everything! The girls talk about the quiz club. Yeah, why to smart people always wear glasses? The interesting part comes from them creating a romantic comedy story in which all questions are given several multiple choice answers. So how will the story end? A) Good ending; B) Bad ending; C) All this is just a dream; D) Series cancelled! As for the new rules, Yua suggests everyone has to answer in a very shy and embarrassed way. Then she tries to bait Hina into saying some embarrassing words but that girl has some wisecrack answers and a tough nut to crack.

Episode 10
Starting on a different note, the girls try to answer Yua’s riddles but most of them end up as puns. This leads to the origin of the riddles especially that famous sphinx one. You know, the creature that changes the number of legs throughout the day and the answer is man. Because of the ambiguous choice of words, the reason why many don’t get the right answer. Hence they reword it in a simpler and more understandable way that makes the answer way easier to guess. However the question and task itself becomes boring. I guess they chatted too much on this and realize they haven’t talk about any clubs yet. Not really a club this time as they talk about the sports festival and immediately comes up with new rules. One of them being items must be very hard to obtain. Because Koharu gave degenerate answers, the rest believes she has been broken since joining this club and this means she’ll do fine when a new person joins the club! For the experiment, Yua combines riddles with sports day. When she asks a riddle, they’re supposed to pick an answer from several sketches. All wrong! I guess it is harder than it seems.

Episode 11
Are school teachers always this young? Only in anime! And why are they always single and love getting drunk? They go directly ask one and although she confirms all that, she lets in another secret: She is a lesbian! Oh Koharu, you mean to look so shock? With Mobuko and her sisters joining in this session, they talk about the kendo club. It leads to them giving them different nicknames and the only new rule is to fight with bamboo swords soaked in boiling water. Then they discuss about the rakugo club in which instead of having a storyteller play all characters, each character is played by a different person. Also, instead of the story finishing in one telling, spread it out into 12 different stories!

Episode 12
We go back to a year before when the club was headed by Mio. With Yua and Hina, they were recruiting members. Mio spotted Aoi sitting alone and invited her to join but Aoi will not join any clubs whatsoever as she views them as stupid. She thinks all those relationships between club members are fake. Just people pretending to be friends. But of course, Mio dragged her to join the club. So Mio cut her a deal that they will find something to do in the club that isn’t stupid and in turn Aoi agreed to join and try out for a year. Man, that’s a long time. But it got off on a bad start as Aoi realizes the club’s name sounds really stupid… But as we can see, Aoi slowly joins the ‘stupid’ conversation like girls in her class being cliché and stereotypical (for instance, girls being fat) and making new rules for the amusement park. Eventually Mio graduates and she hands over the leadership to Yua. As for Aoi, she didn’t care if the club was stupid or not. Thinking if something is stupid or not seemed stupid now. Is she saying she has also become stupid? Just kidding. But Mio’s parting philosophical ways about freedom and acceptance has everyone crying hard. Especially Aoi. She realizes this is the first place who accepted her for who she is. Because if you accept everyone as they are, they will learn to accept you for who you are! So deep! OMG. I thought this was supposed to be a comedy and not a tearjerker!!! Yet again!!! Aoi doesn’t want Mio to graduate but alas she leaves her in the capable hands of Yua and Hina. It will be their turn to create a place for someone else. In present time, our girls are now doing another recruitment drive. Koharu is still nervous and panicky but Aoi, she’s a cool cat. Just do whatever you want!

Purupurun Sharumu To Asobu

Well, technically they didn’t do a third season but this is still a third season if you consider this spinoff as one. And what better way than to add more characters and to double the running time equivalent to your standard anime.

Episode 1
Aoi and Koharu are trying to recruit new members. Because Aoi’s dream is to do a collaboration anime, hence they pull back Yua and Hina for another season! Thanks to the publisher having bigger budget and their airtime has increased, they think they can get away by calling this a spinoff. After all, in the end everything will be just a dream, right?! So folks, meet our Apprentice Goddesses of Purupurun Charm. Their anime hasn’t been adapted yet but their casts have already been chosen. So this is also part of a collaboration to make Charm achieve their goal to become an anime? So they start things off by trying to plan what to do for each episode. It is going to be tough since the Charm side have different schedules, considering their seiyuus are popular. After briefly introducing themselves, they then discuss about how to talk to each other. Hence it turns out with everyone suggesting Koharu talk politely to everybody from now on. Must she change her character? They also discuss what kind of show Charm should do. So it’s like going to copy tesagure style? After all, remember they can just brush it off as a dream. So to start off the next segment by falling asleep so they can start Charm’s segment. This is a dream, right? And here it is, Purupurun Charm, 5 girls with elemental powers who bring harmony to the universe that includes parallel worlds existing within the same dimension. But we see Rin Arisugawa narrating her normal high school life with friends, Hiina Usami and Kanon Izayoi. Yui Enjouji is their senior and she loves to tease Kanon because of her short stature. Joining in their discussion is Tomomi Okonogi, a half Russian who arrives in a tank. So what they discuss about? Female type battle robots! Even having new rules for them like being flirted via wall slam and taking custody of their kids. Hiina loves walls slam and has Rin act it out with her? Then it is back to the original tesagure quartet as they think what else to do with this collaboration. So they think of a new one frame slice of life manga. With an empty speech bubble, they make adlib speeches for it but mostly talk about boobs.

Episode 2
Our tesagure girls talk with their Charm counterparts about their debut. They give their mix comments about this unique yet lazy adlib system. In order to give everyone a proper introduction and since a normal highlight episode would be just boring, they suggest doing it via musical style. But first with start off with our Charm girls discussing various topics like the kind of goddess they would like to become and the things they would like to do now. Then they get a cue to talk about the gymnastics club. A few awkward moments as they try to discuss new rules for it. Yeah, probably they’re beginners so we let them off the hook. But it gets awkward as Rin keeps mistaking Hiina for Tomomi so much so she has to be reminded before she does it again. Now we return to the tesagure girls. New viewers, don’t worry if you don’t know what the show is all about as it is done in a musical fashion! However the scenes and dialogues aren’t new. What they do is take an excerpt from a previous episode, the girls read their lines by singing it in a strange musical fashion. From tennis club to newspaper club to rugby club and arts club, now do you understand what this anime is all about? And if you want to sing along with them, just in case the songs are all sung in E Major. So just to let you know, okay?

Episode 3
The girls talk how this third collaboration is most important as the Charm side relay their thoughts on the first 2. It is also a blatant chance by the tesagure girls to promote and sell this anime’s DVDs. The Charm girls discuss about each other’s strong points before discussing new ideas for a job interview. This leads to them acting out a reverse pressure job interview in which the interviewee puts back the pressure by counter questioning the interviewer. They even try it out with Kanon and Hiina being quite the pro. Back to our tesagure girls, this time they talk about the table tennis club. Since a lot of rules overlap with the tennis club, hence it is perfect for this spinoff. Today’s discussion is slightly different as they borrow the table tennis’ table and they discuss things while they play. But they end up laughing most of the time and can’t play well. Then they just sit down and talk about the new rules for the club that includes using ping pong balls as bubbles in a public bath and the net caught a boar or tuna. Even more interesting, Playboy bunny girls use their stockings as net and keep the ball warm in their cleavage! Is this some sort of special themed brothel?

Episode 4
The girls are now thinking of doing a song collaboration and their own character songs. The Charm girls talk about Hina’s new Smartphone followed by new things in their life. This irks Kanon since Yui and Tomomi are bragging about their new growth in boobs and height respectively. Later when Yui can’t attend the meeting, Yua sits in for her as they talk about new things for a villa. Ideas include having 30 toilets, the walls and roof are see-through and everybody who lives there are naked. Back to the tesagure girls, because the school is going to have a new school song and hence encouraging students to submit lyrics, first they talk about ideas for a new school song like deer gathering when you start singing and the teacher got so into playing the music that he would end up smashing the instrument. We then hear how the school song plays out before the quartet list down words they want to say and fit into it as lyrics. It’s like they want to incorporate everything so yeah, the song’s lyrics turn out to weird. Very weird. From hot guys running around in this paradise to survival of the fittest and a strange confession scene. Sure you girls aren’t writing lyrics for some dramatic pop music? Yeah, nobody wants to be caught dead singing this during the opening ceremony!

Episode 5
With last week’s Yui sitting in, they girls now think of shuffling themselves for this adlib collaboration. But we start off with the Charm girls first. Rin is having problems studying so the rest chip in to try and help her to study. But as expected, Rin can’t focus as she wants something sweet and eventually falls asleep. I don’t think dreaming is going to help her do her homework. Later, Mio and Hina replace Yui and Tomomi as they discuss about new field trips. Mio has trouble reading kanji so not so sure about the hypnotic field trip she is talking about. Then there’s also stores that sell souvenirs run by teachers so they can pocket the extra income and students are divided into some kind of order for the field trip. Next, the tesagure girls visit the haunted house. Surprisingly, it is Aoi who is very scared and clinging on to Hina for dear life while the rest are like laughing their asses off over the great props and actors. Yeah, really weird and funny. Back at the clubroom, they are joined by Yua and Mobuko as they discuss new ideas for a haunted house that includes a haunted house like a giant maze, ghosts announcing beforehand that they’ll pop up to scare you and a hot male ghost who escorts you all the way. Sorry, no hot girl ghost if you’re a guy. You still get a hot male ghost escort.

Episode 6
With the success of last week’s shuffling, Yua wants the shuffling to continue in this episode. To add to the fun, they’re going to add collaborative character songs. But first, we see Rin having a toothache. With Hiina giving advice on how to deal with it, I guess Yui eating her sweets on behalf isn’t going to do any good. They talk about other oral hygiene care before Yua and Aoi replace Tomomi and Kanon to discuss new dentist rules that include the dentist grinding away your budget, the dentist says “Tooth” in every sentence, the drill used is of the multiplication kind and a female dentist having large boobs in your face and hence den-tits. The tesagure girls ride the Ferris Wheel at the amusement park. Hina has fear of heights and thinks this is unsafe. You mean the roller coaster is safer because it has seatbelts? As their carriage reach the top, it is clear that Hina is not feeling too well. The wind is blowing hard and the other girls take this chance to tease her like hell like rubbing her thighs since she is being a quiet girl. Then Yua tries to pretend to be her boyfriend and calm her but it just made it worse. Kanon and Tomomi join the tesagure girls to discuss about new Ferris Wheel ideas. This includes each carriage is equipped with amazing equipment like a shelter, saying gondola many times fast turns it into a dragon (it’s a pun, try it), you can’t ride it without being introduced or referred by someone and riding to the highest point allows one to see all hidden things going on that one is not able to see normally like the staff rooms.

Episode 7
For the first time, all of the girls are here at the same time to record a collaboration. Since they can’t do a swimsuit fanservice, Hina suggests some werewolf kind of fanservice. You know, some yuri girl turns into a werewolf AKA Yuriwolf to terrorize the other girls in the dorm? Not one but 2 Yuriwolves! In this Danganronpa style trial, we see all the girls (minus Tomomi) having a trial and discussion to pick out the Yuriwolf. Based on initial votes, the suspicions fall on Kanon. As they deliberate, we hear them all saying they love men or something like that. It sounds like everyone is picking on Mobuko as she emotionally tries to rebuke all their accusations. Once the trial is over, the one with the highest vote is ejected from the trial. That person is Kanon! One night passes and it seems the Yuriwolf’s victim is Mobuko. Hence the next day’s trial resumes with Koharu now being a suspect. More deliberation and accusations. Yeah, keep asserting you like men… Because of that, everybody gangs up and even voices out to vote out Koharu! So it is no surprising she gets ejected from the trial. Now, if both Kanon and Koharu were the Yuriwolves, there would be no more victims and the game won. However when night falls, Yui has become a victim. Hence the trial resumes and now the suspicions fall on Yua.

Episode 8
The trial continues with more deliberation. This time, there seems to be an argument over Aoi and Hiina being the fortune teller. And both are trying to make their case that they are the genuine fortune teller since they did some readings on the fortunes of other girls. When the votes are in, Aoi and Hiina have the same number so both are given a little more time to speak and make their case. In the end, it is Hiina is voted out. If Hiina was the Yuriwolf, the game would end and the girls win. But that night it is Hina who gets taken out by the Yuriwolf. Therefore the trial continues with Rin now being suspected. Obviously we see Yua and Aoi ganging up on her and even voicing out they’ll vote her out. And yes, Rin is booted out. With Yua and Aoi left, it is announced that the Yuriwolf team wins! The truth is revealed: The Yuriwolves are Aoi and Koharu! The fortune teller is Hiina. The girls discuss and go over things and we see that Aoi is a pretty smart and scheming girl, befitting her Yuriwolf role. From what I understand, she eliminates all the smart ones first and leaves the dumb ones in the end! Is that insulting to Yua and Rin?! It’s one reason why she took out Hina so that Yua can somewhat side with her. Yeah, some club. As for when Koharu was eliminated (it is said she was unanimously voted out), why did Aoi not cover for her? Nah, she was useless and never needed her at all! Damn she’s scary and badass! With some time left in this episode, it is revealed this Yuriwolf version we just saw is the second one. There was an earlier and first version hence we are shown a digest version of it. It’s a bit crude and less refined than the second one we see. Not sure who the Yuriwolves are since they teased the extra materials might be shown on BDs. But I theorize since Aoi was taken out early in the game, maybe that’s why she sounded so scheming in the latter.

Episode 9
Due to the success of the Yuriwolf episode, this time they’re going to take it easy. So, back to normal chatting? They talk about the movie they saw last night and this leads to Kanon revealing she has never been to the cinema as she doesn’t want others interrupting her show and Tomomi aiming to go watch movies alone and pick a time where nobody is around. So the Charm girls decide to go watch a movie together. Hiina is trying to hold back her tears but to her surprise it is Tomomi who started crying. The rest? They fell asleep! Yua and Koharu replace Tomomi and Rin as they give new ideas for movies like screening 2 movies side by side, soaked chairs and chairs that become toilet seats if you need to answer the call of nature. The tesagure girls are at the zoo. They are amused at a pair of meerkats interacting one another. Are they making out?! Keep snapping those cute little critters till your folder is full of meerkat photos! Only Aoi and Tomomi are present at today’s discussion as they talk about ideas for a new zoo like animals having boring names and the zookeeper keeps throwing dung. Aoi being Aoi seems to make Tomomi laugh a lot as well as confusing her so Aoi admits she is somewhat shallow and superficial and her words don’t really have deep meaning. Are we supposed to be amazed?

Episode 10
The beauty salon cut Kanon’s bangs too short and so she’s mad and will do what it takes to shut it down! Calm down. The rest try to give words of encouragement but they said too much and eventually it just depresses her. Yua and Hina sit in for Kanon and Hiina to discuss new rules for a beauty salon that include a slot machine that determines your hairstyle, the hairdresser has a short temper, the hair iron is a sandwich making machine and everyone is naked while giving shampoo. The tesagure girls visit a farm. Everyone is so admiring the cute chicks until it starts pooping on their hands. Still cute, though. Then they visit the horse who coincidentally has the same name as Aoi. Yeah, some teasing on which Aoi they’re calling. And Hina ‘bullying’ the horse by trolling it and not giving its food. Kanon and Hiina join the tesagure girls to discuss new rules for a zoo. But this format will be different and will be played out via cards and haiku. The first 2 lines are determined by picking out a card. Then each of them will finish off the 3rd line with their card in hand. Hilarity ensues. So we have horse riding, some Indian elephant, a zookeeper and some dirty joke summary? Probably sometimes the meaning is so random that they find it funny.

Episode 11
With nobody’s schedule lining up this week, Yua notes that everyone’s lines were recorded separately buy edited together. Hence they think of a new dubbing collaboration. One whereby they show old footage but add new voice recordings. But it won’t just be any normal voice recordings. They will be given a theme or separated into categories and those who fall into that will do the voice over in that particular way. For example, those with light coloured hair will talk like a heavy metal shouting while those with dark hair talk like an old woman without dentures. Hence the entire episode despite having recycled footages, the way the tesagure and Charm girls narrate their lines in different modes is refreshing and of course funny to hear. In the end, the last recording has them do the style they like the most that they have done.

Episode 12
Mio hosts this first (and last) Tesagure Grand Prix, the girls will be divided into groups and face off in an individual comic dialogue contest. The winner of each block will advance to the finals and Mio will also pick 2 other losers to join in the finals in which the ultimate winner will receive money as well as something to commemorate her as the main character of the series. In the first block we have Rin, Yua, Yui and Koharu. Tomomi is absent. The topic is to mention the 8th mystery of the school that barely missed the cut to become part of the 7 legendary mysteries of the school. After a few weird ideas, the winner is Koharu. Surprise?! In the second block, we have Aoi, Hiina, Mobuko and Kanon. Surprisingly, Hina is unable to attend because she is sick. Yeah, Aoi already calling her out for faking her illness (note, she isn’t). The theme is the cafeteria lady looking down on you because of some situation. But this theme is so boring that even Aoi calls for the 8th mystery one. I suppose she wants to get the poop jokes off her chest… The winner of this block goes to Hiina. Surprise?! Aoi calls it rigged until Mio chooses her as one of the losers to advance. Not rigged now, huh? Also somehow Tomomi is also picked. In this final face off, they hear a song sample in which they must fill in the remaining lyrics. In the end, the winner goes to… Koharu! Surprise! My opinion is that she could have sealed the win by breaking the fourth wall with a song that this series is about to end. A fitting ending theme for an ending theme? So the final scene shows Koharu waking up in a classroom and noting she is still the new girl after all this time. Is that how she becomes the main character?

Trash Talking At Its Finest
So… Uhm… Did they miss out discussing about the archery club? What about the hockey club? Not even the chess club, huh? Well then… So… Uhm… That’s it? No more new ideas outside the school clubs too, huh? I guess there is a limit to everything then. That’s why they didn’t talk about politics and give new ideas for it. Heh. Don’t want to earn the bad side of those people in power, huh? Yeah, also we don’t want current culture politics permeating and seeping into our animes!

It is with mixed feelings if I should say I enjoyed the series. First of all, there is obviously no plot so everything hinges on the dialogue on the characters. And you know me, after years and years of watching Japanese anime, I’m still having trouble with my Japanese vocabulary. Yeah, this is even watching it with subtitles. I doubt there would be a dub version of this because it would really be a pain in the ass as many of the conversations would be lost in translation. Not that I would even think of watching a dub. But anyway, what I am trying to say is that even with subtitles, I am still struggling to understand what the girls are trying to say. Meaning, I don’t really get what they mean. Sure, some are funny and made me laugh but at other times I am just left scratching my head to just comprehend what it means.

As you would have known, this series is totally adlib. There is no particular script to follow as we hear the seiyuus talk to their heart’s content on whatever the theme and topic of the episode was. But sometimes there are some parts which I do feel like it sounded like as though it is scripted. I could be entirely wrong and even so, this proves that the seiyuus are just as talented in making it sound natural and so while my puny ears and brain can’t seem to pick up and tell the difference between natural adlibbing and scripted. Not sure if the adlibbing talent is perfected but the same anime studio went on to produce Himote House back in 2018. That was also another anime that was based on adlibbing rather than from a script.

As for the ideas that they discuss in each episode, sometimes I feel that they aren’t really ideas. How should I put this? The new ideas are just supplementary to what is already existing. For instance an example of my own, waiters serving customers should now all tell jokes. Sure, that itself is an idea but it is not like it is to improve customer service or the waiting profession. So how is this an idea for a new waiter/waitress of a restaurant? See what I mean? Of course in the end, these are all just jokes and not meant to be taken seriously. But what I am trying to say is that they are more trash talking than brainstorming. Whatever pops up in their mind, they just say it. Anything goes. While some are funny, like I have said, some are mind boggling and this is even true because sometimes this new idea leaves the other girls stumped and the one who present the idea has to somewhat explain it further so the rest could understand. So it’s not like the ideas is new, it is just that they are ridiculous and absurd, hence no sane person would really think about it unless they want to come up with some twisted joke.

Aside from talking about culture clubs and sports, the spinoff tries to bring something new and discuss other things outside of school (I wonder if the visit to the haunted house, amusement park and zoo are also adlib). While this is refreshing, I still find the Yuriwolf game to be the most interesting and exciting of all the other ‘boring’ discussions. The only problem was yet again, my inability to understand some of the things that they discussed. I was trying to piece together what they’re saying and never really got a chance to even make a guess who the Yuriwolves were. I know I could have paused and think but nah, that might ruin the experience. WTF did I just say… Even though they tried their best to expand and prolong it to 2 episodes, the game mechanics I felt could have been better explained but I guess things have to move along quick because if given time, thinking and planning would have made the outcome very different and may not be exciting anymore.

Can’t say anything much about the characters. Since it’s the ideas that we’re talking about, the characters aren’t really given much of a prominence. Sure, some of them have their personalities but it is nothing major nor would it influence anything. Maybe except the ideas that they throw out. For example, Yua is the perverted one while Hina is the calm and intellectual one. Then you have Aoi who started off as one who has the penchant of making puns in every ideas she said but then she started turning into some kooky member. Like as though she is a few steps away from being an official mental asylum patient. Then there is Koharu who is the naïve and gullible one but she could be even more perverted than Yua especially it is no secret that she likes hot good looking men and doesn’t even hide this perversion of hers. Looks like she is already at home and blended in well with the club.

Sad to say for the Charm girls, I guess this series didn’t help increase their popularity so their own anime never really took off. Hah. What a big joke then. Their debut ended before they could even start. They might be new characters making their first appearance in the spinoff but sadly I don’t know much about their personality at all compared to the tesagure girls. Is Rin supposed to be the dumb one? The one who also eats a lot? Kanon definitely looks like the oujo-sama type while Hiina the intellectual type. Because you know, glasses. Can’t put my finger on Tomomi except that she is half Russian and Yui as the bisexual personality is what gets stuck in my mind. Oddly, during the Charm girls’ discussion, the tesagure members can be seen as eavesdropping and commenting on their talk outside the building. A reminder that this is still a tesagure show? One thing to note on Tomomi, I’m not sure what is the deal with her character or her seiyuu as she is often missing in some, if not the important segments like the Yuriwolf and Tesagure Grand Prix. Not sure if there is any scheduling conflict but it feels like we’ve been cheated without her character around and the fun lessened. That’s why there’s always an apology recording after that. Oh well, show is over. Now you’re free to do anything else you want. Plus, the tesagure girls being the veterans in this adlib area, have more experience so they own the Charm girls any time.

Last but not least there is Mobuko and her clones, oops, I mean her sisters and sextuplets. It would have been much easier to say they are all clones because saying they are sisters and sextuplets sound so far-fetched. Not even fantasy sci-fi writers could come up with this absurdity. Anyway, Mobuko seems to be like the fringe member of the tesagure club and only pops up whenever she is needed to. Hence, the only place where she has a decent limelight is the next episode preview (which isn’t so much of a next episode preview by the way) of the spinoff. In this segment, we see various and all her various incarnations from grandma to professor to her versions of herself from the future and even a demon king all come together for who knows what. Definitely a mob of Mobukos. Yeah, maybe that’s all the screen time she can actually get so they squeeze it all into this nonsensical section here. No matter how many of you there are and from what time period, stay united, Mobuko.

Art and animation are entirely used using CGI. I won’t say it is hideous but because this isn’t some highly intense action packed series, you won’t really feel the difference here. Although Yaoyorozu produces this series, I believe it is the same Bouncy studio who later did Himote House. Yeah, the CGI quality didn’t really improve. And by making it a joke and also breaking the fourth wall, hence we somewhat accepted that the low quality animation is okay. So low that the girls are the only things that are animated. Everything else is pretty much not animated. Heck, other unimportant extra characters are just some coloured shades and even if there are those drawn properly, they aren’t animated and are just like paper cut-outs. Yeah, this is definitely new. Not sure if there is rotoscoping because like in the spinoff when the girls visit the zoo, the animals are animated in somewhat a surreal way.

Voice acting department, I guess they’re all really talented despite I don’t really recognize them all. For them to pull off the adlib parts flawlessly, I wonder if they have done a few takes before because it all sounds perfect. But I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and believe they are really talented seiyuus. The casts are Asuka Nishi as Yua (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic), Satomi Akesaka as Hina (Esdeath in Akame Ga Kill), Karin Ogino as Aoi (Nyarin in Himote House is her only other voice acting role), Koharu Tanaka as Koharu (Momoka in Sabagebu), Kaoru Mizuhara as Mio (Misao in Lucky Star), Shiori Mikami as Rin (Krista in Shingeki No Kyojin), Mikako Komatsu as Hiina (Neko in K), Rumi Okubo as Kanon (Chinatsu in YuruYuri), Natsumi Takamori as Yui (Yuzu in Sunohara-sou No Kanrinin-san) and Sumire Uesaka as Tomomi (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai). I wonder if Reina Ueda as Mobuko (Ayado in 3D Kanojo Real Girl) got the raw end of the stick. Sure, all her Mobuko sisters and other incarnations are voiced by her. Even the credits page ‘spammed’ her name next to all voiced characters. But then again, being the character with the least proper screen time, I guess this makes it up to show her versatile voice acting. Especially that spinoff next episode preview.

For a series that spans 3 different seasons, they sure used the same opening theme, Stand Up might be the original for the first 2 seasons sung by the quartet of the tesagure club but in the spinoff, Yappari Stand Up is pretty much the same song but just add the quintet of the Charm girls. This song is kept ‘fresh’ because each opening line is different and is just a short line of something random and nonsensical. First season’s ending theme, 12 Kagetsu by the tesagure quartet feels a bit out of place. Not saying that this slow and lovely ballad is bad because it’s not bad enough but after hearing all the nonsensical ideas, hearing them sing this song just feels a bit weird. But not as weird as the bad CGI of seeing them doing some dance in the snow!!! Second season’s ending theme is also basically the same but some change in the lyrics, Sorezore No 12 Kagetsu.

The main ending theme for the spinoff is Shikisai Crossroad by the tesagure and Charm girls. Another slow and lovely ballad that doesn’t sound too shabby. If you’re tired of the CGI animation, at least you can see the girls in overly cute chibi fashion in this ending credits animation. There are lots of special ending themes for the second and spinoff season but they only last a single episode. These character and collaboration songs reflect their characters so the song is somewhat tuned to them. I think my favourite one was the rock piece Aoi sang. The entire lyrics just went, “Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Lazy Call Me Lazy”!!!! It’s so lazy that it’s new!!! The rest felt like generic slow ballads and anime pop idol style and anime rock outfits and didn’t really attract me.

Overall, a rather okay anime for me. The crazy ideas are supposed to be the jokes and punch line that are to make you go laughing till your stomach hurts. Well, some of them. Because in some jokes you can hear the girls really laugh out loud. Unfortunately with my limited vocabulary, it really does limited my ability to understand and appreciate all that they have contributed. Yeah, sad that I don’t even understand some of the dirty sex jokes and puns they made. Maybe I should join the club and the members can brainstorm and find ways for me to improve my Japanese. Aha. I got a new idea on how to improve my vocab. Watch French or American animated cartoons dubbed in Japanese! And then my interest suddenly shifts to western animation… No way! But that is so new and atarashii, right?!

OMG! OMG! OMG!!! HYPE! HYPE! HYPE SUPER HYPE!!! DOUBLE SUPER HYPE!!! IT’S FINALLY HERE! AGAIN! We’ve been waiting for this like forever! I don’t know why they did this by breaking up the third season into 2 parts and taking a cour’s break. Did they think we can’t handle the shocking truth and sheer awesomeness and we will die before the series reaches its conclusion? Don’t underestimate us! Because of that, just to be clear, Shingeki No Kyojin S3 part 2 is actually the second part of the third season and hence making it the fourth instalment of the TV series overall. Confusing? Nah. They did that with Shokugeki No Souma’s third season so I’m not surprised. But we’re not talking about cooking food here. We’re talking about Titans eating humans as food! GAWR!!!

Episode 50
Our usual gang is taking Eren to Shiganshina. They stumble into a Titan but thank goodness it is motionless thanks to the moonless night. Eren realizes his hands are shaking. You scared? You might not want to admit but everyone is too. Will this mission be a success or failure? Once they reach Shiganshina, everyone takes off to their positions. As Erwin narrates, everyone is wearing hoods because they do not know if there is an enemy in the midst so this is to also help conceal the real Eren and avoid him being directly targeted. Once everything is ready, Eren transforms into a Titan to plug the outer Wall Maria. Success. The world is completely sealed up. If something feels off because it’s too easy, damn right it is because Armin has done some investigating and realizes someone has been camping nearby. There could be at least 3 enemies and they might have seen them coming while camping on the wall. Erwin is impressed with his thinking and makes him in charge. Armin is awkward with this new chain of command but issues his first order to sniff out enemies. As he thinks and thinks and the soldiers could not locate them, he realizes the enemies could be hiding inside the wall and has the soldiers look for cavities near the wall. When one of them finally found a hole, Reiner pops out and kills this dude! Although Levi swiftly stabs his sword through his neck, Reiner didn’t die. He was a second quicker to activate his Titan power as he soon transforms into the Armoured Titan. This signals to all his other comrades outside. The Yeti Titan and all other Titans now surround the inner entrance of Shiganshina. Yeti Titan then throws a rock and seals off that inner entrance. Erwin realizes they want to prevent them from escaping via their horses.

Episode 51
Smaller Titans rush in to attack. But Erwin is puzzled. The enemies could have just killed the horses and wait until Survey Corps tire out and unable to fight back to capture Eren. Whatever their plans, Erwin’s goal now is to prevent their horses from being slaughtered. He orders Hange’s squad to take down the Armoured Titan and approves the use of Thunder Spears. Indeed Reiner’s goal is to kill the horses but seeing Eren running in the opposite direction, he knows this is a bait. However he is forced to take this bait because Eren might circle around and escape, thwarting their plans to capture him. Once that happens, they have no reason to stay back and fight. Eren and Reiner clash and the former has gotten and improved in his close quarter combat. So while Eren keeps Reiner busy, Hange has her team get ready the Thunder Spears. Flashback shows she used this powerful technology that was kept secret by the Military Police that gives them a fighting chance against the Armoured Titan. Once Eren has got Reiner in position, Hange and co drop in their first Thunder Spears. Their environment makes it advantageous for this to be used because the buildings can be used as anchor while using Thunder Spears that literally explodes upon contact. With Reiner in pain, the rest use their remaining Thunder Spears to finish him off.

Episode 52
Flashback shows when Eren first transformed into a Titan and plugged up the breach, Marco overheard Reiner and Bertolt’s plans. Though, he thought it was a joke. But then Reiner pinned him down and knew he was too clever to brush that off as a joke. He then forces reluctant Annie to remove his 3DMD to prove her warrior status. They then left devastated Marco to be eaten by a Titan. Oddly, Reiner’s split personality then made him go in shock upon seeing Marco getting devoured. Fast forward to moments before Erwin’s squad arrive at the wall. Reiner and Bertolt are talking to their boss, Zeke (the Yeti Titan) about recovering the Coordinate and ending this cursed history once and for all. Connie and Sasha crying over Reiner’s death? Wow. Must be real bros. But Reiner isn’t exactly dead. He manages to give a loud roar in which Yeti Titan throws a barrel over Shiganshina. This is where Bertolt is hidden. The plan is for him to transform into the Colossal Titan in mid-air. The explosion will cause all those around to perish. But the moment he sees Reiner, he goes down to him. His head might be blown off by Bertolt can tell he is still alive because using the Titan power, Reiner managed to transfer his consciousness to his nerves. Bertolt has made his resolve. He needs Reiner to just move a little. Armin wants to negotiate with Bertolt and even throws Annie’s name into it. But Bertolt knows this is just to buy time so the rest could kill Reiner for good (at this point, Reiner turned on his back, making it hard for the soldiers to kill him off). Bertolt mentions about their mission of capturing Eren and annihilation of all humans inside the walls. He doesn’t view his friends as evil but they will still have to die. Conversation ended with Mikasa trying to do a sneak attack on him but he got away. Then Bertolt goes into mid-air and transforms. The blast seems to have killed almost everyone in the squad except for our usual heroes. As the Colossal Titan, he is using debris of the buildings and raining them like projectiles. Armin’s plan is to retreat for now but when Jean points out Bertolt might set fire to the wall and make everyone stuck in between the fire and the Yeti Titan, Armin dreads the idea of defeating Bertolt right now.

Episode 53
Armin is so panic that he passes the leadership to Jean, believing he can make better judgment. Though quickly makes a decision to get near the river, he will still be counting on Armin to come up with the ultimate plan. Yeti Titan is now smashing rocks into smaller ones and throwing them. This takes out many of the soldiers. Almost everyone is wiped out except for Erwin, Levi and the new recruits. They are forced to take refuge at houses near the wall but at this rate, Yeti Titan will flatten all the houses and there will be no place left to hide. Bertolt is moving closer to the wall. Jean has Eren to distract him but Bertolt ignores him. In a desperate move, Eren tries to stop his feet but is easily kicked away like a football! The rest try to use Thunder Spears but it backfires as Bertolt releases his hot steam to deflect everything. Armin, how is that plan coming up? Nope? Ah sh*t. Reiner has fully been recovered too! Levi’s plan is for Erwin to wake up Eren, have him take as many people to escape. A demoralised soldier, Floch Forster then rants about the dream of becoming a hero but he realized too late when reality sinks in. They’re all going to die. Everything is for nothing. But Erwin has a plan that could have Levi take down Yeti Titan. He didn’t say it because it involves everyone else sacrificing their lives just to give him this chance. He will lead them to a suicide charge and so as to ‘convince’ the new recruits to die to him, he will lead the charge and die first. His only regret is not seeing what’s in the basement. So close yet so far. When Erwin is breaking down, you know sh*t has already hit the fan. Hence Levi has decided. Give up on your dreams and lead your men to death. In exchange he will slay the Yeti Titan. So we see Erwin giving one last ‘motivation’ speech for his soldiers to go out there and die. Sacrifice and meaning of lives, blah, blah, blah. You ready? Here we come! CHARGE!!! They fire their flares simultaneously so as to affect Yeti Titan’s aim. Meanwhile Levi goes around taking down the other giant Titans while what’s left of the Survey Corps acts as decoy.

Episode 54
Oh well. Erwin went down first. Now it’s a crazy charge to their deaths. Yeti Titan gets more and more angry each time he sees what’s left of the Survey Corps inch closer to their mindless death. Till there is none. By the time it’s over, he realizes the other Titans have fallen. Too late as Levi cuts everything up and pulls Zeke out. Levi hesitates to kill him because he is hoping for a single survivor to use that Titan transforming serum and eat this Yeti Titan to take his abilities. This causes a Titan to snatch Zeke away as Zeke orders the other Titans to kill Levi. Levi is only left with fury. His promise to Erwin… You Titans will pay! Ironically, Floch is the only survivor and unscathed… Armin has observed the Colossal Titan is getting thinner thanks to expending a lot of power. He now has a plan. He will wake up Eren. They will be enough take Bertolt down. The rest are to distract Reiner and keep him at bay. Reiner’s memories are still hazy. Mikasa and the rest have to cautiously use their limited Thunder Spears to take him out. The first part almost fails. Connie while nailing his Thunder Spear, Sasha misses and this also causes her to be wounded. Mikasa is carrying the last Thunder Spear. The goal to open Armoured Titan’s jaw has not succeeded. Time from Hange to return from being dead to plant her Thunder Spear and force open that jaw. Enough for Mikasa to blast her last one inside and send Reiner blowing out. Bertolt uses his steam to blow away Armin but he seems to be hanging on. His observations were right. Using his 3DMD to cling onto the Colossal Titan’s teeth that is the only part that isn’t affected by the thinning of the steam. Bertolt cannot understand why he is doing this. Eren is down and not moving and the rest are busy with Reiner. Armin hangs on until he is totally burnt and blown away. Bertolt then realizes that Eren Titan was just his hardening skin. Armin has bought enough time for Eren to get out as he slices Bertolt out of his Titan body. Sadly, Eren sees Armin’s charcoal corpse… Armin… NOOO!!!!!

Episode 55
No time for tears. Zeke arrives so Eren becomes defensive and threatens to kill Bertolt. Zeke claims Grisha has brainwashed him but will be back to save him another day since Levi is hot on his trail. Levi is out of gas and wants Eren to give his 3DMD. Then he hears Armin’s cough… Meanwhile Hange takes something from Reiner. A letter supposedly from Ymir to Historia. Because he won’t let them know what they want, Hange will kill him. Ironically Jean stops her. Why not use the serum and take his abilities? Hange cannot risk it so Jean argues how are they going to kill the enemy if they don’t know anything about them? Flashback shows Erwin explained to everyone about the serum. As it is the only one left, he left it in Levi’s care. Hange wants Mikasa to seek Levi and if for some reason she cannot get it, fire her flare. It will be her signal to kill Reiner. For the longest time we haven’t seen Mikasa this emotional as she sees Armin’s charred body. Eren arguing the need to use the serum on Armin to take Bertolt’s power. Mikasa fires the flare. Just then Zeke retrieves Reiner. Jean feels guilty it is his fault that led to this but Hange asserts the decision was hers. As Levi is about to give the serum to Eren, here comes Floch carrying Erwin on his back! Barely alive, he wants Levi to use the serum on their commander. Because Levi views Erwin as the one who has the highest chance to save humanity, it becomes a showdown between Erwin and Armin camp. Mikasa pins a weakened Levi down while Eren paints a picture of Armin being the brains and the one who got them out of all situations. Then Floch blows his top. They’re not the only victims. He relates how everyone else from the Survey Corps is dead from Yeti Titan’s baseball practice. When he returned, he noticed Erwin still breathing and wanted to kill him. Then he realized he shouldn’t let him go so easily and should suffer like them. That’s why he brought him to Levi. With Hange somehow managing to convince Mikasa to calm down because in that case there are hundreds of more comrades whom she wants to bring back alive, Levi has everyone clear the area as he will inject the serum into Erwin. Last ditch effort by Eren to talk about Armin’s dreams of the sea compared to his blinded hatred to kill all Titans just for revenge. No change of heart. As Levi prepares to do it, Erwin smacks his hand away. Levi thinks hard. In the end, we see a Titan Armin devouring a very scared Bertolt in his final moments. Levi’s reason to give the serum to Armin was his realization that it was everyone else who forced Erwin into a demon. He was finally freed but they almost brought him back for another round of hell. As Erwin kicks the bucket, the other friends pull a revived Armin out from his Titan shell.

Episode 56
Armin wakes and since his memories are still hazy, Levi has Eren explained all that has happened. Shocked at Erwin’s death and other developments, he too has the same thinking that Erwin should have been administered the serum. While it looks like Armin would be replacing Erwin as commander, it doesn’t mean he is Erwin’s substitute. Levi doesn’t want anybody regretting this decision and that’s an order. Now Levi, Hange, Eren and Mikasa head to Eren’s house. Walking through the abandoned streets, time to hit up the nostalgia. The moment of truth we’ve all been waiting for. What’s in the basement. The key… Doesn’t fit!!! Levi just kicks down the door! That was easy. You’d think Grisha would have given Eren the key to the lock of something flimsy, huh? So they search the basement but mostly are Grisha’s notes and medicines. Then Mikasa spots a keyhole in the drawer. This time the key fits. There are 3 journals that are very well preserved. Opening the first one, there is a photo of a family (note, photography is not known in this world, at least not to those living behind the walls). Behind the photo is a note claiming he is from a civilization outside the walls. Meanwhile news break that the Survey Corps have successfully retaken Wall Maria and the people erupt with joy as they prepare for the heroes’ return. We have a short glimpse of Grisha as a young boy living with his younger sister, Faye. They were curious about the airship so one day Grisha took her past the restricted zone to its landing strip.

Episode 57
The duo are caught by officers, Kruger and Gross. Because they don’t have exit permits from the Liberio Internment Zone, he gives them a choice of manual labour or punishment. Grisha chooses the latter and will also take it for Faye’s part. As Gross leads Faye away, Kruger beats him up and then lets him watch the airship. He came here for that, right? Next day, Faye’s body was found by the river. Gross and Kruger talked to Grisha’s parents and lecture them about raising their child right. Grisha is in shock because he knew the officers were lying as they were slacking off then. At that moment he started hating Gross and especially his father because he obeyed the authority’s words like a dog. Grisha’s dad then starts to indoctrinate him about the sins of their ancestors. 1820 years ago, Ymir Fritz made a pact with the devil and obtained the power of Titans. After her death, her soul split into 9 Titans who built the Eldia Empire. They then destroyed the Marley Empire just to rule over them and persecuted other races inferior to them. This went on until some Eldians conspire with the Marleyans to bring down Eldia from within. They managed to do so by stealing 7 of those Titans. The Eldian king retreated to an island known as Paradise Island and hid behind 3 walls he constructed with his people. The rest of the ancestors were abandoned on this mainland. But the generous Marleyans did not kill them. At this point, Grisha didn’t care all that BS because it’s a sin neither he and Faye committed. Father tells him it doesn’t matter. All they can do is live humbly in this zone and please don’t send them to Paradise Island. Grisha backs down and continued this mundane life, taking over his father’s medical practice. Until one day a guy comes to see him and has info about how Faye was killed (Gross let loose the dogs to devour her). These people are a small group of Eldian revolutionists and are planning to restore the old Eldia Empire. Grisha soon became the leader, even go so far as to decipher the real history how Ymir actually brought prosperity to all nations. The revolutionists also receive a boost with the joining of Dina Fritz, the last surviving member of the royal family. Grisha fell in love with her and they get married. Soon they have a son named Zeke.

The revolutionist has an informant working inside Marley only known as Owl and they discover that the Marley side also has plans to infiltrate Paradise Island as it is rich in minerals. However the then Eldian king warned if they do so, millions of Titans will be unleashed upon them. That is why the Marleyan government is selecting children in an experiment to become Titans to storm the island. Grisha realize they have only an option left. He is going to use Zeke and make him a double agent in Marley. Like father, like son. History repeats itself as Grisha indoctrinates Zeke. However this backfired as Zeke rats them out. The revolutionists are brought to Paradise Island. One of the guys is dropped and left running for his life while his other partners turned into Titans to chase after him. Grisha becomes dismayed when Dina is also turned into one. He is shocked that the deal was to let her free after he told everything he knows but I guess that didn’t happen. Making it worse, Kruger and Gross are here. More disgusting is how Gross mentions he is doing this because it is fun and shows no remorse in killing others. Especially Faye. Ah, nobody forgets that day. We take a short detour to see Eren and Mikasa dreaming this same dream in their insubordination cell. Back to the story, with Gross hoping for the complete annihilation of Eldia, Grisha thought this is the end for him but Kruger pushes Gross down and lets him get devoured by the Titan. Not so fun now, eh? Kruger then reveals himself as Owl. Why am I not surprised? Then he shows Grisha how to use the Titan power as he himself transforms into one and goes on a rampage.

Episode 58
Kruger explains more about himself. His full name is Eren Kruger and the bearer of one of the 9 Titans. In other words, a subject of Ymir. Kruger managed to infiltrate into Marley because of the help of a doctor fabricating his blood result. Grisha blames him for letting everyone else die but Kruger gives Grisha his final mission. He wants him eat him and take his Titan power to storm into the walls and steal the Founding Titan’s power. Kruger can’t do it himself because those who bear the Titan’s power only have 13 years to live. This is called Ymir’s Curse. Guess this is his final year. Kruger goes on further to explain his father was also part of the resistance but died without achieving anything since the Marleyans burnt him alive. Since then he vowed to get revenge on Marley and restore Eldia. However by doing so he has only sent many of his brethren to death just to keep his identity safe. More explanations on Ymir’s Curse that if a bearer dies without passing on the power, that power awakens within a baby among the Ymir subjects. In some way, all of Ymir’s subjects are connected. Eventually all those paths converge at a single coordinate: The Founding Titan. Thus all Ymir subjects are connected by the Coordinate. Grisha wonders why Kruger didn’t help Dina even though she is of royal blood. He couldn’t afford to let her fall into enemy hands. Because it would be messed up if she bears the child of the enemy nation. Grisha is now depressed and feeling all the guilt that he tries to give excuses he can’t do this final mission. Kruger tells him the reason why he chose Grisha is because he was the only one who went past the walls. Had he not taken Faye past the walls, he would have inherited his father’s medical practice and Faye might have grown up and bore children. However this is reality and the story he started ever since he went past that wall. The Titan power he is about to take has a name like with all the 9 Titans. This Titan moves forward and fights for freedom and is hence called, wait for it, Attack Titan AKA Shingeki No Kyojin! Roll credits!

Eren and Mikasa’s imprisonment has ended. They are taken to see Historia who will have an audience with the surviving members of Survey Corps. We see her reading a letter from Ymir. Nothing really important except her regrets of picking the other side instead of her and not being able to marry her. I don’t think it was meant to be a joke. Historia seems to receive Ymir’s memories when she touches part of the letter. With the journals, the truth about the Titans and human civilization is now known. Hange addresses the audience in the hall about the true enemies not being Titans but humans of the entire world. As they are able to transform into Titans, it is a reason why the world wants them eradicated. If Marley get their hands on the Founding Titan, it is all over for Eldia. Grisha thought the king will not let that happen but unfortunately as Kruger states, the king has renounced fighting. Hence the million Titans threat was just a ruse to keep other nations from attacking while he hypnotizes his own people that the outside world is decimated so they could live in this fake peace. Kruger views a king who doesn’t protect his people is now king and that’s why he wants Grisha to seize the Founding Titan from within the walls. Grisha completed that mission and passed it to Eren. Any royal descendants who inherit the Founding Titan’s power becomes subordinated to the king. Eren is not of royal blood and he may have potential to use this power. That is when Eren realizes something very important. He has not told anybody about this. The Titan who killed his mom and Hannes was Dina. Eren realizes by touching a Titan that carries the blood of the royal family, it is possible to use the Founding Titan’s power. If he tells anybody about it, what would they do to Historia? Lastly we see Kruger telling Grisha to start a family once he gets inside the walls. He believes someone down the line will be watching this. If he can’t do that, history will only repeat itself.

Episode 59
With this newfound information, the hall is divided whether to tell the public as it will create chaos. However if they withhold this, would they be no better than the previous king who lied to his subjects? Hence Historia announces to release all the details to public. There are various reactions from shock to laughing it off and it is all just hogwash conspiracy theory. Well, you do what you want with the info. There will be an award ceremony for the Survey Corps and to honour the fallen. Surprisingly Hitch attends but I figure this is so that Floch could tell how Marlo died a hero. However he might have said too much that Marlo could have regretted his last moments there. But it’s the truth. I think Hitch can’t take any more of that. But this has Floch now questioning that everyone would have come to the same conclusion after reading all this: Why wasn’t Erwin the one alive. Despite Eren trying to speak up for Armin, Floch gets honest. Sure, Armin is not his friend and he knows nothing about his achievements. He blames them for making Levi make an irrational decision because they let their emotions take over. Eren might think he did the right thing and is dead set on it, that’s why he isn’t remorseful. Medals and awards don’t matter. What matters next if they tell the truth to the next set of Survey Corps recruits. Don’t you dare let cowards like him sign up. But no matter how useless a coward is, he is still entitled to his own opinions. As Historia gives out the medals, Eren is still indecisive. He isn’t willing to sacrifice Historia yet. Touching her hand, we see glimpse of Grisha’s flashback when he managed to find Frieda and her family. He explained about being the same as them as Eldians and subjects of Ymir. He warned her to kill all Titans that breach the will or their people will die. A year after the attack on Trost, all the refugees are returned there and life in the district blooms again. The Survey Corps are able to exterminate every Titan and then venture outside Wall Maria. They spot a crawling Titan and Eren can tell its origin by touching it. Another Eldian sent here as punishment. They just leave it there since it can’t do anything. The long journey finally leads them to the ocean. The first time everyone is amazed and stunned by this endless huge body water. Everyone except for Eren. Maybe he seen it too many times in his father’s memories? But despite everyone frolicking like kids in the water, Eren puts on his gloom cap. Because he once thought freedom awaits them across the ocean. But he is wrong. There lies only enemies. Would they be truly free if they kill every last one of their enemies? So it is no longer kill all Titans but kill all non-Eldian humans???!!!

Clash Of The Titans
OMG! WTF?! Only 10 episodes for this second part. Oh man, I’m so ‘disappointed’… But nothing says hype and much more hype when the final season of the series is announced. Uh huh. You can’t get more hype than that when you add ‘final season’ into your title. Oh boy. That is sure going to drive up the hype and excitement. Don’t forget all the anxiety and worrying too along the way. Now I am ever so eager to watch the final season… There had better be some good animes to keep my company while I wait for that very anticipated final season to arrive… Or a whole load of crappy ones which will just make me fully appreciate this truly awesome and superb masterpiece when the time comes and thus making the painstaking wait worthwhile.

This season is still so amazing and awesome that I might sound like a broken recorder if I continue to praise everything about it all over again. But I’m so lazy so please read my previous blog ;p. This series is one of the very few and rare anime series that I have watched throughout my entire life in which the next season gets better and better. So many other series have fallen to the wayside to even live up to their second season but this one is still going strong. And my only ‘fear’ of all this is because of the hype and excitement that has been building up over the years, the final season would come out sputtering. I know it’s wrong for me to be so negative even when I haven’t even started to watch the final season yet but this anxiety originates from that Game of Thrones final season… Yeah… Remember that fiasco? I didn’t see that HBO series but because of the disappointment of the final season, it left a negative impact (comments and criticisms alike) so great on the impact that even I had taken notice. So can you blame me for being so negative when there is already a precedent that something so great can even stumble so hard? Yeah, I guess better than never getting a conclusion at all.

Besides the awesome Titan action in retaking Wall Maria, this season we have some few shocking developments like the death of Erwin (as well as Bertolt) as well as finally the damn truth. Finally we get to see what is in the basement that has been a nagging thorn to us viewers. The truth of course but I was expecting to be some sort of hologram device with audio to narrate the entire true history! Haha. Just kidding. The history of the real world is indeed interesting and sometimes it feels like a big fairytale. But then again, remember the characters who have been living within the walls are as good as the frog who lived in a well. It was also shocking that Erwin had really died. Honestly, I thought that guy would never die. At least because he is such an important figure and reeking that charismatic aura that is on par with the main character, they can’t kill him off, right? I was wrong. His guilt and reflection of standing atop the corpses of his fellow Survey Corps to get where he is seemed like a death flag now… Oh well, rest in peace, Erwin. Because of his sacrifice, we’ve come to where we are right now. So it’s not just Erwin who won’t know the truth but all those dead Survey Corps who died previously too. Maybe they’ll learn the truth as they watch in heaven… Hey, we got a history here talking about gods and demons and Titan powers so why not our departed souls watching from heaven?! Also, RIP Marlo… So with the big revelation about the people of the world, come to think of it, isn’t this entire series just one big civil war among the Eldians? Yeah, they have to be united before they can face the entire world who wants them dead!

Possibly the ‘funniest’ realization is when they gave this Titan that Kruger gave Grisha, a name. Not so much funny if you’re Japanese but if you know the official English title is called Attack On Titan. And now we have this roll call that this Titan’s name is Attack Titan. Both carry entirely different meaning literally. Japanese won’t have any problems but we English speakers might be left confused. Truthfully, even when this official English title came out when this series first aired, I was even sceptical of how this naming sense even made sense. Attacking Titan would have been such a better and accurate translation but I guess it doesn’t sound as cool as Attack On Titan. After all, Attack On Titan shows us from the viewpoints of the heroes doing just that whereas Attack Titan would also still be correct but sounds a lot lamer. And now with this revelation on why the series is named so, it would be weird for the English side to officially change it so. If this was some subtle way for us not to figure this out, then in some ways it worked. We didn’t see this coming, right? Did we?!

This season Eren doesn’t feel like a wuss because I guess when you’ve been such a big wimp last season, he has somewhat hardened his heart and resolve to end all this crap. So thankfully he does his mission well that ultimately helped the Survey Corps regain Wall Maria and obtain the Colossal Titan’s power. It was a scary moment for us when Eren and Levi almost go head to head over who to save with this last serum. After all that they have been through, this one little decision on who decides who to live could have become the biggest deal breaker and it would have been really heart wrenching for us all if that fallout and bloodshed actually happened. We don’t need another ‘civil war’. We have already seen that when Reiner, Bertolt and Annie have defected and what is left of the Survey Corps is threatened to split apart even more? Wow. It was sure scary. Mikasa still kicks ass and like in previous seasons, isn’t so overprotective over Eren.

Armin and Jean try to showcase their leadership and thinking skills and I think they’re cool but somehow I feel it is to give them some screen time. Same case with Connie and Sasha. Can’t be jokers in this time of distress. Though, (thankfully) Sasha is still Sasha despite being gravely injured. Historia so lacking this season because she is already queen (she still think it’s unofficial?) since last season she already had her run so I guess she now has to play her real duty instead of going on a dangerous adventure. One last note on Armin, I know he feels guilty about being alive in Erwin’s place but he better not turn into an annoying one because it will also start to influence and make me think that yeah, perhaps Erwin SHOULD have been the one to live! It’s like as though he doesn’t value the second chance he has been given. He might not be able to be as charismatic as Erwin or come up plans that will assure victory but I’m sure in time something will change and happen. Like how we see a year later Eren has grown his hair a bit longer and he looks slightly mature and giving off this gloom face. Haha! Yeah… So Armin, don’t make us all believe including yourself regret that decision to be alive! Please, just don’t. We want to face this reality and move on already.

Remember how last season I complained that the opening song sounded like a wuss? Sounded so gay that it took away all the epic feeling that defined the series? Well, probably they heard my complaints (and from others as well) so they decide to go back to that trademark epic theme. Yes, Shoukei To Shikabane No Michi (once more sung by Linked Horizon) might sound like a copy and paste of its predecessors, Guren No Yumiya and Shinzou Wo Sasageyou (just change the lyrics!) but I guess I must live up to my promise not to complain about it. Better to have this than some gay sounding sh*t! This season’s ending theme, Name Of Love by Cinema Staff is a slow ballad. It might sound unsuitable for the series at first but after watching the events unfold and all the madness that had happened, I think this homecoming-like song is definitely fitting to wind down.

Oh well. I suppose it is that time again where we have to wait for the final season to arrive and it is that agonizing moment of waiting again. But it is good to know that good things come to those who wait. So just a little while more, okay… But for now, I’ll have to be contended with this amazing second part of the third season that left me breathless and yearning for more. Amazing Titan action as well as intriguing story have certainly defined this season. At this point, I can safely and definitely say that Shingeki No Kyojin is definitely the top and best anime series that I have watched in recent years. Even ousting One Punch Man and Boku No Hero Academia per se. Even Gintama too. Once this series truly ends, it will be difficult to find another series to top and replace this masterpiece, let alone get even close to it. As Erwin said about everyone dying one day and this doesn’t mean life is meaningless, I’d like to modify that: Even if no other series outshines or surpasses this one, it doesn’t mean all animes are crap or inferior! (Although, some definitely are!).

Oh my. Looks like it is the fireman’s turn. A fireman’s turn to f*ck his woman in this mini hentai! This isn’t the first uniformed personnel to get its porn treatment since we had that prison guard one a few seasons ago. But nevertheless, Yubisaki Kara Honki No Netsujou Osananajimi Wa Shouboushi feels like a trap than mere coincidence because in that same season we had another fireman themed series, Enen No Shouboutai. Is fireman the in-thing this season? Those who were currently watching that supernatural sci-fi may be confused stumbling into this one and then, gotcha! WTF is this f*cking sex porn???!!! Then you start jerking off so fast that your dick is on fire and you have to call the fire force to put out this blazing passion! HAHAHA!!! Sighs… Oh boy…

Episode 1
Ryou Fujihashi isn’t enjoying her gathering with her old friends. Especially Souma Mizuno who is teasing her and that he is some sort of a womanizer. That night she wakes up as she hears sirens. Her place is on fire! Trapped, she calls for help but soon laments succumbing to her fate. That is when Souma as a fireman breaks him to rescue her. Even protecting her from a falling cupboard! When it’s over, he scolds him for not continuing to make noise because he thought she was dead. With no place to stay, he invites her to stay at his place. And in no time she makes it like her own home and even marks her territory? When she sees his back injury, she feels bad but crosses the line. Literally. Because now that she enters his ‘territory’, he rapes her! WTF?! So this is how it starts? Literally fingering her and she feels so good. Since she cannot be the only one to have fun, I guess he starts unzipping his pants. Don’t worry. He won’t penetrate her. Just using her thighs. Even so, Ryou feels so good?! Damn porn logic. Oh sh*t. Now you cum all over your bed. You sleeping there tonight?

Episode 2
Since Souma is having his day off, he accompanies Ryou to get her paper work done among other things. On their way home, it suddenly rains. Time to prepare for bath. Oh dear. I can see where this is going. Because while Ryou is taking a shower, suddenly Souma comes in! I know it’s his home but has he got no respect for women in the bath?! Damn, porn logic… Obviously his switch is turned on so he starts fondling her. Especially using the shower head to gush the water into her sensitive areas. Oh yeah. B*tches like her always feel good no matter what, no? Even if she says no, her body seems to indicate otherwise. That is all Souma needs to continue making out with her. Sex interrupted when the power goes out. Saved by the outage. Uh huh. Ryou starting to think had this not happened, she would have gone all the way. And I’m not so surprised even if it did. Ryou returns to work as her colleagues are glad she is back. Oh, what’s this? They’re having a fire evacuation drill today? Oh man…

Episode 3
Yup, that fireman over there… That’s Souma. During the drill, a colleague, Megumi Sasahara clumsily sprays the fire extinguisher over Ryou. Don’t worry. Souma has got spare clothes. Damn, I can see where this is going. As she changes, Souma has noticed Ryou has been avoiding him ever since so he forces himself on her to spill the beans. Or else? She gets raped! So of course, porn logic dictates that it is better to get your modesty outraged than telling the truth. The truth of either his dick feels good inside her or that she loves him. Or both. The extreme molestation even continues when Megumi comes in to check on her. Uh huh. Souma continues to rape her and unfortunately Megumi can’t even tell with that shaky voice there is something wrong. Just a mild assurance is enough to send her away. Oddly, after Ryou cums, she has enough strength to just kick him out? The firemen discuss about the upcoming fireworks and want to invite some girls over. Yuuki Izumi and Jun Hase know Souma is having a fight with Ryou and tease him about it. Since Souma continues to deny, Hase then hints some yaoi gay moments with him if he keeps acting like an idiot. Souma sees Ryou and you know how women like her don’t learn her lesson because it sounds like all is forgiven if he sounds a bit apologetic and then invites her to the fireworks festival. Next rape set in motion…

Episode 4
I guess everything is okay when he agrees to do whatever she wants so as to make it up to her. Don’t believe those lies!!! At the festival, they spot Hase. Seems he is troubled that a restaurant he is looking for is now closed. Ryou remembers they just shifted to a new place nearby and offers to take him there. After guiding him there, Hase asks if she is dating Souma. Nope. Just a childhood friend. In that case, can he date her? Nice joke, buddy. Ryou returns to Souma in one piece and this guy bought a beautiful hairpin for her. Yeah, is this part of the ticket to her heart pussy? They find a secret spot to watch the fireworks alone. Souma pretty much praising everything he admires about Ryou. Is this to get her defence down? Because when the fireworks start, pretty much the cue for him to start molesting her. Ryou is shocked. This isn’t what she had in mind when he said he’ll make it up to her. Blame yourself for not foreseeing this. Ryou getting her orgasm by a handsome macho guy underneath the beautiful fireworks display… Wow. Everything so perfect. No wonder she can’t complain…

Episode 5
Now we have penetrative sex. This is one of those rare times where the sound effects (the fireworks in this case) does a bad job in covering up the important words the characters want to say (Ryou’s moaning in this case). And then they cum together. What does Souma have to say after all that? That’s a nice yukata on her. A little late… And with Ryou thinking she might be falling for him, hence inviting him to the beach? Uh huh. Nothing says that more than to further test whether you’re in love with this guy. Or maybe she just really wants his dick. Of course it won’t be just them as it will be with their friends. They play beach volleyball and prior to that, Hase makes a bet with the other guys that the winner will get the right to approach the girls. Though it is ‘publically announced’ that the loser will clean the BBQ pit. Souma is sad since he isn’t paired with Ryou. Yeah, she’s paired with Hase and she is going all out to win! Oh, and she mentions she did play volleyball during her high school. Can’t have her winning, right? Does femdom sound right for this series? Will Souma finally get his just desserts?

Episode 6
Hase is getting along with Ryou pretty well. Yeah, it’s like the end of the world for Souma. Even during BBQ and preparing the fireworks, it’s like they’ve been friends for a long time. But you know this has to stop. Because Hase asks Ryou to date him. Souma is just her childhood friend, right? I guess this has her thinking. Later as Ryou and Souma are putting away the stuffs, Ryou thinks nobody will be using the pool and jumps in. Just like that? Is she trying to get wet in all sense?! Then Souma jumps in and starts f*cking her! I guess he is pretty wet too! Fireworks starting. Déjà vu cue to make out. Yeah, sex in the swimming pool. Nothing says reigniting your pseudo love with a hot pool sex. Then she notes how big Souma’s hands when he fingers her. Because it makes me think which is bigger: Souma’s finger or his dick???!!! Haha!

Episode 7
Ryou thinks something is wrong with herself to let Souma f*ck her like that. Yeah, it’s called you’re a horny thirsty wet b*tch! Haha! Oops… Anyway, with Ryou giving him ‘permission’ to go all in, I hope Souma’s cum don’t flow back out and contaminate the pool. Ryou asks how he feels for her. If he is just her childhood friend. Before he can answer, they have to split since people are coming back. But Ryou can look forward to an answer when he invites her out on her day off. As Ryou walks by the community centre, she notices an arsonist. Right away she calls Souma (shouldn’t she call the police?!) but the arsonist spots her and chases her. She looks like she has hid well from him but the script says she must screw up and be caught. Dumb arsonist tries to strangle her but luckily Souma is able to tackle him. Wow. Is the fire station close by for Souma to arrive this fast? Even if there is a fire reported at a nearby factory, can Souma actually know where the f*ck Ryou was? I mean, she was being strangled in the alley! Of course duty over love as Souma goes to put out the fire and search for survivors. As his team caries them out, suddenly the fire spreads and locks them in. Oh no!

Episode 8
Last episode’s cliff-hanger… Nothing happens! Everybody gets out fine. Somehow. Hey, this is not a fire rescue drama. When Souma returns home, Ryou is so happy he is fine. He spots a bruise on her feet and starts to lick it. Are you sure about starting on this feet fetish? Then he tries to get it on with her but of course everything that has happened so far has confused the hell out of her. To put it shortly, she thinks he wants an easy girl to have sex with and ironically despite her claims she is otherwise, why does she let him do her in? Doesn’t that make her easy? And of course, cue for Souma to reassure her that he only wants to have sex with her. Still not convince? Spam I love you until she gives in. Oh yeah. I guess that’s enough confusion for today. Now is the cue to have sex! Feel it, baby! Let it go deep inside you! Oh yeah. Is this love she is feeling?! In the aftermath, they continue dating. Happy ever after. The end.

You Can Never Ever Extinguish The Flames Of Horniness!
Heh. That was it. Everything felt so rush and cheap. And once again porn logic telling us that once you’ve f*cked a woman enough times, she will eventually fall for you. Oh Ryou, now you can be part of that statistic. I’m sure their sex is going to get more intense after this and that now they are dating. Because going by that same logic, sex = love, right? Oh well, as long as they’re happy f*cking each other and we enjoy seeing them having intercourse, all’s well ends well.

I suppose there is nothing to tell and no storyline whatsoever. Heh. A plot in hentai flicks? But what I’m trying to say is that, last season’s washer hentai had only 8 episodes. This season seems to follow that pattern of having again only 8 episodes. Because when you have been watching this kind of series ever since this weird trend started about 2 years ago, you somewhat expect more or less the same thing. The girl gets f*cked in every episode and even had this series had the basic 12 episodes, we are going to expect the girl getting f*cked in those episodes too. After all, what else were you expecting when you watch this series? It would be more shocking had an episode not feature that kind of sex at all. And so it is not the number of episodes, but the f*cking quality! Oh yeah. Was the f*cking scenes exciting? Well, if you ask me, pretty meh. I’m so immune at this point that I’m starting to worry that such normal vanilla sex may no longer be appealing to me! Gasp! A sign I should stop watching such genres? Well you know me…

And so as you can expect, this season’s porn series didn’t make any impact on me at all. I’m now feeling like an old broken tape recorder saying the same things over and over again. It’s that timely reminder like you would expect me to say at this point. Uh huh. You know, how the woman lets the man f*ck her and do as his wish with her body and pussy just because he makes her feel good. Added bonus that they are childhood friends so you bet that relationship brings in some confusion to her. Yeah, I know this dude and he isn’t exactly a total stranger. Should I let him f*ck or not? Oops. Too late. His dick is already in my pussy. And it feels so damn good!!!! Hahaha!!! Yeah. That’s how I felt watching each time Ryou lets Souma f*ck her. You can never beat porn logic. I wonder if they were making a pun when they decided to use this fireman theme this time. Because putting out fire leads to rekindling of the old flame… Then sex ensues… Damn porn logic!

They try to put in a little bit of drama because Ryou’s colleague-cum-buddy has been hinting he is interested in Ryou. But this as expected amounts to nothing. So I have 2 theories for why this is so. Firstly, with somebody interested in the girl you have been f*cking with, it speeds up the need that you need to ‘claim’ this ‘sex object’. Instead of the status quo of Souma and Ryou having a loveless sexual relationship, at least when they become official, it is like the stamp that allows others to take notice not to touch your girl (unless you’re into cheating but that’s a whole different matter). The faster the better. My other theory is that Hase isn’t really interested in Ryou but noticing that Souma is dragging his feet on this, he makes his move so that Souma is forced to move. Either way, you bet Souma and Ryou get closer one f*ck at a time. Hahaha!

Even if this is basic straight hetero porn, some scenes here suggest there may be yaoi BL. Especially that one scene of Hase cornering Souma suggestively. Thankfully no yaoi gay sex here because it would have been really weird and sick if Hase is revealed to actually have a crush on Souma!!! WTF???!!! DON’T WANT TO EVEN THINK ABOUT IT!!! Phew. Sorry for you BL fans if you got your hopes up. Because of the firemen are very muscular and buffed, it does give off that vibe that there may be BL. After all, you see the promotional poster having our 3 fireman guys posing sexily and shirtless, showing off their godly abs. I would have thought so and gave this series a pass did I not read the synopsis carefully. And a few times. Also, looking at how big and buff Souma and his fire fighting buddies, I thought they were those muscular guys from Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru, another anime that aired in the same season. Heh. So… Enen No Shouboutai x Dumbbell Nan Kilo Moteru + hentai = Yubisaki Kara Honki No Netsujou Osananajimi Wa Shouboushi! Unfortunately I didn’t get to measure with Souma’s buffed size, his dick would equally be in correlation and super huge! Haha! Yeah, those censors ‘ruined’ my perspective. But nah. It would have hurt Ryou so much, know what I’m saying?

The art and animation looks pretty standard. That itself is pretty good for a hentai genre. Yeah, perhaps I wasn’t really paying close attention since my eyes were more often rolling at the porn logic and when the main characters start making out. Really! I guess Studio Houkiboshi who is producing their first ever anime, they might want to get things off at the right footing. But I want to note that if there was an eyebrow raising factor other than the porn logic, it would be the ending theme, Blazing Luv. It sounds weird. So weird that it is close to being bad. Because it sounds like a mess with the dubstep in the background and then our fireman trio who sing this piece sound as flat as ever. Yeah, some weird synthesizer effects in some parts too. Had this piece being sung by better professional (AKA better sounding) voices and to a different beat and pace, it might have sounded a lot better. Though, the tune itself is generic but passable by my standards.

Overall, this is another usual mediocre anime hentai for the season. Despite me b*tching about how bad this sort of genre is, I guess it only shows my hypocrisy because I’m still watching these shows. Hey, if I don’t watch it, I’ll never come to this conclusion of how bad this pseudo hentai animes would be like. And now I can truly say they are because I’ve watched most of them. Heh. That doesn’t make me happy at all nor do should I feel proud about it. And now that we have the firemen being tainted, time will only tell when other professions like police officers, doctors, soldiers and even lawyers will get their turn in this. I am sure this anime won’t give people the wrong impressions about fireman. Maybe a small number will but for the big normal majority, we won’t be calling the emergency hotline for them to come rushing and put out our blazing flame of luv…!!! Remember, people. Please be responsible when calling for emergencies and also when having sex.

Circlet Princess

October 6, 2019

Time for another made up futuristic sci-fi team sport. The last time I watched Ao No Kanata No Four Rhythm, I wasn’t really impressed. It was weird despite they tried to create something creative. But that series didn’t get any sort of follow up or sequel since its run back in 2016. And now we have yet another futuristic sci-fi team sport, Circlet Princess. In this world, we assume that VR technology has advanced so much that we are able to create this bizarre sport that only females seem to participate. And yeah, the typical story of a fallen powerhouse in the sport making a comeback because of a talented ace joining in. Yeah, the story is as cliché as you can get and not made up.

