Money makes the world go round. Money is the root of evil, Money doesn’t grow on trees. Heh. Money talks. Don’t want to bore you with money idioms or even songs about money… Money, money, money, must be funny, in a rich man’s world… Well, due to the ‘devastating’ effects of the Corona virus (in terms of economically rather than the pathogen itself), it got me thinking that perhaps I need to watch an anime that is related to money. Yeah, if you don’t die of the virus, you’re going to suffer because we got no money :’(. After all, whether we love money or despise it, it is one of the most important modern things that we need and know if we are to go about in our daily lives. That is how I remembered C: The Money Of Soul And Possibility Control. Yes, an anime that was inspired because of that financial crisis back in 2008 all started by the Lehman Brothers. Back when it was released in 2011, I was contemplating about watching it but scrapped it because I thought it would be very dialogue heavy and my puny brains wouldn’t understand. Well, not to say my brains have grown bigger. Since I am working in a line that deals with money (technically) so I thought it is high time I watch this and perhaps get some motivation on the true worth of money?

Episode 1: Complication
Naoya Makita tries to withdraw from the ATM but all his cards were rejected. Then he tries this special card. Access granted. He is then wished away to the Financial District. Masakaki talks to Souichirou Mikuni about bringing in some deal forward because of the packed schedule. Mikuni agrees to do some battle with an opponent who is no other than Makita. Makita is trying to use his beginner’s luck on this veteran as both sides summon their monsters in some battle. Eventually Mikuni wins. Now that Makita has lost everything, he kills himself by jumping onto the train tracks. Kimimaro Yoga is a university student. You can tell he has money problems as he works 2 part time jobs. Like any others, he yearns a normal life. But he gets somewhat jealous seeing his classmate, Hanabi Ikuta going off with a richer boyfriend. When he returns home, Masakaki is at his doorstep. Claiming he is from the Midas Bank Trade Department, he claims he can give him more money. Of course Kimimaro refuses and tries to shut him out as he doesn’t want to deal with any shady money. But Masakaki is persistent and tries to tempt him. As an empty slot has opened up in the Financial District, Kimimaro has been randomly selected to fill it. No skill or abilities required to be an Entrepreneur AKA Entre here. The catch is that he must leave his future as collateral in exchange for instant loans. Kimimaro won’t be swayed and rejects him. Next day, he finds he has 500,000 yen extra in his bank account! Talking to his part time colleagues about it, while they advise him to return this possible bank error, if it were them who are old, they’ll take it. They need the money for their age and it would be more troublesome and costly to report it. Later as Kimimaro tries to withdraw 10k, here comes Masakaki to harass him again. Need more money, huh? He gets aggressive talking about Hanabi’s rich boyfriend and hits a nerve about the money woes his family is facing, otherwise his father wouldn’t be missing. Then he tempts him with this card which serves as an invitation to the Financial District. Before Kimimaro realizes it, he is now in a limo and on his way there. Welcome to the Financial District.

Episode 2: Coincidence
In the Financial District, Masakaki explains a few terms including Assets that are your monsters or avatars that you summon in battles known as Deals. So Kimimaro gets a cute chick, Mashu as his Asset? Cool! But this so because it reflects his future’s worth. And for his first Deal, he is up against a fat punk who is a veteran. Since Kimimaro is confused, Mashu takes a pounding while protecting him. Better do something before he goes bankrupt. Eventually Mashu teaches him how to fight so repeating after her, he manages to make her unleash some huge freaking flames to defeat that fatty in 1 go! Everyone watching is surprised with this upset victory. Kimimaro doesn’t care what Masakaki tells him afterwards since his only concern is Mashu as she has taken on great damage. But no worries. She is fine. Kimimaro finds himself back in his own world. Not a dream because Masakaki is here to tell him a few things like he can communicate with Mashu directly via his Midas Card. Now Kimimaro has 33.5 million in his account! No harming splurging a little. But he still seeks Hanabi’s advice on what to do if she had tons of money. Save of course. You never know what the future brings. Kimimaro continues to work but he notices people handing him fake black money to buy goods? He asks Mashu but it seems to her all money looks black from the Financial District. Only those who have been there can see the difference. To others it looks perfectly normal. Then there is one customer who seemingly wants the black notes when Kimimaro gives his change in regular money. As he gets rowdier, Mikuni comes in to pay off that guy with extra cash. Later the duo talk but Kimimaro gets suspicious when he reveals he also knows stuffs the Financial District like those black money is actually Midas Money issued by the Midas Bank. Mikuni hints he can be successful like him but Kimimaro wants to be normal. Yes. A normal dude earning a normal wage and living a normal life! However Mikuni thinks he is running away and says the taboo word about his father. So is it wrong to be normal? Mikuni doesn’t answer but says if he is interested, he can help.

Episode 3: Conspiracy
Jennifer Satou is from an organization (IMF?!). Her job is to investigate on the Financial District and how it will affect the real world. But the person whom she is more interested in finding out is Mikuni. This guy is a mystery. He wears many hats and so many other different titles that it is difficult to ascertain who he is. He looks like he is the one pulling the strings. Satou doesn’t know how she got the privilege to enter Financial District because one day Masakaki just popped up and gave her the card. We see her engage in a Deal and barely wins. She explains some of the rules like how you get exiled from the Financial District when you go bankrupt and the attacks you make depending on how much money you spend. She has either loss or won by a small margin and not choosing her opponent gives her more liquidity in battle. Meanwhile Kimimaro sees her aunt as she gives him stuffs from his parents before they disappeared. Going through them, he finds a book with numbers and is shocked to see “Midas” in it. He confronts Masakaki about his father coming to the Financial District before but he claims he doesn’t know. Mikuni then takes him away to bring him to see an info broker, Shigeomi Takedazaki who knows about his dad. He explains when one gets bankrupt here, one exhausts all his future. That is what happened to Kimimaro’s dad. Too ashamed to face his family after losing his family, he hung himself at the park. As his body had no identification, the authorities disposed of it. Kimimaro then asks what kind of person he is. He was obsessed of money and to put it more precisely, a miser.

Later Mikuni talks to Kimimaro who is reeling from the truth as he still thinks father abandoned the family. Mikuni then talks about his own father. In a word, he is a greedy person. He put all the money to expand his company and it grew massively. When Mikuni won his first Deal, the first thing he did was to buy out all his father’s company. Funnily, that was what Kimimaro would have done if his father was still alive. While Mikuni is grateful for his father for making him who he is today, Kimimaro isn’t. Now for some life lessons from Mikuni. Because Kimimaro claims he wants to live a normal life. It means he is only making money for himself. In that aspect, he is no different from his father and could possibly be worse. Money is more valuable when used on something else other than yourself. And that was what probably his dad was trying to do. Yeah, a picture of dad holding baby Kimimaro in his arms from the book for some feels. If he doesn’t have any, go find one. But even if he does find one, having no money would make it meaningless. He wants Kimimaro to continue with the Deals. By making money, he may use it to save someone’s life. Saving for himself may only make himself happy but not those around him. Mikuni has surpassed his father from the Deals he won and made this country a better place. What will Kimimaro do? He leaves so Q (his Asset) notes he missed his chance to invite Kimimaro to his guild. Back to Satou, she talked to her boss about the flow of Midas Money into the real world. However he told her that the higher ups has probably calculated its risks if completely stopped and this could create a serious situation. Hence her job is to only report to him. With that, Satou just reports as she is ordered to. And with no orders, it is just a one-sided report. Now she is observing Kimimaro going into his next Deal to determine if he will be her ally or enemy.

Episode 4: Conversion
The next Entre that Kimimaro will face off is his university professor, Daisuke Ebara! It looks like Ebara is winning until Mashu tells Kimimaro to sell her stocks… HUH?! Because of that, Kimimaro wins and bankrupts Ebara. It seems Kimimaro’s stock buying was also possible because of Mikuni helping out with the funding. As Kimimaro returns to class, he wonders how he will face his sensei. Well, he is acting like normal. After class he goes to apologize about the battle so Ebara brings him home for a little talk. He explains he has been supporting his family with wins from the Deals. His wife is expecting a third child, you know. And it’s not cheap raising a family on a lecturer’s wage. His wife doesn’t understand about economics as she is from a rich family. So when Ebara was invited by Masakaki, he became obsessed after getting a hang of the rules. Ebara doesn’t blame him for his defeat as he further talks about the vague concept of future. Kimimaro is shocked to see his wife not pregnant. Even more shocking, they have no children at all! She has never been pregnant before?! Later as explained, this is the future he waged as collateral. Because he lost, his children now only exist in his memories. Kimimaro feels bad about it but Ebara doesn’t want him to. Survival is a matter of acquiring and losing. He cites an example of how Kimimaro lost Hanabi to another guy. That’s another way to put it… He thinks Kimimaro should have joined Mukudori Guild, an organization created by Mikuni to limit the Financial District’s effect on the real world. You won’t profit much but at least you could avoid bankruptcy. Ebara once turned them down and now laments he should’ve joined them. We see a big Deal between the top guns of the Financial District. Mikuni vs stubborn old fart, Yoshiyuki Kikuchi. Mikuni offers him to join his guild but is turned down. The battle looks like Kikuchi is winning until a trump card and stock buying thingy allowing Mikuni to claim victory at the last second. Kimimaro notes it was a great battle but he will not become like him. Looks like he is still having doubts if he could be strong like him. Mikuni explains about Kikuchi’s equity so huge that if he really got bankrupted, it would have a huge effect in the real world. He prevented that from happening by considering the margins of victory, loss, profit, etc. Strength to control such degree is needed for that. Kimimaro understands that he simply mustn’t lose. Hence he has decided to try it because he doesn’t want to bring misfortune to those around him anymore.

Episode 5: Cultivation
We see some of the Mukudori members engaging in Deals and defeating their opponents. But as explained by Mikuni, the gains they made are not much so as to minimize the effects on reality. More Mikuni lessons as he tells Kimimaro about the need to collect info and control them so as to make good judgment in Deals and hence minimizing such effects. In Kimimaro’s next Deal, he faces off an opponent. The usual Kimimaro starts off badly but makes a comeback. However he realizes in the closing stages he has made too much gain and orders Mashu to back off. This sudden move causes her to be injured and Kimimaro lost this Deal. Though the effects are minimal, he still experiences a minor misfortune in reality. Like he failed his test and his aunt going to the hospital for appendicitis. Meanwhile Mikuni sees some vice minister and uses his funds to buy out Japan’s national debt! Satou sees a colleague as they exchange info. They note the decrease in birth rates and resource deposits but increase in crimes and suicide rates. Kimimaro observes a Deal between Kikuchi and Yasushi Seizawa. Both of them have lots of equity. This means either way, it is going to have a huge impact on the real world. Mukudori tries to intervene to minimize the effects. However with Kikuchi taking a huge loss, its effects can already be seen. He has been arrested for suspected embezzlement and the people have lost confidence in the pharmaceutical brand, causing a plunge in its stocks. Worst case scenario: Tens of thousands will be unemployed. Side news: Ebara’s wife left him. Kimimaro then pays Takedazaki for what is going to happen. He tells that a foreign company will buy over this pharmaceutical company. But the owner of this foreign company is Mikuni. Kimimaro talks to Mikuni about this move which is of course to control the Deals’ effect. He continues talking about the impossibility of abolishing the monetary system, hence they cannot get rid of Midas Money. That is why he is thinking of coexisting currencies of both sides. Mikuni doesn’t mind tainting his hands if he can maintain such order. Though, Kimimaro still can’t get used to using Midas Money. Some Mukudori members wonder why Mikuni is interested in Kimimaro as he has no sense in using money or economics. Mikuni puts it as it is hard to control those who are controlled by money. Even if Kimimaro gets defeated, it won’t cause much effect since his skills are low.

Episode 6: Conflict
Kimimaro is getting the hang of fighting and winning his Deals. While taking a break, Kou Sennoza approaches him. He is the guy he will fight next week but Sennoza wants him to pass. According to the rules, passing up a Deal means you have to pay half your Asset’s value to Midas Bank. Sennoza is willing to pay for him because his value isn’t an astronomical amount. Sennoza’s line of thought is that no matter how minimal the loss is, it will still have some effect on the real world. Hence the best way is to avoid any Deal at all. Later Kimimaro recognizes him as a philanthropist who has made lots of charitable donations around the world. Next, Kimimaro is ‘kidnapped’ by Satou as she introduces herself and goal. She too is wary about Mukudori and its effects on the real world despite how they put it. She thinks Mikuni is unaware about his actions as he thinks it will bring about a stable future. He might have saved the immediate future but no one is sure how many people’s future were erased because of that. That’s why in addition of taking down the Financial District, she also wants to take down Mukudori. Satou looks into Kimimaro’s eyes and can tell that he is thinking something else other than money. Confused, he goes talk to Sennoza. He further elaborates he is against Mikuni’s ideas because if he eliminates the possibilities of future, then the present is meaningless. Sennoza was invited to join Mukudori but he declined. He shows Kimimaro a room filled with drawings from children he helped. All of them had 1 common theme: The future they envisioned. Of all the Deals he lost, it was only to Mikuni. That was significant enough as he realized the children’s drawings disappeared, meaning their future changed and gone. Even more confused, Kimimaro now talks to Mikuni himself. He maintains his ideal is still better as the future is just a continuation of the present. Losing the present means no future. He claims Sennoza has never been poor before and because he thinks about the future, only the strong can do that. Weak ones live day to day. There’s blood spilled from money being used every day. Eventually Kimimaro goes to fight Sennoza. Mashu takes a very fatal damage and that’s when he realizes he doesn’t care about the future. He doesn’t want to lose everything he has now. The scene is cut to the aftermath. I believe Sennoza lost from Kimimaro’s comeback. Because he is moving office? But Sennoza doesn’t blame him since he underestimated him as he felt they were similar. He might not have much donations to receive or give but not depending on money makes it more significant.

Episode 7: Composition
A flashback of Mikuni’s life. His strict corporate businessman father thought him about money and the power it wields. Because he is forced to inherit all his assets, Mikuni gave up his passion for music and became his secretary as soon he graduated college. He observed the dealings he made via networking, both good and bad. It wasn’t a system his father invented but rather he was part of that system. When the company entered some crisis that would have them bankrupt, it couldn’t come at a worse timing as Mikuni’s sister, Takako who has been suffering from a long illness, started to weaken. Japan’s medical technology isn’t good yet so she was to be sent to America for treatment. However, dad cancelled it claiming he had no money and even her death will not have any significant impact on the company! Yes, company > own daughter! He even said it there are some things more important than family! Mikuni has had it. He’ll use his own money but was then confined for days. He realized how powerless and weak he was. He managed to talk to Takako one last time before she fell into eternal coma. It was then Mikuni closed his heart and became a workaholic. On a trip to America, that is when Masakaki showed up and introduced him to the Financial District. Noticing how it had effects on the real world, he decided to manipulate it and make it serve his wishes. Now we hear Mashu’s thoughts on Kimimaro. A normal guy but becomes an emotional retard when it comes to Deals. Yeah, indecisive too. She also talks about her own views as an Asset. Created to fight, futures are irrelevant to her and doesn’t understand the way things work. But one thing she is sure. She doesn’t hate being with him. Despite always worried for him, in the end she is always relieved. Kimimaro then says he is worried about making wrong decisions. Scared to fail, basically. But then he realizes it is only because he is selfish and doesn’t want to hurt himself. So isn’t that why he goes back to beat up a guy who mistreated his Asset?! Yeah, he got beaten up. Thank goodness this wasn’t a Deal. So do you regret making this wrong choice? A short distraction as Mashu wonders what a kiss is and wants to try it out. Many excuses Kimimaro gives… Next time maybe. I guess he doesn’t love his Asset that much, huh?! When Kimimaro returns to the Financial District, he notices something a little different. Yeah, a few missing buildings.

Episode 8: Confidence
Southeast Asia’s Financial District is in trouble. Mukudori members discuss when it is destroyed, the country will also disappear. Just like how some Caribbean nation did. Takedazaki has info on Kimimaro’s Asset that could be related to his father but it seems Satou is not interested in buying this info. Looks like Japan is also feeling the pinch. Noticed that there are way less people now in the busy streets? And many are just sitting there like idiots? Kimimaro thought Ebara wanted to commit suicide by jumping off a building. Luckily he stops him. Looks like Ebara is desperate. He has lost everything so he thought he could exchange himself to take back his children’s future. Don’t think it works like this. You can tell his self-confidence is at an all-time low since whatever he does, he gains nothing. Kimimaro will try to see what he can do. Hence he resolves to spend a lot of Midas Money so that when the next Deal starts, he won’t have enough funds. It might affect Mashu but she is okay with it. He then calls for Masakaki and wants to pay 100 times to compensate Ebara’s loss. Sorry, that’s not how the system works. It’s decided by his superiors. Sorry too, can’t see them. So he goes to see Takedazaki. As suggests, compensate him directly like accident victims. But Mashu doesn’t think it’s a good idea as it won’t solve anything and it would make him feel worse. As Southeast Asia’s Financial District is getting worse, Mikuni has his members take all of the Assets Entre outside the guild possess. They are going to take on the top 3 richest Entre in that district.

When Kimimaro returns and inquires a staff about Ebara, he is told he died in a car accident! Some drunk driver killed him standing in the middle of the road! Meanwhile Hanabi is having some depression of her own. Despite her successful teaching internship and the kids love her, she looks lost. Kimimaro stumbles into Takedazaki in the streets. He can’t believe he still wants money in such a bleak situation. He corrects him that despite he wants money, what he really wants is confidence. The more money means the more confidence. Citing Kimimaro buying his info without even verifying, it is because he has confidence in it. Hence he hoard money is because believe in money. Kimimaro returns to the Financial District and burns all his Midas Money. He finds it funny it is just scrap of paper. Satou asks him about his actions. Apparently he prefers the future than money. The future his more worthy of his confidence. Satou notes this won’t even dent Financial District a little because it is the confidence of people that gives the money its value. Now it’s Mikuni’s turn Kimimaro confronts. This time pointing out about Sennoza’s ideal. He thinks Mikuni is wrong to sacrifice the future just to save the present. But Mikuni’s argument is also valid. No present, no future. But this talk has to be put on hold as Singapore has fallen. Mikuni and his guys have to tackle [C]. He tells Kimimaro to not get in his way. Watch and learn.

Episode 9: Collapse
IMF is deliberating the effects of Singapore’s downfall. They also talked about the disappearance of some Caribbean nation due to the Lehman Shock and the fall of the South American Financial District. Apparently this phenomenon is called [C]. Don’t look now because Singapore has disappeared from the map! Everybody gone! All Assets gone! The effect has caused some minor changes to Hong Kong and Shanghai and will likely hit Tokyo too. In order to save Japan, Mikuni initiates a deal with Masakaki that will cost him 20 years of his future. He is also given a golden ball that shows him all the futures that disappear as the cost of circulating Midas Money. Thanks to this, Japan is saved but Masakaki also warns of some clearing. Satou talks to Kimimaro about the thing Mikuni did to suppress [C]. However it also costs the country’s future and because of what he did, no one will know what the future will bring. She tells him about Takedazaki so he should go talk to him. Turns out he has a picture of his father and his Asset. Looks exactly like Mashu. Except she has black hair and goes by the name Mua. Satou theorizes that both father and son had the same goal in mind, that’s why their Asset looked similar. It is also evident that his father loved his family so much and proof is that Kimimaro is here right now. Usually when you lose a Deal, it affects your family and he must have done something at the last minute to prevent that. Kimimaro visits Hanabi but she looks terrible. She claims she has the flu. Kimimaro is later shocked as he witnesses the sudden changes to Japan like the playground becoming a ground for the homeless and his part time colleagues disappearing before his eyes. Revisiting Hanabi again, looks like she has gone deranged. In order to avoid more losses, Kimimaro teams up with Satou to find the future. So this means turning Mashu into a normal girl? Perhaps his daughter?! She doesn’t understand if she’ll be happy with that because she wants things to remain as it is now. Future could be different than the present. Then she throws a tantrum and wants a kiss. He gives it to her. On her forehead. It’s a kiss for important people. Sorry, not the kiss for the people you love.

Episode 10: Collision
Looks like America is also starting to make their own move and this might cause another [C] chain reaction to hit Japan. Damn Americans. Mikuni believes he can and that would mean activating the rotary press. Satou explains to Kimimaro about the purchase of American dollars that caused other currencies to fall. The rotary press is the heart of Midas Money and using it means exchanging one’s future. In this case, Japan’s future. The only way is to steal his Darkness Card that allows its activation. However in this Financial District, only Mikuni has that card. Because there is a few hours gap for the effect to take place, the only way is to fight and bankrupt him in a Deal, taking his Darkness Card to reverse it. Mikuni might be tough to beat because of his huge assets but that is also his weakness. Since he only has money has his strength, they can use that against him by turning money into something useless. Confidence, remember? If they devalue yen, Midas Money in Japan will also be devalued. So the plan begins with them by blowing Mikuni’s assets like putting millions in people’s bank accounts and dropping free money from the sky. The clincher is an announcement that yen will be deemed useless unless they exchange it into American dollars. You bet a mad rush is going to happen but the banks are closed… Satou then goes to fight Mikuni in a Deal. He wants to pass considering how close [C] is but doing so he will lose half his assets. Knowing this is Satou’s plan to stall for time, he fights her.

Meanwhile Kimimaro faces off with a Mukudori member, Horii Ichirou. Because Mashu is injured but claims she can still fight, Kimimaro doesn’t want her to and will fight this one himself. We see Kimimaro taking a pounding before somehow he manages to fight back and deal some damage. Mashu becomes very worried. She doesn’t care about the future and doesn’t want him to be hurt by confusing things like that. Kimimaro explains how she is the future and important while Ichirou abuses his Asset to get it working for him. Mashu gets her confidence back to help Kimimaro fight his opponent. WTF she’s using some overpowered move (Overheated Economy?!) to just burn everything!!! Ichirou is now a bankrupt. We return to Mikuni’s fight with Satou. As expected, Mikuni defeats her with his humungous asset. Furthermore, Q cannibalizes her Asset. Before Satou gets bankrupted, she passes her Asset to Kimimaro. Now Kimimaro confronts Mikuni. He tells him about watching people disappearing before his eyes and that everything was the results of his actions. He finds it weird to use the future to protect the present because it also causes Assets to suffer. When Mikuni learns the devaluation of the yen, he is going to use the rotary press again despite this will exhaust his own future. Kimimaro warns him not to use the future like that. Though this reminds Mikuni of himself, he also notes that by being powerless, he changes nothing. So what can Kimimaro do? Masakaki then points out Kimimaro also has a Darkness Card. But how? Don’t know. Masakaki says he only does what the higher ups tell him to. Kimimaro gives Mikuni one last chance to undo the rotary press. No? Okay. Then it’s a Deal.

Episode 11: Control
The IMF buggers are discussing that what is happening in Japan is due to conspiracy rather than related to [C]. As expected, the people in Japan are panicking. Yen cannot be used to trade and the people now can see Midas Money. Kimimaro’s fight with Mikuni begins. As usual, Mikuni seems too big to deal with. But Kimimaro is forced to use bigger moves that would hurt Mashu if he wants a chance to beat this guy. As the fight rages on, it becomes a talk on Takako. You know, Mikuni thinks he is doing it for his sister and all of humanity but Kimimaro sees it as him doing it for himself. While Mikuni wants to protect all those around him at the present, Kimimaro is worried about the futures of all those affected despite there are some who were saved. Even if they were saved, what’s the point if there is no future? Eventually, Kimimaro thinks what Takako wanted to say to him was to correct her. Similarly, Mashu trying to point out Q is a pseudo substitute of Takako? Mikuni is distracted when he sees Takako in Q. This gives Kimimaro a chance to strike back and land a good punch in his face. We see a scene of Mikuni talking to Takako. She noted he is becoming more like their father because he has things he wants to protect. Takako then disappears and it sends Mikuni into despair.

Masakaki explains with the yen completely losing its value in Japan, Midas Money also disappeared. Hence [C] just went past Japan. However their Deal is still on. Mikuni concedes defeat so Kimimaro orders the reversal of the rotary press. He is buying back Japan’s future. Mikuni hopes he won’t regret this. He parts ways with Q. The same for Kimimaro and Mashu. One last goodbye. A great kiss as a parting gift? This is definitely worth its value! Then it’s like the world become one big trippy LSD drug trip. Fluffy colours everywhere! Kimimaro is then told by this figure (I think he is the Jesus Christ of money! HAHAHA!) how there is no correct answer and what everybody did was correct. Everyone fights to make the world a better place. There is nothing that without purpose. Whether for good, evil or tragic, everything has its meaning. Kimimaro returns to reality and sees the people of Japan in their normal happy lives. Except, people using dollars instead of yen! He goes around and notices his colleagues leading better lives and perhaps Hanabi doing well as a kindergarten teacher. Bumming around from the shocking changes, Masakaki pops up before him. What’s he doing here?! He points out this is the future Kimimaro took back. But to him, the future is collateral. As long as there is a future, he will be there. After all, the Financial District is indestructible. But rest assured, the future he used as collateral cannot be measured by money. Kimimaro still has a group pic with Mikuni and their Assets. Perhaps his only regret is not smiling in the picture?

Confused! Cash Is King!
So let me ask you. Is this what you want? Well, at least this is what Kimimaro wants. Let’s hope he doesn’t have buyer’s remorse after that. Then like a vicious cycle, he becomes the next Mikuni and tries to become the next generation super financial broker-cum-advisor-cum-investor-cum-guru whatever financial titles you can think of. So far I think Kimimaro remains true to his simple and normal goals. This current future of Japan in the anime continues and maintains at it is. Because otherwise we would have gotten a sequel! Since there is no second season or even a spinoff or alternate retelling/reboot/remake whatsoever, I can safely deduce that the future that Kimimaro bought back is the best. At least for the setting of this anime. Too bad real life can’t follow this. Ah, so this is considered works of fiction, no?

Let me get this out of the way first, the thing which I find most weirdest and confusing overall in this series: The Deals. Yes, those battles in which Entre engage. Sometimes it feels like a darker and more sophisticated of Pokemon battles and the only difference is that you use money to summon more expensive and flashy (but not necessarily more effective) attacks and moves. This is the most disjointed part of the series that I don’t understand so much so I think the battles are only in place so as to give us some sort of action in addition to the drama and psychological thriller (if I should so far as to go categorize it as that). Because sometimes I don’t think it is necessary but when I think about it, it is the only way how one can bankrupt another Entre. So this considered a survival game genre?! The mechanics all feel very shady here. It’s like somebody made up those rules on a whim and we all get no outlet to question it and are forced to just go along with the charade.

There are many instances of the Duels that are not properly explained and this can leave viewers like yours truly very confused and bemused at the same time. Most of the time I would be going like, “Ohhhhh…. Eh…. What… WHAAAAAAT???!!! WTF?????????!!!!!!!!!!”. Yeah, it feels like that and as though when the plot convenience calls for it, somehow our genius Kimimaro can pull off some comeback move like doing some magic move and pulling more funds out of the thin air. Now, this is where this dilemma of mind kicks in. You see, even if they took the time to explain it or even provide an auxiliary source outside the anime for others to read up, I think at the end of the day I will still be very confused and not understand a single thing. I mean, how well does the general public actually understand the workings of financial tools and systems such as the stock market and bonds market? Close to nil, right? Only those in the industry or have the mind for such would only understand the complex analysis of those numbers. Therefore explaining such even if it is just the tip of the iceberg would be a waste of time. So it is more feasible just to flash us all the flashy over the top action during the Deals and have us all be flabbergasted in awe rather than be confused and in the process hurt our brains by thinking too much. Yeah…

So at best the battles between the Entre might be more of style over substance. I mean, you can use money when you ‘fight’ but they’re not going to provide the same adrenaline rush like those action scenes using weapons and martial arts. So might as well be amused by all the weird action stuffs like how the Entre bleed Midas Money when they take damage. Wow. You’re losing too much money, dude!!! Yeah, it’s like taking money to make money. Spend to mend. You lose some in hopes of gaining more. And there are lots of other weird terms such as that ~Flation thingy they used as attacks (which indicate the intensity and power of the attack used depending on how much you spend… Geddit?!) but as I have said, they are left not explained in detail so as not to confuse us even further. And WTF in addition to summoning their pseudo Pokemon AKA Assets, Entre get to use this pseudo lightsabre too?! See what I mean that fights using money isn’t as exciting unless you turn it into some sort of sword battle?

The concept of using one’s future as collateral is interesting as well but that is only good for food for thought after you watch the series. It is good material for debate, talking about the future one could have and all that if one had the money. Just like in Ebara’s case. He had the money to raise children and when he went bankrupt, he no longer had his children. So which begs the question if he doesn’t have any more money to raise his children anymore, how about the cash he used to raise them in the past? Shouldn’t he got that refund back? Unless you tell me that he used up more funds and went retrospect to extent the future to his past as collateral. Boy, I’m so confused over what I said. So yeah, futures used as collateral, the present changes. Things disappear. It’s like saying we don’t have any more money to spend on you so don’t even bother continue existing! Tragic! At least what’s done is done and you can’t go back and undo the past like some time travelling sh*t. Man, that’ll confuse more the hell out of me!

Having said all that, the more interesting aspects that I find in this series are the motivations and reasons the people have for money. It might not be much but it gives a broader perspective on how money is viewed. Take for instance Takedazaki’s goal to hoard money is because of confidence. It is a very interesting take of view because seriously, for some reason all of us decided to accept that this scrap piece of paper is worth its printed face value and go with it. Money might be important but it is an important tool for one to gain that kind of confidence, that superiority that comes along with it. Is it not true that the more money you have, the more confidence you will also have? You can afford that expensive clothes now without worrying the balance left in your bank account after that splurge.

Eventually like the money Jesus Christ said (yes, I still can’t get over the fact this higher up gives me that impression!), nobody is actually right or wrong in the way he/she spends his/her money. Unless illegally obtained, it’s your money and your right to spend it no matter how morally questionable it is, right? Do you not have the right to savour the fruits of your labour? That’s why when Mikuni and Sennoza have both vast and varying degrees in their concept, I was first in a dilemma to think which one of them could be wrong. Then I realized that neither are wrong. Although their ideals are not 100% fool proof, it is no doubt that both ideals have their own merits. Just like everything else, everything has its flaws and nothing is perfect. Even the modern monetary system we are using. So whether it is for the future or for the present, if you could use your money to make a difference, save somebody or change something for the matter, is it not worth the risk?

As for the characters in the series, well to be honest, aside some of their ideals, I think they are just pretty okay. Especially Kimimaro who is the main character, he feels pretty meh. Kimimaro is just like many other protagonists who are forced to fight a battle he doesn’t understand. I would be as clueless as him if I were in his shoes! This guy is pretty normal and average. He has nothing much going for him but at the same time, life isn’t that bad. But it is a good thing that money didn’t change him much and perhaps that is why he comes out tops in the end. Also because of plot convenience. The mystery about his missing father is solved somewhat nonchalantly and I thought too much that he might make a surprise comeback. You know, HE’S NOT DEAD YET! F*ck, he might have just faked his death and got promoted to one of those higher ups in Midas Bank. But alas, Kimimaro knowing about his dad’s final moments probably was to bring about some closure to his indecisiveness and hence give his character some growth to move forward. Because now that he has put behind his father’s disappearance, he can now have a clear mind of what he wants, especially disagreeing to Mikuni’s methods. Yeah, they need to have some sort of antagonist for the closing stages of the series.

It is also pretty odd about Entre having Assets as part of the setting. It is said that Assets reflect their owner’s future but I don’t really see how it is. So why does Kimimaro have a cute chick like Mashu? I don’t know. Every main character needs to have a hot chick sidekick. Sexily dressed Mashu is the only Asset who gets the most fleshing out despite it feels cheesy most of the time. It’s like they try to force some sort of character development and growth for her as we see her being some sort of tsundere as she learns and navigates the ropes of human nature while butting heads with her master. I mean, why the heck do they need to make her into some sort of instant noodle addict? And yes, the kiss part. Oh, watch a romantic movie. Sees characters on screen. Feels curious to try it out. Heh. Saved the best for last. Yeah, it was worth every penny, that final goodbye kiss, huh? It would be just weird to think an Entre would have some sort of romantic relationship with his Asset but thank goodness they didn’t go that far. Because of Kimimaro’s kindness, it is the only reason why Mashu grows closer to him and they start caring about each other. Otherwise, other Entre who have monster type Assets, I’d understand why they show no such love like Kimimaro to his. Q being another wasted Asset in terms of character development. They always show her munching a Midas Money note that Mikuni gave her but that’s all about it. It could be that his attachment to Q is only because she looks like Takako.

Speaking of Mikuni, this guy isn’t actually a bad guy and was just doing what he thinks is right. So if everything has a value and a price, he’s just like taking advantage of this system and splash the cash just to fix things. Which feels really odd because it’s like saying that money can fix everything. Well, ALMOST! So I don’t know where the money goes because it’s like the stocks continue to fall, the economy continues to suffer and it just feels so weird. Paying more money just to stop a disaster? Woah. Where have I heard this? Pay more taxes to save climate change?! Anyway, it got me thinking where all those funds Mikuni put in has been channelled to? Don’t mind the bottomless pockets and resources he has. So who does he pay to and bought the corporation or whatever country? Where did that money go? So you’d think the ministers or officers who received the money would do something but nope. [C] still happened. That’s a big [C] for calamity. Haha!!! Cancerous calamity! So spending money here to save something from [C], perhaps this is where I don’t really get it. More importantly, did those disappeared countries return to normal?! It would be a disaster if Singapore actually disappeared forever. Sorry Singaporeans. That was how Singapore was destroyed. Not by foreign invasion or alien attack. But the collapse of its Financial District.

Going back to Mikuni, I believe that he was just playing the villain in many instances because money is the only thing that have the power to change things. From his past experience, being submissive and weak won’t do any good. So whether he turned into a shadow of his father or became part of the system, he was still trying to salvage something and save somebody. To him, futures are unpredictable and since they’re living in the present, this is what is most important. Futures are also as important as the present too as Kimimaro decided to believe in. That’s why we have to set the present with acceptable standards so as to give a brighter future. For example, if you know an action will lead to a dystopian or Orwellian future like 1984, do you think you’re not going to take that chance? I think this is what Kimimaro and Sennoza want to say to Mikuni. It’s not that the future is unimportant, you can’t go too far to have a Pyrrhic victory. I suppose both sides can’t sit down and discuss the best outcome for both the present and future? Not when money is on the line and time is money. Tick tock, tick tock. Oddly, with Kimimaro being given the Darkness Card by the higher ups at the end, does it mean the higher ups also doesn’t want that rotary press thingy to happen?

Unfortunately for the rest of the other supporting characters, they’re like pretty unimpressive. Especially those in Mukudori, damn I thought there were like hundreds of members but there’s like only… 3 other members?! Anyway, they don’t have any back story so I judge them from their appearance. They’re all just weirdoes. Then there is Satou who works for a certain organization but I don’t see her making any great impact overall except to just form a pact with Kimimaro to take down Mikuni. And Hanabi… Is this character really important? They seemed to troll us that way. Could have been Kimimaro’s love interest in another alternate future but too bad that didn’t happen. Last but not least, the enigmatic Masakaki who is like your host-cum-butler. Sometimes he passes of as annoying and a comic relief rather than something scary. I don’t know, must be the clown makeup or something.

The art and animation being from the early 2010’s era, well I could say they’re rather okay but sometimes I think there are certain scenes that lack any animation. So much so I thought my monitor froze up or something. This is why your animes must have constant wind blowing in the hair of the characters just to show animation. The animation! Anyway, in the Financial District, there are many scenes that reminded me of SHAFT-like styles and I thought this was an extended universe of the Monogatari series. Too bad it isn’t SHAFT who produced this but Tatsunoko Production (Psycho Pass 2, Gatchaman Crowds, Sket Dance and The Irresponsible Captain Tylor).

For the voice acting, I want to point out that Takahiro Sakurai as Masakaki, it feels like he couldn’t match up to the craziness of the character. Not to say that he did a bad job but I just can’t feel that his voice matching this crazy enigmatic clown. It doesn’t just reach that pinnacle of what I can see. I can imagine if it was say, Kenjiro Tsuda voicing this weird character, that would be awesome, no? Other seiyuus I recognized are Tetsuya Kakihara as Sennoza and barely Haruka Tomatsu as Mashu (must be those early days of her voice acting where she isn’t as distinguishable yet. Or maybe my hearing just sucks). The other casts are Kouki Uchiyama as Kimimaro (Ichika in Infinite Stratos), Daisuke Hosomi as Mikuni (OD in Gatchaman Crowds), Mayumi Asano as Satou (Gascogne in Vandread), Saori Goto as Q and Takako (Bara Suishou in Rozen Maiden), Masami Kikuchi as Takedazaki (Keiichi in Aa! Megami-sama) and Yui Makino as Hanabi (Sakura in Tsubasa Chronicle). I also want to note that the IMF buggers have their dialogues in English. While it is no Engrish, sometimes I feel the way they speak English is like as though a non-native English speaker is speaking the roles. It just feels weird to hear them speak that way. Sounds robotic? Sounds gay? Sounds weak? I don’t know. Just weird.

Matoryoshika by Nico Touches The Walls as the opening theme sounds pretty generic as a rock theme while RPG by School Food Punishment as the ending theme also sounds pretty generic as anime pop. If I had to choose the one I like better, it would be the latter then. Just by an inch. But the more interesting ones are the insert songs like Antiphona by Yucca. This sounds like some slow opera style song sung by a soprano, which is pretty interesting to listen to as it gives off a lot of emotions when the scene is played out. Then there is High Heel Shoes In Pink by Kayoko Ishuu. This song is sung in English and like slow old fashion 40’s style era music. Pretty cool and emotionally powerful too. Then there is Stay Away From Blood Money by Lotus Juice. Uhm, techno rap with lots of robotic sound effects not my cup of tea but I guess it fits the battle theme well.

Overall, this anime isn’t just for anybody. It is unfortunate that for an anime that is based off money, it didn’t do anything to help. Okay, maybe it did. Just a little. Because why give motivational tips on money away for free when you can charge people who attend your seminar! Oh yeah. Money. It is a bit sad that despite the very few different approaches and views on money, it would hardly make any difference or impact in real life. It is interesting in its own aspect but nothing significant that you would want to make a drastic change in your lifestyle. This would eventually become just one of those economic fantasies that nobody will remember down the years. At best it would be just the weird battles that uses money. Just like gambling, huh? And so I’m here not any richer in my bank account or my head after watching this. Considering the impact of the Corona virus on the economy, I think I’ll just continue to hoard save more money. Just in case. You’ll never know when you’re going to need that extra cent when it really matters. My future is at stake, you know! Also, money don’t grow on trees, you know! I know there are some things that are worth more than money. But I still like to have some cold hard cash money. You know. Just in case.

Samurai Gun

August 8, 2020

Heh. Gotta thank the Corona virus for making me look for some obscure and retro animes to watch while current ones are getting postponed and delayed. And hence this is how I stumbled upon Samurai Gun. Though it came out in 2004, it really felt like ages. Yeah, I feel so old right now. As you can tell from its title, despite the setting is in feudal Japan, you have samurais using guns! Not a sword or a katana but those western developed firearms. This should prove amusing. I’m sure it is going to be a game changer when everybody starts using guns. Is this still feudal Japan?!

Episode 1
A girl is running away from a group of bloodthirsty samurai bros but they hunt her down like and animal and kill her. Such fun. Ichimatsu works at the bar. Daimon comes in and wants him to meet up for a mission. Although Ichimatsu is reluctant, he shows up anyway. Daimon wants him to once again take up his gun in the name of justice known as Samurai Gun. The evil this time is in the form of the Minamiyama brothers. Sons of Raishu Ichikawa, they are abusing their power to line up their pockets as well as apprehending those who resist them. As they also hunt their prisoners as sport, he hopes Ichimatsu can deal a swift justice to them. However Ichimatsu doesn’t want to do this because he is sick and tired of the killing. He is no different than them. Daimon claims what he is doing is different because it is justice. After all, if he wasn’t interested, why did he turn up? Because deep down in his heart he still yearns for justice over evil. It’s the reason why he is in this line. To seek revenge for the deaths of his parents and sister. Ichimatsu returns to Ohana and sleeps on it. Then he has a nightmare of watching his sister being killed before his eyes. The killer being proud of it and thinks he done him a favour by getting rid of foreigners. So you bet once he wakes up, he packs his stuffs and gets going. He’s going to purge the evil. As the brothers continue their wild hunt, here comes Ichimatsu as Samurai Gun giving a taste of their own medicine. These dudes aren’t even repenting in death. Despite being in pain, they’re still crying what they have done to deserve this! The last brother takes a young girl hostage but I guess Ichimatsu is faster. I mean, he dodged arrows. So what is faking dropping a gun and then quickly picking it up and pump some bullets into that slow bastard. Meanwhile Daimon frees the innocently held people. Elsewhere, Mitsumune Watou meets Kaishu Katsu of some steam engine division. They talk about the Black Insurgence as well as the real threat Samurai Gun and not just rumours. As their Lord Masahide Kozan will be forming a special anti-Samurai Gun unit soon, they will be working together.

Episode 2
Time for the usual. Daimon wanting to meet up with Ichimatsu for another mission. Despite reluctant, he still does so. Justice, right? But lucky for him this time, no killing involve. Just some investigation job. Also joining him will be fellow bar hostess, Kurenai as well as Shunkai Matsuzaki who is from the Council’s intelligence department. They are to investigate an advanced prototype steam engine train that is already in operational mode. We see Katsu and Watou on this train. Also with them is Geki Ooi who is the vice director of this project and he is testing some torture device on some female believed to be a spy. Next, he tortures a man named Yasumasa Yamanaka who is believed to also be in cohorts with the spy. Though the latter claims he is mistaken. But sadistic baldy tortures him anyway to make him spill the beans. The Samurai Guns are here to raid the train. Just as predicted, Katsu escapes since he isn’t good in dealing with this and lets Watou deal with this. While we see bald scientist henchman clones get mauled down, Ichimatsu faces off with Watou. Despite he can miraculously dodge his submachine gun bullets, Ichimatsu knows he is no match and escapes. After rescuing the female spy, Kurenai and Daimon have to face off with Geki who has taken Yasumasa as hostage. Kurenai recognizes him as her uncle who left. Now we know why her short flashback was shown, eh? Because of this, she is reluctant to shoot him, which is part of the mission to silence those who have been captured. This allows Geki to detach the coach. And with uncle saying shoot him and calling her name, after shedding a few tears, Kurenai puts a bullet right in uncle’s forehead. Geki is shocked but I can’t believe he was dumb enough to stand there after detaching the train. Ichimatsu then shoots the machines behind him so that it causes a chain reaction to blow up the train! Amazing. I didn’t know such machines were so hi-tech enough to cause fires and explosion. But anyway, smart Watou jumps off unlike stupid Geki. In the aftermath, Ichimatsu walks away without talking to Daimon. Clearly he is angry he hasn’t been told the full truth but what can Daimon do? Even if it wasn’t his intention to deceive him but he just did, right?

Episode 3
Matsuzaki talks to Daimon about a serial killer who kills prostitutes. Because of the kind of powerful explosive weapon he used, it is believed to be one from the anti-Samurai Gun unit. It might be a trap to lure out Samurai Gun and finish him off. After all, to kill off someone like Samurai Gun, you need somebody who is like him. Fighting fire with fire? Meanwhile we hear Ohana narrate her miserable life. Sold to a brothel at a young age, she had to please her customers even if it’s faking it. However only Ichimatsu is the only one who never touched her despite calling for her service. Ohana talks to him about flirting because the mistress wants her to do it to attract more customers. As she also has low self-confidence, Ichimatsu just tells her to ignore it all because eventually everybody will die. Ohana notes the scariness in her eyes but is also attracted to it. She wonders if he is the same as her, holding all the anger inside. We see Watou talking to Kozan about Onimaru. He isn’t one to join the anti-Samurai Gun unit but believes he has a grudge to settle with Samurai Gun. Akane from the Council looks for Ichimatsu but only Kurenai is there. She tells her to leave a message to Ichimatsu about Onimaru the one behind the killings because she spied and confirmed the weapon he used. Currently he has a spy Joukichi looking for Samurai Gun’s whereabouts. And we see Joukichi with Ohana. He drugs her so he could tell more about Samurai Gun. Luckily here comes Ichimatsu. He shoots but doesn’t kill him so as to interrogate him. Unfortunately he poisons himself.

As the brothel burns down from the accidental fire, Ichimatsu leaves Ohana in Akane’s care. Too bad she got beaten up by Onimaru who wants her to relay a message to Samurai Gun to meet. Or else his woman dies. And so Ichimatsu shows up as per requested. Akane too. Both pretend to surrender when Onimaru is about to slit Ohana’s throat. This lets his guard down as Ichimatsu pumps a few bullets into him. He shot everywhere except the head? See the loser run away bleeding like mad! Well, maybe Ichimatsu doesn’t want to kill him. Because he runs back to Watou who hired him and he pays for his failure with Watou shooting all he’s got into him. Also, Ichimatsu followed Onimaru here and a showdown with Watou begins. How is he going to face off with his uzi? Oh sh*t, Watou can do a Matrix dodge?! Strangely, when Daimon arrives to help, Watou doesn’t like this interruption and escapes. I believe his uzi could have defeated their pea shooters but perhaps he wanted a fair fight with only Ichimatsu? Weird. In the aftermath, Ohana now works at Kurenai’s tavern as per Ichimatsu’s request. She doesn’t have to worry about her debts since the brothel burnt down. If it was that easy, should’ve burnt it down a long time ago!

Episode 4
Ichimatsu and Inazuma are running away from ninjas. Apparently they’re on a mission and we hear it from Daimon’s mouth as he tells Kurenai. Apparently some anti-shogunate faction was just talking about abolishing the caste system. But a traitor among them ratted them out and had them imprisoned. Gunkei Yoshii has seen been promoted to prison warden where that faction is imprisoned. Hence it is a mission for Samurai Gun to rescue them but for Inazuma he is pretty shady. Though he is from the southern Council, they can’t tell if he is friend or foe. Inazuma talks to Ichimatsu about the irony of being Samurai Gun. His job is to rid the world of evil and not to save the shogunate but look what they’re doing now. Ichimatsu doesn’t care about anything as long as he can do to help. We see Gunkei torturing the ‘traitors’ and even using them as live shooting practice. Holy cow. Ninjas using guns?! After Ichimatsu sneaks in this low security prison (these guards should be fired for sleeping on the job!) and rescue what’s left of the ‘traitors’, Inazuma goes off on his own to do his own job. It is revealed that he too was part of that protest but unlike his comrades who got captured, he ran away. He lived in shame during his years in the Council and lived only for this day to get revenge. So Inazuma goes off to kill Gunkei but his ninja gun boys help protect him. Inazuma takes in some shots but I guess nothing beats the trusty ol’ samurai sword. Yeah, no reload time! Coward Gunkei runs away but stumbles into Ichimatsu. Inazuma warns Ichimatsu not to take his prey. Inazuma finishes off Gunkei with a stab into his heart. See? Swords doesn’t need reload time! Before Inazuma dies from his wounds, he admits he is no different at all because of his cowardice of abandoning his friends. He doesn’t deserve their forgiveness but at least he wants to atone for it. He gives his shades to Ichimatsu and he accepts it as a token of their friendship. Ichimatsu then buries him and wishes they had more time to talk about things.

Episode 5
Watou reports to Kozan that a Samurai Gun-like guy has been captured. Seiritsu Urao will be escorting him to prison via his steamship. Kozan notes the credits will all go to Urao if he accomplishes this and wants Watou not to intervene. Matsuzaki calls the gang for another mission to rescue a prisoner. Ichimatsu jumps the gun that he doesn’t want in on this if he has to kill again and he knows he will because if they failed to rescue to prisoner, they’ll have to kill him. However Matsuzaki says Ichimatsu knows this prisoner. He is Sutekichi, one of the first generation Samurai Guns. Now you want in? Matsuzaki also introduces Mitsu who is the Council’s technological division. She introduces some new weapons and upgrades. We see Urao talking to Sutekichi about the Council which is an insurgent group creating Samurai Gun as human weapons. Because of their special training, their mental and physical reflexes speed up to an abnormal degree. But the drawback is that they become violent. That is why in Ichimatsu’s case, despite not wanting to kill, his body moves on its own and sometimes he ponders deep down if he enjoyed those killings. Urao orders his men to slowly kill themselves until Sutekichi talks. He agrees. But great timing has Samurai Guns ambushing the ship. The tables are turned. Sutekichi revealing the Council’s role as a natural enemy to the shogunate. Also, the reason Sutekichi didn’t do anything until now was just to confirm what kind of people the shogunate had. Sutekichi uses his brute strength to break out from his chains! They’ve come so far now and all their acts have been to drawn out the shogunate’s men out in the open. Sutekichi crushes Urao’s head with his bare hands! Looks like he doesn’t need any saving. Watou reports Urao’s death and congratulates Kozan that he will now be the sole chief for the anti-Samurai Gun unit. But Kozan is cautious. He doesn’t want to celebrate somebody’s downfall and wants to tackle the root of the problem: How to defeat Samurai Gun.

Episode 6
Kozan employs Raika to take care of Samurai Gun as she has some experimental cannon. Of course he doesn’t expect her to defeat them and is just testing to see how Samurai Gun will act. But in the case if she does defeat Samurai Gun, all the better. Also, Kozan employs this German dude, Archimedes to help out in defeating Samurai Gun. He has to or else the medicine to his sick mom will be cut off. Kozan will let his assistant, Jihou observe and report back to him of his progress. Daimon relays the next mission to Ichimatsu and Sutekichi to destroy this experimental cannon thingy. Rumours say that young girls are being used as target practice. Later Sutekichi talks to Ichimatsu privately. Something about he cannot leave Samurai Gun because the Council will hunt him down until he is dead. He thinks Ichimatsu is still okay because he regrets those feelings of killing. Because if he enjoys them, then he has become a monster. Samurai Guns enter the castle. Just as planned. Because Kozan orders the withdrawal of all technical support. This means when Samurai Guns rescue the girl who is about to be a living target, Raika is shocked that the gunner is missing. So she uses the cannon herself but isn’t good with it. But Samurai Gun being faster and better than any speeding bullet, destroys the cannon along with Raika. Now it is up to Archimedes to stop them. Samurai Guns rescue the hostage and tries to escape but the routes are blocked. They are led to the only exit whereby Archimedes is waiting and shooting his heavy gatling gun at them. With no options left, Sutekichi will be the decoy to let Ichimatsu and the hostage escape. He does so and finds Archimedes’ armour hard to penetrate. Ichimatsu slips past Archimedes but is stopped by Jihou. Before he could shoot, Sasara (Archimedes’ wife) stops him and gets shot before Jihou himself gets finished. Sasara tells Archimedes to stop since mom has died. She stopped taking her medicine for she doesn’t want to be a living burden. She wants Archimedes to live freely. Sadly, Sasara dies in Archimedes arms. His cries has Ichimatsu ponder the irony of the situation. He fought to protect the ones he loved. So is he still evil? Ichimatsu still believes he is not suited to kill.

Episode 7
Looks like it is Daimon alone who will be joining this special joint mission between the Council and Satsuma’s special unit to retrieve some top secret coded documents that fell into the enemy’s hands. But Daimon tells Ichimatsu that if he doesn’t make it back alive, he can have all his porn! Also, while Daimon is away, Ichimatsu needs to be his substitute teacher. Ichimatsu learns Daimon’s reasons for becoming a Samurai Gun. He was arrested for doing something he believed was right. Sentenced to commit seppuku, he eventually couldn’t go through with it. With Daimon hinting that he may be relying on Ichimatsu’s help, he left some info and maps of the place he is infiltrating. Just in case. Daimon and the other guys infiltrate but as they steal half of the documents, the alarm rings. They are forced to run as Daimon offers to hold them back to let the rest escape. Daimon holds his ground until some guy with a bazooka shoots directly at him! OH SH*T! He dead???!!! When word returns that the mission is called off and no word has been heard from Daimon, either he is dead or captured. Ichimatsu wants to go but Kurenai stops him. They haven’t receive any orders to dispatch yet. So you gonna wait till they say okay? Speaking of Daimon, he is still alive and being tortured and interrogated. So Ichimatsu doesn’t have to break the rules because with orders from the Council, the mission is on. But Kurenai is also joining in. Daimon endures the pain and won’t say anything. Watou is here and by experience he knows that if a Samurai Gun isn’t killing himself, it means he is expecting his comrades will come to rescue him. True enough, here comes Ichimatsu and Kurenai blazing through the lowly guards. Ichimatsu faces off with Watou again. The latter being superior in all sense and forcing Ichimatsu to take cover from his rapid fire. After Kurenai rescues Daimon, she aids Ichimatsu to defeat Watou. I don’t think that’s the last of him but it bought them time to escape. In the aftermath, Daimon reveals the documents are instructions on how to use steam powered machines. Half of it is with the enemy and it is useless if they don’t have all the parts. Daimon feels he is too reliant on Ichimatsu. Ichimatsu doesn’t think so. That’s what friends are for. Also, Ichimatsu won’t give back his porn…

Episode 8
Ichimatsu wakes up from that bad nightmare of his sister’s killer. Can’t mope around too much on it because it’s mission time. This time they’ll be transporting and guarding blueprints for some military gear as well as a secret from the Council. They have to pass through a valley that is controlled by the shogunate. Once they cross the bridge, their mission is over. But what is the secret thing from the Council? It’s Sutekichi. The journey starts off with Ichimatsu journeying with Sutekichi. Daimon also travels with Otokichi but separately from the duo. Sutekichi can tell enemy spies have been tailing them so they attack. As Ichimatsu is spacing out, Sutekichi has to come to his rescue. Eventually the spies are dealt with. Watou reports to Kozan about rumours of Samurai Gun trying to cross the valley. As Toukichirou Takayama is the head of the area, he has reinforced the place with his soldiers. It is possible he is trying to claim some credit and wants the anti-Samurai Gun unit to move. Kozan doesn’t think so. As Ichimatsu is still reeling from those nightmares, Sutekichi talks to him that he isn’t the only one facing such problems. Samurai Guns were trained from young and have their bodies altered to withstand all sorts of pain even when pushed to the limit. Those who fall behind will die. Some have relatives who have been killed. It is believed their memories are tampered with so they can’t remember the face of the killer. Hence he wants Ichimatsu to remember this name: Rekkai. He is believed to be someone deep in the shogunate. If they defeat the shogunate, this guy may show up and could be the one who killed his sister. That is why for now they must carry out missions as Samurai Gun. Takayama and his army get ready to intercept Samurai Gun. We see the Samurai Gun duo running across the bridge and then begin their chaos by blasting a bazooka! The downfall of having such a large army is when Samurai Gun zooms past in between, they start shooting each other! Damn, this army is disorganized and dumb! Even causing a stampede! Here, there and everywhere! So when the army finally decides to chase after the duo who have run off into the woods, turns out it is Daimon and Otokichi acting as a decoy. Ichimatsu and Sutekichi are disguised as the army. I don’t want to say the captain is sharp enough to pick out the duo because he doesn’t recognize them from any unit. But luckily Ichimatsu takes him out and tells the rest he passed out or something. Yup, the men are dumb. From then onwards, the duo part ways.

Episode 9
Osei is being held in some prison. Because she possesses clairvoyance, they want her to predict the harvest yield. Of course she isn’t going to cooperate. Meanwhile Ichimatsu and Daimon stumble into a thief named Ryoma Sakamoto. Although both sides’ mission is to storm into the rock castle where Osei is held, Ryoma’s goal is to steal Osei for his own and use her predictions to play in the market and become rich. Long ago, he used to have this dream of striking it rich and do something significant with the money but he was always laughed at. He thinks Ichimatsu is going to do the same but that hardly laughs. Meanwhile Daimon meets a spy from the Council. It seems the Council has been looking for Ryoma for a long time. They hope to recruit Ryoma into their organization so they’ll just keep observing. This means Samurai Gun will not get in their way. Osei sees a prediction that someone will come rescue her. So she asks the guard of wanting to go to the toilet. The guard thinks he can insult her but she’s smarter than him and knocks him out. Ryoma and Samurai Gun part ways. Ryoma sneaks in first and already sees Osei out of her prison. They try to make a run for it but more guards are coming in. This is where the Samurai Gun duo drop in to put everyone to sleep with their sleeping incense. Before Ryoma passes out, he recognizes the eye of Ichimatsu. The intensity is definitely his. When Ryoma and Osei wake up, they are in the woods. He believes those 2 are the rumoured insurgents known as Samurai Gun. When Osei asks him if he knows anything about Omi, Ryoma isn’t sure. Well, she saw his death in a place called Omi. I guess this means Ryoma has to live his life to the fullest from now on.

Episode 10
Ichimatsu arrives in a village to get some military weapon blueprints but it is burnt down. The only survivor is Kenta as he explains the brothers were fighting over succession of the village but looks like the younger one, Hebizo won. Kenta can’t do anything for him but notes the village elder who is held captive with his women may do something. Ichimatsu tells Kenta to rest and wait for the good news. Hebizo tries to threaten the village elder for the remaining blueprints because the one he got from killing his brother is incomplete. Of course the village elder won’t talk. Soon, the village elder sends Natsumi on a mission to retrieve that other blueprint half. She mustn’t fail. After escaping, she gets caught! Mission failed?! Of course the guard who caught her wants to f*ck her so he takes her to the woods where nobody can interrupt them. Unfortunately here is Ichimatsu as he puts some lead into his body and interrogates him. The gun shot alerts Hebizo as he has all his men look around. Natsumi looks around in the room but is now caught by Hebizo. If you’re looking for the blueprints, yeah, it’s with him. Little does Hebizo know, Natsumi has photographic memory as she remembers the entire blueprint. As Ichimatsu sneaks in, he steps on a landmine trap. That is when a monk comes up to him and mocks him and everything. It seems he knows everything about Ichimatsu and Samurai Gun. Ichimatsu shoots his head but apparently he still lives. He warns Ichimatsu about his reckless ways and will see how he gets out of this one.

When guards come by, Ichimatsu just shoots them! Oh sh*t! Who dares to come out? Hebizo has Natsumi as hostage so Ichimatsu can’t do anything reckless. He lets his men take care of him. If pea shooters won’t do the job, here’s a submachine gun! Ichimatsu jumps! BOOM! Well, Ichimatsu got a bit injured but he still lives. Again the monk pops up before him but this time he claims his name is Victor. Hebizo now forces the village elder to give up his possessions or he’ll kill them all. He has no choice but to take him to a secret room that contains all the secrets as well as funding sources. Hebizo got greedy as he wants to take everything. So when he tries to shoot the village elder, he missed and this causes the lantern to drop and the place catch fire. The village elder take his women to evacuate as Hebizo and his men try to put out the fire but it is spreading too fast. Damn, the baddies got time to reminisce about their bad days and how they’re going to strike it rich?! That’s why the ceiling collapses on them and all the secrets! In the aftermath, the village elder passes the blueprints to Ichimatsu after he has Natsumi sketches them out. He tells Ichimatsu that the best place to store all the important things is in the head. As for what the village is going to do now since there are no more men, oh yeah, I suppose Kenta is going to be hearing this good news soon… It is revealed that Victor is actually Rekkai and he is like friends with Katsu.

Episode 11
Katsu talks to Watou about some directive directly from Rekkai. Something about some heavy weapon from the Council and it looks like it is almost ready to go. Meanwhile a group of Samurai Guns has been killed by their own fellow member while chasing him down. Ichimatsu talks to Matsuzaki about Victor knowing about Samurai Gun. It could mean that he may be related to somebody in the Council. While Matsuzaki will do his own investigation, something more pressing has come up. Calling the rest of the gang, it seems there is somebody who is on a murder spree right now. It is somebody they know very well. His favourite line is he loves killing baddies. Instantly they know it is fellow Samurai Gun, Gouta. While he has mercilessly killed many baddies, he has never hurt innocent ones until now. He may be breaking down from the effects. So we have a flashback of Matsuzaki giving Gouta some mission. This was also the first time Mitsu met Gouta. She was kidnapped by some gang after her family was killed. As she was tortured, Gouta killed everybody else and rescued her. She eventually joined the Council. Since Ichimatsu is in the same generation with Gouta, there is high chance he may contact him. Gouta enters the bar and kills the owner before kidnapping Ohana. While Ichimatsu reminisces the harsh training with fellow Samurai Gun apprentices, he receives a letter from Gouta. Okay. That does it. This means business. He is going to face Gouta and bring back Ohana.

Episode 12
Gouta holds Ohana captive as he tells him his story. One day when his team of Samurai Guns are out on a mission, they suddenly tried to kill him. That was the real mission. The Council has deemed him useless for disobeying orders and they didn’t like him doing a sloppy job of homicidal rampages. Disillusioned, Gouta became enraged and fought back. Now he has a new goal in mind and that is what is keeping him alive. Ichimatsu is here and after unmasking himself, this leaves Ohana in shock. But she recognizes him as the one who saved her then. They let the woman go as the men talk it out. What Gouta wants is to infiltrate the Council’s HQ. He wants to see it for himself whether they have substance. Whether they are good or evil or neither. He wants Ichimatsu to come with him and also ascertain it himself. Once he hears his opinion, then he can kill him or whatever he wishes. Daimon is confronted by a few Samurai Gun operatives. They arrest him as they explain about Victor Rhino, a foreigner who introduced psycho engineering to Japan and by fusing oriental acupuncture and moxibustion, this gave the very first Samurai Gun training method. It is believe some of the first generation like Gouta could be suffering from its effects. Daimon is shocked to see Sutekichi driving a huge armoured tank. So they’re going to use this to kill Gouta?! Extreme overkill. Gouta and Ichimatsu’s talk is interrupted with Sutekichi firing into them. Man vs tank. Gouta might be agile but he is still no match for its might. To Sutekichi’s surprise, Ichimatsu helps Gouta. He even tells Gouta about Mitsu’s message to thank him for saving her that day. When Sutekichi wants to finish off Gouta, Ichimatsu disagrees because this isn’t justice. Just then, Watou and his men fire some missiles to destroy the entire area to take out the tank! It will be troublesome if anti-Samurai Gun were to face that. Watou is confident the Black Insurgents are dead but Katsu doesn’t think so. If they’re gone, don’t you think their roles will be useless? Ichimatsu is sad to see Gouta dead (some sharp object penetrated his chest). He passes out from loss of blood but is picked up by fellow Samurai Guns. In the aftermath, we see Ohana travelling with Kurenai. Ichimatsu is on a boat as he ponders if he’ll ever wake up from this dream. Hence the only thing he can do now is run.

Episode 13 (Special)
Dubbed as episode 8.5, we start off seeing Ichimatsu having the usual nightmare of his sister being killed. She wants him to kill her killer quick. And her killer is Rekkai. Ichimatsu escorts Ohana home. She still has low self-confidence as she views herself as a woman tainted by man since she was once a whore. Perhaps she wants Ichimatsu to say something. So he did. Everyone has a past, present and future. Filth clings to them as long as they’re alive and all they can do is just swallow it and keep moving forward. Matsuzaki talks to the usual for another mission. The stolen blueprints in the enemy’s hands, looks like they have a book that decodes them. The mission is to plant a fake one to confuse them rather than just go in there and burn everything. As Watou is having trouble decoding them, he requests Kozan to seek the steam division engine’s help but Kozan talks about his meeting with other anti-Samurai Gun guys. He finds it stupid because of the good and evil thingy they’re talking about. He wants Watou’s opinion but Watou only knows how to follow orders. Kozan doesn’t like it since it sounds like he is smarter than him. Then an intruder alert. Ichimatsu is here and all those confused men better get out of the way if they don’t want to die. Eventually Watou faces off with him. Ichimatsu is reduced to hiding since he can’t best Watou’s uzi. Daimon and Kurenai have finished planting the fake book and wants Ichimatsu to escape. Ichimatsu is reluctant because it sounds like he is turning his back on the enemy. Eventually Ichimatsu has to throw sleeping incense to escape. Later Kozan speaks to Watou. He watched his fight with Samurai Gun and notes that he has lost. He got cocky and defeated himself and gave the enemy a way to escape. When Ichimatsu returns, there’s still trouble. Because Ohana is going to get raped by some guy from the bar in her home! Sleeping incense to put her out, rapist charges out, Ichimatsu shoots and kills him. Turns out he is a spy from the shogunate and they can’t interrogate a dead man. When Ohana wakes up, Ichimatsu claims it was all a dream. Watou sees Rekkai directly and wants to use the steam engine division’s help to decode. Usually it is Kozan’s job but time is of essence. Rekkai will see what he can do.

Stick To Your Own (Justice) Guns
Well, that was a weird trip. I didn’t expect this series to have a proper ending but seeing how it ended, I’m feeling so much more incomplete. You see, one of the debatable things that has this series stood out compared to many other animes in its era or in the future is how all of the episodes are episodic in nature (think Cowboy Bebop too). Many of them can actually stand on its own and if you don’t watch them in order, you’ll still be pretty fine. You won’t get lost. Of course there are a few developments in between but this is not enough to make this series as one that follows a big or main flow. Hence when each episode ends, many of them feel quite disjointed. You don’t feel a sense of continuity after watching the end of the episode and then begin a new one. For example, the mission to send Sutekichi over the bridge. Once that happens (which is quite fast as most of the episode focuses on other parts of the drama of the journey), the episode suddenly ends. And then what happens in the next episode doesn’t see any continuity from that. Also, that episode with Archimedes. So it ends like that, huh? So what?! Thus it is hard for me to connect with the series and to know what it actually wants to tell us.

So actually if you think about it, the war between the Council and their Samurai Gun against the shougnate and their newly formed anti-Samurai Gun unit should have been the important focus of the story. But the way I see it, I don’t think it has gotten anywhere. A lot of mini missions that involve Samurai Gun needing to assassinate somebody, destroy or steal something. Perhaps all these little success will eventually add up but as far as this adaptation is concerned, the fight between both sides are still in a deadlock. It’s just funny to think each time Samurai Gun pops up, his first line is to say “Samurai Gun is here”. Wow. Is this some sort of new bushido I’m not aware of? In a war against injustice, at least somebody has the decency to be all gentlemanly and introduce himself when he is on scene. Hey, Samurai Gun isn’t exactly a spy per se. Though, they sometimes do some espionage stuffs.

With the episodic nature of each episode, the characters unfortunately suffers from this most. Especially Ichimatsu as the main character. We get to know him as a guy who is part of the Samurai Gun programme, trying to seek revenge on his sister and also b*tching about not wanting to kill people but eventually kills them. Yeah, blame the side effects. But that’s not the point. From time to time, we get to see him dream a nightmare about his sister but that’s about it. We don’t see anything more. So he’s just another dog from the Council doing as he told. What is justice? Beats me. At this rate I don’t think we’re going to find out what kind of justice he really wants or if he’ll ever get them. Each mission that involves Ichimatsu, you see him pondering about something or the characters he met. I think this is supposed to help develop his own character or gives us some clues but unfortunately it doesn’t really matter and it sometimes feel like a waste of time. For instance, that episode with Ryoma. So what if Ichimatsu notes he is an interesting guy? And it is hinted that they’ll only meet next in the afterlife. So what?! Hence Ichimatsu comes off more as some gloomy guy. Lots on his mind. But I guess it’s already great that he is trying to keep his anger or madness in control. Better to show no emotions than become a monster.

I believe the Samurai Gun programme could be fleshed out better but from what we see, just a bunch of kids being harshly trained to become killing machines. The biggest missed opportunity is that there are like about 10 of them from the first generation. Heck, each episode’s mid-intermission eyecatch even introduces them in an orderly fashion. And half of them even failed to even show up at all in this series! So like, why do we even need to know about them if they’re not going to show up in the first place?! It feels so wasted. I thought they were going to have at least 1 episode whereby they do an entire flashback on a young Ichimatsu and his days during training. Did not happen. Yeah, ending credits animation showing those kids standing in a row must be for trolling purposes. So sorry. We won’t get to know the rest at all. By the time they introduced Gouta, it feels it is to make us question whether the Council’s justice are what we think it is. Then they killed off his character. Oh well. Still, it didn’t do the story or the characters any good.

Not faring any better are the antagonists themselves. They tantalize us with a few showdowns between Ichimatsu and Watou but it all always ends up the same way. Unfinished business. At this rate you wonder if they’ll ever finish their fight at all. While Watou is a good subordinate who follows orders and it is his job to fight Samurai Gun, you don’t feel like there is anything to root for this guy. What?! Root for the bad guy?! Oh well. Since this is an old anime, I guess I can give this a pass because all shows these days, you need to have villains who must have some sort of twisted goal or past so as to justify why he is on the dark side. Otherwise, he will just feel like a one dimensional character. Which is what Watou’s character feels like. You don’t know if he has some grudge against the Council or Samurai Gun or if he has any other ulterior motives. So I guess the few skirmishes with Ichimatsu is just to build up a reason why he has a bone to pick with Samurai Gun. Yeah, what a weak reason. Katsu sounds more scheming but he appears even much less than Watou so I don’t know what this guy is up to. The way they painted Rekkai as the ultimate bad guy, from what we see, he doesn’t look so and everything might not be what we see or know. It could be the other way round. The Council is the one who is the bad guy. Heck, how much do we know about the Council themselves? Nothing. Remember, memory manipulation. Could prove useful as a plot twist somewhere…

The other characters are like, uhm, I don’t know how to put it. Just there. Like Daimon is just some guy who provides the mission to Ichimatsu. Subsequently this is taken over by Matsuzaki. Then we need some hot babe operative so that’s where Kurenai comes in. Yeah, all these characters don’t have very deep past and we don’t know anything more about them. Like, their characters are too shallow for us to even care about them. Then there’s Ohana who exists possibly to provide some tender loving care for Ichimatsu. Not like there was going to be any romance played out anyway. Not even the faintest of hope. But just in case. Hah! At least she got to be damsel in distress material. Ironically, Ohana feels like she has more past than Daimon, Matsuzaki and Kurenai. Other characters like Mitsu pop up only once in a while or only once so they’re very forgettable. Yeah, what the heck happened to Akane? Oddly, Mitsu from the technological department, is an excuse to give some upgraded weapons to the Samurai Guns on their mission. But I hardly see how effective it is and if it was, it was just for a moment of plot convenience. Of all the guns her department can make, they can’t make an uzi to match Watou’s trademark gun?! Don’t want them to go full trigger happy, huh? Are you kidding me?! With their mental issues, I think it’s understandable if they become more violent. Hey, you created these monsters.

With a weak story and characters to boot, the only draw for this series is its action bits. Yes, there are lots of blood and gore and I suppose this part is somewhat satisfying although looking back in retrospect, it reeks of cheesy early 2000’s action style. Maybe back then it was something cool and stylish. But if you’re not into violence and can’t stomach the slightest of blood, this anime is not for you. Yes, people. This anime has a lot of blood! Yes, people. This anime also has a lot of body count in certain episodes. Hence in every episode, somebody must die! Whether be it the villain of the episode, the useless henchmen or some innocent hostage. You bet somebody is eventually going to bite the dust. One of the other shocking thing about these early 2000’s violence is that I noticed that a lot of innocent women also die! In initial episodes where we see some hot ninja-like babe being tortured, she looked like she could be a supporting character at least for that episode. Damn, she sexy. Guess what? She got killed off! Or some of them got rescued and that’s the last you’ll ever hear from them. I suppose here’s our equality, huh?

But the Samurai Gun themselves in action isn’t really exciting in particular. They just jump around, move around fast and fire their gun with special bullets. I guess when you don’t have a sword, you can’t pull off weird and epic sword moves and combos. The most you can do with a gun is pull a trigger. Even so, such boring bullet shooting fight. It’s not like they’re shooting a gun that could shoot 10 bullets or the bullets turn into some ferocious giant fire breathing dragon, RIGHT???!!! Wow. I got better imagination. But still crappy so I’m glad that didn’t happen. Also, it is interesting to know why Watou got this Bullet Time dodge ability. How does he do it?! Was he also part of the Samurai Gun programme?! Damn, so many such questions that will never be addressed! I suppose the series is just fresh a few years after the release of the very influential The Matrix. So I guess they want to showcase something about guns and dodging bullets. Yeah, his Bullet Time dodge is cheesy but still entertaining nevertheless.

Art and animation are of course reeking early 2000’s anime style. It is not a great masterpiece but you can tell it is very dated. Meaning, low quality. Heh. But one of the annoying things is how I find many characters looking quite similar and I can’t tell them apart. For example, I think I had some initial trouble telling apart Daimon and Katsu. Heck, I thought Inazuma was Matsuzaki in disguise! Worse, when Gouta appeared in the flesh, he looked really different from the mid-intermission eyecatch. Yeah, I suppose he had hair then (reminds me of Gintama’s Takasugi). Now he looked a lot like Matsuzaki with that kind of topknot hairstyle. Damn, hard to tell these people apart. Thank goodness all those lowly guards who come in a bunch too many may look the same (recycled clones?) but we don’t care about them since they’re going to be gunned down anyway. And Watou’s groupie they all have this red mark below their left eye. Is this some sort of uniformity thingy? Weird. At least the ladies like Kurenai and Ohana look hot. Early 2000’s style hot, that is. Also want to note on the Samurai Gun armour uniform, yeah it indeed makes them look like scrawny cockroaches. Really? This series was animated by Studio Egg whose only other work is Asobotto Senki Goku.

For the voice acting, I thought it could be the recording that may not be as advanced as today. Because I find that many of the main characters sound quite bland. So many seiyuus that I recognized like Showtarou Morikubo as Ichimatsu, Tomokazu Sugita as Watou, Takehito Koyasu as Gouta, Kazuya Nakai as Matsuzaki, Mai Nakahara as Mitsu, Minori Chihara as Ohana and even Hiroshi Kamiya as Hebizo and Kazuki Yao as Onimaru (Franky in One Piece), they sound so flat and without emotion. Maybe it is how their character is supposed to sound but at first it was hard for me to recognize them. Maybe back then they were not as refined and pro as they are today. Maybe. Heck, I think those voicing the villains have more emotions in them. The other casts are Katsuyuki Konishi as Daimon (Laxus in Fairy Tail), Kyoko Hikami as Kurenai (Rabi En Rose in Di Gi Charat), Hiroki Takahashi as Sutekichi (Hisoka in Hunter x Hunter), Hisao Egawa as Kozan (Liscar in Fairy Gone) and Masaki Terasoma as Katsu (Kiroranke in Golden Kamuy).

The opening theme is Samurai Crew by ZZ (no, not related to that American band, ZZ Top). Because of its edgy hard rock music style, it gives the series a refreshing feeling. After all, when you have samurai using guns in battle, might as well have some badass music to go match with it. But this music style somewhat reminds me of Ride On Shooting Star, the ending theme for the original FLCL series. As for the ending theme, it is a slow ballad, Ienai Kotoba by Aiko Kayo.

Overall, this series could have been better had it not been so episodic and disconnected. It makes your watching experience feel like watch and forget as there is nothing major in the story or characters that would make you want to care or look forward to in the next episode. If you just want some samurai gun slinging action, then this retro series might be a good way to pass the time. Otherwise, you’d be better off with other such samurai genres around that era like Samurai Champloo and Samurai 7. And don’t confuse this with another anime, Gun Samurai. Uh huh. Gundou Musashi is its official Japanese title. So what Ichimatsu said somewhat rang true. Not sure when we’ll wake up from this dream but we’re still going to keep running like how we do it. Yup, can’t run away from bad animes. Just got to run along with them. If my experience tells me better, usually the past and regrets often catch up and screw with you. Where’s the justice in that?! “Samurai Gun is outta here!”.

Heya Camp OVA

August 7, 2020

Rin fans who felt cheated that she didn’t appear in the short spinoff, be glad that she takes centre stage here in Heya Camp OVA. That’s right. If you also felt a bit cheated because there was no real camping in that one, well, uhm, this OVA might provide you with that fix until the next season arrives. Also, it is not just 3 minutes long but 11 minutes! Hah. More bang for your buck!

Sauna, lunch and reverse trike…
When Rin returns home, she realizes her bike is missing but in place is a trike. It seems her dad has sent it for yearly maintenance and got this on loan for the time being. So how is Rin going to go camping tomorrow? Why not ride this trike then? Even if she has a motorcycle licence, it is still valid as long as it is still within the 125cc range. Rin rides it and finds it fun. First stop is the public bath facility. As per suggested by Saitou, you have to do a few cycles of hot bath, sauna and cold bath in order to feel some rejuvenation. Hot bath is fine. Sauna can’t read or do your Ipad because of the steam. And the cold bath is really freezing! On a cold day! After a few cycles, Rin feels some sort of rejuvenation coming from within… Not! It’s her stomach growling. Time to go get some food. I guess that bath has worked up an appetite so she really enjoyed her tempura dish. She wonders if this hunger is part of the rejuvenation process. Then she goes to the mart to get her camping necessities. After that she heads up to the mountains to begin her camp. Talking to Saitou about the rejuvenation, Rin doesn’t feel anything near but it felt fun on its own. Saitou isn’t sure either because it took her a few tries to feel it. We see Rin cook some delicious grill sandwich for dinner. Yum! Then as she sits by her campfire, she realizes this is the kind of rejuvenation she is familiar with. And of course maybe she’ll hit the sauna again on her way home.

Sometimes The Most Productive Thing You Can Do Is Relax
Oh yeah. Are you feeling all rejuvenated? Hopefully. My only regret is that I can’t get a taste of the food Rin ate here! Oh damn! This isn’t a cooking show! So basically this OVA isn’t anything much and perhaps its main point is to help rejuvenate you with the easy going aspects seeing that we’re going through this Corona virus pandemic crisis. Too bad no camping outside in real life! But we’re more than happy to see our girls camping once more when the next season arrives. Possibly by next year. It would be about the time our Corona quarantine would be lifted and we can go outside and do the things we love again. Might be the new normal for all of us but it’s the same ol’ camping for these girls.

Hatena Illusion

July 26, 2020

I am not sure if I was charmed into watching Hatena Illusion because the synopsis didn’t sound interesting at all. Just really typical. Main character wants to be a phantom thief. Her partner wants to become the best magician. And yeah, certain items that give special and unique powers to its wielder. Oh heck. Maybe I’m just bad at choosing the kind of animes I want to watch every season. Most of the time I really pick real sh*tty shows to watch. Having said that, I think we all know how this anime is going to turn out. Oh boy. It’s sure not a dream nor illusion, me watching this…

Episode 1
Kana “Hatena” Hoshisato wanted to follow her mom, Maeve on some phantom thief job but is told to sit out because Makoto Shiranui will be coming soon. And so her childhood friend finally arrives at their mansion after getting lost. Also a little late because he helped a lost girl with his magic. He is greeted by the maid, Emma Sakurai and butler, Jeeves Wodehouse. Kana is pretty happy to see him again. However she has always mistaken him for a tomboyish girl and when told that he is really actually a boy, suddenly she hates him! Kana’s dad, Mamoru knows that Makoto is here to learn his magic tricks but looks like daddy has got a job overseas. Sorry. Can’t make it to Kana’s entrance ceremony either. So job > daughter? Makoto is introduced to Kana’s younger sister, Yumemi. After showing a few simple magic tricks, poker face girl opens up to him. Kana wants to kick Makoto out from the house but since it is rude to do so, Jeeves compromises by making him stay as a guest. So the only room is in the attic? After he cleans it up, Emma purposely makes him break an Artefact. Sure he can pay it off but Emma will have him work and earn his keep as a butler. This is all part of Emma’s plan to make Makoto and Kana grow closer together. Is this part of some reverse psychology or something? With the mansion being like a maze, what are the chances Makoto stumbles into Kana coming out of the bath? Yup. That chance. So flashback shows he saved her from a mean dog. On the way back, because they admired Mamoru and Maeve so much, they made a promise to become like them and each other’s partner. Makoto’s first day as butler in training begins as he must memorize the mansion’s layouts and Emma being sneaky having Kana show him around town. Well, she has nothing to do, right? When Makoto does his trick again, this time Yumemi takes a closer look at his magic wand. He confirms he got it from Maeve. Her symbol on it pretty much confirms it. While Yumemi believes Artefacts she entrusted to others means the person is good, Kana is hell bent on taking it back. Hence she transforms into her alter ego, Hatena a master thief to collect her prize.

Episode 2
Kana tries to sneak in but fails. Because Makoto thought a burglar got in! Worse, Emma and Yumemi are watching and the former teases Kana of trying to seduce Makoto this way. Bad day for Makoto. Got beaten up by Kana even if it’s not his fault. Kana later tells Makoto the family’s secret. Her scarf, Muff is an Artefact that was made by Maeve. She comes from a family who only knows how to make them. Once they were family secrets but got scattered around the world. Hence rich people bought them and wanted the family to make more for their own needs. As the family caved in, Maeve was against this idea and fled to Japan. Of course that alone wasn’t enough so she decided to become a phantom thief to steal back those Artefacts before they are being used for crimes. As for Hatena sneaking into his room, Emma comes clean that she put her up to it that she wanted her to target Makoto so as to practice her skills. She is after all a phantom thief in training. She hopes Makoto can keep this a secret. Other than being a butler, Makoto is also a transfer student in Kana’s school. She doesn’t want him to talk to her in fear of some scandal. Emma also goes to the same school. She is only 2 years Kana’s senior and is the student council president whom everyone adores. Makoto is in the same class as Kana. He quickly makes friends with a string of secondary characters that include Tokichiro Sakagami, Hayashida and Matsuo. Meanwhile, Kana’s friend, Kokomi Kikyouin tries to make Kana accept that Hatena is her name but the latter plays dumb. Later Makoto talks to Kana to keep her company. But some girls saw her Artefact. Makoto manages to cover for her by saying the trick was his and shows them his amateur hand.

Later back home, Kana wants Makoto to get out now! It seems Kokomi is here and who knows what will happen if she finds out about them living together. As Kokomi has a penchant to wander about, Makoto won’t be safe in his room. Eventually Kana hides him with Muff that envelops him like a huge ball. Kokomi is impressed and starts bouncing on it. Feeling something weird, her secretary, Mariah Grene attacks it. Muff opens and reveals Makoto. Kana’s anxiety was for nothing as Kokomi knew it all along. Because the Kikyouin supports Hoshisato, all info comes through them. Then Kokomi goes off to find an Artefact, the real reason she always comes here. It seems when Maeve gave Kana one, Kokomi became jealous so Mamoru promised her if she could find one and activate it, she could keep it. Of course that means calling its true name and making a contract with it. Kokomi hasn’t forgotten about this promise and has come here ever since. And she always makes a mess. Yeah. Big time. She trashes the house and leaves emptyhanded. Just go home already, please?! Oh well. There’s always next time. Indeed. Mariah notes there will always be plenty of chances.

Episode 3
The usual drill. Makoto accidentally sees Kana in the bath with the other ladies. Gets beaten up for nothing. Later, Kana confesses to Makoto about why she was upset with him because of him being a boy instead of girl thingy. Makoto decides to rent a place nearby and will only come by to learn magic. Apparently this isn’t what Kana wanted to hear. Sure, she blames herself for wanting him to get out but that is only because of her part in misunderstanding. She accuses him of not remembering their promise and even more so, she has been waiting for him all this time. No wonder guys are always so confused. Flashback when Makoto was young, he was called upon the stage that Mamoru and Maeve was performing. After the show, he wanted to learn magic from Mamoru so the magician made him a deal if he can prove in keeping his promise, he’ll teach him everything. Makoto realizes his misinterpreted the promise. It is not that Kana wants him as his magic partner but rather a phantom thief. Kana is devastated that her mom’s crest is gone. If an intruder had snuck in, the defensive Artefact would have alerted them. It is very much likely from someone among them. And since Mariah is missing, Yumemi uses her PC Artefact to trace Mariah. Can’t miss her. The only blonde with big boobs. Seems she is at Tokyo Bay. Using Artefact drains her energy, that’s why Yumemi is always in sleepy mode. This is a job for Hatena to get the crest back. She doesn’t want Makoto to get involved. Jeeves asks Makoto of his true intentions coming here. Seeing he wants everyone to smile, this activates his wand. All Makoto needs is to call its true name, Airgetlam and make a contract with it. Hatena faces off with Mariah but couldn’t best her. She takes Muff and reveals that she is actually Maeve’s younger sister under orders by the elders to take back Artefacts. This crest is valuable because it can create new Artefacts. Before it’s goodbye and Hatena in despair she couldn’t keep her promise, here comes Makoto. Magician-cum-phantom thief? After using magic to free Hatena, the duo cooperate to take down Mariah and get back the crest. She admits defeat and escapes. She warns them others will come after them and won’t be as easy as her. Makoto feels the strain in using the Artefact and is amazed Kana has put up with all this. He worries if he can serve her as her partner but she assures him he already is.

Episode 4
Mamoru returns! So now can Makoto learn magic tricks from him? Unfortunately as explained, his magic comes from using Artefacts and this is so as to not draw attention towards Maeve. Of course there are other stuffs that makes a magician like appearance and speaking persuasively. Oh, got another overseas gig. See you later. Hope Makoto isn’t too disappointed. Now on to the main episode, it seems Yumemi seems to be skipping school for a week. She won’t go nor would she tell what the problem is. Hence Makoto, Kana and Kokomi go to her school and talk to a classmate to find the source. Mami doesn’t think she is being bullied. Though, there is a kid who loves flipping up girls’ skirts. Then there’s a boy who broke her clay but they didn’t fight and she remade a better one and got praised by the headmaster instead. When Yumemi learns that they went to her school and dabbled in her affairs, she locks herself in her room. I guess only Makoto has got the rights to enter because his (cheap) magic is always entertaining, no? Because Yumemi still refuses to go to school and tell the problem, the sisters end up using their Artefacts to fight. Yeah, they’re going to bring the house down at this rate. But don’t worry. There’s an Artefact that will restore things. Giant teddy bear vs scarf? Tough call. Until a small ceiling slab falls onto Makoto’s head! Oh dear. Time to stop fighting. Makoto is okay so he goes to talk to an apologetic Yumemi. So it seems to root of the problem is that some boys are teasing how the sisters don’t look alike. And more magic tricks Makoto teaches her. And then later all those boys visit her to apologize. They didn’t mean what they say especially about her blonde hair. In fact they actually like it. But Yumemi got cold feet and ran to hide in her room. Again, Makoto has to go talk to her and that is by teaching more of his tricks. So with this, Yumemi shows it to those boys and they are so impressed. It’s like this stupid fight never happened in the first place. Though this problem is solved, Hatena and Kokomi aren’t pleased because Makoto stole to steal the whole show. It’s not fair! You just can’t please everybody…

Episode 5
Yumemi still won’t go to school. Apparently she wasn’t bullied by those boys. They just jumped to conclusions. Later a fat woman, Tomiko Tominozawa hands Kana her name card. She is an art dealer and claims to be in good terms with her parents. As she is going to hold an art exhibit, she hopes she could hand over a golden Artefact. Muff? Later Kokomi comes by with emergency news. A video of Tominozawa showing off her gallery exhibits. One of them including an Artefact bearing Maeve’s crest. Kana wants to go steal it back but Jeeves and Emma are against it. This could be a trap to lure Kana in and steal her artefact. They will wait and see what happens. In the meantime, there are rumours of some monster sighted at school. Makoto talks to those boys from Yumemi’s class. They blame themselves for Yumemi not coming to school because of the monster rumour. They regretted saying bad about it although it was the clay who smacked them back? Makoto and Hatena sneak into school to take back that clay figurine sitting in the office. Easy, huh? Then they are approached by a giant teddy bear. It’s Gaugau (Yumemi’s teddy bear). You mean only at this point the alarm went off?! Luckily Yumemi disables it. They return home and get lectured for doing this. Apparently Yumemi was trying to retrieve the clay figure which is an Artefact, herself. Though, this is still not the reason why she isn’t going back to school.

