Urasekai Picnic

9 May, 2021

Initially I did not want to watch Urasekai Picnic because I very well know from the synopsis itself that this is going to be a supernatural horror series. You’re damn right that I better chicken out now rather than having sleepless nights. Not going to frighten myself to death for years to come. But wait… What the heck changed my mind to watch this? Oh… The promotional poster. A couple of cute girls as protagonists. Mmm… One of them looks very cute. Right up my kind of alley. Okay then. There’s the green light to check this out. Sighs… SIGHS… *Intense deep breathing*… I guess I never learn. Still a sucker for a pretty face. And that my friend, is how I ended up watching this series for the most stupidest of reasons. Horror genre, nope. Supernatural factor, nope. Mild yuri, okay but still nope. For the adventure and mystery plot, not to sure about it but still a nope. But one glimpse of a cute blonde girl on the front poster, SIGN ME UP NOW!!! Yeah, I know. Sighs… Stupid brain. Stupid libido. Stupid me.

Episode 1
In the Otherside, Sorawo Kamikoshi is attacked by some hazy smoky-like creature and almost left for dead. Until Toriko Nishina stumbles into the area looking for somebody and somewhat saves her. Sorawo warns her not to look directly at it or she’ll go mad. Didn’t listen, huh? With the creature still dangerously lingering around, Toriko throws a rock salt and the creature disappears! All that’s left is a shiny cube. Then they take refuge in an abandoned cabin as they talk about their experiences entering the Otherside. So this creature is called wiggle-waggle, huh? Sorawo read up some urban legend about it but its existence is still shrouded in mystery. Toriko is interested to sell the cube. A loud bang is heard on the door. Toriko whips out her gun just in case. Sorawo peeks into the peephole and sees all blue. This is bad news as Toriko’s experience tells her something bad will happen. As they prepare and open the door, they are relieved to have returned to their own world. A week later, Toriko visits Sorawo at her university to bug her and go wiggle-waggle hunting. I guess she has someone interested to buy the cube. Don’t worry, she has bought lots of rock salt at a bargain! They’re going to hit it rich! The duo enter some building to take an elevator. Well, according to Toriko, pressing the floor buttons in certain order gets you to the Otherside. Just don’t let all those crazy spirits from other floors rush in! SHUT THE DOOR QUICK!!! Finally they enter the Otherside. After searching around, they see a corpse. Shortly, wiggle-waggle pops up. Toriko throws her salt. Nothing happens. She shoots her guns. Nothing happens. Is this all they’ve got? Yup. Now cower and panic! As they think of what to do, Sorawo thinks of playing this side’s rules and that means staring into wiggle-waggle directly. However she has to do it herself and in the event she really goes mad, she needs Toriko to bring her back. Staring game begins and when it sounds like Sorawo is losing herself, Toriko slaps her back to senses. Sorawo now realizes and remembers what needs to be done. When she stares at it intensely, shoot it! This works as the creature turns into a shiny cube. The girls are relieved but also their fear set in. But hey, it was fun. Because now they can strike it rich! Time to celebrate. Sorawo narrates she wanted to keep Otherside to herself despite how scary it is. But she thinks it is more fun with this weirdo around.

Episode 2
Sorawo’s right eye is blue thanks to staring too long at the wiggle-waggle. Likewise, because Toriko tried to help her pull out whatever wiggle-waggle effects from her eye then, now her right hand is translucent. Toriko suggests visiting a professor friend of hers who has been researching this Otherside. So Kozakura is a grumpy loli? Okay, don’t judge a book by its cover. Damn, Kozakura freaking out when she learns they encountered the fourth kind. After explaining it briefly, this all stemmed for searching their friend, Satsuki Uruma whom they believed disappeared there. Satsuki was obsessed with the Otherside and like other fanatics, get involved with it too much and you’ll never return. Kozakura who was dragged into studying this supernatural, definitely didn’t want to go to the Otherside like she did and because of that, Satsuki brought in Toriko as her apprentice to explore more. Then 3 months ago, she vanished. After selling her the cube, too bad Kozakura can’t treat her translucent hand. She’s not a doctor, you know.

Next time Toriko and Sorawo meet up, they journey back to the Otherside. Sorawo feeling jealous she got dragged into this mess just to look for her friend. Before the argument could blow up, a guy points his gun at them and tells them to stop. Abarato just saved them from a supernatural trap called glitches that would have zapped them to nothing. Abarato mistakes Sorawo as his wife but soon comes to his senses. He tells his story that his wife was spirited away, the reason he came here looking for her. She disappeared one night after dinner and after all his research and possibilities, he concluded that and tried to find ways to get to the Otherside known to him as the Zone. He managed to get here via some shrine at certain time and angle. He also cautions them there are denizens of the Zone who have infiltrated their world, tapping their phones and meals just to abduct humans to their world. He knows they aren’t because they were arguing and Zone denizens don’t have emotions. As they follow strange footsteps into a strange building, before them is a strange woman in white. Sorawo knows that isn’t Satsuki as Toriko claims but rather Lady Hasshaku. However the latter ignores and continues to walk forward. Abarato too sees his wife in her and runs forward. Shortly, he disappears. Sorawo tries to force Toriko back but then suddenly it is Toriko who is trying to get Sorawo back! Sorawo realizes she was being tricked by Hasshaku. Was it playing her feelings for Toriko? So she likes Toriko? But what to do now? Sorawo realizes her right eye can see things in its real state so this has her realize Toriko’s hand can touch things and make them physical. She has Toriko touch Hasshaku as Sorawo pumps bullets into it to kill it for good. Next thing they know, they are back in reality but far from home. No money. Call Kozakura for help. Too bad, she tells them to walk home. You can do it! Ah well, it beats dying, right?

Episode 3
Another day, another adventure in the Otherside. Damn, that elevator jump scare almost got me!!! Anyway, as they trek to the village that Toriko supposedly wants to go, they have to watch out for glitches. Sure, Sorawo’s eye can spot them but she fears there may be some that are hidden. Yeah, it’s going to be troublesome to keep throwing and picking up stones just to check their path. Better safe than sorry. Even when Toriko suggests tying a rope to it, sounds like a great idea until they realize what if you also get hit by the glitch because it is connected to the rope? Back to square one. Better safe than sorry. Finally they enter this supposed village. Looks empty, looks strange. They think denizens of the Zone stay here. As they leave, Sorawo realizes Toriko has wandered off. Oh sh*t. As she looks for her, Toriko suddenly grabs her to hide in the shed. So something separated them then? Anyway, they feel something is looking for them and to remain inside here. Not sure why Sorawo is so conscious about Toriko’s face being too close to hers and that’s why she falls through the dilapidated shed. Freak out time! Because WTF this big headed alien monster???!!! RUN!!! They shoot a few shots and it shrivels up and dies. Phew. But what now, the entire village of big headed aliens are running after them! RUN FASTER!!! Thanks to the bad CGI, they don’t look as scary… With finite bullets, Sorawo then sees a small altar that connects back to their world. She has Toriko touch it as they jump in. Damn, the aliens also follow?! When they made it into their world, the altar disappears altogether. Phew. What a close shave. Then they start arguing about their head size. WTF. But Toriko is glad Sorawo is reliable and that they should continue teaming up. But Sorawo needs to really rethink all this.

Episode 4
Sorawo sees weird visions of what is believed to be the Space-Time Man who tells her not to return to Otherside again or she’ll never come back. It is believed that this guy guards the Otherside and prevents any intrusion into the world. Because Sorawo doesn’t want to risk her life looking for someone she doesn’t know, Toriko takes this the wrong way and leaves. She’ll find her precious Satsuki alone. Sorawo feels bad over saying that as she didn’t intend it that way. She just wanted to say she’s scared. Hence Sorawo goes to seek Kozakura’s help but she’s not going into the Otherside with her. Sorawo shows strange photos on her phone and one of them includes the day she met Toriko. That photo she didn’t know she has is actually Satsuki. When strange neighbours come banging on Kozakura’s door, she takes out her shotgun and tells them to scram. It all quiets down after she opens it. But jump scare!!! A big head eats them! Woah. Kozakura freaking out and pumping a few lead into but no use. They’re in the Otherside. Kozakura really getting scared as she admits she is useless here and not cut out for this fieldwork. So we hear her talk about what makes one scared easily or not. Also, a bit on Toriko’s past as her parents served in the Canadian military, that’s why she is good with guns. Also a bit on Sorawo’s past, her mom died while her dad and grandma joined some cult. They then kidnapped her as they camped out in some ruins. Some spirit thingy asked her if she needed them and since she didn’t. She was told to walk home with a kerosene and wait. Later, their bodies were found dead in the news. Sorawo had nowhere to go and somehow ended up taking a student loan for university. Can she repay that without any inheritance?

Sorawo thought she spots Toriko. She fires a warning shot but no response. Even weird, Kozakura walks off by herself without taking her shotgun. As Sorawo goes to look, she sees glitches everywhere and the Space-Time Man asking her why he did not heed his warning. Next thing she knows, everyone before her turned into plants. She snaps out of it after hearing Kozakura calling her. It seems Kozakura heard Satsuki’s voice and followed it. By the time she realized, she was in the middle of this place. Sorawo decides to further look for Toriko by using her eye to see the glitch’s true nature. So Kozakura not coming along? Will she be alright alone? Better believe in Sorawo then. Sorawo sees a version of herself that leads her to a blue room where Toriko is waiting. Toriko can’t come back with her since she has found Satsuki. Of course Sorawo can tell that is not Satsuki but a monster in disguise. Toriko in a trance as she talks about fear. Because humans only imagine it, the reason they use it to gain access to their minds. It is just their way of interacting. Sorawo continues to insist and tell her not to fall for this crap. She won’t let her be taken and pumps a few shots into the monster. After it disappears, Toriko returns to her normal self as she realizes that isn’t Satsuki. Then they get into a little squabble about Sorawo’s ambiguous words earlier on that caused their friction. But they soon make up and return to their world. Oh, did they forget all about poor Kozakura?! She’s waiting…

Episode 5
It’s going to be an expensive affair making up to Kozakura. Man, look at the pile of plates she ordered. After she’s done, Toriko orders more on the menu for themselves. It’s a party to celebrate their reconciliation. Toriko shows Sorawo that Hasshaku’s hat she’s got and tries it on for size. Good fit. Sorawo then talks about wanting to stop doing such dangerous stuffs because one day they’ll end up dead. Toriko isn’t worried. As long as they’re together, things will work out. Once done, looks like the bill racks up to 19 grand!!! OMFG!!! So trying to request a separate bill for Kozakura, eh?! Yeah, think about the trouble later. However the cashier seems to say something odd as they leave. Toriko doesn’t notice anything since she’s a bit drunk. Walking in the streets, Sorawo starts noticing it is getting darker and darker. I don’t think they’re saving electricity. Before they know it, they suddenly find themselves in Otherside. I suppose they’ve never been here at night. Sorawo thinks it’s because Toriko touched Hasshaku’s hat that got them into this spot. Then they spot this weird robo creature (discount AT-AT Walker?) with corpses hanging from it! Don’t want to wait to find out. Run! Plus, some strange face ghost thingy is chasing them too! They stumble into a railroad and hope to follow it to reach the station. They get down when they hear gunshots. Turns out to be the military. Lieutenant Will Drake talks to them and learns they are from Tokyo. But his men are wary and think they are one of the creatures. But Will knows they are human since they were being chased. Also, there’s this strange horned man that just walks pass them. Will continues to explain they are US marines from Okinawa. A usual training day turned into this when they suddenly realize the different vegetation. They had a few casualties and the robo mule they had carrying their dead comrades stepped on a glitch and turned into that monster. The marines take the girls to their base that is next to Station February AKA Kisaragi Station. Wow, it’s like they made a mini military base camp here.

Episode 6
Asking why they didn’t make it around the station, Will says because it is dangerous when the train comes. He takes them to see their commander, Major Ray Barker who explains how they experienced many casualties when they got here. Many losing their minds so they had to put them down. Those who step on glitches were far worse as they altered their bodies. He wants them to accompany the scout team tomorrow to look for more glitches but when they ask why they didn’t follow the tracks since there are none over it, they did send a team in both direction but only 1 came back and he became mad. As Will sees them to their tent, he also advises them not to use their handphones. Of course they disobey that order as Toriko has Sorawo call Kozakura. Yeah, that loli scientist isn’t impressed but he tells them to get whoever the f*ck behind them to stop being so noisy! Only, there’s no one behind them! Yikes! After explaining the marines they are with, Kozakura wonders if they are a top secret unit because she has never heard of this legion before. There is a chance that they might silence them. Especially so when they find out their bodies are altered. Then it gets weirder as Kozakura starts talking in an ominous way about the incoming train. Then something happens has all the marines scramble. Will is disappointed to find they have used the handphone because now a big battle is going to start. It seems the face ghost is rushing down from the mountains and the marines are pumping all the bullets at it but nothing happens. Sorawo wonders if the face ghost is just trying to scare them. Then she uses her eye to see a bull as its true form. She has Toriko snipe at it but nothing happens. Thinking perception has something to do with it, she snipes it herself and the face ghost is gone. The marines are happy that they have won but when they see Sorawo’s different eye, they become agitated that they might be one of the wild things. The girls make a run towards the station as the marines chase them. The train is coming as Sorawo could see their real world in it. They have to get on this train no matter what. So on the right timing as they jump on the tracks, Toriko grabs it as they ride inside the train. However Sorawo could see other ominous things and protects Toriko not to look at them. By the time they wake up, they’re back in their own world. Meanwhile Kozakura is creep out replaying the handphone conversation with Sorawo and Toriko because it has very creepy and random lines. She thinks they were playing a prank on her and will make them pay.

Episode 7
Beach episode! Sort of. The last time the duo jumped onto the tracks and back to their own world, they now find themselves in Okinawa. Oh yeah. Time to party. From bar hopping to shopping, is this what heavenly youth tastes like? Too bad for us hoping to see any yuri intercourse because they troll us with Toriko being naked in bed the next morning and Sorawo wondering if they actually did it. Only our imaginations will enlighten us… Eventually as they take a taxi home, something strange happens. Before they know it, they realize the taxi they are in turns out to be an abandoned car with lots of overgrowth on it. Clearly they have gone to the Otherside but since it is the beach, let’s have fun! From sunbathing to more drinking and target practice, fun is over when they heard strange voices nearby. Turns out to be punks beating dead a kid. When the punks target them, they did not hesitate to shoot and kill. Of course, Sorawo could tell they aren’t humans in the first place. Uhm, some animatronics made from various junk? Then the whole place turns night and blue. Uh oh. Scary monsters pop up as Sorawo reminds Toriko what she said that things get real bad when it turns blue. Yeah, Toriko just getting scared thinking bad about that. More creepy sand dolls rush out from the house to attack them. Shoot! Sure, unless you have unlimited ammo. Sorawo suggests running back to their parasol. Then she takes out Hasshaku’s hat and has Toriko’s hand run some run pattern around it. It then opens a portal back to their world just in time before the monsters close in. Although Hasshaku’s hat is broken, at least they come back in one piece. Still, Toriko wanted to sell the hat to Kozakura. But noticing a seashell from the Otherside came along with them, looks like this will do. Got to think positive after all. But for Sorawo, she noticed seeing someone at the end of the portal before it closes right after they land back here. Satsuki?

Episode 8
Akari Seto approaches Sorawo and thinks she has sixth sense and is an expert in the supernatural. She needs her help because she is being attacked by… Ninja cats! So any pizza? Just kidding! Sorawo dismisses that reputation of hers but Akari leaves her number to be contacted. Sorawo tells this to Toriko and Kozakura and of course they laugh it off. But the urban legend is real as there are stories about it popping up on the internet recently. So what’s this tanuki Kozakura have? It’s her own way to help cope with the fear. By the way, that’s a racoon… The doorbell rings. Oh no. Will history repeat itself? Just the delivery guy. So who ordered this strange vehicle? Toriko did during her drunken stupor. She thought it might be a good mode to traverse the Otherside. Kozakura kicks them out of her house as she will have nothing to do with them! Don’t want to be spooked like last time. Later Toriko talks to Sorawo about taking up Akari’s case. Sorawo seems to have her doubts. From what I understand, she finds cats cute and can’t bring herself to harm or kill them even if they are not really cats and from the Otherside. Toriko assures to leave everything to her. So they meet up with Akari who explains her situation. About a month ago, she stumbled into a group of cats. They started following her and subsequently attacked her during the daytime. She has some photos but they’re all blur. Don’t look now but there is a couple of them right now! Oh sh*t! Real ninja cats! Sorawo realizes they’ve stepped into the Space-Time dimension. They make a run for it as the ninja cats attack. Thanks to Akari’s karate, that is what helped her stay alive. Sorawo still cannot bring herself to attack the cats. Damn, those ninja cats faster than bullets! Sorawo also realizes because these ninja cats are like the Space-Time Man, they can only see but cannot touch. When the ninja cats search Akari’s purse, Sorawo asks her if she had something they want or did anything to abuse cats. None. Sorawo uses her eye to see and finds whatever the ninja cats are looking for is inside of Akari. This causes Akari to act hostile and weird so Sorawo forces Toriko to use her hand to grab whatever it is inside of Akari. She returns to normal and recognizes this cat charm that she got from her tutor but somehow lost it. Sorawo throws it away and the ninja cats immediately go after it. Damn, Sorawo actually thought of selling it to Kozakura? Now that they need to find a way out, suddenly they are surrounded by white cats! Furry dive attack! Next thing they know, they’re back in their world. Akari promises to keep this a secret and further explains how she got this charm. Apparently her tutor went missing 6 months ago. Guess who? Yup. Satsuki.

Episode 9
Kozakura calls Sorawo and Toriko to get their asses down here now. Oh, Akari is here too?! Apparently she knows about Kozakura thanks to Satsuki. She needs Sorawo’s help again. She asks if she knows about Kanno Sannuki. Looks like her friend, Natsumi “Nattsun” Ichikawa met a strange monkey that talked to her. Sorawo knows about this urban legend too. From what I understand, you are given human teeth and you’re supposed to give it to this old lady named Sannuki later. Problem is, Nattsun threw it away. So they go see Nattsun as she explains her woes ever since that day. After throwing away the teeth, she saw an old lady hung from the tree. More bad luck befall on her family (getting into accidents) and strange and creepy things start to happen to her. Sorawo uses her eye to look around the area. She sees something buried underneath a tree and digging it up reveals an urn filled with human teeth! It looks like there are many other things buried in the vicinity from skeletal remains of a dog and an old altar. As they continue searching, Nattsun talks to Sorawo about Satsuki. She feels she has this creepy vibe around her and had this feel she might take Akari away. Suddenly, Sannuki pops up before them. She claims she has not receive any teeth from them and is going to take them. And just like that Nattsun loses a tooth?! Akari tries to fight her but also loses one! However Sorawo wants Akari to continue fighting her. Don’t worry. She’ll be her eyes and will be watching her. In that instant, it’s like Akari falls into a trance and becomes some badass b*tch to give Sannuki a wholesome beat down!!! Until Sorawo says that’s enough that Akari returns to normal and Sannuki disintegrates. In the aftermath, things are looking up now for Nattsun and her family. Akari praises Sorawo because when she said those words to her, it was like she didn’t feel scared anymore. Sorawo quickly dismisses her that she likes urban legends. However she is into real life horror stories. Unlike urban legends based on sketchy origins, real life horror stories are first person accounts of direct contact with the paranormal. They are clues that lead to the other world and tales of those who lived to tell the tale. Akari changes the subject about Sorawo growing out her hair. Because it makes her look a bit like Satsuki now. What… Oh sh*t…

Episode 10
Toriko invites the gang to a BBQ restaurant. When Sorawo meets up with her, it seems she brings up the topic of Kisaragi Station. Thought you all forgotten about it, eh? Anyway, she wants to save those soldiers and can’t abandon them like that. Before they can discuss on how to go about that, they receive a call from Akari. It seems she can’t find the restaurant. What does she mean? She’s in an elevator and messing around with the buttons but now she’s on the rooftop. Oh sh*t… Don’t tell me… WHAT ARE THE CHANCES?! Then she thinks she saw them waving at her and goes to them. WAIT! DON’T GO!!! Line cuts off. Oh dear. Time to go get her back. As they are about to close the elevator door, Kozakura quickly rushes in. Can’t miss out on the BBQ, right? Wait till she hears about the detour they’re going to. F*CK THIS SH*T!!! LET ME OUT!!! Too late, you’re in for the ride. And so a panicky Kozakura has to suck it up and follow them. They finally reach the floor where Akari is supposedly on. They see and call out to her but it seems she just ignores them and walks ahead. As this place isn’t technically the Otherside and in between, this limbo might be stranger than the Otherside. Other than Kozakura complaining the usual, we see strange stuffs and experience strange things. I think this is just for the jump scare! Oh, how’s your heart, Kozakura? They follow Akari deep into different and strange platforms until Sorawo manages to catch up to her. It is then Akari is glad to see her. However Akari claims she has been following them. How can it be when they’re the ones chasing her? She also claims she was following Sorawo with long hair. Oh… But Sorawo has short hair. Oh… Akari doesn’t even know why. Don’t look now but a strange figure is before them. Since Sorawo’s eye and Toriko’s hands are twitching, they know it’s dangerous. Run back to the elevator! Oh Kozakura, you can run faster if you stop complaining! Not sure how this mist works because it’s like it’s hesitating despite catching up to the girls who are now in the elevator. The door closes. Phew. Safe. JUMP SCARE! IT OPENS THE DOOR! Next thing Sorawo knows, the door opens, it’s hell. Everywhere fire. And before them is Satsuki?! She uses Toriko’s hands to touch the scene and return them to reality. And here they are at the restaurant. Man, what a trip to work up an appetite. Yeah, do you still have an appetite? Kozakura better learn her lesson not to eat out with these girls anymore. But they’re still going to pay so it’s on them. Oh well… Everything’s back to normal, I guess?

Episode 11
So the girls call Kozakura because they want her help to go rescue the marines? Can they not get her involved? So they’re at the restaurant trying to recreate all their steps that led them there again. Yeah, at least this time they’re doing it at day time. Thankfully, Kozakura won’t be going with them but if they manage to get back alive, she’ll gladly buy this Hasshaku hat from them. After going everything they think would lead them to the Otherside, nothing seems to happen until they step back in to the Otherside. Oh, it’s night time. When they reach the tracks, a few gun shots are fired at them. Toriko fires a few shots in Morse code to signal SOS. The shots then stop. Then they rendezvous with Will and his soldiers who are surprised to see them. Apparently it has only been a few days here after the girls went missing. Sorawo explains her eye can spot glitches and they’re back to help them get out. Back at the base, the remaining survivors pack up what they need to prepare for home. Will shows the girls a couple of huge anti-mine tanks that they’ll be riding. Also, Toriko teaches Sorawo how to use an assault rifle and confirms her story that her mom served in the Canadian military. The gang gets moving as Sorawo leads the way and spot glitches in their path to be avoided. After a few hundred metres, the camp explodes. Will has set explosives so as to leave as few traces of their presence as possible. As they are seemingly at the home stretch, they spot a soldier waving for help. Sorawo can tell he is not human but the enemy. Fire at will! Oh sh*t! Lots of mud monsters charging???!!! How to defeat them when they regenerate? Even more so when Sorawo achieves a direct headshot at the strange horned man but his entire head rejuvenates. But after a certain distance, the enemies stop attacking and just stood there. Arriving at the place where the marines supposedly first entered this Otherside, Will can’t seem to remember at first but his hazy memories indicates he saw something nightmarish. The girls go to investigate the well ahead that could be a portal but to their horror they spot a woman watching them from behind a tree. WTF IS THIS KAKANDARA???!!! DON’T GIVE ME THE SCARES LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 12
FIRE!!! SHOOT! SHOOOOOOT!!! Oh, it’s not working. HOW?! Kakandara transforms to its hideous true form and lets loose some paralyzing ultrasonic wave. Then some weird staring competition with Sorawo. She won’t lose until she finds its weakness. She needs Toriko to find something big to attack. Why, she rams it with a tank! Keep hitting and firing! Eventually it dies. Woah. That was… EASY?! Using Toriko’s hand to open the well, it also opens a gate back to reality. The soldiers are relieved as they give their lifetime of gratitude to the girls. Once all the soldiers are out, looks like the girls aren’t coming with them and close the gate. At least they got some moment to themselves. Sorawo crying from all the scary stuff as she reveals she didn’t actually care about the soldiers until Toriko brought it up and only did so because she asked. Toriko dismisses that and claims she is a kind person. Then they get out of here. Not sure how or where but eventually they did. Because now they’re back in Kozakura’s place and she’s reprimanding them about that vehicle still parked at her place. Do something it in 3 days or she will! As they look around for a gate big enough to drive it through, Sorawo realizes the one right in front of Kozakura’s house. Uh oh. Look at Kozakura’s reaction when she is told about it. Don’t freak out now! Can’t blame her for being grumpy and mad. Yeah, a gate of scary stuffs just right at her doorstep. You think they should buy her land too in that case? Show me the money! And don’t bring back scary stuffs! You hear?! The duo drive the vehicle into the Otherside. They talk about things. Like Toriko noting how Sorawo tagged along with her despite having no interest in Satsuki. Well, that’s because she’s her friend, no? But Toriko wonders if she is alright because this might hold her back since she has other friends. Toriko thinks she was once like her. She only wanted Satsuki in her life and nobody else. The irony was that she disappeared first. Her fear was to be alone in this world. Sorawo also thought when she first came to Otherside, she was happy to have a world of her own. She didn’t care about what others feel for her or feel scared about dying or alone. Until she met Toriko. Although Toriko still misses Satsuki and wants to see her, she is no longer afraid. I think we all know why. After returning to reality, they invite Kozakura and Akari for BBQ. So they think of splitting the bill, huh? Screw that. If they want to keep their vehicle at her place, you better treat her as much as she wants! Yeah…

Hello From The Otherside…
Oh, that was quite a pretty tame ending to say the least. But I don’t think I don’t want to have anything other than that. I mean, leaving everything with a cliff-hanger, something that scares the sh*t out of you and then just ends, leaving the heroines’ fate unknown, or some mind boggling scare teaser about Satsuki (like, she’s saying hello to you girls as she peeks from the edge of the gate! FFFFUUUU!!!!), man, I don’t think I could handle that. So with this tame ending to wind down things and to somewhat cement the friendship of Toriko and Sorawo, I find that acceptable. I’ll have it no other way!

Very safe to say, I was very spooked while watching this. Never have I felt such a way for a very long time. Even the seemingly less spooky ninja cats episode that looks so tame (and perhaps cute?) in comparison to other episodes, it still somewhat scared the hell out of me. Even when there are a few scenes that feel like red herring and nothing much ado (that strange limbo place where they try to get Akari back), it still adds to the scary factor. Most probably I have been conditioned to be prepared to be scared after the few initial episodes. Especially the ones riding the elevator to the Otherside and the damning episode of Hasshaku that sealed the fear factor in me. Ever since, every subsequent episode feels close to a jump scare for me even if the monsters or spirits weren’t mean to be that scary and maybe just ordinary to veteran horror buffs. But to me, it was really one hell of a scary ride. Yes, even as I type this line, I am still having goosebumps and my hair standing on ends all over! Yikes… I hope it was all worth the pretty face, my dumbass highness…

One of the reasons why I am scared this much or generally why humans are so is because of the fear of the unknown. Because I am not very well versed or knowledgeable about the supernatural, watching a supernatural horror series like this one enhanced that childhood fear of those eerie stories our grandmas used to tell us. It’s very flimsy and sketchy but those kind of creepy stories get etched in your mind forever especially when you’re a kid. Of course one obvious way is to do more research and find out more about the urban legends. However the fear of being further spooked the more I know, I just didn’t feel like doing any Google search. And hence it is that very same fear of the unknown as well as my blatant ignorance that contributes greatly to my frightfulness. Therefore there are a lot of stuffs here that have big questions marks and probably not solved (mainly Sorawo’s questioning of things that didn’t really amount to any concrete answers at all). Yes, people. I am not willing to risk the danger of being further scared even if there is a slight chance of me overcoming that fear with new enlightenment!!! NEVER!!! Better stay ignorant and in the dark. And be where the monsters lurk… Oh sh*t…

Therefore the other thing the further compounds my fear while watching this series is the musical score. Oh man. It was pretty damn effective in playing a part in scaring me. While it is not the creepiest of all soundtracks that I heard, one of the effective way of enhancing the fear is sometimes the track gets really loud at the most suspenseful and frightful of moments. Each time I heard the weird music, the back of my mind must be preparing for sh*t hitting the fan. And when it starts to gradually get loud and all the spooky suspense happening before my eyes, my mind will be ringing like mad, “OH SH*T!!! OH SH*T!!! JUMP SCARE COMING!!! PLEASE DON’T COME… PLEASE DON’T COME!!! PLEASE, NO… AAAAARRRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!”. Yeah. I don’t know how I survived a dozen episodes without getting a heart attack. And the irony is that the background music aren’t that memorable to begin with. Can’t remember the tune right now but I know it’s going to be a scary one if I hear it again.

Now that I’ve got the horror aspects out of the way, let me move on to the story. It’s just a simple story of a couple of girls trying to find their lost friend on the other side. Nothing really spectacular. And that setting itself is an ‘excuse’ for the main duo to go on several excursions to find Satsuki, hence the encounter of many weird and spooky beings. Thus many of the episodes feel episodic and stand alone in nature. Because it’s like they want to try a certain path to reach their goal but it turns out to be a miss so back to square one. Hey, don’t know if you don’t try, right? Looking back in hindsight, sometimes it feels funny that most of the time they just run away when the enemy is spotted. I mean, could a mere mortal human take on those unexplained beings? I suppose that is your jump scare and horror factor because had they been heroines and go in to fight them head on, it wouldn’t have been much of a horror genre that was intended to be.

Of course there are some things that don’t make sense to me but as I have pointed out, that is because I don’t want to do any research so as to further scare myself. But others like Toriko and Sorawo arming themselves with guns to shoot at apparitions? Like, does it really work?! Are the bullets imbued with silver coating or holy water? I don’t know. I don’t see any effect of them firing at the apparitions and it’s like as though they’re taking pot shots. Hey, better than standing there doing nothing and just screaming. At least you have a gun and you could just divert all your fear while shooting at the enemy (hit or miss is a different story) and screaming. There. Feel better already? And it’s like they’re always lucky to get out in one piece and alive. I don’t know how they make it out but they did. Not that I care to know any further.

As for the main characters, not that I really give a damn at this point but yeah, as you could tell, cutie pie Toriko is the reason why I jumped in watching this horror fest. Sorawo’s a bit plain and their personalities are almost polar opposites. Toriko being the cheerful and positive one but Sorawo being gloomy looking and a bit more cautious. There’s some mild friendship thingy that hints it could blow up into some yuri thingy but I was too spooked to even care about it. Oh, Toriko and Sorawo getting a bit close to each other. Oh, I suppose it’s yuri time- WHAT THE F*CK DID THEY JUST JUMP SCARE ME???!!! Yeah… More often it feels like that. And their supernatural abilities feel flimsy because I don’t really know how it works. Sure, Sorawo’s eye could see things while Toriko’s hand could enable things. They just use it sparingly and not rely on it when they can. So more often I feel this is for convenience to get the plot moving or get them out of a pinch. Otherwise it would’ve made them God characters if they overused it and that won’t be fun anymore, right?

The best character and my personal favourite whom I can always relate to: Kozakura!!! Yes, this girl is literally the embodiment of my fears of the supernatural and I can actually feel for her when she gets drag into supernatural shenanigans by the duo. She may be a supernatural research expert but that doesn’t mean she isn’t supposed to be scared of them. It might be selfish of me to think this way but for Kozakura to be dragged into the Otherside by the rest, it somewhat makes me feel assured and ‘safe’ knowing that I am not the only chicken sh*t who is following Toriko and Sorawo into the Otherside. There’s another coward with me too. Phew. Thanks Kozakura. I knew I could count on you! Even in times of such scariness, Kozakura still thinks of the girls albeit with some sarcasm (like how they’ll have to compensate her for this scary sh*t). Yeah, I understand. Trying to be funny to ease the fear, huh? I’d do the same too…

Lastly, there’s Akari whom I feel is like the odd bunch. Introduced in the later half, she doesn’t add much to the table. Not even a potential yuri threesome whatsoever. Heh. Anyway, she her link to them is that, you’ve guessed it, Satsuki. This only further makes me speculate a flimsy conspiracy theory of mine that Sorawo is Satsuki herself because Akari noted she looked like her. After all, how much do we know about Sorawo’s past? And then there’s some mind bending memory altering conspiracy thingy… WTF… Hey, better I get confused than get spooked! Also on Akari, I think for her to be good in martial arts is to provide some variety because Toriko is good with guns, Sorawo just an amateur, so someone who can do close quarter combat should be ideal. Though, same problem of not sure how her punches and kicks can connect with the supernatural. Yeah, her alter ego part feels confusing. Is she possessed or does she have another side of hers?

Art and animation feel pretty standard. For the umpteenth time, yeah, have to note Toriko is the cute anime girl who made me watch this series. The rest just feels plain like Sorawo and Akari. Kozakura having white hair, I am deducing she got spooked so much that it lost their colour! HAHAHA!!! Oh sh*t, will mine to?! I hate to admit it but even if the apparitions are weirdly designed, some of them really spooked the hell out of me. Especially Hasshaku… I DON’T WANT TO REMEMBER FURTHER ABOUT HER!!!!! There is also CGI used but not as common and not so obvious. The more obvious CGI part is at the end whereby we see mainly Toriko and Sorawo (sometimes Kozakura) chilling out, talking nonsense with a cold one. Horribly weird but cute low quality CGI. But I guess it beats the scary looking ones. This anime is jointly done by Felix Film (Nekopara series) and Lidenfilms (Yamada-kun And The Seven Witches, Koi To Uso, Beelzebub-jou No Okinimesu Mama).

For the voice acting, I recognized Ai Kayano as Toriko since she is in her usual cutie voice. The only other one I recognized is Junichi Suwabe as Will. As usual, sounds weird as an American when trying to speak some lines in Engrish… Rina Hidaka as Kozakura sounds different. Probably she wasn’t in her loli mode and more of a grumpy sarcastic scaredy cat so it went over my radar. Other casts are Yumiri Hanamori as Sorawo (Seth in Radiant), Miyu Tomita as Akari (titular character in Gabriel Dropout) and Miyuri Shimabukuro as Nattsun (titular character in Yuragi-sou No Yuuna-san). The opening theme is Minikui Ikimono by Chico With Honeyworks. Feels a bit out of place because it’s a lively rock outfit. Hey, can’t complain. Don’t want to hear a spooky opener to further aggravate my fears. Though, I prefer the ending theme is You&Me by Miki Satou. Still a bit weird for a horror series since it has some hop elements in it and honestly even if this song isn’t my cup of tea, it does sound a bit calming and soothing after a scary episode. Hmm… Maybe I can get used to liking it after hearing a few more times. Machi Wo Nukete by Rionos is the special ending for the final episode. It is a slow and calming song that would’ve suited shows like Aria The Animation. However seeing this is a horror genre, I can’t help feel it creeps the hell out of me.

Overall, if there is going to be another season of this, for hell sure I’M NOT GOING TO BE WATCHING THIS SCARY HORROR SH*T AGAIN!!! Yup, definitely learnt my lesson here and it is a good thing I didn’t get sleepless nights. Thanks to me watching a few sleazy animes of the season after that to help calm my nerves. Heh. All in all, this supernatural horror with a pinch of yuri salt in it might be nothing to seasoned horror veterans and those who are looking for some sort of meaty story. But for those who are horror averse like me, stay way clear out of it. Don’t engage what you don’t know! So when something strange is in the neighbourhood, who am I going to call? Certainly not Ghostbusters or even Toriko-Sorawo combo. Because I’m going to run like hell! So was it really worth the pretty face? I don’t know. I mean, I came in expected to gawk at Toriko but I became like Kozakura instead. And I’m not even a lolicon! Yeah, the pretty face didn’t save me at all… Worst picnic of my life… More like, urusei panic!

Hataraku Saibou Black

8 May, 2021

If you thought the original Hataraku Saibou was just child’s play, and that everything was just happy-happy edutainment with nothing really serious, wait till you watch Hataraku Saibou Black. Yes, people. This is somewhat of a warning to those who don’t take care of their body well. In this darker dystopian world of Cells At Work, we see the primary body being abused by all kinds of substance. Hence inviting all sorts of dangers and putting all the overworked cells at risk. There is only so much your cells can do because the rest is up to you. Thinking of taking that one stick of smoke as break? Or indulging yourself in litres of alcohol? Staying up late to watch anime marathon!!!!!!!!! Oh sh*t… Uhm, erm… I still have youth, RIGHT???!!!

Episode 1
Oh sh*t. Dead RBCs. U-1196 slicing all the bacteria as a dejected AA2153 wonders what they’re working for. U-1196 tells him to just keep working for better or worse. Flashback shows AA2153 and other RBCs were shown a nice video as they graduate and get ready to be integrated into the system. Wow. Sounds like fun. The moment they step out and meet their seniors, it seems they’re not the kindest seniors ever as they force the newbies to start working. Is this what they signed up for? When AA2153 gets to the digestive system to deliver the oxygen, he realizes the master cell who was in that video is not as kind as he was. He explains the body has changed and that was the old video they used. Next time bring the oxygen faster! Later when other cells complain about the lack of oxygen, AA2153 sounds like he wanted to oblige but a senior makes up a promise to take him away. He then tells the harsh truth of RBCs having to work and work due to being shorthanded. Many of the oxygen is now prioritized to be taken to the main vitals. AA2153 wonders how he can keep smiling under so much pressure. Suppress your feelings! Don’t think of taking it easy! Later they bump into LDL, bad cholesterol trying to illegally deposit cholesterol here and there. If they block the pathways, soon the RBCs can’t get through. Worse, all the stress is also causing bumps in the wall. AA2153 thought he could take a break after finishing a round. But another senior tells him to get up and work. Friendly senior tells him to cut him some slack but it seems that is the reason why they are paying the price now. AA2153 continues his rounds. However, carbon monoxide has infiltrated into the vessels, causing several RBCs to turn zombie. Worse, bacteria is attacking and had not U-1196 jump in, AA2153 would’ve been dead meat. AA2153 is about to lose it. He has had it about this job but senior tells him the moment they become mature RBCs, they will be doing this forever and ever not because it’s an order. There’s nothing else they can do! Senior decides to carry the oxygen to the brain cell and runs through the carbon monoxide. RIP senpai. U-1196 won’t allow AA2153 to follow his footsteps and has him follow her. She goes to investigate the lungs where the source of the problems started. It’s a mess with all the grime everywhere. All thanks to smoking. Apparently this body has smoked before but that was 10 years ago but has picked it up again.

Episode 2
More oxygen jobs piled up for AA2153. Not even his fellow friend, AC1677 gets any respite. AA2153 notices even the Macrophage is exhausted. Yeah, one almost killed him thinking he is a foreign substance! Too close! When he delivers oxygen to the mouth, everything is on fire! Apparently there’s an ulcer. Bacteria invades but U-1196 and her juniors, 1212 and 8787 jump in not only to kill them but devour them too! More trauma for AA2153 as the place is then flooded with mouth wash. Well, he survived that. Returning to the rest of the tired RBC rookies, suddenly alcohol is sprayed. An old veteran RBC decide to take them to the liver to detox and get their much needed break. So it’s like a hostess club, huh? And all the Hepatocytes are hot babes accompanying our weary RBCs. They let them dream a few enzymes to detoxify to toxin. Are we having fun yet? However AA2153 is still filled with those words from his senior so he gets mad that they can’t celebrate at a time like this. Even more so when they are all so replaceable. Veteran stops his drunk ranting and has him take a look at something behind the scenes. It isn’t only him or RBCs having a tough time. Hepatocytes too are going through a rough patch and they are forcing themselves to put up a smile before them so as to help boost their morale and not look weak. AA2153 feels guilty for his actions but veteran believes that the youngsters have a future. As the RBCs are about to leave, they realize veteran has just passed away. He is taken to the sinusoid and devoured by a type of Macrophage known as Kupffer Cell who will use the nutrients to produce haemoglobin. Well, this is the life of an RBC. Not bad if you think about it. Next day, the rookie RBCs have hangover but they still have their job to do. AA2153 is motivated to become a full-fledged RBC like veteran but then more alcohol is sprayed into the body. Oh well, he’ll get used to this.

Episode 3
All the RBCs are called to gather at a particular spot. In other words, penile erection!!! And if you think this is going to be a sleazy episode, wait till you hear all the technical and scientific explanations of how it all works! F*CK!!! Didn’t pay attention in your sexual reproduction class, did you?! So as all the RBCs queue up, AA2153 is being pushed out by a couple of senior RBCs. They try to mock him of being a virgin and know nothing about erection. They are almost killed by U-1196 but that’s because a germ was secretly creeping in. U-11196 takes AA2153 to the testicles where the sperms are stored. Oh damn, those cute little babies are sperms?! I can see lots of sick jokes coming out from this! And to think there are more technical explanations about cells that nurture sperms, oh boy, sex is freaking way complicated than you think!!! As they leave, U-1196 answers AA2153’s earlier question if their job is worth. Long answer short, if it’s to protect a new life, it isn’t a bad thing. With this new motivation, AA2153 gears up for the penile erection with other RBCs. The first stage is successful as they push the walls to erect the penis. However something goes wrong. The erection cannot last and many RBCs are pushed back out. Guess what? Erectile dysfunction!!! This is the result of bad lifestyle choices! But AA2153 won’t give up and continues to push. A miracle opens the valves again. That miracle is called Viagra! With that, the RBCs continue pushing until it’s time for ejaculation. Countdown! And it’s a success! Oh yeah! Mission complete! At the end of the day, AA2153 is glad the sperms will find the ova. However a senior hates to rain on his parade. He tells the harsh truth that not all sexual activities are for reproductive purposes and many are for relieving sexual desire. So who knows the fate of those sperms. WTF???!!! ARE THEY TRYING TO GUILT TRIP US ABOUT MASTURBATING???!!! Even more so, AA2153 getting depressed all their work was for nothing and that their birth in this world had no meaning. Oh man, they’re really trying to guilt trip us… Suddenly U-1196 tells all RBCs to get out of here. During the sexual activity, it has let in some bacteria known as gonococci AKA gonorrhoea.

Episode 4
OMG! Gonorrhoea tentacle raping WBCs!!! Because it is producing at a rapid speed, the outnumbered WBCs have to retreat to the lymph node. Hence many RBCs scorn them for not doing their job and making a safe passage for them to deliver oxygen. Even AC1677 lashes out at U-1196 but she says nothing. With the WBC higher ups telling the subordinates to wipe out the gonorrhoea threat, a WBC captain knows they know nothing and what it’s like to fight on the front lines. With many RBCs refusing to deliver oxygen to the urethra that has been infected by gonorrhoea, AA2153 takes it upon himself to do it. And he drags AC1677 into helping him out. 1212 who was injured in the first gonorrhoea attack wants to join in this fight even if it will cost her life. But captain tells the harsh truth about this fight: It is a losing battle. But they are WBCs and it is their pride and life’s mission to destroy all germs. 1212 eventually has to sit out because if these bunch of WBCs don’t come back, who else is going to protect the body? AA2153 and AC1677 stumble into pus and dead WBCs. Since they still want to press ahead, Macrophage warns them to prepare for the hell ahead. WBCs are having it tough fighting the gonorrhoea threat. Bacteria even tries to guilt trip them that they are unlikeable by other cells. So can they be friends? Don’t fall for their lonely sweet talk! Our RBC duo see the worst as all the WBCs are restrained. When the bacteria mock the WBCs, AA2153 stands up for them as he admires how they do their job without complaining. A miracle occurs in the form of penicillin. This weakens the bacteria’s cell wall and allows WBCs to fight back. In the aftermath, the gonorrhoea threat has been completely wiped out. The WBCs hold a funeral to discharge dead WBC comrades and pus from the urethra. Among the many casualties include WBC captain. AC1677 apologizes to U-1196 for mouthing off. But she doesn’t take it to heat. Because of their different jobs, they cannot cover each other. But that is why they can be proud of what they do. AA2153 wonders if they can find fulfilment in their life threatening jobs one day.

Episode 5
Helper T thinks WBCs and Macrophages are too pathetic in their jobs so he sends Killer T Cells to finish it. WTF they’re doing the Haka?! AA2153 delivers oxygen to the hair pores and is amazed at how the hair cells produce hair and the pigment cell giving it its colour. On his way back, he spots U-1196 working out despite being injured. After the gonococci, there is shortage of WBCs. She’ll have to go back to work soon but thanks him for his words of encouragement then. Killer T Cells march in to badmouth about WBCs. Thanks to them, they have to work harder now. U-1196 doesn’t take it to heart. As long as there is peace in this world, it’s okay. Helper T continues to force his Killer T Cells to work and work. He believes they’re the only ones capable of eliminating foreign substances. When AA2153 delivers oxygen to the hair pore, the entire place is on fire! Actually, no germs are attacking. It is Killer T Cells who are beating up the hair cells! As a result, the surrounding area suffers hair loss. Dendritic tries to warn Helper T to rethink his actions but the latter thinks those hair cells are cancer cells as they multiply quickly! Eliminate them all! He further injects cytokines to buff Killer T Cells up. They go into berserk mode as AA2153 has other RBCs do their job of delivering oxygen in hopes to save some of the hairs. Suddenly, robots enter the scene and are going to eliminate all kinds of cells! They are actually steroids and they are highly effective in suppressing allergic reactions. Even Helper T is surrounded and in danger of being eliminated. In the end, the steroids just tie them all up. AA2153 sees a restrained Killer T Cell still yelling about trying to get his job done. So he tells him he doesn’t have to work anymore. He did all he could to protect this body. Oh man, have you seen a macho grown man being brought down to his knees in tears like that? AA2153 cuts a sad figure as he wonders where this world is heading to.

Episode 6
Oh sh*t. What now?! Tear in the urinary tract?! As AA2153 and AC1677 got dirty during their delivery, they head to the kidneys where the Glomeruli wash and filter all the dirty from RBCs. Some RBCs aren’t appreciative they aren’t doing a good cleaning job but we all know AA2153 does appreciate them. Furthermore, their granny boss forbids them to chat and continue working like a horse. AA2153 and AC1677 leave to continue their deliveries. Suddenly something strange is happening around the ureter. Kidney stones causing damage and sucking in several RBCs, causing the urine to look blood red! AA2153 tries to do something about the stone or this will give the Glomeruli more work. What the f*ck can he do?! Don’t worry. Thanks to this tube thingy, it destroys the stone. Thank goodness for this surgical method. However they’re not out of the woods yet. Because when WBCs are here, something is wrong. Because of the tube, many germs are riding on it to get into the body. Although the WBCs fight the invading germs, their numbers are too overwhelming. At this rate they can reach the kidney. In worst case scenario, command centre thinks of abandoning one of the kidneys. Humans can live on 1, right? AA2153 goes back to warn the Glomeruli to hide since the germs are coming. However granny tells them to continue working. AA2153 tries to tell her off but he is told to STFU and that they do things their way. When one of the Glomeruli takes up AA2153’s advice to just voice out, a germ infiltrates and attacks. Granny protects her and bears the brunt of the attack. Luckily U-1196 kills it but it’s too late for granny. Some last emotional words to give the young ones the motivation to continue working because that’s what they are. They are the silent organ. Just in time with this robo anti-bacterial drug thingy coming in to burn all the germs. With the threat over, Glomeruli wants to wash AA2153 but he can go around his deliveries with a bit of dirt. He just tells that it’s okay to cry once in a while. Yeah, hope the tears wash away some of those pain :’(…

Episode 7
After AC1677 delivers an oxygen, it explodes! This is reactive oxygen species (ROS) whereby oxygen has been altered into some high reactive chemical compound, causing the cells who are exposed to age. With a few incidents lately, some cells blame AC1677 for this but AA2153 tells them it is environmental factors and they should be working together. Soon, AA2153 receives an award as the top rookie. Other RBCs think AC1677 is some hotshot because he is friends with AA2153. AC1677 reflects upon himself of how much a coward he is compared to his friend in many situations. A few bad RBCs try to get him to join their circle as their efforts go unrewarded but AC1677 passes for now. AC1677 and AA2153 now deliver oxygen to the sebaceous gland. Each time, AC1677 gets agitated when AA2153 tries to help him or be nice. Returning to the hair pores, look like no hair has grown due to stress. As they hike up the stairs, more ROS explosion. Then they finally reach their destination and meet the old Sebaceous Gland Cell who is glad they are here to deliver oxygen on his final day. He is retiring today and that means he will be sacrificing himself via explosion from all the sebum he has built up. What a way to go. Unfortunately right after that, another ROS explosion. This causes bad body odour and eventually strain AC1677’s friendship with AA2153. AC1677 goes to hang out with the bad apps as they take him to the small intestine for some glorious heavenly secretion. Now addicted to caffeine, these RBCs now work harder. AC1677 even mocking AA2153 for slacking despite the latter warning about being listless once the effects wore off. Suddenly a rupture in the nose. Yup, nose bleed. AA2153 tries to grab his friend to safety but looks like the effects have worn off and he is feeling tired. He now feels hopeless that he doesn’t deserve to live after all that has happened. AA2153 thinks otherwise. He credits him being the reason why he managed to stay and carry on. He needs you! My precious friend! Yes, with all that drama, AC1677 is now motivated to live and grabs his hand to safety. In the aftermath, AC1677 skips out on those bad apps because apparently, friendship > caffeine.

Episode 8
With the body inhaling smoke and consuming alcohol, our RBC duo decide to pay a trip to the liver to get detox. However the place is now deserted and run down. Their usual Hepatocytes looks messed up and is no condition to serve them thanks to the surge in triglycerides from alcohol. The RBCs continue to deliver to the calves. Those bad apps trying to get AC1677 to join them again but he refuses. AA2153 tells them off not to bother them again. As they continue, they almost fall into this hole. Damn, lots of dead RBCs!!! This a blood clot?! Those bad apps kick them in to teach them a lesson and also tell them off that no matter how hard they work, this body is declining in health and won’t change a thing. Thanks to U-1196 pulling them out, they get to live. She explains that she found many other blood clots all over and that this body has hardly moved for 2 days. When it suddenly starts to move, the blood clot now forms a huge rolling ball, seemingly rolling its way to the lungs. Then it gets clogged there. Now no RBCs can delivery oxygen. Those bad apps too get caught in the snowball effect as they laugh till their deaths how this world is done. If RBCs can’t deliver to the lungs, this would lead to death. How? AA2153 believes going through the very narrow strip of bronchial arteries. AA2153 leads some of the RBCs through this while the rest wait until the blood clot melts. When it does, they thought it is too late since the lung cells are dead. However thankfully they are alive and just preserving energy. Thanks to AA2153 and co reaching in time, they manage to breathe some life back to them. The lungs get back into operation as U-1196 thanks AA2153 for pulling off this feat. They renew their vow to join forces to save this body. After all, they’re all in the same ship. When U-1196 returns to the main area, she finds something strange. There is not a single WBC around!

Episode 9
AA2153 delivers oxygen nears the testicles again. WTF this creepy little creatures popping out?! Oh, those are ringworms?! Harmless if you ignore them? AA2153 realizes there isn’t enough sperm produced now. Sertoli Cell mentioning about the alcohol and smoking abuse, not enough nourishment to replenish their numbers. Then bumping into U-1196, after confirming no other WBCs are seen, it can be said that the rate of expending exceeds what the bone marrow can produce. She warns him to stay extra alert as the body’s immunity has taken a nosedive. AA2153 and AC1677 see a bunch of new rookies. Reminds them of their own. But this time it is way much fewer. Some juniors recognize AA2153 as the top rookie and look up to him. So he shows them around the ropes and be extra kind to them despite they being clumsy. Heck, he even does their portion. I understand he doesn’t want what happened to him to befall upon others but seriously? When he delivers to the sole, suddenly the area is attacked by ringworms! Luckily U-1196 is here to help but the numbers are overwhelming. And the backup requested are only 1212 & 8787?! If not for some foreign cream substance, they would’ve been goners. But no rest for them. They are ordered to fight more invading ringworms all over the body. AA2153 feels bad for them but seeing how the WBCs continue to do their job, this makes him also want to do his job. Hence he overworks himself to a point he becomes clumsy. Also yelling to his juniors how they have to work extra hard now or it’ll be all over. But this time it is AC1677 who tells him off to calm down. It is his turn to save him. So he forces him to come along. They pretend to be lost and then slack off in some corner. AA2153 doesn’t appreciate it but AC1677 lectures him that a lot is expected from him from the top and bottom. While it is amazing he can live up to that, a RBC can only do so much. Better start taking care of his own health or he’ll fall apart. Then he shows him an overview of the body. See? Everything is still working and moving even when they’re slacking off. Yeah… This is fine…

Episode 10
AA2153 thanks his pal or he would’ve self-destructed. He then goes to apologize to his junior, NC8429 for yelling at him. But save that for later as there is a huge emergency going on in the stomach. Many RBCs are summoned as the Gastric Chief Cell tells them the ulcer is making steady development to breach into the stomach. Hence the RBCs need to work extra hard to help deliver the oxygen and risk death at the same time. Our RBCs see first-hand how scary it is as the gastric acid breach through certain walls and scald some of them. They didn’t die and it’s a fate worse than death. Even the Gastric Subchief cells who help secrete mucus to protect the breach can only do so much. AC1677 soon chickens out because he doesn’t want to die. Gastric Chief doesn’t blame him since it is this body’s unhealthy lifestyle but also hints the main problem source to somebody. But AC1677 soon returns to help his pal. But this is when the main culprit surfaces. So this sea dragon is actually some pylori germ who can live inside the gastric stomach. It is wreaking havoc on the stomach walls. How can U-1196 and her pals defeat it? I don’t know but the RBCs better get fast on their feet. Hence we see them dodge and leap the uneven ground like as though it’s some risky obstacle course. If you think AA2153 getting scalded on his leg is the biggest drama, wait till you see the floor caves in and AC1677 saves him but in exchange he falls in. OMFG! AA2153 becomes distraught trying to save his friend but Gastric Chief holds him back and tells him off about having any sentiments that will be detrimental to everyone. In the end, a disinfection is what kill the pylori. While it might look it is over, Gastric Chief knows nothing has changed. As long as this body doesn’t change, their working environment won’t. AA2153 is still grief stricken. U-1196 knows something is wrong when he doesn’t respond. We see him bumming in his room. No mood to work. Not going to work anymore.

Episode 11
In addition to depression, AA2153 is blaming himself for everything else. If only, if only… The body is getting increasingly worrisome as Fat Cells are building up and cells are getting restless because of sleep deprivation. Worse, the body is now being attacked by a huge thorny pathogen. Immune cells attack it but nothing happens. Even Memory Cell has no data on this new germ. Hence authorization is given to fully attack this monster. Damn, WBCs armed with rifles and rocket launchers, blasting away!!! As all the cells evacuate, AA2153 aimlessly wanders around. He bumps into a cell lady who recognizes him since AC1677 often hangs out with her and talks all the good things about him. Doesn’t that pull your heartstrings? Now see RBCs going through some Red Pulp process whereby old or damage cells that can no longer function are rid of. AA2153 believes he is useless because he won’t work and wants to be disposed. But Red Pulp tells him to screw his personal drama and get the f*ck back to work! When the thorny monster remains unscathed, command centre realizes the source of this is the build-up in uric acid from excess purine. Hence this is not a pathogen attack but gout. This sends the WBCs into despair because they have been attacking it and hence aggravating the pain all over the body! Then AA2153 starts beating up this body. This is his desperation to let the body know they pain. Do something about it! Other cells also follow his lead to abuse the body. U-1196 hugs to stop him. She understands what he means but what good would this do? She admits there were many times she lost hope but as the ones left behind, they have a duty to protect this body and not waste the efforts of those who died in the line of duty. She hopes he won’t blame himself and shoulder everything by himself anymore. AA2153 comes to his senses and starts crying. Hope the body will listen to his cries. Even though some medicine is dispatched to treat the gout, it is narrated how it will take many years to be treated and recurrence is very likely. They ponder this body has been pushed to the edge of psychological stress as they wonder who the real villain is.

Episode 12
AA2153 lifts himself out of depression and goes back to work. That’s the spirit? He continues to help out NC8429. But as they deliver their oxygen, they notice clumps of cholesterol has built up into thick plaques, making their journey less smooth. Their next delivery is to the stomach. Uh oh. Hope this doesn’t evoke any trauma. So far so good, he seems to be holding well. NC8429 tries to introduce himself to Gastric Chief Cell but gets yelled at. AA2153 remembers the same thing happening to him and tells him about the old introductory video. But to add to AA2153’s spirit, Gastric Chief Cell remembers his name. Hope it isn’t for the wrong reasons. As they continue delivering, when they reach the heart, a large portion of the walls have been crumbled, restricting traffic. There are lots of dead RBCs in the arteries and this evokes fear of another blood clot. But something even much worse happens. The entire wall crumbles, blocking 100% the flow of RBCs delivering oxygen to the heart. Yes, people. It is a sign of an impending heart attack. AA2153 tries to deliver as much oxygen as possible. How to when there’s literally no oxygen to deliver? It is then a bunch of old geezers appear on TV and make their address to all the cells. They say there is no need to work from now on because of all that has happened to this body from diseases to bacteria attack, this body has finally met his demise. They no longer have to work as they apologize for all that has happened. The end. Some cells are mad at this irresponsibility and try to revolt, others are scared and those who have lost their mind look at the ‘positive’ side that they can finally ‘rest’. The body functions start to cease as the lights in all areas slowly get turned off. AA2153 refuses to accept this because after forcing them to work their ass off, now they’re telling them to stop? Don’t you f*ckers take the easy way out!!!

Episode 13
The heart is blinking as CPR is being administered. Will it jump start back to life? Some RBCs have fallen down the despair road that they think it’s good that they’ll all die. Because they don’t have to work in this sh*tty environment anymore. One even calling out specifically to AA2153 about him trying to work at times like this. But AA2153 tells him back it isn’t because he is forced to work under these conditions. It’s because he wants to work. So STFU and get this heart back moving. AA2153 leads the chant to encourage the heart to come back alive. This domino effect has WBCs, Platelets and other cells doing the same. Will the miracle work? Yeah, the defibrillator did its job well. The heart is back on. However with the blood clot, cardionecrosis can still take everything away. Don’t worry. This stent catheter treatment clears the clogged arteries, enough for the RBCs to get their feet moving and deliver blood to all the crucial organs. Thanks to that, the brain suffers no damage. The place slowly lights back up as AA2153 reflects all the challenges and trying times he had up till now. They deliver oxygen because it’s their job. It’s as simple as that. Soon, the body is back to normal running conditions. Damn, it is even cleaner than ever before! Looks like this heart attack made the body do some drastic changes in diet and lifestyle. No more plaques. So easy to deliver oxygen now. It’s really detoxed. Now they troll us with a moment between AA2153 and U-1196. Both praise and look up to each other and made the other blush. Aww, you don’t mean to… Sorry to ruin the happy ending because soon, a syringe sucks up the cells. When AA2153 wakes up, he is with NC8429 in the subclavian vein. It is way more clogged than before and the plague is far worst. And with this alien bug showing up, AA2153 realizes they are in another body and their code black has not ended!

Hell In The Cell! All’s Not Well…
Oh wow. What a bittersweet ending if I should say. I mean, just when the body is getting better and on the path to recovery, suddenly our main character and his rookie gets thrown into another body. So I take it, this body is now donating blood, huh? Can it after just experiencing heart attack? A simple Google check reveals no. So I’m not sure why some cells are being sucked up into a syringe. Anyway, this is perhaps God’s way of testing AA2153 that since he loves to work so hard because it’s his job and he can do it, now how about taking on a challenge in another body?! Yeah, God trying to test a cell… I hope this RBC won’t turn into a cancer cell. Not likely but hey, I’m not a doctor. Oh well, AA2153. Ganbare!!!

The story and outlook of this spinoff is certainly much grimmer than the original Hataraku Saibou. However it is not as grim and gruesome whereby this series has to be labelled as a horror genre! Yikes. Thank goodness. I mean, that would be really like when sh*t hits the fan. They still keep the grimness to some level of ‘watchable acceptance’. If there’s ever such a term. And at least to my standards of what constitutes to be horror. So while it is sad that the cells here have to overwork themselves and seemingly fight a losing battle, there is always hope, RIGHT?! After all, all of us living things whether healthy or sick, we’re still fighting a losing battle eventually! Just think about it. The question is just when. Cells do what they are born to do and they have to do just that. Imagine if cells had a mind of their own and rebel against the entire system, shutting it down entirely, that would be creepily bad, wouldn’t it?

One of the grim aspects of this spinoff is that we could see a whole lot of cells dying or have died! Their corpses strewn all over the site or location. True, that the original Hataraku Saibou too has cells in that predicament. However we do not actually see them die or their dead bodies. We just see them being sucked out when there is a big hole suddenly emerging from a seemingly peaceful cell city. But in this spinoff, we do actually lifeless bodies and dead cells, mostly RBCs who are the victims of this abusive body. Fun fact: A hundred billion cells in our body die every day and our body replaces many of its cells in 7 years! Yeah, our bodies are literally a death zone and graveyard of cells!

Another differentiating factor of this spinoff from the original is that I noticed all the RBCs here are male. I believe I have not seen a single female RBC anywhere. I don’t know, my conspiracy theory is that if they are male, they are easier to be killed off?! It would be just bad to see dead female RBCs because of politically incorrect stance crap whatsoever? Yeah, somebody complain about the gender gap here!!! Just kidding. Also to add to this difference, all the WBCs here are female. The original had all men with short dagger knives but here we have hot white chicks in long katana swords. Cool. I guess it makes senses if you need to make deeper cuts into your enemies. And yeah, here’s your counter politically incorrect stance crap whatsoever because here we see corpses of WBCs. Gender equality achieved! Oh… What was I supposed to be talking about again?

More macabre parts as we see a whole lot more of dangerous illness and bacteria and virus setting upon the body. This also makes the original series look more like a baby as the diseases and infections here are more life threatening. I have mixed feelings on the episode with gout because I’m suffering from it from time to time. And since I have suffered multiple times and experienced several recurrences of it, I guess my Memory Cell isn’t working and my WBCs too dumb to identify those crystals. Yeah, I’m starting to think my WBCs are sadists trying to torture me. Or is it a signal for me to change my habits and diets?! NAH!!! With the narration and description of some of the illness, it is quite enlightening but you know me, in one ear, out the other. Seriously, I need more brain cells…

It was a miracle (and plot convenience) that the body survived all these and ironically it wasn’t anything of a cancer that brought down the body. Fun fact: Our body is much sturdier than we think it is. Unless of course you have some sort of rare anomaly. Otherwise the average body should be able to endure all these sh*t and not just suddenly die after one harrowing experience. Also, I would’ve expected a more devastating cancer type to be the season’s final arc so that we could have some sort of bloody action. Yeah, that’s me having some sort of delusional fantasy on how this series would end but I guess I was wrong. Perhaps a heart attack was a more devastating and lethal way for the body to die and serve as a wakeup call. Hey, it could’ve been much worse. Like you know, AIDS or Ebola! Yeah, I won’t be wrong to say that this body is literally a sh*t hole!

It’s hard to not feel any sympathy for any of the cell characters here. Even those cynic types, you kinda understand what they are trying to say. When the cells work so hard just for the body and in return for all that, the body abuses itself with all the substances and does not do its bit to take care of itself. And yet the cells continue to work hard without any rewards. That is why it is heart breaking (although predictable) to see AA2153 turning into a shadow of what he once was. It is a good thing that he held out this long to live by the code and honour as a RBC but I guess even a cell has its limits. All the hard work he put in feels like for naught, the direction this body is heading to. Even more so when his best friend gets killed. Devastating but I suppose RBCs in general aren’t programmed to mope and sulk when their best friends die. So back to work. F*ck body positivity movement. All we need is cell positivity and their rapid movement to bring oxygen across the body!

Putting a more resilient front is U-1196. She’s got a semi-poker face so it’s hard to see what she’s going on in her mind. She does what she can without looking like she has lost hope but who knows how many times she almost fell for it. The dynamics between U-1196 and AA2153 is much more different than the odd couple in the original series as the WBC and RBC pair here serves more to give each other some sort of morale booster at trying times. When one loses his/her way, the other is there to help bring him/her way back up. This has helped them pull out of the most difficult situations and perhaps the reason why unlike other RBCs and WBCs, they survive the longest. Luck or fate? Whichever, it is at least assuring to know that they got each other’s back covered.

There are a few new cells introduced here that weren’t seen in the original series such as Gastric Chief Cell, Hepatocytes and Glomeruli. While those seen in the original didn’t even show up here like the NK Cell, Basophil and Eosinophil. It makes senses since there are lots of other different cells and they want to showcase to us their different roles. If it was a repeat, might as well return and watch the original one. But there are those who feel underused. Sorry, not featured as prominently in the original should be the right word. For example, Macrophages and Killer T Cell are heavily side-lined and only show up from time to time and don’t do really much. Their physical appearances contribute to the grim aspects of the body as the Platelets look like delinquent midgets rather than innocent kindergarten kids. Macrophages here are distant emotionless killers (which I think they’re supposed to be) unlike their original counterpart who could happily slash and smile.

Worse, the command centre feels like an endless battle of operations control. I don’t know if it’s a funny thing or not (it is not) because it’s like their commander is mostly helpless in many of the situations. Yeah, he doesn’t know what’s going on (not because he is stupid) and doesn’t know what else to do. Even if he does, it is just the minimal. I feel like it’s like he prayed to God or something and then a miracle happens. Usually when the cells are in desperate situation, all hopes seems lost and there is no way out, then this miracle in the form of exterior medication or lotion (metamorphosed as alien robots?) would come to the rescue, giving our strained cells some breathing space. With all the taxing stress, it’s amazing he didn’t lose all his hair and go bald! Yeah, the thought of cells having cells inside them because we see them bleed and all. But I’m not going discuss that here and open a can of worms. Or virus.

Although the general art and animation have a grimmer feel than the original (some scenes that are dark and cramp that might give off that claustrophobic feel), they are largely consistent. Though, some cells look funny as f*ck like those hair cells. As though they’re wearing tights and seemingly have sperm tail as their headgear? Weird. Don’t get me started on those sperm cells… Surprisingly, it is not David Productions who produced the 2 seasons of the original that made this spinoff. Lidenfilms helmed this instead. They did Yamada And The Seven Witches, Koi To Uso, Tejina-senpai, Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet, Killing Bites and Hanebado.

Obviously a whole new cast for this spinoff with recognizable seiyuus including Youko Hikasa as U-1196 and Kenjirou Tsuda as the narrator. The rest are Junya Enoki as AA2153 (Wendelin in Hachi-nan Tte Sore Wa Nai Deshou), Kenn as AC1677 (Leopold in Black Clover), Yumi Uchiyama as 1212 (Erika in Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei), Lynn as 8787 (Medhi in Okaa-san Online), Sarah Emi Bridcutt as Hepatocyte (Tisalia in Monster Musume No Oisha-san), Takashi Narumi as Gastric Chief Cell and Taku Yashiro as NC8429 (Natsuo in Domestic Na Kanojo).

The opening theme is Hashire with Yamasaki Seiya while the ending theme is Ue Wo Mukaite Hakobou with Sekkekkyuu/Hakkekkyuu. Both are performed by Polysics. The opener is a typical rock outfit which I sometimes feel it is strange for a series like this. Is this an action shonen anime? I guess better than the kiddie-like one in the original. No wonder AA2153 looking all shocked and dishevelled when he wakes up. All a bad dream? But it couldn’t be weirder than the ending song because after all the gruesomeness, this happy circus-like song ends the episode! Like, WTF?! So out of place. But I have to admit some lines are catchy. Hakobe, hakobe… Hakobe, hakobe… Hakobe, hakobe… Now I can’t get it out of my head…

Overall, this spinoff might be a grimmer watch than the original but it still provides some edutainment and insights about the dangers and ignorance we put our bodies into. Basic explanations aplenty but if you would like to find out more, you’re always welcome to do your own research. Can’t have this series bore you with all the deep technical details, can it? Generally this show is like a soft reminder to take care of our bodies considering the kind of lifestyles that we live in today’s modern era. Of course this spinoff isn’t so horrifying that it might cause you sleepless nights. Unless you really start thinking about taking care of your body… Yeah, remember to get that sufficient sleep regardless as well… So next time you decided to take your cell for granted because you’re feeling all fine and dandy, remember to spare a thought and gratitude for all the tireless and unrewarding effort they put in just to keep you alive. And thus… CELL LIVES MATTER!!! At least on average, 120 days for RBCs and 13 days for WBCs…

O-pa! Oh my! You mean they weren’t joking about making another season in the options?! Oh well. I suppose they have gained enough budget from those extra episodes about capitalism… Heh. And so it is our duty to go watch Otona No Bouguya-san S2 because where else can we get our fapping material of watching hot chicks don pseudo armour that exposes all the important parts for all to gawk at. Not a bikini, mind you. But a sexy armour. Oh yeah. You got to love that kind of logic.

Episode 1
* While hanging out at the beach, it suddenly rains. As they return, a strange armour falls down from the sky before them. Looks like this armour can talk and the first thing he sees when he opens is eyes is a very ambiguous orgy position between Lilietta, Narden and Kautz! Of course they are just trying on some armour but damn, do they have to make it sound so orgy! Just when the armour think they are nice good people after their explanation (I don’t think Narden is convincing holding up a panty while explaining) and allowing him to stay, here comes the Demon Lord and Flearika right out of the bath. Kautz accidentally slips on a banana and falls over on them. Since this looks like a perverted scene, the armour changes his mind and thinks they’re all perverts anyway. The armour finds it nice sitting on Lilietta’s head. She then decides to call him Mamori because he keeps saying ~mamo at the end of his sentences.
* Flearika wanted to go see a movie but is suddenly whisked away into some black and white scene. The movie fairy, Mokorin explains that she has been sucked into the silver screen for reasons he can’t say. Of course he is going to help her get out of here.

Episode 2
* Looks like Mamori is having a pleasant stay. Or is he? Besides the rest joking about him paying up and giving weird potions to drink, the last straw is Narden coming in with a sexy bikini armour. He regrets picking the wrong place to fall down to… The wind blows up Lilietta’s skirt and Kautz gets a glimpse of her panties. Say your thanks to the world! Yeah, his nose bleed is in the shape of a pantsu! Later he catches a girl’s hat blown by the wind. It belongs to this mage, Mina. He too sees her slip but she isn’t mad. She doesn’t think it is lingerie to begin with! Since Lilietta knows her, this means Mina is actually a regular customer at the shop. Oh dear. Not another pervert. Yeah, she gets excited wearing anything sexy and slutty. She notices Mamori so Narden mentions some sexy bikini armours can talk. When Mamori says he is not one, everybody is in shock! Is everybody’s sexy threshold that low?
* Mokorin needs Flearika to find the remote and press the correct home button before the movie ends or she’ll never get out. Don’t comment whether it is cute or not because Mokorin really takes offense… Of course the remote is lost among the sea of movies so she has to find it. So the first stop is a space movie. Let’s teleport there!

Episode 3
* When Celas the elf walks in, this shocks Kautz that he ends up on top of Narden in an ambiguous position. Narden then explains that Celas unlike most other elves, is a good elf as she guards to post at the north. As she is here to try on a new bikini armour, Narden also wants Kautz to train himself since he is going to see a lot of such sexy moments. But the first shocking horror for Kautz is when he realizes Celas is actually male!!! OMFG!!! And so Celas reluctantly puts on this naked apron armour. Do ‘ya think I’m sexy?! Oh my, can Kautz hold his ground? So far so good. Experience level increased a little… Narden then calls out Demon Lord in the same outfit. Kautz still doing well. Now it’s Lilietta and Flearika. I think that’s his limit. He’s out for the count. Need more training, my boy…
* Now we’re in space among the floating debris! They meet a palette swapped Lilietta, Luluetta. Anyway she runs a weapons shop nearby. Asked if she has seen a remote, she might have. So Mokorin plans to treat her to tonkatsu if she tells them. You bet she wants to taste that.

Episode 4
* Demon Lord creates a potion that would make her appeal to everybody. Unfortunately Flearika drinks it and she turns into a variety of different characters each time she sneezes. Poor Kautz has to bear the brunt of whatever character she transforms into. I guess the last straw is when she turns into a super sexy version because he starts losing his HP… Anyway, Demon Lord has created a potion to counter all that so she has Kautz pour it all over her. Good news: Flearika returns to normal. Bad news: Narden and Lilietta think they created a smoothie for them and proceed to drink it. Oh boy. Havoc. So why does Kautz the only one who doesn’t change? Because he has no character! OUCH!
* Luluetta shows them all the weapons she makes to earn a living. As for the remote, could it be this dangerous looking one? Zap! A whole right through Mokorin’s stomach! Don’t worry, it’s just a scratch for him! So I guess this isn’t it. Mokorin thanks her for her hard work anyway and gives this Hakata ramen as a symbol of their friendship. Luluetta so happy her clothes disappear?! That is when she remembers she sold a remote shaped laser gun to somebody in the kung fu world. Next stop, heeyah!

Episode 5
* A shady customer left something at the shop and doesn’t demand any payment. Lilietta checks the goods and it looks like another one of those sexy armour. But when she puts it on, she turns into a sadistic BDSM queen! Looks like Kautz is going to die from the loss of blood of the sexiness more than anything else. Mina and Flearika come in but looks like Mina is a masochist and enjoys the whipping. Before Lilietta could continue where she left off with Kautz, here comes Narden bringing Celas to use his white magic to remove the armour. In the aftermath, they wonder what happened as Narden talks about all sexy armours have a life of their own. The guys feel glad they didn’t put it on. I think all of our eyes will explode beyond recovery!
* In this kung fu world, Flearika and Mokorin meet Nuden. Looks like another palette swap of Narden. He is looking for some baddie who has been importing and selling illegal remotes. But as for the remote they are looking for, tomorrow’s martial arts tournament has a remote as its reward so it might be the one they’re looking for. Flearika doesn’t think Nuden is strong enough to win so they have a mock fight in which Flearika easily wins!

Episode 6
* Do you want to know a day in Life of Mokuku? Yeah. This mascot is so side-lined in this season that we need to show some love. First by changing all the opening credits animation’s characters’ face into Mokuku! Anyway, Mokuku describes his usual day. Every morning beating up Kautz to wake up. Nothing happens as the armour shop goes on its business till closing time. When everyone is asleep, this is when Mokuku starts to get alive. WTF is this Professional Cutie job?! So other than creating potions and defeating dragons, he is some sort of YouTuber?! Oh yeah, those KPI and other terms are going to get real confusing?! The biggest secret is that this real job is the one that finances the armour shop and nobody knows about it! Yup, Mokuku even goes around the world looking for those rare materials to make the armour! OMG. This little cutie achieves so much in so little. So why does it do all this? To protect the ones it loves. How sweet. Turns out all to be a big lie from Narden. WTF???!!!
* After Flearika trains Nuden, they enter the tournament in which they beat the bad guy and win the championship. Of course they need to settle who among them is the best so as they fight each other, Flearika easily defeats him. Somehow he loses all his clothes and now calls himself Nude! Anyway, the remote prize is actually a special air-cond remote. Yeah, not what they’re looking for. Nude mentions that the bad guys also sold non air-cond remotes to the Korean movie world. Time for the Hallyu!

Episode 7
* Based from last time (wasn’t it a lie?), from all the money Mokuku made, looks like the armour shop moved into a huge building (courtesy of being built using Mokuku’s salary) and this building is now like paradise. Wow. They can just retire, right? But I guess they still want to sell armour so back to more armour shenanigans. As usual, Kautz takes more damage after seeing the girls in sexy armour. But Mina is disheartened since they are only for big boobs. Don’t worry. Narden has a set that fits those with flat chest. She tries it on and loves the sexiness. Narden is willing to give it to her for free but she’d rather pay her keep. And Kautz just turned degenerate because he wants Mina to step all over him?! Not sure if Narden is the one slaps his ass…
* Hey, I thought it was supposed to be the Korean movie this time? Whatever. Now they’re in the prison movie world and they meet a prisoner who looks a bit like Kautz: Kautzkoo. Because he is a model prisoner, he gets to wear different clothes. How the heck can he be a model prisoner when he is in prison for having perverted ideologies? Yeah, he is twisting Flearika’s words and name into something perverted. Before he can help them, he needs them to help him first. Because he spent the last 5 years digging a hole in the wall with a spoon. So he wants them to dig, huh? Flearika calls him out, believing he lied his age at 55 years old.

Episode 8
* Lilietta has Kautz get Narden as breakfast is ready. As Kautz enters Narden room, he isn’t prepared for what he is going to see. Pantsu everywhere???!!! Is this a pervert museum?! Because of this high budget, the characters now become silhouettes followed by Picasso style drawing. Not sure who propped up the budget to return them back to normal (my bet is Mokuku) as Narden further explains all the sexy armour here are those he can’t sell because it can’t protect the user. So basically, they’re just normal underwear, huh? Kautz then notices some books on the shelf. Damn, all about sexy armour! But one on S&M theory! When Lilietta comes to get them, Kautz starts imagining her in some of the lingerie here. His nose bleeding cannot be stopped…
* Mokorin calculates that it will take over 1000 years for them to escape. But Kautzkoo will be released in 3 days! Why not just wait? Well, whenever that happens, he’ll get arrested again for indecent thoughts. So how does escaping make any difference? That is when Mokorin suggests watching porn if he is going to get caught again. Some reverse psychology happens because now his desires dwindle to zero. To thank them, he remembers he has the remote in his clothes. But as he searches, he realizes to post bail, he sold it to a dealer in the gang world. Flearika and Mokorin quickly jump there as Kautzkoo gets arrested again for indecent exposure.

Episode 9
* Holy atrocity! There seems to be a movement going around where it bans anything indecent and makes you wholesome or pure. This means all sexy armours are bad and they’re being traded for a more boring and generalized armour that properly covers you from head to toe. Well, pretty decent actually. But not for this show! Because Narden thinks if people become too wholesome, they won’t breed and hence the end of humanity! Hence the girls go around shooting their special guns to turn those wholesome armour into sexy armour. When they return, Kautz has been effected and turns wholesome. So they unleash the biggest badass cannon on him to turn him back. In the process, Celas and Mina also get caught and become sexier. Suddenly a nun comes in and Narden recognizes her.
* Flearika and Mokorin meet Don Mokyukyu who doesn’t have what they’re looking for. However he has his own problems to deal with and that is to seek revenge against a rival family and covering them with walnuts, mixing them in stew and turning them into curry?! Of course the duo won’t allow it and explain why taking law into one’s own hands is bad. Also, it’s illegal. Because of that, Mokyukyu now sees the err of his ways and turns on a new leaf. Don’t want to have lots of rotten curry around. Then they see a message at the back of his tie, whatever they’re looking for is in another world. Time for another journey.

Episode 10
* She is Rose and Narden’s master. When Narden shows her the armour he has been taking years to make is now finally complete, she tosses it aside! She is not interested in that anymore and in fact is here for Mamori. After getting Narden to reveal the long ass password, Rose reveals her true colours. It seems she has abandoned the ways of the sexy and will turn everything wholesome using Mamori. By chanting the password, she has changed the world. Everything looks different now. Our characters all turn into little kids. Except for Demon Lord. She is now in her true hideous form!
* Flearika and Mokorin stumble into Nami (Mina look-a-like). Despite dressing as a witch, she claims she is a samurai and is in the midst of recruiting other samurais to save this starving village from goblins. If she loses, she will commit seppuku! Because she loves movies too, Mokorin can’t find her to be the bad guy. Oh, what’s about this legend that if they save this village, the remote will reveal itself? Okay. Whatever. Nami is glad to have recruited them as samurais and seppuku buddies! Better win this one.

Episode 11
* Not only our main characters get turned into kids, they also do not remember about Mamori. For plot convenience, Flearika sneezes 100 times and this turns her into a legendary sexy sneezing warrior?! I guess somebody needs to fight Rose. Lucky for Kautz, there is that sexy cannon nearby so he shoots everyone as they return back to their sexy adult version. However, Rose uses Mamori’s power to turn herself into her true powerful loli form and owns the gang. Yeah, 3% of animation budget left! Mamori feels bad that he is the source of all this. He now remembers his professor from the future sent him back in time to save the armour shop. When Rose fires a powerful beam, Mamori uses himself to protect them and gets struck. But don’t worry. Narden will say a password that will unlock his full potential. And that password is about Mamori being part of the gang.
* Luckily for Nami, Kautzkoo and his colour palette swapped prisoners (they’re quadruplets?!) are here to make up the numbers. Although they win against the enemy, the weak ass quadruplets also lose their lives. RIP, you quadruplets. With this victory, the legendary remote appears. Oh, it’s not the one they’re looking for? Definitely. Because pressing its button means removing your clothes! With time running out, there is a place Mokorin wants to bring Flearika to.

Episode 12
* Not sure what armour combo Lilietta and Mamori become but it’s sure heck of a powerful. Even more so when they use the opening credits to spam their attack moves on Rose! The final blow is the title! Don! Hooray! The world is saved! Everything reverts to normal. Narden notes this is not the real Rose because she would never hate any sexy armour. The culprit turns out to be one of those generic NPCs… With Mamori taking on too much damage, he cannot be repaired. Mamori remembers how he was sent from the future armour shop to protect them but jumping back in time caused him to lose his memories. Some final last words from him as everyone promises to do their part to keep the armour shop alive in the future. MAMORI, NOOOO!!!! But a little hope as we later see something that looks like Mamori descending from heaven before Lilietta?
* Mokorin has a confession to make to Flearika. Mokorin is just an anagram for his real name, Rimokon (remote control). Oh sh*t. Viewers should’ve guessed it long ago?! I DIDN’T! I guess I wasn’t paying attention. Anyway, Mokorin did this because he wanted to spend time with her. As just a normal remote in the armour shop, a miracle happened. Yeah, this segment was created and that’s why they were absorbed? But of course the fun part is watching the movies and enjoying them. So I guess it’s over and now it’s time to head back. Flearika returns to reality but can’t help make anagrams of Mokorin’s name.

Sexy Armour-geddit-on!
Oh wow. There’s an option for a third season? Man, I guess I can’t discount that possibility even though I’m not hearing anything at this moment. Yeah, too sexy to give up. After all, the final episode feels very heavy and emotional on the side. Suddenly all the comedy turned into serious drama, sh*t! It’s like laughing and crying at the same time and it was totally weird. After all, that’s the role Mamori had been given to play. You’d thought his character was going to be yet another useless mascot character like Mokuku but I guess the mystery of Mamori’s origin is solved now. So can we say RIP Mamori or do we welcome him back?

This season seems to be slightly longer than the first season. 10 minutes in total compared to just 4 minutes. Obviously you do notice extra content after the main episode is done. Like Flearika’s movie world (mis)adventure called Armour Shop: The Movie, as she and a Pretty Cure mascot knockoff goes around looking for a holy remote that would send her home. I guess they want to parody some of the movie genres here and give Flearika some sort of role to play since in the main episode, she feels more like a side character than anything else. So with Flearika as the sole focus in this segment, we get to see more of her shenanigans or rather hear her comeback lines. Also, this segment supposedly gives our guest cuties from the Japanese idol group, HKT48 some voicing acting roles.

Yes, speaking of HKT48, they do lend their talents albeit a very minor role in Flearika’s movie magic madness albeit just for a short while (hey, this part is only 3 minutes long). If that is not enough, the final 4 minutes of the episode features them giving live commentary on the main episode. In my brutally honest opinion, not impressive! After watching the first couple of episodes on them, it felt boring so subsequent episodes I just skim through. I think this part feels a bit like those reactionary videos as they watch the entire clip of the main episode and provide their own comments as the episode goes along. Hardly any reaction since they just show a few still cut out pictures of them and that’s about it. Just there to look pretty, huh? It’s pretty boring too since they’re just well, commenting. Not in a very creative way either. Stating some of obvious and giving a few opinions that don’t really matter. I know. It’s their opinion after all. Yeah, I can do that myself. Unless you’re hardcore fans of them and since I’m not, too bad for them. Yeah, sue me. But don’t blame me totally either. Hey, it was also them who admitted that their commentary was terrible at the end! I couldn’t agree more! Yeah, these girls need more voice acting experience, I suppose.

Speaking about the animation, although the main episode’s animation is pretty consistent with last season, because of Armour Shop: The Movie, it made me wonder if they really have budget issues, something that the series sometimes makes fun about and breaks the fourth wall about it. Because Flearika’s section too is a bunch of still pictures of the characters amidst a single still backdrop. Easy to animate, right? Yeah, they just had enough to make the bare minimums for the second season and probably the rest went to paying HKT48 for appearance fees. Or it could be the other way round as these cuties need some screen time and boost their popularity so they just pay to make their cameo. I could be wrong on both, though! After all, the main episode too has many parts that aren’t really what you call animation. Just like video game simulations where by a picture of the character’s face pops up (with minimal animation) and a text box will appear to show their dialogue while the background is mostly a still picture or sometimes a pixelated picture like those retro video games.

If that isn’t enough, heck, they reuse the same opening credits animation from the first season! Only this time they slap the mugshots of the Demon Lord, Celas and Mina at the top left hand corner so as to tell us, yeah, this is the second season so that’s your excuse to tell both animations apart despite they’re exactly the same. Same music too but whether it is budget issues or not, I guess I still prefer this retro-like midi song of the original so it’s a good thing they maintain this theme of the series. And of course, the characters partially introducing collectively the staffs behind this production that ranges from ‘annoying people’ to a certain ‘pervert’. Yeah, got to love them breaking the fourth wall like that. The ending has a different animation. The last time we had Lilietta sleeping. This time she is taking a nice walk with Mokuku. That’s how far their budget goes… Can’t complain at this point…

Anyway, the story this season is as random as ever. Good for short laughs but if your dopamine levels have shot up since the last time, I guess these short skits won’t be enough for your fix. Yeah, not enough showcasing of sexy armour. Where’s our fanservice?! I thought we’re supposed to get more this season?! Oh, my bad. I was just assuming that. What else can a group of weirdoes do with a setting of an adult armour shop? That’s why I said, they had to add Armour Shop: The Movie segment just to add more content and get more views. Personally, the Mokuku one was still the best even though it was all just trolling. Yeah, I actually bought into it! Damn, I thought this cute little mascot has finally gotten its dues no matter how absurd it was. The real truth finally revealed. Yup, too good to be true.

As for the characters, pretty standard. I feel that it is mainly Narden and Kautz as the driving force behind many of the wacky and funny moments. Because Narden himself is a quirky one with his twisted logic on sexiness while Kautz is the comic relief character whose main running gag is to endure high levels of sexiness before losing his HP and nose bleeding from it all. Lilietta, Flearika and Demon Lord feel side-lined and they’re just there in case they need models to showcase some sexy armour. They didn’t really do much. New characters aren’t that memorable at all. They need an androgynous character and hence Celas to troll us. Why the heck do we need another loli character in Mina? Don’t we have the Demon Lord for that? Double loli flat chest goodness because we have double mature busty ladies in Lilietta and Flearika. Double the fun! Yay!

Last time Rose appeared in Narden’s flashback in the first season, I remember I was very interested to know more about her past. Well, I’m not sure I am this season. But I think I would if they showcased it. Hence they turn her character into an antagonist (even if she is a fake) so we could have some sort of drama involving Mamori, the series’ other temporary mascot. At the end of the day, the biggest lesson learnt is that wholesomeness can never triumph over sexy!!! So it remains to be seen if the real Rose will show up. Maybe that’s the cue for another season, huh?

Overall, those who love the first season would find this sequel to be as entertaining as before. Although this season offers nothing new that breaks any new ground but it isn’t all that bad. After all, you’re supposed to have a good time laughing at the shenanigans and the theme of sexy armour, right? Like they say, a good defence is a good offence. How can a sexy armour be that? Obviously it isn’t meant to defend and it is the sexy part that forms the overall offensive that could probably reduce a horny enemy’s HP without touching a single finger! I’m still waiting for Narden to come up with that ‘invisible armour’ and see how many fall for that scam, though…

Tenkuu Shinpan

25 April, 2021

It’s a life or death game on high stakes! And literally, very high stakes. That’s because Tenkuu Shinpan is literally a survival game whereby contestants are trapped in high rise buildings and have to fight masked weirdoes if they want to survive and get out of this strange world. And if you don’t get killed by these bloodthirsty psychopathic killers, there’s always that option of jumping off a building and committing suicide. There. Easy game over. Yikes. This has got to be the worst kind of escape room game ever.