Episode 1
Oh yeah. Circlet Bout (CB) is all the rage now, right? Chikage Fujimura from Kurojishi Academy is the top dog with a 50 match winning streak. However as revealed in the backstage, everything has been a setup. You mean like WWE? Understandably Chikage is bored but as her manager puts it, she is free to go all out with the next rookie opponent she faces. It’s all part of the show anyway. Since there is still some time before the match, she goes out for a walk. Meanwhile, country bumpkin retard, Yuka Sasaki just arrived in the big city. Wow. Everything so futuristic! Plot cliché commands her to be awed by the awesome poster girl of CB who is no other than Chikage. She is supposed to meet up with someone but gets enthralled and followed signs that leads her to the CB stadium. Along the way, she meets Chikage in disguise. Blah, blah, blah. Outside the stadium, some stupid girl mistakes her to be the Candita (player) from St Union Academy and rushes to get her ready. Yeah, without checking anything, right? Because Yuka is a dumb retard, she accepts. Yeah, everything will work out somehow, no? In the ring, Chikage and Yuka see each other. Is this fate? You can tell Yuka has all the beginner’s luck as she blocks Chikage’s offence and dodges. Wow. This is getting exciting for you huh, Yuka? Chikage must be really frustrated thinking she isn’t as strong as a champion she thought she is, huh? The match end is cut off and we fast forward 2 years later. She is ecstatic to enrol at St Union, the school of her dreams. Meanwhile Miyuki Kasahara and Ayumu Aizawa are at their wits end to revive their club. I don’t think making a cheap video will somehow generate views. Will it?! Coincidentally they stumble upon a clip about that legendary CB match 2 years ago that put Chikage in a pinch. Then they see Yuka in the flesh having problems with the robot security. Why do they look like they’re trying to rape her if they’re just asking for her student ID she is unable to produce? Luckily the duo manage to help her out and hence their chance to ask her to join their club. But first, Yuka sees Reina Kuroda who is the student council president. She instantly gets shot down because there is no CB club at St Union. Oh sh*t! Say what?! Her dreams come crushing down but Yuka refuses to budge and continues bugging Reina?! WTF?! Yuka returns to her dorm and coincidentally this is also where Ayumu stays. Ayumu realizes she is that Yuka 2 years ago and believes this could be something big. Flashback 2 years ago again. The match ended abruptly because the power was cut. Due to system error, Chikage postponed their match. So next time, huh? What a way to set fate rolling.

Episode 2
Continuing from that episode, as Yuka leaves to the backstage, the strange announcer confronts her and claims she has potential, blah, blah, blah. So she gives her a bracelet that will certainly have her reunite with Chikage one day. Yeah, that’s good enough a promise and motivation for Yuka to totally get interested in this. Because if you think you can’t achieve something, try until you can! Yeah, I really love that quote… Now, Yuka continues to bug Reina. She’ll make a new club then. Rejected! Please don’t rape her if she rejects, Yuka! Later Yuka meets up with Miyuki and Ayumu and realize they are part of CB club. Unofficial club, that is. Oh yeah. Now she can play. But first, it’s Miyuki’s turn to go bug Reina to approve their club and they just need a couple of members. She hopes Reina can join since she used to play CB but of course, the b*tch declines. Ayumu shows Yuka that legendary clip. You mean she didn’t know it is online? Oh yeah, the rural areas don’t have internet. She plays dumb since she doesn’t want to be busted as that accidental player who was there. The trio practice CB. Ayumu the computer whiz cannot analyse Yuka’s strange circlet weapon. The practice is interrupted with Reina once again using her authority to stop all unauthorized activities. They just got a slap on the wrist with house arrest? The moment they are back, Yuka is seen trying to recruit new members via old fashion way: Handling out pamphlets. And she gets into Reina trouble again… I don’t think Yuka is going to stop bugging her to approve the CB club and even with Reina spewing all that procedure and formalities, suddenly her aide informs her of something important. So apparently Reina has to suspend her actions to stop the formation of the CB club because St Union got a request for a practice match with Takamori Academy. You mean that legendary video just went viral? Like, now?! Miyuki teases Reina that she is dying to play this game and hints about her older sister who was a CB champ. So why is Takamori really trying to achieve with this practice match? According to their captain, Hiyori Sugiura, it’s to motivate their players. Because Ayana Kuroda has a younger sister there and this should give great incentive for their regulars. While Yuka is eating with her friends, suddenly her bracelet talks! WTF????!!!

Episode 3
The bracelet is being some naggy coach, eh? Some top class battle AI, eh? And Yuka being a retard means this is going to take a while… Yuka wants to get stronger in all aspects but the bracelet rejects. No can do. I guess he isn’t some wonder drug. But he’ll do what he can. Phew. Safe. Yuka can continue with her fate to meet Chikage then. Don’t worry about wasting an episode to find a new member because Nina Avelin decides to test it out. Yes, she is half Russian. Uhm, since when did Reina join? Is she unofficially officially in? Whatever, now they have an official CB club! Yay! They practice and Miyuki owns Yuka big time. Bet she’ll improve during the real match? So the first match pits Miyuki and some unknown Takamori Candita. Damn, Miyuki lost? Next is Reina against another unknown. While Reina shows her experience, unfortunately because she has this losing mentality and does not expect to win, she loses. WTF?! More misfortune because this is best of 3, oh damn you mean Takamori wins it?! Thank goodness it’s practice match so nothing officially recorded. Just hurt pride. Because they can’t just go home with this easy win, I guess Takamori is eager to continue with the practice. Hence eager beaver Yuka gets to go next. She is facing Kasumi Iida who is one of the top players. This won’t look good… If she wasn’t the main character to begin with! Thus you can see Yuka putting up a decent fight against Iida that shocks everybody. Yeah, didn’t expect this retard to last that long, huh? Her bracelet has analysed her moves and gives some hints. In the end, a swift move from Yuka has her defeat Iida. Wow. This upset victory has got to be the most exciting match, huh? Yuka decides to call her bracelet, Siegfried or Sieg for short. I guess it’s better than G-kun. WTF… Sugiura isn’t sad but glad they might be witnessing the birth of a new legend. You don’t say, huh? Coincidentally Chikage is also watching this and is glad Yuka is back in the game.

Episode 4
Flashback shows Ayana totalling owning her opponent in a CB game. Wow. Young Reina so impressed and vowed to be like her. Wow. So young. So motivated. Too bad we won’t get to see the rest of the practice match but from what I understand, it looked like a 100 men sparring match and only Yuka won. Thanks to that, she has some fans back at school cheering for her. Yuka is briefed on the Princess Cup. Yeah, you know the most prestigious tournament that every sports genre must have. But currently, Kurojishi Sougou Academy has been holding on to that throne for a long time. That school is where Chikage goes. When the girls are being called by the director, they think it’s because Yuka won her practice match. Because Takamori is their sister school and they’re supposed to lose? Hence it’s all Yuka’s fault?! Good thing it’s not that. Sugiura thanks them for a wonderful match and welcomes St Union’s CB’s return. However b*tch Reina insists the club’s closure. I guess only now Yuka hears of Ayana and her exploits. Ever since she left for America, St Union lost its ace and started dwindling. This makes Yuka feel uneasy. No, it’s not your stomach growling! Sieg’s best reply: You overeat! Sugiura talks to Yuka and is scouting her to join Takamori since they have all the facilities to help her get into her game. She can then challenge Kurojishi. But what’s eating Yuka? She still not happy? After Ayumu lets her see clips of Ayana in action (in which Reina’s moves mirrors Ayana’s move although it lacks something), she’s all fired up to go bug Reina. Yeah, Reina just dissed another attempt by Miyuki. So Reina is out of the club just so she can close it down? Yuka confronts Reina in the toilet and talks about Ayana’s greatness. Reina explains St Union didn’t want to hold her back, that’s why they let her go to America as it has the latest technology. But look what it did to St Union? By the time Reina enrolled, the CB club is as good as dead. She rejects Yuka’s invitation to join. So desperate that Yuka decides to go see Chikage at Kurojishi? No wonder she gets kicked out. Then she challenges Reina. She accepts because if Reina wins, Yuka will join Takamori. Is that her way of getting rid of her? Yuka seems to be imitating Ayana’s move. And Reina seems to be having those flashbacks about her sister departing. Yeah, so devastated. In the end, we can tell Reina lost because she has to join the club now. Yay! They’re official now.

Episode 5
Miyuki is voted as the captain of their CB club. Yeah, she’s the only one who volunteered. So starts off with their plan for Princess Cup. The usual line-up: Miyuki, Reina and then Yuka. Nina and Ayumu serve as backup. They attend the draw and it seems for the first round, St Union will be up against Hoshinoumi Academy. Yup, another good CB school. Typically, Hoshinoumi has this rich b*tch girl, Christie Yamauchi who has some sort of rivalry with Miyuki. As expected, she badmouths her about running away from her track club and as well as her current CB. You gonna let that fly, Miyuki. Oh damn. Looks like Christie’s words got to her. Because of that, she can’t concentrate in practice and her friends know something is wrong. With Yuka in her typical retard to assure her, Reina knows it is something that Christie said. Time to get it off her chest by telling her past. As her family makes shoes, naturally she loves running and was a good athlete, putting in all the effort. However many think she is successful because she had money and access to facilities. This made her depressed and at the crossroads. That was when she saw Ayana in a CB bout and decided to quit track and join this weird sport. Had she not quit her track, she would have ended up at Hoshinoumi since they also produce good athletes. Princess Cup starts. Because Miyuki is still having low self-confidence, she switches place with Yuka. Yuka easily wins her match and you thought Reina would be enough to seal the deal. But she lost! Turns out it was an ‘elaborate’ setup so as to get Miyuki to face Christie in the decisive match and put this thorny issue to rest. Of course Miyuki still has doubts and is weak. We hear a bit of Christie’s grudge against her because she looked up to Miyuki but before she could face her in a competition, she quit. Yeah… Since Miyuki continues to be pathetic, Reina scolds to remind her that her true ability is running. Is it allowed to have time to talk like that in the middle of the match? Anyway, this gives Miyuki the much needed confidence to turn the tables and defeat Christie. Wow. So easy. Just run around and make Christie tired. Yeah… She better train her body more before running her mouth… Miyuki admits she may have run away but now she won’t look back and will continue to run forward.

Episode 6
Because Reina has some student council duties, Nina replaces her in the first CB match but she basically got easily owned. But thanks to Miyuki and Yuka, St Union won this round. We see her let loose some steam on her online shooter game and it tells us a lot that she is a good sniper. Musashino Kyuoh Academy is their next opponent and they are the top 4 favourites for the Princess Cup. But of course. In order to help Nina become a strong attacker, they go shopping for her weapon. Just when she picked out this rifle one she likes, so sorry, we’re on a budget. WTF?! And also, no money means limited amount of bullets they can buy. You mean ammo isn’t infinite in this digital technology game?! So I guess she goes with a spear. During a practice match with Yuka, she lost badly. No prizes to guess why she suddenly becomes so dejected. So much so Yuka stalks her?! So to find out what is bugging her, she goes to bug her?! WTF?! Since Nina is not the kind to talk, I guess the next plan is have all of them clean the pool. However some blooper has Nina spraying water hard on Yuka. This means she is down with a cold and will not recover in time for the next match. Damn, this girl is weak! I guess this means Nina has to cover for her. Later Ayumu talks to Nina. Ayumu reveals she is the online shooter game partner whom she interacts often with. Surprise! She also explains the cleaning job was to get some funds to buy Nina her desired weapon. Wow. The pool cleaning job must really pay, huh? More pleasant surprise in store for Nina as they got the rifle weapon for her. With their match with Musashino on the way, Miyuki goes first and lost since she couldn’t see the enemy’s weapon coming. Next is Nina. Can she survive with only 2 bullets? She has Ayumu be her eyes on the field as the stage is littered with ruins. Her first shot misses and when the opponent charges close up, WTF she hears Yuka’s voice to duck and doing so, she is now point blank with the opponent and makes her final shot count. I guess Yuka couldn’t stay in bed and dragged herself out to cheer on Nina. Needless to say, Reina wins it for St Union. Nina thanks her friends for doing all this for her. Correction. We did this together for our CB club.

Episode 7
St Union is pretty much a rising star now, so much so Yuka is nicknamed the Overclock Princess. Sorry, it’s not Order Croquette Princess, Yuka! Don’t think with your stomach! As Yuka practises with Reina, the rest note they don’t know much about Yuka to begin with. Especially who gave her Sieg. To help boost their morale for the semi-final match with Kurojishi, they hang out together. In the streets, they are famous enough that everyone gives them freebies! Are they all passing off with that Overclock brand name? Then they go karaoke in which Yuka and Miyuki fight over the right to sing. I guess better than tone deaf Reina… And is Nina just on an eating spree? Ayumu then talks about MR being a by-product of the CB system. That’s why they are very influential in so many technologies and facilities today. They are also the reason why Ayumu became interested in CB because of its concept. With Ayumu getting technical, I guess the rest can’t follow (especially Yuka of course) and they even joke she could be a spy! Flashback shows Ayumu’s dad was a researcher and she was fascinated with some 3D princess knight model he rendered. And of course, Ayumu watching Yuka practice alone, suddenly she sees all her moves so similar to that princess knight. Talking to her, because Yuka is willing to do anything to improve herself and face Chikage again, Ayumu wants Yuka to battle her. Why do Miyuki and Reina feel so shocked? Sure, she is the support but this is just to collect data, right? Her research about CB didn’t yield the data she wanted so could Yuka be the missing link to her father as well? Since Ayumu hacked her weapon’s script, it is obviously overpowered. Yuka is made to run like hell but all her movements are again similar to that princess knight. Even the way she countered and charged through her eventual victory. Yeah, Ayumu’s weapon broke! Sure, Yuka is fast but is she that powerful? Then we see Ayumu using her connections to get into the backstage of Kurojishi just to see Chikage. She wants to know more about Yuka, especially what happened on that fateful day. Something about the overheating factor too.

Episode 8
Officially, the reports said Chikage’s attack caused the overheating factor. However, Ayumu believes Yuka is the key. From what I understand, Yuka seems fast only because the system cannot process her moves fast enough. Hence some sort of ‘shortcut’. This is an ability she has although she herself is unaware she could use it. Chikage too has this ability. When both used this, that is why the system crashed and blackout for a while. That is the real overheating factor. Ayumu hopes this answer would lead her to her father’s whereabouts. The semi-finals are here and St Union is up against Takamori. Revenge match, right? Reina goes first and wins. Miyuki faces Sugiura next but we all know that to prolong the drama, she has to lose. After all, Takamori has studied St Union’s matches like a bible. And now for the expected grudge match between Yuka and Iida. We know Yuka is having some worries because of the b*tch talk Iida had with her in the toilet as well the night before, Sieg told her not to rely on him and think for herself. Uh oh. Sounds like some death flag trouble. You can say that Takamori’s studying pays off since Iida is now able to predict Yuka’s moves. Uh huh. Don’t really on your sight. Use foresight. And you know what they say about the best offence is the best defence? Yup. Iida was just blocking most of the time. WTF weapon fatigue that Yuka’s weapon broke?! I guess that’s it. St Union lost. Yuka is already depressed and made even more so when Sieg doesn’t respond to her. Damn, like as though he is dead. Is this thing out of battery? Oops, sorry. The rest try to leave her alone but when Yuka doesn’t come out of her room for too long, they go in and check on her only to see her room empty. A note. I’m sorry. Yeah, that sure really says a lot. For somewhat who talks a lot, she sure kept it brief. Heh. Looks like they’ve got to go after her back at her home. Yes, her home back in the mountains.

Episode 9
Buckle up. It’s going to be a long train trip to Wakayama. I don’t think the shinkansen goes there either. Yuka practises in her old shed. Her old CB practice programme still working? Yeah, she’s so powerful, her stats are off the charts! As he bums around and feeling sorry for running away, surprise! Her friends pop up and tell her she should say that in person. However, Yuka being Yuka, she thinks they are ghosts and are back to haunt her for that loss!!! WTF?! Damn, Yuka is a fast runner! When cornered, they explain about this double elimination rule. There is still a chance to come back if you lose once. WTF?! Does this rule only apply to them or the rest? But Yuka still feels uneasy because Sieg is ‘dead’. They talk more over the hotspring, giving more assurance to Yuka that she’s not useless as she thinks she is, blah, blah, blah. Then over dinner, they hear how Yuka got into St Union via scholarship. This has Ayumu asking Yuka where she got Sieg. A pervert gave it to her. Ayumu realizes that person is her father, Makoto. She analyses the bracelet. It looks completely dead and all files missing. Funny, Yuka was able to summon her weapon in yesterday’s practice. Demonstrating her moves in the shed, Ayumu concludes that the file must be hidden. She believes all this is CB DKX, a battle development kit. It is only something her father possessed. As an engineer of MR system, the idea of VR led him to develop this CB game. During that point where CB wasn’t sure of taking off, Chikage was cultivated as an unrivalled player. Despite the success, the project was shelved. Makoto parted ways with his team and disappeared. Makoto only left behind this terminal in which Ayumu thought where all the answers like but it seems it could be in the bracelet. So why did he entrusted it to Yuka? Despite Yuka becoming stronger, she has been shackled with that playstyle. Hence the reason Sieg ‘died’. She cannot win if she continues to play like this. Hence a challenge by Makoto. With renewed confidence and motivation, the girls head for home. Meanwhile Takamori loses to Kurojishi. Thanks to that double elimination rule, I guess the losers are going to battle each other to face Kurojishi. Damn, this is confusing.

Episode 10
Nina defeats her Musashino opponent because she’s cocky, talkative and underestimating. That’s what you deserve. So apparently the loser’s match only has 1 match, huh? And of course this means they will fight Takamori for the right to face you-know-who. Ayumu thinks Yuka needs a new weapon but first she needs to analyse her data and Sieg. Meanwhile Reina uses her influence to seek resource donation from others. Well, if she’s bowing down like that, can’t say no, eh? Even Miyuki goes to town to ask for donation. After passing off that Overclock brand, you better pay back something. And in no time all the resources come flowing in! As Ayumu has trouble figuring out Sieg, not sure what happened when she touched that princess knight render and suddenly everything becomes unlocked! WTF?! On the other side, Takamori has their own issues. It seems Sugiura won’t participate in this loser’s match against St Union and this causes some friction among the members. She knows Yuka will be chosen and hence she wants Iida to take on her. Some psychological strategy too, I guess. But after some deliberation and talking, let’s move Takamori’s CB forward, okay? Chikage will also be watching this important match and it is confirmed the announcer is Makoto. The best way to dispel suspicions of your missing whereabouts is to turn into a drag queen? Makoto has Chikage analyse the odds of the match. Sugiura dominates in every aspect but Yuka is not one who is not confined to regular analysis. The loser’s match between Yuka and Sugiura begins. Yuka starts off aggressive but eventually Sugiura makes a comeback. So much so she breaks Yuka’s weapon! But don’t fear. Because it’s evolution time! The fragments now form into new weapons. Holy sh*t! Yuka just got herself 2 new swords? And this is supposed to be Sieg’s gift? With that, Yuka uses this and goes in for the kill- I mean, victory. On to the finals. Makoto is pleased with the outcome because this is essential for his greatest masterpiece to advance to the next stage.

Episode 11
Don’t feel bad Takamori. There’s always next year. So continue to work hard! Yeah! Ganbatte! Before the finals, Yuka and Chikage meet. Because Yuka already knows the bracelet was given by Makoto, Chikage wonders if she will continue to be manipulated by him. Yuka being Yuka who isn’t too smart on the technical stuffs is only playing because CB is fun. That’s your answer. So the finals begin with Reina going first. It’s a close match but she eventually loses. So as to show respect, her opponent even calls her worthy and asks her name. You mean she wasn’t paying attention to the announcer or the screen? Next up is Miyuki. Cut things short, a tricky move allows Miyuki to defeat her opponent. No surprise because we need the rubber match of Yuka versus Chikage. How many years has it been for their grudge match to resume? But as we can see, Chikage has more experience than Yuka so it’s natural that she dominates. So much so her double swords break! Oh no. Yuka don’t you go into depression again. But before Chikage could checkmate her, something strange happens. Oh, it’s Sieg going through another evolution! This time Yuka gets a pair of gloves! One punch in the gut! Now that Yuka is fighting back and stronger, Chikage getting scared she’ll lose? At the same time she is happy that she has finally found a strong opponent. Now Yuka destroys Chikage’s weapon. Game over, right? Not yet! Because Chikage too goes through some evolution! Oh my. I hope her darker uniform isn’t just for aesthetics.

Episode 12
Yuka takes a beating while Chikage sounds like she has turned to the dark side since she is enjoying every moment of this sadistic beat down. Guess what? Apparently Yuka’s uniform also transforms! Is this her final form? Yeah, thanks to all the people in her life that make her feel she’s not fighting alone. Yuka now has a fighting chance as we hear Makoto narrate more crap about emotions and evolving based on intuition and adapting rather than just blindly following orders. Woah! People start to give their resources in mid-match?! Is this even legal?! Things are going great and then uh oh. Yuka is at her limit. Is she going to lose for real? Time out. Weird conversation with Siegfried as he comes back ‘alive’ to scold Yuka and make her remember her original reason why she wants to fight against Chikage. And this allows Yuka’s uniform to evolve to another final form. A more princess-like form. And if Siegfried says she is the Princess, I guess she is the princess. Uh huh. No prize to guess who wins the Princess Cup. In the aftermath, we see St Union CB members bumming around with nothing to do. Shouldn’t they be practising? Because from what Reina said, due to the overheating factor again, this causes CB to undergo major overhaul in its rules and format. Because of that, St Union failed to adapt well like their other rivals and are on a losing streak. Yup. Rock bottom again. It is also rumoured they hired a hot overseas coach to help them. Ayumu didn’t see her dad once in the flesh. That wasn’t her real goal apparently. Knowing that he is still around and Makoto giving her all the data on MR system secrets, I guess she’s fine. If you’re wondering why Yuka isn’t with them, it’s because she is seeing off Chikage who is going overseas to hone her skills. You know the drill. They both hope they’ll get stronger by that time and fight again. Yuka’s pals come by to pick her up and continue to tease her because it’s nice once in a while to tease a retard.

Sure Crap Princess
Yawn… Oh… Thank goodness is over. I don’t know how the NPCs in this anime can get overly excited and hyped over this boring virtual made up sport. No wonder they are NPCs… Heh… Thank goodness it ended and there are no other major trophies for them to compete because the season could have ended in such a way that hints there might be another tournament for them to try again to be the best but I guess for this kind of sports, Princess Cup is the only major CB tournament. So major that we didn’t even get to see Yuka landing the finishing blow on Chikage. I suppose they want to leave it to our imaginations that there might be another overheating factor and Yuka winning on some technicalities. Imagine having this sort of error at a major event finals. Everything so great, everything so evolutionary but your system can’t handle it?! Fail! Back to the drawing board to redesign the system again!

I believe that the CB game itself is not given any sort of prominence. I feel that it is an unimportant factor here. While it looks like this CB game has its sets of rules and the likes, do you not feel that it is not really given any more depth than what we have seen? It feels like everything is just so made up on a whim so that they could have some sort of fighting sequence whatsoever. Hence the CB sport is probably one of the worst and ill-conceived futuristic sports that I have known to date. The basic premise of the sport is that you enter some VR, conjure up whatever weapon you think you are good at, beat the sh*t out of your opponent until she can no longer move. Yup. That’s as original as they can get for this CB game. It’s just sounds so boring. Even that weird water sport Keijo is way much better than this crap. I know, fanservice but still, it beats CB flat. I’d spend my money to go watch that ass game than this asinine one.

Making CB even worse is its format. Now, I understand that it is a team game and even if they want to make it a one on one match, don’t you think having just 3 matches total per game is a little too short? I mean, why the heck do you always have 5 members entering their standby platform then? Backup? I don’t see any substitutions during the game here. That’s why I earlier said they didn’t really thought out about this sport well. I think my suggestion if the format was a team deathmatch type, it would have been more exciting and better. Even if they don’t have all 5 on 5, at least 3 on 3 in this team battle royale format would at least give us some thrills. Though, this was largely hinted in the new shake up of the format but it comes rather too late. St Union won’t be there at the major stages any time soon even if they have their ace Yuka. Yeah, it goes to show that they aren’t really good CB team players to begin with… Therefore for this individual format, no real strategy except hit your opponent until she can go no more and maybe a few tricks to lead up to that. Stages are for aesthetics, uniforms are for aesthetics, weapons are mostly for aesthetics. Now we are reduced to just predicting who wins or loses instead of a real team battle to guess which one gets taken out first. And if the weapons break, does it mean your programming of its toughness is not enough?! It’s all digital, right?! To put the overall CB battles in short, just boring and uninspiring. No wonder there is ‘time’ for players to chat or mock each other during the game. Hey, we pay to see you fight, not to chitchat!

If they didn’t put much emphasis on the CB game, you’d think the characters make up for it, right? Wrong! Not at all. The characters also feel as boring and as cliché as you would expect a team sports anime to be. Each has their own quirky personalities but nothing that interesting that would make you really want to like them and you only do so because they are the main characters. I guess the formula of dark horses, no hopers or former powerhouses regain their glory again and rising up through the ashes is what a lot of people prefer. This way, it gives more drama, story and characters to build on rather than starting off with the featured characters as overpowered powerhouse. And now with the new rules, St Union is back to being no hopers and dark horses again. So it gives a chance for them to rise up like a phoenix once more. If they ever get that far, that is. Like I said, this formula isn’t bad despite being done to death and so cliché. But this series didn’t do it well so here I am b*tching about it as an excuse.

So like Yuka being the ace and the poster girl of the group. As usual she is of the my pace and retarded kind. I guess this is to show that she isn’t really a perfect character. Because if she was really smart and elegant like we wanted her, she would now seem like a perfect and overpowered character. Something that we viewers don’t really like. Ah, I see we are such hard audiences to please. Therefore with Yuka being a retard (whose stomach probably thinks more than her head), this gives her more room to do as she pleases and not give a damn about the technical parts. It’s the reason why she excels in CB so well. She doesn’t give a hoot about all the technicalities and what it takes to be an ultimate player in the game. All she wants is to have fun and her goal is to fight Chikage again. How simple can you get than that? And also to show you she has some more imperfections, hence that depression period when she lost. You thought people like her don’t care about wins or losses but it seems it really got to her then. Yeah, even retards have got emotions too, you know? Hence, your excuse for an additional episode for her friends to bring her back because we need the much needed friendship bonding this series lacks. It’s a team sport, so go figure. I suppose they want to show something that binds the group together, hence this running joke of Yuka letting her teammates eat her sour umeboshi. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it…

And the rest of the other CB players in St Union, well, I’m not really impressed either. Reina starts off as the b*tch who opposed everything just because of her past and then once she somewhat got over it (I guess that is why sometimes it is good to have stubborn retards like Yuka who doesn’t know the meaning of giving up), suddenly she joins the team. However I do not feel like she is really into it like the rest of them. Probably because of her poker face. I have got this feeling that Reina is just in it to make up for the numbers although her enthusiasm for the game improves as they advance further. I mean, when your team has gotten to the semi-finals and then the finals, it would be just really bad sportsmanship to not give a f*ck and not give it all. Having a sister who is a good CB player feels like just to give her character some sort of depth and hence the possibility that she will be more inclined to return to her CB roots than continuing to be a bitter student council president b*tch. If there is anybody who tops being the most stubborn and persistent, it’ll be Yuka. Yeah, that retard again… Bugging people until they literally change or give in. See, people? Consistency is key!

Nina serves as the backup of the team and sometimes when you need some sort of variation (because seeing Reina, Miyuki and Yuka order gets boring sometimes), Nina is slotted in to provide that alternative. It felt like some sort of excuse for her to suddenly join the CB club so that we don’t have to waste on an additional episode for the girls to go search for that elusive final member. Uh huh. I guess Reina already did that so don’t wanna waste more time on that. Then you have Miyuki as the club captain as well as Ayumu providing the technical support. Somehow I feel with Ayumu being the tech wizard feels wasted. At least in terms of the CB game. Like I’ve said, CB could have been better if it was a team match of 5. Because Ayumu doesn’t participate in real CB matches, it just feels wasted. So as to remind her she is of the brains kind and not of the fighting kind, that’s why she wears that oversized lab coat. All these girls have their own past and problems to deal with but nothing that an episode in focus could solve it and have them get over it and move on. If only really life is that simple. And as for the other girls from other teams, I guess they’re so forgettable that I don’t even know their names.

Even Chikage falls under this pitfall since we only see her as the most powerful in the game thanks to the media’s exposure. In this case, because the anime told us so. Otherwise being the most powerful player feels like an understatement because if this was only in Japan, what about overseas like America whose technology is said to be even better? So is Chikage just a local village camp in this sense? And why is Makoto doing all this thing in a roundabout way? He had to disappear and leave his daughter worried about his whereabouts just to evolve the game to the next level? Is this some sort of placebo effect? I mean if he announces he is going to do this and that, either everyone won’t take him seriously or people will start getting unrealistic expectations. Hence he only observes from the shadows as it is best to see people in their natural form. That’s why Yuka is his best bet. So what’s the next step in his evolution? So like Ayana, will he take his research to the next level by going overseas? I heard CB is pretty popular overseas too in this anime but if you can’t conquer Japan, you aren’t ready for the world yet! Haha!

The art and animation are pretty okay. Just average if you ask me. The futuristic designs don’t really feel futuristic at all because nothing says about the era being futuristic when you spam live holograms everywhere! Yeah. So futuristic. And even if this is a VR game, why do the Candita have to wear sexy leotards during the CB game? Sex appeal still a thing here? The weapon designs also don’t feel exciting. It’s like the staffs wanted to design something quick and hence you see each players wielding different weapons for variety. After all, it’s not like they’re going to really have the weapon and perform some really jaw dropping moves, right? On a trivial note, I noticed that Takamori’s school uniform is designed like a male! Girl schools have all the pretty different designs so much so you can tell them apart from one anime from another. Guys don’t really have that much variety. So seeing Takamori girls in that kind of outfit, just weird!

For the voice acting, Juri Nagatsuma (Satone in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a really perfect job in making Yuka sound like a retard. Ryo Horikawa as Sieg and Makoto sounds like your weird pervy uncle and if he sounds like one only because he was the voice of Dragonball’s Vegeta. Yup, that’s the guy. The rest of the casts feel pretty average. They are Hitomi Nabatame as Reina (Yukiji in Hayate No Gotoku), Saki Nakajima as Miyuki (Dorothy in MAR), Kaori Mizuhashi as Ayumu (Ai in Aria The Animation), Mai Goto as Nina (Mika in Nogizaka Haruka No Himitsu), Atsumi Tanezaki as Chikage (Miu in Blend S), Yuna Taniguchi as Sugiura and Megumi Tateishi as Iida. The rock paced opening theme isn’t that bad, Heat: Moment by Miyuki Hashimoto fits the pacing and genre of the series well. Only had the series lived up to this, this song that is also a bit techno would have been so much better. The ending theme flows to a more light hearted pace despite a generic anime pop music. Circle-Lets Friends is actually a collaboration among veteran singers like Miyuki Hashimoto, CooRie, Yozuca, Sayaka Sasaki, Aki Misato and Minami. With so many of them, at least this song sounds a bit better. I suppose it’s better than having the St Union CB quintet handling it. Just concentrate on your game, girls.

Overall, this is largely a disappointing series. Lacking any sort of real story, unappealing characters and a sport that doesn’t even have much depth to it, it already says a lot on why this won’t likely be getting any sort of continuation. Maybe that is why there is not even any OVA for some quick cash grab even if they put in 100% fanservice that has nothing to do with CB. So if in reality our VR reality reach that advanced stage, I hope CB will not be one of those futuristic games that they will try and adapt in real life. Hence with the disappointment of the anime, I’m sure anybody can see why this sport will not even take off, let alone be famous any time soon. You want a futuristic fantasy fight? Lots of fighting games can satiate that fixation. I’ll still bet my money that Keijo would be a more probable sport to watch and enjoy. No VR technology needed. Just boobs and butts! Sometimes going back to basics is the best ;p.

After that rather tepid and lukewarm alternative spinoff story that was Gun Gale Online, I guess Sword Art Online (SAO) fans can now be happy that the next season of SAO would be continuing and adapting one of the more popular and important arcs of the series, Sword Art Online: Alicization. Yes, having an SAO series without the main character Kirito seems so off and weird. Even weirder for me was that I was having a hard time trying to pronounce or remember Alicization. I don’t know how, but I keep initially remembering and pronouncing it as alkalization. Heh. I thought with all the toxic acidity of online players in VR, maybe some sort of neutralization and alkalization is needed to bring things back to order. Damn, I’m getting side-tracked here…

Episode 1
In this 1 hour special, we start off seeing a young Kirito and Eugeo taking turns trying to chop down a tough cedar tree with their axe. Not making much progress. And this is all the mark that Eugeo’s 6 generations of chopping have left! They take a break when Alice comes by to give them her lunch. Because Kirito suggests getting some ice so their food can last longer, they believe the End Mountains hosts the coolest ice. However there is talk about breaking the Taboo Index in which the Integrity Knight of Axiom Church will whisk you away. Then there’s this legend of this hero, Bercouli who entered the End Mountains and faced off with a huge white dragon guarding treasures in the cave. He defeated it with a sword. Next day, the trio make their way into End Mountains. They stumble into a cave and find that the legend was indeed true. Dragon bones, treasures and a sword too heavy for the kids to lift. They aren’t here to steal loots and got the ice they want but realize they forgot which exit they came from. I guess it’s not down to guts, huh? Too bad it’s wrong as it leads them to Dark Territory. They see an Integrity Knight defeating a Dark Knight. The latter somewhat hypnotizes Alice to cross over to the Dark Territory. Although her fingers only touched the Dark Territory, this violation is detected. The trio return home without realizing the consequences they will be facing. Because tomorrow, an Integrity Knight flies into town and arrests Alice. She will be questioned before being executed. Kirito wants to save her but is of course no match. Eugeo is paralyzed in fear while the villagers hold down Kirito and they can only helplessly see Alice being whisked away. Kirito wakes up from this simulation world but doesn’t know why he is crying.

We now see Kirito and his harem trying to take down a group of formidable PK players in GGO. They manage to give our heroes the slip and escape with minimal casualties. Later Asada talks to Kirito about entering the next BoB tournament so they can face off with the legendary Subtilizer. With Asuna joining them, the topic changes to Kirito’s part time job as a tester of some virtual game. Asuna is worried because it is taking a toll on his health. This job that Kirito is doing is a new next generation full dive system developed by Rath. The thing is, to keep the secrecy and anonymity, any memories created in the VR world will be erased. Though he is certain it doesn’t put the stress on the brain like previous models. Then they talk about where the soul of a human’s body resides. Not really getting into all these terms now but that’s what Fluctlight sounds like. Hence the Soul Translator (STL) from Rath supposedly reads that Fluctlight. Yeah, it’s getting heavy so I’ll skip this. Anyway, Kirito’s experience was that he couldn’t tell he was in the VR world. Like as though it is a realistic dream. The only thing Kirito was told that the project is called Underworld. Like the one from Alice In Wonderland? As they part, Kirito tells Asuna he plans to go to America where the technology for full dive is more advanced. He wants her to come with him. But of course. And yes she will. Oddly, they kiss in the streets. Nobody watching? Soon they are confronted with a guy who is the last surviving member of Laughing Coffin. The guys go at each other and both are struck down. However Kirito was injected with a strange serum.

Episode 2
Kirito wakes up in this familiar VR world. Strange. Can’t log out. He also retains his memories of the real world. He then sees Eugeo trying to chop down the tree. Kirito makes up a story that he has amnesia so Eugeo thinks he is a Vecta, those who got abducted as a prank by demons and then released. Whatever. Kirito tries to test if Eugeo is an NPC but nothing conclusive as he might be a test player with restricted memories. Eugeo will accompany him to town but he needs to finish his job of chopping this tree. Kirito hangs out with him and learns he has a childhood friend named Alice taken away for stepping into the Dark Territory. He believes she is still alive in the central city. With the other terms like Taboo Index, Kirito can’t help feel they sound familiar. After learning how to draw out the interface, he also learns Eugeo’s Calling (fate) to chop down this demonic tree because as long as it stands, they can never expand their wheat fields. And they’ve been doing it for 300 years and 7 generations! Chipping it bit by bit every day! Kirito tries to help out with his sword skill but as expected, no significant impact. At the end of the day, Eugeo brings him back but is confronted by this arrogant Zink who thinks he is going to be the best swordsman as per his Calling. Because he badmouths Eugeo’s pathetic Calling, Kirito shows his swordsman skills to shut him up. Kirito temporarily lives in a church run by Sister Azalia and he gets acquainted with one of the young nuns, Selka. Kirito ponders about the people of this world. Like as though they were born and raised here from the start. Are they copies of souls of newborns who were raised in virtual worlds? The only explanation is that they could be artificial Fluctlights.

Episode 3
Kirito’s goal is to go to central city but with no money, he believes he needs Eugeo’s help. So he hangs out with him and learns Selka is Alice’s younger sister and some high level sacred art that could stop life from decreasing. Of course this means you have to be a lot powerful like those high priests in Axiom Church. Eugeo then drags this heavy Blue Rose Sword from the legend to show it to Kirito. That Bercouli legend again. It is believed this sword is made from divine intervention. With Eugeo still regretting he couldn’t save Alice, Kirito tries to help using this sword to strike the tree. Will it make a difference? Just lost 1 HP… Maybe he strike at the wrong place so Eugeo believes if he masters this sword, he can cut down this tree faster. But for now, back to the old fashion axe chopping. Later Kirito talks to Selka since she is now learning the sacred arts in place of her sister. He thinks she likes Eugeo as she is sad he hardly smiles ever since Alice was taken away. Selka was never told the reason Alice was taken away so Kirito tells her. Next day, Azalia wonders if Kirito has seen Selka since it is unusual for her not to be around. Then when talking to Eugeo about this, it dawned to him she might have gone to End Mountains since Kirito said too much. They have to bring her back before Integrity Knight does. Kirito will take responsibility and take Selka to run away from the town since Integrity Knight will only fly in the next day. Then they hear Selka’s scream. In that cave, they see unconscious Selka being kidnapped by goblins. Sure they’re not going to rape her?! Eugeo was so worried he gave away their position. Now the goblins notice them, their big boss tell them to kill those white boys because they cannot be sold. So do they rape young girls first before selling them? Eugeo is paralyzed with fear.

Episode 4
Kirito quickly devices a plan to fight the goblins. He gets the big boss while Eugeo gets the small fries. Thank goodness for his grass light that keeps them at bay. Kirito heavily damages the boss but takes some serious damage too. This makes Eugeo feel the need to save him or it will be just like Alice’s case. So he recklessly swings his sword and gets a fatal strike in his guts. Ouch. Oddly, Eugeo somewhat remembers the promise made with Alice and Kirito during their younger days about dying together. Mad Kirito now turns into Goblin Slayer to decapitate the boss. The other goblins flee. Kirito frees Selka and wants her to heal Eugeo. She is unconfident and comparing herself she isn’t Alice. Can we just try? Selka and Kirito transfer some of their life force to save him. Kirito then hears Alice voice telling him she will be waiting for them at the central cathedral. In the aftermath, Eugeo felt strange about that promise since Kirito only just came, right? But it felt like he was there before with them. Kirito uses Blue Rose Sword on the tree since his skill levelled up after defeating the goblin boss. Damn, the tree takes a massive damage!!! Eugeo pleads to Kirito to teach him swordsmanship as he wants to go to central city to save Alice. He has been regretting that for every day that he didn’t do anything. He wants to be strong so as not to repeat those mistakes again. Under Kirito’s guidance, Eugeo finally cuts down the tree! The village holds a party and because Eugeo completed his task, he has the right to choose a new Calling. Without a doubt, he wants to become a swordsman. Later he talks to Selka about his goal to bring back Alice with Kirito. She wishes him well but promises all of them must come back alive. Kirito and Eugeo soon leave the village. It’s going to be a long walk…

Episode 5
Before we forget this simulation is real, we return to reality. After Kirito was attacked, Asuna sent him to hospital and he has been in comatose state ever since. Although his condition stabilized, he might have suffered brain damage when his heart stopped for a few minutes. He needs to be transferred to a facility with better equipment. That was also when Kikuoka popped up to suggest this facility where Kirito could get the proper treatment. However when Asuna visited, they were told Kirito was to have no visitors and the supposed ambulance that brought him here never actually arrived. Asuna and the girls discuss about Rath and STL and Asuna with Yui’s help detect the last known location of Kirito’s heart monitor. The trace stopped at a port warehouse. Heading there, Yui even checked the security cameras that a helicopter took off on that day. There is a possibility that Kirito was taken overseas. Remember how Kirito went all out to save her? Now it’s her turn to save him. Trying to remember what Kirito said that may have been related to his job. Hmm… Medicuboid… Rinko… Shigemura Lab… University in California… Speaking of Rinko, she receives an email from Kikuoka that needs her participation in a project. She also receives email from Asuna. Rinko and her assistant, Mayumi Reynolds arrive on a pyramid-cum-oil-rig platform dubbed Ocean Turtle. Heading inside the command centre, here is Kikuoka. He welcomes them to Rath and is happy the last of the 3 indispensable people for this project has arrived. The other being Takeru Higa of Shigemura Lab who is devoted to continue Kayaba’s work. When Kikuoka refuses to disclose the other indispensable person, that is when Reynolds reveals herself to be Asuka! Surprise! Did Kikuoka not feel suspicious why Rinko accepted his invitation so easily? Asuna found her email on Kirito’s PC and sought her help. She has a friend who could hack things and that’s why she easily passed all the background checks. Asuna demands to know where Kirito is now.

Episode 6
Kikuoka claims Rath is the only place with the technology to heal Kirito. Something about using STL and Fluctlight and generate new neural network. The purpose of this experiment is to create a bottom-up multi-purpose AI. All AI are created via top-down approach. You programme it and it learns from there. However its drawback is that they are unable to handle situations that they have not learnt. So by using bottom-up approach, they try to copy a human soul and store into this Lightcube as medium for a human brain. Despite successfully copying a human soul, it seems they missed something. He has Higa show them a clone of himself. The clone is panicking and thinking he is the real Higa and wants out of this dark space. In the end, the programme crashes. They have tried copying 10 souls but none of them could bear the thought they are just a copy. Hence the next answer is to raise them from the start. Thanks to virtual worlds and the Seed, they managed to create a small world and start out a small civilization using Rath staffs. Using acceleration, in 3 weeks, 300 years passed in the virtual world and its inhabitants grew to a massive 80,000 population. A governing body called Axiom Church created laws known as Taboo Index. All inhabitants obey the laws without question. This is when Asuna realizes the project is to create AI designed to kill. Asuna knows Kikuoka didn’t say this to Kirito because he wouldn’t have participated in this project. Even AI have rights? Sure, they lack physical bodies but they are the same as living things. Kikuoka understands her concerns but to him, 100,000 AI lives are worth far less than an actual soldier’s.

As for why he needed Kirito, he needed someone who has years of experience in moving in virtual worlds. There was a girl influenced by Kirito who broke the Taboo Index. Ironically she is named Alice, the same name as this project. She is a highly adaptive AI known as Artificial Labile Intelligence Cybernated Existence AKA ALICE. Their goal is to convert a Fluctlight into Alice. Welcome to Project Alicization. Asuna manages to see Kirito lying in the machine. She is surprised he has a personal nurse: Natsuki. Unlike Kikuoka who ‘deceives’, Natsuki is a real nurse. Just that she graduated from the SDF nursing school. Later Rinko confesses to Asuna about the atrocities she did to all former SAO players. Although Kayaba planted a bomb in her chest to force her to collaborate with that project, it was fake. If Rinko was ever caught, she would not be implicated. Flashback shows Rinko started liking this nerdy and scrawny Kayaba. Oddly they dated and it’s not like he was ever interested in her but never pushed her away either. When Kayaba became a murder suspect for that SAO incident, she went to his lodge to kill him but couldn’t. Asuna doesn’t bear any grudges towards Kayaba or her. She is grateful that she managed to spend time living with Kirito in that world. It’s one of her best days of her life. Even though Kayaba’s crimes are unforgiveable nor if amends could be made, they have to continue to face what they’ve done.

Episode 7
Back to the virtual world. 2 years have passed since Kirito and Eugeo entered the city of Zakkaria. They honed their sword skills, entered a sword tournament, won and are now part of the garrison. Under the tutelage of Sortiliena “Liena” Serlut, their skills are further honed. Kirito narrates he has learnt the mechanisms of this world. In short, if you are filled with confidence, this could be enough to give you some power boost enough to rewrite the laws of the world. Kirito spars with Liena and loses. He has never won against her. Even if she is this good, she has never won against the top student, Volo Levantein. She also believes Kirito couldn’t beat her is because he is hiding some sword techniques. As she will be graduating soon, Kirito promises to show her his greatest skill as her graduation gift. Later Eugeo feels worried because if Kirito’s memories returns, he might return to his world. Kirito assures him he will not go home even if that happens because they made a vow to become an Integrity Knight. They are only here now because of each other. Kirito sees a blacksmith, Sadore to get some special sword done. It is going to be costly but will give it to free if he could swing it. Of course he flawlessly wields it and gets it FOC. While he is practising with it, he falters and attracts the attention of Volo. Normally it is forbidden to train on rest days but he will overlook this because he too is guilty of doing that. But he won’t let him go because somehow he got a puny dirt on his shirt. So they’re going to settle this via duel with real swords. Stop-short matches aren’t Volo’s style but he gives Kirito the choice. In turn, he throws that decision back to him because he is the one being punished.

Episode 8
Liena warns Kirito that Volo’s family tradition means his sword absorbs the blood of his enemies. He plans to convert Kirito’s sword strength into his and feed on it. Kirito believes Volo also has the power of imagination. As they fight, Kirito sees his entire family giving him strength. Sure, Kirito has his too. His friends and harem. But the killer support is the cedar tree! Yeah, his imagination must be so strong that his sword grows bigger! Enough to withstand Volo’s strike. Kirito could have faltered had not Azurika (the dorm supervisor) stopped the match. Liena holds a mini celebration for Kirito in her room. She reveals that Volo’s family sword skills originally belonged to her family. But a distant family displeased the emperor and they were forbidden to pass it down. So they develop other weird sword styles but Liena is nonetheless proud to master them. She believes Kirito’s style is different because he doesn’t feel inferior compared to those trained in traditional styles. That night, a couple of noble bullies who aren’t fond with Kirito’s win, Raios Antinous and Humbert Zizek destroyed his little garden. Kirito is sad because those flowers don’t bloom here and he is trying hard to bloom them in foreign soil via his imagination. The flowers are also a great significance to him as it symbolizes Kirito trying hard in a foreign land, not knowing if he could ever return. Then a mysterious voice gives him hope to ‘feel’ the meaning of magic. What do you know? They revive! Wow. Truly the power of imagination. On the final exam day, Liena faces off with Volo in the finals and beats him. Did the power of imagination do its tricks again? She graduates as the officially top ranked student of the academy. Kirito and Eugeo became ranked 5 and 6 respectively after their advancement exam and are promoted to elite disciples. Yeah, they’ve got a couple of cute trainees of their own, Tiese Shtolienen and Ronie Arabel.

Episode 9
As Kirito mentions, you can infuse your sword with some sort of pride of feelings to make it stronger. So what goes for Eugeo? Alice. But of course. Eugeo continues his training and his mocked by Raios and Humbert. They offer him to teach him and Eugeo shocks them by accepting a lesson from Humbert. Eugeo uses his unconventional skills to dodge his attacks and Raios is forced to end the match with a draw. Raios offers his lesson next time but gets irked when Eugeo replies he doesn’t mind it now. Eugeo tells this to Kirito who thinks that they may be acting arrogantly because they are reluctantly obeying the laws of Axiom Church. As long as the Taboo Index is not violated, you can do anything you want. When Tiese and Ronie complain to their mentors about their friend, Frenica Cesky being made to do inappropriate chores by her mentor, damn it’s that Humbert name again. Then they talk about noble’s pride in which nobles must use the power and privilege they have to protect the weak. That pride is more important than any law or regulation. So the guys confront Raios and Humbert. Of course they play dumb over Eugeo’s accusations. So it seems Humbert who was reeling from the draw tried to train more. This means having his muscles sore and hence having Frenica to massage him during bath. Eugeo is so mad he wanted to strike them but thankfully he didn’t bring his sword. He manages to keep his cool but warns them if there is no improvement, they’ll consider asking the instructors to investigate. Raios dares him to do as he please. Later Kirito warns Eugeo that they may be targeting him. Because had he lost his cool and done something wrong, they may use it as an excuse as impropriety and punish him with maximum penalty. So stay cool always. Then Eugeo tells Tiese the actions he has taken. He also wants to apologize to Frenica since this incident stems from that duel. However Tiese isn’t in favour in setting them up to meet. Instead, she tells how she will take over as head of her family after she graduates. Then she will marry to a guy with similar rank or a rank above her. She fears her future husband will be cruel. Can we see where this is going when she asks Eugeo for a favour while being THIS close to him? She is confident he will represent their academy at the Swordsmanship Tournament and compete in the Four Empires Unification Tournament and get a high ranking. She didn’t say it but I’m guessing she wants him to marry her when he achieves that tall order. I hope he didn’t get the wrong idea by accepting this.

Episode 10
Kirito realizes their disciples are late for cleaning. Suspecting something amiss, he goes to check on them. As Eugeo waits, Frenica comes in to tell that she confided in Tiese and Ronie about yet another inappropriate order. They went to talk to him on her behalf and have never returned. Eugeo realizes they were the target and not him. He rushes to their room and demands their whereabouts. They lead him to their room in which they are tied up on their bed. Raios claims because they have acted inappropriately, something they can use the higher Taboo Index judiciary to punish them as their family noble rank ranks higher than theirs. Hence they are going to rape them before Eugeo’s eyes! Eugeo is paralysed due to the Taboo Index he is bound to. But seeing the poor girls scream and pleading for help, I guess something activated in his eye that ultimately explodes? This allows Eugeo to move enough to cut off Humbert’s arm. Raios now uses this excuse to execute Eugeo. Before he can decapitate him, here comes our Kirito to clash swords with him. So great their clash that the windows shatter! Eventually Kirito cuts off both Raios’ arms. The scumbag panics as he loses blood. Strangely, he experiences some weird digital glitch before dying. Our heroes rescue their disciples but some strange system admin detects, traces and reports this incident. Next day, Azurica heals Eugeo’s eye (you mean he didn’t get treatment after that?). However she is here to hand them over to the Integrity Knight. In a way, she gives them encouragement because Eugeo was able to break a seal that she was never able to break. Now he is able to go where she was unable to go. The duo are shocked to see the Integrity Knight picking them up. Alice?! Alice Synthesis Thirty to be precise.

Episode 11
When Eugeo tries to touch her, she beats him up! Do that again and you’ll die! With Eugeo very certain she is Alice, Kirito suggests playing along so they can get into the central cathedral. Before they depart, Tiese and Ronie are kind enough to give them their swords? Of course confiscated by Alice. She is kind enough to let them speak for a minute? At least they say their final goodbyes. We take a break and return to Ocean Turtle. Asuna is surprised a robot is moving around on its own. Ichiemon is created by Higa and fine-tuned by Rinko. From what I understand, they are trying to make an AI robot auto-balance like a human’s body to create a near perfect humanoid body. We return to the central cathedral. Kirito and Eugeo are imprisoned in an underground cell. Kirito wonders if this Alice was the real one, what was that cave incident Alice spirit whisper thingy all about? Could there be a spell that manipulates memories? They use the chains to destroy each other because they’re both the same high level, using them against each other is like wearing down the other’s life! It works! Video game logic! I guess they can escape easily because nobody escapes here before so no guards or even if there are, they’re sleeping. Making their way through the labyrinth garden, Eugeo who is still bent and determined on bringing Alice back hopes that bringing her back to their hometown would blow away the fake memories. This gives Kirito an idea on how he could retrieve his lost memories. They are confronted by an Integrity Knight, Eldrie Synthesis Thirty One who claims Alice is her mentor. She had foresight that they would escape and had him stationed here for the night. He will send them back to their prison but first he is going to exact punishment.

Episode 12
Eldrie is formidable with his whip as Kirito and Eugeo cooperate to fight on the same footing. When Eugeo finally recognizes him as Eldrie Woolsburg, the winner of the Four Empires Unification Tournament, Eldrie panics and denies it all. He believes he was summoned by Administrator from the heavens as an Integrity Knight. As Eugeo discloses more info about him to revive his memories, Eldrie then ‘stops working’. This funny prism in his forehead must be impeding his memories. Before they can do anything further, an archer Integrity Knight starts sniping at them. The duo make a run for it. A voice in Kirito guides them safely into a portal. She is Cardinal and the sole librarian of this great library. There are records of everything here from the start of this world’s creation. But the records here are all fabricated by the pontifex of Axiom Church. All to preserve their rule over the people. This makes Kirito realize that Cardinal is a system supervisor and that she is actually the Cardinal System. She might be the system supervisor but the one who holds all the admin privileges is no other than Administrator who is also her elder twin sister. Otherwise she would not be stuck in here. Time for some history. When this world was created 450 years ago when humans descended on this world (employees of Rath), these Gods taught their children how to live before logging out. But one of them was filled with malice and selfishness that gave rise to nobles and Axiom Church. When the first political marriage was done centuries ago, Quinella was born. She tinkered with the sacred arts that include killing cute forest critters and healing the people’s wounds. With the people awed by her godly powers, Quinella started to rule over them and as time as the city grow, so did the tower they built to worship her that she resided. To continue her rule so that no one would be above her, she wrote laws that became the Taboo Index. However she grew older and fragile but just before her death, she somehow managed to open a list that contains every command (it is rumoured she may have help from outside admins). This allowed her to restore her youth and be ageless. Quinella went a step further as she doesn’t want the Cardinal System to have equal authority with her. However she ended up fusing her soul with it. That is the reason for the existence of this system as if there is any slight irregularities that skews the balance, it will be soon detected. Hence the constant observation of ‘players’. Now that Quinella is no longer human, she seeks to continue ruling and preserving this real forever as both supervisor and rule, the pontifex of Axiom Church.

Episode 13
After 70 years of rule, Quinella realizes her soul’s capacity to preserve her memories had reached its limit. She thought of copying hers onto by overwriting a child’s Fluctlight. That child is Cardinal. But doing so means Quinella had made a mistake. Now there are 2 Gods wielding same level of authority. Both started fighting (more like redefining object structures). But with Quinella holding the upper hand, Cardinal fled. Only 2 places were beyond the reach of the Administrator: Dark Territory and this great library. She isolated herself and has been waiting for a chance to strike back. Quinella anticipated her ambush and assembled loyal and powerful followers known as Integrity Knights. The first one being Bercouli. Cardinal continued to observe the world but couldn’t figure things out and that’s why she wanted a human collaborator. She has pondered why would the real Gods (Rath) let this fake God (Administrator) rule? Her conclusion is that Rath doesn’t wish for people of this world to lead happy lives. They are observing how people will resist them and slowly tightening their load. Eventually the greatest trial will arrive. In short, the monsters in Dark Territory will come slaughter all humans and that day isn’t too far off. Quinella has underestimated them and thinks she and her Integrity Knights would be enough to stop them. Cardinal has resigned to the fact that Dark Territory will besiege this world. Hence her conclusion is that since she doesn’t accept Rath, her only way is to turn everything in this world into nothingness. She needs Kirito’s help to eliminate Administrator and regain all her authority. In exchange, he gets to name a few Fluctlights he wants to save and she will archive them before he returns to his own world.

Kirito wonders if she is a copy of Quinella, shouldn’t she have that selfish and greedy trait? In her senses, eliminating Administrator and normalizing the world is her desire. But there is something she has wanted to know for the last 200 years. So she just wants a hug? Oh yeah. She feels so satisfied that she’s crying. Weird. Kirito accepts to cooperate but will still find a way to save this world. Cardinal doesn’t know if this Integrity Knight Alice is the same as Eugeo’s childhood friend but she knows a way to stop this Synthesis Ritual. Just take out that prism, Piety Module. As you have guessed, it seals their original memories and makes you obedient to Administrator. Of course this means you need to get the original memories back to fill that void. It won’t be easy as it is locked in the highest tower of central cathedral. Eugeo worries to fight Alice because killing her would defeat the purpose of his goal. Hence Cardinal gives them a mini dagger. When stabbed, it links an irremovable connection to her and she will use her sacred arts to put her into sleep mode to buy them time to remove the Synthesis Ritual. She can also help get their swords back in the armoury but that won’t be enough to stop the Integrity Knights’ terrifying amplifying technique. She has them think of their sword and then comes up with a list of commands to remember? Whatever. Now she has told and given them everything she could, it’s time to step back into the real virtual world.

Episode 14
After getting their weapons, Kirito realizes Administrator doesn’t intend to create an army but kept all their weapons here. It could be the pontifex is the one with the least faith in the church’s authority. They are attacked by that archer Integrity Knight. Kirito uses all the defence he’s got to defend against his flames. Once Kirito is out, Eugeo strikes a couple of lethal blows to defeat him. After archer dude learns about their excellent skills, he tells them there are other Integrity Knights waiting for them with orders to kill him. He knows he will be stripped of his knighthood and frozen for failing his mission. To avoid that humiliation, he wants them to kill him. However when Eugeo learns his name as Deusolbert Synthesis Seven, the Integrity Knight who took Alice away, he becomes engulfed in rage. He would’ve killed him had Kirito not stopped him. Let’s not be ugly in killing a man who doesn’t resist. Kirito believes Deusolbert doesn’t even have memories of taking Alice away. He theorizes he got promoted for bringing Alice. But to maintain his fealty as an Integrity Knight, those memories are also sealed because it would be weird if the sinner he brought in showed up as an Integrity Knight. Kirito has him remember if there is a memory that no sacred arts could manipulate. There is one but he can’t really remember much. They let him be as they make their way up and plan how to counter the other Integrity Knights. Then they spot a couple of cute loli chicks watching at them. Hello girls. Want to come out and say hi?

Episode 15
Fizel and Linel are sisters in training. Since Kirito isn’t good with kids, he lets Eugeo handle this. They’re quite nice and cute until they get up close and stab them with their poison daggers! Damn, they’re Integrity Knights?! As they drag them up the stairs, they explain that they are born inside here and their mission was to help Administrator in an experiment with resurrection sacred art. Hence they kill each other. However many other experiment candidates either explode or become monsters after being resurrected. After many failed attempts, the experiment is called off and since the duo are the only survivors, they were promoted to Integrity Knights. But they are confined to only studying sacred arts so they got bored and wanted their own dragons and Divine Objects. They heard about the escapees and thought it would be a good idea to prove themselves. In the top floor consists of top Integrity Knights and their vice commander, Fanatio Synthesis Two. They plan to decapitate the boys so the witnesses can report to Administrator of their great feat. Suddenly Kirito stands up and stabs them with their own dagger. He was suspicious the moment they popped up and knew they couldn’t be just sisters in training due to their dagger gear. Hence he recited some poison dissolving art while Eugeo was attending to them. He won’t kill them but will let them see how strong real Integrity Knights are. Kirito faces off with Fanatio and while the latter brags about her sword made from sunlight, Kirito strikes off her helmet, revealing her female face. She gets agitated thinking Kirito is shocked to discover that she is a woman and won’t fight at his full strength. Just like many others. However Kirito mocks her that she is the one being conscious of being a woman. He had his fair share of losing to female fighters and won’t hold back. Fanatio gets desperate as she summons some dangerous sacrificing move. Cue for Eugeo freed from his poison to summon his sacred art to frozenly bind her. But will it be enough? As he gets pessimistic about his chances, Kirito reminds him that hate will not defeat her. It is love! His love for Alice and those feelings aren’t in any way inferior to her justice.

Episode 16
In short, Kirito defeats Fanatio. After Eugeo uses some of his life force to heal him, Kirito still wants to save Fanatio. If she is erased, everything is for naught. Kirito gets desperate to scream for help. When no one replies, he uses the dagger on her. Cardinal takes Fanatio into her care. Now that they are free to make their way up, damn this cathedral even has a lift operator? She has been operating it for 107 years?! Oh Eugeo, it puts your previous Calling to shame. At the highest floor the operator could go, in this garden, Alice is seen resting. WTF she wants them to give her some time to bask in the sunlight? Probably an excuse so the boys could plot how to take her down. So when she is ready to fight, they have to improvise quick because her sword seems to be in perfect condition. They get blown away and even this is just a warning strike from her. Kirito challenges her to a duel as he asks her about her immense power that originates from a small tree. Something about how her sword was grown from a single Osmanthus tree when the Gods were building this nation. Hence as the oldest creation, its attribute is everlasting eternity. Kirito plays a little cheat as he restrains her so that Eugeo can freeze her. Unfortunately that is not enough as she manages to break out from it. Kirito tries to give another chance to Eugeo and strikes back. However the force is too great that the wall is blown open. The vacuum sucks out Kirito and Alice. Before Eugeo can go after them, the wall builds itself back.

Episode 17
Don’t worry. Kirito and Alice are hanging by their swords. Alice wants him to let go so he lectures her about Eugeo is going to go up and kill Administrator. Isn’t it her job to protect the pontifex? That’s why she must survive. In that case, why don’t Kirito let go? He mentions his mission is not to destroy Axiom Church but protect human territory from Dark Territory’s invasion. They talk about the arbitrary rules and laws set. For now they call a truce but once they enter the tower, she will slay him. As the walls are created with infinite regenerative abilities, looks like they’re going up. Using a chain to chain themselves together, Kirito then uses his skill to create wedges to climb up. Damn, this guy must be real strong and have a really good balance. Because Alice feels ashamed to do the same, WTF she has Kirito pull her from underneath. Is this her pride as an Integrity Knight?! Their goal is to make it to the 95th floor since there will be an open garden. Looks like this is going to take a while. We take a brief detour to Ocean Turtle. Asuna and Rinko notice a destroyer moving further. An agent is perplexed because it’s supposed to escort them. He calls Kikuoka about it. Back to the VR world, looks like they’re still a long way to go and it is going to be night fall. Noticing a ledge a few metres above, they can rest there. However, statues turn into monsters and start attacking them. Can they fight with their balance on the edge? Worse, Alice is scared?! WTF?! Mind boggling moment when Kirito uses all his strength to swing Alice up to the ledge. She then does the same to him. Now they can fight the monsters and easily slay them. Alice is baffled because these monsters are from Dark Territory and created by evil dark art users as soulless familiars called minions. How are these lined up on the most sacred walls of the human empire and how did they get past the detection of Integrity Knights? Could it be someone of high authority within the church placed them here? Because minion blood brings you sickness, Alice lends her handkerchief to wipe it off Kirito’s face. Have it clean and return to her before she slays him. Gee, how kind. Another excuse to delay slaying him immediately? Meanwhile Eugeo has reached the hot bath level. Don’t worry. Not sexy hot naked chicks. But a burly muscular guy with scars. Have fun…

Episode 18
It is no surprise he is the leader of the Integrity Knights and that legendary hero, Bercouli. Eugeo tries to take him on is blown away by his mysterious slash. Don’t worry. Bercouli won’t kill him since he didn’t kill Fanatio or any of the other Integrity Knights. He reveals his sword didn’t slash air but slashed the future! WTF?! Okay, more explanation how it was made by the Divine Object of a clock that existed since the start of this world. Eugeo prepares for his next attack as Bercouli guesses he is going for long distance attacks now. That’s what all his opponents think after seeing that move. Of course Eugeo thinks out of the box. He freezes everything and throws away his sword. This shock stuns Bercouli as Eugeo physically tackles him before getting his sword back to checkmate him. With everything slowly freezing, Eugeo’s plan is also to take themselves out because his blooming ice roses are sucking their life force. Eugeo then gets upset because Integrity Knights like him don’t remember their past and serve blindly to Axiom Church. Hey, you want to blame an amnesiac person for not remembering? Well, before Bercouli starts having a feeling those stories about him, then comes in this clown. Chudelkin the prime senator accuses Bercouli for treason because he did not use his other time ability that would have instantly killed Eugeo. Bercouli denies this and claims he has given everything he’s got while accusing the jester back he has deceived him. Chudelkin deep freezes him so that he would be reprocessed. However he feels Bercouli will not be needed anymore as Eugeo will be a better pawn. We take a detour to the awkward moment of Kirito and Alice spending the night together on the ledge. Kirito tells her about her sister. Starting to remember something? Yeah, keep denying. Despite he assures her everything he said is true, of course she doubles down and will slay him if there is a hint of deceit. She’s a really good tsundere, isn’t she?

Episode 18.5
Recap episode! What a better way to spend the night on the ledge and let time pass as Kirito tells Alice everything from start to finish. Although the visuals are 100% copy and paste (no new scenes, sadly) but at least there are some parts that Kirito narrates like a more summarized version of what has happened so far in their quest to bring back Alice. So now you believe? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Episode 19
Wait. Kirito narrating a quick recap on what happened to Alice? Yeah, I guess it’s for those who skipped that recap episode. Alice wonders why he is doing this and of course as we know, it is to protect this world from Dark Territory. He asks her back about the Integrity Knights’ chance in defeating Dark Territory and she remembers even Bercouli has his doubts but Chudelkin admonished him to think of a way. Despite nobles being corrupted, Kirito has an idea for the people to protect this world. With the large stash of weapons in the armoury, the Integrity Knights can help dispense their knowledge and skill to the people to have a fighting chance. They can at least be ready in a year. And it looks like Alice seems to have been taken in by Kirito’s words because she wants to see Selka and Kirito even promising to let her see her sister back at her village before she regains her memories. I guess she somewhat remembers since she is crying. When she decides to forsake her role as an Integrity Knight, her right eye starts to act up. She is in pain as Kirito finds a barcode in it. He believes if she tries to think differently and defy the church, this barrier will be activated. Empty your mind! Or your eye will explode! However there are things she needs to do and continues to defy. Meanwhile Eugeo finds himself possibly at the top floor of the cathedral. Who this sleeping beauty? A voice tells him to run away but too late, Administrator wakes up. She claims Eugeo wants to be loved and although he denies, the way she words everything makes him start to doubt. Like his mother who didn’t truly love him alone because she shared her love among her brothers. That’s why he hates them. Then there is that Tiese’s case where she was almost raped. He killed Raios because he hates him, right? But does Tiese loves only him? Alice? Yeah, she shows a past clip whereby Kirito and Alice are seemingly close to each other behind Eugeo’s back. With Eugeo in shock, Administrator goes in for the kill. She is willing to love only him. So… Sex = love? The deeper your love, the more she’ll bring him ultimate pleasure. Confused Eugeo hears to voice of Tiese, Alice and Kirito but are all soon blocked out. With Eugeo fully enchanted by her, she goes down on her. That’s right. Come into me! Deep inside me! Into eternal stasis! Damn, this could be good hentai dialogue!

Episode 20
Kirito and Alice manage to climb up to the balcony. Because Eugeo is not around, Kirito uses his System Call to locate Eugeo’s sword. Still below them. Entering the bath level, Kirito can tell the frozenness is Eugeo’s doing. Alice is sad to see Bercouli turned into stone but he is strong enough to break free at least his eyes and mouth to speak to her about some conspiracy and Eugeo being taken away by Chudelkin. As they move to the next level, Kirito asks about the senators’ role. Apparently they oversee the Taboo Index. If anybody breaks them, they send an Integrity Knight to deal with it. Kirito finds it odd since Administrator is giving lots of power to them to act as her proxy. Then they enter the room where all the senators are. Them inside chambers and monitoring everything. This is sure some freaky sci-fi. Then they hear Chudelkin screaming in agony in his room. Something didn’t go as planned? Alice confronts him and after he runs his mouth about her going to betray Axiom Church, he continues to reveal the sweet moment before Alice was synthesized. She was begging and crying and all. He revels just thinking about that. Alice then stabs him but it didn’t kill this fatty and instead he explodes into some red smoke to escape. Trying to chase him to the next floor, shockingly an Integrity Knight arrives to face them. Eugeo?! Alice finds it odd that the ritual can be done so quickly. Kirito is close to losing himself seeing his best friend in this state and ironically it is Alice reminding him that they need to stay calm and find another way to restore him or they will forever lose him. Kirito asks Eugeo if he remembers him. Nope. He doesn’t even want Alice or want to know anything about it. Administrator gave him what he wants and nothing else matters. I guess talk time is over. Time to see if the student can defeat the master.

Episode 21
Kirito and Eugeo clash with all they’ve got. No harm trying to awaken Eugeo’s memories by mentioning the important people in his lives. But did it work? Because Eugeo got a little sloppy. But then again, he could be trolling because after Kirito lets his guard down, he freezes them. He returns to Administrator who wants to give him his reward but first, she tries to adjust his Piety Module. Because she allows him to freely move, this chance allows Eugeo to completely break free and tries to stab her with the dagger. Too bad Administrator’s barrier is thick. She gives him a chance to redeem himself and forgive his sins if he destroys the dagger. Because her view of eternal love means eternal control, he mocks her as the pity one who has never been loved. Because Eugeo’s view of love isn’t something like a transaction or reward but something given continuously. With that, Administrator finds it a shame she’ll have to do force Synthesis on him just like how she it to Alice many years ago. Hearing that makes Eugeo mad. He charges at her and of course her protection is still intact. This is interrupted when Chudelkin comes running in for help. He thought of finishing off Kirito and Alice but he realized Eugeo fooled him and now they’re after his ass! Yeah, dumb joker just brought them back to this room. Eugeo is happy to see Kirito and Alice again but apologizes for giving in to Administrator’s temptation. Hence he thought he tried to atone for this himself. Don’t be silly. Kirito knew what he was thinking all along. Yeah, you sure had us all fooled. Maybe. Because Administrator senses something wrong with Alice’s logic circuits, she gives her a chance to say anything without any risk of reprimand. Alice explains how she has been disillusioned by everything, especially Administrator’s conflicting actions that would eventually bring harm to the human empire. This has Administrator thinking there is no error in the logic circuit and her Piety Module is still functioning. Could it mean she disabled Code 871 (the seal in her right eye) on her own? She then gives Chudelkin to redeem his honour by disposing off them. Chudelkin will gladly do it but pleads, to put it bluntly and crudely, he wants to f*ck her! Administrator agrees for a one night stand offer if he fulfils his mission. And we can see the power of boners makes a horny guy power up as Chudelkin summons a fire genie to burn them all!