Later, Makoto is shocked when Gaugau talks to him. Gaugau can talk! Apparently Yumemi doesn’t know about this and hopes he would keep this a secret. Gaugau tells how Yumemi never wanted to inherit Maeve’s powers but seeing Kana wanting to carry on that tradition, she doesn’t want her to be sad. That’s why she tried to get the clay figurine herself. But her powers are growing and will soon be out of control. They have to do something about this. When Maeve returns to see Kana, it is just an Artefact transmitting her image. So it’s like a hologram telephone thingy? Anyway, they talk about things and with the problem going on with Yumemi, Maeve goes to talk to her personally. She gives Yumemi some motivation about the growing powers she has and how it is influenced by strong emotions. Before Maeve leaves, she hopes Kana can protect Yumemi as she has the power to create Artefacts. If grandma Morrigan Laroutir who is the family’s current head finds out about this, she might come here herself to take her. After Maeve leaves, Mamoru returns in a chirpy mood. The daughters are in no mood to give him a welcoming return. Yeah, he just ruined the perfect mother-daughters reunion and farewell. And so… Yumemi still won’t go to school, giving excuses she needs to control her power. With Kana still concerned over Yumemi, it seems Mariah knows a way to bring Maeve back and if Kana is interested, she can come to this place.

Episode 6
Kana sees Mariah who wants her to steal an Artefact in Tominozawa’s display. Don’t want to deal with the fatty, huh? If Kana helps her, she will put in a good word to Morrigan that would expedite Maeve’s return. Along with Kokomi and Makoto’s guys, they visit the exhibition to see where the Artefact is as well as the security cameras, etc. Meanwhile Yumemi doesn’t want to bath?! But after some nice words from Makoto, this girl will do it. Then they go out to meditate at a temple belonging to Hayashida. At this point this is where Kokomi slips up and accidentally reveals what Kana has been up to. Yumemi’s cuteness has the guys spill everything. I guess they know Kana’s next move and as they rush home, Emma says Kana has gone out. True enough, she has come to steal the Artefact. As we would have guessed, it is a trap set by Tominozawa. Apparently Mariah is in cohorts with her. Man, Hatena getting easily captured by Tominozawa’s slime Artefact? No wonder Mariah is so disappointed in her since she possessed a very powerful Artefact but she haven’t mastered it yet. Not sure what Mariah wants but she just leaves. Yumemi insists on going to save Kana since they got to prove their sister love whatever. Tominozawa tries to make Hatena give up Muff. She won’t and risk getting melted by the slime. Not to worry, Makoto, Yumemi and Emma are here to save the day. Wow. They get owned by her slime too? It doesn’t take a genius to tell that if you take away her Artefact, the slime will be gone. Makoto does that with his illusion distraction. Now with Hatena free, she scares away the fatty. Not going after her? Well, Hatena is weak so better tend to her. In the aftermath, Yumemi is ready to go to school. Makoto reminds Kana that once this is over, they can go around the world and stage shows like how her parents do. Yumemi wants to become Makoto’s second assistant and claims she can do a better job than Kana. Kana not amused. This sisterly rivalry thingy is sure complicated…

Episode 7
Mamoru returns! But his daughters aren’t happy. Because they know he is going away again! Yup. And even more so he confirms that Maeve won’t be coming back so soon. Sighs… Mamoru gives Makoto a good news that he will send his master to come teach him some magic tricks. The sisters are surprised to see Mariah in the mansion. Technically it is owned by Morrigan so she definitely has access to it. Because the last time Kana failed to control her Artefact, she views her inept to use or even keep it. Hence she wants the sisters to prove they can handle their Artefacts better or she’ll take them away. Hence we see them in training. Makoto trying to do some circus act balancing (?!), Kana trying to get Muff to listen to her commands and Yumemi meditating. Makoto and Kana being noisy on the silliest of things so Yumemi can’t concentrate. Emma suggests some waterfall meditation via some Artefact but nothing good came out of it unless you love the wet sisterly fanservice. WTF. Everyone gathers as Mariah introduces Gregory Camelot and his niece, Dina. They are long-time friends of Morrigan and Gregory is Mamoru’s master. Makoto is excited but Gregory doesn’t find it amusing that Mamoru has taken a disciple since he views his student as unworthy of one. Even Gregory doesn’t take on any apprentice despite Dina following him and bugging him over the years. Gregory gives Makoto a chance to show his tricks. Looks good to the untrained but Dina scoffs it off as even one. She shows a better elaborated one. Even that, she doesn’t consider this to any level near their masters. Gregory will be in the country for 2 weeks and he gives Makoto time to show him his best trick before he leaves. After the guests retire to their rooms, Mariah sees the rest and want the sisters to hand over their Artefacts as they are unskilled in handling them. This is for their safety and to prevent Artefacts from being misused. She also wants them to move out of this mansion because if they continue to stay here, they cannot disobey Morrigan’s orders.

Episode 8
Kana is shocked that Jeeves sides with Mariah. But Jeeves believes Mariah is making a decision in the best interest of the girls. Dina continues to be a dick with Makoto. Unless he can do a trick that she can’t, she won’t accept him as Gregory’s apprentice. Hope she doesn’t regret saying that. Mamoru is back and the first thing Kana wants papa to do is to explain why he allows Mariah to become the head of this house. Too bad Gregory interrupts just to introduce Dina to Mamoru and the young apprentice is very happy to meet Mamoru. If only she can be as enthusiastic like that to Makoto. Kana can’t take this anymore and wants to drive Mariah out. So she has Yumemi activate some Artefact that will do so. So it’s not tested yet and they even try it out right now? Yeah, it’s going berserk and destroy everything! Makoto manages to destroy it after all that relentless hammering and while nobody died, Makoto sustains light injuries. I guess this only further proves why they need to leave the house. The sisters remain stubborn despite Mamoru not even opposing to Mariah’s proposal. The logic behind this is to keep them safe as many are after the Artefacts. Mariah assures Emma she will keep her job if the sisters leave but Emma replies she will be leaving with the sisters if that happens as it is her job to look after them. However she must give up the maid outfit which is an Artefact. No can do. It is her property, though it was Maeve who made it into an Artefact. Talking with Kokomi, it seems anybody can use an Artefact. But to use its true powers, one must call its true name. So the only way to cancel the contract is via owner’s order or the death of the owner. Now you see why this is dangerous? We take a slight detour as Makoto teaches Yumemi how to swim. Emma is thinking hard on what to do next. Her past trauma fuels her to take the next step. Talking with the sisters, she thought it was the right thing to protect them from the outside world. Now she realizes that is wrong. As long as she carries the family’s name, Artefacts will always be part of her life. Hence she must be strong enough to withstand being at the centre. She has Jeeves teach her how to use her Artefact properly. At first they are worried it might look like bullying a frail old man. But Jeeves transforms into his younger self as he reveals he is actually an Artefact! In fact, the entire mansion is an Artefact and he is part of it. He can only maintain this form in 15 minutes but man, he only needs 3 seconds to take down Kana! Emma goes to request to Mariah to give Kana another chance to prove herself.

Episode 9
The kids get owned by Jeeves. No chance at all. And with that Emma wants them to go take Mariah’s test? Are you sure they are ready? Their job is to sneak into a mansion and steal some Artefact, do that and they will get to stay and their Artefacts not taken away. So sneaking into the mansion, they fend off lots of Artefact minions before facing off with the owner herself. They need to steal what seems to be Emma’s Artefact. After a hard fought battle, they defeat the owner who is revealed to be no other than Tominozawa. Though the price paid is Emma’s Artefact is slightly broken. While their mission is a success, but this test isn’t really over yet as Mamoru puts it. Time to tell Jeeves’ history. He has been an Artefact of this mansion for 200 years. Knowing that Maeve’s Artefacts will fall into the wrong hands, they deemed this mansion as essential. They tried to steal it but Mamoru was easily caught by Morrigan. Maeve then struck a deal to have it move to Japan. Hence Jeeves as the Artefact that everybody wants. Emma talks to Mariah about the kids’ success. Though, Mariah isn’t too happy since she tried to keep her nieces out of danger but Emma has dragged them back and putting them in the same fate she went through. Tominozawa is rewarded for taking part in this retest and with some of her Artefacts broken, as promised they will send it to Maeve who can repair them. Upon hearing this, Yumemi thinks she can do it and repair Emma’s Artefact. So we see a glimpse of Emma’s past. Maeve saved her and took her in from traffickers or something. Emma held her Artefact very close to her heart because it was the only testament on love her unknown parents left her. Kana felt bad because had they failed the test, Emma’s Artefact would’ve been taken. But Emma fully believed they would pass. Even so, Kana still wants to apologize to her for making her going through all this. Emma once harboured dreams to become a phantom thief and snatch away all the children’s tears. She hopes Kana can do it better. With Kana’s help, Makoto does some body split trick before Gregory. This is something Dina cannot do so as per agreed, Gregory accepts Makoto as his disciple. Of course, sore loser Dina b*tch still won’t accept this.

Episode 10
Gregory shows the gang a message from Morrigan. She has tasked him to collect 3 Artefacts: Glyph of the Wind God, Ring of the Thunder God and Violin of the Earth God. Completing this mission means she will release Maeve. As it is discovered that the Violin is in Australia, Mamoru and Gregory will be heading there under a pretence to do a show. Of course the sisters, Makoto and Emma are also roped in to help. Down Under here we come! Upon arrival, they are greeted by Gregory’s friend, Bryan who treats them with great hospitality. Meanwhile a group of bigwigs have learnt that Mamoru and his daughters are away. They plan to do something big so Michelle Li offers her help in exchange of her small clan joining them. Kokomi isn’t impressed that her dad, Masayoshi looks like he is flirting with Mariah? I’m telling mommy! However what the heck is Tominozawa doing here too? Mariah has info that multiple hostile organizations have formed an alliance to take them down and will definitely strike. Hence Tominozawa is on their side to keep the mansion while the rest are away. Once Mariah and Masayoshi get started on their mission, lowly goons invade the mansion. But they are no match for Tominozawa and Jeeves in their ‘attractive’ form. Mariah investigates a suspicious factory and finds out they are making artificial Artefacts. She uses hers to destroy everything. Masayoshi confronts the bigwigs. He is opposed to them striking the mansion. But he isn’t here to pick a fight with them and will let them go if they let him know the location of the Ring. Even if they don’t tell, Masayoshi has a super convenient Artefact that reads minds. Mariah returns to the mansion and with a prize: The Glyph. Oh wow. So convenient. Mansion protected and they’ve already got 2 of the 3 Artefacts. Saving Maeve is so much f*cking easy with this mission. So now it all boils down to our heroes in Australia.

Episode 11
So the current owner of this Violin is some mobster who plans to let her daughter to use it and win some competition? Don’t care! Hatena makes her announcement to steal it because of this stupid rule that in exchange for informing of the steal, at the moment the Artefact is stolen, its true name will be revealed. I don’t even know if they made that one up. Of course the place is heavily guarded on the ground. So how? Fly in through the air! Damn these people are stupid! Makoto and Hatena’s combo make a fool out of those adults! They even switched the real Violin with a fake just to confuse the owner while escaping. When they come home, WTF Dina b*tch is mad at Makoto because he didn’t attend Mamoru and Gregory’s performance?! DOES SHE EVEN KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON???!!! Even if Mamoru and Gregory chastise her for this narrow thinking, Dina will still not accept Makoto. Excuses, EXCUSES! That night, Bryan throws them a party for a successful show. As the ladies are in the bath, suddenly baddies come in! No free show as Emma takes them out. If you’re wondering why they could easily sneak in, it’s because they’re the party’s staff. So is Bryan a traitor? Turns out that Michelle has bought everything in this mansion as Bryan has fallen into debts. Whatever. So nobody guarded the Violin and she’s having it now?! She reveals the Violin’s real Artefact is just the bow. And some loophole in Mamoru’s barrier that prevented Michelle from attacking head on but since Kana brought it… I’m so f*cking confused… Michelle has an orb that nullifies Artefacts within the vicinity. She wants them to hand over all their Artefacts in exchange for this Violin. Or just die and they’ll still take everything. Worse, Dina is their hostage! Can this get any worse?! Mamoru will not put his daughters’ lives in danger and agrees for the exchange. Suddenly pigeons and smoke cover the area. Artefact effect? Nope. Just plain magic. Stupid henchmen can’t even shoot straight when everyone else attacks. Makoto is forced to teleport away with Dina when somebody shoots at them. Michelle is forced to flee. Makoto isn’t sure which cave he is in. He is about to tend to Dina’s wounds when he discovers Dina is actually female! Huh?! I always thought she was female! Uhm, so those aren’t boobs but fats?! Not falling for that. So Dina explains she cross-dressed as a boy just to be Gregory’s apprentice. Despite having the same dreams as Makoto and the same age, Makoto became his apprentice first. So she admitted it. Just pure selfish jealously, huh? Anyway she still hates him. Not surprised at this point. Not sure how the bad guys know they’re hiding here but they have to run. Too bad they had to stumble into Michelle.

Episode 12
Michelle wants Makoto to hand over his Artefact and tell its true name. You bet he won’t do it. But because of that, they get owned. Michelle gives him once last chance. Makoto agrees but of course this is a ruse. Too bad Michelle didn’t fall for that so his ruse fails. So now Makoto is actually giving up?! Had not Hatena arrive in time in her angelic form (it’s just Muff glowing and spreading like wings), a bad ending could’ve happened. Hatena is so mad that Makoto is hurt, she unleashes her fury! She’s indestructible! To a point where she scares the sh*t out of everybody! You think Michelle would give up now. Too bad she turned into a crazy woman and pops out her gun. Also, it’s that neutralizing orb. WTF?! Now she only used it?! Why did she not use it earlier on???!!! This is when Makoto makes his ultimate bluff by saying his wand can still work and after making flowers pop up in Michelle’s gun, he claims firing it will make it explode. Michelle bought this stupid trick, drops it and runs. For some weird reason, she didn’t see Emma while running straight ahead and got a kick in the face! So unbelievable… Everybody is reunited and Hatena in shock that Dina is a girl. Apparently everybody else knows about this already. Dina mentions she cross-dresses as a boy because Gregory mentioned something along the lines that he won’t take any girls as an apprentice. Now he claims he didn’t say that???!!! After Mamoru teleports the Artefacts back to the village, all they have to do is sit back and wait for Maeve’s return. Any time now… Any time… So as the seasons pass, we see Makoto calling his family so that we don’t forget that he actually has one and not an orphan.

Then a message from Morrigan. Looks like they need to get another Artefact to secure Maeve’s release. Oh boy. Shifting the goalpost, isn’t she? At this rate, who knows they’ll be doing this job for her for eternity. So the sneaking in was freaking easy. The stealing was freaking easy. Just that they didn’t anticipate this magic barrier trap!!! How could they note see this coming???!!! Anyway, Hatena is in danger of being killed as old witch Morrigan pops up and nullifies all Artefacts. Oh my, Makoto begging again? Is this what he can when he is powerless? Morrigan only stops because Maeve is here and tells her she is her granddaughter. Yeah, the whole jinjang gang is here too. Even if this Morrigan may be an Artefact clone, she is still powerful. Better gang up on her. Hatena thinks this is Morrigan’s test to see how strong she is. She admits she is weaker than everybody else but promises to be strong enough to catch up to everyone. Morrigan doesn’t believe this BS and attacks her. Only to be blocked by Makoto’s wand. With Mamoru pestering her about this, Morrigan’s backs down and retreats because this might be her weakness: Family drama! Yeah, can’t stand this sh*t! She looks disappointed when Mariah has decided to side with them. Well, if you’re going to be a granny b*tch, nobody is going to be by your side eventually. Anyway, the good news is that Maeve is now back with them! Yes, for real! Not a hologram or Artefact effect! It’s Maeve in the flesh! Hooray! Daughters can smile and cry for real now. Mommy’s back. Maeve thanks everyone for help keeping the family safe. Including Mariah. Apparently Mariah feels weird being praised like that so everybody can’t help tease her. And yes, everyone’s life returns to normal. Yumemi also returns to school but wants Makoto to reward her. Not until Kana reminds her Makoto is her partner!

Hatena No Gaugau-Gotoku
Gau. Oh well. Everyone who stuck and watched this series till the end knew its very unfortunate conclusion. And I’m not talking about the plot itself yet. For some reasons (they blamed it on the Corona virus anyway), the final episode was delayed for about 3 months. Actually, no initial date was given to the final episode and they told us they will inform us when it will come out. We were resigned to interpret that as forever never but alas, a date was eventually mentioned. You see, the very sad part is that I think there is some sort of conspiracy to disrespect the creator of this series who died a few years ago. This is not the first show that this creator has had this treatment. Remember Marchen Madchen? Yup. Same author. That unfortunate 2018 series had its final 2 episodes delayed indefinitely in addition to some episodes during its run still delayed (quality improvement issues although nothing was improved). Though it eventually came out about a year later, at least Hatena Illusion came didn’t intend to break that record. But it still bugs me why they want to adapt this series then. Do they really want to disrespect him that much even in his grave?!

So when the final episode finally came out, I didn’t really see any difference. Did they change anything? Hmm… Animation quality looks the same like before. Could it be they changed how the ending turned out? I mean, suddenly Maeve returns just like that. Stealing the last Artefact made no sense except that it is some sort of stupid indirect test for Hatena. So by having Maeve suddenly now returned (because I don’t think Morrigan is the kind who would actually let her go and would fight tooth and nail for her possessions even if it’s her own family), this would dispel any sort of sequel because you know, to leave viewers with the probability of a future sequel, more than often such finale is left with a cliff-hanger. Not for this case. Happy ending for our parties concerned. It’s like the family is a whole again, not having to worry about their Artefacts being targeted or stolen in the near future. Well, mommy’s back and I suppose she is powerful enough to make detractors think twice before making a move. How is this happy ending not feel so rushed?! Oh right. Nothing ends faster than cheesy family drama! Thank goodness?

Aside production issues, the anime itself is already in trouble with a boring story and uninspiring characters. It might not be one of the worst animes ever or one that would make the top 10 list of sh*tty animes (you think this is so bad, wait till you watch Maou-sama Retry!), but it is bad enough to make you wonder what they actually want to do with the adaptation in the first place. The plot is all over the place and they’re trying to fit in as many other plots into the story. It felt so rushed. Like the kids’ training with Jeeves and Makoto’s answer to Dina. Like, that’s it? That’s all to it? I thought it would take longer than that. It felt so stupid too. Like how armed adults can lose to a bunch of kids and their tricks. That’s real magic, seriously! It became such a hot mess that I don’t even know what to make out of it. Basically mommy is held hostage and her daughters need to find a way to go rescue her. Oh, it involves Artefacts too. That’s the basic gist of it and if you’re fine with that, good for you. Baddies trying to steal Artefacts but I guess they’re so incompetent that none of the Artefacts were really in danger of being stolen and sold to the wrong hands. So complacent that our young heroes also let their guard down and almost got it stolen! Damn, everything so stupid!!!

Making it all worse are the characters themselves. Sometimes I feel they are trying to rip off Hayate No Gotoku but they fail miserably. I don’t know. I just feel that the main trio of Makoto, Kana and Yumemi were so boring that they had to force in a few cliché character developments like Makoto being the private confidante to Yumemi because of her introvert ways. Like, what the heck?! They also want to add some sisterly drama and show to us that they are trying to be normal sisters because normal sisters also fight and argue with each other, right? And so that’s their idea and recipe for building bonds between the sisters. Because Kana who doesn’t have blonde hair like the rest of the females in the family must be feeling so isolated and Yumemi who loves her sister so much that she needs to protect her, wow, sisterly love so sweet and complicated. I don’t know. Don’t ask me. I don’t have any sisters. And wow, Yumemi got schooling problems. So relatable. Heh.

Makoto is supposed to be one of the main characters but I don’t really see him achieving anything special. No, becoming Gregory’s disciple is not what I view as anything I would call an achievement. At first they try to make Makoto and Kana’s relationship to be cliché enough. I mean, do you still remember how Kana hated Makoto and wanted him out of the mansion just because she realized he is a boy and not a girl?! Remember that???!!! And suddenly, all of a sudden that just conveniently vanished and became a distant memory once they become amateurish partners for each other. She’s now even in panic mode to learn that Makoto and Dina (a girl) spent a night together. Suddenly she understands this unholy misconception. Sure, it’s good that Kana moved on but it just feels unrealistic that for a girl who has been living a big majority of her life under the impression that Makoto is a girl, man, it was really quick she got over it. So Makoto proved himself fast, huh? And you thought they forced us some cheesy lucky sukebe moments earlier on with Makoto accidentally walking in on Kana in the bath and semi-naked. Did that help to build their relationship? Too bad their dynamism is so boring that even Hayate and Nagi had better chemistry and charisma than this rip-off. No, seriously. You don’t even think of any romance happening between Makoto and Kana. It won’t ever cross your mind at this rate. And Yumemi trolling us a love triangle potential. It’s bad enough if sisters fight with each other, please don’t make them fight over a guy!

Emma and Jeeves provide support to the kids. I really want to love Emma for my bias one-sided love for maid characters but I guess I’m just doing that for her being a maid. Other than that, I don’t see her character any interesting in particular. They try to paint her as some genius because she can do a lot of things and even oh my god a student council president to boot with at her age. They give her an episode in focus and try to give us some feels with her sad back story but at this point all I just want her is to forever don the maid outfit and just shut up. She’s no Maria but whatever. Yeah. MAIDS ARE THE BEST!!! WOHOOO!!! And who would’ve ever thought Jeeves is actually an Artefact and part of the mansion. Surprise, mother*ckers! Didn’t see that one coming, did you?! I admit I didn’t. But I was so bored that I wasn’t even going to pretend to be surprised. Yawn. Now you know why such a huge mansion is so well taken care off despite a shortage of staff members. You’d think apprentice Makoto can get everything done in a day? No way! He’s not even skilled enough to do advanced magic tricks! Jeeves isn’t Klaus but… Oh heck, at least he is better than the comical Klaus! So I’m guessing he is in old grandpa version because the sisters might get thirsty if he is in his youthful handsome macho form 24/7. Hey, might happen, you know.

Then there’s Mariah who is somewhat playing the role of the villain just to troll us. At first she claimed she was under Morrigan’s orders to take their Artefacts. She failed. And then she suddenly returned as their ally? Suddenly she is so concerned about the kids and does everything in their best interest. So is she with Morrigan or not? Ending spoilers indicate she isn’t. But at this point I’m thinking that she’s just playing nice to ultimately get what she wants. Not that I care anyway. After all, staying by your young cute nieces beats than staying by a hagged old witch. Just saying… I know that there is something more than meets the eyes of Maeve being captured by Morrigan so I can’t help think that Maeve isn’t as good as her daughters think she is. Maybe she is trying a way to solve this peacefully but it’s taking an awful long time. So long that a season isn’t enough to solve it! So finally they just f*ck the whole thing and decide to give mommy back to the girls. Best cheesy family drama indeed. Same case for Tominozawa. Is she friend or foe? As long as she wants her love returned by Jeeves, whatever. And Mamoru started out as very much beloved by his daughters and with Maeve being no-show, I guess that love just suddenly went away. You’d think that absence makes the heart grow fonder but I guess the girls are now at that age where they don’t want to bath or sleep with papa. Oh well. That’s what you get for always disappearing on them in their time of need.

Kokomi (she’s no Sakuya but whatever) is one of the worst characters in the series. As her family is responsible for all the information that flows through the Hoshisato family, this girl feels like she knows nothing at all. First fail seen when she doesn’t even know her own secretary AKA Mariah is a spy! Hence I see her as some bratty kid who does what she wants. It’s to show that Kana has got a friend and not a loner in class. But unlike the sisters, Kokomi doesn’t like her dad and it is always every father’s heart breaking nightmare when his daughter no longer showers him with the affection his cute little innocent baby angel once did. Sob, sob. Even Makoto’s secondary friends (they’re no Izumi, Risa and Miki but whatever) do not even appear all that much and are so forgettable that you thought the producers introduced them in hopes they could play some sort of role later on but eventually they weren’t needed anyway. In a way, they’re aren’t as worst as Kokomi as a minor forgettable characters. And at this rate, why the heck do they even need to introduce Dina? The other worst character in the series. Why more unnecessary drama? Why the need of some unnecessary rivalry? Why, oh why?! Do they really want to make everybody hate her character? Well, they’re doing a fine job. A much better job than this anime! HAHA! Dina is so irritating that she just finds the lamest excuse just to chide Makoto for being unworthy. Such a dick. It makes everybody else look like Buddha because they put up with her selfishness. I don’t mind if she gets killed off… But unfortunately it isn’t that kind of anime. Anyway, Dina finally ‘coexisting’ with Makoto in the end still doesn’t take away the bulk of the sentiments that she was being a dick the whole time. Even if she only has a pussy. HAHAHA!!!

The Artefacts I am guessing are supposed to be one of the main features here but they don’t feel integral enough to be that part. So much so I feel that they are just tools for plot convenience and the likes. Even Muff and Gaugau (he’s no Tama but whatever) are so underutilized that it makes you wonder if their masters are truly connected with them in the first place. Yeah, they aren’t, really. Better buck up that training. It’s just a shame that with so many different Artefacts and each having their own unique powers and characteristics, you’d think they would be featured more here but instead why got some cheesy drama between the characters and it’s like the Artefacts here are just meant to be stolen or retrieved. I wonder if my toilet bowl is an Artefact because every day it accepts my sh*t gracefully without question and does a hell better job than this sh*tty series!!! HAHAHAHA!!!! And what’s this that Yumemi can somewhat create Artefacts? Oh, you bet that this can be used as a future plot. Hopefully they don’t.

Interestingly (or not), at the end of every episode, there is a small segment called Gaugau’s corner. Here, a random question is posed and to be answered by one of the characters in the anime. However as the teddy bear is featured instead, this means you are going to hear Gaugau in its own language. Yup, Gaugau might be some sort of Pokemon as it only says its own name. So your guess is as good as mine on what this bear is saying. Hence good luck guessing or in most cases you can make up whatever answers you want as that character masquerading as Gaugau give their answers in Gaugau gaugau gau gauuuuuu words. Wow… I’m so stumped… I never knew…

Art and animation are bad enough and you can obviously tell in so many scenes that the quality is so inferior and lacking. For example you see Makoto or Kana’s facial expression, sometimes it really looks one kind and it makes them look really weird. Not sure if they did it on purpose because it is like as though they want to do the same thing to Marchen Madchen and get some episodes delayed. Fortunately unfortunately, we viewers don’t give a damn at this point so nobody actually complained and hence it wasn’t delayed for any quality improvement reasons. Though, a recap episode was made when an episode’s production couldn’t be finished on time. Nothing to do with quality, though. Children’s Playground Entertainment did this and despite mainly helping other anime studios, this is the first anime that they produced by themselves. Well, as we’ve seen, not good. Try harder. Anime isn’t child’s play, you know! Endcard illustrations at the end might be amusing and good but still doesn’t make up for the overall inferior quality of the series.

Character designs look pretty meh too. I feel like I’ve seen them from somewhere but my brain is too lazy to work. Yeah, maybe many of them remind me of Hayate No Gotoku but whatever. I just want to point out the most obvious one being Gregory who looks like a love child between Fullmetal Alchemist’s Armstrong and Sonic Boom’s Eggman. Seriously! My other ‘complaint’ is Mariah’s sexy outfit when she does her professional job as a thief. Is that her real job? I’m confused. But anyway, her clothes are so scantily covered that you wonder if it is viable in the first place. At least you would think that she would wear a tight catsuit to cover up but nope. She’s flaunting her great body. I don’t think she is seducing anybody in her mission except to charm us horny otaku losers in this cheesy fanservice. I still think she would look hot in a catsuit but whatever. At least Hatena’s ‘negligee’ isn’t so slutty. But still bad, though

Voice acting feels rather okay. Nothing special. My conspiracy theory is that Yoshitsugu Matsuoka wants to run away from his stereotypical view and shadow of forever being known as the voice of Kirito so he ended up taking on this Makoto character in this sh*t series. I don’t think his reputation would tank but unfortunately he didn’t really help in doing making this series a little better. The other seiyuu I recognize is Satomi Arai as Mariah and it also feels absolutely wasted for her to lend her talents to this garbage. She sounds a lot subdued here but that’s thanks to her character more than anything else. At first I thought Yu Kobayashi was behind Tominozawa’s voice but it is actually Yuki Kaida (Homura in Sekirei). No wonder in her hot sexy version she sounded so different. Fatty version trolled me… And behind Morrigan’s voice is Kikuko Inoue. No wonder grandma can turn into a hot chick figure herself because somebody is always eternally 17…

The rest of the other casts are Aina Suzuki as Kana (titular character in Jashin-chan Dropkick), Miyu Tomita as Yumemi (titular character in Gabriel Dropout), Sumire Uesaka as Kokomi (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Mao Ichimichi as Emma (Bada in ClassicaLoid), Takashi Matsuyama as Jeeves (Rurio in Houzuki No Reitetsu), Yoshimasa Hosoya as Mamoru (Reiner in Shingeki No Kyojin), Fuyuka Ono as Dina (Ren/Run in To Love-Ru), Kouji Ishi as Gregory (Garterbelt in Panty And Stocking With Garterbelt), Saki Fujita as Michelle (Ymir in Shingeki No Kyojin) and Yoshino Nanjou as Maeve (Kokoro in Tantei Opera Milky Holmes). On an interesting note, Gaugau is listed as ???. Either everybody takes turns voicing this easy role or some bigshot seiyuu must be behind it. Nobody cares at this point. Gau… The opening theme, Magic Words by Liyuu sounds like manufactured pop music and worthy of becoming some dubstep music. In addition, sounds completely flat to me. Meanwhile the ending theme is Hikari No Iro No Uta by Aina Suzuki. Sounds slightly better but why does it make me think this lively piece is a song fitting for the Hayate No Gotoku series?!

Overall, this series just trash and garbage that even makes Marchen Madchen look better. It is sad that they already did something this atrocious to a series of a dead man and even more so to us as anime fans, hardcore or casual alike. There is no magic here. Not even an illusion. It is more of deception and it is too bad that there is no Artefact in the series which could save this anime from spiralling and falling down even further into the never ending abyss of darkness. A show so bad that not only audience would want to walk out and ask their money back, they would badly want an Artefact that could erase their memories of this piece of sh*t! Sorry, that Artefact does not exist either. So you’re going to ask me smarty pants what would I have done to make this anime much better, eh? Yes. I have the best answer that nobody has ever even thought of: Gaugau gauuu, gaugaugaugau gau gaaaaaauuuuu gaugau gau! OMFG! Are you so freaking enlightened now???!!! How did anybody not see this in the first place???!!! Gaugau gau!!!

The Plus Ultra is still going strong. After 3 successful seasons, Boku No Hero Academia S4 is back stronger than ever because as we have seen at the developments of the third season, the retirement of the symbol of peace AKA everyone’s favourite superhero, All Might has left a great hole and vacuum not only in this story but as well as in the hearts of many viewers. How are we to move on from here? Even if All For One was taken out in the process, the nasty League of Villains are still lurking. Will it be the new generation of young superheroes’ turn to shine? Like they say, a hero is not made overnight. And in this series’ case, over a season.

Episode 64
A small newspaper company needs any scoop on All Might after defeating All For One but the police and superheroes have been tight lipped on this. Then comes in journalist, Taneo Taneda. Remember what All Might said about somebody’s turn next after that epic battle? Taneda believes he wasn’t referring to villains but his successor. Judging from the way he said it (he wouldn’t have worded it so nicely if he was addressing it to baddies, right?) and how he became a teacher at UA, it could be he is finding a successor. Taneda has narrowed down a few possibilities and thinks that successor could be in Class 1A since he is devoting his time there. He promises to get the scoop as the agency has arranged an interview with Class 1A. Well, actually more like observing them. He would take pictures of them in their daily activities and ask questions. Cue for introduction to all 20 Class 1A students and their Quirks in case any of you forget them. Hey, it’s the fourth season already… Taneda’s elimination process and journalist guts have him believe All Might’s successor is Midoriya. He goes talk to him and admits he is a big fan of All Might. Who isn’t? After all, All Might saved his father from some factory bombing many years ago. That gave him hope. That’s why All Might’s retirement came as a shock. Hence there is unease slowly seeping into society. Taneda reveals his Quirk of being able to produce camera lens throughout his body as well as printing instant photos. Then he deduces Midoriya as All Might’s successor because of the similarities in Quirk and certain coincidental events. Midoriya didn’t admit but because of his panicky looks, Taneda likes him for being unable to lie. Taneda apologizes he came on pretence of writing an article of the daily lives of students at UA. But he just wants to assure if hope is not lost. Now he is certain he doesn’t need to give false encouragement to those who are uneasy. Even All Might has retired, there is still hope. He promises not to report this juicy scoop. Taneda keeps his promise as he lies to the agency he didn’t get any scoop on the successor. However he does have this photo of All Might eating a meat bun! That will do! Yeah, people are so desperate to have anything on this guy. Secret safe for now.

Episode 65
Midoriya calls Gran Torino and hopes he could do works studies with him. However he is busy and thinks he should refer to All Might to introduce some people. Say, Sir Nighteye? That guy was All Might’s ex-partner. Continuing from last season’s cliff-hanger, we see Twice bring Overhaul to join Shigaraki’s side. Overhaul is believed to be the heir of a yakuza group, Shie Hassaikai. Overhaul is not concerned with All Might’s retirement but All For One being out of the picture too. With both sides without a leader, who will be next? Shigaraki takes this as an insult because naturally it would be him, right? Instantly, Overhaul calls his plan to gather troops a delusion. He then explains that training camp ambush whereby he lost very valuable villains. If he can’t handle a small group of crazy villains, how can he handle a bigger group? Overhaul adds he is here not to join him. Unlike him, he has a plan but needs a lot of money. Since nobody would invest in a yakuza, he thought this group would have the name recognition. Once everything is in order, he will make use of them and be the next leader. Of course Shigaraki won’t have this and kick him out. Magne tries to kill him but Overhaul’s Quirk has Magne’s body explode in every bit! Mr Compress tries next but is lucky to get away with just an arm. Overhaul’s grunt protects him from Shigaraki’s decay. With both sides down a men, Overhaul doesn’t think this is beneficial. Once he calms himself down, then they can talk. Shigaraki’s men want revenge but he won’t let them go berserk.

Aizawa relates the bad news that after the meeting among teachers, they disagree with the students doing work studies. Or at least only work under agencies with good track records. Midoriya goes to beg All Might to introduce him to Nighteye. He turns him down and gives his reasons. Even if he can’t introduce him, at least not in person. Hence All Might calls Togata as he is currently working under Nighteye for a year. He asks his opinion if Midoriya qualifies. Togata in turn asks Midoriya the kind of hero he wants to be. Initially is to save anybody with a smile. But after going through all that, it isn’t as easy as he thought. Hence he wants to become stronger so as not to worry others. Okay. Good enough. Before Nighteye’s agency, Midoriya is worried since Nighteye has this very strict image. But that is only in the media. He has a different side. As he values humour, if you can make him laugh once by the end of the day, then he has acknowledged you. The moment they open the door to his office, he is tickling his assistant, Bubble Girl! I guess she read the report in a boring manner. It’s all up to you know, Midoriya. Hence he tries to make an impression of All Might! What do you think? It sucks, right? Yeah, Nighteye thinks he is insulting All Might! Oh dear. That wasn’t funny. This is going to be a tough day.

Episode 66
Apparently Nighteye thinks his expression is slightly off! Yup, Nighteye is a super big freak fan of All Might and has all the memorabilia in his office. It then descends into some trivia talk of All Might. Yup, they’re both super big freak fans of All Might. But Nighteye isn’t going to easily accept his work studies. He must proof how he will benefit his agency. Not by his words but by his actions. So if he can take this seal from him within 3 minutes, he passes. This is going to be tough as Nighteye’s Quirk allows him to see the future of those he touched and had eye contact, albeit just for 1 hour. Midoriya bounces about like Gran Torino but Nighteye is still able to see all through his moves and dodge. He even taunts Midoriya that he doesn’t see him worthy as All Might’s successor. In fact, he thinks there is someone else worthier. Midoriya tries a daring move but still fails. Time’s up. Nighteye soon learns that Midoriya was trying not to mess up all the All Might memorabilia. He is amazed despite being upset by all the provocations, he still thought about the situation around him. With that, Nighteye accepts him to his agency. Back at the dorm, Midoriya’s classmates are pretty impressed he got to work with Nighteye. Not only Midoriya, but others like Tokoyami got an invitation from Hawks, the third ranking agency. Even Kirishima, Ochako and Tsuyu get a call to meet the Big Three. Midoriya’s first day working under Nighteye, they’re going to do public patrolling. Nighteye is also doing a secret investigation on Hassaikai. The group is under surveillance by the police and they’re so far being obedient. But recently, Overhaul is making strange moves and rumours have it that he made contact with the League of Villains. Because they have no proof of any criminal activity, they cannot take action. Their job is to get more info and make sure they don’t find out about them. Fate has a strange way of turning things out because Midoriya already bumps into Overhaul at the alley who is seeking this horned loli girl, Eri to come back with him. She looks very afraid… Something not right…

Episode 67
Eri clings onto Midoriya and doesn’t want him to go. Togata smooths things over to not let in any suspicions and even so, Eri still clings onto him. Because of that, Midoriya now questions Eri’s bandages. Overhaul claims Eri to be his daughter and she has too many bandages. It would be even more suspicious if heroes turn a blind eye. Overhaul agrees to tell them in the back alley and not in public. As they follow, Eri detects Overhaul’s killing intent and decides to go back with him. Midoriya and Togata return to report to Nighteye. Midoriya is told off not to rush it. He is not some special hero who can save anybody he wants. In fact, he is trying to request other agencies to help out with this case. Because this leaves a bad taste in Midoriya’s mouth, he can’t concentrate in his classes so he goes to confront All Might to tell the truth once and for all. Did he knew about Nighteye knowing about One For All and that he wanted Togata as his successor? He wants the whole truth but All Might never told him thinking it wouldn’t benefit him. Try him. He needs to know everything as his successor and not just as a fan. Okay. Don’t regret it. Nighteye was his partner for 5 years and the brains of his operation. But 6 years ago, they parted ways due to their differences in value. Because of that devastating injuries, Nighteye wanted him to retire and find a successor. Obviously All Might couldn’t wait that long and wanted to continue to be the symbol of peace. That argument dissolved their partnership. When Nezu recommended Togata, unfortunately All Might came into Midoriya first. He didn’t tell him because he was his fan. That was when Midoriya realized Nighteye could look far into the future like 6-7 years. He realizes All Might would be dead! That’s like this year, no?! Midoriya wants him to remain alive so that he could see him live up to that promise. All Might assures that ever since meeting him, he has resolved not to die. But so far Nighteye’s prediction came true. It is a reason why he can’t face him all this time. All Might is confident he might have twisted fate in some ways so Midoriya vows to also do that for him. He suggests talking to Nighteye again to see his future. That would be assuring, right? But All Might doesn’t want to inconvenience him… It’s a matter of life and death!!! Meanwhile Shigaraki calls Overhaul and will give his answer.

Episode 68
Ochako and Tsuyu along with Nejire take out baddies fighting each other on the streets. Eh? Is one of them a Titan?! Anyway, they are doing work studies under the hero, Ryukyu. She tells them that they are among the heroes who are called to help out Nighteye’s case. Meanwhile Shigaraki sees Overhaul and wants to know his plan. It has something to do with this special bullet. Apparently it disables one’s Quirks, an improvement over All For One’s ability. We take a detour seeing Kirishima doing his work studies along with Amajiki with Fat Gum. After they manage to subdue some low level criminals, one of the criminal fires a special bullet into Amajiki before running away. This seals Amajiki’s Quirk as Kirishima goes after and corners him. The scum fights back but is no match for him. He then complains and cries about wanting to become strong before injecting himself with a serum that makes his Quirk go berserk. Now that he is all powerful, he goes insane as he projects longer blades from his body. Kirishima is at his limit trying to defend the public with his hardening ability but after remembering Bakugou’s words, he hardens himself even stronger and in his ultimate form, bulldozes the scumbag down. The effects must have worn out so the lowlife is back to his usual cry-baby mode. He still tries to pull a fast one and escape but is luckily caught by Fat. Kirishima’s heroics have earned the praise of the public as they are hopeful to see such a young and energetic hero. This gives Kirishima a lot of motivation as he thanks the crowd. It is no surprise that Kirishima along with Ochako and Tsuyu are top trending searches on the internet. Well, maybe it’s a surprise to them after all. Bakugou getting angrier the more he hears how much the rest are achieving…

Episode 69
Midoriya, Kirishima, Ochako and Tsuyu are being called somewhere for a meeting. Not only they see Big Three but some well-known heroes and minor ones as well. This meeting is organized by Nighteye and they will be discussing about Hassaikai. Based on their investigation, it seems Hassaikai is trying to increase their presence and has made contact with others outside their organization. Their goal is to expand their organization and increase their funds. It is suspected that their main income source is unauthorized drugs. Fat explains the bullet the disables Quirks. Thank goodness Amajiki’s Quirk has returned to normal this morning. Analysis of the bullet shows that there are human blood and cells in it. Revealing Overhaul’s Quirk is to break down and assemble things, this can also be applied to Quirks. Hence he could be using this to make those bullets. What is disturbing is that he might be using Eri’s body into bullets and selling them. Right now it could be the bullet is at a testing stage so he is using others to test it out. Once it is completed, who knows what they’ll do with the final product. Midoriya and Togata feel angry as well as frustrated because they couldn’t save Eri. Nighteye mentions the problem is that they don’t know how far Hassaikai’s plan has progressed and because they have branches all over Japan, he needs the heroes to help determine its exact location where Eri is held. Aizawa notes about Nighteye using his Quirk to see the future instead of this useless deliberation. However Nighteye explains the very limited extent of his Quirk. That’s why he can’t use it on anybody or anytime. He needs to make sure the future is certain instead of using it haphazardly with so many uncertainties. Anyhow, the priority is to locate Eri and save her. Later outside, Midoriya and Togata continue to be frustrated. Aizawa comes to give some advice and motivation and you bet they’re back up with their renewed vow to rescue Eri. Gran Torino asks Nighteye’s opinion about Midoriya. He finds him almost the same as All Might. The madness living inside them he couldn’t understand.

Episode 70
Midoriya and those involved cannot disclose and talk about anything. They have to bite the bullet and keep the frustration inside. Even though Aizawa allowed them to join in this mission, their role is very minimal and if there are other factors that changed the conditions, they’re out. Midoriya is obviously holding in all his frustrations. Even Iida talks to him and hopes as friends he can talk and get it off his chest. It’s those same words Midoriya once said to him but he now feels a lot better. A few nights later, they get the call. It’s operation time. Nighteye has discovered Eri is being held in Hassaikai’s stronghold. Apparently a member went to buy girly toys for her. He didn’t know about toys and even mentioned those series that were already out of production. So Nighteye ‘helped’ out and managed to use his vision on him to determine where Eri is. Now everything is all set to go. Of course Overhaul has also gotten wind of this. I mean when a huge number of pro heroes and police are gathered at their HQ, something big is going to happen. Hence Overhaul goes to say ‘goodbye’ to his father who is in coma. As the heroes and police are outside the yakuza residence with a warrant, a Hassaikai member comes barging out and trashing them. I guess there’s no time for protocol. Everybody go, go, GO!!! It is a mad dash deep into the underground maze. And yes, Overhaul has anticipated this. That is why he has prepared some of his finest men for this. They will buy them time as he takes Eri to escape and hide.

Episode 71
This episode focuses a lot on Amajiki and his insecurities of low self-esteem. A new transfer student in class, he was already so shy and made worse when nobody came to talk to him after. Only Togata did and he viewed him brighter than the sun. As the police and heroes raid deeper into the hideout, the whole place starts to become wobbly and turning into a living maze. They realize it could be the work of Joi Irinaka whose Quirk allows him to enter objects and control them freely albeit objects that are no bigger than a fridge. Amajiki continues to doubt if he can pull this off. Lucky for him, Togata reminds him he can. After Togata rushes off first, the rest of the group are then dropped into a room to face off with Toya Setsuno, Yu Hojo and Soramitsu Tabe. Amajiki claims he can handle all of them by himself and wants the pro heroes to save their powers for later fights. Fat puts his trust in him as they leave him to take care of the trio. Although Aizawa has temporarily nullified their Quirks, it will not be long before the effects wear off and they attack Amajiki with their solid teamwork. Of course, cue for more flashbacks of Amajiki’s low self-confidence and his admiration for Togata who is the total opposite. And yes, Togata’s powerful words to make him get back on his feet like how he has a much powerful ability and something bigger than the sun. You just need to have confidence. When Amajiki is in dire straits, he eats the enemies’ Quirk to quickly manifest his own and knock them out for good. Amajiki cannot understand the pain and suffering they went through. But he understands their strong bonds.

Episode 72
Some of the rounded up yakuza guys inform that they don’t like doing this but they have to. Otherwise Overhaul will kill them. Most of them respect their old boss for valuing chivalry and refused to group to become a designated villain organization. But with Overhaul taking over, he has made decisions that goes against the wish of its members. Irinaka realizes he needs to get rid of Aizawa. But when he tries to do so, Fat and Kirishima jump to his defence and got pushed into another room to face off with Kendo Rappa and Hekiji Tengai. Kirishima is confident he could take on Rappa’s punches but a single punch sends him flying away and cracking all over. Fat then jumps in to absorb all of Rappa’s hard hitting punches. Because Rappa is a crazy martial arts maniac, he will not have Tengai interfere with his barrier. It’s a man to man fight! Meanwhile Kirishima is close to broken. Just when he thought he has gotten stronger, he realizes he is still weak and just got in the way. Cue for his flashback. Kirishima always wanted to be a hero but seemed to be lacking to be one. Mina was in the same school as him and she seemed to solve most of the bullying cases. As she is applying for UA, this had Kirishima also shared the same thought. One day, a villain threatened a couple of girls for some direction to a hero agency. Kirishima wanted to act but his body was too scared to move. Eventually it was Mina who intervened and told him the directions (to the police station). She was also scared but this made Kirishima felt pathetic of being a loser. He was set on giving up being a hero when he saw a video interview of a hero from the olden days, Crimson Riot. Supposedly the hero whom he drew his inspiration from. Hearing his interview about chivalry, Kirishima got his steely resolve to enter UA and become a hero to protect people. Fat’s defence is close to being decimated. However this is because he has been absorbing all of Rappa’s punches. He is about to unleash the most powerful punch back at him when Kirishima steps in to defend. Though he is knocked down again by Rappa’s punch, this allows Fat to return the favour and send Rappa and Tengai into defeat. One Punch (Fat) Man! Oh sh*t. Fat is pretty buffed with his fats gone!

Episode 73
Rappa still wants to fight? But he wants to fix up and heal Kirishima first. Then they can resume their fight to the death. Rappa explains he came from some undergrounds MMA fight. Because no opponent was ever good for him and they ended up pleading for their lives, he became dissatisfied. Until his fight with Kirishima. True power only comes when you’re life is at stake. But why is he with Hassaikai then? He is only here to beat Overhaul. He lost to him and was forced to join. Ever since, he lost all challenges to that bastard. He doesn’t care about Overhaul’s plans whatsoever. Something about needing money to distribute something in huge quantities. Irinaka gets desperate as he tries to move the walls again. Thanks to Rock Lock’s Quirk of locking things down (albeit temporarily and only a small area), the heroes aren’t having the roughest ride. Irinaka then separates them. This time Rock Lock finding himself alone with Toga. She stabs him. When Midoriya breaks through the wall, oh no, 2 Rock Locks! He is claiming he stabbed the imposter but Aizawa knows better and nullifies the imposter. Toga has been revealed but manages to slightly wound Aizawa before fleeing. Meanwhile Twice and a Rappa’s clone face off with Nighteye’s side. Nighteye easily destroys the clone with his mini weapon. Oh, time to run. Twice and Toga regroup as they recall what happened a few days ago. Apparently Overhaul wanted Shigaraki to put some of his men in Hassaikai to limit their movement. So when Shigaraki told his men about this, they weren’t too happy. Shigaraki explained it might be Hassaikai’s intention to slowly win over them. But Shigaraki will never trust them and will use this chance to conquer them from within. Hence he let Toga and Twice do this mission. Because he trusts them. Toga and Twice provoke Irinaka to make him go berserk.

Episode 74
We hear Overhaul talking about the success of using Eri’s abilities to extract whatever necessary to make the special bullets to nullify one’s Quirk. Even if they manage to make only 5 bullets per month. He believes they need better facilities and money to make the ultimate bullet that will permanently erase one’s Quirks. We see Twice and Toga meeting Overhaul as per agreed. Because they aren’t cooperative, Shin Nemoto’s Quirk forces them to reveal their Quirks. They earned their trust when the duo reveals no betrayal from Shigaraki. With Irinaka really pissed off, this allows Midoriya to pinpoint and take him down. Twice and Toga take this chance to betray the yakuza and leave. Meanwhile Togata has reached Overhaul. He is stopped by Nemoto and Deidoro Sakaki as they make him tell the truth that he regretted letting Eri go the first time. But Togata still fights back and defeats them because he cannot betray Eri’s kindness again. She was willing to return to hell by letting them go. Togata has since vowed that he will become her hero. He snatches Eri away from Overhaul as the latter tries to play mind games and guilt trip them. Like Eri being a cursed girl and he has to get his hands dirty each time she becomes selfish. Overhaul also tells the truth that Eri isn’t his daughter. He has no children. Using his Quirk, he aggressively goes on the offensive. He doesn’t care if he hits Eri because his Quirk dissembles and assembles things so he can put Eri back together again like always. Togata’s permeation saves him from the spikes Overhaul creates from the ground although he cannot get a clean getaway as long as he is holding her. So he puts her down and uses his abilities to predict his enemies. Overhaul getting a beat down? Overhaul throws a bullet to Nemoto. However he is in a dilemma to shoot who. Then he aims at Eri. Togata instantly protects her and gets shot. Instantly he loses his Quirk but even so, as long as Overhaul doesn’t touch him, he is okay. Yup, Togata dodging Overhaul and still beating him as always! Too cool!!! But at this point he has taken a lot of damage. Frustrated Overhaul spills his intention to fix tainted people like him and erase their Quirks forever. Togata is one step away from certain death when here comes Midoriya and co breaking in! It’s about time!

Episode 75
Aizawa manages to suppress Overhaul’s Quirk. However Overhaul screams for Hari Kurono to wake up. He pins Aizawa down, allowing Overhaul to regain his Quirk. Overhaul then kills Nemoto so as to fuse with his body and get stronger. Although Midoriya fights Overhaul, he only has power and speed and his attacks are predictable. Hence Nighteye tells him to help Togata and Eri escape. As Nighteye fights Overhaul, he is trying to use his foresight to secure the best future despite promising himself never to use it to determine someone’s future. Especially after he saw All Might’s death and thought that future could have been prevented had he not used his Quirk. He could’ve been overthinking but who knows? However Nighteye can never see that future because he gets killed! Sort of. OMG! How can you see the future when you’re dead? Midoriya returns fighting. Nothing pumps you up seeing your allies going down, huh? Midoriya tries his best to predict and think like the enemy. But Overhaul gets psychological. He warns Eri another person will die because of his selfishness. With that, Eri leaves Togata’s side and returns to Overhaul. After all, what can these heroes do for her? Overhaul knows that she knows it well it is better to hurt herself than to hurt others. He rubs it into Midoriya by saying Eri doesn’t need him. Midoriya still won’t lose hope and will keep fighting. Time to break the monotony. Because other heroes now come crashing in.

Episode 76
When Ryukyu’s team was handling the baddies outside, Midoriya came to tell them where Overhaul’s position is and to give it all to their spot. That was how they came crashing him. But seeing that Midoriya is in a heated battle with Overhaul, who was that earlier Midoriya? Turns out to be Toga in disguise. Eri jumps towards Midoriya since she is through in seeing people die. Overhaul is mad. Flashback shows Hassaikai boss told Overhaul about Eri. Her Quirk is viewed as a curse because her father disappeared after touching her and mom subsequently abandoned her. He thought her Quirk was similar to Overhaul and had him research about it. Overhaul then discovered her Quirk was to rewind time of things she touches. Unfortunately she doesn’t know how to control it and is unaware about it. Eri uses her Quirk on Midoriya. So he is shocked to find himself using One For All at 100% without any repercussions. Even more so, his injuries healed. However since she has no control, his body sometimes feels pain. Overhaul demands Midoriya give Eri back because she is cursed. He claims he is the only one who can disassemble and reassemble her. But Midoriya views her Quirk as a blessing and hopes she could help him out with it. Overhaul continues ranting about his dream to destroy the current world order and bring humanity back to a point without Quirks. Therefore he accuses nobody understands Eri’s value. But Midoriya at full power punches away Overhaul. More flashback in his unconscious state. Boss told him to stay away from drugs because this is not his ideal. He understands Overhaul wants to repay his kindness but doesn’t appreciate he is taking things too far to a point he also starts fights. When Overhaul told him about his plan to use Eri’s Quirk to rewind Quirks, boss told him to drop it. Eri is human. Devastated, Overhaul then put him in critical condition. He will only wake him up once his plan succeeds and show him that he was right. Overhaul wakes up to take back what is rightly his but another full power punch from Midoriya knocks him out for good this time. Nighteye can’t believe he saw the future of Overhaul escaping and Midoriya dead. But he never saw this future of Midoriya emerging victorious over Overhaul. So the future can be changed after all.

Episode 77
Eri’s Quirk is going berserk and at this rate she might kill Midoriya. She can’t control it. Is this it? Thank goodness Aizawa is here to nullify and put an end to it all. In the aftermath, all the injured are taken away to hospital. Overhaul also the same but I guess nobody saw it coming that Shigaraki would come to attack. They’re so confident that they only put 1 hero, Snatch (Hulk Hogan?) to guard them? Too bad he too got killed. Shigaraki then steals the special bullets and then cuts off both Overhaul’s arms so that he can no longer use his Quirk. Then he taunts him that all his hard work will be for waste as it will be the League of Villains’ turn to steal all the credit. In hospital, Midoriya is feeling well. Aizawa updates him the other heroes and they are also recuperating fine. Eri is being quarantined and she is a bit feverish. Of course now comes the bad news. With All Might even here, this means Nighteye’s damage was so serious, he has not much time to live! Not even Recovery Girl could do anything further. OMG. Is this the end?! Everybody getting emotional and pleading for Nighteye to live. The most emotional being Togata of course. But Nighteye only has gratitude for Midoriya and everyone else. For their energy made him believe that the future is uncertain and can be changed. He regrets luring Togata in initially as a vessel for One For All but he continued to follow and believe in him. He knows he will be a fine hero and the only future that shouldn’t change. Lastly, he hopes everyone would keep smiling. Yeah, that’s going to be a tall order since he just breathed his last breath… Oh dear… NIGHTEYE!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Episode 78
Tsukauchi receives reports of sightings of Kurogiri deep in the forest. He has Gran Torino assist in helping him. Although successful, it seems Kurogiri is looking for a wandering man. Look no more because here this giant is! Apparently Gigantomachia is a hidden faithful servant other than Shigaraki that All For One raised. Midoriya is discharged from hospital but decides to visit Togata who is still under observation. To his surprise, Togata is all happy. I guess no use being gloomy. Besides, Nighteye told him to smile, right? Midoriya feels bad that his Quirk is gone and even goes as far as to suggest to give him his. Togata declines because it will give him trouble instead. Also, Aizawa told him that if Eri one day learnt to control her powers, she might able to rewind his Quirk back again. Midoriya, Kirishima, Ochako and Tsuyu return to their UA dorms and their worried friends happily welcome them back. And now we focus on Todoroki and Bakugou because they have been under the provisional licence training and will soon undergo a test. As Aizawa is busy with duties on Eri, Mic and All Might are here to escort them. All Might heard from Gran Torino that they managed to arrest Kurogiri after a rough scuffle but had to let Gigantomachia get away. It was one or the other. When reinforcements came, the giant is nowhere to be found. So I guess it’s more than meets the eye of leaving a destruction in his wake and being this big that they can’t find him? Todoroki and Bakugou are at the centre where they stumble into Inasa, Camie and Shishikura who will also undergo the same. Also, Endeavour meets All Might and wants to talk.

Episode 79
In this special class, Todoroki, Bakugou, Inasa and Camie are picked out to take care of… Naughty kids from elementary school! These kids think they are better than heroes and not even the teacher can handle them. I suppose if our heroes can’t handle a bunch of kids, are they good enough to handle villains worse than kids? Of course we see them get pushed around and bullied by them. Meanwhile Endeavour asks All Might the meaning of the symbol of peace. Because despite he has worked her to solve crimes, the crime rate has still gone up and he also felt something invisible that All Might built up is chipping away. Honestly, All Might also doesn’t know what it is and in short, despite all the comparisons between them, he doesn’t need to copy his symbol he was aiming for and must find a symbol that suits him. Back to the babysitting, I guess being nice and polite didn’t work. Even trying to make them feel shine also didn’t work because they still think they are high and mighty. Yeah, the kids still stepping all over them. So are our heroes going to use violence and fight back? Well, the kids are ready to retaliate and do the same.

Episode 80
The kids go all out with their Quirks. No mercy. If those heroes went down, they won’t be much of a hero, would they? So they play it cool and combine their powers to make one giant slide for them to ride! Eventually the ringleader is forced to give in because Bakugou’s surprising advice that if he keeps looking down on others, you’ll never know your own weakness. Speaking from experience? Hence our heroes’ plan to widen the kids’ horizon works like a charm. Instantly they are no more naughty kids. At the end of the day, UA and Shiketsu discuss to have possible joint trainings together since the League of Villains are starting to target other schools. Todoroki still hates his father but Endeavour says he is proud of him to be his son. Alas, he will work hard to become a father and hero he can be proud of. Wow. That’s something you don’t expect from him. With school back in session, heroes attend the official funeral of Nighteye. His agency is taken over by his sidekick, Centipeder. Eri has awakened but still emotionally unstable. Though, her horn that is the source of her Quirk has now shrunk. But Midoriya notices something weird about Aoyama. This guy is stalking him?! Even watching him sleep from outside his room’s balcony?! WTF???!!! And then Aoyama leaves a message. He knows… Oh sh*t… You bet Midoriya is wary of this gay. So during training, when they are alone, he takes this chance to ask him what that message meant. What Aoyama knows is that his Quirk isn’t compatible with his body. Because Aoyama himself when he uses his navel laser too much, he gets stomach ache. He was born like that. He has been watching Midoriya using his Quirk ever since he enrolled at UA. If he only faces painful things, then he will never sparkle. Midoriya is relieved that Aoyama was just encouraging him. Sorry folks. No gay time. So Aoyama is now one of Midoriya’s close friends? Oh, possible gay time maybe…

Episode 81
Mina is a good dancer so Midoriya thinks of learning some moves to incorporate into his fighting arsenal. I think he mastered the robot perfectly… The cultural festival is around the corner and Aizawa wants his class to decide what they will be doing. Can they afford to be relaxed at this moment? As pointed out, this might not be as popular as the sports festival but other students from other sections will be looking forward to this. Iida takes over and everybody has got their ideas pitched in. It’s going to be tough to decide what to do. Surprisingly it is Todoroki suggesting doing a band performance because it is something that doesn’t stress out others. Everybody then turns to Jirou as she is a music fan. However she is not confident with this as she only views this as her hobby. But as you can see, with some praising how cool she is, she’s going to take the chance and do this. Midoriya and Togata visit Eri since she has requested to see them. Seems she still blames herself for getting others hurt. Even though smooth operator Togata manages to calm her down, Midoriya realizes Eri is still not saved as she still being shackled by the shadow of Overhaul. Then he gets an idea that the hospital can let her out for 1 day so she can attend UA’s cultural festival. Great idea. Meanwhile the police is looking into a video uploaded by Gentle Criminal. He robs a convenience store and when multiple heroes arrive, the video is cut but it ends with him owning all of them. Then he doesn’t take the money he robbed because that is not his intention. His goal is to get his name down in history. La Brava, his petite assistant reports that they aren’t getting as many views. Gentle thinks that he needs to achieve a greater feat for this in order to make himself more magnificent.

Episode 82
Every time Gentle’s video get deleted, La Brava reuploads them all back again. Despite being a villain for 6 years, Gentle has hardly made any waves. Unlike Stain and the League of Villains who got everyone’s attention using violence, Gentle’s ‘criminal’ acts are more, uhm, gentle. For example, exposing a store selling expired goods. In order to make a name for himself and stand out more, he is targeting UA next. As the villains have been targeting the school lately, hence their security is enhanced. So the plan is for Gentle to sneak in. So, that’s it? Jirou and her classmates discuss about the kind of music the want to put on. New rave type? Somebody has got to be playing music instruments. Surprisingly, Bakugou can play the drums! But then he says he isn’t doing it. Because Bakugou heard how other departments still talk behind their backs, he thinks that it is not their problem to consider how those other departments feel. It’s not like they want the villains to attack the hero department, right? They’re here to fight and not to make friends. So if they’re going to put on a show just to ease their stress, forget about it. Let’s just kill everyone with their sound! Twisted thinking, but he’s got a point. So we see the rest picking up instruments like Jirou taking on bass and vocals (she’s got the best angelic voice anyway), Yaoyorozu on piano, Kaminari and Tokoyami on guitars. The rest are either in the special effects or dance team. Midoriya talks to All Might about his problem when he fought Overhaul. All Might suggests he learn some range attacks and also guides him on basically what looks like controlling the percentage power output of his Full Cowling and increasing it to a higher percentage in a short amount of time. Midoriya has got the gist of it and now it’s just practice, practice and more practice.

Episode 83
We see the preparations for the cultural festival going well. Togata surprises Midoriya and his classmates by bringing Eri. Taking a break, they go around to see what others are doing for the festival. This includes Monoma bragging his class will be doing a better play (a rip-off of Romeo x Juliet, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings?!), meeting some of the contestants in the beauty pageant like Nejire, Hatsume showing off her new robot but it explodes again. Eri feels conflicted since she has never been to such a lively place before. Nezu gives her some motivation to look forward with excitement. Flashback shows the police wanted to force UA to cancel this festival in fear of villains targeting again. But Nezu persisted and in such uncertain times, they can’t let the future look any bleaker. Midoriya returns to practice only to learn he has been ‘fired’ from the dance team to be transferred to the special effects team. Something about they need him to move Aoyama about as the disco ball. Although his role has been reduced, as long as he gets to dance somehow is fine since he told Eri he will be dancing. Then it’s more secret training with All Might but they almost go found out when Hatsume comes by to look for her lost device. She notes that the device he requested can be ready soon. This has All Might remember he used some support device before but because it was bulky and not as effective as using his own body, he stopped using it. This has Midoriya start searching for a rare movie of All Might with a device. He never knew! Because of that he, stumbled into a lame video of Gentle. Speaking of him, he tells La Brava the route they should take to UA. It seems they need to stop by some obscure café that serves some elusive tea, Gold Tips Imperial. Since it is open early, they can have 90 minutes of tea break before they head to UA! Upon reaching UA, La Brava will use her hacking skills to disable UA’s security sensors. Gentle is truly grateful for La Brava’s hacking skills because before this, his videos had very low views and only harsh comments. Until La Brava a self-declared fan came to his place and decided to help him with his dream. Yeah, he got more views on his videos, right? Ugh. Cheesy romance drama moment, Gentle x La Brava?! Not sure to cry or to feel cringe…

Episode 84
Our heroes are making final preparations and practice. Midoriya realizes the rope needed to hold Aoyama has worn out from all the practice. He intends to buy one early next morning as there is a hardware shop that opens early. On the early morning of the festival itself, Hatsume has given him a pair of gloves as his accessories. After buying the rope, he stumbles into Gentle and La Brava as they are exiting the café that is just next door to the hardware store. Although Gentle is wearing a mask, Midoriya could recognize his voice. The villains try not to get involved but Midoriya knows he wants to do something to UA and will not allow it. Uhm, did Gentle posted that plan on his video? If so, why nobody else knows it? And if that’s the case, did Midoriya jump to conclusions? Hence Midoriya is going to stop him at all cost because as said by Midnight, the school has fought hard to keep this festival going. Even if the false alarm sounds, the entire festival will be cancelled. Not going to let everyone’s efforts go to waste. However Gentle won’t be easy to deal with as his Quirk is making things he touch become elastic. Including air. Both sides won’t give up. Gentle trying to get away from him and Midoriya trying to catch him. Thanks to the gloves, Midoriya can now shoot air cannon. Thanks to Mina’s dance moves, he is now able to move with more agility. And of course, thanks to All Might for all the personal training. Although Gentle reveals to Midoriya his plans only to sneak into UA and not kidnap or kill anybody, Midoriya still will not allow any danger to befall on the festival. Gentle then pulls off a dirty move, turning a steal beam elastic to seemingly drop on a passing civilian below. He knows Midoriya will go catch it and he does. But in the event if he fails, he planned to bounce it back up and not hurt the civilian. Midoriya is using all his strength to balance the steel beam as the criminals make haste to UA. Midoriya still won’t give up. He can still fire air cannons, though. 14 minutes to the start of the festival but 69 minutes till his class performance.

Episode 85
We see a short rivalry between the contestants of the beauty pageant. I think we have the stomach to see this ‘fight’ so we return to Midoriya vs Gentle. All Might’s successor is still hot on Gentle’s tail and won’t give up. La Brava wants to use her Quirk but Gentle says they need to save that for their escape. Midoriya catches them and pins them on the ground. Cue for La Brava’s flashback. After summoning to write a love letter to the boy he loves, he mocked and bragged it to his friends. She lost all faith and became a shut-in. That’s where she stumbled into Gentle’s video and saw hope in it. Ah, such fun times causing mischief together. Now, La Brava uses her Quirk that powers up the person she loves. The more her love, the more the person buffs up. Though, it is only temporary. Though Gentle is stronger and faster, Midoriya who has fought tougher enemies can still match his might. Now cue for Gentle’s flashback. He dreamt of being a hero but kept failing the exams. The straw that broke the camel’s back was he tried to save someone from falling but his Quirk got in the way and he caused more injuries. After that, he was despised and mocked. He gave up his dream. Not until many years later he saw a classmate of his became a successful hero. Too bad he couldn’t remember who Gentle was. So that’s when he started thinking about becoming a villain so as not to be forgotten. Midoriya and Gentle put their big dreams on the line. Too big to hold for themselves. La Brava tries to do some hacking but the patrolling heroes have arrived. She tries to warn Gentle but Midoriya has subdued him. The effects are off. She throws kiddie tantrums not to take Gentle away from her. More flashbacks of their times together just to pull the heartstrings even more. Then finally it’s over. Gentle gives up and says he’ll turn himself in.

Episode 86
As Hound Dog interrogates Gentle, he mentions his crime is to kidnap a girl and brainwash her. Hence all blames like with him and is the only one guilty. Asking Midoriya for his side of the story, he just puts it as Gentle wanted to play a prank on UA and he disagreed. Seeing this isn’t any emergency or threat, the festival will continue. Gentle’s last words for Midoriya are that he was once from a hero course. He hopes his feelings reaches to those intended. This has Midoriya thinking how they have a lot in common. Because he could have turned out like him. Now Midoriya rushes back and he has enough time to change, heal his injuries and join the rest before the performance begins. It’s packed to the brim as we see them strut their stuffs. Song, dance and special effects! Everything. The best part is seeing Eri’s smile. Safe to say that everybody had a good time and even the sceptics were blown away. After that, it’s just a short clip of that mishmash rip-off play. They added Star Wars too?! Damn, I would’ve loved to see this one! Midoriya gets some lecture by All Might for not answering his phone (damn missed calls!) as well as angry Hound Dog but he is let off so that he can go enjoy the festival. Then the beauty pageant with the contestants doing weird things. Is this what you call trying to appeal for votes? It ends with Nejire winning it. We see everyone having fun at the festival and you bet it was the greatest day ever. Now we shift to our minimal criminals being interrogated at the police station. The police is impressed with La Brava’s hacking skills but she is not interested in using that for good. Only to help Gentle. As for Gentle, he is still trying to convince police that La Brava isn’t involved but they aren’t fooled and know he is lying there is no brainwashing involved. When Gentle says he did all this because it reminded of his days as a hero. The police note then it is good that they stopped him today. Gentle now reduced to tears.

Episode 87
Because Eri’s horn is growing, rather than leave her at an orphanage, UA decides to take her in. With Togata on temporarily leave, he has a lot of time to take care of her. Remember that Pussycats team? They’re back and paying Class 1A a visit to inform them so. Also, the Japanese Hero Billboard Chart that ranks the heroes twice a year. It is going to be the first time that the rankings will be without All Might. So here are the rankings in ascending order: 10) Ryukyu; 9) Yoroi Musha; 8) Wash (WTF?! Washing machine hero???!!!!); 7) Kamui Woods; 6) Crust; 5) Mirko; 4) Edgeshot; 3) Keanist; 2) Hawks; 1) Endeavour. As the top 10 heroes give their speech, Hawks tries to rock the boat since everyone is giving a boring speech. So he claims Endeavour doesn’t deserve to be ranked first but fourth. This forces Endeavour to just tell everyone to watch him. Hey, action speaks louder than words, no? At the backstage, Endeavour is mad that Hawks was just putting up a show. In fact, Hawks wants to support Endeavour to become number 1. But in order to do that, he needs to have that assurance whom everyone can depend on. Also, Hawks wants Endeavour to team up with him as there are rumours about Noumus in his hometown. We see the different crowd reaction as they walk in public. Everyone gathers around Hawks as he friendly greets around them. Nobody approaches Endeavour for his ferocious looks. Even when he tries to shake hands with a hardcore fan, he runs away because he doesn’t think Endeavour should do such a thing! Hawks tells Endeavour of the numerous sightings of Noumus all over the place. Hawks has tried investigating by going all over the country but could only deduce they are rumours. It seems somebody is trying to spread them and stir uneasiness but it isn’t enough to make newsworthy headlines and just confined to housewives or schoolkids’ talk. Suddenly a Noumu crashes in their direction. Just the right time to prove Endeavour’s worth. Something he can hit and understand.

Episode 88
We see Todoroki’s mom being visited by her other children, Natsu and Fuyumi. Natsu is not pleased that dad has officially become number one but this doesn’t erase the atrocities he did towards his family. However mom continues to put faith in him. Despite he has not come to see her personally, she knows he is trying to face his past and family. Endeavour realizes this Noumu is different from the rest. Not only can it regenerates, it talks and can think. It is obsessed of fighting the strongest. Both go all out but no matter how much Endeavour burns him, Noumu regenerates. Hawks meanwhile provides support by rescuing trapped people. And the worst case scenario: Endeavour gets knocked out. Everyone watching this live is horrified. Panic starts to set in and people being overly pessimistic that this is what it looks like without the symbol. Not until that hardcore Endeavour fan points out that he is still fighting and risking his life for them. Endeavour continues to fight the Noumu with Hawks barely keeping up with the support. Eventually he brings Noumu high up into the sky where he can unleash everything with no worries of damaging things. He realizes this Noumu could be an alternate version of him. He doesn’t want to be this anymore. Endeavour unleashes the hottest flames ever. Finally he emerges victorious with his fist raised in the air. Everybody heaves a big sigh of relief. Especially Todoroki. All Might almost got a heart attack. And as Midoriya puts it, even if All Might has retired, heroes still have to move forward and those who will carry on his will are them.

Road To Hero
Hmm… That curious vision that Midoriya saw at the end. What a teaser. I don’t think Aoyama spiked his cookies but haha! Just kidding. But don’t worry. Don’t worry, people. I definitely saw it coming a few episodes before the series ended because there is going to be a fifth season! Hooray! This series has grown too big just to let it end there, no? Even if they already intended to have a few more seasons in tow. Now hopefully we can see the young heroes go up against the League of Villains.

Honestly, this season isn’t as great as the previous. GASP! What blasphemous thing am I saying?! Don’t get me wrong here. I still love this series but just that this season doesn’t live up to the expectations that I had even though I have taken into consideration that All Might will not be playing a big part. You see, the first half was the better part with some of the young ones going in to rescue Eri as well as at the same time taking down the Hassaikai group. It was everything of what I expected. At least most of it. But then came the second half. It was just f*cking boring sh*t! I mean, what the heck do they need this Class 1A doing some band thingy???!!! Why the f*ck do they need to do some Hibike! Euphonium spoof with them playing instruments and dancing?! It’s just so gay!!! As boring as Todoroki and Bakugou’s babysitting stint. The second half was really forgettable although they ended it with Endeavour in the limelight, which is somewhat passable. Yeah, Endeavour vs the Noumu was a great piece of action to end the season and if only more of the second half could be like that. A reminder that this was what made the series so great in the first place. So can we have more of this and less of the boring stuffs next season?

Although I have said the first half is exciting and quite interesting, it isn’t without any flaws. At first I thought they were rushing things in because you know, suddenly Midoriya and Togata stumbling into Eri and Overhaul. Wow. Then things started to develop quickly from there. I guess I shouldn’t be complaining too much because if they drag on with more investigations blah, blah, blah, I might have criticized them of trying to drag out this arc. So by getting straight into the thick of the action of this arc, we see some cool matchups as well as certain heroes getting their due limelight and focus. However this means that the men that Overhaul prepared just to stall their heroes, I thought they will be formidable foes and have their own backstory to tell. Unfortunately the way things played out, they are just ‘tools’ and stepping stone to serve as better fleshing out on the heroes in focus. Sure, some of them did. But it’s just superficial. Nothing more. And I also thought with 8 of them, they would feature 8 different fights with heroes but they made them into group fights. So well, I guess this part wasn’t part of my expectation.

The other big unfortunate thing about this Hassaikai arc is when it ended midway and Overhaul was actually taken out for good, it reminded me that perhaps Overhaul and his groupie weren’t meant to become the main antagonists as I thought they would be. It reminded me of my sentiments when our young heroes were dealing with Stain’s case a couple of seasons back. So thinking back in retrospect, Overhaul and Hassaikai were sadly just another stepping stone for the League of Villains. After all, we have to be reminded from time to time that this is actually the main and biggest threat to all of our young heroes, UA and possibly mankind. It was really a shame because I really thought that Overhaul would actually become a formidable villain even if he did not eventually team up with Shigaraki’s side. Hence putting the heroes in a more pressured position where not only they have to look out for the League of Villains but Overhaul’s side as well. Oh man, that’s the biggest ‘disappointment’ I have for this arc.

I understand that the League of Villains can’t initiate a swift strike after Overhaul has been done in. They need time to prepare for the next stage and hence the second half acts like a breather for our young heroes. And that is why it is unfortunately such a boring second half with our top Class 1A guns like Todoroki and Bakugou needing to babysit some naught brats just to show us that they still got what it takes to be heroes (okay, okay, being heroes is just not pummelling baddies and making them eat dirt) as well as that gay Hibike! Euphonium crap going on (oh sh*t, can’t fathom Midoriya x Aoyama gay sh*t if that ever happens!) just to show that our heroes could take a well deserve break and at the same time give others a good time. Heck, it’s the only way the entire Class 1A is going to get together and do something. Lastly, ending the season with Endeavour trying to make a mark and proving why he is indeed the man to take All Might’s spot. Even if he can’t fill his shoes, at least something to keep the hope flame burning. This small final arc isn’t bad but after a string of boringness, it’s going to take a lot more than this to get my Plus Ultra back.

As for the characters this season, some are hits but mostly there are misses. Especially the Class of 1A as only a handful of them have been featured to rescue Eri. This means the others like Iida, Bakugou, Todoroki, Tokoyami, Yaoyorozu who are supposedly favourites among the characters of Class 1A have been casted on the side-lines. While Class 1A still hold close bonds together, this awkward mission that has only some of them featured somewhat made me feel that the rest aren’t as important. Let’s hope only for this season. They’re pretty forgettable in that sense and hence that’s why that boring cultural festival band thingy just to show us they’ve still got that teamwork going. Other than Midoriya, the only other one who shines is Kirishima as they definitely give him a lot of the spotlight this season to (harden) flesh out his character. Ochako and Tsuyu were also part of the mission but they’re playing more supporting roles than hardcore character development. And the other characters from other classes and divisions of UA and other schools, they make their cameo but overall still forgettable this season. I have a hunch Eri would become a mainstay character now that she is living at UA. Hard to say about her now as she’s just starting to open up. After all, we need a loli character in this series ;p.

Perhaps one of the greatest shocking moments in this season is the death of Nighteye. Yup, I didn’t expect them to introduce a new character and then suddenly have him killed off at the end of the arc! Oh man. This is too cruel. But I guess some deaths are necessary to move the plot and characters along. Because Nighteye is relatively a new character, we haven’t invested a lot of time and emotions in him yet. So killing off his character might not impact us a lot had they kill off, say, All Might! Yikes. Last season we talk about Togata being the closest character to replace All Might because of his charisma and abilities. With the developments seen here, I guess it is safe to say that ‘competition’ and doubt are no more. It’s all up to Midoriya now to carry on All Might’s will.

I also want to note that during the cultural festival arc, the minor villains of Gentle and La Brava didn’t really help make this arc interesting at all. Having a small time villain trying to disrupt the cultural festival feels like they’re trying to put Midoriya in the main role and show us his steely resolve why he is on the road to become a worthy hero. The only thing interesting about Gentle and La Brava is their past. It goes to show and prove that everybody no matter how small and insignificant they are, each one has a story to tell. A further testament that not everybody is lucky to become a hero and that there are countless more who failed. Thus this brings up the question of would our young heroes have also taken such a path had they had no guidance or someone to show them the right way early on? It is a very interesting question because otherwise baddies like the League of Villains and even Overhaul would not have existed and in turn there would be no heroes at all. Their stories would make an interesting watch of why they turned to the dark side and of course as much as we understand and support the villains, we just couldn’t agree with their twisted methodology of how they carried it out. Basically can we all agree that it is society itself that is churning out such villains? You reap what you sew. Hence Gentle and La Brava’s story is the only thing I find very endearing as well as heart breaking. Heck, maybe they should have a spinoff series whereby our young heroes took a walk down the dark path instead! Yikes. Not sure if my heart can handle that.

Action sequences continue to play a big part this season and they’re not disappointing to say the least. As I have pointed out, I was hoping there would be more heroes fighting against Overhaul’s chosen men during his escape but it felt more like some group fight. Also, not forgetting Midoriya learning and powering up bit by bit as he gets to handle his Full Cowling better and better. Art and animation also remain the same. Strange looking people, some with odd parts and extensions but I guess at this point we must have already learnt not to judge a book by its cover, right? And yeah, not forgetting that this season still has our heroes’ name and Quirk popping out on the screen if they appear for the first time in THAT PARTICULAR EPISODE! Get ready to be spammed Midoriya’s One For All in every episode! This series is so mainstream and popular enough, they still want to do it for the main characters?! I bet the producers could be thinking that this is also awkward but seeing that they’ve started the silly trend, they can’t back out of it now. Imagine not seeing that in the next season. We’ll be wondering if something has gone wrong!

Of the new seiyuus joining the casts this season, I prefer Yui Horie as La Brava because she sounds just super cute in her character. The other seiyuu I recognized is Shinichiro Miki as Nighteye. This season’s first opening theme, Polaris by Blue Encount fits the series like a glove with its heroic and rock outfit. I just wished they didn’t change it because the second opener, Star Marker by Kana-Boon just sounds so f*cking gay! Yeah, just to match the animation of Class 1A doing their band thingy. Seriously, go back to the heroic rock one! This is the same for the ending theme. Koukai No Uta by Sayuri as the first ending theme is hard rock and although I didn’t quite like this one, this is still way much better than the second ending theme, Shout Baby by Ryoku Oushoku Shakai. Doesn’t sound gay but just weak in comparison. Then there’s the insert song Class 1A sung at the festival, Hero Too by Jirou but vocals supported by Chrissy Constanza. You don’t think Jirou’s voice could sound this American, huh? Also sounds weak if you ask me. Feels like it lacks some oomph.

Overall, this fourth season isn’t quite as exciting because of the boring second half. It’s supposed to be the bridge that will connect to the next season but I hope it will get better from there. We’ve already come this far so this series can’t technically fail big, right?! Oh dear. I read some comments over the internet how some are already not liking this season… Yeah. High expectations. Too high the expectations have already become. Too high the standards that All Might have set for the next generation to overcome his legacy. But it is only then a hero is worthy of being called so and someone who could forever live in our hearts. Too bad this season isn’t technically that hero yet.

Ore No Yubi De Midarero

July 24, 2020

I actually thought of wanting to skip this season’s pseudo porn. Really! I did! But it’s not like I’m a hardcore porn lover that made me couldn’t want to not watch this season’s fake hentai. You see, because Ilya’s voice was still resonating strong inside my mind, I just thought that in order to get it out of my mind, I had to watch another bad porn just to forget all about that! Honest! And so that is how I ended up watching Ore No Yubi De Midarero which is nothing extraordinary. It’s the same ol’ formula. This time just the hairstylist salon as the setting. Guy with the ero touch who could make girls orgasm with just a touch of his fingertip. Heh. It’s the same drill like all others before. Nothing different. Just need to get that Ilya’s voice out of my head… Also, Corona virus wreaking havoc and postponing so many animes of the season I’m watching… With so much time on my hands… On my HANDS… ON MY HANDS…

Episode 1
When Fumi Hoshiya was young, she wanted to be a hairstylist. So the first hair she cut was a chubby boy who got bullied? I don’t see any difference but it made that kid happy. Whatever. Now, she is working as an assistant in a beauty salon helmed by the famous Sousuke Nanase who is already an iconic hairstylist at the age of 24. As Hoshiya messed up during work, Nanase wants her to stay back for lessons. So what a way to learn fast is to do some hair washing on Nanase himself. You bet he is the kind of guy she admires and since she is still flustering, she messes up. Cue for him to take of his shirt and show his hot bod? This makes Hoshiya even more nervous. Then he starts to caress her with his fingers. Yeah. That’s our cue. Since she is making such cute orgasmic face, you bet he is going to take advantage of this by running his fingers everywhere on her body. Feeling good? Who cares there are still people in the salon and it’s still working hours. He’s got all your sensitive spots covered for today so no complaints, right?

Episode 2
Hoshiya is embarrassed. How would she face Nanase now? No time for that as he has an assignment for her. As he will be in charge of some hairstylist magazine’s cover, he is thinking of bringing her along. At the photo studio, Hoshiya is excited to see so many beautiful people there including this hot model, Kaname Chiba. But there is a problem, the female model that is supposed to be on the shoot is suddenly unavailable. How? Nanase suggests using Hoshiya as the replacement model! This will be her big break, right? But at the backstage as he is preparing her, he suddenly runs his fingers through her sensitive spots! Oh my. I don’t recall such ritual to beautify a woman but whatever. Because Hoshiya seems to be enjoying it. Hope those orgasmic screams are just in her head… When all that is done, Hoshiya transforms into a very beautiful woman! OMG! I’m not sure if that molesting did the trick because indeed, she’s gorgeous!

Episode 3
Hoshiya is over the moon with that shoot’s success. But looks like fate brings her slamming back to the ground. Because back at work, a customer accuses her of staining her shirt with the shampoo. Although she denies, Nanase comes in to do damage control. She doesn’t have to pay for their service and in addition they will cover her dry cleaning cost. Later Hoshiya cries alone thinking the magic has worn off. Is she referring to that ‘magic’? Okay, better stop joking. Suddenly she faints! Luckily Nanase is around as he tries to wake her up. Then he hears her stomach growling… So he brings her back to his place just to feed her? Anyway, he doesn’t eat with her as he explains he puts on weight easily. He tells of his past as a chubby kid who often gets bullied but a certain girl saved him and gave him hope. No prizes to guess who that girl is now. He asks why she needs the money so she tells him how her father’s company went bankrupt so she sends most of her pay to him. Also, her parents got divorced. Such a sad story so Nanase tries to comfort her by fingering her???!!! Hey. Porn logic. Don’t ask. So I guess he is going to weave his magic fingers to blow away the blues, huh? If fingering isn’t enough, he is going to penetrate her with his dick! Oh yeah. It feels so good. But Hoshiya is confused seeing they’re already f*cking when they’re not even dating. But she doesn’t care. As long as she feels this good, she doesn’t mind if Nanase doesn’t love her back.

Episode 4
Hoshiya gets a morale booster when a customer praises her work. And then the next customer is Kaname. He specifically requests for Hoshiya. Despite Nanase ‘warning’ that she is an amateur and might mess up, he is okay being her practice model. And so Hoshiya does her hair. They click because they are fans of that online game, PUBG PUGB. Kaname leaves a satisfied customer and hints he might come back for another session. Everybody is happy. Sorry, not everybody. Yup, why that gloomy face, Nanase? And because of that, he teaches Hoshiya a lesson by running his fingers down her body, stripping her naked and starts fingering her. Hoshiya can’t resist because she feels so good! Porn logic for you! She has to cover up and make excuses when her colleagues who are leaving, trying to help but not really want to help. I guess they’re not the least bit curious why she is squealing like that. I’m thinking they never got fingered so good before, that’s why they don’t know how tough it is for one to talk normally while getting fingered! And so the irony of Hoshiya could never finish asking Nanase why he always does this to her. Because apparently he finished her first! HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!!!

Episode 5
Company dinner. Nanase and Hoshiya missing. Right. He’s raping her in the toilet! Apparently he has figured out their past and doesn’t like her ignoring him recently. So porn logic dictates that by arousing and molesting her, they’ll get back to their old ways? As long as she likes his touch? Oh well. If you can’t refuse him. As he continues to have his way with her, Hoshiya starts thinking this won’t cut it. This isn’t the Nanase she admired. For the first time she pushes him away and leaves. She won’t have him make a fool out of her! For the first time his magic touch failed. I can see why he is looking so shocked… Feeling horrible as she walks down the streets, she bumps into Kaname who then takes her to some manga café. Yeah, everybody so preoccupied with their otaku stuff that they will not find out this famous model is here. Hoshiya learns Kaname is down because he doesn’t like his current job in some tokusatsu rider series. Hoshiya praises how a lot of people enjoy that show so he should take pride in it. A little accident causes her to fall over him. Don’t tell me she’s feeling some sort of sensation like that? I hope she doesn’t turn into some kind of sensation slut. Getting orgasm every time a random touch her hard enough! But she notes Kaname’s touch is different from Nanase’s. Could it be because she loves Nanase? HAHAHA!!! Don’t make me laugh! Oh, too late.

Episode 6
You bet more awkward feelings from Hoshiya towards Nanase. But her bad day is starting to get worse. Her skirt is torn when she was just about to go out and do errands. She sews it up but luckily that pervert is away talking with somebody. Turns out to be Kaname and his gay manager. It seems Kaname wants to specifically seek Hoshiya as his exclusive hairstylist. Of course they are giving her the flexibility to continue working with Nanase too. Poor Hoshiya gets drenched by the storm. If not for Nanase picking her up to his place (because he thinks she has no more money!). Then she starts ranting about him picking on her because she is broke and can get fired anytime. That’s why he chose her to have a physical relationship with. How do you shut an emotionally charged girl up? You kiss her! I mean, how the f*ck is she supposed to understand what this means?! So you’re saying that he won’t waste his time teasing a girl if he doesn’t like her?! So how are you feeling then? Yeah. Hoshiya feels the same. Green light for them to have sex. At this point I don’t know if Hoshiya’s day got worst and hit rock bottom or this is actually a good thing.