Episode 1
Finding herself on a building rooftop, Yuri Honjou is scared and confused. She calls her brother, Rika as he also tells her he is in this world. There are bridges linking rooftops to rooftops and there are no elevators while all stairways to the ground are blocked. When she sees a woman across being chased by a Masked Man, Rika tells her that their goal isn’t murder but to drive one to despair. Yuri sees the woman killing herself by jumping off the building. Before Rika could ascertain her position, a Masked Butcher targets Yuri and destroys her handphone. She runs but he catches up. Thankfully, a cop shoots him till he falls off. When he goes to check it out, his partner pushes him off! Then he tries to rape Yuri as he has gone mad since coming to this world. But a Masked Sniper shoots him. Yuri takes cover as she notices the Masks don’t really kill you unless you show no desire to kill yourself. Then they kill you. Yuri is resolved to survive until she meets her brother. She takes the policeman’s gun but why the heck does she need to burn his body? Yuri then sees a Masked Maid. While contemplating to shoot her or not, the maid jumps over! Almost killed her. Can’t blame Yuri for never using a gun before so she misses at that range. Yuri tries to bluff her by jumping down. As the maid checks, obviously this building has a balcony so Yuri shoots her. As her mask is partially shot off, Yuri is shocked to see her human side. Masked Maid claims the Masks are humans under control by Command. They have to absolutely obey orders which is some chip under the mask. Now that it is broken, her final command is to kill herself. Sadly, she jumps off. Lucky for Yuri, a bag of provisions and weapons nearby. She heads to the next building and notices a helicopter flying over. Oops, almost fell off the flimsy bridge. Entering the next building, she sees a dead woman. In her pocket, a note reads that a helicopter service is the only way to get out of this world. Though, enough only for 1 capacity. Trap or not, Yuri is going to check it out. Then nearby she hears a man pleading for his life. She thought a Mask is the culprit but WTF?! A young school girl just like her?!

Episode 2
Yuri shoots the gun off her (and she’s proud of it!) but Mayuko Nise takes out her knife and slits the man’s throat! Obviously Mayuko wants to kill her since there is only 1 room for the helicopter but Yuri crying and not wanting to do this, Mayuko changes her mind?! I thought she said this was a human deathmatch? I think it’s because Yuri has no intention to take the helicopter and is willing to let Mayuko take it. Suddenly Sniper appears and Yuri is fast enough to save Mayuko from his sniping. Mayuko is shocked to see Yuri’s changed expression. Short flashback shows Mayuko always had enemies. Even her parents. That’s why she could easily kill others. Rather than hiding, Mayuko has a plan. So as Sniper moves closer, Mayuko drops a bomb. Boom! That should do the trick. Of course unknown to them, Sniper is still alive, licking his wounds and only a cracked mask. As Yuri is going to let her ride the helicopter, she gives Mayuko her school ID. Tell this to her parents that she is here. She is going to find Rika and take him back with her. Yeah, they talk for too long the helicopter is leaving! WTF, Yuri try to shoot it down with her pea shooter? Not going to- OMG! It turned around?! Yeah, a Mask firing some warning shots and then leaving. However Yuri is not discouraged. She realizes the helicopter is this world’s weakness since they desperately try to protect it. Hence her mission now in addition to find Rika, she’ll find allies, steal that helicopter and crush this world!

We see Sniper taking a shower before heading out. Because of the crack, he has gained some freedom in his thoughts but not enough to disobey Command. This also proves that other Masks will now target him as one attacks him but is finished off with a point blank shot into his mouth! Yuri falls asleep and thinks she got here because of staring at a strange tall building from her classroom. The next thing she knew, she was teleported here. When she wakes up, she thought Mayuko has left her. So she takes her stuffs and heads for the next building. Don’t look know because there are Masks after her! She thought of setting a trap on the bridge. One almost fell off but her comrade pushes her off! When Yuri is cornered, here comes Mayuko to the rescue. Yeah, she just went to toilet. She fires but the Mask uses his buddy as a human shield. When the Mask targets Mayuko (he just rips off her shirt? Is it this episode’s fanservice?), this allows Rika to reload and pump some shots into him. As he is not dead, they take off his mask to ask some questions. Apparently one can’t return to normal despite the mask being taken off as the programme has hacked your brain. Hence you still can’t disobey Command. Before he can reveal more about this world, he is ordered to kill himself. He bites his own tongue off.

Episode 3
Yuri and Mayuko become allies. Even if Mayuko claims she might betray her, Yuri hopes to work hard to not make her do that. This makes Mayuko feel weird inside. Starting to feel yuri for Yuri? After destroying the masks, Yuri is happy to know Mayuko has a handphone. Now she can contact Rika. He is still glad she is alive and can tell where she is after she describes her surroundings. Though, it might take time to get to her since he is far away. Learning she made an ally, he wants her to kill Mayuko. You must not be so fickle to trust strangers. However, Yuri will not do it and if he suggests something like this again, she will kill him! So Mayuko > Rika? Well, he was just testing her resolve so the plan of rescuing is put on hold as their goal now is to gather allies and find the helicopter as one will randomly land somewhere every day. So as Yuri explains how cool her brother is, we now see Rika butchering Masks with his sledgehammer. He tells us he always acts strong in front of Rika just to show how manly he is thanks to his girly name. But this world has changed him as he is resolved to kill all Masks. He meets up with his friends, Shinji Okihara and Takeda. However a Masked Baseball kills Takeda by pitching a cannonball! The duo run but hit a dead end. This is when Rika realizes that all Masks despite losing their basic logic, their real life abilities still exist. So to tackle that Masked Baseball, Rika tries to return his pitch. This is just a distraction so Okihara can shoot out the lights to block his vision before Rika hammering off his mask. Rika fights him but is told at this rate he cannot be God of this world if he is struggling so much to fight him. Okihara shoots him dead. With that, Rika is perplexed if there is more to this world than just escaping via helicopter. But just like his sister, he will also destroy it. Sniper has visions of facing off with Rika. His memories are too hazy to remember what happened after that. That’s why he has a picture of Yuri with him and can’t seem to rationalize why he needs to settle the score with Rika. He also narrates how when one puts on the mask, some sort of programme is installed into your brain and different commands are given to the wearer depending a situation. Suddenly a girl, Kuon Shinzaki wonders if he is alright. Sniper prepares to kill this stupid girl who came up to nonchalantly talk to a Mask like him. However orders tell him not to kill her since she has reached a level near God. Oh, what’s this about this world is a facility to create God?

Episode 4
It further adds that Masks are angels to help bring humans closer to God. As Kuon is afraid of being alone, she wants to team up with him. Sorry, he doesn’t do teaming up. But he thinks a certain pair of girls maybe just for her so he’ll help her bring to them. If they’re still alive. Yuri notices a Masked Kid nearby. She prepares to engage but it looks like he isn’t hostile. Just dropping a fresh bag of food and provisions? I guess we need to give Mayuko some smiles because she really loves her knives. Later Mayuko calls Rika to clarify certain things. Rika puts her trust in Mayuko to look after Yuri. Because Yuri looking up to Mayuko like a big sister, Mayuko feels flustered and weird. So much so she isn’t paying attention that a Masked Chef throws her off the building?! Actually to throw her into the room below. Because he wants to cut off her head! When he shows several decapitated heads from his collection, Mayuko starts to get traumatized. This brings back memories of people always blaming her despite it wasn’t her fault. So it’s the end of her? Not quite because Yuri hangs down from the window and pumps some bullets into him. Cheesy… Masked Chef still not dead and thinks Mayuko won’t find happiness in this world. On the contrary, she is happy now because she gets to cut him up into pieces! One sliced Frenchie coming up! Later the duo see an ad about recruiting allies. Sounds fishy… Especially about creating God and ending it all. The same ad is seen by Sniper and Kuon elsewhere. Yuri and Mayuko head there only for the former to be tasered. These group of man, they have a mask but it is plastered with tape to prevent the programme from installing to whoever wears it. They claim one of the masks is a jackpot. Finding that means this world will end. Hence he wants to test on Yuri if this mask is it. As he tears off the tape and prepares to put it on her, a Masked Rider (?!) comes in to punch them all dead! OMFG! One punch and their head explodes!!! Yuri faces off with him and thinks she will die. So she wants Mayuko to escape and give Rika a message. However that won’t do. If Yuri is going to die, she’s going to put on the mask. Oh sh*t! Mayuko putting on the mask! She becomes crazy but attacks Masked Rider instead.

Episode 5
Masked Rider punches Mayuko’s mask and it breaks. However Mayuko manages to maintain her sanity but because she wore the mask, her abilities have enhanced. From her experience with the Masked Chef, some defective masks enable you to retain your sanity. Looks like this gamble paid off. Eventually the girls manage to defeat Masked Rider and his last words are to put an end to this insane world. And old man named Sachio Tanabe stumbles into them and says his job is to kill them all. Mayuko shows her true strength as she breaks the axe in half. So don’t try anything funny, buster! With that, Tanabe thinks Yuri is a God candidate and can control Masks. He relates his tragedy that his allies were brutally murdered by Ein, a Masked Samurai Loli under the command of a surgeon, Kazuma Aohara who claims he is a God candidate. He spared Tanabe so as to help him find more God candidates and bring them to him to be eliminated since he will be the only Perfect God. Of course he chose to live but still wants revenge on his family. Sniper and Kuon heard all this too so you bet they’re going to lie low and follow them. The girls follow Tanabe to Aohara. The girls want to talk but Tanabe claims revenge so Aohara sends Ein to attack. Mayuko engages her and the plan is to wear her out since Mayuko has better endurance than her. Tanabe becomes impatient to get his revenge and rushes in. Gets stabbed by Ein. When Ein gets tired, Aohara thinks he has a trump card and calls his other hidden Mask, Zwei the archer. But oh sh*t! Yuri anticipated this and shoots her down!!! Aohara panics as he thinks he must become Perfect God or else it will be the same as the previous world where he got bullied by his superiors.

Kuon is worried there will be more deaths so Sniper tells her to chill and let them kill each other since she has no means of protecting herself. Kuon thinks this is his kindness and with that, she gets some of her memories back. And by that she activates some Railgun and shoots down a building nearby! Aohara is scared thinking this is Yuri’s power. Yuri takes advantage of this situation with her cringe evil acting that she is closer to God than him! At least that did the trick to have Aohara give up and obey her. Since Tanabe is still alive, she has him atone his sins to save the old man. Kuon tests to see if she can control other angels but it seems she can’t if they are on different wavelengths. This means she can’t hack into and overwrite Command too. As they take a lunch break, a Mask tells them about Perfect God. Only 1 candidate can be it and with that, that single Perfect God will have all his/her wish come true, whether it is world peace or complete chaos. Kuon vows to become one. Meanwhile a girl is about to be raped by a couple of Masks. However a Masked Monk decapitates them. Rika has been watching this and asks if he is controlled by a God candidate. Masked Monk throws him a handphone from his God candidate, Rikuya Yoshida. He explains how he became a God candidate. When he woke up in this world, he saw a mask without a mouth hole. After putting it, data were installed into his brain and subsequently the mask broke after Command was activated. Rika notices the different type of Masks based on the expression of the mouth. The mouthless one must be the jackpot that Yuri told him.

Episode 6
Mayuko sees visions of herself in Mask form. The girls check on Tanabe and he is recovering fine. They see Ein able to take out her mask albeit for a short while. Yuri flustering how cute she is but Mayuko jealous? The duo then go investigate a scream in another building. Yup, another Mask just killed another guy. Mayuko charges straight in but miscalculates and gets whacked right in the head. Although it took her out, don’t worry, no fatal damage since she has enhanced abilities. However it is Sniper who took out this Mask dude and Yuri recognizes this style of sniping. That Sniper bastard is still alive. Yuri takes Mayuko to escape. Kuon wonders if it is okay for him to let them go and since he won’t tell his reason for it, she starts b*tching about his attitude. To shut her up, I guess he has to tell her the whole story. As far as he could remember, he was facing off with Rika. Command ordered to kill him but Rika dropped his weapons and charged straight at him. Rika’s goal was to unmask him but Sniper dodged and escaped. He saw Rika’s tears before he left. This could mean that Rika must be his friend. That is why he needs to follow Yuri to reach Rika to confirm this himself. My, Kuon crying at this touching story. But wait. There’s more now Sniper remembers. He didn’t put the mask on by himself. In fact, a Masked Policewoman did so. He lost to her and wanted to be killed. However she needed to know the Railgun System and thought he would be better alive and hence put the mask on him.

Mayuko continues to see those haunted visions of herself. She knows her time is up because it’s like her Masked self is trying to control her. It didn’t take long as she soon collapses and can’t move her body. Yuri is shocked and attends to her. Oh no. A Masked coming. Yuri shoots him dead! DON’T INTERRUPT OUR F*CKING MOMENT! Mayuko reveals the truth about the aftereffects of the mask. She laments she can’t help Yuri reach Rika even though she really wants to. Instead of letting Command ordering her to die, she is going to kill herself. Of course Mayuko won’t let that happen but too late, Command completely takes over her. However with Mayuko still trying to fight it, Command can’t totally take over her mind and forces her to go into hibernation. Masked Dealer pops up. Seems she has a will of her own. She advises Yuri not to fight back as her defence mechanism will activate and kill her. She explains about this hibernation to her. Basically, in a few hours, Mayuko will die. The only way is to become a God candidate and save her. Since she is a guardian angel, she knows where items are located in her area. She tells Yuri the location of a mouthless mask. Wear that and she’ll become a God candidate. By doing so, she’ll join the battle royale bloodbath. Yuri puts Mayuko in bed and makes her way. Shortly, Sniper and Kuon come by and see her condition. Kuon knows what this is so she hacks into Mayuko’s mind and forces Command to deactivate hibernation and return full control to this human. Done. That was easy! Meanwhile Yuri is climbing up a building and a Mask is right on her ass! Oh sh*t! Gonna inject her with whatever!

Episode 7
Yuri finds the mask and puts it on. She enters some alternate dimension but Command installs the most basic of programmes so that she can rid of this Mask. Other than slowing time to dodge his attacks, in 1 swing she throws him off the building! After the threat is over, she puts the mask back on to continue the installation. This support programme tells her all that is needed for a God candidate. Basically, depending on her compatibility, there are some abilities she’ll have enhanced and some not so. Yuri is now a full-fledged God candidate after the mask breaks. As she is about to return, she gets a call from Mayuko who explains she was saved by Kuon. Expected to be scolded, however Yuri is glad to hear she is okay. So having newfound powers isn’t a waste. Yuri believes she can help Mayuko fight off powerful Masks and head towards where Rika is. Speaking of him, he has gathered a few ragtag allies (other than Okihara, they include loli Haruka, her father Azuma, the girl who almost got raped Megumi Saito and a guy with half his head bandaged Kouhei Yamanami) heading towards Yoshida’s spot. Policewoman has orders to take them all out as they are all potential God candidates and could be the ones who fired the Railgun and thus a threat. So while Mayuko waits for Yuri’s return, she hears out Sniper’s story since she doesn’t fully trust him yet. As Rika’s group reaches the spot, Policewoman sends her Masks henchmen to attack. Firstly, she clouds the area with tear gas and targets to take out Masked Monk. Luckily Rika is able to do some fighting back. Thankfully Yoshida has a few more Masked goonies to help out (doesn’t that Masked Aristocrat look like a taller version of Fullmetal Alchemist’s Edward?!). With Rika injured and close to passing out from her injuries, this is where Masked Swimmer comes in to kidnap Rika. It seems Policewoman has orders from her master to kidnap competent humans and bring them to him.

Episode 8
Yamanami calls Yuri to tell Rika has been kidnapped. Damn, she got so mad she crushed her phone?! OMG! Will she become a demon candidate now?! So loud her scream that Mayuko could tell it is her and rushes off to find her. However she is being targeted by Masked Grenade Launcher. Thankfully, Sniper snipes away his grenade. When he tries for a head shot, Masked Dagger deflects it. It seems both these Masks are under orders to find out the God candidate who can use the Railgun System. With Yuri returning (apparently for now Mayuko > Rika), she shows her enhanced abilities. Masked Grenade Launcher fires several rounds and she shoots them all with her mini gun!!! Sniper then snipes him out as Masked Dagger hides and tries to call for help. But Sniper pulls off an amazing move to snipe him out. Happy Yuri hugs Mayuko in one of the strangest yuri trolls ever as Yuri tells her experience of putting on a mouthless mask. Don’t hug her too much or you’ll crush her bones. Kuon then goes over to meet Yuri. It’s like some strong current resonate through them when they shake hands. Kuon then explains about Sniper being on their side but currently he will be keeping his distance from the girls from now on just to play safe. Because Kuon and Yuri are getting too friendly with each other, Mayuko gets jealous and reminds them to continue their journey. Apparently another demon in the making if her precious yuri partner is taken away.

Meanwhile Rika is brought to another God candidate, Mamoru Aikawa. After laughing at how girly Rika’s name is, he explains his goal is to bring world peace via subordination of the weak. So he hopes a smart guy like Rika can help cooperate with his plans. Rika knows this guy is trash and has openings everywhere that could easily kill him. But he has to be cautious as he has very strong Masks under his command. Especially when he reveals he can control 30 of them at once! So Rika wants to think about it and it’s a smart choice because if he declines, Aikawa would’ve killed him slowly. He then brings Rika to the rooftop. The helicopter, remember? He points out to the tallest building in the centre. There are no bridges connected to it. From his research, to become Perfect God, once must arrive at that tower. It is not merely a means to escape. Everything in this world is a test to see if one can become that Perfect God. From escaping killer Masks, resisting suicide temptations and not thinking this as merely an escape room game, he believes these are all the trials one must overcome. Then the helicopter arrives. Aikawa has his Masks prepare to attack. The helicopter door opens. A Mask seems to be hesitant so he signals to the pilot to fly away. His actions prove Aikawa’s theory right. This shows they are aware of the actions and locations of God candidates and trying to prevent an end to this realm In other words, they want to stop the birth of a Perfect God. Those Masks with angry mouths, they’re known as the guardian angels and they’re the biggest obstacle to become Perfect God.

Episode 9
I don’t really get it. If those guardian angels want to protect this realm and won’t challenge God candidates, then why the heck the helicopter in the first place?! Isn’t it better not for them to come at all? Aikawa’s next plan is to monitor the helicopter’s next move as he mobilizes his Mask for this job and to eliminate anybody, humans or Masks who get close to it. He then leaves Rika in the hands of Yayoi Kusakabe (Policewoman) for further interrogation. As Sniper tries to find more clues, more memories of Rika pops up. But then he is attacked by another Masked Sniper. White Feather she is called. Sniper is at a disadvantage since he is crossing a bridge and she shoots the ropes. He is hanging for dear life when he remembers more Rika memories. Something about a bet between them to live a cooler life. Thinking his fate is done, he signals to White Feather for a head shot. He’ll go out this way. But then, Ein comes in to cut White Feather’s rifle. However White Feather is still formidable in close quarter combat. Yuri’s side spots White Feather from a distance and seeing Ein in trouble, Kuon prepares to utilize her Railgun. Luckily that won’t be as White Feather escapes when Sniper has regained his footing and fires a warning shot. Yuri signals to Aohara’s side to meet up. Aikawa receives White Feather’s report and although disappointed she didn’t even kill one of them, at least he got some important info. This also has him thinking about the Railgun user and perhaps they know of his existence. He takes it as provocation and vows not to let them be Perfect God. Mayuko pulls Kuon over for a toilet break. So this just to ask if she has a crush on Sniper?! Her flustering is so obvious… It also makes her admit that she could control Railgun System. This has Mayuko realizing that Kuon will be targeted since the enemies will want to capture her to learn and use it to become Perfect God. Conversation interrupted when a Masked Sumo attacks Yuri. However he is in pain and wants to be killed. Our dynamic duo grant his wish and I suppose this is to make Kuon squirm and realize Sniper’s words of her naivety. For the first time since, Sniper meets Yuri. He is here to return their bags and give them the enemy’s handphone. Maybe they can figure out something from this. Yuri still gets trauma seeing him so it’s toilet break for her. Aohara’s side reunites with Yuri. This time he has a young kid whom he treated, Uzuki as part of his team. Due to Yuri’s cringe villain acting, Uzuki thinks she is a bully! Sniper thinks Kuon can use her Railgun to blast the enemy if they know their location. But even so, she can’t. Why. Because they’ve got Rika.

Episode 10
Rika tells all he knows to Kusakabe. Although she can’t read minds, she can read his brainwaves and tell whether he is lying or not. Rika knows this and is trying his best to prevent her from finding out about Yoshida and hide Yuri’s existence. She gets a call about White Feather’s failure. This shocks Rika but also reliefs him since Sniper is still alive. Kusakabe is suspicious of Rika’s relationship with Sniper so she tries to agitate him by revealing it was her who put the mask on him. To her shock, Rika hurts himself and then starts laughing. He then mocks her about her statement about putting a mask on him and he’ll be as strong as her master. Because if that’s true, Sniper would’ve kicked all of their asses and this would make Aikawa mad. This makes Kusakabe worry but Rika’s plan to divert her attention back to her master works. He then passes out from his injuries. Sniper realizes the hibernation programme is going to affect him soon. Hence he needs to talk to Yuri first. Yuri leaves the lookout duty to Aohara who still finds her scary. But Uzuki thinks she isn’t a bad woman and in fact reminds him a lot like his mom. Sniper returns the picture to Yuri. This proves that he is Rika’s friend. He unmasks himself to let Yuri see his face to see if she recognizes him. While we won’t get to see his face, Yuri’s flustering means he is a real handsome guy! Too bad, she doesn’t recognize him although that scar beneath his left eye looks familiar. I guess he needs to go talk to Rika directly. With Sniper going into hibernation, time for Kuon to work her magic. This time Mayuko accompanies her as they dive into Sniper’s subconscious mind. They meet his kiddo self who brings them to his Masked Sniper programme version as well as a kiddo version of Rika. Something about his real name as Makoto or Yuu? Kuon does her usual to deactivate the programmes although some like suicide command is still intact so it’s best he still keeps the mask on. Before they return to reality, the kiddo Rika sad because he doesn’t want him to go? Tanabe has fixed Yuri’s gun and Uzuki who is a gun fanatic from his video games teaches her how to use it effectively. Because it’s cue for Yuri to show her God-like abilities as she hears the cries of a woman nearby. She rushes in but too late, she gets decapitated! Oh well, killing these Masked Punks (WTF they’re doing this strange shield dance?!) should be easy. And yeah, strengthen her will to see Rika again. And to be his younger sister? Aren’t they that all along?

Episode 11
As Yuri mourns the dead woman, Masked Student who is under Aikawa is tasked to spy on her. However thoughts of defeating her and being praised by his master sends him into a frenzy to attack Yuri. Does he have unlimited knives?! Without a weapon, Yuri is left dodging. Thanks to Mayuko coming into the picture to apprehend this dude. They interrogate him as he explains of Aikawa’s great ideal to weed out evil and hence the reason this world exists. Yuri doesn’t understand all that hogwash but she doesn’t like Aikawa or his ideals and will kill him. Meanwhile as Aikawa has info on Yuri’s group, he decides to send an assassination squad that comprises of Kusakabe, Masked Swimmer and a guy known as Great Angel. Flashback shows Great Angel as a very buffed Mask guy in tights (horror Teletubbies?), killing everybody because this dude has a very strong sense of justice. Or rather a twisted one. Everything is evil! I am justice! Everybody die! Aikawa likes this sense of justice but believes his is more superior. He managed to control Great Angel under his command and sealed his abilities until the time calls for it. Masked China who works for Yoshida manages to get a picture of where Rika is being held. Yoshida in turn sends this message to Yuri. Now she’s getting emotional? Sniper too?! Aohara reports to Yuri about Masked Student. Seems he can’t subjugate Masks that are under someone else’s control. However he discovered a new ability and that is to stop an angel. He tests it out on Sniper to not move. Nothing happens. But Sniper notes that it worked albeit for just a second. Yuri then tells him the whole truth. Aohara will continue to cooperate with her and as embarrassing it is for him to admit she is stronger than him, it is still better than working with Aikawa. The battle is here as Sniper tries to snipe at Kusakabe. Although he remembers her as the one putting the mask on him and wants to interrogate her, better she dies now. However his shot is off when Uzuki screams Kusakabe as his mom!!! Kusakabe throws smoke screen into the area as Masked Swimmer and Great Angel (scrawny form?) enter the fray. Great Angel panics seeing he needs to face off with Yuri, Mayuko and Ein so Aikawa calls him to release his powers. Man, he is now his original buffed form! Aikawa then says if he wants to defeat him, he must defeat his allies (Yuri and co) and head to the building behind them. Great Angel jumps over them and rushes into the building. Ein goes after him. Yuri wants Mayuko to help Ein but WTF Mayuko complains she wants to be with her?! Just go! Okay. But don’t die! Yuri fights Masked Swimmer and relishes revenge because he’s the dude who kidnapped Rika.

Episode 12
Great Angel is so fast he could grab Sniper’s bullet! He enters the building and faces off with Ein, Mayuko and Aohara. The surgeon using his ability to freeze him for a second but he manages to unfreeze himself and move in about 0.8 seconds. Hey, that’s enough time for Mayuko and Ein to give him some flesh wound. Great Angel returns the favour by flicking the bullet back to Aohara! Right in the neck! Ein quickly takes him and run while Mayuko is left to fend off with Great Angel. He is still faster and stronger than her so she consults her Masked self on some defragmentation tool that would enhanced her processing abilities. The catch is that it will take time to activate and the cost will be her Masked self being erased. Thank goodness for Tanabe here buying time with his dramatic act. Oh, he went down so fast with just a touch! Meanwhile Yuri defeats and kills Masked Swimmer. Now she is free to go aid Mayuko. Kuon is scared so Sniper calms her down. So what’s this trolling scene of Kuon marrying Sniper?! Still with his mask on! The defragmentation tool activates and Mayuko can fight on par with Great Angel. But she is still no match. Noting that he is tiring out, Mayuko now initiates the next plan. She jumps out of the building and screams the password. Sniper’s sharp hearing enables him to pinpoint her location. This allows Kuon to activate the Railgun at a much faster rate and fire at that location! Kusakabe wants to report this to Aikawa but Sniper snipers her phone and sends her running. Mayuko thought they’ve won but Great Angel still alive! Oh sh*t! How! He managed to dodge but the shockwave damaged his organs. He is about to kill her but here comes Yuri! Just in time. She defeats him and is about to kill him but her support programme says their brainwave matches and that she can dominate and control him. Since she is still bent on killing him, Tanabe tells her it won’t be great justice to kill someone who has lost. With Great Angel admitting his defeat, Yuri dominates Great Angel under her command. She seals his power and he returns to his scrawny version. Although Yuri’s group won, the biggest price they paid is Aohara’s death. His last words to Ein is to follow Yuri. Aikawa calls Rika who is impressed with Sniper’s ability. But when Aikawa mentions Yuri being related to him, Rika feigns he has no sister. Until Aikawa threatens to just kill this woman that Rika blows her top to warn him he’ll kill him if he touches his sister. Yuri and co prepare their next plan to rescue Rika. As Rika rejects Aikawa’s ideology, Aikawa isn’t happy and uses some code to brainwash him!

Manhunt: Welcome To The Bloody Mask-ssacre!
Obviously with the way things were going and how things ended, it wasn’t within the realm of my expectations that this series needs another season. Not really sure if they would make another season since the manga ended back in early 2019. So I’m sure there are enough materials to be covered and I am guessing the cliff-hanger ending just like many other animes is that a dozen episodes in a single season is just to test waters and the market. If they gauged the mass audience love it, they might go ahead and make another season. After all, like I’ve said, the manga has already ended and currently a spinoff manga series continued after that and is currently running.

Contrary to many negative comments all over the internet, I actually find this series quite interesting and absorbing for the most part. I could say that the level of enthusiasm is somewhat similar to my experience with Tower Of God. Sure, some parts may be boring and draggy but overall it actually piqued my interest. Something which also surprised me because I was going into this series with very low expectations since prior to me starting to watch this series, I had the misfortune of reading some of those negative comments. Yeah. But my gut power was ringing like Spidey-sense and that’s why I had to check it out. And I know an anime is interesting to me because so much so when the series ended, I did the rare occurrence of me doing Google search for more info about the series and stumbled into what are potentially spoilers. Like Rika’s real relationship with Sniper. SPOILER ALERT: They’re brothers! And Yuri is Rika’s step sister! And also something about Tanabe’s true identity… Now have I piqued your interest too? But damn. When are they going to make another season?!

Generally, the story isn’t an original masterpiece since it feels like it has borrowed elements from many other animes in the past. A game where players can form groups and fight for survival against other groups where death is permanent? Sounds like Darwin’s Game and Btooom. The overall winner gets his/her wish granted? Tower Of God did that. And becomes God in the end? Ueki No Housoku got that covered many years ago. The main setting is mainly of those trapped in buildings? Feels like Satsuriku No Tenshi. Somewhat. So while all this makes this series look unoriginal (believe me, how original can a story get now these days?), perhaps it is the intrigue of the plot that may attract some to watch. And of course the plot twist that it isn’t just a mere brutal survival escape game as it turns out it is twisted game to find the next God.

But it is with mixed feelings that I find the pace of the unravelling plot to be intriguing, rushed and draggy at the same time. At times it feels like they just drag a scene out just to waste some time because you know, my guts felt impatient and were just screaming for them to hurry up with the next. But because of that, perhaps that is the reason why I became interested in knowing more about it subsequently. Some scenes feel rushed or skipped, rendering some confusion and like I found out, they skipped early parts of the manga and start the anime right in by having Yuri fight a Mask killer and omitted chapters that explores why she’s a tough chick to begin with. Trying to draw in viewers’ attention first, huh? And of course it goes without saying that seeing how things ended, there are still lots of burning questions unanswered from things that seemingly don’t make sense (like those guardian angels not wanting this world to end thingy and does one get to choose to become an angel or God candidate). I know I did say I went to search online for my own answers but I just did the minimum to avoid spoiling myself too much. Just in case they want to make another season. Hint, hint!

Character wise, pretty standard and cliché too. Yuri is a strong and uncompromising character that is very much needed for a character like her to survive in this world. Because also, girl power! Furthermore, Yuri is showcased as a mixed bag of quirky oddball in the sense that she shows a various range of emotions and expressions. Aside her normal high school girl mode, you have the merciless killer mode as well as the fearful mode and not forgetting the comical retard mode (especially when she’s super happy or something). It’s like these are her masks and depending on the situation, she can change into the other with quick ease. So it’s like trying to make her character less than perfect but also give her some sort of character for us to remember by rather than being a monotonous boring chick.

And yes, there’s her partner in crime, Mayuko. Tough badass chick slowly turning into a tsundere for Yuri because otherwise it would have wasted the chance of naming Yuri so. Sometimes it feels like they had to downgrade her character so that we could have some cheap yuri fantasies or at least hinting that something of that likes would happen. The more the series progresses, the more Mayuko unconsciously finding herself to fall for Yuri as she becomes her sole existence of surviving in this world. If 2 hot chicks aren’t good enough, here’s the third one, Kuon. Mostly portrayed as a useless damsel in distress and the only reason she is not totally that useless is because of that enigmatic ability to use the Railgun System. And this weird cheesy delusional romance they give her and Sniper. Like, WTF?! Yeah, there’s this joke about her trying to see his handsome face…

Sniper is quite a cool character but he feels a bit aloof and alienated from the group. He is like the enemy of the enemy but can’t be your ally because he is still technically the enemy. So it’s a bit confusing but I guess there are many characters who would group together in makeshift alliance for the moment because this world is still a big mysterious and dangerous place. Otherwise, his character too is often played for plot convenience, long range version. An enemy stalking you from afar? Sniper specialist here to save the day. Need Yuri to power up quickly? Herald Dealer to tell her where a mouthless mask is for ultimate transformation! You see the picture now?

Like brother, like sister, Rika too is a badass survivalist (despite his girly name – perhaps the Japanese version of a boy named Sue) and I’m sure if the siblings reunite, they’d take down this world and tear it apart in minutes! I could be wrong but something tells me that Rika may have been through this before because it’s like he has a knack for survival and knows what to do. It remains to be seen his current fate since Aikawa won’t let him go. I mean, he could be turned into a Mask and what’s worse having Rika as a badass survivor is a Masked Rika himself. I think he’ll surpass Great Angel in many ways.

There are quite a few other characters too but the dozen episodes here don’t allow them to be fleshed out properly. Take for instance Yoshida’s group. Overall his side feels very underutilized and can be done without if not for the fact of his side to be somewhat of a connector-cum-communicator to the siblings. Because Rika has a group of his own, there could be frequent contacts to assure the other is safe. Otherwise his side feels mostly redundant. After all, this show isn’t like Game of Thrones where any character is susceptible to death although some are. Like Aohara (because spoiler alert: Ein becomes a God candidate after that!!!). The other amusing character is Kusakabe because she is a bit psychopathic, sometimes breaking the fourth wall to introduce to us some of the Masks she sends out to attack our heroes. And then more added drama because suddenly Uzuki comes into the picture and why do we need a little kid (other than to satiate shotacon sickos) is because, wait for it, little boy is Kusakabe’s son!!! How? What? When? Where? WHY?! Stay tune to next season… Hint, hint!

Art and animation are rather okay but sometimes I feel there are inconsistencies and in certain parts they skimp the details. One instance I remember is when Yuri first met Mayuko. After Mayuko’s first onscreen kill of that nameless guy, after that short bout with Sniper, the blood on her hair was literally gone. I mean, did she have time to wash it off after that? Otherwise, the overall animation isn’t that bad but by today’s standards, many would consider it as barely passable. Even more so when the backgrounds are just buildings so it adds to the monotonous atmosphere. Heck, even the building interior feel barely decorated except when they need rooms for our characters to use. Oh yeah. Need a convenient bed for our heroine to sleep in? There’s one nearby.

Character designs feel pretty average too. So much so some look like characters from other anime. I couldn’t actually remember them but when I Google image their name, other similar-like characters from other animes pop up, making my reference easier. For example, Mayuko does look like Saki from Franchouchou of Zombie Land Saga while Yuri has this striking resemblance to Luvelia of Peter Grill To Kenja No Jikan. And Aikawa reminds me of Miyagi from the retro basketball series, Slam Dunk. You get the point. As for the masked enemies, sometimes they feel like one big cosplay party. Because those enemies with certain skill or theme like baseball or maid, they just happened to appear only once. I wonder what happens when they have multiple masked baseball enemies. Masked Baseball 2? Or a variant like Masked Pitcher? Just like Aikawa had a masked maid but is called Masked Servant for differentiation. After all, it is easier to animate them since you don’t have to draw faces and you just slap the generic white mask over. I still can’t get over that Great Angel looks like a buffed Teletubbies… I saw his unmasked version in the manga online… WTF he looks like Goku?! This anime is done by Zero-G who did Tsugumomo, Grand Blue and the One Room series.

If you’re watching this series, then you must be expecting to watch the bloody violence. Well, I’m not saying that the blood and gore are a masterpiece but it just felt it had too. After all, when you have masked assailants targeting your life, it’s yours or theirs. Thanks to the passable animation, blood doesn’t look like blood sometimes and it gives the feel that they are watered colour splashing all over. Not even red paint. And there were many times that the action parts felt like typical clichés because you know, when our heroines are seconds away from being killed, plot convenience jumps in to save their skin. So if you’re main character material like Yuri, Mayuko, Kuon or even Sniper himself, don’t be afraid if their character will be killed off because the clichés will come save the day. And now that our normal girls have been imbued with Super Saiyan powers, even more reason for them to go full throttle in bludgeoning their masked aggressors. Also, sometimes the action parts feel less convincing due to the animation that lacks impact, making the kill somewhat emotionless. I mean, you have to be a cold blooded kill to take someone’s life (whether you’re a good or bad guy) but the way the characters make their kill feels weak so much so it’s like they didn’t exert enough effort in doing so. Like when Yuri pulls the gun trigger, it’s like as though she’s shooting a toy gun. Get what I’m saying?

Everything isn’t just blood, gore and violence. Yes, some fanservice too. But it is just minimal and probably just to give some fan boys a little boner. See them occasionally flash their panties because of their very short skirt and camera angles. Otherwise, why have a couple of cute girls as the main protagonist, right? Isn’t that why they make Mayuko run around for half the series with her exposed bra courtesy of her ripped shirt? Isn’t that why they make Yuri thighs thicc, right? You do notice that Yuri has thicc thighs, didn’t you? High-rise invasion… Thigh-rise invasion!!! HAHAHA!!! And it feels like a silly joke that whenever Yuri comes to save Mayuko’s ass, each time she jumps in like a cliché heroine to save the day, Mayuko can tell that she is the one and only beloved Yuri of hers. That is, by telling the kind of panties she is wearing! Nobody else wears white pantsu in this world, huh? Yeah, fans of stripped panties can fawn over Mayuko then. Tenkuu Shinpan. Thank you shima pantsu!!! HAHAHA!!!

Voice acting is pretty okay. Some recognizable seiyuus lending their talents here include Jun Fukuyama as Aikawa, Youko Hikasa as Kusakabe, Koji Yusa as Aohara, Shizuka Itou as Dealer and Megumi Ogata as Okihara. Yuichiro Umehara once again heralding his trademark voice for a character that is named after his job. After the titular Goblin Slayer and Courier in Akudama, now it is Sniper in this anime. Yeah… If Yuri’s retard mode feels familiar, that’s because she’s voiced by Haruka Shiraishi who did Asirpa in Golden Kamuy. Now I remember why she sounds so familiar. The other casts are Shiki Aoki as Mayuko (Kaoru in 3D Kanojo Real Girl), Akira Sekine as Kuon (Princess in Princess Principal), Junya Enoki as Rika (Wendlin in Hachi-nan Tte Sore Wa Nai Deshou), Chika Anzai as Ein (Reina in Hibike! Euphonium), Kaito Ishikawa as Great Angel (Iida in Boku No Hero Academia), Shouya Chiba as Yoshida (B Cell in Hataraku Saibou), Asami Seto as Uzuki and White Feather (Chihaya in Chihayafuru), Makoto Furukawa as Yamanami (Saitama in One Punch Man) and Seirou Ogino as Tanabe (Himekawa in Beelzebub).

The opening theme is Hon-no by Empire. It’s a weird techno rock piece. It fits the action pace setting of the series but personally, I don’t really like it. Somehow I prefer the ending theme better, Watashi No Na Wa Blue by Have A Nice Day (WTF this band name…). Playing to a much slower tune, it has a bit of hip element in it and the way the singer sings it in a drowsy voice, makes the song feel a whole lot like a sleepy one. Trying to put you to sleep after a bloody episode? Not sure if this is part of the winding down. Also a few weird techno BGMs for action sequences but I guess that’s okay.

Overall, this series had some potential and could’ve been justified (slightly, maybe) if it had another season to boot. Otherwise, many would just sufficiently call this as popcorn entertainment of the season. Got some blood, gore, violent and killings? Check. A few hot chicks flashing their undies. Check. Typical cliché plot whereby the winner becomes God and gets his/her wish absolutely granted. Check. Then you have to put up with the weird pacing and the so-so animation quality and action sequences. Oh well, it’s a so called original Netflix animation they say. They win some (High Score Girl) and they lose some (Mushikago No Caster). So if I have to put on any sort of mask, it will be a sleeping mask. Time to go to bed after binge watching this bloody series. I won’t be the Perfect God, but a Perfect Sleep is all I need right now…

Oh man. Can’t they keep something dead, stay dead? Okay. Maybe it’s just me. I’m never a fan of that confusing series about science and magic (looking at you, To Aru series) but that didn’t stop me from watching its sequel after many years of hiatus. And perhaps it is that same reason of nostalgia that got me into watching a series with a similar confusing science and magic theme. Yup, Mahouka Koukou No Rettousei – Raihousha-hen (Visitor Arc) is the sequel to the series that came out 6 years ago! Oh man. Thanks for making me feel old. I suppose there are fans of this series who were pining to get their sequel. And they got it alright. And because of that nostalgia’s sake and the baseless hope of me hoping that I will understand things better this time due to my accumulated years of watching animes (yeah, you have the right to laugh at me with this stupid line of thought), that is how I forced myself to watch something I’m not particularly interested to watch with in the first place. Oh right. I almost forget. New hot character girl on the promotion poster. Damn. Still that sucker for a pretty face.

Episode 1
A brief explanations how awesome magicians are that they could influence world affairs. One such incident known as Scorched Halloween whereby a naval base at the southern tip of the Korean Peninsula were wiped out. We see Angie Sirius from the special division USNA of Stars, hunting down a fugitive. Because he fought back, she is forced to kill him. Meanwhile back in Japan, we see Tatsuya and his classmates celebrating Christmas. Shizuku drops the news that she is going to American to study in a special exchange programme. Albeit it is only for 3 months. Hence the Americans will also send someone in exchange. Of course that person would be Sirius but she rues she sucks in spying and her forte is combat. Her comrade explains their mission to find the suspected strategic class magician behind Scorched Halloween and that person is assumed to be very dangerous. Hence prioritizing fighting strength over spying ability. During Tatsuya and co’s shrine visit, they make eye contact with Sirius. Can’t miss her. The only blonde standing out in a weird kimono fashion. Sirius returns home and when her comrade, Sylvia Mercury First realizes her bad kimono fashion that attracted stares from others (because it makes her look slutty? Thank anime and manga for that!), she cancels all plans for today and is going to drill into her about Japanese culture! Don’t you just love Japanese culture? Sirius is introduced to Tatsuya’s class as Angelina “Lina” Kudou Shields and related to Kudou by being her mom’s grandfather is Kudou’s younger brother. I’m confused… After a week of observation, Tatsuya and Miyuki know about Lina’s background. She sucks at spying but are perplexed why USNA sent a powerful and famed magician here. Could it be she is just a decoy and the real spy acting elsewhere? Lina too feels her cover might be blown since Tatsuya’s sharp observation notes about her Lina nickname instead of being the more common Sirius. She made up a story there was another girl with that name. Later Lina confronts Tatsuya alone and heard about him being an Irregular (or Weeds, if you remember that term). She thinks he is pretending to be one but he explains the aptitude tests that differs from actual combating grade. She tries to test him by attacking him but he easily deflects it. He lets her off the hook but she is stumped he won’t even ask why or her real identity. He doesn’t care. Some things are better not known. That night, Lina gets an emergency call from her superior back in US. Looks like the fugitives have made landfall in Tokyo and laying low. Her new mission of priority is to track them down.

Episode 2
A couple of shady trench coat guys are doing something to their victims. But it is not what they want so the only thing they have to do is to get more samples. In school, Tatsuya’s friends talk about the recent serial vampire incident around Tokyo area. It is baffling that the victim only has 10% of their blood extracted and there are no marks whatsoever from where the blood was taken. They also heard from Shizuku that this incident is also somewhat happening in the USA but not near the area she is in. Sirius’ agents hunt down one of those trench coat guys, Deimos. However their jamming device couldn’t work on him as he owns them. What’s this he doesn’t need CAD anymore? He escapes because Sirius is here and he doesn’t want to fight with that powerful one. Meanwhile Leo stumbles into another trench coat guy just fresh doing in a victim. But as he fights him, he feels his energy drained upon contact. He escapes thanks to Sirius near the vicinity. Unfortunately, Sirius lost track of her targets. Although Leo is hospitalized, he is not in serious conditions. He tells his visiting friends what happened and believes the trench coat guy is actually a woman. Mikihiko believes it might be some supernatural bug called parasite. They aren’t common but it could turn you into something superhuman. Because of that, they nourish themselves by absorbing some of your life force or spirit energy. Mikihiko reads Leo’s spirit energy and despite losing lots of them, he is still talking normally to them. Yeah, is he even human? Anyway, this poses the question if the parasite can feed off one’s spirit energy, why go to the trouble of taking blood? Mayumi talks to Juumonji about all the victims related in this serial vampire incident. They know they are all magicians or have magic potential and they can safely deduce the culprit is hunting magicians. As Mayumi confirms one of the victims is her relative, it could mean the culprit must be really powerful and a foreigner to if one of her family members were harmed. They think Lina is suspicious but not the culprit and believe she might have something to do with this. As requested by both their family heads, they agree for their family to cooperate on this matter.

Episode 3
As Tatsuya trains with Yakumo, he notices a strange spell he tried to use against him. Luckily he was able to read it and take some measures. Yakumo reveals that spell is used mostly to deceive the eyes of things not of this world. Basically something supernatural. It shouldn’t come to a surprise for magicians because some of them use spiritual beings as their medium. And then some mumbo jumbo about spirits drifting in between the shadow world and our mental world. Later Tatsuya calls Shizuku to find out more about the vampires in America. Too bad the media doesn’t report it and the public treats it like urban legend. He tells her to be careful since he believes the culprit here in Japan is from America. That night, Mikihiko and Erika stumble into Sirius chasing down those trench coat guys. She got one of them already but before she could face off with the last one, the duo barge in to fight them. Subsequently when Tatsuya joins in the fight, Sirius uses some weird spell to escape. Tatsuya then reports to his aunt about this and wonders if she could teach him the family’s some super secret spell called Parade. I don’t really get all this technical mumbo jumbo stuff. If I understand it, it’s basically some transformation magic to temporarily alter your physical appearance. I think. Because during his fight with Sirius, that light dispersion illusion thingy not only did not allow Tatsuya to see through her real identity, it also caused his aim to miss. Oh Miyuki, you don’t mean to look and sound that shocked, do you?! He is requesting for reinforcements since he knows this case is too big for himself to handle. Aunt agrees to let him call Kazama. Tatsuya then confronts Juumonji and Mayumi and ‘threatens’ not to help if he is not given the full details of what is happening. They share their data that they believe multiple vampires are behind the multiple incidents. That night, Tatsuya alone goes to face off with Sirius. Yeah, he helped her deal with that pesky trench coat guy. Then both shoot their magic gun. Only, Tatsuya is far more superior as it even reveals Sirius’ true identity.

Episode 4
We see Tatsuya and Lina duking it out and despite Tatsuya knowing it is her, he still removes her mask. Because she claims now that he has seen her face, he must die. Yeah, like a few extra backup guys can kill this dude. Had not Miyuki and Yakumo come into the picture, he might have met his maker. Oh, Lina who initially outnumbered Tatsuya with her men (despite doing nothing) now claims unfairness when he has Miyuki and Yakumo?! Miyuki wants to fight her because she wants to teach her a lesson for hurting her brother. Oh boy. I guess with all agreeing, let the fight continue as long as they don’t kill each other. If Miyuki wins, Lina must answer their questions. Otherwise, they’ll let her go. Before the fight, Tatsuya trolls us by surprising Miyuki as he kisses her forehead. Wow. This good luck charm really powers her up. Both go all out with their magic. So are you camp Miyuki or camp Lina? Either way, Tatsuya has to stop them because at this rate they’ll kill each other. But Lina admits her defeat and will only answer questions in yes or no format. Next morning back in her home, Lina feels depressed that she lost to a kid. Yeah, an army commander lost to a high school student. No wonder she’s in tears! There’s always Sylvia’s shoulders to cry on. Meanwhile, Raymond Sage Clark talks to Shizuku about some info he found about the parasite. It is linked to some extradimensional theory and experiment. So basically black holes. So those parasites are summoned from another world?! Tatsuya then summons Mikihiko, Erika, Mayumi and Juumonji. From his bout with Lina last night, he managed to get some pattern and frequency of the parasite and needs their help to track it down. He believes their identities are fugitives from the USNA and their numbers could reach up till 10. They wonder why such magicians are on the loose and it could be the parasite taking over their host and changing their personality. As for why they desert, that’s why they need to catch and question them.

Episode 5
Shizuku calls Tatsuya to ask him about that black hole experiment thingy. So it’s more than just harnessing for energy, huh? Because this part is so freaking technical, I don’t really get it!!! What’s this about our world existing on a thin film, gravity leaking energy to other dimensions and if some dimensional wall that happens to support the dimensions start to waver, there will be an invasion into our dimension?! WTF?! When Mizuki senses an evil presence, it could be most likely that parasite. So our usual gang head to the coordinates provided by Mayumi. They see Lina talking to her comrade, Mia. They can see strange aura around her and is most likely the parasite. More confirmation when Sylvia calls Lina to confirm that Mia is the culprit behind the white mask. The rest move in to attack Mia and so she shows her true parasite colours by fighting back. Even when Miyuki freezes her entirely, it’s like she can still summon balls of lightning to rain down from the sky. Everyone has to take cover and it is deduced that the parasite instead of running away is trying to keep them boxed in so as to find another host to possess. Right now that would be Erika since she has no way of defending herself. I can see why as she’s running around helter-skelter. Couldn’t she hide with the rest under their shield? Mizuki decides to do something risky with her vision that could cause her to go blind. I mean, otherwise her presence here is meaningless, right? So after a lot of assurance, Mizuki uses her sight to pinpoint the parasite. Mikihiko and Tatsuya manage to locate and attack it but in the end it got away. Tatsuya sounds like he is regretting not using a certain move that would have destroyed the parasite. Although they barely lost anybody this time, overall this mission is considered a failure.

Episode 6
Sylvia is transferred out as her higher ups deemed her unsuitable as a supporting role. Colonel Virginia Balance talks to Lina about her failing her mission because her skills weren’t suited for it in the first place. Hence it’s wrong to put all the blame on her. However she cannot look past that she lost in a magic combat since she is their strongest magician and will give her a chance to redeem herself. On the news, researchers in America were forced by magicians to conduct some experiment that resulted in calling forth a demon from another dimension. They tried to contain it but failed and they got possessed by it. It could also be a propaganda to make people think twice about magicians and to expel them under the guise of national interest. Tatsuya then talks to Lina about this info manipulation and she is as frustrated because the only lead they have is a shady group of people called Seven Sages. Made up of 7 people who call each other sages. Yeah… That’s all she’s got. Though she thinks they get their pleasure in committing crimes, she doesn’t think they’re the ones who summoned the parasite because it would be an insult to her who has already passed judgment on the possessed ones. We take a detour because it’s Valentine’s Day! Yeah, they trying to make us doubt Miyuki for Tatsuya as she mentions she doesn’t make one for him because they’re siblings. That’ll be weird. Sheesh. And Mayumi going to make the bitterest chocolate with expresso coffee to get back at Tatsuya for this parasite mission thingy? Watch out! Honoka gives Tatsuya her chocolates? Miyuki even supporting her? Trying to confuse us?! Leo is out and back in class and this coincidence gives Erika excuse to accuse him of coming back to get chocolates. Mayumi gives Tatsuya her chocolates and wants him to taste it right now! Don’t trust that sweet smile! Thankfully he wants to talk to her about parasites. Phew. Averted. Just like Mayumi, I don’t get it about this ESP crap thingy about linked sensory perceptions! When they’re done, Mayumi reminds him. A woman never forgets! Try the chocolates… Look at her gleefully expecting face as he pops it in… Thankfully nothing happened. Or so it seems? On the way back, Tatsuya thought somebody is watching him. Damn right the spy satellite from USNA under the Virginia. Yeah, getting paranoid thinking Tatsuya may have noticed them? Lina returns, frustrated and regretting she didn’t get to give her chocolates to Tatsuya. Really? Did she stand a chance? Well, she had her chance. Upon returning home, Virginia is seen waiting for her.

Episode 7
Virginia orders Lina to suspend pursuing of deserters as her next target is Tatsuya. She needs her to secure his spell that caused Scorched Halloween. If not, eliminate him. She is given this Brionac weapon to use if necessary. Tatsuya and co go investigate this android maid, Pixie. Some sort of magical energy has been detected from it and records show that Pixie tried to hack into the school system but was kicked out and shut down. However each time Pixie rebooted and attempted the same until the school’s server shut down. When Tatsuya orders Pixie to be examined, she hugs him! Wow. This guy is popular with dolls too?! Thank goodness he got a good excuse why he didn’t dodge Pixie’s hug or else she would have crashed into Miyuki and Honoka behind. Yeah… Mizuki examines her and she detects that parasite thingy. However she also notes she has the exact same thought patterns as Honoka. It seems this parasite has copied Honoka’s thoughts as Pixie comes alive and communicates with them telepathically. She explains that despite finding a new host to live in and obtaining the knowledge of the current one, all previous memories and knowledge from the previous host are not brought along. So it is hard to say if there are many other such parasites. Pixie further adds she is not Tatsuya’s enemy but is his subordinate. This stems from Honoka’s feelings as she rants out all the deepest thoughts and feelings Honoka has for him. Honoka is dying from embarrassment!!! Seeing she will obey him, Pixie agrees to his orders of not using psychic powers without his permission as well as to not use telekinesis to change her expression.

Later alone, Tatsuya could detect a small unit of USNA guys targeting him. So he waits to ambush them and realizes they aren’t magicians but enhanced humans. This means they only have a few years to live. Once the small fries are taken out, he has to face Lina. She wants him to surrender, otherwise she’ll make him submit. Try it, b*tch! So as they fight, Tatsuya’s arm gets blown off! Just when she thought she had him, he surprised her. Surprise, b*tch! Arm is back intact as he shoots at her point blank. Before she passes out, he advises her to quit the military since she is too soft for this job. Later Tatsuya reports to Hayama about what happened. In addition, he also defeated USNA’s backup unit subsequently, erased all their data after backing them up, healed all wounds on Lina and erased all signs they’ve fought! OMFG! TATSUYA IS GOD!!! Tatsuya returns to Mizuki who is obviously very worried. But don’t worry. HE IS GOD!!! When Lina wakes up, she realizes her healed self and all the data gone. It is then Lina also realized that they might have greatly misunderstood Tatsuya greatly. Because he isn’t some mass energy conversion magic spell caster but a magician with a high aptitude for sensory interference magic. Basically that means an illusion master. She tries to call back HQ but nobody is picking up. Oh, the command centre is deserted too?

Episode 8
The USNA ship drifts into Japan shores on pretence it ran out of fuel as the Japanese side begins their investigation. Tatsuya thinks this is no mere coincidence since everything is moving too fast. Now for some much needed Miyuki fanservice since she strips to her undies and has dilemma thinking about nearing the age to marry and bear children. But she doesn’t want that because her onii-sama is the only guy whom she wants to touch. So, incest when? Tatsuya goes to talk to Pixie and there’s some explanation why they as parasites need to seemingly drain the blood of victims. Assimilation? Modification? Yup, didn’t get it. Elsewhere, the parasite group seems to have found new hosts to wake up in. But they notice a missing comrade and will need to bring that missing one back. Ayako Kuroba representing the Yotsuba family talks to Virginia and wants her to stop her interference with their affairs. Her intention is to create a friendly relationship and be in her gratitude. In the future, they can be of assistance to her. Tatsuya then has Pixie along with Miyuki and Honoka head to Aoyama cemetery. Some guys observing them orders their capture but of course Tatsuya already sensed they’re being spied on. Thankfully Honoka puts them all to sleep. Next, they encounter the parasitic group led by one known as Marte. He wants Tatsuya to hand over Pixie to them. Their intention is to free Pixie so as to find a new living host instead of some dead machine. To do that, they will destroy the machine. Tatsuya asks Pixie about this offer and she refuses it because she wants to remain who she is. With that, Tatsuya rejects their offer and although this makes Marte disappointed, Tatsuya realizes his choice of words. Even if Marte said he won’t attack magicians, he did not say about not attacking other humans. But he can’t trust Marte seeing he already hurt one of his friends. When Marte gets angry and violent, Tatsuya easily disables him. Learning from past mistakes, he can’t freeze or destroy other body organs and let the parasite escape so he targets the heart, a place most deeply connected to the rest of the body. When Pixie protects Honoka from an assailant, it’s like some magic of hers initiated and powered up Pixie or something? What just happened?

Episode 9
Erika, Leo and Mikihiko arrive in time so they can help move the parasites. But as suggested, Tatsuya and the rest should head home first while they take care of this. Tatsuya asks Honoka if she felt anything during Pixie’s psychic blast. Although it might seem Honoka supplied Pixie with Psion through her hair accessory, it is not actually the case but something like priming or resonance. Honoka is devastated to rid of the hair accessory since Tatsuya gave it to her but rest assured, he says she can try to learn to control its power. A couple of police approaches Erika. But she can tell they are fakes. Suddenly they are ambushed by a few well equipped guys. In the end, the parasites are kidnapped in their stealth blimp. Hence the trio have a hard time trying to explain this to Tatsuya. Don’t worry. He won’t bite or get mad. He is glad they’re okay. Once knowing the high-tech equipment they were using, he believes those guys are from JGDF’s counterintelligence Section Three. Ayako tells Virginia about the captured parasites and can tell the location of where they’re being held. Looks like a job for Sirius. Tatsuya talks to Mayumi about Section Three has ties to her family. Because they don’t know how to destroy them, it is safer to try and seal them. He hopes they won’t use it for some military experiment. Mayumi however is not even aware of such ties but he needs her to ‘warn’ her father about it because if the public finds out about it and this would have magicians facing disadvantages, they’ll be the ones paying a heavy price. Mayumi agrees to do that but soon she reports that the facility holding them has been attacked and all the parasites were killed.

Tatsuya then checks the footage. Yup, looks a lot like Sirius doing the dirty job. Tatsuya worries for her because he knows she is not suited for assassination and this will definitely have an effect on her wellbeing. Another video pops up after that. This time a message from Raymond who claims he is part of Seven Sages. That itself isn’t the name of a group but a title give to those who could access Hlidskjalf, some super global monitoring system. With protests against magicians in America raging fiercely while the protests in Japan just picking up steam, this boycott is planned by another fellow Seven Sage, Gide Hague AKA Gu Jie, a stateless Chinese terrorist who is the supreme leader behind Blanche. Thanks to Tatsuya putting a stop to Blanche’s Japanese branch, Hague’s influence in Japan has dropped. Hence he set up parasites to come to Japan to rebuild his base by taking advantage of the chaos. His goal is to destroy magic through social means and by ridding the Great Asian Alliance this will allow him and his people to reign over a world without magic. Of course Raymond disagrees with this and that’s why he is telling Tatsuya all this. So he proposes his help to eliminate all the parasites by gathering them at a certain place. He also has informed Sirius about this so it is up to him to compete or cooperate with her.

Episode 10
The parasite hunting begins. Tatsuya manages to seal a couple but Sirius is just straight up killing them, allowing the parasites to flee. Hence Tatsuya warns her not to kill them before they finish their sealing. Sirius doesn’t care and is just doing her mission. It seems our heroes also have to deal with the Batto-tai, the JGSF’s commando infantry of magicians specializing in hand to hand combat under Kudou. With a few escape parasites, they try to possess Pixie and force her to return to them. However she is trying to resist their hostile takeover. As Sirius can’t understand what’s going on, Miyuki blames her for not heeding Tatsuya’s words. This makes her even more agitated because she has created a mess so she rushes in to clean it up. Well, unfortunately all her magic isn’t working. Looks like Tatsuya has to clean up after her again. But he knows that at this rate even with Miyuki’s help, they might not last. So he has Mikihiko stall the parasites for a moment and during that period, Tatsuya and Miyuki’s soul or mind fuse or whatever. This allows Miyuki to see the parasites like her brother does and finish them with her ice cool blast. Tatsuya makes a deal with Lina to keep what she saw about them a secret. In exchange, he and all those involved will keep her Sirius identity a secret too. He also suggests if she wants to quit the military, he has a friend who can help. However she declines as she still wants to carry on being Sirius. Serious being Sirius, huh? HAHA! Meanwhile Ayako and Kudou confront each other. As both have orders to take in the sealed parasites, Ayako suggests sharing and taking 1 each. Kudou accepts, giving Ayako a huge relief. More Miyuki dilemma as she asks Tatsuya why he went out of his way to try and help Lina. Does he have feelings for her?! He thinks leaving Stars would make her future better since he viewed her the same as him. Both never having the choice to end up where they are now. Lina probably having it tougher than him. So have you casted away all your doubts now, Miyuki? She now believes his consideration will reach her heart one day as today’s incident must’ve made her doubt her current self.

Episode 11
So Lina is actually thinking about Tatsuya’s orders? So is she really going to quit the military? And do what? Oh. Be Tatsuya’s bride???!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! Oops. Please don’t kill me. Anyway, all that has happened has made her realize that she can be something else other than Sirius. We see Tatsuya not blaming Mikihiko, Honoka and Mizuki for not noticing the sealed parasites were stolen. It just shows that there were others who were a step better than them. With the graduation ceremony for seniors in place, what’s this Lina b*tching about having to do some work when she isn’t an official member of the student council but Tatsuya didn’t do anything? With Miyuki reminding her of the prior arrangement, this has her spill the beans about Lina being in charge of the entertainment. Poor Lina’s face so red as Miyuki reveals about her singing 10 songs in a row. Tatsuya and co are at the airport to welcome Shizuku’s return. Oh, who is going to see Lina off? Tatsuya and Miyuki of course. Well, she loves Japan so much and bought a lot of their culture home, huh? Anyway, Miyuki doesn’t want to consider this as goodbye and believes they’ll meet again. Why? Because they’re rivals. So it’s not over by a long shot, eh? We take a break from that sappy drama as we see armed men storming into a facility to capture Minami Sakurai. Thanks to her magic, they couldn’t even touch her. All this is a video being watched by Tatsuya’s aunt and looks like she’ll take her. Now that Tatsuya and co have moved up a grade for the new school semester, we also see Ayako and her twin brother, Fumiya arriving at Tokyo. Their entrance ceremony into National Magic University Fourth Affiliated High School starts the day after but looks like they’ve been called for a mission. I’m sure Minami is hired more than just a maid under Tatsuya’s aunt. True enough, she wants her to start right away with some magic work. Tokyo Offshore Tower will be celebrating its completion tomorrow. But she has info a terrorist group will be targeting it. New Breed Front is a group of radical magicians formed in response to the discriminatory boycotts against magicians by humans. Hence they view magicians as the most evolved form of humans and will control the future. Their goal is to free magicians from working like slaves. Minami’s job is to be Hayama’s bodyguard as they’ll be standby at the party.

Episode 12
We see Ayako and Fumiya talking about New Breed Front’s target on Tokyo Offshore Tower. But Ayako points out their job is to gather intelligence on them like their base and funding rather than play hero of justice. The party at Tokyo Offshore Tower starts. Tatsuya, Miyuki, Honoka and Shizuku attend it as Tatsuya explains the significance of this building’s engineering. The siblings spot Hayama and go talk to him. He doesn’t reveal much and hopes nothing untoward would happen. He then introduces Minami to them and hopes she could be of service to Miyuki in the future. Ayako and Yami (Fumiya cross-dressing, oops I mean, disguising as a girl) observing a couple of suspicious maintenance crew guys entering the cable room. They’re definitely the terrorists, right? While Yami prefers to nip the problem at the bud, Ayako has a better idea. Wait till they accomplish what they’re doing. This will let them have their guard down and they’ll strike. So right before those guys cut the cable, they move in and knock them out. They also knock out a couple of backup guys in the vicinity before loading them away on their boat. Of course thanks to their Psion waves, Tatsuya could see and deduce what is happening. Since they did a good job, he hopes that there would be nothing more that comes out of it. Another group of New Breed Front notices the power is still on so this means their initial plan failed. They move on to the next plan by putting everyone in the control centre to sleep to hijack the controls. So when the power stops this time, the party grinds to a halt. New Breed Front then makes a video announcement of their goals. They claims the exploitation and abuse of magicians, blah, blah, blah. They don’t want to kill anybody but as a sign of protest, they will set off a bomb in this building 1 hour from now. Hence he wants everyone to evacuate. But if anybody tries to stop them, they’ll blow it up immediately. Oh well. Looks like Tatsuya eventually has to get involved.

Episode 13
After having Honoka and Shizuku evacuate with the others, Tatsuya and Miyuki then talk to Hayama. Old dude didn’t reveal much but since he has matters to attend to, he leaves Minami with them. What now, Tatsuya? They’re going to jump down to the ground?! Oh right. Remember they have magic to break their fall. Couldn’t they do this for everybody else or that’s just too heavy? Anyway, they make their way underground as Tatsuya uses his vision to scout the area. The enemy has taken control of the command centre definitely. When a short earthquake rocks the place, the elevator stops. It can be resumed but manually and yes, it’s in the command centre. Tatsuya goes to negotiate with the terrorist but they claims they will do it themselves. They tell the kids to leave since they are suspicious but I guess Tatsuya won’t take that as an answer. Even more so for him to fire back since they pointed their guns at him. Easy job after neutralizing them and Miyuki freezing them. However another shock rocks the building. This time as Tatsuya puts it, from what I understand is that the terrorist set off somebody’s brainwaves to set off some destructive magic to destroy the building. Now they have to rush to the most bottom of the level to stop the cracks on the foundation. Yeah, looks easy for Tatsuya to heal but when he heals a pillar, this puts cracks on others so it’s the same thing. The only way is to heal all pillars simultaneously which is as good as healing the entire building. However can his brain take it all? I THOUGHT TATSUYA IS GOD???!!! Anyway, he remembers his promise to Miyuki and her faith in him. So they do their resonance thingy as Tatsuya powers up and everything to f*cking heal the building! Like as though he reversed time to fix it back to normal!!! Can’t blame Minami to be in shock as she wonders can a human do this sh*t! I told you, TATSUYA IS GOD!!! The only downside of it all? Tatsuya just a little tired. Told ‘ya he is f*cking God! And just like that the next day, he returns to school and is in charge of bringing in new students into the hall. Outside, he bumps into Mayumi but her suspicious little sister doesn’t like Tatsuya and thinks he’s her boyfriend or something. Mayumi would’ve loved that… No time to waste on this cheesy part as he goes to greet Minami who will be enrolling here. Also, a note from their aunt to say that she will also be living with them from now on.

Encounter Of The Parasitic Kind
Once again, Tatsuya saves the day. This kid should be God but I guess Miyuki is more important to him so that’s that. The ending feels a bit weak perhaps the New Breed Front didn’t really do anything much and even so, just enough for Tatsuya to showcase his God-like magic. Should I rephrase that as miracle? I personally feel they’re such easy pushovers and if Tatsuya wanted it, he could’ve just mercilessly taken them all out at one go early on and not have all this drama. And with this, New Breed Front won’t be getting the reputation they want because they failed, right? Thank goodness life will be returning to normal. Even God needs to complete his education ;p.

And as you have guessed way a long time ago, right up till the end of the series, I don’t really understand what is going on. Maybe just the gist of it but if you ask me to write just a page summary of what this season is about, I think I’m going to flop big time. And because of me not being able to comprehend all that is going on, there were lots of questions in my mind probably asking the obvious. I mean, this whole season felt like there were something about the parasites from other dimensions thingy. And although on the surface it does sound interesting, yes you’ve guessed it, the complexity and the terms trying to at least enlighten or explain bits of me turned me off. So let me get this straight. Due to some catastrophic event, a hot American chick was sent to an undercover event to uncover traitors but end up losing because the Japanese kids were better at her and in the end, what happened to all that supernatural stuffs? Feel free to explain to me in the comments below if you really ‘concern’ about by understanding ability. Because too bad, I even did try to read a bit (just a bit) online about this arc (yeah, I’m surprised I tried to do some research myself too) but I couldn’t really understand anything.

So my guess is that if this whole Visitor Arc thingy seemed like it amounted to nothing much, my bet is that these parasites or the juicy details enlightened by Raymond, will be used in future arcs. Yes. You see, this Visitor Arc isn’t entirely a very recent arc. In fact, this arc itself came out way back in 2013! And there are many, many, many more arcs that came after that as the light novel itself is still ongoing. And that’s why the final couple of episodes felt like filler episodes to once again showcase Tatsuya’s abilities because he is the main character and poster boy of the series. I mean, come on. New Breed Front feels a lot like a flimsy group created just to fill in the remaining slots of the season. Also, I couldn’t really find much info on this mentioned in the original works so I guess they’re anime only material. No wonder they feel like weaklings. I could be wrong, though.

But anyway, if you think that this is it for this series and it’ll go into hibernation and wake up again many years later for another sequel, then think again! What is this I read that there will soon be a spinoff series and a prequel? Oh boy. Remember the first season ended with the Yokohama Disturbance Arc? Then they skipped an arc just to adapt this Visitor Arc. That skipped arc AKA Recollection/Reminiscence Arc is that prequel. So seeing that they have a lot more arcs since Visitor Arc, why stop when the momentum is going strong? I won’t be surprised if they decide to give the other arcs the anime treatment as well. I mean, they already have the materials in hand, those stories are over, it’s the right time to play up the nostalgia for those who read them because now they can relive those memories again with an anime version. And then we could also help introduce new potential fans to the series. And also get old veterans like me to watch because I had to. Damn, I’m trapped in this series. Despite me in my last blog saying I won’t be 99% watching the sequel. I guess this must be the 1% moment, huh? After all, nothing makes a safe bet for an established anime to hedge against the uncertain future. Don’t feel like watching new untested anime you’ve never heard of? Then go for this old, tried and tested one! And also it saves producers a lot of work since a base is already established and we’re running of new original works to animate today. Yeah…

Unfortunately, there is nothing much else I can say here seeing that I’m still blur about how to go about concluding my blog for this season. So forgive me (or not) if I am not really giving a constructive opinion at all. So aside the story that just feels mediocre to me (they’re just chasing parasites all over Tokyo, am I right?!), the characters are mostly a miss to me. Tatsuya as said being the main character has the most screen time so you bet he is going to pull off a lot of seemingly cool moves and abilities in his arsenal that would feel like magic. Uh huh. Remember, this kid considers himself as inferior just because of different passing standards of society. In fact, he is the most useful and dependable character among all characters especially all those shady adults pulling the strings behind. I think if he wanted, he could’ve just kicked their asses and take over the world. But alas, as a hero with a mind-set that he is trapped in this magician job thingy, not going to happen.

Obviously the hot blonde Lina is the other reason that got me to check out this season. For dumb reasons, I keep thinking that her character is to be Miyuki’s love rival for Tatsuya. Obviously. Otherwise, why would the mighty USA send a young cute blonde like her on this crucial mission? Don’t they have better options? Man, it’s like America getting their asses kicked by a bunch of Japanese high school kids! Happens only in anime. So yeah, Lina getting the short end of the stick in a lot of instance as she fails to live up to her Sirius name. Seriously? It all goes downhill ever since she met Tatsuya. But could it be a blessing in disguise? This means she has the choice to get out of the military. Perhaps in the future coming back to help Tatsuya in future arcs (so far my lazy Google search didn’t show me any results of Lina appearing in those other arcs thereafter) and maybe swooping Tatsuya as her bride from Miyuki! I’d love to see this spinoff arc!

And of course, there’s the much (in)famous theme about Miyuki being incest with her Tatsuya onii-sama because I’m sure that is how most of us would remember this series especially these iconic duo. A few trolling moments of Miyuki in love with her brother which also confuses me because I thought she was like very possessive over her brother. So what’s this about allowing Honoka to be her rival? And then Lina too? Does she understand what a rival is? Oh well, only in anime then. But I still don’t get it. Does she not want Tatsuya all for herself? Oh, want to play fair and square, huh? So why get mad when a robot maid like Pixie inadvertently hugs him? Just to troll us too, I suppose. Here, have some seemingly naked shades of Miyuki or her in her undies. Feel better now? So at the end of the day, not only the technical shenanigans confused the hell out of me, but this incest and love thingy too. Yeah, the whole thing has become a mess now. Hey, what happened to Pixie anyway? And now they add a new character, Minami into the fray. Just a couple of episodes to go and she pops up and it’s too early to judge her yet. Despite looking amateurish, how can she strut her stuff when Tatsuya is the one who is doing everything? She does play some minor support but in the end it is always Tatsuya that overwhelms. I guess with Miyuki serving Tatsuya, somebody needs to serve Miyuki, right?

And the other characters feel pretty meh and didn’t really do much either. Like for instance the other students and classmates in National Magic University First Affiliated High School. They’re mostly forgettable only because Tatsuya steals the limelight every time. Mikihiko gets a little more decent time because of his traditional sealing ways since they’re dealing with the supernatural parasites. Otherwise, characters like Mizuki, Shizuku, Erika, Leo, Mayumi, Juumonji and a whole lot of insignificant others that I have forgotten from the first season didn’t really matter. To further enhance Tatsuya’s reputation as a super good guy, sometimes I feel that it is a running joke that when his groupie fails in their simple mission, they fear Tatsuya’s reprimanding. Woah. You’re telling me that he’s going to eat you if you fail?! Alas, Tatsuya is not that kind of guy because he is such a good guy who doesn’t blame others but is so understanding and realistic as well. Damn, can I be friends with him?

It goes without saying that this season still has its terms and jargons and I didn’t receive them well as always. While there are lots more supernatural explanations, as usual I didn’t really understand them. Can I generalize this as somebody who manages to control these parasites will become God? Nah. Better not confuse myself with such unfounded conspiracy theories. After all, till this day, I still don’t understand what CAD means! Yeah, I would never have passed and enrolled in National Magic University First Affiliated High School. Or Second. Or Third. Or Fourth. Or Hundred! Action wise, I guess the spectacle is seeing all the flashy effects that Tatsuya pulls off. It’s like he has an answer for everything. Anyway, with him being so proficient, you bet his enemies won’t even stand a chance. However they are not as bloody as gory as how I remember the action sequences were from the first season. Probably the New Breed Front terrorist is mostly wuss compared to Great Asian Alliance.

Art and animation remain consistent as I remember them in the first season. I’m saying this because 8bit (Tensei Shitara Slime Data Ken, Infinite Stratos, Rewrite, Grisais No Kajitsu, Tokyo Ravens) now takes over the animation of this season that was previously done by Madhouse. Yeah, I still find the girls’ uniform to be a strange design. They look a lot like colourful fairies with those transparent floral cloth from their waist below. I guess it gives more colour to the group seeing they have somewhat a boring shade of colour to them. I mean, many of the female characters here like Miyuki are so pale that I sometimes keep thinking she’s a ghost! No, not a bisque doll, but a ghost! Yikes.

Youko Hikasa lends her voice as Lina. I feel she’s being very active lately. Oh well, considering how more and more of my favourite and recognizable seiyuus are retiring and giving way to newer ones, got to be grateful with the ones still around. Hope this isn’t a sign that this is her last hurrah! Yikes! Other new casts for this season are Maaya Uchida as Ayako (Lily in DanMachi), Emiri Katou as Fumiya (Aura in Overlord), Nao Touyama as Pixie (Chitoge in Nisekoi), Kiyono Yasuno as Minami (Charmy in Black Clover), Kengo Kawanishi as Raymond (Rei in 3-gatsu No Lion), Atsuko Tanaka as Virginia (Motoko in Ghost In The Shell series) and Ai Kobayashi as Sylvia (Akago in Inu Yasha). The opening theme is Howling by Asca. For some strange reasons, I keep thinking this song keeps reminding me of Sword Art Online when it sounds so typically generic rock. If there is one thing I like about this season, it is the ending theme. Na Mo Nai Hana by Miki Satou is a slow lovely ballad and it’s like a personal calming piece for me after watching a confusing episode. Really.

Overall, I still stick to my original opinions that I do not like this series a lot because of all the confusion. Again, definitely not for everyone. Intellects with a sci-fi mind should have better understand compared to casual viewers. Therefore, newbies hoping into this season without watching the first or even reading the light novels will definitely be at a loss. Heck, they may start categorizing Tatsuya as one of those overpowered main characters in an isekai genre! It is sad that this series including this season isn’t anything magical for me. Hard to say if I should pass up the next one but seeing how far I’ve come, the chances are that I may continue to have a look. Maybe it’s because I love anime so much. Heh. Just kidding. Don’t worry about it. That’s just me being rettou in saying no to things I should.

Dokyuu Hentai HxEros OVA

23 April, 2021

Yo! Are we still the heroes protecting the love, people?! Oh, who cares about that? As long as we have our fapping material, I’m sure we can produce enough H-energy from alien bugs who want to harness our sexual power as their constant fodder. Screw all that too because we just need something to unleash all our pumped up erotic energy inside. And that’s why the producers were considerate enough to give us a couple of episodes, Dokyuu Hentai HxEros OVA! Yay! Now we can fap without resorting to actual porn! Oh yeah. Can you just feel the H-energy welling up from your right hand???!!! IT’S COMING! IT’S COMING, PEOPLE!!!

OVA 1A
What’s this?! Retto and Momoka dating?! Turns out there is a rumour of a Kiseichuu at a shrine, couples who go there will definitely break up. So I guess the only way to investigate it is as a couple, huh? Yeah, they look like having fun and dating rather than doing any investigative work. You bet Kirara following them in the shadows is pretty jealous and upset. A few of Momoka’s male classmates see her and say hi. Because they tease her dressing, Retto steps up his game and claims he is her boyfriend. So bug off! Serves those losers right! Oh, is Kirara at boiling point now? At the shrine, suddenly they start to get all clingy to each other. They realize it is the Kiseichuu’s powers wreaking havoc on their minds. If they think of something, that power will reverse and make them do the opposite. Hence when they try to escape, they get clingy. Of course this is for our fanservice pleasure as we see Retto and Momoka in an ambiguous sex position. Momoka’s mind thought of giving in but the power of resistance is strong. Eventually she breaks free from the spell and she herself is enough to rid of the Kiseichuu. At the end of the day, they want to keep this a secret from Kirara. Don’t hold your breath now because here is a mad Kirara asking what secret! Oh no. Busted. But the joke is on her since they explain everything so Kirara is the one who is embarrassed and acting like a tsundere. Gotta go. Bye. Momoka knows Retto likes Kirara and promises to keep this a secret too. Because she likes this kind of secretive thrill? NTR when?

OVA 1B
Sora sleeps throughout class. She’s a heavy sleeper so the teachers don’t even bother. She’s even sleeping when school is over so her classmate, Hiiro wakes her up and hopes she could join her friends for some karaoke. Of course Sora hardly knows her and declines because a new manga is releasing today. Hiiro gives her contacts just in case. At the bookstore, Sora hears rumours how volumes of books have been missing despite no cases of theft. Sora realizes the remnants of the Kiseichuu is still around. She finds one and destroys it but at the expense of her clothes getting torn. As she didn’t bring any extra clothes, she hides herself and feels trapped. That is when Hiiro calls so Sora pleads for help. She sounds desperate so Hiiro rushes all the way. She thought she got raped or something and brings her back to her place to get something to wear. When Hiiro notes her gear pattern is like the one her brother has, this is when Sora realizes Hiiro is Retto’s sister. Speaking of the devil, here comes onii-chan without knocking! You bet Sora is going to beat him up. Hiiro also realizes they leave in the same dorm. Seeing the siblings so close together, Sora feels is glad to be Hiiro’s friend. Hiiro hopes to exchange manga and come to her house next time. But onii-chan won’t allow it?!

OVA 1C
Looks like Chacha has some weird ideas after reading a weird sexy manga. Saxophone… SAX… The sound of love… Sheesh… She goes out for a walk with Maihime who also walks Runba. Of course naughty dog goes off chasing skirts so Maihime has to chase after it. This is where Chacha gets separated. Some tree smell makes her feel strange and erotic as she waltzes into the nearby school and starts assaulting the ladies. When Maihime realizes Chacha is missing, she goes to find her and sees all the semi-naked girls with orgasmic face. Even her classmates start stripping her to join in the fun! Drunk Chacha explains she has found a way for humans to defeat Kiseichuu with this H-energy source plan of hers. Maihime understands what she is saying but notes people don’t act for efficiency or reason alone. She puts a stop to Chacha’s plans with her lullaby. Everyone returns to normal and they thought it was a dream. Maihime is hiding with Chacha in the closet. And then naughty Runba comes in to lick her pussy… Somebody’s H-energy went through the roof that day…

OVA 2
After Kirara destroys a Kiseichuu, of course she becomes naked but the gear malfunctions and only partial of her clothes regenerate. Thank goodness for Retto having extra clothes or else Kirara will have to walk in public naked. Seems Anno is trying to develop a suit that can withstand H-energy but it’ll take time. When a Kiseichuu is detected at their school, Retto and Kirara rush there but everything seems normal. Until they realize everyone is naked!!! OMFG! So naked is their uniform?! So strip down and get to class! I guess sensei won’t allow them to skip class and go find and exterminate the Kiseichuu. Yeah, what an odd day to see everyone shamelessly doing their activity in their birthday suit. Eventually during the break, they find the Kiseichuu who is using a mind control device on everyone on the rooftop, they just finish her off! OMFG! Too easy! With that, everyone returns to normal. Biggest freak out of the day when they realize they’re totally naked! With the gear not working well, Anno advises them not to use it for the time being. So he takes Kirara’s gear as sample to further develop it. One day, Retto and Kirara go to see Anno but he isn’t in. On his monitor, Kirara’s gear tracker seems to indicate he is being taken somewhere. Calling the gang to investigate, they arrive at a shady BDSM place. Inside, Anno tied up in a BDSM manner and his H-power drained. The BDSM Kiseichuu mind controls Retto to tie up the girl BDSM style as she too drains their H-energy. Meanwhile we see the Tokyo branch shopping for lingerie. Yeah, they’re forcing Touma to wear a bra! Then they get a distress signal from Momoka. They rush over and they too fall into the BDSM trap. Luckily Touma isn’t a girl so the Kiseichuu miscalculated and couldn’t drain from him. Touma uses this to throw Kirara’s gear to her to free her. The Kiseichuu orders Retto to protect her but a big blooper happens so Retto accidentally helps Kirara punch through her. That’s the end of the BDSM torture. In the aftermath, Anno explains he was trying to get materials from a Kiseichuu as sample to develop the suit but got captured. Then they find a strand of fibre that has withstood the destruction from the H-energy. Eureka moment for Anno because now he can repair their gear. Rest assured, no more wardrobe malfunction! Bummer for us!!!

Sex, Bugs & Crock ‘N Droll!
Ah… Oh yeah… It was fun while it lasted. The OVAs did what it was supposed to do and that is to provide the steamy fanservice that this series is (in)famous for. Who cares about the story or if their gear could finally withstand and absorb the H-energy. As long as we get to see their undies or their boobs, all is well in this world and you bet that keeps the bugs out and us sleeping safe and soundly every night. Yeah… So if you bought the OVAs, it was probably worth every cent since it is uncensored and there were bare tits walking all over, especially that naked school session. Everything that happened in the OVA is for the sake of fanservice no matter how dumb or mind boggling it is. It doesn’t have to make sense thereafter since the main characters have their turn showcasing their sexy fanservice that don’t disappoint. Mmm… Delicious. Thanks. I hope the gear keeps malfunction in the future as an excuse to have more sexy Kirara, Momoka, Maihime and Sora. Oh heck, don’t even need that. Plot convenience will do the trick and force the cliché!

The one thing that brings me even more joy than the fanservice is the fact that Mamiko Noto has a cameo here as a Kiseichuu! More specifically, the one at the shrine. Yeah, it was the biggest happiness in my life getting to hear her again despite having lesser and lesser roles these days. It was also fun to hear her go all out and passionate in her short cameo. Because that’s how all Kiseichuu do when they die. More pleasure to hear Kana Hanazawa as the BDSM Kiseichuu. I thought it was Youko Hikasa as the mind controlling Kiseichuu but it turns out to be Rie Tanaka. Gosh, another veteran seiyuu whom I thought has retired for good. Yeah, nice to hear these recognizable veterans lending their talents for a few seconds but I guess that’s the fate and running joke of these bugs. Nobody cares for them as their death comes quickly as they give out their final scream. Not sure if these OVAs take place after the TV series because at the end of that, the bug queen was defeated. These could be remnants, though. Oh, who cares? Just give us the fanservice. Oh wait… I just remembered… DID THEY KILL OFF ANOTHER MAMIKO NOTO CHARACTER???!!! OH MAH F*CKING GAWD!!!!!!! Anyway thanks a bunch. It was nice to hear her voice again.

Overall, the OVA delivered what it was expected so no complaints. I mean, this is what you’re supposed to expect when you watch this series, right? Those who enjoyed the TV series will definitely find themselves at home with the couple of extra episodes. After all, Corona virus lockdown season is slowly tapering off and now that we have to drag ourselves to get back to our usual lives, one last ecchi anime for the road. Oh heck, they’ll make these from time to time. We’ll get our usual load of fanservice all year round anyway. So until then, stay safe, people. Keep fapping to keep those horny bugs away and protect our precious Earth filled with precious smut treasures! Ai wo mamori nuite dare datte hero, wow oh!

Munou Na Nana

18 April, 2021

There is an imposter among us. You know that recent hit online multiplayer game, Among Us? A game whereby you’ve got to sniff out the parasitic killer blended in among the group before the killer kills off every one of the crewmates while completing other tasks. If you’re familiar with that, I guess it makes things easier to understand Munou Na Nana. When enemies of humanity appeared on Earth, humans with super powers and abilities are sent to train and nurture in a school on an isolated island to help combat the enemy. However the enemy is a step ahead. They send an assassin to infiltrate the school, blend in with the pack and pick off these future heroes one by one. Will the imposter succeed in her mission or will she get exposed and serve her just desserts? But sorry, no voting off here…

Episode 1
It has been 6 months Nanao Nakajima transferred to this deserted island but he can’t fit in with the rest of the class. Unlike others who have special powers, he has none. On this island, these students are to train and hone their skills to fight against the enemy against humanity and some believe they have infiltrated their humankind. The teacher introduces a couple of new transfer students: Kyouya Onodera who is keeping mum on his power and cutie pie Nana Hiiragi who can read minds. Nana seems to pity Nanao since he keeps getting bullied by the fire user, Moguo Iijima. She can even read his mind to tell the fatty off she doesn’t intend to date him. When they have to pick a class rep (at this point?! After 6 months?!), Nana nominates Nanao who is reluctant. Kyouya suggests those interested can fight it out. Nanao’s flashback reveals he is the dullest of the family and when he received a letter to study here, his father told him to do just that and become a leader. It’ll be his chance to shine. So that’s why Moguo teased him as a self-proclaimed leader since that was what he told the class to make up for being talentless. Nana continues to hang out with Nanao and talk to him. He too learns that because of her ability to read minds, it distracted her and drove her crazy, the reason she came here. Then they talk about the enemy infiltrating mankind. Could it be they are already here to try and kill the heroes before they mature? Nana almost falls off the cliff but luckily Nanao catches her. Could it be a strong wind or someone trying to push her off? But the more Nana hangs out with him and praises him, the more Nanao finds it annoying. Invasion of privacy. The fight to become class rep is between Moguo and Seiya Kori who is the most popular guy. It ends with Seiya winning but Moguo is a sore loser and won’t accept it, accidentally unleashes a huge fireball in everyone’s way. Before anybody could die, Nanao steps in and neutralizes it. That is when he reveals his true ability is to neutralize powers. With that, Nanao is now the class rep. Later as Nana praises Nanao over his talent, going so far as to experiment he can neutralize reading her thoughts by just touching her hand, just when Nanao thought she is his true friend, she pushes him off the cliff!!! It is hinted that Nana can’t read minds and was just very observant. She used it for Nanao because she was curious to see what kind of power he has. Surely somebody like him can’t be in this place if he actually has no power, right? And the rest were just to push him to see how far his talent would go. Nana claims that he is the real threat to humanity and for that sake, please die. After Nanao falls, Nana looks at her device that claims Nanao had a potential kill count of a million!

Episode 2
As narrated, when the enemy first appeared, it wasn’t some kind of monster but humans themselves. Humans with superpowers, that is. A task force with those with special powers was formed to counter this but they became corrupted with their own ambitions. The war rages on until somehow humanity won. As time passed, people’s thinking also changed so the general populace would only accept those who are isolated and trained on deserted islands. This is what the general story is. A committee tells Nana that her job is to covertly kill these trainees as they are the ones who will pose a threat to humanity. If she fails or gets exposed, she will be punished. Nana continues analysing the rest and finds Seiya a very easy read. However she notices about Youhei Shibusawa. This self-deluded guy is believed to have the power of stopping time. As she hangs out with him and observes more, he reveals that his true power is to go back in time and change the course of events. Of course this has alarms ringing for Nana because this could mean unearthing Nanao’s murder. By the way, the excuse is that he is sick, the reason nobody is worried he didn’t show up. But here comes Kyouya who is suspicious of Nanao’s disappearance since he didn’t return to his dorm last night and he is trying to frame it on Nana since she was last seen with him. Nana tries to overturn the narrative to her favour by claiming she heard a strange voice inside Kyouya’s head, hinting he might be the enemy. Kyouya backs down as Shibusawa wants to help Nana uncover the real truth. The more trips Shibusawa jumps back in time and returns, the more Nana observes his ability and tries to deduce his limitations. Because at this point he would’ve caught her as the killer now but why has he not? So it’s like he could go back at most for a day and the further he travels back, the more tired he becomes. Also, when he sees someone who knows him, he will be brought back to the present. This is evident as Nana’s memories are overwritten. Like when she spot Shibusawa spying on them right before she pushed Nanao over. That night, she rushes over to Shibusawa’s place, claiming to tell the whole truth that she saw Nanao being eaten by the enemy. She claimed she didn’t trust him, the reason she didn’t say the whole truth. Shibusawa agrees to go back in time at this spot to save him. But he never returned. Because Nana knew he couldn’t swim and over this spot where the pond is frozen at night, when he comes back, he’ll be too tired to struggle his way out. It is safe to say that he drowned.