Episode 22
While Alice distracts the genie, Kirito powers up and pierces Chudelkin. Well, that’s that. Easy. This spectacled allowed Administrator to collect some data and realizes that Kirito is a human from the other world. Kirito warns her about the impending invasion from Dark Territory while Alice derides her for planting false memories. Administrator knew of all the pain and suffering her Integrity Knights went through. That’s why she erased them all. It doesn’t matter what Alice feels, once she is synthesized, she will no longer remember or feel. Kirito then warns her about the other humans on the other side who holds absolute authority and they can eliminate everything just by the push of a button. But that is that same reason that Administrator reasons why Kirito has no reason to criticise the methods she uses. As she will not grovel before them or beg for her existence to continue, the only proof she needs is the control she exerts. Her feet exists to trample upon others. Hence she is going to show them the ultimate weapon that she needs to fight Dark Territory. One that is not even human. She combines all the divine weapons and turns into a killing machine named Sword Golem. All it needs to do is endlessly massacre its enemies. And it will taste its first blood as it stabs Alice. Being mad won’t do you any good because Kirito also gets stabbed. A voice tells Eugeo to stab the floating platform while Cardinal’s spider tries to hold it off. The spider dies but holds it off in time for Cardinal to pop out from her library and blast Sword Golem away. Damn, she has time to heal the wounded and even mourn the death of her favourite pet? Administrator must be real confident… So is Cardinal going to lecture this hollow fool about love?

Episode 23
Administrator claims Sword Golem isn’t just made out of weapons, they are actually humans. Hence Cardinal can’t technically kill them since they aren’t monsters. Administrator claims this is just a prototype. Once completed, she’ll use about 800,000 human lives to complete a perfect one and thinks it is enough to repel Dark Territory’s invasion. The source is the Piety Modules and all those crystals on the ceiling’s mural are actually it. Cardinal agrees to be defeated by her in exchange the lives of the trio is spared. Administrator blasts her several times. Gotta have some fun first, right? And then she is so kind so as to let them say their final goodbyes. Because Eugeo realizes what needs to be done. What he needs to do. From what I can see, he wants to be turned into a sword to fight Administrator because he realizes that she is resistant to metal weapons, the reason why his dagger cannot pierce through. Somehow Eugeo takes Alice’s Piety Module and then begins his transformation process. See, Administrator? Had you taken action earlier, this wouldn’t have happened. Too late as Alice staves her off until the process is complete. Eugeo the sword is able to destroy Sword Golem and gravely wound Administrator (because of the sword’s silver properties). But it comes with a price. Eugeo is left broken. Yes, his real body is split in half! Kirito falls into depression as Administrator heals herself. Fun time is over. Time to kill the last remaining brat. As she is about to slay him, suddenly Alice jumps in front to protect him. Damn, this awakens Kirito that he might repeat the same mistake so he gets even faster to draw his sword and protect Alice. Was Administrator that slow? With Alice passing out from exhaustion, it’s time for the final boss fight.

Episode 24
So for nostalgia’s sake, Kirito transforms into his trademark SAO uniform to fight. But Administrator knows how to counter all his sword techniques. Then time out. Because conveniently time for Kirito and Eugeo to talk things out and give the former motivation. Damn, do they have to make it look yaoi? Anyway, Kirito is now dual wielding with Eugeo’s sword. The fight continues. Administrator still b*tching she is the ruler of this world and how control = love. That’s why she loves everything. Can’t argue with that. Their swords are glowing red so this might as well turn into a lightsabre duel. In the end, they cut an arm of each other. Kirito still has an arm but Administrator no arms left! So how? Why, she uses her hair to strangle him! Damn, why didn’t she use this for multiple weapons? Was covering her modesty more important?! Anyway, Kirito dealt a fatal damage to her core. She’s all cracking up. Literally. She tries a tactical escape and hints she is bringing the fight to his world. But as she escapes, Chudelkin clings onto her, hoping to take her with him. She tries to shoo him away but he turns into a flaming ghost and burns everything. Damn! Is this how Administrator is taken down?! It’s like saying porn virus destroyed the main super computer!!! HAHAHA!!! With Administrator gone, Eugeo still isn’t dead. You mean he is still alive after being cut in half for so long? I guess this is good excuse so as to why Kirito can cry hard. Friendship talk thingy, blah, blah, blah. That scene whereby Kirito and Alice are supposed to be flirting behind Eugeo’s back? Actually they made a wooden sword for his birthday. See the power of context? Final goodbye. Time to walk their own path. Eugeo’s dead for good. You can tell when his body disappears. Kirito hacks into the PC and calls out to Kikuoka. Before he could blame the scientist, he hears a commotion in the back. Looks like military men are trying to storm into the place! With no time, Kikuoka tells Kirito to find Alice, take her to the World’s End Altar. Unfortunately the soldiers are trying to cut the power line. The Lightcube may be protected but the surge will hit Kirito’s STL. He’ll be fried. Kirito is confused when he hears Asuna’s name. Why is she here? Too late. The power cut. Kirito dying? WTF is this angel Asuna floating down to rescue him?! What a dramatic and confusing end…

Debugging Art Online
As we all can see and already know beforehand, there is going to be another season. Hence the final episode that ended in such a chaotic and dramatic way didn’t come off as surprising or disappointing. Well, maybe when the last episode suddenly ends. But after all, this arc is so far the longest arc and story in the original light novel series and since the anime is going to fully adapt its entire arc and being faithful to it, they are going to need a lot of cours. I suppose it is good that they decided to take a break after back to back twin cours since if they continued (it is rumoured that the total episodes for this Alicization arc itself is to be around 50 episodes), it could feel like a one long draggy affair. I mean, I have to say that the SAO series isn’t just for everyone. Not even for yours truly. Even if you’re a masochist and can binge watch the entire series, it is still good to go outside and stretch your legs, take a breather before resuming. Heh. Now I can see and understand why a few animes employ this tactic although sometimes my guts tell me it is for economic reasons.

Anyway, I’m not saying that this Alicization story is really interesting because you know like I’ve said, the SAO franchise isn’t for every Tom, Dick and Harry. For those who have reached this far into the original light novels, you have got to already be some sort of elevated status of a fan. I have been watching SAO since it was first adapted back in 2012 and I continued to watch all its TV series (but somehow skipped the movie, Ordinal Scale) in hopes I could understand something. But you know me. I didn’t really get a lot of the technical terms. This season’s Fluctlight and other technical terms I am still struggling to understand even as I type this blog. I feel that artificial soul is the best I could understand for what it means for Fluctlight but I am also pretty sure that isn’t as accurate as what the producers intended its definition to be. Then there are other commands inside the VR game like System Call and the likes which I am still blur in and going “What the heck are those again?”. Every time a character says those commands to open or change some options, it feels more like some sort of magical spell. You know, those charm lines you say when magicians and wizards cast a spell but only this time they sound like programming terms. The story for this season might seem long and dragging out but the way they flesh out the characters and other development, it is all not a waste of time.

Sometimes when I think about this whole Alicization story, it could have been actually another spinoff or an entirely different story not related to SAO whatsoever. It could have been a totally new story, make and change Kirito to another new character and voila, we’ve got ourselves a totally new series and anime. It doesn’t feel so much like an SAO series as the plot delves around 2 young boys trying to rescue a long lost childhood friend and at the same time trying to rid of the big ruler who rules over everything before the ultimate tragedy of the other side invades and destroys everything for good. And add some programming terms into their lingua. So if we substitute those programming jargons with classic magical ones, this could again be passed off as entirely another series. But of course it can’t be a totally new story altogether since Reki Kawahara, the creator of this series wrote this arc. But I guess it is better than those isekai animes of the main character being killed in the real world and reborn again as an overpowered one in another magical fantasy world! Uhm, can VR be considered isekai?

Just like how I said SAO felt weird without Kirito, it also feels weird without Asuna. Naturally as we can see from the flow of the story, Asuna is now reduced to a very concerned girlfriend waiting for Kirito outside while Kirito himself is probably having an adventure of a lifetime as he lays in coma. Hence the dynamic relationship now isn’t Kirito x Asuna but that of Kirito x Eugeo. It is a good thing that the series didn’t really show it in a way that makes it look like their friendship is going beyond just good friends and potential to be gay partners (f*ck the PC culture!). But just pure and hardcore friendship among the boys as swordsman. Perhaps the final episode was the closest into seeing that suggestive yaoi scene but it might just be our dirty minds. Kirito doesn’t feel so much as the sole star of this series as Eugeo too has his fair share of the limelight. Hence both of them being given enough time to develop and being fleshed out, by the end of this season, you’ll come to at least want to support them as a team instead of one over the other. Perhaps to a point that it would be weird if Kirito is without Eugeo and vice versa. Yeah, f*ck Asuna! At least for this season. So hardcore and amazing their friendship that you can see them in sync during the opening credits animation. Especially they have this weird sync of hand gestures. So weird but so cool.

With Kirito and Eugeo developing their (virtual) friendship, so much so that I never once think that they would end up in some weird romantic love triangle with Alice. Hah. It’s not that kind of series but you know me, I’m inclined to somehow think of that. I never thought of this until the series ended and it only makes Alice looks like as though she is a third wheel! Alice despite being the boys’ main reason and motivation to do what they do, she feels mostly like a side character and not really doing much. Partly because she has been brainwashed for most of the part as an Integrity Knight and even when she somewhat started to question her loyalty and then witnessed Administrator’s hypocritical actions, it’s not like there is a whole lot that she could do, right? After all, Kirito and Eugeo still continue to dominate as stars of this story. So sorry folks, no Kirito’s cheesy harem moments to get in the way of hardcore male bonding friendship here. Not sure if the next season will feature Eugeo since he is seen riding off into the sunset with loli Alice. Eugeo turning himself into a shota so that it won’t look like some pedo thingy might be the ending Eugeo and Alice need. Because that Integrity Knight Alice has may just be a vessel and several hints she may be a separate manner than the original loli Alice. But we’ll see when the next season rolls in.

The thought of Administrator playing God although she is just some programming entity, maybe her character doesn’t get me thinking a lot about her twisted thinking and personality but rather about the sentient life called reality. What if this simulation is actually what is happening in our lives in reality too? There have been debates about whether or not this reality is just a simulation and the things that occur after death that are beyond our imaginations. And what if there are higher beings than the one and only Almighty God we know? A lot of things about this simulated VR game can be drawn parallel to reality. Like God could just be another being because He has more access to shortcuts and other debugging stuffs that the rest of us don’t. Hence, administrator privileges. And God bringing Revelation and Doomsday to the world? That’s like you delete this game forever! Coming back to Administrator’s character, but think about it, can you blame her twisted thinking and definition of love because she is programmed that way? In a sense, it’s like as though she is written and setup to be an antagonist, don’t you think? And it was pretty ironic that a pervert took her down completely…

I wouldn’t say the action and sword fighting scenes are a masterpiece but the action bits are enough to satiate those who want to see some sword clashing battles. It feels like Kirito doesn’t have a lot of options what he can do here despite his Aincrad style somehow being carried into this world. His and Eugeo’s sword have their own unique properties and sometimes they seem like they pull off all the stops for that one exaggerated over the top moves but I guess it’s necessary just to show us how far they have come along and improved on their skills. And if you can’t hack your way through via programming, just hack and slash your way with a sword! I never expected to use both meanings of hacking here…

One of the superior elements in this season is that the art and animation are very good. If I should say, it is comparable to the standard that we see in Fate/Zero and Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works TV series. There are lots of high quality put into the visuals and it doesn’t disappoint. After all, A-1 Pictures have animated all its previous adaptations (except that alternate GGO spinoff) and it pays off here with an important arc like this one. Can’t disappoint fans of the series, can they? With a lot of hype that went about, it’s too big to fail! Thank goodness. So if the story is hard to follow, at least the high quality visuals may be something to give you the wow factor. There is also some CGI employed and it doesn’t feel disjointed. It feels seamlessly woven into the superior quality of the animation.

The first time when I laid eyes on Alice as an Integrity Knight, I thought she looked familiar. Isn’t that a more serious and zero perverted version of KonoSuba’s Darkness? Well, almost. Must be the golden armour. And more suspiciously, same seiyuu… Anyway, Administrator being a character who is mostly in the nude, I wonder if it is a lazy way out so as not to design some sort of fancy garb for her. After all, all of the Integrity Knights have their armour so shining and colourful that you wonder if they are a liability in battle. But as we’ve seen, they’re not so it looks like they look as good and nice as they are in their skills. But Administrator being naked all the time especially in the final stretch makes me feel weird. Imagine battling a naked last boss. Isn’t that distracting? Yeah, no backlash since Administrator is a smoking hot babe. Because remember that video game uproar for a naked final boss fight in Bioshock? Yeah, nobody wants to see a naked macho man monster boss… Isn’t it no wonder why Chudelkin brought Administrator down with him? Who could’ve resisted such beautiful pure naked body? Something to literally die for… And so it goes to show that something she deemed perfect became her undoing.

Voice acting is pretty fine too with new casts joining the line-up including Nobunaga Shimazaki as Eugeo (Yuno in Black Clover), Ai Kayano as Alice (Darkness in KonoSuba), Maaya Sakamoto as Administrator/Quinella (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Sakura Tange as Cardinal (Angela in Melty Lancer), Hitomi Nabatame as Fanatio (Reina in Circlet Princess), Kaori Ishihara as Tiese (Azusa in Hentai Ouji To Warawanai Neko), Reina Kondou as Ronie (Hana in Slow Start), Wataru Takagi as Chudelkin (Alaindelon in Beelzebub), Megumi Han as Liena (titular character in Mushibugyou), Hikaru Hanada as Deusolbert (Akihiko in Junjou Romantica), Ryuuichi Kijima as Humbert (Lenka in God Eater), Shuuhei Iwase as Raios (Yasutaka in Sankarea), Takeaki Masuyama as Eldrie (Ida in Nora To Oujo To Noraneko Heart) and Kaori Maeda as Selka (Mari in Back Street Girls: Gokudolls). The only new cast I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Bercouli.

The first opening theme, Adamas by Lisa feels a bit chaotic. The frenzied pace of this rock piece tries to sound epic but to me it comes off as noisy. Except for the last bit which has a funky bass solo. That’s the only part I like. The second ending theme, Resister by Asca is also a rock outfit but it is toned down I think this one suits the pacing of the series better. The ending themes are slow rock with Iris by Eir Aoi being the first one and Forget Me Not by Reona as the second. I still prefer the former, though. There is a special ending theme for episode 19, Niji No Kanata Ni by Reona and this is quite a slow lovely ballad. Feels a bit disjointed from the series but I think this song is the one I like the most. I want to note that some of the sound effects are, how do I put it, deafening. Like when there is an epic magic sword clash or something, it’s like the bass and effect goes really loud and one kind. Are they trying to test my sound system or something?

Overall, not a bad season. An SAO series that isn’t your typical SAO, it feels both weird and refreshing at the same time. Infusing sword fighting with some computer programming setting? Strange indeed. After all, my experience with the first 2 seasons of SAO had this similar pattern in which the first big chunk of the series started off great but towards the end with its lesser arc, it disappoints. Remember that mediocre ALO that reduced Asuna into a damsel in distress for the first season and then the WTF Calibur and trying-to-prop-up-the-feels Mother’s Rosario in the second season? Yeah… Thankfully for this season, it is Alicization all the way and no disappointing small side stories to be distracted with. So huzzah for long story arcs? I promise I won’t complain about this story being draggy! Unfortunately no System Call or any delete button to erase those disappointing arcs. That’s why here’s to hoping the next continuation of this story would be a lot better to erase those dissatisfying ones. You can’t change the past but at least we can programme and create the future to be better. And no, delete and format everything isn’t the answer!

Miru Tights

October 4, 2019

I guess it has come down to this. We’ve basically run out of ideas on how to attract people to see your work. And what they say it’s true about the oldest profession in the world as well as sex sells. While I’m not talking about porn or anything hentai, looks like the easiest way to attract the attention of guys especially single horny otaku males is to do a show with some sort of sexy appeal. Remember that short series whereby women of different outfit flash to you their panties but with an angry face? Uh huh. If that was a bit too much for you to handle (wuss!), then let’s scale down a bit. Now we have a series that focuses on a group of girls in tights. Yes. Tights. Miru Tights. Heh, even the name doesn’t shy away of what it’s supposed to mean. Seeing Tights. No plot whatsoever but just watching a group of close friends do whatever in tights. Yes. Tights. Somebody here definitely has tights fetish. Oh, what about me, you say? I’m just checking out of curiosity and see what’s so great about tights… Honest! Please don’t be such a tight-assed!

Episode 1
What a way to start a school new tem with a rainy and wet day. Homi Moegi alights from her car but accidentally steps on a puddle. Her shoes and tights are now wet. Ren Aikawa and Yua Nakabeni are already complaining how the rain is drenching their tights and even more baffling when Homi is now soaked. Well, she thought since she is already half wet, might as well go step on more puddles! Hey, gotta have fun while you’re at it. No point being a wet blanket. I wonder why they didn’t even consider taking off their tights since they’re feeling so uncomfortable in it. And just when Homi has the common sense to take it off, her friends won’t let her. At least not in class where everyone can see. As she tries to head out to the changing room, too late. Homeroom teacher Yuiko Okuzumi is here.

Episode 2
Maid outfit with tights… I APPROVE!!! Yua is taking pictures of herself in this sexy maid cosplay and posting them online for all her fans. In record time, she gets a lot of comments and retweets. Damn right. These people sure have good taste!!! She takes a poll on what to cosplay next. You mean, I can’t have more maid cosplays? Hence she cosplays as a bunny girl followed by a nurse. Not a big fan of those but she’s still sexy as hell. Finally when she takes requests on what to cosplay next, many want a high school girl. Ren who has been watching this is worried because this might give her identity away. Fortunately, Yua wears a different school uniform instead of her real one. Like nobody can recognize her face, right? Can they?!

Episode 3
In class, Homi realizes her tights is slightly ripped. She wants to take it off but Ren stops her. This causes her own tights to be ripped. So now she blames Homi for all this and everyone is going to see this? What’s the problem? They got another ‘comrade’ because Yua too has her tights somewhat ripped. She woke up late and her haste to put it on, she accidentally ripped them. But thankfully they have spares. However when Yua puts them on, it rips. Damn poor quality. Because Ren laughs like mad, Yua gets her revenge by scratching her tights. Truly, poor quality material. Homi then joins in this weird wrestling game. In the end, the trio attend class with ripped tights. Worse off than before.

Episode 4
Ren works part time as a waitress in a café. I’m pretty sure that she is part of the attraction of why some of the customers patron this place. Yeah, those sexy tights, baby. At the end of the day, Ren complains that she has been working so hard that her legs are aching. She didn’t expect this job to be that busy. Well, master says it wasn’t. Until she came… And he can’t afford to get another helper. So deal with it? Ren gets a call from her friends to go karaoke. I guess that busted away her fatigue. Count her in. Master couldn’t be more thankful that with Ren continuing to work here, his café will be good for a while.

Episode 5
Homi is running late for her swimming club. Only after she enters the clubroom and changes halfway did she realize that the club’s schedule had changed. What a waste to have woke up so early so she sleeps on the bench. So when her swimming mates come by to wake her up, they are appalled to see her sleep this way. Swimsuits + tights. Is this sort of a new fashion? Since it is hot in class, Homi can’t help use her skirt to fan. Her friends don’t want her to casually do that but Homi is not worried since she is wearing her swimsuit underneath. However they point out that she already had her club activities this morning and her swimsuit is hung out to dry. So that means she has been giving the guys a free show of her pantsu… Man, Homi no shame. Even the guys are having that embarrassed look on their face and trying to pretend to ignore.

Episode 6
As punishment for being talkative, the trio are forced to learn the traditional tea etiquette by Okuzumi. As Ren drinks the tea, Yua plays a prank by tickling her numb legs. She manages to hold it in until the class is over. Once done, Ren is going to get her revenge. However both girls have their legs numb so they fall over each other in some weird floor wrestling fashion. They notice Homi is okay. Can she really sit like that for an hour? Homi sounds like she is used to it but when she gets up, she immediately falls down. Looks like she didn’t even know that her legs went numb!

Episode 7
During a test, a guy can’t help stare at Okuzumi’s ass and tights. Yeah… Okuzumi knows because of his guilty looking face and the way he averts his eyes when their eyes meet. So she has him stay back after school. Gulp. Okuzumi wants to know what is bothering him since he got zero on his test! Damn, was that distraction so effective?! Anyway, she claims she can help him and is serious about it. But wimpy boy thinks he doesn’t need her advice and instead has something more important to say. But did Okuzumi catch on? Because she is caressing his thighs with her feet!!! She can help solve his problem directly… Then he wakes up. Must be a dream. But then he notices something down there. And Okuzumi just fresh in putting her tights back on and claims it was great. F*cking cock teaser!!! WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED???!!!

Episode 8
Ren’s feet is hurting thanks to overworking. Yua offers to do a reflexology massage on her foot. She knows because her parents went to Taiwan to take the same. Why does her depiction show them in pain? Oh well, looks can be deceiving. Ren lets Yua do the honours as it starts to get a little ambiguous. Ren showing us her orgasmic face while Yua looking like a sadist who is enjoying every single bit of it. Even their dialogue is so ambiguous. It’s our first time. Be gentle. You’ll feel better in no time. Yua must be so good that it looked like Ren climaxed. Those liquid droplets are sweat, right? Since they’re so loud, this woke up Okuzumi who was probably next door snoozing. She keeps this to herself and hopes they keep their volume down.

Episode 9
Homi and Yua are doing a study session. With a kotatsu. Yeah… Most of the viewpoints are from underneath the kotatsu… No wonder it is so warm and fuzzy here… With Yua trying to study buy Homi just lazing around, I guess the last straw is when Homi tries to monopolize Yua’s pet cat. And now the study session is off and a ‘standoff’ over the cat. WTF Homi trying to bait the kitty with her pussy???!!! WTF???!!! And then some argument on whose thighs are softer instead of muscular. You think the cat cares with your ‘threats’???!!!

Episode 10
Homi’s brother is looking at porn instead of studying. He thinks of putting it away so he can study when his sister comes in! Phew! Thank goodness didn’t catch him with his pants down. It seems she wants to clean his ear. She tried it herself but she wasn’t satisfied. So now she wants to do his? He only relents because it looks like he has tights fetish. While she cleans his ear, this dude suddenly has a boner? Yeah. Awkward. He hints it is because of her he has tights fetish. He struggles to get away but Homi won’t let him. Now he has got his head stuck deep in between her thighs. This guy is going to get more trauma when Homi continues to tease him like blowing into his ear. Don’t blame him when he becomes a sister rapist…

Episode 11
Ren wins a prize at the crane game. Because she is embarrassingly trying to give it to Yua for Valentine, Yua takes advantage of this by pinning her to the wall and then whisper perhaps she should have just given herself as the present. Of course she was just joking and wanted to see her reaction. As Ren waits in her room, she really thinks about it. Thus she decides to tease her by wrapping herself in some leftover ribbon. Somehow she got entangled with it. Yeah, now she’s looking like a genuine present. Yua enters and sees this sexy gift. Help me please doesn’t mean help yourself! Did Yua just put on a rape face? Too bad we can’t see how Yua ‘frees’ Ren as we are left to our imaginations while we hear Ren’s squeals.

Episode 12
The girls are planning about their trip when the spring break comes. Wow. Looks like they’re going to be really saving up if they really want that European tour. But of course, we don’t get to see those picturesque locations the girls are discussing but instead the exotic tights! Oh yeah. I would love to visit those lovelies any time. But wherever the trio go, they sure have a lot of fun together. And when they take a commemorative photo, it’s like the camera got a little pervy mind on its own because when it drops, it snaps a pic of their tights. Classic. That’s one for the album.

Episode 13 (Special)
Homi helps take pictures of Yua posing. This is to practice for her upcoming photo shoot. Uh huh. Some guy probably saw how sexy Yua was on her social media and contacted her to do a cosplay photo book with her. And tights is the theme. Shady indeed. I bet he wants to use it as his own personal material to jerk off. Ren refuses to join in as she is not into this stuff. But when Yua mocks Ren that she might spoil the photo shoot since she has no modelling practice, this provocation is enough to make her join in. And so Homi snaps away the duo posing, each time the posing gets more and more risqué. Are you sure you’re not doing some yuri porn shoot? And then it’s like they knew what we were thinking and wanted because Yua starts blowing into Ren’s ears as well as start running her fingers through her tights! And finally Yua ‘attacks’ Ren by getting on top of it! Full yuri assault! We approve!!! And Homi is just filming this with glee. Will you upload it soon?! I don’t even know what’s the point of why this happened but gochisousama anyway.

In A Tight(s) Spot…
Well… Good news… Sort of… I realize I didn’t develop any tights fetish after watching this series! Hooray! I’m clean! I’m in the clear! However this doesn’t mean I’m not going to watching ecchi animes in the future! But seriously… The anime isn’t anything special and would only resonate with those who have tights fetish. Ecchi fans would also enjoy this but the ecchi parts feel mild. But I suppose the series stays true to what it does best the most: The focus and emphasis of the girls in pantyhose AKA tights. So for a person like me who isn’t into this kind of fetish, it feels a bit odd to see the camera work focusing on the pair of legs covered with tights. It’s not like I don’t understand. It’s the equivalent to panty shots, boob shots and crotch shots. So you liking your thick thighs tights now, huh?

Like we are already told from the synopsis, there is no stories whatsoever and it could go on for another cour of them doing just about anything but with the focus continually on the tights. It would have been probably more or less the same thing. Going shopping. In tights! Going hiking. In tights! Hot yuri hentai. In tights! Oops… Went too far. Hence the real ‘character’ and ‘star’ of this series are the tights themselves. Not Yua. Not Ren. Not Homi. These girls feel so shallow that we feel that their tights and thighs have more character than themselves! Really! Do you not feel their stocking legs get more screen time than their pretty face? Who cares if Homi is in the swimming club and she’s the ditz of the trio. Who cares if Ren works part time at a café. Who cares if Yua is a popular cosplayer but might harbour a secret split dominating personality. Oh wait. The last one seems interesting but alas, can’t take away the limelight from those tights.

So yeah, the girls having some sort of personality seems like fillers so the episodes aren’t just completely random. I think it would have worked well had it went with that format. As random as that episode where Okuzumi who is already an enigmatic character because of that one episode where she is being very suggestive with a student. But that could just be our imaginations running wild. Is she a predator? I guess she also needs a little screen time of her own since some love older women in tights. Just saying… Besides, episodes with guys in them are the most interesting because we get to see how they deal with this tight situation-cum-menace. Poor Homi’s little bro… The irony when you think it is his big sister that somewhat introduced him into this porn…

Art and animation feel pretty minimal. Do you not agree that the characters look a bit weird? Sometimes I think if the girls having high forehead is a trademark of this series. No, seriously. Because that is how it seems to me. But of course don’t mind the low quality of this series because if they can spam in your face those tights, everything will be okay. Yeah, the tights get more detail and quality compared to everything else! You give us those delicious tights shots and the possible but vague panty shots, we be happy and shut up. Happy simple otaku guys are happy and simple. This series was animated by Yokohama Animation Lab whom many won’t hear of because they do short and obscure series that nobody heard of like Yakusoku Nanaya Matsuri, Hanasaku Kizuna No Romantan and Neko Ga Kureta Marui Shiawase. Yeah. Boring sounding names. Nothing like some tights appeal to help propel your studio name to the fore. Unfortunately this series isn’t that mainstream and pretty niche so I guess they’re still nobodies and not going to attract heavyweight and veteran studios. Not even a storm in a teacup.

Surprisingly, a few recognizable and popular seiyuus lending their talents to this short series like Youko Hikasa as Yua, Haruka Tomatsu as Ren and Ai Kayano as Okuzumi. The only one I didn’t recognize is Aya Suzaki as Homi (Mako in Kill La Kill). So if you’re not fans of tights or even ecchi, perhaps they could draw your attention if your favourite seiyuu was taking part in this. Yeah, now imagine her in tights… Damn it would have been so epic and ironic had Mamiko Noto had a role here… So yeah, the tights might be distracting you from their voice acting talents… The ending theme is True Days and there are a few versions of it. 3 solo versions and one trio collaboration. They sound fine to me although not likely to be memorable and last beyond the season.

Overall, definitely a tight masterpiece! Haha! It feels like a cheap ploy to keep the company afloat with some fast cash grab because like I’ve said from time to time, sex sells. Also feels like a bait and introduction to those with weak will to get you hook into tights. And then from there you could move on to leg and feet fetish, thicc thighs, thigh gaps, etc. Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Animes like this as well as that Iya Na Kao Sare Nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai might be series that give the anime industry a bad name. But remember, these are also the kind of series that keep Japan and anime alive! Hold on tightly to your dreams! Shallow minded people of society might call this sleazy but only true men and otaku know how to appreciate such masterpiece! That’s all, people. Good night and sleep tight(s)!

Canaan

September 29, 2019

I thought it was about time to complete my trilogy of girls with guns. After my stint with Noir and Madlax many years back, El Cazador De La Bruja was supposed to be next. For some unknown reason, I kept delaying wanting to watch that one. A signal that maybe I wasn’t so interested after all? And when I somewhat did, I thought it was strange. That Spanish sounding name definitely didn’t sound like the other two. They were just single named titles. WTF. And this somehow led me to Canaan. Not one of the original trilogy but still falling under the category of girls with guns. Sorry Mexico. Not going there this time. But Shanghai. Funny how some decisions make you go and end up where you are now?

Episode 1
While the streets of Shanghai is having its festivities, Canaan finished her sniping job. A monologue reminds Canaan despite being a victim of war, she mustn’t fight hate with hate. This will also not rid the world of hate. When she returns, Yuri Natsume who is her employer and informant tells of another job she has to do. A truck protecting an Unbloom was destroyed by Snake. Her job is to retrieve any survivors. If there are no survivors, it is likely the attacker are Unblooms themselves. Meanwhile, Minoru “Mino” Minorikawa is a journalist of a small magazine and is in Shanghai for an assignment. He hopes to make it big with a big scoop here. His assistant, Maria Oosawa seems to yearn to reunite with Canaan. Hence he goes off to get this old guy whom he thinks is some important figure in disguise. This leaves Maria by her own as she frolics in the festivities. There are a group of people wearing weird headgears. When it is removed, they go crazy and in a violent trance before dying. The people around think it is part of the festivities and don’t care. Maria has the misfortune to stumble into one of them as she realizes the mark on their bodies. She is about to be killed by masked guys but Canaan rescues her and takes her to safety in the back alley. No time for a reunion yet as Canaan ties her up with a wool yarn (a symbol of their friendship that she cannot break) and returns to her mission. Mino realizes his target was false alarm. Then he sees Canaan running around and real bullets flying about. With the people still frolicking, he realizes the people have closed their eyes not to accept this reality and think this is all part of the revelry. Canaan uses her super magic sight to sniff out the masked people and shoot them. Meanwhile, a truck with soldiers escorting a young girl, Alphard who is supposed to be the head of Snake is ambushed.

Episode 2
It’s Liang Qi and Cummings to the rescue! All American soldiers slaughtered and even Alphard takes out some of them before she escapes. Liang Qi informs that girl is back in Shanghai and can’t wait to kill her. However Alphard ignores her little sister and wants Cummings to hand over the report for some anti-terror summit in New York. There are things that must be done in order first. Mino goes through his film’s negatives and notices some of the weird marks on the corpses. Flashback shows his boss told him about the deadly Ua virus. Derived from the Swahili word that both means flower and death (hence the mark looks like a flower), its mortality rate is 100%. Maria was a victim of a virus attack in Shibuya a few years ago and only survived because her dad was a researcher and administered an anti-viral drug. Because of the shock, she has a little amnesia and doesn’t remember about the incident. Ironically, Maria came looking for a job in their company and Mino was tasked to look after her. At the restaurant, Mino wants to ask Maria more about Canaan. However they are ambushed. Isn’t that the old guy? He looks like a bloodthirsty mad killer now. Maria manages to hail a taxi driver (I nickname him Taximan for ease of reference) to escape. Taximan is equally crazy as he drives them to escape the trigger happy old guy’s hail of bullets. Maybe he needs some sort of thrill in addition to his mundane taxi life? So crazy that he drives his cab off an unfinished bridge! I don’t know how they survive and his cab still okay! Luckily Canaan is here. With the target now switch to her, the old man chases and fights her atop a bus. Smarter Canaan has him jump in the air so he gets electrocuted by the wires. One tangled fried old geezer coming up. Mino and Maria return to their hotel only to see it trashed with red paint. The only thing missing are their negatives. So spending the night outside isn’t fun. But are they seeing things because who this hot sexy cat girl babe???!!! Meow!!!

Episode 3
I don’t think Maria is going to believe Mino that following this cat girl, Hakko to her workplace where there are other cat women is going to lead him to the biggest scoop. Since Hakko can’t communicate well, Mino makes signs to interview her. Guess what? She shows her boobs! Best lost in translation ever? However Mino sees the mark but before he could ask further, the bartender, Santana kicks him out. He would have preferred him to touch her body but not her heart. Strange. So being a typical pervert is okay? Yeah, curiosity kills the cat. The duo stay in a different hotel but Canaan is able to find Maria thanks to her ‘different colour’. Mino wants to interview her but Canaan wants to hang out with Maria. With the girls having fun, Mino hangs out by himself. He sees Hakko again but this time in her normal clothes. Must be off duty. He tries to talk to her but since she doesn’t respond, he thinks she is a mute and shares his bread. Meanwhile Canaan and Maria are in some underground tram when suddenly it stops. Maria senses something amiss and rushes ahead. She should have known better than to leave Maria alone since the culprit is a young kid in the tram. Once Canaan realizes the trap is just a decoy, Maria has already been taken hostage. The kid believes Maria will come to her as he explains some complex synthesis of her senses blah, blah, blah, whatever. By the time Canaan arrives, a bomb is on Maria’s head and she can’t rip it off or else it will explode. The kid explains he is also from a village that was experimenting the Ua virus. And some gene mutation the virus did. Long story short, the kid accuses Canaan of killing his older brother. That old dude. The mutation caused him to be strong and agile but he aged fast. Canaan is able to sniff out the kid. Looks like his body can contort and hide in tightest of places. Yup, gene mutation thingy too. The effects caused his body to not grow. As time is running out, the kid swallows the diffuser. Flashback shows the kid is betting that Canaan will shoot him since he doesn’t intend to kill Maria. Maria can’t reveal that or he’ll kill her. To Maria’s shock, Canaan shoots the kid. Bomb still ticking. When the timer is over, the bomb is just some jack in the box. Canaan feels nothing but Maria is clearly shocked and shaken from what she has seen. Canaan notices she is beginning to show colours of rejection.

Episode 4
Maria is still depressed. She always thought Canaan was a normal girl. That moment wasn’t it. Canaan on the other hand wonders if she will lose it again. Flashback shows she was the only survivor in a decimated village. A soldier, Siam picked her up out of pity and trained her to be a mercenary. Canaan loves guns because they give off no colour. She hates blue as it is the colour of hatred and that’s why she is able to pinpoint her enemies. Remembering Siam’s words about not fighting hatred with hatred, Canaan knows it but she desperately doesn’t want to lose it again. It seems Siam was killed by Alphard and that was the first time Canaan lost something precious. Alphard attends a party of Daedala whom she is a majority stockholder of and the company will be hosting the upcoming anti-terrorist conference. She is sure turning heads with that stunning dress. Of course Canaan is also staking out at that party, waiting for her perfect chance. Mino gets more information about the mark. It is actually bulging veins that overlap each other. Maria is running around looking for Canaan. She needs to apologize to her. She realizes Canaan has always saved her from dangerous moments. It’s the reason why she is able to hold a camera. All because she met Canaan. She wanted to understand her but instead she blamed her and ran away from the guilt. She almost got into trouble with some backstreet ruffians but thankfully she got rescued by Yunyun. Not Canaan this time. Maria desperate to make a new friend that she wants to get to know her too? Alphard knows Canaan will ambush her in the toilet. She claims Canaan has fallen into the same place that she was. As they shortly fight, Alphard is clearly superior and can even restrain Canaan while keeping her dress clean! It must be hatred that has made Canaan sloppier. Alphard was once like that but escaped it. But Alphard won’t kill her yet since she still can have fun. Canaan is left to lick her wounds as she escapes, Alphard’s words still haunting her every move.

Episode 5
Maria is treated to Yunyun’s hospitality on her sampan. But Yunyun soon has to leave. It seems she is also an agent employed by Liang Qi. She has a special job for her. As the Japanese vice minister is visiting, her only job is to infect him with the Ua virus. Liang Qi will set up everything else. Yunyun is worried Canaan will pop up and kill her. In that case, just die. They have no other use for her. Not so funny now, huh? Yunyun goes to Santana’s bar to set up. She meets that Hakko. They know each other and Yunyun doesn’t want her to further get involved in what she’s doing. Just live the rest of your life happily. When the Japanese vice minister enters, Yunyun and Hakko serve them. Yunyun tries to spike his drink but this guy rather have the sexy Hakko serve him. After Mino tells Maria about the mark and the veins, thus they head down to Santana’s bar to get some answers. Yunyun runs out upon seeing them. At the back alley, she is shocked to see Canaan next to her. Fumbling to use her gun? Don’t worry. Canaan teaches you! With the guys insulting each other, Maria leaves only to see Canaan threatening Yunyun for info in which she doesn’t know. With Maria protecting Yunyun, Canaan sees the sadness in her eyes and leaves. She’s just a killer in her eyes now. Thank goodness Maria is here or she would have really killed Yunyun. Oh Yunyun. You’re such a lucky girl!

Yunyun then gets a call from Liang Qi who knows she has failed. She gives her a last chance to use Maria and die with Canaan. Hence this desperate joker uses Maria as a hostage to lure Canaan out. Yup, she’s strapped herself with dynamites! Going to blow themselves up together? Yeah, tumble into the river together. Yunyun tries to hold her down and drown together. When Canaan thinks of slicing her to break free, she remembers Maria’s sad face. Canaan drags them out to the side. It’s not that she doesn’t want to kill her, it’s just she doesn’t want to make Maria sad. When Mino returns to his room, Maria beats him up thinking he is trying to rape Yunyun?! Actually he spots a mark on her butt. She claims she is a Borner ever since that incident at that village disappeared. Her ‘special power’ is having 2 appendixes. It doesn’t have any kind of power. She knows nothing more about Snake and feels useless. Maria disagrees. Because she manages to help reconcile her friendship with Canaan, she is now their friend. Mino can help her financially to break free from Snake but in return she is to be their special correspondent since she blends well by having experience in multiple jobs. The Japanese vice minister is done in by Cummings while he is taking a massage service. Cummings wonders if Liang Qi intends to get Yunyun go. She is confident she will come back because she cannot live without the drugs. Otherwise she has chosen death.

Episode 6
Mino thinks his journalism effort has been recognized since he receives a reporter pass to the anti-terrorism press conference. But he’ll let Maria cover that as he goes to talk to Hakko for more details. As he questions her, the moment she speaks, his head starts to hurt. The conference begins and as Maria snaps pictures, Alphard approaches her. She is unsure if Maria is playing dumb not to recognize her. The US president is really making a weird speech about love and peace (this guys should be a comedian) and it is probably cue for Liang Qi to set off the bombs. The place is in panic but the bombs have cordoned off all exits. After Mino recovers, he barges back to Santana’s bar to question Hakko if that is her special power. But here is live on TV that the press conference is under attack. Time to call Taximan and make his way there. Maria is brought to the control centre where Alphard and Liang Qi are waiting. Liang Qi calls Canaan (it must be a long way running towards the convention centre via sewers) and tries to rile her by threatening Maria. Instead, it is Liang Qi who gets riled up as Canaan and Maria ignore her to reassure each other. Liang Qi is at boiling point and wants to kill Maria but is stopped when Alphard fires a warning shot. She warns her about letting her hatred get the better of her and those with such hatred should be disposed. What is it that Liang Qi wants? Love. Love of her nee-sama of course. Alphard tells Liang Qi to end her games and get to work. Then she tells Maria that her role is to live. In the underground shelter where all the politicians are taking shelter, the Japanese vice minister starts to feel sick. The Ua virus begins to take effect as he dies a bloody death.

Episode 7
OMFG! Canaan is so fast dodging the bullets that the soldiers shoot each other?! Liang Qi wants to go handle Canaan but with Alphard warning how mistakes will arise when one doesn’t listen, Liang Qi throws a childish tantrum and storms off. The White House staffs deliberate on how to save the situation. An option is to get the vaccine in which Kenji (Maria’s father) administers. Unfortunately the moment he leaves his building, his car explodes! So much for that. Time for Plan B. Alphard then speaks to the politicians holing up in the safe room. She informs that all of them are infected with the Ua virus and in no time will die. However America has decided to make sure they go out in style and they have ordered the stealth bombers to bomb the hell out of this place! When Maria doesn’t remember a thing, Alphard beats her up and tells a back story of a soldier who trained a couple of kids to become mercenaries. Both shared the same name. Alphard’s real name was Canaan but she tossed it away a long time ago. Alphard takes her men to leave once it’s time. Canaan then comes in to rescue Maria but is told of the situation. Yuri sees Santana since he has a secret room with hacking devices. Wow. Those still work? She contacts Canaan and tells her intentions to hack some American satellite. Kenji is seen dropping into the convention centre. Actual footage shows that explosion was fake and edited just to bamboozle USA into using this bombing order. With the stealth bombers already dropping a bomb, Canaan’s ability now goes digital? I don’t know what she sees but eventually she sees it. The bomb explodes. However everybody is still alive. Something about Canaan and Yuri managing to change the GPS coordinates of the bomb. Yeah, it didn’t hit the convention centre but I hope there were no people at the spot it exploded. The stealth bombers abort mission, the White House are left guilt-ridden and red faced due to their ‘incomplete mission’ and Yuri lecturing Santana about forgiveness will not be waiting for you at the end of running away. Canaan starts to feel weird. She now cannot see colours. At least the colours she has been accustomed to be seeing.

Episode 8
Mino has connections to Kenji as he asks about Ua virus. Kenji believes there can be no survivors because before any mutation can take place, you would already have been dead. But with Mino believing there are survivors lurking, could it be related to the disappeared village? It could be possible that Snake has a vaccine and taken in such people. Alphard calls the White House and even offers America to keep their power among the third world countries under the guise of protection but in exchange for some arms deals. As long as they need a conflict somewhere, feel free to call Snake. Alphard then orders Cummings to destroy the factory that Liang Qi left behind. Hakko is reeling from her past whereby she didn’t know her voice was destructive. She tried to calm a boy who lost his mother but little did she know the more she spoke, the more pain he felt until he exploded!!! Maria takes Canaan out. The latter feels weird and is not used to this normal sight as she cannot see colours. Nearby, there is a street concert put up by this idol, Nene. Taximan is a big fan of hers. Hakko is also there too. Unconsciously she starts singing along and this affects everyone. Luckily she realizes it and stops but ultimately feels sad. Mino now confronts Santana. He thinks he is forced to work under Snake in exchange for medicine. He wonders if he a member of Snake supervising Hakko. Because Hakko wants to go to the disappeared village, road trip! Mino and Santana make horrible road trip singers… We also hear Maria expressing to Canaan she always felt empty until she met her. Yeah, another big thanks to her somewhat. In turn, Canaan was worried when she couldn’t see colours but always knew Maria was a kind person even if she can’t see her colours. That night as they sleep, Hakko tries to strangle Canaan. Of course she fails and escapes. You mean nobody was awakened by this commotion? The guys do but that’s only after Canaan went after Hakko. Santana mentioning how Hakko has not forgiven him as he was the one who destroyed her village. Canaan doesn’t intend to kill Hakko but find out why she is hated. Of course she can’t speak but Canaan ultimately could read her lips. It seems a sad Hakko blames her that it’s her fault. The road trip continues and they see a manjuu seller out in this isolated place. Yunyun?!

Episode 9
Yunyun pretends not to know them but I guess she has no more strength to peddle. Hop on. We’re going to the same place, right? Cummings reports Liang Qi at the factory. He is shocked when Alphard orders him to kill her. Yunyun explains she is heading to that village because if she’s going to die, might as well where she came from. As for the medicine, you can’t get it from anywhere else since it is tailored specifically to that person’s symptoms. And then Maria starts punching Yunyun because she doesn’t want her to die? I think she will at this rate! Awkwardness interrupted when a strange masked guy starts firing his machine gun at them. Canaan has a hard time approaching since she lost her ability. Hakko then screams out not to kill him. After temporary dizziness in every one, the strange just explodes and dies! Some of them recognize him as one of the locals. Santana points out to him as an Unbloom. Arriving at the village, Santana tells Mino what really happened. Santana used to work with Langley from the CIA. Under the pretence of disinfecting the town of some virus, they were the ones who spread it. They also test out the vaccine’s effectiveness on them. The result was the entire town turned into a hellish monstrous nightmare. Santana discovered the truth later and quit. Subsequently he stumbled upon into Yuri and they both shared the same goal to blackmail the CIA into revealing the truth. He further explains about Borners (those affected and were given special bodies as side effect) Unblooms (those who couldn’t become Borners and Snake keeps them to find out why they failed). Crazy Liang Qi flies in trying to kill Canaan. However Alphard also flies in trying to kill Liang Qi. Cummings tries to shoot Alphard but his gun is fake. Alphard lets him say a last word before she kills him. She shoots him with a fake gun. Liang Qi retreats. Alphard then finds Canaan lying in the ruins. She thinks Canaan lost her ability since she didn’t see her coming. Alphard reminds her about that desert train mission in which Siam died. Canaan claimed her tattoo is prove she has family. Siam was her light. But now she has a new light. That’s why Alphard wants her to live. Canaan’s power might be coming back because she sees strange colours on Alphard. It is the same as Siam. When the rest gather, Santana is ready to shoot her but Alphard advises against it. She tells him her next plan is to destroy the factory so no more corrupted flowers will bloom again. She also leaves a message: Canaan’s real name is Despair.

Episode 10
Santana’s plan is to expose CIA’s cohorts with Snake. Then the government cannot continue to cover this up. This way there would be free flow of the medicine. The factory is disguised as an abandoned village. Inside, looks like somebody had thoughts of Resident Evil so several zombie Unblooms are released. Don’t worry. You won’t turn into one of them when they bite. But this scene activates Hakko’s trauma. She runs away into a room whereby a video of Liang Qi wants her to join her to kill Canaan. She reveals this factory was built so that a second Canaan is created. After all the sympathetic words, Hakko isn’t moved. Canaan may have started all this but it was Liang Qi who dragged everyone else into this mess. She will not join her. Further flashback reveals Santana pleaded to Alphard to take Hakko with him. She agreed as long as he forgets this place and play by their rules. Though, Liang Qi was against it since Hakko is a valuable Borner. Hakko enters Liang Qi’s room and starts ranting about her pitiful state. To her shock, it is actually captured Santana who is strapped onto the seat. Hakko is left in despair while Liang Qi (in another video) laughs her ass off. Santana doesn’t blame Hakko. Because he knows he isn’t going to make it, he wants Hakko to say she loves him in her voice. Uhm, you want to say that louder? I don’t think he heard you. She keeps repeating it until he dies! Liang Qi then activates the entire factory. Something about cancelling out normal noises. While this means everyone is resistant to Hakko’s voice, only Canaan will be affected as she processes her senses differently. Hence Canaan starts experiencing a massive headache since a despaired Hakko continues to be a broken recorder. Mino tries to approach her since Santana has him promised to wake her up from this dream if something happens to him. Luckily Hakko is a bad shot. He still took some bullets before managing to hug her. Meanwhile Maria and Yunyun stumble into an underground lair. To their shock, is that Canaan stuck in some ice? Yuri is also here and she sounds like she doesn’t want witnesses over this secret.

Episode 11
There won’t be dead girls for now since Alphard wants Maria and Yunyun to return to Canaan. Yuri thinks this is a big mistake but Alphard knows she only cares about the data. Alphard no longer has interests in this disgusting experiment and hands over the Borner data to her. After that she burns everything in this lair to the ground. Not sure how Mino survived all that but Canaan managed to drag him out. After all that he just got an arm injury? Reuniting with Maria and Yunyun, Canaan decides to go back in to rescue Hakko. She has to move fast as she sees American special forces moving in to raid the place. Liang Qi is on the verge of madness. Then Alphard pops up. She gives Cummings a chance to show his love. Cummings tries to convince Liang Qi to return but she beats the sh*t out of him. With that, Alphard tries to kill Liang Qi who is now a super masochist, enjoying every pain nee-sama brings to her. But when she wants to be killed by her, Alphard leaves it to Cummings. Then they see on the footage, Canaan slaughtering the special forces and this makes Liang Qi super mad again. So mad that she swallows some experimental drugs that of course drastically changes her body. She is now frail and old. Alphard reveals that she has known this letter that was written by Siam addressed to her is fake. She knew it was Liang Qi’s ploy to let her be captured by the Americans so that she can come rescue her. She knew the letter is false right away because Siam never addressed her as Alphard. It is then Liang Qi hears Alphard’s real name as Canaan. Now she has gone full blown crazy. Seeing her frail self in the mirror, she thinks she sees Canaan and wants her dead. She is so psychotic that she will do anything, including returning Cummings’ love, just for Canaan to be killed. So tearful Cummings shoots her. Finally this crazy drama is over. Alphard observes how love is such a troublesome thing. Canaan finds Hakko. She’s making out with Santana’s corpse? Long story short, Hakko can’t go with her and gives the medicine so she won’t return empty handed. Cue for the place to collapse so Canaan can get her ass out. Canaan returns to Maria. After she takes a photo of her, they just give each other a long hug.

Episode 12
Canaan is still reeling from despair. But with Maria around, she breathes a little better. Canaan, Maria and Yunyun take a train trip. When the train suddenly stops as the guards at the checkpoint do their inspection, this triggers Canaan’s trauma. She rushes to the front and sees Siam sitting there. Could be just her hallucination as she also sees other dead people whom she killed. They’re all blaming her. Siam tells her not to over rely on her senses. Because it warps her senses and makes her overthink. This also makes her lose her sense of truth. He wants her to see things as the way they are. Meanwhile Alphard approaches Maria and Yunyun. It seems she wants Maria to live up to her duty to awaken Canaan’s true power as she is still living in the stone age. Maria agrees to do that but in exchange wants to take a photo of her. She realizes she can’t walk alongside Canaan anymore. The moment she does that, Alphard shoots and wounds her. When Canaan realizes the light she needs to protect now, she rushes back. She only sees Alphard. She can see Maria’s blood trails as Alphard tells her she locked up the duo in the back of the train. Oh, there’s a bomb too. So if Canaan wants to save her, let’s keep their playtime to a minimum. Both start shooting each other in this narrow carriage. Both having different interpretations of Siam’s teachings. From what I understand, Alphard points out that Canaan was the one who killed Siam. Because had she not been there, Siam would not have been killed. Hence Alphard doesn’t intend to kill Canaan but rather shoot through the ghost of Siam. Yunyun tries to find a way to free themselves. However Maria knows she cannot make it and tells her to go it alone. Yunyun manages to climb out of the window and derail the last coach. Maria doing her monologue of Canaan as her light but because she is being loved and protected by her, this light also casted a shadow on her heart.

Episode 13
What’s this? Alphard is starting to feel scared of Canaan? Because her eyes are looking different now. She is now seeing the way things are. So scared that she can’t even shoot straight? Damn, role reversal and Canaan is the cool cat now. Alphard tries to escape but Canaan chases after her. She believes Maria is still alive. She might not be able to see her colour but she can sense her kindness. Indeed Maria is still alive because Yunyun changed her mind and ran all the way back to grab her out before the bomb explodes. Alphard laughs when Canaan claims Maria isn’t her light but her friend. Alphard then realizes Siam called her once by this name. It was before his death. He told her the meaning of that new name is solitude. She tries to kill herself by dropping off the train but Canaan grabs her hand. Canaan relating the day Siam died, she moved on and met new people. Hence Alphard can’t die because she is already dead? Huh? Wow. Canaan so philosophical now because she means her heart died the day Siam died. That’s why Canaan wants her to live and won’t let her die. Alphard is left to reminisce Liang Qi’s words about being stuck in the past. It was Alphard and not Canaan who is still trapped in the past. To free herself from this haunting, Alphard shoots off her own arm! Long way down the ravine… We see Maria together with Canaan despite just a dream. It’s like a goodbye because Canaan says they can’t be together anymore. Maria wakes up in hospital (sorry girl, not heaven) and Mino updates her Yunyun carried her most of the way back until he picked them up. He tried to contact Canaan but she ‘vanished’. Maria feels sad Canaan won’t let her stand by her side till the end. But Mino believes this is what Canaan had wanted. To protect her. Even if they are 2 different persons, Maria can still get closer to her via her heart. After all, it’s her kindness that bonds them together. Mino is thinking about a career change. He visits Santana’s bar one last time. Damn he is going to miss this place. And Hakko’s ass. Taximan picks them up to the airport as Maria praises how amazing Canaan is. We get it for the umpteenth time. It’s goodbye, right? Better have some closure than none. In the aftermath, we see Yunyun doing odd jobs, Cummings is now a monk (?!), Alphard hinted to be alive because there isn’t a one arm woman in Shanghai but her and Maria back in Japan organizes a photo exhibition of her exploits in Shanghai. Finally, Yuri still hires Canaan for certain jobs. This time her target is a certain one armed woman.

The Holy Land Of Deadly Virus, Raining Bullets & Past Ghost
This sure looks like a bittersweet ending. Our main female leads didn’t get to end up together. Not that I am expecting something yuri to turn out from that short reunion but I guess it is better this way that they lead their separate lives. As said, they are from both different worlds and from the looks of it, the entire time their reunion sometimes felt like they’re trying to get into each other’s way. You know, Maria just wanting to be Canaan’s equal and Canaan just wanting to protect her. So to say, had Maria not returned to Shanghai, all this trouble would not have surfaced? I don’t think Maria will be going back to Shanghai anytime soon. There’s no reason to. That’s what that final episode ‘goodbye’ was all about, right? Then there’s the curious case of Alphard. She got an arm blown off and miraculously survived that long ravine drop (thank goodness there’s a river below) and is her business with Canaan considered finished? I mean, I thought she wanted Canaan to display her true powers but looks like it wasn’t what she desired. Alphard’s a survivor so don’t write her off yet but how relevant is she after this? What will be of Snake? What about that terrorism business partnership with America? Nothing to do with Canaan so don’t really care at this point.

Despite being just a single cour series, I find it hard to understand the general story and what is going on in the overall picture. Maybe that’s why I didn’t understand? Too short? But if they somehow managed to drag it out to another cour, will there be a guarantee that I would understand better or just be even more confused? It might look like some terrorism via biological warfare on the surface. But eventually it is something much deeper than that especially the connection between the 3 main female leads of Canaan, Maria and Alphard. I think. So basically the story and plot itself is intriguing. However due to many parts that I couldn’t understand, it somewhat hinders me to enjoy this series as a whole. After all, this series was conceptualized by co-founders of Type-Moon for a visual novel game, 428: Shibuya Scramble. Since I didn’t play that game nor even heard of it until I was watching this anime and doing my lazy Google research, I’m not sure how much both series are related to each other. The Ua virus, Snake’s factory for manufacturing all this, I feel they are just touching the surface and didn’t go in too deeply to be fleshed out. It feels like as though you need some sort of background knowledge before watching this series. Because at the end of the day, I still don’t really get the difference between Borners and Unblooms. Are they the same but just different in desired outcome? And in the end, they don’t really matter because if Alphard has lost interest in them and could easily throw them all away, should we care too?

The action is the main draw of the series though I would pretty say it is just pretty much standard. But it is not swift gun totting all the way as they have to make room and weave some character development in it. Therefore the action scenes I feel are rather okay. Exhilarating for that short burst of adrenaline but compare it to animes like Shingeki No Kyojin, yeah it’s just average. Sorry. Looks like my standards have really gone up in this category. And perhaps I have come to expect something when I skim through the reviews about this anime being action filled. Good action, yeah, okay. Masterpiece top 10 action of all time? Nah, not really. But I have to admit that some action scenes are quite enjoyable to watch especially Canaan and Alphard trading lead with each other in fast paced mortal combat. What do you expect when you pit the best among each other?

Other than the action, the character development especially among the main trio is also important but like I’ve said, there are some aspects that I already do not understand and therefore couldn’t go forward when bits of their past and history are further revealed. So to condense it all to a point that I understand, both Canaans are trying to get over the ghost of their past and that link is Siam. Alphard being the calm and composed antagonist, Canaan is her obsession because of her need to prove her own hatred is the only way to conquer her past. It’s a reason why she pushes Canaan to her limits and do not kill her outright. Canaan on the other hand is also cool, composed and lacking any emotion. Except whenever Alphard is in the picture. Then she gets her emotions overwhelmed and Alphard usually owns her at the end of the day. So it’s like the battle of the one with the calmer head wins? It is evident like we see in the final episode where the tables were turned.

Maria might feel like the weaker link among the trio and making it hard for me to appreciate her character is how her back story was never really fleshed out. It was just merely pinpointed that she was a survivor of the Ua virus during a viral attack on Shibuya. Also her initial friendship on how she became friends with Canaan felt like it was merely skimmed through. The series does a decent job in portraying and developing the relationship between them but that is only what we see on screen and currently when they reunite once more in Shanghai. Maria and Canaan as 2 females giving each other the strength to live, it’s nothing really new or ground breaking in terms of storytelling and character development but as far as this series is concerned, better to see the colour of life than the colour of death!

On a side note, I wonder if Maria’s character was cheekily named so. I’m not sure if the creators were aware of this but Maria Oosawa definitely sounds too close to Maria Ozawa! You know… The famous porn star!!! I know the different kanji writing but still too close to call. Yeah, the first time I heard Maria’s name, I had to do a double take so as to confirm my ears weren’t playing any tricks on my simpleton pervy brain. Coincidentally this series was released back in 2009, the same period where the said porn star reached the pinnacle of her popularity! Is this why there is this running joke in the series that this photographer Maria is always teased for her small bust size? As opposed to the porn star who has somewhat a voluptuous figure? Strange… Too much to be called a coincidence but I’ll give the benefit of the doubt to the creators.

Yunyun I feel her character is primarily written as a comic relief. A joker of the series. Almost every move she makes. Almost every word she says. Almost every reaction she reacts. It’s like she is born to look and sound this funny no matter the situation. She would have been a natural clown had she not get involved in all this mess. Seriously. Heck, even her Borner ability is a joke. The thing about Yunyun being this joker character is both good and bad. During times of conflict and high tension, Yunyun’s presence can mostly take some of that pressure off thanks to her comical actions whether she intended to be funny or not. I mean, taking Maria hostage to lure Canaan out and then trying to blow herself up? And failed spectacularly? While making it all look like a joke? Only Yunyun can pull that off! While Yunyun is welcomed as this sort of comic relief, sometimes it really makes her out of place. In such serious and tense moments, and now here is one of Yunyun’s antics. It just feels so weird. It’s like, girl, WTF? I don’t think it’s the drugs she’s taking. So yeah, Yunyun, keep calm and carrying on being you. Sometimes too much Canaan-Maria melancholy colour drama can be bad for the soul. We need to see a different (comedy) colour, you know.

Then there is this Liang Qi character who is written as a psychotic b*tch. Her obsession is no other than her nee-sama Alphard and it would have been a lot better if we could see how she and Alphard first came to be instead of just skimming through a brief flashback. It makes it feel insignificant. Anyway, with Liang Qi being a crazy psycho b*tch, in some ways it draws out the drama because a Canaan-Alphard showdown would be too quick without this woman. Hence with Canaan still breathing, it gives Liang Qi all the more excuse to show her crazy b*tch side just to get on the good side of Alphard’s love. We know this one sided love will never be fulfilled but it never hurts to try, right? Yeah, love is weird. Oh well, till death do us part. Sorry, didn’t feel a single sympathy for Liang Qi’s last moments. Just, good riddance. The annoyance’s gone. Despite having to dedicate 1 whole episode just to kill her off. Also, this Cummings guy who is definitely a big masochist since he loves to get shot by Liang Qi’s airsoft bullets. Yeah, he orgasms each time he gets shot. Even his name feels so ambiguous… Caught between the absolute big boss and the crazy mistress he is in love with, this guy sure had it rough… And he probably likes it that way ;p. The biggest shocking change of becoming a monk. Because it’s like subtly hinting to us to throw away all our depraved porn and lead a clean life! Is this even possible?! Cummings showed us he could… This guy is so zen right now…

The other characters somehow don’t feel significant. Like Mino who is trying to make his big break but this case changed him in some ways that he didn’t care about it anymore. He is only here because otherwise why would there be a reason for Maria to return to Shanghai? Yuri being the sneaky operative, nothing much is known about her but CIA operatives are like that. She could be the real ‘snake’, a double agent since she has her own agenda. Santana and Hakko also feel unnecessary but to prop up some bits of drama and plot convenience. Since Hakko is the one who keeps blaming Canaan for whatever and Santana is trying to make amends and atone for his sins. I know he is smart enough not to put his hope this will absolve him of his sins, but maybe he just wanted someone to love. He got that in his death wish, right? Oh well, till death do us part.

This is one of the few animes in which the setting isn’t set in Japan but overseas. And no, I don’t mean fantasy settings either but settings of real world locations. Sure, that tragic experimental village might be fictional but other than that, China is real. Shanghai is real. What I want to point out is the use of foreign languages especially Chinese and English. Firstly, the Chinese spoken sound so odd. Is it their accent? Because I couldn’t properly catch them. Yeah, it’s like your Japanese trying to speak Engrish and now they try to speak Mandarin and it’s like fail too. For the English part, these are mostly when the American military give their commands. Sounds authentic enough so I’m not really complaining… In view of this, the oddest part is that if there are English dialogues in this series despite only in very limited scenes, remember the American president who is giving his speech? Damn guy speaking in flawless Japanese!!! I just find this odd, honestly. Even if he speaks in English about his crap speech about love and peace, it would still sound funny but at least not as bad. Imagine American soldiers giving standard orders in English for some realism but the most powerful man in the world speaking Japanese? Just feel weird… Even weirder the White House staffs deliberating in Japanese and Alphard calling the vice all speaking in Japanese… Should have went with Japanese all the way then…

The art and animation are pretty good. At least for an anime that is released back in 2009. Some scenes are gorgeous and some scenes are just grim just to highlight the plight of the Ua virus. This series is of course animated by P.A. Works and to me they’re known for drawing some of the prettiest and beautiful character designs. Unfortunately, not this one, though. Maybe no cute high school girls like I expect to see in Glasslip, True Tears, Hanasaku Iroha and Tari Tari. Hence the character designs feel a bit like Type-Moon characters (duh) such as the Fate series and Shingetsutan Tsukihime. Therefore sometimes when I look at Canaan, I could see shades of Arcueid in her. Yeah, Alphard so badass that I thought she was the reincarnation of Black Lagoon’s Levy.

Attracting my attention to watch this series is because of the star studded casts. Well, at least I recognize some of them like Miyuki Sawashiro as Canaan, Haruka Tomatsu as Yunyun, Hiroaki Hirata as Santana and Jouji Nakata as Taximan. And that was Rie Tanaka behind Liang Qi? Never would have guessed it. Of course it would be one my greatest delight to hear Mamiko Noto as Hakko. Her voice is still so amazing then and that’s why when her character speaks, it causes all our brain cells in our heads to fry! Haha! How fitting for the most beautiful voice in the world. Oh wait… What’s that… F*CKING HELL THEY KILLED OFF HER CHARACTER AGAIN!!!!!!!! OMFG!!!!! TRAUMA! TRAUMA!! YOU MEAN EVEN WAY BACK IN 2009 HER CHARACTERS ARE ALSO MET WITH THIS TREATMENT!!!!! WHY JAPAN, WHY????!!! WHY DO YOU OFTEN KILL OFF CHARACTERS WHO IS VOICED BY THE MOST BEAUTIFULLY VOICED SEIYUU OF ALL TIME????!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOO???!!!!!!

And the rest of the other casts include Yoshino Nanjou as Maria (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes), Maaya Sakamoto as Alphard (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji), Kenji Hamada as Mino (Jouji in Paradise Kiss), Junko Minagawa as Yuri (Ryouma in Prince Of Tennis), Akio Ohtsuka as Siam (titular character in Black Jack) and Toru Ohkawa as Cummings (Roy in Fullmetal Alchemist). If you are familiar with Faylan’s style of rock music, you can feel at home here with the rock paced opening theme of Mind As Judgment. From all that high octane rock music, suddenly the ending theme, My Heaven by Annabel drops down to be some soul-like lounge music. I’m not saying the song is bad but it feels out of place considering the action pace of the series. Maybe after all that action, some soul searching is needed with this song? That is what it feels like listening to this one. Just close your eyes, let the music envelope all around you! There are a few insert songs here all sung by Ayahi Takagi (voice of Nene). China Kibun De High Tension is your typical genki pop idol anime that gets your feet shuffling while Inochi Nan Da Yo is a pop ballad. Life too is a slow and calming ballad but this sounds like it could be a Christian song. Just saying… Also, some parts feel like it could fit for an epic Hollywood emotional dramatic scene.

Overall, even if Canaan isn’t the promised land for anime for me, it is enjoyable. If only I could understand the bigger plot, appreciate better the character development and not be too greedy wanting to see more action scenes like Canaan just raking up the body count of her enemies. If only I had the ability to see this anime as it is instead of relying on my past stereotypic biasness to label this series as just slightly above average, I could have seen the truth better as it is and appreciate this series a little bit more. But alas, I relied too much on that cliché judgment of mind and that clouded and impeded some of that enjoyment. And don’t fight hatred with hatred? Sure, fine. IF YOU STOP KILLING OFF MAMIKO NOTO CHARACTERS!!!!!!!!!!

One Punch Man S2

September 28, 2019

It’s finally here! 4 years later! That’s right. But better late than never because with all the hype and anticipation for One Punch Man S2, it better deliver. Yeah, a hero always makes his late entrance. So you never heard of this guy? You know. The superhero that ends everything with just a single punch, hence his eponymous hero name. Yeah, that would hardly be any fun. But fun enough to have garnered many followers to warrant another sequel. So how many more can he add to the body count list of defeating his enemies in a single punch? We’ll just have to see.

Episode 1
A villain thinks he can harass the women in public. However with the arrival of King, he grovels and begs for mercy. You see, the people is happy that he is one of the strongest S-class heroes and they’re so happy he is back! After doing his errands, some giant robot challenges him. But King tells him to wait as he needs to go to the toilet. Can’t fight at full strength if he is holding it in, right? But in the toilet, we see King’s true nature. He is actually a coward. Although he attracts bad luck, before he knows it, the enemy is down. He didn’t anything. Somebody else always did. Because he didn’t deny, one thing led to another and now he is in this sh*t. That’s why he wants to quit being a hero! The only way left is to run. What about the robot? Don’t worry. Genos is tackling it. King goes back to relax but WTF why is Saitama here?! He saw him bought some video games and is interested to play with him. He plays along until Saitama asks if he is so strong that he doesn’t want to fight anymore. Yeah, he saw him running away. Oh sh*t. How to answer? Then a monster crashes into his place. Time to prove it? King remembers how always gets dragged into such mess but somebody was always there to clean it up. Hence he always ends up running away. Was Saitama the saviour? Yup he was and still is. Saitama easily destroys the monster. King repents his action. Although Saitama doesn’t care and doesn’t want to lecture him, he wonders if he is going to continue lying to the public. Genos meanwhile barely defeats the robot threat and sends the parts to Kuseno in hopes he can do something to help his upgrade. But he is reminded to find clues about the cyborg that destroyed down his home and went on to destroy countless of towns and lives. Don’t worry. Genos will also get to that. That’s why he needs to undergo training from a master. Meanwhile Sitch, the minister of justice for Hero Association has gathered lots of ruffians at HQ. He plans to seek their help with heroes to fight against the foreboding omen. It is gaining ground as there are more disasters happening every day. As Sonic is among the group, he is disappointed that Saitama is not here and leaves. He is not going to play hero with them. Meanwhile Fubuki and her team also target Saitama and they’re going to move in now. What’s Saitama doing? Playing video games with King!

Episode 2
Sitch continues his briefing but among them is Garou who claims he supports monsters. He wants to know who the strongest is here and will kill them all. Some of the heroes attack him but they are easily killed. Then he goes off to kill all the other ruffians. He lets Sitch live since he has had enough warming up. He warns he will return stronger in 6 months so be prepared. Sonic is outside Saitama’s door. Genos confronts him and won’t let this pipsqueak do as he wishes. Hence an epic duel begins. Meanwhile Fubuki and her team ring Saitama’s door. They try to be intimidating and to cut all that threat short, she is offering her to join her faction. Of course he declines. When she orders her men to attack him, they are easily repelled. Fubuki gets serious to fight him but Saitama lectures her that she doesn’t know what it means to be a hero. She is not cut out to be one since she is more interested in factions and crushing newbies. That’s why she gather weak lackeys so that she feels stronger. The fight is interrupted with Genos-Sonic accidentally cutting in. Fubuki is shocked and confused to see Genos calling Saitama his master. This S-class cyborg calling this B-class hero his master? Genos continues his fight with Sonic but Saitama stops him since Genos is going to destroy the whole place just to take out Sonic and his speed. Hence Saitama shows him how it’s done. Sonic relishes this rematch and does his special ability of moving so fast that he cloned himself 10 times. But Saitama does his side step so fast and cloned himself 100 times!!! OMFG!!! Yeah, Sonic lost. Fubuki explains her situation. She remains as top of B-class because A-class has got lots of crazy heroes whom she can’t control. As we know Tatsumaki is her sister, she is always number one. Hence being number one of B-class is the only thing she can. She thinks manipulating factions isn’t wrong until King waltzes in. Friends with Saitama? WTF is this super strong group? She wants to join!!! Oh man, looks like she joined another faction. Meanwhile Sitch is disappointed that the committee is more interested in giving heroes their nicknames instead of addressing Garou’s threat. They think other S-class heroes can handle it when they are up to the task. Speaking of Garou, he is on a hero hunting spree.