Episode 7
We continue the sex from last episode. Feeling good? You kidding me?! If she gets orgasm just by your touches, imagine the kind she’ll get when you’re inside her! Anyway it’s great. Yeah, she even tells him her secret her body gets hot whenever he touches her. Which female porn star wouldn’t?! Next morning, Hoshiya still feels awkward but Nanase summons his courage to ask her out. She rejects him! After all they did last night?! Actually wants to become a proper hairstylist first and until she has that self-confidence to deservingly stay by his side. So just wait a little longer. Okay. But don’t go cheating on him, no? More good news for Hoshiya when her father calls to say his business is taking off so he doesn’t need her to send any more money. Wow. What a miracle. So with the extra cash to splash, she spends it on clothes and beauty products for a new makeover. Thus when she enters her workplace, she is so f*cking stunning! OMFG! I WANT TO DATE YOU!!! Good luck streak ends when serious Nanase wants to talk to her about something.

Episode 8
Nanase tells Hoshiya about the offer. She is surprised and isn’t sure as she doesn’t think she is good enough. Nanase tells her to go for it as it will help broaden her experience. Hearing that makes her happy so she agrees to it. We see Hoshiya accompanying Kaname at the photo shoot. Nothing much happening. Just that she notices him calling her by her first name. Yeah. When it’s over, Nanase is here to pick her up. Right before Kaname sounded like he wanted to say something. Kaname’s gay manager teases them about dating so Nanase holds Hoshiya close to him and says he is making it official. Is that jealousy in Kaname’s eyes?! Then Nanase brings her home so they could have sex! Yeah, it feels like they’re not sure how to slot the sex scene in the final episode so they just drop it here like that. And as you can tell, Hoshiya wants him to touch her more. She realizes she is such a dirty girl and wants him to mess her up. News for you, girl: We all knew from the start!!! So she hopes to become a great hairstylist so that she can become his real girlfriend. So you mean she isn’t one right now? Oh right, she’s still a slut! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

1 Broke Girl, 2 Hot Guys And A Parlour Place
Such a predictable ending… And I hope this did the trick… Uhm… Hard to tell if I really have forgotten Ilya’s voice. Hmm… Can still hear her voice in my head if I think deep about it. Maybe the next season will definitely give me a more conclusive answer. Or just another excuse to go watch more pseudo porn. Heh. Some things never change. That’s why the same ol’ formula stays the same. I guess I never learn… :’(.

So yeah, I don’t know what else to say. I feel like a broken tape recorder if I were to reiterate the same things over and over again like in my previous blogs of fake hentai series. The plot is nothing unusual. Just a girl who is down on her luck and the only way she got temporarily forget her money woes is that sexy touch of a man who is her boss. Hey, at least she didn’t drown her sorrows by drinking! Good for us. She didn’t have to sell her body too! At least she only got violated by Nanase who is of course the supreme maestro. A master like him must be so good with his hands because he washes people’s hair every day. It gives the excuse of why Hoshiya get so turned on by his magic fingers. Oddly, it is only her. Because he would have also turned on other hot teenage girls and old rich woman b*tches but I guess they don’t have a high libido as Hoshiya. I wonder if there is a correlation of being poor and prone to orgasm. I mean, a hairstylist’s job isn’t going to be cheap so not just any poor folks could walk in and get a hair makeover. Hoshiya is pretty lucky. Comes with the perks of the job. A bonus if I should say?

Kaname as the third wheel and the other guy feels more like a dud. He is there just to give rise of a possible drama and love triangle which of course amounts to nothing in here. His role is so redundant that without his character, the series would still continue to move on fine without him. Not to mention Nanase will still keep on f*cking Hoshiya like his whore machine. So yeah, Kaname’s character feels a lot wasted except when it is needed for some much needed drama. And the drama for a potential love triangle came too late. Show already ended. After all, Hoshiya has her feelings all over the place because of her circumstances, financially and ability wise as a hairstylist. Yeah, I’m so glad it’s true love between Hoshiya and Nanase because considering she is so broke, he could have just throw her more money each time they make out. Definitely would have solved her financial woes and make her look more like a slut. But who cares, right? And as luck would have it, her father’s business miraculously starts going back to black. Wow. How convenient. No need to worry about money. All she needs now is to focus on her career. Hey, I thought this is supposed to be all about the sex?! And what does being a great hairstylist has got to do with being a great girlfriend? Beats me. I’m not one so I don’t really know.

Oh right. Got to talk about the sex scenes too or else there is nothing more to talk about. So yeah, going to sound like a broken tape recorder again. Anyway, the hentai scenes here are just mediocre. You’ve seen them once, you’ve seen them all. So if you think you need a higher fix, better go watch real porn. I’m glad I didn’t get hooked on these ‘drugs’. The usual male protagonist start fingering around and playing with the female’s pussy and she’ll really love it despite her mouth saying the total opposite. Because the body doesn’t lie, right? And once their relationship has improved a little, they take sex to the next step with real sex and penetration. Women definitely enjoy sex more in porn, huh? Seriously, watching the short sex scenes here doesn’t make my libido feel any stimulating. At this point I’m worried if I have erectile dysfunction. Worse, am I gay? A short check proves I’m not so good for me.

Overall, this is yet another one of those cheesy and mediocre pseudo porn of the season. There is nothing special in this one that makes it stand out and I suppose this season the hairstylist has their turn. Time to go back to the pot and pick out the next job for the sex. Rinse and repeat the cycle all over again. Because it is mostly likely I’ll be back too seeing the damn Corona virus has been delaying a lot of animes but thank goodness it can’t stop the libido and all those wanting to watch porn! Heh. Not even a deadly virus can stop porn. Is that a good or bad thing? Worst of all, hairstylists are going to be one of those jobs affected by this virus because you know, social distancing. Reopen whenever everybody feels safely okay about it. I think you’ll need to go to a barber then…

Higashi No Eden

July 19, 2020

If not for the Corona virus, I would have not really watched this series. Uh huh. With a handful of animes of the season getting postponed indefinitely and my anime schedule somewhat a little ‘free’, off I go searching for a retro series to fill in that free time. And that was how I stumbled into Higashi No Eden AKA Eden Of The East. More than a decade ago when it came out, perhaps the plot didn’t sound so interesting. Not sure if time made it sound interesting because now it sure did. At least it did capture my attention and made my whimsical mind want to check it out. After all, is it not interesting to see ‘players’ being given a huge amounts of money to save Japan in any way they see fit! Wow. Sounds great. I suppose all those otaku culture of anime, manga and game weren’t enough, huh?

Episode 1
Saki Morimi just arrived outside the White House. AMERICA!!! CENTRE OF THE WORLD!!! Not sure if it’s a dare from a friend because she starts tossing a coin in. A couple of police spots her and of course wants to question her. She is only ‘saved’ because a naked amnesiac kid with a gun and handphone in hand waves across the street! Welcome to America! The police want to go get him but apparently American trucks don’t slow down so the dumb cops think he latched onto the truck and got away. Before naked kid parts, Saki gives him her cap and coat since it is freezing. He then uses his handphone but is only greeted by a voice known as Juiz. She claims he has erased his memories but left no specific instructions on how to create a new personal history. So he’s screwed, right? Noticing on his phone is also the map of his ‘home’. He makes his way there as Saki realizes she left her passport and wallet in that coat and goes after that guy. Inside the apartment, seeing all the weapons and tools, he thinks he might be a terrorist! Even more so when he discovers several fake passports. Sorry, not Jason Bourne. With Saki outside the door asking for her passport and wallet, he agrees to give it back. That is when he decides to take on the identity of one of the fake passports, Akira Takizawa. He toasts the other passports to leave no evidence. As he leaves with Saki, a policewoman acting on a tipoff wants to see their ID. Based on the surveillance cameras around the White House, she asks Takizawa to show his johnny! You mean his dick?! He flashes for her! Not the same johnny so she lets them go???!!! Oh well, it was pretty cold outside DC, if you know I mean… Then they head to the airport since Saki is supposed to return to Japan today. Takizawa learns Saki was here for a graduation ceremony in New York. But because she wanted to see the White House, she came here alone. As for Takizawa, not sure if he is lying when he says he is playing some extreme terrorist game with his friend. Saki discovers she is just born a day earlier than him. So she’s his big sister, huh? But she wonders if he is her prince. Maybe not. Then they see the big news on TV: A missile just hit Tokyo.

Episode 2
Arriving at Tokyo, thanks to the missile attack, the place is really jammed up. Stuck. The news further reports that there are survivors from the attack but this shocks Saki. Because the attack never had casualties before. Satoshi Oosugi calls Saki as he is on his way to pick her up but the damn jam has made him stuck. Going to take a while. Also, Takizawa gets a call from Juiz. As he has entered the area of the Selecao system, he must immediately fulfil his responsibilities as a Privilege. It seems he has 8.2 billion yen balance in which he must spend! Because Juiz will do anything, Takizawa tests by wanting out of this jam quickly. Suddenly the airport manager personally comes to clear them out. You’d think everyone would be mad of them jumping queue but they think he is some sort of celebrity and cheer on for them! Saki so embarrassed… Because Takizawa doesn’t know his way around, he has Saki further accompany him. He learns more about the Careless Monday attacks. Apparently it has been quite some time an unknown missile has struck Japan. Each time, nobody died and because nobody knew which nation actually launched it, many conspiracy theories came up. Detective Yuusei Kondou has the same phone as Takizawa. It seems he is able to track every move and wants to meet this guy. So while looking for him, it is Takizawa who comes to talk to him because of the same phone. So it’s like they’re both playing dumb. Nothing happens and they part ways. Now that Kondou knows Takizawa’s face, he thinks he struck out on this. Returning to Saki, Takizawa has her talk about her plans and family. She’s supposed to start work after she returned from graduation but it didn’t go well. Her parents died in an accident so she is currently living with her big sister who is married and they have a child. Takizawa also tells her some of his recovered memories (memories from his mom?). Something about a person who helped him with money and that was that last time they saw each other. They’re supposed to part but after that awkward stare, I guess Saki wants to come along. Yeah, enjoy the boat ride. Meanwhile Kondou is confronted by his debt collectors. Wanting to restart his life, he calls Juiz and wants them killed. He kills them off using his finger gun?! Too bad he had the only innocent witness killed too. Kondou is eager to take over Takizawa’s duty.

Episode 3
Saki follows Takizawa to his supposed residence. Since it is near ground zero, the place is turned into a slum. So his ‘residence’ is some shopping complex? He has the keys to the place too. Inside, they get startled by something but it turns out to be a cute little doggie! Aww, so cute! Since the dog licks Takizawa, it must be his place. Doggie leads them up. Along the way, Takizawa sees a place similar in a photo in his American apartment. They end up in a movie theatre so Saki thinks she must be a manager or something. Cool, right? Since he is willing, she requests for a French movie, a favourite movie of a person she liked. Meanwhile Kondou has also tailed Takizawa here. He stumbles into that place. Lots of thrown away handphones. It could be related to the incident where NEET guys disappeared. So as the movie plays, Takizawa knows Kondou is here to see him from the surveillance cameras. He wants to ask some questions but all Kondou is interested is taking his handphone. Kondou beats him up and takes it from him. He tells what he knows. They were given 10 billion each to save the country in some sh*tty game but he knows this is not enough. Hence he just wants his money and restart his life. Also, once the money on your phone reaches zero, a Supporter will be sent to kill the owner. Takizawa lets him get away because he swiped his detective ID. Next morning, Saki leaves and because she never saw Takizawa since, she left doggie a note for him. No biggies. Just calling him stupid. After Takizawa receives the note, it’s time for him to return Kondou’s ID. Kondou tries to use Takizawa’s handphone but can’t get it to work. Calling Juiz about this, it seems it cannot be activated without the owner’s fingerprint. F*ck. F*cked up big time. Then Takizawa calls him from a public phone to meet up. As Kondou waits, he is approached by his wife, Misae. I guess she isn’t happy he has a mistress. Time to end this. Oh sh*t! She stabs him with a knife! By the time Takizawa arrives, Kondou is already half dead. He knows his time is up and has lost so don’t bother saving him. Kondou tells him the rest. There are 10 other players AKA Selecao in this game. He can track them via the phone’s history but each of them could be dangerous. He believes Takizawa is one of those 20,000 NEETs who were rounded up and killed by an explosion. Kondou gives him his phone so Takizawa no choice has to leave before it gets complicated.

Episode 4
Saki returns home. Oosugi calls her to assure she is fine so she makes up some lies that she was staying at a friend’s place. Takizawa confirms from Juiz that he did rounded up 20,000 NEETs but it cannot be confirmed if he killed them. Asking about Supporter, it is one of the 12 Selecao chosen to kill those who have broken the rules of the game. Takizawa makes his way to some unfinished highway. Some weird hallucinations of creepy mannequins greeting him before he scolds them away?! Huh?! Takizawa then heads to a hospital owned by Hajime Hiura who is one of the Selecao. Requesting to meet, Hiura is sceptical at first as he thinks Takizawa is the Supporter since Kondou got done in. But Hiura has a pill that will make him at least remember how he got the phone. He takes it an instantly passes out. This was what happened. A strange machine with a voice identifying himself as Mr Outside has selected 12 messiahs to save this country. Each of them are given 10 billion yen but that cannot be exchanged for cash but they can call Juiz and execute some services in which the amount will be debited from their balance. Their purchase will be transmitted and logged that all Selecao can see. But among them is a Supporter who will kill them if they break the rules. Among them is trying to abandon this game, going for long periods of time without using the phone and not producing results, using the money for one’s own desires and when the balance hits zero when the nation is not saved. The game is over when a Selecao saves the nation and the others will be killed. Takizawa finally meets Hiura in person. He talks about his dream as a doctor to save as many lives he can. Especially the old people who were abandoned by this country. However he knows this won’t amount to saving the country and he doesn’t intend to win this game. That is why he will not accept Takizawa’s money even if he offers it (he has run out of it with his latest purchase). As for Takizawa’s old self, Hiura wouldn’t say much. He was a charming person but because he erased his memories and betted on a new self, he thinks he is fine as he is. After Takizawa leaves, a Supporter pops up in Hiura’s room. Hiura has no regrets over his decisions and is prepared for his fate. Takizawa is sad seeing Hiura’s signal disappear from the phone. He vows to at least punch Mr Outside.

Episode 5
Takizawa is confused and all when suddenly this dude who recognizes him, goes up to him to beat him up?! Of course he fails. It seems Takizawa promised them some paradise but ditched them in the middle of a desert. Then they got abused by some Indian overseer. It’s amazing they survived without money and with little food. But the moment he realizes Takizawa really lost his memories, he just gives up. So he is marrying a girl in Dubai? But thanks to all that, he is able to return to society. Wow. Confusing. What’s going on? Saki is on her way for a job interview and meets Oosugi on the train. They talk about their prospects entering into society. Takizawa tries to get some info from Juiz but he is joking around about making the Prime Minister say some gaffe, request accepted and what do you know? The PM actually did say that gaffe live on TV! And his popularity increased by 10%???!!! This is sure WTF. Takizawa realizes he missed Saki’s message and tries to text back to meet as he too has some questions. She can’t reply because of the interview so he thinks she is mad. Time to request from Juiz… Saki attends the interview as the interviewer also has her give her honest thoughts about Careless Monday. Then the interviewer invites her over lunch. She waits but he never showed up and worse, somebody accidentally spilled food over her skirt. Then as she washes herself in the toilet, she heard those mean corporate b*tches badmouthing her. Dumb girl didn’t realize she got stood up and the food spilling was also part of the act. As she leaves, Takizawa is seen waiting outside. But she can tell from her sad face so he takes her away on his bike. Oosugi sees this and gets disheartened. Away at some place, Saki rants about her disappointment about society and being an adult. Yeah. Welcome to life. Even more so she explains how she can’t return home to face her family. Because she’s in love with her sister’s husband! Wait. I actually figured that out already… You’d think Takizawa has been staying quiet listening to her, he didn’t want to get involved in this even more complicating game! But he kisses her! Then he invites her to stay at his place and he’ll take care of everything. Listening to her, he is now motivated to do something. So he doesn’t want her to push herself. Eventually they’ll realize they’ve screwed themselves so it’s okay not to do anything. Meanwhile Oosugi is depressed and drinks till he is drunk. He is approached by Kuroha Diana Shiratori.

Episode 6
Oosugi is captured by Kuroha. Dominatrix woman wants to cut off his johnny! Fortunately for him, something urgent came up. After Takizawa drops Saki off at a friend’s house, she calls her sister just to inform she can’t come back home. She can’t face her husband. Next day, we see Saki returning to a small club called Eden of the East. While Mikuru Katsuhara and Sis are sympathetic over Saki’s story, Kazuomi Hirasawa who is the club leader is very suspicious especially of this Takizawa dude. Even Haruo Kasuga doesn’t think Takizawa is a bad dude because nobody who owns a dog is a bad person! Thus the only way to settle this is to see this Takizawa guy in person. After the ladies left, Kasuga tells Hirasawa that Oosugi invited him to dinner that was supposed to be for Saki. Then he got drunk and left depressed. Speaking of Oosugi, it seems he manages to somewhat break free (although his hands are still tied) and starts taking pictures around his captive room. The Eden members head to the shopping mall. Hirasawa gets spooked when he realizes the room is filled with cameras and jumps the gun thinking they’ve all been watched by this mad Takizawa. Until of course Takizawa comes in to greet them. After showing them the deed that he is the real owner of this mall, Takizawa hears a little about the club and is super impressed of this image recognition programme that is written by Mikuru. Hirasawa elaborates further about the club. Initially it started as a small recycling club until Mikuru wrote that programme. However it brought some trouble as they got investigated, the reason why they didn’t launch this app. Then Saki added some value into it and although it became a valuable matchmaking tool, more trouble ensued. So much so, one member quit and started looking for a job and things happened to Saki that they don’t even know. It seems Hirasawa’s plan for Eden is to make it a NEET’s paradise. Takizawa doesn’t really understand but somewhat feels he understands and would like to help. With Saki supporting that idea, Hirasawa accepts Takizawa’s help although he still doesn’t trust him. Later Hirasawa gets a call from Kasuga. He thinks he might have found Oosugi. A guy has been posting random pictures on the internet seeking for help. It could have been that he stumbled into a serial killer known as Johnny Taker. If they don’t act soon, he could become part of the statistics of 20,000 victims!

Episode 7
Based on the pictures, Eden can safely safe that the belongings belong to Oosugi. But why did he post it on this forum instead of contacting them directly? So this is the website Oosugi goes to find a date, huh? Takizawa doesn’t know about this Johnny Taker thingy so they explain the rumours that this crazy woman kidnaps virgins to her room and if they can’t get it up, she snips your johnny! Using the image recognition software to detect some of the unique items in the room, Takizawa has an idea on who the culprit is seeing that Juiz is the accomplice. After making a few requests from Juiz, he makes his way to the supposed hotel where Oosugi is held. He also makes a request to stop Kuroha wherever she is. A police does so but when she realizes Takizawa is on to her, she ignores the police and rushes back to the hotel. She even tries to get back at Takizawa by having a tanker before him cause an accident. Takizawa survives but gets injured. Wow. A tanker blowing up on the highway causing a massive jam already? Eden stuck in the jam… Saki won’t be a sitting duck and makes her way there by foot. Upon arriving at the hotel, Kuroha realizes Takizawa has used up a billion yen to buy the hotel! Seeing Oosugi squirming around, she is going to just snip off his johnny. Luckily Takizawa arrives in time. She thinks he is the Supporter but he denies and is just a Selecao like her. So among the talk they have, it is revealed that she is a serial killer but only towards rapists. She firmly believes in this justice-cum-murder by snipping their johnny. She has Juiz help her sniff out those male pigs and clean up their corpse. Of course, she had no intention of winning this game as she only is an ally to half of the world. That’s why she is going to force her justice till she runs out of money. Takizawa unlike her wants to win this game since he doesn’t approve of Mr Outside’s ways. He wonders if a man did something horrible to her. Because it looks like she was never made happy by a johnny! So he’s saying his johnny can satisfy her?! Well, she’s willing to give him a chance! Steamy moment ruined as Takizawa faints from his injuries. Bummer. Saki who heard everything via Takizawa’s phone finally arrives. Seeing Takizawa and Kuroha together might be misleading but she assures nothing happened. Then she calls Juiz for preparations. Black wings sprout?! How this even?! She takes Oosugi away. But she reveals this isn’t Oosugi but a vile rapist. She then flies out the window! Man, this special effect is going to cost all her money! Saki is left confused and even more so Takizawa is unresponsive.

Episode 8
Takizawa has a bad dream about johnny… Don’t worry. Saki’s by his side. Oosugi is fine. He isn’t happy they mistook some other guy for him. He dropped his stuff after getting drunk and some guy picked up who eventually met his fate with Johnny Taker. Oosugi doesn’t agree with Eden working with Takizawa. Do it and he won’t come back here again. Oosugi gets madder seeing Saki with Takizawa. So now he’s going to be a stalker? He snaps a pic of Takizawa and hopes the software can decipher who he is. No data. Takizawa shows Eden the phone of Kondou. It isn’t working and he hopes they can fix it. Saki suggests Yutaka Itazu to look at it. Itazu who? Apparently this programmer helped them a lot while their programme was being created. But 2 years ago he quit university and became a hikikomori. Takizawa wants to meet this guy so Hirasawa has Mikuru go with him. She is reluctant because she doesn’t like this guy so Saki will also follow them. The rest of Eden try to research more on Takizawa but it looks like there are proper papers in place. Oosugi is shocked that there are many postings on Takizawa’s pic, each calling him by a different name. He is worried he might be some criminal with many aliases so he calls Hirasawa about Saki’s whereabouts. Then he wants him to take a look into the shopping mall as well as the postings on Takizawa. He fears Takizawa might be planning something unthinkable. Arriving at Itazu’s place, first he has the girls go buy some stuffs for him while he fixes the phone. But Takizawa waits behind and gets Itazu’s interest when he mentions he is part of the Selecao. He opens the door and lets him in.

Episode 9
Flashback shows Itazu’s fortunes told him he is going to be a NEET forever. And then his only pants got blown away by the wind. So that’s an excuse he made never to go out again?! A couple of Selecao, Daiju Mononobe and Ryou Yuuki meet up as they are suspicious of Takizawa. Inside his room, it might look like a normal messy un-neat NEET place (pun intended) but he has a hidden room with superb computers and servers where he uses to hack into Kondou’s phone. He manages to display the history and list of purchased items of Takizawa. Among them including buying a huge container to house 20,000 NEETs to be shipped to Dubai as well as keeping them fed for 2 weeks. Then he also hacks the history of other Selecao and they see one who has been responsible for firing missiles on Careless Mondays. Takizawa hopes to keep this a secret. He will leave the phone with him to hack more info and if there is anything interesting, please contact him. Meanwhile Mononobe and Yuuki are waiting outside Itazu’s place. The girls finally return from their errands. I thought it was just a simple errand but it took them the whole day? Anyway, they are shocked to see how fat Itazu has become as the guys pretend that there was nothing special on the phone that could be used. After they leave, Saki hands Itazu a pair of pants she bought for him. Yeah, he can go outside now, right? Then she whispers she knows there are secrets on Takizawa’s phone but Itazu has sworn his brotherhood secrecy so he tells her he can’t say. Also, he advises her it is better she doesn’t get involved. Itazu continues to hack the phone’s history. Looks like he has found something interesting. He wants to call Takizawa but his own phone has run out of batteries?! Worse, Takizawa didn’t leave his email at all! Only his phone number! For the first time, Itazu puts on his pants and runs out. But the moment Mononobe sees this (especially the phone with Itazu), he starts up the car and rams into him! OMG! Fatty bouncing off and falling into the small stream???!!! Mononobe tries to question him but looks like fatty is done for. Itazu realizes it is one of them who fired the missiles. Unfortunately fatty dies… Just like his fortune told him he would die a hero… :’(. Also, Itazu has left his computer on, transferring some large data from the phone. Mononobe then personally calls Takizawa. Meanwhile Hirasawa and co have arrived at the mall. Oosugi shows them a strange place. On the wall written in huge words: Kill Takizawa!

Episode 10
Takizawa doesn’t board the train. There he goes again, leaving Saki… Meeting up with Mononobe, from their talk, Mononobe realizes his memories haven’t returned nor has he read the history. Mononobe claims he is going to win this game soon. If he comes with him, he can be part of that win and learn how he got that phone. Then a call from Saki. She claims she knows his phone has secrets and has noticed the strange things that have happened to them. She thinks Selecao are a group of terrorists behind Careless Monday and that he is one of them. She wants to know who he is. Takizawa doesn’t give much away. Though, he believes he doesn’t really know himself well and is talking to someone who does. He will keep the phone on so she can listen to their conversation. If he turns out to be a criminal, forget about him. He’ll be out of her life. Oh, Saki not prepared for this outcome. As Eden explore the mall, Hirasawa receives a message from Itazu but the data that has been sent to Eden’s server is too large to be viewed on his phone. Takizawa follows Mononobe in his helicopter as the latter reveals Mr Outside’s identity: Saizo Ato who is the president of ATO Company. Yes, Mr Outside is a pun of his name. After WWII, he is a businessman with deep pockets and political connections. He was one of the few who helped with the reconstruction of Japan after the war. So for why he is now giving 10 billion to youths to save Japan, it might be he wanted to see if he made the right choice in reconstructing Japan after coming so far. Was this what was best for Japan. So he forced his power upon those he acknowledged to once again give this country a dramatic change. As for Takizawa’s goal to beat him up, he can’t. He could be dead by now. You see, at the start of the game, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Mononobe’s plan of winning is to become Mr Outside.

They land at a science lab that is facilitated by ATO. After Mononobe realized Mr Outside’s identity, he left his bureaucracy job and became an executive of ATO. He reveals a couple of Selecao working with him. One of them being Yuuki (the one who fired the missiles) and the other being Jintarou Tsuji. Inside this lab, there is one deep hole. Mononobe reveals this is the real identity of Juiz. Now that Mr Outside is dead, nobody outside knows what this facility is for. Like as though it is his way of atoning and taking actions behind the scenes without being the centre stage. It is revealed they will fire about 60 missiles into Japan tomorrow morning. This is Yuuki’s idea. Yuuki goes on to complain about the fake equality Japan has as well as the shirking of responsibilities. So firing those missiles was a warning to the government that their responsibility wasn’t good enough. Mononobe aligned with him seeing that eliminating problematic old people who cling to outdated interests as well as slackers AKA NEETs may be the best interest of this country. Takizawa doesn’t agree to this and wants to beat them up. Ironically they note that this was what he said before his memories were erased. So the reason he erased them: He was betrayed by those he helped and those who helped him. Saki gets emotional after hearing that because she too felt she betrayed him in certain ways. Meanwhile Hirasawa and co check out the huge data Itazu sent from the hack phones. But then they hear containers docking. OMFG! 20,000 naked NEETs running out for their freedom???!!! YOU BETTER RUN TOO!!! Takizawa won’t be part of their plans and leaves. Mononobe lets him go, believing he can’t do anything significant. When a secretary comes in to hand Mononobe’s victory champagne, it is then he realized somebody has made a purchase to move Juiz to another hidden spot. Also, they’ve been had because could it be Mr Outside is also a Selecao and the Supporter?

Episode 11
Saki and Hirasawa share what they know. Though Hirasawa warns them not to come to the mall because NEETs have flooded the complex in search to kill Takizawa (but many trying to look for their phones first!), however Mikuru wants to because they need to do something with the data that Itazu sent them. Saki further explains about Takizawa who wiped out his memories and played the villain just to save the 20,000 NEETs from Carless Mondays. In order to do this, Takizawa enlisted the help of many volunteers to help save them. Though it was successful, some of their methods were borderline criminal. But soon the rescued started to get suspicious because they wonder how Takizawa knew when the missiles will strike. Some volunteers went far enough to steal things. Disillusioned by those he saved, that is when he gathered the NEETs at the mall to claim before them that he is the one behind the missile attacks in order to focus their hate at him. That’s why he is known and hated by various aliases. Takizawa continued to shield them from the public eye by sending them to Dubai for 3 months. Despaired by the events, he saw no other way but to wipe out his own memories. They want to post the missile threats online but in today’s era, they might get arrested for trolling. Even if they still want to go ahead with it, there’s a problem: They forgot to take the PC with them! Yeah, it’s in the hands of those NEETs now. Oh well, get naked and try to go retrieve it! That’s how you hide a leave in a forest. The guys manage to snatch it but those angry NEETs are after them. At the same time, Saki and Mikuru also arrive. Don’t worry about any assaults. These NEETs are only into 2D women… :’(. Once the PC is good hands, they prepare to share the data that targets various areas in Japan including the mall. But then Takizawa hacks everybody’s phones and announces that he is going to fire missiles to kill everyone accusing him and those who know about the truth behind Careless Monday. But he is going to give everybody a chance. Go up to the rooftop if they want to survive.

Mononobe splits with Yuuki seeing he views this moment as all man for himself. He is going to look for Mr Outside and once he does, he will contact him. Tsuji knows Yuuki has been screwed as he has stuck his neck too far out. Mononobe could have been a Supporter for all they know. Besides, Yuuki has been acting on Mononobe’s instructions. Now he has lucked out and it is all on him alone. Takizawa returns to save Eden from those bungling NEETs. Saki knows he is trying to play the baddie again. Awkward stare between them. It’s like he knows her better so he takes her hand to follow him. She chose Takizawa. Not you, Oosugi. Now the NEETs are at the rooftop, Takizawa tells them to post on the Eden site on how to take down those missiles. Everyone starts contributing. As the missiles are already fired, Takizawa calls Juiz to take action from the best suggestion. And that action is having the military from jet fighters to SAMs fire at the missiles to destroy them. Success. Every last one of them shot down. Takizawa continues to talk to Juiz. Viewing that playing the terrorist is no longer viable, he wants to use all his money to become the king of this country. Though there are lots of smart people, none are willing to take this role. Even Takizawa himself doesn’t want to do it. But he will even if there is one person who believes in it. So… Another round of erasing his memories? Overlooking the minimal destruction of the city (well, missile shards did fall here and there), Takizawa slips his phone into Saki’s pocket. Saki notes in a country with no kings, just like that he became a prince.

The Price Of Salvation: Total Recall, Mess-aiyah And Johnny Be Good!
Seeing how the TV series ended, ah well… I don’t think I want to go ahead and watch the 2 movies that are supposed to be the continuation and possibly a closure and answers to a lot of other questions left hanging. You know me and my affinity for movies. Heh. Can’t sit and watch a show that lasts for 1.5 hours but I can sit for 6 hours straight just to binge watch an anime series with a dozen episodes. Something wrong. Definitely. Nobody saved me from this atrocious mind set. Whatever. Anyway, before I drift off into something so unrelated, so yeah, I don’t think I am interested to go watch the movies and will just leave my sentiments and thoughts for this series hanging. If they even had to make a movie compiling all the 11 episodes and call it a director’s cut or something, I think it’s safe to say that I would be having a hard time with the sequel movies.

While the series starts off with an intriguing and enigmatic plot, along the way I started to feel it went downhill. They drag out the plot long enough to last a season and by the point the TV series ended, I already lost my enthusiasm. Though they just saved Japan from another Careless Monday bombardment, the overall game still feels that it had not moved an inch. Blame myself for thinking that this was going to be another survival game where people die trying to outwit each other. I thought this would be like Mirai Nikki but other than the general concept of players playing a deadly game, everything else differs. I thought it got the ball rolling with Kondou dying and soon other players would die too. It is unfortunate that Kondou remains the only one dead. Everybody else is much alive. Even Hiura is alive because I read in spoilers (another excuse why I won’t watch the movies) he just got his memories erased. Heck, even Itazu survived that accident and is all bandaged in hospital! Though it is unclear over Mononobe and Yuuki because I read they tried to kill each other but their fates remained unknown. And yeah, the big guy Mr Outside himself is actually alive and is the Supporter. Spoiler: He’s the cab driver or at least masquerading as one. Man, Kondou sure really lucked out on this one. Thinking how he even got killed by Misae is just so mind boggling. Like it was out of plot convenience or something.

Fuelling my decision not to watch the movie are the comments I read all over the internet. Basically, it is obviously divided into camps who love the series and those who hate it. From my standpoint, I feel there are more of the latter. I don’t believe that this series is really that bad or even mediocre. It is just that is drags out the story and even include side plots that don’t really seem to be important. It could have been better had this series been 2 cours instead of its continuation in movie format because like I’ve said for myself, I would have gone ahead and binge watch them. But after reading more negative comments compared to those few praising it, in addition to my waning interest at the end of the TV series, I think it’s an excuse for me just to opt out and not waste my time on something if it isn’t going to be conclusive. Spoiler: Takizawa did meet Mr Outside and they both discuss plans to make Japan a better place. So does this means the others lost? Not quite. Further spoilers: All remaining survivors declared winner and got their memories erased! How convenient. You’re a winner, he’s a winner, she’s a winner, everybody’s a winner! And Takizawa erasing his memories so many times so this means he is immune to his memories resetting again. How convenient.

It could have been better if they had delve more into the workings of the game as well as other Selecao players. Because everything feels so vague apart from the few rules that are actually penalties to keep you in line with the objective of being given 10 billion yen. I figure out that this might be so because if you put too many rules, it might stifle the creativity and freedom of trying to save this nation. After all, Mr Outside is trying to see if there is a different and efficient approach in saving the country. To do that, he needs to be open minded. If he was close minded, he wouldn’t have made this stupid game and used the money himself. So I understand the lack of clarities of the rules. But it is how Juiz gets the orders done so quickly. Like as though she has magic. It is seen that every ‘magic’ moment, there is something in the background to actually make that happen. For instance, Kondou using his finger gun to kill his debt collectors was actually the police sniping from afar. Kuroha’s raven flying gig was actually some really expensive visual effects! Sure, it costs a lot but how can Juiz so effectively get it done like almost instantly? How many connections does she have? Is everybody so easily swayed including the PM to so something in a jiffy when told? I suppose everybody has a price. By the way, spoilers told me she isn’t a machine but quadruplet granddaughters of Mr Outside! Damn, this is getting weirder and weirder the more I read. After all, even if Juiz can seemingly do anything, she can’t do everything. She isn’t God. Otherwise, why not just use up the 10 billion yen at first go and order her to just save the country? There. Game over. So easy. I’m so smart.

The real issue is the plague that has befallen Japan and turning the nation into a pathetic state. I think this also applies in real life. Almost everyone views Japan as a very advanced state and with people with unrivalled hospitality and kindness. We want to believe it is so but could it be that everything is just superficial? Because we also know the downfalls of Japanese society itself that nobody is talking about such as overworking to death and sexual harassment of females in a male dominated workplace. Thus is was perplexing for me at first when I heard the goal of the chosen Selecao is to use the money to save Japan. I mean, how? What constitutes in saving Japan? How do you define and conclude Japan has been saved? Not even the world’s greatest country (arguably) America is the greatest and has very obvious open flaws. For example, Hiura’s goodwill intentions in establishing a hospital to save the elderly and Kuroha picking out rapists. Are they not good enough to save Japan? Even if it is just a small segment that benefits? Because if it’s not, than nothing will. Perhaps this is why Mr Outside at the end of both movies, declared all of them winners. Because no single correct method. No one size glove fits all. Hence all the Selecao alone might not save the country but with everyone’s efforts, it makes them greater than the sum of parts. So it begs the question, can money actually save the people? I know, I know… We the people have to change first, right? But from past experiences, I don’t think humans in general aren’t willing to change so quickly.

Character wise, I think the only one that shines is Takizawa. He eludes this enigmatic kind of charm and the more you see him, the more you want to know about him. It’s pretty cliché he took on the villain role and the convenience of being an amnesiac character makes this whole drama intriguing. Too bad, still not Jason Bourne material. I just wondered why he got a gun in hand when he first appeared and of all places, naked in DC. So the gun was just red herring? The big problem is Saki’s character. In fact, I thought deeply about it and eventually believe that she is quite irrelevant to the story overall. She isn’t even a damsel in distress! She’s just some lost soul tagging along for some adventure because I suppose her charming prince is more interesting than stupid society. Without Saki, the plot could have moved along faster and cut out those Takizawa-Saki moments that felt like some romance drama troll just to disappoint those who were hoping for some chemistry to happen between them. Saki doesn’t really do anything integral to the plot or even the game itself. She is just a character who could be symbolized as us viewers who are clueless about Takizawa’s background. Hence the need for some explanations when the time calls for it. So it’s like the more she wants to know about him, the more suspicious he gets to a point she starts wondering who the hell he is. It’s like she wants to be with him but is scared to know the truth about him. What if this, what if that. Now you happy he isn’t a real terrorist? Still want to stick by your prince? Hell yeah. Better than being a corporate slave and put up with corporate b*tches. I wonder if she is over her sister’s husband…

The other Eden characters also feel like additional side plots that we don’t need. Had they not been featured, the series would have moved along even faster! So uhm, what the heck is the significance of the recognition software Mikuru wrote anyway? I don’t see how relevant it is for the TV series except to sew some suspicions when there is no data on Takizawa. It might be some minor stepping stone to introduce them to Itazu but it feels like a roundabout and they could’ve inserted that Panties guy somewhere in between unrelated. And yeah, Oosugi. It’s like they have to put in this character to troll us some possible love triangle because this dude is obviously so in love with Saki but not sure if Saki is just pretending not to notice and turn a blind eye. Oosugi’s jealousy of new guy Takizawa is so obvious and they’re probably for comic relief. Too bad it sucks to be you Oosugi because the other thing that Takizawa has other than his charm that you don’t have is money! 8 billion in his phone at least for the time being! Gotta do better than that.

Can’t say much about the other members of Eden but I don’t even see how Hirasawa wants to turn it into some NEET paradise. I don’t know, if you ask me, being a NEET is more of a privilege. Yeah, how mind boggling those NEETs stayed in the container to Dubai for 3 months naked! Why aren’t they even clothed?! Are you telling me that NEETs are generally naked because they hole up in their rooms and hence no need for clothes?! Yeah, this series has got to hold the record of having the most gathered johnnies in one place!!! Why are they looking well enough?! Because being holed in a container all the way around the world doesn’t look very comfortable. And do you know how big 20,000 a number is? It’s amazing the entire roof of the mall didn’t collapse when everyone gathered there. It doesn’t feel like even half that number. I could be wrong, though. Hey, at least somebody cares enough for NEETs.

Another big unfortunate thing is how the other Selecao players are not given enough screen time. You’d think that they would be essential to the plot of the series but I think only half of them have appeared here. Heck, I read from spoilers that there is one Selecao’s identity who is never known. Not even appearing in the movies. Considering this is an original anime, I suppose they want to put enough numbers there in case they need some other plot. After all, it would have been more interesting to meet these other characters and know their ideals on how to save Japan. Even so, those like Hiura and Kuroha who don’t plan to win, their back story and current circumstances are just sufficient. Like as though they are just bits and puzzles to help Takizawa move on to the next stepping stone in understanding his erased memories. Mononobe looks and act like the main antagonist but he hardly does anything but just latches on a disgruntled Yuuki. And just like that, there’s your answer to Japan’s Careless Monday. How convenient. Because of the lack of their back story, it makes some of these characters feel hollow. Like Tsuji. Don’t even know what he’s doing because he claims he has not even spent a cent ever since the game started. Unlike many other survival genres like Mirai Nikki, this isn’t a death game to see who finally survives. It is just a race to see who can make Japan better. So there’s no urgency in that sense. Though, the initial threat everybody gets killed when there is a winner feels flimsy.

Animation and art are pretty good. Though I can say this for the backgrounds and sceneries, I can’t say the same for the character designs. It’s not a bad thing actually. Because when I first look at Saki, I thought she looked a bit like a frog or that character from Ponyo On The Cliff! Really. I’m not kidding. The more I stare at her, the weirder she looks. The same case with some of the characters like Oosugi. This anime was done by Production I.G who did Guilty Crown, Suisei No Gargantia, Kimi Ni Todoke, Usagi Drop, Psycho Pass, Haikyuu and Kuroko No Basket.

There was once a time when I considered Saori Hayami as Mamiko Noto’s clone. Very funny enough, the first time I heard Saki’s voice in the first episode, I thought it was Mamiko Noto. This is me well knowing that Saki is voiced by Saori Hayami before I started watching the show. I guess this as one of her early days in voice acting, she wasn’t ‘refined’ enough. Then subsequent episodes I must have gotten used to her voice and didn’t think she sounded as Mamiko Noto’s clone anymore. Strange indeed. One thing to note that in the first episode where it is staged in America, they used real English speaking people to voice out the minor roles. That’s why those Americans really sound very authentic when they speak English. I guess this beats having Americans speak fluent and perfect Japanese just for convenience. But the mind boggling part was how the Americans in the show know Japanese because Takizawa was speaking to them in Japanese although they replied in English. Weird.

Other than me recognizing Nobuyuki Hiyama as Itazu and Koji Yusa as Tsuji, the other casts are Ryohei Kimura as Takizawa (Tsubasa in Kyoukai No Rinne), Takuya Eguchi as Oosugi (Kon in Ixion Saga DT), Rei Igarashi as Kuroha (Precia in Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha), Sakiko Tamagawa as Juiz (Natsumi in You’re Under Arrest), Motoyuki Kawahara as Hirasawa, Atsushi Miyauchi as Mononobe (Niji in One Piece), Masakazu Morita as Yuuki (Ichigo in Bleach), Ayaka Saito as Mikuru (Tomoka in Girls Bravo), Kimiko Saitou as Sis (Chieko in Kuragehime), Hayato Taya as Kasuga (Kazuki in Shadowverse) and Hiroshi Shirokuma as Kondou (Warrod in Fairy Tail).

One of the things you’ll notice is the opening theme is sung totally in English. Feels familiar? Yup, because Falling Down is actually sung by the English rock band, Oasis. So either they didn’t have the budget to do their own opening or they think it would be cool to splash more royalties and to attract viewers with this Manchester groupie. Personally, the song feels weird to be paired with the series. Maybe something resonate with the lyrics but I wasn’t paying close attention. It feels like they’re just sampling the song because unlike many other TV anime songs, they have been re-edited just to fit the TV size of the opening credits. This one just feels like it just ‘ended’. Actually, it just fades somewhat. Weird. Back to anime style music with its ending theme, Futuristic Imagination by School Food Punishment. I just love the creative paper art animation in this ending credits segment. There is an insert song, Reveal The World by Brenda Vaughn which is quite nice to hear although it feels disjointed from the series. I like the very slow and jazzy soul-like music. Reminds me of Aretha Franklin and other similar divas’ style.

Overall, this series does have an interesting plot and set of characters but the execution of it makes it overall feel dragged out and there much more could have been done to flesh out the development of the story as well as some of its characters. Especially Saki. And I mean not just for the sake of trolling us with some budding romance. Maybe she’ll do better in the movies but who knows? I didn’t watch it and I certainly can’t tell. How much you gonna pay me to watch the series? Goes to show that no amount of money could change the country unless the people themselves change their mind set. And that is why no amount of money could make anime better if it is not spent wisely. No wonder there are so many big production and big budget flops these days. Good to know that money isn’t everything. RIGHT???!!! No amount of money could save the anime industry or a country but a bunch of naked NEETs and their johnnies actually do prevented Japan from a missile attack! Boy, now I’ve seen everything! Definitely priceless and no amount of money could buy!

Jyu Oh Sei

July 18, 2020

Next anime to watch… Next anime to watch… Next anime to watch… Oh here it is! Jyu Oh Sei! Heh. For some reason I picked this retro anime because you know, damn Corona virus seem to be making current season animes playing musical chairs. This week, it’s going to be this anime’s turn to halt production! Oh yeah. Next week, it might be that anime! Will there be any anime left standing by the time the normal season ends? At least for the animes that I picked to watch. So yeah, what an ironic and twisted way for me to choose this series since it is somewhat about survival. A pair of twins abandoned on vicious planet filled with carnivorous plants and harsh environments as well as the few human clans populating the planet. Survival of the strongest, definitely. We’re going to pull through this calamity for sure!

Episode 1
Thor and Rai Klein live in a space colony named Juno. They harbour dreams to become scientists like their parents and visit for themselves this beautiful planet called Earth. Really? That still exists in the distant future? As they return to their quarters, they are shocked to see their parents killed. Soon a sleeping gas knocks them out but Thor manages to see the perpetrators who are no other than the army who are supposed to protect them. The twins are put on a pod and sent down to a planet known as Chimera. They get out and navigate their way through the dense jungle. Thor knows they’ve been abandoned as their possessions only contain a beam knife and a smelly sap. Locals surround them but their leader, Zagi wants to take care of them. He tells them about Chimera. It is basically a prison planet. Nobody knows about it because the higher ups kept its existence a secret. Also, plants here are mostly carnivorous and rule the planet. The only way to survive is to revert back to being a beast. Hence only the King of Beasts can survive on this planet AKA Jyu Oh Sei. He further elaborates how there are 4 tribes known as Rings that rule by territory. Divided by skin colour (oh dear, racism?), they are Sun, Blanc, Night and Ochre. Zagi and his fellows don’t belong to any. They are abandoned children and hence their nickname Wild Children. Also on Chimera, men and women live separately. There is only 1 and only 1 way to leave Chimera. To stand above all 4 Ring leaders and become Jyu Oh. You also do that by climbing some tower called Dagger Pagoda in the middle of the continent and win the ability to move freely between Hecate and Chimera. As Rai is clumsy, he gets bullied. Thor tries to protect him but also gets bullied. Zagi warns them that survival is tough here and since the night is harsher it is only logical that they weed out the weak ones. That means Rai will be targeted. The twins leave the place. Rai continues to complain while Thor contemplates on Zagi’s advice to leave Rai behind or he too will die. And then Rai continues to complain he’d rather die than go through this sh*t! OMG. You said it. Thor going to kill him! So Rai has a change of mind? Yeah… But seeing those same eyes, Thor has a change of heart. They are then surrounded by men from the Ochre Ring. They claim the twins have broken some rules. Thor pretends to be friendly and when close enough, uses his beam knife to kill them. I guess the plants want in on the action too as it swallows up everyone including Rai. Thor is about to meet the same fate but some chic saves him.

Episode 2
Flashback shows the twins’ father telling them about Earth and how the Balkan System of planets that men made were modelled after it. Yes, we are all Earthlings! Thor wakes up with Tiz by her side. Although she is from the Sun Ring, they are currently staying at Ochre Ring’s base. It seems Thor would’ve been further beaten up if Tiz didn’t do so. Thor remembers about Rai but Tiz tells him to forget him. He already died. You saw him being eaten by the plants, right? Thor then meets Third of Ochre Ring and he was the one who carried him back. He reveals that the only reason why Ochre is letting them stay here is because Tiz chose Thor to be her husband! As women are few on Chimera, they have the right to choose their husbands. But Thor isn’t impressed because he will choose his own destiny! Then they go watch a Try. Basically, it is match to challenge the Ring’s top leader and if you win, you take over his place and can do anything. So the reigning champion is, uhm, Top. He easily defeats his challenger. Top then has Thor see him. Because he is Tiz’s husband, he allow them to stay for now but warns him to get stronger like him because the strong only survives. Yeah, Thor went down just after that slap, he better get stronger! As Tiz still insists stubborn Thor be her husband, here comes Rika from Sun Ring. She is here to bring Tiz back as Chen is mad. Tiz doesn’t want to and wants to remain here with Thor. This has Thor remember some cheesy confession scene of Rai and a girl. Actually it was Thor who pretended to be Rai because Rai was too chicken. WTF, right? Tiz tries to stop Thor from heading to Dagger Pagoda alone. This guy still doesn’t want to be her husband so much so he’d rather walk into the swamp? Oh man, suddenly the Musa plants start to germinate and grow into huge beanstalks?! Thor saves Tiz since he doesn’t want it to end like Rai’s death. Luckily they grab on to Third’s flying pod. Tiz is confused that Thor refused her but still risked his life to safe her. Is this how people on the colony behaves. Thor gives an excuse he did this for himself and not where he came from. Tiz has decided. She gives her necklace (a symbol of authority) to Rika to be returned to Chen. She is giving up her position in Sun Ring to be with Thor. She’ll be under him forever! Wow. He just upgraded from husband to boss. Next step, God? Oh wait. It’s Jyu Oh first.

Episode 3
Thanks to the Musa plants, it is able to draw water from its roots located deep in the ground. Thor is sad that he wanted Rai to see this. Tiz reminds him it isn’t his fault to begin with. However Thor hated Rai but at the same time he loved him too. He really needs to find out the truth of his parents’ murder so Tiz thinks Colin might be the right guy since he knows a lot of things. He lives alone near the Sun Ring. Tiz agrees to follow Thor to Colin’s place but unfortunately they stumble into Chen and her subordinates. Chen gives Tiz a warning to come back to them or they die where they stand. You thought Tiz who was so reluctant to go back now agrees to do so? Well, she doesn’t want to bring trouble to Thor. So as she obediently returns to Chen, Thor spots an opportunity. Swiftly using Tiz’s sword to cut a nearby plant as a diversion to trap Chen, Thor then takes Tiz’s hand and run. You regretting this crazy husband of yours? As they rest, they talk about Thor forming his own Ring. No skin colour! It’ll be colourless. Wow. So inclusive and diversity. Yeah, took too long talking that Chen and co are back. It’s amazing she didn’t kill them on sight. Still giving Tiz a chance, huh? Thor then challenges Chen. Because he cannot take her place, he will fight for Tiz’s freedom. Thor is agile but he is weak against Chen. Then he notices something about their sword clash. He focuses his beam knife on her sword until it breaks. Safe to say that Thor wins and Chen must stick by her promise. Just then, an underground Verasona plant gobbles up a subordinate. So don’t move? You mean it didn’t attack during the fight? Chen lures it out so she could destroy its bulb but it goes berserk. Tor riding it like a wild horse? Lucky kid even manages to destroy its bulb. Too easy. All the ladies impressed with Thor’s victory. They are picked up by Third to return to Ochre Ring. Thor talks to Third about becoming Jyu Oh. Something about there is no Jyu Oh on Chimera and if there was, it was probably orders from Hecate. But Thor becoming Jyu Oh is possible as anyone putting their name forward is a possible candidate. So why didn’t Third become one? Hate responsibilities.

Episode 4
It seems Top likes Chen but the latter refuses him and would rather nominate Third for the mating month. Later as Thor and Tiz talk about their new Ring, Third is interested and also wants to join. He thinks he can handle jobs in both Rings. And to think he said he hated responsibilities… Ah well, just as long as it’s interesting. Tiz’s first order for Third is to bring them to Colin. But before that, Third talks to Chen who wants to know why he refused her. He claims he is infertile so mating with him would amount to nothing. Yeah, but that doesn’t stop them from making it out right now! The gang are at Colin’s cave. Upon hearing who Thor is and what happened to his family, Colin believes Odin (current leader on Juno) could be the culprit. Colin reveals there was a faction opposing Odin as well as plans for his assassination and Thor’s father was believed to be part of that. Shocking because Thor knows his father is Odin’s loyal supporter. Colin was tasked to eliminate those factions. He doesn’t believe his father is part of any assassination plan. Subsequently after the elimination was carried out, all those involved were abandoned on Chimera. It is possible Thor’s father might have become an obstruction to Odin so he was framed and killed off as an excuse. As Thor tries to process all this heavy info, Tiz wants him to become Jyu Oh and leave the planet to find the truth. She will support him. Just then, somebody snipes at Third. Don’t worry, he is wearing a bullet proof vest and has anticipated this. This isn’t the first time. He knows Top wants to get rid of him. As they leave, Colin talks to Tiz about Thor not having long to live. Unless you undergo some life extension surgery, those on the colony will not live further than 30 years. After returning to Ochre Ring and Tiz confronting Thor about this, they return to Colin to confirm this but he is dead by Verasona plants! These don’t grow here! Somebody must’ve killed him! I guess Thor can’t get some life extension. Back at Ochre Ring, Thor tells this to Third but he doesn’t seem to care. As they attend Top’s banquet, Top tries to show Third who’s the boss by making him do menial tasks. Third doesn’t mind. Until Thor gets pissed and claims Top isn’t the best because he tried to kill Third. A person like that shouldn’t be holding top post. In that case he can be the top. Is that a challenge? A Try? With everyone eager for this challenge, Thor realizes he has been set up by Third.

Episode 5
Thor punches Third for this setup because he feels he can’t win this Try. Third points out if he cannot win now, he will never win in the future. He believes in Thor and that he can become Jyu Oh. After everything he has seen, his survival is not because of luck. As a former air force member who was abandoned here without a trial, Third has been waiting for a person like him to become Jyu Oh and leave this planet to bring justice to Odin. He believes his father also had an intention to overthrow Odin. But clearly Thor is in no shape to beat Top. Third shows him a blind spot in the arena. Once the time is right, he must lead Top there while his guard is down and Third will lend his help. So as the battle begins, Thor runs around and dodges Top’s attacks. It’s the only way for now as he is trying to make this cocky guy mad. Top’s sword then deals a lethal strike on Thor’s shoulder. Thor losing blood and trying to maintain his consciousness as he limps towards the blind spot. When he cannot see Third anywhere, he thinks he has been betrayed. But Third fires a shot but misses Top. This is on purpose as the distraction catches Top off guard. I guess nobody heard the gunshot in this noisy arena. Thor then uses this chance to slice Top, killing him. Thor is unconscious after losing too much blood. Then his pulse stops. Oh no. Tiz trying to do CPR! If that doesn’t work, Third slaps him as well as reminding him to become Jyu Oh. Heh. Like that will wo- OMFG! IT WORKED!!! Oh thank goodness Thor’s pulse is back. Later Chen talks to Third as Ilza has challenged her to a Try. She wonders if Third will come help like he did for Thor. And if she dies, will he cry for her? Sure thing. Better win then. She hopes to nominate him for the mating season when she wins. I guess it’s not about making a baby for the future, huh? Thor wakes up after a bad dream of Rai. He is glad that Tiz and Third are around because it makes his days on Chimera bearable. But looks like the long night is here as it marks the start of the mating season. Meanwhile Zagi plans to make Ochre Ring his territory.

Episode 6
Before we forget there are other clans, we see Blanc Ring led by their Top known as Wolf massacring the Night Ring and even their Top, Jeso. OH sh*t. Whites killing blacks?! A Night Ring member manage to escape and make his way to Ochre Ring. Woah. A grown up Thor! He tells them what happened and it is evident that Blanc Ring doesn’t want to become Jyu Oh but rather exterminate other Rings. Jeso’s last words were to seek Thor’s help to stop Wolf. As explained, it has been 4 years since (since Chimera has a shorter yearly cycle, I wonder how Thor can grow up this quick) and under Thor’s leadership as Top of Ochre Ring, their clan has been living in prosperity. He has even earned the nickname as Silver Hawk. As Blanc Ring’s next target is Sun Ring, Thor wants to help them. He disagrees with Third’s view that the elimination of Sun Ring would do them any good. Who knows if the system collapses, will this effect Jyu Oh? Better safe than sorry. They head over to a small village in Sun Ring’s territory and their current Top now is Yuuki. He wants their Rings to form a pact to combat against Blanc Ring. Unfortunately not much is known about Blanc Ring as their group is small and secretive. Also there is this issue with Chen. Although she won against Ilza, an injury has a leg of hers amputated. She has never been the same again and is still depressed. He hopes Third could go talk to her but Third doesn’t think hollow words could motivate her. After all, Third has another woman he loves but she is far away. Yuuki goes try talking to Chen who still feels useless and is starting to think she wants out of the clan as she won’t bear anybody’s child except Third’s. Suddenly Wolf leads an attack on the place. Then Wolf challenges Yuuki to a boss fight, believing taking him down means the downfall of Sun Ring. Wolf’s sneaky ways means Yuuki gets injured. When Chen tries to help him, a subordinate is about to kill her but Yuuki defends her. Last words of such man is to live a happy life. Dead. The massacre stops when Thor’s side arrive. Wolf then unmasks himself to be Zagi (why am I not surprised?). While Thor is in shock and want answers, Zagi tells him to come to Dagger Pagoda in 24 hours and he’ll tell him everything. Back at the base, Thor is very conflicted especially about the survival thingy when he first came to Chimera with Rai. Third tells him that humans are the worst beast and if Zagi is human, this makes it all the better not to trust him.

Episode 7
We see Heimdall reporting to Odin about some Midgard project. While Odin views it as necessary to create a new world for the sake of humanity, Don Loki sees it as gene manipulation. Tiz accompanies Thor to see Zagi. At the Dagger Pagoda, Zagi tells Thor to give up his goal to become Jyu Oh. He begins his explanation about Hecate, another prison planet. When he was young, he snuck into it and saw something he shouldn’t. This is a reason why he got banished to Chimera. And that reason was because he saw many other Jyu Oh frozen in their pods. Hence Jyu Oh never existed in the first place and is just bait to get the beasts to kill each other. The moment you become Jyu Oh, your life ends and you’ll end up like them. Thor is in shock with this info but he still finds it hard about what Zagi plans to do because if order falls, he thinks the army will still come and intervene and believes in negotiating with Juno in exchange for info. Suddenly remnants of Night Ring try to assassinate Zagi. Thor saves him but it is Zagi’s second in command, Karin who kills them. Thor taken in by her beauty? Hmm… Tiz can sense… She ‘warns’ him that she is first in line to bear their child… They return to their base to talk further. Tiz is not happy she is separated from Thor. She learns Karin is not interested in bearing any children. Ever since Zagi became their Top, he banished all rules including the mating one. The only rule is Top’s command is absolute. Zagi plans to fight for Chimera’s independence from Juno and he needs someone with charisma. That’s you, Thor. That’s why he has been watching Thor ever since the day he arrived and he surpassed all expectations. He believes Chimera has something important that is part of Odin’s plans. Otherwise, why keep this prison planet a secret? Thor isn’t amused. Zagi can be that charismatic man himself. Karin come in to report trouble with Tiz. Then she warns Zagi not to put his trust in Thor. But Zagi doesn’t care and slaps her! Despite her pleas, he banishes her for going against him. Thor is more sympathetic, though. Even so, Karin believes these guys don’t understand. Yeah, me no get it either. Thor cannot be killed because he is loved by a goddess but Zagi will be the one who will be killed? Yeah. Don’t really get it. Karin runs away as Thor returns to Tiz and tells her his only option to join with Zagi for the independence war. She disagrees but time is running out for him. So this is where the talk about bearing his children comes in? Moment ruined when Karin is reported to have fled in the blizzard. She’ll die at this rate. Thor is such a kind guy to go find her. Wow. How lucky. He finds her but she still puts up an act. And then they fall into the chasm. Wow. This woman is surely trouble, huh?

Episode 8
Don’t worry. They’re still alive at the bottom of the chasm. He is trying to find a way out and she’s still acting up? Something about Zagi is her only reason to live. It could have been so had Thor been not around. Now that he is here, Zagi doesn’t need her anymore and is sure would choose Thor as his partner. Woah! Hold up. I didn’t know there was some BL gay sh*t going on! Jealous Karin tries to kill Thor. Since he won’t fight her, he gets injured by her attacks. Poor girl even more confused and stops trying to kill him. And what luck, Thor manages to find a way that might have them resurface. As the blizzard has stopped, Tiz goes to look for her beloved. The same with Third and the other Ochre Ring guys. They stumble into Zagi and this whatever showdown won’t amount to anything because it is more important for them to look for Thor. Meanwhile as Thor makes headway in their survival, suddenly Karin talks how beautiful a person he is?! He too?! Oh wait. Don’t tell me you want to make out right now?! Oh sh*t! They did! Must be a quick one since they manage to resurface and Karin talks about him being lucky and the legend surrounding him. Thor doesn’t think so because otherwise he wouldn’t have been abandoned on Chimera. Good timing with Tiz locating them. You can see the worries in her eyes. You’ve been together all the while? Yup. And then Thor’s shocking announcement. He wants to bring Karin into Ochre Ring. Sure, he loves Tiz. But only as a sister! Can’t blame her for feeling so heart broken. Chen talks to her and hopes she could stay with Thor because she knows Zagi is planning something suspicious. The guys continue their talk and it seems Zagi has made arrangements to meet with Juno on Hecate. Thor doesn’t agree with this but will play along as he has no choice. Then he tells Zagi that Karin is now under his wing. In that case, Thor will be Jyu Oh and Zagi will be his vice when they meet with Juno. Later Third talks to Thor about accepting Zagi’s plan. He doesn’t approve of it but Thor who has not much time left just want answers. If anything happens to him, please take care of Ochre Ring. So shoving responsibilities to Third, huh? But Third also notes that he too has not much time left. In fact, he has already run out of it.

Episode 9
Tiz is sulking. How is Thor going to handle this? She manages to open up and talk to him but she still wants to mate with him when the next season comes around. Meanwhile Karin returns to Zagi who thanks her that because she was with Thor, he didn’t even hesitate in making a decision. She thought he wanted to rule this planet but decided to become Thor’s second man. What is he planning? Seems Zagi is still set on being a ruler and Thor is his trump card. Karin is sad that he is still the same and sees others as tools. Then he rapes her?! Even if she is now under Ochre Ring, she came back to Zagi, right? She wants to kill him but starts kissing him. Damn I’m so confused!!! Zagi wants her to continue to be with Thor so she could spy and report back to him. It would be troublesome if Thor started acting on his own. Then he throws her a question: Whose child would she like to bear? Zagi or Thor? Biggest dilemma ever. So after he says go to Thor, Karin feels some remorse. She tries to go after him but then she got killed! OMG! SHE’S DEAD!!! Thor heard the commotion but too late. Karin’s dead. He becomes mad and thinks Zagi did it (since he heard her voice calling out his name). Thor confronts Zagi and they start fighting. Everyone is confused but Third tells them to watch the final battle between the last 2 Tops to become Jyu Oh. Zagi tries that sneaky move he did on Yuuki but Thor saw through it and outsmarted him. In the end, Thor strikes a fatal blow. As he questions Zagi, it then occurred to him that Zagi’s reaction indicates he didn’t kill Karin. Zagi hints he knows who killed her but his last words are not to trust that man. Third congratulates Thor as the new Jyu Oh as Dagger Pagoda lights up. He wants Thor to go there but Thor ridden with guilt feels he can’t right now. Hence Third has no choice but to have his men take care of Zagi (not actually dead yet) and preserve Karin’s body. Yeah, Thor wants to take a look at Karin’s face before he goes. I guess pictures don’t exist on Chimera. Thor along with Tiz and Third arrive at Dagger Pagoda as Juno welcomes Thor as the 38th Jyu Oh.

Episode 10
Riding up the orbital elevator, they are greeted by Loki. He is a researcher of a facility on Hecate as well as Thor’s mom, Eva. Loki takes Thor to Odin so he could asks the questions to the man himself. Meanwhile Heimdall talks to Third and congratulates him on his mission that will surely promote him a few ranks up. Thor sees Odin and wants answers. Odin finds Thor to be a beautiful person and hence the Last Child. He is the triumph of genetic perfection that will save humanity. As explained, in 50 years, humanity will become extinct in the Balkan System as predicted. In the past 100 years, they have only 1 natural childbirth and the rest via artificial insemination via artificial wombs. Hence the need to create humans to populate Balkan System. As Chimera is undeveloped, DNA samples are collected from there. Thus all the frozen Jyu Oh that Zagi saw are important live samples of those who survived the harsh environment. After extracting and crossbreeding their DNA, the offspring are sent back to Chimera. Eva is the only successful surrogate mother of an artificial embryo. Therefore Thor and Rai are actually not blood related to them. They look like their parents only because of their ability to adapt. As part of the final test, the twins were needed to be sent to Chimera but Eva refused and extreme measures had to be taken. Thor is sad and confused. He wants to end this nightmare. Since this body is created by them, he doesn’t care if they cut it up and use it however they like. Then a similar looking man enters. He is Heather Sigurd. We know him as Third. He is part of this project and infiltrated Chimera earlier to help Thor become Jyu Oh. And yes, he killed Karin as part of the mission. Poor Thor is so confused by everything, the only person he wants to kill is himself.

As promised, Third’s reward is a trip to Earth. A depressed Thor is returned to Tiz’s side. Everything he knew was lie. Tiz tries to encourage him that they have each other. And yeah, she still wants to bear his child. Sex helps, right? When Odin wants to increase Chimera’s rotation rate after ordering the immediate extraction of Thor’s DNA, this is the last straw for Loki. He cannot take it anymore playing God. This move will kill all the inhabitants on Chimera as the climate will change drastically (you mean the current environment is too harsh for the perfect survival DNA to survive?! THE IRONY!!!). So why can’t Odin just let the human population populate slowly now that they have gotten Thor’s DNA? He wants to see results while he is still alive. Hey, didn’t he tell Thor that he doesn’t mind being killed if his dream is realized? Loki pulls out a gun and shoots him! Bad shot? Just in his guts. Scientist can shoot straight… Odin has enough strength to activate the rotation plan. With the alert sounded, Thor and co rush to the control room as Third explains the significance of this rotation. So how are they going to stop it? Odin and Third won’t tell. But Loki will. Yeah, some Valkyrie system on Hecate that controls the Ball that will be released to start the rotation. Thor wants Tiz to return to Chimera and evacuate as many people into the orbital elevator. Thor, Third and the other military guys are going to do Mission Impossible and stop this premature final phase.

Episode 11
Entering Hecate, it seems Loki notices Valkyrie has locked down the staffs and evacuated the prisoners. What f*cked up system is this?! After hacking in, it is discovered all the staffs were killed by plants that have been accelerated by the system. Hence we see the carnivorous plants devour the men one by one. Thanks to Thor’s knowledge and survival skills, they manage to get by. That’s not all. They have to put up a fight with the other Jyu Oh who have awakened from their slumber. Thor kills them all and when Loki pleads not to because of their precious DNA samples, Thor ticks him off that this is not what living is about. They’re dead to begin with. At least they should kill them as humans! What a convenient time for the computer to project some hologram and tell them the truth about Earth. It doesn’t exist anymore because it was blown apart by some meteor 130 years ago! All those who went to Earth just had their memories manipulated! How convenient. Third is in shock that his dreams are in tatters. But it’s time for Thor to lecture him a taste of his own medicine how he is not the only one to have his life stolen from him. So suck it up and live out the life of your chosen path! Entering the control room, it seems Valkyrie has refused access to Loki to stop it. Wow. Such hi-tech AI. But not hi-tech enough as Third and the soldiers shoot and destroy it!!! Hah. At least it is better than my answer of just unplugging the cable!!! HAHAHA!!! While it does stop the Balls, it is also mainly the sudden growth of Musa that envelope and stop the Balls, a sign of Chimera’s will.

I guess Zagi is sulking because he can’t be the captain of his own ship. Tiz tries to tell him to get back to safety because it is her responsibility to see that all Thor’s friends are safe. And even such a moment some niggah tries to kill Zagi! Well, what do you know? Tiz protects him and takes the shot!!! Instant karma when the ground collapses on the niggah. Sad to say but it’s true, Tiz dies :’(. Thor and co manually escape but looks lie Verasona plants are hungry. Loki tries to atone by staying behind and become the Verasona’s playmate. Then it’s Third’s turn. Nearly reaching the top, he nearly falls off so Thor grabs his hand. Third doesn’t want to be a burden to him anymore. After all, everything he has done was to make him a Jyu Oh. Sadly, Third kills himself so that Thor could go on. At the top, Thor sees a vision of Tiz telling him to survive. Damn, I hope it isn’t the ghost of Tiz! The helicopter picks Thor up but he is distraught that Tiz is left behind! It’s just a ghost!!!!!!!! Back on Juno, Thor sees Odin on his deathbed. Seeing that Thor survived, Odin promises never to interfere with Chimera again as Thor’s survival is proof of mankind’s ability to survive. Yeah, also he’s going to die soon anyway. Thor notes the irony he always wanted to leave Chimera but now he wants to go back to it because he views it as hope. That’s why he won’t hate Odin anymore. Bye. Back on Chimera, with the collapse of the Ring system, no more stupid clan rules whatsoever. Also, this means no more people will be sent from the colony. Thor is fine with that. He picks up a lost girl almost being devoured by a plant. He decides to call her Tiz as it means hope.

Altered Beasts
Well… That was weird… So I’m wondering if Juno has really given up on survival. Considering that it is said that the colony still exists and that they won’t throw down any more people to the planet, is Juno checkmating themselves because you know, they’ll go extinct in a few more decades. Oh heck, Juno doesn’t feel so human to begin with since no humans are really born of a natural birth. Chimera feels more human despite being so primitive and backwater. And my guess is that those cultured people on the colony rather live out their last days with all their convenient sciences rather than going down to Chimera and be barbaric cavemen. Too harsh for the likes of cultured people. Yeah, why you cultivate perfect DNAs for then? Smell some Darwin Award coming up… I’m sure even if they all decide to abandon the colony life and live on Chimera, we’ve got Thor who is such a kind leader, right? So it’s Juno’s choice. They’ve made their bed so they have to sleep in it.

One of the problems I believe this series faces is the pacing. Everything feels so rushed. From start to finish, it’s like they were trying to cram in a lot of things. Well, it is only obvious because there are only 11 episodes and even with that limited number, how much more can you pack it in? I don’t know if the series had more episodes to flesh out the development of the characters and plot, would it be draggy? Hard to say. Right now the entire series is just focusing on Thor. His rise to the top and trying to unravel the mystery behind the burning question he had since a child and then dealing with the sh*t that comes afterwards when the truth is finally out of the bag. That’s why the ending felt like so rushed. Thor survived this sh*t. The end. Yeah, it would’ve been an irony if he didn’t because his DNA was made to survive! Ultimate fail if they killed off his character like they did to so many others!

Thus I am in a dilemma even with the series expanded the development with more episodes, I am not sure fleshing out the Ring system as well as the other tribes would do this series any justice. Because after what I have seen so far, everything are just lies and deception. So if I have invested some time in learning the tropes and the system that was all on Chimera and then suddenly to learn the truth behind it all, I too would fall in despair. So in a way with all these stuffs remaining just at the tip of the iceberg and not expanded, it doesn’t waste our time because if your survival guts would have told you, there is something that is more than meets the eye. And true enough it did. Though, I wasn’t surprised about the gene manipulation thingy because I saw it coming the moment Zagi mentioned this truth to Thor and that this whole Jyu Oh system is just one big elaborated scam.

That is why there are times and scenes that felt a little confusing and also redundant. For example, the moment Thor and Rai landed on Chimera and encountered Zagi and his Wild Children pack. So what about it? Actually, nothing comes of it! And then Zagi has been conveniently forgotten until the time skip when suddenly he becomes the head for Blanc Ring. Like, how the heck did that even happen?! As Zagi is quite an integral character to the story, it is very important to see how this dude rose to the top. But nope. Suddenly this guy. Blanc Ring’s Wolf. Yeah, I could guess who he is because you know, I recognized that voice! Not a surprise to me. And what happened to all those Wild Children? Did Zagi take them in or they just died in the wild? Speaking of the wild, they name a few weird plants and their nature and it would’ve been a lot more interesting since some of the plants like Verasona look like they have more character than the human counterparts! Serious!

Then there’s the issue of the Ring system and the likes. What we know are just are just the tip of the iceberg and as mentioned, knowing more will not do us any good considering the pacing, focus and the direction of the series wants to take us. We just need to know the minimal to know how this tribal thingy works. Top 3 command rule over the clan. Anybody can challenge the Top and if he/she wins, he/she takes over his post and becomes the new ruler. Simple. So it’s sad that the Night Clan didn’t get any much focus at all because I’m sure they’ve got some pretty cool characters. Unless the producers are racist… Now all I think about those black niggas as dumb guys who hold stupid grudges and want to kill white guys. WTF, right?! If they really want the tribes to fight for survival, they should’ve split it up to more Rings and play the ultimate survivor game. Instead, we don’t know if there is ever an official match or how Dagger Pagoda knows there is only 1 Top left to initiate a light show and if all Tops make peace, would this mean Jyu Oh will be no more? And you can just become Jyu Oh if you kill 3 other Tops. So easy. Yeah, this system feels so broken from the start.

Heck, Ochre Ring is the only Ring whom we have seen a lot, their base and their people (pretty mediocre and generic if you ask me). Not even the Sun Ring came close considering Tiz is from there and then subsequently Chen. It’s like these women became eternal guests in Ochre Ring. And what happened to Thor’s wish of making a colourless Ring? What happened to Thor Ring? I guess he grown up and didn’t go ahead with that childish dream and maintained Ochre Ring as it is. Yeah, still skin colour rules (technically) at the end of the day. White people, black people, brown people, yellow people, we’re all still humans eventually. What colour do you identify yourself today???!!! It’s easy for Thor since his survival genes can make his skin ‘adapt’ to what colour he wants! Oh, the envy of liberals! So while vicious plants might rule this planet and puny humans are no match for them, it is eventually humans who are the more dangerous species around. To alter a famous quote by Steve Irwin: Plants are easy, they just want to eat you. But humans, they try to be you friend first…

You thought this series would be a feminist delight because it is hinted that women rule but that is only for the fact that they choose their mating partner. That’s about it. Even so, it feels like many of our main characters especially Thor and Third make a mockery out of this system. You’re not supposed to refuse the woman who nominate you but they’re stronger than those woman so whatcha gonna do about that, b*tch?! You think they have the pussy to control and boss around but that doesn’t look like the case at all or even close to it. It is understandable that women only make up 20% of Chimera’s human population and also why they live separately but to see that it is men who are still calling the shots, I guess the fairer sex is still the weaker sex. Besides, I don’t see the colony for females even in the Ochre Ring. Where do they keep them? In some underground safe? No wonder we see so many unruly macho ruffians around. Not surprised if many of them are gay.

On to the characters, let me get this out of the way first. Firstly, I think there is some sort of mismatched by naming a few related characters and terms after the Norse mythology. I mean, take a look at Thor, Odin, Midgard, Loki, Heimdall, Valkyrie and heck, even Rai means thunder and who else is the thunder god in Norse mythology? But the series deals more about sci-fi, gene manipulation as well as survival so hearing such Norse names sure makes it feel weird. Even more so Thor’s main weapon of choice is a beam knife and not a hammer. A freaking small beam knife! Anyway, main character Thor gets the bulk of the focus because like I’ve said previously, the pacing and everything feel so rushed with the limited amount of episodes. And yeah, since he is the ultimate Jyu Oh, all hail the survival king! But if you look at it from another point of view, his character kinda feels cliché. You know, main character gets involved in a conspiracy that includes a double bonus of having his parents killed. Works his way to the top just to find out the truth and in the end finds out more than he bargained for and tries to put a stop to it. That’s basically his entire storyline in this series. Besides, the bugging question is that if Thor did not take that life extension surgery, how long more does he have to live? Aha. Because of his survival genes, I’m sure it can adapt and prolong his life naturally, right? Long live the survival king! Oh yeah. I can write a lot this kind of stuffs too.

The rest of the characters are okay but some of them are meh. Since this series has a habit of killing off many of its characters, I wonder why everybody else didn’t just die. Heck, a lot of characters actually died including the main and supporting ones! Tiz is one of those characters whom I never expected to die but yeah, she did. Better being dead than broken hearted? How convenient and orphan looks like her and gets named in honour of her by Thor. So technically she is alive, right? Tiz is such a tease seeing she keeps bugging Thor about having his baby but luckily this guy is more preoccupied with the truth of his parents’ murder than getting all horny. That is, until Karin came along. It’s kinda weird to have Karin as well as Chen in the mix since they’re the only main female characters in the series. While I understand Tiz’s role, sometimes I felt that Chen’s role is useless while Karin’s role is just forced. Chen is one of those few who survived at the end and I also don’t even know why. She could have just been killed off and gotten over with but for some reason she survived. It’s like her only other role is to provide some pseudo romance that will never amount to be. And then Karin was like one of those rushed plots because damn, Thor fell in love with her so fast! It’s like they’re preparing for some b*tch fight to claim Thor (can a Top have a harem?) but she got taken out so quickly. And with Karin’s feelings too all over the place (Zagi or Thor, my dear?), now you understand why men can never understand women.

Zagi being the other survivor who could have died as well so I guess this means yaoi fans can now imagine some BL ay sh*t with Thor, huh? Remember, no more rules. This guy feels like a secondary character who wants to be the main character but he can’t because the story and plot and even his character is written that way. Sad. This guy thinks he is smart and got all the cards up his sleeves but I don’t see him doing anything since Thor is the one who went up there and got sh*t done. I also saw it coming that Third is a guy that couldn’t be trusted because the camera angles show us his deceptive smile. And indeed he paid the ultimate price after realizing his dream is nothing but a sham. This is what you call karma. This is what you call live by the sword, die by the sword. Third has been vital in propping up Thor as a Jyu Oh that is filled with lies but now has to face the consequences of his own dream. I guess going to heaven looks like a better deal than living this hell hole. I believe Third also has a helper back on Chimera (Rada, was it?). Again, this guy’s role seems pretty useless other than following Third around and I can’t believe he too is one of the survivors in the end. I guess it is better than others who just showed up for a while and then get killed off like Colin or Yuuki. You guys served your purpose, now be gone!

Action bits are okay and just passable. Some of the action sequences feel dumb like for example I clearly remember a young Thor first encountering and fighting off Chen and her subordinates. Thor was so lucky that he somehow manages not to get shot by those subordinates who were holding machine guns compared to Tiz’s machete! And he was charging straight at them! Yeah, those women sure don’t know how to shoot straight! HAHAHA!!! I guess this is also why his legend says Thor is loved by a goddess. And then Thor’s beam knife was able to conveniently cut and break Chen’s sword but couldn’t against his fight against Zagi? Did this mini pseudo lightsaber lose its effectiveness? Anyway, if you’re an adrenaline and action junkie, don’t get your hopes up on it, there are some action scenes and some of them get bloody but there are more drama parts than this. After all, with only 4 Rings and not many Tries to boot, how much fight can you get out of it?

Art and animation are pretty okay. Not the best seeing this anime came out in 2006. After all, it was done by Bones, a veteran anime studio who did lots of our favourite top tier animes such as Boku No Hero Academia, Fullmetal Alchemist as well as its reboot Brotherhood, Mob Psycho 100, Soul Eater, Bungou Stray Dogs, Darker Than Black, Kekkai Sensen, Ouran High School Host Club, Noragami and Rahxephon. The plants do look weird rather than terrifying and of course some of the character designs have that bishonen look especially Thor who is supposed to be the epitome of survival and everything. Hey, who says you need to be ugly to exist in a harsh environment? My only gripe is that how some scenes, the character’s nose look weird. It’s like as though they didn’t rub off the sketch lines of the nose area and hence you can see this weird line. But if they rubbed it off, they might look like Voldemort and other villain characters with no nose.

Voice acting, it’s nice to hear Nana Mizuki helming a main role as Tiz. At least with the animes I’m watching, I don’t get to hear her voice very often. Others I recognized are Romi Paku as Karin and Kazuya Nakai as Zagi. The rest of the casts are Koichi Domoto as adult Thor (his only role ever so far to date), Minami Takayama as young Thor as well as Rai and of course Eva (titular character in Detective Conan), Shun Oguri as Third (mostly does live action movies like Gintama and Hana Yori Dango), Rica Fukami as Chen (Sailor Venus in Sailormoon series), Hisao Egawa as Loki (Liscar in Fairy Gone) and Kinryuu Arimoto as Odin (Szilard in Baccano). Deep In Your Heart by Koichi Domoto feels like a very weird song for a series like this. It has this hip hop feel and some very heavy special effects. I don’t know, is groovy the right word? Also feels like a song a K-pop group would sing. Well, Koichi Domoto is part of a Japanese duo called Kinki Kids. While the song isn’t that bad, I just feel it doesn’t really fit the pacing of the series. The ending theme, Te Wo Tsunaide by Younha sounds more anime-like. Still, I feel it doesn’t fit the pacing of this series.

Overall, the anime is not entirely bad but suffers from its pacing for being too rushed and not explaining enough of the settings and other developments. It just shows you what needs to be shown and then solves and ends them as expected in a cliché manner. It’s also another one of those cliché tropes where men and those in charge try to play God in the name of humanity but of course mighty nature is mightier. If men had to resort to this kind of science to exist, then humanity have no right to exist at all! Because like Thor said, do you even call this living? Natural selection always the best. This Corona virus is doing a pretty slow job in this context… Oops, got off track there. Being man is sure tough. You have to be ruthless and reckless to climb all the way up to the top. Although you lose your humanity and become a beast but that is still what makes you most human. Weird, huh? I think I want to be a Verasona plant in my next life…

A few years ago when Musekinin Galaxy Tylor (The Irresponsible Galaxy Tylor) came out, I was hesitant to watch this shot spinoff of the crazy retro anime. That’s because reading the comments made me reluctant to eventually want to watch it as many said it was really bad and pointless. Now that the Corona virus has been wreaking havoc, it is one of those animes I somewhat remembered and decided to revisit and check it out since I have some time on my hands. Yeah… So to ascertain how bad this short is, I’m shouldering the responsibility of diving in and bracing for anything worse that come my way.

Episode 1
As narrated the original Tylor that we know has passed on and this takes place many years in the far future. No more wars and everyone is living peacefully in one super huge mega structure. And so our protagonist is Banjou Ueki Tylor. Still as lazy as f*ck and prefers to play his banjo but his robot assistant, Yamamoto 372-gou keeps reminding him to do his job. Uhm, so they are garbage collectors? Then they see a nearby ancient ship on the verge of falling into some space-time fault. Tylor wants to be a hero rather than the usual boring garbage collector job. So just in time with Yamamoto’s help, they manage to rescue a pod that resides a cute chick, Azalyn Goza 168-sei. Seems she is looking for Tylor.

Episode 2
As narrated, Azalyn is from the Raalgon Empire and she has just awoken from her 2000 year slumber. She is shocked to hear that Raalgon and UPSF do not exist anymore. But then she decides she is going to restore Raalgon by heading to the centre of the galaxy. Sounds like fun, no? You bet Tylor wants in. But where are they going to get an interstellar rocket? Next thing we know, we see the gang being surrounded by SPs of Tranquilizer. This cowboy dude is the leader of Comet Squad, a local gang who rules this area. Seems Tylor wants to rent his rocket for a few pennies! NOT GOING TO WORK! Tylor thought it would be okay since he rarely used it. NOT GOING TO WORK! This is when Azalyn beats the sh*t out of everyone and then threatens Tranquilizer that this normally means death for him and his family, etc. But if he lends his rocket, she’ll let this slide. Here you go. Hey look. Now we got ourselves an interstellar rocket! Cool!

Episode 3
Yamamoto wonders who is going to pilot the rocket. Don’t tell me it’s just them?! It’s impossible without a crew! I don’t know how Azalyn screws it all and then summons some pirate queen named Dolly. Yeah, she’s going to navigate this ship by herself. Turns out this rocket is more of a driller so it starts drilling deep into the core. When the engine goes out, they get stuck underground for many days. Azalyn and Dolly spar each other until Dolly acknowledges her as the true pirate queen! Then Azalyn wants to head to the surface to steal some fuel. Yup, we’re climbing all the way up!

Episode 4
They’ve been searching for months now on the surface but didn’t get anything. And Azalyn is complaining about living in tents. I’m sure she isn’t thrilled with Tylor having fun all the way. Then they hear some fun noises coming out from some cave. Exploring it, they stumble into some lavish classy party. Great food! Hot babes too! Yeah, they’re clinging all over Tylor that Azalyn gets jealous but takes it out on Yamamoto? Probably some system error as Yamamoto’s memories reverts to the original Makoto Yamamoto. He also turns into a hot bishonen???!!! Azalyn can’t take any more of this crap and beats everyone up and takes Tylor out of the cave. Did she leave Yamamoto behind? Yeah, the cave spat him out but he’s all naked. WTF.

Episode 5
The fuel search continues. More complaining from Azalyn and more taking out on Yamamoto. Suddenly an old man in a female sailor suit kidnaps Yamamoto! He is Cyborg JK and wants to restore some ancient civilization? Who cares about that because he is gay and wants to be homo with Yamamoto!!!!!!!! WTFFFFFFFF???????!!!!!! Luckily Tylor and Azalyn arrive in time to save Yamamoto’s chastity as he reverts back to his robot form. Cyborg JK so disappointed. There goes his dreams of sharing his night of passion with him. But yaoi fans can still rejoice because at the end of the episode, we see the old bugger molesting Yamamoto so gaily in his delusions!!! MY F*CKING EYES!!! ARGH!!!!

Episode 6
We hear a narration from some dude, Yashioma Hitoshi about the exploits of the original Tylor. From becoming the captain of Soyokaze to defeat the Raalgon side to becoming an admiral of UPSF to defeat Wang, the PM of Raalgon to fighting Dom and defeating him when the ceasefire fell apart to forming an alliance between UPSF and Raalgon to defeat the Grand Duchy of Ashuran from conquering the galaxy which then resulted in Tylor becoming the president of Raalgon and bring about peace. Of course, Tylor declared war on UPSF and fought against Yamamoto and won. This resulted him in uniting the galaxy and everyone living in peace under his rule as the pan-galactic emperor! But now it seems that humanity is on the decline and Hitoshi won’t let it happen and will rebuild the pan-galactic empire by becoming the new Tylor. Part of that plan is to also take Azalyn as his bride. So this dude just in love with her? But he kills off Cyborg JK since he knows Tylor. Yay! No more homo scenes!

Episode 7
Tylor and co’s journey continues. Yup, more Azalyn complaints. Then they stumble into some guitarist, Voyager playing in the middle of the crossroad. Tylor and Voyager click because of their great guitar skills. When Azalyn requests him to play at her palace, he kisses her on the cheek. The next thing they know, he has disappeared. They finally got the fuel and return to Tranquilizer’s place. Noticing a poster of Voyager on his wall, Tranquilizer mentions he once played here but died 20 years in some desert crossroad. So that Voyager they met was a ghost, right? Freak out! And that creepy Hitoshi dude still continues to search for Tylor and Azalyn…

Episode 8
Tylor and Azalyn rappel down the hole as Yamamoto waits for them. I wonder how long the rope they have… Once reach the bottom, Tylor shares his sandwiches with Azalyn. Tastes good of course. Azalyn hopes to have such sandwiches which her people can enjoy under the sun. So she’s counting on Tylor to make good sandwiches? Uhm, okay. Meanwhile Hitoshi tries to kill Yamamoto. He introduces himself as well as his goal to kill the fake Tylor so he can replace him. That’s why he is also going so far to kill all those who is associated with the fake. Before Yamamoto can meet his doom, Dolly has piloted the rocket out and off the blast to the core of the galaxy.

Episode 9
As narrated, when the rocket blasts off into the sky, it took out Hitoshi’s ship too. Tylor is depressed because he left Yamamoto behind. Yeah, nobody notice a certain robot clinging onto the window? Anyway, Tylor narrates how his parents bought him Yamamoto before heading off into space. Of course Yamamoto exceled in everything unlike Tylor who just slacked. So Yamamoto ‘saved’ Tylor by suggesting this garbage collecting job? Because Tylor got sick from overworking (really?! Tylor overworked?!), Yamamoto gave him a banjo to relieve some stress. Yeah, watch this YouTube video on how to play a banjo. Tylor wants to play a requiem for his dear friend but some loud banging interrupts his play. Why, it’s Yamamoto! After picking him up, poor robot is sad that they didn’t come to save him and instead played a requiem. Hey, everything is alright now, right? Suddenly the rocket has some trouble. The mega structure’s gravity is pulling it in.

Episode 10
Crashing into some snowy terrain, while Dolly fixes the ship, the rest spot a suspicious glass palace. Well? Let’s go check it out! It seems from the palace, they can see the sun. This is something unusual for Tylor because all his life on the mega structure, somehow the sun never shines on it. They are interrupted with Hitoshi arriving. After introducing himself and his goal, he also reveals he is Azalyn’s future husband. Azalyn doesn’t know this creep but why does he have her handkerchief? He claims to have found it in her pod he bought. So Tylor sold her pod?! Yeah, that’s how they paid for the fare of this journey! Hitoshi orders his robots to kill everybody except Azalyn. Then Cyborg JK’s ribbon tries to stall the robots buying time for Tylor and co to escape.