Episode 3
Now that Nana has killed 2 in a row, she must be careful now or else everyone getting suspicious would make her harder to move. When Seiya tries to hit on her, Nana mentions about his girlfriend getting worried. It is of course her observance but before she could explain, Kyouya hijacks and explains about them sharing an umbrella, hence their sides not getting wet from this downpour. Nana tries to spy on Kyouya but since he wants to be friends, he lets her into his place. Such a messy place. An otaku? From his behaviour, Nana cannot decipher what he is thinking. But he tells her his reason he came to this island. His sister was here. She went missing. That’s why coming here himself is to look for clues. When Nana is about to leave, Kyouya shows her the broken watch from Nanao. Oh sh*t. He brings her to the cliffs as he deduces about Nanao’s disappearance on the day they transferred here. With no friends, Kyouya explored the island and found this place. The broken rope piqued his interest so he jumped down and found this watch. It could be he was attacked by the enemy that is hiding on this island and leaving behind this watch might be a clue. Kyouya is suspicious of what defines the enemy. Even more so the students who are confined are supposed to be national treasures but nobody shows concern of Nanao’s disappearance. Also, the training feels so plain for super powered people like them. When Nana asks his powers, he wonders why she just can’t read his mind. Definitely he is on to her, she thinks. Though, he thinks she doesn’t have any motive to kill Nanao.

Nana remembers the committee that her mission would be easier if she had the database of those she is to kill. However based on past data that had them take very extreme measures, they deduced sending a secret agent would be the best. Hence she must determine their powers with her own eyes. Nana and Kyouya tell their deduction to the teacher who is obviously panicking. However no communication outside the island is possible until graduation so he goes to contact the faculty for help. For now it is best not to tell the others to panic. We hear Kyouya deliberate on how weird this island is as well as Nana trying to think out Kyouya’s ability. From the observations of his room, she believes he cannot smell. So when Kyouya returns home and turns off the gas, Nana has closed all the windows when suddenly gas explosion! Nana pretends to be appalled at the scene of Kyouya being burnt but is shocked when he grabs her foot. His injuries heal as he questions why she is even here on the scene first. It could be because of her mind reading? Then he reveals his ability of invincibility and despite having no sense of smell, he was born with that defect and has nothing to do with his power’s limitation. Though, he has a weakness from his ability and will allow Nana to read his mind. So did she get it? Thank you. That’s what friends are for.

Episode 4
Kyouya is trying to let everyone know he was attacked but they don’t really believe him. This is also a threat to Nana since the murders she commit might be uncovered and needs to kill Kyouya fast. Michiru Inukai is bullied by Kirara Habu and Kaori Takanashi as they read her love letter aloud. Michiru sees a wound on Nana’s leg and licks it! WTF?! Oh, it heals. Nana shifts her attention to Michiru as she now realizes her ability to heal others is a considerable threat. Nana gains her trust by pointing out to Habu and Kaori as the ones who set up this fake letter just to bully her. They hang out and become friends. But Nana knows Kyouya is stalking her the whole day. That night, Kyouya sees her running towards Michiru’s room. Then a scream. When Kyouya enters, Nana is stabbed from the back and bleeding. Luckily Michiru heals her. Nana claims she heard the voice of the enemy wanting to kill Michiru and rushed over and was stabbed by the invisible enemy. In actual fact, Nana stabbed herself with a hidden gimlet. This is part of her plan to hide herself as a victim since with the other girls horrified at seeing this, they are more inclined to believe her. But the next day, Kyouya is still unimpressed. If she knew he cannot die, why did she not call for his help? In the heat of the moment, she didn’t think so. Kyouya then thinks deeper why would an invisible enemy run do this and run away? He could’ve just killed all of them. Kyouya even theorizes Nana stabbed herself but cannot connect the dots. This is part of Nana’s plan to lead him astray with all the thoughts so he cannot pinpoint her as the suspect. With everyone else hearing news about this, Nana then plays the emotional card that she heard the enemy’s voice wanting to kill Nanao but was too scared to act. Everyone sympathizes with her and with Michiru vouching for her to become their new leader, everyone unanimously agrees. All as planned…

Nana then tasks Michiru to record everyone’s abilities just in case they need it. When Kyouya comes to apologize for suspecting her, Nana knows this is just a bluff and he still suspects her. He talks about weapons so this has Nana thinking she needs to change her killing methodology because why would the enemy so strong use a human tool to kill, right? Maybe she’ll experiment with poison and see if Kyouya is immune to it. We hear more of Kyouya’s thoughts. Including the deduction that all this was a setup by Nana to lead everyone astray as their leader so she can kill them when they have their guard down. However the problem is that he has no proof and without that, nobody will believe him. When Nana returns to her room, this delinquent dude, Tsunekichi Hatadaira approaches her and wants to know why she wants to kill him. Say what? His ability is seeing the future and has a photo of her strangling him in the gym storeroom! So he has her hang out with him as he explains how everything that appears in his photo will definitely come true. He tried to change fate but it always turns out the way the photo is shown. As proof, Nana gets spilled by the soba ramen eventually even when she tries to change her order. So now you believe him? Nana plays dumb that she sees no reason to kill him. Are you sure? Then he shows her a photo of her pushing Nanao off the cliff! Oh sh*t… Game over?!

Episode 5
Nana knows Tsunekichi wants to blackmail her and the reason he never showed these proofs to the rest was because he had no friends and no one would believe him. She plays along and will do anything to prove his innocence. Oh yeah. This scumbag wants Nana to be his girlfriend. So she’s massaging his back and he is pretty laidback about being killed. After all, he believes the photos so this means whatever happens till his death, he is going to have fun. With Tsunekichi forcing her to stay in his room, she notices he ‘prints’ out those photos during his sleep. This means his ability is real and she must take care of him soon. Next morning, Tsunekichi knows Nana is hiding something from him because 1 of his photos is missing. He knows as he can only take 5 photos. He gropes her and finds that photo. It’s a rape photo of Nana! As Nana continues to plead her innocence, Tsunekichi makes a deal. He’ll wait at the shed tonight and if nothing happens, he’ll trust her. So before Nana leaves, she adjusts his watch to 10 minutes late. So when the time comes, she waits for him. Since she accidentally dropped her poison needles, her only choice is to strangle him with the rope. The moment she does that, Tsunekichi overpowers her! He knew it was coming because he reset his watch back. Then he tries to rape her. However he starts feeling weak and this time Nana overpowers him. During the struggle, she managed to reach her needles and stab him. Nana reveals the rape photo is actually a selfie she took to let his guard down. Tsunekichi succumbs to the poison because the troublesome one is now the real photo that Tsunekichi had but Nana stole: A picture of Michiru and Kyouya coming into the scene. That’s right about now!

Nana tries to plead to Michiru to heal Tsunekichi but looks like that bugger is dead. Apparently Nana didn’t return to her room last night so Michiru got worried and sought Kyouya’s help to look for her. Nana thought she is done for if Kyouya saw the strangling photo but turns out it was that rape photo. Hence Nana still has a chance as she creates a new narrative about being blackmailed by Tsunekichi because of all the lewd photos he got on her. However if Nana didn’t kill him and there are no external injuries, did he die of his illness or something? Nana will come clean with Tsunekichi and tell the whole class now. She takes her leave but her priority is to retrieve the other damning photo evidence in his room. She is damn lucky Kyouya never saw them. Just as she finished collecting them all, looks like Kyouya is here. He claims he is here to check what kind of medications Tsunekichi took if he really died of an illness. None found. But something still bugs Kyouya. The rape photo of Nana looked like it wasn’t a photo from Tsunekichi. Like as though it was staged. Something about the rope around her was tied twice instead of once? Kyouya theorizes about Nana taking the photo herself but still cannot piece together the whole picture as he thinks he doesn’t know what weapon the enemy used. Nana back in her room realizes the most important photo evidence is missing. She has searched the entire room unless… Oh no. Michiru fails to revive Tsunekichi. She then stumbles a photo of Nana killing Nana hidden in his clothes. Oh, Nana is here. Seen something, Michiru?

Episode 6
Nana doesn’t kill Michiru since she doesn’t understand what this picture means. Perfect for Nana to cook up a story that Tsunekichi’s abilities weren’t perfect and that he could only print out his dreams and not the future on the photos. Making her story more credible is the fact that Tsunekichi himself is a delinquent and has missed a lot of classes. And because Nana was close to Nanao, hence Tsunekichi was jealous about them and dreamt about Nanao’s death. As a funeral is held for Tsunekichi, Nana can tell Michiru uses up a fragment of her life force whenever she resurrects. She tries to get her not to use it since she’ll be sad if she dies while saving someone. More bad news for Nana as Kyouya still feels strange about everything and wants to do an autopsy on Tsunekichi. Nana protests and talks to him outside. She manages to throw him off that it makes no sense the killer tried to kill an immortal like him so early and then went to kill others. Still, he wants to go ahead with the autopsy. As Nana protests, suddenly Tsunekichi gets up?! ZOMBIE?! Turns out to be Shinji Kazama who reveals he is a necromancer and can make the dead talk as long as the dead remembers, saw or heard his surroundings. Out of the fire and into the pan. Since Shinji doesn’t know anything about souls, Nana makes up another story of hearing Tsunekichi’s soul in pain and to let him rest. With that, no autopsy for today. Next day, Nana tries to ask Yuuka Sasaki who is always protecting Shinji somewhat. As Shinji is an introvert, he rarely comes to class. She even spots them doing a secret tryst in the woods. So they’re lovers? Although they are childhood friends, Shinji refuses to believe his relationship with Yuuka is more than that. The dead are his first love! Noticing burnt marks on Shinji’s hand, Yuuka then reveals he got it from a fire at a cinema 5 years ago. He helped scared patrons escape before Yuuka using her super strength to bust in and save him.

During PE class, Nana feigns fatigue to go rest in the infirmary. She takes this chance to sneak out so she can kill Shinji sleeping in his room with a needle. When she returns, she spots a cat stuck in the drain and uses this as excuse to go rescue it to cover up since Kyouya is still hot on her trail. While it may be simple for Yuuka to just bust it out, she claims she can’t use her super strength now since she is allergic to animals and sneezing makes her unable to use her ability. That night, as Nana goes to kill Yuuka, she is knocked and pinned down from the back by Shinji! That is when Nana realizes her mistake. Shinji is already dead to begin with and that Yuuka is the real necromancer. No wonder she couldn’t sense Shinji’s presence. Yuuka then proceeds to brag about how cool Shinji is. Partly revealing how the real Shinji died trapped during the cinema fire. Yuuka controlled Shinji during Tsunekichi’s funeral because she wants to show off how cool he is. With Yuuka and Shinji ‘interacting’, Nana believes she has some split personality disorder. Yuuka suspects Nana killed Tsunekichi since she was freaking out when Kyouya suggested an autopsy. Perhaps she killed Nana and Shibusawa too? Surprisingly, Nana admits! But unlike Yuuka, she lets the dead rest in peace!

Episode 7
Nana tries to convince the she holds the upper hand since people don’t necessarily believe the truth. I mean, who is more credible? Nana as the leader or a weirdo stalker in love with her dead boyfriend? She is willing to cut a deal to keep this a secret. When Yuuka doesn’t buy it, Nana goes in for the kill she can tell what Shinji is thinking about her now. As expected, Yuuka takes the bait and releases Nana. So what did Shinji say? Kill Nana! Nana then escapes as Shinji tells Yuuka to kill Nana and then gain her abilities to hear his voice. Great idea. Nana’s plan is to bait Yuuka so as they play hide and seek in the woods, Nana finds out Yuuka’s pendant contains Shinji’s remains and it is an important relic to animate the dead. She also tests a few other hypothesis while on the run. However she didn’t see this one coming as other zombies start to attack her! You see, there are dead teachers and students on this island and Yuuka has gained control of them and their powers! Nana then barricades herself in a shed. But looks like there are also zombies in here! Oh no! Is she trapped? But thanks to the sunlight, Yuuka cannot animate her zombies anymore. Since she is trapped, she decides to come back at night to kill her. But after a whole day, Nana is no longer in the shed. There are no signs she broke out and she’s not even playing as one of the dead. She searches the whole night but to no avail. As she returns to her dorm, Nana pops up. Oh sh*t. It is then Nana steals a paper which is the real relic rather than the pendant. With Yuuka as her hostage, Nana then explains how hiding in the shed was just to make her believe she trapped herself. It was risky since she wanted to test out a few hypothesis of Yuuka’s ability. Previously, she unscrewed the hinges of the door and walked out after Yuuka left. Later on she screwed it back on. Yuuka panics and would do anything. This includes giving back her needles. To Yuuka’s horror, Nana drops the paper off the cliff. Nana continues to explain the loopholes in Yuuka’s story that didn’t make sense as Yuuka tries to somewhat cover up. In her despair, she reveals the real truth that she started the cinema fire that accidentally killed Shinji because she was jealous he was dating another girl. She claims that whore stole Shinji from her and only wanted to rescue him. Of course she would’ve loved to get some other relic from Shinji but that’s that ripped paper was the only thing she could get her hands on since he didn’t want her near him. During this ranting despair, Nana doesn’t give a f*ck and kills Yuuka. Good riddance. Now they can both rest in peace. We see Nana only pretended to drop the paper but actually didn’t do it. This was just to see if Yuuka is innocent. But had she, would she have spared her?

Episode 8
With Yuuka gone, all the corpses are rotting. It stinks. Yeah, corpses everywhere. Later she sees Habu trying to catch a snake to eat it to keep her poison ability alive. Learning that she has a fall out with Kaori, Nana feigns that Kaori wants to make up. But in that distraction, Nana sticks her needles into her neck and forces out the password of her handphone before letting her die. Now it’s time to set the evidence. When she’s done, she returns to Kyouya and explains that Yuuka is dead. She also has Michiru, Moguo and Seiya tag along. She reveals Yuuka as the real necromancer and tried to use Shinji to kill her because she almost blurted her ability to somebody. However she was being mind controlled by the enemy and right after Nana’s words got through her, Yuuka jumped down the cliff to kill herself to be with Shinji. Nana wants Moguo to burn the bodies and Seiya to cool the fire down. Kyouya is okay with it and Nana thought it is his loss since one of the corpses might be his sister. At least he won’t get to examine them. After they’re done, Kyouya throws a question to everyone. Every time one of their friends dies, where was Nana? Her whereabouts are always unknown. Great timing because a scream is heard from the dorm. Oh, it is Kaori dead. Apparently she died about 2 hours ago, the same time Nana was with them in the forest. That answers your question, Kyouya? As Kaori died in a way like as though she was putting on her contacts, Kyouya drinks her contact lens’ water! He gets poisoned! But thankfully he is an immortal. Nana confirms that poison doesn’t even work but it does cause him a great deal of pain. Kyouya recovers and deduces the culprit must’ve known her using contacts and hence murdering her this way. Like, someone who can read minds? Of course he brushes this off as a joke. When they try to go look for Habu but is nowhere to be found, Kyouya questions Nana’s hearing the voice of the enemy during the murders. Oddly, Nana wasn’t able to hear the voice when Kaori died. It could mean the trap was set by a human. But if Habu was possessed by the enemy, she could be also dead as they speak.

Nana realizes she has slipped up (something about the opening and closing of the room’s window), which gives Kyouya some room to believe that Nana is friends with them and hence she has been in Kaori’s room before. He thinks she could’ve read Kaori’s mind about wanting to put on contacts and hence poisoned it. Michiru tries to vouch for Nana by showing Kaori’s handphone. Proof that Habu killed Kaori. Using fingerprints to unlock, eh? Anyway, if she is saying because Nana is with them and can’t be the killer, that is precisely what Kyouya firmly believes that she is indeed the killer. With everyone gathering, time for Kyouya to explain the truth. As Habu skipped class this morning and Nana was conveniently in the forest, she could’ve killed her. Her plan to burn the corpses was so that she would have the evidence burnt and one of the corpses might be Habu, dressed differently or her face messed up. Nana might’ve gotten her handphone and typed this long winded message in advance and all she needs was just to press the send button at the right moment. Since both had a fall out, it wouldn’t be right for Kaori to suddenly use the contacts (the item that was the core of their argument and fall out). Kyouya notices she had her hands in her pocket awfully a lot today. Time to search her body for Habu’s handphone…

Episode 9
Nana narrates the very complicated Plan A that she might’ve gone with but didn’t. Then there’s Plan B that Kyouya deduced having Habu’s handphone in her pocket. Thankfully she didn’t go with that either but when with the riskiest Plan C which has also the biggest payoff. In short, she left the handphone with one of the corpse’s fingers. As the corpse melts by day, that would give enough pressure to press the send button. There were many other factors that could’ve easily failed the plan but thankfully it went as planned. Kyouya is frustrated he couldn’t find the evidence and apologizes. Nana nails it with a convincing act, claiming she hears Habu’s voice of forgiveness. That night as Nana plans to dispose the poison and contemplate how difficult it is now to do her job, Michiru comes to talk to her. Suddenly Michiru pulls a cutter over her neck! She knows Nana’s ability isn’t mind reading because why didn’t she read minds sooner? Nana easily overcomes her but Michiru will not directly expose her as the culprit and wants to see how others react when she is branded a liar. Hence the next day, Michiru tries to ask Nana in front of everyone the contents of the present she got for her. Too tired to read minds? She’ll ask again. Nana now claims hearing too many voices so when she guesses wrong, she claims it is a note was stuck being Michiru’s back (of course she planted it). Everyone agrees with it since all of them were thinking about that note and couldn’t say out loud. With Nana credentials assured, Kyouya definitely wants to spoil it like asking who put the note there in the first place. But he backs down seeing he needs to build trust back after his failure.

Later as Nana and Michiru hangs out alone, Nana wants to know where the real Michiru is. Because last night’s attack, Michiru didn’t heal herself when Nana overcame her. This is when the imposter turns into his true form. He is Jin Tachibana and a student of this island 5 years ago. He brings her to his cave hideout and has been observing her since there is a question he has been contemplating since. The shape shifter further reveals that he has been that cat all along. Some back story time. 5 years ago, his classmates started killing each other to a point the broke into factions, claiming the other as the enemy of humanity. No one planted ideas in their heads to fight and they were merely at war with their own imaginations. Fearing the escalation of war, the faculty and staffs fled the island. Some tried to follow but were attacked when reached the shores. Eventually everybody wiped each other out. Except of Jin who stayed as a cat. Not only survival of the fittest, but those who can adapt. Lone survivor Jin left the island for home but this shocked his grandma who were told he died in a war. Realizing that there are people who didn’t want him alive, he fled back to the island. He thinks government conspiracy is part of this, the reason he returned to learn the truth or he won’t be able to live with himself. So Jin spied on her thinking she is one of those sent to kill him and observed her. What she is doing might spark a civil war like 5 years ago, he wants to make a deal by letting her do her thing for a while. However Nana poisons his coffee as he wonders who will report his death. This makes Nana’s curious as he whips out her handphone to call the committee. Immediately Kyouya confiscates it?! Oh wait. Other classmates are here too?! Apparently they are all Jin and shape shifting isn’t just his ability. He also takes after their abilities. That’s how he survived.

Episode 10
Nana wonders why he didn’t transform to other students and use their abilities conveniently. Could it be some weakness? Nana tries to escape but he uses Moguo’s fireball on her. Bull’s eye! He tries to ask her about her handphone but Nana tells him to use Yuuka’s ability to talk to the dead. He knows she is trying to understand his weakness but he wants to get to know her better like her family. Knowing torture or intimidation will not get her to talk, he wants them to build trust. Otherwise, he would kill his previous classmates without getting to know them. Nana tells him she has parents but both were murdered by the enemies of humanity. As she passes out, Jin warns her that there might be more than 1 killer on this island since those on this island are arrogant as they don’t have people to teach them about dealing with failure and frustration. When Nana wakes up, she is in Michiru’s room and she is glad Nana is alright. She heard a loud thud at the doorstep and saw Nana unconscious. When Michiru asks what makes her strong, she thinks of digging up Michiru’s sad past if she has one. Hence she is going to make her personal story as relatable as possible. She talks about her parents being murdered by the enemy. Oh, if Michiru is already crying at this point, can she handle more? Maybe another time. After the funeral, Jin comes to visit Nana in her room to learn more about her. But here comes Michiru wanting to hear out the rest so Jin transforms into a cat as they bug Nana to continue her story. It is believed a burglar broke into the house to kill her parents. But Nana blames herself for it since she might have forgot to lock her room window, the only possible place the burglar could have broken in. You see, Nana likes board games and manga. So some nights she would sneak out after her parents slept to the convenience store to buy her manga. So perhaps it was that part the burglar who had been observing and planning, made his move. Nana got the biggest shock to see her bloodied and severed bodies of her parents the next day. That’s why she blames herself for her parents’ death. Nana is almost close to traumatized but Michiru’s hand soothes her. Next morning, Kyouya barges in. He looks agitated. He confirms with Michiru that Nana has been with her all night long. Then he brings them to the crime scene. Looks like another student has been found murdered in his room. Nana knows it is not her doing. Another killer among us? There is another imposter among us…

Episode 11
The victim is Ryuuji Ishii and with his throat slit while his body slumped on the opened window. Kyouya interrogates Moguo since his room is next to his. Seriously, Moguo didn’t hear anything because he was lecturing his lackeys. Kyouya then has the lackeys reveal their abilities. One mimics voice, another does out of body experience and the other magnetism. Kyouya also asks Fuuko Sorano who is Ryuuji’s girlfriend. Since her ability is to channel the atmosphere into offensive attacks, she demonstrates outside where there is ventilation. Her air cut leaves a nasty and bloody mark on Kyouya but we know he regenerates. Kyouya leaves today’s investigation since the teacher manages to get a hold on the higher ups on the phone and Kyouya previously requested to talk to them. As Nana and Michiru continue to investigate, Nana notices Michiru acting strange. So when she talks about their future and dreams, it hits Nana’s nerve when she’s trying to be so positive and cheery like wanting to be a doctor and inviting Nana to come stay at her place. This strains their relationship so Nana is suspicious if Michiru is trying to draw info out from her. When the teacher sends Nana’s uniform courtesy from Michiru, Nana realizes she might have slipped up since poison was in her pocket and she might’ve discovered it while nursing her. Worst case scenario is that she might give it to Kyouya. Speaking of the devil, here he comes. He thanks the teacher since the authorities will be coming. This means Nana needs to kill more before it gets complicated. Kyouya than brings her to talk to Fuuko to talk about Ryuuji. After that, Kyouya analyses about Ryuuji being killed during Moguo’s speech since the room light was still on. He couldn’t have tried to escape via window first since his ability is to shrink himself very small. Also, why would the killer want to face off with Ryuuji when he could just do poisoning like in Kaori’s case? He also suspects Fuuko since Ryuuji’s throat was slit to prevent him from screaming for help. Nana is impressed with his deduction and will leave him to uncover more truths. In the meantime she’ll go mend her ways with Michiru. She sneaks into her room while she is bathing to find her poison. Then she reads her diary that writes only all the good, honest and hopeful stuffs. Feelings starting to waver? Jin is here to return her poison and wonders how she is feeling. He reminds her his goal is to reach whoever groomed her into a serial killer and take him out to lunch. That’s why he is letting her run free for now. As he leaves, he points out Michiru taking too long in the bath. A shocked Nana finds her unconscious in the tub.

Episode 12
Nana desperately tries to save Michiru. If she dies, this will hurt her mission. As she nurses her in hopes she will get well soon so she can find out what really happened (because the killer might be involved with this), she asks the teacher for the doctor but looks like the doctor has left the island. No choice, she seeks Kyouya’s help but since he is busy examining the body, he doesn’t mind giving her some medicine. Though, he seems pretty suspicious that Nana knows her medicines well. Oh my. A little slip up there. Nana continues to sit by Michiru’s side, praying she will wake up. In the meantime, Kyouya talks to Moguo’s lackeys and he learns that there are other animals that have their throats slit as well as Ryuuji being a really nice guy. When Michiru finally wakes up, Nana the most relieved girl in the world. Michiru explains that a cat (Jin) brought in a very injured cat that has its throat slit. She healed it and subsequently faint after using her powers. Nana is relieved that this is completely unrelated to the murder but what a scare. When Michiru spots a small cut on Nana’s finger and wants to lick it, Nana snaps and becomes agitated that she doesn’t think about her own life. But they soon make up and laugh again.

Meanwhile Jin is examining another dead animal. He knows the culprit nearby and warns him not to kill animals as he is an animal lover. Jin then notes Nana’s handphone didn’t have anything special. All the names and numbers could be made up as he couldn’t make any call through. As for the potential kill count, it sounds like rubbish so someone may be tricking Nana into thinking so. We see back at HQ the committee is pleased with Nana’s kill progress and thought she would chicken out after her first kill. They credit Tsuruoka who trained her well. When they note of a distress call from the island, Tsuruoka will go there personally since Nana is like family to him. Nana asks who Hitomi is since she heard her inner voice (read her diary, rather). Michiru claims she is the one who saved her. Before she came to this island, other girls in her class bullied her for her weird ability. Until she met Hitomi Hosokawa, a delinquent who became friends with her and was impressed wither her power. Hitomi warned those b*tches to stop bullying Michiru and she came to school more often. Thanks to Hitomi’s encouragement, Michiru started helping in her father’s hospital and healed many. However one day she collapsed and that’s when she learnt using her powers consumed her life force. Also to her shock, she learnt Hitomi was suffering from cancer. Michiru cried and cried but Hitomi remained positive until the day she died. Michiru viewed her ability as useless when it mattered most (since it can’t heal illnesses) and that’s why she tries her best and keeps pushing herself. I guess Nana has heard enough for today. She walks back with her feelings all conflicted and confused. Yeah, something is wrong when you think about it as Michiru’s potential kill count is 150,000. I mean, how can she kill when her ability saves lives???!!!

Episode 13
Nana is in distraught remembering about her relatives blaming her for her parents’ death as well as Tsuruoka forcing her to believe it. Michiru talks to Nana and she’s trying to make her remember her memories. Nana thought she is on to her but then she realizes as Michiru points out her messy room was cleaned. This means her parents cleaned her room the night before the morning they were murdered. Whatever excuses Nana tries to give, Michiru tries to force her to believe that she is not her parents’ murderer and to stop hating herself. Nana feels confused and conflicted but also a sense of relief because Michiru is one whom she could truly call her friend whereas she always suspected and tried to kill her. Next day, confused Nana is in a dilemma to buy a present for Michiru but looks like Kyouya is here to snap her out of it because he needs her help to find the killer. Yeah, can’t find the motive. If they can’t do that, how they know who the killer targets next? That night, Jin pays Nana a visit because he saw Michiru walking to some place alone. Taking the form of Moguo, he asked her about it and it seemed she’s meeting someone there. Nana realizes the killer is targeting Michiru next. Nana wonders why Jin is doing this. He wants her to obey him and doing so, he’ll gladly solve all her problems. Nana rushes out to find Michiru. There is no time to call the class and explain everything. Maybe Kyouya. Along the way, Nana gets a call from Tsuruoka himself. How’s the killing going? He reminds her to get the mission done and with that, she’ll be rewarded as promise. Enough scholarship funds for kids who lost their parents. It is then Nana thinks to just let the killer to her job and kill everybody.

Meanwhile the killer attacks Michiru and she is running for dear life. He claims slashing things is like his work of art or something. Yeah, sick dude. Michiru tries to stand up for Nana when he badmouths her. Just before he kills her, Nana uses her body to protect Michiru from his stab. Nana then makes her revelation on the killer’s identity: Rentaro Tsurumigawa. He is one of Moguo’s lackey who can do out of body experience. She should’ve noticed that in this form, he can both pass through and touch solid objects. Listening to Moguo’s speech gives him an alibi during Ryuuji’s murder and messed up Fuko’s room to pin her as the culprit. Nana gets further stabbed as she tells Michiru to run. She has a plan and trap in place. When she won’t, she insults her all the bad things she did to manipulate her. When she starts running, Rentaro is curious of the trap she set but then he starts to feel somebody strangling him. His out of body experience is over as Kyouya finds his real body in the toilet. Prior to this, Nana talked to Kyouya about Rentaro as the killer. So they split their roles with Nana going to find Michiru while he goes to find Rentaro’s body and attack it. Both are unsure how far he can be away from his body so it’s a gamble. Nana lies there all bloodied. Looks like it is the end of the line for her. Live by the sword, die by the sword. The same treatment she gets for killing others. She apologizes to her parents but admits Michiru as her first friend. But wait. Michiru returns and uses all her powers to heal her! In the end, Nana lives but from the looks of it, Michiru has used up her entire life. Despite the calm smiling face on Michiru, Nana becomes inconsolable over her friend’s death.

Boku No Sus Academia
WTF???!!! What kind of unsatisfying crappy ending is this???!!! They just turned a cold-hearted killer into some wimpy friendship girl thingy! OMG… I can’t believe this. Well, I have a speculation for that. You see, this somewhat unfinished ending of the TV series, I think they were planning to do an OVA or some other special episode(s) in the future. Unfortunately at this point. DVD sales are bad. I mean, very bad. Uh huh. So assuming that assumption of mine is correct, they could’ve done extra episodes to give this season at least a proper closure. But it doesn’t look good from here. Hence, for all those hoping for at least a decent ending (like yours truly) will be left hanging and quite disappointed. More questions raised than answers. I mean, what happens to Rentaro after that? I’m sure Kyouya won’t be letting this go. Will he face justice? Why was Rentaro doing this? Did he just snap recently because this slashing spree wasn’t common at the start. Sure, a convenient excuse to pin him as the scapegoat killer (which he really is for this case) and give Nana some breathing space. And Michiru really dead? Maybe Nana was too distraught to actually take her pulse. Yeah, it’s hard to think straight when you have tears in your eyes, snot in your nose and your cacophonic crying voice filling the air. I was thinking Michiru would’ve given us the big surprise motherf*cker treatment at the end and troll us all when she comes back alive with her usual angelic smile. Guess not. Sighs…

Even if the plot is quite generic and nothing really special (just a killer trying to outwit everyone), I still find this series to be very interesting. Was it because I didn’t put much expectations for it at the start and as I started watching and follow the progress, I find myself glued to the screen and keep wanting to know more and more. Save for the last couple of episodes which suddenly turned draggy and into a bore because they try to drag out Nana’s conflicting feelings and friendship for Michiru. So it’s like when the killing somewhat stops just for some friendship drama thingy, I guess it’s like taking one’s foot off the gas or something. But overall, that didn’t damper my general sentiments I have for this series since despite that lacklustre ending, I still like this series a lot. Sure, could’ve been better but compared to a lot of crappy shows I watched in the same season (that 100-man whatever one and that Kuma Kuma Kuma Kuma Kuma Kuma Kuma one), this is like a sleeper hit for me. But of course, the ending is an all different matter…

Ironically it is not the murder or killing scenes that is basically interesting. It is how Nana comes up with the cleverest alibi and poker face to hide her atrocities and convince everyone else otherwise. Basically, rather than a whodunit situation, it is more of a howdunit one (if ever there was such a word). Hence they did quite a good and satisfactory job in executing the pacing the development and explanation of how Nana tries to cover up her dirty work. That was probably the clincher that kept me interested throughout the series. So if you’re expecting some sort of bloodbath or battle royale style massacre here, you’d be sorely disappointed. This series takes a more talkative approach and has a lot of dialogue. So if you’re not into that or get sleepy when you have to process too many words, sorry, you don’t know what you’re missing. Yeah, it’s ironic that I’m saying that myself since this type of anime isn’t usually up my alley. That’s why I have to give them credits for making me hooked with the impressively played out enigma and mystery thriller.

Although it is not really examined thoroughly in the series, one of the biggest question marks that everyone should be asking is, who are the enemies of humanity? It was clearly stated that nobody knows what the real enemies look like, hence giving more credibility that everything could just be fabricated. After all, this rings very true for much of our history. For many of us who were born after the great twin World Wars, we are taught of what happened. Or was it so? Hey, we weren’t there when it happened, right? And of course in Japan’s history, they re-edited those parts for the history taught to their future generations. So can you see the discrepancy here? Hence that is what should also be talked about in this anime but I feel that it would be a big distraction to the main plot of Nana trying to kill everyone. I mean, does it really make a difference if we know the truth? It’s not like Nana’s mission will change even if the real enemies are gruesome monsters.

After all, this isolated island may not be to train future heroes but to eliminate them. I mean, why is it so isolated that you can’t reach other human civilizations for help? Or the island is a facility to produce the best enemy because a battle royale will eventually determine that. Remember all those dead alumni all over the island? And couldn’t they just bomb the hell out of the island if they want all those future superheroes dead instead of sending a secret killer? I mean, nobody would even know, right? Oh yeah. This series won’t even happen if that’s the case. Of course that’s all just my conspiracy theory.

Also, this series somewhat reminds me of Boku No Hero Academia for some reasons. For starters, this is what I feel a dark version of it because instead of using those super powers for good, we see the unexpected victims getting killed off. But the biggest factor making me think this series is like that mainstream superhero anime is that the mugshots of the characters look pretty similar as well as their school uniform. Okay, maybe different colour and the designs are still generic enough to make me think so. Although there are really weird looking characters like in Boku No Hero Academia, somehow the character designs have that similar feel to me.

As for the characters, many of them aren’t anything special. They have their weird traits and all but the main focus is of course Nana. Too bad they tried to troll and trick us that Nanao was the main character so that they could make that shocking twist of getting killed off by the end of the first episode. Unfortunately for me, I already read a bit of spoilers then so I wasn’t surprised of his death since I had set my mind that Nana was the main character. Despite Nana having no superhuman abilities, I bet that her super ability is her very sharp observant skills and to concoct very believable alibis. I mean, it is amazing to have that sort of skill that seems like anyone can just pick up with proper training but Nana harvested this skill to almost perfection. Also, other characters not too sharp so that really helps her in pulling off miracles. She could be the greatest con(wo)man and make a living out of this! Yikes! Yeah, I hate to say this but many of these students are just braindead and dumb. After a few deaths or people gone missing, they should’ve suspected something and band together and do something. That’s why this helps make Nana so successful. These kids would’ve been great meat to be killed by horror movie icons like Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees.

Of course, Nana herself isn’t perfect as there are quite a few times she almost falters. Thanks to a certain nosy guy hot on her tail. Because of that, Nana has to be on her toes 24/7 not to slip up but unfortunately she is only human. She has the devil’s luck to avoid being exposed by the skin of her teeth in a few instances. Perhaps the other great ability that Nana has is to quickly adapt to her situation and surroundings. This with her keen observation skills as well as her communication skills, this makes her a great survivalist. Nana planning her every move from how she is going to kill her victim and covering it up takes a lot of great effort. Like as though she is writing the script of this anime and it is playing out exactly that way! Only, that damn detective dog threatening to throw the spanner into the works! For most part, we can see how true Nana’s adaptation skills are as we see her very shocked expression when she stumbles into something unexpected. Like Kyouya’s immortality or Yuuka being the real necromancer. But each time she manages to get out of her sticky situation and find an alternative plan. This is what makes Nana a great character and one to be reckon or wary with.

Like I’ve said, Nana isn’t an emotionless human nor a robot. As a pretty normal human with a mission, the more this mission drags longer, the tougher it is for her to blatantly carry it out. I mean, it would’ve been boring plot wise if the entire season was just about Nana trying to kill and cover up. Hence a little drama as she starts getting conflicted over her feelings for Michiru. Yeah, this girl is such a good girl. Will killing her do any good besides being closer to finishing the mission? Thus it is with dilemma and perhaps Nana’s mistake to let Michiru live longer and not kill her sooner like her other victims because the more she knows about Michiru’s story, the more she personally gets emotionally invested and that is a no-no for an assassin. At least when her higher ups are concerned. Eventually this friendship thingy with Michiru may backfire on her and could even break Nana herself. Maybe that’s why there’s another killer on the island for you know, just in case… For better or not and as far as the anime is concerned, Nana turned 180 degrees now that she acknowledges her friendship with Michiru. So I don’t know which Nana is better now. The cold killer or the friendly friendster. Because I’m sure this means putting her reward in jeopardy and it’s like screw other kids like her because my friendship with Michiru is more important. Boy, it’s going to get complicated and weird if the committee does send another killer to kill the killer and continue with Nana’s mission.

The other character to note is Kyouya himself. This guy also shares the same observant ability as Nana but he has the slight advantage of being immortal. This guy plays the island’s detective as he goes around snooping and investigating like as though this entire island is his playground or crime scene. I mean, hey, who is going to stop him, right? It’s not like the teaching faculty could do anything. Do we really see them do anything? Besides, except for that one scrawny weak teacher overseeing everything, where’s everybody else? Anyway, Kyouya keeps Nana on her toes with his awesome deductions but each time he hits the dead end as he cannot find that single damning evidence that would link Nana as the culprit. It’s like he is just missing that only motive to finally call her out. So many times he has been suspicious of Nana but he just couldn’t find that motive. Yeah, it’s so right under his nose but I guess that is what keeps the drama going. And of course to make him a little weird, he seems not to know certain trendy stuffs and likes touching Nana’s fluffy hair because it reminds him of his sister. This seems to be forgotten as the season reaches its climax.

Then there is Michiru who looks like the goody two shoes type. A character whom you’ll quickly write off as not the culprit even at times when they want to make us think she is the one. I mean, at this point now, I’ve learnt that everybody is a valid suspect. Michiru could just be putting up another great act just to cover an ulterior motive. The same could be said for Kyouya because he looks like doing investigative work but he could also be like Nana and scheming about in the shadows. Even Moguo and Seiya could be it despite their very cliché personalities. It’s because the series doesn’t focus much on them, making us write them off as potential culprits. After all, one of the greatest twist of such murder mystery is a character that we least expected. Even the weakling teacher could be it as he might just be acting like a wimp. Heck, what if the dead are also considered as the culprit?! Nanao could be just faking his death and going around starting his killing after laying low for a while! OMG. Looks like this series has made me paranoid to suspect everyone. EVERYONE IS SUS!!! I mean, who knows Nana’s back story is even true to begin with. She could be just trolling us all for sympathy points! After all, she psycho herself to believe it. A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth. Sounds familiar?

Anyway, Michiru exists just to play up some dramatic effect for Nana as said previously. This makes Nana question if what she is doing is correct or has she been lied all along. Now that Nana has feelings and that itself clouds her judgment and sew doubts in her mind, this makes her more prone to slip ups. And while it is easy to look that way, I also want to look at it as Michiru in a way helped save Nana. Otherwise she would’ve become a heartless monster that her committee expects her to be. There’s your character development if you’re looking for one. Last but not least, Jin is another enigmatic character thrown into the fray. His goal is to find the mastermind behind all this but looks like they are leaving no traces behind. As for the rest of the other characters, sometimes they just feel like stepping stones and afterthoughts for the plot because you get to know their personality only because it helps in part of Nana’s cover up or Kyouya’s deduction.

Art and animation are pretty decent. Nothing spectacular. Not horrible but at passable the least. Characters are simple and although they don’t have outrageous designs like those in Boku No Hero Academia and probably the wildest one would be Tsunekichi’s hairstyle. But he is a my pace delinquent so that’s a given. And of course, some of the character designs I thought I have seen them from other animes. Most notably Nana herself I thought Karuta from Inu x Boku SS decided to give up her bodyguard job and become a serial killer. And with more expression and liveliness in her face! Or more accurately, YuruYuri’s Chinatsu all grown up to become a serial killer! Also, I thought Nanao is what happens when Boku No Hero Academia’s Midoriya didn’t have enough faith in himself and became relegated to a side character. Really. I also thought Kyouya was that guy from Tokyo Ghoul and Jin like Kyouya from Ouran High School Host Club (or any hot looking guys with glasses). This anime is done by Bridge who did Mitsudomoe, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation and Nobunagun.

Voice acting, I recognized Yuuichi Namakura as Kyouya, Kouji Yusa as Jin and Hiro Shimono as Nanao. My biggest surprise is that it didn’t occur to me that Mai Nakahara is behind Michiru’s voice. She had a pretty decent amount of lines and yet it never crossed my mind. Was she too cutie in her voice that I didn’t pick her out? The other casts are Rumi Okubo as Nana (Chinatsu in YuruYuri – see the connection now?), Takuya Nakashima as Moguo, Hiromichi Tezuka as Seiya (Ajeel in Fairy Tail), Atsushi Tamaru as Tsunekichi (Mochizou in Tamako Market), Miyu Tomita as Yuuka (Gabriel in Gabriel Dropout), Aiko Ninomiya as Shinji, Yukina Tsutsumi as Habu, Yurie Kozakai as Kaori (Pekola in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Yuna Kamakura as Fuuko (Manami in Centaur No Nayami) and Toshiki Masuda as Shibusawa (Kirishima in Boku No Hero Academia). Both the rock based opening and ending themes are okay. Broken Sky by Miyu Tomita has this dramatic effect that somewhat fits with the thriller atmosphere of the series while Bakemono To Yobarete by Chiai Fujikawa sounds pretty generic.

Overall, this series has mixed opinions all over the internet. Some say it’s good while others call it bad and an insult to humanity. Personally, since I loved it, of course I’m siding with the former. Except for the crappy ending but deducting some points from that still didn’t diminish my overall enjoyment for this one. If no better animes come by in the next season, this could easily end up as one of the best animes of the year. Yeah. It’s not a bad anime and it is not perfect. Maybe I’m just a simpleton who will like anything that could retain my attention and since this series did just that, I’m going to give it double thumbs up. And all those of you who disagree are the enemies of humanity! VOTE OFF! VOTE OFF! Sure there are so called better murder mysteries or those similar to this genre out there like Death Note, Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni, Go Sick, Un-Go and Monster (ALL OF WHICH I HAVE NOT WATCHED! BELIEVE IT!) but like I said, this genre isn’t my cup of tea to begin with. It’s not like I’m more interested in the murder mystery after this unless they have a hot chick in it. That’s how I ended up watching Kyokou Suiri in the first place. Guilty as charged. Gee, I’m so gullible I even wonder myself why I haven’t get voted off yet or survived this long. Maybe that’s why… ;p.

Assault Lily: Bouquet

17 April, 2021

At first I was hesitant to watch Assault Lily: Bouquet. This was one of those animes whereby they personify objects into cute anime girls and the main focus of the story is on the relationships between these characters. Reminds me of Azur Lane that I watched a while ago. Yeah. I know. It sounds boring in my books. But you know me, what is even worse than watching a seemingly boring series? The thought that this prickly uneasiness inside me that will continue to bug me for years and years to come if I do not watch and get over it! And so people, it is not because I’m a yuri fan whatsoever, I just wanted to get that curiosity out of my consciousness, the reason why I decided to screw it all and just watch it. Honest! The bugging irritation might be gone now but no regrets, hopefully…

Episode 1
Riri Hitotsuyanagi is excited to start her first year as a student at Yurigaoka Girls Academy to become a Lily. With their contracted weapons known as CHARM, they fight against enemies of mankind known as Huge. Riri makes her first friend (sort of) with oujo-sama-esque, Kaede Johan Nouvelle. Upon entering school, they are about to witness a b*tch fight between Yuyu Shirai and Araya Endou. Kaede being a fan of Yuyu tries to go support her and in the meantime, Fumi Futagawa talks to Riri about some Lily stuffs. B*tch fight about to get messy when Riri tries to stop Kaede trying to turn on Araya and everyone thinks it is going to be free for all. Alas, that won’t happen since they are saved by the bell. Looks like a Huge specimen has escaped. Go look for it. Riri ends up looking with Yuyu and Kaede. They stumble into one in the outskirts and Riri could’ve been killed had not Yuyu saved her in time. It seems Riri cannot activate her CHARM since she has not made a contract with it. Yuyu does a simple ritual for Riri while Kaede keeps the Huge at bay. This Huge is smart as it intends to make the Lilies hit each other and Yuyu could’ve sliced Kaede in half had not Riri stop her in time. When Riri’s CHARM has activated, the trio go all out in full force to destroy the Huge. As Riri and Yuyu were spilled with the Huge’s blood, they are quarantined for a while. Riri explains she knows Yuyu because she saved her 2 years ago during some evacuation at Koshu. That was her sole reason to become a Lily, although she was put on the waiting list. A lively Moyu Mashima waltzes in to apologize as she was the one who accidentally let the specimen escape. No hard feelings, okay? Just when Riri thought she might get an earful from Kaede, surprisingly she hugs her! Oh what’s this? Kaede is now a fan of Riri? So she has ditched Yuyu? So I take it she wants to be lesbians with Riri now? Be my guest. She’s all yours. Riri and Kaede thought the opening ceremony is over but apparently it is delayed so they can celebrate their heroics. Yeah, they’re celebrities now.

Episode 2
It’s tough being famous. Many trying to get yuri with Riri. Like her roommate, Shizu Itou. But none other than Kaede is the biggest lesbo out to get her chastity. Okay, I exaggerated but you get the idea. Yeah, even a showdown between Kaede and Araya over Riri. I think she didn’t sign up for this. Riri, Fumi and Kaede are happy they are in the same class. The trio hang out together as Riri learns about Kaede’s father who owns the biggest and top manufacturer of CHARMs, Grand Guignol. Then there is this Schutzengel system at Yurigaoka. Basically it’s a fancy term for when senior girls take junior girls under their wing and they become like sisters. Now, where have I heard this system before? Riri is interested to form a Schutzengel with Yuyu because she realizes she has changed a lot since the last time. Now she seems cold and distant and she wants to know why. While watching a practice demo between a Schutzengel pair, Miriam Hildegard Von Gropius checks on them and they learn she can tune CHARMs since she is from the arsenal division. She takes a good look at their CHARMs and is happy it fits them. But if they want to learn more, they can look for Moyu since she is from the same division. They do so but looks like she is in distraught because some CHARM she has spent a month making has cracks. She explains about CHARMs imbued with Magie that allows Lilies to use them to destroy Huge who also run on Magie. So basically it takes Magie to destroy Magie. Since Riri is still fixated in making a Schutzengel with Yuyu, she finally confronts her put is turned down. However Yuyu goes further saying that doing so may only hinder her tactical capabilities. Kaede is about to slap her but blocked by Riri. Oh, Yuyu slaps Kaede? Kaede returns the slap to her?! WHAT?! Eventually Kaede rips Yuyu that this Schutzengel isn’t for short term gains. It’s for communicating mutual love across generations and a fool like her needs a pure girl like Riri. Yuyu accepts this and agrees to make a pact with Riri. Wow. That easy. Shock and joy for Riri but shock and despair for Kaede. What did she just do… Later, Misuzu Kawazoe teases Yuyu for finally entering a Schutzengel. She has finally opened up but Yuyu insists this is just to teach Riri a lesson and make her regret it. She is still the heartless woman she thinks she is.

Episode 3
Riri is over the moon with her new Schutzengel but Yuyu doesn’t look impressed. As Yuyu continues to give Riri harsh training lessons, Kaede tries to confirm about the rumours on Yuyu. As her Rare Skill is Lunatic Trancer, she loses all reason and attacks in a berserk manner and will even attack her own comrades. Riri is unfazed since she feels she is still behind and needs to catch up. Later Riri learns from Yuyu’s old friends about the huge evacuation at Koshu whereby the city fell to Huge. Many Lilies of several legions died and caused the powerful previous Alfheim generation to disband. Also, that was where Yuyu lost her Schutzengel. Time for this episode’s Huge attack. Yuyu doesn’t want Riri to help and will engage in this Restored herself. Restored what? Huge that survived the battle, returned to the nest to be fixed and upgraded. Basically, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. As Restored has taken lives of Lilies, their CHARMs are of course all over their bodies. This invokes Yuyu’s trauma as she goes into Lunatic Trancer mode. We see flashbacks that Misuzu protecting Yuyu and bearing the brunt of a Huge’s attack. Further revelations on Yuyu’s past, rumours had it that it was Yuyu who killed her since her CHARM’s wounds were found all over her. But due to lack of evidence and Yuyu’s fuzzy memories, she was cleared of charges. Ever since, Yuyu has been blaming herself for her Schutzengel’s death. So it’s like Riri understands more about Yuyu and goes to help her. Yuyu thinks she is disappointed in seeing her true form of hatred but Riri doesn’t care. She is still her Schutzengel. And just like that Riri snaps out from her Lunatic Trancer. Oh damn, Riri destroys the Huge in one swing! NOBODY INTERRUPTS THEIR YURI TIME! With their CHARMs clashed, I guess it made some Magie Sphere powerful enough for both of them to destroy this Restored. Fear the power of yuri. In the aftermath, Yuyu takes Riri to her Schutzengel’s grave. And as you’ve guessed it, it’s Misuzu. So with this closure, looks like Yuyu won’t be visited by her Schutzengel’s ghost anymore? Now her memories are clearer. It was Yuyu who stabbed Misuzu with her CHARM. But Misuzu wasn’t mad. She believed it was their destiny as she took her CHARM to go destroy the Huge and left Yuyu in distress.

Episode 4
Riri fawning over Yuyu? Not surprising. But I guess the last straw came when the pair is nicknamed Yuri by the rest! Yuyu wants Riri to form a legion. Basically a group consisting of 9 Lilies. She thinks Riri is slacking off and hopes to learn what it means to be a true Lily with her own Legion. Riri misinterprets this as forming a legion for Yuyu and happily accepts the task. Of course Yuyu believes Riri will not be successful in this and the failure will have her learn some life lesson. So they go round asking but looks like most of them are already in one. So for the usual Fumi and Kaede are in her team. Miriam heard about this and voluntarily joins because she is interested to know about Yuyu. Then they approach Kuo Shenlin who is an exchange from Taipei. In short, she agrees to join them. But what about her partner, Wang Yujia from Iceland (you mean she’s not from China?!)? Because Shenlin tells her if she is not confident in herself and hence don’t join, Yujia agrees with that and won’t join. More talk until eventually Shenlin thinks what Riri is trying to say she wants to test Yujia’s skills to see for herself if she is worthy. And so the test is to see if Yujia can shoot and hit Shenlin from afar. Yes, Yujia is a long distance sniper. Long story short, Yujia fires her shorts as Shenlin deflects them, even taking into account of the wind. With Yujia’s confidence back, she wants to join Riri. As for Shenlin, she was always jealous of Yujia because she came from an elite family and her skills are top notched. Just that she had very low self-confidence. After seeing this, she feels relieved. With Riri’s recruiting going well, Yuyu is worried she has miscalculated as she never expected people to flock to her so easily.

Episode 5
Beggars can’t be choosy. So Riri and co bug Mai Thi Yoshimura and Tazusa Andou to join but they decline. Oh well… Later, Fumi shows the gang some old tablet she got. Activating it, it seems it starts displaying all of Riri’s stats. As Riri struggles to hide them, Yuyu spots her birthday. It’s tomorrow. Not knowing what to get her but still feeling the need as her big sister to get one, she asks around. Yeah, Yuyu trying to put on her poker face and not looked surprised. Weird. Anyway, she learns that Riri loves this ramune drink. Hence she takes a day trip to Riri’s hometown in the mountains. She buys one at the shop where Riri frequents. Mmm. Tasty. She’ll take another. Hope this doesn’t look like a ramune commercial. The shopkeeper is grateful to Lilies for keeping his business alive. Especially a certain Lily who used to come to his shop to buy her fix. On the way home as Yuyu waits for the next train transit, a couple of kids are being restless wanting to drink. So Yuyu has no choice but to offer all her ramune. Returning to the academy, she bumps into Mai and Tazusa who are seemingly following some cat. This leads them to a hidden vending machine that sells ramune! OMG… Yuyu’s effort… Of course Riri is so happy to get this ramune as present. Yuyu sinks into depression since Riri even knows where she gets them! Yeah, guess who is the frequent customer of that vending machine? Riri also requests for another birthday present: Yuyu herself. And so they hug (much to Kaede’s chagrin) but WTF Yuyu hugs too tight till she passes out?! Did Yuyu enjoy that? Riri gets the best birthday surprise as Mai and Tazusa decide to join her legion and thus completing the recruitment. They just needed some time to think and decide. Later, Matsuri Hata who is Yuyu’s roommate wonders if Yuyu being happy means she has accepted Riri. Yuyu refutes so, thus Matsuri mentions about Riri’s Rare Skill called Charisma. I mean, how does a lone wolf like Yuyu now part of a legion?

Episode 6
Now what shall Riri’s legion be called? Oh Riri, you look so shocked when the legion is named after you. I mean, did you not get it that this is your legion and not Yuyu’s? This means that whenever Riri slacks, Yuyu can use excuses to whip her into shape. So be prepared! They then discuss about this special bullet used for Neunwelt Tactic. Basically, combine all your Magie into some magic sphere for some awesome firepower. We see the Alfheim legion fighting against a tough mother Huge. While no Lilies died, many of their CHARMs got broken from all the hard hitting. Even Soraha Amano tried some reckless move but to no avail. Yeah, their Neunwelt Tactic did them no good. And of course now it is Hitotsuyanagi legion to strut their stuff. Riri and Yuyu manage to crack open this Huge’s old wounds. Guess what they see inside? It is Yuyu’s previous CHARM, Dainsleif. The one she used to kill Misuzu. Oh no. Trauma time. Because of that, she goes into Lunatic Trancer. In her berserk mode, Riri tries to calm her down while the rest try to fend off the Huge. Once Yuyu calms down, she goes into hiding, ashamed at her own curse. Her despair reaches all time high and at the lowest as she starts getting emotional, claiming she cannot protect Riri as her Schutzengel. As expected, Riri continues to believe in her and will always stop her if she enters Lunatic Trancer. As expected, Yuyu regains her self-confidence back. There, so easy. Well, can’t say they warned us the last time about Riri’s Charisma. After the gang retrieves Dainsleif, they regroup and decide to try out Neunwelt Tactic. Yeah, a weird game of lacrosse passing if you ask me. And of course, delivering the final blow of this tactic is no other than our Yuri pair. Huge’s spectacular destruction reward them with bubbles of calm light scattering all over the place. Yeah. It was a good fight.

Episode 7
Riri’s legion is examining a site wreck. They are baffled if there was a battle between Huge. Riri stumbles into some strange pod and out comes a naked girl clinging onto her! I hope this isn’t imprinting… They bring her back to the academy for treatment. Because she is amnesiac, Riri feels some sort of attachment to her and wants to see this through. Oh, so this girl > Yuyu? Whatever. Furthermore, this amnesiac girl shows some Magie stats so she could be a Lily. Soon, she becomes attached to Riri and the latter cannot go anywhere without her being disgruntled. Yeah, she doesn’t even want anybody else. Matsuri will arrange to make Riri her guardian and long story short, Riri’s legion also support her in this. Oh, is Yuyu feeling jealous? Her poker face might not show it but Kaede points out to her other tell-tale signs of her body reactions. Meanwhile the chairman of Yurigaoka, Takamatsu Kogetsu is speaking to someone who is interested to take custody of a certain Lily. Kogetsu is not willing to do so citing their political autonomy they have been granted to raise and look after Lilies. Whatever threats Lilies may pose to humanity, I guess this talk will have to be continued at another time. It looked like a long time as we see Riri watching over her rehabilitation. But it’s only a week. Yeah, I think Riri is starting to get real annoyed that she won’t even feed herself and wants Riri to feed her. Fumi tries to find more about this Lily but to her bewilderment, she is not in any of the Lost Lilies’ database. Eventually Riri is glad to be back in the arms of Yuyu. She has never missed her onee-sama so much? When the rest thinks it is time for Riri to name this new girl, it seems she herself pointed out as Yuri. That was the temporary name given by Riri while she thinks up of a better one. But with everyone agreeing to this, and so Yuri it is! Oh man, it’s going to be a confusion referring to her or the pair… And they also enter her name into their legion. Hey, isn’t their legion already at max number of members? Oh well, we can always make provisions…

Episode 8
Riri’s legion is talking about the upcoming sports festival. A chance for Lilies to show off the fruits of their training. Uhm, so real battles with Huge aren’t enough a gauge? Okay. Whatever. Of course they’re going to have a bone to pick with the Alfheim legion who think they’re better than them. Later Riri gives Yuri a ring to make an official Yurigaoka student. All she needs now is a CHARM. Meanwhile the student council members talk to Kogetsu about the increasing activities from a group believed to be GEHENA (a research organization) snooping around Yurigaoka. GEHENA has a reputation for doing weird experiments on Lilies and that is why some of them are here taking refuge from them. Then there is talk between Shizu and Riri about once Huge is all destroyed, will humans go back to fighting with each other? Because some normal people see Lilies with combat abilities as a threat to them. Yuri gets her CHARM and with some words from Riri, she gets motivated to fight Huge alongside them. The sports festival go on but the student council members keep a close eye on the shady people watching over the event. So we see the Lily legions go all out against each other in weird sports. A few first years try to gang up on Yuyu but they get easily owned. Then Miriam has a bone to pick with Ichi Tanaka since she insulted her in various ways. Finally an exhibition match against a Huge. Miriam was supposed to fight it but Mai filled up for Yuri instead. I mean, it’s a Huge made by Moyu so what could go wrong, right? Well, that is exactly why they’re all worried! And with Moyu panicking herself, is Yuri screwed?! However we see Yuri dodge and fight the Huge effectively. Like as though she’s a natural. Eventually she destroys it and while everybody is quite impressed with her, Moyu is in despair her Huge is destroyed… Oh well, at least everyone is safe. On an unrelated note, Yujia wins the cosplay competition… Later Moyu reports to Kogetsu about the DNA data she has analysed on Yuri. It seems she is an average human. In fact, too average that something seems off. In the sense she doesn’t even have any abnormalities all humans have. It could mean that she is a Huge who turned into a human. But Kogetsu isn’t surprised. Because GEHENA and Grand Guignol have reported a lost test subject to the UN. Guess who? Uh huh. They claim Yuri is born using Huge’s stem cells and went so far as to expose their own misconduct of this unethical joint experiment just so as to get her back. Because she is an artificial Lily, Yurigaoka cannot protect her if she is not human and that is the dilemma he is facing.

Episode 9
The student council tries to apprehend Yuri but of course Riri and Yuyu protect her and demand an explanation. They reveal statements released by GEHENA that their vessel that was carrying test subjects got attacked by Huge. None of their test subjects survived after it sank but looks like Yuri was the exception. Well, that doesn’t concern them but we all know what kind of treatment Yuri will get if GEHENA gets her, right? So ask Yuri. What does she want? She wants to stay with them. There. Instantly Riri takes Yuri and run. Yuyu confronts Kogetsu about this and he tells her about his responsibility to avoid humans viewing Lilies as a threat because of their Magie. Right now, government troops are on their way here. Riri’s legion discuss what to do. Obviously they are on their side. Yuyu suggests find them first and protect them. As Lilies, it is natural they protect each other. Tazusa who was a test subject of GEHENA can vouch they are very shady people and not to be trusted. Kaede finally calls her father about this sham. Though he admits GEHENA’s idea is scornful, he thought joining up and create such test subjects will avoid having real Lilies to fight. Yeah, the irony. Kaede believes the experiment failed and Yuri is just like the rest of them. She doesn’t want him to make her regret being cursed as a Lily and born as his daughter. Kogetsu is facing the government guys, trying to explain Lilies want their freedom like everyone else. However they think because Lilies can use Magie, they must bear extra burden. Moyu’s timely entrance to reveal the results of her analysis. Yuri is 99.9% human. Just like all of them. There is no 100% perfect human due to that evolving DNA thingy. As for that Huge thingy, explaining some treaty definition blah, blah, blah, she’s not. Kogetsu wants them to rescind their capture order since it was made hastily under obscure circumstances. Yurigaoka will take responsibility in punishing their Lilies. Riri and Yuri are hiding in some abandoned building, talking things out. Their legion is here to pick them back home. Don’t have to worry anymore. Government orders have been rescinded. That was quick. Just in time because a Huge is spotted over the sea, firing maximum Magie that even devastated the atmosphere?! Yuri wants to prove herself as a Lily so she rushes into battle. Everyone is surprised she can use a myriad of their abilities. Even if this Huge replenishes its Magie from the nest, Yuri overkills it and makes it look so easy. There. Done. Too bad she gets caught in the explosion too! Yeah, it’s like the end of the world for Riri, sad and depressed her Yuri is seemingly gone.

Episode 10
Holy sh*t! Yuri is dead?! And what the heck, Riri is punished so as to make an example of her? She will be imprisoned for a week. As her Schutzengel, Yuyu is allowed to see her. Anybody would be this lifeless after what happened. Noticing that her hairpin is missing, Yuyu talks to her legion and hopes that they could find it to bring back some cheer for Riri. From experience, she doesn’t want Riri to bottle up all those feelings that would be a detriment to her one day. So they combine their Rare Skills to search across the sea and beach where she might have dropped it during the battle. If a Rare Skill doesn’t work, there are other combos to tinker with. Too bad all of them amount to nothing. Until the other Lilies heard about it, they want to help out too. This time with so many eyes, they spot the ring instantly at sea. Surprising the current didn’t sweep it away half way around the world after a week. Anyway, Kaede gets hyped up to dive there and grab it. Yeah, it’s like she found the greatest treasure. When they give it to Riri, she wonders where they bought this from. Eh? Because her original one had a crack. You mean like this one that is all broken now? What’s the meaning of this? Kaede comes clean and admits she actually found it on the beach on the second day. Hence she tried to recreate it during that time before switching it with this fake. Yeah, the biggest dupe of Yurigaoka. She is ready to accept her punishment but everyone gives the big thumbs up to her. The biggest reward as Riri hugs her but too bad Yuyu uses her status to claim Riri for herself. So close, Kaede… Then Riri starts to cry. Yes, girl. Better let all your feelings out. So infectious, now all Lilies are crying too. Moyu presents her analysis to Kogetsu about a CHARM stuck in that Huge for about 2 years. From what I understand, the formulae on this CHARM has been overwritten by someone and influenced the Huge. It is possible since Huge and Lilies share the same Magie root. And of course records show that the last person who held this CHARM was Misuzu. Yuyu and Riri visit Yuri’s grave. Then they pay their respects at Misuzu’s grave. Oh Yuyu, still seeing visions of Misuzu?

Episode 11
Yes, still seeing those Misuzu visions. Yuyu tries to dismiss her as unreal but when your visions even give you some ominous advice… Riri has not seen Yuyu ever since the grave visit. She feels down about it so her pals suggest holding a ramune party. Meanwhile Moyu explains her analysis to Kogetsu about Misuzu. While everyone may remember her as an exemplary Lily, there is a possibility she may possess the Charisma Rare Skill. While official records didn’t state that, it may be that Misuzu overwrote a CHARM’s pact in combat and influenced a Huge through Magie and that Huge returned to its nest to spread her influence. And also something about another Rare Skill called Laplace that allows manipulation of memories. Moyu goes to talk to Yuyu personally for further clarification about Misuzu and her Charisma. Something about some influence 2 years ago on Huge has made them gradually act differently today. Like as though somebody laid the foundation for it and it got switched on today. However Yuyu doesn’t know anything more about it. When Riri goes to get Yuyu, can’t blame Yuyu for putting on that worrisome face. Because that damn ghost of Misuzu is still sticking around! Putting doubts in Yuyu’s mind. Hence it sounds like Yuyu is rejecting Riri’s invitation. Soon, from the Huge’s nest, it fires 3 things as it crash lands. Those things start to create a Huge body while negating the CHARMs of all Lilies around. Riri knows Yuyu has not gotten over Misuzu since she is no-show for this offensive and heads back to check on her. Now we see a flashback or memory of Yuyu and Misuzu. Misuzu claiming Yuyu is her world and everything. Basically she was obsessed on Yuyu. She never wanted to hurt her and if that happens, please kill her. Yuyu accepted it but looks like that wasn’t the answer Misuzu was looking for. She gets upset and from what it looks like, brainwashes her with Magie. Now Yuyu has gone crazy and dark. Just in time as Riri returns. Yuyu accusing Riri of wanting to control her with her Rare Skill since Misuzu cursed everything and this might be a trap. She wants to go and defeat the Huge but Riri puts her foot down and tells her to stay back. Her CHARM has no Magie and she will go defeat the Huge herself as her CHARM is the only one that works. Riri prepares to face off with the Huge while Yuyu is left in despair.

Episode 12
The Huge is giving off signals similar to Lunatic Trancer. Those who get in its vicinity will definitely feel its effects. Just when Riri is about to get owned, here comes Yuyu saving her. Oh, she’s holding Dainsleif too? Lucky for Yuyu, she isn’t in her Lunatic Trancer mode. Moyu deduces that Riri’s Charisma may have neutralized it. And yeah, the combi duo also help reduce the Huge’s barrier although the other Lilies still can’t do anything. Eventually, Riri’s legion decides to do that Neunwelt Tactic. Keep passing the Magie Sphere and add up to its power. When that isn’t enough, all other legions also pitch in to help at the cost of breaking their CHARMs. In the end, Yuyu and Riri are able to use Dainsleif and pierce the Magie Sphere into the Huge. Explosion so huge (pun not intended) that it could actually destroy the face of the planet! But thankfully it didn’t. So our Lilies just have their deserved bath now in open air courtesy of the destroyed building. Don’t worry about peepers.

But after that, there is still one final work to be done. As Moyu points out, the effect of their Neunwelt Tactic has dealt a huge blow to the nest. As this nest is the source of where other Huge draw their power, currently it has ceased to function. This means they have to strike now. Kogetsu wants Riri to finish the job. Yuyu wants to accompany her since she is her Schutzengel. Moyu further explains Dainsleif as the cause of it all since Misuzu somehow overwrote its Magie and it got circulated within the nest. As Moyu has injected some bug into Dainsleif that will be used to destroy the nest, Lilies with Charisma can only inject it. Riri thanks Kogetsu for standing up for Yuri till the end despite not being able to save her. She doesn’t want other Lilies to share the same fate. Yuyu and Riri float down to the nest as they stab Dainsleif into it. Easy job as the nest explodes. I think it’s cue for yuri time since their ribbon conveniently activates a capsule that is their uniform! What else to do inside this pitch black bubble in their undies but wait till they resurface? Riri dreams of Yuri who thanks her for everything. When she comes to, she tells Yuyu of it. But Yuyu notes Misuzu didn’t come to see her. That’s a good thing, right? Riri then mentions about Misuzu’s feelings deeply engraved into Dainsleif that she could feel it. She wanted to protect Yuyu a lot and didn’t drive the Huge berserk deliberately. But Riri finds it odd that despite Misuzu loves Yuyu, she can’t bring herself to accept it. She doesn’t think Misuzu ever cursed herself. Once they reach land, guess the reactions of the Lilies when they see the duo huddling so close in their undies. Definitely scandal material. Life seemingly returns to normal but the most shocking development: Miriam and Moyu form a Schutzengel pledge.

Assaulting Yuri: Brickbats; Charmed, I’m Sure!
Oh… That was… I don’t know how to put it. I’m just glad it ended. I mean, they’ve been fighting Huge for a long time with so many casualties and damage and all it takes is the power of the most yuri of Schutzengel pair to destroy the big mother nest. Yeah, all for convenience. Not sure if the world is now rid of Huge but seeing that Yurigaoka is still around and the Lilies are also still around, I guess the threat around the world isn’t over yet. But as far as this series and our main Lilies in focus are concerned, they manage to make peace and amends with the past and move forward with their new path. Good happy ending, right? And yeah, Miriam x Moyu in the end, like, how does that even matter? Unless you’re fans of them and eagerly waiting the day they become one. Well, you got your wish right in the end.

Those who love this kind of anime whereby it focuses on the relationship and interaction between the characters may find this one to be okay but as for me, I find it really boring and uninteresting. I was already putting my expectations very low since the synopsis itself did ‘warn’ me about what the series was going to focus on. But oh boy, I didn’t see myself being this bored watching this. Heck, I don’t know if I can really say I actually watched the whole thing because I often caught myself being distracted by other stuffs in real life as I watched the episode running. So boring that I didn’t even bother to rewatch the few seconds of scenes I’ve missed when I got distracted. Hence, you can blame me when I say I really don’t get what’s really going on when they explain the terms and plot. Even as I’m writing this, I’m still as lost as ever about what is going on, although I have the basic gist of what’s happening. Make that, the very basic of gist. Oh, girls with special magic powers using huge oversized weapons are the only ones who can fight robo monsters filled with the same magic powers to keep the world peace. Yeah. Got that.

It’s been tried and tested many times about shows in this particular genre. Somehow only young girls with special abilities get to fight monsters to maintain the peace. I mean, how much more creative can you get with that? We’ve seen this formula played out as recently as Senyoku No Sigrdrifa and Azur Lane all the way back to the last decade from Vividred Operation to Strike Witches to Sky Girls and even Simoun. So they just need to present to us in a different form, the characters and the enemies. Yeah, I felt like they were just rushing to name the enemy because I guess Robo Monsters don’t quite have that ring it so they had to go with Huge because they are, ready for it, huge piece of mothers. Yeah…

Though, it is an interesting concept the relationship between Lilies and the Huge, although this is not largely explored in this series. We are given a gist of it and most probably I wasn’t listening, hence making me form my own conspiracy theories about them. Basically, Lilies and Huge are like the yin and yang of this world. Both need each other for their own existence as well as to maintain the balance of the world. Without Lilies, Huge will destroy the world. Without Huge, what good are Lilies for? Therefore there is this sort of uncanny co-dependency and vicious cycle of violence existing between them. And that’s why I believe the war between both sides will never end. True peace will never be achieved but it’s better than not existing at all? Not impressed, huh? Oh well, they should hire me to write and expand this theory that Huge is just trying to take back the land that humans invaded and seized aeons ago and Lilies are Huge betrayers who sided with humans. HOLY SH*T… A huge crap I just suggested there.

So yeah, like I’ve said before and as already stated in the synopsis, they focus on the relationship and interaction between the Lilies, mostly the ones in Riri’s legion. Honestly, I don’t really see anything special between them. Riri’s the new kid in town, filled with lots of eagerness and liveliness. Yuyu is being bogged down by her traumatic past especially the haunting of a certain ghost named Misuzu. So as I can see from here, old dogs (b*tches won’t be the right term to use) can’t learn new tricks and will be stuck in the rut. That’s where our newcomer Riri is here to save her onee-sama and make her overcome her past so she can move forward. Pretty predictable. Pretty boring. Yawn… Then they try to add some drama with the appearance of Yuri. Oh, a hybrid of Huge? Kill her off because we need more drama! Oh, new character… And she’s gone! Yeah, RIP Yuri. Your short appearance seems forgettable once Yuyu and Riri get their sh*t on together.

The other characters are a big fail because if you do notice something, this character has a huge number of characters! Oh yeah. Good luck trying to remember all of them. Especially the obscure ones who appear only once. Hey, I wasn’t keeping count so I don’t remember how those not in the main and supporting roles appear how often. I’m not sure if this series or Azur Lane had more insignificant characters like this. Besides, despite having a dozen episodes, this series is starting to feel annoying like Boku No Hero Academia. You know, in every episode the character will have their names appear on the screen if they appear in that episode for the first time. And you can’t miss it because the words are huge (no pun intended) and fit half the screen! So while this is good at the beginning and also to introduce other obscure Lilies that don’t really matter anyway, it becomes irritating when you have to spam it every episode for main characters like Riri and Yuyu. I mean, come on! Okay, I admit I was bored of this show but I can’t be that stupid not to remember the names of the main heroine, RIGHT?! Are they concerned that I was so bored not paying attention and hence this as a precautionary measure?! Anyway, I find it annoying till the end.

I can’t seem to see the dynamism between Riri’s legion because to me, all of them just falls flat. In the end, I keep asking myself, do they really matter? Maybe for this friendship thingy and plot convenience (because it takes group effort to build a powerful Magie Sphere) but as a whole, I don’t really see how. As said, they want to put the main focus on Riri and Yuyu and this means with only 12 episodes this season, there is only so much they can do to flesh out the rest. If you ask me, had they not join Riri’s legion or if Riri herself didn’t bother to create her own legion, they won’t really matter. Just like the other Lilies in other legions. Each of these Lilies has their own problems and quirks but yes, blame me again, for not paying attention because everything was just too freaking boring!

At the end of the day, I can’t really tell what’s so special about Mai from Shenlin from Miriam from Yujia (still can’t get over the fact she is Icelandic when everything is so Chinese about her – immigrants sure maybe, but WHY?! WTF diversity do you need about Lilies fighting Huge?!). Maybe I know a bit about Fumi who feels like the one who explains stuffs, Tazusa the deadpan emotionless girl and Kaede trying to be a lesbo and get in Riri’s pants. Or skirt. Mind you, this series might be yuri but it is so mild that it didn’t cross my mind at most instances. It is only because of Kaede that I am reminded this is supposed to be a yuri series. Even the retro Maria-sama Ga Miteru looks more yuri than this. Oh well, who am I to judge how yuri a series is? I’m not a veteran yuri viewer to begin with. The series would have been more so had it had more of that last episode shenanigan of Yuyu and Riri in their undies this close.

The action parts are okay but I suppose that is only necessary to break the boring drama and justify the reason of why Lilies hold brutally huge objects that would visually make Thor lifting his hammer look like child’s play. They’re not the best action masterpieces I’ve seen but they’re just passable. After all, each Lily possesses their own unique CHARM and have their own unique set of skills that mostly you’ll see once or twice. Basically forgettable since I can’t even remember how their attack patterns look like at the end of the day. Just swing your CHARM and some Magie effect will hopefully do the trick in taking down the Huge. After all, I’m repeating myself again, the main focus of this series isn’t the fight sequences with Huge but rather the drama between the characters. So it’s just to break the monotony and make this series look not like an updated clone of Maria-sama Ga Miteru. I mean, it might make no sense the Lilies’ battle gear is their cute and clean Yurigaoka uniform. Going into battle like that? But remember, Lilies have their standard and elegance to maintain so wearing such a dress into battle only seems fitting for them. After all, they are Lilies, the flower of purity. If there is one thing I want to nit-pick and complain, it is the sound effects that are too loud during the action scenes. Suddenly from the soft spoken drama you have this loud crashing booming noises. Had to quickly turn down the volume or else the neighbours might suspect me doing some homemade bomb!

Art and animation look like very high quality. Although CGI is employed, it is mostly for the Huge and certain scenes involving the Lilies, but it isn’t very jarring so you won’t really notice the difference unless you really focus and look at it. When I went into watching this anime, I already knew that SHAFT was animating this series. However I’m not sure if I should be disappointed or not that I don’t see a lot of SHAFT-like trademark visuals like the head tilt and eye zoom in. There are but they are very few and far in between. I think many episodes do not contain such trademark visual of theirs so after a while, you may forget that SHAFT animated this. Except maybe the title screen. The minimalist of it amidst a single colour tone background does resonate SHAFT’s trademark as seen in the Monogatari series and the Madoka Magica series.

As for the character designs, they’re just pretty okay. I mean, there are so many characters here so it is going to be a herculean job to try and give everyone some sort of unique feature. Because, some characters I got confused as they look the same such as Yuyu and Shizu. Very close. And of course, some characters look like they’re from other anime such as Yuri whom I thought reminded me of Yuno from Mirai Nikki. Yeah, seriously. Or how Araya somehow made me think Tonikaku Kawaii’s Tsukasa made a cameo here but with a more b*tchy attitude. Or Moyu looking a bit like Hibike! Euphonium’s Asuka. Also by a long shot, I thought Miriam is the grown up version of Non Non Biyori’s Renge! So basically you borrow a bit of these elements of other anime girls, you turn them into a cutie and voila! You’ve got yourself a new Lily character. At the end of each episode, an end card illustrated by different illustrators with their different styles. The mid-intermission also showcases the Lilies but with higher quality of cuteness.

As for the CHARM designs, I didn’t really give much notice about them because at this point I just think they’re like aesthetic variations of each other. Must be big. Must be futuristic looking. Add a few accessories and put a different colours and you’ve got yourself a new CHARM. Charming. Same feeling for the Huge too. Whatever is needed to make them look huge and menacing enough to be threatening but not scary. Yeah, I sound like an unappreciative armchair critic undermining what could be hours, days, weeks and all the effort, energy, brain cells, redesigning after redesigning, the designers put in for all these characters. Hey, that’s their job and to criticize, that’s my job!

Voice acting is pretty okay. Yeah, this series has a hell lot of cameos considering how many characters there are. Not sure if those I know made their cameo. The only ones I recognized are Ayako Kawasumi as Misuzu and Jouji Nakata as Kogetsu. The rest are mostly unheard of like Hikaru Akao as Riri (Chika in Back Street Girls: Gokudolls), Yuuko Natsuyoshi as Yuyu (Himeko in Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh), Mikako Izawa as Kaede (Uki in Anima Yell), Rimi Nishimoto as Fumi (Rimi in BanG Dream), Haru Iwata as Mai (Mahiru in Revue Starlight), Hikaru Tohno as Yujia (Howan in Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh), Karin Takahashi as Miriam (Suika in Dr Stone), Risa Tsumugi as Tazusa (Chuchu in BanG Dream), Sana Hoshimori as Shenlin (debut role), Inori Minase as Moyu (Hestia in DanMachi), Miku Itou as Yuri (Maple in Nekopara), Akira Sekine as Araya (Princess in Princess Principal) and Ayaka Nanase as Shizu (Yoshino in Sakura Quest).

If the opening theme sounds familiar, that’s because Sacred World is by Raise A Suilen (RAS). Yes, that band from the anime, BanG Dream. From what I read, they released their 5th single track and in conjunction to that, it also became the opener for this series. After all, some of the RAS members do lend their voice acting talents here. Anyway, it is rock based and though it fits the group as well as the series (at least if I think about the action parts), not my cup of tea generally. The main ending theme is Edel Lilie by the entire cast from Riri’s legion. Quite a dramatic piece to boot but not up my alley either. There are other special ending themes like the light hearted rock of Heart+Heart by Riri and Yuyu duet for episode 5, the upbeat and lively Growing by Riri’s legion for episode 8 and the slow ballad of Blink by Yuri that sounds like a goodbye piece for her in episode 9.

Overall, let me say it once again that I find this series to be boring and nothing special. I’ve seen a few series in the genre like this but I guess I still can’t get used to this mild yuri friendship thingy. Yeah, this series is a mixed baggage with some viewers loving it for the wide range of characters and the others like yours truly can’t find anything to relate to. Sorry, that’s just how I feel at the end. The story isn’t interesting and generally very cliché, the action scenes are just passable and despite the very nice art and animation quality, it is going to take more than that to get me to like the series. Come to think of it, this is like a mix between cute girls doing cute things + dark magical fantasy like the Madoka Magica series (did Misuzu say something about Lilies are humans who become Huge due to Magie? Hmm… Where did I hear this scenario before?). As each episode is named after a flower and its second title explains its meaning in flower language, ironically there is none about the sakura flower that symbolizes everlasting beauty but also its tragically short lifespan (though, touched briefly by Misuzu). Created just for one single purpose and nothing else before dying. A cruel fate that perfectly symbolizes the fate of these Lilies. And this series. Beautiful but withered… Rest in peace my dear Lilies…

… Oh wait, what do you mean this is getting a short chibi spinoff soon???!!! The sakura just turned into amaranth for immortality?! Looks like the Lilies got their lives extended a little…

Hataraku Saibou S2

16 April, 2021

Okay, kids. Do you still remember all those different types of cells in your body, their function and how they work? No? NO???!!! WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU HAVE GIVEN IT ALL BACK TO THE TEACHER???!!! Weren’t you paying attention???!!! Oh right. Me too. Guilty as charged. In one ear, out the other as soon as the series ended. Sighs. I suppose that is why we need another season to drill it all into our brains. Uh huh. So it is no surprise about Hataraku Saibou S2 since it was announced quite a while ago. And even so, we didn’t even bother to brush up our biology just for this second season. Sighs… I guess I know which class I’m going to fail again…

Episode 1
AE 3803 still clumsy and getting lost often but NT 4201 doesn’t loath her like before. AE 3803 then meets some of WBC friends of U-1146. They wonder where that guy is and they think he must be sipping tea somewhere. Unknown to them, he is mercilessly killing a germ that snuck in! Violent. I’m sure this lost Platelet (nicknamed Backward Cap for easier reference) must be traumatized seeing this. U-1146 helps her up since she is lost as she explains she was doing extra training herself and wanted to be strong like her friends. That is why she is carrying extra coagulation equipment. But she still has low self-confidence that she might be a hindrance to others when faced with the real deal. U-1146 gives some advice to go back and see how others train. When they get back to the main line and meet up with AE 3803, suddenly a rip occurs. U-1146 thought it is some attack but as his WBC pal points out there are no exterior wounds. Because all the cells are floating in zero-like gravity, this is internal bleeding caused by a lump-like protrusion. This is a job for Platelets to use their fibrin nets to form blood clots. Backward Cap is doing fine with the rest but then a problem arises. The hole is too big for their equipment to clot so they have to assemble and form a big blood clot, something that Backward Cap is bad at doing. With the Platelets failing, Megakaryocyte (the largest cell in the bone marrow that produces platelets) comes to chide them for being inefficient. This causes all of them to be paralyzed in fear. However she will reward the best platelet with a gold medal. Instantly all of them get motivated to clot the blood. With some dramatic slip ups here and there, in the end the clotting is successful. Megakaryocyte is in a dilemma on who the give the medal too since everyone did their part well and also made mistakes. Oh well, everybody gets a medal then! You get a medal! She gets a medal! Everybody gets a medal!!! A job well done. Next time they’ll do even better.

Episode 2
Memory Cell has this weird premonition of meteors falling, weird zombie cells show up and chaos all around. He fears it might be the end of the world. When all immune cells are summoned to a place where a virus is spotted, to his horror it is that same zombie cell! With all the WBCs jumping into the fray, it gets messy since the zombie cells are multiplying like crazy. Memory Cell is paralyzed in fear thinking his premonition has come true. He tries to use this ability to come up with an antigen but B Cell knocks him with a book to see if there are such viruses. That is when he remembers clearly. The vision isn’t of the future. It is the past! In short, it was vaccination to build up the immune system. With that, B Cell is able to blast away all those viruses with the acquired immunity. Memory Cell thought B Cell is going to praise him for figuring it out. But he points they have such virus in the database already. All the cells beat up Memory Cell for the trouble he caused. U-1146 takes AE 3803 to the small intestine. So she’s never been here? Is this some sort of tour? No wonder Killer T Cell isn’t impressed and chides him for being complacent. Suddenly the place is under attack by a bacteria. Even more so the bacteria takes a cell hostage. The bacteria then lists his demands if they want the hostage released. Basically, he wants the WBCs to serve them as they live a luxurious celebrity life! WTF, U-1146 agrees?! Even the bacteria is shocked. The bacteria even has the WBCs do silly stuffs for them. Ultimately the bacteria didn’t play fair and continue to hold the hostage. Then it’s like the WBCs do some poor acting to lead the bacteria to some easily infiltrated area. They pop out in some bar run by M Cell. Before they could do anything all the other immune cells pop up to own them. This place turns out to be Peyer’s Patch, a place near the small intestine filled with lymphatic nodules that play a crucial role in the small intestine’s immune system. Basically, a trap bacterial and viral antigens. Killer T Cell apologizes to U-1146 for what he said earlier and hopes he doesn’t mellow out too much. U-1146 then realizes he kept AE 3803 waiting and rushes back. Yeah, he’s gone too long to get her tea.

Episode 3
Mast Cell once again floods the system with histamine. This has some cells march into her office and accuse her of overreacting. The last straw is when they call her a hysteria cell. She blows her top and starts throwing things! Later it seems a mosquito causes some havoc by sucking some of the RBCs. While AE 3803 is somewhat spared, a Langerhans Cell spot a weird looking mask and wears it. Instantly he becomes mind controlled by the dengue virus as all his kind become infected and run rampage throughout the system. Because Langerhans Cells are to warn the body’s immune system of foreign threats, how can they do their job when they are the threat?! Yeah. Hence the cells are pleading for help but no WBCs or Macrophages to the rescue. Mast Cell is left wondering if she should flood the histamines. She won’t, fearing that backlash again. Not too sure if Basophil was doing his own monologue about destiny so Mast Cell just screw it and flood the entire area. This allows WBCs and Macrophages to jump in and kill all the infected cells. In the aftermath, the cells apologize to Mast Cell since her histamines allowed WBCs and Macrophages to come to their rescue. But Mast Cell remains prideful and thinks she did nothing wrong the whole time. In a hair pore area, an acne germ slave drives hair cells to serve him sebum. Thanks to U-1146 coming to their rescue, he manages to kill the germ but his fellow comrades show up. A young hair cell wanted to help out but U-1146 protects him and they fall into the abyss. Later as he regrets his actions, U-1146 wonders why there were no help. You see, other WBCs did come but they all died and ended up in this huge mountain of pus! U-1146 vows to do something about this. So he returns to fight the acne germ boss. If he is so slow, why this other WBCs lose their lives? You see, by replenishing himself with sebum, he can also heal himself! While U-1146 has a hard time fighting him, the young hair cell rally the rest to do something about this. Hence they crank up the sebum and the acne germ boss starts to feel scared seeing he had too much sebum and might drown. Too bad for him, U-1146 cuts him down but on the down side, he gets drowned by the sebum. As normalcy return to this place, the hair cells lament this WBC’s bravery. But then he pops up from the vent! Hooray! U-1146 returns and AE 3803 wonders if he changed job because he is wearing a hair cell hood. The young hair cell gave it to him as a token of gratitude.

Episode 4
An ordinary cell witnesses the same usual routine. Cells get infected, immune cells jump in to slaughter them all. Rinse and repeat. Yeah, he wishes something exciting would happen in his boring life. Then he stumbles into several cute little germs drowning?! Too cute to kill or ignore! He eventually saves them and brings them back to his place. But by that time U-1146 has detected some germs and kicks down his door! The gig is up as our cell boy confessed what happened. Since U-1146 can’t risk germs harming the body, he’ll take them away. Oh man, look at those teary puppy dog eyes when they’re taken away! U-1146 attends to an emergency in the intestine where some bacteria is causing gastronomical havoc. Cell boy witnesses how the WBCs put their lives on the line for this body and this makes him think himself as useless. When the bacteria unleashes some gastric juice to flood the place, one of the little cuties get submerged. Before any tears could roll, suddenly this cutie turns Super Saiyan and beats up the bacteria! Then there are many of his similar pals coming into the fray too. It is revealed these cute germs are actually friendly bacteria known as lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Now that U-1146 has seen with his own eyes, he can’t deem such bacteria as bad. He is going to patrol the rest of the intestine to see if there are other germs. Opportunity for cell boy to go with him and return these cuties to their rightful place. In the small intestine, there are too many purines to be dissolved and this might cause some uric acid build up. One of the LAB then gobbles them up. His similar pals also pop up to eat the tons of purines in no time. Continuing their journey, one of the cuties drop into the sewer and gets flushed away. Cell boy is sad and wants U-1146 to alert the others. Sadly, he is told he can’t do that because neutrophils don’t have antigens. This makes cell boy sad because what kind of a f*cked up system when immune cells can’t tell they aren’t the bad guys?! Woah, getting too emotional here. NK Cell is here to tell him the truth that it is their job.

Episode 5
She tells him off that without them, you cells are dead. She reminds him that her job is to kill any kind of cell at her discretion so watch your mouth. It seems she is also looking for something. The lost LAB is found by Dendritic and is well taken care after. As cell boy and U-1146 continue their search, a warning has been put out that the body has been infected by some influenza and to prepare. As the immune cells fight off the infected zombie cells, it seems none of their attacks do any harm. Memory Cell realizes they look a bit different and because of this mutated strain, it’s the end of the world!!! Wow. So dramatic. Oh wait. Even NK Cell is starting to feel depressed she can’t kill those cells?! Damn, we’re in serious trouble! This is when Dendritic drops her an embarrassing photo dressed up as a maid. This makes NK Cell go berserk. Dendritic then unleashes lots of other embarrassing photos of other cells to hype them up and make them go crazy. Apparently these are cytokines, active proteins secreted by other cells to boost them. Oh sh*t! NK Cell’s sword turning into a lightsabre and cutting through the zombies?! With all the immune cells boosted up, I hope they don’t destroy the place with their overkill. In the aftermath, Dendritic reveals this lost LAB was the one who activated him and in turn helped to activate others. With this little guy rejoining his herd, looks like there is 1 LAB left to return. Cell boy apologizes to U-1146 for mouthing off and thanks him for helping out. U-1146 remains humble and apologizes for not being able to be of help in the first place. Later U-1146 confronts NK Cell about what she is looking. First, she hints about the need to not hesitate and kill. Since all cells they kill are stored in the antibody data, as long as that data exists, cells can replicate. She further hints a familiar cell has already stolen that data and has already acquired a physical form, hiding somewhere inside this body. Remember Cancer Cell? Yup, this guy’s back! It’s time for revenge…

Episode 6
The gang is now at the large intestine area. There seems to be a museum here as the Platelets take a tour and get to see all the good and harmful bacteria exhibits. Oh, all the Platelets want to piggy ride on AE 3803? We also see Killer T Cell turning into Memory T Cell as preparation to attack the same enemy that reappears. He thinks he got promoted and says his lengthy goodbye to his squad. After cell boy learns they are looking for Cancer Cell, U-1146 tells him this is where they part ways. Hence, cell boy makes his way to the intestines but sees Goblet Cell and Intestinal Epithelial Cell trying to hold back the overwhelming numbers of harmful bacteria trying to invade the intestine with the intestinal barrier. Unfortunately with too many of them, they have to make a run for it as the bacteria invade. At the same time, toxic fumes due to harmful bacteria is starting to seep into the museum. That’s your cue to evacuate. The immune cell trio come face to face with Cancer Cell and he obviously wants revenge on them. This time he has got multiple arms to take care of them and the trio can’t get even close to him. Is this the end for them? Will Cancer Cell finally have his revenge?