Episode 3
Bang mercilessly beats up his best disciple, Charanko and exiles him from his dojo. Charanko talks to Genos about this and the latter deduces Garou might be behind this. You see, Garou was once Bang’s student and with that incident at Hero Association HQ, Bang is distancing himself from his students to avoid bystanders getting hurt if there’s an intense battle. On the way home, Charanko spots Garou trying to pick a fight with Licenseless Rider. But Tank Top Vegetarian who was recently defeated by Garou, brings back his brothers and S-class master, Tank Top Master to give his due punishment. At first it seems Tank Top Master owns Garou and could have defeated him had Licenseless Rider not stop him to spout crap that Garou is still human. Garou turns the tables and defeats them. He is going to kill the rest of them. Of course they all lose and when Charanko decides to enter the fray, no surprise upset either. Saitama visits Licenseless Rider and Tank Top Master recuperating in hospital to find out about this Garou dude. Despite being human, Garou seems to be a master in martial arts. All attacks were dodged, parried and blocked well. Even his strikes to the joints and vital points were brutal. It’s like he was able to read his moves. Unlike monsters who let lose all their strength in a rampage, Garou has special techniques to break people. Visiting Charanko, he gives Saitama a participation ticket for a martial arts tournament. Since he is injured, he can’t participate. Oh sh*t… 3 million yen prize money… Meanwhile Garou continues his hero hunting by facing off with Golden Ball and Spring Mustachio. Once he learns their moves, it is easy to bring them down. After all, he also knows all their trump cards since earlier on a kid lent him a guidebook on all the known heroes. Later Garou stumbles into Saitama. Thinking the latter is some low level hero trying to get some fame, Garou strikes first but Saitama is hard!!! I mean, real hard!!! Then Saitama just chops him down and Garou loses all strength and passes out!!! OMFG!!! Don’t get in my way of shopping! So why is Saitama buying a brown wig? So it’s not to permanently cover his head as Genos worries that the baldness may have got to him? Nah. It is to impersonate as Charanko at the tournament.

Episode 4
When Garou was young, he loved monsters but found it baffling the heroes always win despite the monsters also tried their best. In that case he will become the ultimate monster and won’t lose to anyone. Garou wakes up in the dumpster, not remembering what happened last night. With Garou targeting not only heroes but Hero Association as well, it is suggested that S-class heroes become their bodyguards. King was called but he is busy ‘fighting a boss’. Yeah. Playing video games. Hence Metal Bat now babysits an executive and his son. When an attack occurs, it isn’t Garou but some monsters. As Saitama waits for the tournament to story, some cocky guy who seems to know Charanko talks to him. He talks about last year’s event where somebody impersonated a participant and went on to win the tournament. That is why this year all disguises and aliases are banned. Otherwise you get sued and even banned permanently. Oh sh*t. The guy believes that impersonator was Garou. One day he got tired of training and decided to beat the crap out of everyone while Bang was away. Though he badmouths Charanko, Saitama calls him a coward since he quit his dojo but Charanko fought Garou one on one. After Metal Bat defeats the monsters, looks like bigger monsters (even monsters have seniors?) attack him. It might seem Metal Bat is having a hard time fighting them but after he pumps himself up, it becomes easy as pie. But it’s not over yet because giant grandpa monster is here! It seems the monsters are targeting the executive and it’s a good thing Metal Bat has been able to hold his ground. With the city under evacuation, Garou is glad to hear Metal Bat in the vicinity. Metal Bat is already busy trying to take down this behemoth and Garou is itching to have a fight with him? He’s serious. Here it comes! Don’t make Metal Bat mad. Because he’s going to bash your crazy head in!

Episode 5
Metal Knight comes to deal with the grandpa centipede monster as Garou fights Metal Bat. However the more damage Metal Bat takes, the stronger and faster he becomes. It somewhat ends only when Metal Bat’s little sister, Zenko intervenes. She forbids the men from doing more violence so I guess nobody can defy nor hurt a loli so that’s that. Some monsters are watching Garou in action. Phoenix Man approaches Garou and invites him to Monster Association. However he is not interested. Phoenix Man leaves for now but believes they will be seeing each other again as long as he is targeting heroes. Once they’ve got the executive’s son, the monsters retreat. However monsters in other cities are still running rampage and many A-class heroes have fallen by the wayside. Meanwhile the martial arts tournament is about to begin and we are introduced to lots of the weird participants. The highlighted ones include defending champion, Bakuzan and an unrivalled contender who has returned after many years of absence, Suiryu. Saitama faces off with the cocky Zakkos who thinks he is hell of a strong. Too bad just one slap is enough to put him down! Damn, is Saitama that strong? Rather, Zakkos is that weak! Yeah, you can hear the crowd in the background laughing like as though this is some sitcom!

Episode 6
Suiryu instantly takes out his opponent. Meanwhile monsters are popping up everywhere and a few are close to the martial arts tournament. Bakuzan doesn’t want the organizer to announce or it will cause panic. If any are close enough, he’ll take care of them. But it is of course Genos who goes to take care all of them before Saitama’s next match. But he is going to miss it since some of them are pretty tough. Because Saitama is now facing off with Bakuzan. The latter thinking he is some newbie with no ambition so he brags what he is going to do to him. Then in one punch Saitama sends him flying out of the ring! OMG! An upset! Genos has finally taken care of the last monster but something fast takes him out. Meanwhile Fubuki is fighting a monster babe who can turn others into her zombie slaves with her whip. She intends to use Fubuki to lure out Tatsumaki but don’t need that because here comes Tatsumaki to clean up Fubuki’s mess. Monster babe can tell she is dangerous and uses her zombies for her escape. She only succeeds since Fubuki doesn’t want Tatsumaki to hurt her zombie-turned subordinates. Suiryu’s next opponent is Snek. The latter contemplating how he has gone weaker and not being able to protect the people like before. He gets riled up hearing Suiryu’s reason for being strong just for the money and to have an easy life. He also believes in survival of the strongest. Because whether there are heroes or not, humans will still survive even if there are monsters or not. That’s how nature works. And in 1 kick, Snek is defeated. Meanwhile we see the king of Monster Association, Orochi. He is pleased with the reports of the rise of their Monster Association and sending panic waves to Hero Association.

Episode 7
While more monsters pop up, don’t fret because S-class heroes are fighting back. Those we see in action include Drive Knight, Child Emperor, Pig God, Flashy Flash (?!) and Tatsumaki. Atomic Samurai discusses with his other sword buddies on taking down Garou before Bang gets defeated. But one of them has betrayed the human race and ate monster cells to become one. He wants them to eat them too or die. Unfortunately for him, Atomic Samurai’s slash is so fast that he disintegrated before he could move. Back to the tournament. After a few boring rounds that end in a single hit, we are now here at the finals. Saitama versus Suiryu. Suiryu starts off with a feint but powerful kicks. This is just warm up, you know. Saitama isn’t fazed and he is more concerned in holding down his wig! Must not get busted. They come to an agreement that Suiryu will teach him martial arts in exchange to be entertained. So a few more powerful moves but it is clearly Suiryu is holding back. And Saitama still holding down his wig. Not until Suiryu starts badmouthing the Hero Association that it hits a nerve in Saitama. So when Suiryu does a surprise kick on Saitama and his wig fell off, Saitama doesn’t give a damn. So if Suiryu wants to have fun, shouldn’t he not get any stronger? Luckily Saitama holds back or else Suiryu would have died. But the force was enough to blow away his shirt! The officials have disqualified Saitama because he broke the rules and declare Suiryu the winner. But the crowd doesn’t want this exciting match to end. So does Suiryu. He gives it his all as he slams and punch all he’s got into Saitama. So after all that Saitama is still okay? But Saitama has learnt something about martial arts. It’s all about the flashy moves, right? And just with the swing of his hips, Suiryu is flung to the other end of the arena! OMFG!!! Cue for Saitama to escape since the officials are going to capture him. Suiryu is in shock that he lost for the first time. Not so fun now, eh?

Episode 8
Suiryu is being awarded and he doesn’t look too happy. Suddenly monsters storm into the arena. One of them being Goketsu. He was previously this tournament’s winner and was rumoured to have been killed by monsters. On the contrary, he was captured and given a chance to eat monsters cells. Now he is stronger than ever. He wants all of them to eat monster cells or die. Those who are weak or desire power eat them and quickly evolve into monsters. However they are easily taken down by Suiryu. Goketsu finds it a waste to kill him and gives him a chance to change his mind. It sure sounds tempting he can enjoy life and do as he wishes but Suiryu passes. He doesn’t want to end up looking ugly. Suiryu fights Goketsu but realizes he cannot even make a scratch on him. As he gets puzzled, he sees Bakuzan and asks for his help. Bakuzan then admits Suiryu is stronger than him but has now given up on being the strongest human after seeing the irony of him having a hard time fighting these monsters. Hence Bakuzan eats all the monster cells to transform himself. But his body can’t handle it and he collapses. To Suiryu’s surprise, Snek and Lightning Max return to help. They easily defeat the monster subordinates but Suiryu is shocked the duo is going to fight Goketsu. Suiryu uses this chance to run as the duo gets pummelled but Suiryu is also hammered by Bakuzan. Looks like his monster activation was delayed. Goketsu leaves and tells Bakuzan to come to their base. But first, Bakuzan torments Suiryu and enjoys every moment of it. On the verge of death, that is when Suiryu sees the importance of heroes. He realizes he needs them and desperately calls out for help. Bakuzan is going to stomp other unconscious participants but they are quickly whisked away by Saitama! IT’S ABOUT TIME YOU SHOWED UP!!!!!!!!!! He thanks Suiryu for holding out and he came after hearing his cries. IT’S ABOUT TIME WE HAVE SOME ONE PUNCH MAN ACTION!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 9
Bakuzan mocks Saitama. He should’ve sensed something wrong when his punches and kicks have no effect. And then Saitama does his specialty. One punch and he is dead!!! Suiryu informs him what is going on outside as well as Monster Association and those monster cells. He is devastated that Saitama is going to face off Goketsu. He believes he is destined to save more people than die here. But surprise! A decapitated head of Goketsu!!! Suiryu is so impressed that now he has a new goal: He wants to be a hero. Oh Saitama, I know you’re being realistic but please don’t be a wet blanket. How does Suiryu becoming his disciple sound? No way! With the monsters suddenly disappearing, Saitama is left to think deep. He has been bored and this recent events and even joining the martial arts competition out of curiosity, nothing has changed. He talks to King about this empty feeling and how he can’t grow anymore to be strong. Hence he is so bored. For once, King says some mind blowing things. Saitama refuses to do things, take up challenges or stimulate himself but yet he complains. If he wants to see something new, he must open a new path himself because life is an endless journey. If he thinks becoming strong is the end goal, he is mistaken. The endgame of a hero isn’t that simple. Being courageous and taking action for the sake of others is what give heroes their meaning. In that sense, he is still not the ultimate hero. After hearing all that, Saitama is even more bored! Meanwhile, a shocking surprise as Garou barely escaped and is covered in bruises after picking a fight with S-class hero, Watchdog Man. He believes he still has a chance to grow stronger and will test that when he sees King. He is charging at full power when Saitama kicks him away, thinking he is one of those punks trying to earn a name for taking down a hero. Sonic is being confronted by comrades from his village, Tempest Wind and Hellfire Flame. It seems they have joined Monster Association and want him to do the same so they can take down Flashy Flash. Sonic refuses but they give him a monster cell in case he changes his mind. Sonic contemplates on turning into one because his goal is to defeat Saitama and his humanity side already died when he lost. Is he going to eat it? Based on Drive Knight’s info, Hero Associations discuss about Monster Association and their initial ploy is to play along before finding a way to destroy them. Then a message from Monster Association arrives. We see Sonic eating the monster cell. But not after he cooks it well because he is disgusted to eat it in its raw form. What does he feel? A super diarrhoea coming up!

Episode 10
Gyoro-Gyoro negotiates to the Hero Association that the monsters want to be left alone and promise will not rampage anymore. Hence the recent rampage was just to show them their power and hopes both humans and monsters can live in harmony. When one of the executive agrees and puts down his gun, he is shot and killed! So this is just a joke by Gyoro-Gyoro. The real deal is this. He wants Hero Association to gather all their heroes and come to their base to rescue the hostage. Once the message is done, the parasite monster is going to kill them all but S-class hero, Superalloy Blackluster easily squashes it. Gyoro-Gyoro addresses the monsters that this plan is to gather all the heroes and destroy them all once and for all. Once this happens, they can easily take out the rest of the humans. Some monsters aren’t impressed to pledge their allegiance to Orochi. Hence Orochi shows his fearsome tyranny by eating losers, monsters who lost their fight during the rampage. Noticing that Goketsu isn’t around, Gyoro-Gyoro checks about and sees his corpse. Uh oh. Things aren’t going too well. Genos has been given a new body by Kuseno and advised not to rush in. Monster Association makes an official war declaration on Hero Association. Child Emperor is mad that Metal Knight wants out of this operation. The latter thinks this plan will only bring forth more casualties. He has sent in the proposal once they find the Monster Association’s hideout, they should just nuke the damn place and forget about rescuing any hostage but since the executives are thinking about their funding, they rejected his proposal. Hence he doesn’t want anything to do with this mission. Garou takes a rest in that secret shack of that guidebook kid. But other A-class heroes led by Death Gatling have surrounded the place and want him to surrender. Of course Garou won’t do that so they start fighting. As Garou is weakened, he cannot effectively defeat them. Furthermore, the heroes are in sync working well to take this guy down. Eventually Garou gets hit by a couple of poison arrows and is losing strength. Last chance to surrender.

Episode 11
Death Gatling talks about the hierarchy among heroes and that S-class heroes are treated differently. Something that irks him and many other heroes because there are many other talented heroes ignored. Hence he gathered these other Hero Association heroes to make a name for themselves and prove they aren’t just second rate heroes. Garou thinks some would be disappointed in that kind of thinking. Amazingly despite his weakened state, Garou manages to fight back and take out all the heroes. He has learnt their pattern and timing. He even went as far as protecting the shack from Death Gatling’s all-out firing. Yeah, all the bullets had no effect on him. After Death Gatling’s defeat, the poor kid got so scared of Garou that he runs away. Before Garou could take a breather, Genos pops up. Apparently one of the heroes called for backup. With renewed and upgraded power, Genos goes head to head with Garou. Meanwhile Saitama loses his consecutive 81st video game match with King! Damn. Maybe he’ll take out some steam with those monsters rampaging near his place. King asks about Genos because he hasn’t been back and might be taken out by Monster Association. Nah. Saitama believes that guy will be okay. On second thought. Maybe he’ll go check on him. We continue the epic power fight between Genos and Garou. The latter trying to mimic Watchdog Man’s moves for a surprise attack but Genos is still better. Suddenly monsters pop up to tackle Genos. They are here with orders to assist Garou and to bring him to join Monster Association. Garou doesn’t appreciate the help, though. Of course Genos rebounds and kills all the monsters. Just before Genos can finish off Garou, here comes Bang. Time to put an end to this.

Episode 12
Time for master to give his disciple a beat down punishment. Garou tries to flee but Bomb (Bang’s older brother) stops him and joins in the beat down. So great the beat down that it looks like Garou’s life flashes before his eyes. The point in time whereby school kids were playing heroes and they made him the monster. Not that he has any problem with it nor the most popular kid in class, Tatsu playing the hero. It was rather he learnt of the injustice because all the kids ganged up, played unfairly to let Tatsu dominate over Garou that he had no chance to fight back. Even when he did, he was scolded by the teacher that he went berserk and owed everyone an apology. Garou was mad. Unforgiveable. Hence becoming this hero hunter was to make such people feel the blow of the weak. Garou revives and is about to get real when Phoenix Man snatches him away. He lets grandpa centipede handle those pesky heroes. Garou is frustrated and doesn’t acknowledge this because it is meaningless if he doesn’t do it himself. But Phoenix Man tells him he only has himself to blame for not being strong enough to finish this off. We see Bang and Bomb use their martial arts to break the centipede’s exoskeleton. However it moulted and revived. Genos decides to handle this and against the old dudes’ advice not to throw away his life, he does so anyway. Even with all the firepower and innovations he has, including burning the monster from inside out, the centipede is still breathing. At this point Genos is close to defeat. He has tried everything in his book and yet he cannot defeat this monster. He is starting to question his own worth. Bang and Bomb take other heroes for safety but when they realize they will bring the fight back to the city and there would be more casualties, Bang is going to sacrifice himself? Don’t worry, that won’t be. Because King makes a brave announcement to the monster that he has brought Blast (the S-class hero whom this monster has a grudge with). After throwing more insults, the centipede charges at King. Any time now… Saitama!!! This baldy pops up and destroys this monster for good in one punch!!! IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! Genos then asks his master what he is lacking. Uhm, maybe power? And Genos is now enlightened and realizes the path he should strive for! Time to go home.

Own Pace Man
WTF… With that cliff-hanger ending, a third season is very most likely although no news of it has been said. But I’m very sure of it. There’ll be a third season. Very sure… Because if it does not happen, it will surely leave a bad after taste in the mouth. There will be many disappointed fans and angry viewers alike who have come to expect so much and this is what we get? Oh come on. You can do better than that. Why didn’t they expand and make this into a double cour season in the first place? Not enough original and interesting material? Not enough budget? Not enough interest (NO WAY!!!)? Maybe there were reasons but I guess there are somethings behind the scenes that we will never know.

No doubt that this season is also great, I can’t help feel there are mixed feelings while watching this season. You see, there were times when I felt that the martial arts competition as well as introducing the antihero called Garou felt more like time wasting although I believe that it eventually helps in contributing to the bigger picture overall plot. Because of Saitama being away for the martial arts tournament, this contributes to Saitama making somewhat less screen time this season. Yes. This feels somewhat strange seeing he is supposed to be the star of this series. However when I think about it, Saitama being away at the tournament and oblivious to the Monster Association’s rampage, this gives other heroes of Hero Association more screen time to flex their muscles. Remember, Saitama can literally win a battle with just one punch! What was his name again? Therefore had Saitama not participate in the tournament and went on the fight the monsters, it would have been one rather monotonous (although not necessarily boring) affair. After all, so far nobody has ever lived long enough to take his second punch if Saitama is serious in throwing his first punch. So yeah. Saitama racking up the monster body count might be good for Saitama and all you Saitama fans and supporters. But this means other heroes would not get that much needed screen time and some of them might not be even introduced. Then yours truly will complain about this show should do away with all the other characters and just let Saitama and the few be the only heroes in this city.

Then there is the other interesting side plot of introducing another strong character, Garou. At first having this hero hunter felt like also filling in the time and void since showing Saitama participating in the tournament would be just absolutely boring as you know it won’t take up as much screen time. Garou proves to be formidable and what makes him more interesting is his support for monsters. This does not necessarily mean he wants to become a monster but merely he cheers on for them. Many of us never question why we support the heroes and always undermine the villains based on our simple thinking of because they’re the good guys or bad guys. This is natural for many of us so what happens when you have an irregular like Garou? Because of his different opinion, he is shunned and that is probably what drives him to become strong and prove others wrong and that monsters can also become heroes. Sure, many monsters live to destroy humans, etc but not all of them. We don’t really question why they attack those with valid reasons of attacking humanity and thus Garou is out there to prove that point. Maybe they just want to get along? Nah! Garou’s reverse support sometimes reflect reality. You know, when you’re a kid you support all those heroic heroes. But as you grow older into an adult, you realize and connect better with the villains. Yeah, monsters here could have earned the sympathy of some viewers had not they look so hideous. Had they look like those cool mutants in X-Men, well, maybe. Garou does have a valid point to prove. Just that he might be going about in the wrong way. So remember kids, remember who you bully back in elementary school. It’ll definitely come back to bite you if you’re not careful. Despite Garou making his name around as the hero hunter, I don’t think he’ll have the last laugh just yet.

As mentioned, thanks to the martial arts tournament as well as Garou the hero hunter, these help give other heroes some of the spotlight and introduce some that we have not previously heard of. While I have no complaints about the heroes, sometimes I feel that this is just one big convention of weird cosplayers. You know, heroes seem to have this unwritten code of wearing really odd clothes to supposedly match their ridiculous and odd powers. I guess there are so many heroes that sometimes it becomes a chore to really differentiate them. It’s like whatever ideas you got here, please throw them in and we’ll call that some A-class or B-class hero. Some even so lazily named like Megane because he wears glasses. Not that I can see how his power comes from there either. Then there is this typical cowboy westerner who shoots with his twin pistols. What’s he called? Gun Gun. Yeah… And there is this punk who has a Mohawk hairstyle so he is called, you’ve guessed it, Mohican. Damn. These heroes sometimes feel more like jokers and seeing them when they are first introduced it serves up to make you smile and laugh. If you want more laughs of the kind of lazily named heroes, you can look up the internet. Yeah, you’ll find plenty of such hilariously named known heroes for now…

But for all the other characters that have appeared in the first season, some are a hit and miss. Hits like Genos who seems to be trying to improve himself battle after battle so as Saitama’s disciple, he seems to be making quite a steady progress despite still having a lot more room for improvement. That is why the much needed final episode to have some Genos drama to doubt his own abilities. And just like that his insecurities are assured thanks to Saitama’s whimsical (and possibly honest) answer. Even Metal Bat is cool going so far as to have an episode named after him! Some misses like Tatsumaki just making that one short stinking cameo appearance and it feels like Fubuki has more screen time than her. Albeit that is just the start of the season and when the real sh*t starts to hit the fan, she’s like back into the shadows. Same for Sonic and from the looks of it, I think his revenge match against Saitama will yet be put on hold again. Though, I have a feeling that Sonic will eventually team up with Saitama and the heroes. I may be speculating wrongly but this baddie isn’t just a baddie and for him to still be alive and come this far, he’s got to have more than that. I know this series isn’t over by a long shot yet but it’s sad thinking that many of such beloved characters are somewhat ‘forgotten’ and ‘not heard of again’ by the end of this second season. Damn, I really starting to hate how this season’s cliff-hanger ended.

Talking about the star of this series, Saitama seems awfully side-lined this season. But remember what I said about him easily defeating his opponents. Having him do that for this entire second season may not be so fun. That’s why even the final episode we see some other action and drama from other characters before Saitama shows up his short cameo and ends everything. Are we supposed to be happy or disappointed with that? Because you know sh*t is going to happen if Saitama takes more than one punch to defeat his enemies, right?! Hence we see him being absolutely bored at the martial arts tournament as well as hanging out with King and playing video games with him. The irony is that he never wins against King and this might be a sign that says if Saitama doesn’t end his fight in one punch, could he have actually lost the battle if the fight requires the enemy to take many hits before keeling over? This is really food for thought. Even much more than the thought of why his gloves are still intact after his one punch specialty. Because if the monster wears the same material from his gloves, will they be safe from his punch?

Saitama being the strongest character (though not officially in this series’ setting) means that he is just bored with everything and there is nothing more that could challenge him. This explains why he sounds so monotonous and so mundane in everything he does. Like as though he doesn’t care. Actually he does. Somewhat. But he views it as troublesome rather than something excited to look forward to. We can see it from both sides of the coin. While he does look like he has reached the pinnacle of supposedly being strong, this might look like an insult to those who have been trying so hard but never reached a fraction of his strength. Essentially both are right and wrong. Nobody is perfect. Not even Saitama is because although he is definitely super strong, he isn’t quite happy. He has been questioning his life’s goal and purpose but thankfully he still has stuck to his heroic qualities. He might sound half-hearted in shelling out his motivation to many of those heroes he stumbled into and saved, but I’m sure he also means it. I mean, I’m sure he isn’t just saying it for fun that if you have time to be depressed, you should use that to move forward and improve. And because he is at the peak of being strong, he certainly can’t see what ordinary people see. So sometimes it is also good like for King to give a good pep talk to try and bring him down to perspective. So keep trying harder in those video games.

With Saitama having this line of thought, there is this scary thought that he might just screw being a hero and join the Monster Association or become a solo entity like Garou and just go around killing others for thrill. Because he is the main hero and character and what we have been invested seeing in him so far, it is not very likely he will turn into that but as the chances aren’t zero, there is still that dangerous small probability. I know I won’t like it to see Saitama turn out like that and I am very confident the producers won’t (lest they want to anger everyone with this sick twist) but still, sometimes you can’t help worry about this small minor unimportant stuffs.

Saitama may not have realized it but he does change a few people’s lives that he has touched. As we see from last season why Genos decided to follow him and become his pupil. This season we are introduced to Suiryu who is probably a frog in the well. He thinks nobody else is stronger than him until he actually meets one. And the irony was how he viewed heroes with disdain and doesn’t really care much about them until his own life was in peril. It goes to show that a man can change. It would be really even more awesome if Suiryu actually becomes Saitama’s follower and I am betting that he would. Otherwise it would be a waste to just introduce this character and then toss him away like he never existed. Then Saitama’s exclusive club of strong people will continue to grow…

Just like the heroes, the monsters are equally, uhm, is diverse the correct word? Sometimes I feel that designs of characters who are ‘ugly’ enough are to become monsters instead of heroes. And you’ve guessed it, some of them even weirdly and hilariously named. Like Black Sperm… Seriously?! And did Sesame Street’s Big Bird moonlight as Phoenix Man or his distant cousin or something? So last season we had an alien coming all across the universe just to fight the best. Now we have a local antagonist and with the introduction of Monster Association, we can see that things are really heating up and sh*t probably to hit the fan another time. Interestingly the monster cells seen that can turn humans into monsters should have been fleshed out better but I guess they might want to leave that for next season and I hope they do. Are there cells to turn monsters into humans? Well, I certainly don’t see humans making this technology. They might have created the most advanced and destructive weapons but I don’t see them doing so in this medical and biology thingy. Orochi being the ruthless king of the monsters, let’s hope he would give Saitama a much better run for his money than last season’s Boros so that we are all entertained.

This season’s action bits are still top-notched and it is the driving factor why this series continues to be popular. All the ridiculous and overpowered moves from the characters are still fun to watch no matter how freaking fast or absurdly strong they are. You can say the firepower packs a punch. You think that they are strong enough? Wait till another character shows up and shows us another stronger move! So earth shattering. If monsters don’t destroy the city, the impact of these monstrous heroes would do the job. These heroes sure put those in Dragonball to shame. It’s not merely just over 9000! It’s over 9 billion may not be even enough! And then of course, Saitama’s specialty of ending it all with just a single punch that makes him look like making no effort whatsoever (and making other heroes slog like hell with their skillsets and firepower), I don’t know if we are supposed to be glad-cum-entertained with everything ending so fast.

With last season’s seiyuus retained, new ones are added to the already bloated casts. Yeah, a lot more heroes here so I believe the list is twice as much. But I’m going to mention the notable and main ones. Heh. Not much. Those I recognized include Hiroki Yasumoto as King and Takehito Koyasu as Gyoro-Gyoro. The rest are Hikaru Midorikawa as Garou (Lancer in Fate/Zero), Masaya Matsukaze as Suiryu (Ren in Jigoku Shoujo), Atsushi Ono as Orochi (Giriko in Bleach) and Kenji Nomura as Goketsu (Ushiyama in Golden Kamuy). Maintaining the absolutely epic style of last season’s opener, JAM Project returns to sing again this season with an equally epic hard rock Seijaku No Apostle. Don’t you just feel the power welling up in you right now?! And that totally epic metal hard core scream at the end of the song! YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!! Also following last season’s trend, the ending theme is also a slow ballad, Chizu Ga Nakutemo Modoru Kara by Makoto Furukawa (voice of Saitama). Though, this song doesn’t feel as empty and hollow like last season’s. Damn, Saitama belting out this piece? If he wasn’t a hero, I bet he is a good crooner!

Overall, this season still rocks but because of the cliff-hanger and Saitama not in action in so many scenes, some felt like this season is a downer and did not live up to its amazing first season. Sometimes I too get caught in that thought and that it could have been much more epic even though there was an onslaught of heroes vs monsters action. That is the danger when you have built up so much hype and expectation that you become too big to fail. If Saitama knows all this and could break the fourth wall, he would have told us all off to stop b*tching our lazy asses because the producers and staffs worked really hard to bring you this epic entertainment! So at least be grateful you can watch this season in comfort without having to worry monsters suddenly come stomping in your neighbourhood and all animes on air have to be temporarily suspended until further notice! Yeah, that would suck a lot. Look at all the monsters that the anime industry has created. Now it is coming to bite them back with toxic fans and complacent viewers now complaining about how ‘inferior’ this season is. The only heroes that are going to save this series and the anime industry is to make better animes!

Wait. What?! WHAT?! There’s still some more? Oh heck. I guess they really want to play into our nostalgia and introduce newbies to it. Because it has been more than 5 years since Hyperdimension Neptunia The Animation graced the airwaves and then all of a sudden… Boom! Hyperdimension Neptunia Summer Vacation OVA! Like I have said, this single OVA is to make old veterans like yours truly feel nostalgic and sentimental and perhaps go back and watch everything again, or expose this ‘old’ series to newcomers in hopes that they will be attracted and start buying some of the merchandise. Yeah, the bottom line. I don’t know how popular this series is but I suppose it does has its followers in Japan. Enough to make this single OVA that doesn’t has no relation or continuation with the TV plot whatsoever. So like even yours truly who has forgotten almost everything can just jump in and watch it without losing much.

Summer haze & dreams…
WTF is this dramatic start?! Neptune is dying?! Oh the horror! Nepgear tries to tell her to hold on because help is on the way. Yeah, as you would come to expect this dramatic exaggeration, IF and Compa finally bring out the shaved ice treats… Yeah, we’re all dying for that for summer! Histoire reminds Neptune that she has a lot of work to be done but apparently she doesn’t want to waste her summer so she continues playing more video games… We see our lovely sisters take a summer trip to the pristine mountains. Nothing like some outdoor activity to relax, huh? Later as Nepgear and Uni try to find Ram and Rom, they see them being attacked by a giant beetle. Bad news: They cannot transform. Good news: Neptune comes to save the day with her kickass kung fu kick. Hiya! As quickly noted, this is not the Neptune we know and she is from another dimension. When the young ones try to bring Neptune back to their villa, it is not there. This is when Neptune realizes they have crossed over to another dimension. They must have passed through a giant shrine. But don’t despair, as explained by her own mini Historia, Croire says that the gate opens briefly every half a day. So while they are being stuck here for the time being, Neptune offers to take care of them. Nepgear observes Neptune to be very reliable as she can’t help make comparisons to her other carefree sister. Speaking of the other sisters, they are seemingly locked in some video game battle! Is this more fun than nature? But it isn’t that they don’t care. You see, time flows differently in this other dimension and much faster. Hence in their original dimension, it is still noon compared to night time here. This Neptune also wishes she had a nice and cute sister like Nepgear. They know they can’t stay like this forever so they are glad they met each other and spend whatever time they have together.

In the original world, it evening and the sisters are worried their young ones haven’t returned. They start looking for them. Meanwhile in the other dimension, it is morning and it is about time the young ones depart back. Apparently there are monsters on both sides of the dimension so it’s some excuse for the girls to transform and kick some butt. To show the focus on Neptune and Nepgear, they hear each other’s voice resonating from the other side of the gate. Uhm, their hands touch and voila! Your sexy transformation scene to blow away all those negligible monsters. The sisters are reunited and when Nepgear wants to introduce Neptune to her other counterpart, luck has it that the portal is closing so the other mature Neptune has enough time to say her goodbye. Yeah. We’ll always remember you. From that confident and charming voice, our Neptune can tell she is a cool person. It’s good she thinks highly of herself… And the sisters return to the villa and continue to have their usual (Japanese) summer fun of baths and fireworks till IF and Compa arrive to pick them up. Definitely the best and weirdest summer vacation ever.

The Sister You Have Always Dreamt Of…
Oh well, I guess that’s it. But it is hinted there might be more because you know how ambiguous ‘mata ne’ (see you again) sounds, right? I’ll probably watch it when that happens because, no harm, right? Gotta have more dopamine of nostalgia! Anyway, as far as this OVA is concerned, it’s relatively simple and straightforward. The focus is on Nepgear who has experienced the mature and reliable big sister should her actual Neptune be this cool and steadfast. Thankfully because of all the cuteness and adorability of this series’ pace, nothing twisted or dark is going to happen like Nepgear suddenly wanting to be this alternate Neptune’s sister and ditching her real one. Or telling her Neptune to buck up. No siree. Can’t have that here because we can see all the sisters love each other so much that they might as well be married to each other. Oops. Gone too far there. Alas, this experience only has Nepgear appreciating her own Neptune even more because you know, Neptune is Neptune. There are some things you can’t change. Even all the more so, this Neptune is her Neptune. You just accept it as it is.

The other motivation for me to watch this series as well as the other factor that increases my nostalgia points is that I get to hear the voices of veteran seiyuus. Rie Tanaka, Yui Horie, Eri Kitamura and Kana Asumi are great to hear again since the more seasons of new animes pass, the lesser I get to hear them as they are already in semi-retirement and with the competition of the voice acting industry heating up with new ones coming out, I guess old ones like them have to take a back seat and let the newer generation take the spotlight. Hey, don’t want to do this for your entire life, right? Well, maybe. Some like Rina Satou and Yui Ogura are still in the industry but it is sad to note and come to realization that there will be a time that the seiyuus I recognized will completely stop and retire. Will there be another dimension where they will always do voice acting forever? Only in your dreams. So yeah, probably this OVA has invoked a lot of these kind of thoughts and the lesson learnt is to appreciate what you’re doing now. Because it won’t last forever. Even one day the annual summers will stop coming… :’(. Better go get some shaved ice while I still can.

Shoumetsu Toshi

September 22, 2019

Why do I have this tingling sense that yet another sci-fi anime series is going to bomb? But yet I am interested to catch what it is all about? Shoumetsu Toshi somehow brings to mind that failure in RErideD: Tokigoe No Derrida. But at least this one doesn’t involve time travelling. So the intriguing thing that had me wanting to find out more was thanks to the synopsis that didn’t reveal much. An unfortunate incident that caused a big chunk of Tokyo to disappear and life to be extinguished, a young girl was the only survivor. Many years later, her father who was thought to have perished in that phenomenon, a message was somewhat received for him. A guy is tasked to deliver her into that black hole to decipher the truth. And of course, there is always that hidden conspiracy behind it that makes moving one step closer to the truth hard and life difficult for everybody.

Episode 1
While the popular idol group, SPR5 is performing, a sudden phenomenon of the place being engulfed in some black hole occurs. Fast forward many years later, Yuki seems to be an experiment subject in a facility run by the Agency but Takuya easily takes out those personnel and kidnaps her. Takuya claims he was hired to deliver her and the contract ends once he does that. Riding fast on his Vespa, WTF strange spiritual monk starts standing on his hands to stop him from steering his bike?! More WTF as I don’t know what Yuki did to release some spirit balls to knock him away. With others in hot pursuit, they are then picked up into a truck. Hopped in, rather. Unbelievable manoeuvrability. And with that the pursuers lost them?! Fail! Scientists Eiji and Kikyou examine Yuki and she seems stabilized. They want to know what the Agency has been doing to her. They also narrate about that black hole incident 3 years ago called Lost. Rumours say it was manmade as many victims lost their lives. Yuki is a lone survivor of Lost. Something about those spirits being called Tamashi. Huh? Anyway, Eiji wants Takuya to do another job and that is to head to Lost. The place is quarantined by the government, no progress whatsoever ever since and all forms of communications within the area are blocked. Oh, did he mention that nobody alive has ever returned from entering there? So why hire him?! It seems they received an encrypted code that is from Yuki’s father saying that he is waiting at Lost. Hence Eiji wants Takuya to take Yuki to Lost to ascertain if her father is still alive. Better pay him good.

Takuya seeks the help of his geeky friend, the aptly named Geek to fix his bike. Yeah, he is a big SPR5 fan. Geek thinks it is dangerous to go to Lost but Takuya’s policy is to finish his job. Because he sees Yuki as a package instead of a human, I guess Yuki felt hurt and left on her own. How the f*ck can these guys lose a girl like that?! Did she wander that far?! As Takuya goes to find her, he also calls Yumiko to help find the quickest route to Lost. Eventually Takuya finds Yuki. She doesn’t have to believe in him. Believe in your father! Yeah. Enough for her to get on the ride with him. Unbelievable manoeuvrability as Takuya dodges debris and even that damn monk! This guy is taking all the damage but his bike is still functioning?! Yuki feels bad and wants to give up (flashback of her happy family moments – because dad and brother are now victims of Lost). After Takuya lectures her about not giving up again, WTF moment for Yuki as she somehow manages to summon her former bodyguard, Akira! WTF?! Gun slinging Akira shoots down the monk! With submachine guns!!! Although Takuya and Yuki are safe, the people from Agency crash them. It seems they know where they are because Yumiko betrayed him. She works for the Agency too. She wants to do the honours to kill Takuya.

Episode 2
Yumiko shoots the agent instead. Betraying the Agency, huh? She and Kouta decide to help them. With the area now under intense lockdown, they hide in Yumiko’s secret place. If Yumiko is going to help him, he also needs her to work with Geek as he knows how to fix his bike. So the easiest way to bait him is to use SPR5 on the chatrooms? It worked. Later as Takuya talks to Yuki, he learns about Akira who was her father’s bodyguard but died during Lost while trying to protect her. She isn’t sure if that Tamashi she summoned was actually him. The gang take the subway as the fastest way to get into Lost. Of course the Agency guys led by Suzuna are waiting for them. Conveniently a door to another room. Yumiko lets the rest proceed while she deals with Suzuna. I think Suzuna is just toying with Yumiko. She could have really shoot and killed her but yet they talk about their different ideals on freedom. On Kouta’s side, they manage to dispatch the stupid Agency henchmen. Until Kouta gets a knife stabbed in a back by this Tamashi knife dude! Takuya takes and forces Yuki to escape instead of mourning over Kouta. Oh no. Don’t lose heart again. No time for that as knife dude is hot on their tail. Convenient so convenient because here comes Geek in his truck to bring them away. Oh man, knife dude is fly and chasing them. Takuya sounds like he wants to sacrifice himself to stop this bastard but Yuki comes along with him. Hey, don’t lecture her about decisions. She decides this one by herself. I’m amazed his bike can make such great moves without any damage. So what Takuya figured out this knife dude’s trick that he can pop up to where he throws his knife? Because at the end of the day, Yuki just needs to summon Akira and blow him away! Yeah, should have used the submachine gun instead of your pea shooter in the first place. In the aftermath, Takuya and Yuki agree to help each other. But first they need to pick up Yumiko and Kouta. I wonder if Suzuna has done the job. And poor Kouta looks like he bite the dust…

Episode 3
Yeah well, Yumiko is amazingly alive albeit bleeding all over. The place where Kouta died, looks like his body is missing… Geek and Takuya realize something amiss. They have been going around in circles. Even weird, they witness SPR5 arguing outside the concert hall they are supposed to be performing shortly? Something about group leader, Yua unhappy that she heard SPR5 will be disbanded. Geek realizes they have gone back to a certain point in time. As they try to move along, they come back to the same place and see the same argument taking place again. I guess this makes Geek he needs to take action to prevent SPR5 to perform in that doomed concert. He finds Yua and talks to her. Not that she believes him. As a big fan, he can tell her character and some hit close to heart. This concert that Yua is supposed to perform in, she didn’t actually perform and was stated as sick although many fans believed she wasn’t and there was a conspiracy behind it. Just when she starts to believe him, she disappears. Takuya and Yuki try to get out but again end up in the same place. Same SPR5 argument. This has Yuki believe Yua is responsible for this space pocket and wonder if those Tamashi are controlled by others. This time Yuki goes to find Yua, talk to her about the need to do something or nothing happens. Otherwise she’ll end up like her. Damn that worked. Meanwhile Takuya tries to find SPR5’s manager, Seiji but to no avail. Yua makes up with the rest of SPR5 and they go on to perform together. With that, Takuya and co manage to get out of this time loop. But when Geek checks for change in history, it is still the same. Yua did not perform at that concert and SPR5 was still a victim of Lost. With fatty feeling down, Yuki thinks she understands about Tamashi. With so many people getting caught in Lost then, they have regrets and unfulfilled wishes. Hence Tamashi is a person’s will taking shape. Yua’s regret was strong that she created that time loop world. Even though they couldn’t change the past, she doesn’t think their efforts were futile. Oh look another Tamashi crashing their bike. Oh sh*t, is that Souma? Yuki’s brother? Well, Yuki doesn’t seem all too surprise to know he is alive. Because he is trying to kill Takuya and claims Yuki should come back with him. They’re family and need to support each other. Yuki won’t accept this. Because of that, did she try summoning so hard that it becomes a huge explosion? Crater size explosion!

Episode 4
Takuya is wheeled into ICU and Geek blames Eiji for putting him up to this. It’s partly Yuki’s fault too, right? Eiji offers everyone his home as a place to hide for now. When they leave, they are confronted by police officers, Ryouko Negishi and Shunpei Aoyama try to press Yuki for answers since a CCTV caught Yuki and Takuya within the restricted area. Luckily Eiji has got his answers prepared so they can’t prod further. Wow. Eiji’s place is a mansion?! I guess when he meant it was a good place to hide, it meant luxurious. Yumiko stays by Takuya’s side. She is shocked when Suzuna is here. Don’t worry, she won’t kill him but to offer her info. Ryouko goes to see freelance detective, Keigo Hidaka to find out more info on Takuya since she has a hunch he used to be in this same profession as him. Takuya wakes up and is updated by Yumiko. He asks about Seiji but is told he just died in an accident. Ryouko tries her luck and talks to Yuki again. She talks about her own father who was an officer whom she looked up to. But when he became a victim of Lost, she became frustrated rather than sad. That’s why she became an officer and still believes he is still alive. This reignites hope in Yuki for hers. A little PR goes a long way because now Yuki opens up on what the Agency had done to her. Ryouko tries to investigate a lab belonging to Lacuna. She should know better she can’t search around without a warrant and is of course turned away. Ryouko gets scolded by her superior for snooping where her nose doesn’t belong but if her instincts tell her, it is only because she is getting close to the truth. Keigo has found an old picture of Takuya. Ryouko looks at some old real estate files and finds a contract of Lacuna trying to buy a certain factory for their second research facility. Although they won the bid, they retracted soon after. As the date shows the day before Lost, it only confirms they knew Lost was going to happen. Suddenly Shunpei stabs her! Yup, this guy is from the Agency. So he doesn’t make sure she’s dead?! Yumiko talks to Yuki about Suzuna’s info. Souma is still alive. As long as she heads toward Lost, he will appear again. Is she is not resolved to do not, please don’t involve Takuya. Yuki’s answer? She wants to save Souma. I guess we’re going.

Episode 5
Yuuji reports to Keigo that Aoyama’s body is found floating at the port. Ryouko’s division has been shut and the chief transferred out. Though they are frustrated with this, it seems Keigo has another plan. A plan that involves the famous magician, Yoshiaki. He goes to see Takuya and knows about Phantom Thief Brigade X that Takuya and Yumiko once tried to catch but failed. The team’s leader, Tsubasa is Yoshiaki’s older brother whom he hasn’t seen in 10 years. He hopes to make a deal so he can see him again. Yuki notices an Artefact known as Tsuki’s Tears is on display at a museum. Because Souma had something similar. Eiji explains research showed it had mystic powers and it is believed to give wielders powers. Now, Yoshiaki believes Hoshi’s Tears that Brigade is holding is its pair and hence they will target Tsuki’s Tears. Takuya and Yumiko are suspicious. Because Hoshi’s Tears is in the Agency’s hands. Could it be Brigade and Agency are connected? If so, this could be a trap. Takuya’s side are heading towards the museum but they are intercepted by Brigade. So putting out Eiji’s van is enough? Flashback shows Tsubasa tried to ambush when Taiyou the boss of the Agency was trying to make some deal. However his secretary, Tsuki protected him and received a huge slash on her back. It left a hideous scar. Was Tsubasa in despair that he got killed? When Brigade prepares to steal Tsuki’s Tears, they are shocked to see Souma and in possession of the real Hoshi’s Tears. Flashback shows they tried to prove to Tsubasa they can also steal something without him but unfortunately the Hoshi’s Tears they stole was fake. Souma wastes no time to pulverize them. Meanwhile Takuya’s side realizes Hoshi’s Tears is not in its display. I believe they aren’t so dumb to leave it unguarded, right? Besides, where’s security in this place?! Then they go join in the fight. Takuya and Brigade’s side accuse the other of working with Souma. But Souma is not happy to see Takuya alive and tries to kill him. Oh just in time for Akira to pop up to protect him! Apparently Souma also has bad blood with Akira. When mom died, Souma blamed him for not protecting her despite being their bodyguard.

Episode 6
I guess who shoots better projection wins and looks like Souma is having the upper hand. It took a while for Akira to use his submachine guns but that’s still not good enough. Yoshiaki tries to be a hero and intervene but fails. However this distraction allows Akira to shoot and destroy Hoshi’s Tears. Don’t be happy yet. Souma has another trick up his sleeve. Yup, he has Tsuki’s Tears. He summons Tsubasa from it and has him blast Akira with his magic icicles. Cue for short flashback showing how his subordinates followed him because he’s a nice chap? I guess Akira holding out this long means Yuki’s determination is strong, right? Well, she can’t hold out longer. It’s really killing her. After Akira is destroyed, Souma orders Tsubasa to kill Yoshiaki. We can see Tsubasa reluctant and purposely missing his icicles. I guess we never learn because with Souma being mad and distracted, the Brigade guys manage to make him drop Tsuki’s Tears from his hand. Yoshiaki picks it up and feels some connection to Tsubasa. He uses his power to make it disappear. Now Souma is the one panicking as he loses power. Yoshiaki now access Tsubasa’s memories. The memories he never knew. As they were part of an orphanage for disabled kids, it seems the kids also underwent experiments. Tsubasa made a fuss with his ability to make things disappear. This was so that the attention can now be brought upon him. With the focus on him, he vowed to destroy all Artefacts before Yoshiaki’s power awakens. Only then he can be truly free. Tsubasa formed his little Brigade and subsequently got caught up during Lost because he received a distress call from Yoshiaki, thinking Taiyou did something to him. The brothers say their last goodbyes before Tsubasa is gone forever. Now that the Brigade wants to cut up Souma, Yuki won’t let them yet. She tries to save Souma but he accuses her of always thinking she is always right. I guess he can’t jump to his death because big sister’s hug saves the day. Tsuki blames Suzuna for this failed plan because now Souma is in the enemy’s hands. She should have seen this coming. Even so, Suzuna notes this is what Taiyou wanted. Souma is unconscious and ‘safe’ at Eiji’s place. They need to do something before Agency comes for him. Takuya and Yoshiaki meet Keigo who wants them to head to the orphanage.

Episode 7
The moment they step into the orphanage, they are transported back in time. Looks like some Tamashi still has regrets. And Takuya believes it is Hinako, one of the caretakers of the orphanage. It all began when Takuya tried to save Geek when he raked up debts in some bar. Of course the punks can’t ‘joke’ so before they deal with him, Kaibara stepped in to warn them and they back off. Takuya was then invited to join Kaibara’s detective agency and introduced to Yumiko. Takuya continued training and before you know it, he became their ace. So to show appreciation, Kaibara gave him his scooter? Gee, thanks. One day, Kaibara wanted Takuya to investigate the orphanage as they are being suspected of child abuse. Hence Takuya went undercover as a caretaker. He noticed there is a certain line of thought that runs through the orphanage and free thinking like Takuya isn’t welcomed. It is obvious that the more Hinako interacts with Takuya, the more she wavers in her beliefs. Takuya’s regret was never pressing her about the children who were chosen that were taken away from the orphanage. The reason given was they were to meet prospective parents but we know the real reason was that they were sent to the lab. However Takuya had a hunch what was going on but before he could do anything, Kaibara pulls him out of the investigation and drops the case. Takuya even saw Kaibara talking to the orphanage’s principal and should’ve continued investigating after being taken off the case. On the day Hinako invited him to go watch the circus with the kids, he declined with reason he tendered his resignation. Yes, that day was Lost. The current Takuya regretted not stopping her and now tries to do so. Hinako tells him her wish is to tell the kids the truth when they get back and thanks Takuya for changing their line of thought. With the regrets taken care of, Takuya and co return to normal time. Shortly after that incident, Takuya quit the detective agency but kept the scooter as he wanted to continue believing in Kaibara. Keigo thought he wasted time looking through the documents in the safe but it’s all trash. But Takuya knows where Hinako kept the documents. In the birdhouse, there is a ledger of financial records that links the orphanage to Lacuna. With this damning evidence, Yoshiaki is willing to risk everything to testify as live witness. When they return, Yuki sees the orphanage’s group photo and recognizes the principal as she has seen him many times in the facility. Takuya and Yumiko are surprised because they thought the Agency disposed of him.

Episode 8
Yoshiaki puts up the greatest magician show. Making it look like he is going to randomly make a building disappear, that building is Lacuna! With that, people and reporters flock outside Lacuna hoping to glimpse this magic. I hope he isn’t pulling off a Lost style disappearance. With this commotion, Takuya, Yuki and Geek manage to get in via their fake IDs and Geek streams the inside live. They confront the principal who has been promoted to some director but he calls the Agents to beat them up. We didn’t see how but Takuya manages to beat the sh*t out of them! These guys need more training! The principal somewhat confesses he did it all for the money to run the orphanage. So in a way, he’s still thinking about the kids, right?! Meanwhile Yoshiaki turns this magic show into some big revelation as he reveals he was an experiment subject at Lacuna. With the public now hounding for answers, the police take action to take Taiyou and Tsuki in for questioning. Taiyou surprisingly agrees. After Takuya and co leave Lacuna, they are being told Souma is starting to act strange. Damn, this kid is shooting light beams now?! Taiyou’s interrogation won’t last long as the commissioner is his lapdog and apologizes for all this and sets him free. It seems all this is part of Taiyou’s plan to test Souma. He considers him a failure as he can’t control himself without an Artefact. As he didn’t go berserk after losing Tsuki’s Tears, that is because Yuki was nearby and served as his Artefact. Now she’s away… Yup, he is displaying symptoms of Lost. It’s like an excuse that he has to die for Lost to be triggered because this allows the city to be evacuated. Of course Yuki won’t let this go. Once again, Takuya delivers her as far as he can but when his scooter can go no more, damn is Yuki flying????!!! Oh, it’s Akira. I wonder how his machine guns can fight against the light beams. Nope. Lost. But he did bring Yuki closer to Souma who is now a big ugly blob. She hears him hate everything, fear everything, don’t come close, don’t want to die. Then she hugs him. He explodes but not Lost v2. Yuki sad her brother’s gone. Taiyou disappointed Lost didn’t happen.

Episode 9
Daichi along with Taiyou and Tsuki were researchers at Lacuna. One day, Ryouko’s dad came to investigate Daichi because a person who died 50 years ago somehow had the same dental records as him. So what? Murder for stolen identity? In time, the trio quickly rise up to the top thanks to Taiyou and Tsuki systematically disposing the higher ups. With them in control of the lab, it is revealed that they are from another universe. There were many other volunteers too but it is not known what happened to them and the 3 of them are left. That’s why Taiyou wants Daichi to concentrate in creating a portal to save millions in their own decaying universe. This is called Project Noah. So theoretically to open that portal, an immense amount of info is needed and it will open a big hole in Tokyo, hence the more people, the better. While Daichi was working on the portal, Taiyou and Tsuki were handling the bioengineering. They were testing kids with abilities and trying to filter out those who aren’t affected by the surge particle because people must move freely through the portal without losing their memories. However Daichi soon gets romantically involved (an awkward one, that is) with the nice cafeteria lady, Mifuyu. He sympathizes that some people hate her because her bus driver dad killed many. The real story goes when she was sick, he worked extra hours to cover the medical expenses but that backfired. She liked his idea and theory of a parallel world because she wished there was one where she never existed and her dad could do his job happily. With Daichi’s work affected, Taiyou warns him not to prioritize a single life over millions. But you know, they both fell in love and had their first child named Yuki. That was when Taiyou blew his top because he thought a being that is not fully from either universe has been born. Daichi believed she has both and her existence is not a contradictory. Daichi warns if they touch his family, he will kill them. Though Daichi claims the portal will soon be ready, Taiyou warns back to run tests and no more slowdowns are allowed. Or else. Many years later as he has completed some safety device and is going to run tests to ensure it won’t be used for evil (yeah, they always think that), somehow WTF how in the world did those agents hack and disable the safety features?! That is when Lost happened. Daichi realizes he has failed to protect the ones he loves but believes there is still a chance. Whatever encryption he left behind was picked up by Eiji, his researcher partner.

Episode 10
Surprise! Kouta is still alive! Apparently Kaibara saved him. Takuya is in disbelief because he thinks that guy is now on the Agency’s side but Kouta claims he is the one who is misunderstanding Kaibara. While Takuya’s scooter is being fixed, we see Kikyou talking to depressed Yuki, Eiji trying to lay off Takuya from his delivery job as well as Taiyou explaining to Tsuki and Suzuna. Just to let us know that now everybody knows the truth. It seems the Lost created by Souma isn’t over yet and is slowly expanding. Albeit it will take decades. The reason being could be Daichi doing something to suppress its expansion. Because Taiyou tried to send messages there but none was received, only that single message from Daichi was received. It could be the reason why Yuki is heading there. Hence Taiyou thought let Yuki run free or Souma go berserk. But the answer is simpler: Eliminate Daichi. He is going to do so by entering Lost. What about the surge particle thingy? That’s what the experiments are for. Of course so far all have failed as the test subjects at the minimum limit turn into vegetative state or in worst case, die. So we see the gang hang out and kill some time. Yeah, Takuya’s scooter must be the most important factor. For some reason, Yumiko called Kouta to ask Takuya to get some tomatoes. This leads him to a farm whereby he sees Kaibara being a happy tomato farmer! A few words of advice. Including his life is how he sees fit to live it. I guess that’s enough to make Takuya’s day. Taiyou’s experiments continue to fail. He then starts thinking maybe they themselves can’t be affected since they’re from the other universe. Tsuki can’t take any more of this so she offers to be the test subject. Everything goes well and she still remembers her memories. Then Taiyou decides to up everything to the max! Oh sh*t! Looking scared now, huh?! But it did confirm Taiyou’s hypothesis… Meanwhile, a weird conversation between Takuya and Yuki. They’re talking about the kind of normal life and house they want to live in. Is this a sign they want to date after all this? Once Takuya’s scooter is ready, it’s time to ride to hell. Hold on to your seatbelts. In Yuki’s case, hold on tight to him.

Episode 11
Takuya and Yuki continue their journey. They see Taiyou’s team and realize he is already making his move to Lost. Better hurry. Yoshiaki and Brigade hand them a transmitter so they can stay connected with the rest while in Lost. Wait. Nobody knows anything in Lost so how do they even know this technology can work?! Meanwhile, the rest are trying to hack and storm into Lacuna facilities. I see that’s why they need to hack the antenna so they can constantly stay connected to Takuya and Yuki. Don’t worry. It’ll be easy. Those agents are dumb. But Geek is having a hard time trying to hack and decrypt the password security. Until a member of Brigade (hacker loli, rather) helps by hooking him up to some super computer so everything is okay. Taiyou is at the fringes of Lost as he relieves Suzuna of her duties. Suzuna then points her gun at him. It seems her real intention is to get revenge on him for all the people he sacrificed for his test. By the time Takuya and Yuki arrive, Suzuna is close to death. Shot by her former employer. She tells them Taiyou has gone into Lost by himself and apologizes to Yuki for making her go through a lot. Too late, but I guess it’s better than never. Takuya and Yuki dive into Lost. Do they even need to ride the scooter? Whatever. They experience weird flashbacks. Is this some sort of pseudo summary of important things that have happened to them? Anyway, those flashbacks also feel like regrets that they could have done something. As the duo are like living zombie since Lost is taking a toll on them, Taiyou is still cool and sinking deeper. He finally enters an area where Daichi is. The latter only existing in digital format. We return to the memories of the duo. This time, Takuya is losing his recognition of Yuki. Who this girl? And somehow the moment they touch, they get their memories back and resume their ride deeper into Lost. I suppose that is why others keep telling us in that hopeless situation when they lost contact of the duo in Lost (pun not intended), only their strong bonds allow their memories to stay intact as long as they continue supporting each other. How convenient. Breaking through, they see Taiyou trying to kill digital Daichi. How do strangle something made out of 1’s and 0’s? Yuki is distraught and summons Akira for his submachine gun overkill! Sure she won’t hit her father like that?!

Episode 12
At least Akira did something good by blocking Taiyou’s super blast. Taiyou thinks the reason Daichi is trying to prevent Lost is Yuki. He wants to eliminate her but he starts to feel the effects. The medicine effects wearing off? Daichi then tells him it is because he is alone. One’s existence is maintained from continual mutual confirmation. With Tsuki being the last one who believes in him, I guess Taiyou can’t be God anymore. Daichi reveals the reason he brought Yuki here is because she can choose worlds. As an observer, she has the ability to do everything over. We are shown scenes of Yuki living a happy and normal family life. Taiyou and Tsuki are sentenced to prison over their exploitation of the orphanage’s kids. Ryouko’s dad has been credited in bringing them down although Takuya’s infiltration was also a large part to play in that. Yoshiaki and Tsubasa continue to remain together. SPR5 continues to perform. This is what the future should have been and Daichi wants Yuki to choose. However she won’t. WHAT?! Despite the tragedy of Lost, everyone lived on so desperately. Choosing one means to deny the existence of the other. Also, this is to show that they are not as weak as he thinks. WTF?! SINCE WHEN YOU A MASOCHIST, YUKI?! Oh, father must be so heartbroken that he did this all for her only to be wasted. Because Taiyou returns to crush this dude! Yuki, see what you’ve done?! However Taiyou (not looking a lot like some last boss demon monster) starts to grow weak. It seems there is some shard embedded in his heart. He remembers when Suzuna shot him, part of her bullet managed to get stuck there. Suzuna’s ability is to predict the future. All paths ended in failure except for this outcome that technically didn’t spell success outright, but it wasn’t a failure. Good thing Akira left his gun because now Takuya can guide Yuki to shot one in Taiyou. Daichi then holds Taiyou back and tells the duo to get out on the scooter. Vroom! But it seems Brigade only finds Yuki lying unconscious. In the aftermath, we see Yoshiaki still a small time magician, Keigo still a small time detective, Kouta is Kaibara’s tomato farmer assistant, Eiji, Kikyou and Geek forming a new Lost committee to recruit talents to help solve this Lost problem and Yuki living a pretty normal high school life. Unfortunately she has no memories of Takuya. You mean only him? Despite no news of Takuya’s whereabouts, either they’re doing a bad job or just straight out lying to protect him (for whatever reasons). Because we see him riding his trademark yellow scooter (can’t miss it)… STALKING YUKI?! I guess he didn’t want to call out to her so he leaves her familiar ribbon on the post. Recall something?

Still Lost And Never Found Ever After
WTF?! What the heck is this weak and unsatisfying ending?! Yuki not remembering Takuya anymore feels like a sad ending. But since it isn’t confirmed that ribbon would spark her memories back, I guess it is up to us to interpret if we want to or not. But it doesn’t matter. Because unlike Yuki, we don’t have the ability to choose worlds! WTF?! I still can’t believe Yuki chose the status quo path which has everyone continuing their suffering. I guess she lost too much (pun intended) that she has gone crazy so there is no difference at all with the outcome staying the same. It could have been utopia and paradise but nope. She didn’t want that. No siree. She’s so kind so as not to deny the other existence whom we’d all probably won’t give a f*ck nor remember had she chosen that. Uh huh. Screw the other people from the other universe. Oh Yuki, your actions have killed the future of millions! You’ve also wasted daddy’s efforts because if this is what Yuki chose, is there any reason for him to delay Lost? Besides, the final episode also feel so rushed and had a few things shoehorned in especially Taiyou conveniently being defeated. I guess he didn’t see things that far ahead, huh? Suzuna’s character being written just for this convenient role and some other stuffs that prevents Taiyou from being Almighty, oh well, that’s the path we’ve chosen. Also, it’s not clear whether Taiyou perished along with Daichi or they remained trapped in that hell hole for eternity. But whatever. And how was only Yuki found unconscious after escaping Lost? My guts tell me Takuya rode out and left her there. That’s why you don’t see him around. Hey, mission accomplished. Delivered her to and back. Not like he’s getting extra paid.

I believe the story has been a train wreck from the start. Rather, a scooter that has taken on so much damage and continue to limp its way to the finish line. Feels a lot like that. I think they want to keep up with the intrigue and the mysteries surrounding Lost and hence they added in all those elements to ramp up the captivation level but it got messy and beating around the bush that I felt it was just an ultimate fail. Thus the only ‘interesting’ episode was the flashback on Taiyou and Daichi, their true goals and intentions. The mystery behind Lost somewhat solved. But it still didn’t take away the bad pacing and storytelling of the rest of the other episodes like how they deviate and meander with that SPR5 time looping déjà vu crap and Yoshiaki and Tsubasa’s past. It’s not that we understand anything much about this Tamashi thingy. Just an excuse that serves as Yuki’s ‘weapon’ because Takuya’s scooter can only do so much. We also have Takuya’s flashback doing his infiltration cover at the kindergarten job and something about Ryouko’s dad and while all those and more seem like they add something to connect it all to the bigger picture, ultimately Lost is just one big incomplete portal trying to be connected to the other universe. And the whole roundabout thingy of having sacrificial test subjects was because they fear of losing their memories while going through the portal. Yeah, it’s that simple. And the simplest way to counter that is to have f*cking strong bonds! Bonds, people! Bonds!!!

It made me wonder if Takuya and Yuki are that close. Sure, they seem to have gotten to know each other since Takuya took on this job and they’ve spent most of the subsequent moments together. I mean, it’s not like I could see them becoming an item. Could they? Not likely. At least, not from what I can see. He was just a delivery boy. She was just a test subject to be delivered. That is all. Excuses to deliver or postpone this mission only serve to drag out the plot convenience and make it seem like as though they have some sort of bond. Not that I can see that they are THAT close. No wonder that cheesy moment of them together talking about the normal life and what kind of house decorations they would like! Sheesh. Because they didn’t mention how many kids they would like, I guess that is why we aren’t confirmed they were an item or not. Even if they did, we’d be pointing fingers of this cheap and forced romance drama part. Heh. No way out of this checkmate. If that is the level of bond needed to prevent memory loss while traversing through Lost, I guess it’s pretty easy. All those high technology and researching were just a waste of time. But I suppose as a researcher you need some concrete proof of science rather than relying on guts and emotions.

I don’t feel like making a long commentary on the characters because they’re just as bad as the plot. Takuya and Yuki as the main characters, you know the drill. Then you have the other supporting characters whom you aren’t likely to remember, just because. You know they play some part in providing support to our main duo but whatever. The plot has got to move forward, right? Like the aptly named Geek who is a computer whizz, an idol crazed nerd as well as the only mechanic in town who can fix Takuya’s bike. I guess Takuya doesn’t trust those other shady overcharging mechanics to fix and juice up his precious two wheeler. Then you have Yumiko, Takuya’s former colleague whom, oh I don’t know what her role is. Eiji and Kikyou trying to get to the bottom of this Lost message. They don’t really seem prominent or of significant. Except maybe for that brief period Eiji providing his luxurious mansion as respite. How the f*ck does a workaholic scientist manage to afford such a big house and land?! Was it inheritance? Keigo, some small time detective doing whatever ground work that needs to be done. Nothing that I would remember. And is Yuuji is dog helper or something? Yoshiaki, victim of the orphanage. Another really insignificant role. Now he has Tsubasa’s groupies. Like that would change anything. Kouta, why the f*ck do they have to bring this guy back and not let him stay dead like Ryouko? It’s not like an extra pair of arms can do anything, right? And Kaibara… Probably the ‘best’ character because he is happily being a tomato farmer not giving a f*ck not to get involved with the rest. You do you. By the way, I don’t like tomatoes…

I always wondered why Suzuna always have that poker face and I suppose it is to hide her real intentions. No wonder when she had so many chances to finish off the good guys, instead she dawdles and gives excuses. So she’s like a double agent, being close to Taiyou, waiting for the right moment to kill him? Why now? Why not earlier and prevent him from doing all this madness? So, the more people sacrificed, the more hatred she will build up in her heart, the more then it will justify she should kill him? Too late. She got what she deserved. Now we can’t totally think badly of her because she tried to do the good thing. Oh right, I almost forgot that soothsaying ability. How convenient. I guess lots still have to die just to reach this outcome. Mission accomplished. Now she can die happy. Same thing for Souma. Little jerk brother of Yuki has some sort of issues to pick on her big sister. Tries to come off as a strong antagonist of the series but sputters out because deep down he is still her little brother. Oh well, it was good while it lasted. And Taiyou being the baddest of the baddest, yeah, probably the producers write him that way. Killing off his subordinates with no mercy just to show us how heartless he is so that when he gets his just desserts, we won’t feel a thing for him. Don’t worry. I didn’t feel anything for the other characters too!

I probably want to say that the hidden star of this series goes to Takuya’s bike! Uh huh. I think this scooter is no doubt the highlight and poster child of this series. Maybe that is one of the reasons that intrigued me to watch. Not that I am a bike crazy fan or anything but seeing the poster of Takuya and Yuki on this bike, well, why do I have a feeling that this bike is also the star? And you can see why because as early as in the first episode, it did a lot of bat sh*t crazy stunts and survived! This bike withstood all the energy projection attacks from Tamashi and is still able to continue moving! Is this freaking awesome or not?! Just a little tweaking and maintenance and this bike is as good as always. Damn, I wonder what it is made of anyway. And they gave that cheesy flashback that Kaibara gave it to him so as to convince us why Takuya is so attached to this bike rather than getting a new one. After how it did the impossible, I can see why he won’t sell or trade this for a better one. And even in the final push, Takuya brings his scooter into Lost itself! I bet his bond with his bike is stronger! Haha! Hey, it got them out of Lost, didn’t it?! In the event if they lose their memories, maybe the bike won’t. What if the bike is Takuya’s Tamashi?! Holy sh*t!!!

This is supposed to be an action sci-fi, right? Fail too! Firstly, those stupid mindless agent clones from the Agency are comparable to all other useless goons you see in other shows and genres. Their numbers might look threatening but it is easy to take them out. I can understand if they are lifeless clones but I don’t think so because if they are normal humans like you and me, it would be a great shame and should be sent back to training. As bad as these cheesy action to fight off easy agents, the battles with Tamashi is over the top absurd! First we got a heavy monk and then some knife throwing hoodie. Whatever happened to them? I guess we don’t care. Even more absurd is Yuki’s ability to summon Akira for his firing power overkill. I think that was the one that broke my camel’s back. Because I can’t contain my laughter anymore and started cracking up. So are they saying that Yuki’s bond to Akira is a lot stronger than Souma or her father? Otherwise, why can’t she summon her dad as he might bombard his enemies with his digital projection! 0101 data coming your way! It all seems like a loose and poor execution to why this Akira character even exist. Like I said about those Agency’s goons, they’re incompetent so Daichi just needs to hire one gun totting bodyguard in case Taiyou decides to move on his family.

The animation is also poor that it makes you wonder if this is the same Madhouse staff that produced other animes like One Punch Man, No Game No Life, Highschool Of The Dead, Overlord, Black Lagoon and even Death Note. If I should say, the animation and even the characters look and feel sloppy. With the Lost area being cordoned off and abandoned for a long time, they want to give off this dystopian feel but with such bad quality, it feels like this anime is the one that is being affected by Lost! And the oddest character design goes to Yuki. No, not how she looks but rather the way she dresses. Even when everyone else is somewhat casually dressed, it is mind boggling for Yuki to wear a sleeveless white dress wherever she goes. Yeah, you might want to cover up a little considering the harsh environment she is getting into. Especially when she rides with Takuya? And doesn’t her white dress get dirty? Damn, she stands out like a sore thumb because her dress is like so bright compared to the rest! Even Kouta dressing sharply in his suit and Tsubasa’s Brigade dressing like cosplay weirdoes aren’t so bad.

This series has got a few famous seiyuus voicing its main characters. Particularly, Tomokazu Sugita as Takuya and Kana Hanazawa as Yuki and Mifuyu. All I can say is that their talents are wasted on this poorly written story and characters they play. It’s not their fault they can’t bring the best of their characters out, it’s because of this poor limitation that they are unable to fully release their potential. The other recognizable seiyuus having their wasted talents here include Ayane Sakura as Suzuna, Kenjiro Tsuda as Daichi, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Yoshiaki, Yuuichi Nakamura as Akira and Mamoru Miyano as Seiji. The rest of the other casts are Hidenoari Takahashi as Taiyou (Waka in Amnesia), Taisuke Nishimura as Geek, Ayaka Asai as Souma (Hazuki in Hibike! Euphonium), Tarusuke Shingaki as Eiji (Kariya in Fate/Zero), Mitsuki Nakae as Yumiko (Tsubaki in Hagane Orchestra), Masaki Terasoma as Keigo (Kiroranke in Golden Kamuy), Asami Imai as Tsuki (Ikaruga in Senran Kagura), Nobunaga Shimazaki as Tsubasa (Itsuka in Date A Live), Aimi Terakawa as Kikyou (Kasumi in BanG Dream), Makoto Takahashi as Kouta (Kouta in Majimoji Rurumo), Tomoyo Kurosawa as Ryouko (Kumiko in Hibike! Euphonium).