Episode 11
As Tylor and co escape towards the rocket, it seems Dolly hasn’t finished fixing it and needs a few more minutes. Azalyn stays back to keep the robots at bay but gets owned easily. Hitoshi views there is no need for this fake Tylor and is going to shoot him. So Tylor just stand there without doing anything?! Oh right. Somebody to the rescue. Who?! Voyager! He destroys the robots and also shoots a time-space rift at Hitoshi. They need to get off now or the rift will swallow them all as well. However Tylor won’t leave without him.

Episode 12
Wow. Tylor going in to rescue Hitoshi. Is this being responsible or irresponsible? Even though Hitoshi tried to kill him, Tylor views him and Azalyn as extremes. Despite that, they want to create a kingdom filled with laughter. Tylor doesn’t care whether it is Raalgon or pan-galactic empire, as long as he can have fun voyaging, that’s good enough for him. So how is Tylor going to get them out of this rift? Heh. Haven’t thought of that. Irresponsible! But don’t worry. Here comes Azalyn and Yamamoto to pull them out. Once out, they also don’t have to worry about the rift because some liquid from the palace crystalizes and neutralizes it. Some explanation how this space-time magic supports the mega structure as well as the one the original Tylor was caught in, resulting in various versions and branches of Tyler. This means aside this banjo kid as Tylor, Hitoshi too is a Tylor. So there you have it. His dream of becoming Tylor was there all along. As Azalyn makes Tylor the captain of this rocket, Tylor sets his next voyage in sight.

What Irresponsible Crap Is This?!
Oh well… It wasn’t that bad, RIGHT???!!! Hah. That’s only because I have lowered my expectations so much and did not put any hopes on this, the reason why I didn’t hate it so much. Though, it is still a bad spinoff anyway. Just like how others who watched it were right on the money. I don’t really understand why they wanted to make something so irresponsible like this. They threw out all the charm that the original TV had and put in some crappy nonsense to churn out this garbage (hmm… Is that why they make this Tylor a garbage collector?). I wonder if they are trying to really cement Tylor’s irresponsible personality. The problem is, the original Tylor always comes out tops no matter how dire situation. This Tylor, just didn’t do anything in particular! He looks more like a side character than anything! So yeah, they have irresponsibly made his legacy even worse! But I know this Tylor and the original one are 2 separate entities so I’m not going to mix them up.

To put it simply, there is no real substance here. If you want to watch this series, it is the same as gambling. You must be prepared to lose. In this case, lose a few minutes of your life watching this nonsense. There is basically no plot whatsoever and even though it sounded like they need to head to the centre of the galaxy to revive Raalgon, all we see is get into very weird misadventures that doesn’t amount much to nothing. Especially that drip just to find fuel, they stumble into some gay dude for some mild hardcore yaoi thingy!!! WTF???!!! And then it’s like they need to ramp up the drama with some creepy guy trying to kill Tylor and marry Azalyn but he turns out to be another idiot. And with all of them reconciling and becoming good friends with Tylor, whatever plot to establish Raalgon or pan-galactic empire becomes unimportant. Because on a journey we will go with Tylor. Yeah, we just wasted our time watching this irresponsible crap. After all, with only 3.5 minutes of runtime per episode, how much can you put in? By the time it ends, you’re wondering what the f*ck just happened. Good thing I can binge watch in a seating and then forget about this. Yeah, some episodes made no sense (that cave party thingy) and it feels like as though they had no idea to begin with and just came up with whatever crap they can think of along the way.

Worse of all, the characters are freaking knock offs from the original and lack the charm and charisma the original had. So what they are branches and different versions from the original Tylor? It’s like they’re telling me that nothing beats the original who might be irresponsible but he’s got his allure and appeal that makes you want to support him. This banjo Tylor, not so much. He feels a lot annoying and like a retard rather than a slacker. Sure, he is a slacker too but after seeing him in these episodes, you’ll relate to him more of an annoying retard first. Just Tylor in name but lacking any of those characteristics of the original. Same case for Azalyn. Just borrowed the name only. Worse for Yamamoto. The original one was some serious dude but ended up being unlucky and hence a comical character. This robot, sighs… I don’t even know what to say. Oddly, whenever he is stressed with Tylor’s lackadaisical attitude, he gets stomach discomfort. Wow. A robot getting stomach discomfort! How hi-tech is this AI?! Heck, this robot even fails to be any sort of punching bag, hence nothing really funny or likeable.

I guess we’re missing the Yuriko from the original since she is quite an important and main character. I suppose when the series itself is so short that you can’t really flesh out anything, might as well leave her out. In this sense, I am ‘thankful’ that they left out her character and didn’t bring any disgrace to her. Phew. And as for the new characters here like Dolly and Voyager, not as likeable too. Somehow they needed some pirate queen to pilot the rocket because otherwise the rocket won’t be piloting itself. I guess autopilot doesn’t exist here. And Voyager… Maybe he only exists for the plot convenience. We need a ghost character for some revelation thingy whatsoever. I’m wondering if he would like to join Tylor on his journey seeing he can pop up again, which indicates he hasn’t crossed over to the other side yet. And what does Voyager’s name mean again? Oh, I’m betting he should be joining Tylor on his journey just to live up to his namesake! Don’t get me started on Cyborg JK. They just needed a character to troll us with some BL gay sh*t! That’s why Yamamoto has his bishonen form! ARGH! MY EYES!!! STILL REEELING FROM THAT GAY SCENE!!!

Art and animation, ah well, just passable. Everything looks so cartoonish especially Tylor looking like as though he came out from some western cartoon. This kind of ‘downgrade’ reminds me how Teen Titans did the same when they made Teen Titans Go. Yeah. That atrocity. Not sure if with this kind of art style, they want to appeal to younger audience. I bet they won’t even watch this. Anyway, this series is done by Seven who is a master in making short form animes like Ai Mai Mi, Joshi Kausei, Strange, Okusama Ga Seitokaichou, Recorder To Randoseru and Danna Ga Nani Wo Itteiru Ka Wakaranai Ken.

Overall, like how many others felt, my sentiments are the same. It is just an irresponsible piece of garbage that isn’t worth a cent. And you thought the OVAs were bad enough (ironically I didn’t watch them because of that) and this short made it even worse! Thankfully, it’s so obscure that nobody is going to bother remembering it. Good or bad thing? I’m glad there aren’t any sequels to this and I theorized that whoever was responsible for this garbage got fired! Maybe not. But some responsibilities were restored when no further sequels were made or announced. Tylor’s reputation might have already been tarnished but at least we can be more responsible in preventing it from being tainted even further. So no remakes of the original, PLEASE! Do not irresponsibly support remakes of old nostalgic series just for the sake of being trendy. That’s just irresponsible.

Azur Lane

July 12, 2020

Originally, I didn’t want to watch Azur Lane. However with the damn Corona virus wreaking havoc and causing many animes of the season to be delayed or postponed, well, you could say that was my usual poor excuse to go watch a series that anthropomorphized warships into cute and beautiful sexy girls. Yeah. After all, I wasn’t into this kind of warship business thingy and had I the interest, I would have watched Kantai Collection AKA KanColle a long time ago. Maybe if the Corona virus persists and continues to prolong the panic among the people of the world, maybe I’ll just pick that up just for that sake. Just maybe. Ah, just like how war never changes, I too never changed.

Episode 1
As narrated, the world was already at war with itself when alien invaders called Sirens drop in to decimate mankind with their superior technology. To counter this threat, humanity formed a global alliance known as Azur Lane made up of Eagle Union (AMERICA, FTW!!!), Royal Navy (Britain, Cheerio), Iron Blood (Germany, ACHTUNG!) and Sakura Empire (definitely Japan desu yo). They finally repel the threat but the war never stopped. I guess back to fighting among themselves, huh? Especially with Iron Blood and Sakura Empire defecting. We see Azur Lane just completing their new base. Cleveland and Prince of Wales welcome Illustrious and Unicorn to their fold. Later Unicorn lost her, uhm, unicorn pet so together with Javelin and Laffey they go search for it. It is Ayanami who finds it but she looks like the unfriendly kind. That’s because she is a spy from Sakura Empire as she relays info back to Akagi and Kaga. But soon the alert is sounded. Impending attacks from Siren. We get to see how these girls ‘transform’. Basically they have this ability to turn huge destroyers into compact sizes but with equally devastating powers to fight. Once the Sirens are dealt with, now they have to deal with the onslaught of Sakura Empire. It is said that Azur Lane split into 2 factions. Eagle Union and Royal Navy believe only in using human technology to fight Sirens but Iron Blood and Sakura Empire believe the use of Siren technology to fight Sirens. Fighting fire with fire? And this is the stupid reason for the infighting? So both sides go all out with their firepower whatever. Until Unicorn is almost owned by Kaga only Enterprise, the strongest Eagle Union shows up. She basically defeats Sakura Empire all by herself, including Kaga right up close and personal. Because Sakura Empire has got what they wanted, they retreat. They also make a formal declaration of war with Azur Lane. The alliance of Iron Blood and Sakura Empire is now called Red Axis. So basically WWII all over again of Allies vs Axis but with smoking hot warship babes, huh?

Episode 2
As narrated, Mental Cube is a mysterious entity brought to humans during the war with Sirens. This is what gives the ship girls their personality and power as a living entity. We see cute chicks (as in chicken offspring) picking up the wounded Azur Lane girls from the battlefield. Sakura Empire is also licking their wounds. Prinz Eugen drops by to talk with them about the mass production Siren models as well as Grey Ghost AKA Enterprise who could be a thorn on their side if not dealt with soon enough. Eugen wants to harass Azur Lane further so she has Ayanami and Z23 assist her. Javelin and Laffey are conflicted that Ayanami is on the enemy side and fear they have to fight her again. Meanwhile Hammann and a few Eagle Union girls are making haste as the former fear her base would be under attack. Unfortunately before them are Zuikaku and Shoukaku. All the Eagle Union got owned except for Hornet who is forced to be on defensive mode. Enterprise hurries and pushes herself to the limit as she needs to go help Hornet who is her sister. She arrives in time to give Hornet some breathing space. While Zuikaku clashes with Enterprise, other Eagle Union arrive to help the wounded. Eugen also jumps in to have fun. Z23 and Ayanami ready to fight but Laffey says she is too sleepy and don’t want to fight?! Are you serious?! Back to the serious Enterprise vs Zuikaku fight. Enterprise dominates and could have continued so had not her weapon break apart. Zuikaku takes this chance to go in for the kill. So who’s gonna save the best Eagle Union warship?

Episode 3
Flashback shows Enterprise viewing themselves as ships born to fight. But her older sister, Yorktown disagrees. They are ships taking on human forms and the beauty of the seas is engraved deep within their souls. She hopes one day she will understand the wishes of the people who named her. And now the saviour of Enterprise? This maid, Belfast! Eugen would love to settle and old grudge with Belfast but the Royal Navy reinforcement led by the supreme commander herself, Queen Elizabeth has arrived. Eugen orders a retreat. Maybe next time. Back at base, Wales talks to Elizabeth and others about needing Enterprise’s strength as it will be crucial in the upcoming battle. That’s why they can’t let her perish now. Vestal is a repair ship as she arrives at the base to fix Enterprise. However she is not happy Enterprise didn’t take care of herself properly and she continues to brush this off as nothing. And now for some fanservice! Beach episode! Azur Lane having fun in the sand? Yeah, just to show us ship girls can have fun too. Like San Diego almost getting eaten by a shark?! So Saratoga bombs the hell out of the waters?! WTF?! Meanwhile Unicorn meets Enterprise to thank her for saving her. Belfast has been ordered by Elizabeth to look after Enterprise. From her point of view, it looked like she is tired of fighting but at the same time doesn’t concern about her own health. She finds his kind of living unhealthy and at this rate she will lose sight of her reason to fight. Soon a distress call. Enterprise heads out to the stormy waters with Belfast, Cleveland and Hammann. A lone ship from the Dragon Empery looks like it has been destroyed by Sirens. Enterprise investigates and finds Ning Hai and Ping Hai close to death. They managed to fend off the Sirens. Suddenly a Siren revives and aims at them. Because it reminds Enterprise of Yorktown, she instead uses herself as bait to let it aim at her and away from the Dragon Empery sisters. Ultimately it is Belfast who blows it up. In the aftermath, Belfast decides to teach Enterprise how to be a proper lady with dignity.

Episode 4
We see Sakura Empire returning to their homeland. Yeah, more ship girls to remember. Belfast tries to teach Enterprise proper etiquette. England trying to train America some manners! F*ck off! THIS IS AMERICA! As the Dragon Empery sisters recover, they tell Azur Lane that they were on a scouting mission as they receive reports about possible Sirens plotting for a massive attack. It could be that they might strike when Azur Lane and Red Axis are fighting each other. With the threat of Sirens as well Sakura Empire’s suspicious advance in technology, Belfast suggests sending the Maid Corps (hell yeah!) to do what Britain does best: Espionage. Back at Sakura Empire, we see Akagi and Kaga talking to their supreme commander, Nagato. They present a Black Box, a type of Mental Cube. This is necessary to advance Project Orochi and fight the Sirens since Azur Lane’s strategy will not be fast enough. Akashi stumbles into a cave. She sees a ship looking a lot like a Siren as part of Project Orochi. Then she sees Akagi using the Black Box to instantly upgrade it. But helping her producing this Black Box is the mysterious Observer. She knows the goal of Project Orochi is not to create an ordinary ship but an ark to carry every wish across the sea. Akashi realizes she has seen something she shouldn’t and tries to escape but is caught by Kaga. Oh sh*t. Observer is going to kill her (curiosity killed the cat?!) but during this commotion, the Maid Corps of Sheffield and Edinburgh intervene to steal the Black Box and escape. Akagi also escapes with them because she doesn’t want to die! Sheffield is forced to fight Takao to let Edinburgh escape. With Ayanami joining in to help, Edinburgh pulls off a crazy stunt. Riding a boat filled with explosives into them?! Wow. Unexploded bomb disposal area so conveniently nearby. Although the Maid Corps have escaped, Akagi isn’t panicking yet. She thinks it is a good idea to let Azur Lane nurture the Black Box for them.

Episode 5
Sheffield and co are hiding in some ruins. Although they have sent SOS back to Azur Lane, they have to wait it out till reinforcement arrives and hope Sakura Empire and Iron Blood scouts don’t catch them. It’s going to be a hard game of hide and seek since literally almost everyone in Red Axis is out on this search. Azur Lane has received the SOS and are well on their way. In the meantime we hear Enterprise and Belfast talk about the similarities and difference between humans and ship girls as well as Atago lending an ear to hear out Ayanami fretting about fighting her friends again because despite being enemies, they’re actually the same. When Sheffield’s side has been discovered, they are forced to run. Luckily Azur Lane has entered the battle area and both sides begin fighting. Sheffield has taken some damage considering Eugen and her Iron Blood ladies are hot on her heels. Once more it is Belfast to the rescue. Eugen thinks she is a step too late but on the contrary, Belfast points out it is they who are a step too late. Because Enterprise is here! Don’t want to mess with America! So much so Eugen orders a retreat! Zuikaku and Shoukaku thought they could have a rematch with Enterprise but they realize they were fighting the wrong sister. Howdy, y’all! It’s Hornet. Meanwhile yet another reluctant faceoff between Ayanami and Javelin-Laffey. This time Ayanami who didn’t want to fight but now wants to fight but the duo keep escaping, making the former mad. Confusing. Laffey even stands there to let Ayanami strike her but of course Ayanami pulls back. Why? Why won’t they fight?! Because she wants to be friends. Yeah, loli friendship… Geddit? Friend-ship… HAHAHA!!!

Episode 6
Laffey’s dumb smiling face. Ayanami’s suspicious looking face. Laffey’s extended hand. Ayanami slaps it away. That’s it. No friendship today. Back at Azur Lane, Enterprise looks like she’s in a pretty good mood. Quite sociable. Flashback shows them discussing about the Black Box. They can’t use this to nullify mass produced ships since all are controlled by Orochi. What they do know is that Akagi is being helped by a Siren and that the entire Sakura Empire is being deceived. When Enterprise touched it, it’s like she felt some strange alternate dimension thingy. The rest of the episode sees Azur Lane having fun. You even wonder why there’s some lingerie sale going on. Now you know what the warships are all females, no! Best of all, Sheffield proves she doesn’t wear any underwear! Do ship girls need to in the first place? And more fanservice because we see them take a bath. Ships already spend all their time in water, do they even need to do this?! Then we got Unicorn having this ‘problem’. Because she is a loli, she has considerably big boobs. Javelin and Laffey tell her why she need not be shy of it. Because look around. Everybody else has big boobs and don’t mind flaunting them! Oh yeah! Once she gets her confidence, they talk about Ayanami. Ah yes, this Japanese loli. They don’t want to give up being friends with her and hope they can stop fighting. Eugen comes to tease Kaga alone. Something about if her unrequited love is the same as Akagi’s. And Akagi is looking more and more like a mad woman as she is hoping to see her big sister Amagi soon.

Episode 7
Fun time’s over. Time to head out for another battle. And while they’re at that, we see both sides reflect on things. When Azur Lane finally enter the battlefield, they realize they are surrounded by creepy Siren ships. Apparently this is Akagi’s doing as she welcomes them to her sea. And with the arrival of Sakura Empire comrades, the battle finally begins. Kaga tries to regain her honour by fighting with Enterprise. Akagi wants to help but first has to do some housekeeping with Belfast. Woah! Did Akagi pull off Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm, Gate of Babylon?! Because Enterprise got distracted by it, this allows Kaga to defeat her. That easy? As Enterprise sinks, she starts having this weird visions and flashbacks of some wars. Then it’s like she somewhat awakened into her Super Saiyan mode. I don’t think that engulfing bright light looks comfortable. Get out! Enterprise then easily defeats Kaga. Mad Akagi tries to get back by firing her giant flaming dragon of love but that too apparently isn’t enough as Enterprise kills her. Oh well. I guess it’s the only way Akagi could meet Amagi. In the afterlife! HAHAHA! Oops… But yeah, her life flashes before her eyes before she sinks into the sea. At that point, Enterprise returns to normal and regrets what she has done. It is then she has finally understood that she is afraid of the ocean.

Episode 8
The battlefield has warped into a twisted one. Snowing, icebergs and dimensional cracks everywhere. And then we have the obligatory Ayanami vs Javelin-Laffey showdown. The latter duo still want to be friends with her but obviously Japanese loli think that’s too weird for her ideal just because they’re on different camps. Too bad, lolis interrupted when Ayanami’s pals come to pick her up and think those Azur Lane lolis are just tricking her. Enterprise seems to have this strange vision of talking to Amagi. Something about how the memories of battleships are embedded in them and that they are all connected with the many emotions. She hopes she won’t forget the prayers of humanity that lie within. Kaga wakes up and is devastated to learn what happened to Akagi. As she is missing, there is a search going on for her but it won’t be easy as Azur Lane is also searching for missing Enterprise. To make things worse, their mass produced Siren ships aren’t responding at all. Could it be the strange phenomenon has cut off their links to Orochi? Then they talk about Project Orochi and how much they don’t know about it because they weren’t explained properly. What is it that the higher ups want to hide from them? Soon, Souryuu makes the decision to retreat, abandoning whatever search for Akagi. With the non-functioning Siren ships, it will make it hard for them to resume operations and that they have to accept they have lost their flagship. Of course this doesn’t sit well with Kaga. In order to draw Azur Lane away, Shoukaku and Zuikaku offer to do that so that Sakura Empire can get away. Watching over this battlefield are Sirens, Observer and Tester. They talk about how war never change among humans and thanks to Enterprise, the Black Box has acquired a huge amount of data. Oh, Akagi is in the hands of Observer. Shoukaku and Zuikaku fight Azur Lane’s bombardment. Bad day because they stumble into Super Saiyan Enterprise. They would have resigned to their fate of being defeated by her when Ayanami jumps in to save them. However she takes damage and is about to fall into the crack. Cue for Javelin and Laffey to rescue her and put their friendship back on track. Phew.

Episode 9
Ayanami wakes up in Azur Lane’s base. Ark Royal watches over her as she is technically a prisoner of war. Javelin and Laffey are ‘reprimanded’. While saving their friend is a commendable deed, they don’t want to give others the wrong idea about saving the enemy. Hence they are being punished to watch the prisoner. Can’t have sad lolis now, can we? The rest then discuss about the Black Box. It has been acting strange ever since the battle. Definitely Sirens must have some plan with it and they are worried about Enterprise. Diagnosis shows nothing wrong with her but during the battle, she was really terrifying. Javelin and Laffey show take Ayanami for a walk. Other Azur Lane lolis also commend them. This easy being friends, huh? We lolis have got to stick together! Akashi has nicely set up a shop selling goods. You bet the lost Sakura Empire duo are worried about their homeland. Because back home, Ayanami’s loli pals are crying and worried if she is being bullied and mistreated by the enemy. Zuikaku apologizes for not being able to save her. And the Iron Blood side is just waiting and biding their time… Just waiting for that opportunity… Elizabeth and her consort are playing golf while talking about Sirens’ goals. Fore! If they wanted to really destroy humanity, why go on about in such an indirect manner? Of course, they can’t help discuss about Enterprise too. That’s why Elizabeth assigned Belfast to her. Unicorn joins Javelin, Laffey and Ayanami have fun. The more the merrier! And we officially have our first lolicon pervert: Ark Royal. Observer is trying to convince Kaga to continue with Project Orochi. Because once Orochi awakens, the wills of countless souls will embed its body. This includes the will of Akagi. Of course Kaga will not let this end and continue Akagi’s will.

Episode 10
Yet another vision of war from Enterprise. This time she sees an alternate and more serious version of herself. Enterprise Alter? Azur Lane continues to observe the Black Box but they are still stumped with this Siren technology. Meanwhile more loli fanservice. Sauna time, anybody? Kaga is not happy that Nagato has decided to stop Project Orochi even though it is temporary. She believes with Akagi gone, the project cannot move forward. Kaga claims without Orochi, Sakura Empire has no future so Nagato tells her to rest as she is just weary from the loss of her sister. Even the other Sakura Empire ship girls are worried about their own state. Will their nation fall? This is the result of relying on an unknown technology. Worse, they don’t want Iron Blood to see them at this weakened state. Kaga sees a vision of Akagi being pampered by Amagi. Flashback shows Observer telling Akagi and Kaga about the Black Box as it is more powerful and collects all forms of data and evolves. Data = will = power. Ships created from it have greater powers and they can use it to reanimate the past and regenerate whatever future you desire. Even the dead. At first Akagi rubbished the thought because it is just a reflection and not real. But Observer asks back what is real anyway. Hence Kaga knew from the start there was no place in Akagi’s heart for her. She even failed to be her replacement. But Akagi wish is also her wish. Enterprise isn’t feeling well. Another vision of Alter who tells her humans never change and they always want war. That is what they truly yearn for. With Enterprise having low self-confidence to the point she considers herself worthless, Belfast forces her to come with her. Other ship girls watching this are shocked because Enterprise being dominated by somebody else? Impossible! Belfast asks her some hard hitting reflecting questions and tells her off not to take the easy answer. In fact she already knows the correct answer but simply lost track of it. Interrogation interrupted when the base is under attack by a lone crazy Siren, Purifier. She has stolen the Black Box. Belfast and the maids chase and attack her. Purifier takes this as a sign they want to play so she unleashes her Siren fleet on them. With no Azur Lane putting up a decent fight until Enterprise shows up, Purifier is more than happy to fight her. Meanwhile Eugen is going to steal Orochi’s secrets for herself but too bad Kaga has beaten her to it. She has activated and controlled this giant Siren ship, Orochi.

Episode 11
After a short fight, Purifier escapes since she needs to prepare for the final stage. She returns to Orochi where other Sirens are stationed and hands over the Black Box to Observer who then activates it to see whether the past will repeat itself or recalculate a new future. Kaga is glad to see the re-emergence of Akagi dearest. With reports of Orochi’s sighting reaching Azur Lane, they realize Sakura Empire has been used and played out by Siren. Hence Orochi is the real enemy and threat to not only Azur Lane but the whole mankind. That means an official war declaration, right? At the Sakura Empire rues Akagi and Kaga working with Siren and this means betrayal to their nation. Kaga realizes this is not the real Akagi and that something is possessing her. Amagi? Or rather, Orochi. Kaga claims all this fakery but Orochi also asserts Kaga is fake. When Amagi died, Akagi uses some of her parts to create an Amagi substitute AKA Kaga. But even so, she failed to be anywhere near a replacement. As Sakura Empire closes in on Orochi, they are being attacked by Sirens. Worse, they are forced to fight Kaga who doesn’t care if she is being used. As long as she gets to fulfil Akagi’s wish, that is all that matters. Even with Iron Blood joining it, they are still outnumbered. Don’t worry, the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Because ‘reinforcements’ arrive in the form of Azur Lane. Then Orochi starts activating something big.

Episode 12
Orochi launches a missile. It seems this missile has a very long range and can hit Azur Lane’s base all the way across the ocean. This is somewhat Orochi and Akagi’s wish. The power to annihilate the enemy from afar. Enterprise goes to intercept it but Purifier gets in the way. Enterprise shows why she is tops as not only she defeats Purifier but shoots down the missile. Though, she gets caught in the blast! Hence another cue for Enterprise having another vision and talk with Alter. The latter telling her how they are mirrors of humanity’s desire and hence the physical manifestations of human will. That is also what Orochi represents. Conflict represents human progress. But Alter tells Enterprise she can end this journey if she desires. But doing so means being freed from the burden of seeing the future. Zuikaku finally slaps some senses into Kaga’s twisted love by head butting her! With this ‘defeat’, I guess she has to tearfully plead to them to save Akagi. Everyone is relieved with the return of Enterprise. She powers up with some Code G to take down Orochi! She has decided she will not give up as she is carrying countless hope and will. Azur Lane and Red Axis work together to fight the Sirens. But it gets official with Elizabeth and Nagato themselves entering the fray and announcing this new alliance. Uhm, isn’t this how it was before the split? Anyway, they realize that even if they are created to fight, they are created to also save the world. Enterprise confronts Akagi who is still obsessed in shouldering and saving everything she loves by herself. And then Enterprise saves her by just holding her hand. Yes, it’s that simple. It is then she remembers Amagi’s important words to get along because otherwise they won’t be able to defeat Sirens. Yeah, how could everyone not remember this important lesson? Although losing Orochi wasn’t part of the plan, Observer isn’t disappointed because anything that surpasses their expectations must be welcomed. This shows humanity still has a future. Eugen reports to supreme commander, Bismarck about this latest fiasco by the Sakura Empire that gives Iron Blood huge leverage to pursue their ideals. Only those with power can save humanity. Azur Lane comes up with a new proposal. A new base for both Azur Lane and Red Axis to mingle and mix. Like a melting pot? Just like old times? Enterprise is the leader of this new alliance. Now Z23 can join Ayanami, Javelin, Laffey and Unicorn in this diverse loli friendship. Enterprise knows all too well how war will never change in the future. That’s why they must change instead. So are they going to stop fighting?

Hetalia Warship Series: Ass-U-R Lame!
Ah well. Just as I had expected as well as many others. The adaptation isn’t really good in particular! Yup, a thumbs down for me although I am being a lot generous than many others who commented even more harshly on this. Hence if you really want to get into the real experience of this series, it is best to go play the game that it is adapted from. Mind you, Azur Lane which is a Chinese made side scrolling shooter mobile game is actually a lot more popular than KanColle (at least in Japan) despite Azur Lane copying this concept from KanColle themselves. There are tons of comparisons between both series (note, High School Fleet is 100% lolicon fest!) but I guess I’m going to spare you all the boring stuffs and if you’re interested, a simple Google search on the internet can wield you the answers. Also, I’m too lazy and not interested so I didn’t really go read up. Also again, I didn’t even play both those games so I can’t really say much. Move along!

One of the biggest weakness of this adapted series is that it feels it doesn’t know who its target audience is. Are they targeted for hardcore fans? Or just casual fans? Or maybe trying to expose this franchise to those who aren’t aware? Or perhaps not appealing to fans of the series but just fanservice perverts in general? Yeah, this adaptation has a very wafer thin plot that you could see it coming from across the ocean and this plot itself is thinly holding the dozen of episodes together. Basically it is mostly Azur Lane vs Red Axis and if they’re not fighting, you see them hanging out leisurely back at their home bases. Not really an interesting distraction if I should say. Both sides of the divide look like they’re having fun when they’re not at each other’s throat. Goes to show that just because of a small different opinion, it changes everything else. Except that war never changes. And as expected, Sirens being the typically bad guys played Sakura Empire out and for the sake of convenience, common foes who were once old friends now come together again to fight together for the greater good. Ah yes, shouldn’t be even fighting each other in the first place because of their different opinions. Stupid, right? No wonder war never change.

Don’t even get me started on the characters. Oh God. This series has tons of them! You don’t know how many you’ll be spammed in the first episode just trying to introduce some of them! I believe that even halfway through the series, they are still introducing new ones. Sometimes I view this as both a good and bad way. You see, when a character pops up for the first time or at least get their 15 seconds of the spotlight, their name, class and allegiance will be displayed on the screen. Unfortunately, it is only once. So if you don’t remember them just because they aren’t main or supporting characters, you’re screwed and God help you in remembering who they are because then you have to Google the Wikipedia or some anime sites just to try and recall who that ship girl is. But it is better than spamming every episode their names. Do you know how irritating it is especially for established characters? Take for instance, Boku No Hero Academia. We’re already into the fourth season and we’re still being spammed on the screen the main characters’ name!!! OMFG!!! DO WE HAVE THE MEMORY OF A GOLDFISH???!!! That’s why I said, if those characters don’t appear enough or do anything significant, chances are you won’t really remember them even if their names are quite easy to pronounce and remember (after all, they’re taken from actual historical warships). So it’s like we’ve got this one chance to remember them when their name displays on the screen.

Having said that, another big flaw of this series of having too many characters is that you can’t have a decent screen time for all of them. It reminds me of another series: Uma Musume: Pretty Derby. That one has horse anthropomorphized as girls. As usual, too many characters, some just making short cameos as the entire series went on to continue focusing on the few main ones. So it’s the same case here for Azur Lane. Sure, there are a hell lot of battleships, battle cruisers and destroyers during WWII but trying to fit most of them here won’t do those obscure ones any justice. I suppose it is just to show that the base is filled with lots of them. Then you have an army. What good is a faction if it doesn’t have large numbers? Putting that aside, the character development isn’t anything good either for the main characters. We don’t really get to delve into their past because you know, they are physical manifestations of warships so what kind of past is there to show? Hence putting in some human traits sometimes makes you wonder if that ship is like that. Klutzy ship? Serious ship? Jokey ship? Just weird.

So for Enterprise as the main character herself, there is not much to know about her except she is the best and that she is dealing with some sort of inner demon. Is that why she is always looking so forlorn and distant? That Alter whom she sees, I read that she is supposed to be the future version of herself. Looking bitter and war torn, I guess it proves that war never really change even in the distant future. As long humans exist, war will also continue to exist. And with Belfast assigned as her maid, I don’t see the significance of this except for some possible yuri moments (which never really happened). I thought that they would eventually make some sort of formidable combo but too bad Enterprise looks as though she is working better as a lone wolf and going solo and Belfast is mostly just into supporting and backing up. Even so, that is just sparingly. I guess Britain can’t really teach America the ways of the etiquette after all. HAHAHA!!! America, never change! Just like war…

Then there is this side distraction if you’re a lolicon. Because boy, Ayanami-Javelin-Laffey and now Unicorn and finally Z23 in this loli group sure sometimes sound annoying. They interject this scene many times during the season. But it is also relatable since all little girls want are to have fun and not fight. But thanks to stupid adults and their stupid egos and pride, many are forced into the reluctant war. Laffey being the ‘best’ character since she is always at her own pace and she won’t let others influence her. Yeah, some characters never change. Laffey, carry on being you. And also not forgetting the twisted sisterly love between Akagi and Kaga. Trying to make them antagonists of the series but we can’t have Japan being the primary bad guys and of course they were just being used. All in the name of love. Ah yes, their love never changes. So does war.

If you think there are too many characters already in this adapted series, wait till you learn how many more are ‘missing’ from the anime. Yup, I’m talking about other countries and nations that were prominent in WWII that didn’t even show up at all. So what happened to Russia, France or even Italy?! At least China made a small cameo even if it was bloody insignificant. The game itself does feature nations of those countries although they are just smaller factions unlike the big 4. Sorry folks, I guess the creators didn’t think Australia played a big role in the second World War. No Australian ship girls. Despite the irony that France is represented by 2 different factions! So I think as far as the anime adaptation is concerned, as we have seen they can’t really handle so many characters already, it is best that these ship girls from these nations do not appear at all. Who knows the atrocity that they will do to their honour.

Oddly with the ship girls fighting on behalf of humanity, it is the biggest irony that we do not even see a single nose hair of humans. Not even in flashbacks whatsoever! It just makes me feel that humans died out and this world is just populated by ship girls and invading Sirens. Of course this is not the case but the lack of humans (and even males!) gave me that sort of impression. It makes me further wonder where all those puny weak hairless mammals are. Are they hiding in their safe space while they let the ship girls fight each other? This is really dumb and sneaky of humans being humans. In the first place, Sirens came here to wipe us out. It’s basically humanity’s problem. Now they’re letting cute anthropomorphized ship girls do their job. It’s not like Enterprise or Elizabeth are seen taking orders from their human counterparts, right?

Who knows? The Mental Cube that was mysteriously given to humans in creation of the ship girls were actually from the Sirens themselves. The Sirens are by far the more interesting counterparts if I should say because of their enigmatic ways. While it looks like they are out to destroy humanity, what if they actually have a different goal to that? Because had they really wanted to, they would have done so. Maybe they just want to test and see if humans are worthy species to continue to breed the Siren race that are going extinct in the universe! Holy sh*t! My conspiracy theories are running wild! Including my other sick theory that Sirens are actually angels of God sent down to pass mankind their judgment!!! CRAZY!!!! Even crazier, what if humans and Sirens are in some betting game to see which side gets eliminated first???!!! That’s why humans are missing as they are sitting so comfy in their chairs watching their monitor screen as the battle unfolds!!!!!!!!!!

So you might be the other part who watch this show for the fanservice. Panty showing fanservice there are but not as much as the explosion and bombardment fanservice AKA action sequences. After all, we know why all the anthropomorphized ships are females and there are no males whatsoever. Because you would think that males who are physically stronger and tougher would make better representation but I guess it is obvious the target audience is. While some ship girls dress ‘decently’, others feel like they’re just walking around in their underwear. And to just show that they have human personality, that’s why that nonsensical cheesy distraction why they need to wear pantsu and some conscious about their boobs. Heck, just flaunt those huge barrels of fire power, baby!!!

And of course it would be a crime if anthropomorphizing ships means there are no action scenes and this is perhaps the main draw of the series. What is the use of having factions of hot babes when there is no fighting involved? In every episode there is a guarantee for such fights. Lots of bombing. Lots of explosions. Lots of WWII propeller planes zipping around dropping their bombs and firing their pea shooters. Yeah. You’ll get used to that by the end. Some of the main characters will have better and more unique armament like Enterprise’s bow has designs after her aircraft carrier. But I wonder why Kaga hasn’t used her fox-like ship ever since her defeat to Enterprise. Was it sealed or something? The end of the fights are usually predictable. Nobody actually wins because they need to draw out this war. Hence once enough bombarding is done, something intervenes or happens that has both sides withdraw until the next battle. And amazingly considering how long they’ve been fighting, no ships were actually sunk! This means no characters actually died! Maybe except for Amagi who was already dead in the first place but even Enterprise and Akagi can resurrect from the dead. Is this part of the power of being a ship girl?

As for the art and animation, they’re pretty decent. While there is high quality here, sometimes during action scenes, I can see they skimp a little as the details get a bit simple. I can see why the final 2 episodes were delayed for months just to improve the quality after fans complained! After all, this series was animated by an unknown, Bibury Animation Studios. But other than that, animating the backgrounds isn’t a tough job when most of the battle scenes take place over the calm blue ocean and clear blue skies! And with so many characters, you bet it will be hell for them to come up with lots of different designs to differentiate them. Well, so far so good. Some feel like I’ve seen them somewhere before. For example, the first time I look at Enterprise, I was thinking what the heck Akame Ga Kill’s Esdeath is doing here?! Some Azur Lane girls with purple or light coloured hair, they just somehow remind me they came from the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. Fun fact: That series does have its cameo and own faction in the game itself! They try to differentiate the main factions with certain designs. For example, Sakura Empire mostly have their characters with fox ears and tails. It feels like Sakura Empire is one big mythical land of foxes. Royal Navy has mostly fashionable ladies aside the maids while Eagle Union of America being America, has many sexy babes in casual or bikini wear. It can’t get more American with Hornet as a cowgirl in bikini. Says it all. And Iron Blood, they’re just so military…

I could be wrong though, because I think they spread well the busty mature ladies and the loli types. The latter are mostly destroyer units while the former are mostly aircraft carriers. This is only so because the warships that they become their ornaments and accessories in battles, it only make sense that bigger ones have the strength to carry runways and launch planes while the smaller girls at least have gunners to fire. A pretty cool design and concept at least on this level. But the more interesting designs of this aspect are the Sirens as I noticed that their hi-tech accessories resemble more like sea creatures such as sharks, stingrays, jellyfish and octopus. And also, why do the eerie red glow of the mass produced Siren ships remind me of Judge Dredd? Hmm…

Voice acting isn’t anything special in particular. Of course as you might have guessed that with a wide variety of characters means a large number of casts voicing them. So large that some of them end up voicing multiple characters! Not sure if this helps save costs because otherwise they could have called in the entire seiyuu industry and fill in the numerous characters here with ease. Oh right. The studio will be jammed packed and crowded with people who would only be there just a few minutes to record a few seconds of their dialogue. Pitiful. But anyway, when I first heard Misaki Kuno as Ping Hai, heck I thought Ning Hai as her twin sister would’ve been the same voice. Instead, I thought I heard wrongly but it was weird to hear her as the voice of Nagato too. Made me think if she was a spy. At least the sisters of Zuikaku and Shoukaku are voiced by Risa Taneda. Same case for Ai Kayano. I thought she was already busy enough as Kaga but then I heard Atago. Sure this is not Kaga in disguise? In fact as I found out, she voiced a third ship but I’m not sure if Renown was featured here or not. Same case with Sumire Uesaka who isn’t only Elizabeth but also Akashi as well (and also Warspite… And also Saratoga???!!!). Now you know why the loli voice sounds so awfully familiar, huh?

Other seiyuus I recognized lending their talents include Yui Horie as Belfast, Mai Nakahara as Akagi, Ayane Sakura as Eugen, Miyuki Sawashiro as Amagi, Yuuko Goto as Edinburgh and Sora Amamiya as Illustrious. There are other seiyuus I know but didn’t notice them as they helmed smaller (and forgettable) roles such as Youko Hikasa, Sayaka Ohara and Ami Koshimitsu. Unfortunately with such an extensive cast, no Mamiko Noto anywhere :’(. The other casts are Yui Ishikawa as Enterprise (Mikasa in Shingeki No Kyojin), Ai Kakuma as Unicorn and Takao (Julis in Gakuen Toshi Asterisk), Nozomi Yamane as Javelin (Kureha in Yurikuma Arashi), Maria Naganawa as Laffey (Kamuri in Slow Start), You Taichi as Ayanami (Anzu in Prison School), Nozomi Yamamoto as Hornet (Yukimura in Bokuachi Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai), Saya Horigome as Cleveland, Chinami Hashimoto as Wales (Chiyo in Prison School), Asuka Itou as Hammann, Konomi Kohara as Sheffield (Kasumi in Asobi Asobase), Rika Abe as Z23 (Chikage in Hanebado), Ayaka Fukuhara as Bismarck (Veronica in Fairy Gone), Kana Yuuki as Yorktown (Noelle in Black Clover), Moe Toyota as Observer (Midori in Hibike! Euphonium), Chika Anzai as Tester (Reina in Hibike! Euphonium) and Marika Kouno as Purifier (Suzuka in Uma Musume: Pretty Derby).

If you’re very familiar and in love with the brand of music that is of May’n, then be glad to know that she sings the opening theme, Graphite/Diamond. The fast and upbeat pace of this rock music definitely fits the genre like a glove. If only the series itself could be as epic as this song… A total u-turn for the ending theme because Hikari No Michishirube by Kano is a slow ballad. While it might not sound like it fit the series but thinking about how the ship girls need a break once in a while from fighting and thinking about their tragic fate which is created to just fight, I guess this song isn’t that bad after all. The oddest part I find during the animation credits is how the characters are sitting and eating together on this long banquet table. I don’t know. Somewhat reminds me of that Last Supper painting. Enterprise being the centre, so she’s like Jesus? Oh well, if only Azur Lane and Red Axis, mature girls and lolis come together happily like this…

Overall, after all that is said, the adapted anime is just mediocre. Even though I didn’t really have a bad time watching it. Perhaps what saved me is that I am not a fan of the series and no doubt I know nothing about the game or even the actual historical warships. Perhaps that is why ignorance is bliss. I am saved from the disappointment of the fans and others who have decent knowledge about the franchise, their expectations and hopes. Watch this only if you are really into the fanservice and action and nothing more. Oh, if you love ships and wonder how they look like if they take a form of a woman. Here’s your answer. Other than that, it is pretty much predictable and sad just like the humans in this setting. They never change even though Enterprise tried to give us some hope that we have to change. We humans know better. We won’t. That’s why it’s the same for the anime industry and its fan base. We pretty much get the same kind of garbage and mediocrity every season. We never learn. We never change. And we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over again for the futures to come. We’re sailing through pitch black stormy seas right now. Boy, we must be so proud of ourselves, huh?

Chihayafuru S3

July 11, 2020

Oh wow. People still playing karuta? I’m sure there is still some following in Japan. But what I meant is that after more than 5 years, I never would have expected Chihayafuru would have gotten the greenlight for a third season! Yes, you heard that right. The only karuta themed anime getting its third season at the end of 2019. Maybe because I was never so interested in karuta and never actually followed up on the game or the anime series. So I never really cared about the developments of its potential sequel (they even had 2 live action movies after that!). And boy it was sure surprising when I heard it would really come out. I wouldn’t have taken up this series in the first place if not for my own silly weakness of being a sucker for a pretty face who is of course the poster girl of this series… Ah yes… Those fond karuta memories… Oh wait. I still don’t know anything about karuta… Naniwazuni sakuya kono hana… More like, nani wakarai noni sakuya kono baka...

Episode 1
A short flashback when Chihaya was young. She was scouted to join the track club because of her sharp hearing, she always makes a good start. In exchanging for joining the track club, Chihaya introduces her fellow friend, Michiru Horikawa to try out the karuta club. Cue for explaining to newbies how karuta works. They play a test match and of course Chihaya beats her flat. Flawless victory. In present time, Chihaya and Taichi are invited to join Fujisaki’s training camp. You bet it is going to be tough sh*t since Sakurazawa is the one monitoring them. Yeah, they’re going to play so many matches and on top of that, mountain running! That night when Chihaya decides to check on Taichi, Retro is also here. And trying to curse him? Because Taichi is the only one who has won all his matches. Chihaya doesn’t think much of it because he always losses to her. Until Retro makes this stinging remark that is only because it is not official matches. Come to think of it, he has observed Taichi plays better karuta when she is not around. Ouch. The tough camp continues with the participants having to play 4 gruelling matches. Chihaya is destined to play Rion 3 times! You thought somebody is going to die but apparently Chihaya is the one who lost the first match. Well, she’s trying to play with her left hand as her right is still injured. During the break, Chihaya hears Rion’s goal of not becoming the Queen. She is only playing karuta since grandma requested her to keep playing on her behalf and her aim is next year’s high school championship. In the second match, Chihaya improves and loses. During the third match, it is taking a toll on Chihaya so surprisingly Sakurazawa advises her to maintain a better posture. Instead of trying to take cards via speed, rely on your natural posture and you won’t tire easily. Rion is perturbed since Sakurazawa never offered such advice to anybody. Is it because it is Chihaya? Eventually Chihaya still lost. Rion even gives Chihaya some advice about the different high or low pitch when the reader reads to pick up some hints. The final match has Chihaya facing Taichi. That guy beats her. Sulking? She realizes he was a totally different person. When Taichi declares he is going to beat her in the next official match with his right hand, you bet he is serious about it.

Episode 2
Arata sums up his courage to recruit karuta members for his high school team. Surprisingly, lots of people show their interest. Kanade thought the training camp was supposed to bring Taichi and Chihaya closer. Looks like their rivalry just went up a notch. Taichi beats Chihaya and now everybody wants to play him. Taichi has Chihaya play against Sumire. She thought that won’t improve much but don’t look down. Sumire will do anything for love! Soon, Miyauchi relays the bad news. The school field trip coincides with the Master and Queen qualifiers. And it’s illegal to skip the field trip. Can’t they make this an exception? I guess Chihaya must be thinking the karuta god hates her for testing her with such fates, but a little advice from Kanade to build up luck via small deeds can go a long way. Once the bandage comes off her right hand, Chihaya is back to her brutal winning ways. Yeah, even Taichi tells her to slow down. With her mind sharply focused on karuta, the rest could guess that she intends to skip the field trip. Before the qualifiers, there is this tournament that is played by Class A and Class B players from various karuta societies all over Japan. You bet Arata is going to be there. Chihaya’s sensor of him must be working find as she spots him and even thinks he has something to say to her. Well, just complimenting how good she looks in her hakama. That didn’t throw her off. In fact, she is now more motivated to win every match. Tsutomu’s match ended quickly. He feels bad for losing and slaps himself just to avoid thinking negative thoughts. So much so, Kanade had to stop him before he hurts himself and give him some hope. Chihaya and Taichi expectedly win their matches. The toughest first round match is Nishida against Sudou. It is a very close call but Sudou eventually wins it. Sudou is irritated as it wore him out. With Nishida hoping this would bring his teammates victory, Taichi now understands what Harada meant that individual matches are also team matches.

Episode 3
The person to watch for is Haruka Inokuma, the former Queen before she went on maternity leave. Now she’s back. During the break, Arata talks to Taichi about some memorization stuffs. When Taichi hears Arata is trying to form his own high school karuta group but had no luck, this makes Taichi jealous? So why can’t Arata play team matches too? The next round of matchups are decided. Chihaya’s opponent as Takemura, the runner up who was beaten soundly by Suou in the previous Master’s match. The match goes on as Miyauchi asks Sakurazawa if Chihaya has a chance to become Queen. As an advisor, she hardly anything knows about the game. When Chihaya wrote in her career questionnaire that she wanted to become a high school teacher so that she can be a karuta club advisor, Miyauchi felt the need to encourage her to pursue her dreams. We see Chihaya’s play getting better as she doesn’t use excessive force when she takes the cards. The round ends with the expected like Harada, Sudou, Taichi, Arata and yes, Chihaya winning their matches. Takemura feeling full of regret because after his devastating loss, he didn’t play karuta for half a year and now this prodigy (Chihaya) popped up. Heading into the quarterfinals, Shiranami holds the advantage as they have 4 players who are still in the running. How kind that they can’t face off with each other yet. So Chihaya can’t play Harada. Instead, she drew Inokuma.

Episode 4
The other matches in the quarterfinals are Taichi vs Sudou, Harada vs Murao and Tsuboguchi vs Arata. Chihaya starts aggressively at first. But as the match carries on, Inokuma also starts to pick up and fight her way back. Currently, all the Shiranami players are leading over their opponents. We take a detour from Chihaya-Inokuma drama to see how others are doing. Like Sudou trying to get psychological with Taichi and irking him with his comments like if he likes Chihaya! Taichi psychos himself that Sudou is just trying to hide his tiredness. And also, Retro advances to Class B finals. Congrats. And now we’re going into the final stretch of the game and it could be anybody’s call…

Episode 5
Inokuma’s son gives her the strength to fight back. But soon the shockwaves hit the hall because Arata lost! Soon after, Harada also loses his match. It’s down the wire for the remaining quarter-finalists. Chihaya and Inokuma have 2 cards each. Eventually Chihaya takes the win. The moment she does, she falls asleep. Dead tired. Taichi and Sudou are down to 1 card each. All down to the luck of the draw. Taichi gets aggressive to attack Sudou’s side and thankfully wins it. The semi-finals are next. Chihaya is paired with Tsuboguchi but because she is still sleeping, Tsuboguchi forfeits his match. Walkover for Chihaya? Lucky girl. Before Inokuma leaves the hall, she gives Sakurazawa her contacts in hopes that she could be her karuta player sometimes for practice. Sakurazawa understands the bitterness in her loss. Because she was once like her. When fast players start losing their speed, they get fed up and quit. The only semi-final taking place is Taichi vs Murao. Shockingly, Taichi plays defensive karuta in the final moments of the match take the win. At this time, Chihaya just woke up. Did she miss something? Ah, just in time for the finals. Taichi vs Chihaya showdown.

Episode 6
Arata tells Chihaya that he needs to leave as his society has to send some people back. Chihaya looks so disappointed so Arata changes his mind and will stay and watch. Eventually everybody else too wants to stay and watch this important finals between them. Kanade’s mom helps Taichi fix his kimono and obi as she explains the significance of its pattern to some shrine. As the duo lay out their cards, it seems Taichi shocks everyone with his very different card placing. It is believed that because they played with each other so frequently, Taichi needs to put in some shock and make Chihaya cautious with this new play style. It also puts a lot of pressure on himself. The finals start and we see both of them improving a lot as they wither down the cards on the field. They each have their own karuta style to play and are confident they will beat the other. The intensity of this match has everyone’s eyes glued and this makes Arata wonder why he lost and not the one facing Chihaya in the finals. Well… Because you lost, duh!

Episode 7
Yeah, yeah, we get it. The support of everybody is what got them here. And so the winner is… Chihaya!!! Thanks to her good looks, I guess for those who don’t know her, they think she’s the new rising star. Chihaya’s mom finally arrives. Chihaya then starts crying. She wants to go to the field trip. How can she be a school teacher if she has not been on one? And we see Taichi frustrated with that marginal loss. Arata comes to talk to him but it’s about who Chihaya belongs to. I believe she belongs to nobody. Chihaya is looking forward to her field trip. She is skipping the qualifiers. There’s always next year, right? And then Tsutomu tells her that Taichi is sick and didn’t come. What a way to ruin her trip. Yup, she’s not enjoying the sceneries and is keep looking at her handphone. When will Taichi ever pick up? Finally he does. He assures everything is alright. And then Nishida relays the ‘bad news’. He checked with his karuta society and it looks like Taichi’s name is indeed on the qualifier list. Realized too late he is trying to get ahead of you? Meanwhile Sumire feels lonely thinking Taichi is away on a trip. Then he pops up! Taichi! Here to play a practice match with Harada before tomorrow’s qualifiers? So Chihaya has a change of mind and wants to go back to do the qualifiers? Another reminder from Tsutomu. Because Taichi is going to a medical school, he won’t have any more time for karuta. That’s why he is trying to reach it as far as he can this year. It’s the only chance he’ll have. Arata can’t concentrate and even loses in his practice match. Yeah, we know that feeling, right? About Chihaya and all. His neighbour, Yuu Ashino tries to give him motivation that she doesn’t mind joining his karuta team. Arata scoffs it off because he doesn’t need a reward for realizing his dream. He needs to make his promise to grandpa come true by becoming a Master. There’s your answer.

Episode 8
Chihaya still traumatized that Taichi is aiming to be a Master. I guess her school trip’s ruined, huh? At the qualifiers, Sudou withdraws to make good his promise with Taichi since he lost. This has his teammates go into shock and panic. Taichi doesn’t want him to do so but Sudou refuses to be indebted. So Taichi says if they are drawn to play with each other, yield to him. Sudou’s back in the game. Arata is also at the qualifiers and is shocked to see Taichi’s name on the list. Wasn’t he supposed to be on a field trip with Chihaya? Making a surprise visit is Shinobu and Suou. Suou makes an announcement he will retire after winning his fifth consecutive title. Is that happy or sad news? But to many, it could irritating news since Suou is so confident he can win it. The qualifiers get underway. Arata reminding us about his promise to grandpa to become a Master but after he wins his match, Suou personally comes to talk to him. His play was boring. He won’t be the next Master. Meanwhile Taichi’s mom is furious as she spots him at the qualifiers. To think he was studying at the library. Sumire thinks she can get on her good side by contacting her once the match finishes so that she could go talk to her son. But after seeing how determined Taichi is, including giving Retro a damn good advice he shouldn’t lose to selfish people (because the opponent Taichi faced was the one Retro lost to in the last tournament’s finals), Sumire changes her mind. So when mom comes back furious that she did not contact her, Sumire protects Taichi’s love for karuta. Naturally mom doesn’t hold any respect of the game that ‘doesn’t get you far in life’. But she has to back down when other karuta enthusiasts are giving her dagger piercing stares. This renews Taichi’s motivation as his next round’s opponent is the much improved Shusaku Koishikawa.

Episode 9
Arata can’t shake off what Suou said. But he won’t let it affect him in his games. Meanwhile Chihaya continues to be a worrywart. So much so her friend has to take out her handphone battery and tell her off that they came to this trip together. A hard hit in the guy when she mentions how is she going to know more about karuta if she doesn’t explain it all to her? Well, they’re in some museum of old poems or something right now. That woke Chihaya up as she focuses what is important now before her eyes. Meanwhile Taichi’s match against Koishikawa. He is not doing so well against the latter. Only because the latter blunders a few times that he is able to partly catch up. Both sides are down to a single card. All down to the luck of the draw. Taichi lost. Sumire wants to go talk to him but Tsukuba won’t let her. You just can’t. Not right now. Obviously we see a very frustrated Taichi talking to himself on what should have been done. He gets a text from Sumire that the semi-finals are starting and one of them pits Harada against Koishikawa. Old man has fatigue in his knees but he isn’t giving up. Taichi returns to watch it as he remembers part of Harada’s teachings. One of them if you are playing karuta long enough, you can somewhat tell what cards that will never ever be read. So both of them are down to a card each. And lucky for Harada, he wins it. So the Master’s final for the east side will have Harada vs Sudou. For the Queen’s, it will be Inokuma vs Yamamoto. On the west side, Arata has made it to the finals. He looks disappointed that Taichi isn’t on the finals list. Arata will be facing his same society fellow in the finals: Murao.

Episode 10
As the match begins, Arata can’t help think about Taichi. He views him always in the way. He can’t focus so much so Murao had to bring him back to reality. Even so, Murao is already leading by a few cards. Worst case scenario as Arata gets stomach ache during the match. Of course he excuses himself but the match continues. He’ll never eat Yuu’s food again! When he returns, he is down by a few more cards and perhaps a few dead cards were read. Both sides play offensively as Arata slowly closes the gap. Then of course a piece of news comes in during the match. Spoilers: Harada won the east side finals. In the end, Arata claws his way back to win by 2 cards. Time to finally cry. Don’t. Because it freaks out Murao. Meanwhile Chihaya is having a blast on her trip. At night when the students are supposed to be asleep, Chihaya sneaks out and to her surprise Taichi just came in! So he now felt better and decided to join them? Chihaya being Chihaya is of course noisy and wants to know. Let the shock sink in. East vs west finals. Harada vs Arata. Who are you going to support?

Episode 11
Taichi isn’t being himself ever since, losing to Chihaya in practice matches by a huge margin. Harada then calls for an emergency meeting for all Shiranami members. Turns out he didn’t bat an eyelid in wanting everybody to devote themselves in playing and improving their karuta so that he, YES, HE will become Shiranami’s first Master! After all, that is the reason he established this society in the first place. Ah well. He has gotten this far. No point beating around the bush now. He has a special ‘mission’ for Taichi and that is to play as Arata. Arata substitute? He even has a preferred layout of that guy for him to memorize. Of course Taichi says he can’t and even if he copied Arata, he can’t play like him. But Harada shoots back that it is because of him that he is now playing in the finals. Well, he’s got a point… You see, Sudou yielded to him in the finals and he believes it was that wager. It also saved his knees. So now he needs his help along with everybody to help him to win this. Can’t say no after all that passion. Chihaya also wants to help out but she will play the role of Suou. Later she calls Arata just to remind him how Harada won’t lose. Like a broken tape recorder. Making it more embarrassing is how she is screaming it aloud in public. Geez… Meanwhile we see Inokuma practising with Sakurazawa and Rion. She has a tough time with them as Sakurazawa notes that she isn’t playing the same when she was at her prime, which was her teens. There seems to be a correlation and sharp decline for those good at karuta, after passing their teen years, it is a steady decline. But we can see that Inokuma is also having her own dilemma. She realizes her opponents are almost half her age. Can she win the Queen title at this age? Is winning karuta more important than her kids? On the day of the Master and Queen challenger playoffs, Inokuma is having trouble pacifying her kids. She is already in her kimono and things aren’t going her way. Thanks to Kanade’s mom telling her the secrets of the kimono so she is able to breastfeed her baby without taking it off, it gives her some relief. Of course all this is just to bolster some business opportunity for the kimono master. Chihaya is already regretting that she isn’t part of the competition. Yeah, becoming a school teacher wasn’t her first dream anyway. Then she is ‘saved’ by an angel. Oh. Just Arata.

Episode 12
The finals will be best of 3 games. Before the first match starts, Harada tells Arata that he played his grandpa once. It was a great pleasure to do so and it is the same now that he gets to play him. The game begins as we see Harada playing really offensive karuta. He stuns everyone by being faster than Arata. Despite he has studied Arata’s movements and habits, that is the ‘old’ Arata. Arata has a new side as he keeps shuffling his cards around, depending on Harada’s play style. Eventually Arata gets his momentum and takes some cards. Aside Kitano, Midori Makino who is the reader of the third match will be vouching for Harada to lose in straight matches! Flashback reveals 31 years ago, Harada and Yoshino were supposed to play against each other in a finals. However Harada forfeited his match because he didn’t want his rhythm ruined by Midori who was a rookie reader then, right before the Master’s qualifiers. Midori has ever since worked hard to become a certified reader. Grudges do come a long way… Over to the Queen’s side, Inokuma is getting conscious that she may be a thing of the past with Megumi having lots of supporters and the cards she gives her seem to subtly hint something. Maybe she’s just reading too much. In the end, Harada and Inokuma win their first game! Harada being Harada, he informs he will be forfeiting the next match but will be back for the third! WTF?! Because he prefers to hear Midori read. So all is forgiven now?! Free walkover win for Arata, huh? Arata couldn’t be more pissed and insulted!!! Then he is ‘saved’ by an angel. Oh. Just Chihaya. Whispering something.

Episode 13
Inokuma’s son gives her flowers. Expecting her mom to be Queen, huh? Not to be outdone, Megumu takes the headbands from her fans as her own. So with the ladies only playing in the second match, we skim through it and finally Inokuma wins. She earns the right to face off with Shinobu. And now for the third match. The guys’ turn. Arata remembers Chihaya’s whisper about Harada still being their mentor and it will be hard to beat him. Speaking of her, the match has started and she is nowhere to be seen. She is outside hanging out with Suou?! She spams him lots of questions. She requests to play a match with her someday and I think it’s like he has fallen for her and is trying to hint he has no girlfriend, but Chihaya realizes they’re late as the third match has started and rushes back. So much so Suou had to raise his voice to tell her he has no girlfriend!!! So what?! Chihaya too!!! Harada takes the lead but Arata’s play leaves everyone stumped because he doesn’t follow his usual pattern of placing his cards and shuffles them all the time. So did Harada’s training went to waste? And with Taichi upping his game, everybody starts to see his grandpa in him. Of course, Harada starting to enjoy and having fun, it makes him feel like a teenager again. Only, reality says f*ck you and starts making his knees go weak. Or is it because he saw Suou watching him from the outside?! Suou sees the vitality in Harada and laments that if he could choose those to face off in the Master tournament, he would pick Harada.

Episode 14
Harada remembers he was into karuta into his youth. However he had to put some time and dedication into his medical practice. By the time he is able to find time to play karuta again, he realizes he has lost that youthful hearing and reflexes. When young kids came to seek his help to improve their karuta, Harada realized he needed to make a different weapon. Not everyone has a good game sense and hence the formation of Shiranami to make players with poor game sense stronger. Harada continues his offensive play. He lunges too much that he crashes into the cards many times! Looks like a disaster scene. Then a dead card is read. Both instinctively reach out and touch the card but nobody could tell whose fault was it. So a few seconds of tension… And the winner is… HARADA!!! OMG. Shiranami members in joy and tears! Wow. Chihaya can cry that much? Before the award ceremony, Arata reflects that he was the one who fouled. Though Harada also went for it, he managed to dodge it at the last minute. Before he could rue this loss, Chihaya talks to him. The past. The kind of karuta they play. Then Arata says he loves her. I’m sure it’s in the karuta sense. RIGHT?! He is implying that he plans to go to a college in this area and this means he can play karuta with her more often. Not sure if this is the one that leaves Chihaya in shock. But Sumire and Kanade heard this confession. What a shocking day. Oh boy… Meanwhile Taichi goes to return the scarf Suou lent Chihaya. Suou asks his relationship with Chihaya. He says she is his girlfriend and not to make a move on her! Poor Suou got heart broken and leaves in tears! Worse, Shinobu hangs up on him a few times when he called her! Actually it is to tell her that Arata lost. This leaves her in shock because she thought he would win. Suou cautions her that she too isn’t totally invincible.

Episode 15
Chihaya is spacing out so obviously that she looks like an idiot! Kanade is in a dilemma whether to tell Taichi or not but Sumire is clearly against this. We obviously know why. They’re not to only ones having such problems. Tsutomu needs to ace his studies to be top so he can confess to Kanade while Nishida wants to do something fun for Christmas. And who cares about Tsukuba’s household problems?! When Chihaya gets a call from Sudou, it seems Suou is inviting her to play a match with him. Not only Chihaya agrees but Taichi as well. Can’t miss this opportunity. Suou is in the same university and karuta club as Sudou and Koishikawa. Because only the duo can give him karuta practice, hence Suou needs some variety to practice with other karuta players. Chihaya plays with Suou while Taichi keeps Sudou company. Chihaya seems to be playing well against Suou until she starts making faults, mistakes and losing concentration. Then she realizes that Suou doesn’t intend to win by taking all the cards on his side. Something about having his opponents make mistakes and taking in more cards. In the end, Chihaya loses by a big margin. Suou notes that she is an interesting person who never loses heart. She has friends who support her but if she wants to be Queen, don’t even think about it. Uhm, is that passive aggressive?

Episode 16
Taichi now wants to play Suou but since he refuses, Taichi bribes him with snacks. Okay! Meanwhile Chihaya is so devastated she’s just spacing out… In the next round of matches, Chihaya lost by a big margin. So did Taichi despite he didn’t make any faults. As they leave, Suou doesn’t want them to come back here anymore. But Taichi wants Suou to help review their game. Suou doesn’t want to because he hates him so Taichi reveals Chihaya isn’t his girlfriend and was just bluffing. Okay! Chihaya goes to Harada’s house to tell him Suou’s weakness. He is surprised to hear that and never thought of it so. Because that weakness could be his strength too. Chihaya finds herself in a slump. But there’s something more important for the karuta gang to do now. So everybody is at Tsukuba’s house for Christmas. Because his brothers are being pessimistic about Santa, this is part of the karuta gang to make them believe in him again. And here Santa is coming in from their balcony! It freaked them out at first but soon realized he left them great karuta presents. Brothers so happy and they regain their hope once more. The Santa is actually played by Chihaya and she is sad because all the makeup actually made her look fat! Anyway, with the Master and Queen match coming up, they hope to save up for a day trip to Omi Jingu. On that day, the players arrive and make their usual prayers. This year there is no live TV broadcast. Apparently all the major games recently do not have this and it is all live stream. In contrast, this helps to increase awareness and viewership has increased instead. Chihaya is worried that Arata hasn’t arrived yet. So she calls him and is shock that he is sick! Oh well, live streaming for him. And now the much anticipated matches begin.

Episode 17
During the memorization period, it seems Chihaya is irked with Suou. He is outside talking on his phone and the thought that he will retire after this match calms her. Chihaya’s feelings are sure all over the place today. Sakurazawa and Sudou being the card girl and card boy for the matches, this allows other spectators to see clearer the cards played. So Chihaya dreams of herself picking her own card girl or boy and the opponent she is facing. Keep dreaming… The first match begins. While Shinobu and Inokuma are neck to neck, Harada takes the provisional lead. Insulting to many, Suou seems like he has no interest in playing his game at all. Furthermore, he is keep peeping at Shinobu’s side because he wants to match how many cards she has?! In the end, the Queen’s match comes down to the last card. The luck of the draw. It is Shinobu who wins. It is also the same for the Master. However it is Harada who wins. While many think that Suou’s plan backfired, Taichi realizes the real intention of all this. Suou intends to drag this game and play the maximum matches. During the break, we see the challengers resting in their respective room. Then in Shinobu’s room, not sure what mom talks to her but it sounded like politics because grandma is a politician and is just using Shinobu as her poster girl. Chihaya visits Shinobu’s room too. She may be supporting Harada but considers her as her rival. But the moment Chihaya reveals she couldn’t play the qualifiers because she was away on a school trip, Shinobu feels displeased. Very displeased. See the crushed bread Chihaya gave her? Did Chihaya say something wrong? She storms out of the room. Right. Next match is starting.

Episode 18
The second match begins. Shinobu’s mind is in disarray. In the end, Shinobu loses! Everybody is in shock because she has never lost a match before! At the same time, Harada defeats Suou! During the break, Shinobu continues to lose her mind. Not sure if she is panicking but I think this is what happens when you don’t normally lose. Chihaya also getting panicky and calls Kanade for help? Huh? Meanwhile Inokuma is somewhat a little sick. It is hinted that she is pregnant! So while the Queen’s match takes a further break, they continue with the third match for the Master title. This time Suou ups his game and attacks aggressively that it ends with him defeating Harada by a wide margin. So this dude can actually do it when he puts his mind to it. But also, this is intentional on Harada’s part because he threw away this match. Meanwhile Shinobu and Chihaya pray at the shrine together. That calm their nerves down. Shinobu gives Chihaya her scarf before going back to prepare for her next match. Chihaya helps dress up Shinobu as the latter asks what she was praying at the shrine. For Harada to be able to play at full strength. So no more animosity between them now? Both matches resume. Harada once again playing aggressively. He intends to win this time because unlike Suou, there is someone Harada wants to impress and that’s why he is going to take his title. He remembers Chihaya’s words about Suou’s weakness. It is his eyesight. He can’t see things at the edge of his vision.

Episode 19
We delve into Suou’s past why he plays karuta. Something about he could make something of himself. When he was young, he was sent to live in the main family’s house. With lots of cousins and relatives, you bet it is noisy. However Yukiko his aunt is one whom he is particularly fond of. Though, she felt more like his caretaker than family. Yukiko suffered from an eye diseases that has her slowly go blind. On the day he left for university, Yukiko told him to make something of himself. So at university, he was introduced to karuta and quickly adapted and become a pro all in1 year. Then he also realized he is suffering from the same illness Yukiko did. At that point he wondered what he can do. So it’s not like he likes karuta a lot. He plays only to feed on other people’s passion. Back to the match, with more cards being read, Suou makes a comeback and almost ties with Harada. But he still makes some mistakes and starts thinking he might be in real trouble this time. Both sides are exhausted. While naturally Harada’s knees are killing him, Suou is getting tired because he is not used to the match being dragged out? I guess Arata got so anxious that he is going to make his way to Omi Jingu. In this state of his? Nothing can stop him! I wonder if he can make it in time… We now focus on the Queen’s match. It’s a tight race but in short, Shinobu wins it and retains her title! This leaves Inokuma devastated but Shinobu gives her some words of encouragement that the cards like her. That’s why they let her take them. Back to the Master’s match. Down to the luck of the draw again. Yup, each side only has 1 card left.

Episode 20
A few dead cards read. Harada moves but he notices Suou has never moved an inch. And then when it seemingly feels like his card his read, he sees Suou going in. Instinctively Harada also moves. However it is a dead card and Harada faults. Suou wins. Did he just trick and trap Harada into having that false sense? During the break, we hear Chihaya’s frustration. So now she’s regretting she isn’t born a man because she wants to teach Suou a lesson? Then she hears Shinobu’s interview. This time she is sincerely thanking those who supported her unlike in previous years she said the same thing but it was just on a whim. She is looking forward to next year’s Queen title. This makes Chihaya realize that she is the player to beat. At least for her category. At this point, Arata just arrived. He is here to see Harada. Sorry Sumire and Kanade. No love triangle drama today. Before the next match begins, it seems Suou has ‘transformed’ himself. Now clean shaven and his hair tied up properly, this guy looks respectable now! Like as though he is serious to take the title. Well, it’s down to the final match. But this match they just fast forward through. Because Suou beats Harada by a handsome margin. Suou retains his title. Harada apologizes to his wife that he couldn’t become the Master but she tells him that wasn’t her wish. It was for him to smile. As Suou is being interviewed, this guy is so tired he just give one word answers without elaborating. Before he could answer about his retirement, Arata hijacks the whole thing and wants him to stay. Wait for him next year to beat him. Suou agrees to delay his retirement for a year just for this. Suou haters gonna hate… Chihaya and co take the bullet train back. She notices Taichi not among them. Did he miss the train? Kanade says he is staying back because of some memorial cup he is participating tomorrow. Chihaya devastated that Taichi is getting the jump on her again.

Episode 21
Chihaya frustrated? Sad? Regret? Mad? Oh well. Kanade tells her to think why Taichi is acting like that. It is precisely why he doesn’t tell her things otherwise she won’t think for herself. Taichi rests in his hotel room as Arata’s words resonate within him. He thought it should have been him to say that to Suou as it would made sense for him to do so as Harada’s student. Chihaya and others are also playing another New Year karuta tournament. Can’t lose out now. Tsukuba being aggressive trying to promote himself and become the next club president. This has Sumire start thinking that things will change and the karuta club will no longer be like it was before as many are going to be third year seniors. Arata is pretty embarrassed of what he said to Suou. He is also participating in the memorial cup. Suou returns to get his cup trophy. The same time Arata and Taichi are to face each other in the quarter-finals. It is awkward between then and they can’t look at each other in the eye. Though, Taichi managed to get a confirmation from him that he said something to Chihaya. Yeah. Said something. Not going to ask what? Okay, whatever. We see Retro losing in the finals, missing his chance to promote to the highest class. Sad to see him regret and lamenting he might not be cut out for karuta after playing for 10 years. You thought his girlfriend has something nice to say to him but eventually it’s just to ‘scold’ him for being petty of being stuck in this grade for so long. Chihaya bests Sudou in the finals and the latter realizes she has grown a lot and it’s more irritating to play her. For the memorial cup, Murao wins it with Arata taking runners up spot.

Episode 22
Another day, another Chihaya feeling down. Sighs… Hence Kanade needs to do something fast to overturn this gloom. She suggests for the girls make chocolates for Valentine’s Day. Chihaya and Kanade are hopeless so leave it to Sumire to make something decent. In the end, eventually Chihaya still cries about Taichi. Because they’re doing everything fun and why is this so painful? This is complicated… With Taichi being such a popular guy, you bet Sumire has no chance to give her chocolates alone. Then there is that chance. She throws it out of the window to him and confesses she loves him. Also, she wants him to confess his feelings to the one he loves. I wonder if the whole school heard that. The karuta club has a nice setup for this Valentine special. Chihaya about to share with everyone her special chocolates. It’s empty? A note from her father apologizing he ate them all. OTOU-SAN NO BAKA!!!!! We see several schools holding their graduation ceremony for seniors and those from the karuta club giving their farewell speech to their juniors. One evening, Taichi is forced to accompany Hiroshi. He then asks about his match with Arata. Uh oh. Not very pleasant memories. Of course Hiroshi later reveals he was asked by Chihaya to do this and Arata thinks she only wanted to ask about Arata. Hiroshi thinks he doesn’t understand. Taichi then gives Sumire a present. So he decides to return her love? Well, thanks to her, he has decided to tell the person he likes his feelings. GASP! Sumire not ready for this! She wants him to wait a few more weeks! WTF?! She needs to consult Kanade but the karuta club is busy preparing for the next event. Yeah, Chihaya really intense… So it seems that event is Taichi’s birthday. Chihaya along with all the other karuta buffs and friends have organized a birthday party. Not just an ordinary party. It’s a Taichi Cup! A special karuta tournament to commemorate his birthday! Wow. By the way, those pink polka dot shirts look kinda sissy and lame…

Episode 23
So this Taichi Cup will have players divided into teams and the format will be Genpei style. While teammates can help take the card for the team but if you don’t score enough individually, you lose. The prize? A kiss from Taichi!!! WOAH! Well, they have no more money to spend on the prize so I guess that’s legit. So if a guy wins, does this mean he gets a kiss too! Thank goodness Taichi is handsome. So if Taichi himself wins, I wonder how he’ll kiss himself… Anyway, it ends with Taichi and Chihaya both having the highest cards. Wait. Does this mean despite the draw, Chihaya wins? So the one kissing will be… She wants a rematch but time is up for this rented venue. Taichi and Chihaya are alone together in the clubroom and pondering things before the start of a new school year. Taichi talks about that tournament they played with Arata in which Arata lost. He then reveals it was him who hid Arata’s glasses because he didn’t want to lose to him. Also he told Arata not to tell Chihaya because he feared she would hate him. I guess with all that confusion, Taichi then confesses he loves Chihaya. More confusion. More dumbstruck Chihaya face. Then she replies. I am guessing she rejected him. Because Taichi leaves dejectedly and realizes he was just kidding himself. He has never accepted anyone’s feelings so why should he deserve this, right? As the new school year starts, the karuta club gets ready to present to recruit new members. Chihaya is to present but Miyauchi makes some amendments to the script. Eh? They have less 1 member now? It seems she received a request from Taichi to quit the club as he wants to focus on his studies. WHAT?! At first Chihaya plays it cool and makes her speech like normal. Then reality sinks in. She starts crying, drops the mic and runs out. Everyone confused. Karuta club so much drama? Kanade takes over… Chihaya finds Taichi and emotionally pleads for him not to leave. Then same fake kiss from him to her. He says he can’t play karuta now because all the cards he sees are pitch black.

Episode 24
Poor Chihaya. Can she become a teacher at this rate? Her dreams in tatters? Taichi’s mom mad because he didn’t get first place in the exams?! Oh yeah? What will she say now that Taichi has quit the karuta club? Uh huh. I’m sure he’ll do better the next exam. Miyauchi fears the karuta club will fall apart but she is surprised to see 4 new members joining and Sumire properly guiding them! You’d think she would be the first one to quit too. And poor Chihaya. Her emotions are so scattered that she’s crying and too afraid to play karuta now. Taichi is at some med cram school. Oh, Suou is a lecturer there too?! Damn, this guy gonna be everywhere now? The rest of the episode focuses on Arata as he tries to form a karuta group. Desperate enough to get into an official garb, goes to every class during recess to preach about the karuta goodness. Well, surprisingly there are a few who join! Soon enough, he manages to arrange a practice session with Fujisaki. However it is only then he finds out from Sakurazawa that Taichi and Chihaya quit their karuta club! OMG! This has Arata shocked and can’t concentrate. But he has too. As expected, only Arata wins his games but he realizes that unlike Fujisaki who has Sakurazawa guiding them and even the players noting their strengths and weaknesses, his side has none. You could say team building is basically non-existent. Of course he needs to do better so for the first time Arata makes communication and talks to his members to boost their morale and team spirit. This session is good as it made Arata think a lot of things about teams that he never thought of previously. And of course the pressing issue of Taichi and Chihaya. Did they really quit? Need to ascertain it. So he sends them a picture of his newly formed karuta club and hopes he would get to see them at Omi Jingu again. Can’t quit now.

Too Fast Too Furious
Oh man. The final episode drama really escalated quickly. Didn’t really think that it could happen. Taichi and Chihaya who are the mainstay of karuta (at least for this series), quitting the club?! Impossible! The faces of karuta quitting?! Hey, they quit the club. Not the game. Just need a short break from the game. I hope. So just when it looks like Arata’s fortunes might be taking a turn for the better, it is the opposite for Taichi and Chihaya. Exams, love, rivals… Damn! This should be about karuta!!! I’m not sure at this point if there is fourth season but you bet this dramatic ending could leave many wanting to covet another season just to find out what happens. But my guts tell me that the trio will eventually reunite. Just not now.

Personally, I feel that this season has most likely being Harada’s season as many of the episodes put him in the main focus. So much so, the main young ones like Chihaya, Taichi and Arata are mostly reserved to the side-lines. A big chunk of the episodes in the middle of the series puts Harada in the spotlight as he inches closer to his lifelong dream of becoming a Master. At his age, it is now or never. So he has to go all out and put a stop at nothing to get his elusive dream. Last chance saloon before the sun sets on him. Or rather his weary knees. Oh well, it’s just sad that some people aren’t destined to win. But at least he tried, right? Yeah, we’re all happy for him since he gave that obnoxious Suou a run for his money.

So with Harada out of the way, all that is left is to remind us the young karuta enthusiasts are actually the main stars of the series. I can see why they leave it too late and with only a few episodes to focus on them. The series might have taken a whole different approach if they were to breeze through Harada’s arc and then just focus solely on the problems of these young kids. It wouldn’t be karuta porn by then. So now that these kids are at the crossroads, they have to think about their future despite being at the prime age of their life. Because they have to face reality that one day they too cannot be playing karuta at this optimum level. Because karuta isn’t everything in life as well.

Chihaya being the star and titular character of this series, is it me or do I find her a lot annoying this season? I know Chihaya isn’t your typical girl as she is in obsessively in love with the karuta game. So I can understand her being awkward. But at many points, it seems she is having this regret and worries. Because as you can see, Chihaya isn’t up there playing those important matches against very important people. Hence this enhances part of the drama and character building of Chihaya herself. Some people find this good because it gives Chihaya some character but personally, it’s just irritating. Thoughts of what am I doing, it could have and should have been me up there permeating her dark thoughts but reality is reality. She isn’t the one. So deal with it! Maybe next time. But better be quick. Take too long and she might end up like Harada. Or many others obscure ones who never even got close. Anyway, Chihaya is trying her best to be a normal girl (can’t miss the school trip!) but at the same time an abnormal one (need to defeat the Queen and become the best karuta player now!) and yeah, I figure it’s tough trying to fit into both… And now she’s too scared to play karuta?! Damn, I can expect weird things from this girl but quitting the karuta club isn’t one of them! Not even a joke!

This season also feels a lot like the melancholy of Taichi. This guy is also deep in his thoughts about his future and his progress in karuta. Ironically I don’t find Taichi’s brooding to be as irritating as Chihaya perhaps because Chihaya sounded really silly when those complaints come out of her mouth. Remember, this guy has pressure from his mom to become a doctor instead of a professional karuta player. This guy has got a lot to deal on his plate. Will quitting the karuta club do him good? What does his heart really tell him? Sometimes I feel for him because he is a good karuta player and he might give inspiration to others but at the same time, who can he lean on? Well, I’m sure Harada could but… The thing is, people like Taichi had nobody reliable to lean on in their darkest hours (at least like how Sakurazawa provides great guidance to her students) so that’s why he’s so lost right now as with Chihaya.

Of course completing the love triangle is Arata who still feels like a fringe member because of him staying far away and in the other half of Japan. I feel he gets more screen time this season but that’s because he participated in the important tournaments. And of course with Arata stealing the better moments from Taichi, you bet this is also what drives up Taichi’s pressure. Uh huh. Eventually, this is just one big love triangle and karuta was just an excuse that got in their way. The guys already somewhat declared their feelings but who does Chihaya really want? Karuta aside, I mean really who? You might think it’s Taichi because she keeps having this weird excuse and unnecessary thought that Taichi is always trying to get the jump on her. Always thinking about him. That’s a big hint, right? But it could be that she just really wants to be a good karuta player (or a school teacher as we have heard her say). Imagine if love got in the way, she wouldn’t be seeing and hearing the game like she used to. Damn those words of love got in the way of her thinking instead of those words of the 100 poets!

Having said all that, it is very much a disappointment that this means the other characters of the karuta club did not even get a decent screen time. Maybe some like Kanade and Sumire but that’s just when the plot convenience is needed and for a few comic relief. But for the other guys, Nishida, Tsutomu and Tsukuba are largely forgettable. Close to almost not existing at all. They didn’t really make an impact this season that would at least leave something memorable to my failing memory but nope. They’re just there to tell us that the karuta club does have other members. That’s about it. And then let more Taichi-Chihaya drama unfold as it reaches the climax and season finale. Now that the big 2 leads are gone, there is certainly a vacuum, a huge gap that I don’t see anyone can fill. I can’t really picture them as the next leader of the Mizusawa’s karuta club. Even if they got newbies, quality > quantity. Ah yes, wait for it. Taichi and Chihaya will be back. I bet you they will! I hope…

As for the other characters outside Mizusawa’s karuta club. I think I can say the same too. Because of the big chunk focusing on Harada, the others also fall to the wayside. What happened to that Rion thingy? Ah well, didn’t really remember much about her. Sudou is still a pain in the neck at least in terms of his personality while Retro just get a sliver of the limelight. Even new character Inokuma has more focus than them. Time for third time mommy to put all her focus on her kids now, huh? At least this season puts Shinobu and Suou to the fore as they would be playing important matches with opponents to see if they can be dethroned. Got a nice glimpse of their history but that’s about it. So looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer for Chihaya to have her rematch with Shinobu seeing the latter thumped the former in the previous season. With Suou postponing his retirement, now it remains to be seen if Arata could live up to his promise or will Taichi usurp and play the Master in his place. Suou is a pretty awkward AKA funny guy but because of his arrogance in karuta, many dislike him. I guess being too good for a long time doesn’t make you likeable… Shinobu is pretty funny too. Funny as in her weird sense of fashion! Yeah, great people are always weirdos.

And of course the karuta games themselves are still a big mystery to me. After watching 2 seasons and then this one, you would think I would have gotten used to it but I still find it funny and weird that the pro karuta characters can really move in just before the first syllable is finished reading! I am just waiting for the moment a psychic player shows up and can tell what cards will be read before the reader even starts reading! And of course, to fit in a normal episode, such drama to prolong the game as we hear the thoughts of the players and audience concerned. I’m sitting here looking all blur and confused when they start ramping up the drama during the match. I mean, how the heck can you actually drag out a game into a few episodes?! And then some games they just show a bit and completely skip the rest just to show us the winner. Yeah, too much karuta and I think I’ll go crazy. Even though I’m not the one playing…

The art and animation has largely stayed the same as the first and second seasons so there are no shocking differences to the quality. Because you know there is trouble when a different studio takes over from the previous one and the quality starts to look questionable (looking at you, Nanatsu No Taizai: Kamigami No Gekirin). So you bet lots of characters still look the same (Chihaya, Taichi and Arata looking hot of course) while some look funny (Retro, Tsutomu, Nishida, Kanade – is it me or does Inokuma really have big eyes?!) and everybody else in between. Yeah. Thank goodness for consistency. 99RadioService who has been singing the opening theme for the past 2 seasons, also does for the third. Colorful still has the same rock vibe this group sung for the past 2 outings so if you like this brand of music, good for you. Me, I still find it odd for such a lively rock piece to go with a karuta themed anime. Unfortunately for this season, Asami Seto didn’t retain singing the ending theme. It is Hitomebore by Band Harassment (I tell you band names these days…) and is another rock outfit. Not bad but not really my liking either. Still, the first season’s ending theme, Soshite Ima is still the best one and I still liked it even till this day.

Overall, this third season isn’t for everybody and even more so if you are not a hardcore fan of karuta or such heavy drama genres. Only those kinds of people can truly appreciate this. So it’s already 2020 and if you really want to check this series out, you will have to go back all the way back to the first season and start watching from there. This season does not even waste its time in refreshing your memories (although there is a recap episode but only for the first half of THIS SEASON!) because ironically if your memories are bad, you shouldn’t be playing karuta. Heh. Otherwise, casual viewers like yours truly are certainly at a lost, especially the karuta game itself. I don’t think there are handsome karuta tips but even there are, only those into the game would really get it. Safe to say I have no talent nor the interest in karuta itself and definitely won’t be picking it up anytime. So if there is a possible of a fourth season, I’m just going to watch it to find out whom Chihaya ends up with. Will it be Taichi or Arata? Or somebody else? Suou???!!! Are there unrequited love poems in karuta? It would be weird if such cards are played out too in real life… CHIHAYA, COME BACK!!!

Thanks to the popularity of Disney’s Peter Pan, I guess it’s safe to say that it somewhat popularizes the fairy companion trope. Sort of. I mean, that’s the base inspiration for The Legend Of Zelda’s Link and Navi, right? If human comrades/friends and animal/furry mascots-cum-familiars aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps these little pixie sprite creatures might do the trick. Hence we’re going to take a look at the few Anime Guys Who Have A Female Fairy Companion.

Anime: Isekai Cheat Magician.
The pair: Taichi Nishimura & Aerial (real name Sylphid).
Thoughts: The latest and most recent human-fairy combo that I have seen. I suppose you need to have your main character overpowered but so as not to make it look so obvious, hence this spirit summoner thingy that the power is directly channelled from the spirit, blah, blah, blah. So don’t blame the kid for being overpowered. It’s his fairy! He is just using his cheat talent to borrow her powers!

Anime: Marchen Awakens Romance.
The pair: Alviss & Belle.
Thoughts: So hot a guy that a fairy started to have a crush on him while watching him as a disciple in training. Belle is already this possessive of Alviss and imagine how much ‘devastating’ she’ll be if she was human. As long as Alviss is pretty and generally friendly to anybody, this is enough to irk her and throw a jealousy fit.

Anime: Black Clover.
The pair: Yuno & Sylph.
Thoughts: Why do I have a feeling that this pair is taken closely after Alviss and Belle? The similarities are so striking that it sometimes feels as though they are Alviss and Belle in disguise. Hot aloof guy and an obsessive possessive fairy as his companion. Though, Sylph might be slightly better because she is just hostile to any girls who approached him. Uhm, maybe not. She’s still as annoying as Belle anyway.

Anime: Ulysses – Jeanne d’Arc To Renkin No Kishi.
The pair: Montmorency & Astaroth.
Thoughts: I think Astaroth wins hands down as the b*tchiest and most annoying of all the fairies here. Originally as Montmorency’s partner in alchemy, she is supposed to be the queen of fairies and guardian of the Philosopher’s Stone. In addition to being prideful and obnoxious, the worst part is that she talks big and might not know anything about the thing she is supposed to guard. She’ll just tell you an excuse it’s a secret. Basically, a useless idiot. But don’t hate her enough and still fill sympathy for her being killed over and over again!

Anime: Sword Art Online.
The pair: Kirito & Yui.
Thoughts: I guess this technically counts. In the digital MMO game of Alfheim Online (ALO), everybody’s avatar is a fairy. So Kirito might look like a fairy but he’s still human… The good thing about having a digital daughter is that you can bring her over to other games. In ALO, she’s like the navigation pixie that gives her ‘father’ some player support while they go rescue their mom AKA Asuna.