Episode 7
NK Cell tries to mock Cancer Cell that he came back just to be beaten again. But Cancer Cell knows it is different this time. Yup, he can create lots of dolls under his command. This means he can send as many enemies for them to fight and not tire out. When Memory T Cell tries to directly punch Cancer Cell, shockingly Regulatory T Cell stops him. Because she views Cancer Cell as part of them, she refuses to let him kill. After all, it is her role to prevent them from triggering anomalous immune responses. U-1146 takes a blow meant for Memory T Cell. Although not fatal, Cancer Cell walls him up and wants to talk while watching Regulatory T handle the rest. Cancer Cell talks about the irony and cruel life cycle of cells to kill and die. Trillions of cells dying just for this body to go on living. He thinks of creating a world where cells don’t have to kill or be killed. And that is by sacrificing this body. Even if that means killing all cells, his logic dictates that is the true freedom all cells will have then. He is going to turn this body into that utopia by releasing all the toxic gases. OMG! Cancer Cell sprouting angelic wings?! Is he the angel of death now?! With Memory T Cell still trying to punch his way through, NK Cell and Regulatory T mock him that unless he uses other strategy, he can’t get past this stage. Not that Memory T Cell cares. He’ll do what he has always been doing. Meanwhile, cell boy and the LAB stumble into harmful bacteria. They start tormenting cell boy just for kicks. Cell boy has no choice but to force LAB to escape, even if it means being mean. A tearful LAB swims away while the bad bacteria continues their tormenting fun.

Episode 8
Time for plot convenience because here are the WBCs to the rescue. The bad bacteria think they have the numbers but with the LAB cuties returning in huge numbers as well as neutral bacteria shifting allegiance, the bad ones are routed. Cancer Cell continues to beat up Memory T Cell and NK Cell. WTF, Regulatory T allows Cancer Cell to beat up others but not vice versa? Cancer Cell relishes spreading his cancer cells that will ultimately destroy the body. However, Memory T Cell claims he has a trump card up his sleeve. It’s some perforin chemical that Killer T Cells excrete but of course they have to exaggerate it with some flashback how he tried honing this legendary punch. Yeah, everyone laughed at him when he tried to pull off this failure. Because now he is able to do this Super Saiyan punch! To Cancer Cell’s shock, Regulatory T avoids it and lets him take the hit. Regulatory T now deems Cancer Cell not as their own but this doesn’t hinder the latter as he continues to unleash his dolls and attack. When their latest attacks hit him, Cancer Cell starts losing his power and can’t maintain his strength. Because of the change in the intestinal environment, the toxins from harmful bacteria has dwindled. Weakened, this allows U-1146 to deal the lethal blow. Cancer Cell admits his defeat but is happy to have been killed by a friend rather than someone he hates. Things return to normal with the intestinal barriers given extra boost with the LABs strengthening it. U-1146 credits cell boy for trying to reunite the LABs to their friends and this helped in improving the intestinal strength. Then this weird trippy aquatic trip for them in the intestinal flora! See all the good, bad and neutral bacteria live here! With normalcy returning, time for cell boy to return to his home. Only, he was away from home so long that no food were delivered to his place. Oh dear. A starving cell… Can AE 3803 deliver oxygen to him without getting lost or being clumsy? Oh well. It’s the usual as always. And Memory T Cell trying to show off his perforin to Naïve T Cells. Nothing much happens… Just don’t embarrass yourself…

Cell-ebrate To Health & Life!
Oh… Uhm… That’s it?! This season’s ‘lessons’ feel a bit short or do they not have any more material to cover? Because it’s just odd (although it is even) that this second season has only 8 episodes. Uh huh. 8 FREAKING EPISODES ONLY?! Wow. I do sound like I want to learn more about the cells and human body, don’t I? But don’t despair even if this second season is over. Fans and viewers alike should very well know at this point that there has been another spinoff season running concurrently with this one, Hataraku Saibou Black. So double the fun, right? Well… If you’re feeling how all the cells here are interacting and living so happily like some heavenly utopia, Hataraku Saibou Black tells us otherwise. Cells interacting and living in a languished state like some hellish dystopia. Yeah… Otherwise, count your blessings for this one.

Also, I recently read that the second half of this season actually covered for the movie that came out back in September 2020. I didn’t even know it existed! So my guess is that those who watched the movie might get the short end of the stick since they literally repeat this part for the second season. I could be wrong since I didn’t watch the movie so I can’t compare. But from what I read, it is basically almost the same. With that, so it’s like this season has actually much fewer new episodes, huh? Are you people serious in wanting to teach us about cells and the human body? Anyway, considering how they defeat cancer for the second time, I’m saying that this is one helluva a lucky body. But that might be premature for me to say that because it could be that our cells have been working so hard to prevent the development of cancer cells for thousands of times without us knowing. Do we need any more reason why we should be grateful to our cells?! But only a matter of time before it becomes a losing battle… Okay, okay. I don’t want to ruin all the happy-happy feel good mood at this point. All hail the cells!

As far as this season is concerned, it brings as much fun and edutainment like last season. The irony that I can’t remember all those fun lessons back in the first season but I can tell the sequel is as good as its predecessor. Oh, how should I put this? The mind might have forgotten but the body still remembers. Yeah, I think it’s like that. So mock me for all you want for having a lousy brain (maybe I don’t have a lot of brain cells to begin with) and I’m too lazy to go back to rewatch the first season because of the lame excuse that it feels like going back to school again. Even though it’s just anime.

So it is great to learn something new this season and it is just amazing how there are so many things going on in our bodies. The complication all unravelled thanks to the advancement of medical science. Science! Of course anime being anime, it is mainly for edutainment purposes since it is a fun and refreshing way to teach others about cells and the body. I mean, how else are you going to teach such boring and ‘vulgar’ stuffs to normal people? Sure, everything is so colourful, refinely exaggerated for entertainment purposes. Cells anthropomorphized as humans and WBCs bleeding red blood. WBC BLEEDING. RED. BLOOD. I’m sure the real doctors have something to say about the representation of the cells and bacteria and how they function, but it still beats observing the real deal under a compound microscope. Yeah, like watching paint dry, if you ask me. And I believe ordinary people aren’t so dumb to be in shock when they see real RBCs don’t look like cutie AE 3803. Anime. The destroyer and crusher of real life representation by ramping everything up to a kawaii and cute level.

Is it me or do I feel that many of the cells that were introduced in the first season didn’t really make an impact here? Not to mention that Eosinophil and Basophil were on par with the main characters back then since their cameos were already so limited. This season, it feels like they almost never existed at all. Even their few seconds of appearances feel forgettable. Well, perhaps this season’s issues don’t really require their roles. Yeah, I have to admit I had to check back my old blog just to refer their names for this because I couldn’t remember them :’(. Others like Macrophage and Helper T Commander were also barely there. Mast Cell and Dendritic had their short role to shine while NK Cell made her mark late in this season. All in all, it’s good to know that they’re all the same cells we know since the last season. Which is a bit unrealistic assuming the longevity of cells in our body so they should’ve been replaced with newer ones by now!

I feel that U-1146 has the most spotlight here since as a WBC, he is running all over the place to kill invading bacteria with his trusty knife. It feels like he is the toughest WBC among all WBCs, the way I see him kill enemies and survive from attacks after attacks. Either he is one tough cookie or just a very lucky WBC. The running joke of bumping into AE 3803 is not played out as often (also, the shorter number of episodes this season to boot) and this reduces AE 3803 to a side character. She is still the same RBC that keeps getting lost. I wonder how many cells died just because she didn’t deliver her oxygen in time. Oh wait. She always will. Eventually. So don’t worry if any cell turned cancer because of her late delivery. Other than that, there is nothing more a RBC like her can do because sometimes it gets tiring if she always stumbles into some trap but escapes in time. Uh huh. Another luckiest cell in the body for living that long and avoiding death by the skin of her teeth always. On a side note, it is unfortunate that her junior, NT 4201 is also as forgettable. I assumed she would get more of the spotlight here but she’s just another nameless RBC at this point to me. Yeah, had to refer back to my previous blog just to recall her identification number-cum-name.

On a trivial note, I noticed that this season does not spam all the texts on the screen. At least for the version that I am watching. This is good since the subtitles will not clutter all over the screen, turning the scene into one messy sprawling alphabet text soup. Haha… I know since the first episode I saw had those boxes but left untranslated. Then I suppose they realize English speaking weeabos might not be able to read it at all so they removed it entirely so we can have a clearer view to look. Yeah…

New casts joining this season include Saori Hayami as Regulatory T Cell, Yuko Kaida as Megakaryocyte and Yuusuke Kobayashi as cell boy (Subaru in Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu). And WTF?! The 4 LAB each had their own seiyuu?! Rie Takahashi, Yurika Kubo, Natsumi Fujiwara and Yuuri Yoshida. But they all just cutely went “Nyuu!~ Nyuu!~”. Kawaii. Can’t tell the difference anyway. This season’s opener by the same whole bunch of cells is as lively as the previous season. Go! Go! Saibou Fiesta perhaps lives up to its name since it still sounds like a song that intends to make this show for little children to watch. Claris who did the ending theme for the first season also reprise their role this season. This time with Fight, it’s another upbeat piece but it somewhat reminds me like a Christmas song because of those bell sound effects in the background music accompaniment.

Overall, the second season is still an enjoyable watch especially if you love the first season. It retains the same overall fun and edutainment feel like the first one although I have this feeling that this season is shorter and lacking some other non-life threatening health and body issues (say, conjunctivitis, diarrhoea and headaches) only because they might make another season of it. But I don’t even need to wait for that to happen because the sad truth is I will have already forgotten all that has been taught in the first and second season by that time. Uh oh. What the heck is the Peyer’s Patch again? Or cytokines? I need more brain cells, that’s for sure. Oh sh*t. Don’t tell me I’ve got Alzheimer!!!

Thank goodness that isn’t as tough to spell (and pronounce) as pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Yes people. That’s a valid English word for a lung disease!!! F*ck this sh*t, my brain cells have already died when I finish spelling out this word!!!

Akudama Drive

11 April, 2021

Imagine if you want to pull off an almost impossible task. So you need to recruit a few specialists for the job. Not just any ordinary specialist but super criminals! Oh well, if this heist job sounds too American and Hollywood-esque for you, perhaps it is. Akudama Drive is set in a cybernetic steampunk dystopian future whereby a group of strange criminals are curiously recruited for a heist job. They have to complete the job or the death penalty awaits them! Hey, either you try or you die trying. Wait. Is this like Suicide Squad + Ronin + Ocean’s Eleven or something? Yeah, this dangerous cocktail is going to be explosive!

Episode 1
Must be a bad day for this girl. Trying to help a cat from being squashed, almost caused an accident. Tried to return a coin dropped by a courier guy, he doesn’t want it. No money to pay for food, granny calls the police. And now she is arrested and detained. Trying to plead her case to the police that she had money, however because she argues that coin doesn’t belong to her and that’s why she can’t pay with it, the police labels her a swindler and that’s a criminal offence. Meanwhile we see that courier guy delivering a package to warring gangs. Boom! Some brawler fighting off all the mini robo cops. No metal junk can stop him. A hacker boy hacks his way into central bank. Too easy. A sexy doctor operates a heart attack patient in the middle of a train! Everybody else dies! All these are hardened criminals known as Akudama and each receive a message from a mysterious sender to save a cutthroat killer from today’s execution. 100 million yen reward awaits. So we see the mad chaotic dash as they try to outdo each other. Yeah, the police HQ is like their playground. And WTF Swindler girl just waltzed into the toughest Akudama confrontation all because she still wants to save that cat?! They think she is also after the reward and want to kill her first. Less men, more share. However a giant robo tank busts in to kill them. This causes the underground prison to collapse. All prisoners dead except for some hoodlum dude. He heard about this reward and also wants in. The police chief tries to hasten the execution but here comes the pandemonium. Yeah, I guess everybody else died from all the messy destruction. Eventually when everybody ‘cooperates’ to take down the tank, the police chief starts ranting but is decapitated by the cutthroat killer. Courier guy hands him the stuffs he is supposed to deliver. Cutthroat dude then puts a ring around everyone’s neck. Oh, don’t forcefully take it off. Because a panicky policeman tries to do so and his head explodes into a red fountain! Why is he doing this? Dunno. Because the true mastermind is the cat! Yeah, everyone’s here now.

Episode 2
Cat reveals this first phase is to test them of their abilities. It proves they’re good for the next phase. Although Swindler and Hoodlum aren’t taken account in the plan, they are still alive and this proves they are good enough to join in. Cat has deposited the reward in their account for this successful mission and the next mission is to attack the Shinkansen. The reward is a billion yen. Since the police is coming, they’ll have to switch locations to talk in detail. Hence they hijack a bus and crash into the hotel. A brief history about the war between Kanto and Kansai. The latter lost and almost collapsed but the former helped rebuild it, hence Kansai forever grateful to Kanto. Cat resumes explanation of the Shinkansen mission. Shinkansen is the only passage joining Kansai and Kanto since goods from Kyushu Plant are transported from there. Their job is to steal a cargo on it. Its contents they need not know. As it will stop at the Kansai station for 20 minutes, this is their only chance to infiltrate it. Safe to say, Shinkansen is like an impregnable fortress, the reason Cat needs all their vast and varied abilities and work together to pull this off. Hope this is the end of the explanation because here comes the Kansai Execution Department, Akudama pro executioners here to kill them all! Master and Pupil drop in to fight the Akudama group. After all that formidable fight, Courier uses his bike to just blast everything off?! Okay. It bought time for their escape. Akudama regroups and you bet Swindler and Hoodlum are so amazed they somehow survived all that mayhem. I guess everybody is in for the job because those who declined, Cat was ready to blow their head off! Oh Swindler, you’re in for the ride.

Episode 3
Cat explains more in detail about the infiltration of the Shinkansen. Basically there is an elevator that takes you all the way up to it. However there are 2 buttons located at 2 different places that must be pushed at the same time for it to work. Hence they are split into teams for this task. Also, they can’t kill anybody because if the system detects vitals of the staffs dead, everything will go into emergency. Hacking isn’t magic so not everything can be done via that. We take a detour with another video explaining the powers of the Execution Department who are specialized in hunting down Akudama. Then it’s off to the infiltration mission. Getting past the station guards and doing some mini hacking are the easy parts. Now they have to head towards the buttons and press it at the same time. All they have is a synchronized timer. Have faith in each other. So we see them trying to get past the last mile security protecting the buttons at nail biting tension before pulling off the task at the exact time. Phew. Before the Shinkansen, they activate a device that disables the electromagnetic barrier. This causes the entire Kansai to blackout. This causes the system to go into emergency mode and the Shinkansen will depart in a shortened time. The blackout has also affected Hacker’s hacking. It is his role to get into the cargo that will be loaded into the Shinkansen. Unregistered cargoes will be zapped to dust. However as the weight is the only variable not overwritten, somebody who weighs less than him has to go. That’s you, Swindler. Inside, she manages to use all her might to open the front door to let all the others in. Just in the nick of time before the Shinkansen departs and electricity resumes for Kansai. Phew. And all those were the easiest parts. Now for the hard part…

Episode 4
Akudama have 10 minutes to reach the vault before Shinkansen enters the Absolute Quarantine Zone (AQZ). It would be easy if it is that straightforward but looks like Master and Pupil managed to catch on the ride. So we see the Akudama fight the Executioners while Hacker tries to hack through all the doors with increasing difficulty. Time is running out. When they enter the passenger carriage, they never knew Shinkansen could carry people. This gives hope to Hacker that he can get to Kanto but Cat throws cold water on it that it is no utopia he imagines. Although Shinkansen passes through AQZ, everyone is still alive. Cat explains that what lies ahead is the Decontamination Zone. During the war when Kanto bombed Kansai, that area became contaminated. Hence it is sealed off via this Decontamination Zone and any organic thing that passes through it will be vaporized. This means even if they manage to get to the vault, they cannot escape outside. But seeing Cat phrased it oddly that they still have a chance if they finish before then, Hacker continues to hack until the security carriage. Using it to blast a hole between the carriages, once all the Akudama are on the same side, Doctor uses a potion to seal up the hole. The final lock to the vault needs a special seal. Cat then disintegrates because inside it is that seal. Using it to unlock the vault, the gang is shocked to see a pair of children inside it. The little sister blows her flute that provides protection when Shinkansen enters the Decontamination Zone. The brother sounds familiar because he was the one who controlled Cat.

Episode 5
Now that the job’s done, Brawler wants to go back and fight the Executioners. On the contrary, Cat says the job is not done yet as they have yet to deliver him to a place in Kansai. However Hacker doesn’t want to continue and remain on his journey to Kanto. Seems he has hacked the collar and is now free. Even if there is a slight hope for the better in Kanto, he is going. Swindler is very against him leaving the team so he gives her a drone of his. She promises to return it to him one day. As the Akudama team rests outside an abandoned zone near AQZ, Doctor confronts Cat and wants to know his identity. Because they are to deliver kids, this changes everything. Cat can double the pay but Doctor claims this isn’t about the money anymore as proven by Brawler and Hacker, the reason why they take on this mission. Swindler defends the kids and changes the narrative to make her sound like a bully. She backs down so Cat tells them the coordinates to Courier that they are to be delivered to an Expo Park. For now, they rest and eat. Thanks to a special container made by Professor that makes your food wishes come true by turning air and water molecules into that, I thought this sci-fi technology feels like crap but even more so it can also materialize a bottle of wine and glass?! Are those edible?! Executioner’s Boss got hauled up by the higher ups and is blamed for her failure. She then goes to talk to Master and Pupil who are recuperating in hospital. Thanks to the recovery team recovering them in time, they could’ve turned into dust. She points out they obviously failed. Furthermore, Akudama are still alive and have stolen the cargo. This is the biggest blunder since their inception and will be taking orders directly from Kanto. This failure means both of them are suspended and they should be thankful they get to keep their lives. Soon, Boss announces to all Executioners to search and destroy the Akudama. Pupil is not satisfied with this and wants to take things into her own hands. But Master is no longer in his bed. Courier takes the gang through some sewers from the north side as it is the shortest way to Expo Park. But waiting for them there is Master.

Episode 6
Wow. Did Brawler go down just like that?! Master then slices Doctor’s body in half! This guy is on a killing streak! He stops Courier trying to speed away with the kids. He kicks everyone’s ass but when he is about to kill Swindler, Cutthroat did the unthinkable as he cuts off his own legs (he was trapped under a rubble) just to go save her. Yeah, he still can jump around, though. But more jaw dropping stuffs Cutthroat did as he uses Cat as the shield and stabs through just the get Master! Swindler is in despair but soon it turns out Cat has regenerative abilities. This is must be why Kanto wants him. Nobody’s dead yet as Doctor has sewn herself back and Cutthroat’s legs too. When Brawler gets back up in action, everyone else escapes, leaving them to face off. So I guess Master just f*cks it all and goes to have a fist fight with Brawler. Much more fun this way, right? Pupil sees Boss in her attempt to find Master’s whereabouts. Boss tells her the reason why she changed the system into a two-man system. Previously the casualty rate for Executioners were has high as 80%. It makes them no different than Akudama. But with this pairing system, they start to treasure life and the casualty rate reduced to 30%. So Master’s actions means that he is prepared to die. Pupil is given the coordinates to ascertain herself of Master’s will. By the time she arrives, Master and Brawler have both taken out each other. Just in the nick of time, Master passes on his baton to her and, uhm, passes on. Oh, look who is back to mourn Brawler’s death. You mean Brawler’s dead???!!!! Anyway, Hoodlum is so mad his bro is dead, he attacks Pupil who is still in shock. Meanwhile as the rest have reached their destination, Swindler slaps Cutthroat for using Cat as a shield despite he clearly only wants to protect her. Everything else is not important to him. Cat finally finds the switch that opens a secret entrance to an underground city. Looks like Pupil is back in hospital. But this time she is left with a ‘gift’. One side of her face hideously disfigured from the attack.

Episode 7
Hoodlum arrives in time to brag and lie how he killed Pupil and didn’t get a scratch. But when asked where Brawler is, he becomes sullen, revealing he died with Master. He gets mad when Cat thinks nothing of his death but killing or torturing this kid will not do. It won’t bring Brawler back. Inside this underground city is an Expo Park. It was buried during the war and it looks like they tried to preserve it. Cat’s target is this rocket that will take the siblings to the moon. They intend to go and live there where nobody can reach them. Hey, they’re immortal, right? They have to do as they are shouldering the lives of 5,555 siblings. Cue for their flashback. Back when Cat was known as experiment #2502, every day he was experimented on. But he got used to it. At the end of the day, he is glad to return to his other ‘siblings’ in the gym hall. Professor is actually a black cat and an AI tasked to educate and watch over them. The siblings want to take it to Headmaster to stop the experiments but #2502 is okay with that. As long as the rest don’t get experimented on. One day the experiment is called a success. #2502 returned to the gym only to find everyone else missing. Headmaster proclaims him as a successful immortal and can now offer him to Kansai. The dark truth is revealed as his siblings are actually already dead. You see, #2502 was created from the lives of other 2,501 children. Professor didn’t tell him so as to maintain his sanity. From this pool, Headmaster is confident he can create another immortal child for offering. That child is #5557 and #2502 vows to protect this sister of his. Once they were put on Shinkansen, Professor disconnects himself. But #2502 gets this idea to reanimate the corpse and plan their escape. The rest is history. Now that the Akudama have completed their jobs, Cat transfers their reward and releases the collar. Just as the siblings are about to board the rocket, Doctor cuts Sister’s throat. Of course she can’t die. Doctor also restrains Cat. What is the meaning of this? She is actually working with Boss! With the Executioners surrounding the place, they are going to execute all the Akudama. As promised for Doctor’s cooperation, Boss will take her off the Akudama wanted list. Cat is left distraught when Boss tells him that there is no moon as the war decimated it! Because Doctor tries to kill Swindler for protecting Sister, Cutthroat jumps in. Time to let blood spill. But Cutthroat has his hands full slicing all the Executioners trying to kill him. Cat saves Sister and Swindler by pushing them into the rocket as it finally lifts off while he himself gets pinned down by the Executioners.

Episode 8
Oh sh*t! Rocket out of fuel!!! A rough landing but they survive. Swindler is fine but sees Sister pinned down by a slab and bleeding. Hey, she’s immortal too, right? Tools for leverage + great determination = that’s what got Sister out. Meanwhile the higher ups despite are happy their offering is safe, still blames Boss for being incompetent as the Akudama still live. She is ordered to kill all of them or else. No more chances. Boss then calls Pupil. He has assigned a new newbie as her partner. Pupil declines needing another partner and will kill all the Akudama herself. Boss chides her for clinging on to the past and having a death wish but Pupil is indifferent. Doctor discovers the mystery of Cat’s regenerating cell and is very interested to know more. Swindler and Sister are back in the city. Welcome home? Swindler has all the money now, right? She is going to buy lots of takoyaki for Sister but the moment she stamps her stamp, wanted signs of her pop out everywhere. Oh sh*t. Run! Hoodlum knows he is a wanted man too and can’t return to his normal life. He is about to try some drug to ‘escape’ but looks like Doctor is here. Hoodlum gets pinned down but manages to weasel his way out, claiming he knows where Cat is. He pinned a tracker on him then and looks like he is held at a facility of the Executioners. Doctor forces him to cooperate with her to take her there. Swindler and Sister seek refuge in a garbage treatment plant. Is this abandoned? But there are canned foods all around? Whatever. Eat up! Swindler cuts her hair short to change her image. With Sister crying and pining over her brother, looks like baddies who used this place as their place come in. They think of selling them especially Sister who could be worth a lot. Otherwise, just kill them. When they rough up Sister, Swindler has to think fast to protect her. Using a canned food to kill one of them, she then pleads she has value as a virgin and would strip to prove it. Stupid horny guy waits and didn’t expect her to stab her hidden knife in him. Last guy fires but she shoots back. On target! One of them still alive and going to kill her. Out of bullets? Courier kills him. After things settle down, Courier says he is here to deliver this little sack to Sister. Cat entrusted it to him back at Expo Park before he got captured. So his job finally done? Swindler wants him to take them to where Cat is. She can pay him all her money. Too bad, he’s already a billionaire too. But Swindler is still adamant in bringing Sister to her brother. This is what she has left and nowhere to run. Oh well, change of heart for Courier. Hop on. Before we forget about Cutthroat, he is still alive and still looking for his angel.

Episode 9
Wow. Courier is a great cook too. Anyway, he wants to know Swindler’s plans. Hate to pour cold water on it but since she is an Akudama now, her whatever privileges won’t work. He has her think hard. So if she’s going to find Cat, she’ll have to break into the Executioners’ HQ to get her answers. Sure, it’s dangerous but so what? They’re Akudama. Meanwhile Hoodlum probably had the most confusing sex with Doctor. He wonders why she wants to get immortality since she herself is pretty much an immortal. She brushes off that nonsense because her true goal is total control. The only thing life cannot control is death. She has tried to do so but failed. After seeing the regenerating DNA of those siblings, it ignites her passion to control everything that is life and death. Suddenly outside there is a civil unrest. The people taking the law into their own hands and executing any criminals in public they find. This stems from a minor message posted by Swindler claiming she will assemble the Akudama and conquer Kansai. She didn’t mean for this unrest to grow so big but oh well, this stoke the fear in the people and with many of the Executioners away, their HQ has less personnel. They easily barge into the HQ and manage to get info that looks like Cat will be flown away to another station in 30 minutes. Have to get to the roof. However, they stumble into a room where Cutthroat has piled on bodies as Swindler’s birthday present! Mad killer so happy she is here for him because he wants to kill her now! But he is also in a dilemma to do so because he wants to wait till her red halo grows big. What halo? Seems some red ring has been growing atop her head ever since and the bigger, the redder, the more beautiful it is. This is the reason why he can find her anywhere. Swindler runs away from him. But can she hide? I mean, he can track her, you know. Hiding in the stall won’t do her any good. Because, here’s Johnny! Until she hides in the weapon vault and Swindler tricks her to open up on pretence he wants to be her friend and promises not to kill her. Of course she didn’t buy into that lie as she stabs all the weapons into him until he can’t so no red anymore but pitch black darkness. End of the road? But can she make it in time to the roof? Even with Courier’s skills, looks like the helicopter has just flown off.

Episode 10
The riots are getting out of hand as the people are taking the law into their own hands. Their hatred soared when Cutthroat went on a killing spree previously to support Swindler’s ruse. Yeah, the people are even storming the police station to call for their heads. I mean, they can’t even protect them so what’s the use? Hence Boss is trying to convince the cowardly police chief to declare those involve in the insurgent as Akudama. As Executioners cannot simply brand people as Akudama and only the police has that right, this means the civilians will now turn into Akudama whom the Executioners can kill. Do it for justice! And with that, lots of civilian Akudama blood will be spilling tonight. Lucky for Courier too. Because Kansai is blockaded by civilian barricades and with them rebranded as Akudama, they’re all dead. Easy for Courier to continue chasing the helicopter making its way to Shinkansen. Oh, Pupil and Newbie putting Cat back in the vault. Back to square one. Not only Courier is here but Doctor too. She puts a string into Newbie’s heart and one yank will pull it out. As she is not an Akudama, they cannot kill her. She forces Pupil to go get Cat for her. She also has Hoodlum hold Swindler as hostage and has taught him how to cut the carotid. This means he is faster before Courier can pull his trigger. Swindler knows Hoodlum doesn’t want to do this but this is the only way to survive. She chastises him for going back to a wimp when he was brave when Brawler was around. He was the only one who believed him as a badass bro. So don’t go back being that wimp! Hoodlum decides not to listen to Doctor anymore. Courier shoots the knife off his hands but gets sprayed into paralysis by Doctor. Doctor is disappointed how useless Hoodlum is as she reveals she was the primary source of Brawler’s death. She stitched him up enough so she can open his wounds again. After all, he is the one posing the most threat to her since he is immune to her poisons. Thus his fight with Master was due to blood loss rather than injuries. Doctor orders Pupil to kill the Akudama as she revels that all lives are in her hands. Suddenly the crowd rushes in, wanting to get away via Shinkansen. This unplanned distraction causes Doctor to trip and Hoodlum to stab his knife into her carotid. Although she slits his throat, Hoodlum dies a manly death. Pupil is worried that Newbie is going to die after that yanking. She remembers Master’s words for her to live so she focuses on saving her partner. As the vault gets loaded into Shinkansen, Courier takes Swindler and Cat into the train. With the people rushing on board, they trample all over Doctor who couldn’t do her own life saving miracle surgery. I guess that’s it for the b*tch. All aboard to Kanto!

Episode 11
Newbie is recuperating. Pupil updates him on what happened but he is shocked to learn innocent people getting killed after being rebranded as Akudama. But thanks to that, law and order returned. This makes Newbie confused because what makes someone an Akudama? We see Swindler living her normal life. It gets weird with a few changing scenes especially different scenarios of meeting Courier. A bit on Courier’s past too. When he was a kid, he completed his delivery perfectly and was given a coin as a tip. He returned home to find his mom dead and the perpetrator blew off his hand! Then something about the Butterfly Dream whereby they can live in happiness and enjoy all your fondest memories whenever you want. Everything then returns back to normal as Swindler and Courier realize they are still on the Shinkansen. Hacker’s drone comes to live as he communicates with them. He reveals the Decontamination Zone is a brainwashing programme. Those who come to Kanto will be separated from their mind and mind and that programme does the job. Both of them were in it. Thanks to the coin that linked them together and Hacker’s amazing skills, he was able to snap them out. Now, this is the real Kanto: A place of floating debris amidst nothingness. Actually, this quantum super computer is actually Kanto itself. After the war, those who came to live at Kanto got their minds converted into data, hence this vessel to hold it. The ultimate utopia so to speak. Hacker as we know, protected his mind before being taken by Kanto, that’s why he is able to maintain his form.

Throughout the years, there will be wear and tear. To combat the deterioration, Kanto experimented on the siblings for immortality. Yeah, just look a bit upwards and you’ll see them there. Their job is to become the new and immortal vessel for Kanto. Right now the data is being transferred and will be completed soon. Swindler is upset the siblings were born for this and never had a choice in life. She tries to save them but I guess the defence mechanism is strong. Sure, Swindler will try as much as she wants even if it costs her life but that won’t do the siblings any good at this rate. Don’t worry, Hacker can do something from the inside. Although the chance is close to zero, it still isn’t zero. He is helping her as thanks and of course, he is bored. Hacker starts hacking but the great firewall’s defence is too much as he takes some damage. Eventually he manages to break through and Swindler saves them. I wonder if Kanto suffered and loss of data from that interruption. Like we care. The siblings regain consciousness and are happy to be together. Before Hacker dies from all the digital injury, he gives Swindler coordinates of some gift for the afterlife. Supposedly a mystical place nobody heard about that is perfect for them. So I guess that place is in Kansai? Okay. All aboard and back to Kansai. And I suppose this is Courier’s next job to send them there. As Shinkansen arrives back in Kansai, the Executioners blow up the entire train.

Episode 12
Everyone is still very much alive. Swindler just having a broken leg. Sister very upset about it but Swindler assures she won’t get killed by just losing a leg. Mind boggling, Courier’s bike is unscratched but his hand is injured. How the? With drones looking for them, Cat thinks it is only time before they get caught and wants to give up. However Sister refuses to give up seeing what everyone has done for them. Hence Swindler returns the coin to Courier and wants him to take the kids to Shikoku. This coin might have made her life miserable but it could change the life of others. So what are we waiting for? Let’s go! However Swindler will stay back to distract the Executioners. Oh Sister, don’t waste it all by wanting to stay with her. She tells her they must see through this promise to escape together. Swindler appears before the Executioners, pleading she is an innocent and ordinary person that got caught in the blast. However the Executioners know she is an Akudama and kill her. Uhm, so no trump card? Okay. Swindler’s dead. At least she died smiling. With the road blocks everywhere, Courier is cornered back to the police HQ. Damn, this guy can still kick ass despite the odds against him. Of course it is only a matter of time he gets injured from the fight. When a stray girl walks into the scene, Newbie tries to get her away but she shoots him! She claims the Executioners killed her parents. Suddenly all the citizens rise up to fight back against the Executioners. You see, Swindler has set up and recorded herself being killed. She made it look like the Executioners killed an ordinary person. Damn, I never knew she has such good hacking skills. Anyway, the people fear that this is the true nature of the Executioners and that they will be next. Abuse of power! Rise up! Boss wants the police chief to label all of them as Executioners but looks like he has had it. He shoots himself! Damn, Courier’s bike got a railgun so powerful to take down a huge tower? Well, it’s their spring and ticket out of this commotion. Courier rides far enough. He tells the kids to walk pass the mountains. Knowing he has not much time left, he goes to stall the combat drones. Damn again, this guy can still kick ass and do so much with his bike! Not sure why Swindler set up some timer because when the countdown is done, all energy blacks out. This allows Courier to fire his final railgun at the final drone chasing after the siblings. Boom! I’m sure he could’ve done that without this distraction too. Oh well, it was good till the last drop. RIP, Courier. The siblings walk across the mountains and into the tunnel towards Shikoku.

Once Upon A Time In Kanto & Kansai
Is there life beyond Shikoku? Well, only the siblings will know. Having them escape was the biggest middle finger the Akudama especially Swindler gave as the final gift to the Executioners. Double down all that as she made them the biggest Akudama ever. They’re nothing without the trust of the people. So who knows what happens to everyone in Kansai but I guess it has gotten from one sh*thole into a hellhole. Yeah, the siblings walking towards utopia while leaving Kansai in an explosive mess, feels like that one big movie cliché of walking away coolly while the explosion explodes behind you. Though the ending leaves me with mixed feelings and I wanted more out of it, after all that I have seen, I think it is still satisfactory. They as the only survivors assuming everyone in Kansai killed each other in that riot.

If you look at the story generally, it may not be the most mind blowing plot there is. Fortunately, it was enough to hold my attention. It is one of the very few animes of the season that could hold my attention and interest for every second of every episode! Yes, I actually can’t wait and look forward to know what will happen in the next episode. I don’t know about you naysayers who probably have very high standards, but if this anime is good enough to make me feel that way, then overall it is definitely a good anime in my books.

They keep the intrigue at a few levels to maintain the flow of the story. Like at first, when the Akudama were assembled, you will be kept wondering and guessing what is in the vault and the ‘package’ that they were about to steal. And when that was already revealed, this is followed by the mystery of where the ‘package’ wants to be headed next. When that didn’t technically work out, the secrets and real truth of the ‘package’ revealed and the ultimate mystery that anyone would ask: What/Where is Kanto. Honestly, the plot twist or revelation did not shock me so much since I was expecting something of that sort. But the story flow kept me intrigued and glued to my screen and I was so absorbed watching every second of the episode to further think about it. Sure, I could have done it after finishing the episode, but I guess I didn’t want to spoil myself with stupid conspiracy theories and diminish my seemingly high expectations of the story. Yeah. Good for me. I was not disappointed.

Perhaps one reason for all that is because I am not really a fan of or rather I do not watch many of those American Hollywood sci-fi thriller films. This original series was written by the producers who mentioned they were greatly and heavily influenced by that genre like Blade Runner and Quentin Tarantino’s works. It is pretty evident that some of the episode titles (if not all) are named after cult Hollywood sci-fi thriller movies. From Se7ven to Reservoir Dogs to Black Rain, heck they even got The Shining and its iconic reference cameoed here! Had this had more episodes, I’m sure they would’ve added Total Recall as a flashback episode! HAHAHA! I think how true that would be! Therefore there might be other cool references that I may have missed out or did not get. But that did not prevent me from enjoying every bit of this series. Oh, sounds am I repeating myself now, huh?

Aside the story, the cast of characters are intriguing. All of them have their pros and cons but they are generally satisfying, playing out their roles quite satisfactorily. You’ll love some of them, you’ll loath some of them. I don’t really have a favourite character here in particular but if I have to point out the most despicable one, it had to be Doctor. She is very manipulative and cunning. She is far worse than Cutthroat who is just a crazy serial killer and Brawler who is just some brawny guy who is happy as long as he can fight. But that is what makes her character stands out the most since she has her own agenda and feels even more aloof from the group of Akudama compared to Courier. I mean, you see her play the double agent and betray her fellow Akudama, right? Well, then again, these are criminals so something like this sort is expected. No honour among thieves, huh? Can’t blame Doctor for being selfish and wanting to become God of life and death but the way she manipulates into getting what she wants, I guess hers is the only death whom I did not sympathize for. She got what she deserved.

Hoodlum feels so out of place and it feels like he is to fill in some joker and comic relief role. This guy tells some big lies and could’ve been a swindler but I guess we don’t want overlapping characters and names to further confuse us. Ironically or not, Hoodlum despite being a small time crook and coward, has more honour than Doctor and that is mainly thanks to unofficially becoming bros with Brawler. After all that big talk and no action, at least he went out like a man. That one small and short moment of redemption was enough to turn him into a cool character. Hacker who has been missing for almost the second half of the episode, his penultimate reappearance felt like plot convenience but I guess he is the final trump card needed to save the siblings. Courier, for a guy who mostly don’t want to get into troublesome stuffs, he is quite obliging. I mean, he doesn’t necessarily needs to take up the job but eventually he gives in. All you need to do is just push him a little and he’ll do the job for you. He says don’t get emotions mixed up with work but I wonder if he decided to take on the job because of that. Sure, his taciturn and poker face make it less obvious but he is still human.

Swindler feels like the luckiest person (ironically, she is labelled as Ordinary Person in the credits although that is actually what she is in her entirety). For her to accidentally get involved with the Akudama, be branded as one and then survived from one sh*thole to another, if that is not the luck of a main character, I don’t know what is. She may not be a real swindler but seeing that no one really believes that she is not, you could say that she played her role perfectly whether or not she was conscious in being one. After all, with her ordinary life in tatters, what else has she got to lose? That’s why she goes to great lengths to save the siblings and bring them to the sanctuary they need. And you can ironically say she lived her live to the fullest and fulfilled her destiny especially when she became an Akudama.

Something about Cat initially bothered me. I was just wondering how he could manage to contact the Akudama and get them to do this job all within a short span of time. From the flashback, the siblings were put on Shinkansen right after the experiment’s success. From that instant he hatched his plan for their escape. It boggles my mind how he knows when and where to do stuffs. Like as though his mind is a super computer itself. I think he also has got some hacking skills because how the heck can he get 100 million reward to the Akudama after their first successful mission? Where did he get the money? Or is it all just digital? They’re just numbers, right? So assuming if Cat was such a great hacker, how come he doesn’t hack his way out of the Shinkansen and need outside party to do the job for him?

I don’t remember if they teach him about life in Kansai but he sure is knowledgeable about how things work once he got onto Shinkansen to hatch his plan. Also, I am wondering if Cat and Sister whose bodies are to be used as the new data storage vessel, their body is organic or at least most of it, will the transferred data be compatible?! Even so, is there a limit to how much data can be stored in them? Even if their bodies regenerate, certainly it cannot hold unlimited data, right? Will it explode if you force more data into their bodies? Just a thought. I’m not really into sci-fi so forgive me for asking stupid questions.

The Executioners are no different than the Akudama themselves. It all boils down to what constitute to justice. Both are on the different sides of the same coin. So far we don’t see them abusing their power but as seen from Boss did to quell the uprising of the citizens, call it sneaky but it falls under the definition and jurisdiction of the Executioners so they’re just doing their job. Pupil gets the biggest character change among all the characters. After the death of Master, it’s like she instantly grew up. No more the naïve apprentice who makes tons of mistakes that she was. Feels like a vicious cycle of life not only for her but those whose lives got tremendously affected in such a way (like Courier?). Cycle repeats itself now she has her own naïve apprentice and he too gets to learn the darker side of life. Sad. Too bad he didn’t live long enough to become hard boiled. So you either surrender your freedom for peace and security or you risk your life and go against law and order for liberty and free will. Or people’s revolution!

There are some cool and violent action scenes here. They don’t disappoint but some scenes may get very gory and bloody like head decapitation so obviously it is censored out with those ungodly black filters. Not sure if you buy the DVD version, the censors will be gone. When you have sadistic serial killer like Cutthroat in your groupie, expect heads and limbs to fly. Yeah, he really lives up to the idiom of painting the town red! Surprisingly Courier has the widest abilities among the characters. Hacker on hacks, nothing else. Brawler only brawls, nothing else, Cutthroat only kills, nothing else. You get the idea. Riding his job to deliver might be his primary job, but he has other secondary skills like he can fight and shoot a gun. After all, he needs to defend himself if he is to get his job done. No wonder his success rate is 100%. Oh, he is a good cook too? Who knows? He might surprise us that he is a good video game player too! Nah. Just kidding. Maybe. So yeah, seeing Courier having a wide range of arsenal especially his bike equipped with helluva stuffs, no wonder he can pull off badass epic moves compared to other Akudama. I guess that is why he is called Courier. He not only delivers but carries as well.

If you’re looking for aesthetics, this anime is for you since it has all the creative and weirdly designs and visuals that you’ll need for a cybernetic steampunk dystopia. They’re quite cool and creative to look at. Also, if you find the characters look strikingly familiar to the Danganronpa series (most obviously Hacker and Fujisaki), well, the character were designed by the guy who created that series. Well, no Monokuma here. Or did he appear as an Easter egg? I didn’t spot them anyway. On a side note, I don’t like Swindler cutting her hair short. I still prefer her looks with long hair. This anime is done by the veteran Studio Pierrot who brought to you lots of classic titles like Naruto, Bleach, Black Clover, Tokyo Ghoul, Kingdom and Beelzebub.

Voice acting, I recognized Megumi Ogata as Doctor and Takahiro Sakurai as Cutthroat. I thought Swindler sounded familiar. Until she made that sarcastic tone of hers. Aha. Tomoyo Kurosawa. Hibike! Euphonium’s Hibike and Houseki No Kuni’s Phos. Yuichiro Umehara in this trademark voice of his, I wonder if this is Goblin Slayer in an alternate dystopian reality. The other casts are Maaya Uchida as Cat (Rikka in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Shunsuke Takeuchi as Brawler (Seba in W’z), Subaru Kimura as Hoodlum (Terasaka in Ansatsu Kyoushitsu), Shun Horie as Hacker (Kazuya in Kanojo Okarishimasu), Kana Ichinose as Sister (Marlya in Fairy Gone), Akio Ohtsuka as Master (All For One in Boku No Hero Academia), Yumiri Hanamori as Pupil (Nadeshiko in Yuru Camp) and Yoshiko Sakakibara as Boss (Paulklee in Gangsta).

The opening theme is Steal by Spark! Sound Show! This hip hop rock style isn’t my cup of tea but it sure fits the series like a glove. The wildness, the madness, everything fits so perfectly with the theme of this series. Even the opening credits itself is filled with lots of weird visuals, sometimes making me think that it is like one big and short LSD trip. Note, I have never taken drugs in my life before so of course I’m just speculating. As for the ending theme, Ready by Urashimasakatasen plays to a slower beat. Feels a bit out of place after all that insanity and fast paced. Yeah, it makes the song feel so gay! If you know that ending theme from Bleach, Kansha, this song sounds pretty much like that. At least that is what it reminds me of when I first heard this piece. I wonder if it is some sort of spiritual successor or something.

Overall, I really love this anime for all its high octane mad action, flashy and spectacular stylish visuals, the very intriguing story and its flow as well as the myriad of interesting characters. Might not be one of the very best masterpieces that would occupy my top spot (Shingeki No Kyojin, anyone like to dispute that with me?) but it is still certainly amazing and awesome in its own right. Indeed a breath of fresh air for me who has been watching a lot of ecchi high school slapstick comedies as my main staple of anime diet. Though, it still doesn’t make me a big lover of such sci-fi genres because I’m still hesitant of picking up Psycho-Pass. Yeah… Oh, how many seasons and films does it already have? So yeah, I’d probably love this genre if it’s this short and sweet. Make that a bombardment of sweetness! The sugar rush was definitely worth it. Thanks for the wild drive and ride!

This Love Live franchise still going strong? Oh, I’m not really an idol fan so I wasn’t keeping up. So yeah, apparently it is still going strong so much so we have another spinoff. So which school again needs to be saved from closing down? Uhm… What did you say? You mean there is no school this time that is facing any closure due to lack of enrolment and hence the need to form an idol unit to increase the school’s popularity? So then, what’s the point of Love Live! Nijigasaki Gakuen School Idol Doukoukai then? Oh, I see. It’s just about a group of girls coming together to form an idol club and live out their dreams of becoming an idol. I don’t know, doesn’t that sound pretty boring and generic? At least from how far this franchise has come? Oh gee. Well then. At least no immense pressure to save the school by winning the coveted idol title.

Episode 1
Ayumu Uehara and Yuu Takasaki are hanging out at the mall when they see a lone idol, Setsuna Yuuki performing. You bet they are enthralled by her performance. They are interested to know more about her and the poster says she is from Nijigasaki’s school idol club. Hey, that’s their school too! Next day, Yuu is pretty enthusiastic and wanting to go meet Setsuna and even wanting to join the club. Yeah, she watched a ton of idol videos last night and she’s hooked. Ayumu isn’t so sure but tags along. However it’s hard to find the club and nobody knows where it is. With a school looking like a shopping complex having over hundred clubs, that’s why. Then they stop to ask Rina Tennoji but she’s too shy So Ai Miyashita points out where it is. Why has nobody heard of it? Simple. It was only formed this year. When they finally get to the club, the student council president, Nana Nakagawa (creep, she knows all of her students’ names!) tells them that this club is no more because it has just disbanded. SAY WHAT?! And we see all the idol club members here and there being dejected. Ayumu and Yuu are also sad. They felt something could’ve begun but oh well, time to resume their normal lives. Until Ayumu then reveals that she too watched a ton of idol videos and was taken in by it. She suggests creating their own school idol club. She was hesitant because of the fear of getting too emotional and scared. To prove how much she loves idols, Ayumu starts dancing and singing. Damn, it’s like she’s a pro and has her own music video to boot! You convinced now? Let’s see through this dream together!

Episode 2
Kasumi Nakasu sneaks into Nana’s room to search for the idol club’s sign. She got busted but manages to get what she wants and escapes. However it is wasted effort because that room now belongs to some other club. And she gets an earful from Nana too. Kasumi rues this fate and even more so her drama club pals can’t help out (obviously). Thinking of continuing the club herself and become the president, she hears Ayumu and Yuu wanting to become idols. Hey girls, care to join me? Though, Yuu mentions she doesn’t intend to be one but just support Ayumu. Anyway, Kasumi ropes them in as their goal now is to find a suitable place for their club. Looks like this open park will do. Next, to recruit more members. Kasumi demonstrates how to do a very cute (but embarrassing?) introductory video. She lets Ayumu try but is obviously embarrassed and stiff. Fail. Later they ask why the club got disbanded. Kasumi explains briefly they were doing well after formation but there was a breakdown when they decided to do their debut performance. They couldn’t decide and the club went on hiatus. Especially Kasumi disagreeing about it is not passion that the club needs but cuteness. This has her realize that she may be doing the same thing. So as she bums out and talks to saviour Yuu about this, Ayumu practises her intro alone. Only to be seen by Karin Asaka. Oops. But Karin gives her some good advice and this gives Ayumu some confidence. She then returns to Kasumi to record a truly simple but meaningful intro video. With Yuu adding that it doesn’t matter if everyone has different goals as long they can be the best they can be, I guess Kasumi takes it that she is going to be the cutest anyway. And she’ll create a place like that. Cue for Kasumi to sing her own solo music video. Cute. Meanwhile Karin confronts Nana and returns the directory containing all the Nijigasaki’s student names she ‘borrowed’. She points out she couldn’t find anyone by the name of Setsuna Yuuki. Like as though she does not exist. So how can Nana talk to someone like that and disband the club? Unless Nana is Setsuna herself!

Episode 3
Nana admits that and her ex-clubmates are shocked that she quit and not gone on hiatus as told. But Nana is adamant she has quit being a school idol and Setsuna. If they want to continue, go ahead without her. And so Nana continues her mundane job as student council president. Until she catches Yuu playing the piano unauthorized. Yuu then explains how much she loves idols especially the one named Setsuna. Wow. So passionate. Nana then tells her that the idol club has been disbanded but as long as they have the minimum 5 members, they can come apply again. Nana then explains when Setsuna had to call it quits. At first she started out passionately to strive for Love Live but realized she was only holding back her friends. She realized she was just being selfish. So if this is Nana’s plan to discourage her, well… But we all know Nana is the one suffering inside. So if she was really bent on quitting, why watch her old videos? And for God’s sake, why read those comments… Later Karin reveals to a shocked Kasumi that Nana is Setsuna. Well, if Setsuna wants to quit, just let her do so. The club can continue since they have the numbers, right? Of course everyone wonders if this is okay. Does Setsuna feel that way? Eventually they feel they still need her. So they call for Setsuna AND Nana to meet at the rooftop. Nana is surprised to see Yuu. She claims she wasn’t discouraged. This only triggers Nana as she yells her head off that if she is back in, she’ll just hold everyone back. Wow. So mad. In that case, don’t aim for Love Live! Say what? What Yuu meant was, Love Live is important too. But more important is Setsuna being happy. She is fine if she gets to hear her songs. Oh, it’s okay for her to be selfish too. Don’t regret that. Because with that, Nana decides to come back and to usher the return of Setsuna, here’s her solo music video. Yeah, sing loud enough so that the whole school knows who’s back.

Episode 4
Ai and Rina are so amazed by Setsuna so they decide to join the idol club. The more the merrier. But they don’t know what an idol club does! Don’t worry, not even the idol girls themselves know! Hence they brainstorm for ideas or at least the kind of live performances they want to do. In addition to that, some continue their training like Rina and Kanata Konoe training their bodies to be more flexible if they want to do dancing. Ai gives them some tips since her own body is quite flexible due to her athletic nature and volunteerism in helping other sports clubs. Then there’s a session of Kasumi asking what school idols need. Apparently every answer including ‘I don’t know’ is valid because as long as the fans are happy, any answer is correct answer. I thought she was just trying to get them to brainstorm ideas… Then we see Rina and Ai bonding closer with Setsuna over some favourite anime of theirs. When the girls talk and wonder if they can go out there and perform as solo idols, this has Ai thinking a lot. Will there be something she can do on her own that everyone will enjoy? Unlike sports that have straightforward rules, such rules don’t exist for idols. What kind of path is there for idols? Then a talk with Emma Verde and after her accidental puns and her praising how Ai has brought a lot of smiles to the club than before, Ai realizes she loves it when others have fun. She loves running down uncharted paths with so many unknowns. Yeah, it motivated her so much to sing her own solo music video at the park. She proves her point since everyone is happy with her performance. This motivates the rest that if this is how amazing a solo performance is, imagine what they can do together as a group. Yeah, you do the maths. Next day, Ai is making puns but only Yuu is really laughing hard at them all. Literally, ROFL. LOL…

Episode 5
We get to know a little more about Emma. So she came all the way from Switzerland just to eat Japanese food? That and wanting to be a school idol too. So that doesn’t exist in the Swiss? I suppose singing to her goats whom she considers like her siblings can be thought as idol material. I hope it isn’t yodelling. Emma, Girl of the Alps… Anyway she quickly became friends with Karin and learns she is quite a popular model. With Ayumu’s solo video gaining more views (I guess 2000 over views isn’t that bad), Kasumi hopes the rest can do solo videos to boost their popularity. So as they brainstorm what kind of idols they want to be, the most important thing for an idol is clothes. So Emma has Karin use her connections to get costume and accessories club to do some try-outs. But Emma notices something wrong with Karin. It’s like she’s not happy wanting to be an idol and claims she is busy with her modelling job. This has Emma worried and thinking something is not right. Until she stumbles into Karin’s questionnaire from the modelling agency. Right away she rushes to Karin and ‘forces’ her to hang out with her. Yeah, had a lot of fun, didn’t she? Emma then hands back the questionnaire. Seems Karin wrote she is most interested to become a school idol. Emma is baffled why she acted like she hated idols and bottled up those feelings. This has herself thinking she can’t make everyone feel warm if she can’t even make her best friend feel that way. Of course Karin denies, blaming herself that she did so because she’s supposed to be the cool and mature one. Weird logic, but it’s cue for Emma to blow away that dilemma with her own music video. Alps version. Needless to say, Karin is now motivated to become a school idol. So she has always been a school idol from the start? Always has been… And with that, Karin officially joins the club. Can she be a top model and top school idol at the same time? Of course. Nothing’s impossible if you put your mind to it.

Episode 6
Rina always wanted to make friends but thanks to her shy demeanour, she couldn’t. Of course the first one to talk to her in high school was Ai. As the idol girls play some VR game at the mall, some of their classmates praise them of their cool intros. Especially Rina’s since she used quite a cute avatar. Because of that, Rina announces she wants to do a solo concert here. Later she wonders if she was too hasty in making that decision since she really wanted her friends to see her in action. She also feels that her avatar doesn’t reflect the real her. Oh well, you know the drill. The rest will support her. I take it, that means the show is on. But for now, more training. All is going well right until the day before the concert, suddenly Rina realizes something and becomes depressed. She shuts herself in her room! WTF?! Time for her idol pals to go talk to her and see what’s wrong. Well, well. Rina hiding underneath a box in addition to shutting herself in her room! Ultimate recluse! She can’t beat Metal Gear Solid’s Snake, though. So Rina talks about her insecurities that she has not changed since despite yearning to have friends. She still thinks she doesn’t have any despite trying to change. Because of that, she fears people would misunderstand her if she puts up the wrong expression. At this rate, she feels she can’t keep up. Okay girls. You know the drill. Say all the positive things that lifts her spirits and motivation up. With that, can the timid girl get out of her box? Better, she now knows what to do. So on her solo concert, Rina pops out with a mini monitor over her face that will show all the cute emoji expressions. Yeah, I wonder how she can see but whatever. And so Rina performs and connects with her audience. Next day, her classmates were so awed about yesterday’s performance, so I take it they want to be friends with her now, huh? Rina’s new trend I suppose if she can’t wear her monitor all the time, she draws a sketch of her emoji face to show her expression.

Episode 7
Haruka who is Kanata’s sister wants to visit her idol group. Splendid. Haruka herself is an idol of her own school idol club at Shinonome Academy. So everyone is glad to meet Haruka’s little sister. Maybe except for Kasumi who thinks she is their rival out to spy. She wants to prove that they are the better school idol club but records show that Shinonome is way better than Nijigasaki by a mile. And because Kasumi took too long to introduce herself in her cute way, looks like everyone left her behind to show Haruka around. After all the good hospitality, Haruka soon learns that Kanata still has problems stretching and often falls asleep due to all that tiredness. Yeah, looks like everyone has their share in lending their lap pillow for her nap. Because of that, Haruka drops the bombshell that she is going to quit as an idol so she can concentrate taking care of Kanata who is currently helming the household chores since mom is always busy working. She can’t pursue his dreams knowing her sister is going to kill herself at this rate! My, such drama. Of course with both sisters disagreeing, eventually this leads to some awkward and tense moments. So we see Kanata spacing out, worrying and thinking a lot about this issue. Long story short, with her pals giving her some emotional support, looks like the best way to settle this problem is to do a solo music video for Haruka. Cute. So I guess they compromise that they’ll both support each other because they care each other so much. Big sisterly hug! Yeah, I mean, who says they both can’t be idols and sisters at the same time?

Episode 8
Shizuku Osaka who is also part of the drama club, it seems she was helming a lead role for an upcoming performance but a club member decides to replace her, citing she couldn’t put her heart into the role. So Shizuku’s depression is obvious so Kasumi and Rina decide to hang out with her and cheer her up. But it’s not really working. She’s still gloomy as she reveals her love for old movies, the reason she got into acting. The other reason is to forget herself. Wow. Having deep problems for her age, eh? This also somehow affects Kasumi as she feels at a loss on how to bring back her smiles. But with some motivational words from Rina, now she knows what to do. She goes confront Shizuku to ask directly what the problem is. In short, Shizuku has this issue of expressing herself truly because of her fear of people hating me. And something about being torn between an idol and an actress. This pisses off Kasumi as it’s her turn to give her a piece of her mind. Kasumi views herself as cute but yet there are many who never told her so. Case in point, have you, Shizuku? Now that she mentions it, well, Kasumi is cute. There. She said that just fine. There might be others who don’t like Shizuku but for Kasumi, she loves everything about her. So she better do the second audition to get that role back. And just like magic, Shizuku does all that and gets her lead role back again. Everyone goes to see her play which is about, yup, fear of expressing her true self. And bonus for everyone too, she sings and dance to her own music video at the end of it all. Her performance is a success and what words does she have to say for her fans? Please see her for who she is.

Episode 9
Our girls think it is time to discuss about their concert. But oh look, Haruka is here and who did she bring? Himeno Ayanokouji from the idol club of Touou Academy suggests performing in a concert at a festival with her group. She heard how well they did during the drama festival and wanted to see what kind of concert they can put on. However there is 1 problem: The idol block for the concert can only hold 3 idol songs. So if Touou and Shinonome has 1 song as a group each, this means Nijigasaki can have only 1 song. So what’s the problem? Uhm, Nijigasaki is not a group idol and are solo idols? So only 1 of them can go on stage? So I guess they’re not ready as an idol group, huh? So as the rest think of drawing straws, Karin quickly shoots down that idea because if they resort to that, can they say they grew as idols? She doubts Ayanokouji invited them from the goodness of their heart. Hence they must readily pick a member who can face that challenge head on. Woah. Why the suspicions, lady? Later Karin tries to get to some dance school but keeps getting lost. Setsuna, Yuu and Ayumu are nearby because of a store selling idol goods nearby. Yeah, the dance school is just opposite. It’s embarrassing but Karin might be bad at reading maps and has a bad sense of direction. They have thought about what Karin said and they agree to discuss about picking a member. And in the end, they all voted to pick Karin. I don’t know if it’s karma. Oh, right. It’s her turn. The music festival begins and we probably see the nicest b*tch showdown between Karin and Ayanokouji. But it might be that Karin would have to eat her words because suddenly she feels scared?! When she doesn’t come back, the rest fear she is lost. Didn’t take long to find her. And what do you know? Karin admits she is scared after talking big. Okay, girls. Cue to give your pep talk of motivation. Karin must be feeling weird why they’re so nice to her after being mean. Because we’re friends-cum-rivals, silly! And with that, Karin goes on stage to do her solo performance. In the end, Ai and Kasumi feel jealous and regret that they wanted to be the one up there. Don’t worry. You’ll get your chance. Remember they have their own concert to plan. And for that, Setsuna suggests a training camp.

Episode 10
Oh damn, did Kasumi failed her tests?! That’s not cute! That’s not even funny! But it all doesn’t matter because training camp here we come! Guess where? Right in school itself! Hey, no budget. Can’t complain. Looks like the girls are having fun cooking and eating than getting any training. Hey, it’s only the first day. Then we have that talk between Setsuna and Yuu, the former being grateful to the latter because had not that happened, she wouldn’t have been a school idol right now. Yeah, both of them so close to each other, is Ayumu getting worried? A funny moment, Kasumi, Shizuku and Rina thought they could scare Karin, Kanata and Emma with their scary costumes. Ironically, the latter group put on their makeup so bad that they’re scarier! Oh sh*t! That night when all is sleeping, Kasumi tries to get her revenge but Setsuna smacks her down in her sleep! I think she’s the scariest of them all. Next day, the training begins. Since it is boring just running laps, they start playing tag. Hey, it’s still running, right? Yuu gets caught first so as she sits in ‘prison’, she goes through all the comments and praises from the music festival. She realizes not many people knew what school idols are and yet they cheered on them. Duh, can’t be booing them, right?! Now that the running is all over and they’re sweating from head to toe, I know what’s coming? Pool episode! But don’t worry, all their swimsuits are safe. And then a talk between Ayumu and Yuu about their dreams taking on the next step. With everyone’s motivation at all time high (cue for great fireworks to boot), Yuu hypes them all up about making bigger dreams. We make sing and everyone happy, basically. Sounds like a lot of fun, no? For the icing on the cake, she suggests they themselves do a school idol festival for everyone who loves school idols! Oh yeah! We can do it! Yeah, at the same time why not plan world domination too?

Episode 11
Kasumi and Yuu head to the student council to hand in their application for the festival. WTF, they don’t know what a school idol is???!!! These girls literally have no life! Nana trying to stay neutral as possible… But they can’t approve now as it lacks a lot of details and the likes. So if they get all this done, then it can be considered. Okay girls, you now know what to do. So we see they do what they do like Kasumi coming up with a cute (?!) suggestion box for their performance venue but it came back empty because it’s the summer vacation. Then there’s the cementing of Yuu and Ayumu’s friendship. Pretty standard affair. So once they’ve got it all sorted, they return to the student council. They show the suggestion box that is now full, thanks to the word of mouth spread. Yeah, basically everybody would love to lend their support for the idols in any way they can. Looks like the student council members also looked up on what school idol means. Yeah, they’re interested in it too. One even mentioning Setsuna as her favourite! Damn. In such a short time? Anyway, she thinks Nana is a fan of Setsuna too, seeing she sounds passionate about her. Well, technically… And with that, Nana stamps the big approval for the idol club. Hooray! But since we still have some time, it’s time to ramp up Yuu and Ayumu’s friendship drama. Yeah, Ayumu getting all concerned seeing Setsuna and Yuu too close to each other. Later as Setsuna accompanies Ayumu to buy drinks, the latter asking what they talked about together the other day. Oh, stuffs. And something about Yuu playing the piano. Oh Ayumu, you didn’t mean to look THIS shock? I guess she didn’t know. Hence that’s the excuse for her to become depressed but soon, like all in good convenient timing, Ayumu messages her to meet. So at her place, Ayumu shows he the keyboard she has been practising with. She meant to tell her about it but only when she became good at it. I suppose that took a while. However this has Ayumu snap that she told Setsuna first instead of her. Is Setsuna more important than her?! Yuu remains cool. Because that’s not it. What she wanted to tell her lies further. But before she can tell about her dreams, Ayumu shuts her up. No spoilers, please. Now she doesn’t want to hear it? Because Ayumu has always wanted for them to be together. To be a school idol just for her. So just be mine only. Eh? What?! Am I reading too much on this?

Episode 12
Sorry folks. No hot lesbo sex tonight. Ayumu’s isn’t in the mood and goes home. Next day, they try to head to school and act normal. But we can just feel the awkwardness between them. Setsuna is glad Shinonome and Touou agree to participate in their festival. Kasumi rallies her girls to practice but looks like other students need a favour from them so I guess they prefer to help them out rather than whatever Kasumi’s practice. Only Ayumu is left but she too has a girl calling for her. Oh Kasumi, you’re alone. So sad. Not to be left out, a girl calls for Kasumi. So happy. Yuu needs to properly talk things out with Ayumu but looks like the latter still isn’t ready. Because she takes it that they can’t be together anymore. Like, HOW?! If she won’t listen, how can Yuu explain herself?! Later, Ayumu opens up her problems to Setsuna and is afraid of the things that are changing. What’s this about the only person she likes now isn’t just confined to Yuu? I don’t see what the problem is?! Setsuna stays positive because since they started this, they need to see it through. When Yuu finally gets a hold of Ayumu to meet, she shows her a personal flower garden that she and her fans made. All just for you! With love! With lots of lovely words, you know the drill. Their friendship is back on track. We love all of you! This allows Yuu to tell Ayumu about her dreams of playing music for others. This means she will be taking a music course next year. They won’t see each other as often but their hearts are connected, right? So they credit the other as why they’re able to find their dream. So is this where they part? Because Ayumu sings her own solo music video just for her. Later Yuu shows Ayumu part of the song she composed. Lovely.

Episode 13
Yuu tells her friends about what she’s going to do and as expected, all of them support her and will do what they can to help. The festival is here as we see everyone having a good time. Apparently the idol girls are holding their own separate concerts at separate venues around the school, each with their own distinctive theme. Yeah, how is a big nerdy idol fan going to cover everything?! But time for some much needed drama. Because life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Oh dear. What’s happening? Subsequent concerts are soon starting to be cancelled… Why? Because it starts raining!!! OMFG. It’s just raining normally and not even a downpour. Can’t they go out and just perform? Well, I suppose they aren’t waterproof. And just when the rain stops, it is almost at the festival end. Can they continue? Of course they can! Because don’t believe in God, believe in the power of idol friendship!!! Yeah, everyone is still hanging around so you bet our idol girls still have time to get ready and put up one last performance. And that performance is finally for the first time a group showpiece. Of course, thanking everyone and everybody too, the usual drill. In the aftermath, the girls receive lots of email from other schools who absolutely love their festival. Yeah, they want to collaborate. That’s not it. There are letters from other countries expressing how great it is! Don’t stop there! Are there messages from other dimensions too?! Okay, guess not. So I guess this means they have to have another festival with more fun collaborations. As for Yuu, she starts her new path as she takes a test to enter the music course.

Always Keep Chasing Rainbows!
Wow. Do you like what we see and hear? So if that’s the case, where’s the next season? Oh. I see so far this Nijigasaki franchise isn’t going to get another season at the time of this writing. But it looks like I read somewhere there is going to be another Love Live franchise?! Oh wow. More idol goodness to keep the Love Live name running for a long time. But as far as our Nijigasaki idols are concerned, looks like they’ll be busy planning ahead for their next festival. Make it bigger and better. No time to think about Love Live the competition. I mean, they’ve already created and carved their own name via this method, so why do they need to enter that competition for, right?

Obviously there isn’t anything very special and extraordinary about the plot. Just about a bunch of girls trying to live out their idol dreams. So they start small by trying to become popular and stand out within their own school first. No threat of the school closing down (it’s thriving so well that I think it could be its own nation if it wanted to!) and no pressure to perform at that prestigious idol competition known as Love Live. Gee, it all sounds very boring, doesn’t it? Well, perhaps to a non-fan and casual viewers. But either way if I think about it, even in the event if Nijigasaki did follow that same formula as its predecessors, I believe all the episodes that we have seen here could possibly be played out in a similar fashion. After all, in all the franchises and seasons that I have seen, these girls must work hard to become their basic dream of becoming an idol, no?

Hence in a way, this spinoff is probably a bit refreshing since it doesn’t have the basic setting of the school shutting down. Also, because of that, I believe Nijigasaki doesn’t even have their own name for their own idol unit. Yeah, they just called themselves after their own school. I mean, there’s no other idol units in Nijigasaki, right? So instead of having fancy names Muse or Aqours, they just go by their boring obvious school name. Because these girls aren’t vying for the Love Live competition, they don’t have natural competitors whom they can call rivals to compare themselves or set some standards. Oh wait. Can Shinonome and Touou be considered? Yeah, more boring obvious school named idol units. So not really sure if they really grow, if you know what I mean. Sure, we see them get better because which idol unit doesn’t? But where’s the yardstick to measure their progress? Even more so, the idol unit does solo concerts for the most part rather than as a group. Yeah, I can see why they haven’t really come up with a unique idol group name.

Speaking of which, seeing them as a group in the end feels a bit weird. Because as an idol unit that is supposed to show cohesion, unity and solidarity, everyone in the group would have dressed in the same uniform or at least just slight variations of each other. But for Nijigasaki, all the girls here wear their own trademark outfit. While it certainly looks really different and makes each one of them having that unique individualistic feel, sometimes it feels like they just came from other groups and were put together at the last minute. Get what I’m saying? Thus I can’t help feel that perhaps their group performance might be all over the place. Hey, it’s not like we get to see their entire performance, right? But since all the audiences were having a great time, I suppose it went well without a hitch. Heck, even getting complimentary international complimentary letters! So where are those scouts and agents who are supposed to scout them out and make them the next big idol thingy in the world? No, the universe!

So if the story isn’t anything exciting (hey, this is an idol show and music genre to begin with), this means the onus falls on the characters, right? Right. But like I have said, I’m not really an idol fan so I really find the characters, uhm, boring. Is that too strong a word for you idol and Nijigasaki fans? I suppose that’s why the group has a lot of members so they can at least dedicate an episode to a particular idol, see what her issue is and in the end everything turns out well. You know the drill. At the end of the day, I think there are a couple like Kanata, Shizuku and Emma whom I felt that were just winging it and their episode was just because, well, it’s their turn at the spotlight. They aren’t really memorable in the long run if you ask me. That’s why they try to give some sort of slightly odd personality to them in hopes that you’ll remember them such as Ai loving to make bad puns, Kanata loving to snooze and Emma coming all the way from the Swiss Alps.

At this point, I’m also thinking they recycled and ‘refurbish’ the characters so as to create new ones. What do I mean? For example, I thought Karin is the Kanan of Aqours and the Nozomi of Muse. Then for the shy girl trope, Rina is the Ruby of Aqours and Hanayo of Muse. For the energetic type, Ai is the spiritual successor for Aqours’ You and Muse’s Rin. So do you get what I am trying to say here? I can do a chart list of this and last a few more pages but I don’t want to bore myself with extra work just to prove my point. Lazy! I wonder if there are any lazy character tropes in this franchise. Oh, right. Muse’s Honoka, I suppose. Yeah, just shuffle and mix and match their character with a different look and voila! Got yourself a new character for this spinoff.

If I had to choose a ‘favourite’ one, you should know me by now, it should be the funniest girl. Oh, what’s this you say that I am a sucker for a pretty face and you thought I am always picking the prettiest of the lot? Sorry folks. None of them pretty enough to end up on my year ending Top Bishoujo blog! HAHAHA!!! HIDOI!!! But, HAHAHA!!! So anyway, my ‘favourite’ funny girl goes to Kasumi because, yeah, I find her being the funniest. She’s trying to be cute, huh? Well it works too because she’s being funny. At least it makes my viewing session of this spinoff to be a lot tolerable. I mean, me having to sit here for almost half an hour and see and listen to what ‘issues’ the idols are facing. It’s like watching paint dry… So seeing Kasumi trying to be cute and inadvertently being funny breaks me into a smile. Never fails. Kasumi, never stop being you. The other interesting (using this word very loosely here) character is Rina. Because I find it amusing that this shy poker face girl uses her sketchbook to draw her emotions out via emoticons.

Of course the main characters of this spinoff is Yuu and Ayumu. So much so their friendship can be called the biggest drama for this season (even shadowing Nana/Setsuna’s disbanding incident whatever). Yeah, they probably put this issue on hold in the middle so as to introduce and focus on the other girls first. Looking back in hindsight, it isn’t anything big. Sure, it is a big deal for them but to us viewers like yours truly, it’s not the end of the world Armageddon Apocalypse catastrophe where natural disasters destroy the land and aliens invade, kind of big deal. It’s your typical friendship woes just because they decide to move on to pursue their dreams, things change and probably that was the fear Ayumu didn’t want to materialize. The fear of the unknown and the narrow thinking that because they have to walk different paths, they cannot be together anymore. Of course as we have come to expect and see, all those fears were unfounded and a little bit of positivity helps a lot in bringing her out of the doldrums. Wow. Power of friendship. Never underestimate it. The best and most used ingredient ever in this kind of genre!

Initially, Yuu’s role confused me because I thought she was part of the Nijigasaki idol team. Despite early on she did say she didn’t want to become an idol, I thought she changed her mind seeing she continued to stay with the club. Hence I assume she is a regular member. So it was a bit baffling to me when I searched over the internet that Yuu wasn’t part of the team. Did they miss her out? Did she resign in the end? So yeah, I guess this unit group needs somebody to manage them. Manager role, huh? Certainly Muse and Aqours didn’t have managers. Not that I am aware of any. Those groups too had members who wrote songs so I guess they want to change the line-up a bit here. Otherwise, I would have added a few paragraphs above why this series is slightly refreshing different since they have 10 members instead of 9. So Yuu’s like the permanent non-member?

Music is an important element for this series but unfortunately for me, I don’t find any of the solo songs to be enticing or attractive. At least for the predecessors of this franchise, I still love Muse’s Start:Dash! (still the best one of all) and Aqours’ My Mai Tonight (a very distant second). But for this spinoff, nothing really memorable for me because once their elaborated music video is done, I usually forget how the song sounds. Okay, okay. If I really, really, really, really, really, really, really x 100 had to just pick one, the closest would be Kasumi’s Poppin’ Up because it is cutely lively. Rina’s Tsunagaru Connect is only because the lyrics are amusing but tune wise, not really my cup of tea. So if you like lively generic idol pop music like the opening theme, Nijiiro Passions and the ending theme, Neo Sky Neo Map (both of which are of course sung by the Nijigasaki idol girls), then I’m sure you’ll like their solo character songs.

As for the voice acting, I guess it is pretty okay. A new set of seiyuus lining up so when they become idols in real life they can also milk you dry by turning you into their fans. Just my speculation but I feel it’s like that… Anyway, many of them have very minor roles in a handful of animes they have voiced and are basically unknowns. Like Aguri Oonishi as Ayumu, Hinaki Yano as Yuu, Mayu Sagara as Kasumi, Chiemi Tanaka as Rina, Natsumi Murakami as Ai, Maria Sashide as Emma, Kaori Maeda as Shizuku and Natsumi Hioka as Ayanokouji. You may have a heard a little from the rest who are slightly a little more popular like Tomori Kusunoki as Setsuna, Akira Kitou as Kanata, Miyu Kubota as Karin and Kaede Hondo as Haruka.

Art and animation wise, looks pretty consistent with its predecessors. After all, this spinoff is animated by the veteran studio of Sunrise who also did the previous 2 Love Live series. And like I’ve mentioned before, the characters may look familiar to other girls in Muse of Aqours but just swap their personality with their hairstyle and hair colour. For example, Setsuna looks like Muse’s Umi while Yuu could be the alternate personality of Muse’s Niko. And perhaps Ai is the blonde counterpart for this spinoff as it was for Muse’s Eri and Aqours’ Mari. CGI is also used but mainly during the idol’s solo music video. Although not very jarring, you can see the CGI effects if you look closely enough. But it isn’t overall that bad. After all, when you want your video to look perfect and filled with all that sweet and lovely stuffs that surpass drugs and trippy LSD hallucinations, you got to make your CGI work. If only this quality of smoothness is employed in other animes where they used CGI…

Overall, fans of the idol genre and this franchise would only greatly appreciate this adaptation. Otherwise, casual viewers and non-fans like myself would find it utterly boring and nothing much ado. But I have only myself to blame since I have spent some time watching this genre so at this point I should know what to expect. It’s just your basic and typical idol show. What else to expect? So while it isn’t exactly a total disaster, I just find it to be boring. Or is not exciting the word you prefer to hear? Yeah, so disappointed nobody died or blood splattered all over the walls! Just kidding for those who seriously think I am. I’m not sure if they will have another season like its predecessors and it is hard to call since this Nijigasaki idol unit defers slightly from the rest (you know, no school saving, no Love Live competition, singing as solo singers rather than as a group). But oh well, those who can’t wait to see all the Love Live idol units face off can play the rhythm action game Love Live! School Idol Festival All Stars (WTF?! It’s a mobile game???!!!) that came out in 2019. Wow. Nijigasaki took on Love Live heavyweights and champions, huh? Yup, it happened. Somewhere over the rainbow.

Guraburu

9 April, 2021

When Umayon ended, is this what they meant when they said see you next series? Was Guraburu what they meant? Well, at least they were created by the same developers so maybe. So I take it that it is Granblue Fantasy’s turn to have a short chibi spinoff. Uh huh. Time for your favourite characters (and more! Way lots more!) of the series to have nonsensical shenanigans to make you laugh till your stomach hurts. Don’t worry. It just lasts 3 minutes per episode. I mean, you guys check your social media and the likes way longer than that, right?!

Episode 1
Our skyfarers are exploring the land. Since when did Cagliostro and Clarisse be part of the crew?! Who the f*ck is Clarisse again?! Anyway, monsters attack but they decide to go for Vyrn and Lyria since they think they are the weakest. How wrong. Because Vyrn goes Super Saiyan into a buff version of himself! Lyria on the other hand becomes a magical girl. Wait. Vyrn is just a magical weapon for the magical girl? More overpowering move as Lyria rides in the mouth of a fish with Vyrn the weapon in hand and easily owns all the monsters. WTF???!!! Just to let us know, I guess, this will be the tone for the rest of the series… WTF???!!!

Episode 2
Vyrn is so bored that he decides to play football himself. He becomes the ball and hits to post! Ouch! How can that happen when there are no opposition at all?! Anyway he continues to score a hat-trick after that. Jeanne receives a letter of a secret meeting of Vyrn’s secret admirers. Say what?! Curious, she joins in. Everyone shares they Vyrn merchandise and one of them is a statue. But Katalina being the #1 Vyrn fan (?!) can tell this replica is a little off. Then she takes off her gauntlet with Vyrn scent to let them all smell. WTF… Katalina shows Rackam her life-like Vyrn doll. Uhm, did she just trapped Vyrn in there because he is struggling to get out! Rackam pretends not to see anything… Vyrn admirers meditate under the waterfall. They are impressed Katalina is so calm and composed. This is because she occupies herself with thoughts of Vyrn playing and even his times as a toddler! How far does this go back?! Is she making this all up?! Wow. Such a cringe-cum-funny Vyrn episode…

Episode 3
Lily is doing some cute greeting along with Lyria, Cucouroux and Camieux. But when Silva tries it, she feels embarrassed because she feels she is too old for it. Rackam tries to help Lily make some pies. But as he moves the bags of flour, he accidentally drops them. Don’t worry about any dust explosions, he made sure there were no open flames. Oh, he didn’t count on Silva being embarrassed and that was enough spark for explosion! Cucouroux thinks her boobs are too small. Well, compared to Silva and Camieux of course. She tries to ask Lyria’s opinion but bad move because slices the ground in half as warning! Never. Ask. That. Question. Again. NEVER.

Episode 4
Jin tries to reel in a huge fighting bonito. But he needs Cagliostro’s help to distract it. Uhm what can she do with a small arrow and fish? Oh well, make a pun out of it? No effect on the bonito but Jin and the men became motivated and reeled it in! As Jin was given a fundoshi by a fisherman, however it is tight like diapers and this causes him to act like a baby. The solution? Make it even tighter to turn him back into a man! It worked?! The men notice the ladies play the candy stick game. You know, both women eat from the polar ends of the candy stick till their mouths get close enough… Soriz thinks of getting in between when the time is right to get a double kiss but Jin blasts him away and warns him the sacredness of this game to ladies that men have no place in before disintegrating. Huh?

Episode 5
Cain comes up with a schedule to help Lunalu complete her manga. However she is waiting for her angel so Cain thinks it is unthinkable that an angel would just drop an idea for her. However that ‘angel’ turns out to be Sandalphon as he brings her coffee. And with coffee, her energy is through the roof as she speeds up finishing her manga. When Milleore enters the room, she sees Vyrn lining up some characters as snooker balls! Want to have a go? She tries but couldn’t focus and accidentally jabs the cue into Vyrn’s ass! OMG?! New awakening? New material for Lunalu! Lunalu is happy she managed to sell a manga. From the way she describes, Vyrn can tell it is Belial. However that bugger stop short of reading the climax and didn’t buy her manga. Free reading?

Episode 6
The girls doing their idol thingy on stage. Up next is Rosetta as their guest star. She is supposed to jump into the stage buy Yggdrasil decides to help out by using her powerful beam and blasts her into the sky! I guess Rosetta is in no shape to go up on stage. Will the idols have to continue the performance without her? Don’t worry, Io will help her. She uses some props to help her to just use her arms and swing about. Wow. That worked. As long as the crowd is happy. So the performance is a success. But that costs Rosetta’s arms too. Yeah, now she can’t move. Don’t worry, Io has planned it all out. She has booked a hotspring for all of them to help heal. How kind of her. Actually her true goal is to gawk at all their fine bodies as much as they want.

Episode 7
Some of the girls gather to discuss how to get along with big sisters. The traditionalists have a more conservative views while the freethinkers don’t really care. When Narmaya points out their irresponsibility, they in turn point out she is not anyone’s sister to begin with. Hence Heles declares anyone who has a heart of a loving big sister to be one of them. With Narmaya growing weak in the face of the overwhelming sisterly power, the girls share their sisterly power with her and now she is reborn into the ultimate sister who dig your ears! And what’s this? Sister Act? Because the girls are seeing a choir praising big sisters. So this is a conversion ritual, huh? To convert those to like big sisters, huh? Yeah, looks like Ryan has become one. Oh wait. He was already one to begin with.

Episode 8
Percival wants Io to use her magic to entertain him. Hence Lyria and Vyrn do some stupid performance and Io is utterly embarrassed. When Lancelot is captured and chained in the dungeons, the crew came to rescue him. However due to lack of time, they just cut out the slab of wall. So he’s got to carry it to escape? But it serves as a good defence and wall attack too! The guys are trapped in an escape room and cannot escape unless they do a wall slam 100 times. Lunalu seeing the handsome knights doing the wall slam on each other, I think she’s going to die of nose bleed before they can escape. Eventually the best solution (not necessarily the correct one) as they slam Lancelot and his wall to break the wall! Lunalu so disappointed…

Episode 9
Zeta is about to finish off her enemy so Vaseraga suggests some word to unleash her ultimate power. However it sounds like nonsense to her so she can’t say it. Lyria gives motivation she can do it. That is when Zeta adjusts her boobs to avoid any wardrobe malfunction. Lyria at breaking point at this nonsense she said… Later Zeta and Vaseraga switch bodies. Since the former has to attend the meeting on the latter’s behalf, Vaseraga hangs out with her pals. In the end when they switched back, everyone now loves the caring Zeta! Zeta hasn’t got a clue what Vaseraga has done. Eustace heard that Beatrix got hold of a treasure orb that when smacked, will turn all cats into dogs. As a dog lover, he decides to go smack it that night. Turns out he smacked the bald head of Dante who is guarding the orb.

Episode 10
Grea is sleeping and looks like she is having nightmares. So Owen and Morphe jump into her dream to see what’s bugging her. Looks like Grea is late for school as a Vyrn wall is blocking her path. But don’t worry, Anne uppercuts it away and takes her to ride her bike. However Lecia riding her Monika Monocar is hot on their tail. If she catches them, they’ll be marked as late! Noticing how Lecia feeds cookies to her car as fuel, they just drop a cloth to block it and there! Boom! Lecia is no longer their problem. Later Phoebe and Vyrn see Lecia sleeping and so they jump into her dream to peek how orderly it is. They see everybody partying until Lecia tells them it is time to get back to work in which everyone obeys diligently. This is fake freedom! Lecia then turns her attention to the duo and turns them into cogs. Is this a pun on how they are working and contributing as the wheels of society?!

Episode 11
Lyria wants Sandalphon to prepare some coffee before the next battle. However due to turbulence, he can’t get it right. Vyrn shows it how it is done and the trick is to run as the same speed as the ship. Until Rackam slams the breaks and they crash into the wall! Michael wants to give Sandalphon a power feather of hers to grant himself strength. But she misplaces it. Diantha finds it for her. But after giving it to Sandalphon, she realizes it too late it is not Michael’s feather but of a quail! Sandalphon turns into a giant quail! Belial is about to be sucked into another dimension. Lunalu recognizes him as the one who bought her manga so she tosses to him just in time. He loves it and pays for it just in time before the vortex closes. Thank you for your patronage.

Episode 12
Vyrn finds himself in an alternate dimension. And who the f*ck this Black Vyrn?! He claims he is born out of his negative emotions mixed from last episode’s coffee power. Now he will defeat Vyrn and take over as this series mascot! Vyrn is weaker since Black Vyrn has coffee power! Damn, that puts him on a higher plane?! Vyrn calls for help and here is Katalina and co busting through the dimensions! The girls then combine with him to form some hideous 3D mecha Vyrn or something. Enough to beat the crap out of Black Vyrn by bouncing the rays off Dante’s bald head. The loser lies in defeat but before we could have those cliché shonen moments of both guys calling it friendship whatever, Katalina squeezes them to death with her hand. So tight that they merge back into one! So as they prepare for another journey, Dante’s bald head reflects the sun and sets off the explosive in Rackam’s supplies.

Grab You Hullabaloo!
Oh wow. Is it really over? Damn. The coffee effects must have worn off. Haha! Just when I thought coffee having better trippy effects than LSD, then I realize the coffee too is a type of drug! Oh damn it. Where can I get more of this chibi madness? Not to say that I’m really addicted to this crap but currently there aren’t many slapstick comedy animes to go around so I need to get my seasonal fix of that. Or I can just rewatch the whole thing again! Anyway, I hope this mini spinoff didn’t hurt the main series’ chances to get another season in the future. I mean, it’s not really related but who knows? With everything so silly here, it could be the downfall of the Granblue series for all you know!

The skits and jokes here are either a hit or a miss. I’m mostly the latter. I figure that only fans who are familiar with the series will be able to appreciate and understand the jokes. For a guy like me who just watched both the anime seasons only and not play the proper game, I’m sure there are tons of jokes and references that I do not understand or obviously missed. Hence, it is only funny because I think it feels like the cue for the punchline so it’s time for me to laugh. I mean, of course this short series is meant to be funny, right? So yeah, most probably WTF funny to me rather than real genuine funny. It’s like you attend a stand-up comedy and don’t get the joke but only laugh because you follow the other audiences laugh along. Yeah, that sort of feeling.

Contributing to my inability to comprehend the jokes is also because of the immense and vast amount of characters! Woah! For a short spinoff series, they sure do feature a hell lot of characters! Many of whom don’t even appear in the anime. Of course they appear in the game but oh man, damn it’s like they almost feature every damn character from the game! I could be wrong but it feels like that the way they show a few new characters every episode. And they only make their freaking cameo of a couple of seconds! Thank goodness that their name pops up on screen. It enabled me to identify them a little easier or else I wouldn’t have actually remembered that character had appeared or not. Not that I could remember them after that as well but hey, it also prevents me of mistaking some characters because my faulty memory might have me to recall that looked like that character that appeared in the previous episode.

I know everything is just done for laughs and for comical purpose. Hence the reason why they spam us all these characters and some I believe who don’t even appear anymore after that single episode appearance that probably lasts for just a handful of seconds. So like I’ve said, unless you play the game and are familiar with the characters, you’ll probably be so lost like yours truly that it feels like everything don’t even matter. Like Lunalu being a mangaka. I mean, so what, right? However, despite all these characters, the only character that did not appear is the main character of the series itself: Gran! Oh sh*t! The way they treat this character is like an afterthought. Unless this is one big stupid dream Gran is dreaming. Even Gran’s crewmates make their appearance but for this captain kid, none at all. Like how they treat him whenever they turned gender bender with Djeeta. Speaking of which, she too doesn’t appear at all! Heck, even those Manaria Friends characters made their cameo. Oh, Vira, Drang and Sturm also didn’t appear… I guess they want to promote other characters who didn’t appear in the anime, huh?

I don’t know why but Vyrn seems to be my ‘favourite’ character here. Not like I’m a fan of this lizard sidekick in the series proper. Perhaps it is because Vyrn is the one who could make me really laugh out loud genuinely because of his stupid antics. Especially moments when we see him turn Super Saiyan and become as buff as f*ck. Every time I see him, I expect him to do something funny and it doesn’t disappoint for the most part. Thus the irony of this character being more ‘useful’ in this short spinoff to me than in the real series itself. Weird for me to say this series needs more Vyrn than all those unimportant 5 second cameo characters. Oh Vyrn, you’ll forever be this series’ mascot no matter what.

Art and animation as expected are drawn to your typical chibi style. However, the chibi style somehow keeps reminding me that this could be an alternate version of Ai Mai Mi. I don’t know, it just feels that way. Especially Lyria and Vyrn when they go into their silly antics like in the first episode, I thought this was a secret sequel to Ai Mai Mi using Granblue characters as their skin! Anyway, this short is jointly done by DMM Futureworks and W-Toon Studio who both animate short spinoffs like Umayon, Nora To Oujo To Noraneko Heart, MahoYome, Golden Douga Gekijou and Mini Yuri.

For a short spinoff series, they sure have multiple ending themes. Oh wait. Umayon did that too. Anyway, the first ending theme, Koujitsu by Nobuo Uematsu is a calm and nice instrumental. I guess after all that wackiness, it is nice to wind down and relax with the soothing sounds of the flute and what I think it is the xylophone as its background accompaniment. Then surprise motherf*cker! Because the second ending theme by Rie Kugimiya becomes some hard rock piece. Yeah, Vyrn singing is funny-cum-weird. Even weirder as we see the ending credits animation of Lunalu working round the clock to finish her manuscript. And there’s buffed Vyrn again at the end! But none tops the third ending theme, Timata Magna by Tsutomu Narita. We see the Granblue crew trying to attack a huge Vyrn in an RPG style game. But in the end, Vyrn owns them all and blasts them all away! Maximum damage! But the song itself is as weird as f*ck. I’m pretty sure Vyrn is singing and from what I heard, it sounds like some death cult song or what? Epic!

Overall, this series would be greatly appreciated by those who are familiar with it. Others would feel lost and won’t really get the essence of all the jokes. Therefore this is just something extra and like a bonus side dish to those who really know their stuffs. While it is not that bad for me despite not being very familiar with the Granblue world, but that factor still impedes my enjoyment. Thankfully I took it all with a pinch of salt and in a silly and relaxing stride so I didn’t lose much. Patience, temper and brain cells, if you’re wondering what I thought I might lose. Heh. Although the skyfarers’ journey is still far from reaching the Astrals at the end of the skies, this short wacky trippy nonsense could send anyone right through heaven in an instant! F*cking hell, need more of those buffed macho Vyrn with coffee power to make my day!