Something that doesn’t suck: The opening theme, Kotae by Mao Abe. This energetic hard rock outfit would have been really awesome had the series itself at least being decent. Now I feel that this song is a waste to be put into such mediocre series because this song isn’t that bad. It’s edgy as well as it’s badass to say the least. And then from hero to zero. Because the ending theme is like so out of place and WTF. With Your Breath by SPR5 is such a lively typical idol music that doesn’t fit the setting of this series. You know how mostly gloom and despair the episodes are. Suddenly they have this happy fanfare blasting at the start of the ending song which really makes you go “Huh?! WTF?!”. Really. I suppose this is the only way SPR5 can get its fair share of limelight. What a way to make your debut. Yeah, they got zapped by Lost and killed off! I prefer the special ending theme, Hello Again ~Mukashi Kara Aru Basho~ by Kana Hanazawa (I almost mistake its name to be some alternate cover on Adele’s Hello). Though a generic pop music and still lively, but at least I get to hear Kana Hanazawa’s cute voice while singing it. There are also some other BGM which are dramatic electronic music but they aren’t that memorable.

Overall, this is one big disaster that it seems Lost did not only affect the people and the plot of this anime but it also bombed for all of us who were unfortunate enough to have watched it. Yeah, you could say they really lost the plot and we all lost it with this crap! Haha! Pun intended! Poor storyline pacing and execution as well as uninteresting characters did not help in improving the intrigue of this series especially when some of the action scenes are just downright mediocre or ridiculous. Sometimes we feel we want to walk through the Lost portal and lose our memories of this series but that won’t do because it would mean we might repeat the same mistake and go watch it again. Maybe better to summon a Rambo Tamashi and shoot this series to bits! Haha! Oops. Hopefully, the mobile game that it was adapted on would fare better but since as usual I didn’t play it (nor have I heard of it until I watched this anime), I wouldn’t know. I suppose that is why they also call this series as Afterlost. Because it’s supposed to stay lost after that. Where I End and You Begin? It ended even before it began to lift off! This is also where I end trash talking this series and begin watching another one. I’m such a lost sheep of sci-fi animes after all…

Sarazanmai

September 21, 2019

What the heck?! What the hell is this trippy LSD trip?! Is this Mawaru Penguindrum 2.0? Apparently not quite so. Because Sarazanmai might have all the crazy and weird visuals that is seemingly similar in Mawaru Penguindrum, it is only because it is connected by the same director, Kunihiko Ikuhara. Otherwise this series is very much different despite all those bizarre stuffs keep reminding you about Mawaru Penguindrum. Just replace penguins with kappa. Replace destiny with desire and hope. Replace the coveted mysterious item that is Penguindrum AKA apple with something that is not so mysterious like magic dishes that grants your wish. Crazy, huh? Told you this felt like Mawaru Penguindrum v2.

Episode 1
Kazuki Yasaka narrates connections are important to him. He’ll do anything to protect them. Hence there are 3 rules he must always do: 1) Carry this box (Kappazon?); 2) Check lucky selfie fortunes of this idol, Sara Azuma; 3) Send selfies to a person he is connected to but doesn’t know. Having done all this, he doesn’t need anything else. Toi Kuji is trying to break into a car when Sara is seen taking a selfie. Naturally Toi wants her Smartphone but she won’t hand it to him and runs away. As Toi gives chase, he stumbles into Kazuki praying at the kappa plaza. He notices his Smartphone the same as Sara’s and attacks him. This causes the kappa statue to break and a small explosion occurs. Next thing Kazuki knows, he is in class. His friend, Enta Jinnai is mad he quit the football club without knowledge. More weirdness when Toi is the new transfer student in class. Throughout the day, Kazuki and Toi seem to be doing weird kappa stuffs like pouring water on their head and eating cucumbers. They start to hear weird bell sounds. It leads them back to the plaza. The broken statue acts up and turns into Keppi, the prince of the kappa kingdom. He claims he erased their memories this morning and since they know about his existence, he must do something about them. Keppi begs to help his kingdom! But Toi refuses and calls him a frog. This taboo word makes Keppi angry as he devours them and sucks out their Shirikodama from their ass! Both realize they have become kappa!

Keppi explains they are now in an alternate dimension called Field of Desires. Neither humans nor kappa can see this. When Enta is seen running by, because he can’t see them, Keppi puts a sticker to allow him to see them. Guess what? Enta thought he saw frogs! Extraction time! Now we have 3 boys turned into kappa. As explained, Shirikodama is an organ that stores human desires. But in the anus? Underlings of a zombie kappa steal boxes that contain desires. The only way to defeat it is to extract their Shirikodama. And so the trio begin fighting this cardboard zombie via musical? Yeah, it is one trippy fight to extract it. Doing so also has them learn the darkest secrets that is kept. Keppi tells them to give him the extracted Shirikodama before it melts via Sarazanmai. What is that? Whatever. Some weird dancing and poses. We learn that the box Kazuki carries contains female clothes. He cross-dresses himself as Sara and takes selfies. So it was him who stumbled into Toi trying to break in and the person he sends the selfies to is Enta! Keppi further explains Sarazanmai refers to the connection of the soul and mind and this means they share all their deepest secrets. Enta despite is shocked to learn Kazuki’s secret, believes their friendship is strong. But Kazuki is upset. He doesn’t care if anyone understands him. As long as he can be connected to Harukappa, he will pretend to be anything.

Episode 2
For their troubles, Keppi gives them a Dish of Hope that allows a wish to be granted. Stupid Enta got so excited and wastes it for a year’s worth of cucumber sushi. Damn. Hence Keppi’s job for them is to fight kappa zombies if they wish to get more Dish of Hope. Back home, we are introduced to Haruka, Kazuki’s little brother. Uhm, looks like a girl, acts like a girl, name of a girl, but a boy?! Whatever. As we can see, Harukappa is her online account name and Kazuki is pretending to be Sara for him. He wants a Dish of Hope for Haruka. Haruka is a happy little brother and has Kazuki to thank for because he wanted a cat and now they have one, Nyantaro. Meanwhile Toi and his brother, Chikai are doing really shady things. Toi doesn’t want to do this anymore although big bro says the next gig will bring in big money. With all that is happening, Toi also wants a Dish of Hope for his brother. Enta orders a package but inside is a gun! He realizes his package has been mixed up with Toi’s. Toi is trying to make some, uhm, condiment? Not sure if it contains catnip because Nyantaro waltzes in to steal it! They bump into Kazuki (dressed as Sara). Both chase after the fat cat. Weird part it enters some ninja festival that is only opened to couples. Good timing, right? Yeah, they chase a cat inside while holding hands. Can the park let a cat do as it please inside? Toi is willing to give back Nyantaro if Kazuki gives his Dish of Hope. Not going to fly.

Meanwhile a corpse of a man has been found in the river. This guy had a penchant for skinning cats but has been released since no evidence was established. This guy was once interrogated by policemen, Mabu Akutsu and Reo Niiboshi. It seems they fire some special bullets into him to extract his desires. Yeah, some weird otter dancing ritual… With cats now going missing. I guess it is cue for Keppi to signal to our kappa boys to defeat another kappa zombie. Enta shows Kazuki the gun belonging to Toi and that he is bad news. However Kazuki needs Toi to pull off this mission. It is all for Haruka. Transforming into kappa, the trio battle against the cat zombie and extract his Shirikodama to learn his secret that he has been skinning cats for their fur so he could wear them. Uh huh. His girlfriend loves cats and recently left him. So he thought by being a cat he could get back his love. Sarazanmai also reveals that when Haruka wanted a cat, Kazuki actually stole somebody’s cat just to make him happy! With the cat case solved, the policemen believe somebody is interfering. The view those who can connect desires can have a future. Toi threatens the rest to give their Dish of Hope. However Keppi points out that they must collect 5 to truly have their wish granted. So the first time was just demo? Work harder, boys. With Haruka happy that Nyantaro is found and thanks Sara for her lucky selfies, Kazuki feels relieved as he falls asleep. Just like that in the open? Because cue for Enta to steal a kiss!!!! Only the fat cat is the witnessed…

Episode 3
Enta pulls back as Kazuki wakes up! Nothing suspected. We hear Enta’s thoughts that he has a crush on Kazuki. He doesn’t know when those feelings started but he has had them for a long time. Worse, today’s lucky readings from Sara is a kiss! Otone, Enta’s sister even teases him by giving him a kisu. The fish, that is. Yup, it’s from her boyfriend. Later Enta and Haruka talk about Kazuki. Haruka feels sad that Kazuki has stopped smiling ever since he quit football. Enta remains positive that Kazuki will come back to play football with him. As Enta is thinking on how to do that, suddenly Kazuki comes by and regrets leaving football. He wants to play with him again. That’s quick. Unfortunately this is just his delusion as that person is actually Otone. She is supposed to meet up with her boyfriend but he is late. Enta then gets mad when he sees a couple of football boys playing in their secret area. When he tries to act tough, they beat him up. WTF Kazuki beats them up and saves him? Oh dear. Another delusion. Turns out to be Toi instead. Enta explains why he wants Kazuki to play football with him. A reason why he wants a Dish of Hope so badly. Meanwhile the police is investigating a corpse of a murdered man who happens to be Otone’s boyfriend and he has records of being a womanizer. Mabu and Reo claimed to have arrested him the day before, interrogated him and extracted his desires.

With brides gone missing, of course the zombie kappa is doing all this. The kisu zombie is turning brides into kisu. Among them is Otone. Enta begs Keppi to transform him so he can go save her. Yeah, get your Shirikodama extract first. So the trio extract the kisu zombie’s Shirikodama and Enta’s secrets are revealed during the Sarazanmai. We see him secretly sniffing on Kazuki’s jersey and also blowing on his recorder. And yeah, that kiss on sleeping Sara. In the aftermath when Otone returns to reality, it seems she can’t remember who she was waiting for. It seems Kazuki isn’t fazed about the kiss as he thinks it was a penalty game the football club imposed on him. Enta denies and claims how Kazuki always gave him motivation, the reason for him to play football. After Enta confesses he loves Kazuki, OMG a yaoi kiss scene! We should know better by now it is a delusion as Enta just kissed Keppi. How does it feel kissing a kappa? Meanwhile with yet another interference, Mabu and Reo are being admonished by their mysterious boss (only known as Otter) because the harvested energy has dropped significantly recently. Buck up or else he considers this as betrayal. Enta talks to Haruka that he can’t get himself through to Kazuki and wants to give up. But Haruka gives him a missanga bracelet that he threw away. Because he can’t run with Kazuki, he hopes Enta could give it to him and run together. We see Haruka wheelchair-ridden at a hospital.

Episode 4
Haruka is happy that she is going to have a handshake session with Sara. The real one. Toi gets a call from Chikai. The former is sick of living apart but the latter promises they’ll live together once things are settled. Later Toi meets Enta because the latter continues to bug him to give his Dish of Hope. Not a chance. Asking about Toi’s recent transfer to their school, he explains he was once from this area but left for a while after his parents died. Currently he is living with his relatives who are running a soba shop. Subsequently, Kazuki in a Sara’s drag seeks out Toi’s help. It seems he wants him to kidnap the real Sara so that he could substitute her place for Haruka. It’s an identity he needs to protect! This has Toi remember the ‘teachings’ of Chikai how the weak perish and will be forgotten. After their parents died (he later found out that they were cheated into debt), Chikai is seen trying to sell their belongings for money. Hey, they aren’t of any use to the dead, right? Toi was mad but was told off that only bad people survive in this world. Toi then saw Chikai meet up with his yakuza boss and being given a gun. When the family soba shop was about to be evicted, somehow Chikai managed to bring in the cash to keep the store running. Before Kazuki could finish his Sara kidnapping plan, soba bowls are now flying everywhere? And of course, a soba shop owner is found dead. He was arrested on suspicions of stealing his girlfriend’s bathwater but was released due to insufficient grounds. And also of course, Mabu and Reo arrested that guy and extracted his desires.

With a soba zombie in action, our trio transform into their kappa form to extract his Shirikodama. So that soba owner guy just wanted to make soba using the water from his girlfriend’s bathwater? Sick. And now for the Sarazanmai. Toi later found out the money Chikai got was from swiping his yakuza boss. They wanted to make him pay but because the relatives disowned him, they couldn’t touch the shop. However the boss thought of using Toi as bait to lure him out. But Toi used the gun and shot him. As Chikai witnessed this, he took the gun from his hands and shot the boss. This is to claim that he is the one who shot and killed this bad person. The brothers vow to survive in this world together. With yet another loss, Mabu and Reo contemplate of taking action. Since it is inefficient for them to go out there, they’ll have to raise the target’s desire level. Enta is devastated that Toi killed a guy but Toi insists had he not, he would have killed the brothers. It is easy to talk about morals and justice means nothing to the strong. Hence Toi decides to live for Chikai’s sake and won’t let his sacrifice go to waste. He will not hesitate to kill them if they let this secret out. Surprisingly Kazuki gives his Dish of Hope to Toi. He needs it more than him. Furious Enta opposes. He thought he was doing it for Haruka. Kazuki cuts off his ranting and claims he hates Haruka. Say what?!

Episode 5
Kazuki narrates he was the happiest kid in the world when Haruka was born. But a few years later and grandpa on his deathbed muttered the words that Kazuki’s mom is an indecent woman. He found out and realized that he had a real mother whom he was taken away from. And that was when his happiness shattered. He wasn’t connected to anybody. The plan to switch the real Sara begins. Toi knocks out the manager and then escorts the real Sara out on pretence to take some promotional photos before Kazuki in drag moves in. Meanwhile the police has found a corpse of an unemployed guy who was suspected to be involved in some natural treasure sachet incident but of course released due to insufficient evidence. And our usual duo interrogated him and extracted out his desires. No matter how many times Toi tries to lock up Sara, it seems she always escapes by transforming into some sort of kappa?! Kazuki is up on stage to greet the fans. Yeah, nobody realizes this is Kazuki except for Enta. Haruka is thrilled to meet ‘Sara’ since ‘she’ knew their password (Haruka texted her that password regarding connections before the meet). This has Kazuki remember a time when he found out about the truth about his mom and contemplated to leave so Haruka said the same things of how they are all connected in a big way. Handshake interrupted when the manager pops up to call out this imposter. Haruka refutes him and believes this ‘Sara’ is the real deal. It gets worse when the real Sara shows up. When Haruka asks for the password, she doesn’t understand, making Haruka believe this fake is the real deal. But that soon comes crashing down when the manager pulls off Kazuki’s wig. Oh no! Kazuki runs away in shame and fear.

Later Toi says some harsh words that he is the one who hurt Haruka and that eventually all their secrets will be exposed. Kazuki laments he promised never to hurt Haruka but has done it again. Suddenly Keppi interrupts them because a kappa zombie is detected. Yup, better go fight that sachet zombie. After they manage to defeat this sachet zombie, Sarazanmai reveals that Kazuki one day for the first time met with his real mom. The thing is, Haruka also had the same scent pouch as her. This regret causes Kazuki to lose the sachet zombie’s Shirikodama and thanks to that, no Dish of Hope for them. Mad Keppi also lets them be in this kappa form although Kazuki thinks he prefers it this way. Then he starts lamenting about how Haruka knew that they weren’t real brothers. More revelation as that day when he met his real mom, they both found out they each have their own separate families and decided to keep this tryst a secret and return to their respective family life as they viewed it as important. But soon, Kazuki decided to leave the family and Haruka didn’t want that. He thought he was being a bad boy and pleaded for Kazuki to stay. Kazuki turned his back and when Haruka tried to go after him, a car rammed into him. This left Haruka paralyzed from waist down and the thing that Kazuki regretted a lot is how no one blamed him despite it was really all his fault. They all continued to be a real family to him and he continued to stay with them. However he feels all he has done isn’t enough. From quitting football, stealing Nyantaro and even dressing up as Sara. It was a lie that he is doing this all for Haruka. He deceived Haruka just to protect himself.

Episode 6
Kazuki didn’t come home and his family is worried. Especially Haruka. But oh, Kazuki has gone crazy living the happy kappa life! Oh yeah, having fun doing kappa sumo? What about kappa football? Of course this isn’t going to last as Kazuki remains gloomy. When he sees Haruka in the streets, he runs away. Haruka is worried if Kazuki is ever coming back. He is approached by Reo and wonders will be arrested for stealing Kazuki’s smile. Reo is interested to see whether the inside of him is desire or love and puts Haruka to sleep before taking him away back to his police box to have his desires extracted. Nyantaro is flung away. Kazuki still can’t face himself until Nyantaro lands near him. He realizes Haruka is missing. Keppi then receives a call that Haruka has been taken away by the Otter Empire. They kill humans and turn them into kappa zombies. Time for a little history. It seems kappa and otters having been at war since the dawn of time. They fought over the energy inside Shirikodama and when the otters won over the kappa, they set the humans as their next target. Keppi is the only one who can create Dish of Hope so if this secret is blown, his life will be targeted. Keppi takes the trio to the Otter Empire’s secret underground hideout where they extract all desires and put them in a box to devour. How can they find Haruka in all the boxes? Yeah, Kazuki calling Haruka’s handphone somehow pinpointing Haruka’s position. But as they chase after it, it is too late as it gets dropped into the pit. Desperate Kazuki wants to save Haruka’s life. How? Keppi suggests the other way is to transplant his Shirikodama into him. However this means that Kazuki will be disconnected from everything. To cut things short, he will be erased from existence and the memories of everyone who knows him. A fate worse than dying. That is exactly what they have been doing to kappa zombies they defeated.

But Kazuki starts thinking that exchanging his life would mean Haruka’s accident would never happen and that is good enough of a deal to do it. Of course his pals won’t allow this sorry excuse. You think that would make Haruka happy? STFU about this is your choice to make. Enta shows him the missanga he threw away that Haruka saved. It shows that he never gave up on him. He believes in him and is waiting. This is enough for Kazuki to change his mind. Back to operation rescue Haruka. The system detects Haruka’s desire as love and is rejected. It is being sent to the shredders but at least there is window of time for them to rescue him and he is still alive. Flashback shows Haruka’s final message to Sara that he did something horrible to a certain person. The reason he chased Kazuki down was because he was afraid he would leave him. It seems Haruka also stumbled into Kazuki’s real mom. They look alike and he picked up her dropped scent pouch. Similar scent. Haruka told her not to take Kazuki away but she smiled and said everything is going to be okay. But Kazuki stopped smiling after that. He is happy the things he has done for him and will continue to believe he will come home and smile again. How to save Haruka moments before being dropped into the shredder? This is where their football skills come in handy. Use Keppi as the football! Goal! Keppi also conveniently acts as a glider-cum-parachute to land Haruka to safety. With that, the trio are able to defeat the sachet zombie for good. Mabu is not pleased with yet another defeat. However Reo is ecstatic. Calling Haruka’s real love as something they never needed in the first place, he is glad he kidnapped Haruka because he has found Keppi, their hope. Kazuki feels he has been reborn into a new person despite staying pretty much the same. This is the real him. He is glad to have friends like them.

Episode 7
From what it sounds like some ambiguous gay sex between Otter and Mabu turns out to be a ritual for the latter to become his vessel. When Mabu returns from his ‘maintenance’, Reo is not pleased since he is trying hard to eat his old favourites and trying to pretend to be his old self doesn’t mean he will accept him. He is just nothing but lies. Even so, Mabu is doing this for a certain person precious to him. Flashback reveals that Mabu and Reo got entangled during the otter’s invasion of the kappa kingdom. When Reo woke up, he was in the care of Otter who claims he is the chief of the science and technology division. Although Reo was relatively unhurt, the same can’t be said for Mabu. From what it looked like, he died. Reo was devastated and would do anything to bring his partner back to life. Mabu reports to Otter that the energy reserves of the kappa zombies are dangerously low. This of course would mean both their lives are in danger. Otter wants Mabu to prove his loyalty via action. With summer break here, Kazuki happily tells Enta that he will rejoin the football club once the next term starts. They also invite Toi to join them since he is quite good. But as they head to their usual spot to practice, they see it vandalized. Undeterred, they start cleaning up. However the next day, it is again vandalized. Kazuki hasn’t lost his spirit and wants to clean up so as to send a message to the vandals this won’t break them. However Toi gets a call from Chikai. Looks like he can’t continue playing football with them. Seems a huge job just fell through as a partner betrayed him. They have to leave town for a while as they are being wanted. Kazuki remains positive. All they need is 1 more Dish of Hope, right? Let’s defeat a kappa zombie and help Chikai. That way, they don’t have to leave. Toi wonders why they are willing to go this far for him. Enta explains this is Kazuki’s real personality before that Haruka’s incident. He is always helpful. That is why what Kazuki wants, Enta also wants.

The trio go to the plaza to see Keppi but he just got back. From a date with Sara?! Anyway, Keppi claims somebody trespassed on his home while he is away. Proof: The Dishes of Hope the boys keep here are missing. At the same time, all the balls start to go missing. Time to go fight the kappa zombie which is a ball zombie this time. After another victory, the Sarazanmai reveals a nasty secret. It is Enta who vandalized their football spot and the one who stole the Dishes of Hope! Enta did so because he is jealous that Kazuki is paying his attention to Toi. Mabu and Reo’s flashback continues. When Mabu was revived, Reo wasn’t happy at all. He believes this isn’t the real Mabu because of that eternally sad look. But Mabu claims he is the real deal as the otter’s technology is truly amazing. His personality has perfectly replicated. Otter adds that Mabu has been fitted with a mechanical heart and needs Reo’s help to keep it working. If he doesn’t like it, feel free to stop his heart. Reo is in distraught because that means he has to kill Mabu. Otter tells them they will be transferred to the human world along with the hope that they seized from the kappa kingdom.

Episode 8
It seems Toi and Kazuki met before when they were young. Toi was contemplating of following Chikai and decided to throw away his love for football. At the same time, Kazuki too just had his problems about being connected so Toi gave him his missanga because some dreams come true when one is disconnected. Chikai meets Toi so they could leave town together but Toi wants him to wait a day for him to settle things. But Chikai’s mug is all over the news. It is rumoured that there is evidence he killed a yakuza boss a few years ago and is now a wanted man. Kazuki is most upset that Enta betrayed them and surprisingly Toi is cool with it and believes he must have his reasons. Bummed out Enta is hanging out at the pachinko when he meets Chikai who is coincidentally there. Because Mabu and Reo are on his tail, Enta helps him to get away. Enta could figure he is Toi’s brother after the way he says things. Chikai even goes as far as to reveal Toi loved football when he was young and wanted to be a football player. He tossed away everything because big brother sacrificed everything for him. Some sort of reciprocation I guess. Kazuki then sees that missanga. They have to move again when the cops close in on them. However they stumble into this yakuza guy who is the yakuza’s boss’ brother and is out for revenge. When he charges, Chikai uses Enta as bait to escape. As this dude deals with the kid, the cops come by. Naturally Enta escapes as this guy won’t let the cops take the spotlight. So he attacks them and gets shot by Reo. When other policemen arrive, they believe the duo have shot him and they will be charged over this police brutality. However they get brainwashed and believe the shooter is now Chikai.

Keppi and Sara now have clues that Mabu and Reo are the ones who have captured Dark Keppi. They have finished creating some secret anti-otter device that will capture their prey alive. Enta is furious Chikai used him but he advises him about that bad people survive line before they part ways. Just in time for a call from Toi. Enta is mad that he didn’t say anything to Kazuki about the missanga. Well, no use saying something that he doesn’t remember. As Kazuki is looking for the dishes, Toi calls him to say he doesn’t need those dishes anymore as he is going away. Kazuki desperately tries to convince him to stay and doesn’t understand what he is saying about people only believe they have connections once they lose them. Toi wants to protect the connections he has left. With that, Toi leaves with Chikai. Frustrated Kazuki is squashing cucumbers at the plaza? With Enta coming by with the dishes to help, however Kazuki jumps the gun and punches him. Blaming him that Toi would have stayed if not for what he did. Enta also snaps back at Kazuki for not remembering something important but the latter won’t hear it from someone who has betrayed them. Mabu and Reo have found them. The Dishes of Hope, that is. Reo shoots at Kazuki but Enta jumps to protect him. The cops leave with the dishes and Kazuki is left confused why Enta did all that. Despite everything that happened, Enta can’t bring himself to hate him.

Episode 9
Sara accidentally uses the device on Keppi and freezes him. Then she slips while trying to move him. Yeah, right into the middle of the road as the truck slams into him! Pieces of kappa… You mean Sara is going to do surgery and piece him back together?! And it worked?! With Enta being admitted into ICU and Chikai as the suspected shooter all over TV, Toi is devastated when he sees this. Chikai gives him one last chance to go back or else there is no turning back. Toi reasons that Enta has someone else important. But for Chikai, he is all he’s got. The duo then go meet one of Chikai’s underlings, Masa who prepares for their next stage of escape. Kazuki is sad that the police do not believe him that he saw a couple of cops shoot Enta. Of course they are brainwashed and maintain Chikai is the shooter. Otone hopes Kazuki could take to Enta and be by his side. Kazuki doesn’t think he has the right so Otone elaborates how the family is always overseas and only returned here 4 years ago. Enta had a hard time fitting in but Kazuki quickly made friends with him and they became football buddies. That is why Enta owes him his life and will do anything for him. Kazuki sounds desperate praying for Enta to wake up and do his usual smile. Surprise! Enta lives! But only in his kappa form. It seems Keppi transformed him so but he still has a limited time to live. After Masa sees off the brothers, Chikai shoots him! He views Masa as being unable to survive in this world and did him a favour. Of course there are other enemies gunning for Chikai’s head. Talk is useless so a gunfight ensues. When Chikai runs out of bullets, it is Toi who pulls out his own gun to start shooting to give his brother some time to escape.

When Reo returns to his police box, Mabu is not around. Some strange sounds coming from the basement. Taking a peek, he is shocked to see Otter trying to do something to Mabu’s mechanical heart. Even more shocked to see Otter is taking Reo’s form. Otter explains that they only exist in concept and take whatever form in your heart. Otter continues to mock Reo that he is the one who wants to own Mabu. That is his desire. He is merely being made to dance by his desires by them otters. The question now is what matters most to Mabu. How does Reo look to him? Reo is in distraught as he vows to get back the real Mabu with his own strength. All he needs is the final Dish of Hope. Haruka talks to Kazuki and knows he is going somewhere to help Enta. Haruka also has Enta to thank as he always accompanied him during rehab. He claims he and Enta have the same wish of seeing Kazuki run again. He shows a drawing they drew to cheer on Enta. It is behind Enta’s prized football poster. Lionel Kappa???!!! That is when Kazuki remembers about Toi. Chikai manages to get away when Toi confronts him. He doesn’t care if he is bad to the core. He is still his brother. But he wonders if Chikai is going to throw him away as well. Chikai pulls out a gun on him. However it is one of those enemies who shot Chikai. Though he got paid back the same way soon. Chikai knows he won’t make it so he doesn’t bother to go to the hospital. Toi is left devastated over his brother’s body. Lots of memories of the good and bad they had :’(. He’s gone… All the money he’s been left can’t bring him back…

Episode 10
When Mabu was brought back to life by Otter, it was only so he could be his doll. He could let him see Reo again but with a condition. Reo finds Keppi and captures him. It seems Reo and Mabu were also kappa and Keppi’s vassals. Taking Keppi and the kids to the otter’s underground base, however Kazuki and co manage to escape when Reo b*tches about Mabu being the fake doll that he doesn’t want. At the most bottom of the base, they stumble into Dark Keppi. This is Keppi’s other half that he separated when he was captured by Otter. Hence he has been finding it to be reunited so he can defeat Otter. Otter then pops up and tries to gain control of them. First he possesses Enta trying to convince him to hand over his dish. But Enta stays strong and will not lose his connection to Kazuki by breaking his dish. Otter now wants Reo to hand over the dishes he stole but of course he isn’t going to do that. Oh well. Time to let him see the truth. Otter turns Mabu into a Mabu zombie. Reo has no choice but to see Keppi’s help to become a kappa and defeat Mabu. When Otter gave Mabu a condition, he must not say words of love to Reo otherwise his mechanical heart will explode. In other words, in order to stay connected to Reo, he must hate him. No choice, Mabu uttered those words. During Sarazanmai, we see Reo running his mouth about Mabu being an emotionless doll. However he realizes he was the one who didn’t understand. In the final moments, Mabu says the one thing he has always wanted to say to Reo: He always loved him as his partner. With that, Mabu explodes. With the final Dish of Hope at hand, Reo goes insane, thinking this is Otter’s tricks. He starts shooting everything in despair and wants Kazuki to hand over the final dish. He won’t of course. Before Reo could kill him, suddenly he doesn’t understand why he is sad and upset. Because now all memories of Mabu are gone. Mabu is then shot in the heart by Toi. Chikai’s dead. You know what’s coming. But with only 15 seconds to go before Enta dies… Enta then lives as the dish is used on him. It seems that is what Toi would have done to had Kazuki given him the dish. It’s not over yet as Otter unleashes despair on the world in the form of Dark Keppi. It swallows Toi. Kazuki tries to save him but Toi hears Chikai’s voice of getting out of the circle together. Forget all those connections. Toi lets go of Kazuki’s hand.

Episode 11
An apparition in the form of Chikai is trying to convince Toi to shoot himself and his past in order to sever connections. Had he done that, all this suffering wouldn’t have been necessary. Of course, Kazuki, Enta and Keppi dive in to try and save Toi. But with Otter trying to get in their way, the kappa prince faces off with him to let the boys go ahead. As Toi talks with Chikai, eventually Toi shoots him. Of course this is Otter in disguise. But Toi isn’t done yet. He is prepared to shoot himself but his friends get in the way. Dark Keppi aggravates things by stealing his missanga as the trio drop into some alternate dimension and their connections threatened to be erased. We hear the trio coming to terms with themselves, their weakness and what they have realized. Finally it is Toi who realizes he doesn’t want to lose what is precious to him. They come together as Keppi transforms them into their kappa version for their final Sarazanmai. They must deliver this missanga to Kazuki’s younger self to complete the mission. While Keppi confronts his dark self, Otter again tries to get in the way. When Keppi reunites with his dark self, memento of Mabu and Reo revive the police duo to help the kids deliver the missanga. Once young Kazuki has it in his hands, Otter starts disintegrating. He is but an abstract concept after all. And Keppi is now in his true prince version? WTF is this weird looking newt-cum-lizardman look?! The final Sarazanmai has the trio talking about wanting to keep connecting. Weird, it’s like they need to score a goal before the time runs out. Thanks to that, it is safe to say that the world is safe for now. In this weird scene of Sara turning into her equally strange kappa mode and Mabu and Reo flanking her like kappa angels, Keppi narrates that the future is not necessary a bright one but hope and despair are both one with life. Never forget that only those who connect their desires through the pain of loss can take the future in their hands. In the aftermath, Toi enters a juvenile detention facility and is released after 3 years. I don’t think he is committing suicide by jumping off the bridge, but it feels a very odd way for his friends to go pick him up this way too. Is that how they decided to greet him on his release? And happily the trio head to their favourite football spot to practice.

Otterly Krazy Kappa-nings & Konnections
Wow. Who needs drugs when you can have this sort of crazy hallucinations and trippy experience, no?! Heh. Just kidding. Don’t do drugs by the way. Anyway, the series has been quite a mixed ride of drama and craziness. Friends trying to stay connected and finding their place of belonging among each other and in the world. Yet again, the cliché power of friendship wins the day!

Desires and connections are the main themes of this series but I feel that the latter permeates throughout the series more than the former. Desires feel like it is an element to move to plot along or provide a narrative for the episode but the overall main theme would be connections. It may not be very obvious here but connections are a very important factor in everybody’s life. You might think that you are a loner but as long as people remember or know who you are, you are in a way still connected. It is only when everyone in the world forgets about you that your existence is truly severed. A fate worse than death is to have never existed in the eyes and the memories of others. That is why our characters here fight hard to try and maintain their connections. Once it is severed, there is no telling when it can be connected again. It’s not like it can be glued back with duct tape, right?

The use of kappa and otters are also a strange concept. While in this anime, kappa are the good guys and otters are the antagonists, in actual life it is actually the other way around. Sort of. You see, because of today’s media, kappa are now portrayed as some cute harmless little creatures. Lest you do your research, you will find that their true origins have a very dark nature. Let’s say that are not friendly creatures to begin with and the Shirikodama ass extraction you see here is just a light take on the horror aspects of their origin. And otters are supposed to be cute, lovely and helpful to the environment, right? And aww, they look so cute holding hands while they sleep together at sea to prevent from being drifted away. So cute… Well, if you love otters that much and can see no fault in them. Just like many other animals, otters too can be dicks (you should read an article about otters raping seals. No kidding!). Obviously otters are portrayed as the antagonists here only because of its Japanese word ‘kawauso’ in which ‘uso’ means lies.

Speaking of that, this series also has its fair share of puns. While it may not be as spamming and ubiquitous, say like the Monogatari series, there are still quite a few of them for those who are sharp enough to pick up and of course if you have a certain standard in Japanese vocabulary. For example, Toi’s episode regarding his relatives running the soba shop is definitely a wordplay of the ‘soba’ word which also means ‘next’. Toi wanting to be next to Chikai is definitely his desire. The start of every flashback scene you will see the words seaweed with it because ‘kaisou’ in Japanese means both flashback and seaweed, albeit same pronunciation but different kanji words. And of course it goes without saying that all the kappa zombies are puns of their desires. But I guess the puns that take the big share of the cake are kappa puns. You will see them in product placements (Kappazon?), places (Kappabashi? Yes, this place actually exists) and even celebrities. Lionel Kappa… Hah! I will surely remember one. Sorry, no Kappa-tiano Ronaldo, KR7! For more insights to the puns in this series, this site provides a good explanation as well as trivia and Easter eggs.

This show might be even weirder considering how it spams us a lot of butt and ass scenes, especially that Shirikodama extraction. But remember what I said about the darker origins of the kappa? Yes people, kappa is technically a yokai that loves butts! Therefore there are a few butt and ass visuals so it may look weird as hell and cringey. After all, when the kappa boys had to go inside deep into the ass of the kappa zombie to extract the Shirikodama out, it really looks like one weird sexual fetish. Even when Keppi begins his Shirikodama extraction, you see from a point of view that focuses on his butt. And Keppi doing farts and sh*tting out the boys because his anus is some sort of magical transformation device thingy, could really twist one stomach if you’re not used to this sort of craziness. There’s also some gay suggestions other than Enta for Kazuki or a hardcore male friendship among them leading to something yaoi and especially Mabu and Reo hinting to be close enough and more than best partners-cum-friends but it could be just my imagination. Yeah, just our imaginations when Otter seemingly tried to make out with Mabu!

The characters are rather okay. I suppose the main trio are fleshed out enough that you would want to support they stay together till the end. Everyone harbours secrets so it is no surprising that these boys too have some secrets that would put their friendship to the test. I wouldn’t say that many of the episode’s revelation like Kazuki being a cross-dresser or Enta as the culprit who vandalized their football spot, to be mind blowing. Sometimes it feels like a detective themed series. You know, whatever mysterious/curious case/phenomenon is eventually being revealed in the end. Only here, we aren’t furnished any clues to pinpoint the culprit and we should have known and see it coming by the connection theme of this series. By the time we probably are getting used to this, the series has probably already ended. In a way, Sarazanmai serves more than just revealing the darkest secrets of the main characters as it also helps in developing their characters forward. Kazuki wants the best for Haruka. Toi wants to be with Chikai. Enta selfishly wants Kazuki for himself. With Haruka reminding the previous Kazuki was better and more smiley and Chikai dead, it is like the wakeup call for the trio to realize that there are more important connections than their own selfish desires.

Chikai as a shady character, it was hard for me to determine if he was just playing the villain or truly a villain in his own right. From the circumstances that have arisen in his life, not to say that resorting to a life of crime is justified but it lets us understand why he took the path that he need to take. Bad guys surviving the longest is the world rings eerily true in real life and it might be heartless for him to teach this to his younger brother but that is how life works for them. Life wasn’t going to be a bed of roses for them so what else do they need to do to survive? Had Chikai being truly despicable, he would have left Toi and not cared for him a long time ago. So I believe he is just playing the big villain just to help Toi move on. The brothers are both each other’s strength and weakness. Because they have each other, they strongly trudge on in life but that is the same reason why it drags them down. While it is sad that Chikai dies in the end (live by the sword, die by the sword), it was probably a twisted blessing in disguise for Toi to set him free and open his eyes that he also has something else of importance other than his brother. What good is a guy when he is dead except for nostalgia and memories?

Mabu and Reo being antagonists feel a bit underdeveloped. Like as though they are characters created just for kappa zombies to run havoc. But that is okay because Mabu and Reo aren’t antagonists to begin with. Unwilling antagonists if I should say. After their truth is revealed, so as not to let them have a bad ending, somehow they revive and return to being the kappa prince and princess’ vassals? I don’t even know how that happened except for plot convenience. After all, it is not like they have been completely forgotten by being thrown out of the connection circle. Yeah, pretty convenient for them to just turn into memento after being defeat. And I thought Mabu’s mechanical heart was supposed to explode and leave nothing. Nothing. But I guess Otter was also lying. Because Otter is just an abstract concept, is the otter kingdom created because of all the negative emotions from humans? I mean, there is enough to go around because with so many unfulfilled desires and twisted secrets, enough for that cliché factor of bad feelings amass into an evil being that is what the otter kingdom represents. It’s a vicious cycle since they feed on the energy of humans. Otter being defeated in the final scene could it merely just mean the boys have overcome their obstacles? Because with the future still not secure, it could mean that Otter could come back anytime when some strain is detected?

The art and animation are sleek. I would be repeating myself yet another time if I try to explain how the visuals all look nostalgically similar to Mawaru Penguindrum. Crazy, weird, odd, strange, bizarre, flashy. Did I leave any other words out? But that basically sums up my main point about this segment. Especially some of the movements during transformation and the ritual to extract Shirikodama, they’re just wild as hell. Wow. You have to go through all that just to get there? Truly flashy indeed. Unimportant people are portrayed as stick people. You know those male and female signs you see outside the toilet? Yeah. Toilet sign people… And for those other characters who don’t matter but are slightly ‘important’ like those dead victims, all of them have a white paper covering their face. Don’t have to draw their face. Better than putting a censor over their eyes. I suppose we don’t care for them that’s why they can be thrown out of the connection circle so easily. Keppi looks weird as a kappa because I at first I thought he was some duck! Hey, at least I didn’t mistook him for a frog! And with him having red eyes, yeah I thought he was high on drugs. Can’t say I like his new handsome kappa form, though… Looks even weirder. While some of the backgrounds are 2D animation, I think some of them are using real backgrounds. I may be wrong since the 2D animation might be so good that I couldn’t tell the difference. This series is animated jointly by MAPPA (Kakegurui, Shingeki No Bahamut series, Banana Fish) and Lapin Track.

For the voice acting department, Rie Kugimiya sounds quite meek as Haruka. Though, she is still recognizable. Glad to hear that she is still around and it might not be a main character role but it’s still good enough to hear her voice once in a while. Looks like I’ve reached a point in time where I am starting to worry that I won’t be hearing seiyuus that I am familiar with because they are already on the path of retirement. And with so many new and young upcoming seiyuus these days. Ah well. Better be grateful for all that I can get. The other recognizable seiyuus are Junichi Suwabe as Keppi, Kenjiro Tsuda as Chikai and Mamoru Miyano as Reo. I was thinking Mamoru Miyano would be a flamboyant character but that is only because I was amazed by his performance as the main character in Zombie Land Saga and think he could replicate that in this crazy series. Guess not. The other casts are Ayumu Murase as Kazuki (Riku in Show By Rock), Shun Horie as Enta (Koshiyama in Nana Maru San Batsu), Kouki Uchiyama as Toi (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Mabu (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Takaya Kuroda as Otter (Dagger in Show By Rock), Mariya Ise as Otone (Levi in Fairy Tail) and Teiko Kagohara as Sara (debut voice acting role as she is originally a singer – maybe that’s why she sounds a bit raw and weird).

Fitting the crazy pace of the series is the opening theme, Massara by Kana-Boon. This rock outfit also feels suitable for those who would love to do their own AMV. Yeah, it feels pretty much like that. Stand by Me by The Peggies isn’t a cover that was originally sung by Ben E. King. Instead this rock piece has this edgy feel to it. Sounds okay to me and not bad. But it is the insert songs that take the cake. Sarazanmai No Uta and Kawausoiya are the songs featured as the kappa boys begin their fight against the kappa zombies and the policeman duo extracting desires from their victims respectively. The songs are pretty catchy and I can’t help sing or even dance along to the tune each time it is played. Sarazanmai No Uta has this jazzy and samba mix to it while Kawausoiya blends traditional Japanese fold dance with modern music. There is also Houkago Kappa by Teiko Kagohara. But this sounds more like a children song if you ask me. Cute but not as exciting as the former duo.

Overall, despite all the craziness and bizarre presentation, this series is still fun, enjoyable and at times thought provoking especially on the concept of connections. While it started off looking and reminding us a lot like Mawaru Penguindrum v2.0, slowly when you get drawn into the setting and concept of this series, it starts to stand out entirely on its own. So the lesson of the series is to keep your connections and count your blessings for having them. You may not know it but still take the time to thank those around you and putting up with your incorrigible habits. Every day. But the irony in today’s world that despite we are being so connected and staying connected 24/7 via technological advances, the classic and traditional connection of human to human relationship is eroding. We are already zombies looking at our Smartphones every day. Otters could be personified as giant tech companies, brainwashing us and feeding on our raw emotions. Literally, f*cking us in the ass! Hence the only true fear that we will dread the most is when we lose connection to the internet! Oh the horror!!! Usooooo!!!

Majimoji Rurumo: Kanketsu-hen

September 20, 2019

Better late than never. That’s what I thought that many old animes that were last aired 5 years ago getting its sequel. It is the same case and it came as a surprise to me that Majimoji Rurumo: Kanketsu-hen got a pair of special OVA episodes back in July 2019 since its TV series last aired in 2014. It wasn’t the kind of series I was hoping for to get a sequel and of course now that it has come out, I don’t remember anything much except about a witch in training maintaining a contract with a perverted guy. In exchange for magic tickets to grant his wishes, the moment he uses them up, he dies. So perhaps as seen in its title, this is the last leg for this series and to bring back the nostalgic hype for hardcore fans who want to see some sort of closure.

Episode 1
It’s that time again when Kouta runs into trouble with Inoue and her public morals gestapo goons. He wishes for Rurumo to save him in which she does his magic. However this means he uses up all his remaining tickets and die! Phew, thank goodness it was just a dream. He then sees Rurumo sleeping so cutely and wants to sleep together?! Thank goodness mom is around and tells him to go do some errands. Along the way, Rurumo is curious to go out for tea. Kouta obliges but this isn’t the kind of tea he had in mind. While he is thinking of being on a date, Rurumo dumps all the sugar cubes into her tea and still finds it bitter! Later Kouta talks to Chiro about seeing Rurumo smiled a little bit. He suggests she should live here forever since he won’t be able to use up his tickets. However Chiro tells the grave truth. Trainee witches only have 500 days limit. Whether they pass or fail, they go back after the time is up. If she fails, it only means she will lose her right to be a permanent witch. And that deadline is in 2 weeks. Wow. Thanks for letting us know such a crucial detail as this point. Then 2 weeks passed without anything happening. Kouta thinks of going on a spending spree to celebrate her send off. He stumbles into a loli who needs his help getting her balloon. After done, he is startled to meet Rurumo in the streets. This is where they first met. She thanks him for all that he has done and just wanted him to remember there was a witch named Rurumo. She can’t make it sound any sadder, can she? Kouta then hugs her and feels stupid for not realizing it sooner. Hence he decides to use all his remaining tickets to have girls look at him. Might as well go out with a bang. Unfortunately he sees that loli crossing the road and a truck is going to slam into her. Oh well. Time to use the tickets to save her. With that, the loli is saved and Kouta drops dead. His corpse confirms Rurumo passed her training.

Oh my. Kouta is really dead! Not a dream! Everyone crying at his funeral! Apparently Rurumo doesn’t know Kouta will pay with his life after using up his tickets! Seriously, girl???!!! Chiro blames herself for not telling her because she wanted Rurumo to really become a witch. But how now? Everybody so sad. As Rurumo is now a full-fledged witch, her first mission is to erase the memories of all humans who know her. But I think she isn’t powerful enough since she goes to each of them one by one instead of casting a wide spell over the city. The last is Tanako who now confirms Rurumo is a witch and learns the truth that Kouta did. Her final wish is that if Rurumo sees Kouta, please tell him how cool he was. Rurumo and Chiro return to the Underworld. We hear a narration of witches divided into 13 ranks with the Witch Queen being the most powerful and occupying the top. Maybe that’s why Rurumo’s power isn’t so powerful yet. She just became a real witch. When Harulily talks to her, it seems she knows that Kouta is still alive. Sort of. Humans whose lives have been taken when a witch’s contract is fulfilled are stored in a soul crystal in Underworld. Many witches don’t know where it is located. While the soul crystal has no means to listen or speak, the human’s mind still remains intact. And so happens Harulily knows where the soul crystals are. She wants Rurumo to go see him before he disappears for good. Rurumo thinks about this and ponders further on Harulily’s words that she is in love with Kouta. Otherwise why could she not stop thinking about him? Does she need to hesitate on her next move? Let’s go see Kouta!

Episode 2
More narrations about how nobody has conveniently seen the Witch Queen and the soul crystals reside in the underground of the admin bureau. Of course they are guarded by top ranked elite witches so can a newbie witch like Rurumo bust in? Conveniently Rurumo and Chiro overheard wardens, Sillia Saland Alphoa and Mimilmia talking about a recent soul crystal being a pervy one because it tried to molest their boobs and butts. Definitely Kouta. Amazingly they manage to steal his box and I know Rurumo is being nostalgic with Kouta but can she save it for another and like, get out of here? I know she feels like she can take on anything but seriously, ranked 1 witches? Of course Sillia and Mimilmia are going all out to stop Rurumo. Thankfully Harulily drops in to help. As she has prepared some top end magic, she manages to stop their time so as to buy them time to escape. Oh, Rurumo conveniently putting memory erasing magic on them. Back in her home (you mean there were no other wardens or security to stop them?), because Kouta’s soul crystal is unresponsive, luckily we have Mimi who has created a doll as his vessel! Long story short, Mimi is in love with Kouta! Putting the soul crystal into the doll, Kouta can only speak and listen, albeit very weak. Rurumo thanks him that she has now become a witch but when Kouta wants to tell her something, he has run out of steam. That is when Rurumo gives up and decides to return him to the chamber. After going through all that trouble? The memory erasing spell won’t last long and the duo will soon catch up. After all, she has been in prison before and now that she has settled the matters of her heart, it’s not bad being imprisoned again?! Girl, you just sounded that you got imprisoned in your own heart.

Soon, Rurumo and Harulily are arrested and are to face a trial for treason. In short, the judges hand down their judgment that Rurumo is to be imprisoned for 300 years and stripped of her witchhood forever while Harulily will be demoted to rank 13. Whatever they have to say or reason, it’s not the court’s problem. So a convenient revelation for us to understand why Rurumo is handed down such harsh punishment. You see, when humans are contracted with witches, when they die, their soul then becomes the source of magic witches use. Now you know why witches descend to Earth, eh? That is why in the chamber, the soul crystals are connected to tubes and all and are managed by the wardens. However this power is not limited and to maintain the balance, the Witch Queen imposed strict rules and certain methods. Rurumo has disrupted that order by awakening the human spirit inside the soul crystal. Because of that, it is deemed useless and will be destroyed. Oh Rurumo. No use crying how she made things worse while trying to save him. So accept that punishment and bear the guilt? Before the judges could hand down the verdict suddenly that loli comes in. Guess what? She’s the Witch Queen! Surprise, b*tches! She heard what happened and rushed all the way back here. She immediately annuls this session and voids all of their punishment. Wow. That was easy. That’s the Witch Queen for you.

The Witch Queen then takes them to her palace. Although she narrates that no one can stop death, but if it is caused by a witch’s contract, ah yeah, I see where this loophole is going. Hence the Witch Queen can use her special magic to revive Kouta and return his soul crystal. But didn’t Kouta get cremated? Lucky boy. Because the Witch Queen snuck into his funeral and swap his real body to her palace! Damn Kouta’s kindness goes a long way. With her special powers, Kouta is revived. The real deal. This time it is Rurumo who comes running to hug him. And finally Kouta is able to say he loves her from the bottom of his heart. I suppose he can’t stay in Underworld so he is tossed back to his home. Damn, his family and friends so happy to see him come back alive?! So what about him being dead? Oh, he lied about waking up before being cremated and escaped. Since he is standing before them, I guess they don’t want to question any further. Seriously. Let those pervy days return! Soon, Rurumo becomes a new transfer student in class. All the guys are crazy over this new cute chick but soon get jealous since Kouta knows her. Yeah. Former sister. Not going to cut it! But screw all that since Kouta gives Rurumo a kiss. Uhm, can he upgrade former sister to girlfriend? Why didn’t he just go with long lost childhood friend since everyone’s memories on Rurumo were erased? Ah well, whatever. And Rurumo is back on Earth as she was promoted and assigned to work on Earth as advisors for Earth-based witches. Can this fun last forever? Maybe not. But at least Kouta doesn’t have to use up his tickets for this now. Live life to the fullest!

Write Your Own Ticket Or It’s Tickets For You!
I’m not sure if these OVA episodes are meant to be the end and closure for the series entirely. At least for the TV format. Because they were released in conjunction for a manga volume released on the same date. Also, I read that the OVAs were original stories to begin with. Since I don’t read the manga, I am not sure how it would deviate. Not that it matters to me since I still won’t be reading them and hence the OVAs are considered the end of the series to me. Unless they decide to adapt the continuation, which would be an entirely different story but that would be for another time.

These special episodes focuses a lot on Rurumo and Kouta being relegated to a side character as we see Rurumo trying to come to terms with her feelings for Kouta. I guess only when death occurs and hits you real hard that you start realizing what is most important to you. It is really a sweet ending for Kouta and Rurumo to be together again although typically that is what I expected it would be. Pretty cliché that both the characters who never realized they were in love with each other or have a hard time saying those magical words until they are pushed to the limits, only when they overcome those obstacles, a fairytale happy ending of them being together again. And they live happily ever after. The end. I wouldn’t have it any other way for them, though. It would be really sadistic of me to aspect Rurumo to say her goodbye and peace and be locked away forever in prison. Not the kind of bad ending to leave as the final impressions of viewers.

There were a few mind boggling moments too. Most probably to drive the narrative and plot of the story. For example, it was said that nobody knows who the Witch Queen looks like. And with that loli revelation (isn’t that why they foreshadow of this unknown character in the first part?), now a lot of people know how the Witch Queen looks like? She doesn’t seem like a nasty person and a very reasonable one so why doesn’t she make her appearance known to at least the denizens of Underworld? She doesn’t have to be known to humans that’s for sure but I wonder why her appearance is kept a mystery. Is it those who only deserve to know her will get to see her face? Strange order if you ask me then. Then the other mind boggling part is how she switched Kouta’s body. I am assuming that a few days passed so why did she not immediately seek Rurumo? Why does she not know she is a witch? She saw her using her magic to save her, right? So what was she doing putting Kouta’s body for a few days in her palace? So that we could all have this dramatic scene of Rurumo going through all the trouble and emotions of rescuing Kouta and feeling her actions were for naught.

And when Kouta revived, where the heck was he if he said he escaped from his coffin? This assuming a few days have passed. Where was he hanging out? So okay, I believe there were no security guards at a funeral so nobody saw a corpse walking out. Even so, this has got to be the biggest prank Kouta would have played on his fellow family and friends and they don’t even reprimand him for this? Maybe we just didn’t see but yeah, making everybody worried sick and crying over your dead body isn’t funny the more you think about it. The funeral was real, you know. I guess everybody realizes how precious Kouta was and couldn’t care less about this and overlooked it anyway. I mean, he is alive. What more do you want? Don’t get me started on the soul crystal thingy. Sure, I saw it coming from a mile that they are used as power source to feed witches’ magic but come on, awakening them once will make them lose that magic worth? Are you sure the producer quickly try to think something up so as to give us that scene where Rurumo was filled with guilt and remorse? That her genuine actions brought more harm than good to the boy she loves? Seems like that to me. But don’t fear. Thanks to all the clichés and ingredients for a good happy ending, that’s why everybody is such a lucky person.

Overall, this series has wrapped up nicely and for viewers like me, a nice and cute closure to everything that was. Lots of typical and cliché moments to pull your heart strings as well but I guess there is no other way for this series to end so that we could all feel good when it comes to a close. If there is one thing that this series has taught me, it isn’t the magic tickets and the wish that you wish upon that really matters most. It is the actions of what you do that affects others that counts. So that is why the next time when you see an old woman needing help to carry her groceries while crossing the street or that little girl whose cat is stuck high up on a tree and can’t come down or the homeless guy who is asking for a spare change or bread to spare, don’t turn them down. Who knows? They might be some higher deity in disguise or even just that ordinary person who will return that favour to you in the future when you needed it most. Just like how Kouta’s seemingly insignificant action to help a loli and be selfless scored big points for his reunion with Rurumo. You could say he won the golden ticket then. And that the best magic comes from that not of witches, but that of the heart.

Grimms Notes The Animation

September 15, 2019

Just when you thought classic western fairytales have been given their fair share of anime style adaptation and interpretation throughout the years, here comes another one. Grimms Notes The Animation now takes many of those classic stories from the Brothers Grimm’s collection and turn it into another anime based on western fairytales. Yeah, we’re running out ideas, aren’t we? The stories here are indeed somewhat ‘twisted’ but that is only because some anomaly is turning the stories to not follow their original script and go astray. Hence a group of young people going about through different stories to correct them to its original tale. Yeah, I guess that is why people love originals instead of reboots, retellings and remakes… Or even sequels. Oh yeah. Those were the days where fairytales just ended without any sort of sequels that some franchises these days do that tainted the overall story.

Episode 1
Ex, Reina, Shane and Tao defeat a Villain and revert it to the human it possessed. They are looking for Red Riding Hood because something is happening in this Story Zone and they need to destroy that Chaos Teller messing with it and restore everyone’s fate to what it should be. In town, everyone is worried since Red Riding Hood has been missing for a week. They are even worried about meeting the travelling quartet since their Book of Fate says nothing! So they follow the Woodcutter into the forest as he was the last to see her before she disappeared. When they arrive in a cave behind a waterfall, there she is hiding. She chased away the wolf?! Actually somehow the Woodcutter transformed into that. As they walk along, Red Riding Hood tells of her worries. It is understandable that she is going to be eaten by the big bad wolf. Her fate and life lead up to this. Ex assures her when that happens, they’ll save her. Uhm, isn’t that going against the fate of the story? As they return to the village, everyone has turned into a Villain. Outnumbered, they run to grandma’s house. Nobody is around and Shane realizes something amiss. Asking Red Riding Hood a few questions, it is revealed that she plans to feed them to the wolf. They manage to get out of the burning house as they realize Chaos Teller has possessed her. Red Riding Hood laments her fate. She knew the Woodcutter used her to get close to his mom. Because all men are wolves, she turned him into one. Because everyone knew she would be eaten and didn’t care, she has had it and will make them all suffer. She thinks people are worried only because she might not be eaten by the wold as was supposed to. No choice, the quartet use their Bookmark of Guidance to transform themselves into other fairytale characters to fight her and the hordes of Villains. After she is defeated, Reina tunes everything to return it all back to normal. Though, everyone’s memories of this will vanish. The story returns to normal. Red Riding Hood’s mom cares for her and gives her the strength to go face the wolf. The Woodcutter plans to marry her mom and talks to Red Riding Hood about it and assures they both love her very much. Ex narrates everyone is given a Book of Fate when they are born that dictates their entire life. But how is one supposed to act when it is blank? That is Ex’s Book of Fate.

Episode 2
The quartet are a small group of people with a blank Book of Fate. This allows them to travel between Story Zones to correct them. Now they enter the Story Zone of Don Quixote. He offers to help them fight the Villains but thanks to his back pain, they are the ones who did the bulk of it. He also keeps thinking Ex is Sancho. Back in town, he has a reputation of being a lying old man due to his exaggerated stories. They are brought to see Dulcinea who is helping the nuns tend the wounds of refugees who fled from neighbouring towns. The quartet split up to find out more about Don Quixote. When monsters pop up to attack, Don Quixote will fight them and some of the people are pessimistic. But Dulcinea rallies them to fight alongside him since the threat is real. In the end, they emerge victorious. That night, Ex is confronted by Loki who mocks Don Quixote as just a sad puppet dancing to the Storyteller’s tune. Ex refutes him but Loki tells him Red Riding Hood is now trembling inside the wolf’s stomach before disappearing. He reminds him that they are always right beside him. Dulcinea talks to Ex and Reina. They should know she is not a real person. Don Quixote’s imagination is so strong that she became real. It all began when he mistook a windmill for a monster and after that she was created. It is most likely his desire to be a hero created the Chaos Teller. Speaking of the devil, the windmill monster then attacks the town. Don Quixote bravely defends it from its hurricane attacks but there is only so much he could take before he hands it to Sancho, or rather Ex. Cue for the quartet to use their Bookmark of Guidance and save the day. With Reina’s tuning, Dulcinea disappears and this Story Zone reverts back to its original state. Though he insists that Dulcinea is real although the real fat and ugly Sancho thinks it’s another one of his fantasies.

Episode 3
Ex’s flashback. Born with a blank Book of Fate, his uncle and aunt took him in after his parents died. Though they aren’t very fond of this and hope to get rid of him one day. Is that written in their Book of Fate? Or is this just whimsical? Soon he met Cinderella and helped her with her errands. As we all know, she lives with a wicked stepmother and equally b*tchy stepsisters. She finds solace befriending Ex and when he learns her Book of Fate to go to the ball and then marry a prince, he vows to help her achieve this. Uhm, I know he doesn’t have a role but wouldn’t this still be her fate regardless he intervened or not? Many years passed, on the day that the ball is to be held, Ex is confronted by Loki who claims he has made preparations for this unforgettable event. Ex starts thinking about his fate once Cinderella is done with hers. For some reason that night he went out and stumbled into Reina fighting Villains. Yeah, I’m surprised the heavy log she is stuck beneath didn’t kill her. She gives him her Bookmark of Guidance that turns him into a hero to slay the Villains. She doesn’t want to explain or answer his questions but lets him keep her Bookmark of Guidance? WTF. Eventually she just tells him. For the sake of progression of this story, I guess. Reina is looking for the main character of this Story Zone. Well, what do you know? Cinderella’s Book of Fate sounds like she is the main character… So cliché, right? So they have to rush to her because since she is the main character, Chaos Teller almost always lurks around them. Better hurry because the fairy godmother has turned Cinderella into a splendid princess (also, T&C apply because that 12 midnight caveat too) while Loki has turned everyone in town into Villains.

Episode 4
Cinderella arrives at the ball. Eh? Wrong ball? Because this looks more like a Villain party! It is revealed the fairy godmother is on cohorts with Loki as she wants to preserve Cinderella’s happiness. Wait. So to do that she now turns Cinderella into Sleeping Beauty? This is confusing. With Ex meeting Tao and Shane, Reina explains more about the Chaos Teller. When they are to power up using their Bookmark of Guidance, they are shocked to see Ex is a wild card. This means he can connect with any kind of hero unlike the rest, the heroes they can connect to are limited based on their crest. Time to kick some Villain butt as warmup before the big showdown. As they get into the castle, Loki shows up. He is one who creates Chaos Tellers and he believes he gives others hope to break out from their repeated fates. Reina only accuses him of making everyone suffer. Then they face off with the fairy godmother who is no other the Chaos Teller. She rants about Cinderella’s fate. Despite being married to the prince, she never found true happiness. Yeah, married woes. You mean they really divorce after that? So making her sleep is for the best? Fairy godmother then turns into her true hideous form. Ex eventually defeats her and manages to speak to Cinderella for one last time. Must be exhausted from that nightmare, huh? Reina is about to begin her tuning and this means Cinderella will not remember Ex after this. He doesn’t mind since that is what he wants. After all, he wanted her to have a happy ending and can’t get in her way. In the aftermath as the Story Zone returns to normal and Cinderella happily married to the prince, Ex joins the rest on a journey and an adventure he can call his own. He thought being born without a fate was normal. But now he realizes he has yet to pick one.

Episode 5
Beach episode? Well, they pull out John Silver almost drowned at sea. Yup, welcome to Treasure Island. According to Silver’s Book of Fate, he is supposed to help Jim find Flint’s treasure but that boy went down with the ship when a monster attacked. Tao is eager to help him the treasure since he has the map. But Reina almost messes things up with her bad luck, setting off traps. I’m starting to think that because of her bad luck is so bad, she survives all the traps. Yeah… When Shane spots somebody else, she follows him hiding in the cave. Turns out to be Jim and he reveals that Silver is the culprit who sank their ship just to get the map to the treasure. Conveniently when the truth is out, Silver bombs and traps them in the cave. Don’t worry. Shane has some bombs to blow them out. Then they make their way to the treasure. If something feels wrong with the treasure being so openly displayed, it’s because it is definitely a trap. The moment Jim touches it, he turns into a Villain. Cue for Silver to cue in and rant about screwing fate because it tells him he could never get the treasure or become the greatest pirate. Our heroes transform. I suppose they all had to transform into female characters because fanservice swimsuits. Anyway they face a hard time until Tao sheds some light of truth whatever. A vision of Flint is enough for Silver to admit his loss and accept his fate. After Reina tunes this Story Zone, it seems Silver is still trying to be a rogue but doing it on his own and without the power of a Chaos Teller.

Episode 6
Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who is the fairest of them all? I think we know the answer. Until the mirror tells more about the ugly truth that one day the evil queen’s daughter, Snow White will surpass her. Ex and co are in this Story Zone when Ex is whisked away by, uhm, 7 septuplets are actually the 7 dwarves? They force Ex to kiss sleeping Snow White. She wakes up and thinks he is her prince. I’m sure the rest aren’t too happy to see Ex getting kissed but whatever. So these 7 idiots are actually fairies named Tsuberks? Whatever. Seeing there is no error in this storyline, they want to leave but Snow White refuses to let Ex goes and really believes he is her prince. She throws a tantrum that she gave him her first time (what a way to say a kiss) and needs to take responsibility! The rest thought the story will restart if they bring her back to the castle and Snow White is delighted as she wants to introduce Ex to her mother queen whom she loves so much. Flashback shows she was strict but as loving. Then there’s a twisted time she told Snow White that her Book of Fate said she will be killed by her own daughter. When that time comes, don’t hesitate. Meeting the queen, she wants them to stay as thanks for saving Snow White. Dinner is great but desserts? Apple themed… Damn, this looks suspicious. Snow White didn’t think twice in sinking her teeth in but luckily or unluckily, those 7 idiots barge in. They ruin everything but saved her. Because Snow White still loves her mom, the queen reveals she was the previous Snow White. After eating the apple, she hated her mother and eventually went on to kill her. So that flashback was hers? The apple’s poison actually made her forget the love instead of killing her? The memories were enough for the queen to realize her mom also loved her a lot and let jealousy get the better of her. Mother and daughter have the greatest big hug. Reina theorizes because Ex broke the curse before it could take effect, it is a reason why the apple didn’t have an effect on this Snow White. As they leave, Snow White admits she knew Ex wasn’t the real prince but couldn’t let him leave because he was such a wonderful person. Don’t worry, you’ll find a much better prince. It’s in your Book of Fate, right? Oh wait. Does this mean she must eat another poisoned apple and fall into a deep slumber?!

Episode 7
In this Story Zone, Ex and co stumble into an unconscious lady in the snow, Gerda. Sorry, not Elsa. They take refuge and rest up in a nearby cabin belonging to a blind lady, Curly. As we all know the story from Frozen, oops, I mean the Snow Queen, Gerda is on a mission to retrieve her brother Kai who has gone to serve the Snow Queen. Next day as they arrive at the ice castle, Kai pops up but refuses to return with Gerda. He will be contracted to the Snow Queen as stated in his Book of Fate. However Gerda then thought of exploiting this contract loophole. She immobilizes Shane in hopes she would take Kai’s place instead. However the Snow Queen isn’t amused and sends the ground crumbling. Our heroes are okay at the bottom. Gerda feels confused with what she has done thanks to partially some cursed mirror shards stuck in her eye but due to recent events, she is getting some of her feelings back rather than being some emotionless girl. Shane and Gerda really hit it up as they talk about siblings’ love. They manage to get out and confront Kai again. He reveals his contract is to stay by the Snow Queen’s side forever and in exchange she will remove the shard from Gerda’s eye. However Shane points out that the Snow Queen will not remove it but Kai himself. Because you know, when the siblings start reconciling, lots of emotions welling up, voila! The shards break from Gerda’s eyes. Because tears of happiness. With the happy siblings reunited, the only one not happy is the Snow Queen. No prizes to guess she is the Chaos Teller. She reveals that she was the one who brought sorrow to them so as his sadness and all are purest. That makes him beautiful. Whatever. Can we just transform, fight and defeat this crazy b*tch and move on? There. Easy win. Before Reina could tune things, Curly pops up. She claims she created this Chaos Teller and warns them about forcing her into eternal solitude. Giving other cruel fairytale fates, she believes this is the only way these characters can break out from their vicious cycle. Turns out Loki is working under her and whisks her away to do some priestess duty. Gerda is grateful and will forever remember Shane. Yeah, wait till Reina tunes everything. Ah, all back to normal.

Episode 8
Tao once told Shane since they both had a blank Book of Fate, they can wander anywhere. However to prevent being lost, it is best they venture together. Since it isn’t Tao’s policy to take on a servant, he made Shane his family. Now the travellers are in Momotarou’s Story Zone, Tao and Shane’s homeland. Momotarou being owned by Villains? As he explains, he already went to Onigashima and defeated them. However his animals did all the work and left him. He hopes they can help him defeat a few oni making boats as they are planning to assault the coastal village. Shane recognizes Onihime as dumb Momotarou tries to attack her. Tao knocks him out. It seems the oni aren’t going to attack humans but return home to Onigashima. Tao agrees to help them. When Momotarou wakes up, he is told what happened by grandpa. Even more so about Tao being the traitor because he was the one who betrayed the previous Momotarou and let the oni defeat him. Without his animals, Momotarou is lost. Don’t worry. Grandpa has new servants for him. By the time Tao and co reach Onigashima, the place is razed. How the f*ck did Momotarou get there faster than them? Yeah, he’s got Villains as his servants. He talks about Tao’s betrayal and although Tao doesn’t deny it, his friends believe in him. Momotarou further tries to implicate Shane as she is an oni born without horns. Tao then tells the true story. As a boy despised by others because of his blank Book of Fate, impressed with Momotarou, he wanted to go on a journey with him and was made his partner. It is believed that the oni injured Momotarou and because he didn’t want Tao to die along with him, he pushed Tao into the sea to escape. Now this Momotarou is in disbelief. He orders the Villains to attack but they turn against him. Grandma reveals the weakness in his heart and it gets creepy as grandma and grandpa are the same person! Is this Quirinus Quirrell?! Then they transform into their true twin headed oni form. Yup, they’re the Chaos Teller. Time for our heroes to transform and defeat them. In the end after Reina tunes this world, it is back to the oni planning an attack on humans. Tao and Shane aren’t sad and have accepted this. Tao further remembers Momotarou despite his Book of Fate saying he will be victorious, he still have doubts. Because it said nothing about Tao. It could be possible their fates have changed. Momotarou although considered Tao his family, however it is not eternal. One day he must find new connections and leave. And when he finds that, never let it go.

Episode 9
The gang finds themselves in the desert. With Reina dying for water, she is saved thanks to Aladdin. Now that she has got her groove back, Ex notices her book is missing. Damn thief stole it! Luckily she manages to track him down and slap him. Guess what? He likes it! Is this some sort of awakening?! In fact, he loves her and wants to marry her! But that aside, it seems Aladdin got his magic lamp stolen by the sultan. But don’t worry. His Book of Fate says he will get it back and will eventually marry a princess. That’s Reina, right? As the Story Zone is starting to collapse, so is Reina. Aladdin is intrigued with her past so the rest say she wants revenge against the Chaos Teller who destroyed her home. She was a princess in her Story Zone and Loki destroyed that. With Villains all around, the rest go fight them. Yeah, Aladdin left to protect his princess. WTF he is a wimp? Luckily Reina had enough strength to get up and fight back. But the next Villain stabs Aladdin as he protects Reina. Oh sh*t?! Main character died?! Really?! Although Reina can tune this Story Zone, it doesn’t bring the dead back. Somebody else will become Aladdin and the story goes on. Then Ex gets this idea. What if they get back the magic lamp and wish for Aladdin’s revival. Nah, that’s not going to cu- WTF you mean they believe it is going to work???!!! I hope this isn’t made up. As they head towards the palace, Loki is before them. He mocks Reina’s hate and continues to blah his usual of freeing the people. Then he warps them into the sultan’s palace. Is he going to give up the lamp? Of course not. I wonder if this lamp has unlimited wishes as he orders the genie to attack. Red genie? Better than being blue. I mean, the new blue one and not the old original one! They transform, fight and defeat the sultan. However Reina can’t use the lamp. It’s broken! With the Story Zone close to collapsing, Reina has no choice but to tune it. She has come to accept the choices made by others and because of those choices is also why they live. So why is Ex b*tching about?! Can’t he see this is hard on Reina too? Poor Aladdin remains dead. The world returns to normal as the gloomy quartet ponder on their actions. Well, a new Aladdin became the sultan after marrying the ex-sultan’s daughter. And they at least saved thousands of NPC lives, right? Yeah… Meanwhile Loki and Curly are glad their long awaited ritual is soon finishing. Soon they will end all old tales and write their own stories!