Anime: Shaman King.
The pair: Lyserg Diethel & Morphine.
Thoughts: The oldest human-fairy pair in this list. Can’t remember much about this pair except that Lyserg being a jerk by abandoning his fairy for a newer one just because he thought she wasn’t there for him at that one important time. But of course, they patched things up and reunited in the end. Also, I sometimes wonder if Morphine is just his hallucination because having a fairy named after a drug doesn’t seem so right in many ways…

Anime: Yumeiro Patisserie.
The pairs: Makoto Kashino & Chocolat, Sennosuke Andou & Caramel.
Thoughts: Imagine killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Every pastry chef/baker wannabe is paired with a Sweets Spirit from the Sweets Kingdom so that both sides can become better in achieving their dreams. Don’t worry. The Sweets Spirits just provide magic for visuals while the humans’ own effort let the flavours shine. Let’s hope that having a tsundere and a klutz-cum-cry-baby won’t ruin the taste of the cake they’re baking.

Anime: Hangyakusei Million Arthur.
The pairs: Rurou & Bethor, Kakka & Brigitte, Tekken & Titania.
Thoughts: Unlike other pint size fairies in this list, the ones here are as big as their human counterparts. Our Arthur hunters’ mission is to rid of all rogue Arthurs and their Excaliburs. Somehow I don’t see how these fairies help and contribute to that goal except maybe to provide some comic relief as they look more like weird cosplayers.

Anime: Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch Pure.
The pair: Mikeru & Alala.
Thoughts: I didn’t see this anime so I can’t say much. From my lazy Google search, it looks like the main baddie is an angel who has a vendetta against humans and mermaids. He has a fairy who is one of his many servants whom he absorbs in order to become complete and powerful but of course that backfired… I guess that’s what happens when you try to combine with ‘lesser’ beings…

Fair(l)y Passable…
Of course you might have noticed that I have omitted lots of others human and fairy companions like female human with male fairy companion (Kahoko Hino and Lili from La Corda D’oro) as well as human with beast types but they categorize it as fairy anyway (looking at you, Kero of Card Captor Sakura). And there are tons of other fairy themed series I didn’t watch too like Shugo Chara, A Little Snow Fairy Sugar, Ojamajo Doremi, and the whole lot of Pretty Cure series. That’s why I was being a little more specific in my blog. Uh huh. Limiting the variables sure made it a lot easier to do the list and you don’t have to run it through 100 pages. Yeah… Feeling so lazy… Of course this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive as there might be other anime series I didn’t watch or simply a series I have watched but too obscure for me to even remember. Even though these tiny fairy ladies won’t turn out to be any legendary fairy godmother, at least they can provide some moe and cuteness. I think we can tolerate a little annoyance once in a while.

Do you have that dream of drawing and animating your own manga and animating? Do have harbour that passion of making all that dream of yours come true at a young age? And that people who view your works will be impressed and awed by the details and effort you put in? Well, unless you have already started doing something about it, you can keep on dreaming that dream. And those needing a little but more inspiration and push, perhaps Eizouken Ni Wa Te Wo Dasu Na might be that little drive to push you onwards. A group of misfits forming their own animation club in high school to awe the world with their own animation.

Episode 1
When Midori Asakusa was young, she moved into a new place and was astounded with how the apartment was built over a river. As she harbours dreams of becoming an adventurer, she started to let her imagination go wild as she sketches the place and turned into one heck of a cool elaborated setting. And then she got into anime… But she grows up to be socially awkward and only Sayaka Kanamori is her friend. She wants to watch the anime screening but is scared to do so alone and has Kanamori tag along. Kanamori is bored but made irritated as Asakusa explains every detail on the screen! Suddenly, Tsubame Mizusaki walks in to borrow Asakusa’s hat but had to leave because SPs are chasing her. This looks more like an interesting adventure than the anime, huh? So the duo tail them as they hear Mizusaki complaining how her parents are against her joining any anime club. That’s why the SPs are sent to keep tabs on her at school. As Mizusaki is a famous fashion model and the daughter of a conglomerate, Kanamori thinks she can benefit from this. She forces Asakusa to make friends with her. The weird approach has them taking Mizusaki and run. They make the SP look like a dumbass only because they know the place like the back of their hand. Once they give him the slip, they learn about her predicament and since she got milk spilled all over her clothes, they take her to the laundromat. Mizusaki is such a rich girl that she’s literally a country bumpkin in this poor part of town. While waiting for her clothes to be done, Mizusaki shows them her sketches as her dream is to be an animator. She is good with humans and characters while Asakusa excels in scenarios and image board. Both combine and share their ideas as Kanamori asks them to make anime together. When both feel pessimistic about her, she tells them off whether they really want to make one or not. Such youth and passion is wasted if they don’t put it to good use. If they cannot join an anime club, form one of their own. Kanamori knows nothing about anime but will do anything to support them. Why? For money! So Asakusa and Mizusaki pitch their ideas as they create some flying pod as they enter into their own fantasy world of flying it and escaping baddies. Wow. What a world. What ride. In the end, they realize it is already late. Not because of Mizusaki’s curfew but there is an anime she really wants to watch. Asakusa shows her a shortcut so put on your best running shoes. And Mizusaki forgot to take her clothes from the dryer…

Episode 2
Asakusa is afraid to go herself to create a new club so I guess they’ll have to go with her. Talking to Yokota about it, he reminds them they already have an anime and CG club. However if they want to do a live feature film, that is okay. Speaking of which, there is a contest to produce one with the prize of a million yen. Kanamori accepts to create this new club of course it will be only in name. They will do anime because isn’t anime a type of film too? As for the advisor, Fujimoto hints to be one because his beard is so heavy it is making his shoulders stiff and some club activity would be good for circulation. Can’t he just say a simple yes? Starting out as a new club, they have this run down shelter as their base. If they want to get funds, they have to make a name for themselves. As they clean the place up, Asakusa and Mizusaki’s imagination goes wild as they imagine the kind of cool base they want. Time to get back to earth as Asakusa falls off the edge from all that delusion. Don’t worry. It’s just one floor. But Kanamori has recorded did and believes this will be their starting funds. Uploading it online, now they’ll have to wait for somebody to buy it… Next day, the base is slightly furnished with sofa courtesy from Mizusaki. Careful. They costs 3 million apiece… They discuss on what they want to do and because they don’t have the important desk to draw anime, they go request from Yokota. Because Asakusa accidentally mentions about the anime they’re making, Yokota gets suspicious. Kanamori steps in to argue that the anime club only researches them instead of making shows. Since she is threatening, he gives the keys to the old anime club. It’s a treasure trove since it contains all the old fashioned tools to make anime. Yes people, this was how anime was done! Noticing an incomplete project, Asakusa and Mizusaki complete it and of course let their imagination run wild. In the end, they have to leave since a storm is building up. Later, Kanamori informs that she already got some deposit of the uploaded footage. Yeah, the news bought that clip and showed it on TV! Surprise! You’re a star now, Asakusa!

Episode 3
Asakusa and Mizusaki are excited in animating their eizouken logo. Until Kanamori warns them to start fixing the place or else. So that’s where a chunk of the deposit has gone to. Materials to fix the place. Of course as we see them making progress, we also see their imaginations flying off. Repairing a space shuttle in space isn’t that easy, huh? While repairing the roof, Asakusa and Mizusaki get trap since the ladder fell down. And Mizusaki needs to go to the toilet. Kanamori is trying to make haste but eventually she has to break a hole in the wall to get to them (not sure why the doors were blocked off) but by that time, the girls already slid down the pipe and went to the toilet. Boy, this is going to cost a lot more in compensation… Fujimoto hands them a flyer. It is a committee that deliberates the budget for each club and association. Kanamori’s plan now is to do something to make a name for themselves so they can be upgraded to a club and get more funding. Though she wants something fast and impactful because they don’t have time and manpower, Mizusaki really wants to do some animating. But what to animate? Asakusa suggests going back to her place for ideas since she has a stockpile of them. Going through the stockpile, Kanamori hopes to do something easy and not complicated. So they go for this tank in the desert setting. Because Mizusaki really insists of doing vivid animations (because that’s what animation is all about, right?), Kanamori has to juggle between trying to make the final product impactful on the committee as well as not to demotivate the artist. So she compromise by agreeing to do a short film of a masked high school girl fighting against a tank. More ideas pitched in as we see them get their animation going. Stay tune next time to see how the David vs Goliath battle turns out!

Episode 4
Kanamori shows them what they’ve got. Looks pretty decent. However this is their finished animation. She faults Mizusaki for being too slow with her hand drawing and at this rate they won’t be able to finish. Unless she is willing to work straight without sleep for days. To help save time, Asakusa suggests some techniques used in animation as shortcuts like using the camera for live backgrounds. Kanamori is impressed and thinks their finished product should do without a story and going monochrome like manga. Of course the other duo is against it seeing they put it a lot of hard work and they’re going for something that simple? Kanamori reminds them their plan is to bluff. It doesn’t matter if they have a story or not if they don’t finish and present it in time. Kanamori then wants Mizusaki to use computer for in between automations but Mizusaki is dead set on using hand drawn style. Kanamori goes to ask the anime club for help but gets turned down since they have their own issues to deal with. So Mizusaki compromises that she will do the computer animations but will have some scenes drawn by hand. They work hard and even apply to stay overnight at school just to finish it up. Kanamori wants the duo to shut up and not speak during the presentation. It’s the student council they’re up to. And we see them a weird strict autocratic bunch. Heck, even the crowd is so rowdy there needs to be security personnel to control! Time for eizouken to strut their stuff. But before that, the student council wants to talk about all the problems they’ve caused. Kanamori brushes it all off by saying there is no problem and even tries to shift the blame to the teachers who might end up turning this whole farce into a scandal. Both sides won’t back down and are confronting so much so Asakusa can’t stand it and blows her top. In short, they did all the hard work so just shut up and watch! Okay. Roll the film. You can tell how awesome it is when the audience feel like they’re inside the film! Feel the breeze! Feel the impact! Oh sh*t! Too real! In the end, the crowd is amazed. The eizouken trio are talking about the film’s shortcomings and what needed to be done. The student council is also impressed they did all this without a budget. Imagine what they could make with one. With that, they got the approval.

Episode 5
Asakusa thought some robot case is happening in school. She tries to do some detective work and sees Kanamori and Asakusa helping out the ‘enemy’? Turns out this robot club is hiring them to do an anime of this robot they make that will be featured in the school’s cultural festival. Of course, they’re getting paid. You can’t just rely on your passion, can you? The eizouken trio head to the sewers to find a suitable location for the mecha fight (seeing that holding one in the city would be dangerous). After running their imagination run wild of the robot fighting this crab-turtle monster, they return to present their findings. Guess what? Ono, the robot club president is talking to his members and hell bent on trying to control the eizouken trio with his plans! He thinks they don’t love robots as much as they do. Being caught red handed, I guess he has to listen to them now seeing Kanamori takes a photo for ‘negotiating’ purposes. As they present their findings and design, Ono seems to be disagreeing with it all. This guy is even being contradicting in what he wants. So essentially he wants a giant robot that man can pilot? Kanamori believes he cannot see the final product and hence his incoherent ranting. She didn’t think Asakusa and Mizusaki would understand him but passionate idiots do. So they all pitch in ideas in redesigning and adding what needs to be added for the robot. Eventually it looks cool and good and you can tell it is so because Ono is grinning from ear to ear. One satisfied customer. Of course Kanamori’s worry is if they can animate all that.

Episode 6
The art club has expressed interest to help them colour the storyboard. Kanamori says there is another issue that the robot club has thrown to them. They need to do an opening sequence. Mizusaki relates how hard it is to animate hundreds of pieces of art in a month especially if you’re still in high school. That might help if they have a PC in the clubroom. So when Kanamori treats them to dinner, you bet she has an ulterior motive. Because from now she needs them to work harder even after club hours to finish this project. Taking a look at Asakusa’s storyboard, it looks great but lacks the necessary action scenes only because she has it all in her head. Since Mizusaki is better at animation, she will handle it. Also, Kanamori has managed to get a second hand PC at a dirt cheap price. As the school already paid for its licence, they can basically use its software for free. Kanamori is called by the student council. Because there are lots of clubs doing crazy things, she is tasked to check on them to avoid misuse of funds. One of them is the sound club. So Kanamori is here with a valid search warrant to have Parker Doumeki clear out this space he is illegally squatting. Of course she makes her a deal. She can lend part of their clubroom to store her sound collection as well as let her do his business in exchange for a small service fee. She agrees since this would save the club that she is the only member of from disbanding. With this, eizouken has secured their sound effects for free. Next they go meet the art club to discuss. Since Asakusa is the director, she has a hard time telling them because they are spamming questions of logic and some aren’t familiar with anime stuffs. So much so, Asakusa is so tongue tied that she herself starts questioning if having this mecha is even valid! She thinks of changing the entire premise to some buggy vehicle to take down the monster! Of course this is shut down by Kanamori. Can’t rock the boat now. As she is low on self-confidence her robot may not satisfy everyone, Kanamori tells her to STFU and just draw. Stop worrying about everything else. Also, everyone agreed to follow her direction because they believed she imagined something incredible. So if the final product turns out sh*t, only she has herself to blame as she is the director! Spooked at first, this has Asakusa’s motivation switch on as she makes some great enhancements to the robot. Looking better than ever.

Episode 7
Mizusaki was impressed by the motion of how grandma threw out the tea. She tried to replicate it but failed. Then there was gym class. The teacher taught them about movements so Mizusaki to get a better idea of it, started sketching how human moved. Finally she grasped the concept and taught grandma the proper way to stand up. This is how Mizusaki became interested in animating movements. After Doumeki settles down her stuffs in eizouken, they get right away in the sound department. In short, without correct timing and dialogue, it will be hard to use the correct sound effects. They have the robot club to the voice acting but they’re all over the place. Hence Asakusa has to finish her storyboard so that their voices will match. Then the art club returns with their work but it is different than what Asakusa wanted. A little argument ensues about their creative differences but eventually the art club will correct some of them. Too bad Asakusa loaded herself with more work by taking over some of it. Hey, you want something done, better do it yourself. But luckily the robot club requested scraping the opening sequence so this gives eizouken some breathing space. After school, it starts to rain heavily so the eizouken trio take shelter at the bathhouse. Mizusaki experiencing this for the first time and is acting like a country bumpkin. Then they also eat dinner that depends on how many crayfish they could catch. Cue for their imaginations to go wild albeit just a short one. Back at the clubroom, Mizusaki is at her wits’ end trying to put more animation into the chainsaw. She just doesn’t want it to be an ordinary animation. So we hear her explanation the importance of animating and it is proof that the animator has given detail to the animating. Even if most people won’t appreciate or notice it, it is something she has to do herself for those who can appreciate such individual movement.

Episode 8
With the animation finished, all that is left is to add sound effects. Asakusa is a master when it comes to where the scenes that need adjustments. Meanwhile Mizusaki’s parents are home. Looks like their production got cancelled because the director and screenwriter tried to murder the producer?! Now that they have free time, they want to attend their daughter’s cultural festival. Then they realize she is not in her own room. The eizouken trio are discussing how to attract audience to the screening. Kanamori needs to use Mizusaki’s star power to pull in the crowd. Mizusaki then receives a message from her parents realizing what happened. She’s going to take them head on. During the festival, with the immense crowd jostling for attention, the eizouken trio are having a hard time trying to get any attention. The robot club has got some ingenious tricks to make sure Mizusaki get that spotlight and before you know it, the crowd is now all focused on her. However the student council wants to arrest them for violating some of the rules. The robot club protects the eizouken trio and give the student council and their SWAT team a run for their money! So if you were laughing at their stupid cheap robot cardboard box cosplay, you won’t be laughing now as they provide a good disguise for them to escape. Suddenly those cheap robot cosplay everywhere?! Are they going to arrest all of them! Yeah. They will. Gotta catch ‘em all! Apparently those interested in watching the screening and get some Mizusaki goods are required to put them on. Ono manages to break free from capture and runs around doing the greatest promo ever to the widest of crowd. Asakusa is handing out flyers when she realizes she handed them to Mizusaki’s parents. The auditorium is packed to the brim as the screening begins. Awesome animation and sound effects, right? Mizusaki’s parents can tell which scenes are animated by their daughter because of the movements. They thought that she would become a good actress because of her good eye to detail and her penchant to mimic actions she saw with her body. But along the way, that translated to art. Even without their guidance, they realize she has already grown into a fine performer. After the screening, a promo event is held to order DVDs. Pre-order now and you get free candid pictures of Mizusaki! Sign me up! Mizusaki meets her parents during the break. They praise her fine acting. Then they meet her friends. Asakusa corrects them. They are comrades.

Episode 9
With the success of the cultural festival screening, eizouken now receives tons of requests from other clubs to do the same. Asakusa and Mizusaki want to them all! But Kanamori already rejected them all! She gives them the figures of the money they made from that little project. Although they got some decent amount (a bulk goes to the robot club since it is their project), however the amount of effort they put in was way too much. They were making like a 1.8 million yen kind of anime! Hence monetary wise, this project was a loss for them. But she found this event called Comet A where they can display and sell their works. The trio take a walk through town as their imaginations run wild on the several buildings and machinery they spot. As they visit a ramen store, the owner is happy to see them. Kashima is one of the customers who saw their screening and as an anime fan, he is very impressed. In fact, he has a few ideas himself. Care to hear? Later Kanamori shows her pals the social media of eizouken. People who are interested in their work are increasing and this helps in gaining publicity. They may make the best product but it is useless if they don’t sell it or nobody knows about it. Kanamori knows this from her past experience of helping her relative’s liquor store that eventually closed down.

So we see the flashback of a young Kanamori helping her uncle and aunt clean the store just for some extra money. One snow day, the store is closed and Kanamori is puzzled why they didn’t open it. Because nobody is coming in this blizzard, right? Kanamori thought differently. As the convenience store is also close, if they remain open, there will be people who will come by to buy something. They take her advice and soon people start coming in. Kanamori wasn’t given any extra tip but a few things to sell. She can keep the money of those she sold. See that smirk on her face? But upon hearing the place will close down soon, she was puzzled since they were doing decently well. They explain that it takes money to run a place. Not to mention repairs, taxes, maintenance, etc. As their place is away from the main road, it is no point if customers don’t often stream by. You can’t survive a business with just odd customers here and there. And so the point of this entire story is the power of advertising. Asakusa gets motivation of basing her next story of this town itself. As the student council knows eizouken has been taking rent payments from the sound club from sale of sounds from the website, how are they going to get their funding now? Luckily Kanamori has secured the funding from the local chamber of commerce and got the support of Kashima who is the president of the association trying to revitalize local projects. That’s why Kanamori brought them to his ramen store as to help them brainstorm. Then they focus on the story they’re doing and the kind of sound effects to add in.

Episode 10
Kanamori hopes Mizusaki will do some occasional modelling since this will help in eizouken’s reputation. Their reputation is linked to her fame. Then there is this proposal by Kashima for Mizusaki to help with some voice acting audition. But the student council is here to pick a bone with eizouken again. What now? The school isn’t thrilled that they are using club activities to make money on the outside. So the trio are brought to the teachers to explain. Kanamori being smooth about asking back why making profit isn’t considered educational. She even questions the government’s curriculum guidelines. In the end, the school has to consider their relationship with others as well as politically. So they will allow eizouken to partake in this activity but they cannot receive any money. We see them get back to their job with Asakusa giving the gist of the story. A prisoner of war understanding the human side, joins them to fight aliens. However Kanamori questions the many plot holes and this has Asakusa needing to figure things out thoroughly since Kanamori warned her that this will set the direction for what the rest of the production team needs to do. With Doumeki going sound hunting on the weekend, Asakusa uses this excuse to use this outing to get some ideas. So they’re at this abandoned generator site, Asakusa getting some great ideas but Kanamori keep reminding her if this is related to their project. Don’t start new ones if she hasn’t finish the current one! Doumeki also records some rare and old chime to add to her collection. As the sound hunting continues, the student council secretary comes by. She’s not here to pick a fight. Just to find out further why eizouken does what it does? So why do this instead of entering a contest? It’s the fastest way to get recognition and income. Kanamori goes on talking about standards that club activities are being measured so the secretary just warns her that schools are a world of their own. If they step too far outside, they won’t be protected anymore. We see more of Asakusa’s imagination along with Doumeki’s sound hunting. In the end, Kanamori gets mad at Asakusa for yet another imagination not related to their work. The secretary notes how eizouken is also in a world of their own.

Episode 11
A group of guys seems to be trying to negotiate with Kanamori for something but she isn’t giving in. And then the security breaks in to immobilize them and the student council taking over. It seems this club has been illegally spending school funds for some unauthorized exchange and will be expelled. The student council secretary warns eizouken of becoming like this so Kanamori assures them that eizouken is not like that in the first place. Asakusa continues to wander around in search of ideas but nothing concrete, much to Kanamori’s dismay. Then they see Fujimoto hanging around as he complains because of the eizouken’s existence, he can’t get any day off. No OT to mention with. That’s why he is seen slacking and doing his own stuff. So the lesson is not to work more than you have to and that it is good to play once in a while? This gives Asakusa a reason to go round exploring town to get more ideas. One day, a notice by the vice principal reminds them that there would be no funds to be acquired outside of school. Asakusa and Mizusaki try to contact Kanamori about this but she didn’t answer. They learn she is sick and head to her place. Meanwhile we hear how Asakusa and Kanamori became friends (comrades, as she rather puts it) 3 years ago. Both were loners and didn’t like crowds so the irony of them ending up together because of their similar interest. Hence their ‘coexistence’. The duo arrive at Kanamori’s place and show the notice but not to worry. Kanamori shows them that eizouken’s fame has picked up steam on the social media. Because many parties expect eizouken and the school to take part in the revitalization project, the school will have no choice but to let them move forward. That easy? More good news with Asakusa finishing her story as she tells us the outline. Basically, humans and kappas at war with each other because of some communication device breaking down. So a mediator from each side go all out to fix it to end the war and both sides living in peace. Coexistence is the theme here. Eizouken must be a pro now as they put in the work and effort. Looks like they can pat themselves on the back as they still have some time from the deadline. But then a problem pointed out by Doumeki: They have only 1 track and it is nothing like the demo. It doesn’t match at all. Uh oh.

Episode 12
There was some email sent 2 weeks ago regarding the BGM but Asakusa overlooked it. Mizusaki getting worked up that the scenes do not match. There are no other tracks as Kanamori tries to negotiate with the DVD printing company. In short, she has to cancel it because there would be delay fees and even if they made it in time, the company will have to wait and allocate resources. It is then Asakusa has an idea. They can adjust the final scenes to fit the music. The original story has both factions end the war and living in peace as they dance together. But with the grim music overlapping it, she believes that ideal never happened and the war continues as both sides continue to jockey for benefits and the larger share. They have until morning to finish the extra scenes as Kanamori uses her underhanded tactic to get the DVD printing company to succumb to her demands. They finally manage to make it in time for Comet A. Mizusaki being the main draw while Asakusa feeling weird as she is not used to this kind of event. Then there is Kanamori’s strategy of placing cardboards over their head. Though people can still identify Mizusaki, this helps strengthen her reputation as people will get curious. Hence many start to queue and buy their DVD until it is sold out! After the event, Asakusa realizes they’ve never watched their product so they gather at her home to do so. Conveniently we get to see it too! And other people too at the same time! So basically the other half of this episode sees the UFO wars between both sides. Even when they tried to get the message across and failed, they still do not give up until they have no choice but to surrender. Then it gets weird and confusing because now reality has fused with this world? Has our imaginations gone berserk?! Even if it was great work, it’s the same routine for eizouken. There’s still a lot of room for improvement.

Have Imagination, Will Animate
Uhm… That was quite a weird end. Of course it doesn’t really end. As animators will always going on and keep working on their next project. Life doesn’t end after the end of one project. But the ending of the film does leave some heads scratching. Especially if you aren’t too bright like yours truly. I kept pondering what it meant even though the fusion was probably all in their heads. My interpretation is that eizouken’s works are so good that the best impression that others could leave for them is that their imaginations would be drawn out from their minds and onto what they see in the real world. After all, every invention that was created even despite out of necessity, it came out from imagination first.

Those looking for some deep story in this series would be disappointed because there isn’t anything interesting in terms of story wise. Just a bunch of high school students trying to make their animation dream come true while earning recognition (and money) along the way. That’s all. Hence the more interesting aspect that distracts us away from the no storyline factor is how Asakusa and Mizusaki’s imagination run wild. They simply turn mundane everyday objects and buildings into some creative and futuristic contraptions. Whether or not such mechanisms are related to the work they are doing, such imaginations will take them to places that many of us would never imagine to begin with. And so this creativity and imagination might lead them to imagine something better or that is relevant to the project they are doing or simply enhance or improve upon its concept. Hence it is quite fascinating and the staple of each episode as it showcases us the wild and creative juices these young animators have. Indeed, imagination is a very powerful tool and probably the message the producer wants to hammer into budding animators.

While this series may not be on a very technical and comprehensive aspect in explaining some animation techniques like Shirobako, it still does impart some of the methods that are used in producing anime. A few insights and tips and tricks on how anime is done. You thought that making anime is one really daunting task and only crazy people filled with passion are the only ones who could get things done by the deadline. Of course there are some short cuts and tricks deployed to make the animation work easier and sometimes with better effect. But overall, being an animator is still a tough and unrelenting job. So you’ve got to have yourself stock up with lots of passion and most important of all, never give up! And also not forgetting the important concept of coexistence! Because once you finish drawing or animating, there’s the sound effects, voice acting, colouring and a whole lot of other stuffs just to make one short anime film. Now you think making anime is easy? Only criticising is and always has been.

Speaking about animation and animating, this brings me to the animation style of this series itself. On first looks, it really does look crappy! It’s like this anime is some low budget anime to begin with. The characters look cartoonish and the backgrounds and sceneries sometimes feel like colour pencil sketches. Even the animation at points look stiff and jerky. Sometimes one kind too. Like as though they didn’t even employ the animation methods and tricks they just told us! Even if they did, it was probably for a while before going back to that crappy animation style. But because of the execution and the pacing of the episode, somehow we don’t really mind the simplistic animation and we kinda reconciled with ourselves that the animation style is unique and stunning. After all, the fantasies and imaginations of Asakusa and Mizusaki are more often in sketch-like animation. It might look like low quality but they really take us on a breath taking fantasy adventure. You really get immerse in it and it is no wonder why people who watch it really get that odd feeling that it is so surreal that it just popped out from the screen. Oh yeah. Imagination. Better than your expensive 3D Smart LED HD high resolution crap! Then it’s like they’re trying to get our attention for the final impression as the final episode’s last scenes show an epic zooming out of the world and featuring some of the fantasies and creation. So a good job well done? Okay. You all pass!

While the city that this anime takes place look like your normal town, sometimes it feels like a different parallel universe. I am not sure if such a town like this really exists in Japan but the way I see how this town is built on waterways and have different and strange types of buildings and structures, no wonder it is a treasure trove and gold mine for those wanting to expand their imagination. It’s like one big maze with interesting and weirdly placed structures at every turn and corner. An explorer’s delight. Could it be that this place was once some advanced civilization that disappeared but many centuries down the road another civilization took over and lived here? Nah. Just my imagination.

As for the character designs, many of them look goofy and nerdy. As I have pointed out before, the crappy animation and its style either makes this look crappy or unique. Take for example Asakusa. She has this androgynous looks that even my veteran guts couldn’t tell if she was a boy or girl at first. Most likely I would have gone with the former until I saw her wearing a skirt. Even I was also lost at first if Doumeki was a boy or girl. My guts again went with this character being a guy but surprise! It’s a she! Damn, too ambiguous to tell. Many other characters have this nerdy look like Kanamori who is lanky and having buck tooth while Ono is your typical bespectacled otaku. Mizusaki being a model is of course the ‘prettiest’ of all the characters even in the lowest quality form. Some look badass like a gangster especially the student council secretary. You wonder if she is in some local gang or not. And personally, the rest of the student council look more like circus freaks… Is it me or does Fujimoto look like Ernest Hemingway? Must be my imagination screwing up at this point… This animation is produced by the unheard of Science SARU. They don’t produce much anime (Devilman: Crybaby, Ping Pong The Animation) and this is the first work under them that I’ve seen. Sometimes I feel that the illustrations done by various people as the end card of each episode look way better and some are funnier too! Ah yes, animators wannabe by the dozen.

Moving on to the characters, the intriguing level of this series is further enhanced by the quirky trio of eizouken. You can say that there is some dynamic and fascinating interaction among the trio as they work towards their goal and dreams. My favourite character being Kanamori because she is being a realist. If you want to call her shrewd, I think that word isn’t so far off accurate to describe her either. She has vision and foresightedness that allows eizouken to move on and proceed smoothly. Yes, she might be in for the money but without those ambitious and opportunistic behaviour, eizouken would have never taken off the ground. Because with people like Asakusa and Mizusaki who think nothing but drawing and animating, drawing and animating, drawing and animation, and MORE DRAWING AND ANIMATING, you’d think they have their limits (which they do) but they get so carried away with their passion that they would just accept everything or do everything themselves without a second thought of whether they can finish it before the deadline or if their health will be affected by it. We can do it! Yes we can! Everything! This is where Kanamori steps in as the ‘caretaker’ to bring those fools down to earth. Call her a heartless Spartan but she knows how to get things going especially with her negotiations (or threats if you have something against her) and move it along so that the duo can actually continue their work and love in peace. After all, what is the use of creating the best art and animation if there is no one to see! Yeah. That’s where the power of advertising and exposure come in handy. I won’t say that such jobs fit Kanamori best but as long as it makes her money, where there is a will, there is a way! Kanamori is more of an entrepreneur in this sense. Kanamoney is such a befitting nickname!

Kanamori might lack expression or emotions like the duo but being deadpan serious fits her personality very well and it gives her the edge in negotiations and threats. That stubborn look on her face makes you think twice if you want to stir the hornet’s nest. She’s got that look that says she won’t budge and back down (because she is also brutally honest, no nonsense, no beating around the bush to begin with) unless you’ve got and even stubborn attitude to match that like the student council secretary. Asakusa feels like an opposite to Kanamori and despite her passion to just keep drawing, sometimes she feels like the comical character. At times you hear her make short quips (not bad for someone who is socially awkward) and you see her flabbergasted expression and getting excited at the smallest of things that don’t really matter. I guess when you have such wide eyes like her, that’s the tell-tale sign that you’re going to be a comic relief character. Thanks to her being socially awkward, it is no surprise she somewhat talks in a funny manner too. As for Mizusaki, she’s another talented person but it was a bit misleading that they painted her parents as someone who was really against her wish to become an animator. The first time they appeared, they don’t seem all that opposing to the path she is taking. Or was it just her imagination that she thinks they won’t allow to become one? Well thankfully, it turned out for the better.

The other characters like Doumeki being the fringe member of the group, technically she is not part of the eizouken and just shares the same building with them. Maybe one day they could merge? And then there is Fujimoto who is mostly missing in action as the club’s advisor. It’s good he doesn’t want to restrain too much the club that nobody wants but you’d think he’d be there for his students. Well, sometimes. Giving them some hints so they could figure out their next move, well, he might be the greatest teacher yet. Or not. Oh well, don’t work more than you have to! This guy would surely fail if he is working in the anime industry… Last but not least the student council secretary whom I feel is the one who wears the pants and calling the shots. It’s not like she has a grudge with the eizouken but she has seen a lot of sh*t considering the school itself has a lot of weird and strange clubs. So if she is going to be soft, she wouldn’t have lasted. I mean, when a school has its own security club that resembles so much like the SWAT team and follows the beck and call of the student council, you know this is no ordinary goody-goody two shoes school. That’s why she’s treating everyone fairly with the same suspicions. Eizouken being relatively new and coming out from nowhere with no credentials and having shady sources of funding, you bet she is going to have her eyes on them for a while. But that may change with Mizusaki’s popularity and the social media booming eizouken’s fame and reputation.

Another weird aspect of the series is the opening theme, Easy Breezy by Chelmico. You have got to agree with me with some degree that this opener is one big crazy trippy LSD/meth/whatever-drugs-so-hip-with-youngsters-these-days trip. Weird animation, weird colours, and there is this weird hand dance pose that I don’t know if it is supposed to be cute or cringe. But I guess it is meme worthy! Even the song itself feels super weird. Do remember many years ago (towards the end of the 90s decade to be more precise) we have that Spanish dance hit piece sung by a bunch of old guys? Remember Macarena by Los del Rio? Yes, this is what Easy Breezy sounds like except you take away the catchy punch line that made Macarena appealing and attractive worldwide in the first place. Yeah, I can’t even make out of what they sing even in this song. Like as though they’re singing gibberish! Back to normalcy for the ending theme. Namae No Nai Ao by Kamisama Boku Wa Kizuite Shimatta (WTF is this sh*tty statement sounding name?!) sounds like a rock piece. Yeah, it lacks all that craziness in the opener and though it might not sound befitting the pace of the anime, if you imagine this as a song for one of Asakusa’s imaginations, maybe it feels right at home.

For the voice acting, I have got to note that Sairi Itou debuts as Asakusa. Her voice is so ambiguous and is partly the reason why I cannot determine if Asakusa is a boy or girl. But taking a look at her picture profile, she’s quite a pretty and feminine lady! Great voice acting chops, huh? I just cannot picture her looks pairing up to a voice like Asakusa. Then there is also Misato Matsuoka who makes her debut role as Mizusaki. At first I thought it was Chiaki Omigawa but something sounded a bit off. A few more episodes in and I realized it wasn’t really her. Then there is veteran Mutsumi Tamura as Kanamori (Sonya in Kill Me Baby) but her low voice has her mostly specialize in boys’ role like Kobayashi in Kobayashi-san Chi No Maid Dragon and Finne in DanMachi. Other casts are Yumiri Hanamori as Doumeki (Seth in Radiant), Kazuhiko Inou as Fujimoto (Kakashi in Naruto), Mikako Komatsu as the student council secretary (Neko in K) and Yuuki Ono as himself Ono (Isami in Shokugeki No Souma).

Overall, this anime is not the best in its storytelling and even its animation looks low quality. But it certainly is entertaining and fascinating when it comes to its creativity and flow of the imagination. Don’t laugh. Because I just read this series won some award! No, not the Oscars. The Galaxy Awards from the Association of Broadcast Critics in Japan. And they even got a live action adaptation! Only if the Corona virus didn’t delay its release! Grrr!!! So many animes being affected by the damn virus. Covid-19, please keep your hands off anime! Don’t break the perfect harmony and coexistence of the anime industry!!! But it is yet to be seen if this series will get as popular as eizouken in the anime. Is the selling out of their DVDs some subliminal sign to you know what, ahem??? Because with all that popularity and crowd funding, who knows we might get another season? Until then, we’ll keep our free flowing imaginations riding high and never stop dreaming!

P/S: You still have to wake up if you really, really, really want to make your dreams a reality. Otherwise it will just stay as a dream.

Infinite Dendrogram

July 4, 2020

While we wait for the second part of Sword Art Online: Alicization – War Of Underworld to arrive, here is another spoof of that said series for us to pass the time. If you still somehow can’t get enough of virtual MMORPG, then Infinite Dendrogram is that fix while you wait for Kirito’s revival in that said anime. So if you know Sword Art Online and other virtual MMORPG styled animes, then I guess it saves the explanation of what this one is generally all about. If not, seriously, go read up about it! Or you can just watch it and find out first hand yourself.

Episode 1
With the release of a MMORPG, Infinite Dendrogram, Reiji Mukudori puts on his discount NerveGear and dives in. With the help of Cheshire, he creates his avatar under the moniker Ray Starling and gets his equipment while being told he can do anything he wants. That’s why this game has infinite possibilities. Even more so he is given an Embryo that will hatch and match his personality. He is sent down into the world. Can’t he just be teleported onto the ground instead of skydiving? Somehow he survived. He enters the capital and is supposed to meet his brother, Shu. But he bumps into Liliana Grandria. Damn, you mean all his arm bones broke after that bump?! After she heals him, she reveals her little sister, Miliana is missing. As he has no means to help yet, she leaves her contacts. This then triggers a quest as Ray realizes she is an NPC. Meeting up with Shu (Big the Cat x Pedo Bear?!), he tells what happened and Shu explains that due to infinite possibilities, NPCs also can trigger quests. Taking a look behind the note, it seems Miliana has gone to the ruins at the outskirt of the capital to find berries. It’s a monster lair now. Worried that this might be a timed quest, due to realism, if NPCs die, they really die for good. So what if players die? They just get locked out of the game for 24 hours, which translates to about 72 in-game hours. DAMN! I THOUGHT YOU WILL REALLY DIE IN THIS GAME!

So the brothers head to the ruins to see Liliana staving off the bugs. After helping them, the quest is not over as monster worms pop up. What is worse than a monster worm? Why, 4 of them! Shu thought he can handle them but gets owned! Oh sh*t! He’s dead?! Liliana will fend them off while Ray takes Miliana to safety. He agrees since he is level 0. He finds out she was perhaps duped by a man into coming here to get berries since she wanted to make a cake for her sister’s birthday and all the shops were sold out. But a monster worm is after them. Ray tries to be a hero to fight it off while he buys time for Miliana to run. He gets owned all the time. Thank goodness he came prepared with healing potions. Until the worm targets Miliana. Last potion gone. Desperate times calls for desperate action as Ray calls forth his Embryo to give him a happy ending. And so pops out this hot chick, Nemesis becoming his shield and then a death sword for him to slay the worm. Vengeance is mine! Happy ending indeed when the sisters reunite. Even more so when Shu is still alive. He dug his way to safety. That long? So all that reward is just the berries Miliana collected? Oh well, everybody is safe. Ray couldn’t ask for more than that. Then he realizes Shu is the culprit because he bought all the berries from the shop just to make a dessert and celebrate Ray’s first dive. Why you little???!!!

Episode 2
Hmm… There seems to be a conspiracy to weed out intelligent NPCs like Liliana and her sister. Even their backup plan to do so failed because of ‘interference’ of a lowly ranked player. Celebrating Ray’s success, Shu talks about the different types of Embryos. So Nemesis is a hybrid and a Superior? Gee, lucky Ray. As for Liliana not liking Shu, well, there was a past between them. 6 months ago, the machine city of Dryfe Imperium waged a war on this Altar Kingdom. The former massacred the latter easily all because Altar’s king didn’t put up any reward for this unlike Dryfe. Hence many top ranked players did not join. To add salt to injury, Dryfe’s neighbour, Caldina invaded in the middle. Many in Altar died and they lost a lot of their land. Liliana’s father who was the knight commander was one of the many killed. Liliana is mad at Shu as he didn’t participate in the war. He couldn’t risk his gear broken and revealing his identity. After the war, many migrated to other nations and with the rankings shuffled, Ray thinks it is a good idea to be a top rank player. Ray decides to become a paladin. There are strict criteria to become one but you bet Ray can meet almost all its conditions. After parting ways with Shu, Ray and Nemesis adventure on their own. Along the way, they meet and help another new player, Rook Holmes and his Nemesis, Babylon. They become friends. Later, Ray barely dodges an attack from something that tried to kill him. He realizes somebody is doing player killing (PK). Ray tries to run but gets killed. 24 hour lockout. When he returns, Nemesis feels depressed and blames herself for not being able to fight better. Thank goodness this is a game so they can try again. Oh yeah. Back in business. So to avoid becoming PK victims, they have to do some grinding at the royal cemetery where it is prohibited. So, Nemesis is afraid of ghosts? More ironic, she is afraid of slicing zombies but is okay cutting up much hideous monsters? Ray better clean her good after this. Soon, they thought another player is trying to kill them but he turns out to be Figaro (one of the top ranked players) as he apologizes for mistaking them as monsters. He is here because he wants to see how far beneath he can go. He then suggests Ray to head to the next kingdom, Gideon. They offer battles in arenas and they can fight without dying. However all paths to Gideon is closed for the time being. He hopes to meet them there when the maps are finally opened.

Episode 3
Ray and Rook talk about the sudden disappearance of PKs. Marie Adler who is a journalist joins in this discussion to give them some juicy details. Of course it isn’t going to be free. She confirms that top players from each region have taken out the PK groups. Like in the south, Figaro singlehandedly destroyed the Mad Castle clan. Think you’re tough and superior? Figaro is even more superior than that! Then in the east, Tsukuyo Fuso of the Lunar Society eliminated the threats while in the west, Lei Lei, Prodigal of Feasts did the honours. In the north, the PK group is unknown as they attack from the shadows. But with the battleship might of King of Destruction, yeah the entire forest is destroyed! Even so, it is believed the PK group only known as Superior Killer escaped alive. Ray and Nemesis head there to check things out when Nemesis discovers a secret portal that no other players could have found. It leads to Cheshire as he explains how PKs aren’t punished unless that person is most wanted on the list. Because players who have committed sins can just log out and log in back as a new free person, this would only lead to repeat offenders. So is this the biggest loophole in the system? There is a prison to lock up those players but that player must be defeated first. This means the strongest criminals would most likely remain at large. Ray returns to Rook as they look through the guide to earn money from jobs, now that the path to Gideon has been reopened. WTF Rook’s job is a pimp?! Is that this world’s term for monster taming?! Marie wants to join in too since she has business in Gideon. Meanwhile travellers are ambushed by goblins. Fleeing them is one thing. But then they got owned big time by, uhm, Berserker?!

Episode 4
Ray and his party stumble into goblins ambushing travellers. What else but to help them kills those annoying green pests. Rook might have taken the lion’s share in eliminating the pack but it’s not over because the big goblin boss, Gardranda drops in to avenge his underlings. They can’t get too close to him seeing he can spew poisonous miasma. Ray gets hit and finds his life force depleting. Marie’s elixir helps stop the decline for a few minutes. Enough time for him to slice and destroy his head. However as he remembers clearly, such monsters have their heart in the stomach. With the elixir’s effect over, Ray has no more strength left. Then some option pops up for Nemesis. Must decide whether to take this or not. Hurry. Gardranda is charging. Ray accepts this gamble and this allows Nemesis to transform into her second and more powerful form. Yeah, he has his life bar healed and his skills are sharper. He fights on par with the monster boss until he finally destroys his entirety with a single blow. He receives a special item as reward for this victory and even named as MVP! But Ray knows that he didn’t entirely deliver the finishing blow by himself. Somebody shot his Embryo to help hasten Gardranda’s defeat. Could it be Superior Killer? In the aftermath, a funeral is held for unfortunate NPCs who were killed. Ray questions if this is really a game. Well, you’re playing it. For defeating Gardranda, a bounty reward is also given so Ray and co argue who should get the lesser share. My, so humble aren’t we? Ray practises his newly acquired skills but it backfires. Need more practice. He is then approached by a strange guy in a penguin suit. Flamingo is his name? Suspicious. He gives Ray something to drink. And he just drinks it like that without batting an eyelid?! Thanks to that, he grows a pair of animal ears. Ray is mad and threatens to slice him if he is not turned back but I think the fault is his to begin with for being too trusting. Flamingo claims his experiment is a success and even wants to take a picture of Ray topless! This bird really wants to be killed. Though, he runs away and assures the effects will be gone after 10 hours of login time. Ray wonders if he knows him because Flamingo knows his name.

Episode 5
Ray is worried about his ears. But nobody cares. He shops around for new clothes since Rook got a cool coat himself. Seeing a long queue at the gatcha, Ray tries his luck. So he got a silver horse, eh? Hi-yo Silver?! Unfortunately he can’t ride it despite being a paladin. So he must obtained such skill as a lowly knight first? Gee, that’s the downfall if you skip ranking up properly, huh? Anyway, he learns that it is going to cost a lot just to learn that skill. Need to go find a job. Then he spots a woman being surrounded by ruffians. She is supposed to hand them ransom money to secure her little brother’s release but they’re going back on their word. Before Ray could jump in and help her, another hero, Hugo Lesseps does so. He gets beaten up!!! Ray punches one guy out and has the rest fleeing. The woman pleads to save her brother because this clan is famed for not only kidnapping but eating children! Of course the heroes will do this free of charge. Hugo then introduces his Embryo, Cyco who has interrogated those ruffians their hideout. Then he summons his mecha so they can head over there. Hugo fights the ruffians outside to allow Ray to head deeper into the base to rescue. To his horror, he sees murdered children in zombie form trying to kill him. So Nemesis isn’t afraid of these? Yeah. Just mad at the despicable person who would do this. Ray burns them all to free their suffering. Then he starts to understand what Hugo meant about players who have maiden type Embryos don’t believe Infinite Dendrogram is a game. It could be these feelings close to being real that made it hard for them to carry on and quit. Well, he can’t quit now. Meanwhile Hugo faces off with the gang’s boss, Gouz. As a strong monster, Hugo is easily owned. Hugo thought of retreating to avoid the penalty of death but after seeing eating children and targeting live ones, screw all that. You’re going down. So he releases the seal on Cyco to turn her into her true form. So Cocytus (her real name) becomes some armour to enhance his mecha? Back to Ray, he enters a room and rescues a kid lying in the middle of some incantation circle. Didn’t he realize this is a trap? Walked straight into it and got killed!

Episode 6
The mastermind is some centaur, Maise. He brags about the need to take lives in order to become some immortal and he is close to achieving it. Oh well. That’s his death flag. Because Ray revives and attacks him. Maise’s attacks bear no impact so he runs outside for Gouz to help. Too bad he is dead. Cornered, Maise begs for his life and will give all his money. Ray doesn’t want money. His life is good enough payment. And he punches his head off! While they go rescue to children inside, the bandits try to steal the loot. They carelessly touch Maise’s item so it activates some trap and absorbs all of them including the dead into this giant monstrous centaur. When Ray and co come out, they see this sh*t. They have no chance of beating it at this rate but Ray will hold it off enough for Hugo to bring the children to safety. Then there’s something Nemesis said about they have a chance to beat it. Because they absorbed Maise’s attacks, they need to time their attack when Maise’s grudge is in control (because multiple grudges are controlling it) and then move in for the kill. Though they manage to find the core that Maise is controlling, Ray takes a lethal blow. Unconscious, Nemesis lets him drink whatever potion left to heal him. Not much but better than nothing. Why does she need to put the liquid in her mouth and then kiss him? Why not just put the entire bottle in his mouth? Isn’t that faster?! Anyway, Nemesis now goes off to fight the monster. Meanwhile, somebody is showing Ray his past. A time he saved a girl from an oncoming traffic but it caused his elder brother, Shuuichi to sprain his ankle. He felt guilty because he was participating in a martial arts competition that day. So Shuuichi told him how proud he was for his actions and some radix point explanation, blah, blah, blah. As long as you don’t give up, the possibility still exists. And big brother showed him by winning the tournament. This flashback is shown by Gardranda. He is now in a form of a cute ogre girl?! So she is now some incomplete power inside him? Ray wakes up to help Nemesis in trouble with his new power. Yeah, to new possibilities! The monster is defeated and he gets new goodies. Meanwhile we see Flamingo and Hugo know each other. Hugo notes Ray will be a hinder to their plan but Flamingo says he is no cause to worry. If their plan goes wall, some war they are waging will end with minimal casualties.

Episode 7
Ray sees Marie for advice about his weakness so she tells him to raise his agility and endurance stats instead of just focusing on strength. And something about Embryo needing an ultimate skill. Because Marie hinted like as though her own Embryo has got it, Ray notes he has never seen hers. Marie then changes the topic. She then gives tickets to Gideon to watch the tournament in which one of the anticipated match is Figaro against Xunyu. Later Ray and Nemesis meet up with Shu to talk about things. Nemesis gets to know Shu’s real life. To put it shortly, it is all over the place. Though he is now retired and living with his earnings he won from the lottery, before that he was doing jobs as an actor, singer, martial arts and even assistant lecturer! Ray then meets up with Hugo to split his huge reward from the recently defeated monster. Yeah, he isn’t greedy and can’t take it all. Ray and co are at Gideon to watch the tournament. During the break, he thought Shu was supposed to come watch with them but he didn’t. Going to find him, it seems Shu is talking to Figaro (about something fishy going on in town). It seems both of them have something to hide from Ray so they lie and pretend about stuff. Shu gives Ray some telepathy cuff he never got the chance to give him. He can chat with another friend equipped with this.

Episode 8
Ray wants to bet all his money on Figaro? Not if Nemesis is his financial advisor and beats him up to make him change his mind. Xunyu takes this as an insult that Ray doesn’t believe she could win this. Ray thought she is holding a hostage (it’s just her assistant passed out from the supersonic air travel) and wants to fight her. You sure? Had not Shu stepped in, Ray would’ve not see it coming and died. Meeting up with the rest, Marie seems unnerved seeing Shu. She pretends she is afraid of bears. Likewise, Shu thought he recognizes Marie but he thinks her character is based on a character on a short lived manga. Figaro vs Xunyu fight begins. Xunyu even announcing she won’t budge from where she is standing until Figaro is on his knees. The fight is too fast for us to see so they kindly slow it down for us. And lots of explanations about the skills they used. I’m going to pass on that. Anyway, Figaro looks like he is only defending from Xunyu’s relentless attacks. And then she manages to steal a lung of his although she intended to aim for his heart. And then when Figaro drops all his equipment, it’s like he becomes stronger and faster. He is now on the offensive. Something about him getting stronger the more gear he takes off and the longer he fights, the more powerful his stats get and there’s no ceiling to it. Something about Figaro has been using his Superior Embryo since the start of the match despite the fact that nobody has ever seen him used it. Eventually Figaro cuts through Xunyu for the win and it is revealed his Superior Embryo is his heart. And then Flamingo drops in to interrupt. He reveals his true identity. He is mad professor Franklin from Dryfe who sent his robots to spark a war with Altar. The audience attack him but no effect. Then he holds the second princess, Elizabeth S. Altar hostage. He wants to play a game.

Episode 9
Flashback shows Marie stumbled upon punks trying to kidnap and sell a loli. She easily beats them up but they have to run from the guards who have found them. This loli turned out to be Elizabeth as she was tired of her strict royal life and just wanted to let her hair loose in town. So they became friends as Marie showed Elizabeth around town. Franklin tries to explain but the people keep ignoring his threats and attack him! So he is forced to unleash oxygen slimes to devour them. That is by the way part of the game. The oxygen slimes can only be destroyed by destroying this controller in his hand. They have an hour or it’s game over. Shu feels something amiss since he is telling everyone a way to win. Elizabeth and Franklin are riding some manta ray as Franklin explains his goal of doing this is to break the spirits of Superiors before the next war. The arena is also cordoned off with some barrier in which if they destroy it, more monsters will be unleashed randomly around town. However it seems there is a loophole as players below level 50 can go through it. Ray, Rook and other low levelled masters go through but are now faced with Franklin’s men from Dryfe. Of course Ray surprises them all with moves that nobody expects a rookie could pull off. I guess they haven’t heard about a rookie who defeated 2 unique boss monsters. Suddenly someone takes out Franklin. He realizes of all the Superiors who can do this, it is one without a Superior Embryo. One who is no other than Superior Killer. Marie saves Elizabeth but soon is snatched away by Franklin. He survived because he transferred his damage to his nearby monsters. Franklin knows Marie is the Superior Killer and lets one of his confidante handle her, Veldorbell. Meanwhile Hugo and Cyco are guarding some gate. Dumb players think they can rush and defeat them in numbers but Cyco freezes them all over.

Episode 10
A short flashback shows Veldorbell as a musician but realized he couldn’t create anything. Then he stumbled upon Infinite Dendrogram where any possibility is endless! Marie is having a hard time fighting of Veldorbell and his Embryo. She takes a huge damage and that’s why we are obliged to see her flashback. In real life, she is a mangaka and one day she was just dropped. Although another publisher picked her up, she found it hard to breathe life into Marie, a character she created in her manga series. At a lost, she then stumbled upon Infinite Dendrogram. So by playing the game, she hopes to find what she had lost sight of and roleplaying as Marie would give her new ideas for her character. So back to the fight, in short Marie owns this old dude because of some ability of hers to just vanish from this world although it eats up a lot of her SP. Franklin rendezvous with Hugo. Franklin is going outside to fight all the royal knights outside. He also wants Hugo to let only Ray through if he comes by. Because he wants to fight him. And now we get a flashback from Yuri Gautier. Who? Anyway, French girl looked like she lived a happy rich upper class French life. Turned out her father was a wife beater and her older sister ran away because he hated her clay crafting hobby and also she was against the arranged marriage. Then the parents divorced (naturally) and Yuri was left to ponder if she could have protected her family better then. Protected them like the brave knight she always saw in plays. And when she stumbled upon Infinite Dendrogram, that’s why she embodied her avatar as that childhood wish of hers. Yup, she is Hugo. Ray arrives and is shocked to see Hugo on the side of the enemy. Hugo lets Ray pass as per Franklin’s request so Rook will have to take over fighting him. But first, Ray and Hugo clash once just to see who is superior. Ray of course. Franklin easily defeats the magic knights because of his, uhm, potato monster? It’s called RSK. Hmm… Ray Starling Killer? And the only person who can take it on (baked potato now?) arrives. Ah, Ray. You’re here.

Episode 11
Since last episode we didn’t have enough time, now we delve into Rook’s flashback. Born in London to a detective father and a thief mother, he inherited both their abilities. They didn’t want him to follow their footsteps and left him to figure out what he wanted to do in life. Unfortunately they died in a plane crash. At a loss, Rook discovered Infinite Dendrogram as a client requested his father to unlock its mysteries. He hopes this can show him the way. Back to Rook and Hugo’s fight, we see Rook using his deductive skills to explain Hugo’s freezing power. And then also another explanation why he is such an irritating and kind of person he hates. Do we need to hear all that? Apparently it is just to buy time so that Rook can combine with Babylon to become some dragon armour hybrid. Too bad Rook didn’t have enough power to finish off Hugo. But at least he brought him out from his mecha to charm him. Now to focus on Ray’s fight. Franklin reminds Ray that time is running out. He throws the controller into RSK. The only way to save the city is to destroy RSK. Can Ray do it with only the help of Liliana and her fellow paladin, Lindos? Ray’s moves are ineffective on RSK because it seems Franklin knows all of Ray’s stats. When he got those animal ears, it also acts as a transmitter of his stats and abilities for 24 hours. Hence this allowed Franklin to learn all his moves and created a monster specifically to kill him. Yeah, now I know why it’s called RSK. Franklin claims he lost to Ray once and made it a point to get revenge. Franklin was the one who set up Miliana to look for berries at the ruins. Had Ray and Shu not interfere, his assassination plans would have worked. Ray is ever pumped up to punch this guy. Ray uses his ability to check that the monster’s real name isn’t RSK but something else. It could be RSK summoned another monster inside that is doing all the attacks. Hence outside attacks by Ray didn’t work. He has an idea to take it down but it is a risky gamble. After all, it is not like Franklin knew his other newly acquired skills after that 24 hour window, right? So from what I can see, Ray gathers up all the fear of the people in the city, condense it into one big compressed chunk of air and then releasing it all at once. Once he gets on RSK, he uses Gardranda’s ability to nullify whatever. And Ray stands out as the winner.

Episode 12
Ray is charred and is being healed. Franklin pulls off a dick move by summoning a few more monsters all over the city that are stronger than RSK with a spare remote. But nothing happens. Apparently Marie has disabled all those concealed eggs all over the city. Phew. Meanwhile Rook and Hugo argue about Franklin’s character. Hugo thinks he knows Franklin and is confident he will not hurt NPCs. But it’s the opposite for Rook. Because he doesn’t know Franklin and from what he has seen today, he is definitely has something more sinister up his sleeve. Rook’s prediction comes true as Franklin announces something more sinister. He summons his Superior Embryo, Pandemonium which is actually a giant monster making factory-cum-fortress. He will be releasing over 56,000 monsters into the city and the first 5,000 are his suicide series! Ray is healed enough to go back into battle. But can he take on all the monsters? Well, not if he has Marie to help. Also, he knows Marie is Superior Killer because of her aura. So no point hiding it from him. Are they both enough to take on the monsters? Not if Rook and other rookie adventurers pitch in. Are those monsters really that weak? Meanwhile Shu has changed to his true form and breaks the barrier in the arena. Ray knows he might not survive this but will put up a fight till he dies. Not going to happen! Because Shu is here! Because this guy is the King of Destruction, his strength is off the charts as he easily destroys the monsters! WTF. Couldn’t he acted like this from the start?! But even if his agility is slow, how can he fight monsters with faster speed? Real life martial arts training, huh? How the f*ck does that translate into the game?! Figaro and Xunyu know that there are self-destruct monsters in the arena and Franklin will not hesitate to use it once this plan fails. You bet they’re going to do something about it. A huge mecha destroyer pops up to give Pandemonium a run for its money. This is when Franklin realizes his plans are all foiled and he cannot win. No matter how he planned it, they come up with something better to counter. There’s only 1 way to erase their victory and his defeat…

Episode 13
Franklin activates some bug under the arena but it was swiftly dealt with by a master in the stands. Franklin wonders why Shu didn’t attack his Pandemonium directly and that would have stopped everything. Gee, dumb question because he answered it himself. Because Elizabeth is here! Also, Ray wanted to come here and asks Franklin a few questions. Among them are his thoughts about this world’s NPCs. Franklin doesn’t know if this is really cutting edge technology of if the NPCs are aliens from another world. One thing he knows if that either way, this is not a game and he would still have done the same thing. He is done being manipulated and will crush anyone who stands in his way. Franklin realizes too late that Ray was perhaps the decoy because Marie has rescued Elizabeth right under his nose! Franklin needs a way to get out of this seeing he has totally lost. But Hugo (hinting Franklin is his sister!) comes to protect him from Ray’s attack. Ray might have lost an arm so is he going to use the other arm? Hell, no! His mouth wielding Nemesis to cut through Hugo!!! Because that other arm is to punch Franklin in the face! You mean he just stood there and took the punch?! Wow. He really resigned to his defeated fate. Liliana heals Ray’s wounded up but there is nothing she can do about the one that got cut off. Tsukuyo may be able to do something but that’s another problem…

Everyone celebrates this victory as we see Shu, Figaro and Xunyu talk about King of Beast who is the physically the strongest and The Earth who is magically the strongest being part of the spectators in the arena. They wonder if the former was in cohorts with Franklin because if she was, the plan would have been designed around her. As for the latter, he could be here after hearing about Franklin’s terrorism’s plans. Speaking of him, Shu once fought him to a draw. Back in Dryfe, Franklin fires Hugo from his clan. Veldorbell will also be leaving since he has another goal. He talks about the many people who came and go in this game under him. He must’ve got used to all the betrayals. He asks why Hugo protected him in those final moments. Hugo doesn’t know and starts crying. Franklin suggests Hugo go travel the world and broaden his horizons. One day they’ll meet again. Oh, here’s a birthday present as parting gift. Can’t forget little sister’s birthday. Of course this is all part of Franklin’s plan because with Hugo out of the way, he will no longer have the conscience to hold him back so this time he is going all out to kill Ray. We see Ray and Nemesis in an exhibition match with Marie. Trying to test his level with only an arm? And looks like Elizabeth has snuck out from the castle again to go watch this. After all that has happened, you’d think the royal guards would have put a tighter security. It’s like they’re NPCs that don’t learn! Ray isn’t too happy he has earned a lot of nicknames. Unbreakable is one of them. Of course we have to be reminded that this has all been a game so Rei puts down his game and prepares for college. Welcome back to the mundane and boring reality!

Unlimited Possibilities Of Crap…
Oh yeah. As long as there is a sliver of possibility, nothing is impossible! The chances are zero! Don’t give up! It’s all within your reach if you keep trying! That’s what seizing possibilities is all about! Great advice. So I’m taking this opportunity to get out of this series despite I watched the whole damn season. I don’t think this will get another season and I’m hoping it won’t but damn that dreadful possibility seizing lecture. As long as it is not zero! F*ck this sh*t. I’m outta here! Oh damn. Not this mundane and boring game called reality! Out of the frying pan and into the fire, huh? Oh well. Now I guess I understand how Franklin feels. You just can’t win no matter how hard you’ve tried thinking you’ve got everything planned out and covered. There’ll always be people like Ray and his band of merry overpowered characters screwing you over. Wow. Virtual reality so real like real life. Is that a success or failure?

I can’t make out of what the story wants to be because it is all over the place. I suppose that is why this series is called so. If you don’t know what a dendrogram is, to put it simply, it is like a tree diagram that branches out. Hence the reason why they said that there could be infinite crap possibilities, it is one way to cover the poor excuse of poor story and writing. I mean, they already said that anything could happen, right? Yup. Anything. Infinitely. That’s why you have the first half of Ray powering up by fighting big bosses impossible for rookies and gaining allies while in the second half you have some terrorist attack by a mad scientist avatar jerk. Really. It’s just nothing out of the ordinary or special. Just plain boring. It is unfortunate that they give an impression that this world has a history of its own like that whatever war then. Some heroes fought in it (Tsukuyo, Lei Lei, forgot about them already?). Whatever. But it wasn’t fleshed out properly so eventually it doesn’t really matter. Like as though they needed some flimsy story and setting just to make it look like this game world isn’t as crappy as you want to think it is. After all, remember, infinite possibilities! Yeah. Too bad we got the bad ones.

Taking a look at what happened so far, it would have been better that all this would have been better if the setting was of the isekai genre. Unfortunately that genre is so greatly despised at this point so they can’t use that for this season. Hence this virtual MMORPG ‘substitute’ until our anger for this particular genre subside. The setting would work better as a fantasy isekai with the way things played out but perhaps if you think deeper and from another perspective, virtual MMORPGs are also considered another form of isekai. But then again, it is not that we actually hate such genres. The bad writing and uninspiring characters have become such staples are the real reasons we dislike that bad series and overtime we got so sick and tired of it that we just happen to generalize it all under that genre. This series didn’t fare any better at all in improving our sentiments even if they are misguided misconceptions.

Even the characters aren’t really interesting especially Ray as the main character, he has got all the ingredients of what makes him a cliché main character. New kid on the block obtains special power ups and saves the day. That’s basically it. He is such a lucky player because I believe that almost anybody who gets such chance would also do well as him unless you’re a pure evil scumbag. Making it sad is that we don’t know much about Ray’s real life persona. It is as though we are close to almost forgetting that this is all just a video game and Ray’s avatar is the real thing, not Rei. That is why that one time he got killed and was locked out for a day before he could return playing the game! What a minor penalty even if it is 3 days inside the game. I suppose when you want people to keep playing your game, you can’t lock them out for a long time. They might jump ship, you know. Anyway, Ray being such a typical good character, you bet that he’ll be the next big hero should there be a big crisis hitting these (virtual) kingdoms. As for Nemesis, I’m only thinking they needed to put a cute female character as his partner who also serves as his weapon. Other than that, I can’t think more. Unfortunately I am not impressed with the dynamism between them. It just feels plain boring. Not even cute. Then there’s this mind boggling joke about her being afraid of zombies. Like, WTF. Yeah, it just really want to show us that she has some sort of persona and not just some mindless sword. Whatever. Now with Ray missing an arm, it’s going to get a lot cuter with Nemesis wondering if handling her with his mouth amounts to a kiss… Dream on…

Oddly, some of the characters have a short flashback of their real life persona like Marie, Rook and Hugo. (Ray’s flashback is basically Shu’s if you think about it). It is ironic that I find this more interesting than the actual story of the anime itself because despite how silly some of their reasons are to sign up for this virtual game, it still beats the actual story that is happening inside the game itself. Though it just sheds light on their real life but their in-game avatar, not so much. Then we have very strong players like Shu and Marie and even Figaro in the mix but they’re predictable since they way they act so suspicious to hide their true strength and only reveal it when the time calls for it (AKA plot convenience), nothing more to say about them. Especially Shu who has won the lottery in life and inside the game because he is essentially living the kind of dream and life that all gamers want. Grr… Kuma!

Last and not least, Franklin becoming the villain of this series, he feels more like a cartoonish villain more than anything. I don’t really understand his goal in doing this and I’m not sure because I’m a dumb simpleton or the show didn’t explain it very well. Or both. Not sure what Franklin’s original goal was but ever since Ray got in his way, it’s like the rest of the series is one big elaborate revenge plan just to take him out. It is said that the light novel that this anime is adapted form, tried to packed in a lot of volumes so you can see why there are missing a lot of explanations and stuffs. Especially that girl whom Rei passed by in the final scene of the last episode. I read spoilers that she is Franklin AKA Francesca in real life AKA Yuri’s older sister and lived in the same apartment as Rei. So what’s her deal having a grudge against Ray? Or Rei? Did he spurn her advances?! Hope not. I’m so lost. Hence if you really want to know in detail the characters and everything, the novel is the only way for you to understand better. Seeing that I am not impressed with the anime already, it’s an excuse for me not to go check it out.

They try to sound different by claiming how tians (the term for NPCs used in this game) have their own sort of life. So they’re like sentient beings? Like how Project Alicization is? Rip-off! Heck, we aren’t even sure if every human you see in real life are just NPCs! So they make it sound like a big deal that once they die, they never come back. Oh, so sad. Better be careful not to kill them then. I guess the irony is that this world isn’t so infinite after all. Because the possibility of bringing them back to life isn’t one of those choices. Sad. Even sadder how we don’t really care about any NPCs either. Assuming Liliana is one. I suppose it is to draw the line and tell the difference between normal players and, uhm, good players. Because as said, as far as I understand, the good players do not see this as a game but treat this game as something real. Like as though this is their real life. And so they go all out to do what is right and care for stuffs such as NPCs. Treat all life as sacred and valuable. Respect life. So if you’re just a normal player, you’d kill an NPCS without a second though and don’t care whether they respawn or not. Oh come on. Are we here not to have fun?! Why is everyone so serious?! Especially that terrorist thing in the second half. I don’t know if the programmers of the game purposely put it that way, though. There are lots of things I want to question regarding the programming of the game but I don’t want to open another can of worms. That’s why I said it should have been better as an isekai setting.

The action scenes are just pretty moderate. Just rather okay. Nothing really special. After all, we need a reason to see why Ray has powered up so much and accumulate a bunch of special moves but they aren’t really that memorable. I wanted to make a joke from his line whenever he uses Nemesis as a finishing move “Vengeance Is Mine” but it slipped off my tongue. Now it’s lost forever… And everybody else has got their own moves and animal familiars for variety but still nothing adrenaline pumping. Even the match between Figaro and Xunyu felt really plain. Is this the best Superiors get to offer? And they left Ray and Marie’s fight to our imaginations because I’m sure it would be devastating to us if they made it ‘official’ who is stronger than the other, huh? Can we just call it even? Like a draw?

Animation also feels mediocre. Though your typical conventional Japanese anime standard, sometimes I could see a drop in quality especially during the fight scenes. Sometimes the characters do look stiff and I’m wondering if it is because of the animation production quality or rather the in-game issues. Can’t be the latter. A game that offers such infinite possibilities that connects all your senses having drops in frame rate? Impossible! This anime is done by NAZ who did Hamatora, Hajimete No Gal and Angolmois: Genkou Kassenki.

Voice acting is also rather okay. They got a few big stars in the line-up but with such crappy story and characters, they couldn’t save the series. Like Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Franklin trying hard to cast off his Kirito stereotype but it always made me feel that this is what happens if Kirito turned to the dark side. Seriously. Then there are Satoshi Hino as Shu, Yoko Hikasa as Marie, Yui Ogura as Cyco, Kenichi Suzumura as Figaro, Nao Touyama as Xunyu, Takehito Koyasu as Maise and Aoi Yuuki as Liliana. The rest of the other casts are Souma Saitou as Ray (Tatsumi in Akame Ga Kill), Yuuko Oono as Nemesis (Asagiri in Mahou Shoujo Site), Makoto Koichi as Rook (Tsukasa in Nurse Witch Komugi R), Yuuki Takada as Babylon (Aoba in New Game), Ayumu Murase as Hugo (Joseph in Mahou Tsukai No Yome) and Aya Uchida as Elizabeth (Kotori in Love Live). The opening theme is Unbreakable by Aoi Yuuki (didn’t occur to me it was her singing). Generic rock music befitting this genre. Nothing special. Is it me or are the fonts used for the credits look ugly? Reverb by Aya Uchida as the ending theme also another generic rock piece. Just passable. But the animation has lots of pixel noise spamming your visuals. At first I thought the frame rate of this segment was bad…

Overall, this series unfortunately falls under the category of the ubiquitous novels getting a rushed adaptation. Boring story and characters as well as insufficient explanation of how things work that only serve to confuse those who aren’t familiar with the source material. It is no Sword Art Online or anywhere near it (even if it tries to rip-off a few of its concepts) but with Sword Art Online being the benchmark for all other series under this genre, definitely others will have a hard time surpassing the high yardstick it has set. This one you could say has stumbled before even leaping off the ground! Players play games to have fun but instead got caught in some terrorism war or something. Otakus watch anime to have fun but instead we got this bad crappy adaptation. Even sadder, there’ll be more of such garbage in the future to come if we continue to accept this inferior work. We’re already at breaking point. We’re already fragile and breakable. Too bad that vengeance is not ours.

The last season we had the revival of the Ten Commandments who are elites serving directly under the Demon Lord. Now, Nanatsu No Taizai: Kamigami No Gekirin as the third season suggests that it is God and his archangels’ turn for revival and return. Wow. Looks like the battle in Britannia is going to get bigger, more epic and messier with demons and angels now preparing to get into the fray. It feels like a distant memory now from the original premise of the framed Sins trying to save the kingdom that was being overrun by corrupted ex-heroes AKA Holy Knights. Oh yeah. Remember that one? That pales in comparison now considering the looming fight between heaven and hell that would definitely be shaking the earth to its core.

Episode 1
Meliodas and Ban save a group of captured humans from a caravan of demons transporting them to be their sacrifice. Although Liones is undergoing reconstruction, it is notable that the people are still struggling and not returned to their old lives yet. A village has been luring and trapping travellers to be given to demons as sacrifice in exchange for their own safety. But a little boy, Pelio didn’t like how the adults are cowards and goes face the demons himself. He might be brave but he isn’t strong to even touch them. He gets a beat down but before he gets killed, here comes the Sins (minus Diane and King) to teach the demons a lesson in picking someone their size. Safe to say, it is child’s play for them. Pelio asks Meliodas why he saved this village. Because of the demons’ influence, the hearts of people have grown weary. Hence granting people a reprieve is their job as the Sins. After Hawk unveils a newly remodelled Boar Hat, everyone attends the ceremony to pick a new Holy Knight commander. Surprisingly, Baltra picks Hauser because of the qualities he has shown during times of need. Since he is inexperienced, he will be a commander in name for now. Later Baltra talks to Meliodas about another vision he saw this morning. Something about the Sins will be completely reunited but now it is not the time.

Episode 2
King and Diane are taking shelter in the Fairy King’s Forest. They are still under the impression that Meliodas is dead. Thanks to the barrier, it keeps demons from finding and attacking this place. I guess everybody is so carefree that they start singing and dancing. When the dance is over, everybody realizes King and Diane are missing. They find themselves in a strange cave and before them is Drole and Gloxinia. They both fight and naturally the Sins are still weak and lose badly. King even doesn’t mind being killed but Gloxinia says that is only if they don’t meet their expectations. After healing them up, Drole and Gloxinia are going to train them. Eh? Why are the enemies training them? Although they may be part of the Ten Commandments, they are not demons. There was a reason why they made a decision to be part of it and they hope after this training, they will prove that their decision was the correct one. Hence, King and Diane are whisked back 3000 years into the past before the great war. The duo are shocked to find themselves in the bodies of Drole and Gloxinia. Even more so before them is Meliodas and Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a goddess?! The quartet are supposed to meet up and head over to the next city whereby the demons are slaughtering and devouring humans. Meliodas is kicking ass, leaving King and Diane to think they’ll just be in the way. But they come face to face with Calmadios who is part of the Ten Commandments.

Episode 3
At first they thought of running but soon realize they possess great powers. With Meliodas they easily defeat Calmadios while other demons went home after Elizabeth coaxed them out of fighting. A group of humans led by Rou is impressed by them and think they are Stigma, an alliance formed by goddesses, fairies and giants. They want to join their cause so they return to the base located in the Fairy King’s Forest. Leading Stigma is one of the 4 archangels, Ludociel. He believes the time has come to wipe out the Demon Clan. But this is met with strong resistance from Elizabeth as she thought all clans will exist peacefully. Worst, Ludociel views demons as inferior to them. Soon, a large army of demons approach the Fairy King’s Forest. This is going to be an all-out war as some of the Ten Commandments are here. It seems they want some of their missing brethren back. Elizabeth goes talk to them and tries to warn them of Ludociel’s plan. Of course the demons don’t trust her but since she insists she will do something about it, they give her a chance. They also want the traitorous Meliodas back but Elizabeth refuses to hand him over. Insist and she will fight them now. Then, Ludociel thanks Elizabeth for buying time. The demons view this as betrayal although Elizabeth didn’t have any part in this. Ludociel reveals a giant ball containing their missing brethren in a state of limbo. Then he kills all of them just to incur the wrath of the demons. Now it’s really war.

Episode 4
2 more archangels descend, Tarmiel and Sariel. They accuse the demons of injuring Elizabeth and uses this an excuse to eliminate all of them. They even make a bet on how long it will exterminate them. Using their mighty powers, they manage to wipe out the common demons. Only the Ten Commandments are left. They battle the duo but are at a disadvantage. Ludociel is disappointed that their bait couldn’t eliminate all of the demons so he heads into battle. But shortly after he leaves, he returns to inform Nerobasta to call for reinforcements. In actual fact, this is Gowther masquerading as Ludociel. He has hypnotized Nerobasta to take him to the gate that connects heaven to this world. He also has Nerobasta spew some details about Ludociel. With Ludociel joining the battlefield, the demons are now at an overwhelming disadvantage. Hence Monspeet and Derieri use their trump card by offering their 6 hearts to summon their true demonic form called Indura. They are able to easily subdue Tarmiel and Sariel while Ludociel is left frustrated and annoyed that the demons ‘hurt’ them. Must be their pride, huh? Meanwhile Meliodas finds Elizabeth inside a barrier made by the archangels. Sacrificing his arms to pull her out, Elizabeth regrets not seeing this coming and blames herself. She will not allow Meliodas to help as she doesn’t want him to get hurt. So she is going to stop this alone? She’s got lots of balls to come in between the final fight of Ludociel and Monspeet-Derieri.

Episode 5
Elizabeth defies Ludociel as she wants to save the demons. Ludociel tries to kill them himself but is stopped by Meliodas. Then he seeks Tarmiel and Sariel to assist him but they assist Elizabeth instead. With their help, the Indura within Monspeet and Derieri is purged and they return to normal. Ludociel still not happy. He wants to finish those defenceless demons but this time King and Diane get in his way. So bad luck for this archangel who could’ve been one of the greatest Ten Commandment members! Ludociel tries to contact Nerobasta for reinforcements but she is not responding. When she finally comes to her senses, she is horrified to see Melascula turning the gate into a gate that opens the demon realm. She then contacts the Stigma reinforcements for help but Rou and the humans start killing the giants, fairies and angels! OMG! Humans can do this?! Their wish is to annihilate all the other clans and is in line with the Demon Clan’s goal. King and Diane sense something amiss and rush back to the base but stumble into Gowther. They are shocked to learn that he is part of the Ten Commandments although Gowther doesn’t know what they’re talking about. When Melascula finishes her chanting, she is horrified to learn this isn’t the gate that opens the demon realm but rather the demon prison. She is pissed that Gowther had tricked her. Out comes out from this prison is some elderly dude in a wheelchair. This is the real Gowther and was imprisoned by the Demon Lord many centuries ago. His only contact to the outside world was via his puppet. He couldn’t care less about the war and only wants his freedom.

Episode 6
The real Gowther meets with King and Diane and tells them humans are rebelling against Stigma and have used the Demon Clan to further their goal. King accuses him of doing the same but Gowther claims he is gaining his freedom to end the war. Eh? I thought he didn’t care about it? Maybe he doesn’t care about participating. Diane has King go ahead first because she wants to talk and know more about Gowther. Gowther praises King and Diane’s relationship and if everyone was as good as them, this war wouldn’t have started. Knowing that the war ended, he believes his sacrifice wasn’t in vain. So Gowther’s plan is to use his own life? So what about his puppet? He makes it move and think on his own. When Gowther lets his puppet know of his intention, immediately the puppet cries and begs not to be left alone. Gowther gives him his soul as his last gift and hopes Diane can show his puppet the way when she gets back. He also gives her a gift. Meanwhile Gerharde is trying to stop Rou’s rampage. He dares her to kill him but she hesitates. He too hesitates because, well, she looks like his dead childhood friend. Eventually his fellow comrade wounds her and severs her legs. Rou kills him off! Rou then explains his back story. His village for no reason was decimated by Stigma. Rou and some of his friends were away at the mountains to hunt and when they return, they saw everybody dead. The only reason he could think of was because of a kind hearted demon they helped nurse. Overcome with grief and anger, Rou trained her for this day of vengeance. Gerharde doesn’t entirely blame him. She also blames herself of wanting to end this war that she couldn’t see Ludociel’s atrocities. When King arrives, he sees Gerharde with Rou and gets the wrong idea. Rou has made his peace and is going to play the villain. King is mad and is about to kill him but changed his mind. But then he sees Rou getting killed by Gloxinia, the real event that happened. Because of this, King wakes back up in normal time. It is believed because that didn’t happen in history, he is forced back to his own time. After killing Rou, Gloxinia became part of the Ten Commandments and didn’t know Gerharde still lived until very much later. Had King followed Gloxinia’s path, he would’ve turned evil too. So perhaps by taking a different path, he passed this trial. Gloxinia asks why King didn’t kill Rou and spared him. He felt that everybody had their own story. Even the guy he hates most is someone special to his sister. Watching Rou and Gerharde reminded him of Ban and Elaine. He doesn’t deny that real evil exists. That’s why he is going to work hard to distinguish and fight it. Gowther realizes time is up. Because Melascula has summoned Zeldris to execute Gowther.

Episode 7
Diane stalls Zeldris so that Gowther could get away. However Zeldris defeats her and gives her a choice: Join Ten Commandments or die. It seems in actual history, Drole chose the former. So Diane’s test is to see which choice is the truth? Because either way Diane will still die, right? And then Diane wakes up! What did she choose? She chose to run away!!! Oh sh*t. Diane is glad that King has awakened that she kisses him! This is not a dream. She later reveals that she has her memories back and that was the gift Gowther gave her. Now that she remembers, she assures she will always love him. King too. Another kiss for the road. King realizes he is now sprouting wings. Albeit it is small and will take some time to grow as majestic as Gloxinia’s. Meanwhile Gloxinia is making amends with Gerharde. Oslo snarls at Gloxinia at first but soon calms down. Gloxinia then realizes that Oslo could be Rou reincarnated! With Gloxinia holding fort at the Fairy King’s Forest, Diane and King are free to head back to Liones. And hence the Sins are now reunited as per Baltra’s prophecy. Of course the duo are surprised to see Meliodas alive. He’s not ghost, you know… King apologizes to Meliodas but he along with Ban tease his tiny wings instead. Gowther doesn’t believe Diane has gotten her memories back since erased memories can never be returned. Diane on the contrary explains why he is wrong and hopes to go find his lost soul. When Baltra shows an item that belongs to Gowther, he immediately runs away. It is believed that this heart item once resided inside Gowther and is filled with soul magic. The Sins now go after Gowther.

Episode 8
Meliodas briefly explains Gowther’s origins. The original Gowther was a great magician that even the Demon Lord respected. But because of his selflessness as a Ten Commandment, it takes away memories and emotions of those who desire and the reason the Demon Lord imprisoned him. His only link to the outside world is a doll made based on his girlfriend but given a male body so he would not desire him. We go back 45 years before, Gowther awakens and finds himself in some underground cave. He then stumbles into Nadja who was a princess of Liones and Baltra’s older sister. She becomes fascinated with him and made frequent visits. Gowther also stumbled into what seems to be the remains of the Fairy King’s Forest as well as the original Gowther’s body. Before he could examine further, Nadja visits but this time she passes out. Gowther brought her back to her room with the help of Baltra. Disguising himself as a maid, he is able to move about within the castle freely. So we learn Nadja has a heart disease and is dying. Gowther spent lots of time with her and this made her a happy princess. Until one day her heart has weakened considerably and Gowther panicked, thinking another loved one will soon disappear. When he mentioned about his maker telling him to go achieve his dream but never specified what it was, Nadja knew he already achieved it because he experienced things himself. And then Nadja just died like that. Gowther thinks giving his heart will save her but it didn’t. When the guards barge in, they misinterpret this rape-cum-murder scene. Gowther is accused of killing Nadja and sentence to be burnt at the stake. Gowther realized that if this only caused pain, he doesn’t want to remember. He wants to be a puppet again. In present time, Diane manages to stop Gowther from trying to erase his own memories. The Sins convince him that having bad memories is not entirely a bad thing. Merlin has examined his heart but found no soul magic in it. Thus this proves Gowther has his own soul. His tears are proof. Gowther accepts this and with this limiter gone, his original power returns to him. The Sins celebrate their reunification as Merlin further notes the heart item was probably a keepsake to console a son who grieves over being a puppet.

Episode 9
Merlin uses a monster spy, Orlondi to look for Arthur in Camelot but Zeldris catches it and Merlin barely escapes. The Sins drink and celebrate their reunion. However Merlin reminds them they still haven’t defeat the Ten Commandments and should come up with a plan. She retires early and Meliodas knows that she has been trying to look for Arthur. On the other hand, Elizabeth cannot get it out of her mind of what Diane told her. That a goddess she met 3000 years ago looked just like her. She tries to ask Meliodas about it and is prepared to accept anything but he changes the topic. Then Merlin falls into some illness. Elizabeth uses her druid powers to enter her mind and see what is wrong. She then encounters Zeldris who has cast some magic trap on Merlin. Elizabeth discovers that she was that same goddess with Meliodas 3000 years ago and has been reincarnated many times over. Each time she always returned to him. That is why Zeldris is not pleased she is making his brother to suffer. But Elizabeth is happy knowing that she has always been by Meliodas’ side. She wants to remember more so Zeldris dares her to. Merlin has recovered thanks to Elizabeth. But it looks like now something might be wrong with Elizabeth although she claims she is just tired. It’s so obvious… The Sins then set off on their mission. Ban wants to sit out on this one. Melascula’s magic is keeping Elaine alive. Destroying it means killing Elaine but at the same time the more it exists, she’ll get worse. Hence he wants to be with Elaine right till the very end. More woes when Elizabeth starts acting strange. Her memories are jumbled up. After being put to bed, it is believed she is suffering from Zeldris’ magic. This is a sign that she will soon regain her memories. Good news? Not quite. Because when she does so, she will die in 3 days!

Episode 10
Since the cat is out of the bag, might as well tell the whole truth and the reason of his journey. Meliodas and Elizabeth were punished by their respective clan’s head. Meliodas for betraying his clan by killing a comrade and teaming up with a goddess. Elizabeth for saving a demon and helping him. The duo fight back but they’re no match for the Demon Lord and Supreme Deity. They should have died but Meliodas soon found himself alive and all his wounds healed. However Elizabeth was bruised all over and dead. As Meliodas stopped aging, he then wandered across Britannia and to his surprise stumbled into someone who looks a lot like Elizabeth. Of course she doesn’t remember him but Meliodas could tell this soul belongs to her. One day, Elizabeth partly regained her goddess power. Happy Meliodas then told what happened. But that was a big mistake. Elizabeth had regained her full memories and wanted him to promise her to break this curse even if she dies. And then she died. It seems Meliodas has been cursed to an eternal life while Elizabeth cursed to eternal reincarnation as a human. Each time, Elizabeth will find her way to him, fall for him and die. Hence Meliodas has seen 107 versions of Elizabeth! All versions died before his eyes. A notable one was a young Elizabeth (Alps loli?) when she regained her memories at a young age and realized he still hasn’t broken the curse. Then there is one he met and married her till she died of old age without even regaining her memories.

And then 16 years ago at Danafor, in his bid to find a way to break this curse, Meliodas sought Merlin’s help and she discovered there is this Coffin of Eternal Darkness. However doing so means breaking the seal and releasing the Ten Commandments. Meliodas will not risk doing that. Unfortunately, somebody who worshipped demons already collected the fragments and summoned Fraudrin. Soon Fraudrin slaughtered the entire people of Danafor to resurrect the Ten Commandments. But it wasn’t enough since a goddess sacrifice is needed. To his luck, Liz was there and sensing that she was a goddess, killed her. You bet Meliodas is mad and will whoop that monster’s ass. If that’s not enough, he went into some dark Super Saiyan overkill mode and had Danafor burn for 3 days! When it is over, Meliodas spotted a dying woman who handed her newborn daughter to him. Oh, looks like Elizabeth… And the rest is history. Thus Meliodas’ goal in this journey is to break the curse. Ending the eternal life and eternal cycle means they will die for real. No point being sad now. They have to focus on the task at hand to liberate Camelot. Since it is being protected by a distorting barrier located at the walled city of Coland, they head there to do so but waiting for them is Zeldris. He takes it that Elizabeth is still alive and warns Meliodas again not to let her enslave him.

Episode 11
When Meliodas attacks, Zeldris is only an illusion. Everything is an illusion set up by Melascula. Then she whisks him away in some dark cocoon. As the other Sins enter Coland to look for him, they see bones from Coland’s massacred citizens lying around. Melascula is using Meliodas’ negative energy to channel through the dead and attack the Sins. But the Sins power their way through so Melascula is forced to take drastic actions. By using the regrets of the dead, she is trying to take over their minds. Unfortunately only Diane got possessed. She is controlled by the souls seeking revenge as she swings her weapon around to kill the Sins. Merlin suggests to fight like as though they are going to kill her but King is against this idea. Gowther then enters Diane’s mind to bring her out. But the dark emotions of the dead are stronger and push him out. When the dead threaten to make Diane hurt herself, this is where Helbram pops up to tell them they’ve got their revenge on the wrong people. The dead remember Helbram. He was the one who slaughtered them all while in his human form. It’s like they needed to end King and Helbram’s friendship so this weird goodbye? Helbram gets crushed but the dead are still not satisfied and want more revenge. Diane is about to go berserk but the dead are purified from her body. Who? It’s Elizabeth and Elaine!

Episode 12
Elizabeth may have awakened as a goddess but she is also aware of herself as the princess of Liones. Chitchat time postponed since Melascula comes out to deal with them. She transforms into her giant snake form to kill all of them. She targets Ban first since he destroyed one of her hearts. Elaine for once wants to protect Ban instead of being protected by him. Hence the excuse for her to suddenly power up and rescue Ban from Melascula’s jaws. At the same time, Meliodas breaks out of the cocoon. However he has used all his dark energy and this means he is going berserk as a demon. Escanor is confident he can handle this puny demon. Melascula manages to spew venom to disintegrate Ban but thanks to Elizabeth’s healing powers, he revives. Melascula is dismayed her powers are no longer as powerful as before. The Sins then cooperate to give Melascula a combo beat down. Then it’s time. Time for Elaine to end this and say goodbye. So Ban isn’t ready yet? Elizabeth’s purifying powers turn Melascula into a tiny harmless snake? Oh yeah. With Merlin bottling her up, I guess this way Elaine doesn’t have to disappear. Lovers can still be together. Phew. No tragic ending on this side. But on the other side, it looks like Meliodas stabs Escanor.