Somehow, I keep thinking that Kimi To Boku No Saigo No Senjou Arui Wa Sekai Ga Hajimaru Seisen is a star-crossed version of Sword Art Online’s Kirito and Asuna. I don’t know. Probably the look and angle of the promo poster had me saw similarities in that way. But this is no virtual MMORPG that anybody is stuck in. But a fantasy world that has the inhabitants of both sides stuck in a war that has lasted for a hundred years. So are we going to let this war go on or is anybody going to do something about it? And as you have come to expect, one from each side harbours that dream to end the war but despite their shared goal, can they work together since they come from opposing sides? And without falling in love? And you thought war was complicated. Wait till you bring in love…

Episode 1
A year ago, when Iska became the youngest Saint Disciple, he broke a witch out of a facility. Because of that, he has been demoted and imprisoned. But now the senate give him a chance to redeem himself. His mission is to take down a witch. She is no ordinary witch from the Nebulis Sovereignty. She is a purebred known as the Ice Calamity Witch. He is reunited with his members, Jhin Syulargun, Nene Alkastone and Mismis Klass (this clumsy petite girl with boobs is their captain?!). They think Iska is sent because the witches have no intelligence about him so it’s like their trump card. As they are stationed at the reactor, they ponder the irony of the Empire creating them, followed by Nebulis sending their witches to destroy it, in return the Empire creates more weapons. A vicious cycle of a never ending war. When they head to rendezvous at another point, they are ambushed by witches. They manage to take out this lowly unit before facing off with his maid witch, Rin Vispose and her earth golem. She sounds so confident that whenever Iska overcomes all her tricks, she sounds so surprised. Eventually the Ice Calamity Witch herself shows up, Aliceliese Lou Nebulis IX or Alice for short. Demonstrating her great power, she freezes the entire forest. But this ambush was just a distraction as she had already destroyed the reactor. Iska and Alice clash magic and sword as both sides show no signs of yielding. Alice is struck by his words that he won’t give up because otherwise nobody is going to stop this war. Likewise, he is struck by her words of defeating the Empire so she can unite the world for an everlasting peace. I guess she got careless because she slips off a broken rock. Iska catches her. This is awkward! Better resume battle stance before the rest sees this. And so Alice decides to retreat. Back at their respective base, both think deep about what the other said. For a chance of pace, Alice goes to see an opera about some forbidden love. She’s crying so much her whole handkerchief is wet! The kind stranger next to her lends her his. When the show over, she thanks him and all but he is modest. Then the lights come on. Uhm… ISKA?! Oh sh*t. This is truly awkward!

Episode 2
Mismis thought Iska is down ever since the fight with Alice. So as to cheer him up, she gives him tickets to the opera. He must go. Captain’s orders. A war could’ve erupted had not this being a neutral city. Yeah, how nice that no conflicts are allowed. If only the entire world is like that. Alice takes her leave after a short embarrassing spat (her eyes was just sweating?!), and as they try to forget this incident and go eat, Iska is also here! Did he follow her?! Hey, he has reservations. WTF why the heck are they sharing a table?! Does he not reserve a table alone?! Why can’t Alice and Rin go to other restaurants?! Worse, Iska and Alice order exactly the same food. IN SYNC! Then they get passionate over pasta and since their tastes aligned, they form a ‘pasta alliance’ against Rin. WTF… Iska and his gang are back to training. They are reunited with Risya In Empire who will be in charge of their unit’s next mission. And Risya gives Iska tickets to the art exhibition. Alice is summoned by her mother who feels ever since her fight with Iska, it feels as though the founder who is being crystalized is little by little awakening. A little history about Nebulis I being the founder and the witches’ ancestor but the Empire didn’t now she had a twin sister. Mother forbids Alice to go into any battles for now. With that, Alice goes to the art exhibition herself. What do you know! It’s Iska! I swear fate is trying to f*ck with them. Without Rin, Alice is such a lost sheep so I guess Iska has to offer his guidance. After all, art has no borders, says Alice, right? They enjoy the exhibition together and at the end of the day as they sit at the park bench, he falls asleep on her shoulder! I swear, if they’re not on opposing sides, this could’ve been a typical romcom.

Episode 3
The senate praises Iska for holding his ground against Alice. This is a remarkable achievement for the military. They want to reinstate Iska but since he is also a well-known criminal, they give him another mission: Capture Alice. Rin reports to Alice about the info she has on Iska. She also wants to know the witch whom he freed a year ago. Then she wants Rin to take her to the neutral city as she has a feeling she will meet Iska there. There is something she wants to ascertain from him. Likewise, Iska has Mismis drive him there too for he has a feeling Alice will be there. And no surprises, they both meet. She finds it contradicting his actions to rescue the witch and yet his recent mission was to capture her. He disagrees and claims his goal has never changed. To end the war, he knows both sides won’t listen to him so he intended to take a hostage from the direct lineage in hopes this will force a response for a peace negotiation. Alice rubbishes that will succeed because her mother will never act in the worst case scenario if Alice becomes a hostage. Also, there are many in the Sovereignty who hates the Empire. Alice suggests he serve under her and can assure his status is preserved when he defects. Before he could answer, the sky cracks. Looks like Nebulis the founder has awakened. Immediately she destroys everything? Rin gets injured trying to protect Alice. Alice feels frustrated with this intervention as she hopes to settle this just between them. Nebulis considers Alice a traitor for working alongside and Empire’s soldier. She also believes that her awakening is due to the reaction to Iska’s swords who once belonged to Crossweil. Iska and Alice find her actions to be appalling. She is not the solution for world peace so both team up to bring down this founder. Sleep for another century. When she wakes up, the world will be a better place! Iska then rejects Alice’s proposal but suggests that they call a temporary truce. After what has happened today, that should be the best.

Episode 4
WTF. Iska and co at the casino?! Apparently Risya told them since their joint mission will start soon, they have to finish their vacation. Yeah, how is Iska’s luck at the slots? Not good. Oh, what luck when Alice and Rin are also here! But lucky enough not to meet each other. Yeah, they have the same thinking they are NOT LIKELY to bump into each other in this place. Alice’s luck is so incredible she hits the jackpot at first go! So much so she shares it with Nene (both don’t really know each other). Good timing since Mismis lost all her bets. I guess gamblers won’t learn… What are the chances Alice and Iska visit the same fortune teller (at different times) and being read the same fortune of meeting soon? Luck? Coincidence? Fate? The senate gives Risya a mission but leave it to her to justify sending Iska’s team into the vortex, a drift of astral energy created that started this whole witch and demon thingy 100 years ago. Now another vortex is going to form, they fear the Sovereignty might claim it so looks like we’ve to claim it first. At the same time, Rin tells Alice about this vortex. She is appalled that the Zoa family who controls that jurisdiction didn’t report to her. She is sad that the Lou, Zoa and Hydra families, all direct royal lines are in conflict with each other. She goes to confront Zoa family about this but they give excuse it could just be underground gas and they were taking time to prepare documents. Mismis’ team start their joint mission as she introduces her teammates to Shanorotte “Noro” Gregory, an old friend of hers when they were serving as foot soldiers. This mission is headed by Nameless, one of the high ranking Saint Disciple. He tells them to secure the vortex before the Sovereignty, destroy it if they fail to do so and not get in his way. During the search a few units went missing. It feels strange because they just disappear without a fight so it couldn’t be the Sovereignty. However Nameless refuses to send a search party. Iska thought of using his ex-position to talk to him but was dismissed. You’re not high ranking enough to speak to him. Mismis sums up her courage to talk on his behalf but didn’t get any answers either.

Episode 5
Alice and Rin inspect the vortex themselves. Also there are Kissing Zoa Nebulis IX (Alice’s relative) and her servant, Masked Lord. Mismis’ team finds the vortex but looks like Noro’s team is also here. I didn’t surprise me when Noro reveals herself and her team to be witches because now that Mismis has seen the vortex, she must die. Had not Nameless slaughter the imposters, Mismis could’ve been done for. However Noro escapes with Mismis as Iska intercepts Nameless’ knife that would have pierced both ladies. With Jhin putting a tracker on the jeep, they can go track it but Nameless believes the place has fallen into enemy hands and when he returns to HQ, the bombing will begin. When Noro brings Mismis back to Alice, this gives Alice an idea. She believes Iska is nearby and heads to the Empire’s makeshift base nearby just to go fight Iska. But that won’t happen since Iska has come here to save Mismis. But first he has to fight Kissing and her thorny abilities. The Empire’s base is all empty when Alice arrives. Everybody just abandoned base? Rin saves Alice from Nameless’ stealth attack. Both fight and until Alice uses her full ice calamity power to freeze the entire area, Nameless escapes. Iska defeats Kissing and wants to take her back. Unfortunately, Masked Lord collects her and then kicks Mismis into the vortex. Iska jumps in after her. Alice who just returned, does the same. Alice can save Iska on condition that they fight once they get back on land. Really? But okay. However some astral spirit interrupts. It brings them back to the surface but at different locations. I guess the fight is postponed again.

Episode 6
Mismis apologizing to her team for her foul ups. But no time to mope on this because Risya has a big upcoming mission for them. They are to infiltrate the Sovereignty and kidnap the queen. Due to Noro’s incident, looks like the Empire is going to use the same tactic back. Even if Iska finds this mission impossible, he can’t say no. Once the details are out, they’ll be briefed in detail. Meanwhile Alice so wants to meet Iska and is sure he will be at the neutral city. Keep searching… Rin is worried that with the warring factions and even Alice’s own sisters are gearing up for the candidate as the next queen. They don’t have time to worry about an imperial soldier and she needs to do something about this. Mismis is bugged about the bug bite on her arm. Uhm, I didn’t know a bug bite looks like an astral crest! Holy cow. Is she a witch now?! It is deduced that when she fell into the vortex, the spirit deemed her body suitable for possession. It is likely Mismis may be executed on the spot if this is found out thanks to Noro’s incident. But if she turned herself in, she may get a lighter sentence as her team will vouch for her. Or she could just keep it hidden forever. Yeah, we’ll go with that. Even if this puts the whole team at risk. To cheer her up, Iska takes her to the neutral city for a fresh breath of air. He talks about the Empire being afraid of the witches’ power when they first appeared. He still believes he can end this war so Mismis can walk freely without being discriminated for her astral crest. While he is alone, he thinks about the impossibility of capturing the queen because she’ll never be freed once in the senate’s hands and thus fuelling the never ending war. Time for fate to have Iska and Alice meet again. Finally she finds him! She sounds so happy. Are you sure there’s no more meaning to it? No wonder Rin gets the wrong idea when they’re getting too close to each other. Rin offers him a drink. He drinks and passes out! You bet she drugged it. She didn’t think he would drink so why the f*ck did she drug it in the first place? Heck, should’ve just poisoned it! Oh, this is neutral city. The only choice left is to capture him. At that time Mismis returns and is appalled at this atrocity. Her astral crest starts to glow but she can’t do anything since Alice freezes her feet. Risya reports to the Emperor of Iska’s capture by Alice.

Episode 7
Alice will not have Iska being taken to the capital as he might escape and head for the palace. But since they are close to a Nebulis territory… Risya speaks to the senate about Iska’s capture and from the direction they are heading, they are heading towards the prison district, Alcatroz. Held there is Salinger, one who rebelled against the previous queen. They think of getting him out and on their side. Risya then gives Mismis’ team fake astral crests since their mission is to sneak inside Alcatroz and rescue Iska. Once they have done that, the Empire will send in units to cause chaos and distraction to capture the queen. Of course Risya seem to have other plans. Meanwhile Iska is being held in a hotel suite. So he is going to stay here forever? Alice leaves it to Rin to watch over him. But when left alone, Rin cuts herself and will use this injury to pin the blame on Iska for attacking him. She also uses it as a defence to fight back. As Rin is overpowering him, Alice returns and sees this. Busted. Now Alice chains up with Iska and will watch over him. Then Iska poses the question: What about toilet or sleep? Oh Alice, you didn’t think of that?! And now you blaming him?! Speaking of which, she hasn’t gone to the toilet since… Oh sh*t… So while Alice takes her bath, now Rin gets chained to him. Alice forgot Iska is their prisoner and comes out in a bath towel. Blame him? He is shocked not by her hot body by the huge astral crest on her back. The Empire calls it many derogatory names but she doesn’t care. But she wants his opinion of it. Long story short, he doesn’t care. Then she asks what is she to him aside a witch. A rival on the battlefield. Alice is so happy to hear that and drops her towel? She finally has someone who doesn’t give her special treatment. I guess she can’t be giving Iska and us special treatment of her hot body so she realizes too late. Blame Iska again, huh? I think she’s gone crazy because since they are rivals, they need to be on equal terms and so she wants him to strip for her! WTF???!!! WHAT THE F*CK, ALICE???!!! Meanwhile Mismis and team infiltrate Alcatroz but Jhin suspects this might be more than just a rescue mission. Indeed. Risya goes to see Salinger in his cell.

Episode 8
Risya wants Salinger’s help in exchange for breaking him out. As the Empire is planning a large scale invasion, she wants him to take down the current queen. Salinger is not amused with this revenge plot but he agrees to do it since he is bored. Rin reports to Alice that suspicious groups believed to be from the Empire have been sighted infiltrating their provinces. Including Alcatroz. A loud explosion is heard from the prison. It’s safe to say that Salinger is out. Risya calls Mismis to say that Iska isn’t here but looks like a certain demon has escaped. So get your asses out there. Easier said than done as the place is now crawling with guards. Alice plans to go to the prison to contain the mess. She is thinking of asking for Iska’s help but ditches the idea and instead returns his handkerchief. At this weird time? Because Rin is around? Whatever. Better get going. Mismis plays the decoy so that Jhin and Nene could take out the guards. What a scary move. Then Mismis calls Iska who somehow picks up the phone hiding in Alice’s room. They update each other’s situation. If only Iska has a way out of these cuffs. Then he remembers about the handkerchief. Odd, right? He realizes Alice put a key inside there! Oh damn… So wait for Iska. He is coming to the prison. Alice and Rin arrive at the prison. As Alice assumes control over the place, she has Rin hunt down Salinger. Iska reunites with his team outside the prison but looks like he needs 15 minutes to settle some score. See you guys soon. Salinger is disappointed that only Rin is here to fight him. Rin accuses him of stealing astral spirits especially that belonged to the queen. However he claims as the king of astral spirits, it isn’t stealing and just merely adding to his collection. Just like how kings tax his citizens. Obviously Rin is no match for him as he proclaims he will transcend to something greater than a king once he gets all the astral spirits. Before he could finish her off, here comes Iska to save the day.

Episode 9
Iska wants Rin not to stop his friends until they cross the border. What choice does she have? Iska fights Salinger on par and the latter is very interested to see his skills. Alice has her hands full and now she has to fight Nameless? But he doesn’t put up a long fight as his mission is to set Salinger free. Alice then sees Iska fighting Salinger. Just when Salinger thought he burnt up the Imperial soldier, Salinger reveals his true goal of collecting astral spirits isn’t to fuse them together but to fuse humans with astral spirits. Only 2 have done so in history and one of them being the founder Nebulis. He wants to transcend and reach that level. Rin’s job of stalling time worked as Iska returns to fight him. No, he isn’t dead. Surprised Salinger learns that one of his swords can nullify magic and the other replicate it once. Hence Iska covered himself with ice to protect himself from the flames. Iska continues to fight him and thanks to Rin’s help, he gets by. Salinger wants to kill off the maid for good but that won’t be since it is Alice’s turn to save her. Salinger maintains his pride that he will reach his goal before escaping. In the aftermath as the situation on Alcatroz is under control, Alice tends to Rin but is baffled Iska came to help her instead of escaping. Is that a word of thanks I hear from her? Not that her pride would admit it. Oh, so Iska is obligated to come help her? Okay. Whatever, your highness. We see that it wasn’t Nameless who shortly sparred with Alice but Risya. She meets up with Nameless so as to report their mission’s success. The Sovereignty is in disarray with Salinger’s escape and their successful infiltration of a few of their special units means they can keep surveillance on the palace. Back home, Sisbell who is the younger sister of Alice, eavesdrop her talk with Rin. Alice mentioning Iska’s name piques her interest because that is the guy who broke her out of the facility a year ago. Pining to see him again?

Episode 10
Risya and Nameless report to the Emperor. He’s some androgynous neko boy?! Anyway, he is bored with them trying to catch a purebred because something interesting just came up. A witch princess has fallen in love with an Imperial swordsman. Sisbell is tasked by her mom to investigate Alsamira. Despite being an independent nation, they have not declared their neutrality and they suspect they may be secretly aiding the Empire. Meanwhile, the medical doctor is not happy that Mismis’ team has been overworked! Yeah, blame Risya for that. Because of that, they are forced to take 60 days of vacation! Wow! At least this buys them time on how to get rid of Mismis’ astral crest. I suppose no rest for Risya, huh? Back to work for her… As Alice is swamped with administrative work, she takes a break and stumbles into Sisbell. However the latter doesn’t feel like talking to her and goes away. Sisbell soon leaves for Alsamira and she only has her trusted butler, Schwartz as her only company. As it is the moment where minsters meet to decide the next queen, she can’t stand all that and believes the nightmare of somebody coming for her mother will come true. That person is also trying to take over the Sovereignty. She wants to protect mom but hopes she’ll stay safe while she is gone. Meanwhile the eldest of the Lou sisters, Elletear has returned as she talks to Masked Lord. She has a feeling that someone close to them is involved with the Empire and will shake their nation to the core. Guess where Mismis and co head for vacation? You’ve guessed it. Alsamira! After a whole day of fun, as they head back to the hotel, Iska bumps into Sisbell. They recognize each other. But when Nene comes to pick up Iska, Sisbell is gone. Happy Sisbell can’t believe this coincidence and thinks there is hope. She is going to ask Iska for help and makes her move by sneaking into his room that night. Of course Iska intercepts her thinking she is a spy. She then seeks his help to accompany her back to the Sovereignty. Meanwhile, the queen has Alice and Rin help her look into Sisbell’s room. So this is why she sent her away? Sneaky. As her mother, she is worried Sisbell has been locking herself in her room. Well, did she not know what happened to her a year ago? So they head into her room to find clues. Oh, Alice and Rin stumbling a hidden article about Iska being imprisoned for rescuing a witch. Yeah, Alice in shock wondering how Sisbell knows about Iska.

Episode 11
Sisbell wants Iska to come with her to the Sovereignty but of course he can’t. She gives up for tonight but will come back for him again and leaves him a ring. Rin and Alice wonder if Sisbell suspects Alice having connections with the Empire and that’s why she is secretly investigating this. So Rin talks to the queen to convince her to let Alice go to Sisbell and as sisters they can talk it out together. The senate learns of Sisbell at Alsamira. As their allies plan to capture and hand her over to them, they will not waste this chance. At first they are cautious in deploying the Object since they don’t want to let that massive weapon be tied back to them. But since capturing a purebred is so important, let the witch hunt begin. Elletear tells Masked Lord that her sisters trying to contact the Empire. She views the Sovereignty more important than the election and that’s why she is risking telling this to him to help stop them. Alice makes her way to Alsamira. Along the way, she notices huge unusual footprints. It can’t be of a basilisk because it’s leaking machine oil? When she arrives, she stumbles into Schwartz who is worried since he can’t seem to find Sisbell. Iska changes hotel for his comrades since he can’t let them get involved. After that, he goes to look for Sisbell. But she could find him seeing her astral spirit allows her to see things of the past. Then she reveals to him her true identity and position. The reason she needs his help is because someone is targeting the queen’s life. Someone who is a descendant of the founder. This person is also not after the Sovereignty. When the queen dies, there will be a full scale war with the Empire and the culprit will take this chance to seize on the confusion to eliminate the royal family. She isn’t asking him to defect from the Empire but to help change the future. Although he agrees with her, he still cannot go. Despite wanting the same outcome, he doesn’t want to just stop the war but to resolve the 100 year conflict between the nations and that is via peace negotiations. It sounds impossible that the Sovereignty will forgive the Empire but that is his cause for fighting. Conversation interrupted since Masked Lord is here to apprehend Sisbell as a traitor. He won’t listen to reason and has his men capture her. When Iska tries to talk things out, this huge mechanical beast pops up before them.

Episode 12
Masked Lord is going to let Object kill Sisbell. Saves him the trouble, right? But nope. Jhin wants to fight him as revenge for kicking Mismis into the vortex. Both have some tricks up their sleeve and when Masked Lord is going to burn the whole place down, Mismis using her wind powers to stop the fire from even starting? When did she master her wind power? And with Jhin sniping off his mask, it’s like Masked Lord just f*ck this sh*t I’m outta here! Meanwhile Iska and Nene try to take down Object but I guess when it evolves to another form, it’s going to take more than swords or missiles to knock it down. This time Sisbell helps out with her magic to defeat it. Too bad it’s not down yet because it looks like it evolves to another higher form! Oh damn, it also kidnaps Sisbell?! It’s now man vs machine. Can Iska defeat it? Well, looks Alice is here in time to help. Oh yeah. The combo that we’re familiar with. Man and witch vs machine. If you’re wondering why this machine is too intelligent in this form (and speaks!), that’s because it’s an astral spirit?! Is an astral spirit possessing this machine?! Man and witch vs machine and astral spirit… I think it is pretty redundant for Alice to tell Iska to put aside their differences and cooperate to take down this monstrosity that could flatten the entire area! Haven’t they been doing that since?! Oh yeah, have to postpone their rivalry for the umpteenth time. Eventually they defeat it and release Sisbell from her captive. Sisbell suspects Alice knows Iska but she plays dumb she doesn’t know him. Iska too. So they aren’t rivals anymore? Anyway, Sisbell is glad. Why? Because she plans on making Iska her knight and be the next queen! You jealous Alice? I thought you had nothing to do with him? Great timing for Iska’s comrades to call for him so see you later ladies. In the aftermath, the senate notes the setback after the loss of Object but they aren’t disheartened. Time to move on to the next phase. The Emperor is out because he went to see… Salinger! The queen summons Elletear and knows she leaked intel about where Sisbell was. She also questions if she is the real Elletear. Finally, they try to troll us with Iska and Alice being this close proximity. Of course they part ways and will see each other again. At the rate they keep bumping to each other? Count on it.

For The Love Of War, Love Is War
So has it begun yet? Yeah, it feels like nothing has actually started and the anime has already ended. Oh well, I guess it is good for us who aren’t impressed with the way things are going. Sure, it teased us with the possible developments and twists but I hardly doubt that would be enough to keep our interests even if they plan to make another season. But hey, the plan to end the war and have both sides live in peace isn’t an easy task. I mean, if this season itself manages to see Iska and Alice achieve that or make major milestones, that would just feel unrealistic. It’s going to be a long ride to achieve their goals so I wish them all the best because I don’t think I’ll be around to see that happen.

Although the story had potential, sadly it fails to be captivating because you know, it becomes somewhat generic. War between nations that lasts so long that it has become the norm, love forming between the main characters from each side while trying hard to prevent an all-out war. Like as though this is a military version of Romeo and Juliet. I mean, there has been quite a number of adaptations and variations of this star-crossed theme throughout the years in many media and shows. This series is no different. What I mean is that even if it is different from other shows, it fails to stand out as something unique. Something that would make it look different from the rest under this genre.

As far as we can see from this season, the first few episodes try to establish some sort of connection between Iska and Alice. You know, the very uncanny and convenient chance encounters that they have with each other. Like as though God got bored with the war and wanted something else interesting to happen out of it. They keep having the same thinking so as to have this convenience of bumping into each other. I don’t think many of us even have the luck of finding that same porn video on the internet! See it once but never to see it again. Once it’s gone, it’s forever lost and you can never ever find it again! HAHAHA!!! Oops. Got a little side-tracked there. So yeah, I suppose these chance meetings are to form some sort of weird bond between them (read: your ingredient for that clichéd star-crossed theme thingy). They can’t hate each other because what the other wants is also what they want. Same outcome. Their methods only differ. Hence they somewhat built that kind of trust between themselves that no other Imperial soldier or Sovereignty witch would ever do. The unthinkable. Read: possible love blossoming.

Which brings me to this star-crossed romance thingy. Obviously, my veteran guts tell me that they are going to fall for each other while fighting alongside each other. Of course they can’t make it so obvious like the cliché love at first sight because it’ll be just cheap. But you can tell that Alice is probably falling into this each time she spends more time for Iska. You can obviously see from her reactions and thoughts. We want to scream out to her that it is basically love but we all know that her royal witch pride will not allow it. Because Alice is a woman, she shows her feelings more obviously than Iska who is not only male but a trained soldier. Soldiers don’t show emotions, right? So that’s why more often at times, Alice looks like the one who is flustering with all those kind of thoughts and Iska looks like the dumb dense dude. There are times when he does think so but it is rare compared to Alice.

And so we are left disappointed as to ponder the day they will confess to each other. Don’t bet your horses on it. The way I see things are going, it is hard to dispel years of bias so unless they can achieve ultimate peace in their life time (which is again a very tiny remote chance), their love is not going to happen. And I don’t think they’ll just screw their lifelong mission and elope together because of love. World peace > personal romance. Plus, doing so would escalate war between both sides, making this whole war thingy even worse than before.

Character wise, mostly it is laughable and uninspiring. We already have our hands full focusing on the weird dynamism between Iska and Alice. The Empire’s greatest soldier and one of the Sovereignty’s mightiest heir to the throne. I mean, can just a couple of great people like them overturn years and decades of stereotypical bias for each other? It’s a tall order but it’s not impossible. So watching them trying to achieve that goal feels like it is going in a snail pace direction. It gets draggy a bit and our minds are somewhat set on the looming star-crossed romance between them. I mean, they have to fight and go against their very own nation’s culture and beliefs if they are going to achieve all that. Not with shady people in power like the senate or the royal witch bloodlines in the way. Tall order, but not impossible. Chances aren’t zero, remember.

The other characters fail to be interesting especially those from the Empire who just feel redundant. Like those in Iska’s groupie. Mismis possibly the most useless character ever and her specialty is whining in her squeaky voice. Because she’s cute in so, we can’t totally hate her although we sometimes find it annoying. She’s so useless and irrelevant as a captain that they have to give her this role of being imbued with a witch crest for some drama. Sheesh. Then you’ve got Jhin as your typical serious guy. So serious that he’s so generic and not interesting. Then you’ve got Nene who is your cheery and light-hearted girl. So joyful and optimistic that she’s so generic and not interesting. What’s this about Risya being a sneaky snake? She sounds like she is all for Iska’s group and being overly friendly with them but behind their backs, she has her own agenda. Yeah, I’m guessing from her name that she is related to the emperor or something. Nameless? Damn right he’s some nameless cocky assassin who just thinks of getting the job done regardless of how it is done. Should’ve been called Characterless too. That would’ve been more apt.

Onto the Sovereignty’s side, they are not so bad since the royal family has some complications and inner fighting factions of their own. A bit more interesting compared to the Empire who is mostly top-down linear associations. Rin stands out not because of my personal fetish for maids (so okay, it’s one of the main reasons) but also rather her deadpan expression in contrast to Alice’s emotions, it’s like she is some sort of the other half of Alice’s manzai comedy partner! Forgive me, I can’t help see them as that despite they are clearly not. Rin is very distrustful of Iska but because she is loyal to Alice and has to abide by her words, this creates some conflicts and has to hold it in. I guess sarcasm is her only few avenue to let it out. Too bad she is sorely missing in the finale so as to show us the mighty Iska-Alice combo. Then there’s Sisbell. She looks weak but she is trying to do something on her own accord. Possibly I could smell a love triangle coming up. Imagine the sisters fighting over Iska. Same family fighting over a guy from the other side. Shameful. It’ll be bloody. So will it be Iska x Alice or Iska x Sisbell. Place your bets! Masked Lord feels a lot like Risya. Scheming dude might sound polite and well-mannered but has his own agenda too. I mean, someone who keeps hiding behind a mask, I take that he has something to hide, right?

In case they ever needed a third party to complicate things, I guess that is what Salinger is for. Yeah, this guy is a threat to all because of his crazy dreams to fuse humans with astral spirits. So I’m guessing that if the series gets tired of pitting the Empire against the Sovereignty and that both can’t be the bad guys, it is the outside third party whom both sides will have to come together and fight the common foe. I hope this won’t amount to any spoilers but if this is as cliché is going to get, then damn right I’m here to spoil that fun! After all, there are many other so called independent nations that aren’t officially affiliated with the Empire or the Sovereignty. But who knows? Behind shady governments are people with their own selfish agenda so betrayals aplenty. So anyway, Salinger being the joker card, he might be the one that could put Iska and Alice’s dreams closer to fruition or destroy all their efforts. It feels his appearance here is just as introduction and his short skirmish with Iska is just to showcase the tip of his abilities. Bet on this guy he’ll be back for round 2. Or 3. Or 4. Or 5. However long it takes.

So my conspiracy theory is that there isn’t actually a war going on between the Empire and Sovereignty. They just want you to think like that because it’s like the higher ups are in cohorts with each other. I mean, we saw Object being fused or possessed by an astral spirit. My guts are telling me that some witches are lending their expertise to make this happen. And then Salinger and the Emperor know each other and are happy to meet again? Suspicious. Unless they have some sort of bromance going on in the background we don’t know. Yikes! Elletear the imposter among us? Possibly. Shady people in such powerful places makes you think the war between the Empire and Sovereignty is just for show and behind the scenes they are actually partners in crime just to fool their people and make money from the never ending war cycle. I mean, that’s the twist this kind of setting needs, right? Or do you prefer Iska and Alice keep bumping into each other for the ungodly time and pretend that it’s not coincidence?

Action wise, they’re pretty okay. Nothing to shout about. After all, we’ve already being told and seen the powers and skills of Iska and Alice in the early episodes. Interesting but not breath taking awesome. So as you can see one reason why I earlier said both characters remind me of Kirito and Asuna, firstly and very obviously many would call Iska a rip-off of Kirito because of his black garb and the way he wields both swords. Yeah, special swords that could stand up to the magic of the witches. Although Alice doesn’t wield a sword, shooting her ice magic makes her a difficult opponent to deal with. Everybody else just meh. Ordinary Imperial soldiers and ordinary Sovereignty witches shoot their guns or fire their spells but theirs feel so generic and boring. Same can be said about Jhin and Nene. Too boring that I don’t even know if they’re competent or their enemies are less competent. At least the royal Nebulis witches have some interesting and weird powers like Kissing’s black needles.

Art and animation feel pretty standard. CGI is passable and thankfully not awkward. The main gripe that I had at first is the style of the characters’ eyes. When I first saw them, I was wondering what the heck are Pokemon balls doing here?! I mean, the characters don’t have Pokemon balls as eyes but it has that uncanny design that makes me think so. Thank goodness nobody had Pikachu I-choose-you pop out from their eyes as their astral magic to fight against their enemies! Holy sh*t! Many of the character designs have this cute looks so at first it was a bit weird to see such cute characters in an anime with dark themes. I mean, take a look at Mismis. This midget is only ‘likeable’ because she has big boobs for such a small stature! And of course it goes without saying that our main characters Iska and Alice share this uncanny resemblance to Kirito and Asuna respectively. Need I further repeat myself? This anime is done by Silver Link who did Baka To Test To Shoukanjuu, Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry, Onii-chan Dakedo Ai Sae Areba Kankeinai Yo Ne, Hamefura and Non Non Biyori. So that’s why if you see any familiar looking characters from other animes (Nene = Arashi from OniAi? Sisbell = Karuto from Inu x Boku SS or Stella from Rakudai Kishi No Cavalry? Kissing = Black Snow from Accel World?), now you know why.

Voice acting is okay too. Recognizing a few seiyuus like Sora Amamiya as Alice, Ayana Taketatsu as Risya, Ami Koshimizu as Noro, Miyuki Sawashiro as Elletear and Aoi Yuuki as the Emperor (barely). Other casts are Yuusuke Kobayashi as Iska (Subaru in Re: Zero Hajimeru Kara Isekai Seikatsu), Yumiri Hanamori as Rin (Nadeshiko in Yuru Camp), Azumi Waki as Sisbell (Special Week in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby), Nao Shiraki as Mismis (Yvette in Yakusoku No Neverland), Shunichi Toki as Jhin (Glenn in Monster Musume No Oisha-san), Kaori Ishihara as Nene (Aladdin in Magi), Toshihiko Seki as Salinger (Senketsu in Kill La Kill), Konomi Kohara as Kissing (Chika in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Hikaru Midorikawa as Masked Lord (Lancer in Fate/Zero) and Jun Kasama as Nameless (Koenig in Youjo Senki).

Against by Kaori Ishihara as the opening theme sounds like your generic manufactured pop. Oddly, I can’t help think of To Aru Kagaku No Railgun’s Only My Railgun each time I hear this song. It is perhaps that techno special effects that made me think how similar both songs are despite they aren’t. Sora Amamiya sings the ending theme, Koori No Torikago, a slow-moderate anime song. Sounds a bit dramatic but overall nothing that special to me.

All in all, this series feels mediocre and lacklustre since the plot isn’t anything special, the characters are not very interesting and the action scenes are just generic. Even some of the supposedly funny scenes feel WTF level rather than funny itself (that pasta incident… That Alice trying to strip Iska for equality incident…). To say that it had only a dozen episodes and not enough materials to flesh things out is (the light novel it is based on is still ongoing) not entirely accurate since there are many other single cour anime series out there that was interesting and had potential. You people still remember No Game No Life? Manga still ongoing and the last time the anime was adapted was way back in 2012!!! That’s almost freaking 10 years ago!!! And if you want something better related to this genre, I recommend Basilisk (the original one) or if you prefer light-hearted comedy, perhaps Kishuku Gakkou No Juliet. One of the not so impressive Romeo x Juliet adaptations if I should say. This one just doesn’t quite cut it because when science and magic clash, an epic love story does not even begin! Sorry folks for the bad To Aru reference. I guess not even science, magic or love could save this anime.

Golden Kamuy S3

3 April, 2021

Oh boy! It’s finally here! Hinna! Hinna! Felt like forever for Golden Kamuy S3 even though it was just almost 2 years ago the second season left. Yeah, I still couldn’t get that cliff-hanger out of my mind so you bet I was really eager. Making me even more anxious then was the thought of the damn Corona virus postponing this anime. I don’t think this anime got delayed for a season and was released as scheduled. I guess it was after the supposed peak and early virus period where the entire world was panicking and running around like headless chickens. Which sounds a lot weirder and funnier compared to these groups of people running around and chasing after the elusive gold.

Episode 25
Sugimoto’s group reaches Sakhalin/Karafuto. They go around asking locals about Asirpa. I know this is a joke but why the f*ck does Sugimoto has so many naked macho photos of Tanigaki?! And he pulls this out to ask about Asirpa?! A wine lady claims to have seen her so following her directions, they did stumble into an Ainu girl. But not Asirpa. Damn, all Ainu look the same?! Enonoka fell off her sled and her slightly deaf grandpa couldn’t hear her. Then they have to fight off the wolverine who is decimating a bear! Not sure why Sugimoto didn’t kill it when he grabbed it point blank and threw it away. Now they have to run. Thankfully Enonoka’s grandpa return to let them all ride on his sled. Not sure how heavy men on a sled could outrun the wolverine but it worked. Probably they all blamed Tanigaki and throw him off the sled! At Enonoka’s sled, she tells the guys that Asirpa was indeed here with Kiroranke. It is believed they were heading north as they were asking Russians of Russians village beyond the Japanese borders. Next day they move out to the next northern town. We are reminded that this part of Sakhalin housed lots of Russian prisoners so guessed what happened when Russia lost the Russo-Japanese war? With Tsukishima speaking fluent Russian, they try to get info from the burly drunkard men. One of them tried to be smart and smacks Sugimoto but gets smacked down. As they try to move out, it seems their dogs have been stolen! If they want it back, they have to participate in a stenka tournament. The guy Sugimoto punched out was a participant and the bar owner betted a lot on him. Further motivation for them to join in is that Kiroranke has been here looking for a man with tattoos who might turn up at the stenka. So basically a stenka is a traditional Russian brawling match. Yeah, more naked men punching each other in a ring. Initially, everyone thinks this is Sugimoto’s fault so he only she enter. But when the Russian claims the Japanese can’t beat the Russians, you know pride is on the line. So the Japanese men jump in to face their much bigger counterparts. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Because the small Japanese trumps the bigger Russians! Flawless victory!

Episode 26
Sugimoto meets Maiharu Gansoku, the man with the tattoos. He knows they’ll meet again. The Japanese are tasked to lose a fixed stenka match but they don’t want any more of this crap and are going to torture and kill him so that guy quickly changes his stance and has more info on what they’re seeking. The Japs are sceptical but Sugimoto doesn’t want to be too hasty. If there is a chance it might lead to Asirpa, he’ll take it. So the Japs continue the stenka against the Russians but this time Gansoku is in. This guy is strong! Might be a masochist too because he wants to be hit! He wants Sugimoto to give all he’s got! The wild punch fest continues and not even all the Japs teaming up against Gansoku could take him down. Perhaps Sugimoto took one punch too many and now he has gone nuts! He punches his own comrades and when the audience even gets into the brawl, he punches them! Big sh*t when he takes the sickle and wants to carve out Gansoku’s tattoos. Time for everyone to run! Gansoku so disheartened that he is only after his tattoos. As Gansoku escapes, Tsukishima, Koito and Tanigaki go after him. More sh*t because it’s that wolverine here to terrorize them! They hide in the sauna. Damn. Is it gay time?! Meanwhile Cikapasi and Enonoka manage to trick the local warden and break open the shed where the dogs are held. They’ve managed to get the dogs but damn, that wolverine is persistent! I wonder who’ll win: Sugimoto vs wolverine! But that won’t be as Tanigaki guides Cikapasi to shoot his rifle. Dead on the wolverine’s forehead! Phew. That’s done with. But now back to Sugimoto and Gansoku settling their business. Wild naked punches as Gansoku feels anger in his punches. Something about Sugimoto regretting being useless to Asirpa. The punching must be so hard that the ice they’re on breaks! That cold snap must have snapped Sugimoto’s sanity back to normal. Hurry, back to the sauna! And more gayness! Sugimoto claims he doesn’t want to kill him but just copy his tattoos. Once they find the gold, the tattoos will be useless but in the meantime they tell him to go away far from here and perhaps practice stenka in mainland Russia. Gansoku remembers about Asirpa. Because when Shiraishi was being pessimistic about Sugimoto’s chances, Asirpa remains optimistic about him. He is after all the Immortal Sugimoto. You feeling better now, Sugimoto?

Episode 27
Asirpa’s group is at a village on Sakhalin that Wilk was born and raised. But thanks to the war between Japan and Russia, it torn apart the Ainu community who lived there. Wilk’s village went to Hokkaido but because of his Polish lineage, he couldn’t board the ship and remained. Half of the community who went to Hokkaido died from a plague and those who returned, none returned to Wilk’s village. Asirpa is still in disbelief that this would lead to her father betraying and killing his own Ainu and then stealing the gold to entrust it to her. Ogata believes that Asirpa’s brain is the key to solving the code because even if you get all the tattoos together, it means nothing if you can’t decipher them. As Asirpa looks like she has no idea of it all, she might be lying. But if they want good info and for her to willingly give out that info, they have to earn her trust. Gansoku parts ways with Sugimoto’s team. Tsukishima warning him not to come back to Japan or he’ll kill him. That goes the same for Sugimoto if he goes berserk next time. The rest of this episode focuses on Tsukishima’s past. As a son of a criminal, he was often called names. He fought back and got into a lot of trouble. The girl he ever liked (Egogusa as we conveniently identify her with because of her wavy hair) was the only one who treated him well. Because he will be drafted into the army for the war, when he came back, he made a promise to elope with her. But as the war nears its end, her letters stopped coming. He feared the worst and that is confirmed when he returned to his village with all the villagers in shock that he was still alive. They were told he died and that it was hinted Egogusa committed suicide. Tsukishima searched the cliff but found nothing. When he found out the one who spread the lie of his death was his own father, he beat him to death. He was sentenced to death and despite not knowing why he did so, he was contented in avenging Egogusa’s death.

Tsurumi then told him that a wealthy man came to his village wanting to marry Egogusa to his son. She refused despite this would pull her family out of poverty. So they paid Tsukishima’s father to tell that lie and have everyone go along with it. She and her family were sent to Tokyo to live and she never knew this plot. When Tsurumi visited them and talked to her, she was unaware of Tsukishima’s death so she handed him a small part of her hair to be buried alongside him. With Tsukishima now knowing the truth, Tsurumi wants him on his team as a war between Russia and Japan will soon begin and he needs men like him who are fluent in Russian. Although Tsukishima claimed he wasn’t fluent, Tsurumi then forced him to learn like his life depended on it. 9 years on as the Russo-Japanese war rages on, while Tsukishima is resting, a soldier from his hometown told him to truth. It was Tsukishima’s father who killed Egogusa and her body was buried underneath his house. Enraged, Tsukishima confronted Tsurumi for this deception. He admitted the lie because Tsukishima accepted his death. If he thought Egogusa was alive, it made him less willing to die. Just then, a bomb hits them. Although Tsukishima tried to protect Tsurumi, it is the latter who did that and in the process got his cranium blown off. Both are rushed to the hospital as Tsurumi continues his explanation that his lies were what got Tsukishima out of prison before a trial. Though in records, Egogusa and her family are still living in Tokyo. Once the war ends, Tsurumi needs men like him for his plan. Tsukishima intends to use the rest of it to serve him.

Episode 28
Kiroranke hunts some musk deer. It brought back memories of his hunt with Wilk because they used to harvest its gland to make some ornament. Asirpa remembers Wilk giving one to her and hoped they can go hunting once she is old enough. Meanwhile Sugimoto and co are chasing down this kid, Chokichi who stole their tattoo bag. Wow. He can outrun them? Turns out he is an acrobat from the Yamada Circus. He gets caught and the ringmaster apologizes. He has Chokichi take responsibility by cutting his face! The soldiers punch him but turns out it is just a trick sword. Sugimoto gets this idea that he can join their performance and the news will write about them. This would send a message to Asirpa that he is still alive. With Sugimoto agreeing to take the ringmaster’s place in the harakiri performance, Koito is acrobatic himself! Tanigaki and Tsukishima aren’t so acrobatic so they’re reduced to the little girls’ dancing squad?! Damn, their teacher is so tough that Tanigaki is crying and the little girls are comforting him?! Koito’s acrobatics is swooning the females as Sugimoto grows jealous. The ringmaster teaches him the harakiri trick. When the show gets going, Koito’s performance is so amazing. But something unplanned as he tries to catch a photo of Tsurumi. Hence all the amazing acrobatic stuffs! This guy is good! Finally it is the harakiri show. As Koito thought Sugimoto tried sabotaging him, he has also swapped the trick sword for a real sword. Until Tsukishima says it was him who put the photo because if he stood out too much, this act would be futile. Oh no. So Sugimoto cuts himself. Hmmm… Pain so real. Blood so real. Then he realizes it is a real sword! Oh sh*t! Can’t back out now! Suddenly a few Russian guys come in and pull out their guns. Sugimoto swift enough to cut all of them up! The crowd goes while thinking this performance is so real! Eventually they manage to cover it all up and interrogate the sole survivor. The ringmaster was a spy posted to Russia before the war. So I suppose they found out his identity and those men were told to kill the one performing the harakiri. The dancing teacher shows the guys more balls they all have as she kills the Russian in cold blood. Sugimoto is sad the news print only 2 lines of him, lost somewhere in the main article. However at least they got some decent info from the ringmaster who points out that up north in a Russian port town locates the biggest prison on Sakhalin, the Alexandrovskaya Prison. It could be where Kiroranke is headed since a large group of eastern minorities was placed there for some rebellion. Sugimoto is hopeful that Asirpa’s sharp eyes can catch this news. Too bad her eyes caught some animal turd. Oh, it’s Shiraishi’s turd…

Episode 29
Asirpa’s group is near the Russian border now. Time for more documentary goodness as Kiroranke talks about the Uilta minority that lives in this area. When Ogata shoots a reindeer that belongs to the Uilta, the gang must now repay that mistake with another reindeer. Time to go hunting. Asirpa hopes that this would bring back some memories of her dad and it did. Ogata shows his master skill as he shoots the entire herd! They have great reindeer meat back the Uilta camp as Kiroranke gives his needles to the women as goodwill. So this is all part of his plan to get on their good side so they can return the favour by giving them a ride across the border. Obviously they cannot get passports so they will be in trouble if the Russian or Japanese patrols catch them. However the tribes that live along are allowed to cross freely and they are going to disguise themselves as Uilta to get across. Meanwhile we here Tsurumi talk about an incident back in 1881 whereby Emperor Alexander II was assassinated by a hand thrown bomb. Although the rebels were caught and executed, one of them escaped alive and he is Kiroranke. Tsurumi has leaked this info to the Russians… Just as Asirpa’s group cross the border, one of the Uilta guys gets shot by a Russian sniper! Everyone hides as Ogata can tell the sniper is a very experienced one. The Russian sniper, Vasili shot because it is suspicious for Uilta to have the latest Japanese guns. That was their giveaway and it could’ve been Ogata had he not earlier swapped his rifle! The reindeers are also sniped to prevent their escape. Kiroranke pulls off a daring move by coolly walking to rescue the shot Uilta. This allows Ogata to pinpoint their location as she shoots the commander in the guts. Vasili knows this is just a distraction for them to escape because Ogata could’ve just shot and kill the commander. The Russians are ordered to hunt them down and Ogata relishes playing the hunting game. Vasili uses his men as bait but knows a good sniper will continue to wait. His men accidentally pulls off a bomb trap. Writing in pain, Ogata also knows Vasili will not risk showing himself to save his comrades. Vasili thinks he has spotted Ogata and waits. He must shoot to kill. He thinks back and wonders if he should’ve just shot Kiroranke then. Speaking of him, he approaches the bleeding commander who reminds him that Russia has not forgotten and forgiven his atrocity. Vasili continues to wait… Something’s wrong. Ogata has not moved an inch…

Episode 30
Asirpa sees a wanted poster of Kiroranke… And Wilk?! Kiroranke reveals that when somebody threw the bomb at the Emperor, it didn’t went into the carriage. It was Wilk who threw it in. Vasili realizes Ogata’s decoy. Because of the sunlight now, he can see covered footsteps behind leading to the Uilta coffin. He thinks he is hiding in there and fires a shot. However that itself is another decoy as Ogata fires and kills him. Ogata returns to the rest but he is a bit sick. Claiming he ate too much snow, he is now having visions of Yuusaku haunting him. Something about Yuusaku been chosen to be the flag bearer. Although this means he will be in the frontline, the myth is that virgins cannot die in battle. Ogata wanted to talk him out of it but he refuses. One night after another battle, Ogata brings Yuusaku to a capture Russian prisoner in the middle of the battlefield. Ogata accuses Yuusaku of not wanting to dirty his hands and has never even killed, the reason he became the flag bearer. He wants to see prove of him killing this prisoner but Yuusaku will not do it. He thinks it is his job to stay pure and motivate the men further. However Ogata rubbishes his claims that everyone feels guilty of killing. This has Yuusaku very sad and hopes there would be a world where no one shouldn’t feel guilty over killing. That sealed his fate because as we know, in the next battle, Ogata shot him at the back of his head. Meanwhile as Ogata recuperates, Shiraishi talks to Asirpa alone. He wants them to run away from them and deduces that Kiroranke only brought her here to make her remember things. Being with them is dangerous. However Asirpa is staying. Of course Kiroranke heard all that so he explains further. Something about his and Wilk’s being mixed heritage of the Ainu tribe. They killed the Emperor as he would be the kind of man who would sign the Treaty of St Petersburg (a treaty between Japan and Russia in exchange some islands and hence further dividing the Ainu). Thus Kiroranke has been fighting for the freedom of the minorities of the Far East. Once Ogata is healed and the rest part ways with the Uilta men, Kiroranke says Shiraishi doesn’t have to follow them anymore. All parties have his tattoo so he isn’t a wanted men. He agrees since gold won’t be any worth if he is dead. Now, Shiraishi plans to head back to Hokkaido to suck up to Tsurumi since he isn’t really ready to let this go yet. However with Sugimoto’s words telling him to take care of Asirpa if he’s not around, I guess he has to change his mind. He’s going to follow them. Hopefully he gets to sleep with some Russian babes this time.

Episode 31
Due to the heavy blizzard, Sugimoto-Tanigaki-Cikapasi group get separated from the rest. They know they are lost when they see the sea. With the blizzard getting heavier, they are forced to dig a hole, destroy their sled to burn it and warm the earth so they can huddle together for warmth. How long will they last? Meanwhile Tsukishima’s group reaches a house. The owner heard their friends got separated and thus has them clean the huge lighthouse that hasn’t been in use for a while. This light is what saved Sugimoto’s group as they are guided to the house. The old couple treats the group to quite a nice warm meal. Vkusno! Sugimoto notes a picture of their daughter on the wall. Story goes that they were living here before the war. When a Russian deserter from the war sought refuge here, he ran away with their only daughter, Svetlana. They tried to look for her but to no avail. The government and military did nothing to help them as their lighthouse got into some tug of war between the Japanese and Russian sides. As this place is no longer in use, they are still staying here in hopes Svetlana will come back one day. Sugimoto is touched by their story and needs to pay them back for saving his life. So he takes the photo of Svetlana and will help look for her. So he’s taken on an additional side quest, huh? In exchange, he gives them a photo of Asirpa and wants them to tell her that he is alive. I think something got lost in translation as they hang up a creepy photo of Sugimoto! Enonoka talks to Cikapasi about some monster cat called meko oyasi. Basically it’s just a mountain cat. This has Koito bring up the topic about Ogata since he is a very disliked person and hence the mountain cat nickname. The best way to treat that kind of person is to kill him. Asirpa’s group stumbles into paw prints of a mountain cat. This has Kiroranke explain about his hunt with Wilk as well as the female commander whom they look up to, Sofia Goldenhand. She was the leader of their resistance group but is currently serving time in a Russian prison, Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky AKA Ako. As she might know more things about Wilk than him, Asirpa sets her destination to Ako. Looks like she is still alive and talking to Svetlana to marry a man in order to get out of prison but she refuses. Sofia then receives a letter and from the hidden message, she can tell Kiroranke is back.

Episode 32
Hijikata is asking the locals about this strange seed in Inudou’s hidden room. It belonged to one of the tattooed prisoners, Shinzo Doi. This might lead them to him. Only an Ainu man recognizes it is a beak of a bird. Since it is only found at a certain place, they think this is where he is. Hijikata further narrates that Doi isn’t his real name and he is more famously known as Youichirou the Manslayer. They head there and the Ainu head is able to remember he once lived here because he married an Ainu wife. But some Japanese came here to kidnap his wife because of some grudge. He killed him and was sent to prison. When he learnt his wife was sick, he escaped to see her one last time. He then left this place and is now living in some fishing village nearby. Yeah, he looks like a frail and senile old man. But Hijikata has to hurry. There are many men who are hired from the people he killed out for his head. So one of those men has found him and is going to kill him as revenge. Instinctively, Youichirou turns into his slayer self and slices their feet! Hijikata and Ushiyama arrive in time to kill some of the men. How convenient all the parties found the place at the same time. And got killed off. Youichirou sees Hijikata and runs away. How far can an old man run? We see his past visions that despite all the dirty work he did for his master, he was betrayed. He is sad that he cannot commit seppuku because he won’t die that way. Hijikata approaches him and tells how western invention helped then win wars against Russia and China. But with Russia still advancing on the south and Japan can’t afford the war settled for Sakhalin instead. As the Meiji government is at its limits, a new method is needed. Hence Hijikata wants to turn Hokkaido independent to protect the north. He is still fighting for Japan. However Youichirou is tired. He has lived too long. Both men draw their swords but Hijikata slices his guts. He then returns the beak to him. Youichirou dies a slow death since this is probably what he deserves. But Hijikata doesn’t regret not dying at Hakodate. He lives on because he has a job that needs to be done. Meanwhile Kiroranke’s group is waiting at Ako. His plan is to bomb several points of the prison to let all the prisoners escape. This is so as the guards will not focus on just Sofia if they break her out alone. Where to get so much explosives? The lighthouse has a hidden stash of them in case the Japanese attacks again. Now they need to wait for something to come.

Episode 33
Ako must be really a low security prison with Shiraishi slipping in dressed as a prisoner, walking past one of the sleepy guards just to hand to the inmates stuffs who in turn hands it to Sofia. He returns and complains about the risk is not worth the reward so Kiroranke goes further deeply into their past. At Vladivostok, Sofia, Wilk and Kiroranke while running away from Russia, met a Japanese photographer, Kouichi Hasegawa. He settled here and married a local. It is him whom they learn Japanese from and hid in his studio. It is unknown if Hasegawa knew who they were but from Sofia’s actions, he might have an idea. The original idea to have a revolution to overthrow the government was to have the serfs rise up against them. However their religious beliefs are deeply rooted in the sense it made their emperor look like a god. With the ethnic minorities were threatened to have their gods replaced, the only logic conclusion to prove he is not is to assassinate him. This is a reason Wilk and Kiroranke joined Sofia’s revolution. One day, Hasegawa knew the police was coming after him and sent his wife and baby daughter away. Right after that, the police came knocking on his door. Although surrounded, Sofia and her boys start shooting all of them! Damn, Hasegawa has a gatling gun hidden in his camera! The shocking thing was the police wasn’t here for the fugitives but Hasegawa? However in the end, Hasegawa’s wife turned back and a single bullet killed her and the child. Sofia become distraught and thought she was the one who shot them although it could’ve been Kiroranke who was manning the gatling gun. Hasegawa told them to leave. They do so and that was the last they saw of him. With their warrants reaching this far, they can’t use the ports to get to Japan. They have to go further north because at this time of the year when ice floes cover the straights, they will be able to walk across to Sakhalin in about a day. This is the thing that Kiroranke is betting on today. Once they bust Sofia out, they’ll walk over to Russia where many of her comrades are waiting. Further flashback shows Sofia who was still guilt ridden by the baby’s death, didn’t want to go with them and will continue her fight in Russia. Kiroranke’s letter has addressed Wilk’s death so Sofia is a sad lady. The biggest twist in the end as we see, Hasegawa told his dying wife that this isn’t his real name. It is… TSURUMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He leaves his family’s body in his studio and burns it all down. Oh, look at those eyes filled with resentment.

Episode 34
Kiroranke places the bombs at 4 strategic places of the walls. Once the bombs go off simultaneously at dawn, it will be signal to Sofia to escape. Well, only 1 of them blows up. Damn, if Sofia and the prisoners can beat up the guards this easily, they could actually escape whenever they wanted! But wait, what’s stopping them from escaping? There’s a Siberian tiger!!! Oh sh*t! Is it here to just kill people? Sofia tackles it but doesn’t kill it, believing it is some sort of god or something. She escapes and bumps into Asirpa. Can’t mistake those blue eyes. She sees Kiroranke and punches him, thinking he has done something to Wilk. At this time, lots of fishermen are fishing so they blend in as they cross the ice floes and escape the prison guards. Sugimoto’s group is also at Ako and realizing the explosion, they know the other group is nearby. Asirpa wants Sofia to tell her about Wilk. But first about herself. As a noble who grew up in a fancy house wearing expensive clothes, she met Wilk and Kiroranke who told her about the various ethnic minorities. Wilk was worried that all their unique language and culture would disappear if they don’t fight to protect them. This is the reason why the Native Americans lost to whites because they were fighting among themselves rather than cooperating. When Shiraishi goes to take a piss, the ice floes move and separate him. Now he’s got to take the long way around to meet up.

The group sees a pack of wolves so this reminds Sofia of a story. She remembers Wilk loves wolves because of their beauty and strength. One incident when they were hiding from secret police and carrying an injured comrade. Moments before being found, Wilk slit his throat! He wasn’t going to live long anyway. That saved them. Sofia thought if it was her, she would’ve hesitated before coming to the same decision. This has Asirpa remember Wilk teaching her about the cruelty of kindness. They were hunting a bear and its cub and had to kill it. It might be cruel but sparing it means they’ll starve to death. That kind of kindness is wrong and can become a weakness. Basically, the weak lose and get eaten. If you’re wondering how Wilk got his name, Sofia has another story. When he was young, Wilk often visited a lone wolf who kept howling for its companions. When they do find it, they killed it like as though it was a sign there was no room in their pack for him. This has Wilk realize their functional beauty that nothing was wasted. He then stripped that dead wolf’s skin and ran around wearing it. His father saw it and decided to name him Wilk, that is Polish for wolf. When Wilk married his Ainu wife, after he told her how he got this name, she then gave him his Ainu name: Horkew Oskoni. Catching up to the wolf. Oh, so it’s not dances with wolves? Haha. Okay. Whatever. Wilk told her that nobody else but them knows this name and not to tell anyone. It is then Asirpa suddenly remembers something. The prisoner tattoos. Some have those words… Meanwhile Shiraishi is about to fall to his icy grave but look who is here to save him? Sugimoto! Glad to see him again?

Episode 35
Sugimoto wastes no time in revealing it was Ogata who shot and killed Nopperabo. Now that Asirpa has remembered something, she regrets forgetting it. Even when Retar was around, she should’ve remembered it but perhaps she didn’t want to think about it and pushed it out of her mind. So as they make camp and gather firewood, Ogata quickly takes Asirpa away and wants her to tell him the code. He needs the gold and will become the centre of the war. Telling him means she will be freed from this burden and she could go back to her normal Ainu life. However Asirpa remains sceptical because why is he telling her without Kiroranke around? Meanwhile Tsukishima stumbles into Svetlana. Identifying himself, he wants her to return to her parents to tell them she is at least alive. However she can’t. She was desperate to leave her boring life and go see the big city of St Petersburg. She thought any man who could bring her away was okay. But he turned out to be a robber and got caught. That’s why she can’t go back to face her parents and tell them this. Meanwhile Tanigaki and Koito fight off a couple of escaped Russian inmates. Because a shot is fired, Ogata looks around, to his horror he spots Sugimoto coming. He quickly takes Asirpa away and continues to explain that he saw Kiroranke signalling to someone to kill Nopperabo. He assumes they had a fall out over the gold. He never told her because he thought he needed his help but now everything has changed since she has remembered. He fears Kiroranke might kill everyone after that. Tanigaki has the misfortune to stumble into Kiroranke. Both fight and both get heavily injured with Tanigaki stabbing him in the guts.

Ogata continues to tell Asirpa the last words Sugimoto said to him about entrusting Asirpa to him. She wants to hear all his last words. But when Ogata says Sugimoto wanted to eat monkfish, she knows he is lying. She breaks free and points her arrow at him. She knows Sugimoto would’ve wanted dried persimmons. Now that she doesn’t trust him, Ogata dares her to kill him after revealing he shot her father and wonders if she can remain pure as the Ainu idols. Because he remembers her vow not to kill everyone amidst the gold rush. He wants to prove that she is the same as him and that nobody in this world is pure. However Sugimoto’s voice startles her as she accidentally shoots her arrow that hits right into Ogata’s right eye! Sugimoto immediately takes the arrow out sucks out all the blood. He refuses to let him die and make Asirpa a murderer. And for the first time this season, a big emotional and much welcomed reunion between Sugimoto and Asirpa. I guess it’s so cold that Asirpa’s eyebrows got stuck to his metal button. Sugimoto wants Shiraishi to pee on her face!!! WTF???!!! OH SH*T!!! Well, it’s a good thing everyone can still maintain their humour and laugh. Koito and Tsukishima find a very injured Tanigaki who reveals Kiroranke as the culprit. They go in search of him by following his bloodied footsteps. They see a dropped rifle and as Koito picks it up, Tsukishima realizes it is a bomb threat. He jumps to cover Koito. Now that Tsukishima is injured, Koito becomes enraged to hunt down Kiroranke himself. He could’ve been #3 kill streak as Kiroranke takes aim from behind. But a cute seal distraction! This allows Koito to fight back. Hope that stenka experience will do some good.

Episode 36
Sugimoto reveals the truth of Ogata shooting Nopperabo and Kiroranke was the one who gave the signal. This has Asirpa wondering if this was what Sofia was mad about in Kiroranke as he has changed. Meanwhile Kiroranke and Koito are at each other’s throat. Kiroranke could’ve won had not Tanigaki and Tsukishima shoot him. Even in such moment, Kiroranke could throw a bomb at them! Only to be coolly cut in half by Koito! Before they could kill him, Asirpa rushes back to stop them. She still has things to ask him. Kiroranke tells her to flee with Sofia but when she reveals she has remembered, Kiroranke is relieved that this journey wasn’t for nothing. Too bad he dies before she could ask him if he killed her father. As for Sofia, Asirpa is confident they will soon see each other again and that Sofia will come looking for her. After burying him, Sugimoto and Asirpa thought they spot Svetlana. Turns out to be Gansoku beating up Russian prisoners! I guess he is good extra hands to help carry the wounded back to the nearest Nivkh village. Meanwhile Sofia says her goodbye at Kiroranke’s grave. Tsukishima talks to Svetlana and understands her reason to go to Russia. But he wants her to write a letter to her parents to put them at ease. He will deliver it on his way back to Japan. Svetlana does that and travels to mainland Russia with Gansoku. She vows to become rich and bring her parents with her.

With Tsukishima needing a real doctor to be tended, Sugimoto heads to the nearest town to force a Russian doctor to the village. While Tsukishima is alright, he wants to bring Ogata back to his place for proper surgery equipment. He assures he will not turn them in because if he does, he would’ve wasted the life he just saved. Sugimoto also agrees to this because he wants to kill Ogata by his own hands. So when it seems the doctor has done all he can and Ogata can’t be saved, the only choice left is to kill him. However Ogata gets a head start as he beats up the doctor and escapes! Everyone goes to look for him but as Koito tries to tend to the doctor, Ogata is actually hiding behind the door, holding the nurse hostage. To Koito’s surprise, Ogata can speak Russian! He forces the doctor to collude with him or else he’ll kill the nurse. For some reason Ogata didn’t kill Koito when he could. He then flees on a horse. Damn, Sugimoto bad shooter because it’s like Ogata’s insulting him that he can’t touch him with his arms up in the air and he’s laughing like a maniac! So I take it God doesn’t want him dead yet. Sugimoto isn’t upset, though. He is happy Ogata can come back to be killed. In the aftermath, Sugimoto tells Asirpa that they’re staying on Tsurumi’s side since he has gotten most of the skins and the closest in finding the gold. It’s better than being on Hijikata’s side. Since Sugimoto is doing this for his share of the gold, Asirpa notes that they’re on the same path. They renew their partnership and return to Japan.

North To Sakhalin, Go North The Rush Is On
Oh wow. Despite this season didn’t end on a dreaded cliff-hanger, it is still far from over and in fact a lot more questions have been raised than answers. For instance, if Wilk/Nopperabo didn’t really kill the Ainu for their gold, then who did? Uh huh. This is going to turn out to be the longest whodunit series ever. Unless that guy was lying about it because if Kiroranke can change into this, what were the chances of him too? After all, from what we’ve seen in this season and the previous ones, you have got to start doubting people’s stories. Could it be a lie? Could it be the truth? Could it be something else? Yeah, this means I’m also starting to doubt if the gold is real. I mean, of course it is. The ‘gold’ could mean some deer poo with good medicinal herbs for all you know! Haha! Don’t believe me. Made that crap up! See what I mean about not being able to tell the truth and lies at this point?

In a time where sequels start showing the strain of the series and begin to suck, it is a very good thing that this one did not fall into that trap. In fact, I was even more enthralled and glued to my screen as ever before. Or maybe it was the same. I just couldn’t remember the intensity of my fascination for the second season but there was that captivation. So if I am going to complain anything about this season’s story, it would sound a lot like nit-picking. Uh huh. The only thing to complain about is that the story is still far from over and definitely it is going to need more seasons in the future. Also, although this is not a nit-picking point, somehow I just feel that this season with different groups chasing their goal separately, it just feels a bit off. I don’t know how to put it well. Because I am so used to seeing Sugimoto and Asirpa together for the first 2 seasons, seeing them travelling in separate groups made me feel weird. This means it’s like having a mini separate episode and adventure for these groups. One episode we’ll see what Sugimoto’s group is doing, then next episode, we’ll take a peek on Asirpa’s side. Not to forget that Hijikata’s group is also one of the contenders, yeah, there’s an episode to remind us this very old dude is very much alive and kicking. And that circus episode felt like a filler and although it wasn’t boring, I wonder if it could have been done without. I mean, it felt like an OVA material. The more precious episodes you waste with something like that, you delay in fleshing out the story and giving its proper development. Oh well, I guess they could spare 1 episode for that.

Just like last season, trying to find the elusive and coded gold is still a long way. Last season we had Tanigaki and Ogata fleshed out with their respective flashbacks. This time, we get Tsukishima and shockingly Tsurumi. I was going to feel disappointed that crazy lieutenant who has half his head blown off was not going to make any real impact this season. After all, he wasn’t part of the chasing pack. The main antagonist of the series sitting out this season? Is that possible? And then that mind blowing and shock twisting flashback episode that just blows my mind away. I really didn’t see that coming. So Tsurumi met Wilk and Kiroranke before, huh? Looks like fate trying to come full circle on these men. Yeah, it feels like almost every main character here had a run with each other in some way in the past whether they were involved in the war or not. So it could be that fate that binds them together in this mad gold rush. Everyone has their ulterior motives. With this fleshing out of some of the characters, hunting for other tattooed prisoners seem to take a back seat because this season we had like only 2 of them? Not a bad thing but it brings to mind how many tattooed prisoners are there in total actually. There’ll be a time when they’ve accumulated all the tattooed skins and put them all together for one big map. That’s what it’s all about, right?

The Sugimoto-Asirpa dynamism is obviously lacking here but I guess this is to help flesh out other characters and shed more light especially on Wilk and Kiroranke. But even if that past story was true, the way things are going, something in me feels makes me feel sceptical of them, especially Kiroranke. Could he be trusted? Or was it all just a ruse so as to get Asirpa remember the codes? After all, when it all comes down to money and gold, it’s every man for himself and you can trust nobody but yourself. Even Shiraishi. I mean, this dude continues to be a joker and playing the comic relief part. Among his groupie, he looks like the most useless one in terms of survival in the cold frigid outback. But then again, if he could tag along and survived this long, he is something. Don’t let that silly joker face fool you. He is the master of escape after all. Just too bad we didn’t get to see him display that skill this season. Speaking of that, Ogata making the biggest escape of the series and he laughs and spits in our faces with that final mind boggling miraculous escape he had. I think at this point he could be at the same level of dangerous and mad as Tsurumi. Something all parties must now watch out because nothing is more dangerous than a wounded mad lone wolf. I think. But seriously, Ogata is really the one everyone should be wary of.

Some characters are sorely missing here. Like Inkarmat. Sure, she was stabbed by Kiroranke at the end of last season but her death wasn’t entirely confirmed. Lest I forget. If it was, I would’ve probably made another ruckus how they tried to KILL OFF ANOTHER MAMIKO NOTO CHARACTER!!! So I’m crossing fingers that she isn’t dead yet. I mean, last season’s weird romance with Tanigaki was weirdly weird. I know there were gay moments last season but with the mainly dominating male casts here, it’s hard not to feel those gay moments during comical scenes especially early in the series like the stenka stint. Yeah, lots of butt naked men scenes… Also not forgetting that running joke of Sugimoto’s photo collection of Tanigaki. Like, WTF?! Also, what happened to Ienaga? Wasn’t she supposed to be in Hijikata’s group? Or did she decide to stay out on this one? Although Nikaidou did make his cameo this season, but seeing that this guy has been grounded in hospital due to loss of quite a few body parts, this season doesn’t feel as crazy without this crazy revenge guy around. Reduced to a comic relief role. And the way they eventually paired up Svetlana and Gansoku, the bizarre adventures they’ll have in Russia, man this series is also weird with its side stories.

As this season doesn’t take place in Japan or even Hokkaido, the journey in Sakhalin yields a slightly different Discovery Channel or National Geographic edutainment. For the past 2 seasons, we learnt about the Ainu tribe. This time we mainly have Kiroranke explaining the bits and pieces of the ethnic minorities, their livelihood, culture and beliefs. Of course Kiroranke knows a lot about them since he is a freedom fighter fighting for these ethnic minorities (assuming he still believes in that cause now). If he wasn’t on this gold rush, I think he would’ve made an excellent tour guide for these ethnic minorities. But too bad, looks like he bit the dust so no more minority report in future instalments. RIP, Kiroranke. Also, this season on Sakhalin means that a lot of conversations are bound to be in Russian for authenticity. I don’t know, I don’t speak Russian so I can’t really say if their Russian is, uhm, Lussian?! Hey, I could spot a Japanese trying to Engrish! But not when they try to, uhm, Lussian. Hence it all sounds like Greek, uhm, I mean, real Russian to me.

This season’s action scenes feel very much less but those that are, they do not disappoint and some are still violent and gory as its previous seasons. The art and animation also maintain the same quality. As usual, some of the characters do look weird like how I thought Gansoku looked like Groucho Marx! Though, I read he was supposed to be modelled after a British criminal, Charles Salvador or Charles Bronson (no, not that late Hollywood actor). And that Youichirou old dude? I thought Chuuka Ichiban’s Lakon escaped and sought refuge here! Of course I have to mention about the bears… Actually, their short cameo in Asirpa’s flashback, they aren’t animated using CGI but hand drawn. Thank goodness they look like normal bears. Yeah, don’t want to relive that nightmare! Also good news because the wolverine wasn’t CGI either. Don’t want to turn this ferocious beast that could kick a grown bear’s ass to look like one comical looking killer just because of bad CGI quality. Same goes for the Siberian tiger too. Too majestic for low quality CGI!

Grey by Fomare is this season’s opener. I guess it’s pretty okay as a rock outfit. Not really that attractive to me but overall it’s not bad. Same for the ending theme, Yuusetsu by The Sixth Lie (who also did the ending theme for the first season). Is it me or do these songs sound like spiritual successor from last season? I don’t know, they generally sound the same to me. New casts joining this season’s line up include Daisuke Ono as Youichirou (the younger version), Kimiko Saitou as Sofia (Chieko in Kuragehime), Misaki Watanabe as Svetlana, Kana Ichinose as Enonoka (Marlya in Fairy Gone), Kenta Miyake as Gansoku (All Might in Boku No Hero Academia), Yuichiro Umehara as Vasili (titular character in Goblin Slayer) and Taisuke Nakano as Hasegawa.

Overall, this season did not disappoint and remains as interesting and fresh as its previous seasons. Interesting character flesh outs and developments make up for the lack of action sequences this season while the jarring comical moments may be a hit or miss (Shiraishi pissing on Asirpa’s face to unfreeze her frozen state and then everyone laughing it all off, takes the cake for all the weird reasons). At this time in point, a fourth season has not been announced anywhere yet so I guess it’s going to be a long excruciating wait for viewers like me to find out more. Of course there’s the ongoing manga but ‘busy’ people like me have got no time to read! HAHAHA! All in all, nobody works harder to get the gold than these guys. Even more so than the guys for this year’s delayed Tokyo Olympics. Heh. That’s so unrelated. Whether or not we get another season, many great hinna and hinna for this one.

Oh my! There’s more?! Well, this was somewhat to be expected since the last Gintama series didn’t technically or actually end. But now it’s going to! Not sure whether to feel happy because it happened or be sad because it is all over. But whichever the case, I’m glad that I get to watch Gintama – The Semi-Final, a couple of episodes that serve as prequel and tie-in to the movie finale. Oh man. You mean the final is going to be a movie…

Semi-Final 1
A mature looking Shinpachi saves a disguised Gintoki from a group of men out for his blood. For now, Shinpachi doesn’t recognize him because he got that fundoshi as his mask! Fundoshi Mask? Turns out those men are targeting Shinpachi instead and the ringleader is no other than Sachi. Once Gintoki brings them to their knees, Sachi explains his misplaced revenge on Shinpachi for sullying Gintoki’s name by taking his place. Anyway, he is supposed to be in prison 2 years ago. While he was busy drawing his manga because he couldn’t find any screen tone for his nipples, the prison caught fire. Yaemon broke them all out but had them promise to come back once the prison is rebuilt. Since she deems Sachi breaking his promise, she is here to kill him! So for 2 years he has been looking for nipple screen tone?! For 2 years she has been hunting him?! And she accidentally cuts off Gintoki’s nipple… As they argue, Sachi realizes his work is meaningless since Gintoki isn’t here to read it. After acknowledging Shinpachi as the successor, Shinpachi wants to take a look at it. In short, bad reviews. Ironically, Gintoki gets upset the most so they start quarrelling. Before Gintoki’s identity could be revealed, he knocks out Shinpachi.

With this incident over, Gintoki carries Shinpachi back to Yorozuya. Ah, the memories. As he washes his face, he realizes the towel he uses to clean is a bra! Oh sh*t. Did Shinpachi bring back a woman?! Who the f*ck this granny Kagura?! But wait. Another voice. Multiple women?! Who the f*ck this loli Kagura?! Then the real Kagura thinks a panty thief is trying to steal her undies as she goes to get him but luckily Gintoki slips out and away. However some of the hair she grabbed, she knows it belongs to Gintoki. Who else has this silver perm? So they rush out to go after him but an explosion rocks the tower. On the news, DONALD ZURAMP IS DEAD!!! OMFG!!! Oh, Katsura dead? Really? Sougou thinks somebody got to his prey when other Shinsengumi are here to stop them. Hijikata takes them into his car to meet up with his other loyal Shinsengumi members. Looks like they’re going to make their move. However Shinpachi and Kagura head back to Yorozuya first. They recall what they’ve been doing since which isn’t anything much. They haven’t move forward. They see Otose opening her store. At a time like this when she’s supposed to be evacuating? Well, you know the folks here. At times like these such places should be open to provide drinks. Then they all talk about how Gintoki connected them all and helped other people grant their wishes. After Shinpachi and Kagura don their old Yorozuya clothes, they are prepared to grant Gintoki’s final wish, whatever it may be. However they won’t be doing it alone as many of the characters of Edo will help them. They are their Yorozuya.

Semi-Final 2
When Hijikata left, it is to find Yorozuya because he can’t accept an ending like this. Because they saved them many times, the reason they are standing here today. This means Kondou will also do what he needs to do. That is, marrying that gorilla Princess Bubbles???!!! Oh yeah. He’s speaking the gorilla language, dude! Not that he understands it anyway but they all love him! Uho! I guess uki is for pipsqueak monkeys… Later Kondou calls Matsudaira about this foul up. Basically Kondou has to take responsibility because they already got a kid?! A human and a gorilla?! Don’t even ask! When Kondou left that one time, it made Bubbles depressed and she went to join in some bad company. Anyway, Kondou is on his own. He tries to escape but is brought back. Yeah, the gorillas really love him. Until the delinquent gorilla who is supposedly the real father of junior pops up. Due to the miscommunication, Kondou and the gorillas are on different pages. Delinquent wants to beat him up while Kondou tries to convince him to take Bubbles. Weird power fight with lots of bananas involved. Yeah, this is going bananas! Eventually Kondou wins but Bubbles leave with the delinquent. As Kondou tries to leave, Bubbles is also doing the same. Apparently she has learnt some human language and can understand him. She reveals when she learnt so, the more depressed she became. Although she blames him for making her end up with bad company, but she also thanks him that she could make her own family after that. Too bad those around her wouldn’t allow it. So now she wants to return to Earth where her family is. The other gorillas try to attack Kondou but he thinks they’re giving him a goodbye hug. Yeah, Kondou’s bear hug is stronger. Who’s next?! With all the commotion, Kondou is accidentally slammed into the controls. This causes the ship to break and fall apart, hence crashing into that tower. Bubbles’ last gift to Kondou is returning his Shinsengumi uniform because she remembers how his friends came to take him back the last time. Kondou dons it and returns to his men waiting for him. Uho! In the aftermath of the tower’s explosion, Madao is being interviewed to save Edo. I guess he is being nervous and all and gets taken out by the blast! And so the full scale alien attack is here. Shinsengumi as well as the other Edo characters join forces to combat this threat.

Riding Off Into The Silver Sunset…
Ah well… I don’t know if I can make it to watch the movie because you know, it’s almost 2 hours long and I don’t know if I can actually do that. I know it’s a stupid excuse but that’s the main reason why I don’t usually watch anime movies. Which means I will actually never know what happened and find out the real ending. Yeah, maybe I’ll read the summary but it’s not going to be the same thing. Oh, maybe I’ll watch clips here and there, skip a few scenes here and there as I watch it. But you know, it’s not going to be the same thing. Yeah, it sucks to be me. Because as I read, a lot of people gave rave reviews about it. It was one of the best finales ever and so good that it beats all previous chapters and stories it had! Awesomely superior. Wow. That not enough for me to go take a peek? Man, I must be dumb.

Even more so when ticket sales of this final movie sold about a million tickets! Trumping and dumping Kimetsu No Yaiba’s movie top spot for about 3 months! Am I sure I don’t want to take a look at this?! Do I prefer to have this regret lingering in my guts and mind forever?! Well… Here’s another stupid reason for you naysayers: If I don’t watch the final, the series is technically not over for me!!! HAHAHA!!! I beat the system!!! Oh, what did I say in my previous blog about wanting closure on this series? Maybe I’ll change my mind in the future. I also want to blame a certain virus turning me this fickle… Can I?

Anyway, before I further get side-tracked there, in true Gintama fashion, I guess this series never lost its touch (notice how they even name this season as semi-finals?). What needs to be said has already been said and I don’t want to repeat myself saying the same things about this awesome series. Also, I have forgotten a lot so yeah. Please refer to my old blog in that case :-). Right up till the very end (or at least this semi-final series for me), it still manages to tickle my funny bone with the same brand of humour one minute and then get all serious and tugging those heart strings hard with their usual friendship, life advice, facing destiny drama. It’s all too familiar for us Gintama fans and veterans who have been following them since the start. At least for those like yours truly who only watched the anime, ever since it was adapted way back in 2006. Yeah, 15 years sound like a long time. Do we feel old now?!

I can see that they’re going to make this movie the absolute final production of Gintama. Because of that word ‘final’ in its title. Ah yes, when a series has that in its title, you bet it is to generate hype and let the whole world know they won’t be making any more of these. Lest they troll us again. Like Inu Yasha! Well, technically Hanyou No Yashahime is a spinoff but at this point I’m still confused over this grey area. Anyway, no more Gintama in the future, right? It’s like saying, we can finally put this series to rest. Or, just let this series die! HAHAHA!!! But, really :’(…

That’s why I can see why saying goodbye to this series seems and sounds like the hardest thing. Because each time they make it better than the last, it makes us want to yearn for more. More! MORE! When will it end? So I guess that is the bittersweet heart breaking yet heart-warming reality we have to face for one of the greatest series that ever graced our airwaves and silver screen. One of the few series that actually lived up and surpassed its name. Yes, people. This series had a lot of soul and more in it than we could imagine. Yeah, the Soul series of the anime world! So thanks Yorozuya and the wacky people of Edo. Thank you for the ride. You’ll be sorely missed but we’ll always remember you in our hearts. Sorry, can’t seem to find the appropriate punch line when you’re tearing up with nostalgia writing this… Sniff, sniff…

Senyoku No Sigrdrifa

28 March, 2021

Imagine strange enemies that could wipe out mankind start popping up all over Earth. But don’t despair. Because God claims He can help us by imbuing certain special people (read: young girls) with special weapons to help fight the threat. And those special weapons are propeller planes! I kid you not. At least that is what is used to fight the enemies in Senyoku No Sigrdrifa. Of course, not just normal propeller planes but those with filled with the said special powers from God. So I guess saying a prayer isn’t enough for a miracle these days, huh? Oh well. If you want to eat, then you have to work for it. Looks like God isn’t the great merciful I thought He used to be…

Episode 1
American air forces trying to take down alien swarms and pillars called, uhm, Pillars that start appearing along mountain ranges around the world. But you know, mankind’s technology isn’t all that good and everyone gets wiped out. So the world leaders are trying to access what they need to do next when a small kid pops up. He claims he is Odin and as God, he will help bestow them something to fight Pillars. He will send his ‘daughters’ called Valkyrie to aid them. So Odin is the God of this world, huh? Oh well, where’s Jesus and Buddha when you need ‘em? 5 years later, Claudia Braford is a Valkyrie and a Named one. Damn, if you think she can actually fight in her propeller plane if modern jet planes can’t even do the job, this is no ordinary plane because it sprouts magical wings and shoots magical bullets that pierce through the thickest armour! Oh sh*t! Unfortunately, Claudia is the only survivor. Damn, shouldn’t sending her is enough since she always gets the job done? No wonder Claudia always so gloomy because she calls herself the Grim Reaper as the death rate around her is 99.9%! Soon, Claudia heard she is going to be transferred to Japan. Apparently one the Japanese’s Named got killed so I guess Europe having a few Named to spare, Claudia is chosen by her commander to be the replacement. During her flight there, a Pillar pops up. Jellyfish version? She thinks she can do it alone but looks like Miyako Muguruma, Azuzu Komagome and Sonoka Watarai come to her aid. They are also good but Claudia knows this type of Pillar. Because it is not on land, it cannot replenish so the tactic here is not strong firepower but to outlast it until it runs out of energy. The plan works and the Pillar just melted? Claudia would soon see the trio again as she is posted to the Tateyama base where they are based. She is appalled at her commander, Ichirou Satomi who is seemingly very lax. They are planning a welcoming party for her but since the alert is still up, I guess that will have to wait. For now, Miyako takes Claudia to tour the base. After meeting the mechanics, they head to the cafeteria. Sonoka joins in and then subsequently Azuzu. But Azuzu senses something amiss. Why is Claudia posted at this rear base instead of other elite bases? There must be a reason. I guess now is not the time for answers as the alert is sounded. Pillar spotted. Make that Pillars. Brought more jellyfish friends this time?

The girls get sortie but they soon realize this Pillar can replenish its energy. But how? It’s not on land? Well, duh. It’s underwater! Tactical retreat to strategize! The plan now is to lure out its core called Vandrande and destroy it. Planes can’t fight underwater, right? Oh, so you just fish it out? Yeah, so crazy it might actually work. However Claudia is still having doubts about working together as a team because you know, her nickname. Irritated Azuzu puts on the speaker to reveal Claudia’s Grim Reaper title to everyone. Guess what? They don’t care! Grim Reaper is a hot blonde! So that enough motivation for you to do teamwork? So the attack begins with lots of bombardments to draw out the big whale to the surface. They need to stop it before it reaches land to replenish. Sonoka does a crazy daredevil stunt to slam some of its minions into the whale, causing to open and reveal its core. More bombardment but it’s not good enough and the flap is going to close. It’s Miyako’s turn for this unbelievable stunt as she jumps down her plane and slices Vandrande with her sword! Explosion! Pillar blooms into a giant tree. Claudia’s trauma is working up as she thinks everyone has died. No response. Until they do. Yeah, they’re just stuck on the tree. Thank goodness I don’t know how Azuzu’s plane is still in one piece. Big relief for Claudia. Yeah, no casualties in this fight. No single loss of wingmen either. And to make sure she feels at home, once they return to base, everyone greets her with a warm welcome to Tateyama.

Episode 2
Blatant Japan promo time! Because Claudia remembers her father telling her to visit Japan once if she has the chance. It is a great country with honourable samurai men and yamato nadeshiko women. But in the aftermath of the welcoming party, everybody’s sleeping all over the place so Claudia isn’t so sure about it anymore… The hangover morning has Miyako gather her girls so they can properly introduce each other. Miyako starts off as the perky girl who brings smiles to everyone. Read: She’s the genki idiot. Azuzu is still suffering from hangover so forgive her for trying to justify convincingly as a genius. Sonoka sounds sweet but with everyone calling her by her brutal nicknames, still water runs deep. It’s Claudia’s turn and she remembers first impressions count. She is about to do some embarrassing pose but the alert to sortie sounds. Yeah, it saved her from embarrassment. Or does she feel insulted? On to serious business, a Pillar has materialized over the sea at Umihotaru but near enough the land that it is causing civilians to collapse. It has also projected a water barrier and you know it’s going to be tough to break through. Until Azuzu shows her genius plan. Based on its location, they will fly through the undersea tunnel as it is not flooded to reach the Pillar’s centre. Even in this cramped space, the girls can still evade Pillar beams? Okay. Whatever. Breaking through the centre, the Pillar dissolves the water barrier to defence itself. But after a successful bombarding, it isn’t over yet as the Pillar turns into some heat type. Thankfully, Sonoka is carrying some super ice coolant, so dropping it freezes the mother. Time to wrap things up as the core is now exposed and Claudia makes a wonderful finish. In the aftermath, Claudia is now certain she can get along with others. Without their help, this mission would’ve been impossible to pull off alone. So I’m guessing her doubts are blown away because she is now another idiot?! Just kidding!

Episode 3
Look who is here to visit Claudia? Why, it’s Odin! I guess he is bored. Though, Claudia keeps denying he is her real father whatsoever. He praises her for doing incredible things ever since coming to Tateyama. But he cautions the decisive battle will come and since she is getting well with her friends, he hopes they won’t get killed. Claudia helps Miyako prepare breakfast. Then Satomi has the girls do some reconnaissance at Umihotaru to assess the place ever since the Pillar’s attack. Hmm… Looks like they’re having a good time. Heck, even the public is feeling pretty good. Then there is some emergency call by Azuzu so Miyako quickly sorties. Claudia soon learns as she arrives at the hospital. One of the reconnaissance guys who was caught in the water barrier at Umihotaru is close to death. Many believe that if a Valkyrie is with them at death, it will allow them to meet up with their loved one. So as Azuzu holds his hands as Claudia sings a song for him until he passes on :’(. Claudia becomes a bit distraught as she thinks about her own predicament of being preoccupied with the silly Grim Reaper title. She realizes she is the weakest of the lot. So she asks Miyako on how to be strong. Ironically, Miyako doesn’t think of herself as strong. Nevertheless, she’ll gladly share a secret with her. To be strong, you need to eat any food without being picky! Hope Claudia doesn’t regret it… Yeah, this sushi tastes… Delicious! See? She’s already strong.

Episode 4
While fighting Pillars, Azuzu’s plane takes damage. She manages to safely land in the vacated city. The rest rendezvous with her after they manage to tire out the Pillars albeit it is just a temporary measure. They discuss about the strange sound the Pillars emit and thanks to a small video the local boys recorded, it is deduced that the Pillars emitted some ultrasonic frequencies that older people cannot hear. So I guess those communication girls back at the base are too old not to hear it, huh?! Anyway, that sound is some signal for the Pillar to regenerate when one is destroyed. But here is another problem. As there are 4 Pillars, one of them moved inside the land. This means if the girls are to get back to base, they will come within range of those Pillars and definitely will be attacked. However the military guys have a brilliant idea. They will escort the girls to sea and lead them into an underground cave that leads back to the base to avoid detection by the Pillars. Oh. So I guess that’s our excuse for swimsuit fanservice! Oh yeah! But don’t be too happy. Because there are going to be a lot more macho men in fundoshi feasting our eyes. And slapping their buttocks for dramatic effects. Damn, are we lovin’ it?! So we see our motivated military men guiding our girls to safety. Even one point forming a manly macho bridge for the girls to step on and cross! Funny or cringe?! Eventually they pop out in the base’s swimming pool. So you mean they can’t make a sound but a small sneeze from Claudia, the Pillar starts attacking? Okay. RUN TO YOUR PLANES! They manage to do so and destroy all the Pillars before it could regenerate. Easy. In the aftermath, Claudia wants to know the plane who supported them while they were running to their planes. Folks, meet Yayoi Amatsuka.

Episode 5
Yayoi and her wingmen are here at Tateyama to report for duty. Miyako is glad she is here but apparently Azuzu and Sonoka aren’t. Since she is a hotshot ace who is always doing dangerous mission, what brings her here to Tateyama? As revealed, there is a counteroffensive plan to attack Fuji Primary Pillar. This doesn’t sit well with Azuzu because of some similar tragedy happened 2 years in North America that claimed the lives of many Valkyries. But as Yayoi puts it, Odin will be helping in this mission. Azuzu then goes confront Odin about this and the Norse God guarantees this attack is necessary because the Primary Pillar will fall asleep and be less active. Even in that state, the Pillar will still be able to launch attacks when attacked. That’s why all forces across Japan will be participating in this mission. Then something about Azuzu being too smart for her own good and Odin knows she’d prefer to use her talents elsewhere than this. During lunch, Yayoi and Miyako are interacting well. Azuzu a bit forlorn and Sonoka doesn’t want to have any part of it just leaves. It’s like whatever Yayoi says, it would turn into somewhat a dreadful subject. Yeah, nobody as cool as Claudia finishing the entire black cod herself! Sonoka then hangs out at Satomi’s room. Of course they talk about Yayoi. Not surprisingly, they were once in the same squadron. Everyone waits for the countdown for the Pillar to fall asleep. During that period, Yayoi notices Sonoka opening up to Claudia and interacting better with her. But keep your focus on the mission. The Pillar is now asleep. Get ready for the decisive battle. Ragnarok is nigh!