Episode 10
Wait a minute. Is Jeanne d’Arc a fairytale? I thought she was a real historical figure? Anyway, with Ex and co joining the French’s side after the battle at Orleans, Ex seems to be very worried about Jeanne. Ex also spots Curly here but she finds it baffling that he is worried about Jeanne. Does he not know how her fate ends? That night he goes to talk to Jeanne and the latter isn’t particularly afraid of death but rather failing to achieve what she believes in. She fears there will be no one to carry on her feelings after she dies. Cue for some weird English monk fairy monster (?!) to sneak in and own them. He takes Jeanne and will execute her soon. Because Ex is cursed, he is weakened and grounded while the rest try to go save Jeanne. Curly visits Ex and this guy tries to be strong for Jeanne. He isn’t concerned about her fate but her feelings that he wants to protect. With that, Curly heals his curse. Do as you wish. Meanwhile Reina and co have a hard time fighting the monk since he has no physical form and was born out of the hatred of the English. Gee, he is so focused in trying to eliminate them that he didn’t hear Ex free Jeanne? Because now Ex rejoins the group, now their attacks connect and they can defeat this monk?! I thought they can’t even touch him?! With Ex talking to Jeanne about believing in fate till the very end, I guess Jeanne lets him carry hers. Because Reina tunes to world to return everything back to normal. Ex still feels sad that Jeanne will eventually be executed by the English but hey, remember he has the duty to carry her feelings like he has for other characters. Hope it doesn’t get too heavy the more feelings he takes on in time…

Episode 11
We’re in Alice In Wonderland now! Reina is being flirted by Mad Hatter and March Hare when Alice comes in to arrest them? She’s part of the moral police squad?! But Reina is amazed to see Alice. She is a big fan of this story. But no time to admire, they have to run or risk being arrested. In town, Alice continues being a b*tch to arrest anyone who violate the slightest of rules. Reina won’t have that and reveals all her dark secrets to turn Alice squirming. This allows Mad Hatter to kidnap her to their base to have a tea party. Reina wants to talk with Alice. The latter thinks stories and fantasies are stupid and is done with those stuffs. But Reina thinks otherwise and the reason she loves this story because it saved her. Alice relents and they talk about Reina’s other adventures over tea party. However, Alice’s assistant, Watch Rabbit surrounds the place to arrest them. Because Alice doesn’t think they are bad people, Watch Rabbit thinks she has been corrupted by them and will arrest them all. Reina and co are ready to put up a fight but Mad Hatter gets kidnapped. Watch Rabbit retreats. Bad news because Mad Hatter will be put on trial by the Queen of Hearts and her ruling always ends in death! So as they arrive at the palace, they are surrounded. It is all a setup. Alice was just playing along to lead and capture them in one fell swoop. The Queen of Hearts (damn, she ugly) orders their death and of course our heroes won’t go down with a fight. Transform! They are going to show Alice why stories aren’t useless as she thinks they are. Eventually they defeat her and this confuses Alice. Yeah, her entire outlook about being an adult staying rooted in reality just got smashed. Too late for Alice wanting to talk more with Reina but she starts tuning the world. However something is wrong. Alice still remembers them and the Queen of Hearts is missing. Mad Hatter is the culprit as he unleashes a dragon to go on a rampage. Everything going according to plan…

Episode 12
This dragon is Jabberwock and Mad Hatter was just his false form he used. Jabberwock’s attack separates the team. Ex is forced to take Reina to safety but she gets emotionally upset thinking Tao and Shane are left to die. Cue for her explanation why she is traumatized when people die. Because everyone in her world died instantly and she was all alone. That’s why she must continue to keep living. Cue for Ex to assure he will always be with her. Trolling romance scene interrupted with Shane and Tao popping up. They’re doing fine eavesdropping their faux romantic conversation. Reina is so happy that she hugs them instead. Also with them is March Hare. However they realize this is not her from Alice In Wonderland but Through The Looking Glass. She and Mad Hatter help draw a map to the Red Queen’s castle where Alice is supposedly held. Of course stopping them is Loki and Curly. Time to remind us they are from Church of Fortem and their role is to free this world from Storytellers. Freeing by destroying? They consider others here like puppets and having no feelings. Like NPCs? On the contrary, Ex and co would love to disagree. Since they can’t agree on this, no more talk, action time. After a tough fight, Jabberwock is down. But Loki intervenes. Since he has a blank Book of Fate, he transforms into Aladdin. Not just Aladdin but Chaos Aladdin! Stronger and faster! I’m sure this guy wants to traumatize Reina because he aims for her. Ex is weakened when he hears a voice telling him if he wants to keep his promise, say his name: Ludwig Grimm. He transforms into this character and kicks Loki’s ass while defeating Jabberwock for good. Met your match, eh? Ludwig disagrees in Church of Fotem’s ways because what good would all that do by destroying the one who tells the story? With the battle over, Ex reverts back to normal as they listen to Jabberwock’s rage of only existing within the poems and wanted more listeners to get out. Sure they don’t understand but Ex knows he is lonely. But now he has friends whom he can share his feelings. Damn, is that what a dragon needs? Oh well, time’s up. Back to your slumber. Alice is returned and as they exchange their last words, Reina then tunes this Story Zone. I guess Reina needs everyone’s assurance that they’ll stay with her. Okay. Off to your next adventure.

The Pagemaster: Spoilers Alert!
Oh well. Looks like the story has only just begun! Since we still know nothing about the Church of Fortem except for the fact that they want to free the Story Zone from the cruelty of the Storytellers but I guess that would be a story for another time. Translate: If this is popular and profitable enough, stay tuned for next season! But sadly this is where this season ends for now. A story that is left hanging and incomplete. Heh. I wonder if there is a Book of Fate that writes your life’s story halfway and then suddenly it goes blank. Yeah. You were just getting to the good stuffs in your life and then suddenly all the hints and spoilers just ran out. Life abandoning you and you’re on your own.

My only advice is that if you really want to love this series, it is best to play the role playing game this anime was adapted from. There are more heroes in addition to the quartet and possibly features ‘big bosses’. You know, the Storytellers! I didn’t play the game so I don’t know the story and mechanics but it would have been awesome to see them face off with the likes of William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, Hans Anderson, Charles Perrault, Dorothea Viehmann and even, get this, Mother Goose! Damn, this could turn out to be like Kingdom Hearts but Brothers Grimm version!

Despite the story having a good premise, but that is all only on the surface. When you try to think deeper on the mechanics and everything, it all falls apart. There are so many loopholes and the unexplained that you will start to think that it was poorly written and not thought out properly to begin with. For instance, every character in Story Zone possessing their own Book of Guidance. While it looks good that all the characters know their fate, but that’s about it. Because everything else just feels like hogwash and nonsense if you really start to analyse and think deep about this Book of Fate thingy. With this Book of Fate dictating that character’s fate from start to finish, I find it odd that people can still go about living their daily lives. Like as though the book isn’t part of their lives. You see, with everything laid out almost to perfection for their lives, do you not think that they are motivated to do beyond that? Hey, it is stated here in my Book of Fate. Can’t argue with it, right? Just blindly follow it. My life already has spoilers so no need to worry. No wonder, everybody with a Book of Fate here is NPCs! Besides, can you get rid of your own Book of Fate like burn it?

Then there is the issue of others knowing what is written in your Book of Fate. At first I thought everyone can read it but it is subsequently said that only you yourself can read what is in it. So who is to say that you would lie about your own Book of Fate to others because if your fate is less favourable, what are the chances that you would lie and make up some other stories, right? Hey, it’s not like other Book of Fates have something to cross check your story, right? So one who destined to live a life of poverty and die of hunger in the streets, you think they would try to lie to others and say hey, I’d be a normal salaryman or something. But then again, remember all of them are like NPCs so everybody is following their fates so diligently. Wow. Like as though they are programmed to do so. Besides, if one is fated to die in a cruel way, it is just mind boggling for them to accept that fate. Yeah, it’s my fate. Can’t do anything about it, can I? Like Red Riding Hood who is forever destined to be eaten by the big bad wolf. No wonder I keep calling these extra minor characters as NPCs!

The other mind boggling thing is how this story isn’t just a looping story. Sure it does loop but that story happens again like the next generation or something. So it is mind boggling that when someone becomes Snow White, she becomes a lesser somebody else after she becomes old? And then her daughter or some other girl becomes the new Snow White? I was once Snow White in my heydays. But now I’m just an old jealous hag and trying to stop my own daughter from becoming the next Snow White! WTF?! Sounds really weird and messed up from all aspects if you ask me. And if you wonder if it is in their Book of Fates to meet Ex and co, well, remember their Story Zone is being corrupted and out of line. Definitely they weren’t meant to meet blank Book of Fate adventurers and that is why when Reina tunes the world, everything returns to normal like as though contact with those adventurers were never made in the first place.

Another interesting concept but also fails in its execution is the baddies’ intention to free all the roles. I can sympathize and understand why Loki wants to free the characters from their cruel fate. Isn’t it much more fun without spoilers? I mean, you go to watch a movie and somebody spoils you the ending. Not fun anymore, right? The same case can be made here. You people are happy living what is being told in your Book of Fate despite how crappy it is? Why don’t you go write your own damn stories! This idea looks fun and nice but it is poorly fleshed out as our antagonists seem to be biding their time and with Reina and co being successful in tuning a lot of the Story Zones, it feels like Loki isn’t really interested in freeing them but merely seeing Reina’s party do what they do. On a side note, if those characters are freed from their Book of Fates, wouldn’t that be chaotic? Because Snow White wouldn’t be Snow White. Cinderella wouldn’t be Cinderella. Alice In Wonderland wouldn’t be Alice In Wonderland. That is why there are spinoffs and alternate retellings. With this, now I am in a dilemma to support whether or not these characters should be free because the story will change and it will not be the original we know anymore!

But don’t worry if you don’t know if all the stories here and if you think that they are being rewritten again. Good news is that in the beginning when Reina and co enter a new Story Zone and the start of getting involved in this ‘trouble’, viewers will be told how the original version of the story goes or at least what it is about. A good short narration told in some silhouette style storytelling. Not everything is totally made out or strayed differently from the original too. For instance, those Tsuberks whom at first I thought it was just nonsense. But my Google search ‘enlightened’ me as I discover that it is a bad translation of Zwerg, which is German for dwarf.

On to the characters, well the main characters feel like they are also poorly written and not much is developed from them. Ex, Tao and Shane are given their own so called origins but somehow I feel that they are ‘shallower’ than Reina. Because we don’t know which story Reina comes from. All we know she is a princess in some story (thousands of stories have princesses and even so, is she a lesser princess?). Therefore personally, Reina seems to have a lot more ‘personality’ than the other trio because they write her character to be some sort of a joker and comic relief. Because her traits are easy to get lost AKA poor sense of direction as well as a very gullible and naïve girl when it comes to treats. You can see that in many troublesome situations the gang doesn’t want to get involved but with Reina being susceptible and already taken the bait, I guess it can’t be help. Time to stick our noses in. Then the rest like Ex is the newbie and the more serious guy who is worried about those around him, Shane sounds like a slacker but shows great interest in antique guns (unfortunately this is never fleshed out properly) and Tao trying to be a lead character and calling everyone in his group as his Tao Family. These characters may have blank Book of Fates but they are sure not writing their own stories well! But I have a speculation that these characters who hold a blank Book of Fate, they could actually be the Storytellers themselves. So Ex’s real identity could be Ludwig who is part of the Grimm Brothers. Hence they are diving into their own stories to save it from being corrupted by those who intend to destroy their original tale. Yeah. It’s too bad that in today’s world, the original authors are not alive to see their works being readapted with different versions. Definitely turning in their graves.

Even the antagonists, Loki and Curly are a bit of a joke. Sure, I did say I somewhat support their idea of freeing the NPCs (who doesn’t sympathize with Thanos’ intention to snap and wipe out half of the universe’s life to save resources?), but like I also said, it seems that they prefer to see Reina and co in action and bide their time to wait for something rather than take action now. For example during Jeanne’s story, Curly was like being an ally to Ex than being a thorn by his side. Not that she has been a thorn as much as Loki did but what I am saying is that if these baddies really want to achieve their goal, they could have done so from the start. But instead we see them pull the strings by turning certain characters into Chaos Tellers and let the havoc wreak for a while. And when Reina and co are successful, it’s not like Loki is super upset when he retreats. He looks a lot satisfied with today’s entertainment. All according to the plan. All according to the script… It would have been also good to flesh out the past between Rein and Loki but I guess with only a dozen episodes, better to parody other fairytales instead. Not sure if Loki is gone for good but I highly doubt it. After all, considering Loki is just another character, a Storyteller can just bring him back to life with the flick of the pen. Yeah, revivals and resurrections are so the in-thing in today’s stories and franchises that love killing off their characters too.

The fight scenes aren’t the best nor the main draw of the series. They felt like obligatory scenes needed because, how else do you defeat the Chaos Tellers? It’s like a side distraction that is unnecessary but only necessary because the script says so. Ah… After all, it always comes out predictable. The Chaos Teller despite being cocky and confident (because who doesn’t want to be the ruler of their own world?), usually their downfall is because they underestimate our heroes. Yeah, it’s all in the script already… Didn’t see that one coming, huh? One thing that confuses me is how the heroes obtain the fairytale characters in their crests. Do they have a set of stories laid out already in their crest or they only obtain that character after visiting his/her Story Zone? If that’s the case it sure feels confusing because since Alice In Wonderland is the final episode of this season, I remember seeing our heroes using Alice in prior episodes. Unless you tell me they’ve been to Alice In Wonderland before and now they revisited it again because the baddies decide to mess with it again thinking they might have forgotten this story they have saved. Hey, nobody said you can’t alter a story again after it is tuned, right? If that’s the case, truly a vicious cycle.

Having our heroes transform into different fairytale characters look interesting at first but it quickly becomes boring. Their special moves are based on the story is from and they are not memorable at all. Yeah, they all shoot some sort of fancy magic with effects and their names of the moves are boringly named after their traits in the story. No prizes to guess whose move is called Beware The Wolf! Do you know Miracle Of Orleans belongs to who? Yeah… And those useless Villains feel like all those useless foot soldiers you see in those tokusatsu series. They’re just there for the numbers to give the hero some warming up before they fight the big monster boss of the week. Not threatening at all unless you’re a wuss. Like Aladdin… Yeah, that is still the most ‘shocking’ one because I never expected a main character to actually die! But yeah, the heroes transforming into their fairytale characters do feel like some tokusatsu imitation. But all in all, still better than that Marchen Madchen series disaster!

The art and animation are just pretty average. Classic western fairytales being given the anime style treatment, I guess I still can’t get used to Snow White or Cinderella looking this kawaii and bishoujo. Damn the Disney’s version of them is still strongly stuck in my memories after all these years… And Alice doesn’t look anywhere near with that trademark blue pinafore that I always pictured her (thanks again, Disney) but this Alice’s uniform somewhat reminds me of the uniform used in Absolute Duo and Koi To Senkyo To Chocolate. And those Villains are so lazily designed that I thought they were ripped off from some tokusatsu series’ foot soldiers and added a pinch of Halloween. Seriously. This anime was done by Brain’s Base who did Baccano, D-Frag!, Durarara, the Natsume Yuujinchou series, Tonari No Kaibutsu-kun and Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru.

Voice acting isn’t anything special. I didn’t recognize any of the main characters but it is ironically that the cameo characters appearing in the different stories whom I recognized some of the veteran seiyuus. For instance, Aoi Yuuki as Snow White, Yui Horie as the fairy godmother, Yuu Kobayashi as the Snow Queen, Sayaka Ohara as the Queen of Hearts, Risa Taneda as Red Riding Hood and Fumihiko Tachiki as Don Quixote. Some seiyuus play several roles like Reina Ueda (Miyako in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita) doubling as Reina and Cinderella, Miyu Kubota (Medusa in Jashin-chan Dropkick) handling Shane and Alice while Rumi Ookubo (Aguri in Gamers) also did Jeanne and Kai. Sumire Uesaka (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai) did a lot of roles like Curly, Jim, Onihime and Dulcinea. I guess they must be quite flexible in their voices that’s why I didn’t realize they were the same character. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention as I was trying to wrap my head around the weird stories…

Anyway, the rest of the casts are Ryota Ohsaka as Ex (Climb in Overlord), Takuya Eguchi as Tao and Aladdin (Koikawa in Mushibugyou), Takahiro Mizushima as Loki (Christopher in Scrapped Princess), Hiroshi Shirokuma as Silver (Gazef in Overlord), Ai Kayano as Gerda (Darkness in Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shikufuku Wo) and Sachika Misawa as Momotarou (Sakuyo in Mahou Shoujo Ore) and Junji Majima as Mad Hatter (Kinji in Hidan No Aria). I was expecting Ayana Taketatsu to be voicing one of the cameo roles but unfortunately she only performed for the opening theme, Innocent Notes. Typical rock outfit, kinda fitting for this genre, I guess. Iris sings the ending theme, Endless Notes that sounds more like a slow rock ballad. I guess this one also sounds okay. There are a few BGMs that have that medieval feel which is fitting seeing the origination of these classic stories.

Overall, the animation adaptation may have a lot of shortcomings despite its interesting premise and idea, it falls short in a lot of aspects like its execution, characters, action scenes and even the mechanisms. To put it shortly, a bad story. With so many stories being left out and not told yet, it could only get ugly if this series went on for another cour. Or have another season. Because I’d be flabbergasted to see Rapunzel using her hair as a whip and to strangle everybody! Or the Ugly Duckling turns out to be a giant fowl that runs rampage over the kingdom! Then there’s the naked emperor who went on flashing as a serial streaker to his people in his kingdom… And Goldilocks killed the bears just for their paws to be sold to the Chinese for medicinal properties! Grim indeed! Hansel and Gretel? They become a pair of witch hunters! Oh wait! Hollywood did that back in 2013!

So you see, in today’s world where nothing is that original anymore because we keep borrowing elements here, there and everywhere, it all boils down how you tell a story. Many stories are best left as it is in its original form no matter how twisted and dark it is (remember The Little Mermaid had a true tragic ending?). Because it is definitely weird to see cross culture fairytales being given such an adaptation like white guys playing samurai (remember that Tom Cruise one?) and white guys playing Dragonball characters (still shuddering over all that mediocrity?). It’s like we all want to write our own best of the best stories but we often forget that all of us are the main characters in our own story known as life. After all, what good is a story if there are no listeners and people to tell to. But unfortunately for this series, this is one story where we will put down away forever after picking it up. Left to grow dusty on a forgotten bookshelf in time… Didn’t hear of anybody’s Book of Fate saying this series could be rescued…

Sewayaki Kitsune No Senko-san

September 14, 2019

Are you having a rough day? A long and tiresome day? Things didn’t turn out for the best? Don’t worry. Because when you get home, there will be a cute fox girl who will pamper you to your heart’s desire and let you do anything you want till you’re satisfied. Holy cow! Sorry dirty minded people. If you’re hoping that Sewayaki Kitsune No Senko-san is going to be some sort of sleazy porn, be disappointed that this one of those calming and relaxing animes you watch after the countless sex, violence and nonsensical slapstick comedies that have corrupted your anime life. The plot is just that simple. A fox deity taking care of a single working guy who has had it rough at work when he comes home. Nothing more. And also, so calming and relaxing that this might be a cure for insomnia…

Episode 1
Kuroto Nakano is such an overworked man. He is forced to stay back since his colleagues messed up and they need his help to clean up their mess. Because of his ever growing dark aura, the heavenly foxes believe they need to address this issue before darkness brings ruin to the world! Oh dear. You mean this guy is the catalyst? Senko offers to pamper and bring his spirits back up. When Kuroto returns, he thought he got the wrong apartment when he sees Senko cooking. Okay, correct room. This kid is real. Not imagining things. He then fears he will be arrested for kidnapping a loli. He tries to get her out and since she looks pitiful that she is going to throw away all that she cooked for him, I guess a little taste won’t hurt. He is hungry after all. He is treated to several delicious servings as Senko explains she is an 800 year old demigod fox sent to serve him. Don’t worry about the food. They are offerings people left at shrine. Senko claims she is doing this because he is her type of guy. All he needs to do is being pampered. He then notices her fluffy tail and requests to touch it. She reluctantly does. Ah, so fluffy and warm! Kuroto feels guilty he can’t repay her but she maintains she is doing this for him because she wants to. After all, he has already worked hard enough. A fox demigod’s care is priceless and no amount of good deed could add up to that. He gives in and lies on her lap. Kuroto vaguely dreams of the past when he stayed with his grandma in the mountains. When he got lost, he met some weird deity that looks suspiciously like her. He ultimately found his way back. Kuroto feels refreshed after the nap. But it’s not over yet. There’s more to come.

Episode 2
Kuroto has to leave for work. I guess not enough time for morning pampering. It is obvious he doesn’t have enough sleep. Thus Senko is going to prepare and pamper him to his heart’s content when he gets home. Another rough day at work. Yeah, this time he gets chewed out by his boss. He returns home, Senko begins the pampering by preparing his bath. Once he gets out, the perfect chance to dig his ears with cotton swabs. Everybody likes that, right? But Kuroto makes a deal he will allow her to do so if she lets him touch her fox ears. Okay. Kuroto is in heaven getting his ears nicely dug. Her lullaby reminds him of another vague memory. As a teen gathering resources in the woods, it looks like he let Senko rest on his lap and he was happy despite Senko complained she was supposed to help him. Kuroto can’t remember her face but Senko hints they might have met before. Now it’s time for Senko to live up to her promise. I guess he really went all out to touching them. Extreme ear molestation? Even Senko is sulking… Time to sleep so Senko tells him to sleep as much as he wants rather than just 4 hours. Screw work. Because lack of sleep also can hamper productivity. Later as they sleep, Senko sleeps on the floor but decides to sleep next to him. Kuroto is conscious of this but as she hugs him, the warm and softness makes him fall asleep like a baby. He is late next morning but Senko won’t let him leave until he has had his breakfast. She sees him off and hopes he won’t overwork himself.

Episode 3
WTF?! Kuroto trying to touch her fur but she won’t let him molest and hence running away?! Yeah, this look like a weird rape scene… Because they are too noisy, Yasuko Kouenji the neighbour barges in. Got the wrong idea seeing Kuroto trying to rape a loli?! She is confused when Senko explains she is way older and that since she is living with him, he can do anything to her! Kouenji is further suspicious of her ears but since she is hungry, Senko feeds her. With that, Kouenji is now their friend because you can’t be a bad guy if you feed others, right?! I guess as a college student who works from home, she hardly has time for meals. Yeah, she last ate 2 days ago. Now Kouenji asks about Senko’s ear and tail. However she is under the misconception she is an avid fan and cosplayer of an anime series, Little Yoko Inari Girl. Such authentic cosplay true to the character! After Kouenji leaves, the duo watch that anime to find out more. WTF this paparazzi trying to take unauthorized pics of Yoko?! With Senko’s interested in watching more, Kuroto orders the entire library for her to binge watch. Don’t worry. She won’t slack on her job. Kuroto then goes shopping with Senko. Putting on disguises to hide her ears and tail, Kuroto for the first time feels fun shopping with somebody as he has always been doing it himself. He is also assured that she can now go shopping on her own the next time. Don’t feel guilty relying on her. As long as he is happy, Senko is also happy. Kuroto feels he wants to spend more time with her on his off days. Upon reaching home and before they could start making dinner, Senko’s powers were too strong that the potato sprouted.

Episode 4
Another bad day at work. But luckily tomorrow is Sunday, right? What do you mean you still have to go back to work?! Yeah, even Kuroto wonders why… :’(. As he sets his alarm, Senko believes she is more reliable to wake him up. Okay. But morning comes and Senko trying to wake him up, it seems he wants to sleep a little longer. Okay. As you wish. Then she lets him cuddle her tail for ultimate sleep. When he wakes up, he realizes he is too late to go to work. But he doesn’t blame her and instead feels guilty about cuddling her tail. She promises to wake him up properly tomorrow. Senko cooks dinner and uses her own fox flame. She teases it is filled with love. His reply? At least he can save on gas. Is it a wonder why he is still single???!!! When Kuroto leaves for work, Senko thought he has taught all she needs to know about using machines and controllers. The air-cond was easy. Trouble begins when she tries to vacuum. Too loud! I wonder how she ‘tamed’ it. Oh well, clean the old fashion way. She fails at the washing machine too. Oh well, old fashion manual hand labour. When she does multi-tasking, that’s when real trouble starts. With all the machine working at the same time and she is pressing the wrong remote, it gets louder and worse. Are all the machines against her today?! Even somehow the vacuum wants a piece of this ‘fun’ and starts acting up. The machines aren’t going to listen to you to pipe down. When Kuroto returns, no lights are on and Senko in trauma mode in the dark?! Yeah, all the machines suddenly ‘died’. Turns out the circuit breaker tripped. Checking everything, no damage so it’s all okay. Senko wonders why he isn’t mad at her failure. Because coming home to see her smiling face is all he needs. Oh, so touching. Yeah, now he’s touching her tail. That makes his day. Meanwhile Senko’s brethren, Shiro doesn’t think she is doing a good job and is screwing up instead. She is going down to do the job.

Episode 5
Kuroto returns to see Shiro. He’s not hallucinating. Apparently Shiro isn’t here just to eat Senko’s cooking. She has business with him. Even though Shiro sounds flirty and hinting of doing that, don’t worry this isn’t that kind of anime. She allows him to pet her head. He does so and it’s like heaven. You jealous, Senko? She wants in so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Double happiness for Kuroto. Shiro goes a step further and thinks she can satisfy his deepest craving. She uses her magic to reveal that side of his. Again, don’t worry it isn’t that kind of anime so that deep and darkest desire that Kuroto wants… Squeeze her fluffy tail! Gee Shiro. You mean this sounds a lot worse than rape? Shiro is really freaking out and getting scared as Kuroto tries to get her. Eventually she flees. Kouenji thinks she must be hallucinating to see Shiro coming through her wall. In the end, Senko allows him to touch her tail. Yeah, this is the best. I suppose Shiro is done pampering Kuroto. All just talk, huh? After Senko prepares the bath for him. She wants to wash his back. He refuses but knowing she will still do it, might as well accept her service. Yeah, the best back scrub ever. Now it’s his turn to return to favour. However he realizes something horrifying after washing her back. Her tail is wet and no more fluffy! It’s like the world’s ending? Then they soak in the bath together and remember, this isn’t that kind of anime. Because the most we get is Kuroto teaching her how to squirt. Water hand gun squirting!!! After getting out of the bath, Senko uses the blower to dry her tail and it is all fluffy back in no time. Kuroto is so happy! Can’t wait to cuddle it, huh? Oh Senko. You should know the drill by now. This is going to be a long night… A happy long night.

Episode 6
Shiro is back! Is she serious in pampering Kuroto or is she here just to have fun? Probably the latter because she thinks it is rude for resting Kuroto not to be pampered by her. Also, he lets her play his video games he hardly has time for :’(. Super Fluff Bros Melee? Starfluff? I wonder if there is The Legend Of Fluff-da… More Shiro selfishness as she eats the snacks Senko makes for Kuroto. But he doesn’t mind since he is happy to see Shiro enjoying herself. Because Kuroto also wants to eat Senko’s handmade snacks, hence a video game challenge. Unfortunately because she can read his mind, he keeps losing. Once she has her fill, she leaves. Yup, she’ll be back next time. At least somebody had a good time. Next day, Senko visits Kouenji to apologize on behalf for Shiro. Because that fox girl always accidentally steps into her room thinking it belongs to Kuroto. So you’re not hallucinating, Kouenji. It’s a good thing Senko made lunch and has time. Because her place is a pig sty and needs some cleaning too. Once done, Kouenji feels envious that Kuroto has such a good kid by his side. Then it hit her. She wants Senko to cosplay as a maid! I approve!!! Kouenji loses herself in taking pictures of her. To thank her for everything she’s done, she allows Senko to keep the maid outfit. When Kuroto returns, he is shocked to see Senko in a maid outfit that he tries to run away! WTF?! Are you saying you’re not impressed by a maid outfit! Shameful! Didn’t Kouenji said all men love maids???!!! After learning Kouenji is behind this maid influence, Kuroto says it isn’t that he doesn’t like her in this outfit, he prefers her in her usual because only then he feels more like home. How sweet. Despite he is thankful for her, I guess it’s a roundabout way of saying he wants to fluff her tail.

Episode 7
Kuroto has been carrying things in office so naturally his back hurts. Don’t worry. Senko can help. She will step on his back! Oh damn, is this the first S&M? Don’t worry, it’s still not that kind of anime. And Senko is joking too. She’ll use her hands. Because she is so damn good, Kuroto wants an ‘upgrade’. Yeah, use your feet! Oh yeah. That really felt good. That really hit the spot. Kuroto wants to repay her by doing the same. Okay. She’s making a few strange noises and at the end of it, she gets back at him by tickling him. Hope he didn’t wake up the neighbourhood. On another bad day at work, Kuroto is forced to stay late and when he leaves, he missed the last train. On his way back, Shiro is waiting for him. She can use her powers to send him back but requires a tribute. Don’t worry. Nothing serious. It’s her way of saying she wants to try that corndog from the mart. Mmm… Yummy… Shiro isn’t going to send him flying home. Instead, they’re going to walk through this portal. Kuroto would really love to walk through this otherworld but since it makes Shiro tired, I guess this is just a one off thing. Shiro then asks him if he knows why Senko is doing all this for him. Apparently all those strange dreams of Kuroto being nice to Senko in the mountains are actually of his ancestors. Hence Senko might be imagining him as his ancestors. Is he fine with that? Of course. Senko looks happy so does it matter? Kuroto returns home and Senko is glad to have him back. Fluffy tail come to papa! He tells her about Shiro so she teases him that he ‘cheated’ on her when she was waiting for him the whole time. Joke time’s over. Now is big comfy time. She cooked some really nice meal, you know.

Episode 8
Finally! Kuroto’s summer break has begun! Just for 1 day! Bummer. Don’t fret, Shiro is here to bring them to the beach. Kouenji is also here but doesn’t remember how she got here. Shiro ‘kidnapped’ her while she was asleep. Yeah. But she’s happy so I guess everything’s fine. We see the quartet having fun at the beach. Then they play beach volleyball and they absolutely have a great time. Until Senko sprains her back. Yeah… I guess she’s already that old… When it’s time for BBQ, it seems Kouenji has all the necessary things. Uh huh. Prior to this, Shiro promised to bring her to the beach if she bought certain stuffs for her. And they went on an online shopping spree. Too bad they didn’t buy any ingredients. But don’t worry. They can always do fishing! Meanwhile Kuroto visits the beach house to get some food. He thought nobody is in but this busty bartender offers him sumptuous dishes. He feels modest to take them but the moment he blinks, she’s gone! Kuroto tells this to Senko and she has an idea who she is. Kuroto getting scared about ghosts when he has a fox deity? Meanwhile Shiro and Kouenji’s catch of the day: Seaweed. Thank goodness for the lavish dishes! At night, they play sparklers but Kuroto realizes it’s back to work once this is over. Senko cheers him up by unleashing her own brand of fireworks. Floating fox fireballs? Sure this isn’t eerie? That busty lady is of course a fox deity and Senko and Shiro’s master. She too sadly notes that all this will eventually end.

Episode 9
Because Kuroto is salivating at gratin on TV, Senko thinks of making one for him. So while he is at work, she seeks Kouenji’s help. Kouenji gives instructions to Senko as she skilfully prepares the cheesy dish. Shiro? She just supervises and eats whatever she can get her hand. Yeah, her role is only to eat. The gratin dish comes out good and they have their fill. Kouenji realizes her place is even cleaner than before after Senko cleans up after cooking. And of course, Kuroto gets his taste of Senko’s delicious gratin once he returns. Shiro heats up instant ramen for Kouenji but WTF she put sugar in it?! Senko wants to cut Kuroto’s hair since it has grown and hot days are here. Don’t worry. She kept up with the latest men’s hairstyle. Kuroto isn’t sure but whatever. Oh my, did Senko did a blooper? Don’t worry, don’t worry. Everything’s fine. Kuroto feels good as she snips his hair. Reminds him of how mom did it. Then she also washes his head and you could literally say this feeling is so good that she washes away his troubles! When all is done, Kuroto learns this is the first time she is using a scissors and doing a modern haircut. She admits there were times she messed up and snipped too much but she used her magic to glue it back! Don’t worry. Those parts won’t drop off. Hey, you’re going to grow old and get bald one day, no? Senko is shocked when Kuroto jokes he won’t ask her to do it again. But Senko is grateful to him since she gets to experience something new.

Episode 10
It’s snowing! Just when Senko thinks it means fun time, why the heck is Kuroto waking up and getting prepared for work? Yeah, company hasn’t declared an off day yet. Are the trains even running? That’s why he must leave early. And if he can’t make it back? He’ll stay in office. Oh dear. Senko clinging on to him not to go. And then the saviour email: The company declares an off day today. Hooray! Now they can go frolic in the snow and let out their inner child. And Senko is really rolling up a super huge snowball?! Once they get back in, Kuroto has a request: Please let me fluff your tail to warm my hands! Should have seen this coming. Senko holds it in as Kuroto does his usual. But after that, Senko catches a cold! Did he fluff too much. Temporary ban on fluffing! Horror! With the kotatsu being so comfortable, I guess Senko is getting a bit lazy. That is when this busty fox lady visits them. She is Sora and Senko’s boss. As Kuroto cannot help notice her busty figure, Sora hints that she is willing to give him what Senko cannot. You mean sex? Okay. So are you ready, big boy? What is it that you want? He wants to fluff her tail! Should have seen this coming. Even Sora is surprised by this odd fetish. But not as shocking as Senko comes to ‘protect’ Kuroto from her boss. There is no other fox deity that Kuroto needs to be looked after or other tails to fluff! With that, Sora gets the hint and leaves. But she warns him that because of his eternally tired looking face, something bad may happen. Later when Kuroto thinks Senko was jealous, she refutes it. Even blaming him she lets him molest fluff her tail but it’s still not enough for him and had to go look for other tails. Imagine tails being substituted with boobs and pussies… I hope Senko won’t use this as blackmail and pass to fluff her tail. Kuroto is smart enough not to make her mad so he eats whatever dinner she cooks for him, even if it’s a dish he doesn’t really like.

Episode 11
When Senko sees the plum blossom bookmark design, this brings back memories when she guided a lost young Kuroto back to his grandma by providing him a plum blossom branch. When he was reunited with grandma, he thought he saw Senko peeking from behind the fox statue so he left the branch there and thanked her. With Kuroto having another long day at work, upon his return home, Senko treats him to her style of izakaya. Drink up those wines! But for a while it backfired since when he is drunk, he gets sad thinking about himself as useless since today he still got scolded despite all the work he put in. Unpaid overtime too! :’(. With Senko willing to listen and let him do what he wants, Kuroto relaxes after shedding a few tears. :’(. She lets him sleep on her fluffy tail. Only if he can stop drooling… Meanwhile Shiro is mad that it has been a year since Senko served Kuroto. At this rate she won’t get to eat Senko’s cooking again! Hey. How many hundreds of years old are you? I’m sure she still have many more years so what is just a few more to wait? Kuroto finally applied for some paid leave. At this time when they’re rushing for the deadline? Yeah, screw it. I guess even his boss gives him another shelling before he leaves. With some spare time to rest up, suddenly mom calls to inform that dad has been hospitalized. He is in stable condition thankfully. Although Kuroto has promised to go out with Senko, fox girl wants him to visit his parents and they can do their date another time. So he leaves his Smartphone with her. She can contact him via his work handphone. Kuroto visits his family. No biggies. As he prays at grandma’s grave, he sees the plum blossom. That is when he remembers his childhood and that Senko has been watching over him all the time. He tries to call home but she isn’t picking up. Looks like Senko has packed her things and left.

Episode 12
Nothing breaks your vacation when your colleague calls you to ask when you’re coming back! Tomorrow. But for now you’re on your own! Kuroto calls Senko again but as we know, the phone is left unanswered. When he comes home, Senko is not in. Weird. Did she go shopping in another town? Asking Kouenji about it, she recalls seeing her leave yesterday but had a sad look in her eyes. It is also weird because Shiro hasn’t been coming down to visit too and today is the last episode of that Yoko anime. Senko is back in heaven and Sora knows what is going on. It has been a year since Senko has taken care of Kuroto but because she cannot rid of his darkness, is there a reason for her to be by his side? We see the final episode of Yoko as she sacrifices herself to save Earth from a comet. This has Kuroto realizing that what if Senko’s actions meant she was saying goodbye? So he runs out to the nearest local fox shrine to look for her. He is afraid he won’t see her again. Sora continues that she knows Senko has got her wish to repay her gratitude but the outcome will still be the same. A sad parting still awaits her. Flashback shows before Senko could repay her debt to Kuroto’s ancestor, he died and this left Senko distraught. Is she willing to go through that again? Even so, Senko wants to help him as much as she can. Just when sad Kuroto thinks he will never see Senko again, here she is before him! With an excuse to scout the perfect hanami spot, yeah they have their own hanami party. Just the two of them. It seems all this was just a test by Sora to see Senko’s resolve. Now she’s got her answer, no worries. The private party is going well until Kuroto remembers he has to return to work tomorrow. Senko, weave your pampering magic on him. With that, Kuroto relents and wants to stay like this a little longer. It’s not bad to have some fun once in a while. They are joined by Kouenji and Shiro. Luckily Kouenji taped the final episode so we get to see Yoko somehow surviving the ordeal and return home, much to the delight of the people and her arch enemy. Life returns to normal. Kuroto’s boss isn’t as mad as before. Because he shares Senko’s food with him! Ah, so I see maybe that’s why he’s always yelling. Some people get mad on an empty stomach. Senko continues to take care of the errands and welcome back Kuroto.

Have A Break, Have A Kitsune Caretaker
Are you refreshed? Are you feeling relaxed? Are you ready and motivated to do your best in life tomorrow? Or are you feeling sleepy and tempted to go back to watch animes with more violence, sex and nonsensical slapstick comedies? And so it is pretty much expected that Kuroto and Senko will eventually return to be together as long as they can. You don’t think that they being separated is going to be the series’ real ending, no? I guess that is the much needed jolt and wakeup call for those who are feeling sleepy and starting to fall asleep without any sort of drama. Senko leaving Kuroto for good?! My, how suspenseful! At least for this anime’s level.

And yeah, with not much of a plot here, some may find it really boring and fall asleep. But those who have watched calming shows like Aria The Animation as well as its spiritual successor, Amanchu, I’m sure ‘veterans’ like us could see its, uhm, wonderful side. Unfortunately I can’t say that this series lives up to the greatness as the aforementioned duo but it is still calming and relaxing in its own right. After all, this series is something that many of us can relate to as for us who are working, there would be some days that aren’t in our favour. So coming home and finding somebody there to have taken care our basic needs is something that most of us would long for. No weird friendship adventures on Aqua AKA Mars or no scuba diving friendship thingy. Not fantasy but reality. And certainly not a lot of people likes scuba diving. Just your plain and normal someone pampering you after a hard day at work. How much simple can you get than that?

The characters themselves too aren’t that deep. After all, this anime aims to make you relax and instead of spamming you with complicated back stories, pasts and twists, what you see here is what you get. Though, that bad omen thingy that Sora foreshadowed may be just some sort of trolling and just to get Senko moving to do something about Kuroto’s ever growing dark aura. Because it would have been super mind blowing if this guy was like some chosen one and if his dark aura goes berserk, the whole world would explode and be consumed by his rage! Then his boss would be so sorry for yelling at him and now it’s his turn to prostrate and apologize profusely! Yeah. I don’t want to see that kind of plot here and the characters turning into something entirely different either. So perhaps the darkness is something that can never go away. It will always be there and the only way to seal and suppress it is Senko’s pampering.

While Senko seems like a good 800 year old fox deity, the good thing about her is that she tries to lift Kuroto’s spirits in a good way. What do I mean? We all very well know that Kuroto’s workplace is a hell hole. With him being close to depression and all, Senko has never once put in weird ideas in his head like quitting the company or go as so far as to talk back to his boss and give him a piece of his mind. I might see Shiro doing that but not for Senko. Instead, she concentrates in trying to bring back his positivism in her own ways by cooking for him and doing his other household chores. It might not be much but at least it lifts the burden a little off his shoulders. Even when things are seemingly bad at his workplace, Senko doesn’t butt in. Like as though she understands there is a clear division between his work and his leisure time. It might seem like this vicious might never end because after Kuroto is refreshed, it is back to that stressful place and all back to square one. But remember, Senko isn’t here to make a life changing miracle but to heal his exhaustion with her tender care. Everything else is up to Kuroto to decide if he wants to continue in this exploitative company or quit and move on to do something else.

For those who can’t get more of Senko’s cutie goodness, be glad to know that at the very end of every episode, there will be this Super Senko-san Time in which Senko ‘serves’ us as the view is now in first person. Don’t expect anything much except for the usual Senko being the nice little fox to pamper us. It feels like a reward for viewers for putting up with the boring, oops I mean calming episode proper and we’re probably tired after watching this boring, oops again I mean calming episode so it is time for Senko to spoil us with her hospitality. Not sure if we prefer Sora as the penultimate episode, she hijacked this segment and it felt a little bit sexually charged. But then again, it could be our tired minds wandering and our eyes wandering to those huge twin peaks…

Kuroto is basically a nice guy. Such a nice guy I wonder why he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Yeah, job commitment… Such a nice guy that he is able to put up with all that yelling from his boss and he still didn’t turn into some psychopath. Damn, this guy is patient as hell. But I have a hunch that a lot of typical Japanese salaryman are like that. They put up with all the reprimanding from their superiors and hold it up within. There is only so much one can take before the time bomb explodes… Just so as to prove why Senko chose to serve Kuroto instead of any other random guy who is in the same shoes, that is why they provided a little past between them. It’s not much but I guess you can see that a little kind gesture goes a long way and for life. With Senko around, at least this guy learns to relax and take it easy. There is something else preoccupying his mind other than work.

The other characters don’t feel relatively important but I guess it does provide a little bit of extra spice since it would be awfully boring if it is just Kuroto and Senko. Like Shiro the bratty fox deity who seems to want Senko for herself but because she cannot be serving 2 people at the same time, I guess that’s why Shiro sometimes come down to bug them and at the same time have some fun. Yeah, basically she might get a bit lonely up there. It’s not like Shiro has any sort of special caretaking skills, right? Then there is Kouenji who is your typical next door neighbour who works in the otaku industry. Yeah, another punishing industry for those who work there. She is also constantly working and probably too hard that she thinks the fox deities are cosplay enthusiasts. Even if she realizes their real identity, I don’t think it would change a thing. After all, Senko has been awfully nice to her too and it won’t sit well if she becomes cautious just because she realizes she is a fox deity. Kouenji’s character sometimes feels a bit out of place because it’s not like they’re setting up some romantic liaisons between her and Kuroto, no? And then when she sees Kuroto and Senko doing something amazing, she’ll just like watch it for a while before returning to her work. Though, I love her artwork and specialty in drawing maids! Kouenji should be a maid character!

Lastly, Senko’s boss Sora feels like as though she is to provide busty boobs fanservice that this series lacks so much. Just when our eyes are feeling heavy from all the calm Senko goodness, suddenly here comes this buxom babe to raise our eyes and probably our ‘little buddy’ ;p. I suppose this series wants to tease us and be a little sexy but because Kuroto being the ultimate good guy and virgin, all sexual subtexts of letting him do whatever he wants usually turns into a serial tail fluffing molesting incident. No wonder this guy’s a virgin. This is better than sex? Yeah, work has really gotten to his head. Tail fluffing and molesting is the sex to this guy. Sure, he might look enthralled at Sora’s boobs and she is willing to let him have his way with her as he is naturally a man, but ultimately this anime isn’t that kind of anime so back to the running joke of tail molesting. Oh Senko, these are the kind of things that you put up with if you truly love somebody.

So yeah, there might be a few very subtle sexual subtexts here but that is only if you have a very dirty mind. Well, I do admit that certain scenes only made me think so but it is all just harmless fun and joke and nothing serious. Yeah, I blame, uhm, anime for making me have a dirty mind! It’s not my fault! Honest! How can you resist when they insert sleazy and ecchi fanservice in so many animes? And then that seasonal porn inserted and disguised as a normal anime in your typical seasonal anime line-up?! (That I could have chosen not to watch). But don’t worry about Kuroto turning into some serial fox deity rapist because this anime will not allow it. Zettai ni! The most he would go so far as to just molest their tail. Phew?

The art and animation are simple. Not to say that it is not visually pleasing but compared to other animes done by Doga Kobo like New Game, Gabriel Dropout, Luck & Logic, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, Mikakunin De Shinkoukei and even YuruYuri, it is like as though they have some budget issues and aren’t spending entirely on the animation part. I mean, you know what this anime is already about, right? Why the need to further spend and make the visuals look drop dead gorgeous? So yeah, sometimes the characters do look one kind like Kuroto looking a bit blocky and simple. I want to believe it is the stress from his work. On a trivial note, sometimes when I look at Senko, I think that she looks like the gender bender version of Tails from Sonic The Hedgehog. And doesn’t Shiro look a bit like a bratty version of Hiiragi from Konohana Kitan? Perhaps fox characters in anime all have this one kind similar look because you need to have fox ears and wearing the traditional kimono to show they possess spiritual power.

For the voice acting department, hearing Junichi Suwabe as Kuroto, well, I don’t know if it’s funny to hear him voicing a normal character. I mean, a really normal character. Hearing him in various roles like Dandy from Space Dandy to Heydrich in Dies Irae and Yami from Black Clover, it’s like he really needs a break from those roles. Not to say those roles are taxing on his voice in the first place. But come to think of it, I guess he’s got that sleepy and dreamy feel to his voice so I think he fits well as his Kuroto character too. Ayane Sakura is recognizable as Kouenji although she is mostly in that low voice and not in her typical bratty voice that I often identify with. I didn’t realize Eri Kitamura behind Sora’s voice since her character speaks with an accent. There was also something familiar with Yoko’s voice too. Unfortunately not enough lines for me to finally realize it was Rie Kugimiya behind that squealing anime character until the final Yoko episode. Yup. Definitely our tsundere specialist in her trademark squeaky voice here. Azumi Waki (Ao in Midara Na Ao-chan Wa Benkyou Ga Dekinai) does a nice job in portraying the cuteness of Senko that I sometimes think that she herself might actually be a fox deity! And the other cast left is Maaya Uchida as Shiro (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai).

If the series is a bit too slow and sleepy, perhaps the opening and ending themes should wake you up or at least make your feet tap to its beat. Because Koyoi Mofumofu by Senko and Shiro as the opener is cute with its hip hop-like tune. Even cuter when you have Senko’s tail popping out from the rice cooker waving to us in such a hypnotic cute fashion. But Moffumoffu De Yoi No Ja Yo by Senko as the ending theme takes the cake. Still a hip hop-like music, it is catchier and cuter to boot. Makes your heart wanna go ~kyun!

Overall, this simple anime is indeed soothing to the soul but some on the other end of the spectrum may find it boring as hell. You are not supposed to expect anything much from this and if this anime manages to calm you or as a bonus goes so far as to help detoxify you from the toxicity of current animes, then it has done its job. It’s not supposed to break any ground either and it does what it needs to do. Not perfect but at least it got the job done. We might not have a cute fox deity to serve us like lucky Kuroto has but this also teaches us that for many of us, we should count our blessings that after a hard day at work, we still have someone waiting at home to return to. Whether it is your family, wife, parents, girlfriend/boyfriend, be thankful that somebody still cares for you. And not necessarily the things they do for you that magically replenishes your morale but rather by being there by your side. So many thanks to this anime that I am now refreshed and relaxed by all of Senko’s pampering. Thus I’m ready to get back to the next anime season’s action of bloody violence, over the top sex and nonsensical slapstick comedies! Hey, sometimes I got to let it all out and have some real fun too, no?

Sob! Sob! SOB!!! SOB!!! Boo hoo!!! I’m crying because I am both happy and sad. Happy that Tantei Opera Milky Holmes: Psycho No Aisatsu special has finally been subbed! At the same time I’m a very sad panda because this is going to be the last Milky Holmes episode ever!!! NOOOO!!!! Oh no! OH NO!!! Milky Holmes my dearest, we’ve been together hot and cold throughout the years. Together with your silly antics and dumb retard actions. I thought we’d always be together. Sob, sob. I thought we will always go on forever like how the way things are. Sob, sob. But now, looks like reality has smacked us in the face. It is time to graduate. Time to move on. Sob, sob, sob… And hence this final graduation episode that did a crossover with that Cardfight Vanguard anime, we’re going to see how well you have grown into great detectives. Sob, sob, sob… Oh, I just can’t take it anymore. I just can’t… *Continues to bawl like a baby*.

Down memory lane…
Oh my. Milky Holmes really doing an impressive run with their detective work and putting dumb useless G4 to shame? Uhm, that’s how it should be? Well, okay. Arsene hears Milky Holmes talks about wanting to graduate. Hence she is in a dilemma as she ponders if it is still too early for them but nevertheless, she will give them a final test to prove their worth. Thus Phantom Thief Empire steals a precious card from Aichi Sendo (that protagonist from Cardfight Vanguard). She has left a message for Milky Holmes and is waiting for them to show up but it is Feathers who pop up instead. I guess they need to get some fame too and asked Milky Holmes for permission. Go ahead, girls! And with that… Feathers get brutally owned by Arsene! Don’t waste my time! Poor Feathers return to report to Milky Holmes and with some memories thingy blabbing from Sherlock, I guess they’re taking up the case. So as part of the memory lane trip, they pass by several places they have been before in search of Arsene. Finally they stumble into Arsene and her men. Time for some epic fight. Remember how Twenty can shoot his nipples like projection? Somehow he lost a rock-paper-scissors fight to Cordelia. And why is Hercule holding Stone River’s sword? She acts like a girl being stalked so that’s enough to defeat him. Nero summons the cats to lick on Rat. I guess that works too. The real epic showdown between Arsene and Sherlock… Interrupted by some memories thingy. Suddenly Kokoro intercepts to handcuff Arsene. OMFG! Stupid Kokoro just usurp and took all the credit? I guess she and her G4 are being dumb obnoxious cocky lying b*tches that she agrees to just get arrested by them. Laugh while you can, Kokoro… Badmouth Milky Holmes all you want, Kokoro… Because Milky Holmes seems to be taking all this well and in good spirits. Ah well. Time to go home. Meanwhile G4’s HQ is being decimated as Arsene easily destroyed and broke her way out. Not laughing anymore now, eh? Kokoro is the most badly bruised but don’t worry, Irene still loves how cute you look.

Milky Holmes is summoned to the hall and looks like it is really graduation for them. Henriette rolls in their final task. Uhm, does this bomb disposal task look familiar? If they manage to stop the bomb in one minute, a surprise also awaits them. Spoilers: Past characters in the series are waiting behind the door to congratulate them. And so we see Milky Holmes being f*cking confident in doing this. So much so they start off by singing a song!!! 5 seconds left to go… They easily use their toys to disarm the bomb and take the envelope within. Oh my. They are truly competent! Inside the envelope contains their graduation certificates. But why is Milky Holmes looking sad and disappointed? Actually when they talked about graduation, they meant graduating from their attic dorm. Oh my. Henriette feels so embarrassed that she was the one that misinterpreted the situation. What now? She goes to tell all those past characters that the surprise party is cancelled. Go home. Get out. Scram! And they came so far for this… And so Henriette graduates them from the attic dorm. We see this is all a plan by Mori Arty to move them out. Not sure if she is going to stay here now but she is definitely keeping it clean. Milky Holmes each have their own rooms. Sleeping comfortably? Not quite. Because they all gather and sleep together like the crammed style they are so used to. Nothing like the old times. With Milky Holmes becoming competent detectives to chase after Arsene, uhm, maybe some things don’t change too since they are still clumsy…

Milky Holmes: Homey Homecoming
Oh really? That was it? Sure they aren’t going to pull off a fast one and prank us that there will be another special by the end of this year? You sure about that? Not trying to do Gintama style of trolling and keep long time fans like yours truly surprised and happy? No? I guess this is it then. Time to really, really, really face reality. So this final Milky Holmes special really does hit the feels as we see the typical clichés that really made the Milky Holmes franchise funny and cute as we know them. Of course there was one season where it was really serious and truly competent Milky Holmes (there was also that Alternative alternative) but as far as this final special is concerned, they balance it all out. What I mean is that Milky Holmes still maintain their retard ways but they are not as much as a retard before and they have shown to have control over their Toys now. I believe that Arsene too was feeling sad to see that Milky Holmes graduated. That is why when she head they aren’t really into graduating from school, you can feel that she heaved a sigh of relief and kicked out those past characters. Well, Milky Holmes will still be doing detective work after graduation but being in school, this means Arsene can continue to play as their mentor and guide them as Henriette. So yeah, maybe after being so long with them, I don’t think Arsene really wants to say goodbye so suddenly like that. Let’s keep the status quo for now, shall we?

This special might not be able to incorporate everything that would make us feel totally nostalgic about Milky Holmes because otherwise it would have been a recap episode. Hence it is nice to see some of the things making their short cameo like those characters and places. G4 is also much welcomed with their cameo especially dumb IQ boasting Kokoro who is still as obnoxious and bratty as ever. It is amazing G4 haven’t got fired yet. Nice for Feathers to also make their cameo but so as not to steal the limelight from their senpai, I guess it’s too bad they had to get some beat down. Mori Arty still mysterious in her agenda and all but she could be just a normal girl for all we know. Initially I thought Milky Holmes was going to have some card-like fighting theme like Yugioh, because you know, Cardfight Vanguard crossover. But this feels more like a side distraction and they could have taken other themes like Pokemon’s Pikachu getting kidnapped or some device from Digimon gets stolen whatsoever. So the only running joke to remind us about this crossover is the fact that Milky Holmes cannot remember Aichi’s name and spout it out totally as a different name altogether. Only Hercule remembers but nobody listens…

It is really sad and it really hits the feels in the heart when the ending theme, Soshite Gunjou Ni Toketaiku by Milky Holmes is such a sweet and lovely ballad. So sweet and lovely that it almost sounds like a song that is played at high school graduation ceremonies! Oh damn. Here I was holding back my tears and then they had to play this song? You really want me to bawl over mah dummies?! I mean, my detective angels?! Oh well. Sherlock, whatever crap you said about those memories thingy, I don’t really remember nor understand, but I think I kinda know what it means for a long running (technically) series to have its final send off episode. It is sad that it has ended but also remember, be happy for all the antics and fun that they have brought to us in almost 10 years span. And so the opera curtains finally draw to a close. Thank you, Milky Holmes. Thank you for everything. Eyes getting blurry, nose getting stuffy, voice getting croaky… I think I need another pack of tissues…

On a trivial note, I wonder why this special is named as Psycho No Aisatsu, literally meaning, a psychotic greeting. Hmm… Could it be a play on the word saikou (the greatest)? Either way, Milky Holmes has always greeted us in the most Milky Holmes of fashion and with this final, it is rather Psycho No Sayonara (a psychotic goodbye) AKA Saikou No Sayonara (the greatest goodbye). Once again, thank you Milky Holmes.

Allison To Lillia

September 8, 2019

Due to that amazing flight themed Kouya No Kotobuki Hikoutai, I started looking around for another anime of the similar genre. I know I’m not going to expect something this awesome but what the heck, probably to satisfy my whimsy flight craze for the moment. And that was when I remembered an old retro show, Allison To Lillia. Yeah, that anime came out like 10 years ago back in 2009! I suppose it was one of that shows where I wanted to watch but never came around to it because there wasn’t anything ‘of importance’ to watch it. And it is thanks to Kouya No Kotobuki Hikoutai that I could finally come around to this one. Like I said, not likely to be as awesome as that airplane series but catching a few aerial stunts should be more than suffice.

Episode 1
Wilhelm “Wil” Schultz is such a bright student that he briefs the young ones about the history of the land. Roxcheanuk Confederation AKA Roxche and United Kingdom of Bezel Iltoa AKA Sou Beil have been at war for 130 years due to their differing opinions on the originations of men. Lesson interrupted when Allison Whittington flies down. Isn’t this dangerous? Yeah, Wil’s old friend has just gotten enlisted into the air force although her tasks are mainly transportation. As they head to town, they stumble into an old man. Wil knows him from the rumours as a guy who likes to lie because he tells everyone grand stories like being a butler from the royal family. He hitches a ride with them home. He treats them to tea and admits all his stories are lies. Except for this one. There is a treasure that no amount of money could buy that can stop the war between the nations. However it is on the side of Sou Beil. It was discovered during some poison gas war. History said that thanks to a lieutenant colonel’s thinking, it saved Roxche. However gramps points out that everybody who died from the gas are actually alive as he is part of that special unit. This is to protect them from retribution. Also the lieutenant colonel did not exist. So did history lie? History is written to suit one’s purpose. Allison is willing to fly there whenever she has missions. Of course she cannot be found out or she’ll be expelled. But she thinks they will let it slide as the treasure will justify her actions. You think so? Just then, a man from the town hall wants to bring gramps away to discuss about tax matters. He agrees to go with them. Wil is suspicious because he mistook them for being family members when their sidecar would have told him they are students. Yup, time to go after him. True enough, they are heading away towards town. Wil spots the guy taking out a gun. Jump! Man, they survived that crash. So they’re going to chase by foot all the way? I hope the destination is nearby. When they reach the private estate, they see a plane just departing. They think gramps is on it. They trespass into the hangar and the place is so big that there are no guards?! Oh look. A plane. Convenient. I guess leaving an apology letter to borrow doesn’t constitute as stealing.

Episode 2
Crossing the Lutoni River means entering into Sou Beil’s territory. An enemy fighter attacks so Allison pretends to be shot down. Even got some smoke material. Crash landing could have been perfected had not the wheels got caught by the electric wires. In the middle of the forest?! Luckily they jump out in time before the plane explodes. Next day, they talk about Sou Beil that is supposed to be Moot’s homeland. She is the caretaker of their orphanage. As Allison plays with this Bambi, the mother attacks her but Wil protects her and gets injured. Oh Allison, you want to shoot and kill the mother and fawn?! I guess not. So Allison has to carry him for the nearest aid. Who knows where this house in the middle of nowhere is but at least this lone woman, Radia takes them in and treats Wil. She asks Allison why she came here so she tells the truth about gramps and the treasure. Radia finds it bogus because Sou Beil’s side of the story is about the lost gold of a general who was about to attack Roxche. People have been trying to look for it but nothing was found. Later Allison apologizes to Wil for dragging him into this mess but Wil thanks her as he is able to see what Soul Beil looks like. Yeah, just a day in enemy territory… Next morning, Radia learns about Moot from Wil. She explains Moot was labelled as a traitor when she emigrated to Roxche and opened an orphanage there. Wil continues how Moot continued to take in orphaned kids whose parents died in the war. Allison was no different but instead of crying from loneliness and fear, she first made Wil her henchman! They’ve been together since. Unfortunately Moot passed away 6 months ago. Radia’s answer to why she lives remotely here. If a war ever breaks out, she is ready to take up arms and fight the enemy. When Allison wakes up, a cuckoo badge that secretly signifies her army rank drops out, Wil remembers what gramps said and realizes his story is true. Radia wants them to stop this foolishness or they’ll lose their lives but after seeing they are determined to get the treasure to stop the war, she gives them army uniforms from her sons. They are from Sou Beil Royal Guards, the elite of the elite so they are able to walk around in most army bases without showing ID or suspicions. She also gives Wil her husband’s gun. As they leave, Radia realizes that despite she hated Roxche for taking her sons’ life, Roxche also had people who had lost their lives. That is why Moot took them in.

Episode 3
Benedict Carr is the pilot for the plane that kidnapped gramps. He doesn’t understand about the treasure his higher ups are talking about as they interrogate the old fart but nothing came out from his mouth. Allison and Wil manage to infiltrate the base and get a nervous private to show them around. Of course this leads to where gramps is. After telling the stupid guards to bring blankets, gramps is amazed they are here and only requests for a hairpin and will meet up later. As the duo leave, they bump into Benedict. Allison recognizes him as he was the one who wrote the love letter but she rejected him. They tell him about the treasure. Meanwhile gramps brazenly unlocks before the guards and pushes open the door to knock them out?! Shameful! They’re so stupid and weak! With the alarm sounded, gramps rendezvous with the duo and try to get to the hangar via secret passageway. This guy is still as sharp as ever. But you know a death flag is coming up when he tells them the route to the treasure. Just in case. Gramps stalls the guards to let the duo take off via seaplane. I know the entire base is on alert to hunt down this old fart but only a handful of soldiers chasing them and none guarding the hangar???!!! Gramps is so heroic that he makes that soldiers look like morons because he rolls barrels of oil conveniently lying around and then shoots it for some great explosive distraction. Even though he gets shot subsequently but it is all worth it since the duo have already taken to the skies. Benedict is ordered to capture the duo and if he fails, shoot them down before they cross the border. As insurance, they also order another unit to follow him and if he does something suspicious, kill him. Allison and Wil are sad that gramps is dead. So to honour his wish, they are going to head for the treasure at all cost.

Episode 4
When Benedict catches up to them, he lets them hear the radio that the enemies want them shot down. So Allison challenges him to a dogfight? Allison gets to strut her stuff and even gets the better of Benedict. She fires! He still survives because it is only paint bullets?! How the heck did she know it’s not real bullets? Did she have time to examine?! With that, Benedict wants to join them in their treasure hunt since gramps’ last words to him was to take care of them. But he has to shake down those Sou Beil bogeys first. Don’t worry. His skills are even more exceptional considering those are just low level goons. As they make their way towards a cave in the mountains, little do they know those greedy Sou Beil higher ups are secret tailing. Inside after following gramps’ instructions, they arrive in a section where there are primitive paintings. But the ‘treasure’ turns out to be a big mural. One man is holding a spear (Roxche’s military insignia) and the other holding a dagger (Sou Beil’s military insignia). They realize both sides originated together. They also realize that gramps fictional lieutenant colonel and was forced to kill his men to keep this treasure a secret because they didn’t want to get along with the enemy. He waited for 30 years since people will not believe so soon during the height of the war. Wil wants Benedict to announce this mural since it is too heavy a responsibility for them. Those greedy higher ups are here. Hand over the treasure. I don’t know if Wil is super fast as they didn’t see him whip out his gun and fire. Just a shoulder wound. It causes them to fire at the ceiling and the rocks fall and crush them! WTF?! What a stupid way to die! But good riddance. Soon news breaks out that the war is over thanks to the discovery of the mural. Wil and Allison visit gramps’ housemaid. She is sad he is gone but is finally relieved of his agony.

Episode 5
Wil is on his way on a fieldtrip to the kingdom of Ikstova. During a stop, he gets kidnapped! Turns out to be Allison. Looks like she is also here for a mission so what a better way to spend some time with him. Yeah, and also she has something important to tell him that she can’t write it in a letter… She drives him to a joint military base by Roxche and Sou Beil where they will be conducting a joint ice rescuing expedition. They meet Benedict who is part of this expedition. He is promoted to major after becoming a hero and that nation’s most eligible bachelor! Benedict invites them to a party later where the top brasses will be attending. I guess he doesn’t want to be alone. Later a blizzard hits the place so Allison and Wil change their plans to take shelter at the nearest village. Benedict notices the blizzard and that his friends may have been caught in it and goes to look for them. But for the villages he went, his friends were not spotted and he had to entertain the people wanting his autograph. After an old lady points Allison and Wil to the assembly hall, she makes the call to her comrades about a couple of suspicious Roxche personnel. In the assembly hall, another old lady serves them tea as Wil displays his knowledge about Iktsova’s royalty insignia. Each of them has different plants or animals representing them. The old lady leaves and confides in her comrades that they might be spies since they know the insignia well. Allison sums up her courage to ask what Wil will be doing after graduation. She even suggests a university to go to and because she will be flying all over the world, it will get a little lonely. So won’t he come stay with her in the capital? Dumb Wil fell asleep… Not his fault as Allison soon realizes the tea is laced. Benedict sees fresh tracks and believes this is where Allison and Wil went but there is no village on this map. So he is going to walk there by foot? He stumbles into this girl, Fiona who recognizes his notes that was written on a poster of the portrait of Owen Nihito. She wants him to take her to the capital of Ikstova now but change of plans as her comrades call for her return.

Episode 6
Allison and Wil find themselves locked in a cellar. But nothing like a bit of improvisation to let themselves out. This isn’t maximum security, you know. Hiding in a cabin, they thought somebody is coming so Allison ambushes him. Luckily she misses because it would’ve been bad news had she really hit Benedict. Thanks to their noisiness, the villagers are coming. Lucky for them again, Fiona hides them in her house. Because of the icy night, they have to wait at least till tomorrow morning to have a chance. So Fiona tells why she is bent on heading to the capital. Nihito is a politician and is holding a speech. She wants to use this chance to declare that she is alive. You see, Fiona is the sole survivor of the royal family’s massacre and her real names is Francesca. She wants Benedict to teach him how to use a gun left behind by her late grandpa but he can’t let a princess swing around something so dangerous and leaves it to Wil. So shooting is not okay but punching is? Next morning (even had enough time for breakfast), they sneak out via hiding under a white sheet. Seriously. They think the snow can camouflage them? When they reach a lone guard, Fiona pretends to take Benedict hostage. When he is close enough, he knocks him out. But not after he sounds the alert. Suddenly the villagers surround them! Woah! How did they get here so fast?! Where were they hiding?! Fiona protects them and if they want to shoot, shoot her first. She tells them of her intention to head to the capital. The villagers look shock that she knows she is the last surviving princess. You mean they really didn’t know she knows? Anyway the chieftain gives his blessing for her to go since she is already an adult. But if she fails to achieve her goals, feel free to come back here anytime. And so a few last goodbyes before Fiona leaves for the capital with her friends.

Episode 7
At the base, Benedict and Fiona take off in an observer plane. But shortly they ran into some trouble. This is just a distraction so that Allison could ‘steal’ a fighter jet. Yeah, it’s the second time she ‘borrowed’ a craft. With the military blocking their path, there is not enough runway to take off. I understand she intends to use the cliffs and drop to fly but if she has to go through the town and even causing a major accident, shouldn’t she have took off in town? I mean, the roads are wide enough to accommodate the plane’s wingspan and there are not obstructing towers. Yeah, they really took the military for a ride. Once in the air, Fiona tells Benedict the truth. She is not the real princess but an imposter. The real Francesca died during massacre. So yeah, she wants to deceive the people of Ikstova. She just wanted to tell somebody this. Cue for Benedict to say he too isn’t a real hero. The credits go to Allison and Wil. WTF do we have time for Benedict-Fiona’s sky romance?! I know this isn’t like roads where you have to constantly keep your eyes forward. This makes Allison really jealous and poor Wil has to bear the brunt of it as she makes him sick with her wild aerial stunts. Once they reach the capital, Benedict lands directly in the square where the speech is taking place. Thank goodness everyone knows how to get out of the way. Using his hero status, everyone loves him and this gives him a free pass to speak on the podium. Nihito allows him to do so if he supports his idea to reject independence. Benedict then introduces Fiona as Ikstova’s princess and shocks everyone. But Fiona’s plan to re-establish the royalty comes to a grinding halt because Nihito does an igi ari. Objection!