Episode 13
Pride has fallen… But thankfully it is noon so this helps power up Escanor back on his feet. Even so with his massive power up, he is still not powerful enough to defeat Meliodas. But it hasn’t hit real noon yet. Because when it does, the power of the sun turns Escanor invincible and powerful enough to strike down Meliodas with his own hands! Meliodas is defeated but this has also taken a toll on Escanor. While the latter needs a couple of days to recuperate, it is getting worse for Meliodas. No doubt the darkness power is healing him but at this rate he will lose his memories and return to his original cruel self. Elizabeth offers to help stop the spread and since it will take 2 days to reach Camelot, Merlin will be observing them and find a way to cure Meliodas. This means it is up to Gowther, King and Diane to fend off any other attacks during the journey. Hey, what about Ban? Damn, this guy depressed he can’t do anything?! Now?! Orlondi is hiding from demons but luckily is saved by Arthur. Knowing this little vampire serves Merlin, he takes Orlondi to a secret underground place where survivors of Camelot are residing. Orlondi is shocked to hear that Arthur plans to raid Camelot. Does he not know that Zeldris is there? The most powerful of the Ten Commandments? Arthur will be only going himself. All he needs to do is retrieve Excalibur. Then they’ll have hope. Of course we see Zeldris trying to pull out Excalibur but to no avail. And then the voice of the Demon Lord contacts him. It sees there will be a revival of the Demon Lord. Zeldris is puzzled since the seal will still take a very long time. The Demon Lord points out to Meliodas who will soon be awakening as the new Demon Lord. Zeldris is not happy since he still considers him as traitor. But the Demon Lord orders him to put that aside and go retrieve Meliodas.

Episode 14
The Demon Lord also views the Sins as threats. Once Meliodas is retrieved, the Sins are to be destroyed. Killing 2 birds with a stone. Zeldris then summons the Ten Commandments but none of them answered. Because Galand is the only one killed, he wonders if the rest were also done in by the Sins. We see Grayroad being held captive like Melascula, Monspeet and Derieri don’t want to respond because they prefer the quiet country life. Time to reflect why Meliodas spared them a second time. And then a late transmission from Gloxinia and Drole. They’re quitting the Ten Commandments and the next time they meet they’ll be enemies. Is it that easy to quit this organization? Because instantly their Ten Commandments mark is gone. Zeldris is pissed so he is resolved to do everything himself and show his father. But don’t fear. Chandler and Cusack are here to assist him. Thanks to Zeldris’ effort, the goddess’ seal on them was weakened and they managed to break free. Cusack is Zeldris’ teacher and Chandler is Meliodas’ instructor. Upon hearing their mission to retrieve Meliodas, Chandler gets wet and goes off to get him. Boar Hat is making its way to Camelot when the entire place turns into night. Chandler is here and happy to see Meliodas. But not so to see the thieving Elizabeth with him. Merlin tries to attack him but he fully counters her attack with ease. He is after all Meliodas’ teacher and taught him this skill. He then breaks Merlin’s spell and turns her into her true form, a small girl. Chandler isn’t interested in killing the Sins so if they just hand over Meliodas and Elizabeth, he’ll let them go. No way, right? And so he rains meteor all over the land! Did he just overkill?!

Episode 15
King and Gowther combine their powers to fire a celestial arrow at Chandler. It looked like it directly hit him but he has a magic barrier put up. Though, the arrow did manage to hit him a little. Gowther tries to fight back but is put a spell that disallows him to go against Chandler. More skirmishes between them and it ends up with some shooting wars between Chandler and King. In the meantime, Ban and King having thoughts of Meliodas and wanting another chance to apologize to him. Hawk tries to lick off the mark on Chandler’s palm to remove the spell. I don’t think it would work. But Hawk becomes semi-pork chop! Gowther manages to fire a distraction at Chandler, allowing King to fire a finishing blow that blows open a hole in his stomach! Everything should return to normal, right? Well… Yeah, the mark is still on palm. Meaning, Gowther now collapses into unconsciousness for disobeying the spell. Furthermore, the despair of not being able to get Meliodas back means Chandler reviving into a fearsome demon that is way out of the Sins’ league. They’re really screwed this time.

Episode 16
King trying to be a hero to fight Chandler alone and let the others escape? Not if Gloxinia and Drole have something to say about it. So it’s pretty clear the ex-kings are going to fight on the Sins’ behalf to let them get away. And it’s like the cliché moment for their death flag when they narrate how they entrusting the future and their kingship to them. Please protect Meliodas and Elizabeth. This is our atonement for the wrong decision they made 3000 years ago. Wow. Let the tears run as we see Chandler killing them off! The Sins are counting their losses while trying to keep their hopes up. Before they could draw up a plan to counter Chandler, damn that dude has finished killing the ex-kings and is already here. The Sins move into position to protect Meliodas and Elizabeth but it seems Chandler is crying tears of joy for Meliodas has already awakened. But this is not the Sins’ captain as they notice. This evil smug look is the Meliodas when he was the leader of the Ten Commandments. He wants Chandler to take him to Zeldris. He is going to bring Elizabeth with him and save her. How? By becoming the new Demon King! He still remembers everything with his time with the Sins but now it is goodbye. The Sins want to help him if it is saving Elizabeth but he warns them not to because he will have to kill them. From now on, the Sins are disbanded.

Episode 17
Hawk remembers Meliodas told him something about the Demon Lord. No, it’s not about you have equal powers! Merlin takes a closer look into Hawk’s eyes. Then she realizes the Demon Lord has been watching their every move via Hawk’s eyes and thus Hawk is linked to purgatory. While Diane thinks they can go there and save Meliodas, Merlin doubts it as impossible. The only person who went there and came back ‘alive’ was her father. After a minute, he came back brittle and swirling with madness. Until his dying breath, he spoke about the immense hellhole that made it impossible for anything to survive there. Ban offers to go since he is an immortal but of course the rest protest. There is no guarantee he will come back. Well, they’ve got not much time until Elizabeth’s curse activates. Besides, Ban needs to prove he can save his friend with his own friends. Otherwise how can he protect the woman he loves? Merlin casts a spell that has Ban entering purgatory via Hawk’s eyes. Meanwhile Meliodas sees Zeldris directly and immediately proclaims he will be the new Demon King. Zeldris of course disagrees. Before the fight begins, Estarossa has recuperated and he wants in on this. He doesn’t care about the throne but just wants to fight. But the moment he sees Elizabeth, he changes his mind. He’ll stay out of this but just give Elizabeth to him. No way from Meliodas. Zeldris and Estarossa attack but are quickly pinned down by Meliodas’ immense power. Now you understand why their father views him to take over his place. Although Estarossa accepts this, Zeldris doesn’t. So Meliodas whispers something about why he knows Zeldris wants to become the next Demon Lord. Only then Zeldris agrees to cooperate.

What Meliodas wants them to do is to gather all the Commandments. Long ago, the Demon King divided his power to his servants so that he could gain control of the vast hell. Fearing that if that servant might gain that much power to overthrow him, hence he split them up into 10 fragments, one for each servant. That is what the Ten Commandments are. So if Meliodas absorbs all their power, he will gain equal power to his father. Zeldris has the Commandments of Gowther, Gloxinia and Drole while Meliodas only has Grayroad. The rule is that one cannot take a Commandment without the bearer’s consent. The other way is to subdue him in battle. What about if the bearer dies? It will remain on the corpse and it will be easy picking. Meliodas wants the duo to do this job because as a traitor, they won’t hand it over to him. After they leave, Elizabeth continues to warn Meliodas to turn back and not seek this path. Because when he becomes the Demon King, his power is so vast that he won’t remain in this world anymore. That is not what Elizabeth wants. A world without him. Meliodas believes her love is only because of the curse her mother put on her. Once the curse is lifted, those feelings will be gone. Elizabeth rubbishes that thought because she knows she voluntarily fell for him every time. Besides, if Meliodas never loved her, he could have ignored her and let her die. Meliodas is convinced he is not feeling those feelings of love right now. He is empty and all that is left is the fulfilment of the promise to break the curse. In that case, Elizabeth is going to side the Sins to help them prevent him from becoming the next Demon Lord. Because she also wants to do something to protect him.

Episode 18
Merlin realizes Meliodas has taken Grayroad’s Commandment. Then Zeldris pops up and wants to talk with Merlin. At first he didn’t recognize her but when she shows her real form, he realizes that she is that wizard kid who was blessed by both the Supreme Deity and Demon Lord. We go back a few days in time to see Margaret, Dreyfus and Hendrickson on a journey to rescue Gilthunder who was kidnapped by Vivian. Man, that woman is still so persistent! One night, Margaret heard a voice calling her and she stumbled into a strange rock believed to be of Druid origin. The voice claims he can grant Margaret’s wish but in exchange she must offer herself to him. As she is desperate to free her love, she takes up to offer. Margaret is now possessed by Ludociel. He briefly explains that the Goddess Clan made a difficult decision to end the war by sacrificing their physical bodies to seal the Demon Clan. Though this only delayed the inevitable, they were just waiting for the right time to be revived. With Ludociel’s revival, he also revives Tarmiel and Sariel who now save the Holy Knights before they get crushed by the demons. They want the humans to join Stigma to crush the Demon Clan. Meanwhile we see Gilthunder trapped in some castle in the clouds. Vivian tries to convince him she kidnapped him to save him from Liones’ destruction and that Margaret has died. Gilthunder doesn’t believe her. Before Vivian could talk about having their own children, she is killed off! For real! Turns out Ludociel has kept his promise so it is Margaret’s turn to keep hers. Zeldris narrates about Merlin who was from the wizard side and had unlimited powers. Both the Goddess Clan and Demon Clan coveted her power. So Merlin told them if they could give her a gift she liked, she’ll join their side. Both gave her exceptional powers and also power that would nullify effects from the other clan’s side. In the end, Merlin didn’t choose any of them. Feeling betrayed, they destroyed the wizard’s capital. Since Merlin was blessed, she only survived and went into hiding. Merlin will not say further about her plan and so does Zeldris why he is collecting Commandments for Meliodas to become the next Demon Lord. Merlin is willing to give Melascula’s Commandment in exchange for Elizabeth but Zeldris can’t do that. But he assures Elizabeth is safe as long as Meliodas protects him. In that case, Merlin wants Arthur. Can’t do that either. He doesn’t know nor met this guy. Okay. Then free all the people under his spell and make sure demons won’t hurt them. Deal. When it’s Merlin’s turn to do her part, it seems like she is stalling. Then a giant fireball is fired at Zeldris’ way. It’s a greeting from Ludociel.

Episode 19
Gilthunder is shocked to hear the truth and pleads for Margaret’s return. However Zeldris fires back the favour. Don’t worry. Nobody died. During this commotion, Merlin takes this chance to teleport the people of Camelot back to Liones. Elizabeth stumbles into Diane but is almost killed by Chandler’s familiar. Luckily Diane stomps it before the Sins return to Liones. Elizabeth explains to the Sins what happened and what she intends to do. Even if it costs her life, she needs their help to stop Meliodas. Since she is cursed to reincarnate forever, she hopes they can still be her friend. Baltra greets the Camelot citizens as well as the return of Elizabeth and the Sins. At the same time, Gilthunder and Margaret return. However Elizabeth can tell this is not Margaret. Ludociel and his archangels introduce themselves and everyone is now filled with hope they can defeat the Demon Clan. Ludociel wants the humans and Sins to cooperate with them to take down the Demon Clan. Elizabeth realizes that they need each other’s help if they are to bring this Holy War to an end. With permission to act as the Sins’ substitute captain, Elizabeth and Ludociel agree to form a pact. After Ludociel makes his rousing speech to further motivate the Holy Knights, Hendrickson wants to know where the fourth archangel is. But he is given a death stare. This is interrupt when Deathpierce and his Pleiades team walk up to Ludociel and say they disagree forming an alliance with the archangels because of how their captain was killed by one. Ludociel will not blame them for distrusting them but with (crocodile?) tears and heartfelt words of sympathy, Ludociel gives them some comforting light. Now they change their mind and will fight alongside them. Ludociel answers Hendrickson’s question about the fourth archangel. Mael no longer exists because a Ten Commandment killed him. We end with an emotional father and daughter bonding, Elizabeth hoping to be Baltra’s daughter for the remaining 2 days despite not actually related by blood.

Episode 20
Arthur can’t seem to get near the castle. Indeed. An eternal maze illusion casted by Peronia is making him lost. Only when Cath (Arthur’s weird cat) finds Peronia and devours her, the spell is broken and this enables him to proceed. Meanwhile Escanor is stopped by Ludociel who realizes this human’s power is generated by the sun. Instantly he attacks Escanor and wants him to know how he got that power. Just like how the Ten Commandments have their Commandments, the archangels have theirs called Grace. The power of the sun belonged to Mael before he was killed. Ludociel thinks Escanor stole it somehow. But prideful Escanor doesn’t care for all that nor is he going to give it back. Assuming what Ludociel said is true, he believes that this Grace chose him instead because this means he is the strongest him who is fit to wield this power. They both laugh and ‘consider’ each other useful. Meanwhile Estarossa kills off Galand imprisoned in his petrification form to take his Commandment. Arthur sneaks into the castle but Zeldris and Cusack confront him. Cath stalls them so Arthur could get Excalibur. When Arthur sees Meliodas, he is shocked and disappointed he has become a demon. No longer the Meliodas he once admired, he pulls out Excalibur and owns all of them! Arthur was told by Merlin never to use the sword as it contains a power too strong for him to control. Unless there is a great threat. He never expect that threat to be Meliodas. Meanwhile Merlin thinks of sneaking into Camelot alone to rescue Arthur. If they wait for Stigma, the large army will have the demons on guard even more. Only Escanor is against this. Merlin is obsessed in saving Arthur because he is the child who ill rule Britannia one day. She explains how Excalibur was first used by King Carfen. He used some ritual using his own blood and soul to have the next wielder a worthy hero. This ritual continued for a long time so Excalibur is basically an accumulation of the great wills of all the heroes who wielded it. So much so it came to a point where Excalibur is the one who chooses the next wielder. This means Arthur has the approval of the heroes of Britannia to wield Excalibur. A king among kings.

Episode 21
Chandler and Cusack were just trolling Arthur. They’re not injured at all and were just testing Excalibur’s strength. Arthur then suddenly starts to feel pain all over his body. It is probably his body now cannot stand the burden of the heroes’ souls now that it has worn out. Before Cusack could kill him off, Cath sends a telepathic message to Merlin to rescue Arthur. She did just that. How convenient. But it’s not over. Because Cusack has hypnotized Arthur, he commands him to kill himself. Everyone is shocked that Arthur stabs Excalibur into his own heart! OMG. Arthur really died?! Merlin depressed and blaming herself she failed to save him. She cannot detect where his soul is and probably has been absorbed by Excalibur. Cath seems angry because he takes it as Arthur lied to him… Merlin can’t stay depressed since time is running out to save Elizabeth. Hence a strategy meeting with the archangels and Holy Knights to fight against the Demon Clan at Camelot. A short detour: King trying to propose to Diane (failed of course), Gowther is back and in an upgraded body courtesy of Merlin, Merlin made new uniforms for them. All the Holy Knights seem to be blood thirsty and chanting for the blood of demons. This is thanks to a spell Ludociel casts on them as he needs those pawns to be obedient. With both sides now at the battlefield, the next Holy War has just begun. Or resumed.

Episode 22
We see the big battle at Liones. I wonder how those Holy Knights’ puny weapons can fight against the magic even of those lowly demons. Anyway, with Tarmiel and Sariel’s might, some demons are sent fleeing. It seems many of the Holy Knights who were blessed by Ludociel remain unhurt despite taking fatal damage. Deathpierce and his Pleiades men become arrogant with this invincible power. Although Elizabeth tells them not to rely on Ludociel’s fake power, they still don’t believe her. Until Tarmiel and Sariel condemn those fools. Ludociel’s blessing limits their sense to pain and they will fight until they die. It has no healing properties and the only reason why they aren’t injured is because Elizabeth has been healing them during the battle. Also, Elizabeth has been trying to talk to the demons to give up. A great feat considering the remaining ones lost their will and fled. Bear in mind that these lowly demons have been ordered by Chandler and Cusack to fight and they cannot disobey. We see Monspeet and Derieri continue to hide as the villagers flee. They have the same idea of giving up their Commandments when Estarossa has found them. He even killed their caretaker but luckily they manage to let her soul flee before Estarossa eats it. The duo doesn’t mind giving up their Commandment but Estarossa is hell bent on killing them and take it by force. Estarossa starts strangling Monspeet but he doesn’t know his magic trick of swapping places. So now it is him who gets choked. Monspeet then talks about Estarossa’s pitiful state that he was born without any dark magic and when he was given one, his mind deteriorated and became unstable. Estarossa becomes desperate as he tries all stops to break free. When he does so, Monspeet realizes he can’t protect Derieri anymore and pushes her away and sacrifices himself. But we all know what he has always wanted to say to Derieri, right?

Episode 23
The Holy Knights are doing well defending the walls of Liones. Except for Griamor. About to be killed, Dreyfus rushes to safe him but it looks like he won’t make it in time. Suddenly Dreyfus turns into a giant to save his son and smash the demon. He thinks Fraudrin lent him his power. Derieri is blown towards Elizabeth’s way. She can sense Derieri isn’t here to fight them and in fact she is confused and lost. She manages to tell what happened but looks like Estarossa is here to have fun. He sets his fire hound loose to wreak havoc but luckily Elizabeth blasts him away. For the most part of this episode, we see Estarossa battling out in a power battle between Sariel and Tarmiel. After all, these archangels have a bone to pick with him as Estarossa was the one who killed Mael. Despite using their Grace, Estarossa manages to survive it all. Why? He has absorbed Galand’s Commandment and is feeling superior although he is losing his mind and sanity. Meanwhile Derieri is asking Elizabeth what Monspeet said to her. How the f*ck would she know?! Of course Elizabeth doesn’t know but she can relate those feelings. They have a man with them who has been secretly protecting them. Elizabeth loves Meliodas and wants to repay his love and sacrifice. So she might not know Monspeet’s feelings but what is equally important are Derieri’s feelings towards him. Talk interrupted when crazy Estarossa is back and more powerful as at. Feeling this isn’t enough, this time he absorbs Monspeet’s Commandment. Next level badass powerful means next level bad news for you guys.

Episode 24
Flashback shows a young Estarossa met Elizabeth before and he told her about his woes of being bullied just because he lacked any powers. So he promised to become strong in hopes of coming back to take the woman he loves. Even Meliodas guaranteed that he can becomes strong. But then one day he saw Meliodas and Elizabeth together. He realized what he wanted to become is Meliodas. So now after absorbing the Commandments, Estarossa thinks he is Meliodas. Even though he is so powerful, this causes him to go even crazier. He is also in despair that even though Elizabeth and Meliodas were the only ones who never laughed at his powerlessness, in the end Elizabeth only had eyes for Meliodas. Then he goes dark Super Saiyan crazy, claiming Meliodas lied to him because he promised to let Elizabeth marry him?! Elizabeth believes that is not the case because Meliodas would never have said that. Even more baffling, Estarossa knows the secret place that Meliodas and Elizabeth often tryst. So rather than have Meliodas steal her from him, Estarossa will devour her. Elizabeth could hear Estarossa’s inner voice pleading for help. So she agrees to do what he wants to stop the rampaging. As Estarossa takes Elizabeth to that secret tryst place, those going to save her are King, Sariel, Tarmiel, Derieri, Gowther and Hawk. The rest will head south to continue fighting demons. Before we forget Ban’s whereabouts, we see him trudging through hell for who knows how long because his hair has grown so long like as though he has been casted away from hundreds of years. Meanwhile Ludociel’s side has arrived at Camelot. A huge dark ball envelopes the castle. Sensing a strong threat not to enter and disrupt the process, Ludociel has everyone break in via his sanctuary. The only way out is to kill Meliodas.

Better The Devil You Know Than The Angels You Don’t
Boy, that was one of the weirdest and most dissatisfying cliff-hangers ever. Final episode ‘boss fight’ with Estarossa. Elizabeth gets kidnapped. Meliodas in the midst of becoming the Demon Lord. The Sins technically separated. And the big final Holy War has just begun. Or resumed. Damn, too much going on and this is how this season ends?! Are you really trying to incur our wrath?! But don’t worry, folks. There is going to be another sequel. So cast away those blues if you’re jumping to conclusions if this season has ended on a very unsatisfying cliff-hanger. Yeah, but I bet it’s no surprise to anybody at this point since it was soon announced after this season ended. Heh. Me such a late comer to the party…

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about this season. It is both great and at the same time not fully satisfying not only in terms it ended in such a manner but rather this season feels like one big long connection to the next. For example in movies that are part of the trilogy, it is usually the second film that doesn’t generate as much as excitement as the first and the last. The middle film is often like a transition in between and for this series, this third season actually feels like it. Before I started watching this series, I was already expecting that perhaps this season was going to end it because you know, God and angels get into the fray and fight it all out till it’s over. Well, how wrong I was.

One of the great things to happen for this season is particularly the reunification of the Sins. Ah, finally. They have finally become a whole. Albeit it was just for a short period of time. Dang. It was really great to see all the Sins finally coming together as a group and busting away whatever each individual’s problems were, especially King and Diane. Suddenly plot twist! Just when the Sins have gotten together and getting ready for the final battle, all of a sudden Meliodas left the Sins to become the head of the Demon Clan! Like, WTF?! How unexpected! It was really unthinkable at this point to see the captain of the Sins returning to his original post as the Ten Commandments’ leader. Even more so, that weird feeling welling up inside me and that unsettling thought of Meliodas will be going to fight against the Sins that he once fought alongside with. I just never thought it could actually happen considering how Meliodas was really steadfast in his principles. He still is. But the methods now differ. Desperate times call for desperate measures, huh?

This season also settles the prolonged mystery of Meliodas and Elizabeth’s actual relationship. Now that their curse and true goal have been revealed, it makes more sense to all those shady stuffs that Meliodas has been doing, the words he said. I guess in a way he was right of not telling everybody this dark secret because not only it hinders plot development, I guess many of us like yours truly can’t actually handle this shock! It was a really ironically beautiful but sad and tragic tale of star crossed lovers. The Romeo and Juliet of the heaven and hell version. So with Meliodas switching sides, he is no longer the happy go lucky danchou we have always seen him as. The same goes to Elizabeth as she has awakened as her true goddess self, she is no longer the clumsy naïve Liones princess we all love. No more cheap skirt flipping fanservice for us! Ah yes. Those were the days. Literally, they are the epitome of the saying “Till death do us part”! It’s strange that they drag Elizabeth’s last 3 days out. Yeah, she’s still alive technically at the end of the season. So much so you might have forgotten about that death-reincarnation curse on her.

Yeah, speaking of romance, looks like everybody has been nicely paired. Well. Almost. Meliodas x Elizabeth. Ban x Elaine. King x Diane. Gowther x Nadja. Escanor x Merlin x Arthur? Monspeet x Derieri. Gilthunder x Margaret. Griamor x Veronica. Not to mention one-sided love like Vivian x Gilthunder and the most recent Estarossa x Elizabeth. Did I miss out any? Trying to show that love transcends time, race and status, huh? Wanna bet that the Demon Lord and Supreme Deity were in love with each other too but they got into some lover’s quarrel that split both sides that eventually turned into the Holy War! Oh sh*t! I hope my conspiracy theory is wrong!

The other Sins also get decent screen time and fleshing out although the most annoying one this season seems to be Ban. Yeah, surprise, surprise. I know this guy is arrogant and going at his own pace but this season he seems a lot more irritating than badass. It was bad enough to see him worried about Elaine’s existence but once that was settled, then he started worrying about his friendship with Meliodas. This one was the worse one. He was like sulking and regretting the stuffs he said because he didn’t know better and is trying to look for a chance to atone. I know he is Meliodas’ best friend but come on. The way he mopes about feels annoying and watching him fight along with the rest of the Sins during battle, it’s like his heart isn’t there because of this guilt. So now he is in hell trying to fix what he can and mostly missing from this season’s epic battle finale. I don’t know if I should feel relieved or not.

Last but not least, Hawk. Ah yes, this little piggy feels even more redundant this season. This mean less annoying and less comic relief. Still the annoying leftovers captain at times but Hawk feels like really being relegated to a side character who doesn’t matter. So that’s why I guess to make Hawk relevant, somehow his eyes are connected to hell? Okay. Whatever. Hence I feel the next episode preview AKA Hawk’s Corner is the only place where little piggy gets more attention. Besides, it doesn’t feel enlightening the topics or guest characters pop up to briefly talk about the terms or something. It wasn’t just interesting even if it is meant to be comic relief.

As this season sets the tone for the final battle (or the continuation of the Holy War if you look at it from another point of view), it is with shame that the other characters like the Holy Knights got side-lined. Gilthunder, Griamor, Hauser and even Threader were hardly featured. Before the final battle arc of this season, it made me wonder if they were ever going to even appear at all. Heck, did Veronica even appear?! Or even Jericho?! Blink or you’ll miss. Puny humans are no match in an epic stage where demons and angels showdown! And for Margaret to have even a few screen time relevance, hence she got possessed by Ludociel. Margaret fans rejoice? Nothing is more irritating than Vivian trying to kidnap Gilthunder for the umpteenth time! So hopefully she would stay dead this time. Thank heavens. But I didn’t expect Arthur to actually die! I know he didn’t. He’ll be revived somehow. Just waiting to the right plot convenience for his grand re-entry. Maybe he can go Super Saiyan by then. Just saying.

Speaking of angels and demons, this season we are introduced to the archangels and Ludociel being the leader of them, he feels more like a demon than an angel because of his scheming ways especially of his unlimited hatred to just get rid of the Demon Clan. Even Sariel and Tarmiel are saner than this dude. It just bugs me that they didn’t replace the fourth archangel after Mael’s death. If the Ten Commandments can find replacements, can’t the archangels do the same? So no angel powerful enough to fill that place? What about Michael? I’m sure there’s a powerful angel somewhere by that name, right?! And for the demons, taking into account the events from the last season, the Ten Commandments have been falling apart ever since and it’s like they don’t really matter. Some losing the will to fight, some dead, some captured. I suppose they have last season being featured as their revival. Only the strong devilish ones survive… So no Sins-archangels-Holy-Knights combo vs Ten Commandments. You thought introducing Cusack and Chandler was hardly enough but seeing how powerful they are, they are more than enough for the rest to handle.

This season still stays true to its action parts. Now with more firepower and demons and angels joining in, you bet that everything here is going to be ramped up another level with all the awesome magic so powerful enough to change the face of Britannia! This means more powerful spells as we see both sides of the divide unleashing on each other just to turn the tide. At least King and Diane get new powers to show off as they become leaders of their respective clans. Although the art and animation are mostly still the same, I noticed that some parts have dropped in quality like in some action sequences. It could probably be the change in the studio production. The first 2 were done by A-1 Pictures. The third season is helmed by Studio Deen (KonoSuba, Jigoku Shoujo, Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka, Fate/Stay Night, Vampire Knight) so perhaps that’s why the quality was quite noticeable. But that’s no excuse to push out lower quality. Change in quality is understandable but not when it goes south.

New seiyuus joining the line-up this season include Akira Ishida as Ludociel, Jouji Nakata as Cusack, Keiji Fujiwara as the original Gowther, Shinshuu Fuji as Chandler (Zenjurou in Beelzebub), Shun Horie as Sariel (Enta in Sarazanmai), Satoshi Tsuruoka as Tarmiel (Caster in Fate/Zero), Momo Asakura as Nadja (Rona in Endro), Miyu Komaki as Orlondi (Shizuno in Anitore! EX). Rintarou Nishi who is the voice of Baltra also voices Rou and Aoi Yuuki who reprises as Diane, I just found out she also doubles as Cath! This season’s first opening theme, Uverworld by Rob The Frontier is now a full rock outfit. No more parts that sound like cheering anthem like the past 2 seasons. The second opener also feels like another hard rock piece, Delete by Sid. If I had to pick among them, I’d prefer the former. I also prefer Regeneration by Sora Amamiya as the first ending theme compared to the second ending theme’s Good Day by Kana Adachi since the latter has background choir voices that make the song sound a little weird. Perhaps they want to match the lovely Meliodas x Elizabeth animation.

Overall, not bad a season with some decent and solid developments that has those interested wanting more and can’t wait for the next season to arrive. Scheduled to be in late 2020 but that depends on the Corona virus that is wreaking havoc now in the world! Surprised, Japan not spared! Not even God and His angels can pull of this miracle. Can’t blame God for everything, though. Because I read comments over the internet that this season wasn’t so well received and there were disappointments all over. True, it is not the best season and has its faults in the animation, pacing of the story (especially the final arc) and some say even its dialogue was amateurish. Well, let those without sin cast the first stone. Okay. Don’t just throw stones, hurl your money at them to make better animation!!!

After that loquacious detective genre Fate spinoff in which a mature Waver was the lead, it’s time to go back to the fantasy action Fate that we all are familiar with. The next instalment of the Fate series adapted was Fate/Grand Order. Since this is another long story and it is (almost) impossible to adapt everything from start to finish, a poll was held to ask viewers their favourite story to be and hence we have Fate/Grand Order: Absolute Demonic Front – Babylonia that adapts the Sumerian story of this franchise. Got to go back to where human civilization began.

Episode 0
Some experiment to forcefully summon a Servant gone awry. Servant goes berserk and attacks but soon loses power and collapses. We hear Dr Romani Archaman travelling the world to finally become a great scientist or something. He then works at Chaldea under Marisbury Animusphere. Their job is to summon a Heroic Spirit and allow it to possess a human to become a Servant by merging their souls. But recently the one they summon, Mash Kyrielight refused to cooperate and went silent. This may put that girl’s body under pressure but using this as catalyst, they can conduct more stable experiments in the future. Romani volunteers to be her physician and personally keep check on her. Romani communicates and bonds with Mash and in turn she opens up. Soon, Leonardo Da Vinci is also summoned. Da Vinci is a woman?! Anyway, her role sounds like giving advice or something. Romani then talks to Lev Lainur about Mash’s progress, especially her personality not to envy others and admires everyone who exists. Then there’s some rebel incident at Chaldea. The culprit held Marisbury at gunpoint but in order to preserve humanity, Marisbury took his own life. With Olga taking over, it is said that 2016 is when humanity cease to exist. Hence searching through the records of humanity, she sent teams to time travel back into the past to save humanity’s future. Romani and Mash are one of those many teams. And she has a cute little creature mascot to tag along, Fou. Then we hear a long narration of Mash about her changed desires, her perception on humanity and their nature. Because this journey has changed her from the different people across the world she has met.

Romani briefs Mash and her Master, Ritsuka Fujimaru about their next mission. Some back story about Solomon sending 7 Grails to his past self and they have solved 6 of those singularities. This final one will have them go the ancient land of Mesopotamia. The duo are sent back in time but some error has them falling from the sky and away from their intended location, Uruk. Mash’s shield gives them a soft landing. They are then attacked by demonic beasts. There is no end to their numbers. Could it be why this village is ruined? They stumble upon this hot babe. Ishtar (Rin?) is haughty, trying to ask if they found something but will not say what it is. Yeah seriously, we don’t know who you are and she even accuses Fujimaru for accidentally touching her?! Even after he introduces themselves and explains where they are from, their mission, arrogant Ishtar still won’t tell them anything. To show she isn’t just a b*tch, she uses her amazing powers to destroy all the demonic beasts creeping up on them. Too bad she won’t help them further and leaves. Luckily they have Enkidu saving them. Enkid who? Legend says he is one who will return Gilgamesh to the gods. He guides them to Uruk as he mentions the Grail is no longer in anyone’s hands. Gods are now the enemies of humanity, especially the Three Goddess Alliance. They have taken up 60% of Mesopotamia and their goal is to incinerate humanity. As the goddesses have their own methods for doing so, one of them being the goddess of the beasts as they have seen, sent demonic beasts to run wild through the northern areas. But to counter them, humanity has built the greatest wall ever. Nope, it’s not Wall Sina, Wall Maria or Wall Rose! This final and largest fortress that protects all corners of the world is known as Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia. Roll credits!

Episode 2
Babylonia is able to reduce human casualties but Enkidu remains sceptical that eventually humans will go extinct anyway. As Enkidu leads them through the forest, they stumble into Merlin and Ana. They claim they are lost and also want to go to Uruk. When Merlin learns this is Enkidu, there seems to be a problem. Because if Gilgamesh is now commanding the frontline in Uruk, that is the king who returned from the quest of retrieving some immortality herb. That only happened when Enkidu had died. Enkidu suddenly attacks them but Mash’s shield protects. Merlin has Ana assist them. Enkidu thought he has them all in their grasp but it turns out to be just an illusion. Enkidu retreats. The rest are safe as Merlin deduces Enkidu is working for the King of Mages. This Merlin is also the real deal because of his deceptive behaviour and something about his magic that allows him to exist in a time before he even existed? Not really sure but Merlin and Ana are now Servants in this era. Now their task is to find the Holy Grail the King of Mages sent to this era. They need to retrieve it take down the Three Goddess Alliance. There’s also a story on Gilgamesh being a tyrannical king. To admonish his behaviour, the gods sent Enkidu but the 2 became best friends instead. Heading inside the thriving city of Uruk, they head directly to the ziggurat, the shrine and altar for Mesopotamians and to meet Gilgamesh himself. He is such busy king reading problems and giving orders to solve them. At this rate will they be heard? Merlin just skips the queue and goes talk to him! Instantly Gilgamesh wants to fight Fujimaru and Mash. So is battle the fastest way to know whether they are genuine or not? Maybe the King of Heroes need to blow off some steam.

Episode 3
Merlin requests Ana to assist. After a short bout, Gilgamesh stops. He finds them boring and tells them to leave. Before Fujimaru could make his plea heard, Gilgamesh already knows they are from Chaldea and their mission. He even shows them the Holy Grail as his treasure. This is what the Three Goddess Alliance seeks. Otherwise they won’t be attacking Uruk, right? Of course don’t you dare ask him to give it to them too. Fujimaru suggests defeating the alliance in exchange. Gilgamesh laughs his ass off and will protect Uruk himself. Just then, Ishtar drops in to pick a fight. Because Gilgamesh mocks her, she acts like a tsundere. Sure this is not Rin? She tries to attack him but Mash and Ana fight her. After realizing who Ana is, she changes her mind and leaves. With that, Gilgamesh gets back to work. If Fujimaru really wants to be heard, work your way up. Siduri, his assistant will help them with their stay at Uruk and provides them with accommodation. On their first night, they dine with other Servants that Gilgamesh summoned: Ushiwakamaru, Musashibou Benkei and Leonidas. Siduri talks about the sad fact that the real Enkidu already dead. He might be the gods’ puppet but gained a heart. Gilgamesh is very well aware of this fake but has yet to meet him in person. For the next few days, Siduri has Fujimaru and Mash do jobs in various sectors like construction, agriculture, etc. On their day off, Ana has them accompany her to fight off spirits in Uruk’s underground sewers. She explains a deadly disease is spreading here. Although not technically a physical death, it is a spiritual death as your soul is taken away and you sleep forever. There is a chance for you to wake up if your soul is returned to your body (which is of course must also be in safe conditions).

Episode 4
Fujimaru spots an old man in the alley. Thinking he is hungry, he gives his bread. In exchange for his kindness, he warns him that 3 storms will sweep over Uruk. Fujimaru still has trauma about not being able to do something or failure to save somebody and hence wondering if he had made the right choice. Mash assures him that whatever decisions he makes, she will believe in him. Gilgamesh summons them and knowing they have grown accustomed to the petty tasks, he sends them to investigate the weird happenings at the city of Ur. While trekking through the jungle, they are attacked by this, uhm, woman in tiger outfit? Jaguarman? Fujimura?! After a short scuffle, she backs down. Entering Ur, it looks safe and the citizens do not wish to be evacuated. Next day, Merlin has everyone gathered so as to hear their reasons of not wanting evacuation. They claim the goddess of the jungle is protecting them from demonic beasts. That’s why they are safe doing nothing. However Merlin points out that this is only so because they had sacrifices. At least 1 man per day. Notice the disparity of the men-women ratio? They admit to this and don’t think outsiders would understand. Weak people can’t do anything and they’ve all agreed to this method. Then Jaguarman pops up to assure that those sacrificed are just forced into labour at Eridu. She then fights them in a very cheeky and lively manner. Yeah, she’s making a fool out of them with her playfulness. Merlin realizes she is a true goddess and at this rate they can’t win unless they have a Servant who can match her divinity. Fujimaru is worried because he doesn’t want to abandon the people and make the same mistakes. Mash reminds and assures him again she will stick with his decision. Hence Fujimaru orders a retreat. In a single whoosh, Merlin has them teleported outside Ur. For now, they will report their findings to Gilgamesh and Fujimaru vows to come back and save the people.

Episode 5
Gilgamesh visiting the humble abode of Fujimaru and Mash personally? Well, he wants to personally give them a new mission to survey the water of the Persian Gulf. Of course, he is accompanying them. Such a long journey means he wants to hear their travel journeys. Like how Mash first met Fujimaru in the most unfashionable way. Sleeping in the hallway? Anyway, such a great king finds their stories boring although he notes they had fun journeying through it. Arriving at the observatory, they do what they need to do. Then more of Mash and Fujimaru talking about things as they take a break. Before it is suddenly interrupted by a powerful attack by Enkidu. Not the real one, but the imposter. He views humans as useless and to prove it, he will eliminate them right now. Of course the duo are no match for him and hence we need to have an epic showdown with Gilgamesh. Enkidu feels pained realizing this is the real king as he goes on the offensive, summoning all his spears targeted towards Gilgamesh. Not sure if it’s some programming error because his final attacked missed. You mean that huge power just missed Gilgamesh? Then Enkidu escapes. Gilgamesh views that Enkidu was not serious and been spared. Had he been serious, all of them would have died. Enkidu is lamenting his own retreat and should’ve finished them since he is obviously stronger. Blaming this defective heart, he psychos himself to kill Gilgamesh. No room for talk. Just kill him. After all, he is not the real Enkidu.

Episode 6
Gilgamesh now wants Fujimaru to go to the city of Kutha to find his Tablet of Destinies. It is a record of the future he saw in a past meditation. Merlin finds it troublesome since the city is under Ishtar’s rule. Besides, one day all communications to Kutha were lost and when investigations were made, everyone just died. No combat wounds whatsoever. Like as though they died in their sleep. Before they depart, that night Ushiwakamaru talks to Fujimaru about admiring her because in his future, there were tales about her legend. It makes her happy so she vows to protect the place he would return. Next day as they depart to Kutha, they stumble upon a place filled with holes. Apparently Ishtar recklessly killed demonic beasts and saved the people but took all their belongings and fled. Merlin thinks this is not Ishtar’s true form as she was summoned and her soul blended with the body of a mortal. That gave rise to difference in personality. In the abandoned city of Kutha, because demonic beasts somehow won’t enter here, they are free to split up and search. Fujimaru thought he saw a ghost. The next thing he knows, he is in the underworld and the dead trying to kill him. Only to be saved by that old man, Ziusu-dra. He views Fujimaru as worthy to be spared and leaves a message that all is well in the underworld. When Fujimaru comes to, his friends are glad he is back alive. In his hands is the Tablet of Destinies. Fujimaru tells about Ziusu-dra and Merlin wonders if it is someone else taking on his role. They are then attacked by Ishtar. Not wanting her thief image to be known, eh? Thanks to Fujimaru’s provocation to challenge her, this allows Ana to get revenge by knocking her out when she charges. They tie her up and interrogate her about the Three Goddess Alliance. Apparently all of them are in competition to see who can destroy Uruk and take Gilgamesh’s Holy Grail. The winner will rule this land. Due to their non-aggression pact, she can’t reveal their names. She also lets them know that she was summoned via a temple but the other 2 goddesses were drawn by the Holy Grail. As the night is deep, the city is now surrounded by the undead. Ishtar shows her fickle side and finishes them to let the rest escape. Fujimaru thanks her and she finds it amusing that he is a sacrifice too good for the other goddesses.

Episode 7
Fujimaru dreams of Solomon. He instantly fell asleep after he came back with the tablet. When he wakes up, he tells Merlin that he did meet Solomon in person before in the fourth Singularity. Solomon considered himself as the Grand Caster so Merlin explains those Servants given the Grand title are those chosen by the Root. The way they are now, they can’t defeat him. Fujimaru and co are given another mission. As they head to the northern walls, they see Leonidas and his men killing a few demonic beasts that breached through. In the northern city of Nippur, there are still people stranded there. As they can’t brute force their way through and only slowly using the night to rescue them in small numbers (can’t they all go at once?), one day communication with Nippur was cut off. So I guess they have to go there and see if there are any citizens left to be rescued. As they head out, Ushiwakamaru and Benkei’s side become the decoy to fight demonic beasts to let Fujimaru’s team head towards Nippur. But after a while, Ushiwakamaru realizes something wrong. Isn’t it too easy for the enemy to fall for their diversionary tactic? Could it be that they have instead fallen into the enemy’s trap because the target is actually Fujimaru. Upon reaching Nippur, Fujimaru is devastated to see not a single soul left. The blood trails lead to the centre where Enkidu is. Enkidu explains that he has sacrificed the humans as nourishment to create the next generation of better demonic beasts. Hence the attack on the walls are not to invade Uruk but to feed on the nourishment that humans provide. Enkidu summons a giant demonic beast. Not even Ana could kill it with her immortal slaying scythe. Merlin provides support that allows her to do so. But this is what Enkidu wants as he traps Ana. Considering her as troublesome, he will kill her off now. WTF. Stab through her stomach? Why not her head, neck or even heart?! This allows Fou to use its magical properties whatever to whisk Ana away. The place rumbles as the goddess Tiamat awakens from her slumber. Everyone is scared of this giant snake lady who proclaims herself as the leader of the Three Goddess Alliance. Using her serpent eyes to paralyse Fujimaru and co, good thing Leonidas’ breathing technique makes them loosen up their muscles and move again. Against Enkidu’s wish for her to rest until her day of rebirth, she decides to kill off Fujimaru.

Episode 8
Attacks cannot harm Merlin since he is half incubus. However when Tiamat is going to use her petrification eyes on him, he gets scared and hopes Fujimaru can protect him. Ushiwakamaru drops in to fight Tiamat so as to buy time for the rest to return to Uruk. However she gets defeated as Tiamat now appears before the wall and destroys part of it. But don’t fear. Leonidas uses his Noble Phantasm to summon the souls of dead soldiers to fight back. Although Leonidas eventually becomes petrified, he manages to land his spear through Tiamat’s stomach. Ushiwakamaru gets back up to continue her fight, even using her Noble Phantasm to deal the fatal blow. Unfortunately it is not enough as Tiamat still lives. It is because of the Holy Grail inside her. But Tiamat claims she isn’t using such power to destroy humans. When she is about to summon demonic beasts to attack and destroy them once and for all, Enkidu stops her because this is only a short sighted plan. When humanity is destroyed, the alliance is dissolved. The other goddesses will be their greatest problem. Hence until the next generation of demonic beasts is born, the alliance must continue. Tiamat backs down for now but promises to be back soon and destroy Uruk. Soon after, Enkidu reveals to the rest his real identity: Kingu. Some offspring of Tiamat in Babylonian mythology that is said to be a prototype of the people who’ll rule the world in their place. Hence he views himself as the perfect next generation of humanity and assures humanity will not be extinct. Humanity will be reborn with him and he will continue with their history. As the soldiers lament Leonidas’ death, Benkei says he is pulling out of this fight. He claims he is not the Benkei they think he is but some traitor who betrayed Lord Yoshitsune. While Leonidas and Ushiwakamaru fought at the frontlines, he could only watch. Although he retreated and brought back the soldiers, it still isn’t good enough for him. He is just a coward. Fujimaru refuses to be depressed over this issue and rallies the men to help rebuild the wall. Meanwhile Ushiwakamaru is still alive. She is to be used as some seed to create demonic beasts. Because she mocks Enkidu and Tiamat being amateur at warfare, Enkidu changes his mind and will bring her to Tiamat herself. He is going to dip her in some sea of life and see what kind of monster she’ll turn out to be.

Episode 9
The meeting to countermeasure Tiamat with Gilgamesh begins. First, a history on the Gorgons which is Tiamat’s true history. You know, the most famous Gorgon sister, Medusa, blah, blah, blah. The plan now is not to fight Ishtar but to bring her to their side. Gilgamesh appoints Fujimaru as the one who will tame her. They head to her pantheon at Mt Ebih. She attacks them and has no intention of cooperating with them. That is when Fujimaru throws all the gems at her. Previously, Gilgamesh told him that Ishtar loves gems but she doesn’t have any luck in obtaining them. Instead of using his treasury to offer to her, this treasury will be used to hire her to join their side. We can obviously tell Ishtar is tempted to take this offer but tries to remain sceptical of this good offer. The clincher is 25% of Gilgamesh’s treasury if she joins them. Deal. And so Fujimaru needs to complete making Ishtar his Servant by kissing her foot. Sure that is how you make a contract with a Servant. On the way back, Romani asks Ishtar an ethical question about the body she is inhabiting. She assures him that she has not killed the host nor taken over her mind. It is just that their personalities fused. Merlin then seems to be flattering Ishtar by suggesting the use of her strongest weapon that will be their last resort in fighting Tiamat. Ishtar tries to hide her panicky face and plays along. That night as they camp, Ishtar talks to Fujimaru about his mission to fight the Three Goddess Alliance. She relates how humans became suffer and accepted reality. Also when bad things happened, humans can conveniently blamed it on the gods. Ishtar has been taking on that blame for tens of thousands of years. It’s a reason she joined this alliance so that this world could become a world for both gods and humans. In short, she is not even mankind’s enemy. When Fujimaru thanks her for being kind to humans, she goes into full blown dere-dere mode. Are you sure this is not Rin in disguise?!

Episode 10
Gilgamesh knows a weapon that can defeat Tiamat. It is the Axe of Marduk and is kept in Eridu. But they have to pass the forest at Ur to get there. Then they discuss the other goddess of the alliance. No, it’s not Jaguarman. Thankfully. It’s Quetzalcoatl. Speaking of her, she has invaded Uruk and killed some of the soldiers. Fujimaru and co go face her as she trolls them she’ll join them in Fujimaru marries her. Mash is perturbed because of her sunny smile, she still has intentions to kill. Quetzalcoatl is doing this because Mother told her to come kill humanity. However she sets a quota of only 100 kills a day. Now that she has reached it, she’ll go back. See you tomorrow. Then Jaguarman comes to pick up the dead. She lets her underlings deal with them so she could escape. With this, Gilgamesh needs a solution to this or Uruk will fall. So asking Romani for advice, he thinks the best option is to invade her domain. If they destroy her temple that represents her divine power, they may stand a chance to defeat her. So the gang make their way south. Because Mash still cannot stop thinking about Quetzalcoatl, that night Ishtar talks to Fujimaru about Quetzalcoatl being the goddess of everything good. Hence only something very evil can only harm her. This is also a cue for Ishtar to display her tsundere because we all miss Rin, right? Next day as they continue their journey and talk more on Quetzalcoatl, so deep their discussion that they didn’t even notice Jaguarman ‘greeting’ them. Yeah, she’s so heartbroken she is ignored. Annoying as usual, they learn she isn’t a Servant of Quetzalcoatl and just freeloading of her. This means they can ask her to be their ally. Thus Fujimaru using his cheesy pickup lines to have Jaguarman on their side. Yeah, it was that easy. Reaching Ur, it seems all those killed by Quetzalcoatl are still alive. She resurrected those who don’t want to die. However they are not allowed to leave this place as she is creating an army of her own. With zero casualties, Fujimaru thinks he can try conversing with Quetzalcoatl first. But he is going to use it without exchanging words.

Episode 11
Arriving at Quetzalcoatl’s Sun Temple, all they have to do is destroy the Sun Stone which is the Aztec Calendar and her power source. We hear Quetzalcoatl’s reasoning on why she is interested in messing with humans and watch their evolution. She has fun in kicking everybody’s ass. Because Fujimaru’s reason to fight is so that people can be happier even if it is just a little, Quetzalcoatl challenges him to overcome her and destroy the altar. Doing so means he wins. Well, if everybody can touch her, that is. Fujimaru makes his way up the stairs while everyone ganging up on Quetzalcoatl gets their ass kicked. Even Ishtar. By the time Fujimaru reaches the top, everybody’s down. Then he realizes Quetzalcoatl doesn’t want just a victory. She wants a head on battle of the soul. Ignoring Romani’s orders to destroy the stone, Fujimaru has Ishtar fly him up high in the sky. And then jumps down! Was this how they do skydiving back then????!!! Of course he survives because Quetzalcoatl catches him. Fujimaru was sure she wouldn’t dodge because she loves humanity. With that, Quetzalcoatl quits the alliance and decides to join them. She also assists in getting the Axe of Marduk. Later, Romani reprimands him for ignoring Chaldea’s orders. Humanity could have been done for. Conveniently, signal cut off. Fujimaru and Mash remember in one of the singularities, somebody told them about the Holy Grail War at Fuyuki. The winner was Marisbury and Romani was his assistant in that war. Romani then joined Chaldea a year later. It is believed Romani has something to hide regarding the Holy Grail and incineration of humanity. They decide to continue believing in him because there has to be some meaning behind it. When the gang arrive back at Uruk, Siduri is seen running in a panicky state to them. Seems something has happened to Gilgamesh. So the king finds himself in the land of the dead?!

Episode 12
Merlin and Romani are most shocked that Gilgamesh died from overworking?! But after Siduri calms down, she noticed that there was something strange happening at Uruk while they were away. There were unnatural deaths that kept piling up. Those who are exhausted just died. Quetzalcoatl believes this the work of Ereshkigal, the Queen of Kur and the other member of Three Goddess Alliance. Hey wait. Aren’t there 4 of them, the goddesses? Then Ishtar reveals she is not part of the Three Goddess Alliance! Well, she never did mention specifically but they managed to fool and troll us to think she was part of it. So from the discussion, it seems Ereshkigal was also resurrected at the same time when Ishtar was summoned because both goddesses are one of the same coin. While Ishtar represents life, Ereshkigal represents death and hence has that ability to take away lives. Luckily as Merlin explains, because Ereshkigal cannot leave the underworld, they have a chance to defeat her and bring Gilgamesh back. Although Heroic Spirits have no powers there, she cannot control those who aren’t technically dead. So Ishtar leads Fujimaru and Mash back to Kutha. This is the way to the underworld? Just blasting a deep hole? So the underworld where the dead goes is just beneath the earth? Anyway, Ishtar seems knowledgeable about this world as she leads the duo deeper. Then there are gates they must answer truthfully to pass. It is seen as a test of your soul. So who is most beautiful, Ishtar or Ereshkigal? Ishtar prides herself as so and gets struck by lightning! Fujimaru picks Ereshkigal and the gate opens. I guess there’s diversity in beauty… After a few more gates, Ishtar is now smaller than Fou. Ereshkigal’s curse? Then before them is Gilgamesh. He knows the place like the back of his hand and managed to evade capture. Since he can’t leave this place without Ereshkigal’s permission, he decides to have fun to punish her and leave with pleasure. Along the way, they talked about Ereshkigal who was forced upon this role as the guardian of the underworld. Then they come face to face with the Queen of Kur herself.

Episode 13
When Fujimaru invites Ereshkigal to join them and save Uruk, she will not budge on her decision to kill everyone and take all their souls before Tiamat’s onslaught. Fujimaru thinks she is lying but negotiations have broken down. Ereshkigal attacks. Despite being dead, Gilgamesh is able to hurt Ereshkigal thanks to some royal authority. Ereshkigal seems to be jealous and frustrated of being stuck in this job of taking care of the souls of the dead unlike her counterpart Ishtar who roamed freely. She wants Fujimaru to commend her for the job she has done but he will not. It will only hurt her pride. This makes her angry as she goes berserk. Fujimaru then uses a Command Spell on Mash to protect Ereshkigal’s dignity and will. He knows that she does not hate humans. After a big explosion, Ereshkigal reverts to her human form which is a splitting image of Ishtar. Gilgamesh notes that what Ereshkigal did cannot be commended because it is a sin. You can only be commended for your achievements but the pain in your heart is forever yours alone. Fujimaru believes she always thinks about humans and has met her several times before via Ishtar. Ereshkigal is now swamped with embarrassment realizing her gig is known. Just when things are looking good, Ziusu-dra cuts her in half! Before you scream in horror, behold she is still in one piece. What he severed is her alliance to the Three Goddess Alliance. He commends her for the job she has been doing despite nobody understanding her. Now that she is no longer part of the alliance, she is free to do as she wish. Gilgamesh extends an olive branch that if she frees the soul she took from Uruk, they’ll call it even. Though Ereshkigal would be glad to join Fujimaru’s cause, she can’t do it now. She needs to repay his kindness first like making a cool entrance when he is in a band. So see you later? Oh well, I guess we don’t need 2 overlapping tsundere characters now! Everyone leaves the underworld as Gilgamesh returns to life. It seems he has another intention of going down there. It was to look for Enkidu’s corpse. But it wasn’t anywhere to be found. It was supposed to be buried there but it is gone. He dismisses the idea that Kingu is Enkidu himself because the latter’s soul was destroyed by the gods. So even if Enkidu’s physical body is the real deal, it is still not Enkidu.

Episode 14
Gilgamesh chairs a meeting to take down Tiamat. Uruk’s forces will fight the demonic beasts to buy Fujimaru and co some time to head to Tiamat’s base at Blood Fort. They will use the Axe of Marduk to destroy its divinity and this is where Quetzalcoatl will use her strength to throw at the base. However, although she is not part of the alliance, its rules still stands so attacking each other means total annihilation of the attacker. Merlin knows a way to counter this. Merlin will get close enough to the base for Quetzalcoatl to throw it at him and he will throw it at the base. So while they wait to carry out this plan at dawn, we see Fujimaru talking to Merlin on why he serves Gilgamesh as well as Ana now a changed person who wants to fight for the people of Uruk instead for herself after meeting some blind old florist. Next day as the battle rages on, Quetzalcoatl fights Kingu until Merlin gives her the signal to throw the giant axe. Merlin was a bit cheeky so he didn’t exactly throw it himself at Blood Fort. Though the base is destroyed, Quetzalcoatl also suffers a bit of divinity loss. Kingu then abandons the fight to return and check on Tiamat. Fujimaru and co are inside the deepest parts of Blood Fort. They come face to face with Gorgon who is still bent on destroying all of humanity. Mash didn’t like what she saw from all those hideous experiments when she came in so Tiamat tries to coax Fujimaru to fight on her side and she’ll keep him as her Master. Of course he rejects her, claiming her words are empty. Then everyone starts mocking her especially Ana, sending the Gorgon reeling (the divinity’s down so I guess she isn’t feeling good right now). Ana then unleashes her seal as she is going to use her Mystic Eyes to offset Tiamat’s.

Episode 15
Tiamat seems to fear Ana. Some flashback they have but I don’t really get it. With Tiamat paralyzed in that fear, Ana uses her scythe to stab deep into her. It seems Ana is Tiamat’s other half and to effectively kill her off, this means sacrificing her own life as well. However, something still feels wrong despite Tiamat’s defeat. Then a contact from Romani that despite confirming Tiamat’s death, the Singularity still exists. Humanity is still not saved yet. Kingu drops in to explain that they did his job. You see, putting Tiamat back to slumber (that includes killing her) puts her in a cage of dreams. Kingu was trying to awaken her initially but if that ultimately failed, he would still end up killing her. Now apocalypse is coming. Their true mother, the original sin of humanity. As Merlin weakens and disappears, he wants Fujimaru to return to Uruk to report to Gilgamesh about the awakening of one of the beasts of original sin, the primordial mother. Or at least she is partly awakening as of now. We see strange creepy monsters killing off humans. So this is the new humanity? Fujimaru and co barely stave them off before they retreat. In Ziggurat, Gilgamesh makes his announcement that those who don’t want to die should head up north. Those who wish to stay and fight and die for Uruk have only a certain time to say goodbye to their loved ones. When Fujimaru reports to him, Gilgamesh thought he already knew what the original sins of humanity was from his journeys. Apparently they are humanity’s stigma, a series of disasters that destroy humanity. The new humans are called Lahmu as they don’t exist in humans’ genealogical tree. They are like mass produce of Enkidus. Fujimaru realizes Siduri is not around. Gilgamesh says she went to Eridu to deal with the Lahmu due to lack of power. Gilgamesh forbade her to do so but after seeing that smile, I guess he let her go. So Fujimaru wants to go save her rather than whatever is more important. It’s not like he is officially part of Gilgamesh’s army. Okay. Go save her. At Eridu, our heroes are sickened to see the Lahmu making humans kill and fight each other. Going on the offensive, Fujimaru thinks one of the Lahmu is Siduri?! Because of that vague hand action thingy?! Really?! Kingu is here, Fujimaru trying to tell him he is an imposter because Enkidu’s body wasn’t found in the underworld and just something created out of utilizing Enkidu’s corpse. Kingu rubbishes that and still considers himself as the child of Tiamat and her puppet. And then the Lahmu kills him off. Didn’t see that coming, huh?

Episode 16
So apparently Kingu’s heart is the real Holy Grail? A Lahmu swallows it and escapes. Fujimaru’s side is forced to go after this one and let Kingu go because this guy too has Lahmu hot on his tail trying to kill him. Kingu then starts to reminisce and regret that he had nothing from the start and his only merit was being Mother’s only child. Before he gets killed, a Lahmu goes crazy and kills the rest. This Lahmu is Siduri as she thanks Enkidu for everything and hopes he finds happiness. After this Siduri Lahmu dies, Kingu is overcome with sadness despite not knowing Siduri personally. Fujimaru’s side manages to catch up and pin down the Lahmu. Unfortunately something sets it free. They are shocked to see their enemy in the form of Ushiwakamaru! She is made up of the same thing like Lahmu thanks to Mother’s mutation. She puts up a tough fight before Ishtar’s blast gets the better of her. But she still stands. No, this is not regeneration. She can clone herself. So long as her every last strand of hair is still around, she can still clone herself. Another round of fight. This time Ishtar borrows power from Fujimaru to shoot down all the Ushiwakamaru clones. But Ushiwakamaru isn’t fazed. The Lahmu has delivered the Holy Grail to Mother. End of humanity is set in tone. The gang later report back to Gilgamesh via some remote hologram communication system. It seems Uruk can hold out no longer than an hour while assaulting Lahmu from all sides. Tiamat is approaching land and this black seawater mud is her authority. Anything touches it becomes infected. Ever since the Holy Grail was taken, this mud has speed up and in 3 hours it will reach the land and flood Mesopotamia like never before. So the solution is simple. Defeat Tiamat herself to end this madness.

Episode 17
The real Tiamat is spotted over the Persian Gulf. Fujimaru uses his Command Spell so that Ishtar could summon her heavenly power and blast her. She’s gone. Wow. That’ easy, huh? Yay! We saved humanity! But not quite… Because the true real actual Tiamat herself now pops out! WTF?! So that one was just a small part of her? The tip of the iceberg? The real deal is some huge mother!!! Definitely cannot defeat her like this. Back to Uruk to report to Gilgamesh. Thanks to some fang barrier, it impeded the mud but it won’t last long. It will be 2 days before Tiamat arrives. Worse, Gilgamesh says that there are only 500 people left in Uruk. Even if they win this, the kingdom cannot sustain itself. However if Uruk’s legend and Gilgamesh survive, others may follow in their footsteps and hence the Sumerian culture will not die out. So it’s still the same protect Uruk and defeat Tiamat. Unfortunately, Tiamat has no weakness. As she represents life, naturally she cannot die. The only way she will ‘die’ if all life on Earth dies. Then Ereshkigal contacts Gilgamesh because she is having problems as souls from Uruk are flooding the underworld. WTF. You mean the underworld cannot handle this much souls?! Anyway, Fujimaru realizes a solution. If Tiamat is the mother of life, then in the underworld where death reigns, she can be defeated! Yes, open the gate to the underworld! Ereshkigal finds it impossible because to open one as big as Tiamat would take 10 years. But don’t worry, since she had a grudge on Uruk and worked something out, she can make one in 3 days. So how to stall a day for her? Everyone rejoices at Ishtar because Gugalanna, her heavenly bull would be big enough for that task. If you’re wondering why Ishtar is reluctant or never suggested this, it’s because she lost her bull! So that was the thing she initially lost? Nowhere to be found in Mesopotamia. Everyone is so disappointed… Well, try to survive just for tonight then.

Episode 18
Gilgamesh knows Fujimaru and Mash are blaming themselves for this ever since they released Tiamat. He reminds them that 500 who survived is already a great achievement because in his vision he only saw himself survived. His people already know about this outcome and still continued to fight. He commends them for saving Uruk and loving this land. Somehow Kingu hangs out atop Ziggurat. Gilgamesh visits him but Kingu is in a pathetic state and breaking apart. Gilgamesh heals him with his treasure and tells him to do as he wishes. The end of the world is here. Even if he is the enemy, he is still worthy of his friendship. Despite having a different heart and soul, his body is the only Chain of the Heavens on Earth. Back to strategizing, it is assumed that Tiamat is too huge to walk on her on feet and hence the mud is the only thing she can move on. The task now is to destroy her mud. Thankfully, Quetzalcoatl can use her Noble Phantasm to clear the area. It’s a good thing Fujimaru didn’t destroy her sun altar. Gilgamesh gives his people a rousing speech how Uruk will fall but not their legacy as long as one survives to watch this victory. Fujimaru’s side head out to fight Tiamat. Of course, lots of flying Lahmu and Ushiwakamaru clones to fight them. Surprisingly, Benkei returns to help them out. Decided he can be useful now? The path is clear for Quetzalcoatl to unleash her Noble Phantasm. So I guess this is why Benkei came so he could protect her till the very end. Quetzalcoatl unleashes her Noble Phantasm. Tiamat crumbles beneath her own weight. Game over? Not yet. Because those gigantic horns of hers… They can become wings?! You’re so screwed! So if she can fly, does this means trapping her in the underworld cannot work. Quetzalcoatl won’t give up yet. So she turns into a comet to smash Tiamat? Not enough power, Fujimaru uses the last of his Command Spell to order her to bring victory. Wow. More power. And after all that and even giving her life, Tiamat still lives!!! You wasted that Command Spell… Fujimaru gets desperate to buy more time. He wants Mash to use her Noble Phantasm despite his mana has depleted.

Episode 19
The Gorgon version of Tiamat pops up just to break Tiamat’s horns and flight. Fujimaru and Mash know this is actually Ana. So much for her short cameo. Though, Tiamat can still slide over with her mud, Gilgamesh employs his magic cannons to fire at her. Tiamat aims at Fujimaru but Gilgamesh protects him and only gets a mortal wound. Look who is here to help? Kingu drops his heavenly chains on all the Lahmu and Tiamat herself to stop her movements. So I guess he isn’t into the new humanity anymore, huh? And then some emotional reminiscence with Gilgamesh before he uses up his ultimate binding move. Good timing because Ereshkigal has moved the underworld directly beneath Uruk. Now they need to make a big hole for her to fall through. Ishtar blasts open a big one. Ereshkigal cast some exemption spell on Fujimaru and Mash so they won’t get punished by the laws of the dead. Before Ereshkigal can finish Tiamat, she covers herself with the mud and reboots to her dragon form. I take it that the underworld’s laws have no more effect on her. Her wounds all healed and she can take flight again! You guys are really screwed. Before the mud corrupts everything, Merlin returns to turn it all into flowers?! There’s some explanation how and why he came back but I only understand this: Plot convenience! More explanation on Tiamat in this form and if she returns to Uruk, she is basically an immortal and can no longer die. And then some explanation by Merlin why all of Fujimaru’s battles have so far been meaningful. All I want to know is, is there still hope to win this thing?! I suppose there is. Because it’s Ziusu-dra’s turn to bring death to the mother of life.

Episode 20
Whatever Ziusu-dra, this allows the rest a chance to kill Tiamat. But be quick. Tiamat is trying to climb out of the underworld! Fujimaru and co try to stop her but she has unleashed elite Lahmu to stop them. I thought the underworld was way deeper than it is but looks like Tiamat may be able to climb out. Don’t worry. As always. Here is Gilgamesh in his Archer Servant form to push her back down. But now Tiamat initiates some expanding bubble around her surroundings. From what I understand any life that touches it will die but at the same time, she can create new life inside this new bubble. Ereshkigal tries her best to prevent this bubble from expanding but it won’t last long. There’s some explanation on how to overcome this thing but I don’t get it. Because ultimately it is Fujimaru who has to go all by himself to stick Gilgamesh’s dagger right in Tiamat’s forehead while the rest will pave a way for him. They can’t go with him because in their Noble Phantasm state, they cannot move. But first, Ereshkigal disappears because she used up all her powers. So where do the dead goddess go if she dies? Anyway, we can lament her loss later as Fujimaru makes haste. Not sure what’s going on, if Fou had teleporting abilities, shouldn’t it have done so instead of having Fujimaru run all the way and exert so much energy? In the end, he is successful and Gilgamesh nails the final blow with his mega Enuma Elish blast. Hope Tiamat stays dead for real. Meanwhile Fujimaru is in some alternate dimension and before him is Tiamat. She is sad that despite she loves her children, they always use her to go far away. She doesn’t want them to leave and be at their side forever. Was her love wrong? Fujimaru doesn’t know. But he knows all her children love her. Bye. Gotta go now.

Episode 21
I guess an episode should be enough to tie things up and for farewells. Fujimaru and Mash awaken somewhere in Babylon. They are greeted by Quetzalcoatl and Jaguarman. They talk a few things. Quetzalcoatl revealing when she first said she wanted to destroy Uruk, it was her way of taking the Holy Grail and stopping Tiamat. In the end, she is still one who loved humans. Quetzalcoatl gives Fujimaru a big hug before she and Jaguarman disappear. Heading back to Uruk, guess who is waiting back in their old house? Merlin and Ishtar. Merlin and Romani seem to be trading gentlemanly insults at each other. Ishtar reports half of the underworld collapsed. I wonder where the excess dead will go now. Ereshkigal is alright and resting in the underworld. Ishtar intends to stay here to enjoy her reward. Remember the treasury she is entitled to? As for Merlin, he’ll go back to Avalon and watch Fujimaru’s fight. Asked why he helped out the last minute, it’s because he is his fan. Gilgamesh dreams of his talk with Enkidu despite his worries of his people, he acts like a tyrant to protect them but won’t tell them about this truth. Fujimaru, Mash and Ishtar finally meet Gilgamesh waiting on his throne. Fujimaru mourns for the dead but Gilgamesh calls this act of his brazen but do not intend to belittle it either because he understands. He talks about a certain friend of his died and he went on to look for the mystic herb of immortality. Once he found it, he was already at the end of his life. The irony is that a snake stole it from his hands. He didn’t feel angry or sad but just laughed. Despite losing everything, he still saw light of another day. Gilgamesh acknowledges Fujimaru as the one they needed. Before Chaldea retrieves them, Gilgamesh gives them a treasure as parting gift. The Holy Grail? The duo return to Chaldea but no rest for them because it is time for the final battle with Solomon.

Twisted Fate/Grand Oh Dear
As you can see and expect, it is not the end yet. At least not in anime adaptation terms as well. Since we have already reached this far, might as well animate the endgame too. Yup, we’re going to have to fight Solomon. So stay tuned when that comes out in a future near you! It’ll be a waste if they didn’t do that. And if that isn’t enough Fate/Grand Order for you, they’re also going to adapt the second most popular story in the series which is Camelot. And they’re going to split that into several movies. Wow. We’re going to have a lot of never ending Fate stories to tell. Who knows if they will adapt the other stories and Singularities as well. I mean, that is why they there were 7 Singularities to begin with, right? They may not be as popular as Babylonia and Camelot but if they ever run out of stories to tell but still need to adapt something, maybe these stories might just fill in. On a side note, the final Solomon story is the third most popular in the poll and seeing that they have plans to adapt or have adapted the top 3 stories already, maybe the others might be up for consideration in some time in the future. Leave no Fate stories unturned!

As for this Babylonia story, as far as I am concerned, well, you know me. It is disappointing that I have watched so many Fate series and yet I still don’t understand what is going on. This one is no different as I am still in the dark of what is happening. At least in detail. Of course generally I still get the big picture that our heroes need to save humanity and hence all the actions they take to fight the forces that would bring demise to mankind. That’s the gist of it I understand in the overall picture but if you want to go down to every other detail, I’m already lost. Maybe that is why I never really got hooked on the Fate lore in the first place. Even during my early days and first stint with Fate/Stay Night. Everything just sounded so confusing and you need to be a really obsessed fan with the universe to really want to know everything. I bet in the future there will be a special class and study about this. Like how there are people devoting their life just to study the life and times of old bands like The Beatles.

So the story of saving mankind isn’t anything new but I kept thinking that each time a new problem crops out, the gang would just have to figure out a loophole (which doesn’t take very long) and then use their measure to counter it. Sounds simple, huh? So it’s like if Plan A didn’t work, then go with Plan B. And if that didn’t work out, go for Plan C. Thank goodness there is still Plan D. So if that is the case, why not use Plan D from the start? Well, I figured that the circumstances had to be so in order for Plan D to be used. Because for Plan D to happen, Plan C had to occur first. And Plan B before that. And Plan A had to fail first. I mean, if everything was so easy, it would have been solved in a jiffy that you don’t need to drag this sh*t out. And Solomon’s reputation would just tank. And yeah, why just 7 Singularities to destroy the world? Could he make like a thousand? It doesn’t help that the series has 3 summary episodes! 3 OF THEM. Now you know why they have the odd number of 21 episodes, huh? Even so, a dumb guy like me didn’t watch them because I know I still won’t get it… Sad…

Anyway, what bugs me the most is how the communication works between Chaldea’s main base and Fujimaru’s side. If I understand it all correctly, Fujimaru and Mash are sent back to the past to do their job. Sent back to the past! Therefore it is really mind boggling mind f*ck when I see them talking to each other in real time! IN REAL TIME! Like as though Fujimaru could be just next door or just thousands of kilometres away in the next region. How the f*ck do their communicating break through the barrier of time? Yeah, Fujimaru’s replies could thousands of years old! Thank goodness the term lag doesn’t exist here. It just doesn’t make sense because whatever actions Fujimaru and co have taken in the past, it should affect the present, right? Romani and Chaldea still around means the past was saved. Isn’t that the biggest sign? Had Fujimaru failed, the present wouldn’t even exist at all and their communication should not even be possible! This is absolutely crap. I don’t know, maybe I am missing something here but as long as somebody can explain this inconsistency here, I’m going to think that Fujimaru and co are fighting in another alternate parallel dimension. Not the same past in their exact same timeline. How their victory in another dimension affects their current timeline, not too sure. But it sure as heck beats the idea that they went back to the past in the same timeline.

And to think that the underworld is directly underneath Earth and you just need to dig a hole long enough to reach there. It’s like you are more likely to reach the underworld first if you are to dig through the centre of the world and reach the other side. So having said that, does this mean the world is flat?! I don’t think so. I think I saw the world being round during Quetzalcoatl’s attack from space. So it’s just mind boggling to note that the dead go underground and live like mole people but in soul versions. Yeah… Making it even more ridiculous is when Ereshkigal moved it underneath Uruk just for the final battle. So you telling me that the underworld is a small place? You mean it doesn’t cover the entire underground?! So where to excess dead souls go? Unless you tell me that people with different beliefs go to different underworlds. Well, the Greeks had River Styx and the Norse had Valhalla. Too bad those civilizations didn’t exist at this time yet.

This Fate series is slightly refreshing from the rest because despite being action oriented, this one doesn’t clearly specify the Servant class. At least it wasn’t obvious. Unlike the Holy Grail war where there were rules about the Servants and their classes summoned, I suppose this doesn’t apply when humanity is in trouble. Yeah, humanity being annihilated isn’t a game. So I’m guessing Mash is the Saber kind but since I see her just defending with her impregnable shield, could it be that she is more of a Berserker? I don’t know, I don’t see they have any Defender class. The rest I am speculating like Merlin = Caster, Ana = Assassin, Ishtar = Archer, Quetzalcoatl = Rider, Jaguarman = Lancer and Ereshkigal = Berserker? Ushiwakamaru = Saber? Leonidas = Berserker? Benkei = Lancer? Enkidu/Kingu = Archer? Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Considering I am watching this in a confused state, I am not sure if I can talk about the characters. Fujimaru being the main hero and the saviour of mankind, he has his moments. In between battles or before the big battle, he is often seen talking to characters like Ana or Ishtar. I don’t know what is going on but I guess this is part of the character development to give us more depth about a particular character. In the end, I don’t really feel close to the characters or could relate with them. Especially Fujimaru and Mash as Master and Servant respectively. I am sure that for those who played the game, they’ll be very familiar with their deep bond and trust. But for a newcomer and casual viewer like me jumping in to watch this without any prior knowledge, they just seem pretty basic. You know, Mash the kind of Servant who would do anything to protect her Master. Sometimes it makes her seem more like his lapdog or something. Considering her origins, she isn’t really human so she’s trying to understand what it is being human and hence sometimes you see her asking some emotional questions. Not that I understand anyway. And also, Fujimaru is handling the final and most important Singularity, you’d think he would be given more than just 3 Command Spells. Unless that is the max limit for every Master no matter what. And it felt like a waste when he used them all up because it didn’t really brought him any solid results. Just despair. Then of course they found a way around it. So it’s like as though the Command Spells were there for show and to remind us this is part of the Fate universe.

Then there are some who are just comical like Jaguarman. Like why the heck do they even need this character? She feels so out of place and could be done without but I guess any extra helping hands would be worth it. It’s like they needed the spunky teacher character Fujimura of the original Fate series to have some laughs. Just like why Ishtar and Ereshkigal are designed in Rin’s image because we definitely need a tsundere here. Make that 2 of them. And Ziusu-dra felt like he is just out of convenience because I believe he has the one of the least appearance and yet he appears at crucial times and suddenly bam! He gives a lifeline to our heroes. Like, what?! Who this dude, man?! And then there is Da Vinci whom I feel is quite redundant. I don’t know why her character is even needed except for giving some wisecracks and sometimes explanations on behalf of Romani in case you’re tired of hearing this scientist’s voice all the time. I’m still very confused with episode 0, the introductions of Romani and Mash are still a mystery to me up till this point. It felt so out of place from the rest of the season. Still, the best character goes to Gilgamesh and he has acted and spoke in a commanding way that proves that he is worthy of as the king of his people. You might think that because he is king and since he is like knows everything, why doesn’t he do it himself? It is precisely that he is the king, why he doesn’t do it himself unless very much necessary.

The action scenes are entertaining and satisfying. After all, this is the Fate series that we are talking about so they have to give us some good fights. It doesn’t disappoint as the fights are majestic and epic in their own right although it feels like they are short of something that would have made it an action masterpiece. Each of the characters has their own set of moves but since I’m such a blur case, they look like plot convenience when they bring out their trump card. Yeah, why didn’t they do this from the start? Because as pointed out earlier, in order for them to make this move, a previous move must be made but failed. The only one thing that I want to complain about the fight is how loud the sound effects would get. Especially when magic blasts are fired, the sound effect is so loud that it feels my speaker is about to explode! But if you soften and turn the volume down, the fight somewhat loses its impact because it is that impact that partly makes the action sequences awesome. Damn, caught in a dilemma in wanting to lose my enjoyment of the fight scenes or not jolt the neighbour up!

The art and animation are quite good. Though there are minor drops in quality in between, overall it is still satisfying and great. Though, it still cannot beat the superior quality that was in the Fate/Zero and the TV series remake of Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works that were produced by Ufotable. Cloverworks (Persona 5 The Animation, Seishun Buta Yarou Wa Yumemiru Shoujo No Yume Wo Minai, Yakusoku No Neverland) have their own style and quality but overall I still prefer Ufotable’s quality as they have already set that precedent in what anime quality should be at least for this Fate franchise. The CGI is also bearable, it is not the worst I have seen but sometimes I feel it could be brushed up a little. Especially when Tiamat is in her monstrous form, could they do better than that? I know she is supposed to be hideous but not quality wise hideous!

A few character designs I want to comment on: The giant final boss Tiamat, I thought she was the horror version of Hatsune Miku!!! Can’t unsee that now. Lahmu as the supposed next evolution of humanity, they really look like a piece of sh*t. So why do evolved humans need a mouth anyway? Just to scorn and talk sh*t? Then they’re just the same like us old humans. Is it me or does Da Vinci dress like a jester? And Ishtar, is she the series’ fanservice because she flies around in what is like her underwear for all the time. I know it’s hot in the Sumerian desert but I guess her body is even hotter and needs to flaunt it! HAHAHA! Sorry… Come to think of it, now I remember why Ana who looks closely like the original Fate/Stay Night’s Rider is because that Rider’s true identity is Medusa, right?

Voice acting is also okay and nothing to complain about. Certain characters are retained like Tomkazu Seki as Gilgamesh. Of course this goes the same for similar looking characters but taking on a different role and name like Kana Ueda who was Rin is now Ishtar and Ereshkigal while Miki Itou who was Fujimura is now just Jaguarman. I didn’t realize it until I looked it up because Ayako Kawasumi who was the original Saber of the Fate series is now the voice of Fou! So is Fou the Saber here? Though it was just a pet mascot, huh? There is also a host of seiyuus I recognized lending their talents here such as Takahiro Sakurai as Merlin, Yu Kobayashi as Enkidu/Kingu, Saori Hayami as Ushiwakamaru, Shinichiro Miki as Leonidas, Jouji Nakata as Ziusu-dra, Kenichi Suzumura as Romani and Aoi Yuuki as Tiamat. The other casts are Nobunaga Shimazaki as Fujimaru (Shido in Date A Live), Rie Takahashi as Mash (Re: Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu), Aya Endo as Quetzalcoatl (Matsu in Sekirei), Yuu Asakawa as Ana (Rider in Fate/Stay Night), Yumi Uchiyama as Siduri (Mare in Overlord), Tetsu Inada as Benkei (Ioryogi in Kobato) and Maaya Sakamoto as Da Vinci (Ciel in Kuroshitsuji).

The opening theme is Phantom Joke by Unison Square Garden. While this rock piece is rather okay and fits the pace of the series, I can’t help think of Kekkai Sensen. Unison Square Garden’s brand of music is so similar with one another (at least for the ones I heard) that I automatically would think about the latter series since that is when I first heard about them or at least their trademark style of music left that kind of impact on me. The first ending theme is Hoshi Ga Furu Yume by Eir Aoi. Nothing really special. Prover by Milet as the second ending theme suddenly becomes a dramatic slow ballet. Kinda reminds me of the second ending theme from Sword Art Online: Alixization – War Of Underworld: Unlasting by Lisa. There is another slow ballet by Millet, the special ending theme for episode 16, Tell Me. But this sounds so much like American soul or R&B that I thought, heck, this was Rihanna singing! Yeah, laugh at me. I’m not very familiar with Rihanna’s voice and could be way off but that’s the impression I hear for this special song. N/B: I guess we need a special song to commemorate Siduri’s death, huh?

Overall, you definitely need to be well versed in the Fate universe if you are going to enjoy or at least understand what is going on. Having no clue the slightest is very detrimental as can be clearly seen here in the case of yours truly. I only enjoyed the fight scenes although I believe there is more to the meaning of them just fighting for the sake of giving us some action. I have read a few comments online criticizing some of its flaws but in the end, they still gave this series quite high marks. Goes to show that this show is still interesting and intriguing despite all the confusion and in depth knowledge that one needs beforehand. It also blows away the disappointing Fate/Apocrypha and Fate/Extra Last Encore adaptations and made us forget those existed. Fujimaru and Chaldea may have saved mankind from imminent destruction, but this Fate/Grand Order series could have saved the Fate series itself. Until the next bad adaptation, that is. Fate/Hollow Ataraxia when then?

I never thought this would actually get another season considering the original Show By Rock series already ended with things settled after 2 seasons. So how can they be back for another? Well, you create new characters and new bands! And hence this is what Show By Rock!! Mashumairesh is. If you like all-female rock bands but prefer them to also be furries, then this show is made for you. So I guess it’s the same ol’ story, huh? New band trying to reach the pinnacle and their dreams in a city where music is life.

Episode 1
Howan is humming happily as she returns from harvesting vegetables in the field. Then the letter she has been waiting for. She passed the first round auditions! Hooray! Mom and grandma so happy for her. Mom wants to call the entire village, eh? All that’s left is to pack and prepare for tomorrow’s train trip to Midi City. Next morning, Howan wakes up from a noisy commotion outside her house. The entire village is cheering for her and to see her off! Wow. Mom really did call the entire village, huh? But wishing well for her space trip?! Well, she told a friend who told a friend who told a friend who told a friend who told her friend and you know, it distorted into something like she’ll become an oil baron taking a trip to space. What?! Anyway, everybody sees her off and her dad who initially didn’t show any emotions of happiness for her on this, Howan can see him waving a big giant flag of support in the back. Oh, daddy… Arriving in Midi City, the usual thing when a country bumpkin steps her first time in a big crowded city. Overwhelmed and lost. Meanwhile we see Himeko Mashima, Ruhuyu and Delmin finishing a band practice together. Himeko isn’t particular thrilled with the idea of playing in a band as she prefers going solo. She only went along with this gig because Master (who is also her uncle) suggested so. He even suggests they play a street performance, an idea Himeko is also not enthusiastic about. As they leave the studio, they stumble into a paper of that audition. Of course only those with such paper are allowed to participate so they realize somebody has lost this. Ruhuyu tries to scream aloud if anybody lost this but I guess it’s too embarrassing and uncivilized for Himeko. So how? Play a street performance! Hey, Delmin is already ready to go. As you have guessed, it is Howan who lost that paper but there is nothing the police can do. As luck would have it, she sees Himeko’s band doing a street performance. I hope she didn’t stop the performance because she was crying at how good they are. Himeko then invites her to sing with them. Wow. Having fun, girls?

Episode 2
The girls get to know each other and learn Howan is the one who lost the paper. Ruhuyu and Delmin want Howan to play in their band but this is too much for Himeko. While they scour the job requests, Himeko takes her leave. Ruhuyu and Delmin want to introduce Howan to Master but upon reaching the studio, they see his body lying in his own blood! Or hot sauce? Hence Ruhuyu now plays detective as she makes her deductions based on the ‘evidence’ as it all ‘strongly’ points towards Himeko as the culprit. Yeah, why would she kill her own grandpa with her own guitar? And of course, Master ‘revives’. He was just trying out the new hot sauce. So kind of him to redo his ‘death scene’. Howan parts ways with the rest. As she has no place to stay, she camps out at the park. But the police officer points out it is illegal. And it’s starting to rain. Oh, Himeko’s home is nearby so she sees this and takes Howan in. They talk about things but since Himeko is a big fan of Criticrista, she can help get talkative, singing praises for them. Howan finds Himeko as an amazing person. Oh well, when you just come from the countryside, everything in the city is amazing. That night, Himeko can’t sleep. Probably she’s not used to somebody sleeping on her bed while she sleeps on the floor. But with Howan’s tail ‘disturbing’ her face, Himeko finds it calming and could fall asleep. Next morning, Howan returns the favour by cooking a great breakfast for her. So I suppose she’s staying here until she passes her auditions. The girls meet up to discuss some band issues. However it is disrupted when a gang fight breaks out.

Episode 3
A narration about a high school with delinquents and 4 of the strongest ones are fighting for supremacy. No, this is not Beelzebub. Folks, meet Yasu, Hachin, Joe and Sojun. One day their fighting got out of hand as they destroyed the school’s flowerbed. The principal threatened them with expulsion unless they do community service, which is forming a rock band, Dokonjofinger AKA Dokofin. Delinquents afraid of expulsion? Weird. Sure, they have their own reasons but really. Of course they fight more than they perform on stage. So much so, Howan is getting the wrong idea that this is part of the performance! As Dokofin won’t be paid for the damages, they must make it up by doing another gig. When it comes to music, they’re all over the place. But when it comes to beating up others, they’re in sync. Like this unfortunate gangster who thinks he is bigger than them. Think again. As Howan doesn’t want to trample on Himeko’s hospitality, she tries to find a job. So why does Himeko tag along? Can’t leave her alone? Of course there aren’t any really suitable ones for her. Yeah, those simple jobs are extreme… Himeko has been a tsundere ever since Howan came into her life and she’s starting to realize it… The gangster returns to return the favour to Yasu. Could have beaten him up had not the other guys also join in and turn the tables. Thanks for the thanks. Oops. Late for their gig now. They turn the booing crowd into supporting fans with their heavy rock metal. Howan is glad she came and dismisses Himeko’s earlier talk that they would be fighting as always. They’re so much better than before. Yeah, that’s because they get along better now.

Episode 4
Dokofin fighting at Master’s place again. When Hachin is thrown at Delmin’s way, she releases a beam from her horns to shoot him away! Ruhuyu gets excited over this superhero move and unknowingly drops her notebook that Delmin picked up. So back home, she reads this guidebook. Super power? Turns out she wants to be friends with Delmin and achievement unachieved because friendship rate at 30%. Now, how to return this without letting Ruhuyu know? And yeah, Ruhuyu is searching all over for it. Howan calls everyone to meet at Himeko’s room for a nabe party to celebrate her part time job interview that we failed. Yeah, just party anyway. Delmin tries to subtly return the book but the more she acts, the more suspicious she becomes so Ruhuyu thinks she must be hiding something. What secret dragon training is she talking about? Eventually Delmin is busted and upon realizing this book, Ruhuyu gets embarrassed and locks herself in Himeko’s mini storeroom. Won’t come out forever, huh? After all the coaxing, Ruhuyu mentions she has always been normal and wanted to be someone special. She looks up to Delmin because she is that person. But this irks Delmin so she uses her horn beam to blast open the door! It’s not like Ruhuyu knows anything about her, right? Delmin leaves and after the rest has Ruhuyu overcome her embarrassment, they go look for Delmin. Eventually Ruhuyu finds her as Delmin explains her tribe called her a disappointment, that’s why she came to the city. But when told she is special, all she wants to be is normal. Both don’t understand of what it’s like to be normal or special but they sure want to be friends. They return to apologize to Himeko and Howan for the ruckus. Howan suggests everyone tell their secrets because this helps deepen their friendship. Himeko so reluctant. Does she have many secrets? She is forced to play a card game whereby the lowest card holder must reveal a secret. I mean, can she back out after seeing those sad eyes? So everybody has their turn in revealing their ‘secrets’. Don’t worry. Nothing scandalous. Feeling any closer now?

Episode 5
Master gives Howan and co tickets to a real live band. So Dokofin wasn’t one? Whatever. They attend the concert of Reijingsignal AKA Reijin and are amazed with their music. So meet the badass dubstep punk rock queens of Reijin: Rararin, Sumomone and Uiui. At the end of the concert, they pick a lucky guest to feast with. And that lucky person is Howan! Wow. So they’re enjoying champagne in their limo now? They get to know each other as Reijin brings her to their next job like the radio station and interview session before back to their huge penthouse apartment. With their ever busy schedule, they only return here to sleep. Seeing their tired state, Howan cooks them a delicious meal and they see some potential in her. So they tempt her to come with them to their recording studio to see how pros work. Then they convince her to sign a contract to work as their assistant. Oh my. Howan, you really signed them? So she becomes their errand girl. When her pals text her, Sumomone text back on her behalf that she’s okay. Suspicious… Because tomorrow Reijin will be on a national tour, they want her to go home and pack her bags. She does so and leaves a message for her friends. They sense something wrong because she left her handphone in the fridge! Reijin is brainstorming about the vocals part as Rararin suggests Howan to sing. Howan starts imagining so but realizes she prefers to sing with her old pals. She even sings out loud to prove how lovely a voice she has. Before Rararin could ‘secure’ her, Howan’s pals barge in just to tell her to come home. Just like that, Howan goes back with them?! Rararin tempts her that this could be Howan’s big break. A chance of a lifetime. Sure. But she envisioned herself singing with her friends. Himeko, you look so relieved. So I guess the deal with Reijin is off, huh? Rararin lets her go because it is too early to feast on her now. Fatten her up a little first, huh?