Episode 6
With all the colourful planes here, damn, I thought this was some air force exhibition. With all the world’s best here, this means Claudia’s European comrades are here too, Lizbet Crown and Leyli Haltija. They are surprised to see Claudia fitting in well. So they really thought she’d be a depressed Valkyrie, huh? Other famous Valkyries joining in on this raid are Lhasa Lurizar and Nina Kolmakov. Yeah, you’ll never get so many Valkyries assembled at one place. Everyone assembles as Major General Okita gives his morale boosting speech. Yeah. Do it for everybody, essentially! Then it’s Odin’s turn. I know it’s supposed to be a speech to rev everyone up but why does it sound more like a curse than a blessing? Though the humans are moved, the Valkyries don’t seem to be. Before the big operation, Sonoka saw Yayoi going with Satomi. And she heard the shocking but that Yayoi planned to sabotage Sonoka’s plane so she can’t fly. It’s her way of protecting her from this risky mission. Of course Sonoka is not happy and in distraught. Good for us, we get to see a little of their flashback. Apparently 2 years when Yayoi grounded Sonoka, it was that same mission that shot down Yayoi. Though she survived, it was very heart wrenching for Sonoka who thought she really died that day. Of course today it is a different story. Claudia views Sonoka’s skills as necessary not only to those here but for humanity. The operation begins as everyone manages to easily destroy the small fry Pillars guarding the Primary Pillar. They bomb a hole to enter it and it gets weird from here. Like as though they entered a different dimension, they are also revolted to see planes of their comrades littered below. Like as though this is a twisted graveyard of the fallen. It gets weirder because this giant knight on a pole is Thor?! Make that many Thors! Worse, the Valkyries seeing their own dead comrades’ planes in the air, it’s just stirring up a whole lot of emotions. Got to be a sick joke, right?

Episode 7
The irony of the Valkyries fighting their dead comrades who once fought alongside them. One of them is Sakura Okita whom Claudia replaced. Despite being the enemy and the dead, their skills are still unparalleled and exactly as their living counterparts. Instead of having a dogfight with them, the Valkyries target Thor. Whether it’s a good idea or not, now all the Pillars around Japan start to head towards Fuji. Okita gives the orders to retreat. The mission failed. Not sure why Sonoka being stubborn. Probably had some beef with Yayoi about abandoning her. Suddenly Thor raises his hammer and fires a beam that obliterates the command tower! In the aftermath, Sonoka is alive and has some minor injuries. Satomi and some of the communication girls evacuated but Okita and Odin and some other officers who stayed behind got vaporized. Speaking of Odin, that God is now missing and it’s anybody guess if he is still alive. With some casualties and the enemy still heading this way, they need all the available fighters they can get on standby. But not you, Sonoka. You’re injured and your plane is out of service. Time for her b*tch about being left behind again. Then she realizes there is something else they didn’t tell her. Yayoi talks to her alone and it seems she has volunteered to undergo some rescue mission for some of their comrades trapped in the Pillar. As a former Named, she can’t abandon her little sisters. Sonoka starts crying and doesn’t want her to go. But she has to. Otherwise she can’t protect her. They both exchange charms and Yayoi promises to come back even if she gets shot down. The rest sends off Yayoi and her wingmen. Only they are in for this rescue mission? Yeah, Satomi giving her drink his special liquor. Don’t make it look like a final drink. In the aftermath, only Lizbet comes back and very battered. The only thing she has for Sonoka is her charm. Yayoi you liar!

Episode 8
At a temporary makeshift airbase, despite having short of parts and planes, Satomi has a plan that will retake Tateyama. That’s right. His paranoia paid off because there is a hidden base in the mountains that has reserve planes in it. It is outside the Pillar’s area but they only have 36 hours before things change. Later Satomi lets Azuzu hear a secret recording between Okita and Odin. Not really clear since Odin wasn’t being specific and toying around in riddles. I mean, you’re talking about Norse terms like Valhalla and Asgard. How can a Japanese dude understand all that?! Claudia talks to Lizbet who tells her Yayoi’s last message to her. She believes Odin is hiding something and that Claudia is the key to it all. It could be true because she notices Odin has always treated Claudia differently from other Valkyries. Now Claudia has to think and Lizbet left to cry all her heart out over her deceased comrades. Azuzu then talks to Claudia about Odin’s hint. Claudia remembers something about Odin telling her that the gates of Valhalla will always be open for her. And with that, a light portal appears! Not sure how long this will stay up so as they confide with Satomi, looks like they will have to take a chance with Claudia entering it and Azuzu her aid. This means Miyako is tasked to head to the secret base. But don’t worry, she won’t go alone. She has her wingmen who are raring to go. After Claudia and Azuzu step into the portal, it closes. Miyako sees Sonoka peeping who then runs away. Time for a pep talk to help blow away the low self-confidence. What do you mean she’s bad luck in sending people away? Don’t believe in that crap! Anyway, she needs to find her own answer. Sonoka who is grounded, tries to help out with the camp. Other girls come to thank her for saving them but I suppose she is still feeling the blues and dismisses she is strong or whatever. Inside a strange structure, Azuzu tries to decipher the paintings. I bet that dude is Odin and that guy with the hammer is Thor. Claudia somewhat remembers some song when she touches the core. Just when Azuzu figured it out, looks like some monster guard pops up to attack. Miyako and her wingmen have taken to the skies. They are fighting off Pillars but their numbers are increasing. That’s because they combine and turn into a real Pillar! With the evacuation alert sounded, looks like everyone has to scramble. Did it trigger a pregnant woman to go into labour? And no one noticed?! Only Sonoka. Can she?

Episode 8.5
Stop! At this point, are you lost? Do you still not understand what is going on? Well, you’re in luck! Because it’s RECAP EPISODE time!!! Oh yeah. Don’t you just love it when recap episodes interrupt your usual schedule so that slowpokes can catch up? Anyway, we have only recycled scenes but some dialogues are narrated as they tell us once more about the setting and other terms unique to this anime. Damn, I actually forgot Pillars drain the life force of the land the stick on! How could I forget about this?! So yeah, watching this recap wasn’t entirely a waste of time… Anyway, some character introductions and the important plots of the story like the Fuji Primary Pillar attack to Yayoi’s sacrifice. Oh damn. Do we have to relive that heart wrenching drama so soon?

Episode 9
Oh dear. More Sonoka trauma. She is contemplating to fly again but the other wingmen are here to assure her that God had other plans for them. Yeah, sad Sonoka seems to think they’re flying to their deaths… So she goes to see the pregnant woman about to give birth. She thinks the doctor is going to abandon her since Pillars are likely to target new born life. However when they think of other ways to try and deliver the baby, oh damn, this works up Sonoka’s trauma?! Uh huh. More thoughts that she is weakling and useless. When it becomes too much to bear, she looks inside Yayoi’s charm. What does the note say? Don’t be a baby, idiot! Thankfully this doesn’t increase her trauma. After giving out a good laugh, Sonoka gets her groove back. Because now she flies her plane into the Pillar to help Miyako and her wingmen. Just in time since she is out of ammo. Also just in time as Satomi has noticed the Pillar cannot take damage despite destroying the core since the gears go in the opposite direction to reverse time. So I guess they have to destroy that main gear. How convenient they find it and bam! Everything falls apart and they secured Tateyama! Hooray! Meanwhile, Claudia and co have to escape from the labyrinth. Guns don’t work on those ancient guardians. One of the injured soldiers bomb himself to buy them for the rest to escape. Before Azuzu can sink into depression, Claudia slaps her because she needs to report what she has deduced. All our heroines return and reunite. They are greeted with great news as the baby is born. Oh, I think Sonoka and Azuzu cry louder than the baby! Claudia notes that despite lives are lost, new ones are born and this is enough motivation for her to fight. Azuzu reports her findings. The murals in Valhalla indicate the history of the Norse Gods. One painting shows Odin fighting alongside Thor. I think we all know what this means. The history ends with Ragnarok, the destruction of the world or at least the end of the Norse mythology. Everyone thought they are fighting to prevent that but Azuzu claims Ragnarok has already happened a long time ago. They have been lied to. Hence Claudia’s song is solely a tale of the Gods surviving. We see Odin refusing to acknowledge that Ragnarok has happened and that they have not yet fallen.

Episode 10
Satomi reports to the world leaders about Odin’s deception. Especially how Pillars like Thor were fighting alongside Odin and Ragnarok already happened. Now the question is, is he still their ally? Oh, here comes Odin to proclaim how he gave them the power to fight and then the motive to fight. Now with enemies for them to fight, he wants them to resist their destruction! So back at Tateyama, our heroes are analysing the data Azuzu got. Uhm, don’t they have Scandinavian friends or Norse geeks to help them? Like, Marvel? Okay. Maybe not. Anyway, they are baffled with Odin declaring battle, Pillars have been sporadically showing up but yet the Valkyries still retain their power. Azuzu racks her brains trying to come up with strategies and solutions so she isn’t appreciative when Miyako tells that everyone intends to hold a festival. I mean, at a time when the upcoming battle might be a decisive one, do they have time to have fun? Trust her. This is going to help everyone. Yeah, everyone needs a big break before the big battle. So we see the characters talking, chitchatting their thoughts on this and that. Festival came and go. Everyone had fun. In the closing moments, Miyako takes Azuzu to ride her new plane so they can do some impressive fireworks display for the people. At the same time, Claudia sings for everyone as she realizes this is her home. She loves it here as well as these people. That is her reason for fighting.

Episode 11
Claudia dreams of Odin. But this time there seems to be other Claudia twin sister clones huddling over him and they want her to join in. We see everyone making preparations for the final battle for the second attack on Fuji. Satomi giving his usual speech to motivate the team to give Odin the Ragnarok he wants. Claudia further remembers the Odin dream. She told him about the God’s birthplace has been destroyed long ago despite it survived via the song. She wants him to withdraw so they don’t have to fight but Odin won’t listen. He wants to make as many dead warriors as possible under his next command for the next Ragnarok. Thus he wants Claudia to join him. She refuses and stabs through his neck. In that case, he will steal her life and trap her in his kingdom. The attack on Fuji begins. This time, fewer Valkyries are heading into battle. Not because many died the last time, the world learnt from the last time so Valkyries in their own country are on standby. Bombing and heading inside Fuji Primary Pillar, we focus on a couple of new Valkyrie newbies in action, Kurumi Suzuhara and Moe Isurugi as well as their grandpa wingmen laying down their lives to protect the lolis who are young enough to be their granddaughters. Then it’s back to our main quartet for the main action. As expected, Thor comes alive and there are those dead Valkyries too coming into play. Of course our Valkyries being wiser this time around, they are not surprised and have come to predict the predictable moves that Odin will do. This includes Thor firing his devastating beam at their base. Thanks to Azuzu’s strategy (she claims she is a better strategist than the God!), the base is not in the line of fire and hence the beam missed. Oh, looks like Odin is in his battle gear and ready to get into the Ragnarok fray.

Episode 12
So Odin’s riding a mecha unicorn?! While Claudia handles her father, Sonoka offers to fight off the dead Valkyries while Azuzu trying to do something about Thor and Miyako finding the core. Odin is angry that Claudia continues to defy him. Showing her a scorched battlefield where nothing is left, this is what the future lies. Everything gone. He claims that the only reason why Claudia was the only one who survived in battles is because she has his blood flowing through her. She is the only blood related God among the Valkyries. Hence no one can heal her loneliness except him. If this is his plan to guilt trip her, she won’t be buying it. True, she doesn’t want destruction or lose her friends and is afraid of death. However she refuses to be like him. She realizes he isn’t a God who can’t accept defeat but one who is fighting solitude alone. As such, she who is born a human will die as one. This only infuriates Odin so she starts singing. Her song soothes everyone else and helps ease the interference, making it easy to pinpoint the core. Then she fires at her clone and break out of this illusion. Azuzu has fired all she’s got at Thor. Nothing. And she’s out of ammo. Oh, head mechanic tells her of a secret weapon! With the wingmen sacrificing their lives to protect Azuzu from Thor’s hammer, she powers up the cannon and blasts it to destroy core. Though, she crashes into the core but Odin is seen waiting. He is baffled they continue to fight despite losing so many. But she throws back the same question to him. He becomes despair thinking Gods have to welcome their own ruin and refuses to lose anything. This distraction allows Miyako to come flying in at cut the core. You mean Odin didn’t see that coming?! Oh right. He was in despair. Even more so when he wonders the difference between them. He did all he could to defy destruction but yet this humans… Well, it’s simple. He is alone. Should’ve asked for help. Yeah, like who?! He’s alone, remember?! Then it’s like Odin f*cks it all. He lets Azuzu shoots him. Instantly Fuji Primary Pillar disappears as well as all the other threats worldwide. Yeah, the worldwide Pillars have gone dormant. Best news, no Valkyries died in action! Now we can celebrate! In the aftermath, the Valkyries pay respect to their wingmen and those who have perished. Then they show Kurumi and Moe around Tateyama since they have officially joined today.

Warlolis of Siguloli
Oh wow! Humanity defeated God! Only in anime. And it goes to show you that not even God has the power to best lowly humans. Uh huh. Odin must be the biggest loser among all the Gods since he already lost his legend and now he once more loses to lowly humans. What does that say about his legacy?! No wonder in the aftermath, it is said he has disappeared. Note that key word because it’s not like he is dead yet. Probably hiding in shame. Crying his heart out a loser he is. Heh. As stated, the Primary Pillars around the world are still around. So this God must be still alive. I am not sure if there are other Pillars around Japan but if Fuji was the only one, doesn’t that make Japan safe? Does that mean Japan doesn’t need Valkyries as crucial as before and they (especially the newbies) should be posted elsewhere in the world to help take down this Pillar threat? Oh right. Can’t break up the close knit family that is already so established in Tateyama. Hey, the girls defeated Odin and took down Fuji Primary Pillar. A monumental task so to speak. So some well-deserved reward is needed. Let them stay together!

The story isn’t anything much. Even if this is originally written and not based on any manga, game or light novel. They just needed some sort of excuse to have humans fight against a seemingly undefeatable enemy. In fact, from the first episode I smelled a rat when Odin showed up to offer help against those Pillars. I mean, doesn’t it sound so fishy? Of all the Gods of the religious beliefs of the world, not Jesus Christ, not Buddha, not Vishnu and not even Prophet Muhammad came to offer salvation. But freaking Odin of the Norse mythology who came to offer the olive branch! ODIN! How big is the Norse faith in the world, huh? Is Norse even a religion?! Anyway, my guts were right when the so called plot twist that Odin was the same snitching rat behind the Pillar attacks and orchestrating the whole thing. It didn’t come to a surprise to me. I was expecting it. And I would’ve been disappointed had it not turned out this way. So a God of a past mythology who isn’t part of one the major beliefs of the world coming forth to offer his aid. And at the right timing. Hmm… Something feels so off here.

It just makes Odin feel like one big sore loser because he can’t get over Ragnarok that made the Gods of his mythology lost. Well, from Odin’s point of view, maybe I can understand why he is in deniable mode. I mean, he is a God. An almighty being. The most powerful God at least in Norse mythology. And then just like that according to the legends, they’re all gone. So do you as Odin, feel very sore about this? Yup. I can understand at least that much. But then it becomes crap when he decides to have his hand at salvation by using so called Valkyries to fight Pillars because then it just couldn’t quite cut it. If he wanted to make dead warriors under his command for a Ragnarok revenge rematch, why not just kill off everybody? Oh, the warriors have to die in battle to become dead worthy warriors? Oh well, if Odin can’t do it by himself and even with help from his sons, I don’t think having a million or a billion or any amount of dead warriors could overturn Ragnarok. I guess he wasn’t so great of a God to begin with… Oops! So it looks like he is just bullying humans in hopes they succumb to his will but we all know the undying fighting spirit of humans, right? At least in anime land. I’m not saying Odin is wrong because as a God he too wants to be loved and the likes. But seeing he failed to even have all that, that sure tarnishes his image as a God… Not so mighty after all, huh? Or oh how the mighty have fallen…

I want to further nit-pick because I find it odd they pronounced Sigrdrifa as Sigururi because the former feels harder to pronounce. I guess when you’re Japanese, you find it hard to pronounce a lot of non-Japanese native words especially of the European base. After all, Sigururi seemingly has this cute ring to it compared to Sigrdrifa which I have to be honest here, I too did have a hard time trying to pronounce and remember this word in the early days of this anime. But I guess better than Sigrdrífumál or Brynhildarljóð, however you pronounce that. Damn Scandinavian alphabets… No wonder our Japanese characters here were so lost about Norse mythology. And oddly, didn’t hear of any Scandinavian Valkyrie because otherwise she could’ve just revealed the lore so easily and save our characters a lot of hassle.

There are also a few terms like Vandrande which is of course pretty hard for a guy like me to remember or even pronounce if the whole thing isn’t interesting to begin with. So sometimes I’m struggling hard with this tough Norse-like words so I just f*ck it and remember something else. Or don’t. More confusion for me because the Valkyries are also called by the planes they fly. Since each of them has unique planes and hence unique names, right up till the end I still do not remember the names of their plane. So who is the Schwertleite again? Oh right. Has to be Claudia. The only German around…

Perhaps there isn’t much story to begin with or the general plot sucks because I think they want to focus on the characters. Yeah, shows like these if they don’t have a great driven plot, then it falls onto the characters to make the show at least interesting. Sad to say, the characters here aren’t great either. Sure, each of them has their own problems and inner demons to deal with but unfortunately as far as I can see for this anime, it is not the best way they have portrayed these characters. More often it comes out as draggy and confusing. Perhaps it was boring that I wasn’t really paying attention. Hence ramping up the drama level in hopes that viewers could relate or support at least the Valkyries. But like I said, draggy and confusing. I mean, you know the dangers that come with the job, right? It wouldn’t be a war if there were no casualties. I know it’s heartless but that’s the reality of life. Besides, we don’t even know how Valkyries are selected or a girl becomes one. So much so it feels like Odin is some sort of lolicon because somehow only young girls can pilot those propeller planes. I mean, think about it. How the heck do one get selected to be a Valkyrie? Ah, you look like a cute anime girl. Accepted as a Valkyrie! I think it’s like that although I know it isn’t. For God’s sakes, they send young girls to fight to their deaths!

Regarding our main Valkyrie quartet at Tateyama, I guess they want to illustrate some character drama between them but it turned out to be annoying especially when Sonoka’s trauma comes to light. I felt they turned her cute character into an annoying one. It is understandable that the trauma of war has made her so. However at the same time she doesn’t want to be useless and tries to act tough, thinking she can help her friends because she can’t let them die. But she couldn’t. Because, trauma. Annoyance level elevated even further with Yayoi’s death. It’s like, oh God, is she going to be a liability from now on? Thank goodness she didn’t and overcame it (conveniently) but the damage is done. After all, as I have already pointed out, not even sure how Valkyries were chosen and why they are only young girls. You know it’s going to put a lot of stress and trauma on them and their future. So if they don’t die in battle, they grow up to be psychopaths. Only time will tell if Sonoka will truly grow out of it. As long as she has her friends, that’ll be a safe bet.

For the rest of the pack in the quartet, Miyako being the liveliest of them all, it feels a bit fake because it’s like she’s hiding her pain or trauma. But then again, like what I’ve said about Sonoka in the previous paragraph, we don’t need another overlapping character like that. So for better or worse, Miyako being the chirpy happy-go-lucky character that helps lift the gloominess around makes her both cute and annoying. Hey, gotta stay positive even during wartimes. Good for her, good for everybody. Then there’s the seemingly grumpy Azuzu and she’s like trying to be smart but not come off as an idiot. Well, with everyone else not as smart as her, what do you think? So I guess Azuzu’s character is to provide some sarcasm and cynicism because we can’t have another genki retard like Miyako or the annoying traumatized Sonoka. Yeah, you can see her smirk making weird lines all across her face. Oh well, not that I understand geniuses in the first place. Last but not least, Claudia. She doesn’t stand out much compared to the rest mainly because she is trying to fit into her new home. It is understandable she came from Europe and to be posted all the way to the Far East that has a much different culture than hers, I can see why she’s mostly a bit taciturn (hey, Germany and Japan were Axis buddies! Oops!). Because Claudia trying to be a clown like them, feels so out of character! Oh, better than being her Grim Reaper personality. Now that she has friends and a place to call home, can I safely say she has gotten over that grimly nickname? Better still, she has gotten over her bugging father who probably thinks needs a daughter to dote on. Well, Claudia isn’t your girl.

There are quite a few other Valkyries too but they weren’t given as much prominence and I think it is a good thing the way my sentiments were going. On one hand, it feels wasted to show their few seconds of screen time and then be forgotten forever but at the same time if they did have the time to flesh out their stories, it wouldn’t really matter and it would distract us from the main quartet. Too many happenings in just a dozen episodes, too much for us to digest and process. Yeah, simpletons like me will get confused! So for better for worse, it is a blessing that other Valkyries or Named ones don’t get too much focus. But if you’re wondering why the deceased Sakura feels like an important Valkyrie but yet nothing so much has been said about her, well, there’s a spinoff light novel written for events happening before the anime. So go read it if you’re interested. Me? Reading? HAHAHAHA!!! Oh… Now to move on.

The other non-Valkyrie supporting characters also don’t really fare that well. Mostly are pretty forgettable. Like those operator girls and many of the other wingmen. But of course the wingmen trio under our main quartet could probably be the best characters of their series because of their utmost optimism to support their Valkyries. Heck, I probably love the next episode preview (which isn’t a next episode preview technically – as it also recycled clips from the same episode or the previous) since they say all sorts of nonsense but with enthusiasm! Yeah, you gotta love those guys. Too bad they had to die in the last episode. RIP, you brave wingmen! And it makes me wonder if this series is some sort of subtle lolicon show because you have elderly men enough to be their fathers or grandpas to these Valkyries to fly and support them in battle. And all of them are enthusiastically supportive of their Valkyries. Because my stupid overthinking mind has them think that they are just lolicons. I know, in such wartimes, everyone has to stay positive, cheerful and the likes. But seeing these men as the Valkyries’ fans, can’t help snicker they’re closet lolicons. Yeah, hear their lines when they take it to the skies flying alongside the Valkyries. After all, guys can’t be Valkyries to begin with. Not forgetting Satomi being the commander of Tateyama, typical of leaders like him to be lax because he knows better the trauma the girls have to go through so it won’t help if he becomes a dick, imposing strict protocol and pecking order. He too has seen a lot of his fair share of incidents.

Now we move on to the action bits. Ever since the great Kouya No Kotobuki Hikoutai, any animes that come out after that trying to use propeller planes or even modern jet planes as their main theme, they all can’t hold a candle to it. This series is no different and falls short of my expectations for it. Even if it does not intend to be the its rival, I just can’t help compare it to the greatest aerial anime I have ever seen. Anyway, the action parts are just pretty standard. Because on one hand it is amazing (in a sarcastic sense) to see propeller planes outrunning and flying through all the Pillar horde and not get smashed into any one of them, firing their limited but seemingly unlimited ammo and missiles to destroy hordes of Pillars. Wow. Such luck. They really have God’s blessing, huh? I still can’t fathom why they need wingmen to support them. If they’re really the chosen ones, can’t the Valkyries go it alone instead of putting these wingmen at risk? Sure, somehow human technology weapons can destroy low level Pillars. But how long will that last? It’s not like I can see things clearly with all the chaotic action onscreen. Sufficiently exciting but not jaw dropping exhilarating. Well, you know which series to blame for me having such high standards for aerial action now.

Art and animation are pretty standard too. The designs and colours are quite bright and livid, colourful enough to sometimes pass off as a kiddie show, which is not. I mean, for differentiation purpose, we have Valkyries in all sorts of hair colours and hairstyle because we don’t want them to look the same like ground troops. Yeah, those soldier guys mostly look the same, no? Hey, it’s the military! Everyone needs to look the same for uniformity! Unless you’re as unique as our wingmen trio, so yeah, maybe that’s the exception. Also, I feel that I have seen some of the character designs from somewhere. For example, Azuzu looks a bit like High School DxD’s Koneko, Miyako a loli version of the titular character in Sakura Taisen and Miyako, uhm, Nonoka from Iwa Kakeru! Sport Climbing Girls? Worse, loli version of Mirai Nikki’s Yuno! And how generic is a blonde character like Claudia? So generic, I can’t pinpoint which anime character she looks like but I just know she does. It’s right at the tip of my tongue… Oh, DanMachi’s Aiz but with better smiles?! This might also be me overthinking but I think the world leaders somewhat have this uncanny resemblance to current world leaders. You know, the US president might take after a certain ‘orange man’, that woman leader I presume is taken after a certain German Chancellor and that Chinese guy after Winnie The Pooh… Oh heck, he doesn’t look anywhere near him! A-1 Pictures produced this but I don’t think this can match up to their other hits like Sword Art Online, Ao No Exorcist or Kuroshitsuji.

Voice acting feels pretty okay. Those veteran ones I recognized, they play minor supporting roles like Tomokazu Sugita and Yuuichi Nakamura as those wingmen, Yui Horie as one of the operators and Shigeru Chiba as the mechanic head. It’s been quite a while since I heard Marina Inoue. I thought she retired or maybe I just picked animes to watch that she didn’t lend her talents. It’s good to hear her again as Yayoi albeit just for a short while. The other casts are Hibiku Yamamura as Claudia (Ariadoa in Shinchou Yuusha), Nene Hieda as Miyako (Misa in Maou Gakuin No Futekigousha), Mao Ichimichi as Azuzu (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Sayaka Kikuchi as Sonoka, Yumiri Hanamori as Odin (Seth in Radiant) and Hiroaki Hirata as Satomi (Sanji in One Piece).

Higher’s High by Akari Nanawo as the opening theme feels okay for a series like this. However I feel that the heavy rock beat of this song makes it too noisy and distracting. I don’t know, it just feels weird. And too loud! It’s the kind of song you play for shows which have very high adrenaline rush but for this one? Not really. It’s not a total misfit but I just find it weird. And too loud! Oh God, did I just repeated myself? Anyway, the ending theme, Sayonara Namida by Spira Spica may be a slow rock but I find the animation to be a bit creepy and disturbing. WTF Claudia in a nightgown walking through creepy sceneries like a deserted town and a heavily barricaded battlefield trench while following a red string that leads to a graveyard and her friends. HUH?! We’ve got a more light-hearted special ending theme for episode 4, Fly High (sung by Miyako) with everybody flying as cute penguins! PENGUINS! DO PENGUINS FLY?! Not if you’re Valkyries!

Overall, this series feels like a disappointment since it was initially hyped up. Especially how this series was originally written by the guy who brought us Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu. A big let-down if you want to compare with that. You win some, you lose some. Just saying… A pretty average story with pretty average characters (once again, believe in friendship cliché!), pretty okay visuals and aerial combat action, it is going to take more than Valkyries in their special planes to help save the world, let alone this anime. God trying to play the villain and becoming the devil himself… And humans having a fighting chance against a powerful God… In the form of young girls flying propeller planes… Yeah, I can’t stress and repeat that mind boggling setting enough. I mean, this anime isn’t totally bad or sh*t but I’m waiting for Jesus to bestow superhuman abilities and turn them into superhuman heroes and Buddha to hand down giant mechas for humanity to kick Odin’s ass and seal Ragnarok for him! Oh wow. See if your propeller planes can handle this primary crap fest now!

eX-Driver

27 March, 2021

Before self-driving AI cars became a reality today despite still in the infant stages and not yet a worldwide phenomenon, there was eX-Driver. Uh huh. Your retro anime back in 2000 where in a ‘futuristic’ world, obtaining a driving licence isn’t necessary because all cars are self-automated and one could just hop in and ride to you destination. So what if such cars go berserk and out of control? Hence the title of this anime. Yup, you still need humans driving gasoline powered cars and taking some real driving skills to stop those runaway cars and keep the public safe. This is what happens when you let AI take over your life especially the wheel. Oh, I see AI has already taken over our social lives. But that’s a different story. Rev up those engines and get ready to drift and slide with these road warriors! Vroom, VROOOOOOM!!!

Episode 1
Lorna Endou and Lisa Sakakino are chasing down a rogue AI car. After all that flashy chase, they use their gadgets to block its censors and bring it to a halt. There. Simple. And to think such futuristic cars have no emergency halting measures. NOT ONE! Later the duo hangs out at the bar as they talk about their love live. Basically none. But Lisa wants a man who is hot and smart. And he must be a helluva driver too. No wonder she’s single. As they leave, a couple of punks try to hit on them. Losers. Then they realize they are eX-Drivers. Wow. Lisa must have some sort of reputation that makes them scared! Lisa notices an illegal modification of theirs and press its booster button. Bye losers. Then the duo have to put up with kids who admire their cars but act cocky thinking they know everything. But looks like they have a job to do. Remember those loser punks before? Yeah, their car is still out of control! Oh dear. Whose fault is it? Better put a stop to this or it’s on your head! So as they chase it down, Lisa’s car crash. So, she’s going to chase by foot?! Hey, even if she ‘borrows’ a pedal scooter, can she catch up?! Oh right. Shortcuts through the buildings. Eventually she does so but WTF, Lisa picks her up. Shouldn’t she have done that when her car crashed?! I mean, it’s not like they didn’t have a tracker on that rogue car, right?! Dumb. Realizing that their gadgets don’t work, the only method is to lure it out of the city till its battery runs dry. Who knows when that’ll be. After all the drifting and stunts, Lisa’s car starts to malfunction. Damn, I swear their cars are so vulnerable?! Even the rogue AI car is tougher than theirs! Or do they not do good maintenance?! But don’t fear, looks like another eX-Driver is on the way. This time he is cooler in his driving and drifting till he brings the rogue car to a complete halt. Then WTF, instantly Lisa jumps out thinking she has found the man of her dreams and wants to hug him???!!! Turns out to be a kid, Souichi Sugano. Yeah, she is so disappointed! And guess what? Boss Kei Munakata says he is their new partner. Yoroshiku. Lisa so cannot accept this BS! More surprise for them as they head to school because… Souichi is their new transfer student! He just came back from England and skipped a grade. Yeah, this means he is smart. All the qualities you’re looking for in a man, Lisa. But eX-Drivers have to sortie since there is an emergency. Yeah, the great excuse to skip school too.

Episode 2
Lisa complains to Munakata about Souichi. Basically she hates kids. By having this new partner, she thinks they aren’t good enough and still will not accept him. Munakata just stays silent. Later she sees Souichi testing a car on the tracks. She wants to get back at him and prove who’s the boss as she gets into her brand new car and races him. Despite playing dirty, she still loses. Thank goodness she doesn’t crash the car. What’s this? She blames the car not good enough to handle her talent?! F*cking b*tch! Souichi tries to tell her not to abuse her car but she brushes him off. Next day at school, Lisa is dismayed about tomorrow’s test. Oh well, it’s her fault for not listening to the teacher last week. This gives more ammo to Souichi to be sarcastic with her but Lisa is going to prove it by beating him. Heh. We’ll see. So she pulls an all-nighter and studies. In Lorna’s room. But soon she starts to party and I guess Lorna is better off accompanying Souichi doing maintenance on his own car. Yeah, this is much better. By the time she returns, Lisa is already asleep. Looks like her fate is sealed. But early next morning, a rogue vehicle is detected. Our eX-Drivers go into action and Lisa thinks it is chance for her not to take the test! However she is in a dilemma because she can’t save the day too fast or she’ll still have time to go take the test! But Lisa’s pride soon gets the better of her as she doesn’t want to lose out to Souichi despite unanimous decision that he is to take the lead on this mission. Lisa and Souichi butt heads so Lorna has to do something about it herself. Too bad there is only so much she could do until the part they try to box in the vehicle, Lorna gets bummed out. Lisa and Souichi then compromise to work together to bring this runaway to a complete stop. Both of them almost high 5 each other for this outstanding job before backing out the last minute. Yeah, almost accepted each other, huh? However more woes for Lisa because they stopped directly in front of the school and the teacher is so glad thinking Lisa actually wants to take the test! Well, sh*t!

Episode 3
Keyne Tokioka from World News TV wants to do a special programme on eX-Drivers. Well, it’ll be good publicity for them too. Lisa thought she is going to be the main star but looks like Keyne has his eyes on Lorna and wants to make her the main heroine. Bummer. So many of the footage focuses on Lorna in action. Then there’s the test drive moment whereby Lorna gives Keyne a taste of her power slide skills. Don’t faint on me on this low level drifting. There’s more to come! Hold on to your horses! Phew. Somehow Keyne survived all that. With Keyne hanging out more often with Lorna, this makes Lisa and Souichi jealous. They try to get Munakata to stop the filming but I guess this is part of the orders from HQ. So deal with it. That night, Keyne gets permission from Souichi to put mini cameras all around the vehicles. Then they talk about driving and the split decisions that would mean life or death since both their jobs are similar. Souichi is thrown off when Keyne notes that he and Lorna make a good pair. Keyne gets to film eX-Drivers in real action as they go stop a rogue AI car. However soon after they manage to stop it, it is Keyne’s trailer turn to go berserk. Looks like some brakes system malfunctioned and their chance to stop it is to cut some wires in the panel underneath. It is a dangerous mission because Souichi’s plan is to drive underneath the trailer and Lorna will try to cut the wires. Everything has to be precise. There is only very small room for leeway and a slight bump might put everything in jeopardy. So the eX-Drivers go into action. As expected, lots of high speed drama and the bumpy ride has Lorna backing off a few times. It’s a good thing she didn’t lose her head. But they have to hurry. The road is going to end. Yeah, incomplete bridge ahead! Long story short, Lorna manages to cut all the wires but will the trailer brake in time? Some awesome manoeuvre as well as I don’t know how they get to use the bridge’s cables to tie it to the trailer to prevent it further from dropping off the ledge. But it was a damn close one. Lisa so happy she just hugs Souichi and Lisa. So the animosity is gone? In school, the brave action footage is shown as Souichi now understands what Keyne means. Although Souichi and Lisa are still at each other’s throat, notice they get along better than before?

Episode 4
Another day, another rogue car. As our eX-Drivers are having trouble with this one, suddenly here comes a rider, more accurately, eX-Rider to stop the rampage. Again, Lisa thinks she has found the man of her dreams. Too bad, b*tch. It’s a hot chick, Rei Kazama. She is an FAL (Free Agent Licence) and is not attached to any agency and is doing kind of jobs on her own. She is also a long time friend of Nina A. Thunder (one of the staffs at the agency) So as Lisa b*tches about Rei coming into their territory and stealing business, Munakata says that she’ll be working with them for a while. And that’s that. Ogawa who is the main mechanic wants to tinker with her bike but she doesn’t let him. But she lets Souichi? Yeah, lots of sexual subtexts… Wanna touch it? Use your entire body… No wonder Souichi is so damn tired at the end of it! Later she takes a bath, not sure why Souichi is peeping?! Of course she knows it and wants him to get her shampoo. Which is insider her lingerie! Take too long and he gets caught in the act by Lisa and Lorna. They get the wrong idea. Man, if Souichi starts explaining instead of just saying it isn’t what you think, maybe he had a chance… So I guess the girls don’t want to hang out with a pervert so Rei gives him a ride. Hey, he tinkered with her bike so he’s at least got that right to ride with her. He wants to be an FAL like her but she cautions about being perfect because there isn’t anything else to achieve. That’s why she envy them who can drive freely without a care. But it’s time for a job as a rogue AI car has been spotted. No time to return to base so Souichi has to go with Rei. Because of the traffic jam, Lisa and Lorna get stuck. Aha. That’s why the bike is so convenient to traverse through the narrow streets, eh? Despite catching up, some small mishap has Rei sprain her ankle. She can still do her job but Souichi is now riding her bike. Can this shorty reach?! Well, if Rei is guiding. So they manage to stop the car eventually with some cool bike stunts to boot with. Also, with another runaway car nearby, time to let Lisa and Lorna shine a bit and strut their stuff. Another successful mission. Lisa gets jealous seeing Rei and Souichi together. Did she kiss him?! Can’t tell from that awkward distance and angle… Eventually Rei parts and hopes they can meet again. Especially Souichi. They can continue to do stuffs together, you know… Wink, wink… Cue for everyone to tease this very embarrassed kid.

Episode 5
Lorna and Lisa are having their day off. It is that dilemma that with no rampaging AI cars lately, although this means a much safer city, this also means eX-Drivers aren’t needed and they could be out of a job. It’s like Lisa jinxing it because she wants some action and yeah, here comes a runaway car. This one is a little dangerous as the bumper and wheel came off! Eventually they manage to stop it but as they examine the car, there is no one in it but recording equipment. This means somebody set the wheel and bumper to come off on purpose. Unknown to them, a shady group of guys are watching and recording their actions. They believe they are the best eX-Drivers around but notes there is another kid who is better. Back at base, after more quarrelling with Souichi, it gets deep because Lisa thinks if eX-Drivers are really no longer needed, this means she has no more chance to settle with Souichi. Like, WTF?! Oh yeah. Even Lorna is starting to worry about their future. Later Munakata tells his crew about the recent cars fitted with illegal programmes. Definitely a shady organization is behind this and although no major damage has been caused, who knows what they’ll do in the future. One day as Lisa and Lorna are about the head off to the beach with their friends, suddenly rogue cars are spotted. They are stumped because the police didn’t report it. Wait a minute. The rogue cars are gasoline cars. No wonder the system couldn’t detect them. Lorna not sure how to tackle rogue gasoline cars because it’s not in the manual? Lisa just screws it and will take what comes. It’s more fun that way. Obviously the drivers of those cars are testing Lisa. They box her in and when she lets he guard down thinking she beat them, she crashes into a ramp. WTF Lorna speeds up to use her own car to cushion her fall?! Definitely both cars are wrecked but Lorna horrified since Lisa is badly injured. She is wheeled into ICU but Lisa can’t die yet. Not until she has a rematch with that kid. So it’s up to Souichi now. Yeah, the guys whom the baddies want to play with. They try the same trick but Souichi proves superior. He also has tricks them with his own ploy. Until their leader joins in the fray and Munakata then realizes and confirms it is Joe Todo, the one behind this. Again, they box Souichi in until his car crashes and is a total wreck. They leave him in their dust as they laugh away to victory.

Episode 6
Don’t worry, Lisa is okay. She just needs a little rest. Oh, what is Souichi doing here?! How did he get here anyway?! So he’s here just to say he couldn’t beat those guys? Todo and co continue to drive as the please around the city. Out of fuel? No problem. A refuelling trailer allows them to refuel on the go! So you bet our eX-Drivers can’t rest and head back to work just to put a stop to this. They watch a video from Todo, claiming he wants to challenge Munakata’s team to his. Something about Munakata saying being an eX-Driver isn’t anything special. So now Todo wants to show how it takes real skills like theirs to drive gasoline cars rather than controlled by AI. Cue for Munakata to explain who Todo is. He was once his staff of his but strayed. Munakata warned him but Todo didn’t like it and left the team. So looks like fixing up 3 cars needs at least 72 hours. Even with Ogawa getting help from the eX-Drivers. So how? Munakata contacts Todo and will race him personally tomorrow. Later, Nina tells Munakata not to do this but the old guy has to do what he has to do. Apparently Lorna overheard this and rats to her pals. So next morning as Munakata is about to leave, he is shocked to see his car dismantled! OGAWA!!! And looks like they rushed up fixing Souichi’s car because he is going to race in his stead. Souichi arrives at the gasoline plant and races with Todo’s henchmen first. Souichi outsmarts them until they crash and put out of commission. Now it’s the final race with Todo. It seems on the final lap, Souichi lets him pass. Todo celebrates thinking he has won. Souichi then goes off on his job to stop a runaway bus with kids. Before Todo could go after him, Rei stops him and points out his driving caused his suspension to be on the verge of breaking. Souichi most likely noticed this and gave way. Looks like Lorna and Lisa’s cars are fixed too so they go help Souichi. Todo gets to see first-hand how awesome they do their job. He is baffled why they can drive for others like that. Cue for Munakata to tell him people like them who have skills have the responsibility to use them properly. That is what it means to be a true eX-Driver. So basically, with great powers comes great responsibilities?! Todo realizes and admits his defeat. In the aftermath, our eX-Drivers hold a go-kart workshop, educating kids about cars. And of course, a go-kart faceoff between Souichi and Lisa. Sorry folks, no red or blue shell. Hehehe…

OVA
Taking place a few years before Lisa and Lorna joined the agency, this OVA focuses on Nina and Rei. Yeah, I guess they had budget constraints that time and only had 1 car to boot. So the pair is like always ‘friendly’ bickering and stuffs. One mission has them chase down a rogue vehicle which is actually a mini radio controlled car. Yeah, it has a Nina doll in it too. Anyway, they are so reckless that they’re causing a lot of property damage. Munakata must be trying to withhold his anger… Eventually when they catch up to the mini car, it self-destructs. Nice mini fireworks. Back at the base, they try to deduce the culprit behind this and it could be a stalker of Nina. True enough, this creepy guy, Mark is watching her every move. That night when she goes home, she gets a creepy call from him, wanting to play with her and he’ll always be watching her. Yeah. Don’t let that creep intimidate you. The next time on another mission, Nina alone tries to hunt down the car while Munakata orders Rei to go find the source of the signal. This leads her to destroy all the hidden cameras around town and eventually Mark’s hideout. He’s not at home but look at all the photo collections he has on Nina! Creepy! Nina follows the car to a warehouse but she gets careless and gets gassed out. When she comes to, WTF Mark dressing up as Rei and wanting to play with her?! He wants to ride in her car with her?! Yeah, I bet he wants to ride her too! It might be dumb for him to just tie her arms but leave her legs untied but I am thinking he wanted to f*ck her. Because Nina kicks his crotch and runs away. Then she stumbles into a time bomb. By the time Rei arrives to beat him up and save her, time’s up. Boom!

Munakata is worried his girls might be dead. However at the same time, one of his staffs, Toma betrays Munakata. Looks like he has gotten all the data he needs. Something about Munakata scoffed off his idea that he claims is better than this eX-Driver thingy. As Toma is about to get away, our eX-Driver girls call back and heard his rant. I don’t know how they escaped the bomb but don’t tell me they hid in a locker because that is how Mark was found and arrested! Is this crap how Indiana Jones got that stupid misleading idea???!!! Anyway, the girls try to hunt Toma down but they have to face off with his Humvee. Can’t fight that. Run! Plus, Toma isn’t in the vehicle and on his way to the airport. The Humvee is self-automated by his programme and will chase down the girls and explode upon contact. Can’t run forever. So the girls drive to the airport. Just in time as Toma’s self-automated plane is about to fly off. In this bold precise timing move (AKA BS move), what they do is, Nina steps on the pedal till she catches up with the plane. Then she this the brakes just enough to let the Humvee touch from behind, and then stepping on the pedal again (this time Rei messing with some circuit to give some extra booster) to swerve off. With the Humvee now in contact with the plane, it explodes! Damn, just the tail portion of the plane gone? I don’t even know how such a huge plane could come to a grinding halt! Anyway, Toma’s days are numbered, he gets arrested and what about the unsurmountable damage they caused? No worries. Let Munakata handle it. I can see why there was a change in the team later on…

Care For Another Spin?
That’s it for me. I’m giving the movie sequel a miss because you know, it’s over an hour long. It’s like having a long drive without taking a break and getting out to stretch. I know it’s a dumb reason and excuse but the same could be said for this series too! Haha! At least in a general sense. So while it isn’t related, I can also see why self-driving cars aren’t taking off or being the next popular trend. With vehicles going wild and humans not having any control or even skill to handle it, you could say we are not ready for such technology. Heck, I don’t think we ourselves or at least a big part of us are not even mature to drive a car! Say what you will, even with the best technology in safety and comfort, I think the big majority of humans still suck in driving. It basically boils down to attitude. Oh, strayed a bit there for a while.

So well, I guess the anime is pretty okay. At least in the sense that if you are looking for some retro car driving adrenaline action, this series is pretty sufficient for that level. It has got some cool car chases and those are probably the best moments because that’s what this series is about in the first place, right? Basically, man and machine against, uhm, AI machine. It goes to show that no matter how high-tech your self-driving car is, you still need the human touch to fix things when things screw up. I don’t know how frequent rogue car incidents will happen but to have such agencies to specifically deal with this, it just shows that the companies behind the self-driving AI cars aren’t probably interested in improving it. After all, a big bulk of the citizens can’t drive and rely on your transportation services. And it just feels pretty dumb that when the vehicle goes out of control, it just continues to accelerate! I mean, it doesn’t even to any emergency stop in case of such failures! The AI must be damn dumb! Oh right. Cue for your fast car action. But you get the logic I’m saying. It’s a good thing there are no casualties when such runaway cars happen. Because so high-tech that other working self-driving cars will nicely step and stop aside. Clearing a convenient path for the rogue vehicle and eX-Drivers to give us some car chasing adrenaline. So you’re screwed and in a hurry because your car is stalled until the chase is done. And to think that self-transportations like bicycles or skateboards didn’t catch on here seeing how frequent such incidents. Geez.

Another thing that boggles me is how they just shoot some substance to block censors or throw their gadgets to quell the rampaging software just to get the runaway vehicle to stop. I mean, shouldn’t they have at least another partner sitting beside them to do all that while letting the driver to you know, focus on driving?! I mean, look at Nina and Rei’s example. I thought that was okay despite they themselves distracting each other but it is so much plausible. But why do Lisa, Lorna and Souichi get to drive solo? Sure, probably more car action and to see them show off their cool skills. I mean, more cars = more action and it’s good for them if they can both drive and deal with the rogue vehicle. Or does the agency don’t have funds to higher more staffs as partners? Okay, whatever they feel comfortable with.

With only a handful of episodes and not even a proper season cour, the stories are nothing much to tell. Heck, each episode feels like standalone filler episodes and aren’t related to each other whatsoever. This is probably what stops this series from scoring more points especially for those who want something more than just the car action. I mean, it basically follows the same formula of having a rogue car and our eX-Drivers have to be called into action to stop it. That’s the staple of the series. Everything else feels like added spice to ramp up the drama. Yeah, like Lisa’s crash and being sent to ICU but she quipped about being and immortal and just like that her injuries are gone and she’s back in action. If I was in her shoes, if I survived that sh*t, I’ll forever be a vegetable!!! No joke! So if you’re looking for a good story to invest in, this is not the series you’re looking for. No wonder this didn’t get any sequels thereafter or even a reboot or remake. Or did they just forget this series altogether? Well then. Let’s just wait for some nostalgic nerd to bring it up to the top big guns producers…

With the main focus on the cars, I guess the characters are just pretty basic and not very interesting to look deeper into. I mean, they could but they didn’t. So let’s just leave it as that. Like our current main eX-Drivers, Souichi is a boy genius and that’s that. Lisa on the other hand is the hot headed one so you bet there is going to be some clashes with the kid just for you know, to kick up some human drama. After all, cars here don’t have the AI like Knight Rider so it’s the humans who have to bicker and conflict with themselves. Yeah, I’m glad they leave the cars out of the stupid human pride drama. Anyway, just like poles apart, Lorna is the gentler and feminine one compared to the bold and tomboyish Lisa. Is this why and how they get along so well? Anyway, Lisa-Souichi arguing feels pretty cliché because you can see that they don’t really hate each other’s guts and it might be their way of covering up their feelings for each other. Hey, don’t want cheesy romance to ruin this car action show. Same can be said for Souichi and Lisa. A few blushing moments when they get too close but don’t let that distract you from the cars. That’s what we’re here for, right?! And Lisa, don’t you blame the cars for your own failure! Basically a carpenter blaming his own tools. That’s what happens when your ego is too big. Bigger than the biggest gas guzzling car in the world.

Nina and Rei don’t fare any better themselves and their single OVA just to give them more of the spotlight and nothing else. If not, a slightly weird dynamism since they argue more than the Lisa and Lorna pair and do sillier and bolder stuff than them. And I think there’s this subtle running joke that these eX-Driver girls have dreams of wanting to date their guys of their dreams but they end up having to put up with creepy ones and really other weird guys. Hey, they are in a line where mostly male interest dominates. Big boys’ toys. They’re the only hot chicks around so, got to put up with that one too. Hey, they’re cute enough to be models and have a higher chance to score better guys (but at the same time attract even more creepy weirdoes) but I guess their love is fast cars so got to live with that too.

Oh, a few fanservice too but it feels dated seeing how retro this anime is. It comes off mostly as cheesy (especially that sexual subtext with Rei and Souichi) but I guess if you’re watching this series, you’re here for the metallic fanservice rather than the sexy fanservice of the flesh. There are better and proper series (read: Porn) for that. So what if you could spot some human tits (I didn’t see any, by the way), move along because we’re here to get our orgasm looking at the sleek curves of the Caterham Super Seven, Subaru Impreza or Lotus Europa. Sorry Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini fans, no such fast cars here.

Animation wise, honestly for a retro series like this, the designs and details of the cars look quite good. It better be. For this kind of genre it had to. But my complaint is that during the car action scenes, the animation can be somewhat jerky a little. It’s not a smooth ride so to speak. Well, I can blame it on technology limitations at that time. However the OVA that employs CGI on cars feel dated. It’s not the worse CGI I have ever seen but they really feel dated and one kind. Hence affecting the animation a little. And of course it goes without saying that the character designs look dated from that era. Like how Lorna reminds me of Love Hina’s Naru and Shouichi looking like Mao from Chuuka Ichiban. Another cool part of this series are the retro rock opening and ending themes. They fit the adrenaline rush theme of the series perfectly and they’re pretty cool to hear. So don’t mind me for a while as I’m gonna listen to the opener, Kaze Ni Nare by JAM Project with Horonobu Kageyama and Rika Matsumoto as well as the ending themes, Sniper by Milk and Akogi Na Futari Tabidaze by Masaaki Endou and Hironobu Kageyama.

Overall, this series is just okay and passable in many ways. Though it is not bad, it is certainly not that good either. I mean, if you are talking about anime series that involves car action, Initial D comes to mind and you know how popular that series is having so many sequels after that. Speed Racer comes to mind too but that feels a lot like for kiddies. At least for me. Not sure about the rest like Wangan Midnight, Capeta or Redline since I didn’t see those. However I’m not too mad about cars to go check out right now or in the near future. But for now, a truly safe and comfortable self-driving world remains elusive until we can become better humans. When that happens, I suppose we also lose the ability to pick up hot chicks in our cars, huh? Is that still a trend nowadays?! Still, remember to drive safely and responsibly!

Colorful

26 March, 2021

I guess some things will never change. Like how men will keep staring at women and at their certain body parts and exposed lingerie. Young or old, as long as there’s this hot sexy chick around, you bet that they’ll go to great lengths to get their cheap thrill even if the risk and consequences outweighs the 2 seconds of pleasure. And because in today’s politically correct world and people getting more informed with technology and rights, maybe it’s hard to pull off such sleazy tom peeping moves anymore. Yeah. So why not play it safe and watch Colorful, see how these guys try to do these shameless stuffs. I mean, you get your fanservice and you get your laughs. Killing 2 birds with a stone, right? What do you mean it’s still immoral and indecent?! Do you want to see boobs and pantsu or not???!!!

Episode 1
* Trying to plays dress-up? Not until you realize you can remove the underwear too?!
* Hot sexy blonde as your English teacher?! Yeow! She’s asking a student to read an English line. You know Japanese with L’s and R’s, right? So she teaches him how to say it properly with his tongue. Oh yeah! L! R! L! R! This makes the next guy jealous so he too wants to have a go. Only, his sentence contains no L’s and R’s! Bummer!
* An American foreigner, Steve visits Mt Fuji and is impressed with its peak. Till he sees a reflection of some girl’s panties in the lake. Superb upside-down Mt Fuji! And he falls into the water…
* Some kid running mad giving his thanks to Shibuya because he gets to see all the hot chicks in mini skirts. Because when they sit down and cross their legs… Seems he became a victim of some unfortunate event. As we can see, he probably rammed into the post. A mark was left. A reporter tried to interview him but he isn’t saying anything. Refused to say… Apparently there have been many cases like this too…

Episode 2
* A part timer working at a convenience store peeks at his co-worker’s panties that is just protruding through the top. He gets excited and tries to take a closer look but his drool drips on her back! WTF?! He pretends to pick up the stuffs he dropped and continues to stare. Then he thought she caught him in the act! Turns out to be a thief stealing running out. As she blames him, he tells her to look at the surveillance camera. She does so and sees him staring… Busted…
* A driver stares at a hot chick riding her bicycle. So much so he almost crashes into her. He goes down to grovel and apologize. But this is so to see her panties. Yeah, he is so in seventh heaven that he caused a traffic jam behind.
* A guy gets excited seeing a woman’s boobs being pressed on the window as the carriage is crowded. Then as he sits down, he sees a hot babe in mini skirt before him and tries to sit lower just to peek. But an old guy blocks his view. He too is a pervert but he thinks he isn’t an amateur like that guy. Because the veterans are to watch from the top! Yeah, look at those cleavage! He enjoys the view until the carriage is suddenly filled with baseball kids crowding around him. His summer had ended…
* A thief takes off with some stuffs from the convenience store. However he crashes his bicycle since he got distracted by a sexy girl riding by. That’s the dumpster for you!

Episode 3
* A guy notices a button on a pretty lady’s skirt is showing a gap. He sits close by as he tries to peek. WTF?! What can he see at that small gap! But alas! It’s like God answered his prayers because when she moves her legs, the button snaps open. Hallelujah!
* A small mini party. Everyone must have a hangover so they just sleep as they are. One of them wakes up in the middle of the night and realizes a beautiful chick is sleeping among them. I guess he is fully awake now as he tries to peep her panties underneath the kotatsu. When he tries to lift her skirt, she accidentally kicks him and slams his head into the heater! Not one to give up, he tries again. This time he lifts her skirt and gets to admire longer. Too bad another accidental kick sends him crashing into the TV. I guessed that knocked him out good and for the rest of the night.

Episode 4
* A coach trying to motivate his student, Aki Yamamoto to do her best. But he watches her take off her clothes into her running gear. It would’ve been fine but he is watching too closely! Later as she runs and breaks her own record, coach is so happy because I guess he gets to see he cleavage from all that sweat.
* A couple of guys sit on the bench but as a couple of girls walk by, the wind blows up their skirt. However the dude with the long hair is pissed because his hair blocked his view! Don’t worry. He’ll hold down his hair when the next one comes. Same thing. Because this time the wind blows harder and blocks his view again! Oh damn! He missed them all! So frustrated he starts tearing out his hair! Better go get a haircut.
* A university guy walks down the stairs and notices a couple of girls sitting. He spots their panties. Excited, he thinks of changing his appearance and waiting for a while before walking back up the stairs to see them. Too bad by that time they have already gone off. Not giving up, he continues walking up in hopes to see more. By the time he gets to see them, they belong to ugly middle aged women! Curses!

Episode 5
* A business man is on a train. As the platform is higher, he gets excited seeing a woman in mini skirt sitting on the platform’s bench. Too bad the crowd then blocks his view. Then when a couple of women sit in front of him, he tries to sit lower? How low can he go? Guess not.
* A guy watches a girl run around the school track. Of course he imagines her running naked because it’s so much better to imagine her boobs jiggle. And with that expression of hers, he further imagines he is f*cking her! Snapped back to reality when somebody confronts him on what he is doing.
* The business man returns home and sees an extra pair of shoes outside. He remembers his niece is staying here due to her college exams tomorrow. Next morning, his niece forcefully wakes him up since she is running late. Woah. His niece was ever this hot? Immediately he prepares himself to send her to college. WTF he stares at her thighs and puts in the wrong gear. His car reverses into the wall! Niece is crying she’ll never get there on time but don’t worry. Uncle will take responsibility… I don’t even…

Episode 6
* The guy in the bunny mascot is getting a lot of attention from cute chicks who have no qualms hugging him. Hence his friend who is in a not so cute mascot gets jealous and wants to trade mascot suits with him and is willing to give his entire pay! But then their other colleague is a hot sexy babe comes in for her break. Oh yeah! Forget switching suits then. Later he acts as a customer as he goes to hug all over her in her suit. Oh yeah, let me sleep in those boobs! Turns out it is his friend wearing the suit. Oh sh*t!!! GAY!!! The female colleague has finished her shift and has left. She summons a taxi and the driver of course is obsessed in seeing her pantsu in his mirror. WTF did she forget to close the door and some car slams into it!
* A mini office party celebrates. A guy gets jealous seeing his hot female colleague getting close to another male colleague. Later he pays him to switch seats. Too bad she has already left since it is getting late. She then hails a taxi but because of her drunken stupor, he almost crashed into her. Pervy taxi driver loads her into the back seat and gets excited seeing her undies. As she is passed out, he decides to buy a camera to take some unholy pics. By the time he does, she crashed his taxi thinking she could drive back home! Was the camera worth it?!

Episode 7
* A guys tells how to wear a kimono for the festivals. He is more interested in pointing out the holes in the underside for the side boobs view but too his dismay, it is all covered up when the sash is put on.
* During the parade, a guy notices a floating shrine parade. One of the carriers is a hot chick and due to the close proximity, her boobs keep hitting the back of the guy in front. Because of that, he wants to trade places with him. Of course he denies. The girl offers for him to take her place but that will not do! So both guys fight. The incumbent wins but by that time, some other guy takes his spot. Biggest losers…
* A woman is playing goldfish scooping. She fails but a guy uses his money for her to continue since he is trying to catch a glimpse of her pantsu. Then he gets distracted by trying to look at the hot stall owner’s panties. Too bad she is wearing shorts! By the time he returns looking at his original goal, she has already lost. Done and dusted. Bye. Wait! She can use his credit card! Sorry, cash only!
* When Yamamoto tells her coach that she has some pale places, he starts thinking some of the unholy places on her body. Too bad he misses the train and slams his face on the door.

Episode 8
* Steve takes pictures of the hina dolls. Then he overhears some kids behind talking about how this doll has got underwear! Interested?! Now he turns around to see those other dolls. Oh yeah… Got pantsu… Then he just lifts the skirt and takes pictures. This is the better culture, eh?!
* At the clothes shop, a guy sees a girl in short skirt looking around. On pretence to go buy one, he squats down just to get a look at heaven. Of course the sales clerk asks if he needs any help. He changes his topic he wants to try on these jeans. Yeah, now he has to buy them. Since it doesn’t fit the sales clerk asks if he needs help. So as she tries to help it fit, he spots her panties and cleavage. Oh wow. So does it fit now? Maybe not. His erection is making the jeans tighter!
* Must be a boring day at the shoes shop. When a hot chick strolls in, the guys suddenly get into some dramatic action. Apparently the winner of this rock-scissors-paper goes to tend to the babe. He lets her try some shoes and in the meantime gets to see her panties when she sits down. Next round, another babe, another match, same guy wins, same reward. A third one walks in. Same thing. The third time loser feels jilted but looks like his friend hasn’t forgotten about him. This time he uses a mirror to reflect her pantsu for him to enjoy. And then to their horror they see the bulge. A FREAKING CROSS-DRESSER!!!

Episode 9
* A giant alien is rampaging the city. A scared woman trips while fleeing. The alien shrinks down and starts taking pictures of her panties. She resists. However he is willing to pay her if she strips. She does so and the alien snaps away. This turn out to be a cheesy movie so one of the lonely male audiences is of course not impressed. Even more so when the couple in front starts making out. He then turns behind and sees a hot chick in mini skirt. Oh yeah. Since she is so engrossed in the movie, she doesn’t notice this pervert looking at her pantsu. This movie isn’t so bad! When the alien starts to rape the woman, she resists and fights back (but she keeps the money?!). The male audience again looks back again. This time some guy is going to the toilet so he got his face in his butt!
* Steve is at the park taking wonderful pictures of Japan’s autumn. Yeah, that means taking upskirt photos of hot chicks. Too bad he gets disheartened that all of them have boyfriends. Then he spots a lone girl roller blading and goes to chase after her. He didn’t look ahead and crashes into some old couple’s picnic. Later this dude tries to take another upside-down Fuji. Can he do it? Nope. Fell into the pond again.

Episode 10
* It’s that buxom blonde English teacher again. As she has a volunteer read the next line, our pervy students is over the moon as he sees the next line having L’s and R’s. So he eagerly volunteers and reads his Engrish. Teacher gets disappointed he pronounced wrongly so he thinks he is going to get that sexy tongue lesson again. To his horror, since she explained it the last time and he didn’t get it, this time she draws a diagram. Her drawing sucks…
* A guy hears his female friend using the bathroom. Yeah, his imagination running wild hearing all the weird sounds. After she leaves, he enters the toilet and starts rubbing his face all over the seat! I know it’s still warm but it’s f*cking disgusting! So engrossed in his delusions that he accidentally over flushes and floods the place.

Episode 11
* The English teacher has her students hand in their assignments. As her desk is crowded, one of the students pushes his way to hand his. Accidentally, his elbow touches her boobs. He is of course in ecstasy. But then he realizes a fat dude is standing next to her. So did he touch her boobs or his man boobs?!
* Steve creates his own puddle so as to create his ideal upside-down Fuji. I can’t believe a hot babe just walks over the puddle! Yeah, great shot. Suddenly a sports car splashes over him. He isn’t mad since the hot chick comes down to apologize. Oh, she’s wearing a mini skirt too! Oh, don’t mind me! After she leaves, he is satisfied with the footage he has got. Only, the water has short circuited his camera!
* The coach is now timing Yamamoto’s swimming. After she is done and gets out of the pool, he sees her so sexy he faints and falls into the pool.
* When a pretty babe accidentally sits on a guy’s hand, he goes into ecstasy and feels like ET. His finger calling for home? Blast off into space!
* A guy notices a girl’s slip is showing as her skirt is partially caught in her bag. So he gets off the train just to continue watching her pantsu. He has to or he’ll regret it. But not as much as he’ll regret when the train finally leaves and it is the last train for today. Hope it was worth it.

Episode 12
Suddenly a giant high school girl pops out from Tokyo bay and roams around Shibuya area. While the majority of the public is in panic, those who remain are of course perverts. Yeah, chance to see her underwear!!! You can’t miss it when she walks over you! So we see our usual characters from Steve to the coach having a wonderful time for their life. Except that guy with long hair that once again blocked his view from the giant awesomeness! DID HE NOT SAY HE WANTED TO CUT HIS HAIR THE LAST TIME?! It’s his fault then. So as she waits for her friend to show up, some frantic guy dashes his way to her pantsu. Too bad he slams into the post. She then gets upset her friend didn’t show up so she returns to the bay. Will she return? Perverts hope so…

Episode 13
* Steve’s friend, Jamie visits America. He sees a few girls running up the stairs but their skirts so short he could see their panties! Oh my God… Welcome to Japan! Later in the crowded train, a woman is standing so close to him that he feels awkward. He apologizes but she doesn’t mind. He turns around but looks like another lady’s hand is touching his dick! Japan, big guy… He doesn’t look happy, could it be…?
* The English teacher hands out papers. Because she bends over, a guy thought he got the best deal seeing her cleavage. But it is his friend sitting next to him who got the better deal as her boobs touched his hand!
* Steve shows Jamie all his exotic upside-down Fuji. Yeah, I think it also went beyond that. Pantsu collection of all the Japanese babes he secretly filmed. Then Jamie shows his. Not sure what the f*ck this scary horror gay thingy but it got both of them in an argument. Yeah, they don’t understand each other’s passion…

Episode 14
The coach has his students get into the pool. But the spot they’re sitting on leaves butt marks! Oh yeah… As the students get ready to dive in, he can’t stop staring at their butts! Care to blow the whistle? Or he just bit them? As the girls shower after getting out of pool, he can’t help fantasize them bathing naked. He then has Yamamoto take a physical test. When she jumps as high, her loose shirt reveals her bra. Going crazy, is he? Sorry, care to jump again? Then she does some rapid left and right move. Can his eyes keep up with her body parts? And then stretching. Oh yeah. What does this look like? Yamamoto runs and he runs harder to keep up so he could just look at her. It’s great he has the stamina… At the end of the day when it rains, Yamamoto’s soaked shirt makes him able to see her bra line. He covers up his face with his entire jersey when she looks back at him. I guess we have had enough for today.

Episode 15
A guy sees a hot chick as the main prize and enters the contest. So did he finally win?! Well, in this package comes… An annoying talkative 2D girl… WTF?! Oh. So he won Prize B, huh? Yeah, he looks so disappointed as Prize B follows him everywhere. That one time he tries to lift up her skirt… CAN’T! SHE IS 2D, REMEMBER???!!! Such disappointment. When his friend wins that hot chick prize, he gets motivated to enter again after packing away Prize B. This time he wins Prize A! Oh yeah! Hot busty babe is his now! But soon he realizes the high maintenance she is. Uh huh. He has to fork out the cash for all the expensive items she wants! Was it worth it? Everyone admiring and jealous how he got Prize A? I guess so. Then he bugs her to have sex. In the end, she claims he sucks and left! Oh my. Critical damage. Psychological, mental and financial… Then he remembers chuck at his corner is Prize B… He opens it and she still worries about him. OMG. Now he’ll learn to be more appreciative of her. Banzai Prize B!!! His only complaint? No boobs…

Episode 16
A reporter interviews a kid who claims his school disappeared right before his eyes. Though he did wish for it, he blames the culprit known as T who has such powers. More uncovering reveals he has various weird powers and one interviewee who is supposed to be T’s uncle claimed that he came to visit and got into an argument over a pudding with his son. When he threw a tantrum, some power began activating. His son turned into a dog before his eyes. Yeah, he is such a sad guy now who will never get his son back. The reporter manages to invite T to the studio. Here he is, Mr T! Sorry folks, not that Baracus guy but some KKK cult-looking dude. He starts cursing and chanting to the evil gods to grant his wish. All that dramatic effect and he only manages to pull down the skirt of the reporter?! Oh well, finally our fanservice for this episode. Thanks a bunch!

I See Your True Colours Shining Through…
Had our fun, did we? But too bad that’s all folks. Got to go find your own cheap voyeuristic thrill now. Heh. I guess we men never learn. At the end of the day, it is that tiny piece of cloth or a certain part of the flesh that makes us all with dicks go gaga and berserk. Probably that’s why all our blood quickly rush down to a certain head down there below! HAHAHA! Get what I mean?! Maybe it is not a big mystery after all. It is just men being men. Simple. Whoever created bra, panties and lingerie for women must have been the most respected creator in mankind’s history!

Anyway, I’m not sure if this constitutes to a higher or lower level, men trying to secretly peak at women’s panties or cleavage. I know it’s shameless and indecent either way but what I’m trying to say is that for those who have seen Iya Na Kao Sare Nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai and the recent Dogeza De Toanondemita, you would know that both the latter series has the protagonist straight up ask the girl at hand to show their goods. You got to be brave, desperate or just dumb to do it. But for those who prefer the sneaky and ninja-like level, this is where this series mostly takes place. Uh huh. Rather than asking the girl upfront, the guys here secretly try to get their voyeurism thrill in a way that doesn’t make the women think they’re being stared at. So which is better? Don’t know. They’re both shameless and blatantly indecent that’s for sure!

And yes, a big portion of the comedy factor here sees how the men try to get that cheap thrill of voyeurism. It is mostly done to an exaggerated level as you can see the moment the guy gets his first target lock on the female’s undies or boobs, you see him breathe harder and sweating in a panicky mode. Like as though he has been possessed by the devil of perversion and thus he must see this through if he is to carry on living. Yeah, it’s very cartoony to see them go into this mode. Especially that facial expressions of theirs that reeks give-me-see-your-pantsu-now! Funniest facial paralysis I’ve seen! Of course many of them will have to face the consequences for that few seconds of heaven. Some will backfire in their faces and some will be met with an unfortunate accident. Was it worth it? For these men, it definitely was. And I bet they’ll do it again if they have another chance. That’s why men basically never learn. Sure, you can blame the women who mainly wear very short mini skirts, an invitation for them to take a peek but that’s the risk that you’ll have to take, for those who dare.

Other than the funny, sleazy and cheap thrill fanservice, the other thing that one would normally notice is the few short scenes or clips in between the skits. To put it in my own words, it’s like a short trippy LSD trip! Wow. I don’t even do drugs and I felt those parts feel like this is what happens when you take them. You see, these weird moments in between the skits certainly don’t have any bearing at all with the main episode or the series overall. However when you see short clips of some Hollywood-like action scenes, some Matrix-like dystopian scenes, some retro black and white American-like cartoon clips, even some wrestler slamming down his opponent (I could be wrong but is that Andre the Giant?!) and a very wild couple doing some rough kissing! Geez, what did I just watch?! Some are even weirder and I can’t really make out of it because they’re messy montage of nonsense whatever. I don’t know if there is some subliminal message to brainwash you but watching these few seconds of short scenes indeed feel weird. It’s like after getting your fix of voyeurism, now get your trippy drug trip with these clips. Are you supposed to get hooked and come back for more?

So it goes without saying that the art style for this series feels really dated and retro. It is obvious many of the chicks are drawn in a hot and cute fashion (I bet many guys signed up for the English lessons not because of the English but of a very sexy blonde bombshell) while the guys are just ranging from plain to cartoonish. Of course boobs and pantsu in focus get more attention to detail because that’s where our eyes are staring, right?! The animation also feels dated. Because of the jerkiness, I sometimes thought it was rotoscoping but then again, it could just be bad animation. I mean, it’s this kind of anime we’re talking about. This anime was done by Studio Wombat and Triangle Staff, the latter bringing to you some memorable retro animes like Serial Experiments Lain, NieA Under 7, Macross Plus and Mashoutsukai Tai. Too bad they are no longer around since they ceased way back in 2002. Holy sh*t! That’s almost like 20 years ago!

Adding to all the wildness and madness is the very apt opening theme, Boku No Taion Wa 37.5C by Yuko Miyamura. It’s a very frantic, crazy and mad paced song that fits the fanatical pace of the series. The lyrics is so nonsensical and the singer feels like she doesn’t actually have any real singing talent so she’s just singing out loud her lines in hopes that the crazy music would help cover all that. Yeah, it certainly helps. Fun fact: Yuko Miyamura is the voice of Evangelion’s Asuka, Detective Conan’s Kazuha and Aisha in Outlaw Star. Either you’re going to laugh or start going into a dance frenzy hearing this epic song. Definitely worked you up into the mood to watch an anime like this.

On a trivial note, one of the most shocking finds is that Sayaka Ohara is the voice of Yamamoto! You mean, THE Sayaka Ohara?! I mean, I could identify the gay Cho as Steve and the rugged Fumiko Tachiki as the coach but Sayaka Ohara, the one who did Alicia in Aria The Animation to Erza in Fairy Tail to xxxHolic’s Yuuko, you mean THAT Sayaka Ohara?! OMG. No matter how much I rewind and listen to her lines, I would never have guessed it was her. Of course she is mostly likely using a different cutie pie voice rather than the iconic trademark voice range that I am so familiar with. I guess I didn’t expect this. Uh huh. Expected a lot of pantsu shots and cleavage close ups but not Sayaka Ohara having a role here.

Overall, this anime definitely has 2 sides of the coin depending on where your moral values and compass lie. Either you’ll find this an annoying piece of trash that sexualizes women or you’ll find it to be a decent (I know, the irony) and funny short satire that pokes fun at male fantasies. An epic masterpiece that brings smiles and satisfaction to some, a god awful time wasting garbage to others. Sorry people, did this series mark itself as family friendly somewhere? I think not. If you can’t handle this little work of art, boy you’re going to have a hard time consuming today’s media and entertainment that has more graphic and controversial themes. So relax, people. They’re just (2D) pantsu and boobs. Better to have some variety of exciting colours in our life than a boring monotonous one. Just like how we like our women’s bra, pantsu and lingerie too!

Oh f*ck. Not again. Here we go again. Yet another isekai anime. Aren’t we getting tired of this? I guess not. So what happens if we mix Hachi-nan Tte Sore Wa nai Deshou with Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken? Well, you sorta get Kami-tachi Ni Hirowareta Otoko! At least, that is how I feel about this anime when I first read the synopsis. Our main character dies in his own world (yawn! Done to death!) and as penance, the Gods reincarnate him in another fantasy world (yawn! Again, done to death already!) as a kid (Zzz…). He becomes the master of slimes and lives alone in his hermit life until travellers were passing by. Time to get back to society. With slimes!

Episode 1
11 year old Ryouma Takebayashi lives alone with his slimes. Yeah, he is telling us different coloured slimes are nurtured for different purposes. One day, as he is walking through the forest, he spots a group of soldiers attending to their wounded fellow comrade, Hughes. Ryouma hasn’t spoken to humans for ages so he speaks like a retard. He gives them medicine and then takes them back to his hidden cave for him to rest. The soldiers notice his layout like and deduces he lives alone and makes potions. They then introduces themselves, Reinhart Jamil (a noble duke), Camil (mage), Zeph (scout) and Jill (swordsman). They explain they were taking a shortcut through the woods but were attacked by a bear. When Jamil asks about Ryouma’s situation, he explains his grandparents died 3 years ago and before they did, they told him to move to another village since he is an outcast. Looks like he is managing well. Camil tests his aptitude and despite he has no fighting skills, his other stats are incredible for a kid. Like high resistance to physical and mental pain! They know they can’t leave him alone but will have to go back and ask for advice. Once Hughes is well, they leave. As they do, Ryouma feels bad about lying since it wasn’t his grandparents who died 3 years ago but himself. Now for your cue on this isekai flashback.

Ryouma was working in a black company. You know the kind that abuses its employees with overtime and no vacation. One day he just met 3 Gods (Gain, Lulutia and Kufo). He seems pretty cool. Must be a dream. He is told that he died while sleeping. He sneezed, fell off his bed, hit the floor and burst his brain vessels. Ryouma is now in shock because he could actually withstood direct hits to the head from his abusive father and boss and this is how he died?! Yeah. Shocking. As the Gods explain why they brought him here, I guess they’re not going to shy away with their blatant isekai clichés. Yeah, Ryouma’s expecting it anyway! This world, Seilfall is running out of magic. Earth has magic but nobody uses it! So by sending Ryouma here, it will help replenish magic. Since Ryouma is so interested, they just f*ck everything and decide to give him all the magic! Only drawback is that he can’t master any of them. After a long talk (and even signing a contract!), they are going to finally reincarnate him into a body of an 8 year old. He can do whatever he likes. Ryouma appears in Seilfall for the first time as a kid. Heck, the Gods are kind enough to leave him a manual on how to live here. Included are also his stats. Yes, his brute strength is off the charts! Better get used to this body. Then he spots a slime and becomes interested in it. The rest is history as Ryouma is now able to pursue his hobbies he never had time with. 2 weeks after the soldiers left, they finally return with more company.

Episode 2
Aside the butler and maids, the rest are Reinbach (Reinhart’s father), Elise (Reinhart’s wife) and Eliaria (their daughter). As the Jamil family is basically a family of tamers, they heard Ryouma has tamed slimes and want to learn from him. Ryouma teaches them the different slimes and they are awed with it all. Yeah, they never thought such slimes could exist! Ryouma invites them into his house as they give him a clock after noticing his house lacks one. He continues teaching more about slimes and after demonstrating a slime that cleans, Eliaria wants to catch that type to be her first familiar. However Ryouma becomes embarrassed since it he can’t tell a lady directly how to catch it. So he confers to the guys and they agree. Since Hughes lacks tact, he tells the ladies straight that one needs to attract it with your own sweat! They immediately slap him! Oh well. Somebody has got to take the fall. Eliaria is keen to get one and does the necessary stuffs to finally catch her own slime. As Ryouma is unsure what to do next, Reinbach suggests following them on a journey. They will be heading to a town named Gimul and will be staying there for a while. Ryouma thinks a while and since he has nothing to lose, why not learn something while embarking on a trip? And perhaps these people can teach him some common sense! But of course. So Ryouma takes a day to pack his stuffs. All he needs is to throw them all into his Item Box! Basically it is a portal of another dimension that keeps stuffs (like Fairy Tail’s Erza, for those who know). Ryouma follows the family to Gimul. He feels embarrassed the more they praise his abilities and thinks he should learn common sense quick! Huh?! Their journey comes to a halt when a landslide has blocked their path. A detour will take 3 days and they don’t want to stay in this area too long as there are bandits. Reinhart discusses with his men using earth magic to move the soil. Oh well. Time for Ryouma to work his magic. Some earth combo thingy to form them nicely into blocks and have his slime put them away. There! Road all cleared in no time! Piece of cake! Elise so happy she hugs Ryouma and almost suffocates him?! Everybody is tired but Ryouma feels a sense of happiness. Finally they arrive at Gimul.

Episode 3
Ryouma is brought to the church to get his status board. The moment he puts his hand on the orb, he meets those 3 Gods again! Don’t worry, he didn’t die. They once told him he is able to communicate with them like this if he visits the church. But you know, there are no churches in the forests… They talk a few things like Gain praising Ryouma for creating certain new types of slimes (the reason why the Jamils couldn’t recognize them) as well as the ancestor of the Jamils is one from Ryouma’s world a long time ago. She wanted to be a tamer and that’s why the skill was passed down to her generations. Also, there was one who was an otaku who wanted to become strong in combat (evil Kirito?!). The Gods were worried he might do bad things but he was too afraid to step out from his house till the day he died. Before Ryouma returns, the Gods warn him that he has attracted the attention of other Gods. While some support Ryouma’s existence, some do not. So be careful. Ryouma returns to the Jamils as Reinbach advises him to hide his strength since there would be unscrupulous people trying to use it for their own gains. As this would be impossible for a child his age, he suggests joining the tamers guild. Ryouma is unaware of the side effect of having high magic capacity. Those who do have a hard time controlling them and often undergo training. But Ryouma does it with ease, right? Eliaria despite having higher magic capacity than him, she still finds it hard to control him and hopes he can teach her how. Of course he will. Ryouma’s registration at the tamers guild hits a bump. Because he only tames slimes and not other tougher beasts, this means it will be hard for him to get promotions. Hence it is suggested he joins the adventurers guild where they value survival skills and combat abilities. Ryouma is tested by the guild master, Worgan. He hits bull’s eye in all his targets and even more so in the clay pigeon shooting. Perfect! Worgan then sneakily throws a knife at him but Ryouma deflects it back and counterattacks! Luckily Worgan explains in time it is just a test and since he is so capable, he passes. After registering, Worgan starts him off at the lowest rank. He can start him off higher but wants him to show others and prove his worth. Since adventurers can only take jobs of the same rank (unless one is in a party), I guess the suitable jobs available are mostly cleaning. Ryouma looks forward to his first cleaning job. Upon arrival, Miya is so happy that she starts crying, so thankful that somebody is really here to clean. Uh oh. Looks like it’s worse than a pig sty and it stinks like hell! Time for the slimes to do their job.

Episode 4
Apparently the wall of the trash dump next to her house became unstable as the trash keep piling up until it crashed through the wall. With such big stink, nobody wanted to take the job. Time for Ryouma to work his magic and slimes to clean up and put all those cleaning ads to shame! The job is done and Miya is so happy that she starts crying tears of joy. After reporting back to the guild, Worgan has another similar job that needs his expertise. This time the communal toilets around Gimul are facing the same problem. Due to the town’s falling income, the government refused to put up money for its cleaning. It’s gotten so bad that even with proper compensation now, no one is willing to do it. This reminds Ryouma of his previous exploitative workplace. When he reports this to the Jamils, Reinbach is pretty upset because he made this communal toilets as part of the environmental and employment benefits project. There seems to be someone embezzling funds from this so Reinhart has his men do some investigation work. In the meantime, Ryouma has to clean 30 of such toilets. The first one took longer than expected but it’s all clean now. Then he realizes there were miasma building inside and it could’ve been dangerous for anyone to use. Reporting this to the Jamils again, Ryouma offers to do it by himself despite the guild can provide some manpower. This is to minimize the health risk. Besides, Ryouma shows his status board that he has high immunity to such poison. Ryouma and his slimes work the remaining toilets. With his slimes duplicating and attaining more skills, they manage to work faster and more efficient. In 3 days, all the toilets are cleaned. Good job. Ryouma working nonstop and even coming back after midnight reminds him of his old job. Each time he came home late, mom was always there to welcome him. Until one day mom passed away. He felt empty at first but got used to it. Now Ryouma returns to the Jamils and seeing them welcome him back like family has him start bawling out tears like a baby. He is reminded has once had a family to welcome him home. Everyone hugs him because he deserves it, right? He is family now, right?

Episode 5
Ryouma teaches Eliaria some fun magic (making bubbles?) and in return, Camil teaches him a few attack magic. Because Ryouma learns fast, there isn’t any more he can teach him for the day, hence Sebas the butler offers to teach him some space magic. Aside his Item Box and short range teleportation, now Ryouma can teleport further with warping and keep more stuffs as well as living things in his Dimension Home. Ryouma is on his way to become God! Next day, The Jamils take the young ones to the abandoned mines at the north. It is part of the family to train them as they have a duty to protect the people. But don’t worry, their guards will be accompanying them. Eliaria stumbles into a giant praying mantis. I guess it is weak since a few ice shots killed it. But it is largely thanks to her speed. Next up is Ryouma. Oh damn, he decapitated 4 praying mantises like a pro! I see no difference those praying mantises died by their betrothed! Haha! Later, Eliaria finds a metal slime and catches it. She decides to give it to Ryouma as thanks for his teachings. Outside, Ryouma notices that the earth still has some iron in the soil. Using his alchemy and the likes, he makes a shiny metal bar! This reminds Reinbach of the person he wanted to introduce to Ryouma. He is Serge Morgan of the Morgan Trading Company. He valuates the metal bar as genuine as well as some of the other stuffs like waterproof vests to be real. He takes on the responsibility to sell them. But Ryouma doesn’t want him to tell he is the creator of these items. Yeah, you know unscrupulous people will take advantage of this, right? Even better, they assure all the profits will go to him since he is the creator. After all, the Jamils are so rich, they don’t need any more money! Later, Worgan informs his guild members that the culprit behind the embezzlement has been arrested. But he has a new quest for them. Because those abandoned mines have become breeding grounds for monsters, they are to clear them out tomorrow morning.

Episode 6
Ryouma experiments with the metal slime. So far its only weakness is acid. Ryouma joins the rest of the adventure guild to hunt for monsters. Yeah, they might be large in numbers but they’re easy to deal with. No challenge, huh? Even more so when Ryouma innovates to destroy them in one fell swoop. Damn, this job going to be easy and pays high too! When they take a break, it seems there is an emergency meeting. One of the groups stumbled into the den of goblins and got injured. You know what that means. It’s goblin hunting time. As expected, with Ryouma’s expertise, they take care of the goblins in no time even if they outnumber the adventurers. But don’t relax yet. Because here comes the big goblin commander and its hobgoblins! My guts tell me there is nothing to worry about because, you’ve guessed it, Ryouma! With greater tactics from the little kid, the massacre the entire goblin pack without suffering any casualties. Heck, even Ryouma’s slimes that heal upgrade themselves to heal even better! Yeah, those injured soldiers are back on their feet! Hospitals will be out of business!!! Everyone returns home as Ryouma tells the Jamils about his goblin exploits. Shocking but they should’ve expected this by now. But not as shocking as the next news Ryouma is going to tell them. Looks like he has decided. He doesn’t want to be in their debt anymore and wants to go solo. Yup, it’s goodbye.

Episode 7
Look who’s the sad and shock little girl? Ryouma fears of becoming useless if he relies too much on their goodwill. But of course he isn’t leaving forever. He wants to retrain himself and then return once he is comfortable. The adults aren’t that of a shock as Eliaria since they saw this coming and discussed this. They didn’t expect it would come this soon. They allow him to leave but looks like they also impose some conditions like he must write regularly and visit them when possible. Eliaria doesn’t want to be left out and also imposes he own conditions like coming to see him in 3 years (when her school takes a long break) and in 6 years (when she graduates). Since Ryouma isn’t living soon, he must also stay at their place. No buts about it. Then they discuss about Ryouma’s cleaning slimes and how it has potential to make money if he opens a laundry service. Lots of money. Hence Eliaria accompanies Ryouma to Serge and of course as a merchant he won’t let this money making opportunity go. Because he envisions he will makes so much money that it will be troublesome if he isn’t registered, he suggests Ryouma register with the merchant guild now. They meet the master of the guild, Glissela (I don’t know, she gives off this vibe of an old evil witch) and she too sees potential in Ryouma’s laundry service. She gives him a land for him to open his business. However some work must be done as the previous building has been abandoned due to fire. Ryouma and Serge work out some other minor details to get their business going. Ryouma then uses his slimes to deconstruct and reconstruct his laundry shop. Damn, he is openly using his magic, I hope no unscrupulous people is watching him at work. With his other friends and guild members, the shop is completed in no time. Once done, on the way back he stops by the church. However only Kufo is around. So Gain and Lulutia went sightseeing in his old world?! Well, it has more entertainment than this world! Because of that, Ryouma can’t stay long but Kufo warns him about his mind affected by his body and something about infantile regression. If that sounds worrying, don’t worry, it’s probably because Ryouma has been showing more emotions due to meeting many people compared to his previous poker face, so it’s a good thing, right?

Episode 8
Ryouma throws an opening party to his friends at the laundrette. Soon, Serge introduces the siblings of Carla and Callum Norad as his assistants. As Ryouma explains the workings around (damn, there’s an ironing service by the metal slime too?!), Ryouma wonders if there is something wrong since the siblings are like putting up no emotions and sound very robotic. The party gets underway and it goes well. Once done, when Ryouma hopes the siblings would continue to work here, in fact they are the ones who want to work here. At first they doubted him because of his age. But after seeing his rapport with others as well as his own personality, they feel assured he is one to be trusted and can learn a lot from him. Also, they have this misconception he is a noble as he is associated with the Jamils. That’s because you don’t want to attract attention of other nobles. I guess they have no other better things to do than to watch what other nobles do and get jealous if they do better, huh? Ryouma clears the air he is just an adventurer. So treat him like a normal person. Yeah, the stiffness in their face just released and for the first time you can see them smile! Next day as the business opens, Ryouma thinks there won’t be much business so he heads to the adventure guild to get some adventure. Also, Reinhart put him in charge of the abandoned mines so he is doing his usual patrols to make sure monsters don’t settle there. When he gets back, there’s a long queue! Oh sh*t! Gotta go help! Best advertising ever as everyone heard from word of mouth from the adventure guild about this new shop opening. Ryouma gets to work with his assistants and it was a busy day. When he realized they didn’t get any rest, he panics because it feels like his old exploitative workplace. He promises to get more helpers and runs down to the merchant guild to seek help. Glissela will gather the candidates but Ryouma will be the one to decide whom to hire. Back home, Ryouma reports his astounding success to the Jamils. Reinhart suggests the town guard’s quarters. There are many soldiers there with dirty laundry and he can earn some stable income. But for now, Ryouma takes his well deserved rest.

Episode 9
More satisfied customers. Yeah, the slimes even cleans away stubborn old stains. Damn, this put cleaning ads to shame! Ryouma meets all the potential candidates and tells what the job is about. Of course many are shocked to see a young kid as an owner of the laundrette. But the deal breaker is the slimes. Have to work with those monsters? With that, the whole room clears out. Sorry, not taking this job. Losers. Don’t know what they’re missing. The only ones who remain are the Chinese pair, Fei and his daughter, Li Ling. They have no problem with the job but it looks like Fei broke his leg. Okay, we’ll let Ryouma work his slime magic later. Ryouma then asks a question for them: Why are they carrying dangerous weapons? They then reveal that they are former assassins and have already quit (but they still carry weapons around?!). The master they served in their previous homeland lost a war, so they lost their job and place too and ran away. Fei was working in the mines and broke his leg in an accident. Of course Glissela knows their background and was just testing Ryouma to see if can tell. Now you know your answer. Ryouma has no qualms letting them work in his place. With the queue at the laundrette getting longer, Fei and Li Ling are just in time to help out the workload. At the end of the day, they made more sales than yesterday so Ryouma also factors in Fei and Li Ling’s ‘military experience’ as part of their pay as they will also serve as their bodyguards. They even get fully furnished dorms, so you bet this is a dream job that they won’t be changing jobs ever. Ryouma thinks further about his employees’ welfare like needing a cook to cook for them. So once more he heads down to Glissela to seek the necessary recruitment. This time she doesn’t beat around the bush and has got Fina, Maria and Jane all from the village who are happy to work at his place. Also, there is Selma who will be their cook. Glissela hints that if his business is so good, he can try to open another branch in another town. Ryouma thinks he isn’t ready for that yet but Glissela will be when he needs her. With the employees taking care of the shop well, Ryouma has time to do other beautifying stuffs around the laundrette. Yeah, so much time that it’s time to take on a quest from the adventure guild.