Episode 8
Nihito calls this a farce but Fiona can show proof. This royal pendant. But is this real? Fortunately, the head of security, Rean Warren was the security for the royal palace and he can vouch for that. Yup. It’s the real deal. Nihito tries to escape but Fiona stops him. Here is his cuff links she is returning. 10 years ago when he tried to kidnap Francesca, she ripped his cuff links in her bid to escape but he shot her parents who came chasing after him. Fiona arrests him for treason. Guess what? Nihito takes Fiona hostage! How the f*ck did that happen???!!! All the guards surrounded him and yet this happened?! Warren tries to be a hero to save her but gets stabbed in the thigh. WTF. Worse, Nihito takes Fiona up the tower. Dead end. Checkmate. Benedict confronts Nihito. Alone. Where the f*ck are all the useless guards???!!! Nihito tries to stab him but thank goodness for his expensive watch blocking the stab. Then one punch in the face! Do Benedict and Fiona have time to lovely reunite because Nihito isn’t done yet. This guy loves taking hostages and when he tries to do so again, that angry Francesca’s face resonates in Fiona’s face. WTF he got scared and fell off the tower himself! WTF???!!! Later when Wil and Allison join them for tea, Wil asks Fiona if she is not the real Francesca but her twin. Fiona tells the whole truth that 10 years ago after the fire broke out, Francesca was injured and somewhat brought to the village. It was the only time both sisters met. Before Francesca passed on, she gave her this pendant. When Fiona’s grandpa passed away, among his belongings was Nihito’s cuff links. So when she saw that poster (still wearing the same cuff links, huh?), she realizes that bringing that man to justice is what she existed for. As for how Wil could tell, at the assembly hall, the royal insignia tilted in the opposite position. Hence this symbol was originally made for Fiona. Ikstova’s weird custom is that the royalty can only have 1 child?! Thus this village was created by the royalty to protect Fiona. This answers the question why there are only old people and they have military training. With the issue resolved, I guess the only thing sore for Allison is that Wil could notice all these details but not her feelings…

Episode 9
The transcontinental express linking Roxche and Sou Beil is ready. Although its fare is expensive, Wil and Allison manage to board it thanks to Benedict’s invitation. Fiona is also riding along as she is incognito as a photographer. She isn’t officially the queen of Ikstova yet (must be all those red tape to bring back the monarchy) so she is still in the process of learning a lot of things. After passing the Roxche military supplies and artillery field, they stop at Green Island. This was the place where Allison’s father died during the war. As Allison pays her tribute, Wil tells Fiona about this. It is probably her dad, Oscar was killed by his own subordinate because of the bullet from the gun that only their division used then in the battlefield. Since Allison had no pictures of her father, it could only mean he worked in the intelligence agency. So to prevent any risk of him being captured and interrogated, the only conclusion was that his subordinate killed him than risk betrayal. Benedict is supposed to board the train on the next stop and while waiting, he meets Major Fran Stork who tells him this ‘embarrassing’ secret of his mission here. There is a customer in the royal car who will play an important role in the future of both the nations’ trading. Because there will be lots of companies trying to court him upon arrival and one of them being a company that delivers artillery to the army, they are trying to gain the upper hand in competition by making a request to the army to dispatch a valet under the pretence of a security guard. Benedict boards the train and the gang could hardly recognize his disguise. Long hair and beard. The friends spend their time together on the train. Allison trying to be considerate and give Benedict and Fiona some time together. When it’s time for bed, Allison hints to Wil not to peep at her changing. Why the constant reminders? He assures her he won’t. She’s not satisfied. Wil no baka…

Episode 10
I guess Allison is taking too long in her preparation to confess something of importance that Wil fell asleep! Please don’t take it out on the pillow… Frustrated, she sits by herself at the observation coach. There she meets Stork and he learns she is from the air force and daughter of Oscar. Next morning, Wil and Allison are up early. However they witness a murder at the back of the train. The chief conductor had been thrown off! Allison tries to go after the perpetrator but thanks to the train entering a tunnel, the culprit ‘vanished’. They go warn the other conductors and then Benedict. He in turn goes to tell Stork but is met with Thomas Eyen. When he learns the chief conductor is dead, Eyen kicks out Stork. Eyen will not let anyone into the room to harm his master and that includes Stork. The plan now is to gather everyone in the main car and hold them there for a day until they reach out of the mountains where they can alert the authorities at the next stop. Benedict doesn’t want to accuse everyone of being a suspect and if they start searching, they’ll reach the next stop by that time. Stork then suggests taking a detour because there is Sou Beil’s military base where they can use their phone to contact authorities. Unfortunately the phone service is out. Just then, Gautier Terol walks in and claims he is the target. As a head of Terol Steel Foundation and a war magnate, he shows them a threat letter addressed to him. It states he will not return to Roxche alive and will start killing everyone around him and he will be the last. Terol thinks everyone might be accomplice and hence it is better they do not mix since it is understandable they don’t want to be suspected and certainly they don’t want to be near a target. As the train continues its journey, it seems this was an act by Terol. His goal is to make Benedict pay for making that heroic announcement. Wil is suspicious that the culprit hasn’t moved to kill them yet as they were eyewitnesses to the murder. Suddenly a military train is chasing from behind and shoots a flare that signals them to stop. WTF Stork thinks he can shoot them with his pea shooter pistol? Of course they fire back! It’s a wonder they missed our heroes with all that firepower.

Episode 11
Stork wastes the fine liquor and sets them on fire. The military train is forced to put some distance. Stork then bombs and detaches the last coach, causing the military train to crash. Then opposite but on parallel tracks is a special armoured tank designed to run on railroad tracks. Stork contacts them and learns they are an escort to protect them. However he wants all of them to do him a favour: Destroy that armoured tank. He can’t tell them the reason now and wants them to believe in him. Since it is to avert a crisis, they sheepishly do as he says. They are going to shoot it down via a special tank gun belonging to Terol. He wants Benedict to fire but since this isn’t his forte, the only one to do it is Wil. So as they wait for the right time, Wil and Stork have time to chat. Stork reveals his true mission. He is here to arrest Terol on grounds of firearms smuggling and crimes against humanity. Terol is planning to defect to Sou Beil with his weapons and the one who invited him are no other than Sou Beil military personnel who were against the ending of the war. To prevent his arrest, the opposing side is planning to kill everybody else on this train. Because you don’t search for a dead man, right? However Stork was the one who killed the chief conductor because he needed to disconnect the train to increase its speed from the attackers so he had to get everyone believe to go along with his plan that an imaginary killer is out to get Terol. When Wil is in position, Stork instructs him to fire. Miss. The armoured vehicle then speeds up. Benedict tries to distract it by taking pot shots at it. After a few more tries, Wil finally derails it. When Stork goes to tell Terol about this, Wil tells his friends about Stork. Just then, Eyen comes in and wants to kill them all. WTF Benedict runs faster to bump the gun out of his hands but gets knocked out by his bigger size?! Allison tries to shoot him but is a bad shot. Yeah, how the heck can she miss?! Last bullet left. Don’t worry. Wil is guiding her. Uhm, this isn’t the right time for such close proximity. Is your heart beating fast, Allison? All that build up and just a shot in the shoulder? Oh, Stork did it. When they go and see Terol, looks like he committed suicide. But Wil still has his suspicions on Stork because if he was behind all this plan, wouldn’t he have got rid of them too as they too pose a great threat to his plan.

Episode 12
The train stops at the food of the mountains. The gang stays in a hotel and the next day what’s this urgent business that Benedict brings them to a chapel? Long story short, he confesses to Fiona and they proceed with this ‘ritual’ called kissing. So Benedict is going to be the king of Ikstova, eh? You jealous, Allison? Stork seems to be running late for this ‘ceremony’ but manages to come by. Since they won’t meet again, he makes it clear he was never on board the train. As he leaves, Wil takes out his gun and shoots him! Don’t worry. Just a rubber bullet. But his bodyguard rushes him and addresses him as colonel. Wil deduces Stork’s real mission: To silence Terol. As he holds important military secrets, should he testify, this would bring about the greatest military scandal. Wil also believes Stork’s initial plan was to let Terol die in an accident. Even if that meant sacrificing all the passengers. However something made him changed his plans: Allison. But Allison has no recollections of meeting him before the train trip. Wil remembers the talk with him during the firing at the armoured vehicle. He knew about Roxche’s festival as well as Moot. He thanks him for had he not come to the orphanage, he wouldn’t have met Allison. Since Allison isn’t the brightest tool in the shed, Wil reveals that Stork is actually her father! He definitely can’t kill his daughter on this mission, right?

10 years ago he came to the orphanage. Oh my, he looked so different as he was plump! He feared he would die in the battle and didn’t want to leave Allison alone and hence left her there. Oscar was actually from Sou Beil and doing a covert mission inside Roxche’s military and had to relay back some important mission. When Wil first saw him, he had those sad eyes. The same eyes that Stork has. As for Oscar being killed by his own subordinate, actually he killed his subordinate and assumed the identity of a dead soldier. This is all to relay the information back. This is why Sou Beil had the same military artillery as Roxche and hence their similar strength ended in a truce. Now Stork goes by the name of Icacia Cross. Because he abandoned his role as her father, he cannot return with Allison. She is still having troubles accepting him since he looks so different but he explains an important birthday event so like it or not, he’s your dad. As for why Wil went to great lengths for this, he hoped both father and daughter could meet. After everyone has left, why is Allison and Wil still staying behind? Allison quickly ushers him back into the chapel. Is this going where I think it is going? Since she is still too scared to say it, more runabout beating around the bush talk. You know, Allison is graduating, needs somebody to stay with her. Sure, Wil is mostly glad to stay with her and even help pay the rent and everything but I think he is missing the point to what Allison wants to hear. Eventually frustrated Allison pushes him down and tells him what he thinks of her. A person who always gives her courage? Duh! Screw it all. She just asks him to kiss her.

Episode 13
After graduation, Wil moves into an apartment with Allison in the capital. Wil meets Icacia and the latter praises his knowledge in history. Wil admits it is only after the discovery of the mural that his interests peaked since he wanted to see how the world would change. As Icacia laments how even in peaceful times there are those plotting behind the scenes. Hence Wil is an important person for him for his job. In short, he wants Wil to join the intelligence agency and assume a new identity in Sou Beil. The catch is that he can no longer live as Wil and with Allison anymore. Wil thinks hard about it and remembers the time when Oscar left Allison at the orphanage. Wil asked Moot about that man and was told he was a knight who promised to bring peace to everyone in the world. In order to do that, he must follow his destiny. Thus Wil must find something he can do when he grows up and someone who approves of it. It is hinted that Allison is married to Wil since she took on his surname. She is returning from the fertility centre and going to relay the good news but what’s with the long face, Wil? He tells her about this new mission of his. Allison is sad but tries to remain positive. Even though they technically can still see each other, he will no longer be Wil. It won’t be like old times before. Since he has found his calling, Allison supports his path. On the day Allison sees Wil off via train, he finally confesses to her that he loves her. Well, better late than never. But not too sure if she heard it because the damn train whistle. F*cking train whistle always finds the right time to ‘interrupt’…Or did Wil perfectly timed this? We fast forward 15 years later. Lillianne Acacia Corazon Whittington Schultz is their daughter. If that is a mouthful to pronounce, Lillia is fine. She is told that her dad died in a train accident and his body was never found. Lillia might be a fine and responsible girl, but has Allison regressed into a slob?! Lillia forces her mom to wake up! She only does so because Major Travas is coming. She is Allison’s boyfriend and a Sou Beil soldier working for the embassy who lives nearby.

Episode 14
In school, Lillia is not pleased her childhood friend, Treize is here to pick her home as requested by Allison. You mean this guy rode all the way from his home in Ikstova and took 20 days to reach here?! That’s some major dedication. As narrated, Treize is her childhood friend who lives next door to Allison and Lillia whenever they visit Ikstova annually. She doesn’t particularly like him because he knows about the affairs of others but hardly talks about his. Lillia introduces Treize to Travas for the first time. After Lillia leaves them alone, it seems both guys know each other. Treize is the son of Ikstova’s royalty. Yes, the son of Benedict and Fiona. Seems he can walk around freely like this is because his twin sister, Merielle was chosen as the heir. Remember their one child policy? Yeah… Also, here is another big revelation: Travas is actually Wil! Both promise to keep each other’s secret. Lillia is looking forward to her summer break at Lartika with mom but last minute she can’t make it and sent Treize in her place instead. Of course Lillia doesn’t like it and ‘fears’ that he would ‘jump’ on her. But Allison jumps on Lillia first. Who knows she might be the one who ‘jump’ on him. Who knows? Like mother, like daughter. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. During the train ride, an old couple sits with them. They are actually Treize’s royal guards in disguise. When Lillia goes to do things herself, they try to advise Treize to be a gentleman for a lady. Unfortunately when Lillia returns, she thinks Treize harassed the old couple and smacks him. After lodging in their hotel, they go sightseeing. They get lost in the maze-like town but a young lad helps them to be their tour guide for a small fee. After returning them to the hotel, a guard arrests the lad because it is against the law for unofficial tour guides. The lad will be returned to some priest. Next day, the duo see this guy, Mateo who gives aerial tours of Lartika. Being an ex-Roxche military man, he happily takes them around. Meanwhile Travas calls Allison (it is hinted that Allison knows he is Wil) about an emergency regarding a prince and a princess. Some evil plan will be executed in Lartika and both cannot be allowed to board a plane. Uhm, too late?

Episode 15
Lillia and Treize are treated to a breath taking view of the town and lake. When they are to return, Mateo spots a stranded plane on the sea. He goes to check it out and from its insignia, it seems to belong to the Torcacia Air Defence Force. Mateo gets off to talk to the pilot but is taken hostage. Suddenly Treize pulls out a gun and then jumps into the cockpit to fly away! WTF?! I’m sure everyone was so dumbfounded by this that’s why there was enough time for their getaway. Treize’s plan is to return to Lartika to inform the police but looks like they have boogies on their tail. Even armed with machines gun they can’t take down this seaplane?! Is Treize that good or they’re just lousy? Treize crash lands near the shore as they run into the forest before the plane is shot and exploded. So the enemy is going to presume they’re dead? Time to hike as far as they can. Flashback shows when Treize and Merielle celebrated their 15th birthday, Treize was called by his parents. Something about the proposal to marry Princess Matilda from Sou Beil. Fiona doesn’t think it is a bad idea but gives him a chance that by his 20th birthday should he not find anyone he loves, he will marry that princess. Hence this summer break is for him to find a chick? I can already tell who that love is. Night fall and they stumble into a cabin in the woods. Nobody in. No harm resting, right? Dead in the night, the owner returns and lets them sleep. I guess Treize failed in his night watch. Next morning, they apologize to the owner, Eyne Morceau but he is fine with it. They learn he is the priest who runs an orphanage and that kid got arrested, Carlo is safe and sound. Morceau is kind enough to lend them his vehicle to his orphanage (because Lartika is 80km away!). There, rich people conduct scenic flights for underprivileged children in the name of charity. They can join in with no charge after Morceau writes a letter of recommendation. You mean Morceau is not coming with Treize and Lillia? This is the middle of nowhere. Is there somebody else to pick him up? Along the way, they pass by a group of soldiers hiding in the woods who think they must be that person’s accomplice. They reach the facility and are awed to see the very huge seaplane.

Episode 16
Carlo is also part of the orphanage on tour. When the soldiers report back to Travas about Lillia and Treize boarding the seaplane, he has Allison take off immediately. It’s going to take a while since the lake is huge and they have no direct coordinates of the seaplane. After a while, Treize realizes something amiss. They should have landed at Lartika by now but everywhere is still a body of water. Then he realizes the plane is heading in the opposite direction instead because of the sun’s direction. Rudely waking up Lillia from her nap, they go check the pilot cockpit and see the pilots trying to parachute out. Woah, Treize. You gonna shoot them if they remain? The turbulence is the perfect chance for the pilots to jump off. Bye, kids. With nobody manning the cockpit, Treize takes control despite this is his first time flying a plane this big. The pilots destroyed the radio so they can’t call for help. But luckily they dropped the transreceiver but that is just short range. Treize calls Carlo to look after the kids and not make them worry. Don’t worry. They’re having fun alright. Oblivious to what is happening. Lillia pays him as motivation. When Treize tries to turn the seaplane around, warning shots are fired by the Torcacia fighters, the same ones who shot them down yesterday. Communicating them via transreceiver, it seems they want them to get out of the seaplane before they shoot it down. Changing direction also means getting shot down. Huh? Why wait to shoot it down if this is their original plan? With Treize running out of ideas and the Torcacia side bugging for them to get off, Lillia scolds back to shut up or she’ll ram them off the skies. This gives Treize an idea. He’ll do just that and with the wing damaged, a transmitter signal will be set off. With such dumb pilots, I think it’s totally feasible.

Episode 17
Treize hopes Lillia can forgive him if he fails. WTF is this pessimism? You won’t know if you don’t try, right? Nothing serves as a better motivation when Lillia will give him a kiss reward if he succeeds. Of course this was Carlo’s idea. Treize speeds up the seaplane to make the rest chase. This allows Treize to knock one of them off. Why don’t the Torcacians just shoot them down now? Because the commander says not now? To add more drama, Treize has Lillia speak to them and they’re shocked there is a woman on board? She manages to make them reveal why they are doing this. Because of the bad and poor conditions in Torcacia, they are going to sacrifice these orphans. This news will be highlighted throughout Roxche and only then the capital will notice and take action. Of course it is a dumb and stupid plan if you ask me and nobody is as mad as Lillia as she chastises them for just being terrorists. So now they are going to shoot the seaplane down? Oh yeah, Lillia can buy more time with her scathing complaining. Enough time for mom to come to the rescue. Allison tells the Torcacia side to surrender and when they return to their airbase, they will be arrested by the military. Of course they won’t listen and call her bluff so Allison shows her skills by shooting a couple of them down. With the commander left, Allison toys around with him. He gets mad and tries to shoot her down but obviously Allison’s plane is faster and more flexible. This is part of her plan to make him run out of ammo. When that happens, the commander still won’t give up. He is going to do a kamikaze crash into the seaplane. Allison is forced to shoot him down. With the drama over, it is now up to Treize to land the seaplane on sea. Allison’s advice isn’t helpful at all. All planes are the same. I guess he has got to rely on the kiss reward as motivation. Go for it! Don’t worry about the kids, they have been sleeping before the dogfight action began as they tire themselves out from all the excitement. Treize makes a rough landing but unfortunately the seaplane hits the bedrock. It is now taking in water and sinking.

Episode 18
Don’t worry. The kids can swim! They’re really having fun from start to finish. But there’s a problem: Treize can’t swim! I guess it’s all ice in Ikstova. Not sure Lillia throwing him into the water and shouting instructions would make things better. So far so good. Until he sinks. Not sure how Lillia pulled him to shore but I guess it’s time to resurrect him with a kiss. CPR is too hard to pronounce. So Lillia starts off with that and then presses his chest. I wonder if Allison could see all this from the sky. Treize revives and soon the Roxche army arrives. They really setup a picnic for those kids. Damn these orphans are lucky. Carlo then talks to Treize personally. Carlo hints Treize knows his secret. Carlo is actually a girl, Carla! But Treize already knows because of the way she admires Lillia’s hair. In exchange, Treize also tells his secret of being a prince and needs to do something before he reaches 20. I don’t think Carlo believes it and thinks it is his way of trying to get to Lillia’s heart. But whatever. Both promise not to tell each other’s secret. I’m confused they say it’s a man’s promise. So if Treize isn’t married by 20, is Carlo booking him to be his bride? When they reach back, Treize asks for the reward. So he really wants it? Unfortunately Lillia shifts the goalpost. Not today. Treize sees Travas alone. Travas reports that the real mastermind behind this is Morceau. 30 years ago, he was given a mission to gather orphans in Torcacia. Though he earned the people’s trust, he actually sells them to the rich in Roxche in exchange for info. But after the war ended, he was abandoned. Roxche and Sou Beil discovered this human trafficking plan at the same time. Treize is upset because Travas knew about this but still let the orphans boarded the plane. Had Treize and Lillia weren’t on board, it could have been a tragedy. Still, Treize thanks him for helping to save them and the kids are alright. Probably Morceau let them ride the seaplane as he believed one of them could fly a plane. Treize tells Lillia he wants to head back to Ikstova on his sidecar. No problem. She can take the train home by herself. Treize is sad and had to put up a fake expression since Lillia is praising Morceau as a good guy. On his way back, he stops by a store, hoping to pick up a book on swimming.

Episode 19
Lillia is excited to be invited by Treize to Ikstova for the New Year. Because this time he is going to reveal everything about himself. Lillia takes this as a chance to find his weakness (I guess Treize already mastered swimming) and win against him. Is that a longwinded way of saying she loves him? I guess not. Grats “Ax” Axenteanu, Travas’ assistant reports in some irregularity about an anonymous account making large purchases of film rolls to film at Ikstova. Could it be they are spies? Further investigation reveals Lowry Productions headed by Elicia Lowry are going to film a documentary there. Nothing suspicious until they discover a note with vague words that sounds more like a revenge plot. Better safe than sorry. With no direct flights to Ikstova, Allison and Lillia are forced to take the bus. During the journey, a mini avalanche blocked the path so instead of waiting for reinforcements, everyone gets up to shovel. Until the snowplough ploughs through. Well, at least the road is clear now. Too bad it wasted everyone’s efforts. So when mother and daughter reach Ikstova, they’re dead tired. Time to get some beauty sleep. Benedict and Fiona host their own New Year countdown party and Lowry Productions are also there to help film this historic moment. With that kind of face, we can tell that Elicia is harbouring some sort of grudge. She talks to Fiona about her hobby in making movies all thanks to her late father who left enough fortune for her to live easy. As the countdown begins, Treize and Lillia are alone. Hard to say the right words, I suppose. I guess we just enjoy the moment with great fireworks rather than spoiling it with some nervous confession. Meanwhile at the palace, Elicia fires a warning shot as her crew takes everyone hostage. Where the heck are the guards?! I mean those young soldiers on duty rather than those old farts. Wow. Security is really lax here.

Episode 20
Meanwhile Treize is still finding it hard to say it to Lillia… I don’t think Lillia wants to hear about the weather in Ikstova… Elicia moves Fiona and Benedict to another room to interrogate. It seems she wants to know the whereabouts of the royal treasure. Fiona plays dumb to stall for time. Ikstova’s treasure, huh? The people? The nature’s beauty? Please be more specific. Meanwhile in the other room where the guests are being held, one of the old guards does a distraction so that Emma could flee. Yeah, nobody saw the OPENED window! Emma manages to wade through the thick snow to the cabin and tell Treize what is happening. Time to go do some rescuing. Lillia wants to come along too. I guess being with him beats taking care of Emma. Meanwhile Allison is in town drinking alone when she stumbles into Warren. Ah, relive those good times, eh? Warren mentions that after Nihito’s death, his bereaved family moved out from Ikstova to Roxche. He hopes they are living in peace there. Since Elicia knows about Fiona’s past, she then takes out an old but detailed map of Ikstova. From what I understand, there is a valley that supposedly hides the royal treasure. The royal family has prohibited access to it (hence untouched for 400 years) but they have been searching for it there but to no avail. That’s when they thought of ‘asking’ the royal family. Time for Fiona to spill all the beans or her husband dies. Lillia wonders how Treize knows a secret underground mine cart that leads to some cabin. He has a bodyguard friend who tells him this? That bodyguard should be fired! Riding the mine cart, it it’s bad enough the brakes broke, they crash and they f*cking survive the fall!!!!!!! Then they stumble into a room filled with dynamites. Really. How convenient. Time to use this.

Episode 21
Treize wants Lillia to put the dynamite into the stove and hopes this explosion will serve as a distraction. After that she must return to the cabin. Lillia did just that but she slips. To avoid being find out, she returns to Treize. Are the guards dumb not to see a human shaped cavity in the snow? Luckily they’re not dumb enough not to notice the loud explosion. Returning to the guest room, now they take a head count and realize a hostage is missing?! Checking outside, they see other dynamites in the snow and realize this is a distraction. Meanwhile Treize and Lillia manage to enter the former’s room. He has to pretend he gets lucky and know where the things are. Like this communications receiver. He really hooked up the whole thing in time? He manages to call the airport but his message is not clear since they have to hide after hearing footsteps. Thankfully the closet has a secret compartment to the attic so after the baddies destroy the receiver and clean out the closet, the duo are still safe. The subordinates report back to Elicia about their suspicions and advise her to hasten their plan. As Fiona realizes who she is, it is no surprise that she is the daughter of Nihito. Her real name is Claire. During the height of the war, Nihito was a historian who thought Ikstova royal treasure would help bring peace and he asked the queen. Unfortunately she did not say and because he was deemed a dangerous person, was banished from Ikstova. A year later he returned to exact revenge on the palace. Claire claims Ikstova killed her father and is seeking revenge. The plan is to take Fiona and Benedict away, burn down this lodge and kill the rest. Fiona then tells the inconvenient truth about herself as a fake. Claire is surprised and disappointed. She gets angry but her subordinates calm her down and tell her to carry out the plan. Travas and Ax are at the airport and are suspicious about the reported transmission. It says the royal lodge before being cut off. Treize prepares himself and gives his pendant to Lillia. If anything happens to him, please give it to the queen. But she wants to keep it for herself so I guess he can’t let anything happen to himself. Treize makes his way out and sees his parents being taken by the perpetrators to trudge through the snow. Lillia continues to hide in the attic but sees a sniper coming in and taking aim at Treize. I can’t believe he can’t hear her coming out and then scream a warning to Treize. But too late. Treize gets shot!

Episode 22
The subordinate then knocks Lillia out. Noticing her pendant, he mistakes her to be Merielle. He calls Claire so she returns to the lodge. They set up timed explosives before carrying Lillia out. Benedict notices something in the snow. He talks to the terrorists to distract them. This allows the military agents to knock them out. Of course this unit is led by Travas. Meanwhile Treize still lives. Because we all should expect the sniper bullet hit his rifle. He treks back to the lodge but loses consciousness. Thankfully his dad picks him up. Back in the lodge, Travas has disarmed all the explosives. Damn, they really set it to a long time, huh? Oddly, Claire’s side reaches the point where their earlier team was ambushed. You mean they didn’t stumble upon each other on the way back?! Claire calls Fiona to confirm her back at the lodge. She tells her to come alone or else they will kill the hostage. Benedict and Fiona are confused at first because Merielle is now away at Sou Beil with Matilda. Could she be bluffing? Just in time for Treize to wake up and say Lillia got caught in this mess. With Lillia awake, because she is her usual dense self, she tells everything. Yeah, literally tell anything the hostage taker wants! With a smile! Does Lillia even know the situation she is in? This gives Claire a headache with this mix up. Travas thinks there is a risk that if Fiona goes alone, she will also end up as a hostage. Treize has an idea. So Claire really waited for her, huh? And of course this isn’t Fiona but Treize. Can’t see clearly from that distance, right? But this WTF moment as Claire’s side start shooting, they miss!!! OMFG!!! How could they miss???!!! It’s not like he is a slalom champion. IS HE?! Even more WTF when Claire realizes Treize is not Fiona, so shocked that she let him ‘land’ on her?! WTF?! Claire’s subordinates suggest giving up because as long as they live, they will still have chances. Oddly, Lillia kicks Treize and warns him not to bully Claire. WTF?!

In the aftermath, looks like Allison is late to the party. Still having hangover? Lillia apologizing profusely to the king and queen of Ikstova and even has her mother do the same. Now they all are going to find Ikstova’s treasure. In this secret valley. The inhabitants claim they don’t know any treasure. But they point out Sou Beil is just right over this valley. You mean it is this close?! YOU MEAN THE MAPS NO MATTER HOW VAGUE THEY ARE DID NOT CLEARLY EVEN STATE THEIR BORDERS?! You see, this valley is the treasure. It links both Roxche and Sou Beil together and had this path was known during the war, it would have changed the tide and would have become a battleground. That’s why Ikstova kept this valley a secret. But still, nobody had even a decent map, huh? Claire is frustrated this was the treasure her father chased after. But Lillia gives her motivation not to give up. After all, both of them lost their fathers. Remember, Lillia never knew her real dad. With this case solved, the only puzzle left is that Lillia is still unaware of Treize’s real identity. Time not on their side…

Episode 23
Merielle confronts Treize about that marriage thingy. She wants him to marry Matilda now instead of waiting till 20. WTF?! Is she his mom?! Since he is hesitant, she guesses that he might have a thing for Lillia. Hence she prays their relationship won’t go well. Some princess… Meanwhile Travas and his team will be providing security to Matilda as she will be visiting Roxche and Ikstova. Elsewhere, some prisoner is given a task to assassinate somebody. Don’t care how he does it, just get it done. Matilda has a great time in Ikstova. When it’s time to leave, Merielle starts getting emotional. Wow. It’s like they’re already sisters? Matilda and Treize are to ride with each other on this train and this activity is of course a secret to the public. Merielle plays Treize’s mom again and warns him not to screw up. Or else she will have Travas kick his ass on her behalf! Oh damn, she’s demonstrating a few kicks!!! The train stops at a station where Allison and Wil last met. It brings back lots of memories. Treize heard from his father about Allison’s dad and his actions somewhat prompted Wil to follow in his footsteps. Sacrificing his own happiness for peace of others. Treize hints he also wants to do that but Travas tells him not to rush it although ultimately he is the one who will decide. Allison and Lillia who departed on an earlier train to go on their own trip, the train experiences some malfunction. Stranded at the station, the passengers want to board the next train but is irked when it is told it is fully booked. Because it looks empty. Allison and Lillia spot Travas trying to explain to the conductor that he booked all the seats on this train and cannot reveal any further information. Lillia being suspicious wants mom to explain everything. I guess mom needs to play dumb. For some reason, Travas allows everyone to get on board after getting permission for Matilda? It’s not like he spotted his family, right? Why risk danger? Of course there are sections the passengers are forbidden to step in and his agents will be on full alert. It might seem cruel but they should have left the passengers stranded than take them on. Yeah, for the plot… Meanwhile it has been awkward between Treize and Matilda. You mean they said nothing to each other the entire trip? Treize thinks of getting tea to break the ice. Also, Lillia goes to stretch her legs. They both meet. The biggest freak out moment they have in their entire lives. Once again, Lillia beats him up and wants him to explain. This girl always in the dark and wants explanation, huh?

Episode 24
Worst case scenario when Matilda enters the scene. Treize, who the heck is this beautiful chick! I know Matilda is smart but damn she suddenly could grasp that Lillia is Travas’ daughter?! Just because of their same eye colour?! You mean she never met anybody else in her life who has those eye colours? Matilda is so smart that she knows the pinch Treize’s in and gracefully cooks up a story that she is here on her father’s behalf to buy gold in Ikstova. Hence Treize is her tour guide. Phew. Great cover there. Even smarter when she hears Lillia’s story and how she believes her dad died before she was born. Because now she feels grateful for Travas for sacrificing his life for her country. But soon a commotion when a student is poisoned and a guy brings everybody over and starts accusing the agents that they poisoned their food. Of course Travas denies this. When a culprit is spotted on top of the train and captured, turns out to be the accuser’s wife! He is in shock but this only aggravates his suspicion. When Travas wants to interrogate him, he takes Lillia as hostage! What a way to prove your innocence by being even more suspicious. Damn, Treize so useless and got punched away. Allison wants to take Lillia’s place as hostage and accuses him of poisoning because why bother to gather everybody when he could just scream for help? This is indeed for distraction. When he refuses, she fires a warning shot. Scared guy releases her and tells the truth that this woman isn’t his wife but an accomplice. They were told there were gold on this train and accepted their employer (whom they only talked over the phone) to pull off this heist. However he swears he didn’t do the poisoning. Just before more can be revealed, the guy and his wife experience chest pains. Supposedly the medicine they took turned out to be poison. Karma’s really a b*tch. Travas discusses with his agents that the perpetrator may have planned it all along. In order to safeguard Matilda, they will detach the train when they stop at the next depot and travel separately. This means dumping Treize with the rest of the other passengers in the other coach. As Matilda’s train moves along, somewhere in the woods, somebody switches the rail lines. The train driver spots a car blocking the path and wants to stop but Travas orders him to ram it. Unfortunately the train driver is also an accomplice and stops the train. Now bandits surround it.

Episode 25
The bandits want the gold on the train. Travas tells his agents they are going to fight back. Oddly, the train driver abandoned the train. So an agent is able to take control and start the train again! That was f*cking easy! I guess the bandit boss has a jeep to chase after but an agents snipes the tyre. F*cking amazing that the dumb bandits abandon ship, the jeep can still move straight on its own?! Oh, I see. Cue for Travas to jump off and take control of it! So those dumb baddies gave up chase? Travas’ next plan is to take Matilda via jeep. Meanwhile Matilda talks to Ax about Travas prioritizing his duty over his daughter, Lillia. This makes Ax shock. Matilda thought she knew. You mean agents are supposed to know each other’s life? Anyway, Ax then confronts Travas about this and wonders if he knew it all along. Yes, he did. You see, Ax is the daughter of one of that Sou Beil’s higher ups that was killed during the mural’s discovery. Although Wil did not kill him directly (remember the cave in?), Travas still faults himself as the one who did so. Therefore he doesn’t blame her if she chose to kill him as revenge. That’s why he put her closest to him. Nothing like a few more baddies for them to take out and take their mind of this. Travas has realized the mastermind’s true intention. Everything was a setup. Their target is not Matilda but Treize. Travas’ will continue to escort Matilda to her next point since it is his duty. However in that case, Matilda will go rescue the other train. He has to follow her, right? Meanwhile on the other train, Treize must be wondering why Lillia suddenly is asking him about marriage proposal. Gulp. Then confusion because she wants him to propose to Travas?! WTF?! She wants him to talk to Travas to propose to mom!!! Did admiring Lillia’s beauty made him a little dumber? She is okay as long they are both happy. Then Lillia starts hinting about her dance. Yes, really hinting. Can’t blame Treize for not thinking straight since she is being scary. Then she practises dancing with him. Is that a hint too? If that isn’t clear enough, more hints because if only Treize went to her school… Even if he sucks at dancing maybe he can be there… Do you get it Treize???!!! Conversation interrupted when another passenger seeks Lillia’s help. But when brought to another coach, this evil looking guy knocks her out. Allison and Treize notice something wrong when the train changes tracks. It stops then they realize too late their coach has been detached as the front part (where Lillia is) starts moving again. I don’t think they can run after a train, right?

Episode 26
A message is left for Treize that he is to come after Lillia alone. With Travas’ side rendezvousing with them, a train passenger tells what really happened (since he is a big fan of Matilda so he opens up). The culprit behind this who was also masquerading as one of the passengers is actually a very dangerous criminal known as Prisoner #42. The only reason why this guy is released is because somebody of higher authority allowed it. And that person is Duke Bessar who is also the Minister of Justice. It seems he has a son who is also a candidate to marry Matilda. Gee, this is really extreme and f*cked up way to eliminate your son’s marriage candidate! While Allison and Travas go borrow a plane, Treize drives the jeep. I don’t know if the jeep is boosted with some weird juice that makes it able to catch up with the train. Even more mind boggling fact is how Treize jumps on board the train!!! Damn this kid can be a stunt man! He tries to stop the train but finds all brakes and acceleration are destroyed. Meeting Prisoner #42 and Lillia in the room, Treize is forced to confess he is the prince of Ikstova since Prisoner #42 is going to reveal on his behalf to explain Lillia’s kidnapping. Gee, Lillia isn’t going to ask if that was a joke? Yeah, Treize looks so sad. Can’t be joking. Even more so, Prisoner #42 pressures Treize to confess to Lillia! It’s his last chance to ask everything! Oh damn. Trying to wait for the right moment, this doesn’t feel like it but yeah, see what happens when you procrastinate? With Allison and Travas flying by, how the f*ck can they hear each other talk???!!! Because Travas says there is a ravine ahead and the tracks end there. No prizes what will happen when the train reaches there. It seems Prisoner #42 intends to kill all on board including himself (though the trio are the only ones on the train). I guess it’s better than rotting in prison.

When Travas tries to shoot the chain to separate the coach (gee, did he bring this special gun and foresaw this?!), he is told to throw it away because now Prisoner #42 takes Lillia hostage on top of the train with Treize! How the f*ck can they maintain their balance on a speeding train?! For some odd reason, Allison masterfully weaves between the trees instead of following the train? Is she trying to show off her skills at this moment?! Then it’s like Travas and Treize got this telepathic mind and know what to do next. Travas drops him a ladder for Treize to climb up. Is he abandoning Lillia???!!! Actually he is using the ladder as momentum to give Prisoner #42 a flying kick! Phew. You sure scared Lillia for a while there. And damn, I thought Travas was going to jump on the train or something. He is that capable, you know. Oh come on, please can we do this romantic staring scene later and climb up the ladder? Because of this slight delay, Prisoner #42 grabs onto Treize’s leg (amazingly Prisoner #42 didn’t drop off?). F*ck! Can’t the plane carry all of them off at once?! Is Prisoner #42 that heavy???!!! Lillia threatens she’ll punch him if he doesn’t grab her hand. Uhm, I think you’re doing it wrong girl. And so Treize goes back to his usual procrastination. He’ll tell her the truth some other time. He lets go the ladder and the train plunges into the ravine. OMFG?! For real?! In the aftermath, Bessar is confirmed to have had a hand in this and will be prosecuted. However no news of Treize or Prisoner #42’s whereabouts. WTF?! You telling me people can survive that fall???!!! Some tears and hugs… But when the next school term starts, surprise for Lillia! Treize is the new transfer student in her class! How?! What?! When?! Why?! He looks fine… First thing she does is punch his guy! A little lover’s quarrel right in front of class. Can they do this spat somewhere more private? The class must be enjoying this. Oh, so Treize transferred just in time to be Lillia’s dance partner.

Peace Only Exists Because Of The Presence Of Love
WTF???!!! WHAT THE F*CK WAS THAT ‘HILARIOUS’ MIND BOGGLING FINAL EPISODE???!!! It felt unsatisfying. It felt like a joke. It didn’t feel like a proper ending because it was so rushed just to give us a so called good happy ending. So how the f*ck did Treize survive that crash? Oh, he must have jumped off the train because if he can jump in, he certainly can jump out without taking injuries too, no? Oh, better still. I think Treize is an angel so he spread his angelic wings last moment to fly away!!! He probably got stuck in some pine tree and that’s why he was missing for a while!!! HAHAHA!!! Prisoner #42? Nobody cares about him so don’t bother. With Treize’s sudden return without any proper explanation, it somewhat ruined the experience of watching this series. Not to say that it is bad (not that it is good either) but it was so rushed like as though the producers ran out of budget and decided to throw in everything they could think of so that poor Lillia won’t be the only one sitting out alone during her dance party. F*ck yeah, just dance with your mama then! Oh well, what’s done is done.

Having said all that, there are lots of many dumb and mind boggling things that defy logic here (yeah, the last episode takes the cake on everything). Sometimes you want to let it slide and pass because you know, it’s anime! It’s supposed to be fantasy so okay. One or two maybe. But having it so frequent just had me thinking that this is really plot convenience here. For instance, when Sou Beil and Roxche were at war and at an uneasy truce, how come there are no soldiers stationed on either side of the border Lutoni River? That was why Allison and Wil could easily fly over and chase after that old man. You’d think that there would be at least soldiers patrolling along the river that serves as both countries’ natural border but nope. It’s like a virgin jungle that no men has ever set foot. I don’t know how long this river flows and from what I know, perhaps Ikstova somehow borders in between somewhere. Because that hidden valley was the real kicker. I mean, this shows that none of the nations have a clear idea about their borders. Sure, even if the place was kept hidden by the royalty, do you not think those warring nations would have at least tried to scout for ways? So close, yet so far. Right under your noses. Goes to show they don’t really hate each other and perhaps going to war then was just their pastime. Haha. Just kidding. I can go on a few more paragraphs about the dumb logic here but I don’t want to ruin my sentiments for this retro anime as the last anime already took a lot of HP points. Yet. Because if people can go to war over the dumbest reason like arguing over the origins of mankind only to later find out they’re the same and then suddenly let’s be friends… Yeah…

The stories aren’t the best or mind blowing in the world or even if you try to rank the best stories among all animes in history. But they’re pretty satisfying thanks to the mini arcs they are being divided to. At least, this small bite size is enough for us viewers to munch and digest before moving on to the next arc. While I find it unique that the series is divided into 2 big arcs (hence the name of the series), somehow I find that Lillia’s arc is nearly and almost (but not perfectly) similar to Allison’s arc. Like as though Allison’s spirit continues to live on and is now embodied in Lillia. Well, that is somewhat true since the latter is her daughter. But what I mean is that, while it isn’t exactly history repeating itself, the stories do you not see are somewhat familiar? Just in a different form. Or in this case, the next generation. During Allison’s time, there was an incident that would change Ikstova, right? Yup. Then in Lillia’s arc, we revisit Ikstova again for another incident. Thankfully, nothing that would change the nation’s history. And then there’s the train arc. You got that right. 2 train related stories here.

And sometimes certain plots don’t get resolved like remember that Morceau guy? What happened to him after that seaplane hijack incident? Last we heard was that he flew the coop by the time the authorities stormed his cabin. So he went missing and was never caught? So nobody is going to bring justice to what those orphans just experienced? Oh wait. They had a swell time. So I guess we’ll overlook that. And did that Terol guy committed suicide? That rich chicken guy killed himself? My guts tell me somebody else did him in… But who cares about bad guys, right? Not even Prisoner #42, the best character ever because he got Treize to confess to Lillia… And it would have been a successful one if not for that meddling Allison-Travas combo flying n! Just like the dumb logics of this series, I can go on a few more paragraphs but I think it’s time to move on.

The main characters are pretty okay. Allison and Lillia are really spunky and feisty as young girls and the guys seem a bit like wuss. Very evident in Wil because this guy looks more like the indoors type of bookworm despite being a sharpshooting ace. While Treize fares a bit better in his manliness than Wil, unfortunately he still feels as weak as f*ck compared to his crush. So, uhm, having him ride a sidecar is as closest as he could get being seen as a badass? Heck, even his sister Merielle is more badass than him despite being naggy and pushy. But that is expected when you have a brother who is this indecisive and soft. Because if he can’t even have the balls to confess his feelings to the girl he loves (I know, lots of guys are nervous when it comes to confession but still, we expect this prince to add least be brave in this sense!) and somewhat using that marriage thingy as an excuse to just delay, I think you can pretty much see where this is going.

As I’ve said about Lillia being a reincarnation of Allison, I guess Lillia takes after her mom in character but her hair and eye colour from dad. I think Lillia also got part of that clueless and density from Wil since I feel that she is the only one who doesn’t know about Treize’s true identity. And this guy taking his time to tell her… Dude, if you wait till the time is right, there will never be such a time! And now that God has given him a second chance, will he confess everything for real or will he wait for another life threatening incident that puts Lillia in danger for him to spill the beans? I’m sure Lillia will love you for who you are since you know, you’ve both been so long together. But better for Lillia, because he is the prince of Ikstova, right? Oh girl, you won the lottery big time. Nobody gets to punch the prince of Ikstova in the gut or give a flying kick and gets away with it! Many times! She’ll get even more pass for that if she marries him.

Hence the dynamic relationship between Allison-Wil as well as Lillia-Treize is amusing but yet annoying to watch. They have great chemistry together and they have managed to overcome a lot of obstacles with each other but only thanks to plot conveniences that includes making enemies dumber are the reason why they’re still breathing today. It is that same chemistry that might bug a few (like yours truly) since obviously they like each other but some sort of silly pride and nervousness prevents them from going all out and be an official couple. You want them to be together but if that happened, it will all seem too easy. Allison’s failed attempts to get Wil to be naughty to her only backfires and I believe Wil might be just be a good poker player in being a dense character. No wonder he is so good as Travas.

Meanwhile Treize continues to fumble with Lillia about himself. Better hurry. Deadline for this 20th birthday is nearing… Is it because of Ikstova’s weird royalty child policy that gives Treize and excuse to run around without close bodyguards and do as he wish? I see Fiona hasn’t rescinded this stupid law when she became queen… Also lots of funny quips between these pairs in the next episode preview. Mostly one is talking about something and the other would refute. They’re both on different pages and the revelation is the punch line. For example, the penultimate episode has Lillia being shocked about the truth as Treize tries to calm her down and be frank about it. Guess what? She’s shocked because the next episode is the last! Hmm… Since Lillia is handling Treize’s initial confession as a prince pretty well, I wonder if the real shocker will come if she learns who her real father is. I am afraid this might lead her to have trust issues since everyone close to her harbours secrets and what did I say about Lillia always being in the dark? Treize is a prince? Travas is my dad? Mom and dad are good friends with the Ikstova royalty? Damn, there is only so much a girl can take…

When one throws away his normal life to become a secret agent who will protect the peace of the world in secret, this means also changing one’s looks? I guess this is only correct because you don’t want to be recognized by people whom you know in the past. With Oscar/Stork/Icacia truly changed his appearance into a really unrecognizable one, the same fate befell on Wil/Travas (see what I mean when I said stories of both big arcs are familiar? This is another example). Wil really changed into a different man. He was no longer the wuss we all knew. He really manned up. I guess before I could start thinking down the episodes about the conspiracy that Allison was being thirsty for a guy to fill in her lonely heart and that it could be Wil masquerading as Travas, they make the revelation faster in the next episode to indicate Travas is indeed Wil. Heh.

At least I can’t blame Allison for cheating on Wil. Because Allison being Allison did ‘warn’ Travas about cheating on her with Ax as his right hand woman. Because she’ll fly and ram her plane into him!!! OMG! That’s the funniest and most epic revenge story I want to see! But Allison now as a mom (I wonder how she still keeps a freaking awesome slender body) is more toned down and like as though she passed all that feistiness to her daughter. Yes, people. Lillia is Allison v2. Thus this anime is also called Allison To Allison… Just joking… Benedict and Fiona as the other main characters don’t really do much. They just play supporting roles and perhaps the only shocking thing you’ll remember them is how they have no qualms in showing their love for each other. Hey, they’re the king and queen of Ikstova! They do what they want!

Unfortunately as I have said in my opening paragraph, I wanted to see some cool aerial flights. Sure, this series has a bit of planes being featured but well, yeah I blame myself for expecting despite warning myself not to put high expectations. I noticed during Allison’s arc, there were at least more plane flying scenes compared to Lillia’s arc. Even so, they’re just mediocre. Better stop talking about this to avoid being further ‘depressed’. As for the action bits, sometimes they are laughable. As I have previously said, it feels like as though it is for plot convenience. So much so this kind of logic or physics could only be acceptable in cartoons like Looney Tunes. I mean, it is not that cartoonish but you’d expect some sort of logic but they betray that and just go for it. Like that Travas jumping from a moving train to take control of a driverless jeep. That has its tyre blown out!!! Wow. This guy is definitely the top agent. It’s sad but somewhat a good thing this guy chose his duty and happiness of everyone rather than his own.

Art and animation feel pretty dated. This is after all an anime that came out in 2009. Characters look one kind although some like Allison and Lillia look cute. Round eyes. Round face… I don’t think I got used to Benedict changing his appearance from a clean shaven handsome young major to some shaggy bearded dude who looks like as though he is some rugged cowboy or something. On second thought, maybe this looks make him more mature. This series was animated by Madhouse who animated lots of other favourites like No Game No Life, One Punch Man, Overlord, Btooom, Highschool Of The Dead, Death Note, Black Lagoon, Trigun and Claymore.

Here is another reason why I keep saying Lillia is the reincarnation of Allison. Both are voiced by Nana Mizuki in her trademark cutie voice. I think it has been a long time since I have heard her voicing a main character for this duration. I don’t want to go so far as say she gets more loads of work compared to others for voicing 2 different main characters across the series but she’s doing a fine job in voicing them. And of course, because of that, it always feels like Lillia is a, wait for it, a reincarnation of Allison. Just change the hair and eye colour and voila! New character! When Allison became a mom, she is voiced by Houko Kuwashima (Sango in Inu Yasha). I guess this is for differentiation purpose. It would be really weird if Nana Mizuki voiced mommy Allison. 3 Nana Mizuki characters! I won’t be surprise since she can also do another lower voice but I guess that would be too much for her to handle. Maybe?

And oh yes, my favourite Mamiko Noto voicing Fiona might not have a lot of screen time compared to the other main characters, but at least she isn’t being killed off!!! Phew. That is still a trauma for me after all these years… The only other character I recognized is Sho Hayami as Nihito. There are many seiyuus lending their voice here due to the sheer amount of minor and extra characters. Some even voicing multiple characters because after all, can you really identify characters who only speak a few lines and then never seen again. Here’s the list of the selected casts: Motoko Kumai as Wil (Ginta in MAR), Hiroyuki Yoshino as Treize (Meow in Space Dandy), Kouichi Yamadera as Benedict (Ryoga in Ranma 1/2), Toshiyuki Morikawa as Travas (Julius in Black Clover), Chika Fujimura as Matilda (Haruka in Guilty Crown), Chiwa Saito as Merielle (Senjougahara in the Monogatari series), Rie Tanaka as Claire (Suigin Tou in Rozen Maiden), Tokuyoshi Kawashima as Prisoner #42 (William in Emma: A Victorian Romance), Megumi Toyoguchi as Ax (Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist), Misato Fukuen as Carlo (Hime in Yozakura Quartet) and Hideyuki Tanaka as Oscar/Stork/Icacia (Doflamingo in One Piece).

The opening theme, Tameiki No Hashi by Kuricorder Quartet and Shione Yukawa although sounds like a calming ballad from a medieval time, sometimes I can’t help that some parts of the tune feel creepy (the beginning) since it sounds like some ominous hymn. Sometimes I also feel that because of the slow nature of the song, it is as though the singer is holding back on her soprano voice. She sounds like she has potential to reach higher and longer notes but the song doesn’t permit her. For the ending theme, Sayonara No Omajinai by Kuricorder Quartet and Sou Matsumoto, despite being a slightly livelier piece (still a slow ballad, though), the singer’s voice makes the song sound a bit gay…

Overall, this might not be the best show in any field or genre. Despite a lot of dumb logic moments (even though some of those mind boggling moments are later tried to be explained to cover the mind boggling-ness but still fail), it is still entertaining and enjoyable. No spectacular aerial flights, mediocre fight scenes, cheesy character romance that sometimes feel like it wants to annoy you just because, average storyline and plot, that really bad and rushed final episode… Wow. I make it sound like it is a bad anime. But don’t worry, at least it is not an isekai anime (gasp!) and with Smartphone (double gasp!!!). Those dumb moments at least make me smirk and go WTF (the good one, instead of the irritable one). Thanks to people like Wil/Travas giving up their own comfort in life to protect the peace from the shadows, it’s the reason why people like you and me are able to watch such animes with peace and even talk crap about it. And ironically we won’t sacrifice our anime and manga to make the world a better place…

Isekai Quartet

September 7, 2019

Oh God. The isekai genre is so freaking popular these days that in order to do the ultimate isekai series, here it is, the mother of all crossovers, Isekai Quartet. Four of the most popular isekai animes recently, Overlord, Youjo Senki, Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu and Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo somehow come together in this epic mash-up to relive their life in yet another world. School life, that is. And in chibi form too. I guess when life is too tough in the world you were sent to, they give you a chance of respite by sending you to another world. Because Japanese high school life is supposed to be the best time in one’s life, right? Unless it causes more stress and tension due to the vastly different culture and tradition. But can they smash all that difference and work together as one? That is what school life is for, right?

Episode 1
It’s already bad enough Kazuma has to put up with another one of Aqua’s complaints. Then he finds a weird button inside his bag. Meanwhile Ains is having a briefing with his Nazarick guardians when Demiurge reports the sighting of a strange phenomenon regarding buttons. Ains orders to take precautions. Kazuma tries to stop Aqua from pushing the button but it is Megumin who did it. Now they are warping into another world! As Ains sits back on his throne, he didn’t know he sat on the button. Warp time! Both sides find themselves in the school compound. Confused, it is going to get more confusing when they are ushered in as class is about to beginning. Also in this class is Tanya and her unit. She too is troubled over how this happened. She was testing a new prototype when it went wrong. The only way to abort was to press the button. Which button?! Schugel insisted there was only 1 button and so Tanya pressed both of them. Now that she is here, is this another test from Being X? Finally, the last group now comes in. It’s Subaru and his girls. Some going crazy at this weirdness, some in shock, some trying to stay positive. School life is fun, they say…

Episode 2
Roswaal is their teacher and he lays down the simple ground rules for their school life. Ains asks if he does not wish to participate in this and he is replied that there is no choice. For there will be punishments if there are violations. The class’ first task is to introduce each other. You bet it is going to be chaotic. For example, Kazuma briefly introduces all his girls rather than letting them do it by themselves because you know, it will take forever if they do it on their own to make it sound so epic. At the end of the day as Ains and his Nazarick guardians are walking home, they are being confronted by Aqua. She is not happy that there is another being who calls himself God as well as a myriad of undead creatures. She zaps him and WTF it causes Ains pain?! Though, still not effective enough to kill him. It ends only when Kazuma beats her up and takes her away, apologizing for the troubles caused. This has Ains to ponder a goddess was able to hurt him and yet a human beat up a goddess. This world has serious balance issues! Next day, Aqua is punished to stand outside the hallway while carrying water. Well, she is the water goddess after all.

Episode 3
Tanya narrates she would have really loved this school life had not the situation makes everything look baffling. Monsters as classmates, Rudersdorf as principal and Zettour as his vice, even the battlefield makes more sense than this! She remembers Roswaal warning Albedo wanting to get revenge on Aqua but Demiurge explains what he noticed why the school rules must be observed. Basically if they break it, they will not be able to return to their world. This makes sense to Tanya but I don’t think the upcoming hidden annual show for them to be closer friends is going to sit well with her. As Beatrice gets ‘teased’ by Koenig and Neumann as a little girl, she storms into the teacher’s room to complain to Roswaal. As he is not in, only Rerugen is around. She has not accepted all that is around her and demands to see Roswaal. It seems Rerugen’s words hypnotizes her to calm down and obey. Tanya thinks that Ains could be Being X and confronts him to have a private talk. This sets Albedo on rage mode, thinking she wants to seduce his beloved Ains. With Rem somewhat agreeing love knows no bounds, Albedo quickly becomes friends with her. Too late as Ains leaves with Tanya and Albedo can’t follow since Rerugen’s class is going to start.

Episode 4
At the park, Tanya accuses Ains as Being X. Of course he denies and soon points out if Tanya comes from Earth and more specifically Japan. Because of this ‘similarity’, they become good friends. It’s hard to think that Tanya is actually a salaryman and Ains a gamer guy-cum-programmer, right? Right at the moment the bell rings to signal school is over, Albedo and Viktoriya rush out to go get their comrade. Tanya sees Viktoriya and ends the conversation. She leaves a note that the food here in this world tastes good but unfortunately for Ains, he can’t eat. He then notices a very jealous Albedo stalking behind the trees. Barely keeping her rage in check… Next day, Rerugen is in shock. Did Tanya just smile? Never happened in their world, right? As Subaru is running late, she has Rem carry him. He isn’t the only guy being carried by a girl as Kazuma is letting Darkness to the same but he has no shame in doing so. Once the guys see each other, they realize they just need to get to school on their own feet. Unfortunately they are just a second too late. As they are being punished, both guys could tell they come from Japan. Best friends now. As they talk on about everything, it is only when Subaru starts talking about how great his harem that Kazuma starts getting jealous. He declares him the enemy and accuses him for having such a great harem compared to his. Some guys have all the luck, huh?

Episode 5
Roswaal will randomly draw a name from the box and he/she will perform his talent. First up is… Rerugen! I suppose he must lead by example since he is their teacher. So what does he do? Sing the national anthem? Lame. Nobody impressed. Maybe except Darkness. How embarrassing. Somebody please kill him. Then we have Subaru doing some lame cat’s cradle out of Tokyo Tower followed by Rem smashing a watermelon with her mace (hitting Rerugen in the process). WTF Weiss tries to strip himself but luckily Tanya puts a stop to this shamefulness. Darkness wants a volunteer to whip her to show she has a strong body so for some odd reason, Grantz volunteers. Since she is pestering him and looking so forward, this leaves Grantz in a lurch and everybody starts calling this poor guy a scumbag. Even his own comrades. Aqua wants to vaporize everybody but is stopped by Kazuma. Hence Roswaal considers her talent being idiotic with Kazuma as her show. Megumin wants to do her explosion so Roswaal prepares a target outside. Indeed the most impressive explosion. This in turn has Ains wants to show off his. So he uses his magic to make it snow. Super impressive.

Episode 6
It’s that time that every class must have: Elect a class rep. With the Nazarick team vouching for Ains, only Aqua opposes. Quarrel ensued, of course. With Emilia also volunteering to be one, Roswaal starts the draw. Emilia becomes the class rep while the vices are Ains and Aqua. Of course this means Albedo and Aqua protesting. With Aqua threatening to quit, this means an open post. The Nazarick guardians now become enthusiastic to be serving next the Ains. In the end Albedo wins the lottery becoming the vice with Ains. Other roles are: Animal care (Subaru, Aura, Aqua); Disciplinary (Tanya, Demiurge, Kazuma); Lunch (Ram, Viktoriya); Library (Beatrice, Mare); Gym (Cocytus, Darkness, Weiss, Koenig, Nuemann); Nurse (Rem, Shalltear) and Intercom (Megumin, Grantz). Demiurge once again comes up with the deduction that all of them are in different groups so as to gather info for Ains for his world domination plan. Yeah. Let’s go with that. When Demiurge orders Kazuma and Tanya to kneel, it only has an effect on Kazuma. Also, Tanya’s orders seem to have an effect only on Kazuma too. Since Demiurge and Tanya are having the same opinions about rules, both of them get along very well together. Oh Kazuma, you’re always screwed wherever you go. Meanwhile Darkness is trying to take out her masochism before her gym committee. It just gets weirder and weirder…

Episode 7
Emilia feels tired after a hard day as a class rep. However she feels happy as nobody calls her a half-elf and of course she’s never been to school before so this is fun. Subaru narrates how he was taking care of Hamusuke in her pen and that giant hamster had the penchant of chewing on his head! Rem is upset because he was injured but didn’t come to see her at the infirmary to get treatment. Beatrice doesn’t think much of her librarian job. Just reading books all day. With Mare. Subaru teases her about making a new friend and this makes this princess throw a denying tantrum. Ains and Albedo are discussing with Emilia and agree with her plan to do an activity that involves making school fun for everyone. With Roswaal announcing the upcoming field trip to the beach, Ains gets this idea to do an activity that all can participate. Emilia is motivated and gives off her best smile.

Episode 8
Ains chairs the class to discuss about their beach trip. Does anyone oppose this? Not unless you’re Aqua! Opposing for the sake of opposing? She really does have a bone to pick with Ains, eh? She only relents when Emilia says it is her idea and wants everybody to get along. Everyone discusses the activities they’d be doing but when it comes to night activities, certain females get turned on fantasizing about the other kind of ‘night activities’. Kazuma suggests kimodameshi but Subaru opposes. There are real monsters in this class, right? Unwittingly he exposes his own ulterior motive to get some sexy fanservice scene of feeling their boobs in jump scares. Eventually everyone agrees on it. I guess that is because pure Emilia doesn’t know what it means. Yeah, it sounded great but she doesn’t know how ‘scary’ the truth is… We see Albedo and Shalltear shopping for swimsuits. For Ains. Then Aqua shows up. Oh dear. B*tch fight on the cards? Luckily Kazuma is here to remind them about getting along. Kazuma gets turned on when he realizes Albedo is a succubus. Shalltear then whispers to him some embarrassing secrets that makes Albedo seething in anger. Something about she is supposed to seduce men but finds herself being seduced by Ains. Amazingly it is Aqua who butts in and lectures that it doesn’t matter who you are as long as you’re in love. She’s a real goddess for once. Then she hints about Shalltear wearing pads. That’s bad because it’s like lying to others. Now it’s Albedo’s turn to have the last laugh and Shalltear seething with anger wanting to kill Aqua. Patience, my vampire girl…

Episode 9
The beach trip is here. Tanya’s men think this is their reward after fighting hard in the battlefield. Until Cocytus tells them to give him 1000 push ups! Darkness also joins in and as expected her depraved mind hopes she’ll be exhausted and the men do something unthinkable to her body. Maybe those men are satisfied in just staring at her boobs… Kazuma tries to peep on girls but Demiurge flashes him to temporary blindness. I don’t think he flashed his monster dick… After loads of fun in the day, it’s time for kimodameshi at night. Nothing scary happens. Well, with monsters and far worst things that happened in their world, this is relatively tame. Aqua is in the same group as Ains, Subaru and Tanya. She notes how all of them are from Earth since Kazuma is also from there. After all, she is the one who sent him to his world. This statement makes Tanya lose her sh*t. OMG! Did she go full Super Saiyan?! With Aqua reduced to chicken sh*t, Tanya is absolutely mad that she is Being X. Luckily Ains and Subaru calms her down that this so called Being X can’t be as weak as this self-proclaimed goddess. They got a point. Sorry for getting worked up. That forced knocked out some of Tanya’s men so she berates them for lacking mental discipline. Aqua complains to Kazuma that nobody believed her as a goddess and they got mad when they did. Probably she deserved it. Ains noticed Subaru managed to withstand Tanya’s rage. In Nazarick, only those level 8 or higher can tolerate that. He wonders what kind of mental stress he used to live under.

Episode 10
The sports festival will soon be here. Roswaal motivates his class to win because the reward might be returning to their worlds. However, who are they going to rival with? Roswaal points out the other class besides them. So if you’re wondering why you don’t see other characters like the Pleiades Maids, Reinhard and Chris, yeah they’re in this class. Subaru, Ains and Tanya discuss their chances against these characters in their rival class when they overheard Chris talking to Kazuma and his girls that if you die in this world, you will not revive. This makes Subaru wonder if his curse is still relevant. Not sure what he did to Tanya’s ears but looks like his curse is still alive and well. But it also causes Hamusuke to run amok? With Ains rallying his class to win, however the only person against it all is Kazuma. He is fine staying in this world and doesn’t mind being a lazy scumbag. This is when Tanya snaps and will have him undergo some harsh training. Tanya and Puck rain magic on him. Not so lazy now, huh? Kazuma using all his energy to dodge and run. Even Megumin wants to join in the fun. Look out for some explosions!!!

Episode 11
Sports festival is here. Yunyun approaches Megumin who at first pretends not to know her. Yunyun is then spammed with the usual Megumin cockiness and is being told off if she even knows what to do and has friends to help her. So apparently there is a third class? The games start as we see snippets of it. The main rivalry is between the first and second class until before the final game is to be played, it is announced the winner will get 100 million points! Yeah, everything they played for was for nought, eh? The final match is kibasen but only 4 are chosen to represent their class. We have Tanya-Ains-Subaru-Kazuma on one side and the other consisting of Felt-Reinhard-Julius-Chris. And if you’re wondering about Yunyun, yeah, she is the only person in the third class. No wonder we don’t see her class participate in any games… However, surprise teacher team of Roswaal-Vanir-Pandora-Rerugen join in last minute. Hence both classes agree to cooperate to take down this menace before resuming their fight. All have their tricks up their sleeves but with the teacher’s team slightly at a disadvantaged, Rudersdorf and Zettour decide to unleash a giant robo spider to aid them. Beat that!

Episode 12
At least they have a chance to beat it. Not destroy it but as long as they take off its headband, they win. Of course it won’t be easy since it is so powerful and the teachers are putting up resistance. Julius and Reinhard discuss with Subaru to split their jobs. It seems the former duo will handle the teachers and they’ll leave the spider up to Subaru’s team! Why are the most powerful characters handling the easiest opponents? Something about not wanting to steal the limelight… But remember, we have the powerful Ains. So after unleashing his brand of magic, he throws his teammates into the air. Then he summons the undead to protect everyone. The trio are now flying towards the spider. Subaru sounds like he is going to sacrifice himself but that’s okay. His ability is to revive, right? He did just that for the rest to fly further but luckily the undead save him. Now it’s Kazuma’s turn to give Tanya her final push as he claims luck is his best ability. Well, I take that as long as it is not luck with girls. With all that, Tanya is able to steal the spider’s headband and win it for her team. In the aftermath, looks like they are still stuck in this world. Roswaal reminds them that he only said maybe. With them resigning to their fate of staying in this world a little longer, they think it is not a bad idea since they are having fun. Then Roswaal introduces new transfer students…

School Daze – Nippon Koukousei Banzai!
I guess the only logic that since everybody is having so much fun, they can’t return to their own worlds yet and thus this warrants another season! Hooray! Banzai for another season of chibi comedy isekai crossover! Uh huh. They did a lot of standard and typically cliché Japanese high school stuffs but they haven’t done everything yet. That is why the cliché transfer student trope as the surprise and shocking ending twist that leaves us hanging means we have to come back next season to find out more, right? Only then when all of them had their high school fun, their graduation means returning to their original worlds. Yeah, they’ll have so much fun, make so many close bonds that they’ll start crying and not want to leave each other. Sob, sob. Oh yeah. I can see this coming from a mile already. Assuming this speculation of mine comes true, that is.

If Avengers: Infinity War was the ultimate crossover for the Marvel universe, I guess this series is the anime equivalent. Although there is literally no real storyline and that everything is just random and light hearted, it still helps if you know the characters and the series that they come from. Not to say that you will totally miss out on anything if you did not see one or any of the other series but you would seemingly understand why some of the characters act so. Like for example why Kazuma is the only one among the main character quartet who is being ‘mistreated’ by his loser harem. Those who watched Overlord would definitely understand the subtle b*tch rivalry between Albedo and Shalltear. Among the cute maids, there is a reason why Ram treats Subaru coldly compared to her twin, Rem. But don’t worry, as I’ve said if you have not watched any one of these series, you won’t be at a total lost. Everything is meant to be funny and light hearted so nothing really serious in expecting any sort of drastic change in the characters.

I’m glad that the epic crossover is confined to these popular isekai series. Because imagine if they had crossovers from other crappy isekai series or do another series incorporating those sh*tty animes, it would have been a total disaster. Can you imagine if there was a crossover on shows like Isekai Wa Smartphone To Tomo Ni, Hyakuren No Haou To Seiyaku No Valkyria, Death March Kara Hajimari Isekai Kyousoukyoku, Kenja No Mago and even Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken. It would have been an absolute disaster! Imagine these overpowered main characters getting together and owning it all in this alternate high school world is one thing, imagine again bringing their damn harem over! Damn, this world is going to be filled with overpowered cheesiness and girls! Babes, babes everywhere!!! So I’m happy we have popular and amazing isekai series for this crossover and not those sh*tty ones. I hope I didn’t give those producers any weird ideas! Because I sure hope these characters from these crappy animes aren’t the hinted transfer students!!! Say it isn’t so!!!

Still weird when you think that a high school setting is used. Sure, as said, high school days are the most fun in a Japanese kid’s life, right? RIGHT?! However as you can see, many characters here don’t really need high school or go to high school at all. The Nazarick floor guardians, Kazuma’s harem, Subaru’s harem and Tanya’s military dudes. Just take a look at them. Do they really need school? Monsters, fantasy babes and military guys all coming together to experience something they don’t need because it is not applicable in their lives back in their original world. A sad reminder that what we mostly learn in school aren’t applicable in real adult life… :’(. Good thing we see them having fun like field trips and sports festival. No homework too. Because seriously, if they are supposed to be studying for a test… What test?! For what purpose they need to receive an ‘A’???!!! Totally weird. But whatever. Three cheers for high school life! Now we need a crazily powerful student council body as the ruling autocratic dictatorship to fight against…

Despite all the familiar characters from the 4 series, unfortunately there isn’t enough screen time to let them all have their proper limelight. Uh huh. Me nit-picking that there are too many characters! While the main quartet like Ains, Tanya, Subaru and Kazuma get the bulk of the limelight (since they are the faces who represent their respective series), some mostly fall to the wayside and aren’t as memorable like Beatrice and Tanya’s men. Don’t expect to see any sort of character development because what’s the use of having so when everything is just for fun. Part of the fun sees how the characters try to get along despite coming from different worlds. Some try to do their best and assimilate like sweet dear Emilia, others doing it because their superior says so (Tanya’s men and the Nazarick floor guardians) and some just simply opposing and be a pain in the ass. Like Aqua. Although I can’t say they are 100% compatible but at least we can see them get along without turning this into a battle royale bloodshed. Oh yeah. Thank goodness it didn’t. Just when you think other characters in those series won’t appear, surprise! Another class! Oh boy. This is really getting crowded for one small but epic crossover.

If there was the most dislikeable character, it would be Aqua because even in another world, she still tries to be a b*tch and pick fights especially with Ains for whatever dumb reasons. Then she becomes a total chicken when she starts losing. That’s so Aqua for you. I guess some things don’t change. Albedo is also a b*tch herself but at least she obeys Ains. Aqua is like a loose cannon that not even Kazuma could control. Not that he really wants to care anyway. And then there are characters who are meant to be losers or the punching bag. Aside Kazuma, we have the lately introduced Yunyun (poor girl, still trying to be Megumin’s friend-cum-rival in another world – they really set he character up to be a pitiful loser) and Rerugen himself (always getting the raw end of the stick among the teachers if you noticed).

I’m not sure watching this series is meant to hype us up for any upcoming sequels (other than this one). Because the most I can see is the second season of Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (date yet to be confirmed) as well as the prequel movie. Then there is also a movie for Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo movie but it might be just me as I don’t see as much hype for the former. Youjo Senki’s movie just came out before this series aired. Oh damn, you mean this movie was the sequel to the TV series that I was hoping for another season? Not sure if I can sit through 2 hours of little evil girl… But the most anticipated series that I would love to see have another season is Overlord. Nope. Still no fourth season. Grrr!!!

The art and animation look great and of course with the characters in chibi mode, everything looks cute. But those who have watched these series other than their main TV series would be of no surprise with how these characters look in their chibi form. For instance, the characters of Overlord already have their chibi style in the Pleiades Maid’s special. Youjo Senki too have their chibi parody called Youjo Shenki. Remember those Break Time specials for Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu? I guess only Kono Subarashii Sekai Ni Shukufuku Wo only didn’t have their chibi versions, so uhm, welcome to the club? This series is animated by Studio Puyukai who specializes in chibi shorts. As you have guessed, they did the chibi specials of these anime series here as well as the chibi specials in Madan No Ou To Vanadis, Suisei No Gargantia, Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou and Kaijuu Girls.

For an epic crossover like this, it needs to have a really epic theme song. And nothing sounds really better and epic than this song that is of the same name of the series. Sung by the main quartet and faces of each of the 4 series, there is this frenzy pace to match all that greatness. But is it just me that there is one stretch of the song that sounds a bit like some Christmas shopping commercial? I don’t know. That thought comes to mind first when I heard that part. The ending theme isn’t as epic but doesn’t sound too shabby either. Isekai Girls Talk is a quartet piece by Emilia, Aqua, Albedo and Tanya. I guess they had to replace the guys for the ending but since Tanya is the only main female, it’s like she won the lottery and managed to sing for both themes – I guess Viktoriya doesn’t sound good, huh? This song has synthesizer effects and sometimes sounds close to those techno dance songs. Maybe it would if they hasten the beat and add more blaring synthesizer effects. Hollow Veil by Nonoc is a special ending theme song to complement Ains’ special snow magic as it is a nice and lovely slow ballad.