Episode 6
Now Himeko is having problems. Each time Howan bugs her about the band, she gives excuses. Not today, my dear. So attempts to cheer her up like cooking lots of food for her or going karaoke together fail. More forlorn look from Himeko. Something really wrong. When the rest suggest a trip, this does it for Himeko. She goes out. They go find her but since she is not at the studio she claimed she said she would be, sh*t has hit the fan. This is really serious. Something is REALLY wrong. They go to find her and thanks to Master’s help, Howan finds her by the sea because that is where she goes whenever she has trouble writing songs. As usual, Howan being her cheerful and bugging self but the more she does so, the more Himeko becomes distant. As for the band thingy, Himeko thinks the trio would make a good band. Just leave her out. Then it’s like she hit a nerve when Himeko praises her amazing guitar skills. She claims Howan is like the same as others. Let me get this straight. Himeko is an introvert who wants to be left alone while others try to keep close to her? She is so because it’s not what she wanted? So she thinks by being cold and sulky, Howan will be like others who will eventually leave her? But we know better, right? Until Howan admits herself as dumb and don’t think about others, she continues to praise Himeko even if she herself keeps denying it. Then the clincher, Howan says she likes her and wants to be with her forever. A few more words of assurance to blow all that scepticism away. And now the magic sinks in. Himeko is broken. Crying and hugging Howan like her saviour. And they calm down by having their little picnic by the sea. This is as much mild yuri we can get for now… When they reunite with others, it is safe to say that Himeko is all for the idea of joining their band. They need to name their band in order to join the festival. Hmm… Let’s see… Mashima… Fresh juice… Aha! Mashima Fresh! Himeko vetoes that so by mixing it up a little, they get this cuter sounding Mashumairesh! Now the girls are ready to rock.

Episode 7
It seems Joe won a grand prize for 4 to Waihaha (Waikiki?). While some aren’t too enthusiastic to go, the principal wants them to go there and write a song. Or they’ll be expelled. Consider this as their training camp. Meanwhile Ruhuyu has got tickets for her pals to head Midicians. They can use this as their training camp to write songs. You bet the girls are having a blast in the sunny beach. But Dokofin… Is Waihaha such a freaking cold blizzard place? Apparently the staff mixed up the tickets so they’re now in Aryaska (Alaska?). Noticing an amateur curling tournament, they plan on winning the grand prize so as to get on a plane to Waihaha. Upon entering the hall, they see Shingan Crimsonz! You bet there’s going to be some tough guy showdowns. Apparently this place is deserted because next door is some figure skating tournament. Yeah, some ice prince is there so all the audience and competitors went over there. We hear Shingan Crimsonz’s reason to be here. Maple wanted them to do a rock show here but he paid all for the plane and forgot to pay for the venue. Hence they need this prize money just for that. So where is Maple? Yeah, he’s captivated by the figure skating show… So how can they play curling if they don’t know the rules? As long as they think their opponents know… So we see them do lots of sabotaging left and right. Hey, no referees, right? Eventually it turns into some battlefield. Time for the final showdown. Because Shingan Crimsonz has better teamwork in this whatever gatai form, Dokofin is all over the place and loses. I guess that’s that. Heck, better go back to the city on their free plane ticket then. Nothing beats the warm bath in the public bathhouse, right?

Episode 8
A request for Mashumairesh to perform? Actually it is a battle of the bands with Reijin! So as they discuss about this, how convenient Reijin is live on the airwaves to announce they have been chosen to perform at Midi City 6969 Festival. As only bands with good records will be selected, Mashumairesh thinks Reijin is doing this to help them. You think so? Now they discuss on the kind of performance they want to put up. But first they need to know more about Reijin and do research on them. Nothing like the good ol’ internet. So they’re once an underground idol group? Wow. So different. After digging in a little more, they think they’re ready. So they go submit their acceptance of this to Reijin. But as pointed out, did they read the finer print because don’t they know what they’re getting into? Yeah, because if Mashumairesh loses, Reijin will take Howan and her original assistant contract will be enforced! Oh sh*t! End of Mashumairesh? So practice hard, girls. Real hard. On the day of the performance, we see Mashumairesh building up their confidence with their own group hand signal thingy. Looks cute and complicating! Then they take on the stage and wow everyone. Now, before you some fans could switch to those cuties, here comes Reijin to perform. They stun the crowd not doing their usual rock style but the more emo style that is of Mashumairesh. Safe to say, Mashumairesh are so stunned and could see defeat right before them. All doom! Oh no! We’re definitely going to lose! And then here comes Reijin. I don’t think they’re here to rub it in their expected victory but Rararin is here to ask them their goal because she couldn’t understand what they were trying to do. Howan says she had fun playing in a band. Apparently that was enough to make Rararin upset. She tells her to just continue playing friendly music with her pals and rips the contract. Woah. Why so mad, girl?!

Episode 9
I guess Dokofin has no results to show after their disastrous trip. The principal then asks if they are interested to enter the festival. Yasu seems to have had it with his bandmates incessant fighting. On his way home, this dancing dude, Jinbabue is interested to scout Yasu as the next big thing. He offers him to join his agency to debut as a musician. Yasu wants to discuss with his bandmates but Jinbabue doesn’t think so. Because he is only interested in him. It seems Yasu will be an idol and if he is interested, he can contact him. Yasu asks his mom if she would be happy if he ended up on TV. Of course. Whose mom wouldn’t? So Yasu takes up Jinbabue’s offer while at the same time juggling with practice with his band. His bandmates can tell something is wrong as he is always late and despite giving excuses, he doesn’t sound convincing. Then one day Yasu just asks them if they want to play at the festival since Shingan Crimsonz will be there too. Because they don’t think so, Yasu just leaves. As he forgot to take his folder, his pals look at it and see his pre-promo idol photos! They realize what Yasu was asking and that he has gotten serious about music. Yasu later comes back to get it so his pals confront him about this. He explains he wants to make people happy with music. They too wanted to play at the festival but their male pride avoided them in saying that upfront. Hence Yasu tells Jinbabue of not wanting to go ahead with this idol thingy. Because what had been done is before signing any contract, he can still get out without any penalty. Just don’t show his face around anymore. But in exchange, he must become popular to surprise him. After Yasu leaves, Jinbabue reveals his true identity. He is actually the principal (why am I not surprised?) and this is all part of his plan to get them together. Dokofin goes all out playing their newly written rock piece to their fans.

Episode 10
Himeko tries to write a song herself but can’t come up with any ideas. Her bandmates try to help but they come off more annoying with their ‘rituals’ than anything. At least Howan has some nice picnic but that too didn’t help. Hence they start thinking what would be the ideal place with all the right conditions for them to do so. Then it hit Howan. So the bandmates forcefully drag Himeko onto a train. So they’re all going back to Howan’s village and meet her family?! Of course, her place has a shed that she used as a temporary studio where they can practice. Training camp part 2. Upon arrival, it’s like the whole village treat Howan and co like heroes. What a rousing welcome. Howan’s father brings them home and the family welcomes them. They hit the practice first before dinner and then a nice dip at the hotspring. And then when it’s almost bedtime, Himeko gives them the greenlight to help her write a song because it’s their song, right? And now they know how hard it is to come up with something. In the middle of the night, Howan and Himeko can’t sleep so they talk outside amidst the starry sky about friendship and the people they’ve met and how it’s going to be more fun from now on. Yeah. Lucky and blessed, right? And you might have guessed, this gives Himeko the inspiration to come up with something. The next day, they return home. Man, what a quick trip. The villagers see them off like heroines. You can tell Himeko worked hard and has wrote something satisfying as she drops asleep once they alight the train. And that smile of hers while she sleeps.

Episode 11
Mashumairesh is pretty satisfied with their newly written song. So they tease Himeko of all the embarrassing togetherness things she said. Taking a look at the timetable for the festival, it looks like Dokofin will be the opener while Mashumairesh will be somewhere in the middle. Reijin is also participating but as guests. That’s a fancy term for famous bands. Howan suggests their song send a message to Reijin. Now we take a detour to see Ruhuyu and Delmin deepen their friendship. Ruhuyu is still carrying on her diary. She fantasizes it will become a best selling book and a movie. In no time she will became famous and her descendants will look up to her. Yeah. Dream on. Delmin is not pleased that their friendship level is still at 69%. You mean it’s not 100%? Well, Ruhuyu points out she still shoots her with her beam and she hopes of using Midi City to turn their friendship back to 100%. But Delmin prefers 100% isn’t the ceiling… Would any number be enough for their friendship meter? Mashumairesh tour the city before the festival begins tomorrow. Everywhere is decorated for it. They really love seeing their band name on the posters now, huh? Yeah. They’re right up there now. When they want to go get some croquettes, unfortunately the place is close. Looks like Dokofin is helping Yasu and his mom to make large bento orders for tomorrow. Tomorrow’s the gig and they are the opener… Mashumairesh return home to rest up for tomorrow. Of course we need more Himeko and Howan yuri friendship thingy. So as usual, Howan being honest with herself, loving the kind of person Himeko is, sending Himeko into embarrassment as always. The festival begins with Dokofin starting off with their passionate opening performance. But where’s Mashumairesh? Oh dear. Don’t tell me they overslept???!!!

Episode 12
Indeed, Mashumairesh overslept! So now they’re all running towards the venue. You mean none of them decided to call a cab or something?! If that wasn’t bad enough, Howan realizes she left her guitar back at the studio! But when she gets there, Master says he just sent it to the deliveryman, thinking it needed repairs. Oh, the truck hasn’t left yet. Phew. But stupid deliveryman didn’t see somebody was inside and closes the door. And he can’t here Howan’s cries because he is blasting away his music. Meanwhile Ruhuyu manages to reach first and registers in time before the deadline. Why is the deadline around the time Reijin’s performance? Anyway, now all that is left is to wait for Howan. Speaking of which, how does she get the deliveryman’s attention? She plays her guitar! How the f*ck can her guitar be louder than anything else when it is not even plugged into any amplifier???!!! And you think the deliveryman would at least send her to the venue. Nope. He just drop her off right there. I can see why. Because Howan also doesn’t know where the place is! WTF?! If not for Ruhuyu’s idea to ask Delmin to shoot her horn blast into the sky, Howan wouldn’t have known where it is. And thankfully a police officer is there to send her. Mashumairesh as a whole again. And they have 10 minutes to spare before they go onstage. Wow. That’s a lot of leeway time. And they made us think they’re like 10 seconds before their part. Anyway, with so much time, Delmin takes this chance to give them matching charms. Also, the rest express how fun it is to be in a band. Especially Himeko. Embarrassing but that’s what being in a band is about, right? So Mashumairesh head out there and rock everybody’s world! You know it’s so good that Rararin even feels nostalgic. So she doesn’t hate them anymore and is interested what kind of path they take? A week after the festival, Delmin explains she made the charms from her grandpa’s flute horn. Thinking of their next live performance, Himeko suggests a street performance. Good idea. Along the way, Howan bumps into Cyan. And then they rock away the night.

BanD Dream!
They say the music can never stop. That is why there is a sequel coming up! Judging by the promotional poster of this sequel, looks like they’re going to have an all-stars line-up. Oh yeah. The series must have a great number of bands that they need to do a sequel that features famous bands of the past and perform with new bands featured in this season. Isn’t that why Shingan Crimsonz was cameoed? So this possibility could happen? Yeah, look at all the band names they spammed us right in the final scene of the last episode. Definitely all-stars material. Can’t say this season takes place in an alternate timeline now. Oh yeah. Lots of famous bands are going to clash and there’s going to be an explosion of music. It will be the ultimate battle of the bands. Uh huh. From the looks of it, definitely it looks like Cyan is 100% coming back. This place is much better than her original world, eh? Hey wait a minute. Is the original Show By Rock somewhat an isekai genre???!!! But with Cyan’s final episode cameo, it makes me wonder if this takes place during the same timeline of the original series. Because as we have seen, Cyan has gone back to her own world at the end. So if this sequel takes place after the original, how did she come back here in the first place? Oh well, as long as we all have a rocking good time, it doesn’t matter.

Anyway, this new season feels a lot boring compared to the original. Why? Mainly there is no big bad evil guy from a shady corporation trying to take over music! If I wanted to watch how a new underdog group rises up to perform big time to play and rub shoulders with other famous bands, I would have gone with BanG Dream. Oh right. Furry version. So for this new season, we only get to see the establishment of Mashumairesh and their seemingly next big gig. Wow. Talk about a quick rise to fame just because they clashed with Reijin once. That’s why we needed a last episode drama of them almost being late for their first ever big gig, huh? Believe me, I never doubted that they couldn’t make it on time. Also to note, Mashumairesh was only somewhat officially formed at halfway mark this season. Meaning, for the early first half of the season, the quartet of Mashumairesh are still bumping around as individuals. Mainly because Himeko is being such a stuck up tsundere trying to psycho and lie to herself that she isn’t a lesbian or at least Howan’s friend. But eventually she fell for that charm and thankfully it was quick enough for Mashumairesh to be formed and take off the ground. Then the balance half of the season sees them preparing for the festival although some episodes are totally focused on Dokofin because I guess we need to have some focus on this wild bunch either. All in all, the story is pretty much generic and if you’re expecting something like the original one or even like AKB0048 in which music saved the world from a certain destruction, you’d be disappointed.

Having basically no interesting plot at all, the series must be made interesting via its characters, right? Well, nope! I don’t feel that even the bandmates of Mashumairesh are the least bit interesting. They are only so because they’re cute girls. Cute furry girls doing cute things, band version. Because it is only a single cour, not much is being done to flesh out the characters unlike the original series which had 2 seasons to do so. Hence it may not be fair to say the lack of character development in our main characters but unfortunately they didn’t even make me feel like I want to care or know about them at all. As mentioned, thanks to the series dedicating its first half in the formation of Mashumairesh and it could have been much earlier had Himeko stayed true to her feelings instead of bottling them up with some weird twisted reason of people close to her will eventually leave her. So don’t make friends because parting will be painful? Yeah, so why eat when you’re going to be hungry again? See that kind of logic? But now she is totally into bands because you can see her cute genuine smile and her heart is totally in it. You go, girl!

So anyway, we know a bit about Howan because she is the main character and the co-poster girl of Mashumairesh, right? Sure, she comes from the outskirts. Has a hidden talent. Country bumpkin in the city. Luckily meets the right people. Quite a frank and honest girl. Happy and all cheers. You’ll definitely get sucked up in her pace. Best evidence: Himeko. Sometimes all that candid cheerfulness makes Howan look like a retard. While it is true that she really just wants to play and perform just for fun, this doesn’t sit well with some especially Reijin. Hence the biggest ‘drama’ set upon this season. Ooohhh. Somebody madly ripped up the contract. That’s so aggressive. We can look at both cases from 2 sides of the coin. Both are correct. Howan has some talent and she doesn’t harbour glamourous dreams of being the best. It’s not about competition. But it is different for Reijin. Because they have been so competitive and they’ve got where they are now because of staying competitive, seeing Howan being so ‘lackadaisical’ and wanting to just have fun feels more like an insult and a slap in the face. To them, music isn’t all fun and games. It’s about showing all you’ve got to be the best and Reijin has the credentials to prove it. They saw potential in Howan but alas, their ways to go about it are different. It’s a good thing that they part ways. Reijin wouldn’t be a place for Howan as she wouldn’t fit in. Too edgy for a country girl like her.

As for the other bandmates in Mashumairesh, well, we already know about Himeko. It looks like they’re trying some mild yuri thingy here after Himeko stops being a stuck up b*tch and she looks cuter with her heart now open. Albeit she still has some of that snobbishness (she’s a rich girl by the way), Himeko will still be Himeko no matter how much she changed. Don’t get that? Me neither. That’s what Howan said. You bet this yuri thingy is what keeps Mashumairesh going. I think. Then there is the other pair of Ruhuyu and Delmin. There is nothing much known about them at this point. Because it is hinted something about Ruhuyu (“Lunatic!”) who might change during the lunar full moon and the clan that Delmin (“Shubi”) was kicked out of. They’re like the case of the grass is greener on the other side. One wants to be special and the other to be normal. But I guess nothing beats being friends, right? And yeah, they’re the other yuri pair if you’re not into Himeko-Howan. Asides that, Ruhuyu seems to be the comic relief character, trying to get that chance to play detective or whip up some stupid jokes while Delmin is the emotionless character who retorts her. Wow. This is indeed a weird bunch brought together.

If I have to point out the more interesting characters this season, it would be the delinquent band of Dokofin. I find them more interesting than Mashumairesh and Reijin. Sure, their manly delinquent brawns over brains may make them sound more like troublemakers for comic relief than real musicians. But at least they’re funny despite lacking their own character development too. And their episodes in focused feel more like dumb comedic fillers. Unlike Howan whom I have pointed out sounds more like a retard and Ruhuyu the comic relief resident tries to be funny and cute but fails. Although all of them have their male pride and differences, they still come together when it matters. So we have Dokofin as the all-male band to rival our all-female cutie band although it is weird that they haven’t really come into contact with each other. They are Mashumairesh’s sideshow and there’s that saying that sometimes it is the sideshow that steals the limelight. What are the chances Dokofin usurping Mashumairesh? Too bad cute girls always win the order of the day.

As music is an important factor here, I didn’t find any of the rock pieces here attractive or catchy enough for me to like. It’s not bad but it lacks something that would make me want to hear them play again. I mean, sure, they can keep repeating and replaying the same song in different concerts (because it’s the only song they have, no?) and it’s not like I want to hear them again later on my own accord in my own free time. Like the opening theme, Hiromenesu by Mashumairesh feels like your typical dramatic anime rock piece. Our titular band also sings the ending theme, Kimi No Rhapsody. Personally, it slightly fares better than the opener since it has this lively and cheery feel to it. Reijin’s brand of music sounds more like electronic rock. Though it doesn’t sound like it but it must be just me that it sounds like a music to summon the devil… Need to get my brains checked…

Voice acting is rather okay. Didn’t recognize the whole new line-up of casts. Okay, maybe except Shigeru Chiba as Master. Yup, this guy still alive and still as crazily energetic in his voicing. Oh, almost forgot Shinichiro Miki making his cameo as Dokofin’s principal too. The new casts for this season are Hikaru Tohno as Howan (Serena in Colorful Pastrale: From Bermuda Triangle), Yuuko Natsuyoshi as Himeko (debut role), Aya Yamane as Ruhuyu, Misaki Watada as Delmin (Grenda in Strike The Blood), Kent Itou as Yasu (Hirotaka in Wotaku Ni Koi Wa Muzukashii), Yuuki Ono as Joe (Isami in Shokugeki No Souma), Shouhei Komatsu as Hachin (August in Kenja No Mago), Yusuke Shirai as Sojun (Io in Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu Love), Lynn as Rararin (Maya in Sabagebu), Yuu Serizawa as Sumomone (Iroha in 3D Kanojo Real Girl) and Minori Suzuki as Uiui (Momo in Chio-chan No Tsuugakuro).

Artwork and animation feel pretty standard and similar to the original series. Everything so colourful and cute although it still boggles my mind that only those who could play music and in a band take on an anthropomorphic form. Only when they perform on stage, it is their chibi furry form they will transform too. Yeah, also cue for CGI moments but that is bearable. And as for the character designs. I thought those Dokofin guys are plucked out from some other anime. For example, I thought Sojun came from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Joe from Devil May Cry while Yasu and Hachin from some Yugioh series. As for Rararin and her Reijin girls, I thought they got bored with the competition in Dog Days and end up doing music here. And Master, this guy came out from a Sanrio production? Oh right. Sanrio collaborated on this project. No wonder those cute unimportant furry background characters look somewhat familiar. Despite the consistent art style, this season’s production was helmed by Kinema Citrus (Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari, Barakamon, Yuyushiki, Made In Abyss) who took over from Bones.

Overall, I find this season lacking even though it is not entirely a bad thing. I don’t hate this series. It’s just that it feels kinda boring at this point. I guess the antics of cute yuri band girls as well as dumb brash delinquents kept this season from failing. I’m not a big fan of the original series so forgive me (or not) for not giving a lot of brownie points. But hey, at least I watched it and found out myself! Not good enough? Oh well, those bands better try better and sing their way into my heart. Imagine, I’m still hooked on that catchy opening song from a certain anime series last year about working out and exercising! So if you all-stars can’t even do that, nothing will. Perhaps some big bad corporation guy needs to step in and shake things up, huh?

Jungre De Ikou

June 26, 2020

Oh boy. Look what the Corona virus lockdown made me do. Yeah, it made me go search the internet for more animes to watch! And this was one of them that I decided to go watch on a whim, Jungre De Ikou! Or rather, Jungle De Ikou. This should have been more appropriate title (that has been used widely even as of now) but I guess back then, Japanese were really being Engrish about English and they made it official with Jungre anyway. Proof you can see that hilariously misspelled title embedded in the opening credits. Anyway, the story goes about some high school girl dreaming a weird dream, gets some magic powers from some dancing old man that she needs to save the world from some god of destruction. Oh, fanservice. Did I mention it also says fanservice filled magical girl adventures! Oh yeah. Sign me up on this crazy adventure!

Episode 1
Takuma Kusanagi ditches cleaning class. Natsumi Rokudou goes to stop him but she’s just using this excuse to also skip class cleaning. Not sure if there’s some weird competition going on because Natsumi rushes ahead Takuma and crashes into a post box. Natsumi returns home and is glad to see her dad back. Apparently he was on an expedition at New Guinea but in order to preserve the historic site, the project was cancelled and his trip cut short. Japanese businessman logic dictates he snuck back some mini statue as souvenir. Basically, he stole it. He decides to give it to her. Reluctant, she eventually accepts. Wished for something cuter? Before she goes to bed, she experiences something strange. And then in her dreams, she encounters this weird scrawny African guy. He is Ahem and is the god of earth who created the land. He claims that Ongo, the god of destruction will soon be released from his weakened seal. So to prevent Earth’s destruction, he gives her a creepy necklace. Also, she must do this erotic dance that will summon some of his powers to help stop Ongo. Wow. How embarrassing. Natsumi wakes up thinking this is all just a dream. Then this petite kid before her. Must still be dreaming. Apparently not. Turns out this kid is actually Ongo! There goes that fearsome imagination of hers. Ongo was sealed in that mini statue. Now that he is out, he is shocked the land is no longer a jungle. Well, at least a concrete jungle. So what’s this Japan thingy he is now at, huh? Welcome to Japan, kiddo. Culture shock. So Natsumi takes him around. They stumble into Takuma’s place. Father and son arguing over some peas. Don’t ask. Ongo then tastes the whale meat they are having and likes it. Upon learning where whales come from, Ongo then summons one! Apparently he is also the god of trees and can use magic as long as there is wood.

Damn, the entire city is flooded! I don’t know how many people drowned that day because the city is really submerged! Natsumi and Ongo are riding the whale! Having a whale of a time? Natsumi wants Ongo to return the whale to the sea. Considering Ongo’s reaction, how the f*ck did he know how to summon a whale if he has never seen one?! Since he can’t communicate with it, the whale sulks. Really? Worse, the army picks up on this and they don’t believe it is a whale. It must be the enemy! Fire and destroy it! WTF?! Did they just unleash all their firepower in a civilian area?! Oh yeah. All the people must’ve drowned. Can’t kill people or arise any casualties when the people are already dead in the first place! Ongo suggests Natsumi use the power of the necklace. Reluctant at first, she then starts the dance. Wow. For a girl who initially didn’t like how it is, she sure remembered the sexy dance perfectly! This turns her into a busty figure whom Ongo recognizes as Mii, the flower spirit. She makes the whale fly! So the battleships won’t attack now? Yeah, now they have to deal with jet fighters. Mii hears the voice of Ahem to do another dance. She does so. Not sure what effect this has but I guess we all just want to see her boobs jiggle. This allows the whale to be thrown back to the ocean at the speed of light? I guess no whale = crisis over. So everything reverts to normal. Like as though it was all a dream? Fortunately unfortunately it’s real. Because when Natsumi comes home, mom has cooked some delicious whale meat as chunk of its meat fell from the sky during the army’s attack. Oh well. Thank goodness Japanese love eating whales, right?

Episode 2
Natsumi and Ongo talk about Mii who was supposed to be Ahem’s wife but left him. Ongo can’t remember much since it happened so long ago. Natsumi is shocked to see Takuma with a newspaper. Wow. A front page busty pic of Mii!!! How the f*ck did they get this picture?! And can Japan actually publish this?! Because Takuma loves big boobs and praising it, this makes Natsumi mad so she beats him up. Accidentally Takuma gets thrown in the direction of Nami Kuki. She passes out and is taken to the infirmary. Anyway, it’s all Takuma’s fault, right? Once she wakes up, Nami is an occult fan who is interested in learning magic from New Guinea. She views that place to have the best magic because she wants to rule the world via magic! Oh damn. She can say it with such a straight face and innocent eyes! Later Nami wants to be Natsumi’s friend because she likes her. Ah, friendship so simple in those days. With that, Natsumi invites her to her dad’s exhibition where he’ll be setting up exhibits from New Guinea. I hope he didn’t steal them all. Takuma of course invites himself. At the exhibition, Nami stumbles upon a strange statue, Rongo who is believed to represent the water spirit. As expected, something eerie happens to her as she gets possessed. When she reunites with her friends, it is very obvious that she is acting strange. Although Natsumi notes this, Ongo also realizes this but brushes it off as weird because Natsumi and her friends are all weird!

In school, Nami gets yuri with Natsumi in the middle of class! That day, lots of boys died of nose bleed… Nami then threatens her to return Ongo or else. When she tries to steal her necklace, the entire class gets zapped!!! It seems this is the result of trying to do so. Otherwise, why would Natsumi be walking around wearing it, right? And then Natsumi proceeds to start some weird erotic dance. Macarena???!!! She starts sweating and the drops of water soon turns into a stream load, flushing out everybody. Nami is now truly possessed and transforms into a busty beautiful babe, Rongo. She claims Ongo is her fiancé and accuses Natsumi of using her cheap sexual appeal to steal him. This is even more so when Ongo doesn’t remember and doesn’t want to go back to the jungle with her. So he likes it here in Japan? Despite Natsumi wanting very much to get rid of him, she agrees to Rongo’s challenge just to get Nami back (a condition if Natsumi wins in addition to Rongo giving up Ongo forever). Hence Natsumi does that erotic embarrassing dance to transform into Mii. She sure got the hang of it now, huh? So what is the battle of the jungle going to be? Uhm, bring down this American plane that is conveniently hovering over? How the f*ck could it fly into Japanese airspace?! Anyway, Rongo being the water spirit uses any water she can find to shoot it down. Mii goes to stop her and at the same time I don’t understand why Takuma is having a fight with Ongo. So Ongo does some magic dance that blows up part of the school?! Anyway, this reverts Rongo back to her true loli form. So Ongo remembers her in this form now? She admits defeat but pleads to stay here as she has lost her power to return home. I guess another troublesome brat for company. And don’t worry about Nami. Rongo is split from her although it might take a while for Nami to regain consciousness after being bombarded from that blast.

Episode 3
We see the god of destruction rampaging. Ahem and Mii went all out to stop him. Turns out this is a dream Natsumi has. Did this happen in the past? Natsumi’s dad hands her and her friends tickets to the exhibition. This is so boring. Ongo doesn’t want to be left home alone so he goes with her. Also, he doesn’t want to f*ck a horny loli AKA Rongo. You bet Rongo is going to get mad and jealous thinking Natsumi seduced her man. But she notices that all the plants including vegetables have withered. At the exhibition, we see Natsumi’s dad trying to sing and brag how he discovered New Guinea’s artefacts. No wonder the crowd lost interest. Safe to say that he and the producers of this show clearly did not put enough effort in their research! Then something resonates with Ongo. A dark voice telling him to awaken. First omen when sh*t is about to hit the fan is when the electricity blacks out. This worsens for Ongo as he is soon engulfed in some dark power and turns into his gigantic true form. Running rampage over the city, it seems as the god of destruction, he can wilt and wither plants in the vicinity. So this giant threat over the city and the army NOWHERE IN SIGHT???!!! ARE THEY ON HOLIDAY NOW?! Ongo has also devoured Takuma so Natsumi and Nami need to stop this and rescue their friend. Hence that embarrassing erotic dance by Natsumi to transform into Mii. Also, Nami does her pseudo Macarena to fuse with Rongo.

So even in this form, they have no confidence to defeat Ongo? Well, not sure what Rongo’s plan is but I’m sure this whatever-the-heck-this-embarrassing-dance-is sure didn’t do the trick. Ongo then attacks the babes. Meanwhile ‘brave’ reporters record this live action so that viewers can anxiously watch over what is happening in the safety of their shelters. The fate of the world rests on the boobs of the busty babes! As the duo hide, Ahem pops up and wants Mii to summon her true powers. Not sure how this guy get here so fast. Sure, he sensed Ongo’s awakening all the way back in Africa but considering he took the wrong flight to Australia, how the f*ck did he come here so fast???!!! Even Sonic can’t beat this record! Anyway, Mii could hear the support of the people and this gives her some power. Remembering the dream she had this morning, along with Rongo they do yet another weird dance. This time spirit babies and spirit old men come to her aid?! WTF is going on?! This turns Mii into a giant to fight on par with Ongo. But stupid voyeurs start taking pics of her ass and this causes embarrassed Mii to be clumsy. Oops, destroyed another building. Boobs crashing onto them! Yeah, it was f*cking worth it!!! Ongo being the god of destruction seems pretty tame. So he shoots off Mii’s bra. Boobs galore! Takuma inside Ongo is fighting back not for him to destroy those tits! Don’t you dare! Tits are not to be destroyed! They are to be touched!!! It’s a win-win for everybody! Oh Rongo, don’t get jealous now. Because it might be the key to save Ongo. So Mii just lets Ongo sleep on her boobs. Hah. You think this would wor- Oh sh*t! IT DID?! Yeah, something about the power of motherly love. When it looks like Ongo is being purified, suddenly he sheds his skin and turns into his true darker form! Oh no! But this is where Ahem intervenes and lands the killing blow to seal Ongo’s power once and for all. Things go back to normal in the aftermath. Well, not everything. Takuma and Ongo are fused together! They think more of Mii’s boobs and hugging will separate them. Not a chance!

Jungle Wa Itsumo Ongo Nochi Nippon
Oh well. It was stupid. It was dumb. It was hilarious. It was weird. It was fun while it lasted. As first impressions count, I’m not really enthusiastic about seeing more of this and I guess my sentiments could be right along with many of the others who watched this who also felt the same. You see, apparently I read there were plans to later adapt this in a TV series but due to the poor sales of the OVAs, the scrapped future plans for it. Good call? Heh. In a time where crowd funding was non-existent and the internet weren’t as essential and ubiquitous as today. Who knows? Perhaps it would have been slightly different if it was adapted in current times and there might be a possibility of a sequel, more OVAs or even a full-fledge TV series of its own. But alas, it was the year 1997 when this 3 episode OVAs came out and it would forever be likely buried in the garbage section of the anime world. Only a ‘true gem’ to certain twisted fans or those into rare stuffs.

As you can see, with only 3 episodes, there is hardly anything to tell and they’re mostly all just weird and dumb in its own sense. There are lots of things that don’t make sense and that it would not certainly fly in today’s standards but I guess the 90’s was a pretty weird era to live in, thinking about it retrospectively. Watching the first episode of Ongo summoning a giant whale and even bringing the ocean in the middle of a crowded city in Japan already felt so silly and even more so when they bought the blood thirsty JSDF into the fray. And then they’re sorely missing in the third episode when Ongo actually became a real possible threat. Like, WTF???!!! The characters are so shallow that you feel that everything that has happened is all for the plot convenience. Like Natsumi’s dad conveniently giving her that mini statue that started the chain of unfortunate events. I mean, what kind of father gives his own daughter this kind of weird thing as a gift???!!! And Natsumi living like normal because she knows she can’t do anything about it to change her circumstances so might as well live with it. Come to think about it, they considered her as a magical girl. Not that it ever crossed my mind when she turned into Mii. Tits too distracting for me to think straight. Hahaha!!! And Ongo is like your typical foreigner who is in love with Japan, although I don’t see him obsessing over Japanese things. Yeah, modern life so convenient and better than the jungle life. And where the heck does Takuma live now ever since their house got destroyed by the summon whale?!

Even they hinted Takuma’s romance with Natsumi but it didn’t amount to nothing. I mean, when you have a couple of childhood friends together for so long, it’s the best ingredient to turn it into this sort of romance drama. After all, Natsumi has been beating him up ever since and Takuma has been tolerating her beatings ever since. But as I’ve said, there were plans to continue this series and hence they built up some developments here that would have most likely been expanded and fleshed out better had they go ahead with the TV series but unfortunately it did not work out. That’s why it’s the same case for Nami. I mean, do we really need this girl? Because it seems they can do without her character at all. But I really got to love her ambitions to take over the world. A big unfortunate chance that we never get to see her getting that. I would have been so interesting to see her do so. But as for these 3 episodes that we have seen, she is just nothing more than a vessel for Rongo to become her voluptuous self if the plot ever calls for it.

And of course the main draw factor here is the fanservice but I should have known better than to put my expectations high. This is the 90s we’re talking about. So the fanservice here is nothing very controversial by today’s standards. It is in fact very mild. Mii having big tits might have caused a lot of rage in those days but watching this at this period in time, they’re just pretty tame. In fact, no bare tits were even shown. Heck, the only bare tits you will actually see is when Takuma’s eyeballs turn into boobs as he gawks at Mii’s mountains! Aside from the boobs, lots of panty flashing by Natsumi and in order for this to happen, hence her exaggerated movements and flabbergasted moments so that we have the slightest excuse for her slip to be shown. The funniest parts are when the girls go into that silly dance. It’s filled with cringe, it’s totally embarrassing but it’s so funny that I can’t help laugh each time they go into that! A dance that sounds like they went into orgasm by the end of it!!! Oh yeah, shake those boobs too! I suppose if I were to remember this anime for the rest of my lives, the dance moments are what will be vividly stuck in my mind. It isn’t Gangnam Style or Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk worthy but it’s funny as heck. And that f*cking fake Macarena looks like making Nami go into labour or something… Just weird. And who could forget about Ahem’s long penis cover?! Literally the only thing that covers his modesty.

Being such a retro anime, I guess it is nice to hear the voice of Megumi Hayashibara as Ongo as well as Kappei Yamaguchi as Takuma. I figure back in the 90s there weren’t as many prominent seiyuus then so they have to use what they’ve got, especially these seiyuus who were voicing the main characters of the gender bender Ranma 1/2. The rest of the seiyuus, unfortunately never heard of them nor I would ever remember them. So sad but forgive me… Masami Okui also sings both the themes and I am now transported back to the past of nostalgia when I used to listen to her anime songs (though some are featured with Jam Project). J as the opener is your typical rock outfit while Spirit Of The Globe as the ending theme is more of a slow ballad.

Overall, this anime series is absolutely garbage and considered by many to be a bad one. Like, how is that different than so many other more contemporary garbage animes?! Hey, law of the jungle. Not popular enough, out you go. It could have been better had it been given another chance for fleshing out the development of the story and characters. Boobs fanservice and really dumb comedy that serves to make viewers ask more questions than make you laugh out loud could have sealed the fate of this series. And who could forget that cringe worthy but funny dance! It’s definitely not the totally worst anime of its era but it’s nothing really special. Unless you’re in for the tits. Even so, there is only so much that a motherly love can smother you with those tits before they start to sag… Then every dance will be a horror filled dance…

Murenase! Seton Gakuen

June 21, 2020

They say it is the survival of the fittest and that it is the law of the jungle. Oh well. In today’s PC culture, if you think being humans isn’t diverse enough for you, then you might want to check out how extremely ‘diverse’ Seton Academy is. Murenase! Seton Gakuen is an anime about a school attended by various animals of various species. However, there is only a human in this school and he hates animals! Uhm, so is he racist? Also, there is this seemingly lonely wolf girl who wants to form a pack but she is interested in viewing him as her only hope in ever forming one. Can they even get along? Well, I think we all know the answer. And then they are joined by a few more other animals. Yeah, the more the merrier! OMG. How diverse. Well you know like they say, it is truly a jungle out there.

Episode 1
Welcome to Seton Academy where it is literally a jungle here. Jin Mazama is the only human here and he hates animals. Accidentally he throws back the pineapple but hits wolf girl, Ranka Ookami. She is about the attack him but luckily Terano Gigasu the T-rex teacher brings order. Before the crab principal can make his speech, his tank breaks and Ranka tries to eat him… During recess, Jin could only get raw meat as his food. He tries to sit at the corner but there is Ranka too. She threatens him but he tries to ignore. Then he feeds her and now she is all friendly. Heck, she gives him the chance to join her pack. Not interested. Jin is happy that there is another human here, Hitomi Hino. They’re enjoying their talk but Ranka threatens Hitomi as she is her rival. Hitomi gets the wrong idea and leaves. Then it occurs to Jin that Ranka has no pack of her own and is trying to form one. He claims they cannot get along but Ranka believes there are good humans. Long ago, a human boy saved her from bears. This gave her the motivation she could make friends with others outside her pack. Of course Jin realizes that boy is him and subsequently the bears beat him up, the reason he started hating animals. Jin talks to Hitomi about forming a cooking club. Here comes Ranka again. Stay off her man! Jin tells her off. She easily gives up? Later Jin sees Ranka becoming a lackey for zebra girl, Kuroe Mashima. So desperate she joined her pack? Proud Kuroe mistreats Ranka so Jin steps in. That fierce look in his eyes is enough to scare Kuroe so she ‘fires’ Ranka. Because Kuroe is proud of her zebra lineage, Jin then explains how they are more related to donkeys. Proof? She pulls up her skirt to show her fluffy tip tail! That’s enough embarrassment for today. Ranka still not happy, though. After school as Hitomi talks to her, several bears come looking for trouble. Ranka tries to defend Hitomi but only gets mocked. Before the pedo bears can rape Hitomi, here comes Jin to the rescue. A little bear spray to do the trick but they’re still strong. Ranka would’ve stand a chance had she attacked in a pack but since she’s single, I guess she lost. This bully is over when Hitomi calls Terano over to put the bears into their place. Ranka is happy when Jin agrees to join her pack. So happy that she passionately licks his mouth! That looks like kissing, no? She also accepts Hitomi by doing the same. The humans test Ranka to see if she has what it takes to join their cooking club. But who the f*ck this koala girl, Yukari Komori showing up?

Episode 2
So Yukari wants to join this club and learn different types of cooking because she is sick of eating eucalyptus? But koalas only eat that… Also, she is searching for a food she ate a long time ago and mom won’t tell her. After some dramatic cooking, Yukari cooks pretty decent. Hitomi passes her. Now it’s Ranka’s turn. Hitomi has Jin help her. There goes his plans to keep this dog away from the club. But then he overhears Yukari asking Hitomi if she is dating Jin. Nope. Just friends. Jin feels so sad so he doesn’t care anymore. Ranka, just cook the way you want. Just put in love! And what does it come out? Sh*t! Yes. Literally sh*t! If Yukari wants to join this club, she must also finish this sh*t! Because all members are to cook and eat each other’s dish. Does that mean Jin must eat Ranka’s love too? Oh sh*t. Yukari eats it and finds it good. It’s that food she’s been looking for! There’s some educational moment how koala offspring eat out of their mother’s butt for bacteria to digest eucalyptus. I guess at this point we lost our appetite… As the club don’t have budget, they need to ask for ingredients. Then comes cat girl, Kurumi Nekomai claiming she wants to join. She uses her purr to hypnotize them. Asking the gardening club, again her purr hypnotizes the boars to make them give their vegetables. As the cooking club starts cooking, Kurumi is now bored and wants all of them to nap with her. This time her purr didn’t work so Kurumi leaves and claims she doesn’t want to join it anyway. Ranka seems to have found another potential club member, Miyubi Shisho who is a sloth girl. Even at her max speed, she is slow. And there is a risk she might overheat and die! This happens many times so Jin brings her back to her room filled with gym equipment. Jin doesn’t care and wants to leave but Ranka vows to take care of her. And even bathes her. She leaves to get soap so Jin is forced to continue otherwise Miyubi will die! In the end, everything turns out fine and she thanks him for letting her join the club. She has always been alone and now she finds it fun. Just don’t keep dying, okay? Of course Jin calls Kurumi out from her hiding. Want to join, right? This group is so weird so another attention seeking cat doesn’t make a difference. But she turns into a tsundere and runs away. You bet she is still a club member because she still gets more vegetables for them.

Episode 3
Miki Hadano the student council president declares that interspecies relationships are banned! If she was human, she would be called a racist or something. Returning to her room, she strips not because she is an exhibitionist, it’s because she’s supposed to be a naked mole rat. So wearing clothes is the most humiliating thing ever? Okay. Now, she has a bone to pick with the cooking club since she thinks they are encouraging interspecies relationships. Thinking Jin wants his own interspecies harem, she will stop at nothing to end his nefarious schemes. Meanwhile, Jin is whisked away by a group of lioness to King Shishino. You might think lion dude is jealous of a rival having a harem but in fact, he wants Jin’s love advice. There is this girl he likes, Shiho Ihara who is an impala. Gee, sure it isn’t just hunger at first sight? Of course Jin doesn’t want to have anything to do with this but is forced to help out or his harem will beat him up. So why can’t King just do it himself? I guess lionesses do all the job in the pride. Anyway, Jin tells him off to go approach her himself. He does so and of course Shiho is always scared. Can’t blame an impala seeing a lion approaching. Then a rival lion barges in with Shiho as hostage. He wants King to give his harem or this impala pays. He even calls his guys to beat up this lion king. But when he threatens to eat Shiho as celebration, King turns Super Saiyan!!! OMFG!!! He beats the crap out of everybody and when it’s that cowardly rival’s turn, King actually shaves his own mane off! His harem is his so let Shiho go. With that, King’s harem leaves him. Yeah, they’re only with him because of his mane. King apologizes to Shiho for all the troubles he caused but just wanted to talk to her. He wants to be her partner but she rejects. She is not in heat. But they can start out as friends. Works for him. With King and Shiho having a great ‘ending’, Miki will use this excuse to ban the cooking club. She summons Jin to her office but obviously he won’t come. This means she has to don clothes and head to the cooking club? Along the way, her subordinates have to fend off Kurumi so Miki could see Jin. She accuses him of wanting a harem and will disband the club. Hino is sad and claims the other members are innocent. So she just allows humans only to remain in the club. But Jin seems too happy to kick other species out?! Just then, the mole rats enter and claim Ranka saved their lives from Kurumi. They convince her to change her mind and be more open minded. Miki will let them go for now but will always keep an eye on them. A happy ending for everyone. Except Jin. What the heck was going on today?!

Episode 4
With King no longer on the throne, all the male carnivores are fighting for that top spot. Hence there is a territory war going on at Seton. Ranka talks about her big sister, Ferrill. She used to dote on her a lot but ever since Ranka said she wanted to form her own pack with other animals, she has been distant ever since. Actually Ferrill has come all the way from another school to Seton. She is still concerned over Ranka and is shy to make her entrance. But thinking Jin is bullying her, Ferrill makes her violent entrance. So this big sister isn’t just big seniority but also in size? Ferrill wants Ranka to come home instead of forming her own pack. Ranka disagrees and this incurs Ferrill’s wrath since hierarchy is absolute among wolves. Heck, she is even willing to compromise to let Jin join her pack. But when Ranka says she’ll hate her for it, Ferrill ‘died’. End of showdown. Later, Yena Madaraba tries to fight Ferrill, thinking she is the strongest. However she isn’t interested in that crap. Yena then sees Jin being surrounded by a pride of lions. They think he defeated Ferrill and so by defeating him, they’ll be number 1. Yena beats the crap out of them because if there’s one thing she can’t stand, it’s bullying of the weak. Of course Jin said the taboo thing and that is Yena being female. Actually, she is female but thinks of herself as male. Hence Yena comes barging into the cooking club trying to force him to admit she is male. Even when he tries to play along, I guess she isn’t convinced. All the mocking has Yena finally take drastic action. She is going to take off her pants! Without context, it looks like Jin is going to rape her… Anyway, Jin enlightens us why even showing her private parts won’t do. Because for hyenas, both male and female have penis! Though, females have fake dicks so it is hard to tell from the looks. Yena is in shock. Now you believe? Oh well, it’s gonna take some time… Meanwhile Ferrill continues to stalk look out for Ranka. Little wolf not amused and tells her to go home. Sou na… Back home, Yena’s family is happy that she has realized she is female. They give her a makeover and she really looks the like a cute girl. So cute that Yena herself can’t believe it and goes into trauma mode. Still wanna think you’re male?

Episode 5
Sports day. Naturally the cooking club members want to sit out with the exception of Ranka. Surprisingly, Miyubi shows interest so Ranka must be desperate enough to let her in their training. Yeah, before the training could start, she ‘dies’ from too much exertion! But she never gave up so I guess the rest of the cooking club members see this and now they have to participate. Kuroe tries to show off that she can win this but too bad she can’t participate since she doesn’t have enough members despite joining up forces with the donkeys. Bummer. On the day itself, Miyubi is talking and walking so fast! Excited? Then she falls sick. Ah damn. Overexertion. Hey, at least she didn’t die! Despite she still wants to participate, Ranka with a heavy heart wants her to rest while they win this for her. The games begin and it’s the only time where the animals get to display their special abilities. Isn’t it all one-sided? But not as much as the chimpanzees led by Pan Saruhara. Because they’re using tools! This looks like cheating but hey, chimpanzees are said to use tools for anything so I guess that’s your free pass. Thanks to that, the chimps are in the lead. And the cooking club dead last. What kind of animal category is cooking club?! So the final part of games is the relay obstacle course. Yeah, winner takes all. The cooking club is doing well so you bet the chimpanzees are going to do something about it. Before the swimming, they put sleeping gas on Hitomi. Ranka wants to take over but Jin reminds her she is their trump card for the final obstacle course. So Miyubi steps in. Can she? So she swims slowly. Can she even make it without dying? With Pan barging her way through and almost killing Miyubi, the latter didn’t give up. This has everyone cheer for the sloth. Eventually she reaches the end. Now she can die in peace. Ranka takes over as she blazes through. Pan tries to cheat again but Ranka destroys her taser and warns her never to mess with her pals or else. Scared enough for monkey girl to give up. Ranka wins the race and for the cooking club. What happened to all the other competitors in front? Anyway, their win means the cooking club is recognized. And they allow Kuroe and her donkeys to have a small corner in the room as thanks for helping out. Better than nothing.

Episode 6
Everybody waits for a new transfer student. She is Meimei and this panda girl is famous because pandas are beloved around the world, right? With her manager, Fengfeng, they are here to see if Seton is the right place for her to enrol. Of course pandas are spoilt brats because they’re treated like national treasure, right? And so everybody has to put up with Meimei’s whims and fancies. Until she enters the cooking club and eats whatever they’re cooking. Meimei wants more of it but Jin will not cook for her. Shock! Nobody has ever defied her before! Plus, he kicks her out! If this was China, he would have been executed for mistreatment! Of course she won’t give up and continues to bug him. Because he says she needs the other support of other club members, Meimei bribes them. And so Jin makes cook for her. Okay. But she must help too. Of course she gets bored and throws a tantrum. When she spills the food, he forces her to clean up. It is then she likes this sensation. Pandas are masochists? Finally she makes her food and eats it. Looks like she is waiting for the invitation to join the club but Jin would be better off without her! Shock! Despite enrolling at Seton, Meimei still wants to join the cooking club but is told to get approval from all the members. This means getting Kurumi’s approval. The cat doesn’t like strangers so she keeps her distance. So to have her be more familiar and feel safe, Jin locks Meimei in a cage! Kurumi still distant, though. Stubborn Meimei will remain here till she accepts. That night, Meimei talks to Kurumi how for the first time she finds it fun here since she always had it easy in life. She wants to be with Jin and co. Next day when Meimei is let out of the cage, Kurumi shows some feline affection as sign of approval before her short attention span has her leaving to wherever she feels. Ranka wants Meimei to complete the ‘ritual’ by licking her mouth but she licks Jin’s instead and shocks everyone. She likes this feeling but still blames Jin. How convenient. But she didn’t know that blanket was from Jin and he came last night to cover her with it. Now he caught a cold. Hope you happy.

Episode 7
Yena’s family saying that if she can’t be female, it’s just best for her to be herself. Apparently that confuses the hell out of her. So she thinks a lot about it (by beating up punks like a dude) before realizing that Hitomi is the epitome of femininity. Hence she stalks and observes her in her bid to be more feminine. Meanwhile Teru Anamitsu is bugging Ferrill to join her pack since she was saved from bullying. Since it is not Ferrill’s policy to form a pack with other animals, Teru learns that Ranka is her beloved sister so if she beats her, can she then join her pack? Well, Teru jumps in to do just that but before any challenge could start, this petite honey badger gets distracted by a honeyguide bird. Yena is brought to the cooking club to disclose her issue. But Jin points out she is opposite in every way Hitomi is and that she can’t be like her. Then they make Hitomi like Yena but this makes her look like some sexy badass. Again Teru comes in to challenge Ranka but a honeyguide once again distracts her. With Hitomi’s guidance, Yena is now a full-fledged female! But some of her animal habits like spitting out indigestible food still show. A few lions gang up on Yena. They even take Teru as hostage. Jin dares them to beat the hostage up and they do so. Turns out Teru’s hard skin makes her immune to such beatings. Yeah, the lions tire out. This bullying has Yena turn back into her male personality as she beats the crap out of those lions. Teru continues to bug Ranka but the latter refuses. Yena then says to fight her first if she wants to challenge Ranka. Teru starts by using her stinky fart but the wind blows towards Ranka. Since she is incapacitated, Teru thinks this is her victory. Ferrill didn’t like this and beats Teru up! Woah. Crater in the ground?! First time Teru feels the pain and loves it?! Masochist… Teru thanks Ranka that because she beat her, she is now part of Ferrill’s pack. When Ranka praises Ferrill for this and is happy for her, Ferrill changes her tone and now accepts Teru as part of her pack. Only if she doesn’t gets distracted by honeyguides all the time… Meanwhile Yena’s family is going to surprise her with girly dresses. But she returns home to announce that she has returned being a male. Disappointed and saddened, they accept her for who she is. So is she now a son or brother or what? But they’ll keep the dresses just in case for the future…

Episode 8
Seton students head over to their sea branch. They are welcomed by Kana Shiraumi who puts on a show but fails to be spectacular. She gets depressed so Jin has this idea. In order to have more private time with Hitomi, he has Ranka go help Kana out. Along with Meimei, they hear out Kana’s dream to join the synchronized swimming club headed by Ruka Bandou. She is of course not allowed to join simply because they are of different species and hence their swimming can never be synchronized. Because the other cooking club girls are worried about Ranka and go back to check on her, I guess that ruins Jin’s plans so he has to go back and help too. He suggests Kana sing and the other girls do synchronized swimming? Hitomi in a swimsuit… Oh yeah. That’s as much Hitomi greatness Jin can get for the trip. Anyway, Kana sounds horrible! Maybe this is why… Meanwhile we take a little detour as some giraffe dude wants to enter some gay sh*t relationship with Jin???!!! WTF???!!! Jin is approached by Ruka (her different personality seeing dolphins has a unihemispheric brain) who pleads him to tell Kana to stop what she is doing. Even if she could sing well, beluga whales and dolphins are on different notes. But seeing the girls trying hard, Jin doesn’t have the heart to tell them to stop and instead make more suggestions how Kana can bring out the best in her singing. On the last day, we have performances from different groups. And of course the main feature, Kana singing while the cooking club girls do synchronized swimming. Kana might sound awful but her voice resonates with Ruka so much so she and her other personality start to embrace each other and Kana’s will. Then they start singing and dancing together perfectly. What a show. With that, Ruka invites Kana to join her club. As Seton students leave, Jin thinks he still has a few minutes for some private time with Hitomi on the beach. As he is about to confess, too bad somehow the gay giraffe switched in and got the wrong idea. Suddenly Jin becomes the fastest runner…

Episode 9
Manako Kagami seems like she wants to be friends with Meimei. However being easily stressed out by everything, she always tries to bang her head and kill herself! Oh my. Do we need an overlapping character who often dies? Along with Miyubi’s help, Meimei tries to get closer to Manako but tarsier girl keeps killing herself. Could it be Meimei’s presence is just overbearing? So finally she is ready for Meimei to introduce her to the cooking club. Nope, she’s not here to join. Just so Meimei can brag she didn’t die just because she was overbearing and stressing her out! Manako is happy that the cooking club accepts her. So happy that she could die! Until Miyubi slaps (more like a gentle stroke) her to remind her not to give in to instincts. And then they both die. I guess they can never beat instincts. Due to the storm, students are forced to share their rooms at the dorm as some cannot go home. Jin vehemently disagrees with this but of course he is forced to accept reality. So who will be Jin’s roommate? It’s Miki! Apparently her student council room flooded so she is using his room as her temporary office. Yeah, why his room? But at least better than that gay giraffe dude! Miki asks if he wants to become student council president. She has observed him and thanks to his interspecies interaction, the school has gotten brighter. Jin imagines holding this post to impress Hitomi and ban all animals from school! And then they get into an argument about Miki being an exhibitionist so she forces herself to dress up. Opposite strip tease. The room becomes busy since other students walk in to seek her advice. Once done, Miki realizes this is her interspecies connection as she can help other students. She thinks she can do anything and that means by stripping herself! Jin tries to cover her but the other girls walk in and misinterpret this rape scene. Of course Miki explains herself and they have their own stripping party. Who are we to complain?!

Episode 10
An Anetani gets permission to observe Seton as a student. She is however interested in the cooking club because that’s where the humans are. The members welcome her and they are shocked that she is human. But looks like Jin and Ranka are not around. Apparently Ranka is in heat and her pheromones are causing all male dogs to go after her. Jin got caught in between and has been helping her escape. A kind soul lets them hide in the storeroom. OMFG! It’s that gay giraffe dude! NO THANKS! Hiding back in their room, Ranka is now all over Jin. Don’t worry. Nothing erotic. Just her usual mouth licking love. Then he shoves her away and asserts he hates her. Oh sh*t… He goes to the club and meets An. This guy is happy there is another human but when the rest ask about Ranka, this guy starts getting annoyed. Later, An approaches Jin and says he is interested in him. But he apologizes and says Hitomi is her type. She gets pissed off as she feels he rejected her. To get to know more about humans, An hangs out with Hitomi. When Ranka’s heat is over, she goes out and finds An cooking. Hungry wolf of course joins in. When An tells her how humans are despicable because they lie, cruel and savage. It is them who has caused many animals to extinct. She wants Ranka to break up with Jin. But Ranka won’t. She believes Jin isn’t that kind of person. Next day, Ranka confronts Jin to ask why he hates her. He admits that humans lie and also not to take everything seriously. So this means he doesn’t hate her? Ranka happy wolf girl again. An is frustrated that she couldn’t break them up and returns to her Darwin Academy. She belongs to the extinction department and the other members seem to have difficult to pronounce names and genus! WTF are this type of animals?! It seems Team EX’s goal is to make humans extinct and since An says they have a chance, they leave it to her.

Episode 11
The festival is underway. The cooking club is doing some restaurant and it is attracting lots of students. Wow. They sure have a large range of menu since they can seemingly fulfil their orders. An and Yena also join in to help but it seems both are having some sort of rivalry over Hitomi? Ranka forces them to reconcile. Meanwhile Team EX is here and going to wreak havoc but they get caught up in the festivities. During the break, Hitomi talks to An in which the latter is conflicted about her emotions. So she’s like having fun whenever she’s with them? Hitomi supports her and wants to be great friends with her but this has An remembering her mission. Hence she knocks her out and kidnaps her. However Yena stands in the way. She can tell An isn’t human and wants to fight her. Meanwhile Team EX wolf dude doesn’t know what a human looks like and picks a fight with Teru only to get owned by Ferrill. And then Team EX dolphin girl walks into the cooking club and tastes Yukari’s special dish made out of rabbit poo! She finds it delicious because she has no smell sense! But when she realizes it, she ‘dies’! Oh, Team EX walrus dude continues to have fun… Jin is looking for Hitomi. He worries she might have found out An likes him and so they got into a yuri fight?! I bet he wants to see this. But he gets roughed up by Team EX lion dude. Blaming him for making his race go extinct, moments before death, King comes to his rescue. Lion dude gets mad upon hearing how King calls Jin their saviour. He gets beaten up and even more so, mocks his relationship with Shiho. But when he hits her, King goes berserk and Super Saiyan! Then Jin says how the barbary lion hasn’t gone extinct. It was believed to be but recently they were rediscovered and numbers regrowing. So in his happiness, he gets owned. His forced to spill the beans how Team EX have infiltrated Seton to kidnap Hitomi. Yena losses several times to An but still won’t yield. She tells An that she is the worst because imagine how would Hitomi feel if she realizes An deceived her as a friend. Then Ranka comes by and hears the truth but still refuses to believe An is a bad girl because she can smell sadness from her. With An confused, Team EX’s boss has had enough. He’s going to take action into his own hands. Or paws.

Episode 12
An’s boss turns out to be a woolly mammoth, Man Koorimoto. However she is a petite woolly mammoth! Jin realizes An isn’t exactly human but a Neanderthal. But don’t underestimated Man because despite she is small, she is super strong! Jin suggests a boxing match whereby Hitomi must be released if they win. Man sees no reason to agree until Jin drops marbles around her. Elephants hate to get their feet hurt, right? And so she agrees. Jin thought a boxing match should favour Ranka since a wolf is faster than a mammoth, right? Meanwhile An reminisces how she made friends with An. Because both went into extinction due to humans, they became friends and formed a group to take down those damn humans. The boxing match is refereed by Kuroe (because doesn’t a zebra stripes look familiar?) and it will last for 3 rounds. Ranka is fast but she gets scared when she realizes Man’s punches really pack a punch! Don’t get hit once or you’re mincemeat. Although she gets hit, thanks to the bell, Ranka is saved. However not all is lost as Man doesn’t have stamina, Ranka can end it quick the next round. But when it starts, Man gets psychological and mocks her as a failed boss. This provocation allows Man to land one right in her face! Luckily she gets up before the count of 10. Meanwhile An thinks Man should stop this because she feels modern species can understand them and there is no need to wipe them out. Man takes it that Hitomi has said something to her (indeed) so she tells her to shut up and mocks humans as liars. Neanderthals are closely related to humans too, right? Jin has no choice but to help raise her morale with lots of praising. While this helps, Man lands one in her guts and then an uppercut! OMG. Is this over? Not if everyone cheers for Ranka’s name. She gets back up and resumes fighting. As An is still trying to stop Man, Man tells her off to STFU. In that case, An quits Team EX and will stop being her friend. Oh, that got to hurt. I believe Man lost all her HP here. So shocked of their severed friendship that it is Ranka’s win. So while some apologizing is going on, Ranka banishes An from her group because she betrayed them. But this means she has to go find another pack. Oh yeah. Friendship saved. Jin allows Ranka to lick him only because today’s a great day. He got to see Hitomi in bikini as a round girl. In the aftermath, Team EX joins the cooking club cook a feast as friendship among them before parting. Then more of Ranka licking Jin because she thinks he is so cool. But looks like another trouble is brewing. King is all beaten up and warns them the threat from Fabre Academy. Oh, those bug people are here?!

Setopia: Diversity Is Our Strength!
So do insects have a bone to pick with the mammals? Maybe. And lots of it. Especially humans. Because I’m sure we humans have squished them millions of times. Revenge of the bugs. This could be humanity’s greatest test yet! Fending off bugs who are believed to be the survivor type of species. Seton can then seek Darwin’s assistance in fighting off this bug menace. Man, this revenge story is getting serious if this series gets another season. But for now I guess everybody is happy having their own pack again. And once more, humans have duped other species into believing that destroying all of mankind is not the solution and that it is better for all of us to get along! Yay! Only man is qualified to destroy man himself. We’re so smart, no?

The plot is basically nothing and there isn’t any real story to tell. The cooking club antics of course occupy the biggest antics there is and even so, they all feel like episodic standalone fillers. So much so in some episodes, we have this short side story of King and Shiho. Yup, we see how the lion and impala break down barriers just to be together! Even King getting into some impala tournament just to get Shiho’s parents approval! Yeah, so PC moment when King decided to become species fluid that he is not a lion but an impala! All for the sake of love. So yeah, I don’t know which one is worse. A lion following its natural instincts in eating an impala or a lion copulating and making out with an impala. Hmm… I think I’ll go with the former. My eyes and brain are not ready to see a lion f*cking an impala!!!

So anyway, even the cooking club antics are rather so-so and good for some few laughs but nothing that would break any new grounds. So I suppose if Killing Bites was too gory and violent for you, perhaps this series could be somewhat a more toned down for you. What do I mean? Because in each episode, there will be a few short narrations on the trivia of the featured animals. Quite enlightening and interesting. So you never knew koalas eat their own poop for some bacterial goodness, eh? Yeah, I guess some facts are shocking. It might not come as anything new to animal lovers and enthusiasts but I suppose such interesting facts could shock casual viewers. Don’t believe it? There’s always the easy internet to double check your facts. This might spur some interest to go do their own little trivia and enhance their knowledge a little of these animals. Well, me? I’m not an animal lover per say… And if you can’t guess the type of animals the characters are at first, as if their names aren’t a dead giveaway of what kind of animal they are… But if you don’t know what certain animal looks like, the mid-intermission is a good place because it shows a short real live action scene of the featured animal. Pfft. You don’t even know what a giraffe or a hippo looks like, you better go back to school!

As for the main characters especially of the cooking club, well, there is nothing much I can say about them. Most of the animal girls in the club act out so based on their animal behaviour for comical purposes. That’s very much about it. Like how Miyubi’s penchant for ‘dying’ becomes her running joke because she is meant to be slow. It’s amazing she hasn’t actually died at this rate and it makes it feel like as though she has more lives than a cat! It is hard for me to see the club members as a close knit member seeing Jin continues to not like animals but they seem to be getting along fine so I guess that itself is already a great achievement. I mean, you already got an inch (of friendship) and you can’t be asking for a mile, right? Don’t rock the boat yet… Other characters outside the cooking club like Miki whose penchant to be naked is purely for fanservice purposes, King losing his mane easily whenever he is broken hearted, Teru is like the Spongebob of this series in the sense that nobody can hurt her and Kuroe still an arrogant zebra despite hanging out with donkey guys, it’s juts predictable for these characters. Don’t expect more.

The main focus of course is Jin and Ranka. Strange bedfellows if I must say. For one, we all must believe that deep down inside Jin’s heart that he doesn’t hate animals as much as he wants us to believe. Because of all the numerous times and chances, despite his mistreatment of Ranka, he always finds some loophole or excuse to diffuse the tension and get their relationship back to status quo. I’m sure this guy just wants to be left alone but the question in point is that he doesn’t hate animals. I mean, if he does, why the heck is he in Seton anyway?! Are there no other schools exclusively for humans?! I’m not sure if he this school is close to his home, his parents put him up to it or he has some financial problems hence attending Seton means he would receive some scholarship to cover his school fees. So he is just putting it all up just to get through this high school. Even if so, he doesn’t hate them. Because if he does, and I mean if he really becomes that Nazi Hitler of animals, he would’ve massacred them all! Hey, he didn’t kill humans. So he can’t be charged with murder!

And as for Ranka, wolves are definitely pack creatures but I guess she hasn’t heard of the lone wolf term. Anyway, definitely Ranka just wants friends. Period. I don’t see any other wolves in Seton so I guess she is happy to have her own very diverse group. I feel Hitomi is just a side character. She is the object of affection of Jin but I don’t see him making any headways with her. Most probably he always has to deal with that stupid mutt AKA Ranka who is always bugging him. But I guess it’s better than that gay giraffe dude! Yikes! Don’t make him hate animals even more! Hitomi was like Jin although she doesn’t hate animals, she wondered if she could get along with them until she saw Jin and Ranka. Yup, love-hate relationship at its finest. So you bet ever positive Hitomi is going to make friends with all sorts of species from now and also in a way keep Jin in check because I fear without her presence, this guy could become the Nazi Hitler of animals. Maybe…

Having said all that, I guess it is that time where my mind starts to wander and start to think of all the things that don’t add up in this series. Gee, where to start? This land where this anime takes place isn’t Japan definitely. There was a picture of this land that resembles closely to Japan but it is out of shape enough that it is obvious it is not the land of the rising sun. Hence, I am wondering if humans do actually exist in the masses here. Because if Jin and Hitomi are the only students at Seton, where the heck are the rest? It is undeniable that homo sapiens do exist but when they say that humans are the ones who caused other species to go extinct because of incessant hunting, well, from the way I see things here, I don’t see how humans are a threat. Unless you tell me that this island is some island off the coast of Japan where all animals gather and live in harmony. Other places, humans are breeding like rats and rabbits! So it’s weird that Team EX is blaming Jin and Hitomi for the extinction of their race. If they want to blame humans, okay. But even so, what do they have to do with the vile actions of their ancestors? Easier to take it out on the current generation that has nothing to do with the actions of the past generations, eh? Why do I feel this is getting so PC?! And nothing like modern friendship to brush all that aside, huh?

Here is another mind boggling thing. How come the gender of the animals are clearly distinct? At this point, you do realize that male animals look like their real and actual species from head to toe. Whereas as for female animals, they only have animal ears and tail to boot! Everything else of them screams cute kawaii anime onna! Heck, they look like girls doing some animal cosplay! That’s why I am so convinced that Yena is definitely female even before it was confirmed. So do you get what I mean from all this? The physical differences are so disparaging. I mean, how does it even all work?! Take for instance the naked mole rats. How the f*ck can Miki become such a smoking hot sexy babe but her mole guys are just tiny little ugly (and funny) moles?! It is so obvious whom the target demographics of this anime is actually made for. And then I start to wonder how animals of their same species copulate and breed. And then if humans f*ck a female animal, can it actually work out?! Damn, my head is exploding. Somebody needs to explain and get to the bottom of all this fast!

And also I noticed how Seton is like some sort of mini Noah’s ark. There might be some bullying or small scuffles, but overall all the different species do get along fine. They do not give into their instincts because the carnivores would have wiped out the herbivores. Your true melting pot and diversity! Diversity is our strength! I bet that kind of natural law of the wild won’t happen even if it could because noticed all the teachers are dinosaurs? Yeah, nobody can beat them ferocious terrible lizards. And the headmaster’s running joke is that he is always out of water because his aquarium tank often gets busted… And also do you notice that Seton is just a school for mammals? Seeing the last episode that there are bugs, you wonder if there are schools for birds, reptiles, amphibians and perhaps weird ones like those marsupials from Australia (oh wait, wasn’t the boxing sponsored by kangaroos?). After all, Seton already has a sea branch that features some of the fish types. Wow. This is truly a diverse land.

As you can see, the art and animation lean towards the cute and kawaii factor. As already mentioned, female animals looking like cute human girls make it so obvious the kind of audience this anime is made for. Because with only animal ears and tail to go by, it was hard for me at first to distinguish what kind of animals they were. For instance, I thought Yukari was a bat and it never occurred to me she was a koala. I mean, how many koala characters are there in anime. And then there is Miyubi who is so slow that moss grow on their head. I don’t know, she doesn’t wash that part off? Is her head the area that is not touched most? Seriously, I can think of other places, wink, wink. So it looks like she is wearing some sort of weird hat or something. When I first looked at An, why does she remind me of Shirayuki from Akagami No Shirayukihime? This anime is produced by Studio Gokumi who did lots of other animes with cute girls like Endro, Kiniro Mosaic, Tonari No Kyuuketsuki-san, A-Channel, Koukaku No Pandora and the Yuuki Yuuna series so you can see why their trademark cuteness is similar here.

For the voice acting, I only recognized Yukari Tamura as Miki, Tomokazu Sugita as King and Ayane Sakura as Manako. Misaki Kuno as Yukari, I guess being a certain pig wasn’t enough and now she’s a koala girl! Haha! Sorry. Interestingly all the other minor male animals are voiced by Kenjiro Tsuda. I guess they want to save budget although I thought it would be better if animals ‘sound’ different. And you wonder why all the male animals ‘sound’ the same. The rest of the other casts are Haruki Ishiya as Jin (Mordred in Radiant S2), Hina Kino as Ranka (Hanako in Asobi Asobase), Yume Miyamoto as Hitomi (Megumi in GJ-Bu), Konomi Kohara as Miyubi (Chika in Kaguya-sama Wa Kokurasetai), Sora Tokui as Kurumi (Nero in Tantei Opera Milk Holmes), Yuu Serizawa as Meimei (Yumemi in Kakegurui), Minami Tsuda as Yena (Yui in YuruYuri), Sumire Uesaka as An (Sanae in Chuunibyou Demo Koi Ga Shitai), Marika Kouno as Shiho (Suzuka in Uma Musume Pretty Derby), Yoshino Aoyama as Kuroe (Guri in Renai Boukun), Asami, Tano as Ferrill (Saki in Zombie Land Saga), Mariko Honda as Teru (Kurimu in Seitokai No Ichizon) and Tomoko Kaneda as Man (Chiyo in Azumanga Daioh)..

In line with the diverse animal species in the series, the opening theme is definitely epic in its own right. Gakuen Soukan Zoo by the cooking club members has all the animals that really makes this a song that Tarzan would be proud of. Ooga! Ooga! Otherwise it would just be an ordinary marching band song. For more animal noises, check out the next episode narration whereby everybody just barks or do some animal noises. Thank goodness for the subtitles, right? Otherwise how could we possibly understand what the animals say?! I wonder what does the fox say… Ookami Blues as the ending theme sung by Ranka might not be epic but it sure sounds funny. Because poor wolf girl singing this song in an out of tune fashion about her loneliness sure makes it sound so. I don’t know if she is howling badly or not… Otherwise this would just be a very simply (and not bad of a) song.

Overall, despite all the mind boggling stuffs happening, if you can regard all that, this series is pretty much enjoyable and fun in its own way. And you enlightened by the few trivia about the animals too. So it’s not entirely a show of slapstick comedy and fanservice (I still can’t get over Ranka licking wet a human’s mouth! Just gross!). But if you think too much politically about diversity, it may hinder your enjoyment. So don’t be a racist and just watch this with an open mind, okay? Not sure if animal themed animes are going to be a slow trend these days because before this series we had Beastars. And before that we had Africa Salaryman. After this series we had Brand New Animal. I guess we’re growing tired of isekai, virtual MMORPGs, cute girls doing cute things and all the other tried tropes in anime. This is no Zootopia but I guess this one series that is hard for me to say if animal lovers would love or hate. Good news: No animals were hurt during the making of this anime! Better news: Didn’t hear any complaints from PETA about mistreating 2D animals! So it goes to show that different species of animals can live better in harmony than humans of the same race, skin colour, religion and ideology. Animals are smart because they don’t go to school like us humans! Hah! You can call me a racist but I’m still not dating or making out with a wolf, koala, sloth, panda or even a cat! But human girls still don’t even like me… :’(.

N/B: Insert animal pun or meme here because I’m too doggone tired and lazy as a pig to do one.

Jashin-chan Dropkick S2

June 20, 2020

Surprise! I didn’t actually realize that Jashin-chan Dropkick would get a second season. Although it was announced a year ago before the sequel was aired, I guess I never really bothered to check for updates. So definitely it was a surprise when I heard it was coming out just a few weeks prior. And more surprise! Because they released all the episodes at one go! OMG! I can’t believe that I am going to binge watch Jashin-chan Dropkick S2!!! Bring it on! I’m ready to get my dose of blood, gore and mayhem from the one and only smart aleck devil’ stupid troubles and antics! I say it again, bring it on right now! Right now, ATM! All… The… Madness…

Episode 1A
We see in more detail when Yurine first summoned Jashin. After chanting the correct words, Jashin pops up. Awkward at first, Jashin asks why she summoned a demon in the first place. Oh, nothing. Just wanted to see how it works. Now you can go back. This upsets Jashin because she summoned her from her busy devil life. But Yurine scolds her back to just go back (she can’t chant another spell because it is in another volume that she doesn’t have). Jashin starts crying because Yurine needs to use a spell to do so or another way is to wait till the summoner’s life force runs out. And you bet Jashin is going to kill her with her trademark dropkick. But Yurine got ready a sword. Oh sh*t. First blood…

Episode 1B
We see all the different versions of Jashin coming together to brainstorm. From commander to fighter to even a bug and Buddha version? Anyway, it all happened when Jashin made her own Death Note. Death NOT? Of course it is just a prank when she wrote Yurine will die by her dropkick. As Yurine examines how cute this notebook is, this is actually a distraction so that Jashin could dropkick her from behind! Of course Yurine easily dodges. Oh, here is the delivery of spears she ordered. Guess what? Yurine wrote Jashin’s death by spear impalement… Guess that came true… So now we see all the Jashin versions trying to hear each other opinions but it looks like they get distracted by stupid stuffs. Even to a point where the esper version killed the super giant version? So anyway after hearing the opinions, they all agree to go with the original’s version. That decision is to choose what kind of beef stew for tonight! I suppose we all have such ‘meetings’ in our heads for such decisions…

Episode 1C
Yurine and the usual suspects are out to an all-you-can-eat yakiniku restaurant. Yup, this means Pekola is once again invited. Don’t be tempted. But also, battles cannot be won by an empty stomach. So yeah. Eat your fill! Jashin tries to dictate how one should eat meat so Yurine burns and warns her. Then we hear Jashin complain how this is already the second season and should get better offers, only to be teased by the rest they should just change the name of this anime. Not happening! Pekola can’t stop eating and won’t waste every second. When Yurine asks if she wants dessert, Pekola wonders if this is heaven. Well, technically this place is called Yakiniku Heaven. Yeah, even if she couldn’t get back home, there is already a ‘heaven’ right here. Oh Pekola. You’re so blessed.

Episode 1D
Pekola rues another bad luck. As she ponders when her halo will reappear again, Poporon comes to tease her that it might be in a thousand years. Can Pekola live a poverty life for that long? Suddenly here comes another angel, Pino. She was Pekola’s servant alongside Poporon in heaven. Pekola is happy she can go home now but Poporon casts some doubt. This is only the first episode, do you not think there is something amiss? Damn right she is. Because Pino is here to execute them as the Lord has deemed them traitors. Especially Pekola who has been too cosy with the devils. Pekola tries to explain but all fall on deaf ears. Smart girl Poporon knows she can’t defeat her so she uses the oldest trick in the book to escape. Look, a UFO! I guess Pekola will die first. Luckily she runs for her life. Can’t accept the Lord’s punishment, huh? Better switch faith now. Because Pekola thinks that if she is to survive, she must seek the help of the devils! Yeah. She runs to Yurine’s place and bangs her door for help. Help! Somebody is after my life. No answer. Nobody’s home?! Time’s up. Pino has cornered her.

Episode 2A
Before we see Pekola getting killed or not, we go back a few days in time. It seems Jashin got real pissed after people trolled her on the internet. For bad cooking? Hence she is going to show it to them. First, she tricks Medusa into getting her some clairvoyance drops that will allow her to see who posted that sh*tpost. Then she goes to find that person and slams pie into his/her face! Take that! But the person doesn’t mind because the pie tastes delicious! And so Jashin goes on a worldwide ‘tour’ to pie those trolls in the face. Oh, Yurine is at the library and Minos is out working. So nobody’s home at this time for you, Pekola. Pekola despite knowing she is no match for Pino, fights her. Yeah, she loses. About to resign to her fate, her life flashes before her eyes. Hmm… Good deeds from the witch and devils for her, huh? WTF?! Did Jashin sacrificed herself to save the universe in Pekola’s stead?! Did that actually happen???!!! But before Pino can cut off her head, Poporon does a German suplex on her. Please note that it is not her intention to save Pekola but to steal her halo. Buy oh my, how brittle the halo is. It’s broken. Another failed angel. Pino realizes this and starts crying. How pitiful. Deemed a failure and marked for death, the first thing she does is to hail a taxi and run away. Eh? No wonder Poporon can’t stop laughing. Later Jashin returns home and bakes the most delicious pie for Yurine. Wow. Jashin so happy it tastes good. Care to open a bakery? And Jashin even forgot what this was all about in the first place.

Episode 2B
Poporon bumps into Persephone on the streets. The latter accidentally cough blood all over her dress. Pitying her condition, she lets her eat the ramen she is delivering. Persephone introduces herself and says that she will be living in the human world from now on. Though Persephone doesn’t mind befriending an angel, Poporon has a different intention. Realizing she is the daughter of Hades who rules hell, she will pretend to be her friend and once she gets her powers back, she’ll kill her and this will certainly skyrocket her reputation. Meanwhile Pino is camping in the woods. As a premonition of her evilness, she kills a cute wild rabbit and eats it! Then, as she thinks of how to get away with her failure, she realizes she will need to kill God and take over His place! WAHAHAHA!!! That’s so EVIL! But for now, she needs a place to lie low till her powers return. And that place is becoming the landlady of Yurine’s apartment?! Jashin can immediately tell she is an angel and knows no good will come from her. She insists of killing her now but Yurine will not allow it. Since she persists, Yurine crushes her head! OMFG! You see this, Pino?! Yurine is even scarier than God! Holy sh*t. Pino also meets Minos and Persephone and wonders if she is going to be okay with this life…

Episode 3A
Persephone now lives with Minos. Yurine chooses a nice goth dress for her. Everyone notes how good she looks in it. Except for Jashin of course. She claims being naked is the best but when Yurine has made a cape for her, she’s all for clothing now. Then they give Persephone a cute nickname (though it was initially casted as pathetic by the one and only sourpuss Jashin). Persephone notes she was an only child but credits she has now 4 big sisters. Jashin included? Yes. Jashin dismisses it but we all now she’s just happy and loves the sound of it.

Episode 3B
Jashin akin the characters of this series to shogi. Most probably she misread the name of the pieces and assigns them closely to their behaviours. Like Medusa is the gold general because she is the ATM!

Episode 3C
Yusa seeks Yurine and Jashin’s help because Koji is missing. Last seen in Akiba, the only police they can call for help is Mei? Okay. After describing Koji, Mei agrees to look for her. But it seems the big devil is herself as she is the one who kidnapped Koji! Knowing this will be found out soon, Mei wants to quickly add Koji to her collection. Will formalin do? Koji then freezes the place to force Mei to send her back. Eventually Mei returns Koji to the gang and even pretends to be the one who found her. Of course we can tell that she won’t learn from this. As long as she doesn’t get caught, she’ll continue to do as she wants…

Episode 3D
The irony of Yurine bringing her demon friends to a demon exhibit! They look at the drawings of various Japanese ghosts, ghouls, monsters, etc. And then they laugh at one and tease this is Jashin’s ancestor. Yeah. This funnily hideous serpent is Jashin’s predecessor? But this actually gets to Jashin. She’s really feeling depressed! She can’t stop thinking if this is what her ancestor actually looked like. Then her twisted thinking is that they may have undergone some super evolution and that’s pretty cool! But that further thought has her imagine a more hideous and pathetic version. More nightmare fuel…

Episode 3E
Yurine beats up sleeping Jashin! What gives?! Apparently she is sleeping in someone else’s apartment. Recollecting what happened last night, it seemed she was all drunk and returned to the wrong place to sleep. Another beat down and forced to apologize. On the way home, Yurine could smell her reeking of booze. Further flashback shows she entered a drinking challenge with an old guy. Then she talks about some Miura guy (each depicting the wrong famous person named Miura). But this could just be a distraction as she lets him drink a stronger one to make him pass out. Then she used his money to cover for their drinks! She is pretty sure he died but here he is! Right before her and looking as healthy as ever!

Episode 3F
Jashin has a cavity. She fears the dentist as she has never been to one. Cue for Yurine to scare her of how much a torture chamber it is. Then she drags a fright filled Jashin there. It’s bad enough she is in pain and fear, active kids bump into her and aggravate the pain. Jashin then threatens the mom to look after her kid or she’ll kill them! Thankfully the bigger threat is Yurine. Be on your best behaviour or else. Jashin continues to be scared, so much so she is vibrating nonstop! Then her name is called. Hell is now. We skip the operation and Jashin is now a chirpy snake. No more pain. Despite being told not to eat for 30 minutes, the minute she takes out a chocolate, Yurine punches her in the face! Back to the dentist because she broke a tooth! Oh no!

Episode 4A
Persephone tries to do homework but Jashin comes to tease her. Of course Persephone teases her back by calling her a smart aleck devil. Wow. That really got to her? Though Persephone doesn’t know what she wants to be at first, eventually she settles for being a teacher. Yurine? A dictator of Yurine Kingdom! While it seems funny to us, it is not for Jashin. Thinking it is best to take her out now before that comes true, Jashin throws a knife at Yurine. She caught it! Now how do you like your punishment, Jashin? Yurine kicks her but Jashin dodges and this causes Yurine to slip. Jashin laughs her ass off at this blooper but it is Yurine who will have the last laugh. Because she too wanted to be a butcher. One snake meat coming up!

Episode 4B
Jashin rues the mandatory monthly Japanese national health insurance payment. Yeah, like as though she is going to save with any extra savings… Meanwhile Poporon isn’t amused that Pino is the landlady where the demons stay. It’s all part of her plan, huh? Jashin interrupts to ask about them paying that said payment. Of course they paid but they aren’t happy. Because you don’t pay such taxes in heaven! Jashin then eats Poporon’s ramen delivery meant for Persephone. Don’t worry. Jashin will cook her omelette dish for everybody. Wow. Tastes delicious! Pino feels conflicted because the demons are treating her good. But Poporon has been there before so she tells her to get used to this if she plans on living here.

Episode 4C
Another beach episode! Oh yeah. And because so, Jashin has transformed her snake tail into beautiful human legs just for the fanservice! So as our usual suspects have fun in the beach, only Pino and Yurine stay out. Pino asking the question of how angels and demons can have fun together. Because when the angels lived in heaven, they hated the demons so much. Yurine says that being around Jashin changes everything. Angels or demons, it livens every day up so she can’t help enjoy it too. Yeah, I can think of another meaning for that. Taking a break, Jashin spits watermelon seeds. All hit Yurine. Oh no. Before she can hand her punishment, here comes Yusa and Koji selling their crushed ice. New venture? Since Jashin bullies Koji, you bet Yurine is going to let that serpent devil get a taste of her own medicine. Yup, burying Jashin in the sand, Koji will split this ‘watermelon’! Using an ice sword! Oh sh*t! Luckily a coffin washes adrift as distraction. Too bad Koji still lands the blow. OUCH! Popping out from the coffin is a jiangshi, Kyonkyon. She immediately attacks and bites Jashin. Why are some laughing and others just staring in disbelief? This is serious! Minos tries to fight her but is no match. Until she judo throws her, Kyonkyon breaks apart! After gluing her back, Kyonkyon explains she thought Jashin was the enemy. Anyway, her wish is to become human and hence she came here by her superior’s orders. Jashin laughs it off that she has been duped but seeing her pitiful state, the rest agree to help her and allow her to follow back to Tokyo. Oh, since Jashin got bitten, she now turns into a jiangshi. Hop, hop, hop…

Episode 5A
Yurine notices Jashin has been making the same bread breakfast for days. Turns out she is trying to collect stickers (a point each) and enough of them will land her some Tibetan sad fox tote bag. Only 15 more points to go. So we see Yurine passing time and eating snacks in between, trying to finish her bread (yeah, watching TV without the volume and adlibbing a foreign series was pretty funny). Eventually she realizes this will take a while so to hasten the process, she has her demon pals help out. Then she realizes at this pace she could get more of the same bag. Yup. Greed setting in. Hence she has Pekola help out too. Wow. Pekola getting free food! God bless the, uhm, devil? Ultimately when Jashin gets all the bags, she realizes the thrill is gone. Wasted time, money and effort? But Yurine understands the excitement of such process. You’d think Jashin has learnt her lesson because now she wants to get that Tibetan sand fox plate. So eat up those cup ramen, girls!

Episode 5B
Yurine has lots of pouches and tote bags that came free with magazines that she didn’t use. One of them smelled familiar to Jashin. Ah, this brings back memories. Flashback sees a young Medusa bought a pencil box from the store. Of course it smells and the boys in her class teased her that it stinks. Medusa was heartbroken but when Jashin learnt about this, she got mad and went on a beating up spree! Oh man, not even Minos and Medusa could hold her back. Yurine laughs at the irony of this because Jashin always bullies Medusa but when others do so, she goes off on them. Medusa believes Jashin is kind although Jashin herself dismisses it. Yurine offers to give them her stuffs but they don’t want it. Besides, that pencil box smell was already long gone.

Episode 5C
Medusa receives a distress call from Jashin. HELP ME! She rushes all the way down to see Jashin about to be killed by Yurine! What is it this time? Blown all her money at the pachinko, huh? Wow, Medusa the kind soul even giving Jashin some allowance?! The moment Jashin takes it, Yurine chops off her hand! Oh sh*t! Jashin more concerned with the dropped money than her hand?! Then this weird scene where everybody stares at her so Jashin tries to tell them to give her money if they pity her. Huh? Medusa still tries to cover for Jashin but Yurine scoffs at her for being soft. But luckily Jashin is given a reprieve since Yurine has to go out. But when she comes back, she must do something about the money she lost. Jashin earnestly gives the money back to Medusa but she says she can keep it as a loan. As long as she doesn’t tell Yurine. OH MEDUSA! YOU’RE SUCH A SWEET DEAR! Jashin thinks she can pay it back by becoming a YouTube star but upon realizing how all the revenue generated will go into admin costs, looks like that plan failed. Before Medusa leaves, Jashin actually bought a birthday present for her. Why, thank you. Wow. Such good friends. Back home, Medusa opens her present. A ninja outfit. Yeah, it’s a great day.

Episode 6A
Another successful performance by Noel the idol. Backstage, Pekola asks her that she saw Persephone in the crowd. Oh, she was invited. Pekola didn’t expect her to be friends with a devil so Poporon explains her true intention. This shocks Pekola because she shouldn’t be toying with a nice girl. Of course Poporon tells her off that she was the one who taught her to hate demons back in heaven. After all, even if this will cause a big war between heaven and hell, she doesn’t care. She’s been branded as a traitor, right? Persephone comes in to ask for an autograph and we see them both interact very friendly with each other. Pekola asks Persephone if it is okay for her to be friends with an angel. Angel or devil or human, it doesn’t matter. A friend is a friend. Heh. That should cast some doubts. After they leave, Pekola wonders if Poporon is actually pretending. Because with that genuine smile and laughter, she could have been better off being an actress.

Episode 6B
Kyonkyon continues to find a way to become human. And to do that is to do good? Resting at a park, it seems the panda print on her dress is actually her older sister, Ranran. Kyonkyon blames herself that she ended up like this buy Ranran prefers this. Then they see a couple of delinquents bullying kids to hand over their cards. Kyonkyon moves in but they badmouth the stupid looking panda print. That is taboo because Kyonkyon loses it and goes berserk if anyone says bad about her sister. Man, she gives them a beat down that is enough to kill them! After all that yelling, finally Ranran’s voice manage to get through to her to stop. The delinquents run away while the kids thank her.

Episode 6C
Medusa gets cooking lessons from Yurine. Like cutting onion. Because Medusa fails, don’t worry, Yurine has already prepared beforehand those items. So it’s like Medusa’s efforts were for nothing, huh? Then making the meat patty, Medusa makes a heart shaped one. Cute, right? Until Yurine says this is Jashin. She has turned into food as atonement. That is why they must eat every last bite of her so her sacrifice won’t be in vain. Then this weird scene of Jashin padding up herself with desert sand so that she could become some crispy fried serpent. She jumps into the wok with boiling oil and the timing must be precisely 15 seconds. When it’s time to take her out, the handle breaks. Mei comes out of her cover to plead to Yurine to do something. Everyone scared of Mei and runs away? Mei uses the log to pour spill over the wok. But at this point Jashin has been burnt to a crisp. So sad. Turns out to be one big lie from Yurine but this was horrifying enough for Medusa to faint. Jashin just came home and is shocked to see Medusa ‘dying’. She really cares for her best friend dying? Because where will she get money for tomorrow???!!! Ashita wa Takaru zo Medusa ni!!! ATM!!! Safe to say, Jashin for real becomes the fried serpent that the rest can enjoy. Yum. Tastes good.