Episode 10
Serge sees Ryouma for another business venture. He wants him to make waterproof equipment since some frog outbreak is going to happen soon. Basically, it’s hunting season for adventurers to kill those frogs for their parts to make armour and medicine. With Eliaria’s help, Ryouma gets to make his fabric since part of Eliaria’s training is to play her violin as this helps in her taming skills. Killing 2 birds with a stone. Ryouma then makes little dolls of the Jamil household. Damn, this guy is going to kill the crafting industry. If there is ever one in this world. Eliaria ones him to make one of himself so that she could keep it as keepsake. Later Ryouma notices one of his slimes goes through another evolution. Hmm… Iron slime? Apparently there’s a difference with metal slime. With the laundrette’s business booming (making 3 times the profit than before!!!), suddenly Ryouma realizes he hasn’t given his employees any day off! Oh sh*t! Exploitative workplace, thinks he?! But guess what?! His staffs are happy to hear that! Apparently in this world, holidays are unheard of and especially if you are forced to work with a cruel boss with less pay and no day offs. So I guess Ryouma settles that so he goes to the adventure guild to see Maylene (the receptionist) who tells him that a group named Pier of Sikum obtained a very rare slime. They tried to sell it to the tamer guild but was rejected because they think it’s worthless! WTF?! You bet Ryouma is interested to buy that slime. Obviously that group is drinking, drunk and depressed all their efforts were for nothing. Wait till they hear about Ryouma interested to buy it. And pay extra if it’s special. Yup, he’s going to pay extra. Hooray! Money woes solved. Ryouma also hopes they would stay for a while because of the frog season and also to visit his laundrette. Ryouma then experiments with this bloody slime. Hmm… Like a vampire as it sucks all the blood out from a carcass. Useful. How? Whose blood he wants to suck out from?!

Episode 11
Ryouma and Eliaria undergo more taming magic training under the Jamils. So basically Ryouma the genius gets it at first go because you know, he’s a genius. So it’s like having first person view of the animal he contracted with. Yeah, best VR experience. Ryouma hears and is shocked and wowed at the same time the familiars the Jamils are contacted to. Especially Elise who has tamed several powerful fenrir-like wolves. What’s this about Reinbach tamed dragons?! Wow. If Ryouma gets more astounded like that, his jaw will dislocate and drop! Ryouma finishes his equipment just in time for the frog hunting season. As at the same time Eliaria will be trying to tame her own bird familiar, this has Ryouma realize the time to part has drawn closer. As the gang hike up to the lake, Ryouma meets the Pier of Sikum on their way down. More thanks and apologies now that they are sober. At the lake, it is filled with frogs and parrots. Looks like the adventurers have competition to catch the frog. Hurry, before those parrots steal and eat them! Nearby, a dude tries to tame the parrots with his flute. In short, he sucks! Did the parrots give him the boo of disapproval?! Because of that, he gets mad and tries to attack them?! WTF???!!! This backfires of course as the bird attacks him back with wind magic! Although Ryouma and co protect him, the danger is not over yet as suddenly they are being attacked by some ultrasound wave. Everyone except Ryouma is affected. Ryouma then scouts out the boss and uses his recently learnt taming skill to calm it down and make the flock fly away. The Jamils then explain how that was some high level big dark boss bird he encountered. One that only appears once every 10 years and can do dark magic to harm the mind! Oh damn! Did they get lucky? With no serious damage to everyone, Ryouma realizes because of his high resistance to mental pain, he wasn’t even aware he was being attacked and needs to be careful. As it is unsure if the parrots will return to this spot (and their nest is far away), is Eliaria going to wait? Of course. They’ve come this far so no turning back. Yeah, I hope it won’t take 10 years…

Episode 12
Well, it’s only been a day and those parrots aren’t coming back yet. So as they wait, Eliaria brings up the topic of their parting. Oh sh*t. Awkward! Ryouma panicking on the right words to say but Elise steals it right from his mouth first. This isn’t goodbye. They’ll see each other again. And then… Hughes trying to cheekily make Ryouma give her a goodbye hug! F*ck, he’s hugging and kissing the tree as a big hint!!! OMFG!!! Eliaria all flustered. Reinhart seething his teeth… Ryouma punches Hughes in the guts since he continues to act up. Wow. That’s the most violent Ryouma has ever been. WHAT IS THIS FINALE TURNING INTO???!!! But that won’t matter since the parrots return. That was fast! Ryouma notices the nightmare boss around and wants to go away to prevent animosity. But Eliaria doesn’t want that. She doesn’t believe Ryouma’s presence will make her fail. She starts playing her violin. The parrots are stunned. And then sing along with her. In the end, she makes a contract with a few of them. Then it’s Ryouma’s turn. He’s going to play his guitar! Does this world heard what a guitar is! He strums his piece. WTF, Hughes crying?! Safe to say, Ryouma too has contracted a few. Even better, the nightmare boss! But wait, Eliaria notices one of her parrots is an advanced species. What’s this phantom species even rarer than the nightmare one?! Holy f*ck! I give up… Back home, it is double party as they celebrate Eliaria’s successful taming as well as Ryouma’s farewell party. I know the adults want to party late at night but WHY ARE RYOUMA AND ELIARIA ALONE IN THE ROOM TOGETHER?! Oh, with the slimes. She’s trying to say something… Basically one incident about her magic too powerful, she couldn’t control it, hurt someone, people scared of her, blah, blah, blah. So is she going to ask the important question? Well… Is Ryouma afraid of her now? Of course not silly! Sighs… I guess we’re being silly to even expect at this point. Eliaria then gives him her treasured ruby ring mommy gave to her last birthday. Farewells are about exchanges, right? So she is giving it to him so he could return to her one day. Yeah, that. So in return, Ryouma gives her a few of his slimes. Well, I’ll be damned… Next day as the Jamils leave Gimul and Ryouma stays behind, last few parting words. Hey, this is not goodbye, right? Don’t cry, don’t cry… Lastly, Eliaria wonders if they’re friends (not more than that?!) and if so, please call her by her first name like her family does. Okay. And so they part ways and even the Gods watching feel sad! WTF?! But they know Ryouma will be fine and will meet many more great people. For now, our little ones promise to work hard and be better than yesterday.

The Day I Become God Of Slimes…
Oh wow… That was a load of… Nothing much happens! I only have myself to blame for expecting something sinister to happen in the final few episodes and possibly a big cliff-hanger that would leave a possibility of another season. But what do I get? Literally, NOTHING!!! Oh my God… Looks like it is all feel good feelings all the way right from the start till the end. No siree. Nothing world threatening like some megalomaniac trying to destroy the world or something of that likes. Nope. Just Ryouma having fun every day with his slimes while learning and exceling in some few new stuffs. That’s all there is to it. Ae we having fun yet? Sighs…

But I have to be honest, despite there were a lot of signs ringing that this was going to be a boring show, but if you look from the other side of the perspective, it is also a very calming and healing show. Yup, a series that is literally quite on par with Yuru Camp, Aria The Animation and Amanchu. And now that I think further about it, of all the isekai shows out there, this is by far and if not the tamest of them all! The safest isekai show ever! This is the ultimate calming and healing isekai trope there is compared to all the other isekai animes out there in recent seasons! There is literally no immediate danger to the characters and to the story whatsoever. Everything here reeks ultra relaxing vibes. So it’s like 2 sides of the same side. On one hand it may be boringly bad but on the other hand it is also quite calmingly relaxing.

Just as I have pointed out, there were no threats to the major characters and thus the somewhat bland but healing storyline. Even if there were, they were quickly brushed aside and never to be heard of again. You remember that corrupt official that embezzled the money for the communal toilets, right? So, we don’t even know who that asshole is, we don’t even get to know his name or even see his f*ck face, and then just like that the case has been solved! OMFG. Wow. I don’t know what else to say. I suppose that even with other dangers like monsters attacking, the scene will be a short one and then they will fast forward to the aftermath where by our heroes are victorious. I mean, this isn’t an action series to begin with so it is understandable that they don’t want to focus too much on such scenes. So if you were waiting for some baddie trying to take over the town towards the end, I’m sorry you’ll be disappointed. No such people. Everybody here is so nice and polite to each other. Yeah, beats Earth anyway. No wonder Ryouma enjoying his stay. With his laundrette so successful, surely there would be jealous competitors trying to sabotage his business, right? But none! So far. Maybe. I guess nobody does laundry in this world and that’s why his business is booming. So with everybody being so happy in this world, damn, this is literally heaven! Ryouma actually died and went to live at real heaven!

So yeah, it might be hinted a little that there are some sort of dangers in this world like other warring countries, bandits and unscrupulous people (and those Gods who supposedly don’t like Ryouma are just red herring – or Ryouma did a good job in lying so low). But so far, Ryouma has been one lucky kid not to have encountered them. Or is it because he is under the protection of the Jamils so baddies don’t approach them casually. Anyway, Seilfall may not be 100% ideal happy heaven place as it has its downfalls too. But as far as we can see for Ryouma and the gang, they’re like having 24/7 and the most menacing moment (I use that term very loosely) is when the goblin commander came out to attack. I mean, it was kinda predictable but if there was anything that came close to threatening, I think it was probably that. Maybe in the future Ryouma will meet more shady people as he grows up. But for now, I guess they want to tell us that as an 11 year old, he’s got to enjoy his childhood. Well, that’s a bit BS because which 11 year old kid runs a shop like a boss and is a master of slimes? Uh huh. Didn’t think so. But best (second) childhood ever for Ryouma.

So I’ve said it before somewhere in my previous blogs, that the reason why an outsider like Ryouma could be so powerful and influential is because this world of Seilfall is such a backwater place. This allows Ryouma to use his expertise do advance life and culture a little there. Look at his laundrette business as I have already mentioned. But the great thing about this is that they don’t really make it obvious that Ryouma is an overpowered dude despite he is actually one. I mean, he gets to have all sorts of freaking magic and high resistance to many types of pain. Damn, I don’t know what those Gods were thinking to compensate him from plucking him out of his own world and into this fantasy world. But at least rest assure and thank goodness they did not give him a Smartphone!!! OMFG!!! That would’ve been so damning that I would have detested this series no matter how calm and relaxing it is. Uh huh. This world of Seilfall is so boring and backwater that no wonder the Gods visit our Earth regularly for thrills and entertainment! That’s your damning verdict for Gods to even go down and indulge themselves in such humanly sins. Oh yeah, better to let Earth self-destruct than to let any of those taint the purity of Seilfall, huh?

Character wise, they are nothing really that spectacular. At first glance, Ryouma as the main character and even more so an overpowered one in an isekai genre, he does his best not to flaunt his powers and in the process makes us hate such characters. Oh course they have to in some scenes because what is the use of having such power if you don’t use it, right? Anyway, Ryouma is a pretty decent kid and one of the main characters of the isekai genre that we don’t loath so much. Is it because he is a kid? So yeah, Ryouma’s previous life does help in shaping the kind of life he has now. It is a good thing that he didn’t become try to exploit his new powers in this new world because that would’ve been a big red flag. Hence the awkwardness of Ryouma being the nicest, most polite and helpful kid ever Seilfall has ever seen. So I can understand why he freaks out about workplace exploitation because he who has gone through that hellhole do not want others to experience the same. So it’s a bit annoying at the same time because he really exaggerates when he thinks the slightest he is exploiting his workers. I know. Blame me from my experience in reality but then to say Ryouma is a kid isn’t a valid argument. He was a full adult in his previous life! Therefore it is a good thing Ryouma came into contact with the right people because who knows what kind of path had he met bad ones. And also, Ryouma going to win the best employer of the year award for the next consecutive 100 years. Just saying… Yeah, just hand him the mayor title of a town and we’ll see the best combo of capitalism, socialism and welfare state ever!

Then there is Eliaria whom they seem to keep trolling us if there would be some possible kiddie romance. Or maybe it is just me overthinking. Yeah. Perhaps it is just me wishing something of that sort since this anime is so boring, oops, I mean calming. Obviously like everybody else, they love Ryouma because he is such a nice kid. But sometimes you can’t help think that from that angle of the scene, you wonder if this will be the moment that Eliaria will finally confess to Ryouma that she loves him. Hey, you can never be too young for love. Except when there is that age gap thingy. Oh, I almost forgot about her father… Maybe not then. Who knows? In a few years when they’ve become teenagers, Ryouma having another girl in life and Eliaria will fall into shock and depression, the real battle begins! What am I talking about?! This isn’t even anything in the series itself! F*ck, I’ve strayed too far about nothing…

And basically everybody else in this world are good guys. Oh God. I don’t know what more to write about them because they’re so generic and good people, there’s nothing more I can say about them. All of them so impressed by Ryouma because I guess it is better to be his friend than be his enemy. So you’ve got to be like an idiot like Hughes to really stand out since this guy is quite straightforward so in a way I guess he is pretty funny. In the loosest terms. Anyway, there are tons of side characters here and I don’t think I remember their names. Especially those from the adventure guild. Like, how do they even matter in the overall story? Except to show that Ryouma has made lots of good connections and friends. Yup, he is no longer alone like he was in his previous world. Even the Gods are pretty chill. It’s not like they really matter at all but I guess from time to time we need to see them so as to prove that they’re watching Ryouma since they were the ones responsible for bringing him over. Yeah, it was a crappy excuse about Earth having so much magic and a waste Earthlings don’t use them. So I wonder how long one person like Ryouma will refill the necessary quota of Seilfall. Until his death? Then it’s time to introduce the next person to isekai heaven. Yeah, no wonder there aren’t any other isekai characters around and the gap between one seems to be centuries.

Aside the monsters and bandits that we don’t even see a nose hair of, I think I am nit-picking when I say that the biggest jerks and dicks here is the tamers guild. We have never seen anyone from there and from my perspective, for them to discriminate slimes because of their low potential might be okay at first. But by now they should’ve known about Ryouma’s exploits and do something about it! But so far, nothing! They really hate slimes, huh? So do you not agree with me these are the worst kinds of people here? I don’t know if the Jamils are part of this guild but I think so since the whole family are tamers. And they didn’t do anything about it? Well, maybe they’re not the master of the guild so they can’t make the call to let Ryouma in. So now the kid is making progress and prosperity to the adventure and merchant guild. It’s the tamers guild’s loss. I bet that stupid dude who failed to tame the parrot and got attacked back is from the tamers guild. I’m pretty sure of it. Yeah, dumb tamers guild…

Then there are those slimes. The pet mascot and stars of this series? One thing I want to get off my chest first: When you do not focus too much at the slimes at first, they look a lot like boobs!!!!! OMFG!!! Those coloured boobs jiggling and bobbing around!!! OH MAH GAWD!!! BEWBS!!!! I suppose it is not a good idea to watch this series if you’re horny. Trust me, having a dirty mind while watching this pure series makes your libido really feeling conflicted. I sure hell don’t want to feel like this again. Anyway, Ryouma creating a few slimes on his own, it is the miracle tool that he needs to get by this world (aside his magic) because yeah, they put Flubber to shame whatsoever. Some slimes are just f*cking better than Pokemon evolution. Some sort of convenient tool so they can do things better without Ryouma’s supervision or the likes. Just like some characters who aren’t really much ado, some of the slimes introduced too aren’t amounting to anything much either. I mean, remember that bloody slime Ryouma bought? So… What does that even mean? As far as this season is concerned, it feels like a waste to show us something like so that it doesn’t ultimately matter in the end. Like nothing much ado. So what slime will he create or rare ones to find? Aha. A fire slime that breathes fire and keeps others warm! Oh yeah. I can be a slime master too, you know…

The art and animation are quite okay. With the visuals being clean, bright and colourful, sometimes you would think that this show is aimed at younger audiences. With everything so family friendly and the main character is a kid, one is inclined to think so. Yeah, Ryouma and Eliaria are just freaking cute, no? Don’t you just want to squeeze and hug them to death and awaken your inner pedo?! Oops! There is some CGI used but sparingly. However I must say that it is not the worst but it is certainly not the best either. Because I want to point out the worst CGI was when they animated the horses. Damn, it brought back memories of that hideous CGI they used for that bear in Golden Kamuy! So yeah, the horses here look freaking one kind, like as though they are toys or something. Weird. This series was done by the relatively new Maho Film who did Uchi No Ko No Tame Naraba Ore Wa Moshikashitara Maou Mo Taoseru Kamo Shirenai. So if you’re wondering why the kiddie cuteness is so familiar, there’s your answer. On a trivial note, the promotional poster showing a few characters huddling around Ryouma, doesn’t it feel a bit gay?! Okay, maybe it’s just me.

I didn’t expect to find a few familiar seiyuus lending their talents here. Basically the Jamil adults like Daisuke Ono as Reinhart, Saori Hayami as Elise and Takehito Koyasu as Reinbach. Also, there is Kikuko Inoue as Lulutia and Hiroki Yasumoto as the previous adult version of Ryouma. For the rest of the casts, they are Azusa Tadokoro as Ryouma (Kotori in Gokukoku No Brynhildr), Yuuki Kuwahara as Eliaria (Tooru in Kobayashi-san Chi No Maid Dragon), Tetsu Inada as Worgan (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill), Makoto Yasumura as Serge (Dan in Infinite Stratos), Reiko Suzuki as Glissela (Bakkin in One Piece), Mutsumi Tamura as Camil (Sonya in Kill Me Baby), Keisuke Koumoto as Hughes (Raul in Yuushibu), Motomu Kiyokawa as Gain (Tippy in Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka), Makoto Koichi as Kufo (Tsukasa in Nurse With Komugi R), Marika Kouno as Miya (Suzuka in Uma Musume: Petty Derby), Tomomichi Nishimura as Sebas (Anzai in Slam Dunk), Hisako Toujo as Li Ling (Miko in Animegataris), Tsuyoshi Aoki as Fei, Risa Kubota as Carla (Shindou in 100-man No Inochi No Ue Ni Ore Wa Tatteiru) and Sakura Nakamura as Callum (Sariel in Nanatsu No Bitoku).

The opening theme is Yasashii Sekai by Azusa Tadokoro. This isn’t technically a slow and calming piece but it does give that sort of feel and it fits the series like a glove. In fact, hearing this song somewhat brings to mind Yuru Camp (no, not that Jackson 5 spoof opener!). It has that same vibe. Heck, if they used this song for Yuru Camp’s next season, I also wouldn’t mind. As a change in pace, the ending theme Blue Rose Knows by MindaRyn is a rock outfit. It’s not a bad song but it feels a bit out of place playing in this kind of anime. In fact, hearing this song somewhat brings to mind Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken. It has that familiar vibe. Heck, if they used this song for the next season of Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken, I wouldn’t mind.

Overall, this anime is chill and relaxing. A surprising take on the ubiquitous and dreaded isekai genre. Come to think of it, this anime is like Animal Crossing the video game. Not that I played that game before but I’ve seen and know a bit about it to know that Ryouma is just having a pretty chill time in his adventure and business in this new world. All at his own leisurely time. This series isn’t perfect but if you don’t have high expectations of it (exciting storyline, exciting characters, exciting action, exciting visuals, exciting sound effects, exciting everything!), you’ll find that this is quite an interesting and calming series to watch. Yes, I have to admit that sometimes it makes me forget I’m watching an isekai genre with an overpowered main character! Now this is how you exploit the isekai trope and put it to good use! Just like how the Gods picked up a boy and made his day, giving him a second chance at life, I’m glad I picked this series up and it made my day, giving isekai genres another chance at entertainment value. Of course that with a pinch of salt. I’m still sceptical about that genre, you know. Not even all the cleaner slimes Ryouma has can completely wash clean all the bad isekai shows out there.

It is a good thing that we didn’t have to wait long nor there was some other side story from another character’s point of view. Because of that, we were able to get Dungeon Ni Deai Wo Motomeru No Wa Machigatteiru Darou Ka S3. Only slightly delayed thanks to your good ol’ friend named Corona virus. Anyway, seeing how the second season had lukewarm response from many viewers, hopefully this third season would stay true to its name and roots. I mean, what is the name of this series again?

Episode 1
As narrated, even before gods descended on this world, there were monsters. And they are humans’ ultimate enemy and can never get along. Not even gods can save them. And now we see humans trying to hunt down this frightened vouivre type monster girl. Luckily she stumbles into Bell and he hides her and brings her back to his comrades. They too go on the defensive, warning Bell she is a monster. A MONSTER! Everyone is shocked when she can talk. Bell explains the circumstances but they remain sceptical. Until Bell points out he wants to help her and can’t abandon someone like that. Well, and that is how you set the story for this season. Sounds familiar? Yeah, he did the same thing for a certain prostitute last season. They bring her back to Hestia who of course shock at first, but lets it slide and allows her to stay. Bell must take the responsibility of naming her. Wiene? I think they wanted it to sound like winner but it looks more like wiener… Hestia then has her Familia gather info if there are others of her kind. So while they’re out, Bell and Haruhime get to play house with her? One happy occasion has Wiene accidentally scratching Bell’s arm! Man, that’s a hideous scratch! As Wiene goes into shock and despair, but that warm Bell smile assures her everything is alright. Look, he isn’t mad. At all! Better get those nails filed. With Wiene getting more talkative and everyone opening up to her. Yeah, bath fanservice! We’re all so family! Except Lily. Still keeping your distance? Until Wiene asks if she hates Bell. With everyone admitting they love Bell, peer pressure has Lily admit the same too. So everybody loves everybody, huh? Gonna be the best orgy ever! Later Bell asks Wiene about her origins. Don’t really remember. Before she knew it, she was in a dark lonely place. And she also has this dream where she killed everybody! She feels emptier and colder each time, crying out for help but no one ever saves her. Meanwhile Hermes Familia has found the Familia who has been smuggling monsters. Hermes believes it to be Ikelos Familia.

Episode 2
Dix Perdix of Ikelos Familia is not pleased his men lost a vouivre. That monster could’ve fetched a high price. He orders them to go find it and also seeks Ikelos’ help to see through the lies of the people. As it is dangerous to find more info on the surface, the only way left is to secretly look for clues at the place where Bell found Wiene. Bell seeks Ryuu’s help to escort him. At first she declines but Aisha is willing to do it at the price of his chastity. So a short b*tch showdown before Ryuu decides to join in. After fighting their way through a few floors, Lily keeps those ladies company while Bell and Welf go off to find clues. They then stumble into a monster who can smell the same scent of her brethren on them. However she asks them if they could coexist before fleeing. Shortly, Bell passes by Dix and his men. Because one of them recognizes Bell then, Dix can smell something fishy on him and this is worth investigating. The mission is over as Bell and co return to the surface. Needing time to sort out his feelings, Bell walks alone but stumbles into Ikelos. He asks if he knows of a certain talking vouivre but luckily Hermes is here so he doesn’t have to answer anything. Hermes talks to Ikelos if he is behind the monster smuggling since there are rumours that his Familia was part of the dark faction, Evilus. Ikelos dismisses all those false accusations and claims his followers just do stupid things on their own. Welf reports back about another talking monster they met. However Lily now objects to Wiene further staying with them. The more they hide her, the more trouble it will bring to them. They can’t leave it to soft Bell to make decisions so they have to decide now. What are the chances Wiene heard that? Yeah, you can’t miss the loud bang of the door. She has run away. Time to go look for her. Wiene is scared and alone in town. Though she saves a kid from crates falling on her, this exposes her identity. Everyone becomes afraid of a monster in town and starts throwing rocks. Bell wants to risk it all and save her but Lily is faster to do so. Plus, she’s wearing a disguise so it’s safe. They meet up at their old home and Wiene cries harder thinking she can’t stay with Bell anymore.

Episode 3
Rows of complaints by adventurers are piling up at the guild about a monster’s appearance. Eina is tasked by the guild master to deliver a secret mission to Bell. It seems Hestia Familia is to deliver the dragon girl to a certain place in the dungeon. Hestia Familia wonders if the guild actually knows they are hiding Wiene. Even so, they find it fishy they are sending them on a mission instead of demanding her handover. After Bell and the rest head into the dungeon, Hestia goes to see a shady character (as per written in a secret code in the letter). She is then taken to a secret place where she meets Ouranos (previously misspelled as Uranus in my previous blogs) who admits that he is the one behind sending her Familia on this mission. He will tell the truth to her. Meanwhile Bell’s side fights hordes of monsters to reach that spot. When they do, looks like they have to fight even more monsters! It is a tough and relentless fight as they put up while defending Wiene. After some time, the monsters give up and this lizard dude, Lyd starts laughing? As per Rei’s words, he now believes they are different than other adventurers. This was just a test to see if they will abandon Wiene if the situation gets tough. But now they’ve seen it with their own eyes, they welcome them to this hidden village. Ouranos explains that the guild has been secretly trying to protect monsters and there is a hidden village on a certain floor in the dungeon. The mission was to deliver Wiene safely to her kin. Lyd wants to shake hands with Bell. My, look at those sharp claws and teeth. Sure he’s not going to eat you? After Bell sums up his courage to shake hands, it feels like some biggest peace deal is ever made because everybody is cheering and now wants to shake hands with him! Rei welcomes Wiene here as there will be nobody who will oppress or persecute her. Ouranos continues that intelligent monsters are called Xenos and he views Hestia Familia as his hope to bridge the coexistence between humans and monsters.

Episode 4
Human and monsters having an underground party! Well, not all monsters still accept Bell as a good human. Especially Gros and his little merry band of monsters. Ouranos continues his explanation that the other gods who know of this plan are Hermes and Ganesha. Hence Monsterphilia was an event as instructed by Ouranos to ease people’s revulsion against monsters. Then there is Fels. He is a former human and is believed to be that great sage who obtained the philosopher’s stone to become immortal. So basically he is a living ghost. He aids Ouranos in his goal to bridge the divide between humans and monsters and is currently the main communicator between Ouranos and Lyd. Although Xenos can live in the dungeon peacefully, it seems they yearn to head out to the surface. Many have never been to the surface before but they have this funny feeling they were reincarnated from previous lives. When humans die, their spirits go to heaven. As for monsters, their spirits get reincarnated inside the depths of the labyrinth. Over the years and countless rebirths, their souls might be changing. It is unsure if it is the monsters’ yearning or the dungeon’s will. Bell’s side leaves but so sad for Wiene she can’t go with them because humans may not accept her and target Bell. Pretty heart breaking to hear Wiene screaming out to Bell’s name as she gets carried away. It’s like being separated from daddy… Soon, Wiene joins a few of them in moving to another village because staying in a spot too long may be susceptible to ambush and food might run out. Wiene hears a cry of a fellow monster in pain. Ranieh wants to go save their new kin and rushes in instead of waiting for Gros’ reinforcement. They see a tortured siren tied to a pillar. This is a trap set by Dix and his men. They make use of Wiene’s good hearing to lure them in.

Episode 5
The Xenos get decimated. What can Wiene do seeing her comrades die before her? Nothing. Yeah. She gets kidnapped of course. Some pervy guys want to rape Ranieh but she deals them major damage before killing herself. By the time Gros arrives, he is filled with rage seeing the remnants of his brethren. Because of that, he wants Xenos to rise up and retaliate. Lyd tries to stop him because all their efforts will be for naught. However Gros’ argument sounds better and many jump ship to support his cause. Meanwhile Bell true to his nature, now has dilemma to kill monsters! Even after what Lyd told him?! Hence he seeks advice from Aiz. About time she showed up. Almost forgotten about her… So will she kill monsters? If they intend to hurt, she will not hesitate to kill. Simple. That clear to you, Bell? Suddenly the entire place is under emergency. Armed monsters have attacked a town in the dungeon, Livira. However, the guild orders all to be on standby and forbid them to enter the dungeon. Ouranos notices that the attack is only contained within Livira. Something is going on and the monsters are not trying to break out to the surface. He has Fels select and lead a suppression force. He wants Bell to be in that force. This is a chance to see if Bell is what he is. Also, since he is the bridge between humans and Xenos, this force is to help sneak him into the dungeon to see what is going on. Aside the official suppression force, there are some moving secretly on their own to enter the dungeon like Hermes sending Asfi as well as Aisha teaming up with Ryuu. The suppression force gets ready to enter the dungeon as they are reminded to not kill the monsters but tame them and bring them in alive.

Episode 6
The suppression force has a skirmish with Xenos. Bell faces off with Lyd and they fight far enough away from the rest to ascertain things. Lyd admits he attacked Livira because humans killed their kind and kidnapped Wiene. Lyd realizes he is no different than other monsters and is feeling very angry inside. He wants Bell to escape to avoid getting caught in this mix-up. After Ryuu intervenes, Bell refuses to follow her suggestion to return to others because he wants to go after Lyd. She respects his decision and gives him a strange key. Meeting up with Fels, it seems this key opens up a hidden door to a secret underground pathway. Not even the best magic can detect or destroy these doors. Hestia Familia try to think about the recent events when Lily remembers about Zanis. She confronts him in prison about trafficking monsters. She brushed off that thought thinking it was nonsense but now it’s a different story. He admits about the trafficking and hints about their base at Daedalus. Bell and Fels continue to walk through the corridors, realizing that this is a secret pathway that aided in the trafficking of monsters, the reason why it goes undetected as this will lead to the surface other than the dungeon’s entrance. When Lyd and Gros reach the end of the corridor, they see their cage brethren and free them. But Wiene still missing. This is a trap as they are now confronted by Dix and his men who are going to hunt them. With Bell and Fels here, time to reveal the truth. Dix is a descendent of Daedalus, the guy who laid the groundwork and created the underground labyrinths. Proof of this is his strange eye that allows him to unlock those doors. Those keys are gouged out eyes. A thousand years when the gods descended, Daedalus dedicated to Orario’s construction in accordance to Ouranos’ will. He created a labyrinth masterpiece till he lost his mind. But there was a labyrinth that he wanted to create that would be considered the ultimate masterpiece: Knossos. However it is incomplete. Or at least still work in progress. When Daedalus died, he left this task to his ancestors. So for a thousand years they have been continuing his work. But this comes at a cost. Hence the monster trafficking is to help fund this completion. Dix uses a curse to turn some of Xenos violent and fight among themselves. The only way to break this curse is to defeat the spell caster. That’s your cue, Bell.

Episode 7
Dix further explains how his cursed bloodline kept forcing him to finish Knossos that he hates so much. Nothing he did could allay that dread until one day he found a group of talking monsters. In short, he finds it fun and the only thing that could keep him from that bugging torment was to torment Xenos. Because Bell still refuses to believe, he brings him to Wiene. Dix then tears off the crystal on her head. This means she will no longer maintain her sanity as she turns into her monstrous form and goes on a mindless rampage. Bell takes a beating from Wiene and does not fight back. Will those strong bonds resonate within Wiene? Well, at least for a moment. It leaves Wiene confused and Dix not amused. He beats up Bell for trying to pull off this sh*t because what he wanted was Bell to cut up Wiene. That’s what monsters are for. However Bell disagrees. Humans or monsters, as long as they seek help, he will not turn them down. Bell takes a beating from Dix who is tired of this fool and is about to kill him. Lyd comes to his aid. Although still under the curse, Bell’s words resonated in him and he is able to fight on his own will. Bell and Lyd team up to fight and defeat Dix. Although the curse is lifted, Dix still holds the trump card, he throws away the crystal and when Bell jumps to get it, Dix opens the door for Wiene to head directly up to the surface. You know what this means, right? Panic sets in when Wiene rampages on the streets. Bell tries to stave her off and needs a way to put the crystal back but Wiene is suddenly subdued by Loki Familia. In shock, Dix’s words of being a hypocrite resonates throughout Bell’s mind. He does the unthinkable and shocks everyone as he stands before Wiene to protect her.

Episode 8
Looks like Dix has outlived his usefulness so he gets killed off by a minotaur! Don’t need to worry about this dude anymore. Back to Bell, he claims Wiene belongs to him. I guess other adventurers take that as it is his prey so don’t touch it. As Bell chases Wiene through the streets, other Xenos have emerged. Loki Familia engage with them but are told to take them in alive. Until the minotaur comes out so no more playing by the rules. This time Aiz fights the monster but it could fight on par with her. Drag this out any longer and this would be detrimental to everybody so somebody drops black smokescreens and just like that the minotaur disappears? Where did that big thing disappear to? Wiene is led to an arena where all the mages are waiting and zap her. One of Dix’s men throws a spear into her heart. As he revels in his revenge, Gros comes to kill him off. It looks so funny that it isn’t funny… The ground collapses so I figure it’s cue for Bell and Wiene to have some personal time together away from all that hunting distraction. Although Bell manages to put the crystal back, it is too late as she is already disintegrating. She is happy that someone came to save her. Life of fun times in Hestia Familia flash before her eyes before she dies. Before you can say Bell can no longer at a monster girl to his harem, here comes Fels to do some divine magic and revive Wiene! Just f*ck all the logic and laws because we all love Wiene, right?! Wiene is back and everyone can be happy about it. Bell still thinks about that hypocrite thingy so Fels tells him that his ‘hypocritical’ actions have the makings of hero. Many sympathized with Xenos but none were as brave as him to put themselves in harm’s way. That’s why Fels wants him to continue staying as a fool. Later Bell admits to Eina that he caused all this damage and put many in danger. She slaps him because she doesn’t believe all that. Is that her way of saying she is glad he is fine?

Episode 9
Ikelos has been banished from Orario. However with that, everyone is now focused on Bell and many blame him for this disaster. He has become Orario’s most hated person. At the same time, Xenos are hiding somewhere and all adventurers are searching every nook and corner. Hermes talks to Bell and Hestia about the situation. It is most likely they will have to fight Loki Familia who are trying to find all the access to Knossos. In the streets, everyone gives Bell that spiteful look. Hestia tells them off it is her debt’s fault that made Bell do this so fault her if they want to blame somebody. Then they stumble into Aiz and Loki. Awkward. I guess it’s not the time now. Bell so disheartened with everything that happens so far, I guess even a lap pillow from Syr seems good enough to calm things down. While the other gods are contemplating their stance on Xenos, Fels sends a message to Hestia Familia that tomorrow night they will make their way to one of the hidden entrance to Knossos. They have only 2 choices: Help Xenos and live with the hate for the rest of their lives or abandon Xenos and continue their normal lives. Bell has no hesitation in his answer: He wants to help Xenos but doesn’t want to drag his friends into it. Uhm, that’s not one of the choices… But Welf suggests a third. Sneak them in and nobody will know. I guess that’s for the best. Hestia Familia begins preparing all the magic equipment they need for this. Communicating with Fels and Xenos, it seems Bell will be the diversion since Loki Familia has found many of the Knossos entrance, he is to fight them off to let Xenos escape. Xenos doesn’t like using Bell and friends as decoy but at this point they have no choice as they are the only ones they can rely on now. On the other side, Finn addresses his comrades and knows Bell will be a decoy to let Xenos break into Knossos. He wants them to not focus too much on him.

Episode 10
Eina is mad! She regrets slapping Bell but thinks that might be the reason he won’t come to see her. How else can she explain the truth to him? With that, she ditches work to go look for him. She even tells off her colleagues that if the guild goes down without 1 staff, something is wrong with the system! You tell ‘em, girl! But it’s not Bell she stumbles into but Hermes. He is willing to tell her where he is in exchange for a small favour to give this bracelet to him. When Bell is spotted, Aiz offers to go watch him. Naaza is seen talking to Bell and he is glad he can help her. After that it is Aisha and Ryuu who offer their assistance. Aiz must be confused why there are so many women coming to see Bell. Oh, there’s more. This time it is Eina and she is trying to drag him away! When Welf and Mikoto meet up with Lyd’s main group, Lyd gives out a loud roar to signal to their other separate comrades. The plan goes into motion as Bell manages to ditch Eina. Save your scolding for another time. Bell notices Aiz following him closely and needs to lose her. With Naaza’s help using some hallucinating spell, this manage to fool other adventurers keeping an eye on Bell but not Aiz. This is where Ryuu pops up to request a duel with her right now. Bell is now scot free. When Finn tells one of his squad to return to the main base as monsters are attacking there, little do they know that this is Lily in disguise to clear this area as Xenos will be using this side of the head to go back into Knossos. So when that squad returns, Finn realizes he has been outsmarted. Welf and Mikoto lead Xenos through the streets. A few adventurers stopping them but they’re just small fries. The threat is Gareth, though. Welf and Mikoto stay behind to hold this guy back. However during Gareth’s ground shaking attack, Wiene was separated from the group. Now she finds herself lost and going in the wrong direction. Haruhime goes off herself to bring her back as Hestia quickly informs Bell of this. When Wiene surfaces, it’s her bad luck as this is Tiona’s lookout spot. Wiene gonna die again?

Episode 11
I guess Tiona is being a little sloppy so Wiene manages to get away a little. Wiene then saves a child from a crumbling block. While others see it as Wiene attacking the child, Tiona realizes something. Hence when she traps Wiene, she lets her go because she somewhat understands a little what Bell was feeling then. Meanwhile Welf and Mikoto only manage to get the better from Gareth thanks to Tsubaki’s help. Wiene is reunited with Bell and Haruhime. However they have to hide since Bete is nearby. You can’t hide from his sense of smell. Haruhime goes to deal with him to let them escape. Can she fight? Oh, Aisha to the fore. Bell’s worst fears come true as he has to face Aiz. Looks like Ryuu got defeated. I take it, their clash means breakup? The end of their relationship? Okay, let’s not dwell too much on that. Bell tries to explain Xenos have the same feelings and thinking like humans but Aiz refuses to believe. She will still cut them all down. A slight distraction to allow Bell to escape and lead Wiene into the sewers to reunited with her comrades. Now he can resume his fight with Aiz without any interruptions. Both continue to be stubborn in their beliefs. Wiene is having doubts. She knows Bell is doing this for her but it still feels wrong because she hasn’t repay him back yet. And so Wiene turns around to help protect Bell. How the f*ck did she manage to slip through the door that Bell locked? Anyway, when Aiz says her claws can still harm humans and her wing strikes fear in others, Wiene does the unthinkable by pulling out her claws and tearing off her wing! She promised herself if she went berserk again, she will disappear for good. This shocking scene has Aiz so confused so she lets them escape. She can’t bring herself to slay Wiene. Wiene reunites with her Xenos as they say their goodbyes. But as Xenos head deep into the dungeon, they end up in a dead end. Funny, they followed Daedalus’ map. There should be a door here. Then Hermes pops up and tells them the map they have is fake. Because he wants to kill them all! Did I hear that right?

Episode 12
Hestia realizes the map is fake and fears Hermes is behind this. Suddenly Gros and a few monsters drop into the plaza and start attacking the people. You see, this is part of Hermes plan to help redeem Bell’s reputation. He wants 3 or 4 of them to sacrifice themselves to be killed by Bell so they can view him as the hero again. Gros offers to be that sacrifice. Although this would help Bell, Lyd feels awkward because it’s like Xenos is turning their backs on each other. Gros targets Eina since she has the bracelet but here comes Bell to protect her. Loki Familia is here and Gros knows his time is up. He is going to do a brutal move that would make Bell kill him. Hermes revels turning Bell into a monster slayer as he disagrees with Ouranos’ plan for coexistence. I mean, that old dude really believes he can overturn thousands of years’ worth of hatred? Nobody wants a hero who associates with monsters. However Bell does the unthinkable. He stands there to protect Eina without fighting back. This has Gros pull back at the last minute. Hermes is disappointed and would have Asfi do some backup plan had not that minotaur barge into the scene. He wants to fight Bell because he has this bugging dream of doing so. It is hinted that he is the reincarnated monster Bell defeated at the end of the first season. Introducing himself as Asterius, he wants a rematch with Bell. So as they begin their heavy fight, Hestia Familia leads Gros and co to rendezvous with Xenos and return to Knossos. Freya Familia keeps Loki Familia from intervening with the fight. Hermes realizes his plan has gone awry and perhaps he was dancing in the palms of Freya all along. The people who hated Bell now start cheering on for him. Hey, they don’t hate him enough to support a monster! Eventually the hard hitting battle has Bell loss! OMFG! After being thrown, whacked and pummelled like that, Bell still lives?! Even more amazing he is still in one piece?! Asterius considers them even and the next time their fight will be the last. He then returns deep into the dungeons. Poor Bell starts crying he is okay with the loss when in reality he shouldn’t. Hey, at least he got away with his life. In the aftermath, it is reported that Loki Familia finished all the monsters although it is fake. Bell’s reputation is restored as they write articles of his miraculous recover. Hestia beats up Hermes the next time this jerk shows up. And we can’t let it end like that so Bell seeks Aiz’s help to train him to become stronger. So I guess no hard feelings between them.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters!
I suppose Bell technically losing a fight shows that he isn’t perfect and this leaves room for him to grow and improve, right? Even monkeys fall of trees sometimes. So with unfinished business, it allows room for more adventures and the likes in the future. Because bell is going to meet all sorts of weird and stronger people if he really wants to grow stronger. Besides, I don’t think he levelled up this season. Don’t remember seeing Hestia checking his back for some stats update. Still remember that? But no rush, take your time to train hard because the monsters aren’t going anywhere, the dungeons aren’t going anywhere. They’ll be waiting when you’re ready.

Well, technically this season stayed true to its name because as you can see, did Bell picked up a chick in a dungeon? Yes, yes and yes. And after that a slew of problems came because of that! Oh wow. Didn’t know so much problems just because of picking up a chick of a different race in a dungeon! Yeah, everybody such a racist here if you do not look deeper and understand the narrative. Can’t blame them. After all, they’ve never met a kind monster before. A good monster is a dead monster! So technically this season also had a bit of some Familia Wars, technically everybody especially Loki Familia going all out against Hestia Familia. Just because of monsters. Sheesh, everybody losing their minds when a bunch of intelligent monsters hit the surface. Which baffles me a little because Orario is a melting pot with so many races like elves, dwarves, renards and other animal people. I don’t really know how to differentiate those races from monsters so it boggles my mind that everyone can identify a monster when they see one and lose their sh*t. Thank goodness no bunny monsters? And if there were, I’m curious to want to know how they could tell the difference with those hume bunny races. Really.

So this season’s story is just passable. Not the best but certainly beats the previous season. After all, what is the next stage and challenge for Hestia Familia? Why of course, monsters. Intelligent and docile ones. Hestia Familia being the best party to bridge the coexistence between humans and monsters might look like a tall order but it’s not possible. I mean, take a look at last season. They managed to fight and expel not one but two gods from the land! Forever! So if they can handle gods, what are monsters, right? Yeah well, it is said they predate the gods so who knows? After monsters, maybe they can find coexistence with the demon race. Hey, with so many types of races as I have aforementioned above, do you not think it is plausible that a demon race would exist too? I mean, there are gods, right? And with gods around, there are bound to be demons. Yes, the demon race. The true antagonist of this entire series! Note, I am making up all that and speculating 100%. I have not read the light novel at all and forgive me if this becomes the spoiler that ruined everyone’s day.

It goes without saying that most of this season tries to juggle the balance between humans and Xenos (dumb conspiracy theory of mine: Are they trying to eventually reach the conclusion of how the word xenophobia was created???!!!). With Hestia Familia especially Bell being caught in the middle. They are walking a very thin and fine line that threatens the very existence of Xenos as well as the future of their own Familia. There will always be supporters and there will always be those against. Just how many of the big and important players are going to side with them and make this acceptance the new norm? I guess we’ll have to find out in another season. But Bell and Hestia Familia being steadfast in their ideals and principles are somewhat predictable since it’s them we’re talking about. If you’ve known Bell ever since the first season, you’ll pretty much know him by now that he wants everything to get along with everything. If you’re in trouble, he can’t leave you until there’s closure. That both becomes his strength and weakness. A double edge sword that could hurt himself and others close to him if he is not careful. But as we can see, things eventually turned out pretty favourable because they never wavered in their beliefs. And also because they’re the main characters. So if you’re like Dix and his men, too bad because you’re on the wrong side. Good riddance they got killed off so we don’t have to worry about them ever returning in the future. I still can’t help smirk each time I say Dix’s name. I mean, Dix Perdix as in dicks pair of dicks when I first heard it!!!!!! OMFG!!! At least character wise he somewhat stayed true to that moniker.

Too bad Bell won’t be adding another girl to his harem for now (the way Wiene was longing for Bell all the while, makes you think this would be inevitable). As long as the discrimination and stereotypes still exist, it will not be safe for Xenos to walk the surface yet. I mean, last season he added an ex-prostitute renard into his legion so it could be something similar for him this season. Damn, they really trolled us by killing off Wiene and then resurrect her again thanks to Fels conveniently mastering a revival spell. If they can do this to her character, I’m sure they can do this to other characters in the future. Your much needed emotional drama. Poof! Psyche. Just screwing around with you. Girls in Bell’s harem don’t die! Is it me or is Wiene side-lined so much in the final episode so as to focus on the manly man vs beast match? Yeah, it would be weird if the series was entirely Bell being chummy with all the girls from start to finish. Need to see some GARRR action because that is what the other half of this series is about, right?

Aiz was almost forgettable and didn’t make much appearance this time until the very end. It’s like we almost forgot about Bell and Aiz’s charming dance at Apollo party last season. Where did all that go? So I suppose the friction between them all because of a little monster is the much needed tension to see if their love can withstand such times. I mean, eventually Bell and Aiz are going to have to fight it out one way or another. Though, this duel just feels a lot like sparring rather than an all-out do-or-die battle. And as expected, that animosity won’t last long because we’re all still counting on Bell x Aiz romance to eventually happen, right? With Aiz being a love retard and Bell has too many people to protect on his mind and busy doing just that, we need to understand and be patient about this match-make ever happening so soon.

As for the other characters, I guess they’re just pretty okay, although most of them just feels forgettable or playing the supporting role. After all, Bell’s relationship with Xenos takes priority. Others fall to the wayside and I even feel other members in Hestia Familia just played the supporting role. After all, it is Bell’s calls so they’re just doing it because they believe in him. Even Hestia feels lacking. Because Aiz and Loki didn’t pop up much this season, hence no b*tch showdown whatsoever. Even Freya continues to watch over Bell and everything else. Waiting for the right time to do her whatever. Hermes trying to have his own fun and looking like he is playing the bad guy but I suppose looks like fate didn’t turn out as he wanted. Now he’s the bad guy at least in Hestia’s books. Oh well, you reap what you sow. And if you do remember at the end of last season, something about Hestia hinting about reincarnation and aeons of time passing, thus her interest in Bell. Do you all remember that?! Well, none of that here. Even that Ares and Kingdom of Rakia that was teased at the end of last season seems to be forgotten. Oh well, dungeons and monsters take precedence this season.

Just like previous seasons, the action scenes don’t disappoint (although I won’t go so far as to say they are a masterpiece) and they are worth your time if you are looking for some pretty decent fight scenes. Like the final battle with Asterius, both hit so hard I thought my monitor was going to explode from all the impact!!! Really! Joining this season’s cast are Rina Hidaka as Wiene (Last Order in To Aru series), Mikako Komatsu as Fels (K in Neko), Masaaki Mizunaka as Lyd (Diablo in Isekai Maou To Shoukan Shoujo No Dorei Majutsu), Tetsu Inada as Gros (Gamagoori in Kill La Kill), Yuuki Takada as Rei (Aoba in New Game), Daisuke Namikawa as Dix (Waver in Fate/Zero), Jun Fukushima as Ikelos (Kazuma in KonoSuba). Just like past seasons, Yuka Iguchi sings the opening theme, Over And Over. Sajou No Hana this time sings the ending theme, Evergreen. I don’t know, it must be just me as I feel both themes have the same vibe and sometimes I think it’s the same song.

Overall, this third season showed us how racist all of us can be. Oops! I mean showed us the potential of another season seeing Bell and Hestia Familia have a huge responsibilities over their shoulder as well as their volatile reputation among the people of Orario. While the action sequences are still pretty good, the cliché plot of the hero wanting to be family with everyone or at least get along with everybody can be tad annoying at times. So as long as it talks, thinks and have feelings like the rest of us, that’s legit enough for grounds of equality. Does it not? But I guess that is what makes a hero like Bell stand out way better than the rest of us armchair critics. I mean, if we could stop scaring our kids about the monsters that live underneath our beds, that would be great! Uh huh. The only true monsters are those existing only in our minds.

Refrain Blue

19 March, 2021

Memory, all alone in the moonlight/ I can dream of the old days/ Life was beautiful then/ I remember the time I knew what happiness was/ Let the memory live again… Sorry folks, it isn’t like I saw that famous classical Broadway series, Cats (and no, not the recently hideous remake one either!). But watching this old anime series, Refrain Blue, a short OVA series about memories somewhat reminds me of that song and wanting to belt it out for a while. Though, nothing else related to it. Anyway, everyone has their own past to deal with and sometimes those painful memories hold you back and can’t make you move on. So a trip to the beach has a mysterious entity having them make the decisions that would make them move on in life.

Episode 1
A group of students playing beach volleyball. Nothing strange. Except Yoshihiro Matsunaga playing in his office attire?! Is he not uncomfortable?! Why not complete with a jacket or blazer?! He also makes friends with Nao Morisawa, much to the dismay of Chinatsu Iwasaki because she thinks she monopolizes Yoshihiro or something. Yeah, is calling onii-chan makes him her property? Anyway, there is a troubled girl, Shizuku Hayase who claims she hates the sea. Uhm, so why is she here in the first place? Even if this is a school trip, can’t she just escape if she really hates it? Oh well, maybe not. Later in the evening as Yoshihiro sits by the beach alone, he notes nothing has changed since 7 years ago. Short flashback shows us he met a girl named Mikage here. I’m guessing she is his girlfriend and is dead. A mysterious girl pops up to disagree with Yoshihiro as she believes things have changed. There is nothing that doesn’t change. Wow. That’s deep. Talk interrupted when Tsugumi Tsugashima talks to him and after a short chat, takes a picture of him and leaves. The mysterious girl is nowhere to be seen. Uh oh. Do I think I know what she is? That night, Nao plays her flute by the beach while crying. Mysterious girl tries to talk to her but she’s not saying anything. Next day, Yoshihiro notices Nao reading something. Heard about some legend about the Beach Girl? Talk interrupted because the girls have to go bath. Yeah, your fanservice moment here. That night, Yoshihiro spots that mysterious playing sparklers in the yard. He talks to her as she tells him about the Tanabata miracle. Funny, that is what Mikage also used to say. After she gives him a sparkler, she disappears. Oh, I think I really know what she is. Next day before Yoshihiro leaves with the rest for a hiking trip, he talks to the landlady, Yuori Kawana who loves the beach. The hike hits a snag when Shizuku is missing after arguing with a friend. Yoshihiro and Nao volunteer to go look for her. As the try near the beach, the path brings back memories to Yoshihiro as he has been here with Mikage before. Then he thinks he spots her by the cliff and calls out to her. Too bad it’s just Shizuku. Nao wants her to go back with them but Shizuku prefers to return alone. Yoshihiro thought she was crying so Nao notes that everyone has a sad past. She knows Yoshihiro too has one since he called out Mikage’s name. And she knows she is dead. Because the dead won’t come back no matter what she does. Then Nao herself starts crying. Damn, this escalated too quickly! No wonder Yoshihiro so confused and at a loss!

Episode 2
Fancy seeing the mysterious girl bathing naked in the sea? Oh yeah! Oh, look who is out for a night stroll? Too bad Yoshihiro won’t be seeing anything. She’s a ghost, right?! Next day, Shizuku apologizes to Yoshihiro about yesterday. Also, Nao’s friends want her to join them swimming in the sea but she claims she is afraid because she almost drowned last year. Ryouji Itou obviously has a crush on Nao and tries to ask her to be the manager of the basketball team. She declines. Is that a rejection? Anyway, Itou isn’t too happy about it. More of Yoshihiro’s reminiscence of Mikage as he remembers she used to paint by these cliffs. Tsugumi meanwhile tries to sell pictures of girls on the beach to the guys. That’s how you make pocket money then. When Yoshihiro is here, she sells him a photo containing him and Nao playing beach volleyball. Later when Nao finds out about it, I guess he covers himself by saying he bought it for her and gives it to her. Nao so happy. Too bad that Itou jerk bugs her again and wants to pair up for tomorrow night’s kimodameshi. Again she turns him down because she claims Yoshihiro is already her partner. This stupid idiot gets so upset he rips the photo!!! WTF???!!! Not pleased with it all, he then confronts Yoshihiro for trying to be a playboy or something. Of course that blur look on his face shows he is unsure what the jerk is talking about. Itou then tries to hint that Nao is still in love with her dead boyfriend and that the living can’t compete with that. Oh yeah? So what?! After he leaves, Yoshihiro is visited by the mysterious girl who tells him it’s time for the gekkabijin flower to bloom. He wonders how she knows his name but she isn’t telling. When she disappears, he should’ve at least guessed who she is! More Itou jerk because he looks through an old photo album and finds something he needs for revenge.

Next day, Yoshihiro tries to ask Yuori about the Beach Girl because that mysterious girl keeps popping up before him. Unfortunately she doesn’t know much as she isn’t from this area. That night as the students gather for the kimodameshi, Nao is happy to pair up with Yoshihiro. They are the last pair to go and as they go through the dilapidated inn, this brings back memories to him as he was staying here with Mikage 7 years ago. Especially this room that brings back lots of fond memories. I’m guessing they had sex here!!! Tsugumi is waiting for a chance to snap on them but they take a detour out the garden where the flower blooming. Yoshihiro then mentions about how this is their flower. One day she just left a letter and left. Just like that. That’s why Yoshihiro thought if he stayed behind as a guide, he might see her again. Nao tries to tell him to let go of his past because it’s just painful holding on to them. Sorry, he’s not ready to let go of it. And sorry, she’s not ready to let go of him. Because weird moment as they kiss. Interrupted because of Tsugumi’s shutter. Oops. Run! When she gets back to the main group, Itou can tell something has happened because that final pair is late. And it’s like Tsugumi wants to really break this secret so she tells him what she saw. When Yoshihiro and Nao return to the dorm, suddenly Nao sees a photo of her boyfriend on the stairs. Immediately she gets traumatized and runs away. Obviously it was left by Itou as a prank. He tries to tell off Yoshihiro that this guy is her boyfriend who died in a plane crash. Someone whom Nao can’t get over with. So Itou thinks he isn’t the bad guy and an angel compared to Yoshihiro kissing Nao! WTF?! Yoshihiro learns that Nao hasn’t returned to the dorm. He goes to look for her. Better hurry. Because she’s going to drown herself and join her deceased boyfriend!!! Yeah, look who was virtual signalling about somebody to give up on her past when she herself couldn’t!

Episode 3
Oh look, it’s that mysterious girl. But don’t look at her. She uses her magic to make the clouds go away so the moonlight can reflect where Nao is. Yoshihiro swims towards her and saves her from drowning. He carries her back to the dorm where he has to shower her to keep her from hypothermia. Yeah, it’s going to be awkward taking off her clothes. After all, she allows it and doesn’t want to bath alone! It’s odd he showers her in her lingerie but I guess it beats stripping her totally naked. So as he asks why she did that, she thinks the beach won’t forgive her. Now it’s his turn to virtual signal her. Don’t take yourself so lightly. You are stronger than I am. After she’s done bathing, somebody left a nice yukata for her. Yoshihiro can tell it is Yuori because she sucks at hiding. Don’t tell this to anybody? Well, the way they’re talking loud enough, Nao even knows! Next day, Nao tells Yoshihiro about her dead boyfriend. He taught her how to play the flute and each time she holds this flute of his, it reminds her of him. Of course too bad he already died in a plane crash last year. Since it is quite painful to remember him, she planned on throwing it all into the sea and forget everything. But that didn’t work out. She thinks the Beach Girl is one who appears when people’s thoughts start to take form. So it’s like if that person can’t let go of those memories, they can never be free.

That night when everyone plays sparklers, Yoshihiro decides not to join now and instead joins Chinatsu. What’s this about tomorrow being Tanabata and she is sad thinking about that story of lovers being apart? Amidst the fireworks, Yoshihiro then sees the mysterious girl. She tells him the flower will bloom in full tonight and this will open the gateway to another world! I hope it is not to pollens causing some sort of hallucination! Because he sees Mikage as she apologizes for not being able to watch the flowers bloom with him. Then the scene becomes of what looks like Mikage on her deathbed. Since Yoshihiro refuses to accept this, the mysterious girl then brings him to the bottom of the sea where all memories lie. We see a clearer picture on Mikage on her deathbed as she tells him to find a new love and love her even more than her. Just think about her once in a while, okay? The truth is revealed as it was Yoshihiro who wrote that letter himself so he could pretend Mikage is still alive and hoped she would return to him one day. Yoshihiro still doesn’t think the truth will do him any good so the mysterious girl tells him she will be waiting at the beach for him for his memories to return. Yoshihiro returns to reality as Nao heard everything. So it’s like in order for them to get over their painful memories, they’re going to f*ck each other???!!! Make love to each other???!!! Damn! That escalated quickly! No wonder they could get over it soon after!!! Yeah, making new steamy memories beats clinging on to old ones.

Next day, the seagull that Shizuku has been nursing has recovered. She releases it and it flies away. And just like that, she doesn’t hate the beach anymore! Tsugumi then gives Yoshihiro the photo she took of him on the beach. But he is shocked because the mysterious girl who was supposed to be with him, isn’t in the photo! Tsugumi brushes it off since he was the only one there. Yoshihiro tries to look for the mysterious girl because he needs to ask her something. Yeah, it took him all day. He only sees her when it’s night time. Shouldn’t he have guessed her appearance hours by now? Anyway, with his memories of Mikage regarding their Tanabata promise, the mysterious girl is happy that he is able to keep his promise. She transforms into her true form: Mikage! As they hug, she thanks him for making her feel happy despite her short life. She returns that joy by kissing him. Can you kiss a ghost? Oh f*ck it. Whatever. She wants him to return her memories to the bottom of the sea. So I guess this means goodbye, huh? And with that, she disappears. Yoshihiro can only scream her name. So did he get over her or not? I suppose he has to because fast forward 7 years later, he is now married to Nao and they have a beautiful daughter. I hope this isn’t a reincarnation of Mikage… You never know what freaking mysteries the beach holds…

Beach Side Story… Let It Go!
Oh well, I guess that was, uhm, okay? Considering this anime was made back in 2000, I suppose that’s as dramatic as anime or storytelling could get by then. I mean, it isn’t the worse but considering the current era that I am watching this from and how far the anime industry has come, this kind of story feels boring and nothing going much for it. I mean, on the outlook, it might look like 2 people having problems in moving on with their life because of their precious someone leaving the world too soon and hence the world stopped moving for them. It’s pretty basic and generic formula for a story of this sort of drama. Of course it is no laughing matter for people like them who have to overcome the traumatic memories to get on with life because you know, life is all about living. It’s a good thing our main characters could finally get it on with their lives but as far as entertainment value in terms of storytelling, JUST FREAKING BORING!!! More like a nothing burger and nothing much ado.

The characters are just rather average either. We know Yoshihiro and Nao have some sort of past but they had to drag out the drama and that is why this OVA series lasted for 3 episodes. I suppose they try to keep the mystery interesting on who that mysterious girl is and it won’t take long for us to guess that she’s some sort of ghost or something. Just how are we going to connect the dots? I actually didn’t see it coming that the mysterious girl was actually Mikage because I was pretty hoping the biggest twist would be that Shizuku was actually Mikage after a makeover! I was really sure it would be that! So when it wasn’t, you bet this twist caught me a little by surprise. After all, I was misled by the red herring that when Yoshihiro saw visions of Mikage in Shizuku, I was pretty sure this was going to be the twist later on. Who’d knew that it was the loli ghost that turned out to be the biggest twist. And the other being the fake letter Yoshihiro wrote himself to cover up his loss. No wonder I was confused if Mikage was dead or alive but thank goodness that twist cleared the air. So essentially love conquers all plays a big role here for Yoshihiro and Nao to eventually move on. Because you can’t f*ck dead people!!! Sex is only real when you’re f*cking with a living person!!!

Speaking of sex and I mean fanservice, I suppose one of the other motivations (perhaps the biggest) to buy this OVA series is because there are naked tits for you horny otaku boys to get your 2 cents worth. Uh huh. No wonder every episode has some sort of bathing scene. And yeah, there is frontal nudity too but thanks to your typical Japanese law loophole of not drawing genitals and pubic hair, it makes it all alright and that this isn’t technically hentai. I know anime boobs are still boobs whether it is retro anime or current modern anime or even real ones. So enjoy your glorious 2D retro tits as this is as good as it get without distracting too much away from the story and drama.

Back to the other characters, they don’t really matter and only play a very insignificant role. Some pretty annoying too. For example, Shizuku. I thought she would play an important role or twist towards the end but I suppose if her role was being a red herring and troll us to think so, then I think it did a good job. At least I fell for it. Otherwise she doesn’t even really matter. And this Chinatsu? Your annoying genki little girl because who else is as lively as her? There needs to be this character who keeps calling her onii-chan despite not related by blood. Tsugumi? Back then, photo was hard evidence. No Photoshop programmes or filters. Your much needed proof for whatever twist or drama needed. Blame her or thank her. Because of her photo, she helped pave the way for Yoshihiro and Nao to move on. Yuori? Somebody needs to take care of the dorm, right? Itou. Biggest asshole ever. Written solely to be the antagonist and someone we must hate. But also, it helped our main couple move on. So what happened to him? It wouldn’t be right for me to wish some sort of horrifying death to this dude. But the story literally forgot about him since he played his role and I guess that’s the best just desserts ever for such jerk characters like him.

Overall, this short OVA is just average. That’s just me being generous since it is obviously hovering over the mediocre range. After all, with only 3 episodes, how much can you flesh things out? The characters, the stories, I suppose they are just sufficient for what they want to tell and that’s it. I bet the other characters also have their own problems and past but with only 3 episodes, too bad this didn’t get any expansion and more episodes or turned into an actual TV series. I also don’t want to bore you with all the psychological stuffs about memories and traumatic pasts since it’s not really related to the series once you’ve strayed too deep. I mean, come on. How would analysing further their cases do any good? We saw them got over it so that’s good enough, right? Sorry people, if you can’t get over how bad this series was and had expected better, then perhaps you should be the ones who need a visit from the mysterious girl. I’ve already made my peace for this show. Letting my memories of it go sink to the bottom of the sea. Oh sh*t. More like bottom of the sh*t hole!

Kamisama Ni Natta Hi

14 March, 2021

Imagine one day, somebody proclaiming himself or herself to be God and telling you that the world will end in just a month. Crazy, right? Don’t blame you. In the kind of society we live in, we will definitely pass off that person to be some crazy lunatic and it’s best to stay away. But for our main character in Kamisama Ni Natta Hi, this ‘God’ before him looks like a nun cosplaying brat. The world will end in 30 days! After demonstrating a few (debatably) God-like prophetic powers, I guess the only thing left is to live out the rest of summer. The world is going to end anyway. Enjoy while it lasts. Talk about going out with a blast. The real doomsday event that the end of the world believers have been waiting for! It’s finally going to happen! Or is it…

Episode 1
This nun loli brat, Odin appears before Youta Narukami. Claims she is God. And yeah, she won’t hear about silly stuffs like she’s a lost girl or something. So what now, God? She wants to play basketball, huh? She doesn’t even know the game and asks them why they are doing this. Taking a break from studies, huh? Well, that will be futile. The world will be ending in 30 days! Time to leave this nut case. Too bad she won’t leave him. She even throws a tantrum learning the way Youta’s name is written. Yeah. Literally it means Sun God! I don’t know, does Odin rank lower than a Sun God? Anyway, Youta has to meet up with his childhood friend, Kyouko Izanami. Along the way, it sees Odin managed to predict correctly there will be rain and how walking is faster than taking a bus. At the library, Odin can tell Youta likes Izanami. He tries to brush it off and Izanami straight up says they’re just friends. Is that a rejection? Youta goes berserk. Too noisy that he is kicked out. So is God hungry? Yeah, she feels like eating ramen. Noticing a horse race on TV, she predicts the winner correctly. Must be fluke. She proves she is the real deal with the next race with all the orders correctly. Now you believe she is God?! Ramen guy thinks they can become billionaires but Youta takes Odin away, knowing such would be trouble. Youta somewhat acknowledges she has supernatural powers. Odin wants to stay with him till the end. Because he too has obtained God’s powers. What is his wish? To go to the same college as Izanami? The world will be over by then! Odin despite unable to control others, being the omniscient kind, she can change Youta to suit her taste. For starters, she likes baseball. Damn, he never knew! And he was into basketball all along. With her advice to challenge a baseball team, Youta has confidence seeing she predicts the pitcher’s throw. Youta will manage to hit it by the 5th pitch. Yeah, he already struck out at 3! Damn he lost. And Izanami was watching. No time to sulk. Quick, go confess to her. He sums up his courage to tell his feelings. Only for her to reject it. Second rejection… Yeah, his end of the world came early. Odin wants to stay at his place. Will his parents even allow it? Just call and they will. Youta calls mom and after describing Odin, she wants him to bring her home. Damn. So now do you believe she is God?!

Episode 2
Mom welcomes her and what’s this? Odin’s name is Hina Satou? Okay. Whatever. Youta is still in shock with this easy acceptance. So Hina is some distant relative? Which relative? How come they don’t know her? Oh… Don’t pry too deep into these things… With Youta’s sister, Sora returning, Hina throws a tantrum that her name literally means Sky God! Oh yeah. Wait till you hear about dad, Daichi (Earth God) and mom, Tokiko (Time God)! So frustrating! Oh well, time to enjoy dinner. Then she retires to Youta’s room and plays video game. God is so amazed with this entertainment… Now we take a serious flashback on Izanami. Until her mom died, she became an extreme introvert and always hiding behind Youta. She suddenly became a hot beauty by middle school. Many guys tried to ask her out but she turned them all down. It also made Youta realized he liked her the entire time but never realized it. Yeah, she recently rejected him. What to do? God has a plan… Oh dear… Using Sora’s film club, Hina has Youta act out a Hollywood scene before Izanami. Armageddon. Yeah, Youta gonna save the world by drilling a hole in the asteroid. After a few cheap fireworks, he has saved the day! Can Izanami go home now? Definitely failed. Only Sora is thinking she can make win big with this parody! Next script, Rocky! Same failure. TKO for Youta. Only Sora is the winner… And don’t get things started with this Edward Scissorhands thingy! FAILED! And Sora trying to compile all the footage of her big brother’s love failures as a movie! His embarrassment will be shown to the world! Can she make it before the 30 day deadline? Hina then thinks of writing a song. But Youta has no music sense, can it work? Well… At a music store, Hina plays some very basic song she claims she wrote. Then she has Youta practice it till he is perfect. I wonder how many days that took. So on the day he plays that song at Izanami’s house, it seems he can’t reproduce perfectly so Izanami goes to complete and play it to perfection. Great. But as expected, the whole thing fails because all Youta gets to say in the end is that he wants to go to the same college with her. Wasted miracle… Back home, it seems something happened to Sora as her friend, Hikari Jinguuji brings her back unconscious.

Episode 3
Sora wakes up the next day and her family has heard the gist of what happened. Apparently Sora was trying to help Hikari’s family and running away from loan sharks. As Hikari is working hard to support her single mother, business is not good and there’s the exorbitant loan interest of 30%! Of course our little God will help but she forces Youta to get involved. With his parents also egging him to help, what choice does he have? And so Youta enters Hikari’s ramen store disguised as Sora’s uncle to order her special ramen. Then he introduces himself as some ramen specialist who can help her up her game for a small fee. What choice does she have? And so we see Youta the screaming coach as he revamps everything! Reinvent everything from scratch! He will make Hikari’s business reborn! Even changing the store’s name to Fallen Angel?! Can’t argue with the maestro… Even Sora is there to help. For free. Everything goes well. Later Hina claims she will send a TV crew to interview the place. And hence we see a very dramatic ad on this ramen store. Isn’t Youta always the angry screaming guy? Yeah, is this an ad for the ramen store or some guy?! But surprise! A long queue before the store now! At the end of the day, the loan shark enters and tries to extort. Hikari is still against the high interest and that’s where Hina pops up to steal the contract. Then she blames it in Youta and forces him to fight the bugger. CAN HE?! Just follow the numbered footsteps on the floor she has drawn and he can go no wrong. OMFG! Youta dodging his punches and punching the asshole?! Amazing! Loan shark dude runs away. Everyone celebrates and although Youta’s gig is busted, Hikari is still happy he helped. Oh, she might actually believe Hina is a real God… But when Youta dismisses it, feel God’s wrath! Meanwhile, we see a ‘dangerous’ rebellious kid, Hiroto Suzuki being summoned back to Japan and being taken somewhere by Raita Oguma. Suzuki makes a fuss of wanting to eat takoyaki and then go help find a lost girl (damn, WTF is this time stopping hi-tech search interface thingy?!) and despite Oguma saying no, he has to oblige. Eventually he is brought to a CEO who wants Suzuki to start work right away. At first Suzuki tries to be funny and reject but since the adults aren’t amused, he accepts the job but wants to do it from his home. And his job is to dig up for dark hidden secrets of certain people.

Episode 4
Suzuki is watching a video interview of some scientist. Don’t really get all that scientific and politics stuff. But what Suzuki discovered is that his colleague he is talking about has a family. Hina learns Youta likes this hot TV lawyer chick, Kako Tengan. So much so, she has played some online mahjong game under Youta’s name and has reached the finals. So? This tournament is organized by Tengan and he could go see his idol! But Youta doesn’t know about mahjong. Don’t worry. Hina will personally teach him! Don’t research on the internet and make it bad habits! Hina is your only teacher! Ashura Kokuhou who is Youta’s friend heard about it and has brought some motivation along: Izanami. You bet he is going to win this! The day of the finals is here. So put on your Saki cap as we dive deep into the mahjong terms. DO YOU REMEMBER THEM???!!! Anyway, in just 2 rounds, Youta plays poor hands and goes into negative points! But this is where it gets weird interesting. He plays hands that are obviously fouls. Normally he would be disqualified or penalized but it seems Tengan finds his hands interesting. Therefore she allows it as long as Youta plays original hands (read: made up). Oh boy. And with that, guided with godly images of Hina, Youta pulls off unheard of ‘original’ tiles to claw back points. Hey, you’ve got to award him points for originality and creativity! I know it’s crap but it’s freaking funny to see him do it with utmost confidence even if I don’t understand what’s going on! Eventually, some original infinite riichi hand has him go from bottom to top and win it all! OMFG! Everyone literally has no comment about this sham. Except Tengan. Later she goes talk to Youta and obviously flirting with him. Bold enough to invite him to her room to show his infinite riichi!!! Fortunately or not for Youta, his resistance game is strong so with more ridiculous mahjong terms he can’t score, basically he rejected her since he is in love with another woman. Tengan feels humiliated and infuriated so she orders her men to get him. Run, Youta! RUN! I wonder how God will help him out from this sh*t. Oh? Only 13 more days till the end of the world?

Episode 5
Izanami wans father to visit mom’s grave. It’s been 10 years and he promised every time but never does so. Citing work, once more he breaks it and hides in his home like always. Because of that, Izanami always hangs out at the library to study. Damn, Youta so heartbroken she wasn’t actually here to see him! Who do you think you are?! Hence Hina hatches a plan and forces Youta to take Izanami’s dad out. Just do it! After a few failed attempts, what got his attention is to get his daughter a present. Okay. Let’s go out. However being holed in his home his entire life, he gets excited seeing different cuisines with cheese and tries them all! Then he realizes he shouldn’t be doing this and should be joining his wife. The kids mistaken that as suicide but luckily he explains. It seems there are video messages his late wife left for them to watch. However Izanami doesn’t know about them. He hopes they will keep a secret. They watch the video and you bet Hina is going to do something about it. Something about phones using some automated voice so she is going to imitate Izanami’s mom to talk to her. After some cheesy reason, Youta manages to convince Izanami to talk to mom right now on his phone. Wow. Sounds so much like her. So mom is best friends with Hades in the underworld?! Izanami noticeably smiling talking to mom but panics when mom says she has to move on. Don’t go! Then go watch the videos. Not sure? Ask your father. Izanami rushes home to confront father about it. He admits to it but has can never finish watching it. He allows her to watch as long as they don’t finish. We see mom leaving a message for each of Izanami’s birthday. Before the last video, she warns they have to destroy these messages. That’s when father stops the video. Izanami believes she can change if she watches them so father reluctantly continues the video. Seems mom’s wish was her husband to forget about her and find a new love. But knowing the kind of guy he is, it’ll be hard. As for Izanami, she knows she’ll be depressed so she casts her ‘magic’ on them to forget about her and start moving forward. With that, go ahead with your lives and destroy the video. Father is sad that this won’t happen and that the ‘magic’ failed. But Izanami is laughing. She thought she had it the hardest but never realized dad was hit the hardest. That’s why they need to make mom’s ‘magic’ work or everything will be for naught. With that, father breaks his hikikomori habit visits his wife’s grave. A very grateful Izanami goes all the way to Youta’s house to thank him for doing all this for her. Is there anything she can do for him? Is this his chance to finally ask her out?! Well… He couldn’t! Wasted chance. No wonder Hina so angry. But also relieved? Anyway, Youta gets beaten down with 11 more days to the end of the world!

Episode 6
Hina wants to go to the festival. No, she DEMANDS! She has Youta call all the usual gang. Including Tengan. Just call her and she’ll come! OMG. She did! The whole gang assembles. All the girls looking lovely in their yukata. Except Hina who is still in her nun garb. Because she loses her godly powers if she disrobes them. Yeah, how does she bathe then? Anyway, Hina and Tengan quickly get into childish arguments but don’t let this ruin the rest of the episode so they just head to the festival to have fun. Izanami being a festival pro as she knows what kind of food to eat and is superb at all the stall games. Then there’s the haunted house where the girls enter first and they get freaked out like hell. Unknown to them, Youta and Ashura were helming the ghosts and did the best scare of their lives. They attribute their great teamwork from their high school basketball team days. However something happened but it’s not clear what it is as of now. Later as Youta goes to accompany Izanami, Hina felt annoyed he ditched a God. So she goes around accusing guys to be lolicon and demands them to accompany her?! She is so loli that she can kill a virgin?! WTF?! Thankfully those guys don’t go along with her. All this yelling makes Hina feels irritated and hot underneath the collar. So when she sees a refrigerator truck, you bet she thinks this is a perfect place to rest. And then the cliché of the doors locking and the truck starts moving. Damn, Hina didn’t foresee this? Ironically, I did!!! The rest realize Hina is missing and go look for her. Witnesses tell about some loli virgin killer… Eventually this leads them to the truck area and they see her dropped belongings. The truckers claim that truck is on its way to Tokyo. Ashura rides his bike with Youta to catch up. Gee, must be the only refrigerator truck to Tokyo. Youta tries to flag down the truck but the trucker ignores. Ashura says the only way is to jump on it. Best revenge for Youta. Flashback shows Ashura was hit by a truck and this cost his knee. He can still play basketball but he cannot jump. Youta was optimistic he could still find a way to play and during a game where it comes down to the decisive moment, Ashura became a springboard for Youta to jump and dunk the ball. Youta missed. End of their dream. Now Youta is unsure he can do it but Ashura believes he can. Just jump! He did it! This stunt allows him to make the truck stop. Luckily they get Hina out before she turns into an ice god. And all just in time to head back to watch the beautiful fireworks. Wow. So beautiful. And only 9 days left…

Episode 7
Sora has finished her script. Youta reads it. Good of course. Now it’s time to film it and so Youta is tasked to assemble the team. Yup, the usual suspects. Ashura, Izanami, Hikari, Tengan and even the loan shark?! Oh well, the more hands the better. Tengan is not impressed since she is the sponsor. Even more so when she learns Hina is playing the lead role instead of her so you bet there are going to be sparks flying. Youta is lucky to calm them down. Since the story needs a boy who is the childhood friend of the lead heroine, guess who is to fill in that role? No, not you Ashura. All the ladies unanimously pick Youta of course. Filming starts. The lead heroine’s role is a klutz so you wonder if Hina is really acting or she just sucks. Like that singing part. MY EARS!!! And the part where she’s supposed to fail in breaking eggs, damn she’s either good in the acting or she just sucks in breaking eggs! She won’t give up! Youta hugs her to calm her down. Is this all part of the script? But it all looks damn convincing. Hina gets cheeky trying to add some CGI as locations. I guess she too wants to have fun. Today’s shooting is a wrap. See you tomorrow. Yeah, I guess everybody had a lot of fun today. Proof that the filming didn’t get cancelled, right?! Now we focus on Suzuki and Oguma as they’re trying to track and find the whereabouts of Dr Shuichiro Korogi. They infiltrate the lab that he works in but finds it hard to access data and even if they did, it wasn’t relevant. Research on natural immune systems? Remember that one. Then they find a postcard and trace it to his residence. Too late. It’s in the process of being demolished. Suzuki then learns the belongings have been taken away yesterday. More tracing leads them rushing towards the recycling factory where the possessions are now going to be processed! Just in the nick of time, Suzuki grabs them and if not for Oguma, he could have been scrap himself. Lucky Suzuki is satisfied he has now got his hands on the secret. One of them is a photo and isn’t that Hina?! Can something happen with 6 days left?

Episode 8
Hina dreams of her grandpa praising her doing stuffs. But looks like grandpa knows he doesn’t have much time himself. With the filming making headway, this has Youta realizing Hina might leave someday. So he asks his parents about this and they tell him the truth. Apparently Hina is not related to them but the grandchild of their mentor. Her mom died while her father remarried. In view their mentor won’t live long, he made arrangements for them to take her in. That’s why when Youta called about Hina, mom knew it was her right away. Now that Youta knows a bit of the truth, he talks to Hina. So she was once human but became a God like 334 days ago? Since he is adamant to go find her father, Hina will go with him. After all, as God she knows where he is staying. So they take a trip to some sleepy seaside town. They meet her father, Toshitoku and at first Youta thought Hina cannot be seen by others because they’re ignoring her. The biggest troll! They can. Got us good there with that dramatic effect! But when told this is Hina, the wife starts going into panic attack. This is serious. Toshitoku has to calm her down first and then go talk with Youta outside. He reveals Hina was born with Logos Syndrome. Basically your muscles and brain wither away and you die. There is no cure. Toshitoku should be mad at Youta for bringing a healthy Hina here. He might not understand the pain and suffering in seeing Hina’s development for the worse then. Because his ex-wife felt guilty for bringing this condition to Hina, it is hinted she committed suicide. Youta is confused and sad because Hina is now before him, healthy and well. He can communicate with her unlike before. Toshitoku still thinks he doesn’t understand. Because he abandoned his previous life to protect this one, the weight of that burden he’ll never understand. He has no right to see Hina again. Maybe one day he’ll go through that same thing again. After the talk ends, they part and the duo head home. Youta feeling agitated and in a dilemma had he not known the truth, would everyone continued with their peaceful lives? That’s why they say ignorance is bliss. Yeah, just be like Hina so carefree and happy. Why worry when the world is about to end in 4 days? Meanwhile Toshitoku is now visited by Suzuki and Oguma.

Episode 9
Suzuki tries to connect Korogi’s research with his granddaughter AKA Hina’s Logos Syndrome. There is also something strange about Youta’s actions despite just being a plain guy. So more digging up and from what it looks like, Suzuki is not happy with something coincidental between Hina and Youta. Oguma reports to CEO something very vague about the world’s connectivity to everything and that this could very well collapse it. Flashback shows Suzuki’s parents used him to do shady transactions. When he refused to do it after realizing it was wrong, they beat him up and forced him to continue. Suzuki reports to CEO about some chip size quantum computer that is already being put to use. He wants to analyse it but CEO tells him to just do his job. Suzuki throws a tantrum that they are all so stupid that his talents are wasted. He rants all adults are the same but CEO only wishes that he doesn’t walk the wrong path again. Suzuki goes back to his job. Diving into the sea of info, he searches for that data and finds one that could be it in the form of a goldfish. However something is blocking him from trying to infiltrate it. Could it be Korogi’s programme? No matter how hard he tries, he just can’t break through. He feels the need to because otherwise he had no worth. More flashback shows when his parents were killed, he exalted at their deaths for using him as their tool. In the aftermath, he reports to CEO that the chip is inside Hina’s head and that the quantum computer must be compensating whatever deficiencies caused by the syndrome. Korogi’s work was all probably on that. CEO then dismisses Suzuki since his role is over. He becomes mad that he doesn’t have any further say in this. CEO notes that higher powers will be needed to make the next decision. Suzuki is thrown into the storeroom. Feeling guilty he brought up that data, he decides to connect and warn Hina.

So as Hina and co take shelter from the rain, Hina receives a warning. She tells Youta that there is a revision in the end of the world. Of course it will still end but only for her. Everybody else would go on living as normal. Previously, she was unable to see what happened beyond 30 days that’s why she thought the world was ending. Youta and everyone else are confused and shocked to hear this as Hina continues about grandpa’s legacy as God as well as her other counterpart (Suzuki) who regretted his actions. Youta disagrees with this goodbye but she says that it cannot be stopped. Looks like all world leaders have authorized the removal of the chip in Hina because it is too dangerous for humanity and to preserve order. In that instant, SPs gather around to take Hina. The rest want Youta to take Hina to run while they stall them. Man, a ragtag group of kids and young adults fighting off trained personnel? Anyway, the much needed cue for Youta and Hina to run as far as they can and talk. Hina wonders why he is doing this. Long answer short. He loves her. LOLICON! But of course, he believes the rest also loves her. Hina more cool than Youta as she explains about facing reality. Too much talking has the SPs catch up. They pin down Youta and apprehend Hina. Of course Hina confesses she also loves Youta. Uhm, does she want to add others to it like Sora, Izanami and co? No? Okay. Just you, Youta.

Episode 10
Days passed and everyone returns to their normal lives. With Youta and co returning to school after the summer vacation ends, I guess the deadline of the end of the world has glided over and no apocalypse whatsoever. After Hina’s disappearance, they hand out missing posters of her but no lead of her whatsoever. Suzuki becomes a transfer student in Youta’s school. Oddly, he becomes friends with him as well as Izanami and Ashura. The quartet have fun as a group but in between all that, the search for Hina still continues. Days become weeks become seasons and now it’s a whole new year. One day after all of them has taken their entrance exam, Suzuki notes that he isn’t taking any because he already has a job. But when he hints about looking forward to finish Sora’s movie (that still remains incomplete till this day) and Youta being dumb, Suzuki blows his top that he has had enough of playing this. It is then Youta realizes the things that they have done were all recreations of events done with Hina! It seems Suzuki was to test him on this but as per his superior’s rule, he cannot tell him directly. Suzuki tells him a few stuffs about Hina. The question now is if Youta wants to really go see her even if it means regret and that she won’t be the same person he knew. Without hesitation, yes. Suzuki takes Youta on a trip to some facility in the mountains. He has prepared some privileges so he can go see Hina. This is as far Suzuki can do for him. The rest is up to him. Inside, Youta is brought by Motoko Shiba, a visiting researcher to Hina’s room. Youta’s heart sank when he sees Hina in a vegetative unresponsive form. It is not that they cut her hair, when she was first brought here, she was shaven bald so as to remove the chip from her brain! When Youta touches her, she throws into a fearful tantrum. Shiba explains that she might have some sort of fear of men and that’s why only female attendants attend to her. Youta might have the privilege to bring her back but is that what Hina wants? More tantrums so Youta has to cut short his trip. Outside, he now understands the words of Toshitoku. Is this what heartbreak feel like? Would it be better if he stayed away from her and they both lead separate lives?

Episode 11
While sending daily reports online, Youta notes Hina’s daily routine. Yeah, literally trying to get a vegetable to learn again. Patience is key… Even when Youta manages to get an hour of visitation time, Hina still fears him and Shiba dearest have to calm her down the slightest. With this being constant, Youta is slowly starting to get dejected. Then Shiba talks to him how ‘lucky’ Hina is because she gets to be in this facility compared to many other children who don’t have the money and hence no treatment. Youta tries to look on the positive side that this isn’t the only place that Hina can live and is sure she can come back to his place and live. After all, he is a person she trusts, right? Uhm, from what just happened, not really convincing. Hence Shiba wants Youta to prove that first before proceeding with anything. Youta continues his time with Hina but it is still the same. Now it is getting to him. Another talk from Shiba regarding some chip removed inside her head is all that she know. Youta tells briefly what happened but it seems from Shiba’s point of view, Hina is like a machine even when she is human so it is no different. That is when Youta really starts to get confused about the world. If that is the case, there is nothing he can do. But later a timely call from Izanami to check things on him. She trolls us by saying she loves him. Before you could finish gasping, she meant she loves seeing both Hina and Youta together. Anyway, the main thing is that she believes in him. Soon the rest of the family and friends call to give their support.

Youta is back in the game and thinks what Hina likes. That’s right. Video games. There won’t be enough time to go back and get one or order a new one since nobody knows this place. I’m guessing he got Suzuki to deliver it for him. At first Youta was being pushy, causing Hina to throw tantrums again. Time for Shiba dear to pacify her again. Cue to see her flashback. She gave birth to a daughter but she had complications and underwent a long surgery. Unfortunately she died and Shiba was left in despair. He saviour came in the form of paediatric facility. She realized lots of children were similar to her dead daughter and decided to dedicate her life to help such children. Youta realizes he cannot be too forceful and must find out what Hina wants to do. So he draws a few faces of his friends and family. Yeah, Hina keeps throwing his picture away! Oh, that was him?! I thought it was Suzuki?! Youta also stays up all night to level up Hina’s character so that she will not lose often (yeah, anybody would get really disheartened when you lose, right?). Because of that, Hina is now more receptive to him and starts to enjoy video games. Shiba is somewhat jealous that Youta is able to open up Hina’s heart in a short time. She tries to pry in to his reports he sent but they are nothing like what he does. When Youta is typing his usual report, a security officer messages him. Who are you? Oh no. Busted? Can he not just lie? Damn, security’s officer reply: This is bad. Like, WTF?!

Episode 12
Shiba confronts Youta and knows he is not a real researcher. Time to get out. She’s not calling the cops out of her kindness. After this, they will transfer to an overseas facility that is better equipped. Read: No more Hina forever. Youta pleads to just let him stay with Hina for this last day. Or half a day. Okay. Shiba isn’t Satan, you know. Youta is betting on Hina to somewhat acknowledge she wants to stay with him. It seems she starts recognizing his friends and family. But when it comes to his picture, nope. He tries to push his luck but this makes her upset. Game over. Time’s up. No time extension? Nope. Get out. When Youta gets defiant, the security beat him up and then escort him out. Just as Youta leaves the facility, suddenly Hina realizes she is missing Youta’s picture and knows it is not the same without him. She throws a tantrum, calling out for Youta and admitting she loves him. Ah, there’s your much needed miracle. Youta turns back to hug her as they both give each other a big emotional embrace. So that’s it. Shiba acknowledges Hina wants to be with Youta. Youta brings Hina back to his family and friends who are very delighted. Trying live a normal life again, first thing Hina wants is to play basketball. Don’t know how many tries she did but eventually she shoots one. There’s your second miracle. Then they dress her up in her nun garb to complete the movie. Uhm, can’t they just use CGI? Okay, time for me to shut up. Anyway, Hina’s roles are pretty simple so no issue. Youta realizing their meeting was destined and that Hina could’ve been his God. He vows to become a great researcher like her grandpa. Filming is finished and Ashura is shocked at Youta’s wasted chance since he got into some big university but turned it down since his plans changed. Finally we get to see what the finished movie is. Basically the world is going to be destroyed and Hina is the sacrifice to fix the system that requires lots of spirit power. Of course Youta barges in last minute to save her. Screw the world! Because better for them to be together till the end of the world rather than the world continuing without each other. After the movie, it seems as per Hina’s request, she wanted Sora to add some sort of commentary from her. Essentially, Hina considering all her memories as her eternal treasure. Wow. Youta in tears. Never so emotional this guy. And Hina is fast asleep. I bet it’s not because the movie is boring… And so Youta continues to live his life with retard Hina. As long as they’re happy together, all’s well.

There Can Be Miracles When You Believe…
Oh well. Sorry folks. If you were expecting some sort of a miracle, that is the most miracle of miracles, then I would suppose you’d be disappointed. No big twist in the end but just a bittersweet ending because that’s all that matters, right? Youta and Hina eventually together again till the end of time. No Hina returning back to her bratty self because that would’ve been cheap. Not a miracle, mind you. No Youta going on a world tour of revenge, taking down the governments for making this hell out of Hina. That would be unrealistic and stupid. Not a miracle, mind you. And of course, Hina did not have to die! That would have been the ultimate tragedy and sh*t f*ckery no one would really want. So yeah, I suppose if you’ve kept your foot firmly on the ground and not to expect those sort of ‘miracles’, then this ending is most fitting of all.

The story seems passable but I have to give credit where it is due because it is not really easy these days to write an original story. Trying to come up with a super original masterpiece in today’s time is very challenging as all the tropes have been used and some even milked to death. So yeah, as far as this anime is concerned, personally the overall storyline and plot seemed pretty average. The whole deal that ‘baited’ me (and probably many of us) to watch this was to find out whether Hina was actually a real God or just some mortal with some mental problems acting as God. Also, as well as if whether the world would actually end in 30 days. Well, now we know. And I only have myself to blame for actually expecting something of that supernatural sort to happen. Oh well, nothing supernatural here. Only more of sci-fi. Perhaps they want to play the emotional cards here (and did it well enough) and if you’re not prepared for that ending, you might find yourself crying like Youta. Be warned amateurs, please prepare a box of tissues.

I mean, it could go either way. Seeing how this series’ story was conceived by Jun Maeda, the guy who is the screenwriter for many famous anime stories such as Angel Beats, Charlotte, Little Busters, Air, Clannad and Kanon. Fans of his work may start to realize some sort of pattern in his stories. We are given a setting of the story and characters. This is continued by fun filled days that seemingly make the episode look like filler episodes that might not have anything to do with the main story. Then the so called big twist or tragedy strikes. Main character goes into some sort of rescue mode. Basically it is something this similar for this anime too. Hina proclaims herself to be God and comes into Youta’s life. They have lots of fun filled days during summer. Hina turns out to be suffering from some illness and have some highly secretive technology inside her. Big government says no to her existence so Hina gets separated from Youta. Youta tries to save her and bring her back so they can resume normalcy. At this rate, it could’ve swung in any direction. Either we have the good happy ending or we get some sort of bittersweet ending. Yeah, even a ‘veteran’ like me can’t tell at that stage. But now we know.