Overall, even if this is an epic mash-up, it is only in terms of fun, light heartedness and comedy level. I mean, compare this to Avengers: Infinity War, it’s easy to see which is one his seriously more epic, right? It has been a while since we have had a funny and satisfying crossover like this. Oh, you don’t remember Carnival Phantasm? But Carnival Phantasm is mainly characters from the same universe of their creators (Type-Moon). Something like Tsubasa Chronicle and those under the CLAMP name. But Isekai Quartet is a little different. They are characters from different creators and the only similarity they have in this sense is that they are all published by the same manga publisher, Kadokawa. Still much better than that One Piece x Toriko x Dragonball crossover still…

With another season confirmed, they could add other awesome series as well to the mix. Then they’ll have to change their name to Isekai Quintet or Sextet, Septet, Octet, Nonet or even Dectet! Hell, Centitet! That’s 100, for your information. But let’s not overdo this crossover thingy because adding too many worlds might dilute its worth and then explode since the world is not big enough to cram in everything. That’s why classes are more effective if they are smaller in size compared to having stadium level ones. Still, all of us could learn a lesson from a classroom like this one. Because it is so inclusive and has cultural diversity! Diversity is our strength! With such badass characters like these, you bet they’ll whoop your ass right back to your alternate universe safe space.

Senryuu Shoujo

September 6, 2019

I guess this must be a slow season, huh? Not much animes for me to watch hence I decided that this seemingly poetic anime, Senryuu Shoujo should be on my watch list for this season. You know, I’m not a guy into poems, haiku and furthermore this senryuu type of poem that is supposed to be some variation of haiku. Yeah, I only learnt that while I was deciding to watch this anime. Let me Google what the heck senryuu means… Ah… I see… So why the heck do I want to watch a show that is about a girl who only communicates by writing down her thoughts in senryuu style? Kana Hanazawa… Ah… Time to get nostalgic over that cutely retarded sweet voice.

Episode 1
Nanako Yukishiro doesn’t talk. Instead, she writes her thoughts on paper. This is because her thoughts are always jumbled up so by writing it down, she limits the words and helps keep things straight. So what about those that she can’t write? Body action. I hope others don’t get the wrong idea. Not speaking up has its downfalls too. Like she can’t order exactly the food she wants nor remember to tell the chef not to include certain ingredients. Can’ she just write as always? Then there is Eiji Busujima who is the infamous delinquent. Many are scared of him but not Nanako. It seems they are both in the literature club. Eiji tries to make a good impression around Nanako’s friends but often comes off as scary. So the literature club president, Amane Katagiri thinks he should try using senryuu format. May need some improvement. Then they discuss this month’s senryuu theme and Nanako cheekily writes Amane’s 3 sizes. How poetic. We see Eiji’s reason to join this club. He was often fighting and was fed up with it. So when he declared he wanted to turn over a new leaf, he sounded very poetic. But with others still afraid of him, Eiji doesn’t want Nanako to walk near him for fear others would fear her too. However she doesn’t mind. As long she is with him, what they think is irrelevant. Too bad that sounded like some sort of love confession and Nanako got embarrassed after Eiji pointed it out.

Episode 2
Koto Ootsuki enters Eiji’s class to hand him his forgotten gym clothes. Everyone is shocked this delinquent has a hot older sister! The literature club brainstorms ideas to help Eiji be popular. Listing one of the areas he could improve on: His habit of rolling his eyes when he is deep in thought! Koto then marches in to see how he is doing. We find out Koto isn’t his biological sister but his childhood friend. Ah yes… Amane wonders the club she is in: American armed forces combat club. Don’t mess with her! When Eiji and Nanako eat together, he notes her stomach getting a little round in the middle! WTF he said that to a girl?! Oh right, he’s a bit crude. Nanako asks her younger brother, Hiro about it and dad panics because if she is dieting, does this mean she has a boy she likes?! Nanako sees Koto to help diet. I don’t know what kind of training Koto is giving her because it looks like she is trying to snap her neck?! A week later, Eiji is worried seeing Nanako confront him with a serious face. She then puts his hand on her tummy. Is it flatter now? Awkward. Amane walks home with Koto and asks if she has a boyfriend since she is quite pretty. Koto teases her that she is trying to hit on her. Koto remains humble and thinks there are other girls prettier than her. As for someone she likes, this has her remember when she first met Eiji. Crude and rude even as a young boy. She then taught him some manners to at least address her as onee-san as she is older than him.

Episode 3
The senryuu theme today would be about the amusement park. Yeah, lots of fond memories. Hence Amane suggests they all go together on their next day off. When Nanako is picking a dress for tomorrow’s outing, as usual, father gets really sad. That day when Nanako is going away is inching closer. Oh…Oh… Oh… Such a crying shame… Eiji meets up with Nanako at the amusement park. Then Amane texts in that she can’t come as she is busy. Busy spying on them, that is! I guess this is more fun for her. Only if she didn’t dress so suspiciously. So I guess it is Nanako and Eiji themselves, huh? We see them take a few rides, each time Eiji is the one getting sick. Nanako is a cool cat. Then there is this rabbit mascot giving his lucky charm kiss to everyone. Unfortunately he gave one to Eiji and looking at his fierce face, he apologizes by licking his shoes! WTF?! Don’t ruin the image of all the kids watching! But Nanako is unhappy since his first kiss went to a mascot. She hinting something? Amane is enjoying every bit of this. Not only her but Koto too. Double the fun. The duo continue to have a blast and at the end of the day and it’s time to go home, when Nanako hints her shoelace is broken and she can’t walk home, dumb Eiji dismisses her because her shoes doesn’t have any shoelace! WTF?! I know. We’re as frustrated as Amane as she calls out to him. Busted…

Episode 4
For a few days, Eiji has this weird feeling that somebody is watching him. Could it be a ghost? Seriously, he is calling out to the ghost not to follow him? Amane teases what if the stalker is a really cute girl who wants to confess to him? You trying to panic Nanako? Oddly, Nanako asks what he would do if that happens. You mean he would turn her down? Nanako becomes embarrassed and then runs away. Eiji finally catches his stalker. Turns out to be Kino Yakobe. Just like Nanako, Kino has trouble speaking so she expresses herself via drawings. The story goes that Eiji dropped his handbook and she wanted to return it to him. However he is too scary to approach and hence she ended up following him. Eiji thanks her and invites her to hang out at the literature club sometimes. And here she is. Nanako and Kino become good friends thanks to their similar mode of ‘communication’. With Kino being passionate and good at drawing, they hope she can teach them. It starts off with Amane posing as a model for Eiji and Nanako to draw. Kino can’t make any decisions yet and wants to see more. So the duo sketch each other. Nanako feels embarrassed at Eiji starring at her but how come she can draw him without looking at him? Because she looks at him every day. She trying to hint something here? In the end, Kino gives them both full marks.

Episode 5
There seems to be a long queue to get a reading from a fortune teller. Even Koto has got hers. So when Eiji and Nanako pass by, Koto whispers something in Nanako’s ear about the reading that makes her burst into embarrassment. When it’s their turn, Nanako asks if they are compatible. Tao Hanakai takes their names and looks into her crystal ball. She is shocked to see them ill-suited for each other. However Eiji refutes it. As she tries to explain, Eiji realizes she misspelled his name and this has Tao realized wrong spellings could read to inaccuracies. She tries to read them again but Eiji passes. What about Nanako? She’s okay with the fact Eiji refuted. Tao reads again out of curiosity and sees they are the most compatible in the world. Eiji is shocked that Tao goes to their same school. She thinks she can fool people by changing the position of the bangs that cover her eye? She reads their fortune. While Nanako will have a good day, Eiji will be struck by lightning. At the sports centre, Eiji teaches Nanako how to play billiards. Thrust pole towards balls, aim for the holes! Classic senryuu! Then they go skating and Nanako seems quite happy when he grabs on to her hand. As they rest, Nanako feels hot so she takes off her shirt. Lucky thing she is wearing another underneath. Eiji never realizes her boobs were this big and got zapped by the electrifying sight. There’s his lightning strike for today.

Episode 6
Eiji has got a pet rabbit, Agu. Since Nanako wants to see it, he would have loved to bring her to his house. Only, he fears his parents will tease him about his ‘girlfriend’. So they’ll meet at the park instead. Meanwhile, Nanako’s insecure dad is reading on an article about teens in their rebellious phase. He is cocksure Nanako isn’t but to his horror she displays some of the symptoms like that evil stare (no contacts) and not responding to him (wearing earplugs). Say it isn’t so! So he thinks hard where he went wrong. Dig deep into those memories, papa. Then he makes a fool of himself trying to talk to her outside her room but she isn’t responding. That’s because she already went out! Then he tries to find out more from Hiro and gets even more a wrong idea that she will turn into a delinquent. Eiji brought Agu and his sister, Hanabi. Damn, Agu likes eating its own poo?! When Hanabi sits on Nanako’s lap and then offers her brother to do the same, Nanako eagerly looks forward to it! While Agu is distracting with his ‘machine gun poop’, Hanabi asks Nanako if she is Eiji’s girlfriend. Surprised at first, she replies she isn’t but it makes her happy that they look like that. Hanabi then asks if she is his mistress. No answer since it’s time to go home. With dad lamenting about Nanako’s rebellious phase, mom’s answer is to let her go for a while. That’s the taboo word that got dad riled up. Letting his treasure go?! Oh, if that’s the case, he is going to sever ties with Nanako! Can he do it? Because Nanako comes home and gives him cake. She also thanks him for being a great dad. Happy father’s day. Oh Nanako, you’re the best!!!! That’s my little girl.

Episode 7
Nanako hates rainy days since it messes with her hair. So Amane tells her a secret legend that if one shares an umbrella during a rainy day, they’ll forever be together. With that, Nanako loves rainy days. Although that was just a lie Amane concocted just so to see her smile. Eiji then comes to class almost soaked as he thinks it isn’t raining that hard for him to use his umbrella! So manly! Nanako manages to get him to walk back home with her afterwards. With the storm clearing up, the teacher hopes Nanako can help fix the rabbit shed since the storm recently destroyed it. No one else wanted to help because there’s a ‘monster’ waiting. No prizes to guess it is Eiji. Wearing bunny ears do not scare the bunnies? Okay. It worked. Tao tries to help out with her predictions but as Eiji moves the log, he has splinters all over his hands. He goes to the infirmary but Koto is playing the flirty nurse?! So he wants to ‘pull out’, eh? No problem… Eiji returns and Kino helps to design the hut. Isn’t this looking too majestic for a rabbit shed? After fixing it back, because of the loose hinges on the door, a few rabbits escape. Time to go rabbit hunting. Thankfully all of them are caught at the end of the day. With the storm here again, perfect chance for Nanako to pretend she forgot her umbrella and request to share with Eiji. Damn, Eiji forgot his too. Suddenly Amane comes rushing in to the rescue. Here. Borrow hers. And the both of them walk home together under an umbrella as Amane and Koto watch over them. Watching love stories of others is more exciting, eh?

Episode 8
Amane calls Tao for an important divination: To tell her which swimsuit will be the one to attract guys! I thought she prefer watching romance of others? This has Nanako mentioning she doesn’t have one since she has never been to the pool since she was young. That’s because she thinks swimsuits are like underwear and is embarrassed to get into them. There’s some truth in there… So the friends gather to go buy swimsuits. I don’t think it is Tao’s divination that tells us that this risqué string-like swimsuit is the best one to attract the guys. Meanwhile Eiji returns home and to his shock, Koto is waiting in his room in her swimsuit! Yeow! Sexy! Eiji tries to be a man by not looking at her skin?! WTF?! ARE YOU EVEN A MAN???!!! Of course she tricks him into opening his eyes. Back to the rest, looks like Amane is being a fashion critic trying to get Nanako a super sexy one. Tao ‘dies’ seeing how busty Nanako is. Now she wants melon bun sized extra paddings? The girls get to showcase their swimsuits when they visit the pool. Nanako is definitely attracting the attention with her svelte figure and plain and simple white bikini. She is embarrassed and will die of it if Eiji is here. You don’t say, here he is! She runs into hiding. Why is he here? Wasn’t he supposed to have other plans? Yes, that plan is to bring Hanabi here. Damn Nanako, you just made Eiji think he is some pervert and he is even apologizing for staring at her and will put some distance between them. Although she runs back out and says she doesn’t mind, she keeps blocking his view with her note. What’s the difference? Then Hanabi hugs Nanako’s leg and loves how soft and smooth it is, making Eiji worried and thinking something even weirder.

Episode 9
Nanako’s dad wants to meet Eiji?! Seeing Nanako puts up an expression he has never seen before, it’s time for the drama king to start acting up. Eiji sends his handphone for repairs after accidentally dropping it into his ramen. He wanders around and bumps into the rest. Like Koto handing out tissues (is she indicating trying to use it for other purpose?), Amane at the café (when she failed to hail a waiter, she acts like as though she is stretching), Tao eating ramen (she is shocked to be spotted by him and overthinks about her seeing her in such casual clothes) and Kino drawing (a gorilla and not the post box she was focusing on). Meeting all these weirdoes has Eiji think he hasn’t seen Nanako. Speaking of the devil, here she is. So what he wants to say to her? He misses her and wants to see her? What a coincidence. Nanako too. Then she asks if he would like to come to her place. Because daddy wants to see him. That escalated quickly. Eiji is as stiff as a robot. Can’t blame him. When dad is in some sort of interrogation mode. He asks Eiji’s relationship with Nanako. Not sure how he should answer, he says they are in the same C class but dad takes it the wrong idea they are in a sexual relationship. Calm down! Don’t lose your shirt and sh*t! Asking if they are just friends and only friends, the way Nanako longingly looks at Eiji, I think dad can’t take it anymore. He needs to go lie down. Mom takes over. She explains Nanako speaks via senryuu because she was bullied. It was so bad that she locked herself in her room. But then she met someone who liked senryuu and she rebounded. He cheered her up. That person was the first outside her family whom she wanted to have by her side. Oh Eiji, you sure she wasn’t referring to you? Oh look at the time. Got to go pick up my handphone. Nanako overheard all that and is nothing but smiles.

Episode 10
Amane thinks a club activity is in order for the start of summer. What better than to organize a kimodameshi. They might have to walk through this spooky tunnel but it’s the only way to get to the pond with fireflies. With Kino and Tao joining in, apparently Amane called them to help her scare Eiji and Nanako. Would it not be interesting to nudge them close together? While Tao’s bad acting gave it away, Kino played her part perfectly like as though she was possessed to draw some ghastly ghost! Inside the tunnel, the spookiness goes up several notches. Weird noises, Amane gone missing, Kino found unconscious in a pool of blood! Yikes! Tao is getting pretty scared and I don’t think scattering her cards is like scattering salt but whatever. With Eiji and Nanako hugging each other tightly, real sh*t hits the fan when a ghost pops up from the darkness and pulls Tao in!!! OMFG!!! RUN!!!! Eiji and Nanako manage to get out of the tunnel and as they contemplate to return to save their friends, no need because here they are. The ghost is actually Koto in disguise. Yeah, she’s in on this too. Superb acting. Mission accomplished. The best reward is of course watching the fireflies. They celebrate by writing senryuu. However Nanako won’t show hers and Eiji pesters her. It is hinted she is happy to be watching the fireflies with him.

Episode 11
Fireworks festival. The literature club trio have fun there until it dawned to Amane that she feels like a third wheel! Keep dreaming, girl. During the raffle, Eiji wins some glowing ring prize and puts it on Nanako’s finger. No prizes to guess why she flutters like hell. Meanwhile Amane wins the grand prize of a video game console but so sorry girl, I have never heard of any such stalls having a boyfriend as a grand prize! Before the fireworks start, Eiji and Amane go to the toilet. But as Nanako waits, her other friends take her along to their watching place. Why didn’t Nanako just say- Oh, she can’t. So you bet that when Amane and Eiji return, they can’t find her but Amane did saw she was taken away by her friends. Of course Eiji can’t let this be since he promised to watch the fireworks with her. And so he goes around searching as the fireworks begins. Oh dear. Nanako crying. I’m sure it’s not the beautiful fireworks. But eventually Eiji finds her. Easy. Nobody else wears that lame ring. Now they can happily watch the rest of the fireworks together. Only if her friends didn’t misinterpret and think the guy she is dating is Eiji. I guess Nanako can’t say anything to object that, eh?

Episode 12
This is when Nanako and Eiji first met when they were still in middle school. After having had it of fighting, he suddenly found himself liking senryuu. He attended a senryuu workshop that Nanako was also attending. He was amazed by Nanako presenting her senryuu and she was the only one among the old people who wasn’t afraid by his delinquent looks. When Eiji tried his hand a writing one (Santa beating up his father?!), Nanako was the only one who clapped. Later he thanks her for liking his poem. Though he doesn’t want her to hang out with him often because others might think she is weird, he hopes she could teach him the cooler aspects of senryuu if they ever run into each other. But the clincher was how he accepted her way of communication using tanka boards. Nanako couldn’t stop thinking of him and her dad thinks little girl hates papa now! Oh, so dramatic. So sad. But mom knows what she is thinking because (ironically) it is written all over her face. She suggests visiting the workshop again in hopes of meeting him again. Despite not meeting him, she notices he left his senryuu on the notice board. She also left hers. In no time, they start exchanging replies in this fashion. Gee, must be better than letters, huh? I thought she was going to ask for his number or address. Whatever. However one day there was no reply. It is rumoured he might be moving away. Nanako is in distraught as she frantically looks for him. Where to start? So many things she wants to tell him. She wants him to be by her side. Lucky her. He is trying to find inspiration at the park. He is surprised to see her. He didn’t realize she is the senryuu penpal whom he has been exchanging with until he realizes her style of writing. The rest is history.

Poetry In Motion
Of all the anime shorts for this particular season that I have seen, this one feels a lot more decent compared to the others like Nande Koko Ni Sensei Ga, Midara Na Ao-chan Wa Benkyou Dekinai, Chou Kadou Girl 1/6 Amazing Stranger, Nobunaga-sensei No Osanazuma, Miru Tights and Joshikausei. A season filled with lots of sleazy and cheap fanservice, this one stands out as a lot more refreshing. Despite there isn’t any real plot (just like the aforementioned animes too) and each episode can serve as a standalone filler, this one is more palatable and light hearted if you want something that isn’t related to carnal desires. After all, poetry is a boring subject and usually reserved for old boring people, right?! Having young kids and their romance with senryuu just feels… Weird.

I have this feeling they want to promote this senryuu poetry (because you know, Japan is very rich in other cultural aspects and is more than just the otaku world) but I just don’t seem to connect with it. Mainly because I’m not really a guy into poems so even when Nanako recite her lines in typical senryuu fashion, it didn’t make me go “Ah, what an excellent senryuu recitation she had there”. You know, that kind of inspiration. This isn’t the first anime that deals with Japanese style poems as there was this Go! Go! 575 anime short that came out in 2014 but that was more on haiku. I saw that series too but it didn’t really spark any interest in me to look it up any further. It may have created some sort of awareness in me then but by now I have almost forgotten whatever awareness that I had then. Thus it feels the same for this one. I don’t really see the difference between senryuu and haiku (there’s a Wikipedia explanation about it that I skimmed through and you guessed it, not really getting it either). So any senryuu references said here I would be more inclined to see it as one of those ‘meek attempts at love’ by Nanako. Yeah, seriously. I mean she is saying (writing, rather) all those senryuu poetry to amaze and inspire Eiji, right?

Despite the non-existent character development, it seems many of the characters we see here have another side to them. How shall I put it? Let’s just say never to judge a book by its cover. For instance Eiji might look like a delinquent but he is probably one of the nicest and considerate guys around. Not many delinquent guys can actually walk away from his thug life and continue living a decent life thereafter. Probably he hasn’t reached the point of no return yet, that’s why he is able to make a quick u-turn and recovery on the right path. After all, no other delinquents could best him and this show they are just pussies to begin with. Nanako might not say much but she sure is more ‘talkative’ (I know, the irony) when she starts putting down her thoughts on her tanka board. The same can be said about Kino. Very shy girl like Nanako and doesn’t talk but when she expresses herself through her drawings, she ‘transforms’ into a whole different character and a very ‘talkative’ and passionate one too. Not so obvious for Tao as she is gloomy and blunt most of the time. Even when she uses her divination, it’s not like she turns into some psycho fortune telling gypsy. I did say this series lacks any sort of sexual subtexts. Well, with Koto lately making sexual innuendoes to tease Eiji, I think this is the most ‘sexually charged’ part of the series we can get. Other than her busty and well developed figure…

The relationship and onscreen chemistry between Nanako and Eiji is fun to watch. No doubt it is unravelling at a snail pace but I think this is essential to build up their relationship. After all, we aren’t expecting a fast whirlwind romance. Impatient ones might find it frustrating that after a dozen episodes, their relationship is still at friendship level. At least on the surface. But you know how complicated when you try to translate that to emotions and feelings. Obviously it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that they both like each other more than just close friends from the actions they do and how often they hang out with each other. There is a time for everything so it is best they take it slowly and only pop the question when the time is right. Unfortunately, not this season. So make those memories together now as they will serve as (dating then marriage) flag in the future! But in the meantime, more senryuu poems in between! Yeah, that’s their romance.

Having said all that, no wonder Amane loves enjoying their romance unfold. It is so much better than your average Taiwanese and Korean soap romance drama on TV. Unscripted, live action and better still, the casts are people whom you know! Best reality TV ever! So much so this could have had a profound effect on her as well because you realize that lately Amane has been pining and ‘complaining’ for the need to have her own boyfriend. Uh huh. I guess it’s that time where her biological clock for love starts ticking. I know she is still young and has time, but if she keeps delaying and keep watching romance of others, in no time she will soon realize she has turned into an old hag! Serious! So perhaps watching Nanako and Eiji in turn help make her think about her own future. After all, she is quite accomplished herself in literature but when it comes to the topic of love, she is as empty as a mother bird’s nest whose nestlings have flown. She can continue to keep watching, but make sure it is for her own future reference. Maybe.

However I believe the best character for this entire series goes to Nanako’s dad. The series might be a little bland even with our youngsters’ brand of humour. But this guy ramps it up to a whole new level! We understand as a father with a daughter, he has insecurities when his girl grows up and starts doing different things out of the norm or what he expects her. But he overdoes it with his exaggerated drama like as though the whole world is coming to an end! At least his own world. Was he in the drama club before? Because mom and Hiro have seen this so often that they just roll their eyes and go, “Oh. Not again. Here dad goes into one of his usual fits”. Yeah. This guy is having a midlife crisis! At this rate he’ll grow white hair fast and die of anxiety before he becomes a grandpa. Will he even survive past their wedding day???!!!

It is still weird to think that Nanako prefers to put down her thoughts in writing than use her own natural cutie voice to speak even in times of emergency. It feels messed up and a flimsy reason to say she does so because she doesn’t want to say the wrong thing and by putting it down in writing, she has more time to organize her thoughts. I thought she has a throat cancer or something… Understandably she had a horrible experience. But the way she writes down her replies faster than any of us could open her mouth so speak, that sounds unrealistic… I know a few other anime characters also share this trait like Gintama’s Elizabeth but that one is a totally wacko parody anime. So with this method of reply, it’s like saying there is a problem when her brain processes her thoughts to her mouth but not when her brain processes them to her hand? Weird. Imagine carrying lots of those tanka boards around, I wonder where she hides them. I believe some of them are pre-written that’s why she is able to reply so fast but hopefully maybe she can grow out of it and use both her hands and voice because I fear she might become a mute for the rest of her life. Use it or lose it.

Art and animation are okay with everything looking bright and the characters have this cute and kawaii look. So much so that when I first looked at Eiji, he never struck me as any sort of delinquent. Looks like a normal guy. I only learnt that while reading the synopsis. And the girls, aren’t their eyes a bit too round? This anime is done by Connect and their first attempt in trying to animate a series on their own (the other being Strike The Blood III) as previously they have always been doing joint productions with Silver Link like Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism, Chaos Dragon, Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku, Bonjour Koiaji Patisserie and the previous Strike The Blood seasons.

It goes without saying and as mentioned before, one reason why I watched this was because of Kana Hanazawa. As Nanako, it brings back nostalgic memories when I stereotyped her voice as suitable in playing cutely retard characters from as early as the days of the titular Kobato to even as recently as that certain red blood cell in Hataraku Saibou. Well, sort of. I’m not saying her Nanako character sounds like a retard but it sure brings me back to those early days… After all, this isn’t the first time she voiced a ‘mute’ character as she also did something similar for the titular character in Morita-san Wa Mukuchi. Another seiyuu I want to note is Suzuko Hara as Hanabi. She sounds very much like an authentic little girl voicing her role. She is only 14 years old when she took up this role. The last time I heard her was in Barakamon as Naru and that was when she was only 9 years old! Wow. Her voice hasn’t mature yet even after 5 years.

The rest of the other casts are Tasuku Hatanaka as Eiji (Kaminari in Boku No Hero Academia), Sayuri Yahagi as Amane (Suzu in Seitokai Yakuindomo), Rikako Aida as Koto (Riko in Love Live! Sunshine), Misaki Kuno as Kino (Hawk in Nanatsu No Taizai), Sumire Uesaka as Tao (Shalltear in Overlord), Mutsumi Tamura as Hiro (Sonya in Kill Me Baby) and who could forget Mitsuo Iwata as Nanako’s dad because the reason I find him somewhat familiar is due to I recently watched Melty Lancer and this is the same guy who played that whiny Aide character. Oh wow. So fitting for this overdramatic dad character if I should say. The opening theme is Kotonoha No Omoi by Sonoko Inoue. Quite a bubbly piece that is appropriate for this series’ pacing. The ending theme goes at a slower pace, Ordinary Love by Rikako Aida.

Overall, this series is simple to enjoy and although it isn’t likely breaking any new ground, it can be considered as one of those little gems of the season. Not the best there is but with quirky characters and light hearted moments, this one is still passable. Many would consider this a ‘cool down’ series seeing that this season we are being spammed with lots of other cheap fanservice animes (like I have many paragraphs above) as well as considerably violent ones (Shingeki No Kyojin season 3 part 2 and Bungou Stray Dogs also season 3). I don’t think I will be pursuing further interests in senryuu but I can try to sort out my sentiments for this series in one:

Calming and peaceful,
Slow and nothing exciting,
Give me fanservice.

Now you can see why I suck in this… Yeah, I spent quite a while trying to think that up. Sure, it did help organize my thoughts to think up of something before putting it down permanently but I guess there are some things that are better left unsaid and not written down.

Hmmm… Last season we had a poor boy who has good and decent grades tutor quintuplet sisters and avoid any of them get any failing grade. Love happens in between. Sort of. Now, this season we have a poor boy who has good and decent grades tutor a few girls in his school in subjects which are poor at but they are very passionate about. Love happens in between. Sort of. Ah yes. What more can be more motivating than picking up your books and study hard with the possible love polygon sure to happen somewhere. At least in this sort of anime and genre. So folks, don’t be surprise if we don’t learn anything or two in Bokutachi Wa Benkyou Ga Dekinai because it is going to get as cliché it can get when a nice boy of the same age starts tutoring hot beautiful chicks and then something else other than their improving grades blossom. I think we can see where this is going…

Episode 1
Rizu Ogata is a genius in maths and physics. Fumino Furuhashi has no rivals in literature. Nariyuki Yuiga isn’t a genius but he puts in enough effort that shows in his grades and his dream is to get a special VIP recommendation to an affiliated university in which all tuition fees are covered. He gets that chance when the principal summons him. He must tutor Ogata and Furuhashi and have them get into their choice universities. As he talks to them, it seems they want to go into universities that are a total opposite of what they are good at. Shocking, right? He lets them take a test and they score really bad. I mean, really bad. Even if they make a single increment point every day, it gets worse after a week. So why they don’t just teach each other? Because they don’t know what they don’t know. Eh? I thought that should be enough to teach the other? Anyway, when all else fails, Yuiga asks if they should just use their natural talents. They don’t like what he said. Because it’s like trying to live their life as dictated by others think. Before they could claim he is the same like other tutors who will eventually abandon them, Yuiga isn’t about to throw in the towel yet. Noticing they left their textbooks, he goes through them and realizes they left a lot of notes and are serious in it.

Yuiga remembers when he failed during his younger years, he was very upset despite trying. But his late dad encouraged him that one who fails can only understand of not being able to do something. Next day, Yuiga hands back their textbooks and added his own notes to help them improve. It sounds like a confession that he hopes they can get along together. Yuiga needs to do his own homework but does he need to sit sandwiched in between them instead of opposite them? Because of that, Furuhashi almost falls asleep and her head lean on his shoulder while Ogata is too close that her boobs are rubbing on his arms. This makes him too conscious to study since their faces are too close. Later he learns Furuhashi’s dream is to study astrology as loves the stars. She hopes to find her late mom’s star. Subsequently, he finds Ogata playing a card game that is meant for several players, alone. She challenges him and loses 20 consecutive times! She admits she is weak when it comes to anything with human emotions. That’s why she wants to study liberal arts and get into psychology. Yuiga returns home. His bother complex sister, Mizuki is worried since she could smell women all over him! Next day in class, Yuiga’s friends are shocked when those genius beauties are looking for him. They whisper in his ear to keep a secret what happened last night. Uhm, shouldn’t they be a little discreet about this?

Episode 2
Uruka Takemoto is Yuiga’s childhood and wants to borrow and copy his homework. Please do yourself… After Yuiga reports his update to the principal, it seems he has another favour to ask: Tutor Takemoto too. She might be a prodigy in swimming but the university wants an all-rounder this year. Yup. You know what that means. And Yuiga can’t say no when his special VIP recommendation is on the line. So he tries to get her to study but she runs away. And when he catches her, Ogata and Furuhashi just drop by and misinterpret this rape scene!!! Takemoto quickly gets acquainted with the genius beauties. Flashback shows because Yuiga is always lenient in lending her copy his homework, she starts liking him. And also his friends teased him that they like each other. Takemoto is karaoke-ing by herself and wants to invite Ogata. But when she refuses since she is at Yuiga’s home studying, instantly she rushes over! Was the karaoke joint nearby? I don’t think she has intentions to study either as she takes out all her snacks. Just then, a blackout. Obviously Ogata is scared and clings on to him despite her mouth saying otherwise. Takemoto thinks she can also jump into his arms with pretence of being scared but finds it too embarrassing. Yeah, really awkward moment in the dark. Yuiga then makes a makeshift candle. Impressive. Until it goes out. All hell breaks loose. Somebody touching somebody and when the lights get back on, they accuse him of being a pervert. No mood to study anymore. Going home. The ultimatum for Takemoto: She must do well in a test in which failing would result in supplementary classes and no club activities. Time to scream at Yuiga for help. So as they try to help Takemoto and motivate her, we can see that her attention span is so short that she can’t focus. Excuses, excuses. Then they just continue studying. I know she can’t take it anymore but does she have to spam that like every 5 minutes?! Yuiga then gets an idea. To help improve her English vocabulary, he incorporates swimming into it. She has to dive in and pick the correct answer. She gets it all correct! It goes to show that she can only give her full when swimming is involved. Later Takemoto thanks him for helping studying by giving him a gift. WTF, a female swimsuit?! Turns she mixed up her present and it was supposed to be a pencil case.

Episode 3
The principal tells Yuiga that the girls must score at least average in the upcoming midterms. Otherwise they must change their field of study. After he leaves, the duo pass by the office and conveniently overheard the vice principal, Mafuyu Kirisu saying that in addition if they failed, Yuiga will be relieved of his tutor duties. While it should be no big deal to them because they have experienced tutor changes every term and it is only logic since they are out if they can’t produce results, why are they so concerned about Yuiga? I think I know… Yuiga coaches Ogata in her family ramen shop. Dad trying to warn him about doing something funny to his daughter but gets shot down by Ogata for being creepy. Ogata still feels unconfident of not doing well so he cheers her up to review and put that effort in the next test. During the test, she starts to have cold feet. She remembers all her previous tutors (including Kirisu) telling her to just drop her weak subject. Yuiga never said that, right? So she isn’t going to betray him and starts doing her best. Amazingly, she scores above average. Yuiga is so happy she could cry but Ogata couldn’t tell him most of the parts she got lucky. Next is Furuhashi but she has a cold… Hence Yuiga visits her at home. Man, she’s got a big house. Sure, Furuhashi said nobody else will be in but can he just walk in without knocking? Because of that he sees Takemoto cleaning her naked back. Out! Though Takemoto thinks this is normal for him as a boy but gets embarrassed thinking about it herself. Cue to call him a pervert whatever. Amazingly, Yuiga’s motivational words make her really better. Yeah, it really blew her cold away. And with that, she too scores above average.

Takemoto’s friends, Ayuko Kawase and Chinami Umihara are shocked she hasn’t confessed to Yuiga yet. They are not okay with her being okay with status quo. So after school, they force her to go shopping. They make her wear a very frilly princess dress and just abandon her. Embarrassed Takemoto tries to get back and hopes this is one of those days she won’t bump into Yuiga. Nope. It’s one of those days fate wants to screw with you. When spotted, she lies she wanted to go to this bookstore. Okay. He wants to come along! Because of his close proximity, she feels very embarrassed and awkward. Cue for cliché bratty kid to point out how they look like a couple before mom takes son away. Then there is this competition only open for couples and there is a prize that Yuiga notes Mizuki would love. Hence Takemoto braves up to pretend for them to be couple and do this couple carrying contest. Who can hold their love the longest wins! I guess those who falter, that’s as far as their love goes, eh? Haha! I hope this won’t break them up… Yuiga seeing Takemoto close to tears realizes she is trying to hold so he summons his manly power to continue holding her. Yup, they win. In the end, Takemoto was able to naturally flaunt to him that she looked like a princess today. Before he could give his answer, she doesn’t want to hear it. At least not today. I guess she’s had enough for today. Back home, Mizuki is mad. If he won this prize via the couple contest, which girl did he paired up with to win? And it sure wasn’t her… Oh no… Can his explanation save the day?

Episode 4
Furuhashi realizes she has gained weight. Is it because her study pals invite her to snack a lot in between? Hence she tries to resist by not eating and concentrate on her studying. Damn, Yuiga bringing treats made by Mizuki, is God trying to test her or something?! The resistance is strong for a few days until Yuiga notices she doesn’t look too well. Furuhashi admits she is on a diet and despite Yuiga says she looks fine to him, she goes on ranting how she easily gains weight and fears what others say about her. To prove it, she wants him to touch her stomach. It dawned too late to Yuiga this looks like a perverted scene. Worse, Furuhashi misinterprets his words about this being dangerous. She thinks she is going to be overweight when he was commenting on this perverted scene. On their way home, suddenly she buys lots of snacks. She claims this helps her in her midnight studying and is confident she doesn’t put on weight easily. WTF… So when Yuiga allows her to only eat thin noodles, she returns to her desired weight. The president of the chemistry club, Sawako Sekijo doesn’t approve Ogata switching to humanities and blames she is in love with Yuiga. However she brushes it off because love does not equate to her in this sense.

Thus Sekijo goes to spy at them studying at Rin’s place. She thinks of riling Ogata up by getting close to Yuiga and asking questions like what kind of girl he likes. In turn, Yuiga panics thinking she likes him and because they’re so noisy, Ogata kicks them out! As they talk outside, Yuiga realizes Sekijo just wants to be her friend. Sekijo realizes Ogata really wants to do humanities as she sees her putting in a lot of effort but maybe to a certain degree Yuiga has got something to do with it. Yuiga invites them to come watch them study on certain days. Although she dismisses it, she is seen eagerly waiting there. Don’t mind her. It’s just coincidence. Takemoto realizes she forgot to wear her bra in her haste and fears Yuiga will find out. One of those days because she will be facing off against him in a basketball match. She can’t concentrate and her ball easily gets stolen. She tries to focus on the game instead of her boobs but it’s just too hard when Yuiga comes in too close for defence. During halftime with Yuiga giving some words of encouragement, Takemoto takes it as some twisted form of confession. Now she goes all out but the final blocking defence has Takemoto’s boobs fall all over his face. Did he find out? He comments Mizuki feels like that. Takemoto feels both embarrassed and insulted. His guy lacks further tact because back home he sees Mizuki wearing one and points out to her. Surely she beats him up for his straying eyes, right?

Episode 5
Boy, the school sure has a couple of days of mountainous retreat for their study. For some reason, Ogata can’t take her eyes off Yuiga. During a study session, she was too shy and slow to lend her eraser when he dropped it. Hence the other girls were ‘faster’. You only have yourself to blame for sulking like that. Then at the vending machine when he asks how’s her studying coming along, she gets flustered and tells him off to mind his own business. She walks out and decides to take her mind off by collecting mountain udo she thinks Yuiga loves. As expected, she gets lost. Yeah, it’s raining too. When Sekijo realizes Ogata is not around and bugs Yuiga about it, he realizes he last saw her heading out and she might still be out there. Poor Ogata doesn’t understand why she is thinking about Yuiga. She might be hallucinating to even hear his voice. Oh wait. It’s him! As he tries to help her up, thanks to the slippery slope, she slips and from this angle it looked like they kissed! Ogata just got up and left. Ever since she hasn’t looked at him in the eye then but you know fate, screwing around when it can. They are both tasked to clean the baths when the girls start streaming in. Apparently absentminded Ogata forgot to put the cleaning in progress sign out. He hides in the sauna while she tries to convince the girls to go away. Panicked and failed. Yeah, some of them enter the sauna. Yuiga is now hiding underneath the chair. It’s really getting hot from all sides now. When Furuhashi’s feet touched something, she is about to look under when Sekijo claims a meteor shower passing. After everyone runs out, Sekijo calls him out from his hiding. She knew something was amiss when Ogata was acting strangely and found Yuiga’s jersey. So as Yuiga sneaks out, he bumps into Takemoto. Her tower dropped. Is the view nice? Did Takemoto ignore him? While Yuiga is now in safe zone, Takemoto is disillusioned. Was that a hallucination of Yuiga?! Thank goodness? Later Ogata makes up with Yuiga. However she still accuses him of seeing her body. Despite he gave foggy glasses as an excuse, did he still see them foggily? It’s not like Ogata looks mad, right? Back at school, Yuiga explains the girls’ progress to Kirisu. He remembers the girls telling him she was their first tutor and a very cold one. Though she notes he is working hard and doing his best, she wonders if that mountain kiss with Ogata is part of doing his best. Oh sh*t!

Episode 6
Furuhashi is eavesdropping but she can’t hear properly. So she barges in in hopes of trying to clear Yuiga’s name. Too bad she spilled about that stomach touching incident and naked viewing while she was sick. Then it’s Ogata’s turn. Uh huh. The sauna incident… He’s dead. Oh f*ck, now what Takemoto?! Pinning her down at the pool?! Thanks girls. For making it clear those misunderstandings. However Kirisu decides to overlook this as she notes they are fond of him. Suddenly Yuiga takes her hand?! He notices the bruises all over it and realizes she too cares about her students. She was looking for Ogata in the rain and stumbled upon that fake kissing scene. With the principal praising Yuiga for improving their grades, however his male friends get the wrong idea he really kissed a girl and because Yuiga didn’t exactly deny it and said it was an accident, this only serves to worsen the rumours he did kiss a girl. So when Takemoto hears this, she can’t concentrate on her studies and even indirectly tries to ask Yuiga about this via a lesson. Did he kiss someone? Wow. Perfect English. Takemoto tries to stay positive and cheer for him but later feels sad about it. Later she talks to Furuhashi about it and it is clear to her that Takemoto likes her childhood friend. Furuhashi makes her day when she decides to support her. But all that happiness is blown away when the rumours get out of hand. Yuiga staying with his girlfriend? They have a kid?! Thanks to that, Takemoto’s score takes a plunge. Somehow Ogata too. Furuhashi is feeling so conflicted. Even more so when Yuiga talks to her for advice about this. How can she tell him that both of them likes him? Best excuse to go figure it out himself because it is a matter of a woman’s heart! Since Takemoto is still nervous about her chance with Yuiga, her friends decide to set them up. This means wearing a much shorter skirt and showing some cleavage. Sex sells, right? It just makes them embarrassed and awkward. So awkward that they walk together to the shrine and pray. No prizes to guess what they’re praying for. Unfortunately God is a cheeky one so he makes it rain for them to take shelter there. She pretends to sleep as advised by her friends in hopes of making Yuiga stimulated. When she feels her head being petted and her body being licked, you know it’s too good to be true because they’re just cats. Later she stands close to him to hear his heart beat. Can you blame him when she dresses like that? It was enough to make her day and thanks to that, her scores drastically increased. Maybe she should do this more often. The mini skirt and cleavage! XD.

Episode 7
Is Yuiga confiding with Furuhashi about women going to be a daily affair? With Furuhashi accidentally slipping into his arms, to her dismay Ogata sees this. Oh no. That pout. She clings hard to him. WTF suggesting he hold her hand while walking to ease her anger? Didn’t work. Later Furuhashi gets desperate. Thinking the only way left to appease her anger is to push Yuiga into Ogata. Too bad his face fell into her boobs. Later it is revealed Ogata’s dad accidentally broke her glasses and she was wearing an older lens, hence her squinting and mad looks. Later Kirisu sees Yuiga trying to help get a cat down a tree. As she tries to help, she sprains her ankle. Yuiga helps her home but as he leaves, he hears a loud crash. He barges in only to see her buried under her pig sty. To thank him for helping her clean, she helps tutor him. This has Yuiga think she does really care about her students. But more cleaning? This has Yuiga stumble into a cabinet filled with trophies when Kirisu was a figure skater in her heydays. However Kirisu laments such career is very short-lived and this is supposed to be a reminder the foolish path she took. That’s why as an educator, it is their job to guide students on the right path. Yuiga views it differently. Instead of telling them to give up, he tells them to hold their head up high if they fail. If Kirisu is an ally of the talented, he is an ally of those not talented. After Yuiga leaves, Kirisu heaves a big sigh of relief. She was holding in her nervousness all this time. It is the first time a man entered her room.

Later Furuhashi learns of Yuiga visiting Kirisu’s place. He doesn’t think much of it but of course it is for Furuhashi. She doesn’t want him to let word of this spread especially to Ogata and Takemoto. But it soon gets worse because her friend, Kashima spotted Furuhashi with Yuiga and thought she was trying to flirt with him. Hence rumours have started flying that they are dating. Despite Furuhashi trying to deny it all, dumb Yuiga didn’t look deep enough and gives an ambiguous answer that only serves to dig deeper their grave. Furuhashi tries to keep her distance with Yuiga at the library. But suddenly it gets crowded and they are forced to sit closer. It seems all the girls are with Kashima in some secret club that admires Furuhashi. They are here to determine if Yuiga is a guy worthy of Furuhashi. In the end, they only did some studying. Nothing happening. Might as well they do some studying too. In the aftermath when Furuhashi meets Kashima, the former is relieved when the latter wishes her luck in studying. And so the rumours died. Later Furuhashi tells Yuiga about the rumours and he is shocked that he didn’t even know a thing! She jokes about them dating for real and this puts them in an awkward situation. What are the chances when a girl tries to reassure herself she won’t fall in love with someone that her friends are in love with?

Episode 8
Yuiga finally gets a handphone and is an amateur in using it. With Takemoto suggesting studying in the bath because an article says it stimulates the nerve blah, blah, blah, everyone starts to get weird ideas… Yuiga is studying in his own bath and at the same time trying to learn how to use his phone. Accidentally her texts Furuhashi who at the same time is also in the bath. Weird ideas what if they’re both in the bath now. You don’t say… Yuiga continues to mess with his phone and accidentally calls Ogata! How to cancel?! Too bad for him, her dad picks up! Oh sh*t. No matter what answer he gives, dad isn’t amused of this punk. Until Ogata retrieves back her handphone and puts a restraining order on dad. Protecting her from evil isn’t going to cut it as an excuse. And yeah, she too is studying in the bath. The longer their conversation, the more embarrassing they realize their situation. Even though they aren’t together. Yuiga makes the same mistake and accidentally calls Takemoto this time. As you have guessed, she too is in the bath. Strangely, her twisted reasoning thinks he is as good as washing her naked body?! She accidentally turns on the video call mode. Oh Yuiga, is this the best live streaming porn ever?! Took her a while to realize this folly and when she starts accusing him of showing his junk, the panic causes Yuiga to drop his handphone into the water. Now he is without a handphone as it is undergoing repairs. Should have gotten a waterproof one…

As Takemoto is improving in her studies, she keeps pushing herself until one day she almost collapses at the hallway. Luckily Yuiga was passing by and helps put her in the infirmary. Strangely, she starts hugging him in her sleep. No sleeping beauty kiss yet as Takemoto’s friends come in to check on her. Yuiga is hiding under the bed when he hears the girls talk about Takemoto in love with Yuiga. Because of that, it is Yuiga’s turn to not have enough sleep as he becomes conscious about this. He can’t concentrate in his studies and flusters when Takemoto is close to him. He even overthinks when he thinks she is bringing him to a love hotel. Nope. Just a ramen store next door. But damn, seeing her eat ramen is sexy?! WTF?! Sexy meat?! Since when ramen is seductive?! Oh yeah. Slurp more of that ramen goodness! At the end of the day, somehow Yuiga asks her if the guy she likes is him. Of course she embarrassingly denies which of course we all know is false. Not sure if it’s a good thing if Yuiga is a dense guy because although he is super embarrassed in asking that, he now wonders who that guy Takemoto really like is. Oh well. At least now he can concentrate on his studies with this issue off his chest. Somewhat.

Episode 9
Yuiga sees Kirisu sitting outside her apartment. Better walk away. But why does he have to pass her? Now she reels him in. I bet something is more than just cleaning her pig sty. Yup. There’s a cockroach!!! Kirisu is paralysed in fear so much so she is clinging onto Yuiga. Cliché boobs in face moment. The bug escapes. After cleaning, Yuiga is about to leave but Kirisu won’t let him. She is afraid ‘that’ my return. She’ll do anything. Just don’t leave her alone! Anything? Get your mind out of the gutter because Yuiga has her tutor him. Kirisu has ordered some take-outs since their session lasted longer. Unfortunately it is Ogata doing the delivery. You can see that extremely sour face when she realizes what is happening. So why is Ogata staying now? Both women are giving him that piercing stare. Is he supposed to know what they’re saying?! I believe so. He thinks of playing a card game to break the ice but he forgot Ogata is bad at games and she ended up on a 30 consecutive losing streak! Is Kirisu enjoying this? It just got worse. Yuiga talks to Ogata about being a warm and caring person. Until she realizes he was actually talking about Kirisu. Back to that sour face. Suddenly Kirisu screams. The roach is back! With her clinging onto Yuiga, I’m sure he can’t do anything and Ogata is getting the wrong idea of Kirisu being ‘warm and friendly’. Before the cockroach gets cheeky, Ogata smacks it with a newspaper. Game over. Although a disaster was averted, the relationship between Kirisu and Ogata still didn’t get better. Later Ogata asks if there is a cockroach in her place, would he come to rescue her? He finds it odd because she just killed the cockroach with no problem so why need his help? Damn Yuiga, you just made her angry again…

Yuiga’s mom is sick so he is such a filial son that he decides to go fill in her job. Yeah, he doesn’t even know what she does! He realizes too late that she works in a lingerie shop!!! Good news is that mom’s colleague puts him in a mascot outfit. Still embarrassing, though. And don’t worry. Only old ladies shop here if he’s asking that it’s strange to let a guy work here. Suddenly she gets a call that her daughter is sick so she rushes off and leaves him behind. Oh dear. I can see where this is going. Because Takemoto and Ogata come in. Takemoto requesting Ogata’s boobs be measured since they have grown. Yuiga would prefer to get out from his mascot suit, explain everything and risk it. Just that he can’t reach the zipper. Takemoto guides him to measure her boobs. New experience, huh? Takemoto then chooses a few sexy lingerie and asks his opinion that a certain high school boy might like. Somehow Yuiga chose. After they leave, now Yuiga finds Kirisu seeking help! She can’t unhook the bra she is trying as it is too tight for her. He is taking too long because he doesn’t know how it works and this makes Kirisu suspicious. But thankfully, she thought the hook was broken. Yuiga manages to unhook it. You think nothing would surprise him at this stage but here comes Furuhashi. She turned down Takemoto and Ogata’s invitation because she doesn’t want to shop with those monster tits. As she tries several lingerie, the colleague returns. Furuhashi just finished trying when she sees Yuiga coming out from the mascot suit. Her face… So dead… So dead that it’s scary! Later Yuiga tries to soothe her by treating her to a crepe. Eat your heart out. She still isn’t amused, though. She lectures that it was a good thing it was her rather than the rest. Why? Not telling. Consider this another lesson to learn a woman’s heart! Can Yuiga figure it all out at this rate?!

Episode 10
Summer break is for fun, right? Not for Yuiga. He is taking cram school. So that’s his fun? Whatever. Also in the same class is a petite girl whom he thought is his junior. Too bad Asumi Kominami is a year older than him and failed her first entrance exam! Don’t say fail. It’s her taboo word. After class, Yuiga got lost in an unknown part of town. A few sleazy guys bring him to… A maid café! I approve! I suppose he needs to leave since he has no money but on his way out he stumbles into Kominami in a maid outfit doing her cutie maid charm. I approve! But this gets awkward for them. He hears her working in this place since it pays good. However Yuiga sees her horrible grades in science. Yeah. Really bad. Kominami reluctantly explains she is trying to get into medical school and prepares for the worst of him laughing at her. Good for her, he tutors her and makes it easy for her to understand. I guess the other maids want to set them up so they call Yuiga to come back for the next few days. When Yuiga leaves, he bumps into an old doctor. Kominami is seen chasing after Yuiga to return his commuter pass. Cliché moment because that doctor is her father and he is not impressed with her in that getup. Bringing Yuiga back to her place, her father runs a clinic outside their home. He is under the impression his daughter is doing some sleazy job to pay for her tuition. She denies and lies this maid outfit is her boyfriend’s fetish. That’s you, Yuiga! Father getting mad! I guess he has to play along. As Yuiga explains she is trying hard to get into medical school, father isn’t pleased either. He told her becoming a doctor isn’t easy and that she should do whatever else she wants. Kominami is adamant to get into medical school and take over his business. A shouting match begins and Yuiga gets stuck in the middle… Eventually Yuiga puts in some nice assuring words so father (or father in law now?) decides to be patient and put his trust in his, uhm, son in law? Man, this escalated quickly.

Later when the duo are in the streets, here comes Yuiga’s harem. They fawn all over Kominami thinking she is Yuiga’s relative or something. Time to rebuke them. Apparently the trio are also in this cram school as they don’t want to rely on Yuiga always. Of course they’ll be in different classes. Think this would be easy? The moment their break begins, they come rushing to Yuiga’s class for help! Save us! The teacher erased the notes too fast! Since Kominami is a cram school veteran, she dispenses excellent advice on the materials needed. The girls are so impressed that it makes her blush. When they’re done and about to part, suddenly it rains! Cliché. They take shelter in Kominami’s clinic. Yuiga feeling real awkward because the girls’ clothes are wet and can see through. Even more awkward the bra he chose for Takemoto, she’s wearing them! As Furuhashi talks to Kominami’s dad, she learns Yuiga is her boyfriend. Oh no. She then confronts him and with a punch in the gut, makes him spill the beans! Luckily Kominami explains the lie comes from her and Yuiga is putting up to it due to circumstances. She trolls them by saying she might have feelings for Yuiga. Just kidding. Then she whispers to Furuhashi that she might be the one having feelings for her since she brought up the topic. Probably Furuhashi’s best poker face to deny it. Okay. If she says so. Later as Yuiga studies at the maid café, he is thinking how cute Kominami actually looks?! I think it’s the maid outfit… Anyway, she poses a question that has him thinking: What will he do when the entrance exam is over? Gee, he has never thought about that since he was obsessed in getting his harem good grades. Then she trolls him about her true feelings before calling him a womanizer… This guy is so cute when he flusters. See why she can’t stop teasing him?

Episode 11
Kirisu was passing by and saw Yuiga entering a maid café. Of course she tells him off but look who is here? Apparently Kominami knows Kirisu as she was her ex-teacher. So as they’re arguing they are no longer student-teacher relationship, somehow Yuiga got involved in this equation. Uh huh. They are tugging him and in this struggle, Kirisu accidentally bumps into another maid. She sprains her ankle. Lack of man, I mean, maid power. Yup. Kirisu will have to be a maid and help out. I approve! Kominami has her practice her lines with Yuiga. Embarrassing? But since she lacks experience, Kominami lets her do the basics like cleaning instead of interacting with customers. Oh no. She might sound confident she can but she fails at first go. Damn, is she giving customers free fanservice with her clumsiness? I approve! Eventually Yuiga comes to help her and cue for his important lesson that we need to help everybody because nobody is good at everything. At the end of the day, Yuiga learns that Kominami was good in all her subjects except science, hence the same problem of Kirisu bugging her to drop her ambition to be her doctor. But thanks to that, she had a rebellious spirit to do her best. Let’s hope she will improve. Kirisu gets drunk just by a sip of alcohol so Yuiga has to carry her back. In this drunken state, he hears her praise him for always giving 100%. She also praises literally everything else… Good thing or not, next morning she wakes up with hangover not remembering anything.

During summer break, Kirisu didn’t manage to do her laundry and today she must go to school to pick up some documents. Well, there is only one clothes she could wear… Yeah, her old school uniform. You know it’s cliché when she doesn’t want others to spot her but right off the bat she gets spotted. By a policeman. Please show your ID. It’s about to get worse because Yuiga sees this. So dead. However he is a smart boy and can see what’s happening so he technically lies she is his drama club advisor. She thanks him by giving him a lift to school. Just hold on to your seats. She’s a hell driver! I wonder how she got her licence. It’s not easy getting into school without being seen. Because all the clubs are having their activities. It’s like a normal school day?! Miraculously, somehow they did. Time to go home. But now what? Car out of gas? Seriously?! So they walk home instead of trying to get gas? Whatever. Along the way, they stop for ice cream. But have to hide because Furuhashi and Ogata are there too. Damn they had to choose the bush behind. And as expected the duo sit there too. Sure, you want to tell them to slowly back away but remember, bad luck is Kirisu’s middle name. Damn she had to step on a twig! This causes them to huddle even closer and in an almost awkward position. Furuhashi and Ogata fear something is behind them. With Yuiga’s ice cream dripping on her neck, you bet a squeal is heard. Is that a ghost? Worse. Furuhashi looks harder only to see a couple making out! Luckily from her angle it is too dark to see although she can tell it is their school uniform. Okay. Show’s over. Time to get out and give them some peace. Of course Yuiga and Kirisu’s lips never met. While Yuiga heaves a sigh of relief from this panic, Kirisu maintains her coolness. Wanna bet she is panicking all over inside? It’s been a lousy day as Kirisu reaches home. What else could go wrong? Oh, Kominami is here. She teases her ex-teacher she is into high school uniform cosplay fetish.

Episode 12
Remember when Yuiga asked Takemoto if the boy she liked was him and she denied? Yup. Now being together alone is awkward Hence Yuiga sees Furuhashi’s advice. She can tell what’s going on despite he is referring to himself in third person. Subsequently Takemoto also tells the same problem to her. Also in third person. Furuhashi must be a real busy woman. So as not to demotivate Takemoto and make her lag in her studies, she gives her some encouragement. The next time the duo meet, the awkwardness is still there. Thankfully, Furuhashi in disguise sit nearby just in case. The silence is so awkward that both of them start whipping out their handphone to text Furuhashi for help! Don’t worry. Master Furuhashi will save the day. She gives ideas and topics to talk about. But each of them coincidentally has an embarrassing moment together they would love to forget. During the heat of the advice, Sekijo starts texting Furuhashi for hairstyle advice (friendship problems with Ogata, I guess). This of course has Furuhashi has her messages mixed up to the intended participant. Strangely, Yuiga compliments Takemoto’s hair and she likes it. The awkwardness is gone. Weird. But thank goodness. Next day, Yuiga goes to thank Furuhashi for her help. Obviously Furuhashi is spotting a new hairstyle and is fidgeting around for him to notice. He did notice. Notice he needs to pay her back but doesn’t have enough money! This guy still has a long way to go… Now does Furuhashi understand why it’s so frustrating being around him? Or not.

Takemoto’s swimming team is in a competition. However they are disqualified after a team member makes a false start. She is sad and blames herself but Takemoto gives her lots of encouragement. Later Yuiga feels bad about Takemoto’s loss (why is he tearing up too?) but Takemoto stays strong and believes as long as she learns something, all is not lost. Besides, there might be others who deserve to cry more than her. She teases him that he would probably lend his shoulders for her to cry on. And if he really wants to make her feel better, accompany her to their old middle school. It brought back lots of memories and of course from Takemoto’s memories, many moments where she was watching him like a stalker. Apparently when Takemoto lost big in a swimming tournament, she was so dejected and got scolded for being this frustrated. However Yuiga looked at it differently because he viewed that frustration as a previous gift. For her to feel this frustrated, it must have been really special. He was envious of her as he did not have anything of that sort. So that was the clincher to her heart and the reason why she swims well now. Oddly, Yuiga brings up that boyfriend topic again. Has she confessed to him? On no. Awkward time. She denies since there were so many chances but failed. Hence Yuiga wants her to confess to him as practice. This is worst! She thought she can stall him by making him say her first name but he says it with ease. Caught in the embarrassment, she naturally confesses to him. Definitely a good one. If only Yuiga didn’t tell her to do it again and cut out saying his name! Girl so mad that she pushes him into the swimming pool. She is still embarrassed when he easily calls her by her first name, though.

Episode 13
You’re not dreaming, Sekijo. Ogata invites her to a sleepover. So happy until she realizes Furuhashi and Takemoto are also here. So this is a study sleepover? Then they spam her with all the hard questions. Now you know what it feels like that Yuiga had to go through? The rest are all smiles when Sekijo praises how lucky they are when they have a tutor like him. But then she continues to point out that she’ll pity whoever becomes his girlfriend because of this burden he has to carry. We take a break from all that studying as Yuiga and his family go to the fireworks festival. Funny, why didn’t Mizuki tag along? Is it too early for some b*tch showdown? He sees Furuhashi and Takemoto there. As advised, he compliments their beautiful yukata that sends them blushing. Mom and little siblings can see what is going on and suggests he hang out with them. Furuhashi can see where this is going and excuses herself. Hence he is left with Takemoto. The date lasts for a while until they stumble into a crowded stall. Looks like Ogata’s family is running a business here. Hence the duo help out. With Takemoto manning the kitchen, Yuiga helps Ogata with the deliveries. Once done, they get some candy apple as reward. Ogata wants to eat it so much that when Yuiga feeds her, she looks like some cute little animal feeding? Meanwhile a masked beauty seems to be ruining a shooting stall, landing every target. It is no surprise that Yuiga recognizes Kirisu. She denies and tries to run away but trips and bruises her knee. Hence Yuiga has to carry her all the way to the nearby clinic which is being operated by Kominami’s dad. And since it is a little crowded, cheeky Kominami has Yuiga do treatment on Kirisu. He tries not to stray his thoughts but putting the iodine, Kirisu squeals in a cute voice. Is this pleasure or pain?

Meanwhile Furuhashi realizes she has bum out too long that the festival is almost over. But she stumbles into a lost kid. The same for Yuiga. A lost kid right after he leaves the clinic. Once done reuniting them with their family, the festival is way over and the duo bump into each other. No more rides home. Oh lucky, there is an inn. Too bad it only has one room. To avoid their identity as high school students, they pretend to be siblings with Furuhashi taking on Yuiga’s name. Yeah, this is how it will sound like if you get married to him. After lots of hesitation in sharing the futon, I guess they have to since it is getting cold. And they can’t sleep and being too conscious of sharing the bed together. But they can relax when they notice the starry sky outside as Furuhashi relays her awesome knowledge on the constellations. This has her remember her late mom’s last moments. She was told she wasn’t going to die but teleport to the stars and will be watching her from there. Thus whenever there’s a beautiful starry night, be sure to find her. Furuhashi didn’t realize she fell asleep dreaming about this sad dream. She realizes Yuiga has been holding her hand while she is sleeping! She just relents and draws close to him. Next morning as they resume their journey home, they are both very embarrassed because from what they say, it looks like they realize they were embracing each other while sleeping! Better make sure word of this doesn’t get out. Imagine the headlines screaming, “Yuiga and Furuhashi slept together…”. Yeah…

The Equation Of A Harem, When X*Y = SeXY
If all that doesn’t feel it has ended in a satisfying way, be glad to know that there is a sequel coming up! I suppose they need more lessons to learn about even more things that will not be literally tested in school test but the ultimate test in life! So fasten your seat belts, the ride is not over yet as you are in for yet another session of cram school! Think you are a master in such cliché harem rom-coms? Think again! You need more lessons!

Under the guise of the girls tutoring under a guy who has a slightly different outlook and approach in life, it gives us that typical cliché reason so as to why the girls continue to be tutored under him. Of course they have their academic goals to achieve but as you know, that would become secondary of nature in terms of the plot and the main excuse is to of course be with him, completing the harem trope. So yeah, the storyline isn’t the most original (remember, last season we just had something similar in Go-toubun No Hanayome) or as excitingly new and lots of cliché stuffs to expect from a harem and romantic comedy genre. But I guess this kind of slow snail pace love development beats the other kind of sleazy ‘love story’ and fanservice laden harem genre series in that same season, Nobunaga-sensei No Osanazuma. Yeah, that was really crappy.

Forgive me if I make quite a few comparisons with Go-toubun No Hanayome here, but that is only natural for me seeing I have seen that show and it looks almost awfully similar. For instance our main character is a boy who is from a poor family and because of that poverty status of his, he makes sure he needs to ace his grades in order to improve the quality of life of his family. Notice both guys also have a little sister? And then on to the harem girls whom he is tutoring. Calling them dumb is inaccurate and misleading. They might only seem so because of the weak subjects they are taking. Otherwise, they themselves ace in other subjects that they are specialized in. And of course over time while spending time with him, they realize he isn’t such a bad guy after all and soon the feelings of the heart will slowly creep in. They know the other also has a crush and try to be ‘considerate’ in supporting the other. Wow. It’s just like copy and paste but ditch that quintuplets’ idea. But to be fair, the manga that this series is adapted from actually came out 6 months earlier than Go-toubun No Hanayome. So who copied who?

The outline of students needing to excel in their good subjects and drop their weaker ones brings forth the debate of whether their talents are actually wasted or not. With so much diversity in our lives, it is only logical that as adults we start specializing in the things we are supposed to be good at. Not necessary things that we love. Because of this, there are lots of mismatches and hence I would go as far as to say unhappy people with their jobs and never fitting in. Therefore our girls here who are trying to take on a different route, subjects that they want to excel in so as to improve a certain goal in life but are hardly anywhere good at them. If you look at it, it could also go both ways. If the girls manage to pull off the incredible, good for them. All is well. But the girls can also actually end up failing hard and this puts a damper and only reinforces society to stick what you are good at. Of course we can say no pain, no gain or never try, won’t know. That’s why in the real world what if all of us were given a chance to actually take what we want instead that is expected of others. Would we have succeed and made the world a better place or would everything be worse off and let those disbelievers taunt in your face I-told-you-so? Unfortunately real life is not so kind so as to give us multiple save points where we can start over again from there.

Setting Yuiga as the main character, the only guy in his study group (because I am assuming all the other guys in school don’t like studying and hence aren’t as ‘smart’ as him) this sets him up for a lot of harem rom-com style clichés. I mean, that is the main method of how we are going to get our comedy, right? Typically too, being book smart doesn’t necessarily translate being romantically smart. I guess the latter is more of experience rather than easily learning it from some well-known love master author or some shady website online. How to make a girl fall in love with you in 3 easy steps! Yeah. Ultimate clickbait. But even if he is a dense guy when it comes to love, uhm, I mean friendship with his lady friends, I believe it is better for him to stay this way. Because this way he has a wonderful harem since when you’re married, you can only have 1 girl in your life!!! Being in a harem means girls will forever fight over you (at least in anime logic) unlike the married life where your wife is the only person who always picks a fight with you for no reason. Yeah… Take the harem route, always!!! So theoretically, the study group will never end?

What else can I say about the other girls in this study group? Basically from the looks of it after earning Yuiga’s trust, the slightest issue they face in their study, they will flock to him for guidance. Understandably their weak subjects are tough and they want to make this work because they have been given a strict chance to make it or else. But as you can see, slowly they are trying to take this study thingy to the next level. Though, very much subtly. Can’t say outright she likes him. That will ruin the fun. That’s why you have Ogata sulking with her cute puffy cheeks whenever Yuiga doesn’t respond the way she wants and Takemoto is very outgoing so as to conveniently hide her true feelings. And because you know, they’re childhood friends so she’s like that loud. So each of the girls having at least one episode in focus with Yuiga tries to build up their ‘worth and value’ and justify them to be part of the harem. Kominami sounds more like a cock teaser since she loves teasing and giving Yuiga high hopes that she wants to date him but quickly shoots it down after that. She gets her kicks seeing him fluster like that. It makes that boy oh so cute. She may be the greatest pretender among the harem and it is too early to brush her aside from the main pack.

Oddly, Kirisu feels like being borderline harem girl for Yuiga since she is a teacher. Poker face girls like her isn’t all that rare in the anime but with her putting up that snobbish b*tch attitude, one may hope to see her fall from her high horse and become smitten with Yuiga. It’s like the ultimate revenge to see her break character. Kirisu acts the way she does partly because she is weak in PR (she should take up this subject and I wonder if Yuiga could offer this) and there is this reputation she needs to protect. Imagine if everyone views her as a loose and casual teacher. It is either disrespect or be cold and strict and have students dislike you. Therefore many of her moments with Yuiga are like some sort of test from God to see if she would lose her character. Not perfect as she has shown her weak side (that cockroach incident) but can be considered as so far so good. Her b*tch-like character also stems from a trauma during her figure skating days. She is one of those ‘victims’ to the system whereby she was given no choice to pursue her dreams. Although she means good for Furuhashi and Ogata, she truly cares about them in the sense that she doesn’t want them to make the same mistakes as she did and carry that regret for the rest of their lives. Maybe that’s why the long poker face.

Some of the minor characters are amusing. Like Mizuki who seems to have this big brother complex. It looks like she is trying to train and become his future wife but ever since he got assigned to this study group, her womanly instincts ring like Spider-sense hell that he has been mixing with other women. There’s here anxiety. After all, he has been a virgin single for his (so far) entire life and does nothing but studying. What are women and love got to do about it? Then there is Sekijo who seems to just really want to be friends with Ogata. Yeah, this girl should also take some lessons in PR. Sorry, this anime not going down the yuri route. Also not forgetting the very overprotective father of Ogata who thinks he is doing all this to protect his little girl. Understandably, Yuiga as the outsider won’t have much say but thankfully Ogata holds higher authority than daddy so he better back down or she’ll hate him like forever!

Animation and art look simple and clean. Sometimes I think the characters look close to being cartoony than anime. Hence the characters have this one kind cute looks to it. Maybe except for Kominami. She looks kinda evil…Must but those eyes… And is it me or does Kirisu looks like she has a typical resting b*tch face? This anime is jointly animated by Silver and Arvo Animations. Not to be mistaken for Silver Link. No relations whatsoever. Oddly despite Silver being established a long time ago, this is actually their second animation overall! Their first being Akane Maniax way back in 2004! In between they have been mostly involved in 2nd key animations like Digimon Adventure Tri, Seiren and Tsuredzure Children. Even if they were key animators in others like Sakura Quest, Sword Art Online: Alicization and Zombie Land Saga, it was just for one or two episodes. So yeah, studios whom nobody has ever heard of.

Voice acting I only recognized Ayako Kawasumi as Yuiga’s mom, Yui Horie as Furuhashi’s mom and Kana Asumi as Umihara. Too bad veterans whose voice I am very familiar with are now relegated to such minor and cameo roles. For the rest of the cast, they are Ryota Ohsaka as Yuiga (Climb in Overlord), Haruka Shiraishi as Furuhashi (Asirpa in Golden Kamuy),Miyu Tomita as Ogata (titular character of Gabriel Dropout), Sayumi Suzushiro as Takemoto (Akira in High Score Girl), Madoka Asahina as Kominami (Nene in New Game), Lynn as Kirisu (Matsumoto in Watashi Ni Tenshi Ga Maiorita), Saori Oonishi as Sekijo (Aiz in DanMachi), Marika Kouno as Mizuki (Suzuka in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby) and You Taichi as Kawase (Dorothy in Princess Principal).

Both the opening and ending themes are sung by Study. You guessed it, the main study group of Furuhashi, Ogata and Takemoto. Nothing says and hints more than you to go study by naming your temporary group as one. Is this pure dedication? Not. Anyway, Seishun Seminar and Never Give It Up as the opening and ending theme respectively sounds like your average anime pop piece. Honestly, they sound bland. Could even be manufactured pop for all I know. Yeah, it is a good thing that none of them decided to pursue a career in music because this one is a subject where they should definitely stay away from!

Overall, despite the pretty standard, generic and overused clichés of the harem rom-com genre, this one is still passable and enjoyable in its own way. At least for a person who likes to watch this genre a lot. That’s why I am predicting it is going to be a lot more or less the same thing come the next season. Maybe ramp up the tension a little but don’t expect it to really end with Yuiga picking somebody or going so far as Go-toubun No Hanayome to marry a girl. Hence for this season, it is just okay storyline, okay characters, okay harem, okay fanservice… Hmm… They should have put in a beach episode here since that is what I learn after watching harem rom-coms. But I guess they substitute it with that lingerie shopping so it’s a-okay. It has been said a lot of times that there are things that one can’t learn from textbooks in schools. Because if love and relationship were this easy, I don’t think there would be this sort of animes to begin with. The showbiz industry would be very much lacking and this particular genre would be non-existent. That is why with love being such a subjective topic that no glove fits all, it provides us with this sort of ‘entertainment’. Yeah, better to watch and criticize the actions of others than your own. So much fun and safer that way. I guess that’s why we never learn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kenja No Mago

August 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nande Koko Ni Sensei Ga

August 17, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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