Episode 7A
Pino bakes a great apple pie. She is after all the winner of some heavenly baking contest. She decides to give it to Yurine as thanks for that beach outing. Upon arrival, Jashin crashes through the door! What gives?! Oh. The usual, huh? It seems while Yurine was asleep, Jashin turned the earphone volume max into her ear. You bet Jashin is dead but because Pino is here, her life is spared. For now. So after trying her apple pie, it seems Yurine wants Pino to try Jashin’s cheesecake. After tasting it, Pino leaves in a huff. What’s gotten into her? She can’t believe such cheesecake was made so delicious by a devil. She will not allow such loss and goes home to bake a better cake!

Episode 7B
Well, what do you know? Somebody selling trash in the online market? Which idiot thinks she can sell such crap? Oh. Jashin. But then the bigger idiot: Somebody actually bought it! WTF???!!! Even Jashin is shocked. Realizing there is money to be made with this, she goes to collect garbage all over the city to smell. Of course Yurine will not allow this as this stinks up her place. Take out the garbage now!!! And so there goes Jashin’s garbage entrepreneurship… As the place still smells, Jashin makes excuse she can’t cook and to go out and eat. Of course. And she’ll be paying for it. But Jashin has run out of money. How? Don’t worry. Yurine has something to sell: Jashin! Hey, isn’t selling living things online illegal? Jashin isn’t technically a living thing. She’s a beast from hell. F*cking technicalities. Oh, somebody just snapped up Jashin. Who? MEI!!! And off Jashin goes t be part of Mei’s collection. Yeah, this place is worse than hell…

Episode 7C
Jashin is excited to put together some plastic model but it turns out it only has 2 parts. So easy, huh? Unlike in the past where she needed lots of glue just to glue the parts together. Yeah, forcing Medusa to get glue during school hours, eh? Of course Jashin hits a devilish idea. She will put glue on the floor so when Yurine comes back and gets stuck, it’s dropkick time. The plan is all set in place. Yurine returns. Haha! She’s stuck! What you gonna do now? She takes off her shoes… Curses! But wait! Jashin foresees this. She steps on the mat in which Jashin also placed glue. Haha! You’re stuck. What you gonna do now? She takes off her socks… CURSES! That’s all there is to her plan. Didn’t think this far, eh? So please take this plastic model as offering. Unfortunately Yurine will only be satisfied after she cuts her up into plastic model pieces. Do we need glue to put Jashin back together again?

Episode 7D
Kyonkyon is working at the bookstore. Jashin is here to return a book she borrowed. Too hard for intelligence. She then teases both of them can be dumb characters but Ranran doesn’t want her associated with them. The struggle has Jashin pull out Ranran? Uhm, can this happen? Ranran goes back to her normal place. Anyway, Jashin has brought some sweet chestnut rice for her, courtesy from Yurine. But Kyonkyon gets scared and doesn’t want since such rice is her weakness. Jashin tries to make a pun of her frightened state. F-rice-tened? But Kyonkyon ignores her and tells to give her regards to Yurine. Man, that really got to Jashin. She’s depressed! It’s so sad when one doesn’t acknowledge your puns, eh? So when she tells Yurine about this, she laughs her ass off. Jashin so relieved. Meanwhile the extra rice, Jashin left outside Pekola’s place. What sorcery is this? But thanks for the food anyway. Itadakimasu!

Episode 8
Flashback shows when Minos was a new transfer student, the guys shunned her thinking that as a minotaur, she is really strong and ferocious. And so she was ostracized from games but Jashin and Medusa came to talk to her and they’re not afraid if they too get excluded. After all, the only way to dispel the rumours is to take part and show them why it’s not. And so Minos became their good friend and joined in with other kids. Though, not sure if Jashin imposed a million yen payment as some sort of lifetime friendship money thingy… You’re wondering why Jashin is having such a flashback. Well, her pals are away at hell for some festival. Festivals in hell lasts a long time, you know. So Jashin’s just lonely, right? Yurine asks about her parents. As she reluctantly gives bits and hints about them, Yurine is excited to hear more. From what we hear, it sounds like Jashin’s parents are big shot conglomerates and this makes her some VIP daughter? Jashin is not amused with that thought and rather self-abuse herself as some stupid weakling. Yurine allows her to call her parents. Wait. Yurine’s handphone can call hell? Anyway, the phone immediately hangs up. Ouch. That really got to Jashin. Yurine thought of giving her some money to cheer her up but Jashin doesn’t want it! OMG! Jashin doesn’t want money?! Is 500 yen too low? But still! Clearly she is depressed as she goes for a walk.

Looks like town is dead because of the summer heat. It’s like everybody got abducted by aliens or turned into zombies or something. I guess doing her dropkick antics won’t help either. Jashin bumps into Poporon. She asks if everybody else went back to heaven and she is the only one left behind, would she be lonely? Of course Poporon says no. Jashin just leaves and this leaves Poporon confused. Wow. Jashin really in gloomy mood, huh? When she returns, she sees Yurine cosplaying in some cheap devil outfit! Almost unrecognizable. Jashin laughs at her and even offers to make a better outfit. And here it is. Wow. Yurine turned into a sexy devil. I’ll sell my soul to you now! Haha! Since it is skimpy, Jashin has extra material to make a cape based on Baron Pigeon. He’s some TV show villain. Jashin really likes it and as both the girls have, moments before Jashin takes a selfie with her, she notes how the costume she made for Yurine isn’t suitable since Yurine is flat and the outfit’s design emphasizes on the chest. I guess that ruins in. One German suplex coming up! Just then, Jashin’s pals return. Lonely no more. Hooray. As Jashin is in a very good mood, she cooks for everyone to herald their return. If only every day was like this… It wouldn’t be Jashin-chan’s show anymore!

Episode 9A
We returns you to our normal Jashin-chan show. That’s right. Jashin realizes she is screwed because of all the money she blew. And her usual ATM (AKA Medusa) is away on holiday. But luckily she left some money so hell yeah! Time to blow it all and make it multiply by that equivalent exchange theory Fullmetal Alchemist fans would understand. Fullmoney Alchemist? Anyway, it didn’t work for her because thousands of bills now become just a few candies? Since Kyonkyon is passing by, she gives some to them. When Ranran eats them, she returns to normal! The curse is lifted! Hooray! Of course Jashin is going to take advantage of this. She helped cure her, right? Now pay up. Kyonkyon is willing to do that until the effects wear off. No pay. Jashin lets Ranran eat the remaining candy but nothing happens. The sisters ignore her as they continue to find a way. Poor frustrated Jashin left without a penny. Transmutation failed! Foolmoney Alchemist, most likely!

Episode 9B
Jashin mocks those who wear clothes as fools. Until Medusa comes by and serves some special apples that are cultivated after many centuries. It is then Jashin realizes the embarrassment of being naked and starts wearing a dress. Even so, she still feels all the embarrassment. Yurine can’t help laugh her ass off as she thinks this effect might have its roots from the time of Adam and Eve. With Jashin ‘bullying’ Medusa, Yurine dropkicks her. How to solve this problem? Bury her. Burying helps cure ailments, right? Yeah. It worked! Jashin back to normal. Being naked is the best! But she can’t remember the taste of those apples because she was so embarrassed, she forgot.

Episode 9C
Oh, somebody think of the children! It seems some orphanage’s Christmas party is cancelled just because they don’t have enough funds. Pekola who is to perform there, feels bad but I don’t think her meagre savings can help save the day. And so she starts singing in town in hopes people will donate. None. Poporon happen to pass by and isn’t amused at what she is doing. Do you not know that there are many others who also require saving? So what’s the point in saving a few and ignore the rest? There’s just too many. Might as well don’t save. But for Pekola, it is worth it to see those children smile and if an angel can’t save those in front of her, then there’s no way she could save everyone who is in need. Poporon rubbishes that thought and leaves. So cold. But she’s got a point too. So happen, Poporon walks by that orphanage. I don’t think this is God’s doing but whatever… A girl recognizes Noel and talks about how she wants to make people smile like her. Change of heart? So she returns to Pekola. Hours of singing and still no donation. Who the f*ck is that heartless bastard who donated a fake coin! Poporon then starts singing. Leave it to the pro idol to rake in all the attention and donation till the bucket is full. Poporon acts like she doesn’t care even after handing the money to Pekola. But Pekola hopes that they could both hand over the money to the orphanage. Okay. Just this once. Christmas is saved.

Episode 9D
Our usual Jashin lazes around and thinks of a way to return home. Somewhat impossible to kill Yurine, right? Oh well… As she looks at Yurine’s collection of books. Wait a minute. Isn’t this the second volume of the grimoire Yurine used to summon her? There’s a spell that will send her back! OMG! Time to call her friends over and talk about this. As they congratulate her that she can go home now, Jashin ponders why Yurine hid this from her. Isn’t it obvious? Because Yurine likes her! They also tease Jashin that she also likes Yurine. Seems hard to believe, right? And then Yurine returns and she realizes the cat is out of the bag.

Episode 10A
Yurine ignores and changes the subject. How do you like some pudding? Jashin won’t allow this so she teases Yurine wants her to stay. Her condescending tone has others criticise her. Jashin admits that her life here is also good but the fact that Yurine kept it hidden from her is another matter. She goes out to drink (to drown her sorrows?). Then she bumps into Pekola. As usual, she’s complaining about overworking and low pay. Cue for Jashin to take advantage. Yeah, whose tabs is she going to put on by ordering so many drinks? Anyway, Jashin thought of giving her a parting gift. Something about how magistrate costumes in the feudal era evolved into business suits. And if they can figure out the formal wear of the future, they’ll be rich! Of course Pekola dismisses this stupid plan because the modern clothes came from overseas. Jashin doesn’t like this ‘insult’ and beats her up! Then she returns home, ready to return to hell. Eh? Why is everyone looking so serious? Yurine points out at the last page. It says the spell is so long and complex that it is located in another apocrypha grimoire. Yurine didn’t want to tell her this because she was afraid she couldn’t handle this and be in shock. True enough, Jashin turned into sand…

Episode 10B
Kyonkyon visits Yurine in hopes of asking for advice how to become human. But first, they need to hear the story of how Ranran became a panda. While visiting the hell zoo, they watched the panda exhibit. Ranran thought how easy a panda’s life is. Just eat and sleep. How she’d wish she was a panda. Then she hears a voice mocking her. It’s that panda! He is not happy she thinks a panda’s life is easy. Do you know how long he has been caged here? Besides, he has no privacy! Before she knew it, she turned into a panda. Kyonkyon blamed herself had she not been away at the toilet, this wouldn’t have happened. Somebody please do something to Jashin laughing her ass off! Thank you, Yurine. Anyway, wouldn’t the curse go away if they did something to the panda? Unfortunately the panda died the next day from overeating. So the theory is that if Ranran looked at a strong panda and her wish to become one came true, could the same theory be true if she looked at a strong human? But is there a human who is insanely that strong? Looking at you, Yurine! And so Yurine finds it hard to sleep with Kyonkyon staring at her during bed… Nothing happening…

Episode 10C
Snowball fight! Team Jashin vs Team Yurine. Of course Jashin has Medusa and Beth on her side seeing she knows they won’t need the prize. Jashin of course plays cheat by throwing a hardened ice at Persephone, breaking her leg bone! Minos tries to get revenge on her (with help from Yusa and Koji making hardened ice for her) but since she cannot control her strength, she wrecks almost everything. Luckily Jashin dodges. Medusa opts out and this doesn’t sit well with Jashin because this serpent intended to use her as a shield! Jashin f*cks it all by throwing a grenade! Boom! Only Yurine survives. Final showdown. Before Jashin could finish her taunt, suddenly a hole in her stomach! Yurine threw one that is faster than the speed of sound! So Jashin’s last moments is to sing? Horrible. Cue for other characters like the angels, Mei and Kyonkyon to drop by for one big group gathering? Yeah. End is nigh. Oh yeah. Jashin’s soul rising to heaven so she could dropkick back into life. More snowball fight fun. Nobody’s going anywhere that’s for sure. So now you know why everybody is going to stay here a little longer?

Episode 11
Uhm… So this special episode is a recap episode?! Oh well. But it’s not exactly copy and paste. Okay, in some ways it is. At least for the visuals, all the scenes are recycled scenes and montage from both seasons. Can you guess where it is taken from? As for the dialogue, it is mainly between Yurine and Jashin. So this is the part where it isn’t ‘recycled’. So WTF Jashin blaming Yurine for the death of Azusa 2 because some apocalyptic happened on Earth that only remained the trio as survivors. Anyway, it’s just a lie. In case there are new viewers at this point, hence the ‘recap’. After lies and exaggeration by Jashin and Yurine about the ‘real’ plot of this show, we have Jashin narrating the bare bones of this show as well as its characters. So the first part is done. What about the second part? Well, Jashin sings a 10 minute long video of her life here! 10 MINUTES! Enjoy more recycled scenes and montage too. And one last thing to note. Azusa 2 never made into the anime…

Sometimes dubbed as episode 12, this episode was funded via Chitose’s tax programme. Basically, taxpayers in urban areas contributing to taxes applied to rural areas and will get some tax incentives. Wow. If more animes can be funded this way… Anyway, Yurine has booked a trip to the city of Chitose in Hokkaido. Jashin doesn’t want to go since she is scared of plains. A devil like her who has seen lots of magical sh*t and Yurine’s brutality is afraid to fly in a giant scrap of metal? Okay, whatever. But because she doesn’t want to be home alone, she follows them. And if she doesn’t want to take a step from the airport? Yurine cuts her up with her chainsaw and puts her in the suitcase! But chainsaws aren’t allowed on the plane… Meanwhile, the angels are taken by their senior, Lierre to Hokkaido. The goal is to head to a lake imbued with some holy power so that they can achieve their goal. But Pino is wary and wonders if this is all part of her plan to rid the fallen angels. Arriving at Chitose, we get a glimpse of some of the famous landmarks and food. Blatant promotion? Hey, the people’s tax funded this! When Jashin encounters a deer, she thinks it is a reincarnation of Azusa 2! She gets scared and fumbles, allowing the deer to eat their lodging ticket and run away. Oh sh*t. And Yurine and co are thinking about returning to their hotel. Double sh*t! Better get that ticket back! Pronto! She stumbles into the angels facing off with a bear (poor Pekola turned into bear feed). Losing the deer’s trail and learning the angels are also staying at the same hotel, Jashin tries to force them to give their tickets just to save her own ass. Of course they won’t and since Yurine and co are here, Jashin quickly announces an angel vs demon boat race! Yeah, it’s not very often we get a boat ride, right?

Yurine flags off the race. Jashin-Minos team taking the lead thanks to the latter’s brute power but soon the angels catch up with Lierre using her angel power. Medusa-Persephone being left behind… Because of Minos’ might, she wakes up the great master of the lake and this causes the fish to overturn their boat. Jashin is drowning and pleading to God (?!) just to let her have the angels’ lodging ticket and she’ll never do bad things again (yeah, right) when suddenly she sees a huge fish. It’s like they click and she powers up by merging with it. Huh?! With this new power, Jashin gets cocky and will finish off the angels to take their ticket. Lierre gets ready to face her as Yurine has learnt the truth. So as she throws her spear at Jashin, at the same time Pino pushes Lierre into the water in hopes of killing her. Jashin gets owned while Lierre couldn’t be more thankful to Pino for saving her from Jashin’s attack. Really? In the end, Yurine’s side is still able to lodge in because she booked online so the physical copy wasn’t needed. And you thought of all people, Yurine was dumb enough to leave a copy in Jashin’s care, right? Pino still reeling from the guilt, wants to stay with Yurine?! Fearing Lierre’s wrath? I don’t see her being suspicious. But wow. Angel seeking comfort with a witch. Conveniently, they all got a big room together. They enjoy the hotspring as Jashin and Lierre sing a duet of Chitose before everyone having a great hearty meal. When Jashin returns to the hotspring and thanks us viewers, Yurine isn’t too happy this piece of sh*t has once more misused the funds of taxpayers? Yeah, how many times Jashin died this episode? Apologize! And speaking of Pekola, she isn’t dead. Now she is part of the bear’s family and loving the fish mama bear catches? Oh, she doesn’t know what she’s missing…

Between The Devil And The Deadpan Witch
Ah yes. And so life goes on as usual for our wacky demons and angels and a certain human. That’s all folks. Until they make another season! It was a great binge watching run and I’m so full with Jashin, I think I can really wait a little while until the next season. Heh. Really. Though, I’m not sure why they released the entire season in a single. Is it accidental or pure intentional? Who knows? But my guess is that they originally intended to release it week by week because I noticed some of the dialogues indicate next week or last week. This won’t happen if it was released simultaneously, right? Hence my other guess is that they have finished this season pretty much early on (remember, they announced the second season about a year prior so they may have made this during that period) but ran into technicalities or other unforeseen problems for airing. Maybe they couldn’t get the slot or a channel to air their work. So instead of disappointing everybody, might as well release it all over the internet. Yup, this second season is considered ONA and thank goodness it isn’t Netflix exclusive. Because I noticed shows that were released all at one go from there are CGI. Since this one isn’t, therefore I am pretty confident they got all their work done before the start of the season. Anyhow, all of us got a treat and enjoyed it very much. Those who hate this series better lie and say you enjoy it too!

Oh, also I have a trivial thing to pick on regarding this season. It is the name of this season! They call it Jashin-chan Dropkick Dash! What’s wrong with it? It is actually written as this: Jashin-chan Dropkick’. Uhm… Hello? That is not a dash. That is an apostrophe! WTF?! Are you trying to mislead me?! Heck, they even make jokes of renaming this series to something else other than dropkick since Jashin rarely does them. And although she just dropkicks many times just for the heck of it, I’m still concerned that they call this symbol a dash! It’s not a dash! It’s an apostrophe! You Japanese people better get your English grammar symbols correct!

Anyway, this season feels very much at home like the first season and there is no big change to the slapstick formula. Why fix it if it isn’t broken? Hence the sequel sometimes feel a lot like an extension rather than a whole brand new season itself. I mean, introducing a few new characters might be one thing but overall the basic formula of Jashin being a dick and getting her just desserts still never changed. She never learns. Yurine always punishes her in the most gruesome ways. Jashin does not repent. Rinse and repeat cycle. After all, that is the basic plot and storyline that we have all operated under ever since the first season and there is no need to add some further convoluted twist except maybe to troll us and then go back to square one. That’s so Jashin-chan for you.

So if you love your brand of comedy breaking the fourth wall, Jashin-chan here has broken more of them here this season. So how many other anime trivia can you spot this season? Also, some of the fourth wall breaking feels like as though they are ‘hinting’ for another season. You know, like how Jashin noted that if there were some offers coming in for a live action production of this series, she’ll seriously consider taking it. So can we hope for a third season? After all, the final episode (Chitose-hen not counted since it was shown separately from the TV series) says see you again. That means there is still hope, right?!

Although they added a few new characters, personally I don’t see them making a lot of impact. Perhaps they don’t want to take away the spotlight from Jashin. What is the name of this anime again? After the initial first appearance but ever since, they become relegated to rest of the supporting characters. For instance, Persephone who actually made her cameo in the first season, suddenly she became part of the gang. In the first season, she was always seen in every episode looking for Jashin. It is never explained why she was looking for her. Somehow she found Jashin and they’re now living in the same neighbourhood. That’s about all. Persephone might be physically weak, but she isn’t as soft as Medusa seeing that she sometimes teases Jashin and even calls her a scum. Then there is the pair of jiangshi sisters. I guess we need more cute anime girls for this series and while their story is also equally interesting, there is nothing more to it. They just want to become human. That’s it. I guess if there is ever a plot convenience and we need some numbers, we know which characters to call.

And of course, how can we forget about Pino? Yet another fallen angel. Is this going to become a trend that angels who failed their mission on Earth will be doomed as traitors forever? It might look easy to blame Pino when we see her true colours but thinking further about it, it is more of the system of heaven to blame. Yes, God Himself is actually a big dick if I should say. My guess is that He doesn’t care about his subjects and leaves them to rot on Earth. Otherwise, do you not think the Almighty who is omniscient and omnipotent would have the power to just bring them back to heaven instead of waiting for their halo to regenerate by who-knows-when? Instead, they are immediately branded a traitor and the next angel will be sent to kill them. So that’s why when Pino came in search for Pekola, it is to no surprise that she wants her head. And it is also to no surprise that Poporon wants to steal her halo. Ultimately, they all fail and you can’t help blame Pino for wanting to kill God and take over his place! Yeah, she sounds more fitting to be the Demon Lord! But whatever the case, heaven sucks. Angels are just useless jerks. Period. Although they suddenly added a new character Lierre to the mix in the special episode but since she hasn’t shown her dick side yet, for now she’s looking pretty decent for an angel. After all with her sudden introduction, her intentions are still a mystery at this point. And oh yeah, what has it all got to do with Jashin anyway? Nothing more to talk about. Move along.

As for the recurring characters, it’s the same ol’ between Jashin and Yurine. Mentioning their relationship would be like a broken tape recorder. I suppose that is where all the fun is. As if we already don’t know, they both like each other and that is why they continue to stay together instead of parting ways. Excuses, excuses. Because of their awkward relationship and the more Jashin gets owned by her, it becomes harder and harder for them to just get honest with their feelings that they love each other’s company. It is so evident when we see them in both seasons. When they both have that opportunity, they don’t really take it. Like when Jashin has a chance to kill Yurine but when she is sick or not her usual, she gets worried. It’s so typical. So can we all just agree that Jashin and Yurine really like each other?! Or maybe they Yurine just love beating the crap out of Jashin when she steps out of line. Nothing more to it. But it is interesting to note about Jashin’s parents. It is scarcely hinted upon but it could be that she could be the daughter of some famous underworld personality. They just have no time for her and that’s why they don’t even bother looking for her. Noticed the sad face on Jashin when they instantly hung up on her? That’s some hint there that we would all like to know and explore further. And Yurine might not be 100% invincible as there are some slip-ups but that usually turns into her favour in the end, so Jashin is still pretty much screwed anyhow.

The rest of the other characters remain the same like the very kind hearted Medusa who continues to be Jashin’s best friend-cum-ATM-cum-bully-victim. Ah, where would Medusa be without her best pal Jashin? Oops. Or is it the other way? Just keep the cash rolling in and they can be friends for eternity! And we have Minos who is still working hard and the irony that she loves eating beef, considering she is from the bovine kind of family and tribe. Then there is Pekola who is still the most pitiful character but that has become so much of a running joke that you won’t even sympathize with her anymore. Truly a fallen and forsaken angel, now she knows what it is like to be on the receiving end. You could say she absolutely fell off her mighty horse. But it is those harsh lessons of survival that has opened Pekola’s eyes. This has turned her into a good natured angel although she is still in conflict and remains loyal to God. What did I say about God being a total dick! The irony that demons and a certain witch girl support her more than God shows you a lot. And yet she prays to Him and seeks forgiveness for confiding with the demons. So how has God repaid her? NOTHING! Instead, He sent angels to get her head! Are you sure God is not the Demon Lord?! Also, to showcase that Poporon and Pino aren’t totally heartless b*tches, they also help do some good although they still maintain their angel pride. Oh Pekola, you better switch faith if you want to continue surviving in this world! Screw God! Yurine is your God!!!

I feel that Mei has been severely side-lined this season. Although last season she doesn’t make too much of an appearance, I have this gut feeling she is way lesser in cameo here. I am guessing that she is already a very annoying character, perhaps one of the most hated characters in this series (even more despicable than Jashin – because she is a cop!), so it wouldn’t be right if they keep spamming the same running joke of her trying to kidnap and horde her unusual collection of stuffs. So if I remember well, there are only 2 times in which she was ‘seriously featured’. The rest, she is relegated to some cop trying to break up the crowd, especially targeting a trio of otakus. But I wonder how she got Koji? Speaking of the snow woman sisters, they too feel a lot less appearance than before. Blame new characters taking up some airtime? Not like Jashin cares anyway! Last but not least, Beth. Is it me or does this demon pet dog have its own mini story that is just scarcely peppered throughout the series? I mean, sometimes we see this dog and his b*tch wife or something and then there’s one time he cheated on another and he had to make up or something. Not too sure. We’re more concerned about Jashin, right? Will she get chainsaw or split into half today! Show us some blood, dude!

This season’s opener… Feels a lot like a downer! Compared to last season’s epic opening theme song, this season’s Toki Toshite Violence by Halca feels very much toned down. Although the typical anime rock piece isn’t bad, but it lacks the oomph that made the first one so epic. So I guess they try to add some shonen fight scenes in the opening credits animation, Yurine and Jashin in some epic ground shaking power devastating showdown. Of course it goes without saying who will ultimately win this fight. If you really want to hear some devilish Satan worshipping punk rock music, it’s in the ending theme now. It should have been the opener but I guess Love Satisfaction by ZAMB as the ending also works. So if you’re high on drugs, start banging your head to this awesome ultimate Jashin rock outfit! OH YEAH! WAAAAAARGH!!!!! Making it equally epic is the ending credits animation whereby we see a dystopian and destroyed world as a dramatic Jashin goes on a journey to battle the forces of darkness! And then another epic showdown with Yurine! Man, this could have been a whole lot of different (and perhaps interesting) story had this series took on another direction. As for the voice acting, the old ones are retained and the new ones joining the line-up are Marina Yamada as Pino (Marina in Rainy Cocoa Side G), Nanami Yamashita as Kyonkyon (Nanami in Wake Up Girls), Minami Tanaka as Ranran (Mary in Kakegurui) and Miharu Hanai as Lierre (Sassa in Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism).

Overall, it was really a satisfying and fun ride. One of the best slapstick comedies in most recent times. As long as nobody really dies, keep the slaying of a certain serpent girl coming, okay? And make it twice as bloody! Haha! Hey, technically you could say that no lamia were killed during the production of this anime, right?! Never change, Jashin. Never change. We like it best when you’re tortured, haha! At this point I really hope there would be another season and I can’t dismiss the fact like last time of not expecting one. Maybe it’ll take a few more years but heck, it’s going to be way faster than the angels have their halo regenerated, right?! Don’t want Jashin to take me by surprise again. Because I’ll be waiting. Waiting and keeping my eyes opened and ears peeled. Waiting for that instant they announce yet another season. Uh huh. Heh. Yeah. Come on… Come on… Jashin-chan now, ATM? Any… Time… Maybe…?!

Remember that controversy surrounding Mahjou Shoujo Madoka Magica back in 2011? Felt like a distant memory now, eh? And more importantly… WHAT CONTROVERSY?! I mean, it had 3 movies after that. So what controversy are they talking about again then? As long it rakes in the money and fans, you bet nothing can stop more Madoka madness. And then 9 years later after the TV series aired, we have somewhat a spinoff sequel, Magia Record: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica Gaiden. No controversy surrounding this one. Yeah. It’s 2020. Everything else must be more controversial than picking on a dark magical girl genre. Just let the magical girls be and do their stuff saving the world from evil witches. Or is it themselves actually, if you know what mean.

Episode 1
We hear girls narrate about becoming a magical girl. Although there are lots of risks in hunting witches, but if you persevere, your wish will come true. And we see Iroha Tamaki along with her friend, Kuroe fighting monsters and saving a little kid’s cat. Outside her magical girl life, Iroha is a normal middle school girl. But she is now living alone because her parents have to go overseas for work. Iroha has Kyuubey for her pet. As her memories aren’t clear, she asks Kyuubey about that wish that made her a magical girl. Apparently Kyuubey too isn’t too sure as it is all quite vague. On the train home, Kuroe tells Iroha about the rumours that if magical girls go to Kamihama City, they’ll be saved. It seems many girls including girl had this dream. Kuroe explains her wish was to date the person she liked. That was how she became a magical girl but they have since broken up and now she regrets that her wish shouldn’t have come true. She realizes becoming a magical girl is pretty meaningless if you die. That’s why she is going to Kamihama now. Just then, all the passengers act strange as they swamp our girls. At the next stop, Iroha notices she is now alone. She transforms to fight monsters and eventually ends up in a labyrinth to fight a witch. She finds Kuroe and to add to their woes, the attacks on the witch doesn’t work. It is only thanks to the intervention of Yachiyo Nanami in destroying the witch that they are saved. Back in reality, Yachiyo chides them for coming into another magical girl’s territory. This could mean hostility as they are hunting without permission. She warns them witches here are stronger than anywhere else. After giving them some seeds, Iroha asks if she has seen Kyuubey but apparently no. Learning why they came here, she wants them to go back and tell other magical girls not to come here or they’ll be treated as enemies. Back home, Iroha has a strange dream. She sees many magical girls wanting to go to Kamihama as well as their wishes. She then remembers her wish she made before Kyuubey: To cure a disease that Ui is suffering from.

Episode 2
Iroha finally remembers Ui. However Kyuubey wonders who Ui is. Did she somehow disappear from life? Because as far as he knows, that kind of magic is impossible. So the most plausible answer is that Ui is just a figment of her imagination. But Iroha asserts she knows Ui is real. Taking a bus home, suddenly the passengers start acting strange. Knowing this is a witch attack, Iroha transforms and enters the labyrinth to fight. But she stumbles into another magical girl, Kaede Akino who is also having trouble fighting the witch. But thanks to her pals, Momoko Togame and Rena Minami, they win. Iroha finds herself back in their base in the Shinsei ward as she tells them about Ui whom she is looking for. Momoko agrees to help her but this doesn’t sit well with Rena because they have their own investigation to do. However because there is no advancement in their investigation, Momoko thinks they can take time off to help other magical girls in need. As they go look up at the hospital, it is discovered that no such patient is here or was even admitted in past records. Momoko and Kaede suggest Rena use her powers of impersonating a nurse to enter and investigate. But Rena is against this because she will usually end up in trouble. This has Rena and Kaede end up in a full blown spat, calling each other’s dreams and reasons to become a magical girl as dumb. It ends with Kaede ending their friendship and leaving. Momoko thought this was pretty normal. Their friendship ended many times but they usually make up. She thought of teasing Rena that if they keep this up, the chain monster will get them. Apparently she went too far so Rena blows her top for being overprotective and meddling. This must be awkward for an outsider like Iroha. Later Momoko talks to Iroha about the school’s rumours that if you write names on a certain flight of stairs, your friendship will end forever. If you make up after that, the chain monster will get the one who apologizes first. When the friends are supposed to meet up, Rena didn’t turn up. So friendship over for good? Kaede goes looking for her and eventually finds her. Kaede apologizes for all this and asserts even if Rena hates her, she’ll always be her friend. That is when the chain monsters pop up. They are not happy they ended their friendship and now they are getting back together again. So it’s true. Rena did write their names on the stairs.

Episode 3
Iroha has another dream. When Ui was hospitalized, she had roommates, Satomi Touka and Nemu Hiiragi. They accidentally burnt the books and the worst part is not only they blame each other, they even did not admit the fault was theirs because if the records were so important, why print them on such combustible material?! It seems Kaede is truly missing and back at the base, Iroha meets the Coordinator of the place, Mitama Yakumo. But the girls are here to see Yachiyo as they seek her help in finding Kaede. Yachiyo doesn’t want weaker magical girls on this mission. Looking at you, Iroha. She deems those not as strong as her as weak. But since they request her to adjust her Soul Gem, I guess she is okay for her to tag along. The plan is for Momoko and Yachiyo to write their names on the stairs and then pretend to reconcile (cue for lengthy magical girl transformation scenes for all of them). Nothing happens. Perhaps you must be really fighting. Rena thinks that she should be the one to apologize. She does so but nothing happens. Iroha thinks her words aren’t sincere. This causes some beef as Rena starts ranting about Kaede’s quick to apologize behaviour. She really wants to make up fast and is sad for forcing her to be her friend all this time. I guess that was sincere enough that the chain monster pops up. Okay. Time for everyone to get in on the ride. So in this labyrinth, we have some weird monologue of Rena talking about Kaede as well as her own negative personality that makes it others to approach or befriend her. So it’s like Rena hating herself? Eventually Rena is freed from whatever this barrier is because Kaede is here. She knows she is here to save her. Amidst the magical girls whopping ass and destroying this menace, we have Rena and Kaede reconciling for good. Because if Rena didn’t really mean apologizing, then their ending of the friendship also didn’t count. You can tell they’re back to being friends although Rena continues to be tsundere. Friends 4eva, right? On a serious note, Yachiyo notes there was no Grief Seed dropped. Meaning, the enemy could not be even a witch. Also, she didn’t trace any magic beforehand. She warns them to be careful as something strange is happening in Kamihama. Later Rena comes back with her investigation. It seems nobody knows about Ui but there are nurses who remember about Touka and Nemu. They have been discharged. Iroha is glad to hear that they made some progress. Elsewhere, Kyuubey seeks Mami’s help. Every time he enters Kamihama, he goes unconscious. He wants her to help investigate as there are rumours that someone is gathering witches at Kamihama and plotting to monopolize all the Grief Seeds.

Episode 4
The magical girls talk about all those abducted by the chain monster have been returned unharmed. Funny, because they got abducted so long and they were unscathed by the witch? Iroha conforms that Kyuubey told her this isn’t the work of a witch. Then the girls talk about more strange rumours that happen in a similar fashion. Could it be that Ui got caught up in one of those rumours? Mitama recommends Iroha to a Chinese restaurant if she wants to keep looking for girl. There, she meets another magical girl, Yui Tsuruno. She serves a big serving because magical girls get good treatment? Can she finish all that? Hearing out Iroha’s problem, Tsuruno knows the right person to call for help. You’re in luck. She wants to meet. Turns out to be Yachiyo. Disappointed? Oh well, might as well help then. They discuss of a rumour that if you really want to see a person you yearn for, write your name on a plaque. After paying a proper visit to the shrine, you can meet that person. There are accounts that say people did meet up but soon after their accounts went missing after that. If many people had done it, why has it not been out in the news yet? It could be that the shrine is a place that is been mostly forgotten by people. Since they don’t know which shrine, they go around looking for clues. In the meantime, Yachiyo talking about a legend of a princess falling in love with a commoner. Her jealous fiancé killed him so she prayed for 1500 nights till they were reunited. So he came back as a ghost? Maybe. But the thing is, she sacrificed everyone for it. Moral of the story, a price to pay for a miracle. They end up back at the starting shrine but obviously Yachiyo thinks there is more to this. They take a break by going shopping but the limited time sale is interrupted when Yachiyo spots a labyrinth opening. A quick deal with this one. But time sale over. Yachiyo then heads back to the shrine. She realized she missed something. Something about the path only opens at night. At the shrine, Iroha writes Ui’s name on the plaque. Then strange things start to happen. Tsuruno fends off the obstacles to let the rest go ahead. After making their prayers, they find themselves in a different place. Iroha sees Ui head. Yachiyo? She sees Mifuyu Azusa.

Episode 5
Flashback shows Yachiyo and Mifuyu were friends and magical girls. Mifuyu was ecstatic about the rumour that they can be saved and become adults. But sceptical Yachiyo didn’t want to rely on such ambiguity and this disappointed Mifuyu that she didn’t want to be released from this fate. Iroha is happy to see Ui but it seems she keeps repeating if she wants to change fate, come to Kamihama. Iroha realizes this is not the real Ui. Ui then disappears. Back to Yachiyo, Mifuyu can prove she is the real deal as she explains all that they’ve did together. Yachiyo remains sceptical but wants them to get out of this place in which Mifuyu says it is impossible to leave. Iroha arrives to tell Yachiyo that isn’t her real friend. As Yachiyo is weakened by the confusion, Mifuyu confronts Iroha and is going to fight to prove who is Yachiyo’s better friend. However Yachiyo strikes her down. With Yachiyo still reeling from this, Iroha uses her Soul Gem to heal her. When Tsuruno reunites with them, a monster that is the master of this place attacks them. They make a run and try to find the exit. As Iroha has gotten weaker, she thought she might die without finding Ui. This despair has her turn into a witch as she destroys the monster and send them back to reality. However she is still in witch form and before she could kill her friends, Mami shoots her down. Although she is unconscious, Mami wants to kill her, believing she is a witch disguised as a human. Mami and Yachiyo become confrontational about each other’s business. Eventually Mami relents and leaves but warns Tsuruno not to trust them wholeheartedly because they’re hiding something. Iroha wakes up and finds herself in Yachiyo’s place. Too late to leave. So might as well stay. Later Yachiyo checks on sleeping Iroha and sees her crying in her sleep. This has Yachiyo narrating her search for Mifuyu as a reminder that she disappeared for good. It is also the reason she keeps fighting as a reminder again and again over her huge loss. Meanwhile, Kaede is in trouble. Momoko and Rena are out. Moments from being owned by the witch, Kaede turns into one and destroys it easily. Is this what you call fighting fire with fire? When she realizes what is happening, she becomes afraid of the thought that she is a witch.

Episode 6
Iroha thinks Yachiyo used a Grief Seed to purify her Soul Gem and thanks her for it. After she leaves, she continues her investigations and finds herself in a strange shopping area. It seems there is some promotion of the Lucky Owl Water (LOW). Drink it and you’ll have luck. But it is only available once per day. Iroha is sceptical at first but seeing a fellow magical girl, Felicia Mitsuki drink it, she also does the same. After they leave, Felicia confronts Iroha and knows she is a magical girl from another area. Hence she wants her to pay a toll. Eh? Then a witch appears. Felicia quickly destroys it. Now she demands more money from Iroha for saving her! Is this mercenaries’ way of living? Since Iroha is obviously poor, she will buy her an ice cream. Good enough. Meanwhile Yachiyo confronts Kyouko and knows she is another magical girl from another area here to hunt witches that are gathered here. Yachiyo doesn’t restrict her but as long as she follows the rules, there won’t be any problem. Back to Iroha and Felicia, they are on a winning streak! Winning every lottery, slots, etc! Lucky day! Iroha asks her about Ui. Don’t know. As for why Felicia is a mercenary, it seems she hates witches because her parents were killed by one. Yachiyo calls Iroha to meet up. Seeing Felicia with her, she warns Iroha to be careful around her because Felicia is known to be reckless and puts others in danger. Yachiyo is doing investigations about LOW. The other half of the rumour is that after 24 streaks of good luck, a barrage of misfortune will befall you. So if you don’t want that, drink more LOW. There are reports of magical girls missing after drinking it. Felicia doesn’t believe all that but they return to the shopping area. Felicia instantly wrecks the place thinking they duped her. With that, everything disappears. But Yachiyo blames her for ruining it. Had she drank the water, they might have more time to investigate. She chides her she should think before she acts. Yachiyo also notices that this place isn’t run by a witch. At least something that looks like one. Perhaps a familiar? The plan now is to find its main body or this phenomenon will not go away. As they search, a group of hooded girls from Magius confront them. They claim they will be given LOW every day but in exchange must stop looking into this. Also, they want to eradicate all witches and want to hire Felicia. Tempted, Felicia will do anything just for that.

Episode 7
Flashback shows Felicia devastated after watching a witch kill her parents before her eyes. Kyuubey then popped up before her and saw potential. He can turn her into a magical girl. And that’s the start of Felicia’s kill all witches motto… Felicia is taken to see Tsukuyo and Tsukasa Amane who are the wings of Magius. They claim one of their goal is to save all magical girls and by that it also means eradication of all witches. Apparently Kyouko also just joined this group. But it seems she wants Grief Seeds more than LOW. Thanks to Iroha’s luck, Yachiyo and co manage to find this hideout. They continue to claim what they do is for the sake of magical girls and not for everyone since there are outsiders who got hurt from those rumours. When negotiations break down, the duo unleash witches to fight them. Don’t worry, they claim they have them all under control. While it keeps the magical girls busy, this has Felicia jumping in haphazardly because, kill all witches! Kyouko is supposed to stop Iroha but she opts out of this group and instead paves a way for her to LOW’s core. Thanks to her remaining luck, she manages to find it and dodge its attack. Not sure whether her luck ran out because it is then she turned into her witch form to destroy the core. Maybe she still had luck left because she reverts back and her Soul Gem is clean. Tsukuyo and Tsukasa sense the core destroyed and realized they will get into trouble. Then here comes Mifuyu to see what the ruckus is about. Though Tsuruno is happy to see her and wants her to come back with them, Mifuyu can’t. As part of Magius, she has a mission to bring salvation to all magical girls. Yachiyo is not pleased because wasn’t it he who resigned to being a magical girl? Even going so far as to abduct others using rumours. Mifuyu claims she wants to be free from this fate. Yachiyo as her best friend takes it upon herself to stop her. Maybe not today. Luck’s not on their side so the Magius girls escape. When the magical girls leave, because Felicia has no home, she throws a tantrum about them virtue signalling about restraint and all. She lost everything so does she not have a right to be mad at witches? You know everything is alright after she cries her heart out. Luck still with them because they manage to find a boarding house that they all can live in. Now Felicia doesn’t need to be homeless anymore.

Episode 8
Iroha has transferred to a school in Kamihama. When she meets up with Rena at the rooftop, Rena is mad she didn’t tell her about it. On the contrary she did but she didn’t reply. She did the same for Kaede. This leads them to talk about rumours like the invisible girl (people keep ignoring her till she really turn invisible) as well as endless solitude (no further clues for this one as previous posts are being deleted). Iroha visits Tsuruno’s shop only to find Felicia working there. Has she given up the mercenary life? Tsuruno talks about another rumour called electric wave girl. If you stand close to the radio tower, listening to a certain wave on your phone, you can hear a girl crying for help. Iroha goes home and shows Yachiyo this mail she got. Somebody asking if she is a magical girl and to come save her. Yachiyo thinks it is spam and doesn’t want her to simply reply. Next day at school, the teacher calls Iroha because it seems Felicia got into some fight with the delinquent and the police called the school after arresting her. Iroha goes to pick her up and Felicia is let off with a warning. Felicia fought because those punks badmouth about her friends. Then they pass by the radio tower and thought of listening to the waves. They did hear something but it is laughter. Later Iroha meets up with Rena as she has investigated further about the endless solitude. As previous posts are being kept deleted, the clue at the end didn’t make sense. Even site references in the posts are now deleted. When Iroha shows the mail, Rena wonders how the unknown sender knows she is a magical girl. Hence Iroha runs back to the radio tower only to see Tsukuyo entering it. She tails her to the rooftop but is found out. Tsukuyo attacks her for she doesn’t want to leave witnesses. Iroha asks if she was the one who sent the mail but she is unsure and wonders if she is referring to Sana Futaba. Tsukuyo escapes when Yachiyo and co arrive. Yachiyo takes a look at the mail again and wants Iroha to reply. She is sure whatever happens, they can deal with it. Iroha does so and asks for the sender’s identity but the reply asks her to come to the endless solitude.

Episode 9
Asking more questions it seems this voice is not Sana but Ai (as in artificial intelligence). Ai wants her to come to the endless solitude by jumping down the radio tower. This is delete the rumour and hence free Sana who is trapped inside here. Because the endless solitude can only occupy one person, when one enters, it pushes the other out. As a magical girl, she might end this madness. Atop the radio tower, Iroha offers to jump but Yachiyo warns her this may all be a prank as Ai might be enjoying this (that laughter thingy). Even so, Iroha is going. She dives down. We see snippets of Sana’s memories. Looks like she is having a blast and enjoying her solitude. She was the one who gave Ai her name. Another memory shows that Kyuubey wanted to make her a magical girl. In exchange for that, Sana wished to disappear from this world. A place where nobody finds her. It seems her family abandoned her for not being able to live up to their standards and her friends too eventually ignored her. She realizes that there is no place for her in this world. She then heard about the endless solitude rumour. Iroha manages to get in and meets Sana who is afraid of her and thinks she is from Magius. Sana is reluctant to leave this place but Ai tells her it is time for her to go. Ironically, the artificial intelligence has developed some emotions for her and after spending time with her, she realizes she must let her go because one day all of this will no longer exist. Also by doing so, Magius can no longer use her existence after she gets deleted. Speaking of one, here comes Alina Gray laughing all the way in. She isn’t interested in Sana but rather how Ai evolved so. She wants to kill Sana to see how much further she can evolve. They fight but eventually Ai teleports her faraway. She will be back soon and Ai has taken some damage. Ai pleads for Sana to kill her. Still can’t? Ai takes Sana’s form and says she’ll always be with her even if she is erased. So kill her and bring her to the outside world. And with that, smiles and tears together, Sana stabs her with this artificial knife?

Episode 10
Yachiyo and co are waiting at the central tower, believing this is where the exit from endless solitude is. Felicia with itchy fingers then sees a button and presses it. Magnetic mode at max? Oh damn, everything is being sucked up by the antenna! Iroha and Sana are out safe as all the junk crushes the antenna, destroying the rumour for good. Alina is not happy about this. With her works of art destroyed, she views the magical girls guilty and is going to punish them all. She unleashes multiple witches but is quickly shot down by Mami as she also orders Tsukuyo and Tsukasa to clean up and secure other witches. Mami wants to know if this well developed witch is Alina’s doing. Alina then leaves because she doesn’t want to deal with this trouble. Yachiyo and co realize that Mami is part of Magius. Mami claims that they try to do their best to suppress rumours and witches that go out of control and one day they’ll understand all this. Thanks to Mifuyu’s power, Magius gets away again. Sana now lives at the boarding house with the rest. She still has trouble opening up but at least the other magical girls do not ignore her and treat her like as though she exists. Although they spend time together, Sana still has to bury her past. So she goes back home to pack her stuffs (her family still not noticing her) and with her resolve, she realizes she has a place where she can go home and people who call her name. With that, Sana banishes the chains of her past and opens up to her new friends. Meanwhile Magius talks about the trouble that the rumours are being destroyed one after another by Yachiyo. At this rate they will have trouble carrying out their goals. Sana learns about Iroha trying to find Ui. There is a possibility that rumours might have be responsible for it and Magius’ goals seem shady as they look like they’re sheltering witches and rumours. As Magius frequented endless solitude often, Iroha wonders if Sana heard anything about them talking about Ui. Touka or Nemu? Sana heard of Nemu. Nemu of Magius, right?

Episode 11
Unfortunately, Sana just heard that name when the Magius were talking. Something about needing her cooperation. Could it be she is forced to work for Magius? In that case, could Magius be holding Ui captive as well? Iroha has an idea. She knows where Tsukuyo goes to school and forces her to talk to her after school. She threatens to disclose her Magius identity to others if she doesn’t let her see Nemu. Sneaky. Tsukuyo can’t give a definite answer but wants to talk to Mifuyu first. Iroha and co go shopping for a gift for Yachiyo. As Iroha waits for her to come back and surprise her, look who is at the door? It’s Mifuyu! Mifuyu offers Iroha to join Magius and in that way, she can look for Ui without Magius being at odds with her. She might be in a different department of Magius. Before Iroha could ask about Nemu, Mifuyu gives her an invitation to a lecture to learn what liberating magical girl means. It will be at the memory hospital. Then Yachiyo comes back. Awkward. Yachiyo thinks she has put some weird ideas in Iroha’s head. Well, ask her yourself. Mifuyu praises how Yachiyo is making friends again and that she is going back to her old self again. She is kind, that’s why she can’t abandon them. It will happen again. Yachiyo tells her to get out. Okay. Night ruined. Yachiyo will not stop them from going to the museum but she will not join them either. And so the quartet decide to go. However, where the heck is that museum? Iroha asks Mitama and Momoko. They point out it is an abandoned building at the Sakae ward. Apparently there is a rumour about it too. You can change, remember or erase any memories that is on display. But if you stare too long, that memory will influence you. After Iroha leaves, Mitama wonders if Momoko is going to tell her friends. If not Kaede, at least Rena. Better sooner than later. So Momoko calls Rena to meet to tell about the truth of what happened with Yachiyo and others a year ago. Rena thinks it doesn’t have anything to do with her but Momoko says it does and in fact it involves all magical girls. Iroha and co enter the museum, hop above giant drawers to finally enter a room. To Iroha’s shock, before her is Touka and she is part of Magius.

Episode 12
Yachiyo sees visions of her ‘friends’ telling her to go to her friends. She denies they are her friends. Excuse? She just can’t stand seeing magical girls being deceived. Meanwhile Iroha is shocked to learn Touka is the boss of Magius. Asking about Ui, Touka doesn’t remember anything about this girl. None at all. But save your questions for later. It’s lecture time. Touka starts off with the basics like a magical girl dies when her Soul Gem is destroyed because this is where her soul is placed when she becomes a magical girl. To enhance this lecture experience, Mifuyu takes them on a ride to see the actual memories of magical girls in action. It is Yachiyo and her old magical girl friends in action against witches. One of them Kanae Yukino, got her Soul Gem destroyed and despite what Yachiyo tried to do to save her, nothing worked. She’s dead. Meanwhile Yachiyo arrives at the museum and is confronted by Touka. She ignores her and continues to go after her friends, uhm, I mean magical girls who are being deceived. In another set of memories, we see Yachiyo and co fighting another witch. However their plan goes awry and Mel Anna got her Soul Gem murky. This means she will and will soon become a witch. The magical girls hear from Kyuubey’s mouth how witches are magical girls and are shocked. This is not what they expected. Reeling from this truth the most is Mifuyu. She found it hard to accept it and even more so she had to keep it to herself. And then she turned into a witch. But something then turned her back into a magical girl. How could this be? Touka explains that when you become a witch, it is irreversible. However, this phenomenon is called Doppel and is a revolutionary system Touka created. This is the liberation for magical girls that Magius meant. They want to spread this all around the world and hope Iroha and co could join them. Meanwhile Rena is now in tears and inconsolable. Probably she heard the same truth from Kaede’s own mouth.

Episode 13
Iroha isn’t sure about all this. All she wanted was just to find Ui! Yachiyo sees an unconscious Iroha before Mifuyu. She doesn’t think it is a good idea to tell them the truth now but Mifuyu digress. As the argument is going nowhere, Mifuyu goes away. Yachiyo uses her Soul Gem to wake Iroha up. As for the others, Yachiyo believes Mifuyu is holding them somewhere in the museum. Also, Yachiyo wants to disband the team. And she’s not obliged to give a reason. But with Iroha bugging her like mad (“I’ll still be with you even if you hate me!”), Yachiyo explains her wish to become a magical girl is to survive. Because of that, others around her will die. So this is the basis of her disbandment? She doesn’t want others to die? Cue for a monster to swallow Yachiyo up and break up this conversation. But as Yachiyo fights the guilt of her past and the possibility of regretting this twisted wish, thankfully here comes Iroha busting in to save the day. More Iroha positivism like how she’ll brush aside that twisted fate of hers and she won’t die easily because she’ll become stronger, you bet this is the clincher for Yachiyo to open her heart. So now they’re officially friends? With Iroha weakening, Yachiyo has to carry her to escape. But before them is Mami who is not very happy they are throwing this glorious chance away to join Magius. They fight and can Yachiyo fight while carrying Iroha? Looks strange… Of course she can’t. So whose turn to save the day? Sayaka! It’s about time? Seems Mami feels guilty of what happened to her. But is she a masochist wanting to be abused by her for atonement? It gets weirder because Mami is now broken and goes mad, evolving into some higher form (queen goddess?) and unleashing all her firepower. She thinks she can call all her friends here and save them. Sayaka can only do so much in evading and repelling. Iroha despite still weakened, wants to help. How? She can use Doppel. Apparently Yachiyo too can use Doppel so they both fight off Mami. Meanwhile Touka is addressing to a bunch of magical girls who are potential recruits into Magius. Her speech sounds so much like a politician. We have hope! We won’t be used! We will be saved! We are the future! Wow. Among the magical girls who seem to have fallen victim to this are Tsuruno and Kaede. Those who aren’t are Momoko and Rena. When Rena tries to leave, others surround her and will force her to join. This is starting to look like a cult now. Perhaps Mami is trying to kill herself too as her overkill has caused the entire place to collapse. Yachiyo tries to save Iroha from falling into the void but Sayaka had to save Yachiyo or both of them will fall. Now Yachiyo is in despair. Because she is assuming Iroha is dead after promising not to die. And Alina can’t wait for Walpurgisnacht to arrive.

In Every Rumour There Is An Atom Of Truth
Well, if it all seems really incomplete, unfinished and unsatisfying because by now we all should know that there would be another season coming up. Definitely not a rumour. It’s the hard truth. But since we don’t know when it will happen yet, I guess we can start making up rumours for the release date of the second season of this spinoff sequel, eh? Haha. Nothing spreads faster than lies and rumours. Not even the speed of light could travel that fast. Till then, hope all the magical girls keep their sanity and wellbeing safe.

As far as this season is concerned, for a casual viewer like me, I found it a bit confusing and off track at first. As this spinoff sequel is adapted from an RPG game of the same name, those who have played the game would have better understanding and enjoyment of this adaptation. Though, I read in the comments that the anime changed a few things. Some found it unacceptable while others find certain changes good and gave the series a more interesting twist and perspective compared to the game. Hence for the plot for this season, it feels like an introductory and a build-up that would lead to the next season. The first few episodes feel like establishing the setting of rumours, the ‘antagonist’ that our magical girls will be fighting more rather than witches. Then it sets up the sides. Either you’re a magical girl or part of Magius. Eventually it could be a big showdown between magical girls, Magius and even witches. Or some other force that is unknown at this point.

Poor Iroha. All she wanted was just to find Ui and she got dragged into this mess of rumours, Magius and Doppel, whatever there is just to complicate her find and everything else. You could say that the initial plot of this series somewhat deviated from that quickly after they start delving into rumours and the search for Ui just felt like a side quest or side story. From time to time you’ll have flashbacks or scenes concerning Ui just to remind us that this is Iroha’s real intention. But this gets lesser and lesser as the season progresses and other plots start to take place. Looks like at this rate Iroha will never find Ui. Assuming she does exist in the first place. Which of course my conspiracy theory is that Ui made a wish for everybody to forget her existence but some loophole or very strong bonds that Iroha had made it impossible for that existence to completely vanish. Oh well. We’ll have to wait and see next season if this theory of mind is true (spoilers then!) or just garbage.

As for the characters, there isn’t much about them yet at this point and thankfully because there is going to be another season, hence preventing me from lashing how at how many of them weren’t fleshed out properly. Many including the main characters felt like their stories were left hanging. Like Yachiyo’s past is just barely touching the surface. Iroha’s too. I’m sure there is more than just her wanting to find her little sister, right? It looks like there is more to than meets the eye. After all, they also introduced quite a number of characters and that itself would take more episodes if you really want to properly develop them. Hopefully more like would be shed in the next season. So until then, this season only provides more questions than answers. Like I’ve said, this season is just to build upon what is introduced, especially setting up Team Magical Girl or Team Magius. Go ahead. Pick your side. Uhm… Is Team Yachiyo/Iroha seem like playing house? And uhm, by the way, what happened to Kuroe anyway?

I suppose some already saw it coming that there would be magical girls from the previous series making their cameo here. Too bad, no Madoka or Akemi showing up in this season despite Sayaka making her final episode cameo albeit for a short while. As far as I remember, Madoka sacrificed herself and became part of the world to prevent more tragedy. As far as this spinoff is concerned, looks like it didn’t. And my guess is that Akemi is still looking for Madoka and probably in a different town. Oh well, don’t you know that you do not need to find Madoka? She is literally everywhere! She’s part of the whole world now, baby! Haha. Oops. I remembered Mami was my favourite magical girl because of her cool rifle blasting action. Now they somewhat turned her into a villain by making her go crazy with whatever scars of the past that she wants salvation and atonement from. Well, she’s not the only magical girl with a story to tell. In fact every magical girl has theirs. Hence being a magical girl is more of a curse than a blessing.

Also Kyuubey who is supposed to be the main antagonist doesn’t feel like one and is awfully missing, making most of his appearances mainly in flashbacks. Remember, Kyuubey somewhat cannot enter Kamihama. Instead, we have a mini Kyuubey who is like a friendly ally as he always helps out Iroha whenever she is in a pinch. This mini Kyuubey would often show hints or guide her out of the problem. Is this mini Kyuubey another version of Kyuubey? Well, I hope my conspiracy theory that this little guy could be Ui in disguise! Oh no! I hope I’m wrong. But if this twist really happened, I wouldn’t be too surprised. Also remember that Kyuubey isn’t actually an antagonist if you look deeper into his words and personality. He just provides you with what you want and because you failed to read between the lines or ask the important questions, when things go bad, who do you blame? At least that was what I learnt from last season. Because we all already know the truth of magical girls would eventually turn into witches when their Soul Gem gets corrupted and turned into a Grief Seed. So Kyuubey didn’t manage to ‘play’ the part of the villain because of the other underlying plots this season, which is of course the mystery of those rumours and Magius looking more and more like a villain with their whatever magical girl liberation plan. I know bad guys don’t typically ‘save the world’ so it all boils down to the methods and approaches they use that we will eventually justify to criticise whether they are heroes or zeroes.

So it interestingly remains to be seen what this system that Touka created would actually be. How it really works and how it really negates Kyuubey’s construction. I don’t know if Touka is playing God and she’s like Jesus Christ coming down to give salvation to desperate magical girls. I hope it doesn’t mean turning them all into witches and killing them all as its true form of salvation! Killing 2 birds with 1 stone. Haha. Stupid conspiracy theory of mine. Because I don’t think Kyuubey which is basically an indestructible immortal can be shut out of a system created by some brat, right? There has to be a catch somewhere. From what I can also see, I also don’t really understand this Doppel system thingy. Is it like their other form or something? Best of both worlds? Curse of both worlds? Because being able to transform to a witch and then back again to a magical girl surely it doesn’t sound and look as easy as it seems, right? Yeah, reminds me of how Eren from Shingeki No Kyojin could turn into a Titan and then back again to human. Uh huh. The Doppel system must work something like that. Just another fancy way for our magical girls to use their trump card and add more firepower to the fight when needed. Unless you tell me that if you can use a Doppel, you’re actually already dead. Because Doppel = doppelganger. A clone. A double. Hence all the magical girls who used this are already dead and they’re just doppelgangers!

SHAFT who handled the original series also handled this spinoff sequel. It feels like a long time since I have watched their works and it is so because the last one I saw from them was the confusing and disappointing Fate/Extra Last Encore adaptation back in 2018. Is it me or are they slowing down? Because in 2019 they only made Zoku Owarimonogatari (the movie sequel to Owarimonogatari that I didn’t watch). Anyway, the main art style and animation remains the same as what we remember back in the 2011 series but of course with some updated and better looking visuals. And yes, the trademark visuals of the labyrinth is either a sight to behold or fuel nightmare because of all the messy cut-out montages and abstract art. And then you also have the rumours that somewhat follow the unique art style like those seen in Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei which can also be grim and creepy if you look at it in this perspective. Though, I noticed there are less SHAFT-like trademarks such as the head tilts (very rare) but I didn’t notice any eye close up zoom at all like how it was done in the Monogatari series.

Action wise, there is some action and though it might not be adrenaline pumping, they are just sufficient because what good is a magical girl if there are no witches to fight, right? Oddly, Iroha being the main character, I feel she is the weakest of the lot! She is pretty damn lucky to get out of her predicament. Or thank other magical girls who come by to rescue her. Sure, she has her mini crossbow as her weapon but that hardly did anything and it lacked any sort of firepower. Even Felicia’s reckless swinging of her hammer felt like she had more impact than anything. Well, duh.

For the voice acting, characters from the previous series making their cameo here thankfully they still retain the same seiyuu like Kaori Mizuhashi as Mami, Ai Nonaka as Kyouko, Eri Kitamura as Sayaka and Emiri Katou as Kyuubey. There are quite a few recognizable ones joining the line-up such as Ayane Sakura as Felicia, Yui Ogura as Sana, Mikako Komatsu as Momoko, Mai Nakahara as Mifuyu, Rie Kugimiya as Touka, Ayana Taketatsu as Alina, Yui Horie as Mitama (where you been, girl? Felt like ages haven’t heard from you!) and Kana Hanazawa as Kuroe. Because Sora Amamiya wasn’t voicing a dumb character like KonoSuba’s Aqua or Hangyakusei Million Arthur’s Danchou, it took a while for me to recognize her as Yachiyo. I know this isn’t her first time voicing a really emotionless character but it is how I identify her these days… The other casts are Momo Asakura as Iroha (Rona in Endro), Shiina Natsukawa as Tsuruno (Seira in Endro), Kaori Ishihara as Rena (Luna in Demon Lord Retry), Ayaka Ohashi as Kaede (Kurome in Akame Ga Kill), Maaya Uchida as Tsukuyo (Melty in Tate No Yuusha No Nariagari), Aya Uchida as Tsukasa (Bell in Black Clover), Sumire Morohoshi as Nemu (Haniel in Gabriel Dropout), Manaka Iwami as Ui (Teresa in Tada-kun Wa Koi Wo Shinai) and Hitomi Sasaki as Ai (Marie in Black Clover).

Gomakashi by Trysail as the opening theme sounds rather okay. It tries to match the pace of the original’s Connect but I still prefer the latter much better than this. It doesn’t sound all that bad but it just lacks the oomph and impact that had me liking Connect instantly. It sounds all happy, lively, cheerful and bright, which is totally opposite to the dark and grim pacing of this series. Gotta have some positivity, huh? The same feel for the ending theme, Alicia by Claris. Though it sounds quite lively, ironically the ending credits animation displays Yachiyo’s melancholy and loneliness. At least it wasn’t as creepy as Kalafina’s Magia in the original. However Niguredo by Shito as the special ending theme for the last episode ramps it up with its dark dramatic fashion. Despite so, I kinda prefer this to the other chirpier counterparts. So this song signals the darker and grimmer of things to come? Also notable are the BGMs. If they sound familiar because they are mostly written by the legendary Yuki Kajiura. You can find her trademark tunes in them (as well in BGMs of other animes like Tsubasa Chronicle Mai-HiME, Sword Art Online, Fate/Zero, Princess Principal and Kimetsu No Yaiba). It’s so unique that no matter what style or pace the song plays to, as long as you hear this trademark melody, you can bet it is her.

Overall, this spinoff sequel is just passable because it is just introductory and incomplete. There are some intriguing moments but they are mostly unanswered as the mystery and plot thickens until the next season arrives. Unless you played the game or a hardcore fan of the series, there are stuffs that you might not understand that will hinder your enjoyment. You may or may not like the unique visual art style and the action sequences are just satisfactory. Because no certain magical girl’s head got bitten off or magical girls start killing each other! At least, none died at each other’s hands. Yet. So keep those Soul Gems clean and pretty until Magius or something else comes to save you. But don’t bet too high on it that it will be the one that saves anime or at least the anime season. That’s an order too high for any magical girl to handle! I mean, can they? I don’t know, it’s just a rumour I heard…

Mushikago No Cagaster

June 14, 2020

Not really into bugs and insects. Have phobia with lots of them. So why the heck did I want to watch Mushikago No Cagaster in the first place? Ah, a set of brilliant seiyuus that I know of lending their talents. Yeah. That is probably it. Otherwise this series would have easily been passed without a second thought. Because the thought of humans turning into insects and in dystopian future and future surviving humans fight against them might sound intriguing enough but also at the same time squishy squidgy squirmy because your know… Bugs… Yeesh!

Episode 1
As narrated, a strange disease turned man into insects called Cagaster. They ravage the planet’s population and if you don’t kill them while they are transforming, their hardened exoskeleton means bullets and knives aren’t good enough to penetrate them. In other words, you’re f*cked. In the desert wasteland, Jin is a merchant looking for goods with Kidow as an Exterminator for company. However they got too close to the insect cage and are now on the run from the swarm. After the heart pounding escape and Kidow killing one, they check out the other vehicle they saw from the escape. Inside is a dying father, Griffith and he wants Kidow to help his daughter Ilie to find her mother. So Kidow agrees just like that? But Ilie throws a tantrum and wants her daddy. He’s dead. Still acting up? Kidow slaps her and tells her to do as she wish. Smart girl follows him but I guess she can’t stop crying all the way back to their city, 05. Don’t know how stringent the checkpoint was because they didn’t see some guy who was already transforming into a Cagaster into the city. If not for Kidow there, it could have been tragic. Kidow takes Ilie back to the bar of Mario since this is where he is staying. Not sure which is scarier. The bugs or this tranny! That night she can’t sleep so she goes out and sees Kidow practising swinging his machete. Does he do this all the time? Monologue of how he is an Exterminator and he doesn’t need feelings? That’s why he’ll not hesitate to kill? Like how this innocent butterfly got chopped in half?! Yeah, Ilie almost got killed! Yup, this is scarier.

It is no surprise the next day she left a note saying goodbye. Since Kidow won’t go look for her since she left on her own accord, Mario isn’t pleased and that’s when a bar fight started! Exterminator lost to a tranny? Ilie notes how big this town is and is filled with people unlike hers. Wanna go home? Then she thought she spotted daddy. Oops. Wrong person. She tries to take the bus home but no busses go out of the city walls. Sad. As she wanders about, a group of naughty kids dressed as bugs try to scare her. Only Naji felt pity for her and stops scaring her. He takes her back to his place to watch the nice sunset. They talk about their own homes. Especially Ilie who once wandered into the scary woods herself just to see the rare tree with flowers but got lost. Thankfully daddy found her. And that tree was where she was cowering underneath all along! Duh. Then she talks how she came into this predicament (in a way thanking Kidow). Wanna bet Kidow heard all that? So he just leaves the photo to Naji’s grandpa to be given to her. Then she realizes Kidow came here for her. So she goes back to him and apologizes for all that she has done. And Kidow just tells her he doesn’t break promises with the dead. Ilie returns and everyone rejoices. Couldn’t fix the bar back up in time but what the heck. Ilie’s back.

Episode 2
Ilie now works in Mario’s bar as his assistant. Meanwhile Kidow is in an exterminating job in which somebody called for help as he thought he saw a Cagaster inside his house. They barge him after he fired a few shots. One paranoid scared guy, a few dead bodies and no Cagaster. I guess this is homicide. Later they also find a mutilated body that couldn’t be done by insects or humans. So was it a demon? Kidow is then summoned by a wealthy merchant for an escort mission since he is quite a famed Exterminator who hails from the Far East (Japan?). Also in this job is Qasim from the Allied Army Of The East. He doesn’t like Exterminators. When Kidow returns, several Exterminators surround him. They are jealous he gets more earnings than them and wants him to ‘share’. Since he won’t provide for lazy bums, they start fighting. But when one of them pulls out his gun, he swiftly cuts off his hand! Oh my. Ilie saw this violence! Kidow’s reputation as an Exterminator ‘tanks’ because an old dude started shouting how his son got killed by a crazy Exterminator who loved to kill. Hence he believes all Exterminators are crazy killers. That night, those punks still want to get even on Kidow. However they got owned by somebody that looks like a hybrid between a human and Cagaster? Everybody thought Ilie is depressed because she is still getting over her father’s death. However turns out that she doesn’t know much about Kidow and wants to know more about him. She in love? Kidow and Qasim successfully destroy a swarm of bugs on their mission. Noting the increase in larvae despite exterminating a whole bunch of them a few weeks ago, he thinks of taking a detour home but Qasim will not allow that. Talking to Hadi, it seems there are more mutilated victims and all of them are Exterminators. Kidow remembers killing an Exterminator so he could have made enemies. Ilie is tasked to buy anchovies by Mario. However the wallet gets stolen by a kid. Luckily she bumps into Naji and he somewhat knows that kid and takes her to his hideout.

Episode 3
Lizzy is the leader of this small pickpocketing kids, Red Rats. She dares Ilie to prove the wallet belongs to Mario since there is no name on it. Since Ilie still insists on having it back, Lizzy challenges her to a game of tag. Catch them and she can have it back. And so the chase begins. Can Ilie run in that dress? Kidow returns but he finds a strange invitation letter and map on his bed. He talks to Jin about this and knows it belongs to the Exterminator killer since the map contains of the locations of the mutilated bodies. Just then, Naji passes by with part of Ilie’s dress (she loses it so as to keep up with Lizzy). Kidow stops him and has him spill the beans. Lizzy thought she lost Ilie but to her surprise Ilie is more daring than her and jumps on her! Eventually Lizzy gives up. Ilie isn’t just some oujo-sama. As a shepherd, she has chased down sheep! This is nothing! So they talk about things and now they’re friends? Yeah, she lets her join her Red Rats. Not interested. Too bad the wallet isn’t with her. Another kid comes by but it’s not with him either. Tough luck. It’s with Iason. He has the misfortune to stumble into that Exterminator killer just fresh off with another kill. Could have been done for had not Kidow stepped in. He tells the kid to scram as he goes face off with Acht since he got his invitation. Iason reunites with Lizzy as he explains what happened. I suppose Kidow is the only pointy haired guy in town, that’s why Ilie knew he is in trouble. Kidow fights Acht who seems faster and stronger. Besides, his bullets cannot pierce him. When Kidow closes in, he is shocked to see Cagaster features. He manages to pull back in time but gets grazed by his paralyzing poison. Ilie just arrived and has seen this. She tries to make lots of noise to call for help. Acht goes to shut her up but he hesitates because he is shocked to see this is Ilie. Kidow summons all his strength to fire his gun exactly at the spot where Cagasters are all weak at. Acht feels intense pain and escapes. Kidow and Ilie are relieved to know that they are both okay so they just sleep like that and there? Oh well. Not in any danger, right? Naji has sought Qasim’s help and with Lizzy and her Red Rats, they look around the area for them. There they are. Sleeping safe and soundly.

Episode 4
Ilie is disheartened Kidow is searching her room. Sure, it was originally a storeroom. He claims he didn’t read whatever he wasn’t supposed to read. But then he pointed out that notebook of hers had poems filled with vocab error. Kidow no baka! The city will soon celebrate some festival. Ilie joins Lizzy and her Red Rats in their sewer hideout. It seems the military is tasked to help rein in the lost sheep because the transport almost got swallowed by a sandpit insect. Noticing the festival would be a food source for the insects, they need to shut off the sewers. Or else it would be like that tragedy 5 years ago. Qasim still remembers vividly. They were forced to close a section filled with bugs and burnt it down with people in it so as to cut off the spread. As a result, many kids lost their parents (among them is Lizzy) and they called them murderers no better than those insects. He still regrets that day and so he agrees to Kidow’s suggestion, to become the bait to drive out that bug so he can kill it. He doesn’t intend to survive… The military has already laid out the explosives and the area thanks to Naji and the Red Rats knowing the place like the back of their hand. All is in place until they realize Ilie and Lizzy are still underground looking for lost sheep. And what do you know? They stumble into a bug. Run! Luckily Kidow comes to their aid. I don’t think those puny bullets will work on the huge mother. He manages to hide with the duo after throwing a smokescreen. The bug presses forward as the military begins shutting down the partitions.

The insect comes face to face with Qasim. A stare down? Qasim thinks the bug is hesitating because he was once a human and has some of his memories. So this is his way of sacrificing himself after all his men pull out? But it won’t be Qasim’s death day today. Thanks to Lizzie’s directions, Kidow manages to make his way to save Qasim all in the nick of time and let the bug burn to death from the flames. After Lizzie and Ilie get out alive, Lizzy talks how she hates the military because they don’t care about them. Except for one guy who keeps coming back to look after them. She wants to apologize for the mean things he said and this has Ilie feel she too needs to apologize for that petty incident. Later Qasim gives a pendant to Kidow in hopes he could make up with Ilie (how does he know?). He might hate Exterminators generally but doesn’t hate Kidow as a person. He even offers to give any advice if he ever feels the need to talk about things. As the festival gets underway, Lizzie talks to Qasim and this time she manages to apologize and reconcile. Then as though it was some death flag because Qasim got the disease and starts transforming into a bug! Oh sh*t! Hadi has no choice but to shoot him but is stopped by Lizzy because she feels he has done nothing wrong. With the time ticking down, I guess all that’s left is a job for Kidow. Any last words? Off goes his head. Hadi is inconsolable while Kidow returns to the bar all bloodied, leaving everyone in shock. Kidow gives the pendant to Naji. I guess this is not the best time to say anything. But in the privacy of the toilet, Kidow breaks down and lets loose a scream.

Episode 5
Since Kidow is holing up in his room, I guess it’s time for Mario to tell Ilie about his past. As a child, he was saved from a bug by God. Or at least a man who once served him, Lazarus. This ex-father also led a big group of Exterminators. Kidow followed him around and was trained and thought by him. Other Exterminators were wary of him until he proved himself useful. Only then they treated him as one of them and to a point they brought him to a red light districted! Not sure if he is smitten or hates the hottest babe in town, Kara. I guess father’s words rang true, men are no match for women! Anyway, Edoardo Petrov from the military sought Lazarus’ help for a mission. As there were rivalries between Exterminators and the military, he thought they could find a compromise. When someone who is on the verge of becoming a Cagaster has sprouted wings, killing this person no longer amounts murder but extermination. The military can reward them instead of Exterminators doing barbaric lootings. Lazarus turns this down because if a Cagaster is viewed as non-human, so is the one who kills it. Kidow witnessed the military brutally murdering a wife of a man who is turning into a Cagaster. Because they deem her defending the felon. Kidow was shocked when the surviving son called him a murderer (because Lazarus was the one who lopped off his father’s head). Then on a big scale mission that took the lives of many Exterminators, Kidow was saved by Lazarus. He is not pleased because he was prepared to die. Lazarus then talks to him about his previous life as a servant of God. However His voice is meaningless in this world of bugs. Soon he lost his faith and became the leader of something he once hated. Kidow was still adamant to follow Lazarus wherever he goes and will not even question becoming his sacrifice. Lazarus doesn’t believe he has the right to be a leader.

Good timing because he is showing signs of turning into a Cagaster! Cue for Kidow to kill him. Kidow becomes depressed upon realizing he killed his father. Can Kara’s bosoms do the trick in calming him down? While some of the Exterminators aren’t happy with Lazarus’ death, some want Kidow to be Lazarus’ replacement and be the organization’s leader so as not to give the military any space to step all over them. Petrov comes looking for Kidow but Kara who is shielding declines to hand him over. She knows Petrov wants to use Kidow for his own. After all, Kidow killed Lazarus before he became a Cagaster and this amounted to murder. Of course Petrov can close an eye on this if you know what I mean. So Kidow comes out to hear Petrov’s offer. Petrov offers him money to work for him and talks about his life with Lazarus. Though they grew up in the same town and had different beliefs, both believed they were incompetent in doing anything. He then says Lazarus’ dead son was named Kidow and that he is just his replacement. That night, when military men came into his room to kill him, smart Kidow had already fled. He vowed not to hesitate anymore after the god who bathed his heart in blood and was crucified will forever be inside him. He left everything to Kara and hoped she finds happiness. Of course Kara was sad because this was not what she wanted. Now that Ilie has listened to the story, she isn’t sure but pays Kidow a visit in his room. But WTF?! He tries to rape her?! Even if this was just a prank, was it just to make him hate her or something?! Startled Ilie says she didn’t do this out of pity. If he knew this was going to happen, he should’ve quit exterminating from the start. Then she wouldn’t have fallen in love with someone like him and wouldn’t have to cry so much. But she still can’t bring herself to hate him. Probably the same reason why he can’t quit being an Exterminator. And also that reason why he isn’t ready to share his life with someone. Weird but since they reconcile, I suppose everything’s okay for now.

Episode 6
People trying to warn Ilie about getting too close to Kidow because who knows what he’ll do. Instead, she says she is fine if Kidow does anything on her! Everyone’s sanctuary is now obliterated. When Kidow cashes in on his reward and wants to give it to Hadi, he is told that he has already been fired from the military. Meanwhile Ilie visits Lizzy but the latter is in distraught. It seems Hadi is here and upon Qasim’s final request, he wants to help put her through some school and scholarship in another city. Lizzy doesn’t like this because she wants to remain as a small time thief. Naji admonishes her for being selfish since she is only lucky she hasn’t got into real trouble because she is a girl. He wants her to have a better life and gives the pendant to her. Lizzy needs some time to think over this since her wish is to stay with everybody and not lose anyone anymore. Kidow is at Qasim’s grave. So is Hadi. Kidow wants to know if Qasim has relatives but is told they were all killed by Exterminators long ago. So now you know why, huh? But Hadi needs to seriously talk to him. With the help of Aisha who is still in the military, she manages to get records from the military. Especially those from 01 who are coming here lately. There was a Cagaster who fled and didn’t kill its victim. Apparently that was 3 months ago. About the same time Ilie came here. That Cagaster came from Ilie’s hometown. Witness reported that a bug bowed down before a child before flying away. That child had descriptions like Ilie. Want to bet it is her? They ask if Kidow knows anything about this. He isn’t sure. He returns to the bar and confronts Ilie. He believes they weren’t being attacked by insects because Ilie was relatively unharmed. Ilie was unconscious for the most part but even if she did remember something, she doesn’t want to remember it.

The bar is then surrounded by military from 01. Of course they are looking for Ilie but she has fled along with Kidow. Franz Chilio knows Ilie can’t get far since Griffith’s spell on her has been broken. Ilie doesn’t like the idea of running away without knowing anything so she sulks and pouts until Kidow gives in. So he asks her that he needs info about the Cagaster who doesn’t kill humans from her village. 01 military could be here based on that info and if they don’t find out their goal, they can’t make their next move. Eventually they have to run because the soldiers have found them. Thanks to the Red Rats bringing them to their sewer refuge, they are safe for now. Kidow talks to Ilie and suggests of getting out of this area. When they do, they become fugitives and it will be hard to come back. Ilie will go with him. Anything but being alone. Before they can take some secret route out of 05, Kidow is forced to deal with Acht. The kids run away but stumble into a couple of soldiers. They beat and rough them up especially Naji. Even when Ilie agrees to go with them, the last straw is when they say they’ll kill the kids anyway. That is when Ilie remembers. Griffith tried to kill her but failed. Then something inside her awakens. So she is the Cagaster queen? She knows children below 15 cannot get an outbreak so she turns a soldier into a Cagaster and orders him to him kill the other. Ilie notes of the beautiful dream she had. One whereby she woke up and forgot everyone.

Episode 7
Thanks to Ilie’s sound wave, Acht didn’t kill Kidow. He in fact gives him a key card that will give him access to the insect’s cage at 07. Bye. Now, Ilie has gone with Franz back to the base. Meanwhile 05 is under attack by the military trying to take over it. It is believed to be the work of Harb Adham. Jin is trying to break the password of a chip found in Ilie’s diary. How convenient that Acht’s name is the password since the hint resembles closely what he said. Inside this chip is a video of Griffith making a plea to Franz. I guess this is flashback time. Many years ago, Griffith came to the lab where Franz work to find a cure to this Cagaster disease. Franz despite being just 21 years old, inherited Emeth, his late father’s work on his Cagaster findings. Both became quite close and Franz also had a sister, Tania who doesn’t like Griffith much. Buranko? Also, Franz is under commissioned by Adham to create a bug queen. His patience is running thin since Franz and Tania are unable to do so. It is revealed they were both from the Far East and were picked up by him when some frontline base experiment went wrong and blew up. Based on Emeth’s studies, Cagasters are like ants and bees and will act under orders of their queen. Hence they tried creating them from bug eggs but to no avail. Griffith soon learns Tania is not actually Franz’s real sister. When Emeth found a woman corpse that was nearly turned into a Cagaster, there was a child in her womb. Tania is that child. Franz didn’t say this because people stayed away from her after that. But Griffith doesn’t judge people so and assures he will always be their friends. Soon, using Tania’s unfertilized egg, they give birth a Cagaster from it which is Acht. Although it is successful that Cagaster will not attack Acht because he is one of them, because he is male and therefore cannot be queen, Adham calls it a failure.

A few years later, it is that time when Franz decides to marry Tania. Remember, they’re not blood related. They give birth to Ilie who is of course a splitting image of her. Griffith is then horrified that for the sake of science, they are going to use Tania to become the queen. Tania is okay about since this is what Franz wanted. She then entered some strange pod and into a slumber she has never awakened since. Griffith learnt the truth too late and couldn’t get Franz to cancel this entire project. It seems Tania will release some sound wave and release some latent Cagaster genes within. Those who respond will turn into one. This is viewed as humans evolving into a higher form and will give a better order for society. Emeth proved this right in that failed project although the city was completely devoured by bugs. Adham thought he could control it better this time. Griffith argues that they can’t tell if children who grow up will turn into one. That is why Franz has prepared a spare queen. Griffith is distraught he used his own daughter for science. Franz adds that Emeth was disappointed he couldn’t become a Cagaster and let one devoured him. That is why if Griffith turned into one, he won’t mind becoming his food. Griffith will not allow this and took Ilie away to run. He would’ve taken Acht too but he has already turned into a half-bug and a crazy killer. So Griffith took Ilie to run away from the city and live their wonderful farm life. So great and peaceful this life that they forgot all this atrocity. Even Ilie lost her longing for mom and Acht. Griffith having fun playing her substitute father, huh? Until that day when Ilie awakened and turned a human into a Cagaster. The dream ends here. Griffith is fraught with guilt that his somewhat emotions triggered this worst scenario. If Ilie can’t live as a human, at least he will kill her with his own hands. But he couldn’t. Who could after all those cute Ilie smiles! So he is begging Franz to save their daughter.

Episode 8
You bet Kidow is going to go save Ilie but first Lizzy wants to pass a message and gives him the pendant. Is this pendant some passing game or something? Anyway, Kidow agrees to do so if Lizzy takes up the scholarship because it will be an insult to those who never got the chance. Mario is against Kidow doing this dangerous stuff. You know he has to let him go when Kidow starts thanking him for the 3 years under his care. Whatever happens, Mario will be on their side. With Hadi, they go to see the wealthy merchant with a plan to protect 05. At first the merchant is sceptical because he views all the military as traitors now. But has a change in mind after hearing about Qasim’s good deeds. Better than nothing. Ilie is at 07 as Adham talks to her how the queen is keeping the insects from attacking them. However all will soon grow old and die and that’s where Ilie’s role as a replacement queen comes in. And also because this cycle will repeat, she will bear a child for the next queen. All this for a new world where mankind doesn’t have to fear bugs. According to Hadi’s plan, first they cover the entire city with smoke so the enemy can’t fire. I know they don’t want to damage the control tower but don’t they have its exact location? So they need visuals to fire? Then the small forces inside the city hijack and jam communications from 01 soldiers that are already inside. You got to thank the sewer labyrinths for their mobility. Really ‘awesome’ move when Kidow drives out from a different gate, goes to the front gate where the main 01 force one is waiting and then fires a bazooka at the back of their tank! WTF?! Just 1 tank?! Is reinforcements that hard to arrive?! Then Kidow drives off the 07. Meanwhile Mario gets ready for battle because he has a secret stash of weapons everybody can use. Battle maid mode time.

Kidow enters 07 with the key card. Oddly, insects won’t attack him but other soldiers. Too bad their aim is so bad. No wonder Kidow gets to run around unscathed. But more woes for Adham because Acht has killed a few lab workers but left Franz untouched. He knows he is going to free Ilie and orders him killed. Can they? Another weird moment as Kidow somehow enters some control room, inserts the chip that conveniently displays Griffith’s video onto Franz’s computer! Wow. Like, how f*cking convenient is that! So Franz knows a certain Exterminator is here to see Ilie. Before Ilie’s escort could do some loli rape, Acht kills her. Because Ilie still believes she is a tool like her mom, Acht tells her otherwise. Then he shows his half-human half-insect features. When he couldn’t become a human or insect 10 years ago, he became a monster instead. He preyed on humans and Exterminators. Claiming Tania did everything on her own accord, even if every ending is predictable, Ilie must choose one herself and not regret it. In other words, find meaning to her own life. Time to go when soldiers are here. Death flag for goodbye because Acht says he never hated her. Bye Ilie. Hello human-scum-soon-to-be-mincemeat.

Episode 9
Sure, Mario has some firepower. But nothing gets under his skin when the tank destroys his bar! Offense is over, they now have to focus on evacuate the civilians. Ilie enters some room with dormant bugs. Franz explains to her about Tania’s commands reach them with more detail and they could be used in war. Some soldiers come into the room to look for Ilie. Ilie awakens the bugs but before they could devour them, she orders them to stop. She realizes the need to put an end to this and save her mom. Adham authorizes the power output to gain more authority over the bugs despite it will put a strain on Tania’s body. Ilie isn’t afraid to die and in fact is willing to grant Franz’s wish of not leaving behind any DNA of his. Now, the only reason why Kidow had time to rescue Ilie is because Franz betrays and holds Adham at gunpoint. Adham knows that Franz killed some of the lab workers because there are bullet wounds. Acht can’t use guns, right? Since Franz claims he doesn’t have any affection for his daughter and his desire is still the same to pursue Emeth’s truth on Cagasters, Adham takes it that he has already found the truth. He knows he would never agree on his ideals and only needed funding and equipment. With their mutual interests ending here, what is it that he has found? It seems it wasn’t Emeth who died that day. Actually, his soul now possessed this body and it was Franz who died. Unless it’s a lie, so now we’re going with this supernatural crap?

Anyway, Franz has rewritten some code when the power was maximized. The queen will allow feeding of anyone inside the insect cage for an hour. Cagasters are the human evolution and they will only create a world of bugs. That is Emeth’s wish. Adham calls this all nonsense and shoots him. Kidow wants to take Ilie and escape this place but she can’t go back with him. First, she says she isn’t human and can’t live normally like them. She fears of turning people into bugs again. Also, she has to stop her mom as well as Adham from controlling the Cagasters. Now, it would have been simple and short if Kidow just says it up straight that he wants to help her. Instead he has to play out this weird drama of teasing her to use him as help. Sweet talk, seduce and use him for all that he is good for? And what’s this he wasn’t interested in her before? WTF?! Is there some subtle cheesy love drama going on here?! And Ilie goes the extra mile that if he can grant all that for her, she will allow him to do anything to her. Anything?! Wow. This sounds creepier the more you think about it! And this guy takes up her word?! I don’t know if Kidow is the joking guy… Meanwhile a few guys from 05 arrive at the city of Azuria to request for reinforcements. However the mayor holds them hostage. He tells that a month ago somebody told him that there will be a possible revolt from 05. He doesn’t trust them and believes this is a trap. That somebody is Petrov.

Episode 10
Here’s another mini flashback. A scientist got rough with little Ilie just to her blood sample. Acht fights off that bugger but luckily Griffith and Franz intervened. As Acht’s body is aching and he wouldn’t allow them to examine, Franz knew exactly what is happening. 05 continues to be under sieged and the wealthy merchant and his gang know their time is up. When the time is right, they are going to be martyrs and blow themselves up! With all the insects out and feeding, Ilie thinks she can use her queen powers to control them. She failed so they have to run. WTF Kidow, is this the time to mock her? Meanwhile a few scientists want to escape this place and take all their research and start anew from somewhere. Too bad Acht got in their way and slaughters them all. Kidow and Ilie continue to run. WTF a soldier shoots and injures Kidow’s shoulder. I thought all soldiers should be prioritizing something else right now? Anyway they manage to escape and enter a secret passageway believed to be the shortcut to Tania’s throne. Adham was on recently aware of this so he too has the same idea. So you bet both sides will meet as Adham tries to convince Kidow to give up Ilie because she is essentially a bug. You know that’s not going to happen. Adham orders his men to seize him. Good thing they’re on the other side of the divide because this allows Kidow to say his death flag goodbye to her. Oh, that passing game again. He gives the pendant to Ilie and tells Lizzy’s message that they’ll always be friends. Some cheesy close moments with each other and to give us some hope that they won’t simply die because they got to be together when it all ends, right? Ilie goes ahead to the throne while Kidow stays back to stall the soldiers. If you think Franz hasn’t died yet, you’re correct. Because his role isn’t over. I mean, how is Ilie going to open the doors to the throne? Yup, that is what Franz’s final role is before he can finally keel over. Kidow kills all the men and even survives a suicide attack. His face off with Adham is short because a random bug crashed in