But there were a few minor things that still bugged me about the overall story. I know it was somewhat explained about Hina’s foresight but from what I understand, it was somewhat linked to Suzuki’s master hacking skills. I don’t know, I just don’t really get this connection. I thought they brought in this hacker kid and eventually both sides would have some sort of antagonistic showdown in the finale. Well, it pretty looked a lot like that and I didn’t expect Suzuki to become some sort of Youta’s ally in the end. Perhaps it was all trolling to lead me astray. Then the other point was how the government just sloppily and hastily decided Hina as a threat. Like, how?! WTF?! Is this some Deep State and Illuminati thingy that we commoners won’t understand or know?! I feel this part was loosely written so that we can have some sort of emotional tragedy between Youta and Hina. Otherwise, wouldn’t they have just disposed Hina as a whole? Oh, you’re telling us the governments are being humane?! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! I CAN’T STOP LAUGHING!!! And cringing. And how kind (and cruel) of them just to take out her chip. Oh yeah. That’s what we want. Now toss her away in some facility in the outskirts. And how Korogi dedicated his life to create this scientific miracle? Not sure. But it sure helps fit into the narrative of this story.

But I suppose at the end of the day, it wasn’t important whether or not God existed or that if the world would come to an end. It was also unimportant about the advances in medical sciences that could bring better quality to those greatly affected even if it all just sounds so sci-fi fantasy. Perhaps at the end of the day, it is the human bonds like always that plays a pivotal role in a lot of things. The idea that humans being humans and not robots to begin with, the reason why we seek warmth and acceptance from others. Hence, the seemingly filler episodes like that crazy mahjong tournament to an episode wholly focusing on Izanami’s late mother’s wishes, they were all telling us that we are humans. That we were here. Doing all the things we loved and hated together. And no high-tech medical science technology or even the miracle of God can take that away from us. Oh wow. Did I just say all that? I feel like I could write a story on this level! On second thought, maybe not…

Also, the underlying tone of this series is to appreciate what all of us take for granted every day. To many of us, waking up to our mundane and boring routine may be a bane equivalent to first world problems. Unless you understand and see where Hina came from, then you’re like lucky boy Youta who finally start to realize that he had been living miracle all along. It doesn’t matter how absurd or high-tech the chip technology of medical science or the stupid and incoherent decisions of the government, it is those memories that you spent with someone that are the timeless treasures that no one can take away from you. Sounds like another pretty cliché trope but I guess in this era we still have to keep reminding ourselves. So thank God for our normal selves, no?

As for the characters, I guess they’re pretty sufficient and okay as far as the story is concerned. The main point is Youta and Hina’s bonding. Normal kid finds his daily life interrupted when a cosplaying loli with chuunibyou syndrome barges into his life. Slowly and surely, he takes a liking for her because even if she is bratty, pushy and basically holier-than-thou for the most part, Hina is still Hina. It is no surprise he starts becoming a lolicon falling for her because she is so much fun, right? Oh, I see at the same time she is as irritating as she can get but that’s all part of the package. Because Youta’s romance with Izanami never started in the first place and has been in the waiting list and pining for her so long, that’s why it was easy for him enough to jump ship to Hina. After all, Hina did a lot more for him in that short summer period than Izanami for him her entire life. Really. But it still bugs me that Hina who supposedly received the chip of life that makes her move, speak and interact like normal, damn she can actually do all that normally in a short period of time. Imagine if they can animate corpses and turn an army of zombies! Yikes! No wonder the governments gave their huge stamp of disapproval!

Hina’s bratty attitude makes her both lovably cute and annoying and I think it’s one of her running joke that she has this inferior complex to names. Everybody she meets has a name that resembles some high deity! Is that why she picked the nickname Odin herself? I suppose Jesus would be too obvious. And lame. I mean, Jesus Satou… WTF… But eventually it isn’t all about the name but how you live out your life, right? So Hina, don’t you know your name means day? So you’ve made everyone’s day with your blitz appearance. Without you, summer would’ve been the most boring summer ever. And since hi can also mean fire, she was probably lit and lighting everyone’s life on fire, for better or worse. Of course, all this is just my speculation so don’t take my word for it. Because Hina is also used for a doll in which that is what the original Hina is supposed to be… But what do I know about names?

The other characters feel barely needed as far as the main story goes. They’re really just playing supporting roles and if not for Sora’s whatever film project that isn’t even integral part of the main story (although sort of an integral part of the ending), there is no reason for many of them to be together. Even though Izanami barely impacts the story, I find her episode about her late mom’s message to be the most heart-warming and heart wrenching. It was the most moving and emotional for me. Way more than the one Youta tries to recover his bonds with a vegetable Hina. I mean, that was sympathetic too but not as emotionally moving than Izanami’s one. Perhaps Izanami was such a gloomy and emotionless character, seeing her taking a new step forward feels a lot better. After all, Sora also feels like another gloomy character so we don’t need overlapping characters for this short series.

Then there is Tengan whom I feel is just to fill in the b*tch role and be Hina’s rival for whatever. Bratty loli vs b*tch woman, place your bets! Otherwise, she feels pretty much redundant whatsoever. Same like Ashura. But I guess a main character needs a best friend and also showcase a bit of their past and friendship together. Suzuki isn’t such a bad character but for the longest time I kept thinking he has been sent on a wild goose chase for something so simple. Okay, not my place to say since I’m not a computer expert. So I don’t know if this was some loophole that if he was some hacking expert and if Hina’s chip is assumed to be connected to the web, shouldn’t Suzuki have found Hina? Oh right, that whatever great firewall thingy. Suzuki’s past is also heart wrenching but not as emotional since it feels pretty clichéd. Kid grows up with bad parents and strays to the wrong path but finds redemption at the end or at least tries to make things right the best he can. Then they cast him away so we can have more emotional Youta-Hina ending. Sorry he’s not anybody’s God.

The art and animation are pretty standard and much expected since this is done by P.A. Works. So if you have seen their works like Angel Beats and Charlotte or even aforementioned visual novels adapted into anime by Jun Maeda, you’ll find it all pretty much at home their trademark art style. Though, some characters look slightly weird. Maybe I am just exaggerating because for example, Hina for most of the time has that smug look on her face but I think it’s quite fitting since she is playing God so has to look the part of it even if she doesn’t. Then there is Sora with her ever sleepy face, like as though she can’t show any other emotions or she has some sort of illness that makes her face stuck like that forever. And for some reason, Suzuki reminds me of the main character from Tokyo Ghoul even though I didn’t watch that show. Also, Hina’s nun cosplay reminds me of Maria from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai and even Index from To Aru Majutsu No Index. Bratty lolis in nun outfit… And Sora, doesn’t she look like Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica’s Kyouko?

For the voice acting, Ayane Sakura feels at home voicing such bratty characters. Cute and annoying at the same time! Others whom I recognized are Natsuki Hanae as Youta, Kikuko Inoue as CEO, Sayaka Ohara as Izanami’s mom and Ayako Kawasumi as Toshitoku’s wife. The other casts are Chiharu Shigematsu as Suzuki, Yui Ishikawa as Izanami (Mikasa in Shingeki No Kyojin), Ryohei Kimura as Ashura (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Yuuki Kuwahara as Sora (Sora in Dokyuu Hentai HxEros), Yu Shimamura as Tengan (Annie in Shingeki No Kyojin, Haruka Terui as Hikari (Kobeni in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Kenichirou Matsuda as Oguma (Gordon in Black Clover), Kaori Nazuka as Shiba (Yui in To Love-Ru) and Mitsuaki Hoshino as Toshitoku (Magellan in One Piece).

All the opening, ending and insert songs are written by Jun Maeda and sung by Nagi Yanagi. If you’re familiar with the latter’s brand of singing, they’re pretty familiar here. From the opener, Kimi To Iu Shinwa to my personal favourite, Goodbye Seven Seas as the ending. The slow ballad insert songs of Natsu Nagi and Takaramono Ni Natta Hi are powerfully emotional especially played in the right scenes. So if you’re not emotionally prepared, you might suddenly find yourself leaking a tear or two. For the record, I didn’t. And I’m not heartless either, for the record.

Overall, this original series is quite okay and not bad in its own right. Starting off with a potential and intriguing mystery and enigma but splutters a little towards the end. Some clichéd moments typically seen in so many animes (bonds, people! Bonds!) and some interesting topics for discussion (does a chip embedded into a human brain, turning him/her into an interacting human makes him/her still human or more or less a robot?) make this a good and reasonable watch for the season. Not a miracle anime of the season, mind you. So I guess this means this series isn’t all that perfect since men are filled with flaws. This series is supposed to reflect that, right? Hence we can never become like God because the moment we do, we just stopped being humans. So I suppose this also means nobody will believe the true second coming of Jesus Christ when he comes down to cleanse our sins again, huh? Well, as long as it isn’t a bratty loli in a nun outfit.

It goes without saying that since To Aru Majutsu No Index had a third season, so shall its famous spinoff, To Aru Kagaku No Railgun T. After a long absence (made even slightly longer due to that Corona virus postponement), I didn’t think it would get a sequel but only did when that Index series got its continuation. And I suppose that a lot of us missed our favourite biri-biri who only played second (or third) fiddle in the third season of that Index series. After all, she’s got her own spinoff so why not just go along with that. You can’t go wrong with Misaka at the fore, right? What do you mean I forgot about Shirai, Saten and Uiharu too?! Oh right. Okay. These friends too.

Episode 1
A few shady people seem to be targeting Level 5 espers. Turns out they are from a committee and they need to get at least 2 Level 5 espers for the athlete’s pledge for the upcoming Daihasei. Misaka meets up with Uiharu and Saten to visit Shirai in hospital. Doesn’t look like anything serious but with Misaka here, you bet she can recover faster! Misaka relays the news that she has been chosen to do the athlete’s pledge so everyone is happy for her. Returning to school, Misaka learns that Kongou is supposed to be her partner in replacement of Shirai. However Shirai didn’t tell her like she is supposed to so it comes as a surprise to Misaka. Later Misaka passes by Misaki who is trying to b*tch about giving up her place to let her do the athlete’s pledge. She even uses her esper power to mind control everyone around her to congratulate her before returning them to normal and erasing their memories. Misaka isn’t fazed. She knows she hates her so what about it? The committee is stressed up since other Level 5 espers like Accelerator, Kakine and Mugino refused outright, limiting their choice. Uiharu tries to diffuse a rowdy showdown between rival fan groups. They try to intimidate her but she stood her ground. This attracts the attention of Gunha Sogiita (the lowest ranked of the Level 5 espers). He likes her guts so he uses his power to defeat those rowdy dudes. Dude, did he just leave the place in a mess and left?! Because of that, Uiharu and Saten had to pick up those guys from the rubble. And nobody else helped them?! So what if this is a job for Anti-skill?! Anyway, a structure threatens to fall on them so cue for Misaka to show her railgun power to save them. Meanwhile Misaki is looking forward to the report from Keitz Nokleben who has info on Sisters. As Misaka visits Shirai again, she gets a note from the committee that they have settled her for somebody else (Sogiita and Misaki). Misaka hands Shirai her present and the latter is so happy that she accidentally reveals the Misaka ‘porn’ scrapbook she has been secretly enjoying. Zap time. I think Shirai will now remain longer in hospital.

Episode 2
Misaki and Sogiita make the athlete’s pledge to officially start Daihasei. Unfortunately Sogiita forgot his lines and made up his own. Yeah, hope all those flashy effects can do the trick too. Saten is probably trying to trick Uiharu into some rumours about the creation of a new metal if dozen of espers clash together with their abilities. Luckily Shirai is here to chew her out over that unfounded claims. Luckily for Saten too, the 3-legged race featuring Misaka and Kongou pair is about to start. It won’t be just any ordinary race since esper powers will be involved. One including hamsters stealing underwear?! Good job. Eventually it is Misaka-Kongou who crosses the finish line and wins it. I wonder how Shirai is feeling right about now… Saten sees a girl, Xochitl having trouble with her new phone. After helping her, she thought she has seen her before but she brushes it off. After leaving, Xochitl is actually part of MEMBER and has infiltrated Academy City for her first mission. Misaka meets up with Saten and Uiharu. Since Shirai is on patrol, Misaka can’t use her teleport to go get a quick change of clothes. Saten and Uiharu meet Misaka’s mom for the first time. Damn, she’s young enough to be her sister! The trio to conspire as they talk about a certain boy whom Misaki owes a lot to. You know, that guy? With the next event coming up, looks like Misaka is missing so the Tokiwadai girls spot Sister and thought she is Misaka. She is roped in for the next event. The real Misaka arrives too late to see this but I guess she can’t join in now. As the next game is about to begin, one of the guys in the opposing team, Yoshio Baba is a member of, uhm, MEMBER and his target is Misaka.

Episode 3
As this balloon hunt game starts, the opponents all run. Tokiwadai goes to chase them all around the city. However one by one they get owned by diversions and strategies. The opponents know that Tokiwadai has lots of great espers and they have done their thorough research on their abilities and weaknesses although this is mainly because of Baba providing them with the info. As for Sister, she seems lucky and get a few opponents of her own. With the time running out and Tokiwadai gaining ground, Baba then suggests taking on Misaka. His strategy is that all of them gather and surround her and try to hit her. As part of the rules, they can only use the beans to knock off the balloons on their head to disqualify the opponent. Also, using one’s ability to attack the opponent is not allowed. This means if they do not throw the beans and use it as a weapon to whack off Misaka’s balloon instead of throwing it, they have a chance. Despite everybody going in, Sister skilfully dodges every one of them. Until of course one of them got lucky and destroys her balloon. At the end of the game, Tokiwadai loses their first game by a razor thin margin. Misaka meets Sister after that and hands her some food stall tickets to go enjoy. Then Misaka stumbles into Touma and also Misaki. Misaki trying to be a b*tch as usual, using her charms to flirt with Touma. Mad Misaka zaps them but apparently only Touma bears the brunt. As Sister is making her way, suddenly she loses consciousness. Does Misaki have a hand in this?

Episode 4
Saten investigates the site of the battlefield for that Shadow Metal rumour thingy. Uiharu helps her out by looking at some online data although they’re all nonsense. Suddenly Saten is being attacked by guys in hazmat suits. Since Misaka and Shirai just got here and overheard it, they teleport to the site and instantly Misaka zaps them. Next thing we see, they’re prostrating themselves and apologizing to those guys who are supposed to clean up the place to pretend people from stealing esper DNAs left behind. So they thought Saten was one of them and tried to get a hold of her. Saten even pushes her luck asking about Shadow Metal. This girl… Uiharu is relieved that this episode was nothing. But she feels something odd about the nonsense data. Because it feels like it was purposely made to hide something. Little did she know, her hacking has been detected. Next day, Misaka learns from Wannai that she hasn’t returned the uniform she lent her the other day. (Wannai, thought Sister was Misaka). This has Misaka feel strange. A whole full day and Sister didn’t return it? Something is wrong. She hacks the cameras to get footage of what happened and sees Sister being wheeled into an ambulance. She then goes talk to the ambulance guys who claim they brought her to a nearby hospital. However the hospital has no records. She returns to those guys and starts arguing if they are telling the truth. She thinks they’re hiding something when she tampers with their route data and sees they never went to the hospital. The guys are stumped and that’s when Misaka gets a bit rough. Yeah, they call security. It is then Misaka realized their memories might be tampered by Misaki. Meanwhile Misaka’s friends are on patrol and wonder if they have taken the wrong route. A guy talks to them on pretence he got robbed. In this distraction, Misaki uses her ability and something about their memories of Misaka get taken. Thanks to Watanabe (Misaka’s teacher), she manages to get off the hook. Viewing her unfit to roam around alone, she has Misaki and her groupie watch over her (it is hinted Watanabe is also under Misaki’s control). This is the worst case scenario for Misaka since she can’t continue her investigation and trying to run away means they’ll attack her. Then she spots Shirai and co. She goes talk to them and surprisingly they don’t know her! OMG. Shirai so loathing Misaka?! That’s the last straw for Misaka. She now believes Misaka is behind this and got her friends involved.

Episode 5
Kongou tries to brag to Shirai about her pairing with Misaka. However Shirai is still sulking. Something feels wrong. After another game with Misaka, Kongou asks her about her sister. She knows it wasn’t Misaka who participated. Hence Misaka tells her about Misaki kidnapping her sister. She seeks her help to get some info for her. Although Kongou agrees to help her, however she warns her not to trust her for she could also be under Misaki’s control. Hence she will bring back her sister as proof. Misaka tries to create diversions to get away from Misaki’s groupie but they’re a tough cookie to break. As Kongou goes around looking for clues and trying to get to the bottom of Misaki’s logic, circumstances force her to save a young kitten from a bad crow. Then she stumbles into Wannai who thinks the cat belongs to Misaka’s sister as she saw it with her before. She will get help from an esper who can read animals’ minds. After Wannai leaves, Baba heard their conversation and wants to talk to Kongou alone. Apparently he has a new mission to secure Sisters so after leading Kongou to a lonely spot, he attacks her with his drone dogs to force info out of her. Because he downplayed her abilities, Kongou easily uproots structures and uses them as projectile! She can compensate for any damage later! Baba plays dirty by targeting the kitten. When Kongou protects it, his insect drone injects her with some nanomachines that renders her weak. Baba then badmouths her for doing this for Misaka without any benefit. When Kongou dismisses Misaka as a manipulative person, Baba beats her up badly. Luckily Saten who earlier saw Kongou with Baba has brought Wannai and Awatsuki here. Baba continues to insult Kongou as an idiot and this of course makes her friends mad. Wanna say that again, chubby?

Episode 6
Baba watches both of them handle his dogs while he analyses their abilities. Then he tries to cut them a deal. In exchange about Sisters, he can give them the cure for Kongou. Of course they won’t tell him anything but will take his cure. With that, Baba takes out another case of the cure. One of them is fake. He throws one to his dog. Which has the real cure? That’s for you to find out. Awatsuki goes after the dog while Wannai chases after Baba. Meanwhile Saten brings Kongou to the hospital. Misaka sees this and she is now mad. This is getting personal. This is more than some stupid rivalry thingy. So when the groupie tries to stop her for going off herself, they get scared seeing Misaka’s scary face. Lest they have the resolve to kill her, don’t get in her way! Awatsuki manages to use some shortcut to get to the dog. She finds this cure is fake. Back to Baba, he thinks he has fully analysed Wannai’s abilities and is very confident of her limits. He also has backup dogs since those Wannai fought have been short circuited by her water. Though Wannai praises his analysis, he failed to take into account his surroundings. Because he thought she is far away from any body of water, he didn’t realize there were drains all over the place and this allowed Wannai to replenish. As she drowns him in a water bubble, he starts panicking. Using his dogs to suck up the water and in the process malfunctioning them, he resorts to his last tactic of using his mosquito. But it didn’t work because Awatsuki uses her buoyancy ability (not telekinesis as he thought) to stop its movement. Baba is now scared as he claims he is just working for someone. Damn, Wannai’s slap makes him go down? She lectures him about looking down on others and that’s why he has no friends to help him. But chubby just runs away. He doesn’t learn his lesson, though. He thought of using his ultimate mantis drone for payback. But before him is Misaka. He thought she is another Sister until Misaka slices up the mantis. Oh sh*t. The real deal! Baba is reduced to a state of cowering as Misaka warns him never to touch her friends again. Or else she swears she’ll find him wherever he is and crush him. Oh sh*t. Misaka doing a Liam Neeson’s Taken? SCARY!

Episode 7
After putting Kongou in hospital, they get an esper who can look through the kitten’s memories. At a construction site, Misaki and Keitz as well as some Latin words uttered. Wannai and Awatsuki leave it to Saten to tell this to Misaka since they have to tend to Kongou. She finds it weird she has Misaka’s contacts. So she talks to Shirai about it? Oh, it’s that Misaka name again. Not pleased. As Saten calls Misaka to meet up so she can disclose some info, looks like a shady woman is before Misaka and has got an unconscious Uiharu hostage. It seems she wants to know the location of Sisters and accuses Misaka of attacking their bases and running of with their data. Of course Misaka doesn’t know what she is talking about so she calls her bluff. A city so big like Academy City and it seems they cannot trace the locations of Sisters. It is believed the higher ups of Academy City are behind this and for Misaka to turn a blind eye and continue living blissfully, she’s just weird. Misaka brushes it all off that this has anything to do with it all. But if she hurts her friends, she’ll pay. Misaka claims her power is faster than she could pull off a move to kill Uiharu. But then she shows Misaka an accomplice holding her mom hostage too. Misaka remains steadfast. She will not say anything and rescue them. In a flash, Misaka rescues Uiharu and does her some damage. Her accomplice is about to move in a kill mom but luckily Shirai saves the day and teleports mom away. The enemy then turns out to be some liquid metal and melts. The real culprit is Mitori Kouzaku who is of course controlling those puppets. She was trying to negotiate with Misaka but looks like this direct approach is tough. Although she still believes Misaka is her target, something tells her that her memories might be altered. Misaka gives her thanks to Shirai who is obviously not pleased with it all. Misaka gets too close to her and this gives Shirai the shivers. What are the chances she’ll turn yuri?! Meeting up with Saten as she tells of what she knows, it is believed that Latin thingy is also related to that Shadow Metal that Saten has been looking into. Because the website she stumbled on is gone. They deduce somebody must be spamming the internet with dummy data to hide it. Misaka thinks Uiharu must have stumbled something on that site so it is possible Misaki manipulated her memories to erase it. As Misaka checks her PC out with her power, damn the convenience because the erased data has been reconstructed and they see Misaki in that data.

Episode 8
As Misaka goes off to that place, Saten worries if their memories have been manipulated. Misaka doesn’t reveal much but assures she’ll get to the bottom of this. Flashback reveals Misaki and Keitz taking out a Sister. They did this roundabout stuff so as not to put her life in danger because if that happens, Misaki will have lost to Misaka. Regarding the Latin word, Misaki has been careful to avoid appearing in surveillance cameras but an esper somehow managed to record one via a dew’s reflection! Keitz assured her about using dummy sites to hide but Misaki wasn’t impressed when Uiharu was snooping around although Keitz had taken some measures in case somebody hacked it. Misaka meets up with Misaki who will bring her to the culprit behind all this. She explains a few other things. Among them is another group is looking for Sisters. All this started after Misaki heard about Project Level 6 Shift and how it was stalled halfway. She hired Keitz who was part of the security team of that project on where the Sisters went. The other group also has orders to rid of Misaka since she is trouble. Their aim is perhaps Misaka Network and that’s why Misaki has taken preventive steps to take them out to prevent others from meddling with Misaka Network. The one behind this is Gensei who is a staunch advocate for Project Level 6 Shift. This guy is elusive and she has done quite a lot of work to track him down. And that’s where they’re going. However Misaka isn’t pleased she brainwashed her friends as her considerate way to avoid them getting involved with Gensei. They might get killed and put a damper on her plans. Why didn’t she tell Misaka and they just team up? Well, trust and cooperation aren’t her cup of tea. Considering the kind of esper abilities she has, right? But Misaki isn’t obliged to say why she wants Sisters. The duo arrive at the place. Misaka rushes in first and later thought Misaki set her up when she is nowhere to be seen. Turns out she isn’t athletic and is trying to catch up! Damn, Misaki so out of breath. Then some childish argument about each other’s bodies before realizing they don’t actually need to cooperate. They go their own way and warn the other not to get in theirs.

Episode 9
While Misaka uses force to barge in, Misaki is more elegant as she mind controls the guards to do her bidding and cause confusion. As Uiharu and co continue their research, Shirai recognizes Kouzaku. They cross-reference her details and find it baffling despite being a school dropout and involved in terrorism a few months back, there is no warning from Judgment on her. Uiharu and Shirai head to the date centre to find more info and since Saten isn’t form Judgment, she’ll just have to hang out somewhere to pass the time. At the centre, it seems the duo are shocked to further see that Kouzaku is classified as dead. Shirai questions if she identified the person correctly. That’s when the clerk who loves conspiracy theories talk about rumours that Academy City fake deaths of students in reform schools since it’s more convenient if they’re labelled as dead. Of course, she has no basis for that. Saten sees Touma in a scavenger hunt. Since he is desperate for a charm and never gives up asking, she lends him hers. She also realizes she is within the vicinity of an abandoned factory that came up in their research and this is how curiosity kills the cat. She sneaks inside to see some shady activity but is caught by Xochitl. She is willing to let her go but Kouzaku (her clone) isn’t so forgiving. She has her goons dispose of her but Xochitl has other ideas. Before Kouzaku can call betrayal, Xochitl points the same back at her. She just received info about her using an outside client she conspired with to get her and Baba to do her work. This betrayal must be punished. As Kouzaku can’t afford any mistakes at this point, she backs down. Misaka and Misaki have captured Gensei. But as Misaki tries to peek into his mind, she realizes this is just an imposter wearing a mask. Even when Gensei talked to this imposter to impersonate him, he already knew Misaki would pull off this move and hints that if she is here, she can’t be there and that Exterior can’t be kept safe without her. Instantly Misaki makes haste. Drive as fast as you can!

Episode 10
As the highway is jammed up for several kilometres, Misaki uses her abilities to have everyone make way. But this is taking a toll on her. We see flashbacks of Misaki as a child in some project experiment. She was introduced to a Misaka clone known as Dolly. Her body has scars as she has illnesses and hence devices implanted into her body to extend her life. Because of this, her only friend left her and now she’s feeling lonely. Hence Misaki’s job was to be Dolly’s friend so that her morale could return to normal and they can resume their data readings. At first Misaki was reluctant but as you can see, they soon grew closer. Until one day Dolly collapsed. This was a sign that her time was up and no medical technology even for Academy City could extend her life. Sadly, Dolly passed away. This had a tremendous effect on Misaki and the scientists were worried this would hinder their Project Exterior and reveal its true purpose. However eventually they didn’t worry too much because once the project is done, they’ll dispose of Misaki. Misaki of course knew all this as she brainwashed them to reveal these. Ever since, she continued her control over them so that this project will be kept in secret. It will be bad if it fell into hands of baddies. Taking Misaka to the lab, Misaki further reveals Exterior’s goal is to make anyone use her mind controlling esper abilities. Her ability is powerful only because they cut a portion of her brain, grew it and you can see these 2 huge glass containers with all the nerves. But Misaki didn’t think it was possible for Gensei to steal it. Even trying to register it will take a few days and the protection she placed on Sisters would be sufficient for her to detect any anomalies. She receives a call from Keitz who have moved sister to the roof. However Gensei freezes him and takes over the call to explain to Misaki how he did it by tuning the giant brain to his own brainwaves to make the ability his. He removes the layer of protection and puts a virus into Misaka Network. All Sisters are down. Misaka goes to confront Gensei but she has fallen into his trap. The real objective of all this is to capture the real Misaka. The virus turns Misaka into some monster (humanoid Pikachu?!) and Gensei wants to see if she can reach Level 6.

Episode 11
Because Touma was nearby and heard Xochitl talked to Saten, he wants to hear the rest. Saten then contacts Shirai. Misaka is in a daze, trapped in her own mind as Kouzaku convinces her to strike down a particular building. While it packs power, it seems there is no damage. Kouzaku is disappointed but Gensei reminds her not to rush since her evolution to Level 6 is only at 2%. Misaki sees Touma running by so she telepaths to him about the situation to go save Misaka. Misaki then goes to help Keitz but they are being attacked by Kouzaku’s clone. Thanks to Shirai arriving and teleporting them out in time. Misaki also telepaths to Shirai about what’s going on. Hope she doesn’t have a headache taking in all that info. So looks like Shirai’s job now is to sniff out the real Kouzaku. It is believed she needs to be close by Misaka since the longer the distance from her clone puppet, the harder it is to control. With Misaka gathering and throwing debris and other stuffs at Touma, he can’t get close. Luckily Sogiita is here to help. Realizing the power Touma has, Sogiita makes a path and throws him towards Misaka. Touma manages to touch her but his nullification is quickly cancelled out. Woah. Nullifier got nullified? Meanwhile Misaki has found Gensei.

Episode 12
Touma can tell that somebody else is trying to return Misaka back to normal. So their job now is just to slow her down and keep her from transforming further. Shirai realizes the puppet senses via echolocation. Using a device to confuse her surroundings, Shirai manages to escape. Misaki sets traps all over Gensei but looks like this guy has multiple abilities to get over them. She knows he wants the code to unlock her limiter so she asks him directly why he is obsessed with turning Misaka into Level 6 since the only closest one is Accelerator. That is true. Accelerator is the only one who can become Level 6 stably. Gensei wants to codes to unlock the limiter so when Misaka reaches 53% of her evolution, he can keep her grounded in this world. Because once she reaches 100%, her body and mind will strain. She cannot retain Level 6 and will lose everything at the expense of a fraction of becoming God. This will result in blowing up Academy City. But this will take out Gensei too, right? Advancement of science requires sacrifice… Gensei has cornered Misaki and is going to put her in a desperate situation to force the code out of her brain. But because he senses Touma and Sogiita toying with Misaka, he gets excited about some scientific possibility. This allows Misaki to escape. Lucky for Shirai, Saten has spotted the real Kouzaku. As she appears in this sole surveillance camera, she is most likely in this building. With the cameras now all focused on this building, it makes Shirai’s job easier. Though, the puppet continues to attack. Another device to confuse her but this time Shirai gets injured by her attack. This only proves that the real Kouzaku was nearby to provide the line of sight to her puppet. The mind games with Misaki and Gensei continue. On pretence she will surrender the code in exchange for her to escape Academy City, she is hoping he would step on the panel that will zap him thoroughly. But Gensei can tell it is a trap and doesn’t step on it. Psych! Because the real trap is some graviton panel behind him. He falls into it but damn this guy can walk on air?! Misaki runs. He fires an air blast that injures her. Before he could finish her, his hand gets trapped in some reconstructing panel. Misaki thinks she got him by psych! Just his prosthetic hand! Yeah, Gensei predicted all this way back then. With no more tricks up her sleeve, he chokes her and then minds control her to steal the codes.

Episode 13
Because of the mini mobile camera, Kouzaku is able to see where Shirai is despite her anti-echolocation device. Shirai has searched all the possible places where Kouzaku could be but couldn’t find her. Then she goes back to the drawing board over her deduction and realizes what if Kouzaku isn’t hiding in this building in the first place. The puppet attacks and corners her. In an attempt to break free, it seems like Shirai falls off the floors and died! Kouzaku is happy with this mission accomplished and turns to Misaka who is still in the process of evolution. However to her surprise Shirai is here. Uiharu hacked the cameras to make it look like Shirai has died as the picture is just a composite. Shirai has deduced that she would be hiding in the sewers so as to escape detection from the surveillance cameras. Kouzaku is confident this enclosed space will limit Shirai’s moves and predicts the path she will teleport to. However Shirai didn’t teleport and uses her palm to block her knives. Kouzaku panics and becomes desperate, allowing Shirai to knock her out. When Gensei tries to use Exterior, looks like something happened and he admits he lost this time. Misaki regains consciousness as she tells us how she planned to make it look like she had no more further plans to catch Gensei off guard. I don’t really understand this technical part as she tries to figure out a way to decommission Exterior. Something about switching the codes with a self-destruct code and it is a very risky gamble. In order to manipulate and bait Gensei into using it, she erased her memories of this. Thank goodness that paid off. Meanwhile Misaka is confused of this inner self she is in. Something weird is trying to take over her and looks like her evolution has progressed further. So she’s an electrifying black hole ball now?!

Episode 14
Sogiita uses all his power to clear a way for Touma. This time he lands a punch into the ball. Oh sh*t! His right arm gets blown off! I guess it’s not very godly then, huh? But wait… Suddenly dragons come out of it and start devouring the ball???!!! OMFG! WTF is this mess?! But heck, it actually brings Misaka back to normal! OMFG! He did it! And there’s some little talk about Touma telling her not to shoulder all the burden themselves. It’s okay to get help from others too. So what about his right arm? Oh sh*t, it grew back?! Like, HOW?! I take back what I said. It’s just freaking godly. In the aftermath, Misaka is glad to know Sister is on the road to recovery. Then she sees Kongou to apologize but both are being overly humble with each other. Because Shirai had no strength to teleport Kouzaku, she cuffs her and calls for backup. Kouzaku can break out from this easily but doesn’t bother since the mission failed. But before her now is Misaki. Misaka hangs out with her friends and good news is that they have their memories of her again. However Misaki has altered a bit of everyone’s memories that what happened was an act of terrorism. Just as Misaka has a little respect for Misaki, then she realizes her friends thought she was not around during the terrorist act was because she confined herself in the toilet after intimidating Misaki’s groupie. Maybe she’ll kill her the next time she sees her. I guess that also takes care why Shirai didn’t feel so bad for being rude to her onee-sama then. When Touma comes by to thank Saten for the charm, seeing Misaka in a panic state, Saten gets an idea. Instead of returning the charm, she wants him to dance with her at the bonfire. Saten x Touma romance? Uhm, okay. Suddenly Saten feels pain in her body. Must’ve exerted herself in the sports. No choice, she has Misaka do it on her behalf. Oh my. Sneaky. And before Shirai could stop this, Uiharu holds her back. And so a very stiff Misaka dances with Touma. Only to be made even more embarrassed by some of the cutest things Touma says. I guess now Shirai has busted out and drop kicks this guy. ONEE-SAMA IS MINE FOREVER! Ah well. It was good while it lasted.

Episode 15
Kouzaku was also a child experimented in a facility. It was tiring for her to keep up with her fake smiles so as not to get on the bad side of the researchers. One day, she was tasked to be Dolly’s friend. Slowly, they become friends and Kouzaku felt her smiles were more genuine here. But soon, she accidentally saw Dolly’s scars. That was when she stole info about Dolly’s research and tried to make the researcher to stop those experiments to prolong a clone’s life. She even threatened to take this to the higher authority but surprise! It is the higher ups who authorized this research. Kouzaku is then locked up for a very long time. When she was ‘released’, it was the building was abandoned. She thought of taking down the authorities but didn’t even come close. One of her failed attempts, she met Gensei who thought of using her pure hatred to take down those at the top. Misaki comes to Kouzaku’s aid. Peeking into Gensei’s memories, she realized Kouzaku’s ‘disappearance’ was the reason she had to step into her role. Also, the other aim of that cloning project was also to share data between clones. At that time Dolly had another sister created. She might not be the real Dolly but she exactly shares the same thoughts and memories. Yes, she is held in a certain facility. They’re going to bust her out. After doing so, Dolly and Kouzaku become emotional in their reunion. Dolly wants Misaki to make it a threesome but I guess Misaki is somewhat overwhelmed with guilt that had she done her part thoroughly, this wouldn’t have happened. She will do anything to make up for it. In that case, Dolly has a few ‘demands’. Let’s hang out here and there, do this and do that as friends. Yeah, it’s going to be a blast. Just like how Misaka is having a mini party blast with her friends to celebrate Shirai’s full recovery.

Episode 16
Junko Hokaze who is part of Misaki’s groupie, shares the same Gekota interest with Misaka. She gives her an Indian Poker card to make up for the confrontation with Misaki. Later as Saten explains, the card allows you to have the same dream of another person and its dream can be recorded on the card. There are rumours of a few S-Rank people who can provide dreams to your wish. They are called Dream Rankers. That night, Misaka tries it out. It is Gekota paradise until she meets their queen who is no other than Misaki. She is forced to become her maid otherwise the Gekota will be sad! What a hideous dream! Later Hokaze has Misaki and Misaka meet up to try and patch their relationship. I think this is going to be a pipe dream. But nearby they hear a group of guys praising this dude, BLAU who sounds like he is one of those Dream Rankers. Yeah, they’re talking about the very explicit dreams they all love to have. BLAU goes overboard claiming he can do even more explicit stuffs to Misaka and Misaki. Man, there are lots of censored words… Okay, time for those girls to beat the sh*t out of them, destroy their cards and later their memories. Uiharu talks to Shirai about this strange app that tells the time and date of an accident at a certain location. So far it is 100% accurate. It could be that someone with esper abilities may be the one creating this app. They try out one case as they wait by the vending machine, supposedly an accident will happen here in 15 minutes. So far nothing happened… Is it fake? But shortly after that, it soon happens! A young boy loses his football and tries to get it by crossing the road without looking. The car tries to avoid him and swirls, hitting the vending machine. Had Shirai not teleport a girl standing there, it could’ve been fatal. Shirai then notices a young boy watching all this from a vantage point. Without hesitation, he introduces himself as Shaei Miyama and the one who created this app. His ability allows him to produce psychic photography to see future events. However the pic is quite blur. But he is sure only moments of tragedy will develop. He believes by focusing his ability further, he can be more specific. He admits this app was originally created by a company to help find lost items. So he needs their help to keep this a secret because he doesn’t want it to fall into the wrong hands. Another reason he needs their help is to find the esper who can alter the events her foresees.

Episode 17
Miyama demonstrates his ability as proof. With that, Shirai is able to act and save a girl from drowning. Miyama and Shirai team up to prevent accidents from happening. Then there is a prediction that occurs a few hundred metres from each other at the park but at the same time. They go search the park for any explosives and hazardous materials but so far nothing. When Miyama comes back with more predictions of more accidents happening in the park, he then collapses. The doctor diagnoses he exerted too much by using his abilities. He has to rest and not use them for now otherwise it can be fatal. While Miyama is in bed, he dreams about a girl who often mocks him for that ability. Until one day he foresees her getting into an accident. She becomes scared and he will do all he can to help her. Unfortunately he couldn’t change the future. She ended up getting injured and started blaming him that his ability caused it all to happen. When he sees a prediction that will befall on his stray dog friend, that was when he sought for help and remembers Judgment. However he fears they won’t help dogs and hence the roundabout way of trying to earn their trust with all those things they do. A faulty vending machine fuse causes a spark that soon breaks into a fire that spreads. Shirai is able to teleport as many people out but the fire continues to spread quickly. Something about inflammable ampules were placed a the roots of the trees. Miyama rushes out from hospital just to go tell Shirai about the dog. He realizes that her teleportation may have caused some of his predictions to be a little off. Long story short, Shirai manages to find the dog and teleport it safely out. In the end, the ampules were just somebody experimenting with chemicals and fertilizer to make the sakura trees bloom all year long. While Miyama still doesn’t think highly of his own ability, Shirai begs to differ because it helped her save a lot of lives. She gives him hope to nurture his abilities so he can further help others without straining himself. She believes he can because he is just like her.

Episode 18
Saten shows off to Misaka her amazing kendama skills. Thanks to the Indian Poker card, she mastered it overnight. Kinuhata notices her teammates are well endowed. She thought Frenda would be her ‘ally’ but she too has grown in certain areas! Traitor! Worse, when Hamazura gives her milk to drink, she gets offended and beats him up. Later Kinuhata stumbles upon a trader selling Indian Poker cards. Similarly, Misaka is also there. Because of her bad experience with one, the trader tells her a super secret card. So this Bust Upper can make your boobs bigger? Instantly Kinuhata and Misaka start fighting over it. Hand it over, b*tch! The trader stops them before the bloodbath could happen but this causes an accident where all the cards become jumbled up. Misaka and Kinuhata agree to buy them all. After all, when one learns how to bust up, they’ll just teach the other. So they rent a room to sleep and dream via those Indian Poker cards. So both girls experience really strange dreams and you could say boobs are the theme, directly or indirectly. Can’t blame them for getting infuriated at the end of it and doing some tsukkomi. Yeah, they get kicked out for being too noisy. I think the best one was their boobs didn’t grow but their waistline! So they continue their dreaming at some hotel’s pool lounge. As they are dreaming, a crow steals that Bust Upper card and drops it near a girl who has a few Indian Poker cards of her own. In the end, Misaka and Kinuhata are so disappointed that none of them had any bust growing moves. They think they’ve been bamboozled and will give it to him. Kinuhata returns as Hamazura clarifies himself about the milk. He hoped it would help make her taller. She still beats him up for the confusion, though. Since Misaka has slept all day, she can’t sleep a wink at night and Shirai is lamenting this isn’t what she wished for when she wanted to spend the entire night with her! Meanwhile, Saten shows off her new pencil spinning skill to Uiharu. What will she master next? Hey, look at that babe with huge boobs over there!

Episode 19
Frenda is distraught. Everywhere she went, the mackerels on sale all got sold out. And the last person to buy it was Saten. Attack! When that didn’t work, she tails her. She tries to trade but Saten doesn’t want anything. More whining and to pacify her, Saten gives her a can. Too bad she uses too much power and fries it. Now that she’s begging for another, Saten walks away trying to ignore her. Crocodile tears won’t work but to stop her bugging, she invites her to dinner. Choosy beggar complains she mixed it with curry! Shut up and eat it! OMG. So delicious! Okawari! With that, an unlikely friendship starts between the duo. Then as they talk about Indian Poker, Saten thinks of buying some chopstick skill one to show it to her. Meanwhile Dress Girl contacts Yobou about some nanoparticle object interference adsorption manipulator AKA tweezers that is spotted in some Indian Poker. She wants him to investigate on how true that is. He extracts all similar searches from the database and one of them being Saten’s because well, chopsticks and tweezers are somewhat similar, right? Because of that, a group of baddies kidnap Saten but luckily Frenda spots this and goes after them. She beats them all up and rescues Saten. During that attack when Frenda ambushed them, the baddies contacted Yobou about it. Because this group was in charge of unsubstantiated Indian Poker results, if somebody is attacking them, it could mean that he could’ve hit the jackpot. Hence he calls Rakko Yumiya from SCHOOL for the job. She analyses the aftermath of the battlefield and can generally tell the perpetrators from her observations and deductions. Thanks to her abilities, she traces Frenda (who wants Saten to thank her by buying mackerels!). To take out her frustration of being called over this mundane job that wasted her chance to become a school idol, she snipes at Frenda.

Episode 20
Yumiya take pot shots at Frenda as she and Saten are left to run. No matter where they hide, Yumiya’s nose can pick out Frenda’s scent and still snipe her at corners. And hiding in the crowd will not do them any good since she can still snipe with accuracy. Frenda can tell the culprit is a sadist since she is keeping her prey alive until she runs out of fun. Frenda tried to put some trap and a poor otaku dude gets beaten up by her. But does she have proof he is the sniper? Okay. Better continue running. Frenda starts to get desperate because all her traps were eluded and the culprit not falling for any. Just when Yumiya is about to go in for the kill, she spots her friends. She gets flustered thinking they would ask her to join them. Well, they didn’t recognize her and walk on. Oh, now she lost her target. This allows time for Frenda and Saten to strategize because Frenda agrees to go with Saten’s plan to split and she will make the latter be the decoy. So when Yumiya sees Saten walking alone, she thinks it is a ploy to use Saten so as to identify her. However she sees Saten carrying dolls. Not just dolls. Dolls with bombs! Is she planning to sacrifice everybody here just to escape herself? Yumiya instinctively hides behind the pillar. But the bombs didn’t go off. Just a ploy. Because of that, Frenda is able to pinpoint Yumiya and jumps in to beat her up. Both femme fatale fight each other until it gets really violent so much so the crowd has to escape. Frenda sets off bombs from the dolls she placed all over. This is to choke off the oxygen so when Yumiya thought of heading to the broken open glass for air, Frenda expected that and puts a whole load of mini bombs in her mouth, kicks her off and throws a few more doll bombs to go with. OVERKILL!!! In the aftermath, Saten gives her statement and will be given Judgment escort and staying at an Anti-skill facility. But she is happy when she gets a message from Frenda. Thank goodness she is okay. Come over for some mackerel dinner something okay? In the aftermath, Kakine who is also the boss of SCHOOL is glad with his team’s efforts, they have more data on those tweezers. Yumiya who is still alive but her lower jaw probably blown off and speaking through some mechanized device, wants revenge over Frenda. Friendship she calls it, huh? But Kakine tells her off the tweezers comes first. Oh well, if Yumiya is out, Kakine remembers a spare candidate he can use. Saten is glad that Frenda is here for dinner. Nope. Just Uiharu. Disappointed? Oh well. Can’t let all those mackerels she cook go to waste.

Episode 21
Aside the distasteful boob wars between Misaka and Misaki, let’s get down to the real story of this final arc’s stretch. Ryoko Kuriba is a girl involved in an experiment that involved her being cut up and implanted several cyborg parts. Hence there were 2 Kuribas living separately for a year before being put together again with no problems whatsoever. Oddly, memories of both lives were retained when she became whole again. However this is where the question of the experiment lies in: The generation of the soul. When Kuriba split herself, it is assumed her soul split into both bodies. There was a question if one of them died, would the other also die? Then when they put her back and her soul became one, what happened to the leftover soul? It can be assumed it is left in the cyborg parts. Hence Misaki wants Misaka to sneak into the facility to confirm the results of the experiment. She needs her because if an application for this soul generation experiment was found, imagine how many hundreds of people would meet a similar fate. It would definitely be used in Child Errors or human cloning. And of course this would get personal for Misaka since this would somehow involve her Sisters. We see Kuriba taking yet another follow up from some experiment. Despite remembering clearly both her lives during the split, she cannot remember anything before she came to Academy City. Is this the aftereffect of the experiment? Just as Misaka is about to sneak into the facility, Kuriba is seen dropping down! Turns out this is the cyborg counterpart whom the facility named as Doppelganger. And to their surprise, she made an escape. Yeah, they were so sure she wouldn’t. Better go recover her. Meanwhile Misaka and Misaki talk to the real Kuriba about her cyborg clone. At first she was surprised when they show her Doppelganger but despite just being 1 machine and not designed for combat, they brushed off her concerns that it would one day realize she is not human. They’ll have more data then, they say. She has some inner shutdown device, they say. Oh well, sh*t is about to hit the wall soon. Meanwhile Scavengers are given another mission to prove themselves. After that beating from Accelerator, their reputation tanked.

Episode 22
While Scavengers hunts for Doppelganger, Kuriba reveals about some soul theory thingy. When a body dies, the soul goes away. But in Doppelganger’s case, it is like stuck in a machinery. So when the body breaks down, its soul roams free eventually possessing other objects and the entire Academy City. She brought it up to her colleagues but they brushed her off. Though, Kuriba is sure that Doppelganger has a self-preservation mode and this means she will not cause harm to herself. Misaka deduces that she is the one responsible for the spread of Indian Poker due to its uncanny timing. Kuriba hopes that someone out there will find a way to reverse the situation. Though, she believes she can take care of this and doesn’t need their help. When Kuriba returns to her room, she is shocked to see Doppelganger here. Kuriba fears she might have found a way to drive her soul out. Thanks to Scavengers attacking, Kuriba is able to escape. Scavengers thought they have got a hold on Doppelganger and as they mock the pitiful cyborg, the tables are turned when she breaks free and uses their own abilities against them. Even breaking Leader’s hand! Meanwhile Seike is sent to go after Kuriba just in case. But Kuriba is in luck since Misaka is here to let her get away. Seike is now interested to fight Misaka as we see Kuriba’s flashback. A victim of a building collapse, she was saved when her mom transplanted her lungs to her. Weak to begin with, Kuriba began experimenting ways to save her mother. Especially about cyborgs. When her situation took a turn for the worse, Kuriba became desperate. Yup, cut herself half into a cyborg for observation. This flashback was told by Misaki to Misaka and this causes the latter to feel bad about her. Misaka and Seike begin their fight but once Seike realizes she is dealing with that famed Railgun, her underestimation causes her to lose. Meanwhile the other Scavengers manage to barely escape from the skin of their teeth from Doppelganger. Today must be their bad day since now Misaka confronts them, thinking they are responsible for this mess. Oh dear. After Accelerator whooped their ass, now it’s Misaka’s turn?! Damn, they’re just bad luck!

Episode 23
Leader tries to technically cover their asses like they are Doppelganger’s recovery team. Also, they are part of Judgment. It’s going to be hard to pile up on those lies since Misaka has friends in Judgment, do they really act like they do? Oh sh*t. But seeing Shirai herself is a weirdo, Misaka thinks it’s pretty normal. Phew. Leader has the rest retrieve Seike while she goes with Misaka to get Doppelganger. So more lies piling up as she suggests they cooperate (since it would be in Scavengers’ best interest if Misaka helps out). And then Misaki calls Misaka. Oh sh*t. Another Level 5 esper! Misaki tells Misaka about some shady backup protocol for Doppelganger. Apparently her data is kept in some hidden airship and her data uploaded when it passes a certain designated location. Leader panics each time she thinks she says the wrong thing since Misaka doesn’t seem too amused. But the clincher that seals their deal is when Leader lies about being a fan of Gekota. Now you can count on Misaka to help her out. Phew. The duo find and face off with Doppelganger who has been adding stuffs to her body and turning into some abomination. It seems she is heading to some radar control centre in which the airship flies over. As it stores her data, this might somehow affect a diffusion of her soul. Coincidentally, Scavengers are supposed to deliver Doppelganger to a warehouse next to this station so Leader lies once more to get Misaka to lead Doppelganger there. So Scavengers meet up with their employer at the warehouse. Leader being sneaky again, trying to blame her they were not informed about this and that as well as the terms changed while handling Doppelganger. Leader tries to force her to sign, signalling they have done their part and it’s the end but she refuses. But with Misaka’s fight with Doppelganger closing in, she is eventually pressured to sign it. Instantly Scavengers get out of there and the warehouse gets crushed! Finally Scavengers having a bit of luck themselves. Meanwhile Doppelganger has possessed way too much and is now a monster. Uhm, is this turning into a Godzilla show?

Episode 24
Good thing everyone has been evacuated. Now they can smash buildings like a Godzilla show. But how will Misaka fight? Oh, she materializes her own Godzilla via iron sand particles?! I don’t know she has that sort of ability but whatever. Although Misaka’s Godzilla is weaker, however all the friction stored up electrical charges that allows her to fire her railgun trademark. Doppelganger’s Godzilla is decimated but of course she can regenerate it. Now she plays dirty by going to throw a full gas tank. Misaka shows her capability by destroying it in air and even at a distance. How about 3 gas tanks now? Misaka can still do it! She wonders if this is a tactic to wear out her powers. However Misaka realizes this might be a diversion as Doppelganger’s real goal is to find the airship and she has found it and latched on to it. At the same time, Kuriba rides into the scene and wants to talk to Doppelganger. Okay. Let’s talk. Doppelganger thinks her goal is to safely dispose of her soul or try to buy some time. However Kuriba says she is disposing her own soul and will give this body of hers to her. Unfortunately Doppelganger is not convinced. She is not interested in her body and what she wants is her to be no longer in this world. Her plan was to burn down the entire Academy City with Kuriba. Kuriba is adamant that there are ways to save her mother now and that her own life is not needed. She prepares herself to be killed but at that high altitude, she gets thrown off. Misaka fails to save her but don’t worry, Scavengers showing some redemption in saving her. A timely call from Misaki to explain something about creating artificial muscles from an AI. Don’t really understand this part but Misaka realizes the truth about this whole thing. Doppelganger’s despair is not about not being human but the realization of not having a soul. She further adds after disposing of Kuriba, she plans to take revenge on humanity for creating her by hooking 20 gas tanks and blowing up Academy City. So if you have problems with this, blame her creators. Misaka is forced to fight her duplicates made out of some slime mould but thanks to Leader providing her eyes, she gets by. When Misaka fires her railgun, it looked like Doppelganger intentionally made her fire her way.

Episode 25
Luckily Misaka missed Doppelganger. She believes Doppelganger is trying to kill herself. When she suggests trying to live the way she is, Doppelganger calls that selfish human ego. She realizes she is just a machine with no soul and continuing to live like this is tormenting. Wow. A machine who can think and feel so? I’m confused. Isn’t that like having a soul? Hey, I’m not a machine so I don’t really get it! Misaka strikes Doppelganger and destroys the airship. I guess she leaves her alive enough for some final words. Especially Doppelganger’s target to take down the airship was to prevent people from recreating her with her data and hence the reason she also targeted Kuriba. When Kuriba and her boss arrive, the latter want to recollect all the parts and remake this again. Kuriba feels guilty and doesn’t want part of this project anymore. He isn’t so pleased. When Misaka explains that Doppelganger doesn’t have a soul, he refuses to believe it and takes Kuriba hostage?! WTF?! Kuriba tries to plead to him to let this go but during the struggle, he accidentally shoots her. Jerk just runs off. Misaka calls her convenient errand girl Shirai to teleport them to the hospital. Kuriba’s boss is taken care off by Misaki who resets his memories. If he had the same strong tenacity of his original goal to save lives in an affordable way, he can start again from scratch.

In the aftermath, Kuriba is recuperating well. Shirai is not happy that Misaka has been hanging out lately with Misaki and being chummy with each other. Misaka denies and Misaki trolling Shirai she might target her. Uiharu and Saten meet Misaki and are awed by the queen. Focusing on Scavengers, Naru thinks they need an additional member to cover their weaknesses. I think she just want some colour coded Power Rangers style team. When their employer calls them and tries to brush this failed mission as nothing, Leader puts her foot down and talks back of the risks they take. She wants some assurance of good faith. Their boss relents and agrees to compromise and restore their rank back to normal. This means they will get higher compensation. Misaka talks to Sister as Kongou shows up. This is to have Sister thank her for covering Misaka during Daihasei. Kongou trying to ask her name so Sister gives her her serial number. That’s her first name? Uhm, okay. A short detour to see Dolly and Kouzaku hanging out with Misaki. Slowly, one step at a time. Kuriba has this weird dream of Doppelganger chiding her about her character. Especially the release of Indian Poker that would’ve descended the world in chaos all because she just wanted to save her mother. Oddly, Doppelganger has also come up with suggestions and other stuffs from the flaws Kuriba’s experiment. So looks like Doppelganger is going to haunt Kuriba in her sleep every time? Hey, she doesn’t have a soul and cannot cross-over! Oh sh*t! This is going to be a nightmare every time! He’s putting Freddy to shame! Kuriba feels ashamed for dumping her responsibilities on Misaka. But at the same time, her fight with Misaka is the only time she felt fulfilled. Misaka leaves her a message if she sees her in her dreams again. She was a formidable opponent.

Railgun FronTier
Okay folks, that’s a wrap. For better or worse, looks like everything returns to normal for now. Misaka continues to hang out with her friends. Other friends continue to hang out with other friends. Bad people punished (somewhat). Academy City safe for the time being and all those related experiments that gone awry has been settled. Just in time, right? All as within calculation and prediction. Heh. Yeah, I sound so much like a Railgun veteran but actually I’m not.

Honesty, even after all these years, I still never actually understood the To Aru series. I still find it hard to understand when they start spamming all those scientific and technical jargons. I guess at this season, you must be already seasoned with what has happened and there won’t be any time to waste on newbies and dumb simpleton people like yours truly just to make you understand. Either you get it or you don’t. And for those in the latter, if you still want to proceed, it is at your own risk and since I took that risk, I can personally tell you it is not a pleasant one. Even at this point I am still trying to wrap my head about what the heck is happening. Though, generally I find the soul fusion with the cyborg topic to be pretty interesting. Although I do not understand the finer details, I guess it is best they left it there because if they do go ahead with more technical explanations, I’ll be complaining how confusing it was. So I guess they had to make some villain out of the final arc so we can have some railgun action to end the season.

And you’ve guessed it, I still prefer to watch the action scenes that are as epic as its previous seasons. Still may not really comprehend what is going on but at least better than all the jargons. So I’m saved from total despair for this season as the action scenes still rock and do not disappoint. After all, it would be a waste to have espers with different and unique abilities and not display them. May favourite one being Frenda overkilling Yumiya. Like she returned the favour many times fold and all in one go!

As far as this season’s stories and arcs, the Daihasei arc takes up more than half of this season and it feels like to showcase Misaki’s prowess (whom I remember was somewhat side-lined after a short cameo at the start of the second season). Personally, it feels like a cat and mouse game but of the brains type. Uh huh. Something about Misaki trying to play 4D chess with her opponents and eventually Gensei. Yeah, they trolled us that Misaki could be the antagonist but we should’ve known better that such a hot cutie like her could be anything more than just a baddie. So Misaka x Misaki ally still feels very flimsy till the end but I think it is better that way since they’re both very different individuals. As long as the boobs are in the way, the antagonizing will always remain… And seriously, how can a cutie like Kouzaku also be the real antagonist? Such a convenient happy ending reuniting with Dolly. Oh wow. Do we love the science of plot convenience? Misaka who started out at the protagonist, gradually became a puppet and an experiment subject, making the whole Railgun series a bit awkward since as the heroine, this is what she turned out? Eventually it took Misaki to outsmart Gensei and even Touma having a hand in saving Misaki from ultimate destruction and once more Academy City as a whole is saved again. The city with a high students occupancy rate once more gets to see the light of another day with many of its residents unaware of what just happened.

Just like in previous seasons, the remainder episodes feel like fillers although Dream Ranker arc was actually part of the manga and not anime-only fillers (Silent Party arc, Poltergeist arc, anybody?). However the few initial episodes of this arc felt like fillers and to give Misaka’s other friends a bit of the spotlight. I mean, what the heck is up with that psychic photography of Miyama? Is it to troll us and make us think that Shirai would have some sort of shotacon awakening?! Geez, having her yuri obsession with her only onee-sama is already bad enough and then a couple with a little boy? Oh, to show how much of a good and responsible employee she is at Judgment, huh? I don’t know. It felt like it was trying to scream Shirai the shotacon possible route. Then this is followed by Saten’s weird friendship with Frenda because I guess Frenda is a fan favourite too. Yeah, saw a few of her memes over the internet… Mackerels anyone? It’s going to be somebody’s favourite food soon. I suppose this is also to show that Saten can have another best friend than Uiharu because perhaps flipping up her skirt is getting too old.

Not enough time for Uiharu to have her own short filler so that’s where the real Dream Ranker arc begins. Back in putting Misaka back to the fore (and Misaki’s turn to play the supporting role) since she has been really missing as the main heroine for the whole season. Hence we need to see her kick some ass the old fashion Railgun style we are familiar with. So screw that soul possession thingy that I have said it sounded interesting in its own right. Because we need to showcase Misaka’s trademark railgun arsenal and give her some sort of enemy to fight with. Also, to give Scavengers some sort of redemption because they got their ass handed to them by Accelerator. Uh huh. Can’t have cute girls like them live forever in the shadows of embarrassment and hence their involvement in this arc so as to showcase their fake alliance with Misaka, Hey, whatever gets the job done, eh?

I have a feeling that Sogiita’s appearance here was just for cameo. Because I believe that he is the last of the Level 5 espers to be introduced and to stop us (those who don’t read the light novels anyway) from having sleepless nights who the identity of this final Level 5, hence Sogiita to the fore and showcasing some of his powers. Though, at this point his abilities still seem to be unknown as it shows a wide variety of effects. And for people who overthink too much of the unnecessary, Sogiita’s temporary alliance with Touma, some sort of weird bromance might come out of that. Oh sh*t, Sogiita carrying Touma like a princess in that scene?! Oh sh*t, fujoshi fans are sent ringing their yaoi alarm!!! Just like Kongou and friends, after showing off their stuffs, they are no longer needed anymore for the rest of the story. Perhaps it is just cameo and foreshadowing for the next arc (like what I said about Misaki’s cameo in the second season) because you do still remember we having that pending tweezers thingy from Kakine, right?

On a trivial note, during the Daihasei arc where Shirai and co forgot about their friendship with Misaka, personally that felt a bit weird to me. I’ve always been conditioned that Shirai has been obsessed with Misaka since time immemorial. So to see her just brush off Misaka just like that due to tampered memories, it really felt strange. On one hand, it was a relief to see Shirai not trying to go after Misaka’s chastity (and getting zapped as a result of it) but at the same time it just doesn’t feel like Shirai herself. It wasn’t the same. So now that I have glimpsed of this alternate route where Shirai despises Misaka, I guess I won’t be complaining now when Shirai starts showing her twisted horniness towards her onee-sama. Shirai, carry on being you. We love you that way. Sort of.

Also at this point I am thinking after watching all the To Aru series and its spinoffs, Academy City has become one hotbed for big disasters to happen. Big damage will happen and only total destruction prevented because of our heroes intervening and saving it all at the last meaning. Also read: Plot convenience and clichés at play. You’d think at this point its citizens would just move out to live in some other peaceful place where there won’t be some kind of sci-fi disaster but nope. Everybody continues to live their life normally. Even if some of the incidents happen in the shadows without the public actually knowing about it, those that involve the public, how convenient for everyone in that area to be evacuated. I’m sure if you get evacuated for the umpteenth time, you’ll just get tired and move the f*ck out of the city! I know I would. Oh right. To where? Everywhere else just as dangerous. Oh right. At least no megalomaniacs trying to play God and become God or sci-fi experiments gone wrong trying to seek revenge on humanity!

When I first heard the first opening theme… OMFG!!! Nostalgia! It’s Only My Railgun!!! OMFG… NOT! Oh sh*t. Final Phase sounds like a rip-off from my favourite Railgun song of all time! Just make a few tweaks, add more heavy techno stuffs and voila! You got yourself a new song! Well honestly, even if this sounds close to Only My Railgun, this one still isn’t anywhere near and hearing this piece only brings back nostalgic memories of that song. Of course, the familiarity of the song is also due to fripSide who has been singing all of the opening themes of the Railgun series. Hence the second opening theme, Dual Existence may not be another clone of Only My Railgun but it still evokes that one kind feel thanks to their trademark techno effects. If techno stuffs aren’t your style, then they change up the pace with some alternative rock, Nameless Story by Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets. Seiran No Ato De by Sajou No Hana is the second ending theme and is more of a moderate-slow rock. Both are okay but not really attractive to me.

Overall, this third season has been exceptional with many singing praises of it, some commenting it was way better than the Index series and even Accelerator’s own spinoff series. Well of course. When you have Misaka as the heroine and main character, duh! It has been worth the wait for Railgun fans and it is a good thing it didn’t disappoint. But personally for me, I guess I am satisfied with the action sequences but less impressed with all the sci-fi terms, hence affecting my enjoyment of the series as a whole since I don’t really get the story. Into one ear, out the other. So my hope is that they won’t take too long to adapt the next season. Speaking of which, the current arc is still running in the manga. It might take a while since the Jailbreaker arc which happens right after the Dream Ranker arc is still ongoing since late 2017! Oh well, this might take a while… But I fear we have to get a fourth season of the Index series just so the next Railgun series can happen! Can we not do that and just go straight to Misaka, please?

Also on a trivial note and unimportant point to ponder, I wonder how the next season will be named because the second season was named S and I thought it was Sisters arc although it is actually Second as in the second season. That’s why I realized too late as I couldn’t put my finger on this season’s T as I kept guessing what kind of arc or character this alphabet relates too. Yeah, I never actually thought it was Third as in the third season (yeah, last scene of the final episode somewhat confirmed it). So is it safe to say next season is F as in Fourth season? Or is it U, alphabetically? I mean, S, T, U… P, I, D… JUST KIDDING! Or maybe they’ll skip and jump to J but I doubt it. But I bet To Aru Kagaku No Railgun XXX would’ve been a real shocker!

Dogeza De Tanondemita

12 March, 2021

Remember that sleazy first person view anime whereby a hot chick shows you her panties but in exchange she gives you that disgusted look? We always wondered what the silent perverted protagonist has said in order to make her lift her skirt and at the same time earn her ire. Well, don’t worry. We have another sort of sleazy first person view anime like that. Dogeza De Tanondemita as the title suggests, the protagonist this time has a speaking voice! Wow. Now we can hear how he begs and prostates himself to all the girls to show their pantsu! Ask, and you shall be given! Literally. Hey, all we want are just pantsu and boobs, right?

Episode 1
Suwaru Doge is at the rooftop and he is begging to see the boobs of Minori Gakesaka. Of course she declines because she is totally flat! Not only did she admit that, but shouldn’t girls like her be mad at a pervert? Oh well. Porn logic, I guess… Anyway, Suwaru begs and begs just to take a peek at her washboard. He will not regret it even if it’s a 90 degree cliff! He wants to jump right down! She tries to troll us by just taking off her vest. See? So flat and disappointing even with her shirt on, right? Oh yeah. He wants to jump off even more! And so the power of begging finally has an effect on Minori because she finally shows her mini boobs to us! Bungee!!!

Episode 2
I guess now Suwaru wants to see big boobs. And who better than his teacher, Rui Sukibayashi. And so the begging starts he wants to see her boobs as motivation to do better. Of course sensei scoffs at this idea but since Suwaru sounds serious, she agrees to it. If he can pass the test. So she’s saying she doesn’t have confidence in him passing?! Well see… Because Suwaru answers all her questions right! OMFG! Is he a maths genius???!!! So he has been getting bad grades on purpose?! Time for sensei to live up to her promise. And he promises to get better grades in the future. Oh well. Can’t argue with that. And now Rui takes off her bra to reward us. I wonder if there’s an equation to gauge the size of those racks!!!

Episode 3
Suwaru is alone with Kanan Misenai at the infirmary. And of course he is going to beg to see her pantsu. However… Kanan is also a pervert and a naughty one because she teases Suwaru that she might show them to him! So he has already won?! There’s more… Because she further hints she is not wearing any pantsu and teases him by lifting enough to prove she there aren’t any! Holy sh*t! We might be getting more than we bargained for!!! Suddenly he spots her panty strings. Feeling deceived, a mad Suwaru tries to pull it off and now Kanan panics, apologizing for deception. I wonder which pervert won… Us of course! We saw her ass too!

Episode 4
Suwaru is trying to court librarian Sanami Murakami with his knowledge of some literary words. Impressive, no? At least for her. More flowery language to describe this and that but we all know his intention. But I guess being blunt is best so eventually he tells her straight to show him her boobs! In shock and confusion at first, Sanami denies she has boobs. Those are just fats and blubber! Oh really? We insist!!! We continue persisting to show them as proof and ironically she listens to Suwaru’s suggestion of pushing out her chest. Then he feigns he can’t see them clearly as she continues pushing forth her lump of meat. And what do you know? Her lump of fats bursts open her shirt and bra???!!! Is this even possible?! Oh yeah. Best literary works we’ve ever seen!

Episode 5
This time it is the childhood friend trope. Now she has returned as a transfer student. And as you’ve expected, Suwaru is begging Akari Oosaka to show her panties because, why not? Because that’s the only way their friendship can bloom! Lies! But whatever! Of course Akari refuses this shocking request. However, despite her embarrassment and vehement objection, we know that childhood friends have this deep crush on loser guys. Despite her words, her actions are contrary as she shows us a little of her slip. Not enough! Show more! Eventually with all that protest, she still shows it to us. Thanks, Akari! That was the best show ever! Eh? You mean this was just a stand-up comedy?! Oh, I thought you were in porn… WHOOPS!!! Look forward to next week’s pantsu, uhm, materials!

Episode 6
I guess Rei from Evangelion is into sleazy stuffs now… Oh wait. Maybe it’s just coincidence… When Suwaru begs Rei Shioya to show her panties, instantly she flips up her skirt and shows it to us! OMFG! That’s it?! So easy?! Too easy! Suwaru is confused! He’s calling the manager! Or in this case, the director. What’s the deal here?! What’s going on?! Something about they explained her role but looks like she doesn’t get it. So I guess we’ll just have to wing it from now on. Oh yeah. All the while, Rei still showing us her pantsu! So looks like Suwaru is going to stare more for the rest of this episode. So he goes closer and closer until it makes Rei feel uncomfortable. Then she gets real embarrassed and hides her face. Oh yeah! I guess this is the thrill we’re seeking for.

Episode 7
Tama Kyan is Suwaru’s classmate as she brings him to the infirmary for some minor injury. Since they’re both alone there, I think we know the order of things. Suwaru requests to see he pantsu and she replies quite coolly that they’re just pretty normal. No sudden burst of emotions. Until he starts begging, that is. Now she starts flustering and feels embarrassed. This time, Suwaru takes proactive action by trying to lift up her skirt! Oh wait… WHAT’S THAT BULGE?! OH F*CK?! YOU MEAN TAMA IS A GUY AND A CROSS-DRESSER???!!! No wonder it killed Suwaru’s vibe… And Tama got a hard-on… They really trolled us on this one…

Episode 8
Now Suwaru is targeting the beautiful and well-endowed junior. With nobody in the hallways after school, he goes to beg Urara Toyofusa to show her boobs. Of course she wouldn’t because she believes those are only reserved for babies. And just like that, our pro beggar tries to convince her that he is a baby! Oh look, he is talking in baby language! Oh my, this must confuse Urara so much that she is slowly starting to believe Suwaru is a baby!!! I mean, REALLY?! OH SH*T! Eventually she really does believe Suwaru is a baby and the need to pacify him by showing her boobs! Don’t cry, my sweetie! Here are those boobs you long for! And just like that, ‘mommy’ is embarrassed. I know the goal is achieved but is he going to suck on them???!!! WE NEED TO KNOW!!!

Episode 9
Yua Aneha is a pretty cute dentist. Yeah… You know the drill. Suwaru have a toothache so bad (but not as bad as his dirty mind!) so his begs for her to show him her boobs! That will be the anaesthetic for his pain! Of course Yua disagrees and threatens to kick him out if he doesn’t lie down. Suddenly Suwaru starts squirming in pain! Oh my! Is this acting or for real? Because the pain isn’t going away soon, guess what Yua does to calm the situation? She strips her top till she is bare naked!!! OMFG! IS THIS PORN LOGIC?! And with that, Suwaru is now all quiet and ready to do as she asks. Open your mouth wide… I hope it isn’t to suck her boobs. But damn this ‘anaesthetic’ is just freaking effective!

Episode 10
Suwaru works as an assistant to his mangaka sensei, Sannose Ninose. Oh well. We know where this is going, right? Starting off with all the praises, eventually Suwaru begs to show her boobs because he needs the real reference to draw them! The usual resistance at first but when he mentions about the nearing deadline and blames her for the one who is stalling as well as do it for the readers, I guess our sensei is going to show her mini boobs. Oh yeah. After this I am pretty sure Suwaru’s artwork quality would drastically increase.

Episode 11
I guess we even need boobs for the road. While stopping to fill up the car, it’s time for Suwaru to beg the cute gas attendant, Natsumi Yuseki (sorry, she’s no Cindy Aurum!) to show her boobs! Shocked at first, she starts spewing a few technical oil jargons. Who cares about octanes and isooctane?! Just show those barrels! You see, the reason Natsumi is in a dilemma and even contemplating Suwaru’s request is because business has been bad lately. What’s this about the economy having to do with boobs? Because it is Suwaru’s dad who promises to buy 10 gas tickets if she does so! Now I can see why boobs can save the economy! With that, Natsumi lifts her top and shows us her delicious jugs of oil! Definitely the oil baron master!!! Oh yeah! Now we’re really filled up and ready to go!!!

Episode 12
Don’t think grovelling will always lead to sunshine and rainbows. Because this time looks like Suwaru has stepped into the wrong room. Creepy atmosphere, creepy music, Ayame Omoi welcomes Suwaru as her onii-sama. Because Suwaru doesn’t care, he just wants boobs, Ayame gleefully abides by his order. Hmm… That was easy. But whatever. Oh yeah. Glorious boobs. As we are trance by her boobs (and perhaps something else creepy?!), Ayame starts to act weird. That, in a creepy manner. We must be confused too. And then suddenly… SHE TAKES OUT A KNIFE AND STABS SUWARU!!! OMFG!!! OH MAH F*CKING GAWD!!!!!!!!!!! As he lies confused, we see a very satisfied Ayame all covered with blood and admiring how beautiful Suwaru’s blood is. Now he is all hers. OH SH*T!!! Will that be the last time Suwaru begs???!!! When he wakes up, he realizes he is in another world! OMG! Lots of babes of different races! Suwaru takes this as a sign that God wants him to beg in this new world. And so he shall! The begging continues!

Episode 13 (Special)
Now that Suwaru has reincarnated into this fantasy world, he instantly asks this elf girl, Elf-chan to show her boobs! Wasting no time getting down to business, eh? She isn’t surprised and knows he comes from another world because of that prostrating pose. Yup, long ago a hero doing that posed saved her village, blah, blah, blah. Of course Suwaru doesn’t care for all that legend. Just show me the boobs! Well, if it is going to help… Okay then. YES! Those tiny tits do help! In some ways! On a roll, shameless Suwaru now proceeds to ask to show her panties. Do it! He’s begging you! Okay. Have a quick look! Oh yeah. Definitely worth it. So now we’re on our way to slay the Demon King or what? Oh, what is the Demon King is female? Hehehe… I can see where this is going… This world is doomed not by the Demon King, if you know what I mean!

Please Please Me
Oh wow. Are we done begging now? I guess not. So you think those who beg are just shameless or desperate cases? Well think again! If you manage to get down on your knees, prostrating yourself before someone, that takes guts and bravery! Well, at least as far as this series is concerned. Hey, don’t blame me if you tried it in real life and got something else that is not desired! I said it takes guts and bravery. I didn’t say it would lead to favourable results!

Compared to that Iya Na Kao Sare Nagara Opantsu Misete Moraitai, it seems that this series seems ‘friendlier’ because all the girls do not actually sneer at you at the end (except for the last TV episode with Ayame the yandere – making Iya Na Kao looking like baby!). They may be shocked at first with the request and subsequently Dogeza’s begging but eventually pulling the right strings (aided with more begging), they will eventually show their pantsu or boobs without having feeling a lot of disdain towards Dogeza and us. It is like as though they want to show it to us! But they lack some sort of reason to be a flasher and hence Dogeza our saviour has to put into nice words and ritual begging for them to finally show off their goods. They might be embarrassed in the end but they don’t hate you. That’s good, right? I mean, you do not just want to see panties and boobs only, right? It’s because the girl is also cute, right? What do you mean that pantsu and oppai are sufficient?! No wonder perverts like these are so amateur…

And yeah, because of that, the fanservice in this series seems more family friendly with the girls showing their pantsu or boobs out of embarrassment rather than spite. Also, you get to see either panties or boobs (but not both in the same episode) rather than the aforementioned series that only lets you see the panties. Unless you buy the DVD, the only problem with the delicious fanservice is of course the censors. That’s right, Iya Na Kao was already uncensored to begin with. Although it is understandable that some girls here actually show their bare tits and that itself requires some censor, even those showing their panties are mostly censored out. Like, WTF?! Like as though they really want us to go buy the DVDs if you really want to gawk at the few seconds of heaven. Well, if you know me, I have a superior imagination so I don’t have to waste my money getting my visual worth of fanservice!!! HAHAHA!!! But damn, I still wished it was uncensored, though… Oh, more visual fanservice as the end card at the end of each episode illustrated by different people, has the girls in sexy poses and the likes. Begging was really worth it.

With only 3 minutes (2 minutes actually if you take away the ending theme) of screen time, they have to cram in everything and then show us the results. So I guess we have to also ‘care’ for the girls because at the start of each episode, we are shown a brief bio-data of the girls that includes their horoscope sign, blood type, height and weight (really, the girls disclose this?). I suppose if you are a fan of them, this little bit of info may actually make you feel like you’ve known them. After all, we’ve already known their boobs or panties so knowing their other details is just basic and, uhm, manners? Too bad they should’ve also thrown in the important 3 measurement sizes! The most important detail they left out!

Of course if I have to say the girl who leaves the most impact, it would be Ayame. I guess this is the kind of shocker that all of us needs. The kind of change in pace and tempo that all of us (including you, Suwaru) need. It was really indeed the best kind of twist for an ecchi genre like that. The kind of twist that is needed for the finale of the TV series. And so it’s a subtle warning to all of us that we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves thinking that each time it will always go as planned. One day it will be our last. And for Suwaru, it was his. Well, almost. New world, new girls. But still the same ol’ begging. You could say he was born to do that.

One of the other main draws that got me into watching this is the voice of Tomokazu Sugita who plays Suwaru. As said, the Iya Na Kao series has a silent protagonist so you don’t know what is being said and sometimes it feels weird-cum-creepy because you only hear the female characters talking. Like as though they are talking to an imaginary pervert! So with Suwaru’s wise cracks, you can also laugh at all the witty lines he makes just to convince the girl to show him the goods. So it’s quite nice that you have visually pleasing fanservice and at the same time we have a perverted version of Gintama’s Gintoki making us laugh and smile with his desperate dialogues. No wonder his success rate is always 100% as far this anime is concerned. However Suwaru is not alone in his begging. Being his partner in crime in terms of the begging is the narrator played by Kazuma Horie (Ryuu in Special A). Yup, it is also the narrator’s role to make comeback lines to Suwaru’s nonsensical logic. They might be in cohorts just to confuse the girl to eventually give in. So far so good.

The overall art style of this animation seems to be very colourful compared to Iya Na Kao that has its hues somewhat a bit gloomy and mundane. Perhaps it’s because to go along with the irritating face that you will have to put up with. But for this series, many of the girls look very lively and have all sorts of colourful hair. After all, the atmosphere here is to liven things up and to make you laugh and enjoy part of the fanservice. Though, some of the characters look like they’ve taken it from other anime like Rei who looks even shares the same name as the Evangelion counterpart. Since we’re all so focused on the boobs or pantsu, we don’t really pay attention to the background which is just a still picture. Not that we care, right? What an easy job for the animators.

Have your fun watching the fanservice and laughing at all the silly logic? Okay, now to hear the epic ending song, Dogeza! Do Get That! It’s a damn catchy song that you might want to dance along with. The lively and fast beat of the music sure drives up your adrenaline and motivation to beg! Yeah, Suwaru providing the backup vocals of this song, making it more an epic beg song. After all, Suwaru is the master of begging and you could say he was born to play his role and his name is taken after that! Yeah, literally living up to his name!

Overall, this short is definitely a masterpiece if you are looking for something ecchi to watch and laugh at the same time. No complicated story plot here. Just a guy who wants to see panties and boobs. Simple. And you don’t have to feel all bad about it afterwards. All you need to do is say the right words and do the Japanese specialty of prostrating yourself. After all, cute Japanese girls have to oblige, right?! This should get another sequel and perhaps in another alternate reality where Suwaru takes his begging to the next step where begs the girls to sleep with him! I’m sure he’ll get it! I’m also sure porn versions like that exist somewhere in the dark web… And after all that is said and done about this series and begging in particular, please bear in mind that you should not actually do this in reality! Guts (not libido) tell me it won’t work. You’ll only see lawsuits and gaol time. Then we’ll see how strong your game of begging for mercy will be. Don’t ask Suwaru. His begging only specializes in lifting of skirts and unbuttoning of shirts! Can we have another season, pretty please?!

Master Mosquiton

7 March, 2021

When was the last time I saw a vampire anime? Can’t remember. Oh right. Strike The Blood III. But its vampire elements weren’t as obvious as I remembered it to be. In fact, I almost forgot the main character was somewhat a vampire. Anyway, it wasn’t because I suddenly have any craving to watch some vampire themed anime recently. Browsing around the internet and stumbling upon Master Mosquiton made me wonder why I didn’t decide to put it on my watch list. Was it because I had too many animes to watch? Was it because vampires weren’t my cup of tea? Not sure why I wanted to watch it now either and I can’t blame Corona virus this time. Heh. Anyway, the story centres around the titular character who is now contracted to a mortal girl as they go around trying to retrieve a mysterious item but other forces are out there to stop them from achieving their goal. Sounds like fun?

OVA 1
Inaho Hitomebore finds the tomb of Alucard Von Mosquiton, uses her blood to revive and form a contract with him. Now in 1920’s Shanghai, Inaho heard news that a giant pyramid suddenly showed up in London. She wants to go but Mosquiton refuses. It’s dangerous. Apparently she wants to find O-Parts believed to give her immortality. Inaho throws a tantrum and even tries to flirt with him but he still says no. Until she starts saying he doesn’t care about her anymore and that she’ll ask someone else to do it, only then he relents. She then wakes up the rest of the gang, Honoo and Yuki as they prepare their journey there. Forget the elaborate launch, can this propeller engine make it all the way to London?! Meanwhile the British army tries to storm into the pyramid but they get killed by mummies. The generals are considering calling in the special forces but Count St Germaine wants them to continue sending troops in to control its interior. With a zombie face like that, even the generals are obliged to follow his orders. Inaho and co arrive. Yeah, they finally make it. Since the scientist trick didn’t work, she has Mosquiton fly and sneak them in at night. Too bad they’re spotted by the army. Yuki in her grown up form charms them so they could enter. What about the mummies? Guns don’t work. Cue for Honoo in his grown up form to burn them. Meanwhile Germaine sees his master, Rasputin who is also after O-Parts. He wants them to defeat the Star Gods. Because Germaine sensed Mosquiton has arrived, he will personally venture into the pyramid. Inaho has reached the room with O-Parts. So happy that she sets off monsters? Honoo and Yuki come to her rescue but looks like Germaine is here to square off with them. Mosquiton has his underlings fend off Germaine but he knows they cannot defeat Germaine. Hence Mosquiton sucks on Inaho’s blood to transform into a real vampire to easily defeat Germaine and send him running away. Mosquiton now turns his attention to Inaho. So he wants to rape her?! Conveniently a stake is lying nearby so she stabs it right through his heart. He then turns into dust. Oh man, Mosquiton died?!

OVA 2
Flashback 2 years ago at Transylvania her home, Inaho narrates her family’s mission is to find sacred treasures of the world and O-Parts is one of them. We also more scenes of Inaho reviving Mosquiton. Honoo and Yuki came to defend their master after that but stepped down since Mosquiton knows Inaho and is glad to see her again. Inaho then has him go travel the world with her to find O-Parts because she wants to stay young forever. Though, Mosquiton prefers humans should age naturally and doesn’t care what age she is. But Inaho will not have any of that and so now we’re here. Inaho uses her blood to revive Mosquiton again. This time she throws all the blame on him and putting up a dramatic act he doesn’t care for her. So I guess we have to go find the O-Parts now? Since the one they found was fake, they venture deeper and slide down the secret chamber. So this is the real O-Part? Happy Inaho goes to take it and this has the guardian awakened from her slumber. Queen Parao explains about O-Parts being treasures of the Star Gods and the pyramids are built to hide them. Also, O-Parts are nothing but sacrificial tools for the Star Gods since everything in this universe belongs to them. The rest run away since they aren’t sticking around to hear her lecture. Parao chases them with her Sphinx as they avoid traps by the skin of their teeth. When they finally emerge on the top of the pyramid, are they on the moon? That’s Earth before them, right? Okay, just a mirror. They’re still on Earth. Mosquiton takes a beating while trying to save Inaho. Oh man, Mosquiton dead!? Inaho so devastated that she throws herself to him and allows him to suck her blood. He does so and turns into his berserk form. He spares no mercy in giving Parao and Sphinx a beat down, eventually killing them. So if they are immortal, why are they dead? Well, they are only immortal inside the pyramid! Mosquiton now turns to Inaho, promising to take her life this time. Oh, another stake through the heart. This time courtesy from Germaine! Damn, he can elongate his hand this long?! This time, Inaho is more concerned about her O-Parts because it is now beamed up to the moon. All her hard work…

OVA 3
The pyramid suddenly disappears by morning. I guess they have no reason to stay in London so they’re on a cruise somewhere on the Indian Ocean. Inaho is b*tching her neck itches like hell. Because Mosquiton is only 1/4 vampire now, his bites don’t turn her into one and the side effect is just itching. Then they heard the next table, Dr Hubble talking about the pyramid in London. He has a photo from a friend that shows a picture of the pyramid on the moon. Of course busybody Inaho snatches this photo and interrogates him. She believes O-Parts is on the moon and wants Mosquiton to go get it. He can’t but with that face she puts up, he’ll figure it up. He just dug his grave deeper. While happy Inaho frolics, a beautiful babe whom Mosquiton knows pops up. Hi. See you later. You bet Inaho is jealous wondering who that b*tch is. I think I’m starting to hate Inaho because she has the luxurious room to herself while Mosquiton and his subordinates are dumped to stay in the cargo area. Mosquiton has short flashbacks of Camille Inaho Carmilla. 300 years ago, she wanted him to suck her blood so that she could turn her into a vampire as she wanted to stay with him for eternity. Camille then comes to see him and the first thing she does is try to have sex with him! I guess 300 years is a long time for a horny woman. Meanwhile Hubble continues to bug Inaho to return his photo. So she claims it is with Mosquiton and on pretence to go see him, see this unforgivable cheating. With Camille continuing to flirt, Inaho gets mad and starts shooting at him! Weirdest chase around the ship and damn, does she have unlimited bullets?! When the chase ends, both women have a b*tch showdown. Each trying to outdo each other that their sex appeal is better. Oh my, do we want to know who is better in bed?! When Mosquiton finally calms them down and introduces the other, Camille then claims Mosquiton is his wife. That sure made Inaho really mad so she shoots at the gasoline pipe?! WTF?! BOOM! As everyone evacuates, Camille is sad that Mosquiton chose to save Inaho. Bye. Hey, at least Mosquiton’s team has their plane. Poor passengers and crew members, remember this is Inaho’s fault in sinking the ship!!! Camille won’t give up on him and will hunt him down. As for Inaho, this b*tch continues to throw a tantrum and bites Mosquiton!!! Can a human bite a vampire?! F*ck, I’m starting to hate this selfish b*tch.

OVA 4
100 years ago, Inaho’s grandma set Mosquiton free. Yeah, she doesn’t look too happy and lonely about it. However he returned to her because that’s where he always wants to be. Now fast forward 100 years later, we’re back in Shanghai as Camille waltzes into Mosquiton’s place and wants to f*ck! You bet this is going to be some hot showdown especially with Inaho just coming out from the bath. Yeah, 2 naked women fighting over Mosquiton. Guess who bears the brunt of it? More Inaho annoyance when she throws a tantrum and accidentally cuts her finger. Mosquiton sucks on it but turns into his vicious self. Then he starts abusing Camille and my guess is that she’s a masochist. As he is going to kiss to shut her up, Inaho drives a stake through his heart! Yeah, cheating not allowed because Mosquiton will always be hers! While he is dead, more b*tching between the b*tches… Meanwhile, Germaine is in Berlin and seeks Dr Schrodinger’s help. Something about making the future as theirs and not the Gods. Later with Rasputin, they arrive in Shanghai since this is the best place to lure the Star Gods who seem to have begun their harvesting. It seems Camille begs Inaho just to be by Mosquiton’s side. She promises never to mention being his wife and will do anything. After all, Mosquiton’s wish is also her wish. So if he wants Inaho, so be it. Hence Camille takes over all the chores that Mosquiton does. Yeah, Inaho a useless b*tch making a mess after the place is so clean just because she wants to prove something. Even more so everyone prefers Camille’s cooking so it is obvious jealous Inaho cooks some for Mosquiton and believes he will like hers. Obviously he won’t even eat it so she gets mad. Sighs. Inaho tries to cook but fails. You mad? Be mad at yourself! Camille tries to help but as usual, Inaho being a b*tch. Camille explains her pledge of eternal love to Mosquiton. That’s why she accepts his affairs as it is a sign of a man’s vitality. After all, she doesn’t have to do anything, Inaho will grow old and die. Damn, passive aggressive. You think Inaho would wise up but guess what? She goes to bug Mosquiton and wants to get O-Parts now! NOW!!! Because he can’t, more tantrum throwing as she tells him to get out. You sure? You won’t regret that? Inaho the lucky b*tch since Mosquiton says he will always be by her side. Yeah, Inaho now happy. As proof, she wants a kiss! Oh well… But before that could happen, this time Camille drives a stake through his heart! I guess she’s now a jealous b*tch. She can’t wait for Inaho to pass on so she takes Mosquiton’s body and escapes. Inaho and the rest hot on her heels.

OVA 5
When Inaho was young, grandma told her about O-Parts, the reason why she was still beautiful in her old age. Inaho then wanted to get O-Parts too so grandma gave her an earring that was partially made out of it. One day it might lead her to the real deal. We resume Inaho’s chase on Camille. Damn, this girl doesn’t and just firing away! The chase leads up to a makeshift pyramid over the sea. Inaho so desperate she crashes the plane into it! CRAZY WOMAN! Time for another b*tch showdown. Despite Camille pinning her down and will revive Mosquiton with her own blood, somehow Inaho breaks free because she can’t accept that. Then the most mind boggling whatever because she shoots Camille in her back so her blood would miss Mosquiton, throws a stake into her guts as distraction before running off with Mosquiton. Damn, all that blood spill and none hit Mosquiton? Weird. Even weirder a chase to the top as Inaho forces Honoo and Yuki to stall Camille by threatening the drop Mosquiton?! Damn, those servants are stupid. They should know better if she does that, she’s the one who will lose the most! Once at the top, Camille is very angry that Inaho doesn’t know anything about their past. Uh, cue for a deeper flashback. Seems Camille was running away from Germaine and his men. Mosquiton felt guilty for involving her so as per her request to make her an eternal vampire like him, he bit her. Over 300 years, the travelled together until a small incident separated them. Camille chastises Inaho for not loving Mosquiton for real. Because if she was, she would’ve let him bit her and turn into a vampire. Inaho laughs at all this?! She rejects that stupid notion. She doesn’t want to become a vampire. She just wants to get O-Parts to become an immortal. Sounds like the same thing but it’s not for Inaho. Yeah, Inaho claims she wants to get it with her own hands and not the easy wa